Qatar operating against Russia

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, is to meet President Joe Biden at the White House on 31 January 2021. The two men will look into the possibilities of exporting Qatari gas to Europe in order to forestall the implementation of Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Qatar, a "major [US] non-NATO ally", already represents the United States before the Afghan government, which the US has failed to (...)

CIA recruits athletes to obstruct Beijing Olympics

According to the Chinese press, the CIA is enlisting athletes taking part in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics with a view to disrupting the games. The Agency has reportedly offered a hefty sum to those signing on so as to offset the likely repercussions of their involvement on their careers. The United States and some of its allies have decided to boycott the Olympics and will not send any diplomatic or political (...)

Canada’s Freedom Convoy Is A Worldwide Political Tsunami

Millions of Canadians, led by working class truckers, have put their foot down on the political class that has kept them hostage for the past two years. The media hacks scream "extremism" but the movement is going worldwide. Also today - Fauci says three jabs for your kids; Malone disagrees - who do you trust? And UK health workers see the end of the vax mandate. Watch today's Liberty Report:

US Doesn’t Care for China’s Muslims: Boycotting the Olympics is about Global Competition

The diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games may go down in history as the official start of the cold war between the US, a handful of its allies and China. The American strategy, however, of using boycotts to pressure Beijing in the name of ‘human rights’, may prove costly in the future.

On December 6, Washington declared that it would not send any diplomatic representation to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. In subsequent days, the UK, Canada and Australia followed suit.

The official American line claims that US diplomats will not participate in the event in protest of the “human rights abuses … in Xinjiang”. That claim can easily be refuted by simply recalling that the US has taken part in the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.

Then, claims of human rights violations in China were hardly a priority for the Americans, for one single reason: the thriving Chinese economy was the last line of defense that saved the global economy from total collapse, itself a result of the gross mismanagement of the US economy and malpractices of America’s largest banking institutions.

“Since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, one country more than any other has provided the ‘heavy lifting’ to support global economic growth,” Stephen King wrote in the Financial Times in August 2015.

Things have changed significantly since then. China emerged as a global economic power, which is increasingly replacing the US and its allies on the world’s stage. Desperate to recover from their economic woes – worsened by unhindered military spending on seemingly endless wars – the US has been waging a different kind of war against China. This economic war, which began under Barack Obama’s administration in 2012, and accelerated under Donald Trump’s administration, continues under the administration of Joe Biden.

However, forcing a country the size of China to compromise on its economic growth merely to allow Washington to sustain its global dominance is easier said than done. Additionally, it is utterly unfair.

Using a sports boycott to make a point that Washington still has plenty of options has actually resulted in the opposite. Only three other countries have agreed to join the American diplomatic boycott, a negligible number if compared to the twenty African countries that refrained from participating in the 1976 Montreal Summer Games in protest of the New Zealander participation. The latter was criticized for validating the South African apartheid regime when their rugby team had toured South Africa in that same year.

Earlier, in the Mexico City Olympics of 1968, 38 countries had refused to participate in protest of the admission of South Africa into the Olympics. Despite the initial decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to allow South African participation, international pressure led by African nations succeeded in the expulsion of the apartheid country – which was excluded from the international event until its re-admission in 1992.

The US and three of its allies want us to believe that their diplomatic boycott is motivated by principles, namely, though not exclusively, in defense of China’s Uyghur Muslims. If that was the case, what is one to make of the US-led wars on Muslim countries over the last two decades? What kind of human rights standards did Washington apply when it waged war on Afghanistan in 2001 and invaded Iraq in 2003? Tellingly, and ironically, the same three countries – the UK, Canada and Australia – actively participated in America’s military misadventures that have claimed countless Muslim lives and destroyed entire countries.

The fact that only three other countries have adhered to the American call for a diplomatic boycott also illustrates the weakening grip of Washington over international affairs. It is worth mentioning that the European Union has refused to join the US in its latest foreign policy intrigue.

For its part, China criticized Washington’s position, rightly stating, in the words of its Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, that the boycott is motivated by “ideological prejudice and based on lies and rumors.”

Historically, international sports events have been politicized in two different ways: First, morally-driven boycotts based on an ethical agenda, like the boycott of South African apartheid and so on; and second, purely political boycotts that are instituted to serve a political agenda or to isolate host countries as a form of economic pressure. An example of the latter was the US-led boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics of 1980, for which the Soviet Union and their allies retaliated by boycotting the Los Angeles Summer Olympics of 1984.

The American diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Chinese Olympics is an example of a politically-motivated boycott. The fact that it is a diplomatic boycott only, as opposed to a full boycott, is most likely compelled by Washington’s fears that a full-fledged boycott would only serve to illustrate its own isolation in the international arena.

Keeping in mind existing global divisions and the need for international unity to confront collective crises – such as that of the environment, deadly pandemics, among others – delving back into yet a new cold war will serve no purpose, aside from harming millions of people around the world for no fault of their own. What is required is dialogue, one that aims at providing equitable opportunities for all nations to grow and prosper.

That said, the age of global hegemony is coming to an end and no amount of self-serving boycotts or trade wars will alter this unavoidable fact.

