“They were walking through downtown when he stopped to use the restroom,” brother-in-law Kalani Kalanui told the network. “Moments later all hell broke loose and Heidi was swept up in the terrified crowd and she lost sight of Jared.”
The family has been trying to contact the US consulate for information about Jared.
The State Department said an American was injured but would not disclose a name.”
Tourists from around the globe killed in Barcelona terror attack
|| NY Post
“They came to Barcelona from around the world.
Citizens of Belgium, Poland and Germany were among the 13 people tragically killed when a terrorist drove through a crowd of pedestrians on the tourist-filled street Las Ramblas.
We unfortunately have to lament a Belgian victim in #Barcelona. I send my condolences to her family and her loved ones,” Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders tweeted Thursday afternoon in French and Dutch.
A Polish woman who died lived in Silesia, and her boyfriend is grieving, local media reported.
Three Germans also died in the attack, which left at least 100 others injured.
Photos of the massacre show battered pedestrians laying on the street in pools of blood — including an elderly couple whose bodies appeared limp on the side of the road.
An Australian woman from New South Wales is in the hospital in “serious but stable condition,” the nation’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said.
Two young men who hail from Melbourne had been “directly affected” but returned to their hotel rooms, she added.
A Greek woman was wounded, as well, but it’s unclear how severe her injuries were.
Fifteen of those injured in the terror attack remain in serious condition, authorities said.
Witnesses described the scene as “total chaos.”
“We were coming back from the beach and saw a scene of total chaos. People were screaming, there were a lot of wounded people,” Patrick Tuenter, 20, of the Netherlands, told The Guardian.
Several people were frantically searching for their loved ones on Twitter.
“Please help my brother was near the terrorist attack in #Barcelona and I can’t get in contact with him. Please RT so we can find him,” wrote one user.”
Driver of Las Ramblas van ‘didn’t care who was in its way’
|| the Guardian UK
“Turning into Las Ramblas from the Plaça de Catalunya, the white van drove towards the pavement that runs down the centre of the boulevard. Then, to the horror of those nearest to it, the driver revved the engine, mounted the pavement, and began to accelerate. Swerving from side to side, the driver hunted down victims who were trying to escape.
The famous tourist attraction had been as it always is on an August afternoon: packed with stallholders and tourists, lined with human statues and with people enjoying chilled cava outside the many cafes.
Within seconds, the attacker had left the street strewn with dead and injured people, while hundreds of others fled, many of them screaming. It had taken the van a few seconds to travel almost 500 metres down the packed street, ending up straddling the famous mosaic by the artist Joan Míro, its front end almost torn off by the force of its impacts with people.
Jordi Lino was on a bus going down Las Ramblas when the attack began: “First I saw people running and then the van,” he said. “There were injured people in the middle of the Ramblas.”
A taxi driver told Spanish TV that he saw people being run over by the van, as did Lourdes Porcar: “It was going very fast, without caring about who was in its way.”
Tom Markwell, from New Orleans, had just arrived in a taxi when he heard the screaming.
“It sounded like they were screaming for a movie star,” he said. “Then I saw the van. It had already been busted on the front. It was weaving left and right, trying to hit people as fast as possible. There were people lying on the ground.”
Liam Searle said: “I was very, very close to it. It was like 10ft from me. I luckily wasn’t on the Ramblas, I was in the road, and I quickly ran into, I think it was the opera house, along with everyone else.
“Everyone was hiding behind things. And no one had a clue what was going on. We just heard a load of bangs and some other things and then, like, everyone just ran.”
Albert Tort, an off-duty nurse who was one of the first on the scene, said he tried to give an Italian tourist life-saving treatment, but there was nothing he could do. “The pavement was full of bodies,” he said.
The first that most people knew of the attack was when others around them started to run away in panic.
Aamer Anwar, a human rights lawyer and rector at the University of Glasgow, was attending a conference in the city and said the fleeing crowd was like an avalanche.
Las Ramblas had been “mobbed” with tourists, he said. “I had been to the cathedral and walking down Las Ramblas for something to eat. Part of it was in the shade so I decided to keep walking down and literally within 10 seconds there was a crashing noise.
