Author: Admin

Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States

by John Staunton, via Global Research The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) under the brand UNICORE operates approximately 52 factories (prisons) across the United States. Prisoners manufacture or assemble a number of products for the US military, homeland security,and federal agencies according to the UNICORE/FPI website. They produce furniture, clothing and circuit boards in addition to providing computer aided design services and call center support for private companies. UNICORE/FPI makes its pitch for employing call center support personnel to firms thinking about off-shoring their call center functions. The logic is that, hey!, they may be prisoners, but it’s keeping the jobs in the USA that matters. Fair enough. That approach cuts out the middleman though, those Americans desperate for any kind of work but, through no fault of their own, are not behind prison bars and employable by UNICORE/FPI. Sure, it seems a heartless statement and there are any number of angles to take on why the USA is the world’s number one incarcerator: Capitalism, racism, social and political injustice, a pay-as-you-go legal system, bone-headed policy …

Washington’s Dangerous Middle East Agenda

from New Eastern Outlook It’s clear at this point that the recent visit of US President Trump to Saudi Arabia and Israel was about setting events into motion in order to fundamentally alter the present balance of power in the entire Middle East to the greater advantage of the United States and US energy geopolitics. As with most everything that Washington tries to do to rebuild its rapidly declining global dominance, this latest move by Washington to incite the Saudi Kingdom to ignite regime change in Qatar and escalate a form of oil war disguised as a Sunni-Shi’ite power conflict already looks in serious trouble. I share with you a recent interview with an Arabic-language Middle East magazine in question and answer format. Q: What can you say about the conflict between Qatar Gulf at this moment after the Arabic-Islamic-American summit at Riyadh? WE: In my view this is a deep power struggle between Qatar and Saudi Arabia that has little to do with stated reasons regarding Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. The action to isolate …

Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria

Late on Monday the 19th, was reported by Russia’s Sputnik: “In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets” — meaning ordered out, or else immediately shot down.

Nuclear Weapons Ban? What Needs to be Banned Is U.S. Arrogance

by Diana Johnstone, from Global Research In a context of almost total indifference, marked by outright hostility, representatives of over a hundred of the world’s least powerful countries are currently opening another three-week session of United Nations talks aimed at achieving a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons. Very few people even know this is happening. Ban nuclear weapons? Ho hum… Let’s change the subject. Let’s talk about Russian hacking instead, or the rights of trans-sexuals to use the toilet of their choice, or even about something really important: climate change. But wait a minute. The damage to human society, and to “the planet”, from the projected rise of a few degrees of global temperature, while commonly described as apocalyptic, would be minor compared to the results of all-out nuclear war. More to the point, the degree of human responsibility in climate change is more disputed among serious scientists than the public is aware, due to the role of such contributing factors as solar variations. But the degree of human responsibility for nuclear weapons is …

Liberals’ massive increase in defence spending is a budgetary coup

by Murray Dobbin, from rabble.ca The arrogance of power could scarcely be more dramatically demonstrated than by the tag team of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announcing that Canada was going to cave in to Donald Trump’s demand that we spend two per cent of GDP on defence. We will be increasing military spending by 70 per cent over 10 years — an obscenity when so many social needs go unmet. Not only does this make a mockery of Trudeau’s election pledge to return to Canada’s historic peacekeeping role but surrenders to the absurd one-size-fits-all NATO imperative. Nothing has changed internationally to justify such an increase. There are no existential threats to Canada on any horizon. As Trudeau said in March, Canada more than pulls its weight in NATO: we are the sixth-highest spender in NATO and 16th in the world. Giving Freeland the opening role on the announcement raises the question of her disproportional position in changing Canada’s defence posture. Her contradiction-filled foreign policy speech in the House of …

OffG is now on Patreon

Following the freezing of our PayPal account we have decided to move to Patreon. The URL is https://www.patreon.com/offguardian Please note that even if we regain access to our PayPal account we won’t be opening it for donations again as we don’t think it’s a reasonable risk to take with our supporters’ money, since PayPal have made it clear they can at any time take possession of funds in any account without redress. Unfortunately this does mean we are starting from scratch. So, if you were kind enough to set up a recurring donation with PayPal, as well as canceling that donation ASAP please consider pledging to us on Patreon instead. And for those who haven’t made that step yet, maybe this could be the moment to do so? We are a team of four, which in practical reality is often three, two or even just one. We don’t accept advertising or sponsored content. We have no large financial backers. Donations from our readers is our only means of survival. We aren’t currently offering incentives, because …

