Dumping Fukushima’s Water into the Ocean… Seriously?

(Reuters)

For nearly a decade the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has been streaming radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. As it happens, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) struggles to control it. Yet, the bulk of the radioactive water is stored in more than 1,000 water tanks.

Assuredly, Japan’s government has made an informal decision to dump Fukushima Daiichi’s radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. A formal announcement could come as early as this year. Currently, 1.2 million tonnes of radioactive water is stored.

The problem: TEPCO is running out of storage space.

Government of Japan’s solution:  Dump it into the Pacific Ocean.

Third-party expert solutions:  Build more storage tanks.

Environmental groups insist there is no reason why additional storage tanks cannot be constructed outside the perimeter of the plant. They accuse the government of seeking the cheapest and quickest solution to the problem. All along, authorities have promised the site will be safe in 40 years. Really, only 40 years!

According to IAEA’s Director General Grossi, who visited Fukushima in February 2020, dumping radioactive water that is mainly contaminated with tritium meets global standards of practice. 1

In that regard, advocates of nuclear power utilize a subtle storyline that convinces, and deceives, the public into accepting nuclear power, however reluctantly. It goes something like this: “There’s nothing to worry about. Nuclear power plants routinely release tritium into the air and water. There is no economically feasible way to remove it. It’s normal, a standard operating procedure.” Nevertheless, as shall be explained in more detail forthwith, there is nothing positive about that posture, absolutely nothing!

According to TEPCO, all radioactive isotopes will be removed, except tritium, which is hard to separate. Still, similar to all radioactive substances, tritium is a carcinogen (causes cancer), a mutagen (causes genetic mutation), and a teratogen (causes malformation of an embryo).

The good news: Tritium is relatively weak beta radiation and does not have enough energy to penetrate human skin. The principal health risks are ingesting or breathing the tritium.

TEPCO has deployed an Advanced Liquid Processing System that purportedly removes 62 isotopes from the water, all except tritium, which is radioactive hydrogen and cannot easily be filtered out of water.

However, the filtration system has been plagued by malfunctions. According to Greenpeace International, within the past two years TEPCO admitted to failures to reduce radioactivity to levels below regulatory limits in more than 80% of the storage tanks. Reported levels of Strontium-90 (a deadly isotope) were more than 100 times regulatory standards with some tanks at 20,000 times.

They have deliberately held back for years detailed information on the radioactive material in the contaminated water. They have failed to explain to the citizens of Fukushima, wider Japan and to neighboring countries such as S. Korea and China that the contaminated water to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean contains dangerous levels of carbon-14. These, together with other radionuclides in the water will remain hazardous for thousands of years with the potential to cause genetic damage. It’s one more reason why these plans have to be abandoned.2

Cancer is the main risk to humans ingesting tritium. When tritium decays it emits a low-energy electron (roughly 18,000 electron volts) that escapes and slams into DNA, a ribosome or some other biologically important molecule. And, unlike other radionuclides, tritium is usually part of water, so it ends up in all parts of the body and therefore, in theory, can promote any kind of cancer. But that also helps reduce the risk because tritiated water is typically excreted in less than a month. 3

Some evidence suggests beta particles emitted by tritium are more effective at causing cancer than the high-energy radiation such as gamma rays. Low-energy electrons produce a greater impact because it doesn’t have the energy to spread its impact. At the end of its atomic-scale trip it delivers most of its ionizing energy in one relatively confined track rather than shedding energy all along its path like a higher-energy particle. This is known as “density of ionization.” As such, scientists say any amount of radiation poses a health risk.

According to Ian Fairlie, Ph.D. (Imperial College/London and Princeton University), a radiation biologist and former member of the 3-person secretariat to Britain’s Committee Examining the Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters:

At the present time, over a million tonnes of tritium-contaminated water are being held in about a thousand tanks at the site of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan.  This is being added to at the rate of ~300 tonnes a day from the water being pumped to keep cool the melted nuclear fuels from the three destroyed reactors at Fukushima. Therefore new tanks are having to be built each week to cope with the influx.4

Furthermore, radioactive contaminants in the tanks, such as nuclides like caesium-137 (an extremely deadly isotope) and strontium-90 (which is equally deadly) in reduced concentrations still exist in unacceptable high levels. According to Fairlie:

These problems constitute a sharp reminder to the world’s media that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima did not end in 2011 and is continuing with no end in sight.

There are no easy answers here. Barring a miraculous technical discovery which is unlikely, I think TEPCO/Japanese Gov’t will have to buy more land and keep on building more holding tanks to allow for tritium decay to take place. Ten half-lives for tritium is 123 years: that’s how long these tanks will have to last – at least. This will allow time not only for tritium to decay, but also for politicians to reflect on the wisdom of their support for nuclear power.

Meanwhile, over the course of seemingly endless years, Fukushima Daiichi remains “the world’s most dangerous active time bomb” for several reasons, and spent fuel rods are at the top of the list.

In addition to the 800 tons of lava-like molten fuel, aka: corium, (the big meltdown) in the three reactor containment vessels, the crippled reactor buildings contain more than 1,500 units of used nuclear fuel rods in open pools of water and must be kept cool at all times or all hell breaks loose. Loss of water from structural damage or another major earthquake (the structures are already seriously compromised) could expose the fuel rods, resulting in uncontrolled massive release of sizzling radiation that could be worse than the original meltdown, possibly exposing Tokyo to an emergency mass evacuation event with people running and screaming.

