The Avalanche – Snapshot 34 – April 26, ’19

“UK Media, MPs Unveil Latest Assange Deception” by Jonathan Cook (Dissident Voice)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In my last blog post, I warned that the media and political class would continue with their long-running deceptions about Julian Assange now that he has been dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy. They have wasted no time in proving me right.

The first thrust in their campaign of deceit was set out on the Guardian’s front page today.

There should have been wall-to-wall outrage from public figures in the UK at the United States creating a new crime of “doing journalism” and a new means of arrest for those committing this “crime” overseas, what I have termed “media rendition”.

Remember that all of the information contained in the US charge sheet against Assange – the supposed grounds for his extradition – were known to the previous Obama administration as far back as 2010. But Barack Obama never dared approve the current charges against Assange because legally there was no way to stop them being turned against “respectable” journalists, like those at the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian.

This was the same Obama administration that had the worst record ever for prosecuting whistleblowers. Obama was no friend to investigative journalism but he understood that it would be unwise to so overtly subvert the notion of a free western press.

That the Trump administration has cast all this aside to get Assange behind bars should have every journalist in the world quaking in their boots, and loudly decrying what the US is seeking to do.

And yet the reaction has been either quiet acceptance of the US extradition request as a simple law enforcement measure or gentle mockery of Assange – that the scruffy outlaw dragged from the embassy was looking even scruffier after seven years of extreme house arrest and “arbitrary detention”. What a laugh!

Now we can see how the media is going to collude in a narrative crafted by the political class to legitimise what the Trump administration is doing.

“Edward Snowden puts in plain terms the terror of what really just happened to Julian Assange” by James Wright (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Snowden wrote:

Images of Ecuador’s ambassador inviting the UK’s secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of–like it or not–award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books. Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom…

Snowden points out that the WikiLeaks team has won many awards for its reporting. These include:

The Economist New Media Award (2008)
The Amnesty New Media Award (2009)
The Sam Adams Award for Integrity (2010)
The National Union of Journalists Journalist of the Year (Hrafnsson) (2011)
The Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal (2011)
The Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism (2011)
The Voltaire Award for Free Speech (2011)
The International Piero Passetti Journalism Prize of the National Union of Italian Journalists (2011)
The Privacy International Hero of Privacy (2012)
The Global Exchange Human Rights People’s Choice Award (2013)
The Brazilian Press Association Human Rights Award (2013)
The Kazakhstan Union of Journalists Top Prize (2014)

In short, Snowden is spot on that this is fundamentally about press freedom. Washington is trying to crush a dissident journalist for revealing its crimes. This is an attack on the world’s right to knowledge; and we must resist it as such.

“Macron moves to prosecute journalists who revealed French arms sales in Yemen war” by Will Morrow (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In a far-reaching assault on democratic rights and free speech, the government of Emmanuel Macron is moving to prosecute journalists who have exposed both France’s complicity in Saudi Arabia’s illegal war in Yemen as well as the Macron government’s efforts to cover it up.

The government’s actions are a response to the publication of a report on April 15 by the journalistic organization Disclose, in partnership with the Intercept, Radio France, Mediapart, Arte Info and Konbini. The report includes a leaked, classified intelligence report to the president and leading ministers from September last year with precise information on the use of French arms in Yemen. It proves that the Macron government’s claims that it had no evidence that French arms were being used in the war, which has killed tens of thousands of civilians, were lies.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Disclose and its partners published a joint statement reporting that its co-founders Geoffrey Livolsi and Mathias Destal, as well as Benoit Collombat of Radio France, had been summoned to appear before police yesterday for questioning in relation to the revelations.

“We have learned that a preliminary investigation for ‘compromising national defence secrets’ has been launched by the Paris prosecutors,” it states. The investigation is being conducted by the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI), the domestic intelligence agency.

“UN official visits Julian Assange, investigating Ecuador’s illegal surveillance” by Mike Head (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The United Nations special rapporteur on the right to privacy, Joe Cannataci, was finally permitted yesterday to meet with Julian Assange inside London’s Belmarsh prison.

The WikiLeaks journalist and publisher has been held virtually incommunicado, in denial of his fundamental legal and democratic rights, since the British police dragged him out of Ecuador’s embassy more than two weeks ago.

This has become a global battle for free speech and right of the public to know the truth about the crimes being committed by governments and their state agencies around the world.


“Instagram Acts as Arm of US Govt, Bans Top Iranian Officials After IRGC ‘Terrorist’ Designation” by Ben Norton (The Grayzone)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A curious decision by Instagram, which is owned by social media giant Facebook, has called into question its independence from the US government. The company has banned several top Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, from its photo-sharing platform.

This disappearance of foreign government officials by American tech corporations is the latest episode in a global information war.

On April 15, the administration of President Donald Trump designated Iran’s military wing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a “terrorist” organization. Less than a day later, Instagram suspended the accounts of several Iranian officials, from military commanders to politicians with no ties to the IRGC.

Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani was among those banned. (Soleimani drew public attention in November for using his Instagram account to comically respond to Trump’s threat of sanctions with a Game of Thrones-style meme.) IRGC commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari also saw his Instagram account suspended, as did Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour.

© Sputnik / Kirill Kallinikov

“EU finds no ‘evidence’ Kaspersky Lab software spies for Russia, despite claims by US” by ? (RT News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A recently published document reveals the European Commission has no evidence that Kaspersky Lab software spies on users on behalf of the Russian government, despite the EU and US labeling it “malicious.”

“The Commission is not in possession of any evidence regarding potential issues related to the use of Kaspersky Lab products,” reads a letter from an EC representative to a Belgian member of parliament, dated last Friday.

