Thursday 9th of February 2023

and twitter becomes the standard of fresh real news......

 

Establishment panic about Elon Musk’s changes to Twitter means he’s doing something right

 

The only ones outraged about Twitter’s new owner are the ones afraid of free speech getting in the way of their authority

 

Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover has heads rolling. But it is funny how the only people who seem to be upset are those who vehemently do everything in their power to shut down any peon who dares to air wrong-think on the platform.

 

BY Ian Miles Cheong

 

And that’s not to mention the complete meltdown journalists and liberal commentators are having over Musk’s idea of paid Twitter verification, which as a fellow Sir Blue Checkmark myself, I find hilarious. The thought of losing their precious blue tick, or, Heaven forbid, sharing it with the common plebeians for a mere $8 per month, has the aristocracy up in arms.

So what else does the Tesla founder have in store for us? How far does your $8 take you?

Well, for starters, you get prioritized posting, meaning that more people will see your replies at the top of tweet threads, in addition to being able to post longer videos, edit your existing posts, and Musk has mentioned his interest in providing content creators with actual payouts, so you’ll be able to make money from your tweets in the same way that YouTubers, Instagrammers, and TikTokers have been for years.

On top of all of that, content creators will also gain access to extended analytics to tell them exactly what content of theirs is popular and what isn’t. It’s just basic stuff that’s been available to content creators on every other platform – except for Twitter – which begs the question: what have Twitter's engineers been doing all this time?

A recent report from insiders at the company suggests that Elon Musk is now working Twitter's engineers to the bone, giving hard deadlines to do their jobs working on the features he wants to implement. 

So no more in-office yoga, latte-sipping and wine breaks for Twitter's previously pampered employees, who are now facing the real prospect of having to do their jobs, at risk of getting fired. Imagine that. Twitter is an actual workplace now, not an adult daycare center, and it’s all thanks to Elon Musk, a man who knows how to run a successful company. Do Tesla and SpaceX ring any bells? You don’t become the world’s richest man by being bad at your job. 

As Musk himself pointed out in a Tweet, Twitter has too many managers for the amount of people it has doing actual jobs. And he intends to get rid of them. While he may not be getting rid of 75% of Twitter’s workforce, his efforts to streamline the company are definitely shaking the place up.

Musk’s demands have workers up in arms. Reports have emerged that he is demanding that some employees work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, to meet the deadlines for his changes. Over a thousand workers have left Twitter since Musk started the process of buying the platform, and a few high-ranking executives, including the CEO, were fired immediately after he completed the purchase.

The most sympathy for them is coming from journalists who want Musk gone. After all, with him in charge, they no longer have Twitter as an echo chamber all to themselves.

Musk’s shakeup of Twitter has more than just a few journalists and disgruntled employees riled. The establishment political class, which has long used the platform to promote its own take on reality, is now using the tools of government to make his life miserable.

According to the Washington Post, officials at the US Treasury Department are looking into whether they have the legal authority to investigate his purchase of Twitter due to his close ties to foreign governments and investors, including investors from countries supposedly hostile to the United States.

But why now? Why not before, when investors from Saudi Arabia and companies such as Blackrock, which has close ties to the Chinese government, bought massive chunks of Twitter stock? Why is it only a problem when Musk wants to do it? Did the government take as much of an interest in Jeff Bezos when he bought the Washington Post? How about the fact that Amazon is pretty cozy with the Chinese government, which as we all know isn’t exactly on the friendliest of terms with Washington?

So, according to the Washington Post, officials from the Treasury are concerned because large foreign investors could potentially have access to confidential information about Twitter’s finances, and potentially its users. The government is reportedly also concerned about Musk’s ties to the China-based crypto exchange company Binance.

According to the report, the FBI is also looking into potential counterintelligence risks posed by Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. Never mind the fact that the agency was just exposed by the Intercept for colluding with Big Tech companies to censor political conversations. I’m sure Musk is the real threat to democracy here when law enforcement authorities are actively trying to prevent people from talking about topics that make certain politicians and their sons look bad.

The report in the Washington Post comes in the wake of an earlier report about how the White House was mulling whether to subject Musk’s business dealings to national security reviews. Specifically, the government wanted to look into his purchase of Twitter and SpaceX’s satellite network. The White House denied the claims, so we don’t know for certain if it was ever officially planned – but the idea was most definitely floated to the press by someone working in the administration.

