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Pike River Re-Entry: Is The Government Lying?

A newly seated government stalling on election promises? Hardly news really, is it? The butt of political jokes for decades.

But it’s not so funny when lost lives and family closure and justice are involved, as is the case with the Pike River tragedy. A promise of re-entry to the mine to find answers and bring back those trapped men was a big voting carrot to dangle before the masses, and Peters and Ardern appear to moving forwards, but media reaction seems somewhat mixed. Are they backpedalling,? stalling? Doing things by the safety book? The symbolic gesture of handing the gate keys to the families concerned is a positive start, but there are grounds for suspicion that the new Labour government may not follow through.

I received today the following item from “Jack”, and he makes his own opinion quite clear. Whether his prediction turns out to be correct I guess only time will tell.

Is Jack right or is he being too pre-emptive? Read the letter and let us know what you think.

MartinPike River re-entry

 

 

MURDER AT PIKE RIVER MINE COVER-UP: GOVERNMENT SETS GOAL OF MANNED ENTRY INTO PIKE RIVER MINE BY 2019
https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/government-sets-goal-manned-entry-into-pike-river-mine-2019

Everyone. Do watch this remarkable video on this news report on TVNZ tonight and note the body-language of PM Jacinca Ardern and Andrew Little!!!!!! (They are lying, and know it, and have NO intention of ever carrying our their claims to approve a Pike River Mine Re-Entry!

Let me be quite frank. After the corrupt media has censored Dr Jacob Cohen’s amazing book from the NZ public, and the even more corrupt National Party led by PM John Key has spent tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars covering up the deliberate murder of the 29 miners at Pike River, now, after 7 years of lies and endless coverup, we now have an even more spurious gang of low-life liars in the form of this new Labour Party – NZ First Party Coalition, Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little – now in the process of committing another $23 million to set up a “PIKE RIVER RECOVERY AGENCY” [supposedly] towards achieving the goal for a manned re-entry to inspect the crime scene in the mine (to fulfil a key part of the Labour-NZ First Coalition Agreement) to make a decision by MARCH 2019!!!! March 2019???? – WHEN THE REAL TRUTH IS THESE DESPICABLE LIARS FROM HELL HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION OF EVER AGREEING TO A MANNED RE-ENTRY INTO THE MINE WHATSOEVER!

So to recap:

1) To understand why the 29 Pike River Miners were murdered, read Dr Jacob Cohen’s book, Murder at Pike River Mine – Second Edition – it can be downloaded online!
2) Other reports, of many, on the Internet that haven’t as yet been censored, are here: https://uncensored.co.nz/2016/12/08/pike-river-greatest-disgrace/
3) The John Key Holocaust Rolls On – Covering up the Murder of 29 Men at Pike River: http://mediawhores.co.nz/2016/12/03/the-john-key-holocaust-roles-on-covering-up-the-murder-of-29-men-at-pike-river/
4) Her Majesty’s Royal Commission in collusion with the NZ Government has EMBARGOED all of the most critical evidence for 75 years, so that the families or anyone else can’t file charges against the government, the bankers, shareholders or executives of Pike River Coal Limited. As the result, not a single person or organisation has yet been charged for this heinous crime. ( In case you are not aware. When Pike CEO Peter Whittal was charged by the Labour Department (a pretence, as the Government had no real intention to prosecute him) at a pre-trial hearing all his lawyers did was advise the judge that as their client could not defend himself because all the evidence had been Embargoed – the trial could not proceed – and it didn’t!). So yes. The Royal Commission of Inquiry was a jack-up as well!

So they now have to spend yet another $23 million to set up an agency to decide if it is safe to have a manned re-enty into the mine, when the Families’ experts have already previously told them it is safe. Pike River Mine is NO DIFFERENT to any other coal mine. A rescue team or investigation team could go into the mine SAFELY tomorrow and they don’t need 16 months to make a simple decision like this.

Here is a short YouTube clip produced by the Ontario Mine Rescue service.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUy4FCfAv2Y

Note they are wearing oxygen re-breathers which usually last 10 hours or more depending on the type and brand!!!!!!! It takes about just 20-minutes to walk the full 2.3 km (1.4 miles) into the Pike River Mine. The Ontario Mine Rescue Team goes into coal mines like this all of the time safely. Yet, these New Zealand lying politicians and corporate criminals are still claiming they will re-enter the mine “only if they can do it safely.”

The real truth is they don’t want to ever go into that mine because they know there is enough evidence there to put dozens of people behind bars for life!

