The National Endowment for Democracy: Not National and Not for Democracy

June 24, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Using a front to hide illegal or immoral activities has been a feature of human criminality since the beginning of human civilization itself. Facades, both ideological and economical, have helped criminal enterprises conceal the true nature of their activities for centuries.



In ages past, organized religion would often take systems of legitimate philosophy and spirituality, and transform them into a means of organizing the masses for the benefit of an elite few, often those heading empires, kingdoms, or nation-states. More recently, patriotism and now the notion of "democracy" have been used successfully by similar cadres of special interests to conceal their self-serving agendas behind notions likely to recruit support from large segments of a population that would otherwise be disinterested.

There is no example of this more transparent than that of the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to its own website, it claims:
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,200 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.
"The growth and strengthening  of democratic institutions around the world" sounds noble enough. One would expect, then, that the NED would be led by a collection of some of the most notable activists involved in the empowerment of "the people." Instead, upon NED's board of directors, we find people representing corporate-financier interests notorious for instead, exploiting and subjugating "the people."


Unfortunately, for those receiving the millions upon millions of dollars the NED hands out annually to "nongovernmental organizations" (NGOs) around the world, few bother to actually check who it is underwriting their daily activities, and fewer still have the integrity to both turn down the money let alone inform the people they claim to represent just who is attempting to reach into their respective nations and subvert their political systems, and to what end.

Quite literally, each and every member of the NED's board of directors represents Fortune 500 corporations, insidious corporate-financier funded policy think-tanks, and a wide variety of other obvious conflicts of interest unbecoming of an organization truly interested in, "the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world." 

GT200: How London Sold Fake Bomb Detectors and Got People Killed

The UK proves that power and profits come before the lives of even its own allies' soldiers and police.

June 23, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - The GT200 is an otherwise useless plastic box that does nothing with equally useless "sensor cards" that serve no discernible function.

Image: Faced with mounting violence in Thailand's deep south, the government in Bangkok placed its trust in its British allies. It is clear that this trust was not only misplaced, but shamefully used and abused by London in a multi-million dollar scam involving the British military, government, and diplomatic corps.
Despite this fact, UK-based Global Technical and an array of salesmen ranging from experts in the British military serving as equipment export support teams, to British ambassadors, to even the British government's Department of Trade and Industry (now renamed the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) peddled the useless item as a "bomb detector," putting lives at risk in the nations they were peddled in, and even costing the lives of hundreds including dead police and soldiers in both Iraq and Thailand.

In Thailand, amid the wake of the scandal, US and British backed media services have attempted to capitalize on the political fallout, laying the blame squarely on the Thai government, never mentioning the central role of the British government in promoting the useless and ultimately deadly device.

Critics of the Royal Thai Army and the current government have seized upon the scandal to opportunistically and dishonestly undermine both, with some even going as far as blaming the soldiers who risked their lives in the restive southern provinces of Thailand while employing the fraudulent British-made GT200.

The BBC and Guardian Expose the UK Government's Role 

While the BBC's Jonathan Head in Thailand politically wields the GT200 scandal against the Thai government and its military exclusively, the BBC itself has exposed the breadth and depth of the UK government's involvement.


US Seeks Direct Confrontation with Russia in Syria

June 21, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - The US has recently accused Russia of bombing what it calls "US-backed rebels" in southern Syria. CBS News in their article, "Russia ignores warnings, bombs U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group," would claim:

On Friday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter called out Russia for bombing a Syrian rebel group that's backed by the U.S.

The attack by Russian fighter bombers on American-backed opposition forces appeared to be deliberate and to ignore repeated U.S. warnings.

  More alarming is what the US claimed happened next. CBS News would further claim:

Two American F-18 jet fighters were dispatched to provide air cover for the troops on the ground as they tried to evacuate their casualties. By the time the F-18s arrived, the Russian planes were headed away, but were still close enough to see.
But when the F-18s broke away to refuel, the Russians returned for a second bombing run. Another call went out to the Russian command center in Syria, demanding that the planes wave off.

The crew of an airborne command post tried to contact the Russian pilots directly but got no response. The Su-34s conducted another bombing run, leaving a small number of opposition fighters dead on the ground.
Neither CBS News nor the US Department of Defense ever explained why the US believes it is entitled to send armed militants over the borders and into a sovereign nation, or why it believes a sovereign nation and its allies are not entitled to confront and neutralize them or why US aircraft are entitled to fly over Syrian airspace without the authorization of the Syrian government.

In other words, the US is vocally complaining about its serial violations of international law and norms finally (allegedly) being confronted and put to an end by Russian military forces.

But Did Russia Even Attack America's Armed Invaders? 
Russia however, has denied US accusations. CNN's article, "Russia denies bombing U.S.-backed Syrian rebels near Jordan border," states:
Russia's Defense Ministry denied bombing U.S.-backed Syrian opposition forces in a recent military operation near the Jordania border, according to a statement released on Sunday. 

The Kremlin response comes after U.S. and Russian military officials held a video conference to discuss Thursday's strikes. 
As is characteristic of all US claims regarding its multiple, ongoing foreign acts of military aggression, the most recent row in Syria is heavy on rhetoric and light on evidence. Had Russia attacked armed militants invading Syrian territory, it would have been well within its rights to do so, however it has claimed it hasn't. The burden of proof is on the US.

