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Aletho News

Aletho News
13 Aug 2022 | 2:10 am

If Covid isn’t causing soaring deaths, is the jab to blame?


By Guy Hatchard | TCW Defending Freedom | August 12, 2022

EXCESS all-cause mortality in New Zealand is running at record levels. About 100 people are dying each day in a country with a population of five million. A few times during the last couple of months, we have asked a key question: What are people dying of?

Ministry of Health data records that about seven people are dying each day with Covid, but only about a maximum of three of these because of Covid. That is just three per cent of deaths. Occupancy of intensive care beds with Covid hovers around three to five per cent Therefore it is not Covid that is overwhelming our hospitals, so what is?

The Ministry of Health and mainstream media have been talking vaguely about a bad flu season, but a quick check of the FluTracking website reveals that the 2022 flu season is not even as bad as 2019.

My plumber was doing a job for me last week and complained about staff falling ill continuously. Sick leave among teachers in New Zealand is up by 80 per cent. The newspapers are reporting businesses are closing because of staff shortages exacerbated by 'winter illness', but as the incidence of flu is not that high, what could be going on?

An article on the Stuff news website contains an important hint: Te Whatu Ora Taranaki hospital emergency department clinical nurse manager Therese Manning said while there had not been much change in the number of presentations to department in the last five years, the patients tend to be more unwell and therefore likely to stay in hospital longer.'

Acute presentations at emergency departments are increasing, but what are the patients ill with? We aren't being told and may never be, if our health czars are allowed to continue to deny access to information.

This week it has been reported (correctly) that six Canadian doctors died suddenly (at least three of them immediately after receiving their mandatory fourth Covid shot), but hospitals refused to release the cause of death or vaccination status, citing privacy concerns. The authorities have vehemently denied that the deaths could be related to mRNA vaccination. See this article for a summary.

I don't know if you have noticed, but stories about sudden death incidents seem to have dropped off the mainstream media radar. Three years ago a sudden unexplained death might have made the headlines, but today if they are reported at all, they only remain on the visible online page for a very short time. You might have missed this one.

Yet, as the Taranaki Hospital emergency department data and the all-cause mortality data reveal, acute illness and sudden death are at an all-time high. Life insurance data from the US paints a similar picture.

So have our newspapers ceased to care, or are they, like the hospitals and emergency services, too inundated to cope? Having heavily promoted mRNA vaccination for 18 months, are they too embarrassed to ask questions?

Not everyone is keeping silent. Professor Shmuel C Shapira, longtime head of the Israeli Institute of Biological Research, has been speaking out about the failure of the Israeli mRNA Pfizer vaccination programme, describing it as a house of cards about to come tumbling down.

He tweeted: 'I am not against vaccines, I am against stupidity, false science and management that is not professional and ignores matters of fact.'

Dr Clare Craig, a former NHS diagnostic pathologist, is also raising her voice. On GB News, she analysed official German government data. This shows that one in every 5,000 doses causes a serious reaction to Covid vaccines. But it doesn't stop there. The German government conducted a survey of more than half a million vaccine recipients. It found that one in 500 reported a serious adverse reaction after an mRNA dose (more than ten times the underreported official count).

If you are worried that lightly-affected Germans are inflating the figures, don't be. The definition of a serious adverse reaction requires that a person be hospitalised or suffer a permanently life-changing event.

Dr Craig invited us to step back from the modelling and government guidance about efficacy and safety, and consider that Covid data from around the world does not show that mRNA vaccination leads to any reduction in deaths. Most illustrative are comparisons between comparable countries with high and low vaccination rates.

For example, compare Israel, with close to 100 per cent vaccinated (and most boosted with four doses), with Palestine, with just 40 per cent double-vaccinated.

Israel has 1,204 Covid-related deaths per million population and Palestine 1,182 deaths per million – roughly the same. It thus becomes apparent that mRNA vaccination does not reduce the Covid death rate.