In addition to being subject to a potential review by the Treasury Department, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy has publicly requested that the CFIUS, or the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, investigate Musk’s purchase of Twitter. The senator says he’s concerned about Saudi Arabia’s so-called purchase of Twitter – never mind the fact that direct Saudi acquisition of Twitter stock years ago didn’t trigger any such investigation. Once again, it’s only a problem now because it’s Elon Musk and they want to take him down for having the temerity to challenge the establishment with his advocacy of free speech.

Maybe some smart lawyers will step in and decide that nothing he’s done merits an investigation so that they can save themselves the expense of using taxpayer dollars to fund frivolous investigations and lawsuits against Musk. It’s doubtful that they’ll ever catch anything – assuming it goes any further.

All the efforts to take down Musk only further prove the point that those in charge don’t like having their authority questioned.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/news/565867-elon-musk-changes-twitter/

 

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Image at top: CHARLIE HEBDO SEES A DIFFERENT OUTCOME ("MUSK OPENS THE BLOCKED FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION". TO SOME EXTEND, FREEDOM OF SPEECH SHOULD BE PARAMOUNT WHETHER THE SPEECH IS TRUE OR NOT (SEE OBAMA).....

musk's "mistake".....

Ukrainian First Lady Elena Zelenskaya hopes billionaire Tesla co-founder Elon Musk merely made a “chance mistake” when he tweeted a plan for peace between Kiev and Moscow last month, she told The Guardian in an interview published on Thursday.

She explained that Ukrainians “admired” the SpaceX CEO not only for assisting the country’s military with 25,000 free Starlink internet terminals, but for “support[ing] Ukraine from the very first day.” However, that made it “extremely sensitive for us to read the tweet” outlining Musk’s peace plan for the country.

 

The president’s wife, however, argued he might just be momentarily stupid or duped by propaganda, rather than malicious. “Let’s be honest, even the smartest person can’t say the smartest things 24 hours a day. There are mistakes. And we hope it was a chance mistake,” she said.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/russia/565920-zelenska-elon-musk-peace-mistake/

 

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MUSK DOES NOT MAKE THIS KIND OF MISTAKE... HE KNOWS WHAT IS BEST AND FAIR and voices it, BUT THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MS ZELENSKY WON'T HAVE A BAR OF IT. SO MUSK PLAYS THE GAME... I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF THE RUSSIANS WERE NOT SUPPLIED WITH THE DECODING PASSES, BECOMING FULLY AWARE ABOUT WHAT THE NAZI UKRAINIANS ARE UP TO THE MINUTE. THE RUSSIANS WOULD ALSO BE AWARE OF THE FALSE INFORMATION COMING THEIR WAY FROM THESE STARLINK CHANNELS... 

 

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not free forever.....

Some 1,300 Starlink satellite terminals went offline in Ukraine last week due to a failure to pay the military’s internet bills, deepening fears that the country will no longer be able to afford the pricey satellite service, two sources familiar with the situation told CNN on Friday.  

The terminals, all part of a block purchased from a British company in March, began to go dark on October 24 for lack of funding, causing a “huge problem” for the military that depended upon them. Aware the bill was coming due and that they would be unable to pay it, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense asked its UK allies for $3.25 million to cover the monthly cost and rotated the terminals out of use so they wouldn’t wink out at a critical moment. However, their request was turned down.  

Starlink parent company SpaceX alerted the Pentagon in September that it could no longer pay the full cost of Ukraine’s Starlink usage, asking Washington to pick up the slack, according to CNN. With approximately 25,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine, Musk estimated the military’s use of the service would cost nearly $400 million over the next 12 months. Fewer than 11,000 were being paid for at the time he wrote to the Pentagon. 

Musk then appeared to change his mind about footing the bill for the service a few days later, tweeting “We’ll just keep funding Ukraine for free.”  

However, a senior defense official told CNN SpaceX has continued negotiating with the Pentagon, adding that officials are eager to get Musk to commit resources in writing because they fear he will change his mind. 

He has reportedly refused to operate Starlink in Crimea, fearing this would invite an escalation from Moscow, while Western media have accused him of hindering the network's operation by Ukrainian troops in Russian-controlled areas, which Musk denies. Last month, he warned that even though the company has “diverted massive resources toward defense” as the Russian military attempts to take the system out, “Starlink may still die.”

Moscow believes Starlink is a legitimate target, reasoning that the US and its allies have been using “elements of the civilian space infrastructure, including commercial, for military purposes.” Because this “essentially constitutes an involvement in military action through a proxy,” the “quasi-civilian” satellite network is fair game, Russian diplomat Konstantin Vorontsov told the UN last month.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/russia/565976-starlink-outage-ukraine-payment-musk/

 

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miffed biden.....

