10/23/17

China Stays True To Marxism/Communism

By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal

Many Westerners believe that because China has adopted a “state capitalist” model, it is therefore on the road to abandoning Marxism/communism.

That is a very dangerous mistake.

From the Communist Party USA’s People’s World:

Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and President of the People’s Republic, recently told the Politburo that a profound understanding of Marxism on the part of the country’s leadership was essential. He warned his colleagues that any abandonment of Marxism would cause the CPC “to lose its soul and direction.”

Classical Marxism maintains that mankind goes through five stages of development.

  1. Primitive Communism – hunter-gatherer, communal subsistence living.
  2. Feudalism – an agricultural based economy, ruled over by strongmen and warlords.
  3. Capitalism – a highly productive, but eventually self-destructive industrial based economy, dominated by business leaders.
  4. Socialism – a centrally planned economy, where the wealth created by capitalism is re-distributed by government bureaucrats, lead by an elite.
  5. Advanced Communism – the centrally planned state withers away. Wealth is abundant and shared in common on the basis of need. This stage of course will never be achieved, because the socialist stage will destroy productive capacity and the bureaucrats and dictators will hoard as much of the remaining wealth as they can for themselves.

According to Marxist theory “socialism” was supposed to occur first in advanced industrialized countries like Germany, Britain and the United States, not in semi-feudal backward nations like Russia, China, Cuba and Vietnam.

By returning to an at least partially “capitalist” economy, China, Vietnam, Russia and now even Cuba are acknowledging that missing the “capitalist” stage and trying to jump straight from “feudalism” to “socialism” was a huge mistake.

By returning temporarily to “capitalism,” the communists believe they can re-build their economies and their military might to the point they can enforce “socialism” worldwide.

China and its allies Russia and Cuba are not abandoning the road to Marxian “communism.” They are re-affirming it.

10/23/17

N. Korea Months Away from Ability to Strike U.S. with Nukes

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Japan is taking defensive measures:

The Yomiuri Shimbun The government is considering equipping planned ground-based Aegis Ashore systems with the capacity to intercept cruise missiles, in addition to the ability to defend against ballistic missiles.

With Chinese bombers making repeated flights in areas around Japan, the government believes it should also prepare for attacks by cruise missiles, multiple government sources said.

The government intends to introduce two Aegis Ashore systems in Japan by around fiscal 2023 as part of the effort to boost the nation’s missile defenses.

These would be equipped with SM-3 Block IIA missiles, a new interceptor being jointly developed by Japan and the United States with the capacity to intercept ballistic missiles at altitudes exceeding 1,000 kilometers.

The government is also considering equipping the systems with SM-6 anti-air missiles, which are multifunction interceptors that also can take down cruise missiles.

United Nations (AP) — North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador said Tuesday the country plans to launch many more satellites and accused the United States of trying to block its efforts to help peacefully develop outer space.

Kim In Ryong told a U.N. General Assembly committee meeting on “International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space” that the country’s five-year plan for 2016-2020 includes development of “practical satellites that can contribute to the economic development and improvement of the people’s living.”

As a party to several space treaties, North Korea’s space development activities are “all ground on legal basis in all aspects,” Kim said.

But he said the United States is “going frantic to illegalize our development of outer space,” claiming the effort violates U.N. sanctions.

“The U.S. is the country that launched the largest number of satellites and yet it claims that our launch of satellites is a threat to international peace and security,” Kim said. “This is a preposterous allegation and extreme double standards.”

The United Nations, the U.S. and other countries view the North’s space launch development project as a cover for tests of missile technology, as ballistic missiles and rockets in satellite launches share similar bodies, engines and other technology. North Korea is also openly working on developing nuclear-armed missiles capable of striking the U.S. mainland.

US: North Korea Months Away From Being Able to Hit US with Nuclear Missile

North Korea is likely just months away from being capable of striking the United States with a nuclear missile, according to two top U.S. officials.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told a forum in Washington on Thursday he is “deeply worried” about the advancing threat from North Korea and the possibility it could spark a nuclear arms race across East Asia.

“We ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective,” Pompeo said when asked about Pyongyang’s pursuit of missile technology that could launch a warhead to targets in the U.S.

“They are so far along in that it’s now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step?” he added.

McMaster: We’re running out of time

U.S. National Security Adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster said later on Thursday that Washington was racing to resolve the situation, short of using military force.

“We’re not out of time but we’re running out of time,” McMaster said, speaking at the same event. “Accept and deter is unacceptable.”

The comments by Pompeo and McMaster come as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have been steadily rising following Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test last month, it’s sixth overall, and repeated tests of what intelligence officials have assessed to be both intermediate and long range ballistic missiles.

But despite warning that North Korea is just months away from being able to target the U.S., the CIA’s Pompeo cautioned there are still questions about just how “robust” the North Korea nuclear threat has become, and whether Pyongyang will be able to deliver multiple nuclear warheads to nuclear targets.

“There’s always a risk. Intelligence is imperfect,” Pompeo said, adding there is evidence Pyongyang may be getting help from Iran, citing “deep conventional weapons ties as between the two countries.”

He also warned that each North Korean test makes an arms race ever more likely.

“You watch as North Korea grows ever closer to having its capability perfected, you can imagine others in the region also thinking that they well may need that capability,” he said.

Putin suggests force won’t work against North Korea

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against the use of force to eliminate the North Korean nuclear threat, suggesting it would not work.

“Talks about a preventative, disarming strike — and we hear both hints and open threats — this is very dangerous,” Putin said during a speaking engagement in Sochi.

“Who knows what and where is hidden in North Korea? And whether all of it can be destroyed with one strike, I doubt it,” he said. “I’m almost sure it is impossible.”

North Korean officials have also repeatedly warned the U.S. against any provocations.

Pyongyang’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, warned Monday that war could break out at any moment.

Other North Korean officials have accused the U.S. of making preparations for war, citing the presence of the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, conducting exercises to the east of the Korean Peninsula.

10/13/17

Trump Sanctions IRGC, Iran’s Terror History

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

For a list of sanctions placed on Iran, Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, go here.

