How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ended Up in Politics (6 min)

True Colors is a series that paints an intimate portrait of the vivid stories of successful Hispanics living in the United States, enlightening audiences through a closer look at their beginnings, struggles, family, and close friends. In today’s episode preview, we join an intimate conversation with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and she talks about her start in politics. Watch the full episode on Peacock, streaming now. https://www.peacocktv.com/truecolors?…

 

IRS Audited Just 0.03% of Wealthiest U.S. Families Under President Trump in 2018

The poor deplorable still think that the trumpeter is on their side.

OCT 30, 2020

The Trump administration has largely stopped auditing the wealthiest U.S. residents — that’s according to journalist David Cay Johnston, editor-in-chief of DCReport. Johnston spoke with Democracy Now! about his findings.

David Cay Johnston: “Donald Trump has done an enormous favor to the 24,000 richest families in America. They make about $30 million a year each. And you know how many of them have their tax returns audited? Seven. Not 700 or 7,000. Seven.”

David Cay Johnston’s report finds that under President Obama in 2015, the country’s richest households were 270 times more likely to be audited than under Trump.

On Trump and Covid

Oct 31, 2020
On this page, I try very hard not to be political. I have never endorsed a candidate, encouraged my followers to vote on a particular piece of legislation, etc., but I am going to make an exception this one time because Donald Trump is one of the most serious threats to science that we have ever faced. His blind denial of evidence is eroding public trust in science and the value of experts, and it is costing thousands of lives. I’m not just talking about COVID here, his environmental policies are also causing irreparable harm. So, I cannot, in good conscience, stand back without saying anything. Many other science advocates and scientific societies have reached the same conclusion, and this year has seen an unprecedented number of science groups that usually avoid politics coming out and endorsing Biden because four more years of Trump is too grave of a threat to ignore. So I am going to do likewise. If you are an American who cares about science, rational thought, human life, and/or the environment, vote for Biden. He’s not perfect. I disagree with him on a lot, but Trump has to be stopped, and voting for Biden is the only way to do so (see comment at end about third party candidates).
So why am I so adamant that Trump has to go? That would take several books, but let’s hit the highlights.
COVID-19 Concept Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures
First, his response to COVID has been abysmal and is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. The USA has one of the highest death rates (per capita) of any country in the world. If you look at how almost every other country responded, their response was better, and far fewer of their citizens have died.
Trump has repeatedly lied about COVID. He has downplayed its seriousness, incorrectly compared it to the flu, falsely claimed that we have lots of cases simply because we do more testing, repeatedly ignored experts and publicly disagreed with them, and said over and over again that we are “rounding the corner” or “its going to go away” even while cases spike and experts warn that things are getting worse.
A real leader would have listened to experts and used their advice to make plans to save lives rather than, as Kushner described it, trying to “get[] the country back from the doctors.” A real leader would have told the American people how serious this is rather than downplaying it. A real leader would have told the American people that we have to take this seriously and carefully follow health guidelines. Once experts presented evidence that masks work, a real leader would have listened to them, fully endorsed masks, and led by example. A real leader would not flaunt public health guidelines by holding massive crowded rallies. This list goes on and on and on. It’s almost hard to imagine anyone doing a worse job at handling COVID than Trump has.
Look around the world at how other countries are doing. Look at countries like Australia where less than 1,000 people have died of COVID (35 deaths per million people) and compare that to the US where over 230,000 have died (712 deaths per million). There is absolutely no reason why that many people had to die. If you look at other countries, it is painfully obvious that an intelligent leader who listened to experts could have greatly reduced those deaths. Further, if you compare Trump’s actions and statements to Biden’s, it is clear that Biden would have done a much better job. He would have encouraged mask use (and led by example), he would have listened to experts and worked with them, not against them, and thousands more would be alive today (see note at end about Trump’s China ban).