The post US Doesn’t Care for China’s Muslims: Boycotting the Olympics is about Global Competition first appeared on Dissident Voice.

We Are All Canadian Truckers Now!

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We all remember where we were when the Berlin Wall came down. While it may have seemed that communist rule would go on forever, when the people decided that they had enough suddenly the wall fell. Just like that.

Thus it is after two years of Covid authoritarianism that in Canada the largest truck convoy in history has smashed through the Berlin Wall of tyranny. I have watched as the Canada I once respected as a haven for antiwar Americans in the 1960s turned into one of the most repressive countries on earth. I wondered how a freedom-loving people could allow themselves to be abused by these mini-Stalins without a peep.

But then Canada stood up and showed the rest of the world that freedom can triumph over tyranny if the people demand it. As I say, no army can stop an idea whose time has come.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau had been basking in his ability to terrorize the population in the name of fighting a virus. He was so confident in his seemingly unlimited power that he felt he could ridicule any Canadian with different views. The prime minister said in a recent interview that unvaccinated Canadians were “extremists,” “misogynists,” and “racists.”

When the Canadian truckers stood up to his tyranny and began their historic convoy to Ottawa, he thought he could continue ridiculing people. The truckers and their supporters were just a “small fringe minority” who hold “unacceptable views,” he confidently claimed. For Trudeau, love of liberty is just an “unacceptable view.”

Less than a week later, as tens of thousands of trucks began entering the capital with millions of supporters behind them, the “brave” Canadian prime minister had fled the city and shuffled off to an undisclosed location.

As Elon Musk Tweeted, “It would appear that the so-called ‘fringe minority’ is actually the government.”

The Canadian mainstream media is obviously just as obedient to the regime as ours. They ignored the Freedom Convoy for as long as possible. There was almost no reporting. Then, when it became impossible to ignore, they began to attack and ridicule instead of trying to report it accurately. It was disgusting and almost comical to see a “reporter” from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation suggest that the Canadian Freedom Convoy was cooked up by Putin and the Russians!

Thousands of trucks have arrived in Ottawa. They demand an end to covid tyranny. They are backed by millions of citizens, who braved the Canadian winter at night to cheer the truckers on.

This protest is so important because it’s not limited to Canada. The truckers are being supported worldwide, and a similar convoy is being planned from California to Washington, DC. In a US where grocery store shelves are increasingly bare, the truckers have more leverage than the powers-that-be would like to admit.

If I were prime minister of totalitarian Australia or New Zealand – or most anywhere in Europe – I would be getting pretty nervous right now. Just as the Covid tyranny descended across the globe in a seemingly coordinated fashion, now that the Berlin Wall of the tyrants has been breached, it’s just a matter of time before the shockwaves are felt far and wide.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Canadian truck drivers. Let’s all do whatever we can to help the freedom movement continue to gather steam!

The Pressure Campaign on Spotify to Remove Joe Rogan Reveals the Religion of Liberals: Censorship

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American liberals are obsessed with finding ways to silence and censor their adversaries. Every week, if not every day, they have new targets they want de-platformed, banned, silenced, and otherwise prevented from speaking or being heard (by "liberals,” I mean the term of self-description used by the dominant wing of the Democratic Party).

For years, their preferred censorship tactic was to expand and distort the concept of "hate speech” to mean "views that make us uncomfortable,” and then demand that such “hateful” views be prohibited on that basis. For that reason, it is now common to hear Democrats assert, falsely, that the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech does not protect “hate speech." Their political culture has long inculcated them to believe that they can comfortably silence whatever views they arbitrarily place into this category without being guilty of censorship.

Constitutional illiteracy to the side, the “hate speech” framework for justifying censorship is now insufficient because liberals are eager to silence a much broader range of voices than those they can credibly accuse of being hateful. That is why the newest, and now most popular, censorship framework is to claim that their targets are guilty of spreading “misinformation” or “disinformation.” These terms, by design, have no clear or concise meaning. Like the term “terrorism,” it is their elasticity that makes them so useful.

When liberals’ favorite media outlets, from CNN and NBC to The New York Times and The Atlantic, spend four years disseminating one fabricated Russia story after the next — from the Kremlin hacking into Vermont's heating system and Putin's sexual blackmail over Trump to bounties on the heads of US soldiers in Afghanistan, the Biden email archive being "Russian disinformation,” and a magical mystery weapon that injures American brains with cricket noises — none of that is "disinformation” that requires banishment. Nor are false claims that COVID's origin has proven to be zoonotic rather than a lab leak, the vastly overstated claim that vaccines prevent transmission of COVID, or that Julian Assange stole classified documents and caused people to die. Corporate outlets beloved by liberals are free to spout serious falsehoods without being deemed guilty of disinformation, and, because of that, do so routinely.

This "disinformation" term is reserved for those who question liberal pieties, not for those devoted to affirming them. That is the real functional definition of “disinformation” and of its little cousin, “misinformation.” It is not possible to disagree with liberals or see the world differently than they see it. The only two choices are unthinking submission to their dogma or acting as an agent of "disinformation.” Dissent does not exist to them; any deviation from their worldview is inherently dangerous — to the point that it cannot be heard.