Today, President Trump delivered his talk about formally decertifying the JCPOA and naming all of the IRGC a terror organization, finally. This is a significant decision and it puts countries like Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon on notice to purge all IRGC from their territories.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration was laying the groundwork as it related to Hezbollah by offering a reward for 2 Hezbollah leaders.

None of these actions are without future conflict and militancy by Iran. Just in recent days, the Iranian militia in Iraq it appears has been planting advanced EFP’s, where one did in fact kill an American military soldier that was on a major road in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad.

“It was a classic ambush spot,” White said of the assault site, adding that the penetrator used was steel. Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon did not cast blame on any particular actor on the battlefield telling the Washington Post, “investigations are continuing into the type and quality of the bomb to better determine where it originated. To say whether or not ISIS did it or not — we have not determined that yet. We are not ruling anything out.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford told Congress in 2015, “I know the total number of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that were killed by Iranian activities, and the number has been recently quoted as about 500,” in a reference to EFP use in Iraq.

“What makes E.F.P.’s so deadly is that they form “slugs” at detonation that maintain their shape over distances of over 100 yards or more, traveling at speeds of nearly a mile per second. This allowed insurgent forces to hide these weapons far from the road, better camouflaging them and making them far more deadly,” The New York Times explained in 2013. More here.

Related reading: Trump Decertifying and Re-tooling Iran Nuclear Deal

Treasury Designates the IRGC under Terrorism Authority and Targets IRGC and Military Supporters under Counter-Proliferation Authority

10/13/2017

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) pursuant to the global terrorism Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 and consistent with the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.  OFAC designated the IRGC today for its activities in support of the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), which was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007, for providing support to a number of terrorist groups, including Hizballah and Hamas, as well as to the Taliban.  The IRGC has provided material support to the IRGC-QF, including by providing training, personnel, and military equipment.

Additionally, today OFAC designated four entities under E.O. 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters, for their support to the IRGC or Iran’s military.

“The IRGC has played a central role to Iran becoming the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror.  Iran’s pursuit of power comes at the cost of regional stability, and Treasury will continue using its authorities to disrupt the IRGC’s destructive activities,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “We are designating the IRGC for providing support to the IRGC-QF, the key Iranian entity enabling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s relentless campaign of brutal violence against his own people, as well as the lethal activities of Hizballah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups. We urge the private sector to recognize that the IRGC permeates much of the Iranian economy, and those who transact with IRGC-controlled companies do so at great risk.”

IRGC

The IRGC was designated today for the activities it undertakes to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF.  The IRGC, which is the parent organization of the IRGC-QF, was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on October 25, 2007, in connection with its support to Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs, and pursuant to E.O. 13553 on June 9, 2011 and E.O. 13606 on April 23, 2012, in connection with Iran’s human rights abuses.

The IRGC has provided material support to the IRGC-QF, including by providing training, personnel, and military equipment.  The IRGC has trained IRGC-QF personnel in Iran prior to their deployments to Syria, and has deployed at least hundreds of personnel from its conventional ground forces to Syria to support IRGC-QF operations.  IRGC personnel in Syria have provided military assistance to the IRGC-QF, and have been assigned to IRGC-QF units on the battlefield, where they provide critical combat support, including serving as snipers and machine gunners.

Additionally, the IRGC has recruited, trained, and facilitated the travel of Afghan and Pakistani nationals to Syria, where those personnel are assigned to, and fight alongside, the IRGC-QF.  The IRGC also has worked with the IRGC-QF to transfer military equipment to Syria.  The IRGC used both IRGC bases and civilian airports in Iran to transfer military equipment to Iraq and Syria for the IRGC-QF.

Further, while it is group think to bid Senator Corker good riddance, there is yet a fact that Corker introduced in 2015 INARA, legislation that Trump is advancing and included in his talking points regarding Iran.

Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to direct the President, within five days after reaching an agreement with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program, to transmit to Congress:

  • the text of the agreement and all related materials and annexes;
  • a related verification assessment report of the Secretary of State;
  • a certification that the agreement includes the appropriate terms, conditions, and duration of the agreement’s requirements concerning Iran’s nuclear activities, and provisions describing any sanctions to be waived, suspended, or otherwise reduced by the United States and any other nation or entity, including the United Nations; and
  • a certification that the agreement meets U.S. non-proliferation objectives, does not jeopardize the common defense and security, provides a framework to ensure that Iran’s nuclear activities will not constitute an unreasonable defense and security risk, and ensures that Iran’s permitted nuclear activities will not be used to further any nuclear-related military or nuclear explosive purpose, including any related research.

The Secretary is directed to prepare a report assessing:

  • the Secretary’s capacity to verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement,
  • the adequacy of the agreement’s safeguards to ensure that Iran’s permitted activities will not be used to further any nuclear-related military or nuclear explosive purpose, including research; and
  • the International Atomic Energy Agency’s capacity to implement the required verification regime.

In preparing a report the Secretary shall assume that Iran could:

  • use all measures not expressly prohibited by the agreement to conceal activities that violate its obligations under the agreement; and
  • alter or deviate from standard practices in order to impede verification efforts.

The foreign relations committees shall hold hearings and briefings to review an agreement during the 30-day period following the President’s transmittal of such agreement.

The congressional review period shall be 60 days for an agreement, including all materials required to be transmitted to Congress, that is transmitted between July 10, 2015, and September 7, 2015.

The President may not waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of statutory sanctions with respect to Iran or refrain from applying sanctions pursuant to an agreement prior to and during the transmission period and during the congressional review period.

The President may not waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of statutory sanctions with respect to Iran or refrain from applying sanctions pursuant to an agreement for:

  • 12 days after the date of passage of a congressional joint resolution of disapproval, and
  • 10 days after the date of a presidential veto of a congressional joint resolution of disapproval.

Specified deferrals, waivers, or other suspensions of statutory sanctions are excepted from such prohibitions.

