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How 5G and Covid-19 mixed to make a toxic conspiracy cocktail – Veterans Today

David Farrier looks at the way two conspiracy theories have merged into something very nasty online and into real world violence.

Over the weekend we saw another suspicious fire at a cellphone tower, this time in South Auckland. This comes off the back of a string of arson attacks over the last six weeks: 10 in Auckland, and another four in Wellington and Northland.

The attacks led the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum to put out a press release last week, asking for Kiwis to be extra vigilant in reporting suspicious behaviour.

Vodafone, Spark and 2Degrees were on board with the messaging, which isn’t surprising seeing as their property was going up in flames.

“These attacks are infuriating and can have real connectivity impacts for New Zealanders – meaning people could have reduced mobile phone and internet coverage in an area with a damaged cell site, which is a real issue particularly in South Auckland,” said Vodafone’s Tony Baird.

“Attacks on critical infrastructure are inexcusable at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. A disruption to mobile connectivity can put New Zealanders at risk by cutting off access to critical services like 111,” pleaded Mark Beder from Spark.

Reading the headlines, it would be easy to think this was a sudden, bizarre outburst of crime. But the paranoia around 5G has been growing for years. Introduce paranoia around Covid-19, and that’s when the towers start burning.

I’m a member of nearly all the private Anti-5G groups on Facebook – and the response to the fires is both unsurprising, and abhorrent. The last of these includes an incitement to violence against the prime minister.

It was unsurprising to me, because I’ve already experienced plenty of this type of abuse myself over the last year.

The first time was after I emerged from a screening of Mandy, a very unhinged film starring Nicolas Cage. Still reeling from the movie, I was approached by a man who asked if I felt guilty spreading lies about 5G. I don’t mind people approaching me to have a chat about things they’re passionate about, but this particular man just seemed quite… rude. He didn’t introduce himself, and spoke to me with what I could only describe as disdain.

See, last year I did a TV commercial for Spark 5G. I’d never done an advert before, but I’m a fan of technology and the series aimed to highlight New Zealanders doing cool things with 5G. I definitely expected (and welcomed) plenty of teasing for “selling out”, but what I didn’t expect was the torrent of abuse landing in my Facebook inbox. A certain subset of New Zealander appeared absolutely enraged.

They made it very clear that 5G was going to mean the death of their children, and that I was now partially responsible for that.

And nothing I could say could convince them otherwise.

I became curious, so started joining various anti-5G groups. Back then, there was no talk of 5G carrying Covid-19, because the pandemic didn’t even exist.

The general discussion focussed around an absolute belief that radiation from 5G was dangerous (and definitely more dangerous than 4G), and that there was a conspiracy between the New Zealand government, local councils and the telcos to keep this information secret.

The great thing about a brand new conspiracy theory is that you can trace its origins reasonably quickly. It’s like religion: The origins of Christianity are a lot harder to nail down than, say, Scientology – where we can listen to audio and read accounts of L Ron Hubbard dreaming the whole thing up.

And when it comes to the origin of the 5G conspiracy theory, Ben Decker of the Global Disinformation Index has traced it back to a speech given in July 2016:

“The conversation largely relies on two speeches made by former US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler in June and July of 2016 regarding the rollout of 5G. Much of the criticism of the infrastructure plan hinged upon one theme: how the technology will come to define every vector of our lives. At the National Press Club in June, Wheeler heralded the adoption of 5G networks and noted that ‘Turning innovators loose is far preferable to expecting committees and regulators to defne the future.’ Less than one month later, at a press hearing at FCC headquarters on July 14, ahead of the vote to adopt 5G, Wheeler was blitzed by a combination of health risk related questions.”

12 days later, a YouTube video called The Truth About 5G asked viewers, “Is there a clandestine force working behind the scenes in the United States, censoring truth about the “5G” rollout? Watch this — then decide”.

From there, the 5G conspiracy theory leapt from YouTube videos to Twitter hashtags like #stop5G.

By October of 2017, it had migrated to Reddit’s notorious r/conspiracy subreddit, with a post titled “5G and the smart grid is the New World Order”.

Six months later, professional conspiracy theorist David Icke jumped on board. By May of 2018, Alex Jones’ InfoWars was churning out 5G content daily.

By now the theory had seeped into the mainstream, with news reports on the paranoia which just furthered the paranoia.

Washed up celebrities were on board, including Dancing with the Stars judges, mindfulness coaches and radio hosts.

And the theory had jumped to far-away places like New Zealand, where we began to see protests like this in Auckland and Christchurch.

The Far North has fallen particularly hard for the 5G conspiracy theory. A lot of posts on the Facebook groups I’ve observed seem to be generated from there, and videos like “5G – Concerned Citizens – Te Hiku Community Board – Kaitaia – March 10th, 2020” also point in that direction.

Overall, New Zealand has simply followed the same well-trodden, depressing and boring path of conspiracy theories overseas – right down to them being monetised and commercialized.

Last week The Atlantic published a giant piece on the QAnon conspiracy theory, noting that “QAnon merchandise comes in a great variety; online, you can buy Great Awakening coffee ($14.99) and QAnon bracelets with tiny silver pizza charms ($20.17).”

Here in New Zealand, tee shirts have just gone on sale, created by one of the bigger anti-5G groups here, currently boasting more than 13,000 members. This T-shirt is selling for $60, and members seem happy to pay.

“LESSGOO PEOPLE. Time to rise,” posted one.

“Can I advertise these for sale down here in Central e hoa please,” wrote another.

These New Zealanders don’t want to just buy them, they want to spread the cause.

While the various 5G theories had been cooking for nearly four years, the Covid-19 theories were created quickly, and spread very quickly.

This was mostly simply due to the size of the story. 5G started as this small conversation – whereas Covid-19 was a worldwide pandemic on everyone’s minds.

The New York Times ran this eloquent piece, explaining, “Claims that the virus is a foreign bioweapon, a partisan invention or part of a plot to re-engineer the population have replaced a mindless virus with more familiar, comprehensible villains. Each claim seems to give a senseless tragedy some degree of meaning, however dark.” There’s also a decent amount of data pointing to a targeted disinformation campaign.

The end result is that you probably saw people posting about Plandemic. Or some senseless meme will have invaded your Facebook feed, hinting that social distancing was put in place so that facial recognition cameras could get a better hit rate:

You could see the Covid-19 and 5G conspiracy theories merging in real time, simply by watching the daily briefings with Jacinda Ardern.

No doubt some of the remarks were ironic or trolling, but watching the comments in the private Facebook groups going on at the same time, there is little doubt many of them were dead serious.

So serious, some of their supporters decided to start lighting cell towers on fire. It was hardly an original concept: Like the conspiracy theory itself, kiwis were simply mimicking behavior they’d seen overseas.

A cell tower was set alight in Birmingham in early April, a week before the first New Zealand case.

Tech giants started to try and intervene last month, too – WhatsApp banned mass-forwarding in an attempt to curtail health misinformation spreading, and David Icke’s Anti-5G tirade saw YouTube taking videos offline. But it appeared to be too little, too late.

And so while most of New Zealand rolled their eyes when the prime minister and the director general of health were memorably asked about 5G… a non-trivial group of people didn’t.

For them, this flat denial from the government just proved their theories correct. This was a conspiracy that went right to the top. And in the groups, they continued to cheer the arsonists on.

I don’t think I can stomach these groups for much longer. Due to the volume of posts being made by members – and thanks to Facebook just being Facebook – it’s changed my entire experience on the site. My news feed is clogged by this stuff, to the point where I can’t avoid it.

I can only imagine what that does to a brain that’s already accepted this reality as the truth.

And I can’t help but think the lockdown world looked particularly frightening to those terrified of 5G, because it’s the world they fear will become a permanent reality. A world devoid of human life. The same world they saw looking out their windows during lockdown.

They literally think that 5G will kill us.

Where does this end? I’m not sure. Probably when the next conspiracy theory comes along, and people realise those cell towers aren’t quite as deadly as they first thought.

But then, I would say that, wouldn’t I? I was in a fucking 5G commercial.

So go and check some news sources you trust. The BBC has a good read here about the science behind 5G. So does Forbes, and our own Dr Michelle Dickinson.