Beyond COVID, Trump’s environmental policies have been horrific. He has rolled back dozens of regulations designed to protect the environment and your health, he has opened up public land for fossil fuel companies to destroy, he has repeatedly denied the seriousness of climate change and refused to take appropriate action, his idiotic border wall is destroying key habitat for countless species, he has done his best to fill the EPA with people who care about business, not the environment, he has attacked the endangered species act, etc. etc. He is probably the worst president for the environment that we have ever had. And look, some of you are probably about to be like, “stupid liberal, America has the best air and water in the world!” but what you seem to be blindly ignoring is that we only have good air and water quality (not the best, btw) because of the types of environmental rules Trump is removing! It’s like someone buying a very well-maintained used car and saying, “this thing runs great, better than other cars, therefore I don’t need to do these oil changes.” The car only runs well because of the maintenance! Keep in mind, prior to environmental regulations, some of America’s rivers were literally on fire due to the waste being dumped into them. Without regulations, companies will destroy the environment which ultimately impacts human health and costs lives.
More generally, Trump has repeatedly tried to cut funding for science and health agencies (fortunately the senate has largely stopped him, but who knows if that would continue to be true for four more years) and waged an all-out war on the nature of facts and truth. All politicians lie, but Trump does so at an extraordinary rate. The non-partisan fact-checking site Politifact has ranked 72% of his claims as “mostly false” or worse. It’s not just that he lies, rather, the majority of what he says is false, then he tries to claim that its really everyone else who is lying. He does this even when he is clearly in the wrong. Do you all remember him feuding with meteorologists about the direction a storm was going, then using a sharpy to draw an extra line on a map like the petulant child he is? That’s insane and, quite frankly, dangerous. People need to listen to experts, especially when storms are coming, and they need accurate information. When the president picks these types of fights, spreads false information, and erodes public trust in scientists, he is endangering lives. Further, it is behavior that is unfathomable from someone like Biden. You honestly think Biden would have picked a fight like that? Do you honestly think Biden wouldn’t have just let things slide rather than fighting experts and drawing on a map with a sharpy? There’s simply no comparison between these two.
This post has become long, and it’s not even close to listing the countless ways in which Trump has attacked science and endangered lives, but I will end it here. We cannot have four more years of this. We have to vote him out. Please, don’t sit this election out, and don’t waste your vote on a third-party candidate.
Note on third-party candidates: The way that America’s system is set up, third-party candidates simply do not have a realistic chance of winning. They just don’t. There is absolutely zero evidence to support the notion that a third-party candidate can win, and no third-party candidate has won even a single state in decades. Even if everyone who actually wanted a third-party candidate voted that way, there is no evidence whatsoever that those people outnumber Trump or Biden supporters.
Note on Trump’s China ban: Trump’s supporters love to cite the travel ban as evidence that Trump did take things seriously and is better than democrats. This is absurd. First, the travel ban was very ineffective (something like 40,000 people still came in from China). At best, it bought us a bit of time, but Trump squandered that time. Second, this does not change the fact that following the ban, Trump did literally everything wrong. Note instituting the ban, but instituting universal mask-wearing, better social distancing, etc. would have resulted in far fewer deaths than we currently have. Third, even the assertion that the ban is evidence of Trump taking things seriously is dubious because he has been feuding with China for years and loves travel bans. It is entirely possible that he simply saw an opportunity to ban a country he doesn’t like and took it.

CHINA MAKES CHICKENS OUT OF CANADA AND AUSTRALIA

Thomas Hon Wing Polin21SilkRd

1thSpo1hohnsoreid  

Why Canada must release Meng Wanzhou

· CHINA MAKES CHICKENS OUT OF CANADA AND AUSTRALIA

“For the superior man, waiting ten years to take revenge is not too long.” So goes a famous Chinese saying.The opening anecdote in the accompanying story (below) perfectly illustrates the maxim. While the junzi (Confucian “gentleman,” or superior person) is infinitely patient, he also ensures that depraved criminality does NOT go punished.So it will be with the scurrilous kidnapping of Meng Wanzhou. The atrocity has been seared into the braincells of all Chinese. Unless they repent and make profuse amends, the chief culprits will be punished by the Chinese nation in due course.These will include PC “Woke” Trudeau, Porkface Pompeo and probably their godfather, Donald Trump. Beijing’s steeliness throughout the two-year-old affair is a hint of things to come.In a parallel case, the vengeance isn’t waiting a decade, but has already arrived.

