Dystopian Vietnam Launches 10,000-Strong Cyber-Unit To Combat “Fake News”

Reuters has revealed a rather disturbing Orwellian tale of Communist-ruled Vietnam marching towards a complete censorship of the internet.
Government officials have announced a new, 10,000-strong military cyber warfare unit used to combat ‘fake news’, amid a much larger crackdown on critics of the state.
The announcement came in a speech on Christmas Day given by Lieutenant General Nguyen Trong Nghia, a deputy head of the military’s political department. According to state-run media, Lt Gen Nguyen revealed the 10,000-strong army of state-owned hackers called ‘Force 47’, will be targeting enemies of the Communist party who ‘create chaos’ online.
Lt Gen Nguyen further said, ‘in every hour, minute, and second, we must be ready to fight proactively against the wrong views.’
‘Force 47’ could be compared to the so-called 50-cent army, employed by Communist China, who are paid 50 cents for every website that is censored. Communist-ruled Vietnam has certainly escalated this latest attempt to control the internet, especially the ability to censor political dissidents on social media.
Bloomberg reports, the disclosure of the unit is the government’s effort to put more pressure on YouTube Inc. and Facebook Inc. to remove accounts promoting anti-party views.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Thu, 12/28/2017 –.

What Happened to Protest Art?

In September 1975, The Grateful Dead released what was to become its highest chart-topping album for the next twelve years, Blues for Allah. In an interview at the time, the group’s lyricist, Robert Hunter, described the album’s title song as ‘a requiem for King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, a progressive, democratically-inclined ruler (and incidentally a fan of the Grateful Dead) whose assassination in 1975 shocked us personally.’ Hunter went on to note proudly that the lyrics of the album, inspired as it was as much by Bach as by Eastern influences, were printed in Arabic on the back of album.
This remarkable, trance-like title track referenced Biblical prophecy, Ozymanides, and A Thousand and One Nights. But most of all, it brought attention to the death of one of the Middle East’s then-universally acknowledged enlightened rulers who disdained excess displays of wealth and who opened the first schools for female students in the country. The construction of this vast, progressive-rock tone-poem is a straight line of discursive guitar themes later superimposed by poignant, haunting vocals. It includes two sections, ‘Sand Castles and Glass Camels’ and ‘Unusual Occurrences in the Desert’, in which powerful political statements were woven into the artistry. ‘What good is spilling blood?/It will not change a thing’, observes one line; another is a plea for a resolution of Muslim/Jewish conflict: ‘Let us meet as Friends/the Flower of Islam/the Fruit of Abraham’. Prophesizing the geopolitics of the region, the song grimly warns: ‘The ships of state sail on mirage/and drown in sand.’
Such compelling protest art could have been written today in view of the interminable geopolitical situation in the Mideast. Yet, it hasn’t been, and it won’t be. We are bereft of any near equivalent; the integrating instinct of music, politics and passion nowhere present, nowhere promoted. Certainly, there is no shortage of ‘unusual occurrences in the desert’ – or anywhere else for that matter – to inspire truly creative works of radical brilliance. Yet none of that kind of meaningful protest that defined the eras of the late sixties and the entirety of the seventies is to be found in our current rock/popular music groups. Why? How have we missed this? Where were the songs to protest the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Where are the poignant ballads against the spread of terror or the failures of the so-called ‘War on Terror’? The sixteen-year occupation of Afghanistan? The high rates of American soldier-suicides? Consider the power-lyrics of Vietnam-era anti-war works by such groups as Buffalo Springfield or as found in Joan Baez’s ‘Where Are You Now, My Son?’ (‘Yours was the righteous gun/where are you now, my son?’). Why are we incapable of this? Where are the artists of impact and deep intelligence to make sense of a world in which the irrational is the new and newer normal? Must we only be satisfied with Pearl Jam performing a bland cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Master of War’? Are we just to accept that these talented groups cannot come up with meaningful statements of their own?

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on December 25, 2017.