OffG’s PayPal Account has been frozen – please cancel any recurring donations

OffG’s PayPal account has been frozen for what are described as “security” reasons. We have no access to the funds you have donated and – given PayPal’s history with other alternative news sites – it’s possible we may not be able to regain access. Please do NOT make any more donations to this account and cancel any recurring donations you may have set up. If PayPal closes the account, they will retain the funds and WILL NOT return them to the people who donated. So be warned. Many of our followers have suggested we move to a Patreon account, and this might be an opportune moment to do this. We’ll be posting more information about this soon. UPDATE: We have now set up a Patreon account at http://patreon.com/offguardian.

Why Americans Don’t Understand Terrorism, At All

by Joe Giambrone “Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” Seymour Hersh, The Redirection, 2007 We live in an invisible empire, and so the mechanics of the empire are never openly discussed with the rabble. Americans don’t comprehend how power actually works across the planet that their country seeks to control. They live from momentary headline to headline without any honest, in-depth analysis of why events like the Manchester bombing occur and keep occurring. When it comes to terrorism it is dire, urgent, and desperate that the public understand, if anything is to change. But it certainly appears that Americans never will. Perhaps Britons may, and then lead the effort to stop it. In the United States, a bigoted faction demonizes all Muslims. That faction calls for more weapons and for their own wanton terror …

The US takes Syria’s Al-Qaeda off Terror Watch-lists

by Nauman Sadiq According to a recent report [1] by CBC Canada, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front and then Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) since July 2016, has been removed from the terror watch-lists of the US and Canada after it merged with fighters from Zenki Brigade and hardline jihadists from Ahrar al-Sham and rebranded itself as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in January this year. The US State Department is hesitant to label Tahrir al-Sham a terror group, despite the group’s link to al-Qaeda, as the US government has directly funded and armed the Zenki Brigade, one of the constituents of Tahrir al-Sham, with sophisticated weaponry including the US-made antitank TOW missiles. The overall military commander of Tahrir al-Sham continues to be Abu Mohammad al-Julani, whom the US has branded a Specially Designated Global Terrorist with a $10 million bounty. But for the US to designate Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons to terrorists, and draw attention to the fact that …

General Election 2017 – the Tories “won” but spectacularly lost

Despite the two-year long rabid anti-Corbyn propaganda from the Murdoch tabloids, traditional Tory press and establishment at large. Despite the  shamefully lukewarm  and last minute semi-endorsement from the Guardian.  Despite the opinion polls that apparently predicted an increased Conservative majority and a collapse of the Labour voteTheresa May and her colleagues achieved the near impossible and contrived to be so incompetent, blundering, arrogant, vitriolic, greedy and estranged from reality they ended up with a tottering minority government, no mandate and – as a bonus –  a complete moral victory for Corbyn and his team and a rout for the Blairite wing of the Labour party.

Sticking Your Neck-and-Neck Out

by W Stephen Gilbert Now we dare to hope. If the rain isn’t too relentless on Thursday…If the Momentum activists do their stuff and all those who’ve volunteered to phone voters with the free-to-use app do so…If whatever low stunts have been pulled by The Sun, the Daily Mail, The Times and The Daily Telegraph on Thursday morning can be laughed off…If nobody has a seriously damaging last-minute gaffe…And if the ever-unreliable opinion polls are a day or two behind the trend… Who imagined that this was possible seven weeks ago? Well, I did. Jeremy Corbyn’s galvanising candour and cool have worked miracles before. We saw it last year and the year before. Alone among Tories, Ken Clarke warned of its power two years ago. But a sense of righteous entitlement has misled smarter people than Theresa May. She never credited the possibility of failure. If he becomes Prime Minister on Friday or after a week or two of haggling or after a second election in the autumn, it will be Corbyn’s triumph way beyond …

Terror in Britain: What did the Prime Minister Know?