Look at the Covid data from Africa and the picture becomes more concerning. Africa has a vaccination rate of 15 per cent, a population three times larger than Europe, and nine million confirmed Covid cases. Whereas Europe has 240million cases, and a Covid vaccination rate around 90 per cent.

Just remember that analysis of Covid death data does not include rising all-cause deaths unrelated to Covid infection. The evidence points to reduced immunity as a result of mRNA vaccination.

Dr Craig reported that the UK public are voting with their feet and failing to come in for boosters (and they are stopping bringing in their children for this dangerous jab). Aren't we all in sympathy? We are waiting for our doctors to speak up and our courts to do the math.

The writer is in New Zealand.

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 10:50 pm

CDC says COVID vaccine status no longer relevant


By Mike Campbell | The Counter Signal | August 12, 2022

The CDC has dropped special quarantine recommendations for unvaccinated persons, finally admitting that natural immunity should be considered and that vaccines don't stop infection.

"CDC's COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person's vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur, though they are generally mild, and persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection," their update reads.

The CDC removed the recommendation that unvaccinated persons quarantine after they're exposed to the virus. They now recommend that individuals wear a mask for ten days post-exposure and get tested after five days.

The CDC further acknowledged that the Omicron variant of COVID poses a smaller risk of hospitalization and death than previous variants.

This announcement will likely pressure Canada's health authorities (and Trudeau) to follow suit. Although numerous countries dropped their medical segregation policies long ago, Canada remains one of the last to do so.

Moreover, each consecutive variant appears to be weakening, with immunity (including natural immunity) being widespread. Although Canada has an abnormally high amount of mask and vaccine fanatics, the remaining medical segregation could soon be a thing of the past.

With that said, Canada's health authorities have done nothing but warn of a return to restrictions and upcoming waves of COVID, telling Canadians that the pandemic is not over.

Additionally, the University of Toronto recently mandated that young health students living on residence get a 3rd vaccine.

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 10:22 pm

Facebook blocks #diedsuddenly hashtag


By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | August 12, 2022

Facebook has hidden posts with the "#diedsuddenly" hashtag because it claims that some of these posts violate its far-reaching community standards. When users search for this hashtag, no results are displayed and Facebook shows a message stating that the results are hidden.

While Facebook doesn't specify which rules these posts allegedly violated, Twitter users have been using the hashtag to share news stories about people who died suddenly. Most of these Twitter posts note that those who died were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and allude to there being a connection between the vaccines and their deaths.

If Facebook users are posting similar content under this hashtag, the posts are likely to violate the tech giant's ban on a wide range of COVID-19 vaccine claims. Facebook prohibits claims that "vaccines are toxic, dangerous, or cause autism" and reduces the distribution of "shocking stories" about the vaccines. One of Facebook's examples of a shocking story is "Uncovered: See the 632 reports made of people who died within a week of having the new COVID-19 vaccine."

The blocking of this hashtag is the latest of many examples of Facebook censoring content that is critical of or raises questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. Throughout the pandemic, Facebook has also mass censored anti-mask contentanti-lockdown content, and content that said the coronavirus came from a lab (a censorship policy that was suddenly reversed after the Biden admin announced that it would be investigating the origins of COVID).

Not only does Facebook mass censor content that goes against or questions government guidance and the legacy media narrative on COVID but it also partnered with the Pfizer-backed CDC Foundation to increase "vaccine uptake" and maintained a close relationship with US federal agencies on COVID messaging.

The tech giant has previously used hashtag blocking to censor many other topics including "#buchamassacre" (a block that it later said was a mistake), "#Revolution" (which was blocked on a July 4th weekend), and "#SaveTheChildren."

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 9:44 pm

Leaked chats: Biden regime reportedly pushed for Alex Berenson to be banned from Twitter


By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | August 12, 2022

Newly released internal messages between Twitter staff show them discussing an April 2021 meeting with the White House where the Biden administration reportedly pushed for journalist and author Alex Berenson to be booted from the platform before Twitter banned him.

