The Center for Intelligence Studies
AMERICA LAST – AGAIN
When the Biden Junta seized office in January 2021, one of their first acts was to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline for allegedly environmental reasons. They then proceeded to refuse new drilling permits on federal land and have been undermining America’s energy independence ever since. Faced with skyrocketing gas prices, the regime first tried to evade responsibility by calling it “Putin’s Price Hike” and blaming it on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, even though prices were rising well before the Russian attack, then on oil companies profiteering and now on “greedy” gas station owners even though retailers have razor thin profit margins and make most of their money from auto repairs and/or from miscellaneous retail items sold in their sales offices. But rather than reverse their blundered policies and allow more domestic production, the Junta chose to go hat in hand to the OPEC countries they had previously disparaged to beg for increased oil production. That effort failed miserably as those countries added insult to injury by delivering their refusal to French President Emmanuel Macron rather than Biden – which is hardly a surprise as it’s been widely reported that the leaders of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have previously declined to take Biden’s phone calls even though they’ve taken calls from Vladimir Putin. So in late March the Junta announced it would begin releasing roughly a million barrels of oil daily from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in hope of easing market prices. According to Reuters SPR fell to its lowest level since 1986 in June, without having any apparent impact on gas prices – perhaps due in part to the fact that over 5 million barrels of oil that were supposed to help Americans were instead exported to Europe and Asia.
In response to criticism the Junta’s claimed ignorance, saying it had no control over what the companies awarded purchase contracts did with the oil. As RealClear Politics pointed out, however, one of the contracts was awarded to Unipec – a branch of the China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec), which is owned by the Chinese government. Why oil from the nation’s emergency stockpile was sold to an unfriendly country has not been explained by the regime, but Hunter Biden’s past connections with Sinopec have raised dark suspicions. While his father was Vice President, powerful Chinese figures helped Hunter set up investment companies – one of which was allowed to buy a stake in Sinopec. As of this writing, it remains unclear if Hunter has liquidated his Chinese holdings as promised or if the elder Biden received his customary 10 percent-under-the-table cut from his son’s influence peddling – but more than a few believe Hunter was deeply involved in the sale of the American oil to China.
US MILITARY BADLY DEPLETED
Energy is not the only American asset being mishandled. Daily Caller and Western Journal report that US weapon stockpiles are being depleted at an alarming rate by aid to Ukraine. What was supposed to be a meat grinder for Russian forces is actually a race to see which side runs out of weapons first. By early May, roughly a third of the Javelin anti-tank missile stock and a third of anti-aircraft Stinger missile stock had been sent to Ukraine. To put it in perspective, that one-third of Javelin inventory was a seven-year supply.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s dismissive statements that the military has the funding to replace the weapons ignores production times. The current delivery time for a Javelin is about 32 months. Ramping up to maximum production would likely take at least a year, and it would still take two or three years to replace the Javelins that have already been sent. The current estimated delivery time for Stingers is two years, and there are similar problems with increasing production. Howitzers, M113 Armored Personnel Carriers and other types of hardware also have long lead times, and there’s presently no way to account for what Ukraine does with the aid. Redacted with Natali and Clayton Morris reports the West has sent Ukraine more weapons than they have personnel to handle, yet Ukraine keeps demanding more. Perhaps for that reason NATO and EU officials have suddenly remembered that Ukraine is one of the three most corrupt European countries and are belatedly expressing concerns that the weapons they’ve provided are being sold out the back door. Some weapons have fallen into Russian hands, but the number of weapons disappearing is greater than those captured. As the Mainstream Media slowly acknowledges that Russia seems to have gained the upper hand, there are more calls for increasing military aid to Ukraine. The US simply cannot sustain this.
The US military also cannot sustain its personnel losses. NBC News reports that every branch of the military is struggling to meet recruitment goals despite unprecedented bonuses. Part of the problem is that more young people than ever are being disqualified for obesity, drug use, or criminal records. Another part is that very few of those who are eligible are inclined to enlist. A Defense Department survey showed that 57% of respondents thought they would have emotional or psychological problems after serving. Nearly half thought they would have physical problems. Only 13% had parents who had served in the military (compared to 40% in 1995), which is considered one of the biggest influences for service. The recruitment lag includes National Guard, Reserves, and Coast Guard in addition to the regular active duty branches and is serious enough that the Pentagon is reviewing the list of medical disqualifiers to possibly lessen the requirements. NBC notes that Americans’ “trust and confidence in the military” is dropping – according to annual surveys conducted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute – but blames it on lack of familiarity with the military. Nightwatch suggests another reason might be the Defense Department’s ongoing purge of anyone not deemed far enough to the Left, presumably compounded by a widespread refusal to accept the regime’s diktat on Covid injections. The Obama Administration began purging senior officers, and the Biden Junta extended the ideological purge to the ranks of junior and even non-commissioned officers. The federal mandate requiring government personnel to receive the Covid injections is still being enforced as over 60,000 National Guard and Reserve soldiers have now missed the deadline and are barred from training and federally funded drills. Anyone reluctant to take the injections – now demonstrated to be useless in preventing illness – is certainly not going to join the military under these circumstances. And those with friends or relatives who have been booted are going to think twice about joining. One might have thought the recruiting problems would have prompted the Junta to rethink its military vaccine policy, but ideological purity is evidently more important than troop readiness or combat capabilities.
SUPREME COURT SURPRISE
Readers are doubtless aware of the US Supreme Court’s stunning decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Left is deliberately spreading confusion about what the ruling means, claiming that abortion has been outlawed. In reality the Court simply returned abortion to “the people and their elected representatives” for regulation and upheld a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Justice Alito called the reasoning behind Roe “flawed” and damaging, comparing it to the harm done by Plessy v. Ferguson in allowing school segregation. Forbes reports that several states have already banned abortion either by reinstating pre-Roe bans or by having passed “trigger laws” to take effect if or when Roe was struck down. Up to 26 states are likely to ban or strictly limit abortion. All the states that have banned it so far do allow exceptions when the mother’s life is at risk, but few allow exceptions for cases of rape or incest. None of the bans prohibit women from crossing state lines to have an abortion. And so far none of the bans penalize women seeking an abortion; the penalties – fines and variable prison sentences – are for those performing them. It’s worth noting that women suffering a miscarriage may have trouble receiving proper care as many drugs and procedures used to expel a dead fetus are also used in abortions. These drugs may become unavailable or healthcare providers may be unwilling to perform certain procedures for fear of being wrongly prosecuted. Also some companies offering in vitro fertilization have started moving away from states that broadly define life as beginning at fertilization because they often create more embryos than are implanted in the womb. Many large companies have announced they will continue covering abortion in their employee insurance plans and will even cover travel expenses incurred to receive an abortion. There has been discussion of Congress possibly passing a law to either ban or support abortion at the federal level, but that appears unlikely as neither side seems able to muster enough votes. The Left certainly didn’t have enough votes before Roe, which is why they went through the courts and never codified abortion access at the federal level.
Since about half the US is expected to ban or limit abortion, the other half is expected to protect abortion. LifeNews reports that at least ten states currently allow abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth. Those states are Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It should be noted that California and Colorado have introduced bills affirming the right to abortion, including language about “perinatal death” or “postnatal care” that appears to allow killing a baby after birth. The legislators supporting these bills deny that, but the language remains. One would expect legislators to be careful with wording to avoid unintended consequences, but perhaps this particular consequence is not unintended after all.
PFIZER WHISTLEBLOWER SUES
The Defender reports that a whistleblower is alleging fraud in Pfizer’s Covid vaccine trials. Whistleblower Brook Jackson worked for Ventavia Research Group, one of the companies Pfizer hired to work on the vaccine trials. She was fired in 2020 after she filed a complaint with the FDA over alleged improprieties that Pfizer “deliberately withheld crucial information from the United States that calls the safety and efficacy of their vaccine into question.” The allegations include making false records to cause claims to be paid. Jackson says that she repeatedly informed her supervisors about poor lab management and patient safety concerns, including lack of follow-up with patients who experienced adverse effects, unreported protocol deviations, vaccines not stored at proper temperatures, and lab specimens labeled incorrectly. Her supervisors took no action, so she provided the FDA with documents indicating falsified data and Pfizer’s knowledge of it. She says she received an email and a single phone call from an FDA inspector, but no further communication. Ventavia fired her “within hours” of her contacting the FDA. Despite the problems, Pfizer hired Ventavia to conduct more clinical trials, and the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer vaccine. Jackson has since filed a lawsuit against Pfizer and Ventavia under the False Claims Act, a law that rewards whistleblowers for disclosing fraud that results in a financial loss to the federal government. Pfizer has asked the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the FDA knew of the wrongdoings in the clinical trials but continued to do business with Pfizer anyway. As incredible as this sounds, a 2016 US Supreme Court decision found that if the government continued paying a contractor despite fraudulent activity, then the fraud was not material to the contract – and other lawsuits have been dismissed because of this. Pfizer is considered a federal contractor because it has signed multiple contracts with the government to provide Covid vaccines. Jackson’s lawyer is filing an opposition brief to Pfizer’s motion to dismiss, and the judge may rule on the motion by autumn.
PEASANTS REVOLT WORLDWIDE
As bad as inflation and empty shelves may be in the US, the situation is much worse in Second and Third World Countries as they have fewer resources to fall back on. The food riots overseas have largely been ignored by Mainstream Media. Sri Lanka is an exception as its government has collapsed. Aljazeera reports that in May 2021 the Sri Lankan government suddenly banned all synthetic agrochemicals, including fertilizers and pesticides. Unfortunately, shifting from conventional to organic agriculture doesn’t happen overnight, and farmers were unable to obtain enough organic fertilizer for their crops. Unable to grow enough food to feed its people and unable to attract its usual tourism during Covid pandemic restrictions, Sri Lanka ran out of money to pay for the needed imports of food, fuel, and other basic items. After months of protests and riots, protesters stormed the presidential palace. Videos are circulating on social media of the mob swarming the palace and of protesters swimming in the palace pool. The Sri Lankan president fled the country ahead of the mob and communicated his resignation from Singapore. At the time of this writing, a new government has not yet been formed. Faced with civil unrest around the world, the United Nations and the Elites are still blaming food shortages on their invented climate change crisis instead of admitting their role in causing it.
In an unusual move for the MSM, Newsweek has acknowledged – albeit in an opinion piece – that the rebellion against the Elites has spread to Europe and the US. Over 30,000 Dutch farmers are protesting new nitrogen limits that will force many farms to shut down. The Netherlands is the second largest agricultural exporter after the US. The amount of emissions curbed isn’t enough to help climate change by their own calculations, yet the Dutch government insists on cutting food production in the midst of food shortages and inflation. Dutch farmers are blocking highways with their tractors, attempting to bring the country to a standstill. The Dutch Fishermen’s Union has joined the protests in solidarity with the farmers, using boats to block harbors. The Newsweek piece acknowledges the Elites’ ideological goals are pursued at the expense of the lower middle and working classes, causing living standards to decline. It even ends with a stark warning: “Ultimately, there is a risk that climate policies will do to Europe what Marxism did to Latin America. A continent with all the conditions for widespread prosperity and a healthy environment will impoverish and ruin itself for ideological reasons. In the end, both the people and the climate will be worse off.”
MORE HITS TO FOOD SUPPLY
Last month Nightwatch reported on a series of mysterious fires and explosions damaging American food production and storage facilities. A few might be genuine accidents at understaffed, overworked facilities, but the sheer number over the past year suggests some or most are the result of cyberattacks or other sabotage. Over Memorial Day weekend another mysterious fire struck at Forsman Farms in Howard Lake, Minnesota. The local CBS station WCCO reported that the extent of the damage was not yet clear, but the fire appeared confined to a single poultry barn, one of several such barns. Estimates of dead chickens ranged from “tens of thousands” to “200,000” chickens. The cause of the fire had not yet been determined. Forsman is a sizable operation that sells more than three million eggs a day to distributors and retailers – and is highly automated, which might have provided an opening for a cyberattack.
Former intelligence professionals have informed Nightwatch that they suspect these unlikely disasters are part of a covert operation intended to destabilize the US. The food supply system has still not regained ground lost during the Covid shutdowns, and while each incident appears minor in and of itself the cumulative effect on the already shaky system is severe. These incidents have also increased public fears: Many social media posts on the Forsman fire gave the false impression that the entire farm had been destroyed. Whether the falsehood was amplified by hostile bot accounts or by nervous but gullible innocents, the result is the same. As for who might be behind the sabotage – whether China, Russia, Globalists, Green activists trying to eliminate animal farming or even the Biden regime as some suspect – a fearful public will inevitably demand Washington to come to the rescue, regardless of how many more rights will be lost.
In another blow to the food supply, Fox Business News reports that Smithfield Foods will close a pork processing plant in Vernon, California and shrink the size of its pig herds in California, Utah, and Arizona. The company blamed the higher costs of doing business in California in addition to a tougher regulatory environment there. Fox pointed out that processors around the country are also dealing with higher feed and transportation costs, forcing them to cut operations instead of expanding. This is bad news for the processors’ employees as well as their contracted farmers – and for consumers who face the grim prospect of higher prices and episodic food shortages. Smithfield will probably not be the only company closing plants, so readers might want to fill their freezers as soon as possible if they haven’t already done so. Do not expect other companies to fill the gap as more dominoes are likely to fall. There has been some commentary on the fact that Smithfield was acquired in 2013 by the WH Group, a company based in Hong Kong. While Nightwatch does not suspect China is deliberately cutting production, it does illustrate the dangers of depending on large multi-state companies. Big Agriculture can certainly feed more people than small local farmers can, but the damage caused by system failures is also much higher. Readers are urged to support local farmers as much as possible to increase their own food security.
A GLOBALIST SETBACK
Armstrong Economics reports a treaty that would have enabled the World Health Organization to coordinate pandemic response internationally has been defeated. Critics of the treaty contended it would allow the WHO to override national sovereignty and force mandates on the public, giving the WHO de facto governing power. Treaty supporters dismissed concerns as just another conspiracy theory, expressing dismay and feigned puzzlement about the proliferation of such theories during Covid.
The pandemic treaty was rejected by Russia, India, China, Iran, Malaysia, Brazil, and the entire continent of Africa. It should be noted that the countries that supported the treaty are largely those that support the Great Reset by the World Economic Forum – in other words, the current vision of the Globalists’ New World Order, a hyper-authoritarian Marxist society with no privacy and no private ownership. Since the attempt to use Covid vaccine passports as a control mechanism failed, the next step is to transfer more and more authority to the WHO and the United Nations at the expense of national sovereignty. The pandemic treaty is down for now but not out. A working group has been convened to propose amendments to the treaty, which will be resubmitted at the 77th Health Assembly meeting in 2024.
Given that the Covid lockdowns and other mandates are now known to have caused more harm than the Covid virus, one should not be surprised that people have become unwilling to turn over their health decisions to government institutions. The Globalists certainly aren’t surprised – they’re simply hoping their patronizing tones will gull the uncertain into feeling silly for standing up for their rights.
If there are still any doubts about the harm caused by the Covid restrictions, consider the widely reported statistic last January that the death rate from all causes was 40% higher than pre-pandemic levels. That number comes from the CEO of insurance company OneAmerica, and the excess is not all due to Covid. Part of the problem is that many people with chronic medical conditions missed treatments because hospitals turned away patients to conserve resources for the expected tsunami of Covid patients that never arrived. Other people missed routine screenings for the same reason only to discover later that they had developed serious conditions – and conditions that were not initially life threatening became so for lack of early treatment.
Another part of the problem is the one the CDC and FDA are still trying to sweep under the rug: Covid vaccine injuries, which Nightwatch has previously discussed. Even among deaths attributed to Covid, it is incalculable how many lives could have been saved if the medical establishment had made wider use of Ivermectin and other protocols established by groups such as the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance and America’s Frontline Doctors instead of censoring them. The harsh truth is that the Covid restrictions were about implementing controls on the public, not about protecting health.
HEPATITIS OUTBREAK IN CHILDREN
The Defender reported in mid-May that 533 cases of severe hepatitis in young children had been reported in 27 countries. The cause is still unknown because none of the usual viruses known to cause hepatitis were detected – which is why the standard hepatitis vaccines for children offered no protection. The WHO and CDC caution parents to be on the lookout for stomach pains, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice. Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes – in particular is an indication of a liver problem, and medical attention should be sought immediately. The children were all previously healthy, and about 90% of them required hospitalization. Some even received liver transplants. Some, but not all, of the children tested positive for adenovirus strains. Some doctors blame Covid even though the children had not shown symptoms of it.
Evidently Covid is still the specter of choice in the medical establishment. Other doctors have raised the possibility of a link to Covid vaccines – the Moderna vaccine is documented as having caused hepatitis in adults while both the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines used adenovirus vectors – but health officials insist many of the children were not vaccinated against Covid. Another theory is that the children’s immune systems were suppressed by having fewer social interactions during Covid restrictions, so they were more adversely affected by viruses.
At any rate, it’s worth following this story to see if the hepatitis outbreaks continue. Yahoo News reports the FDA is expected to authorize the aforementioned Moderna Covid vaccine for children aged 6 and older. The FDA is also considering authorizing both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children under 5. Throughout the pandemic, children have been the group least affected by Covid, and they are arguably in more danger from the experimental vaccines than they are from actual Covid.
But big bucks are involved here, and the FDA shows no sign of cutting the cash flow to Moderna and Pfizer.
On May 24th, an 18-year-old man in Uvalde, Texas shot and wounded his grandmother, then drove her car to a nearby elementary school where he killed 19 children and 2 teachers and wounded several others. The grandmother called the police. The clearest timeline of what happened after her phone call is the one provided online by The Texas Tribune. The details have been hotly contested, so suffice it to say the police officers from 3 different agencies who gathered at the school evidently located the room the shooter was in, yet they waited over an hour before an off duty Border Patrol agent opened the door and shot the gunman. At the time of this writing, the authorities are still reviewing the actions of the police.
It’s worth noting that the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting prompted the revision of police protocols nationwide to have first responders on the scene to promptly engage with shooters even if they have no backup. This is not as foolhardy as it sounds. In some cases shooters killed themselves when they realized the police had located them. In other cases officers were able to use their superior training to get the drop on shooters who had superior firepower. Why Uvalde officers waited over an hour is something the community wants an answer to.
As is always the case with these tragedies, the Left is again clamoring for more gun control. A bipartisan group of Senators – 10 Republicans joined the Democrats – have announced a proposal to fund school safety resources, greater funding for mental health resources in communities, enhanced reviews for buyers under the age of 21, and a red flag provision to keep weapons out of the hands of those determined by the court to be a menace to themselves or others. The legislation hasn’t actually been written yet, so there’s no telling what surprises will be found in it later – but the fact that Biden is already eager to sign it bodes ill. In actual fact there are already a plethora of gun laws at the state level, most of which are routinely broken by criminals – so keeping guns out of their hands isn't the point: The Left’s end goal is to ban private gun ownership entirely.
The clamor after each tragedy is mere virtue signaling, designed to make guns socially unacceptable. The point of added gun laws is public control, not public safety.
CFIS Chairman Charles S. Viar has proposed a compromise that’s based on both common sense and the Constitution. In his novel The Greywolf Saga, Presidential candidate Jon Greywolf advocates the strict application of the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Greywolf’s plan is to resurrect state militias and restrict military-grade firearms to enrolled members, with obvious exceptions for retired police and military, licensed dealers, licensed collectors, members of incorporated gun clubs, the farmers and ranchers who must contend with dangerous animals, and those with special and well-justified needs. This would eliminate spur of the moment military-grade weapon purchases, and ensure that holders are properly trained and disciplined and supervised by officers and non-commissioned officers. The resurrected militias would also assist their communities in emergencies by augmenting police, search and rescue and disaster teams. Some states have maintained armed militias, others have volunteer organizations filling some of these functions, and both could be easily reprogrammed to meet the new requirements.
The point, according to Mr. Viar, is to keep military-grade weapons IN the hands of honest citizens and OUT of the hands criminals and the mentally ill. As an additional benefit, it would maintain gun rights in the hands of the States as the Founders intended, rather than giving more power to the Federal Leviathan.
AP News reports that the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency has found that Dominion Voting Systems equipment used in at least 16 states are susceptible to hacking; however, CISA insists there is no evidence that they have been hacked to change election results. AP takes great pains to let readers know this finding has nothing to do with the 2020 election. It turns out that “voting integrity activists” filed a lawsuit in 2017 against Georgia election officials because the touch screen machines used at the time were vulnerable to hacking and lacked a paper trail. But when Georgia switched to the Dominion machines in 2019 the lawsuit plaintiffs said the new machines were also vulnerable. The judge allowed the Dominion machines to be used, but she also allowed the report detailing the vulnerabilities to be shared with CISA so that recommendations could be made to Dominion and to state officials on proper safeguards. Dominion claims the vulnerabilities have been addressed in newer software versions, but the expert witness in the original lawsuit says it’s not clear if the problems have indeed been fixed.
Readers probably remember all too well the shenanigans during the 2020 elections that magically produced enough early morning votes in swing states to throw the election to Biden. Abuses of absentee ballot voting were never addressed, and concerns about the Dominion machines being hacked were dismissed. Georgia officials knew perfectly well from the 2017 lawsuit that there were potential problems and swept it under the rug. The Establishment wanted Donald Trump out of the White House by fair means or foul – and the Establishment got what it wanted.
Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice by a Senate vote of 53-47. Her appointment to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer is widely hailed as historic since she is the first Black woman named to the Court. Media euphoria, however, pushes important details into the background. One of those details is that Biden promised during the 2020 election campaign to name a Black woman to the Court – in other words, he considers the sex and ethnicity of nominees to be more important than their judicial qualifications. Other details revolve around her track record and her legal views. During the confirmation hearings, senators concerned about protecting women’s rights in sports asked Jackson to define a woman. Jackson refused to define the term, saying she was not a biologist. A nominee – chosen partly for being a woman – who insists she cannot define the term “woman” is at best ironic. And when asked about the theory that humans possess inherent or inalienable natural rights, Jackson pointed to the Declaration of Independence as the basis for that theory in American society -- but said she did not hold a position on whether or not individuals possess natural rights. That alone placed her far outside the judicial mainstream and does not bode well for the Constitution.
Another issue concerns allegations made during the hearings that Jackson is soft on child porn offenders. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) recapped seven cases overseen by Jackson and raised concerns about her sentences being both lower than recommended by federal guidelines and lower than what the prosecutors requested. The report by FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, contains some interesting revelations – perhaps inadvertently. FactCheck.org’s report includes the sentences recommended by the probation office, which Senator Hawley did not include in his presentation. In all seven cases Jackson’s sentences were indeed lower than the federal guidelines and lower than prosecutors’ requests. In two cases Jackson’s sentences were also lower than the probation office recommendations. In the remaining five cases, Jackson’s sentences were at or slightly higher than the probation office recommendations – so it’s not just Jackson choosing lighter sentences; it’s also court probation offices and other judges!
According to a 2021 report by the US Sentencing Commission cited in the hearings, only 30% of “non-production child pornography offenders received a sentence within the guideline range.” The Sentencing Commission itself recommended in 2012 – during the period when Jackson served as its vice chair – that Congress revise the federal guidelines because they dated to the pre-internet era when images were traded by snail mail and higher penalties were assessed for larger collections. The Commission’s position is the guidelines are now overly harsh given the ease of Internet distribution – but the arguments favoring leniency for these offenders are based on misconceptions and false claims. As Nightwatch discussed in the January issue, some Leftists have publicly claimed that people with sexual fantasies about children generally do not act out those fantasies when the reality is that at least 50-85% of the people who view “kiddie porn” do in fact commit offenses against children. As for Internet distribution and collection size, there is still a certain amount of networking required to obtain material from invitation-only forums. Every judicial appointment involves some politicking, but with Justice Jackson it has reached new lows. Decriminalizing sex with minors – even infants – is a major priority for elements on the Left today, and the regime’s success in pushing through the Jackson appointment will likely embolden them to push the envelope even further.
DIGITAL CASH UPDATE
The Verge reports that the Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware Act (ECASH) introduced in the House would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to test a digital US dollar followed by a general deployment within 48 months of the testing program. This is not the same as the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) the Federal Reserve has been studying, nor is it a crypto currency like Bitcoin. Bitcoin and other true cryptos use a decentralized network ledger maintained by voluntary cooperative efforts of the public. On the other hand, a CBDC is completely under the control of the central bank issuing it and does not require any intermediaries between the central bank and the users. The proposed ECASH does not use a ledger system at all, so – in theory – users would be able to transfer it between each other using physical cards or mobile phone cards without being tracked, similar to the way physical dollars can be used. ECASH would also be issued by the Treasury, which puts it under the control of the White House instead of the Federal Reserve. Evidently someone got tired of the Fed dragging its feet because the Act requires testing to start within 180 days of passage into law. Even if the ECASH Act does not pass, there will likely be other attempts. Despite the apparent safeguards, government controlled digital currencies are widely seen as a precursor to eliminating physical cash and adding another layer of control over citizens’ lives. Theory is one thing and practice another – so people who displease Big Brother might one day find their government benefits cut off, regardless of whether it’s a CBDC or ECASH.
It’s also worth noting that as government interest in CBDCs increases, so does government regulation of crypto currencies. In Bitcoin’s early days, it was promoted as an alternative to the banking system and fiat currency, and its proponents did use it in business dealings with each other. The 2013 Cyprus banking crisis, however, sparked wider interest in using Bitcoin to store value outside of banks. The price of Bitcoin rose sharply, and as its new users began comparing it to digital gold, its use shifted from everyday currency to investment tool. Other crypto currencies were released to the public, meeting with varying degrees of enthusiasm. CBDCs are an attempt by governments to capture the efficiency of cryptos for their own use. It is widely expected that if CBDCs reach everyday use, governments will attempt to ban the use of cryptos to eliminate the competition and to bring currency transactions firmly back under government control. Physical cash will also be eliminated – and with it, financial privacy.
MORE RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA
Nightwatch discussed in the February/March issue how Russia wants a friendly buffer zone between itself and NATO. It should be noted that the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 promised security for Ukraine in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons, based on promises from both the West and Russia to respect that country’s borders. The Russians obviously reneged on their commitment, prompting February's hysterics from the regime as intelligence indicators increasingly pointed toward a Russian invasion. The actual onslaught has since received massive press coverage, but lost in the shuffle has been the fact that Kamala Harris made public statements that strongly suggested she thought Ukraine was a member of NATO or that Ukraine should join NATO – and that Russia invaded Ukraine less than a week later.
Whether these remarks were simply more evidence of Harris’s incompetence or if she was instructed to issue them as a deliberate provocation remains unclear. If it was sheer incompetence, Harris did not learn from her fumble as she used similar language in March when she posted support for Ukraine on the Twitter platform. Her staff later deleted the tweet and reposted it with clarified wording.
Mainstream Media (MSM) coverage of the conflict in Ukraine has pulled out all the propaganda stops. As a former actor and comedian, Ukrainian President Zelensky knows how to dress and act the part of wartime leader. The MSM fawn over his every pose and repeat every triumph Ukraine claims over the bumbling Russians – claims that are often later retracted when they will receive much less notice, if any. As the conflict drags on, the divergence in narratives between pro-Ukraine MSM and neutral or pro-Russia journalists gets wider and wider. James G. Rickards and Martin Armstrong – both superbly well connected in Washington – have indicated, based on information provided by their government contacts, that Russia is actually performing much better than the MSM have led their audiences to believe, and both men expect Russia to prevail in the end. According to CFIS Chairman Charles S. Viar, much depends on Putin’s health. Putin is clearly ill and rumored to be suffering from both an aneurysm and a form of blood cancer. Either or both could be affecting his decision-making – or even lead to his removal from power.
According to Rickards, the latter is why the West is supplying Ukraine with weapons, training, and intelligence – the goal is to bleed Russia in order to bring about regime change. According to cynics, the West is willing to fight to the last Ukrainian – but won't send troops for fear of a nuclear response. But if Rickards is correct the economic sanctions levied against Russia may prove counterproductive, as the seizures of Russian-owned property and bank accounts are weakening the very Russian oligarchs whose support would be needed to depose Putin. The seizures of US dollar accounts has also prompted Putin to retaliate by demanding payment for Russian oil and gas in rubles or in gold, and several European countries are complying. Putin has thus inflicted currently minimal but nonetheless serious long-term damage to the dollar as the world’s premier reserve currency. The dollar won’t lose its dominant position overnight, but every trade deal made in rubles or gold brings that day closer.
Supply chains around the world have still not recovered from the Covid lockdowns and are now taking additional blows. It is being widely reported that the Ukrainian conflict has halted exports of grain from both Russia and Ukraine – about 25% of the world’s total grain production. Mideastern countries that get all their grain from those countries are facing serious shortages and famine. Farmers in other countries – including the US – are being forced to reduce planting because they can’t get enough fertilizer from Russia, which means food shortages and higher prices will worsen as the year goes on. As horrific as the war deaths are, it is expected that even more people will die of starvation as a result.
At the same time, governments around the world are ordering the extermination of literally millions of poultry birds, ostensibly to prevent the spread of a strain of bird flu. While a few cases of the bird flu passed to humans have been reported, the reaction is far out of proportion to the number of cases. The people infected reportedly caught it from direct contact with live birds, not from eating the meat of sick animals. If a single bird in a flock tests positive, healthy birds in close proximity are also killed. Some American states have even ordered the destruction of small backyard flocks. Naturally these policies are exacerbating shortages of meat and eggs. A few farms are pushing back against the draconian measures. Ice Age Farmer reports that Clucking Ridge Farm has announced they will not comply with New York’s ban on “all fowl auctions, sales, meets, and swaps” because they think their monitoring is sufficient for safety and because they cannot operate their business without poultry sales. Like the Covid lockdowns of the past two years, such drastic bird culls do far more harm than good. Ice Age Farmer urges his audience to resist, calling the measures part of the Technocrats’ agenda to eliminate animal farming.
If that last sentence sounds melodramatic, readers should be aware that some countries really are trying to curtail animal farming. The Guardian – as well as other British and Irish media outlets – recently reported that Northern Ireland passed its first climate act, requiring the farming sector to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050 and to reduce methane emissions by about half. In order to reach the targets, Northern Ireland will have to get rid of over 500,000 cattle and 700,000 sheep. It will also be necessary to cut 5 million chickens by the year 2035. Northern Ireland mainly supplies Britain, but it also exports to China and North America. Cutting food production in the midst of a food crisis is irresponsible, yet it is happening. Other European countries have already had similar requirements. In some cases there appears to be legitimate concerns about ammonia pollution from highly concentrated operations, but for the most part the cited concerns refer to man-made climate change.
On top of all that, mysterious fires and explosions have damaged at least 20 food production and storage facilities in the US over the past 7 months. Spontaneous combustion has always been a danger in grain silos, but these fires are in distribution warehouses or production plants, and the number seems higher than usual. It’s possible that some are genuine accidents at understaffed, overworked facilities. The FBI, however, has warned about hackers extorting money with ransomware attacks, saying that 6 food facilities were targeted last fall. Reuters issued a similar warning that hackers had developed tools to attack programmable logic controllers used in a huge number of factories – including gas and food production plants. The potential harm ranges from shutdowns to wrecked equipment to explosions. The Reuters article raises the possibility that some of these explosions could be a form of cyberwarfare by an enemy state. Welcome to hybrid warfare, where nothing is off limits and where perpetrators hide instead of claiming credit. Cynics have also speculated on the possibility of sabotage by people seeking to hasten the climate change agenda.
Nightwatch has warned readers since the Covid lockdowns began to stock up on nonperishable food items, to plant gardens, and to support local farmers whenever possible. Those warnings are more imperative now than ever. The centralized food distribution systems that most people rely on are failing, and many of these systems will not survive the next two years.
PENTAGON COVERING UP VACCINE INJURIES
Teetering on the brink of war, you’d think the US military had enough problems with political indoctrination and personnel shortages that they wouldn’t set themselves up for more – but The Blaze reports the Department of Defense is now covering up large numbers of adverse reactions to the Covid vaccine injections. There have been reports that All Causes Mortality in Western countries has risen sharply since the mRNA injections were rolled out under Emergency Use Authorization, but it’s been difficult to get a good grasp on that because of the different age groups and health issues involved. The huge number of adverse effects catalogued by the VAERS reporting system has also been attacked by Big Pharma advocates on the technically accurate but borderline absurd claim that the VAERS system has no way to prevent people from making up and reporting imaginary adverse reactions. The US military, however, is largely composed of younger, able-bodied people in generally excellent health, so it makes for a much better test group – and the results are alarming. The Western Journal reports shocking numbers were revealed by DoD whistleblowers at a panel discussion led by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) last month: In 2021 miscarriages were up 300% over the five year average between 2016 and 2020; cancer was up by 300% and neurological issues by a whopping 1000%.
Although that’s admittedly just one sample of the total data collected, there clearly are safety issues with the Covid vaccines, and the authorities do not want to admit it. Per The Blaze, the Pentagon’s response was an improbable claim that its medical reporting system had glitches for those past five years – without any explanation of said glitches or why the glitches had not been fixed or where the missing data supposedly was. Like the rest of the federal government, the Pentagon refuses to address a growing health crisis in its ranks and instead covers for the vaccine. But not to worry: the military may be in shambles but they’re oh-so-politically- correct – and they’ve got that Critical Race Theory thing down pat!
Nightwatch has previously discussed how the Arctic is becoming increasingly important for both commercial and military ventures as improved technology and natural climate cycles open more ocean passages for use. As Arctic activity increases, so does friction between the countries operating there. The Drive and The Barents Observer report that Norway has received suspicious damage to undersea communications cables in separate incidents.
The incidents began in April 2021 when undersea cables communications cables on the Norwegian Continental Shelf were mysteriously cut. These were part of Norway’s “ocean observatory,” a network of sensors and monitors operated by Norway’s Institute of Marine Research. The civilian observatory’s stated purpose is to monitor climate change, methane emissions, and fish stocks, but since it also picks up submarine activity in the area the data is first sent to the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment to be analyzed and scrubbed before being relayed to the IMR. In this incident an underwater surveillance platform called Node 2 “had been dragged away from its normal location with its connecting cable severed and removed.” And in September it was discovered that the Node 3 platform had also been moved and damaged, and its cable was also missing.
These are not flimsy cables: It would take considerable power to cut cables of this size and weight and then transport the cut sections of at least 2.5 miles in length and approximately 9.5 tons in weight. Some of the missing cable was found in November “a good distance away” from its original location – the most probable explanation is that a foreign actor either wanted to examine the cable for industrial espionage purposes or wanted to test what was needed to stop the surveillance. The most probable foreign actor is thought to be Russia because Russia is known to have vessels with the needed capability and because Russia has a highly visible presence in the area. Russia also has the discomfiting habit of operating a survey (spy) ship in waters known to have communications cables running below. It must be emphasized that Russia has legal and legitimate reasons to have vessels there and that there is no proof that a Russian vessel caused the damage. The IMR has suggested the damage could have been accidental entanglement with a vessel or dredging in oil exploration, but presumably accidental damage would have been noticed and reported by the vessel that caused it.
The most recent incident occurred on January 7th of this year when one of the two undersea communications cables between Norway and Svalbard stopped functioning. Svalbard is an archipelago between Norway and Greenland, which might sound like the middle of nowhere until one looks at a map and realizes Svalbard is at the upper end of a bottleneck for ships moving between the Arctic and North Atlantic. The lower end of the bottleneck is the GIUK (Greenland, Iceland, United Kingdom) Gap, and friction has risen steadily within the region. Svalbard itself is officially Norwegian territory, but the 1920 treaty that recognized Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago stipulated that all treaty signatories had equal rights to establish residence and engage in commercial activities there. Residents there must respect Norwegian law, and “warlike activities” and military bases are banned – even for the technically sovereign Norwegians. The odd terms of the treaty are better understood by keeping in mind it was one of the treaties signed in Versailles after World War I, which were intended to prevent another calamitous war. It was originally a free territory in which people from various countries fished, whaled, and mined, but since the absence of a legal system encouraged potentially serious conflicts the countries involved decided formal administration was necessary. Today the archipelago is used mostly by Norway and Russia although China has established a research base there. The Soviet Union and now its successor state Russia have squabbled with Norway for decades over fishing rights and the extent of Svalbard’s territorial waters. In recent years the Russian rhetoric has become more pointed, attacking the Norwegian government for cooperating with NATO to contain Russia, even accusing Oslo – and the press – of misleading the Norwegian people about Russian initiatives and motives. But this is simply a part of Russia’s hybrid warfare strategy to secure its access to the North Atlantic, bolstering both its legitimate commercial presence in Svalbard and its military profile in the nearby region. The damaged communications cable helps provide Internet to Svalbard residents, but it mainly supports the Svalbard Satellite Station, described as the largest commercial ground station of its kind with over 100 antennas. At the time of the reporting, the second cable still functioned, but the system has no redundancy backup until the damaged cable can be repaired. This time the damaged cable appears to have remained in place, leading to speculation the damage came from an espionage attempt to tap the data. As in the previous cable incidents, there is no proof Russia caused the damage, but Russia is the likeliest suspect.
THE KREMLIN’S FED UP
Russia’s pressure on Norway dovetails with its pushback against NATO expansion into Eastern Europe. NATO’s expansion has been a bone of contention since the 1990 discussions between then-Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev about the terms of German reunification. War on the Rocks published an informative piece on the subject in 2016. Much has been made of Baker’s promise that “there would be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east” and his agreement with Gorbachev’s statement any extension of NATO would be unacceptable. These statements were not enshrined in any written agreements, and it is not clear in retrospect if the verbal promise referred only to Germany or to Eastern Europe in general. It is politically expedient for the US to claim the former while it is just as expedient for Russia to claim the latter. More to the point, however, is a conversation in October 1993 between Boris Yeltsin and envoys sent by then-President Bill Clinton. Warren Christopher assured Yeltsin that instead of expanding NATO membership, the US would form a Partnership for Peace with all states of the former Warsaw Pact – including Russia – and that members would be treated equally. Yeltsin voiced delight at the prospect as it allowed Russia an equitable role in the new Europe. According to a US memorandum of the conversation, Christopher added that NATO membership for some countries might be “a longer term eventuality,” but it is not known how clearly Christopher conveyed that point or how Yeltsin reacted. The Clinton Administration was itself divided at the time over whether or not to expand NATO, but less than a year later the expansionists had won out. Yeltsin was bitterly disappointed, but Russia had no power at the time to stop the expansion. The Clintonistas thought they could have it both ways by claiming Russia would also benefit from the increased security and stability that NATO’s expansion would bring, but the Russian people, Yeltsin and his successor regarded their exclusion as a humiliation. No surprise, then, that Putin was widely quoted in Western media during the Obama Administration criticizing the US as “unreliable” and saying “We will not submit” to American diktats. The situation has only worsened since then.
It’s often said that Putin wants to restore the Russian empire. It would be more accurate to say that Putin wants to re-establish Russia as a superpower – an equal to the US and China, not a subordinate and certainly not a defeated adversary. From a geopolitical perspective that means restoring the buffer zone on Russia’s borders that the Empire and later the Soviet Union once provided. Russia is currently conducting military exercises along its border with Ukraine – a former buffer – and demanding that NATO return to its 1997 borders. That would include removing foreign troops, weapons, and other military hardware from Romania and Bulgaria and re-establishing, in part, the buffer zone that NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe erased. If the situation were reversed – if Russia were to place troops and missiles in Canada or Mexico along the US border – Americans would have a fit and demand their removal, just as we did in 1962 when the Soviet Union tried to place nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in Cuba.
Further complicating the situation is the Biden Junta’s incompetence. As former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates observed in his memoirs, Biden has been consistently wrong on every major foreign policy/national security issue throughout the course of his entire career – and neither he nor his handlers have shown any sign of becoming smarter. Business Insider reported in January that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told Biden in a phone call to “calm down the messaging” about an imminent Russian invasion because it was causing panic and because Ukraine did not agree with the threat assessment. As of this writing, the Russian show of force is simply a message that Russia is a force to be reckoned with, but the Biden regime has not calmed down the messaging at all and appears almost eager for an invasion. If Biden or his handlers think acting tough will raise his poll numbers, they should think again. As Nightwatch has previously discussed, the US cannot count on being able to win a conventional armed conflict with either Russia or China, and escalating to tactical nukes is fraught with enormous peril. In fact analysts are saying openly that if Russia moved against Ukraine and China against Taiwan at the same time, the US would not be able to stop either country. This attitude is neither defeatist nor treasonous. It is simply a recognition that both Russia and China have caught up to the US militarily, a fact that the Washington Political Establishment is unwilling to admit.