On the receiving end is Australia’s Scott Moronson regime. With awe-inspiring enthusiasm, it became the pack-leading attack dog in the Trump regime’s drive to demonize China and the Chinese.Three Chinese hammer blows have already descended on the Not-So-Lucky Country: boycott of critical exports of coal, cotton and iron ore. Other strikes about to descend are withdrawal of Chinese tourists and students.

Big China bullying two small Anglo nations? Hardly. Here’s where another Chinese saying comes in: “Kill the chicken to scare the monkeys.”In their eagerness to please their Uncle, Sam, Canadian and Australian authorities treated Chinese like sub-humans. They are simply being reminded, in ways they would understand, that it’s not wise to do so. They’re the chickens. Other would-be US allies-in-depravity are the monkeys.From the piece below, which brilliantly exposes the Meng case as the farce it is:“The outcome of this judicial kidnapping will determine US and Canadian China policy for decades to come: whether a rapprochement is possible in the future, or whether relations will spiral into a cycle of acrimony, vengeance, and ultimately catastrophe.“What is on trial, of course, is not Meng, or Huawei, but the judicial system of Canada and the conscience, good sense, and ethics of its ruling class: whether it will uphold or undermine international notions of justice.“If the Canadian judiciary and its ruling classes fail this test, Canada risks being driven, metaphorically, into the sea by a determined Chinese leadership. The global community that upholds international justice could only concur.”

“For the superior man, waiting ten years to take revenge is not too long.” So goes a famous Chinese saying.The opening anecdote in the accompanying story (below) perfectly illustrates the maxim. While the junzi (Confucian “gentleman,” or superior person) is infinitely patient, he also ensures that depraved criminality does NOT go punished.So it will be with the scurrilous kidnapping of Meng Wanzhou.

The atrocity has been seared into the braincells of all Chinese. Unless they repent and make profuse amends, the chief culprits will be punished by the Chinese nation in due course.These will include PC “Woke” Trudeau, Porkface Pompeo and probably their godfather, Donald Trump. Beijing’s steeliness throughout the two-year-old affair is a hint of things to come.In a parallel case, the vengeance isn’t waiting a decade, but has already arrived. On the receiving end is Australia’s Scott Moronson regime. With awe-inspiring enthusiasm, it became the pack-leading attack dog in the Trump regime’s drive to demonize China and the Chinese.Three Chinese hammer blows have already descended on the Not-So-Lucky Country: boycott of critical exports of coal, cotton and iron ore. Other strikes about to descend are withdrawal of Chinese tourists and students.Big China bullying two small Anglo nations? Hardly. Here’s where another Chinese saying comes in: “Kill the chicken to scare the monkeys.”In their eagerness to please their Uncle, Sam, Canadian and Australian authorities treated Chinese like sub-humans. They are simply being reminded, in ways they would understand, that it’s not wise to do so. They’re the chickens. Other would-be US allies-in-depravity are the monkeys.From the piece below, which brilliantly exposes the Meng case as the farce it is:“The outcome of this judicial kidnapping will determine US and Canadian China policy for decades to come: whether a rapprochement is possible in the future, or whether relations will spiral into a cycle of acrimony, vengeance, and ultimately catastrophe.“What is on trial, of course, is not Meng, or Huawei, but the judicial system of Canada and the conscience, good sense, and ethics of its ruling class: whether it will uphold or undermine international notions of justice.“If the Canadian judiciary and its ruling classes fail this test, Canada risks being driven, metaphorically, into the sea by a determined Chinese leadership. The global community that upholds international justice could only concur.”

