TBR News April 24, 2017

Apr 24 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. April 24, 2017: ” “The French election results are eerily similar to the press coverage of the last American presidential election.

Globalists and the economic establishment much preferred Hillary Clinton in the White House to a virtually unknown Donald Trump.

To achieve this, the controlled media virtually ignored Trump and began praising Hillary and claiming daily that she was surging ahead.

So sure were the controllers that Hillary would be elected that Newsweek magazine had already printed a cover with her picture and “Madam President!” on it.

In France, the international banking community and the EU globalists do not want Marine LePen elected so headlines around the world state that Macron won over LePen. Of course this is a bald-faced lie because he is only several point ahead of her and the real election is coming soon.

And during the final campaign, believe that the world press will ignore or trivialize LePen while lavishly praising Macron, the centrist and former banker.

The EU government heads are pro globalization and certainly in favor of mass immigration.

Their public, on the other hand, are moving against their desires and so it will be that Marine LePen will cease to exist in the press and, they hope, in the public view.”

Table of Contents

  • Le Pen attacks Macron on security ahead of French presidency runoff
  • Macron and Le Pen go to run-off after winning French presidential first-round vote
  • Whither France?
  • ‘Macron will deliver a weak France, exactly what Brussels & Berlin want’
  • The Honeymoon of the Generals
  • Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance
  • Japanese demand for nuclear shelters, purifiers surges as North Korea tension mounts
  • CIA Study of Assassination

 Le Pen attacks Macron on security ahead of French presidency runoff

April 24, 2017

by Bate Felix and Sudip Kar-Gupta


PARIS-French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Monday accused Emmanuel Macron, her inexperienced opponent in next month’s runoff for the presidency, of being weak in the face of Islamist terrorism.

Global markets reacted with relief to Sunday’s first round of voting, which broke the dominance of established parties of the centre-left and centre-right but still left a pro-European Union centrist and former economy minister in pole position to become France’s next leader.

The euro briefly reached five-month peaks while European shares rose sharply.

The latest opinion polls indicate that Macron, a 39-year-old who has never held elected office, will win at least 61 percent of votes.

Those figures soothed investors who have been unnerved by Le Pen’s pledges to ditch the euro, print money and possibly quit the EU, and were nervous of another anti-establishment upheaval to follow Britain’s “Brexit” vote and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.

Le Pen, 48, has also touted her pledges to suspend the EU’s open-border agreement on France’s frontiers, and to expel foreigners who are on the watch lists of intelligence services, as the right response to a series of Islamist attacks in France.

Seeking to exploit Macron’s lack of experience in the area, she told reporters in her northern stronghold of Henin-Beaumont: “I’m on the ground to meet the French people to draw their attention to important subjects, including Islamist terrorism, on which Mr Macron is, to say the least, weak.”

France has seen a series of attacks by Islamist militants in the past two years which have killed more than 230 people; only three days before Sunday’s vote, a policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris in an attack claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

But despite this, opinion polls consistently found that voters were more concerned about the economy and the trustworthiness of politicians.

Macron’s internal security programme calls for 10,000 more police officers, and 15,000 new prison places. He has recruited a number of security experts to his entourage, and noted that Le Pen has less experience of national government than he does.


Macron won 23.74 percent of votes in the first round against Le Pen’s 21.53.

A Harris survey saw Macron going on to win the runoff against her by 64 percent to 36. An Ipsos/Sopra Steria poll gave a similar result while a new poll by Opinionway on Monday put the margin at 61 percent to 39 percent.

Others in Le Pen’s campaign took aim on Monday at what they see as further weak spots: Macron’s previous job as an investment banker and his role as a deregulating economy minister in the discredited Socialist government of the outgoing president, Francois Hollande.

“Emmanuel is not a patriot. He sold off national companies. He criticised French culture,” Florian Philippot, deputy leader of Le Pen’s National Front, told BFM TV.

Analysts say Le Pen’s best chance of overhauling Macron’s big lead in the polls is to paint him as a part of an elite aloof from ordinary French people and their problems.

Philippot called Macron “arrogant” and said his victory speech on Sunday had shown disdain for the French people by making it appear as though the presidency was already won.

He said a post-election dinner with friends at Paris’s Rotonde brasserie – by no means a top-tier restaurant – was a flashy “bling-bling” gesture.

Le Pen will be keen to avoid a repetition of 2002, when her father, National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, surprisingly got through to the second round, but was then humiliated by right-wing president Jacques Chirac as mainstream parties united to block a party they considered racist and anti-Semitic.


Le Pen has done much to soften the image of the party, gathering support especially among young people – a quarter of whom are unemployed – with her promises to defend the interests of French workers against “rampant globalisation”.

Still, two defeated candidates – conservative Francois Fillon and Socialist Benoit Hamon – did not even wait for Sunday’s count to urge their supporters to rally behind Macron and thwart Le Pen and her eurosceptic anti-immigration policies.

Whichever candidate wins on May 7 will need to try to build a majority six weeks later in a parliament where the National Front currently has only two seats and Macron’s year-old En March! (Onwards!) movement has none.

Macron has already managed to enlist some 50 sitting Socialist lawmakers to his cause, as well as a number of centrist party grandees.

Manuel Valls, a former Socialist prime minister on the right wing of the party who broke with the far-left Hamon’s campaign after failing to beat him for the party ticket, said on Monday he would be ready to work with Macron.

“We must help him (Macron) as much as we can to ensure Le Pen is kept as low as possible,” Valls said on France Inter radio.

Sunday’s outcome was a huge defeat for the two centre-right and centre-left groupings that have dominated French politics for 60 years.

Conservative Francois Fillon, who insisted to his Republicans party that he would triumph despite allegations that he had paid his wife and two children from the public purse for work they did not do, ended in third place with less than 20 percent.

Hamon got only a third of the 19.5 percent secured by the maverick former Trotskyist Jean-Luc Melenchon, emphasising the disarray of the French Left after five years of unpopular rule by Hollande.

(Reporting by Michel Rose, John Irish; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

 Macron and Le Pen go to run-off after winning French presidential first-round vote

Centrist Emmanuel Macron or extreme-right candidate Marine Le Pen will be the next president of France. With mainstream parties eliminated, Macron is the favorite according to new opinion polls.

April 24, 2017

by Jane Mcintosh


The 11 candidates who stood in the first round of the French presidential elections have been reduced to two as Macron won 23.9 percent of vote, heading Le Pen, who won 21.4 percent, with nearly all the votes counted on Sunday.

Le Pen set a new record for her National Front (FN) party by attracting 6.9 million votes. Macron with his new party  En Marche (Forward) has never before been elected to public office.

Beaten candidates such as Socialist Benoit Hamon and conservative Francois Fillon were quick to give their support to Macron for the second round in an attempt to block the anti-EU Le Pen from winning on May 7.

Fillon won 19.9 percent of the vote, close to the 19.4 percent for extreme-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who did not immediately lend his support to Macron for the runoff.

For the first time in modern French history, no mainstream party candidate will be contesting the second round.

Macron: ‘En marche!’

Speaking to his supporters in Paris at what he called an “unprecedented moment in its history,” Macron said that in bringing En Marche to life over the last year “we have changed the face of French political life.”

A former investment banker, Macron had served as economy minister in the government of President Francois Hollande before forming his own “Association for the Renewal of Üolitics,” the official name of En Marche, in April 2016.

Macron said the challenge was to remedy a political system that had been unable to solve problems over the past 30 years and to create a new political landscape for France and for Europe. He promised to bring new faces and new talent into French politics.

In clear reference to his far-right opponent, Macron said: “I want to be the president of patriots against the threat of the nationalists.” “I want to talk to all citizens in France. I know your expectations,” Macron told his supporters.

Macron has no “En Marche!” parliamentary representatives and just 14 candidates standing for the June legislative elections, although the figure is expected to rise.

Le Pen celebrating

Speaking in her constituency Henin-Beaumont in northern France, Le Pen thanked her supporters for bringing her to the second round, calling it a historic result.

She suggested that “the French people now have a very simple choice: either we continue on the path to complete deregulation, or you choose France.”

Claiming to be the candidate of the people, Le Pen said “it is time to liberate the French nation from arrogant elites who want to dictate how it must behave.”

Le Pen has proposed holding a referendum on France’s membership of the EU, limiting immigration, increasing control on the country’s borders and expelling Islamic extremists.

Opposition support for Macron

Support for Macron to prevent Le Pen gaining the presidency came quickly from some defeated candidates. Francois Fillon said Le Pen’s “Front National is well known for its violence and its intolerance, and its program would lead our country to bankruptcy and Europe into chaos.”

“I will vote for Emmanuel Macron. I consider it my duty to tell you this frankly. It is up to you to reflect on what is best for your country, and for your children,” Fillon told his supporters. Party veteran Alain Juppe gave a similar message at the rally saying, “Without hesitation I support Macron in his duel with the FN, who would lead France to disaster.”

Defeated socialist candidate Benoît Hamon was joined by the party’s Bernard Cazeneuve, the current prime minister, in encouraging support for Macron. “I solemnly call for a vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round in order to defeat the Front National and block the disastrous project of Marine Le Pen that would take France backwards and divide the French people,” he said. Hamon polled only 6 percent of the vote.

New opinion polls

Opinion polls published on Sunday gave Macron a large lead for the second round. A Harris survey taken on Sunday indicated Macron would win by 64 percent to 36 percent for Le Pen. An Ipsos/Sopra Steria poll returned a similar result.

Reaction on financial markets overnight also indicated positive reaction to the result. The euro rose 2 percent to $1.09 when markets opened in Asia before slipping back to around $1.08, reaching what was the euro’s highest level since last November, the day after the results of the US presidential election.

Whither France?

The populist revolt against the elites is playing out across Europe

April 24, 2017

by Justin Raimondo


In the post-9/11 world, our attention has been fixated on the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the Arab states in the north of Africa. More recently, North Korea has been added to the mix, as Kim Jong-un’s antics capture the spotlight. And yet the world beyond the Mideast and Eastasia is in turmoil, and the media is taking a break from it obsessive focus on these two regions to notice.

