What a thing to read on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
I received this email from a reporter friend, asking my opinion. He didn’t seem to have a clue what the implications of this could be,
First, what an absolute crock of horsecrap, from beginning to end.
If I had to wager a guess, honestly, I’d say this is what the Soviets used to do, called “Active Measures.” A false story meant to stir up angst, anxiety and/fears, based on the target audience’s unreasonable fears.
Seriously, it might be written by the Russians, I am not joking at all.
But, most likely, it is written by a conspiracy theorist trying to stir up the less than informed masses here in the US, who are paranoid as F about Jade Helm, a “government takeover”, a “military takeover”, martial law, or any of a number of less than sane conspiracy theories. That includes Alex Jones and his crap.
A wee bit of analysis.
If someone was polling current military about this stuff, I would have heard about it. If they attempted to poll retired military, I would have definitely heard about this. I didn’t hear squat.
Notice the broad numbers. 60%. If this were an actual poll, we would see an exact number, not a rounded number.
“Enslave” under martial law. Martial law does not “enslave” anyone, that is solely intended to stir fear in someone.
There are few spelling errors, but one really pops up. “withtheestablishment” should be ‘with the establishment’. Poor editing.
What’s with the (blank) websites?
Notice no names. Notice no websites or sources cited. Notice the lack of references having to do with the “major study”, the poll, or the “Lt. General” (which, by the way, nobody shortens the rank that way – nobody).
Jade Helm is a legitimate Special Operations exercise and has stirred up all kinds of conspiracy theories, as was pointed out. It is a Public Affairs disaster.
Here’s the email he forwarded:
This May 24th Jade Helm update from Dave Hodges at the Common Sense Show is absolutely riveting. I am only including excerpts of Dave’s article, the actual email from the Lt General follows.
The Lt. General Speaks Out
On the morning of May 23rd, I was sent an email communication from a man claiming to be a recently retired Lt. General who was forced to retire in an Obama purge of military leadership in which the President has fired 270 command military leaders. He provided me with identifying clues so that I could verify his identity which I subsequently did. As a quality control check, I ran the same information by my two primary military sources. Both sources independently told me that they do indeed know both the identity of this individual and his former role and function in the military.
Back in November of 2012, when I broke the news about the attempted soft military coup in regard to the Benghazi story, I hesitated to publish my information for 10 days because I did not have outside collaboration for what I was being told. I almost lost my source as a result of my hesitation. As it turned out in this November 3, 2012 article, I was three months ahead of many outlets because the source was so controversial that many backed away from this topic. However, my information about the soft coup connected with the attempted rescue of Ambassador Stevens has proven to be accurate. I will not make the same mistake did with the Ambassador Stevens story. The Lt. General’s information is important and time sensitive. With his identity validated and confirmed, this is his message about the present national crisis connected to Jade Helm.
Revelations From the Lt. General
In 2012 this Lt. General was part of a Pentagon study which studied how many military personnel would side with the government and how many could be counted upon to fire upon American citizens when ordered to do so. The 2012 Pentagon study reached the following conclusions:
Approximately 60% of active duty Army personal will side with the American people.
Eighty percent of the National Guard will not fire upon American citizens when, as the Lt. General said, “(not if Sir) but when the order is given to openly enslave the American people under Martial Law”.
Somewhere around 90% the Marines will side with the American people.
The Navy as a whole will stay out of the fight choosing to be the last line of defense against foreign intervention should the country fall into civil war. (Editor’s Note: Please refer to my previous reference to the fact that the Navy has engaged in five years of war games in order to keep most of its ships out to sea).
It is widely believed that in excess of 75% of the Air Force will side withtheestablishment.
After reading your recent article “America’s Survival Depends on Stopping Jade Helm” on May 22nd, I felt compelled to write you. I was recently forced into retirement by President Obama along with 270 other flag officers after a distinguished career beginning on my 17th birthday when I enlisted in the Army.
I am not angry about being forced out (at least anymore) because it gave me the time to think about what is about to happen to America and what I could, would and should do.
