TBR News April 28, 2012

Apr 28 2012

The Voice of the White House

             Washington, D.C., April 28, 2012: “Played a round of tennis this Wednesday with an old friend who is in one of the alphabet agencies here inside the Beltway. Learned that there is now considerable concern about a new but relatively secret organization called “Dies Irae” or the Day of Wrath. So far, the FBI has not managed to penetrate it, (and the useless DHS never could) but the general thesis is that a significant amount of weaponry is being amassed at various points inside the country with no good in mind. He told me that recently, they discovered, after the fact, that 500,000 rounds of the illegal teflon pistol cartridges, made in Spain and capable of penetrating police, and national guard, body armor with great ease. He said that his people suspected that this was just one shipment of many. Also, he said that persons unknown had set up automatic cameras near the entrance to the CIA headquarters at Langley and apparently had been photographing cars with flashing turn signals going into the fenced and guarded parking lot. A car license number can reveal a person’s real name and, worse, their home address. Where this is going no one knows but it has rather sinister overtones, and the fact that the Great Protectors of the American Public have not managed to penetrate these groups is rather alarming. Life is full of surprises and I won both matches.!


The vast Facebook sea of brainlessness


April 21, 2012

by George Smith


You’d guess I’m not a good match with Facebook. I have an account and while I post pointers to blog posts on it daily, it’s not good for much. Facebook does not tell you how many people visit your profile daily. There’s a simple reason for it. If people actually knew how many times their hundreds of friends browser their posts — statistically speaking, not at all — users would desert en masse.

Facebook is a place for lickspittles — people who actually go to the pages of American businesses and hit the “like” button. It’s hard to imagine how lame that is but hundreds of thousands of my countrymen do it.

Another manifestation of the lickspittle is the Facebook meme. That is, the posting of the same deadening pictures and drawings, many with supposed-to-be funny (and sometimes actually amusing) captions over and over and over.

They count as spam.

And anyone who has been on Facebook long enough will regret having picked up “friends” who upload lots of these things, confronting you with a long stream of repetitive dogshit every time you log on and see your customized Facebook feed. Slowly you come to the realization you have to go back through your list of “friends” and surreptitiously “unfriend” a big bunch to divest yourself of it.

It’s a special brand of brainlessness, always replenished by an army of gullibles relentlessly posting pictures of the dog in Jugoslavia who had his jaw blown off by mean kids, or the poor cat in Manitoba, served anti-freeze by a cruel and heartless owner. To your wall.

A news story describes this special kind of dumbness and the idiots who propagate it:

James Denham does not have a strong social media following. He’s basically anonymous; type his name into Google, and you’re not going to find anything about him. But in January, Denham ran across an image of what appeared to be two teenagers cruelly hanging a puppy by a string and posted it to his Facebook wall. Text on the image implores users to “share this picture” and contact authorities if they recognize the perpetrators.

The photo has since been shared over 70,000 times from this profile, making it among the most widely viewed content on the site. Yet what Denham didn’t realize at first is this image has been circulating on the Internet for years, and the culprits were identified long ago. The photo is completely useless at this point. It appears somebody eventually notified Denham of the image’s past, as he has left multiple comments on his post trying to alert other users to its history. But it’s been in vain. The photo continues to be spread around by oblivious people every day, despite the comments and despite being of absolutely no use to the world …

Facebook may now be America’s greatest entertainment, but the junk content that is increasingly working its way into our news feeds makes eHow articles look like the Great American Novel.

Facebook would be more enjoyable for some people if it went back to the basics and focused on its original role as a virtual hub for maintaining real-life friendships. As some have suggested, it could encourage users to take time to mass-unfriend people and prune their network into a group of true friends …

Mark Zuckerberg’s great innovation was to monetize and rebrand college dormitory and high school sucking up as “social networking,” quickly adopted by Americans from their thirties to sixties.

U.S. probing money laundering in check processing

April 23, 2012

by Carrick Mollenkamp and Brett Wolf


(Reuters) – U.S. bank regulators increasingly are cracking down on an obscure corner of the multibillion-dollar payments processing sector because security gaps are leaving banks exposed to money laundering from drug cartels and terrorists.

Regulatory oversight has forced banks such as Citigroup Inc and HSBC Holdings Plc to hire more staff, conduct reviews and invest in better technology to identify suspect transactions and bolster their defenses against abuses of financial systems, including electronic check processing.

The chief concern: Weaknesses in check clearing. Banks accept massive numbers of scanned checks that are more difficult than wire transactions to screen for suspicious activity.

It also is easier for banks to mine data in wire transactions for suspect activity than imaged checks because information can more easily be extracted from wires.

In recent years, banks and customers have used electronic images of checks to process payments instead of paper checks in an procedure known as remote deposit capture.

The technology allows a check-cashing business in a foreign country to scan a bundle of checks and deposit them at a U.S. bank. The entire process can take just seconds and avoids the hassle of transporting physical checks overseas.

But regulators are concerned that electronic check processing could be exploited by money launderers. Drug cartels, for example, could turn to exchange houses in Mexico to scan images of travelers checks or money orders.

Here is how a money laundering transaction might work, according to regulatory experts:

A Mexican drug cartel uses cash from drug sales in the United States to buy travelers checks. The checks are then be transported back to Mexico via a shipment or smuggling and scanned at an exchange house known as a casa de cambio.

The exchange house then sends the scanned checks electronically, via remote deposit capture, to its account at a major bank in the United States. Money then is wired from the U.S. account to a legitimate company that unknowingly does business with the cartel.

In October, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a Treasury Department bureau, highlighted risks associated with customers using the technology.

