Apr 19 2010

On almost every news site, we can see regular requests for money.

I have been operating this site for years without asking for anything but there are now growing, but not huge, costs involved in producing this and so it is that we have a “donate” button to help defray expenses.

No, we won’t have to sell our children to the medical experimenters if we don’t raise $200,000 by next Thursday but as the fat man said, every little bit helps.

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TBR News December 15, 2018

Dec 15 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 15, 2018: it would appear that the Chinese, with full consent of their government, have been faking literally hundreds of gold and silver coins; some bullion and some numismatic, and been dumping them, in huge numbers, on the public.

I have a list of the mints or firms in China that make these coins, which coins they make, how these coins are sent into the United States, who the middlemen are, who the retail outlets are and so on.

The Chinese government is a partner in all of this, getting gold and silver to the counterfeiters and easing any export problems because they are furious that President Obama dared to raise the interest rates on American T-bills. As this act effectively diminished the value of the Chinese massive holdings and as they demanded that Obama not raise the interest rate, something he refused to consider, they are now finding a way to profit from the coin sales.

The coins include all the Morgan dollars, every year and every mint, rare coins attributed to an entirely fake “SS New York” sinking off Galveston, most, if not all, of US gold coinage from the mid-19 century to present, copies of the so-called pillar dollars of Carlos III, rare California gold purporting to come from the entirely legitimate but controlled findings from the SS Central America” and so on. Of course they have made up Romanov silver and gold Nicolas II coins for the Russian market, alleged “original” gold bars, and on and on. Also, I have been told, very clearly, exactly how these fakes can be detected by even the most amateur collector.


The Table of Contents 

  • Thousands of ‘yellow vests’ hit French streets in fifth Saturday of protests
  • Protests turn violent as Yellow Vests clash with police
  • France counting up billions in lost revenues after weeks of Yellow Vest protests
  • Reasons to worry? Trump endures turbulent week – with signs of worse to come
  • Trump’s Lies Are a Virus, and News Organizations Are the Host
  • The Battle Inside the Political Parties for the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Politics cloud felon voting rights restoration in Florida
  • The CIA’s Russian Manipulations
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Continue Reading »

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TBR News December 14, 2018

Dec 14 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 14, 2018: “The negative activities of Donald Trump have one positive aspect: they are creating a polarization of public opinion in the United States and many organizations, and individuals, are ignoring previous prejudices and beginning to band together in a perceived conflict with a common enemy. More women, black people and political activists are getting elected to public office so that soon enough, Congress will be far more representative of the public than the current membership is. Some negative attitudes product highly positive effects.”

The Table of Contents 

  • Mueller inquiry a ‘field day’ for white-collar lawyers as they rake in millions
  • Cohen says Trump knew of hush payments, ‘doesn’t tell the truth’
  • Big Washington clean-up bill leads House Democrats’ list
  • Round five: Yellow Vests prepare for massive ‘Macron resign’ protest on Saturday
  • Paris braces for fifth weekend of protests by gilets jaunes
  • Facebook ‘sorry’ after new bug exposes millions of photos
  • Migrant caravan: Girl dies after being taken into custody at Mexico-US border
  • Courts likely to strike down Republican lame-duck power grabs, experts say
  • North Carolina governor vetoes photo ID bill
  • November 2018 Disapproval Rating of Trump’s Presidency
  • A new Washington Post Fact Checker poll
  • The MERS Fraud
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Continue Reading »

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TBR News December 23, 2018

Dec 13 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 13, 2018: “Zero Hedge is a very eccentric Austrian economics-based finance blog run by a pseudonymous founder who posts articles under the name “Tyler Durden,” after the character from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. It has accurately predicted 200 of the last 2 recessions.

“Tyler” claims to be a “believer in a sweeping conspiracy that casts the alumni of Goldman Sachs as a powerful cabal at the helm of U.S. policy, with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve colluding to preserve the status quo.” While this is not an entirely unreasonable statement of the problem, his solution actually mirrors the antagonist in Fight Club: Tyler wants, per Austrian school ideas, to lead a catastrophic market crash in order to destroy banking institutions and bring back “real” free market capitalism.

The site posts nearly indecipherable, and generally bizarre, analyses of multiple and seemingly unrelated subjects that are intended  to point towards a consistent theme of economic collapse “any day now.” “ Tyler” seems to repeat The Economic Collapse Blog’s idea of posting blog articles many times a day and encouraging people to post it as far and wide as humanly possible. “Tyler” moves away from the format of long lists to write insanely dense volumes filled with generally contradicting jargon that makes one wonder if the writers even know what the words actually mean. The site first appeared in early 2009, meaning that (given “Tyler’s” psychotic habit of denying each and every positive data point), anyone listening to him from the beginning missed the entire 2009-2014 rally in the equities market.

The only writer conclusively identified is one Dan Ivandjiiski, a Bulgarian former medical student, who conducts public interviews on behalf of Zero Hedge. This hysterical blog came online several days after he lost his job at Wexford Capital, a Connecticut-based hedge fund (run by a former Goldman trader). And Ivandjiiski chose his pen name from a nihilistic psychotic delusion.

Zero Hedge is not quite the NaturalNews of economics, but not for want of trying.

This entertaining nonsense is in the same category as the pompous, and often rewritten, political blog, the Drudge Report and the “Sorcha Faal” screeching about the fictional “Planet X.” And for even more light-weight entertainment, look at the conspiracy blogs of “Dr.” Paul Fetzer and Tom Hengehan. Since the media has virtually done away with comic strips, these are all that is left to entertain a bored reader. These sort of babblings also entertain a legion of the feeble-minded conspiracy freaks that flock to the strange Internet sites like flies to shit.”


The Table of Contents 

  • Who wants to be Donald Trump’s lawyer? He needs a good one
  • Tabloid Publisher’s Deal in Hush-Money Inquiry Adds to Trump’s Danger
  • Senators vote to end US backing for Saudi war on Yemen
  • US Senate passes resolution blaming Saudi Prince MBS for Jamal Khashoggi murder
  • The official tri-nation report on the sinking of the MV Estonia
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Who wants to be Donald Trump’s lawyer? He needs a good one

His previous lawyer, Michael Cohen, is about to go to jail. Meanwhile his actual lawyer is failing miserably at the job – and the legal challenges are mounting

December 13, 2018

by Richard Wolffe

The Guardian

Who wants to be Donald Trump’s lawyer?

No, seriously. Among all the positions normally considered to be the worst jobs ever – sewer engineer, decomposition cleaner, British prime minister – it surely ranks as even less desirable than Trump’s chief of staff: a job that literally nobody wants. No matter how many imaginary applicants Trump sees lining up outside the West Wing.

Trump’s last lawyer, Michael Cohen, is now preparing for a long cold spell inside the slammer next year. Meanwhile, the man currently purporting to represent the 45th president of the United States is hawking himself around Bahrain looking for other clients.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, now styles himself as one of the leading lights of Trump’s defense team. This is a stretch for a man who has spent the last decade as a lobbyist and security consultant. Giuliani’s legal career peaked in the late 1980s, around the time Michael Douglas proclaimed that greed was good. In other words: he’s the perfect pretend lawyer for our pretend president

But in terms of, you know, defending the man at risk of not one but two five-year felony charges of breaking election finance laws, Giuliani might not be a Gillette razor: the best a man can get. In Bahrain, he has been seeking new security contracts while his client is facing the deepest legal peril of his life. But Giuliani insists he is still on the case, and most definitely not trading on his presidential contacts. “I’m probably the most ethical person you ever met,” he declared. “I follow all the rules.”

It’s that probably that gives the game away. A bit like Carlsberg saying it’s probably the best beer in the world. Giuliani might be the most ethical person you ever met if you only ever met people related to Trump. Otherwise, you might want to drink a real beer.

As for preparing for the next onslaught from special counsel Robert Mueller, Giuliani sounded like he was plain out of gas: “We’ve done everything we can do. There’s not much more they’re going to call upon us to do.”

Giuliani’s legal work is built less on his actual lawyering than his talent for attacking a target with all the pizzazz of a pizza rat. This is what he said about the man who previously called himself Trump’s personal lawyer: “He’s a pathetic serial liar.” That was somewhat nicer than his previous description of Cohen as a “devious little rat”. It obviously takes one to know one.

This is the stage of Cohen’s life where we ought to have some sympathy for the humble family man whose legal practice barely made him $75,000 a year until he became the fixer for Trump. Sentenced to three years in prison – along with nearly $2m in fines and restitution – Cohen’s life and career lie in ruins. For what it’s worth, he tearfully blamed his crimes on his “blind loyalty” to Trump.

Then again, not so long ago, Cohen dreamed of taking that now-undesirable job of Trump’s chief of staff. Just last year, he was raking in millions from “consulting contracts” for his remarkable insights into the brainwaves of his client.

This is the same family man and legal mind whose modus operandi with reporters was, to put it delicately, knee-cappingly unconventional.

“So I’m warning you,” he told one journalist poking around in Trump’s private affairs, “tread very fucking lightly because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. Do you understand me? Don’t think you can hide behind your pen because it’s not going to happen.”

Apparently nobody told Cohen about karma, special counsels, or the physical challenges of hiding behind a pen. And the poor misguided soul had no idea that he wasn’t working for the Cosa Nostra where loyalty is supposed to count for something.

Instead of protecting one of their own, Trump and Giuliani have dumped on Cohen from the greatest height at every opportunity. “He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence,” Trump said of his former lawyer earlier this month. This was a refreshing affirmation of the rule of law from a president not otherwise known for his jurisprudence.

Why just this week, the man who swore to defend the constitution explained Cohen’s payoffs to porn stars in these terms: “Number one, it wasn’t a campaign contribution. If it were, it’s only civil, and even if it’s only civil, there was no violation based on what we did. OK?”

You can see why nobody in their right mind would want to be Trump’s lawyer. As legal arguments go, it leaves as much to the imagination as a Stormy Daniels movie.

Number one, the courts just jailed Cohen because the porn star payoffs were illegal campaign contributions.

Number two, they were most definitely criminal. Thus the jail time.

Number three, Trump’s violations were vividly detailed in the US attorney’s sentencing memo last week: “As Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1.”

Mr Individual-1: in case Giuliani hasn’t told you, there was another filing on Tuesday, this one involving your friends at the National Enquirer. They confirmed their role with Cohen and your campaign to pay off a Playboy model to influence the election.

In the absence of legal counsel, and with no legal qualifications whatsoever, it falls upon this column to spell out the choices ahead of you.

Even before there is any discussion about Russia, or your tax returns, you are staring at 10 years in prison in addition to substantial fines and loss of property. You might escape impeachment, but you won’t escape prosecution.

You may think you cannot be indicted as a sitting president, but this idea – which is merely based on guidance from the justice department – will be tested in reality in short order. If you lose your re-election in 2020, you will have nowhere to run to, and nowhere to hide.

Like Nixon’s vice-president, Spiro Agnew, you may well find that it’s far less risky to quit office in exchange for a lesser sentence. You might even hold on to some of your hotels and golf courses, while also avoiding spending the rest of your life behind bars.

Some might say this plea deal would undermine the 2016 election. Others might say you undermined that election with your campaign finance crimes, which amounted to electoral fraud. But you can comfort yourself with this thought: for the man whose name is on the Art of the Deal, this would be your greatest masterpiece.


Tabloid Publisher’s Deal in Hush-Money Inquiry Adds to Trump’s Danger

December 12, 2018

by Mike McIntire, Charlie Savage and Jim Rutenberg

The New York Times

With the revelation by prosecutors on Wednesday that a tabloid publisher admitted to paying off a Playboy model, key participants in two hush-money schemes say the transactions were intended to protect Donald J. Trump’s campaign for president.

That leaves Mr. Trump in an increasingly isolated and legally precarious position, according to election law experts. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments made in 2016 to keep two women silent about alleged affairs are now firmly framed as illegal campaign contributions.

The news about the publisher, the parent company of The National Enquirer, came on the same day that Mr. Trump’s former lawyer Michael D. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in part for his involvement in the payments. “I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today,” Mr. Cohen said, “and it was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man” — a reference to Mr. Trump — “that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

Mr. Cohen said the transactions were an effort to cover up the president’s “dirty deeds,” a claim that was buttressed when federal prosecutors announced that the tabloid publisher, American Media Inc., said it had bought one of the women’s stories to ensure she “did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate.”

“A.M.I. further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election,” prosecutors said in a statement announcing they had struck a deal not to charge the company in exchange for its cooperation. As part of the deal, dated in September but previously kept private, the company also agreed to train employees in election law standards and appoint a qualified lawyer to vet future deals that may involve paying for stories about political candidates.

The cascading disclosures marked a turning point in the multiple investigations related to Mr. Trump and the campaign he led. Until recently, the inquiries had produced numerous guilty pleas and indictments but no direct accusations of illegality by the president. That changed with Mr. Cohen’s assertions, outlined in detail by prosecutors, that his own crimes were done “in coordination with and at the direction” of Mr. Trump.

Where the investigations go from here is not clear. The prevailing view at the Justice Department is that a sitting president cannot be indicted, though prosecutors in Manhattan could consider charging him after leaving office.

Investigators have continued to scrutinize what others in the Trump Organization may have known about the crimes described by Mr. Cohen, including its chief financial officer, according to people briefed on the matter. Prosecutors have met with campaign officials and asked how the campaign interacted with Mr. Trump’s company, which shared office space and employees.

Establishing a nexus between Mr. Cohen’s efforts to silence the women and Mr. Trump’s campaign is central to making a criminal case of election law violations. That is why A.M.I.’s admission carries so much weight, said Richard L. Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California, Irvine.

“It’s looking a lot like an illegal and unreported in-kind corporate contribution to help the campaign, exposing the Trump campaign and Trump himself to possible criminal liability,” Mr. Hasen said.

A.M.I., run by Mr. Trump’s longtime friend David J. Pecker, had previously claimed it had paid $150,000 to the model, Karen McDougal, to secure the rights to publish her story of an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. But the company never published it, and people familiar with its operations had said it was part of a longstanding practice, known in the tabloid trade as “catch and kill,” to suppress damaging stories about favored people.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Cohen had intended to reimburse A.M.I. for its payment to Ms. McDougal by arranging a bogus $125,000 fee to an A.M.I. affiliate for “advisory services.” Although Mr. Pecker signed off on the deal, he later contacted Mr. Cohen and called it off. He also instructed Mr. Cohen to tear up the paperwork, prosecutors said.

In addition to McDougal, Mr. Cohen said he arranged a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress, to squelch her story of an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. He said that he used his own money, but that Mr. Trump had agreed to pay him back, with the reimbursement eventually being couched as legal fees billed to the Trump Organization.

A.M.I. was also involved in the early stages of Mr. Cohen’s dealings with Ms. Daniels. Rather than pay her, as it did with Ms. McDougal, the company notified Mr. Cohen that she was trying to sell her story

Until this week, it was largely Mr. Cohen’s word against the president’s denials. That is why the admission by A.M.I. is “highly significant, because it goes to corroborate” Mr. Cohen’s testimony, said Jeff Tsai, part of the prosecution team that accused Senator John Edwards of campaign finance violations when he arranged for payoffs to a pregnant mistress during his 2008 presidential campaign.