In the United States earlier in 2010, 29 coal miners were killed at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in a explosion very similar to Pike. The coal company was long ago prosecuted and fined tens of millions of dollars and the CEO Don Blankeinchip was prosecuted and sent to prison. Yet here in New Zealand, the public put up with being blatantly lied to like this all of the time, put up with overtly corrupt businessmen and politicians, corrupt police and judiciary all involved with the Pike River Mine cover-up – and not one single person has even been prosecuted or even had a slap on the hand over the event.
Could we as a nation now be much more corrupt than even the Americans? I think so – and that’s saying something because the Americans take some beating!!!

WHAT A HUGE DISGRACE FOR ALL NEW ZEALANDERS. Right in front of our faces!

In conclusion. Remember my profound words. When March 2019 arrives, listen to these mongrel political liars [using crocodile tears too I expect] with solemn faces declare, “Unfortunately dear families, we sincerely have tried our best. We have spent over $23 million dollars and countless hours researching the risks, searching our hearts and consciences, but in all good faith, we can only now accept the final recommendations and conclusions of the PIKE RIVER RECOVERY AGENCY are correct. The dangers in the mine now are just too extreme, and unfortunately we consider it is too unsafe to enter the mine and we cannot put others lives at risk. Accordingly, with the deepest of regret, we must therefore decline any approval for a manned re-entry into the mine. ”

This, dear, friends, is why I don’t vote!

Jack.

RELATED:

PIKE RIVER: The Greatest Disgrace

“Freedom Frenzy” Grips Zimbabwe, But What Happens Next?


President Robert Mugabe is under intense pressure to resign. But nothing has been heard from the 93-year-old since he appeared at a university graduation on Friday.
“We want to tell President Mugabe, it is time to rest,” Chipo tells us as she continues celebrating with her friends near Freedom Square. “This is a new Zimbabwe, and freedom has finally come,” she adds.
Such a public display of defiance against the president would have been unthinkable before the military intervention.
Crowds erupt into celebration at the sight of military vehicles and soldiers.
“They have given us our second independence,” shouts a man from a crowd surging towards an armoured personnel carrier.

The crowds sing songs praising the military and its chief, Gen Constantino Chiwenga. Some carry placards featuring the general’s portrait and that of the former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired last week after a feud with First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Negotiations are going on behind the scenes to persuade President Mugabe to step down.
It is understood that he has insisted that he cannot do so and legitimise a coup.
The military maintains this is not a coup and there is international pressure to use constitutional means to resolve the political crisis. Negotiators are poring through Zimbabwe’s laws to find a legal way out.

READ MORE:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42035981

From Black Agenda Report:

In a Facebook exchange with BAR contributor Ann Garrison yesterday David Van Wyk, a South African who lived more than a decade in Zimbabwe described Mugabe as having swing from left to right and back and forth over almost 40 years.

“Anything to remain in power. That does not mean that he was all bad. In the early days his interventions in health and education were very progressive. His interventions on the land question came far too late. His indiginisation program in mining also came too late…
“His first fifteen years he spent dancing to the tune of the West. That effectively deindustrialised the country and led to massive unemployment. The next fifteen years became very confused and possibly self serving, taking decisions that he thought would keep him in power. He did not allow for new leadership to emerge within the ruling party or within ZANUPF. Munangagwa (who is scheduled to formally assume Mugabe’s office any day now) is already 73 years old and one of the few remaining original ZANU leaders, but one of the least inspiring also. (Robert Mugabe’s wife) Grace also was bad news…”

 

“Zimbabwe could be far worse off than it is. In the whole continent only the governments of Eritrea and Zimbabwe have refused AFRICOM, and of course Somalia and Libya have no central governments. Mugabe is to be credited with keeping AFRICOM, its notorious solder to soldier relations and ubiquitous training, material and logistics support out of Zimbabwe. The Guardian depicts the Zimbabwean military as having broad and deep ties, an “all weather friendship” with China, which is making enormous investments throughout Africa. To the extent that this is true, we can expect the decades old campaign to isolate and vilify Zimbabwe to continue, and aid to the parties of Western puppets to flow.
But as Ajamu Baraka said, Zimbabwe is not Cuba. It’s not even Venezuela, where popular organizations and the army itself stepped in to restore Hugo Chavez against an attempted right wing coup. Despite some progress, ZANU-PF seems to have failed to use its four decades of state power to organize the handoff to the masses of its people the power to run their own economy, their own country. The fruits of ZANU-PF’s successes and failures will be reaped by its people.”

