Saturday, May 6, 2017

French Elections: Hacked Emails, Free Speech And 'Hardest Choice In History', Gaza: War Is 'Fast Approaching'

Macron email hacking shows that free speech is dead in France

Nearly 9 gigabytes of information from private emails belonging to French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron have been leaked after an apparent hack. The leaks came to light late Friday evening, less than two days before polls open in the final round of elections.

The hack is said to contain business documents and related photos.
Macron’s campaign have said that some of the leaked files are fake.

Wikileaks is currently running each document through its copious verification process.
But this is not even the main story. 

The main story is that the French Election Control Commission released a statement threatening legal, including criminal action against anyone who publishes the content of the leaks. 
The relevant except from the short statement reads,

“The Commission therefore asks the media, and websites in particular, not to report on the content of the data (of the Macron leak), recalling that the dissemination of false information is liable to fall within the scope of the law, in particular criminal law”.

This is an outrage on several levels.

1. Overly Draconian Media Regime in France
Even prior to the authentication of the documents, it is still in the public good to know the content of these documents with the warning ‘alleged’/’unverified’ in front of any article describing said documents.

This is done all the time in unconfirmed information relating to matters of life and death on the battle field. I should think that such matters are far more sensitive than the private dealers of a wealthy, healthy living man.
2. A State-run Disinformation Campaign 
If the documents are proved to be authentic and Wikileaks who are authenticating them now are the best source in the business, it is imperative that these documents be released in full.
Anything less would be a state-run disinformation campaign to try and prohibit information relevant to the public good from being freely and legally disseminated. In this sense it would be the French state that is unduly influencing the election by forcing the withholding of relevant facts from the public prior to polling day.

These are the tactics of a dictatorship, not a democracy.
3. Abuse of Power 
The French state is engaging in an abuse of power exercise. It is not for an un-elected electoral commission to make a ruling on the legality of publishing these or any other documents. In a free society, this would be the charge of the judicial branch of government.

If the information was proved false, in a free society, Macron would have the ability to sue for libel or ask a judge for a gag-order.
The most shocking element of this saga  is that both the mainstream and alt-media have taken this sitting down. While no one wants to be arrested by the French, we in the media should at least complain and complain loudly about France’s barbarically backward free speech laws.

These obscurantist laws seem tailor made for Macron who has revealed himself not only to be the pro-war candidate but also the pro-censorship candidate. Vichy Macron is far more dangerous than the reformist, free-speech minded daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen.

I’m trying to imagine how the media might react if Russia had such primitive and dictatorial laws against free speech?
Funnily enough, when Russia made existing libel statues subject to criminal as well as civil penalties,  something which amounted to nothing more than fines for the guilty being issued at the request of prosecutors in some cases and private claimants in most others, the western mainstream media and western NGOs were up in arms.
However, there is almost no one criticising the French abuse of power which aims to stifle and has largely been successful in stifling  journalism. The double standards are incredible.

Macron is from this same establishment trying to censor free speech. Just let that sink in.

On the Brink of Chaos: France Faces 'Hardest Choice in History' Ahead of Runoff

The recent student protests in Paris exacerbated even further the already tense situation in France ahead of the May 7 presidential runoff; the protests once again indicated that the country is facing the hardest choice in the last 60 years of its history, Russian expert Alexander Vershinin told Sputnik.

Commenting on the matter, Russian expert Alexander Vershinin said that the situation in France remains very complicated.

"This was confirmed the latest TV debates, polls and the Paris protests. France is facing the most difficult choice in the last 60 years of its history.By and large, the French welcome neither Macron nor Le Pen, and neither of these presidential candidates is able to bring a new constructive concept to their country," Vershinin said.

"Most likely, Macron will be able to gain 60 percent of the vote in the runoff," Vershinin said, citing Macron's random supporters, who may help add to his win.

It remains to be seen whether Macron will be able to rely on this "politically divided conglomerate" during parliamentary elections in France in June 2017," the Russian expert concluded.

Putin and Trump Reportedly Discuss Iranian Military Zones in Syria

An Israeli military intelligence website reported on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump and Russian President Valdmir Putin discussed “de-escalation zones” in Syria that would be manned by Iranian Army officers.
Debka Files  reported that the two presidents discussed this idea in a telephone conversation on Tuesday.  The security zones would replace American-manned security zones. The Iranian observers would be appointed by “guarantor countries”, Russia Turkey and Iran, but it would put Iranian military eyes on the Israeli border.
Notice has gone out to Washington and Moscow that the Israeli government will on no account countenance an Iran military presence along its border. Israel also eyes with mistrust the possible deployment of Russian and Turkish offices along its border with Syria.  Declaring eastern Damascus a protected zone would obstruct Israel aerial operations for keeping Iranian air shipments of advanced weapons via Syria out of Hezbollah’s hands. Iran would be able to renew its shipments under full protection.

As winds of war rise, Israel must decide whether to pull the plug on Gaza

Gaza’s inhabitants — businessmen, government officials, journalists, people who identify with Fatah and with Hamas — reiterate that the next war with Israel is no longer an improbable scenario; indeed, that it is fast approaching.

The Strip’s Islamic terrorist rulers are not interested in a violent conflict at this stage; they are still restocking and boosting their rocket arsenals and reportedly digging fresh cross-border attack tunnels. But no one is ruling out the possibility of a descent into war, mainly due to the economic situation — in other words, a repeat of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

In this scenario, Hamas starts off by allowing a trickle of rockets to be fired into Israel in order to extricate itself from a terrible economic situation (almost three years ago, it was a crisis over salary payments), using other groups as contractors working on its behalf. Israel responds with increasing severity. Hamas joins in the rocket fire, and presto, Israelis and Palestinians find themselves at war.

The current economic situation in Gaza is even worse than it was in summer 2014, which places Israel before a near-impossible dilemma. Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah announced a week ago that the PA would no longer pay for the electricity — an estimated 120 megawatts — that Israel supplies to Gaza. In better times, Gaza’s power station supplied the Strip with approximately 60 megawatts of electricity. But owing to the shortage of discounted diesel fuel, the power station stopped working approximately a month ago.

No comments: