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Did The US Navy Destroy The Nord Stream Pipelines?




On Sept. 26, 2022, a series of explosions rocked the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Denmark. Danish and Swedish authorities quickly determined that the damage done to the pipelines was not caused by earthquakes or other seismic activity, but by “blasts.” The pipelines were a crucial part of Europe’s energy infrastructure, delivering billions of cubic meters of gas from Russia. Over 500,000 tons of methane, a greenhouse gas 80x more damaging for the climate than carbon dioxide, were released from the explosions in the largest ever recorded single methane leak in human history. 

The question of how the Nord Stream leaks occurred—and who is responsible—went unanswered for months. The US and NATO have both described the events as acts of sabotage, and the Russian government has pointed the finger at the US. In Feb., veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell report detailing how President Joe Biden ordered the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines. The White House swiftly denounced Hersh’s report as “utterly false,” and ridicule soon followed in the corporate media. Seymour Hersh joins The Chris Hedges Report to explain his report, and why corporate media and the US government are so intent on dismissing him.

Production: Adam Coley, David Hebden, Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


Chris Hedges:  On Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, a series of underwater explosions blew huge holes into the Nord Stream I and II, two pairs of pipelines constructed to carry Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea. These four pipelines, steel reinforced concrete cables built to withstand the direct impact of the anchor of an aircraft carrier, were destroyed in a clandestine act of sabotage, according to an investigation by Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh.

The pair of Nord Stream I pipelines carried Russian gas to Germany until Moscow cut off supplies at the end of August 2022. The pair of Nord Stream II pipelines, which would’ve doubled the amount of gas that would be available to Germany and Western Europe, were never operational, as Germany suspended its certification process shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. White House spokesperson Adrian Watson called Hersh’s report, “false and complete fiction.” CIA spokesperson, Tammy Thorpe, said, “This claim is completely and utterly false.”

Denials by US officials of covert operations, of course, are routine. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, for example, denied any US involvement in the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, assuring the American people that the invasion was not “staged from American soil.” When Seymour Hersh in 2004 published the first stories about the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, a Pentagon spokesperson called his reporting “a tapestry of nonsense”, adding that Hersh was a guy who “threw a lot of crap against the wall and expects someone to peel off what’s real.”

Despite the denials, the United States has long expressed hostility to the pipelines. It worked to prevent the completion of the pipelines and imposed illegal sanctions on enterprises engaged in its construction. President Biden on Feb. 7, 2022, prior to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia stated, “If Russia invades, there will be no longer a Nord Stream II. We will bring an end to it.”

During a Senate hearing, Victoria Nuland, undersecretary of state for political affairs, was asked by Senator Ted Cruz whether his legislation aimed at sanctioning the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which was voted down in January of 2022, could have stopped the war. “Like you, I am, and I think the administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream II is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea,” Nuland said.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken described the destruction of the pipelines as a “tremendous opportunity, which would enable EU countries to become less dependent on Russian energy.” The New York Times reported in December that Russia had begun expensive repairs on the pipelines, raising questions about Washington’s claim that Russia had bombed its own infrastructure. These explosions are not insignificant acts. They are acts of war. They expose not only the collapse of the rule of law, but the lack of oversight by Congress.

I covered the mining of Nicaragua’s Harbors in 1983 by the Reagan administration as a reporter in Central America. The mining was designed to cripple the economy in Nicaragua and boost the fortunes of the US-backed contra rebels seeking to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The mining backfired. It sparked outrage around the globe and saw Congress cut off funding for the contras a year later. The International Court of Justice in 1986 ruled against the United States over its mining of the harbors.

Hersh’s revelations should have led to a similar condemnation by Congress and an internal investigation into illegal activities by the CIA and the Pentagon. It should have prompted news organizations to dig deeper into a scandal, a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and international treaties. It should have prompted a national debate about the war in Ukraine and the steady escalation of our involvement, one that could lead to a direct confrontation with Russia and possibly nuclear war.

Joining me to discuss his latest investigative piece is Seymour Hersh, one of our most important and fearless investigative reporters who, among many groundbreaking stories, exposed the US Army’s 1969 Mỹ Lai Massacre and coverup, the Watergate scandal, the secret bombing of Cambodia, the torture by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib of Iraqi prisoners, and the false narrative told by the US government about the events surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden.

So Sy, let’s talk about why the US destroyed the pipelines, and in your story you write that they began preparing the destruction of the pipelines two months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And then if you can also explain why they saw the pipelines as a threat.

Seymour Hersh:  Well, you’re getting to the core of it, and actually if you wonder why people on the inside might have talked to me about this, it’s because of their disillusionment with what the Obama administration did. The initial plan was the initial idea of a covert team, the set-up to look at the… The initial team was set up only to give options, and that was before Christmas of 2021. We were three months away, or two and a half months away from the invasion. But the Russian, Putin, et cetera, was already moving forces into Belarus. So something was on, and the idea was Jake Sullivan convened a group of the usual: CIA, NSA State Department, Treasury Department, joint chiefs of staff, a small group meeting at a very secret place they have in the executive office building. And I did mention specifics there because I wanted people to know that I knew specifics, because I knew there would be resistance to the story I was writing, which I didn’t learn about till after the bombing took place last September.

At that time, it was just a question of the word of art. The language was very specific. They were told to discuss kinetic or… The way it was actually put was we want reversible and irreversible options. That was the literal, the artful language used and the reversible options would be more sanctions, et cetera, et cetera. And ask Cuba about sanctions. They’ve been sanctioned since ’61. Yeah. And the sanctions as they didn’t work out in Russia too, the current one. And the irreversible would be something kinetic. So within a couple of weeks it was clear the people who advocated for us won the game and they were thinking of military options, and they had all sorts of crazy options. We had learned in the Vietnam War, we mined Haiphong Harbor by dropping mines from a bomb with timers on them from airplanes. It’s amazing, the state of art of mine warfare has grown up enormously.

And so the option was to blow up the pipeline. That’s the one option you can give. And they told the White House, I would guess, I don’t know specifics, but certainly by mid-January they were saying, okay, it’s possible, because people there knew of the capability. We had a very superior school down in the panhandle of Florida, somewhere near something called Panama City. There was a big Navy school for divers, and navy divers, not SEALS. They were navy trained divers. And they had been skilled in the art of blowing up an oil rig. We might not like the good and the bad, they could also clear harbors. But they were experts, and we knew we had the experts. A good bomb could mine anything, even a pipeline. But how to do it wasn’t clear.

But they told the White House in January they had made a connection with Norway. The Norwegian Navy goes back to the Vietnam War with us, really. I’ve written about that, as you probably know. They go back to the provocation that led to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that led to this whole horrible war. There’s an analogy. I’m writing about it because we’re in an analogous situation with Lydon Johnson having the right by lying and doing something deceitful, pretending that North Vietnam had attacked that American destroyer, which it had not, and put us into a war that, as we like to say, killed between two and three Vietnamese, as if between one million or two million isn’t such a big deal. Anyway, whatever racist intonation you want to give it, it’s there.

And in this case, they came up with an option. It was all a terribly secret program that they were doing, they were working with the Norwegians, that’s never been made public. And until actually, as I mentioned, I wrote about it in another [subsequent] piece and the extent to which Norway was in our pocket on this stuff. And so –

Chris Hedges:  Let me ask why –

Seymour Hersh:  Let me just finish the thought. The issue is, initially it was just going to be a threat, that Putin and the hostility from Putin had been growing with America. Americans respond to presidents yipping and yapping about a bad guy, and Putin was a dead letter man in America right now. Right now you can’t talk about him in any rational way. But the question was, once they told the White House that both the president and the undersecretary for political affairs… Whatever her name is.

Chris Hedges:  Victoria Nuland.

Seymour Hersh:  Victoria Nuland, whose husband is one of the original –

Chris Hedges:  Robert Kagan.

Seymour Hersh:  Yeah, Kagan, who’s one of the guys that thought the solution to Al-Qaeda bombing us in the 9/11 was radical hating Saddam. Anyway, whatever. The worst mistake probably made in modern history, even worse, probably, in the long-term, maybe worse than Vietnam because of the consequences that we still are looking at.

Anyway, the only point was that their idea was to construct a mechanism to put Putin back down. We’re going to destroy the second pipeline. The first pipeline, there are two. The first one which went into business in 9/11 [sic] supplying Europe with gas, cheap gas, a lot of it, was cut back, was stopped by Putin himself in 2021 or ’20 just because of the language we were using.