In Europe, the French election has become a referendum on three interconnected issues: immigration, the European Union, and relations with Russia. In combination, these ideological flashpoints boil down to what I said on the subject last year: “The main issue in the world today is globalism versus national sovereignty, and it is playing out in the politics of countries on every continent.” As early as 2000, I predicted that the end of Communism would have to mean a political realignment along the lines were are seeing now:

“Now that the epic battle between Communism and capitalism has been decisively decided in favor of the latter, a new struggle of ‘isms’ is breaking out, this time between globalism and nationalism.”

Traditional notions of “left” and “right,” I wrote, were headed for oblivion, and the real divisions would arise between a transnational political class that is aggressive, “soft” authoritarian, and militantly internationalist, and insurgent nationalist movements arising from both sides of the political spectrum that would challenge the “world order” beloved by Western elites.

We are seeing that scenario play out now in the United States, and on a world scale, with the presidential election in France the latest battleground. What’s interesting is that all the major candidates except one – Emmanuel Macron, a “centrist” economist formerly a minister in a Socialist government – oppose the globalist design to varying degrees. Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the right-wing National Front, says she wants out of NATO, out of the EU, and opposes immigration. Jean-Luc Melenchon, the candidate of a movement he calls “France Unbowed,” is routinely branded “far-left,” wants out of NATO and advocates “renegotiating” the terms of France’s EU membership. Francois Fillon, the center-right candidate of the Republican party, beat out his more centrist Republican rivals, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy, on a platform of cutting back the public sector and repairing relations with Russia.

As the Putin-obsessed Washington Post put it: “Of the four candidates with a realistic chance to become France’s next president, three oppose Western sanctions against Russia. Two would take France out of NATO’s military command, or perhaps remove it from the alliance altogether.”

The globalists are in a panic: their “international architecture” of alliances is collapsing as those peasants with pitchforks storm the gates of the transnational bureaucracies. And the Davos crowd isn’t very imaginative in their defensive tactics: as in the US, they’re claiming Russian “interference.”

One story in the New York Times claimed that the instruments of this Russian intervention are two Moscow-subsidized web sites: RT, formerly Russia Today, and Sputnik. While acknowledging that the French audience for these sites is insubstantial, we’re told that the real threat comes from their content being shared “on social media.” So what’s being “shared” – and to what extent? The Times is mum on this subject.

As the election came down to the wire, Macron whined that the Russians hacked his web site: naturally, he didn’t offer any evidence to back up this assertion. Who needs evidence when you have an all-purpose villain to blame? Macron is offering the same amount of proof for his accusation that our own intelligence agencies did when they claimed the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee and fooled John Podesta with a phishing email, i.e. precisely none.

The same nonsense is being repeated in the case of Germany, where Angela Merkel is facing a challenge from a new right-wing populist party, the Alternative for Germany slate, as well as from the German Social Democrats. Merkel has been dubbed “the leader of the free world” by the NATO/EU crowd, and once again Vladimir Putin is being portrayed as the sinister manipulator out to undermine the West.

As I approach my deadline, it looks like the French election has resulted in a Macron-Le Pen run-off, with Fillon endorsing Macron. Melenchon refused to endorse anyone. Le Pen may well claim a good portion of his support: voter defections from “far left” to “far right” are quite possible. A great deal of the National Front’s base consists of former Communist voters who are disaffected from the mainstream parties.

Despite the recent terrorist attack in Paris, and the National Front’s effort to distance itself from its more extremist elements, Le Pen only beat her father’s first round vote total by some 5 percent.

Whatever the end result, the battle lines across Europe and the rest of the world are clearly drawn: it’s internationalism versus the new nationalism, the elites versus the Great Unwashed. The failures of the latter have, I think, been due to the imperfect vessels of populist anger: Le Pen, for one, is still the leader of a party whose origins are dicey, to say the least.

In any case, the trend is clearly established, and the elites are thrown on the defense. Whether the populists can organize an effective challenge to their rule remains to be seen.

‘Macron will deliver a weak France, exactly what Brussels & Berlin want’

April 24, 2017


The fact that the French establishment rallied on the outcome of the election demonstrates that Macron is the French establishment’s candidate, Gilbert Doctorow, political analyst, told RT. A number of other analysts and journalists join the discussion.

The results of the first round of the French Presidential election was almost split evenly between Emmanuel Macron of En Marche! (EM!) and Marine Le Pen of National Front. Macron grabbed 23.75 percent of the votes, while Le Pen received 21.53 percent. The old guard establishment parties have failed, for the first time in decades, to maintain their grip on power.

Jean-Pierre Thomas, former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy

The result of this election in France from my point of view is not good news for France, for Europe and for Russia. Mr. Macron, everybody forgets this thing, because the result, the campaign, the marketing, but the fact is [he] is the baby of Mr. [Francois] Hollande. So it will be exactly the same policy… When he was the minister of the economy he didn’t make any good reforms; it’s only a marketing baby of Mr. Hollande.

Europe needs big, big reforms. The majority of the people in France more and more are against Europe. It’s a pity. So we have to reform Europe. I don’t think he is on the way to do it…

For the relations [with] Russia, Moscow, we need to stop this atmosphere of Cold War. We need strongly to stop these sanctions. France needs to be the leader of this diplomacy in Europe. And we know that Mr. Macron, as opposition is completely the same as Mr. Hollande and the Socialist government and are completely aligned with the United States. It’s not good news for international policy today.

Gilbert Doctorow, Brussels-based political analyst

The fact that the whole French establishment – international capital, the banking and the stock markets – all rallied on the outcome of the election yesterday in France. That demonstrates that Macron is the establishment candidate, and he will deliver a very weak France, which is exactly what Brussels and Berlin want…

We’re talking about a high probability, which is acknowledged by all the capital markets, that Marine Le Pen will lose. The whole establishment – the right and left – is throwing its weight behind Macron. So it is a foregone conclusion that he will win, and nobody is sweating in Brussels … The French people are being denied a genuine government. They are going to receive a non-entity president, just as Hollande was a non-entity president. They are going to receive a puppet to Berlin, and they are going to receive further sacrifices to their economy because they are incapable of carrying out the substantial reforms they need.

Renaud Girard, senior reporter at Le Figaro

It is an extraordinary adventure. When he [Macron] started one year ago nobody gave him one change because he was alone, he started and he went up,up,up. And you have to see that the two main political parties that have run France for the last 40 years have been beaten – do not appear in the second round. It is a huge political shock.

We have something important in French politics, as in the United States, primaries. These primaries apparently killed the two main parties – that was the right-wing party, Union Populaire Republicaine (UPR) and the old party, Parti Socialiste (PS) The candidates didn’t make it. Why? [Benit] Hamon did really a bad, bad campaign – he didn’t seem presidential at all. [Francois] Fillon had a problem. It was discovered he had employed his wife with public money – she was employed in the National Assembly as his assistant. There was a huge campaign in France, with people saying: “You stole public money, you cannot be a president …”

Eric Margolis, war correspondent, columnist, author

We’ve seen the total collapse of France’s traditional parties. That is the center-right and the center-left. They’ve both gone down the drain. Particularly Francois Fillon, who was a very capable and seasoned politician. It looked like he was going to win for a while, but then he was undone by the scandal. They have Macron, who’s a big unknown. He’s come out of nowhere. He worked at the Rothschild bank, which has a lot of people wondering how much they are behind him. He is amiable, he is likable, he’s bland; women like him. It is very hard to say. And then there is this firebrand, Madame Le Pen, who scares a lot of French. She certainly scared the French financial community almost to death…

[A Le Pen victory] would mean the collapse of the EU probably. She’s about to pull out, and the collapse of the euro that would put Europe in absolute chaos. That is fine with Mr. Trump. He has been lauding Madame Le Pen, and a lot of French call her the ‘American Trump.’ But Trump is not very sophisticated in the needs or the demands of European policy, and frankly, he doesn’t care much about Europe.

Hugh Bronson, member of the Berlin state parliament for the Alternative for Germany Party

[There are two main reasons for Le Pen’s success in the first round of French Presidential elections.] There is a huge dissatisfaction with the political situation in France and the political situation in Europe. People expressed that. They want to have a complete change. They want to have a completely new face; they don’t want to carry on with the old system. That is one of the reasons Le Pen got such support from the French people …

The other one is the complete failure of the established parties to address the real worries, the real questions that people have. They were not answered, they were not provided with the right support. All this shows in tonight’s result …

The riots [we’re seeing on the streets today] are just an expression of general frustration. The protest wasn’t aimed at a single candidate, or even two candidates – they rejected all eleven who were standing for the presidency. It is general uproar.

The Honeymoon of the Generals

Or Why Trump’s Wars Should Seem So Familiar

April 24, 2017

by Tom Engelhardt,


MOAB sounds more like an incestuous, war-torn biblical kingdom than the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, aka “the mother of all bombs.” Still, give Donald Trump credit. Only the really, really big bombs, whether North Korean nukes or those 21,600 pounds of MOAB, truly get his attention. He wasn’t even involved in the decision to drop the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal for the first time in war, but his beloved generals – “we have the best military people on Earth” – already know the man they work for, and the bigger, flashier, more explosive, and winninger, the better.

It was undoubtedly the awesome look of that first MOAB going off in grainy black and white on Fox News, rather than in Afghanistan, that appealed to the president. Just as he was visibly thrilled by all those picturesque Tomahawk cruise missiles, the equivalent of nearly three MOABS, whooshing from the decks of U.S. destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and heading, like so many fabulous fireworks, toward a Syrian airfield – or was it actually an Iraqi one? “We’ve just fired 59 missiles,” he said, “all of which hit, by the way, unbelievable, from, you know, hundreds of miles away, all of which hit, amazing… It’s so incredible. It’s brilliant. It’s genius. Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five.”

Call it thrilling. Call it a blast. Call it escalation. Or just call it the age of Trump. (“If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what’s happened over the past eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference, tremendous difference,” he commented, adding about MOAB, “This was another very, very successful mission.”)

