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April 14—President Sleepy Joe Biden’s offhand comment April 10 to a reporter’s request for a response to a recent vote in the Australian parliament that calls on the United States to drop espionage charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has fueled new speculation that such a deal may indeed be in the works. Biden’s response was “We are considering it.”White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, responding to a reporter’s follow-up question on the President’s remarks, would not say anything beyond what the President had “shared” the day before, and referred other comment to the Justice Department, which later declined to comment.However, sources close to the White House report that Biden may be doing more than considering it. They indicate that the President now views the Assange case as a problem for his re-election campaign. Many of his supporters, especially those who might call themselves progressives, have been calling for an end to what are unprecedented espionage charges against Assange, who published leaked classified documents in WikiLeaks, stating that they represent an attack on freedom of the press. Lawyers for Assange, who is being held in the high security HM Prison Belmarsh near London while a British court decides on his challenge of U.S. efforts to extradite him, maintain that he cannot be prosecuted for revealing criminal acts undertaken by the government. If he should lose this challenge, Assange could be placed on trial right in the middle of the presidential election race. “If they pursue this case,” said a U.S. based source with connections to the Democratic Party, “it will cost Biden votes.”This and other sources report that the Justice Department has indeed be working on a deal that would drop the espionage charges, which carry a severe sentence, for a lesser charge of mishandling classified documents, to which the publisher would plead guilty and be released for time already served.The Wall Street Journal, no friend of either justice or Assange, leaked reports of this last month, in what many believed was an attempt to sabotage the deal.At the time, both the Justice Department and lawyers for Assange denied that any talks had taken place on a “deal,” but other sources reported that the denials were a formality, so as not to prejudice the British court’s decision.“It looks like things could be moving in the right direction,” Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, who often serves as his spokesman, told the BBC April 11: “Really, Joe Biden should have dropped it from Day One.”A source indicated that any deal might wait on the British court decision, which may come this month.
April 14—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s scheme to start a regional war with Iran so he could cling to power and derail moves to stop his genocidal slaughter in Gaza appears to have failed, thanks in part to a limited and precise intervention on the part of the U.S. to help Israel shoot down nearly all of the 300 drones and missiles launched yesterday by the Islamic Republic and its surrogates in Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria.Intelligence sources say that without the U.S. deployment that involved U.S. naval vessels and aircraft, many of the missiles and drones might have gotten through Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling defense system, with the possibility of damage and casualties. As it was, reported damage is insignificant, with few casualties and no deaths. The U.S deployment also involved providing Israel with critical telemetry information on the incoming missiles, cruise missiles, and drones.An enraged Bibi was threatening retaliation against Iran, but is said to have encountered stiff resistance from the leadership of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The latter was furious last week, sources report, when Netanyahu ordered a precision missile attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, resulted in the killing of Iranian military personnel, including a high ranking officer in the Revolutionary Guard, which, in turn, led to the expected Iranian retaliation yesterday.“The IDF is fed up with Bibi using them as his toy in his various moves against the Palestinians, including in what many high ranking officials see as senseless slaughter in Gaza,” said a source with many contacts in Israel. “It was one thing to go after Hamas, but that is not what Gaza is about. Bibi is a 'blood and soil' racist and wants to kill as many Palestinians as possible, and to keep the millions of overseas Palestinians from returning. He was not fighting Hamas, but a two-state solution, which he will never support.”This and other sources said that the attack on Damascus came as Netanyahu was coming under pressure to accept a negotiated ceasefire in Gaza, and an end to his bloody crusade against the Palestinians, which has seen Israel’s fall from grace in the view of most of the world, and which threatens a rupture with its principle ally and arms supplier, the United States.