By acquiring Twitter last month, Elon Musk took charge of a social media platform that “spews lies all across the world,” US President Joe Biden said on Friday.

The comment came shortly after reports emerged that Musk had fired thousands of Twitter employees globally as part of a cost-cutting strategy. Sources told Politico that those laid off included members of teams working on the upcoming midterm elections in the US, content moderation, and verification of politicians’ accounts.

“Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that spews lies all across the world,” Biden said during a Democratic fundraiser in Rosemont, Illinois, referring to the purchase of Twitter by the world’s richest man.

There’s no editors anymore in America,” he said, as quoted by CNN.

AND JOE ADDED: "THE LAST EDITOR WE KNOW OF IS IN PRISON IN THE UK: JULIAN ASSANGE... WE ARE MAKING SURE HE DOES NOT SEE DAYLIGHT AGAIN..."

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/news/565985-biden-musk-twitter-lies/

 

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destroying capitalism with 44 billions.....

 

BY Bradley Blankenship

 

Twitter Blue was the most effective anti-capitalist tool ever

 

Elon Musk’s takeover has been a hilarious disaster

 

 

If you’re anything like me then you hate billionaires. In fact, more than that, you also really, really hate the corporations that dominate our day-to-day life. The ongoing controversy surrounding social media platform Twitter, particularly its now-defunct ‘Blue’ paid verification scheme, is embarrassing the world’s richest man and causing large multinationals to lose tens of billions in market capitalization.

At the end of October, billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk completed a $44-million deal to take over Twitter. He immediately cut thousands of jobs, including many in the communications department and from high-ranking positions in charge of trust and safety. Then Twitter Blue, a service that provides official verification for an $8-per-month fee, was rolled out. Chaos ensued after that and the service was suspended.

To be specific, tons of impersonators posed as prominent public figures. We saw the fake accounts of George W. Bush and Tony Blair lament that they miss killing Iraqis; meanwhile, someone pretending to be OJ Simpson admitted to murder. But what was more consequential was the fact that large brands were impersonated. 

For instance, an account claiming to be pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co said the company was giving away free insulin and immediately plunged its stocks. An account supposedly representing Lockheed Martin also said it was halting weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US pending human-rights investigations. The weapons contractor also saw its stocks crater in response to these tweets.

The list goes on. Companies like Chiquita, American Girl, Roblox, BP and Tesla, as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) were impersonated by Twitter users and made controversial statements. These ranged from praising apartheid in Israel to saying that a fruit company had overthrown Brazil’s government. 

For its part, Twitter is in hot water over this situation. That’s obviously why it suspended its verification system, and, at the same time, Elon Musk has said the company could face bankruptcy in the near future. There’s no doubt that the social media platform has lost significant value since the Tesla CEO’s takeover, probably to the tune of several billion. The roll-out of Twitter Blue was a predictable disaster that posed serious challenges to advertisers, clearly, which is why they’ve bounced from the social media platform.

But even though it’s true that this was a very ill-advised decision on Musk’s part, he has inadvertently created the most formidable anti-capitalist weapon in modern history all at the cost of $8. Anyone with a few bucks in their pocket could, until just days ago, shave off billions in value from an evil company that is destroying the planet, threatening global security or engaged in war crimes. That’s a remarkable thing. 

At least it would have been remarkable if it would have been left alone and not shut down. Still, there were enough accounts that got through – with, at the same time, a skimped-down trust and safety network – that means impersonators are still common and misinformation is everywhere. If you load your timeline, you’re sure to see countless examples of fake news from verified accounts that you would otherwise be inclined to trust at first glance prior to Twitter Blue’s roll-out. The public square as we knew it is no more – and that might push people to new, better platforms.

Twitter’s advantages are numerous. It allows you to read the news, which could be replaceable by just reading news outlets directly. You can also read people’s thoughts unfiltered, which could boost the number of newsletter subscriptions down the road. You could also just use a messaging platform like WhatsApp or Telegram to message people, in case that’s what you use the bird for. Or you could just take your connections to the real world and ditch social media altogether. 

At any rate, the social media platform’s meteoric rise and immediate tanking when Elon Musk took power are hilarious. The richest man in the world has been left with egg on his face after going forward with buying Twitter, which is something no one seriously thought he wanted to do in the first place. But now he’s stuck with a broken application and accumulating debt to the point that, as stated before, the company could just flat-out go bankrupt. 