“In any future prosecution, Mr. Cohen’s credibility is squarely at issue — as it should be — and that is where you see the nature of corroboration, either in the form of witnesses or documents, become such a pivotal factor in a prosecution,” Mr. Tsai said.

The Edwards case — which ended in an acquittal and mistrial — has been invoked by Trump allies as an example of prosecutorial overreach. Central to Mr. Edwards’s defense was that the payments were intended not to help his campaign but to hide the affair from his wife — that they were personal, not political.

Mr. Trump seemed to hint at this strategy in a tweet responding to Mr. Cohen’s admissions, in which he made an oblique reference to a “simple personal transaction” that was being wrongly called “a campaign contribution.”

Given the president’s stance, the disclosure of A.M.I.’s understanding that the efforts were campaign-related — and its promise of future cooperation — shows that potential witnesses against Mr. Trump go beyond Mr. Cohen.

Indeed, the A.M.I. agreement with prosecutors said there was at least one other person associated with Mr. Trump’s campaign involved in an initial discussion in August 2015, attended by Mr. Cohen and Mr. Pecker, in which they agreed that the publisher would help the campaign by identifying negative stories about Mr. Trump’s relationships with women “so they could be purchased and their publication avoided.”

But many details remain hidden. Among them, the statement did not say whether the other campaign member was Mr. Trump himself — identified by prosecutors last week as attending a similar meeting — or some other person. A.M.I. had no comment on Wednesday.

Mr. Pecker had been steadfast in his support of Mr. Trump, equating any attack against him as an attack against A.M.I. But one associate of Mr. Pecker’s, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Pecker felt betrayed when the president’s legal team failed to push back against revelations in July that Mr. Cohen had recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump discussing the McDougal payment. The recording seemed to support the notion that A.M.I. was complicit in an illegal campaign finance scheme.

In admitting to the scheme, Mr. Pecker, his lieutenant Dylan Howard and A.M.I. are now protected from criminal prosecution.


Senators vote to end US backing for Saudi war on Yemen

December 13, 2018

BBC News

The US Senate has voted to withdraw US military aid for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen and to blame the kingdom’s crown prince for the murder of a journalist.

Members US President Donald Trump’s Republican party joined Democrats by 56-41 to rebuke the longtime US ally over reporter Jamal Khashoggi’s death.

Mr Trump has vowed to veto the largely symbolic measure, and it is unlikely to pass the House of Representatives.

Experts say Yemen is experiencing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

US Senate passes resolution blaming Saudi Prince MBS for Jamal Khashoggi murder

December 13. 2018


The US Senate has unanimously passed a resolution calling Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was brutally killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The resolution demands that Riyadh “ensure appropriate accountability” in this case. The move came just minutes after the senators passed a separate motion calling on the US to stop any aid to the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.

The Senate called the situation in the war-ravaged country a “humanitarian crisis” and demanded all parties seek an immediate ceasefire. It is yet unclear whether the House would vote on any of the motions after they had passed the Senate.

The move came a week after CIA Director Gina Haspel appeared on Capitol Hill to tell about a dozen senators about intelligence her agency had on Khashoggi’s death. The briefing apparently solidified the belief, at least among some of them, that the Saudi crown prince was indeed behind the murder.


The official tri-nation report on the sinking of the MV Estonia

by Christian Jürs

Report: Design flaw led to Estonia ferry sinking 852 died in 1994 disaster off Finland

On September 28, 1994 the Swedish motor ferry sank off the Finnish coast with heavy loss of life. Like the assassination of President John Kennedy in 1963, this major maritime disaster has given birth to some of the most entertaining and fantastic legends since those of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Some journalists insist that atomic bombs were hidden on the ship; that former KGB agents were responsible for the sinking; Swedish authorities know the truth and are prohibiting any diving on what is a major grave site and so on and on. Mysterious meetings with former KGB generals at secret locations are hinted at and an entire cottage industry of nonsense has grown up around this marine tragedy.

Finally, a joint Swedish-Estonian-Finnish Commission was set up, conducted exhaustive investigations and released their official conclusions. None of these conclusions pleased the conspiracy fiction writers but the salient portions, in translation, are reproduced here, hopefully as an antidote to myth and legend.

A design flaw and a slow response by the crew to signs of trouble were largely responsible for 1994’s Estonia ferry disaster in which 852 people perished in the rough waters of the Baltic Sea, according to an investigative commission’s official report released Wednesday.

The Swedish-owned ferry, on its way from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden, sank on the night of September 28, 1994, off the Finnish coast. It was Europe’s worst maritime disaster since World War II. Most of the victims were from Sweden and Estonia.

The joint Estonian-Swedish-Finnish commission said the primary cause of the disaster was a design flaw in the ship’s bow door that allowed it to be jolted open by rough seas, causing the ship to take on water and eventually sink.

The report also concluded that the ship’s crew was slow to respond to signs of trouble, including reports of strange noises coming from the bow of the ship. Warning alarms weren’t sounded until five minutes after the ferry began listing heavily, and, by then, it was difficult for passengers to escape.

Investigators also concluded that the crew should have slowed the ship down once it became obvious something was amiss.

However, because all of the crew on the bridge that night died, “we don’t really know what happened there,” conceded Uno Laur, chairman of the commission.

The report also criticized the rescue effort by Finnish officials, saying radio operators were slow in relaying the Estonia’s distress calls.

Of the nearly 1,000 people on board the Estonia, only 137 survived.

The German shipbuilding company that built the ferry, Meyer Werft, rejected the report’s findings, saying poor maintenance by the ship’s owners, not a design flaw, was responsible for the disaster.

“The report is wrong and worth less than the paper it is written on,” said Peter Holtappels, a lawyer for Meyer Werft. “The shipyard built a perfectly seaworthy vessel that functioned extremely well on the seas for 14 years. … But when repairs had to be done that were not carried out, you cannot make the shipbuilder responsible for this.”

The investigative commission has itself been at the center of controversy because of repeated delays in releasing its findings and the resignation of its former chairman. Critics have called its investigation clumsy and incomplete.

A lawyer representing the families of Swedish victims, Hennig Witte, said he was not satisfied with the report.

“You must now give us an independent investigation,” he said.


The ro-ro passenger ferry ESTONIA sank in the northern Baltic Sea during the early hours of 28 September 1994. Of the 989 people on board, 137 survived. All 95 victims recovered from the sea have been identified and 757 people are still missing.


The wind at about 0100 hrs at the site of the accident was south-westerly, 18-20 m/s, and the significant wave height was about 4 m.

At the time of the accident the ESTONIA was encountering the waves on her port bow.

The wave-induced motion made several passengers seasick but the situation on board was not exceptional.

Ship’s condition

The vessel was seaworthy and properly manned.

The cargo was secured to normal standard and the visor was properly closed and secured on departure.

The vessel had a starboard list of about one degree when she gained the open sea.


The failure sequence may have started at about 0055 hrs when the AB seaman heard a metallic bang at the bow ramp.

The locking devices and the hinges of the bow visor failed fully under one or two wave impact loads on the visor shortly after 0100 hrs.

The visor worked its way forward and forced the ramp partly open due to mechanical interference between the visor and the ramp, inherent in the design. Water started entering the car deck at the sides of the partly open ramp.

The ramp rested for a while within the visor before the visor at about 0115 hrs fell into the sea, pulling the ramp fully open.


Large amounts of water entered the car deck and in a few minutes a starboard list of more than 15° developed.

The main engines stopped at about 0120 hrs, one after the other, due to lubricating oil pressure loss caused by a list of about 30°.

The vessel drifted with her starboard side towards the waves.

At about 0125 hrs the list was more than 40°. By then, windows and a door had broken in the aft part on the starboard side, allowing progressive flooding of the accommodation. The main generators stopped.

As the list increased the ESTONIA started to sink stern first. At about 0135 hrs the list was about 80°.

The vessel disappeared from the surface at about 0150 hrs.

Action by the crew

Two reports of unusual sounds from the bow area were given to the officers of the watch, the first about 20 minutes prior to the loss of the visor.

Attempts were made to find the reason for the sounds.

The master arrived at the bridge and was present when the second attempt was initiated shortly after 0100 hrs.

The speed setting was maintained until the list developed. At about 0100 hrs the speed was about 14 knots, with all four main engines running at full service speed setting.

The visor indicator lamps on the bridge did not show when the visor was detached, and the visor was not visible from the conning position. Nor did the lamps show when the ramp was forced open.

The ingress of water at the sides of the partly open bow ramp was observed on a monitor in the engine control room, but no information was exchanged with the bridge.

As the list developed the officers of the watch reduced the speed and initiated a turn to port. They also ordered the engineer to compensate for the list by pumping ballast, but the pump sucked air and, furthermore, the tank was almost full. The officers of the watch also closed the watertight doors.

The first known Mayday call from the ESTONIA was transmitted at 0122 hrs, and at about the same time the lifeboat alarm was given. Shortly before that, a brief alarm in Estonian was given over the public address system. Just after this, the crew was alerted by a coded fire alarm. No general information was given to the passengers during the accident.

Besides the master and the two officers of the watch, at least the chief officer and the third officer were on the bridge at the time of the distress traffic.

Technical matter

There were no detailed design requirements for bow visors in the rules of Bureau Veritas, the classification society concerned, at the time of the building of the ESTONIA.

The Finnish Maritime Administration was, according to a national decree, exempt from doing hull surveys of vessels holding valid class certificates issued by authorised classification societies.

The visor locking devices were not examined for approval by the Finnish Maritime Administration, nor by Bureau Veritas.

The visor design load and the assumed load distribution on the attachments did not take realistic wave impact loads into account.

The visor locking devices installed were not manufactured in accordance with the design intentions.

No safety margin was incorporated in the total load-carrying capacity of the visor attachment system.

The attachment system as installed was able to withstand a resultant wave force only slightly above the design load used.

A long series of bow visor incidents on other ships had not led to general action to reinforce the attachments of bow doors on existing ro-ro passenger ferries, including the ESTONIA.

Wave impact loads generated on the night of the accident exceeded the combined strength of the visor attachments.

Wave impact loads on the visor increased very quickly with increasing significant wave height, while forward speed had a smaller effect on the loads.

The SOLAS requirements for an upper extension of the collision bulkhead were not satisfied.

The general maintenance standard of the visor was satisfactory. Existing minor maintenance deficiencies were not significant factors in the accident.


The time available for evacuation was very short, between 10 and 20 minutes.

There was no organised evacuation.

The evacuation was hampered by the rapid increase in the list, by narrow passages, by transverse staircases, by objects coming loose and by crowding. About 300 people reached the outer decks. Most victims remained trapped inside the vessel.

The lifesaving equipment in many cases did not function as intended. Lifeboats could not be lowered.

 Distress traffic

Mayday calls were received by 14 radio stations including MRCC Turku. At the beginning the SILJA EUROPA took the role of control station for the distress traffic.

The distress traffic was not conducted in accordance with the procedures required by the radio regulations.

The ESTONIA’s two EPIRBs were not activated and could therefore not transmit when released.

MRCC Turku did not announce on the radio that they were conducting the operation.

Helsinki Radio did not hear the ESTONIA’s distress calls or the distress traffic.

Helsinki Radio transmitted a Pan-Pan call (urgent message) at 0150 hrs instead of the distress message requested by MRCC Turku

Rescue operation

Initially the accident was not treated as a major accident. It was formally designated as such at 0230.

MRCC Turku started alerting rescue units at 0126 hrs. One standby helicopter was alerted at 0135 hrs, another at 0218 hrs, and the military helicopters at 0252 hrs.

Assistance by Swedish helicopters was agreed at 0158 hrs.

The master of the SILJA EUROPA was appointed On-Scene Commander (OSC) at 0205 hrs.

The first rescue unit, the MARIELLA, arrived on the scene of the accident at 0212 hrs, 50 minutes after the first distress call.

MRCC Tallinn was informed of the accident at 0255 hrs by MRCC Helsinki.

The first helicopter arrived at 0305 hrs.

Two Finnish helicopters landed survivors on the passenger ferries. Other helicopters carried rescued persons to land.

An air coordinator arrived to assist the OSC at 0650 hrs and a surface search coordinator arrived at 0945 hrs.

The participating vessels did not launch lifeboats or MOB boats due to the heavy weather. Their rescue equipment was not suitable for picking up people from the water or from rafts.

Winch problems

Some helicopters carried journalists during the later rescue flights.

Of the approximately 300 people who reached the open decks, some 160 succeeded in climbing onto life rafts, and a few climbed onto capsized lifeboats. Helicopters rescued 104 people, and vessels rescued 34.

Meteorological conditions

The weather at the accident site at about 0100 hrs was rough but not extreme. The wind was south-westerly, mean velocity 18 – 20 m/s. Statistically, winds of such force occur five to ten times annually during the autumn and the winter in the northern Baltic Sea. The significant wave height was about 4 m. Generating a wave pattern with a significant wave height of this magnitude requires wind of 15 – 20 m/s from S – SW for at least ten hours.

Numerous studies of wave statistics show that, if the significant wave height is 4 m, one wave in a hundred will be higher than 6 m. A maximum wave height is estimated as twice the significant height.

The weather forecast for the midnight hours predicted a significant wave height of only 2.5 to 3.5 m whereas the actual height was about one metre more. Even if the predictions had been correct, this would most likely not have changed the way the passage was conducted.

The weather forecast was not regarded as severe on board the two passenger ferries leaving Helsinki for Stockholm the same day. They both selected the coastal route in shallow waters instead of the deep-sea route followed in heavy weather.

The direction of the waves is difficult to determine as indicated by the different meteorological institutes (see 5.4.2). The Commission is of the opinion that before reaching the waypoint the ESTONIA encountered waves close to head sea. Thus after the turn of about 25 degrees to starboard she had the waves coming at about 30 degrees on the port bow.

The general wave statistics of the different routes where the ESTONIA had been operating indicate that significant wave heights above four metres on the bow should have occurred for a total of less than about twenty hours during the full operating history of the vessel. Most of this time refers to the 20 months on the Tallinn – Stockholm route.

A review of the weather reports for the entire time while the vessel operated on the Tallinn – Stockholm route shows that wind and wave conditions similar to those during the accident voyage only occurred once or twice.

Thus it can be concluded that the vessel had generally been protected from heavy sea conditions during her lifetime.

Course of events


The general course of events described in this section has been plotted from observations on the wreck, analysis of statements by witnesses, analysis of the damage and evaluation of the strength of the visor and ramp attachments. Calculations and model tests of the vessel’s behaviour in waves have also been used.

The Commission has analysed 258 statements from 134 survivors. The Commission is aware that none of the survivors is a witness proper, in the sense of an observer. All the witnesses are victims of the accident, involved in it and a part of the chain of events. Their observations and recollections are thus influenced by prolonged anxiety, exhaustion and stress. All statements are furthermore restricted to individual experience on board and outside the vessel only, and no witnesses have had any possibility of gaining an overall view.

