Assange slams Intercept hit-piece claiming his group ‘sexist, backed Trump’

Julian Assange

    

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has rejected claims by The Intercept that he backed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He accused the outlet of furthering one of the authors’ personal obsession.

“The editorial propriety of letting Micah F Lee, of all people, instrumentalize the Intercept to further his obsessive, obscenity laden campaign against WikiLeaks must be questioned,” Assange said on Thursday.

Assange added that Lee was “formally behind cutting off WikiLeaks’ US tax deductible donations,” referring to the Freedom of the Press Foundation cutting off WikiLeaks’ access to funding.

In Wednesday’s story, Lee and Cora Currier of The Intercept claimed to have seen private Twitter messages from WikiLeaks staff from November 2015 onwards.

“We believe it would be much better for GOP to win,” said a message they attributed to Assange. “Dems+Media+liberals would then form a block to reign in their worst qualities.”

“With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities. Dems+media+neoliberals will be mute,” another message said. “She’s a bright, well connected, sadistic sociopath.”

“GOP will generate a lot opposition, including through dumb moves. Hillary will do the same thing, but co-opt the Liberal opposition and the GOP opposition,” a third message said. “Hence Hillary has greater freedom to start wars than the GOP and has the will to do so.”

On Thursday, Assange said Lee had a long-standing vendetta against his whistleblowing organization, and he was instrumental in blocking tax-deductible donations to the site.

Assange, who is still confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London after his appeals against a UK arrest warrant failed, insisted Wikileaks does not save such messages. He added that the writers of the article did not even contact him to check the veracity of the comments, and that they admitted the group who sent the messages had “low security” and was not set up by Wikileaks.

The Wikileaks Twitter account was not just run by him, Assange noted, but a “rotating team” of staff members. He also said that some of the alleged messages featured in the story were sent after October 2016, when he famously had his internet access cut off by the Ecuadorian government. During that time, WikiLeaks was publishing emails from the private account of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, further damaging her disastrous presidential campaign.

Assange also accused The Intercept’s billionaire owner, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, of having a long-running campaign to “neuter Wikileaks.”

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/377526-Assange-slams-Intercept-hit-piece-claiming-his-group-sexist-backed-Trump

UK scrambles 2 RAF Typhoon fighter jets to intercept Russian planes

The Typhoons took off from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland, at around 9:30 am to tackle the alleged encroachment. A RAF spokesman said: “This is a live operation and therefore we will not be providing any additional information until the mission is complete.”

The Russian plane model is yet to be identified as the operation is still ongoing. French and Belgian air forces have reportedly also been deployed to tackle the situation.

Air traffic monitors appear to show the RAF jets being trailed by the British Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, which can provide air-to-air refueling capabilities to the Typhoons. The aircraft were spotted near Caithness on the east coast of Scotland on Monday morning.

It follows a string of incidents between the RAF and Russian air forces over the past months. In September, two RAF Typhoons were scrambled to monitor a pair of Russian planes reportedly flying into UK airspace.

RAF Typhoon jets have been used since 2007 in offensives against the Islamic State (ISIS/ ISIL), with pilots carrying out missions lasting up to eight-hours.

The 1,500 mph armed fighter jets incorporate air-to-air missiles and are an integral part of the RAF’s Quick Reaction Alert.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/uk/415967-raf-jets-russian-scramble/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

F-16s intercept small plane over Trump’s airspace violation

Two F-16 fighter jets intercepted a small private plane, which had violated airspace closed for US President Donald Trump’s visit to Florida. The incident occurred at 4:24pm on Sunday, some 46km (29 miles) north of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The F-16s escorted the plane to North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport, where the pilot said he was unaware of the restrictions. The Federal Aviation Administration will now to determine whether the man is to be fined for the violation of presidential airspace.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/newsline/414813-f16-trump-airspace-violation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Russian S300, S400 Air-Intercept Systems Go Hot In Syria’s Airspace

Russian S-300, S-400 Air-Defense Systems Ready to Hit Enemy Flying Objects in Syria’s Airspace.

A recently-released satellite image showed that an active air defense base in Syria equipped with the most advanced S300 and S400 air-defense systems is ready to give harsh response to any possible assault.

The satellite picture showed that what appears to be a battery-sized detachment of either highly-modernized S-300 or newer S-400 model strategic anti-aircraft missiles.

Syria, Russian Military Base S-300, S-400

The base has been geo-located to a highly-militarized area on the provincial borders of Tartus and Hama provinces.

