Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Tom Secker, Tim Shorrock, Janine Bandcroft September 21, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

September 21, 2017

You may believe the golden age of spycraft passed with the end of the Cold War, or maybe even with Mata Hari's firing squad. But, what's old is gold again, and the game has never been more fully engaged.

Whether fighting commies, evil-doers, drugs dealers, or pernicious foreign ideology we always seem to be at war with something! In fact, we're reminded of the fact so frequently, it's beginning to make me think the war going on isn't "out there" at all, but instead is raging inside our heads, making a virtual battlefield of our collective perceptions.

Tom Secker is a UK-based private researcher, journalist, frequently featured commentator on security and intelligence issues, host of the popular podcast, ClandesTime, and principal behind, “the world’s premier online archive about government involvement in the entertainment industry.” He’s also co-author, with Matthew Alford of the recently released book, 'National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood'.

Tom Secker in the first half.

And; Donald Trump didn't disappoint at the UN this week. In an address that still has halls of power around the globe buzzing, the American president used the global bully pulpit to threaten fellow member-nation North Korea with utter destruction. A lapse of diplomatic etiquette and refutation of the Charter of the United Nations' founding purpose of promoting peace among nations to be sure, but what Mr. Trump, and most of those listening to his sabre-rattling are not aware of is; the United States "totally destroyed North Korea" once before. It's a salient fact not lost on the "depraved regime" being threatened again, and something the White House might consider when gauging just how Kim "Rocket Man" Jong Un may react.

Tim Shorrock is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, and author of the book, ‘Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.’ His articles appear at his website, and in the Washington Post. Tim grew up in Asia, and spent much of the 1980’s in Japan, reporting on the financial intrigues of the then-biggest of the Asian Tiger economies.

Tim Shorrock and taking the measure of the Trump administration's bombast from an Eastern perspective in the second half.

And; Victoria activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here with the Left Coast Events Newsletter bulletin at the bottom of the hour. But first, Tom Secker and the clandestine war being fought between your ears.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media.

Trump United Nations Speech Transcript

Trump's full speech to the UN General Assembly

by Vox

September 19, 2017

Rush transcript of President Trump’s full remarks.

Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in my home city as a representative of the American people to address the people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I want to begin by expressing my appreciation to every leader in this room who has offered assistance and aid. The American people are strong and resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined than ever before.

Fortunately, the United States has done very well since Election Day last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years, and because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth, the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time, and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been. For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements, and religions have stood before this assembly.

Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today, but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed. We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve. But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terror but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances, that prevented conflict and tilted the word toward freedom since World War II. International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration, threaten our borders and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens. To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair. We have it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams, and to ensure that new generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred, and fear.

This institution was founded in the aftermath of two world wars, to help shape this better future. It was based on the vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their security, and promote their prosperity. It was in the same period exactly 70 years ago that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those these beautiful pillars, they are pillars of peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity. The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent, and free. As president, Truman said in his message to Congress at that time, our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations.

The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members. To overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace, for themselves and for the world. We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.

This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is the foundation for cooperation and success. Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect. Strong sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God. In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.

This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution, the oldest constitution still in use in the world today. This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law. The greatest in the United States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are "We the people." Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the promise of those words, the promise of our country and of our great history.

In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens, to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values. As president of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first.

All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens, and the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition. But making a better life for our people also requires us to with work together in close harmony and unity, to create a more safe and peaceful future for all people.

The United States will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America's interests above all else, but in fulfilling our obligations to our nations, we also realize that it's in everyone's interests to seek the future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous, and secure.

America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall. America's devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies. From the beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Asia, it is an eternal credit to the American character that even after we and our allies emerge victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion or attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others. Instead, we helped build institutions such as this one to defend the sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all. For the diverse nations of the world, this is our hope.

We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideologies. We have a policy of principled realism, rooted in shared goal, interests, and values. That realism forces us to confront the question facing every leader and nation in this room, it is a question we cannot escape or avoid. We will slide down the path of complacency, numb to the challenges, threats, and even wars that we face, or do we have enough strength and pride to confront those dangers today so that our citizens can enjoy peace and prosperity tomorrow.

If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.

And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans. And for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more. We were all witness to the regime's deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America, only to die a few days later.

We saw it in the assassination of the dictator's brother, using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country, to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea's spies. If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life. It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.

No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That's what the United Nations is all about. That's what the United Nations is for. Let's see how they do.

It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future. The United Nations Security Council recently held two unanimous 15-0 votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security Council. Thank you to all involved. But we must do much more.

It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior. We face this decision not only in North Korea; it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime, one that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. The longest-suffering victims of Iran's leaders are, in fact, its own people. Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian live, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.

This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran's people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship, fuel Yemen's civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East. We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don't think you've heard the last of it. Believe me.

It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. Above all, Iran's government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors. The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran's people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters, and imprison political reformers.

Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror, or will the Iranian people return to the nation's proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth, where their people can be happy and prosperous once again? The Iranian regime's support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its finance, and in Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamic extremism that inspires them.

We will stop radical islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world. We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nation. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries whose support and fi — who support and finance terror groups like al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and others that slaughter innocent people.

The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the reemergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people. Last month I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operation, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians. I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. We seek the deescalation of the Syrian conflict, and a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person. No society could be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the airbase that launched the attack.

We appreciate the efforts of the United Nations agencies that are providing vital humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from ISIS, and we especially thank Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees from the Syrian conflict. The United States is a compassionate nation and has spent billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort. We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people and which enables their eventual return to their home countries to be part of the rebuilding process. For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region.

Out of the goodness of our hearts, we offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region and we support recent agreements of the G20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible. This is the safe, responsible, and humanitarian approach. For decades the United States has dealt with migration challenges here in the Western Hemisphere.

We have learned that over the long term, uncontrolled migration is deeply unfair to both the sending and the receiving countries. For the sending countries, it reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reform and drains them of the human capital necessary to motivate and implement those reforms. For the receiving countries, the substantial costs of uncontrolled migration are born overwhelmingly by low-income citizens whose concerns are often ignored by both media and government.

I want to salute the work of the United Nations in seeking to address the problems that cause people to flee from their home. The United Nations and African Union led peacekeeping missions to have invaluable contributions in stabilizing conflict in Africa. The United States continues to lead the world in humanitarian assistance, including famine prevention and relief, in South Sudan, Somalia, and northern Nigeria and Yemen.

We have invested in better health and opportunity all over the world through programs like PEPFAR, which funds AIDS relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Global Health Security Agenda, the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, and the Women Entrepreneur's Finance Initiative, part of our commitment to empowering women all across the globe.

We also thank — we also thank the secretary general for recognizing that the United Nations must reform if it is to be an effective partner in confronting threats to sovereignty, security, and prosperity. Too often the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process. In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution's noble end have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them. For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the UN Human Rights Council.

The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it. Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some, in fact, are going to hell, but the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations, can solve many of these vicious and complex problems. The American people hope that one day soon the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world.

In the meantime, we believe that no nation should have to bear a disproportionate share of the burden, militarily or financially. Nations of the world must take a greater role in promoting secure and prosperous societies in their own region. That is why in the Western Hemisphere the United States has stood against the corrupt, destabilizing regime in Cuba and embraced the enduring dream of the Cuban people to live in freedom.