CHINA GETS A PASS
In sharp contrast to pounding the war drums with Russia, the Left and the Biden Junta are curiously quiet about China – or perhaps the drama with Russia is intended to distract the public from China. Biden has not issued any public warnings to China about staying out of Taiwan. The US made a token “diplomatic boycott” of this year’s Winter Olympics in China, but American athletes are there to compete despite China operating concentration camps and committing genocidal actions against Uighur Muslims and Tibetans. Nightwatch has previously discussed how China makes effective use of soft power and liberally spreads money around to get its way. New York Post reports that the Biden family has received at least $31 million from Chinese businessmen linked to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence. The payoffs were made through business deals and investment funds. Most of the media stories have focused on Hunter’s incredible good favor, but Uncle James Biden has prospered too. Stories have also focused on business deals made while Joe Biden was Obama’s Vice President, but the money didn’t stop after Trump’s election. In 2017 Hunter Biden acted as an “adviser” to the head of CEFC China Energy, for which he received a $5 million forgivable, interest-free loan. He later received another $1 million to act as “defense attorney” when a CEFC agent was arrested by the FBI on bribery charges. Joe Biden benefited, too, because as Hunter complained in texts to his daughter, the “Big Guy” demanded a 10 percent kickback from his influence peddling – and required his law firm to pay some of Joe’s day-to-day bills during his tenure as Vice President. It’s known that Hunter introduced his father to Chinese businessmen, but it’s not known what exactly Joe did for China in exchange – or what Joe is doing for China now.
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
The Pulse reports that Japan is not making the Covid vaccine mandatory and that the unvaccinated will not be discriminated against. Hopefully other countries will soon follow suit. The vaccines do not stop the spread of the virus, and mounting evidence suggests the vaccines cause more illness than they prevent – in many countries, cases are now higher among the vaccinated than the unvaccinated, which is the precise opposite of what the pharmaceutical industry and many governments promised. In actual fact, the dreaded exponential increase of Covid infections occurred in highly vaccinated regions, not in areas with little to no access to the shots. And shockingly, documents uncovered with Freedom of Information Act requests show that Pfizer was aware of over 50,000 serious adverse reactions within the first three months of the rollout – something Pfizer and health officials strenuously sought to hide. And even though the vaccine hoax is beginning to collapse, many governments are still covering it up to avoid admitting they were wrong – or paid off. Cynics on social media are already speculating what will be the next crisis to distract the public from the medical crimes committed over the past two years.
A bloody war with Russia that the US might lose? Or another health scare?
SEX, SPIES AND COVER-UPs
Jeffrey Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in December on five of the six counts she was charged with: conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, sex trafficking conspiracy, and sex trafficking of a minor. At the time of this writing a date for her sentencing has not yet been set. An appeal has been filed, and she still faces trial for two counts of perjury related to a 2016 deposition she gave in a since-settled lawsuit brought by alleged victim Virginia Giuffre. Yahoo! News reports there is a chance the guilty verdicts will be thrown out because two jurors told reporters they shared their own experiences of sexual abuse during the deliberations. Prosecutors have requested an inquiry to determine if the jurors truthfully answered the selection process questionnaire and if they had “a preconceived opinion that may have improperly swayed the jury.”
There are two things in particular worth noting as part of a cover-up. The first is that Maxwell’s “little black book” will not be released to the public. Her contact book – and by extension Jeffrey Epstein’s – is said to contain 97 pages of information on nearly 2000 world leaders, celebrities, and alleged victims. Entries mentioned by prosecutors in their case were given to the jury as a sealed exhibit, so not even those names will become public – the judge said she wanted to avoid “needless” name-dropping. The second is that shortly after Maxwell’s guilty verdict, charges were dropped against the two jail guards who were on duty the night of Jeffrey Epstein’s suspicious death. They had been accused of sleeping and surfing the internet instead of making required jail rounds and then falsifying records to hide their dereliction. But in exchange for dropping the charges, the guards reportedly cooperated with an investigation into Epstein’s death and completed 100 hours of community service. Media reports on the guards all referred to Epstein’s death as a suicide despite the widespread belief he’d been murdered. As Nightwatch reported in January 2020, the damage to Epstein’s body appeared “more consistent with murder by electrical cord than suicide by bed sheet noose.” In addition two security cameras with views of Epstein’s cell reportedly “malfunctioned” that night, so there was no usable footage. The circumstances of Epstein’s death in 2019 will never be adequately explained, nor the actions of his guards that night. Nothing to see here, folks – move it along!
It must be emphasized that Epstein and Maxwell’s sex trafficking of teen girls to wealthy businessmen and politicians looked more like a “honeypot” operation run by an intelligence service than simple prostitution. The girls reportedly ranged in age from 14 to 17, which meant that many girls were above the legal age of consent, at least in some states if not in others, and the girls below the age of consent were said to have looked older, while Epstein’s New York and Caribbean island houses were both fitted with surveillance equipment – cameras and microphones. The FBI seized CDs from Epstein’s safe; some photos from those CDs were reportedly given as evidence in Maxwell’s trial but the FBI reportedly “lost” others. Journalist Whitney Webb wrote in 2019 for Mint Press about Epstein’s and Maxwell’s connections to Israeli intelligence: Ghislaine Maxwell is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, an Eastern European Jew who escaped the Nazi occupation to later become a British media mogul as well as an Israeli agent. When Ghislaine became romantically involved with Epstein, the pair were reportedly recruited by the Israelis to run a sexual blackmail operation. Such honeypot operations are standard procedure for intelligence services, and many have attributed Israel’s outsized influence in DC to the successful entrapment of prominent American politicians by Israel's foreign intelligence service. Not mentioned by Webb was the fact that Bill Clinton’s Administration was so easily swayed by the Israeli government and the so-called “Israeli lobby” that the FBI feared he had fallen under Israeli control – a fear buttressed by the fact that the Clinton White House harbored a high-level Israeli penetration agent, code named MEGA. Given Bill Clinton’s studious indifference to MEGA and his friendship with Epstein – who visited Clinton in the White House 17 times, and whose island Clinton visited on multiple occasions – the FBI may have underestimated the hemorrhage of classified information from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This is serious because once a country loses control of classified information, there’s no telling where it might end up – and here Israel presents a special problem: their intelligence service was so badly penetrated by the Soviets that until 1975 all intelligence interactions with them had to be handled by the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff. Although Israeli intelligence is now presumably “clean,” the late James J. Angleton’s observation stands as a haunting reminder: “Penetration [of intelligence services] is a fact of life – and for intelligence services, a way of life.” That being the case, there’s a better than even chance Russian or other intelligence services obtained Epstein’s material as well.
Webb has also written in detail on her Unlimited Hangout website about Epstein’s connection to the Mega Group, a network of wealthy businessmen – with ties to both the CIA and Jewish-American mobsters – donating to American and Israeli political causes. Sexual blackmail of the sort Epstein was presumably engaged in is neither new nor especially shocking for DC: mobster Meyer Lansky was running blackmail operations at least as far back as 1939. Interestingly, he and other mobsters cooperated with Naval Intelligence during World War II to ferret out German saboteurs, and later cooperated with the CIA in operations against the Soviet Union, Cuba, and China. According to unsubstantiated rumors, Lansky is said to have obtained photos of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover having sex with his friend and Deputy Director Clyde Tolson and also photos of Hoover in drag at parties thrown by Lew Rosenstiel, a liquor magnate connected to the mob. Blackmail photos were apparently regularly shared between the mobsters, the FBI and the CIA, giving the mob yet another level of protection from government prosecution for years. Rosenstiel’s parties featured the services of young male prostitutes, including underage boys, and the blackmail operation was reportedly continued by his protégé Roy Cohn, who became a top political fixer with connections to politicians, media personalities, celebrities, prominent lawyers, and top figures in the Catholic Church as well as Jewish organizations. Philanthropy was entwined with child sex rings, blackmail, and espionage, and many people around Roy Cohn later surrounded Jeffrey Epstein. Mega Group co-founder Les Wexner is thought to be the source of Epstein’s wealth as he was the major client in a secretive hedge fund Epstein ran for several years; he was also the previous owner of Epstein’s New York home, which he reportedly gave to Epstein as a gift. Mega Group members were also business partners with Israeli agents – including Robert Maxwell. Webb’s articles show overlapping circles – “network” is too tidy a word – of prominent people protecting the blackmailers who provided them with trafficked children. Here it’s worth noting that there have been other pedophile rings in DC as well. Two of these have received limited media attention – lobbyist Craig Spence’s call boy ring linked to the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations and the Franklin ring – but there’s no way to tell how many have gone unpublicized. Sexual blackmail is undoubtedly used on a routine basis to manipulate government policy, but absent the exposure that the Maxwell trial might have provided – but didn’t – there's no way to gauge its actual impact.
CNN: PRODUCERS AND PEDOPHILES
The Mainstream Media has limited interest in exposing the blackmail messes. One reason is that reporters don’t want to bite the hands that feed them access. Another reason is that there are pedophiles within the MSM as well. Sometimes, though, word does get out. The major networks did report last December that a CNN producer named John Griffin was arrested by the FBI and charged with three counts of enticing minors to engage in “unlawful sexual activity” at his home in Vermont. Griffin reportedly used messaging apps and a profile on a BDSM website to communicate with parents of underage girls and convince them to let him train their daughters to be sexually subservient. The indictment indicates Griffin did engage in sexual activity with a 9-year-old girl. Griffin has reportedly been fired.
Also last month Project Veritas reported a second CNN producer named Rick Saleeby has been accused of soliciting nude photos of an underage girl from her mother. The mother reportedly brought the text messages to Project Veritas because she felt the police did not take her seriously. Fairfax County (VA) police confirmed that a criminal investigation has since been launched. Saleeby has resigned from his position.
It’s worth noting that both these scandals came on the heels of CNN firing anchor Chris Cuomo after he was accused of sexual impropriety by a colleague – which was after Cuomo admitted helping his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, “navigate” his own sex scandal that eventually forced his resignation. Apparently CNN has a workplace culture problem in addition to its Leftist bias problem. But we still have no way of knowing how many cases have gone unreported or at how many networks.
Pedophilia technically refers to sexual interest in prepubescent children. Hebephilia and ephebophilia refer to sexual interest in teens at different stages of puberty. Pederasty refers to a sexual relationship between an adult man and a teen boy. In common usage, however, many people use pedophilia as an umbrella term for all these things. Historically many cultures treated teens as functional adults, albeit ones lacking in full legal rights. In the modern West, however, teens are widely recognized as being less mature than adults and therefore vulnerable to exploitation by them. Unfortunately there now seems to be a trend to normalize sexual interest in all minors, which has led to a new term: MAP or Minor-Attracted Person.
The Post Millennial reports on the growing push to consider MAP and pedophilia as just another sexual orientation that is hardwired in the brain the way that heterosexuality and homosexuality are. Proponents claim there are pedophiles who never act on their fantasies and paint these pedophiles as misunderstood victims. Organizations now exist that work towards reducing criminalization and downplay the harms of fantasy. On the one hand, these organizations claim to offer support and resources for professional help to MAPs who don’t want to harm children. On the other hand, they claim that pornography can have a positive impact on children, that parents are oppressors, that minors engaged in sex work are not victims, and that people who have sexual fantasies about children generally do not act on those fantasies despite evidence to the contrary – e.g., a 2016 study showed that 50-85% of people who view child sexual abuse material also commit actual abuse. The true percentage might well be higher since only a tiny fraction of the reports of sexual abuse material being traded online are ever investigated; because there are hundreds of thousands of such reports, investigators are simply overwhelmed. There has been a huge increase in actual sexual abuse cases over the past decade. Roughly 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys become child sexual abuse victims. It should be noted that the people pushing the MAP agenda include academics and mental health professionals.
LONG MARCH THROUGH THE INSTITUTIONS
If it seems that schools and universities have been taken over by Leftists, that’s because so many have been. When Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital in the nineteenth century, he subscribed to the then-popular fallacy that society followed a natural line of progression. Marx’s view was that while Capitalism was an improvement over the Feudalism it superceded, by its very nature it generated conflict between the ruling class of business owners and the working class, which would eventually produce a working class revolution that would seize power and establish a classless, Communist society. He saw the revolution as inevitable, part of that natural evolution of society. As the twentieth century rolled around, however, the most advanced nations showed no sign of a united working class revolt. Enter Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Marxist best known for his theory of cultural hegemony. In Gramsci’s view the ruling Capitalists maintained power using ideology instead of force. The cultural institutions – religion, law, education, etc. – expressed the values of the Capitalists, encouraging the populace to view them as the normal, common sense basis for everyday life. Gramsci thus advocated forming a counter-hegemony – a working class culture – to provide moral leadership and to create a communist value system for people to live by. In other words, the Communists needed to win a culture war before the working class would be willing to rise up against their rulers.
Gramsci’s ideas had a powerful impact on Rudi Dutschke, a leading figure in West Germany’s Socialist Students Union. Dutschke coined the phrase “the long march through the institutions” around 1967 to describe how Communists could win that culture war by taking over those institutions. Dutschke was not advocating sabotage to destroy those institutions; he was advocating for Communists to actually do the work of those institutions according to Communist values instead of the old Capitalist ones. This is the situation the West finds itself in today: School teachers tell their young, impressionable students that Stalin was a hero, judges interpret laws in ways that favor collectivism, religious leaders call for a more just redistribution of resources and some even claim Jesus was a Socialist. Perhaps the good news is the culture that Communists are propagating is an incoherent mess with occasional articulations of false promises.
Whatever the actual case, parents are waking up to the public schools’ indoctrination of their children and showing up at school board meetings across the country to protest. One of the protest topics is the inclusion of sexually explicit books in school libraries – even grade school libraries – and requiring such books to be read for English classes. Fox News and The New American report that these books graphically depict pedophilia, masturbation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, rape, statutory rape, and domestic violence. Even books for kindergarteners and first graders depict children changing their gender. But not all such reading assignments are authorized: one high school principal was appalled to learn that the English Department had changed its syllabus without his knowledge.
THER COUNTRIES AND COVID
Unlike many countries last year, Sweden did not have hard lockdowns or mask mandates. There were limits on public gatherings and venues such as restaurants and sports events, but Sweden largely relied on voluntary hygiene and social distancing measures. Despite media predictions of doom, Sweden fared no worse than many countries that did employ lockdowns. Reuters and Associated Press report that Sweden is now removing the remaining limits although the possibility of using vaccine passports to access public venues is still being considered. Norway and Denmark have decided to end all Covid restrictions – even dropping vaccine passports. Having recognized the impossibility of eliminating Covid, they've reclassified Covid as an endemic disease like the flu. This is based on the sensible observation that the Covid survival rate is over 99% and that only about 15% of people who fall ill require hospitalization. The same is true in the US even though the Mainstream Media here has harped on hospitalizations and death tolls, badly confusing the public about the actual risk. When Covid was first recognized in the US in early 2020, no one knew what to expect, so it was understandable for public health officials and the authorities to err on the side of caution. But the Biden Junta, the CDC, and certain Blue states are determined to hang on to as much control as they can.
It’s worth noting that Covid vaccines being pushed in the US are meeting more skepticism abroad. Reuters reports that Denmark has stopped giving the Moderna injection to people under the age of 18 while Sweden and Finland have stopped using the Moderna injection for people 30 and younger, citing concerns about adverse effects – especially heart inflammation. RT (formerly Russia Today) reports that Iceland has stopped the Moderna injection for all ages due to the same concerns. These countries are all reputed to have excellent health care; Sweden in particular is often held up as a role model by activists pushing for a single payer insurance system. Nightwatch discussed concerns about adverse vaccine reactions in the July and August issues. For now these countries apparently still use the Pfizer injections even though problems have been reported with that too.
US MILITARY VACCINE MANDATE
Military.com reports that the US Army has mandated that active-duty soldiers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by Dec. 15, 2021 or face possible discharge. National Guard and Reserve troops have until June 30, 2022 to become fully vaccinated. A reason for the difference in deadlines was not given. The other services have announced similar timelines since the Secretary of Defense directed them to do so. The Pentagon estimated that roughly 63% of all US forces have been vaccinated as of August 18th. The Department of Defense is also requiring civilian employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, 2021 or by their start date, whichever is later. According to The Epoch Times, the DoD has not developed a consistent policy on how to handle people who refuse the vaccine. Officially the emphasis is on counseling service members until they comply. Other options include making sure noncompliant service members are not promoted, an honorable discharge, or even a dishonorable discharge after a court-martial for failing to follow a lawful order. Both the House and Senate have introduced measures to bar dishonorable discharges, but neither has passed at the time of this writing.
Zerohedge reports that “hundreds of thousands” of service members are still unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, raising serious questions about how many will leave service and the resulting blow to force readiness. As for the risk Covid poses to force readiness, since the pandemic began there have been a total of 62 Covid-linked deaths out of 2.1 million troops – 32 of those deaths happened this past August and September. No explanation for the recent surge was suggested, but it is difficult to escape the suspicion that it was preceded by a surge in vaccinations to meet deadlines. Given the adverse effects that have become associated with the vaccines, it’s not surprising that many people are reluctant to take them: One could make a compelling argument that the vaccine poses a greater danger to the young, healthy service members than the illness. Strangely, the military is not offering an exemption to those with natural immunity from prior infection despite mounting evidence that natural immunity is far superior to any conferred by the vaccines.
The Department of Defense requiring vaccines is not new of course. There are currently 17 other mandated vaccines; half are given to all service members while the other half are dependent upon which command the service members are assigned to. Refusing a mandated vaccine isn’t new either, and many comparisons are being drawn to the problematic anthrax vaccination program that began in 1998. About 16% of experienced Guard and Reserve pilots “either sought a transfer to another unit to delay or avoid the process, switched to an inactive status or left duty altogether” according to a 2002 Government Accountability Office report. That might sound like a low percentage, but fully trained pilots are extremely valuable, and any losses can create serious readiness problems. Hundreds of non-aviation personnel also refused the vaccine, and then as now there was not a consistent policy on how to handle refusals. Military Times reports that at least three dozen were court-martialed while others were either forced out of the service or were allowed to leave without punishment. Federal courts ruled the mandate was illegal in 2004 because the vaccine’s license had not been approved by the FDA and because the military was using it to protect against inhalation anthrax, which was an unapproved, experimental purpose. Appeals by service members who were forced out to have their records corrected – to have their punishments reversed and their discharges upgraded to honorable – are still going on today.
Pfizer’s Covid vaccine has been approved by the FDA for adults, but this was done in a suspiciously rushed manner so there are still many safety concerns. Here, the anthrax vaccine is worth recalling: Service members refusing it cited known safety issues at the vaccine manufacturing plant and the suspected link to Gulf War Syndrome. Those who suffered that syndrome were often accused of malingering or having psychiatric issues instead of being properly treated. The government did not want to acknowledge problems with the anthrax vaccine then, and the government does not want to acknowledge problems with the Covid vaccine now. It is no wonder that many service members are reluctant to take the risk. The Department of Defense needs to find a sensible arrangement of handling exemptions before the loss of thousands of service members cripples force readiness. Many people think that service members become the property of the military and that the military can do whatever it wants to the troops. The fact that the government has previously tested both chemical weapons and nuclear fallout on troops should not give the government the right to unnecessarily imperil their lives. Service members are still American citizens, after all.
Unfortunately, the DoD seems more concerned with ideological purity these days than force readiness. Defense One reports that all Defense Department personnel are now subject to “continuous vetting” designed to weed out extremism and other threats. Surveillance of public social media posts is likely to start soon. The extremism of concern these days is that of conservative values, patriotism, criticism of Leftists, and criticism of the current Junta that has bungled one major issue after another. The Obama Administration made a point of promoting Leftist officers while forcing out Conservative officers, and now the Biden regime has expanded that purge to enlisted and civilian personnel as well. Intentionally or not, forcing out those refusing the Covid vaccine is a de facto extension of the purge. The Leftist Junta wants people who will follow any order without question – no matter how foolish, immoral, illegal, or unconstitutional that order may be.
The past few months have seen bitter arguments over whether or not the American public should be forced to take Covid vaccines. Nightwatch has previously discussed attempts to require vaccine passports to go anywhere in public. Republican state governors have come out against such mandates while Democratic state governors have tended to support them. From a national standpoint, that has produced a hodgepodge. Impatient with the states’ measures, Biden announced in September a mandate that all private businesses with 100 or more employees must require them to either get the Covid vaccination or submit to weekly testing. Many companies have scrambled to get on the bandwagon with an even stricter order: Get jabbed or get fired. There is, however, a strange twist to the tale. At the time of this writing, no such executive order has been recorded – as The Federalist and independent journalists such as Jon Rappoport have pointed out. Evidently the Junta thinks it can just issue verbal orders now, and apparently some companies think so too.
Fortunately some Americans are pushing back. The governors of Florida and Texas have signed executive orders forbidding the use of such mandates by anyone. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ official Twitter account has announced that the City of Gainesville has rescinded its vaccine mandate and that Leon County has been fined more than $3.5 million after the county fired 14 workers for refusing vaccination.
When Southwest Airlines announced a mandate, its pilots’ union filed a lawsuit alleging – among other things – that the vaccination mandate “unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment” in violation of their collective bargaining agreement. Over the holiday weekend of October 9th-11th, Southwest cancelled over 2000 flights, blaming the FAA and adverse weather – weather problems that, strangely, only affected Southwest. Given that oddity, there was widespread speculation the real problem was employees calling in sick. The pilots’ union promptly announced its members were not participating in a job action; however, as Alex Berenson indicated in his Unreported Truths newsletter, the union cannot acknowledge a sickout because doing so would make it an illegal act. After the public backed the pilots on social media, the CEO of Southwest announced that no one would be fired for not getting vaccinated. It is not yet clear if unvaccinated employees will actually continue to work or if the airline will put them on unpaid leave – a stunt previously announced by United Airlines, that provoked legal action against it. These and other airlines will probably stick with some form of mandate in order to keep their federal contracts as federal agencies currently require their contractors and subcontractors to follow the mandate for federal employees. But whether they will enforce it or not remains an open question.
Sadly too many organizations are still instituting their own mandates. For example, New York Post reports that the city of Seattle, Washington is threatening to fire about 40% of its police force for not complying while Unreported Truths reports that the Chicago, Illinois school district has backed down somewhat by announcing that unvaccinated teachers will not be banned from classrooms after all, though they will have to submit to weekly Covid testing. Weekly testing is still a form of medical apartheid that America needs to reject to halt the loss of personal rights.
RULES FOR THEE BUT NOT FOR ME
The Democrats still insist that the public should avoid large gatherings and wear masks at all times even if vaccinated. Yet photos from this year’s Emmy Awards and the Met Gala document unmasked celebrities ignoring social distancing protocols – the only masks at either event were worn by the serving staff. The widely circulated photos did not go over well on social media, to put it politely. For many years now, the US has been moving toward a two-tier legal system; now the US is cementing a similarly tiered social system: None of the rules for the little people apply to the Elites and their lackeys. A case in point is California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who set a mandate for school students to be vaccinated against Covid even though his own 12-year-old daughter has not. The excuse he gave was that she needed to get a series of other shots first. In other words, his daughter has skipped the standard vaccinations other children have been expected to get for years even as he approved eliminating the personal and religious exemptions for other concerned parents to claim. The article did not say when – if ever – Newsom’s daughter would get caught up on her shots. The Elites don’t care how much pain their restrictions cause the “little people” because they don’t bear the burden themselves.
NAVY NUCLEAR ENGINEER CHARGED
It might seem as if Covid has brought everything else to a halt, but the Shadow War of the intelligence services rages on. Britain’s Daily Mail reports that US Navy nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebbe and his wife have been charged with selling military secrets and classified information about nuclear submarines to a foreign country. The foreign country was not known to Daily Mail, but it is thought to be either a neutral country or an American ally because it cooperated with the FBI in a sting operation to catch the Toebbes. The FBI alleges that Toebbe sent a package of Navy documents to the foreign government in April 2020 with a message that he was interested in selling information on Virginia-class nuclear submarine reactors. The FBI also alleges the foreign government sat on the package until December 2020 when it turned the package over to the US. It’s not known if Toebbe had any motives besides money, but his wife’s social media accounts are full of posts supporting the “Resistance” to President Trump as well as Black Lives Matter and other Leftist causes. Mrs. Toebbe was arrested because she accompanied her husband to a dead drop and appeared to act as a lookout for him. It’s telling that US security had the case handed to it by the country Toebbe contacted instead of detecting his actions themselves; they were apparently too busy looking for Conservative patriots to bother itself with real threats to America.
FOOD SHORTAGES WORSEN
he latest crop failure is Brazilian coffee. Zerohedge reports that a cold snap in July damaged trees across Brazil’s coffee belt and destroyed a large part of next year’s coffee crop. Coffee future prices have accordingly soared over 23%, hitting 6.5-year highs. The frost damage came after drought had already slashed production and US inventory fell to a 6-year low. Consumers will soon see the higher costs passed on to them at grocery stores and coffee shops.
The Most Important News blog reports that thousands of cattle are starving to death in northern Mexico due to extreme drought. The US typically imports about 500 million pounds of beef each year from Mexico, but the drought will -- at some point soon – cut that off. American ranchers will not be able to make up the difference because the western third of the US is also experiencing extreme drought, and while American farmers are watering their crops ranchers are letting their livestock die. For perspective California produces about a third of American vegetables and about two-thirds of fruit and nuts. The USDA has released some painful statistics about crops: 84% of barley production, 36% of corn production, 99% of durum wheat production, 99% of spring wheat production, 36% of hay acreage production, 44% of hog inventory, 32% of cattle inventory, 48% of milk cattle inventory, and 53% of sheep inventory are all in areas experiencing drought, and the losses are staggering. All around the globe unusual weather patterns are wrecking food production, so the global food supply is getting tighter and tighter. Expect food shortages to cause or worsen civil unrest globally.
The standard advice from the Elites and Leftist environmentalists is to switch to eating highly processed meat substitutes of poor nutritive value or to eat food made from bugs. It has been widely reported that Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has invested in a range of fake meat companies, including Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Gates is not the only one either. Those urging the switch to “sustainable agriculture” will actually profit from the switch, so their claims of environmental concern are at best disingenuous.
Nightwatch advises readers to participate in decentralizing food production. Readers with the space to grow a garden are urged to do so. Even just growing sprouts or microgreens on the kitchen counter can give a nutritive boost to meals. Readers are also urged to support local farmers who sell directly to the public at farmers markets or through Community Supported Agriculture – basically a weekly or monthly food subscription service. And of course Nightwatch repeats its previous advice to stockpile shelf stable food supplies: Grocery stores are already having trouble getting products from suppliers, and that will only get worse over the next year or longer. Filling a freezer is also an option, but keep in mind that power blackouts can ruin those supplies quickly.
It’s worth noting that the general public does not appear to be aware that shortages already exist. Some people are only vaguely aware that supply chains are still broken from last year’s Covid lockdowns.
Transportation problems – due in part to a lack of truck drivers – combined with worsening food shortages will lead to more and more empty store shelves. There has been much speculation that Covid lockdowns are being used in some countries to quell dissent, not to improve public health. The fact that Sydney, Australia recently used a single Covid death to justify a new lockdown adds fuel to that speculative fire. Here in America the Mainstream Media is stoking fear over the Covid Delta mutation, and US authorities are flirting with the possibility of more lockdowns. But their real worry may not be the virus but rather widespread rioting when a people who have never known hunger face food rationing and malnutrition.
CDC COVERING UP ADVERSE REACTIONS?
Dr. Robert Malone was one of the original inventors of the mRNA vaccine technology, but he has since spoken out about problems with the Covid injections. One of these is the spike protein produced in the body by the injections – intended to teach the body how to respond to the Covid virus – is itself causing toxic reactions in some people. Red Voice Media reports that Dr. Malone has alleged the CDC is “grossly underreporting these key adverse events in data that the US government produces… My senior colleagues at the FDA have known that this was the case for months and are very frustrated.” Dr. Malone carefully pointed out that every medical treatment has potential downsides. Doctors must weigh the risks for each individual patient when choosing their treatment plan. Dr. Malone went on to say that he’s heard from multiple sources that High Net Worth Individuals are buying access to medical databases, e.g. Medicare and Medicaid, and paying biostatisticians to independently evaluate the data. Those biostatisticians have discovered that the CDC appears to be editing data and intentionally underreporting adverse reactions. The CDC appears determined to suppress any information that might cause vaccine hesitancy, and its personnel apparently have no qualms about lying to the public. Other government personnel and spokesmen have no qualms about lying to the public, either: Dr. Anthony Fauci has flip-flopped on his recommendations so many times that it’s no longer possible to take him seriously; his recommendations seem to be based more on what he thinks the public wants to hear than actual science. The best possible interpretation is that government officials are lying to the public for what they believe is a greater good - The Noble Lie, as characterized by Plato - as they arrogantly assume they know what’s best, rather than permitting individuals to make their own decisions. The Noble Lie combined with the government’s unwillingness to admit mistakes is a deadly combination.
Dr. Malone also mentioned a potential problem called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Pfizer has said publicly that booster shots will be needed because the efficacy of its injections wanes after about six months. ADE means that the suboptimal antibodies responding to an infection bind to the virus, but instead of destroying the virus they actually help the virus infect and multiply inside the host’s cells. In other words, the person is in more danger from the infection than they would have been if they had never received the original injection. Pfizer is hoping timely boosters will renew whatever protection the original injection afforded and prevent ADE. Of course each booster shot carries its own risk of adverse reactions – and the possibility of ADE is, at best, postponed but not eliminated.
MODERNA COVERING UP TOO?
Independent journalist Alex Berenson reported in his Unreported Truths newsletter that Moderna received a report from a company that helps Moderna manage its clinical trials. It was not clear from the portion of the report obtained by Berenson whether the period in question is January - March 2021 or April - June 2021, but the 300,000 figure dwarfs the number of reports in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) for either period. Healthcare providers have some leeway on reporting what they consider less serious side effects, but vaccine manufacturers are legally required to forward all side effect reports they receive to VAERS. Moderna did not respond to Berenson’s emails requesting comment on the discrepancy, and Berenson has not been able to establish how serious the 300,000 adverse effects are. As of August 6th, VAERS has over 3000 reports of deaths following Moderna vaccinations alone. At this point there is no way to know what the total death toll actually is – but we do know Moderna’s stock price has nearly quadrupled this year after a reported $4.4 billion in sales and $2.8 billion in profits for the second quarter.
BIDEN ADVISERS GIVE CHINA CYBERSECURITY TIPS
The National Pulse reported in February that Harvard University’s Belfer Center has hosted cybersecurity working groups with the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS). The Belfer Center is directed by Ash Carter, who was Obama’s Secretary of Defense 2015-2017, and counts a number of current and former advisers to the Biden Junta amongst its participants. The CIISS participants are Chinese Communist Party “political figures, diplomats, military scholars, economists, public figures and academicians.” Despite China’s notoriety for stealing technology and other intellectual property, these people regularly sit down together to discuss sensitive matters such as artificial intelligence, malware, arms control frameworks, and supply chain security. These conferences are not new, and center researchers have urged greater cooperation with China for years, often publishing articles supporting China’s policies in Establishment magazines such as The Atlantic and Foreign Policy. National Pulse stated that the Belfer Center declined to comment on whether or not it had received donations from the Chinese government or affiliated entities and refused to provide financial documents relating to its donors.
During his term in office, President Grant quietly defined America’s Supreme National Interest as preventing any single Power – or any single group of Powers – from imposing hegemony over the Eurasian Landmass. In keeping with the National Policy and supporting Grand Strategy that flowed from it, the US formed NATO after the Second World War to contain the spread of Communism in Europe and a string of "alphabet alliances" to contain Communism in the Mid East and Asia. Of particular concern was the Sino-Soviet alliance which, on paper at least, positioned the Communist giants to seize the entire Eurasian landmass. But in 1967 Grant’s National Policy was scrapped in favor of Global Oil Control/Armed Mid East Intervention, and following the Sino-Soviet “split” – which may or may not have been real – President Nixon sought to lure China away from the Soviet Union by recognizing the Chinese Communist regime and opening trade relations. This was justified in part by the delusion that China would liberalize over time – which prompted the Obama Administration to pursue a Global Duumvirate with China, on the jaw- dropping assumption that China would be willing to share power with the United States.
But the Chinese had no interest in sharing then and they have none now. They opened up to the West enough to improve their technology and finances but retained a tight authoritarian grip over Chinese society. As a result, China did not move toward the Western democracies as they had hoped, but rather expanded its ties to the post-Soviet successor state, Russia, which though no longer Communist has become similarly authoritarian under Vladimir Putin. President Trump recognized the danger of a Sino-Russian alliance and tried to lure Russia away, but Putin calculated that his country had more to gain by aligning itself with China – a calculation no doubt weighted in part by the Democrats’ relentless effort to sabotage Trump's foreign policy.
Now in what can only be described as a mind-bending irony, the Biden regime has quietly adopted Trump’s Russia policy – while in a fit of foreign policy madness, simultaneously reinstating Obama’s policy of alignment with China, a country that has become increasingly militant abroad by attacking Indian border outposts and threatening war with Taiwan, Japan and Australia while cracking down on domestic dissidents, ramping up Communist propaganda and harassing foreign visitors. All this suggests that China calculates it has gained as much as it can from the West and is now intent upon suppressing foreign influence. A telling sign is an announcement by Caijing Technology News and Reuters that VIPKID, a Chinese online education company, that it will no longer offer classes taught by foreign teachers to students in China.
The Bamboo Curtain that was dismantled in the late 1970s is being rebuilt, one section at a time.
Nightwatch reported in the April/May issue that in US military wargaming exercises, US teams have been losing badly for years to teams representing Chinese forces. Now Defense One reports that the Joint Chiefs have decided to scrap some concepts that have guided military operations for decades. In the wargames, aggregating forces the standard way made them sitting ducks, and they lost access to information networks almost immediately. The Joint Chiefs are shifting to a new concept called “Expanded Maneuver” and are hoping to be ready to fight under it by 2030, using many of today’s weapons and equipment. Four directives have been issued to the services. “Contested logistics” develops new ways to deliver supplies to front lines with reusable commercial rockets. “Joint fires” seeks to aggregate forces under a single command structure virtually instead of physically. “JADC2” seeks to connect everything in an always-on hackerproof combat cloud instead of a centralized network. “Information Advantage” will be achieved by accomplishing the first three directives. This change of guiding concept comes as the US is shrinking its footprint in the Middle East to divert more troops to dealing with China and Russia.
There is a drawback to the ready by 2030 timeline, however, that was not pointed out in the article. It has been widely reported that Admiral Phil Davidson, then-head of the Indo-Pacific Command, testified in a Senate hearing last March that he expects China to attempt annexation of Taiwan within six years – by 2027. According to the Guardian, Admiral John Aquilino told the same committee that he thought “this problem is much closer to us than most think” and that the US needed to boost defenses in the region “in the near term and with urgency.” Aquilino declined to comment on a suggestion by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) that China might attack Taiwan in 2022.
The Food and Drug Administration received its current name in 1930, but its regulatory function began with the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act. The intent was to provide basic consumer protection by reining in long-standing, serious abuses, e.g., the unsanitary conditions in the meatpacking industry exposed by Upton Sinclair. The FDA’s current mission includes “ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices” as stated on its website. The public expects that drugs approved by the FDA actually work as advertised and are reasonably safe to use. Unfortunately it seems increasingly likely that the FDA has betrayed the public’s trust.
NPR reports that the FDA has given Accelerated Approval to a new Alzheimer’s drug called Aduhelm, or aducanumab in its generic designation, despite an advisory committee of medical experts voting against it. The committee vote wasn’t even close: 10 of the 11 members voted against approval, and the 11th member voted “uncertain.” At the time of this writing, three of those members have resigned from the committee in protest. As Dr. Aaron Kesselheim explained, “Accelerated Approval is not supposed to be the backup that you use when your clinical trial data are not good enough for regular approval.” An independent think tank also assessed the clinical data and found the evidence “insufficient to conclude that the clinical benefits of aducanumab outweigh its harms or, indeed that it reduces progression” of the disease it claims to treat. The known potential harms of the drug include brain bleeds, which is why some doctors have said they will not prescribe it without better evidence of its effectiveness. Aduhelm is expected to cost $56,000 a year for monthly infusions – plus the cost of regular brain scans to detect any bleeding or swelling caused by the drug – a hefty price tag for any drug, much less one not proven to work. Expensive snake oil is still snake oil.
The Accelerated Approval path is meant to speed access to valuable therapies for serious diseases that do not have effective treatments. The designation does require Biogen, the drug’s manufacturer, to conduct another clinical study to confirm improvement for patients’ conditions, but that could take several years – assuming they can find enough patients willing to risk receiving a placebo in a study when the drug is already available in the marketplace. The fact that a drug has FDA approval – even conditional approval – leads people to assume the drug has been properly vetted. Even doctors can fall into this trap because they are fallible and often so overburdened that they do not have sufficient time to perform their own due diligence.
This is not the first questionable approval the FDA has made. Dr. Kesselheim also cited in his resignation letter the FDA’s approval in 2016 of eteplirsen, a drug intended to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, that was also unable to demonstrate effectiveness and had a poorly designed study to boot. Usually flawed studies are submitted because they make the drug look good. Eteplirsen’s manufacturer apparently had no favorable data to offer and relied instead on patient advocates begging the FDA for any drug at all – echoed this year by patient advocates and the Alzheimer’s Association issuing a positive statement on Aduhelm. Kesselheim warned these actions “will undermine the care of these patients, public trust in the FDA, the pursuit of useful therapeutic innovation, and the affordability of the health care system.” The affordability boat sailed long ago, but if the FDA is ignoring science as a result of pressure from drug manufacturers, it is failing its duty to the public.
Older Nightwatch readers might remember the thalidomide tragedy. For younger readers, thalidomide was first sold as an over-the-counter sleep remedy in Germany in 1957 and was soon available throughout Europe and other countries. In 1961 reports emerged that women who had taken thalidomide during pregnancy were having babies with severe birth defects in arms, legs, bones, ears, eyes, face, and heart; the nature of the defect depended on when in her pregnancy the mother took the drug. Thousands of children were suffering from these defects by the time thalidomide was pulled off the market. The tragedy was largely averted in the US because in 1960 FDA inspector Dr. Frances Kelsey stood her ground against drug manufacturers and refused to approve thalidomide for sale in the US absent sufficient safety data. Nonetheless, some thalidomide babies were born in the US, partly because women obtained the drug from relatives traveling in Europe and partly because an American drug company distributed samples in an ostensible clinical trial that more closely resembled a marketing campaign. The exact number of deformed babies is not known – the official number of 17 is generally regarded as an undercount – but the total would have been many magnitudes greater if Dr. Kelsey had bowed to pressure. In 1962 President Kennedy presented Dr. Kelsey with the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service – but sadly, no one now at the FDA seems to have her integrity.
It must be noted that no medical procedure is completely safe for everyone, which is why possible side effects must be disclosed to the public and why patients (or their guardians) are supposed to give informed consent for treatment. Like other medical procedures, vaccinations are given because the benefits are thought to outweigh the possible harms. Conscientious doctors are aware that vaccine injuries exist and are prepared to grant medical exemptions when appropriate, e.g., to children whose older siblings suffered such injuries. Unfortunately there is growing evidence that the new Covid “vaccines” may be doing more harm than good as the number of reported injuries is magnitudes higher than what was expected. The Defender, published by the Children’s Health Defense organization, reports the CDC’s VAERS data shows a total of 438,441 reports of adverse events from all age groups between Dec. 14, 2020 and July 2, 2021. This total includes 9,048 deaths and 41,015 serious injuries. That said, VAERS has long been suspected of undercounting as some healthcare workers have not been trained how to report events while others don’t report to avoid admitting that an injection they gave caused an adverse reaction.
Despite the widespread use of the term “vaccine” the Covid injections are not traditional vaccines that use weakened or dead disease microbes to stimulate the body’s immune system. The Pfizer and Moderna therapies inject Messenger RNA to instruct the body’s cells to make copies of the spike protein unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and deal with it accordingly; the mRNA does not make a copy of the entire virus. The Johnson & Johnson therapy injects a thought to be harmless adenovirus carrying spike protein DNA to get the same result. All three injections are being given under Emergency Use Authorizations and clinical trials are still needed to receive full FDA approval. Injuries and deaths from all three injections have been reported. The Mainstream Media (MSM) quickly acknowledged an issue with Johnson & Johnson’s injection causing potentially life-threatening blood clots, describing it as rare, but has largely ignored other issues.