When analysing the chain of events the Commission has usually put somewhat more emphasis on earlier statements than on later ones. The reason for this is that earlier statements were made at a time when witnesses’ recollections were presumably less influenced by information from other witnesses and the media.

The Commission has also given more weight to witnesses’ recollections of objective and perceived events than to statements concerning time or time spans. This is because most objective events were experienced by many in different locations whereas statements concerning points of time vary radically and are judged to have been more subjectively influenced. Also statements concerning degree of list are judged to be considerably subjective. Somewhat more credibility is, however, given to such estimations by crew members and to their judgements of sounds, because of their experience.

A few crew members when interrogated, however, were more inclined directly to give exact and precise information about actions and points of time rather than to reveal any uncertainty. In such cases they often stated that they had acted in accordance with their instructions.

One of the key witnesses, the AB seaman of the watch, was interrogated several times and some details are not consistent throughout his statements. His latest statement seems, however, to be more reliable concerning specific parts and supplementary details because he then revealed new information that was partly to his discredit, and also commented upon his earlier statements.

Preparations for the voyageThe route-specific weather and wave height forecast was received from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) in accordance with the existing subscription arrangement as well as other weather forecasts. The master was informed prior to departure that a low pressure with increasing winds would be encountered during the night.

No route plan has been available to the Commission, as planning was done on board only. It is deemed likely, however, that the plan was to proceed along the normal route with full service speed as long as the vessel was in sheltered waters in the Gulf of Finland, and thereby gain some time margin for crossing the Baltic Sea.

Loading began at 1620 hrs via the forward ramp and was completed shortly before departure. The loading was supervised by second officer A. According to witnesses large trucks were loaded almost bumper to bumper on the aft and mid parts of the car deck. Smaller trucks and cars were loaded on the forward part.

Heavy vehicles seem to have been loaded on the car deck without sufficient account of the athwartships weight disposition, resulting in the ship leaving port with the port side heeling tank almost full and the starboard one empty. Due to this cargo disposition and the wind pressure on the port side the ESTONIA, gaining the open sea, had a starboard list of about one degree according to the third engineer.

In compliance with the loading practice for ro-ro ferries on short routes, when strong winds are expected the major part of the weight should be located on the windward side in order to maximise possibilities to compensate for wind-induced heel. Hence, the ESTONIA should have been loaded differently.

The deck crew had been instructed to secure the heavy cargo with extra care due to the weather expected. Surviving crew members have testified that the trucks were properly secured with lashings, generally four per vehicle. It is claimed to be common practice that securing of vehicles is not finished when the vessel leaves port but is completed during an early stage of the voyage. All indications are that the cargo was secured to normal standard.

In this context the Commission has noted that the number of cargo damage claims was low while the vessel was operating on the Tallinn-to-Stockholm route and that no damage has been related to inadequate lashing of trucks, containers or other cargo.

Condition of visor and ramp closure

The Commission has noted from observations on the wreck that one of the locking bolts for the forward ramp was most probably not in its properly extended position at the time of the accident, and the related indicator lamp on the bridge was then not lit. The deficiency did not prevent closing of the visor.

It is possible that the locking bolt had been in its proper position and had backed out prior to the accident due to movement between the ramp and the ramp coaming in combination with hydraulic leakage, e.g. past the operating piston seals. Such movement of locking bolts at sea has been noted in other ro-ro ferries.

Even if this defect had existed at the time of departure it has not been possible to find out whether any action was called for. This potential deficiency would have had no effect on the development of the accident, as the ramp would have been forced open by the visor even if all the locking bolts had been in their proper positions.

Some rags can be seen on pictures filmed from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the area of the half-extended locking bolt on the lower port side of the ramp. This may indicate that a sealing problem in the ramp, mentioned by the second engineer in his testimony, had been temporarily cured by packing rags into the gap. However, the Commission considers it likely that the mattresses and rags were washed into the area from nearby storage spaces during the final flooding of the car deck. They were observed at a point which was the highest on the car deck and still over the water surface when the stern reached the sea bed. Other floating objects and debris were also observed in the bow area, all probably trapped by the partly closed ramp when the bow started sinking.

If rags had been tucked along the sides of the ramp it is most likely that they would have been washed away when the ramp was forced open. The rags were partly in a position between the failed hinge lugs and the lug in the hull, where they could not have penetrated when the hinge was intact. The plastic covers of the mattresses appear intact, which indicates that they had not been subjected to heavy rubbing. It would hardly have been possible to close five ramp locks with rags packed in the positions observed.

Truck drivers have stated that sometimes there were problems in opening the ramp locks, and tools had to be used. Such problems have also been encountered on other vessels.

The magnet of the visor bottom lock position indicator was on the bracket in the locking bolt but the sensors could not be found during the ROV and diving investigations. The empty ends of the sensor cables were near the mounting bracket of the sensors. The mounting bracket appeared to be undamaged like remains of the broken port lug and the deck plating near the bottom lock. This indicates that the sensors were not in their place during the accident voyage. However, since the distance from the magnet to the nearest sensor was a few centimetres, a small chance remains that the pounding visor detached the sensors. According to crew members and the technical superintendent the bottom lock position indicator had been in working order. The most likely absence of the sensors would not have had any effect on the accident since there was no indicator lamp on the bridge showing the position of this locking bolt.

According to statements by members of the alternate crew, a strict routine was followed in the closing and securing of the ramp and visor, and technical assistance was called upon if any malfunction developed. No problems were evident at the time of the last crew change, nor had any reports about deficiencies in the ramp or visor locking system been made to the technical superintendent of the vessel.

The Commission’s conclusion, which is supported by the failure pattern, is that the visor had been properly closed and secured at departure and that there were no deficiencies in the ramp affecting the development of the accident.

The voyage up to the accident

The ESTONIA departed from Tallinn at 1915 hrs. The crew was into the 13th day of its current 14-day duty period.

The speed was around 19 knots at the beginning of the voyage and when passing Osmussaar lighthouse at about 2200 hrs the ESTONIA was approximately on her normal schedule in spite of leaving Tallinn 15 minutes late. Weather conditions deteriorated during the night. Because of this the resistance of the vessel increased and the speed gradually decreased. After the course change at the waypoint at about 0025 hrs, the ESTONIA encountered waves on the port bow and conditions became more unfavourable, with increased rolling and pitching and more severe wave impacts on the bow. The stabilising fins had been extended just after the waypoint. Shortly before the accident the speed had dropped to about 14 knots.

It may be of interest to compare the ESTONIA’s speed with those of the MARIELLA and the SILJA EUROPA, two other passenger ferries en route to Stockholm on the same heading and encountering the same sea state as the ESTONIA. On the MARIELLA, speed was reduced at about 2300 hrs to 12 knots by order of the master. The SILJA EUROPA was running at approximately the same speed as the ESTONIA, i.e. 14.5 knots at about 0055 hrs. Just afterwards the SILJA EUROPA’s officer of the watch reduced the speed due to the weather.

Separation of the visor

The first indication that something was wrong in the bow area was noted and reported to the bridge about five minutes before one o’clock by the AB seaman of the watch when he, at the forward ramp on his routine watch round, noted a sharp metallic bang from the bow area. This coincided with a heavy upward acceleration that nearly made him fall. He reported this bang to the bridge. Remaining about five minutes near the ramp he then continued on his round to decks 1 and 0 and finally to the bridge. He heard no more unusual sounds, nor made any unusual observations.

Shortly after one o’clock a few wave impacts on the visor caused the visor attachments to fail completely. The visor started cutting openings in the weather deck plating and associated structures. Soon the back wall of the visor housing came into contact with the ramp, hitting its upper edge and thus breaking its locks. The ramp fell forwards and remained resting inside the visor. In a few minutes the visor started falling forwards.

The ramp then followed the visor in a forward, tumbling motion. The starboard side actuator was extended to its full length and was torn out of the hull during the final stage of the sequence. The visor subsequently tilted over the stem, left the ramp fully open allowing large amounts of water to enter the car deck, and as it fell collided with the bulbous bow of the vessel.

This sequence of events is supported by witnesses from several areas on board who heard a repeated metallic noise from the bow area during a period of about ten minutes, starting shortly after one o’clock. The detailed timing is, however, uncertain. The witnesses have given several good descriptions of these sounds and it is beyond doubt that the sounds were caused by the visor moving and pounding on the forepeak deck. Some of the metallic blows were associated with hull vibrations. The sounds from the bow area ended in a few loud, metallic crashes, caused by the final separation of the visor and its colliding with the bulbous bow of the vessel. This occurred at about 0115 hrs. The collision is documented by clear impact marks on the visor.

Development of the list and sinking of the vessel

On deck 1 the first passengers left their cabins already when they began hearing metallic blows from the bow area. A few have reported seeing small amounts of water in corridors on deck 1 and feeling that the vessel already at this stage had a slight list.

While the ramp was partly open inside the visor, water entered the car deck along the sides of the ramp, as observed first by the third engineer at 0110 – 0115 hrs on the TV monitor showing the forward part of the car deck. The water noted by the first passengers fleeing from their cabins on deck 1 could at this stage have poured down to the accommodation on deck 1. Later, during the evacuation, several passengers observed on deck 2 that water entered the staircases through the slots around the fire doors to the car deck.

After the ramp had been forced open by the visor, waves may have caused the ramp to move between fully open and partly closed position but generally a significant opening was available for waves to enter the car deck as further described in 13.5 below. The large amounts of water flooding onto the car deck caused the vessel to heel over and after a few rolling movements a significant list developed to starboard. This happened within the first minutes after the visor had separated from the ship. According to witnesses the ship steadied temporarily at a list angle of about 15 degrees.

Just before the moment when the list developed many crew members and passengers noticed a change in the vessel’s motion. This coincides with the time when the visor separated from the vessel and may have been the effect of the first larger volume of water to enter the car deck.

At about the time when the list developed, the engines were throttled back close to idling speed and the vessel was turned to port into the wind. She passed through the wind’s eye and continued to port with decreasing speed. Information from some survivors indicates a reduction of engine speed just before the accident but the timing is uncertain. It is, however, the opinion of the Commission that full service speed setting was maintained right up to the time when the list developed.

During the port turn water continued to enter the car deck and the list increased to 20 – 30 degrees where the vessel for some minutes stabilised as the water inflow decreased. By about 0120 hrs all four main engines had stopped, at intervals of a few minutes, starting with the port side engines, due to lack of lubricating oil pressure. The main generators stopped about five minutes later.

After the main engines stopped, the ESTONIA drifted with a list of about 40 degrees and the starboard side towards the waves. Water continued to enter the car deck through the bow but at a significantly lower rate. Waves were pounding against the windows on deck 4. Window panels and aft doors broke, allowing flooding of the accommodation to start. As the flooding progressed, the list and the trim by the stern increased and the vessel started to sink. At a list of about 80 degrees the bridge was partly flooded. This happened shortly after 0130 hrs as indicated by a clock in the chartroom whose hands had stopped at 2335 hrs UTC. The emergency generator stopped at about the same time but the accumulators supplied power for limited lighting. The sinking continued, stern first, and the vessel disappeared from the surface of the sea at about 0150 hrs. This phase of the accident is covered further in 13.6. Figure 13.3 illustrates the development of the list and sinking of the vessel.



The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

December 13, 2018

by Dr. Peter Janney


On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas  in 1993  when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications.


Conversation No. 70

Date:  Thursday, February 27, 1997

Commenced: 6:15 PM CST

Concluded: 6:38 PM CST


RTC: Gregory? Have I interrupted your dinner?

GD: Not at all. I eat later, if I think about it that is. I thought you’d be in bed by now, Robert. A problem?

RTC: Actually, yes, there is…or might be. Do you have some time there?

GD: Sure. Not a problem.

RTC: It’s about that Atwood person we spoke of earlier. Remember the one?

GD: Oh, yes, I do remember Atwood. Did old Critchfield off him?

RTC: No, not as I understand but there is unhappiness about Atwood’s proclivity to talk to the wrong people and you are certainly considered the wrong people. By Critchfield’s crowd. Jim does not like me any more over that Angolia business but one of our mutual friends was in touch with me yesterday about this and I thought I ought to discuss it with you. There are, or were, certain aspects to Atwood’s activities, both on and off the board, that there is some anxiety about. It’s known he had very dubious dealings with you six or seven years ago and you are considered to be a loose cannon. Atwood is considered to be a loose mouth and in my calling, that is not considered to be either wise or conducive of a long and happy life. Might I ask you what, if anything, Atwood discussed with you concerning his activities with the Company? Can you recall?

GD: My memory is very good, Robert, as you might have noticed.

RTC: I have. At times a great asset, Gregory, but at other times, a great liability. If you take my meaning?

GD: Oh, I do. Atwood? I got to know him while I was living in Munich in ’65. I was selling German militaria via the Shotgun News….

RTC: And that was….?

GD: Is. It’s a trade paper for gun and military collectors. In Hastings, Nebraska. I was a guest of Franzi von Otting and I used his name. Con premise and he got a percentage of the take. Anyway, Jimmy saw the advert and since he was in Germany, decided to look me up. He wrote and made an appointment and I met him in the lobby of the Vierjahrezeiten.

RTC: Pardon?

GD: A posh Munich hotel. He was staying there with two tarts. Bargirl types if you know what I mean. He was very polite and civil. Slight southern accent. Anyway, we had a long conversation about the collecting trade. Jimmy had written a book on Nazi daggers and was, as he admitted over a drink or two, having these made up in Solingen and selling them. He was making very good money and was highly ambitious. Made up Hermann Goering’s wedding sword and shoved it off on some stupid collector and, as I recall, Hitler’s suicide pistol. A Walther with ivory grips. Got it on the cover of Argosy magazine and sold it to another sucker in Canada. Anyway, we had a talk about creative selling and, as I recall, he was interested in my expertise on the historical aspects. I pointed out to him that in the picture of the alleged Hitler gun, the maker was Walther but their factory was in Ulm, not in what was now the DR. He laughed and said, as I remember, ‘well…you caught me….’ and on we went. I don’t drink very much but he certainly could put it away. And we went out to a restaurant and continued the talking. I learned a lot about him, the more he drank, but he learned nothing about me. Considering everything, that was just as well. I know he had a good opinion of me because in ’90 we went to Austria and dug up some buried Nazi concentration camp loot an SS general buried there in ’45.

RTC: And who might that have been?

GD: A Slovene named Globocnik. Had been the Gauleiter of Vienna until Hitler sacked him for stealing.

RTC: I was told about him. Not a nice person.

GD: No, but you used him after his faked suicide. The Brits sold him to you and you sent him down to Syria to help the rag heads.

RTC: Gregory, you are most interesting and informative. And I hope you are also discreet.

GD: Oh, I can be. Why the interest in Jimmy?