My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms. We have also imposed tough calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse. The socialist dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country.

This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation — prosperous nation, by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives, to preserve his disastrous rule. The Venezuelan people are starving, and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. The situation is completely unacceptable, and we cannot stand by and watch.

As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal — that goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country, and restore their democracy. I would like to thank leaders in this room for condemning the regime and providing vital support to the Venezuelan people. The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.

We are fortunate to have incredibly strong and healthy trade relationships with many of the Latin American countries gathered here today. Our economic bond forms a critical foundation for advancing peace and prosperity for all of our people and all of our neighbors. I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis. We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela. The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.

From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their well-being, including their prosperity. In America, we seek stronger ties of business and trade with all nations of goodwill, but this trade must be fair and it must be reciprocal.

For too long the American people were told that mammoth, multinational trade deals, unaccountable international tribunals, and powerful global bureaucracies were the best way to promote their success. But as those promises flowed, millions of jobs vanished and thousands of factories disappeared. Others gamed the system and broke the rules, and our great middle class, once the bedrock of American prosperity, was forgotten and left behind, but they are forgotten no more and they will never be forgotten again.

While America will pursue cooperation and commerce with other nations, we are renewing our commitment to the first duty of every government, the duty of our citizens. This bond is the source of America's strength and that of every responsible nation represented here today. If this organization is to have any hope of successfully confronting the challenges before us, it will depend, as President Truman said some 70 years ago, on the independent strength of its members.

If we are to embrace the opportunities of the future and overcome the present dangers together, there can be no substantive for strong, sovereign, and independent nations, nations that are rooted in the histories and invested in their destiny, nations that seek allies to befriend, not enemies to conquer, and most important of all, nations that are home to men and women who are willing to sacrifice for their countries, their fellow citizens, and for all that is best in the human spirit.

In remembering the great victory that led to this body's founding, we must never forget that those heroes who fought against evil, also fought for the nations that they love. Patriotism led the Poles to die to save Poland, the French to fight for a free France, and the Brits to stand strong for Britain. Today, if we do not invest ourselves, our hearts, our minds, and our nations, if we will not build strong families, safe communities, and healthy societies for ourselves, no one can do it for us.

This is the ancient wish of every people and the deepest yearning that lives inside every sacred soul. So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world. We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all. Thank you, God bless you, God bless the nations of the world, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

Revenge of the Village: Are We Not All Numbers?

We Are All Prisoners of the Police State’s Panopticon Village

by John W. Whitehead - CounterPunch

September 20, 2017

Photo by Surian Soosay | CC BY 2.0

“We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy… We all live in a little Village. Your Village may be different from other people’s Villages, but we are all prisoners.
— Patrick McGoohan 

First broadcast in Great Britain 50 years ago, The Prisoner—a dystopian television series described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.

Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned, monitored by militarized drones, and interrogated in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly tranquil retirement community known only as the Village. The Village is an idyllic setting with parks and green fields, recreational activities and even a butler.

While luxurious and resort-like, the Village is a virtual prison disguised as a seaside paradise: its inhabitants have no true freedom, they cannot leave the Village, they are under constant surveillance, their movements are tracked by surveillance drones, and they are stripped of their individuality and identified only by numbers.

The series’ protagonist, played by Patrick McGoohan, is Number Six.

Number Two, the Village administrator, acts as an agent for the unseen and all-powerful Number One, whose identity is not revealed until the final episode.

“I am not a number. I am a free man,” was the mantra chanted on each episode of The Prisoner, which was largely written and directed by McGoohan.

In the opening episode (“The Arrival”), Number Six meets Number Two, who explains to him that he is in The Village because information stored “inside” his head has made him too valuable to be allowed to roam free “outside.”

Throughout the series, Number Six is subjected to interrogation tactics, torture, hallucinogenic drugs, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination and physical coercion in order to “persuade” him to comply, give up, give in and subjugate himself to the will of the powers-that-be.

Number Six refuses to comply.

In every episode, Number Six resists the Village’s indoctrination methods, struggles to maintain his own identity, and attempts to escape his captors. “I will not make any deals with you,” he pointedly remarks to Number Two. “I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

Yet no matter how far Number Six manages to get in his efforts to escape, it’s never far enough.

Watched by surveillance cameras and other devices, Number Six’s getaways are continuously thwarted by ominous white balloon-like spheres known as “rovers.” Still, he refuses to give up. “Unlike me,” he says to his fellow prisoners, “many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment, and will die here like rotten cabbages.”

Number Six’s escapes become a surreal exercise in futility, each episode an unfunny, unsettling Groundhog’s Day that builds to the same frustrating denouement: there is no escape.

As journalist Scott Thill concludes for Wired, “Rebellion always comes at a price. During the acclaimed run of The Prisoner, Number Six is tortured, battered and even body-snatched: In the episode ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ his mind is transplanted to another man’s body. Number Six repeatedly escapes The Village only to be returned to it in the end, trapped like an animal, overcome by a restless energy he cannot expend, and betrayed by nearly everyone around him.”

The series is a chilling lesson about how difficult it is to gain one’s freedom in a society in which prison walls are disguised within the trappings of technological and scientific progress, national security and so-called democracy.

As Thill noted when McGoohan died in 2009, “The Prisoner was an allegory of the individual, aiming to find peace and freedom in a dystopia masquerading as a utopia.”

The Prisoner’s Village is also an apt allegory for the American Police State: it gives the illusion of freedom while functioning all the while like a prison: controlled, watchful, inflexible, punitive, deadly and inescapable.

The American Police State, much like The Prisoner’s Village, is a metaphorical panopticon, a circular prison in which the inmates are monitored by a single watchman situated in a central tower. Because the inmates cannot see the watchman, they are unable to tell whether or not they are being watched at any given time and must proceed under the assumption that they are always being watched.

Eighteenth century social theorist Jeremy Bentham envisioned the panopticon prison to be a cheaper and more effective means of “obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”

Bentham’s panopticon, in which the prisoners are used as a source of cheap, menial labor, has become a model for the modern surveillance state in which the populace is constantly being watched, controlled and managed by the powers-that-be and funding its existence.

Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide: this is the new mantra of the architects of the police state and their corporate collaborators (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Instagram, etc.).

Government eyes are watching you.

They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet.

Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies.

Apart from the obvious dangers posed by a government that feels justified and empowered to spy on its people and use its ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and technology to monitor and control them, we’re approaching a time in which we will be forced to choose between obeying the dictates of the government—i.e., the law, or whatever a government official deems the law to be—and maintaining our individuality, integrity and independence.

When people talk about privacy, they mistakenly assume it protects only that which is hidden behind a wall or under one’s clothing. The courts have fostered this misunderstanding with their constantly shifting delineation of what constitutes an “expectation of privacy.” And technology has furthered muddied the waters.

However, privacy is so much more than what you do or say behind locked doors. It is a way of living one’s life firm in the belief that you are the master of your life, and barring any immediate danger to another person (which is far different from the carefully crafted threats to national security the government uses to justify its actions), it’s no one’s business what you read, what you say, where you go, whom you spend your time with, and how you spend your money.

