2024 is the Last Year of Free Speech and Democracy in the Western World

Don’t let the alarmist sound of this column’s title put you off. It is not a “conspiracy theory.” This column is a factual report as you will see if you read on.

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Inflation Rising: The ‘Soft Landing’ Plane is Still Circling in America

For months the mainstream media and Washington Pols have been pushing the metaphor that the US economy is a plane on its final approach to a ‘soft landing’. Soft landing is defined as inflation steadily coming down to the Federal Reserve’s goal of a 2% price level AND does so without provoking a recession.

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Over a Million Palestinians are About to be Forced into Egypt at Gunpoint

It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both peoples…. If the Arabs leave it, the country will become wide and spacious for us…. The only solution is a Land of Israel…without Arabs. There is no room here for compromises… (Yosef Weitz (1890-1972) former director of the Jewish National Fund’s Land Settlement Department)

Continue reading Over a Million Palestinians are About to be Forced into Egypt at Gunpoint

THE HIDDEN CONSEQUENCES OF US AND UK AIRSTRIKES

When confronted with international appeals for humanitarian aid due to the ongoing crises in Gaza and Yemen, the United States and the United Kingdom have chosen instead to turn Yemen’s Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden into a combat zone, initiating an ariel bombing campaign against the war-torn country already suffering immensely from nine years of deadly conflict spearheaded by Saudi Arabia and backed by the U.S.

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The United States Has Zero Deterrence vs Nuclear High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse

In his newly published book, Nuclear High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse, Steven Starr shows that all it takes is one nuclear explosion to shut down  the United States and throw the population back into the Dark Ages. 

The electric power grid would be destroyed along with the communications system, the cooling systems at nuclear power plants and all electronic devices. The reason is that civilian infrastructure is not protected from Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP).

The military has taken steps to shield its weapon and communication systems, but nothing has been done to protect civilian infrastructure. Bills mandating EMP protection have been defeated in Congress.  

Starr reports that only 4% of the US military budget is required to shield the power grid and civilian infrastructure. Instead, the Washington idiots waste trillions of dollars in pointless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Serbia, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and Ukraine.  

American cities would suffer no effects from blast and fire, such as would be produced by ground level detonation, but the consequences would be just as dire. Starr describes them in a summary on his website.

Effects of a Single High-altitude Nuclear Detonation Over the Eastern U.S.

“105 miles above Ohio, a single nuclear warhead explodes. Because it is far above the atmosphere, there will be no blast or fire effects felt on Earth, however, this high-altitude nuclear detonation will create a gigantic electromagnetic pulse or EMP.

“In one billionth of a second, the initial EMP E1 wave will cause massive voltages and currents to form within power lines, telecommunication lines, cables, wires, antennas, and any other electrically conductive material found beneath the nuclear detonation in a circular area covering hundreds of thousands of square miles.

“Within this region, under ideal conditions, the E1 wave will produce 2 million volts and a current of 5,000 to 10,000 amps within medium distribution power lines. Any unshielded modern electronic devices that contain solid-state circuitry, which are plugged into the grid, will be disabled, damaged, or destroyed. This includes the electronic devices required to operate all critical national infrastructure.

“Unshielded electronic devices within ground, air, and sea transportation systems, water and sanitation systems, fuel and food distribution systems, water and sanitation systems, telecommunication systems, and banking systems would all be simultaneously knocked out of service – and all these systems would be disabled until the solid-state electronics required to operate them could be repaired or replaced.

“The E1 wave will also instantly destroy millions of glass insulators found on 15 kilovolt-class electric power distribution lines. 78% of all electricity in the US is delivered to end users (residential, agricultural, commercial) through these 15 kV power lines. The loss of a single insulator on a line can knock out power distribution on the entire line.

“At the same instant, the massive voltage and current induced by the E1 wave will damage and destroy the relays, sensors, and control panels at 1783 High Voltage Substations, knocking out the entire electric power grid in the eastern half of the United States.

