TBR News April 15, 2012

Apr 15 2012

The Voice of the White House

             Washington, D.C. April 15, 2012: “An interesting bit of information from a CIA friend who tells me that a joint project involving two American and three Japanese firms have produced a robotic creature that looks, and acts, like a human being. The exact purpose of this development was not revealed to me because my informant was not certain but he did say that some of these had been sent into the PRC to spy and at least one was involved, though he did not say how, with the failed Korean missile launch recently. He is going to have a chat with one of his friends who is close to the project and when I get more input, you will be the first to hear about it. He did not say if these were male or female or both but that the Japanese had finally worked out “certain problems” with the facial muscles, and the eyes. Sounds a bit like a science fiction blog or something the fictional “Sorcha Faal” would have invented.”

Racism in Action: The Neo-Confederate Movement in American Politics

April 15, 2012

by Germar Rudolf


“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American….And that racism inclination still exists.  And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.” President Jimmy Carter and former Governor of Georgia.

The Neo-Confederate Movement

Robert Lewis Dabney, a 19th century theologian, is considered to be the most early advocate of a theological perspective of the Civil War.” Dabney served during the Civil War as the chaplain to General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.  After the war, Dabney argued in books and lectures, based on scripture, that slavery was justified by the Bible and that “slavery was a necessary good for what he called the ‘depraved’ classes.” Sebesta and Hague wrote, “Dabney believed that the Bible legitimated slavery, and thus opposition to slavery was tantamount to rejecting Christianity.

Dabney’s post-Civil War writings established the theological cornerstone from which future Christian Reconstructionists and neo-Confederate theologians and strategists would expand their theological ideology and programmatic endeavors.  Dabney’s writings contain such concepts as: “governments were legitimate only if they derived from the will of God;” “condemned human equality and women’s rights… [and] opposed public schooling…justifying all his positions by Biblical interpretation;” “that modern science and development of the theory of evolution were ‘anti-theological’ and that amongst future generations this would result in a ‘nascent contempt for their father’s Bibles and irreparably damage the South’s ‘Christian households.’”

Three key theologians and theoreticians trace their own intellectual lineage back to Dabney—the late Rousas J. Rushdoony, founder of Christian Reconstructionism at the Chalcedon Foundation; Steven Wilkins, co-founder (with history professor Michael Hill) of the racist, secessionist League of the South; and Douglas Wilson, who heads the Association of Classical and Christian Schools, the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals, Credenda/Agenda, Canon Press, and New Saint Andrews College—all of them located in Moscow, Idaho.

            Neo-Confederates believe that with the Civil War, Lincoln was able to expand the power of the federal government beyond constitutional limits, and that with the defeat of the Confederacy the ideals of states’ rights were defeated.  They believe that the 14th Amendment was illegally adopted.  To them this has resulted in the growth of federal government into a Leviathan, a very large monstrous beast in the bible….In this historical view big government, integration and Brown vs. Brown, gay rights, civil rights, feminism, minorities, taxes, FDR, and other issues can be viewed as the result of the American Republic jumping the tracks during the Civil War and being out of control.

The neo-Confederate doctrine that Congressman Ron Paul is associated with believes in the re-establishment of the Confederacy as a Bible-based republic opposed to all laws, rights, or behaviors that cannot be justified according to the Bible.  Its leading theologians have written justifications of slavery as Biblically-based and have described it as a benign social institution.  On theological grounds, neo-Confederates believe the Civil War was a struggle between orthodox Christianity and a heretical Union.  In the mid-twentieth century, many Christian nationalists became politically involved because they opposed the desegregation of white schools and attempts by the federal government to remove their tax exempt status from white private school created to escape the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision to desegregate white-only schools.  The subsequent development of the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the moral pressure this movement exerted on federal, state and local governments, as well as the reign of terror unleashed by the Ku Klux Klan with the implicit support of Southern governors, legislatures, congressmen, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, juries, white clergy, and public opinion all played a role in the development of the neo-Confederate movement. 

In September 1957, President Eisenhower ordered federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to protect nine black children attempting to desegregate a white public school.  In September 1962, President Kennedy ordered federal marshals, Army, and National Guard troops to protect James Meredith as he attempted to enroll in the University of Mississippi. 

Indicative of the Southern rage underlying the reign of terror, in May 1964, Sam Bowers, Imperial Wizard of the Mississippi White Knights, declared: “‘The events which will occur in Mississippi this summer may well determine the fate of Christian civilization for centuries to come.’”  This Ku Klux Klan statement is no different than statements from the League of the South that was founded in 1994. Opposition to the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s was not limited to Kirk and the neo-Confederate movement and the John Birch Society. William F. Buckley and the National Review defended the white supremacists

            In 1980, right after the Republican Party’s national convention, Ronald Reagan spoke at the fairgrounds to an audience of over thirty thousand, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, “‘I believe in states’ rights.’” Reagan was following in the footsteps of Barry Goldwater in 1964 who carried only his home state of Arizona and five states in the Deep South. This became a strong indication of future white voting patterns.  One should also consider George Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign as the American Independent Party candidate; former Klan leader David Duke’s multiple campaigns as a Democrat, Republican, and Populist; and, Patrick Buchanan’s presidential run in 1992 in the Republican primaries that expropriated Duke’s issues. Between 1954 and 2004 the Republican gains in the House of Representatives was a reversal of the dominance the Democrats had in 1954.  The Democrats had net gains outside the South, but more than all of the Democratic net loss to the Republicans came from the Southern switch.Basicially the racial issue became essential to the ability of conservatives to win elections in spite of economic policies that favored a minority over the majority. It is important to remember that the “New Right” movement that brought Reagan to victory had been deeply involved in opposition to civil rights.  Max Blumenthal reported that after the 1954 Supreme Court decision the late Jerry Falwell “posited segregation as a biblical mandate” and worked with the FBI to try and smear Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. as a “communist subversive,” the same charge raised by the John Birch Society. King’s subsequent assassination has never been satisfactorily solved and the accepted stories that James Earl Ray was, like Oswald, the lone assassin does not stand up to objective analysis.  In 1966, Falwell started the Lynchburg Christian Academy, “‘a private school for white students.’”  And, as Michelle Goldberg noted, “what spurred them [the Christian Right] into action was the IRS’s attempt to revoke the tax-exempt status of whites-only Christian schools, schools that had been created specifically to evade desegregation.”

Steven Wilkins, co-founder of the racist, secessionist League of the South, is “arguably the most prominent member of the neo-Confederate clergy,” and a “resident instructor at the R.L. Dabney Center for Theological Studies” and “writes for almost all the religious publications and groups that advance neo-Confederate and Christian nationalist ideas. Another follower of Dabney is theologian Douglas Wilson.  For more than 30 years Wilson has run a mini-Christian Reconstructionist empire in Idaho that includes the New Saint Andrews College; Logos School, a private Christian academy; the Association of Classical and Christian Schools that certifies such private academies; Canon Press; the journal Credenda/Agenda; and, the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals.  Both Wilkins and Wilson, writing separately or jointly, are major proponents of the theological war thesis and defend “slavery as Biblically justified.”

Writing in 2002, Sebesta and Hague reported that the “Sons of Confederate Veterans heritage organization, Christian Reconstructionist bodies such as the Chalcedon Foundation, and the League of the South now generally accept the theological war thesis….Collaboration between the Christian Reconstructionist movement and the League of the South has also increased, evidencing a growing overlap in the historical, political and theological perspectives of participants in both organizations. 

The practical effect of this conflation of nationalisms is an opposition to the following, according to Michael Hill, co-founder of the League of the South: loss of American sovereignty to foreign institutions; “‘radical egalitarianism; feminism; sodomite rights; Third World immigration; gun control; hate crime legislation (almost meant to be used against whites); judicial tyranny; burdensome taxation; multiculturalism and diversity (code words for anti-white, anti-Christian bigotry); the universal rights of man; and other manifestations of a new brand of politically-correct totalitarianism.’”

The other major neo-Confederate organization of interest here is the radical libertarian Ludwig von Meises Institute headed by Lew Rockwell, a long-time friend and political-business partner of Ron Paul.  In 2003, the Institute and the associated LewRockwell.com spearheaded a protest against the erection of a President Abraham Lincoln statue in Richmond, Virginia, while holding a “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  LewRockwell.com also hosts a “King Lincoln” archive of articles by leading neo-Confederate writers. The Institute also serves as an adjunct home to neo-Confederate professors Thomas D. Lorenzo, Donald Livingston, and Clyde Wilson.  Lorenzo, a professor of economics, has written that the Civil War was fought to end the right of secession, not to end slavery.  He was the star of the “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  Livingston, a professor of philosophy who specializes on David Hume, he was the first director of the League of the South’s Institute for the Study of Southern Culture and History.  Livingston’s writings have strongly defended the right of the pre-Civil War South to  secede and has written that Lincoln started the Civil War in order to establish a centralized state. He also was present at the “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  Lastly, Clyde Wilson is the “biggest intellectual heavyweight associated with the neo-Confederate scene.” Wilson specializes in the writings of John C. Calhoun, “the preeminent states’ rights theorists before the Civil War.” Wilson was also a founding member of the League of the South.