Tokyo Electric Power has plans for complete removal of the dangerous fuel rods by 2031. That work is being carried out remotely from a control room about 500 metres distance due to extraordinarily high radiation levels inside the reactor buildings.

Dismally, a perverse endlessness overhangs Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima Daiichi (2011), earmarking these nuclear power meltdowns as the worst industrial accidents in human history.

Yet, with 440 operating nuclear plants worldwide, and 50 new plants under construction, there are plans to build a few hundred more.

Good luck!

  1. Michael Jacob in Tokyo, “What! Is Japan Really Planning to Dump Radioactive Water From Fukushima Into the Ocean?” Sweden-Science-Innovation, June 10, 2020.
  2. “Fukushima Reactor Water Could Damage Human DNA if Released Says Greenpeace”, The Guardian, October 23, 2020.
  3. ” Is Radioactive Hydrogen in Drinking Water a Cancer Threat”, Scientific American, February 7, 2014.
  4. Ian Fairlie, “The Hazards of Tritium”, March 13, 2020.

The post Dumping Fukushima’s Water into the Ocean… Seriously? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

10 Ways to Call Something Russian Disinformation Without Evidence

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How do you call something “Russian disinformation” when you don’t have evidence it is? Let’s count the ways.

We don’t know a whole lot about how the New York Post story about Hunter Biden got into print. There are some reasons to think the material is genuine (including its cache of graphic photos and some apparent limited confirmation from people on the email chains), but in terms of sourcing, anything is possible. This material could have been hacked by any number of actors, and shopped for millions (as Time has reported), and all sorts of insidious characters - including notorious Russian partisans like Andrei Derkach - could have been behind it.

None of these details are known, however, which hasn’t stopped media companies from saying otherwise. Most major outlets began denouncing the story as foreign propaganda right away and haven’t stopped. A quick list of the creative methods seen lately of saying, “We don’t know, but we know!”:

1) Our spooks say it looks like the work of their spooks.

A group of 50 “former senior intelligence officials” wrote a letter as soon as the Post story came out. Their most-quoted line was that the Post story has “all the classic hallmarks of a Russian information operation.” Note they said information operation, not disinformation operation — humorously, even people with records of lying to congress like James Clapper and John Brennan have been more careful with language than members of the news media.

Emphasizing that they didn’t know if the emails “are genuine,” these ex-heads of agencies like the CIA added “our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case,” noting that it appeared to be an operation “consistent with Russian objectives.” Politico, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, and many other outlets ran the spook testimonial.

2) It was prophesied.

The Washington Post needed four reporters — Shane Harris, Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller, and Josh Dawsey — to tell us that “four former officials familiar with the matter” spoke of a long-ago report that the would-be source of the Post emails, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, had been “interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence” in Ukraine. As such, any information he “brought back” from there “should should be considered contaminated by Russia.” Therefore, by the transitive property of whatever, the New York Post story should be dismissed as part of an “influence” operation.

3) Authorities are investigating if it might be Russian disinformation.

The FBI is probing a possible disinformation campaign,” announced USA Today, citing the omnipresent “person familiar with the matter.” Officially, of course, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said “Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” to which FBI spokesperson Jill C. Tyson officially said the bureau had “nothing to add at this time.”

Many of the outlets who covered this sequence of events described the F.B.I. statement as “carefully worded,” inviting us to read in things left unsaid. Thomas Rid in the Post went so far as to say Tyson was “hinting that actionable intelligence might yet be developed,” which is technically true but also technically meaningless.

Another neat trick was to discuss the Post story and in the same sentence refer to a present-tense description of an apparently confirmed operation to discredit Joe Biden. CNN’s construction was like this: “The FBI is investigating whether the recently published emails that purport to detail the business dealings of Joe Biden's son in Ukraine and China are connected to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort targeting the former vice president's campaign.”

That “ongoing Russian disinformation effort” is a story again sourced, as so many stories of the last four years have been, to assessments of intelligence officials. Thus the essence of these new headlines comes down to, “Intelligence officials are checking to see if the new story can be connected to prior claims of intelligence officials.”

4) Even if it isn’t a Russian influence operation, we should act like it is.

Johns Hopkins “Professor of Strategic Studies” Thomas Rid came up with the most elegant construction in a Washington Post editorial, stating bluntly: “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.” Err on the side of caution, as it were. As the bosses in Casino put it, why take a chance?

5) The Biden campaign says it’s Russian disinformation (even though they can’t say for sure it’s disinformation at all).

The press has elicited from the Biden campaign a few limited, often contradictory comments about what is and isn’t true in the New York Post story. For instance, the campaign’s chief communications officer Andrew Bates said about allegations Joe Biden met with Burisma executive Vadym Pozharski, “We have reviewed Joe Biden's official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.”

In the same article, reporters noted, “Biden’s campaign would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with Pozharskyi.” So no meeting took place (although we’re not saying no meeting took place).