“One to ten seconds after the nuclear detonation, the following EMP E3 wave would induce powerful current flows in power lines including lines that are both above and below ground. E3 would damage or destroy many – if not most – of the Large Power Transformers and Extra High Voltage Circuit Breakers required for the long-distance transmission of about 90% of electrical power in the United States.

“The loss of Large Power Transformers and Extra High Voltage Circuit Breakers would mean that entire regions within the United States would be left without electric power for up to a year or longer. This is because Large Power Transformers are not stockpiled and the current wait time for their manufacture is 18 to 24 months; they must be custom designed and manufactured and about 80% are made overseas. They each weigh between 200 and 400 tons and must be shipped by sea and moving them to their final destination is quite difficult even under normal circumstances.

“Because nuclear power plants are not designed to withstand the effects of EMP, the solid-state electronics within their backup electrical and cooling systems would also be damaged and disabled. The failure of their Emergency Power Systems and active Emergency Core Cooling Systems will make it impossible to cool their reactor cores after emergency shutdown; this will quickly lead to reactor core meltdowns at dozens of nuclear power plants.

“To summarize, a single nuclear high-altitude electromagnetic pulse can instantly take out most or all of the US power grid while simultaneously destroying the solid-state electronic devices required to operate US critical national infrastructure – including the safety systems at nuclear power plants. Following a nuclear EMP, the people of the US would suddenly find themselves living in the conditions of the Middle Ages for a period possibly as long as a year – most Americans would not be able to survive such circumstances.

“For less than 4% of the US national defense budget, the US power grid and critical infrastructure can be shielded from EMP. However, the political will to implement this protection has not yet been found, so Americans remain very much at risk.”

The book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kindle. If you read it, you will be amazed and disgusted at the negligence and stupidity of the US government.  Thanks to the fools who govern us, we have zero national security despite the massive expenditures year after year, decade after decade.

People do not realize that the convenience and entertainment provided by their cell phones comes at great cost when measured by risk.  Nothing is secure in the digital age, not your identity, your privacy, your bank account, or your independence. The expansion of the digital revolution into money will mean that you can be denied access to your money for any reason including the exercise of free speech.  

All accumulated knowledge in digital form can be erased by one EMP. Try to imagine the consequences of such a loss.  These are new risks never before experienced on Earth.

Paul Craig Roberts is a renowned author and academic, chairman of The Institute for Political Economy where this article was originally published. Dr. Roberts was previously associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during the Reagan Administration.

How Facebook Became Tool for Censorship and Goldmine for US Intel Services

Sunday is the 20th anniversary of Facebook’s* launch. In twenty years, the company has grown into a major tool for manipulation, social engineering and control by the deep state, big business and Western intel agencies. Sputnik reached out to an insider-turned whistleblower for info on the architecture of Facebook’s censorship industrial complex.

Formally launched on February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg’s future empire started out as a modest “directory of information for college students,” with Zuckerberg and several of his Harvard classmates assembling the initial platform in about two weeks, and the company taking just four short years to surpass rival Myspace to become the world’s number one social media platform. Twenty years since its founding, Facebook’s parent company Meta has become a tech giant, with over three billion active monthly users on its flagship service, and a market value of over $1 trillion.

As the 20th anniversary of the company’s founding approached, legacy media began to publish a series of gushing, glowing and wistful reports on Facebook’s past, good times and memories created and shared online, and its ambitious, science fiction-inspired plans for the future, including the creation of artificial general intelligence.

But beneath the surface of these ebullient, heartwarming stories is a darker story of manipulation and social programming, censorship and shameless attempts at narrative control by Western governments, major corporations, and intelligence services.

As Americans, Europeans and others around the world signed up, logged on and voluntarily offered up private information that companies and intel agencies would have paid a fortune to get their hands on just a few short de

cades ago, powerful forces quickly realized the importance of collecting and engineering this new form of online human interaction.

