Wednesday May 22nd, 2024

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
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World & Nation

Russia launched counter-space weapon capable of attacking U.S. satellites in orbit, Pentagon says

                                                                            In this grab taken from video released by the Roscosmos space corporation on Thursday, April 11, 2024, an Angara-A5 rocket lifts off from Vostochny space launch facility outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region, Russia. Russia on April 11 successfully test-launched a new heavy-lift rocket from its Far Eastern space complex, a lift-off that comes after two aborted attempts earlier this week. (Roscosmos Space Corporation via AP) ** FILE **

A version of this story appeared in the daily Threat Status newsletter from The Washington Times. Click here to receive Threat Status delivered directly to your inbox each weekday.

Russia recently launched a counter-space weapon capable of attacking U.S. satellites in low-earth orbit, Defense Department officials said Tuesday, and they stressed that the American military is “ready to protect and defend the domain” of space if necessary.

Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder told reporters that Russia launched the weapon on May 16. He said the weapon is similar to other counter-space payloads that Russia launched in 2019 and 2022. But the most recent launch comes amid fears in Washington that the Kremlin might consider putting a nuclear weapon in space, and against the backdrop of the broader reality that space is shaping up to be a key battleground in 21st-century conflicts.

Putin launches space weapon...
Satellite killer...
Begins exercises for battlefield nukes...
Pentagon pursuing Russian use of Musk STARLINK...
Momentum Building for NATO Troops in Ukraine...

Palestinian state is recognized by several European countries: How the news unfolded

Norway, Ireland and Spain said they are recognizing a Palestinian state in a historic move that drew condemnation from Israel and jubilation from the Palestinians. Israel immediately ordered back its ambassadors from Norway and Ireland. It came after several European Union countries recently indicated they plan to make the recognition, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.
Norway, Ireland and Spain have recognized a Palestinian state in a historic move. Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said on Wednesday it was coordinated with Spain and Norway, “an historic and important day for ... Palestine.”

Several other European countries have in the past weeks indicated that they plan to recognize a Palestinian state, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.

Israel furious as 3 European countries recognise Palestinian state

US Softens Stance on Rafah Op After Jerusalem Addresses Concerns

The United States has softened its stance on a broader Israeli military operation in Rafah after Jerusalem addressed its humanitarian concerns, a senior Biden administration official said on Tuesday.

Nearly a million non-combatants have been evacuated from the last Hamas bastion in southernmost Gaza, where four of the remaining terror battalions are entrenched. They have been directed to an expanded humanitarian zone in Al-Mawasi.

Israel began a limited operation in the eastern part of Rafah on May 6, taking operational control of the border crossing with Egypt as well as the section of the Salah al-Din Road in the city. Israeli forces have yet to engage in a major offensive in the center of the city, but have killed terrorists, seized weapons, and unearthed hundreds of tunnels, including 50 smuggling tunnels crossing into Egypt so far during the Rafah operation.

"It's fair to say that the Israelis have updated their plans. They've incorporated many of the concerns that we have expressed," the Times of Israel quoted the official as saying.

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. official said national security adviser Jake Sullivan was reassured during his visit to Israel earlier this week, finding that Jerusalem was incorporating many of the Biden administration's concerns into the military's operational plans for Rafah.

Federal health officials expand punishment of EcoHealth over Wuhan virus lab

                                                                               Security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team in Wuhan, China, Feb. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

The Biden administration has delivered another blow to the firm that sent taxpayer money to the Wuhan virus lab, announcing it has suspended EcoHealth Alliance’s president from being able to work on government-funded projects.

Dr. Peter Daszak also faces a more permanent debarment from federal funds, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS said he “lacks the present responsibility” to get government money.

“I find that the information in the record constitutes adequate evidence to demonstrate that the immediate suspension of Dr. Peter Daszak is necessary to protect the public interest provided his role as the President of EHA,” an HHS official wrote in the debarment memo, issued Tuesday and released by Congress on Wednesday.

The move comes a week after HHS suspended and began debarment procedures against EcoHealth itself.

Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Presidential Ethics Bill

House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., are introducing a bipartisan ethics reform bill aimed at the executive branch.

The Presidential Ethics Reform Act would require presidents and vice presidents to disclose foreign payments, expensive gifts, loan transactions, and tax returns during the two-year period before taking office, during time in office, and for two years following departure from office.

The bill also requires presidents and vice presidents to make disclosures for immediate family members who receive foreign payments, expensive gifts, or loans, or who use official travel for personal business.

The legislation comes amid the committee's investigation into President Joe Biden and allegations he earned millions of dollars while peddling influence in his family's business dealings.

