Mathew Bianchi became a Staten Island traffic cop in 2017, two years after joining the New York police department, assigned to enforcing traffic violations and issuing tickets. In the first two years on that beat, he received stellar performance evaluations.
But in November 2018 – a year into his career in the traffic unit – Bianchi issued a ticket to a civilian who held a New York City police department laminated courtesy card, an unofficial credential issued to NYPD officers based on their union affiliation that can then be distributed to family members and friends to carry with them.
What happened next is the subject of a lawsuit against the city and a police captain. According to Bianchi, who is Cuban-American, courtesy cards are used to maintain a system of impunity – a “get-of-jail-free card” for families and friends of NYPD officers to avoid traffic tickets, a growing source of revenue for the city.
Bianchi claims his superiors retaliated against him for his stance against the “corrupt” cards after he was warned by an official with the Police Benevolent Association, New York City’s largest police union, that he would not be protected by his union if he wrote tickets for people with cards. And if he continued, he’d be reassigned.
In some instances, the complaint said, Bianchi was reprimanded for writing a ticket to a relative or parent of an officer; in others, his commanding officer reviewed body-camera footage to see if he was giving motorists with cards a “hard time”.
“I see card after card. You’re not allowed to write any of them [up],” he told the Associated Press. “We’re not supposed to be showing favoritism when we do car stops, and we shouldn’t be giving them out because the guy mows my lawn.”
Bianchi told his precinct commander that he did not agree with the courtesy card policy and claims he was told: “Is it better to be right or better to be on patrol?” The lawsuit cites several instances where his NYPD colleagues complained about his ticket-writing, including on Facebook.
Think tanks in the United States are a go–to resource for media outlets seeking expert opinions on pressing public policy issues. But think tanks often have entrenched stances; a growing body of research has shown that their funders can influence their analysis and commentary. This influence can include censorship — both self-censorship and more direct censoring of work unfavorable to a funder — and outright pay–for–research agreements with funders. The result is an environment where the interests of the most generous funders can dominate think tank policy debates.
One such debate concerns the appropriate level of U.S. military involvement in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Since Vladimir Putin’s illegal and disastrous decision to launch a full–scale invasion of Ukraine, the United States has approved approximately $48.7 billion in military spending.1 Despite the very real risk that escalations could lead to direct U.S. military involvement in the war, few think tanks have critically scrutinized this record setting amount of U.S. military assistance.
Within the context of public debate about U.S. military involvement in the Ukraine war, this brief investigates Department of Defense (DoD) and DoD contractor funding of think tanks, those organizations advocacy efforts for policies that would benefit those funders, and the media’s predominant reliance on think tanks funded by the defense sector. The analysis finds that the vast majority of media mentions of think tanks in articles about U.S. arms and the Ukraine war are from think tanks whose funders profit from U.S. military spending, arms sales and, in many cases, directly from U.S. involvement in the Ukraine war. These think tanks also regularly offer support for public policy solutions that would financially benefit their funders without disclosing these apparent conflicts of interest. While this brief did not seek to establish a direct causality between think–tank policy recommendations and their arms industry funding in the case of the Ukraine war, we find a clear correlation between the two. We also found that media outlets disproportionately rely on commentary from defense sector funded think tanks.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has aided a Ukrainian intelligence effort to censor social media users and obtain their personal information, leaked emails reveal.
In March 2022, an FBI Special Agent sent Twitter a list of accounts on behalf of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Ukraine’s main intelligence agency. The accounts, the FBI wrote, “are suspected by the SBU in spreading fear and disinformation.” In an attached memo, the SBU asked Twitter to remove the accounts and hand over their user data.
The Ukrainian government’s FBI-enabled targets extend to members of the media. The SBU list that the FBI provided to Twitter included my name and Twitter profile. In its response to the FBI, Twitter agreed to review the accounts for “inauthenticity” but raised concerns about the inclusion of myself and other “American and Canadian journalists.”
The FBI’s attempt to ban Twitter accounts at the request of Ukrainian intelligence is among the most overt requests for censorship revealed to date in the Twitter Files, a cache of leaked communications from the social media giant.
The FBI’s censorship request was relayed in a March 27th, 2022 email from FBI Special Agent Aleksandr Kobzanets, the Assistant Legal Attaché at the US Embassy in Kyiv, to two Twitter executives. Four FBI colleagues were copied on the exchange.
“Thank you very much for your time to discuss the assistance to Ukraine,” Kobzanets wrote. “I am including a list of accounts I received over a couple of weeks from the Security Service of Ukraine. These accounts are suspected by the SBU in spreading fear and disinformation. For your review and consideration.”
