In Navalny Poisoning, Rush to Judgment Threatens New Russia-NATO Crisis

Pushback with Aaron Maté

Claims that Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok are threatening a new standoff between Russia and NATO states, with calls for punitive measures against Moscow, including cancelling the Nordstream 2 German-Russia pipeline.

Navalny’s opposition activism is “marginal in Russian politics — it’s not currently a threat to the Kremlin,” says Fred Weir, a veteran Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. “Navalny is little more than a nuisance [to the Kremlin]. And I can’t believe that Putin would rocket him to the top of the world political agenda through a botched attempt to assassinate him, or even an effective one. It just does not make sense to me.”

Weir also discusses the flaws of Russia coverage in Western media, including the recent case where Russians were accused of staging a fake left-wing website to deceive U.S. audiences.

US Protects Global Empire During Pandemic, Not Its Own Population

Pushback with Aaron Maté:

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, discusses the connections between the global US empire and the record US death toll during the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re really not doing anything very well or right, and that’s a consequence in part at least of our fascination with an attempt to maintain and even expand this empire that we’ve created since 1945,” Wilkerson says. He also discusses the breakdown of US-Russia talks on expanding a key nuclear weapons treaty, and new revelations about the Bush administration’s drive to invade Iraq.

UK ‘Russia Report’ Fear-Mongers About Meddling Yet Finds No Evidence

From The Grayzone

The report claims the UK government didn’t find evidence because it didn’t look for it, and backs increased powers for intelligence agencies and media censorship as a result. Afshin Rattansi, a British journalist and host of RT’s Going Underground, responds.

The British government has released a long-awaited report on whether Russia has interfered in UK domestic politics. For years, establishment Western voices warned that Russia may have duped British voters into supporting Brexit in 2016 – just like Russia, we were told, also decided the US election that same year.

In November 2017, the New York Times even warned that reports of Russian meddling “could raise questions about the legitimacy of the [Brexit] referendum” itself. That same month, then-British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a stern warning to the Kremlin.

Continue reading “UK ‘Russia Report’ Fear-Mongers About Meddling Yet Finds No Evidence”

US Claim of ‘Russian Bounty’ Plot in Afghanistan Is Dubious and Dangerous

Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.

Others are contesting that claim. “Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot,” the New York Times reports. “Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical.”

“The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War,” Blumenthal says.

Reposted from The GrayZone.

Crippling New Sanctions Punish Syrian Civilians for US Defeat in Proxy War

From The Grayzone:

“For Syrians, sanctions on reconstruction and on oil and gas are likely to be felt most acutely,” the Washington Post reports. “The Caesar Act will probably limit the government’s ability to procure oil, further hurting the already low quality of life.” The new sanctions follow earlier coercive measures that had already hurt Syrian civilians, compounding the destruction of a lengthy proxy war fueled and funded by the US and its allies.

Guest: Elijah Magnier, veteran war correspondent who has covered the Middle East for more than three decades.

Aaron Maté is a journalist and producer. He hosts Pushback with Aaron Maté on The Grayzone. He is also is contributor to The Nation magazine and former host/producer for The Real News and Democracy Now!. Aaron has also presented and produced for Vice, AJ+, and Al Jazeera.

Crowdstrike Admits ‘No Evidence Russia Stole Emails From DNC Server

From The Grayzone:

Crowdstrike, the firm behind the Russian email hacking allegation at the core of Russiagate, makes a bombshell admission: “We did not have concrete evidence.”

In newly released Congressional testimony, Crowdstrike president Shawn Henry said that “we did not have concrete evidence” that alleged Russian hackers actually took the emails from DNC servers. “There’s circumstantial evidence, but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated,” Henry said.

Aaron Maté breaks down Henry’s testimony and why it adds new doubt about the core allegation at the heart of Russiagate.