The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. May 28, 2016: “Now that Donald Trump has secured enough delegates to make him the Republican candidate for President, the media is not sure whether to continue trashing him or rush over to kiss his backside. Trump is an outsider who does not play by the Beltway game. He has a forceful personality and did not become very wealthy by being stupid. The press has been claiming Trump was a buffoon but he has obviously resonated with the mass of the voting public who is tired of the useless politicians, crooked and stupid, that run the country. It remains to be seen whether one of the alphabet agencies will try to assassinate him, as they did Kennedy for threatening to break up the CIA. The Chinese are furious with the concept of a Trump who wants to bring American business back to this country to improve American economy and lessen a severe unemployment problem. The current administration is careful not to anger the Chinese, who hold huge amounts of US Treasury notes, but Trump could well flatten the Chinese economy with his project.”
The Müller Washington Journals 1948-1951
At the beginning of December, 1948, a German national arrived in Washington, D.C. to take up an important position with the newly-formed CIA. He was a specialist on almost every aspect of Soviet intelligence and had actively fought them, both in his native Bavaria where he was head of the political police in Munich and later in Berlin as head of Amt IV of the State Security Office, also known as the Gestapo.
His name was Heinrich Müller.
Even as a young man, Heini Müller had kept daily journals of his activities, journals that covered his military service as a pilot in the Imperial German air arm and an apprentice policeman in Munich. He continued these journals throughout the war and while employed by the top CIA leadership in Washington, continued his daily notations.
This work is a translation of his complete journals from December of 1948 through September of 1951.
When Heinrich Müller was hired by the CIA¹s station chief in Bern, Switzerland, James Kronthal in 1948, he had misgivings about working for his former enemies but pragmatism and the lure of large amounts of money won him over to what he considered to be merely an extension of his life-work against the agents of the Comintern. What he discovered after living and working in official Washington for four years was that the nation¹s capital was, in truth, what he once humorously claimed sounded like a cross between a zoo and a lunatic asylum. His journals, in addition to personal letters, various reports and other personal material, give a very clear, but not particularly flattering, view of the inmates of both the zoo and the asylum.
Müller moved, albeit very carefully, in the rarefied atmosphere of senior policy personnel, military leaders, heads of various intelligence agencies and the White House itself. He was a very observant, quick-witted person who took copious notes of what he saw. This was not a departure from his earlier habits because Heinrich Müller had always kept a journal, even when he was a lowly Bavarian police officer, and his comments about personalities and events in the Third Reich are just as pungent and entertaining as the ones he made while in America.
The reason for publishing this phase of his eventful life is that so many agencies in the United States and their supporters do not want to believe that a man of Müller¹s position could ever have been employed by their country in general or their agency in specific.
Sunday, 22 January 1950
We have in the papers, (I am just catching up on the back pile) an interesting story from the 13th of this month. The Hiss people have hired some grossly incompetent Harvard psychologist named (Dr. Harold A., ed.) Murray who “analyzed” Hitler for the U.S. government in 1943. I read a copy of this odd document recently and I must say that my initial impression of psychologists, made years ago with reference to that opium-addict Freud (whom we know from files captured in Vienna was having a sexual affair with his sister!) has not changed. This is about as much of a “science” as Christian Science. I was once introduced to one in Berlin who wanted to work for me, “analyzing” various people, such as Stalin and Churchill. There were people in our government who believed in soothsayers, chicken entrail observers, astrologists and those who spoke with the dead. That’s what happens when a revolutionary government comes into power. Helping Hitler with free sandwiches in the Kampfzeit (early days of the Nazi Party, ed.) then seemed to entitle them to cast the horoscopes of Himmler and other fatuous idiots. I recall the story about the spear of Longinas. There were two originals and neither of them came from the period.
Hiss must be desperate indeed to hire such idiots. We all know that Chambers is slightly strange but I am positive his information on Hiss (and many others) is certainly very accurate whenever it can be checked out.
Last week I had the distinct honor of meeting with Clark Clifford, a St. Louis lawyer who is one of Truman’s top advisors. A tall man with wavy blondish hair that a woman would envy and who looks like a male model, Clifford has heard that I have been giving advice of my own to Truman and wanted to see who, and what, I am. I find him to be an intelligent man with a bloated and exaggerated opinion of his talents. He loves to talk down to people in a well-modulated voice and asks questions which indicate he thinks everyone else is an idiot.
He has no idea who I am but assumes I am merely an interfering and ignorant foreigner who needs to be put in his place to avoid disturbing Truman and deflecting his attention from Clifford’s well-rounded phrases. I pretended to be interested in his boring lectures for some time until I decided to bring the conversation to a conclusion. Clifford had been speaking to me for nearly thirty minutes on foreign affairs, waving his hands around like an Italian tenor in a Verdi opera, when I very politely cut in on him.
“Mr. Clifford,” I said, looking very earnestly at him, “might I ask you a very important question?”
“Why of course, sir.”
“As you can see, I am losing my hair. Could you recommend a good wig maker? Yours seems to be a first class production, I must say.”
That was the end of my conversation with Clark Clifford who became very red in the face and assured me repeatedly and loudly that his hair was absolutely genuine. Genuine weasel or baboon hair?
So much for the King’s counselors. General Vaughn is another thick head. Why Truman puts up with such useless people is beyond me.
Clark Clifford was a long-time advisor to a number of Presidents and once served as Secretary of Defense. He also nearly served a term in Federal prison for an outrageous bank swindle and it was only the fact that he was completely senile that prevented justice from being done. He died, disgraced, in 1998.
Thursday, 26 January 1950
More delights! Hiss is sentenced to five years in the prison but as I predicted, will remain free until he appeals. He doesn’t have a chance.
Well, now that they’ve gotten that one and Harry White is dead, there are a few more like Lattimore, Currie and Wallace who ought to be gone after. We shall see about these but the left wing is stiffening its resistance to the purges, claiming, among other things, that they are anti-Semitic! Nonsense. Hiss and White are both Jews but the others certainly are not. Wallace is of English background and as crazy as a squirrel. The others are “friends of Josef the Saint” and at the least must be discredited. Currie is not even an American, coming from Canada. We should deport him back again. In a box preferably.
(Dean, ed.) Acheson, (Secretary of State, ed.) has made a pubic statement that whatever happened, he did not intend to turn his back on Alger Hiss. Such a stupid and ill-advised man! Hiss had worked for A. and so did his brother who is also a spy. Now there is an uproar here about this stupid statement and demands being made for a full investigation of the State Department hiring policies. Question: Did Hiss sneak in any other communist spies during his days of power?
I had a message from Philby stating that he had information for me and wanted to make contact again. It seems to be a question of money. Always this with him. The Acheson business is nothing for me to get into with the President because T. thinks the world of two men: Marshall (a very efficient staff officer and very cold and heartless) and Acheson (who puts on cultivated airs and impresses Truman very much).