And the only casualties in this entire scandal besides Musk’s reputation have been the stock valuation of some dastardly companies that are, frankly, evil. Again, if you’re anything like me then word of Twitter’s implosion is good news to you. That’s probably because you recognize how unforgivably unequal our society is and believe in some form of poetic justice for the people and entities perpetuating the system.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/news/566547-twitter-blue-elon-musk-disaster/

 

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exposing FTX semite connection.........

By 

"Kanye Was Right" – Black CoinDesk Journalist Fired for Noticing That Everyone at FTX Was Jew

 

READ MORE:

https://www.unz.com/aanglin/kanye-was-right-black-coindesk-journalist-fired-for-noticing-that-everyone-at-ftx-was-jew/

 

 

MEANWHILE:

The collapsed crypto exchange FTX expects to have more than 1 million individual creditors, the company has said in its first bankruptcy filing, scattered across more than 100 companies in the wider group.

According to the filing at the bankruptcy court in the US state of Delaware, where FTX US is based, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and chief executive, stepped down at 4.30am on Friday, “after consultation with his own legal counsel”.

 

“FTX faced a severe liquidity crisis that necessitated the filing of these cases on an emergency basis last Friday,” the documents say. “Questions arose about Mr Bankman-Fried’s leadership and the handling of FTX’s complex array of assets and businesses under his direction.”

The new leadership of the company has been in contact with a large number of law enforcement organisations, the filing confirms, including “the US Attorney’s Office, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and dozens of federal, state and international regulatory agencies”.

Typically, the Delaware bankruptcy court requires the company to file a list of the 20 largest unsecured debtors but FTX has requested permission to do things differently: because it has more than 100 companies filing for bankruptcy as one bloc, it wants to amalgamate all the claims into one list of 50 people and organisations.

“There are over 100,000 creditors in these Chapter 11 cases. In fact, there could be more than one million creditors in these Chapter 11 cases,” the lawyers say. “The debtors anticipate overlap among the various debtors’ creditor lists, and certain debtors may have fewer than 20 significant unsecured creditors.” The company has also asked permission to file notice by email, rather than post.

While depositors in a cryptocurrency exchange may feel similar to bank account holders, they have far less legal protection. In the case of a collapsed exchange such as FTX, they are simply unsecured creditors, and legally stand to be some of the last creditors to recover funds, far behind bank loans and slightly ahead of equity owners.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/15/crypto-exchange-ftx-creditors-bankruptcy-filing-sam-bankman-fried

 

 CONTINUES: Yet for some reason, Jews freak out if you point out that Jews hold all of these coincidental positions of power, and are often associated with financial crimes or other clear misdeeds. If it didn’t reflect on Jews as a whole, they would not care if you pointed it out.

In the above example of people of Irish origin in Ohio being overrepresented among people committing misdeeds, this theoretically did reflect badly on people of Irish origin, though no one ever thought to get mad about it. Most people with Irish last names were not associated with misdeeds, so it was just a funny thing. It is not intuitive to get mad unless you yourself are personally implicated.

Jackson has completely refused to back down. He noted that all he is doing is recognizing a pattern.

 

Niggas can’t even recognize patterns anymore  

Just stay deaf, dumb and blind to the bullshit and take this little money for your trouble.

That day is done.

 

APPARENTLY, THE "ANTISEMITE" TWEETS NOT BEING DELETED, SHOWS THAT ELON MUSK SAVED TWITTER FROM CENSORSHIP....

 

SEE ALSO:

krash.....

 

 

 

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their "democracy"....

 

 

By Craig Murray
CraigMurray.org.uk

 

NOTE: This is is what I think of as a signpost article — it points you to something the mainstream media is deliberately not giving the prominence it needs, but I have no personal expertise or inside knowledge to give you. I am just giving you a start to get going. Several readers will have a much better understanding than I, and I encourage you to give your thoughts in [comments below at CraigMurray.org.uk.].

 

The FTX story seems truly remarkable. From being founded only in 2017 it rose to be a “partner organisation” of the World Economic Forum and the second largest donor to U.S. President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ mid-term election campaign. It has now gone completely bust, taking every penny of its depositors’ money with it.

That is some trajectory.

The World Economic Forum has deleted its FTX page, but the Wayback machine has it:

I suppose it is inevitable that dodgy chancers would create derivatives markets for gambling on crypto, but I confess I had not given the matter much thought. It goes without saying that in those five years the founder of FTX had managed to take a huge personal fortune out of the company before it went bust.