by John Pilger The unsayable in Britain’s general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy. Critical questions – such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist “assets” in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst – remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal “review”. The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years. The LIFG is proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organisation which seeks a “hardline Islamic state” in Libya and “is part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement, as inspired by al-Qaida”. The “smoking gun” is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in “battle”: first to remove …

What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say?

by Philip Giraldi from UNZ Review The Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan’s public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Post headlined a front page featured article with: Brennan’s explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump. The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign: reviewed intelligence that showed ‘contacts and interaction’ between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign.” Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: “Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides”. The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is: “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the …

VIDEO: The Naylor Report – Tories Plan to Sell the NHS

YouTuber Chris Holden’s video on the Naylor Report and Theresa May’s plans for the NHS has gone viral in the last week. Deservedly so, he’s done the hard yards – reading an interminably dull report – so we don’t have to. His summary is concise, revealing, and very worrying. “In an interview with Andrew Neil, Theresa May slipped out a single line about the NHS; she’s made the 2017 election all about her, strength and stability and Brexit. In half an hour, this was all she had to say about her plans on the NHS – “we support the Naylor Report”. It sounded so tediously dull, it couldn’t possibly be of any interest.” Featured image from Evolvepolitics.com, who have an excellent write-up on the Naylor Report here.

Britain’s history of collusion with terror

from The Crimes of Britain When Britain’s collusion with death squads across the ‘Middle East’ and Africa is mentioned it falls on deaf ears. The only time you’ll hear of Britain’s open collaboration with these forces are when they are branded ‘moderates’ or ‘rebels’ by the British media. Firstly, what do I mean by death squad. I use this term to refer to a wide range of forces, namely Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, Islamic State, the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force), UDA/UFF (Ulster Defence Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters), RHD (Red Hand Commandos), LVF (Loyalist Volunteer Force) and the British Army’s very own units such as the Military Reaction Force, Special Reconnaissance Unit and the Force Research Unit. Loyalist death squads in Ireland were an extension of the British state. They worked hand in hand with British intelligence, British military and the colonial police (RUC). In 2012, the De Silva Report revealed that 85% of the intelligence the UDA received had been supplied by the British security forces. The UDA was not proscribed as a terrorist organisation …

Alleged suicide bomber’s father arrested as he expresses doubts over son’s involvement

According to various outlets, including article in Reuters Ramaramamdan Abedi, the father of Salman Abedi expressed astonishment his son could be responsible for the alleged bomb attack in Manchester on May 22. And while he was voicing his doubts to a reporter, western-backed Libyan security forces arrived to take him away. Many mainstream sources have claimed Ramadan Abedi was a member of an anti-Gaddafi terrorist group. Alternative analysis site Voltaire,net goes further and suggests a link between Ramadan and MI6 operations in Libya. Given that anti-Gaddafi Libyans have long been nurtured by the UK and other western nations, even if we don’t accept direct connections with the UK security apparatus, this seems an odd background for a putative suicide bomber, as even the Guardian noted. And indeed Ramadan Abedi, currently living in Libya, but having been resident in the UK for many years, expressed considerable surprise and consternation that his son would have committed such an act. He denied the suggestion Salman was a member of ISIS,and is quoted by Reuters as saying: Salman doesn’t …

State Dept.: “Bad guy did bad things, we saw it from space”

by Ricardo Vaz from InvestigAction After the previous hit singles, “Russia hack 2016: take our word for it” and “Assad used sarin: bomb first, never ask questions”, US government agencies are at it again with their new chart-topping release “Bad guy did bad things, we saw it from space”. With journalism standards in the mainstream media at an all-time low, this is a sure bet to become a fake news hit! On May 15th all the mainstream media screamed more or less the same bombshell headline, “State Dept. says Assad is burning people in a crematorium”. The source was a State Department press briefing which was then uncritically plastered everywhere. Assistant Secretary Stuart Jones claimed that the Syrian government had built a crematorium next to Saydnaya prison (more on this later), which was being used to burn 50 bodies of hung prisoners a day. Then came the “evidence”, in the form of satellite pictures. The earliest indictment that this evidence was on the embarrassing side of the scale came from the fact that many outlets …