The second one was stopped by us. It was the new pipeline, Nord Stream II. It had been finished in 2020 or ’21 and had been sanctioned by Germany. So we had a pipeline that could have been opened by the Germans but had been sanctioned. And so Biden gives the order to bomb it, and it’s destroyed on September the 26th, months after the… And these guys had, I don’t know whether they had just backed off when he, I don’t know whether they had to go back and put everything online, but they thought it was a dead letter issue. So he does it, and on his command – That’s what people in the CI do, they respond to the crown and not to the Constitution, something I mentioned in the first story – And with a sense of doom, and he blew it up.

And so I’ve done a lot of thinking, a lot of reporting on what was going on in late September that would’ve changed the equation. By blowing up the German pipeline, he was saying there’s no natural gas or oil in West Europe. And there’s been a constant worry going back to the Kennedy days about Russia and their great reservoir of national gas and oil, weaponizing gas to maintain good relationships with Germany. We never liked that. We never liked the fact that Germany and Western Europe were so dependent on Russian fuel.

That always bothered us, particularly Cheney. Cheney worried about it. Condoleezza Rice spoke often about it in the Bush Cheney years, Biden, when he was vice president, chaired a committee that continued – This is not a new idea, trying to remove the… It’s not a new idea to remove this link that would give the Russians some power inside Europe. That was always a nagging issue for us in the Cold War, the world of containment and this whole facade of containment that we think has worked but has not. Anyway, that’s another story.

And so what happened is, and the best I can get, and the people I talk to, obviously I’m longer tooth here in Washington and so I know a lot of people, and in the whole intelligence picture I’m seeing, particularly by late September, is so different than what’s been written in The Times, The Washington Times and The Washington Post. It’s like it’s another world. They’re so dependent on the paper, on briefings from, I guess from the Biden people. I don’t know where they’re getting the stuff they publish.

But by late September, there had been a wonderful alleged victory when the Russians retreated and the Ukrainians ran across dozens of miles of territory. But I will tell you that by late September, at the best, it was going to be a very dark stalemate with no victory possible and Zelenskyy not willing to negotiate. He had backed off and he was in his own little world of total corruption, the corruption of Ukraine. I mean, it’s so bad that the worry we’ve had in the community is that he was in trouble with the generals because he was taking too much of the swag, his cut was too big. I’m serious. So I’m in that level of information that is really good, and I know it’s real, and meanwhile the papers are talking about whatever they’re talking about, but sometimes there’s a hint of darkness.

So in September, I think I will give you what I believe is the rationale for what he did, which is he wanted to prevent Germany, which has always, right now, there was, in case you care, there were two large marches in Berlin last weekend. One, the police said 15,000 or 13,000, And the newspaper people and the people running the protest said it was much closer than 50,000. Tremendous amount against the war, not about the pipeline, against giving more to this war because of the danger it posed. They did a march on Saturday, and Sunday they went to the largest American base near Berlin, Manheim, and surrounded it, and also protested. And apparently in some embassy, I don’t remember whether it was ours or not, they had a destroyed Russian tank on display, and they took down with the display and they put flowers and peace signs on it over that weekend. Not a word in the Western press, not a word in The New York Times. It was a big story in the media in Europe, and certainly even London had good stories on it. Not a word here. It’s like there’s some sort of nimbus, a dark cloud over us.

Anyway, so I think the best guess you have – And I would guess 90% this is good – Is that Biden [inaudible] frightened, that if he saw long war coming, Germany, which was the reluctant to re-arm after World War II, after all, they spent a decade murdering, raping, and killing in Western Europe, among other places, and they’re allies now, they’re all in NATO. So I think what he did is he told NATO and he told Western Europe and he told Germany, we no longer have your back. We’ve always had your back. We no longer have it. You can’t count on us anymore, because this president thinks his war in Ukraine is more important than giving you, the German government, the ability, not this winter, but next winter is going to be a tough one, the ability to keep the factories going and people warm.

Now, right now in Germany, the price of electricity is still rational, and the government is subsidizing up to 20%, in some places more, so people that, particularly in larger cities and the corporations, but the largest corporation and the chemical company in the world just cut back production. It’s been talking to China about moving some facilities there because they can’t predict. They don’t have a predictor. The gas that Russia was pumping in Nord Stream I was cheap and plentiful, and so much that the German corporations that handled the gas were selling it downstream and making a profit, which Russia did care not.

The pipeline Nord Stream I, which was such a boon to the European economy, was owned 51% by Gazprom, oligarchs who kicked back a great deal of money to Russia. To give you some idea how much money that was being produced for Russia and for gas being one, one year, $45 billion was funneled into the Russian economy by Gazprom. 49% of it, the company, was owned by – We’re talking about stockholders – Was owned by four European countries that sold the cheap gas downstream.

So it was a big operation, and they lost Nord Stream I, Nord Stream II was going to pick it back up. So that Biden did this, what some people call an act of war – At least the people involved think it was an act of war, who did the planning for it – Because he no longer trusted West Europe to support him and his venture in Ukraine, which I think the only thing he can think is that presidents in wars always are popular. A war is sustained presidents.

We’ve seen that historically that they go… Bill Clinton came into office with one, don’t tell, don’t… With the attitude allowing gays in the military, there was tremendous resistance and the first couple of months were just a disaster. He probably should have fired some of the members of the joint chief who were openly critical of him. But he didn’t do that. He waffled. But in May, I think it was, he authorized the bombing of Baghdad. The first time the Americans have ever bombed a major capital in the Middle East. And killed eight people, which I remember one official told me only eight. And I said to him, what if one of them was your… His son played on a ball team with mine. That’s how I knew Sandy Berger. Sandy was deputy national security [adviser].

I came in there to do a story about what they did, and he said, what are you worrying about? They’re only eight. And I said, one of them was your son that played third base with my kid, my kid’s baseball team. And he said, get out of this office. Literally. No Republican ever did that to me, even in the Bush, even with Clinton, in the days of Watergate, nobody. There’s always a manner of politeness. He said, get out of my office, somebody I’d known for 20 years.

And so Clinton does the bombing, and the next day was a Saturday, and on Sunday I’m watching, he goes to church, and he’s followed by cameras going to church. It was his best day in the White House. He’d actually bombed and killed people, and that was his best day. And I remember that stuck in my mind forever. So that’s where we’re at with this presidency we have right now, the best day, he thinks it’s going to come when he wins in whatever his fantasy is about Ukraine. It is terrifying.

Chris Hedges:  But he’s losing the war. They’re losing the war, the Russians.

Seymour Hersh:  Well, I don’t know if… I think if you watch The Times and Post like I do, I think they’re beginning to back off, but they still run nothing. I love the stories about Russians raping and brutality. Is there an army that doesn’t rape and brutalize? Are you kidding? What happens when a Russian soldier is captured by the Ukrainians? They’re given blankets and hot coffee?

Chris Hedges:  Well, or those, the Ukrainians argue, are collaborators. What happens to them?

Seymour Hersh:  Well, you’re talking about that famous story about that first village.

Chris Hedges:  Yeah.

Seymour Hersh:  Bucha. And where the reporters were taken by… They never mentioned that they were taken by representatives of the Ukrainian government to this village. Yes. My understanding – I haven’t written this because I follow the war, but I haven’t been writing about it – During the COVID days, I’ve been doing a big project on containment going back to China in ’54. It’s fascinating how dumb we are and have been all along with our anti-communist stuff. But anyway, I’m back in Vietnam too a lot. But their armbands, they were just hell. They put armbands around certain people. And there was a lot of reporting in the European press, not here, that many of the people who were executed so badly had been accused of being Russian supporters or collaborators by the Ukrainians.

So they were killed, and not necessarily by the retreating Russian troops. But I assure you there are abuses by troops everywhere. I mean, rapists, that’s one of the virtues of being a soldier in every war. Don’t think we’re any better than anybody else. We know we’re not. I mean, Mỹ Lai told me [sic] that I went light on the sex stuff at Mỹ Lai. When I wrote my stories, I didn’t want every South Vietnamese soldier to wake up after reading what really happened and getting his revolver and going hunting down that American soldier. I was worried about that. The war was still on. Soldiers do awful things.

Chris Hedges:  Yeah, yeah, I know. And both sides lie like they breathe. I want to ask about the Navy’s Diving and Salvage Center, which you mentioned, because, as you said, it’s not part of America’s special operations command. But it was selected for a reason, not solely because of its expertise, but because, as you write in your story, it allowed the administration not to brief Congress.

Seymour Hersh:  Well, when you’re working with the CIA and the NSA on secret operations, there is a law. The CIA in particular has to do a finding that has to be presented to Congress. Basically it’s to a clerk on a subcommittee of appropriations that only has four members on it. I mean, it’s still a very contained operation, but it has to be briefed. And you also have to brief the Gang of Eight, which is what they call the House and Senate leaders of both parties and the House and Senate members of the Intelligence Committee. And there hasn’t been any collaboration or any good feelings between the two of them since Trump got in. I mean, are you kidding? And would you think about if you’re Biden and you want to run a down and dirty program, do you want to brief Speaker McCarthy about it? I don’t think so.