RTC: It has slowly dawned on certain exalted people that perhaps you might have gleaned some forbidden information about brother Atwood in the course of your wild career. Do go on

GD: Well, I don’t know what was, or is, forbidden, and what isn’t.

RTC: Why not just go on and let me be the judge of that. Please continue about Atwood.

GD: I will. Atwood was one of your people and was not only involved in merchandising and otherwise making a profit selling fake German militaria…

RTC: By German, you specifically mean Nazi, don’t you?

GD: Yes, of course. I’ll tell you about the market in a few minutes. Right now, I am going to fill you in on what I learned from James. I give you some background here on the very off chance that you know nothing about it. Since at least 1981 and probably earlier, there exists a worldwide network of ‘free-standing’, or especially and specifically. no direct U.S. government ties companies, including airlines, aviation and military spare parts suppliers, and trading companies, set up that  have been put to good use by the CIA and the U.S. government to illegally ship arms and military spare parts to Iran and to the Contras. And, of course, to smuggle people who can’t go by commercial airlines and, let us not forget, drugs

RTC: I rather wish you would forget about drugs. I don’t think brother Atwood was involved with drugs. Do go on.

GD: Yes. These companies were set up with the approval and knowledge of senior CIA officials and other senior U.S. government officials and staffed primarily by ex-CIA, ex-FBI and ex-military officers. I am correct here?

RTC: Yes. Go on.

GD: You will probably end up hating me if I do, Robert, but I note you asked me to continue.

RTC: I think I am above that, Gregory.

GD: OK. Now let’s look at the Iran Contra business. I know all about at least a part of this so we can go into it a little. Secord’s arms shipments, arraigned through the CIA, transferred weapons destined for Central America to Merex. This was known officially as Merex International Arms and was, and is, based in Savannah. The Merex address was occupied by Combat Military Ordinances Ltd., controlled by Jimmy Atwood. He had been in the Army in MI and then went to work for your people. James was involved in major arms trades with your sponsored international buyers, specifically Middle Eastern Arab states. Monzer Al-Kassar utilized the Merex firm for some of his weapons transactions with the Enterprise.   Now Merex was originally set up, after the war, by old Skorzeny co-worker, one Gerhard Mertins. Gerhard had been  a Hauptmann (captain to you, Robert) in the German paratroopers and got the Knight’s Cross in, I believe, ’45. After the war, Mertins went to work in Bonn and the Merex arms business was considered a CIA proprietary firm. Mertex was close to and worked with the BND, the German intelligence service evolved from the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization. Atwood was involved with Interarmco, run by Samuel Cummings, an Englishman who ran the largest arms firm in the world. Cummings died in Monaco because he had looted his CIA employers and found that principality safer than Warrenton, Virginia. Also connected with Atwood’s firm were Collector’s Armory, run by one Thomas Nelson, whose nickname was ‘Red Nelson’ because of his hair color, not his politics, and a George Petersen of Springfield, Virginia, and one Manny Wiegenberg, a Canadian arms dealer. Jimmy was heavily involved in your support of Canadian separatists and I know something of his role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement. The head of your Canada Desk was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. I know for a fact that your people do not want ever to mention this little historical aside.

RTC: No, we do not, Go on.

GD:Also, I know all about Atwood’s connections with Skorzeny and the IRA/Provo wing. I can give you chapter and verse on this one if you want it. One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979 and I have a file on this as well in some safe and private place You might also be aware of the shipping of weapons into the southern Mexican provinces by Atwood and his Guatemala based consortium. Atwood had a number of ex-Gestapo and SD people on board, some of whom were wanted. I recall a former SS officer, Frederich Schwend who worked with your people and was down in Lima. Schwend had been trained by the OSS in the early 1940s after he had informed Allen Dulles that the German SS had hidden millions in gold, cash, and loot as the European war was winding down. Atwood knew about the Weissensee gold hoard that Müller told me about. Jimmy knew about it but I had the overlay so he courted me and we ended up, shovels in hand, in the beautiful mountains in ’90.

RTC: Thee are conflicting stories about that business. You murdered two British people as I understand it.

GD: No such thing, Robert. As I understand it, and I was there, they fell off the boat in the middle of the Caribbean. Such lies your people make up.

RTC: Well, there are always two sides to every story, Gregory. You are better than two cups of coffee, I must say. I think I ought to get some Pepto Bismol pretty soon. After the Treasure Island adventure, what happened next?

GD: To Atwood? Well, as Jimmy told me, about 1992, he and your Jimmy Critchfield, along with a Russian Jew, formed a partnership in order to obtain a number of obsolete Soviet atomic artillery shells which they then sold to the Pakistanis.  I think the two of them kept the money and no one ever saw the Jew again. If you don’t know this, I can tell you that both Critchfield and the Interarmco people had supplied weapons to the rebels in Afghanistan during their long and vicious guerrilla activities against the Soviet Union. Critchfield also worked with the Dalai Lama of Tibet in a guerrilla war against Communist China and headed a CIA task force during the Cuban missile crisis. He ran regional agency operations when the U.S. and the Soviets raced to secure satellites first in Eastern Europe, then in the Middle East. And note that in the early 1960s, Critchfield recommended to the CIA that the United States support the Baath Party, which staged a 1963 coup against the Iraqi government that the CIA believed was falling under Soviet influence. Critchfield later boasted, during the Iran-Iraq war that he and the CIA had created Saddam Hussein.

RTC: Gregory, where in the sweet hell did you get all of this?

GD: From Atwood when he was drunk.

RTC: You’ve just guaranteed that he will pass to his reward very soon. Does that bother you?

GD: I never liked him. He tried to rip me off once but he was so crude about it that I have no respect for him. Shall I go on?

RTC: I have approach-avoidance conflicts here, Gregory. You might as well ruin the rest of my evening. Proceed.

GD: Are you sure? You don’t sound too happy.

RTC: I am not but do go on.

GD: As you wish. When Arab oil became paramount, your Critchfield became your national intelligence officer for energy and was also an energy policy planner at the White House. He also fronted a dummy CIA corporation in the Middle East known as Basic Resources, which was used to gather OPEC-related intelligence for the Nixon administration. . Critchfield was the chief of the CIA’s Near East and South Asia division in the 1960s and a national intelligence officer for energy as the oil shortage crisis began in the early 1970s. Of course your people, along with the oil barons, forced the price of oil up and up. My, I wonder how much money you all made. Oh well, not important here. Critchfield retired in the mid ‘70s and ended up as both a consultant and the CEO of Tetra Tech International, a Honeywell Inc. subsidiary and which managed oil, gas, and water projects in the strategic Masandam Peninsula. This, in case your geography is weak, is located on the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the West’s oil is transported. And at the same time, Critchfield was a primary adviser to the Sultan of Oman, focusing on Middle East energy resources, especially those in Oman.

RTC: I should never have asked you about this.

GD: The Bible says ask and ye shall receive.

RTC: Yes. We can forget the Bible here. It has no part in the intelligence business. You mentioned Merex. Do you know of other friendly assets?

GD: Surely, Try Aero Systems, Arrow Air, Global International, and how about Zenith?

RTC: Did you get these names from Atwood?

GD: Of course I did. I told you Jimmy was not discreet while he was drinking. I listened to his tales of self-importance and remembered it all. Oh, and I write it up as well.

RTC: Gregory, for the Lord God’s sake, if not mine, or more important, yours, do not discuss any of this with anyone else, your son or people like Willis Carto. If you aren’t careful, Critrchfield will have you eliminated. I shall have to warn him off on that topic but…I mean why would Atwood tell you such terrible things and if he told you, who else could he have told?

GD: One of his German whores, probably. Jimmy goes on and on.

RTC: So I note. And we can ring the curtain down on that one ASAP.

GD: From your reaction, Robert, I assume Jimmy was accurate.

RTC: No comment but Atwood is a dead man.

GD: Well, I might have gotten my insights from the back of a Wheaties’ box but Jimmy is a better candidate. Do you know why I dislike Jimmy and would frame his death notice? His wife stuck with him when he was arrested for tax evasion in smuggling in the ‘60s and as a mark of his appreciation, he deserted her and his two daughters to run off with one of his bar girls. The rest of his activities are one thing but I do not tolerate such domestic treachery. Do you think I’m being too critical?

RTC: What a question. Who cares about his wife and children? This man has gone way beyond the bounds. Way beyond. Of course I believe you. You could never have made all that up and I can assure you it was never in the New York Times. They might know some of it but they wouldn’t dare publish it. No, you got it from Atwood or someone connected with him. Ah, well, I did ask and I did receive. They hate you Gregory, they hate you with a passion but at the same time, they are scared shitless of you. They would have killed you some time ago but others counseled them against it. Who knows what you put down on paper? If you were run over by a truck in the middle of a shopping mall or attacked and eaten by a leopard in your own living room, who knows what might find its way out of some hiding hole and into the public? The public is happy with its football games and beer so we had best not disturb them with such stories.

GD: They might make a good movie out of all this.

RTC: Never, Gregory, I can promise you that. A studio that even considered this would be bankrupt within a few months. No, none of this will ever see the light of day and if you want to continue walking around, remember that silence is golden.

GD: I have no problem with gold. Just think of all that looted concentration camp gold Jimmy and I dug up.

RTC: Yes and I understand you cheated him out of his share.

GD: When thieves fall out, Robert, honest men prosper.

RTC: Meaning no disrespect but do you consider yourself to be an honest man?

GD: Selectively, Robert, selectively. And Jimmy?

RTC: Don’t make book on his seeing Christmas.


(Concluded at 6:38 PM CST)









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TBR News December 12, 2018

Dec 12 2018


The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 12, 2018: “Neither the Poles or the Ukrainians want the Russians to bypass their countries when delivering gas to Europe. They steal gas, do not pay for it and wail with despair when their free gas is cut off. At the same time, American natural gas producers want to sell their more expensive products to Poland and the Ukraine and bray like sick donkeys in an effort to persuade the dimwitted President to use his Imperial persona to force Europe to buy only overpriced American products. Europe pays no attention to the donkey chorus or the belchings of the president and the pipeline from Russia to Germany is nearing completion. This is an excellent example of realities versus wishings and in the end, the US can sell its gas to Mexico who can’t pay for it either”


The Table of Contents 

  • US lawmakers want to put a cork in Russia’s gas pipeline to Europe
  • Germany to back Nord Stream 2 despite Ukraine tensions
  • Absentee-ballot fraud scandal speaks to wider issue of racism in North Carolina In heated on-camera clash, Trump fights with top Democrats on border wa
  • Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen jailed for three years
  • Biological Annihilation
  • The Evil Catholics Murdered Abraham Lincoln
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

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TBR News December 11, 2018

Dec 11 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 11, 2018: “’They watch us; we watch them’ is the motto of several very private computer code writers and other aficionados and they do exactly that.

There are no computer systems of the governmental watchdogs that cannot be penetrated, contrary to the beliefs of the users.

The CIA, the FBI, the DHS, the NSA and other attached entities think they convey messages in secrecy but in fact, their messages are being read as soon as they are sent. The Russians are known to be doing the same thing and God knows who else watches the watchbirds.

Via the so-called ‘Dark Internet’ much of the non-secrets gleaned by the snoopers become public property and are sent around to interested parties.

Some of Donald Trump’s messages, the non-Twitter ones- are hysterically funny and if he knew they were compromised, he might sanction Malta in his fury.

On the one hand, the US has a leader who is one step, or crawl, from the back wards and on the other, government spies who like to know what your nine year old daughter is reading at the local library.

In the fact of growing anger in France by the bulk of the population, manifested in the recent riots, French President Macron has started to back down. This is an error of judgement because the instant he is seen as compromising, the greater will be the demands on him.

If this scenario were to take place in the United States, the business community would demand the President call out troops and shoot down anyone who even looked like they were of the colored persuasion.

That would lead to sectional eruptions and more repressive violence. In the end, the trees of America would bear strange fruit indeed and the oligarchs and their governmental supporters that did not dangle would flee to Canada. ”



The Table of Contents 

  • Courts likely to strike down Republican lame-duck power grabs, experts say
  • Brexit chaos and confusion leaves business leaders across Europe dismayed
  • The Arctic is in even worse shape than you realize
  • Scientists identify vast underground ecosystem containing billions of micro-organisms
  • Is sea level rising?
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • The American Gestapo

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TBR News December 10, 2018

Dec 10 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 10, 2018:” Prior to the event of printed, and later television, media, it was not difficult for the world’s power elites and the governments they controlled, to see that unwelcome and potentially dangerous information never reached the masses of people under their control. Most of the general public in more distant times were completely illiterate and received their news from their local priest or from occasional gossip from travellers. The admixture of kings, princes and clergy had an iron control over what their subject could, or could not hear. During the Middle Ages and even into the more liberal Renaissance, universities were viewed with suspicion and those who taught, or otherwise expressed, concepts that were anathama to the concept of feudalism were either killed outright in public or permanently banished. Too-liberal priests were silenced by similar methods. If Papal orders for silence were not followed, priests could, and were, put to the torch as an example for others to note.

However, with the advent of the printing press and a growing literacy in the piopulation, the question of informational control was less certain and with the growing movements in Europe and the American colonies for less restriction and more public expression, the power elites found it necessary to find the means to prevent unpleasant information from being proclaimed throughout their lands and unto all the inhabitants thereof.

The power elites realized that if they could not entirely prevent inconvenient and often dangerous facts to emerge and threaten their authority, their best course was not censorship but to find and develop the means to control the presentation and publication of that they wished to keep entirely secret.

The first method was to block or prevent the release of dangerous material by claiming that such material was a matter of important state security and as such, strictly controlled. This, they said, was not only for their own protection but also the somewhat vague but frightening concept of the security of their people.

The second method was, and has been, to put forth disinformation that so distorts and confuses actual facts as to befuddle a public they see as easily controlled, naïve and gullible.

The mainstream American media which theoretically was a balance against governmental corruption and abuses of power, quickly became little more than a mouthpiece for the same government they were supposed to report on. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, most American newspapers were little better than Rupert Mudoch’s modern tabloids, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing but during the First World War, President Wilson used the American entry into the First World War as an excuse for setting up controls over the American public. Aside from setting up government control over food distribution, the railroads, much industry involved in war production, he also established a powerful propganda machine coupled with a national informant system that guaranteed his personal control. In 1918, citing national security, Wilson arrested and imprisoned critical news reporters and threatened to shut down their papers.

Wilson was a wartime president and set clear precidents that resonated very loudely with those who read history and understood its realities.

During the Second World War, Franklin Roosevelt, another wartime leader, was not as arrogant or highhanded as Wilson (whose empire fell apart after the end of the war that supported it) but he set up informational controls that exist to the present time. And after Roosevelt, and the war, passed into history, the government in the United States created a so-called cold war with Soviet Russia, instead of Hitler’s Germany, as the chief enemy. Control of the American media then fell into the hands of the newly-formed Central Intelligence Agency who eventually possessed an enormous, all-encompassing machine that clamped down firmly on the national print, and later television media, with an iron hand in a velvet glove. Media outlets that proved to be cooperative with CIA propaganda officials were rewarded for their loyalty and cooperation with valuable, and safe, news and the implication was that enemies of the state would either be subject to scorn and derision and that supporters of the state and its policies would receive praise and adulation.”