Libertarianism—Born Racist

To sort through these conflicting claims on the centrality of race to the Tea Party movement it is necessary to cover the following salient issues raised by some of the writers.  It is clearly evident that the conservative movements in the United Sates have never accepted integration in any of its manifestations and it is also true that the Tea Party movement is forcing the conservative movement in the United States towards the ultra-right and its strong racial sentiments. To what degree has Ron Paul adopted the Southern Strategy of abandoning the N-word racism and adopting the abstract and race-neutral code words and public policies that still amount to a defense of states’ rights and a defense of white supremacy or white nationalism?  To what degree is libertarian economic philosophy inherently racist?  And, finally, is this inherent racism the reason why libertarian writers such as but not limited to David Weigel and Glenn Greenwald still blandly refer to Ron Paul as a “libertarian” and a champion of “individual liberty” but prefer not to discuss his support for a white Christian nationalist and inherently anti-black agenda?

It is clearly evident that twentieth century libertarianism was born racist and is inherently racist.

That conclusion rests on the authority of none other than the late Murray N. Rothbard, co-founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute along with Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul.  The Institute is not only one of the main neo-Confederate think tanks—one of the key components of the Ron Paul network—but also the primary institution supporting Ron Paul and his Tea Party movement.  The Institute is also the home of the Christian Reconstruction economic libertarian Gary North, who is also the informal strategic adviser to Ron Paul.

             According to Rothbard, this libertarian coalition was hard-core regressive: “A few libertarian extremists wanted to go all the way back to the Articles of Confederation, but the great bulk of the right was committed to the United States Constitution—but a Constitution construed so ‘strictly’ as to outlaw much twentieth-century legislation, certainly on the federal level” (emphasis in original).

            Edward Sebesta, in an early article on “The Neo-Confederate Movement,” established that Russell Kirk, “perhaps the most prominent conservative of the 20th century,” “promoted the values of southern conservatism and ultimately the neo-Confederates.” Kirk was an early supporter of the Southern Partisan, a leading neo-Confederate journal that attracted conservative writers from across the country, not just the South.  Kirk’s considerable prestige, prodigious writings, and intellectual support ensured that “the values of southern conservatism and admiration for the Confederacy, became accepted and not peripheral, not sectional for conservatism.”

            .  William Voegeli in article on “Civil Rights & the Conservative Movement” noted that Buckley in 1957 wrote an article “Why the South Must Prevail” in which Buckley asked “‘whether the White community in the South is entitled to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically?….The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.’”

.Voegeli noted that Buckley “regularly” expressed “the asymmetry of his sympathies—genuine concern for Southern whites beset by integrationists, but more often than not, perfunctory concern for Southern blacks beset by bigots.” Buckley’s views resembled “that of the ‘Southern Manifesto’ signed in 1956 by nearly every senator and representative from the South” which accused the Brown v. Board decision of ‘destroying the amicable relations between white and Negro races that have been created through 90 years of patient effort by the good people of both races.  It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding.’”33

The Southern Manifesto was more than a manifesto.  Part of the white supremacist reaction was a reign of terror against civil rights workers and any African American who could be made an example of for disturbing the apartheid system.  The other reaction was the use of Tenth Amendment (states’ rights) to nullify the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling.  For example, the Florida and Georgia legislatures passed laws that with slightly different wording stated, “‘decisions and orders of the Supreme Court of the United States denying the individual sovereign States the power to enact laws relating to the separation of the races in public institutions of a state are null, void and of no force or effect.’”

             Conservative opposition to all civil rights legislation continued with Goldwater’s argument derived from legal advice given by his legal advisers William Rehnquist and Robert Bork that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was “‘a grave threat’ to a constitutional republic in which fifty sovereign states have reserved to themselves and to the people those powers not specifically granted to the central or Federal government.’” With all due respect to Rehnquist and Bork, the Ninth Amendment gave all unenumerated rights to the people and none of these unenumerated rights to the states.

Conservative and Republican opposition to all civil rights legislation and the defense of states’ rights continued under the GOP’s Southern Strategy—a strategy the Republicans have never repudiated and continue to follow.  According to the late Lee Atwater, the essence of the strategy was to conceptually shift the focus away from overt and explicit expressions of racism (the N-word) to “say[ing] stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”  When candidate Reagan went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, and said “‘I believe in states’ rights’” that Reagan “was elbow deep in the same race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.”  As Bob Herbert noted, “When Democrats revolted against racism, the G.O.P. rallied to its banner.”

            Like the Southern Manifesto which claimed that relations between the races during the Jim Crow era were “amicable” and based on “friendship and understanding,” the neo-Confederate movement sought to portrays racial relations under slavery as highly favorable to the slaves and a burden to the slave masters.  A book written in the 1950s claimed, “‘No, the Southern planter’s work was civilizing the poor, deluded Negro—the greatest missionary work known to history….The institution of slavery as it was in the South, so far from degrading the Negro was fast elevating him above his nature and his race.”

            Steven Wilkins and Douglas Wilson co-authored a 1996 book, Southern Slavery: As It Was, which claimed that “‘Slavery as it existed in the South…was a relationship based upon mutual affection and harmony….There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.’”

            In addition to the Ludwig von Mises Institute, other leading neo-Confederate organizations include the Council of Conservative Citizens, Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Rockford Institute in Illinois.  There are many others.

It is the core belief of the League of the South, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Christian Reconstructionist Chalcedon Foundation that the Civil War “was a theological war over the future of American religiosity fought between devout Confederate and heretical Union states” and that the Confederate “battle flag and other Confederate icons are Christian symbols and the assertion that opposition to them equates to a rejection of Christianity

Central to the concept of “banal white nationalism” is the much larger concept of the neo-Confederacy which has as its basic principles, among others: states’ rights, local control of schooling, Christian traditions, Confederate symbols, Southerners are persecuted as racists, a natural social hierarchy, white men being dominant in a social hierarchy stratified by race and gender, a disdain for gays and lesbians, and an opposition to modern democracy.  Much of this is no longer unique to neo-Confederates, but extends to Christian nationalists, variants of libertarianism, and other white nationalists.  Moreover, there are institutional linkages across domains such as Christian nationalist and libertarian organizations and white nationalist organizations.

It should therefore come as no surprise that there are two main flags associated with the Tea Party movement—the Confederate flag symbolizing slavery and treason (the neo-Confederates would prefer secession) and the Gadsden flag symbolizing patriotic revolution

That no Republican or Tea Party movement leaderships vociferously opposed the presence of the Confederate flag, or Nazi symbols or references, is indicative of just how pervasive this neo-Confederate mindset, banal white nationalism, and anti-Semitism are in the larger conservative movement.

Also noted is the proliferation of Nazi symbolism and rhetoric associated with the Tea Party movement. 

            The Christian Reconstructionist Component of the Neo-Confederate Movement

Frederick Clarkson, in his 1997 book Eternal Hostility—The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy—identified the key theological ideas of Christian Reconstructionism developed by Rushdoony: “the Bible is to be the governing text for all areas of life—such as government, education and law;” “Reconstructionists have formulated a ‘Biblical worldview’ and ‘Biblical principles’ to govern and inform their lives and politics;” “Reconstructionists…set a course of world conquest or ‘dominion,’ claiming a biblically prophesied ‘inevitable victory;’”  “Epitomizing the Reconstructionist idea of biblical ‘warfare’ is the centrality of capital punishment…for apostasy (abandonment of the faith), heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, ‘sodomy or homosexuality,’ incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and in the case of women, ‘unchastity before marriage’…[and] women who have had abortions should be publicly executed.”  Clarkson noted that Christian Reconstructionism is “arguably the driving ideology of the Christian Right today.”

That is not to imply that Christian Reconstructionism did not have variants or that the Christian Right adopted wholesale the Christian Reconstructionist theology, or did not have other theological influences.  The Christian Right, for example, has conveniently ignored or softened its approach to the death penalty for the wide variety of “crimes” demanded for by Rushdoony.  But, it has largely adopted its agenda.  Clarkson noted that the Christian nationalist’s Council for National Policy’s secular and theological agendas range “from the dismantling of the public schools, to the criminalization of abortion and homosexuality, the radical deregulation of every major consumer and environmental protection initiative of the federal government, and the weakening, if not elimination of civil rights laws protecting the interests of women and minorities.”