“The whole street just started to run screaming. I saw a woman running, when we stopped she was screaming, because she could not see her children.
“People started running and jumping into shops. I ran for about 50 or 100 metres and stopped to see what was happening.
“I could see chaos right at the top area and I spoke to a shopkeeper who had run down and was screaming. He was Bengali so I spoke to him in Urdu and he said a van had driven into a crowd and he thought there were five to six people very seriously injured.
“Literally within 30 seconds police vans, ambulances, police officers with guns were piling out, and we were sectioned off and then being pushed rapidly back,” he said.
Many people fled into the cafes and stores that line Las Ramblas, and hid inside behind shutters that were pulled down after them. For a period, police insisted they stay inside while the area was searched.
Tourist Mel Higgins said she and her two daughters were walking down a nearby street when people began running towards them screaming and shouting. The trio ran into an Orange mobile phone shop where the staff locked the doors and everyone waited for about 20 minutes.
“Then it seemed very calm out on the street,” she said, “and obviously the people working in Orange were in touch with the police and the police said just stay there for now. Then about 20 minutes later, they said we could leave and we were just about to leave when people started running again, and screaming, and they said: ‘Everyone back in!’.”
Carol Augustin, a manager at La Palau Moja, an 18th-century building on Las Ramblas that houses government offices and a tourism information centre, said the van passed right in front of the building.
“People started screaming and running into the office. It was such a chaotic situation. There were families with children. The police made us close the doors and wait inside,” she said.
Ambulance crews arrived quickly and began tending to the injured, while police officers began searching for the attacker, sealed off the area and told people to leave the scene.
Rhys Richards, who is in Barcelona on holiday, said: “I saw one person lying on the ground receiving CPR and another person lying on the ground motionless. You don’t think it can happen to you. It was horrible and terrifying.”
Steve Garrett, who was in a nearby market, took shelter in a bakery with several others after streams of people ran inside. One member of the group said she had heard gunshots after the incident. ”
Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Organizer Was Occupy Wall St. Activist & Obama Supporter
“Well this is fishy. His name is Jason Kessler. He is the one cited as the organizer of the now infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The thing is, Mr. Kessler’s arrival on the “alt right” and/or “White Nationalist” scene didn’t occur until November 2016.
That’s right – Kessler didn’t start his white nationalist activism until after Donald Trump won the White House. Prior to that it appears he participated in the far left/socialist Occupy Wall Street movement as noted by the far-left, George Soros-funded Southern Poverty Law Center
Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.
At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.
It also appears Mr. Kessler was actually a CNN on site correspondent during the Occupy protests: (these are being archived as it appears CNN is attempting to scrub its former affiliation with Mr. Kessler.
In 2015 Kessler described himself as a pro-abortion environmentalist non-interventionist pro-equality atheist, among other things.
So, with all of the information outlined above, it seems that a pro abortion environmentalist atheist Democrat Party supporting Occupy Wall Street activist suddenly became a right wing protester after Donald Trump became president in 2016.
That requires something of a hypothetical. It is well known how much the DEEP STATE despises POTUS Trump. Is it beyond the realm of possibility to consider Jason Kessler and others like him are actually DEEP STATE operatives working to further divide and conqueror America? Trump is a direct threat to that plan. Why not paint Trump with the broad strokes of racism, hatred and bigotry in order to further erode his millions strong base of support?
Sound far-fetched? Crazy? Inconceivable?
Perhaps, but if you don’t already know, our DEEP STATE during the Obama administration did that very thing in Ukraine, an operation that was also strongly supported by such DEEP STATE Republicans such as Senator Lindsey Graham and John McCain. It was also proven this very same method was utilized against the Trump campaign in 2016 when paid actors were following the campaign from one city to the next and the media was repeatedly calling them “protesters” even though they knew better. These kinds of operations are nothing new. Create divisive chaos/agitation prior to an attempted overthrow of government.
That last line is worth repeating:
Create divisive chaos/agitation prior to an attempted overthrow of government.
Is Jason Kessler a misguided activist or a willing pawn in a much larger psy-ops program that is at this very moment rippling across the country? Who knows. There is certainly enough already there, though, to make one say “hmmm….”