The data proving a deeply radical authoritarian strain in Trump-era Democratic Party politics is ample and have been extensively reported here. Democrats overwhelmingly trust and love the FBI and CIA. Polls show they overwhelmingly favor censorship of the internet not only by Big Tech oligarchs but also by the state. Leading Democratic Party politicians have repeatedly subpoenaed social media executives and explicitly threatened them with legal and regulatory reprisals if they do not censor more aggressively — a likely violation of the First Amendment given decades of case law ruling that state officials are barred from coercing private actors to censor for them, in ways the Constitution prohibits them from doing directly.

Democratic officials have used the pretexts of COVID, “the insurrection," and Russia to justify their censorship demands. Both Joe Biden and his Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, have "urged” Silicon Valley to censor more when asked about Joe Rogan and others who air what they call “disinformation” about COVID. They cheered the use of pro-prosecutor tactics against Michael Flynn and other Russiagate targets; made a hero out of the Capitol Hill Police officer who shot and killed the unarmed Ashli Babbitt; voted for an additional $2 billion to expand the functions of the Capitol Police; have demanded and obtained lengthy prison sentences and solitary confinement even for non-violent 1/6 defendants; and even seek to import the War on Terror onto domestic soil.

Given the climate prevailing in the American liberal faction, this authoritarianism is anything but surprising. For those who convince themselves that they are not battling mere political opponents with a different ideology but a fascist movement led by a Hitler-like figure bent on imposing totalitarianism — a core, defining belief of modern-day Democratic Party politics — it is virtually inevitable that they will embrace authoritarianism. When a political movement is subsumed by fear — the Orange Hitler will put you in camps and end democracy if he wins again — then it is not only expected but even rational to embrace authoritarian tactics including censorship to stave off this existential threat. Fear always breeds authoritarianism, which is why manipulating and stimulating that human instinct is the favorite tactic of political demagogues.

And when it comes to authoritarian tactics, censorship has become the liberals’ North Star. Every week brings news of a newly banished heretic. Liberals cheered the news last week that Google's YouTube permanently banned the extremely popular video channel of conservative commentator Dan Bongino. His permanent ban was imposed for the crime of announcing that, moving forward, he would post all of his videos exclusively on the free speech video platform Rumble after he received a seven-day suspension from Google's overlords for spreading supposed COVID “disinformation.” What was Bongino's prohibited view that prompted that suspension? He claimed cloth masks do not work to stop the spread of COVID, a view shared by numerous experts and, at least in part, by the CDC. When Bongino disobeyed the seven-day suspension by using an alternative YouTube channel to announce his move to Rumble, liberals cheered Google's permanent ban because the only thing liberals hate more than platforms that allow diverse views are people failing to obey rules imposed by corporate authorities.

It is not hyperbole to observe that there is now a concerted war on any platforms devoted to free discourse and which refuse to capitulate to the demands of Democratic politicians and liberal activists to censor. The spear of the attack are corporate media outlets, who demonize and try to render radioactive any platforms that allow free speech to flourish. When Rumble announced that a group of free speech advocates — including myself, former Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, comedian Bridget Phetasy, former Sanders campaign videographer Matt Orfalea and journalist Zaid Jilani — would produce video content for Rumble, The Washington Post immediately published a hit piece, relying exclusively on a Google-and-Facebook-aligned so-called "disinformation expert” to malign Rumble as "one of the main platforms for conspiracy communities and far-right communities in the US and around the world” and a place “where conspiracies thrive," all caused by Rumble's "allowing such videos to remain on the site unmoderated.” (The narrative about Rumble is particular bizarre since its Canadian founder and still-CEO, Chris Pavlovski created Rumble in 2013 with apolitical goals — to allow small content creators abandoned by YouTube to monetize their content — and is very far from an adherent to right-wing ideology).

The same attack was launched, and is still underway, against Substack, also for the crime of refusing to ban writers deemed by liberal corporate outlets and activists to be hateful and/or fonts of disinformation. After the first wave of liberal attacks on Substack failed — that script was that it is a place for anti-trans animus and harassment — The Post returned this week for round two, with a paint-by-numbers hit piece virtually identical to the one it published last year about Rumble. “Newsletter company Substack is making millions off anti-vaccine content, according to estimates,” blared the sub-headline. “Prominent figures known for spreading misinformation, such as [Joseph] Mercola, have flocked to Substack, podcasting platforms and a growing number of right-wing social media networks over the past year after getting kicked off or restricted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube,” warned the Post. It is, evidently, extremely dangerous to society for voices to still be heard once Google decrees they should not be.

