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November 9, 2019

Nov 09 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. November 9, 2019:
“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.
Commentary for November 9: “Trump is ordering his staff to ignore Congressional subpoenas and is certain that the impeachment subject will go away. It will not and by legally defying Congress, Trump is adding to the charges against him. Nixon has the sense to get out before the roof fell in on him but Trump has no sense and believes, in error,that is a superior being and that all must bow down before his persona. He is a mentally-disturbed bully, loud-mouth, thoroughly crooked entity, not, as he sees is and demands that other see it, the Uncrowned King of America. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

The Table of Contents
• Impeachment: how Trump’s hardball tactics put the constitution in peril
• Donald Trump’s Boneheaded Plan to Steal Syrian Oil
• An Oral History of Trump’s Bigotry
• Trump and the Numbers Game
• The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
• Encyclopedia of American Loons
• The Anatomy of a Major Art Fraud

Impeachment: how Trump’s hardball tactics put the constitution in peril
The White House refuses to send witnesses to the House inquiry. Talk of obstruction grows. Experts say a crisis is at hand
November 9, 2019
by Tom McCarthy in New York
The Guardian
Summoning the full force of its constitutionally vested powers, Congress last week called 13 witnesses to appear for questioning in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.
Two of them showed up.
Four of the would-be witnesses – the acting White House chief of staff, two senior officials in the budget office and a state department lawyer – failed to appear in spite of congressional subpoenas, as distinct from requests.
A fifth witness, former national security adviser John Bolton, warned that he would reply to any subpoena with a lawsuit.
The story of the Trump presidency is one of repeated power struggles between branches of government and within the executive branch. But the standoff that has developed between the White House and the legislature during the impeachment inquiry, constitutional experts say, is loaded with dangerous potential to upset the balance of power and wreck the ability of Congress to check the president.
“This is about as intense a conflict as we could imagine between the branches,” said Michael J Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina school of law and an expert on impeachment and the constitution.
“It is unusual, though not unprecedented. This may be a great example of what we call constitutional hardball, where everybody’s kind of pushing their powers at least to their boundaries, if not beyond.”
The refusal of executive branch officials to comply with lawful congressional subpoenas has been compared to Richard Nixon’s refusal to turn over recordings of Oval Office conversations to investigators in the Watergate affair. In that standoff, Congress ultimately prevailed.
But the third article of impeachment against Nixon, for obstruction of the House impeachment inquiry, “rested on far more limited withholding of information from the House” than that which is being pursued by Trump, said Frank O Bowman III, author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump and a professor at the University of Missouri school of law.
“It’s completely abnormal,” Bowman said of the witness absences. “Inasmuch as the no-shows are in response to presidential orders or strong admonitions, they amount to obstruction of the House’s constitutional impeachment function and are therefore a free-standing ground for impeachment.”
The Trump administration has withheld more than just witnesses. Top officials – including vice-president Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, energy secretary Rick Perry and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney – have defied subpoenas for documents. So have agencies including the defense department and budget office.
Witnesses with no formal role in the administration have defied Congress, too – at times rather punchily.
Refusing a subpoena for documents, lawyers for Rudy Giuliani condemned the impeachment inquiry as “unconstitutional, baseless and illegitimate”. A lawyer for Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Ukrainian Americans arrested last month on campaign finance charges, asserted attorney-client privilege in withholding documents, because the two men “assisted Mr Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump”.
Neither man is a lawyer. Parnas has since switched lawyers and said he will cooperate.
‘Political talking points, and no law’
In defying Congress, the would-be witnesses have relied, explicitly and implicity, on an overarching case for non-participation made in a pugnacious eight-page letter sent to Congress in October by White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
“Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” the letter said.
A half-page letter from lawyers for Giuliani said the former New York mayor “adopts all the positions set forth in Mr Cipollone’s letter”.
The acting director of the office of management of the budget (OMB), Russell Vought, invoked the White House gag order in a dismissive tweet defying his subpoena.
“I saw some Fake News over the weekend to correct,” he wrote. “As the WH letter made clear two weeks ago, OMB officials – myself and Mike Duffey – will not be complying with deposition requests this week. #shamprocess”
As a legal document, the White House letter is weak, according to experts.
“I think it was filled with a number of political talking points, and no law,” said Gerhardt.
Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel under Barack Obama, wrote: “On the merits, it is an exceptionally weak performance. Add to this another deficiency: its glaring failure to effectively represent the institutional interests of the presidency.”
The noncooperation of executive branch officials could have serious implications for the impeachment inquiry, potentially depriving Congress and the public of crucial evidence.
Mulvaney might testify about how, exactly, the order came down for the OMB to suspend military aid for Ukraine. Perry attended several key meetings and could add to previous firsthand testimony about the precise nature of the deal Trump was pursuing. Bolton has said he might someday testify to relevant firsthand conversations he had with the president.
ompeo could supply evidence that might help explain why the Ukraine plot gave rise to a moment of truth for so many career foreign service officers.
The 18 witnesses from the executive branch to have spoken to the impeachment committees so far have done so in defiance of the White House gag order.
Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, told reporters this week the executive branch refusal to cooperate amounted to evidence of obstruction of the inquiry, suggesting Trump, like Nixon, might face an article of impeachment along those lines.
“The White House excuses keep changing,” Schiff said. “First it was: the House hasn’t held a vote. Then, a claim of immunity never upheld by a court. Now they want their lawyers to participate, which is against the rules Republicans wrote.
“It doesn’t add up – except as evidence of obstruction.”

Donald Trump’s Boneheaded Plan to Steal Syrian Oil
If he’s going to go plundering, why not hit Saudi Arabia first?
November 7, 2019
by Doug Bandow
The American Conservative
President Donald Trump has rightly decided to remove U.S. military personnel out of a zone of potential conflict involving Syrians, Iranians, Turks, and Kurds. He’s dismissed calls to maintain American forces there to protect the latter, despite the imminent threat of attack against the Kurds by Ankara. Meddling in other nations’ civil wars, Trump thinks, risks American lives and security.
Except then the president decided to deploy U.S. personnel to steal Syria’s oil. He announced that Washington would remain around al-Tanf in southern Syria to guard oil fields captured by the Kurds. Indeed, the number of Pentagon forces are expected to eventually number around 900, almost as many as the number withdrawn from the north. As some Americans leave, others are being deployed—to seize another nation’s resources. Indeed, the president said the U.S. will be “keeping the oil.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper explained that the U.S. would “maintain a reduced presence in Syria and deny ISIS access to oil revenue.” He dismissed any idea of confiscating the petroleum. However, ISIS does not possess forces capable of taking, transporting, and selling the oil. An unnamed official cited “other destabilizing actors,” presumably meaning the Assad government, which, though brutally repressive, is the most stable force in Syria today. The excuse is a sham.
The president is being played by neoconservatives and other hawks who want Washington to take resources owned by the Syrian government to weaken it and, more important, keep America entangled in that country’s multiple conflicts.
This policy is beyond shameful. It is foolish and counterproductive. It dramatically undermines Washington’s credibility while sucking the U.S. into a potential battle over nothing of consequence.
Venal motives for military aggression are hardly unusual. However, governments rarely admit that they are acting for national profit. The Middle East has been a special case for some American hawks. As long as compliant Arab nations supplied low-cost energy, they saw little reason for military action. However, following the OPEC-driven run-up in oil prices and October 1973 Arab embargo against several Western nations, triggered by U.S. support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War, the idea of stealing oil gained traction.
The public hysteria was never justified. The embargo was ineffective, since the energy market is global. However, production cutbacks as well as domestic restrictions, which limited production, did hike prices. The roughly fourfold increase left oil costing almost $12 a barrel. That caused economic hardship but posed no security threat. The price, adjusted for inflation, was comparable to today’s levels.
Nevertheless, the Nixon administration developed plans for military action. In October 1973, White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig reported that Defense Secretary James Schlesinger talked of “putting troops in crucial states to get oil.” The following month, Schlesinger told NATO allies that “the United States did not repeat not intend to be driven to the wall in this situation” and that “we will not tolerate this kind of blackmail.”
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger privately dismissed the idea of an oil grab, but observed at a subsequent news conference: “If pressures continue unreasonably and indefinitely, then the United States will have to consider what countermeasures it may have to take.” The House Committee on International Relations published a study on potential military action. The members contended that “economic warfare, most notably oil embargoes, currently could threaten most modern societies just as surely as nuclear weapons.” Allied states had to be protected: “Severe sanctions by oil producing countries thus would involve vital interests at a very early stage.”
In early 1975 President Gerald Ford emphasized that “in the case of economic strangulation,” the U.S. had to be prepared “to take the necessary action for our self-preservation.” Robert W. Tucker of Johns Hopkins University wrote an oft-cited article for Commentary in March 1975, which claimed that “if the present situation goes on unaltered, a disaster resembling the 1930s is indeed a distinct possibility and…would have as its immediate and precipitating cause the present oil price.” The same month, an anonymous writer, said to be Edward Luttwak of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, urged that force “be used selectively to occupy large and concentrated oil reserves,” most importantly in Saudi Arabia.
The war boomlet then faded until the First Gulf War, when Secretary of State James Baker warned that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was in a position to “strangle the global economic order.” The threat was minimal, since Hussein planned to sell, not drink, the oil. Even if he conquered or cowed his Gulf neighbors, figured economist David Henderson, “the annual cost to the U.S. economy of doing nothing in the Persian Gulf would be at most half of one percent of our gross national product, and probably much less.” Washington spends more on its military commitments to the region than the worst-case cost of energy supply disruptions there
Today, plunder is being advanced as a means to finance the war. Argued Senator Lindsey Graham: “We can also use some of the revenue from oil sales to pay for our military commitment in Syria.” But he likely has ulterior motives: using the oil gambit to get the president to keep U.S. forces in Syria.
The tactic appears to have worked. When announcing the death of the Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the president cited the “valuable” oil and said: “We should be able to take some also.” He reiterated his oft-repeated view, that “I said keep the oil. If they are going into Iraq, keep the oil. They never did.”
In fact, Trump has long lusted after Iraq’s oil fields. More than once, he’s spoken of the United States having spent $1.5 trillion on that nation; therefore, “we should take [Iraq’s oil] and pay ourselves back.” He envisioned an occupation by the U.S. or its proxies of “various sections where they have the oil.” After taking office, he opined to CIA officials that the U.S. should have kept the oil, then added: “Maybe you’ll have another chance.”
No surprise, Iraqi officials were alarmed by such pronouncements. When Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Iraq in February 2017, he had to reassure the Iraqis that no oil would be seized. But the president persisted, arguing in September 2017: “You’re not stealing anything.” Rather: “We’re reimbursing ourselves.”
Now the president sees an easy opportunity to pillage Syria’s resources. Yet their value is modest at best. During the war, production dropped 15-fold to just 24,000 barrels a day, or about .03 percent of global output. The share of reserves is even less, just .02 percent.
Trump suggested that he’d “make a deal with an ExxonMobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly.” But no private oil firm is likely to develop resources illegally held in a war zone in which conflict is likely and an eventual American withdrawal is almost certain. Doug Gilson of Mother Jones figured that if Washington could restore production and steal all of it, the annual total would be about $8 billion annually. That’s not a lot of gain for an occupation that costs and risks much more.
Moreover, holding the oil fields is not enough. For the U.S. to rehabilitate infrastructure and sell oil would require an expanded occupation—of roads, pipelines, facilities—and take years. Preventing sabotage to disable production would not be easy.
Yet the president appears ready to fight for the oil. He said: “Either we’ll negotiate a deal with whoever is claiming it, if we think it’s fair, or we will militarily stop them very quickly.” Secretary Esper said the U.S. would “respond with overwhelming military force against any group that threatens the safety of our forces there,” apparently even the legal owners, the Syrian government. Notably, China, India, and Russia all provided capital for the Syrian oil industry and are likely to oppose any Washington sale of stolen resources.
If America is going to revive the idea of invading other states and taking their resources, it would make more sense to begin at the top. Why not seize Saudi Arabia’s oil fields? The royals have proven incapable of defending their assets and Washington has good cause to exact compensation for decades of protecting the House of Saud.
Finally, pillaging a war-torn land would sacrifice America’s reputation as well as risk American lives. Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster warned that plundering Syria’s oil would make Americans look like “criminals and thieves.” Even Washington’s Gulf allies would be highly uncomfortable with such a precedent. Without naming the U.S., Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently told his party’s lawmakers: “They never hesitate to go after the oil. For them, a drop of oil is equal to the blood of thousands of people.” Any number of jihadists throughout the Muslim world are likely saying “I told you so” about American motives.
After explaining the administration’s oil grab, Esper said: “At the end of the day we will be sending troops home.” They should be brought home today. The president should not use the U.S. military as a pirate gang.

