Manning's Overdue Freedom Granted Amid Shameless Political Stunt

January 18, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Headlines are announcing the early release of US Army whistle-blower Private Manning from a jail sentence that began in 2013 and was to last 35 years. Manning is accused of passing US government documents to information clearing house Wikileaks before being arrested and charged for "espionage" in 2010.

Manning's release indicates an admission by the US of unjust imprisonment. However, the US has so far failed to acknowledge this fact publicly, assign blame, or hold responsible those who played a direct role in Manning's arrest, trial, conviction, and now over 6 year imprisonment.

Manning's release, however, was a carefully timed, politically-motivated stunt, devoid of moral convictions, principles, or mercy - as the stunt is designed to appear. At any time during the administration of Barack Obama, Manning's sentence could have been both vigorously opposed and commuted. However it was not. Manning was left to languish in prison, unjustly confined, so an exiting US president could perform a spectacle, adding to the illusion of both his own legacy, and to that of the office itself.

It is fitting that the United States, at this juncture in its history, cannot even exhibit positive qualities without polluting them with self-serving, political, and manipulative agendas.

Regardless of the depravity that defined both Manning's imprisonment and release, it should be remembered by all that despite Obama's "pardon," for each day Manning was imprisoned unjustly - or anyone for that matter - a crime is being committed against us all.    

Meanwhile, there are vast number of other political prisoners languishing either in American prisons or defacto in legal limbo under threat of arrest or assassination, including NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, Wikileaks' Julian Assange. and lesser known prisoners including Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.




Agorist Challenge: Fixing Flint Michigan's Poisoned Water

January 17, 2017 (Tony Cartlaucci - LocalOrg) - Did you know nearly 100,000 people in Flint Michigan are still drinking poisoned water?



That should be no surprise. The government and institutions charged and trusted to ensure the residents of this Michigan city had safe drinking water already demonstrated criminal levels of negligence and corruption, causing the problem to begin with. Expecting these same people and the system they represent to solve the problem lingers somewhere between the unreasonable and the absurd.

US President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Flint over a year ago - meaning that the problem isn't just corrupt, negligent, and criminal politicians in Flint - but that the incompetence and impotence goes all the way to Washington.

A year on and the "solutions" presented have ranged from simply forcing residents to buy bottled water and unsustainable charity providing those bottles, to superficial, even deceptive measures like replacing home faucets instead of the miles of poisoned plumbing running through the city.



As for actually fixing Flint's plumbing, government estimates range from "millions" to "billions" indicating no serious thought has been given to even so much as planning an infrastructure overhaul.

It is most certainly a showcase for the absolute failure of government. But could it be a showcase for something more positive?

A Showcase For Alternatives 

Anarchists and agorists propose that there is virtually no problem that cannot be solved through the market - voluntary exchanges between free citizens contributing to a better future. The few, semi-permanent solutions that have presented themselves in Flint have certainly leaned more toward this direction.


Fake News: The Latest Weapon in Information Space

January 16, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The ability for technology and innovations to transform global economics and geopolitics is often underestimated, even sidelined in retrospect.


However, from the technological achievements that gave the British Empire mastery over the seas, to the industrial revolution that eventually disrupted and unraveled the empire's carefully constructed global system of mercantilism, the march of technological progress literally governors the rise and fall of global centers of power and the empires built around them.

Disruptive Information Technology

With the advent of information technology (IT), what once required immense capital and a substantial workforce to disseminate information across large segments of the population can now be done by a single individual for virtually no cost at all.

It is no longer necessarily the amount of resources one has at their disposal, but rather the power of their ideas and words that determine the efficacy of their message and the impact it has on society.

IT has leveled the playing field. The United States and Europe for decades, monopolized the flow of information across various forms of media. During World War II, the Allies easily outsmarted Axis powers and their less sophisticated, clumsy propaganda efforts. Between World War II and the Cold War, the US and British ruling circles not only held uncontested influence over their own populations, but through Voice of America and the BBC, they were able to project that influence abroad.

The cost of opening a radio station, a television studio, or a printing press to produce newspapers was prohibitive for the vast majority of people who may have disagreed with the "consensus" created by those who had the resources to produce mass media.

However today, not only does IT allow states once targeted by Western propaganda to better protect political and economic stability within their borders, they are able to get their side of the story out to Western audiences.

Beyond that, independent activists, journalists, and analysts can now write and speak before audiences of millions, contesting "mainstream" narratives promoted by circles of political and economic power worldwide.

The effects of this are evident everywhere we look.

The "alternative media," has already significantly disrupted manufactured "consensus" across a wide variety of interests from big-agriculture and big-pharmaceuticals, to agendas surrounding geopolitical conflicts everywhere from Ukraine to Syria.


Gizmodo Joins Fake News Bandwagon

Unless you consider posing as an objective tech magazine while lobbying for tech-corporations "fake news," then Gizmodo has been on that bandwagon for years. 