“A relative newcomer to the white nationalist scene, Jason Kessler has made waves in his attempt to unseat Charlottesville’s only black city councilman and for his status as a bridge between a Virginia gubernatorial candidate and the Alt-Right. Relying on familiar tropes of “white genocide” and “demographic displacement,” Kessler has sought to parlay his status as a lonely dissenter in the “Capital of the Resistance” into notoriety on the larger far right circuit by organizing a second white nationalist rally in Charlottesville after the first, torchlit rally in May of 2017 made headlines.
A “journalist, activist and author from Charlottesville, VA,” Kessler’s LinkedIn account states that he graduated of the University of Virginia in 2009. He was virtually unknown in the media prior to his crusade against Charlottesville Vice Mayor and City Councilman Wes Bellamy.
Although Kessler has protested both of his arrests relating to his recent crusade and decries them as attempts to use “the liberal nature of this city to really mess with me,” those arrests do not represent his first brushes with the law.
Arrest records indicate that Kessler was convicted in 2005 for shoplifting, obstructing justice and for a string of failures to appear and register, in addition to numerous traffic violations and citations.
Kessler started his blog “Jason Kessler, American Author,” toward the end of 2015 and spent the majority of the next year dispensing mindset and lifestyle advice and promoting two books authored during a period of “worldwide travel.” The first is a book of poetry titled Midnight Road, and a second novel called Badland Blues about a “drunken dwarf,” who is “unlucky in love, looks or money.”
Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.
At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.”
Report: Charlottesville Racist Leader Was Former Occupy Activist, Obama Supporter
“The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reports that Jason Kessler, the organizer of last Saturday’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is rumored to be a former Occupy Wall Street activist and supporter of Barack Obama.
The left-wing SPLC is often partisan and overzealous in targeting hate groups, lumping legitimate conservative organizations together with actual extremists. Therefore its identification of Kessler’s left-wing roots is significant.
The report goes on to say that Kessler’s right-wing views only became public in November 2016, though he himself says his change from left-wing extremist to right-wing extremist began in 2013, when a PR executive made a racial joke about Aids on her way to Africa, and found when she landed that she had lost her job in the ensuing backlash.
In related news, reports emerged Monday that James Alex Fields, Jr., the 20-year-old who plowed his car into a left-wing counter-demonstration in Charlottesville, killing one and injuring several others, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia as a boy and had been given antipsychotic drugs. It is not clear if he is still taking them.
Occupy Wall Street was a radical left-wing movement that began in 2011 in Manhattan and spread throughout the globe. It was committed to the destruction of the capitalist system, and included violent and extremist elements that waged confrontations with police in the fall and winter of 2011-2. President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Media Matters for America, and other Democrats nevertheless embraced the Occupy movement.”
“Conflicts with mainstream media and politicians’, including Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s, characterization of events surrounding the white nationalist Unite the Right rally emerged quickly over the weekend.
“I have a message to all the white supremist [sic] and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today … You came here today to hurt people and you did hurt people,” McAuliffe told reporters at a press conference Saturday night.
The governor repeatedly emphasized the violence of “nazis” but made no reference to violence by any left-wing group, despite being asked repeatedly about what role such groups may have played in Saturday’s melee. The implication was clear that the violence was an unavoidable result of far-right white identity political groups being allowed to hold a rally.
But a report on police conduct during and after the rally by ProPublica, a left-leaning investigative journalism non-profit, as well as eyewitness accounts by those who participated in the rally itself, have called the simplicity of this characterization into question. Both suggest mismanagement of police resources by political leadership may have exacerbated, rather than controlled, the violence surrounding the rally and the counter-protests, which included mainstream liberals and local faith-based “anti-racism” groups as well as radical leftist “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) and “Anti-Fascist Action” (Antifa) outfits.
Saturday’s rally, ostensibly a demonstration against the potential removal of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s longstanding stature from the Charlottesville, Virginia, park that bore his name until renamed “Emancipation Park,” this year by the city council, turned into the biggest news event in the country Friday as torch-bearing members of disparate, explicitly white nationalist groups, including several “Alt-Right” organizations and a contingent of self-identified neo-Nazis, descended on the home of the University of Virginia. By Saturday afternoon, three people were dead, with several dozen serious injuries.