A decade later Michelle Goldberg in her 2007 book, Kingdom Coming—The Rise of Christian Nationalism, observed its totalitarian “elements.”  Goldberg wrote that Christian nationalism was a “totalistic political ideology” based “on the conviction that true Christianity must govern every aspect of public and private life, and that all—government, science, history, culture, and relationships—must be understood according to the dictates of scripture.  There are biblically correct positions on every issue, from gay marriage to income tax rates, and only those with the right worldview can discern them.”

the historical revisionist interpretation of America being founded as a “Christian nation” is the “war on the courts.”  Goldberg noted that the “Christian nationalists view the courts as the last intolerable obstacle to their palingenetic dream.  Believing America to be a Christian nation, they see any ruling that contradicts their theology as de facto unconstitutional, and its enforcement tyrannical.  They’re convinced that they must destroy the judiciary’s power to liberate themselves.”  Moreover, the Christian nationalist effort to strip the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts from hearing cases related to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause “could let state governments criminalize abortion and gay sex [read vociferous advocacy of states’ rights under the Tenth Amendment].  It could sanction the reinstitution of school prayer and the teaching of creationism and permit the ever greater Christianization of the country’s social services…It could intrude into the most intimate corners of Americans’ private lives.”

Goldberg described one event (among several) in which Republican congressional staffers came together with neo-Confederates, Christian Reconstructionists, and others who had subconsciously absorbed Rushdoony’s dominionist message.

At a mid-2005 Confronting the Judicial War on Faith rally key speakers included Michael Peroutka, a prominent militia supporter, member of the League of the South, and former presidential candidate of the Constitution Party; Howard Phillips, founder and head of the Constitution Party; and, Herb Titus, the party’s former vice presidential candidate in 1996, and the founder and former dean of Oral Roberts’ Regent University Law School.  David Gibbs, a lawyer trained at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, subconsciously echoed the Christian revisionism of Rushdoony and David Barton, founder of the Texas-based Wallbuilders and leading pseudo-historian promoting the myth that America was founded as a “Christian nation.” Gibbs told the crowd, “‘How many here understand we were founded as one nation under God?…That’s why the Ten Commandments are so important.  They were the original source of American law.  The Bible was understood to be authoritative.  When the founding fathers said, ‘One Nation under God,’ they made the decision that they would submit to what God had put forward in his law.’”

The purpose of the Judicial War on Faith rally was to express support for the Constitution Restoration Act authored by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was impeached over his refusal to remove a nearly three-ton monument of the Ten Commandments from the capitol’s judicial building, and Herb Titus.  The Constitution Restoration Act was introduced in 2004 into the Senate by Senators Sam Brownback and Richard Shelby, and, the House by Representatives by James Sensenbrenner. Blumenthal reported that the Act “authorized Congress to impeach judges who failed to abide by ‘the standard of good behavior’ supposedly required by the Constitution.  Refusal to acknowledge ‘God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government,’ or reliance in any way on international law in their rulings would also trigger impeachment.”

Goldberg reported that the totalitarian elements and a desire for the physical destruction (death) to judges came from both religious and secular speakers.  Reverend Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America for “‘patriot pastors,’” prayed for the death of Judge George Greer who had decided the Schiavo case: “‘Father, we echo the words of the apostle Paul, because we know Judge Greer claims to be a Christian.  So the apostle Paul said in his First Corinthians 5…deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may saved in the day of our Lord Jesus.’”  The constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira in criticizing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in the Lawrence v. Texas case (in a defeat for states’ rights, it struck down Texas’ sodomy law), admiringly borrowed a truncated phrase from Joseph Stalin as a solution to the “‘personnel problem,’” “‘No man, no problem.’”  Stalin’s full quote: “‘Death solves all problems: no man, no problem.’”.

Chris Hedges in his 2006 book, American Fascists—The Christian Right and the War on America—reported on the “racist and brutal intolerance of the intellectual godfathers of today’s Christian Reconstructionism.”  Based on his reading of Rushdoony’s The Institutes of Biblical Law, Hedges observed that “The Jews, who neglected to fulfill God’s commands in the Hebrew scriptures, have, in this belief system, forfeited their place as God’s chosen people and have been replaced by Christians….Rushdoony dismissed the widely accepted estimate of 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust as an inflated figure, and his theories on race often echo those found in Nazi eugenics, in which there are higher and lower forms of human beings.  Those considered by the Christian state to be immoral and incapable of reform are to be exterminated.”

The other key development in movement towards an American theocracy is the influence of the John Birch Society upon R.J. Rushdoony and the Christian nationalists’ Council for National Policy.

Rushdoony admired the cellular structure of the John Birch Society as having a ‘strong resemblance to the early church.’”  Furthermore, Christian “Reconstructionist literature can be found in JBS affiliated American Opinion bookstores.  Indeed, the conspiracist views of Reconstructionist writers (focusing on the United Nations and the Council on Foreign Relations, among others) are consistent with those of the John Birch Society.”  While the Christian Reconstructionists placed their primary emphasis on orthodox Christianity rather than politics, As Welch who founded the John Birch Society in 1958 said, ‘This is a world-wide battle, between lightness and darkness; between freedom and slavery; between the spirit of Christianity and spirit of [sic] anti-Christ for the souls and bodies of men.’”

The Council for National Policy “‘was inspired by business and political leaders who were also leaders of the John Birch Society.’”16 Nelson Bunker Hunt, a member of the John Birch Society’s national council, assisted Tim LaHaye, a former JBS trainer and later co-author of the very successful Left Behind series of fictional ‘Rapture’ novels, in founding the Council for National Policy.

Ron Paul has made the following comment on the Patriot Network website: “If we stuck to the Constitution as written, we would have no federal meddling in our schools; no Federal Reserve; no U.S. membership in the UN; no gun control; and no foreign aid.  We would have no welfare for big corporations; or the ‘poor;’ …no arrogant federal judges usurping states’ rights; no attacks on private property; no income tax.  We could get rid of most of the cabinet departments, most of the agencies, and most of the budget.” This is a mixture of Christian Reconstructionism and Posse Comitatus ideology.  There should be no surprise that the founder of The Patriot Network is also the founder of the South Carolina Constitution Party and the state’s Libertarian Party.



Spring is high season for travel scams


April 11, 2012

by Mitch Lipka


– When it comes to large migrations of people during the U.S. spring break and summer vacations, the travel scams can come from most any angle. College students and families are targeted. So are grandparents back home.

“There’s a scam for every demographic,” says John Breyault, vice president of the National Consumers League.

In Florida, one of the nation’s traditional spring break destinations, consumer officials are used to getting a surge in complaints. “As you can imagine, most of the scams around spring break actually start long before the customer packs for the trip,” says Sterling Ivey, spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Then the problems continue when they get where they’re going.

“We often see complaints during this time of year related to travel companies or sellers of travel who have been promoting destinations or vacation experiences that the consumer eventually find less appealing than advertised,” he says.

More than 7,000 complaints were lodged with the Better Business Bureau against travel bureaus and agencies in 2011 – making that one of the top complaint categories.

Gearing up for the typical warm-weather surge in travel and travel-related scams, several attorneys general, along with Western Union and MoneyGram – two main conduits for wiring cash – are warning consumers about scams they could face.

One scam that comes up repeatedly takes advantage of when a grandchild – typically a young adult – is away from home. An astute crook will look for tip-offs on social networks when someone who fits the profile is traveling – a reminder that revealing personal information can be used for no-good, says Kim Garner, senior vice president of global security and investigations with MoneyGram. Crooks can also easily obtain personal information from student IDs and driver’s licenses left on beach blankets or bars in vacation spots.

“I don’t think (consumers) realize the amount of time that bad guys can devote to this,” says Garner, a former Secret Service agent. “Really, any information, especially that young adults and teenagers provide, is useful to these guys. These guys are relentless.”

In the “emergency scam” or “grandparent scam,” the fraudster will reach out to the grandparents of the young person who is away and either pose as the grandchild, someone close to them or someone in a position of authority asking for money to be wired to post bail or get them out of some dire situation.

Another scam that crops up more often during times when a lot of people are traveling comes in the form of an email (from an account that has been hacked) from a friend or relative who tells a woeful tale of either being mugged or otherwise losing all their money while on vacation. The punch-line, of course, is a request to wire money.

Instead of sending the money, Garner says, determine for yourself the authenticity of these communications. “Pick up the phone and call. Don’t trust the email,” she says. “If they don’t answer, get the number of a friend who should be with them and contact them.”