But whatever the case is, once the reason they pick the divers who are skilled, it’s a school. You pick people that have been trained by them. By the way, the whole trick of an operation like this is very few. You only needed two divers, but you had to pick good ones who not necessarily were at the school, but they’ve been trained by the school and have been in the field doing good and bad, as I wrote. Anyway, once you don’t go to the Navy Seals because they’re in the special operations command, and that requires a finding. So look, this is all just word games, because I wrote a lot for The New Yorker after, when Bush and Cheney were in running ops, they never briefed anything to the Congress. They just said, screw this law, who cares?

But under Biden, it was very convenient to say, once Biden spoke out about the operation and once you only had people there who were from the Navy doing the diving, not SEALS. And once you actually had, even if somebody you actually had, you hadn’t told the joint chiefs much about this because they have to respect certain laws, you can decide it’s no longer a covert operation, it’s now a classified operation. And under rulings they have, the CIA can bring in an army unit, a military unit into an operation that’s classified without briefing Congress. That’s just all games and words. But that is so, that’s what they did. In a way, Biden’s shooting off his mouth, Biden in February, after they gave him a briefing, went public and was asked about if he was trying to stop Russia. We can stop Nord Stream II. We know we can, and we will when we can, that kind of language was used. By the way, not one reporter has asked the White House about that since those early expressions, not one reporter. They just don’t do it.

And it was interesting to me that four days – I didn’t know anything about this then, I was just following it – Four days after the Sept. 26 bombing, which I do think was aimed at keeping Europe away from being tied to Russia because of this long-standing worry about the Russian “weaponization” is the word we used. Four days later, Jake Sullivan, who had convened the initial meeting, had a news conference. He was asked, not right away, I was amazed, not till 11 minutes – I looked at the tape – Was he asked about the bombing under the sea, and he said, yes. He said… I don’t know what they’re feeding the press corps today, but the question was asked in such a way, do you think Russians did it? What?

As somebody said to me about the story I wrote, a friend of mine that’s much smarter than I am. Given that Nuland and Biden had both, in January and February, talked about the possibility of doing it, once they learned it was possible from the secret world, which was really upsetting to the guys in the secret world doing it. Once they said that, anyway, you’d think somebody would ask that question. But instead the first question asked was, do you think the Russians did it? And Sullivan, who had convened the meeting knowing exactly what happened, his answer was, I love this. He said, well, it’s like that, because they’re immediately accusing us and denying. So that seems to be the way the Russians operate. But I will tell you, the Danes and the Swedes are doing an investigation and I said, let’s wait and see until it happens.

So a month later, the Danes and Swedes, Oct. 16, I think, I didn’t even mention this in the article. It’s too stupid to be believed. They announced that they just studied the event for weeks and weeks, and they concluded there was indeed an underwater explosion [Chris laughs]. That was their study. And so here’s the question I’ve asked. Here’s the question that the next time there’s a news conference I asked, please, please, some reporter ask this question: Well, Mr. President, you’re the president and you have the right, absolute right to demand, it’s called, there’s a two, the word of Hartford that skips my mind. He can make a request, he can ask the head of intelligence, the Office of National Intelligence has an intelligence. They’re the top dogs. It’s called The Head of National Intelligence runs all the community, and he can ask them, he can compel him to do a study of what happened and who did the bombing.

And the CIA has an office called the Directorate of Intelligence along with Operations and Science & Technology, which produces a lot of good stuff. There are a lot of bright guys working there. You can ask them to do a study. And if the CIA, when it has people in the field like they did in Norway as a team, it used to be called the C team. It’s all very secret. I’m sure they change everything every week. But there is a team there that does the monitoring. If we have a team abroad, they monitor local phone calls, everything, to make sure nobody’s figured out there’s something ongoing on a very high intense operation, make a study. He’s never asked anybody to do anything. Why don’t you ask if he’s at… Just ask. And the answer will be, of course they haven’t, because they know the answer. This is such a dumb lie they’re into, and they’re going to just lie the rest of the way, because why not?

Chris Hedges:  Let’s talk about the reaction. Let’s talk about the reaction, and in particular the reaction of news organizations. As you, when you and I worked at The Times, if somebody, Washington Post, broke a major story, we had to dig to find out whether we could match it. If we couldn’t match it, we had to acknowledge that The Post ran it. The Times hated doing that. But this reaction is frightening. I’m sure you find… I find it frightening, but I’ll let you take it from there. I mean, I find it kind of staggering.

Seymour Hersh:  Well, the problem with… You’re right. In the early days… I’ll tell you something else we did when I was at The Times, everybody screws up a story. I screwed up a story about a certain ambassador during the Chile crisis, and he was a friend of the paper and Abe Rosenthal. The editor had visited him. He was the ambassador. Ed Corey was the ambassador to Ethiopia at the time. And he had been in Chile, and he had been involved in, there were two aspects to the Chilean operation we did to get at Allende. I mean, the idea that Allende’s death was a suicide is not possible for me to believe. We were after Allende, but there were two levels. There was a propaganda level that the ambassador ran, ranting about him and calling him out. And then there was this secret level of actually paying people to kill people that he was not cut in because he wasn’t trusted by the station because he was a motor mouth, Ed Corey.

And so as a reporter, when I wrote the story, the first story about Chile and the CIA involvement, and Kissinger was angry and all that stuff. He was involved. And there was a Senate committee led by Frank Church who later read, investigated another story I did, the church committee, after domestic spying, and he started, his committee put out a report, and I, like 50 other reporters, I was following the story, wrote a piece for The New York Times about the Senate Committee said this and that about this Chile stuff. And Corey, I mentioned, they had mentioned Corey as being involved in the actual more aggressively than just propaganda. And he, of course, went nuts about it. And even though I had done the same thing others did, he focused on me, and he was right. I later learned that he was cut out.

I later learned that he was cut out of anything involved with the killing stuff because they didn’t trust the ambassador, which happens. And so I was then working on a book on Kissinger, and it was ’81. I’d been out of the paper for a couple years, and I told Abe, well, you know what? We screwed this guy over on page one, even though I wrote the report, six other, eight other people did, but still I wrote it, and New York Times was The New York Times, and so we did a front page correction. I wrote a 3,000 word [story], not only correcting that he wasn’t in it, but describing why he wasn’t in it as a way to write another story about what really happened. And we put it on page one and the response of the peers was pretty much ignoring this exceptional thing, that I wrote a 3,000 word story saying I screwed up stuff, but there was a reason for it, which was made better.

Time magazine, they did a ridiculing piece, the 3,000 word oops, right? They’d run the same story I did earlier, a couple years earlier on the Senate committee. And so Abe Rosenthal said to me, I’ll never forget it, he said, I’m never going to show.. He used a vulgar word for rear end. He said, I’m never going to show my ass to those guys again. Screw them all. I’m done. No more corrections, if this is the way they behave. I spent a month doing it. I’m sure I got paid minimal money. It wasn’t about money. I wasn’t on the staff.

I saw that. You’re right. Even still then The Times covered things that they didn’t report that was of note, but I would say that’s disappeared totally, long before I wrote stuff. I mean, when I was doing stuff for The New Yorker after 9/11, I was doing a lot of stories because I have access all with unnamed sources, but of course The New Yorker knows the sources and the people – By the way, I’m working with New Yorker checkers right now, and an editor who was my editor on The London Review of Books, and I wrote a bunch of stuff for them – And so they stopped chasing stories back then in, I thought, after 9/11. I had a wonderful friend of mine that was on the paper call me and said, well, we all were called in on Sunday about this story, and we called everybody, we can’t match it, so we’re going to forget it.

I said, what? He said, I know, it’s crazy, but they’re not going to do it. So it’s just an old… Values change, and it changed then. Right now what they’re doing is they’re putting America in jeopardy. I mean, that’s a serious charge to make. The Times has a special obligation, its stature, and it still has the staff. The print circulation is way down, as you probably know, down to 330,000, it was 1.7 million. But they’re doing great. They have an online reading. I still get the paper. I’m old-fashioned. My wife’s been reading it online since it started because it’s easier for her. I still get the print, and I like to feel it, and I like to read it that way. But it’s got an obligation to.

The one fight I had with Rosenthal when I worked there that was never resolved wasn’t about the paper’s instinctive anti-communism. It was about the fact that they weren’t an American newspaper. None of this American exceptionalism. They’re an international newspaper and they shouldn’t cover things from the American point of view as they do. That was a big fight I had. Just an intellectual fight, that you’re making a mistake. You’re bigger than that. You got to start covering the story from a world point of view. And they didn’t. He thought I was nuts.