In 2012 I was part of a Pentagon study which estimated that roughly 60% of active duty Army personal will side with the American people as will 80% of the National Guard when (not if Sir) the order is given to openly enslave the American people under Martial Law. Somewhere around 90% the Marines will side with the American people, the Navy as a whole will stay out of the fight choosing to be the last line of defense against foreign intervention. It is widely believed that in excess of 75% of the Air Force will side with government.
There are many within the active military both officers and senior NCO’s who see what is happening and what is coming. Many more than you can possibly imagine will not follow an unconstitutional order to move against the American people, nor will they allow foreign troops to openly attack American citizens. This would be the start of a fight these foreign forces could not possibly win as we will be fighting for our families, home, country and freedom. The Russian forces currently on American soil have no stomach for a fight with the American people, I know because I speak fluent Russian and I have met them and many of their officers, when push comes to shove they will stand down and go home. I have met President Putin and I found him to be a Nationalist, the man believes in Russia and while he is interested in expanding Russian influence and power it is because of the threat he sees from America, England and NATO not because he has designs on taking over America.
I was part of a major Pentagon study concerning how our military might react to the coming civil war, our forces will break down into three sides, Patriots, Government and those who choose not to take a side but will protect and defend civilians. With modern antiaircraft systems (mobile and man portable) air power will be all but useless. What we will see is a ground war, city by city, street by street. Additionally what is coming will be unlike any civil war in history, it will be very personal, the government will call the Patriots forces terrorists and traitors, they will arrest, intern, torture and murder suspected terrorists families, this will result in bloody reprisals which will start a vicious cycle lasting for years.
I have a son and a friend of the family both of which I am proud to say are excellent and decorated officers, my son commands a wing of Apache helicopters and the family friend commands an armored brigade. We were having dinner a few weeks ago with several current and former officers. As the evening wore on the mood turned somber as this very subject came up, they have all discussed this including what to do. As the evening concluded both of my son and my friend’s son, and to a man, all of the other officers O’s came together with one statement.
“Sir, when you need us we will be there”.
I am personally aware that many such meetings have taken place with similar pledges of support.
I have tried to teach my these young officers and the men under my command two overriding principals:
Never start a fight but always finish it, and when going into battle let your enemy know through your words, deeds and actions that while I migh die today, know that I will not die easily and God willing I will not die alone.
With Regards and Respect
Lt. General ___ (ret)
For a long list of eyewitness testimonials concerning the Russian troops that began being imported into the USA in 2012 visit the (blank) website and look in the menu on the right. I have been collecting these testimonies since 2012. The testimonies are sobering.
This whole thing is practically a joke if it weren’t so serious.
I was asked about this exact same thing by my Nephew today. “B”, it is not true.
By Paul Goble
The Russian government cannot afford to maintain its current levels of military spending for long because its shift of resources to the military sector is threatening the rest of the Russian economy and because its reserve fund will be insufficient to pay for this spending for more than another year or two, according to Sergey Guriev.
The Russian government’s original budget for 2015 was based on the assumption that oil would be US $100 a barrel, that Russia’s GDP would grow two percent, and that inflation would not exceedfive percent, he notes. None of those things has proven to be the case; and the government has cut overall spending by approximately eight percent.Guriev, currently an economics professor at the Sciences Po in Paris and earlier the rector of the Russian School of Economics in Moscow, says that experts have known this for some time but that the Kremlin has gone ahead anyway, something that opens the way for radical shocks ahead.
“Nevertheless,” he continues, that has not prevented the government deficit from ballooning from 0.5 percent of GDP to 3.7 percent, “a serious problem” even thoughRussia’s sovereign debt forms “only 13 percent of GDP” because the Ukrainian war has increased spending and Western sanctions have made it harder to borrow.
As a result, Moscow has been forced to dip into its reserve fund. That fund currently amounts to six percent of GDP. Consequently, if the deficit continues at 3.7 percent, the Russian government will run out of money in about two years, forcing it either to withdraw from Ukraine in order to end the sanctions regime or change its budgets in fundamental ways.