Tools that can be put in place to avoid problems caused by a gap in communication includng planning when to touch base as well as providing alternate contact information, including hotel phone numbers and cell numbers of companions. Also, overseas travelers can register with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which can help travelers to be reached in the event of an emergency back home.

(Editing by Beth Pinsker Gladstone)



What’s goin’ on at the Turkish-Syrian border?

by Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

            There is a video [1] that could be loosely translated as “Terrorist Turkish border opening fire on the Syrian side” that pretty accurately sums up what’s going on at the ultra-volatile geopolitical hotspot of the moment.
            The voice over says, “This is the Syria-Turkey border, and this is an operation of the Free Syrian Army [FSA] … The Gate [that would be the Syrian side of the border, housing the Gate checkpoint] is going to be seized.”
            What this means is that Turkey is sheltering the FSA right on the border, only a few meters – and not kilometers – away from Syrian territory. Way beyond hosting a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command and control center in Iskenderun for months now – a fact already reported by Asia Times Online – Turkey has now advanced right to the border, enabling a back-and-forth by heavily weaponized guerrillas/mercenaries to attack a sovereign state.
            Imagine a similar scenario happening, say, at a Mexican-US border in Arizona or Texas.
            This can be seen as a very peculiar Ankara interpretation of “safe havens” and “humanitarian corridors” as outlined by what can be seen as the prime blueprint for regime change in Syria: a report [2] by the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, authored by the usual cocktail of Israeli firsters and Qatar-affiliated Middle East “experts”.
            So expect to see this movie generating countless sequels; the FSA attacking a Syrian border checkpoint, killing soldiers and then retreating under a hail of bullets, which will inevitably hit a nearby Syrian refugee camp.
            The border escalation graphically illustrates the wider scenario: civil war.
            Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu – of the fabled “zero problems with our neighbors” policy – had to abruptly cut short his trip to China and return to Turkey because of the border escalation. It would be very enlightening to learn how the Beijing leadership told him that Turkey’s agent provocateur gimmicks amount to playing with a ball of fire.
            The border escalation also proves that NATO has less than zero interest in the success of the ceasefire widely brandished as the Kofi Annan plan (that’s in fact a diluted version of both the Russian and Chinese plans). Trouble will escalate further – as suggested by a RT report. [3]
             Obviously, a sovereign government – in this case Syria – had to demand written guarantees that its weaponized opponents would also abide by the Annan ceasefire.
            The single-most important reason that they won’t – and they have already stressed so publicly – is that not only the FSA and splinter guerrillas will continue to be weaponized by Qatar and the House of Saud, and sprinkled with Libyan “rebels” flown into Syria; it’s that two United Nations Security Council permanent members – Britain and France – also have their own special forces on the ground, engaged in training, intel and combat operations.
            The trillion Turkish lira question is whether Ankara will go one step beyond and actually implement those “safe havens”; that would amount to being directly involved in the Syrian civil war, ie, a declaration of war against Damascus. That’s exactly what the FSA has been begging the Turks to do. But even that would not be enough to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime.
            As for the Assad police state/military apparatus, it just has to be wily enough not to be provoked into an orgy of torture, summary executions and artillery bombardment – the necessary condition to maintain the key diplomatic support of BRICS members Russia and China. Once again, it’s average Syrians, caught in the middle, who will be the tragic losers.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007)

Misconduct alleged against Secret Service agents


April 13 2012

by Julie Pace 

Associated Press=

CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) — A dozen Secret Service agents sent to Colombia to provide security for President Barack Obama at an international summit have been relieved of duty because of allegations of misconduct.

The Associated Press received an anonymous tip that the misconduct involved prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, the site of the Summit of the Americas. A Secret Service spokesman did not dispute that allegation.

A U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity, put the number of agents at 12. The agency was not releasing the number of personnel involved.

The incident threatened to overshadow Obama’s economic and trade agenda at the summit and embarrass the U.S. The White House had no comment.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan would not confirm that prostitution was involved, saying only that there had been “allegations of misconduct” made against Secret Service personnel in the Colombian port city hosting Obama and more than 30 world leaders.

Donovan said the allegations of misconduct were related to activity before the president’s arrival Friday night.

Obama was attending a leaders’ dinner Friday night at Cartagena’s historic Spanish fortress. He was due to attend summit meetings with regional leaders Saturday and Sunday.

Those involved had been sent back to their permanent place of duty and were being replaced by other agency personnel, Donovan said. The matter was turned over to the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which handles the agency’s internal affairs.

“These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the president’s trip,” Donovan said.

Associated Press writer Frank Bajak contributed to this report.


Operation Shamrock and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

April 11, 2012

by Renee Parsons

Common Dreams

Despite an idealistic vision of the country’s devotion to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights amendments, it may come as a shock to any American who has not been paying attention that the US government has been conducting illegal unconstitutional surveillance on its citizens for much of the last hundred years.

In what may have been the country’s earliest coordinated effort at unconstitutional snooping, a government agency ominously named Black Chamber was in cahoots with Western Union after WWI to retrieve copies of telegrams in violation of the Radio Communications Act of 1912 and the Fourth Amendment.

Once publicly revealed, the operation was shut down only to resurface in 1945 when the Army Signals Security Agency, predecessor to the NSA (National Security Agency) began Operation Shamrock with the interception of millions of international communications from a ‘watch list’ of Americans.

Assured by government promises of legal immunity, RCA, Western Union and ITT Communications had agreed to provide confidential information to the government’s Military Intelligence Division despite a violation of the Communication Act of 1934 and the Fourth Amendment.

James Bamford’s well-researched The Shadow Factory — The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America describes the details of how Shamrock’s existence was revealed in 1975 and that Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), known for her colorful chapeaux and equally colorful personality, opened an investigation as Chair of the House Government Information and Individual Rights subcommittee.
            With a bee in her bonnet, subcommittee hearings were scheduled. Bamford goes on to chronicle the rest of the story on Shamrock, claiming that with White House Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General Edward Levi’s encouragement, President Gerald Ford was willing to play hardball to protect the government’s role in spying on Americans. After a series of high level bureaucrats including a personal visit by the Attorney General, failed to convince Abzug to cancel the hearings in the name of ‘national security,’ the three telecom companies, with encouragement from the White House, refused to testify. Upping the stakes, according to Bamford, both Levi and NSA Director Lew Allen also refused to testify.

By the time Abzug’s subcommittee issued subpoenas to the absent CEOs, Rumsfeld had become Secretary of Defense and was replaced by Dick Cheney as WH Chief of Staff. Bamford goes on to examine the role of both Rumsfeld and Cheney as believers in vigorous executive privilege as they urged Ford to resist the subcommittee’s requests while advising the CEOs to not comply with the subpoenas. In addition, Bamford states that “for the first time in American history, the concept of executive privilege was extended to a private corporation,” as if private corporations had the same Constitutional rights as a president.
            As the wheels of justice moved in reverse, a little known Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department came to Rumsfeld and Cheney’s attention for his confrontational style as he prepared incisive legal arguments in favor of continued warrantless surveillance and granting unrestricted rights to the Executive Branch. By 1986, Antonin “Nino” Scalia would be appointed to the Supreme Court on a 98-0 vote.

Never a shrinking violet or intimidated by authority, Abzug, a graduate of Columbia University Law School who represented victims of the McCarthy era in the 1950’s, was fully aware of the Constitutional precedents at risk. Knowing that Ford Administration appointees would hide behind official ‘classified’ lingo promising to reveal all in a closed door session, Abzug understood the necessity of pushing back in the interests of public disclosure.
            Once the subcommittee voted to issue contempt citations for its recalcitrant witnesses, the three CEOs testified as to their involvement with Shamrock and turned over lists of names, as the Ford Administration capitulated.

That same year, Sen. Frank Church’s (D-Id) Senate Committee on Government Operations conducted historic hearings that revealed illegal intelligence gathering on American citizens by the CIA and FBI.

In response to the government’s covert role revealed by both investigations. Congress adopted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) signed by Ford’s successor, Jimmy Carter, in 1978. The Act, which did not apply to US citizens, provided much needed Judicial and Congressional oversight of the government’s surveillance activities of foreign agents in the United States and created a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

Appointed by the Chief Justice and staffed by eleven judges to serve seven year terms, the Attorney General provides the Court with evidence to approve surveillance and the Court provides compliance reports to Congressional intelligence committees. From 1980 through 2006, the Court approved a total of 22, 985 surveillance warrants out of 22,990 requests. Since 1978, the Act appeared to function as expected until the Bush Administration launched an unprecedented assault on the civil liberties of American citizens with warrantless surveillance.
             Bamford and others have described in detail how the Administration’s wiretap program caught the attention of Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith in 2004 when the obvious became apparent — that the Bush warrantless surveillance program was illegal and unconstitutional. Goldsmith prepared a memo outlining his concerns as Deputy AG Jim Comey, the second highest law enforcement officer in the country, agreed that the program could no longer be certified by the Department of Justice. Sharing their conclusion with Attorney General John Ashcroft, it was decided to allow the program to terminate the next day.
            What happened next was more dramatic than any West Wing script ever anticipated, when Ashcroft suddenly doubled over in pain. Rushed to George Washington Hospital, Ashcroft had major surgery for gallstone pancreatitis which left the AG in a seriously debilitated condition.

