JONATHAN COOK—Of course, much of Trump’s appeal was that he is not Biden. The Democratic party decided to run pretty much the worst candidate imaginable: an old-school machine politician, one emphatically beholden to the corporate donor class and unsuited to the new, more populist political climate. His campaigning – on the rare occasions he appeared – suggested significant cognitive decline. Biden often looked more suited to a luxury retirement home than heading the most powerful nation on earth. But then again, if Trump could lead the world’s only superpower for four years, how hard can it really be? He showed that those tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorists might be right after all: maybe the president is largely a figurehead, while a permanent bureaucracy runs much of the show from behind the curtain. Were Ronald Reagan and George W Bush not enough to persuade us that any halfwit who can string together a few cliches from a teleprompter will suffice?
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Explosive exposé blows the cover off Huawei Meng Wanzhou’s 2018 sting operation in Vancouver, Canada: The truth and consequences of connecting the dots.
JEFF J. BROWN—For most of us, likely including Meng, there is a huge difference in perception between dealing with immigration (CBSA) and police (RCMP) officers. Immigration greets us at the airport and stamps our passports, asking mostly innocuous questions about our visits.
Yet, not realized by most of us, immigration can serve court ordered arrests. Thus, why did the RCMP officers, who were standing right there, not arrest Meng directly? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count. It was likely to give Meng the impression that she only had a problem with her Canadian paperwork, since she had been a legal resident of Vancouver since 2001, not that she was being set up for extradition to the USA on criminal charges.
Notice in the above timeline, CBSA held and questioned Meng for 2.5 hours (11:45 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.), where,
Meng is (again interviewed by an agent for 14 minutes and is) questioned about her role with Huawei. During this time Meng is compelled to hand over the passcodes to her electronic devices.
This timeline strongly suggests an illegal sting operation to get Meng to innocently spill the beans to immigration about her case and Huawei, give up all her passwords to the electronic devices that CBSA took and later turned over to RCMP, not to mention the devices of Meng’s still anonymous travel companion from Hong Kong.
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—Let’s clear this up before the girl power parade starts: the first woman to head the US war machine will not be a groundbreaking pioneer of feminist achievement. She will be a mass murderer who wears Spanx. Her appointment will not be an advancement for women, it will be imperialism in pumps. Modern mainstream feminism has abandoned women’s interests so thoroughly and completely in almost all spheres of importance that it has largely become only superficially distinct from the patriarchy it purports to oppose. The plight of mothers, elderly women, young girls, caregivers and wives have been almost entirely shuffled out of popular discourse, with focus instead shifted onto discussions about whether women are being adequately rewarded for their service to the God of Capitalism, or how they’re just as qualified as men to murder thousands of people at a time.
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GLENN GREENWALD—It is important to note that Strangio’s views are mostly definitely not shared by everyone at the ACLU. Many of the group’s more traditional free speech advocates still prioritize its civil liberties principles over liberal politics and liberal political causes. As I noted when I defended the organization in 2017 for its free speech representation in Charlottesville, the ACLU has defended Milo Yiannopolous against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s refusal to allow ads for his book, and this year publicly defended the National Rifle Association against the efforts by New York State General Letitia James to disband it.
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Joe Biden is not likely to lift the blatantly illegal US siege of Venezuela, says Leo Flores on The Grayzone. In fact, his imperialist posture toward Caracas may signify a worsening f tensions between the two countries and their allies. In this episode, Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Leo Flores, the Latin American Campaign Coordinator for CODEPINK, about what the election of Joe Biden will mean for US Venezuela policy. They also discuss Venezuela’s upcoming parliamentary elections and the fractured state of the country’s opposition.