The campaign continues to not take a concrete position about the veracity of the emails, but allows people like “senior Biden advisor” and former Assistant Secretary of State Michael Carpenter to say things like, “This is a Russian disinformation operation… I’m very comfortable saying that.”

The natural follow-up question there should have been, “If it’s disinformation, are you saying the emails aren’t real?” But we haven’t seen many questions of that sort, probably because no one wants to be the member of the White House pool six months from now wearing the scars of interactions like this:
Read the rest here.

Sudden Death Stalks the Unsuspecting- Be Afraid!

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According to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) latest statistics as of 2017 a human life is snuffed out in the United States by a heatless killer every three minutes.

That’s right, nearly 20 people die every hour from it. And don’t think you can avoid this killer by living somewhere safe because there is NO safe place!

This dreaded killer brings death to 465 human beings every day in the US and there is no escaping it. The deaths occur in private homes, public parks, office buildings, hotels, restaurants, churches, apartments- virtually anywhere.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re in excellent health because this killer takes out everyone; the healthy and sick. Young and old alike are potential victims of this killer and it could happen at any moment of the day or night!

So what is this dreaded killer that took 169,000 lives in 2017?

According to the CDC its accidents.

That’s right, accidents occur daily taking the lives of innocent men, women and children! So be afraid, be VERY AFRAID because you could be the next victim.

OK, I’ll switch off the satire now but the point is you can make a mountain out of a mole hill by how you frame a narrative. Everyone knows accidents happen and death can be the result. Everything from choking on food, to tripping and falling down stairs to the all too common auto accident.

And while accidents are heartless and tragic we go on living our lives because we’ve learned they are simply a part of living on this earth. Yes, they happen, but fortunately we can avoid most of the danger by simply taking common sense precautions.

I suspect most of us know someone who’s died in an accident. And the statistics mentioned above Do Not include suicides which would add almost another 50,000 people.

The public relations industry knows what Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels knew. If you tell a big enough lie over and over and have the means to control the news consumed by the masses, you can control to a large extent what they think and what they believe. And most importantly, what they fear!

A scared, frightened, terrified populace is much easier to control and manipulate. I have no idea if Covid was cooked up in a Chinese lab or if it occurred naturally. But it doesn’t really matter because it’s become a very effective tool to frighten people into obeying government dictates that clearly infringe on their Constitutional rights.

It’s been amazingly effective. Seeing the masses meekly wearing their worthless face masks as they scurry about assiduously avoiding human contact (humans are nothing but biohazards after all) is intoxicating to the power hungry tyrants.

The tyrannical psychopaths that have managed to create what we call the Deep State today are just getting started. We’ve been warned before about what was coming. On January 17th 1961 outgoing President Dwight Eisenhower felt compelled to warn the nation about a malevolent force he termed the “Military industrial Complex”. As a former Five star general and two term President Ike saw firsthand what was happening and tried to sound the alarm.  

I suspect worse is yet to come. It will take a huge amount of civil disobedience to stop the wholesale destruction of our way of life and it will be uncomfortable and there will be casualties.

Regardless, I will not comply!

Why Canada Must Release Meng Wan Zhou

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

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

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

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

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

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

The State-directed, extraterritorial kidnapping of Huawei CFO Meng Wan Zhou is widely seen as a similar act of infamy, misogyny, and thuggery, by a similar class of disreputable individuals. “Lawless, reasonless, ruthless,… vicious” is the extraordinary official pronouncement of the Chinese government. It is certainly a violation of international law. How this will play out ultimately, and what retribution will be meted out remains to be seen, but retribution there will surely be for this “extremely vicious” act.

George Koo has pointed out the “rotten underpinnings of the case” in this article. Most people understand that Meng is not guilty of anything other than being the daughter of Ren Zeng Fei, the founder of Huawei. Huawei, as a global technological powerhouse, represents Chinese power and Chinese technical prowess, which the United States is hell-bent on destroying. Meng has been kidnapped as a pawn, as a hostage to exert pressure on Huawei and the Chinese government, and to curb China’s development. In a maneuver reminiscent of medieval or colonial warfare, the US has explicitly offered to release her if China capitulates on a trade deal—making clear that she is being held hostage. This constitutes a violation of the UN Convention on Hostages.

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

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

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

Key Facts about the Meng Wan Zhou Case

The Canadian government arrested Meng Wan Zhou, the CFO of Huawei, on December 1st of 2018, as she was transiting Vancouver on a flight to Mexico. The arrest was made on the demand of the US government’s US District Court’s Eastern District of NY. The initial charge was “fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud to circumvent US sanctions on Iran”.

Of course, the US government knew rapidly that these allegations could not constitute an extraditable charge. The Canadians do not subscribe to US sanctions against Iran—they actively encourage trade with Iran–and therefore business dealings with Iran could hardly be a crime in Canada. In fact, the unilateral US sanction are actually a violation of international law. Furthermore, like most jurisdictions in the world, Canada also has a requirement of “double criminality”: unless the alleged crime is a crime in both jurisdictions, you cannot extradite.

So an alternate case had to be constructed. The case was that was concocted alleged that because Meng had lied to a bank, she must be extradited for fraud. Of course, the bank was British (HSBC), the “crime” happened in Hong Kong, the accused was a Chinese national, and the arrest was in Canada. Hence, she must be extradited to the US for “fraud”. As a set up for a lame joke this would not pass, and as legal argument it is beyond farce. The US court claimed standing to charge her because transactions with HSBC had, or would have transited US servers in New York for a few milliseconds.