Anyway, here we are and, as so many of his critics have pointed out, the plaudits have been pouring in from all the usual media and political suspects for a president with big enough… well, hands, to make war impressively. In our world, this is what now passes for “presidential.” Consider that praise the media version of so many Tomahawk missiles pointing us toward what the escalation of America’s never-ending wars will mean to Trump’s presidency.

These days, from Syria to Afghanistan, the Koreas to Somalia, Yemen to Iraq, it’s easy enough to see Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump as something new under the sun. (It has a different ring to it when the commander in chief says, “You’re fired!”) That missile strike in Syria was a first (Obama didn’t dare); the MOAB in Afghanistan was a breakthrough; the drone strikes in Yemen soon after he took office were an absolute record! As for those regular Army troops heading for Somalia, that hasn’t happened in 24 years! Civilian casualties in the region: rising impressively!

Call it mission creep on steroids. At the very least, it seems like evidence that the man who, as a presidential candidate, swore he’d “bomb the shit” out of ISIS and let the U.S. military win again is doing just that. (As he also said on the campaign trail with appropriately placed air punches, “You gotta knock the hell out of them! Boom! Boom! Boom!”)

He’s appointed generals to crucial posts in his administration, lifted restraints on how his commanders in the field can act (hence those soaring civilian casualty figures), let them send more military personnel into Iraq, Syria, and the region generally, taken the constraints off the CIA’s drone assassination campaigns, and dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group somewhat indirectly to the waters off the Koreas (with a strike force of tweets and threats accompanying it).

And there’s obviously more to come: potentially many more troops, even an army of them, for Syria; a possible mini-surge of troops into Afghanistan (that MOAB strike may have been a canny signal from a U.S. commander “seeking to showcase Afghanistan’s myriad threats” to a president paying no attention); a heightened air campaign in Somalia; and that’s just to start what will surely be a far longer list in a presidency in which, whether or not infrastructure is ever successfully rebuilt in America, the infrastructure of the military-industrial complex will continue to expand.

Institutionalizing War and Its Generals

Above all, President Trump did one thing decisively. He empowered a set of generals or retired generals – James “Mad Dog” Mattis as secretary of defense, H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, and John Kelly as secretary of homeland security – men already deeply implicated in America’s failing wars across the Greater Middle East. Not being a details guy himself, he’s then left them to do their damnedest. “What I do is I authorize my military,” he told reporters recently. “We have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing and, frankly, that’s why they’ve been so successful lately.”

As the 100-day mark of his presidency approaches, there’s been no serious reassessment of America’s endless wars or how to fight them (no less end them). Instead, there’s been a recommitment to doing more of the familiar, more of what hasn’t worked over the last decade and a half. No one should be surprised by this, given the cast of characters – men who held command posts in those unsuccessful wars and are clearly incapable of thinking about them in other terms than the ones that have been indelibly engrained in the brains of the U.S. military high command since soon after 9/11.

That new ruling reality of our American world should, in turn, offer a hint about the nature of Donald Trump’s presidency. It should be a reminder that as strange… okay, bizarre… as his statements, tweets, and acts may have been, as chaotic as his all-in-the-family administration is proving to be, as little as he may resemble anyone we’ve ever seen in the White House before, he’s anything but an anomaly of history. Quite the opposite. Like those generals, he’s a logical endpoint to a grim process, whether you’re talking about the growth of inequality in America and the rise of plutocracy – without which a billionaire president and his billionaire cabinet would have been inconceivable – or the form that American war-making is taking under him.

When it comes to war and the U.S. military, none of what’s happened would have been conceivable without the two previous presidencies. None of it would have been possible without Congress’s willingness to pump endless piles of money into the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex in the post-9/11 years; without the building up of the national security state and its 17 (yes, 17!) major intelligence outfits into an unofficial fourth branch of government; without the institutionalization of war as a permanent (yet strangely distant) feature of American life and of wars across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa that evidently can’t be won or lost but only carried on into eternity. None of this would have been possible without the growing militarization of this country, including of police forces increasingly equipped with weaponry off America’s distant battlefields and filled with veterans of those same wars; without a media rife with retired generals and other former commanders narrating and commenting on the acts of their successors and protégés; and without a political class of Washington pundits and politicians taught to revere that military.

In other words, however original Donald Trump may look, he’s the curious culmination of old news and a changing country. Given his bravado and braggadocio, it’s easy to forget the kinds of militarized extremity that preceded him.

After all, it wasn’t Donald Trump who had the hubris, in the wake of 9/11, to declare a “Global War on Terror” against 60 countries (the “swamp” of that moment). It wasn’t Donald Trump who manufactured false intelligence on the weapons of mass destruction Iraq’s Saddam Hussein supposedly possessed or produced bogus claims about that autocrat’s connections to al-Qaeda, and then used both to lead the United States into a war on and occupation of that country. It wasn’t Donald Trump who invaded Iraq (whether he was for or against tht invasion at the time). It wasn’t Donald Trump who donned a flight suit and landed on an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego to personally declare that hostilities were at an end in Iraq just as they were truly beginning, and to do so under an inane “Mission Accomplished” banner prepared by the White House.

It wasn’t Donald Trump who ordered the CIA to kidnap terror suspects (including totally innocent individuals) off the streets of global cities as well as from the backlands of the planet and transport them to foreign prisons or CIA “black sites” where they could be tortured. It wasn’t Donald Trump who caused one terror suspect to experience the sensation of drowning 83 times in a single month (even if he was inspired by such reports to claim that he would bring torture back as president).

It wasn’t Donald Trump who spent eight years in the Oval Office presiding over a global “kill list,” running “Terror Tuesday” meetings, and personally helping choose individuals around the world for the CIA to assassinate using what, in essence, was the president’s own private drone force, while being praised (or criticized) for his “caution.”

It wasn’t Donald Trump who presided over the creation of a secret military of 70,000 elite troops cossetted inside the larger military, special-ops personnel who, in recent years, have been dispatched on missions to a large majority of the countries on the planet without the knowledge, no less the consent, of the American people. Nor was it Donald Trump who managed to lift the Pentagon budget to $600 billion and the overall national security budget to something like a trillion dollars or more, even as America’s civilian infrastructure aged and buckled.

It wasn’t Donald Trump who lost an estimated $60 billion to fraud and waste in the American “reconstruction” of Iraq and Afghanistan, or who decided to build highways to nowhere and a gas station in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan. It wasn’t Donald Trump who sent in the warrior corporations to squander more in that single country than was spent on the post-World War II Marshall Plan to put all of Western Europe back on its feet. Nor did he instruct the U.S. military to dump at least $25 billion into rebuilding, retraining, and rearming an Iraqi army that would collapse in 2014 in the face of a relatively small number of ISIS militants, or at least $65 billion into an Afghan army that would turn out to be filled with ghost soldiers.

In its history, the United States has engaged in quite a remarkable range of wars and conflicts. Nonetheless, in the last 15 years, forever war has been institutionalized as a feature of everyday life in Washington, which, in turn, has been transformed into a permanent war capital. When Donald Trump won the presidency and inherited those wars and that capital, there was, in a sense, no one left in the remarkably bankrupt political universe of Washington but those generals.

As the chameleon he is, he promptly took on the coloration of the militarized world he had entered and appointed “his” three generals to key security posts. Anything but the norm historically, such a decision may have seemed anomalous and out of the American tradition. That, however, was only because, unlike Donald Trump, most of the rest of us hadn’t caught up with where that “tradition” had actually taken us.

The previous two presidents had played the warrior regularly, donning military outfits – in his presidential years, George W. Bush often looked like a G.I. Joe doll – and saluting the troops, while praising them to the skies, as the American people were also trained to do. In the Trump era, however, it’s the warriors (if you’ll excuse the pun) who are playing the president.

It’s hardly news that Donald Trump is a man in love with what works. Hence, Steve Bannon, his dream strategist while on the campaign trail, is now reportedly on the ropes as his White House counselor because nothing he’s done in the first nearly 100 days of the new presidency has worked (except promoting himself).

Think of Trump as a chameleon among presidents and much of this makes more sense. A Republican who had been a Democrat for significant periods of his life, he conceivably could have run for president as a more nativist version of Bernie Sanders on the Democratic ticket had the political cards been dealt just a little differently. He’s a man who has changed himself repeatedly to fit his circumstances and he’s doing so again in the Oval Office.

In the world of the media, it’s stylish to be shocked, shocked that the president who campaigned on one set of issues and came into office still championing them is now supporting quite a different set – from China to taxes, NATO to the Export-Import Bank. But this isn’t faintly strange. Donald Trump isn’t either a politician or a trendsetter. If anything, he’s a trend-senser. (In a similar fashion, he didn’t create reality TV, nor was he at its origins. He simply perfected a form that was already in development.)

If you want to know just where we are in an America that has been on the march toward a different sort of society and governing system for a long time now, look at him. He’s the originator of nothing, but he tells you all you need to know. On war, too, think of him as a chameleon. Right now, war is working for him domestically, whatever it may be doing in the actual world, so he loves it. For the moment, those generals are indeed “his” and their wars his to embrace.

Honeymoon of the Generals

Normally, on entering the Oval Office, presidents receive what the media calls a “honeymoon” period. Things go well. Praise is forthcoming. Approval ratings are heart-warming.

Donald Trump got none of this. His approval ratings quickly headed for the honeymoon cellar or maybe the honeymoon fallout shelter; the media and he went to war; and one attempt after another to fulfill his promises – from executive orders on deportation to repealing Obamacare and building his wall – have come a cropper. His administration seems to be in eternal chaos, the cast of characters changing by the week or tweet, and few key secondary posts being filled.

In only one area has Donald Trump experienced that promised honeymoon. Think of it as the honeymoon of the generals. He gave them that “total authorization,” and the missiles left the ships, the drones flew, and the giant bomb dropped. Even when the results were disappointing, if not disastrous (as in a raid on Yemen in which a U.S. special operator was killed, children slaughtered, and nothing of value recovered), he still somehow stumbled into highly praised “presidential” moments.

So far, in other words, the generals are the only ones who have delivered for him, big-league. As a result, he’s given them yet more authority to do whatever they want, while hugging them tighter yet.