MSM coverage of the Pfizer and Moderna injections can be described as an exercise in damage control. The injections were initially available only to high-risk groups, such as healthcare workers and the elderly – so the deaths of elderly patients within two weeks of receiving injections were written off as age-related. After the injections were rolled out to other adults, deaths and hospitalizations were written off to comorbidities – or to the fact that otherwise healthy adults are known to occasionally have heart attacks. But when younger adults and teens began being hospitalized – some dying – with heart problems, the issue became too big to ignore. The FDA, CDC, and the World Health Organization (WHO) were all forced to acknowledge that the mRNA therapies do indeed have possible side effects, including myocarditis – the inflammation of the heart muscle –and pericarditis, which is the inflammation of the lining outside the heart. The MSM is still downplaying these issues as mild and rare and largely ignoring people reporting other issues.
Social and alternative media sources, however, report miscarriages, menstrual issues, gastrointestinal disorders, and neurological disorders. Doctors and other medical experts are now speaking up in growing numbers that children appear to be in greater danger from the Covid vaccines than from the virus. Over half of Covid deaths last year were among people over the age of 80; children were hardly touched at all by the virus, and the majority of children who did fall ill experienced nothing worse than a cold or mild flu. In fact the biggest selling point for vaccinating children is simply to help stop the spread of the virus. Currently the Pfizer vaccine has emergency use approval for ages 12 and up; Pfizer is expected to request EUA for ages 5-11 in the next few months. Each report of teens dying in their sleep, hospitalized with heart conditions, or confined to wheelchairs or being fed through a tube as a direct result of the Covid vaccine raises questions as to why the authorities are so eager to vaccinate them against a disease with a survival rate better than 99%. Even for adults, some vaccine researchers cast doubt on the vaccines’ utility. Some think the vaccine design is flawed and will actually help the virus mutate. Some point at studies indicating the spike proteins do not stay in the vaccinated arm and instead travel throughout the body – an animal study indicated the proteins were collecting in the ovaries, possibly leading to future fertility problems. Some point to the fact that fully vaccinated people are still falling ill with Covid. And some experts simply point to the phenomenally high survival rate.
Those who did die often had other serious illnesses; Covid simply pushed them over the edge. There are no statistics available on how many people died because they received medical treatment later found to be inappropriate or because the hospitals placed Do Not Resuscitate orders against their wishes.
As for MSM “fact checkers” claiming there is no proof the Covid vaccines cause miscarriages, Nightwatch refers readers to the WHO, which does not recommend pregnant women receive Covid vaccines because of the lack of safety testing. The CDC also acknowledges the lack of safety data for pregnant women. Therefore, any pregnant woman who is assured by her OB/GYN that the vaccines are completely safe might want to get a second opinion from a better-informed doctor. Thalidomide was also thought to be safe, despite the lack of safety data for pregnant women.
It’s also worth noting that Covid vaccines are not faring any better elsewhere in the world – except in Russia and China, where government instructions take precedence in reporting over actual data. Europe’s AstraZeneca injection is similar to Johnson & Johnson’s and is causing similar problems. Legendary guitarist Eric Clapton says he received the AZ shot and feared he might never play again because his hands and feet “were either frozen, numb, or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks.” Luckily for Clapton, he recovered although he’s being ostracized for speaking up. Others have not been as fortunate.
Forbes and CBS report that an international crime ring has committed massive unemployment fraud in at least eight states – and this time it’s not the Russians or the Chinese. The foreign connection is reportedly Nigerian. The fraud is directly linked to the Federal Trade Commission’s receiving over 394,000 complaints last year of
identity theft to apply for government benefits, a nearly 3000% jump over the previous year. Much of the fraud targeted the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program because making it available to the self-employed meant fewer requirements for proving work history than the traditional unemployment insurance has.
Hundreds of millions of dollars were paid to scammers while people legitimately out of work were forced to wait for their benefits due to state offices being overwhelmed with claims. The Covid relief bill signed in December 2020 mandated additional requirements to prove eligibility for PUA, and the US Department of Labor has announced funding for states “to strengthen identity verification” methods, but fraud attempts continue.
Nightwatch readers might have noticed that some grocery products that disappeared during lockdowns last year have still not reappeared on store shelves while prices of many products that are on the shelves are rising. Many are quick to blame the Federal Reserve forgetting carried away and increasing the money supply, but the reality is that there are actual product shortages in the US and around the world. To be clear, the shortages are not due to increased demand; they are due to a lack of production. This is being reported in a scattered fashion throughout mainstream and alternative media. The Covid lockdowns around the world wreaked havoc on manufacturing and transportation as well as on food harvesting, and companies are still trying to catch up. For example Italy, one of the world’s top producers of processed tomato products, is currently throwing away harvested tomatoes because it cannot get enough cans to package the food in. Companies that do have goods to ship complain they cannot get enough truck drivers in the US or space on transoceanic container ships. The US is further hampered by the Megadrought in the West: Authorities in Oregon, California, Idaho and other areas are cutting off water to farmers, forcing them to kill livestock and let some of their crops die in the fields. Grocery stores across the US are finding warehouse orders unfulfilled. Walmart is reportedly prioritizing shipments to large cities, so its shortages are more noticeable in smaller towns. Reports say over and over again that these problems will likely continue well into 2022. Nightwatch readers are advised to continue stockpiling food and other essential supplies and to brace for much higher prices.
MIXED MESSAGING: THE BORDER
Nightwatch reported in March that the Biden Junta had stopped the Trump Administration’s Remain in Mexico policy for migrants awaiting asylum hearings. Illegal border crossings surged in response to the more welcoming rhetoric of the Democrats - April border detentions hit a 21-year monthly high. Even with the new policy of releasing migrants into the US within 72 hours with paperwork giving them a future court hearing date, border and immigration officials cannot keep up with the influx. Los Angeles Station KTLA reported in April that many migrants are being released without court dates, only a paper instructing them to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office within 60 days, and some are given no papers at all. ICE offices reportedly have the options of assigning a court date, expelling people from the US, or even doing nothing. Churches and religious charities have been sheltering these migrants until they receive their papers and helping them join friends and relatives already in the US. Adding to the confusion, Associated Press reported in late March that a small percentage of migrants were still being returned to Mexico under a Trump Administration public health order. The only thing that’s clear is that Biden’s announced policies are neither working nor workable.
Biden’s handlers appear to recognize this. Kamala Harris was dispatched to Guatemala to promise aid to that country in the hope of encouraging Guatemalans to stay in Guatemala. It was widely reported that she specifically asked people in a speech not to come to the US illegally because they would be turned back – precisely the same rhetoric Democrats criticized Trump for. Breitbart and New York Post reported that Harris’ visit was met by activists bearing signs reading “Kamala Go Home,” “Stop Funding Criminals,” and even “Trump Won.” It’s worth noting that more financial aid to Central America won’t necessarily stop the flood. While some illegal migrants are looking for better paying work, others are fleeing gang violence or ethnic and gender violence. Giving more money to corrupt bureaucrats is unlikely to help with that in any country. It’s also a mistake to assume that all migrants are impoverished: Charity workers have noticed that many migrants are well-fed and well-dressed and some have smartphones and money for bus or plane tickets once in the US.
Some illegal migrants are also coming from places much farther away than Central America. The Center for Immigration Studies reported in March that traffickers typically charged Chinese nationals $5,000 apiece; Russians and Arabs were charged $9,000 apiece. CIS did not publish rates for Haitians, Africans, or Indians, but people from those regions have been detained at the Mexican border as well. As Nightwatch has pointed out before, whenever there are large movements of migrants you can be sure there are criminals, hostile intelligence agents and terrorists hiding amongst them. The Federalist reported the surge in remote Val Verde County, Texas has brought a wave of burglarized houses, burned down barns, and high-speed car chases that have caused nine fatalities so far this year. Judicial Watch has published reminders that a majority of people ICE has arrested already had at least four criminal convictions – while others are on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List. The authorities are always quick to downplay these reports, saying that not everyone on the list has been charged with a crime. This is true but misleading as both Judicial Watch and Jihad Watch have reported Muslim detainees in possession of plans for regional gas pipelines and other infrastructure elements. They may not have been charged with a crime, but they were certainly up to no good. And of course drug cartels have long been engaged in human trafficking as well.
The War on Drugs isn’t just a catchy advertising slogan. Drugs can be so devastating to targeted populations and economies that they have long been used as weapons of war. The best known example of this is arguably the opium wars in China. Imperial China initially confined Westerners to trading in Canton with payments made in silver. When the British set up shop there in 1715 to buy tea and porcelain, the balance of trade favored China. Britain (and other Western countries) soon began bringing in opium grown in India. Opium was already known in China, but its use was not widespread until the foreign merchants began selling tons of it. Alarmed by the skyrocketing opium use and addiction, the Imperial government banned the sale of opium for smoking in 1729 and then again in 1799. The edicts had little effect on sales because Chinese customs officials were easily bribed to look the other way. By the 1830s China’s economy was in recession and the balance of trade had turned against China. The opium trade might not have been the only reason for China’s economic woes, but it certainly was part of the problem, so in 1839 an Imperial commissioner took decisive action by seizing British opium and destroying it without compensation. The British brought in more opium and fought their way upriver to more trading ports. Chinese forces attacked the British but found themselves outgunned. Britain sent more warships to Canton and eventually forced the Chinese to surrender. The 1842 Treaty of Nanjing gave the British control of Hong Kong, opened new ports to British trade, forbade the Chinese to try British sailors under Chinese law, and gave Britain Most Favored Nation status in trade. Chinese schools teach students that this was the beginning of the Century of Humiliation, inflicted on China by Westerners armed with superior technology; that century ended in 1949 with the reunification of China under Chairman Mao and the push to modernize.
Today China appears to be waging an opium war in reverse. Deaths in America from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have surged from about 3000 in 2013 to 87,203 in 2020. Fentanyl is said to be 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and up to 100 times more potent than morphine, making it the most dangerous of all illegal drugs. Most of the supply comes from China, either directly by mail or cargo ships or indirectly through Mexico. The manufacture and sale of fentanyl is officially illegal in China, but the Illegal Tender podcast reported that enforcement is a low priority because there appears to be little demand for it within China. Manufacturers often operate within tax favored industrial zones or suburban office parks, so they are in effect being subsidized by the Chinese government. Larger operations even offer room and board in dormitories as an employment incentive just like other Chinese companies do. Sales are done over the Internet, including on social media platforms. Some manufacturers have switched to selling precursors -- some of which are still legal in China -- for their customers to finish turning into fentanyl. There are also legal drug companies in China that can act as a shield for the illegal ones.
RAND Corporation has advised viewing the opioid epidemic as a poisoning outbreak instead of as a traditional drug epidemic. Because of its potency and lower cost, dealers use fentanyl to cut heroin or to press into pills made to look like prescription drugs. Fentanyl has even begun showing up in cocaine samples. This is not yet a drug people socially experiment with, so standard drug education programs have had little impact so far – including upon users who became addicted to medically prescribed opioids and sought illicit substitutes when their prescriptions ended. RAND further suggests focusing on medical interventions – e.g., making naloxone more readily available outside of medical centers to treat overdoses – and disrupting supply systems. But the latter did not work for the Chinese in 1839 and may not work for us today. Criminalizing opioids is also another uphill battle because new synthetic compounds are created regularly, and regulators cannot keep up.
Last year when Covid definitively reached the US, there was speculation the SARS-CoV-2 virus might have accidentally leaked from a Chinese research lab. The Mainstream Media (MSM) aggressively labeled such speculation as racist misinformation and Trump-inspired conspiracy theory. Social media platforms censored posts and even suspended users for saying such things. The official line was that the virus arose naturally in bats and jumped to humans in a Wuhan open air market where wild animals were butchered and sold – a market that was coincidentally located just a few miles from a high level research lab. This year, however, MSM has suddenly begun publishing lab leak speculation itself, making last year’s censors look like incompetent fools and providing an object lesson against the perils of censorship. There are a few factors playing into this.
The first factor is that MSM and Big Tech were unable to completely stamp out the speculation because alternative media sources kept the story alive. When gene sequencing information became available, people with appropriate scientific backgrounds were willing and able to point out that the published sequencing could not have arisen naturally and was likely the result of gain of function research, i.e., studies that alter microorganisms to increase its pathology, transmissibility, or the range of hosts it’s able to infect. The justification for such research is that it helps predict the emergence of new diseases and develop treatments. The research also helps the development of targeted bioweapons, but no lab wants to admit it’s doing that. Alternative media even found evidence that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – under the directive of MSM’s darling Anthony Fauci – had funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology through an organization called the EcoHealth Alliance for the study of coronavirus in bats. This was finally confirmed in a May Senate hearing although Fauci denied that gain of function research had been approved. Judicial Watch obtained reports through the Freedom of Information Act showing that $826,277 had been paid over a five-year period – not the $600,000 that Fauci claimed in his Senate testimony. It now looks likely that the lab leak theory was attacked to cover up the fact that American tax dollars were funding reckless experiments. In addition a trove of Fauci’s emails have been published, demonstrating that Fauci repeatedly lied to make Covid appear much more dangerous than it was to justify draconian lockdown measures that in hindsight appear to have been useless or unnecessary from the public health viewpoint. Republican senators are calling for Fauci to resign or be fired, but the Biden Junta still stands by him. MSM is now scrambling to retrieve credibility.
Another factor is that something quietly happened behind the scenes that also undermined the natural virus transmission story. Red State reports that a high-ranking Chinese defector has provided the Defense Intelligence Agency with extensive technical information on special weapons programs, including bioweapons. The DIA kept the defector within its own network for at least three months because its leadership suspects Chinese intelligence has penetrated the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies. The defector reportedly told the DIA that China has been trying to produce variant viruses to make it look more likely that the original virus came from bats instead of a lab. The DIA reportedly believes that the lab leak was accidental and that the Chinese government allowed it to spread because they didn’t want to admit what happened. This story was independently reported on Twitter by journalist Adam Housley. China has recently come under more public pressure, and Housley credits this to information obtained from the defector. On a side note, the alleged concern about Chinese penetration of the FBI and CIA is sobering. As the legendary former chief of CIA counterintelligence James Angleton observed, “Penetration is a fact of life; for intelligence services it is a way of life.” Nightwatch has previously discussed dark concerns that a number of DC Establishment figures – including Joe and Hunter Biden – have been suborned by China and are subject to Chinese influence, if not outright control.
HEARTS AND MINDS OF CHILDREN – AND PERVERTS
The past few years have seen public schools turned into sexual battlegrounds. Nightwatch readers might have seen news stories about biological girls being forced to compete in sports against biological boys because the boys identify as girls. Transgender activists are even pushing for kindergarteners to be allowed to officially change gender whether their parents support it or not. If anyone’s wondering how a kindergartener would even know of such things, it’s partly because a growing number of schools are reading books such as Jacob’s New Dress and encouraging the children to switch identities. One purpose of public education is to help children absorb the beliefs and values of their society so that they may grow into productive and responsible citizens – and for that reason, the educational system has always been a primary target of the Left. In this they have been strikingly successful; they are now using taxpayer funded schools to impose their ideology upon students – most recently with Critical Race Theory, which is little more than thinly disguised racial hatred for Whites. It’s not surprising that home schooling is becoming ever more popular among concerned parents.
But the dark side of public education goes beyond ideology. An Internet search on “teachers unions protecting child molesters” will yield a huge number of news stories from across the country about schools unable to fire teachers who have molested, sexually harassed or even impregnated their students. In a few cases teachers were relieved of teaching duties but remained on the payroll in district offices. In other cases teachers have resigned with agreements that gave the teachers large settlements and allowed them to keep their teaching certificates.
It’s also worth noting that the Reddit website has a “Teachers Gone Wild” forum in which female members post sexually explicit photos of themselves – often taken in their classrooms – which are easily accessed by their students. Some even boast about their seductive conquests of the under aged boys entrusted to their care.
THE EAGLE & THE DRAGON
Yahoo! News reports that last autumn the US Air Force held a war game in which China attacked US bases and warships in the Indo-Pacific region before invading Taiwan – and China won. This wasn't a surprise to the wargamers because the US team has been losing in these simulations for years. While the US has bogged down in the Mideast, China has been building airborne and space-based surveillance systems, precision-guided missiles and other, increasingly powerful weapons systems intended to provide that country with a capability to seize Taiwan and impose regional hegemony. In apparent response, the new US National Defense Strategy finally identified China and Russia as the primary threats to national security, rather than terrorism, but the Pentagon brass has yet to change strategies and force structures accordingly. They seem unwilling or unable to grasp the fact that the US is no longer the world’s single superpower or that China is actually capable of defeating the US in war.
Denial is a dangerous thing: Last September Chinese aircraft flew over the Taiwan Strait’s rarely crossed median line 40 times and conducted simulated attacks on that island. China also released a propaganda video showing a bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons simulating an attack on Andersen Air Force Base, located on the US Pacific island of Guam. Four days after Presidential-claimant Biden took office, Chinese aircraft flew past Taiwan and simulated missile attacks on the USS Roosevelt in international waters in the South China Sea. Admiral Phil Davidson, the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, told the Senate in March that he expects China will try to annex Taiwan within the next six years. Nightwatch has previously discussed the Biden Junta’s softness on China; this softness or complacency is interpreted by China as weakness, which has encouraged China to become ever bolder. Weakness will not convince China to embrace Western values, or it would have done so decades ago. Instead softness and complacency have given China the time to acquire the capability threaten its neighbors and challenge the US and it’s now only a matter of time before China’s simulated attacks on US forces become real.
The successful annexation of Taiwan by China may well be recorded by history as the beginning of the end of the US Empire. Only a fool believes China will stop with Taiwan.
Strength, however, does not mean blustering threats. The Biden Junta’s sanctions against Russia and the insults it has directed at President Putin have gained them nothing but scorn. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has long urged US policymakers to accept the reality of a multipolar world and strive for strategic balance. President Trump attempted to do so by luring Russia away from China, but he was undermined by the Establishment and their media lackeys, who cared more about making Trump fail than about ensuring American success. The Biden Junta's bluster and half-hearted sanctions continue to push Russia and China closer together – cementing a longstanding alliance that the US cannot hope to prevail against.
CORPORATE GLOBAL TAX PROPOSED
Complacency and denial also afflict the Financial Elite. Associated Press reports that US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is calling on the G-20 countries to adopt a minimum global corporate income tax. It is intended to prevent businesses from moving out of high tax rate countries into lower tax rate countries. According to Yellen, “It is about making sure that governments have stable tax systems that raise sufficient revenue to invest in essential public goods” by working with other countries “to end the pressures of tax competition and corporate tax base erosion.” In other words, the Deep State globalists continue to press for One World Government, on the fantastical assumption that Russia and China will meekly surrender and stand by as the US takes charge of the global economy.
The Left has long claimed it can pay for its exorbitant programs by taxing the rich and corporations. That had some limited success in the past, but in an era of easy international travel and mobile capital, wealthy individuals and corporations can easily relocate to low tax countries. That’s already happening here on a smaller scale both are fast abandoning New York and California – forcing them to shift the tax burden to their rapidly shrinking middle class.
Developing countries have been quick to take advantage of the new reality by offering lower tax rates to foreigners willing to start businesses there, and even a few European countries have offered Golden Visa tax breaks to foreigners willing to retire and spend their pensions there. Interestingly enough, Communist Poland pioneered the Golden Visa trend by persuading Polish-American retirees to return to their country of birth for their Golden Years. Granted special status that protected them from secret police surveillance and harassment, some 25,000 established Little America enclaves throughout that country, where they lived freely and well on their Social Security checks.
These days the Left and the MSM are denouncing American expatriates as tax cheats, but it is in fact legal to open offshore businesses and bank accounts as long as government reporting requirements are met. Not surprisingly an entirely new industry has arisen to assist those fleeing abroad. In an effort to limit capital flight, the US has tightened financial reporting requirements and has – like the Soviet Union in the 1980s – substantially raised the fees imposed for renouncing citizenship.
The Trump Administration cut corporate taxes in 2017 in an attempt to bring money back to the US. Breitbart reported at the end of 2019 that companies did bring $1 trillion back, but the government had hoped for four times that. It has been suggested the shortfall is at least partly due to company owners assuming it wasn’t worth the hassle because the fickle government would soon raise taxes again – which is precisely what the Biden Junta intends to do to help pay for its $2.3 trillion infrastructure boondoggle. Here it’s worth noting that Yellen’s proposed minimum global tax isn’t exactly new: The idea was first proposed by France in the 1990s and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 37 member countries have lately revived the idea by opening discussions regarding how they can assist collecting each other's taxes and keep their capital at home. But thus far they've failed to cement an agreement, as some member countries don’t want to give up their incentive programs.
BUSINESSES AS USEFUL IDIOTS
It’s also worth noting an ironic feedback loop between business and governments. Whether they are corporate officers or entrepreneurs, people setting up shop overseas pride themselves on having a global outlook and often decry nationalism as a control mechanism – even though their geoarbitrage opportunities depend upon the existence of sovereign nation states, even as the Globalists in government and finance seek to shut down geoarbitrage by fostering greater international cooperation, i.e., tax and regulatory standardization for. With the exception of corporate titans, then, business people who vote for global minded politicians in their home countries are undermining their own long-term interests.
Those running large tech companies have gone even further by actively assisting China’s economic and military expansion. Fox News reports that billionaire Peter Thiel has publicly criticized Silicon Valley for deliberately ignoring what their Chinese business partners do with the technological fruits of their ventures. Thiel has even suggested that Google might be infiltrated by Chinese intelligence because Google continued to work with the Chinese government after dropping a US government contract in 2018. The contract in question was related to Project Maven, an AI program intended to analyze images and which was expected to help the US military improve drone strikes. Thousands of Google employees signed a protest letter because they thought it was unethical to work on military projects, but that didn’t seem to bother them when it came to China because they never asked why the Chinese wanted the same dual use technology. Thiel considers them – and other Silicon Valley types – useful idiots or even Fifth Columnists for the Chinese Communist Party. To Thiel, the ethical question is this: Work with the Chinese Communists or work with the US.
STATES ASSERTING THEIR RIGHTS
After far too many decades of federal encroachment on states’ rights, some of the 50 states are finally standing up to the Feds – at least in a few areas. As soon as Presidential-claimant Biden took office, the Democrats began proposing new gun control laws, including a proposed $800 annual licensing fee, a ban on more weapons and ammunition types and even outright confiscations without warrants or due process. A dozen states promptly passed or proposed bills instructing state and local agencies not to cooperate with federal agents attempting to enforce any such new laws. The states cannot actually declare federal laws invalid, but they can to make enforcement difficult. The Hill reports that Iowa and Tennessee have taken the additional step of allowing adults to purchase and carry handguns without a permit while Texas is in the process of passing such a bill. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has publicly called for Texas to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary State, citing the need for citizens to defend themselves because the US government is doing less and less to protect them – including the southern border, which has forced Gov. Abbott and the Texas legislature to allocate additional resources to control the Mexican because the Biden regime will not.
As this was being written, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts told Fox News that he was also declaring his state a Second Amendment Sanctuary to send a message to the Feds that his state will stand up for constitutional rights against Federal overreach. Hopefully these states are serious and will act accordingly when push comes to shove.
Washington Free Beacon reports that Tennessee has banned the Confucius Institute from the state’s public universities. The Texas and Utah legislatures are also debating bills to the same end. As Nightwatch previously discussed, the Confucius Institute promotes Chinese government propaganda to students around the world under the guise of language and cultural instruction. The Biden Junta rescinded a Trump Administration proposal to require schools to disclose their Confucius partnerships, so states are moving to protect their citizens. Other states are considering bills of wider scope that would ban their universities from partnering with “any communist regimes” or “the government of China.” Hopefully more states will join them instead of bowing to Chinese pressure or bribery.
A third area in which states are pushing back is the Covid vaccine passport. Over the course of the pandemic, states and cities run by Democrats have tended towards longer lockdowns and more draconian measures to ostensibly curb the spread of Covid than states and cities run by Republicans despite the fact that these have not produced better outcomes. Taking to heart the adage of never letting a crisis go to waste, the Left has embraced the notion of requiring people to have proof of Covid vaccination to set foot in public -- unless they’re rioting for a Leftist cause, of course. It has also been widely reported that the Biden Junta has been consulting private companies to develop a national standard for what has been dubbed a vaccine passport. New York Post reports that New York has already rolled out the Excelsior Pass, an app that provides proof of vaccination status to attend larger gatherings. That said, the governors of Florida, Texas, Idaho, Utah, and Montana have already banned the proposed vaccine passports – and while those governors encourage their citizens to get vaccinated, they don’t want to make it mandatory and for good reasons: The Covid vaccines are being administered under Emergency Use Authorizations. As they are still an experimental therapy, the decision to be vaccinated should be made by individuals in consultation with their healthcare providers, not by politicians. The World Health Organization, for example, does not recommend the vaccines for pregnant women or children under the age of 16 due to the lack of safety testing for these groups. But apparently, the Biden Junta and the state of New York have no problem making people second-class citizens for health reasons.
CHINA & RUSSIA PLAN MOON BASE
RT (Russia Today) and NBC News report that Russia will withdraw from the International Space Station after it ceases to function in 2024. Since the first element of the station was launched in 1998, the US was Russia’s main partner in operating the station, which has become too old and damaged to maintain much longer. Russia is said to have begun work on a new orbital space station, but no cooperation agreements with other countries have been announced. What has been announced, however, is that Russia and China have agreed to build a base “on or around” the moon “guided by the principles of equal distribution of rights and responsibilities” to strengthen scientific cooperation and promote “the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes in the interests of all mankind.” The US plans a similar lunar station and has invited Russia to take part, but Russia has criticized the American plan as a political project similar to NATO. China is presenting the agreement as a counter to the US trying to dictate international activity on the moon and deeper into space, so the motive is clear. China and Russia reportedly plan to begin with coordinated robotic missions to explore the moon and scale up to “a complex of experimental research facilities” both with and without human crews. An NBC analyst suggested the Russian criticism of the US plan is simply a “bargaining game” as he believes Russia needs to continue cooperation with the US, Europe, Japan, and Canada, but NBC did not explain why. Perhaps the state of denial afflicting the US government afflicts NBC as well.
QANON: THE CON CONTINUES
Last month Nightwatch briefly mentioned that QAnon had convinced a number of Trump supporters that every setback faced by the Trump Administration was part of a master plan to expose traitors and that mass arrests and trials were imminent. Even after the Electoral College vote confirmed Biden as the new President, QAnon followers repeated promises that Trump would remain in office by invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 and issuing a declaration of martial law – to be followed by mass treason trials and executions. One might think these people have been forced to face reality by now, but unfortunately QAnon rumors are still circulating. One that has gained currency is that Biden is President of only DC and not the whole of the US because the United States Government was a corporation that Trump dissolved last year.
It is not definitively known whether QAnon began as an internet prank or as a psy op to keep Trump supporters complacent, but the phenomenon has become too dangerous to ignore. Regardless of QAnon’s origin, it’s likely that law enforcement agencies are at least monitoring it to find people who can be depicted in the media as domestic terrorists, much in the way the FBI used the War on Terror to lure confused or mentally unwell people into Security Theatre sting operations. Biden and the Democrats used the January 6th Capitol protest to call for stronger measures to combat domestic terror – specifically directed at hate groups, religious extremists, and white power movements – and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 has been introduced in the House. Tulsi Gabbard (former D-HI and presidential candidate) told Fox News Primetime the proposed legislation could lead to “a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.” The targeted half Gabbard referred to is, of course, the half that voted for Trump. Actual domestic terrorists – such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter – who attacked American cities last year are still represented as peaceful protesters by Democrats. The bill is said to have bipartisan support, so this is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. It’s a Conservative vs. Authoritarian Establishment issue. Readers are urged to contact their Representatives to voice opposition to this bill. If the public voices enough opposition, the Establishment might deem it prudent to retreat even if only temporarily.
THE ESTABLISHMENT PARTY: A MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM IN NAME ONLY
At the Yalta Conference of February 1945, one part of the far-reaching agreement between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin was the liberated countries of Eastern Europe would be permitted to hold free elections and “to create democratic institutions of their own choice.” The underlying rationale was that all countries had the right to choose their form of government, subject to the will of the people. Although Stalin refused to allow the London-based Polish government-in-exile to return to Poland, he did agree to free elections and promised the Polish provisional government set up by the Soviets would facilitate them. In practice the June 1946 referendum on land reform, the abolition of the Polish Senate, and the acceptance of the Oder-Neisse line as Poland’s western border was marred by massive fraud that ensured that all three issues passed. Between that referendum and the January 1947 Parliamentary elections, candidates from the pro-government coalition which formed the Democratic Bloc were allowed to campaign while anti-Communist opposition candidates were violently harassed by the Volunteer Reserve Militia, a paramilitary group sanctioned by the Communist-controlled Department of Security. Over 400,000 anti-Communist voters were struck from the voter rolls, and over 80,000 members of the Polish People’s Party – the largest opposition party – were reportedly arrested on false charges in the month leading up to the election. The Democratic Bloc wound up with 394 of the 444 seats in the legislature. The Polish People’s Party was awarded 28 seats. The outcome was decided before the election was even held and the security service saw to it the vote count matched the agreed upon distribution of seats. Thus emerged the first clear example of what Russian President Vladimir Putin has since termed “Managed Democracy.”
Poland maintained a multi-party system throughout the Communist Era and continued to hold nominally free elections, but as with the first post-War election the distribution of parliamentary seats was decided secretly in advance, and the Communist security service made sure the vote tallies always produced the desired outcome. The formally free but fraudulent electoral system continued until 1989, when the Solidarity movement – led by an agent of the security service – forced genuine reforms.
It is now clear the Democrats want to impose Managed Democracy on the US as well. Having gotten away with stealing the presidential election – a coup d’etat, for all practical purposes – there is nothing to stop them from doing it again. Nor is there anything to stop them from passing whatever legislation they want – including, ominously, domestic terrorism legislation that is clearly directed against Conservatives and Christians and their revised federal election laws designed to institutionalize the practices that enabled them to cheat: The permanent imposition of mail-in voting, banning ID requirements and gutting signature verification requirements. The only restraint they face is a Conservative-dominated Supreme Court, but that won’t last long: Democrats have made clear their intent to pack the high court by appointing as many as 6 new Supreme Court Justices.
Adding to the well-justified concern of an emergent de facto dictatorship is the stunning fact that Biden signed a record 40 executive orders, actions, and presidential memoranda in his first 9 days of office – and shows no sign of slowing down. The record number of orders has been widely noted in the media, but any concerns about Biden bypassing Congress are quickly dismissed with claims that the actions parallel legislation introduced in Congress or are crafted by policy experts to fulfill his campaign promises – indisputably, a reflection of blatant partisan bias as the same media outlets branded Trump a dictator whenever the former President signed an executive order. But they remain strangely quiet now, even though Biden has signed more orders than the previous five presidents combined. Since the Mainstream Media is committed to the Left, their refusal to examine Biden’s extraordinary use of Executive Orders is to be expected.
It’s also important to note the MSM is part of the Democrat Establishment and for that reason can be counted on to protect Democrat malfactors – and since Joe Biden is a longtime Member in Good Standing, they will doubtless cover up Biden’s long history of corruption, and that of his family as well. Despite the fact that son Hunter Biden’s unlawful influence peddling was publicly exposed when the contents of his abandoned laptop computer were revealed – including the standard 10% kickback for his father – the MSM has studiously ignored it all. It seems corruption is only a sin when it involves Republicans.
MILITARY PURGE ANNOUNCED
The Biden Junta used the Capitol protest as a pretext to bring in approximately 25,000 National Guard troops to provide security for the inauguration. The New York Post reported a day before the inauguration that 12 members had been sent home after being flagged by the FBI. Two were said to have made inappropriate comments or text messages related to the inauguration. The Pentagon spokesman declined to give specifics on the other 10. He did say the reasons were not directly related to the inauguration and included possible previous criminal activity as well as possible “extremist postings in the guardsmen’s online histories” and possible ties to far-right militia groups.
That was only the beginning. Reuters reported on February 3rd that the military will hold stand-downs – pauses of regular activities – during the next 60 days to deal with so-called “white nationalism” and other unspecified types of extremism in the ranks. It was not explained whether the stand-downs would last minutes or hours or what the commanders would actually do during the stand-downs. The Pentagon has not revealed how many troops have previously been disciplined for extremism or how many troops are estimated to hold extremist ideology. Whatever actions wind up being taken against service members, note that once again the Capitol protest is being used as the justification because current and former service members were seen taking part in it. Perhaps so, but it logically follows from the Obama Administration’s policy of cashiering officers with Conservative views and only promoting those with Leftist leanings. Obama’s purge was done without fanfare or media attention, but Biden’s purge will be highly publicized in order to send an unmistakable message. The end goal is to have the military more loyal to Leftist ideology than to the Constitution they’re sworn to serve, the American people or to the principles America was founded upon. They want a military willing to fire on civilians if ordered.
Meanwhile, USA Today reports that at least 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in DC during the Neo-Stalinist show trial of former President Trump. There is also a stated concern for possible violence around March 4th because of an alleged QAnon rumor that Trump will be inaugurated a second time on that date after a mass arrest of high profile Democrats – thus adding to the suspicion that QAnon is a psy op run by one or more US Intelligence agencies. According to CFIS Chairman Charles S. Viar, the “smart money” in Washington thinks it’s an FBI operation designed to flush out and identify “right wing extremists.”
It is not clear when the remaining Guardsmen will be sent home – and it’s more than possible that excuse after excuse will be found to keep troops stationed around the White House and Capitol until the Junta consolidates its grip on power. If this sounds like a Communist takeover, there’s a good reason for that.
THE GREAT GAMESTOP REBELLION
It has been widely reported that small retail investors from a Reddit group called WallStreetBets spiked the price of GameStop stock in the last week of January, inflicting billions of dollars in losses on the large hedge funds that had tried to “short” that company’s stock. Watching the hedge funds scramble to cover their staggering losses resulted in much hilarity on social media – and enthusiastic support for the little guys who stuck it to Goliath!
The action screeched to a halt when the Robinhood platform suspended trading in GameStop and several other stocks targeted by WallStreetBets. When Robinhood allowed trading to resume, investors found they could sell GameStop but were still restricted to buying between one and five shares. Not all of the WallStreetBets crew used Robinhood, but the restrictions appeared to stop the price spike. Regulators, finance establishment types, and mainstream media howled about small investors who didn’t know what they were doing were injecting too much risk and instability into the markets, but this was widely dismissed as sour grapes: “rich mad because the poors did a capitalism” as one cartoon meme put it. Some small investors did quite well for themselves while others who jumped in too late defiantly declared they didn’t care about their losses because they wanted to stick it to Wall Street. Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, and a few other well known investors sided with the little guys in the media circus and heaped scorn on the hedge funds.
The truth is actually more complicated. First of all it turned out there were hedge funds and other large investors on both sides of the fracas, so David versus Goliath was not quite an accurate depiction. Secondly, Robinhood’s CEO told the media that Robinhood had to restrict trading because of liquidity issues; the surge of buy orders required Robinhood to put up more collateral to remain in compliance with regulations. He insisted that the trading restrictions were needed to let Robinhood raise the collateral and were not imposed because the hedge funds pressured Robinhood – although the idea that Robinhood would bow to such pressure is plausible because Robinhood is dependent on companies that were being called on to bail out the desperate hedge funds. Robinhood does not charge commissions on trades and instead takes a cut from the market makers.
But the fracas did expose cracks in the system to the public. Armstrong Economics criticized the short sellers, saying GameStop had actually started a bullish trend several months earlier. Any hedge fund “that was short this stock was not a professional to begin with. I would think any basic technical analysis would have screamed ‘buy’ so if they did not listen, they were trying to manipulate the market [on the assumption] they had the power.” GameStop was reportedly shorted 110% - a major reason the WallStreetBets crew went long on it. As more investors bought shares, the price went up – which triggered some short sellers to cover to stop their loss, which in turn drove the price up more, which triggered more short sellers to cover, etc. That’s what caused the spike. People piling into the buying frenzy were taking a big risk – and so were the hedge funds shorting when basic technical analysis said to go long. Large institutional investors do foolish, reckless things in the market all the time, but when they miscalculate they’re usually bailed out. Small players, in contrast, are left twisting in the wind – unless they make a profit, in which case regulators tend to get upset. There is currently much blather in the media about “monitoring the situation” and a need to investigate market manipulation, so expect more regulations coming down the pike to hamper small investors and to protect hedge funds. On the bright side, small investors did get a boost of confidence. WallStreetBets reportedly gained members from the publicity, many of whom appear interested in using their small portfolios as a weapon.
As Liberty Blitzkrieg’s Michael Krieger posted on Twitter, “Welcome to the era of guerrilla investing. It doesn’t slow down from here.”
CHAOS AT THE CAPITOL
The putschists who planned and orchestrated the succession of coup attempts against President Trump finally succeeded by rigging the 2020 election; all that remains for them is to wrap up loose ends. Since the November election, concerns about fraud and other irregularities have largely been ignored by authorities. Lawsuits filed on behalf of Trump in several states have been dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiff has no standing, that the remedy would not change the election results, or on other procedural grounds. Even the Supreme Court declined to hear a case brought by the State of Texas that could have nullified election results in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin. There was a flurry of excitement among Trump supporters as news circulated that several states had cast alternate or competing electoral slates, and several mainstream news outlets explained that dueling electors had indeed happened before and had affected the 1960 election. The Epoch Times sounded a cautionary note in December that while Republican electors in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, and Arizona had cast votes for Trump, it was not clear if all the electors and their votes had been properly certified. This warning was widely missed or ignored, and Trump supporters pinned their hopes on Vice President Mike Pence choosing the Republican slates when recording the electoral votes on January 6th. A Stop the Steal rally was planned in DC for that day, and thousands of Trump supporters attended.
Nightwatch readers have probably seen coverage of the chaos that ensued. Mainstream media depict it as a violent, insurrectionist mob attacking the Capitol and blame Trump for inciting violence even though Trump had actually asked people to remain peaceful and to respect the police. Both Senate and House floors were evacuated and buildings placed on lockdown. There were some smashed windows and other property damage. Videos circulated on social media of a man in Speaker Pelosi’s office with his feet up on the desk, others praying inside the Capitol, police removing barricades to give some protesters access, police opening doors to the Capitol for protesters and standing aside to let them enter, police tear gassing other protesters who were behaving peacefully outdoors, protesters in body armor scaling walls as if it were a military operation, and police in armed standoffs with protesters trying to break into rooms. One Trump supporter was fatally shot by police in the Capitol building, three others died of “medical emergencies” such as heart attacks and a policeman reportedly beaten with a fire extinguisher by protesters died of his injuries the following day. There are a number of unanswered questions, including how protesters got into the Capitol offices so easily. Numbers aside, there should have been more security around the buildings than was evident that day. There’s also speculation the violence and window smashing was started by Antifa or Black Lives Matter provocateurs. Reports of a team with hammer and sickle tattoos have not been verified, but there was, in fact, at least one known BLM activist who was arrested inside the Capitol. As Antifa and BLM riots have demonstrated, it takes only a few provocateurs to turn a peaceful crowd into a violent mob.
It was several hours before the police secured the buildings for legislators to return to business. A few objections were made to some electoral votes, but in the end the election was certified as a Biden win. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) both told media they didn’t see a way to legally change the outcome as no states had sent alternate elector slates or requests to set aside their electoral votes. Objections raised by legislators were not about fraud, merely procedural quibbles (e.g., changing voter registration dates) that were not considered enough grounds to reject the electoral votes. Crenshaw told The Guy Benson Show that even though he agreed with some of the objections, he thought they were relatively minor issues that needed to be addressed by those states, not by Congress. Massie opined to The Tom Roten Morning Show that state legislatures were deliberately avoiding dealing with some issues. Both men thought the crowd had been lied to by right wing personalities claiming that Vice President Pence could solve everything by refusing to accept electoral votes. President Trump subsequently acted to ensure an orderly transition.