READ FULL ARTICLE (interesting and quite detailed):

https://blackagendareport.com/zimbabwes-robert-mugabe-sidelined-military-coup

AND SOME INTERESTING (AND SLIGHTLY TONGUE IN CHEEK) SPECULATION FROM “THE SOUTH AFRICAN”:

Zimbabwe: Six possible outcomes of the coup that is not a coup:

So, what could realistically happen?
1. Mugabe resigns
After Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo announced that the military had taken over in what is definitely not a coup (their words), he said Robert Mugabe will be addressing the nation – and will step aside. Obviously, that hasn’t happened and the rumour mill has been in overdrive since then. One moment he’s ready to hand it all over imminently, the next, he is refusing.
2. Mugabe goes nowhere
Mugabe himself as reportedly said he remains the president and the military has continued to refer to him as such. The military insists that the aim of military muscle was to “root out criminals around him” so chances are he could stay on. Since one of those “criminals” might be his wife, Gucci Grace, the situation is, erm, delicate. Elections are due to take place next year, so who knows?
3. Elections
South Africa’s Democratic Alliance called for this as a solution. With Morgan Tsvangirai returning to the country after visiting South Africa for cancer treatment, this is being touted as an option by some experts. Indeed, at a press conference on Thursday, Tsvangirai urged “each and every Zimbabwean” to turn out and vote during elections. We assumed he was talking about next year, but…. who knows. A government of national unity will be established in the interim.
4. Emmerson Mnangagwa takes over
Zanu-PF does not want to lose power and many have suggested what is currently unfolding is only an internal party power struggle. Mnangagwa isn’t exactly going to bring a new dawn.
5. Counter coup!
The Presidential Guard, although part of the military, remains very loyal to Mugabe. This is probably the least likely outcome of the lot, but don’t hey, we live in crazy times.
6. Exile
This could happen with all of the above (except number two) scenarios. If Zanu-PF cannot get its house in order, the Mugabes might be forced into exile. The Economic Freedom Fighters have already called for political asylum to be granted to the family, but it could make this a bit awks for Grace after the whole alleged assault and diplomatic immunity situation.
Bonus scenario: Donald Trump and Kim-jong un begin nuclear war
And everyone forgets about Zimbabwe again.
Extra bonus: We find out “Mugabe” is actually a body double
Look, there are some wild conspiracies out there and this some of them – Mugabe actually died years ago and the guy in charge is just a lookalike.
[h/t bbc]

Zimbabwe: Six possible outcomes of the coup that is not a coup

Grace Mugabe: Why is the President’s wife at the centre of Zimbabwe’s crisis?

He’s 93. She’s 52. And they’ve both been put under house arrest by Zimbabwe’s army.
At the centre of the crisis currently gripping Zimbabwe is President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace.

Her rise from political obscurity to become the front-runner to succeed her ageing husband appears to have prompted the country’s military to step in, with tanks on the streets and Mr Mugabe confined to his home.
The military insists it hasn’t staged a coup, but is rather targeting “criminals” around Mr Mugabe.
And that has been taken to be a reference to supporters of the first lady.
Find out who she is and how she got to the position she’s in.

Grace from obscurity to front runner
Their affair started as Mugabe’s wife lay dying
Mr Mugabe admitted in a fly-on-the-wall South African television documentary that they started an affair while his first wife, Sally, lay terminally ill with kidney disease.
Sally died in 1992, after which Grace and Robert married in 1996. They have three children.
Ms Mugabe has been a fierce defender of her ailing husband, declaring that he could run as a “corpse” in next year’s election and still remain in power.

Her rise to potential president had been swift

Ms Mugabe addressed her first political rally in 2014, just months after being nominated to head the ruling party’s women’s league.
Since then she has openly indicated her interest in taking the presidency herself, even publicly challenging her husband to name a successor.
“Some say I want to be president. Why not? Am I not Zimbabwean?” Ms Mugabe said at a rally in 2014.
She has the support of party leaders in their 40s and 50s (the so-called “G40”) and appears to have the support of the party’s youth wing.
She represents a generation change; unlike many top ZANU-PF leaders, Grace played no part in the 1970s armed struggle which rid Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia, of its white-minority government.
After the purge of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, the path looked like it had been cleared for her to succeed her husband.
She appeared positioned to become one of Zimbabwe’s two-vice presidents next month.
Her life of luxury has seen her dubbed ‘Gucci Grace’
The 52-year-old first lady is unpopular among many socially conservative Zimbabweans for her lavish spending on mansions, cars and jewels.
Last month, she went to court to sue a diamond dealer for not supplying her with a 100-carat diamond that she said she had paid for.
Her lavish spending has touched a nerve in a country whose economy has fallen apart, and has earned her the moniker “Gucci Grace”.

READ THE REST:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-16/who-is-grace-mugabe/9156340

We Don’t Need a Special Counsel to Investigate the Clinton Foundation…..

WHAT WE NEED IS A CREDIBLE PROSECUTOR. Republicans, whether in the White House or on Capitol Hill, do not seem to appreciate how much they may be undermining what they say they want — a serious investigation of the Clinton Foundation and such related matters as the Uranium One transaction, the interplay between the foundation and the operation of the State Department during Secretary Clinton’s tenure, and the question of whether that interplay explains the uClinton foundationse of the improper private email system and the destruction of tens of thousands of emails.