Why Canada must release Meng Wanzhou

Why Canada must release Meng Wanzhou

Why Canada must release Meng Wanzhou

Like ‘kidnappings’ of the past, the arrest of Huawei’s CFO could bode ill for the ‘abductor’
asiatimes.com
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou leaves the British Columbia Supreme Court on May 27, 2020. Photo: AFP / Don MacKinnon

Few things are as dangerous as a poorly thought-out kidnapping. Kidnappings are serious business, often with unintended consequences. History is replete with dimwitted criminals who engaged in them on a whim, only to discover adverse outcomes far beyond their imagining. One dramatic example happened 90 years ago this week.

On October 24, a mother with young children is kidnapped. She is the cherished wife of an important man whom the kidnapper’s gang is in competition with. The plan is that by abducting her, the kidnapper will create unbearable psychological pressure on her husband, force him to capitulate, or at least damage his resolve.

The woman is first humiliated, then tortured, then killed. But the leader does not capitulate, break, or weaken. Instead, over the next 19 years, he wages war without quarter on his enemies and eventually drives them into the sea. Decades later, he will write this poem for her:

The lonely goddess in the moon spreads her ample sleeves
To dance for these faithful souls in the endless sky.
Of a sudden comes word of the tiger’s defeat on earth,
And they break into tears of torrential rain
.

The poet, of course, was Mao Zedong. The kidnapped woman was the beloved wife of Chairman Mao, Yang Kaihui, the mother of his three children. In the winter of 1930, the Kuomintang kidnapped her and her son, in order to demoralize Mao and put pressure on him to capitulate. She was executed in Changsha, on November 14, in front of her children, at the ripe age of 29.

Though utterly helpless while she was being held hostage, Mao never forgave the kidnappers for their depravity, cowardice, and misogyny – victimizing women and children as weapons in a war – and he ground his enemies into the dust, and then built a state where such atrocities could never occur or go unpunished again.

The state-directed, extraterritorial kidnapping of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is widely seen as a similar act of infamy, misogyny and thuggery, by a similar class of disreputable individuals.

“Lawless, reasonless, ruthless … vicious” is the official diplomatic pronouncement of the Chinese government. It is certainly a violation of international law. How this will play out ultimately, and what retribution will be meted out, remains to be seen, but retribution there will surely be for this “extremely vicious” act.

George Koo has pointed out the “rotten underpinnings of the case” in a previous Asia Times article. Most people understand that Meng is not guilty of anything other than being the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei.

Huawei, as a global technological powerhouse, represents Chinese power and Chinese technical prowess, which the United States is hell-bent on destroying. Meng has been kidnapped as a pawn, as a hostage to exert pressure on Huawei and the Chinese government, and to curb China’s development.

In a maneuver reminiscent of medieval or colonial warfare, the US has explicitly offered to release her if China capitulates on a trade deal – making clear that she is being held hostage. This constitutes a violation of the UN Convention on Hostages.

The outcome of this judicial kidnapping will determine US and Canadian China policy for decades to come: whether a rapprochement is possible in the future, or whether relations will spiral into a cycle of acrimony, vengeance, and ultimately catastrophe.

What is on trial, of course, is not Meng, or Huawei, but the judicial system of Canada and the conscience, good sense, and ethics of its ruling class: whether it will uphold or undermine international notions of justice.

If the Canadian judiciary and its ruling classes fail this test, Canada risks being driven, metaphorically, into the sea by a determined Chinese leadership. The global community that upholds international justice could only concur.

Key facts about the Meng Wanzhou case

The Canadian government arrested Meng on December 1, 2018, as she was transiting Vancouver on a flight to Mexico. The arrest was made on the demand of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The initial charge was “fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud to circumvent US sanctions on Iran.”