Berenson was banned from Twitter for violating its "COVID-19 misinformation" rules four months later in August 2021. Berenson responded by suing Twitter in December 2021, with the lawsuit accusing the tech giant of acting "on behalf of the federal government in censoring and barring him from access to its platform." Berenson's account was subsequently reinstated in July 2022 after both parties settled the censorship lawsuit.

These internal messages were published by Berenson and show April 22, 2021 discussions between Twitter employees on the business messaging app Slack. Berenson said he obtained the messages as part of his lawsuit against Twitter.

In one of the Slack messages, a Twitter employee says their meeting with the "WH [White House]" was "pretty good" but "they had one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn't been kicked off from the platform."

In another Slack message, a Twitter employee says that the White House "really wanted to know about Alex Berenson" and that Andy Slavitt, a Senior Advisor to President Biden's COVID-19 Response Coordinator, "suggested they had seen data viz that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public."

Berenson said that in another Slack message, a Twitter employee said: "I've taken a pretty close look at his account and I don't think any of it's violative."

Berenson noted that the message about White House officials questioning why he hadn't been banned from the platform "make clear that top federal officials targeted me specifically, potentially violating my basic First Amendment right to free speech."

He added: "If the companies are acting on behalf of the federal government they can become 'state actors' that must allow free speech and debate, just as the government does."

Berenson also noted that previous censorship lawsuits accusing the government and social media companies of colluding to ban users have failed because the courts have "universally held that people who have been banned have not shown the specific demands from government officials that are necessary to support state action claims."

However, in this case, Berenson argues that "federal officials appear to have gone far beyond generically encouraging Twitter to support Covid vaccines or discourage 'misinformation' (i.e. information that the government does not like). Instead, top officials targeted me personally."

Berenson said he intends to sue the Biden administration for violating his First Amendment rights by pressing Twitter to ban him and that there will be "more to come soon."

Jenin Younes, an attorney for the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), who has worked on two lawsuits that accuse the Biden administration of violating Americans' First Amendment rights by coercing tech companies to censor "misinformation," said that the revelations in the Slack messages released by Berenson are "a virtual smoking gun, and along with myriad circumstantial evidence proves our contention beyond any doubt." Younes added that despite initial setbacks, she is confident that the NCLA's lawsuits will be successful.

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 9:28 pm

The Aids myth and the cancelling of an honest scientist (sounds familiar?)


By Serena Wylde | TCW Defending Freedom | August 12, 2022

'We need a new plague' was the sentiment in the early 1980s in the corridors of America's Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), because the agency was facing closure. In his book The Real Anthony Fauci Robert F Kennedy Jr cites Dr Kary Mullis recalling the institutional desperation reflected in circulating memos which said: 'We need to find something to scare the American people into giving us more money.'

The events which followed, and the panoply of artifices used to secure this end, became a template for amassing unbridled power over the population, the institutions, and even the White House.

Kennedy recounts that in the summer of 1981 the CDC reported that approximately 50 gay men in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York had presented with Kaposi's sarcoma (a skin cancer associated with immune suppression) and other immune deficiency-related health problems including a rare form of pneumonia (PCP).

As cases starting appearing in other major cities in the same cohort, the hunt was on for the cause of this new disease, dubbed Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids).

Responsibility for it fell under the US National Cancer Institute (NCI). In 1983 the French virologist Dr Luc Montagnier identified signals of a retrovirus in some Aids patients, which he believed could be responsible for causing the disease. Dr Robert Gallo of the NCI persuaded Montagnier to send him a sample of the virus in exchange for fast-tracking the publishing of Montagnier's work in the journal Science.

Before doing so, Gallo cultured the sample, gave it a different name, patented an antibody kit he claimed capable of detecting it, and in April 1984 called a press conference to announce to the world that the probable cause of Aids had been found in the form of a 'known human cancer virus', claiming the discovery as his own. Once the announcement was made, no one could review Gallo's work which was published subsequently.