The president has been railing about his own Justice Department’s apparent inaction (after signaling, post-election, that he did not want to see the Clintons further investigated and prosecuted). A group of House Republicans has taken up this cause and is pushing for the appointment of a special counsel. In essence, it is a tit-for-tat maneuver: There is a special-counsel probing Trump ties to Russia, they reason, so why not a special-counsel to probe Clinton ties to Russia? This suggests a basic misunderstanding about what triggers a special-counsel investigation: There must be potential offenses that warrant investigation as to which the Justice Department has a conflict of interest that would make its conducting the investigation inappropriate. Preliminarily, we should note that there is no such thing as an independent counsel. In our constitutional system, prosecution is an executive power, so even special counsels ultimately report to the Justice Department’s leadership. That being the case, we should never have a special counsel unless one is absolutely necessary.

It is pernicious to have a prosecutor who is assigned to make a case on a single target (or set of targets). These prosecutors are insulated from the pressures of an ordinary prosecutor’s office, where cases have to compete for resources and only the meritorious ones are pursued. Thus, the sorry history of the special counsel (and its predecessors — the “special prosecutor” and “independent counsel”) is empire-building, investigations that go on for years, and cases involving trivial charges often far removed from the suspected offense that was the original rationale for appointing the special counsel. I argued against the appointment of a special counsel to probe Trump-Russia because, for all the chatter about collusion, no concrete offenses warranting a criminal investigation were identified. (Recall that Robert Mueller was appointed to take over a counterintelligence investigation, not to investigate specific crimes. As I’ve repeatedly contended, this was outside the regulations.) But let’s assume for argument’s sake that there were such offenses. It would then be proper to have a special counsel, because otherwise the administration would be investigating itself. If the president and/or his campaign is the subject of the investigation, then the entire Justice Department — run by presidential appointees and subordinate to the president — has a conflict of interest. This situation does not currently obtain with respect to the Clintons. It is commonplace for the Justice Department to conduct corruption investigations involving members of the president’s opposition party (as well as members of the president’s own party who are not among the Justice Department’s executive-branch superiors). There is no structural reason to believe the Justice Department is unable to conduct a fair investigation of the Clinton Foundation. (There may be a credibility problem, which we’ll get to momentarily.) And importantly: We do not know that the Justice Department is not already conducting a fair investigation.

When the Justice Department is functioning properly, it is not speaking publicly about pending investigations, nor is it consulting with the White House about them. It may be that we haven’t heard about any investigation because there is not anything to say at the moment. It was widely reported a year ago that the FBI was looking into Clinton Foundation activities — I wrote about it, here, when it was reported that the Obama Justice Department was blocking the bureau from access to key evidence. On this point, a letter sent to the House Judiciary Committee by Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd, reported on by the New York Times, is instructive. In pertinent part, the Boyd letter states: Senior prosecutors will report directly to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit a special counsel. [Emphasis added.] This implies that there are relevant matters currently under investigation, and that these matters are being explored in the normal course, without the need of a special counsel. That is as it should be.

As the Times points out, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from matters related to the 2016 election, and that recusal is apparently being expansively construed to include matters related to the Democratic nominee, Mrs. Clinton, even if such matters had no direct connection to the 2016 election. This recusal should not trigger a special-counsel appointment. It is not unusual for attorneys general to be recused from some investigations owing to conflicts of interest. (Often, the conflicts stem from the AG’s prior work as a private lawyer representing business clients who become enmeshed, for whatever reason, in investigations.) When that happens, the deputy attorney general becomes the AG for purposes of the investigation. In the event, such conflicts have little bearing on how cases are handled because the investigation is led by the FBI with the assistance of a district U.S. attorney’s office that does not have a conflict. (And if it does, each U.S. attorney’s office has procedures to screen out a conflicted prosecutor; or the Justice Department can assign the case to a different district U.S. attorney who has no conflict.)

Read more at:

https://www.nationalreview.com/article/453717/clinton-foundation-investigation-prosecutor-special-counsel

 

From Superpower To Incompetence, by Paul Craig Roberts

From Superpower to Incompetence
Paul Craig Roberts
Having grown up during the second half of the 20th century, I don’t recognize my country today. I experienced life in a competent country, and now I experience life in an incompetent country.

