‘Maniac orders:’ Senior Russian MP blasts US program to estimate nuclear attack outcome

“…witness a sick and dangerous hobby that is targeting world peace and the security of mankind as a whole.”

–MP Irina Yarovaya, Deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma

From RT

January 30, 2017

‘Maniac orders:’ Senior Russian MP blasts US program to estimate nuclear attack outcome
The deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma says the US Congress is “transfixed on war and destruction,” after it issued an order to evaluate the ‘survivability’ of Russian and Chinese leaders in the event of a nuclear exchange.

This is a maniac order, made by people who are obsessed with the ideas of war and destruction and who want to find satisfaction in the description of possible casualties,” MP Irina Yarovaya of the United Russia party told reporters on Monday.

The Congress’ ideas look like ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street.’” she added.

The comment comes after media reported that the US Congress had directed the Pentagon and intelligence agencies to evaluate the ‘survivability’ of Russian and Chinese leaders in the event of a nuclear exchange. Experts must now evaluate whether various senior political and military leaders of each country could survive a nuclear attack and continue operating afterwards.

Although the study was ordered before US President Donald Trump took office, news about it was released after the new president announced that Washington “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

Instead of fighting terrorism, the US Congress is entertaining itself with hope to ‘play’ with nuclear weapons. We can witness a sick and dangerous hobby that is targeting world peace and the security of mankind as a whole,” MP Yarovaya told reporters.

In late 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted the possibility of a new arms race between Russia and the United States, blaming it on former US President George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

The Russian leader explained that as the Bush administration withdrew from the ABMT in 2002, the treaty was terminated, and Russia responded by taking measures to ensure that the US’ antimissile shield would not be effective against Russian missiles.

Putin also said, however, that the modernization of Russia’s military was completely within the framework of international agreements, including the New START. The president added that, even if Russia is drawn into an arms race, it won’t spend more than it can afford, saying “we are fine with the situation and fulfill all our [military modernization] plans.”

https://www.rt.com/politics/375637-maniac-orders-senior-russian-mp/

U.S. Congress orders review of Russian & Chinese leadership’s nuclear strike ‘survivability’

From RT
January 30, 2017

US Congress orders review of Russian & Chinese leadership’s nuclear strike ‘survivability’

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduces legislation to stop arming terrorists

Press Release

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act today.

The legislation would prohibit the U.S. government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.

The legislation is co-sponsored by:

Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48), and Thomas Massie (R-KT-04), and supported by the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and the U.S. Peace Council..

Video of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s speech on the House floor 

Transcript of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s speech 

Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.[i]

The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.

A recent New York Times article confirmed that ‘rebel groups’ supported by the U.S. ‘have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria, formerly known as al Nusra.’ This alliance has rendered the phrase ‘moderate rebels’ meaningless. Reports confirm that ‘every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces [of Idlib and Aleppo] is engaged in a military structure controlled by [al-Qaeda’s] Nusra militants.’

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that many rebel groups are ‘doubling down on their alliance’ with al Nusra. Some rebel groups are renewing their alliance, while others, like Nour al-Din al-Zinki, a former CIA-backed group and one of the largest factions in Aleppo are joining for the first time. “The Syria Conquest Front—formerly known as the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front—is deeply intermingled with armed opposition groups of all stripes across Syria’s battlefields.”

The CIA has long been supporting a group called Fursan al Haqq, providing them with salaries, weapons and support, including surface to air missiles.  This group is cooperating with and fighting alongside an al-Qaeda affiliated group trying to overthrow the Syrian government. The Levant Front is another so-called moderate umbrella group of Syrian opposition fighters. Over the past year, the United States has been working with Turkey to give this group intelligence support and other forms of military assistance. This group has joined forces with al-Qaeda’s offshoot group in Syria.

This madness must end. We must stop arming terrorists. The Government must end this hypocrisy and abide by the same laws that apply to its’ citizens.

That is why I’ve introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists bill—legislation based on congressional action during the Iran-Contra affair to stop the CIA’s illegal arming of rebels in Nicaragua. It will prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists,

Stephen Kinzer, a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and award-winning author and journalist said,

“The proposal to stop sending weapons to insurgents in Syria is based on the principle that pouring arms into a war zone only intensifies suffering and makes peace more difficult to achieve. Congress made a decision like this about the Nicaraguan contras during the 1980s. Aid to the contras was cut off by the Boland Amendment. The result was a peace process that finally brought an end to wars not only in Nicaragua, but also in El Salvador and Guatemala. This is the example we should be following. Cutting off arms shipments forces belligerents to negotiate. That is what we achieved in Nicaragua. It should be our goal in Syria as well.”