Asia: US "Pivot" Turns to Panic

June 20, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - US foreign policy in Asia Pacific has centered around the so-called "Pivot to Asia," initially rolled out as an alleged means for the US to strengthen ties with Asia, but was incrementally revealed as the latest leg in a decades-long attempt to encircle and contain China by overrunning the socioeconomic and political sovereignty of its neighbors, thus maintaining what US policymakers themselves refer to as American "primacy over Asia."


It is no surprise then that nations across Asia have responded negatively to the "Pivot." What gains the US has made, have been made through coercion, political subversion, and even terrorism - and this is done in front of an increasingly geopolitically aware Asian population.

Yet despite this, the US appears to still be struggling against both Asia's overall desire to cooperate among themselves, and their own "pivots" toward alternative centers of power, in Beijing, Moscow, and beyond.

Panicking Policymakers 

Thailand's English language newspaper, the Bangkok Post, has recently transformed its coverage almost entirely pro-Washington, London, and Brussels. It regularly posts op-eds lobbying for various US and European interests. A recent op-ed, published by regular Washington apologist Achara Ashayagachat, titled, "Despite gains, China still second fiddle to West, analysts say ," claims:
Thai military rule may complicate and weaken Asean's position in the international security setting, but the gestures made to date by the junta should not be seen as a shift from the western-allied camp to China, analysts caution.
Achara never qualifies why Thailand's current government "complicates or weakens ASEAN's position in the international security setting," aside from implying that anything running contra to Washington's interests, thus runs afoul of "international order."

Achara attempts to conclude - based on several US-based analysts' opinions - that several delayed deals between Thailand and China signifies a lack of any real shift from West to East for Bangkok. She also attempts to conclude that Thailand is increasingly becoming "isolated" as the US shifts its attention toward the governments and sociopolitical systems of the Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

However, in reality, the shift from West to East is not recent for Thailand, or many other nations in Southeast Asia. It has been gradual - in tandem with China's growing influence and Beijing's ability to provide equitable alternatives to US "free trade" and compromising military "partnerships."

The FBI, Not "ISIS," Radicalized the Orlando Shooter

June 20, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - As predicted, the FBI is revealed to have approached Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mateen in 2013 with informants posing as terrorists in an attempt to "lure" him into participating in a terrorist attack.

Image: As scary as any cartoon villain - and ironically - quite literally a manufactured villain. Marcus Robertson is not only a former US Marine, but also a long-time CIA and FBI asset. He runs an extremist website on American soil with absolute impunity and is likely one component of the FBI's counterterror entrapment pipeline. 

USA Today's TC Palm reports in an article titled, "Exclusive: PGA Village residents want answers from security firm," that (emphasis added):
The FBI launched an investigation into Mateen after Sheriff's Office officials reported the incident to the agency. As part of its investigation, the FBI examined Mateen's travel history, phone records, acquaintances and even planted a confidential informant in the courthouse to "lure Omar into some kind of act and Omar did not bite," Mascara said. The FBI concluded Mateen was not a threat after that, Mascara said.
This is in line with the FBI's practice of approaching and entrapping potential terror suspects by posing as terrorists themselves and aiding and abetting them in the planning and preparations for high-profile attacks. These undercover operations include everything from "casing out" potential targets, to the obtaining and training with actual, live explosives, to the purchasing of small arsenals of firearms including the sort of semi-automatic rifles and pistols used by Mateen during the Orlando shooting.

Image: FBI Director James Comey.
In addition to the FBI's undercover operation, it is now also revealed that Mateen frequented the website of another FBI/CIA informant, Marcus Dwayne Roberson, a former US Marine, turned bank robber, turned US government informant.

While US politicians, law enforcement officials, and media networks attempt to claim Robertson's extremist website, the "Timbuktu Seminary," was his own independent project, the extent of his association with the US government makes this difficult, if not impossible to believe. Instead, it appears to be the perfect mechanism to feed the FBI's entrapment pipeline, attracting and identifying possible suspects for the FBI to then approach and "investigate."

The National Review's article, "The Orlando Jihadist and the Blind Sheikh's Bodyguard," would report (emphasis added):
According to Fox News, Omar Mateen, the jihadist who carried out the mass-murder attack at a gay nightclub in Florida this weekend, was a student of Marcus Robertson, an Orlando-based radical Muslim who once served as a bodyguard to Omar Abdel Rahman — the notorious “Blind Sheikh” whom I prosecuted for terrorism crimes in the early to mid 1990s. 
The National Review also reported that (emphasis added):
In Robertson’s case, it is reported that he agreed to work for the government, gathering intelligence both overseas and in the United States. According to Fox, however, he was expelled from the covert informant program in early 2007 after attacking his CIA handler in Africa.

But Robertson's stint with the CIA was not the only time he would work for the US government after his service in the US Marine Corps. The National Review leaves out the fact that before his dismissal from the CIA, he was an informant for the FBI between 2004 and 2007.

The Daily Beast in its article, "Was Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen Inspired by This Bank-Robbing Ex-Marine?," would report (emphasis added):
“Plaintiff worked as a covert operator for the FBI Terrorist Task Force from 2004 until 2007, performing operations in the United Sates and internationally with and against suspected and known terrorist organizations,” Robertson says in court papers. 

Robertson remained in touch with American law enforcement and intelligence officials when he moved back to the United States, according to court papers filed by his attorney, “served as a confidential source in domestic terrorism investigations from Atlanta to Los Angeles.”
Is the American public expected to believe that a US government asset who received special training in the military and served as an informant and operative for both the FBI and the CIA would somehow, suddenly be allowed to drop off the US government's radar and be allowed to run an extremist website in the United States?