It is the sense of Congress that:

  • the sanctions regime imposed on Iran by Congress is primarily responsible for bringing Iran to the table to negotiate on its nuclear program;
  • these negotiations are a critically important matter of national security and foreign policy for the United States and its closest allies;
  • this Act does not require a vote by Congress for the agreement to commence;
  • this Act provides for congressional review, including for approval, disapproval, or no action on statutory sanctions relief under an agreement; and
  • even though the agreement may commence, because the sanctions regime was imposed by Congress and only Congress can permanently modify or eliminate that regime, it is critically important that Congress have the opportunity to consider and take action affecting the statutory sanctions regime.

An action involving statutory sanctions relief by the United States pursuant to an agreement or the Joint Plan of Action:

  • may be taken if, during the review period, Congress enacts a joint resolution stating that Congress favors the agreement;
  • may not be taken if, during the review period, Congress enacts a joint resolution stating that Congress does not favor the agreement; or
  • may be taken if, following the review period, there is not enacted any such joint resolution.

The President shall keep Congress fully and currently informed of all aspects of Iranian compliance with respect to an agreement.

The President shall:

  • within 10 days of receiving information relating to a potentially significant breach or compliance incident by Iran submit it to Congress;
  • within 30 days after submitting such information determine whether it constitutes a material breach or compliance incident and report that determination to Congress as well as Iran’s action or failure to act that led to the material breach, actions necessary for Iran to cure the breach, and the status of Iran’s efforts to cure the breach; and
  • at least every 180 days thereafter report to Congress on Iran’s nuclear program and compliance with the agreement.

The President shall keep Congress fully informed of any initiative or negotiations with Iran concerning Iran’s nuclear program, including any new or amended agreement.

The President shall, at least every 90 days, determine whether the President is able to certify that:

  • Iran is fully implementing the agreement,
  • Iran has not committed a material breach of the agreement,
  • Iran has not taken any action that could significantly advance its nuclear weapons program, and
  • suspension of sanctions against Iran is appropriate and proportionate to measures taken by Iran with respect to terminating its illicit nuclear program and vital to U.S. national security interests.

It is the sense of Congress that:

  • U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under an agreement;
  • issues not addressed by an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, including compensation for Americans held in captivity after the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, in 1979, the freedom of Americans held in Iran, the human rights abuses of the government of Iran against its own people, and the continued support of terrorism by the government of Iran, are matters critical to ensure justice and U.S. national security, and should be addressed;
  • the President should determine the agreement in no way compromises the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security, nor its support for Israel’s right to exist; and
  • in order to implement any long-term agreement reached between the P5+1 countries and Iran, it is critically important that Congress have the opportunity to review any agreement and take action to modify the statutory sanctions regime imposed by Congress.

If the President does not submit such certification or has determined that Iran has materially breached an agreement, Congress may initiate within 60 days expedited consideration of legislation reinstating statutory sanctions against Iran. Sets forth House and Senate provisions regarding such expedited consideration.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as:

  • modifying the President’s authority to negotiate, enter into, or implement executive agreements, other than the restrictions on implementation of the agreements specifically covered by this Act;
  • allowing any new waiver, suspension, reduction, or other relief from statutory sanctions with respect to Iran under any provision of law, or allowing the President to refrain from applying any such sanctions pursuant to an agreement during the period for congressional review;
  • revoking or terminating any statutory sanctions imposed on Iran; or
  • authorizing the use of military force against Iran.

10/13/17

Trump Decertifying and Re-tooling Iran Nuclear Deal

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The Iran Deal (JCPOA) has taken an inordinate amount of attention away from all of the other ways Iran destabilizes and attempts to dominate the region. The Trump team will now take a holistic approach to Iran that uses all aspects of US power and engages our allies in the effort as well. The goal is to roll back Iranian use of their proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere to extend Iranian influence toward eventual hegemony. It will also address Iranian support of terrorism and violations of other international agreements such as US Security Council Resolutions.

This will take many forms, one of which is the President declining to certify that the JCPOA as it currently exists is in the national interest. It most certainly is not and it’s time to either fix it or forget it. The entire reason to do a deal was to ensure Iran never got nuclear weapons, the JCPOA actually paved Iran a path to them with “sunset clauses” that remove all prohibitions after no more than 15 years.

Iran’s ballistic missile program was specifically excluded from the JCPOA in a stunning case of national security malfeasance. There is no use for these other than to deliver a nuclear warhead and allowing Iran to continue their development cannot be tolerated. This will be another area where the US will focus all elements of our influence on ensuring Iran will be unable to deliver any payload to our shores.

It remains to be seen if a better deal can be made, but we need to make the effort. That will require some leverage and another piece of the plan will be designating all of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. They are and recognizing this will make it much tougher for them to use the many businesses and front groups they have developed to conduct and support terror operations worldwide.

There will also be actions to rein in the Iranian-led militias operating across Iraq and Syria. While they may be mostly made up of Iraqi citizens, too many have loyalty to the Mullahs in Tehran. These Shia militias now control large swaths of territory in the Sunni areas of Iraq that were just liberated from ISIS. They conducted amounts of massive sectarian slaughter during the counter-ISIS operations and it is still going on. They must be moved out.

Hezbollah is another Iranian proxy which has sent tens of thousands of fighters into Syria. They are flush with some of the hundreds of millions of dollars Iran has given them out of the cash bonanza from the Iran Deal. They have been receiving US funds which were given to the Lebanese Armed Forces and then funneled to Hezbollah. This will come to a stop under the new plan. More here.

Related reading: JCPOA as published by the John Kerry State Department

(Reuters) – President Donald Trump is likely to take a major step against the international nuclear deal with Iran on Friday, laying out a more aggressive approach to Iranian activities in the Middle East that risks upsetting U.S. relations with European allies.

“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said in a White House statement that flagged key elements of the strategy.

He is to present his plan in a 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT)speech at the White House, the product of weeks of internal discussions between him and his national security team.

U.S. officials said Trump was expected to announce that he will not certify the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers, one he has called the “worst deal ever” as it was not, in his view, in the U.S. national interest.

Trump found himself under immense pressure as he considered de-certifying the deal, a move that would ignore warnings from inside and outside his administration that to do so would risk undermining U.S. credibility abroad.

He had formally reaffirmed it twice before but aides said he was reluctant to do so a third time.