“The idea was to stir the pot, create the condition for a regional war with Iran and provoke Hezbollah to strike out and give Bibi an excuse to give the West Bank the ‘Gaza’ treatment, while restoring support for all this from the U.S.,” said the source. “Sound’s crazy? Well it is, and people in Israel and the White House saw through this.”President Sleepy Joe Biden is now fully awake to these dangers, being briefed regularly by his most able diplomat, Director of Central Intelligence William Burns. Biden reportedly wants nothing to do with any war with Iran, and he had Burns transmit through backchannels (including to the Russians) to the Iranians that the U.S. had nothing to do with and did not support Israel’s strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Iran was urged to take into consideration the regional situation, and was assured that the U.S. is engaging in an all-out effort to end the slaughter in Gaza, and to put a two-state solution back on the agenda. “Burns knows, and so does Biden, that none of this is possible as long as Bibi stays in power,” the source continued. “Bibi must go, and Biden is saying as much.”The source pointed to the April 10 interview that Biden gave to Univision where he said that Netanyahu’s policies in Gaza were doing great harm to the Israeli state and were unacceptable. No American President has ever delivered such a stinging public rebuke to a sitting Israeli Prime Minister. In private phone conversations, Biden has gone even further, demanding that Netanyahu agree to a ceasefire and seek an end to the Gaza slaughter immediately or he (Biden) would block military aid to Israel, a step that was unthinkable from this White House even a few weeks ago.Sources report that Biden, under advice from Burns and military commanders, authorized, and deployed the plan to put U.S. forces in position to help intercept the expected Iranian missile and drone strike on Israel, which took place yesterday. Some reportedly have speculated that Bibi was even considering “letting some of the missiles and drones  get through the Israeli defenses, in order to build support for a new crusade against Iran. It is now fairly widely believed that Netanyahu created the conditions that allowed the Oct. 7 Hamas attack to “succeed,” in order to have a pretext to launch his “Final Solution” for Palestinians in Gaza.Last night Biden phoned Netanyahu near the end of the extremely effective defense against the drones and missiles, ostensibly to congratulate him. While declaring the battle a “great victory” for Israel, Biden warned Netanyahu against further escalation, stating that the United States would not be involved and would not support any Israel counter attack. The message was clear: “The U.S. is not going to go to war with Iran, and will not back you, if you do.”If his Iran gambit fails, as it appears that it has, the tyrant Netanyahu’s time in power could quickly draw to an end, and it may be his handling of the Hamas hostage situation that finally delivers the coup d’grace.According to two frustrated members of Israel’s negotiating team, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his circle have created an atmosphere of “cold indifference” to the fate of the hostages held by Hamas, and Netanyahu himself has sabotaged the negotiations for any release, up to now. With their voices disguised, and names withheld, the two testified April 11 on Israel’s Channel 12 TV investigative show Uvda. The host, Ilana Dayan, said that each of them had come forward, independently, to expose the situation.Witness One said: “There is a massive gap between the narratives they are trying to create in the public eye and the actions in reality…. Since December, definitely since January, it has become clear to everyone that we are not negotiating…. I can’t say that without Netanyahu there would have been a deal, but I can say that without Netanyahu, the chances of making a deal would be better…. It happens again and again, we get a mandate during the day, and then the prime minister makes phone calls at night. He says, ‘Don’t say this, don’t approve that.’ This is how he gets around the heads of the negotiation team as well as the war cabinet.”Witness Two said that they are forced to make impossible demands of Hamas. They gave the example of last month’s demand for a list of living hostages: “It was a ridiculous demand. We already had the list on our own. Why should we get it from Hamas?” What the approach instigated was to make a demand that could not move matters forward, and instead had a good possibility of moving matters backward.Witness Two added: “When I realized that the state is not doing everything it can, I broke down. I cannot say for sure who will be alive by the time there is a deal or what will be left of them. What I can say is that whatever deal is made … could have been made two months ago. Time is not running out. It ran out.”This latter assessment is shared by U.S. intelligence, which leaked that the CIA believes that most of the hostages thought to still be held by Hamas are dead, with the largest number of them being killed by IDF bombardment. It is now thought that only around 60 or fewer are still alive. Israeli intelligence sources dispute this estimate, but have been ordered to do that by Netanyahu. Privately, they are said to agree with the U.S. assessment.Meanwhile, talks on a ceasefire continue in Cairo, with Burns trying to push through a deal, before Bibi can play his last card: An order for an all-out assault on the last standing Gazan city, Rafah.“The question is whether someone or some group of people move to demand Bibi’s resignation,” said a source. “It has to happen. It should have happened already. His handling of the hostage tragedy could be the trigger. As long as he is there, as long as he has his crazies in his cabinet and in the settlers, there is always the potential for disaster. The problem is that Israel lacks a leader with stature. Bibi is the big guy because everyone else is so small.“Peace will not come just because he were gone. The major roadblock of peace would be removed, but then we would still have to deal with the neo-cons in the U.S. who promote confrontation everywhere. That’s where we can use things like the Schiller Institute’s Oasis Plan—to provide a roadmap for peace through region-wide cooperative economic development. Without something like that, there is no way to actually create a viable Palestinian state.”