DEMS TAKE SENATE
Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock defeated David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Georgia’s January 5th Senate runoff election by razor thin margins, giving the Democrats 50 seats in the US Senate. Since tie votes will be decided by new Vice President Harris, this effectively gives the Democrats control of the Senate. Some claimed that Perdue and Loeffler were too close to Trump, others pointed to Mitch McConnell blocking the $2000 stimulus in the Senate, but the harsh truth is that Republicans behaved foolishly in Georgia and threw both Senate seats away.
Georgia was one of the key swing states in the November presidential race, and there were grave allegations of voter fraud that were never properly addressed. Because the vote margin was so thin, Georgia did a recount and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger promised an audited recount. But there were soon complaints the counters were not verifying the signatures on absentee ballots correctly. Georgia is also one of the states using Dominion voting machines, and concerns about those machines switching votes were largely ignored. PJ Media reported in December that tech expert Jovan Hutton Pulitzer demonstrated at a Georgia Senate subcommittee hearing that it was possible to hack the Dominion machines over wifi. For obvious security reasons, voting machines should not be connected to the internet at all – especially not with low security wifi – yet Dominion machines clearly are. Complaints of machine “glitches” during the November election were also dismissed at the time. Raffensperger insists there was no evidence of “widespread” fraud and Governor Brian Kemp insists the same. At best they – and the other election officials backing them up – don’t want to admit that fraud happened on their watch. At worst, they don’t want to fix problems because they benefit from the system as it is. Kemp in particular has faced accusations before: Kemp’s 2018 gubernatorial race was plagued by his Democratic opponents claiming that closings of polling places, purges of voter rolls, and ballots flagged as problematic unfairly targeted low income Black voters likely to vote against him.
The Senate runoff election used the same machines and procedures used in November. Voter turnout was high, but not as high as in November. There is no way to tell how many voters were discouraged by the lack of action on fraud allegations and decided not to bother voting again. Both Perdue and Loeffler conceded their races without requesting a recount. Ossoff’s margin of victory over Perdue was a single percentage point. Warnock’s victory margin over Loeffler was less than two percentage points. A recount might – or might not – have uncovered enough issues to change the outcome of at least one of the races.
A telling issue was the poorly conceived Republican campaign ads. Both Perdue and Loeffler focused on attacking their opponents viciously. Ossoff largely ignored Perdue’s attacks and instead ran ads showing him listening to ordinary people and bumping elbows with them in the Establishment-approved pandemic greeting protocol. Warnock chose to counter attacks with humor, good-naturedly telling viewers that Loeffler was taking
2 year old comments of his out of context to convince people that he was a horrible person who hated puppies; these ads were followed by positive ones showing him walking a dog while outlining what he wanted to accomplish. Even some viewers who were diehard anti-Warnock liked his ads with the dog. Warnock is an experienced pastor who knows how to connect with people, and Loeffler’s staff should have been taking notes. Warnock also had a legitimate point about Loeffler taking his words out of context to change their meaning, and anyone who was reasonably informed could see it. Loeffler ran better ads in her first campaign; why she or her campaign manager switched to poorly done, heavy-handed ads designed to shock or scare people into voting for her has not been publicly explained. In contrast, Democrat-affiliated group attacks on Perdue and Loeffler stopped short of demonizing them, merely pointing out how they had profited from their time in office. One ad that seemed to particularly stick in people’s minds ended with a female narrator saying, “Kelly is for Kelly, not for us.” These ads were buttressed with positive ads showing ordinary people enthusing over their chance to influence the system to help their families while putting up signs for both Ossoff and Warnock, effectively endorsing both candidates in a single ad. The Republicans had nothing like this. Letting the Democrats – the party that normally stokes divisiveness – claim the high ground of unity, teamwork, and family values boggles the mind.
In the end, the Republicans also appeared to take voters for granted. Georgia voters were deluged with mailed leaflets, postcards, voicemails, and text messages from both parties. However it was only the Democrat-affiliated groups who bothered to ask voters if they knew their polling locations and if they needed help getting there. Republican-affiliated groups assumed voters knew where to go and had a ride. Even if registered voters did know their polling places and did have a ride, the fact that it was only the Democrats offering help still leaves an impression. It was also only the Democrats who texted early voters to thank them for voting – and to ask them to encourage others to vote. Republican groups also tracked early voters but simply stopped messaging them without saying thanks. If anyone still wonders why some voters think Democrats care about them, wonder no more.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
The first step is realizing that there is really only one party in DC – an Establishment Party, with approved Left and Right factions. Trump managed to hijack the Right Faction in the 2016 Republican primaries, but since he wasn’t a Member of the Establishment in Good Standing, the Republican leadership never fully supported him. Center for Intelligence Studies Chairman Charles S. Viar wrote an alternate history of the 2016 election in which a youthful and brilliant self-made billionaire and war hero starts a viable third party and wins the presidency. In The Greywolf Saga: The Legend Begins*, Jonathan Greywolf starts a new political force from scratch, builds a base of supporters to win local and state elections, is elected to the Senate and then runs for President. The novel was inspired by Trump and the 2016 Make America Great Again movement, but it featured a hero with a clear plan to get the country back on track who surrounded himself with competent people instead of the opportunists who swarmed the Trump Administration. This scenario is not as farfetched as it might sound: Trump hijacked the Republican nomination by paying attention to voters who felt ignored by DC. Those voters are still there, still ignored by DC, and still willing to support a candidate that takes their concerns seriously. If a third party can get off the ground right away, it can field viable candidates in the 2022 election and build a base for a presidential run in 2024. Alternatively, it could withdraw its candidates from the general election and endorse the Republican nominees, provided the GOP candidates were willing to enter into binding agreements on core policy issues. At the presidential level, they could insist on cabinet-level representation in exchange. But all that assumes the US will still have elections by then – after the Neo-Communist coup d’etat, that is far from certain.
Second, Conservatives need to be far more discerning. Social media and alternative news sources can be just as mendacious and self-serving as the mainstream media to boost their page views and subscriptions. QAnon – likely an Establishment psy op run by elements of the Intelligence Community – captured far too many imaginations, assuring people for years that every setback Trump and his supporters faced was all part of their strategy that would culminate – any day now! – with the mass arrest of traitors and trials by military tribunals. People told each other to “trust the plan” and allowed themselves to be lulled into inaction. There have also been bloggers and subscription websites peddling wild stories of politicians such as George H.W. Bush and John McCain being executed for treason. These are admittedly extreme examples, but more prosaic promises of impending arrests and mass file declassifications are no less damaging. Get and evaluate information from a variety of sources. Verify as much as possible.
Third, recognize that Conservatives now find themselves in 4th Generation Warfare. Leftists are screaming hysterically about insurrection because they realize their hold on power is tenuous. They think if they can ruin and vilify Trump then the masses will surrender and fall into line with the correct groupthink. Last year’s riots should have been a wakeup call that the US is a failing state. Conservatives need to network with each other, support each other, get involved in local politics, educate children and grandchildren with decent Conservative values, turn out for demonstrations and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience wherever and whenever possible. Stop waiting for any politician to fix things, and start fighting for change. Look to the Christians who lived under Communism for guidance on what the near future holds.
*The Greywolf Saga: The Legend Begins may be ordered from any bookstore but is immediately available from Amazon along with Mr. Viar’s other books: https://www.amazon.com/Greywolf-Saga-Legend-Begins/dp/1688645160
JUSTICE FOR ME, BUT NOT FOR THEE
If nonviolent civil disobedience doesn’t sound like a Conservative thing to do, consider what Conservatives are actually trying to conserve. Another sign that the US is a failing state is how selectively the Rule of Law is applied. Nightwatch has documented for years how Establishment figures like Hillary Clinton get away with crimes. Joe Biden and his son Hunter provide more recent examples – Nightwatch previously discussed how Hunter made fabulous business deals in both China and the Ukraine while Joe was Vice President. It was widely reported in December that Hunter’s tax affairs have been under federal investigation since late 2018. Note that this was released after the election. When the New York Post reported before the election that a laptop abandoned at a computer repair shop contained emails showing Hunter did in fact introduce his then-Vice President father to businessmen in China and the Ukraine, the Post was temporarily suspended from Twitter. Mainstream news outlets either refused to cover it or derided it as Russian disinformation. News that the laptop had been subpoenaed by the FBI as part of a 2019 money laundering investigation was dismissed as conspiracy theory. It was not until after the election that the truth was admitted. Post-election polls suggest that 10 percent of Biden’s voters would have voted differently if they had known. The mainstream media is now making a big deal out of Joe Biden’s insistence that he will not discuss his son’s case with his Attorney General nominee or with the DOJ, but the reality is that he doesn’t have to: A case that’s been slow walked for two years is not going anywhere under the new regime.
November / December 2020
IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS
The 2020 presidential election will surely go down in history for its blatant corruption. Supporters for both Trump and Biden went in expecting their side to win by a landslide. Instead the voting margin looks razor thin in many states despite Mainstream Media’s (MSM) premature call of states for Biden, while delaying reports of states won by Trump. Three swing states in which Trump was ahead abruptly stopped counting ballots Tuesday night and resumed counting the next day after new loads of absentee ballots arrived, all supposedly marked for Biden. Project Veritas reported a Pennsylvania postal worker found colleagues illegally backdating postmarks on mail-in ballots so they would be counted and Antrim County, Michigan election officials discovered a Dominion Voting Systems software “glitch” that switched thousands of votes from Trump to Biden. That same software was reportedly used in 30 states, but MSM isn’t telling how widespread the “glitch” is. Gateway Pundit reports the “glitch” has been found in Wisconsin, and Alternative media sites are widely questioning if the CIA’s Scorecard and Hammer vote-rigging tools were used to switch votes. Social media is awash in tales of people going to vote only to be told they had supposedly already voted, jurisdictions in which the number of registered voters is greater than the eligible population, claims of the dead voting in greater numbers than usual, and colorful stories of Pennsylvania’s past corrupt exploits.
Despite overwhelming evidence of widespread, in-your-face ballot fraud, the MSM declared Biden the winner and is now accusing Republicans of trying to overturn the election. The Establishment Press even refers to Biden as President-elect Biden, and there are reports of foreign officials congratulating Biden on his win as well as reports of Biden-Harris assembling their transition team and short-listing Cabinet appointees. The legal reality is that there is not a President-elect until the Electoral College votes. At the time of this writing, five states are still counting votes, Georgia has announced an audited recount due to the thin margin, recounts in other swing states are likely to be requested, and the Trump campaign has lawsuits in five states to protest voting irregularities. These issues must be resolved before the Electoral College votes on December 14th. If neither candidate receives 270 electoral votes, then the president will be chosen by the House of Representatives. Sadly, many voters appear to be unaware of how the system works and are taking it for granted that if the MSM says it, then it must be so. No matter how this election ends, roughly half the country will not accept the results. Confidence in the election process has been irrevocably damaged.
There are, in fact, people calling for the whole election process to be scrapped. The Blaze reports that groups identified as Black Bloc Antifa – possibly connected with Black Lives Matter – have marched and chanted obscenities against both Trump and Biden, adding “No more presidents” and “No more USA at all!” Some banners read “We Don’t Want Biden. We Want Revenge!” They are serious about overthrowing the US to establish a Communist society.
Many on the Left who do want Biden advocate dismantling our democratic republic. They want the Electoral College abolished because they’re confident a straight popular vote would favor them. They want socialized medicine because they’re convinced government run health care would deliver top notch service to all instead of being an overloaded disgrace like the Veterans Administration or the UK’s National Health Service. And they call for Trump supporters to be “held accountable” – in other words, blacklisted from employment, disqualified for public office, and ostracized from “polite” society. Show trials and firing squads would presumably come later. In fact Armstrong Economics says sources report a Biden-Harris Administration would join Europe in the World Economic Forum’s planned Great Reset of society – a Velvet Totalitarian model of digital currency, restricted national sovereignty subordinate to the United Nations, extremely limited travel, no personal privacy, no private ownership, and no fossil fuels – or Communism 3.0 as Armstrong refers to it.
NATIONAL DIGITAL CURRENCIES LAUNCHING
In the last issue Nightwatch discussed how the Federal Reserve was developing its own digital currency, dubbed the Fedcoin. It was briefly mentioned that the European Union and China were also developing digital currencies. Now Reuters reports that China has gone live with its digital yuan. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) gave small amounts to thousands of people selected by lottery in four cities. As of November 2nd, over 2 billion yuan has been spent in 4 million transactions. The PBOC governor says it has gone fairly smoothly, although the program is still in an early stage, and he expects that digital currency will coexist with physical currency for some time. The coexistence of digital and physical currencies likely depends on how quickly the payment technology is rolled out to everyone and physical currency removed from circulation. As with the American Fedcoin, the advantages of the digital yuan are that payments can be sent – and cleared – instantly and that the PBOC has full control of the payment system.
t should be noted that digital yuan payments can be sent anywhere in the world. The only requirement is that users have the smartphone app to conduct transactions. Since 1973 most international money transfers have been made through the SWIFT system between banks. SWIFT has been criticized for its inefficiency, frequently routing payment instructions through multiple banks before finally reaching the final destination. There has also been considerable grumbling in other countries about the US having enough control over the system – organized in Belgium as a cooperative society owned by member banks – to seize or block payments it disapproves of and to force SWIFT to disconnect banks it wants to sanction. When China began work on the digital yuan, it was widely seen as a possible alternative to SWIFT – and as an alternative to the US dollar as a reserve currency. According to Jeff Snider of Alhambra Investments, despite the Fed’s runaway money printing there is a shortage of US dollars overseas that has been causing liquidity problems in the global market. If or when China opens its digital payment system to other countries – China and Russia are already trading with partners in their own currencies – it could boost China’s standing and financial power while allowing countries to evade American financial sanctions.
The US and EU now have further incentive to launch their own digital currencies. Even smaller countries are getting in on the act: On October 20th the Central Bank of the Bahamas proudly announced on Twitter that its digital Sand Dollar was available nationwide. However, there are no reports of Russia developing one. Russia has degenerated into a kleptocracy, and kleptocrats need cash to hide, store, and transport their plunder. As the West slides into Left wing authoritarianism, kleptocratic Russia has emerged as the unexpected champion of financial freedom – unexpected, at least, to those who remember the Cold War.
DIGITAL PAPERS PLEASE!
The UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 is to provide by the year 2030 proof of legal identity for everyone, including birth registration. People without legal identification face considerable barriers to education, banking or other financial services, health care, travel, and basic citizenship rights such as voting. Developing countries have been working hard to provide citizens with documentation. For a while biometric cards were all the rage to help prevent fraud. Now the push is on to switch from physical cards to digital ones. One reason, of course, is that digital cards are more cost effective for governments to provide. Another reason is that as governments around the world put more of their services online, digital cards are easier to process for access – and demand for online access has sharply increased this year thanks to the Covid pandemic fears and lockdowns. From the viewpoint of citizens, keeping a digital card on the smartphone means not needing those pesky physical cards that can get damaged or lost. BiometricUpdate.com reports that the next step is to place that digital ID card in an app – as opposed to storing the card image as a picture – which makes the ID card easier to use and update plus being able to manage other types of digital cards as well. The digital ID apps are taking off so rapidly they will outnumber the plain digital cards by 2023. There are currently about a billion ID apps in use, and that is projected to number over 6.2 billion by 2025.
The touted convenience for citizens is offset by the government being able to track them more efficiently, especially as more and more digital IDs become multipurpose. There is no need for separate ID and banking cards when one card can be programmed to do both. What is not mentioned very often is that the smartphone that carries the digital ID also comes with a built in GPS tracker. Most people use the tracker to navigate around town without realizing the government or its Big Tech contractor can use the tracker to track them as well. There was a time when the federal government needed a court order to place an ankle bracelet tracker on someone. Now people voluntarily carry the smartphone equivalent and even suffer withdrawal symptoms without it.
CHINESE SUPER SPIES
The popular image of a spy is largely molded by James Bond: handsome, debonair, athletic, well trained, and armed with high tech gadgets. Though an occasional approximation in times past, the modern reality is quite different, and that is especially true with Chinese spies: Breaking Defense reports that China is the first in modern times to enlist the “Whole of Society” for its espionage operations. Literally any Chinese national can be a spy with no training required or given. This is because China is relying on volume and on the fact that it suffers little or no penalty when its amateurs are caught. At present the primary goal is to obtain any tidbit of information that might help develop Chinese industries and technology. Chinese nationals and their relatives working abroad are compelled or bribed to pass on trade secrets and Chinese nationals on vacation or short business trips abroad are debriefed on their return for any useful crumbs they might have picked up about politics or the economy. Chinese companies, schools, and research labs also recruit foreigners to work with them either wittingly or unwittingly to aid objectives identified by Chinese intelligence; such talent programs look innocent on the surface, but they encourage recipients to steal proprietary information and violate export controls. Thanks to these efforts China is quickly catching up to the US in aerospace and military technology, compromising American communications, infrastructure resilience, and the ability to defend itself. Chinese civilian manufacturing also benefits; the financial loss suffered by American companies from the intellectual property theft is estimated at $360 billion annually. To make matters worse, the US has no idea what the true scale of the espionage is. The FBI reportedly opens a new counter-intelligence case involving China every ten hours, and there is no way to tell what percentage of the total the discovered cases represent.
The Trump Administration has been trying to stem the Chinese onslaught, but with limited success. In 2019 the US banned Huawei computers and smartphones over concerns China uses intentional security holes to spy on users. The Department of Defense is reportedly looking for ways to bring microelectronics manufacturing and testing to the US. While the US is a leader on the research and development side, 75% of the manufacturing and a whopping 98% of the packaging is done in Asia, leaving many US telecoms still dependent on Huawei for components. The US also attempted to ban the popular TikTok social media app for similar concerns that users’ data is harvested, but a judge granted TikTok an injunction against the ban. Given the enormity of the threat, the US needs to strengthen its anemic counter-intelligence capability because China isn’t likely to exercise restraint anytime soon. South China Morning Post reports that China’s Central Committee of the Communist Party has announced it will continue to emphasize innovation, technology, and science for the next five to fifteen years. High priority is being placed on building the Chinese military into a world-class force, which means parity with the US. President Xi Jinping is still firmly in charge and still determined to become a real rival to the US.
FUTURE OF WARFARE
A tiny Eurasian region most Americans have never heard of is unfortunately providing a testing ground for the use of armed drones against conventional forces. The Republic of Artsakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but its Armenian majority broke away in 1994 at the end of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Artsakh is supported by Armenia in its quest for independence. In late September fighting over the region broke out again. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan attacked each other’s civilian populations with long-range artillery – a war crime – and are armed with similar weaponry. But Daily Beast and Forbes report the major difference between the two is that Azeri forces have drones purchased from Israel and Turkey while Armenian forces have none. The Azeri drones have proved devastating to Armenian tanks, APCs, howitzers, and rocket launchers. Forbes estimates Armenia has lost the equivalent of five armored and six or seven artillery battalions. By contrast, Azeri losses have been a fraction of that, although Armenia’s lack of drones means they’re also getting less video footage of the damage. A military analyst admitted Artsakh is largely unable to shoot down the higher altitude Turkish drones because their defenses are remnants from the early ‘90s and in need of an upgrade. The Israeli drones operate kamikaze style, but even so Artsakh has been able to stop only a handful of them. At the time of this writing, Yahoo News reports that Russia has negotiated a cease-fire that requires Armenia to concede territory recently lost to Azerbaijan, and Russia has announced it will send peacekeeping forces to the disputed region. If it holds, Russia’s status as the traditionally dominant regional power will be underscored and enhanced.
An American negotiated cease-fire in October was broken within minutes.
China’s effort to establish a digital yuan payment system has been widely reported in the business media. What has not received much attention is that the US Federal Reserve has been quietly working on its own digital currency platform for years. ZeroHedge reports that the basic plan is for the Fed to maintain an account for each American and add money to it as authorized by stimulus plans. People would access and spend the money – dubbed the Fedcoin – through an app similar to other banking and payment apps already in use.
This system would completely bypass the commercial banks as the Fed would deal directly with the public.
An implementation proposal was included in the first Covid spending package although it was dropped from the final version of the bill. Both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee held hearings on the Fedcoin last June, and interest on Capitol Hill appears to be gaining momentum, especially after the problems rolling out the stimulus checks. Proponents of Universal Basic Income hail the Fedcoin as an efficient way to provide that as well.
But there are profound drawbacks for those who value privacy and freedom. Not only would the Fed be able to track every transaction made with Fedcoin, it could also set spending restrictions, e.g., limiting purchases of products deemed unhealthy – or even taking the money back if not spent within a specified time frame. The point of “stimulus” payments, after all, is to stimulate the economy by stimulating spending, and that wouldn’t happen if people saved the funds. The most dangerous feature, however, is that once the system is up and running, the logical next step is abolishing physical currency. After a short period for the public to exchange hoarded cash for Fedcoin, the commercial banks would not be needed either as the traditional banking function of clearing payments would be handled instantly by the Fed’s app. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would probably be abolished as well. At that point the Federal Reserve would have total control of every monetary transaction in the US.
It must be emphasized that the technology for a controlled electronic monetary system already exists. A conservative estimate is that the Fedcoin rollout could be accomplished within two to three years – thus laying the foundation for the “Velvet Totalitarianism” the Financial Elite has sought for decades.
Europe is also eager for such a system. Armstrong Economics reports that the European Central Bank is taking steps toward a digital euro. The ECB is framing it as necessary to keep the euro competitive with the Fedcoin and digital yuan, but the reality is they want a totally controlled monetary system as well. Again, the instant clearing of digital payments renders the banking system obsolete. The ECB has indicated interest in keeping commercial banks as a middleman with the public, but the description of that middleman’s role is vague and might simply be a public relations move.
MID EAST BREAKTHROUGH
The White House announced in August that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had agreed to “the full normalization of relations” between their countries. The agreement was formally signed in a ceremony at the White House on September 15th, and is expected to facilitate trade, investment, and tourism along with diplomatic relations. Israel’s El Al airline operated the first commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi on August 31st, carrying White House and Israeli officials to talks with their Emirati counterparts; CNN reports that in another first for El Al, the plane was given permission to fly through Saudi airspace. AirlineGeeks reports that the UAE’s Emirates airline hopes to begin flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv in January 2021.
Media coverage of the Abraham Accords has been low-key with none of the excitement surrounding the 1978 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. At that time the entire Arab world was determined to destroy Israel; as a result, Egypt was suspended by the Arab League for recognizing that country, and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated three years later by Islamist army officers. Since then, Arab opposition to Israel has gradually become more subdued, and the intelligence services of several formally hostile nations have established covert intelligence sharing agreements with Israel. When Jordan recognized Israel in 1994, it played the situation both ways, combining public hostility with private cooperation to settle border and water disputes. Bahrain has since followed the UAE’s lead by also signing the Abraham Accords, becoming the fourth Arab nation to recognize Israel. Saudi Arabia still insists that it will not recognize Israel until the Palestinian conflict is resolved, but has nonetheless maintained a covert military alliance with that country for decades – and the fact that the Kingdom is now openly permitting Israeli commercial aircraft to transit its territory suggests a more overt relationship is in the offing. Per the AP News, King Salman supports the Palestinians while Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman considers good Israeli relations necessary to reform the Saudi economy. Interestingly, Saudi clerics are now preaching about the need to obey lawful authority to preserve unity and peace – and kindness to non-Muslims, specifically mentioning Jews. It’s also interesting that, as Yahoo Finance reports, Prince Bandar bin Sultan – a former Saudi ambassador to Washington and former secretary general of the Saudi National Security Council – recently appeared on government controlled TV to roundly criticize the failures of Palestinian leaders and to warn that Palestinian alliances with Iran and Turkey could endanger Saudi Arabia’s own security and national interests. Since King Salman is now 84 years old, it’s probably just a matter of time before the Saudis extend full recognition to Israel as well.
This does not mean, however, that peace will break out in the Mideast anytime soon. There are three factors playing into why it is now okay to recognize Israel. The first is a simple change in attitude between the generations: Older rulers were humiliated by repeated Israeli victories over Arab armies, while their younger counterparts grew up with Israel as a fact of life – and inept Palestinian leaders making one stupid decision after another. The younger generation is also keen to modernize and understands that Israeli investment could create desperately needed jobs. A second and especially powerful factor is fear of Iran: Arab leaders were appalled by the Obama Administration’s policy of acquiescing to a nuclear Iran – and shocked that it would encourage that country to play a larger role in the Mideast, especially since Shia Iran encouraged rifts in Arab countries between the Sunni majorities and Shia minorities. The third factor is concern over Turkey’s growing influence and what is perceived as a “neo-Ottoman” agenda. American Conservative reports that while it’s probably not realistic for Turkey to recreate the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has been using both troops and soft power influence to build a new sphere of influence. A notable example is the Turkish food and military aid that has helped Qatar withstand for three years the blockade imposed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt. Turkey has also been sending humanitarian aid to Yemen, presenting itself as a Muslim power more ethical than the UAE and Saudi Arabia – while in fact angling for control of strategic Yemeni ports in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Turkey has been accused of using its humanitarian flights as cover for providing weapons and advisors to Yemeni militants linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, but Turkey disputes that. At any rate, the UAE understandably wants to bolster its position against Iran and Turkey – and to those ends, good relations with Israel will help.
NEW DETAILS ON RUSSIAGATE
Russiagate has been discussed ad nauseam and readers may wonder if there’s anything left to uncover. Well, there is indeed a new twist. Fox News reports that Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has declassified documents showing that former CIA Director John Brennan briefed then-President Obama that Russian intelligence thought Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign proposal to distract the public from her private unsecured email server scandal by linking Donald Trump to Russia. In other words, Russia says the Clinton campaign invented Russiagate, and Obama knew about it. Previous reporting on the Steele dossier by Leftist media initially portrayed it as a genuine Russian intelligence file on Trump. Real journalists dug deeper and uncovered issues with its veracity: The Steele dossier was actually a compilation of reports from various Russian and Ukrainian sources, paid for by a law firm tied to the Clinton campaign. It had been thought or assumed that Christopher Steele had been taken in by a Russian operation to disrupt the presidential election, but there now is evidence that the CIA was aware of an allegation the Clinton campaign hatched the plot, that Obama was briefed on the allegation, and that the CIA referred the matter to the FBI for investigation. DNI Ratcliffe says the allegation is not Russian disinformation, but he cautions the US intelligence community does not know if the allegation itself is accurate – which is why Brennan’s CIA referred the matter to then-FBI Director James Comey and then-Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok in September of 2016. Comey recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he does not recall the referral. Apparently the FBI ignored that referral and instead of investigating Clinton used the Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
To make matters even worse, the FBI recently declassified a note in the Inspector’s General report that Steele’s “Primary Sub-source was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011 that assessed his or her contacts with suspected Russian intelligence officers.” Sara Carter reports that besides being in contact with known Russian intelligence officers, the Primary Sub-source asked “people connected to incoming Obama Administration officials” about a particular American military vessel and let them know that any classified information they could provide would be paid for. The FBI neglected to inform the FISA Court about any of this. Whether Russiagate was concocted by the Clinton campaign or by Russian intelligence, Steele’s main source appears to have been a Russian agent. US Attorney John Durham is said to be investigating former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other FBI officials who misrepresented information to the FISA Court. The sources who spoke to Sara Carter raised concerns that misusing the agency to target political opponents could have been going on for some time – the attempt to oust President Trump might have been business as usual instead of an aberration.
The full depth of the corruption might never be known. True Pundit reports that Attorney General William Barr has provided de facto immunity to Barack Obama and Joe Biden by telling Department of Justice investigators to ignore evidence linking them to the coup attempt against President Trump. The sources who spoke to True Pundit did so out of frustration at having their hands tied in this manner. In fact, Obama has been protected from the beginning. When the news broke in 2015 that Hillary Clinton illegally used an unsecured private email server to conduct official business while Secretary of State, Obama claimed to know nothing about it; however, The Federalist reported in 2018 that the Inspector General had found that Obama was one of the people Clinton communicated with from her private account – and that Comey was aware of it. When Comey decided in 2016 to not prosecute Clinton for mishandling classified information, he was protecting both Clinton and Obama because prosecuting Clinton would have made Obama an accessory to her crime. Simply put: The Establishment takes care of its own. The FBI officials who were fired or allowed to resign simply moved into the private sector. James Comey reportedly received $2 million dollars for his 2018 memoir. Despite all the hoopla about US Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of Russiagate, at the time of this writing only one person, Kevin Clinesmith, has been charged with anything. Clinesmith pleaded guilty to a single charge of making a false statement (altering an email to mislead the FISA Court) in August, and his sentencing is scheduled for December 10th. It’s possible that Durham is waiting until after the election to indict more prominent people, but it’s also possible that Durham and the DOJ are simply trying to let the clock run out. If Biden wins, the investigation will probably be dropped like a hot potato.
The New York Post published an article in which a Democratic operative explained methods he has used for decades in three states. The operative is described as a “Bernie Sanders die-hard with no horse in the presidential race” who hopes that states will finally act on security problems to avert a “war coming November 3rd over this stuff.” One security problem is that ballots have no watermarks or other security features, so they can simply be photocopied and filled out as desired by operatives; the signed certificate and return envelope can’t be duplicated, so operatives collect completed ballots from unsuspecting voters, steam open the envelopes, and replace the real ballot with the counterfeit one. Sometimes mail carriers are recruited to sift ballots from the mail they collect and turn them over to operatives. Other mail carriers sometimes act on their own initiative and simply dump ballots in the trash if they work in a neighborhood known to favor a party the carrier opposes. Then there are nursing homes and assisted living facilities in which operatives pay a staff member to assist residents in filling out the ballots the way the operatives want them filled out. Homeless shelters and low-income neighborhoods provide large pools of voters who can be bribed. Another security problem is one that has gotten more publicity: Some states or jurisdictions do not require voter ID. Registered voters who often skip elections can be impersonated because their information is publicly available. If the real voter has already signed in and voted, the impersonator simply claims they made a mistake and leaves.
These techniques have been around for years. A study by the Heritage Foundation described 1,071 proven cases of voter fraud. Heritage emphasized that it was merely a sampling, not an exhaustive list. In addition to the methods above, the study mentioned people registering in multiple districts to vote multiple times in the same election, people who were not eligible to vote, and voters intimidated by those claiming to “assist” them with translation or accessibility issues.
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
The 1981 movie of that title featured Manhattan Island surrounded by a 50-foot wall and lethal booby traps to serve as a free range maximum security prison. Kurt Russell starred as a convict and ex-soldier sent into the prison to rescue the President of the United States, who was taken hostage by a gang leader there after being forced to eject from Air Force One to escape terrorists. Despite the contrived setup, the movie was well received at the box office and became a science fiction cult classic. The conditions inside the prison were a dystopian, post-apocalyptic nightmare – precisely what one would expect in a society of thugs.
It’s often said that art imitates life, but it’s equally true that life imitates art this time in current day Manhattan – which is starting to look like the gutted wasteland in the movie. When the Covid lockdowns last March forced businesses to close, large companies switched to working remotely and discovered they could operate just fine without the expensive downtown offices while many – perhaps most – small businesses that were forced to shut down may never reopen. At least half the restaurants tracked by the Yelp review website are now permanently out of businesses and theaters and museums are expected to remain closed until sometime next year. The city has had its share of Black Lives Matter protests, some peaceful while others degenerated into riots and looting sprees. In response to Leftist demands Mayor de Blasio slashed a billion dollars from the police budget even as crime skyrocketed – and now plans to lay off police officers, teachers, trash collectors, and emergency workers. High income residents are fleeing in droves.
The American Conservative reports that as of May the wealthiest residential areas have seen their populations decrease by at least 40%. More people have left since then, and they are unlikely to return. They are finding that life outside New York in areas with less crime and lower taxes suits them just fine. Governor Andrew Cuomo is practically begging them to return because the city and state desperately need the tax revenue. The top 1% of New York City taxpayers pay nearly 50% of personal income taxes collected -- and personal income tax accounts for 59% of all revenue. Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t appear to have gotten the memo as he’s calling for higher taxes on fewer and fewer people, which will likely spur the exodus even more. The people remaining are increasingly those who don’t have the means to leave. New York City has the largest homeless population of any American city, while the number of New Yorkers living below the poverty line would form America’s 7th largest city. More than 400,000 people live in public housing, and another 235,000 receive rent assistance. How New York will deal with its budget shortfall remains to be seen. More riots are a safe bet – not about alleged police brutality, but slashed welfare benefits instead.
And it’s not just New York. It’s widely reported that people are also fleeing California, Illinois and other Blue States and jurisdictions. Reasons cited include astronomical housing costs, high taxes, and out of control left-wing politics. California has seen more people move out of the state than move in for eight years in a row; the total population has not yet dropped because so far the birth rate has made up the difference. Top destinations for these refugees are Florida and Texas – both states that do not have personal income tax.
During the 1960s much ink was spilled pondering the traits of successful presidents. Political scientists initially focused on “Presidential Character,” i.e., the need for Presidents to have both a clear vision of what they wanted to accomplish and the skill and determination to pursue their goals – but that was before Watergate brought moral and character to the fore. Although close observers will rightfully object that Nixon’s fall from grace was orchestrated by Mark Felt – the Acting FBI Director who went rogue after being passed over for the top FBI slot – yet the fact remains that Felt succeeded in deposing Nixon by exploiting his flaws.
By any measure, Joe Biden fails the Presidential Character test miserably on both counts. The vision that Biden’s campaign presents to voters is largely dictated by what his handlers think is popular with voters. For example, Biden initially supported the allegedly peaceful protests, ignoring Antifa terrorists while supporting Black Lives Matter. But that was until polls showed that his support for Antifa and BLM was hurting his election prospects: When the polls showed a majority of Americans wanted the rioting to stop and opposed defunding funding police departments, though with better accountability, Biden did an abrupt about face. An ongoing poll by Civiqs shows that net public support for Black Lives Matter peaked on June 4th and has fallen ever since, will doubtless dampen Biden’s previous enthusiasm for BLM even further.
Interestingly, the Black Lives Matter organization’s Marxist foundation – discussed in last month’s Nightwatch – doesn’t appear to bother Biden or his handlers. It’s the dismal poll numbers they find alarming.
As for Biden’s moral flaws, whispers of sexual perversion that have recently seeped out beyond the Beltway have dogged Biden in DC for decades. Videos of Biden sniffing and groping women – and prepubescent girls – now litter the Internet. One of Biden’s own staffers accused him of digitally raping her in his Senate office building in 1993. Complaints that Biden delights in sexually harassing female Secret Service agents assigned to his protective detail were made public in 2014 when Ronald Kessler published The First Family Detail. The online news site Gateway Pundit reported that a Secret Service agent was suspended for a week in 2009 for shoving the Vice President after Biden “cupped his girlfriend’s breast while the couple was taking a photo with him, and that other agents had to step in “to prevent the agent from hitting the then-Vice President.” Judicial Watch now reports that the Secret Service appears to have indirectly confirmed the incident: Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act request for information on the incident was denied on the grounds that the relevant file had been destroyed in accordance with document retention standards. The Secret Service did not deny the incident happened; it simply claims to no longer have documentation of it.
That said, many might consider Biden’s character a moot point due to his obvious cognitive decline. Washington Free Beacon reports that in recent interviews Biden appears to have read his answers from a teleprompter, including instructions such as “end quote” and “topline message.” This comes after a series of appearances in which Biden has appeared to lose his train of thought and struggled to finish sentences. A former White House stenographer who worked with Biden from 2011 to 2017 says Biden “doesn’t seem to have the same mental acuity as he did four years ago” and is “a different guy” – even his pace of speaking has changed. While Biden has always had a tendency to ramble a bit and go off script in public, he used to have a knack for connecting with his audience and speaking from the hip that is no longer evident. Clearly Joe Biden will not be able to handle the demands of the Presidency.
If the Democrats win the election, either Biden will be eased out of office under the 25th Amendment – and replaced as President by Kamala Harris – or as with President Wilson after suffering a stroke in 1919, unknown handlers will make all the decisions for him.
That the Democrats would insist on running a candidate so obviously unfit for office is more than mind boggling. The fact that they’re willing to entrust America’s 6000 or so nuclear weapons to a pervert struggling with senility is incomprehensible.
EVER GROWING CHALLENGES IN THE ARCTIC
The frozen Arctic rarely comes up in everyday conversation, but its importance to the world’s security is increasing steadily. The Arctic Institute and High North News report that Russia, China, and the US are all eager to exploit Arctic resources and are rapidly increasing their infrastructure there to do so.
Russia’s coastline spans about half the Arctic Circle. As the ice in the Circle lessens, the Northern Sea Route’s importance for cargo shipping increases, as it will permit merchant ships to cut at least ten days off the voyage between Europe and Asia – and for that reason, Russia is expanding its commercial and military infrastructure along the Arctic coastline. The US has raised concerns about the increased military fortifications, especially with regard to new air defense bases and missile systems, but so far the level of military activity there appears lower than it was during the Cold War. In the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russia allowed military activities there to lapse, probably from a lack of resources. Part of the reason the for now-resumed build up is that much of Russia’s oil and natural gas production is within the Arctic, but the greater reason is probably Putin’s ongoing effort to modernize his country’s defense capabilities. It’s worth noting from a security viewpoint that Russia previously carried out many far north military exercises with Norway, France, the UK, and the US that enhanced cooperation between Russia and NATO; unfortunately those exercises have been on hold since the Ukraine crisis in 2014. Nonetheless, the US does recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in the region and does appreciate Russia’s cooperation in the Arctic Council on pollution and oil spill response issues.
Since China’s closest territory to the Arctic is actually about 900 miles away from it, China has literally bought influence there by investing in other countries’ infrastructure. It began with joint research stations and moved into commercial ventures. Because US sanctions caused Western companies to bail out of partnerships with Russian companies, China has stepped up to partner with Russia on Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects and pipelines as well as financing some of the new Russian ports along the NSR. China has also invested in an LNG Canada project in Northern British Columbia as well as a nickel mine in northern Quebec. A Hong Kong company has taken over an iron ore mine in Greenland, while a Chinese company experienced in mountainous terrain is involved with bridge projects in central and Northern Norway. Another Chinese company is working with an Icelandic company to explore for oil off Iceland’s northeast coast, and Chinese shipbuilders are now marketing heavy polar icebreakers – the design developed with a Finnish company – and China has 2 icebreakers of its own conducting research in the Arctic. These are only a few examples.
Although Denmark has expressed concern that some Chinese communications and space observation research have dual civilian and military applications, Europeans seem to view China as a valuable trading partner. President Trump was ridiculed in 2019 for (perhaps jokingly) suggesting the US should purchase Greenland from Denmark, but it’s all right for China to purchase critical infrastructure piecemeal. China’s declaration of itself as a “Near-Arctic State” raises eyebrows, but its economic power has brought it Observer status in the Arctic Council since 2013.
In contrast, American Arctic policy appears to be more of a reaction to the other countries instead of crafting a new vision. Russia has 38 active icebreakers, so the US wants to develop a fleet of polar icebreakers by 2029.
The US currently has 2 – one heavy and one medium. A third icebreaker is under construction, but it won’t be ready for service until 2025. Russia’s new icebreaker, the Ivan Papanin, is designed to carry cruise missiles, so the US wants to “adequately arm” its future icebreakers. Russia has nuclear icebreakers escorting commercial ships along the Northern Sea Route, so the US wants nuclear icebreakers too – apparently for no other reason than the Russians have them. Canada, Japan, Sweden, Norway, and Finland have their own icebreakers and are not requesting assistance here.
The US has had a presence in the Kingdom of Denmark’s frozen territory since the end of World War 2, but China’s acquisition of a mine in Greenland – and attempts to acquire other properties there – prompted the US to offer a $12.1 million aid package to Denmark’s autonomous territory and to reopen the consulate in Greenland’s capital. The aid package will fund energy and resource development and rural sustainable development – and the consulate will no doubt help US intelligence keep an eye on the Chinese there. The US hopes the aid will “jumpstart” a new beginning for the US to “become the partner of choice for Arctic states.” From the look of things, the US has a lot of catching up to do.
RUSSIA/CHINA WAR GAMES
Nikkei Asian Review reports that as tension grows between the US and its two rivals, Russia and China are increasing their joint military exercises. The latest is this year’s International Army Games, an annual contest organized by the Russian Defense Ministry that will include about 30 countries and combines traditional military drills with competitions, e.g., a tank biathlon. Russia and China have conducted multiple joint naval drills every year since 2012 and initiated strategic bomber patrols in July 2019. China is also participating more in Russia’s annual strategic exercises. These war games allow China to learn from Russia’s greater combat experience while Russia learns about Chinese military technology – China has surpassed Russia in several areas, such as long-range unmanned aerial drones. The exercises also help personnel get used to working with each other on the battlefield. Although both countries are members of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization – a quasi military alliance – Russia and China have not yet entered into a formal bilateral military pact, but it’s more than plausible to assume the two countries will one day want or need to conduct a joint military operation. The example offered to the reporter was that of a conflict in Central Asia threatening the interests of both Russia and China, but it doesn’t take much imagination to think of other scenarios targeting an overextended and outdated US military. Although President Trump made a determined effort to lure Russia away from China, it’s by now apparent that his gambit failed. Our two main rivals are moving closer rather than apart – and that’s bad news for the United States.