Donna Smith, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America said,

“Progressive Democrats of America believes that it is fundamentally wrong for the United States to fund those groups or individuals aligned with al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, ISIS, or other terrorist/extremist organizations.  The ‘Stop Arming Terrorists’ bill authored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, would help bring an end to the human tragedy unfolding in Syria where the haunting eyes of the innocent children of Aleppo call on us all to stop supporting those who threaten and kill them with ferocious intention. War is war, and terrorism is terrorism whether waged by the state or from external forces. PDA supports this measure.”

Alfred Marder, President of the U.S. Peace Council said,

“The U.S. Peace Council is honored to endorse and support the ‘Stop Arming Terrorists Bill’ as a major contribution to peace. This legislation will serve to galvanize the anti-war movement and the opposition to regime change policies that characterize our present foreign policy.”

Background:

The Stop Arming Terrorists bill prohibits U.S. government funds from being used to support al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. In the same way that Congress passed the Boland Amendment to prohibit the funding and support to CIA backed-Nicaraguan Contras during the 1980’s, this bill would stop CIA or other Federal government activities in places like Syria by ensuring U.S. funds are not used to support al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, ISIS, or other terrorist groups working with them. It would also prohibit the Federal government from funding assistance to countries that are directly or indirectly supporting those terrorist groups. The bill achieves this by:

  1. Making it illegal for any U.S. Federal government funds to be used to provide assistance covered in this bill to terrorists. The assistance covered includes weapons, munitions, weapons platforms, intelligence, logistics, training, and cash.
  2. Making it illegal for the U.S. government to provide assistance covered in the bill to any nation that has given or continues to give such assistance to terrorists.
  3. Requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine the individual and groups that should be considered terrorists, for the purposes of this bill, by determining: (a) the individuals and groups that are associated with, affiliated with, adherents to or cooperating with al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or ISIS; (b) the countries that are providing assistance covered in this bill to those individuals or groups.
  4. Requiring the DNI to review and update the list of countries and groups to which assistance is prohibited every six months, in consultation with the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, as well as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
  5. Requiring the DNI to brief Congress on the determinations.

Notes

[i] Levant Front (U.S. backed, via the MOC in Turkey) is working under an Ahrar al Sham led umbrella group: http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/December%202%20EDITS%20COT_2.pdf ; U.S. support for Levant Front: http://carnegie-mec.org/diwan/57605?lang=en ; CIA groups cooperated with Jayesh al-Fateh http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/19/the-cia-s-syria-program-and-the-perils-of-proxies.html; U.S. weapons arriving in Syria through covert, CIA-led program, via Saudi Arabia and Turkey; CIA can provide support http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-syria-obama-order-idUSBRE8701OK20120802

U.S. House of Representatives quietly passes bill targeting “Russian propaganda” websites

Global Research, December 03, 2016
Zero Hedge 2 December 2016

On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news”, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”

A quick skim of the bill reveals “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries”,  whose Section 501 calls for the government to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation:

  • Establishment or funding of a front group.
  • Covert broadcasting.
  • Media manipulation.
  • Disinformation and forgeries.
  • Funding agents of influence.
  • Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
  • Assassinations.
  • Terrorist acts.

As ActivistPost correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.

Curiously, the bill which was passed on November 30, was introduced on November 22, two days beforethe Washington Post published its Nov. 24 article citing “experts” who claim Russian propaganda helped Donald Trump get elected.

As we reported last week, in an article that has been widely blasted, the WaPo wrote that “two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.”

The newspaper cited PropOrNot, an anonymous website that posted a hit list of alternative media websites, including Zero Hedge, Drudge Report, Activist Post, Blacklisted News, the Ron Paul Report, and many others. Glenn Greenwald penned an appropriate response two days later in “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group.”

PropOrNot has pushed a conspiratorial thesis, without any actual proof, that the listed websites have been either used directly or covertly by the Russians to spread propaganda.

While the bill passed the House with a sweeping majority, it is unknown if and when the bill will work its way through the Senate and be passed into law, although one would think that it has far higher chances of passing under president Obama than the President-Elect. It is also unclear if it will be used to shut down websites anonymously characterized as “useful idiots” or subversive elements used in disseminating supposed Russian propaganda.

Those interested can read the full “H.R. 6393: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017″ at the following location” bill that may soon proclaim much of the internet to be criminal “Russian propaganda” at the following link.