“It is clear that intelligence agencies throughout the world, not only the US, can use Facebook to their advantage,” Ryan Hartwig, Facebook contractor-turned whistleblower and co-author of ‘Behind the Mask of Facebook: A Whistleblower’s Shocking Story of Big Tech Bias and Censorship,’ told Sputnik in an interview.

“The government launders their censorship through various NGOs and institutions on behalf of the US government,” Hartwig said, pointing, for example, to a 2021 report by the Stanford Internet Observatory entitled “Combating Information Manipulation: A Playbook for Elections and Beyond,” which plainly outlines tools the company uses to “remove the spread of malign information” from social media.

Excerpt from Stanford’s Internet Observatory Cyber Policy Center on tools Facebook has at its disposal to censor content.

Self-Appointed Ministry of Truth

In his book, coauthored with attorney Kent Heckenlively, Hartwig documents how, while working as a content moderator for Facebook in the 2010s, he had witnessed the platform’s disturbing transformation after the 2016 US elections into a tool for systematically suppressing conservative viewpoints while elevating liberal ones, and cracking down on some forms of suspected hate speech while amplifying others.

Of course, conservatives aren’t the only ones targeted by the social media giant’s censorship leviathan, with non-liberal left groups, critics of the US military-industrial complex, Big Pharma, Big Tech and other elite forces which run America and much of the world also falling victim. Documented instances of censorship by Facebook include the scrubbing of criticism of US and European immigration policy, climate policiesvaccines and vaccine mandatescriticisms of Facebook itself, and the vagaries of US foreign policy, with posts on these issues occasionally deleted outright, but more often hidden or deranked without users being informed using the platform’s complex, non-open source algorithm.

Internal Facebook list of ‘Dangerous Individuals and Organizations’ whose speech can be censored on company platforms based on their affiliation. © Photo : The Intercept / Facebook

In 2022, Facebook rolled out a special carve-out of exceptions to its anti-hate speech rules to allow users to make explicitly Russophobic posts, issue death threats against Russian officials, use dehumanizing language to refer to Russian troops, and even offer praise for the neo-Nazi Azov** Regiment, despite the social media giant’s ban on content featuring Nazi and neo-Nazi ideology.

“Facebook manipulates public opinion by suppressing unpopular opinions, or allowing newsworthy exceptions for the people they like,” Hartwig explained, noting this extends not just to big name issues, but even extremely minute details bordering on psychopathy.

“For example, they made a specific rule to protect Greta Thunberg from being attacked or called ‘Gretarded’,” the former content moderator recalled, referring to the WEF-promoted climate activist. “Normally, public figures, even young individuals like Greta are allowed to be called retarded. Facebook made an exception to protect her,” Hartwig said.

Image provided by Ryan Hartwig, Facebook contractor-turned whistleblower, showing a company directive instructing content moderators to “remove instances of attacks aimed at Greta Thunberg.”

“This is truly 5th dimensional warfare and by utilizing Facebook, spy agencies can influence public opinion much more easily than ever before,” the whistleblower believes.

Election Manipulation Tool

In 2020, concerned over what he saw as blatant interference in the upcoming US federal elections, Hartwig contacted Project Veritas with hidden camera footage and other information documenting Facebook’s skewed content moderation directives, revealing exactly how posts related to one candidate and his supporters could be removed or manipulated, in direct violation of the company’s policy on protecting political speech.

Hartwig’s observations have been corroborated by other whistleblowers and information leaks throughout the past decade. In 2018, for example, it was revealed that UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica engaged in the harvesting of tens of millions of Facebook profiles in 2014 to later target them with personalized political ads, including during the 2016 US presidential campaign. Subsequent reports consequently reported that the company engaged in similar harvesting and vote manipulation operations in nations across the globe, from Kenya and Nigeria to Argentina, Venezuela, India, the UK and the Czech Republic.