Here are some key things to remember about this case:

1) Even if the allegations of so-called “fraud” were true, without the political pressures, such an issue would largely be a private matter between HSBC and Meng.

2) None of the transactions between HSBC and Meng occurred in the US. The funds only transited through the US system because of the way of the global banking system is set up for dollar clearance—this was the pretextual technicality used for jurisdiction and charging. (The funds could equally have been set up to transit through an alternate system, bypassing US servers and risk).

3) No non-US person has ever been charged for “causing” a non-US bank to violate US sanctions in the past. In similar cases, it’s usually a small fine to a corporation.

4) It’s been shown that the US attempted the abduction of Meng in 6 European and Latin American countries—all of which rejected US demands. The US decided on Meng’s momentary transit through Canada, because they considered the Trudeau government to be the most pliable and sycophantic to their cause.

5) Trump has made statements that Meng could be used as a bargaining chip in the US-China trade deal, showing the clearly political nature of the arrest. Confidential RCMP documents also note that the arrest was “highly political”. It’s widely suspected that the law-breaking John Bolton was the instigator behind the action.

6) HSBC was already under prosecution by the US government for prior unrelated violations; rather than doing due diligence in their loan or clearance processes or the law, it decided to collaborate with the US government to entrap Huawei and Meng.

7) The arrest itself involved massive abuses of process: irregularities in detention, notification, search, seizure, constituting themselves violations of international law and bilateral agreements.

8) The court case has been also full of abuses, including the hiding of key exculpatory documents (slides 6 & 16) by the prosecution; and denial of access to key documents to the defense (on the basis of national security and “damage to China-Canada relations”). Given the damage that has already happened to China-Canada relations by the abduction of Meng, one can only imagine what additional “damage” Canada’s Intelligence service is trying to prevent with a claim of National Secrets exemption.

9) The Trudeau government is going on with charade that it is a hapless damsel obliged to follow US strong-arm demands. But Section 23 of the Canadian Extradition Act gives the government the authority to terminate this case at any time. Extradition is made on the discretion of the government, and by refusing to act, the Trudeau administration is abdicating its responsibilities to the Canadian people and the cause of justice.

The Fraudulent Charge of Fraud

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

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

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

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

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

In other words, the Canadian government had no case.

The Double Criminality of Heather Holmes

Canadian Justice Heather Holmes, presided over the interrogation. Like the fascist KMT warlord who had kidnapped and tortured Yang Kai Hui, she interrogated Meng Wan Zhou and her lawyer in sibilant tones. Tell me, about “double criminality”, she entreated gently, as if their arguments would be weighed in her judgement.

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

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

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

Astonishingly, Justice Holmes ruled against Meng, claiming that one should not look for correspondence or equivalence between the statutes to determine “double criminality” in fraud. Instead, she claimed that one had to transpose the context and the coherence of the statues of the demanding country to render a decision. Even though Canada didn’t have sanctions against Iran (thus no illegality or risk of harm, and hence no fraud), she stated that she still had to interpret the demand for extradition by “transposing the environment” that led the US to make the demand. In other words, Canada had no sanctions on Iran, but she had to imagine “the environment”–i.e., “as if Canada had sanctions on Iran”–to render the decision. In so doing, she was able to smuggle in illegal US sanctions by installing a legal backdoor–into a country that had lifted sanctions.

In other words, the dubious, illegal “environment” of US sanctions overruled the clear, plain letter of Canadian law. At the same time, no consideration was given to the odious political “environment” driving the abduction.

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

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

Rogue State Canada

Canadian politicians and press like to intone robotically, that Meng’s kidnapping is strictly a by-the-books, “rule-of-law” procedure with Meng’s detention. They like to repeat the catechism, in that tiresome, hypocritical, Maple-washing fashion, that they are “a nation of laws” (insinuating the others are not). But the fact is, Canadians have an atrocious history of kidnapping innocents in general, and assisting the US with kidnappings in particular. There are many examples, but the best known is the story of Maher Arar, the Canadian engineer who was kidnapped and rendered as terrorist, and tortured unspeakably in Syria, where”the pain was so great, it makes you forget the taste of your mother’s milk” Of course, he was innocent of all charges.

It’s also well established that Canadian Police have an ugly habit of kidnapping Indigenous people who are drunk or homeless, and driving them far away from city and abandoning them where they are sure to die of hypothermia and exposure in the winter. These are called Saskatoon “Starlight tours”.

It’s equally well known that the Canadian government also kidnapped tens of thousands of Indigenous children, sometimes at gun point, and forced them into concentration camps (“residential schools”) where they were abused, tortured, raped, enslaved, and killed. Children kidnapped in these schools had a greater chance of dying than soldiers doing battle in WWII–some studies show a mortality rate of 40-60%. In other words, it committed genocide, through rule of law, of course.

In 2018, the UN Committee on Human Rights published a long series of incriminating findings on Canada, related to the torture, mistreatment, imprisonment, death and refoulement of immigrants, refugees, indigenous peoples, and other political prisoners.