But if you have friends who don’t believe scientists or newsrooms, then I would point them towards this paper from the UK-based not-for-profit Global Disinformation Index.

Because if people can understand how this disinformation travels, they may start to understand how unsubstantiated these claims are to begin with.

They may think twice about petitioning local councils about the dangers of 5G, or sharing the latest meme on their wall.

As that disinformation paper concludes, “Adversarial narratives like ‘Stop 5G’ are effective because they inflame social tensions by exploiting and amplifying perceived grievances of individuals, groups and institutions. The end game is to foster long-term conflict – social, political and economic.”

As cell towers burn in Aotearoa, it appears that end game is already here. But I like to think that when the next big conspiracy theory comes along, people can catch it earlier. Or at least pause for a moment, and reflect on what happened last time.



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News Veterans Today

My Dad Got Hoaxed By the Anti-5G Conspiracy Movement – Veterans Today

by Megan Lily Large; illustrated by Ella Strickland de Souza

Does your dad spend his time in quarantine watching livestreams of men in fields ranting about the dangers of frequencies? Does every dinner table conversation roll back around to how Wi-Fi is killing our brains? Does he joke (well… kind of) about strategically hoofing down your closest lamppost in the middle of the night?

Then chances are he’s part of the growing number of dad-truthers fuelling the anti-5G conspiracy theory.

In 2019, my dad was invited to a 27,000-strong Facebook group that sets out to “expose” the effects that 5G has on our health. The group features an extensive amount of middle-aged dads debating whether to put tinfoil on the walls before the wallpaper itself.

Soon, what was a Labour-supporting working-class dad of three had turned into a tech-obsessed truther. He began to share, comment, and openly debate (see: argue) with other dads, who all seemed to agree on just one thing: 5G was threatening to kill off their family, causing mental health issues, cancer, infertility, Alzheimer’s, even autism. Oh – and yes, coronavirus. It causes that too.

The movement against 5G began to gain momentum in late-2018 after major mobile networks started to roll out 5G trials around the world. Since then, it’s turned into a phenomenon, seemingly mostly among British, middle-aged dads who spend half their evening scrolling on Facebook, looking for action to spice up their ever-so-ordinary lives. Amid the arguments, the group share tips on how to protect themselves and the best field meters to detect harmful frequencies.

To find out exactly why dads are so obsessed with this stuff, I requested to join one of the more prominent Facebook groups, Stop5GUK. But in doing so, I truly went down the rabbit hole. The anti-5G movement is a world of people willing your dad’s money to be diverted into the fight against 5G. One man in particular looks to be leading the charge.

Mark Steele is a prominent member on the Facebook group, and his videos – where he’s normally seen sporting dark sunglasses and a thick Newcastle accent – are shared around to the group’s members daily. In the videos, the self-described non-indoctrinated scientist and weapons expert, says stuff like “5G is a killer” and claims 400 people have died from what he calls the 5G genocide. The members seen promoting him and sharing his videos are normally the group’s admins; they decide who stays and who goes, and have been seen to kick people out of the group if they criticise Steele.

But why is Steele so important? The answer, like many things in this life, is money.

After scrolling through the Facebook group, I was led to a fundraising page on GoFundMe (name: 5G IS GENOCIDE SUPPORT THE LAWFUL RESISTANCE) which was set up in late 2018 and had gathered almost £8,000. The campaign had no specific motive other than to “support the resistance” against 5G. This also isn’t the only instance of Steele asking for campaign money from the average dad who is a bit worried about 5G.

I subsequently found another campaign with Steele’s name on, collecting money to enable his legal team “to bring the countries first test case against Gateshead Council”. The description for the campaign didn’t really say… anything. Yet it had raised almost £20,000 and had 529 supporters behind it.

I spoke to a member of the group, who told me he had not heard anything more from the campaign after donating on CrowdJustice. Another member, Jasper, told me he’d previously seen Steele talk on 5G at an event in London last year, where musician-turned-activist Sacha Stone was promoting an anti-radiation tool.

These anti-5G tools pop up everywhere on the Internet and can be anything from £200 paint, to £70 umbrellas, to £900 router-looking devices – many which lack the science behind them. Stone was trying to flog his product for around £500, which is where Jasper’s suspicions with figures within the anti-5G movement began.

After speaking to Jasper, I wondered what else I could find out about Mark Steele, so I did the classic investigative technique: I typed his name into Google. Here, a link to the British Library Archive stood out. It directed me to a newspaper story taken from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, written in November 1993, which claimed Mark Steele, aged 33, from Percy Gardens, Gateshead, was convicted of shooting a teenage girl, leaving her on life support. No one on the Facebook group had posted about this, and if they had, it’d been quickly deleted.

I questioned whether the newspaper article was simply someone else, but upon discovering further information on Steele, it seemed unlikely. The government page belonging to his company, Reevu, confirmed Steele was born in 1960, and a Chronicle Live story taken from his 2018 trial confirmed he still lived at Percy Gardens.

I was not the first person to see the newspaper article. Annie Logical, another known anti-5G campaigner, had previously tried to discredit Steele by claiming he had connections to Gateshead Council. Afterwards, she was branded a “deluded nutcase” and a “witch” by members of SUN – a donation-led website called Save Us Now (SUN) which claims to be a political movement against 5G, and is linked heavily to the Facebook group Stop5UK, with many of the admins sporting SUN avatars.

Based on the available crowdfunding links, Steele has raised almost at least £30,000. I wondered if my dad had been one of the donors. Other members of the group, like Jasper, had donated and later found out Steele was not who they thought he was, but were not able to speak out due to the group’s admins, so continued to be quiet. One of the slogans behind the 5G movement is to “question everything” – but it seems many members of the group had been shut off from doing so with Steele.

Much like flat earthers, or that strange period in the late 90s where conspiracy theorists put tinfoil on their heads, not everything in the 5G truther community is as it seems. That’s evident in the fact a radiation watchdog recently confirmed 5G is not currently known to pose a health risk – despite what groups like this say. So how do conspiracies like this start?

Conspiracy theory expert and author Andy Thomas told me: “When obvious gaps are left in public knowledge, it is inevitable that people have to fill them with their own speculation. Some people go further than others, of course – some would argue sometimes too far.”

With Facebook dads continuing to tune into Stop 5G groups in their masses, it is a cause for concern that many of them are willing to hand over thousands of pounds. If that’s you, or your dad, or someone you know, perhaps think twice about it. Unlike 5G, you can never be sure about the risks.

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Daily Beast News

Seth Meyers Exposes Laura Ingraham’s Wild Claim That Mask-Wearing Is a Liberal-Media Conspiracy

On Thursday night, Seth Meyers dedicated the latest edition of his “A Closer Look” segment to President Trump’s and the conservative media’s war on mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Conservatives have decided to turn [wearing masks] into yet another dumb culture-war issue. Some have even theorized that it’s a media conspiracy to keep people permanently afraid,” explained the Late Night comic.

Cut to Laura Ingraham, a Fox News host whose college newspaper advisor once said harbored “the most extreme antihomosexual views imaginable” and whose own brother has called “a monster,” who indeed appeared to call wearing masks a liberal and media conspiracy.

“Rush Limbaugh made a great point, as he always does, on the radio the other day, and he said that the virus itself, as it weakens and states start reopening, the media that have been selling this panic, panic, panic for weeks and weeks and weeks, they have fewer images to sell their hysteria to justify continued lockdowns. But the masks, well, they’re kind of a constant reminder. You see the masks, and you think, you’re not safe, you’re not back to normal—not even close,” said Ingraham.

“OK, first of all, anytime someone says ‘Rush Limbaugh made a great point the other day,’ that’s your cue to exit the conversation. That’s usually the point on Thanksgiving where you excuse yourself, go to the bathroom, and take a hit off your vape pen…or frantically search the medicine cabinet for something that will get you high,” Meyers joked.

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Gateway Pundit News

Obama May Not Be Indicted Individually But He and Biden May Be Included “In An Indictment As People Who Were Either Used or Participated” in a Criminal Conspiracy

Former US Attorney Joe diGenova: Obama May Not Be Indicted Individually But He and Biden May Be Included “In An Indictment As People Who Were Either Used or Participated” in a Criminal Conspiracy


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News Popular Resistance

Why Is Sam Husseini Channeling Neocon Conspiracy Theories On COVID-19?