IRAN UNDER ATTACK?
The Times of Israel and the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis (MECRA) report that Iran suffered fifteen explosions and fires between June 26th and July 19th. Locations include industrial complexes, power plants, petrochemical plants, a medical center, a possible missile production site and a nuclear enrichment facility. A few might be accidents – Iranian infrastructure is under severe pressure from US sanctions, and a power plant fire was plausibly blamed on an exploding transformer – but others are suspected acts of sabotage or cyberattack. It is not publicly known who is responsible, although there is widespread speculation that Israel is behind them – possible retaliation for a May cyberattack on its water system that tried to increase the level of chlorine or other chemicals in the water. Israel blamed Iran for that – and had it succeeded, hundreds of people would have been sickened and/or thousands would have been left without water during a heat wave due to a safety shut off. The Israelis regarded the cyberattack as a significant escalation, because it targeted civilian infrastructure – something both Iran and Israel have previously avoided. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz responded to the speculation by saying, “Not every event that happens in Iran is connected to us,” but added that he did “not refer to any individual event.” Other media outlets cited unnamed sources claiming that while Israel was not responsible for all the incidents, it was responsible for the explosion at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site that destroyed some centrifuges. An Iranian news outlet has since announced that the Natanz explosion was caused by a bomb planted by a contractor named Ershad Karimi; the motive was not given, and cynics might be forgiven for considering him a fall guy to save face for the authorities.
While blaming Israel seems to be the default reaction in the Middle East, it’s not without reason. The 2010 Stuxnet worm that caused considerable damage to Iran’s nuclear program is thought by malware experts to be a joint project between the US and Israel. Other nation states with the resources to conduct such attacks would include Russia and China, but both of those countries have been working with Iran on trade and development deals. It’s not likely they would sabotage an ally in their efforts to undermine the US.
Interestingly, there is also speculation that some of the sabotage is a domestic attempt to tarnish President Rouhani’s public image, citing hundreds of fires across the country since March. There has been a great deal of tension in the Iranian Parliament between Rouhani’s moderate reformist group and the more conservative members on how to deal with the pandemic and with severe economic problems as well. There has even been an attempt to pass a no confidence motion. Curiously, once Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei blocked the motion the number of fires and explosions fell off significantly.
Coincidence? The next presidential election is scheduled in May 2021 – so we shall see if the explosions and fires resume then.
MULTICULTURALISM: NORMALIZING RAPE
Nightwatch readers have probably already heard claims by the extreme Left that it’s impossible for Whites to be victimized by minorities. Gatestone Institute reports that blaming women – White women, that is – for being raped is now suddenly back in style across the West. In Europe, White women who report rape by Muslims to the police are often accused of being racists both by the police and by “Progressives” in their communities. Britain has gotten the most publicity since the exposure of Pakistani grooming gangs in Rotherham, but it’s also happening in Germany, Austria, Norway and Sweden – all countries that have accepted large numbers of Muslim migrants for humanitarian reasons, but have since allowed the criminals among them to run wild. Unni Wikan, a female professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, has been quoted as saying, “Women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men find their clothes provocative. She also said, “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.” Over and over again rape victims have been told to not go out alone, to dress less provocatively, to dye their blonde hair a darker color. In other words, Western women should be dressing and behaving like Muslim women from the stricter sects. In the past immigrants were expected to adapt to their new culture; now the West is telling its citizenry to adapt to the immigrants instead.
A Multicultural society that adapts itself to Muslim newcomers will not remain Multicultural for long. It will – in effect, if not in belief – become an extension of the Muslim culture. Any Westerners expecting Muslim immigrants to adapt to the West are deluding themselves. As Nightwatch discussed in April 2019, Prof. Ruud Koopmans of the Berlin Social Science Center concluded after twenty years of studying assimilation that Muslim migrants are far more resistant to integration than other migrant groups due to the fundamentalist interpretation of Islam prevalent among them. Koopmans acknowledged there were Muslim individuals who had integrated into Western society, but his study showed these individuals were unusual. The greater the number of Muslim migrants in an area, the more the Muslims clung to their traditional attitudes. Unfortunately, this includes the attitude that non-Muslim women are whores who can be abused without repercussion.
It should be noted that moderate Muslims have issued similar warnings. Breitbart reported in 2016 and in 2017 that Dr. Bassam Tibi – a Syrian Muslim who moved to Germany at the age of 18 and later became a German citizen – roundly criticized the German government for its handling of the migrant crisis. Dr. Tibi said that the West needs to be more careful which migrants it admits to avoid “economic migrants” forming “parallel societies” in large cities. Some migrants come to the West expecting to be given luxurious lifestyles at taxpayer expense – and when the reality doesn’t meet their expectations, they lash out. Dr. Tibi stated the obvious, observing that rape is a weapon of war and of vengeance. In his view the Muslim migrants raping German women do so to not only humiliate the women but also the German men who have failed to protect them. Dr. Tibi contends that the German police’s “fear of the racist accusation” is greater than their fear of a decline in public order or safety – which leads migrants to view police as wimps. His comments about the German police can also be said about the police in other Western countries as well – the police who refuse to circulate descriptions of rapists, who tell women not to go out alone, and who tell blonde women to dye their hair are either unable or unwilling to protect female citizens from attack. Their unwillingness to protect the public encourages the perpetrators to commit more attacks – especially since many of these rapes were coordinated attacks by gangs, not random crimes of opportunity.
It should be obvious that changing a non-Muslim Western woman’s clothes doesn’t change the fact that she is a non-Muslim Westerner. Dr.Tibi’s description of rape as a weapon of war is true around the world and throughout history. From the very beginning of militant Islam, Muslim warriors have been allowed to attack infidels and to keep captured goods, women, and children as their own property. This is in fact the religious justification that the Islamic State used to keep Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves and that its West African offshoot Boko Haram used to kidnap Nigerian Christian girls. The fundamentalist Muslim rapists see themselves as honorable men taking what is their due. The Western authorities who shrug it off and blame the victims are throwing women’s hard won rights under the bus – surrendering not to Muslim migrants, but to Muslim colonists instead.
The appalling reality is that European political leaders have deliberately and self-consciously chosen to sacrifice their women and surrender their countries to sustain their Multiculturalist Delusion.
When rioters set fire to St. John’s Episcopal Church on May 31st, it made headlines because of the church’s proximity to the White House. Other church burnings since then have received little attention in the Mainstream Media (MSM). Daily Wire and The Federalist report that on the July 11th weekend at least four Catholic churches in four states were vandalized and burned. In addition there have been other incidents in which statues of the Virgin Mary and saints have been vandalized. When activists such as Shaun King called for the destruction of all art depicting Jesus and Mary as White Europeans on the grounds that the art is a tool of white supremacy and oppression, it was all but certain that rioters already toppling statues deemed racist would move on to desecrate churches. King – who is White, but spent decades passing as Black – is apparently fine with African, Asian, and Indian art depicting Jesus as a member of those respective ethnic groups; it’s only the depiction of a White Jesus that he has a problem with.
And then on August 1st, videos and photos began circulating on social media of rioters in Portland, Oregon burning a stack of Bibles in front of the federal courthouse. This wanton act of blasphemy was ignored by the Mainstream Media, which is still peddling the narrative that the rioters are merely peaceful protesters demanding racial justice. The reality is that the Black Lives Matter and Antifa groups are attacking American society itself, including its Christian foundations. Gatestone Institute reports that a recent survey shows over two-thirds of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement – which raises serious questions of how much Americans know about the organization. Two of the three BLM founders are self-proclaimed “trained Marxists.”
BLM began in 2013, ostensibly as an effort to seek justice for Blacks. It now has nearly forty chapters and thousands of activists in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. In BLM’s view, Blacks are permanent victims of systemic racism, so the only way to fix that is to completely dismantle American society – and presumably also Canadian and British societies – and replace it with a Marxist one.
The “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” is to be replaced with villages “that collectively care for one another”. The police and prisons are to be abolished because policing supposedly began as slave patrols. Heterosexual privilege is to be dismantled in order to uplift Black transgender people. Capitalism is to be abolished because it is supposedly inherently racist or “patriarchal” and replaced with a Marxist conomy and collective ownership. And of course Christianity is “a tool of oppression” – a modern rewording of Marx’s “opiate of the masses.”
As for equality and racial justice, what BLM actually promotes is Black Supremacy. The plan is to exacerbate racial tensions because inner city Blacks are a “natural force” of rebellion to lead the fight against capitalism. The fight is literal as well as figurative: The leader of the Greater New York chapter has informed the media that BLM is developing a trained militia modeled on the Black Panthers. Ironically, the Marxist organizer widely credited as the “grandfather” of BLM and the mentor of BLM founder Patrice Cullors is none other than Eric Mann, a former member of the Weather Underground. Mann knew perfectly well what he was starting and actively encouraged it. The only thing that stopped him from starting BLM himself was his race: Mann is White.
A BARELY ACKNOWLEDGED THREAT
Forbes reports that China has developed the ability to conduct a first-strike Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack on the US – and the ability to withstand an in-kind retaliatory strike. The EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security says that China used stolen US technology to develop a network of satellites, high-speed missiles, and super-EMP weapons capable of taking down America’s electric grid, frying communications, and even destroying aircraft carriers. Chinese military doctrine has already incorporated scenarios using high altitude weapons to conduct a surprise EMP attack on the US. It should be noted that Russia, North Korea, and Iran can also carry out less sophisticated but nonetheless devastating EMP attacks.
The EMP Task Force emphasizes the danger from China because it appears to have a system already in place and because China is becoming more aggressive globally. The June border clashes in the Himalayas between China and India were quickly dropped by the media, but the region is still a powder keg and has been since the 1962 Sino-Indian War when China successfully seized the Aksai Chin region from India. The media similarly downplays China’s territory grabbing in the South China Sea. Crippling the US would remove the largest impediment to China’s ambitions, so any Americans scoffing at the notion of China taking down the US – such as Joe Biden – need a serious wake up call. China spends about the same percentage of its GDP on its military as the US does and has impressive results to show for it, e.g. a new generation of nuclear subs, the DF-21 missile that can take out satellites as well as ships, and rocket launch vehicles capable of carrying twenty warheads.
The stark reality is that a single small, high altitude EMP burst could knock out the power grid for approximately half the US; two would thrust the entire country back to, roughly, 1850 – but without the steam infrastructure of that era. According to experts, if that were to happen an estimated 90 percent of the population would die within the first year from starvation and disease.
The dangers posed by an EMP attack have been well known since at least the 1980s, but little effort has been made to harden the power grid against it. President Trump did sign an executive order last year, instructing federal agencies to identify needed measures and to implement them.
But that’s just a start. There’s still a long, long way to go.
Although no one seems willing to address the issue, the frustration and anger resulting from the months-long Covid-19 lockdown unquestionably contributed to the explosive protests and riots that rocked the nation after the death of George Floyd. Had The Powers That Be been paying attention, they would have noticed the peaceful but escalating protests on the Internet. One of them was the proliferation of female nudity.
Female nudity as a form of protest has a long and colorful history. According to legend, the 11th century Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry to protest a burdensome tax levied by her husband, the Earl of Mercia. She asked her husband several times to lift the tax, but he refused until one day – annoyed by her repeated requests – he challenged her to ride through the town unclothed. She called his bluff and made the ride, so he granted the people tax relief. Many historians consider the tale apocryphal because the oldest known written account was made two centuries after the event was supposed to have taken place by a suspect chronicler, but Lady Godiva was an historical figure known for her charitable acts. Whether she actually made her famous ride or not, breaking the taboo of public nudity has since become firmly established as a means of feminine protest.
Men also violate the taboo occasionally and often more aggressively. The New York Post reported last April that a tip hotline set up for New York City residents to turn each other in for social distancing violations was flooded with photos of extended middle fingers and male genitalia. The hotline had to be shut down briefly to clear out these photos along with texts of profane suggestions and memes depicting Mayor de Blasio as Hitler; the restored hotline still required vetting procedures before tips could be passed on to local police departments.
But public nudity as a means of protest is occasionally both tasteful and strikingly effective. The New York Post also reported that German and French healthcare workers posted nude photos of themselves on the internet – using strategically placed medical equipment or books – to protest the lack of masks and other proper personal protection gear. Reuters reported that Russian restaurant and bar workers have posted similar nude photos to protest their loss of employment during the lockdown while supermarkets were allowed to remain open; as of June 1st Russian restaurants are still closed even though hair salons and shopping malls are reopening. Closer to home, the online Reddit community of Nude Selfies – created for women with exhibitionist tendencies in 2016 – was briefly flooded with posts captioned by often caustic banners protesting the virus lockdown. Interestingly, the protest photographs were often more artful and skillfully done than others posted for prurient reasons alone.
AND THE MORE VIOLENT SORT
Links between sex and violence are well established but not well understood. In his book Civilization and its Discontents, Sigmund Freud controversially theorized that civilization required its members to repress their sexual and aggressive instincts to maintain social order, and that those repressed instincts could cause neuroses. In his view, psychotherapy should help poorly adapted neurotics develop more effective means of dealing with the demands society placed upon them.
Though doubtless true in part, Freud’s work was later misrepresented during the ‘50s and ‘60s to present sex as the solution to all the world’s problems. Peace activists popularized the slogan “Make Love Not War” in the misguided belief that aggression could be defused by freely available and uninhibited sex. The smarter activists probably knew better, and were exploiting a distorted version of Freud to undermine Western civilization by liberating sex from traditional legal, moral and even biological restrictions through birth control. In the process, they turned Freud’s theory on its head: Rather than helping the maladapted to better adjust to the demands of society, they sought to change society to accommodate the maladapted.
The reality is that sex, the threat of violence, and actual violence often go hand in hand. The nude Covid-19 protests were soon followed by in person gatherings with armed protesters, as it became clear the US death tolls were a fraction of what had been predicted – due to faulty prediction models, not to the efficacy of social distancing and lockdowns. Michigan in particular made international news on April 30th when armed protesters gathered inside the Michigan Capitol building while the legislature was in session. Per the Guardian, police allowed them in because it is legal to openly carry firearms in the state Capitol. The Michigan lockdown was acknowledged as the most severe in the country, and protesters claimed with good reason that it violated their constitutional rights. No shots were fired, but the implicit threat ruffled a lot of leftwing feathers. Despite the wide reporting about the faulty Covid-19 models, the Left continued to insist that the frustrated people who wanted to end the lockdowns and go back to work were selfish grandma killers.
Then on May 25th, a Black man named George Floyd died while after being restrained by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit bill. The White officer filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes has been charged with second degree murder – i.e., not premeditated – while the other three officers involved have been charged with aiding and abetting the same.
The subsequent Black Lives Matter protests were at first peaceful, echoing the “I can’t breathe” chants after the 2014 death of Eric Garner in custody of New York police. They were quickly followed by vandalism and riots in Minneapolis, which were soon followed by violent upheavals in other major US cities, including Washington, DC. Several states called out National Guard units, and President Trump asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper for plans to deploy military police if needed. The same Leftists calling for continued virus lockdowns suddenly decided it was all right to leave home to protest; apparently it’s okay to kill Grandma if it furthers a Leftist cause. Having gutted or looted hundreds of businesses – many and perhaps most of which were minority-owned – the protesters in Minneapolis are now calling to defund police departments.
What looks like a chaotic burst of insanity has components that should be picked out and analyzed.
The Black Lives Matter protests allow Blacks and Guilty White Liberals to vent, but they are done in a way that divides the public and ensures that nothing will be done to improve conditions. The protests focus on Black victims of police brutality while ignoring victims of other races. People who want to address police excesses across the board are quickly sidelined and ignored in favor of the BLM narrative and claims that White Supremacy’s at fault. Nothing changes, outrages still occur from time to time and nationwide street protests follow.
In Minneapolis the BLM protests were quickly hijacked by often well organized vandals, looters, and arsonists. Andy Ngo and other independent journalists reported this pattern was repeated in the other cities: Whites clad in black began smashing storefront windows and encouraged bystanders to do the same. After the crowd smashed and looted the businesses, the mysterious black clad provocateurs started fires with chemical accelerants in what appeared to be professionally executed arson attacks, and in some cities they identified as Antifa – militant Communist thugs dedicated to what they euphemistically call “direct action.”
As noted above, the burnt out businesses included small proprietorships owned by Blacks as well as others owned by major chains such as Target and Walmart. Residents of the worst hit neighborhoods now have nowhere to buy groceries and other supplies, a fact that has caused them additional hardship. The ease with which the crowds were incited to riot and loot suggests a great deal of pent up frustration with both the virus lockdowns and police misconduct, while credible intelligence sources also report that Russia, China, and Iran ramped up their cyber ops during this period with fake social media accounts that amplified calls for violence and insurrection; it’s a safe bet these countries are also helping fund the provocateurs as part of their continuing efforts to destabilize the US. That rioters in DC attacked the Supreme Court and Treasury buildings and menaced the White House was hardly coincidental.
At the time of this writing, the organized provocateurs apparently chose to leave rather than square off against National Guardsmen. Demonstrations continue with some police – and even FBI – units kneeling in solidarity with the protesters. Such submissiveness might help calm the immediate situation, but it makes the authorities look weak and undoubtedly emboldens future protesters. Photos circulating on social media of Guilty White Liberals prostrating themselves before Black protesters are widening the racial divide, not narrowing it. The situation remains volatile as the states are only now coming out of lockdown, with record unemployment combined with record business bankruptcies – not to mention the miserable condition of the poor souls whose lives and livelihoods were destroyed by the lockdowns or the riots.
And criminals that looted their own neighborhood businesses and twerked in front of the burning buildings are still there, waiting for the next spark.
CHINESE PROPAGANDA IN AMERICA: BUYING THE MSM
Chinese propaganda is not limited to social media. Daily Caller reports that China has paid American newspapers nearly $19 million over the past four years to publish an inserted supplement called “China Watch” written by China Daily, an English language newspaper controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. The supplement is designed to look like regular news, but it’s written with such a strong pro-Beijing slant that it is indeed propaganda. For example, one piece claimed that US tariffs on Chinese lumber would raise the cost of building homes in the US, clearly an attempt to turn the public against the Trump Administration’s tariffs. The newspapers paid by China Daily include Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, and Boston Globe. The Justice Department has long required China Daily to file Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) reports. The most recent filing on June 1st is the first to detail payments to American papers and covers the period between November 2016 and April 2020, but it’s not known how accurate the numbers really are. They appear to indicate that advertising expenditures have slowed since last December.
But Chinese propaganda isn’t limited to print alone. Daily Caller also reports that PBS affiliates are airing a documentary produced in conjunction with CGTN, another Chinese state-controlled media outlet that is registered as a foreign agent with the Justice Department. The documentary, “Voices from the Frontline: China’s War on Poverty,” praises President Xi Jinping and claims that China’s economic development over the last forty years has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty. The credits show it was produced by “The Kuhn Foundation and PBS SoCal in association with CGTN,” but the program does not mention that CGTN is controlled by the Chinese government or that producer Robert Lawrence Kuhn has worked with Chinese leaders for over thirty years – or that Kuhn has been awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal for his efforts. He recently appeared on CGTN to praise China’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak for its transparency and success in containing new diseases – a view decidedly not shared by the health experts and government officials around the world, who have roundly criticized China for providing false information about the outbreak and allowing it to spread to other countries. Other PBS affiliates have either shown the documentary or plan to do so soon. PBS SoCal provided Daily Caller with a press release for the documentary but did not respond to a list of questions. It’s worth noting that PBS SoCal received over $5 million in federal funding last year – which means that US tax dollars were spent, directly or indirectly, in support of Chinese propaganda. This type of malfeasance is but one of many reasons conservatives want to end government funding for the PBS corporation.
MALTA: A BASE FOR CHINESE ESPIONAGE?
The Guardian reports there are suspicions that China is using Malta to spy on Belgium and the European Union. China has been pursuing various cooperation agreements with Malta for several years. One such agreement led to China donating furniture and equipment to the Maltese embassy in Brussels in 2007. Belgium’s internal security service later confirmed it had investigated the possibility that the furniture had been bugged for espionage purposes, but insisted that no evidence of espionage activity had been found. The Maltese government stated the furniture had been scanned before installation and that 80% of it has since been replaced anyway. There are, however, other concerns: In 2014 Malta became the first European country to sign a memorandum of understanding with China on its Belt and Road Initiative, and the state-owned Shanghai Electric Power soon bought a 33% stake in Enemalta, a Maltese energy company. As Nightwatch has previously discussed, China is using such investments to gain financial control over smaller countries, so Malta’s days as a fully independent nation might soon be over. Wealthy Chinese citizens have also been taking advantage of Malta’s golden visa program, which confers Maltese residency in exchange for investing in Maltese government bonds. The residency allows the holder to travel freely throughout the EU’s Schengen Area. Given the Chinese propensity for using its nationals to collect information on their travels, this travel privilege provides a significant advantage to its “citizen spies.” Although the EU has reportedly complained to Malta that it needs guard against the abuse of the golden visa program, Malta has yet to make any changes.
FLYNN WAS SET UP
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to the FBI about contacts with the Russian ambassador prior to President Trump’s inauguration. The Federalist explains that his sentencing was delayed as then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller said he was cooperating with the commission. After the Special Counsel’s office was closed, however, Flynn fired his Covington & Burling attorneys and replaced them with Sidney Powell, a critic of the Mueller investigation. Powell filed motions seeking dismissal of the indictment for prosecutorial misconduct and seeking documents the government had improperly withheld. Judge Sullivan denied the motions and set a new sentencing date. The prosecutor then filed a supplemental sentencing memorandum to reverse the government’s recommendation for a reduced sentence -- apparently because Flynn refused to testify at a former business partner’s trial that he knew their FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) filing was inaccurate or fraudulent. Powell promptly filed three motions to withdraw Flynn’s guilty plea based on the government’s breach of the plea agreement, on prosecutorial misconduct, and on claims that Flynn’s Covington attorneys had provided him with ineffective counsel due to a conflict of interest. Judge Sullivan delayed sentencing again and directed Covington to provide material related to the ineffective counsel claims. Soon after this Attorney General William Barr appointed the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen, to review the government’s handling of Flynn’s prosecution.
Now Just the News reports that the review has produced new evidence showing Flynn was indeed set up by the FBI. Memos and text messages reveal the FBI had “no derogatory” evidence against Flynn and planned to close the case with a briefing. Peter Strzok intervened, telling the case manager to keep it open. Strzok and another agent interviewed Flynn on January 24, 2017, and that interview is what the government used against Flynn to obtain his guilty plea. Notes written by Strzok’s supervisor William Priestap express concerns by Priestap that the FBI was approaching Flynn too aggressively and would be seen by the White House as “playing games.” Priestap’s notes even ask, “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Text messages between Strzok and Lisa Page show that Priestap went to then-Director James Comey and then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe with his concerns, but Comey and McCabe wanted the interview to proceed. It’s worth noting that Strzok did not show Flynn any transcripts to refresh his memory and that Strzok downplayed the nature of the interview to Flynn so Flynn would not think it necessary to have an attorney present. This was at best an entrapment scheme and the case against Flynn should be thrown out of court. As to why the FBI targeted Flynn, there has been widespread speculation that’s it’s either revenge because Flynn antagonized the Obama Administration by opposing their policies – such as the Iran nuclear deal – or because they wanted to sabotage President Trump by depriving him of an experienced National Security Advisor who would help him get the DC agencies back in line and reverse disastrous Obama Administration policies – such as the Iran nuclear deal. The reality is the FBI considers itself to be the Praetorian Guard, whose primary mission is to protect the Establishment rather than the nation.
Update: On May 7th it was widely reported that the Department of Justice had decided to drop the case against Flynn. US Attorney Jensen concluded “the proper and just course was to dismiss the case” because the FBI had no “legitimate investigative basis” to conduct the January 2017 interview. Attorney General Barr agreed with the recommendation, and a motion was accordingly filed to dismiss the case with prejudice. At the time of this writing, Judge Sullivan has not yet ruled on the motion. In fact he has taken the unusual step of appointing an amicus curiae to present arguments in opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss. Evidently His Honor is irritated by the DOJ’s behavior and intends to put them through the wringer for it. Interestingly, lead prosecutor Brandon Van Grack has withdrawn from the case; he did not give a reason, but prosecutors have withdrawn from cases before to protest actions of their superiors. On top of all that nearly 2000 former DOJ employees have signed a petition circulated by the Leftist nonprofit Protect Democracy calling for Barr’s resignation, and high profile Democrats are having meltdowns on social media, declaring that the Rule of Law is dead if Flynn doesn’t go to jail.
BUT HILLARY GOT A FREE PASS
During the 2016 election the FBI conducted an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, unsecured server for her government emails. Then-Director James Comey held a press conference in July 2016 in which he criticized Clinton and her staff for their carelessness with classified information, but he also recommended that no charges should be brought against her.
Leftist public figures had no complaints about Clinton being allowed to skate despite her blatant disregard of security procedures and strong evidence that her server had been hacked by Chinese operatives and perhaps four other intelligence services as well. In fact Democrats criticized Comey for holding the press conference because they thought giving public attention to Clinton’s misdeeds would hurt her chances in the election. The Bureau also ignored the Rule of Law: Trending Politics reports that then-FBI General Counsel James Baker has admitted that the FBI had enough evidence to convict Clinton, but they chose not to indict her because they thought she would win the election. Baker placed their decision within the context of a dilemma: Ignoring the law was bad, but indicting an elected President before she took office was “not a good place for the country.”
Baker’s claim was disingenuous at best: The FBI had ample evidence to indict Hillary well before the election. And while that would have forced the Democrats to field a different candidate with a lesser chance of success, it wouldn’t have torn the country apart the way the Bureau’s phony counterintelligence operation against President Trump did.
Despite high profile and heavily publicized criminal arrests, the FBI is not and perhaps never has been a law enforcement agency. It is the Establishment’s Praetorian Guard; unreformed and unreformable, it poses a clear and present danger to the Republic.
COVID-19: MALPRACTICE AND FRAUD IN NY?
News Corp Australia reports that some doctors and nurses are speaking out against inappropriate medical procedures for COVID-19 patients in New York City: Specifically, the intubating of patients and placing them on closed system ventilators. The ventilators are high pressure and cause even more damage to the lungs than the virus already has, which is why so few patients survive it. It is supposed to be a last resort, yet one nurse said she saw patients who were mentally alert and able to speak coherently being intubated – in other words, patients she thought were not ill enough to warrant such a desperate measure and who might have lived if they had been given different treatment. That nurse actually used the word “murder” to describe the situation. Patients are consenting to the procedure because they don’t know any better, and they are not allowed visits under quarantine from relatives who might otherwise have been able to advocate for them. She also said patients were being left “to rot and die” because medical staff are not entering the rooms to visually assess patients and frequently make no attempt to resuscitate patients whose hearts stop working. One doctor who tried to get his hospital to change procedures was transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit to the Emergency Room. One nurse practitioner said that she had spoken to friends and colleagues in other cities; the same inappropriate treatment is happening elsewhere though apparently not on as large a scale as in New York.
It should be noted there are plenty of other treatments being discussed both through professional medical channels and through social media. Elon Musk was widely criticized in Mainstream Media for donating noninvasive CPAP and BiPAP breathing machines to New York hospitals, but he did so because the Chinese doctors he consulted told him the noninvasive equipment had yielded much better results in their experience. Use of the high pressure ventilators is being justified with the claim that the noninvasive machines might be more likely to spread the virus because they are not closed systems. Critics point out that CPAP machines cost only $500 compared to the $25,000 to $50,000 cost for ventilators -- insurance payments to the hospitals are accordingly much higher for the ventilators, raising questions about whether hospitals are pushing patients onto ventilators simply to get more money. Many doctors report they are getting excellent results with Vitamin C and cocktails of antimalarial and antiviral drugs for moderate cases. For severe cases, there is a growing consensus that death is caused by hyper-inflammation and blood clotting leading to organ failure, so corticosteroids and blood thinners are recommended additions to the treatment mix.
Project Veritas reports that New York City is also padding the COVID-19 death rates. According to one theory, they’re inflating the numbers to get more federal funding. Another theory is that medical examiners are overworked and are simply assigning COVID-19 as the cause of death when they’re too busy to do proper investigations. The experience of a woman in New York supports the latter: She convinced a state Supreme Court justice to order an autopsy for her sister because she knew her sister had died from Alzheimer’s complications and was not treated for COVID-19; the autopsy verified that COVID-19 was not involved. As a result of institutional fudging or exhausted medical examiners, it’s simply not possible to know the actual COVID-19 death rate for other similarly afflicted cities. This does not mean that COVID-19 is a hoax, but it does obscure the true scope of the problem.
New York and other hot spots aren’t the only problem: There have been widespread complaints across the US and in Italy that people dying with COVID-19 in their system are assumed to have died from it no matter what other medical conditions they also had. Off-Guardian reports that Italy’s National Institute of Health took a closer look at that country’s statistics and found that only 12% of the death certificates citing COVID-19 attributed direct causality to the virus. The other 88% of the COVID-19 deaths had at least one other pre-morbidity – e.g., cancer or heart disease – and many patients had two or three. It’s distinctly possible that these people died from those other conditions and would have done so even without the presence of the virus.
CHINESE PROPAGANDA IN OVERDRIVE
Since the coronavirus outbreak in China was first reported by international news outlets, China has fought to maintain its image. When censoring failed to hide the problem, the Chinese press emphasized the speedy construction of new hospitals devoted to COVID-19 patients. China didn’t have enough personal protection equipment for its own medical personnel at the onset, but since ending its lockdown it’s been shipping supplies around the world – on the condition that officials in recipient nations publicly praise China. Axios reports that Italy, Serbia, Mexico, and Poland all effusively thanked China in the media because they felt they wouldn’t get the supplies otherwise. In contrast, similar shipments from Germany, France, and the EU have received little publicity. China is reportedly being so pushy it might be backfiring, alienating officials who had initially welcomed the idea of working with China in a unified global response to the pandemic.
This is, of course, on top of the continuing efforts to cast doubt on Chinese origin of the coronavirus, and outrageously false claims that China bought the rest of the world time to prepare. The latter claim is an amazing act of rewriting history, considering how heavily China censored coverage in an attempt to make the situation appear normal – or at least under control – and allowed large numbers of infected people to travel to other countries and spread the virus. Instead of being praised China deserves widespread condemnation for its deceit. China’s efforts to cloud the origins of the virus go beyond talking. AFP and Yahoo News report that China has suspended beef imports from four major Australian suppliers in retaliation for Australia calling for an independent inquiry into the virus. The Chinese ambassador to Australia has told the press that it likely won’t stop there, suggesting that the Chinese public might stop buying other Australian products as well and might choose to vacation elsewhere -- in countries friendlier to China. Perhaps China is protesting too much...
The New York Post reports that China is also attempting to burnish its image abroad by officially reclassifying dogs as pets rather than livestock and by banning the breeding, trading, and consumption of wild animals. The Humane Society International praised the legislation, hoping it signaled “a game-changer moment for animal protection in China,” but the reality is that the controversial wet markets reopened after the lockdowns were lifted. As ADVChina has explained several times, local officials selectively – and often whimsically – enforce laws and regulations.
As a result, practices that are integral to Chinese life rarely change: The annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival is reportedly scheduled to begin June 21st this year – on the summer solstice as usual. The announcement of the new regulations, however, gives the appearance to the rest of the world that China is seeking to improve treatment of animals and market sanitation, and that is what most of the public will remember. Unfortunately the Humane Society’s praise reinforces the false image.
At the time of this writing, most of the US is under either a Stay-at-home or a Shelter-in-Place order. Large gatherings have been banned to stop the spread of the coronavirus – including church services. Some states have granted religious exceptions, but many local authorities claim the implementation guidelines are not clear and have therefore ordered churches to close anyway. Some churches have been holding services online, but this option is not available to everyone: One Texas pastor told ProPublica that half of his parishioners do not have internet access at home. Many pastors also say there is no substitute for in-person worship, especially in a crisis. Churches remaining open often hand out disposable gloves and encourage worshipers to sit as far apart as possible, but critics want all churches closed regardless. Louisville’s Courier Journal reported a federal judge there ordered police not to interfere with churches offering drive-in services, in which churchgoers remain in their cars and listen to the service over loudspeakers in the parking lot, but Kentucky state police recorded license plates and issued quarantine notices at Maryville Baptist Church, which defied the governor’s order and held an in-person service. Courier Journal did not know what the police planned to actually do with the license plate numbers, but those who assume this is temporary might wish to think again. The Mainstream Media has been repeating ad nauseam that Covid-19 has changed the world forever, that the world will never return to the way it was before, and that everyone needs to get used to the new normal. In other words, if Progressives and the Technocrats have their way, large group gatherings – and in-person church services – will be a thing of the past.
But Islam has apparently been given a pass. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began April 23rd, but to date the CFIS has not seen a single press report about governors or local authorities closing mosques or limiting Muslim religious services – a fact that has led President Trump to publicly wonder if anti-Christian bigotry hasn’t played a part in the church closings.
But no worries: The liquor stores are still open, and the mosques will probably be as well – and for Blue State officials, that’s what really counts.
IS IT REALLY ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH?
More than a few people believe it’s really about control, incompetence, graft, and attempts to cover it up. Last month Nightwatch mentioned that the US has a dire shortage of N95 respirator masks and that the CDC was falsely advising that most people didn’t need masks in order to keep available stocks for healthcare workers. Washington Examiner reports the shortage dates back to the Obama Administration: In 2009 the H1N1 outbreak hit the US, causing a similar mask shortage and a 2 to 3 year backlog of N95 orders. During that crisis the Strategic National Stockpile, which is administered by the Health and Human Services Department, distributed 100 million masks or about three-fourths of its inventory but failed to replenish its stockpile The HHS Secretary reported the SNS had only 12 million masks available – while the healthcare system needed an estimated 3.5 billion. The Trump Administration is now scrambling to bridge the gap. The Defense Department is expected to provide 5 million masks, and construction companies have been asked to donate their N95 masks to local hospitals. Unfortunately, as Los Angeles Times reports, the Feds are also seizing and redirecting supplies ordered by hospitals and not giving any explanation as to where they are being sent. A FEMA representative claimed the supplies were being distributed according to population size and outbreak severity, but the agency refuses to explain how the determinations are made or which places have received supplies. Low priority hospitals are frustrated by not being able to get their orders and are struggling to continue operating.
Obviously there is still a mask shortage, and the public has been left out in the cold. Fortunately there are still Americans capable of thinking for themselves with a DIY attitude. As Dr. Chris Martenson explained to the Peak Prosperity audience, everyone wearing a mask is an important key to cutting down virus transmission, and even a homemade cloth mask is better than no mask at all. Although commonly available fabrics can’t completely block viruses, they do stop some of the airborne particles released by coughs and sneezing and lower the viral load inhaled by others. Many people have shared mask tutorials on social media and have made masks for themselves, friends, and relatives. Some groups have even made masks to donate to local hospitals. The CDC has since realized that the jig is up and has reversed its position and in an effort to restore its damaged credibility is now advising people to use some sort of fabric face covering when out in public.
Another example is the widely reported dispute over Covid-19 treatments. President Trump has added the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to the Strategic National Stockpile based on early observational reports indicating the drug’s usefulness in treating Covid-19 patients. It’s not known how many US doctors are trying it, but there have been scattered reports of patients – mainly celebrities and political figures – crediting the drug with their recoveries. Due to its side effects, it’s not suitable for everyone, but formal clinical studies are underway to evaluate its effectiveness along with several other drugs and vitamin C. The dispute over hydroxychloroquine is driven in part by those who are heavily invested in developing a new vaccine and for that reason downplay treatments that are already available. Bill Gates has been highly vocal in touting a to-be-developed mandatory vaccine, complete with microchips verifying the recipient has been immunized and can therefore be released from quarantine or social distancing procedures. Per Washington Times, this is part of the Global Vaccine Action Plan – a collaboration between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. That last organization is directed by the same Dr. Anthony Fauci who is on President Trump’s coronavirus task force and who has been publicly downplaying hydroxychloroquine successes as mere anecdotes; since the task force was formed, Dr. Fauci has urged that the entire US should remain on lockdown until a vaccine is developed but Dr. Fauci has a clear conflict of interest here. It’s worth noting that New York Post reports the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding a hydroxychloroquine study that appears to be fundamentally flawed because the comparative placebo is a vitamin C pill. While the pill likely does not reach the doses used in the clinical studies of vitamin C’s effectiveness as a treatment, it still seems a bizarre choice because a placebo is supposed to be of no therapeutic value. For that reason, some believe the study is actually an attempt to discredit hydroxychloroquine and promote a vaccine that Peak Prosperity reports will take at least a year to develop if, in fact, it is even possible to do so. Compounding the problem, a disturbing number of people who initially recovered from Covid-19 have been reinfected, with their second bout being worse than the first – which suggests that exposure does not confer immunity. This same problem was noted in the 2003 SARS outbreak.
Adding insult to injury, some local authorities making the lockdown decisions don’t even have all the facts available. When Georgia Governor Brian Kemp upgraded his state’s Stay-at-Home order to Shelter-in- Place, he explained that he’d not done it sooner because it had only become known in the previous 24 hours that people without symptoms could still spread the coronavirus. A day later New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave the same excuse even though it was reported in January that asymptomatic carriers were fueling the pandemic – which was precisely why everyone should have masks. The sad fact is that most of the governors and mayors are imitating each other or taking cues from the Feds. Kudos should go to Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for refusing to shut down her low population density state and for upholding citizens’ constitutional rights. Per True Pundit, she acknowledged it might be necessary in some states but said that following a herd mentality was not leadership.
CHINA THREATENING US SHIPS AGAIN
China is now claiming to have Covid-19 under control and is easing restrictions on its populace. Their claimed infection statistics look sketchier than ever, but the country is getting back to normal – and per Washington Times, that includes asserting their claim to 90% of the South China Sea despite international court rulings that the sea is an international waterway. The same day – March 17th – that the Pacific Fleet announced on Twitter that US ships were conducting training exercises in the area, a CCP-affiliated publication called for the use of nonlethal electromagnetic and laser weapons to drive US ships away. Such weapons can jam electronics but are less likely to trigger a conflict than firing conventional weapons or attempting to ram the ships. A laser was actually used Feb. 17th on a US Navy P-8A patrol aircraft near Guam, and analysts expect China will attempt more provocative actions in the South China Sea.
DOJ OFFICIALS: GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD
RealClearInvestigations reports that what many people suspected is true: “The Justice Department regularly declines to prosecute high-ranking current and former department officials, even when its Office of Inspector General provides the grounds for it.” In 2019 the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General issued 27 reports of alleged wrongdoing – ranging from nepotism in hiring to sexual assault – but prosecution was declined in at least 12 of those cases that were criminal in nature. Many of the 27 cases were considered resolved by the resignations of the officials, which is evidently becoming increasingly common in government circles. Although this does remove offenders from office, it allows them to not only escape accountability but to use their DoJ credentials and connections to gain employment in the private sector. Most of the alleged wrongdoers are also not publicly named; former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe are notable exceptions because they both made headlines, but even they have not been prosecuted – much to the outrage of patriots who believe the conspirators who staged the failed coup against President Trump should be punished.
What’s notable about this story is that the DOJ does not extend these privileges to officials in other departments. In 2019 press releases about indictments and convictions included cases of bribery at HUD and espionage at both State and Defense. And of course Gen. Michael Flynn was charged in 2017 with making false statements to FBI agents while Andrew McCabe was not, even though the latter’s “lack of candor” was the same offense by a different name.
That Flynn was charged and McCabe was not is nakedly political – “justice” in America, as it is euphemistically called, is now selective and politically driven.
Joe Biden is also getting a free pass: His grossly inappropriate behavior with children has been ignored by the Mainstream Media for decades, despite irrefutable evidence and extensive reporting abroad. Photos and videos of Biden nuzzling young girls, sniffing their hair, and even groping them have been circulating for years. The same MSM that virulently attacked the then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over an unsubstantiated accusation of sexual assault – made by a woman unable to provide the place or the time of the alleged assault and whose four claimed witnesses denied being present – have turned a blind eye to Joe Biden. He is, after all, a Democrat – and despite his growing incoherence, their presumptive presidential nominee.