A bitter row ensued between Montagnier and Gallo, which eventually led to an 'accommodation', whereby the researchers agreed to share the discovery, and the virus was given the name HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).

The hypothesis that HIV caused Aids, however, had not been subject to the normal processes of independent replication, verification, dissent and rebuttal. A nascent hypothesis had been seized and hurriedly converted into accepted fact. 'Science by announcement' was a dangerous development which has had grave repercussions to the present day.

Robert Gallo's overt ambition to be awarded a Nobel Prize made him a natural ally of Anthony Fauci. So once the HIV story of a worldwide lethal virus was launched, claiming the highly infectious nature of it, Fauci wrested jurisdiction for the disease away from NCI and into his moribund National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NAID), thus capturing the flood of congressional funds that would be made available to combat it.

Many eminent scientists had misgivings about the hypothesis. Foremost was Professor Peter Duesberg, a world-respected molecular biologist. Duesberg was a consummate scientist and an applied scholar. At thirty-three, having discovered the 'oncogene' which appeared to cause cancer, he subjected his own theory to more rigorous tests than his critics had, and became convinced his discovery had been a lab fluke. He therefore publicly abandoned his own hypothesis, at the height of his acclaim.  Colleagues praised him for his 'integrity, his genius, his kindness and his intelligence'.

Duesberg, Kary Mullis and their school of critics believed the first generation of Aids was a complex illness which had its cause in a variety of chemicals. The profusion of recreational drugs used by the homosexual community, particularly amyl nitrate (poppers) known to cause immune suppression, in combination with the constant use of antibiotics to treat infections, were strong factors in immunity collapse. But after Robert Gallo's April 1984 press conference Fauci moved to quash all talk of toxic causation to attribute Aids uniquely to the deadly virus.

Following Gallo's announcement, Duesberg studied every scientific publication on HIV and Aids, and in 1987 published his observations in the journal Cancer Research. He argued that retroviruses were not, by accepted definition, a life form, and HIV was not capable of causing either cancer or Aids. Referring to the supposed indeterminate incubation period of HIV he said: 'There are no slow viruses causing Aids, only slow scientists.' Duesberg was committed to clean functional proof at a time when electron microscopy and other technologies for detecting new viruses were making biology – particularly the study of viruses – increasingly murky. Fame and finance were driving the frenzy in viral research. With official and commercial encouragement, researchers were blaming newly discovered viruses for an assortment of ancient diseases. Duesberg argued that the apparent high incidence of HIV-Aids in Africa was a function of the now notorious PCR to produce false diagnoses of infection, and the broad definition of Aids, which captured everything in its net from malnutrition to endemic diseases.

The second generation of Aids in the early 1990s is now widely recognised to have been caused by the poisonous drug Azidothymidine (AZT) pushed by Fauci on to 'HIV positive cases'. AZT was developed in the 1960s as a leukaemia chemotherapy drug but abandoned when government researchers deemed it too toxic even for short-term use. Described by Joseph Sonnabend as 'incompatible with life', AZT randomly destroys bones, kidneys, livers, muscle tissue, the brain and the central nervous system.

After Peter Duesberg's compelling 1987 article, which challenged point by point the basis of the HIV-Aids hypothesis, the scientific world waited for answers to Duesberg's probing questions, but Gallo never attempted a reply. Instead Fauci moved ruthlessly to annihilate Duesberg's voice. His stature and the respect he commanded were an existential threat to Fauci's plans for control and grandeur through the theory of a dangerous virus.

Marshalled by Fauci, the self-interested scientific press banished Duesberg. John Maddox, editor of the journal Nature, invited Duesberg's colleagues to slander him without fear of response, writing an editorial stating that the virologist, by his heresy, had forfeited the standard scientific practice of 'right of reply'.