Why Is Sam Husseini Channeling Neocon Conspiracy Theories On COVID-19?

By K.J. Noh and Claudia Chaufan, Popular Resistance.

Why Is Sam Husseini Channeling Neocon Conspiracy Theories On COVID-19?2020-05-19PopularResistance.Orghttps://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2020/05/researchers-working-in-wuhan-laboratory.-by-zou-hong-for-china-daily.-e1589904405253.jpg200px200px

Above photo: Researchers working in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. By Zou Hong for China Daily.

Journalist Sam Husseini was once known for challenging the Neocon warmongers on the Iraq War in a former lifetime. He now seems to have joined them, becoming a promoter of anti-China Neocon conspiracy theories on the origins of Covid-19.

Husseini recently wrote a series of articles that recycle a large amount of right-wing disinformation–alt-right fecal matter–and smeared them inside a juicy little hamburger of truth: the fact that the US engages in dangerous biowarfare research.

It is certainly true, if not really hot news, that the US has at least two dozen known biowarfare labs, many in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.  It’s unknown to what extent they comply with the regulations and oversight of the international bioweapons convention to which the US is a signatory.

It’s also true that the US has a long history of biowarfare and biowarfare research, going back at least to the Korean war.  The use of biowarfare–Anthrax, Bubonic Plague, Cholera, Encephalitis–in Korea was such an international scandal that an entire mythology of communist “brainwashing” was invented to discredit the captured American pilots that confessed to these very real crimes against humanity.

It’s also true that accidental releases have happened from US biowarfare labs. For example, USAMRIID (Army bio lab facility) at Fort Detrick was shut down in July 2019 for leakage of contaminated waste.

But that said, Husseini is mistaken–or deeply dishonest–in suggesting that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was doing biowarfare research and thus possibly linked to the release of the Covid-19 virus.  It’s unclear why he is saying this, but in doing so, he is recycling the thoroughly discredited rumors of Rush Limbaugh, Josh Rogin, Steve Bannon, Tom Cotton, Mike Pompeo, and other rightwing hawks and loons. In other words, a journalist, who in another life, made a modest reputation for challenging neocon propaganda and disinformation, is now functioning as one of its key shills.

This propaganda relies on five thinking errors or deceits.

1. Failure of common sense–the language con

Husseini first pulls off this canard by arguing that there is no meaningful difference between biowarfare and biodefense. This is hardly true.  Although there is always some overlap between basic science, medicine, preventive research, and warfare, there are also serious differences in emphasis, approach, practice, and funding that he glosses over.  Husseini has to assert this tenuous proposition in order to implicate the Wuhan lab in suspected biowarfare malfeasance (or error) and to claim that there is a global biowarfare arms race between China and the US (rather than by the US against its opponents). That linguistic sleight of hand, in particular, the equivalence of biowarfare and biodefense is factually not true, and is certainly not true in one very obvious way regarding the Wuhan lab: if there were a biowarfare arms race happening around the world, the countries putatively at war with each other–the US and China–would not share or allow access to their labs to a competitor state, collaborate, or exchange their research and researchers.  But the fact is the US was given wide access to the Wuhan Labs–not just scientists but also US State Department functionaries–as were French scientists.  The Wuhan lab solicited US aid and funding.  (Husseini seems to believe that biowarfare labs openly solicit funding from other countries).  Scientists in the US and China collaborated and worked together collegially, trained each other, shared information, published papers, and still maintain some relations.

As a point of contrast, no one, not a single Chinese national has ever set foot in Fort Dietrick, the key US biowarfare research lab. No Chinese university has ever collaborated with them. No Chinese funding has been directed to it. No one knows exactly what they are researching. This is not the case with Wuhan—there is knowledge which viruses they had, and published papers on what they were researching, how they were being researched, as well as what safety protocols were in place. If we take into consideration the fact that Chinese researchers are no longer welcome to do even basic research in the US at this point in time, it’s inconceivable that the US would have been assisting the Chinese with weaponizing viruses that could potentially be used against them, or funding such work when even basic scientific research–and now graduate study in the sciences–is being obstructed in the US for the Chinese.

Until Husseini can refute this basic logic, it’s not possible to give his claim about the Wuhan labs any credence, never mind the fact that he offers no proof whatsoever, only the conflating of science with weapons development, “coincidence”, innuendo, and 3 degrees-removed-guilt-by-association.

2. Misinterpreting Research: The Science Con

Husseini has also misread the article in Nature Medicine. This is one of several key articles that has refuted the “bioweapon” theory that he argues for. He misunderstands what the specifics of the RBD (receptor binding domain)and the furin cleavage site entail from an evolutionary perspective. This misunderstanding may be due to a lack of scientific literacy on his part, for which one can’t fault him, except that he subjects this illiteracy onto others who are already confused or ignorant about the science.  The Nature Medicine article argues–convincingly, if not conclusively–that natural selection, either in humans or in an animal host is responsible for the very unique features of this novel virus: it demonstrates convincingly the fact that the virus could not have been engineered: a) it has no “backbone” that would correspond to or indicate that there is anything sequenced from existing components–it is truly novel b) the furin cleavage site of the spike protein–the part that makes the virus dangerous to humans–doesn’t correspond to any existing known virus (it has no close homologs in the Bat CoV RatG13 or the Pangolin CoV).  It also does not correspond to any samples held in Wuhan. That means it could not have been lab-engineered.

3. The “Gain of Function” Con: Weasels, Ferrets, Monkeys, and Evolution

Husseini, however, is not one to gainsay his rigid views, and along with other far-right operatives, tries to misdirect further. Although the refutation of the Lab-created-bioweapon theory is a well-accepted conclusion in the scientific community and among medical and epidemiological professionals, Husseini argues that “gain of function” (weaponization of a virus) could have been induced by natural means (by inducing passage through animals). He’s trying to argue that SARS-CoV-2 could have been produced, by inducing natural evolution in the Wuhan lab in such a way that it would not show signs of engineering, and in a way that would weaponize it.

The Nature Medicine article refutes the possibility not just of genetic engineering, but also argues against naturally induced passage. Husseini is either misreading this conclusion or is simply dishonest on this.

In this, he misunderstands the nature of gain of function through animal passage–he seems to confound engineering zoonotic transfer with gain of function within animal-restricted viruses or viruses that are already known to infect humans. (The example of the H5N1 is such an example).  This also disregards the fact that the closest existing known virus is Bat CoV RatG13, which has a 96% similarity with SARS CoV-2. That differential, although seemingly close, is comparable to 20-50 years of natural evolution, and not something that can be bred through short animal passage (“ten passages through ferrets”) as Husseini implies in weasel prose. It’s as if someone were arguing that the proverbial monkey typing randomly on a typewriter would come up with a Shakespeare monologue, or plunking away at a piano would come up with a Beethoven Sonata after a few tries. It’s possible mathematically/theoretically, and completely improbable in the time frames he imagines: yet another overlooked detail is that the BSL4 lab in the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been operational for only 2 years.

4. Failure of Logic: The Leak Con

As even the intelligence community itself has debunked the “engineered” lie, Husseini and his cohort merchants of mendacity (Josh Rogin, Mike Pompeo), then shift down to another backup lie: even if it wasn’t lab-engineered, and even if there wasn’t a lab-induced “natural” “gain of function”, it’s possible that the Wuhan lab had collected samples of this dangerous virus–captured in nature (from bats), and leaked it by accident. In his words, “The virus could have been found in the wild, studied in a lab and then released”. (Proponents of this lie often append some kind of “horror” story about researchers getting crapped on by bats, or that the researchers cooked and ate the lab animals or eggs, or sold them to the Wuhan market for pocket money).

Apart from the sheer absurdity of these cooked up assertions, this is an irrational, illogical argument: if it was captured from the wild, then it exists already in nature, and it’s much more likely that the tens of millions of people around the world who routinely interact with or are exposed to bats would be vectors of zoonotic transfer, rather than a half dozen highly trained scientists who are trained in and mandated to adhere to the strictest biohazard safety standards and protocols—protocols which they themselves, as consummate professionals, helped pioneer.

In other words, if it’s already out in nature, it can’t be leaked out to nature.