Superpower incompetent
Everything is incompetent. The police are incompetent. They shoot children, grandmothers, cripples, and claim that they feared for their life.
Washington’s foreign police is incompetent. Washington has alienated the world with its insane illegal attacks on other countries. Today the United States and Israel are the two most distrusted countries on earth and the two countries regarded as the greatest threat to peace.
The military/security complex is incompetent. The national security state is so incompetent that it was unable to block the most humiliating attack in history against a superpower that proved to be entirely helpless as a few people armed with box cutters and an inability to fly an airplane destroyed the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon itself. The military industries have produced at gigantic cost the F-35 that is no match for the Russian fighters or even for the F-15s and F-16s it is supposed to replace.
The media is incompetent. I can’t think of an accurate story that has been reported in the 21st century. There must be one, but it doesn’t come to mind.
The universities are incompetent. Instead of hiring professors to teach the students, the universities hire administrators to regulate them. Instead of professors, there are presidents, vice presidents, chancellors, vice chancellors, provosts, vice provosts, assistant provosts, deans, associate deans, assistant deans. Instead of subject matter there is speech regulation and sensitivity training. Universities spend up to 75% of their budgets on administrators, many of whom have outsized incomes.
The public schools have been made incompetent by standardized national testing. The purpose of education today is to pass some test. School accreditation and teachers’ pay depend not on developing the creativity or independent thinking of those students capable of it, but on herding them through memory work for a standardized test.
One could go on endlessly.
Instead, I will relate a story of everyday incompetences that have prevented me from writing this week and for a few more days yet.
Recently, while away from my home, a heavy equipment operator working on a nearby construction site managed to drive under power lines with the fork lift raised. Instead of breaking the wire, it snapped the pole in half that conveyed electric power to my house. The power company came out, or, as I suspect, an outsourced contractor, who reestablished power to my home but did not check that the neutral wire was still attached. Consequently for a week or so my house experiened round the clock surges of high voltage that blew out the surge protection, breaker box, and every appliance in the house. Expecting my return, the house was inspected, and the discovery was that there was no power. Back came the power company and discovered that high voltage was feeding into the house and had destroyed everything plugged in.
So. Here we have a moron operating heavy equipment who does not understand that he cannot drive under power lines with the lift raised. We have a power company or its outsourced contractor who does not understand that power cannot be reconnected without making certain that the neutral wire is still connected.
So every appliance is fried. Glass everywhere from blown out light bulbs. We are talking thousands of dollars.
This is America today. And the incompetents ruling incompetents want war with Iran, Korea, Russia, China. Considering the extraordinary level of incompetence throughout the United States, I guarantee you that we will not win these wars.

From Superpower to Incompetence

Paul Craig Roberts

MUST SEE President Trump’s Unforgettable Speech to South Korean National Assembly 11/7/17

President Donald Trump delivers an unforgettable speech in South Korea, extending what may be the final olive branch to Kim Jung Un’s North Korea regime 🇺🇸🇰🇷
National Assembly, Seoul, South Korea

Article from Washington Post:

The U.S. president directly addressed his 33-year-old nemesis in a speech to South Korea’s National Assembly. This time, Trump did not call Kim “Little Rocket Man” or use the kinds of rhetorical flourishes that play so well on Twitter.

But the words that Trump did use cut deeper, because they struck at the very heart of the Kim regime.
If there is one thing that Kim has shown he cannot tolerate, it is personal criticism.
“North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned,” Trump said to Kim, who, if he was in Pyongyang, was just 120 miles away. “It is a hell that no person deserves.”
Kim Il Sung, who is revered like a god in North Korean propaganda, established the country in 1948 as a “socialist paradise” of free housing, health care and education where people would want for nothing. Grandson Kim Jong Un claims his legitimacy as North Korea’s supreme leader by virtue of being a direct descendant of this quasi-deity.
Trump devoted a large part of his address to detailing the human rights abuses that the Kims have committed in North Korea, filling his speech with words such as “twisted,” “sinister,” “tyrant,” “fascism” and “cult.”
“I wanted to stand up from my seat and shout ‘Yahoo!’ ” said Lee Hyeon-seo, an escapee from North Korea who was sitting in the assembly hall during Trump’s address. “We just don’t hear people talking about North Korea in this way in South Korea, so I was very emotional during the speech. I was very impressed.”