Russian Attacks on Ukraine Power Grid Blacks Out Kyiv Ahead of Peak Demand

Sustained Russian attacks on Ukraine's power grid in recent weeks have forced leaders of the war-ravaged country to institute nationwide rolling blackouts. Without adequate air defenses to counter assaults and allow for repairs, though, the shortages could still worsen as need spikes in late summer and the bitter-cold winter.

The Russian airstrikes targeting the grid since March have meant blackouts have even returned to the capital, Kyiv, which had not experienced them since the first year of the war. Among the strikes were an April barrage that damaged Kyiv's largest thermal power plant and a massive attack on May 8 that targeted power generation and transmission facilities in several regions.

In all, half of Ukraine's energy system was damaged, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

  • Sweden Plans $7B Military Support for Ukraine in '24-'26
  • UK Defense Minister: China Supplying Lethal Aid to Russia
  • At Least 7 Wounded in Russian Attack on Ukraine's Chuhuiv

  • Judge spanks DHS for sending officers to illegal immigrants’ homes

    A federal judge delivered a rebuke to the Department of Homeland Security over deportation officers’ practice of approaching illegal immigrants at their homes, ruling that “knock and talk” violates the Constitution.

    Judge Otis D. Wright II said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in the Los Angeles area were using knock-and-talk as a pretext for arresting a target. He said that runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment.

    “While ‘knock and talks’ — as defined by the United States Supreme Court — are considered constitutional, ‘knock and talks’ — as defined and executed by [ICE] — are not,” the judge wrote. “Considering the policies and practices governing how ICE conducts its ‘knock and talks,’ the more accurate title for certain law enforcement operations would be ‘knock and arrests.’”

    Knock-and-talks have long been part of investigative police tactics. Judge Wright said they are legal as long as officers approach the resident to ask questions as any other citizen could do.

    Judge in Tennessee blocks effort to put Elvis Presley’s former home Graceland up for sale

    A Tennessee judge on Wednesday blocked the auction of Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, by a company that claimed his estate failed to repay a loan that used the property as collateral.

    Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins issued a temporary injunction against the proposed auction that had been scheduled for Thursday this week. Jenkins’ injunction essentially keeps in place a previous restraining order that he had issued after Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough filed a lawsuit to fight off what she said was a fraudulent scheme.

    A public notice for a foreclosure sale of the 13-acre estate in Memphis posted earlier in May said Promenade Trust, which controls the Graceland museum, owes $3.8 million after failing to repay a 2018 loan. Keough, an actor, inherited the trust and ownership of the home after the death of her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, last year.

    Naussany Investments and Private Lending said Lisa Marie Presley had used Graceland as collateral for the loan, according to the foreclosure sale notice. Keough, on behalf of the Promenade Trust, alleged in her lawsuit that Naussany presented fraudulent documents regarding the loan in September 2023.

    Secret Service Denies Trying to Get Hunter Biden's Gun Papers

                                                                                      President Biden's son Hunter loses bid to dismiss gun charges | Reuters

    The Secret Service is doubling down on its denials its agents tried to take paperwork from a Wilmington, Delaware, gun store where Hunter Biden bought a gun that his late brother's widow Hallie Biden, with whom he was having an affair, threw in the garbage.

    "There is no change in our statement," Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the U.S. Secret Service, told the New York Post on Tuesday when asked about a filing from special counsel David Weiss showing the FBI had interviewed Ron Palimere, the owner of StarQuest Shooter.

    In the filings, Palimere said Secret Service agents and the Delaware State Police were at his business Oct. 24, 2018, the day after Biden's .38-caliber revolver became missing.

    The Secret Service denied in 2021 that its records showed that agents had "no involvement" in the incident and the Biden family at that time was not being protected by the Secret Service.

    Biden cancels $7.7 billion in student loans for 160,000 borrowers in latest debt forgiveness

    President Biden announced Wednesday that his administration is canceling $7.7 billion in student loans for 160,000 borrowers.

    It’s the latest in a series of election-year moves to wipe out student debt, an issue with broad appeal to younger voters who are abandoning Mr. Biden in droves.

    The White House said the latest round of relief is aimed at borrowers enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan as well as those in income-driven repayment or Public Service Loan Forgiveness plans.

    Trump’s great week and Biden’s debate desperation

    Court of public opinion is on The Donald's side
    By Newt Gingrich

    President Biden’s sudden challenge to debate former President Donald Trump should be studied carefully by everyone who wants to understand the American people and the deep currents running through our society.

    Last week, Mr. Trump sat through vicious, defamatory testimony. The full weight of corrupt, left-wing lawfare was brought to bear to attack his candidacy and protect Mr. Biden and the left from a second Trump term.

    But the result was a repudiation of the left’s establishment and a remarkably positive signal for Mr. Trump and the Make America Great Again movement.

    MAGA beat legal smears, a biased left-wing media, and a stunningly well-financed Democratic Party machine’s advertising and messaging.