From there the story becomes more bizarre. Bamford describes how Comey, now acting in Ashcroft’s absence, informed the White House that the Department would not re-authorize NSA’s surveillance program. Faced with the potential of a shutdown at NSA as the deadline approached or the potential of criminal charges and seeing Comey as a ‘loose cannon,’ White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and WH Counsel Alberto Gonzales made a frantic bee-line to the hospital.

As Comey headed home that evening, he received an urgent call from Mrs. Ashcroft that two visitors were on their way. Comey immediately called FBI Director Robert Mueller to meet him at the hospital and with red lights flashing and sirens wailing, Comey’s FBI driver put the peddle to the metal. Running up the stairs and arriving in Ashcroft’s room just ahead of the White House aides, Mueller ordered Comey’s FBI security detail to not allow him to be removed from Ashcroft’s room.

Upon Gonzales and Card’s arrival, Ashcroft, still in a weakened condition, refused to sign the necessary document to continue the program.

According to Bamford, soon after, Comey received an irate call from Card demanding that he come immediately to the White House. Comey replied that he would only meet with Card if a witness was present. Accompanied by Solicitor General Ted Olson, Comey arrived at the White House at almost midnight and reiterated the Department’s position that the NSA program was outside the law as he continued to refuse to authorize its existence.
            The next day the President of the United States used his executive authority to reauthorize the warrantless surveillance program over his Attorney General’s objections. As a result, Attorney General Ashcroft, both Comey and Goldsmith along with a handful of other Department of Justice attorneys and FBI Director Mueller all prepared their letters of resignation. After a one on one meeting with both Comey and Mueller, realizing the potential for an en masse resignation of the country’s top law enforcement officials, Bush agreed to scrap the most egregious elements of NSA’s illegal ‘data mining.’

Beginning with adoption of the Patriot Act in 2001 (98-1) the floodgates opened for covert government surveillance not only for the NSA, FBI, CIA and Homeland Security but for hundreds of municipal and state governments, a green light to infiltrate and spy on millions of American citizens. All it took was a frightened bi-partisan majority to open the legislative doors to allow a steady erosion of Fourth Amendment protections against ‘unreasonable search and seizure’ and ‘probable cause’ requirements while fragmenting FISA’s original intent of limited surveillance and required judicial and Congressional oversight.

For all of its good intentions in 1978, FISA has since been thrust into dangerous, uncharted territory morphing into a vehicle of unintended consequences, subject to a series of amendments in 2008 that further eviscerated the Fourth Amendment.

As already well-documented by Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU, the Obama administration has accelerated the erosion of due process and Constitutional protections beyond the Bush era even as candidate Obama promised that “with the firm intention — once I’m in as president — to have my attorney general conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.”

Just as the Operation Shamrock experience instilled a lifelong passion in Cheney for omnipotent executive privilege, Jack Goldsmith resigned from the Department of Justice in 2004 with Jim Comey and John Ashcroft resigning soon after George Bush’s inauguration in 2005. Robert Mueller remains FBI Director.

As the Act is due for reauthorization by December 31st it can be expected that legislative action will occur in the shadows of a lame duck session after the elections when what remains of the Act’s original intent will be at its most vulnerable.

As the actions of fearless Members of Congress like Abzug and Church whose first priority was to truth and public servants like Jim Comey and Robert Mueller who stood, face to face, against a sitting President, is it too much to hope that somewhere there is a government official or two who might dig deep to find the courage and integrity to speak out, loud, clear and insistent, while there is still something of democracy worth saving?


Regicide: The Official Assassination of JFK

by Gregory Douglas


The Alternative Theory

There is no question that President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas on Friday, November 22, 1963.

There is a question of whether the official government report is accurate. There is a further question as to whether this report is a deliberate attempt to confuse and hide what might actually have happened.

The key issue is whether Lee Harvey Oswald, acting entirely alone, shot and killed President Kennedy and shot and wounded Texas Governor John Connally from a so-called sniper’s nest on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository where he was employed.

There is a question of the weapon used. Did Oswald use a surplus Italian army rifle, a 6.5-mm Mannlicher-Carcano, equipped with an American telescopic sight?

If Oswald did not act alone, who may have acted with him?

If Oswald did not act at all, who then shot the President to death and wounded the Governor?

If persons other than Oswald assassinated the President, who were they and, more important, why did they act?

If there were other assassins, were they politically motivated?

Were they professionals, merely performing their work for money?

They had agreed with Joseph Kennedy to work in conjunction with the Chicago political machine, under the capable hands of Mayor Richard Daley, to secure blocks of vital votes for John F. Kennedy. In this, they were very successful. In Chicago it is still said that in 1960, people voted early and often. So great was the enthusiasm for a Kennedy victory that even the dead were said to have voted, again, early and often.

The presence of Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson on the ticket as Vice President somehow secured the negation of over 100,000 votes in Texas and this dubious act, coupled with the successes in Chicago, secured Kennedy’s election but by the slimmest of margins.

The quid pro quo stated in the beginning, and fully expected to be operable by the Chicago group, was that the ongoing prosecution, and, as they saw it, persecution of Teamsters’ Union President James R. Hoffa by the government be halted. Organized crime had been making effective use of the Teamsters’ Union’s enormous pension fund to build casinos in Las Vegas, and Hoffa was considered to be more than friendly, and very useful, to their business projects.

By accepting the aid of Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana in the election, it was generally, and not unreasonably, felt by this individual that his terms had been accepted. John Kennedy had been elected with the Chicago mob’s vital support, and the actions against Hoffa therefore would cease.[1]

They reckoned, however, without the personality of Joseph Kennedy.

During Prohibition, the elder Kennedy had been deeply involved in the importation and sale of liquor that had been officially banned in the United States. This activity was the real basis for the large Kennedy fortune, and Joe Kennedy had formed a partnership in the Chicago area with gang leader Al Capone during this period.

There was an incident in which Kennedy attempted to cheat Capone over a large shipment of illegally imported liquor and the enraged Capone threatened to kill the future ambassador. In order to prevent this, Kennedy was forced to bring two suitcases filled with money to Chicago to seek to repair the dangerous breach between himself and the brutally effective Capone:


75.The senior Kennedy, it is known, was heavily involved with rumrunning during the Prohibition era and had extensive mob connections. He had been closely associated with Al Capone, mob boss in Chicago and had a falling out with him over an allegedly hijacked liquor shipment. Capone, Chicago police records indicate, had threatened Kennedy’s life over this and Kennedy had to pay off the mob to nullify a murder contract.” DIA analysis

             Kennedy had never forgiven Capone for his threats, for the loss of money, and most especially for the humiliations he had suffered by his mea culpa.[2]

            The “Ambassador” was a man who never forgot and never forgave, and when his son was safely in the White House, he demanded that the new President appoint his younger brother as the Attorney General of the United States. Robert Kennedy had been slated for a less important post in the new administration, but Joe Kennedy demanded it, and when he demanded, he was obeyed.

            The children of Joseph Kennedy were completely under the influence and certainly the domination of their ferocious father, and they did as they were told, even if they occupied the Oval Office.[3]

            When Bobby Kennedy became Attorney General, he immediately, on his father’s instructions, instituted a reign of terror against organized crime in general and specifically the Chicago branch. The targets of this vengeance must have viewed these renewed and greatly intensified attacks on themselves as a gross breach of faith and a betrayal by a long-time business associate.

            The Mafia certainly had the means of assassinating someone, although perhaps not the President of the United States, and they certainly had the motivation.

            In fact, they did play a significant part in the plot but not as a prime mover, only as a very willing and able subcontractor.

             Professional crime, then, is one significant player on the board.

            Well organized, intelligent, and completely ruthless as they may be, this segment of the American business community did not achieve its position in American society because they were stupid. Had they personally attempted to assassinate a sitting President, if caught before or after the act, the reprisals would have been swift and deadly.

             However, the mob’s connections reached well up into various governmental structures, and if they had an even more powerful patron guiding and ultimately protecting them, the chances of detection and subsequent retribution would be greatly lessened:

            The American mob is one of the major pieces on the chessboard but there are others to consider.