Scientific conferences disinvited Duesberg. His graduate students were warned by their university that working with him would render them irrelevant, and the fawning mass media followed the instructions handed down from on high. As the reporter Celia Farber wrote, 'Duesberg's problem transcended science: It was career protection to partake in his bullying and degradation. The Fauci serf scientists were driven by fear that if they did not publicly denounce Duesberg in sufficiently disgusted tones they themselves would be punished.'

In 1994 a senior geneticist, Dr Stephen O'Brien, was dispatched by the very same editor of Nature, John Maddox, to try to persuade Duesberg to change his position, in exchange for 'reinstatement'. O'Brien rang Duesberg on the pretext of needing to speak to him urgently and the two met at the opera in San Francisco. O'Brien pulled from his pocket a paper entitled 'HIV Causes Aids: Koch's Postulates Fulfilled' with his own name and that of Duesberg printed at the bottom, and begged Duesberg to sign it. To his undying credit, Duesberg refused.

Duesberg's remarkable lack of bitterness towards his persecutors is the sign of a man at peace with his soul. It is likely that Fauci's rancour, and the depths to which he sank to humiliate and denigrate Duesberg, sprang from a hatred of his ability and integrity, qualities Fauci could not bear to contemplate.

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 8:57 pm

Twitter bans NYP columnist Paul Sperry following criticism of FBI Mar-A-Lago raid


By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | August 12, 2022

New York Post columnist and investigative journalist Paul Sperry was suspended from Twitter following tweets criticizing the FBI's raid on President Trump's Mar-A-Lago.

The tweet that was widely shared when Sperry got suspended read: "Funny, don't remember the FBI raiding Chappaqua or Whitehaven to find the 33,000 potentially classified documents Hillary Clinton deleted. And she was just a former secretary of state, not a former president."

However, speaking to MRC's News Busters, Sperry said that he received a notice from Twitter saying that his account had been permanently suspended. He added that Twitter did not give a reason or explanation for the suspension.

"This is outrageous censorship," Sperry told MRC. "Yes, Twitter is a private entity, but it has become the [dominant] public town square for political information and debate and it also enjoys a monopoly as the site where government agencies and corporations first post their releases and statements to the press. Denying a veteran working journalist access to this platform restricts my ability to cover events and issue[s]."

Sperry went on to criticize the Biden administration for its involvement in censorship on social media, saying the suspension "amounts to state censorship by proxy."

The Biden administration has encouraged social media censorship. Last year, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration was "regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media."

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 8:48 pm

Trump Dismisses Reports of FBI Raid for Nuclear Documents as ‘Hoax’


Samizdat – 12.08.2022

Former US President Donald Trump dismissed on Friday a report that the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago residence in order to search for classified nuclear weapons documents.

"Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax, two Impeachments were a Hoax, the Muller investigation was a Hoax and much more. Same sleazy people," Trump wrote. He also questioned why the FBI would not allow his lawyers to be present during the agency's inspection, suggesting that they "planted" evidence.

The Washington Post had reported Thursday that the intention of the raid at Trump's Florida resort was to recover nuclear weapons documents that the former president illegally removed from the White House.

The Justice Department also requested the same day for a judge to unseal the FBI search warrant in order to refute Republican claims of a political attack. Attorney General Merrick Garland also revealed that he had personally approved the search.

On Monday, the FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida as part of a probe focused on classified materials the former president allegedly took with him after leaving office.

Trump condemned the raid and characterized it is as a continuation of the political witch hunt by Democrats and the establishment to prevent him to run in the 2024 US presidential election and reverse their policies.

Trump also said the raid shows that the US justice system has been weaponized to act against the Democrats' political opponents and added that investigators have not found any wrong doing despite probing him for years.

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 6:18 pm

China Cannot Ignore Deployment of US THAAD Missile Systems in South Korea: Beijing


Samizdat – 12.08.2022

BEIJING – Beijing cannot ignore the deployment of US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems in South Korea as it undermines China's strategic security, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

"China has always respected South Korea's sovereignty and understood its security concerns, but the US deployment of THAAD missile systems in South Korea undermines China's strategic security, and Beijing cannot ignore this," Wang told a briefing.