Unfortunately, George Orwell’s 1984—where “you had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized”—has now become our reality.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers.

Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

Stingray devices mounted on police cars to warrantlessly track cell phones, Doppler radar devices that can detect human breathing and movement within in a home, license plate readers that can record up to 1800 license plates per minute, sidewalk and “public space” cameras coupled with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology that lay the groundwork for police “pre-crime” programs, police body cameras that turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras, the internet of things: all of these technologies add up to a society in which there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home.

As French philosopher Michel Foucault concluded in his 1975 book Discipline and Punish, “Visibility is a trap.”

This is the electronic concentration camp—the panopticon prison—the Village—in which we are now caged.

It is a prison from which there will be no escape if the government gets it way.

As Glenn Greenwald notes:

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what [government officials] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals. This dynamic – the hallmark of a healthy and free society – has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.”

Even now, the Trump Administration is working to make some of the National Security Agency’s vast spying powers permanent.

In fact, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pushing for Congress to permanently renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows government snoops to warrantlessly comb through and harvest vast quantities of our communications.

And just like that, we’re back in the Village, our escape plans foiled, our future bleak.

Except this is no surprise ending: for those who haven’t been taking the escapist blue pill, who haven’t fallen for the Deep State’s phony rhetoric, who haven’t been lured in by the promise of a political savior, we never stopped being prisoners.

So how do we break out?

For starters, wake up. Resist the urge to comply.

The struggle to remain “oneself in a society increasingly obsessed with conformity to mass consumerism,” writes Steven Paul Davies, means that superficiality and image trump truth and the individual. The result is the group mind and the tyranny of mob-think.

Think for yourself. Be an individual. As McGoohan commented in 1968,

“At this moment individuals are being drained of their personalities and being brainwashed into slaves… As long as people feel something, that’s the great thing. It’s when they are walking around not thinking and not feeling, that’s tough. When you get a mob like that, you can turn them into the sort of gang that Hitler had.”

In a media-dominated age in which the lines between entertainment, politics and news reporting are blurred, it is extremely difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. We are so bombarded with images, dictates, rules and punishments and stamped with numbers from the day we are born that it is a wonder we ever ponder a concept such as freedom. As McGoohan declared, “Freedom is a myth.”

In the end, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we are all prisoners of our own mind.

In fact, it is in the mind that prisons are created for us. And in the lockdown of political correctness, it becomes extremely difficult to speak or act individually without being ostracized. Thus, so often we are forced to retreat inwardly into our minds, a prison without bars from which we cannot escape, and into the world of video games and television and the Internet.

We have come full circle from Bentham’s Panopticon to McGoohan’s Village to Huxley’s Brave New World.

As cultural theorist Neil Postman observed:

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared we would become a captive audience. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared that we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate would ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

You want to be free? Break out of the circle.


John W. Whitehead is the president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People.

More articles by:John W. Whitehead

A Coup in Catalan: Gardia Occupy Government Institutions Before Referendum Vote

Forced Takeover of Catalan Government Institutions by Spanish Police

by Thomas S. Harrington - CounterPunch

September 20, 2017

I just got of the phone with Josep Maria Sole Sabaté, my friend and a leading Catalan historian and public intellectual. He was nothing short of breathless as he described the helicopters flying overhead stated flatly that he was in the the midst of a coup being carried out by the Spanish State.

He wanted to get in touch with me and others “out there” because he was not sure how much longer free communication would be available to him and other out in the street protesting against the Spanish central government’s arrest of members of the Catalan Autonomous government.

As of this writing at least six agencies of the Catalan Government have been the object of forced police searches and thirteen, mostly mid-level members of the Catalan government have been arrested.

The homes of two the leading architects of the incipient Catalan state, Carles Viver Pi i Sunyer and ex Spanish judge Santi Vidal, have been searched by police. The headquarters of the far-left CUP, part of the pro-vote coalition in the Catalan Parliament, has been surrounded by police.

The leader of the Catalan National Congress Jordi Sanchez and the head of Omnium, a major Catalan cultural organization, Jordi Cuixart, has called Catalans to come into the streets and they have responded with a massive presence.

The mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, who has been highly ambivalent regarding the referendum that is scheduled too take place on October 1st, has now come out firmly for the referendum and against the crackdown taking place. Albano Dante Fachin, head of the Podemos branch in Catalonia, which has been similarly ambivalent, is now off the fence fully supporting the right to decree and denouncing the aggression of the Spanish State

The Catalan President Puigdement has called and extraordinary meeting of his government. The president of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell has gone there to join him. At this moment, Puigdemont is currently in the Generalitat Palace, home of the Government meeting with his ministers. Crowds are outside in the Saint James square in the very heart of the city of Barcelona where both the Gneralitat and City Hall are located. People are lying down in the Via Laietana, a short walk away, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, in order to impede the Civil Guard’s ability to march upon government buildings.

The Ex-president of Catalonia, Artur Mas has said flatly that the vote will go on. Joan Tarda, one of the representatives of the Catalan Left Republican Party in the Parliament in Madrid, has made a public appeal for calm.

The Catalanist have received messages and protest of support from the Basque Country, where people have also taken to the streets, and Madrid itself, where a pro-democracy demonstration is currently taking place.

The Barcelona Football Club has come out in favor of those seeking to vote on October 1st.  

Thomas S. Harrington is a professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of the recently released Livin’ la Vida Barroca: American Culture in a Time of Imperial Orthodoxies.
More articles by:Thomas S. Harrington

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

London's Stealthy Social Cleansing

Social Cleansing and the Destruction of Council Estates Exposed at Screening of ‘Dispossession’ by Endangered New Cross Residents

by Andy Worthington


On Saturday, I went to the New Cross Learning Centre — a community-run former library in New Cross — for a screening of ‘Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle’, a new documentary about Britain’s housing crisis directed by Paul Sng, who is from New Cross (and is the director of ‘Sleaford Mods: Invisible Britain’).

The screening was organised by the residents of the Achilles Street area, whose homes are threatened by Lewisham Council, which wants to knock them all down, and build shiny new replacements.

The area affected runs between New Cross Road and Fordham Park (from south to north), and between Clifton Rise and Pagnell Street (from west to east), and there are 87 homes (with 33 leaseholders), and around 20 businesses (along New Cross Road and down Clifton Rise).

Lewisham Council claims, in its most recent consultation document, from February this year, that “[a]ll current council tenants who wish to stay in the new development will be able to do so with the same rent levels and tenancy conditions that they have today,” and that “[a]ny resident leaseholder who wishes to will be able to remain in home ownership on the new development.”

This sounds reassuring, but the recent history of regeneration projects — both in London and elsewhere in the country — is that councils and developers lie to tenants and leaseholders, to get them to agree to regeneration under terms that are not then honoured. Instead, tenants are evicted and their homes demolished, and they never get to return, and leaseholders are offered derisory amounts for the homes that, ironically, they bought under Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy policy, which is insufficient for them to buy a replacement property in the area, leading to their exodus in addition to that of the former tenants.