On the other hand, the Canadian government has been known to fight tooth and nail to harbor war criminals and torturers–people who legitimately should be extradited. For example, it harbored several El Salvadoran death squad leaders in the 1980’s. These people were so toxic that the Salvadoran government could no longer have them in their country–so they gave them diplomatic postings to Canada. The Canadians, instead of doing the reasonable thing and extraditing them–as was demanded by human rights community around the world, bent over backwards to give them safe harbor and immunity.

Any hope that the settler-colonial Canadian justice system can play an even hand or follow basic human ethics in this case is belied by this atrocious history.

But Why is the US going after Huawei?

China has been designated the official enemy (“revisionist power”) of the US, because it poses a threat to US dominance. As such, the US is engaged in “multi-domain” hybrid warfare against China to attack and bring China down. The domains of warfare that involve the US assaults against Huawei are the domains of: tech war, trade war, economic war, lawfare, and cyber war. Huawei is one of the key pillars of China’s technological and economic strength. It is the world’s largest and most advanced telecom corporation, and in 5G it owns 1/5 of the base patents in the field.

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

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

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

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

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

On the other hand, the US NSA, in a program called Shotgiant, spied extensively on Huawei to look for links between Huawei and the PLA, evidence of backdoors and spying, and vulnerabilities that they could exploit. This extraordinary spying (revealed by Wikileaks) showed no evidence of backdoors, spying or connections with the PLA. The Shotgiant disclosures showed that US allegations were projection: NSA actions “actually mirror what the US has been accusing Huawei of potentially doing”. The NSA did, however, steal Huawei’s proprietary source code at the time, and had plans to spy on other countries by using this information and had sought to compromise security in general. Of course, these kinds of unethical exploits create dangers for everyone.

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

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

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

The only allegation of “Huawei vulnerabilities” with any backing evidence shown to date have been Bloomberg‘s “gotcha” article that alleged that in 2009, 2011 some telnet connections in Huawei equipment for Vodaphone in Italy were insecure. Vodaphone, however, refuted these allegations. Further technical analysis showed these allegations were completely implausible. The hardware (Baseboard Management Controller) that Bloomberg alleges is “insecure” cannot access any data in any normal configuration Furthermore, built-in Telnet access CLI connections are unexceptional, and did not pose meaningful risk.

Since then further allegations have been made by the US government (leaked to the WSJ), but always without proof. These allegations may be recycled and refuted old allegations, or they may just be pure invention, which why they cannot issue the proof.

Of course, Huawei refutes these allegations and always demands proof. The proof is never forthcoming, because there is none.

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

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

The post Why Canada Must Release Meng Wan Zhou first appeared on Dissident Voice.

What Does Israel Have against Palestinian Singer, Mohammed Assaf?

Why does Israel hate Palestinian singer, Mohammed Assaf?

On October 16, Avi Dichter, Israeli Member of Parliament from the right-wing Likud Party, announced that Assaf’s special permit to enter the occupied Palestinian West Bank would be revoked.

Assaf, originally from Gaza, now lives with his family in the United Arab Emirates. He achieved stardom in 2013, when he won the ‘Arab Idol’ singing contest. His winning song, “Raise your Keffiyeh”, represented a rare moment of unity among all Palestinian communities everywhere. As the audience, the judges and millions of Arabs danced along when Mohammed took center stage in Beirut, Palestinian culture, once again, proved its significance as a political tool that cannot be disregarded.

Since then, Mohammed has sung about everything Palestinian: from the Nakba — the catastrophic loss of the Palestinian homeland — to the Intifada, to the pain of Gaza to every Palestinian cultural symbol there is.

Assaf was born and raised in the Gaza Strip. Here, he experienced Israel’s military occupation first-hand, several deadly Israeli wars, and, of course, the ongoing siege. Both his parents are refugees, his mother from Beit Daras and his father from Beir Saba’. The young man’s ability to overcome his family’s painful legacy, yet remaining committed to the cultural values of his society, is worthy of much reflection and praise.

Dichter’s announcement that Assaf would be barred from returning to his homeland is not as outrageous as it may appear. Israel’s war on Palestinian culture is as old as Israel itself.

Throughout the last seven decades, Israel has proven its ability to defeat Palestinians and whole Arab armies, as well. Moreover, Israel, with the help of its Western benefactors, succeeded in dividing Palestinians into rival groups, while breaking down whatever semblance there was of Arab unity on Palestine.

Even geographically, Palestinians were divided and isolated into numerous little corners in the hope that each collective would eventually develop a different set of aspirations based on entirely different political priorities. As a result, Palestinians were holed in besieged Gaza, in segregated zones in the West Bank, in East Jerusalem, in economically marginalized communities within Israel, and in the ‘shataat’ – diaspora.

Even diasporic Palestinians, some made refugees multiple times, subsisted in political environments, over which they exercise very little control. The Palestinians of Iraq, for example, found themselves on the run at the onset of the American invasion of that country in 2003; the same happened in Lebanon prior; in Syria later on, etc.

Israel’s incessant attempts at destroying Palestine, in all of its representations, moved from the material sphere to the virtual one, pushing to censor Palestinian voices on social media, removing the reference to Palestine from Google Maps and even from airline menus.