Both steps would entail “major political risks for Putin,” Guriev says.
But in fact, the economist continues, that kind of train wreck may happen far sooner. During the first three months of this year, he point out, Russia’s military spending exceeded nine percent of GDP – or “twice more than planned.” If that level of spending continues, Russia’s reserve fund will be “exhausted before the end of the year.”
That military spending is eating up the reserve fund is the result of Russian decisions made four years ago, Guriev says. At that time, the government proposed increasing defense spending from three to more than four percent of GDP, something Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin suggested was impossible. He was summarily fired and that is what the Kremlin seeks.
According to Guriev, “the goal of the Kremlin turned out to be unbelievably ambitious both by Russian and by world standards.” Most European countries are not spending more than two percent of GDP on defense; the US spends 3.5 percent, and only nine countries in the entire world are now spending more than four percent.
Russia “simply is not in a position” to spend that way for long, the economist says. Moreover, its defense industry isn’t capable of modernizing that quickly. And that suggests that the Kremlin is less interested in that than in supplying its forces in Ukraine, something that could set the stage for a new attack in the coming months.
Or alternatively, Guriyev continues, it could simply be an indication that the Ukrainian war is costing Putin far more than he counted on and that he will have to find a way out.
Whatever proves to be the case, he concludes, “Kudrin’s economic logic today is even more just than it was on the day he was fired. If Russia in favorable times couldn’t allow itself to spend up to four percent of GDP on defense,” then it certainly can’t at a time when oil prices have collapsed and Western sanctions have been imposed.
Wife of Russian GRU officer captured in Ukraine abandons him as his country did.
Does Russia care for its soldiers? Not a bit, it seems.
YouTube video below.
Allegedly Putin is gay and privately supports LGBT rights in Russia.
That statement has about as much credibility as the claim Moscow makes that the two captured soldiers in Ukraine are not Russian soldiers.
Article by: Euan MacDonald
used to convey that something is claimed to be the case or have taken place, although there is no proof.
I’m sick of the word “allegedly.” In the context of Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, its nine letters just spell out misrepresentation, confusion, and unjustified doubt.
We see “allegedly” used in Western media reports, for instance, in conjunction with Ukraine’s claims that it has detained two Russian soldiers from a military intelligence unit operating in Ukraine.
“We have to use ‘allegedly’, because we don’t have 100% proof,” a Western journalist says, when asked about the use of the word when reporting the story of the capture of the Russian soldiers.
But the problem with “allegedly” in this context is twofold – first, it does not adequately convey the probability of the claim being true, and second, it says nothing of the credibility of the source throwing doubt on the claim.
“Allegedly” is a lazy word, which semantically attributes a 0.5/0.5 probability to any claim to which it is applied. It has the potential to be abused.
To illustrate this in an absurd way, it’s quite true to say “Allegedly, the British royal family are shape-shifting Lizard People.” Some people have actually claimed this.
But note that nothing in this claim tells us anything about the probability of the claim being true, or about the credibility of the person making the claim, or even their identity.
Thankfully, in this case we know from other information available to us (well, most of us), that the claim is highly unlikely to be true, and the person making such a claim is most probably a loonie, whose claims do not need to be taken seriously.
But in the case of Western reporting of events in Ukraine, such as the capture of the two Russian special operations soldiers on May 16, the word “allegedly” is used too freely, seemingly without regard to the probability of the claim of their capture or identity as serving Russian soldiers being true, or to the credibility of the source of the doubt being thrown on the claim – the Kremlin.
In fact, there is a mountain of already-available evidence that the claim that Ukraine has captured two members of a team of Russian special operations soldiers on its soil is true – with a probability more like 0.95/0.05.
True, the individual pieces of evidence that make up this mountain cannot each be proved with 100% certainty to be true, but taking all of the pieces together there is an overwhelming body of circumstantial evidence that Russia is directly participating in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and this renders the “alleged” capture of two of Russia’s commandos on Ukrainian soil very highly likely.