The Admiral (Roscoe Hillenkoetter, retired Admiral and Director of the CIA, ed.) wants to retire and several names have been put forward, strongest among them is General Bedell Smith. I really do not look forward to having that small-minded martinet in above me. He is a man of savage temper who glares at everyone. His bad temper conceals a very weak character and limited intelligence. If I put up with Himmler’s vaporizing, I suppose I can put up with the tin soldier.
Looking through transcripts of intercepted telephone calls to and from the British Embassy is good entertainment. Such elitists! They obviously loathe all Americans from the Ambassador (who is a fairy) all the way down. It is obvious they would like to see the Russians defeat us somewhere just so they can cackle and rub their hands together.
I know that the economic situation in England is terrible with some rationing still in place five years after the end of their war against us. Germany is rebuilding and has even now begun to outstrip England who is prostrate.
Robert talked with me today about the successes of the counterfeiting program we initiated. We discussed instituting another one through the CIA but to what end? The pound is totally destroyed and the ruble doesn’t circulate outside Russia. A talk about printing rubles and dumping them inside Russia to wreck their economy. The Russians are doing it to us so why not do it to them runs the thought.
How would we get the faked rubles inside that enormous jail? Drop them by aircraft? Any Russian caught with faked money would be shot at once and I can see nothing worthwhile coming from this. We could, on the other hand, counterfeit American money and use it to bribe Americans to spy for the British. A few of my men, cunningly disguised as Englishmen, could no doubt get hundreds of greedy Americans to spy for Britain. Of course, we could then catch the spies and embarrass them but both Robert and I agree that this would come to nothing because the government here would suppress the whole thing and never attack the British.
I just got a copy of a secret document from Churchill to Roosevelt trying to goad him into invading Ireland during the war. C. refers to that country as a “nest of Nazi vipers” and urges R. to use American troops to invade. A copy of a minute to R. saying that this would result not only in a disproportionate number of American dead (the Irish are fierce fighters after all) but would cause havoc in the Irish communities here in America. Most vote Democratic in the end. Roosevelt turned this down and Churchill was very angry. I think he hates the Irish almost as much as he hates all Germans. No doubt if the fat fairy had his way, Dublin would be bombed from the air like Dresden and all the inhabitants incinerated.
I have worked with a number of the Irish and find them attractive people with a flare for words coupled with violent temperament. But not bad people and to me, one Irishman is worth ten Englishmen.
Robert, who is Irish, asked me by way of having a joke, if I had ever met a good Englishman since I dislike them so much. I replied that the cemeteries were filled with them and we went on to other matters.
There isn’t too much in progress now, except for paperwork, so I suggested to Bunny that she might like to go skiing with me. She surprisingly agreed (without the aunt at last!) and she wants to go close by and I want to go to Colorado. We will go to Colorado, of course, because with women, I always get my way.
Who can we take? Irmgard likes to ski and Heini has to come along as my bodyguard. I will invite his luscious sister as well. Not for myself (unfortunately) but for Arno who now claims that the sister has become his new interest in life. Since Arno is a good fellow, if a bit too adept with knives and other implements of death, he might make a good match. His activities are not due to impulse but rather business. He would never become a Jack the Ripper and slit up women for sexual gratification. Arno is merely a very cold-blooded man while on the job.
Off, he is a jolly companion and a charmer with the ladies. I have no problem assisting a little romance. I would like to invite his brother to pay some attention to Irmgard. Heini approves with this so I assume both brother and sister will be brought to the marriage market by the two Heinies. Everyone will benefit and it will be like the last act of a Mozart opera when everyone pairs off and sings duets to the audience.
Of course life is not like that but one dreams.
If the brother comes along, Irmgard will get damp looking at him and I am sure we can get him into her bed. I told Heini that he would be all alone and he said a bit of quiet would be just fine with him.
Berlin: Turkey visa liberalization ‘not a done deal’
German ministers have said the EU won’t lift visa requirements for Turkish citizens if Ankara fails to meet the requirements. This comes despite threats from the Turkish president.
May 28, 2016
Germany’s government struck a harder line with Turkey after two ministers went on record to insist all criteria must be met by Ankara if the EU’s visa regime is to be lifted for Turkish citizens.
“If the conditions for the introduction of visa liberalization (for Turkish citizens)
are not met, there will be no visa liberalization,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain in an interview published Saturday.
“One must not allow public threats to leave an impression when it comes to politics,” de Maiziere said. “At least you must not lend credence to them by displaying too much concern.”
Brussels has promised Turkish citizens visa-free travel into Europe in return for stopping the flow of illegal migrants to the bloc. And while Europe is desperate for the deal to work, it also insists Ankara meet 72 criteria, including narrowing the scope of its broad anti-terrorism laws to meet European standards.
This comes despite stark warning from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Ankara would pull out of the controversial EU refugee deal if the visa regime was not lifted for its citizens this summer.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas – of the Social Democrats, the junior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition – says Berlin is not impressed by threats.
“We will not be blackmailed; Mr. Erdogan can bluster as much as he wants,” he told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper in an interview published Saturday.
The pubic disagreement has threatened the future of the migrant deal and put pressure on Ankara’s relationship with the 28-member bloc.
One of the sticking points is Turkey’s broad anti-terror laws, which critics say is used to target political opponents and Turkey’s Kurdish minority which have legitimate grievances against the Turkish state.
EU and Turkish officials are due to meet next week to try and iron out these differences.
US halts cluster bomb deliveries to Saudi Arabia amid growing civilian death toll in Yemen – report
May 28. 2016
The US has reportedly frozen the deliveries of cluster bombs to Riyadh amid human rights groups’ condemnation the use of indiscriminate weapons in the Yemeni conflict, over the course of which Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes have been blamed for numerous civilian casualties.
According to a Foreign Policy report, based on the publication’s own investigation, the hold on deliveries applies to CBU-105 cluster bombs made by Textron Systems. After Saudi Arabia joined the Yemeni conflict and started a massive air campaign against Houthi positions, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have on numerous occasions exposed the use of cluster bombs in the conflict.
Cluster munitions contain hundreds of smaller explosive submunitions that are spread over a wide area. This type of weapon is dangerous because some submunitions aren’t immediately detonated and can lie dormant for decades before exploding. Civilians and particularly children have traditionally been the primary victims of such lethal traps.
In recent years, the United States has been selling multi-million dollar shipments of cluster bombs to Riyadh. Revealing the alleged freeze of cluster munitions deliveries, the publication however notes that is unclear whether the ban will affect the already agreed shipments, or whether the freeze will only apply to future contacts. Delivery of weapons is a process which can take years to complete.
“Textron Systems does not comment on delivery dates with our customers,” Matthew Colpitts, a spokesman for Textron Systems, replied to FP’s request for clarification, while the Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to the request for comment.