Also, according to American researchers who have worked there and trained staff, the lab itself, whenever it works with viruses–any virus–, deactivates them, so only inactive viruses are worked with. Reserve samples are stored in liquid nitrogen, making it unlikely that they could ever become virulent.

Last but not least, the virus researcher herself, Shi Zheng Li has stated categorically that the lab did not have any such samples, and therefore could not have leaked them.  In other words, we have consensus among the expert scientific community, eye witness testimony, scientific analysis, logic, probability, and common sense, on one hand, all arguing against the “lab leak” conspiracy theory.  On the other hand, there is innuendo, lies, conflation, misdirection, and wishful/magical thinking seemingly ungrounded in anything but racism and the need to demonize and divert blame.

5. Prosecutorial Misconduct: The “Journalism” Con

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s clear that Husseini is no longer doing journalism here, but acting as a corrupt prosecutor would: the way thousands of innocent “suspects” are accused and railroaded in the American courts. This is especially clear when he cherry-picks and weaponizes the statement of scientist Shi Zheng Li at Wuhan. Shi recalls asking herself, “If coronaviruses were the culprit… could they have come from our lab?” This might ordinarily be considered a statement of the conscientiousness and care of a researcher to exclude every conceivable possibility, the desire to leave no stone unturned—as a good scientist should. Husseini cherry-picks this statement as an implication of guilt both of the lab and the researcher, and then dismisses further and careful refutation by her:

Why should the world take her word? As Ebright…[says] “A denial is not a refutation.”

Shi is considered an impeccable professional academic, honored by the French government (“Chevalier des Ordres Palmares Academiques”) for her contributions to science. That Husseini resorts to tarring a researcher who has dedicated her life to saving lives and advancing science in this sarcastic manner reveals much about him and his values.

Now, it’s well known that Fort Detrick is a biowarfare institution and that it was recently temporarily closed for certain violations. That fact is well established. It’s also known that the US is doing biowarfare research in many other institutions.

If Husseini was simply arguing that dangerous biowarfare research is happening around the world, or in the US, he could have made that argument and made it easily.  It’s easy fare to highlight the known dangers, the known failures, as well as the history of biowarfare by the US. Even if he wanted to capitalize or sensationalize off the existing news cycle, he could have simply asserted, “although the Wuhan leak theory has been effectively discredited by the intelligence and scientific communities, we still have ample reason to be worried about other potential leaks and bioweapons research.” There was no reason to bring the Wuhan lab into the biowarfare scare story, except that it feeds the conspiracies and the trolls, draws sensationalist, conspiratorial attention to his work, and gives support and succor to the endless bastinado of China-bashing.

What is to be made of someone who echoes extreme, debunked right-wing lies while pretending to be critiquing them in generic terms?

These are some basic, commonsense questions that Husseini—and anyone implicating the Wuhan lab has to answer–even if we disregard all the science:

  1. If there were a biowarfare arms race happening between the US and China–why would the Chinese government share or allow access to their labs to a competitor state, collaborate, or exchange their research and researchers?
  2. If there were a biowarfare arms race happening between the US and China–why would the Chinese lab be [reduced to] soliciting funds from the US government?
  3. Researchers of Chinese origin, or with Chinese ties, are hounded, surveilled, and practically banished from doing even basic research in the US at this point in time.  They were terminated from MD Anderson’s cancer research, for example. In this witch hunt environment, why would the US be assisting the Chinese with weaponizing viruses that might theoretically be used against them?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  They also require a modicum of logic. Until Husseini (and his co-conspiracy-truthers) can coherently answer these questions, they are trafficking in contradiction, conspiracy, and absurdities.  

From Absurdities to Atrocities

The right-wing corporate media, the MSM, members of the administration, the Secretary of State, the President, key senators, right-wing think tanks and institutions, GOP talking points, Steve Bannon, the Committee on the Present Danger, Falun Gong, right-wing fascists around the world, extreme far-right crackpots– all have been touting and stoking the lie that China is responsible one way or another for the virus. This propaganda has been echoed across the political spectrum, and “catapulted” 24 hrs/day, across all media—highbrow, low brow, broadsheet, tabloid, at the center and on the margins, we have been swimming in a morass of lies and deceit.

Nevertheless, every single one of these lies has been carefully shown to be without merit. As this has happened, there has been a continual retrenchment, recycling, and refurbishing of the lies.  First, there was the allegation that Covid was strictly a “communist” virus–something that could only arise in a depraved communist state—hundreds of thousands of dead put paid to that statement, showing the danger when ideology supersedes science. Then there was the allegation that there was some sort of cover-up. As the facts came out, the duration of this coverup shrank from months, weeks, to days and looks likely to be reduced to hours or minutes.  There was also the allegation that it was spread deliberately by planes (full of infectious people) that flew out of Wuhan. That was easily debunked with actual flight schedules.  Then the lie that the Chinese hid and hoarded PPE and masks (as if 4 billion masks exported in a few weeks were hoarding). Virus “made in China”, and the virus “leaked by China” are the ugly, exhausted faggot ends of these absurd libels and lies.

By spreading the lies and errors behind this lie, Husseini is aligning with, or at least feeding those extreme, hate-filled politics and ideas.

Why would Husseini cast his lot with these crackpots?  Only Husseini can answer this.

This type of propaganda should be very familiar to him. It fits a readily recognizable pattern: it’s simply a recycling of the WMD template during the run-up to the Iraq War that he once opposed. That war, too, had its own WMD biowarfare labs: “mobile weapons labs” and other “dodgy dossiers” and “satellite pictures” that were shown to be false, as they have also been concocted for Wuhan.  (The “labs” in question, were hydrogen generation units for weather balloons). Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Tony Blair, and other powerful purveyors of systemic mendacity argued up and down the court that these were dangerous to the world–until they slinked off in infamy. Yet some people still believe these lies to be true.

We know that Covid-19 is raging throughout the world, creating untold suffering and pain, causing needless deaths, and ravaging entire countries and economies. As it does so, it is fundamentally revealing and delegitimating the existing structures of power that have brought us to the edge of this catastrophe, in particular, the US-imposed, neoliberal, imperialist-capitalist structures of the global economy.  China, outside of that circuit of control, looks to have successfully controlled the virus for the moment and is regrouping and restarting.  At the current moment, China seems to offer one alternative model: a better, people-centered approach to public health, governance, and development. As the jubilant schadenfreude against China suddenly turned suddenly to jealous rage for its successes in containment, the desire to re-direct confusion and outrage outward against the Chinese became evident: it ties to the current global moment where the US is losing its global “leadership” status, during an election season that needs to distract and redirect blame, and in a historical moment where the US  has declared China an enemy, waged hybrid warfare, and is rooting around for reasons to further escalate hostilities against it.  This is the reason for the ceaseless propaganda war–the absurdities pronounced daily and relentlessly, the absurdities, as Voltaire put it, that prepare you for atrocities: the atrocity of kinetic war.

Are Husseini and other hack “journalists” the “good Germans” in this war?  Time will tell.

But in the meantime, no self-respecting human–with a smidgen of scientific knowledge or good sense–should give any space to these ideas.

Some articles and presentations debunking the theory:

Video, Richard Horton, The Lancet editor-in-chief: the U.S. has wasted time, CGTN, May 1, 2020

Jonna Mazet, American Researcher Who Worked In Wuhan Virology Lab Says It’s Unlikely Coronavirus Escaped From There, Inquisitr, May 2, 2020

Kristian G. Andersen, et al., 

COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural origin, Science Daily, March 17, 2020

Charles Calisher, et. al, Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combatting COVID-19, The Lancet, February 19, 2020

Why these scientists still doubt the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab, Vox, April 29, 2020

The conspiracy theories about the origins of the coronavirus, debunked, Vox, March 12, 2020

Moon of Alabama, How The Trump Administration Inserts ‘Blame China’ Propaganda Into Main Stream Media, May 13, 2020

K.J. Noh is a scholar, journalist, peace activist, and special correspondent to KPFA Flashpoints.
Claudia Chaufan, MD, PhD, directs the graduate program in health policy at York University.

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Gateway Pundit News

CNN’s Jake Tapper Accuses Trump Of Pushing Conspiracy Theories After Pushing Russia Hoax For Three Years

CNN has spent the last three years pushing the Russia conspiracy hoax on a near daily basis.