The FBI is reportedly ‘afraid’ that the informant who came forward with information regarding a Biden family bribery scheme could be “killed if unmasked.“
“Just left meeting for House Oversight. The FBI is afraid their informant will be killed if unmasked, based on the info he has brought forward about the Biden family,” tweeted Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) Monday evening.
On Sunday, Luna told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo; “You know, over the last couple of months, House Oversight as well as the staff that helps us run the investigations has proven that we’ve actually been able to provide evidence. You know, before there were speculation on the Ponzi scheme for influence peddling and also the personal enrichment of the Biden family. And now what we’re finding is that these are no longer allegations and we’re creating a hard case.
“In my opinion, Maria, what we’re seeing right now, if this is true, which I do believe that it is true, in regards to Joe Biden receiving briberies and Hunter Biden, I do believe that this is grounds for impeachment. And so it’s important that we continue to move forward to bring this to the American people, but also to that we I think, do a housecleaning within our DOJ because as you had stated earlier, they are protecting this family, the FBI is protecting the Hunter Biden family, and it’s not okay,” she continued (via the Post Millennial).
The New York Times has been forced to very, very belatedly deal with something which had long been obvious and known to many independent analysts and media outlets, but which has been carefully shielded from the mainstream masses in the West for obvious reasons.
The surprising Monday Times headline said that “Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History.” This acknowledgement comes after literally years of primarily indy journalists and geopolitical commentators pointing out that yes indeed… Ukraine’s military and paramilitary groups, especially those operating in the east since at least 2014, have a serious Nazi ideology problem. This has been exhaustively documented, again, going back years. But the report, which merely tries to downplay it as a “thorny issue” of Ukraine’s “unique” “History” – suggests that the real problem for Western PR is fundamentally that it’s being displayed so openly. Ukrainian troops are being asked to cover those Nazi symbols please!–as Matt Taibbi sarcastically quipped in commenting on the report.
The authors of the NYT report begin by expressing frustration over the optics of Nazi symbols being displayed so proudly on many Ukrainian soldiers’ uniforms. Suggesting that many journalistic photographs which have in some cases been featured in newspapers and media outlets worldwide (typically coupled with generally positive articles on Ukraine’s military) are merely ‘unfortunate’ or misleading, the NYT report says, “In each photograph, Ukrainians in uniform wore patches featuring symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany and have since become part of the iconography of far-right hate groups.”
The report admits this has led to controversy wherein news rooms actually must delete some photos of Ukrainian soldiers and militants. “The photographs, and their deletions, highlight the Ukrainian military’s complicated relationship with Nazi imagery, a relationship forged under both Soviet and German occupation during World War II,” continues the report.
The first thing to understand about John Durham is that he was a fearless prosecutor who went after organized crime and put in prison retired and active FBI agents who protected the mob for money or other enticements. One of the agents he stopped had enabled James “Whitey” Bulger Jr., once one of America’s most wanted men, the Winter Hill Gang boss who evaded arrest for sixteen years.
In his forty-five years as a state and federal prosecutor in Connecticut and Virginia, Durham worked often and closely with FBI agents, especially on cases that involved violations of federal racketeering statutes.
Durham also handled two inquiries into the CIA’s conduct in the War on Terror, and he did so without angering his superiors in the executive branch. In one case he was asked to investigate the alleged destruction of CIA videotapes of detainee interrogations, the so-called torture tapes. His final report on the matter remains secret, and he recommended that no charges be filed. He was later asked to lead a Justice Department inquiry into the legality of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” that resulted in the death of two detainees. In that case, he was told that officers who were given and obeyed what were determined to be illegal orders—there were many of those after 9/11—could not be prosecuted. No charges were filed.
Durham’s 306-page report was made public on May 15, and it pleased no one with its focus on the obvious. The journalist Susan Schmidt, whose byline was a must-read when she was a reporter for the Washington Post, pointed out on Racket News that Durham said the FBI would have done less damage to its reputation if it had scrutinized the questionable actions of the Clinton campaign in 2016: the Feds “might at least have cast a critical eye on the phony evidence they were gathering.”
In a new scoop, Just The News founder John Solomon appeared on Human Events with Jack Posobiec to discuss revelations surrounding questionable conduct by US government representatives during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021, including that the Jan. 6 House committee allegedly doctored tapes that surfaced following that fateful day.
“Everything about January 6 was scripted,” Solomon declared, before adding that upon browsing the security footage, he noticed a glaring lack of sound in many of the scenes that he had previously both seen and heard.