In front of a National Assembly ruled by a left-wing party that favors engagement with North Korea and seeks to avoid antagonizing the regime, Trump noted the slave-like conditions North Korean workers face, the malnutrition among children, the suppression of religion and the forced-labor prison camps where he said North Koreans endure “torture, starvation, rape and murder on a constant basis.”
Other advocates for North Koreans expressed hope that Trump’s remarks would remind the world that the country is home not just to a dictator with nuclear weapons but also to 25 million people who suffer under him.
“President Trump spoke about human rights in North Korea more than any other previous U.S. president,” said Jeong Kwang-il, who was held as a political prisoner in North Korea and now runs the No Chain for North Korea human rights group in Seoul. “I’m hopeful that American policy toward North Korea will focus more on improving human rights there.”
The president did not mince words about the way the Kim regime has managed to retain its grip on the populace.
“North Korea is a country ruled as a cult,” he said. “At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader’s destiny to rule as parent-protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula and an enslaved Korean people.”
The success of South Korea discredited “the dark fantasy at the heart of the Kim regime,” Trump said.
It is hard to exaggerate the reverence with which North Koreans are forced to treat the Kim family. Every home and all public buildings must display portraits of Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il that must be cleaned only with a special cloth. North Koreans must bow at monuments to the leaders and sing songs celebrating their supposedly legendary feats.
There is no escaping the Kims and the narrative that they have created a utopia that is the envy of the world.
So to suggest that the regime is founded on a “fantasy” and that the country is something other than a socialist paradise amounts to heresy in North Korea.
“This speech made the ‘axis of evil’ speech look friendly,” said John Delury, a professor of international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul, referring to President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech, in which he included North Korea as a country seeking weapons of mass destruction. “That sent a signal to Pyongyang that the Americans are not open to changing their relationship with North Korea and that the president was deeply hostile and ideologically hostile to them.”
But others saw an opening from Trump, with his suggestion that there is a way out of the quagmire. “Despite every crime you have committed against God and man . . . we will offer a path to a much better future,” Trump said, noting that this would require total denuclearization.
Victor Cha, tipped to be Trump’s nominee for ambassador to South Korea, wrote on Twitter that the president publicly offered a “diplomacy exit ramp” to the Kim regime.
At a news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in the previous day, Trump urged North Korea “to come to the table” and “do the right thing, not only for North Korea but for humanity all over the world.”
At recent meetings near Geneva and in Moscow, Pyongyang’s representatives have signaled an interest in talks with the United States — as long as those talks are not about denuclearization, a nonstarter for Washington.
The regime in Pyongyang is likely to react angrily to Trump’s speech.
After Trump threatened at the U.N. General Assembly in September to “totally destroy” North Korea and mocked Kim as “Rocket Man,” Kim took the unprecedented step of releasing a statement in his own name, calling Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who would “pay dearly” for his threats.
At the same time, North Korea’s foreign minister said the country might detonate a nuclear device over the Pacific.
A U.N. commission of inquiry once charged that the blame for North Korea’s human rights abuses went all way to the top of the leadership, leading to calls for Kim Jong Un to be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
That prompted North Korean officials to respond publicly to questions about human rights conditions in a way they had not before — a clear attempt to defend the dignity of their leader.
“North Korea tends to react sensitively to criticism in human rights,” said Cheong Seong-chang, director of the unification strategy program at the Sejong Institute, a private think tank in South Korea.
He predicted that the response this time would be especially sharp because of the time that Trump spent talking about North Korea and the detail he went into, plus the president’s repeated calls for the world to isolate the country.
“North Korea is highly likely to take Trump’s address as a declaration of war and call for a holy war of its own against the U.S.,” Cheong said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com

 

Billionaire prince among dozens arrested in Saudi sweep

Saudi Arabia has arrested dozens of princes and former government ministers, including a well-known billionaire with extensive holdings in Western companies, as part of a sweeping anti-corruption probe, further cementing King Salman and his crown prince son’s control of the kingdom.
A high-level employee at Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company told The Associated Press that the royal was among those detained overnight Saturday. The employee said he received calls from several security bodies notifying him of the arrest. The employee spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of repercussions.
The Associated Press reached out overnight to Kingdom Holding for comment. There was no response as of Sunday morning.Saudi prince arrested

Prince Alwaleed is one of the Middle East’s richest people, with investments in Twitter, Apple, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Citigroup, and the Four Seasons, Fairmont and Movenpick hotel chains. He is also an investor in ride-sharing services Lyft and Careem, both competitors to Uber in the U.S. and the Middle East, respectively.
The prince, often pictured on his multimillion dollar 85.65-metre (281 foot) superyacht in the Mediterranean, is also known for being among the most outspoken Saudi royals, long advocating for women’s rights. He is also majority owner of the popular Rotana Group of Arabic channels.
Official state media have not reported on the arrests, but the kingdom’s top council of clerics issued a statement saying it is an Islamic duty to fight corruption— essentially giving religious backing to the high-level arrests being reported.
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news channel reported that at least 11 princes and dozens of former ministers had been detained in the probe launched by a new anti-corruption committee. The committee is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Twitter accounts released names of several high-ranking princes, including a prominent and powerful son of the late King Abdullah, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was removed from his post as head of the National Guard overnight.
The arrests came as Lebanon’s prime minister, a close Saudi ally, announced his own resignation from the Saudi capital. Yemeni rebels, the target of a 2 ½ year Saudi-led military campaign, meanwhile fired a ballistic missile toward Riyadh’s international airport on Saturday night that was intercepted by Saudi air defense before it could cause any damage.