None of this was random, of course, as Israeli leaders understood that destroying the tangible, actual Palestine had to be accompanied by the destruction of the Palestinian idea — the set of cultural and political values that give Palestine its cohesiveness and continuity in the mind of all Palestinians, wherever they are.

Since culture is predicated on myriad forms of expression, Israel has dedicated much energy and resources to eliminate Palestinian cultural expressions that allow Palestine to exist despite the political division, Arab disunity and geographic fragmentation.

There are numerous examples that amply demonstrate Israel’s official obsession with defeating Palestinian culture. As if the physical erasure of Palestine in 1948 was not enough, Israeli officials are constantly devising new ways to erase whatever symbols of Palestinian and Arab culture that remain in place.

In 2009, for example, Israel’s right-wing government began the process of changing the names of thousands of road signs from Arabic to Hebrew. In 2018, the openly racist Nation-State Law degraded the status of the Arabic language altogether.

But these examples are hardly the start of the Israeli war aimed at defacing Palestinian culture. Israel’s founders were aware of the danger that Palestinian culture posed in terms of its ability to unify the Palestinian people, soon after the ethnic cleansing of nearly two thirds of the Palestinian population from their historic homeland.

In an official letter sent to Israel’s first Interior Minister, Yitzhak Gruenbaum, the latter was tasked with swapping the names of newly depopulated Palestinian villages and regions with Hebrew alternatives.

“The conventional names should be replaced by new ones … since, in an anticipation of renewing our days as of old and living the life of a healthy people that is rooted in the soil of our country, we must begin in the fundamental Hebraicization of our country’s map,” the letter said in part.

Soon after, a government commission was assembled and entrusted with the task of renaming everything Palestinian Arab.

Another letter written in August 1957 by an Israeli foreign ministry official urged the Israeli Department of Antiquities to speed up the destruction of Palestinian homes conquered during the Nakba. “The ruins from the Arab villages and Arab neighborhoods, or the blocks of buildings that have stood empty since 1948, arouse harsh associations that cause considerable political damage,” he wrote. “They should be cleared away.”

For Israel, erasing Palestine and writing the Palestinian people out of the history of their own homeland has always been a strategic endeavor.

Fast forward to today, the official Israeli machine remains dedicated to the same colonial mission of old. The agreement signed in 2016 between the Israeli government and the social media platform, Facebook, to end Palestinian ‘incitement’ online is part of that same mission: silencing the voice of the Palestinian people at any cost.

Palestinian culture has served the Palestinian people’s struggle so well. Despite Israeli occupation and apartheid, it has given Palestinians a sense of continuity and cohesion, attaching all of them to one collective sense of identity, always revolving around Palestine.

Israel’s announcement to bar a Palestinian singer from returning, thus performing to other Palestinians under occupation is, from an Israeli viewpoint, not outrageous at all. It is another attempt at disrupting the natural flow of Palestinian culture, which, despite the loss of Palestine itself, is as strong and as real as it has always been.

The post What Does Israel Have against Palestinian Singer, Mohammed Assaf? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Pakistan covertly engaged on Azerbaijani side (Pashinyan)

Pakistan has repeatedly denied reports, appearing in Azerbaijani and Turkish Facebook accounts, about Pakistani troops being mobilized to support the Azerbaijani army against the Armenians. However, according to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, interviewed by Indian television WION, and echoed by the Russian daily Kommersant , Pakistani jihadists were recruited at the start of the conflict from within the jihadi organizations used by the secret services against India (...)

The Gray Wolves attempt organizing anti-Armenian pogroms in France

The Turkish nationalist organization Gray Wolves has attempted for the third time this week to organize anti-Armenian pogroms in France (in the urban centers of Dijon, Lyon and Vienne). The demonstrators were chanting “Allah Akbar!" and "Death to the Armenians!". They were dispersed by security forces. The Gray Wolves are the paramilitary wing of the Turkish Nationalist Action Party (MHP). They define themselves as neofascists, anti-communists, anti-Greeks, anti-Kurds, anti-Armenians, (...)

Terrorism and French Values

There have been some horrendous, despicable killings by Muslim extremists in France. Such killings must be condemned.

French president Emmanuel Macron played the victim card, saying that France “will not give into terrorism.” Yet when 21st century France engages in overseas militarism, otherwise known as state terrorism, in places with large Muslim populations – places that never attacked France — such as Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Somalia, Libya, North Mali, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen then what is to be expected? Is it okay for France to engage in militarism abroad and expect no blowback on French soil? Must not the French terrorism be condemned?

The embattled, unpopular French president has seized upon the gruesome killings to denounce terrorism and champion “French values,” such as freedom of speech.1

Once again the controversial publication Charlie Hebdo has provoked a lethal response.

The publication of cartoons defaming the prophet Mohammed, as any clued-in person could easily have predicted, have stirred heated Muslim protests. These provocative cartoons are defended as free speech. I am all for defending the right to free speech. I am not in favor of stupid speech, speech designed to belittle and incur the wrath of a particular group. I would certainly caution against the freedom to say what one wants knowing that it will result in violence and deaths.