It should be reported as such. Not just “allegedly.”
As for the credibility of the source making the counter claim – the Kremlin – it is not adequate merely to report this counter claim without making some reference to the credibility of the source.
It is a matter of record and fact that the Kremlin, more specifically Russian President Vladimir Putin, has lied about Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine (recall Crimea). There is a great deal of evidence that the Kremlin is conducting a covert war in the east of Ukraine, in order to destabilize the country and keep it within Russia’s orbit. So Russian denials of the involvement of their military in the fighting in eastern Ukraine should be reported as scarcely credible.
Thus it is quite wrong at this point to use the word “allegedly” when reporting the recent capture of the Russian soldiers in Ukraine – there is not actually much doubt that these soldiers are indeed serving members of the Russian military, engaged in a Kremlin-orchestrated covert war against Ukraine. Neither should the reader of news reports be left in any doubt about the credibility of the Kremlin’s claims – they are not credible, and have been proved not to be credible many times.
So drop “allegedly.” This lazy word can’t do the work needed to properly inform news readers about what is actually happening in Ukraine. Its flabby semantics are of use only to Kremlin propagandists.
Russia is attempting to control what is said in Russia, in the media, blogs and now Social Media.
There can be no dissent. There can be no alternative news.
There can only be what Dear Leader and his propagandists say.
A further step was taken in Russia’s slow authoritarian regression on Friday after it was revealed Google, Facebook and Twitter would be banned by the regime unless they disclose user data in line with the country’s blogging laws.
Media watchdog Roskomnadzor contacted the technology giants to demand they comply with legislation that requires bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers to register with the state. As such, Roskomnadzor has asked the companies to hand over details of Russian bloggers, as well as censor any content “recognised as extremist information” by the Moscow government.
Putin speaks to the media after a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 16, 2015
Speaking to CNBC on Friday, Vadim Ampelonskiy, spokesman for Roskomnadzor, said: “Such correspondence is regular in dealing with foreign Internet companies. Usually after sending official requests and letters, we can see some positive movements and progress in communication. Roskomnadzor hopes this time all the companies will respond again and will fulfill those requirements, which were asked many times before.”
According to Reuters, Ampelonskiy warned that sites would be banned that did not comply with the rules. Critics are framing the latest crackdown on the Internet in Russia as part of Putin’s ongoing restrictions on freedom of speech. Recent changes in the law allow prosecutors to block websites detailing unauthorised protests without a court order.
Transparency reports fort the three technology firms show they have previously rejected most but not all of Russian requests for user data. It is unclear how each will respond to this latest demand.
Russia does not deny its rampant HIV rate, nor their drug problem.
It just suppresses the coverage – it is not in Russian news.
Life in Russia is not peaches and cream. Russia is one of the few countries with a rising HIV rate, outside ofsub-Saharan Africa.
Infection rates are set to hit three million, but drug use and unsafe sex – the main causes – are rife
Almost as soon as two HIV-prevention activists set up outside the pharmacy in the outskirts of Moscow with two huge backpacks of supplies, a skinny young man with mussed hair and an impish grin quickly walked up to them.
“Do you have any ointment?” he asked, lifting up the leg of his tracksuit trousers to show a mass of red sores.
Asking what else he might need, the activists put antibiotic ointments, bandages and clean needles in a plastic bag.
“I don’t have any immunity, and this stuff is expensive in the pharmacy,” the young man said, giving his name only as Pavel, 28. His health problems arose from drinking and injecting heroin.
Asked if he takes steps to protect himself from contracting the Aids-related virus, he said he got clean needles, condoms and advice from the activists from the Andrey Rylkov Foundation.
This was Maryino, a far-flung district in south-east Moscow Drug addicts tend to gather near the nondescript pharmacy here because it sells tropicamide eye drops, which are typically used to dilate the pupil, without a prescription. Users add tropicamide to intravenous drugs to amplify the effect of the low-grade heroin they’re using.