U.S. House of Representatives approves HR 5094 — delivery of lethal “defensive” weapons to Ukraine — to murder Donbass residents and threaten Russia

Block HR 5094!
H.R. 5094, The Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act, or “STAND for Ukraine”  was passed by the House of Representatives by voice vote and referred to the U.S. Senate on September 22..
As Eduard Popov reported in Fort Russ, September 29,
The bill’s list of means for supporting democracy in Ukraine includes the supply of lethal defensive weapons systems. The legislation will come into force following a vote in the Senate and its signing by the US President. From that point on, Washington will be able to officially supply lethal weapons to Ukraine.
Here are excerpts with highlighting from the bill:

114th CONGRESS
2d Session


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 22, 2016

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


AN ACT

To contain, reverse, and deter Russian aggression in Ukraine, to assist Ukraine’s democratic transition, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) Short Title.—This Act may be cited as the “Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act” or “STAND for Ukraine Act”.

(b) Table Of Contents.—The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.
Sec. 2. Statements of policy.


Sec. 101. United States policy against recognition of territorial changes effected by force alone.

Sec. 102. Prohibitions against United States recognition of the Russian Federation’s annexation of Crimea.

Sec. 103. Determinations and codification of sanctions under Executive Order No. 13685.


Sec. 201. Prohibiting certain transactions with foreign sanctions evaders and serious human rights abusers with respect to the Russian Federation.

Sec. 202. Report on certain foreign financial institutions.

Sec. 203. Requirements relating to transfers of defense articles and defense services to the Russian Federation.


Sec. 301. Strategy to respond to Russian Federation-supported information and propaganda efforts directed toward Russian-speaking communities in countries bordering the Russian Federation.

Sec. 302. Cost limitation.

Sec. 303. Sunset.

SEC. 2. STATEMENTS OF POLICY.

(a) In General.—It is the policy of the United States to further assist the Government of Ukraine in restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity to contain, reverse, and deter Russian aggression in Ukraine. That policy shall be carried into effect, among other things, through a comprehensive effort, in coordination with allies and partners of the United States where appropriate, that includes sanctions, diplomacy, and assistance, including lethal defensive weapons systems, for the people of Ukraine intended to enhance their ability to consolidate a rule of law-based democracy with a free market economy and to exercise their right under international law to self-defense.

(b) Additional Statement Of Policy.—It is further the policy of the United States—

(1) to use its voice, vote, and influence in international fora to encourage others to provide assistance that is similar to assistance described in subsection (a) to Ukraine; and

(2) to ensure that any relevant sanctions relief for the Russian Federation is contingent on timely, complete, and verifiable implementation of the Minsk Agreements, especially the restoration of Ukraine’s control of the entirety of its eastern border with the Russian Federation in the conflict zone.

SEC. 101. UNITED STATES POLICY AGAINST RECOGNITION OF TERRITORIAL CHANGES EFFECTED BY FORCE ALONE.

Between the years of 1940 and 1991, the United States did not recognize the forcible incorporation and annexation of the three Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia into the Soviet Union under a policy known as the “Stimson Doctrine”.

SEC. 102. PROHIBITIONS AGAINST UNITED STATES RECOGNITION OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION’S ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA.

(a) In General.—In accordance with United States policy enumerated in section 101, no Federal department or agency should take any action or extend any assistance that recognizes or implies any recognition of the de jure or de facto sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea, its airspace, or its territorial waters.

(b) Documents Portraying Crimea As Part Of Russian Federation.—In accordance with United States policy enumerated in section 101, the Government Printing Office should not print any map, document, record, or other paper of the United States portraying or otherwise indicating Crimea as part of the territory of the Russian Federation.

SEC. 103. DETERMINATIONS AND CODIFICATION OF SANCTIONS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 13685.

(a) Determinations.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the assessment described in paragraph (2).

(2) ASSESSMENT DESCRIBED.—The assessment described in this paragraph is—

(A) a review of each person designated pursuant to Executive Order No. 13660 (March 6, 2014; 79 Fed. Reg. 13493; relating to blocking property of certain persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine) or Executive Order No. 13661 (March 16, 2014; 79 Fed. Reg. 15535; relating to blocking property of additional persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine); and

(B) a determination as to whether any such person meets the criteria for designation pursuant to Executive Order No. 13685 (December 19, 2014; 79 Fed. Reg. 77357; relating to blocking property of certain persons and prohibiting certain transactions with respect to the Crimea region of Ukraine).

(3) FORM.—The assessment required by paragraph (2) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.

(b) Codification.—United States sanctions provided for in Executive Order No. 13685, as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, shall remain in effect until the date on which the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees a certification described in subsection (c).

(c) Certification.—A certification described in this subsection is a certification of the President that Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea has been restored.

(d) Rule Of Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the authority of the President to impose additional United States sanctions with specific respect to the Russian Federation’s occupation of Crimea pursuant to Executive Order No. 13685.

A section has frequent references to those who are “contributing to the situation in Ukraine.”