An Oral History of Trump’s Bigotry
His racism and intolerance have always been in evidence; only slowly did he begin to understand how to use them to his advantage.
by David A. Graham, Adrienne Green, Cullen Murphy, and Parker Richards
The Atlantic
The first quotation from Donald Trump ever to appear in The New York Times came on October 16, 1973. Trump was responding to charges filed by the Justice Department alleging racial bias at his family’s real-estate company. “They are absolutely ridiculous,” Trump said of the charges. “We have never discriminated, and we never would.”
In the years since then, Trump has assembled a long record of comment on issues involving African Americans as well as Mexicans, Hispanics more broadly, Native Americans, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, women, and people with disabilities. His statements have been reflected in his behavior—from public acts (placing ads calling for the execution of five young black and Latino men accused of rape, who were later shown to be innocent) to private preferences (“When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor,” a former employee of Trump’s Castle, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, told a writer for The New Yorker). Trump emerged as a political force owing to his full-throated embrace of “birtherism,” the false charge that the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, was not born in the United States. His presidential campaign was fueled by nativist sentiment directed at nonwhite immigrants, and he proposed barring Muslims from entering the country. In 2016, Trump described himself to The Washington Post as “the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered.”
Instances of bigotry involving Donald Trump span more than four decades. The Atlantic interviewed a range of people with knowledge of several of those episodes. Their recollections have been edited for concision and clarity.
I. “You Don’t Want to Live With Them Either”
The Justice Department’s 1973 lawsuit against Trump Management Company focused on 39 properties in New York City. The government alleged that employees were directed to tell African American lease applicants that there were no open apartments. Company policy, according to an employee quoted in court documents, was to rent only to “Jews and executives.”
The Justice Department frequently used consent decrees to settle discrimination cases, offering redress to plaintiffs while allowing defendants to avoid an admission of guilt. The rationale: Consent decrees achieved speedier results with less public rancor.
Nathaniel Jones was the general counsel for the NAACP. He later became a federal judge. John Yinger, an economist specializing in residential discrimination, served at the time as an expert witness in a number of fair-housing cases. Elyse Goldweber, a Justice Department lawyer, brought the first federal suit against Trump Management.
Nathaniel Jones: The 1968 Fair Housing Act gave us leverage to go after major developers and landlords. The situation in New York was terrible.
John Yinger: Community groups like the Urban League started doing audits and tests to show discrimination. In 1973, the Urban League found a lot of discrimination in some of the properties that Trump Management owned.
elyse goldweber: I went to a place called Operation Open City. What they had done was send “testers”—meaning one white couple and one couple of color—to Trump Village, a very large, lower-middle-class housing project in Brooklyn. And of course the white people were treated great, and for the people of color there were no apartments. We subpoenaed all their documents. That’s how we found that a person’s application, if you were a person of color, had a big C on it.
The Department of Justice brings the case and we name Fred Trump, the father, and Donald Trump, the son, and Donald hires Roy Cohn, of Army-McCarthy fame. [Cohn, a Trump mentor, had served as Senator Joe McCarthy’s chief counsel during his investigations of alleged Communists in the government and was accused of pressuring the Army to give preferential treatment to a personal friend.] Cohn turns around and sues us for $100 million. This was my first appearance as a lawyer in court. Cohn spoke for two hours, then the judge ruled from the bench that you can’t sue the government for prosecuting you. The next week we took the depositions. My boss took Fred’s, and I got to take Donald’s. He was exactly the way he is today. He said to me at one point during a coffee break, “You know, you don’t want to live with them either.”
Everyone in the world has looked for that deposition. We cannot find it. Trump always acted like he was irritated to be there. He denied everything, and we went on with our case. We had the records with the C, and we had the testers, and you could see that everything was lily-white over there. Ultimately they settled—they signed a consent decree. They had to post all their apartments with the Urban League, advertise in the Amsterdam News, many other things. It was pretty strong.
john yinger: Trump had some interesting language after the settlement: He said that it did not require him to accept people on welfare, which was kind of beside the point.
Under the terms of the settlement, reached in 1975, the Trumps did not admit to any wrongdoing. But soon, according to the government, they were back at it. In 1978, the Justice Department alleged that Trump Management was in breach of the agreement. The new case dragged on until 1982, when the original consent decree expired and the case was closed. Soon, Trump’s headquarters would be installed in Trump Tower, which opened in February 1983. Barbara Res was the construction manager.
barbara res: We met with the architect to go over the elevator-cab interiors at Trump Tower, and there were little dots next to the numbers. Trump asked what the dots were, and the architect said, “It’s braille.” Trump was upset by that. He said, “Get rid of it.” The architect said, “I’m sorry; it’s the law.” This was before the Americans With Disabilities Act, but New York City had a law. Trump’s exact words were: “No blind people are going to live in this building.”
elyse goldweber: Was he concerned about injustice? No. Never. This was an annoyance. We were little annoying people, and we wouldn’t go away.
barbara res: As far as discrimination, he wouldn’t discriminate against somebody who had $3 million to pay for a three-bedroom apartment. Eventually he had some very unsavory characters there. But if you read John O’Donnell’s book [Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall, written with James Rutherford and published in 1991], Trump talked about how he didn’t want black people handling his money; he wanted the guys with the yarmulkes. He was very much the kind of person who would take people of a religion, like Jews; or a race, like blacks; or a nationality, like Italians, and ascribe to them certain qualities. Blacks were lazy, and Jews were good with money, and Italians were good with their hands—and Germans were clean.
nathaniel jones: Consent decrees were an important tool. The sad thing now is that, in his last act as Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum curtailing enforcement programs and consent decrees across the board when it comes to discrimination.
II. “Bring Back the Death Penalty”
The so-called Central Park Five were a group of black and Latino teens who were accused—wrongly—of raping a white woman in Central Park on April 19, 1989. Donald Trump took out full-page ads in all four major New York newspapers to argue that perpetrators of crimes such as this one “should be forced to suffer” and “be executed.” In two trials, in August and December 1990, the youths were convicted of violent offenses including assault, robbery, rape, sodomy, and attempted murder; their sentences ranged from five to 15 years in prison. In 2002, after the discovery of exonerating DNA evidence and the confession by another individual to the crime, the convictions of the Central Park Five were vacated. The men were awarded a settlement of $41 million for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and a racially motivated conspiracy to deprive them of their rights. Trump took to the pages of the New York Daily News, calling the settlement “a disgrace.” During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump would again insist on the guilt of the Central Park Five.
Jonathan C. Moore represented four of the Central Park Five when they later sued the City of New York. Yusef Salaam was one of the five young men who were wrongly convicted. Timothy L. O’Brien spent hundreds of hours with Trump while researching his 2005 book, TrumpNation. C. Vernon Mason represented Salaam and other defendants.
jonathan c. moore: The Trump ad was calling for the death penalty for juveniles. It was taken out at a time before there was any adjudication of their guilt. The theme was: Here are all these young black kids and Hispanic kids who are going to rape our young white women, so let’s put them all away. You know, we call them the Central Park Five, but it’s really the Central Park 15, or 18, or however many family members there were, because the family members suffered a great deal as well. They visited the boys in prison, on holidays; they did their birthdays inside, had Christmas parties. To this day I talk to some of them and they go into tears when they think about what happened.
yusef salaam: When we were accused of raping the Central Park jogger, it really wasn’t an accusation. It wasn’t like we were innocent and had to be proved guilty in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the people. Everybody, including Donald Trump, rushed to judge us, and therefore it became that much more difficult to be able to mount a really successful fight. And, of course, we lost.
timothy l. o’brien: One of the things Trump learned when he injected himself into the Central Park Five case was that he could get attention for himself because he was a spokesman for a certain type of Archie Bunker New Yorker. I think that’s one of the bonds that he shares with [Trump attorney and former New York City Mayor] Rudy Giuliani: They’re both profoundly guys from that moment in New York when a lot of racial boundaries got drawn.
c. vernon mason: The level of animosity and hatred was palpable. It was brutal. The language used around this case—“savages”—bordered on the kinds of stuff that Ida B. Wells and others wrote about during the lynching period.
usef salaam: For him to say, You know what? I’m going to take out an ad, and I’m going to call for the state to kill these individuals—it was almost as if he was trying to get the public or somebody from the darkest places in society to come into our homes. Remember, they had published our phone numbers, our names, and our addresses in New York City’s newspapers. So we were pariahs.
c. vernon mason: The defendants were afraid for their own safety and for their families. These were not people who had substantial means to protect themselves with security guards, or who were living in some gated community.
yusef salaam: I think about when they took our DNA and they tried to match it against what they had. And there was no match, and they still moved forward. The spiked wheels of justice continued to roll down the hill and mow us down. And all of this on the heels of what Donald Trump had published. Donald Trump’s ad was vicious. It was very disrespectful of what the law is supposed to be about.
jonathan c. moore: I have children, and I can’t imagine my son being in prison from age 14 to age 21. You’re stealing the most innocent part of somebody’s life. None of these kids had ever had any real interactions with the law before. When they were finally vindicated, there was never any apology from Trump, or even a hint of an apology.
yusef salaam: Donald Trump’s ad ran on May 1, 1989. The crime had happened April 19, 1989. We hadn’t even started trial! That was just a few weeks after we were accused. He put nails in our coffin. He’s continuing to do that by continuing to say that we are guilty, by continuing to say that the police department had so much evidence against us. What evidence did they have that stuck? They had no evidence. They had manufactured false confessions.
c. vernon mason: In 2016—this is 26 years after the case, and 14 years after it had been proved that none of these defendants had anything to do with that rape—Donald Trump said, I still believe they’re guilty. And I guess, in his mind, he would suggest that they still should be executed.
timothy l. o’brien: He trusts his gut on issues surrounding race, because he’s got a simplistic, deterministic, and racist perspective on who people are. I think at his core he has a genetic understanding of what makes people good and bad or successful. And you see it all the time—he talks about people having good genes. He looks at the world that way. He’s got a very Aryan view of people and race.
III. “They Don’t Look Like Indians to Me”
In the early 1990s, Trump attempted to block the building of new casinos in Connecticut and New York that could cut into his casino operations in Atlantic City. (All of Trump’s casinos eventually went into bankruptcy.) In October 1993, Trump appeared before the House Subcommittee on Native American Affairs of the Committee on Natural Resources. The subcommittee was chaired by Bill Richardson, later New Mexico’s governor. Trump was there to support an effort to modify legislation that had given Native American tribes the right to own and operate casinos. George Miller, a Democrat from California and the chair of the Committee on Natural Resources, was also present.
Tadd Johnson, of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Bois Forte Band, served as the Democratic counsel on the subcommittee. Rick Hill is a former chair of the National Indian Gaming Association and of the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin. Pat Williams was a member of Congress from Montana.
Trump began by noting that he had prepared a “politically correct” statement for the committee, but almost immediately went off script. The hearing became loud and acrimonious.
bill richardson: He said he didn’t think that Native Americans deserved the legislation, because there was a lot of corruption around Native American casinos. I remember asking him after the hearing, “Well, what’s the evidence?” He said, “The FBI has it.” I said, “You’re making the accusation; why don’t you bring the evidence?” He said, “No, you should ask the FBI.” I said, “You’re making the charge of corruption and you’re not backing it up—that is unacceptable.”
tadd johnson: Trump was wearing pancake makeup, which I hadn’t seen before, at least not on somebody testifying in Congress. He was very evasive, and he made all these allegations about organized-crime activity but could produce no single incident, no tangible evidence, nobody we could talk to. A lot of what he was saying were just fabrications.
rick hill: He said, “You guys are all going to have egg on your faces.” This was going to be the worst thing to happen since Al Capone. Trump went all threatening, raving about how there is no way we could stop the Mafia. He used the phrase Joey Killer. He said there was no way the tribal chairmen could stop Joey Killer.
bill richardson: The second allegation he made that was very disturbing at that hearing was to examine some Native American tribes’ application as Indian tribes—they were trying to get the subcommittee to basically declare their tribes or their group of individuals Native Americans. Trump mentioned Native Americans who had recently opened casinos and said to George Miller, “They don’t look like Indians to me.” He said that. It was so outrageous.
rick hill: Miller challenged him. He said, “You know how racist what you’re saying is? How racist that is to judge people by what we think they look like and ignore their inherent rights as a person?”
tadd johnson: George responded, “Well, thank God people don’t have rights based upon your look test. And, you know, how many times have we heard this before in this country?” And then he went through a litany of various groups that were discriminated against, which is a long list.
pat williams: I was stunned by the openness of Trump’s anger toward anyone who would compete with him—and particularly if they were people of color.
tadd johnson: I remember watching the faces of the Indian people in the back. There were some tribal elders who had come in from Minnesota, and were giving looks that could kill.
bill richardson: It was the most hostile hearing that I’ve ever been involved in. And I was in Congress for 15 years.
pat williams: I think the reason Trump blew up at Miller didn’t so much have to do with whatever the debate was about at the moment. He blew up because he came to realize that Miller was more important than he was.
Later, using a front organization called the New York Institute for Law and Society, Trump and his associate Roger Stone placed advertisements in upstate–New York newspapers in an attempt to block the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s planned Sullivan County casino. On a page proof of one ad, featuring hypodermic needles and lines of cocaine, Trump wrote: “Roger, this could be good!” Trump, Stone, and the institute would later pay $250,000 in fines for violating disclosure rules governing political advertising. Bradley Waterman served as general counsel and tax counsel for the Saint Regis Mohawks. Tony Cellini was the town supervisor of Thompson, where the casino was going to be built.
bradley waterman: Trump and Stone created an organization that was said to be pro-family and anti-gaming. Its real mission was to put the kibosh on gaming by the Mohawks in the Catskills and in that way protect Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City. To that end, the organization—actually Trump and Stone—purchased ads that portrayed the Mohawks as criminals, drug dealers, etc. The Mohawks regarded the ads as racist. So did I. So did everyone else who weighed in.
tony cellini: We were hurting for jobs in this area. And then all of a sudden these attack ads came out, which were financed, we found out later, to the tune of more than $1 million by Donald Trump.
bradley waterman: Trump personally approved the ads. For example, he wrote comments on proofs such as “Roger—do it.” Not surprisingly, Trump and Stone lied about the number of people who contributed financially to the organization. It was strictly a Trump-Stone operation. The chiefs were furious, particularly since Trump never met any Mohawks, set foot on Mohawk territory, or otherwise tried to learn about the Mohawks.
IV. “Our Very Vicious World”
In the summer of 2005, Donald Trump had an idea: What if the next season of his reality-TV show, The Apprentice, pitted “a team of successful African Americans versus a team of successful whites”? Trump thought the format would be a sort of social commentary—“reflective of our very vicious world.” The concept never made it to air, but Trump’s treatment of black contestants on his show generated controversy.
One contestant, Kevin Allen, a graduate of Emory University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago, was criticized by Trump on the show for being too educated; at the same time, Trump suggested that Allen was personally intimidating.
Mark Harris was a television critic for Entertainment Weekly. Kwame Jackson was the runner-up on The Apprentice’s first season.