Heads of foreign ministries of South Korea and China during a meeting in the Chinese city of Qingdao earlier this week, exchanged views and expressed their positions on the THAAD matter. The parties agreed that this issue should not be a stumbling block between Beijing and Seoul.

"We hope that the South Korean side will continue to properly resolve this issue in accordance with the mutual understanding and consensus reached at the meeting of foreign ministers of the two countries," Wang added.

THAAD is an anti-ballistic missile defense system capable of shooting down short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The deployment of additional THAAD missiles in South Korea was an initiative put forward by President Yoon Suk-yeol in January, when he was still a candidate for the top post.

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 6:01 pm

US commits a perfect murder in Kabul


BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | AUGUST 12, 2022 

Eleven days after the US President Joe Biden's dramatic announcement of August 1 regarding the killing of the emir of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Moscow has broken its silence. Ten days back, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova had replied to a query that Moscow was yet to "get the details" on what had happened on July 31. 

Revisiting the topic during yesterday's MFA press briefing, in response to a follow-up question, the deputy spokesperson Ivan Nechayev has stated: "We do not undertake to confirm the authenticity ('dostovernost' — достоверность) about the destruction in Kabul on July 31 this year as a result of a drone strike of the leader of Al-Qaeda, A. Zawahiri."

No doubt, this is a very carefully worded Russian statement that focuses on the reliability of Biden's version. Indeed, Biden got away scot-free since he made the announcement from the White House without taking any questions from the media. 

Nechayev pointed out that "Washington has not provided the public with any evidence of the elimination of this terrorist." And he merely took note of media reports that the apartment building hit by the Americans in Kabul belonged to the "Haqqani clan". 

However, curiously, Nechayev offered that some "first conclusions can be drawn" on the basis of the official comments of the authorities in Kabul — namely, "that they have no information about A. Zawahiri's stay in the Afghan capital." 

Russia has traditionally kept a robust intelligence system working on Afghanistan providing real time inputs to Moscow, including during the Taliban rule from 1996-2001, when the Russian embassy and consulates remained closed. 

In fact, Russian sources were far ahead of others in sharing the details of former Ashraf Ghani's hasty evacuation from Kabul on August 15 last year amidst the chaotic arrival of the Taliban in the city. (Ghani apparently chose to keep even his hand-picked vice-president and super spy Amrullah Saleh in the dark that he was fleeing with his wife and then national security advisor Hamdullah Mohib.) 

Therefore, it is a reasonable surmise that Nechayev probably spoke on what security experts would call a "need-to-know" basis. That makes his remarks doubting the authenticity of Biden's remarks truly astounding. It is as good as saying that Moscow has received conflicting reports! (Interestingly, Tass highlighted Nechayev's remarks in a special report yesterday.) 

However, Nechayev plunged the knife deep and raised some very pertinent questions in this strange case of a murder without evidence. He commented that "such aggressive actions of the US Air Force, which invaded the sovereign territory of Afghanistan, raise a number of serious questions." Nechayev posed two questions: "For example, who provided the airspace for the airstrike on Kabul? Who will be responsible in case of collateral civilian casualties during such actions?" 

They are indeed big questions. Afghanistan shares its borders with only six countries — Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China and Pakistan. It is a safe bet that Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and China wouldn't have got involved in such a murderous act by the Americans in violation of international law and UN Charter. As for Tajikistan, its airspace is under Russian control. That leaves Pakistan as the only plausible culprit here. 

Perhaps, does the Biden Administration refuse to provide "evidence" for fear it might put Rawalpindi in a tight spot at a time when the incumbent army chief is a strategic asset for Washington? There are no easy answers. All we know is that the present army chief Gen. Bajwa is known to take a hands-on role in all major issues and most minor issues in Pakistan-US relations.