SEC. 201. PROHIBITING CERTAIN TRANSACTIONS WITH FOREIGN SANCTIONS EVADERS AND SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS WITH RESPECT TO THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.

The Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–95; 22 U.S.C. 8901 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new sections:TITLE IIIOTHER MATTERS

SEC. 301. STRATEGY TO RESPOND TO RUSSIAN FEDERATION-SUPPORTED INFORMATION AND PROPAGANDA EFFORTS DIRECTED TOWARD RUSSIAN-SPEAKING COMMUNITIES IN COUNTRIES BORDERING THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.

(a) In General.—Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall develop and implement a strategy to respond to Russian Federation-supported disinformation and propaganda efforts directed toward persons in countries bordering the Russian Federation.

(b) Matters To Be Included.—The strategy required under subsection (a) should include the following:

(1) Development of a response to propaganda and disinformation campaigns as an element of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, specifically—

(A) assistance in building the capacity of the Ukrainian military to document conflict zones and disseminate information in real-time;

(B) assistance in enhancing broadcast capacity with terrestrial television transmitters in Eastern Ukraine; and

(C) media training for officials of the Government of Ukraine.

(2) Establishment of a partnership with partner governments and private-sector entities to provide Russian-language entertainment and news content to broadcasters in Russian-speaking communities bordering the Russian Federation.

(3) Assessment of the extent of Russian Federation influence in political parties, financial institutions, media organizations, and other entities seeking to exert political influence and sway public opinion in favor of Russian Federation policy across Europe.

(c) Report.—The Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the strategy required under subsection (a) and its implementation.

SEC. 302. COST LIMITATION.

No additional funds are authorized to carry out the requirements of this Act and the amendments made by this Act. Such requirements shall be carried out using amounts otherwise authorized.

SEC. 303. SUNSET.

This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall cease to be effective beginning on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

Passed the House of Representatives September 21, 2016.

H. R. 5094

These are the co-sponsors. Original co-sponsors are starred.

Cosponsor

Date Cosponsored

Rep. Kinzinger, Adam [R-IL-16]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Levin, Sander M. [D-MI-9]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [R-PA-8]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Kaptur, Marcy [D-OH-9]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Abraham, Ralph Lee [R-LA-5]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Costa, Jim [D-CA-16]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Weber, Randy K., Sr. [R-TX-14]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Deutch, Theodore E. [D-FL-21]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Pompeo, Mike [R-KS-4]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Shimkus, John [R-IL-15]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Keating, William R. [D-MA-9]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Bilirakis, Gus M. [R-FL-12]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Ribble, Reid J. [R-WI-8]*

04/28/2016

Rep. Murphy, Tim [R-PA-18]

05/13/2016

Rep. Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL-1]

05/13/2016

Rep. Burgess, Michael C. [R-TX-26]

05/13/2016

Rep. Sherman, Brad [D-CA-30]

05/13/2016

Rep. Poe, Ted [R-TX-2]

05/13/2016

Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2]

05/13/2016

Rep. Boyle, Brendan F. [D-PA-13]

05/13/2016

Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5]

05/13/2016

Rep. Higgins, Brian [D-NY-26]

05/13/2016

Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25]

05/17/2016

Rep. Harris, Andy [R-MD-1]

05/23/2016

Rep. Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [D-NJ-9]

05/23/2016

Rep. Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. [R-NJ-11]

05/25/2016

Rep. Cartwright, Matt [D-PA-17]

05/25/2016

Rep. Meehan, Patrick [R-PA-7]

05/26/2016

Rep. Collins, Chris [R-NY-27]

06/03/2016

Rep. Wagner, Ann [R-MO-2]

06/15/2016

Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5]

07/05/2016

Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]

07/06/2016

Rep. Lipinski, Daniel [D-IL-3]

07/11/2016

Rep. Costello, Ryan A. [R-PA-6]

07/21/2016

Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1]

07/25/2016

Popov states:

The act’s adoption was an expected development. After all, it is well known that a Ukrainian lobby effectively works in the US and throughout the West. During his visit to New York, Poroshenko (right) met with representatives of the Ukrainian Diaspora who have had strong positions in American political circles since the end of the Second World War.

As a point of comparison, the numerous Russian diaspora in the US and its organizations, and in particular the Congress of Russian Americans, are nowhere close to matching the efficiency of Ukrainian circles’ lobbying activism. The fault for this, in my opinion, can be assigned to both sides, both Russian Americans themselves and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and other government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

However, his assignation of fault is incorrect. They U.S. government has sponsored ultra-nationalist Ukrainian individuals and promoted this agenda since the close of World War II. This has been a concerted and well-funded campaign to destabilize Ukraine and make it a U.S. vassal state. This “efficiency” is U.S. government-backed. That’s hard to beat.