This Post attack on Substack predictably provoked expressions of Serious Concern from good and responsible liberals. That included Chelsea Clinton, who lamented that Substack is profiting off a “grift.” Apparently, this political heiress — who is one of the world's richest individuals by virtue of winning the birth lottery of being born to rich and powerful parents, who in turn enriched themselves by cashing in on their political influence in exchange for $750,000 paychecks from Goldman Sachs for 45-minute speeches, and who herself somehow was showered with a $600,000 annual contract from NBC News despite no qualifications — believes she is in a position to accuse others of "grifting.” She also appears to believe that — despite welcoming convicted child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell to her wedding to a hedge fund oligarch whose father was expelled from Congress after his conviction on thirty-one counts of felony fraud — she is entitled to decree who should and should not be allowed to have a writing platform:

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This Post-manufactured narrative about Substack instantly metastasized throughout the liberal sect of media. “Anti-vaxxers making ‘at least $2.5m’ a year from publishing on Substack,” read the headline of The Guardian, the paper that in 2018 published the outright lie that Julian Assange met twice with Paul Manafort inside the Ecuadorian Embassy and refuses to this day to retract it (i.e., “disinformation"). Like The Post, the British paper cited one of the seemingly endless number of shady pro-censorship groups — this one calling itself the “Center for Countering Digital Hate” — to argue for greater censorship by Substack. “They could just say no,” said the group's director, who has apparently convinced himself he should be able to dictate what views should and should not be aired: “This isn’t about freedom; this is about profiting from lies. . . . Substack should immediately stop profiting from medical misinformation that can seriously harm readers.”

Read the whole article here.

Now is the Time for Mass Resignations from Within the Ruling Class

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If there is a historical precedent for the truckers’ revolt in Canada, and the populist protests in so many other parts of the world, I would like to know what it is. It surely sets the record for convoy size, and it is historic for Canada. But there is much more going on here, something more fundamental. The two-year imposition of bio-fascist rule by diktat seems ever less tenable – the consent of the governed is being withdrawn – but what comes next seems unclear. 

We now have two of the most restrictive “leaders” in the developed world (Justin Trudeau of Canada and Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand) hiding in undisclosed locations, citing the need to quarantine following Covid exposure. Streets globally have filled up with people demanding an end to mandates and lockdowns, calling for accountability, pushing for resignations, denouncing privileged corporations, and crying out for a recognition of basic freedoms and rights. 
Note too that these movements are spontaneous and from “below:” they are populated mostly by the very workers whom governments shoved to face the pathogen two years ago, while the ruling class hid behind their laptops in their living rooms. It was the lockdowns that sharply divided the classes and the mandates that are imposing segregation. Now we are facing a modern allegory to the peasants’ revolt in the Middle Ages. 

For a long time, the workers complied bravely but have been forced to accept medical shots they neither wanted nor believed they needed. And many are still being denied freedoms they took for granted only two years ago, their schools non-operational, businesses wrecked, places of entertainment closed or severely restricted. People turn on the radios and televisions to listen to lectures by ruling-class elites who claim to be channeling the science that always ends in the same theme: the rulers are in charge and everyone else must comply, no matter what is asked of them. 

But then it became screamingly obvious to the world that none of it worked. It was a gigantic flop and the sky-high cases of late 2021 in most parts of the world put a fine point on it. They failed. It was all for naught. This clearly cannot continue. Something has to give. Something has to change, and this change probably will not wait for the next scheduled elections. What happens in the meantime? Where is this going? 

We’ve seen what revolutions look like against monarchies (18th and 19th century), against colonial occupation, against totalitarian one-party states (1989-90), and against banana-republic strongmen (20th century). But what does revolution look like in developed democracies ruled by entrenched administrative states in which elected politicians serve as little more than veneer for bureaucracies?

Since John Locke, it is an accepted idea that people have the right to rule themselves and even to replace governments that go too far in denying that right. In theory, the problem of government overreach in democracy is solved by elections. The argument made for such a system is that it allows for peaceful change of a ruling elite, and this is far less socially costly than war and revolution. 

There are many problems with matching theory and reality, among which that the people with the real power in the 21st century are not the people we elect but those who have gained their privileges through bureaucratic maneuvering and longevity. 

There are many strange features of the last two years but one of them that stands out to me is how utterly undemocratic the trajectory of events has been. When they locked us down, for example, it was the decision of elected autocrats as advised by credentialled experts that were somehow sure that this path would make the virus go away (or something like that). When they imposed vaccination mandates, it was because they were sure that this was the right path for public health. 

There were no polls. There was little if any input from legislatures at any level. Even from the first lockdowns in the US, occurring March 8, 2020 in Austin, Texas, there was no consultation with the city council. Neither were citizens asked. The wishes of the small business people were not solicited. The state legislature was left out entirely. 

It was as if everyone suddenly presumed that the whole country would operate on an administrative/dictatorship model, and that the guidelines of health bureaucracies (with plans for lockdowns that hardly anyone even knew existed) trumped all tradition, constitutions, restrictions on state power, and public opinion generally. We all became their servants. This happened all over the world. 

It suddenly became obvious to many people in the world that the systems of government we thought we had – responsive to the public, deferential to rights, controlled by courts – were no longer in place. There seemed to be a substructure that was hiding in plain sight until it suddenly took full control, to the cheers of the media and the presumption that this is just the way things are supposed to be. 

Years ago, I was hanging out in the building of a federal agency when there was a change of guard: a new administration appointed a new person to head it. The only change that the bureaucrats noticed was new portraits on the wall. Most of these people pride themselves in failing to notice. They know who is in charge and it is not the people we imagine to elect. They are there for life, and face none of the public scrutiny much less accountability that the politicians face daily. 