They have no business accusing anyone of pushing conspiracy theories.

But that’s exactly what Jake Tapper is doing.

Breitbart reports:

TRENDING: House Democrats Say Trump-Russia Obstruction Investigation ‘Ongoing’ – Could Result in New Articles of Impeachment!

CNN’s Jake Tapper Blasted for Hypocrisy After Accusing Trump of ‘Smear Campaign’ Against Rivals

CNN’s Jake Tapper was hit by a wave of criticism on social media Sunday after he accused President Donald Trump of “launching an unprecedented smear campaign against any rival,” with many accusing him and CNN of hypocrisy.

Tapper, commenting on former President Barack Obama’s recent criticism of Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, added during a monologue on his show:

The criticism from Obama comes at a time when President Trump and his team are launching an unprecedented smear campaign against any rival. Leveling wild and false allegations against critics in the media and political rivals that range from bizarre false conspiracy theories to spreading false allegations of pedophilia to even suggesting one TV anchor committed murder. These smear campaigns are unmoored from reality. They’re deranged and indecent and seem designed to distract from us from this horrific health and economic crisis.

Check out Tapper’s tweets:

He dares accuse Trump of running a smear campaign?

Did we or did we not hear guests on CNN repeatedly accuse Trump of being an agent of Russia, a traitor, and worse?

Cross posted from American Lookout.



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Daily Beast News

Tekashi 6ix9ine Pushes Wild Ariana Grande-Justin Bieber Conspiracy Theory. And She Is Not Pleased.

Monday afternoon, America’s most manic snitch sat down in a stairwell at his new undisclosed address to upload an Instagram video about the music industry’s supposed latest mega-scam. “So listen, I want the world to know that Billboard is a lie,” said Tekashi 6ix9ine, or Daniel Hernandez, who was recently released from federal custody, where he was serving out a sentence for nine charges including conspiracy to murder and armed robbery. “You can buy No. 1s on Billboard. I want that to register in your head: You can buy No. 1s on Billboard.

The conspiracy he was talking about involved the latest Billboard chart rankings, which put Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber’s quarantine single, “Stuck with U,” at No. 1, while 6ix9ine’s first hit post-prison, “GOOBA,” an undeniable monster of a track with an uncharacteristically corny music video, languished in third. Specifically, he claimed that, at the end of last week, “Stuck with U” suddenly acquired an additional 60,000 units, a metric combining sales and streaming numbers across platforms, and that 30,000 of those units were purchased with the same six credit cards.

“We have an on-going investigation right now,” 6ix9ine said, wearing an almost all-white outfit, topped with a pink satin bonnet. “Last Thursday, Ariana with ‘Stuck with U’ submitted 60,000 units last second. With the investigation we found this: they purchased half of those things with six credit cards. When we asked, ‘Where do those credit cards link to?’ Billboard said, ‘We can’t disclose that information.’ They bought 30,000 or so units with six credit cards. Six credit cards!”

At the same time, 6ix9ine claimed, Billboard had miscalculated “GOOBA’s” streams, attributing just 31 million units to his single when he alleged it had 50 million streams. In 6ix9ine’s view, they had “illegally disqualified” 20 million streams. “Billboard was number one, but now we know, it’s all manipulated, it’s fabricated, this is what artists do,” he said. “I want you to see this: ‘GOOBA’ streamed 50 million streams and this is what they’re counting…they only counted 31 million. Billboard illegally disqualified 20 million streams so they can drop down, so the people who bought No. 1, which was ‘Stuck with U,’ go to No. 1.” 

To illustrate, the music industry’s agent of chaos indulged in an extended simile. “It’s like looking at an apple. An apple is most likely red. There’s green apples sometimes, but get this, there’s apples that are red, right? And you’re looking at an apple—and this is what we did with Billboard: if there’s 50 million streams on ‘GOOBA,’ why only count 31 million? It’s like looking at an apple—and I’m obviously looking at you and you’re red—but you’re not, you’re telling us that it’s not red. You got caught cheating red handed, right? 

(Billboard and Nielsen did not immediately respond to requests for comment. This article may be updated with their statements). 

Within hours, Grande and Bieber responded to the claims. On an Instagram story, Bieber posted a screenshot of his iPhone notes, arguing that 6ix9ine had misunderstood the rankings calculations. “He says his streams don’t count. Yes they do but he is counting his global streams and this is a domestic chart so only domestic streams count [sic],” Bieber claimed, “60,000 units came because we don’t disclose our number until end of week. That’s called strategy.” 

The allegation that 30,000 units were purchased with six credit cards, Bieber said, was “a lie.” There are limits on how many sales a single credit card can buy. “The rules are clear,” Bieber said. “One credit card can buy max 4 copies. Anything over that the entire amount gets thrown out. Nielsen company checks this and found all our sales are legit because our fans are amazing and bought them [sic].” 

i ask u to take a moment to humble yourself. be grateful you’re even here. that people want to listen to u at all…



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News RT

Define ‘distribute’! Trump mobilizing MILITARY to deliver Covid-19 vaccine ‘assuming we get it’, sparks conspiracy frenzy — RT USA News

US President Donald Trump said the military is gearing up to distribute a coronavirus vaccine when one is ready, unleashing a torrent of takes from conspiracy-minded netizens, many sounding alarms over mandatory inoculations.

American GIs are already being mobilized to parcel out a future vaccine to “most of the population,” Trump told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview on Thursday, giving a highly optimistic end-of-the-year time frame even as many experts suggest a remedy won’t be ready for mass distribution for another 12 to 18 months.

“We’re mobilizing our military on the basis that we do have a vaccine. You know, it’s a massive job to give this vaccine,” the president said. “Our military is now being mobilized so at the end of the year we’re going to be able to give it to a lot of people very, very rapidly.” 

We will have a tremendous force – because assuming we get it, then you have to distribute it. And unless you’re mobilized and ready, you’re not going to be able to do it for a long time. So we’re starting now.

Conjuring images of syringe-wielding soldiers going door-to-door to jab unwilling Americans, Trump’s comment triggered an outpouring of suspicion, some seeing a more sinister agenda behind the military mobilization.

“You don’t need [the] military for something that is voluntary. They know most of us don’t want it,” one netizen warned – suggesting the vaccine will be compulsory – while another user speculated that those who resist inoculation will have their rights “stripped away.”

Earlier this week, the Pentagon inked a $138 million contract with healthcare manufacturer ApiJect Systems America to “dramatically expand US production capability for … medical-grade injection devices,” which will be filled with a Covid-19 vaccine when one is available. While the Defense Department made no mention of distributing the cure itself in its announcement, the initiative may be part of the preparations noted by the president.

Some commenters were skeptical of the conspiracy theories, however, with many doubtful the vaccine would be imposed by force, while others insisted the president is merely thinking 10 moves ahead in a game of “5D chess.”

Since the coronavirus first emerged on the scene late last year, Trump’s public stance on the outbreak has changed significantly. Initially suggesting the virus would disappear on its own “like a miracle,” on Thursday he warned that the country could “lose over 100,000” people to the pathogen, stressing the need for a vaccine.

Though many states have gone ahead with plans to lift lockdown measures and reopen, the virus continues to exact a toll, killing hundreds of Americans every day and over 85,000 in total so far.




Also on rt.com
Hey, Google, your censorship of ‘Plandemic’ only turned its author’s book into #1 bestseller. It’s the Streisand effect, stupid!



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Flynn Attorney Sidney Powell Says Conspiracy to Entrap General Flynn Goes All the Way to the Top to Barack Obama (VIDEO)

General Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell on Sunday said Barack Obama was involved in the conspiracy to entrap Flynn.

Powell told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo that former DNI James Clapper briefed Barack Obama on the transcripts of the December 2016 Flynn-Kislyak phone calls.

The Justice Department dropped its case against General Mike Flynn Thursday after bombshell documents released proved he was framed by Comey’s FBI.

The DOJ said in its motion to dismiss that “The interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn.”

TRENDING: NOW WE KNOW: John Podesta Admits in Testimony Both DNC and Hillary Campaign Split the Cost for Bogus Trump-Russia Dossier That Launched the Coup

The DOJ was referring to the January 24, 2017 ambush FBI interview conducted by FBI counterintel chief Peter Strzok and FBI special agent Joe Pientka.