mark harris: We were still very early in the history of reality-competition TV. The Apprentice started in January 2004, so the models that I was working off of as a critic were really just Survivor and American Idol. The Apprentice had this very manipulative approach to race. I felt that it was casting and shaping stories toward stereotypes that a default white audience would find somehow satisfying.
kevin allen: I remember Donald Trump asking me, “Kevin, why are the women in the suite scared of you?” I had never heard this before from anybody. It was shocking to me to hear that sort of attack. There was a lot of picking at me and trying to make me come out and be that overly aggressive, overbearing, scary African American male. But I was in law school at the time and I had worked on Capitol Hill, and I’m fairly adept at diffusing that sort of thing. I think it made me sort of a boring character. But there were moments when I was put in situations where it could have gone wrong.
mark harris: It’s interesting to look back at it now, because the way Kevin Allen was treated was like a sneak preview of white critical reaction to Obama. It was like, Well, maybe he’s too qualified, maybe he’s too smart, maybe he’s too cerebral.
kwame jackson: I think that Donald Trump had only been used to dealing with black men of a very specific genre: Mike Tyson, Don King, Herschel Walker—celebrities, entertainers. So to have a young African American man with arguably a better education than him—I don’t think that was something he was used to, because obviously he didn’t hire any in his organization.
Randal Pinkett, a black man and the show’s 2005 winner, was asked by Trump to share his title with the white runner-up, Rebecca Jarvis. Pinkett refused. As the winner, he later worked briefly for the Trump Organization.
randal pinkett: He did not want to see an African American as the outright and sole winner. I believe I backed him into a corner. It goes back to an old adage that I’ve been told throughout my life as an African American man—that you have to be twice as good just to be considered equal. And that is a statement that reflects the thinking of a Donald Trump. Donald can be racist in ways that he’s not even aware are racist, because he is so out of touch with people who are not like him.
timothy l. o’brien: The only people of color he’s gone out of his way to try to establish relationships with are people who are athletes, celebrities, or entertainers. He became close to Mike Tyson because Donald and Don King were trying to arrange heavyweight fights in Atlantic City, to draw high rollers to the casinos. It wasn’t because he was fond of black athletes. It was because black boxers were good for his business.
randal pinkett: I was the only person of color that I saw at an executive level in my entire year with the Trump Organization. And to put that into context, this was 2006. This was the height of Donald’s popularity with The Apprentice. He had launched several ventures, most of which are now defunct: Trump University, Trump Institute, Trump Ice, Trump Mortgage, Trump magazine. All of those companies were up and running. All of them had employees; they had CEOs who ran those companies—and still, as I recall, none of them had persons of color in executive roles. None of them.
V. “He Doesn’t Have a Birth Certificate”
“Our current president came out of nowhere, came out of nowhere … The people who went to school with him—they never saw him; they don’t know who he is.” That statement, made at the February 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference, marked the launch of Donald Trump’s public efforts to sow doubt about whether President Barack Obama had been born in the United States. “Birtherism” had been festering for several years before Trump embraced it—supplanting other proponents and becoming its most prominent advocate. In March, on The View, Trump called on Obama to show his birth certificate. In April, he said that he had dispatched a team of investigators to Hawaii to search for Obama’s birth records.
For Trump, the run-up to birtherism had been a controversy that flared when a Manhattan developer proposed building an Islamic cultural center on a site in Lower Manhattan—the so-called Ground Zero mosque. In 2010, on the Late Show, Trump told David Letterman: “I think it’s very insensitive to build it there. I think it’s not appropriate.” Letterman pushed back, saying that blocking an Islamic facility would be akin to declaring “war with Muslims.” Trump answered: “Somebody’s blowing up buildings, and somebody’s doing lots of bad stuff.” Trump offered to buy out one of the investors in order to halt the project. The action made him one of the project’s key opponents and for the first time gave him national visibility on the political right.
Anti-Muslim sentiment animated Trump’s birtherism campaign. He said of Obama on The Laura Ingraham Show in March 2011: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate, or if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now, somebody told me—and I have no idea whether this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be—that where it says ‘religion,’ it might have ‘Muslim.’ ”
Sam Nunberg became an adviser to Trump after working with him to oppose the Islamic cultural center. Jerome Corsi, the author of Where’s the Birth Certificate?, and Orly Taitz, a dentist and an attorney, are among the instigators of the birther movement. Dan Pfeiffer was the White House communications director.
sam nunberg: I don’t believe Donald Trump would have done birtherism if he had not done the Ground Zero mosque and gotten all the conservative publicity he did. I had met Roger Stone, and we briefed Trump on the issue, and he came out and said he wanted to buy the site. Then he got interviews on Fox News. It also was a part of his brand—he wasn’t just somebody coming out saying, “I’m opposed to you,” but “I want to buy it.” He went where the “Just run on lowering taxes” Republican intelligentsia, the Republican establishment, will tell you not to go.
jerome corsi: Donald Trump came into it pretty late. I was driving the story well before Donald Trump. He called me maybe three or four times in the period around April and May 2011. Donald Trump’s interest advanced the story in terms of public awareness.
orly taitz: I just turned over all the information to him. I talked to his assistant. She told me to forward all the information to his attorney Michael Cohen. Because Trump was a well-known public figure, the issue did get attention.
dan pfeiffer: It wasn’t until Trump picked this up that it spilled into the mainstream. It created a permission structure for normal reporters to ask this question. It’s like, Well, Donald Trump, this famous person, said this on The View, which is different than saying Jerome Corsi wrote it in a book.
sam nunberg: It was about destroying Obama’s favorability, his likability. It was this way to differentiate Trump from Mitt Romney, who was dancing around not wanting to criticize Obama directly. We looked at Obama as a Manchurian president. Trump will do anything to win. Birtherism would brand Trump as the guy who would do anything he could to take down Obama. He wasn’t just going to lose with a smile and lose respectably the way John McCain and Mitt Romney liked doing.
Attempting to quell the conspiracy theories, on April 27, 2011, Obama released his long-form birth certificate. Ben Rhodes was Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.
ben rhodes: I remember Obama started to get increasingly frustrated in Oval Office sessions—not just that Trump would say these things, but also that the media would cover it as a story. Obama was angry that he had to release the birth certificate. I remember being in the Oval Office and him commenting that he couldn’t believe he had to do this, but feeling he had to nip it in the bud. Obama was more acutely aware of issues involving race and racism than he sometimes projected. Obama knew this wasn’t going away, and he knew it was racist, and he knew he needed as much armor as he could get.
A few days later, at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Obama and the comedian Seth Meyers mocked Trump’s birther claims, leaving Trump red-faced and seething at a table in the audience. Jay Carney was the White House press secretary.
seth meyers: We were constantly getting a refreshed list of who was going to be in the room. I will say that we were happy when we saw that Trump was going to be there. I think our best joke about him being a racist that night was: “Donald Trump said recently he has a great relationship with the blacks, but unless the Blacks are a family of white people, I bet he is mistaken.” There’s a thing Donald Trump does better than anybody else, which is that by stating one position, he reveals that he actually holds the opposite position.
One of the reasons we piled on with our Trump jokes wasn’t that he was a reality star. It was that he was someone who was doing the rounds, continuing to double down and triple down and quadruple down on this incredibly racist rhetoric. Historically, if you look at other rooms I’ve been in, I’ve never done a run of 10 jokes about anyone before. Obviously we felt pretty strongly for that to be the case.
jay carney: After that, birtherism diminished as a subject in most media, but I’m sure folks took notice of what Trump had done, and how, by completely concocting this nonsense, he had hijacked the conversation. It still pisses me off.
dan pfeiffer: The mainstream political conversation after Obama released his birth certificate was: Trump is a clown, right? He’s a clown who got out of his depth and has embarrassed himself and should be run out of politics forever. It was not long after that that every Republican—even, you know, putatively serious Republicans like Mitt Romney—went and begged Trump for his endorsement. I don’t think any of us realized that there was a tremendous appetite for anger in the Republican base that Trump was seeking to use.
Trump did not let up. In May 2012, he told the CNN host Wolf Blitzer that “a lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate.” In August, he called the birth certificate “a fraud.” Finally, in September 2016, under political pressure during his presidential campaign, Trump acknowledged that Obama had in fact been born in the United States. That was not the end of the matter. In November 2017, The New York Times reported that Trump was still privately asserting that Obama’s birth certificate may have been fraudulent.
ben rhodes: It cannot be overstated that this is the creation story of Donald Trump becoming president of the United States. His whole brand is: I will say the things that the other guys won’t. Without birtherism there is no Trump presidency.
VI. “On Many Sides”
Roughly six months into Trump’s presidency, on the night of Friday, August 11, 2017, hundreds of neo-Nazis and white supremacists marched onto the University of Virginia’s campus in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “Blood and soil,” a Nazi slogan. The “Unite the Right” rally was protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Confrontations arose between members of the so-called alt-right and groups of counterprotesters, including members of the anti-fascist movement known as “antifa.”
Mike Signer, Charlottesville’s mayor, had been dealing with far-right protests all summer. Richard Spencer was one of the key figures behind the “Unite the Right” rally.
mike signer: The first event was in May of 2017, led by Richard Spencer, who invented the term alt-right and is a UVA graduate. He had done an event right after Trump’s inauguration where he had led a fascist salute with all these people at a hotel in Washington, D.C.—buzz cuts, uniforms, very frightening.
richard spencer: There is no question that Charlottesville wouldn’t have occurred without Trump. It really was because of his campaign and this new potential for a nationalist candidate who was resonating with the public in a very intense way. The alt-right found something in Trump. He changed the paradigm and made this kind of public presence of the alt-right possible.
David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, who participated in the Charlottesville rally, called it a “turning point” for his own movement, which seeks to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.” Will Peyton, the rector of St. Paul’s Memorial Church, near the UVA campus, hosted an interfaith service in opposition to the rally. As alt-right protesters marched by, the roughly 700 people in the church were advised to stay inside for their own safety.
will peyton: I was out in a parking lot during the morning while all the various neo-Nazi people and different white-supremacist groups were gathering and unloading. They were piling out of vans and trucks, and kind of giddy. I’d never seen swastikas and Nazi salutes out in the open like that—people wearing helmets and carrying clubs and shields.
richard spencer: The whole day was chaotic. I woke up that morning; we had breakfast. We didn’t quite know what was going to happen. I certainly thought it was going to be a big event, but I never quite knew that it was going to turn into this ultimately historic event.
mike signer: Richard Spencer and David Duke spent time attacking me and talking about the Jewish mayor of the city. There was a threat against a synagogue saying, “It’s time to torch those jewish monsters lets go 3pm.” There was an intensity in the anti-Semitism that previously was unthinkable in American political life. I grew up five blocks from the headquarters of the American Nazi Party, in Arlington, Virginia. It was above what is now a coffee shop, in a ramshackle house, and we laughed at this lonely, pathetic old man who would come in and out of that building. Now you’re seeing something different. I was infuriated that you weren’t seeing a condemnation of this coming from the White House.
On August 12, a black man named DeAndre Harris was beaten by at least four white supremacists. At about 1:45 p.m. that day, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old white supremacist from Ohio, drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 35 others. Fields was convicted in December 2018 of first-degree murder. In March, he pleaded guilty to 29 of 30 federal hate-crime charges in a separate trial. Speaking on the afternoon of the attack from his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, Trump denounced “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.” He paused, then repeated: “On many sides.” Lisa Woolfork is a UVA professor and an organizer with Black Lives Matter’s Charlottesville chapter. Jason Kessler was an organizer of the rally.
richard spencer: We were dealing with this terrible accident that occurred with James Fields and Heather Heyer, and it was certainly not why I came and I don’t think it’s why anyone else came. I was trying to deal with that situation in the best way I could by just saying that we simply don’t know what happened and we should stress that this young man deserves a fair investigation and a fair trial. Trump, in his own way, was being honest and calling it like he saw it. I was proud of him at that moment.
mike signer: This was a coordinated invasion of the city by violent right-wing militias. I watched a clip of the president and my mouth fell open, and I was at once ashamed for him and for the country.
lisa woolfork: The car sped down Fourth Street and collided with the counterdemonstrators who were marching that way. I was about 100 feet from the impact, and it was complete chaos. I remember seeing a shoe fly into the air. I remember people screaming. It was an utterly terrible moment. After a long and traumatic day, the president’s remarks were chilling. One of the dangers of having the president speak in the way that he spoke about the events in Charlottesville—about “many sides”—was that it promotes this very dangerous false equivalency. Trump made things much worse by explicitly stating that you can be a white supremacist or a Nazi or a neo-Confederate and still be a good person.
jason kessler: The president was absolutely correct in blaming both sides. I’ve probably seen more video of the event than anyone alive. People who are upset feel that the majority of the blame should be with the alt-right because of the tragic death of Heather Heyer. It’s fair enough to acknowledge their emotional need for this, but no one at “Unite the Right” was responsible for that car accident but James Fields himself.
will peyton: I had a visceral, emotional reaction when I heard what the president said. I was an eyewitness. I saw with my own eyes that there was one side here that came planning and intending violence. There’s just no two ways about that.
On August 14, Trump walked back his initial statement and specifically condemned “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups.” A day later, he walked back his walk-back. There were “very fine people on both sides,” he said, adding that the “alt-left” had been “very, very violent.” White-nationalist leaders welcomed his remarks.
mike signer: There was a robocall that went out in November 2018, because the trial of Alex Fields was happening and he was about to be convicted. The call was all about how the Jew mayor and the Negro police chief had created this situation, and how we’re the ones who should be held responsible for Heather Heyer’s death.
VII. “Go Back to Their Huts”
In office, Donald Trump followed through on his promise to curb immigration from majority-Muslim countries. He created a commission to investigate voter fraud (virtually nonexistent, according to state election officials), claiming that he would have won the popular vote but for millions of ballots cast by people in the U.S. illegally. He shut down the government for 35 days in an attempt to secure funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He reportedly referred to African countries as “shithole” nations—asking why the U.S. can’t have more immigrants from Norway instead—and complained that, after seeing America, immigrants from Nigeria would never “go back to their huts.” The administration favored victims of Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston, over those of Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico, sending three times as many workers to Houston and approving 23 times as much money for individual assistance within the first nine days after each hurricane.
sam nunberg: Remember in 2011 he was criticized when he said, “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks”? I think he just doesn’t speak “politically correct.” It’s not in his vernacular, or consciousness. It’s generational. It’s also probably—not to play psychiatrist—it’s growing up where he grew up, in Queens, New York, and dealing with union members, dealing in a crime-riddled New York City. I think it’s just the way things were thought of as different then.
timothy l. o’brien: This is the same debate we have about whether or not he’s a liar. And I get the journalistic need to be really clear about how we use terms. You know, lying implies volition and knowledge. But I’m very comfortable saying I think he’s got a pathology around lying. And when it comes to race, I don’t think it’s merely using racial animosities or race-baiting as tools to promote his business. I think it’s a deep-seated reflection of what he thinks about how the world works.
kwame jackson: America’s always trying to find this gotcha moment that shows Donald Trump is racist—you know, let’s find this one big thing. Let’s look for that one time when he burned a cross in someone’s yard so we can now finally say it. People refuse to see the bread crumbs that are already in front of you, leading you to grandma’s house.