American Leaker Warns: The US Is ‘Close To Nuclear Armageddon’

Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon papers which exposed the government’s lies during the Vietnam war is vocalizing a warning. He says the United States is really close to a nuclear Armageddon.
Ellsberg, now 86-years-old, leaked the Pentagon papers back in 1969 and he’s now got a new book out which serves a warning to those who care to listen. According to the Daily Mail, Ellsberg’s 7,000-page report was the WikiLeaks disclosure of its time, a sensational breach of government confidentiality that shook Richard Nixon’s presidency and prompted a Supreme Court fight that was supposed to advance press freedom.
In his new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, Ellsberg details how easy nuclear bombs can be triggered and shot off on a false alarm – and that the president isn’t the only who can launch the nukes, as we are often told. Low-level military commanders are capable of launching nuclear weapons too.
‘All out-nuclear war – an irreversible, unprecedented and almost unimaginable calamity for civilization and most life on earth – has been, like the disasters of Chernobyl, Katrina, the Gulf oil spill, Fukushima Daiichi, and before these, World War I, a catastrophe waiting to happen, on a scale infinitely greater than any of these,’ writes Ellsberg in his new book.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 19th, 2017.

A Handy Summary of Incongruities About 9/11

Lew Rockwell ran a detailed article on these incongruities. It originally appeared on the Collective Evolution site.
The article makes a claim that half of Americans don’t believe the official story. This is certainly good news. It indicates that people are not so easily suckered. But something in the same percentage range applies also to Kennedy’s assassination. Within a year of the assassination, Mark Lane wrote his book debunking the Warren Commission report, and there have been hundreds of books since then that have been equally skeptical. This is not something new.
In contrast, the percentage of Americans who believe Franklin Roosevelt’s version of Pearl Harbor, which he delivered to Congress in his speech on December 8, 1941, remains high. Revisionist historians began going to work on the official story as early as 1946. But, even today, American history textbooks give no indication that the official story has always had gigantic holes in it. These holes have not been successfully patched. They have simply been ignored. Universities don’t teach anything except the official party line. In this respect, there has been an extraordinarily effective barrier to the truth regarding Pearl Harbor from the day after it took place.
The article on 9/11 contains lots of valuable information on the famous event. There are lots of such summaries online. There are lots of skeptical videos. A cursory examination of half a dozen of these exposs leads the typical person to conclude that there is no way that the official story that the government has pushed could possibly be true. The problem is this: there is nothing like a coherent alternative to the official narrative. We are back to the age-old problem: you can’t beat something with nothing.
THE VIETNAM WAR
There has been a fundamental change in public opinion ever since the Vietnam War. When young people began to turn against Lyndon Johnson when they began to get drafted to fight in that war, there was a loss of confidence in the federal government. The victims of conscription began to figure out that the official justifications of the war were illegitimate. This made them question the narrative regarding the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin and the supposed attack on American ships by the North Vietnamese. We know now that the story really was fake news.

This post was published at Gary North on December 18, 2017.

‘He Belongs In Leavenworth Prison’: Former FBI Assistant Director Calls For Clinton Operative And Disgraced FBI Agent Peter Strzok To Be Arrested

During a stunning TV appearance Thursday, former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom publicly called for disgraced FBI agent and Clinton operative Peter Strzok to be put in prison for a variety of crimes, including using the power of his position to help his preferred political candidate.
Appearing on the Fox Business Network, the former Marine and Vietnam veteran Kallstrom told host Liz MacDonald that Strzok had carried out a course of action which specifically followed the steps an FBI agent would have to take in order to stop someone from becoming president.
‘I think he can do what (Strzok) tried to do,’ before adding that ‘He can fabricate things, he can make stuff up, he can lie, he can be a total moron.’
‘You know, he belongs in Leavenworth this guy, in my personal view.’

This post was published at shtfplan on December 16th, 2017.