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April 13—Today's Schiller Institute Meeting, “The Oasis Plan: The LaRouche Solution for Peace Through Development Between Israel and Palestine and for All of Southwest Asia” is motivated by the following conceptual premise, stated by Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche yesterday in her opening address to the 45th consecutive Friday meeting of the International Peace Coalition: "But it’s very clear that unless we get to what we have been discussing from the very beginning—a New Paradigm, where we overcome geopolitics with a ‍ new international security and development architecture, which includes all countries of the planet—the scenarios, or the theaters of the potential war, will just shift from one crisis spot to the next, until we have a really different approach on world politics.“As long as that is not given, there is the danger that things could go out of control very quickly. According to the judgment of a highly-placed person we talked with recently, he said, ‘Yes, you are absolutely right. In the best case, we are weeks away from an explosion and a disaster.’ I think that should fuel our efforts to really fight for a peace solution which has to be just to all sides, because the lesson from the Peace of Westphalia is that, unless it is just, and unless it takes into account the interests of all, it cannot work.”Peace may seem to be impossible to some, but “A purpose, which higher reason hath conceived, that men’s afflictions urge, ten thousand times defeated, may never be abandoned.” As President John F. Kennedy said at American University, June 10, 1963: “Our problems are manmade—therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable—and we believe they can do it again.”Optimism is a scientific principle. JFK proved that, and provided that, in the 1960s Apollo Manned Mission to the Moon—an outrageous demand on, not merely the United States, but humanity itself, but a demand which was met on schedule, within the decade that it was proposed. Today, the “Apollo Project” of our time demands an optimism that cannot be derived from war. It demands one, two, many "Oasis Projects" for the world, designed like the apparently impossible, but actually completely doable project posed for Southwest Asia. Optimism about humanity is, in that sense, both the topic and organizing principle of today’s conference.That 21st century “Apollo Project” is the ending of colonialism, and of its derivative diseases of “poverty, famine, disease, and war itself.” This is a task to which the majority of the world is already committed. It is through the application and unleashing of the technological powers and creative scientific and artistic capabilities of the world’s nations, including through joint missions to the Moon and Mars, and on Earth; through the “crash” joint development of thermonuclear fusion energy, for power “too cheap to meter” and readily available to all; and through the building of new cities and development corridors of a first-time-ever World Land-Bridge, that this can be achieved.Today’s conference is convened both on the threshold of greatness, and the edge of annihilation. Which direction prevails, will depend upon our strength to not only remember, but to embody, what poet Friedrich Schiller wrote: “A purpose, that higher Reason hath conceived, which men’s afflictions urge, ten thousand times defeated, may never be abandoned.” The ghosts of many Gazas, and the eyes of universal history will be watching, to see which direction we take.
April 12—Writing on his Substack site, respected investigative journalist Seymour Hersh posted a new article on April 10, saying that some believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to risk a war with Iran in order to stay in office, The piece is headlined, “The Fantasy of an Iranian Bomb,” with the sub-heading, “Iran has never had a nuclear bomb—why does Israel insist that it’s an imminent threat?”Hersh writes: “The Israeli bombing attack in Syria was a stunning escalation of what has been for decades a low-level tit-for-tat war between Damascus, Tehran, and Tel Aviv. It immediately raised speculation in Israel and elsewhere that Netanyahu is willing to risk war with Iran to stay in office.”Hersh also pointed to Netanyahu’s “obvious determination to stay in power by expanding Israel’s far-from-completed war in Gaza.” According to Hersh, Netanyahu’s actions send a message to the U.S. and the world that he will continue to do whatever he wants. He noted that Iran repeatedly made it clear that it does not want an all-out war with Israel.