FTX was a one-man company belonging to Sam Bankman-Fried. The board consisted of him, an employee and the company lawyer. Over $20 billion of investors’ funds from FTX were funneled to a fund management company, Alameda Research, also owned by Sam Bankman-Fried.

Bankman-Fried donated $37 million to the Democrats for the 2022 elections. Every penny of that originated with duped FTX investors. That is in addition to the $5 million given to the Biden 2020 campaign. FTX, of course, crashed instantly after those mid-term elections, which is interesting timing.

The BBC and The Guardian were constantly bombarding us with the term “democracy denier” in their coverage of the U.S. elections, strangely not in reference to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s ludicrous claims that Russian interference was the cause of her loss in 2016.

I view as a joke any notion that the U.S. is a democracy. Democracy is about giving citizens a choice of political direction. The 2022 elections saw a simply incredible expenditure on campaigning of $ 9.7 billion. Yes, nearly $10 billion. This is not democracy. It is a huge exercise in corporate control from which the ordinary citizen is frozen out.

Despite an aggressive tribalism which has stalemated the political system for decades, the difference in policy platform between Democrats and Republicans is highly marginal, with no alternative on offer to rampant and uninhibited commercial exploitation of the population by the super-wealthy.

The Democrats are marginally more keen on attacking other countries; the Republicans are marginally more against measures to curb carbon emissions. Vaunted differences on immigration and welfare turn out to be very small indeed, with very little changing when the White House does.

American elections are simply about the super-rich funneling in vast donations, expecting to benefit when their team gets its nose in the trough, or often donating to both sides to benefit either way.

I am not sure what the connection to democracy is supposed to be.

One simple fact illustrates the true nature of the bribery fest. By far the majority of the funds channeled through Political Action Committees, or PACs, are given to incumbents who face no serious threat to re-election anyway.

The PACs are interested in bribing those in power, not changing those in power. They are simply lobby groups with an opportunity for legal bribery. To illustrate that, the largest donating PACs are:

National Association of Realtors
National Beer Wholesalers Association
American Israel Public Affairs Committee 
Credit Union National Association 
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
American Crystal Sugar

It is worth noting that Bankman-Fried donated 10 times as much as the largest PAC donation. This brought access — he and his brother had meetings inside the White House on March 7, April 22 and May 12.

It is perhaps unsurprising therefore that FTX was involved in Ukraine, offering to exchange cryptocurrency for fiat and send it to Ukraine in an official partnership with the Ukrainian government. This from their press release

“Aid For Ukraine is cooperating with the cryptocurrency exchange FTX which converts crypto funds received into fiat and sends the donations to the National Bank of Ukraine. This marks the first-ever instance of a cryptocurrency exchange directly cooperating with a public financial entity to provide a conduit for crypto donations. Earlier this month, FTX already converted $1 million worth of SOL and transferred it to the National Bank of Ukraine.”

 

The collapse of the Bankman Fried scam was allegedly caused by hackers stealing what should have been a comparatively small portion of the assets of FTX, had they not been hived off elsewhere. Doubtless we will shortly hear from state salaried conspiracy theorists that this was Russia/Guccifer/an ISP address traced by Bellingcat to inside the Kremlin.

What we really have here is an Allen Stanford for 2022, with added political connections.

 

We would do well to heed the advice of crypto developer Nikolai Mushegian, who had as his Twitter profile: “Larpers who self-style as CEOs or CTOs or VCs are a bigger problem than the establishment. They can’t build anything and will sell you out in 2 seconds.”

His final tweet was posted on Oct. 28:

 

CIA and Mossad and pedo elite are running some kind of sex trafficking entrapment blackmail ring out of Puerto Rico and caribbean islands. They are going to frame me with a laptop planted by my ex gf who was a spy. They will torture me to death.

 

The next day he drowned in the sea off a beach in Puerto Rico, where he lived. He was fully clothed including a jacket. The police are not treating it as homicide so presumably their theory is suicide by wading out to sea.

 

States of course have a massive incentive to destroy non-fiat currencies, or convert them into a new category of regulation. I am interested in the current discussion on smart state digital currencies where the state can track, control and block any transaction and know in real time exactly where each citizen or entity is spending or keeping every penny.

It occurs to me this is the wrong way round. The state belongs to its citizens, not the citizens to the state. We should be able to track online every single penny of public money in real time and see how it is spent. Imagine being able to follow every penny of the billions the Tories spent on fraudulent PPE contracts, for example.