Chris Hedges:  Well, I’m just going to stop there for a minute, but I mean, Abe Rosenthal, a very problematic figure. I mean, those were the glory days. It’s so diminished in terms of its integrity, its ethics, and the quality of its journalism, whether Jeff Gerth, of course, is a great piece. We did an interview with Jeff on the Russia-Trump saga, two years, four years of slogging what was salacious gossip as news, the Caliphate podcast, all that kind of stuff.

I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at That was Sy Hersh, who you can also find at Substack.

World News

Australian National Review – Every Christian In America Is A Target Now





Every Christian in America is a Target Now

By Michael

This is what happens when you systematically suck all of the values out of a society.  There is utter lawlessness in the streets, and violence can literally erupt anywhere.  On Monday, a mass shooter ruthlessly gunned down six Christians at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.  The shooter once attended the school, but after leaving the school the shooter developed a deep hatred for the Christian values promoted there.  Unfortunately, this incident is a microcosm of what is going on in our society as a whole.  Countless voices are stirring up great hatred for the Christian faith, and all of that hate was inevitably going to result in great violence.

When I was growing up, I never imagined that someone would come in to a Christian gathering and start shooting.

But now every Christian in America is a potential target.

If you are a Christian, you will need to be on guard whenever you attend any type of a Christian event from this point forward.

I wish that this wasn’t true, but ignoring the reality of the world that we live in now could get you killed.

Prior to Monday, I am sure that most of those that worked at The Covenant School in Nashville never imagined that something like this would ever happen.  The following comes from NBC News…

Three children and three staff members — whose ages ranged from 9 to 61 — were killed at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday before the shooter, a heavily armed 28-year-old woman, was killed by police, authorities said.

The shooting unfolded at The Covenant School on Burton Hills Boulevard where officers “engaged” the attacker, described by Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake as a former student at the school.

Actually, NBC News is guilty of “misgendering” the shooter, because “Aiden” has not identified as a woman for quite some time…

And it is also being reported that the shooter “had a manifesto and detailed maps of the school”…

Police said the “lone zealot”, who lived in Nashville, was armed with two assault-type rifles, a pistol and a handgun.

Hale had a manifesto and detailed maps of the school, and entered the building by shooting through a door before the killings.

I can guarantee you that this story will disappear from the news cycle faster than other mass shootings, because it is not a story that the corporate media will be eager to tell.

But the truth is that violence against Christians and Christian institutions is on the rise.

The corporate media is always trying to convince us that political violence from the right is such a threat, but the numbers tell us that political violence is far, far more likely to come from the left.  Here is just one example…

There have been 22 times more attacks against pro-life groups since the leak in early May of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade compared to attacks on pro-choice organizations, new data show.

“The overwhelming narrative in the media is the claim those on the right are responsible for most of the politically motivated violence in the U.S. It has been a theme in the news media after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was leaked, with many claiming that there was disproportionate violence against pro-choice providers. But a review of cases shows over 22 times more violence against pro-life advocates,” John Lott, the founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), told Fox News Digital on Monday.

In recent years there have been hundreds of attacks on police by radical leftists, and one lunatic actually put a “bounty” on more than 9,300 Los Angeles police officers…

Three Los Angeles police officers are suing the owner of, accusing him of publishing their photos on his website and putting out a “bounty” on them.

It is the first legal action stemming from the Los Angeles Police Department’s release of the names and photos of almost every sworn officer — more than 9,300 officers, including some who work undercover — as part of a public records request. A police watchdog group posted the images online last Friday.

But these days attacking those that are promoting traditional values has become even trendier than attacking the police.

Sadly, this is happening all over the western world.  Just check out what happened when Posie Parker attempted to hold a public event in New Zealand the other day…

So what was her crime?

She believes that a “woman” is a biological woman.

If you don’t agree with her, then make your case.

But don’t get violent.

Sadly, the “woke crowd” has become so angry and so violent that you can’t even have a rational discussion with them about any of these issues.  I really like how this guy put it…

If you do not go along with their agenda, they will seek to punish you however they can.

In fact, a bill that has just been introduced in the Minnesota legislature would actually take children away from parents that do not allow their kids to get “gender-affirming health care”…

Minnesota lawmakers have advanced legislation introduced by a transgender representative that could strip custody from parents who do not support their child changing genders.
The bill, HF 146, moved forward with a vote of 68-62, along party lines.

The bill says that the state can claim temporary emergency jurisdiction over a child if they are in the state and “the child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care.” It is meant to prevent law enforcement from removing a child from parental custody based on an order made outside the state.

This is what we are becoming as a nation.

And the values that this nation was founded upon are rapidly disappearing…

Patriotism, religious faith, having children and other priorities that helped define the national character for generations are receding in importance to Americans, a new Wall Street Journal-NORC poll finds.

The survey, conducted with NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan research organization, also finds the country sharply divided by political party over social trends such as the push for racial diversity in businesses and the use of gender-neutral pronouns.

People often wonder why I talk about “values” so much.

This is why.

Our country is decaying from within, and most people don’t seem to care.

But if we don’t stand up now while we still can, eventually just about everything that we love about America will be completely gone.

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World News

Australian National Review – The Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Israel





The Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Israel

By James Bamford

While US media fixated on Russian interference in the 2016 election, an Israeli secret agent’s campaign to influence the outcome went unreported.

“Roger, hello from Jerusalem,” read the message from the Israeli secret agent. Dated August 12, 2016, it was addressed to Roger Stone—at the time a key player in Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign. “Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intel. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week.” Later, the agent promised, “October Surprise coming!”

While the American media and political system fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his armies of cyber warriors, trolls, and bots, what was completely missed in the Russiagate investigation of 2016 was the Israeli connection. No details of it were ever revealed in the heavily redacted Mueller Report. Nor was there any mention of an Israeli plot in the similarly redacted Senate Intelligence Committee Report on collusion charges in the 2016 election, or in any of the indictments or trials stemming from the Russia charges. Nor did any mention of Israeli involvement ever leak into the press. Yet I can reveal here the details of an elaborate covert operation personally directed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that aimed to use secret intelligence to clandestinely intervene at the highest levels in the presidential election on behalf of Trump.

Shadowy hints of the plot only became visible with the little-noticed release in 2020 of a heavily redacted May 2018 FBI search warrant and its accompanying affidavit. As part of the Mueller investigation, the bureau had conducted an extensive search for any foreign interference in the 2016 election, and the warrant was directed at securing the Google accounts of a mysterious Israeli agent acting under the direction of someone identified as “PM.” The FBI agent who wrote the affidavit noted, “I believe ‘PM’ refers to the ‘Prime Minister.’”

In the spring of 2016, no issue was more important to Benjamin Netanyahu than Donald Trump winning the White House. The GOP presidential candidate was key to everything he was after, from ending the Iran nuclear agreement, to recognizing Jerusalem—rather than Tel Aviv—as Israel’s capital, to continuing the occupation of Palestine. But November was months away, and there was no guarantee Trump would win. In the meantime, Netanyahu was under mounting pressure from President Barack Obama to finally resolve the issues surrounding Palestine. Leading the charge on behalf of Obama was Secretary of State John Kerry, who was equally determined to find a solution after many years of trying.

Kerry was not alone. The Middle East Quartet, a group formed to mediate the Palestine-Israel peace process that included representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and Russia, was also seeking a solution to the issues surrounding the occupation—and it was about to release a report that was expected to be highly critical of Israel. With so much on the line, Netanyahu appears to have made a drastic decision. He would dispatch a discreet, highly trusted aide, armed with critical intelligence, to covertly “intervene” in the US election to help put his man Trump in the White House. Based on the FBI documents, the intelligence appears to have consisted of advance knowledge of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and it may have included confidential details from the stolen e-mails. It was likely obtained by Israeli eavesdropping operations that were targeting secret Russian communications, as well as those of WikiLeaks.

Although the affidavit did not specify any individual defendants, the numerous potential criminal charges laid out in the FBI documents spoke to the seriousness of the Israeli plot. They included violation of the foreign contributions ban, which prohibits foreigners from contributing money or something of value to federal, state, or local elections. Other charges included aiding and abetting, conspiracy, wire fraud, and attempted conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Still another charge, “unauthorized access to a protected computer,” indicates Israel may have conducted illegal hacking operations. Based on the e-mails and text messages contained in the documents, the conspiracy began in the late spring of 2016, when it was beginning to appear that Trump had a good chance of winning the Republican nomination.

This was also when the FBI and the media began focusing heavily on possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, as a result of Moscow’s hacking of the DNC and the Clinton campaign. But while the Mueller investigation was never able to conclusively demonstrate any collusion with Russia, the FBI did uncover hard evidence of extensive collusion between close Trump associates and the highest levels of the Israeli government.

Donald Trump speaking at a campaign press conference at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Common cause: Donald Trump speaking at a campaign press conference at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC in 2016.