The recent history of this social cleansing programme is admirably documented in ‘Dispossession’, exposing what is, fundamentally, a scandal that has received far too little attention: the selling off to private developers of council estates — mostly deliberately run down over many years, or even decades, under a process of “managed decline” — on the basis that there is insufficient money to refurbish them to a decent standard. The developers, with the collusion of the councils, then knock them down, and build unaffordable new housing instead, resulting in the involuntary exile —- the social cleansing — of the former residents, who have to leave the area — even if, as often, they have lived there for decades, and, understandably, think of their homes as home — and often can no longer even afford to live in London.

The film chronicles the template for dispossession that is well-known and well-documented to those paying attention — beginning with the destruction of the Heygate Estate in Southwark, and looking at Cressingham Gardens in Lambeth, the Balfron Tower in Poplar, and the Aylesbury Estate, also in Southwark, and also taking the story further afield — to Glasgow and Nottingham.

The Heygate, near the centre of the Elephant & Castle, an estate of huge high-rise blocks surrounding lower-rise buildings and significant green space, was emptied of its occupants in the 2000s, and, for many years, was empty except for a handful of leaseholders clinging on, at which time it became a kind of post-apocalyptic urban jungle, a place of extraordinary silence, with performance spaces and vegetable gardens.

Housing activists — via the extraordinary Southwark Notes website — have demonstrated how most of the Heygate’s 3,000 residents were dispersed across London, never to return, and there are other shocking statistics: Lendlease paid Southwark Council £55m for the Heygate Estate, and £40m for the Oakmayne and Tribeca site, also at the Elephant. The process of evicting and relocating tenants cost the council £65m, while refurbishment of the estate would have cost just £35m. Lendlease, meanwhile, stands to make a profit of £194m, while Southwark will make noting, although one doesn’t vine have to be cynical to notice a revolving door whereby former Southwark council housing employees end up getting jobs with the developers.

In other revealing statistics, 1,034 homes were demolished on the Heygate Estate, and 2,704 are being built on its replacement, Elephant Park, but only 82 of those will be for social rent, generally set at 30% of market rents. This is genuinely affordable for a majority of workers, whereas what passes for “affordable” in the legislation approved in London by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor, is actually set at 80% of market rents, and is therefore completely unaffordable for most workers, because market rents in central London can easily be £500 a week for a couple. When the median income is less than £20,000, that can lead to people paying, as Oxford professor Danny Dorling says in the film, 50%, 60% or even 70% of their income in rent, when it should only be described as “affordable” if it is no more than a third.

The film provides a background to the need for social housing, and points out that, after the Second World War, the Attlee government built 1m new homes, 80% of which were council houses, and 5m were then built in the decades that followed. The decline began under Margaret Thatcher, and her baleful legacy is clear: at the start of her premiership, 42% of people lived in social housing, now it is less than 8%, and 1.4m people are on waiting lists. Of the properties that were sold under Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ policy, 2.2m were in private ownership by 1996, and the most unforgiveable aspect of Thatcher’s policy — which new Labour never repealed — was the prohibition on councils building any new homes.

From Thatcher’s time onwards, some council housing ended up being transferred to the ownership and control of housing associations, a mix of private companies and charities, directed by legislation, who often did a good job. However, beginning under rNew Labour and most glaringly since 2010, under the Tories, cynical austerity cuts have forced them into becoming developers much more than being social housing providers, and a glaring example of that is at the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark.

Failing to learn any lessons from the Heygate disaster — because the template of dispossession and private profit is the same for all developments — Southwark hooked up with Notting Hill Housing, which used to be a social housing provider, but is now one of many former social housing providers that have become aggressive private developers, to demolish the borough’s other huge estate, the Aylesbury, rather than refurbishing it, as would have been sensible after all the negative publicity surrounding the Heygate redevelopment.

Instead, the evictions have started, as have the private developments, and Southwark and Notting Hill have had their compulsory purchase programme blocked by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, for its derisory nature, and for breaching leaseholders’ human rights. The film focuses on the story of Beverley Robinson, a resident on the Aylesbury Estate, and, as Paul Sng explained in an article for the Guardian when ‘Dispossession’ was released:

She has refused to move out of the estate until she receives the market rate for her home, which will enable her to buy an equivalent property in the area. The council’s initial offer for Robinson’s two-bedroom flat, was £65,000, which she rejected. Following a tribunal, the price was increased to £187,500, still short of her expectations. According to estate agents Foxtons, the average price of a two-bedroom property in Southwark is £884,648. Robinson is entitled to expect a like for like replacement property if she is forced to leave her home.

Robinson is now the only resident in a block that is fenced off like a prison, and as Sng explained:

Robinson has to be let in and out of the building by a guard day and night, and is a virtual prisoner in a home she bought from the council under the right to buy policy. In addition, the council have also stopped providing regular maintenance on the building (despite her still paying a service charge), meaning that the communal garden areas are untended and the lift and lighting are frequently not working for days on end. Such underhand tactics suggest that the council is attempting to intimidate Robinson into selling her flat, thus allowing them to continue with a £1.5bn redevelopment project.

Both the Heygate and the Aylesbury estates are desirable because Southwark is so close to central London. Elsewhere, however, parkside and waterside locations are what the council and developers seize upon. It is no accident that Achilles Street is right next to New Cross’s only park, Fordham Park, just as it is no accident that, in Lambeth, the destruction of Cressingham Gardens, a well-designed, low-level estate that opened in the 1970s, is being aggressively sought by Lambeth Council, as it overlooks Brockwell Park from an elevated location.

At Cressingham Gardens, all the subterfuge required to try to persuade the tenants and leaseholders of 306 homes to vote for their own death penalty failed. Just 4% were in favour. Residents describe it as “like living in a village,” and were well aware that they had been subjected to “managed decline.” The council decided to press ahead with its plans anyway, but the residents took them to court, and won — twice — although the council still refuses to give up.

The latest corrupt manoeuvrings exposed by the film involve the creation by councils themselves of housing associations to handle the destruction of estates and their lucrative rebuilding. In Lambeth, the council’s chief social housing destroyer is Matthew Bennett, who has not set himself up as the head of Homes for Lambeth, the housing association responsible for rebuilding. And so, in a shocking demonstration of naked vested interests, Bennett will be approving the destruction of estates that he will then be in charge of redeveloping.

At Cressingham Gardens, it has been demonstrated that the cost of destroying the estate is much greater than refurbishing it, as is generally true of all redevelopments. The film also looks briefly at Central Hill, an acclaimed estate in Crystal Palace, which is coveted by the council and developers because of its stunning views over London. The campaign to save Central Hill is ongoing, but is interesting not only because lovers of architecture are on board, but also because Architects for Social Housing, a wonderful organisation campaigning to save estates from destruction and to pursue refurbishment options instead, have produced unassailably sensible plans to refurbish the estate rather than proceed with its destruction.

The film also looks at the underhand eviction of tenants from the Erno Goldfinger-designed Balfron Tower in Poplar, where artists were cynically engaged as a diversion — in a move that is known as artwashing — and touches briefly on other social cleansing programmes that are either underway or imminent.

In Poplar, the destruction of Robin Hood Gardens (oh so close to Canary Wharf) is in the latter category, and in the former is the West Hendon Estate, which demonstrates another geographical draw for developers — it’s right next to a beautiful reservoir.