            The next significant group to consider is the Cuban exiles. In 1959, when Fidel Castro and his revolutionary movement overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, the U.S. backed and thoroughly corrupt Cuban head of state, a massive influx of upper and professional class Cubans fled to the protection of the United States.

            Castro soon made his Marxist leanings very clear and by doing this, became an immediate player in the ongoing Cold War. While elements of the CIA had actively assisted him in achieving power, others began a campaign against him, using every means to remove him, including plotting his assassination.

            Not only did Castro nationalize American business holdings, he also forced out the Mafia owners of Cuba’s very lucrative casino industry. Since the CIA had strong and often useful contacts with the Mafia, the anger of the mob because of the dispossession of its assets matched or surpassed that of American business interests and strongly motivated the powerful anti-Castro movement, which was sponsored and maintained by the CIA.[4]

             Paramilitary cadres of Cuban anti-Castro activists were organized, armed, and funded by the CIA and, in April of 1962, these units attacked the island with the intention of initiating a revolt against Castro. The landing was met by Cuban regular military units under Castro’s command and was decisively crushed.

             Kennedy did not back up the commando units with armed support by U.S. military units, and the fury of the rebel Cubans was intense.

More promises to liberate their country were made by the CIA, and the units were increased in size and armament. It was their continuing commando raids against Cuba that eventually led directly to the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962.[5]

A combination of Kennedy’s perceived weakness coupled with the CIA’s commando raids convinced Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that he could threaten the United States with possible military reprisals while shoring up the Soviet Union’s relations with its Western Hemisphere ally.

Kennedy proved to be far stronger than the Soviet leader had bargained for, and the risk of war, which was great, diminished quickly as the result of a significant rapprochement between the two leaders.

As a result of this rapprochement, Kennedy agreed to halt the incursions and Khrushchev agreed to withdraw Soviet missiles from Cuba.

This demarche infuriated the volatile Cubans who felt they had been betrayed twice by the Kennedy administration in general and specifically by the President himself.[6] 

The CIA condoled with the Cuban rebels and, in spite of presidential orders to cease and desist the raids, continued to encourage and support them with unabated zeal.[7]

Finally, Kennedy ordered the FBI to break up the commando training camps in Florida and Louisiana and seize all their weapons and arrest as many militants as could be found.[8]

These FBI raids occurred shortly before the November Dallas visit, and certainly volatile Cuban rage provided another entity that was added to the list of those who not only wanted revenge on Kennedy but also possessed the temperament, the experience, and the motivation to accomplish it.

The third group is one that is only mentioned by most revisionist writers almost in passing, and yet of all of the possible suspects brought before the bar of public and historical inquiry, it had the strongest motive to remove John F. Kennedy as President of the United States.

This group is the Central Intelligence Agency, an entity that had close connections to both organized crime and the militant Cubans. In retrospect, the CIA had the clearest, most logical, and immediate reason for removing John F. Kennedy from the Presidency and the further removal of anyone privy to their instigation and implementation of such an act.

The CIA has, since its inception in 1947, been accused of an unending catalog of instigating rebellions, civil wars, religious upheavals, the planning and execution of assassinations, and numerous other acts of terrorism throughout the world.[9]

It was, after all, the CIA who recruited, trained, and armed Osama bin Laden and his terrorists, a group that then turned on its creator with terrible results.[10]

By these actions, which are certainly known to its victims, the CIA has built up a reservoir of suspicion, general animosity, and specific hatred throughout the world, and these perceptions have had serious consequences for the American people. In many of these cases, the sins of the fathers have indeed been visited upon their children.

In order to discomfit and disrupt the Soviet Union when that country occupied Afghanistan, the CIA organized, funded and armed groups of young Muslims to conduct guerrilla warfare in that bleak mountain country.

Russian military units were so badly mauled by the rebels that they eventually withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving the rebels in command of the country. When the Soviets left, so did the CIA. The rebels were left in control of an impoverished country with an obliterated infrastructure and with no support from their erstwhile friends.

A strong sense of betrayal turned into animosity, and then into hatred and ready acceptance of the belief that the United States was an evil entity. From this hardening attitude, it was only a short step to attacking their former allies with the same ruthless zeal they had so effectively practiced against America’s previous enemy.

And what are the origins of this official arm of the American people? The Central Intelligence Agency was instituted by the National Security Act in 1947. President Harry S. Truman used the CIA to keep the White House informed of foreign activities that could have an impact on the United States. They were, in fact, a presidential intelligence and information agency and nothing more.[11]

With the expansion of the Cold War, which they helped formulate and encourage, the CIA started on a campaign of empire building that grew to enormous proportions. They convinced the President and key members of his administration as well as the American Congress that the Central Intelligence Agency alone was able to combat the machinations of the evil Soviet Union, to preserve democracy, and to maintain American economic superiority throughout the world.

Their annual budget grew to astronomical proportions, and none of it was accounted for. Anyone who questioned the actions of the CIA was immediately singled out for attack in the American media as a suspect and unreliable person. Questions by legislators about CIA operations, even very benign operations, were met with a stony refusal of cooperation. The favorite CIA defense was to cite the concept of what they loved to call “National Security” to silence their critics.[12] They were trusted by the White House and, in the minds of many in Washington, became the vital and trusted shield of the United States.

The CIA set American foreign policy to a remarkable degree. They subjected foreign governments and leaders to their brilliant scrutiny, made determinations based on their brilliant scrutiny, and then wrote secret reports concerning these determinations—which then became state policy.

Like historical events, government bureaucracies are complex, diverse, and beyond simple understanding.

The entity that had the greatest reason to remove John Kennedy from his office was divided and subdivided into many sections and branches, many of which operated as semi-independent entities, answerable in theory to their superiors but in fact to no one.

In the compartmentalization of an agency with a fanatic fascination with secrecy, the opportunities for indulgence in private actions were immense and, in almost every instance, entirely secure.

The CIA was headed by a Director and beneath him, during the period in question, was the Deputy Director, the Deputy Director for Community Relations and beneath them were: the Directorate of Intelligence, the Directorate of Science and Technology, the Directorate of Management and Services, and, finally, the Directorate of Operations, also known as Clandestine Services.[13]

It was in the Directorate of Operations that the initial disaffection with the actions of President Kennedy first surfaced. In light of their wider discoveries of certain of Kennedy’s activities, the dissatisfaction had hardened into a resolve to remove him, or, as was said at the time, to “neutralize” him.

The CIA has always found euphemisms for its murderous activities. “Neutralize” is one word and another euphemism is to “terminate with extreme prejudice” as well as to “close the files” on a successfully terminated “resource” or perhaps what was coming to be viewed as a “rogue” President.[14]

To fully understand the dynamics of the Kennedy assassination, it is necessary to study both the President’s actions and the CIA’s reactions to them.

A historical incident, for example the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, is an excellent example of changing perspectives. There was the immediacy, and inaccuracy, of the initial newspaper reports. The liner was safe and on its way to Halifax with all saved, the world press reported, when, in reality, the shattered remains of the White Star’s luxury liner were actually at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.[15]

Initial reports and observations have historical importance by showing often-erroneous primary impressions but it takes the passage of time, shifting policies, and extensive and objective investigation to show a matter in the round and with far greater accuracy.

As in so many other cases, it was the personality, actions, and family background of John Kennedy that led to his death.

It has emerged in the decades since his death that Kennedy was a man who enjoyed living on the edge. He acquired his serious flirtations with disaster from his father. The senior Kennedy was a thoroughly ruthless controlling man who let nothing and no one stand in his way. Pathologically ambitious, Joe Kennedy believed that he should have been destined for political and social greatness, but his treacherous and savage lifestyle effectively blocked his advance in the public arena.[16]

Kennedy thought he could manipulate Franklin Roosevelt, but he was, in turn, used by the President who was far more skilled in Byzantine plottings than the bootlegger and stock market manipulator. Kennedy had been head of the Securities and Exchange Commission and performed outstandingly, but his completely predatory approach to all things he desired was such as to keep Roosevelt from using his genuine talents.[17]

Kennedy essentially purchased the ambassadorship to the Court of St. James in London but, when there, proceeded to perform in a manner that infuriated Roosevelt. He immediately became involved in stock market manipulations, dealing in foreign holdings, and using his inside connections to add to his already impressive holdings.

Worse, from Roosevelt’s point of view, he did everything possible to sabotage the joint program Roosevelt and Churchill were putting forward to involve the United States in Britain’s war with Germany.

