RT TV service terminated in NYC and Washington DC, SANA, Syrian State channels terminated by YouTube

From Global Research

First They Came for Alex Jones, Then for Russian Cable News RT and Syrian TV. Going to War with Russia, Syria, Iran

By Ann Garrison

September 13, 2018

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibibi calls Alex Jones “the media equivalent of a trench-coated stalker who jumps out from behind a mailbox and starts whacking it in an intersection.” Good description but he rightly warned that “Censorship Does Not End We.”

Shortly after Alex Jones was kicked off Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, New York City residents let me know via email and Twitter that the Russian cable news outlet RT was gone in their area. They all reported the screen message, “Programming on this network is no longer available.” One said that he had called Spectrum customer service, where a representative confirmed that RT was no longer available, but with no further information. He complained and the rep said she’d pass it upstairs.

The RT website confirmed that Charter Spectrum covers the entire NYC area and northern New Jersey. ( Actually, their website still says Time Warner, although Time Warner has been subsumed by Charter Spectrum.)

I submitted a press inquiry as to whether or not RT is still available to Charter Spectrum subscribers in Los Angeles, but had not received a response as of September 11, aka 09/11. I couldn’t help noting that I found myself reporting this on the 17th anniversary of the day that hijacked planes crashed into NYC’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon, creating an excuse for mass surveillance, the legalization of domestic psyops, and every US war since, whatever your theory as to what really happened. Trump and his administration now waffle about whether they’re fighting Syria, Russia, or terrorists, but Russia is clearly the ascendant bogeyman.

RT was taken off cable in Washington, DC on April 1st, though the Kremlin had said the move looked “illegal and discriminatory” according to US law. At the same time Bloomberg News reported the decision and the legal complexity facing cable companies who want to drop RT. That report began by citing US intelligence agencies who describe RT “as part of Moscow’s ‘state-run propaganda machine.’”

US, UK, and France going to war with Russia, Syria, and Iran?

I messaged Hungarian scholar George Szamuely, a fellow at New York City’s Global Policy Institute, who tried to find RT on his TV and got the same “no longer available” screen. He then had this to say:

“Well, I think it’s really alarming that we’re on the eve of what could be a very serious military confrontation in the Middle East, with the United States and the UK and France threatening to go to war in Syria against Russia, Syria, and Iran. At this moment, this very very dangerous moment, we can’t just rely on official sources and officially sanctioned media like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, which are not only using lies of omission but also willfully disseminating disinformation.

“So, while we don’t necessarily have to accept everything we hear on RT as true, it is clearly a disservice to democracy when it is taken off the air. Moreover, it is being taken off the air because of the content of its broadcasts. And that’s very worrying. We need as many sources of information at our disposal as possible. When we hear only one side, we go badly wrong. This is happening right now when mainstream media are putting out the ridiculous, evidence-free assertions that Assad is 100% certain to use chemical weapons. The public is being prepared for a war without any chance of debate. We went through this in 2003, and we don’t want to go through it again, especially with the heightened danger of a nuclear exchange.”

A nuclear exchange?

I can’t imagine that either of the world’s greatest nuclear powers are going to start a nuclear war in Syria, first and foremost because it would be bad for business. There’s no doubt a lot of money to be made in rebuilding Syria from the rubble, as there was in Iraq, but that won’t be possible if it’s a radioactive “exclusion zone” like Chernobyl. There’d also be enough radioactive and political blowback to threaten the survival of either nuclear power.

However, there’s always the possibility of an accident, especially when tensions are this high. Whether it goes nuclear or not, there’s an ugly exchange already underway and sure to get worse. The UN Security Council met at length on September 7 and yet again failed to resolve the conflict. The Council is now deadlocked in a standoff between Eastern and Western powers, as it was throughout the Vietnam War.

Russia’s military engagement in Syria accords with international law because the internationally recognized Syrian government asked them for help. This is one of the lies of omission told by official Western sources and their officially sanctioned media. The US and allies’ engagement violates international law, but if any of you reading this can cite a single example of the US respecting international law, please message me.

The USA’s compliant corporate media reports that Syria is planning a chemical weapons attack in its own Idlib Province and that the Pentagon is strategizing about how to respond. RT reports that the US and its allies are planning a false flag chemical weapons attack and that the US is already using white phosphorous bombsRT also reports that local residents of Jisr al-Shughur, a city in Idlib, observed a staged chemical weapons attack being filmed to create footage for broadcast after it’s published on social media. (Whether you can still get RT cable or not, you can still get RT online for now.)

Germany is reported to be considering joining the US, UK, and France in Syria “if chemical weapons are used.” After the alleged chemical weapons attacks in April, German hawks were eager to join in, but it was reported that Germans widely believed the attacks were staged, and reason won the day.