Discussing the reason for the cluster bomb deliveries’ cessation, a senior US official told FP that Saudi-led coalition used these munitions “in areas in which civilians are alleged to have been present or in the vicinity,” adding that while US is seeking more information, Saudis are looking into the matter.
“Saudi Arabia has also pledged to create an investigations commission to evaluate military targeting, ensure the protection of civilians, and investigate incidents of civilian harm during the conflict in Yemen,” said the US official.
On Thursday, US senators introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 aimed at placing additional conditions and Congressional oversight on future air-to-ground weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.
“For too long the Obama administration has not been holding countries receiving US military munitions accountable in the Middle East. It is no secret that Saudi Arabia’s record on strictly targeting combatants and legitimate military targets in Yemen has been questionable,” US Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in a press release. “The US should halt the sale of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia until Congress has conducted proper oversight and ensured that such munitions are being used in a way that is consistent with our country’s national security strategy and values.”
Currently the arms sales are proposed by the State Department and then approved by Congress. Once approved the White House finalizes and implements the transfer. The new amendment seeks to add an additional step to the approval process by “requiring the President of the United States to attest that Saudi Arabia is concretely demonstrating its anti-terror efforts and protection of civilians before Congress can consider the sale.”
Since March 26, 2015, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of nine Arab states has been conducting a military operation in Yemen against Houthi rebel forces. A ceasefire that came into force on April 10, 2016, has been repeatedly violated by all sides. At least 6,200 people have died in fighting while nearly three million civilians have been displaced from their homes.
US anti-extremism group asks Israel to curb rightwing Jewish activist
Anti-Defamation League calls for action against Lehava leader Bentzi Gopstein for allegedly inciting hatred against Arabs
May 27, 2016
by Harriet Sherwood
A US-based organisation that campaigns against antisemitism has taken the unusual step of calling on the Israeli government to act against an extreme rightwing Jewish activist with “abusive, racist, inflammatory and violent” opinions.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has urged Israel’s attorney general to use all legal means possible against Bentzi Gopstein, the leader of Lehava – an extremist Jewish organisation that allegedly incites hatred against Arabs.
The activities of Gopstein and Lehava have “destructive implications to Israeli society and the Jewish people”, said a letter from the ADL’s Israeli executive director, Carol Nuriel, to the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit.
“From our point of view as an organisation based in the United States, we see this hateful discourse as harmful not only to Israeli society, but also to the reputation of the state of Israel,” the letter says. The discourse is “used as a weapon by Israel’s enemies, who use it as a basis for their rushed conclusions and generalisations about Israeli society”.
The ADL’s move follows the launch of a petition by the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) asking Mandelblit to take action against Gopstein. By Friday, it had been signed by about 12,000 people.
Both the ADL and the IRAC say Gopstein and Lehava have encouraged “price tag” attacks on Palestinians and their property in response to moves by the Israeli authorities which the perpetrators view as hostile to settlers.
According to the IRAC, Lehava activists post more than 200,000 statements on social media every year, many of which are offensive and some of which include calls to violence.
“Gopstein’s Facebook page is filled with unequivocal expressions of hate, mostly towards the Arab population [but also towards the gay community, for example]. The opinions expressed on his page, by him and his followers are extremely abusive, racist, inflammatory and violent,” said Nuriel’s letter.
She also pointed out that Gopstein had advocated the burning of churches and has called Christians “bloodsucking vampires”.
The move by the ADL, an organisation known for its support of Israel, indicates the degree of alarm over the rise of the extreme right in the country, particularly among hardline settlers.
In April, Gopstein was acquitted of assaulting two leftwing activists after a judge said he could have mistaken them for Palestinians.
Lehava was launched in 2009 with the aim of preventing relationships between Jewish women and Arab men.
Draft paper: Germany to boost military role on world stage
Germany is ready to take on a bigger military role to maintain global security, according to a government white paper. The draft document indicates a possible shift away from Germany’s postwar era of military restraint.
May 27, 2016
The government’s position paper on security policy, seen by media outlets on Friday, said Germany was increasingly seen as a “key player” in Europe, and had “a responsibility to actively help shape the global order.”
It added that Germany could do more at a time when the global community was grappling with threats including terrorism waged by “Islamic State,” cybercrime and a more aggressive Russia. At the same time, however, the paper pointed out that there would be clear limits to Berlin’s contribution.
“Our larger role in international security policy will not lead to automatic reactions or to pressure for action that conflicts with our values and interests or that overstretches our capabilities,” it said.
The document also stressed that Germany would avoid unilateral action, and would instead rely on engagement with the European Union, NATO and a close partnership with the United States
he new white paper on security policy, the first of its kind since 2006, aims to provide guidelines for the future operations of the German armed forces. The Foreign and Defense ministries, as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office, have reportedly agreed on the draft plan, which is expected to be debated in cabinet before July.
The paper comes a fortnight after Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced plans to boost troop numbers for the first time since 1990. The increases will see 14,300 soldiers and 4,400 civilian soldiers join the military in the next seven years.
The policy document acknowledged that the Bundeswehr faced challenges it was “neither sufficiently trained nor effectively prepared for.” It pointed specifically to the subpar standard of equipment, and said the Bundeswehr would need more funds and no “rigid ceilings” on troop numbers in order to be effective.
Germany’s military has been steadily shrinking since the country’s reunification after the end of the Cold War in 1990. At that time, Germany’s armed forces totaled 800,000 military and civilian personnel. Numbers have since dropped to a target of 185,000 troops and 56,000 civilians, according to government officials.
German officials have made similar statements in the past. One of the more recent instances occurred at the annual Munich Security Conference in 2014 when the defense and foreign ministers as well as the president all said it was time for Germany to talk a leading role in global affairs.
Government still holding on to 5 years of NSA phone-snooping metadata
May 26, 2016
by Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
The National Security Agency’s phone-snooping program ended six months ago this Saturday, but the government is still holding on to the mountain of data it piled up over the previous five years, worrying civil liberties advocates who say it’s time to start expunging the legally questionable information.
Government officials say they no longer access the information, but the intelligence community’s past behavior has some civil libertarians skeptical of those assurances. And the mere existence of the data, which includes the time, duration and numbers involved in phone calls, worries critics who say there’s no reason for it to be sitting under government control.
The intelligence community, though, says its hands are tied — chiefly by the very same advocates who are demanding that most of the data be expunged.
Some of those groups are helping pursue lawsuits seeking damages from the government’s snooping program, and courts have ordered all of the data to be preserved. That means the NSA can’t purge the information, even though it says it wants to.
“We take seriously the public’s concerns about the government’s retention of bulk telephony metadata collected under the now-terminated bulk metadata program,” said Timothy Barrett, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “Retention of this data is necessary to comply with preservation obligations in civil litigation challenging that program, including court orders entered in two of those cases.”