British intelligence, with a mandate from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, spied on Kennedy, bugging his telephone and intercepting his correspondence, and passed on their findings both to Churchill and Roosevelt. Without realizing it, Kennedy had effectively destroyed any hope he might have entertained that Roosevelt would support any Kennedy for high political office.[18]

His eldest son, Joe Jr., was killed in the war under circumstances that are still unknown and highly suspect.[19] As Kennedy was planning to put this son forward for the high political offices he himself could never achieve, he then turned his attentions to the next eldest son Jack.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was not a likely candidate for high political office. He was plagued with ill health, had aspirations to become a professional athlete, and was thoroughly under his father’s thumb. He also possessed a good sense of humor, considerable intelligence, youthful good looks, and the ability to make people like him.[20]

Unfortunately for his image, many of the people who liked him were women, and for them, Kennedy had an insatiable appetite. His sexual appetites were of such a voracious nature as to verge on the pathological and posed a terrible public relations threat to the occupant of the White House.[21]

As well as having the potential to destroy his public reputation, his frenzied pursuit of sexual gratification left him and, to a lesser degree, his younger brother Robert in a position to be blackmailed.

If it had not been for the vaulting ambition of his father, it is doubtful if John F. Kennedy would have achieved much more than an elevated position in the business world. Once he became Senator, and then President, his father oversaw his actions to a remarkable degree, and only when the senior Kennedy had a crippling stroke did his son begin to show signs of being his own man.[22]

Beneath his considerable charm, John F. Kennedy was a very ruthless individual who could move with great effect against his enemies when it proved necessary to do so. It was the ruthless pragmatism learned from his father that eventually set in motion the forces that led directly to his assassination. From his early experiences with American politics through his tutoring by an aggressive and manipulative father, Kennedy was a totally pragmatic politician, and this pragmatism made him far more dangerous enemies than American organized crime or furious Cuban activists.

He crossed swords with, and greatly antagonized, the most powerful secret society in American history: the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer

by Jacob G. Hornberger
Future of Freedom Foundation

The Kennedy Assassination

In early 1976 the National Enquirer published a story that shocked the elite political class in Washington, D.C. The story disclosed that a woman named Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was a divorced spouse of a high CIA official named Cord Meyer, had been engaged in a two-year sexual affair with President John F. Kennedy. By the time the article was published, JFK had been assassinated, and Mary Pinchot Meyer herself was dead, a victim of a murder that took place in Washington on October 12, 1964.

            Just past noon on the day of the murder, Mary Meyer was on her daily walk on the C&O Canal Trail near the Key Bridge in Washington, D.C. Someone grabbed her and shot a .38-caliber bullet into the left side of her head. Meyer continued struggling despite the almost certainly fatal wound, so the murderer shot her again, this time downward through her right shoulder. The second bullet struck directly into her heart, killing her instantly.

A 21-year-old black man named Raymond Crump Jr., who lived in one of the poorest sections of D.C., was arrested near the site of the crime and charged with the murder. Crump denied committing the crime. There were two eyewitnesses, neither of whom, however, personally identified Crump. One witness, Henry Wiggins Jr., said that he saw a black man standing over the body and that the man wore a beige jacket, a dark cap, dark pants, and dark shoes. Another witness, William L. Mitchell, said that prior to the murder, he had been jogging on the trail when he saw a black man dressed in the same manner following Meyer a short time before she was killed.

When Crump was arrested, he was wearing dark pants and dark shoes. Police later found his beige jacket and dark cap in the water near the trail.

It certainly did not look good for Ray Crump, as he himself said to the police. Nonetheless, he steadfastly denied having anything to do with the murder.

Crump’s family retained one of D.C.’s most renowned and respected attorneys, an African American woman named Dovey Johnson Roundtree, who was around 50 years old at the time. She met with Crump and became absolutely convinced of his innocence. She agreed to take the case for a fee of one dollar.

When the case came to trial, the prosecution, which was led by one of the Justice Department’s top prosecutors, called 27 witnesses and introduced more than 50 exhibits. Dovey Roundtree presented 3 character witnesses and then rested her case, without calling Ray Crump to the stand.

The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

It is obvious that the case against Ray Crump had all the makings of a good frame, but not a perfect one. For example, the two eyewitnesses had stated that the black man they saw was about 5 inches taller than Ray Crump and about 40 pounds heavier. Moreover, there wasn’t a drop of blood on Ray Crump’s clothing. Furthermore, there wasn’t a bit of Crump’s hair, blood, or bodily fluids on the clothing or body of Mary Meyer. Despite an extensive search of the area, including a draining of the nearby canal and a search of the Potomac, the police never found a gun.

What would have been the CIA’s motive? To silence an independent-minded woman who apparently did not accept the official lone-nut explanation for the assassination of John F. Kennedy – and who had apparently concluded instead that Kennedy was the victim of a high-level conspiracy involving officials of the CIA.

Immediately after Kennedy’s assassination, Meyer telephoned famed LSD guru Timothy Leary, with whom she had consulted regarding the use of LSD, not only for herself but also for unidentified important men in Washington to whom she wanted to expose the drug. Highly emotional, she exclaimed to Leary, “They couldn’t control him anymore. He was changing too fast. They’ve covered everything up. I gotta come see you. I’m afraid. Be careful.” Meyer was referring to the dramatic shift that took place within President Kennedy after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the seminal event that had brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. As James W. Douglass carefully documents in his book JFK and the Unspeakable, Kennedy was seared by that experience, especially given that his own children might well have been killed in the nuclear holocaust.

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy began moving America in a dramatically different direction; he intended to end the Cold War through personal negotiations with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, who desired to do the same thing. The idea was that the United States and the Soviet Union would peacefully coexist, much as communist China and the United States do today. Kennedy’s dramatic shift was exemplified by his “Peace Speech” at American University, a speech that Soviet officials permitted to be broadcast all across the Soviet Union. That was followed by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which in turn was followed by an executive order signed by Kennedy that began the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

Perhaps most significant, however, were Kennedy’s secret personal communications with Khrushchev and Kennedy’s secret personal outreach to Cuban president Fidel Castro, with the aim of ending the Cold War and normalizing relations with Cuba. Those personal communications were kept secret from the American people, but, more significantly, Kennedy also tried to keep them secret from the U.S. military and the CIA.

Why would the president do that?

Because by that time, Kennedy had lost confidence in both the Pentagon and the CIA. He didn’t trust them, and he had no confidence in their counsel or judgment. He believed that they would do whatever was necessary to obstruct his attempts to end the Cold War and normalize relations with Cuba – which of course could have spelled the end of the U.S. national-security state, including both the enormous military-industrial complex and the CIA. Don’t forget, after all, that after the disaster at the Bay of Pigs and after Kennedy had fired CIA director Alan Dulles and two other high CIA officials, he had also promised to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

There are two revelations about Mary Meyer’s murder that I found especially disturbing:

1. The eyewitness who claimed to be jogging on the trail when he saw a black man following Mary Meyer does not seem to be who he claimed to be.

The man told the police that his name was William L. Mitchell and that he was a U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant who was stationed at the Pentagon.

According to a contemporaneous “news clip” in the Washington Star, by the time the trial began, Mitchell was no longer in the military and instead was now serving as a math instructor at Georgetown University.

Georgetown had no record of Mitchell’s having taught there. His investigation also revealed that the CIA oftentimes used Georgetown University as a cover for its agents.

The personal address that Mitchell gave both to the police and at trial. It turns out that the building served as a CIA “safe house.” What was Mitchell, who supposedly was a U.S. Army lieutenant and then a Georgetown math instructor, doing living in a CIA “safe house”?

You would think that a man who had testified in one of the most important murder cases in D.C. history would have surfaced, from time to time, to talk about his role in the case. Or that friends or relatives of his would have popped up and said that he had told them about his role in the trial.

Nope. It’s as if William L. Mitchell just disappeared off the face of the earth – well, except for some circumstantial evidence that Janney uncovered indicating that Mitchell was actually an agent of the CIA. For example, in 1993 an author named Leo Damore, who had written a book entitled Senatorial Privilege about the Ted Kennedy/Chappaquiddick episode, was conducting his own investigation into Mary Pinchot Meyer’s murder, with the aim of writing a book on the case. Damore ended up committing suicide before finishing his book. But in the process of his investigation, he telephoned his lawyer, a former federal judge named Jimmy Smith, telling Smith that after a long, unsuccessful attempt to locate Mitchell, Damore had finally received a telephone call from a man identifying himself as Mitchell. According to Smith’s written notes of the conversation, a copy of which are at the back of Janney’s book, the man purporting to be Mitchell admitted to having murdered Mary Pinchot Meyer as part of a CIA plot to silence her.