Given Russia’s continued efforts at diplomacy, it seems that Russian leaders can’t quite believe that America is such a determined Russian foe. However, it’s now becoming brutally clear what America’s intentions are and have always been.

…But the experience of American support for “democracy” around the world attests to the fact that the US Congress is in fact promising new bloodshed and destruction for the people of Ukraine and Donbass. Ukrainians have never been good strategists, and this obvious truth has never benefitted the majority. One only needs to look at the experience of former Yugoslavia or that of Libya and Syria to be assured that America’s “benevolence” towards the people of Ukraine will only lead to the further division of the country and new victims. The US is not interested in a strong Ukraine, but in deterring Russia at any cost. For them, Ukrainians are but expendable material, just like the people of Donbass.

…Although lethal weapons were illegally delivered earlier, as many Donbass militiamen and even Ukrainian soldiers have exposed, the official green light to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons in fact makes the US a party in the armed conflict in the former Ukraine.

… will put the blame on the United States for participating in the murder of the peaceful population of Donbass.

US Congress seeks to steal 100,000 acres from native Americans in Utah

The Utah Public Lands Initiative was proposed by Utah Congressperson Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz and seeks to “roll back federal policy to the late 1800s when Indian lands and resources were taken from tribal nations for the benefit of others.” — Ute Nation Business Council

Global Research, September 20, 2016
TeleSUR 19 September 2016

Two Republican congresspeople are seeking to pass a controversial bill through the U.S. House of Representatives that would seek the first land grab of Native American lands in 100 years, members of the Ute nation have warned.

The Utah Public Lands Initiative was proposed by Utah Congressperson Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz and seeks to “roll back federal policy to the late 1800s when Indian lands and resources were taken from tribal nations for the benefit of others,” the Ute Business Committee said in an article for the Salt Lake Tribune Saturday.

Bishop and Chaffetz will present the bill to the House in few weeks, and if passed it would see 18 million acres of public lands in Eastern Utah downgraded from protected lands and turned into oil and gas drilling zones that are exempted from environmental protections, Think Progress reported earlier this year when the bill was unveiled.

“The actions of Bishop and Chaffetz would seek to divest the Ute Indian Tribe of their ancestral homelands,” the committee added while also bringing back “failed policies of tribal land dispossession that have had a devastating and lasting impact upon tribal nations for the past century.”

The bill proposes to make more than 100,000 acres of the Ute reservation lands for the state of Utah. “This modern day Indian land grab cannot be allowed to stand,” the committee argued.

The nation further slammed the legislators for utterly failing to consult and work with leaders of the Native American community in drafting such a bill when it proposes taking away more than 26 percent of its lands.

“Representing more than a quarter of these eastern Utah lands, the tribe should have been a major participant in the development of any bill to address problems in federal land management. We were not,” the committee warned in their article.

The news comes as more than 100 Indigenous groups have been organizing major mobilizations against the Dakota Access pipeline which sparked a wave of international solidarity.

The US$3.8 billion pipeline would carry shale from the Bakken oil region in North Dakota to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast.

State Department resources “for sale”? Oversight Committee requests more documents from John Kerry

From Town Hall

by Katie Pavlich
Aug 26, 2016

New revelations this week showing the Clinton Foundation used the State Department to find and recruit employees during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary are prompting questions from House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz.

In a letter sent to Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday, Chaffetz wants details about taxpayers resources used to recruit State Department experts for Clinton Foundation donors and wants to know whether federal ethics codes were violated in the process.

“State Department employees interviewed applicants for Clinton Foundation positions  and sought a Libya expert on behalf of Clinton Foundation donors. According to one report, Clinton Foundation employees also contacted the State Department in an effort to find jobs for Clinton Foundation donors. Moreover, earlier this week, the Associated Press reported ‘[m]ore than half the people outside of government who met with [Secretary] Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money – either personally or through companies or groups – to the Clinton Foundation.’ These reports give rise to a perception that access to our State Department’s official resources, were for sale,” Chaffetz states in the letter. “The allegations contained in the Associated Press report and others also raise questions as to whether State Department employees acted to benefit the Clinton Foundation in violation of executive branch ethics guidelines.”

“In addition, work on behalf of the Clinton Foundation on personal time may also violate section 2635.705 of the executive branch ethics code, which generally prohibits a superior from coercing a subordinate from performing activities other than official duties,” the letter continues.

Earlier this week the Associated Press published a report showing 50 percent of individuals who were granted interviews with Secretary Clinton were big time donors to the Clinton Foundation. We also learned long time Clinton aide Huma Abedin regularly denied requested meetings with Secretary Clinton, rerouted individuals through the Clinton Foundation, donations would be made and then meetings would be granted. Chaffetz makes the argument in his letter to Kerry that these revelations further show official State Department resources were “up for sale.”