Of course, the US government knew quickly that these allegations could not constitute an extraditable charge. Ottawa does not subscribe to US sanctions against Iran – it actively encourages trade with Iran – and therefore business dealings with that country could hardly be a crime in Canada.

In fact, the unilateral US sanctions are a violation of international law.  Furthermore, like most jurisdictions in the world, Canada has a requirement of “double criminality”: unless the alleged crime is a crime in both jurisdictions, you cannot extradite.

So an alternative case had to be constructed. The case that was concocted alleged that because Meng had lied to a bank, she must be extradited for fraud. Of course, the bank was British (HSBC), the “crime” happened in Hong Kong, the accused was a Chinese national, and the arrest was in Canada. Hence she must be extradited to the US for “fraud.”

As a setup for a lame joke this would not pass, and as a legal argument it is beyond farce.  The US court claimed standing to charge her because transactions with HSBC had, or would have, transited US servers in New York for a few milliseconds.

Here are some key things to remember about this case:

  1. Even if the allegations of so-called “fraud” were true, without the political pressures, such an issue would largely be a private matter between HSBC and Meng.
  2. None of the transactions between HSBC and Meng occurred in the US. The funds only transited through the US system because of the way of the global banking system is set up for dollar clearance – this was the pretextual technicality used for jurisdiction and charging. (The funds could equally have been set up to transit through an alternative system, bypassing US servers and risk.)
  3. No non-US person has ever been charged for “causing” a non-US bank to violate US sanctions in the past. In similar cases, it’s usually a small fine to a corporation.
  4. It has been shown that the US attempted the abduction of Meng in six European and Latin American countries, all of which rejected US demands. The US decided on Meng’s momentary transit through Canada because it considered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to be the most pliable and sycophantic to its cause.
  5. US President Donald Trump has made statements that Meng could be used as a bargaining chip in the US-China trade deal, showing the clearly political nature of the arrest. Confidential Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) documents also note that the arrest was “highly political.” It’s widely suspected that the law-breaking John Bolton was the instigator behind the action.
  6. HSBC was already under prosecution by the US government for prior unrelated violations; rather than doing due diligence in their loan or clearance processes or the law, it decided to collaborate with the US government to entrap Huawei and Meng.
  7. The arrest itself involved massive abuses of process: irregularities in detention, notification, search, seizure, constituting themselves violations of international law and bilateral agreements.
  8. The court case has also been full of abuses, including the hiding of key exculpatory documents by the prosecution; and denial of access to key documents to the defense (on the basis of national security and “damage to China-Canada relations”).
  9. The Trudeau government is going on with charade that it is a hapless damsel obliged to follow US strong-arm demands. But Section 23 of the Canadian Extradition Act gives the government the authority to terminate this case at any time. Extradition is made on the discretion of the government, and by refusing to act, the Trudeau administration is abdicating its responsibilities to the Canadian people and the cause of justice.

The fraudulent charge of fraud

Meng Wanzhou’s lawyer has argued, “It is a fiction that the US has any interest in policing interactions between a private bank and a private citizen halfway around the world.… It’s all about sanctions.”

Jurisprudence upholds this: For a fraud charge against Meng to stick, it would have to show 1) deliberate misrepresentation/deception to HSBC as well as 2) harm or risk of harm to HSBC. In other words, Meng’s lies would have put HSBC at risk for fines and penalties for sanctions busting.

Note, however, that the bank could not have been held liable, if it could be shown that they had been “deceived” into breaching US sanctions by Meng as alleged. If Meng had “lied” to the bank, no harm could have occurred to the bank. The bank would have needed to act deliberately to face any risk of liability.

On the other hand, documents, slides and e-mails released later actually show that HSBC had been informed of the relationship between Skycom and Huawei before Meng’s testimony as well as during the meeting, so the allegation of deception doesn’t hold up.  (Slides 6 and 16 used in Meng’s presentation to HSBC were omitted to make it seem as if she had deceived the bank, but in full context, show there was no deception.)