DANIEL ELLSBERG JUST MADE A STUNNING ADMISSION ABOUT HIS ROLE AT THE PENTAGON

Daniel Ellsberg is a whistleblower and activist most famous for leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971. His release of those papers exposed U. S. involvement in Vietnam and eventually led to the end of the war, and he just made a stunning admission about his role as a Pentagon consultant in a recent interview with Democracy Now!
According to the interview, and as he detailed in his new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst, as well as a Pentagon and White House consultant who drafted plans for nuclear war.
Ellsberg told Democracy Now! that he briefed President Kennedy’s aide, McGeorge Bundy, in his first month in office on the nature of the plans for nuclear war under President Eisenhower. Ellsberg noted that the problems with these plans included the delegation of authority to theater commanders on various battlefields to use nuclear weapons. According to Ellsberg, Mr. Bundy found this shocking, but Kennedy chose to renew the delegation, anyway, as most presidents have done. Ellsberg also made the terrifying admission that there are most likely numerous fingers ready to press buttons at any given time:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 8, 2017.

STEVE BANNON RIPS ENTIRE ROMNEY FAMILY AFTER INSULTING VIETNAM VET ROY MOORE: ‘DO NOT TALK TO ME ABOUT HONOR & INTEGRITY!’

Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) December 4, 2017

Former White House Chief Strategist and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon ripped into former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his family after Romney took cheap shots at Alabama candidate for US Senate Roy Moore, questioning his ‘honor and integrity’ on Tuesday.
‘What did [Mitt Romney] say yesterday? … That judge Moore lacked honor and integrity and that’s why he couldn’t vote for him?’ Bannon asked an audience of Moore supporters in Fairhope, Alabama.
Bannon referenced Romney’s unwelcome voice as he tweeted out, ‘Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.’
As for Romney, Bannon had strong words for his tweet.
‘Judge Moore is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point,’ he said. ‘Judge Moore served his country in one of the toughest wars we ever had, in Vietnam.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 7, 2017.

5 “He Can’t Accept The Fact He Screwed Up” – Special Counsel Mueller’s Surprisingly Flawed Past

When he was named special counsel in May, Robert S. Mueller III was hailed as the ideal lawman – deeply experienced, strait-laced and nonpartisan – to investigate whether President Trump’s campaign had helped with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
But, in a surprisingly ‘fair and balanced’ LA Times story, David Willman exposes the truth that, at 73, Mueller’s record also shows a man of fallible judgment who can be slow to alter his chosen course. At times, he has intimidated or provoked resentment among subordinates. And his tenacious yet linear approach to evaluating evidence led him to fumble the biggest U. S. terrorism investigation since 9/11.
Willmann points out the accolades squared with Mueller’s valor as a Marine rifle platoon commander in Vietnam and his integrity as a federal prosecutor, a senior Justice Department official and FBI director from 2001 to 2013, the longest tenure since J. Edgar Hoover.
He was praised by former courtroom allies and opponents, and by Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
But, as Willmann details, Mueller also is remembered for a headline-grabbing case that ended in failure.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2017.

50 Years Later: A Parasite From Vietnam Could Be KILLING Veterans

A new Veteran’s Affairs study is showing that a parasite from Vietnam could be killing veterans who fought in the war a half a century later.
Hundreds of veterans have a new reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet. Test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia. The Department of Veterans Affairs this spring commissioned a small pilot study to look into the link between liver flukes ingested through raw or undercooked fish and a rare bile duct cancer. It can take decades for symptoms to appear. By then, patients are often in tremendous pain, with just a few months to live.
According to Fox News, of the 50 blood samples submitted, more than 20 percent came back positive or bordering positive for liver fluke antibodies, said Sung-Tae Hong, the tropical medicine specialist who carried out the tests at Seoul National University in South Korea. ‘It was surprising,’ he said, stressing the preliminary results could include false positives and that the research is ongoing.

This post was published at shtfplan on November 22nd, 2017.