Trump and the Numbers Game
There were 56.5 million Hispanics in the United States in 2015, accounting for 17.6% of the total U.S. population.
The Hispanic Mexican population of the United States is projected to grow to 107 million by 2065.
The share of the U.S. population that is Hispanic has been steadily rising over the past half century. In 2015, Hispanics made up 17.6% of the total U.S. population, up from 3.5% in 1960, the origins of the nation’s Hispanic population have diversified as growing numbers of immigrants from other Latin American nations and Puerto Rico settled in the U.S.
For example, between 1930 and 1980, Hispanics from places other than Mexico nearly doubled their representation among U.S. Hispanics, from 22.4% to 40.6%. But with the arrival of large numbers of Mexican immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, the Mexican share among Hispanics grew, rising to a recent peak of 65.7%.
California has the largest legal poplation of Mexicans, 14,013,719. And California is also home to almost 25% of the country’s undocumented population. California is followed by Texas where 31.14%,(8,500,000) are Mexican, Florida has 4,223,806 Mexicans, Illinois 2,153,000, Arizona,1,895,149, Colorado, 1,136,000 Georgia, 923,000, North Carolina, 890,000, and Washington, 858,000 Mexicans.
Given the fact that President Trump has strong personal dislikes for both Blacks and Latinos, manifest in his recent vicious treatment of Mexican immigrants in their legal attempts to immigrate to the United States, the sheer number of Mexicans now resident in the United States ought to give him, and his far-right Republican Congressional supporters serious pause in their denial of entrance for legal immigrant attempts and the subsequent brutal maltreatment of small children of these immigrants.
If the Mexican voting population of the United States were to organize, like the recent organizing of the black voting population of Alabma in opposition to the fanatical Judge Moore, the results in the coming November elections could well prove to be a stunning disaster for both Trump and the Republicans.
Numbers certainly count but Trump is obviously unaware of their potential danger, both to him and his right-wing radical supporters.