None of the deaths occurred at the Emancipation Park rally. One, that of 32-year old Virginia-native Heather Heyer, is being treated as an intentional homicide and resulted from one man, James Fields Jr., crashing into a counter protest march that took place in downtown Charlottesville after the Unite the Right rally had been dispersed by police. Fields, a 20-year old from Ohio, has been arrested and charged with murder. He is reported to have been in town for the rally and sources suggest he may have ties to one of the white nationalist groups in attendance, although the leadership of that group has claimed he was entirely unconnected to them. A federal investigation into the incident was also announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions Saturday.
The other two deaths were the result of a Virginia State Police helicopter suffering an accidental crash into a wooded area on the outskirts of Charlottesville. Lieutenant Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke Bates were killed in the crash.
The subsequent declaration of a local state of emergency turned the streets of central Charlottesville into a nearly deserted ghost town with the college town’s bars and restaurants, typically bustling with partygoers and vacationers on a summer weekend, mostly shut.
According to ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson and his colleagues, “authorities took a largely laissez faire approach, allowing white supremacists and counter-protesters to physically battle.”
ProPublica is a George Soros-funded investigative journalism non-profit. A.C. Thompson is, according to his bio, a reporter “covering the rise in hate crimes in America.”
Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted in Charlottesville
“CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — There was nothing haphazard about the violence that erupted today in this bucolic town in Virginia’s heartland. At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible.
Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing.
It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades. We walked the streets beginning in the early morning hours and repeatedly witnessed instances in which authorities took a largely laissez faire approach, allowing white supremacists and counter-protesters to physically battle.
Officials in Charlottesville had publicly promised to maintain control of the “Unite the Right” rally, which is the latest in a series of chaotic and bloody racist rallies that have roiled this college town, a place deeply proud of its links to Thomas Jefferson and the origins of American Democracy.
But the white supremacists who flooded into the city’s Emancipation Park — a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee sits in the center of the park — had spent months openly planning for war. The Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi website, encouraged rally attendees to bring shields, pepper spray, and fascist flags and flagpoles. A prominent racist podcast told its listeners to come carrying guns. “Bring whatever you need, that you feel you need for your self defense. Do what you need to do for security of your own person,” said Mike “Enoch” Peinovich on The Right Stuff podcast.
And the white supremacists who showed up in Charlottesville did indeed come prepared for violence. Many wore helmets and carried clubs, medieval-looking round wooden shields, and rectangular plexiglass shields, similar to those used by riot police.
Clad in a black, Nazi-style helmet, Matthew Heimbach told ProPublica, “We’re defending our heritage.” Heimbach, who heads the Traditionalist Workers Party, a self-declared fascist group, said he was willing to die for his cause and would do whatever it took to defend himself. He was surrounded by a brigade of white supremacists, including members of the League of the South and the National Socialist Movement.
By the time Heimbach and his contingent arrived in downtown Charlottesville shortly before 11 a.m., what had started hours earlier with some shoving and a few punches had evolved into a series of wild melees as people attacked one another with fists, feet, and the improvised weapons they’d brought with them to the park. White supremacists and anti-racists began blasting each other with thick orange streams of pepper spray.
The police did little to stop the bloodshed. Several times, a group of assault-rifle-toting militia members from New York State, wearing body armor and desert camo, played a more active role in breaking up fights.
Shortly before noon, authorities shut down the rally and the related demonstrations and marched the white supremacists out of the park and into the streets.
Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy defended the police tactics. “I’m not in the business of throwing our police department under the bus, because they’re doing the best job they can, “ said Bellamy. “I don’t think the police officers were just twiddling their thumbs.”
The skirmishes culminated in what appears to have been an act of domestic terrorism, with a driver ramming his car into a crowd of anti-racist activists on a busy downtown street, killing one and injuring 19 according to the latest information from city officials. Charlottesville authorities tonight reported that a 20-year-old Ohio man had been arrested and had been charged with murder.