Over the past few years more reports indicate that Biden is creepy to grown women too. Ronald Kessler’s 2014 book, The First Family Detail, revealed that then-Vice President Biden liked to swim naked in front of female Secret Service agents at both his home in Delaware and the VP’s official residence in DC – but only when his wife was away. Gateway Pundit reported in 2017 that no woman was safe in Biden’s presence because he would grope them. Male agents tried to protect the female agents by standing between them and Biden or by making up reasons for the women to leave the room. They even canceled the annual Christmas party for Secret Service agents and Navy personnel assigned to protect the Biden family because Biden would grope all the women present, including the wives and girlfriends of agents. Aside from Hillary Clinton’s detail, Biden’s was considered the worst assignment an agent could draw.
Now one of Biden’s former staffers has formally accused him of sexually assaulting her in his Senate office in 1993 and filed a criminal complaint with the Washington, DC police. The staffer said that Biden touched her, kissed her, and penetrated her with his fingers – all without her consent. MSM has been virtually silent on this accusation, noting in passing that Biden’s campaign staff told Daily Caller that the accusation was false. The denial creates an interesting dichotomy because during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing in 2018, when Biden declared that all women who claim to be sexual assault victims should be believed – but as it turns out, he meant only the women who accuse Republicans should be believed. Celebrities who supported #BelieveAllWomen on social media during the Kavanaugh hearing are now dismissing the accusation against Biden as a partisan smear.
But perhaps the strangest part of the story is that the Democrats still seem to believe that their best shot at defeating President Trump in the November election is a corrupt pervert and accused sex offender who also happens to be in obvious and stark cognitive decline – which means, a vote for Joe Biden is actually a vote for… whoever is chosen as his running mate.
Pictures of bare American store shelves are now circulating on social media. Part of it is due to panicked shoppers descending en masse to stock up on toilet paper, cold remedies, and so forth, but there are other reasons. YouTuber Serpentza reports that “Daigou” traders are buying huge quantities of home medical and hygiene supplies in Western countries to resell to people in China. The Daigou post ads on WeChat showing their daily hauls of thermometers, hand sanitizer, and so forth – the genuine American articles fetch premium prices from customers who have been burned in the past by poor Chinese quality control. One of Serpentza’s commenters added that stores in Sydney, Australia have put a strict limit on how many infant formula tins a customer can buy each day because Daigou were clearing the shelves too quickly for the stores to keep up. Whether or not American stores consider following suit, the fact remains that even at the best of times stores typically carry only a three day supply of food and basic items. People who choose to rely on quick shipping – rather than a well stocked pantry – can find themselves empty handed in the current emergency because the supply chain cannot cope with the sudden surge in demand.
Another reason will soon impact American drugstore shelves. Last month Nightwatch discussed China’s control of raw ingredients to manufacture generic drugs and some vitamins – and the fact that most of these drugs are no longer manufactured in the US. Peak Prosperity reports that on March 3rd the Indian government announced export restrictions on 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulations containing them. Indian manufacturers are having trouble getting needed ingredients from China, so the government wants to keep these products in India to ensure a supply for its own people. The restricted items include Vitamins B1, B6, and B12 as well as progesterone, the antibiotic clindamycin and the common painkiller paracetamol. If the international supply chain is not restored soon, the American public will quickly face higher prices for dwindling supplies.
Equally concerning is the shortage of medical masks around the world, which is so severe that the Mainstream Media is now pleading with the public to stop buying them because there aren’t enough for healthcare workers. Peak Prosperity reports that some regional health officials are also giving erroneous guidance to the public, e.g., that masks do not give protection from viruses and that people without symptoms cannot spread the virus. While it is true that people who do not wear the masks correctly are not properly protected, health officials should try to educate them instead of telling them to go without. Pathologist Dr. Chris Martenson, for example, encourages everyone to wear a mask whether they are infected or not. It is glaringly obvious that American public health officials at all levels are unprepared to deal with the pandemic; the true number of cases will never be known because many medical centers are presumptively diagnosing based on symptoms instead of testing for Covid-19 for want of testing kits. The policy failure is staggering, and it is fueling public suspicion that the government is more interested in Medical Security Theater than in actual medical care.
At the time of this writing, it is being widely reported that hospitals in Italy have become overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases – and that outbreaks in the US resemble the situation in that country about two weeks ago. There elderly patients are being ignored, and patients suffering strokes are not receiving proper care due to lack of resources. It is likely the US will soon face the same shortages of ICU beds, ventilators, and staff. Larger American hospitals are already discussing triage guidelines, and people with pre-existing conditions will probably find themselves denied care.
Mainstream Media is also warning people that our way of life might need to change – a warning that large public events will have to be cancelled, that neighborhood lockdowns might be coming, that schools will have to conduct all classes online, and that all payments should be digital because physical money can carry viruses. The latter is deeply satisfying to the Financial Elite, which has been promoting a cashless society for many years.
Simply put, governments at the local, state or the federal level cannot handle the problem without imposing draconian restrictions on groups and individuals irrespective of the larger public interest – and to hide that fact, governments at all levels are trying to censor or discredit alternative news sources. YouTube has demonetized all videos related to Covid-19 or coronaviruses to discourage such videos from being made. Facebook and Twitter are reportedly banning or suspending users and removing related posts under the guise of fighting the spread of misinformation; as is usual in such censorship, the gatekeepers are banning first and only checking facts later if there is enough public outcry. On that basis alone, a reasonable person might think the gatekeepers are trying to maintain a shortage of accurate and actionable information for the public in order to manipulate them. For over a month, senior American officials insisted that everything was normal and that there was no need to prepare, robbing people of valuable time to collect supplies needed to ride out shortages and quarantine periods. If officials were trying to avoid a panic, they merely postponed it – and made it worse.
A NUCLEAR ARMS REDUX
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War led many to believe the nuclear arms race was a thing of the past. Although modern nukes are so destructive that a nuclear war would almost certainly mean the end of civilization, superpowers nonetheless need them for deterrence and sovereign defense: The threat of massive retaliation reinforces strategic stability, and possession of even a small number of nukes effectively rules out the threat of ground invasion. Unfortunately Russia and China also see nukes as a useful tool to counter conventional US forces. Russia has explicitly established an “escalate to de-escalate” strategy based on the ability to deploy small tactical or low-yield nukes in a region before the US is able to respond – without a similar arsenal of “mini-nukes,” the US would be forced to either stand down or retaliate with much larger nukes and run the risk that the conflict will spiral out of control. Washington Times reports that the Pentagon has responded by arming US submarines with new low-yield missiles designed to counter Russian mini nukes, so that the US will be able to “credibly and decisively respond to any threat scenario.”
The deployment of American low yield nukes should also strengthen the Trump Administration’s negotiating position for a new Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). President Trump withdrew from the prior treaty in response to evidence of Russian violations – and the realization that bilateral arms control treaties with Russia are both obsolete and dangerous because they do not include China. The President insists that all future nuclear arms treaties must include that country in order to be effective.
The Times (England) reports that Ireland is regarded as a soft intelligence target for Russia because of its limited counterintelligence capability. The Irish police services have reason to suspect Russia is spying on Dublin tech companies and using Ireland as a base to gather intelligence on targets in Britain and Europe. Ireland is also the landing point for undersea cables carrying internet traffic between the US, Britain, and Europe – and Russian agents have been observed mapping Dublin Port and the locations of the internet cables. Tapping these cables would certainly give Russia a treasure trove of data, while cutting or otherwise damaging them would wreak havoc on transatlantic communication.
Russian interest in the transatlantic cables isn’t new. In 2015 the US military found Russian submarines and naval vessels operating in areas where the cables are laid, and the FBI has since found Russian agents trying to access the cables stateside. This coincides with Russia’s naval build up, a greater Russian presence in both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, and a more strident Russian call for a multipolar world rather than one in which a single superpower – the US – dominates.
If this story about undersea cables sounds familiar to the attentive public, it’s because it periodically resurfaces along with renewed calls for NATO to secure the transatlantic cables. Evidently not much progress is being made in this area despite the West’s dependence on the internet in daily life. It’s also odd that Ireland hasn’t beefed up its counterintelligence, given that it has been making a determined effort to attract tech companies to its shores with lower taxes, a well educated English speaking workforce, and a lower cost of living than other technology hubs have. Given Ireland’s vulnerability, it’s a safe bet the Russians aren’t the only ones looting their tech secrets.
BIGGER THREAT THAN JIHADIS
Foreign Policy reports that France is finally waking up to the threat posed by Political Islam, be it violent or otherwise. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi-funded Salafists both promote forms of Islamist separatism and a rejection of French society. These groups are gaining more and more influence as they push Muslims in local communities to reject mainstream society and join their insular alternatives for legal, educational, and social systems – resulting in the “lost territories of the Republic,” areas where government control is weak and residents are, for all practical purposes, trying to secede from France and create a borderless Muslim state-within-a-state in that country.
These concerns have been expressed by the Right for years, but they are finally being discussed across the whole political spectrum. A country that allows communities to ignore the nation’s laws – and allows them to grow unhindered – will be whittled away bit by bit. The French government is taking a closer look at mosques funded by foreign money and replacing foreign clerics with clerics trained in France. Sadly this is a feeble attempt to improve integration with French society, and much more is needed to educate the young. Foreign Policy, however, considers it the beginning of a trend as other European countries are slowly following suit in deporting radicals, limiting or banning foreign funding for places of worship, and cutting public funding to organizations connected to Islamist separatist networks. The Center for Intelligence Studies does not share this optimism: As CFIS Chairman Charles S. Viar observed, “Sweden is lost, Germany has passed the point of no return, France is teetering on the brink and the rest of Western Europe has chosen to commit suicide on the installment plan.”
President Macron may be talking a good line, but his proposals are too little and too late. His call for the unity of the Republic also rings hollow for the French people who are protesting his taxes and globalist economic policies. March 7th marked the 69th consecutive week of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) protests. Largely ignored by the Mainstream Media in the US, peaceful protesters are being tear gassed and brutally beaten by French riot police week after week. One cynical – and probably correct – interpretation is that Macron is simply trying to take talking points away from Marine Le Pen and the National Rally, a right-wing populist and nationalist party that has staunchly opposed the Islamization of France.
In 2008 a Homeland Security employee identified hundreds of immigrants who had been given legal status in the US even though they had been the subject of deportation orders, and hundreds more were later identified. The problem stemmed from the immigrants’ fingerprints not being entered into an electronic database used for screening. Although efforts were made to go through thousands of paper files, digitize the fingerprints, and check how many people had filed fraudulent applications for naturalization, a report by the Homeland Security Department Inspector General found that at least 858 people had slipped through the cracks because they had been using a different identity when ordered out of the country. The Washington Times reported in January 2018 that the first denaturalization from this effort had finally been ordered by a federal court. In order to pick up the pace, the Trump Administration created a new office within the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for the specific purpose of reviewing cases and making referrals to the Justice Department.
Now Fox News reports that the Trump Administration has established a new section in the Justice Department itself to handle denaturalization cases because case referrals have increased by over 600% in the past three years. This new section focuses on fraud committed by failing to disclose past convictions for serious crimes on their applications. Recent cases cited by Fox include people convicted of terrorist activities, Bosnian war crimes, and sex offenses. Once again some of these people had been previously deported but succeeded in re-entering the US under a different identity. To be clear, this is not about stripping citizenship from people who commit crimes after naturalization: The crimes in question were committed before the citizenship application and not disclosed on the appropriate forms. People who are stripped of citizenship revert to permanent residency status and can then be deported and/or barred from re-entering the US. This is a welcome development as these people should never have received American citizenship in the first place, and removing them contributes to public safety.
Last December a new coronavirus turned up in Wuhan, which is located in the Hubei Province of China. It has since been designated as Covid-19 and is considered a member of the same virus family as SARS, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that appeared in November 2002 and was spread worldwide by travelers in just a few months. Most coronaviruses are relatively harmless, causing colds or mild flu, but this one is causing a large number of fatalities in China and is spreading rapidly throughout the world. Mainstream media, alternative media, and social media have seized upon the crisis and flooded the airwaves and Internet with contradictory reports, rumors, and outright falsehoods. One of the few things known with certainty is that Chinese authorities are trying to cover up the true scale of the outbreak.
When the first cases appeared, Chinese physicians sent the people home with medication, apparently not stressing the need to isolate themselves – and as a result, the infection spread rapidly. The current official story is that the virus came from a wet market, an open air market where the animals are killed and butchered on the spot for customers and where wild game is often sold alongside domesticated animals. The virus is said to have originated in bats, then transferred to snakes, and then transferred from snakes to humans and is now being spread from person to person. When hospitals became overwhelmed with cases, the Chinese authorities belatedly began scanning travelers for signs of illnesses and issuing travel restrictions. But as the number of cases continued to climb, the authorities began quarantining the worst hit cities. School terms were ordered delayed, and some factories have been closed. People have been told not to go outside unless absolutely necessary. Funerals have been banned, and the dead are promptly cremated. Discussion of the virus has been heavily censored in China from the beginning; bloggers and medical personnel spreading warnings and personal videos have been arrested and accused of rumor-mongering. The official case statistics are absurdly low, or such draconian measures would not be necessary. Nor would the crash program for building new medical facilities have been required either: The state media proudly boasted of the construction of a new 1000 bed hospital for coronavirus patients in a mere nine days, but reports leaked from the area indicate the facility has no medications and is less of a hospital than a warehouse for the sick and dying. There are also reports of crematoriums that used to operate about four hours a day are now operating around the clock. At the time of this writing, per Zerohedge, 3 provinces, 60 cities, and 400 million people in China are now under mandatory lockdown with limited permission to leave home only to buy essential supplies.
It’s possible Covid-19 is hitting China so hard because of conditions within that country. Unsanitary conditions at markets and poor hygiene certainly contribute to the spread of illnesses, as do overwhelmed hospitals, the shortage of beds and the lack of medications. Independent journalist Jon Rappoport also points out that Wuhan and some other cities on lockdown have dangerous levels of air pollutants known to be damaging to the human respiratory system. Since these pollutants are known to increase the risk of asthma and strokes, it’s possible the pollutants are also weakening people’s resistance to the coronavirus. Whether that’s true or not, air quality has become so bad in recent years that residents have taken to the streets in protest, which is a dangerous thing to do in authoritarian China.
The reticence of the Chinese government has contributed to the phenomenal number of false claims circulating in the West. One example is a claim that Chinese scientists who were fired last year from the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, Canada smuggled a virus from Canada to Wuhan, where it was enhanced and released. Canada’s CBC News reported that the lab did fire Chinese scientists for a “policy breach” but that no virus samples left the lab; any theft that may have happened would have been the theft of intellectual property, for which China is notorious.
More plausible is a report published by The Daily Mail in the UK on February 16, which claimed scientists at the South China University of Technology concluded the virus probably originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology – located just 300 yards from the seafood market that was originally believed to be the point of origin.
Unfortunately, official statements by Western researchers have proved only slightly better than Internet conspiracy theories. Perhaps spurred by the chance of free publicity, researchers are releasing papers online that have not been peer reviewed and that contradict each other. One such paper claimed that Covid-19 contained genetic sequences found in the AIDS or HIV virus, which the author said proved the virus had been weaponized in a lab. This was quickly countered by another paper claiming the shared sequences are common in viruses, including cold viruses, which proves no weaponization. And now early claims that both treatments and vaccines would be ready within 90 days have since been dialed back to a less ambitious hope that a vaccine might be ready in a year or so.
Coronavirus cases have now spread to 25 other countries. The World Health Organization has declared it a global health emergency, but it is not yet a pandemic. Nonetheless, sensible precaution are in order: The standard health advice of frequent hand washing with soap is well worth following, and pathologist Chris Martenson, PhD, has advised his Peak Prosperity audience to stockpile a minimum of two weeks’ worth of food, water and electrolytes as well as over the counter meds or home remedies that have worked in the past for regular flu. He also suggested people obtain N95 respirator type masks as they offer better protection to the wearer than the surgical or dental style masks often shown in the news because a properly fitting N95 has a much closer seal around the mouth and nose. Unfortunately N95 masks are not available in children’s sizes, and even the larger sizes have become difficult to find, in part because Chinese visitors and expatriates in the United States are snapping them up and sending them home to friends and relatives. And since simple bleach and chlorine-based cleaners appear able to kill Coronavirus particles that can survive on surfaces for 5-9 days within a minute or so, Dr. Martenson recommends stocking up on those cleaners as well. He’s also warned against being lulled into a false sense of security by Western media downplaying the seriousness of Covid-19. This virus is highly transmissible with each person infecting at least three others – and as already indicated, the Chinese authorities are not releasing the true numbers.
Most of the mainstream media messaging appears aimed at keeping people calm. Part of that is to prevent public panic, but it also reflects the grave concern of governments that the crisis might derail national economies and perhaps even the global economy as well. Thus far there are no authoritative estimates of the economic losses the virus has so far inflicted, but economists are unanimous in their belief that it has already dealt a major blow to China’s economy and may similarly impact on other countries as well.
The fear of weaponized viruses is not unfounded. Long before germs were understood, biological weapons were used in warfare. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Persians were all said to have contaminated their enemies’ water wells with feces and animal carcasses, and as soon as the catapult was invented they were used to hurl dead bodies and animal carcasses – and big rocks – over enemy cities in Estonia, and somewhat later the British deliberately gave Native Americans blankets contaminated with smallpox. Although the transmission of smallpox between colonists and natives was largely accidental, the disease proved to be a devastating weapon.
The confusion between naturally occurring infections and deliberate disease transmission has continued to the present day. World War I saw both accidental infections of soldiers with anthrax via horse hair shaving brushes as well as deliberate attempts by Germany to infect animals sold to the Allies by neutral trading partners. In 1925 the Geneva Protocol for the Prevention of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases and Bacteriological Methods of Warfare was signed by 108 countries; however, it did not establish a mechanism for addressing compliance issues, and many countries continued their research.
In World War II most of the belligerents avoided using chemical and biological weapons for fear of retaliation. The major powers all had research programs with varying degrees of offensive capability, but they had no defense against such attacks. One country did use biological weapons: Japan. The target was China, which had a population far greater than Japan’s and no biological retaliatory capability. Japanese planes dropped paper bags across several Chinese provinces containing fleas, wheat, rice, and cotton that had been infected or impregnated with anthrax, glanders, bubonic plague, and other diseases. At least half a million Chinese died in the attacks, and the germs remained active after the war ended, causing sporadic outbreaks and additional deaths. No mention was made of this at the Tokyo war crimes tribunal because the scientists attached to the Japanese biological warfare unit – located in Manchuria – surrendered to American forces rather than the Soviets and turned over all of their research in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Designated Unit 731, the Japanese bio warfare organization conducted experiments on living prisoners that were just as ghastly as those of the Nazis yet remained shrouded in secrecy for decades.
Given China’s experience in World War II, it should come as no surprise that its modernization plans included setting up its own programs for chemical and biological weapons. China signed the Geneva Protocol in 1952 and the Biological Weapons Convention in 1985, but according to the Washington Times research on deadly viruses continues at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products. Although their work has legitimate medical value, it is “dual use” science, i.e., science that can be used for both civilian and military purposes – thus the speculation that Covid-19 accidentally leaked from one of these labs which, as noted above, are proximate to the outbreak’s epicenter. Here it’s worth noting that such leaks from high security labs have occurred in the past: In April of 1979, anthrax spores were accidentally released through a faulty air filter from a Soviet research facility near the city of Sverdlovsk, resulting in approximately 100 deaths. Interestingly, there are also reports of rumors circulating in China that the epidemic there resulted from a virus that the US unleashed upon that country to sabotage its economy – a rumor that was probably started by the Chinese government to shift blame away from its poor handling of the outbreak.
THE CHINA SHUTDOWN AND US SHORTAGES
The quarantined Chinese cities include major manufacturing and technology hubs. There is no telling how long the lockdowns will last, and China is now indefinitely closed for business. The US has made great strides in energy independence, but it is shockingly dependent on China for other essentials: The American Conservative reports that China provides 80% of the core components in generic medications – and generics are 90% of the meds Americans take.
It’s widely known that China became a manufacturing leader in several industries because of lower labor costs and weaker environmental regulations. But rarely discussed is the fact that China has deliberately targeted advanced industries in the West for takeover. For example in the late 1980s the US had plenty of antibiotic manufacturing plants; those plants have all been driven out of business. The last penicillin plant closed in 2004 after China dumped material to make penicillin on the global market at below market prices and kept it artificially low for four years. China has also crowded out US and European producers of ascorbic acid – the core ingredient in vitamin C supplements. The coordinated efforts of Chinese companies to fix prices and control supplies are illegal in the US under the Sherman Antitrust Act, but that hasn’t had any impact on China’s move to dominate actual drug manufacturing as well; to cite but one example, heparin, a blood thinner used in surgeries, is now largely controlled by Chinese cartels.
Given the trade war and political friction between the US and China, it is foolish to allow China to hold American health care hostage. If the health crisis in China is not resolved soon, American pharmacies could face severe drug shortages. It’s past time for the US government to move against the Chinese cartels and bring drug manufacturing back to the States.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
“Bond. James Bond” has been the iconic introduction of Agent 007, the fictional British MI6 officer who somehow managed to operate unrecognized even though he traveled the world under his own name.
Bond dominated the spy genre for decades, but it appears his era is coming to a close: Yahoo News reports that Big Brother surveillance has not only shredded the privacy of ordinary citizens but is causing problems for spies as well. Data breaches – such as the Chinese hack of the Office of Personnel Management, which resulted in the compromise of nearly 22 million American civil servants in 2014 – are an obvious problem, but there are others as well. Unlike Bond, intelligence officers rarely used their own names while operating abroad, but the proliferation of biometrics – fingerprints, facial recognition technology, and iris scans at airports – and widespread surveillance cameras have made it almost impossible for intelligence officers to operate even under aliases. Russian and Chinese operatives appear to have given up on secrecy altogether and are now working more or less openly under their true identities, and there are “about 30 countries” in which CIA officers are no longer trailed because the electronic surveillance is so pervasive that the local governments simply rely on that instead. The CIA even had to discontinue some operations in Singapore after that government developed a database that used real-time flight, customs, taxi, and hotel data; if someone took too long to reach their hotel from the airport, it triggered a security alert, and the hotel room would be monitored through the TVs and phones.
That’s bad. But far worse occurred when Iranian intelligence discovered the CIA’s web-based covert communication system: CIA sources around the world were exposed, the Agency’s entire network in China was rolled up and many were killed.
One option for coping with intensive surveillance is to expand programs hiring actual businessmen and technical workers as contractors, but such people have to be trained in secret and away from the usual facilities, and they often don’t speak the languages of the countries they’re expected to operate in. It’s also difficult to convince companies to let their employees function as spies, not to mention the risk of putting innocent civilians in danger because the opposition presumes everyone in a given profession is likely spying. Some former officials are pessimistic about the future of undercover work because actual and even assumed identities can’t be protected anymore.
But you had a good run, Mr. Bond. Thanks for the memories
IRAN: THE SHADOW WAR
In the early morning of January 3rd, an American drone strike killed General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Quds Force. Soleimani had openly traveled to Baghdad on a commercial airline to meet with Iraqi militia leaders and possibly with Iraqi government officials. AP News reports that also killed in the strike was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, founder of the Kataeb Hezbollah -- the group blamed for a rocket attack in northern Iraq the previous week that killed an American contractor. There was an immediate outcry from Democrat politicians and other public figures that this “escalation” was an act of war that would set World War III in motion. Some were grandstanding, but many others simply cannot grasp that modern warfare, relies more heavily on novel tactics and cyber capabilities rather than kinetic weapons, in part to minimize the possibility that a limited conflict might escalate into a major war.
The US-Iran conflict can be traced back to 1953 when the CIA helped Britain’s MI6 instigate a military coup against Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. The British had already established themselves in Iran in the nineteenth century by effectively suborning the ruling monarchy to secure the rights to operate Iran’s banks and manage Iran’s natural resources. Oil became an important part of the British portfolio in 1908 with the establishment of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company – later British Petroleum, or BP – and became even more important after Britain switched its navy from coal to oil.
But popular resentment of excessive foreign influence forced the Shah to establish an elected parliament. Weak at first, the parliament slowly grew in power, and in 1951 under Mossadegh’s leadership it voted to nationalize the Iranian oil industry. Britain responded by blockading Iranian ports and would have invaded to overthrow the government and seize the oil fields if then-President Truman hadn’t warned them against it. However, US opposition waned with the 1952 election of Dwight Eisenhower to the presidency. A career soldier who had commanded Allied forces in Western Europe during World War II, Eisenhower was acutely conscious of a wartime Pentagon study that predicted the US would hit “peak oil” in or about 1965. As a practical matter, that meant the US would not be able to fight another global war without guaranteed access to Mid East oil. Further alarmed by Soviet designs on Iran – the northern part of which the Red Army had occupied during the war – and sympathetic to the British argument that Mossadegh was a Communist sympathizer who might invite the Soviets to return, the new Administration agreed to support a coup d’etat.
As a result of the coup, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was able to consolidate and centralize power in his own hands. That proved a boon over the next twenty years as he modernized Iranian society and oversaw astonishing economic growth, but it proved to be his undoing twenty years later when he developed cancer. He was treated in secret by French doctors with medications that prolonged his life but clouded his judgment and wreaked havoc upon his moods. Never known for decisive leadership and afflicted by grandiose tendencies, the Shah experienced alternating bouts of stupor and a state that has been described as manic. The result was erratic, on-and-off government as the country slowly spun out of control.
Tragedy followed. As Iran entered the 1970s the economy was flourishing, women had achieved the right to vote and a degree of freedom comparable to European and American women, religious minorities flourished and many economists predicted Iran’s standard of living would soon equal that in Europe. But most of the gains achieved under the Shah were swept away by the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
There was a dark side, too: the Shah’s security service exiled some dissidents and subjected others to brutal torture. Despite reports of machinations by National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the US government denies abandoning the Shah to the Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini, but public source reports have repeatedly challenged that claim: The Guardian and BBC reported in 2016 that Khomeini had in 1963 conveyed a message to the US government that he was not opposed to American interests in Iran and that there were “extensive contacts” between Khomeini and the Carter administration in the weeks ahead of the Islamic Revolution. The New American reported in 2009 that the Carter administration sent an Air Force general to threaten Iranian generals with a cutoff of weapons if they fought in support of the Shah; that same general also held meetings with revolutionary leaders during his visit. Other US officials pressured the Shah directly to step down and go into exile. The New American also points out that in the early ’70s Iran finally gained management of its oil industry, which they assume alienated Washington.
Perhaps all true, but beside the point: One of the principle tasks of the US intelligence community is to quietly maintain contact with groups opposing friendly governments – and should they fall, to facilitate the rise of the best available option. In this case, the Carter Administration concluded Khomeini was the only alternative to an eventual Soviet take-over.
It would have been far better if the US had acted earlier and persuaded the Shah to establish a military regency for his son, then abdicate to seek medical treatment abroad. That didn’t happen, but successive American interventions did alienate both pro and anti-Shah public opinion: In November 1979 anti-Shah Iranian “students” overran the US embassy in Tehran and took the embassy staff hostage – and the United States and Iran have been locked in a simmering conflict ever since. That the US initially backed Iraq after Saddam Hussein invaded Iran the following year didn’t help matters, nor did subsequent revelations that the US also transferred arms to Iran via Israel in what came to be known as the Iran-Contra Affair.
Iran began funding and providing other support for Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite militant group, in 1982; Hezbollah bombed a US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 US military personnel, and with Iranian support continues to engage in terrorist activities to the present day. More deadly still, Iran has provided training, IED expertise and weapons to forces fighting Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Fast forward to the Obama Administration’s 2015 nuclear deal, which eased sanctions against Iran in exchange for that country’s promise to limit nuclear research to civilian applications. That deal is often considered an attempt at a truce, but it was plagued with problems from the start. The agreement was so badly flawed that Obama knew it would be rejected by the Senate if cast in treaty form, and President Trump withdrew from it altogether in 2018. Tensions and US economic sanctions have escalated ever since: The Iranian regime regards the sanctions as acts of war, and have retaliated with attacks against oil tankers in international waters and oil fields in Saudi Arabia. Then in late December a rocket attack staged by a pro-Iranian militia group against a military base near Kirkuk, Iraq killed a US defense contractor and wounded several American and Iraqi troops. The US retaliated with airstrikes that killed dozens of fighters affiliated with Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iraqi militant group. Violent protesters converged on the US embassy in Baghdad in response, but they didn’t get past the perimeter thanks to Iraqi security forces, US helicopter gunships and a Marine combat team sent to protect the embassy staff.
This brings us back to the US drone attack on Soleimani. There are conflicting reports on whether he was in Iraq to orchestrate attacks against Americans or to meet with Iraqi officials to negotiate a de-escalation agreement with Iraq and Saudi Arabia, but given Soleimani’s history it’s quite possible he was there for both. The man’s death has brought both celebration and condemnation: The celebration extended into Iran where dissidents saw it as a blow to the hated regime; the condemnation extended into the US and even to some Trump supporters, who feared the attack was part of a Neo Con plot to derail his effort to extract us from the Mid East quagmire.
In what may have been an effort to obscure their role, the Neocon propaganda machine went into overdrive by enumerating Soleimani’s crimes, both real and imagined. They were correct in claiming that he had orchestrated Iran’s strategies in Syria, Iraq, and other countries and was known for his brutal tactics. But it remains unclear if he was directly involved in a plot to “murder of the Saudi ambassador on US soil” As they claimed – two Quds operatives did attempt to hire a professional killer for that purpose, but it turned out the hitter was actually a federal agent and the Saudi ambassador was not harmed. The White House also fumbled their effort to explain the drone strike’s timing when the “rock solid evidence” that some sort of attack on Americans was “imminent” turned out not so solid after all. As of this writing, much remains unclear but it seem possible that the real target might have been al-Muhandis and Soleimani was collateral damage – and even more likely the call was made an American intelligence or military officer acting under new and far less restrictive rules of engagement.
Whatever the actual case, Iran responded by firing a series of ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq, causing damage to buildings but no loss of American lives. President Trump announced he would not retaliate for the strikes, but he also warned he would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. But this is obviously not the end of the matter: As Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) pointed out, “Iranians are experts at surrogate warfare…They’re experts at creating chaos.”
Given the fact that Iranian and Hezbollah operatives have been caught within the US before, it’s entirely plausible that they may create that chaos right here.
AN ISRAELI ASSET?
When Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell last August, few people believed the official story that he had killed himself. Even 60 Minutes reported that the mark on Epstein’s neck and his broken hyoid neck bone were more consistent with murder by electrical cord than suicide by bed sheet noose. There has also been a great deal of post-mortem speculation as to where Epstein’s wealth really came from, which politicians may have participated in reported orgies on his private island, and exactly what connections enabled Epstein to get off so lightly in his 2008 plea deal in Florida for soliciting sex from minors -- especially after the US Attorney who negotiated the plea deal claimed he had been told Epstein “belonged to intelligence” and to back off.
MintPress reports that Epstein’s financial clients in the early 1980s included Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi arms dealer linked to both the CIA and Mossad and a middleman in the Iran-Contra Affair (and Jamal Khashoggi’s uncle -- the same families show up over and over again in these matters). Epstein was also known to be on close terms with other arms dealers, and this could explain why his supposed hedge fund was so mysterious. Epstein reportedly told friends at the time that he was a “financial bounty hunter” who helped governments track down money stolen by corrupt officials. MintPress also reports that Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell worked for Israeli military intelligence to entrap and blackmail politicians and other public figures. One of the sources who confirmed this is himself a former Israeli intelligence official; another source worked for US intelligence. Epstein was allegedly recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, media baron and Israeli operative Robert Maxwell, after Epstein and Ghislaine began their romantic relationship. Ghislaine was said to have already been involved with her father’s clandestine activities, although it’s not clear to what extent. When their romantic relationship ended, Ghislaine and Epstein remained friends and business partners; Ghislaine reportedly managed Epstein’s household, procured young girls for the operation, and trained them in sexual techniques.
Sexual blackmail is a standard tactic for intelligence agencies, and Epstein’s guests were the sort of people targeted as agents of influence. That Israel would target its ally and protector the US is no surprise to anyone familiar with such matters. Jonathan Pollard’s 1987 espionage case was unusual because he was arrested and convicted: Israeli intelligence officers and their agents are usually handled differently.
CFIS Chairman Charles S. Viar is familiar with the way Israeli espionage cases are normally handled. Israeli intelligence officers caught spying in the US are routinely “bounced,” but their agents – frequently Jewish Americans – are handled differently from other US citizens caught spying for foreign governments. Mr. Viar declined to elaborate on that difference, as he believes it may still be classified. However, he did say “They don’t get off lightly.”
Newsweek reported in 2014 that Israel is “unrivaled” in its aggression and brazenness pursuing US military, scientific, and industrial secrets and that it is well protected by the powerful “Israeli lobby,” i.e., those in Congress, government administration, and industry who are quick to either play the anti-Semitism card when the Israelis are caught spying or to downplay the damage done by saying Israel is an ally. The problem with that, however, is that once Israeli obtains US classified information, we can no longer control it – and the Soviets – and presumably now the Russians – successfully penetrated the Israeli intelligence services on an almost routine basis. That problem was so severe that until 1975 the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff handled the “Israeli Account.” Newsweek’s warning has been repeated many times by other outlets, yet it doesn’t appear to have penetrated the public’s consciousness.
The damage caused by Epstein’s operation is thus far unknown, but potentially huge. One example may have been his relationship with the Clintons, said to have been undertaken at the behest of the Israelis. MintPress reports that Israeli intelligence recorded phone conversations between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky before their affair became public knowledge. If so, Israeli blackmail may account for President Clinton’s puzzling lack of interest in White House security: During his tenure the FBI suspected his Administration had been penetrated at the highest levels by an Israeli agent codenamed MEGA, but they were never able to uncover the traitor – allegedly due to a lack of White House cooperation. It’s also known that Clinton succumbed to pressure from the Israeli lobby to pardon Marc Rich, the financier indicted in 1983 for tax evasion, wire fraud, racketeering, trading with Iran during an oil embargo, and other charges. At the time the media made much of political contributions by Rich’s wife to the Clintons and Democrats, but little or nothing was said about the Rich’s connections with the Epstein’s operation – which would have given Israeli intelligence an added treasure trove of blackmail material to suborn high ranking American and foreign officials.
THE END OF AN ERA
Yahoo News reports that besides shredding the privacy of citizens, Big Brother surveillance is also causing problems for spies around the world. Data breaches – such as the Chinese hack of the Office of Personnel Management, which resulted in the compromise of nearly 22 million American civil servants in 2014 – are an obvious problem but there are others as well. The proliferation of biometrics -- fingerprints, facial recognition technology, and iris scans at airports -- combined with widespread surveillance cameras have made it increasingly difficult for intelligence officers to travel under aliases. Russian and Chinese operatives have begun traveling and working under their true identities and there are “about 30 countries” in which CIA officers are no longer trailed because the electronic surveillance there is so pervasive that the local governments simply rely on that instead. The CIA even had to discontinue some operations in Singapore after that government developed a database that used real-time flight, customs, taxi, and hotel data; if someone took too long to reach their hotel from the airport, it triggered a security alert, and the hotel room would be monitored through the TVs and phones.
Far worse occurred when Iranian intelligence discovered the CIA’s web-based covert communication system: CIA sources around the world were exposed, the Agency’s entire network in China was rolled up and many local assets were killed. Some advocate returning to low tech methods, e.g., brush passes in public places or dead drops in the woods. Others want to expand programs hiring actual businessmen and technical workers as contractors, but such people have to be trained secretly away from the usual facilities, and they often don’t speak the languages of the countries they’re expected to operate in. It’s also difficult to convince companies to let some of their employees function as spies, not to mention the risk of putting innocent people in danger because the opposition assumes everyone in a given profession might be collecting intelligence. Some former officials are pessimistic about the future of undercover work because identities simply can’t be protected anymore.
One of them is CFIS Chairman Charles S. Viar, who speculates that intelligence services may resort to “throw aways” – that is, self-selected, self-directed amateurs who will more likely than not be eaten alive by hostile security services. “Pity the fools and adventurers who think espionage is a lark.”
THE COAST GUARD: RAMPING UP IN PACIFIC
When Americans think of foreign aid programs, they typically think of the US sending money to developing countries or perhaps shipping them food and medical supplies to help cope with disasters. South China Morning Post reports on a practical method of aid that has received little attention: The US Coast Guard is increasing its assistance to Pacific Island nations to combat illegal activities such as drug and human trafficking, piracy, terrorism, and illegal fishing. These nations are also under heavy pressure from China to drop their diplomatic recognition of Taiwan and submit to Chinese domination. Some have already done so. The Solomon Islands switched its allegiance in September and granted the China Sam Enterprise Group the rights to develop the entire capital island of its Central Province. The development sounds like a full-blown takeover with the granted rights including “investment, trade, infrastructure, agriculture, fishery, communication, tourism, and other fields.” It’s likely China will also add a military base as it did in what was disputed territory in the Spratly Islands. Six other island nations have borrowed so much money from China under its Belt and Road Initiative to develop infrastructure that concerns have been raised they will not be able to pay it back and will eventually be forced to turn their ports and other assets over to China. This form of financial colonialism will sound familiar to anyone who’s read John Perkins’ description of Western practices in his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. As an overextended America unwinds its foreign entanglements, China is stepping in to expand its own.
The Coast Guard’s focus in the Pacific is to provide assistance to the small island countries there, to help them withstand Chinese encroachment. Fishing rights in particular are becoming increasingly important in the area as China has overfished its own waters and is operating in others’ territories. The mere presence of Coast Guard ships deters China from claiming international waters or disputed areas as its own. Unfortunately the Coast Guard is stretched to its limit as its funding has not kept pace with its expanded mission; moreover, the Coast Guard has been given these tasks because the US Navy has been stretched to its limit as well. Although both services coordinate closely with the Japanese, Australian, and New Zealand navies, China appears to be gaining the upper hand.
CHINA’S GROWING NETWORK
In addition to encroaching on small nations, China is nurturing alliances with larger countries. Strategic Culture Foundation reports that China and Russia are setting up the China-Russia Arctic Research Center as a joint venture and that the two countries will work together to develop Russia’s Far East and Arctic Region. This includes developing new technologies, e.g. building on permafrost and creating more durable icebreakers, as well as infrastructure projects such as a natural gas pipeline from Siberia to China that will soon become China’s primary energy supplier. Russia’s Northeast Passage in the Arctic is also being linked with China’s shipping routes – a move expected to cut the transport time between China and Europe by ten days, boosting trade and cutting costs despite the need for specially constructed ships to handle the colder temperatures. India has also joined the Far East development with a $1 billion investment, adding to the $7 billion already invested in Russian oil and gas by Indian firms. When one considers that China has already committed to road and rail projects in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor – including links to Iran, Afghanistan, India, and other nations in the region – the scope of the Eurasian alliance is breathtaking.
It’s also an alliance the US has long feared. Former President Nixon opened trade negotiations with China in 1971 in part to play China against the Soviet Union; more recently, the Neoconservative/Neoliberal doctrine of Full Spectrum Dominance by the US has sought to prevent such a Eurasian alliance through wars of regime change and economic sanctions against countries refusing to support US policies. The real point of America’s post-Cold War foreign policy was not to make the world safe for democracy but rather to support and enable the Financial Elite’s plan for global government – or the New World Order, as it is often called. This was never a realistic goal as it required Russian and Chinese assent. But apparently blinded by greed, the Financial Elite tried it anyway – provoking or persuading the Russians and the Chinese defend their sovereignty by forming their own systems outside of US control.
Thus while the US has pursued a perpetual War on Terror since 9/11, China and Russia have been wooing allies with talk of “similar civilizational values” and strengthening “the efforts of human welfare in the Far East” and the world. Offering ways to raise people’s standard of living makes for good public relations now and provides an opening for encouraging authoritarian controls later.
Having squandered its once formidable moral authority, the US is now faced with serious adversaries offering an alternative vision through the Great Eurasian Partnership that begins with increased prosperity and extends to cooperative research agreements for artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, aerospace technology, and space exploration – not to mention the latest police state technologies to ensure that cooperative regimes stay in power.