The only people whose personal currency should be able to be tracked are those who hold, or have held, positions of power in the state. Their wealth and dealings should be available in great detail to public view. As for the rest of us, our money is ours and we are entitled to privacy.

 

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

This article is from CraigMurray.org.uk.

 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

 

READ MORE:

https://consortiumnews.com/2022/11/15/craig-murray-ftx-the-joke-of-us-democracy/

 

READ ABOVE....

 

OTHER ARTICLES POINT TO FTX BEING A LAUNDERING MONEY OPERATION....

 

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corrupt ukraine......

The Ukrainian government mysteriously disappeared online records of its fundraising arrangement with the FTX crypto scam just days before the scandal erupted. The initiative claims to have raised $60 million for Ukraine, but where did the money go?

 

By Kit Klarenberg / The Grayzone

The demise of FTX, the fifth-biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume in 2022, and the second-largest by holdings, has sent a wave of chaos through global financial markets. 

As the turbulence grows, the government of Ukraine is conducting an ongoing cleanup and whitewashing operation to rid any and all references to a high-level cryptocurrency fundraising arrangement it struck with FTX from the web. Eerily, it seems to have commenced just days before the scandal erupted. 

Online records unearthed by The Grayzone claim tens of millions were raised by FTX for the Ukrainian government, and put to a variety of belligerent uses. But with the company now exposed as a Potemkin village lacking underlying assets, and major question marks hanging over whether its operations were from day one fraudulent top to bottom, where does that leave the supposedly successful donation scheme? Were those sums truly raised, and if so, to what purposes were they actually put?

FTX’s destruction resulted from a mass sell-off of the company’s native bitcoin token, FTT, by the rival exchange, Binance. Its value plummeted, prompting a three-day “run” on billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency, which in turn created – or exposed – a “liquidity crisis” within FTX, as it did not have the available assets required to redeem client withdrawals. FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11th. 

FTX founder and top Democrat Party donor Sam Bankman-Fried now faces criminal investigations in the Bahamas, where the exchange was headquartered, and calls for official investigations into the largely unregulated cryptocurrency industry are reverberating across the globe.

The sudden death of FTX has been compared to the 2008 disintegration of Lehman Brothers that precipitated the financial crisis.

Massive customer holdings have apparently gone missing thanks to a secret “back door” in the FTX bookkeeping system that allowed Bankman-Fried to make changes to the company’s financial records without any accountability. This connivance may have been used to hide at least $10 billion in client funds Bankman-Fried transferred from exchange to another company he founded, digital asset trader Alameda Research. 

While mainstream media pores over the details of Bankman-Fried’s gargantuan crypto scam, not one single major outlet has investigated or even acknowledged FTX’s relationship with the government of Ukraine. 

Were client holdings unaccountably and illegally funneled into the West’s proxy war? Or did the supposed aid FTX sent to Kiev find its way into the hands of Ukrainian scammers, corrupt warlords and illicit actors? 

The corporate media’s failure to explore these questions appears all the more perverse given Bankman-Fried’s flamboyant promotion of his intimate financial relationship with the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

 

FTX pledges to “turn bitcoin into bullets, bandages and other war materiel” for Ukraine

The partnership between FTX and the Ukrainian government was first publicized on March 14th when the leading cryptocurrency website CoinDesk announced Kiev had launched a dedicated webpage for cryptocurrency donations dubbed Aid for Ukraine.

Under its auspices, FTX pledged to “convert crypto contributions to Ukraine’s war effort into fiat for deposit” at the National Bank of Kiev, allowing the embattled government to “turn bitcoin into bullets, bandages and other war materiel.” CoinDesk stated the initiative “deepens an unprecedented tie-up between public and private sector forces in crypto.” 

Oleksandr Bornyakov, an official at Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, hinted to CoinDesk about an “upcoming NFT collection” auction to “give the next boost to the crypto fundraising process.”

(Bornyakov’s Ministry of Digital Transformation played a key role in the successful, Zelensky-led campaign to cancel The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate’s appearance at Web Summit, a major international gathering of the tech industry in Lisbon, Portugal). 

In a press release accompanying the announcement of the FTX partnership with Ukraine, Bankman-Fried explained that, “at the onset of the conflict in Ukraine, FTX felt the need to provide assistance in any way it could.” He promised that the arrangement provided “the ability to deliver aid and resources to the people who need it most.”