YouTube blocks Syrian government channels

Shortly after RT disappeared in NYC and northern New Jersey, YouTube terminated Syrian government channels. As of September 11, RT had not reported the latest censorship of its own network, but they did report “Syrian state YouTube channels ‘terminated’ amid fears of looming false-flag chemical attack.” I checked the three channels they cited and confirmed that they were gone. YouTube left messages that the Syrian Presidency’s channel “has been terminated due to a legal complaint” and that SANA, the Syrian News Agency, “has been terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.” They left no explanation for terminating the Syrian Ministry of Defense Channel.

Orient News” a Dubai-based news service on the Middle East with particular focus on Syria, is still streaming and reporting from inside jihadi-held territory. It’s owned by Syrian businessman and opposition figure Ghassan Aboud.

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Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes region. She can be reached at ann@anngarrison.com.

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U.S. bioweapons lab in Tbilisi, Georgia, reportedly experimenting on humans: hepatitis deaths linked

From Strategic Culture Foundation

US Biological Warfare Program in the Spotlight Again

9-13-18

PETER KORZUN |

This is a scoop to bring the US biological warfare effort back into the spotlight. On Sept. 11, Russian media reported that the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research laboratory, a research facility for high-level biohazard agents located near Tbilisi, Georgia, has used human beings for conducting biological experiments.

Former Minister of State Security of Georgia Igor Giorgadze said about it during a news conference in Moscow, urging US President Donald Trump to launch an investigation. He has lists of Georgians who died of hepatitis after undergoing treatment in the facility in 2015 and 2016. Many passed away on the same day. The declassified documents contain neither the indication of the causes of deaths nor real names of the deceased. According to him, the secret lab run by the US military was established during the tenure of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. The viruses could spread to neighboring countries, including Russia, Igor Giorgadze warned.

The laboratory’s work is tightly under wraps. Only US personnel with security clearance have access to it. These people are accorded diplomatic immunity under the 2002 US-Georgia Agreement on defense cooperation.

Eurasia Review reported that in 2014 the Lugar Center was equipped with special plant for breeding insects to enable launching the Sand Fly project in Georgia and the Caucasus. In 2014-2015 years, the bites of sand flies such as Phlebotomins caused a fever. According to the source,

“today the Pentagon has a great interest to the study of Tularemia, also known as the fever of rabbits, which is also equated with biological weapons. Distributors of such a disease can be mites and rodents”.

It makes remember the statement made by Nikolai Patrushev, Head of Russia’s Security Council, in 2015. He warned about the threat stemming from biological weapons laboratories that operate on the territories of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). He specifically mentioned the Richard G. Lugar Center in Georgia.

The US has bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world, including the post-Soviet space. They are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Foreign inspectors are denied access to them. It should be noted that independent journalist investigations have been made public to confirm the fact that the US military conducts secret research to pose a threat to environment and population. Jeffrey Silverman, an American journalist who has lived in Georgia for many years, is sure the Richard Lugar Center, as well as other labs, is involved in secret activities to create biological weapons. Georgia and Ukraine have been recently hit by mysterious disease outbreaks, with livestock killed and human lives endangered. The US military operates the Central Reference Laboratory in Kazakhstan since 2016. There have public protests against the facility.

In 2013 a Chinese Air Force Colonel Dai Xu accused the US government of creating a new strain of bird flu now afflicting parts of China as a biological warfare attack. According to him, the American military released the H7N9 bird flu virus into China in an act of biological warfare. It has been reported that the source of Ebola virus in West Africa were US bio-warfare labs.

Russian experts do not exclude the possibility of the use of a stink-bug by the US military as a biological weapon. A couple of years ago, mosquitoes with Zika virus have been spotted in Russia and South Ossetia to cause outbreaks of human and animal flu.

The US activities violate the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), a legally binding treaty that outlaws biological arms. It effectively prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, retention, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons and is a key element in the international community’s efforts to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In force since 1975, the convention has 181 states-parties today. The BWC reaffirms the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which prohibits the biological weapons use. In 1969, US President Richard Nixon formally ended all offensive aspects of the US biological warfare program. In 1975, the US ratified both the 1925 Geneva Protocol and the BWC.

Negotiations on an internationally binding verification protocol, which would include on-site inspections by an independent authority to the BWC, took place between 1995 and 2001. The US did not sign up. Its refusal to become a party to the verification mechanisms makes any attempt to enhance the effectiveness of the BWC doomed. A Review Conference is held every five years to discuss the convention’s operation and implementation. The last one, which convened in November 2016, was a frustration with minimal agreement on the final document and no substantive program of work to do before the next event takes place in 2021. There is little hope the BWC will ever be strengthened to have teeth. With no verification mechanism, the US military bio-warfare labs will always be a matter of concern. The issue is serious enough to be included into global security architecture. The UN General Assembly is the right place to raise it. Its 73rd session will open on September 18.

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Peter Korzun is an expert on wars and conflicts.

Featured image is from the author.