Chaffetz has requested Kerry produce a number of documents, communications and a list of all individuals on Clinton’s official calendar during her time as Secretary by September 7.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2016/08/26/oversight-comittee-to-john-kerry-explain-why-state-department-was-used-to-find-clinton-foundation-employees-n2210369

Posted under Fair Use Rules

US Congress quietly enables funding for Ukrainian Neo-Nazi-led Azov Regiment

Global Research, February 01, 2016
Azov-Ukraine-1

The 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law by US President Barack Obama late last year, did not include a previously expected ban against the funding of the Azov Regiment, a military organization that originated as a volunteer militia in May 2014 and was subsequently incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine.

The Azov Regiment is notorious for the openly white supremacist and anti-Semitic views of its members, and its use of the Wolfsangel, a swastika-like symbol once used by certain divisions of the armed forces of Nazi Germany, as well as its leading role in the Battle of Mariupol in May-June 2014. The regiment’s leader is Andriy Biletsky, a current member of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) and also leader of the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly. In a characteristic statement, Biletsky was quoted by the UK Telegraph last August as stating, “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

The 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act includes a section entitled “Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative,” which appropriates $250 million “to provide assistance, including training; equipment; lethal weapons of a defensive nature; logistics support, supplies and services; sustainment; and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine.. .” Additionally, the US is to spend at least $658.2 million on “bilateral economic assistance,” international security assistance,” “multilateral assistance,” and “export and investment assistance” for Ukraine in 2016. All this follows nearly $760 million in “security, programmatic, and technical assistance” and $2 billion in loan guarantees that the US has provided Ukraine since the February 2014 Maidan coup.

In June last year, the House of Representatives voted to amend the 2016 Department of Defense Appropriations Act so as to include the text, “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide arms, training, or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.” Representative John Conyers, Jr. (Democrat-Michigan) had introduced this proposal, pointing out that the magazine Foreign Affairs as well as other leading media organizations characterized the Azov Battalion as “openly neo-Nazi” and “fascist,” and arguing that “these groups run counter to American values.”

According to the Nation, the Defense Department subsequently began exerting pressure on the House Defense Appropriations Committee to withdraw the proposed amendment, arguing that the restriction was redundant. According to this specious line of reasoning, funding of the Azov Regiment should already be prohibited by the Leahy Law, which establishes that “No assistance shall be furnished … to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.”

The Department of State explains on one of its official web sites that it

“vets its assistance to foreign security forces, as well as certain Department of Defense training programs, to ensure that recipients have not committed gross human rights abuses. When the vetting process uncovers credible information that an individual or unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, US assistance is withheld.”

Reports published by Amnesty International in 2014 and 2015 gave evidence of widespread torture and summary executions in Ukraine but did not specifically name the Azov Regiment or its members as suspects. The UN also issued a report in 2014 accusing both sides of the Ukrainian civil war of committing acts of torture and attacks on civilian targets.

While Conyers’ amendment was widely reported in the media when it passed the House of Representatives in June last year, it was never subject to a vote in the Senate. The 2016 Department of Defense Appropriations Act was incorporated into the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which became law on December 18. The absence of the prohibition on funding for the Azov Regiment was first noted in the media by the Nation on January 14.

Even without the intervention of the Department of Defense and the Senate’s rejection of the proposed amendment, the prohibition in question was a red herring and a fraud from the beginning. While the Azov Regiment and its leader have gained notoriety for the peculiarly repugnant, intensely hateful political positions of its leader and members, those positions distinguish them only superficially from the rest of the officers, special forces operatives, volunteers and mercenaries who have been leading Kiev’s war against the people of eastern Ukraine.

The fact that the Azov Regiment’s leader and at least some of its members participate in neo-Nazi politics does not apparently impede their ability to fight alongside other far-right Ukrainian nationalists who do not identify specifically as “fascist” or “neo-Nazi” but are nevertheless rabidly anti-Russian and generally identify with the political legacy of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, which collaborated with the Nazis in World War II against the Soviet Union and took part in mass killings of civilians, including Jews and Poles. Such extreme nationalists represent the prevailing political tendency in the Ukrainian government today, and particularly its military leadership.

The Azov Regiment, which has approximately 1,000 members, is one of many subdivisions of the Ukrainian National Guard. The Ukrainian National Guard was re-established in March 2014, consists currently of approximately 60,000 servicemen, and has played a key role in the ongoing Ukrainian civil war.