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Whether the missile system operators belong to the Syrian Armed Forces or the Russian Armed Forces cannot officially be confirmed, however, some social media sources claim that the base was also used to launch Oniks cruise missiles from Bastion-P transporters late last year; this would indicate that the S-300/400s are a Russian asset.

The Russian Defense Ministry warned in October 2016 against any military attack on its forces deployed in Syria, adding that the country’s most advanced air-defense systems were ready to give a crushing response to any possible assault by the US.

“Russia will use its S300 and S400 anti-aircraft systems to target any attack on its naval base in Tartus and its airbase in Humeimim,” the ministry said, adding, “The S300 and S400 air-defense missile shields can easily intercept and target any advanced model of stealth planes too.”

The S-300 system can be used to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles. Meantime, it can intercept ballistic missiles.

As tensions between Washington and Moscow flared, the Russian military was warning the United States that it had the ability to target stealth aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit that might be operating over Syria with the Almaz-Antey S-400 (NATO: SA-21 Growler) and the recently arrived S-300V4 (NATO: SA-23 Gladiator) air and missile defense systems.

However, Western defense officials and analysts were skeptical and noted that both the F-22 and the F-35 were specifically designed to counter those Russian-developed weapons.

“Russian S-300, S-400 air defense systems deployed in Syria’s Humeimim and Tartus have combat ranges that may surprise any unidentified airborne targets,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

“Operators of Russian air defense systems won’t have time to identify the origin of airstrikes, and the response will be immediate. Any illusions about ‘invisible’ jets will inevitably be crushed by disappointing reality.”

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Source Article from https://politicalvelcraft.org/2017/08/16/russian-s300-s400-air-intercept-systems-go-hot-in-syrias-airspace/

US officials: Chinese jets intercept US surveillance plane

WASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) – Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the East China Sea at the weekend, with one jet coming within about 300 feet (91 meters) of the American aircraft, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial reports showed one of the Chinese J-10 aircraft came close enough to the U.S. EP-3 plane on Sunday to cause the American aircraft to change direction.

One of the officials said the Chinese jet was armed and the interception happened 80 nautical miles (148 km) from the Chinese city of Qingdao.

The Pentagon said the encounter between the aircraft was unsafe, but added that the vast majority of interactions were safe.

China’s Defence Ministry said the actions of its pilots were “legal, necessary and professional” and performed “in accordance with the law and the rules.”

“Close-in reconnaissance by U.S. aircraft threatens China’s national security, harms Sino-U.S. maritime and air military safety, endangers the personal safety of both sides’ pilots and is the root cause of unexpected incidents,” it said.

The United States should immediately stop these military activities, which are unsafe, unprofessional and unfriendly, it added.

Incidents such as Sunday’s intercept are relatively common.

In May, two Chinese SU-30 aircraft intercepted a U.S. aircraft designed to detect radiation while it was flying in international air space over the East China Sea.

China closely monitors any U.S. military activity around its coastline.

In 2001, an intercept of a U.S. spy plane by a Chinese fighter jet resulted in a collision that killed the Chinese pilot and forced the American plane to make an emergency landing at a base on Hainan.

The 24 U.S. air crew members were held for 11 days until Washington apologized for the incident. That encounter soured U.S.-Chinese relations in the early days of President George W. Bush’s first term in office.

Separately, the Pentagon said the U.S. military would soon carry out another test of it’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

“These tests are done as a routine measure to ensure that the system is ready and… they are scheduled well in advance of any other real world geopolitical events going on,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters.

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The director of the Missile Defense Agency, Lieutenant General Sam Greaves, said in a statement that a test would be carried out at the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Alaska.

Last month the United States shot down a simulated, incoming intermediate-range ballistic missile similar to the ones being developed by countries like North Korea, in a test of the nation’s THAAD missile defenses.

The United States deployed THAAD to South Korea this year to guard against North Korea’s shorter-range missiles. That has drawn fierce criticism from China, which says the system’s powerful radar can penetrate deep into its territory. (Reporting by Idrees Ali; Additional reporting by Michael Martina in BEIJING; Editing by Grant McCool and Clarence Fernandez)

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-officials-chinese-jets-intercept-075400464.html

US Fires Missile to Test System Designed to Intercept Missile Attack

Just two days after North Korea’s latest missile launch, the US military fired a missile from the California coast in a test designed to defend against an attack from the rogue country.

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Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-fires-missile-test-system-153134151.html