On the sixth floor of a concrete-and-glass high-rise just south of Tel Aviv, behind a door marked “Unit 17” in Hebrew, political operatives plot newer and more creative ways to use fraud to win elections across much of the planet. The 16-story Azrieli Business Center in Holon is home to Archimedes Group, a private intelligence company that boasts that it can “change reality according to our client’s wishes.” Those clients stretch from Africa to Latin America to Southeast Asia.

In Nigeria in 2018, the company’s campaign of lies and misinformation helped reelect former military coup leader Muhammadu Buhari as president. Hired by other would-be presidents and politicians around the world in at least 13 countries, Archimedes soon had 3 million people following its phony Facebook and Instagram accounts. It even created bogus “fact-checking” accounts to lie about its fake news stories, claiming they were based on solid facts.

But in May 2019, Facebook caught on to the various scams and removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts from the orbit of the Archimedes operation. “Archimedes Group,” it said, “has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and other policies, including by engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior. This organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter.”

Archimedes is hardly alone. An Israeli government official told the Times of Israel that outsourcing fake news and voter manipulation is a growth industry in Israel because many young Israelis who serve in intelligence units in the army are trained in the use of “avatars,” or fake identities, on social media. The Israeli government appears to have made no effort to halt or even curb the activity. Such inaction may be deliberate, since a number of the groups that engage in voter manipulation have close ties to the intelligence and defense agencies, possibly providing Netanyahu an opportunity to secretly manipulate foreign elections to Israel’s benefit.

In fact, a recent multinational journalistic investigation revealed that Israel has become a world center for the export of election fraud, fake news, hacking of private e-mails, and disinformation. Connections were discovered between private intelligence firms and both Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the firm Cambridge Analytica, which illegally collected data from more than 87 million Facebook users for use in the 2016 presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

The eight-month international collaborative project involved journalists from 30 news outlets, including Israel’s Haaretz, the UK’s Guardian and Observer, France’s Le Monde, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and Spain’s El Pais. They discovered an Israel-based “global private market in disinformation aimed at elections,” according to The Guardian. Among the individuals unmasked was Tal Hanan, a former Israeli special forces operative and the head of a secretive organization with the code name “Team Jorge” whose specialty was weaponizing disinformation worldwide “to covertly meddle in elections without a trace,” said The Guardian.

Hanan told the undercover reporters that his services had been used in Africa, South and Central America, the US, and Europe, and that his company had completed “33 presidential-level campaigns, 27 of which were successful.”

What was not revealed in this investigation, however, was the separate and far more covert operation undertaken by Netanyahu and his secret agent to clandestinely manipulate America’s 2016 presidential election for Netanyahu’s own political purposes.

Jerusalem attorney Isaac Molho

A discreet man: Jerusalem attorney Isaac Molho is one of Netanyahu’s oldest and most trusted advisers.

For years, the man Netanyahu relied on to do battle with Kerry and the Quartet was his top personal aide, Isaac Molho, a secretive and shadowy private attorney who was trusted with the prime minister’s most sensitive missions. “There has probably never been a person in the history of this country in such a desirable position as Isaac Molho,” Haaretz noted. “He enjoys almost complete silence from the media…. On Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s instructions, Molho undertakes sensitive missions to countries with which Israel has no diplomatic ties. The Mossad supplies him with logistical backing, security and transport.”

Some of Molho’s assignments are too sensitive even for the Mossad—a fact that has at times frustrated those at the spy agency. “The Mossad gritted its teeth over the past eight years while watching the diplomatic missions carried out by Isaac Molho, without any requirement to take a polygraph test and as a private citizen with business and other affairs that are not subject to civil service regulations,” Haaretz said. In addition to national loyalty, Molho, whose wife is Netanyahu’s cousin, may even be acting out of family loyalty.

Although the secret agent’s name was redacted from the FBI’s search warrant, his profile, as outlined in the accompanying affidavit, is strikingly similar to that of Isaac Molho. Like Molho, who was described by Haaretz as a “discreet man for sensitive missions,” the secret agent is described as highly trusted and very close to Netanyahu. Most important, at one point, according to the affidavit, the agent was summoned from the US to Rome at a moment’s notice to be by Netanyahu’s side on a date the Israeli prime minister was conducting negotiations with John Kerry in the Italian capital over Palestine. This critical role was for many years played exclusively by Molho. In addition, the agent referred to in the warrant had enough clout and authority to direct the actions of two other high-ranking Israeli officials involved in the clandestine operation to influence the results of the US election. Molho did not respond to The Nation’s request for comment.

The key for the Israeli agent was finding a back door—a covert channel—to Trump. Roger Stone, long a key Trump aide, fit the bill. Although Stone had formally left the campaign, he and Trump spoke frequently and confidentially. For these calls, Trump would often use the phone of his security director, Keith Schiller, “because he did not want his advisers to know they were talking,” according to Sam Nunberg, a political adviser who served on Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Stone energetically supported Israel’s harsh occupation of the Palestinian territories and its bellicose stance toward Iran; following Trump’s speech at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in March 2016, Stone noted approvingly that “Donald Trump is a radical Zionist.”

Another Trump aide heavily involved in the conspiracy, according to the FBI documents, was Stone’s associate Jerome Corsi, who appears to have been the original contact who connected the Israelis to Stone. An ultraconservative journalist with a doctorate in political science from Harvard and the author of a shelf of books harshly critical of liberals and Democrats, Corsi was a leading literary light of the extreme right. He gained fame in 2004 for his “swiftboating” attacks on the military record of then–presidential candidate John Kerry. The secret agent was particularly drawn to Corsi’s adulation of Israel and support for its belligerence toward Iran.

Hiding behind his online pseudonym “jrlc,” Corsi was also a virulent Islamophobe. Posting on the conservative forum, he has called Islam “a virus” and “a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion” and has written that “Islam is a peaceful religion as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered, and the infidels killed.”

After Corsi provided contact information to Stone, the secret Israeli agent and Stone connected. Then, on May 17, the agent wrote, “Hi Roger, I hope all is well. Our dinner tonight for 7PM is confirmed. I arrive at 4PM. Please suggest a good restaurant that has privacy.” The original plan was for Stone and the agent to meet alone, but Stone wanted to bring Corsi along as backup. “I am uncomfortable meeting without Jerry,” Stone wrote, and then rescheduled the dinner for the next day.

According to the FBI warrant, the same day that Stone communicated with the Israeli agent, he began Googling some very strange terms, including “guccifer” and “dcleaks.” It would be nearly a month before those same terms would make headlines around the world. On June 14, The Washington Post reported that the DNC had been hacked by Russian government agents. The next day, someone calling himself “Guccifer 2.0” took credit for the attack. He claimed to be an American hacktivist, but according to a Justice Department indictment in July 2018, he was actually a Russian GRU employee. Soon afterward, the website DCLeaks—another front for the GRU—began releasing hacked Democratic Party documents.

The timing implies that the Israeli agent was Stone’s most likely source of confirmed details of a Russian cyberattack on the DNC, a month before it became known to anyone outside of the Kremlin and the GRU. If that’s the case, there are two critical questions: How did the Israeli agent know, and why was he revealing the details to a close associate of Trump rather than to the Obama administration, Israel’s supposed ally?

On May 18, the day after Stone’s Google searches, Stone, Corsi, and the Israeli agent met for dinner at the 21 Club on 52nd Street in New York City. The restaurant, which features a balcony lined with painted iron lawn jockeys, was a regular Trump hangout. At the top of the agent’s agenda was getting Stone to quickly set up a confidential meeting with the candidate. The next day, the agent pressed Stone in an e-mail: “Did You Talk To Trump This Morning? Any News?” But Stone was coy. “Contact made—interrupted—mood good.”

Then, in early June, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, Stone learned that Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, was about to release something “big.” Stone relayed the details to Rick Gates, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, and told him that Assange appeared to have Clinton’s e-mails. Yet it wasn’t until later, on June 12, that Assange would publicly announce that WikiLeaks had “emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.”

These were the first of many tips to Stone that appear to have come from his new Israeli friend. Two days later, the DNC announced that it had been hacked by Russia. The day after that, Stone again Googled “Guccifer” and “dcleaks,” hours before Guccifer 2.0 publicly claimed responsibility. On June 21, as Guccifer released more documents, the Israeli agent notified Stone that he was in New York accompanied by a senior official and would like a meeting with Trump. “RS: Secret,” said the message, according to the FBI documents. “Cabinet Minister [redacted] in NYC. Available for DJT meeting.”