The Table of Contents 

  • Meet the Bottomless Pinocchio, a new rating for a false claim repeated over and over again
  • Top Democrats say Trump may face impeachment, jail over hush money
  • The Guardian view on Donald Trump: the net closes
  • John Kelly is just the latest victim of Trump’s dumpster fire of calamities
  • ‘Yellow vest’ protests slow French economy, piling pressure on Macron
  • Are You Ready To Fight a War Over Ukraine?
  • Is Israel Turning a Blind Eye as Israeli Scammers Swindle Victims in France, US, Elsewhere?
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

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TBR News December 9, 2018

Dec 09 2018

Washington, D.C. December 9, 2018: “As the Anaconda tightens its grip on Trump, he becomes more and more manic to the point where even the backwoodsmen and their families who support him will begin to slowly scratch their heads in bewilderment, Now Trump has been telling the world, the huge dissident crowds in Paris have been chanting his name in reverence. That this did not happen does not disturb our President because he lives in a world no one else can see. White House Secret Service personnel, well-acquainted with the habits of the President, have howlingly funny stories to tell about his behavior. The betting inside the Beltway is not if Trump will not finish his term but when he will depart. Bets are being made and bottles of vintage champagne are being put away to celebrate Departure Day.. One will hear the cheering as far away as Baltimore.”

The Table of Contents 

  • Falling for “Les Fake News,” Trump Spreads Lie French Protesters Chant His Name
  • France: More than 1,200 in custody after ‘yellow vest’ riots
  • Some of the Crazy Things That Trump Believes
  • Trump’s Aides Tried to Conceal His Crazy, Racist Beliefs From the Country
  • 19 outlandish conspiracy theories Donald Trump has floated on the campaign trail and in the White House
  • Is There Anything Trump, Cohen, and Manafort Didn’t Lie About?
  • Trump ‘at center of massive fraud against Americans’, top Democrat says
  • Renters forever? 89% of US millennials want to own a home but student debt is stopping them – survey
  • Top 10 US cities where residents struggle the most to pay rent
  • Ron Hubbard as war hero
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

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TBR News December 8, 2018

Dec 08 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 8, 2018 :”As the legal anaconda, personified by Mr. Mueller, tightens its stranglehold on the President, the latter is screaming with rage and fear, sending out reams of semi-literate Twitter messages to his loyal supporters on farms all across the nation. Trump will never go quietly into that good night so one can clearly envision our leader being dragged out the back door of the White House draped in a strait jacket and stuffed into a waiting ambulance. Nixon, at least, had the sense to quit before they nailed him but Donald will crawl under the Oval Office desk and scream his defiance at the men in the white suits. And the roadways around the White House will be clogged with White House staffers, running in all directions and clutching small plants, pictures of their mother and other treasures rescued from their former desk tops. Though is it doubtful he is looking at it, Mr. Mueller would be a far better occupant of the abandoned Presidential office than the present incumbent.”

The Table of Contents 

  • Paris ‘yellow vest’ protests
  • French police clash with ‘yellow vest’ protesters in Paris
  • Color of outrage: Yellow Vests rallies sweep across France and abroad
  • S. prosecutors name Trump in hush payments, detail Russian contacts
  • Mob mentality: how Mueller is working to turn Trump’s troops
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller files new details on Trump aides
  • White House chief of staff Kelly expected to leave imminently
  • The Donald Undone: Tilting at the Swamp, Succumbing to the Empire
  • Colonel James Atwood in the shadows
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

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TBR News December 7, 2018

Dec 07 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 7, 2018 :”In remembrance of things past, today is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the rumblings of popular revolt in France. Roosevelt tricked the Japanese into attacking the United States so he could get into a war with Hitler and in France, a government which supports their rich friends is teetering on the edge of the quarry. All it would take to cause open revolt would be for the police in France to shoot a number of students dead in front of TV cameras and given the mind-set of many police in the world today, this is not an impossibility. A frightened French government will either capitulate or attack; they have no other choice. It will be interesting to see what path they take though in the past most governments kill in defense of their privileges.”

The Table of Contents 

  • French government offers sweeteners to head off fresh ‘yellow vest’ unrest
  • France boosts security amid fear of new ‘yellow vest’ protest riots
  • French government defends heavy-handed police tactics against students
  • Yellow vests: France protests ‘created a monster’, says minister
  • FDR’s Pearl Harbor Fabrication: A Rebuttal
  • The Roosevelt-Churchill Conversations
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

French government offers sweeteners to head off fresh ‘yellow vest’ unrest

December 6, 2018

by Richard Lough, Marine Pennetier


PARIS (Reuters) – The French government hinted at more concessions to ‘yellow vest’ protesters on Thursday in a bid to head off another wave of violence in the capital over living costs and regain the initiative after weeks of civil unrest.

With protesters calling on social media for “Act IV” – a fourth weekend of protest – Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said 65,000 police would be drafted in to stop a repeat of last Saturday’s mayhem in Paris when rioters torched cars and looted shops off the famed Champs Elysees boulevard.

Philippe told the Senate he was open to new measures to help the lowest-paid workers. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he was prepared to accelerate tax cuts for households and that he wanted workers’ bonuses to be tax-free.

“I am ready to look at all measures that will help raise the pay of those on the minimum wage without doing excessive damage to our competitiveness and businesses,” Philippe told the parliament’s upper house.

The rush of sweeteners to soothe public anger began with Philippe’s climb-down on fuel tax hikes, the first major U-turn of Emmanuel Macron’s presidency.

Yet, five days after the worst rioting central Paris has seen since 1968, all signs are that the government has failed to quell the revolt.

A repeat of last Saturday’s violence in Paris’s city center — which saw rioters deface the Arc de Triomphe with anti-Macron graffiti — would deal a blow to the economy and raise doubts over the government’s survival.

Philippe said the state would do all it could to maintain order. At least four first division football matches have been canceled and several museums including Paris’ Grand Palais said they would close.


An official in Macron’s office said intelligence suggested some protesters would come to the capital with the aim to “vandalize and kill”. There is concern about far-right, anarchist and anti-capitalist groups like the Black Bloc, which have piggybacked off the ‘yellow vest’ movement.

The Paris prefecture on Thursday told restaurants and luxury boutiques along the Champs Elysees boulevard to close on Saturday and asked local Paris authorities to prepare their districts for violence.

On Facebook and across social media, protesters are calling for “Act IV”.

“France is fed up!! We will be there in bigger numbers, stronger, standing up for French people. Meet in Paris on Dec. 8,” read one group’s banner.

Security sources said the government was considering using troops currently deployed on anti-terrorism patrols to protect public buildings.

The protests, named after the fluorescent safety jackets French motorists have to keep in their cars, erupted in November over the squeeze on household budgets caused by fuel taxes. Demonstrations swiftly grew into a broad, sometimes-violent rebellion against Macron, with no formal leader.

Their demands are diverse and include lower taxes, higher salaries, cheaper energy costs, better retirement provisions and even Macron’s resignation


Reversing course on next year’s fuel-tax hikes have left a gaping 4 billion euro hole in the government’s 2019 budget which it is now searching for ways to plug.

Citing unnamed sources, Les Echos business daily said the government as considering delaying corporate tax easing planned next year or putting off an increase in the minimum wage.

The unrest has exposed the deep-seated resentment among non-city dwellers that Macron is out-of-touch with the hard-pressed middle class and blue-collar workers. They see the 40-year-old former investment banker as closer to big business.

An Elabe poll on Thursday showed that only 23 percent of people trusted Macron, now lower than his predecessor Francois Hollande at the same period in his presidency.

Trouble is also brewing elsewhere for Macron. Teenage students on Thursday blocked access to more than 200 high schools across the country, burnt garbage bins and setting alight a car in the western city of Nantes. Hundreds of students were arrested after clashes with riot police.

Meanwhile, farmers who have long complained that retailers are squeezing their margins and are furious over a delay to the planned rise in minimum food prices, and truckers are threatening to strike from Sunday.

Le Maire said France was no longer spared from the wave of populism that has swept across Europe.

“It’s only that in France, it’s not manifesting itself at the ballot box, but in the streets.”

Reporting by Richard Lough and Marine Pennetier; additional reporting by Leigh Thomas, Michel Rose, Emmanuel Jarry, John Irish and Myriam Rivet; Editing by Richard Balmforth


France boosts security amid fear of new ‘yellow vest’ protest riots

Officials warned that “major violence” could hit Paris as “yellow vest” protesters plan to gather again this weekend. Teens have also blocked hundreds of schools, while several unions called for solidarity strikes.

December 6, 2018


The political crisis engulfing French President Emmanuel Macron’s government showed no signs of abating on Thursday, as public anger continues to grow despite the scrapping of a controversial fuel tax hike.

Authorities across France are bracing for another weekend of “yellow vest” protests. The movement’s members are known for wearing yellow safety vests carried by French motorists.

The protests began as demonstrations against the fuel tax, which started in November but turned violent in Paris last Saturday, with some of the worst rioting in France in decades. Three weeks of protests have led to four deaths and left hundreds injured.

Some 89,000 security personnel will be deployed across the country on Saturday ahead of the fourth weekend of planned rallies, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday. About 8,000 officers will be in Paris where armored vehicles will be on the streets for the first time since 2005 when riots broke out in the capital’s suburbs.

“We are facing people who are not here to protest, but to smash and we want to have the means to not give them a free rein,” Philippe said during an interview on TF1 national evening news.

Authorities are concerned that far-right and far-left agitators are hijacking the protests to incite further violence. One French presidential source told news agency AFP that they fear “major violence” could hit the capital this weekend.

Shops and restaurants on the Champs-Elysees were urged to close this weekend over concerns of renewed rioting, according to notices seen by the AFP. The Eiffel Tower will also be closed on Saturday.

Half of this weekend’s scheduled French league football matches have been canceled due to security concerns.

Teens protest education reforms

On Thursday, students blocked some 200 French high schools to protest education reforms. They demanded an end to testing overhauls and a controversial new online platform for allocating university placements, local media reported.

Some of the protests grew violent, with masked demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails and setting fire to trash cans. A car was also set on fire in the western city of Nantes.

Growing calls for strikes

Although the “yellow vests” do not have formal leaders and are not affiliated with any labor union or political party, several French unions have called for strikes to coincide with the demonstrations.

The CGT trade union called on its energy workers to stage a 48-hour walkout on December 13, adding that they wanted to join the “yellow vests.”

France’s main farmers’ union said on Wednesday that its members would stage demonstrations every day next week. Two truck driver unions also called for an indefinite sympathy strike starting from Sunday night.

Who are the ‘yellow vests’?

The movement developed out of a petition against fuel taxes which then spread via Facebook’s new algorithm for disseminating local news, and a variety of social media groups. On November 17 yellow vest-wearing protesters blocked roads across the country and hampered access to factories and some fuel depots.

Further rallies spread quickly, spanning France’s rural and urban areas. What initially started as a campaign against Macron’s tax hike grew into a broader opposition movement to his government, which was elected in May 2017.

Protesters have voiced concern over the high cost of living and urged for higher salaries and lower taxes as well as Macron’s resignation.


French government defends heavy-handed police tactics against students

December 7, 2018


PARIS (Reuters) – France’s government on Friday defended the tactics of riot police who forced several dozen detained high-school students to kneel in rows with their hands held behind their heads or in handcuffs after violent protests west of Paris.

Students this week have been blocking access to scores of high schools across France in protest at President Emmanuel Macron’s education reforms, just as the 40-year-old leader grapples with sometimes-violent demonstrations over living costs.

Videos and photos of the students from two high schools in Val Fourre, a deprived neighborhood outside Mantes-La-Jolie, 60 kilometers west of Paris, went viral on social media late on Thursday, prompting public outrage.

“Over the past few days, the students have been joined by about 100 hooded youths armed with clubs and incendiary devices and determined to pick a fight with police,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told a news conference.

Castaner said roadblocks had been set alight, projectiles hurled at motorists and houses robbed in the area around the two schools.

“It is in this context that the security forces stepped in,” the minister added.

No students were injured while detained in the Val Fourre incident, French media reported.

But some social media users said the scene, with some of the teenagers lined up facing a wall, resembled a mock mass-execution.

“Can anyone tell me if they’ve witnessed such a thing in the last 50 years,” one Twitter user said.

Another tweet read: “These images of teenagers on their knees at the feet of CRS (riot police) are unworthy of a democracy. The government needs to take charge and re-establish chains of command.”

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer described the images as “shocking” but said the violence convulsing France in recent weeks justified the heavy-handed policing.

France is hunkering down for another wave of potentially violent protests on Saturday as Macron struggles to quell public anger at the cost of living. Senior allies said he would address the nation early next week.

Reporting by Inti Landauro and Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Hugh Lawson


Yellow vests: France protests ‘created a monster’, says minister

December 7, 2018

BBC News

Anti-government protests in France have “created a monster”, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has said.

And he is warning that “radical elements” could infiltrate planned “yellow vest” protests at the weekend.

Tourist sites in Paris are to close on Saturday amid fears of further street violence.

The protests began three weeks ago, initially against a rise in fuel taxes but have spread to take in other issues, including education reforms.

Mr Castaner said “large-scale security measures” would be put in place this weekend.

Across France, 89,000 police officers will be on duty and armoured vehicles will be deployed in the capital, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced.

Paris police have urged shops and restaurants on the Champs-Elysees to shut and some museums will also be closed.

The government has said it is scrapping the unpopular fuel tax increases in its budget – but discontent with the government has spread and protests have erupted over other issues.

Further protests have been reported in the east of country.

One student has been injured following a demonstration in the town of Montbéliard, about 13km from the border with Switzerland, local media report. A police officer was seriously injured at a student protest in Mulhouse, according to French broadcaster BFMTV.

The AFP news agency reports that authorities seized 28 Molotov cocktails and 3 homemade bombs from “yellow vest” protesters in the south of the country.

There has also been widespread anger at images showing how police made high school students kneel and put their hands behind their heads following clashes on Thursday in Mantes-la-Jolie, to the west of Paris.

What has the government said?

Mr Castaner told reporters that the past three weeks of demonstrations had “created a monster that escaped from its creators.”

He said authorities would respond with “firmness”.

He went on: “I will have no tolerance of those who capitalise on the distress of our citizens.”

An official with the interior ministry told AFP news agency authorities were braced for “significant violence” on Saturday, with activists from both the far right and far left planning to converge on the capital.

In an interview with TV channel TF1, Mr Philippe said 8,000 police would be deployed in Paris as well as a dozen armoured vehicles.

He repeated an appeal for calm but added: “We are facing people who are not here to protest, but to smash and we want to have the means not to give them a free rein.”

Earlier, Mr Philippe suggested there might be further concessions to protesters, telling the Senate that the government was open to new measures to help the lowest-paid workers.