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
November 9, 2019
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 publication.

Conversation No. 21
Date: Tuesday, July 2,, 1996
Commenced: 2:34 PM CST
Concluded: 2:50 PM CST

RTC: Good afternoon, Gregory. How is it with you?
GD: Well enough. And with you?
RTC: Getting feeble, Gregory, and I forget names as you know but other than that, fine. GD: How is your death ray working against the Swiss?
RTC: Well, there haven’t been any ambulances out there so I assume it doesn’t kill them. And no one running naked down the street, screaming either.
GD: Pity. Or perhaps not. Most humans look much better with clothes. Maybe about sixteen they peak and from then, it’s down hill all the way. Gravity takes over in women and the tits and the food bags sag a bit.
RTC: Unkind. Gregory, what do you know about bubonic plague?
GD: A bit. I worked in pathology once and read several papers on it. Why? Do you think you have it?
RTC: No, I was talking with an old friend I used to work with occasionally yesterday and the subject came up. I don’t like to appear ignorant so I listened appreciatively while we had coffee and cakes. What do you know about it?
GD: Now it’s called Yersi nia pestis Changed the name a few years back, I think. Caused by the bite of infected fleas which, in turn infect people. Get it from squirrels, rabbits and often from cats. Dogs too, for that matter. Is that what you wanted to know?
RTC: Is it easy to spread?
GD: Depends.
RTC: If they put it into an aerosol?
GD: Pneumonic plague. Yes, I’m sure it could be done.
RTC: Oh, it has, it has. Up at Detrick.1 Uses aerosol. So I’m told. What’s the fatality rate, if you know.
GD: As I recall over 50%. It takes about a week to develop. If the weather conditions are just right, pneumonic plague can be very deadly. That spreads in the air. I mean, if someone infected with it got on a commercial aircraft, they circulate the air in those germ hostels and as I said, if an infected person was on a flight, I think everyone on that flight would be at serious risk. And, naturally, they would spread it in public transportation, at home or at work. Nasty stuff. What are they up to at Detrick?
RTC: Ah well, these people are always making up batches of death just like the Army is always drawing up plans to invade Canada. Their idea is to have it ready just in case.
GD: Yes. I have found that if some new and deadly weapon is developed, the general staffs of various countries having it just can’t wait to use it Müller said the German Army used plague in their Russian POW camps to thin them out but that he effectively blocked it by telling Hitler that there are no customs posts around to stop the disease from spreading to the rest of the country. They felt the camps were far enough east to keep that under control but Hitler put a stop to it.
RTC: Interesting.
GD: Dr. Schreiber was their man. And yours, too. We got him in ’48 and he went to San Antonio.
RTC: Well nothing happened
GD: That was then. I doubt if Clinton would approve that sort of thing but who know about someone else?
RTC: If they did do that, they would have to send the clean-up squad around to off the ones who were in the know.
GD: Something like that would work in an overcrowded and poor country. Here, yes, it would kill a lot but there are medical means to stop it pretty well if they can get a handle on it.
RTC: Well, it isn’t on the agenda for domestic use.
GD: Any place in mind? I mean, I do travel and you know if there was some target area……
RTC: Russia has been mentioned but mostly China. It is coming up but basically poor and heavy population density. And there has been talk about letting a rice plague loose down there. All of them gobble up rice…they live on it…and if we killed of the crops there for, oh let’s say about two-three years running, they would starve.
GD: True and their resistance would be greatly lowered. A one-two punch, Robert? First the rice crops are ruined and then the plague? I’m sure there are plenty of rats in China and plenty of unsanitary living conditions.
RTC: Well, right now, we do a lot of business with them so the word is out they are off the table but if they ever turn out to be a threat to us…you know what I mean of course.
GD: Flaming pragmatism, Robert.
RTC: Let’s call it defending the nation.
GD: Well, the civilized British put out smallpox infected blankets and killed off many Indians. I notice the even more civilized French preferred to work with the Indians rather that slaughter them. Still, that is over and done with, isn’t it?
RTC: Don’t be too sure, Gregory.
GD: Yes, but they could do it to us first, couldn’t they. I know the Chinese and they are a cold-blooded lot.
RTC: Mutual destruction thesis? Yes, of course. But then this is just talk.
GD: They must be working on it…
RTC: No, lad, they have it. It isn’t making it and putting in the bug cans but deciding to use it I was thinking of.
GD: I really wouldn’t want to live in DC at all. Reasons like this.
RTC: I’m too old and too set to move and I suppose I will die soon enough.
GD: We grow rice here in California and Louisiana but rice isn’t a real staple. I think that’s a Pandora’s Box. Leave it closed.
RTC: Nothing I would recommend but just wondered what you knew.
GD: Well, if your chum tips you that they are about to do something like that, please let me know. I could send my mother-in-law to ground zero. No, actually, the old pig exploded some time ago. God, the bitch was fat. My wife told me that her mother was dead and do you know what I said?
RTC: Something meaningful and sympathetic?
GD: No, not actually. I said ‘How can they tell?’ No sex for a week, Robert. Too bad we didn’t have a cat or I wouldn’t have had to make up with her.
RTC: (Laughter) Did you say that?
GD: Yes, and I meant it. It was hard for Tubs to get into a shower so she just doused herself with cheap perfume. My God, it stank like a Mexican whorehouse. Did you know, Robert, that someone once asked me if I played the piano and I told them that I did and that I had learned to play in my aunt’s whorehouse in Juarez.
RTC: Your aunt….
GD: Do not let us speak of my aunt. I have said before, Robert, that one of the dreams of my life was to watch her do the breaststroke in a septic tank.

(Concluded at 2:50 PM CST)

1 Fort Detrick a 1,200 acre secure U.S. Army Medical Command installation located in Frederick, Maryland, Historically, Fort Detrick was the center for the United States’ biological weapons program (1943-69). And while officially no longer engaged in preparations for biological warfare against external enemies, is is still involved in research on such diseases as smallpox and various forms of other entities. Oft-heard ruimors circulating in intelligence circles, both in the U.S. and abroad, suggest that the anthrax attacks following the 9/11 attacks had a connection with a strain developed at Detrick.

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

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Jon Kelly

Jon Kelly is a colleague of Alfred Webre, and a, uh, “researcher” on exopolitics. In particular, Kelly is “a world-famous expert in the application of voice-based disclosure technology for revealing UFO secrets.” That would be … playing recordings of people speaking backward to see if they reveal hidden messages about extraterrestrials; “expertise” doesn’t seem to enter into the process at any discernible point. Now, apparently Webre is currently considered “fringe” even in the exopolitics community – which is like … well, I struggle to come up with a good simile – and was ultimately considered too crazy even for the Examiner website and given the boot in 2011. Kelly’s defense of Webre: “Examiner.com’s corporate publication ban against the Seattle Exopolitics Examiner is an Illuminati agenda-inspired media hit targeting the columnist who revealed President Barack Obama’s participation in the CIA’s secret Mars visitation program.”
As for Kelly’s own investigations, here is an example: Kelly analyzes statements by Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, and Edgar Mitchell about UFOs and Extraterrestrials using backwards speech analysis “and discovers startling revelations. One of these 4 may be an E.T. abductee. One of these 4 may have an E.T. implant. Only one of these four key actors in Exopolitics conscious mind (‘forward speech’) is saying what his subconscious mind actually thinks.” (By the way: Mitchell, himself a loon, is clearly part of the conspiracy – how conspiracy theory groups tend to dissolve into infighting and accusations that other conspiracy theorists are part of the conspiracy seems to be pretty lawlike.) So apparently forward speech reflects the conscious mind and backward speech the unconscious. Good to know. According to himself, Kelly has “responded to the call of science [yeah, about that …] for improved methods of UFO witness interrogation by revealing the UFO and extraterrestrial secrets of Kenneth Arnold, Betty Hill, NASA astronauts, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and President Obama.” And his credentials? “Jon’s work in sound and consciousness is heavily influenced by a multi-decade immersive study in classical yoga meditation.” Science, people.
And don’t worry: Kelly is pushing terrestrial conspiracies as well, for instance about how the UK Monarchy is using snipers to destabilize the world and push for WWIII. I suppose when you have figured out how you can use backward masking to uncover evidence for alien mind control, you’ll be able to find evidence for anything anywhere. Kelly can even predict the future. The novel discoveries he proudly mentions on his website are:
– “Accurately reported the ‘Shock and Awe’ strikes that opened the Iraq War 2 years in advance.
– Successfully identified the BTK Killer on Wichita morning radio 15 minutes before he confessed.
– Reliably disclosed Oprah’s true feelings about James Frey on Atlanta morning radio 2 weeks before she called him out as a liar on daytime television.”
We’re as impressed as anyone has any right to be. And if you wish, you could sign up for “Jon’s online streaming on-demand video class ‘UFOs and You: Experiential Contact for Beginners’ provides essential insights into Disclosure, UFO Communications, Psychic Dimensions of Contact and Night Vision Equipment in a way that students describe as informative, educational and riveting”.
Diagnosis: He adds some color. We’ll give him that. Probably harmless.

Rebecca Keller

Real Science-4-Kids imprint publishes student texts, teacher manuals, and student laboratory workbooks –ostensibly covering chemistry, biology and physics to serve kindergarten through ninth grade – specifically targeted at homeschoolers. The material does, of course, not primarily seek to introduce kids to science, but to religiously motivated science-denialism, including creationism, and Rebecca Keller, who runs the outfit, has realized that since creationists can’t challenge scientists on evidence, truth, accountability and research, they should focus on “educational” materials aimed at kids instead. This is of course the usualy ploy among denialists: there’s a reason the Intelligent Design movement has focused on getting Intelligent Design taught in public schools and not on doing research to establish Intelligent Design as a viable scientific alternative. Keller has frequently spoken at intelligent design conferences about and provided testimony for teaching the controversy and allowing students to “critically evaluate” all scientific data that support and/or oppose scientific conclusions, once again because the focus of Intelligent Design conferences tend to be outreach, not science.
She has also been directly involved in various attempts to get Intelligent Design creationism taught in public schools. For instance, in 2006 she was invited by Mike Fair to testify before the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee in favor of language to allow students to “critically evaluate” all scientific data. Like all such attempts, this one didn’t include any discussion of how students, with little or no prior knowledge or understanding of the field, its questions, or research, would be in a position to “critically evaluate” any of it.
Now, Keller herself is a former assistant professor at the University of New Mexico, where she did indeed work in molecular biology. Her rejection of evolution was not grounded in science, however, but in religious fundamentalism, though it provided her with the credentials needed to be a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s petition A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. Keller herself is currently a home-schooling mom with no academic or research affiliation.
Her educational material is apparently extensively used, however, since many homeschoolers are religious fundamentalist science denialists.
Diagnosis: Anti-scientists. And that is of course precisely what makes her and her writings rather popular in certain quarters. Influential and dangerous.