Also of note is Woodberry Down in Hackney — also located by a beautiful reservoir — and in bringing the story up to date concerned readers need to check out Haringey’s plans to sell of all its housing stock to Lendlease, the destroyers of the Heygate Estate, in a £2bn deal that explicitly involves giving Lendlease approval for the destruction of entire estates, including Broadwater Farm and Northumberland Park, both in Tottenham.

Readers should also check out the story of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in west London, threatened with destruction as part of the huge – and hugely profitable – Earls Court redevelopment (which is subject to widespread criticism on a number of fronts), but primarily the message of the film, and of the experience of anyone paying attention in London, is that a full-scale assault on social housing is underway in almost every borough, which, if it is not stopped, might well lead to the social cleansing of up to a million people over the next 10 or 15 years. Moreover, as ASH never tires of explaining, the social cleansing cuts across party lines, as most of the dispossession in London is being conducted by Labour councils.

I’ll let that sink in, and give you time to check out ASH’s list of estates under threat from Labour councils, whilst also adding that there are no saviours waiting in the wings. Despite getting elected because housing is Londoners’ number one concern, Sadiq Khan’s plans are worthless, and Jeremy Corbyn is permanently silent on the clearances conducted by his own party.

It is up to us to fight back — and to build a movement that corrupt politicians and developers cannot ignore, and which, I hope, can continue to channel the justifiable anger that was felt in June when the contempt that politicians, developers,and housing officials feel for social tenants was most vividly felt as an inferno engulfed Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, killing at least 80 people, an inferno that was entirely preventable and that only happened because safety standards had been deliberately gutted in an effort to increase profits.

Note: Check out the Achilles Street Stop And Listen Campaign website for information about how to contact councillors to oppose Lewisham’s plans, prior to a council meeting on October 4 at which residents fear the redevelopment plans will be approved. If you’re interested, please ask the campaigners to put you on their mailing list. And please also check out the Achilles fanzine, put together by Lilah Francis.

And for a defence of London’s social housing in song, check out ‘London’ by my band The Four Fathers.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

New US Military Base in Israel "Sends a Message to the Region"

A New Provocation: US Establishes First Permanent Military Base Inside of  Israel

by Patrick Henningsen - 21st Century Wire

September 19, 2017

In terms of US and Middle East geopolitics, something extremely significant has just taken place this week, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the Western mainstream press.

This latest addition to the Pentagon’s imperial portfolio of over 800 overseas military bases is sure to fuel even more resistance to what many see as a policy of global hegemony. On Monday, the United States formally unveiled its plan to establish a permanent military installation inside of Israel.

IDF Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich 
and U.S. Maj. Gen. John L. Gronski 
conduct a ceremony at Bislach Air Base, 
near Mitzpe Ramon on Sept. 18, 2017.

 The new US air defense base will be located in the Negev desert – a “base within a base” sharing the new location with an existing IDF facility at Mashabim Air Base located between the towns of Dimona and Yerucham. The base will fall under the umbrella of US European Command (EUCOM) headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

Plans for the new US Air Force base began under former US president Barack Obama, and transitioned to formation under President Donald Trump.

According to the Times of Israel:

Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitch, head of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Command, announced the establishment of the installation on Monday evening.

“It’s nothing short of historic,” he said. It demonstrates the “years-old alliance between the United States and the State of Israel.”

Already, we have seen Israeli PM Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu threaten Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding Iran’s military presence in Syria, warning that ‘Israel may act to curb Iran’s clout in Syria.’

The US base may also be used to launch air sorties to defend Israel’s recent illegal annexation of the part of the Golan Heights, land which it has managed to take under the cover of the Syrian conflict. Recently, Israel has managed to pry away this contested land from Syria with the help of Al Nusra terrorists on the ground, after they previously chased out UNDOF Peacekeepers which had been positioned there since 1976.

Earlier reports clearly show how Tel Aviv has been providing material assistance to Al Nusra terrorist fighters – a policy which Israel has not apologised for.

This week’s joint military announcement by the US and Israel also happens to coincide with the Jewish feast Rosh Hashanah. The Times says: “It’s a few days before Rosh Hashanah” — the Jewish new year — “and we are undergoing a renewal and growing in our abilities that are important and necessary for the State of Israel.”

According to the Israeli spokesperson, the establishment of a US base in Israel will a send a “message to the region.”

Whether that’s perceived as a positive message, or a message of US imperial expansion remains to be seen, but by most accounts, it’s likely to be the latter.

If anything, the establishment of a US base in occupied Palestine could help to reinvigorate the international pro-Palestinian activist movement, who traditionally has an anti-Imperialist message in its mission.

Generally speaking, it’s hard to see how such a move by the US can be seen a positive development for the region. Add to this other direct provocations by the US on behalf of Israel, and we have a recipe for potential disaster down the road. Earlier in his term, Trump also announced his desire to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – seen by many as an aggressive move by Washington, which would be viewed as affront to a long-established policy respecting the political and religious neutrality of Jerusalem. Note that the Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed into law in 1995, although successive US presidents have opted out of such a move in the interests of maintaining a peace over this contentious issue.

Somewhat shockingly, Gen. Haimovitch went on to claim that this new base would somehow help to support an operation like the brutal Israel bombing of Gaza in the summer 2014, which saw the slaughter of some 1,500 Palestinian natives, many of them women and children. The Times explains:

He said that the importance of air defense was made clear during the 2014 Gaza war, when thousands of rockets were fired at Israel, as well as through “assessments of the threats we expect to face in the future.”

For decades, cohorts of US forces and technical advisors have been based in Israel, running joint exercises with the IDF, and also installing and operating military projects like the famous Iron Dome missile defense array (also run out of Stuttgart, Germany) which went online in 2011.

Arrow 3 missile defense system delivered to the Israeli Air Force 
on January 18, 2017 (Source: Israeli Defense Ministry)

It seems that this latest deployment is not only about defense, but about projecting power in the region – with neighbors Syria and Lebanon in its immediate sights. The new project will feature new long-range missile system, the Arrow 3, delivered by the US to Israel in January (image, left), and the medium-range “David’s Sling” missile system, and an expansion of the short-range Iron Dome missile defense system.

The nearby town of Dimona is also home to Israel’s notorious nuclear reactor, and its unaccounted for nuclear warhead arsenal.

Journalist Richard Silverstein explains the fundamental problem with Israel’s ‘undeclared’ nuclear weapons operation at Dimona:

“In 1959, Israel began construction on its reactor in Dimona. Eventually, there were thousands of workers both building the plant and, once it was constructed, working within it to build the arsenal of 200 nuclear weapons Israel is reputed to possess. An excellent short overall history of the project can be found online.

“The secrecy of the nuclear programme, one interviewee calls it a “KGB state,” goes hand in hand with the Israel’s overall opacity around all manner of security issues. It’s not surprising that Israel has put its fate in the hands of a few nuclear bureaucrats like those who run Dimona, because it runs its overall military apparatus in the same way. No civilian oversight to speak of. The generals get what they want. All in the name of protecting the state. It’s a devil’s bargain.”

Aside from being Israel alleged ‘nuclear deterrent’, many also regard Dimona as a nuclear liability, and a giant ‘dirty bomb‘ contamination risk to the region.