In 1998, an author named Nina Burleigh wrote her own book about Meyer’s murder, entitled A Very Private Woman, in which she concluded that Crump really had committed the murder despite his acquittal.

Just recently, Burleigh published at The Daily Beast, in which she acknowledges the likelihood that given the large amount of evidence that has been uncovered over the past decade, the CIA did, in fact, play a role in the assassination of President Kennedy.

In her review, however, Burleigh ridiculed the notion that the CIA would use its assassin in the Meyer case to also serve as a witness to the murder. It’s a fair enough critique, especially given that the information is hearsay on hearsay and Damore isn’t alive to relate the details of his purported telephone conversation with Mitchell or to provide a tape recording of the exchange.

But what I found fascinating is that Burleigh failed to confront the other half of the problem: even if Mitchell wasn’t the assassin, there is still the problem of his possibly having been a fake witness who provided manufactured and perjured testimony in a federal criminal proceeding.

I couldn’t understand how Burleigh could fail to see how important that point is. I figured I’d go take a look at her book. Imagine my surprise when a search for “Mitchell” in the Kindle edition turned up no results. I asked myself, How is that possible? How could this author totally fail to mention the name of one of the two eyewitnesses in the case?

So, I decided to read through her book to see if I could come up with an answer. It turns out that she describes Mitchell simply as a “jogger” (without mentioning his name) who said that he had seen a black man following Meyer and described the clothing the man was wearing. What is bizarre is that while she did point out, repeatedly, the name of the other eyewitness – Henry Wiggins Jr. – not once does she mention the name of the “jogger.” The omission is conspicuous and almost comical, given sentences such as this: “Wiggins and the jogger both guessed the presumed killer’s height at five foot eight” and “The shoes gave Crump the extra inches of height to make him the size described by Wiggins and the jogger.”

Why this strange treatment of one of the two important eye witnesses in the case? Only Burleigh can answer that one. But given her extensive investigation of the case, I wish she would have included in her critique a detailed account of the efforts, if any, she made to locate “the jogger” and the fruits, if any, of those efforts. Perhaps The Daily Beast would be willing to commission Burleigh to write a supplemental article to that effect.

We should keep in mind that a criminal-justice system depends on the integrity of the process. If one side or the other feels free to use fake witnesses and perjured testimony with impunity, knowing that no one within the government will ever investigate or prosecute it, then the entire criminal-justice system becomes worthless or, even worse, tyrannical.

In 1973, nine years after the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer, 31-year-old American journalist Charles Horman was murdered in Chile during the U.S.-supported coup that brought military strongman Augusto Pinochet into power. Twenty-six years later – 1999 – U.S. officials released a State Department memorandum confessing the CIA’s participation in Horman’s murder. The CIA’s motive? Apparently to silence Horman, who intended to publicly disclose the role of the U.S. military and the CIA in the Chilean coup. Despite the official acknowledgment by the State Department of CIA complicity in the murder of this young American, not one single subpoena has ever been issued by the Justice Department or Congress seeking to find out who the CIA agents who murdered Horman were, why they murdered him, and whether they did so on orders from above.

How much trouble would it be for the Justice Department to issue subpoenas to the Pentagon and the CIA for all records relating to William L. Mitchell, including military and CIA service records and last known addresses? Or a subpoena for records relating to the CIA “safe house” in which Mitchell resided? Or a subpoena for records pertaining to the CIA’s use of Georgetown University as a cover for CIA agents? Or a subpoena to Georgetown University for records relating to William L. Mitchell and records relating to the CIA’s use of Georgetown University as a cover for CIA agents?

No trouble at all. But the chances of it occurring are nil.

2. The second issue relates to Mary Pinchot Meyer’s diary. On either the night of Meyer’s murder or the following morning, the CIA’s counterintelligence chief, James Jesus Angleton, burglarized Meyer’s home and art studio and stole her personal diary, which very likely contained detailed descriptions about her affair with President Kennedy. It also might have contained her suspicions that Kennedy had been the victim of a high-level assassination plot orchestrated by the CIA. Angleton took the diary with the aim of destroying it, but it’s still not certain what exactly he did with it.

Angleton later claimed that his actions were done at the request of Meyer’s close friend, Anne Truitt, whom Meyer had supposedly entrusted with the diary in the event anything happened to her. But Truitt had no legal authority to authorize Angleton or anyone else to break into Meyer’s house or studio and take possession of any of her personal belongings.

Unless the diary ever shows up, no one will ever know whether Kennedy and Meyer discussed the transformation that Kennedy was undergoing after the Cuban Missile Crisis. But one thing is for sure: given Meyer’s deep devotion to peace, which stretched all the way back to her college days, she and Kennedy were certainly on the same wavelength after the crisis. Moreover, given Meyer’s fearful statement to Timothy Leary immediately after the assassination, as detailed above, there is little doubt as to what Meyer was thinking with respect to who had killed JFK and why.

Angleton also arguably committed obstruction of justice by failing to turn Mary Meyer’s diary over to the police, the prosecutor, and the defense in Ray Crump’s case. After all, even if the diary didn’t point in the direction of the CIA as having orchestrated the assassination of John Kennedy, at the very least it had to have described the sexual affair between Meyer and the president. The police and the defense were both entitled to that information, if for no other reason than to investigate whether Meyer had been killed by someone who didn’t want the affair to be disclosed to the public. The fact that Angleton failed to disclose the diary’s existence to the judge, the prosecutor, and the defendant in a criminal proceeding in which a man was being prosecuted for a death-penalty offense speaks volumes.

One of the eerie aspects of this case is that prior to her murder, Meyer told friends that there was evidence that someone had been breaking into and entering her house. Now, one might say that the CIA is too competent to leave that type of evidence when it breaks into someone’s home. I agree. But the evidence might well have been meant to serve as a CIA calling card containing the following message to Mary Pinchot Meyer: “We are watching you, and we know what you are doing. If you know what’s good for you, cease and desist and keep your mouth shut.”

But Mary Pinchot Meyer wasn’t that kind of woman. She was independent minded, strong willed, and outspoken. In fact, when she attended CIA parties with her husband, Cord Meyer, she was known to make negative wisecracks about the agency. One of the other CIA wives commented that Mary just didn’t know when to keep her mouth shut.

If the CIA did, in fact, orchestrate the assassination of John F. Kennedy – and, as Nina Burleigh observes, the overwhelming weight of the circumstantial evidence certainly points in that direction – Mary Pinchot Meyer, given her relationship to the CIA, her close contacts within the Kennedy administration, and her penchant for being outspoken, could have proven to be a very dangerous adversary.

[1]    Ibid., pp. 131-154.

[2]    See footnote

[3]    Ibid., pp. 153f.

[4]    S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 268-293; Anthony Summers, Conspiracy New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980, pp. 264-272; Peter Grose, Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allan Dulles, Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1994, pp. 493-518.

[5]    There are many excellent studies of the Cuban Missile Crisis. See especially P. Grose, op. cit. S. Hersh, op. cit.


[7]    R. Groden, H. Livingstone, op. cit. , pp. 248f.; A. Summers, op. cit. , pp. 260f.

[8]    S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 381f.

[9]    There has been a massive amount of material published on the ruthless activities of the CIA. See the Bibliography for works cited. Specific references may be found in: Victor Marchetti and John Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, New York: Dell, 1983, John Nutter, The CIA’s Black Ops: Covert Action, Foreign Policy, and Democracy, Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2000.

[10]   Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair, Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs, and the Press, London; New York: Verso, 1998, pp. 255-275.

[11]   Though formally created in 1947, the CIA started operating in 1948; see bibliography for references to the early days of the CIA.

[12]   A. Cockburn, J. St. Clair, op. cit. pp. 29-62.

[13]   See Appendix for official organizational chart, taken from V. Marchetti, J. Marks, op. cit. , pp. 60f.

[14]   According to personal conversations with R. T. Crowley, these terms were used extensively by members of the CIA.

[15]   David G. Brown, The Last Log of the Titanic, Camden, Me.: International Marine/McGraw-Hill, 2001, pp. 125-136.

[16]   Michael Beschloss, Kennedy and Roosevelt, New York: W. W. Norton, 1980, contains an excellent accounting of the relationship between FDR and his Ambassador to England.

[17]   M. Beschloss, op. cit. , pp. 243-254.

[18]   Ibid., and also S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 62-73.

[19]   Gregory Douglas, Gestapo Chief, San Jose: Bender, 1995, pp. 64f.; David McCullough, Truman, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992, p. 324.

[20]   T. C. Reeves, op. cit. , pp. 414 et seq..; S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 29f. et seq.

[21]   JFK’s sexual activities have been extensively covered, see S. Hersh, op. cit. (note and T. C. Reeves, op. cit.


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