The Anatomy of a Major Art Fraud
by Gregory Douglas

On May 23, 1977, a Basilisk Press of Santa Clara, California made a mass mailing. The yellow envelope sported a drawing of the mythological Basilisk, a creature described in the literature of the Middle Ages as being half serpent and half rooster whose very glance could kill.
Inside was a letter from the Press to prospective customers advertising a book that they were in the process of publishing. This was Rodin: The Anatomy of a Fraud by one Friederich Hasek. The brochure spoke of “deliberate fakery” in the world of fine art and discussed a series of books on the subject of massive art fraud that the Press was in the process of publishing.
The Rodin book ad strongly alleged that “Rodin hired students to prepare works he took credit for” and “Rodin works were being faked in the artist’s lifetime and with his consent.” More interesting to some was the statement that preceded these that spoke of, “…the production of fake bronzes, outlining in detail how bronzes are produced and how to detect recent forgeries by a series of simple measurements.”
Other books the Press claimed were to be part of their new series were an additional eighteen titles covering such diverse topics as the bronzes of Remington, Georgian silver, ancient Greek and Roman coins, counterfeit Japanese swords, pre-Colombian and Incan artifacts and a number of other subjects that were guaranteed to give a terrible case of spastic colon to the majority of the major art galleries and auction houses.
It is the general, and very sensible, attitude on the part of individuals and organizations that might be severely damaged by such publications, to say absolutely nothing about a work that might well seriously damage their business and professional reputations, and pray that either the publisher will go bankrupt after the first book or be run over by a drunken truck driver while on the way to the bank.
Art salesmen thrive on publicity but only of their own generating.
However, in the case of the Basilisk mailing, one of the seeds fell into fertile ground and produced a mini-scandal which was no doubt very pleasing to someone but certainly not to persons who either bought or sold the works of Auguste Rodin.
One of these mailers apparently got into the hands of oneAlbert Edward Elsen, a local art expert, who shortly thereafter appeared at the address of the Basilisk Press given on the envelope. It was 2275 Park Avenue in Santa Clara and it housed a Western Union office, telephone answering service and mail drop firm.
There was no sign anywhere on the building to indicate that the Press was engaged in business there.
In spite of this, Elsen, an overweight and florid man with a thick, graying mustache, had a highly vocal and very intemperate heated exchange with the manager of the mail service, demanding at full voice to know where the owners of the press lived. When told that this information was not available, he became even more agitated and was eventually asked to leave the premises before the police had to be summoned.
In August of 1978, George Schattle, an industrial designer of Menlo Park, California, a suburb of San Francisco, filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the County of Santa Clara, California.
The suit charged one Albert Edward Elsen, a professor of art history at the prestigious Stanford University and a published specialist on the works of French Impressionist sculptor, Auguste Rodin, with libel, defamation, interference with advantageous contractual rights and invasion of privacy.
Mr. Schattle requested $3.75 million in punitive and exemplary damages from the savant-cum-art expert.
Most of the issues raised in this case relate directly to the marketing of what is sometimes called ‘fine art’ and although Schattle vs. Elsen achieved a very private, out-of-court settlement, the facts remain a matter of record and highlight what appears to be certain questionable but long-accepted practices in the merchandising of fine art.
Schattle’s claim was that on August 3, 1978, Professor Albert Edward Elsen had written a completely unsolicited letter on his official Stanford University letterhead to one Jerry Jensen, a television anchorman with the San Francisco-based KGO-TV.
Mr. Schattle’s attorney, Charles Hawkins, attached this letter to the suit as Exhibit A and as it is public record, significant portions of it are quoted here:
“Dear Mr. Jenson (sic)
“From Gay Morris, who writes on art for the Palo Alto Times, and who has been in touch with the Basilisk Press people, I gather you have a copy of a manuscript titles, ‘Rodin: Portrait of a Fraud’ (sic) authored by Frederich Hasek. I am also given to understand that you have a long time interest in art frauds and that your researches coincide with the findings in this manuscript. Gay Morris was told this on the phone by a M. McGregor who claims to be one of a group of businessmen who have bought manuscripts from Hasek.”
There is a reference to someone Elsen suspects might have written the manuscript, couched in savage, and badly written, derogatory terms and the letter continues:
“For the past three years he and a George Schattle of Menlo Park have been trying to con unsuspecting businessmen into buying four reputedly unique Rodin sculptures, supposedly obtained by an American army officer during the second world war (sic) from Goering’s art collection, to which they had come after the Wehrmacht moved into Poland. These sculptures come in a Wehrmacht crate and these men have a raft of documentation testifying to the authenticity of the Wehrmacht markings–but not a scintilla of evidence on that of the sculptures. The sculptures are outright fakes. For three years, and on one occasion working with the police, I have thwarted the sale of these sculptures.”
Elsen goes on to claim that over the years, Schattle and others have tried to slander him, Stanford University, “one of our principle (sic) donors,” and even the government of France! He continues on to state that the alleged author of the manuscript also “libels Rodin (Rodin never ‘condoned fakes’ in his lifetime, as the Basilisk Press advertised in its flyer on the book.)”
Elsen was undoubtedly unaware that the dead cannot be libeled.
The balance of this rather extraordinary outburst sets forth the writer’s academic and literary credentials (and the latter are not especially bolstered by a mass of grammatical errata) and claims that he is the world’s “foremost expert on Rodin”, finally asking Jensen, in a burst of petulant outrage, “Why, in fact, are you given the manuscript to read but not me?”
He concludes with a demand to see the manuscript in Mr. Jensen’s possession and have the pleasure of his company through a personal visit when Professor Elsen can personally discuss the “truth and the reputation of a great artist.”
By one means or another, never made clear by any of the parties to the suit, this letter came into the possession of the unfortunate Mr. Schattle who then referred it to an attorney.
Prior to the filing of this suit, Mr. Schattle’s attorney, Charles Hawkins of San Jose, wrote on May 25, 1978, to Stanford President Richard Lyman.
“Dear President Lyman
“Please be advised that this office represents Mr. George Schattle in connection with pending litigation involving the activities of Professor Albert Elsen.
“Mr. Schattle is the owner of four (4) pieces of Rodin sculpture which he believes to be authentic. Mr. Elsen has examined two of these pieces and for subjective reasons best known to him, Mr. Elsen has formed the opinion that said pieces are not genuine. Another noted art expert has expressed a contrary view.
“Had Mr. Elsen let this matter rest, there would have been no significant problem. However, for unexplained reasons, Mr. Elsen has personally undertaken a campaign to discredit and damage Mr. Schattle and to destroy the value of Mr. Schattle’s sculptures.
“I am enclosing herewith a copy of Mr. Elsen’s unsolicited letter of Aug 3, 1977 addressed to Mr. Jerry Jensen of Channel 7 news. You will note that the letter is on Stanford University stationery and makes reference to Mr. Elsen’s position at Stanford University. This letter is libelous on its face in that it accuses Mr. Schattle of ‘trying to con unsuspecting businessmen into buying four unique Rodin sculptures….’ Other references in the letter are equally as damaging and distasteful.
“Furthermore, Mr. Elsen admits that he has thwarted the sale of my client’s sculptures and it has come to my attention that Mr. Elsen has contacted the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the District Attorney of Santa Clara County, and the Palo Alto Police Department in an effort to have unfounded criminal charges files against Mr. Schattle. Elsen has engaged in other activities which are equally as bizarre and damaging to my client’s reputation and financial interests, but it would serve no purpose to detail such activity in this letter. Suffice it to say that this office is in the process of preparing a complaint against Mr. Elsen on behalf of Mr. Schattle to recover damages resulting from Mr. Elsen’s conduct.
“The purpose of this letter is to determine whether or not Stanford University should be included as a party defendant in this matter. Mr. Elsen’s libelous letter was written on Stanford University stationery and he has apparently represented himself to the news media and the police authorities as speaking on behalf of the University. If in fact Stanford University has authorized, ratified, or affirmed Mr. Elsen’s conduct in this matter I will, of course, have no choice but to name the University as a party defendant. If Mr. Elsen was acting as an individual without the authority of the University I would refrain from naming Stanford as a party to this litigation.
“Therefore, I would appreciate hearing from your representative in the immediate future concerning the posture of the University in this matter. If I do not hear anything from you within two weeks of the date of this letter, I shall have no choice other than to proceed with the litigation with the University as a party defendant. I hope that you would give this matter your immediate attention and I am looking forward to hearing from your representative in this regard.”
John J. Schwartz, University Counsel, with a copy to Albert Elsen, sent Stanford’s response on June 5, 1978.
“Dear Mr. Hawkins:
“I am responding to your letter of May 25, 1978 to President Lyman. In answer to your question, please be advised that Stanford University has not authorized, ratified or affirmed the action to which you refer.”
The lawsuit against Elsen, duly amended, was filed on December 22, 1978.
An initial impression would certainly be that this litigation appears to be based on a sharp difference of subjective opinion between a highly aggressive, opinionated expert with very little self-control on the one hand and another individual who is in possession of art work that the published expert believes to unoriginal.
Both the letter and the actions of Elsen could well indicate that the art professor had become so outraged at the thought of fakes being marketed that his zeal overcame whatever common sense he might possess, causing him to overreact to the point where provable and actionable indiscretions were committed.On the other hand, the violence and apparent malice of Elsen’s reaction is certainly out of character for the occupant of the Walter A. Haas Chair of Art History at a prestigious and wealthy university.
Sedate institutions of higher learning do not, as a rule, condone members of their faculty engaging in distasteful public vendettas and in this case, Stanford University quickly and officially distanced themselves from the specter of an ugly lawsuit with a potential for negative publicity for both the institution and one of its more prominent and tenured staff members.
Albert Elsen was not a stranger to media attention and had been presenting himself with vigor in the local press for some time prior to the Schattle suit. He was very evidently not the sort of individual to keep his opinions, correct or otherwise, to himself.
Albert Edward Elsen was born in New York City in 1927 and obtained his PhD at Columbia University in 1955. From 1952 to 1958, he was associate professor of art at Carleton College in Minnesota, later an associate professor at Indiana University from 1958 to 1962 and a full professor from 1963 to 1968. Elsen had been engaged by Stanford as a professor of art history in 1968.
Among his publication credits are two works that deal specifically with the works of Auguste Rodin: Rodin’s Gates of Hell in 1960 and Rodin in 1963.
In February of 1974, the San Francisco Bay Area press carried several stories about a large gift of Rodin works to Stanford University by one B. Gerald Cantor, a Los Angeles investment banker.
As reported, the initial gift consisted of an incredible 88 pieces of Rodin’s work and this largess was increased by an additional seventy more Rodin sculptures from the cultivated and benevolent banker. The press stories also mentioned that Cantor was donating a large sum of cash to Stanford to establish a ‘Rodin Sculpture Garden.’
Elsen was quoted very often in print as saying that all of these pieces had been made during Rodin’s lifetime, the last one completed “a few months before Rodin’s death in 1917.”Nearly all of the pieces were bronzes and all, without exception, bore the signature ‘A. Rodin’ and most noteworthy, the French foundry marking, ‘Georges Rudier/Fondeur, Paris.’
Elsen and Cantor both stated repeatedly to the press that this impressive collection was valued at $3 million, five hundred thousand at current art market prices.
Lengthy, well-illustrated local press coverage contained statements by Elsen about the importance of this huge collection of original Rodin works and all of these articles were graced with large photographs of Elsen himself in proximity to the Cantor gifts.
As Mr. Cantor, the generous benefactor, had also included a cash bequest of over $ 200 thousand so that the University could create the ‘Rodin Sculpture Garden,’ University publications produced articles lauding Mr. Cantor’s generosity and vision. Pictures accompanying the Stanford articles showed the beaming donor standing in proximity to several of his gifts.
Over the next three years, relative quiet descended on the subject of Rodin and his bronzes, broken only by occasional press releases generated by Elsen and the University about the progress of the ‘Rodin Sculpture Garden’ at Stanford’s aging and earthquake-damaged museum complex.
One article did appear in the San Francisco ‘Chronicle’ that did not laud the brilliance of Albert Edward Elsen, the great generosity of B. Gerald Cantor or the advantages to society in general of a Rodin sculpture garden.
This was a piece in a Sunday supplement by Alfred Frankenstein, also a published art historian, art critic for the ‘Chronicle’, lecturer on art at Stanford University and a personal friend of Albert Elsen.
In this article, Frankenstein made very pointed, though not specific, mention of the “recent appearance of four fake Rodin pieces in the Bay Area.”
Prior to the appearance of this article, on April 6, 1974, George Schattle kept an appointment he had made with Rodin expert Elsen at the latter’s home on Alvarado Row on the Stanford campus. Schattle brought two bronze works of art with him for this meeting.
Several years previously, in 1972, Schattle had bought four crated statues from the Ryan family of Newport Beach, California. One of the family members was acquainted with Schattle’s mother and as Mr. Schattle was a collector of old arms and armor, the Ryans felt that the old statues stored in their garage since the end of the Second World War might be of interest to him because of their connection with Hermann Goering. As they told Schattle at the time, one of their relatives had found the crates on Goering’s abandoned private train in Bavaria at the end of the war.
The custom-built crates and their markings appeared to be entirely authentic but it was not possible for Schattle to determine the value of the statues inside. As Professor Elsen was a well-publicized Bay Area expert and had appeared often, and at length, in the local media on the subject of Rodin, Schattle contacted him for his professional opinion of the pieces and their possible value for reasons of obtaining insurance.
Elsen, according to Schattle’s subsequent deposition, appeared to be very agitated when told that these pieces had once been the property of Hermann Goering and had, according to the labels on the crates, been acquired by the Germans in Poland in 1939. He stated that these pieces had been obviously stolen by the “evil Nazis and had to be returned at once.” Citing his credentials, Elsen offered to act as a disinterested party in returning what he called “Nazi loot.”
Initially, after Elsen had inspected the pieces, there was no talk about them being fake but when Schattle refused to discuss returning them to Polish custody, Elsen, again, according to the deposition, became alarmingly angry and said in a loud voice that he now determined that both the pieces were very recent fakes and could not be sold by Schattle without his certainly being arrested for possession of stolen material.
Elsen then renewed his offer to take “protective custody” of the pieces and thereby relieve Schattle of any further possibility of prosecution. Schattle again declined and left Elsen in what he described, and what seems entirely believable considering Elsen’s behavior, as a “very loud, incoherent rage. He shouted at me that if I didn’t immediately give him all of these Rodin pieces, he would have me arrested that night by the FBI.”
It would seem that Albert Edward Elsen did not number an understanding of basic logic among his many virtues because if the pieces were recent fakes, as Elsen alleged, they could not at the same time be loot from 1939 Poland.
The next day, Elsen wrote a long letter to Schattle setting forth his own esthetic and very subjective reasons why all of the pieces were obvious fakes. Since the angry expert had only seen two of the four, this judgment could only be considered as faulty at best.
As example of his polished, professional writing, Elsen’s last sentence read:
“In neither sculpture is the finishing and patina up to Alexis Rudier (sic) standards. I gather from you that the Victor Hugo was repatined. It is a lousy job.”
As Schattle merely wanted approximate values of his pieces for insurance purposes, he then turned to Thomas Carr Howe, former director of the San Francisco Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum, an institution that possessed a large collection of original Rodin works that had been purchased prior to the sculptor’s death in 1917.
Mr. Howe had also been deeply involved with the recovery and identification of looted German art following the end of the war in Europe and was able to favorably address not only the originality of the four bronzes but also the distinctive, custom-made wooden crates in which they came.
He duly authenticated the pieces in writing and there the matter remained until the Frankenstein article.
When Mr. Schattle called the editorial department of the ‘Chronicle’ to complain about the implications of fraud contained in the article, he was informed by legal counsel for the paper that since the Schattle name had not appeared in the article nor the pieces specifically identified, no actual damages had occurred and therefore no retraction of any kind would issue.
When later called by Schattle, Alfred Frankenstein refused to speak with him other than to inform him, very emotionally, as Schattle reported in his deposition, “gangs of Nazis were behind this and have been attacking poor Al Elsen.”
Schattle said later when interviewed for this article, that he had visions of very elderly SS men, armed with walkers and canes, throwing refuse on Elsen’s crabgrass-infested front lawn on Alvarado Row.
Subsequent to the publication of the Frankenstein article, Elsen had learned of Howe’s authentication of the questioned pieces and bombarded the retired museum head with numerous, aggressive telephone calls, urging him to withdraw his opinion. Howe eventually did so in a formal letter to Schattle but without questioning their authenticity. He merely withdrew permission to use his name but did not state that the bronzes in question were fake.
In an interview with a member of the media, the notes of the reporter who later spoke with Howe quoted him as saying, “I am too old and I do not want to get into a pissing match with Al Elsen.”