January 13, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Gizmodo in their headline, "Russian Propaganda Channel RT Mysteriously Cut Into C-SPAN's Web Feed [Updated]," would attempt to add to the hysteria circulating among pro-Western audiences regarding alleged Russian "hacking" by portraying a C-SPAN control room error as a case of possible "Russian hacking."


Gizmodo reported:
This afternoon, online viewers of politics-meets-Ambien channel C-SPAN were treated to a disturbing change in programming: For around 10 minutes, the web stream aired RT (formerly Russia Today) instead.

Gizmodo would add:
It’s a Max Headroom moment of sorts, with authoritarian overtones. After all, last week’s declassified report jointly authored by the CIA, FBI, and NSA stated in no uncertain terms that RT was being used throughout the election as a tool to disseminate propaganda and swing the vote towards Donald Trump.
However, the article was soon updated, revealing Gizmodo - like the rest of the corporate Western media - was participating in propaganda, not RT and certainly not nonexistent "Russian hackers."

An update buried at the bottom of the article finally admitted:
C-SPAN said an initial investigation indicated that the interruption was caused by “an internal routing error” and was not the result of a hack.
Gizmodo, which poses as a tech magazine, spends much of its time lobbying for corporations and tech-related establishment narratives while using its editorial space to pass off advertisements as objective critical reviews. Gizmodo is not alone - other alleged tech magazines ranging from Wired to Popular Science and Popular Mechanics, quite literally have staff who communicate directly with and for various departments of the US government.


Gizmodo, like its bigger brothers and sisters at the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and the BBC, find themselves attempting to stoke hysteria regarding "Russian propaganda" only to expose themselves as being engaged in attempts to intentionally deceive and manipulate their audiences to achieve specific economic and political goals - which is ironically, the very definition of propaganda.

Is the US Positioning Itself for Military Presence in Myanmar?

January 12, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The governments of the United States and United Kingdom have spent decades and millions of dollars creating the political opposition fronts that constitute support for Myanmar's new (and first ever) State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. This support includes backing Suu Kyi's saffron-clad street fronts who make up a nationwide network of "monk" alliances and associations.


And it is these alliances and associations that have served at the forefront of persecution against Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

Also for years, this violent persecution has unfolded in what was otherwise a media blackout across North America and Europe. When violence reaches fevered pitches, American and European media organisations intentionally introduce ambiguity as to who precisely is leading anti-Rohingya violence.

The conflict carries with it all the hallmarks of an intentional strategy of tension; used within Myanmar to galvanise Suu Kyi's otherwise morally and politically bankrupt opposition fronts and now, it appears to be ready for use within Washington's wider strategy of "pivoting to Asia."

Myanmar's "New Rohingya Insurgency" 

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based foreign policy think tank funded by some of the largest corporations on the planet, poses as a conflict management organisation. In reality, it introduces manufactured narratives that are then picked up and eagerly promoted across American and European media outlets, to shift public perception and pave the way for shifts in Western geopolitical aspirations.



Their most recent manufactured narrative involves what it calls a "Rohingya insurgency." Their narrative is already circulating across American and European media, including the Wall Street Journal whose article, "Asia’s New Insurgency Burma’s abuse of the Rohingya Muslims creates violent backlash." claims (our emphasis):
Now this immoral policy has created a violent backlash. The world’s newest Muslim insurgency pits Saudi-backed Rohingya militants against Burmese security forces. As government troops take revenge on civilians, they risk inspiring more Rohingya to join the fight.
The article also admits:
Called Harakah al-Yaqin, Arabic for “the Faith Movement,” the group answers to a committee of Rohingya emigres in Mecca and a cadre of local commanders with experience fighting as guerrillas overseas. Its recent campaign—which continued into November with IED attacks and raids that killed several more security agents—has been endorsed by fatwas from clerics in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Emirates and elsewhere. 

Rohingyas have “never been a radicalized population,” ICG notes, “and the majority of the community, its elders and religious leaders have previously eschewed violence as counterproductive.” But that is changing fast. Harakah al-Yaqin was established in 2012 after ethnic riots in Rakhine killed some 200 Rohingyas and is now estimated to have hundreds of trained fighters.
The Wall Street Journal and ICG both apparently expect readers to believe that Saudi Arabia is backing armed militants in Myanmar simply to "fight back" against Aung San Suu Kyi, her government and her followers' collective brutality against the Rohingya.

In reality, Saudi Arabia and its sponsors in Washington, London and Brussels, only intervene when geopolitically advantageous. Just as Saudi Arabia is backing armed militants everywhere from Yemen to Syria to advance a joint US-European-Gulf campaign to reassert primacy across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Saudi Arabia's support of supposed militants in Myanmar is driven by similar hegemonic ambitions.