The conclusion is simple: There was either no lie, or no harm. Regardless, there was no fraud.

In other words, the Canadian government had no case.

Double criminality and Justice Holmes

Heather Holmes, associate chief justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court, presided over Meng’s interrogation. Like the fascist KMT warlord who kidnapped and tortured Yang Kaihui, she interrogated Meng Wanzhou and her lawyer in sibilant tones. Tell me about “double criminality,” she entreated gently, as if their arguments would be weighed in her judgment.

Meng’s lawyer, Richard Peck, answered with common sense: Because Canada doesn’t have sanctions against Iran, there would be no liability to the bank, hence no risk to the bank, hence no criminal “fraud.”

It also couldn’t constitute fraud in the US, since if what the government argued was true – that Meng had misrepresented facts to the bank – HSBC would not be liable because the bank would be an “innocent victim,” hence not liable for any sanctions.

“All risk is driven by sanctions risk in the US,” Peck stated.

Astonishingly, Justice Holmes ruled against Meng, claiming that one should not look for correspondence or equivalence between the statutes to determine “double criminality” in fraud. Instead, she claimed that one had to transpose the context and the coherence of the statues of the demanding country to render a decision.

Even though Canada didn’t have sanctions against Iran (thus no illegality or risk of harm, and hence no fraud), she stated that she still had to interpret the demand for extradition by “transposing the environment” that led the US to make the demand. In other words, Canada had no sanctions on Iran, but she had to imagine “the environment” – in other words, “as if Canada had sanctions on Iran” – to render the decision.

In so doing, she was able to smuggle in illegal US sanctions by installing a legal back door – into a country that had lifted sanctions.

In other words, the illegal “environment” of US sanctions overruled the clear, plain letter of Canadian law. Neither was any consideration given to the odious political “environment” driving the abduction.

Why did the good judge see fit to make a mockery of Canada’s own laws and sovereignty, and subjugate Canada to US extraterritoriality? Why did she contort herself to support the blatant illegality of US sanctions? Does she realize she has set her country barreling down the wrong lane of history?

It’s not known if Justice Holmes asked for the clerk to bring her a basin of maple syrup to wash her hands after she passed judgment. But it would have been understandable for such a corrupt, consequential, and deeply catastrophic judgment.

But why is US going after Huawei?

China has been designated the official enemy (“revisionist power”) of the US, because it poses a threat to US dominance. As such, the US is engaged in “multi-domain” hybrid warfare against China to attack and bring China down.

The domains of warfare that involve the US assaults against Huawei are the domains of: tech war, trade war, economic war, lawfare, and cyberwar. Huawei is one of the key pillars of China’s technological and economic strength. It is the world’s largest and most advanced telecom corporation, and in 5G (fifth-generation telecom technology) it owns one-fifth of the base patents in the field.

Huawei is also building the digital infrastructure to accompany the Belt and Road Initiative (the “digital silk road”). This not only allows China’s economy to grow, but also prevents the effects of military blockade at the South China Sea. Its hardware makes it harder for US surveillance to tap.

These are the key reasons why it is being attacked and taken down. Aside from kidnappings, the US has been waging this warfare by trying to prevent other countries from signing deals for Huawei 5G infrastructure. It is alleging that Huawei would render these networks insecure: Huawei would spy on them for the Chinese government, or even open them for Chinese cyberwarfare.

Actually, the truth is exactly the inverse. A worldwide Huawei system could create problems for the US global panopticon upon which US “unipolar” dominance relies on: its ability to eavesdrop on individuals, corporations, the leaders of countries, as well as military communications. With non-Huawei routers, due to the subservience and mandated cooperation of US companies, cyberspace as a domain of warfare is always guaranteed to be permeable and amenable to US surveillance and attack.

