excellent stories from moon of alabama

Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is US Journalism’s Daily Bread
Moon of Alabama, Sep 15 2020

Every few days US ‘intelligence’ and ‘officials’ produce fake claims about this or that ‘hostile’ country. US media continue to reproduce those claims even if they are of bare of all logic and do not make any sense. On Jun 27 the NYT and the WaPo published fake news about alleged Russian payments to the Taliban for killing US troops. The stories ran on the outlets’ front pages. Two weeks later the story was shown to have no basis:

That the story was obviously bullshit did not prevent Democrats in Congress, including ‘Russiagate’ swindler Adam Schiff, from blustering about it and to call for immediate briefings and new sanctions on Russia. Just a day after it published the main accusation, and Trump was briefed on the ‘intelligence,’ it died. The ODNI, the NSC and the CIA all publicly rejected the claim. Then the rest of the story started to crumble. On Jun 2, just one week after it was launched, the story was declared dead. The NYT buried the above-quoted dead corpse of the original story on page A-19.

Despite that the Democrats continued to use the fake story for attacks on Donald Trump. Yesterday the commander of the US forces in the Middle East drove a stake though the heart of the dead corpse of the original story:

Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members, the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program. “It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me,” Gen Frank McKenzie, commander of CENTCOM, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees US troops in Afghanistan.

But as one fake news zombie finally dies others get resurrected. Politico’s ‘intelligence’ stenographer Natasha Bertrand produced this nonsensical claim:

The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa, US intelligence reports say, according to a US government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence. News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for Trump’s decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said. If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the US and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back, possibly in the middle of a tense election season. US officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring, the officials said. But the intelligence about the threat to the ambassador has become more specific in recent weeks. The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria is involved in the plot, the US government official said.

Ambassador Lana Marks is known for selling overpriced handbags and for her donations to Trump’s campaign. To Iran she has zero political or symbolic value. There is no way Iran would ever think about an attack on such a target. Accordingly the South African intelligence services do not believe that there is such a threat:

South African Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo said the matter was “receiving the necessary attention” and that the State Security Agency (SSA) was “interacting with all relevant partners both in the country and abroad, to ensure that no harm will be suffered by the US Ambassador, including any other Diplomatic Officials inside the borders of our country.” However, an informed intelligence source told the Daily Maverick that although the “matter has been taken seriously, as we approach all such threats, specifically, there appears to be, from our perspective, no discernible threat. Least of all from the source that it purports to emanate from. There was “no evidence or indicator,” the source said, so the plot was “not likely to be real.” The “associations made are not sustainable on any level but all precautions will be put in place.” The source suggested this was an instance of the “tail wagging the dog,” of the Trump administration wielding a “weapon of mass distraction” to divert attention from its failures in the election campaign running up to Trump’s re-election bid on Nov 3. The spox for the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, Said Khatibzadeh, strongly denied the allegation in the Politico report which he called “hackneyed and worn-out anti-Iran propaganda.”

In January the US assassinated the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Soleimani led the external campaigns of the Iranian Quds Forces. He was the one who orchestrated the campaign that defeated the Islamic State. His mythic-symbolic position for Iran and the resistance in the Middle East is beyond that of any US figure. There is simply no one in the US military or political hierarchy who could be seen as his equal. Iran has therefore announced that it will take other ways to revenge the assassination of Soleimani. As an immediate response to the assassination of Soleimani Iran had launched a precise missile attack against two US bases in Iraq. It has also announced that it will make sure that the US military will have to leave the Middle East. That program is in full swing now as US bases in Iraq are again coming under daily missile attacks:

More than eight months after a barrage of rockets killed an American contractor and wounded four American service members in Kirkuk, Iraq, militia groups continue to target US military bases in that country, and the frequency of those attacks has increased. “We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year,” Gen Frank McKenzie, the commander of CENTCOM, said. “Those attacks have been higher.” McKenzie’s comments came just hours after he announced the US would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country.

Just hours ago, two Katyusha rockets were fired against the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone. Two British/US convoys also came under attack. US air defense brought the missiles down, but its anti-missile fire is only further disgruntling the Iraqi population. These attacks are still limited and designed to not cause any significant casualties. But they will continue to increase over time until the last US soldier is withdrawn from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other Middle East countries. That, and only that, is the punishment Iran promised as revenge for Soleimani’s death. The alleged Iranian thread against the US ambassador to South Africa is just another fake news propaganda story. It is useful only for lame blustering:

The danger of such fake stories about Russia or Iran is that they might be used to justify a response in the case of a false flag attack on the alleged targets. Should something inconvenient happen to Ambassador Lana Marks the Trump administration could use the fake story as an excuse to respond with a limited attack on Iran. It is well known by now that Trump is lying about every time he opens his mouth. Why do US journalists presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their utterings than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do they swallow their bullshit?