De-certification would not pull the United States out of the deal but would give the Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran that were suspended under the pact, negotiated during the administration of President Barack Obama.

U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul told Reuters he thinks Trump “is likely to not completely pull out of the deal, but decertify compliance.”

IRANIAN WARNING

If Washington quits the deal, that will be the end of it and global chaos could ensue, Iran’s influential parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, was quoted by the Russian news agency TASS as saying during a visit to St Petersburg on Friday.

U.N. nuclear inspectors say Iran is in compliance with the accord, which limited the scope of Iran’s nuclear program to help ensure it could not be put to developing bombs in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions on Tehran.

Trump says Tehran is in violation of the spirit of the agreement and has done nothing to rein in its ballistic missile program or its financial and military support for the Lebanese Shi‘ite movement Hezbollah and other militant groups.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said on Thursday the U.S. approach toward Iran is to work with allies in the Middle East to contain Tehran’s activities.

“We have footprints on the ground, naval and Air Force is there to just demonstrate our resolve, our friendship, and try to deter anything that any country out there may do,” Kelly told reporters.

European allies warn of a split with the United States over the nuclear agreement, in part because they are benefiting economically from a relaxation of sanctions.

A variety of European allies, including the leaders of Britain and France, have personally appealed to Trump to re-certify the nuclear accord for the sake of allied unity.

Germany’s government pledged on Friday to work for continued unity if Trump de-certified the deal as Berlin remain convinced the agreement was an important tool to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel underscored German views in a telephone call with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson late on Thursday, his spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told reporters.

Gabriel said on Thursday U.S. behavior was driving a wedge between Europe and its close ally United States and bringing Europeans closer to Russia and China. “It’s imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue,” said Gabriel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Friday that if the United States withdrew from the deal, “this will damage the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and non-proliferation in the entire world”.

U.S. MOVE AGAINST REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS

McCaul said he expected Trump also to announce some kind of action against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s most powerful security force. Trump is under a legal mandate to impose U.S. economic sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards as a whole by Oct. 31 or waive them.

U.S. sanctions could seriously hurt the IRGC as it controls large swaths of Iran’s economy. The Guards’ foreign paramilitary and espionage wing, the Quds Force, is under U.S. sanctions, as is the Quds Force commander, other officials and associated individuals and entities.

The 2015 nuclear agreement, signed by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran, has been denounced by Trump as “an embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever.”

10/13/17

The Denise Simon Experience – 10/12/17

The Denise Simon Experience

Hosted by DENISE SIMON, the Senior Research / Intelligence Analyst for Foreign and Domestic Policy for numerous flag officers and intelligence organizations.

THIS WEEK’S GUESTS: William Hazelgrove / Luis Fleischman / Philip Haney / Clare Lopez

BROADCAST WORLDWIDE:
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And on her Digital Flagship Station: TALK AMERICA RADIO – The NEW Dominant Force in Conservative Talk Radio

VISIT DENISE’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.FoundersCode.com

10/11/17

WC-135 Dispatched to Investigate Europe for Radiation

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Gotta look deep for information and there are two theories, one is Russia as the other is the medical industry. Humm….it goes something like this…. By the way, the dates could easily lineup.

Related reading: US sends specialist ‘nuke sniffer’ plane to the UK as ‘radiation spike’ sparks fears Putin has tested nuclear weapon in the Arctic

Primer:

The Washington Free Beacon quotes Pentagon officials saying the unmanned underwater vehicle, code named Kanyon by the Pentagon, was test-launched from the Sarov-class submarine on November 27th.

What Pentagon names Kanyon is what in Russia is known as the «Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6» – a top secret weapon system the world has never seen anything like before.  A year ago, Russian state-TV Channel One showed a glimpse of a graphic slide of the Status-6, later on said to be an unauthorized leak of a secret weapon development plan. 

The drawings on the slide could very well be a purpose leak aimed at telling the world what weapon-systems are under development. The TV news covered the meeting in Sochi where President Putin was told by high-ranking officers in the Strategic forces how Russia’s nuclear deterrence strategy is developing. Moscow are looking for ways to overcome the United States’ Anti-Ballistic Missile Defence system, and one answer is to go deep with the nukes. Highly suggested reading more here.

Mysterious Radiation Spike Across Europe

Nuclear scientists are struggling to determine the source of small amounts of nuclear radiation that bloomed over Europe throughout January.

France’s IRSN institute, the public body for radiological and nuclear risks, announced in a statement on February 13 that Iodine-131, a radionuclide of human origin, was detected in trace amounts at ground-level atmosphere in continental Europe. First detected in the second week of January over northern Norway, Iodine-131 presence was then detected over Finland, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, France, and Spain. However, the levels have since returned to normal and scientists have yet to determine the source of the radiation.

Norway’s Radiation protection Authority (NRPA), which first detected the Iodine-131 over its northern Russian border, told Motherboard over the phone today that the levels present essentially no risk to human health. “I can assure you that the levels are low,” said a press a spokesperson.

But with a half-life of just eight days, the detection of Iodine-131 is proof of a recent release, said IRSN in its statement to the media.

Rumors are circulating, of course, that Russia has secretly tested a low-yield nuclear weapon in the Arctic, possibly in the Novaya Zemlya region—historically used for Russia’s nuclear tests. Iodine-131, discovered by two University of California researchers in 1938, is a radioisotope synonymous with the atomic bomb tests carried out by the US and Russia throughout the 1950s, and has recently presented threats from leaking during the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster and the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

But Iodine-131 is also found in the medical industry, commonly used for treating thyroid-related illnesses and cancers. Astrid Liland, head of the section for emergency preparedness at the NRPA, told Motherboard in an email today, “Since only Iodine-131 was measured, and no other radioactive substances, we think it originates from a pharmaceutical company producing radioactive drugs.

Iodine-131 is used for treatment of cancer.”

Britain’s Society for Radiological Protection (SRP) also told Motherboard that the exclusive presence of Iodine-131 suggests the source is not a nuclear incident, but rather a medical facility such as a hospital or a supplier of radio-pharmaceuticals. “The release was probably of recent origin. Further than this it is impossible to speculate,” the SRP’s Brian Gornall told Motherboard in an email.