In a bombshell interview with Joe Rogan in 2022, Mark Zuckerberg explicitly admitted that Facebook had suppressed the biggest news story of the 2020 election cycle – a New York Post article published on the eve of the November vote based on damning files in Hunter Biden’s laptop containing evidence of a pay-to-play corruption scheme by the Biden family. Facebook was ordered to censor the story by the FBI, Zuckerberg said.

“Basically the background here is the FBI I think basically came to us, some folks on our team and was like hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert, there was – we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election, we have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant,” Zuckerberg recalled. “If something is reported to us as potentially misinformation, important misinformation, we also [have a] third-party fact-checking program because we don’t want to be deciding what’s true and false. And for the I think it was five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false, the distribution on Facebook was decreased…basically the ranking and newsfeed was a little bit less, so fewer people saw it than would have otherwise.”

Similarly blatant practices have been seen elsewhere, with Hartwig pointing to one particularly “egregious example” used against Venezuela, where “there was a call to arms to help defend Nicolas Maduro and Facebook deleted that post because it was [deemed] a ‘call to violence’. Nicolas Maduro was the sitting president and Facebook didn’t allow people to use social media to defend their own country.”

Screenshot by Ryan Hartwig of directive to Facebook content moderators telling them to delete a video from a Maduro ally calling on Venezuelans to “defend the revolution with arms.” © Photo : Courtesy of Ryan Hartwig

Handy Coup-Plotting Assistant

Along with election manipulation, Facebook and other social media resources have long been seen by intelligence services as an ideal tool for fomenting social unrest or even overthrowing governments. Learning from the experiences of the 2011 Arab Spring violence, spy agencies quickly realized the potential of the new technology for advancing their nations’ geopolitical objectives abroad. In 2013, it was a Facebook post by a liberal Ukrainian television journalist-turned activist angered by the Yanukovych government’s decision to scrap Kiev’s plans to sign an association agreement with the EU which ended up triggering the Euromaidan unrest, culminating in the February 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government.

Western intelligence services tried to repeat the process in Iran in late 2022, when violent protests sparked by the death of a young Iranian woman under suspicious circumstances were commandeered by an Iranian-American US-based Voice of America employee and suspected CIA asset who used Facebook, Twitter and Instagram* to organize and radicalize demonstrators to overthrow the government.

Down the Rabbit Hole of Physiological Manipulation

Facebook’s attempts to control and manipulate go beyond censorship and election interference. In 2012, the company carried out a secret mood manipulation experiment targeting nearly 700,000 users and using their news feeds to alter their emotional states. The project, whose existence was only revealed in 2014 after the publication of a scientific article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that by tweaking users’ news feeds, Facebook could influence the content they would post, lead them to post more negative replies and status messages, and more. The controversial study ultimately found “that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.”

That was more than a decade ago. Today, with the company incorporating machine learning and other tools on an industrial scale, it can only be imagined what kind of ‘experiments’ Facebook may have in store, especially as Meta continues to dabble with augmented reality technology designed to ensnare users even more deeply online.

Ilya Tsukanov is a Moscow-based correspondent specializing in Eastern European, US and Middle Eastern politics, Cold War history, energy security and military affairs. Member of the Sputnik team since the site’s inception in 2014. Opposed to censorship of all kinds.

US Strikes vs Anti-ISIS Militias in Syria, Iraq Proves “War on Terror” A Sham

Dozens of people in Syria and Iraq were killed Saturday morning after the United States fired ‘precision munitions’ into the two countries against 85 targets ranging from command and control and intelligence centers to logistics bases used by anti-ISIS* militias. Sputnik asked a trio of experts about the strikes’ implications for the region.

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“President Marcos is A Drug Addict Who Seeks to Perpetuate Power” – Former President Duterte

In a bold move to stop the descent of the Philippines back towards a narco-State and another Marcos dictatoship, former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has accused incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. of being a drug addict attempting to perpetuate power through a shift to parliamentary form of government via the ongoing People’s Initiative.