Now Trump’s Middle East Event May Really Become “A Historic Moment”
Moon of Alabama, Sep 16 2020

Trump plays global dealmaker with Israel and two Arab countries
ABC News, Sep 16 2020

In a historic signing ceremony hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House, the UAE and Bahrain on Tuesday became the third and fourth Arab nations to move toward establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel.

How long will it take for the herd that met in the White House yesterday to achieve immunity?

CIA Intercepts Suggest US Lied About Biological Weapon Use During Its War On Korea
Moon of Alabama, Sep 17 2020

During the early 1950s War on Korea the US used biological weapons against North Korea and China. Bombs designed to spread leaflets were filled with plague infested rats and dropped on Korean towns. Various infecting insects were released. Leaflets were contaminated with small pox and then distributed. Several local epidemics were caused by these attacks. The program was a continuation of one which a special unit of the Imperial Japanese Army had developed during WW2. Unit 731 and its leaders were not indicted for the war crimes they had committed during the war but integrated into the US biological warfare program. The Soviet Union and China made political noise about the use of biological weapons but the US stoically denied that it ever used such weapons. US pilots, shot down and imprisoned by the North Korean forces, admitted that they had dropped such bombs. The US then falsely alleged that the pilots had been tortured and must have lied. This led to demands to train all pilots to resist torture measures:

Since W2 the USAF and Navy had established training courses in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) for pilots that might be captured by enemies. During these courses interrogations were staged to provide realistic training. After the Korea War anti-torture training was added. Torture of “prisoners” was “simulated” with the trainees. Decades later, during the war of terror and on Iraq, the CIA hired two psychologists from the SERE training staff as “behavioral science consultants” to teach its agents how to use torture on prisoners. The absolutely inhuman and dangerous methods those SERE “experts” devised proliferated to the US military which, together with the CIA, used them on alleged enemy combatants in Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and other places.

Now back to the War on Korea. The Chinese and Soviets sponsored the International Scientific Commission (ISC) headed by one of the foremost British scientists of his time, Sir Joseph Needham, to investigate the use of biological weapons during the war. Three years ago we wrote about its report: For a long time the commission’s report and its appendices with the witness statements were suppressed and not available online. Jeffrey Kay, a psychologist and author living in northern California, dug them up and recently published them (recommended) on the web for the first time. You can read them here:

Sir Joseph Needham was blacklisted by the US during the McCarthy anti-communist campaign. Needham’s investigations have since been confirmed by other scholars investigating the general case. Now Jeffrey Kaye has dug up additional documents which confirm the other reports of US germ attacks on North Korea and China. Interestingly these documents are from the CIA.

Cover art for the CIA pamphlet release in 2013

The published documents are 1,300 items which were declassified and released 60 years after the 1953 ceasefire stopped the war. They included analysis of US communication intercepts (COMINT) between various North Korean and Chinese military and political entities. Jeffrey Kaye has read through these documents and is discussing them here in the context of what is known from other sources. He summarizes:

The COMINT cables and other intelligence reports released by the CIA in 2013 under the heading “Baptism by Fire” provide a real contribution to our understanding of the North Korean and Chinese experience of the war, as well as US communications intelligence efforts. In particular, they provide a rare window into North Korean and Chinese military reactions and responses to what they said was a biological warfare attack, whose air component began in Jan 1952 and continued almost up to the armistice in Jul 1953. Importantly, a selection of COMINT cables and other previously secret and “confidential” intelligence reports from the Korean War now are available to serve as historical evidence. The information from the COMINT data corroborates charges that North Korea and China were under bacteriological attack in 1952, and disconfirms some of the evidence offered suggesting the attacks were really a “hoax” or an exaggerated response to presumed, but more innocent attack.

The war crimes the US committed during the War on Korea had serious historic consequences, some of which continue today. There is not only a direct line from those biological attacks on North Korea and China to the CIA’s torture methods at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. The germ warfare is also a major reason why North Korea continues the development of its nuclear weapons and of the means to deliver them. Dangerous US biological weapon research is still happening today. Two years ago eminent German and French scientists publicly warned about the dangers of a new project by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The agency wants to use insects to spread viruses that can modify the genes of plants. As we stated at that time:

The mechanism of spreading infectious genetically modified viruses to genetically modify and ‘heal’ plants in the fields is itself full of problems and dangers. To use insects for distributing such viruses borders on insane. If one has access to the targeted crop fields and if one has a genetically modified virus to influence the plants, why would one use insects to distribute it? Why not use the well-known targeted process of spraying the affected fields, just like it is widely done today? Only when one does not have access to the fields, when these are situated in a foreign country the US has no access to, does it make sense to use insects for such purposes. The idea that the real (and illegal) purpose of such US research is biological warfare is not far-fetched at all.