Al-Arabiya reported that the anti-graft committee is looking into deadly floods that overwhelmed parts of the city of Jiddah in 2009 and the government’s response to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed several hundred people in the past few years.
Reports also suggested those detained were being held in the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, which only days earlier hosted a major investment conference. The phone number for the hotel had been disconnected by Sunday morning and a Dubai-based spokeswoman for the hotel chain did not respond to a request for comment.
The government said the anti-corruption committee has the right to issue arrest warrants, impose travel restrictions and freeze bank accounts. It can also trace funds, prevent the transfer of funds or the liquidation of assets, and take other precautionary measures until cases are referred to the judiciary.
The royal order said the committee was established “due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds.”
Saudi nationals have long complained of rampant corruption in government and of public funds being squandered or misused by people in power.
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, said the scale of the arrests are designed to further smooth the young crown prince’s eventual succession to the throne.
“As a leader who is set to remain in power for decades, Mohammed bin Salman is remaking the kingdom in his own image and signaling a potentially significant move away from the consensual balancing of competing interests that characterized Saudi rule in the past,” Ulrichsen said.
Prince Miteb was replaced by a lesser known royal, Prince Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin, who had held a senior post with the National Guard.
Prince Miteb’s father— the late King Abdullah— also had led the National Guard and had transformed it into a powerful and prestigious force tasked with protecting the ruling Al Saud family, as well as important holy sites in Mecca and Medina, and oil and gas sites.
Prince Miteb was once considered a contender for the throne. His ouster essentially sidelines one of the most formidable rivals to the current crown prince, who is also defense minister. Just three months ago, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was ousted from the line of succession and from his post as interior minister, overseeing internal security.
Only hours earlier, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned from his post in a televised address from Riyadh, offering a vicious tirade against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah group for what he said was their meddling in Arab affairs.
“Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off,” Hariri said.
Saudi Arabia then said its forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen toward one of the kingdom’s major international airports on the outskirts of Riyadh. A Saudi-led coalition launched a war against the Houthi rebels and their allies in March 2015 that grinds on today, a campaign overseeing by Crown Prince Mohammed.
The missile fire drew an immediate rebuke from President Donald Trump, who blamed Iran in part for the attack.
“A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system knocked it down,” Trump said, referring to the Patriot missile batteries Saudi Arabia has purchased from the U.S. “That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make and now we’re selling it all over the world.”
It’s unclear if the U.S. had any advance word of the coming arrests. Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner and others made an unannounced trip recently to Riyadh. Trump earlier Saturday said he spoke to King Salman about listing the kingdom’s massive state-run oil company, Saudi Aramco, in the United States. (My emphasis MH)
___
Batrawy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell and Fay Abuelgasim in Dubai and Jonathan Lemire aboard Air Force One contributed to this report.

https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/billionaire-prince-among-dozens-arrested-in-saudi-sweep/ar-AAusc2m?li=AAaeXZz&ocid=spartanntp

In Shocking Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War

https://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48117.htm
In Shocking Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War
October 30, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – A television interview of a top Qatari official confessing the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria is going viral across Arabic social media during the same week a leaked top secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-24/bombshell-nsa-memo-saudi-arabia-ordered-attack-damascus-international-airport-us-kno
And according to a well-known Syria analyst and economic adviser with close contacts in the Syrian government, the explosive interview constitutes a high level “public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.” Importantly, “this admission will help build case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form basis for compensation claims.”

A 2013 London press conference: Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. A 2014 Hillary Clinton email confirmed Qatar as a state-sponsor of ISIS during that same time period.

https://www.salon.com/2016/10/11/leaked-hillary-clinton-emails-show-u-s-allies-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-supported-isis/

As the war in Syria continues slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilizing Syria, and even occasional leaked emails and documents which further detail covert regime change operations against the Assad government. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.