April 12—Russian Foreign Ministry Press Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reported in her April 10 briefing that the level of cyberattacks on Russian critical infrastructure—the government’s medical, energy, transportation facilities, as well as media—has reached “unprecedented levels.” Those attacks are largely run out of Ukraine, but Russian specialists “have established that foreign intelligence services are behind many major attacks,” she charged, specifying “NATO’s military-political leadership,” and citing a network of cyber warfare centers controlled by the U.S. National Security Agency that Russia has identified along Russia’s borders.“In order to prepare and carry out cyberoperations, the U.S. and their allies use a network of special centers controlled by the U.S. National Security Agency and located along the Russian borders (in particular, in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, and Romania; with Georgia and Moldova in the future). These are cyber laboratories created for tactical and technical support of groups from the bloc’s cyber teams or special operations forces,” she stated. “They are also used to monitor the cyberspace and collect intelligence data, and work out scenarios of how to strike Russian critical information infrastructure facilities using information and communication technologies.”As for Ukraine, “it is no secret” that it has become a center for anti-Russian cyberattacks. Zakharova pointed to the so-called “IT Army” of Ukrainian hackers, backed by the Kiev regime and its Western patrons, whose cyberattacks against Russia—some real, some invented, she noted—are publicly and proudly talked up by Ukrainian authorities. The IT Army, “controlled by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and supervised by NATO member states, is in fact a conglomerate of criminals, specializing primarily in plain stealing of assets,” she added.Are some in Washington getting nervous about Russia’s clear, and repeated statements that NATO—and the U.S.—are at war with Russia, directing terrorist attacks, cyberattacks, strikes on Russian oil and other installations, etc.? The same day Zakharova made her briefing remarks, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Celeste Wallander provoked a rage fit by Washington’s rabid war crowd (e.g., neocon centers such as the Hudson Institute and Jamestown Foundation), because she insisted in a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee that the Biden administration has conveyed its “concerns” to Ukraine over its attacks on Russian oil and gas infrastructure, since those are “civilian targets.”
April 12—The editor and founder of the Times of Israel David Horovitz has written an editorial with the above headline, insisting on the removal of Benjamin "Bibi" Netaynahu as Prime Minister. The daily can be considered "center-right,'' and has never been this direct in opposition to Bibi, and the signed editorial goes after him from that perspective. First, Horovitz reiterates Netanyahu’s responsibility for the failure of the Oct. 7 attacks, including his support for Hamas against the Palestinian Authority, his failure in the current conflict by alienating the U.S. and Israel’s allies, etc. He then writes that it "falls to a potential few good men and women within his own coalition base to tell him that his presence is harming Israel, that his policies empowered and emboldened Hamas, and that far from being uniquely capable of ensuring Israel has the practical and diplomatic room to destroy Hamas, he is almost uniquely incapable of doing so….“But not only must they tell him this. In contrast to the cynical, sheep-like self-preservation they demonstrated during the judicial overhaul crisis, they must protect and serve the electorate they represent by organizing an orderly transition of power. In a 64-56 coalition, it does not take many people of integrity to put the interests of the country above self-interest and fear of the pro-Netanyahu machine.“Israel is in the midst of multiple crises—with a stalled war in the south; a potentially far worse conflict in the north, acute tensions in the West Bank, Iran’s multiple machinations, international hostility, no remotely competent public diplomacy, dysfunctional governance that continues to fail the citizenry at the most basic level, and an electorate riven over the Haredi [right-wing orthodox Jews—ed]​ community’s exclusion from national service and much more besides. Directly responsible for some, Netanyahu undermines Israel’s capacity to tackle all these crises….“But if not by his own belated will, then, via due political process, his necessary departure needs to be achieved in a manner that helps Israel address what has been since Oct. 7 a genuine existential crisis—a manner, in other words, that gives Hamas and Israel’s other circling enemies cause for concern and fear.”Sources in Israel report that the timing of the editorial, coming in the middle of critical ceasefire talks, steered by the United States, and prior to the execution of Netanyahu's announced order to the Israel Defense Forces to assault the last standing Gazan city, Rafah, is extremely significant. "Bibi's time is number days and weeks, no loner months," a source said this morning. "Will it be soon enough? I don't know> No one does."