How will Paris be affected?

The operator of the Eiffel Tower said the threat of violent protests on Saturday made it impossible to ensure “adequate security conditions”

City authorities say they are stepping up protection for famous landmarks after the Arc de Triomphe was damaged last week.

Museums, including the Louvre and Orsay, opera houses and the Grand Palais complex will close on Saturday.

Police have asked businesses along the Champs-Elysees and other major shopping streets to stay closed and to remove any outdoor items such as tables and chairs.

Several football matches have also been postponed, including those between Paris and Montpellier, and Saint-Etienne and Marseille.

What other protests have there been?

On Thursday young people took to the streets, protesting over education reforms.

More than 140 people were arrested when a protest outside a school in Mantes-la-Jolie, to the west of Paris, ended in clashes with police. Two cars were set on fire.

Pictures of the arrests, in which the students were made to kneel and put their hands behind their heads, sparked outrage on social media. French broadcaster BFMTV said the incident lasted “several hours.”

“Now there’s a well-behaved class,” a police office was heard saying on video.

The town’s police chief told Le Monde newspaper that those arrested were suspected of taking part in an “armed gathering”, adding that officers had wanted to break up a situation that was getting “out of control.”

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said he was “clearly shocked”, by the events but added that they must be put in “context”. Mr Castaner described the images as “tough” to watch but added that the students had been joined by armed protesters.

Dozens of schools were blockaded in cities including Marseille, Nantes and Paris. Students have been angered by President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to change the end-of-school exam, known as the baccalaureate, which is required for entrance to university.

Critics fear the reforms will limit opportunity and breed inequality.

Who are the protesters?

The “gilets jaunes” protesters, so-called because they have taken to the streets wearing the high-visibility yellow clothing that is required to be carried in every vehicle by French law, initially complained at a sharp increase in diesel taxes.

Mr Macron said his motivation for the increase was environmental, but protesters accused him of being out of touch.

The government later scrapped the plan but the yellow vest protesters were not placated. Last week, the movement – despite a lack of central leadership – issued more than 40 demands to government.

Among them were a minimum pension, widespread changes to the tax system, and a reduction in the retirement age.

The protest movement has gained momentum via social media, encompassing a whole range of participants from the anarchist far left to the nationalist far right, and moderates in between.

FDR’s Pearl Harbor Fabrication: A Rebuttal

December 6, 2018

by Adam Graham

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and … looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.… Japan has … undertaken a surprise offensive extending across the Pacific area.… I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

Such were the words of US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt on December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As dates go in US history, December 7 certainly ranks among the most broadly remembered; a most infamous day, indeed, of a much more infamous war. And perhaps no more definitive event is offered when considering the history of American involvement in any war in the 20th century, considered to be one of the most clear cut examples of unprovoked aggression and resulting defensive actions. Indeed, even the America First Committee, the longstanding bastion of non-interventionism in America, just four days afterward on December 11, voted to disband their organization once war, in their mind, had entered the realm of necessity.

But in the spirit of testing and questioning all things, we should consider the accuracy of FDR’s words. Is it true that there existed a peaceful relationship between the United States and Japan? That they sought peace in the Pacific? That the attack on the Hawaiian islands was truly unprovoked? And that it was one of a surprise nature with no warning or build up? Was Congress and the American people told the truth about Pearl Harbor? Or is there more to the story than meets the eye?

It Was Most Certainly NOT Unprovoked

One of the aspects of the Pearl Harbor attack that is most powerful in the minds of the American citizen is that of its allegedly unprovoked nature. The impression held by most is one akin to someone simply walking up to a friend and punching them in the nose with no warning. However, if you were to see such a thing in the real world the most reasonable assumption would naturally be that there must be some justification, in the eyes of the assaulter at the very least. So to the principled American mind, the question ought to be posed: was there actually some provocation in this case, some reasoning for Japanese aggression?

As it turns out, there is. Germany and Japan had been allied as part of the Tripartite Pact more than a year earlier, in September of 1940. For the sake of argument, if we extend our record of American relations with Japan to the overarching German-Japanese alliance, we will already find much evidence pointing to anything but a lack of provocation. Beginning from 1941 onward, the US participated in the Lend-Lease program, a policy of providing war materiel, free of charge to Britain in exchange for land leases, and eventually the Soviet Union, China, and others. Not only was the budget for the program hidden and obscured within the overall military budget during the war but it placed American ships and personnel at risk. Most of all, this action alone represented a break from any pretense of non-intervention in World War II proper.

But Lend-Lease was just the beginning. Roosevelt went on to make it explicitly clear that American ships and military convoys were supplying the British and even went so far as to instruct American ships to report German submarine positions to the British. Even after the famous destruction of the USS Greer while performing said assistance, Congress still did not declare war on Germany or, by extension, Japan, nor did Germany do likewise. It would be reasonable to see these actions as provocative not only to Germany but to its allies but it could be argued that these activities did not occur with or directly involve the Japanese directly and may not constitute as powerful a case.

We also history of US intervention and provocation of a more direct nature with Japan herself. Beginning in the early ’30s, the Japanese had been busy waging a series of invasions and ongoing conflict on the eastern Asian mainland, beginning in Manchuria and eventually extending into China proper. The second Sino-Japanese war is noted for its brutality and length but for much of that time the US did not intervene. But beginning in 1940, the US posture changed, with Roosevelt approving funding of Chinese war materiel and the application of sanctions and other restrictions against Japan on trade like iron and scrap steel. The following summer of 1941 oil shipments were restricted and soon after Japanese assets were frozen. These actions were accompanied by an increase in Chinese military assistance. For the libertarian, not only were each of these actions tantamount to threats of aggression, with Japan being rather natural resource poor and requiring heavy imports, but they also restricted the rights of free trade of US citizens and directly betrayed the non-belligerence that the vast majority of American citizens supported.

These myriad actions certainly show that there was no obvious policy of peace pursued in the Pacific. For those citizens not aware of the tension that existed between the two states, Pearl Harbor probably did seem like wanton aggression out of the blue. But, as is so often the case, one person’s surprise is, to the informed, a logical conclusion.

It Was Welcomed by FDR (And Churchill)

This gradual and blatant ramp-up of tensions with Japan should seem a bit strange within the context the period at large. Throughout the ’30s, while Japan conducted its expansionist actions throughout eastern Asia, Americans remained staunchly non-interventionist and Roosevelt continuously campaigned under the premise that, “your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” And yet, curiously, no sanctions or aggressive actions were taken against Japan until much later, around the turn of the decade, and only after repeated provocations were ignored by Hitler in the Atlantic. Could it be that Japan offered Roosevelt a back door to war?

As Sheldon Richman tells us, “As early as 1938, Roosevelt quietly explored with the British the possibility of war with Japan.” In 1940, with the approval and cooperation of Roosevelt and federal agencies, the British agent William Stephenson, aka “Intrepid”, was allowed to set up shop in New York City to actively intercept public messages and orchestrate smear campaigns against isolationist figures in the US. Churchill also, after hearing that the British ambassador to Japan Robert Craigie was attempting to maintain a peaceful relationship with Japan, ensured that, “[Craigie] should surely be told forthwith that the entry of the United States into war either with Germany and Italy or with Japan, is fully conformable with British interests. Nothing in the munitions sphere can compare with the importance of the British Empire and the United States being co-belligerent.”

But, though Churchill was certainly intent on using any means possible to encourage Roosevelt to aid him in Europe, he had no shortage of homegrown help. In October of 1940, Lieutenant Commander Arthur McCollum issued a memorandum, forwarded to two of FDR’s closest military advisors, which contained eight steps specifically intended, as Secretary of War Henry Stimson would later phrase it, “to maneuver them [Japan] into the position of firing the first shot.” Those steps were as follows:

1.Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore.

2.Make an arrangement with Holland for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies [now Indonesia].

3.Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek.

4.Send a division of long-range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore.

5.Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient.

6.Keep the main strength of the US Fleet, now in the Pacific, in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.

7.Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil.

8.Completely embargo all trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire.

It is unclear from the first-hand evidence of the paper trail of the original memo whether FDR himself saw the memo with his own eyes but the circumstantial case seems clear especially since, as Robert Stinnett states, “beginning the very next day, with FDR’s involvement, McCollum’s proposals were systematically put into effect.”

Take, just for instance, Action D. Regarding the presence of US cruisers and naval power in the Orient, Roosevelt himself, in words that should chill any trusting American’s bones, commanded that “I just want them to keep popping up here and there and keep the Japs guessing. I don’t mind losing one or two cruisers, but do not take a chance on losing five or six.” The Navy Pacific fleet commander, Admiral Husband Kimmel, objected, making it blatantly clear that, “It is ill-advised and will result in war if we make this move.” And this is just one of the proposed 8 actions. Despite Kimmel’s objections and against international law, naval “pop-up cruises” were indeed launched in March through July of 1941.

On October 8, 1940, one day after the memo was issued, the US State Department dispatched instructions for Americans to evacuate the Far East as soon as possible. As well, the very same day, Roosevelt began the execution of plans to move and keep the Pacific fleet stationed in Hawaii during a presidential luncheon. Admiral James Richardson, present at the luncheon, quoted the president as saying “Sooner or later the Japanese would commit an overt act against the United States and the nation would be willing to enter the war.” Admirably, Richardson opposed Roosevelt’s actions and intentions but, unsurprisingly, he was also relieved of his command on February 1, 1941. It seems that FDR’s experience stacking judicial and executive branch positions with “yes men” during the New Deal era would continue to be of use.

Despite the long list of provocative actions, there were still many opportunities to reduce this tension. The US and the Japanese came to a number of possible settlements during the years leading up to 1941 that could have offered a deescalation from their trajectory of war. The Japanese made an offer in 1940 that included their leaving China and the Tripartite pact but that offer was not taken. Even as late as November 20, 1941, Japan offered to withdraw troops from Indochina and restore peace with China in exchange for the lifting of trade restrictions against them but then Secretary of State Cordell Hull considered the deal unacceptable. He instead issued an ultimatum on November 26 requiring complete withdrawal from China and Indochina which he could be confident would be rejected. And Japan did, indeed, reject the ultimatum, at 1:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time, on December 7, 1941.

There Was Plenty of Warning

At this point, it may be difficult, in light of the evidence above, to believe that the eventual Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor could have possibly been a surprise to almost anyone close to Roosevelt or his military officials. While it is certainly possible that the complex plans and secretive actions and motives of Washington could have been kept hidden from the average American, it seems highly unlikely that those in the thick of the daily diplomatic and military proceedings with Japan could have been caught unaware. But, for the sake of being thorough, we may nevertheless ask ourselves, “did Roosevelt, or anyone else for that matter, know that Japan planned an overt attack on Pearl Harbor?”

The first obvious note is that so many of the Roosevelt administration’s actions leading up to late 1941 were engineered with the primary purpose of provoking an attack by Japan. Take, for instance, action F from McCollum’s 8 point plan which desired to keep the bulk of the Pacific fleet in the area of the Hawaiian islands. It could possibly be argued that Pearl Harbor could be rightfully considered a “surprise attack” of sorts in the sense that it was not known with accuracy beforehand exactly when or where the attack could occur. But it certainly would not be reasonable to consider it very surprising that such an attack would take place within the vicinity of the Pacific as a whole and, since the fleet was effectively used as bait, that it would occur against this obvious military target.

In the months and years after the attack, various investigations and reports were conducted to review the facts and attempt to understand where blame might be warranted. Details in those reports shed much useful light on just how much was known ahead of time. For instance, Captain Laurence Safford, who was in charge of much of the deciphering of Japanese messages during the early ’40s, testified that it was clear as early as May 1941 that the Japanese were preparing for some sort of military action in the Pacific. As well, between December 1 and 4, it was known that Japan intended to attack the US and Britain and on December 6 and 7 that Japan would formally declare war on the US. Yet this information was not forwarded to those on the ground in Hawaii or those responsible for its readiness.

A slew of others involved in cryptoanalytic and diplomatic activities at the time were also incredulous as to how the forces at Pearl Harbor could be caught so unawares. William Friedman, army cryptanalyst who assisted in breaking the Japanese “purple” diplomatic code was dumbfounded, having reportedly exclaimed to his wife, “But they knew, they knew, they knew.” Dusko Popov, a famed British double agent had disclosed the plans for the attack to the FBI in August and stated, prior to hearing the actual results of December 7, that “I was sure the American fleet had scored a great victory over the Japanese. I was very, very proud that I had been able to give the warning to the Americans four months in advance. What a reception the Japanese must have had!” And Tommy Wisden, a British Royal Navy codebreaker wondered, “With all the information we gave them. How could the Americans have been caught unprepared?”

A number of Japanese messages had been intercepted and decoded that pointed very obviously toward Pearl Harbor as the location, among them the “bomb plot” message of October 4, describing the plotting of Pearl Harbor into a supposed bombing grid, the “winds execute” message of December 4 which denoted an imminent Japanese attack, a December 6 message describing methods of signaling movements and positions of ships within the harbor, and the aforementioned message containing the precise timing of the Japanese rejection of the November 1941 ultimatum.

Ultimately, despite disagreements regarding exactly how much was known by whom and when, Sheldon Richman distills the points that are much more agreed upon: “(1) Franklin Roosevelt and his closest aides had seen Japanese messages that should have indicated to them (if they did not indeed do so) that Pearl Harbor would be attacked at dawn on December 7. (2) The commanders at Pearl Harbor, who were later made scapegoats, were inexcusably denied critical intelligence that would have likely caused them to take precautions that would have spoiled the Japanese surprise and probably prevented the attack.” These points alone should provide enough reason to doubt the incredulousness of Roosevelt and his leadership.

The Bottom Line

In America’s history, Pearl Harbor was not the first useful excuse for a politician’s entry into war and it was definitely not the last. It is my hope that, with this information in hand, the next similar situation that is destined to occur will be met with a healthy skepticism, one that it will most likely deserve and one that was unfortunately lacking in 1941. With any luck, when the time comes, that skepticism may save countless lives and further encroachments on American liberty.


The Roosevelt-Churchill Conversations

On March 6, 1942, German Minister of Post, Dr. Wilhelm Ohnesorge, sent the following letter to Adolf Hitler. To it was attached a sample manuscript of an intercepted conversation.


The Reichspost Minister                 Berlin W 66                                  6 March 1942

Leipziger Str. 15

Geheime Reichssache!

(Secret State Matter)

U5342-11Bfb Nr. 23 gRs

Decoding of the American-England telephone system

Mein Führer!

The Research Section (Forschungsanstalt) of the German Reichspost has, as the latest of its efforts, completed a unit designed to intercept the telephone message traffic between the United States and England which had been rendered unintelligible by their use of current communications technology. Because of the significant work of its technicians, the Reichspost is the sole agency in Germany that is now able to make immediate interception and decoding of these hitherto unintelligible conversations.

I will present these results to the Reichsführer-SS, Pg Himmler who will forward them on the 22nd of March.