The phone records program began under President George W. Bush and was kept in place by President Obama, based on powers claimed under the Patriot Act’s “business records” provision. The NSA demanded that phone companies turn over their records of calls, which were then stored in government databanks for five years.
Analysts queried the data when they had a number they believed associated with terrorism, and could pursue up to three “hops,” meaning they could see check numbers associated with the initial lead, all the numbers associated with that set and then all the numbers associated with the second set.
Former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed the program’s existence in 2013, spawning a massive public backlash that forced Congress to curtail the program. Lawmakers passed the USA Freedom Act last year, giving the NSA 180 days to shut down its own database and instead rely on private companies to keep the data, which the government could query under more strict circumstances.
The program expired on Nov. 28, and the government was to dispose of its data.
But the administration got an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing it to preserve all of the data, arguing that the government needs it to fight the 10 court cases challenging the defunct program.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is assisting the plaintiffs in several of the key cases, said the government should find a way to get rid of most of the data.
“Talks are continuing about a plan under which the government would destroy the phone records — including those still lingering in its various databases — while ensuring that the courts can still consider our challenge to 14 years of NSA telephone records collection from millions of innocent Americans,” said EFF Civil Liberties Director David Greene.
But government attorneys say it’s impossible to cull the data to just the 10 ongoing cases. Indeed, the attorneys won’t even acknowledge what records they have or which phone carriers they have targeted — creating a legal morass.
The government is not holding on to only the metadata, but it also still has everything it derived from the data — the information it turned up in the “hops” when it investigated suspects’ phone numbers.
Mr. Barrett, the intelligence office spokesman, said they plan to expunge the query data once they are free to get rid of the metadata itself, with “narrow exceptions” laid out in a November order from the secret court.
The court order suggests those exceptions could be broad. The court said the government can retain “information derived from the metadata that has been previously disseminated,” as well as “select query results generated that formed the basis of such disseminations.”
Patrick C. Toomey, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, said limits must be imposed.
“The government should purge the call records it collected illegally, including the results of its queries, and should retain only the data necessary to comply with its legal obligations,” he said.
But he said that’s not enough. “The NSA continues to search and store Americans’ private information in vast quantities under other spying programs, all without ever obtaining a warrant,” he said.
Not all of those challenging the NSA want the data expunged.
Larry Klayman, a conservative lawyer who won his case against the NSA in federal district court in Washington, says the data are needed so he can win a massive settlement from the administration.
“We basically want to show what it is that they have control over, and have had access to, to make our claim to damages,” he said.
Mr. Klayman also doesn’t trust the NSA to expunge the data even if it’s ordered to.
“To me it’s irrelevant, any kind of agreement you reach with them,” he said. “I want them to preserve all of it because I know even if they say they’re purging it, they’re not going to.”
He said the only acceptable solution is to have the federal judge in his case, Judge Richard J. Leon, oversee the NSA’s activities going forward.
Slaying of Colorado prison chief ordered by neo-Nazi gang – report
May 27, 2016
by Keith Coffman
Denver-The murder of Colorado’s prison chief by a white supremacist ex-convict in 2013 was ordered by leaders of a neo-Nazi gang, the Denver Post reported on Friday, citing newly released documents.
The disclosures came in a report by the Texas Rangers, who conducted their own probe into the slaying after the suspect in the murder of prison chief Tom Clements died in a shootout with police outside the town of Decatur, Texas, two days after fleeing Colorado.
Reuters could not independently obtain the report.
Clements, 58, who headed the Colorado Department of Corrections, was gunned down in March 2013 after he answered the door of his home in the town of Monument, about 45 miles south of Denver, sparking a nationwide manhunt.
Colorado authorities have said the suspected shooter, Evan Ebel, was a member of the 211 Crew, a prison-based white supremacist gang. No one has been arrested or charged as an accomplice in Clements’ murder.
An investigative report by Texas Ranger James Holland states that the killing was an orchestrated hit, the Post reported.
“The murder of the Colorado Department of Corrections director was ordered by hierarchy of the 211 prison crew,” the newspaper quoted the report as saying.
Jacqueline Kirby, a spokeswoman for Colorado’s El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the lead agency in the Clements murder investigation, said in an email that her office would not comment on the Texas report.
“Our investigation into the Clements homicide is still ongoing, therefore we will not be speaking to that,” Kirby said.
According to the Post article, an informant said to investigators that he was told by James Lohr, a 211 “general,” that Lohr ordered Ebel to kill Clements and told other gang members to help Ebel flee to Texas.
Ebel, 28, who had been paroled two months before the killing, was demoted from a soldier in the gang to a mere “prospect,” the Texas Ranger report said. Lohr said killing Clements would enhance his gang status, according to the report.
Authorities said Ebel fatally shot a pizza delivery driver, Nathan Leon, dumped his body in the foothills west of Denver, stole his work uniform, then drove to Clements’ home.
When Clements answered the door, apparently thinking a deliveryman was at the wrong house, Ebel opened fire.
Lohr is serving a nine-year sentence in state prison on unrelated weapons charges and for eluding police.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Curtis Skinner and Leslie Adler)
Hillary Clinton Won’t Say How Much Goldman Sachs CEO Invested With Her Son-in-Law
May 27 2016
by Lee Fang, Henrik Moltke
When Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law sought funding for his new hedge fund in 2011, he found financial backing from one of the biggest names on Wall Street: Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.
The fund, called Eaglevale Partners, was founded by Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, and two of his partners. Blankfein not only personally invested in the fund, but allowed his association with it to be used in the fund’s marketing.
The investment did not turn out to be a savvy business decision. Earlier this month, Mezvinsky was forced to shutter one of the investment vehicles he launched under Eaglevale, called Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity, after losing 90 percent of its money betting on the Greek recovery. The flagship Eaglevale fund has also lost money, according to the New York Times.
There has been minimal reporting on the Blankfein investment in Eaglevale Partners, which is a private fund that faces few disclosure requirements. At a campaign rally in downtown San Francisco on Thursday, I attempted to ask Hillary Clinton if she knew the amount that Blankfein invested in her son-in-law’s fund.
After repeated attempts on the rope line, I asked the Clinton campaign traveling press secretary Nick Merrill, who said, “I don’t know, has it been reported?” and said he would get in touch with me over email. I sent the question but have not heard a response back.
The decision for Blankfein to invest in Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law’s company is just one of many ways Goldman Sachs has used its wealth to forge a tight bond with the Clinton family. The company paid Hillary Clinton $675,000 in personal speaking fees, paid Bill Clinton $1,550,000 in personal speaking fees, and donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. At a time when Goldman Sachs directly lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department, the company routinely partnered with the Clinton Foundation for events, even convening a donor meeting for the foundation at the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan.
Mezvinsky, who married Chelsea in 2010, previously worked at Goldman Sachs and started his fund along with two other former employees of the investment bank. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures show that Eaglevale required new investors to put down a minimum of $2 million.