Two state police officers also died in a helicopter crash.
At a brief press conference this evening, Virginia officials declined to answer questions about the police response, but said they were not taken surprise by the violence or the number of protesters. “This could have been a much worse day,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, “We planned for a long time for today’s incidents.”
Charlottesville police Chief Al Thomas said at least 35 people had been injured — many of them from violent encounters between white supremacists and the counter-protesters. He said nobody had been wounded due to confrontations between police and the public.
In the weeks leading up to the protest, city and state officials put together a detailed plan for the rally, mobilizing 1,000 first responders, including 300 state police troopers and members of the National Guard. Judging from how events unfolded today, it appears that the strategy was to avoid direct confrontations with the protesters.
Miriam Krinsky, a former federal prosecutor who has worked on police reform efforts in Los Angeles, said it was too early to assess the law enforcement response in Charlottesville.
But she said a strategy of disengagement generally works to embolden unruly crowds.
“If things start to escalate and there’s no response, it can very quickly get out of control,” she said. “Individuals can and will get hurt.”
But an overly forceful response, she said, can also make the situation worse. Krinsky said attempts to seize weapons might have led to more clashes between police and protesters. “Trying to take things away from people is unlikely to be a calming influence,” she told ProPublica.
A good strategy, she said, is to make clashes less likely by separating the two sides physically, with officers forming a barrier between them. “Create a human barrier so the flash points are reduced as quickly as possible,” she said.”
“Clashes between “alt-right” white nationalists and counter-protesters turned this Virginia college town into a battlefield on Saturday, leaving one person dead and more than a dozen injured after a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters.
The fatal crash came a day after white supremacists already in town for the “Unite the Right” rally scheduled for Saturday marched through Charlottesville with torches, clashing with outnumbered left-wing activists.
The images of torch-lit white nationalists occupying the center of an American city went viral on social media, increasing the pressure on liberal activists to prevent Saturday’s event.
aturday saw many storefronts in Charlottesville shuttered ahead of expected fighting, which began hours before the noon start time for the planned right-wing rally.
The event brought various white nationalist groups together and was meant to protest Charlottesville’s planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The event never began, with a state of emergency declared and the white nationalists pushed out of the park before alt-right leaders like Richard Spencer could even take the stage. Violent clashes between both sides ahead of the event left several bloodied.
After their rally was quashed, roughly 100 dejected white nationalists tried to regroup at a more distant park.
At that point, they were more interested in getting out of Charlottesville and performing makeshift medical care on their political allies than returning to the scene of the clashes. One man proposed retreating to nearby woods to avoid police or anti-fascist protesters.
“Our plan is to get out of here,” said one man who refused to give his name. “Everyone is scattered.”
Still, they fumed over their ejection.
One man in a white military helmet with a walkie-talkie, who also declined to give his name, spoke about a need for “shooters” who could return to the center of Charlottesville and catalogued with his political allies the number of guns available to them.
Another man with a walkie-talkie put out a call asking for help from “all goys” in the area, a reference to non-Jews. Others heckled a reporter with anti-Semitic slurs, asking how many “shekels” the man would get.
Spencer, who rallied with a number of other white nationalist leaders, including ex-KKK Imperial Wizard and former Senate candidate David Duke, urged the crowd to disperse but complained that the police hadn’t defended their event against the left-wing activists.
“They did not protect us,” Spencer said.
While the alt-right retreated, anarchists and left-wing counter-protesters were beginning to hype each other up.
“Antifa” counter-protesters enjoyed their victory, with some burning flags affiliated with white nationalist causes.
Rumors circulated that the white nationalists had intended to go into a primarily African-American neighborhood of Charlottesville to intimidate people.
One group of counter-protesters circled a group of 10-15 men and women who identified themselves as local militiamen and all wore camouflage clothing in a downtown parking lot.
As a few of the militiamen, some carrying rifles and two wearing President Trump’s signature “Make American Great Again” hats, got into a grey Lexus SUV, counter-protesters circled and shouted at them to renounce the KKK and get out of town.