Still, where exactly that pharma company could be located is unknown. “Due to rapidly changing winds, it is not possible to track exactly where it came from. It points to a release source somewhere in Eastern Europe,” Liland told Motherboard.

The Iodine cloud prompted the United States Air Force to send over a specialized particle-sniffing aircraft to investigate. As per reports on The Aviationist, a US Air Force WC-135 deployed to Royal Air Force base Mildenhall in the UK on February 17, equipped to test the atmosphere over Europe for radiation. The aircraft’s last intercontinental expedition was to analyse the atmosphere over the Korean Peninsula following an alleged North Korean nuclear test.

The deployment spurred on rumors of a nuclear test from Russia, but a spokesperson for the the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), an international body that monitors nuclear weapon tests, told Motherboard in an email today, “Although some readings of I-131 above minimal detection level have been observed since beginning of year in Europe nothing extraordinary has been measured.”

The IRSN said in its statement that the data has now been shared between the members of the informal European network called Ring of Five, a group of organizations that research radiation levels in the atmosphere.

10/11/17

Russia has Provided N. Korea Additional Hacking Platforms

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Hackers from North Korea are reported to have stolen a large cache of military documents from South Korea, including a plan to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.

Rhee Cheol-hee, a South Korean lawmaker, said the information was from his country’s defence ministry.

The compromised documents include wartime contingency plans drawn up by the US and South Korea.

They also include reports to the allies’ senior commanders.

Plans for the South’s special forces were reportedly accessed, along with information on significant power plants and military facilities in the South.

Mr Rhee belongs to South Korea’s ruling party, and sits on its parliament’s defence committee. He said some 235 gigabytes of military documents had been stolen from the Defence Integrated Data Centre, and that 80% of them have yet to be identified.

The hack took place in September last year. In May, South Korea said a large amount of data had been stolen and that North Korea may have instigated the cyber attack – but gave no details of what was taken.

North Korea denied the claim. The isolated state is believed to have specially-trained hackers based overseas, including in China. More here.

Russia is always part of the rogue nation process, it timing is curious as you read on. TransTeleCom is owned by Russia’s state-run railway company and has fiber optic cables that follow all the country’s main train lines, including all the way up to the North Korean border.

Related reading: North Korea gets new Internet access via Russia

Reuters: North Korea has opened a second internet connection with the outside world, this time via Russia, a move which cyber security experts said could give Pyongyang greater capability to conduct cyber attacks.

Previously traffic was handled via China Unicom (0762.HK) under a deal dating back to 2010. TransTeleCom now appears to be handling roughly 60 percent of North Korean internet traffic, while Unicom transmits the remaining 40 percent or so, Dyn said.

The new external connection was first reported by 38 North, a project of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

TransTeleCom declined to confirm any new routing deal with the North Korean government or its communications arm. In a statement, it said: “TransTeleCom has historically had a junction of trunk networks with North Korea under an agreement with Korea Posts and Telecommunications Corp signed in 2009.”

North Korea’s internet access is estimated to be limited to somewhere between a few hundred and just over 1,000 connections. These connections are vital for coordinating the country’s cyber attacks, said Bryce Boland, chief technology officer for the Asia-Pacific region at FireEye, a cyber-security company.

Boland said the Russian connection would enhance North Korea’s ability to command future cyber attacks.

Having internet routes via both China and Russia reduces North Korea’s dependence on any one country at a time when it faces intense geo-political pressures, he said.

>Many of the cyber attacks conducted on behalf of Pyongyang came from outside North Korea using hijacked computers, Boland said. Those ordering and controlling the attacks communicate to hackers and hijacked computers from within North Korea.

“This will improve the resiliency of their network and increase their ability to conduct command and control over those activities,” Boland said.

The Washington Post reported earlier that the U.S. Cyber Command has been carrying out denial of service attacks against hackers from North Korea designed to limit their access to the internet. (wapo.st/2yRbg8w)

In February 2005, the TTK became the largest party in terms of the European Internet Exchange London Internet Exchange (LINX). In July 2005, the TTK became the fifth operator in Russia, received the right to provide long-distance services (after Rostelecom, Tsentrinfokoma, Golden Telecom and MTT). “TransteleCom” JSC provides communications services in Kazakhstan and for a map of locations and services, go here.

10/11/17

S. Korea’s Pursuit of a Blackout Weapon

By: Denise Simon | Founder’s Code

As the United States flew B1 Lancers based out of Guam in exercises with South Korea and Japan over the Korean Peninsula, the Trump White House was meeting with Pentagon officials on expanded details and strategies with regard to North Korea.

Meanwhile, China continues to demand that all sides tone down the threatening talk and military activities. Has anyone asked China if they are accepting North Korea’s nuclear weapons as a standard condition?

Additionally, more sanctions are taking place including blocking four cargo ships under North Korea’s authority from being received in several ports due to hidden illicit cargo transports as recently exposed in Egypt.

Moving to preemptive strategies, South Korea is developing a new weapon called a ‘blackout weapon’ which is not to be confused with an EMP. This blackout weapon, known as a graphite ordnance was developed and used by the United States during the first Gulf War and later in the Balkans.

The purpose of this weapon is to destroy the power grid in hostile nations as a part of the tactics applied where military actions are likely to escalate.

Known as “blackout bombs,” the warheads can be dropped by a plane over power stations. A form of cluster bombs, they split into several canister-like “sub-munitions,” which in turn release carbon graphite filaments that short-circuit the electricity supplies.

South Korea is adding the weapons to its arsenal as part of one of its recently-developed military programs, the so-called “Kill Chain,” which aims to detect an imminent missile attack from the North and react with a pre-emptive strike.

No shots are actually fired and there is no injury or death component to using the blackout bombs. The objective is the merely destroy power stations by short circuiting the systems.

The BLU-114 was developed as a highly classified weapon intended to effectively neutralize electrical power infrastructure without destroying it. This weapon also has been referred to as the ‘soft-bomb’ or the ‘graphite bomb’. Like many other cluster bombs it can be released from virtually any tactical aircraft operated by the United States or allied countries.