 

Kiev disappears Aid for Ukraine site days before FTX scandal goes public

The Aid for Ukraine webpage has now been deleted, but can still be accessed via the Internet Archive. Until very recently, it encouraged visitors to “help Ukraine with crypto” and pleaded, “don’t leave us alone with the enemy.” 

The site featured promotional quotes from an assortment of Ukrainian government officials and bitcoin bros – among them, FTX’s founder.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, thanked “the crypto community” for funding the purchase of helmets, bulletproof vests, and night vision devices. For his part, Bankman-Fried declared himself “incredibly excited and humbled” to “support crypto donations to Ukraine.”

The last available Internet Archive capture of Aid for Ukraine” took place on the afternoon of October 26th. Throughout the webpage’s existence, the Internet Archive captured multiple snapshots of it weekly. This clearly indicates the page was purged by Kiev in late October, several days before the FTX crisis initially broke out.

Once it was deleted, the Ukrainian government created a standalone website on November 1st to promote the endeavor. The page was identical, and quotes from Bankman-Fried, and references to FTX’s involvement and its logo, remained in place until the morning of November 15th.

Was the original webpage’s dumping and erasure, and the shift to a totally new interface, at that time merely a spooky coincidence, or were the Ukrainians warned of what was coming? What did Kiev know, and when did it know it?

 

Bankman-Fried channeled millions to Biden through “stealth” PAC

Though FTX has been accused of serving as a money laundering vehicle for the US Democratic Party, concrete evidence supporting this claim has yet to materialize. But given Bankman-Fried’s background as one of the most prolific donors to the Democrats, and the role he played as a nexus between party power-brokers and the cryptocurrency sphere, the allegations are understandable. 

Bankman-Fried is the son of Stanford law professor Barbara Friedman, founder of a shadowy Super PAC called Mind the Gap which quietly channeled millions to Democratic party candidates, primarily from nameless Silicon Valley investors. 

The organization has no website or social media footprint, and its founders do not advertise their involvement publicly. Chosen through complex data analysis, beneficiaries of the Super PAC often have no idea themselves who or what has donated to their campaigns.

“The raison d’être is stealth,” an individual “with ties to the organization” told Vox back in 2020.

Bankman-Fried establishment of FTX in April 2019 – the same month Joe Biden announced his 2020 Presidential run – has added to the intrigue surrounding the scandal. Once vast sums started flowing into and through the FTX exchange, its founder channeled profits into Biden’s campaign coffers. Oddly, Bankman-Fried had no prior history of political giving.

Throughout the 2020 campaign, Bankman-Fried gifted over $5 million to Biden and groups supporting him. This reportedly helped fuel a potentially decisive “nine-figure, eleventh-hour blitz of TV advertising” targeting swing states, and made the crypto bro the second-largest donor to the president, right behind Michael Bloomberg.

Bankman-Fried claimed this wellspring of generosity was “motivated less by specific issues than by the Biden team’s ‘generic stability and decision-making process.’” Such an apparent lack of enthusiasm for the President stands at odds with the staggering sums he has pumped into Democratic party coffers ever since. 

In 2022 alone, Bankman-Fried lavished almost $40 million on Democratic candidates, campaigns, and PACs. The giving spree made him the second-largest individual donor to Democratic causes, behind liberal venture capitalist George Soros. 

More recently, Bankman-Fried pledged to donate a staggering $1 billion between this year and 2024 to ensure a Democratic victory in the next presidential vote. On October 14th, however, he completely backtracked, branding the investment a “dumb” move. Something scandalous was brewing behind the scenes.

One week later, the Texas State Securities Board announced it was investigating FTX on suspicion of selling unregistered securities. The development went largely unnoticed by the media. To the extent it generated any interest at all, it was framed as just one of several examples of financial authorities scrutinizing crypto players.

 

What happened to the $60 million raised by Aid for Ukraine?

If FTX was indeed laundering funds for the proxy war in Ukraine, the slightest indication that regulators were investigating its operations would have triggered alarm bells throughout Washington – and by extension, Kiev. This may be why the Ukrainian government switched the Aid for Ukraine webpage with a dedicated website, and scrubbed the original entirely from the internet just days after the announcement.

Also curious are the Internet Archive captures of the Aid for Ukraine website that show records of funds purportedly flowing to Kiev via Bitcoin had not been updated since July. At the time, the webpage reported that over $60 million had been raised by the “community.” This figure is reflected on the updated standalone Aid for Ukraine fundraising site.