Lockdowns and mandates gave them full power, not only over the one or two sectors they previously ruled but the whole of society and all of its functioning. They even controlled how many people we could have in our homes, whether our businesses could be open, whether we could worship with others, and dictate what precisely we are supposed to do with our own bodies. 

Whatever happened to limits on power? The people who put together the systems of government in the 18th century that led to the most prosperous societies in the history of the world knew that restricting government was the key to a stable social order and growing economy. They gave us Constitutions and the lists of rights and the courts enforced them. 

But at some point in history, the ruling class figured out certain workarounds to these restrictions. The administrative state with permanent bureaucrats could achieve things that legislatures could not, so they were gradually unleashed under various pretexts (war, depression, terror threats, pandemics). Moreover, governments gradually learned to outsource their hegemonic ambitions to the biggest businesses in the private sector, who themselves benefit from increasing the costs of compliance. 

The circle has been completed by enlisting Big Media into the mix of control via access to the class of rulers, to receive and broadcast out the line of the day, and hurl insults at any dissidents within the population (“fringe,” etc.). This has created what we see in the 21st century: a toxic combination of Big Tech, Big Government, Big Media, all backed by various other industrial interests who benefit more from systems of control than they would from a free and competitive economy. Further, this cabal leveled a radical attack on civil society itself, closing churches, concerts, and civic groups. 

We’ve been assured by David Hume (1711-1776) and Etienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) that government rule is untenable when it loses the consent of the governed. “Resolve to serve no more,” wrote Boetie, “and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall off his own weight and break into pieces.” 

That’s inspiring but what does it mean in practice? What precisely is the mechanism by which the overlords in our time are effectively overthrown? We’ve seen this in totalitarian states, in states with one-man rule, in states with unelected monarchies. But unless I’m missing something, we’ve not seen this in a developed democracy with an administrative state that holds the real power. We have scheduled elections but those are unhelpful when 1) elected leaders are not the real source of power, and 2) when the elections are too far in the distant future to deal with a present emergency. 

One very easy and obvious path away from the current crisis is for the ruling class to admit error, repeal the mandates, and simply allow for common freedoms and rights for everyone. As easy as that sounds, this solution hits a hard wall when faced with ruling-class arrogance, trepidation, and the unwillingness to admit past errors for fear of what that will mean for their political legacies. For this reason, absolutely no one expects the likes of Trudeau, Ardern, or Biden to humbly apologize, admit that they were wrong, and beg the people’s forgiveness. On the contrary, everyone expects them to continue the game of pretend so long as they can get away with it. 

The people on the streets today, and those willing to tell pollsters that they are fed up, are saying: no more. What does it mean for the ruling class not to get away with this nonsense anymore? Presuming that they do not resign, they do not call off the dogs of mandates and lockdowns, what is the next step? My instincts tell me that we are about to discover the answer. Electoral realignment seems inevitable but what happens before then? 

The obvious answer to the current instability is mass resignations within the administrative state, among the class of politicians that gives it cover, as well as heads of media organs that have propagandized for them. In the name of peace, human rights, and the renewal of prosperity and trust, this needs to happen today. Bury the pride and do what’s right. Do it now while there is still time for the revolution to be velvet. 

Reprinted with permission from Brownstone Institute.

With Intent to Harm: The CIA, Schizophrenia and Denmark’s Children

It has become common fare to read ghoulish stories of child abuse in institutions supposedly created to care for the vulnerable.  Orphanages, homes, religious orders have tended to feature, along with their assortments of innumerable sadists and pederasts.  But in December, another institution caused ripples for its alleged role in abusing children.

A Danish Radio documentary series, The Search for Myself, did not hold back in levelling claims against the US Central Intelligence Agency that it had financially aided experiments on 311 Danish children in the early 1960s.  A good number of them were orphans or adopted.

One such victim was the documentary maker Per Wennick, who claims that he was subjected to tests with no knowledge of their background in the basement of the Municipal Hospital in Copenhagen.  These were supposedly designed to investigate links between heredity and environmental factors in engendering schizophrenia, work inspired by the psychologist Sarnoff A. Mednick.

Of particular interest in the experiment in question were the children of schizophrenic mothers.  Of the 311 children in question, 207 had such mothers, while the rest, who constituted the control group, did not.  Wennick was of the latter group.

As with previous experiments of such ilk, Wennick received shallow enticements without information.  It was not difficult: he was 11, having grown up in the Godthåb orphanage with, he quipped, God and flogging.  He was promised something exciting at the Municipal Hospital.  For the pleasure of it all, he would also get 16 kroner.  He sat in a chair, had headphones placed upon him, and was subjected to statements, screams and noises designed to frighten.  Electrodes were placed upon his body, his heart rate, body temperature and sweat level measured.

Interest from US authorities was piqued given the attractiveness of Denmark’s central population register, something lacking in the US.  The register enabled a tracking of individuals through the course of their lives, and led to a lengthy collaboration between Mednick and the Danish professor based at the Municipal Hospital, Fini Schulsinger.