The BLU-114 disperses large numbers of chemically treated carbon graphite filaments which short-circuit electrical power distribution equipment such as transformers and switching stations. Used in large numbers it can even shut down the entire power grid of a given country. This weapon represents an excellent sample of non-lethal weaponry with near zero collateral damage.

The CBU-94 Blackout Bomb is the main application for the BLU-114 warhead. It was reported to be employed during the conflict of the former Yugoslavia in 1999 short-cincturing the electrical power infrastructure of Serbia during operation Allied Force. It has been suggested that the BLU-114 or a very similar warhead was integrated into the Tomahawk missile and the AGM-154 JSOW standoff weapon.

A tactic known as a ‘kill chain’ does not represent death, but rather it is a pillar as part of a first strike mission to begin the process of neutralizing battle-space.

Applying all intelligence including satellite reconnaissance as well as cyber and signals intelligence is part of the operations in the stepped process to execute war strategies.

The second and third prongs of South Korea’s defense strategy include missile defense and retaliatory strikes from aircraft in the event North Korea launches a missile. They include the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system, and the Korean Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMRR) plan. KAMD is a controversial plan to develop a system to intercept short-range missiles. KMRR is a concept for destroying Pyongyang in the event of a North Korean nuclear first strike.

But it is the first and most dangerous part of the new military strategy – the “Kill Chain” – that has diplomatic observers worried. Such a pre-emptive strike would almost certainly lead to war – and not just any war, but regional nuclear war.

10/9/17

Chinese Dissident Spills Secret Chinese Intelligence Plans That Target The US

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Longtime readers of this blog know that I am a huge fan of Bill Gertz over at The Washington Free Beacon. In the midst of all the tragedy over the last couple of weeks, an item of what I consider huge significance has gone unreported… except by Gertz that is. It involves a Chinese billionaire named Guo Wengui who is now a Chinese dissident seeking asylum in the United States. According to intel from Guo, the Chinese dispatched 27 intelligence officers to the US earlier this year as part of a larger campaign of subversion. He revealed an internal Communist Party document authorizing the Ministry of State Security to send the spies, described as “people’s police officers.” I call that news.

The Chinese government would very much like to get their commie paws on Guo. They want him returned to be dealt with. They also want to silence his disclosures of high-level corruption and intelligence activity. He is calling the Beijing regime corrupt and he wants a “revolution” to change the ruling system there. “My only single goal that I set myself to try to achieve is to change China,” Guo said through an interpreter during a National Press Club meeting attended by news reporters and supporters of the exiled dissident. Bill Gertz was at that meeting.

“What they’re doing is against humanity,” he said. “What the US ought to do is take action, instead of just talking to the Chinese kleptocracy.” Guo requested political asylum in the US last month with the Chinese hot on his heels. They have charged him with multiple crimes, which of course, Guo says are fabricated. I’m sure they are. One of the big names that Guo has leveled accusations at is senior Chinese leader Wang Qishan. He controls most of China’s finances and Guo says he is corrupt and has engaged in moving money and documents outside of China. Laughably, Wang is leading the country’s nationwide anti-corruption drive that critics say is cover for efforts by Xi to consolidate power. Of course it is.

The Chinese are going all out to get Guo back. They are using high-level diplomatic and economic pressure on the US to turn him over. Business leaders from China are also lobbying the US to repatriate him. That would be a death sentence. China’s Minister of Public Security, Guo Shengkun, met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week. They discussed China’s demands concerning the return of dissidents. Sessions raised the issue of a Chinese-origin cyber attack against the Hudson Institute, a think tank that had canceled its plan to hold the press conference for Guo under pressure from China. The Justice spokesman, Wynn Hornbuckle, said China pledged their cooperation in investigating the incident. But they deny being behind the attack. We all know they were behind it, but this is the DC waltz with Chinese spies that is common. It was not disclosed whether Guo was discussed during the law enforcement and cyber security talks.

David Tell, a Hudson spokesman, told the Washington Free Beacon, the denial of service cyber attack was traced by investigators to Shanghai. An email details that a Hudson employee stated that he was asked to forward a message to institute leaders sent from a Chinese Embassy official on Sept. 29th. According to this email, Chinese officials “want Hudson to cancel the Guo Wengui event because he is a criminal and tells lies, that China is about to enter a sensitive time with its Party Congress, that hosting him would hurt China-US relations, and that this event would embarrass [the] Hudson Institute and hurt our ties with the Chinese government.”

Guo is evidently in possession of a number of sensitive internal reports. He used to be close to MSS Vice Minister Ma Jian, who was imprisoned last year on corruption charges. Guo claims he is a political prisoner because of his knowledge of corruption among Chinese leaders. Guo also says that he had planned to disclose three internal Chinese government documents during the Hudson event. But instead he burned the documents after the event was canceled. That sounds a bit odd, but he probably had a good reason for doing that. Perhaps he felt those close to him had been compromised. Regardless, Guo says that he is maintaining close ties to supporters that are within the Chinese government and that he can still obtain internal classified documents. Simply possessing the top-secret document he distributed at the press conference could get a person jailed in China for three to five years. The document was issued by the National Security Council, a new Chinese government and Party entity headed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

From The Washington Free Beacon:

The MSS operatives will work under cover at the Bank of China branch offices and at Chinese diplomatic facilities in the United States.

The document is labeled “top secret” and dated April 27. It was released by Guo at a press conference in Washington during which he appealed for the U.S. government to wake up to the threat posed by China and counter it.

Guo said the authenticity of the document was confirmed by the U.S. government.

The directive to the MSS was formally called “The Request for Instructions on the Working Plan of Secretly Dispatching and 27 People’s Police Officers, He Jianfeng and Others from the Ministry of State Security to the United States on Field Duty in 2017.”

“We approve in principle,” the report says, adding “please carefully organize and implement.”

According to the document the MSS should follow Chinese ideology set out by the late leader Deng Xiaoping, as well as the concepts outlined in speeches by Xi, the current leader.

The document is one of the first internal documents to reveal how China is expanding intelligence activities targeting what it calls “hostile forces” in the United States.