In other words, the US taps routers globally to spy on individuals, companies, governments, and nations: “Routers, switches, and servers made by Cisco are boobytrapped with surveillance equipment that intercepts traffic handled by those devices and copies it to the NSA’s network.”

Regarding specific allegations of Huawei’s “spying,” Huawei has been completely transparent and has handed over its source code to relevant Intelligence agencies for detailed analysis, year upon year. No spying or intentional backdoors have been found: For example, German Intelligence found no spying, and no potential for spying, and British Intelligence also found none.

On the other hand, the US National Security Agency, in a program called Shotgiant, spied extensively on Huawei to look for links between Huawei and the People’s Liberation Army, evidence of back doors and spying, and vulnerabilities that they could exploit. This extraordinary spying (revealed by WikiLeaks) showed no evidence of back doors, spying or connections with the PLA.

The Shotgiant disclosures showed that US allegations were projection: NSA actions “actually mirror what the US has been accusing Huawei of potentially doing.” The NSA did, however, steal Huawei’s proprietary source code at the time, and had plans to spy on other countries by using this information and had sought to compromise security in general. Of course, these kinds of unethical exploits create dangers for everyone.

Theft and exploits notwithstanding, using Huawei hardware could still make it harder for the US to surveil networks – Huawei has declared it refuses to plant back doors.

Guo Ping, the chairman of Huawei, was quoted in The Verge: “If the NSA wants to modify routers or switches in order to eavesdrop, a Chinese company will be unlikely to cooperate.” Guo argues that his company “hampers US efforts to spy on whomever it wants,” reiterating its position that “Huawei has not and will never plant back doors.”

Wired magazine has also confirmed that Huawei is an obstacle to NSA surveillance: Telecom-equipment makers who sell products to carriers in the US “are required by law to build into their hardware ways for authorities to access the networks for lawful purposes.”

The only allegations of “Huawei vulnerabilities” with any backing evidence shown to date have been in a Bloomberg “gotcha” article, which claimed that in 2009 and 2011 some telnet connections in Huawei equipment for Vodaphone in Italy were insecure. Vodaphone, however, refuted these allegations.

The hardware (Baseboard Management Controller) that Bloomberg alleges is “insecure” cannot access any data in any normal configuration Furthermore, built-in Telnet access CLI connections are unexceptional, and did not pose meaningful risk.

Since then further allegations have been made by the US government (leaked to the Wall Street Journal), but always without proof. These allegations may be recycled and refuted old allegations, or they may just be pure invention, which why they cannot issue the proof.
Of course, Huawei refutes these allegations and always demands proof. The proof is never forthcoming, because there is none.

Here is a solution that allows everyone to step back from the brink. Back off on the unsubstantiated, unverifiable “back-door spying” canards. Stop the spying and harassment of Huawei, and stop the projection. Stop the interference with its global contracts: let each country evaluate them on their own merits. Stop the fraudulent prosecutions that recycle settled matters.

Above all, stop taking hostages: This is a violation of international law. Canada must release Meng Wanzhou, immediately. And it must find ways to repair relations and find ways cooperate anew with China. The benefits of success will be tangible and immense. The consequences of failure, immeasurable.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world’s first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Invisible 9/11s: Only the CIA Can See How US Is Attacked By Nations It Targets

The U.S. government is destroying untold millions of lives at home and abroad, but Americans are being told to worry about invisible attacks by foreign countries that have literally never done anything to them.

consortiumnews.com

Caitlin Johnstone would like to tell you a folktale about alleged attacks on American democracy that are only visible to the U.S. intelligence cartel.

Graffiti in Tartu, Estonia, 2016. (Ivo Kruusamagi, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

I’d like to tell you a folktale. It’s called “The Emperor’s New 9/11.”