Now Israel has a US base on its soil – another perfect Casus Belli, or target. It goes without saying that if anyone so much as grazes this sacred facility, or even threaten to do anything to it, this will undoubtedly be used by the US to step-up ‘security operations’ in the region and further inflaming an already tense situation in the Middle East.

All by design, of course. 

21wire -We are a North American and European-based, grass-roots, independent blog offering geopolitical news and media analysis, working with an array of volunteer contributors who write and help to analyse news and opinion from around the world.
READ MORE ISRAEL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Israel Files


Monday, September 18, 2017

Black, Yellow, and Read All Over: NYT's Take on Russia

The NYT's Yellow Journalism on Russia

by Robert Parry - Consortium News

September 15, 2017

Exclusive: The New York Times’ descent into yellow journalism over Russia recalls the sensationalism of Hearst and Pulitzer leading to the Spanish-American War, but the risks to humanity are much greater now, writes Robert Parry.

Reading The New York Times these days is like getting a daily dose of the “Two Minutes Hate” as envisioned in George Orwell’s 1984, except applied to America’s new/old enemy Russia.

Even routine international behavior, such as Russia using fictitious names for potential adversaries during a military drill, is transformed into something weird and evil.

 The New York Times building in Manhattan.
(Photo credit: Robert Parry)

In the snide and alarmist style that the Times now always applies to Russia, reporter Andrew Higgins wrote – referring to a fictitious war-game “enemy” – “The country does not exist, so it has neither an army nor any real citizens, though it has acquired a feisty following of would-be patriots online. Starting on Thursday, however, the fictional state, Veishnoriya, a distillation of the Kremlin’s darkest fears about the West, becomes the target of the combined military might of Russia and its ally Belarus.”

This snarky front-page story in Thursday’s print editions also played into the Times’ larger narrative about Russia as a disseminator of “fake news.” You see the Russkies are even inventing “fictional” enemies to bully. Hah-hah-hah! The article was entitled, “Russia’s War Games With Fake Enemies Cause Real Alarm.”

Of course, the U.S. and its allies also conduct war games against fictitious enemies, but you wouldn’t know that from reading the Times. For instance, U.S. war games in 2015 substituted five made-up states – Ariana, Atropia, Donovia, Gorgas and Limaria – for nations near the Caucasus mountains along the borders of Russia and Iran.

In earlier war games, the U.S. used both fictitious names and colors in place of actual countries. For instance, in 1981, the Reagan administration conducted “Ocean Venture” with that war-game scenario focused on a group of islands called “Amber and the Amberdines,” obvious stand-ins for Grenada and the Grenadines, with “Orange” used to represent Cuba.

In those cases, the maneuvers by the powerful U.S. military were clearly intended to intimidate far weaker countries. Yet, the U.S. mainstream media did not treat those war rehearsals for what they were, implicit aggression, but rather mocked protests from the obvious targets as paranoia since we all know the U.S. would never violate international law and invade some weak country! (As it turned out, Ocean Venture ’81 was a dress rehearsal for the actual U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983.)

Yet, as far as the Times and its many imitators in the major media are concerned, there’s one standard for “us” and another for Russia and other countries that “we” don’t like.

Yellow Journalism

But the Times’ behavior over the past several years suggests something even more sinister than biased reporting. The “newspaper of record” has slid into yellow journalism, the practice of two earlier New York newspapers – William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World – that in the 1890s manipulated facts about the crisis in Cuba to push the United States into war with Spain, a conflict that many historians say marked the beginning of America’s global empire.

Illustration by Chesley Bonestell of nuclear bombs 
detonating over New York City, entitled “Hiroshima U.S.A.” 
Colliers, Aug. 5, 1950.

Except in today’s instance, The New York Times is prepping the American people for what could become World War III. The daily message is that you must learn to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putin so much that, first, you should support vast new spending on America’s Military-Industrial Complex and, second, you’ll be ginned up for nuclear war if it comes to that.

At this stage, the Times doesn’t even try for a cosmetic appearance of objective journalism. Look at how the Times has twisted the history of the Ukraine crisis, treating it simply as a case of “Russian aggression” or a “Russian invasion.” The Times routinely ignores what actually happened in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014 when the U.S. government aided and abetted a violent coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych after he had been demonized in the Western media.

Even as neo-Nazi and ultranationalist protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at police, Yanukovych signaled a willingness to compromise and ordered his police to avoid worsening violence. But compromise wasn’t good enough for U.S. neocons – such as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland; Sen. John McCain; and National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman. They had invested too much in moving Ukraine away from Russia.

Nuland put the U.S. spending at $5 billion and was caught discussing with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who should be in the new government and how to “glue” or “midwife this thing”; McCain appeared on stage urging on far-right militants; and Gershman was overseeing scores of NED projects inside Ukraine, which he had deemed the “biggest prize” and an important step in achieving an even bigger regime change in Russia, or as he put it: “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

The Putsch

So, on Feb. 20, 2014, instead of seeking peace, a sniper firing from a building controlled by anti-Yanukovych forces killed both police and protesters, touching off a day of carnage. Immediately, the Western media blamed Yanukovych.

Shaken by the violence, Yanukovych again tried to pacify matters by reaching a compromise — guaranteed by France, Germany and Poland — to relinquish some of his powers and move up an election so he could be voted out of office peacefully. He also pulled back the police.

At that juncture, the neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists spearheaded a violent putsch on Feb. 22, 2014, forcing Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives. Ignoring the agreement guaranteed by the three European nations, Nuland and the U.S. State Department quickly deemed the coup regime “legitimate.”

However, ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, which represented Yanukovych’s electoral base, resisted the coup and turned to Russia for protection. Contrary to the Times’ narrative, there was no “Russian invasion” of Crimea because Russian troops were already there as part of an agreement for its Sevastopol naval base. That’s why you’ve never seen photos of Russian troops crashing across Ukraine’s borders in tanks or splashing ashore in Crimea with an amphibious landing or descending by parachute. They were already inside Crimea.

The Crimean autonomous government also voted to undertake a referendum on whether to leave the failed Ukrainian state and to rejoin Russia, which had governed Crimea since the Eighteenth Century. In that referendum, Crimean citizens voted by some 96 percent to exit Ukraine and seek reunion with Russia, a democratic and voluntary process that the Times always calls “annexation.”

The Times and much of the U.S. mainstream media refuses even to acknowledge that there is another side to the Ukraine story. Anyone who mentions this reality is deemed a “Kremlin stooge” in much the same way that people who questioned the mainstream certainty about Iraq’s WMD in 2002-03 were called “Saddam apologists.”

But what is particularly remarkable about the endless Russia-bashing is that – because it started under President Obama – it sucked in many American liberals and even some progressives. That process grew even worse when the contempt for Russia merged with the Left’s revulsion over Donald Trump’s election.

Many liberals came to view the dubious claims of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election as the golden ticket to remove Trump from the White House. So, amid that frenzy, all standards of proof were jettisoned to make Russia-gate the new Watergate.

The Times, The Washington Post and pretty much the entire U.S. news media joined the “resistance” to Trump’s presidency and embraced the neocon “regime change” goal for Putin’s Russia. Very few people care about the enormous risks that this “strategy” entails.

For one, even if the U.S. government were to succeed in destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia sufficiently to force out President Putin, the neocon dream of another malleable Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin is far less likely than the emergence of an extreme Russian nationalist who might be ready to push the nuclear button rather than accept further humiliation of Mother Russia.