But the French, especially its politicians, are hypocrites. If free speech allows one to impugn one religion, then then that right to impugn must be allowed for all religions. Take the case of French comedian Dieudonné. He has been convicted in court eight times for upsetting Jewish sentiment and has consequently been embargoed by many venues where he would normally ply his trade.

Many years earlier, professor Robert Faurisson, an extreme skeptic of the typical Holocaust narrative, was hit with judicial proceedings, was fined, and lost his job. Is this respect for free speech? Professor Noam Chomsky experienced blowback for supporting free speech in the case of Faurisson. Chomsky held, “… it has been a truism for years, indeed centuries, that it is precisely in the case of horrendous ideas that the right of free expression must be most vigorously defended; it is easy enough to defend free expression for those who require no such defense.”2

As for France defending freedoms, The Times of Britain notes,

French authorities have been accused of “judicial harassment” in a damning Amnesty report that claims more than 40,000 people were convicted during the gilet jaune (yellow vest) and pension reform protests in 2018 and 2019 “on the basis of vague laws” aimed at restricting their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.


The controversial media outlet Charlie Hebdo is not about either free expression or speech. It fired a cartoonist for alleged anti-Semitism.3 On its face, Charlie Hebdo signals that Islamophobia is kosher, but Judeophobia is haram.

Macron said “France is under attack.”4 Were Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Somalia, Libya, North Mali, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen not under attack when the French sent their guns to these countries?5

  1. Agence France-Presse,“‘Nous ne cèderons rien’ sur les valeurs françaises, assure MacronTVA Nouvelles, 29 October 2020.
  2. Noam Chomsky, “Some Elementary Comments on The Rights of Freedom of Expression,” Appeared as a Preface to Robert Faurisson, Mémoire en défense, 11 October 1980.
  3. See “‘Charlie Hebdo’ condamné pour le licenciement abusif du dessinateur Siné,” Le Monde, 10 December 2009.
  4. “Attentat de Nice – ‘La France est attaquée’, 7 000 militaires déployés, les églises et les écoles sous surveillance : ce qu’il faut retenir des annonces d’Emmanuel Macron” L’Indépendant, 29 October 2020.
  5. Note some of these 21st century conflicts are still ongoing.

The post Terrorism and French Values first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Crosstalk: ‘Russia, Russia, Russia!’

Even after Russiagate was debunked as a hoax, this conspiracy theory lives on. In fact, it appears to have become part and parcel of our political discourse. If you oppose someone or an idea, all you have to do is blame Putin and Russia. No facts necessary, slurs and factless claims now suffice. CrossTalking with Patrick Lawrence and Daniel McAdams:

Mask Madness in Unfriendly Skies

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This article is intended for those who have already researched the science regrading mask wearing and concluded that the weight of it runs counter to the conclusion that the public should wear masks as protection from COVID-19. (A wide array of scientific information indicating that universal mask wearing is unnecessary, and that any potential benefits from it are outweighed by its potential risks, has already been cited ad nauseam by other authors recently and will not be repeated here.) In other words, this article is intended for those who support the public’s right to live unmasked.

The purpose of this article is to issue a warning to them about flying, based upon my recent air travel experience. A second purpose is to discuss an important reason that consumers should withdraw their support from businesses that strictly apply government mask dictates, who are essentially acting as an enforcement arm of the state—namely to discourage the businesses from acting as enforcers of an even more oppressive health-related measure likely headed our way, government proof of vaccination dictates.

Airlines aren’t consistently applying mask requirements and the public is walking into a crapshoot from which they can’t extract themselves upon boarding an airplane.

Before discussing my recent flight experience, it’s worthwhile to review my experience with non-airline businesses since governments began recommending or requiring masks. I live in a jurisdiction with a mask order in effect and I’ve observed that most local businesses leave customers alone who wear masks covering only their mouths with their noses exposed, or wear masks resting only on their chins. Many also leave the completely unmasked alone. (There is no need to waste the readers’ time by reviewing the obvious right of private businesses to require masks if they wish to do so. No reasonable person believes that any significant percentage of the businesses that began requiring masks in 2020 did so of their own volition or would have done so in the absence of government pressure or force.)

Businesses face obvious challenges in trying to navigate both government mask dictates and the economic need to maintain customer satisfaction. In many parts of the country, flat out defiance of a mask order by a business will result in certain closure by the government. Some businesses are enforcing mask orders strictly, going about the task “with bells on” (“robust enforcers”). Others are navigating these tricky waters by only partially or superficially complying (“lax enforcers”).

Of course, regardless of the practices set by a business’s management (“robust enforcer” or “lax enforcer”), government mask dictates can make employees, who aren’t always within the presence of management, feel personally deputized to control their fellow human beings’ breathing. Hence, whenever mask dictates are in effect, patrons of businesses, including those medically unable to wear a mask, can potentially encounter problems from employees zealously “policing” mask wearing.

Most businesses are readily escapable by patrons. However, not all are and, based upon my recent air travel experience, my first since mask tyranny hit the US, I’ve decided that I’ll never again enter a business from which I can’t quickly escape while government mask dictates are in effect, including that I won’t board an airplane.

My recent roundtrip flight was over two hours long, on the same airline for both the outbound and returning flights, and I sat in an aisle seat during both flights.