He even reached out to Wendy Sherman, the US Deputy Secretary of State, with a request seeking her intervention with the IMF to release the pending tranche of financial bail-out for Pakistan. 

Significantly, Nechayev alluded to "attempts to use a real threat to cover up their (US') own geopolitical ambitions." He concluded: "Washington, judging by this incident, prefers to act as it pleases, following strictly in line with its foreign policy benefits, regardless of international law and the national sovereignty of other states." 

What could be the "foreign policy benefits" here? There are three ways to look at the question. First and foremost, Biden burnishes his image as a decisive leader when his incoherent public behaviour on numerous occasions lately came to be widely noticed within the US and abroad. Indeed, Biden's August 1 remarks were peppered with large dollops of self-praise taking credit for the decapitation of the dreaded al-Qaeda. He projected himself as a "hands-on" president. 

Second, the US has created a precedent by this act of July 31 — underscoring its prerogative to act as it chooses on Afghanistan. Simply put, the Rubicon has been crossed and the US military might has "returned" to Afghanistan, now that Washington claims that al-Qaeda is very much active in Afghanistan. 

Of course, it is a humiliating blow for the Taliban whose two-decade long "resistance" was all about regaining Afghanistan's sovereignty. Furthermore, the door has been firmly shut on any US-Taliban engagement for a foreseeable future, now that Washington doesn't have to look beyond that to allege a continuing Taliban-al Qaeda nexus. 

Logically, the US can even justify joining hands henceforth with the UK (and France) to extend support to the Panjshiris' armed rebellion against the Taliban. The Taliban faces a pincer move from Pakistani military and the Biden Administration at a time when, ironically, its best supporter, Imran Khan, is also being defanged systematically in a nutcracker by the civilian government in Islamabad and the so-called "powers that be." 

Of course, keeping Afghanistan in turmoil would serve the US and Nato interests at the present juncture when Russia, the provider of security for Central Asia, is preoccupied with the Ukraine conflict, and China is brooding over Taiwan's reunification.  

Third, the timing: Biden struck when only about 24 hrs were left for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plane to descend on Taipei. The fiction that Washington propagated to the effect that the Administration had no control over the Speaker had, ironically, boomeranged, casting Biden in a poor light as a commander-in-chief who could not even order a military plane to change direction.  

Suffice to say, the theatrics of the July 31 airstrike in Kabul momentarily at least distracted attention from the miserable picture Biden drew for himself as a weak, ineffectual POTUS.

The most interesting part is that alongside Nechayev's remarks in Moscow, the Russian embassy in Washington has since voiced support for a group of more than 70 economists from the United States and other countries with a call to unfreeze all international reserves of the Central Bank of Afghanistan, in an August 10 appeal published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Europe's leading network of Economic Policy Researchers.

The Russian embassy says: "We fully support this appeal. Considering unacceptable the situation in which the American authorities illegally withhold financial resources belonging to the Afghan people. At the same time, we believe that their bargaining with Kabul regarding the conditions for allocating half of the amount to it is cynical … Washington's actions are exacerbating the suffering of innocent Afghans…"

Moscow implies that the alibi of an alleged Taliban-al Qaeda nexus to block the engagement with the Taliban by the regional states is unacceptable. In sum, Russia rejects the American version of the murder in Kabul as substantiating anything.

All in all, this indeed becomes "a perfect murder", worthy of being a sequel to the Michael Douglas-Gwyneth Paltrow crime thriller on a murder that left no clue to trace the perpetrators. By the way, the pleasurable 1998 film also had two alternate endings on the original Blu-ray disc release. The viewer was at liberty to choose which version was found more agreeable. 