In addition to the Azov Regiment, there are at least thirteen other special forces units of the Ukrainian National Guard, including Alfa, Bars, Donbas, Hepard, Kobra, Lavanda, Omeha, Skat, Skorpion, Tin, Tyhr, Veha, and Yahuar; as well as over 30 special forces units of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, of which the National Guard is itself a subdivision. There are also over 40 volunteer territorial defense battalions operating within the Ministry of Defense.

Among the various units and organizations participating in Kiev’s war should also be counted the Right Sector Volunteer Ukrainian Corps, which operates as an independent militia not subordinate to any branch of government; as well as mercenaries, special agents, advisers, and “instructors” from foreign countries.

According to an article published in the Daily Beast last July, in an interview for that publication, Sgt. Ivan Kharkiv of the Azov battalion “spoke about his battalion’s experience with US trainers and US volunteers quite fondly, even mentioning US volunteer engineers and medics that [were] still currently assisting them.”

Yaryna Ferentsevych, Press Officer of the US Embassy in Ukraine, also told the Daily Beast that “as far as we know,” there were no members of the Azov Regiment being trained by US forces. She explained,

“Whether or not some may be in the lineup, that is possible. But frankly, you know, our vetting screens for human rights violations, not for ideology. Neo-Nazis, you know, can join the US army too. The battalions that are in question have been integrated as part of Ukraine’s National Guard, and so the idea is that they would be eligible for training, but in all honesty I cannot tell you if there are any on the list we train. There were not any in the first rotation as far as I am aware.”

Capt. Steven Modugno, US Army Public Affairs Officer from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which trains Ukrainian forces in Yavoriv, also told the Daily Beast that he didn’t know whether they had trained any members of the Azov Regiment, but that they had trained the Hepard (“Cheetah”) and Yahuar (“Jaguar”) regiments, which also belong to the Ukrainian National Guard.

The United States has been supplying military hardware to Ukraine since last March, and US instructors have been training Ukrainian National Guard units since April last year. As of December 2015, approximately 400 American military instructors, as well as military instructors from Canada, Lithuania, and the United Kingdom, were training Ukrainian military servicemen at the Yavoriv Training Center in Lviv Region. American instructors are also teaching Ukrainian special operations forces in Khmelnytsky Region. Instructors from the United States have also been sent to Ukraine to train special police units analogous to US SWAT teams. NATO troops have been participating in joint military exercises in Western Ukraine. And, according to “hacktivist” organization Cyber-Berkut, American specialists have been sent to Kiev to train their Ukrainian counterparts in methods of psychological warfare and disinformation.

U.S. Congress: HR 4108 prohibits funding Syrian opposition groups and individuals

HR 4108: “To prohibit the use of funds for the provision of assistance to Syrian opposition groups and individuals.”

Details on the bill will be here:
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4108

11/19/2015 Referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committees on Intelligence (Permanent Select), and Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

These are the House of Representatives committee members that must be lobbied.

Letters to the editors of local and national newspapers are very important to alert the public to this bill and this issue. Local and national peace organizations must get behind this bill to pressure its speedy passage.

Weapons manufacturers, big oil, and those invested in the wars will be opposed and howling against it. The news media will increase its information warfare.

Support Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Austin Scott. They have shown courage to go against political party leaders and big money.

Zero Hedge: U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard co-authors bill to stop “illegal” war on Syria to oust Assad, says CIA ops must stop

The bill is HR 4108.

Global Research, November 22, 2015
Zero Hedge 21 November 2015

Last month, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard went on CNN and laid bare Washington’s Syria strategy. 

In a remarkably candid interview with Wolf Blitzer, Gabbard calls Washington’s effort to oust Assad “counterproductive” and “illegal” before taking it a step further and accusing the CIA of arming the very same terrorists who The White House insists are “sworn enemies.” 

In short, Gabbard all but tells the American public that the government is lying to them and may end up inadvertently starting “World War III.”

For those who missed it, here’s the clip:

That was before Paris.

Well, in the wake of the attacks, Gabbard has apparently had just about enough of Washington vacillating in the fight against terror just so the US can ensure that ISIS continues to destabilize Assad and now, with bi-partisan support,the brazen Hawaii Democrat has introduced legislation to end the “illegal war” to overthrow Assad. 

Gabbard, who fought in Iraq – twice – has partnered with Republican Adam Scott on the bill. Here’s AP:

In an unusual alliance, a House Democrat and Republican have teamed up to urge the Obama administration to stop trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad and focus all its efforts on destroying Islamic State militants.

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, and Austin Scott, a Republican, introduced legislation on Friday to end what they called an “illegal war” to overthrow Assad, the leader of Syria accused of killing tens of thousands of Syrian citizens in a more than four-year-old civil war entangled in a battle against IS extremists, also known as ISIS.