As their SUV pulled out, counter-protesters chased it down, throwing rocks bottles, and a shoe, attempting to smash its windows.
Hundreds of counter-protesters marched down Water Street chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!”
As the crowd approached the corner of Water and Fourth Street, they were told that neighborhood residents did not want them to turn right to go further into the neighborhood.
“You guys, we spoke to community organizers,” one counter-protester shouted. “We need to turn back. Walk up that street,” he shouted, gesturing to the wide alley to the crowd’s left.
Those marching listened, and turned left to go in the opposite direction.
The mood also seemed to shift, as some at the front of the line danced and others spoke of having driven “the racists out of town.”
Suddenly, screams and a repeated thumping sound could be heard.
A grey Dodge Challenger was driving through the crowd at an accelerated speed, and bodies were banging against its windshield.
People began screaming loudly for medical attention as at least four people were on the ground.
The car paused for a moment, before reversing in full speed and running into more people.
Bodies were strewn up and down the block, with groups clustered around each one seeking to help. Pools of blood formed under some of the most grievously wounded.
Many people who said they had medical training tried to help the injured. People tied swatches of fabric and bandanas around wounds to try to stem the bleeding.
The white nationalist leaders were giving speeches to their disappointed supporters when video of the car driving into protesters across town began to go viral on social media.
Citing a supposed attack from left-wing protesters or a possible police arrival, the remaining white power supporters hurried to their cars.
But Spencer promised that the white nationalists aren’t done with Charlottesville, singling out several local officials for criticism.
“We are never backing down, we are going to be back here,” Spencer said.
Hours later, people lingered at the site where the protesters were run over, trying to figure out what had happened and why.
“Them people getting run over is ridiculous. It should have never gotten that far,” said a man who identified himself as a Charlottesville resident. “That car should have been nowhere around there. Police is supposed to keep order. They should have blocked off the street and kept people 100 yards apart.”
“I can’t understand how any of this happened,” one woman said ahead of a vigil planned for later Saturday night on the University of Virginia lawn.”
“A female reporter for the Hill was allegedly punched by an “Antifa” protester in the wake of a deadly car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday as she tried to film the ensuing chaos.
Taylor Lorenz was filming the site of the incident that left at least one person dead — after a car was driven into a crowd of “anti-fascist” protesters responding to a parallel white nationalist protest in the city. The suspect was identified by police late Saturday as 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr.
According to video given to DailyMail.com by Lorenz (who is a former reporter for the outlet), a nearby shirtless protester objects to her filming the resulting pandemonium and is heard asking her to stop filming. When she refuses to put her camera away, he appears to punch her and yells “stop fucking recording.” Lorenz can be heard yelling as her phone hits the ground, and others intervene.
She said on Twitter that she was fine apart from being “really fucking pissed,” and said she was attempting to file charges against the man who punched her.”
Starving North Koreans question missile tests: ‘Where did the money come from?’
|| The Telegraph UK
“North Korean state media continues to celebrate the launch of two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and the nation’s status as a “global rocket power”, although there are growing suggestions that ordinary people are less enthusiastic about the regime’s achievements.
Quoting its network of covert contributors within North Korea, who communicate via mobile phone, the Seoul-based DailyNK news site has reported that ordinary citizens are asking – albeit quietly – how Kim Jong-un can afford missiles but continue to ration their food.
“Following the news that the regime launched missiles twice in July, locals are criticising the regime, asking, ‘Where did it get the money?’ “, a source in North Pyongan Province told DailyNK.
“They are feeling increasingly disillusioned by the Kim Jong-un regime, which spends more money on developing missiles than improving their livelihoods.
“Everyone is aware that whenever the regime launches a missile, economic sanctions will follow”, the source added. “There’s nothing to celebrate for the ordinary citizens.”
“In the beginning, the residents were proud of the regime openly opposing the US with nuclear development and missiles, but these days, anti-US sentiment has weakened while respect for the regime has plummeted.”
“People are still starving and there are homeless orphans on the streets, so naturally the residents are resentful about having to celebrate a missile launch”, another source told DailyNK, adding that there is also deepening resentment at the “inminban”, or local politically motivated neighbourhood watch units, increasing mandatory payments from residents.