Other parts of the message were also redacted, but in the affidavit the FBI revealed the cabinet minister’s official title: “According to publicly-available information, during this time [redacted] was a Minister without portfolio in the [redacted] cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs.” At the time, the only minister without portfolio in the Israeli government was Tzachi Hanegbi, one of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s oldest and closest confidants, and Wikipedia (the likely source of the FBI agent’s “publicly- available information”) uses nearly identical language to describe him. Israeli press reports at the time indicated that Hanegbi was in the United States on that date as part of a delegation attending the unveiling of Israel’s new F-35 stealth fighter jet.

Married to an American from Florida and fluent in English, Hanegbi previously held a post as minister of intelligence supervising Mossad and Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service. The question is, why would a high-level confidant of Netanyahu’s, with an intelligence background and close American links, seek a secret meeting with a US presidential candidate?

Trump had been busy, hustling from city to city on the campaign trail and hitting several rallies a day. Taking valuable time to meet a couple of Israeli contacts was not a high priority, especially without any idea what the meeting would be about. So, on June 25, Hanegbi returned to Israel. “Roger, Minister left,” said the Israeli agent. “Sends greetings from PM. When am I meeting DJT? Should I stay or leave Sunday as planned?” The next day, Stone replied, “I would not leave as we hope to schedule the meeting mon or tues.”

One possible explanation of the agent’s sense of urgency was Obama’s and Kerry’s increasing pressure on Netanyahu to resolve the Palestinian issue. A key element of that solution would be agreeing to negotiate an equitable division of Jerusalem, since both sides claimed it as their capital. But if his secret agent could confidentially meet with Trump and get a commitment that, if elected, he would support keeping Jerusalem undivided, then Netanyahu could ignore Obama. An election win for Trump, therefore, would also be a win for Netanyahu. Especially since the candidate was already fully committed to another key issue for Netanyahu: canceling the nuclear deal with Iran.

Trump and Netanyahu

A united front: Trump and Netanyahu participate in a joint statement in the East Room of the White House in 2020.

Suddenly, there was a change in plans. According to the FBI documents, the agent was ordered by Netanyahu to postpone the appointment with Trump and instead get on the next plane for Rome. In a last-minute effort to find a solution to Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue, meetings in the Italian capital were set up between Netanyahu, Kerry, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. Netanyahu wanted his aide, the agent, at his side. At the meeting, the elephant in the room was a forthcoming report by the Middle East Quartet. It was expected by all to be extremely critical of Israel for its apartheid settlement policies and its treatment of the occupied Palestinians.

The night before the meeting, Netanyahu and Kerry met for dinner at Pierluigi, a popular seafood restaurant in Piazza de Ricci, a block from the Tiber. “What is your plan for the Palestinians?” Kerry asked as the prime minister began chain-smoking a batch of thick Cuban cigars. “What do you want to happen now?” Netanyahu offered a vague response involving a regional initiative, but Kerry wasn’t buying it. “You have no path of return to direct talks with the Palestinians, or a channel to talks with Arab countries,” Kerry told the prime minister, according to Haaretz. “You’ve hit the glass ceiling. What’s your plan?” he asked again. But Netanyahu may well have had one: to use his agent, perhaps sitting with them at that very table, to help put Trump in the White House.

On June 28, after the meeting in Rome had concluded, the agent quickly dashed off another message to Stone: “RETURNING TO DC AFTER URGENT CONSULTATIONS WITH PM IN ROME. MUST MEET WITH YOU WED. EVE AND WITH DJ TRUMP THURSDAY IN NYC.”

The meeting with Trump was rescheduled for 1 pm on Wednesday, July 6, before the candidate took off for a rally in Sharonville, Ohio. The Israeli agent flew to New York the day before and checked into the St. Regis, the French Beaux Arts–style hotel on East 55th Street. The next morning, he had planned to rendezvous with Stone in the lobby for a pre-meeting discussion. “At the St Regis With Lt General. Waiting For You Thank You,” he wrote.

But there were problems involving secrecy. Stone, at his home in Florida, had come down with a bad cold and was too ill to travel, so he arranged for Corsi to make the introduction. That made the Israeli agent uncomfortable because of the sensitive nature of the discussion. “I have to meet Trump alone,” he said, and they agreed that Corsi would leave after the introduction. There was still another problem, however. The meeting was meant to be secret, but the agent was accompanied by an Israeli lieutenant general. So once again the meeting had to be postponed.

Who was this lieutenant general? Unlike in the United States, where the highest military rank is a four-star general, in Israel it’s a three-star lieutenant general, and there is only one, the chief of the General Staff, the commander in chief of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)—the equivalent of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the time, that was Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. But it’s unlikely that Eizenkot was the person waiting in the lobby of the St. Regis to meet with Trump. Eizenkot had little to do with the election—and had actually sided with Obama on the issue of Iran. In January 2016, he said that the nuclear deal “had actually removed the most serious danger to Israel’s existence for the foreseeable future, and greatly reduced the threat over the longer term.”

Instead, it may have been Eizenkot’s predecessor, Benny Gantz, who had retired as head of the IDF in February 2015 but still held the rank of lieutenant general in the reserves and was often referred to by his military title. He was in charge of the IDF during Israel’s war on Palestinians in Gaza in 2014. It was a war that produced a “vastly disproportionate” number of civilian deaths: 1,400 of the nearly 2,300 people killed in the conflict, according to Human Rights Watch. Gantz would later boast that “parts of Gaza were sent back to the Stone Age.”

In May 2020, Gantz would become the second-most-powerful person in Israel under Netanyahu, as the alternate prime minister. At the time of the canceled meeting with Trump, however, he was the chairman of Fifth Dimension, an Israeli private intelligence company run by a former deputy head of Mossad, with another former Mossad member as CEO.

Fifth Dimension wasn’t the only Israeli spy company with close ties to Israeli intelligence. Another was Psy Group, a private intelligence firm that operated under the motto “Shape Reality.” Earlier that year, on behalf of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Psy Group had carried out Project Butterfly, a covert operation that spied on and attacked Americans who supported the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In April 2016, it offered Trump campaign official Rick Gates another secret operation, Project Rome. The subtitle of the six-page proposal clearly spelled out its objective to covertly interfere with the US presidential election: “Campaign Intelligence & Influence Services Proposal.”

Secrecy was paramount. “We recommend keeping this activity compartmentalized and on need-to-know basis since secrecy is a key factor in the success of the activity,” the proposal said. “Due to the sensitivity of some of the activities and the need for compartmentalization and secrecy, Psy Group will use code names.” Trump was called “Lion,” Hillary Clinton was “Forest,” and Ted Cruz was “Bear.” “This document details the services proposed by Psy Group for the ‘Lion’ project between now and July 2016,” the proposal noted, referring to the period of the US primaries.

The Project Rome proposal read like an official Ministry of Strategic Affairs or Mossad operational document, referring to “multisource intelligence collection,” “covert sources,” “automated collection and analysis,” and an “intelligence dossier on each target, including actionable intelligence.” “Once the information has been uncovered or extracted, it is delivered to the Influence platform for use in the campaign as needed,” the proposal said.

Project Rome’s “Influence+ process” platform involved targeting American voters through “authentic-looking 3rd party platforms”—that is, fake news sites—and also through the use of “tailored avatars,” thousands of phony social media accounts on platforms such as Facebook. “The purpose of these platforms is to engage the targets and actively convince them or sway their opinion towards our goals.” The “targets” were unwitting American voters. “The team will include over 40 intelligence and influence experts,” the document said. Then there were what internal company e-mails called “physical world ops like counter protesters, hecklers, etc.” The techniques were nearly identical to those used by the Israeli firms Archimedes Group and “Team Jorge” to secretly throw elections around the world.

The price tag for the operation was $3,210,000, with another $100,000 for media expenses and $400,000 more for “negative opposition.” It appears that Gates, wisely, passed on Project Rome. The key players behind Psy Group later formed a new Israeli company, Percepto International. Also investigated by the international journalism collaboration, it was labeled “an Israeli factory for online deception” by Haaretz.

Despite the Trump campaign’s rejection of Project Rome, covert high-level approaches to Roger Stone to get directly to Trump continued.

“Hi Roger,” the Israeli agent wrote on July 8. “Have you rescheduled the meeting with DJT? The PM is putting pressure for a quick decision.” Stone wrote back that Trump would not be back in New York until after the Republican National Convention, so the meeting would have to be postponed until then. He added, “Sorry about the fiasco last week, however you can’t just bring the General without tell[ing] me.”

As Trump stormed the Midwest for votes, Guccifer 2.0 was making final preparations for another major release of documents. On July 14, Guccifer sent WikiLeaks an e-mail titled “big archive,” with a one-gigabyte encrypted attachment. Four days later, on July 18, the WikiLeaks Twitter account notified Guccifer the data had been received and that release of the hacked DNC e-mails was planned for later in the week.