The report details how the MSS was directed to “go according to the need of the strategic arrangements” of the Communist Party “against overseas hostile forces, strictly abide by our national principles of state security work on the United States, and use the opportunity of the rise of our comprehensive national strength and Sino-U.S. diplomatic relations tending to ease to further expand the scope and depth of the infiltration into the anti-China hostile forces in the United States.” These agents were to enter the US clandestinely in phases and “use the cover of the executives of the state-owned enterprises in the United States, such as the Bank of China (New York) to carry out solid intelligence collection, to incite defection of relevant individuals, and to conduct counter-espionage, etc.” The Chinese spies were told to focus on “extraordinarily significant criminal suspects, including Ling Wancheng, Guo Wengui, and Cheng Muyang, etc.” Ling is the brother of Ling Jihua, a former high-ranking Chinese official who China has accused of illegal activities and who defected to the United States in 2016. Cheng is a real estate mogul in Canada who China also accused of illegal activities. “If necessary, they should also actively support, cooperate with, and assist the personnel in the United States who conduct the United Front operations, diplomatic operations, and military intelligence operations to carry out related business,” the document states.

The Chinese government uses the United Front to influence operations to coopt Americans into supporting Beijing’s policies. They find many willing Marxists not only in DC, but on both coasts of the US. The directive urges the spies to “make contributions for further crushing overseas anti-China hostile forces.” The US is simply lousy with Chinese spies and has been for a long, long time. The MSS is encouraged to seek to strengthen the organization and provide after actions reports to the senior Party leadership. “We have friends all over the world … those who provide the documents are among the most senior people, including the current Politburo standing committee,” Guo said. “My material is real. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be afraid of it.”

Since the April directive, Guo claims an additional 50 spies have been sent to the US. China’s Public Security Ministry issued a statement denying China was behind the hack of a law firm representing Guo and the Hudson Institute. The ministry also disputed the authenticity of the document. “An official of the Ministry of Public Security states that, China paid close attention to such allegations and launched immediate investigation,” the statement put forth. “But no evidence has been found that China and its government have been involved with these incidents.” The Chinese also said that the documents revealed by Guo “utterly clumsily forged and full of obvious mistakes.” They would not clarify, but offered to help investigate the cyber attacks.

Guo is stating that China is currently engaged in a three-pronged campaign of subversion in the United States he labeled “Blue-Gold-Yellow,” with each color standing for a different line of attack. Blue represents large-scale Chinese cyber and Internet operations. Gold is for China’s use of money and financial power. Finally, yellow is part of a plan to use sex to undermine American society. Seems as if that one is pretty much done. Another program is the “Three Fs.” This is the plan to weaken the US, throw the country into turmoil and ultimately defeat America. Sounds a lot like Cloward and Piven.

Guo was imprisoned in China after the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and spent 22 months there. Chinese police also shot and killed his brother. After that, he became an entrepreneur, while preparing to expose corrupt Chinese leaders, a process he began in January. China has frozen $17 billion of his assets in China and they have imprisoned his business associates and his family. The Chinese are paranoid over this guy. Authorities are harassing those who even discuss Guo and it’s being referred to as “Guo Wengui-phobia.”

Guo left China in 2014. He is an outspoken critic of the country’s Communist Party. He now resides in New York. His accusations against the leaders of China have garnered him a huge following on Twitter and YouTube. For its part, China has issued a global “red notice” through Interpol for Guo’s arrest. Although the exact charges against him remain unclear, the country’s state-run media has previously accused him of bribing a vice-minister. And, in August, Chinese police opened a new investigation against the billionaire on rape charges. Guo is also facing a series of defamation lawsuits in the US from various Chinese individuals and companies. He denies all the allegations against him. I hope he has really great security, because China considers this man to be a big threat to them and they will stop at nothing to get him back.

10/6/17

EXCLUSIVE: A first-hand account from a soldier who served with Bowe Bergdahl

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Bowe Bergdahl

The following is a first hand account from a soldier who served with Bowe Bergdahl. His submission is posted here, in it’s entirety. Not one word has been altered. The few typos remain. This soldier was one of those who signed a nondisclosure agreement in the wake of Bergdahl’s disappearance. He has opted to remain anonymous. – Renee Nal

For me, the story of Bergdahl’s disappearance begins on FOB Sharana two weeks before he left. Two weeks before Bergdahl went missing, I was getting ready for the next big mission we were to do in Paktika. Our platoon would escort 113 local national ‘Jingle Trucks,’ as we called them, to make several trips between Khayr Khot Castle and Kushamond, transporting vital supplies, additional vehicles, and several loads of gravel that those guys needed in Kushamond. The mission would last 8 days. We spent a week preparing our vehicles, coordinating with other units for security, requisitioning the trucks and drivers from the local populace, requesting support in the form of aircraft and other assets, and updating all the information we knew about the region we would be operating in.

Once everything was ready, and all the required supplies and equipment had been put on the jingle trucks, this monstrous convoy began moving west from FOB Sharana. The task was difficult. The roads at times were such a fine grain of sand that the trucks left wakes like boats do in water. At times, our local drivers became so frightened that they refused to drive any further. They knew where we were heading, and they didn’t like it. These trucks didn’t have any armor, and no one wanted to be transporting 5000 gallons of fuel in an area where IED’s, mortars, and RPG’s were a constant threat. With the proper motivation, however, we convinced them to continue. In the afternoon of the second day of this mission, we caught up to our route clearance element, which was supposed to find and eliminate IED’s before we arrived. Route clearance parties did a fine job, but they don’t always find everything. This was one of those times. To the side of the road, at various intervals were dismounted infantry units, who were securing parts of the road for us before we arrived. As we went along, one of our jingle trucks veered off of the cleared path, and struck an IED. The gravel he was carrying went high in the air, causing the blast to seem larger than it actually was. At that moment, the convoy stopped. As soon as the blast occurred, I saw a soldier running to the aid of the jingle truck driver. Lt Brian Bradshaw didn’t hesitate to render aid to a man in need, even though he had never met him. He was killed as he stepped on another IED, setting it off. This was not our first time seeing death on that deployment. We had fought the Taliban a few times already, without any serious injury. But this was the first time we had lost one of our own. Things really began to change for us after that. Everything took on a more serious tone. We drove through the night, and arrived at Kushamond the next morning.