Clinton has dodged questions about her relationship with Goldman Sachs throughout the campaign. In January, we were the first to ask Clinton if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. She responded by laughing and turning away. Since our question, other media outlets, including the New York Times editorial board, have called on Clinton to release the transcripts.
Clinton at times tried to conflate the money she received with campaign finance donations to Barack Obama — though the issues are separate; Obama never personally profited from paid speeches before running for president.
Clinton most recently said she would only release the transcripts if Bernie Sanders and her Republican opponents also reveal transcripts of their paid speeches. Disclosures show Sanders made $1,867.42 from two paid speeches and a television appearance last year, and donated the money to a nonprofit in Vermont that assists low-income families.
Putin says Crimea’s status as part of Russia not up for discussion
May 27, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he would not entertain any discussions about the status of Crimea, the Ukrainian region which Moscow annexed.
“As far as Crimea is concerned, we consider this question is closed forever,” Putin said at a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. “Russia will not conduct any discussions with anyone on this subject.”
(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
France paralyzed by the ‘War of the Lefts’
May 27, 2016
by Pepe Esccobar
Paris burns as Hollande fiddles. Take it as shorthand for nationwide protests in France against a proposed labor “reform” while the President poses at the G-7 in Japan as if he’s one of the Masters of the Universe.
France is semi-paralyzed – from dockworkers in the port of Le Havre (a key trade hub) to workers in refineries, oil depots, nuclear power stations (accounting for 75 percent of the national electricity supply), airports, and the metropolitan Paris rail system. This has translated into panic at myriad petrol stations – with much of the French transportation system brought to a standstill.
All this because the cataclysmically unpopular, nominally “socialist” Hollande administration has introduced a draft law that drastically modifies the French labor code and essentially adopts Anglo-Saxon neoliberal “hire and fire” in a deeply regulated, regimented nation where workers’ rights and protections are taken extremely seriously. Hollande and his astonishingly mediocre Prime Minister Manuel Valls defend it as the best way to fight chronic unemployment.
Scrap the bill to unblock the nation
May 2016 in France is certainly no May 1968 remix. It features a vortex of complicating factors, such as the “terra terra terra” psychosis (Paris is in a semi-disguised state of siege); the ongoing Nuit Debout movement at the Place de la Republique – the French version of Occupy Wall Street; and police with their nerves on edge complaining, and even demonstrating, that they are not getting all the love they need from the general population.
May 2016 is essentially configured as a battle between the socialist government and French unions. It’s bound to get nastier. Police figures suggest 153,000 strikers/demonstrators this past Thursday – a huge mobilization day that touched public services and air transport; unions claim there were almost 300,000. The executive is beginning to use force to unblock key refineries. Panic at empty petrol stations is becoming the norm.
The Hollande-Valls duo has gone hardcore; the labor reform bill must be approved, otherwise that’s the end of the government. Valls’ red line is that if the bill goes, he also goes. Yet he’s already been forced to (slightly) backtrack; he’s now allowing “modifications” and “improvements” to the bill.
So this is essentially a battle of the French Lefts – a radical, working-class branch against a nominally social-democratic one in power, actually neoliberal. It’s also a dialogue of the deaf. The Prime Minister is not exactly a participant of social dialogue. For him these two Lefts are irreconcilable. You don’t need to be a reader of Barthes or Deleuze to infer that France is running the risk of reaching degree zero of social democracy.
After the eighth day of demonstrations, the secretary-general of the powerful CGT union, Philippe Martinez, is now demanding to be received by the President and the President only – actually throwing Valls into the dustbin. From Japan, Hollande emitted a laconic “I’m being briefed.”
A case can be made that the Hollande-Valls duo is so disconnected from the street pulse that they had no idea this bill would be met with so much hostility. They should have gone for a wider reach – and should have previously invested in a lot of dialogue, not to mention semantic niceties, with the unions.
So what does the French public think about this mess? Essentially, three-quarters of the population is against the bill. And you can’t “modernize” France without the French. Yet this being France, subtle nuances matter. According to one of the latest polls, 69 percent are in favor of the bill being scrapped, to avoid the nation being paralyzed. Another poll shows that 62 percent consider the strikes “justified” despite parts the country being paralyzed. So a sound cross-pollination of these polls tells us that social movements are legitimate even as most people don’t want to see the nation paralyzed.
In a lighter vein, Paris café talk now rules that the Socialist Party better not even try to stage an upcoming presidential campaign; what’s going on is proof that the working class hates their guts. It’s a fact that the current état d’urgence – as in the French version of the US Patriot Act – plus the neoliberal drive made the Socialist Party (PS) lose the votes of artists and intellectuals as well as ‘bobos’ (bourgeois bohemians) which used to be the mainstay of their electoral base. And all this while CEOs so much courted by the PS will continue to vote for the right.
Time to be an ‘indignado’ with a cause
So what next? The sound money is on some sort of compromise; the text of the bill will be amended by the Senate next month, before coming back to the Assembly. This means it will be “retouched” – as even the government is now admitting; and that will mean a victory for social movements. Whatever happens the War of the Lefts won’t be over. And the final result may even come up in the form of a collective suicide – to the benefit of the Right.
Meanwhile, growth in France remains feeble at best. Euro 2016 starts in only two weeks, on June 10. France may expect to receive as many as 1.5 million foreign tourists and profit to the tune of €1.3 billion. The fan zone under construction in front of the Eiffel Tower will attract at least 100,000 people daily.
If there is no solution in the coming days, the Hollande-Valls duo will have to back down. The French security system won’t be able to cope, simultaneously, with a high terrorist alert and policing myriad demonstrations (a huge one is already scheduled for June 14). A lot is riding on the success of the Euro football, not the currency. Football, in this case, is far from politically neutral; if the whole show is a major success, it’s Hollande who will reap the benefits.
Socialists in France, meanwhile, could do worse than take a look at neighboring Spain.
In Spain under Franco, communists and socialists were at the vanguard of democratic resistance, incorporating in their struggle those who created Workers’ Commissions and some of the best intellectuals of the times.
But then came the recent neoliberal drift of the European socialist parties – which led them to lose their historical hegemony. They have not adapted to being able to defend their social base – and the welfare state – and at the same time satisfy the harsh requirements of the financial casino system as well as a European Commission economic policy of fiscal austerity as demanded by Germany and financialization as influenced by Britain.
During Franco and the Cold War, it was common to use “communist” and “socialist” as a disqualification of any political argument. What reigned was the politics of fear. France, for its part, was way more sophisticated politically (and not under a fascist regime.)
What’s left for the ‘Lefts’ in Europe is to pay close attention to the emerging path opened by social movements, bent on rebuilding the welfare state and creating worthy forms of employment; all that has been denied by market fundamentalism and the austerity TINA (There Is No Alternative) mindset.