“These agents specifically schemed and planned with each other how to not tip him off, that he was even the person being investigated,” Powell said of Strzok and Pientka.

According to newly declassified documents, then-Deputy AG Sally Yates said she first learned of the December 2016 calls between Flynn and Kislyak from Barack Obama in the January 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting.

“The whole thing was orchestrated and set up within the FBI, Clapper, Brennan, and in the Oval Office meeting that day with President Obama,” Powell said referring the secret Oval Office meeting on January 5, 2017.

Maria Bartiromo asked Powell, “So you think this goes all the way up to the top to President Obama?”

Powell responded: “Absolutely.”

WATCH:

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‘Plandemic’ Conspiracy Video Has Been Thoroughly Debunked

‘Plandemic’ Conspiracy Video Has Been Thoroughly Debunked

‘Plandemic’ Conspiracy Video Has Been Thoroughly Debunked2020-05-10PopularResistance.Orghttps://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2020/05/plandemic.png200px200px

Above photo: ZDoggMD/YouTube.

NOTE: There are a number of articles addressing the misinformation in the ‘Plandemic’ video that is going around. I am posting the article below because it has a number of experts who explain the problems with Dr. Mikovits’s statements. Another very good article is this one in Science that goes through her background and her statements one by one. I find that people are unfortunately believing Mikovits and as a result are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. This puts themselves and others at risk.  – MF

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out a whole slew of interesting human tendencies, including a veritable tsunami of conspiracy theories. Like, holy cow, folks. When did everyone start pulling out their tinfoil hats?

There are several reasons for this, from the emotional and psychological needs that conspiracy theories fulfill (especially during such an uncertain time), to the intellectual habits that enable people to fall prey to such theories.

And of course, there’s always a shred of truth in any conspiracy theory, which pulls people in. But just as a shred of fabric doesn’t make a shirt, a shred of truth in a conspiracy theory doesn’t make it credible or true.

By now, you’ve undoubtedly seen or at least heard about the Plandemic video making the rounds. YouTube keeps taking it down because of its policy against spreading harmful misinformation about the coronavirus, but that of course just fuels the fire of conspiracy theorists who think the truth is being silenced. The good news is that the claims in the video have been debunked many times over at this point. The bad news is that the people who need to see these debunkings have probably not even read this far into the article, and are definitely not going to take the time to read and process what we share past this point.

But we’re gonna go ahead and share these well-cited debunkings anyway, because facts matter, sources matter, not all opinions are equal, and we can’t keep letting paranoid theories that don’t hold up to scrutiny and can’t be backed up with well-done science go unchecked.

(And yes, there is such a thing as well-done science. The scientific world has spent many, many decades improving and systematizing processes for checking data, replicating studies, peer-reviewing findings, etc. so that we have a good idea of what science we can trust and what science is not credible. The only way to refute well-done science is to toss the entire systematized scientific process out the window and instead listen to random individual scientists who refuse to accept that their work was shoddy. Not all scientists are credible, and if a scientist is publishing their opinion outside of the scientific community—especially via YouTube—you should immediately be skeptical and look for whether or not their claims have been debunked by well-done science.)

Case in point, Judy Mikovitz, the scientist at the forefront of the Plandemic video.

Since there are so many clear refutations of the claims in that video and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, we’re just going to share a bunch of them with you. Off we go:

Here’s an explanation from Kat Montgomery, a surgical pathology fellow in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Here’s an explanation from a social epidemiologist with a PhD from Johns Hopkins:

Here’s an explanation from a microbiologist (see her credentials here) who outlines some of the most blatantly wrong things in the Plandemic video with links to back her up:

Here’s an explanation of the difference between a scientific theory and a conspiracy theory, for those who think that the conspiracy theories are using science as their basis:

Here’s a Snopes piece that details the issues with Judy Mikovitz’s research and history and why she is no way a credible source. (It’s worth noting that this was written in 2018, long before the pandemic. This woman has been discredited in the scientific world for years.)

And here’s another Snopes piece about the issues with the chiropractor in the video who advocates drinking tonic water as a way to prevent coronavirus.

(I realize that most conspiracy theorists don’t trust Snopes because…well…they think the site is part of a liberal conspiracy. But the Snopes debunkings include links to reputable sources to back up their facts checks, so if the conspiracy theorists really look at everything and think critically like they claim to do, they have to look at the information and sources claiming to debunk their theories. Then they have to either refute them with actual science from reputable sources or admit that they have no credible basis for their beliefs.)

Here’s an article I wrote about how medical associations as well as statistical experts have condemned the Bakersfield doctors shown in the video (which is a bit unnecessary since the docs issued a public statement condemned the Plandemic filmmakers for using footage of them anyway).

Here’s a decently thorough debunking by surgical oncologist David Gorski.

Here’s a very thorough explanation of the Plandemic erroneousness on Reddit, where you can also see discussion on the video and the debunking (for those of you who say, “Let’s at least have a debate!” about already thoroughly debunked claims—here’s where you can have at it.)

If you prefer doctors on YouTube sharing their professional opinions on all things pandemic—which seems to be the favorite method for conspiracy theorists to do “research”—here’s a doctor who explains a bit about the psychology of the Plandemic video and also explains the shoddy research behind it.


“Plandemic” Video Analysis | Did Judy Mikovits Connect the Dots?www.youtube.com

This final one from Stanford-trained physician Dr. Zubin Damania might be just be my favorite (but only after reading everything above for the facts). For those of us who are trying not to lose our minds over having to continually fact-check all of this misinformation for people who really should be able to do it themselves, this 3-and-a-half minutes is quite cathartic. Enjoy.

A Doctor Reacts To “Plandemic”www.youtube.com

Bottom line: The video is bunk, but conspiracy theorists will keep on insisting that it’s not. (Wake up! You’re all sheep following the mainstream media! Experts who provide data backed up by multiple peer-reviewed studies can’t be trusted! Individual doctors and scientists are more trustworthy than professional associations of thousands of doctors and scientists! Everyone is getting paid off, except these conspiracy theory pushers because I trust them because they say they’re being persecuted by the science community for no reason and that sounds totally legit! And maybe the earth really IS flat—scientists have been wrong before!)

Did I miss anything?

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News Sputnik

Conspiracy of Silence: Still No Evidence Kremlin Tried to Kill Prague Politician

This week, countries across Europe have celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Allied forces crushing the Nazis, an effort to which the Soviet Union was absolutely fundamental and essential.

The relations between Czechia, one of many countries liberated by the redoubtable Red Army at the conclusion of World War II’s European theatre, and the Russian Federation have been anything but warm and cordial recently.

At the end of April, scores of Western journalists and pundits seized upon a seemingly sensational story – mere weeks earlier, a Russian intelligence operative was said to have flown into Prague armed with a suitcase containing ricin, a highly deadly poison, and been driven directly from the airport by diplomatic car to the Russian Embassy. The operative’s alleged mission was to poison Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, who’d recently renamed a square nearby the Russian Embassy after Boris Nemtsov, a Russian politician killed in 2015, and Ondrej Kolar, who’d just moved a Soviet-era Red Army statue from a city square to a museum.

​There’s no doubt the statue’s removal caused anger in Moscow, and with justifiable reason. For one, attempts to diminish the nation’s role in defeating the Nazis have been ongoing since the end of World War II, an effort to rewrite history which has proven devastatingly effective. However, more substantively, the action directly violated a 1993 friendship treaty between the then-Czech Republic and Russia, which included a pledge to protect memorials to Russian World War II heroes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dubbed the treaty “the bedrock of our relations for the past 30 years”.

However, the story’s narrative – which is in any event based on the anonymous words of a single Czech intelligence source – suggests the alleged assassin flew into Prague a mere two days after the statue was removed, suggesting a extremely high-profile and high-risk international murder plot was arranged and put into motion in unbelievably rapid time. It would also be unprecedented for Russian intelligence to assassinate, or attempt to assassinate, a foreign official, for not a single comparable case has ever been identified. Even more strikingly though, several countries, including Poland, have dismantled Soviet monuments or housed them in museums in recent years, eliciting at most wrathful official statements from Moscow.