The latter would make much use of the project in his 1977 doctoral dissertation.  Unusually, Schulsinger’s thesis was not subject to the usual public defence, with the Ministry of Justice permitting it to be held behind closed doors.  The reasons were both disingenuous and dishonourable: preserving the anonymity of the children being used and ensuring their ignorance as to why they were being used as participants.

Till now, Schulsinger’s contributions as founder and director of the Psykologisk Institut at that hospital  have been acknowledged with some admiration, with one author claiming he “made important contributions to the understanding of nature-nurture problems within psychiatry.”  This clearly did not include the field of medical ethics.

The program Wennick participated in was almost certainly a violation of the Nuremberg Code of 1947, which stipulates that, “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.”  Consent can only be ethically obtained where the person has legal capacity to do so, has exercise of free power of choice, and has “sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable them to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”

Disturbingly for Wennick, he remained a subject of interest for decades.  In 1974, he participated in what he thought was the last trial but received no answer on what sort of research was being conducted.  A decade later, seeking treatment for a skin condition in hospital, he discovered that he was the subject of interest to psychologists each and every time he used the health system.  “I think,” he reflected, “that this is a violation of my human rights as a citizen of this society.”

An important source of funding for the Municipal Hospital project, supplied under the auspices of US health care, was the Human Ecology Fund, a CIA front overseen by Cornell University Medical School neurologist Harold Wolff.  The Fund, which supplied the Danish program some $21,000, proved a vital source for underwriting research projects to better inform the agency about the use of torture and interrogation techniques.

Caught unawares by this rude revelation, unwitting CIA grant recipients Alan Howard and Robert Scott could only rue the circumstances and suggest that their work had been noble, even if the money source had not been. “All our contributions to the health and welfare literature have been written with the goal of alleviating human suffering, not using it to gain hegemonic advantage.”  Academics and researchers can be such blithely ignorant creatures.

This has been a delicious revelation in the human rights propaganda wars fed by the Biden Administration in its battles against authoritarian demons and abusive bogeymen.  The Chinese Foreign Ministry was delighted in turning the tables on such cant, drawing upon the CIA-Danish project.  In January, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian pointedly remarked that the US both apologise and offer compensation to the victims of such “secret experiments”.

Such compensation would lead to a hefty bill for the US treasury.  For decades, unethical and illegal experiments have been conducted by US authorities upon unsuspecting citizens.  In 1932, the Tuskegee Institute, working with the US Public Health Service, commenced work on the natural history of syphilis that would do much to foster perennial suspicion of public health authorities and their ignoble intentions.  The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male began with 600 Black men, 399 with syphilis, 201 without.  Informed consent was not sought, the men being told that they were being treated for “bad blood”.  Incentives were offered to the participants: free meals, burial insurance, gratis medical exams.

It took four decades before an advisory panel established by the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs found, with few traces of indignation, that the study had been “ethically unjustified,” yielding results “disproportionately meager compared with known risks to human subjects involved.”

Wishing to be a true international citizen in such matters, the US imperium proceeded to expand such experiments beyond its shores.  In 1946, the US government was involved in medical trials affecting at least 5,128 unconsenting and uninformed Guatemalans, including children, orphans, child and adult prostitutes, leprosy patients, prisoners, soldiers, mental patients and Guatemalan Indians.

Of these, some 1,308 were infected with syphilis, gonorrhoea and chancroid.  Others had serology tests conducted upon them.  “The researchers,” write Michael A. Rodriguez and Robert García, “systematically and repeatedly violated profoundly vulnerable individuals, some in the saddest and most despairing states, and grievously aggravated their suffering.”

A subsequent report on the experiments by the Guatemalan government, Consentir el Daño: Experimentos Médicos de Estados Unidos en Guatemala (To Agree to the Harm: Medical Experiments by the United States in Guatemala) found that such acts constituted “a crime against humanity”.  The US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues shied away from such language in its two reports but conceded that the experiments would be “impossible” to conduct under current ethical frameworks.

The response from Washington to the survivors of the CIA-funded program at Copenhagen’s Municipal Hospital is unlikely to be much more than a barely audible apology.  Wennick and his similarly abused compatriots are probably best off focusing their interest closer to home, targeting the connivance and complicity of those Danish officials who enabled this sordid enterprise to go ahead in the first place.

The post With Intent to Harm: The CIA, Schizophrenia and Denmark’s Children first appeared on Dissident Voice.

With Intent to Harm: The CIA, Schizophrenia and Denmark’s Children

It has become common fare to read ghoulish stories of child abuse in institutions supposedly created to care for the vulnerable.  Orphanages, homes, religious orders have tended to feature, along with their assortments of innumerable sadists and pederasts.  But in December, another institution caused ripples for its alleged role in abusing children.

A Danish Radio documentary series, The Search for Myself, did not hold back in levelling claims against the US Central Intelligence Agency that it had financially aided experiments on 311 Danish children in the early 1960s.  A good number of them were orphans or adopted.

One such victim was the documentary maker Per Wennick, who claims that he was subjected to tests with no knowledge of their background in the basement of the Municipal Hospital in Copenhagen.  These were supposedly designed to investigate links between heredity and environmental factors in engendering schizophrenia, work inspired by the psychologist Sarnoff A. Mednick.