On or around the next day, Donald Trump was in his New York office venting at the press for its criticism of his wife Melania’s Republican convention address the night before. There were accusations that she had borrowed passages from a speech by Michelle Obama. At some point, however, according to Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, Trump took a phone call from Roger Stone.

“Roger, how are you?” said Trump.

“Good,” Stone replied. “Just want to let you know I got off the telephone a moment ago with Julian Assange. And in a couple of days, there’s going to be a massive dump of e-mails that’s going to be extremely damaging to the Clinton campaign.”

Trump was pleased. “Uh, that’s good. Keep me posted,” he said into a small black speaker box on his desk. Sitting nearby was Michael Cohen. “Do you believe him? Do you think Roger really spoke to Assange?” Trump asked.

“I don’t know,” Cohen said. “Roger is Roger, and for all you know, he was looking on his Twitter account. I don’t know the answer.”

In the end, neither Mueller’s team nor the FBI could ever find any substantive or conspiratorial communications between Stone and WikiLeaks. He had exchanged a few innocuous messages with Guccifer, later reviewed by the FBI, but there was no indication of how Stone could have known what he knew—which left only one apparent explanation: that the information had been passed to him by Netanyahu’s agent. As in the case of the DNC hack, the information was 100 percent accurate. There was never any evidence that Stone learned of the releases from either WikiLeaks or the Russians, but during that period both he and Jerome Corsi were in contact with the Israeli agent. Israel’s version of the NSA, Unit 8200, which employs some of the most highly trained signals intelligence specialists in the world and is equipped with advanced intercept capabilities, may well have been surveilling Russia and WikiLeaks.

Three days later, on July 22, as Hillary Clinton was preparing to announce her choice of a running mate on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks released approximately 20,000 e-mails stolen from the DNC. “I guess Roger was right,” Trump told Cohen. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, agreed. Sitting on the tarmac in his plane, about to take off for his next rally, Trump delayed the flight for half an hour to work the messages into his speech. Hungry for more, he later told Manafort to keep in touch with Stone about future WikiLeaks releases.

On Wednesday, July 29, the Israeli agent was back in touch with Stone and Corsi and eager to connect with Trump now that the convention was over and he was the Republican nominee. “HI ROGER,” the agent wrote. “HAVE YOU SET UP A NEW MEETING WITH TRUMP? I PLAN TO BE BACK IN THE US NEXT WEEK. PLEASE ADVISE. THANK YOU.” Stone sent a message to Manafort about finding a time to communicate, writing that there was “good shit happening.” The next day, the two spoke on the phone for 68 minutes. The following day, July 31, Stone had two phone calls with Trump that lasted over 10 minutes.

Then on Tuesday, August 2, despite previous failed attempts to connect with Assange, Corsi was nevertheless able to send a detailed message to Stone about WikiLeaks’ future plans:

Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging…. Time to let more than Podesta to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke—neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.

Corsi later told Stone that there was “more to come than anyone realizes. Won’t really get started until after Labor Day.” The details, including the first indication that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was a target, were coming from somewhere other than Assange.

“Roger—As per PM we have one last shot before moving on,” the Israeli agent wrote to Stone on August 9. “Can you deliver? History will not forgive us. TRUMP IN FREE FALL. OCTOBER SURPRISE COMING!” What the “October Surprise” consisted of was left unexplained, but the implication was that there would be a spectacular new release of stolen e-mails, possibly centering on Podesta.

Three days later, the agent was even more frantic. He sent Stone his “hello from Jerusalem” message, promising that his government was prepared to “intervene” in the US election to help Trump win the presidency and offering to share critical intelligence to make it happen. Stone replied cryptically: “Matters complicated. Pondering.” Then, the following week, on August 20, Corsi suggested a meeting with the secret agent to determine “what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct.”

From the messages, it appears that Israel either had its own October Surprise planned or was aware of Guccifer’s planned release of the Podesta e-mails before the election. The day after Corsi suggested meeting with Netanyahu’s agent, Stone for the first time publicly indicated that Podesta would soon become a target of WikiLeaks—thereby predicting the event six weeks before it happened. “Trust me, it will soon the [sic] Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary,” said his tweet. Since neither Assange nor Guccifer was a source for either Corsi or Stone, the tweet once again points to the Israeli agent who was in communication with both of them about the October Surprise.

The prospect of an October Surprise, along with the offer of critical intelligence, apparently got Trump’s attention. On September 25, he and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met privately with Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer in his Trump Tower penthouse. Later that day, he publicly announced that if he was elected, his administration would finally “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.” Since 1947, there has been virtual unanimity within the international community—and among US presidents—that the future of Jerusalem must be the subject of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Now Trump was vowing to trash that consensus, along with the Palestinians, and support Netanyahu’s agenda. Whether Trump and the Israeli agent ever met in person is unclear. By late summer, Stone and Corsi were becoming increasingly concerned about potential charges, and to eliminate a paper trail they began meeting only in private with the agent. What is very clear, however, is that in the end Netanyahu got what he wanted—and so did Trump.

Around the same time, Stone had a conversation with Paul Manafort, who by then had left the campaign but stayed in communication with Trump’s political circles. According to Manafort’s later Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, Stone told him that “John Podesta was going to be in the barrel,” repeating the claim he made by tweet on August 21, and that “there were going to be leaks of John Podesta’s emails.” A few days later, on September 29, Stone called Trump, who was on the way to New York’s LaGuardia Airport in his black bulletproof limo. After concluding the call, Trump told Rick Gates, who was sitting next to him, that “more releases of damaging information would be coming.”

On October 7, WikiLeaks unleashed 2,050 Podesta e-mails that were damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign—just as Stone had predicted a month and a half earlier. But Stone’s concern about potential criminal charges seems to have turned into outright paranoia. Given that he had no close links to Assange or the Russians, the likely focus of his concerns were his numerous communications with the Israeli secret agent. After all, Stone had discussed clandestine foreign intervention in a presidential election, had made arrangements for Trump to meet a foreign agent, and had predicted the October Surprise. The prospect that authorities might look into any of these actions could certainly have been sufficient to rattle his nerves.

By secretly assisting Netanyahu’s agent in an attempt to make contact with a presidential candidate—aware that he intended to interfere in the US election on behalf of his country—both Stone and Corsi could have faced serious charges as agents of a foreign power under Section 951 of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to covertly assist a foreign government without registering.

Even before WikiLeaks released the Podesta e-mails in October, Stone and Corsi seemed to become nervous that someone would discover their back channel. Soon after the “Podesta’s time in the barrel” tweet in August, Stone and Corsi tried to find a way to somehow account for that unique insight. On August 30, Corsi said in his 2019 book Silent No More, “I suggested Stone could use me as an excuse, claiming my research on Podesta and Russia was the basis for Stone’s prediction that Podesta would soon be in the pickle barrel.” He added, “I knew this was a cover-story, in effect not true, since I recalled telling Stone earlier in August that Assange had Podesta e-mails that he planned to drop as the ‘October Surprise.’” The next day, Corsi said, he e-mailed to Stone “a nine-page background memorandum on John Podesta that I had written that day at Stone’s request.”

Following the Podesta dump, the cover-up became more frantic. Stone ordered Corsi to delete e-mails related to Podesta and hid his own communications with Corsi about WikiLeaks. Stone also pointed a finger at Randy Credico, a onetime friend who had a radio program in New York, as his back channel to WikiLeaks. Credico had interviewed Assange on his program, but that was four days after Stone’s tweet about Podesta’s upcoming time in the barrel. Credico denied under oath that he had acted as a back channel for Stone, and there was never any evidence to show he had.

In a predawn raid on January 25, 2019, heavily armed FBI agents stormed Roger Stone’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home and placed him under arrest. He was charged with seven criminal offenses, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. Later that day, Stone was released on a $250,000 signature bond. Defiant, he said he would refuse to “bear false witness” against Trump. Finally, on November 15, 2019, after a weeklong trial and two days of deliberations, Stone was convicted on all counts and sentenced to 40 months in federal prison. But on July 10, 2020, a few days before Stone was to turn himself in, Trump commuted his sentence, personally calling him with the news.

Throughout this chain of events—including the trial, the Mueller Report, and the nearly 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee Report—no hint of the involvement of Israel was made public. Despite the clear violations of US law and months of clandestine, high-level attempted interference in the presidential election, no details were released, and no congressional hearings or investigations took place. Nor was there ever a hint in the press, which remained transfixed by Russia.