Here’s the problem, though: there’s a predictable element to all of this and it doesn’t work in Donald Trump’s favor. America’s forever wars have now been pursued by these generals and others like them for more than 15 years across a vast swath of the planet – from Pakistan to Libya (and ever deeper into Africa) – and the chaos of failing states, growing conflicts, and spreading terror movements has been the result. There’s no reason to believe that further military action will, a decade and a half later, produce more positive results.

What happens, then? What happens when the war honeymoon is over and the generals keep right on fighting their way? The last two presidents put up with permanent failing war, making the best they could of it. That’s unlikely for Donald Trump. When the praise begins to die down, the criticism starts to rise, and questions are asked, watch out.

What then? In a world of plutocrats and generals, what coloration will Donald Trump take on next? Who will be left, except Jared and Ivanka?

Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance

April 24 2017

by Ryan Gallagher

The Intercept

It began as routinely as any other passenger flight. At gate 15 of New York City’s JFK Airport, more than 200 men, women, and children stood in line as they waited to board a Boeing 747. They were on their way to Seoul, South Korea’s capital city. But none would ever make it to their destination. About 14 hours after its departure, the plane was cruising at around 35,000 feet not far from the north of Japan when it was shot out of the sky.

The downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007 occurred on September 1, 1983, in what was one of the Cold War’s most shocking incidents. The plane had veered off course and for a short time entered Soviet airspace. At Dolinsk-Sokol military base, Soviet commanders dispatched two fighter jets and issued an order to “destroy the intruder.” The plane was hit once by an air-to-air missile and plummeted into the sea, killing all passengers and crew. President Ronald Reagan declared it a “crime against humanity,” marking the dawn of a volatile new chapter in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Soon, tensions would escalate to a level not seen since the Cuban missile crisis, which 20 years earlier had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

As the international confrontation between the two adversaries played out publicly, behind closed doors another problem — which has never before been revealed — was developing. The U.S. and one of its closest allies, Japan, were embroiled in a dispute involving secret surveillance. Soviet officials were flat-out denying they had any role in shooting down the jet. At a spy base on Japanese territory, however, communications had been intercepted proving the Soviet military was the perpetrator. The U.S. wanted to obtain copies of the tapes but had to first receive approval from the head of a shadowy Japanese surveillance organization known as the “G2 Annex.”

After some bureaucratic wrangling, the Japanese eventually signed off on the release and the highly sensitive recordings were sent to Washington. From there, the tapes were forwarded to New York City, where U.S. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick brought them to the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan. On September 6 — just five days after the Korean Airlines jet was shot down — Kirkpatrick attended a meeting at the U.N. Security Council where she blasted the Soviet Union for telling “lies, half lies and excuses” about its involvement in the downing of the plane. She then proceeded to play the copy of the intercepted conversations, stating that the evidence was being presented in “cooperation with the government of Japan.”

The case Kirkpatrick put forward against the Soviets was irrefutable and damning. But Japan’s spying capabilities had now been exposed — and the country’s officials were not pleased about it. The G2 Annex received new orders limiting its cooperation with the U.S., which affected the NSA’s relationship with its Japanese counterparts for the better part of a decade, at least until the Cold War ended in the early 1990s.

The details about the Korean Airlines case are revealed in classified National Security Agency documents, obtained by The Intercept from the whistleblower Edward Snowden. The documents, published Monday in collaboration with Japanese news broadcaster NHK, reveal the complicated relationship the NSA has maintained with Japan over a period of more than six decades. Japan has allowed NSA to maintain at least three bases on its territory and contributed more than half a billion dollars to help finance the NSA’s facilities and operations. In return, NSA has kitted out Japanese spies with powerful surveillance tools and shared intelligence with them. However, there is a duplicitous dimension to the partnership. While the NSA has maintained friendly ties with its Japanese counterparts and benefited from their financial generosity, at the same time it has secretly spied on Japanese officials and institutions.

The NSA declined to comment for this story.

Japanese demand for nuclear shelters, purifiers surges as North Korea tension mounts

April 24, 2017

by Kiyoshi Takenaka


TOKYO-Sales of nuclear shelters and radiation-blocking air purifiers have surged in Japan in recent weeks as North Korea has pressed ahead with missile tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

A small company that specializes in building nuclear shelters, generally under people’s houses, has received eight orders in April alone compared with six orders during a typical year.

The company, Oribe Seiki Seisakusho, based in Kobe, western Japan, also has sold out of 50 Swiss-made air purifiers, which are said to keep out radiation and poisonous gas, and is trying to get more, said Nobuko Oribe, the company’s director.

A purifier designed for six people sells for 620,000 yen ($5,630) and one designed for 13 people and usually installed in a family-use shelter costs 1.7 million yen ($15,440).

Concerns about a possible gas attack have grown in Japan after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliament session this month that North Korea may have the capacity to deliver missiles equipped with sarin nerve gas.

“It takes time and money to build a shelter. But all we hear these days, in this tense atmosphere, is that they want one now,” Oribe said. “They ask us to come right away and give them an estimate.”

Another small company, Earth Shift, based in Shizuoka prefecture, has seen a tenfold increase in inquiries and quotes for its underground shelters, Akira Shiga, a sales manager at the company said. The inquiries began gradually increasing in February and have come from all over Japan, he said.


North Korean missiles have fired with increasing frequency. Last month, three fell into waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, some 300-350 kilometers off the coast of northern Akita prefecture.

The Japanese government on Friday urged local governments to hold evacuation drills in case of a possible missile attack, heightening a sense of urgency among the public.

Some orders for the shelters were placed by owners of small-sized companies for their employees, and others by families, Oribe said. A nuclear shelter for up to 13 people costs about 25 million yen ($227,210) and takes about four months to build, he said.

The shelter his company offers is a reinforced, air-tight basement with an air purifier that can block radiation as well as poisonous gas. The room is designed to withstand a blast even when a Hiroshima-class nuclear bomb exploded just 660 meters away, Oribe said.

North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might, in the latest sign of rising tension in the region.

The United States ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to mounting concern over the reclusive state’s nuclear and missile programmes.

In Japan’s previous experience with sarin gas in 1995, members of a doomsday cult killed 12 people and made thousands ill in attacks on Tokyo subways.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka Additional reporting by Teppei Kasai; Editing by Malcolm Foster and Bill Tarrant)

CIA Study of Assassination



Assassination is a term thought to be derived from “Hashish”, a drug similar to marijuana, said to have been used by Hasan-Dan-Sabah to induce motivation in his followers, who were assigned to carry out political and other murders, usually at the c ost of their lives. It is here used to describe the planned killing of a person who is not under the legal jurisdiction of the killer, who is not physically in the hands of the killer, who has been selected by a resistance organization for death, and who has been selected by a resistance organization for death, and whose death provides positive advantages to that organization.


Assassination is an extreme measure not normally used in clandestine operations. It should be assumed that it will never be ordered or authorized by any U.S. Headquarters, though the latter may in rare instances agree to its execution by members of an associated foreign service.

This reticence is partly due to the necessity for committing communications to paper. No assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded. Consequently, the decision to employ this technique must nearly always be reached in the field, at the area where the act will take place.

Decision and instructions should be confined to an absolute minimum of persons. Ideally, only one person will be involved. No report may be made, but usually the act will be properly covered by normal news services, whose output is available to all concerned.


Murder is not morally justifiable. Self-defense may be argued if the victim has knowledge which may destroy the resistance organization if divulged. Assassination of persons responsible for atrocities or reprisals may be regarded as just punishment. Killing a political leader whose burgeoning career is a clear and present danger to the cause of freedom may be held necessary.

But assassination can seldom be employed with a clear conscience. Persons who are morally squeamish should not attempt it.


The techniques employed will vary according to whether the subject is unaware of his danger, aware but unguarded, or guarded. They will also be affected by whether or not the assassin is to be killed with the subject hereafter, assassinations in which the subject is unaware will be termed “simple”; those where the subject is aware but unguarded will be termed “chase”; those where the victim is guarded will be termed “guarded.”

If the assassin is to die with the subject, the act will be called “lost.” If the assassin is to escape, the adjective will be “safe.” It should be noted that no compromises should exist here. The assassin must not fall alive into enemy hands.

A further type division is caused by the need to conceal the fact that the subject was actually the victim of assassination, rather than an accident or natural causes. If such concealment is desirable the operation will be called “secret”; if concealment is immaterial, the act will be called “open”; while if the assassination requires publicity to be effective it will be termed “terroristic.”

Following these definitions, the assassination of Julius Caesar was safe, simple, and terroristic, while that of Huey Long was lost, guarded and open. Obviously, successful secret assassinations are not recorded as assassination at all. [Illegible] of Thailand and Augustus Caesar may have been the victims of safe, guarded and secret assassination. Chase assassinations usually involve clandestine agents or members of criminal organizations.


In safe assassinations, the assassin needs the usual qualities of a clandestine agent. He should be determined, courageous, intelligent, resourceful, and physically active. If special equipment is to be used, such as firearms or drugs, it is clear that he must have outstanding skill with such equipment.

Except in terroristic assassinations, it is desirable that the assassin be transient in the area. He should have an absolute minimum of contact with the rest of the organization and his instructions should be given orally by one person only. His safe evacuation after the act is absolutely essential, but here again contact should be as limited as possible. It is preferable that the person issuing instructions also conduct any withdrawal or covering action which may be necessary.

In lost assassination, the assassin must be a fanatic of some sort. Politics, religion, and revenge are about the only feasible motives. Since a fanatic is unstable psychologically, he must be handled with extreme care. He must not know the identities of the other members of the organization, for although it is intended that he die in the act, something may go wrong. While the Assassin of Trotsky has never revealed any significant information, it was unsound to depend on this when the act was planned.


When the decision to assassinate has been reached, the tactics of the operation must be planned, based upon an estimate of the situation similar to that used in military operations. The preliminary estimate will reveal gaps in information and possibly indicate a need for special equipment which must be procured or constructed.