During my first flight, I kept my nose outside of my mask in order to fully breathe and the attendants left me alone, as well as others with their noses exposed, who were plentiful from my view. However, my return flight was staffed with different attendants and I was subjected to very different behavior from them.

Throughout the second flight, the attendants repeatedly whacked my shoulder when passing and sternly told me to put my mask over my nose. I repeatedly did so, but simply couldn’t fully breathe with it over my nose, non-stop, for over two hours, and felt that I couldn’t continually leave it there. I have low blood pressure and another medical condition. I don’t know if these conditions played a role in what I was experiencing. If either condition did play a role, I’m certainly in good company, as personal stories abound in society by those stating that they have medical conditions that have been triggered, worsened and/or exacerbated by mask wearing, and that mask wearing is difficult or unbearable for them.

The flight attendants’ shoulder whacks and demands didn’t indicate that they were contemplating whether I had a medical condition that impacted my mask wearing ability. Furthermore, their whacks indicated a lack of belief that I might be harboring a dangerous infectious disease, as they repeatedly chose to touch me. Of course, airlines seating passengers three to a row, which often causes complete strangers to have touching body parts for hours, also screams of a lack of belief that passengers are exposed to significant infectious disease risks from each other. (During both my outbound and return flight, I was seated in a full row and did experience arm contact, at times, with the middle seat passenger.)

My traveling companion, who sat several rows ahead of me in a window seat on the second flight, reported to me postflight that she wore her mask below her nose for the latter half of the flight and that no flight attendant addressed her about this. Surely, if the attendants believed that all noses had to be covered to prevent a true health risk, they would have vigorously applied their mask “policing” powers to passengers in all columns of seats.

During my flight, I didn’t complain about the flight attendants’ repeated swats to my shoulder. Surely, had I complained about this, I would have been reminded about the terms regarding masks that I’d agreed to when purchasing my ticket, and complaining may have earned me grief from “the authorities” upon deplaning.

One attempting to make logical sense of the scenario on my return flight (i.e., a mask required to be continually worn over the nose by me, in an aisle seat, but not my friend in a window seat, while passengers were seated so close that some were touching and flight attendants repeatedly opted to touch my shoulder) will likely experience cognitive dissonance and confusion. None of this makes sense from a health standpoint. At this juncture, Americans have been subjected to so many illogical COVID-19 related requirements, pushed by government and the businesses adhering to them, that they’ve lost count. One non-airline example of this is the rule in many jurisdictions that restaurant patrons must wear masks while walking to their tables, but can immediately remove them upon being seated. Life under COVID-19 rule feels eerie and surreal, as if logic and reason are slipping further and further away, into the ether, and most of us are politely pretending not to notice.

It should also be noted that the airline I flew upon only exempts those under two years old from its mask requirement and, unfortunately, I had to witness the heartbreaking effect of this upon a child. For about ten minutes as we sat on the runway prior to take-off, the boy, who appeared to be about four years old, had an emotional exchange with his mother about his mask. He sobbed throughout it and repeatedly begged to remove the mask and she kept barking back, “You keep that mask on!” The scene was a sickening reminder that mask requirements are having devastating impacts upon the young.

By withdrawing our patronage from businesses that act as “robust enforcers” of government mask dictates, we’ll discourage them from also agreeing to act as the state’s enforcement arm for impending proof of vaccination dictates.

As I sat on my return flight, pondering my predicament, I concluded that the only power I have with respect to airline mask requirements is to abandon air travel altogether until they end, and that I’ll do so.

Vocally withdrawing my business from airlines due to mask requirements may serve a purpose greater than simply sparing me hours of compromised breathing on flights. If enough customers have “had enough” with businesses who act as “robust enforcers” of government mask dictates, and loudly withdraw their patronage en masse from them for this reason, this may forestall even worse medical dictates heading our way. It may cause the businesses to think twice before agreeing to act as enforcers of proof of vaccination requirements which are likely imminent.

Many medical freedom advocates believe that the US government, acting in concert with its Big Pharma cronies, will push vaccination requirements upon the entire population, both children and adults, in the near future and that this will be accomplished not through outright federal mandates, but rather primarily through government proof of vaccination “recommendations” applied by businesses (i.e., proof of vaccination required to enter businesses or to use the services of businesses, as well as to be employed by them). Many consider the widespread business mask requirements in 2020, which were largely prompted by government recommendations, to be the dry run for this. One discussion of this view can be found in video of Patrick Wood’s October 17, 2020 interview of Dr. Sherri Tenpenny for the Ohio Chapter for the Citizens for Free Speech, beginning at approximately 48 minutes.

Members of the public who want to head off a future in which proof of vaccination is required to engage in life in any meaningful way outside of their homes should let businesses know, as strongly as possible, two things: 1.) that, whenever possible, they won’t patronize businesses that are cooperating with the government mask dictates; and 2.) that, if out of necessity they must use a business which “officially” requires masks, they will choose a “lax enforcer” over a “robust enforcer” whenever possible.

Resources: Website with articles and/or videos discussing scientific findings related to masks

Children’s Health Defense

The HighWire with Del Bigtree

Informed Consent Action Network

Vaxxter

Technocracy News and Trends

●The website of author/journalist Jeremy R. Hammond

●The website of author/journalist Bretigne Shaffer