A breakdown of spending on the new Aid for Ukraine website states Kiev had spent a total of $54,573,622 in cryptocurrency donations by July 7th on a wide variety of equipment, vehicles, drones, “lethal equipment” and other resources. One of the biggest single expenditures was $5,250,519 on a “worldwide anti-war media campaign,” the details of which would only “be published after our victory” due to “security reasons.”

Ukrainian government officials and private sector actors involved in the operation of Aid for Ukraine have scoffed at suggestions of impropriety regarding its use, but have only raised further questions with their denials.

Oleksandr Bornyakov of Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation declared that Aid for Ukraine simply used FTX to “convert donations into fiat in March.” The CEO of Everstake, the “validator” company that in theory guaranteed crypto funds donated via Aid for Ukraine reached Kiev’s Ministry of Defense, also thanked “every crypto holder for donating…in those early day [sic], when every cent and every minute was crucial.” 

Taken in tandem, these comments suggest Aid for Ukraine was set up purely to receive donations in the initial stages of the war, and the $60 million figure represents sums received and converted in the weeks immediately following the launch of the initiative. This interpretation is reinforced by an Everstake staffer’s presentation at a cryptocurrency conference at Web Summit on November 1st, on the subject of “raising [over] $60m in crypto for Ukraine.”

But an Internet Archive capture of Aid for Ukraine on April 1st adds to the confusion, showing that two-and-a-half-weeks after the initiative launched, the webpage was updated to claim “over $70 million” had been raised from crypto donors. This was revised down to “over $60 million” five days later. 

More strangely, Aid for Ukraine records show that from the time of the initiative’s launch to April 14th, a total of $45,103,538 was spent. This means just $9,470,084 was spent between April 14 and July 7th, a period in which the war developed into a “bloody war of attrition” according to The Guardian.

This leaves a gap of at least $5.5 million in the money Aid for Ukraine claimed to have raised in its initial weeks, and the funds it says it distributed in Ukraine. 

The disparity was confirmed in a tweet by the official Aid for Ukraine Twitter account, posted on the evening of November 15th, which stated that “out of $60 million received, $54 million have already been spent on Ukraine’s humanitarian and military needs.” 

This implies that no further funds of any size were received after early April, and the total has remained static ever since, despite the resource being open for donations. Which would be highly unusual.

The government of Ukraine, FTX, and Everstake all now have serious questions to answer. Namely, why the funds purportedly raised appear to have decreased in a span of a few days, why no donations have been received since then on the Aid for Ukraine webpage or its new website, how much has been donated since the alleged initial influx, and where did the rest of the money go?

Ukraine: a black hole for Western aid

Stories of potential financial impropriety by Ukrainian officials and the country’s military are invariably ignored or outright buried by the Western media. An August exposé by the Kyiv Independent documented wide-ranging abuses by the leadership of a wing of the International Legion, including sexual harassment, looting, threatening soldiers at gunpoint and sending them unprepared on reckless missions. Though the Kyiv Independent often influences Western media’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict, this story was completely ignored in mainstream quarters.

That same month, CBS broadcast an investigative feature revealing that only 30 percent of Western arm shipments to Ukraine ever reach the frontline. Due to intense backlash from the Pentagon and other powerful sources, CBS temporarily pulled its own documentary and an accompanying promotional trailer and article from the web. The feature has since been “updated” to claim that “the situation has significantly improved” since filming, and “a much larger quantity now gets where it’s supposed to go.”

When it comes to Ukraine, Democrats at the highest levels are also immensely skilled at burying embarrassing stories. In December 2015, Joe Biden coerced Kiev’s then-leader Petro Poroshenko into firing prosecutor general Viktor Shokin as a condition for the US underwriting a $1 billion IMF loan to Ukraine.

“I’m going to be leaving here in six hours. If [Shokin] is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Biden threatened. 

With Shokin’s firing, the experienced lawyer’s ongoing probe into the energy giant Burisma ended as well. Which meant that Burisma’s most famous board member, Hunter Biden, the son of then-US Vice President’s son, eluded official scrutiny. 

Now, a politically connected crypto-billionaire who used a secret financial “back door” to fleece customers of ungodly sums of money has become the latest character in the saga of shady US aid to Ukraine. And though the collapse of his FTX firm is front page news, mainstream outlets are studiously avoiding the Ukraine angle.

 

READ MORE:

https://scheerpost.com/2022/11/16/ftx-partnership-with-ukraine-is-latest-chapter-in-shady-western-aid-saga/

 

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