When all necessary data has been collected, an effective tactical plan can be prepared. All planning must be mental; no papers should ever contain evidence of the operation.

In resistance situations, assassination may be used as a counter-reprisal. Since this requires advertising to be effective, the resistance organization must be in a position to warn high officials publicly that their lives will be the price of reprisal action against innocent people. Such a threat is of no value unless it can be carried out, so it may be necessary to plan the assassination of various responsible officers of the oppressive regime and hold such plans in readiness to be used only if provoked by excessive brutality. Such plans must be modified frequently to meet changes in the tactical situation.


The essential point of assassination is the death of the subject. A human being may be killed in many ways but sureness is often overlooked by those who may be emotionally unstrung by the seriousness of this act they intend to commit. The specific technique employed will depend upon a large number of variables, but should

be constant in one point: Death must be absolutely certain. The attempt on Hitler’s life failed because the conspiracy did not give this matter proper attention.

Arson can cause accidental death if the subject is drugged and left in a burning building. Reliability is not satisfactory unless the building is isolated and highly combustible.


Techniques may be considered as follows:

1.Manual – It is possible to kill a man with the bare hands, but very few are skillful enough to do it well. Even a highly trained Judo expert will hesitate to risk killing by hand unless he has absolutely no alternative. However, the simplest local too ls are often much the most efficient means of assassination. A hammer, axe, wrench, screw driver, fire poker, kitchen knife, lamp stand, or anything hard, heavy and handy will suffice.

A length of rope or wire or a belt will do if the assassin is strong and agile. All such improvised weapons have the important advantage of availability and apparent innocence. The obviously lethal machine gun failed to kill Trotsky where an item of sporting goods succeeded.

In all safe cases where the assassin may be subject to search, either before or after the act, specialized weapons should not be used. Even in the lost case, the assassin may accidentally be searched before the act and should not carry an incriminating de vice if any sort of lethal weapon can be improvised at or near the site. If the assassin normally carries weapons because of the nature of his job, it may still be desirable to improvise and implement at the scene to avoid disclosure of his identity.

  1. Accidents – For secret assassination, either simple or chase, the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated.

The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or more onto a hard surface. Elevator shafts, stair wells, unscreened windows and bridges will serve. Bridge falls into water are not reliable. In simple cases a private meeting with the subject may be arranged at a properly-cased location. The act may be executed by sudden, vigorous [excised] of the ankles, tipping the subject over the edge. If the assassin immediately sets up an outcry, playing the “horrified witness”, no alibi o r surreptitious withdrawal is necessary. In chase cases it will usually be necessary to stun or drug the subject before dropping him. Care is required to insure that no wound or condition not attributable to the fall is discernible after death.

Falls into the sea or swiftly flowing rivers may suffice if the subject cannot swim. It will be more reliable if the assassin can arrange to attempt rescue, as he can thus be sure of the subject’s death and at the same time establish a workable alibi.

If the subject’s personal habits make it feasible, alcohol may be used [2 words excised] to prepare him for a contrived accident of any kind.

Falls before trains or subway cars are usually effective, but require exact timing and can seldom be free from unexpected observation.

Automobile accidents are a less satisfactory means of assassination. If the subject is deliberately run down, very exact timing is necessary and investigation is likely to be thorough. If the subject’s car is tampered with, reliability is very low. The subject may be stunned or drugged and then placed in the car, but this is only reliable when the car can be run off a high cliff or into deep water without observation.

3.Drugs – In all types of assassination except terroristic, drugs can be very effective. If the assassin is trained as a doctor or nurse and the subject is under medical care, this is an easy and rare method. An overdose of morphine administered as a sedative will cause death without disturbance and is difficult to detect. The size of the dose will depend upon whether the subject has been using narcotics regularly. If not, two grains will suffice.

If the subject drinks heavily, morphine or a similar narcotic can be injected at the passing out stage, and the cause of death will often be held to be acute alcoholism.

Specific poisons, such as arsenic or strychnine, are effective but their possession or procurement is incriminating, and accurate dosage is problematical. Poison was used unsuccessfully in the assassination of Rasputin and Kolohan, though the latter case is more accurately described as a murder.

  1. Edge Weapons: Any locally obtained edge device may be successfully employed. A certain minimum of anatomical knowledge is needed for reliability.

Puncture wounds of the body cavity may not be reliable unless the heart is reached. The heart is protected by the rib cage and is not always easy to locate.

Abdominal wounds were once nearly always mortal, but modern medical treatment has made this no longer true.

Absolute reliability is obtained by severing the spinal cord in the cervical region. This can be done with the point of a knife or a light blow of an axe or hatchet.

Another reliable method is the severing of both jugular and carotid blood vessels on both sides of the windpipe.

If the subject has been rendered unconscious by other wounds or drugs, either of the above methods can be used to insure death.

5.Blunt Weapons: As with edge weapons, blunt weapons require some anatomical knowledge for effective use. Their main advantage is their universal availability. A hammer may be picked up almost anywhere in the world. Baseball and [illeg] bats are very widely distributed. Even a rock or a heavy stick will do, and nothing resembling a weapon need be procured, carried or subsequently disposed of.

Blows should be directed to the temple, the area just below and behind the ear, and the lower, rear portion of the skull. Of course, if the blow is very heavy, any portion of the upper skull will do. The lower frontal portion of the head, from the eyes to the throat, can withstand enormous blows without fatal consequences.

6.Firearms: Firearms are often used in assassination, often very ineffectively. The assassin usually has insufficient technical knowledge of the limitations of weapons, and expects more range, accuracy and killing power than can be provided with reliability. Since certainty of death is the major requirement, firearms should be used which can provide destructive power at least 100% in excess of that thought to be necessary, and ranges should be half that considered practical for the weapon.

Firearms have other drawbacks. Their possession is often incriminating. They may be difficult to obtain. They require a degree of experience from the user. They are [illeg]. Their [illeg] is consistently over-rated.

However, there are many cases in which firearms are probably more efficient than any other means. These cases usually involve distance between the assassin and the subject, or comparative physical weakness of the assassin, as with a woman.

(a) The precision rifle. In guarded assassination, a good hunting or target rifle should always be considered as a possibility. Absolute reliability can nearly always be achieved at a distance of one hundred yards. In ideal circumstances, the range may be extended to 250 yards. The rifle should be a well made bolt or falling block action type, handling a powerful long-range cartridge. The .300 F.A.B. Magnum is probably the best cartridge readily available. Other excellent calibers are .375 Magnum, .270 Winchester, .30 – 106 p.s., 8 x 60 MM Magnum, 9.3 x.

62 kk and others of this type. These are preferable to ordinary military calibers, since ammunition available for them is usually of the expanding bullet type, whereas most ammunition for military rifles is full jacketed and hence not sufficiently lethal. Military ammunition should not be altered by filing or drilling bullets, as this will adversely affect accuracy.

The rifle may be of the “bull gun” variety, with extra heavy barrel and set triggers, but in any case should be capable of maximum precision. Ideally, the weapon should be able to group in one inch at one hundred yards, but 21/2″ groups are adequate. The sight should be telescopic, not only for accuracy, but because such a sight is much better in dim light or near darkness. As long as the bare outline of the target is discernible, a telescope sight will work, even if the rifle and shooter are in total darkness.

An expanding, hunting bullet of such calibers as described above will produce extravagant laceration and shock at short or mid-range. If a man is struck just once in the body cavity, his death is almost entirely certain.

Public figures or guarded officials may be killed with great reliability and some safety if a firing point can be established prior to an official occasion. The propaganda value of this system may be very high.

(b) The machine gun – Machine guns may be used in most cases where the precision rifle is applicable. Usually, this will require the subversion of a unit of an official guard at a ceremony, though a skillful and determined team might conceivably dispose o f a loyal gun crew without commotion and take over the gun at the critical time.

The area fire capacity of the machine gun should not be used to search out a concealed subject. This was tried with predictable lack of success on Trotsky. The automatic feature of the machine gun should rather be used to increase reliability by placing a 5 second burst on the subject. Even with full jacket ammunition, this will be absolute lethal is the burst pattern is no larger than a man. This can be accomplished at about 150 yards. In ideal circumstances, a properly padded and targeted maan do it at 850 yards. The major difficulty is placing the first burst exactly on the target, as most machine gunners are trained to spot their fire on target by observation of strike. This will not do in assassination as the subject will not wait.

(c)The Submachine Gun: This weapon, known as the “machine-pistol” by the Russians and Germans and “machine-carbine” by the British, is occasionally useful in assassination. Unlike the rifle and machine gun, this is a short range weapon and since it fires pistol ammunition, much less powerful. To be reliable, it should deliver at least 5 rounds into the subject’s chest, though the .45 caliber U.S. weapons have a much larger margin of killing efficiency than the 9 mm European arms.

The assassination range of the sub-machine gun is point-blank. While accurate single rounds can be delivered by sub-machine gunners at 50 yards or more, this is not certain enough for assassination. Under ordinary circumstances, the 5MG should be used as a fully automatic weapon. In the hands of a capable gunner, a high cyclic rate is a distinct advantage, as speed of execution is most desirable, particularly in the case of multiple subjects.

The sub-machine gun is especially adapted to indoor work when more than one subject is to be assassinated. An effective technique has been devised for the use of a pair of sub-machine gunners, by which a room containing as many as a dozen subjects can be “purifico” in about twenty seconds with little or no risk to the gunners. It is illustrated below.

While the U.S. sub-machine guns fire the most lethal cartridges, the higher cyclic rate of some foreign weapons enable the gunner to cover a target quicker with acceptable pattern density. The Bergmann Model 1934 is particularly good in this way. The Danish Madman? SMG has a moderately good cyclic rate and is admirably compact and concealable. The Russian SHG’s have a good cyclic rate, but are handicapped by a small, light protective which requires more kits for equivalent killing effect.

(d) The Shotgun: A large bore shotgun is a most effective killing instrument as long as the range is kept under ten yards. It should normally be used only on single targets as it cannot sustain fire successfully. The barrel may be “sawed” off for convenience, but this is not a significant factor in its killing performance. Its optimum range is just out of reach of the subject. 00 buckshot is considered the best shot size for a twelve gage gun, but anything from single balls to bird shot will do if the range is right. The assassin should aim for the solar plexus as the shot pattern is small at close range and can easily [illeg] the head.