    Biden pretends rising food prices are not a problem

    Groceries cost over 30% more under administration

    If you’re having trouble affording groceries, don’t expect sympathy from the White House.

    In a recent interview, President Biden was told that food prices are up over 30% on his watch. But he casually dismissed this fact, claiming people have money to pay those elevated prices.

    This doesn’t just demonstrate Mr. Biden’s tone-deafness to the plight of Americans who struggle to afford necessities like groceries; it shows his ignorance of his own administration’s data.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average weekly paychecks have increased about $150 under Mr. Biden, or 14.1% in roughly three years. Normally, that would be cause for celebration, but not in the inflationary environment of “Bidenomics.”

    Medal of Honor
    See the source image




    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane, struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lt. (j.g.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain, and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lt. (j.g.) Hudner's exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

    From the Archive....

                     By Geoff Metcalf
                     July 29, 2002

                Two mutually exclusive and under reported stories have been troubling me.

                   *   The apparent penchant for political operatives to leak classified information that jeopardizes national security.
                   *   The generational control of information dissemination by powerful controllers.

                So we have another ‘Catch-22’.

                The complicity of the mainstream media to spin, cover, and obfuscate government abuse of power under the color of authority was not unique to the Clinton administration.  It may have been more ubiquitous, and at times even clumsy, but it was not unique.

                It has been reported that in June 1991 David Rockefeller allegedly told a Bilderberg meeting in Baden Baden German, "We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years." He went on to explain: "It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

                Some argue that quote is apocryphal urban legend.  However, although I have never been able to find three corroborating independent sources for it, it IS consistent in content and tone with other Bilderberg quotes I HAVE been able to confirm.

                “If we had been subjected to the light of publicity….” Indicates the one world, globalist, wannabe controllers were/are successful in managing the message.

                Operation ‘Mockingbird’ was a program supposedly conceived by a brilliant Machiavellian State Department official, Frank Wisner.  Wisner selected Philip Graham, then publisher of the Washington Post to manage the program.  According to Deborah Davis, author of ‘Katharine the Great’, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst."

                Over twenty five major newspapers and wire services became willing house organs for the CIA media manipulation.

                Investigators digging into MOCKINGBIRD have been flabbergasted to discover FOIA documents in which agents boast (in CIA office memos) of  pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country.

                I know, this is the stuff of Ludlum novels conspiracy wackos, but not until 1982 did the ‘Company’ finally concede that reporters on the CIA payroll have been case officers to field agents.

                I have too often observed, “Some people don’t like to be confused with facts that contradict their preconceived opinions.”  I have also noted (and struggle to maintain) “It is not WHO is right or wrong…but WHAT is right or wrong.”

                Anyone with almost ‘any’ military experience has no doubt seen the once ubiquitous posters cautioning “Loose Lips Sink Ships”.  It is a left over phrase from WWII and among “lessons learned”.

                In the complex world of intelligence loose lips can and have cost lives.

                Once upon a time, not so long ago, Senator Patrick Leahy (currently the Senate Judiciary committee’s lead obstructionist) used to be the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the mid 80s.  Leahy allegedly ‘inadvertently’ exposed a top-secret intercept of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak that led to the capture of the Achille Lauro terrorists.  That supposed slip of the tongue “cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative.”

                Loose Lip Leahy was forced to resign in disgrace 14 years ago in the wake of having to acknowledge he leaked secret intelligence to the press.   However today he lords his power over the Senate Judiciary committee.  Congress’ institutional memory must be as short as some of Jennifer Flowers former paramours.

                In our contemporary environment in which whistleblowers have become in many cases heroes it is important to make the distinctions between the appropriateness of corporate and political whistleblowers and the idiot or miscreant who leaks information with genuine national security implications.

                Currently the FBI is investigating national security leaks from specifically the House and Senate Select Intelligence committees.  This is serious stuff.

                Defenders of the indefensible will argue it is a political witch-hunt by politicians in a heavy C.Y.A. mode.  That is not true but a convenient political spin job.

                Sure it is true the white house is p.o.-ed over media reports that the National Security Agency had received but not acted on two early warning messages to 9/11.  Dick Cheney reportedly went ballistic and ripped congressional leaders.  Both House and Senate Select Intelligence committees asked the Attorney General to conduct an investigation (and no doubt quietly prayed it would be botched).

                Justice said in a statement, “…the appropriate department officials will expeditiously review this matter and take any appropriate action.”  Not if congress has anything to say about it.  Don’t expect anything fast.  Remember Leahy resigned in disgrace 14 years ago and today has the chutzpah to pontificate ad nauseum to the Judiciary committee and stall any and all Bush judicial appointments.

                More on Operation Mockingbird