​In any event, no evidence of any kind has emerged to support the allegations of an assassination plot since the allegations were first made, and Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petrsicek has confirmed there are no plans to expel Russian diplomats from the country, a typical response to espionage-related bust-ups between countries – “at the moment, we mainly want to follow the path of diplomatic negotiations”, he said 3rd May.

Two days later, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a strongly-worded statement suggesting Prague put up or shut up, stating allegations Russia is interfering Czechia’s internal affairs are “untenable and baseless”. 

“We suggest Czech partners use the mechanisms of bilateral dialogue and authorities fulfill the obligations of the treaty to protect historical monuments. Rejection of this will aggravate the already difficult atmosphere of our relations,” the statement concluded.

A response has been unforthcoming as of 9th May.

 

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News NPR

Seen ‘Plandemic’? We Take A Close Look At The Viral Conspiracy Video’s Claims : NPR

A slickly produced 26-minute video called Plandemic has exploded on social media in recent days, claiming to present a view of COVID-19 that differs from the “official” narrative.

The video has been viewed millions of times on YouTube via links that are replaced as quickly as the video-sharing service can remove them for violating its policy against “COVID-19 misinformation.”

In it, filmmaker Mikki Willis conducts an uncritical interview with Judy Mikovits, who he says has been called “one of the most accomplished scientists of her generation.”

Never heard of her? You’re not alone.

Two prominent scientists with backgrounds in AIDS research and infectious diseases, who asked not to be identified over concerns of facing a backlash on social media, told NPR that they did not know who she was.

If you were aware of Mikovits before this week, it is probably for two books she published with co-author Kent Heckenlively, one in 2017 and another last month. Heckenlively has also written a book himself espousing the discredited link between autism and the vaccines. You might also know Mikovits for her central role in a pair of scientific controversies. One involves a paper she co-authored in 2009 that was published in the journal Science, and the other concerns allegations that she stole notebooks and a laptop from a laboratory.

Research gone bad

In the 2009 paper in which Mikovits is among 13 researchers who claimed to have found that a mouse retrovirus may contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome.

In the video, filmmaker Willis says the paper “sent shock waves through the scientific community, as it revealed the common use of animal and human fetal tissues were unleashing devastating plagues of chronic diseases.”

However, two years after its publication, the paper was retracted by the authors, an unusual occurrence in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Science wrote at the time that “multiple laboratories, including those of the original authors, have failed to reliably detect” the mouse retrovirus in chronic fatigue syndrome patients. “In addition, there is evidence of poor quality control in a number of specific experiments in the Report.”

In 2011, Judy Mikovits was fired from the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, in Reno, Nev. She was then accused of stealing notebooks and a computer.

David Calvert/AP


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David Calvert/AP

In 2011, Judy Mikovits was fired from the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, in Reno, Nev. She was then accused of stealing notebooks and a computer.

David Calvert/AP

The second controversy came the same year the paper was retracted and involved Mikovits being fired from Whittemore Peterson Institute, a laboratory located on the University of Nevada campus in Reno, where she was research director.

The lab claimed that she “wrongfully removed lab notebooks and other proprietary information,” according to a contemporaneous report by KRNV TV in Reno.

In Plandemic, Mikovits relates her arrest over the incident, saying she was “held in jail without charges. I was called a ‘fugitive from justice.’ “

Speaking as footage of what appears to be a police SWAT team executing a nighttime raid plays over her words, she says: “No warrant. They literally drug me out of the house. Our neighbors are looking at what’s going on here.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, Mikovits was arrested in California as a fugitive on a warrant issued by police from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Days later, according to KRNV, she turned herself in to authorities in Reno. The television station’s report makes clear that a two-count criminal complaint was filed against her — for possession of stolen property and for unlawfully taking computer data and equipment. Both are felonies.

“Mikovits’ lawyer, Scott Freeman, says his client is baffled at the criminal charges filed against her,” the news report says.

She claims in the video that the material she was accused of stealing was “planted” in her house.

Although the criminal charges were later dropped, the lab where she worked subsequently won a default judgment in a civil suit against her seeking the return of the items. The case was bolstered in part by a colleague at the institute (and a co-author on the retracted study) who admitted in an affidavit that he had taken items from the lab on behalf of Mikovits.

NPR reached out to Whittemore Peterson Institute for comment, but received no reply.

Ironically, Mikovits was a co-author on the study viewed as the final nail in that 2009 study she took part in. In an email to Science Insider, she wrote that it was the only work she could find after her professional and legal woes.

Accusations against Fauci

Many of Mikovits’ claims concern perceived professional slights or conflicts that she attributes to various high-profile individuals who have become even more prominent in recent weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most salient among them are Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, Dr. Robert Redfield, the current director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr, Robert Gallo, an AIDS pioneer who is now director at the Institute of Human Virology and scientific director at the Global Virus Network.

A statement emailed to NPR from the National Institutes of Health, which oversees Fauci’s NIAID, stated: “The National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are focused on critical research aimed at ending the COVID-19 pandemic and preventing further deaths. We are not engaging in tactics by some seeking to derail our efforts.”

In an article originally published in 2018, Snopes reported on a claim by Mikovits that Fauci sent an email that “threatened her with arrest if she visited the National Institutes of Health to participate in a study to validate her chronic fatigue research.”

“I have no idea what she is talking about. I can categorically state that I have never sent such an e-mail,” Fauci told the fact-checking website. “I would never make such a statement in an e-mail that anyone ‘would be immediately arrested’ if they stepped foot on NIH property.”

Profiting from patents and COVID-19 payments?

Mikovits also says Fauci has profited from patents bearing his name that were derived from research done at NIAID. While the details of her claims are hard to pin down, The Associated Press did report in 2005 that scientists at the National Institutes of Health “have collected millions of dollars in royalties for experimental treatments without having to tell patients testing the treatments that the researchers’ had a financial connection.”

Fauci and his deputy, Clifford Lane, were among those who received royalty payments from patents at NIH. Fauci later told The BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical journal, that as a government employee, he was required by law to put his name on the patent.

According to BMJ, Fauci “said that he felt it was inappropriate to receive payment and donated the entire amount to charity.”

Mikovits also appears to cast doubt on the official statistics regarding COVID-19 deaths, saying that doctors and hospitals have been “incentivized” to count deaths unrelated to the disease as having been caused by the coronavirus infection because of payouts from Medicare.

In fact, a 20% premium was tacked on to Medicare payments for treatment of COVID-19 patients as part of the recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

However, a fact check published recently in USA Today concluded: “There have been no public reports that hospitals are exaggerating COVID-19 numbers to receive higher Medicare payments.”

The ‘out of lab’ theory

In the video, Mikovits is asked whether she believes the novel coronavirus came out of a lab — something that NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel and Emily Kwong have thoroughly investigated and found that the vast majority of scientists in the field of infectious diseases dismiss the idea that a lab created the virus or accidentally released it. President Trump and other senior administration officials have pushed the accidental release theory without presenting evidence.

“I wouldn’t use the word ‘created,’ ” Mikovits says in the video. “But you can’t say ‘naturally occurring’ if it was by way of the laboratory.”

“It’s very clear this virus was manipulated, this family of viruses was manipulated and studied in a laboratory, where the animals were taken into the laboratory, and this is what was released, whether deliberate or not,” she adds.

Asked where the alleged lab-release occurred, Mikovits asserts that she’s “sure” it happened “between” the North Carolina laboratories (presumably the Virus Culture Laboratory at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health) and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Maryland, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

Again, there is no publicly available evidence to support her claim.

The video correctly points to U.S. cooperation with and funding for the Wuhan laboratory but implies by way of innuendo that the link is sinister in nature rather than standard international cooperation. In fact, as NPR’s Nurtith Aizenman has reported, “many experts say [such cooperation] is vital to preventing the next major coronavirus outbreak.”

Mikovits also says it’s not possible for the coronavirus, formally known as SARS-CoV-2, to have evolved from the original severe acute respiratory syndrome virus, stating that “would take it up to 800 years to occur.”

Her statement belies the fact that viruses are well-known to evolve rapidly, with the seasonal flu strain, for instance, changing so quickly that a new vaccine is required each year. In a 2012 study of one virus, researchers at Michigan State University found that if its normal route for infection was blocked, it only took a matter of weeks for it to evolve another one.

“Teaching” Ebola to infect humans?