Among the Spanish ‘indignados’ one finds anarchists, communists, socialists – a microcosm of modern history in Spain rooted in the indignation against dictatorship and social injustice, all trying to reinvent themselves while neoliberalism flounders. If only the French Lefts would pay attention.
Guardian admits its reporter fabricated interviews
May 27, 2016
Britain’s center-left Guardian newspaper has apologized after it emerged one of its reporters had been fabricating interviews and falsely claiming to have been at events he wrote about.
Joseph Mayton, a California-based freelancer who has been writing for the paper since 2009, was accused of making up quotes in some stories and filing interviews with people who later said they had never spoken to him.
The Guardian, which has been forced to make a large number of its reporters redundant in recent months owing to financial difficulties, published an apology to readers and to the “people whose words were misrepresented or falsified.”
Guardian US editor Lee Glendinning said suspicions were raised in February when sources contacted the company to say they had not spoken to Mayton despite being quoted by him.
The journalist was “unable to provide convincing evidence that the interviews in question had taken place.”
An independent fact-checker was hired to look through the 64 articles written by Mayton and speak to around 50 people supposedly quoted. They found widespread evidence of “likely or confirmed fabrication.”
“Dozens of sources could not be found – either they had no online presence or they were anonymous and could not be substantiated – and several people quoted in Mayton’s articles either denied speaking with him or giving the quotes attributed to them.”
The Guardian has now removed 13 of Mayton’s articles from its website, and many others have been amended to remove inaccuracies.
Mayton, however, denies any fabrication.
“These accusations are incorrect and I have provided evidence showing that many sources had in fact spoken with me and either did not remember or refused to be truthful.
“Granted many of these sources had been spoken with months or years in the past.”
Mayton says many of his interview notes have been lost or were not kept, so could not provide the evidence the Guardian was asking for.
“I admit that I did not do a solid job of keeping records older than a few months and that is my mistake and I am responsible for it. I, like everyone else in our profession, has made mistakes,” he wrote.
The Weissensee Gold
Globocnik’s Treasure Horde
by Harry von Johnston PhD
A history of one of the largest and proven buried treasures in the world: what has been discovered and what is still waiting to be found.
In late April 1945, a convoy of German trucks left the German-occupied Italian city of Muggia [in Istria] on the Adriatic Sea and drove north through Udine and then northeast to Villach in what was once the Greater German Reich and is now Austria.
There were five trucks, all painted the medium camouflage yellow of the later war German Wehrmacht, and one staff car bearing license plates of the SS. This car was occupied by SS-Gruppenführer Odlio Globocnik, Senior SS and Police Commander of the Adriatic Region, his driver and two SS aides. The trucks each had, besides the driver, two armed Ukrainian guards, all in field-gray Waffen-SS uniforms.
Inside the trucks were stacked dozens of heavy wooden German ammunition boxes, containers of food, cases of liquor and miscellaneous furniture, carpets and household goods.
Before the convoy reached Villach, it turned off the main highway and headed west through the Gaitaler Alps, finally stopping on the north shore of the Weissensee, a long, deep mountain lake.
The ground was still hard from the winter cold, but throughout the night and into the early hours of the next day, holes were dug in the ground at various points around the lake and the wooden ammunition boxes carefully buried. The fresh earth was hastily covered with armfuls of old pine needles and branches. All of the sites were carefully marked on a map and then the trucks drove off, past the small towns of Neusach and Techendorf and onto the main road which is now E-66.
Globocnik was later captured by a British armored unit and purported by them to have killed himself while under interrogation. In fact, U.S. intelligence reports indicate very clearly that not only did Globocnik survive the end of the war, but ended up in American employment.
He had bought his freedom by bribing the British and turning over to them the contents of two of his buried cases, which consisted of many thousands of British pound notes. The remainder of the wooden chests contained millions of dollars worth of gold coins, religious medals, gold jewelry, platinum, silver, antique coins, gold pencils, containers of dental gold and bridgework, and wedding rings.
These had originated in the concentration camps under Globocnik’s control in the Lublin district of what had been pre-war Poland. While the head of such camps as Belzec and Treblinka, Globocnik who had been fired by Hitler from his official prewar position as Gauleiter, or Governor, of Vienna for theft, took advantage of his situation. He sequestered a large amount of treasure he took from the occupants of his camps as well as additional assets obtained from extensive treasure hunts in the districts he controlled.
When Heinrich Himmler learned of Globocnik’s completely unauthorized activities in his Polish domain, he ordered him to close the camps, destroy any trace of them and remove himself with a promotion, to the city of Trieste where Globocnik, a Slovenian, had been born in 1904. While there, Globocnik managed to acquire more loot and it was this money which he took into the Austrian Alps with a crew of his loyal Ukranians who had served as camp guards at Treblinka.
Himmler, and the head of the SS economic section, Oswald Pohl, were well aware that the Slovenian SS general had made off with money belonging to the SS, and the U.S. National Archives has an extensive file of correspondence between the trio, a file that also contains lists of stolen valuables. Globocnik, who ended up in Syria as a corresponding member of the CIA-controlled Gehlen Organization, was never able to recover any of his hidden treasure, but his disclosures to his captors, and later employers, led to an extensive treasure hunt after the war.
Globocnik supplied a map overlay which he claimed showed the exact locations of each burial spot along with a brief notation of the contents. The problem, as noted in U.S. reports, was that the overlay did not correspond to the standard German Wehrmacht 1:50 000 scale maps of the Alpen- und Donau-Reichsgaue of 1944. Other military maps were checked with equally negative results and the official opinion expressed both in the United States and England was that Globocnik had sold his captors a bill of goods.
In the following years, the thought of the buried treasure had energized a number of people from various countries and the Weissensee became a very popular vacation spot. In the winter, when the ground was frozen, the visitors were tourists partaking of winter sports. But in the summer, the guest registries in the various inns and pensions indicate a remarkable number of visitors from Germany, England and Israel, all of whom were no doubt seeking rest and relaxation in the deep pine woods or out on the placid lake.
Globocnik, however, had not sold his captors a bill of goods. The transparent overlay was completely accurate and it was the lack of persistence of both the British and Americans that led them to discount the validity of the treasure map.
Obtaining the overlay was one matter, after all no one believed it officially, but trying to find out what kind of a map Globocnik might have used was quite another. Eventually one was found in a shop in Klangenfurt which was of a pre-1938 printing and dealt specifically with the Weissensee area. It had originally been produced for hikers and was never used by the military.
When the overlay was placed over this map, the markings on the edges matched perfectly with the map, even down to penciled in lines showing the roads and trails that existed in the years before the war.
On this overlay, which was folded and repaired with transparent tape, were nine crosses marked in indelible pencil and after each mark was the notation “10 Kisten” or “8 Kisten,” and brief notations about the depth of the burial sites such as “1.5 m.” The translation of Kisten is box or crate and the metric depths are obvious.