America’s Righteous Russia-gate Censorship

Authored by Robert Parry via ConsortiumNews.com,
Arriving behind the anti-Trump ‘resistance’ and the Russia-gate ‘scandal’ is a troubling readiness to silence dissent in the U. S., shutting down information that challenges Official Narratives…
A stark difference between today’s Washington and when I was here as a young Associated Press correspondent in the late 1970s and the early 1980s is that then – even as the old Cold War was heating up around the election of Ronald Reagan – there were prominent mainstream journalists who looked askance at the excessive demonization of the Soviet Union and doubted wild claims about the dire threats to U. S. national security from Nicaragua and Grenada.
Perhaps the Vietnam War was still fresh enough in people’s minds that senior editors and national reporters understood the dangers of mindless groupthink inside Official Washington, as well as the importance of healthy skepticism toward official pronouncements from the U. S. intelligence community.
Today, however, I cannot think of a single prominent figure in the mainstream news media who questions any claim – no matter how unlikely or absurd – that vilifies Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country. It is all Russia-bashing all the time.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.

Trump And Putin: What Comes Next?

Will a future, formal Trump-Putin summit be a game changer?
Last week, I noted that any encounter between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin that would take place at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, would have to address two critical questions if there was to be any clarity in U. S.-Russia relations.
***
We’ve now gotten a first draft of answers.
I argued that, for the Russian side, the overarching issue is whether or not Donald Trump is calling the shots on U. S. policy. Seven days ago, the White House press operation was signaling that there would be a formal encounter between the two presidents, a scheduled meeting with a defined agenda. As the week progressed, the United States began to back away from those announcements. By the end of the week, the encounter was a far less structured event, essentially folded in around an informal stroll to a photo opportunity and brief chats in between APEC sessions – nothing at all like the meeting that took place at the G-20 summit in Hamburg in July. What happened? And does it suggest that Donald Trump has a George W. Bush problem – the apparent inability to take a personal rapport with Vladimir Putin and transform it into concrete policy directives?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.

US, Russia Agree On “Iran-Free Zone” In Syria

Multiple Israeli news outlets reported Saturday that the US, Russia, and Jordan have reached a ceasefire agreement over southern Syria which proposes to expel Iran-backed militias from the border with Israel in the Golan Heights. The reports came on the same day presidents Trump and Putin issued a joint statement on Syria after meeting on the sidelines of the APEC conference in Danang, Vietnam, which reaffirmed de-confliction efforts as both countries fight ISIS and underscored willingness to keep Syria’s territorial integrity intact while pursuing the Geneva process.
Though the joint statement references the “Memorandum of Principles concluded in Amman, Jordan”, it doesn’t make explicit reference to Iran or Hezbollah, but more broadly to efforts for “the reduction, and ultimate elimination of foreign forces and foreign fighters from the area to ensure a more sustainable peace.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 13, 2017.

Trump Reverses, Sides With Intel Agencies Over Russia Election Meddling; Offers To Mediate South China Sea Dispute

When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017

One day after Trump caused the latest round of broad media outrage when he reportedly sided with Putin over Russia’s alleged “election interference”, while slamming US intel agencies, and repeating his allegation that the investigation is a ‘hoax’, and the FBI a ‘bunch of hacks,’ Trump reversed himself and “cleared up confusion” over whether he accepts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of meddling in the U. S. election last year.
Speaking at a news conference in Vietnam with President Tran Dai Quang on Sunday morning local time, Trump distanced himself from remarks he made one day earlier in which he suggested he believed Putin when he said there had been no Russian meddling in the election that took him to the White House. The comments drew a backlash of criticism at home because US intelligence agencies have long since “concluded” there was Russian meddling.
As a result, Trump was careful to make clear he sided with the intelligence agencies under his own leadership: “What I said is, I believe Putin believes that,” Trump told reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam. “I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. What he believes is what he believes.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 12, 2017.