Aletho News
12 Aug 2022 | 2:55 pm

US accuses Iran of plot to kill John Bolton


By Lucas Leiroz | August 12, 2022

New tensions are growing between Iran and the US. Recently, Washington said Tehran plotted to kill White House Advisor John Bolton. The plan would be a retaliation for Trump Administration's terrorist-like assassination of Iranian Top General Qasem Soleimani, in 2020. The Iranian government denied any involvement in such a plan, considering the accusation absolutely baseless. Indeed, the Americans have not presented any convincing evidence so far, but, being the narrative accurate or not, frictions are likely to escalate.

On August 10, US government's spokespersons commented on an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate John Bolton, which would have been organized last year and would involve Iranian agents and a US citizen. The case became the topic of an official note from the US Department of Justice, where the alleged plot is narrated. The narrative is built on the testimony of an American who would have been possibly hired by an Iranian to commit the crime. The reward would be a sum of 300,000 dollars, to be paid by an Iranian named Mehdi Rezayi.

The American citizen allegedly involved in the case claims to have been advised to create a cryptocurrency account in order to receive the money safely. Then he would have received assistance from Iranian intelligence on where to find Bolton. The Iranians reportedly told him to photograph the Advisor before murdering him and evading him – possibly as a way of "proving" that the operation was successful. The contact between the American and the Iranians would have taken place for a few months between October 2021 and April 2022. The conversations were carried out through encrypted messages in a safe platform.

US officials also mentioned the detail that the plot would be a retaliatory measure by Tehran against the US operation to kill Qasem Soleimani. Supposedly, the Iranian authorities would have been "pressured" by people to respond to the American terrorist actions against Soleimani – and Bolton would have been the chosen target for this response.

However, now, the situation is partially reversing: with the alleged plot coming to light, it is the US authorities who are mobilizing to "respond" to Iran and punish those involved. Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D'Antuono of the FBI Washington Field Office commented on the topic: "An attempted assassination of a former U.S. Government official on U.S. soil is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated (…) The FBI will continue to identify and disrupt any efforts by Iran or any hostile government seeking to bring harm or death to U.S. persons at home or abroad. This should serve as a warning to any others attempting to do the same – the FBI will be relentless in our efforts to identify, stop, and bring to justice those who would threaten our people and violate our laws".

Tehran for its part denies absolutely any involvement in this type of plot. Iran's Foreign Ministry Nasser Kanaani comments that "the spinning of these threadbare and baseless myths is becoming a recurring custom in the American judicial and propaganda system". Washington's objective with such lies, according to him, would be to legitimize anti-Iranian policies and divert attention from crimes committed by the US government itself, such as the murder of Iranian officials and support for terrorist groups in the Middle East.

"Continuing their endless accusations, their failed Iranophobic policy, the American judicial authorities, in a new yarn spinning, have raised accusations without providing valid evidence and necessary documentation (…) Such baseless claims are made with political motives and aims and in fact amount to […] escaping the responsibility of responding to numerous terrorist crimes that the American government has either directly participated in, such as the cowardly assassination of General Martyr Soleimani, or like the terrorist crimes committed by the Zionist regime and terrorist groups like Daesh with the support of America", Kanaani said.

This scenario significantly worsens tensions. Recently the US and Iran have intensified their diplomatic frictions. Amid the current global security crisis, the attempt at a new nuclear deal has failed and the US has provided Israel with broad support with military exercises to intimidate Tehran. So, it is likely that in fact the plot narrative was invented with the aim of serving as a "carte blanche" for coming measures against Iran.

In addition, it is notorious how the narrative seems weak and unconvincing. The US Department of Justice reports the alleged result of "investigations" but does not provide any evidence for its claims. And there are still inconsistent data in the description of the plot, such as the fact that it was planned more than a year after Soleimani's death. It is also unclear why Bolton was chosen as a target, considering that there is a strong presence of American officials in the Middle East, both military and diplomats, who would certainly be "easier" targets to be hit than high-ranking state officials within the American territory.

In fact, the main problem is that, whether true or not, the narrative has served its purpose: it has boosted hostility between the US and Iran, worsening relations between them. Expectations for the near future are of escalating tensions.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

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