When the information about the positive location of Globocnik’s horde was confirmed in 1989, individuals in possession of the overlay and the map embarked on an expedition to recover as much as possible, if not all, of the buried treasure.
Under then-current Austrian law, the treasure trove was to be divided equally between the finder or finders, the government of Austria and the owner or owners of the land on which it was found. Very discreet inquiry with agencies in Vienna disclosed that the Austrian government did not view their former Gauleiter’s money as having been acquired through criminal activities and that, therefore, the division of the find was to follow standard procedure. Had the government decreed that the buried money resulted from a criminal endeavor, the state would assume complete control over it and its eventual disposal.
Given this written assurance, four individuals embarked on a treasure hunt which, if successful, would rival any other such hunt, even the discovery of the Spanish treasure galleons in the waters of Florida. Two of these entrepreneurs were American. One was a CIA employee who worked in Berlin…for both the Company and the East German Stasi. and the other was along because of his possession of the map and overlay. The other two seekers were a German, once an officer in the SS and a former aide to Globocnik, and a Ukrainian SS man who had been involved with the original plantings, but had no specific memory of what he helped bury, and more important, where.
There were nine sites involved. One site had been discovered and looted by Globocnik’s British military captors in 1945, another had been paved over as a parking lot for a postwar inn and was completely inaccessible. Jackhammering up sections of asphalted parking lots was apt to draw the ire of the building’s operators as well as the completely unwelcome attentions of the Austrian gendarmes.
The remaining seven deposits were the goals of the recent arrivals at the towns of Techendorf and Neusach. It was decided to break the group into two sections for security reasons, the two Americans renting quarters at Neusach and the other two remaining at Techendorf.
The German had rented a camper wagon and was pretending to be deeply interested in healthful tours of the woods while his Ukrainian companion developed an equal interest in rowing about the lake in a rented boat, looking for ideal fishing spots.
One of the Americans, who had some artistic abilities, posed as a landscape artist and spent some of his time conspicuously working in watercolors in areas easily observed by the curious. His fellow countryman devoted a good deal of his time in courting various young women, who as often happens, came to the summer resort looking for remote and discreet romance far from permanent boyfriends, husbands or prying relatives. Both were reasonably successful and after two weeks of convincing the local residents that they were indeed both artistic and lecherous, the group came together one night to consolidate their strategy.
The first dig was begun on Sunday, June 10, 1990 at 11:30 p.m. The area selected was just past the town of Neusach where the main road ended. It was about a kilometer past the end of the official road and could easily be reached on foot.
Armed with the map, the overlay, shovels, two tarpaulins and a very expensive metal detector, they spent almost two hours in attempting to finesse Globocnik’s notes. The land had remained the same since 1945, but the growth of new trees since then created a number of problems.
The cache, consisting of four boxes, was located by the detector eventually, surprisingly close to the original location noted on the map and the digging began. The tarps were placed on either side of the opening and dirt from the dig was carefully dumped on top of them to facilitate filling in the excavation when they were finished.
The ground was well-thawed and after thirty minutes of shared digging, a spade resounded from the lid of one of the chests. Very much like 19th century grave robbers, the quartet worked in furtive haste, all of them positive that someone would discover their activities. No one came, however, and the first box was opened in situ. Much of the wood had rotted and the metal fittings were almost shapeless with rust, but the contents of the crate had been carefully packed in tin boxes which had been dipped in wax and were completely intact.
The small boxes, which were pleasantly heavy, were lifted out and carefully stacked at one end of the rectangular hole and the excavation process was continued until all four cases had been located, broken into and emptied.
Without making any attempt, pleasurable though it would have been for all concerned, to open the metal containers, the hole was quickly filled in again. The loose earth was tamped down by stamping on it and finally, a collection of small rocks, twigs, pine needles and forest detritus spread over the surface. The use of the tarps had kept telltale fresh earth from giving the site away and shortly before the sun came up, the German returned along a hiking path with his rented camper to load up the fruits of their nocturnal labors.
The Americans had rented a small vacation home at the edge of Neusach and by the time dawn had touched the tops of the trees and the mountains above the north side of the lake, the small boxes were being opened one by one. Each box had its own inventory and the contents were checked against this. The first expedition had garnered a considerable quantity of jewelry including many gold wedding rings, brooches, cameos, glass frames and gold coins.
These were put into tubes which consisted of black PVC plumbing pipe, about six inches in diameter and one meter long, threaded at both ends, and closed with PVC caps. Each tube was marked with a letter and number and the same markings were inked in at the top of the original typed inventory.
The tin boxes were flattened, put into a fishing bag and later discreetly dumped into the lake by the Ukrainian.
Everyone was tired after the evening’s exertions and with the exception of the Ukrainian’s foray onto the lake, the balance of the day was devoted to rest.
The next dig began on the evening of Monday, June 11, 1990 at the eastern end of the lake. There was a camping ground there and a road that led to Highway E-55, some 9 kilometers away. The site was about two kilometers from the camping ground and it was necessary to be especially vigilant to avoid attracting any unwanted attention from late hikers, inquisitive children or romantic couples seeking a nesting place in the trees.
The second site was discovered to have a pine tree growing over it, and a good deal of time was consumed in procuring a saw, removing the tree, dragging its carcass into the woods and hacking through the extensive root system. There were eight boxes in this horde and the root system had broken into several of them, but as before the contents were well protected in waxed tin boxes and removed without incident. The camper van became stuck in a deep rut on the way back and it took nearly an hour to extricate it. But stuck vehicles and muddy, unshaven individuals were not out of place and aside from an athletic young male camper who spent some time in assisting the treasure hunters in getting their loot-packed van back onto the track, there were no incidents.
The sun was well up when the second load was unpacked, checked and put into the PVC tubes. This load consisted almost entirely of rings, jewelry and scrap gold. There were a number of coins and the artistic American was delighted to note that a number of them were very valuable ancient Greek silver and gold coins, the true value of which seemed to be lost on everyone, but himself.
The Ukrainian made another trip with a far larger load of flattened containers, and because of a number of legitimate fishermen on the lake that morning, had to expend considerable effort in rowing around to unoccupied areas to discard the evidence.
The various members were experiencing considerable physical problems with sore muscles and it was generally agreed that they resume their regular social activities for several days to thwart any possible curious tourists. Two French-speaking individuals had been seen moving along the water’s edge between the towns carrying a metal detector. One of the Americans pointed them out to the Austrian proprietor of a restaurant who remarked in a sarcastic tone that they were looking for some treasure a “big Nazi” was supposed to have buried there at the end of the war. When pressed for information, he continued that there was no treasure, but it was considered good business to discuss the probability of it with foreign tourists. There was even one enterprising local gentleman who rented out metal detectors.
The next expedition set out on the night of Friday, June 15. It was decided to avoid the section of the eastern end of the lake and its campers and pot holes so they began early, circling around the end of the lake and commencing to dig about 1 a.m. on the morning of the 16th.