(e) The Pistol – While the handgun is quite inefficient as a weapon of assassination, it is often used, partly because it is readily available and can be concealed on the person, and partly because its limitations are not widely appreciated. While many well known assassinations have been carried out with pistols (Lincoln, Harding, Ghandi), such attempts fail as often as they succeed, (Truman, Roosevelt, Churchill).

If a pistol is used, it should be as powerful as possible and fired from just beyond reach. The pistol and the shotgun are used in similar tactical situations, except that the shotgun is much more lethal and the pistol is much more easily concealed.

In the hands of an expert, a powerful pistol is quite deadly, but such experts are rare and not usually available for assassination missions.

.45 Colt, .44 Special, .455 Kly, .45 A.S.[illeg] (U.S. Service) and .357 Magnum are all efficient calibers. Less powerful rounds can suffice but are less reliable. Sub-power cartridges such as the .32s and .25s should be avoided.

In all cases, the subject should be hit solidly at least three times for complete reliability.

(f)Silent Firearms – The sound of the explosion of the proponent in a firearm can be effectively silenced by appropriate attachments. However, the sound of the projective passing through the air cannot, since this sound is generated outside the weapon. In cases where the velocity of the bullet greatly exceeds that of sound, the noise so generated is much louder than that of the explosion. Since all powerful rifles have muzzle velocities of over 2000 feet per second, they cannot be silenced.

Pistol bullets, on the other hand, usually travel slower than sound and the sound of their flight is negligible. Therefore, pistols, submachine guns and any sort of improvised carbine or rifle which will take a low velocity cartridge can be silenced. The user should not forget that the sound of the operation of a repeating action is considerable, and that the sound of bullet strike, particularly in bone is quite loud.

Silent firearms are only occasionally useful to the assassin, though they have been widely publicized in this connection. Because permissible velocity is low, effective precision range is held to about 100 yards with rifle or carbine type weapons, while w ith pistols, silent or otherwise, are most efficient just beyond arms length. The silent feature attempts to provide a degree of safety to the assassin, but mere possession of a silent firearm is likely to create enough hazard to counter the advantage of its silence. The silent pistol combines the disadvantages of any pistol with the added one of its obviously clandestine purpose.

A telescopically sighted, closed-action carbine shooting a low velocity bullet of great weight, and built for accuracy, could be very useful to an assassin in certain situations. At the time of writing, no such weapon is known to exist.

7.Explosives: Bombs and demolition charges of various sorts have been used frequently in assassination. Such devices, in terroristic and open assassination, can provide safety and overcome guard barriers, but it is curious that bombs have often been the implement of lost assassinations.

The major factor which affects reliability is the use of explosives for assassination. the charge must be very large and the detonation must be controlled exactly as to time by the assassin who can observe the subject. A small or moderate explosive charge is highly unreliable as a cause of death, and time delay or booby-trap devices are extremely prone to kill the wrong man. In addition to the moral aspects of indiscriminate killing, the death of casual bystanders can often produce public reactions unfavorable to the cause for which the assassination is carried out.

Bombs or grenades should never be thrown at a subject. While this will always cause a commotion and may even result in the subject’s death, it is sloppy, unreliable, and bad propaganda. The charge must be too small and the assassin is never sure of: (1)re aching his attack position, (2) placing the charge close enough to the target and (3) firing the charge at the right time.

Placing the charge surreptitiously in advance permits a charge of proper size to be employed, but requires accurate prediction of the subject’s movements.

Ten pounds of high explosive should normally be regarded as a minimum, and this is explosive of fragmentation material. The latter can consist of any hard, [illeg] material as long as the fragments are large enough. Metal or rock fragments should be walnut-size rather than pen-size. If solid plates are used, to be ruptured by the explosion, cast iron, 1″ thick, gives excellent fragmentation. Military or commercial high explosives are practical for use in assassination. Homemade or improvised explosives should be avoided. While possibly powerful, they tend to be dangerous and unreliable. Anti-personnel explosive missiles are excellent, provided the assassin has sufficient technical knowledge to fuse them properly. 81 or 82 mm mortar shells, or the 120 mm m ortar shell, are particularly good. Anti-personnel shells for 85, 88, 90, 100 and 105 mm guns and howitzers are both large enough to be completely reliable and small enough to be carried by one man.

The charge should be so placed that the subject is not ever six feet from it at the moment of detonation.

A large, shaped charge with the [illeg] filled with iron fragments (such as 1″ nuts and bolts) will fire a highly lethal shotgun-type [illeg] to 50 yards. This reaction has not been thoroughly tested, however, and an exact replica of the proposed device should be fired in advance to determine exact range, pattern-size, and penetration of fragments. Fragments should penetrate at least 1″ of seasoned pine or equivalent for minimum reliability.

Any firing device may be used which permits exact control by the assassin. An ordinary commercial or military explorer is efficient, as long as it is rigged for instantaneous action with no time fuse in the system.

The wise [illeg] electric target can serve as the triggering device and provide exact timing from as far away as the assassin can reliably hit the target. This will avoid the disadvantages military or commercial high explosives are practical for use in assassination. Homemade or improvised explosives should be avoided. While possibly powerful, they tend to be dangerous and unreliable. Anti-personnel explosive missiles are excellent, provided the assassin has sufficient technical knowledge to fuse them properly. 81 or 82 mm mortar shells, or the 120 mm mortar shell, are particularly good. Anti-personnel shells for 85, 88, 90, 100 and 105 mm guns and howitzers are both large enough to be completely reliable and small enough to be carried by one man.

The charge should be so placed that the subject is not ever six feet from it at the moment of detonation. A large, shaped charge with the [illeg] filled with iron fragments (such as 1″ nuts and bolts) will fire a highly lethal shotgun-type [Illeg] to 50 yards. This reaction has not been thoroughly tested, however, and an exact replica of the proposed device should be fired in advance to determine exact range, pattern-size, and penetration of fragments. Fragments should penetrate at least 1″ of seasoned pine or equivalent for minimum reliability.

Any firing device may be used which permits exact control by the assassin. An ordinary commercial or military explorer is efficient, as long as it is rigged for instantaneous action with no time fuse in the system.

The wise [illeg] electric target can serve as the triggering device and provide exact timing from as far away as the assassin can reliably hit the target. This will avid the disadvantages of stringing wire between the proposed positions of the assassin an d the subject, and also permit the assassin to fire the charge from a variety of possible positions.

The radio switch can be [illeg] to fire [illeg], though its reliability is somewhat lower and its procurement may not be easy.

Dag Hammarskjöld

born July 29, 1905, Jönköping, Swed.

died Sept. 18, 1961, near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia [now Zambia] Swedish economist and statesman who served as second secretary-general of the United Nations (1953–61) and enhanced the prestige and effectiveness of the UN. He was posthumously awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1961.

The Belgian Congo became the independent Republic of the Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) on June 30, 1960, and Hammarskjöld sent a UN force to suppress the civil strife that began there soon afterward. In September 1960 his action was denounced by the Soviet Union, which demanded that he resign and that the office of secretary-general be replaced by a three-man board (troika) comprising representatives of the Western, communist, and neutral nations. Soon after, while on a peace mission to President Moise Tshombe of the Congolese province of Katanga, Hammarskjöld was killed in an airplane crash.

There are those who contend that Dag Hammersköld, who supported the electoral process then in hand in that benighted country, was also assassinated. Film-maker Hans Rudiger Minow made an intriguing documentary about this, shown last April on Planète television (Historia article; French). He pinned it on a mining company and the Belgians. ore from the Belgian Congo, through the Union Minière du Haut Katanga, The Union Minière du Haut Katanga (UMHK) is a Belgian mining company, once operating in Katanga, in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly, Congo Free State, from 1908, Belgian Congo, from 1972, Zaire). It was created on October 28, 1906, as a result of a merger of a company created by Léopold II and Tanganyika Concessions Ltd (a British company created by Robert Williams, which started prospecting for minerals in 1899, and was granted mining concessions in 1900), in order to exploit the mineral wealth of Katanga. It was owned jointly by the Société Générale de Belgique, Belgium’s largest holding company (which controlled 70% of the Congolese economy) and Tanganyika Concessions Ltd.


Trujilo -Lt. Col Bevan G. Cass, Lt Cmdr F. Norris, NSG, asst naval attache to Dominican Republic

The assassination of the Dominican Republic’s Rafael L. Trujillo was carried out with assistance from the US Central Intelligence Agency. Arms for the May 30, 1961. slaying of the 69-year-old dictator on a lonely stretch of highway near his capital were smuggled by the CIA into the country at the request of the assassins, according to highly qualified sources I interviewed in Santo Domingo shortly after the collapse of the Trujillo rule.

The arms had to come from the outside, I was told, because of the close scrutiny imposed by Trujillo on the removal of guns from military bases. These controls kept the conspirators from obtaining their own weapons without awakening suspicion, despite the involvement in the plot of the Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, Gen. Jose Rene Roman Fernandez, and other leading military officers.

The CIA began shipping arms to the Dominican Republic in late 1960, following a series of talks between US Consul Henry Dearborn, Chief Political Officer John Barfield of the US Consulate, and Luis Amiama Tio, who had extensive banana and cattle holdings and had been mayor of Santo Domingo. Also involved in the plot was Antonio Imbert who had been Governor of Puerto Plata province. Both Amiama and Imbert are tough guys and ambitious. Both were made four-star generals by the provisional council that took over after Trujillo’s death. However, when leading army officers balked at their elevation to the highest military rank, Amiama and Imbert said the honor bestowed upon them was too great and modestly demoted themselves to brigadier generals.

1960 was a bad year for the Dominican Republic. The economy was in the dumps. The country was in disgrace internationally as a result of Trujillo’s backing of a plot against the life of Venezuelan President Romulo Betancourt. In June, a car full of explosives blew up alongside Betancourt’s automobile during a Caracas Armed Forces Day procession, wounding the President and killing two others. A Venezuelan naval officer later admitted that the elaborate bomb was prepared in the Dominican Republic, presumably as an act of retaliation against Venezuela for having asked the OAS in February 1960, to censure Trujillo for “flagrant violations of human rights.”