“The U.S. is waging two wars in Syria,” Gabbard said. “The first is the war against ISIS and other Islamic extremists, which Congress authorized after the terrorist attack on 9/11. The second war is the illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad.”

Scott said, “Working to remove Assad at this stage is counter-productive to what I believe our primary mission should be.”

Since 2013, the CIA has trained an estimated 10,000 fighters, although the number still fighting with so-called moderate forces is unclear. CIA-backed rebels in Syria, who had begun to put serious pressure on Assad’s forces, are now under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American patrons, U.S. officials say.

For years, the CIA effort had foundered — so much so that over the summer, some in Congress proposed cutting its budget. Some CIA-supported rebels had been captured; others had defected to extremist groups.

Gabbard complained that Congress has never authorized the CIA effort, though covert programs do not require congressional approval, and the program has been briefed to the intelligence committees as required by law, according to congressional aides who are not authorized to be quoted discussing the matter.

Gabbard contends the effort to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it is helping IS topple the Syrian leader and take control of all of Syria. If IS were able to seize the Syrian military’s weaponry, infrastructure and hardware, the group would become even more dangerous than it is now and exacerbate the refugee crisis.

And make no mistake, Tulsi’s understanding of Washington’s absurd Mid-East policy goes far beyond Syria. That is, Gabbard fully grasps the big picture as well. Here’s what she has to say about the idea that the US should everywhere and always attempt to overthrow regimes when human rights groups claim there’s evidence of oppression:

People said the very same thing about Saddam (Hussein), the very same thing about (Moammar) Gadhafi, the results of those two failed efforts of regime change and the following nation-building have been absolute, not only have they been failures, but they’ve actually worked to strengthen our enemy.

Somebody get Langley on the phone, this woman must be stopped.

Here’s Gabbard speaking to CNN this week about Assad:

[CNN clip available on ZeroHedge]

So there’s hope for the US public after all.

Perhaps if the clueless masses won’t listen to “lunatic” fringe blogs or Sergei Lavrov, they’ll listen to a US Congresswoman who served two tours of duty in Iraq and who is now telling Americans that The White House, The Pentagon, and most especially the CIA are together engaged in an “illegal” effort to overthrow the government of a sovereign country and in the process are arming the very same extremists that are attacking civilians in places like Paris.

Good luck Tulsi, and thanks for proving that there’s at least one person inside that Beltway that isn’t either dishonest or naive.

*  *  *

From Gabbard

“Here are 10 reasons the U.S. must end its war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad:

  1. Because if we succeed in overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad, it will open the door for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic extremists to take over all of Syria.  There will be genocide and suffering on a scale beyond our imagination.  These Islamic extremists will take over all the weaponry, infrastructure, and military hardware of the Syrian army and be more dangerous than ever before.
  2. We should not be allying ourselves with these Islamic extremists by helping them achieve their goal because it is against the security interests of the United States and all of civilization.
  3. Because the money and weapons the CIA is providing to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad are going directly or indirectly into the hands of the Islamic extremist groups, including al-Qaeda affiliates, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and others who are the actual enemies of the United States.  These groups make up close to 90 percent of the so-called opposition forces, and are the most dominant fighters on the ground.
  4. Because our efforts to overthrow Assad has increased and will continue to increase the strength of ISIS and other Islamic extremists, thus making them a bigger regional and global threat.
  5. Because this war has exacerbated the chaos and carnage in Syria and, along with the terror inflicted by ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups fighting to take over Syria, continues to increase the number of Syrians forced to flee their country.
  6. Because we should learn from our past mistakes in Iraq and Libya that U.S. wars to overthrow secular dictators (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi) cause even more chaos and human suffering and open the door for Islamic extremists to take over in those countries.
  7. Because the U.S. has no credible government or government leader ready to bring order, security, and freedom to the people of Syria.
  8. Because even the ‘best case’ scenario—that the U.S. successfully overthrows the Syrian government of Assad—would obligate the United States to spend trillions of dollars and the lives of American service members in the futile effort to create a new Syria.  This is what we have been trying to do in Iraq for twelve years, and we still have not succeeded.  The situation in Syria will be much more difficult than in Iraq.
  9. Because our war against the Syrian government of Assad is interfering with our being one-pointedly focused on the war to defeat ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the other Islamic extremists who are our actual enemy.
  10. Because our war to overthrow the Assad government puts us in direct conflict with Russia and increases the likelihood of war between the United States and Russia and the possibility of another world war.”

*  *  *

Oh, and if you needed another reason to like Tulsi, here’s a bonus 40 second clip for your amusement…