More than a dozen used needles were scattered in the parking lot and park outside the pharmacy, where a few middle-aged women were walking their dogs.
“We call them snowdrops,” said activist Lena Remnyova, who was giving out flyers inviting people to a drive to clean up the used needles. “Some people find flowers when the snow melts; we find needles,” said colleague Asya Sosmina.
Moscow is at the epicentre of a rising HIV epidemic: while the number of those infected in Russia pales in comparison with the numbers in sub-Saharan Africa, it is one of the few countries where rates are growing rather than declining.
The government does not offer substitution therapy or harm reduction outreach, and the impact of grassroots groups such as Rylkov, which has only 15 staffers, is limited.
The official count of Russians living with HIV has risen to 930,000 from 500,000 in 2010, and the actual number is probably much higher. (Of those registered, some 192,000 have already died.)
Vadim Pokrovsky, head of the federal Aids centre in Moscow, predicted this month that at least two million Russians are likely to be officially registered as HIV-positive within five years, and a total of three million will have the virus.
According to Pokrovsky, the failure stems from a lack of funding and the Kremlin’s family-values-based approach to HIV prevention. Funding for fighting the disease has increased to 21bn roubles (£270m) this year, but most will go to antiretroviral therapy rather than preventative measures, he said.
“We need to spend 10 times more on prevention,” Pokrovsky was quoted as saying earlier this month. “We need many more resources and we need some political decisions – and changes in the law in connection with methadone and the private lives of individuals.”
The reasons behind the HIV epidemic are twofold: intravenous drug use and unsafe sex. More than 60% of HIV-positive Russians are thought to have used drugs, but the most common method of spreading the disease is heterosexual intercourse. Yet what groups like the World Health Organisation see as the most effective treatment of intravenous drug addiction is illegal in Russia. Opioid substitution therapy programmes to wean addicts off drugs are banned, and the use or distribution of methadone is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in March 2014, served as a case study in the effects of such an approach. For many of the 800-plus patients who had been undergoing substitution treatment there, being cut off from these programmes was a death sentence.
Michel Kazatchkine, the UN special envoy for HIV/Aids in eastern Europe and central Asia, said in January that 80 to 100 of these patients had died.
Pokrovsky has proposed introducing sex education to Russian schools, but in December children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, who once argued that the “best sex education there is, in fact, is Russian literature and literature in general”, pledged it would “never” be taught in Russia.
“Most Russians are not in an official marriage, and a change in partners can lead to infection,” said Ilya Lapin, an HIV prevention advocate. “A man infects himself and then he infects his partner. The problem is the lack of knowledge and education, even though it’s easier to teach prophylactics than treat the disease.”
Instead of harm reduction programmes to improve the safety of drug addicts as a first step toward curing addiction, the official policy is one of rehabilitation in state-run institutions. But the paperwork required and strict schedule inhibits many drug users, and only 10-15% of patients at the city’s substance abuse centre make it through the month of detox and on to the free rehabilitation programme.
The lack of outreach has driven organisations such as the Rylkov Foundation to hit the streets for guerrilla harm-reduction work.
Five evenings a week, part-time employees like Remnyova and Sosmina stand near pharmacies selling tropicamide over the counter, mostly in the outlying districts of the city, where the drug problem is most acute.
Besides clean needles and bandages, they hand out HIV and hepatitis tests, the organisation’s newspaper and other HIV prevention literature, and naloxone, a drug that can be injected to help reverse an overdose.
“Our government thinks you need to just get rid of your drug addiction and your life will all work out,” said Maksim Malyshev, a former heroin user who kicked his addiction with the help of harm reduction activists and became outreach coordinator at the Rylkov foundation.
“But we’re realists because many people in our team are from the subculture, people who used drugs, people who still use drugs. To just quit completely doesn’t work, so we try to do things a different way.”