It is my intention, pending your approval, to strictly limit the circulation of these communications in order that no news of our success reaches the English. This might seriously jeopardize future interceptions.

Heil mein Führer!


In 1937, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company put into use a telephone scrambling device called the A-3. This device, which permitted telephone conversations to be scrambled at one and descrambled at the other, effectively prevented interception of the conversations en route.

The German Reichspost (state postal system responsible for the telephone and telegraph systems in Germany) had purchased the A-3 system from AT&T before the war for use on lines in service between Germany and the United States. However, each set of scrambling devices was different and in practice, the possessors of one set could not intercept the transmissions of another.

The A-3 system in use between Roosevelt and Churchill was housed, in America, in a secure area of the AT&T offices at 47 Walker Street in New York City and the British A-3 counterpart was located at Whitehall in London. Roosevelt’s calls to Churchill were routed through the New York office where technicians constantly supervised the conversations to be certain that the transmitted speech was unintelligible after passing through the scrambling devices.

In September of 1939, the A-3 system was in use by the White House and on the first day of that month, Roosevelt heard from his personal friend and Ambassador to France, William Bullitt, that the Germans had invaded Poland.

The Germans were well aware that Roosevelt used this device through an indiscreet article in the New York Times of October 8, 1939 entitled “Roosevelt Protected in Talks to Envoys by Radio Scrambling to Foil Spies Abroad.”

The spies abroad found this indiscretion stimulating and Dr. Ohnesorge determined to find a way to unscramble the President’s messages. He assigned a specialist in the field, Kurt Vetterlein, to work on the project using the A-3 equipment then in the hands of the Reichspost as a basis. By late 1940, Vetterlein and his team of specialists had effectively broken Roosevelt’s secure system.

Vetterlein then built a device that was able to descramble each conversation as it progressed without the loss of a single word and Ohnesorge ordered an intercept station to be established in the occupied Dutch coastal town of Noorwikj aan Zee, just north of den Haag. Here, in a former youth hostel, Vetterlein set up the equipment he needed to begin a full-scale 24-hour program of interception and transcription of the trans-Atlantic radio telephone traffic.

The first intercept was made at 7:45 PM on September 7, 1941. The daily number of intercepted calls, on a 24 hour basis, ranged from a high of sixty to a low of thirty and were screened by experts for their intelligence value. Important material was transcribed in the original English and send by courier either to Hitler’s military headquarters in East Prussia or to Heinrich Himmler at the RSHA in Berlin.

Himmler, in turn, had the original English texts translated into German and distributed within his organization. SS General Gottlob Berger, head of Himmler’s Main Office, was one of the recipients and the head of Overseas Intelligence of the Sicherheitsdienst or SD received others.

These intercepts, coupled with confidential coded reports by Bruggmann, Swiss Minister to the United States, proved to be of incredible value to German intelligence organs and gave the Germans the closest look at the inner workings of the top leadership of the United States. Bruggmann was the brother-in-law of Vice President Henry Wallace who was absolutely indiscreet about top level police decisions. The Swiss Minister had no idea that the Germans were reading all of his secret dispatches to the Swiss Foreign Office in Bern just as the American President and the British Prime Minister had no idea their often sophomoric and pompous chatterings were ending up on the desk of Adolf Hitler within hours after they hung up.

Ever since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the subsequent entry of the United States into what then became World War II, there has been a heated and protracted debate about the historical role played by Roosevelt in this episode. His detractors have claimed that the President was fully aware of the impending Japanese attack and allowed it to proceed because it supplied him a casus belli that would permit him to actively engage his real enemy, Hitler. Much is made of the interception and decoding of Japanese official military and governmental messages, which in hindsight would appear to point clearly to a Japanese attack.

Certainly, the decoding of Japanese Foreign Office diplomatic traffic would indicate the strong probability of a military attack on the United States by the Japanese if their respective governments were unable to resolve their problems in the Pacific.

None of the diplomatic messages, however, were specific about such an attack and all that can be gained from reading them is the clear knowledge that the Japanese did not want war with the United States and, like Saddam Hussein of Iraq, were desperately seeking some kind of a peaceful solution.

Given that Roosevelt was aware of this attitude, which he clearly was, there has been no proof that the President was aware of a specific attack on the United States.

On November 26, 1941, the German intercept station in Holland recorded the following conversation between Roosevelt and Churchill concerning the situation in the Pacific. It is of such historical importance that it is reproduced in full and copies of the original German documents are attached. These transcripts of the Roosevelt/Churchill conversations were always initially in English and were then later translated into German.

Roosevelt-Churchill Conversation of November 26, 1941

This conversation is taken directly from a German transcript of a trans-Atlantic scrambled telephone conversation initiated by British Prime Minister Winston Spencer-Churchill and American President Franklin Roosevelt. The original was taken down in English and a German translation is in the German State Archives.

The original carbon copy of this, and other historically important German intercepts, came from the private files of Robert T. Crowley, formerly Deputy Director of Clandestine Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Conversation Participants

A=Franklin Roosevelt, Washington

B= Winston Churchill, London

B: I am frightfully sorry to disturb you at this hour, Franklin, but matters of a most vital import have transpired and I felt that I must convey them to you immediately.

A: That’s perfectly all right, Winston. I’m sure you wouldn’t trouble me at this hour for trivial concerns.

B: Let me preface my information with an explanation addressing the reason I have not alluded to these facts earlier. In the first place, until today, the information was not firm. On matters of such gravity, I do not like to indulge in idle chatter. Now, I have in my hands, reports from our agents in Japan as well as the most specific intelligence in the form of the highest level Japanese naval coded messages (conversation broken) for some time now.

A: I felt this is what you were about. How serious is it?

B: It could not be worse, A powerful Japanese task force comprising (composed of) six of their carriers, two battleships and a number of other units to include (including) tankers and cruisers, has sailed yesterday from a secret base in the northern Japanese islands.

A: We both knew this was coming. There are also reports in my hands about a force of some size making up in China and obviously intended to go (move) South.

B: Yes, we have all of that. (Interruption) ..are far more advanced than you in our reading of the Jap naval operations codes. But even without that, their moves are evident. And they will indeed move South but the force I spoke of is not headed South, Franklin, it is headed East..

A: Surely you must be…will you repeat that please?

B: I said to the East. This force is sailing to the East…towards you.

A: Perhaps they set an easterly course to fool any observers and then plan to swing South to support the landings in the southern areas. I have…

B: No, at this moment, their forces are moving across the northern Pacific and I can assure you that their goal is the (conversation broken) fleet in Hawaii. At Pearl Harbor.

A: This is monstrous. Can you tell me…indicate…the nature of your intelligence? (conversation broken) reliable? Without compromising your sources…

B: Yes, I will have to be careful. Our agents in Japan have been reporting on the gradual (conversation broken) units. And these have disappeared from Japanese home waters. We also have highly reliable sources in the Japanese Foreign Service and even the military…

A: How reliable?

B: One of the sources is the individual who supplied us the material on the diplomatic codes that (conversation broken) and a Naval officer whom our service has compromised. You must trust me, Franklin and I cannot be more specific.

A: I accept this.

B: We cannot compromise our code breaking. You understand this. Only myself and a few (conversation broken) not even Hopkins. It will go straight to Moscow and I am not sure we want that.

A: I am still attempting to…the obvious implication is that the Japs are going to do a Port Arthur on us at Pearl Harbor. Do you concur?

B: I do indeed. Unless they add an attack on the Panama Canal to this vile business. I can hardly envision the canal as a primary goal, especially with your fleet lying athwart their lines of communications with Japan. No, if they do strike the canal, they will have to first neutralize (destroy) your fleet (conversation broken).

A: The worse form of treachery. We can prepare our defenses on the islands and give them a warm welcome when they come. It would certainly put some iron up Congress’ ass (asshole).

B: On the other hand, if they did launch a bombing raid, given that the aircraft would only be of the carrier-borne types, how much actual damage could they inflict? And on what target?

A: I think torpedoes would be ruled out at the outset. Pearl is far too shallow to permit a successful torpedo attack. Probably they would drop medium bombs on the ships and then shoot (conversation broken) damage a number of ships and no doubt the Japs would attack our airfields. I could see some damage there but I don’t think either an airfield or a battleship could sink very far. What do your people give you as the actual date of the attack?

B: The actual date given is the eighth of December. That’s a Monday.

A: The fleet is in harbor over the weekend. They often sortie during the week…

B: The Japs are asking (conversation broken) exact dispositions of your ships on a regular basis.

A: But Monday seems odd. Are you certain?

B: It is in the calendar. Monday is the eighth. (conversation broken).

A:…then I will have to reconsider the entire problem. A Japanese attack on us, which would result in war between us…and certainly you as well…would certainly fulfill two of the most important requirements of our policy. Harry has told me repeatedly…and I have more faith in him than I do in the Soviet ambassador…that Stalin is desperate at this point. The Nazis are at the gates of Moscow, his armies are melting away…the government has evacuated and although Harry and Marshall feel that Stalin can hang on and eventually defeat Hitler, their is no saying what could transpire (happen) if the Japs suddenly fell on Stalin’s rear. In spite of all the agreements between them and the Japs dropping Matsuoka, there is still strong anti-Russian sentiment in high Japanese military circles. I think that we have to decide what is more important…keeping Russia in the war to bleed the Nazis dry to their own eventual destruction (conversation broken) supply Stalin with weapons but do not forget, in fact he is your ally, not mine. There are strong isolationist feelings here and there are quite a number of anti-Communists…

B: Fascists…

A: Certainly, but they would do all they could to block any attempt on my part to do more than give some monetary assistance to Stalin.

B: But we too have our major desperations, Franklin. Our shipping upon which our nation depends, is being sunk by the huns faster than we could ever replace (conversation broken) the Japs attack both of us in the Pacific? We could lose Malaya which is our primary source of rubber and tin. And if the Japs get Java and the oil, they could press South to Australia and I have told you repeatedly, we cannot hold (conversation broken) them much but in truth I cannot deliver. We need every man and every ship to fight Hitler in Europe…India too. If the Japs get into Malaya, they can press on virtually unopposed into Burma and then India. Need I tell you of the resultant destruction of our Empire? We cannot survive on this small island, Franklin, (conversation broken) allow the nips (knips?) to attack, you can get your war declaration through your Congress after all. (conversation broken)

A: Not as capable as you are at translating there messages and the army and navy are very jealous of each other. There is so much coming in that everyone is confused. We have no agents in place in Japan and every day dozens of messages are (conversation broken) that contradict each other or are not well translated. I have seen three translations of the same message with three entirely different meanings (conversation broken) address your concern about British holdings in the Pacific…if the Japanese do attack both of us, eventually we will be able to crush them and regain all of the lost territories. As for myself, I will be damned glad to be rid of the Phillipines.(sic)

B: I see this as a gamble (conversation broken) what would your decision be? We cannot procrastinate over this for too long. Eleven or twelve days are all we have. Can we not agree in principle now? I should mention that several advisors have counseled (advised) against informing you of this and allowing it to happen. You see by notifying you where my loyalty lies. Certainly to one who is heart and soul with us against Hitler.

A: I do appreciate your loyalty, Winston. What on the other hand, will happen here if one of our intelligence people is able to intercept, decipher and deliver to me the same information you just gave me? I cannot just ignore it…all of my intelligence people will know about it then. I could not ignore this.

B: But if it were just a vague message then?

A: No, a specific message. I could not just sweep it under the rug like that (conversation broken).

B: Of course not. I think we should matters develop as they will.

A: I think that perhaps I can find a reason to absent (leave) myself from Washington while this crisis develops. What I don’t know can’t hurt me and I too can misunderstand messages, especially at a distance (conversation broken)

B: Completely. My best to you all there.

A: Thank you for your call.


In dealing with documents of a controversial nature, there are a number of factors to be considered. The first point to consider is the authenticity of the document in question.

Authenticity can be determined by several means. There is the provenience of the piece; where it came from and a catalog of the owners showing unbroken custody. Then there is the forensic study of the document. Is the paper correct to the period when the document was purported to have been written. Is the typewriter or the handwriting correct? If ink is used, can it be tested as to age?

These are the forensic issues and the next issue is one of plausibility. Does the document accurately reflect knowledge and opinion when it was alleged to have been written? The sure sign of a faked or altered piece is if it reflects information known only after the fact and not before.

As a case in point, American newspapers contemporary with the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April of 1912, reported on what was then believed to be fact. These perceived facts later turned out to be in error. A document that accurately depicts the opinions, and errors, current with its alleged origin is far more believable than one that reflects information that was developed at a later date, information that could not be known to a period writer.

In the case of the copies of the German intercepts, these principles have been carefully adhered to. Because of the importance of some of these captured papers, it is vital to at least ascertain their authenticity based on the forensic criteria.

These documents, fortunately, exist in their original form.

The Roosevelt/Churchill conversation of November 26, 1941, was typed on a German Olympia typewriter, manufactured in 1938. The typeface does not indicate excessive wear such as one would find in an old, second-hand machine.

The paper on which the document was originally typed is common pulp paper, very quick to age. This paper proved to be unremarkable pulp that could have come from any period. There were no chemical additives, as are found in post 1948 paper, and no wood pulp additives that would preclude period German manufacture.

The next step in authentication would be to study the text to see if the speech was consistent with the speakers, their education and background.

In studying this aspect of the conversations, it must be remembered that these intercepts were taken down directly from the intercepted messages, as they were in progress. The technicians were persons in German employ who were conversant with idiomatic English. They were not necessarily of German birth or upbringing and attempting to write down intercepts in a foreign language could easily lead to minor grammatical or textual errors.

It is also necessary to consider the personal attitudes of persons who wish not to believe the authenticity of very controversial documents.

As a case in point, using this November 26, 1941, intercept as an example, several scholars have decided that the text is authentic. One recent reviewer, historian John Lukacs, has decided that it is not.

Dr. Lukacs has written at some length about this intercept in the American Heritage magazine of November/December 2002.

A very polished writer, Dr. Lukacs has stated that he simply cannot, and will not, accept this conversation as authentic. He stated in his article that he once spoke with an unnamed elderly British translator who stated she could not accept some of the comments made in the text.

There is the argument that Churchill would never have called Roosevelt by his first name. Since Roosevelt had known Churchill and his family for some time before the date of the conversation, there is no logical reason why he would not have used the President’s first name. Roosevelt’s mother was a friend of the Churchill family and had been visiting with them in England in 1915. This is an obscure fact, admittedly, but one that is not so concealed that it could never be discovered by a competent researcher.

There is also the question of Churchill’s use of ‘fascist’ in the conversation when Lukacs feels that ‘Nazi’ would be more accurate. A number of Churchill’s published speeches contain references to both definitions. Lukacs refers to the use of this word as ‘nonsensical’ when in fact published material shows that Churchill very clearly had used it a number of times in his writings and speeches.

What all of this proves is nothing more than the fact that Dr. Lukacs is not happy with the implication that Churchill, about whom he has written glowingly and at great length and whom he holds in the highest esteem, had prior knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack and was engaged in plotting with his American opposite number to let it go forward. By both Roosevelt and Churchills’ doing so, it is obvious many lives were lost and the war burst forth on a global dimension.