Of particular interest in the experiment in question were the children of schizophrenic mothers.  Of the 311 children in question, 207 had such mothers, while the rest, who constituted the control group, did not.  Wennick was of the latter group.

As with previous experiments of such ilk, Wennick received shallow enticements without information.  It was not difficult: he was 11, having grown up in the Godthåb orphanage with, he quipped, God and flogging.  He was promised something exciting at the Municipal Hospital.  For the pleasure of it all, he would also get 16 kroner.  He sat in a chair, had headphones placed upon him, and was subjected to statements, screams and noises designed to frighten.  Electrodes were placed upon his body, his heart rate, body temperature and sweat level measured.

Interest from US authorities was piqued given the attractiveness of Denmark’s central population register, something lacking in the US.  The register enabled a tracking of individuals through the course of their lives, and led to a lengthy collaboration between Mednick and the Danish professor based at the Municipal Hospital, Fini Schulsinger.

The latter would make much use of the project in his 1977 doctoral dissertation.  Unusually, Schulsinger’s thesis was not subject to the usual public defence, with the Ministry of Justice permitting it to be held behind closed doors.  The reasons were both disingenuous and dishonourable: preserving the anonymity of the children being used and ensuring their ignorance as to why they were being used as participants.

Till now, Schulsinger’s contributions as founder and director of the Psykologisk Institut at that hospital  have been acknowledged with some admiration, with one author claiming he “made important contributions to the understanding of nature-nurture problems within psychiatry.”  This clearly did not include the field of medical ethics.

The program Wennick participated in was almost certainly a violation of the Nuremberg Code of 1947, which stipulates that, “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.”  Consent can only be ethically obtained where the person has legal capacity to do so, has exercise of free power of choice, and has “sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable them to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”

Disturbingly for Wennick, he remained a subject of interest for decades.  In 1974, he participated in what he thought was the last trial but received no answer on what sort of research was being conducted.  A decade later, seeking treatment for a skin condition in hospital, he discovered that he was the subject of interest to psychologists each and every time he used the health system.  “I think,” he reflected, “that this is a violation of my human rights as a citizen of this society.”

An important source of funding for the Municipal Hospital project, supplied under the auspices of US health care, was the Human Ecology Fund, a CIA front overseen by Cornell University Medical School neurologist Harold Wolff.  The Fund, which supplied the Danish program some $21,000, proved a vital source for underwriting research projects to better inform the agency about the use of torture and interrogation techniques.

Caught unawares by this rude revelation, unwitting CIA grant recipients Alan Howard and Robert Scott could only rue the circumstances and suggest that their work had been noble, even if the money source had not been. “All our contributions to the health and welfare literature have been written with the goal of alleviating human suffering, not using it to gain hegemonic advantage.”  Academics and researchers can be such blithely ignorant creatures.

This has been a delicious revelation in the human rights propaganda wars fed by the Biden Administration in its battles against authoritarian demons and abusive bogeymen.  The Chinese Foreign Ministry was delighted in turning the tables on such cant, drawing upon the CIA-Danish project.  In January, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian pointedly remarked that the US both apologise and offer compensation to the victims of such “secret experiments”.

Such compensation would lead to a hefty bill for the US treasury.  For decades, unethical and illegal experiments have been conducted by US authorities upon unsuspecting citizens.  In 1932, the Tuskegee Institute, working with the US Public Health Service, commenced work on the natural history of syphilis that would do much to foster perennial suspicion of public health authorities and their ignoble intentions.  The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male began with 600 Black men, 399 with syphilis, 201 without.  Informed consent was not sought, the men being told that they were being treated for “bad blood”.  Incentives were offered to the participants: free meals, burial insurance, gratis medical exams.

It took four decades before an advisory panel established by the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs found, with few traces of indignation, that the study had been “ethically unjustified,” yielding results “disproportionately meager compared with known risks to human subjects involved.”

Wishing to be a true international citizen in such matters, the US imperium proceeded to expand such experiments beyond its shores.  In 1946, the US government was involved in medical trials affecting at least 5,128 unconsenting and uninformed Guatemalans, including children, orphans, child and adult prostitutes, leprosy patients, prisoners, soldiers, mental patients and Guatemalan Indians.

Of these, some 1,308 were infected with syphilis, gonorrhoea and chancroid.  Others had serology tests conducted upon them.  “The researchers,” write Michael A. Rodriguez and Robert García, “systematically and repeatedly violated profoundly vulnerable individuals, some in the saddest and most despairing states, and grievously aggravated their suffering.”

A subsequent report on the experiments by the Guatemalan government, Consentir el Daño: Experimentos Médicos de Estados Unidos en Guatemala (To Agree to the Harm: Medical Experiments by the United States in Guatemala) found that such acts constituted “a crime against humanity”.  The US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues shied away from such language in its two reports but conceded that the experiments would be “impossible” to conduct under current ethical frameworks.

The response from Washington to the survivors of the CIA-funded program at Copenhagen’s Municipal Hospital is unlikely to be much more than a barely audible apology.  Wennick and his similarly abused compatriots are probably best off focusing their interest closer to home, targeting the connivance and complicity of those Danish officials who enabled this sordid enterprise to go ahead in the first place.