It was shortly after this that the Basilisk Press sent out its momentous flyer.
Subsequently, a Ms. Gay Morris, art critic for the Palo Alto Times, a small paper in the town adjacent to Stanford University, wrote a letter to the Press and was at once contacted by a Mr. MacGregor who claimed to be a director of the firm. It was subsequently disclosed that Ms Morris was a former pupil of the great Rodin expert.
Mr. MacGregor told the art critic a good deal about the book, its author and the new Rodin collection at Stanford. Somehow in the conversation, MacGregor intimated that Mr. Jerry Jensen, a well-known local television personality, was interested in the pieces at Stanford and he implied, according to Elsen’s letter to Jensen, that there was some question about the authenticity of this collection.
This information was obviously given to Elsen by his former pupil and this resulted in the disastrous letter.
As if this imputation of chicanery was not enough of a provocation to Elsen, he then received in the mail from an unknown source, a copy of what was purported to be a news article from an undated and unidentified newspaper.
“And more news of local travelers…. Harvey and Joan Kildrup (he’s head of the Ardeth Grange) have returned from three weeks in Palm Springs with beautiful tans and four unique works of art by famed French artist August (sic) Rodin. A previous owner was the infamous Nazi bigwig Herman Goring (sic). The Kildrups will be entertaining Dr. Frederick Hasek, Rodin authority who arranged the sale, this summer. Also included in their purchases is a painting by Claude Monet which once hung in Goring’s (sic) office.”
Upon receipt of this undated, unidentified and anonymous item, Elsen immediately contacted various local offices of both state and federal law enforcement agencies, including a futile attempt to speak personally with the Attorney General of the United States. Elsen also contacted as many members of the local media as he could find.
Several reporters later indicated in their articles, most of which were written tongue in cheek, that Albert Elsen was verging on hysteria and extremely difficult to understand.
An article appearing in the Palo Alto ‘Times’ of August 19, 1977, disclosed that there was no municipality by the name of Ardeth in the continental United States and when the FBI attempted to locate an Ardeth Grange at Elsen’s repeated insistence, they found that no such farmer’s organization chapter ever existed.
At this point, it could be quite reasonably assumed that Professor Elsen had certainly overreacted to provocation that was transparently false. His verbal explosions could well be ascribed to territorialism for Elsen was, by his own oft-repeated statements, the leading American expert on Rodin, but his injudicious letter to Jensen appeared to be far more concerned with the contents of the alleged forthcoming book on Rodin fakes than in exposing art work he felt was not original.
The basic thrust of the letter, which had obviously been triggered by the anonymous clipping that appeared to be the creative and malicious work of persons still unknown, appeared to be far more of a frantic and insistent demand to know what had been written about the faking of Rodin statues than to address Mr. Schattle’s Polish pieces, though Elsen did manage to attack them with his usual disconnected venom as well.
Perhaps Professor Elsen had been further provoked by Mr. Jensen’s probing into the art circles of the Bay Area.
On June 7 of that year, nearly a month before Elsen wrote his letter, Jensen contacted a number of institutions and experts to verify certain controversial matters that were contained in his copy of the Hasek manuscript.
Jensen’s notes of the contacts contain considerable information not generally in the public domain nor highly unlikely to ever be so.
From a Ms. Cameron of the staff of the De Young Museum in San Francisco, he learned concerning Rodin bronzes that a “Paris factory is churning them out and selling them world wide.”
His next call, according to his notes, was to Ian White of the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum, also in San Francisco, who, upon being read quotations from the manuscript, said they were “essentially true” but referred Jensen to Elsen for any further comment.
Jensen also contacted fellow Bohemian Club member, Thomas Carr Howe who acknowledged seeing the Schattle Rodins and indicated that they appeared original but that Elsen had disagreed with him. Among other remarks about Elsen, Howe also added that art fakery was “the most lucrative pastime in the world…if you can get away with it.”
Jensen’s last call was to Alfred Frankenstein, a personal friend of both himself and Albert Elsen. Frankenstein had apparently been well-briefed on the subject by Elsen so when Jensen asked him about the allegations in the manuscript, Frankenstein cut him off and claimed that he was well aware of the book and stated that it was written by someone trying to make money by “spreading lies about the art world.” He flatly refused to discuss the matter until Jensen supplied him with a full copy of the manuscript.
Jensen did not do so and the immediate result of his refusal was a quick chilling of his relationship with Frankenstein.
Apparently, there was considerable activity behind the scenes following these calls because Jensen received a personal telephone call on September 15, 1977 from Dr. Wallace Sterling, President Emeritus of Stanford and an old friend. It deserves to be quoted from Jensen’s notes in full.
“Received a call this AM from W. Sterling, former Pres of Stanford. Old Friend. Ster. sez ‘What’s all this about the Rodins?’ When told about findings, sez, ‘Isn’t all of this just a matter of opinion?’ Understood someone is putting out slanderous statements about the originality of the Cantor donation and poss. income tax fraud. ‘I don’t think we need this.’ Rep, tax angle not in question but only originality of Stanford pieces/gifts. St. sez ‘We have chance of becoming Rodin study center…good PI.’ Mentioned letter from Elsen. St. sez ‘Al Elsen is an asset to the University’ but admits’ he beats his own drum too much.’ Asked if Elsen gets fees from outside appraisals, sez ‘We are very liberal in our policy about outside income.’ Also wants complete copy of book, sez ‘Al Frankenstein beating my ear about this one.’ Sez he knows nothing about Schattle but also ‘Al thinks he owns Rodin, lock, stock and barrel and gets upset when challenged. No crime though, just a personality problem.’ Sez ‘Hope we can resolve this without any further media coverage.’
In the event, Dr. Sterling’s apprehensions did not materialize because Mr. Jensen decided against airing any of his findings.
His notes indicated that he felt the story was on the verge of getting out of control and causing acute problems for many people who were personal friends.
He also mentioned that Sterling had offered him the possibility of a lucrative public relations job at the University, obviously to assist him in his decision about any airing of the entire matter.
No further comments from Dr. Sterling, who died shortly afterwards, appear in Jensen’s notes.
When asked about the matter later by a student reporter for the Stanford Daily, Jensen stated that he had no contact with Elsen prior to receiving the letter that led to the lawsuit and concluded his interview of March 1, 1979 by saying:
“I have no idea, in God’s name, what led him to write that letter. He might have heard from other sources that I may have done research that could lead to something embarrassing.”
The question of the originality of the Schattle Rodins is basically a difference of subjective opinion between art experts but the matter of the Hasek manuscript is not as clear cut.
Basilisk Press, which claimed to be bringing forth a book on fake Rodin bronzes as well as the simple technical means by which such fakes could be detected by possible purchasers or even owners, was housed in a commercial building that hosted a telephone answering service and mail drop concern. Investigation has disclosed that Basilisk Press was not licensed to operate in the city or county of Santa Clara or any other county of the State of California.
A search of the records of the Library of Congress and other public sources does not show any publication entitled Rodin: The Anatomy of a Fraud by Frederick Hasek. Basilisk Press has apparently never published any books at all and yet a manuscript obviously did exist because Mr. Jensen read parts of it to various individuals.
The only known copy of the work was located in Mr. Jensen’s files after his death in 1984. It was in a file filled with typed notes on the subject of fake Rodin pieces and the activities of Albert Elsen. Some of these notes have been reprinted here.
The Hasek manuscript is basically a work concerned with an overview of art frauds, most especially frauds concerning Auguste Rodin, a history of the French sculptor and a fascinating section on the manufacture of bronze works of art and how fakes or copies of known famous bronzes can be easily detected.
Portions of the Hasek manuscript are set forth here to provide the reader with a strong and highly reasonable explanation for the furious and intemperate actions of Professor Albert Elsen and others who shared a strong vested interest in avoiding any controversy whatsoever concerning Auguste Rodin and his works.
“Fakery, fraud and deceit have long been handmaidens to the Muse of the Fine Arts and the marketplace for sculpture and paintings is no place for the uninitiated. Yet every day, thousands of dollars worth of allegedly original and rare pieces change hands, enriching the few and deluding the many.”
This is the opening of the work and the author goes on to be far more specific.
“An original piece by any artist, be it Rodin or Da Vinci, is one that the artist conceived and at least partially executed in his lifetime. Anything else, regardless of whatever euphonious title be applied to it: ‘authorized,’ ‘post-mortem work,’ or ‘posthumous casting’ is nothing more nor less than a modern copy, worth only a small fraction of the price of an original. Further, a modern piece taken from an unsigned original plaster study and carrying a copy of the signature of the purported artist is nothing less than a forgery and of even less worth than a replica which originally bore the artist’s name.”
Examining the career of Rodin, the author continues:
“…. in November of 1913, Rodin angrily demanded that a work, ‘The Earth’ attributed to him and on display at the gallery of a Parisian dealer be seized as a forgery. Shortly thereafter, it was conclusively proved that the piece had in fact been done by Rodin himself in 1898 and displayed by him at the Exposition Rodin. Confronted with this evidence, Rodin freely admitted that he had been in error. This episode is an excellent example of why ‘absolute’ statements must be view with great caution.”
There follows a technical discussion of the preparation of molds of sculpture and the techniques for the casting of bronze works. It concludes with the passage:
“The general impression that ‘original molds’ of plaster exist into which molten bronze is poured is completely incorrect in point of fact and if used, would prove to be dangerous in the extreme, the plaster exploding on contact with the hot metal.
“The rubber mold may be used time and time again to produce more wax pieces but every bronze must be hand done and is not poured into a mold like a lead soldier.”
And further:
“The statement, so often heard, that ‘Rodin pieces are cast with his consent from original molds’ is completely false and a deliberate attempt to mislead prospective purchasers. What does exist in Paris at the Museé Rodin are original plasters…and bronzes…and it is from these that new molds are made and from these new molds, new copies. This is called surmoulage and the resulting pieces are replicas, to be more than generous, not ‘authorized pieces from original patterns.'”
This section ends with specifics that need no comment:
“How is it possible, then, to detect a fake Rodin made in this manner if it is made up from original bronzes or an original plaster?
“Firstly, if the piece is taken from an original bronze, it should be noted that bronze shrinks as it cools from the molten state and therefore a copy will always be smaller than the original. In the case of bronze, the shrinkage amounts to 5%. Attempts have been made to offset this shrinkage by adding small amounts of wax to the base of the waxen form prior to casting. This will serve to bring the height up to the correct size but the width cannot be altered.
“Secondly, the foundry markings on copy Rodin pieces are of great importance. In Rodin’s time, he very often used the famous Parisian firm of Alexis Rudier. This gentleman did not use the lost-wax process described here but instead, cast his pieces in fine sand.
“This is called sand casting as opposed to lost-wax casting and the interiors of the pieces show very clearly what process was used. Lost-wax pieces show details of the painting or pouring of the wax while sand cast pieces have an even, slightly gritty inner surface (which can be smoothed out but is still very uniform.)
“Original Rodin pieces show the foundry marks, ‘Alexis Rudier/Fondeur, Paris’ on the outer surface of the bronze, generally at the base near the artist’s signature.
“In 1954, the Museé Rodin began to use the services of one Georges Rudier, nephew of Eugiene, the son of the original Alexis. Georges Rudier, unlike his ancestor, uses the lost-wax casting process and it should become painfully obvious, therefore, that a piece marked ‘Georges Rudier/Fondeur, Paris’ must of necessity be a very modern replica and, of course, not made from ‘the original mold under authority from Rodin himself.’
“Most of these modern surmoulage replicas are badly produced and instead of being carefully patined by hand with heat and chemicals, are painted with a brown lacquer.
“One should note that the collection of the Museé Rodin contains all of the pieces found in Rodin’s studio at the time the collection was taken over by the French government; including many pieces made by Rodin’s students. Also in the collection are many plaster maquettes or small studies for larger pieces. Some of these crude and unsigned plaster studies have appeared on the art market in bronze, signed ‘A.Rodin’ and with the Georges Rudier foundry signature. The original studies were never signed and as examples of the artist’s work in progress (if they were even done by Rodin and not an eager pupil) have some small value but small value indeed when compared with the selling prices of known originals.”
The final comment on the subject of copies is:
“A general rule of thumb in measuring a casting to determine its pedigree is the 5% figure. A work which approximates 5% less in size than a known prime copy is a secondhand work without question and most certainly neither original nor of any value whatsoever other than a decorative piece with which to impress visitors.”
In a published interview with a student reporter from the Stanford ‘Daily’ on February 16, 1979, Charles Hawkins, Schattle’s attorney said he believed the case would hold “some surprises” and felt that it would be quickly resolved but that it if wasn’t concluded within a month, it could open up a whole new issue.
“What we might get into in this case is that Stanford might be holding $3 million in fakes.”
This admonition must have had some effect because Elsen suddenly stopped preparing regular press releases attesting to the absolute authenticity of the Cantor bequest and two months later, with no press coverage whatsoever, quietly settled the case out of court. The terms of the settlement were never made public and are not a part of the official records now located in the courthouse annex in San Jose.
Mr. Jensen’s notes indicate that after the settlement, Professor Elsen made repeated and very vocal attempts to contact him to discover how Elsen’s letter had ended up in the hands of George Schattle. Jensen declined to speak with Elsen and after the furious Rodin expert made a number of additional but equally fruitless calls on the same subject to other staff members at KGO-TV in San Francisco, he gave up his quest.
Jensen made one final note on the case before he closed his files. This dealt with the sale of the Hasek manuscript on Rodin fakes to parties whom Jensen called “concerned, interested and very influential parties from the higher reaches of the art world” for an undisclosed but apparently impressive sum of money. Jensen was requested by the purchasers, who Jensen listed by name, title and occupation, to surrender his copy of the manuscript. He claimed that he had disposed of it by giving it to his former friend, Alfred Frankenstein. As the latter had very recently died as the result of a massive heart attack, the purchasers abandoned their pursuit.
Jensen obviously did not dispose of the manuscript and it was subsequently found in his papers, quite intact and covered with the late newsman’s notes.
Jensen’s last note said:
“Al Frankenstein was wrong after all. If someone wrote a book telling lies about the art world, the author managed to convince the big boys otherwise.”
The four Rodin statues that began the controversy were reported in the media as having been sold by Mr. Schattle for an undisclosed but substantial sum.
There were no further public comments from Professor Albert Edward Elsen when news of this sale became public.
Rodin: The Anatomy of a Fraud was written in 1977 and one statement made at the conclusion of the manuscript is now in error.
“There is another use to which replica art may be put besides merely merchandising it to the trusting and innocent. Wealthy individuals are known to buy up quantities of replicas and then make some kind of arrangement with a willing expert whereby the latter will supply an appraisal attesting to the high intrinsic value of the items.
“Armed with this, and often with the further assistance of the expert, the owner of the pieces now poses as a philanthropist and distinguished patron of the arts and in this role, donates the replicas to a public, non-profit institution such as a museum or public gallery. He is then able to declare this give on his income tax return and take a massive deduction based, not on the purchase price, but the appraisal value.”
In 1986, the tax laws were altered to specifically to prevent this from happening. From that year onwards, the only sum a donor of art objects to a tax-free entity cam claim is the actual purchase price of the piece or pieces, not an inflated valuation supplied by a potentially venial expert.
Perhaps this aspect of the manuscript was what Mr. Jensen meant when he spoke of “something embarrassing.”
The chronicle of the four Rodin pieces is such an interesting microcosm of the more negative aspects of the human condition in general and the fine art market in specific that its study has proven to be well worth the research involved.
There seems to be no question that it is relatively easy to make fake copies of original bronze works of art. Merchandising them, one can clearly see, calls for the cooperation of a willing expert. but in reading through the thick files of official documents, letters, notes, records of depositions and yellowing newspaper clippings, the reader is struck by what most certainly appears to be a pattern of very malicious manipulation of individuals and establishments.
The chronology of events would seem to indicate that the elusive but quite deadly manuscript that caused so much trouble appeared after Mr. Schattle had his personal encounter with Professor Elsen.
It also seems reasonably certain that someone, perhaps Mr. Schattle but more probably someone else, had taken the measure of both the art world and one of its more emotional spokesmen and played on all of them like an out of tune piano.
Two decades after the final settlement was made, the questioned pieces sold and Elsen retired to his classroom to lick his wounds, most of the participants are dead and rapidly forgotten.
Mr. Howe, Jerry Jensen, Dr. Sterling, Alfred Frankenstein and a number of others have left the stage. B. Gerald Cantor gave more of his interesting pieces to Stanford’s Rodin Sculpture Garden, which resulted in a small article in the local press, and then joined the others in their very long silence. Only Albert Edward Elsen and George Schattle remain and somewhere, there are four Rodin bronze statues, which produced a great deal of entertaining sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing.