Mikovits also claims to have worked at the Fort Detrick’s USAMRIID in 1999, where she says her job “was to teach Ebola how to infect human cells without killing them.”

“Ebola couldn’t infect human cells until we took it into the laboratories and taught [it],” she states.

While NPR could not verify Mikovits’ claims to have worked at the lab nor the nature of the work she might have done there, her statements simply don’t pass the sniff test. If, in 1999, her research was aimed at getting Ebola to infect humans, she was behind the curve — by decades.

The first Ebola outbreak occurred in 1976 in central Africa, killing 280 people. Between 1976 and 1999, there were several more such outbreaks that killed hundreds of people.

Clearly, Ebola was able to infect humans long before 1999.

In addition to Heckenlively, her book collaborator, Mikovits has made spurious claims about vaccines, although she insists in the video that she is not “anti-vaccination.” As recently as July, she spoke before a group opposed to a California bill aimed at clamping down on exemptions to vaccinations in children.

Opposition to CDC guidelines

Finally, a number of individuals described as doctors in the video are seen questioning the guidelines put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on social distancing and other preventative measures, or suggesting the same profit motive for COVID-19 diagnoses that Mikovits promotes.

Although none are identified by name, one appears on a television chyron to be Minnesota state Sen. Scott Jensen, a family physician from Chaska.

On Thursday, Jensen said he had “taken a ton of heat and even some threatening messages” over his stance, particularly since Plandemic has gone viral. But he said he stands by his criticisms of the government response to the pandemic.

Two others who appear in the video — identified as California urgent care clinic doctors — called last month for an end to stay-at-home orders. They have since been rebuked by two national physicians groups.

“The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) jointly and emphatically condemn the recent opinions released by Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi. These reckless and untested musings do not speak for medical societies and are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19,” a statement said.

The groups added: “As owners of local urgent care clinics, it appears these two individuals are releasing biased, non-peer-reviewed data to advance their personal financial interests without regard for the public’s health.”

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Censors crack down on ‘Plandemic’ conspiracy documentary. What’s so dangerous about it? — RT USA News

Pulled from YouTube, censored in internet searches, and denounced by every single mainstream media outlet, what kind of information could make everyone so mad about ‘Plandemic’? We watched it to find out.

A 23-minute teaser clip of the documentary went viral on Wednesday evening, notching up tens of millions of views across multiple platforms. However, a media outcry soon followed, with mainstream media outlets deploying their ‘fact-checkers’ to debunk its claims, and Facebook and YouTube removing the video, citing their new rules on Covid-19 “misinformation.”

Yet censorship is also a sure-fire way to generate interest in the very thing you’re trying to censor – and multiple copies and versions of ‘Plandemic’ began to appear like mushrooms. So who’s behind it and what’s in there?

A doctor with quite a reputation

Dr. Judy Mikovits is the central figure of ‘Plandemic,’ which basically claims that “billionaire patent owners” are stoking the spread of the coronavirus, all in the name of forcing “experimental poisons” on the population in the form of vaccines.

The claims are quite bold, but it doesn’t help that Mikovits herself is far from an unbiased source on the subject. She’s been active in anti-vaccine and fringe circles for years, even while insisting she’s not “anti-vax” herself.

Once an active cancer researcher and (mainstream) virologist, Mikovits was disgraced in 2011 for publishing what others in the scientific community called false research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The dramatic events that followed – a search and arrest in her California home – are used in ‘Plandemic’ to establish her alleged conflict with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Donald Trump’s coronavirus adviser.




Also on rt.com
‘I never said it was a hoax!’ Trump unloads on media in fiery rant, says coronavirus briefings ‘not worth the time and effort’



Mikovits claims Fauci personally “paid off” law enforcement officials to arrest her and detain her without trial. She was indeed arrested in November 2011, but for allegedly stealing lab materials from the Nevada laboratory she worked at before her dismissal (which Mikovits claims were “planted” in her house). Criminal charges brought against Mikovits were later dismissed – but this has been tied to the legal troubles of her former employer, Harvey Whittemore.

Evidence-free claims galore

Of course, the central part of the video – something being discussed in every ‘Plandemic’ piece and review – is made up of an array of Covid-19-related claims that Mikovits makes. 

These range from claims that wearing face masks “activates your own virus” (there’s no evidence of that) to the assertion that the devastating coronavirus outbreak in Northern Italy can be linked to the uptake in flu vaccination the year before (a claim which appears to be based on a misleading interpretation of one tangentially-related study, not any fresh research).

Mikovits’ central argument – that an eventual vaccine for coronavirus will kill “millions of people” – is unprovable, and her assertion that Fauci will personally profit from any vaccine is outright false. Mikovits accuses Fauci of profiteering from royalties on an AIDS treatment he patented in the 1990s, but Fauci only placed his name on the patent because regulations required him to, and “donated the entire amount to charity.”

However, amid the half-baked theories, Mikovits touches on some truth. The federal government does in fact pay hospitals a set amount of money to treat coronavirus patients, about $13,000. This amount rises to $39,000 if the patient is placed on a ventilator. Mikovits insists that ventilation is the wrong treatment for coronavirus patients, and is only carried out to boost revenues – something the ER doctors would disagree with.




Also on rt.com
Is Covid-19 our new religion, and the face mask its cross?



It doesn’t help that many of the claims are disjointed, and rather than working towards its main goal of demonstrating a sinister plan by Fauci and vaccine evangelist Bill Gates to poison the masses, the documentary instead just lumps together anything critical of the mainstream consensus on the virus to paint Fauci in a bad light. 

For instance, it’s been widely reported that Fauci’s organization did give millions of dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to finance its study of coronaviruses, after the federal government banned such research in the US. However, no smoking gun linking Fauci to the current outbreak is provided.

Boost by censorship

Yet, when information like this is declared verboten, that’s what people will think. There’s a popular quote by ‘Game of Thrones’ author George RR Martin: “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

When right-wing polemicist Alex Jones and his conspiracy-laden news site Infowars were essentially banned from the internet in 2018, the Infowars app shot to the top of both Apple and Google’s app stores.   

The phenomenon is known as the ‘Streisand effect,’ named for a 2003 lawsuit in which singer Barbara Streisand sued a photographer who shot an aerial snap of her California mansion for invasion of privacy. The lawsuit backfired, and led to hundreds of thousands of people downloading the picture. Before the case, it had only been viewed six times.

Likewise, the documentary’s producers will spin the furor over ‘Plandemic’ to their advantage. Already, their website urges viewers to “bypass the gatekeepers of free speech,” and slams the “overlords of big tech” for silencing them. 

Forbidden knowledge is tempting, and by wiping ‘Plandemic’ from the internet, Silicon Valley will only increase its notoriety.

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#UNRIG Video (1:35:37) The Wall Street Conspiracy Full Movie Free Online With Permission of Owner – Producer – Veterans Today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=video

This top-notch production was published in 2012 — it is still vital public information

With the kind and written permission of the co-owners of this very original and important film, as registered with our law firm, we offer this free full online version to the public

IT MAY NOT BE COPIED. Copying this film is a copyright violation — we have permssion, no one else does. This film will appear exclusively on YouTube and BitChute in the #UNRIG channels. It may be embedded and linked without limit but it may not be copied.

The producer and director of this great film are to be saluted. It was and remains a pioneering film and the testimony offered in this film should be a matter of record as we all move toward a racketeering investigation and individual by name accountability for the partners of Goldman Sachs, Merritt Lynch, Credit Suisse, Deutche Bank, UBS, and JPMorgan, among others including bottom feeders like Ken Griffin, Andrew Left, and HCWainwright, all demonstrably violating the law and destroying thousands of companies, hundreds of thousands of jobs, and millions of pension fund valuations.

Learn more (with new interviews and new documentary being planned)

Robert David Steele is the conceptualizer of integrated election reform (#UNRIG) and the integration of holistic analytics, true cost economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) such that we can achieve a prosperous world at peace at 10-20% the cost of the failed Western economic model burdened by banks and lawyers.
A former US spy and co-founder of the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, he is today the Chief Enabling Officer (CeO) of Earth Intelligence Network, a 501c3 and now also CeO of Open Source Everything (OSE Inc.). He continues his education with non-fiction reading, posting over 2,000 reviews across 98 categories; his hobbies include off-shore sailing and racketball.
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