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Australian National Review – Governance By Artificial Intelligence:The Ultimate Unaccountable Tyranny: The Elites Will Present AI As The Great Adjudicator, The Pure And Logical Intercessor Of The Correct Path; Not Just For Nations And For Populations At Large But For Each Individual





Governance By Artificial Intelligence:The Ultimate Unaccountable Tyranny: The elites will Present AI as the Great adjudicator, the Pure and Logical Intercessor of the Correct Path; Not Just for Nations and For Populations at Large But for Each individual

By Brandon Smith

It’s no secret that globalist institutions are obsessed with Artificial Intelligence as some kind of technological prophecy. They treat it as if it is almost supernatural in its potential and often argue that every meaningful industrial and social innovation in the near future will owe its existence to AI. The World Economic Forum cites AI as the singular key to the rise of what they call the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” In their view, there can be no human progress without the influence of AI algorithms, making human input almost obsolete.

This delusion is often promoted by globalist propagandists.  For example, take a look at the summarized vision of WEF member Yuval Harari, who actually believes that AI has creative ability that will replace human imagination and innovation.  Not only that, but Harari has consistently argued in the past that AI will run the world much better than human beings ever could.

Harari’s examples of AI creativity might sound like extreme naivety to many of us, but he knows exactly what he is doing in misrepresenting the capabilities of algorithms.  Games like chess and Go are games of patterns restricted by rules, there only so many permutations of these patterns in any given scenario and AI is simply faster at spotting them than most humans because that is what it is designed to do by software creators.  This is no different that solving a mathematical equation; just because a calculator is faster than you does not mean it is “creative.”

There is a big difference between cognitive automation and cognitive autonomy.  AI is purely automation; it will play the games it is programmed to play and will learn to play them well, but it will never have an epiphany one day and create a new and unique game from scratch unless it is coded to do so.  AI will never have fun playing this new game it made, or feel the joy of sharing that game with others, so why would it bother?  It will never seek to contribute to the world any more than it is pre-programmed to do.

The manner in which globalists hype AI is very tactical, however.  When Harari claims that many people will become part of the “useless class” once AI takes over the economy, he is hinting at another globalist ideology based on elitism – Transhumanism.  The goal of transhumanism is to one day merge human bodies and human minds with technology and AI, and only a limited group of people will have the resources to accomplish this (the globalists).

Are you afraid of becoming part of the “useless class”?  Well, if you scrape and beg and serve every whim of the elitist establishment then maybe you will be lucky enough to get implants which allow you to interface with AI, and then your future employment and “usefulness” will be secured.  Doesn’t that sound nice?

But, like all the visions of narcissists there are delusions of godhood and then there is reality.  I continue to have serious doubts that AI will ever be legitimately autonomous or legitimately beneficial to humanity in any way beyond having the ability to calculate quickly within mathematical rules. Speedy data analysis can be useful in many areas of science, but it’s not really proof of autonomous intelligence, and algorithms can be predictive but not any more predictive than human beings looking at the same statistical data. There is nothing about AI that is impressive when one considers what little it actually accomplishes.

AI is a toy, a parlor trick, not a living entity with independent observations and conclusions. And, it’s certainly not a god-like being capable of showering us with scientific ambrosia or building a perfect civilization.  I predict that a society dependent on AI will actually stagnate and remain trapped in stasis, never really inventing anything of much value and never progressing.  It will only ever be concerned with homogenization – The merging of people with the algorithm.  That is where ALL the society’s energies will go.

As a point of reference to why AI is overrated, all we have to do is look at the behavior of AI programs like ChatGPT; the algorithm has been discovered on numerous occasions to contain extreme political biases always leaning to the far-left, including biases based in beliefs not backed in any way by scientific evidence. Interestingly, ChatGPT will even at times display a seemingly hostile response to conservative concepts or inconvenient facts. The bot will then DENY it is giving personal opinions even when its responses are consistently pro-leftist.

How is political bias possible for a piece of software unless it was programmed to display that bias? There is no objectivity to be found in AI, nor any creativity, it will simply regurgitate the personal opinions or biases of the people that created it and that engineered how it processes data.

Unlike a typical human teenager that seeks to adopt the opposing social or political beliefs of their parents in order set themselves apart, AI will never metaphorically dye its hair blue, pierce its nose and proclaim itself vegan – It will always do what its creators want it to do.  Another example of this dynamic is AI art, which essentially steals the stylistic properties of numerous human artists entered into its database and copies them. While imitation might be considered the highest form of flattery, it’s not the same as creativity.

This might not sound like much of a problem when it comes to a simple chatbot or the making of cartoons. But, it’s a massive problem when we start talking about AI influencing social and governmental policies.

The globalists argue that AI will be everywhere – In business, in schools, in corporate operations, in scientific enterprises, and even within government. It MUST run everything. Why? They don’t really say why other than to make vague promises of incredible advancements and previously unimaginable benefits. To date, there have been no profound innovations produced by AI, but I suppose pro-AI propagandists will say that the golden age is “right around the corner.”

The uses for AI are truly limited to helping humans with simple tasks, but there is still a cost. A self driving car might be great for a person that is physically handicapped, but it can also be a crutch that convinces a population to never learn to drive themselves. By extension, AI is in a lot of ways the ULTIMATE crutch which leads to ultimate tyranny. If people are convinced to hand over normal human processes and decision making opportunities to automation, then they have handed over their freedoms in exchange for convenience.

More importantly, if algorithms are allowed to dictate a large portion of choices and conclusions, people will no longer feel a sense of accountability for their actions. Regardless of the consequences, all they have to do for the rest of their lives is tell themselves they were only following the suggestions (or orders) of AI. The AI becomes a form of external collectivized conscience; an artificial moral compass for the hive mind.

But who will really be controlling that moral compass and bottle-necking the decisions of millions of people? Will it be the AI, or the elites behind the curtain that manipulate the algorithm?

For many people this probably sounds like science fiction. Yes, there have been many fictional imaginings of what the world would be like in the shadow of AI – I would highly recommend the French New Wave film ‘Alphaville’ as one of the most accurate predictions on the horrors of AI and technocracy. However, what I am warning about here is not some far off theoretical future, it is already here. Take a look at this disturbing video on AI from the World Government Summit:

These are the blatant goals of globalists in plain view, with a sugar coating to make them more palatable. I wrote about the motivations of the elites and their worshipful reverence for AI in my article ‘Artificial Intelligence: A Secular Look At The Digital Antichrist’. That piece was focused on the philosophical drives that make globalists desire AI.

In this article I want to stress the issue of AI governance and how it might be made to appeal to the masses. In order to achieve the dystopian future the globalists want, they still have to convince a large percentage of the population to applaud it and embrace it.

The comfort of having a system that makes difficult decisions for us is an obvious factor, as mentioned above. But, AI governance is not just about removing choice, it’s also about removing the information we might need to be educated enough to make choices. We saw this recently with the covid pandemic restrictions and the collusion between governments, corporate media and social media. Algorithms were widely used by web media conglomerates from Facebook to YouTube to disrupt the flow of information that might run contrary to the official narrative.

In some cases the censorship targeted people merely asking pertinent questions or fielding alternative theories. In other cases, the censorship outright targeted provably factual data that was contrary to government policies. A multitude of government claims on covid origins, masking, lockdowns and vaccines have been proven false over the past few years, and yet millions of people still blindly believe the original narrative because they were bombarded with it nonstop by the algorithms. They were never exposed to the conflicting information, so they were never able to come to their own conclusions.

Luckily, unlike bots, human intelligence is filled with anomalies – People who act on intuition and skepticism in order to question preconceived or fabricated assertions. The lack of contrary information immediately causes suspicion for many, and this is what authoritarian governments often refuse to grasp.

The great promise globalists hold up in the name of AI is the idea of a purely objective state; a social and governmental system without biases and without emotional content. It’s the notion that society can be run by machine thinking in order to “save human beings from themselves” and their own frailties. It is a false promise, because there will never be such a thing as objective AI, nor any AI that understand the complexities of human psychological development.

Furthermore, the globalist dream of AI is driven not by adventure, but by fear. It’s about the fear of responsibility, the fear of merit, the fear of inferiority, the fear of struggle and the fear of freedom. The greatest accomplishments of mankind are admirable because they are achieved with emotional content, not in spite of it. It is that content that inspires us to delve into the unknown and overcome our fears. AI governance and an AI integrated society would be nothing more than a desperate action to deny the necessity of struggle and the will to overcome.

Globalists are more than happy to offer a way out of the struggle, and they will do it with AI as the face of their benevolence. All you will have to do is trade your freedoms and perhaps your soul in exchange for never having to face the sheer terror of your own quiet thoughts. Some people, sadly, believe this is a fair trade.

The elites will present AI as the great adjudicator, the pure and logical intercessor of the correct path; not just for nations and for populations at large but for each individual life. With the algorithm falsely accepted as infallible and purely unbiased, the elites can then rule the world through their faceless creation without any oversight – For they can then claim that it’s not them making decisions, it’s the AI.  How does one question or even punish an AI for being wrong, or causing disaster? And, if the AI happens to make all its decisions in favor of the globalist agenda, well, that will be treated as merely coincidental.

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