In the two hours before the pharmacy closes, 14 men and seven women accept bags of medical supplies and quickly whispered advice from the two activists. As they stand near the pharmacy, its security guard comes out to berate them for helping drug users. He leaves them alone after they point out that it’s his pharmacy that is selling drugs without a prescription.
Many addicts – knowing there is widespread stigma against them among both medical personnel and the population at large – are deterred from seeking help or getting treatment for infections. “When people see my hand and how varicose it is, they say get out of here,” said Sveta Yevseyeva – an occasional heroin user for the past 10 years – of the discrimination she faces every day. She can’t get a job because she’s on a register of known drug users, to which people are added if picked up by the police while high or if they leave detox early.
Many of those who stopped said they were aware of HIV prevention methods but that clean needles and medical products were hard to afford.
“We try to use clean needles and not share with unknown people, only with ones we know aren’t sick,” said one man who would give his name only as Sergei. But he admitted that a friend of his had been admitted to emergency care two months ago with Aids.
Activists hope President Vladimir Putin will adopt a more progressive approach to HIV prevention before it’s too late. “Organisations like ours inform him, we send him reports, we do independent reports, we study international recommendations,” Lapin said. “We talk about this, but he doesn’t hear us.”
Using open-source tools, Internet researcher Lawrence Alexander gathered and visualised data on nearly 20,500 pro-Kremlin Twitter accounts, pointing to extensive information manipulation attempts on the RuNet. In the second part of a two-part analysis, he discusses how bot behavior over time exposed key traits of these accounts and resonated with major political and social events.
Once I examined the scale and relationships of the bot networks in the first installment of my analysis, I decided to look into their chronology. Would examining the timeline behind their creation reveal further details as to their origin and purpose?
One of the Twitter metadata items NodeXL collected for the bot accounts was the“Joined Twitter Date.” This is an automatic parameter that can’t be changed by the user, so it provides an accurate ‘birthday’ for each account.
Using Microsoft Excel, these figures—for all 17,590 bots—were visualized as scatter plots labelled by group (groups were formed based on the text content of the tweets). For comparison, I produced an identical graph for the 11,282-strong random sample group of accounts.
The vertical time-scale axis covers the entire history of Twitter, from its inception in July 2006 to the present day. The horizontal axis refers to the number of Twitter accounts, and therefore the sample size, of each group. They are arranged in the order that NodeXL originally collected them. The creation date of each account is signified by a blue dot.
As you would expect in a random sample group, there are few trends to be seen beyond a general increase in Twitter’s popularity in its first four years. The timeline of the creation dates for bot account groups from my sample, however, tells a different story.
The Group A graph is taken from the sample of bot accounts sourced from@PressRuissa‘s tweet. You can see marked linear trends where multiple accounts were rapidly created on the same day, sometimes within hours of each other. This is characteristic of the automation that is typical for bot networks, and the same trend shows up in all four bot sample groups.
I marked dates of peak activity in red for clarity. Above, a rapid increase in account registration for Group A can be seen in November 2013 and July 2014.
Group B was sourced from suspected bot accounts based on their behavior and characteristics, as well as the distinctive RSS error message I referred to in theprevious post. On the graph above, you can see two sharp peaks in account registration recorded for the spring and early summer of 2014, and later in the autumn of the same year. Relatively few accounts in the group were registered prior to this period.
Bots for Group C were collected based on a tweet by a political analyst who reported an instance of suspiciously similar messages. The graph for this group shows a clear pattern of mass account registration in three batches, spaced eight months apart, as more bots were added to the network.
An Internews Ukraine media expert provided the screenshot that became my starting point for Group D (see graph above). Here, the automation trends are less distinct, partly because the data set is smaller. However, the pattern of rapid account registration, peaking in the summer of 2014, is still clear.
Although these results cannot guarantee a comprehensive conclusion about the nature of the ‘bot’ accounts, it’s interesting to note that periods of increased bot registration coincided with the start of the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine (late fall and winter of 2013) and the subsequent armed uprisings by pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine (early spring 2014).