He recounted asking a group of “experts” about the sound of the surveillance tapes, only to be met with the response that there was not any to start with.
Solomon then said, “But there was, I saw it in the January 6 hearings,” before making his explosive allegation:
“Well guess what? It was faked. The sound was dubbed in basically, the January 6 committee faked the tapes. They faked the American people by adding sound that wasn’t on the tapes.”
This bombshell from Solomon came after his outlet was granted “unfettered access to the J6 tapes,” by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), according to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
As The Hill noted, over 44,000 hours of footage from the event were released to Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the purposes of reporting earlier this year. Democrat politicians and members of the media alike reacted with fury at the time, insisting that such transparency would jeopardize the Capitol’s security.
Carlson was not able to continue that work after he was fired from Fox News, with no reason given.
If you watch western news media with a critical eye you eventually notice how their reporting consistently aligns with the interests of the US-centralized empire, in almost the same way you’d expect them to if they were government-run propaganda outlets.
The New York Times has reliably supported every war the US has waged. Western mass media focus overwhelmingly on foreign protests against governments the United States dislikes while paying far less attention to widespread protests against US-aligned governments. The only time Trump was universally showered with praise by the mass media was when he bombed Syria, while the only time Biden has been universally slammed by the mass media was when he withdrew from Afghanistan. US media did such a good job deceitfully marrying Saddam Hussein to the September 11 attacks in the minds of the public in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq that seven in ten Americans still believed he was connected to 9/11 months after the war began.
That this extreme bias occurs is self-evident and indisputable to anyone who pays attention, but why and how it happens is harder to see. The uniformity is so complete and so consistent that when people first begin noticing these patterns it’s common for them to assume the media must be controlled by a small, centralized authority much like the state media of more openly authoritarian governments. But if you actually dig into the reasons why the media act the way they act, that isn’t really what you find.
Instead, what you find is a much larger, much less centralized network of factors which tips the scales of media coverage to the advantage of the US empire and the forces which benefit from it. Some of it is indeed conspiratorial in nature and happens in secret, but most of it is essentially out in the open.
Here are 15 of those factors.
One day, two and a half years ago, the Jerusalem-based historian Danny Orbach received a surprising phone call from his wife. She told him that a “huge, fat envelope” was sticking precariously out of their mailbox, and that it bore the logo of the Prime Minister’s Office.
When Orbach got home, he was astounded to discover that the Mossad had sent him internal documents that – until then – had been classified, and so were inaccessible to both scholars and the general public. The items were related to a historical phenomenon he was investigating: Nazi war criminals who were employed as mercenaries all over the world during the Cold War. Some of them worked for West Germany, others for the Soviet Union and the United States; some assisted Arab countries and some even collaborated with the Jewish state.
Orbach, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, had waited a long time for the documents. “At first, I tried to work through all kinds of people I knew in the organization, but it didn’t help,” he says. “Afterward, I decided to try the most official way. I got in touch with the spokesperson’s unit at the Prime Minister’s Office [to which the Mossad is accountable], and I waited for a reply. I was already quite desperate, though I had been warned that things in that organization move slowly.”
The documents in the envelope helped Orbach write his latest book, “Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries during the Cold War” (Pegasus Books, 2022, with the Hebrew translation published this month by Kinneret-Zmora Bitan). But Orbach was not the only one who ever received a fat envelope from the Mossad. Another was Alois Brunner, though the contents of his envelope were very different. Brunner, who was Adolf Eichmann’s deputy, fled after the war to Egypt and subsequently settled in Syria.
George Soros’ son, Democrat megadonor Alex Soros, reportedly visited the White House at least 17 times since President Joe Biden assumed office.
White House visitor logs show Alex Soros, chair of his father’s far-left Open Society Foundations, maintains a high degree of influence with the Biden administration. Over the course of more than two years, Alex Soros visited the White House at least 17 times, according to visitor logs obtained by Fox News:
Alex’s most recent visits include three meetings between February 8th and 10th, records released Tuesday show. The visitor logs list Jon Finer, the principal deputy national security adviser; Jordan Finkelstein, special assistant to the president and the chief of staff for senior Biden adviser Anita Dunn; and Mariana Adame, the adviser to the counselor of the president, as the individuals who greeted Alex.
It remains unclear precisely who Alex may have met with for the sessions, as the records can contain White House staff who book appointments, meet the guests and take them to other personnel.
The three most recent visits come on the heels of his 14 prior visits to the White House. And while the younger Soros has taken advantage of the Biden connections, he’s also maintained close contact with Democratic lawmakers, which he often boasts about and posts on social media.
You must be logged in to post a comment.