In August that same year, the Organization of American States did censure the Dominican Republic, and the US and several Latin American nations thereupon suspended diplomatic relations with the Trujillo regime, though Washington kept a consulate in Ciudad Trujillo to protect its commercial interests.

This was one of the stormiest periods of Trujillo’s 31-year rule. On June 14, 1959, the Dominican Republic’s southern coast had been invaded by Cuba-based Dominican exiles. They were wiped out, but then Trujillo uncovered a plot to kill him, only 24 hours before it was to be carried out on January 21, 1960. Mass purges, arrests and some killings followed. Tensions within the regime mounted rapidly, as did its Byzantine-style ruler’s greed. Assuming the presidency of the Dominican Central Bank, the dictator forced exporters, as part of an “austerity” program, to deposit with the bank half of their dollar earnings, which soon found their way into Trujillo accounts abroad.

During this time, Trujillo was completing an intensive drive, begun in the mid-1950s with the purchase of the Haina complex of sugar mills and lands in the southern part of the Republic, to expand sugar production and appropriate more and more of it to himself. He went so far as to deprive thousands of peasant families of their squatters’ settlements, forcing them to sell their cattle and work as sugar peons. It had been hoped, of course, that the Dominican Republic would get a generous share of the US sugar quota previously allotted to Cuba. An intensive Washington lobbying campaign was carried on to this end, largely through the Dominican Consul-General in Washington, Marco A. Pena. In the late summer of 1960, Congress did raise the Dominican allotment from 27,000 to 250,000 tons, but President Eisenhower slapped a punitive excise tax on it in September, after the OAS ministerial conference voted economic sanctions against the Trujillo regime and a break of diplomatic relations.

As Trujillo’s political and financial problems deepened, talks continued between Dearborn, Barfield and leaders of the anti-Trujillo conspiracy. Toward the end of 1960, contact was established between Amiama and a CIA agent who, according to Arturo R. Espaillat, former head of Trujillo’s Military Intelligence Service, was named Plato Cox. Espaillat made this statement in a press conference in Ottawa in 1962; his word alone cannot, of course, be accepted as conclusive proof. But whatever the name of the agent, the smuggling of firearms into the Republic for the assassination began.

The key link between the assassins and the CIA in the arms shipments was a long-time American civilian resident of Ciudad Trujillo, Lorenzo Perry, otherwise known as “Wimpy,” who operated a supermarket in a fashionable neighborhood where Trujillo also lived. “Wimpy” was put under brief arrest after the killing but was later allowed to leave the country.

The weapons were imported in small parts, to be assembled later by the plotters, among the routine grocery shipments for the supermarket arriving regularly in the capital’s port. The gun-parts entered the Republic in specially marked food cans, which were later turned over to the conspirators.

Plans for the intended assassination were worked out during the same period in which the abortive assault on Cuba was being prepared. However, when the CIA-organized April 17, 1961 invasion at the Bay of Pigs failed and world attention was focused on Washington’s complicity in that operation, a postponement of the attempt on Trujillo’s life was ordered because of the embarrassment another such failure might cause the United States. But the order to hold up came too late. According to what I was told in the Dominican Republic, the needed weapons were already in the hands of the conspirators, who refused appeals by Dearborn and Barfield to delay the assassination. They insisted on moving at the first opportunity. This came on May 30, when Trujillo and his chauffeur drove out into the country in an unescorted 1959 Chevrolet for a rendezvous at a San Cristobal estate, La Fundacion, with Trujillo’s 20-year-old mistress, Mona Sanchez.

It was Trujillo’s custom to call on his 94-year-old mother, Julia Molina. before going on to La Fundacion. His departure for San Cristobal from his mother’s home was signaled to the killers by Sen. Modesto Diaz, a neighbor of Julia Molina and brother of Brig. Gen. Juan Tomas Diaz, one of the principal gunmen in the plot. It is said that General Diaz was bitter toward Trujillo because of his forced, premature retirement from the army in 1960 on the dictator’s orders.

The plan was to finish off Trujillo, seize control, form a provisional government to be recognized by the US, and hold the elections which Trujillo had promised for May 1962. The assassins intended to be candidates.

The scheme, however, was frustrated soon after the murder when the assassins could not locate Gen. Roman Fernandez, who had been ordered to the San Isidro Air Force Base that afternoon by Trujillo and told to stay there until some administrative irregularities were corrected. Since he was thus kept 10 miles outside Ciudad Trujillo until next morning, Roman was not able to carry out the assignment he had been given. General Roman was to have summoned the entire Trujillo clan to La Fortaleza de Ozama in the capital, informed them of Trujillo’s death and had them killed on the spot.

Around 10:30 pm on May 30, two carloads of gunmen fired 27 shots into the dictator’s body and pummelled it mercilessly on the main highway between the capital and the Agricultural Fair Grounds, where Trujillo annually received tributes for his prize cattle. Having dumped the riddled corpse into the trunk of one of the attack cars, the assassins went to the house of Roman, only to learn there he was not in the capital. They then scattered. In succeeding days all the known assassins, including Roman, were rounded up and slain either at once or shortly before the mass departure of the Trujillo family in November 1961. The two surviving exceptions were Imbert and Amiama.

It can be reported on excellent authority that close associates of the slain dictator knew of the US role within a few days following the killing. Almost immediately upon his May 31 return from Paris to assume command of the Dominican armed forces, Lt. Gen. Rafael (Ramfis) Trujillo Jr. was fully briefed.

Dearborn, Barfield and Berry had meanwhile been rushed out of the Dominican Republic by US officials. Subsequently, Dearborn went to Colombia as Consul, and Barfield first to Italy and then to Washington where he was a staff assistant to Edwin Martin, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs. Since the ouster of the Trujillos, Perry (“Wimpy”) has returned to operate his handsomely appointed supermarket in Santo Domingo, greeting customers with calm and courtesy, as if Trujillo had never lived.

Pope John Paul  I


Pope John Paul I (in Latin Ioannes Paulus PP. I), born Albino Luciani (October 17, 1912 – September 28, 1978), reigned as pope and as sovereign of Vatican City

from August 26, 1978 to September 28, 1978. His 33-day papacy was one of the shortest reigns in papal history, resulting in the most recent Year of Three Popes.

Having died before he could make a legacy as a pope, he is best remembered for his friendliness and humility, making him known as “the smiling Pope”, drawing comparisons with “Good Pope John”, the widely popular Pope John XXIII.

He was the first pope to choose a double name and did so to honor his two immediate predecessors, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. He was also the first (and so far only) pope to use “the first” in his regnal name.

John Paul’s sudden death, only 33 days after his election, caused worldwide shock. The cause of death as officially reported by the Vatican was “possibly associated to a myocardial infarction”; this is a common heart attack. However, a degree of uncertainty accompanies this diagnosis because no autopsy was performed.

The Vatican’s handling of several events surrounding the death provoked further concern. It claimed a papal secretary discovered that the Pope had died, whereas in fact a nun who had come to bring him some coffee found him in the Papal Household. It claimed he had been reading Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ, yet his copy of that book was still in Venice.[citation needed] It misreported the time of death, and conflicting stories were told as to his health.[citation needed] It was hinted that his ill health was due to heavy smoking;[citation needed] in fact he never smoked. The impact of such misinformation was shown in a headline of the Irish Independent newspaper, “THIRTY-THREE BRAVE DAYS” conveying the image of a weak and ill man physically unable to withstand the pressures of the papacy, and who was in effect killed by it.

In addition, Vatican health-care had been notoriously poor for some of his predecessors. Pope Paul VI’s poor health care is generally agreed to have hastened the approach of his death. There is no evidence to suggest that the standard of Vatican health care had improved by Pope John Paul I’s 33-day reign. Nor, given his apparent lack of heart problems (as attested to by his own doctor, who flatly contradicted the rumours that came from the Vatican in the aftermath of the pope’s death) was there any apparent immediate requirement for a review of medical services. In contrast, John Paul I’s successor, Pope John Paul II, always had access to excellent medical services, a fact that saved his life after the assassination attempt made upon him in 1981.

The Pope’s body was embalmed within one day of his death. Wild rumours spread. One rumour claimed that a visiting prelate had recently died from drinking “poisoned coffee” prepared for the pope. A visiting prelate actually had died some days Nor, given his apparent lack of heart problems (as attested to by his own doctor, who flatly contradicted the rumours that came from the Vatican in the aftermath of the pope’s death) was there any apparent immediate requirement for a review of medical services. In contrast, John Paul I’s successor, Pope John Paul II, always had access to excellent medical services, a fact that saved his life after the assassination attempt made upon him in 1981.

The Pope’s body was embalmed within one day of his death. Wild rumours spread. One rumour claimed that a visiting prelate had recently died from drinking “poisoned coffee” prepared for the pope. A visiting prelate actually had died some days earlier, but there was no evidence of poison. Another unsubstantiated rumour described the Pope’s plans to dismiss senior Vatican officials over allegations of corruption. The suddenness of his embalming raised suspicions that it had been done to prevent an autopsy. The Vatican insisted that a papal autopsy was prohibited under Vatican law. However one source (the diary of Agostino Chigi) reports that an autopsy was carried out on the remains of Pope Pius VIII in 1830.

John Paul II

When John Paul II was shot in St. Peter’s Square

Turkish spy scandals shed new light on papal murder attempt

On the afternoon of May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was struck by three bullets while being driven in a slow-moving convertible through St. Peter’s Square, where 20,000 people had gathered to see the pontiff. Rushed to a hospital, the pope barely survived a six-hour operation. Two bystanders were also injured in the attack.

The would-be assassin, 23-year-old Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, was immediately apprehended at the scene of the crime. The police found in his pocket several notes scribbled in Turkish, one of which read: “I am killing the pope as a protest against the imperialism of the Soviet Union and the United States and against the genocide that is being carried out in El Salvador and Afghanistan.”