Once upon a time there was an Emperor who loved war and military expansionism. He was always searching for new ways to instigate military conflicts without losing the support of the international community or waking up the populace to the fact that they’re just propagandized cogs in the machine of a globe-spanning Empire which uses endless military and economic violence to maintain its unipolar hegemony.

One day two men calling themselves Intelligence Experts came into town claiming that they had devised a wondrous new type of enemy threat that is invisible to the common folk.

“Is it as good as 9/11?” asked the Emperor excitedly. “Oh, how I loved how that one allowed me to initiate a new era of military expansionism on the pretense of fighting global terrorism!”

“It’s even better!” explained the Intelligence Experts. “This magical enemy threat is comprised of Cyber Attacks which are completely invisible to public scrutiny, and you have complete control over where and when they happen. You just name a foreign government you don’t like, and we’ll say they have attacked the democracy of the Empire!”

“You mean the pretend democracy I lied to them about having?” asked the Emperor.

“Of course,” said the Intelligence Experts. “So, you just name the disobedient government you want a fight with and we’ll give you your new 9/11.”

“Hmm, well I’m not very fond of the Russians,” said the Emperor. “They’ve been brazenly acting against our interests on the world stage and they keep getting friendlier with China. Let’s set to work on them first.”

So, the Intelligence Experts set to work weaving their narrative about Russian Cyber Attacks. The Emperor put his mass media to work knitting together wonderful yarns of the Emperor’s wonderous new 9/11, simultaneously invisible to commoners yet outrageous and necessitating an aggressive response.

The Empire’s military budget was inflated, treaties were ended, and a new arms race was begun. Sanctions were rolled out against the Russian government, the Empire’s Nuclear Posture Review was readjusted with a much more hostile stance toward Moscow, troops were deployed and NATO was expanded. Anyone who objected to any of this was labeled Russian propaganda by the Empire.

“Oh, this is wonderful!” exclaimed the Emperor. “Let’s do Iran now! Ooh! And China too!”

“Iran and China have been attacking the Empire’s democracy!” announced the Intelligence Experts. “It’s like another 9/11!”

All was going swimmingly, until one day the Emperor was parading his new 9/11 around town for the commoners to admire.

“Oh, this 9/11 is even more impressive than the last one!” exclaimed the people. “I would happily throw my body into the gears of the war machine for it! Praise be to our mighty Emperor!”

Then one tiny voice rang out above the rest.

“But the Emperor hasn’t got a 9/11!” said a small child. “There’s nothing there at all!”

The child was immediately branded a Russian propagandist and banned from Facebook and Twitter.

It is not a coincidence that all these alleged attacks on American democracy are happening in ways that only the U.S. intelligence cartel can see. It is not a coincidence that the US propaganda machine is constantly announcing invisible new attacks upon the nation from governments that have been longtime targets of that same intelligence cartel. It is not a coincidence that whenever these alleged attacks happen, the hard evidence that they happened is always classified.

There are all sorts of ways that a country can be attacked, but the only ways the country that is literally always at war ever gets attacked is in ways that nobody can see and we just have to take the word of the same government agencies that are responsible for the wars that they actually occurred. This is not a coincidence.

Foreign “election interference” is 9/11 minus 9/11. It gets all the same urgent media coverage of 9/11, all the same outrage and all the same demand for forceful retaliation; it just doesn’t have the fallen buildings that people can look at or the bereaved family members that you can talk to. It’s a 9/11 that is completely invisible to everyone, so we have to take the word of intelligence agencies with an extensive history of lying that they happened at all.

Meanwhile, as the U.S. is being victimized by these attacks that only the CIA and NSA can see, the U.S. government is harming the American people to an infinitely greater degree than Russia, China and Iran are. The U.S. government is destroying untold millions of lives at home and abroad, but Americans are being told to worry about invisible attacks by foreign countries that have literally never done anything to them.

Don’t be a sucker. Be the child at the Emperor’s parade.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.   Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article was re-published with permission.

Understanding the sinister agenda being forced upon us