Trump Slams Intel Chiefs After Meeting With Putin: “They’re Political Hacks”

While President Donald Trump was effectively forced to cancel a formal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin due to the glare of the Mueller indictments – despite the fact that the charges had seemingly little to do with his campaign – the two leaders still took a minute to chat on the sidelines of an Asia Pacific conference in VIetnam on Saturday. Photos captured Putin ominously whispering a message into his surrogate’s ear, before posing for a few photos alongside other world leaders, with one photo featuring a much discussed handshake between Putin and Trump.
Afterward, when reporters asked if he was worried about the Mueller probe, Trump repeated his allegation that the investigation is a ‘hoax’, with the president calling the FBI a ‘bunch of hacks,’ according to theNew York Post.
‘They’re political hacks,’ Trump said of the former CIA director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former FBI chief James Comey, who have said that the evidence of Russian meddling is clear.
‘You have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey’s proven now to be a liar and he’s proven to be a leaker. So you look at that,’ Trump said. ‘And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that.”
But he fell short of saying that he took Putin’s word.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 11, 2017.

Putin, Trump Meet In Vietnam: This Handshake Followed

While officials cited “scheduling conflicts” that dashed hopes of a bilateral meeting between President Trump and President Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit, the two ‘old friends’ came face-to-face during the photo-op at the start of the conference… and the handshake took place…
The two were all smiles while shaking hands during the photo call…
Preparing for the traditional leaders’ photo at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit – held this year in Da Nang, Vietnam – Putin had already taken his spot when Trump approached him, extending his hand. In the manner which has become famous, the US president then held onto Putin’s hand for several seconds, patting his counterpart on the back.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.

There Is No Such Thing As A Former Marine

‘Thank you for your service,’ that’s the purpose of Veterans Day, to tell those who wore the uniform that we appreciate them. Of course, the focus is on military service. But what often goes overlooked are veterans’ valuable contributions and service to the nation in civilian life.
Nearly 20 percent of our nation’s police officers are veterans. Close to 400,000 veterans own businesses that create opportunity and benefit their local communities. Tens of thousands have become teachers, transforming young lives by sharing their knowledge and devotion to duty.
Veterans also represent their neighbors and fellow citizens in state legislatures and the halls of Congress. Even though less than 2 percent of Americans served in the military during Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, currently 14 percent of state legislators, on average, and more than18 percent of the U. S. Congress are veterans. It’s worth noting that these are historically low numbers, but fewer Americans are joining the military today due to the smaller size of the military in the post-Cold War era. And the most recent generation of veterans is stepping up, last year, more than one-third of all veterans running for national office served after 2001.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.

YEMEN: The ‘New Vietnam’ Could Bring an End to the US ‘Forever War’ Policy

Connor Freeman
Libertarian Institute
House Concurrent Resolution 81 (H. Con. Res.81) is sponsored by Representatives, Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-NC), Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and 39 other lawmakers. The resolution commands an end to U. S. participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
The sponsors of this resolution contend that such participation, which began in March 2015, was never authorized under the War Powers Act of 1973. Per the War Powers Act, any congressman can pose a legal challenge and is guaranteed a floor vote on the issue. This is known as a privileged resolution.
On November 1st, the night before the vote was scheduled to take place, House leadership swiftly pushed through a Rules Committee vote, denying the resolution’s privileged status. Thus, preventing the guaranteed floor vote.
What was their justification? Apparently, the House Rules Committee feels that the war in Yemen has yet to ‘rise to a level’ where the War Powers Act is applicable.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 9, 2017.

How The DPRK Riddle Is Freaking Out The US Establishment

The 19th Party Congress has made it very clear that ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ – as codified by President Xi Jinping – is China’s road map ahead. Not only does the strategy graphically eschew those much-lauded ‘Western values’; it will, in Xi’s own words, offer ‘a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence.’
Xinhua even dared to venture, ‘the 21st century is likely to see capitalism lose its appeal while the socialist movement, led by China, rapidly catches up’.
To say this won’t go down very well in the West, especially in the US, may be the understatement of the century – even considering that the Chinese system is more like ‘neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics.’
It’s enlightening to crisscross what happened in Beijing with what was happening in Washington on the eve of President Trump’s trip to Asia, when he will visit China but also Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines. Discussion of virtually all the key issues in Asia-Pacific will be on the table.
Asia-Pacific is where the real action is – geopolitically and geoeconomically. And once again, the number one issue in the intractability stakes will be the DPRK.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 2, 2017.