Officials claim the payments are for local construction projects, but it is widely understood that they are spent on the nuclear and missile programmes.”
Chinese Global Times sounds a warning for Pyongyang over its plans to fire missiles near Guam
“China should remain neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday, sounding a warning for Pyongyang over its plans to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
The comments from the influential Global Times came after U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea again on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
Asian equity markets sank again on Friday and European stocks looked set for their worst week this year because of the tensions.
“This situation is beginning to develop into this generation’s Cuban Missile crisis moment,” ING’s chief Asia economist Robert Carnell said in a research note. “While the U.S. president insists on ramping up the war of words, there is a decreasing chance of any diplomatic solution.”
China, North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. Beijing has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behavior from South Korea and the United States, such as military drills, that it sees as escalating tensions.
“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times, which is widely read but does not represent government policy, said in an editorial.
“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” it said.”
U.S. PAPERS TELL OF IKE’S ’53 POLICY TO USE A-BOMB IN KOREA
|| New York Times
By BERNARD GWERTZMAN
Published: June 8, 1984
WASHINGTON, June 7— Documents released today give details on a decision by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Administration in 1953 to use atomic bombs in North Korea and Communist China, if necessary, to end the Korean War.
Once the armistice was achieved, on July 27, 1953, the Eisenhower Administration continued to define plans to use nuclear weapons if the Communists renewed the war, which the North Koreans started in 1950.
President Eisenhower took office in January 1953 after talks for a cease-fire had dragged on for two years and the war had settled into a standoff, with casualties being incurred but with no change in the front line, which today still separates North and South Korea.
The fact that the Eisenhower Administration was ready to use nuclear weapons is not new. President Eisenhower, in his memoirs, said he came into office prepared to use them, if necessary, to break the deadlock. What is new in the 2,000 pages of documents now made public is the high level of planning and the detail of discussion on possible use of these weapons, and Mr. Eisenhower’s interest in overcoming reluctance to use them.”
“Democrats and Republicans have been quick to use North Korea’s apparent nuclear test to benefit their own party in these final weeks of the congressional campaign, but a review of history shows that both sides have contributed to the current situation.
There is more than 50 years of history to Pyongyang’s attempt to gain a nuclear weapon, triggered in part by threats from Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower to end the Korean War.
In 1950, when a reporter asked Truman whether he would use atomic bombs at a time when the war was going badly, the president said, “That includes every weapon we have.”
Three years later, Eisenhower made a veiled threat, saying he would “remove all restraints in our use of weapons” if the North Korean government did not negotiate in good faith an ending to that bloody war.
In 1957, the United States placed nuclear-tipped Matador missiles in South Korea, to be followed in later years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, by nuclear artillery, most of which was placed within miles of the demilitarized zone.
It was not until President Jimmy Carter’s administration, in the late 1970s, that the first steps were taken to remove some of the hundreds of nuclear weapons that the United States maintained in South Korea, a process that was not completed until 1991, under the first Bush administration.
It is against that background that the North Korean nuclear program developed.
North Korea has its own uranium mines and in 1965 obtained a small research reactor from the Soviet Union, which it located at Yongbyon. By the mid-1970s, North Korean technicians had increased the capability of that reactor and constructed a second one. Pyongyang agreed in 1977 to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the first reactor.
It was in the 1980s that the North Korean weapons program began its clandestine growth with the building of a facility for reprocessing fuel into weapons-grade material and the testing of chemical high explosives. In 1985, around the time U.S. intelligence discovered a third, once-secret reactor, North Korea agreed to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Five years later, U.S. intelligence discovered through satellite photos that a structure had been built that appeared to be capable of separating plutonium from nuclear fuel rods. Under pressure, North Korea signed a safeguards agreement with the IAEA in 1992, and inspections of facilities began. But in January 1993, IAEA inspectors were prevented from going to two previously unreported facilities. In the resulting crisis, North Korea attempted to withdraw from the NPT.