The truth is that the world has much less to fear from the calculating Vladimir Putin than from the guy who might follow a deposed Vladimir Putin amid economic desperation and political chaos in Russia. But the possibility of nuclear Armageddon doesn’t seem to bother the neocon/liberal-interventionist New York Times. Nor apparently does the principle of fair and honest journalism.

The Times and rest of the mainstream media are just having too much fun hating Russia and Putin to worry about the possible extermination of life on planet Earth.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Talking to Norway: "You Are Ruining Our Lives"

Hello Norway speaks with Ernest Alfred "They are the trespasser here, not us."

by Chief Ernest Alfred/Hello Norway

via AlexandraMorton

Below is an online translation - well done Ernest Alfred


The chief who occupies a Marine Harvest farm in Canada: "You are ruining our lives."

DATE: 14.09.2017 / AV: Kjetil Østli and Simen Sætre Tweet

The Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw first nation from Kingcome Inlet has occupied Marine Harvest's fish farms. Thus, two plants are now occupied. Photo: Simon Ager, Sea Shepherd

At this moment, an open dispute between Norwegian aquaculture companies in Canada and parts of the indigenous peoples (First Nations), supported by the Sea Shepherd Environmental Protection Organization, is ongoing. Three out of four fish farms on the Canadian coast have Norwegian owners: Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood. On August 23, a group of First Nations joined a peaceful occupation of Marine Harvest's plant in Alert Bay. Marine Harvest is the world's largest seafood company. A second fish farm is also occupied. Sunday we succeeded in getting one of the drivers, chief Alfred, in speech:

Hello Norway.

Hello Canada.

Perhaps we'll be broken, the coverage is unstable here on the sea. And unfortunately I have to make the interview short, strong winds are on my way, we must strengthen the house we have built at the farm to protect it from the wind.

Okay. What is your full name? 

Chief Ernest Alexander Alfred.

Which First Nation do you represent? 

I represent more, but I belong to the Namgis, Lawit'sis and Mamalilikala Nations. Maybe I should spell this for you?

We find it on the internet, they have everything online now. But what is a chief? There are few chiefs in our country.

A chief must represent his family. But in this case, against the aquaculture industry, I speak on behalf of thousands of First Nation people. (First Nations: Indigenous People in Canada, South of the Arctic. They count about 850,000.)

And the message is? 

We want the farmed salmon industry to go. They destroy nature that is our basis of life. That is the backdrop of this peaceful action.

According to Canadian media, the action is spreading? 

Support comes from more and more First Nations. Our neighbors, The Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw from Kingcome Inlet, have occupied the Midsummer fish farm. Our patience is used up: The aquaculture industry must go some where they are welcome. Because they are not welcome here.

Where are you right now? 

At Marine Harvest's fish farm at Swanson Island in Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada, which from far back in history is home to Mamalilikala Nation.

How long have you lived there? 

We have been here long before Canada became a nation and before Europeans came. I would say: We have lived here since the beginning of time.

Can you describe the landscape outside the fish farm? 

I see big pens, anchored into the ocean in a small bay on the eastern side of Swanson Island. The aquaculture plant has been here for a couple of decades, and it is our opinion that this industry ruins our life base and pollutes our food. Many of us do not have money for food from the store. We live by the ocean and we live from the earth. We live from what we can harvest. But then the following happened: Pollutants, Marine Harvest, one of three Norwegian companies operating in our area, produces farmed salmon where we live and where our children will live. The effect of the aquaculture industry, as we see it, is a sharp reduction of wildlife stocks, dirty beaches, dead herring caught in the cages, and shells, crabs and shrimp fish at risk.

Do you live from these species? 

Yes. This is what the coastal people have historically lived in, and this is what we are going to live by now and in the future. Now natural resources are threatened.

Salmon is important to you? 

Salmon is the most important. We who have lived by nature understand the intricate interaction between the wild salmon stock and Mother Earth. If you influence the salmon here, you will affect every little species along the coast, from the smallest bug to the big humpback whales that have their food bar just around the corner for where I stand now.

What makes salmon important to the ecosystem? 

Salmon is a key stone species . Life here cannot exist without strong stocks of wild salmon. And remember this: Our people live in an area of the world that still produces oxygen. Many places have lost that property. What's happening is, for example, the Grizzly bears and the wolves look for the rivers for food. They hunt salmon and take the catch with them into the woods. They fertilize the forest floor, and the forest produces oxygen. Look at the research on the tree's anniversaries. The size of the crops corresponds to historical data on the size of the wild salmon stock. In good salmon season, the forest grows more. We know this. But it is now in danger.

What do the authorities say? 

New governments in Canada and in British Columbia want to remedy the past injuries committed against us First Nations. Our fight against the aquaculture industry is therefore about our rights. Yes, we know the research on the impact of farming on the environment, and it shows what we've said all the time. But in this match we are finished saying: Research shows that we are right.

I do not understand this. What do you say then? 

We simply say that the government must soon respect us and listen to us. Like First People. Same with Marine Harvest and the other companies.

Ok, but why not use science as an argument? 

Our point is crystal clear: Marine Harvest and other companies can not First Nations. We can talk for hours on science! The point is not research but human rights!

The farm you're on now, it's been there for 20 years about? 

I think it came in 1989, but you have to fact check it.

I'm unsure of the noise here. Could authorities and Marine Harvest have asked for permission for establishment? 

They should ask us. Because we have not signed any agreement with them. The UN's Indigenous Declaration on our people's rights states that they must have our permission.

But what did you say when the companies came? Did you say yes, but later became critical? 

No no no.


It is our governments and authorities that have allowed these aquaculture companies to establish themselves in our homes. For 30 years, our people have said, "You must go from here." Farmed salmon in this area is not natural.

Why is it unnatural? 

The aquaculture industry breaks with nature cycles. When fish gets sick in the natural environment, it is immediately taken out by a predator. That reduces the risk of disease spread. What we have here is open cages where all contaminated farmed salmon, all diseases, all stools, all parasites and pathogens, are allowed to flow freely in the ocean we will live off - including into the migration routes of the salmon.

Past-governments allowed this. Now we see want to see that new governments will correct the mistakes. And we are working on them. So, the match is not new. It has lasted for 30 years.


The wild species are about to collapse. Herring, which we also live by, is caught and dying in salmon pens. Due to lack of food and resources we have been pushed for action. I, my family and my nation are being pressed, in severe frustration over lack of action, to do anything to stop the destruction of nature on our coast. The people I belong to have invested four million dollars in building a closed farm on land - to prove Norway, Canada, the rest of the world, that farming can be done without ruining nature around it.

How has it gone? 

We have had challenges along the way, as with all new technology. Nevertheless, I assume that the plant is successful. Our fish do not harm nature, beaches or wild species. The closed-end technology is now on the market. This is the future. The aquaculture industry must simply close its facilities and move on land.
This debate is daunting in Norway. But many are skeptical.

Of course. Those who oppose closed plants have invested and made a lot of money on open facilities. And who has to pay for closed facilities? They have to pay for themselves. And they will not. This is about money, money, money. Why is farmed salmon so profitable for Norwegians? Yes, because they are the only farmers allowed to empty the shit straight into nature. Only farmer I know about who gets permission to use nature.