The next day, we went back to KKC, and we made three more trips over the next few days. During this time, we lost equipment to IED’s, damaged vehicles trying to get them through rough terrain, and had some small firefights. Finally, the time came to return back to Sharana, and we decided to only make a short stop at KKC, since we were making the trip quicker each time, and figured that we could make the full return trip in one long day. At KKC, I remember sitting on a mine roller, talking to some other guys and smoking a cigarette, when we heard that someone was missing from Blackfoot. We heard that a large search effort was under way, and that we were to return to Sharana, get refitted, and get ready to continue operations. It also became quickly known to us that he had left Mest in the middle of the night, on his own.

The next evening, we went out to recover a vehicle that had been destroyed in an IED blast. The vehicle was in Gharbi Kheyl, just south of Mest/Malak, and known for its high concentration of Haqqani and Taliban fighters. I remember thinking to myself that if this is where we thought he had gone, he had to have been captured by then. Soldiers occasionally rig up a system to play music in their headsets on their trucks. When we went down this road into Gharbi Kheyl, we always played AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell.’ It was pretty appropriate for the area. During the next few weeks, attacks increased. Since so many of us were in the area, there were plenty of targets for our enemies to choose from. We began to have IED’s planted in new places, since we tried to avoid traditional routes, and our enemy eventually reacted to us. On one of our trips to Gharbi Kheyl, we hit an IED on our way in there, detained a man, Went back to Mest, which was only a short distance away, and hit another IED on the way out. We then had to return to Gharbi Kheyl and recover the vehicle we originally came there to get.

Eventually, a decision was made for us to operate out of KKC for a month. I guess you can say that we were more comfortable than our brothers who were constantly operating during this period. While they were driving, flying, and walking all over west Paktika, we would wait nearby, at KKC, and wait for the word that we were needed, either to set up a blocking position, or to recover yet another vehicle that had been blown up. It was also during this time that we noticed a size increase in the IED’s that were destroying our vehicles. There were times when we would show up to find an MRAP that was split in half by the blast. Thankfully, there were usually no severe injuries. In most cases, everyone walked away fine. The decision to field MRAPS in large quantities and to ban the usage of Humvee’s just prior to this time saved countless lives which would otherwise have been certainly lost.

Eventually, the search grew larger, and we were searching in places we hadn’t been before. We went all over Paktika, and even into Ghazni and Paktia provinces. The exact sequence is a blur for me now. When you constantly move from one emergency to the next, and spend five years not really thinking too much on it, it becomes hard to remember, even more so with my old age. We began operating out of Sharana again, and slowly began to do missions that were not directly related to the search for Bergdahl. But the search still continued, albeit at a lessened pace.

At about this time, was when I received information that took some time for me to fully internalize, because it shocked me so much. I’m not going into the details, and probably never will, unless the evidence turns up. An officer who I highly respected pulled me aside and informed me that our intelligence cell had found evidence that Bergdahl was an enemy combatant. He had joined the other side. It was not long after this that the search eventually ground to a halt. We moved on to other operations. During the whole search effort, our emotions changed. At first, we were concerned for the welfare of a fellow soldier. When we discovered the nature of his disappearance, it was incredulity. Why would he do that, we wondered. Very soon, it turned to anger. Not just because of the things we had to endure, but because of the knowledge that he had no intention of being one of us. In fact, it was so apparent, that some of us were given ‘shoot on sight’ orders. This was nothing formal. It was one of those things you’re told that never gets written down, or made an official policy, but most of us knew it. We talked about it frequently, although I doubt any one of us would have carried it out. Not only would it be a massive mess, but no one, I think, would have wanted to go down for murder because of this guy.

I don’t know why he did what he did. I don’t know if he wanted to get away, if he was just tired of fighting a war he didn’t believe in, if he actually intended to join the other side, or if he was trying to explore that region of the world without the structure of the Army in the context of war. The truth is, at some point, he made up his mind, and he left us.

What angers me the most, however, is that the American people never heard the truth until just recently. When all this happened, the wildest stories were being told to the people by the media. Some said he was partying with the ANA soldiers. Some said he was stumbling back from a bar (which doesn’t exist). Some said he lagged behind on a patrol. Never at any time did the military or our government correct these wild imaginings. They knew what the truth was, and let the people try to make up their minds in ignorance of the facts. In recent years groups have formed in his support by people who have their hearts in the right place, but have been lied to, and denied the facts.

Before coming home to Alaska, after a hard year at war, many of us were forced to sign NDA’s that were specific to the situation. The NDA’s stated that we were never to speak of those events to anyone, and especially not to the press. We were told it was so that we don’t further jeopardize Bergdahl’s situation with the Taliban. Being that we wanted to see our families again, we went ahead and signed them without argument, and went on about our business. Every time I’ve seen one of these groups advocating for Bergdahl, it has made me sick inside. For years, I’ve had to watch in silence as Americans advocate for a cause that they don’t know to be wrong. Do you have any idea how it feels to watch millions of people go against their own beliefs in ignorance, knowing that you are not allowed to correct them? I do. I’ve been feeling that for five years. I wish circumstances were otherwise. I wish we didn’t have to let these people hope for something for five years, only to crush them when they saw their wishes come true. It must really be awful for them to hope for something for so long, to see it happen, and find out that they had been lied to and the truth had been hidden from them the entire time.

I have seen friends die. I have seen people suffer in poverty, and constant war. I have met young men who have no memory of a time without war in the country they call home. I have ended the lives of other men. None of this, however, approaches having to spend five years watching truth be deliberately suppressed and destroyed, and knowing you have the truth, but are not allowed to make it known. Never again will I spend so much time in silence.

This article was originally posted at Tavern Keepers.

****

Obama exchanged terrorists to secure Bergdahl’s release: Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari. They were “mostly mid- to high-level officials in the Taliban regime…”

In 2009, Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times reported that according to an “unpublished” Pentagon report, “about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are engaged in terrorism or militant activity.”

American soldiers died looking for Bergdahl.