The Clinton administration responded in 1994 that if North Korea reprocessed plutonium from fuel rods, it would be crossing a “red line” that could trigger military action. The North Koreans “suspended” their withdrawal from the NPT, and bilateral talks with the Clinton administration got underway. When negotiations deadlocked, North Korea removed fuel rods from one of its reactors, a step that brought Carter back into the picture as a negotiator.
The resulting talks led to the 1994 Agreed Framework, under which North Korea would freeze and eventually dismantle its nuclear weapons program. In return, it would be supplied with conventional fuel and ultimately with two light-water reactors that could not produce potential weapons-grade fuel.
However, a subsequent IAEA inspection determined that North Korea had clandestinely extracted about 24 kilograms of plutonium from its fuel rods, and U.S. intelligence reported that was enough material for two or three 20-kiloton plutonium bombs.”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a threat to national security
|| New York Post
Clinton because they thought she couldn’t be trusted with national secrets after her reckless handling of sensitive State Department emails. Florida voters ought to dispatch Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for the same reason.
When it comes to security matters, the incumbent Democrat and former DNC chair makes Hillary look like a diligent TSA agent. And the news about her staffer trying to flee to Pakistan to avoid data-fraud charges is only the latest proof.
Computer security at the DNC was so lax on Wasserman Schultz’s watch that hackers burrowed deep into the network, leading to a massive data breach. They were thwarted, in contrast, when they tried to infiltrate Schultz’s Republican counterparts.
When the FBI tried to investigate the cyber-crime, Wasserman Schultz refused to fully cooperate. She wouldn’t let forensic experts at the FBI’s lab in Quantico examine the targeted server and collect the digital fingerprints needed to nail the intruders.
Now we discover that Wasserman Schultz couldn’t really give a rip about cyber-security in Congress, either.
After the Capitol Police this year began investigating her trusted staffer, Imran Awan, for theft of congressional data and procurement fraud, Politico reported, every Democrat who had contracted with him eventually fired him. Everyone, that is, except Wasserman Schultz.
It wasn’t until last month, when the FBI arrested Awan for bank fraud, that the Democratic leader finally sacked him. The FBI says Awan bilked the Congressional Federal Credit Union out of $165,000, which he immediately wrapped into a $283,000 wire transfer to Pakistan. Agents collared him as he was boarding a flight for Pakistan.
In an interview with her local paper, Wasserman Schultz revealed she kept Awan around to do other IT work even after authorities suspended his access to the Capitol computer network. Worse, she said she continued to employ him to work on printers, websites and software despite learning he transferred sensitive congressional data outside the secure network to an unauthorized offsite storage location.
Police told her Awan was “transferring data outside the secure network, which I think amounted to use of apps that the House didn’t find compliant with our security requirements,” Wasserman Schultz shrugged, insisting she “did the right thing” keeping him on payroll. “I would do it again.”
She claims he didn’t have access to classified information, though investigators still probing Awan haven’t confirmed that. And even if true, he had access to emails to and from members of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the calendars, travel schedules and notes of other members — sensitive information that, as one Republican legislator pointed out, “our enemies that would like to bring down the US would love to have.”
Awan is reported to have smashed hard drives before agents raided his home. If he copied valuable data to off-site servers, it would set off bigger alarms. Such information could be used to blackmail members of Congress — namely Wasserman Schultz, who has gone to unusual lengths to protect her rogue IT guy.
She admitted she knew Awan was planning to travel to Pakistan, but that he had discussed return dates with her chief of staff. And when investigators seized a laptop from her office, one she says belonged to Awan, she went into high dudgeon, chewing out the Capitol Police chief in May when he refused to return it and even threatening him with “consequences.”
As it turns out, Awan had access to Wasserman Schultz’s emails at both Congress and the DNC. He had been given the password to her iPad, which might also explain why she refused to turn over the server to the FBI.
Wasserman Schultz claims she defended Awan to the bitter end, because he’s Muslim and she didn’t want to see him demonized in an Islamophobic witch hunt. But that excuse doesn’t cut ice. Awan exhibited a pattern of shady behavior over the course of his employment. Yet instead of questioning him, she covered for him — and endangered the security of Congress’ computer networks in the process.
Such negligence should not be rewarded with another term in office.”