Is that true? 

It is true. It is true. They leave all dirty piles in the fjords and in the sea. We make lots of footage under the fish farms. There are dead zones! No crabs, no life, just waste. This waste destroys life on our beaches. There are amounts of fish in the cages. The garbage ends up on the seabed and suffers organic life ... It's like a dump. Mother nature will always repair itself. We must give her a break so she can actually get the repair done.

Not all First Nations have said no to the breeders? 

Some have made agreements with the aquaculture industry and, of course, I can not speak on behalf of them.

Several have said yes to farming to get work, remember the poverty of our people. But what we see now is that our resistance is snowballing. Pictures from inside the cages, of sick and injured farmed salmon, are allowed to see all First Nations now. This is the first time you see the fish inside the cages. And several respond.

But let me ask you ... (bad line)

Another moment. Tourism is important for Canada and for BC. People will see the killer whales and whales. The special thing about the killer whales here is that they need the Chinook salmon which is their primary food. But this salmon stock is severely reduced. According to researchers, southern spikhugger population can be eradicated by 2050, if the trend continues.


The females can not feed their offspring. They have died of starvation, in the absence of salmon.

And you think this can be fixed by moving farms? 

In every case, we have a proper opportunity to repair the damage as well as possible, by removing the farms or landing them. Then people in the industry can keep the jobs, the Norwegian farmed salmon companies can earn money, species could flourish and our people and descendants can harvest food from nature.

Do you eat farmed salmon? 

Our people do not eat atlantic salmon. It is sent to the world, to Asia, to the United States, and to a large market in Europe.

The world's population is increasing, more and more people need food? 

Thus, one thing is certain: we do not feed the world hungry with farmed salmon. We do not save any of the world's hungry children with farmed salmon. What we do with that salmon is that we fly it out in the world and dander it in fine sushi dishes, which we offer at fine restaurants. By all means: Produce salmon, but do not argue that the world's increasing population is dependent on it.

But the demand is gigantic? 

It is argued that the demand for salmon is so large that there is not enough wild salmon in rivers and seas to satisfy the need, therefore one must have a farm. Well, nobody has asked us who pay the biggest bill, if we want to meet the world's needs for that salmon.

Back to this, research was no longer their crown argument.

The aquaculture industry is an important factor in the collapse of many fisheries. But let me be crystal clear: Our rights as First Nation people trump the authorities that monitor these resources ... that's what we say. This is the struggle of the people, not fighting what the research shows. We are done with "research as argument". The big salmon companies will nevertheless only come with "contradictory data". Our argument is, to repeat myself: Breeding destroys for us First Nations and wants it away.

What does Marine Harvest have, in this particular case, did you respond? ( See the answers below the picture ...)

Marine Harvest has settled down with us, and according to my chiefs, they should certainly remove the fish from our area. (bad line)

The line is bad. Did you say that Marine Harvest has been willing to go? 

I can not speak for Marine Harvest. But I think they're going to do it, yes. And we're going to be on the plant until they go, see that they do not add more fish to the plant. They may think that we will return to our jobs immediately. But no. We become until they understand the seriousness of our message.

Some believe the Sea Shepard activists are guiding you. In a post in a Norwegian industry newspaper for salmon it is suggested that you are part of the villakslobby and the tourism lobby. What is your comment?
Bullshit! It's just bullshit! Nobody has sent me out here! We do this because we are frustrated by the lack of action from industry, frustrated by the fact that conversations with the government go too slowly, we are afraid of our lives! And while we talk and things take time, our fish die! The fish we photograph is sick.

Deformed! These companies ruin our nature! Ruins my life! I'm not a lobbyist! I am a teacher at school! I'm daddy. And I'm worried about our children because we are going to live the food we catch. We fight for our children. What right do rich breeders have to do this to us? They have no right to dump sewage and diseases in our nature! Marine Harvest and the other companies are renters. And we ask them to go. Respectfully.

Ok ...

I get upset by all who call me things. I do not like being called activist or protestant. I am the head of a First Nation family who has said: We shall not treat Mother Earth like this. We can understand the relationship between the earth, the sea and the air. We've lived up to it. So ... I get angry when I hear this. There is blatant disrespect from the salmon industry, or its defenders, against our people.

Another claim: the wildlife stocks of you have become robust?

No no no No no That is not true. In 2010, when millions of wild salmon returned to the coast, everyone wondered: how was it possible? Well, we know why. Because the fish farms had no special fish in the cages, much due to disease outbreaks. Facility lay empty! As the salmon migrated out, it got a safe passage to the sea. Mother Earth has raised a big red flag. It's time to listen carefully to that warning.
Are workers from Marine Harvest at the plant with you?

Oh, they are here. They leave us alone. They are instructed not to talk with us.

You are not afraid that the world's largest aquaculture company will sue you?

Listen: They are the trespasser here, not us . I want them to sue me. But they do not want the fight! They know they will to lose, because they have no deal with us. We make no mistake. We are respectful at the facility, do not interfere, do not interrupt the workers. But we are impatient.

But you are not afraid to take up the fight against a company with a lot of money? 

Oh no I'm not afraid of anything. I am not afraid of the authorities and not afraid of Norwegian breeders. Remember that many thousands are following our struggle now. If we go to court, we'll do it. But it does not have to be like that. The industry has built up big fortunes in our territory. Now it's time to reap the fish - and move. We shall be friendly and tidy in our action. At the same time, we shall be strong and say: Our patience is over. Their time is over now ...

But now I have to hang on ... It blows up ... must run and save our camp. It is getting urgent. ( Read Marine Harvest's answer below ).

Ian Roberts, Director of Public Affairs at Marine Harvest Canada, answers on behalf of the Norwegian companies operating in Canada:

- Members of the 'Namgis First Nation, supported by the Sea Shepherd activist group, have expressed concerns about our business and have camped at or near our private workshop at Swanson Island Salmon Farm.

Our company has regularly invited the 'Namgis First Nation and its members to visit and observe our operations and we continue to extend that offer. Marine Harvest Canada legally operates its business with licenses granted by the Provincial and Federal governments and other authorities.

Mr. Alfred has publicly stated that this issue is about First Nation's "rights, not science". The issue of First Nation rights, title, accommodation, and treaty is an important discussion taking place in Canada and occurs between First Nation and Canadian governments. Denne regeringens regeringskonferanse er viktig ikke bare for salmonbruk, men også andre ressursvirksomheder i British Columbia, herunder energi, mining, skogbruk, fiske, og turisme.

We do not have an agreement with the 'Namgis First Nation specific to the Swanson Island farm site, but Marine Harvest has had agreements with the' Namgis First Nation to supply juvenile fish for their pilot salmon farm called Kuterra. Marine Harvest and 'Namgis First Nation also formally collaborated in marine research in 2007/2008. Marine Harvest Canada operates within the Traditional Territories of 24 First Nations and has formalized agreements with 15 of these Nations and six First Nation-owned businesses. 20 percent or Marine Harvest Canada's workforce of 600 or First Nation descent. More detail about our First Nation partnerships can be read at We will continue to reach out to the 'Namgis First Nation to engage with them in hopes of reaching agreement on a path forward.