The post With Intent to Harm: The CIA, Schizophrenia and Denmark’s Children first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Israel’s Hasbara in Sheikh Jarrah: On Gilad Erdan’s ‘Terrorist’ Rock and Faulty Logic

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, is leading his country’s anti-Palestinian propaganda, this time engaging in pre-emptive hasbara in anticipation of a Palestinian response to the ongoing evictions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

“Would you consider it a terror attack if a rock like this was thrown at your car while driving with your children?” Erdan asked the United Nations Security Council members, while holding the rock in his hands. “Would you, at the very least, condemn these brutal terror attacks carried out against Israeli civilians by Palestinians?”

This Israeli logic is quite typical, where oppressed Palestinians are depicted to be the aggressor, and oppressive Israel – a racist apartheid state by any standard – presents itself as a victim merely engaging in defending its own citizens.

But Erdan’s selective logic is, this time around, compelled by something else. His UN charade is merely aimed at creating a distraction from the ongoing horrific events transpiring in Sheikh Jarrah and throughout occupied East Jerusalem. On Wednesday, January 19, the Palestinain Salhiya family’s home was demolished by Israel, rendering 15 people, mostly children, homeless.

A few days earlier, a heart-wrenching event took place on top of that very site, when members of the Salhiya family threatened to set themselves ablaze as they agonized over the imminent loss of their family home.

“We have nothing left for us in Jerusalem. This is ethnic cleansing. Today me, tomorrow my neighbors. We’d rather die on our land with dignity than surrender to them,” Mahmoud Salhiya, the owner of the house said, before he was dissuaded by neighbors not to set himself on fire.

These tragic events are being watched closely, first by Palestinians and also by people around the world. If the momentum of Israeli destruction continues, chances are we could witness another popular uprising. Erdan’s spectacle at the UN is a desperate act of propaganda to sway members of the international community from criticizing Israel.

But Israel is failing at making a case for itself, similar to its failure to defend its horrific violence against Palestinians throughout occupied Palestine in May 2021. Even Israel’s traditional allies are speaking out against the latest round of ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah.

The US envoy to the United Nations expressed ‘concern’ over the forced expulsion in the Palestinian neighborhood. “To make progress, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority must refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, using the usually guarded language. However,  Thomas-Greenfield went on to warn against the “annexations of territory, settlement activity, demolitions and evictions – like what we saw in Sheikh Jarrah.”

Also on January 19, US lawmaker, Rep. Mark Pocan strongly criticized the Israeli decision to forcefully evict the Salhiya family in Sheikh Jarrah.

“Last night, in the cover of darkness & freezing cold, the homes of the Salhiyeh family in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, were destroyed by Israeli forces leaving 15 people homeless. This is unacceptable and must end,” Pocan tweeted, adding the popular hashtag #Savesheikhjarrah.

For his part, the UN Middle East special envoy, Tor Wennsland, strongly condemned the expulsion of the Palestinian family by Israeli occupation authorities.

“I call on Israeli authorities to end the displacement and eviction of Palestinians, in line with its obligations under international law, and to approve additional plans that would enable Palestinian communities to build legally and address their development needs,” the UN website reported Wennesland as saying.

Back to Erdan’s display, where he showcased Palestinian ‘terrorism’ by presenting the supposedly damning evidence of a rock.

It must be said that criticizing or defending Palestinian resistance, however symbolic, allows Israel to engage in a misleading and frivolous conversation that creates a moral equivalence between the occupier and the occupied, the colonialist and the colonized.

Whether Palestinians use a stone, a gun or a clenched fist to resist and defend themselves, their resistance is morally and legally justifiable. Israel, on the other hand, like all other military occupiers and colonialists, has neither a moral nor a legal argument to justify its oppression of Palestinians, the destruction of their homes – like that of the Salhiya family – and the killing of their children.

Judging by the growing solidarity with Palestinians everywhere, it is clear that Erdan’s pathetic display is just another exercise in political futility.

Nothing that Israel can say or do will alter the glaring reality, that a new generation of Palestinians is, once again, unifying the Palestinian discourse, namely around Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation. Whether Israeli oppression is happening in Sheikh Jarrah, in Gaza, or the Naqab desert, Palestinians now collectively respond as one unified political body. Thanks to the May 2021 rebellion, gone are the days in which Palestinians are expelled from their homes in the middle of the night as if a routine event, with no consequence.

Moreover, the political language that is being used to describe events in Palestine in the international arena is itself changing. Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ is no longer the knee-jerk reaction that is often used to describe Israeli violence and Palestinian resistance.

And finally, it seems that Israel is no longer the party shaping events in Palestine and controlling the discourse around these events. Palestinians, and a growing international movement of supporters, are proactively shaping global perceptions of the realities on the ground. Neither Erdan nor his bosses in Tel Aviv can reverse this Palestinian-led momentum. His UN display merely reflects the degree of desperation and intellectual bankruptcy of Israel and its representatives.

The post Israel’s Hasbara in Sheikh Jarrah: On Gilad Erdan’s ‘Terrorist’ Rock and Faulty Logic first appeared on Dissident Voice.