It is important to raise public awareness of past and current biological weapon programs. Jeffrey Kaye is doing yeoman’s work to enable that. Please help to distribute his past and present work.

New Documents Reveal Secret British Efforts To Arm, Assist And Propagandize ‘Moderate Rebels’ In Syria
Moon of Alabama, Sep 18 2020

In Nov 2018, some anonymous people published a number of documents that had been liberated from a clandestine British propaganda organization, Integrity Initiative. The same group or person who revealed the Integrity Initiative papers has now released several dozen documents about another ‘Strategic Communication’ campaign run by the British FCO. The current release reveals a number of train and assist missions for ‘Syrian rebels’ as well as propaganda operations run in Syria and globally on behalf of the British government. Moon of Alabama, as well as other sites, had published a series of pieces all about the Integrity Initiative. There were also connections between Integrity Initiative and the Skripal ‘novichok poisoning’ affair. The newly-released documents about British operations in Syria are accessible under:

All the now published documents archived in one file are available for download under:

Most of the documents are detailed company responses to several solicitations from the Foreign Office for global and local campaigns in support of the ‘moderate rebels’ who are fighting against the Syrian government and people. The documents lay out large scale campaigns which have on-the-ground elements in Syria, training and arming efforts in neighboring countries, command and control elements in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, as well as global propaganda efforts. These operations were wide spread. Most of the documents are from 2016 to 2019. They detail the organization of such operations and also portray persons involved in these projects. They often refer back to previous campaigns that have been run from 2011/2012 onward. This is where the documents are probably the most interesting. They reveal what an immense effort was and is waged to fill the information space with pro-rebel/pro-Islamist propaganda. The documents are not about the ‘White Helmets,’ which were a separate British-run Strategic Communication campaign financed by various governments. While the operations described in the new documents were coordinated with US efforts, they do not reference the CIA-run campaigns in Syria which included similar efforts at a cost of $1b/yr. The various projects and the detailed commercial offers to implement them from various notorious companies are roughly described in the above two links. I will therefore refrain from repeating that here. Some of the documents’ content will surely be used in future Moon of Alabama posts. But for now I will let you rummage through the stash. Please let us know in the comments of the surprising bits that you might find.

South Africa’s Government Debunks Politico fake news Of Threats Against a US Ambassador
Moon of Alabama, Sep 19 2020

On Monday we trashed a shady Politico report which falsely claimed that Iran had plans to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa. As one fake news zombie finally dies, others get resurrected. Politico’s ‘intelligence’ stenographer Natasha Bertrand produced this nonsensical claim:

The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the US ambassador to South Africa, US intelligence reports say, according to a US government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence. News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for President Donald Trump’s decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said.

Ambassador Lana Marks is known for selling overpriced handbags and for her donations to Trump’s campaign. To Iran she has zero political or symbolic value. There is no way Iran would ever think about an attack on such a target. Accordingly the South African intelligence services do not believe that there is such a threat. Trump used the fake Politico story to threaten Iran:

Yesterday the government of South Africa officially debunked the obvious nonsense Politico’s Natasha Bertrand was spreading:

Senior South African Government officials have met with their counterparts from the USA and other relevant stakeholders. At present, the information provided is not sufficient to sustain the allegation that there is a credible threat against the US Ambassador to South Africa.

There never was and there will be no threat from Iran against some irrelevant US ambassador in a completely unrelated country. Iran will take revenge for the US assassination of its General Qasem Soleimani by doing what it has announced to do. It will expel all US forces from the Middle East. That process is ongoing. That the US now had to send armored fighting vehicles to protect its occupation forces which are ‘guarding the oil’ in Syria is a sign that the Iranian plan is proceeding well:

The US military announced Friday that it is deploying armored vehicles and other military assets to Syria to protect US troops fighting ISIS amid tensions with Russia as President Donald Trump told a White House news conference that “we are out of Syria,” saying the remaining US forces are there exclusively “guarding the oil.”

US troops in Syria and Iraq are now coming under daily attacks. These will only intensify until all US forces retreat from those countries.

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