Agca’s handwritten statement reflected the fanatical “third position” ideology of the Grey Wolves, a violent, neofascist organization that denounced both superpowers while engaging in bloody street battles against left-wing youth in Turkey.

Agca was a member of the Grey Wolves, but he claimed that he acted alone when he tried to kill the pope. In July 1981 he was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison. The court failed to verify reports from several eyewitnesses who said they had seen another dark-haired gunman fleeing from St. Peter’s Square moments after the shooting.

A year later, while Agca languished in an Italian jail, stories started to circulate in the Western press alleging that the plot to assassinate John Paul II was hatched by the Soviet KGB and carried out by the Bulgarian secret service. The Soviets, according to this theory, viewed the Polish-born pope as a threat to Communist hegemony in Eastern Europe and wanted him eliminated.

Playing off these news accounts, which were based largely on U.S. intelligence sources, Agca began to weave an elaborate, conspiratorial tale that seemingly endorsed the idea of a “Bulgarian connection” to the papal shooting. Italian magistrates launched an investigation that culminated in the arrest and trial of three Bulgarians and four Turks. But they were all released “for lack of evidence” in 1986 after Agca repeatedly contradicted himself in a Roman courtroom and claimed at one point that he was Jesus Christ.

The so-called Bulgarian connection was further debunked by the testimony of ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman, who told the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1990 that his CIA colleagues, under pressure from agency higher-ups, had skewed their reports to try to lend credence to the notion of a Soviet plot to murder the pope. “The CIA had no evidence linking the KGB to the plot,” Goodman asserted.

Although it was never substantiated, the much-publicized Bulgarian connection proved to be one of the more efficacious Reagan-era disinformation schemes, reinforcing the idea of the Soviet Union as an evil empire while deflecting attention from potentially embarrassing ties between U.S. intelligence and right-wing extremists in Turkey.

In the late 1970s, armed bands of Grey Wolves launched a wave of bomb attacks and shootings that killed hundreds of people, including public officials, journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, students, and trade unionists. During this period, the Grey Wolves operated with the encouragement and protection of the Counter-Guerrilla Organization, a section of the Turkish Army’s Special Warfare Department. Headquartered in the U.S. Military Aid Mission building in Ankara, the Special Warfare Department received funds and training from U.S. advisors to establish paramilitary units that were supposed to engage in acts of sabotage and resistance in the event of a Soviet invasion.

But instead of preparing for foreign enemies, these shadowy paramilitary specialists set their sights on domestic targets, according to retired Turkish army commander Talat Turhan, who has authored three books about Turkish secret service and police ties to right-wing extremists and mafia-style gangs. The Counter-Guerrilla Organization, according to Turhan, supplied weapons to the Grey Wolves, who were responsible for much of the political violence that set the stage for the 1980 coup by the Turkish military.

Agca was part of a network of neofascist gunmen who had close links to Turkish police commanders, intelligence officers, and far-right politicians. Evidence of this sordid sub-rosa alliance came to the fore in dramatic fashion in 1996 when one of Agca’s closest associates, Grey Wolf leader Abdullah Catli (pronounced “chutley”), died in a car crash on a remote highway near Susurluk, a hundred miles southwest of Istanbul.

A convicted fugitive wanted for murder and heroin trafficking, Catli was accompanied by his gangster girlfriend and a high-ranking police official, who also died in the car accident. A Kurdish warlord who teamed up with Turkish security forces was the sole survivor of the crash. Questions about what they were all doing together in the same car led to a parliamentary inquiry and a series of stunning revelations about “the deep state” and political corruption in Turkey.

For twenty years, according to a 1998 parliamentary report, Turkish security agencies backed ultra-right-wing death squads and narco-criminal gangs that were involved in bombings, kidnappings, and other terrorist attacks.

Confirming what human rights activists had long suspected, the report concluded that members of the Grey Wolves had participated in a state-sponsored “dirty war” against ethnic Kurds and Turkish dissidents.

This terror campaign was responsible for many of Turkey’s 14,000 unsolved murders and disappearances in recent years.

Much of the parliamentary report focused on the ignominious career of Abdullah Catli, Agca’s Grey Wolf mentor. A young thug who looked like Turkey’s answer to Elvis Presley, Catli graduated from street gang violence to become a brutal enforcer for the Grey Wolves. By 1978 he had emerged as second-in-command of the group. The following year, Catli helped Ali Agca escape from a Turkish jail, where he was serving time for the murder of Abdi Ipeki, a prominent newspaper editor.

Catli proceeded to safe-house Agca and direct his movements through several European countries in the months leading up to the papal shooting. Catli provided him with a passport and other fake ID. Most significantly, it was Catli who gave Agca the pistol that nearly killed the pontiff. Catli admitted supplying the gun to Agca when he testified in September 1985 as a witness at the trial in Rome of three Bulgarians and four Turks who were charged with complicity in the papal death plot. He also testified under oath that the West German BND spy agency had offered him money if he would implicate the Soviet Union and Bulgaria in the attack on the pope.

But Catli said nothing about his role as an undercover agent for the Turkish government. As it turns out, he had been collaborating with the Turkish secret service since the military coup in 1980, despite his status as a fugitive from justice, according to the parliamentary report on the Susurluk crash. In other words, Catli was in cahoots with Turkish intelligence at the time he supplied Agca with the gun used in the papal shooting.

Imagine if the Bulgarian government had released a report showing that the person who gave Ali Agca the papal assassination weapon was then on the payroll of the Bulgarian secret service. The U.S. news media would certainly have been all over the story, touting it as proof of a sinister Bulgarian connection. Substitute Turkey, a staunch U.S. ally, for Bulgaria and the result is a deafening media silence.

In all likelihood, the plot to kill the pope was not backed by a foreign government. Rather, it appears to have been the work of renegade Turkish extremists who operated under the protective umbrella of Turkey’s secret service but did not always take their marching orders from Ankara. In American spy talk, it’s called “blowback” – the unintended consequences of covert activity kept secret from the public. Seen from this perspective, the shooting of Pope John Paul II is a yet another example of the blowback phenomenon.

Last year, in accordance with the wishes of the pope, Agca was pardoned by the Italian government and sent back to his native Turkey. He is presently in jail, serving out the remaining nine years of his sentence for killing Ipeki, the journalist who had been probing government links to Turkish neofascists and crime syndicates.

Some people had hoped Agca’s return would lead to further disclosures about criminal activity in Turkey, but parliamentary investigators complain that the military and other security agencies have blocked their inquiry and prevented them from following many important leads. Meanwhile, politicians and security officials implicated in death squad killings and drug-related scandals remain untouched.

Most of the far-right terrorists who stalked Turkey during the past two-and-a-half decades have escaped punishment for their crimes. They have ample reason to cheer the electoral success of the Grey Wolves’ parent organization, the National Action Party (known by its Turkish initials, MHP), which recently joined Turkey’s national governing coalition. Several Grey Wolves now hold key positions in the party and are serving as MHP representatives from various Turkish cities. A man privately described by U.S. drug enforcement officials as a “well-known heroin chemist” was also elected to parliament in 1999, when the MHP emerged as the second-biggest vote-getter in Turkey.

Devlet Bahceli, the MHP’s current leader and Turkey’s deputy prime minister, says his party has renounced violence. But many of its members continue to espouse a virulent ethnic nationalist ideology summed up by the slogan: “the Turkish race above all others.” Within these circles, Agca and Catli are revered as great patriots who sought to cleanse Turkey of communist influence.


On September 7, 1978, writer Georgi Markov was waiting on Waterloo Bridge for a bus to carry him to work at the BBC when he felt something sting his right thigh. Three days later – after insisting to an incredulous doctor that he’d been targeted by the Bulgarian government, then led by diehard communist President Todor Zhivkov –

Markov was dead. He’d been shot in the leg with an ingenious, Soviet-designed umbrella gun that injected a poison pellet. Markov’s shocking Cold War assassination sparked a multi-national investigation into a bizarre act of espionage that smacked of James Bond and reeked of government cover-up. But despite the substantial resources of top-notch investigators and input from leading poison and espionage experts, no culprits were ever convicted.

He wasn’t the only victim. Two weeks before Markov’s death, in Paris, another Bulgarian dissident, Vladimir Kostov, fell seriously ill after feeling something sting his back. Against all odds, Kostov survived.

With just miniscule pellets dug from the bodies of the two dissidents to go on, Scotland Yard and the CIA called on poison experts at Porton Down Laboratory, the U.K.’s top research center for biochemical weapons during the Cold War. After working through a long list of possibilities, scientists determined Ricin – a natural poison from the seeds of the castor oil plant – was the likely culprit used in both hits. As investigators discovered, Ricin poisoning – characterized by fever, a high white cell count, shock, a local lesion at the site of infection, damage to lymph nodes and hemorrhages – exactly matched the symptoms exhibited by Markov and Kostov.

But how did Bulgaria, a country relatively unsophisticated in espionage and secret assassinations, carry out such inventive crimes? Lacking the capability to devise such weapons themselves, the Bulgarians had turned to their counterparts in the KGB for help. At a clandestine weapons laboratory known as “Number 12” Soviet experts likely manufactured the poison and devised the benign-looking but deadly umbrella gun. Experts interviewed in Umbrella Assassin say the assassination bore all the hallmarks of a KGB operation. An ordinary folding umbrella was adapted with a silencer and a firing mechanism to shoot a small pellet at close range. The tiny metal pellet containing the deadly poison was hidden in the umbrella tip. the button normally used to release the umbrella was actually the firing trigger. Once the trigger was depressed it released pressurized gas into the pellet chamber, forcing the pellet out through the tip

“The Russian Intelligence Service has learned from the very beginning that assassinations are best done if they can be quiet and unnoticed and appear natural,” says espionage historian Keith Melton, a collector of secret assassination devices. “The one common thing that is always unnoticed in London would be umbrellas. He could logically be jabbed or prodded in an accidental way by another traveler or passer-by. Within 24 to 48 hours the person would die, the appearance would be a heart attack.”

Related Webs:


http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/  CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents








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