IMPORTING CHINESE VALUES
As incredible as it might sound, China is also wielding heavy influence within the US. Last month Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, made a single post on Twitter supporting the Hong Kong protesters. The resulting furor has been widely reported. Morey deleted the tweet and posted an apology after the Chinese Basketball Association and the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston demanded he correct his error. NBA officials and the Rockets’ owner quickly issued statements that Morey did not speak for them, that they had great respect for China’s history and culture, and that they absolutely regretted any offense taken by Chinese fans.
All the NBA’s Chinese partner companies suspended their relationships anyway. Functions for several teams were canceled while Lakers star LeBron James criticized Morey for not thinking through possible consequences of his statement. The most chilling result, however, was that fans who attended NBA games in Philadelphia and Washington, DC had their “Free Hong Kong” and “Google Uyghurs” signs confiscated. Videos posted to social media show these people standing quietly with their signs, not creating a disturbance. Fans who actually chanted “Free Hong Kong” were ordered by security to either be quiet or be escorted out. Thus were American citizens attending basketball games in American cities silenced by American corporate minions to avoid further offending China – and the loss of revenue that would entail.
This is not an isolated incident. Mashable published a partial list of major companies that have also kowtowed to China. Some of the actions taken might sound minor, but the cumulative effect is that Chinese officials are calling the shots. Here are some examples: Activision Blizzard suspended a professional game player after he stated support for the Hong Kong protesters, American Airlines and Delta Airlines list Taiwan and Tibet as part of China instead of as the separate countries they actually are, Apple removed an app from its store that helped Hong Kong protesters track police and also removed the Taiwan flag emoji from Hong Kong iPhones, Gap removed a shirt with a China map graphic from its store because the image did not include Taiwan and Tibet, Mercedes-Benz deleted an Instagram post that included a quote from the Dalai Lama, and Tiffany & Co. deleted a Twitter ad campaign over concerns that a model’s gesture resembled one made by Hong Kong protestors.
Clearly everyone’s following China’s version of the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.
For decades the underlying assumption of America’s China policy was that trade would either collapse the Communist party-state or promote its evolution into a more benign, quasi-democratic socialist system acceptable to the West. The thinking paralleled that of former President Lyndon Johnson, who said of a rival: “It’s better to have him inside the tent spitting out, than outside the tent spitting in.” It was hoped that opening the World Trade Organization tent to China in 2001 – and then adding the yuan (renminbi) to the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Right basket of currencies in 2016 – would encourage China’s political evolution, but that hasn’t happened: When China switched from a centrally planned, Communist economy to a hybrid, the party-state strengthened its authoritarian grip instead. President Xi is now president for life and has no intention of easing police state controls and is actively encouraging, enticing or coercing other governments to emulate its example.
NEW DIGITAL CURRENCY
Reuters and CNBC report that China is preparing to issue its new Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP). The DCEP is partly powered by blockchain technology, but it will not be mined the way cryptocurrencies are. Instead it will be issued by the People’s Bank of China to commercial banks that will then issue it to the general public. The DCEP is a substitute for physical money and can be sent anywhere over the internet outside of the West’s SWIFT payment system. The technology allows China total control of how the currency is used without interference from other countries, placing it in direct competition with the US dollar as a reserve currency. If the DCEP works as planned and is adopted by other countries in the Great Eurasian Partnership, it will eliminate America’s ability to punish countries by cutting them off from SWIFT. One could argue using the DCEP simply puts a country or entity at the mercy of China instead of the US, but it does provide an alternative for those chafing under American restrictions – and for the very clever, an opportunity to play China off against the United States.
The US has greatly benefited over the years from its reserve currency status. Firstly, the cost of international trade is lower because it doesn’t have the expense involved in exchanging dollars for other currencies or the risk from exchange rate fluctuations. Secondly, dollar dominance has allowed the US government to borrow money at reduced rates of interest. And thirdly, the almost unlimited demand for dollars abroad – the result of a series of agreements negotiated with Saudi Arabia in the mid-1970s, in which the US exchanged a promise of unlimited military support for the Saudi regime in exchange for the Saudis using their dominant position in OPEC to require that all international oil sales be paid for in US dollars.
Because the demand for oil is essentially unlimited, that requirement has enabled Washington to print endless numbers of dollars and fight endless “credit card wars” in the Middle East. But if other countries abandon the dollar – or simply reduce their use of the dollar – the US would quickly face a brutal choice: Either default on the national debt or massively increase taxes to cover soaring interest rates. Default would destroy America’s credit abroad and end America’s superpower status; massive tax hikes would tank the economy and likely generate serious domestic unrest.
It is for this reason the United States ruthlessly deals with those who seek to undermine the dollar-oil link. Saddam Hussein publicly threatened to sell Iraqi oil for Euros and gold, prompting the administration of George W. Bush to topple him from power – ostensibly to stop his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Similarly, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and assassinated with NATO support only after he tried to persuade African nations to adopt a gold-backed currency instead of dollars.
CHINA STEPS UP PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS
The Mainstream Media has widely reported that China has been sending Falun Gong members and Uighur Muslims to re-education camps – or, more accurately, concentration camps. Besides being forced to perform manual labor, detainees have been sterilized without their knowledge or consent and have also been used for organ harvesting. But the same media advocating for the Muslims has largely ignored the plight of Chinese Buddhists and Christians. The Guardian reports that Chinese persecution of Christians is the worst since Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Unlike Mao, President Xi isn’t trying to wipe out Christianity, but to control it instead. Churches are required to register with the government; unregistered house churches have been shut down and members arrested, and publicly visible Christian symbols systematically destroyed. The registered churches must hang Chinese flags and sing patriotic songs during worship services, and minors have been barred from attending. The Chinese government is even “retranslating and annotating” the Bible to establish a “correct understanding” of it – an understanding that emphasizes harmony with Chinese Communism.
In a truly awful pun, China experts have dubbed the new Bible the Qing James Version. But dark humor aside, the Chinese government has genuine cause for concern. It’s estimated there are at least 60 million Christians in China, and despite the crackdown that number is growing along with a nascent civil rights movement. Several of China’s most active human rights lawyers are Christians, and many pastors see their role as a catalyst for social change. Some unregistered churches have gone underground, using encrypted communication platforms to send daily scripture lessons and even to hold online services. Ironically, the growth of Christianity is being fed by the increasing numbers of Chinese exposed to Christianity while posted or traveling abroad. Those who convert establish ties with foreign churches and bring the gospel back to China with them – hence the need for the government to fabricate a “Chinese Christianity.” That’s the same approach other dictatorial regimes have employed: The Nazis promoted a “German Christianity” to lure people away from established churches, and after a period of extreme persecution the Soviet Union tolerated – and occasionally embraced – a tightly controlled Russian Orthodox Church.
TERRORISTS AT MEXICAN BORDER
It has been widely reported over the past several years that the Islamic State regularly sends fighters to infiltrate Europe by salting groups of economic migrants and Syrian war refugees. Now Homeland Security Today reports the Islamic State is attempting to salt migrants crossing the US border from Mexico. A Canadian detained in Syria claims that he had refused to take part in such a mission, which was said to have been planned by someone in New Jersey. English-speaking fighters were to be sent to Puerto Rico, where they would then take a boat to Mexico and be smuggled across the border with migrants into the US. The Canadian thought the plan was to bomb New York financial system targets, but he insisted he was not given the full details. This particular mission was not carried out, but it is not publicly known how many other attempts have been made. The White House issued a statement last January that 4,000 known or suspected terrorists had been stopped at the Mexican border, but that number primarily refers to security stops at airports. Credible intelligence sources tell Nightwatch that since 9/11 about 100 terrorists have been killed while trying to cross the border. Judicial Watch and Christian Science Monitor have previously reported other cases of terrorists being taken alive at the border or arrested later in the US.
It should be noted that although the US media focuses on Central American migrants fleeing poverty, people from all over the world are now being smuggled into the US from Mexico because of how porous the border is. Judicial Watch reported last year a steady rise of illegal aliens from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh – all countries saturated with terrorist activity. Judicial Watch has also reported on Mexican drug cartels helping Islamist terrorists training at camps in Mexico cross back and forth to explore possible American targets; State Department documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act indicate this has been happening for well over a decade, and the Obama Administration was fully aware of it. Yet Congressional Democrats still refuse to fund President Trump’s border wall or other measures to improve border security or even deal with the apprehended migrants.
ILHAN OMAR: ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD
There are also issues with legal immigrants, most notably assimilation. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), for example, is a first generation immigrant from Somalia who has come under fire for making anti-Semitic comments in her official capacity as a Congressional Representative. But curiously, most media outlets have demonstrated a stunning lack of interest in allegations that she may have committed immigration fraud, student loan fraud, tax fraud, perjury, and campaign spending violations. Reports by Twin Cities Pioneer Press and by PJ Media reveal some tangles in Omar’s marriages. In 2002 Omar married a man named Ahmed Hirsi in a Muslim religious ceremony, but they did not obtain a civil marriage certificate. Omar claims they ended their relationship in 2008 with a religious divorce, but this has not been substantiated with documentation. In 2009 Omar legally married a British citizen named Ahmed Nur Said Elmi with a civil marriage certificate; however, address records show that Omar and both men lived at the same address while Omar and Elmi were enrolled at North Dakota State University between 2009 and 2011. Omar claims her marriage to Elmi ended in 2011, but records show they did not file for divorce until 2017. In 2012 Omar officially reunited with Hirsi, and the couple filed joint tax returns in both 2014 and 2015 even though Omar was still legally married to Elmi. In 2018 Omar legally married Hirsi a month after her divorce from Elmi was finalized, and she was elected to Congress later that year.
Clearly Omar believed her Islamic religious marriage took precedence over her legal union, and filed joint tax returns with the wrong man at least twice. She has been accused of marrying Elmi for two reasons: to help his immigration status and to help them both get more favorable treatment on their federal student aid applications. There are also accusations based on Elmi’s high school address records that he is actually her brother, which Omar denies. Omar claims that she is unable to produce birth certificates or other proof of her siblings’ identities due to the documents having been destroyed in Somalia. Whether Elmi is her brother or not, it’s notable that she only bothered to legally register a marriage – and to legally divorce – when she saw legal and financial benefits to do so. She also had three children with Hirsi during their religious marriage and none with Elmi. The perjury accusation stems from claims Omar made in her divorce proceedings that she had had no contact with Elmi in years despite social media posts that appear to show the two of them together during that period. As for the campaign spending violations, the Minnesota Finance and Public Disclosure Board fined her $500 and ordered her to reimburse her campaign committee nearly $3500, mostly for personal travel. Omar agreed to the reimbursement, but her standard response to the other issues is that people are only bringing them up because she is a Black Muslim woman who wears a hijab (head covering). In other words, wanting to hold her accountable for her alleged fraud is racist and Islamophobic.
On top of everything else, PJ Media reports that Omar has personal connections to Somalia’s government that should cause concern, given her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In 2016 Omar was elected to the Minnesota state legislature; her role as the first Somali-American legislator brought a measure of fame and influence in Somalia. Omar visited Mogadishu shortly before the February 2017 national election there. She reportedly met both then-President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the eventual winner, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. The New York Times deemed the election “one of the most fraudulent political events in Somalia’s history” – which is pretty amazing considering that Somalia is so saturated with corruption that Transparency International has placed Somalia dead last in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index for eleven consecutive years. The new president promptly nominated Hassan Ali Khayre as prime minister despite – or perhaps because of – suspicions that Khayre used his connections with Al-Shabaab terrorists to benefit his company.
Back in Minneapolis at a community celebration, Omar and her “cultural husband” Hirsi enthusiastically praised the new Somali government and mentioned Khayre by name. A few days later Khayre was confirmed by Parliament as prime minister – and two days after that Omar’s brother-in-law Mohamed Keynan became permanent secretary to Prime Minister Khayre. Many government employees would be stripped of their security clearances for having similar connections if, in the words of a directive from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “that contact creates a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion,” but as an elected member of Congress Rep. Omar gets a free pass.
LARGEST KNOWN DATA THEFT IN SENATE HISTORY
Speaking of Congress, Daily Caller reports that former Democratic IT aide Jackson Cosko has been sentenced to four years for hacking the office computer system of Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and publishing the home addresses and phone numbers for five Republican senators during the confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Doxxing – the slang term for publicizing a person’s name and contact information – has become a favored tactic of the Left: The information is posted on the Internet to make the person a target for harassment or even violence. Prosecutors hoped to make an example of Cosko to deter others engaging in similar, politically motivated crimes.
Cosko’s hack constitutes the largest known Senate data theft to date, as he apparently siphoned off everything stored on Sen. Hassan’s computers – including the Social Security numbers and other personal information of constituents who had asked Hassan for assistance in dealing with government agencies. Hassan’s office does not appear to have notified her constituents of the breach even though Hassan has advocated for legislation requiring companies to give such notifications.
Hassan talks a good line in public, but in private she has shown a shocking disregard for security. When Hassan hired Cosko in 2017 as computer systems administrator, he was already a convicted felon and drug addict. Cosko was terminated in May 2018 for performance issues that Hassan has declined to explain to the press. Amazingly, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) soon gave Cosko an unpaid internship, apparently without calling Hassan’s office for references. Following his dismissal, Cosko broke into Hassan’s office with help from another Hassan staffer at least four times to steal data and to install keyloggers on several computers to transmit even more data to him. He originally intended to use the data to blackmail staffers, but after becoming angry over Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings he doxxed the Republican senators instead, using a computer in Jackson Lee’s office. Although Cosko was spotted during his last burglary attempt and reported to the Capitol police, his keyloggers remained undetected until he decided to cooperate with law enforcement. Hassan’s disregard for elementary security procedures is such that no one, apparently, bothered to run a thorough check on her office computers. The Capitol Hill police seem to be similarly inept at conducting investigations, as Cosko and his lawyers had to send them back to his home a second time because they failed to look where they had been told for evidence.
Disturbingly this is not a one off. Long-time Nightwatch readers may remember our coverage last year of the Awan brothers, Pakistani IT aides to several House Democrats, who stole equipment and data from House servers. Investigations after the Awans were fired revealed a host of problems with cybersecurity, including improper vetting of IT employees, lack of supervision, use of unauthorized equipment, and use of non-approved software or cloud services. Congress’s solution was to require IT employees to sign a form in which they agreed to follow the rules. Unsurprisingly rule-breaking continued, and 45 percent of the employees didn’t even bother to sign the form.
Leftists continue to deplatform people who disagree with them. Nightwatch has previously discussed social media giants Facebook and Twitter suspending accounts as well as using algorithms to hide activity by accounts that are supposed to be active. Now Project Veritas reports that the social media platform Pinterest is censoring Christian content in three ways. The first method is that terms such as “Christian” and “Bible verses” have been placed on a Sensitive Terms List to prevent them coming up in the site’s search bar. This list is normally reserved for pornographic terms or hate speech to prevent them from spreading on the site and offending the unsuspecting. Since the search bar has no trouble suggesting results for “Muslim” or “Jewish”, it is clearly targeting Christians. People can still pin or share this material on their own boards (pages), but the material will not be shown to other users in searches – which defeats many people’s purpose of pinning it. The second method is that the pro-life advocacy group Live Action and other non-Leftist sites such as zerohedge.com, teaparty.org, and pjmedia.com were placed on a list of blocked pornographic sites, and that stops material from those sites being posted to Pinterest at all. The person attempting to post from those sites receives a response that looks like a technical glitch occurred; the true reason is not explained. The third method is that Pinterest also maintains a list of “conspiracy theories” that are ranked for harmfulness: The more harmful Pinterest deems the conspiracy, the more it is suppressed in search results and prevented from appearing in trending or recommended feeds. Pinterest ranks Flat Earth material as less harmful than undercover videotapes made inside Planned Parenthood facilities. The Veritas source stressed that these lists are compiled manually by Pinterest employees, so the blocks are deliberate and not the result of computer error or faulty algorithms.
It seems that Pinterest considers Christians and pro-life advocates enemies of society – or at least enemies of the society Pinterest wants to encourage.
Christians and pro-life advocacy have also been targeted by YouTube, a video sharing platform that is a subsidiary of Google. Breitbart and Project Veritas report that YouTube blacklisted 120 entries on May 17, 2018 – seven days before Ireland’s referendum to decriminalize abortion, which was won by the pro-abortion side. The blacklisted terms include “abortion is wrong” and “abortion and the Catholic Church” amongst others. Google claims to be a trustworthy source of information that does not favor political ideology in its search results, but that claim was refuted by Dr. Robert Epstein’s study of what he called the Search Engine Manipulation Effect. Epstein did not accuse Google of deliberately tweaking results, but insiders told Breitbart and Project Veritas that Google and YouTube are indeed tweaking, blacklisting, and censoring.
Censorship is an old fashioned form of thought control. Preventing people from discussing certain topics keeps them from propagating and thereby limits public discourse: Islam is acceptable to technocrats, but Christianity is not. Leftwing extremists – including those who advocate violence – are acceptable, but even peaceful Conservatives are not. Abortion is acceptable, but pro-life advocacy is not.
As President Trump has often complained, the system is rigged. But there are some grounds for hope: For while Congressional Conservatives are ideologically averse to regulation, even those with a Libertarian bent have come to recognize the danger of letting high tech giants run wild and – surprisingly – even some of the Liberal legislators who benefit from high tech bias have come to recognize the threat as well.
Regulation of some sort is coming. The only questions are when and what kind.
NEW TRADE ROUTES & BATTLEGROUNDS
There are some things climate change activists don’t like to talk about. One of them is the fact that the Earth runs through a freeze-thaw cycle of roughly 1000 years. A sudden onset of cold appears to have contributed to the collapse of Mycenaean Era, while a gradual warming led to the Glory of Greece and the rise of Rome five centuries later. The return of cold around 200 AD seems to have caused or contributed to the economic stagnation that afflicted the late Empire, and the onset of the Mediaeval Warm Period contributed to the revival of European civilization. That was followed approximately 500 years later by the Little Ice Age, and then the gradual warming that began – roughly – at the close of the 19th Century.
That thaw and modern GPS navigation systems are slowly opening Arctic seaways that were almost impossible for cargo ships before. The Northwest Passage – the route through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to the Pacific Ocean – is especially important because that route reduces transit times from the Europe to Asia by approximately 20 days. Bloomberg reports the Northern Sea Route – which follows Russia’s Arctic coastline between the Bering Strait and the Barents Sea – is also being eyed as a way to cut transit times by 10 to 20 days compared to shipping through the Suez Canal. Long utilized in inter-coastal trade, Russia has been busy opening military bases along the Northern Sea Route and building a new fleet of icebreakers in the hope of making sea-to-sea passage possible year-round. If the Arctic continues to warm those icebreakers may not be needed for more than a decade or so, but the Russians want to establish control of the trade route now in anticipation of a four-fold increase in shipping traffic over the next five years. That trade route could also help Russia bring China into closer partnership against the US, as China is eager to add a Polar Silk Road to its One Belt One Road trade initiative.
In contrast Europe, Canada, and the US are bickering over climate change agreements and territorial claims instead of building Arctic infrastructure. Europe still maintains the pretense that global climate change is driven by human activity and can therefore be reversed if everyone accepts the lower standard of living offered by their socialist but environmentally friendly New World Order. But building Arctic infrastructure to take advantage of the diminishing ice to improve trade would get in the way of their lofty goals.
Canada’s National Post reports that while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned against Russian and Chinese activity at the May meeting of the Arctic Council,* he also re-opened a rift by calling Canada’s claim to the Northwest Passage “illegitimate.” Canada has long claimed the Northwest Passage as internal waters because the passages run through Canadian islands, whereas the US regards it as an international waterway with Canadian territory nearby. Pompeo did try to walk it back somewhat by saying the US was more concerned about Russia and China than Canada, but his comments are still being interpreted as an attack on a 1988 agreement that allowed the US and Canada to agree to disagree on the sovereignty issue, while cooperating on navigation and research projects. Also offended was the Canadian branch of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, which interpreted Pompeo’s remarks as an effort to internationalize their ancestral homeland.
Sending US ships into the Passage without first notifying Canada could prove both foolish and expensive: Arctic Today reports that the US Coast Guard doesn’t have the budget or the ships to handle its new Arctic Strategic Outlook. Not only is its single operational heavy icebreaker used in both the Arctic and Antarctic, that ship is barely being kept afloat by the crew’s ingenuity. A contract was awarded in April for a new heavy icebreaker – the first in 4 decades – but it will take 4 years to build, and there are serious questions if the old one will last that long. Even though the ice is slowly diminishing, specially constructed ships are still needed to withstand Arctic conditions, and the Guard’s medium icebreakers are not up to the job. More heavy icebreakers are planned, but the Coast Guard’s budget is being hit both by inflation and by the Administration’s effort to reprogram interdiction funds to support the border wall with Mexico. The reality is that Arctic cooperation with Canada is a practical necessity: An Arctic Today photo of a Canadian icebreaker clearing a path for an American ship speaks volumes.
To further complicate matters, Maritime Executive reports a possible third route across the North Pole that only China seems to be planning for. The Transpolar or Central Passage could save even more time and might eventually make both the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage obsolete. Apparently the West remains locked in a mental image of a permanent polar ice cap. A Soviet nuclear icebreaker named the Arktika reached the North Pole in 1977 – when only 0.2% of the area was ice-free – and by 2009 it had become clear that Arctic routes might open for more than a couple months each year. Current projections expect the polar ice cap to be gone in summer by 2050, and some experts predict it might even happen by 2030. Once the permanent ice cap is gone, any water that refreezes in winter would form a much thinner and more navigable ice. It may become possible for ordinary cargo ships to get through year round, rather than the specially built ice-resistant ships currently needed in the Arctic winter.
China released an Arctic Policy in January 2018 that nonchalantly describes all three of these possible trade routes and plans a Polar Silk Road to unite them. It’s worth noting that China also signed a free trade agreement with Iceland in 2013 and last year opened the China-Iceland Arctic Science Observatory outside Akureyri. Iceland has also signed a contract with a German company to construct a deepwater port in northeast Iceland that could be used for the Transpolar Passage, yet neither Iceland nor any other member of the Arctic Council mention that route in their Arctic policies.
Unless there’s secret planning underway for a major Western initiative, it now seems likely that China will control the most profitable trade route of the future.
*Established in 1996. Member states include the US, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
CHINA’S PAY TO PLAY
Last month Nightwatch discussed how then-Vice President Joe Biden and other members of the Obama Administration pressured Ukraine into dropping an investigation of possible improper money transfers by a company of which Biden’s son, Hunter, is reportedly a paid member of the board. New York Post reports that Hunter Biden has also had amazing business success in China – in 2010 the younger Biden and his partners in a private equity firm received a “warm welcome” from top Chinese officials to “explore the possibility of commercial cooperation and opportunity” within hours of the elder Biden meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Washington during the Nuclear Security Summit. Then in 2013 Hunter tagged along with his father on Air Force Two to China; less than two weeks later his company signed a $1 billion deal with the Bank of China to create an investment fund named Bohai Harvest RST (or BHR).
Here it’s worth noting that foreigners are not normally allowed to do this – much larger and better known financial institutions have been denied permission to start Chinese investment funds, yet the Vice President’s son was given unprecedented access. Small wonder that Joe Biden on the 2019 campaign trail insists that China is no threat to the US.
People not on China’s payroll disagree. In 2014 BHR invested in the IPO of China General Nuclear Power Corp. (CGN), a state-owned energy company – and two years later, the US Justice Department charged CGN with stealing nuclear secrets from the US, including a component used by US nuclear submarines. In 2015 BHR partnered with a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned military contractor Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to buy American parts manufacturer Henniges. AVIC is said to have a long history of stealing Western technology to include in the military aircraft, transports, and drones it sells in direct competition with the US. Henniges is a leader in anti-vibration technology that happens to be on the restricted export control list because of military applications. The BHR and AVIC purchase of Henniges thus required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which included representatives from several government agencies and John Kerry’s State Department. The deal was approved – and the fact that one of Hunter Biden’s business partners was Chris Heinz, John Kerry’s stepson, probably didn’t hurt matters.
NEW ZEALAND: A CHINESE TAKEOVER
New Zealand Herald reports that Chinese government backed organizations have become big political donors in New Zealand – and generous in offering high ranking business positions, such as bank directorships, to former NZ government officials and their relatives. China has been busy cultivating influence all over the world, but New Zealand is of special interest because of its membership in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, its stake in Antarctica, its agricultural land, and its usefulness for near-space research. Sometimes these interests overlap: Dairy farms owned by Chinese companies have been used for near-space balloon launches, testing technology that might be used in advanced missiles. There is even a member of parliament who reportedly spent fifteen years studying and working with Chinese military intelligence before he became a New Zealand citizen. But oddly enough, top government leaders insist China isn’t a problem.
SPYGATE: THE ITALIAN CONNECTION
Nightwatch has previously discussed how US intelligence agencies illegally wiretapped Trump campaign insiders both before and after the 2016 election, using British GCHQ personnel to sidestep laws that prohibit them from spying on American citizens. The coup plotters also tried to entrap campaign aide George Papadopoulos with Stefan Halper and Joseph Mifsud, both academics linked to British intelligence who disappeared when their roles became public knowledge. The plotters later reached out to Ukrainian contacts to bolster the phony Steele dossier, which was used to fraudulently obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump and his inner circle – and now it appears the putschists also had help from their Italian counterparts.
La Repubblica reported in May that Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte fired six directors and deputy directors from the three Italian intelligence agencies. Conte’s opponents tried to paint it as the new regime playing political games, but the cat was soon out of the bag. Brad Johnson, retired CIA Station Chief and counterintelligence expert, explained that the firings happened after President Trump called Conte to inquire about Mifsud, who had been discovered in April living in a Rome apartment owned by Link International – the company that controls Link Campus, a Rome university known to work closely with Western intelligence agencies. The six fired directors have since been arrested and are under investigation by Italian authorities. The story being pieced together is that Mifsud – now known as an informant for several intelligence agencies, not just the Brits – wore a wire when he met with Papadopoulos, and the Italians provided transcripts to the American FBI. The FBI was unable to frame Papadopoulos for Russian collusion, but they did succeed in pressuring him to plead guilty in October 2017 of making false statements to FBI agents – the same legal trap the FBI used to ensnare Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s initial national security adviser. Recently declassified documents will provide more information on his targeting, and hopefully the full story will come to light. But even more importantly, the growing number of international connections has made it all but certain that former CIA Director John Brennan and former President Obama were both deeply involved in the coup attempt.
Daily Caller reports that Barr has appointed US Attorney John Durham to take over the surveillance investigation from John Huber. Huber has been so quiet since former AG Jeff Sessions appointed him in March 2018 that many have questioned what he was actually doing. Barr explained that Huber is wrapping up an investigation pertaining to Hillary Clinton and has not been involved with Russiagate/Spygate for several months.
DID GOOGLE INFLUENCE 2018 MIDTERM ELECTIONS?
After two years of media hysterics claiming Russia hacked, meddled with, or somehow influenced the 2016 US presidential election, Dr. Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology says Google’s biased search algorithm flipped three 2018 California House races from Republican to Democrat and is even influencing elections globally. Epstein explained to RT that field agents in a study searched about 500 terms related to issues in those House districts. Google’s search results showed a “significant liberal bias” that likely influenced undecided voters. After six years of studying the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, Epstein says between 20 to 80 percent of undecided voters can be swayed, depending on the issue and demographic group, which can make it a deciding factor in close races. Having examined elections around the world, Epstein also says that at least 25 percent of national elections are being decided by Google. There are other search engines available that yield more neutral results, but Google has the lion’s share of the market – in the US, 90 percent. Since most users falsely assume that search results generated by a computer are objective, they’re more trusting and more open to changing their minds. Google insists they have never re-ranked search results “to manipulate political sentiment” and that they do not tweak rankings specific to elections or political candidates. Epstein says he’s not accusing them of re-ranking or tweaking, only that their search results consistently favor liberals and liberal news sources. Bing and Yahoo search results did not, but their market share is tiny in comparison.
FRANCE: A LOW GRADE INSURGENCY
French President Emmanuel Macron has spent years denying the existence of French culture in order to promote Multiculturalism and Globalism. But in what amounts to a public admission that the former has proven to be a disastrous failure, Breitbart reports that Macron now wants France to rediscover “the art of being French.” Macron is careful about his wording, asserting the problem is political Islam – not Islam in general, but only political Islam – which has encouraged the rise of pocket communities that want to secede from the French Republic. This problematic “communitarianism” is a direct result of Turkey and Saudi Arabia funding French mosques and clerics to spread more radical strains of Islam. Even bookshops and online information forums are now so dominated by Salafist literature that it’s difficult to find information on more moderate versions of that faith. A study conducted last year advised blocking foreign funding and setting up a neutral Muslim organization to take over the training of French clerics.
One might ask why such measures weren’t taken sooner. Islamist terrorism did not end with the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Bataclan theater massacres in 2015; since then there have been multiple attacks on policemen and soldiers as well as more than 2,000 “anti-Christian” acts in 2017 and 2018. Anti-Christian incidents have continued climbing this year – and then there was the devastating fire at Notre Dame.
The reality is that France is facing a low-grade Islamic insurgency that the government is presently unwilling to admit. For that reason French authorities immediately declared the Notre Dame fire accidental, even though all evidence points to the contrary: To acknowledge the obvious would be to risk turning a low grade Muslim insurgency into bloody, nation-wide insurrection.
But Muslim insurgents aren’t Macron’s only problem: Six months on, the Gilets Jaunes – or Yellow Vests – are still protesting despite an astonishing degree of police violence and the use of non-lethal chemical weapons against them. At the same press conference where Macron decried political Islam, he also outlined a series of proposals intended to mollify the Yellow Vests. But the vapid measures he proposed only inflamed the situation – two days later, the Yellow Vests tried to storm the European Parliament building in Strasbourg but were repulsed by barricades, tear gas, and more police brutality.
Macron is owned and operated by the European Financial Elite and for that reason has little interest in protecting France or the French people. But since the Islamist insurgency and the Yellow Vest movement both stem from the same cause – that is, the Elite’s single minded pursuit of its own interests at the expense of France and its people – it’s remotely possible that Macron’s call to recall “the art of being French” may be the first, hesitant step toward addressing the disaster the Ruling Elite has inflicted upon France with Political Correctness, Multiculturalism and Globalism.
CHRISTIANITY UNDER ATTACK
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was badly damaged by fire in April at the beginning of Holy Week. The French government ruled out arson before an investigation was even conducted. Daily Caller reports that such conduct is typical of the French Ministry of the Interior, which deliberately muddles the sort of “anti-Christian” crimes mentioned above because the Ministry does not want to provide details lest they be “manipulated.” The crimes include violent acts against individuals as well as vandalism of Christian churches, cemeteries, and other religious sites. National Catholic Reporter attempted a more in-depth look and found the attacks appear to come from numerous directions. Thieves steal valuable art and objects but don’t touch anything else. Some fires might have been started accidentally by homeless people trying to keep warm. But vandalism specifically directed at sacred symbols such as statues and crucifixes are indisputably anti-Christian acts. Gatestone Institute describes hundreds of such attacks on churches in Germany and across Europe and notes they are now everyday occurrences. Not surprisingly, those areas with the highest populations of Muslim migrants tend to have the most trouble.
But Muslims aren’t the only problem: It’s important to understand that anti-Christian violence is rising throughout the world. The magnitude is difficult to determine because the Mainstream Media downplays it, preferring to focus instead on attacks against Muslims and – more rarely – Jews. The terrorist bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka that killed more than 300 Catholics were barely reported by the MSM and murders of Christians in Egypt, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Eritrea, The Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, and other countries are studiously ignored. Daily Caller reports that British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt blames “political correctness” for governments – and, presumably the MSM – ignoring the persecution of Christians. A report commissioned by Hunt last December is still in progress, but the released interim report shows that about one-third of the world’s population suffers from religious persecution in varying forms, with Christians being the most persecuted group. Christianity is even in serious danger of being wiped out in its birthplace of the Middle East. In Palestine Christians are now less than 1.5% of the population.
The US is not immune either. Fox News reports that two days after the Notre Dame fire a man with gas cans and lighter fluid was arrested at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City; that man had also been arrested a few days earlier at a cathedral in Newark, New Jersey. A Catholic church on Maui, Hawaii was reported by a local news station as having been vandalized on Easter, and its Our Lady of Lourdes statue was destroyed along with some pictures. Patient work with a search engine reveals many other incidents across the country; some vandalized churches have graffiti praising Satan or Allah and Mohammed. As in France, the attacks are coming from many directions, which makes it easier for authorities to downplay or dismiss the attacks as being the work of just a few mentally disturbed individuals. Christians of all denominations are urged to be on their guard, to help secure their places of worship and fellowship, and to hold local authorities and local media accountable for their handling of any attacks in their area.
UKRAINE COLLUSION: OBAMA & BIDEN
Nightwatch has previously discussed how Fusion GPS used Ukrainian politicians as sources for the phony Steele dossier that was fraudulently used to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant against Trump. Now The Hill reports the Ukrainian collusion went far deeper. In January 2016 the Obama White House brought Ukrainian corruption investigators to DC for meetings with members of Obama’s National Security Council, FBI, State Department, and Department of Justice. The meetings were ostensibly for training and coordination, but the Americans were interested in only two cases: an old investigation regarding payments made by the party of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to a lobbying firm owned by Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, and an open investigation of a Ukrainian energy company for improper foreign money transfers. By strange coincidence, Manafort and Stone were staunch Trump supporters and Hunter Biden – the Vice President’s son – was both a paid board member of, and consultant to, the energy company under scrutiny. FBI agents had interviewed Manafort in 2014 about whether he had engaged in improper foreign lobbying and received undeclared payments, but the FBI shut down the case without charging Manafort. Ukraine had evidence that other Westerners, including former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig, had also received payments from Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, but the Obama Administration wasn’t interested. They only wanted information on Manafort – which by another strange coincidence magically appeared in the form of a secret ledger showing undeclared payments to Manafort ten days after he was appointed Trump’s campaign manager in May of 2016. Forced to resign from the campaign in August 2016, Manafort was convicted last year on eight counts of filing false tax returns, bank fraud, and failing to disclose a foreign bank account. Even though President Trump was not involved in these dealings, Democrats and the Establishment media used the case to smear Trump with guilt by association. Last December a Ukrainian court called the ledger’s release an illegal attempt to influence the US election.
In stark contrast, the Obama Administration wanted the case involving Hunter Biden dropped and pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating it. Then-Vice President Joe Biden even bragged about threatening to pull $1 billion in US loan guarantees, which could have pushed Ukraine into insolvency. Bank records show that Hunter Biden’s company, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular money transfers from the energy company in question during 2014-2015 when Joe Biden was the main US official dealing with Ukraine and its difficult relations with Russia. Ukrainian files identify Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer, and their company Rosemont Seneca Partners as potential recipients of the money. Clearly, the Obama Administration was only interested in fighting corruption when they could weaponize it against their opponents. As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News, “From their point of view the rule of law is a tool to get an outcome.”
SAUDIS EVADING US JUSTICE
Democrats aren’t the only ones with a Get Out of Jail Free card. The Oregonian reports that for decades Saudi consular officials have been helping Saudi nationals facing charges in the US escape back to their own country while US federal officials turn a blind eye. The Oregonian first noticed the phenomenon when five young Saudi men studying at Oregon universities disappeared after being released on bail. Two of the suspects were accused of rape, two were accused of hit and run driving offenses – including one that was fatal – and one was accused of possessing child pornography on his computer. All five were recipients of scholarships and stipends from the Saudi government and in at least four of the five cases the Saudi government hired a lawyer for the defendants and provided bail money. Some of the disappeared students later resurfaced in Saudi Arabia despite having surrendered their passports after their arrests, raising suspicions that consular officials had either provided new passports or arranged for private jet trips home. Upon investigation The Oregonian found similar cases in seven other states and Canada – which turned out to be the tip of an iceberg.
The Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission in DC keeps tabs on students – and other Saudis visiting the US – with help from student associations on college campuses. Those who criticize the Kingdom, engage in other frowned upon political activities or run into trouble with the law are whisked home by Saudi operatives. The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agencies have long known this but Republican and Democratic administrations alike have avoided confronting the Saudi’s for fear of jeopardizing Saudi cooperation in counterterrorism and other issues – even when the vanished Saudi subjects were being investigated for connections to extremists and terrorists. The State Department has repeatedly declined to intervene in these cases, citing the lack of an extradition treaty with the Kingdom. A reasonable person might expect that a true ally would cooperate in matters of criminal activity and public safety, but that has not been the case. On the plus side, the accused offender has been removed from the community; the downside is they may or may not be held accountable once they’re back in the Kingdom, so in at least some instances the offender is free to travel and commit crimes elsewhere. In fact one of the students first noticed by The Oregonian was spotted posting social media comments about the weather and food – in France.
DEMOCRATS: NEW VOTERS
2020 presidential election has become the Mainstream Media’s new grand obsession. Those who would carry the Democrat standard are swarming out of the woodwork to offer the usual promises of government controlled healthcare and ever greater handouts for the public. But this year they’re also offering new proposals designed to swell the ranks of registered voters. One proposal is to lower the voting age to 16: The Federalist reports that Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) has actually introduced a bill in the House for this and that 236 Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors. No one has suggested lowering the age for other adult responsibilities, e.g. full time work, military service, signing contracts, and aside from Nancy Pelosi’s claim that high school students are politically “engaged” no one has offered a plausible argument for why 16 year-olds are qualified to assume the serious responsibility of voting.
The real reason for the Democrat’s interest in lowering the voting age is support for expanding government is highest with the younger generation, whereas older generations favor limiting it. In various guises, the wry observation, incorrectly attributed to Churchill, that “If you aren’t a liberal at 20, you have no heart, and if you aren’t a conservative at 40, you have no head” has been bandied about since at least 1875.
Another proposal is to restore the right to vote to all felons. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website, 48 states currently restrict voting by felons. Maine and Vermont are the only two that do not. In 14 states and the District of Columbia, felons lose their voting rights while incarcerated, but their rights are automatically restored upon their release. In 22 states felons lose their voting rights while incarcerated and for a set period after their release. In 12 states, felons can lose their voting rights indefinitely for some crimes or require a governor’s pardon for their rights to be restored.
Leading Democrats are proposing to federally mandate that all felons retain the right to vote even while incarcerated. The only explanation offered for why people who have been deemed a menace to society should be allowed to vote is a vague platitude about voting being a basic universal human right – which would have amazed the Founding Fathers, who did set eligibility requirements. The exception is Pete Buttigieg,* who says that felons should not vote while incarcerated but should still have the right restored upon release. As with teen voting, the real reason once again is the presumption that felons with restored voting rights would vote Democrat.
A STEELE DOSSIER REDUX
The notorious Steele dossier, used by the FBI to fraudulently obtain a FISA warrant first to surveil the Trump campaign, and then in a seditious attempt to force a duly elected president from office, has been the subject of so many media reports that one might wonder what could possibly be left to say about it. But new sources for the phony dossier have been uncovered: It was originally reported that Christopher Steele’s informants were Russian insiders who claimed their government had compromising material on Trump, but One America News (OAN) reports that the dossier was actually a jumble of at least sixteen reports collected by Fusion GPS from multiple sources, including Ukrainian politicians and political consultants. Serhiy Leshchenko, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, was revealed as a source last year and in March OAN revealed another name: Vasyl Filipchuk, a Ukrainian diplomat and a board member of the International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS). It should be noted that neither man appears to be pro-Russian, but they are – or were – pro-Clinton, so when Fusion GPS reached out to them, they agreed to provide anti-Trump material to help Hillary. Fusion GPS made no attempt to verify any of the material and reportedly even encouraged sources to “just make up something.” Mr. Filipchuk’s involvement is particularly interesting because of his position with the ICPS, a Ukrainian think tank founded “upon the initiative” of the Open Society Institute – which was created by Leftist billionaire George Soros.
And there is yet another link to Soros as well: Daily Caller reports The Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP) is partially funded by Soros. TDIP was founded in January 2017 by Daniel Jones, a former staffer for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and has been described by Jones as a “shadow media organization helping the government” by working with a “network of experienced organizations and individuals to gather information on foreign actors’ efforts to interfere in democratic elections around the world” – or more specifically, the 2016 US presidential election. Jones claims to have received $50 million from an as yet unidentified “group of Silicon Valley billionaires” and George Soros. TDIP paid $3.3 million to Bean LLC, the holding company that controls Fusion GPS, and $250,000 to Walsingham Partners Ltd., a London-based firm owned by Christopher Steele and a partner named Christopher Burrows. TDIP also paid nearly $130,000 to Edward Austin Ltd., a London-based consultancy run by a Fusion GPS contractor named Edward Baumgartner, and $148,000 to Zuckerman Spaeder, a law firm that has represented Fusion GPS in some legal matters pertaining to the dossier.