The European Commission was responding to a request by Belgian MEP Gerolf Annemans who asked last month if it knows “of any reason other than certain press articles that justifies the labelling of Kaspersky as ‘dangerous’ or ‘malicious’.” Annemans also wanted to know if other programs and devices, other than those of Kaspersky, were also flagged as “malicious.”

Reacting to the latest EU letter, Kaspersky said, “this is another evidence not to let the geopolitical agenda fool you with fake news.”

The Department of Homeland Security banned all federal agencies from using Kaspersky software in September 2017, citing national security concerns but providing no evidence. Company founder and Chief Executive Eugene Kaspersky denounced the move as “baseless paranoia at best,” and the company filed a lawsuit.

Later, Kaspersky found its ads banned from Twitter and its products pulled from store shelves at Best Buy. Eugene Kaspersky called the Twitter ban a case of “blatant censorship.”

“Prospect of nuclear war highest in decades, yet media ignores” by Linda McQuaig (Information Clearing House)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

April 19, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – I’m as curious as the next person about the Mueller report, Donald Trump’s tax returns and Jody Wilson-Raybould’s inner thoughts, but is there really no room amidst all the media chatter for the news that the chances of nuclear war are “higher than they’ve been in generations.”

That was the frightening assessment the United Nations Security Council received last week from UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu, and it made barely a ripple in the media.

For that matter, Trump’s decision in February to withdraw from a key nuclear treaty, signed amid great hope 32 years ago by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, was deemed worthy of about 24 hours of news coverage.

Even as climate change is finally penetrating the mainstream news cycle, the media has all but lost interest in nuclear war.

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3 Responses to The Avalanche – Snapshot 34 – April 26, ’19

  1. KPomeroy says:

    Regarding the part on Assange, you say, “Obama was no friend to investigative journalism but he understood that it would be unwise to so overtly subvert the notion of a free western press. That the Trump administration has cast all this aside to get Assange behind bars should have every journalist in the world quaking in their boots …”

    I couldn’t agree more that this is extremely alarming. My views on Assange are completely aligned with yours. Curiously, my views on Trump are not quite aligned, so I ask for your patience for the sake of discussion. I think Trump would like to help Assange, but I also sense that the New World Order global elite are cracking down now more than ever before. So the Assange indictment is happening during Trump’s term due to the general global crackdown. You can see all around you in the form of censorship.. More and more I am learning to identify the global elite by name. To me these are the real culprits. You might find these articles of interest: (Do You Really Want to Know Who Runs the World?)

    • Arrby says:

      Regarding the part on Assange, you say, “Obama was no friend to investigative journalism but he understood that it would be unwise to so overtly subvert the notion of a free western press. That the Trump administration has cast all this aside to get Assange behind bars should have every journalist in the world quaking in their boots …”

      Just to be clear, I’m quoting someone else. That’s why that comment is in quotation marks. Who knows why Obama didn’t go as far as Trump? The author of that comment may have it right or maybe there were other factors in Obama’s reluctance to go full boar. Looking at things in context, it becomes a detail. Obama was a hearty enemy of whistleblowing and (non establishment) journalism. Remember his Stasi-like “Insider Threats”?

  2. Arrby says:

    I’m not too keen on illuminati stuff, to say the least. I read much of the Robert Steele material in his one recent post linked to on your website. I found it alarming. While I would be the last person to argue that the world, generally speaking, is ‘not’ Satanic, I have no doubt that what I mean by that and what Robert means by that are different things. It’s not just this or that Party or group that’s Satanic. As Jesus Christ himself said, Satan is the ruler of this world. And he is – temporarily, by God’s permission and for a purpose. I’m religious, in case you don’t know. But I am serious. I have no use for mumbo jumbo. And I don’t believe in forcing my views on others, which doesn’t mean that I lie about them. It’s just that I have a found that there’s a time and a place. And in the long run (which hopefully won’t be that long now), ‘I’ am not going to save the world (of God’s loyal followers and those who are innocent). I can be utterly silenced and it won’t make one iota of difference to the monsters who own, ruin (mentally and spiritually) and rule the world.

    New World Order? Perhaps. But it’s not really new. The world has changed for sure, but not where it matters. I do see a world government, which I and others call Corporatocracy. I would say that that came into being post WWII. (The US was the true victor in WWII, and came out of that conflict in a very strong position. No other nation was as powerful at that point and the US took advantage of that to create the global capitalist system that it has taken pains to dominate – which domination it refers to as ‘leadership’ – ever since. While I have serious issues with Leo Panitch, he authored, with Sam Gindin, “The Making Of Global Capitalism,” in which he explains that other nations looked to the US to superintend that global capitalist system. Were there ‘rogue’ nations who didn’t willingly participate?) Others also see and talk about the US-led (dominated) Corporatocracy but don’t use that term, which was made popular by John Perkins, who admits that it popped into his head but possibly because he heard or read it elsewhere and forgot.

    I don’t at all see Donald Trump as being outside of the US-led Corporatocracy. In some ways that crooked businessman epitomizes the Corporatocracy, which is global government by corporations that use governments as fronts. Bill Black (an advisor to faker Bernie Sanders) talked, on the Real News Network, about what he thinks will be the cause of Donald Trump’s downfall. He never mentioned Russia that I recall and despite working for faker Sanders, I can’t see any kink in what Bill said i that show. What Bill pointed to was all of Trump’s evil business dealings. He feels strongly that whistleblowers will come forth at some point, with FACTS, and reveal to the public and law enforcement (as bad as it is) just what that professional scam artist has been up to. Are whistleblowers a group that can expect support, moral or otherwise, from a scam artist like Donald Trump?

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