Envoi

At the beginning of February, 1995, a copy of this commentary was sent to Professor Albert Elsen, by an academic colleague, for his comments and observations.
On February 5, 1995, a news story came over the Associated Press wire concerning the progenitor of the Rodin Sculpture Garden.
“Stanford-AP Albert Elsen, a Stanford University art professor and expert on the sculptor Auguste Rodin, has died. He was 67. Mr. Elsen died Thursday of an apparent heart attack.”

$9 million Rodins: Police help get them back to their owner
by Andrea Gemmet
Almanac Staff Writer
April 10, 2001

Four small bronze statues worth $9 million were recently returned to their owner after a disappearance of nearly nine years following a soured business deal with a Menlo Park man.
The story of the statues — which were bought at a Menlo Park garage sale 30 years ago, went missing, and were finally returned to their lucky owner — sounds more like an exciting episode of Antiques Roadshow than a case handled by Menlo Park police detectives.
George Schattle, a Bay Area antique gun collector, discovered four statues by eminent French sculptor Auguste Rodin at a garage sale in 1972. The sculptures are 25 inches tall and weigh 30 pounds each; they are signed and have been authenticated, with an appraised value of $9 million, according to Menlo Park police detective Sgt. Larry Shannon.
In 1992, after Mr. Schattle retired and moved to Mexico, he decided to sell the statues and entered into a sale agreement with Menlo Park resident Robert Devlin, whose girlfriend owned an antique store, said Sgt. Shannon.
Mr. Schattle contacted Menlo Park police in 1996 after repeatedly trying to get back either his statues or the money from their sale from Mr. Devlin, said Sgt. Shannon.
Menlo Park detectives could find no proof of the sale agreement between Mr. Schattle and Mr. Devlin, and handed the matter over to the civil courts.
But, in 1999, Mr. Schattle’s attorney came back to Menlo Park police detectives to ask for their help, and left the entire case file with them, said Sgt. Shannon. In it, detectives discovered the original signed agreement between Mr. Schattle and Mr. Devlin, setting into motion a court battle that landed Mr. Devlin in jail, Sgt. Shannon said.
Mr. Devlin was ordered by a judge to return the statues, and when he failed to do so, was ordered to pay Mr. Schattle $9 million, according to Sgt. Shannon.
When he failed to come up with the money, Mr. Devlin was hauled into court on contempt charges and Menlo Park police were again asked to step in.
Menlo Park police detective Paul Kunkel was one of the detectives who escorted Mr. Devlin from a courtroom to his house and back last August, after a judge ordered him to produce documents showing the statues’ whereabouts. Mr. Devlin refused to and was jailed, said Det. Kunkel.
“The judge went out of his way to give (Mr. Devlin) as much time and latitude as possible, but he was just not doing it,” said Det. Kunkel. “If you don’t follow a judge’s orders, you can end up in lot of trouble and he did. He got put in jail.”
The missing statues showed up less than two weeks later and Mr. Devlin was released from jail, according to Sgt. Shannon. After several postponed court dates, the statues were finally returned to Mr. Schattle in January, and his attorney reports that a prospective buyer has been found in England.
Detective Kunkel said the case is one of the most unusual he has ever been involved in.
“It was really interesting. We don’t deal with a lot of art theft,” he said. “And all of the personalities involved were very interesting.”

Mr. Douglas has also written articles on fake Frederic Remington bronzes and on fake Leonardo da Vinci paintings such as the ‘Genevra daBenci’ now in the National Gallery and the horrible fake Jesus painting sold by Christies to the Saudi Crown prince for an asronomical sum of money. ed

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