Shadow Wars: An Explosive New History Documents the Rise of ISIS

This process of clarity has been aided – as predicted – by the continued infighting among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) former allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with each side accusing the other of funding Islamic State and al-Qaeda terrorists (ironically, both true). Increasingly, the world watches as more dirty laundry is aired and the GCC implodes after years of nearly all the gulf monarchies funding jihadist movements in places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-14/you-rabid-dogs-watch-sreaming-arab-league-members-accuse-each-other-terrorism
The top Qatari official is no less than former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who oversaw Syria operations on behalf of Qatar until 2013 (also as foreign minister), and is seen below with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in this Jan. 2010 photo (as a reminder, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Committee donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2014).

http://freebeacon.com/politics/qatars-controversial-world-cup-committee-is-a-clinton-foundation-donor/

In an interview with Qatari TV Wednesday, bin Jaber al-Thani revealed that his country, alongside Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United States, began shipping weapons to jihadists from the very moment events “first started” (in 2011).
Al-Thani even likened the covert operation to “hunting prey” – the prey being President Assad and his supporters – “prey” which he admits got away (as Assad is still in power; he used a Gulf Arabic dialect word, “al-sayda”, which implies hunting animals or prey for sport). Though Thani denied credible allegations of support for ISIS, the former prime minister’s words implied direct Gulf and US support for al-Qaeda in Syria (al-Nusra Front) from the earliest years of the war, and even said Qatar has “full documents” and records proving that the war was planned to effect regime change.

According to Zero Hedge’s translation, al-Thani said while acknowledging Gulf nations were arming jihadists in Syria with the approval and support of US and Turkey: “I don’t want to go into details but we have full documents about us taking charge [in Syria].” He claimed that both Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (who reigned until his death in 2015) and the United States placed Qatar in a lead role concerning covert operations to execute the proxy war.
The former prime minister’s comments, while very revealing, were intended as a defense and excuse of Qatar’s support for terrorism, and as a critique of the US and Saudi Arabia for essentially leaving Qatar “holding the bag” in terms of the war against Assad. Al-Thani explained that Qatar continued its financing of armed insurgents in Syria while other countries eventually wound down large-scale support, which is why he lashed out at the US and the Saudis, who initially “were with us in the same trench.”
In a previous US television interview which was vastly underreported, al-Thani told Charlie Rose when asked about allegations of Qatar’s support for terrorism that, “in Syria, everybody did mistakes, including your country.” And said that when the war began in Syria, “all of use worked through two operation rooms: one in Jordan and one in Turkey.”

https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/us-and-gulf-allies-supported-islamist-extremists-syria-qatars-ex-prime-minister

Below is the key section of Wednesday’s interview:

translated and subtitled by @Walid970721. Zero Hedge has reviewed and confirmed the translation, however, as the original rush translator has acknowledged, al-Thani doesn’t say “lady” but “prey” [“al-sayda”]- as in both Assad and Syrians were being hunted by the outside countries.

The partial English transcript is as follows:
“When the events first started in Syria I went to Saudi Arabia and met with King Abdullah. I did that on the instructions of his highness the prince, my father. He [Abdullah] said we are behind you. You go ahead with this plan and we will coordinate but you should be in charge. I won’t get into details but we have full documents and anything that was sent [to Syria] would go to Turkey and was in coordination with the US forces and everything was distributed via the Turks and the US forces. And us and everyone else was involved, the military people. There may have been mistakes and support was given to the wrong faction… Maybe there was a relationship with Nusra, its possible but I myself don’t know about this… we were fighting over the prey [“al-sayda”] and now the prey is gone and we are still fighting… and now Bashar is still there. You [US and Saudi Arabia] were with us in the same trench… I have no objection to one changing if he finds that he was wrong, but at least inform your partner… for example leave Bashar [al-Assad] or do this or that, but the situation that has been created now will never allow any progress in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council], or any progress on anything if we continue to openly fight.”
As is now well-known, the CIA was directly involved in leading regime change efforts in Syria with allied gulf partners, as leaked and declassified US intelligence memos confirm.

View story at Medium.com

The US government understood in real time that Gulf and West-supplied advanced weaponry was going to al-Qaeda and ISIS, despite official claims of arming so-called “moderate” rebels. For example, a leaked 2014 intelligence memo sent to Hillary Clinton acknowledged Qatari and Saudi support for ISIS.
The email stated in direct and unambiguous language that:
“the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3774

Furthermore, one day before Prime Minister Thani’s interview, The Intercept released a new top-secret NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which show in stunning clarity that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/24/syria-rebels-nsa-saudi-prince-assad/?comments=1#comments

The newly released NSA document confirms that a 2013 insurgent attack with advanced surface-to-surface rockets upon civilian areas of Damascus, including Damascus International Airport, was directly supplied and commanded by Saudi Arabia with full prior awareness of US intelligence. As the former Qatari prime minister now also confirms, both the Saudis and US government staffed “operations rooms” overseeing such heinous attacks during the time period of the 2013 Damascus airport attack.

No doubt there remains a massive trove of damning documentary evidence which will continue to trickle out in the coming months and years. At the very least, the continuing Qatari-Saudi diplomatic war will bear more fruit as each side builds a case against the other with charges of supporting terrorism. And as we can see from this latest Qatari TV interview, the United States itself will not be spared in this new open season of airing dirty laundry as old allies turn on each other.

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