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Capitalism in All Its Glory: WEF Inmates Run the Asylum—and the World

Davos, a small skiing town in Switzerland, once a year becomes the world’s most consequential insane asylum. On Europe’s highest populated mountaintop, 3,000 of the global elite meet to ponder why the climate they pollute is so polluted, why the people they impoverish are so poor and why the world they fight over is at war.

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How Yemen’s ‘Asabiyya’ is Reshaping Geopolitics

The Arabic word Asabiyya, or ‘social solidarity,’ is a soundbite in the west, but taken very seriously by the globe’s new contenders China, Russia, and Iran. It is Yemen, however, that is mainstreaming the idea, by sacrificing everything for the world’s collective morality in a bid to end the genocide in Gaza.

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G20, BRICS, WEF and the “Building of a Just World and a Sustainable Planet”

This year will be decisive for the future agenda, with the upcoming United Nations Summit of the Future in September. This will lay the foundation for a strengthened economic global governance with the G20 in an elevated position within the UN and the international financial system.

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WEF + United Nations Partnership Constitutes “A Global Corporate Takeover”

A reader of my latest Substack article, G20, BRICS, WEF and the “building of a just world and a sustainable planet”, notified me of an open letter, from September 2019, where over 400 civil society organisations and 40 international networks condemned the 2019 groundbreaking partnership between World Economic Forum and United Nations 

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The Transnational Capitalist Class “Stake Holder Capitalism”

In 2011, the Great British Class Survey was conducted, in collaboration with academics from the University of Manchester, the London School of Economics, and the University of York. The British have always been obsessed with class, so it is not surprising that British academics would attempt something of this nature.

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Shadowy, Intelligence-linked Group Driving the US Towards War with Iran

Most of the world has watched the Israeli assault on Gaza in horror. As tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced, tens of millions of people around the world have poured onto the streets to demand an end to the violence. But a few select others have taken to the pages of our most influential media to demand an escalation of the violence and that the United States help Israel strike not just Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon but Iran as well.

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Washington and London Make Mockery of International Law

As the White House and 10 Downing Street deny genocide in Gaza, both imperialist states bomb Yemen, the most impoverished and underdeveloped country in the West Asia region. Yemen is aiding Gaza by targeting weapons delivery for Apartheid Israel.

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CIA + CFR 66% Germany Depopulation Target 2025 Exposed

Ever since the 1960s, and even immediately following World War II, there has been a thorough profiling of surviving world economies. The goal is to learn more about which nation poses the biggest threat to the prevailing economic and military power of the day.

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The US Gets its War By Blocking All UNSC Efforts vs Gaza Ceasefire; Military Industrial Stock Prices Remain Muted

The US has been obstructing any proposed US Security Council resolution that calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, effectively impeding international attempts to put an end to the ongoing genocide in Gaza purposely to trigger another moneymaking venture for the military industrial complex that has just started today.

However, the price of any military-related stock remains unchanged.

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100+ Global Rights Groups Support South Africa’s Genocide Case Against Israel at ICJ

More than 100 international groups signed onto a letter released Wednesday by a newly formed Palestinian rights coalition, urging governments across the globe to formally support South Africa’s International Court of Justice case against Israel, accusing the government of genocidal violence in Gaza.

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Marcos Presidency: A Conjugal Narco-Government?

Retired Generals from the Philippine Military Academy have become restless once more due to revelations exposing the 16-month-old government of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as protectors of drug lords and smugglers. This revelation poses a threat to the security of the population.

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THE TOP TEN POLITICIANS TAKING THE MOST ISRAEL LOBBY CASH

As the Israeli attack on Gaza, Lebanon and Syria intensifies, the U.S. public watch on aghast. A new poll finds that Americans support a permanent ceasefire by a more than 2:1 ratio (including the vast majority of Democrats and a plurality of Republicans).

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Beyond the Smoke & Mirrors