Dr. Peter Hoffman from Canada and Dr. Lukacs have both written in glowing phrases about their particular historical idols. Hoffman produced a highly laudatory work on Claus von Stauffenberg, as worshipful as the Lukacs’ Churchill works, and any writer who dares to denigrate their heroes immediately draws the academic ire of their biographers.

These academic gentlemen have staked out their turf, as it were, and like many other academics, will fight to the death to defend their own territory. It is never an edifying sight to witness distinguished academics engaged in behavior redolent of  elderly whores engaging in a hair-pulling and purse-swinging battle in a dark alley over possession of a drunken client but this sort of activity seems to be more the norm than the exception

The ferocity of these encounters is always in direct proportion to the unimportance of the subject.

In essence, Dr. Lukacs simply cannot, and will not, accept anything that brings the character, or lack of it, of his primary hero into question.

Many do indeed revere both Roosevelt and Churchill. Still others revere Hitler and Stalin and are just as fierce in the defense of their respective heroes.

The personality of Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill could very well be a subject of interest to an alienist who, by definition, is a physician who treats mental disorders. There is a saying that the world is governed with very little sense and there are times when one could add to this statement that it often has been governed by lunatics.

(For an illuminating discussion of the personality and activities of Churchill, see a report by eminent American historian Harry Elmer Barnes in the Appendix)

Churchill was born in 1874 and died in 1965. His father was Randolph Spencer-Churchill, a son of the Duke of Marlborough. The first Duke was John Churchill, one of England’s most capable military commanders, who died without male issue in 1722 and the title was given to one of his nephews, a Spencer. As a courtesy, the Spencer family was allowed to add Churchill to its name, separated by a hyphen. Winston always wanted to believe that he was a gifted military leader in the mold of the first Duke but his efforts at generalship were always unqualified disasters that he generally blamed on other people. This chronic refusal to accept responsibility for his own incompetent actions is one of Churchill’s less endearing qualities.

Randolph Churchill died early as the result of rampant syphilis that turned him from an interesting minor politician to a pathetic madman who had to be kept away from the public, in the final years of his life. His mother was the former Jennie Jerome, an American. The Jerome family had seen better days when Jennie met Randolph. Her father, Leonard, was a stock-market manipulator who had lost his money and the marriage was more one of convenience than of affection.

The Jeromes were by background very typically American. On her father’s side, Jennie was mostly Irish and on her mother’s American Indian and Jewish. The union produced two children, Winston and Jack. The parents lived separate lives, both seeking the company of other men. Winston’s psyche suffered accordingly and throughout his life, his frantic desire for attention obviously had its roots in his abandonment as a child.

As a member of the 4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars, in 1896 Churchill became embroiled in a lawsuit wherein he was publicly accused of having engaged in the commission of “acts of gross immorality of the Oscar Wilde type.” This case was duly settled out of court for a payment of money and the charges were withdrawn. Also a determinant factor was the interference by the Prince of Wales with whom his mother was having an affair.

In 1905, Churchill hired a young man, Edward Marsh (later Sir Edward) as his private secretary. His mother, always concerned about her son’s political career, was concerned because Marsh was a very well known homosexual who later became one of Winston’s most intimate lifelong friends. Personal correspondence of March, now in private hands, attests to the nature and duration of their friendship.

Churchill, as Asquith once said, was consumed with vanity and his belief that he was a brilliant military leader led him from the terrible disaster of Gallipoli through the campaigns of the Second World War. He meddled constantly in military matters to the despair and eventual fury of his professional military advisors but his political excursions were even more disastrous. Churchill was a man who was incapable of love but could certainly hate. He was viciously vindictive towards anyone who thwarted him and a number of these perceived enemies died sudden deaths during the war when such activities were much easier to order and conceal.

One of Churchill’s less attractive personality traits, aside from his refusal to accept the responsibility for the failure of his actions, was his ability to change his opinions at a moment’s notice.

Once anti-American, he did a complete about-face when confronted with a war he escalated and could not fight, and from a supporter of Hitler’s rebuilding of Germany, he turned into a bitter enemy after a Jewish political action association composed of wealthy businessmen hired him to be their spokesman.

Churchill lavishly praised Roosevelt to his face and defamed him with the ugliest of accusations behind his back. The American President was a far more astute politician than Churchill and certainly far saner.

In order to support his war of vengeance, Churchill had to buy weapons from the United States and Roosevelt stripped England of all of her assets to pay for these. Only when England was bankrupt did Roosevelt consent to the Lend-Lease project, and in a moment of malicious humor, titled the bill “1776” when it was sent to Congress.

Hitler’s bombing of England was not a prelude to invasion, but a retaliation for Churchill’s instigation of the bombing of German cities and Churchill used the threat of a German invasion to whip up pro-British feelings in the United States. Threats of invasion by the Germans, in this case of the United States, have been cited by such writers as Weinberg as the reason why Roosevelt had to get into the war. Neither the Germans nor the Japanese had even the slightest intention to invade the continental United States and exhaustive research in the military and political archives of both countries has been unable to locate a shred of evidence to support these theories.

A dedicated academic supporter of Winston Spencer-Churchill or Franklin Delano Roosevelt would undoubtedly find any evidence of bad character on the part of their beloved subjects, total anathema but this attitude in and of itself has no actual bearing on the originality of documentation that might augment or expose lack of character or morality.

Roosevelt’s role in the Pearl Harbor attack has been the subject of speculation even from the first. His opponents claimed that he deliberately pushed the Japanese into war to permit him to fight his archenemy, Adolf Hitler. His supporters have firmly denied this thesis and the multiplication of books, scholarly articles and media dramas seems to have no end.

Several valid points have been brought by Roosevelt partisans that deserve to be carefully considered. The first is concerned with American military intelligence work and deals, in the main, with the interceptions of Japanese coded messages. It has been fully acknowledged that the Japanese diplomatic code, called “Purple,” was broken by the Americans and consequently, all high-level diplomatic messages between Tokyo and Japanese diplomats throughout the world were being read almost as soon as they were sent. (The average translation took two days.)

The question of the Japanese Army and Navy operational codes was another matter. The American government has firmly denied for decades that such codes had even been broken or, if that had, were not translated until 1945! While nearly all of the “Purple” intercepts have been made public, only a very few of the coded Japanese Naval messages have appeared in print and then only concerning matters of no special significance.

The Japanese Pearl Harbor task force did not broadcast any messages during their passage to the Hawaiian Islands but Japanese Naval headquarters did send messages to the task force. What they may have consisted of are not known at present and perhaps will never be known, although the National Security Agency, holder of these documents, has stated that it will release the Naval intercepts (known as JN-25) at an unspecified future date.

The argument has been well made, specifically by Roberts Wohlstetter, that so much material was intercepted during the period just prior to the Japanese attack, that it was extremely difficult for American intelligence agencies to winnow out the wheat from the chaff. In retrospect, it is glaringly obvious that some kind of a Japanese attack was planned and in train, but the direction of this attack was lost in the muddle of complex and difficult-to-translate messages.

A further point well made is, had American military intelligence learned of a definite attack on Pearl Harbor, it would have been impossible to keep this a secret, given the number of translators and other military personnel who handled such intercepted messages. The army and navy of that period were small in size and most senior officers in both services knew each other well, having served together for many years. In the absence of any concrete evidence to support the receipt of Japanese military messages dealing with an attack on any specific American installation, it is not within the realm of belief that these senior officers would passively allow American military units to be attacked.

In response to this entirely valid postulation, it should be noted that the specific warning did not come to Roosevelt from below but on a parallel level and from a foreign intelligence source which was far better equipped to decode and translate the Japanese transmissions.

A second area of interest has been the possible motivation for Roosevelt’s increasing pressure on the Japanese, pressure which culminated in a stringent oil embargo that forced Japan into war. Diverse reasons are given for this, including a personal prejudice in favor of China stemming from his maternal grandfather’s highly lucrative opium and immigrant-smuggling operations to an intense hatred of Hitler in specific and Germans in general.

Both of these reasons for Roosevelt’s attitude are historically valid but in and of themselves do not explain the dangerous brinkmanship practiced by Roosevelt in his dealings with Japan. It is clearly evident from reading the intercepts of the Japanese diplomatic coded messages that Tokyo was not only not interested in pursuing war against the United States but was seriously engaged in attempting to defuse and dangerous situation whose accelerating progress caused them great alarm. Roosevelt and his advisers were fully aware of the ease with which they could achieve effective dialog with the Japanese government. All diplomatic approaches by Japan were rebuffed by Washington and as the diplomatic crisis deepened, the possibility of military action by Japan against the United States was very clearly evident in Washington.

The actual motivation behind the turning of the screw against Japan and the refusal on the part of Roosevelt to negotiate has been explored extensively in print but one of the most valid answers seems to lie clearly in the section of the intercepted communication dealing with the Soviet Union.

As much as Roosevelt wished to enter a war against Germany, he was constrained by Congress from conducting a personal war. A de facto war against Germany was in progress in the Atlantic where US naval units were engaged in open warfare with German U boats but Hitler would not rise to the bait and issue a unilateral declaration of war against the United States. For a time, Roosevelt was check in his ambitions.


The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

December 6, 2018

by Dr. Peter Janney


On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas  in 1993  when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications.


Conversation No. 97

Date: Monday, August 4 1997

Commenced: 8:45 AM CST

Concluded: 9:02 AM CST

GD: Ah, good morning, Robert.

RTC: You said something on the answering machine about the Swiss?

GD: Yes, I was talking with their press secretary several days ago and learned that they had been working on their transmitter because they have been having on-going problems with it. Seems that a number of employees have been complaining of headaches and the suffering of a general malaise. Given what was said to me, it could only be your oscillator. I guess you keep it on.

RTC: Oh I do indeed. In fact, I left it on once for a whole week. Actually, I forgot about it. It does work, then?

GD: I have used this many times and, yes, it does work. A friend of mine and I wanted to buy a house for investment so we put an oscillator in a van and parked it across the street. First, the dog went mad and ran off and soon the cat vanished. One of the kids kept crapping on the floor and everyone inside felt terrible. We just showed up at their door and said my aunt had lived there years before and one thing and another. We made an offer and the wife screamed ‘take it! take it!’ to her husband and so we got the place cheap. A little paint, some landscaping and we turned around and sold it two months later and made a huge profit. Of course you can’t do the same thing with the Swiss.

RTC: We should do it to the Russians.

GD: Why not leave the poor Russians alone? My God, you people down there have done terrible things to them and to their economy.

RTC: Well, the idea is to smash them so badly they can never be a rival again.

GD: I don’t mean to be critical, Robert, but your people never think down the road. Nature abhors a vacuum so why not get together with the Russians? Well, you got the Poles to revolt and break away but what can we do with them? Nothing. Germany and Russian ought to get together, buy off the Polish government and then Germany takes their side and the Russians take theirs.

RTC: What about the Poles?

GD: Perhaps we can ship them all to Chicago. Then the Poles can have Chicago and the Jews can have Miami and the rest of us can get on about out business. No, actually, I am serious about Russia. I know you set up Yeltsin and I know your people have been looting the country and systematically destroying her industry but it can’t last. A new administration and a new change of policy and then a rebuilding Russia could be an enemy again. After all, we turned her into a bogey man in the ‘40’s and just look how much money your friends made with the Cold War. Don’t forget, I knew Gehlen and he told me, and showed me the papers, that our Army, for whom he then worked, wanted him to draw up a report showing Russia was going to attack Europe. Yes, and say hello to the Easter Bunny. Stalin would never have launched a military attack against anyone but sea turtles in 1948. The war virtually destroyed the Russian infrastructure and a huge military attack would have been impossible for anyone. Well, it paid off so now that Communism is gone and Russia is starting to act normal again, why not support her? Who needs enemies?

RTC: Gregory, I’m sorry to say you simply do not realize that Communism is not dead and we want it stop it from ever coming back.

GD: Well, Nazism is dead in Germany and the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere is dead in Japan so why not bury the Cold War, start trading with Cuba and get on with our business? I guess everyone is stuck in the past.

RTC: And where do you see yourself in this?

GD: Being positive, Robert. Russia is a huge potential market and Russia has a great collection of natural resources.  Instead of getting tin horn rip off artists to screw them, why not help them develop? A stable and advancing country is not about to engage in a struggle for world domination. We did that and believe me, it will take all we have just to keep the status quo. We can only expand so far and using Russia as an excuse for grabbing control over every puissant country in Africa can only go so far.

RTC” Gregory, Gregory, I am concerned for your soul. Who ever put this bee into your bonnet?

GD: Tom Kimmel.

RTC: Oh, bullshit. Tom has a little book of rules and he wouldn’t do anything not in the book and what you have been talking about is not in his book.

GD: Well, so much for the little books. That sounds like Mary Baker Eddy. By the way, did you know she was buried with a hooked –up telephone in her casket? I’d like to get the number and see how she’s doing down there but I’ll bet she forgot the pay the bills for the last fifty years and they disconnected it. Jesus, suppose she answered? There goes yesterday’s dinner.

RTC: Gregory, so soon after breakfast


(Concluded 9:02 AM CST)


https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas




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TBR News December 6, 2018

Dec 06 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 6, 2018:” First a point and then a counterpoint.

There are dozens of American governmental agencies who spend most of their time spying on the great bulk of the population. Such issues as telephone calls, any kind of mail, computer messaging, photographs taken in public places, and even lavatories, GPS  tracking of private cars, checked out library books, children’s school records, medical reports in hospital files, and on and on without an end.

The public is aware of this and a least some of them are retaliating.

One of the most entertaining counterings is a story about the alleged secret files contained on discs.

It seems that a very deadly virus is put on a computer disc.

This is then labelled ‘secret FBI (or CIA or NSA or DHS) files.

This booby trap is then put into a private bank safe deposit box and a series of emails to others informs that this person has a deposit box full of government secrets.

Without a doubt, soon enough agents arrive at the bank after hours and a willing bank official allows them access to the target box. With ill-concealed glee the boobus americanus triumphantly take the disc, rush back to their office and stick it into an office computer.

Unfortunately, the virus on the disc at once obliterates the computer’s hard drive and, pleasant to contemplate, attacks any other computer system that might be interfacing with the computer blessed with the booby trap.

Rage and consternation cries can be heard for blocks with the windows closed.

This is only one of a number of entertaining solutions to universal spying now in effect.”



The Table of Contents 

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 99
  • No leader, lots of anger: can France’s ‘yellow vests’ become a political force?
  • Elysee fears ‘putschists’, coup attempt during Yellow Vests protests this weekend – media
  • Backlash as federal workers warned not to discuss Trump impeachment
  • Trump’s European diplomats tied in knots over rise of populism
  • Facebook Emails Show Its Real Mission: Making Money and Crushing Competition
  • The U.S. Government Tracks All The Snail Mail You Send Too
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

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