There were no tree roots to deal with and they were far enough from the main roads and unwanted visitors to make their labors much easier. The soil was looser, containing a quantity of sand, and the six boxes were in far better shape than the others they had encountered previously.
This dig went entirely without incident and the contents consisted mainly of gold coins, loose gem stones and a large number of gold bars weighing ten kilos each. These were packed at the bottom of the crates without wrappings, but as gold is relatively impervious to rot or destruction by the elements, they all appeared to be in pristine condition. All these bars had their weight stamped into them and they appeared to have been cast in a mold designed for lead bars. The only other marks on the bars were from an Italian metal foundry which had obviously been put into the molds on manufacture and did not indicate a bank or refinery origin.
The fourth exhumation took place on the night of Sunday, June 17th, about 20 meters west of the third site. It proceeded without incident and the contents of the six chests proved to be more gold coins, several large boxes of gold religious medallions, a quantity of old American paper gold certificates, several jewel-studded, gold-sheathed old Russian religious icons, an 18th century silver Jewish Torah case complete with parchment document inside, a silver table service bearing the double-headed Polish eagle, and a brace of cased, silver-mounted flintlock pistols from the palace of Catherine the Great at Tsarskoe Selo outside of what was then Leningrad. How these got into the hands of General Globocnik was never discovered. There were also a number of original musical scores by the Polish composer Chopin in excellent condition, and a miscellany of other items of value.
The German was beginning to have problems in his lower lumbar region following the exertions and it was decided to take a short break. During this period, the Americans borrowed the camping van and drove off to the city of Villach where they bought a truck. This was painted to resemble a moving van. As a number of people seeking peace and quiet from the more metropolitan areas of Austria bought property in the Weissensee area, the arrival and departure of moving vans was not considered a noteworthy event.
On Thursday, June 21, 1990, the visitation to the fifth site in the cluster of remaining burials was interrupted briefly by a nocturnal party of drunken hikers, who decided to rest within clear view of where the resurrection men were planning to work. What was worse, one of the hikers was possessed of a handgun which he began to discharge on a fairly regular basis at various trees and other objects. This eventually drew the attentions of the local police who drove down the sandy track in a lurching vehicle, frightening off the inebriates, and leaving the field to the treasure hunters who were concealed at some distance in the underbrush.
The German was now complaining of back pains again and his Ukrainian companion was terrified that the police would return, so the digging went much slower. This horde consisted of five cases, two of which had throughly rotted, spilling their contents out when the boxes were moved. From this find came more gold coins, several boxes of unset jewels, more wedding rings, a large German Bible from the sixteenth century with silver clasps and an inset coat of arms, another collection of ten kilo gold bars, and a thick file of official German records wrapped in oil skin and sealed in copper tubes. These proved to be the records of Globocnik’s prison camps listing the names, occupations and eventual fates of a large number of inmates.
The gold bars put a strain on the tires of the camper which blew a tire on its trip out of the area and the van had to be emptied to get at the spare. Throughout this process, the German complained constantly about the pains he was suffering, and the Ukrainian joined in as a sort of chorus. His lamentations centered around the fact that the police would certainly return and they would then lose everything they had worked so hard to acquire.
On the forenoon of Friday, June 22nd, an impromptu conference was held on the terrace of a convenient inn with all the parties participating. Over the consumption of various local beverages and a lengthy lunch, the European Union branch of the association declared that it was their unanimous wish to leave the area at once, taking with them their portion of the recovered loot. It was pointed out that two more sites remained and that these sites were sufficiently remote as to virtually preclude discovery. The objectors claimed that they now had more than enough precious metal to satisfy them and would have some problems transporting it to the relative safety of Germany. They agreed to abandon their shares in the remaining two troves in exchange for a larger share of the material already recovered. They had no interest in the guns or the religious artifacts, preferring to take just the coins and the jewels which were more easily transported.
Finally, after much muted disputation, it was agreed that the precious stones, containing a large number of loose diamonds, some of the gold coins, all of the gold jewelry, and a few of the gold bars would go to the German/Ukrainian part of the team. The balance of the heavy gold bars, the coins and the religious artifacts would remain with the Americans.
As one of the Americans later remarked to his fellow national, the value of diamonds was completely artificial and they were always hard to sell for a decent profit. Since the German was fascinated with the cold glitter of the stones, he was given all of them along with large, but flawed natural emeralds, some of the gold coins which would be more difficult to convert to cash, boxes of scrap gold, nineteenth century watches, and a considerable number of wedding rings.
Following this, the participants in this Last Supper went their separate ways, leaving the Americans in possession of a very valuable bible, a collection of ancient coins worth, at the very least, the aggregate value of all the unset stones, the more easily disposed of gold coins, and almost all the gold bars.
There were now two men left to exhume the remaining two sites, and while the panic of the departed team members had some effect on those remaining behind, it did not deter them from going forth twice more on the evenings of the 29th and 30th of July.
The final gathering consisted mainly of gold bars, a small suit of dress 16th century armor designed for a child and set with stones of some value, and a collection of books in Latin which later turned out to have come from the Polish state library at Cracow. With the cleansing of the last site and the scattering of the last armfuls of forest litter, the first part of the saga of the Globocnik gold was over.
The second part was about to begin.
Finding the treasure, unearthing it and dividing it was child’s play compared with the logistical problems inherent in moving a truck full of contraband gold out of Austria, and to an area where it could be removed from the European continent and enjoyed at leisure elsewhere.
On Wednesday, July 4, 1990, the freshly-painted moving van left Weissensee forever, heading the nine kilometers to E-66 and south towards Italy with its inviting port cities on the Adriatic.
The truck was properly registered and a portion of it was loaded with cheap, second-hand furniture purchased in Austria to lend some versimillitude to the story that an Austrian family was moving to Venice for business reasons. The former CIA man had obtained all the correct forms and was prepared to encounter Italian customs. However, the customs post was closed and he drove straight through without incident.
What happened to the German and his partner is not known, although they both managed to drive into Germany without any incident. It was rumored that the German retired to nurse his bad back in an expensive suburb of Munich while his co-worker married a fellow Slav and opened an ethnic restaurant in Switzerland.
The Americans bought a servicable ship in a marina at the northern end of the Adriatic, loaded up their cargo and engaged several local fisherman who had a desire to emigrate as far and as quickly from Italy as possible. The boat, which was a large diesel custom-built fishing boat, was entirely capable of transversing the Mediterranean as well as the central reaches of the Atlantic without undue effort.
The first part of the trip was very scenic, the artistic American spending most of his time making sketches of such points of interest as the ancient palace of Diocletian at Split, and taking a brief detour to make drawings of the palace of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria on the Greek island of Corfu.
They sailed through the wine-dark seas of Greece and out, eventually, past the Pillars of Hercules and vanished completely from this narrative.