In short: TDIP funneled money from Leftist billionaires to Fusion GPS, and Fusion contractors, for them to provide anti-Trump material to US government agencies and to the media – and it was far more money than the Perkins Coie law firm paid Fusion on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. What began as opposition research for a candidate morphed into a sustained, well-funded operation by the Establishment Left to overturn the 2016 election.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally concluded his investigation with a statement that there was no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. It’s now time for Attorney General Barr to investigate the very real attempted coup d’état by the Left and to hold the conspirators accountable to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA
An eerie feature of the attempted Russiagate coup was the way the Mainstream Media (MSM) ignored objective reality and endlessly repeated the Left’s fantasy that President Trump was a Russian agent who would soon be arrested. It was almost as though they were all reading from the same script. Blogger Caitlin Johnstone published an insightful article on her website last December that cuts to the heart of the matter: The West claims to have a free press, yet the MSM acts as agents of the Establishment by viciously attacking those who dare to disagree with the Establishment’s line. Indeed, the MSM’s attempts to impose opinion is often indistinguishable from the behavior of state-run propaganda outlets. The most important reason for this is media outlets are no longer independent – they’re either owned by corporations or, like The Washington Post, by the billionaire owners of corporations. Even the smaller, locally owned suburban news outlets are a thing of the past; almost all are now owned by nationwide conglomerates. Wealthy media owners invest a great deal of money and effort in influencing government policy in order to ensure the growth of their financial interests – so naturally they’re not going to encourage reporting that would undercut their efforts. Noam Chomsky’s 1996 rejoinder to a BBC reporter who insisted that he [the reporter] did not self-censor is telling: “I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”
This is, of course, why so many reporters for state-run outlets abroad insist that they are not pressured by their bosses and claim they’re reporting honestly: If they held opposing beliefs, they would not have those jobs. In the West, the selection process is done through peer pressure and withholding or granting access. Reporters who want well-paid jobs and successful careers quickly learn how to get ahead by publishing carefully crafted “insider” reports that support the Establishment Line. Those who don’t learn – or who refuse to follow the herd – are left behind in obscurity. The growing trend of former government officials joining media payrolls as analysts brings the partnership between government and plutocrats into the open. The framers of the US Constitution expected, or at least hoped, the press would help check the power of government by remaining independent and informing the American people. Today the MSM tell the public a mix of truths, half-truths, and outright lies to manipulate the public into cooperating with the shared government-plutocrat agenda – just as the state-run propaganda outlets do overseas.
During the Cold War, CFIS Chairman Charles S. Viar read the “Moscow Funnies” every morning – that is, Pravda and Izvestia – before turning to the American press. In his words, “Aside from The New York Times – an unreformed Stalinist Disinformation rag – the American press tilted to the left during that era, but was generally factual. But these days their style, content and factual accuracy has become eerily similar to the old Soviet press – but without the wickedly funny humor that occasionally crept into its pages.”
The silver lining in all this is the Mainstream media’s manipulation and deceit have become too blatant to ignore. At long last, large numbers of the public have tuned out the MSM and turned instead to alternative media sources that provide more objective reporting.
ASSIMILATION IN DOUBT
This is not just opinion. Sputnik reports that professor of sociology Ruud Koopmans has concluded after twenty years of studying assimilation at the Berlin Social Science Center that Muslims are far more resistant to integration than other migrant groups. Koopmans blames a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that is prevalent among Muslim migrants. This fundamentalism encourages Muslims to remain separate from other groups and avoid broader interaction with them. In fact around 65% of Turkish and Moroccan Muslims in six European countries consider religious laws more important than the laws of the country they live in. Almost 60% rejected the idea of friendships with homosexuals, and 45% rejected the idea of friendships with Jews. Other migrant groups progress in assimilation from one generation to the next, but in Muslims this change is far slower. There are certainly individual Muslims who have integrated into their new countries, but Koopmans stresses that these individuals are exceptions and that the overall trend suggests no Western country has yet managed to truly integrate Muslims.
Koopmans also paints a gloomy picture of the Muslim world in general. He concluded that the 47 Muslim-majority countries studied lag behind the rest of the world in democracy, human rights, political development, and economic development – and the lag is getting worse, not better, due to growing fundamentalism and sectarian conflict.
In Germany Koopmans is seen as a controversial figure for criticizing Chancellor Merkel’s immigration policies even though his arguments are solidly based on evidence. His critics frequently make personal attacks but refuse to discuss his studies on the dubious grounds that discussion plays into the hands of right wing populists who want to stop immigration altogether. Refusing to discuss the facts, however, will not make them go away. Those who insist Europe must continue accepting Muslim migrants – and who even insist Europeans must adapt to the Muslims instead of vice versa – are willfully hastening Europe’s cultural suicide. What’s happening there should be a warning to Americans of what will happen here if the Left’s political correctness is not checked.
ISLAMIST TAKEOVER SETBACK
Clarion Project reports a major win in turning back the Islamist effort to subvert American education: A federal court has ordered the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) out of the San Diego Unified School District. The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) brought a lawsuit on the grounds that the school district allowed CAIR to run a discriminatory, unconstitutional propaganda program in the schools. The program began in April 2017 and was based on false claims that Muslim students were being bullied by Islamophobes after President Trump’s election; state records do not show any evidence of such bullying. The program gave Muslim students special privileges and allowed CAIR officials to teach about Islam, changing the curriculum and using biased videos to persuade students and teachers to look more favorably upon that faith. The court found the program violated the First Amendment by favoring one religious group over another and mixing government with religion. The San Diego school district was ordered to end the program, to stop the pro-Muslim student bias, to keep educational materials on religious subjects neutral instead of promoting one religion over another, and to treat each religion with equal respect “with the time and attention spent discussing each religion being proportionate to its impact on history.” It also ordered the district not to allow guest speakers from religious organizations to give students presentations on religious topics. FCDF spokesmen say other school districts should take the settlement as a warning against similar partnerships with CAIR and identified four other districts that are running such programs.
This victory is even more important when one realizes that CAIR has been credibly accused of helping finance Hamas and other terrorist groups – the FBI and the Justice Department have both banned CAIR as a community outreach partner for this reason. That school districts would allow such influence on their students underscores the need for parents to remain vigilant over their children’s education and not let alleged experts have free rein. CAIR had hoped this program would lead to a nationwide rollout and will probably continue the battle despite this setback. Parents are accordingly urged to become more involved with their local school boards and pressure them to take the First Amendment Establishment Clause seriously.
NORTH KOREAN EMBASSY RAID
On February 22nd, North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, Spain was briefly seized by ten intruders. Reuters and the BBC report that it was carried out by the Cheollima Civil Defense, also known as Free Joseon, a group dedicated to overthrowing Kim Jong-un. Spanish authorities described the attack as well planned as if by a “military cell” and identified three suspects: Adrian Hong Chang, a Mexican citizen and US resident; Sam Ryu, an American citizen; and Woo Ran Lee, a South Korean citizen.
Mr. Hong Chang gained access to the embassy by asking to see the commercial attaché about some business matters; once he was inside, his accomplices burst in. The group reportedly interrogated the attaché and tried to persuade him to defect. Embassy staff were held prisoner for several hours. One woman managed to escape through a window, and local police were called. When the police arrived, they were greeted by Mr. Hong Chang, who pretended to be a diplomat and assured them nothing was wrong. It is not clear in the reports if the police took his word for it and left. The intruders then split into four groups and left the embassy in stolen diplomatic vehicles, taking computers and – presumably – other exceptionally valuable items such as code books and encryption machines. The group reportedly contacted the FBI at some point to pass on information about the raid, and Spanish authorities suspect US intelligence agencies could have been involved in planning the attack. They believe the three named suspects all travelled to the US after the raid and plan to seek their extradition.
Spokesmen for the US State Department and the FBI have denied any involvement in the raid, but other elements of the US Intelligence Community have not. Given that the raid occurred shortly before President Trump’s summit in Hanoi with Kim Jong-un, some have speculated the raiders may have been looking for information on Kim Hyok-chol, North Korea’s former ambassador to Spain who is described by the BBC as now “a key envoy” in North Korean talks with the US. But more experienced observers have dismissed that as a likely diversion – the computers would have almost certainly contained diplomatic communications which, when combined code books and encryption machines, would have made it possible to read North Korean diplomatic cables up to that date with certainty. Assuming American code breakers hadn’t already cracked North Korea’s diplomatic ciphers, the data gleaned from North Korean cables would have been of great value to President Trump.
That said, it’s entirely plausible that US intelligence was shutting down a code breaking operation that had long since cracked North Korean communications, and were laying down a false trail intended to confuse their North Korean adversaries as to when and how the US had penetrated their ciphers.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: SOUTHERN BORDER UPDATE
Washington Times reports members of the Aryan Brotherhood are now working with Mexican cartels to smuggle illegal aliens into the US. The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as the AB, began as a white-only prison gang and has since become a full-fledged organized crime syndicate. The name suggests white supremacist ideology, but their main motivation now appears to be money – hence the partnership with Mexican cartels. But the smuggling isn’t confined to people, and the traffic runs both ways: Guns are taken south to Mexico, and Mexican meth is brought north to the US.
As Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies pointed out, “Alien smuggling is not a humanitarian enterprise. It is a criminal enterprise run by dangerous people. As long as the border is not well-secured, it will continue to be a crime zone that attracts the worst elements of society and degrades the quality of life for the law-abiding people who live there. As long as illegal immigration is tolerated…people will keep trying to come illegally, and criminals will keep profiting from it.”
Organized human trafficking is lucrative: Illegal immigrants typically pay between $10,000 and $20,000 apiece to be smuggled across the border. But it isn’t confined to paying adults: The Washington Times reported in a separate story that some children smuggled over the border had been kidnapped by sex traffickers. A five-year-old boy kidnapped in Mexicali was rescued when his kidnapper was forced to bring him through a port of entry due to the border wall in that sector. Authorities discovered the kidnapper ran a child porn ring in San Bernardino, California, which led to the rescue of 12 other children. These activities are downplayed by Liberals, who ignore the fact that human trafficking is an organized criminal activity and continue to insist that the trafficked individuals are harmless refugees in search of asylum.
Although a small percent of those smuggled into the country may have a valid claim for asylum, most are simply looking for better jobs and some are criminals. Los Angeles Times reported that a Mexican who fired at a Napa County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop last month had previously been deported three times and was back in the US illegally. Since his last deportation, he had been arrested several times on charges that include battery on a peace officer, selling liquor to a minor, driving under the influence, and probation violations. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had issued four detainer requests to local authorities, but each one was denied. Fortunately the Napa County deputy was not injured and returned fire; the man died at the scene. Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh was not as fortunate. Last December he stopped a driver on suspicion of DUI and was shot to death by that driver, a Mexican national in the US illegally. As Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said in a news conference after the shooter’s arraignment, “Border security goes hand in hand with national security, goes hand in hand with public safety, goes hand in hand with the safety of our community.” But Liberals and Globalists have no interest in public safety. Their only concern is to dissolve the nation’s borders.
PERIODIC HACKING REMINDER
The latest security fail is Nest, a home security system owned by Google. Daily Mail reports that users have discovered strangers talking to their infant children through their baby monitors, and hackers have also used Nest security cameras to spy on residents and hurl insults or threats at them. One user even found that Nest had raised his thermostat to a level potentially hazardous for babies, the elderly and anyone else susceptible to heat stroke. Users who own both Nest and Amazon’s Alexa have found Nest hackers instructing Alexa to play music and perform other Alexa tasks. Google insists the problems are due to customers using weak or repeated passwords and not to any security breach by Google. While the reported hacks mostly sound like harmless pranks, it takes little wit to recognize that thieves, stalkers, or kidnappers might use one’s security system against them. Or the FBI…
It’s worth reiterating that any connected or wireless device can be hacked and used to spy on its owner. An example frequently given in the media is the new generation of sex robots enhanced with artificial intelligence to hold conversations and learn from its user, but The Mind Unleashed reports that much simpler ordinary sex toys designed to be operated with Bluetooth can also be hacked and controlled remotely. People who wish to keep their intimate life private would be well advised to avoid devices that are programmable or remote controlled. They might also want to consider what they’re really gaining by using Google Assistant, Alexa, smart tvs, or other electronic devices, and compare that to the loss of privacy and security.
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING – REALLY
It’s also important to understand that much of the spying today is done by businesses. By now most people have heard about Facebook giving users’ data to companies. Anyone congratulating themselves on having never signed up for Facebook, however, need to take a close look at their phones. The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook routinely collects personal data from some smartphone apps, even if the user has never had a Facebook account. The apps often do not tell the users about the data sharing, much less how to stop it. The data transfer mechanism is an analytics tool developed by Facebook called App Events, and one of the events that can be programmed is to target the user with relevant advertising. However, there is nothing to stop these companies from using the personal data in any way they choose – and any collected data is potentially available to the government.
Many users shrug off such surveillance, rationalizing that’s the price they pay for the convenience of the apps’ services or the special discounts offered by store loyalty program cards. Little thought is given to how digital systems can be turned against them. Project Veritas reports that Facebook has been policing political speech on its platform despite Mark Zuckerberg’s denials in testimony to the Senate. The Sigma AI system originally developed to block potentially suicidal posts has been broadened to suppress posts by disruptive users known as trolls. The list of keywords searched by Sigma include terms used predominantly by Independents and Conservatives, e.g., SJW (Social Justice Warrior) and MSM (Mainstream Media). In other words, Conservative lingo is considered hate speech. The AI does not notify the users that their content is being suppressed, so there is no route to appeal the action. Facebook internal documents obtained by Project Veritas discuss other possible ways to interfere with trolls: failure to upload posts, auto-logouts, and auto-direct to home page every few minutes – things that might be passed off as software glitches or problems with the users’ devices. A particularly disturbing suggestion is that such measures be employed before important elections. Whether or not Facebook intends to manipulate elections is not clear at this time, but suppressing Conservative content would have that effect even if unintended. Another suggestion is to notify a user’s Friend Network when his account is suspended or terminated in the hopes of intimidating others into changing their own behavior. It should be noted that accounts known to have been suppressed include the Daily Caller news outlet and independent filmmaker Mike Cernovich.
Such attempts to influence the public’s behavior are reminiscent of the Chinese social credit system discussed in the November/December 2018 issue of Nightwatch. The Chinese are at least open about it, so their people know what to expect. But American corporate monitoring is hidden or downplayed; anyone expressing misgivings is either given false assurances or mocked. Even when the monitoring is acknowledged, the standard response is that monitoring by private companies is acceptable because they are not the government and because the monitoring facilitates delivering their services to the consumer. Anyone who doesn’t like being monitored should simply not do business with that company – but the reality is that unplugged options are rapidly being left behind in today’s world.
Another reality is that these private companies do receive funding and/or subsidies from the government. Good Jobs First reported in 2015 that Facebook had received over $330 million in federal, state, and local subsidies. It’s also been widely reported that one of the organizations advising Facebook’s efforts to combat hate speech is none other than the Atlantic Council – a Globalist think tank whose donors include the US State Department, US Army, US Air Force, US Marines, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Facebook is indeed part of the Establishment even though it pretends to be just another private company.
Outsourcing surveillance to the private sector does not make it acceptable, but it does make it easier for the public to pretend it doesn’t exist – and therein lies the rub. It has often been said over the years that the Devil’s best trick is to convince people he doesn’t exist. Readers familiar with C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters might recall Screwtape advising the inexperienced tempter Wormwood to keep his charge distracted from such concerns with the minutiae of daily life. If his charge did start wondering about the Devil, Wormwood was to remind him of the comical figure in red tights: Since his target wouldn’t believe such a ludicrous image was real, he’d be inclined to believe Satan’s helpers weren’t real either. Similarly the Establishment works hard to persuade the public that government surveillance – or surveillance by its private sector proxies – is the stuff of nutjob conspiracy theories or paranoids with something to hide. Mockery keeps the nightmarish reality at bay.
AT LONG LAST:
AN APP TO KEEP ’EM BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT – AND IN THE COUNTRY!
There appears to be a phone app for everything. This is Insider reports that Saudi Arabia even has a phone app called Absher that allows a man to handle online government functions such as paying parking fines, renewing a driver’s license – and granting or revoking travel permission for the women in his family. The app even gives notifications when the woman uses her passport at a border crossing or airport.
There’s nothing hidden about this. Before Absher women seeking to escape an abusive husband or father had to find a forger to dummy a written authorization from their guardians that would convince Saudi border authorities to let them pass. But Absher has changed all that – a Saudi woman planning to make a run for it now has to steal her guardian’s phone, reset the app password, grant themselves travel permission in his name, and then hope he doesn’t check her status in time to stop her. Insider estimates that roughly a thousand women try to flee the Kingdom each year – and not all of them make it.
Those that are caught are often never seen again, and according to rumor at least some have been killed because the Saudis consider it shameful for a woman to run away from her family. Interestingly, Absher is available in both the Apple and Google app stores – the same stores that refused to carry the Gab social network app because of Gab’s commitment to free speech.
The harsh reality is that Big Tech has no problem helping governments monitor and oppress their citizens, and it’s foolish to pretend otherwise. Anyone remembering Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto should be aware Google officially dropped it in 2015 when it reorganized itself as a subsidiary of Alphabet. Per Fortune, the replacement credo is “Do the right thing – follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.” To some the shift in tone might sound more mature, but as cynics have been quick to note, that formulation is reassuring to the Chinese Communist regime – which, by strange coincidence, is a huge market – and to other brutal dictatorships.
CHINA’S GREEN TECH SCAM
China has never been a democracy. Throughout its long history, it has been ruled by dictatorships of one sort or another. But lately, the Communist Party state has been trying to burnish its image with propaganda and the exercise of soft power in an effort to assert global leadership. One approach has been to tout initiatives to address their horrible pollution, another to become a green technology innovator.
But ADVChina reports that it’s all lies. China is actually building more dirty coal power plants, not fewer, and a new hole in the ozone layer has been traced back to unlicensed factories using illegal chemicals to manufacture home insulation deep in the Chinese interior. Rural villagers suffer from cancer because factory pollutants are allowed to escape into the groundwater and air. The city of Shenzhen once installed phony solar panels and wind turbines on street light posts to give the appearance of self-sustaining lights – but tore them down after word got out they actually used power to make the wind turbines turn. China has also overfished its own territorial waters and now encroaches on the waters of other countries. The list of environmental degradation issues goes on and on. Money allocated by the government to clean up problems either disappears or is squandered on less important projects. The deception is a bit puzzling because China does have great technical capabilities. Evidently the real problem is how China sets its priorities: Its social credit system that rewards or punishes citizens for their behavior requires massive surveillance of said citizens. Chinese surveillance technology works fine, but measures that would actually improve the environment and the lives of its citizens do not.
The public isn’t trying to hold business and the government accountable as they generate huge amounts of needless waste themselves. For example electric bikes are popular, but most people don’t bother to maintain them; they simply ride the bikes until they break and then throw them away instead of repairing them.
And why not? If the government doesn’t care, why should the people?
US IMMIGRATION APPROVES CHILD MARRIAGES
Human civilization can be defined and dated in different ways. Archeological finds in southern Africa suggest that a civilization of sorts emerged around 20,000 BC, but the first city-states and written records date only to around 3000 BC. Neither appear to have done much for longevity: During the Roman Empire, historians estimate the lifespan of an average Roman citizen to have been no more than 28 years. Due to dramatic but largely unheralded technological advances during the early Middle Ages, historians believe that life expectancy in Europe crept up to perhaps 35. The horse collar, the horse saddle, radically redesigned water mills, windmills, and crop rotation all contributed to that.
But infant mortality remained phenomenally high. During the Medieval Era an estimated one third of all children died before their fifth birthday, and only one in five made it to twenty. The death toll among infants, children and what we now call young adults had an enormous impact on marriage, families and population. Prior to 1900, there was no such thing as a teenager: Girls became women when they began menstruating, and boys became men when their facial hair began to grow. As a result, child marriages were common, especially for females: In an era when turning 15 marked Middle Age, women who wanted to see a child live to adulthood had to become sexually active as early as possible.
Child marriages have all but vanished in the developed countries – though still permitted in some American states – but the practice remains routine in many areas of the world. The Daily Caller and Chicago Tribune both report that between 2007 and 2017 US immigration authorities approved 5,556 requests by men to bring child or adolescent wives to the US and 2,926 requests by underage girls to bring their older husbands to the US. The majority of requests came from Mexico, followed by Pakistan, Jordan, the Dominican Republic, and Yemen; the largest percentage of requests by ethnic group came from Middle Eastern nationals, and in 149 of these cases the adult was over the age of 40. The approvals are legal because the Immigration and Nationality Act does not limit the ages of spouses and because immigration authorities base their approval on whether or not the marriage is 1) legal in the immigrants’ home countries and 2) lawful in the state where the petitioner resides.
That may make sense from a legal perspective, but ignores the fact that many of the girls were coerced into marriage and are often physically, sexually, and mentally abused by their older spouses. In the cases of young girls filing to bring their husbands to the US, those marriages were sometimes contracted specifically to gain immigration and citizenship for the husband. One such case that has gotten national attention is that of Naila Amin, a girl with dual Pakistani and US citizenship, whose parents flew her to Pakistan at the age of 15 to be married to her 28-year-old cousin. She endured months of rapes and beatings before running away and being placed in foster care in the US.
The data cited above was compiled in a report for the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and senators have expressed concern both for closing immigration loopholes and for immigration law shielding the abuse of women and children. It must be noted, however, these marriages are often legal in the US: Most states allow minors aged 16 and 17 to marry with parental consent, and many states allow children under 16 to marry with court permission. Nightwatch readers may remember a time when pregnant teen girls were expected to marry their boyfriends and raise their children with help from one or both families – but this is by no means the only scenario: Many child molesters have avoided jail by marrying their victims; some parents have allowed these marriages to avoid the stigma attached to out of wedlock rape and pregnancy or to avoid the police and court system.
There have also been cases of parents selling their young daughters to abusive older men: The activist organization Unchained at Last told Reuters that about three-fourths of the American child marriage licenses they examined between 2007 and 2017 were for underage girls – some as young as 10 years old – marrying adult men. These girls are effectively trapped because minors cannot file for divorce, and many women’s shelters will not take minors. Girls have even been returned to their abusive husbands by the police after they were reported as runaways. This is happening all across the country and across all ethnic groups although underage marriage does tend to be higher in southern, rural states with prevalent poverty and religious conservatism, as well as among Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Sikhs, and Hmongs.
It is ironic, to say the least, that Americans continue to allow child marriage in the US while criticizing it in other countries. Legislators have expressed reluctance to bar minors from marrying because shotgun marriages are a preferable alternative to out of wedlock births or abortion, or because of a deep reluctance to restrict religious practices. But it’s difficult to see how marrying a rapist could be in an 11-year-old girl’s best interest – which is exactly what happened to Sherry Johnson in Tampa, Florida. As a result Johnson had six children with her pedophile husband by the time she was 17 and was forced to drop out of school after ninth grade to care for them. After becoming a legal adult, she obtained a divorce with help from her local Legal Aid office and now campaigns against child marriage.
Laws and customs have not kept pace with extended human lifespans. It’s very hard to understand how someone who is prohibited from driving, drinking, voting, or entering into legal contracts can yet be deemed old enough to enter into a marriage, but perhaps that’s deliberate: Given the numbers of sexual predators in high places, the reluctance to ban child marriage may be an effort to preserve and protect what has in modern times become a form of institutionalized pedophilia.
DEMS STILL CLING TO RUSSIAGATE
Democrats are still accusing President Trump of collusion with Russia even though Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has yet to turn up any evidence of it; if anything, the investigation keeps proving the accusations to be false. Daily Caller reports the Senate Intelligence Committee has obtained phone records showing that calls placed by Donald Trump Jr. before the June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower were in fact to business associates and not to his father as alleged. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and other Democrats have repeatedly theorized the calls were between father and son to discuss the meeting. President Trump maintains he was unaware of the meeting, and those who were there have called it a waste of time because it produced no useful information. Schiff is now calling for Mueller to examine Trump Jr.’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee for possible perjury prosecution. Now that Schiff is the head of the House Intelligence Committee, he is determined to use his position against Trump instead of actually guarding national security. He has publicly stated his intention to investigate Trump’s business operations, lenders, and business partners in the hopes of finding evidence of Russia-related money laundering.
Hurling threats and accusations in the news media – and on social media – is irresponsible, at best, but it does keep Schiff’s name in the news. Last month Nightwatch discussed how Schiff’s anti-Russia hysteria brings in major campaign contributions from companies holding defense contracts. Now even some of Schiff’s supporters are wondering if he’s maintaining high public visibility to enable a 2020 presidential run. Although he told that media outlet he has no presidential plans, his behavior suggests otherwise: He’s scheduled to headline the February Politics and Eggs breakfast at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire which, according to The Daily Beast, is “a rite of passage for would-be presidential contenders.” That publication quoted several people urging Schiff to cancel the New Hampshire trip and focus on Russiagate instead: They practically begged Schiff to be more careful with his optics and get back to work on the coup against Trump. The optics in question, of course, is the appearance of a House committee chair using his position to investigate and threaten a political opponent he’s apparently running against. That’s not how things are supposed to work in the US – but then again, House committee chairmen aren’t supposed to be owned by defense lobbyists, either.
EMP BURSTS NOW MILITARY DOCTRINE
The Russian hysteria propagated by Democrats and Neo Cons has made it all but impossible to discuss actual threats to our national security. The Washington Free Beacon reports that electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks have been incorporated into the military doctrines of China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Much of the public still thinks of nuclear weapons in terms of blast, firestorms and radiation, but as ghastly as these are the devastation caused by EMPs could be far worse. Compounding an already bad situation, new “specialty nukes” can cause destruction over much larger areas, as they’re designed to produce a super-EMP pulse that can fry all electronics in a radius of 1,500 miles from the detonation point. Since the effectiveness of an EMP attack depends on the warhead’s yield and the altitude at which it’s detonated, it’s now possible for a single high altitude blast to permanently black out all of North America – thrusting the US back into the 1850’s without the horse and steam infrastructure of the day. Experts calculate that 90 percent of the US population would die within a year from starvation and hunger-driven epidemics.
Alternatively, detonating a nuke at lower altitudes restricts the damage to a smaller area: In one scenario China could black out Taiwan and disable American aircraft carrier groups in the area to prevent them from going to Taiwan’s aid. Super-EMP bombs do not require the same accuracy as traditional nukes and can be delivered by a variety of unconventional methods, including civilian cargo aircraft and even meteorological balloons. Such versatility raises the specter of terrorists obtaining and using one – and North Korea has publicly threatened the US with an EMP attack.
The EMP threat is deadly serious. But so far, the US has apparently done nothing to protect against it.
INF TREATY WITHDRAWAL
In addition to super-EMP bombs, The Guardian reports that Russia has also been violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with a new ground-launched cruise missile. After denying for several years that the missile existed, Russia recently acknowledged it while still denying that its range violates the treaty. As a result, President Trump has announced that the US will suspend its own compliance with the treaty and will withdraw altogether in six months unless Russia destroys all its illicit missiles, launchers, and associated equipment within that time frame. Trump also warned, “We will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.” Predictably Europe and anti-Trumpers are in an uproar about a possible new arms race and a return to the tense atmosphere of the 1980s. But as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out, “Russia has jeopardized the United States’ security interests, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it.”
There is a second treaty in danger as well. The 2010 New Start treaty set a limit of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads. Both the US and Russia have abided by the limit, but that treaty expires in 2021, and neither Trump nor Pompeo indicated in their statements whether the Administration would agree to an extension.
It should also be noted, as Washington Free Beacon reports, that China refuses to join the INF treaty to avoid limiting its own arsenal. This has not stopped China from criticizing the US withdrawal. China is at least as big a threat to the US as Russia is, and China doesn’t try to hide it. In fact China publicly announced in January the deployment of nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles in response to a US Navy ship passing near disputed islands in the South China Sea. China’s arsenal of ground-launched missiles is thought to be the largest in the world – and about 95% of them would violate the INF treaty if China were a signatory. The world has changed radically since the first nuclear arms control agreements were negotiated, and follow-on treaties need to include both China and Russia if they are to contribute to a stable and peaceful world. The US simply cannot afford to hobble its own capabilities while China and Russia do as they please. Those who fear a new arms race need to realize that it’s already happening with or without the US joining.
UPDATE ON SOUTHERN BORDER
Another security threat to the US is the porous border with Mexico. The Mainstream Media (MSM) tries to portray everyone crossing illegally as poor refugees from Latin America searching for better lives, but a closer look by Washington Examiner at the people being caught crossing through Arizona and New Mexico reveals they come from all over the world. Apparently, human trafficking organizations – run by or affiliated with the drug cartels – have expanded their operations worldwide. People classified as Other Than Mexicans have increased over the past two years and especially over the past six months. Nationalities include: Chinese, German, Czech, Philippine, Indian, Russian, and unspecified Middle Easterners.
Government data indicates six known or suspected terrorists were caught between Oct. 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 and these are probably a mere drop in the bucket. Since 9-11, over 1000 known or suspected terrorists have been apprehended attempting to cross the southern border and Administration officials have stated on several occasions that 3,700 people from “countries with terrorism problems” have been caught crossing the Mexican border as well.
No one knows how many have crossed successfully, but in the words of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, “To pretend there’s not a danger on an unsecured border, on an open border, is just ridiculous. It belies common sense.” Yet the Democrats continue to refuse funding requested by Trump for a border wall and increased security. Even Democrats who supported increased border security in the past now ridicule it to spite Trump.
REAL CLIMATE SCIENTISTS FIGHT BACK
Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
Eric Hoffer’s incisive observation is immediately relevant to climate change, which is now being used to shake down oil companies in lawsuits. Local communities in California, Maryland, and Rhode Island want billions of dollars for damages from coastal flooding blamed on carbon dioxide emissions. However, as Dr. Judith Curry explained to The Washington Times, in most of these cases sea-level rise is actually due to the land sinking from problems associated with groundwater withdrawal, landfills on wetlands, and other geologic processes. The flooding scenarios of five to ten feet by the end of this century hawked by the global warming crowd are based on emission forecasts that are so extreme they are – to put it politely – implausible. Dr. Curry’s studies show that mean sea level has risen seven to eight inches since 1900 and that the rise from 1920 to 1950 (before the notorious climb in carbon dioxide emissions) is comparable to the recent rise. She estimates the rise between now and the end of this century will be between six inches and five feet, adding that anything over two feet is “increasingly weakly justified.”
A former Georgia Tech professor, Dr. Curry left academia in 2017, partly because of the “craziness” associated with climate change politics. She now heads the Climate Forecast Applications Network, which provides forecasts for the agricultural and energy sectors, but she is still one of the biggest names calling for sanity and actual evidence in the climate change debates. Unfortunately, the global warming hawks don’t want to listen to real scientists; they want political activism to bring about the (green) New World Order. Some lawsuits filed in state courts have been dismissed on the grounds the cases belong in federal courts, but cases filed in federal courts are still ongoing, and it is expected that more suits will be filed.
VIVE LA FRANCE!
France’s attempt to hasten the (green) New World Order with a tax hike on gasoline and diesel fuel was met with widespread protests dubbed the gilets jaunes or Yellow Vest movement, named after the fluorescent yellow safety vests worn by the protesters. Astonishingly, protesters come from across the political spectrum, unifying anarchists and nationalists with white working class people who don’t normally join riots. As independent journalist Tim Pool points out, protests and riots are common in France, but these three groups fighting together against the Establishment is not. Mainstream media have tried to downplay the story, but Smartphone videos circulating on social media and reports by alternative media show the violence (originally instigated by the police) and the depth of public outrage – an outrage that has not been mollified by the government’s offer to cancel the gas tax hike and to slightly increase the minimum wage.
The Saker connects the Yellow Vests with the first anti-austerity protests in 2010 against the government raising the retirement age. Since then inflation has risen about 14%, basically a silent wage cut because people’s purchasing ability has decreased. A far more apparent wage reduction has been imposed by the government’s ever rising taxes on individuals; in 2018 the average French worker didn’t reach Tax Freedom Day until July 27th. By comparison, the Tax Foundation calculated Americans’ Tax Freedom Day as April 19th. Adding insult to injury, the French government has been cutting social services at the same time, closing schools and clinics outside the larger cities. People interviewed by alternative media outlets say again and again that they cannot make ends meet and that the government is ignoring them. Tellingly, one of the Yellow Vests’ demands is to enact a referendum initiative that would give the public more say in government by allowing them to dismiss laws and politicians viewed as harming the nation. Many protesters also carry signs calling for French President Macron to resign. Macron’s approval rating is down to a mere 19%, and he is increasingly criticized for being an out of touch Elitist technocrat concerned only with helping the rich. The Saker even goes a step further to question how much independent thought Macron is capable of: Besides being a former investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque, many believe his wife to be his puppet master. Twenty-four years his senior, the chocolate heiress/failed politician/and now First Lady of France first met Macron while teaching high school drama.
The relationship was questionable from the beginning – she was married with children and he was 15 or 16 at the time. In any event, it’s unusual for men to marry women older than themselves, the age gap is significant and it may be that Madame Macron is in fact pulling her husband’s strings. But in fairness, Benjamin Disraeli – considered one of Britain’s greatest prime ministers – freely admitted that he had married a wealthy widow 12 years his senior to finance his political career. To everyone’s amazement, their marriage of convenience grew into one of history’s great love affairs.
As of this writing, Reuters reports that Macron is still determined to cut thousands of public sector jobs and tighten unemployment benefits. A reasonable person might expect that combination to swell the ranks of protesters, but Macron’s still trying to play the rioters-are-attacking-the-Republic card. Given the fact that the Fifth Republic arose from a military coup d’état in May of 1958, that’s a dangerous game: A recent open letter written by French General Antoine Martinez and signed by ten other general officers, an admiral, a colonel and a former Minister of Defense, accused Macron of treason.
Reuters has also reported that Yellow Vest protests have spread to Belgium, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Although smaller in scale, protesters in these countries voice similar complaints about taxes, the high cost of living, and being ignored by corrupt technocrats. On a related note, merchants in Cairo, Egypt say the authorities there have ordered them not to sell any yellow safety vests until after January 25th – the anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 uprising; a human rights lawyer photographed wearing a yellow vest in solidarity with French protesters has been detained. 2019 will be an interesting year as Globalist Technocrats try to stuff this genie back in its bottle.
POPULISTS VS. THE ELITES
Just as the French Yellow Vests have united protesters without regard to Right or Left, populists elsewhere are coming to regard Right and Left as a sham, seeing the Elites united in an Establishment that is out of touch with – and contemptuous of – the general public. The American Conservative notes this was described by historian Christopher Lasch in his 1995 book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy. Progressives initially sought, in their view, to make American society more inclusive and fair, yet they wound up abandoning the common man to pursue diversity, secularism, and cultural revolution.
The common man and his cherished institutions of family and church came to be despised because progressives came to believe they stood in the way of progress. Elites decided they knew best and demanded absolute obedience to their precepts; their embrace of multiculturalism led to their becoming global citizens disdainful of national borders. Lasch argued the new Elites “retained many of the vices of aristocracy without its virtues” because their rootlessness led to them to reject the “obligations of place” felt by most citizens who live in defined physical communities. The Elites are, of course, protected from the consequences of their decisions because they have the money and assets to shelter themselves. The scorned masses are left behind, increasingly unable to support themselves both physically and spiritually. It’s worth noting that Lasch himself was a Leftist from a Leftist family who often identified himself as a neo-Marxist or as a socialist. His criticism stemmed from his conviction that radicals had given up their commitment to economic justice that would minimize class-based differences. One can see this in American politics today: The handouts given to the underclass are structured to keep the recipients dependent on government rather than lifting them out of poverty – which makes it possible to ignore problems associated with class and focus public attention focused on “diversity” instead.
The scorned masses are now demanding to be heard, but it may be too late. Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin warned independent journalist Lauren Southern that Millennials might be the last fully human generation with free will and self-determination, because the Elites have two waves of replacements planned. The first wave is the mass migration currently overwhelming Europe and the US and destroying the local cultures. The second wave is the approaching “Singularity,” when much of the day to day work will be handled by artificial intelligence and robots and the remaining human population will “upgrade” by implanting intelligence-boosting silicon chips in their brains – transforming themselves into cyborgs.
That technology will dramatically augment human capabilities – and give those controlling it the ability to modify human behavior as they see fit. Even if some humans do not become physical cyborgs, their lives will still be governed by the technocrats, supposedly for the greater benefit of all. The technocrats’ track record so far, however, does not inspire confidence.
It’s also worth noting that Dugin isn’t what most Americans would consider a conservative either. He’s best known for his book The Fourth Political Theory in which he argues that because Liberalism, Socialism, and Fascism have all failed, a new ideology is needed – one that will incorporate the best elements of the previous three. He does call for rediscovering Tradition and the soul or Logos of civilization, but he recognizes a pre-Christian spiritual influence as well as the Christian one. He hasn’t actually formulated a Fourth Way, calling upon others instead to develop one as an antidote for the problems caused by Liberalism and Modernity. Dugin’s influence on Putin and other Russian decision-makers remains unclear, but he has called in the past for the destruction of the American empire and for the genocide of Ukrainians. Although both are appalling, he has nonetheless demonstrated an uncanny aptitude for identifying emergent social ills, and American Conservatives would do well to take his criticisms of ideology seriously. If they don’t, the bizarre phenomenon of Liberal-inspired High Tech Totalitarianism will win by default.
ESTABLISHMENT VS. TRUMP
Populists succeeded in electing President Trump, but the Establishment is still fighting back. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been one of the most vocal opponents, disparaging the validity of the 2016 election and demanding endless investigations into imagined Russian collusion. Schiff’s hysterics have been so over the top – he has even claimed that Second Amendment advocacy is a Russian plot to encourage Americans to kill each other – that some have questioned whether he is a recruited Russian agent, an Agent-of-Influence, a Fellow Traveler or merely a useful idiot. Close, but not quite a cigar: The Duran and The Observer make a good case that Schiff’s paranoia is at least partially bought and paid for by Ukrainian, Hollywood and corporate money. In 2013 one of his fundraising events was a dinner hosted by Igor Pasternak at Pasternak’s home with suggested contributions of $2,500 for sponsors and $1,000 for guests; another was a Beyonce concert sponsored by the Raytheon PAC (Political Action Committee) with a suggested contribution of $2,500 for one ticket or $4,000 for two tickets. The PAC is a registered lobbyist for the well-known defense contractor; Beyonce a leftwing entertainer for hire, and Pasternak is a Ukrainian who immigrated to the US and started an airship company that holds Pentagon contracts.
Pasternak personally works to educate Congressional members on Ukraine’s importance to US geostrategic security, and that has led to deals in which the US helped Ukraine buy airships from Pasternak’s company for use in border surveillance. Funding anti-Putin Congressmen is clearly good for business: Schiff not only pushed to arm Ukrainian rebels, he even pressed the Obama administration to take a more aggressive approach with Russia instead of pursuing serious diplomacy. Politicians like Schiff who profit from fueling the New Cold War will continue to do so, despite the knowledge that it could turn hot in the blink of an eye. Incredibly, Schiff and his fellow war hawks believe the United States can fight and win a war against a nuclear superpower.
DEMOCRATS: BLAME IT ON THE BOTS
Another reason for politicians to revive the Cold War is that Russia makes a convenient villain. Fox News reports that Democratic operatives created thousands of fake Russian accounts on Facebook and Twitter to give the impression the Russian government supported Republican Roy Moore in the 2017 special election. Local and national news media noticed the bot activity, but they didn’t realize it was a false flag operation. Moore lost, and Doug Jones became Alabama’s first Democratic senator in over twenty years. The project’s $100,000 budget was reportedly donated by Reid Hoffman, a liberal billionaire and co-founder of the LinkedIn business social network. One alleged participant in the project insisted the project was a cybersecurity experiment to study the tactics of social media disinformation, not an attempt to support the Jones campaign. His statement is ludicrous at best. Targeting a candidate in an actual election couldn’t avoid influencing it, given the circus the Mainstream Media has manufactured over supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.