The Evening Blues - 5-26-22


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Aretha Franklin

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b singer Aretha Franklin. Enjoy!

Aretha Franklin - Respect

“By simply not mentioning certain subjects, by lowering ... an iron curtain between the masses and such facts or arguments as the local political bosses regard as undesirable, Totalitarian Propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have done by the most eloquent denunciations, the most compelling of logical rebuttals.”

-- Aldous Huxley

News and Opinion

Youtube discovers the memory hole.

Nuland-Pyatt Tape Removed From YouTube After 8 Years

The smoking gun proving U.S. involvement in the 2014 coup in Kiev has been removed from YouTube after eight years.

It was the most watched version of the intercepted and leaked conversation between then Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, in which the two discuss who will make up the new government weeks before democratically-elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in a violent coup on Feb. 21, 2014.

The two talk about “midwifing” the unconstitutional change of government and “gluing it together” and of the role then Vice President Joe Biden should play and what meetings to set up with Ukrainian politicians.

The U.S. State Department never denied the authenticity of the video, and even issued an apology to the European Union after Nuland is heard on the tape saying, “Fuck the E.U.” Mainstream media at the time focused almost exclusively on that off-color remark, ignoring the greater significance of U.S. interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs. ...

The video was posted on April 29, 2014 and had 181,533 views before it was taken down, the most viewed version of the conversation on YouTube. Eight years worth of comments on the video have also been removed.

The removal of a video that had existed online for eight years raises major questions as it comes during the war in Ukraine. Corporate media has studiously avoided mentioning the causes of the current conflict, including NATO eastward expansion, the rejected Moscow treaty proposals in December, the civil war in Donbass and the 2014 coup in Kiev that led to the Donbass uprising and violent repression by the coup government.

[Consortium News has republished the transcript at the link as a preservation effort. -js]

YouTube Exec Claims YouTube Doesn’t Censor!

Patrick Cockburn Warns the West’s “Triumphalism” in Ukraine Could Prolong Conflict Indefinitely

Nato 'doing literally nothing' to stop Russia, says Ukraine

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, accused Nato of “doing literally nothing” in the face of Russia’s invasion of his country.

Kuleba praised the EU for its “revolutionary” decisions to back Kyiv but said the Nato military alliance had been “completely sidelined”.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Kuleba said:

"Nato as an alliance, as an institution, is completely sidelined and doing literally nothing. I’m sorry to say it."

Intel-gate exposed, Nina's disinfo board 'paused' w/ Ray McGovern

'They were shooting directly at the journalists': New evidence suggests Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in targeted attack by Israeli forces

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on May 19 that it had not yet decided whether to pursue a criminal investigation into Abu Akleh's death. On Monday, the Israeli military's top lawyer, Major General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, said in a speech that under the military's policy, a criminal investigation is not automatically launched if a person is killed in the "midst of an active combat zone," unless there is credible and immediate suspicion of a criminal offense. United States lawmakers, the United Nations and ​the international community ​have all called for an independent probe.

But an investigation by CNN offers new evidence — including two videos of the scene of the shooting — that there was no active combat, nor any Palestinian militants, near Abu Akleh in the moments leading up to her death. Videos obtained by CNN, corroborated by testimony from eight eyewitnesses, an audio forensic analyst and an explosive weapons expert, suggest that Abu Akleh was shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces.

The footage shows a calm scene before the reporters came under fire in the outskirts of Jenin refugee camp, near the main Awdeh roundabout. Shatha Hanaysha, four other journalists and three local residents said that it had been a normal morning in Jenin, home to about 345,000 people — 11,400 of whom live in the camp. Many were on their way to work or school, and the street was relatively quiet.

There was a frisson of excitement as the veteran journalist, a household name across the Arab world for her coverage of Israel and the Palestinian territories, arrived to report on the raid. About a dozen or so men, some dressed in sweats and flip-flops, had gathered to watch Abu Akleh and her colleagues at work. They were milling around chatting, some smoking cigarettes, others filming the scene on their phones.

In one 16-minute cellphone video shared with CNN, the man filming walks toward the spot where the journalists had gathered, zooming in on the Israeli armored vehicles parked in the distance, and says: "Look at the snipers." ... Salim Awad, the 27-year-old Jenin camp resident who filmed the 16-minute video, told CNN that there were no armed Palestinians or any clashes in the area, and he hadn't expected there to be gunfire, given the presence of journalists nearby.

But the situation changed rapidly. Awad said shooting broke out about seven minutes after he arrived at the scene. His video captures the moment that shots were fired at the four journalists — Abu Akleh, Hanaysha, another Palestinian journalist, Mujahid al-Saadi, and Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samoudi, who was injured in the gunfire — as they walked toward the Israeli vehicles. In the footage, Abu Akleh can be seen turning away from the barrage. The footage shows a direct line of sight towards the Israeli convoy.

"We saw around four or five military vehicles on that street with rifles sticking out of them and one of them shot Shireen. We were standing right there, we saw it. When we tried to approach her, they shot at us. I tried to cross the street to help, but I couldn't," Awad said, adding that he saw that a bullet struck Abu Akleh in the gap between her helmet and protective vest, just by her ear.

[Much more detail at the link. -js]

Israel Tells U.S. It Killed Iranian Officer, Official Says

At the funeral in Tehran for a colonel in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, thousands of mourners packed the streets around the cemetery chanting “Death to Israel” and calling for revenge for his killing. The commanders of the Guards and the Quds Force — the powerful unit within the Guards responsible for operations outside Iran’s borders — were both in attendance, hinting at the colonel’s importance.

Col. Sayad Khodayee, 50, was fatally shot outside his home on a quiet residential street in Tehran on Sunday when two gunmen on motorcycles approached his car and fired five bullets into it, according to state media. Iran has blamed Israel for the killing, which bore the hallmarks of other Israeli targeted killings of Iranians in a shadow war that has been playing out for years on land, sea, air and in cyberspace. ...

A spokeswoman for the Israeli prime minister declined to comment on the killing. But according to an intelligence official briefed on the communications, Israel has informed American officials that it was behind the killing. ...

The Israelis told the Americans the killing was meant as a warning to Iran to halt the operations of a covert group within the Quds Force known as Unit 840, according to the intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified information. Unit 840 is tasked with abductions and assassinations of foreigners around the world, including Israeli civilians and officials, according to Israeli government, military and intelligence officials.

Israeli officials said Colonel Khodayee was the deputy commander of Unit 840, and was involved in planning cross-border plots against foreigners, including Israelis. ...

Iranian officials have not commented on Israeli accusations that Colonel Khodayee was involved in transborder terrorism plots. But some Iranian analysts said that the accusations were aimed at preventing the United States from agreeing to remove the Guards’ designation as a terrorist organization, and thereby block an agreement on the restoration of the nuclear agreement.

Bush is Biden is Bush

George W. Bush returned to the news last week. The man who once said, “Our enemies… never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we,” coughed up a gem of accidental truth about Ukraine. In the midst of blasting Vladimir Putin for suppressing dissent, he said:

The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean, of Ukraine.

Iraq too. Anyway. (laughs)

Although Bush in recent years has been regularly tongue-bathed by blue-party acolytes for speaking against Trump, with Katie Hill once going so far as to admit to tears as she pondered “how much better we’d all feel if Bush were president today,” press priests from CNN to NBC to The Guardian last week tossed him back overboard over his Ukraine miss. Stephen Colbert even “waxed nostalgic,” remembering the time before his current apple-polishing period, when he was an actual satirist under Bush: “I made