Earlier this month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency identified a number of anti-money laundering deficiencies at Citigroup, including a self-reported monitoring gap that resulted in the bank failing to file, in a timely manner, legally required reports of suspicious activity that moved through the bank’s remote deposit capture business.

The transactions were tied to foreign financial institutions that moved money through Citigroup, according to the consent order. Citigroup said it has fixed all the problems identified by the OCC, or is fixing them now. The regulatory order did not identify any specific instances of money laundering or terrorist financing. A Citigroup representative declined comment.

Regulatory focus on bank security can drive up expenses at a time when many banks are looking to cut costs.

Compliance costs at a U.S. unit of HSBC more than doubled to $295 million in 2011 compared with $104 million in 2010, according to a February regulatory filing.

While some of that was related to foreclosure issues, the increase primarily was related to anti-money laundering expenses. The U.S. unit in 2010 was told by the OCC to increase monitoring systems to police suspect transactions. The extra costs come as the bank is pulling back globally from many markets to cut expenses.

The OCC, the U.S. Justice Department and the New York Attorney General have over the last two years examined how U.S. banks might inadvertently process Mexican drug money or funds tied to sanctioned countries such as Iran.


U.S. enforcement officials have cited four banks for security gaps in the check system since 2010: HSBC, Citigroup, Wachovia Corp – now part of Wells Fargo & Co – and Zions Bancorp.

In 2010, Wachovia, which Wells Fargo bought in 2008, agreed to pay $160 million as part of a money-laundering investigation. The Justice Department said some $40 billion moved through the bank from foreign correspondent accounts using remote deposit capture.

The deposits, made between 2005 and 2007, included travelers checks and money orders and were not monitored for money laundering. A Wachovia representative declined comment.

A U.S. unit of HSBC also was cited in 2010 for weaknesses in remote deposit capture in a consent order issued by the OCC.

HSBC spokesperson Robert Sherman said the bank has improved monitoring of remote deposit capture as part of a commitment to “the highest level of compliance capability.”

Sherman said the improvements include better transaction monitoring.

In 2011, Zions, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based bank, was hit with an $8 million civil penalty by the OCC and the Treasury Department’s Fincen. According to the OCC, Zions developed a remote deposit capture program “that enabled customers to deposit imaged items electronically from remote locations and marketed the product to high risk customers in 2006 and 2007.”

According to the consent order, Zions failed to adequately monitor $5.4 billion in processing that was offered to foreign clients, including Mexican money-service businesses, in 2006 and 2007. A Zions representative declined comment. The bank previously has said it takes “seriously” its responsibility to adhere to anti-money laundering regulations. Zions quit foreign correspondent banking in 2008.

A 2004 U.S. law called the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act allowed banks to process the images instead of paper checks. In the past, paper checks had to move from the point of deposit to the bank that pays them, forcing banks to build a vast infrastructure to pick up and process physical checks.

The law also enabled consumers to deposit checks electronically by, for example, taking photos of a check with their phones and sending them to the bank.

Regulatory investigations are not focused on consumer electronic banking, but instead on situations where large numbers of checks are processed in bulk.

(The story was refiled to fix spelling of Utah in paragraph 24)

(Reporting By Carrick Mollenkamp and Brett Wolf; editing by Dan Wilchins and Andre Grenon

Study: Antarctic ice melting from warm water below

April 27 2012

by Seth Borenstein


AP Science Writer= WASHINGTON (AP) — Antarctica’s massive ice shelves are shrinking because they are being eaten away from below by warm water, a new study finds. That suggests that future sea levels could rise faster than many scientists have been predicting.

The western chunk of Antarctica is losing 23 feet of its floating ice sheet each year. Until now, scientists weren’t exactly sure how it was happening and whether or how man-made global warming might be a factor. The answer, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, is that climate change plays an indirect role — but one that has larger repercussions than if Antarctic ice were merely melting from warmer air.

Hamish Pritchard, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey, said research using an ice-gazing NASA satellite showed that warmer air alone couldn’t explain what was happening to Antarctica. A more detailed examination found a chain of events that explained the shrinking ice shelves.

Twenty ice shelves showed signs that they were melting from warm water below. Changes in wind currents pushed that relatively warmer water closer to and beneath the floating ice shelves. The wind change is likely caused by a combination of factors, including natural weather variation, the ozone hole and man-made greenhouse gases, Pritchard said in a phone interview.

As the floating ice shelves melt and thin, that in turn triggers snow and ice on land glaciers to slide down to the floating shelves and eventually into the sea, causing sea level rise, Pritchard said. Thicker floating ice shelves usually keep much of the land snow and ice from shedding to sea, but that’s not happening now.

That whole process causes larger and faster sea level rise than simply warmer air melting snow on land-locked glaciers, Pritchard said.

“It means the ice sheets are highly sensitive to relatively subtle changes in climate through the effects of the wind,” he said.

What’s happening in Antarctica “may have already triggered a period of unstable glacier retreat,” the study concludes. If the entire Western Antarctic Ice Sheet were to melt — something that would take many decades if not centuries — scientists have estimated it would lift global sea levels by about 16 feet.

NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati, an expert in Earth’s ice systems who wasn’t involved in the research, said Pritchard’s study “makes an important advance” and provides key information about how Antarctica will contribute to global sea level rise.

Another outside expert, Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said the paper will change the way scientists think about melt in Antarctica. Seeing more warm water encircling the continent, he worries that with “a further push from the wind” newer areas could start shrinking.


A History of the World, BRIC by BRIC
Neoliberal Dragons, Eurasian Wet Dreams, and Robocop Fantasies

April 26, 2012

by Pepe Escobar


Goldman Sachs — via economist Jim O’Neill — invented the concept of a rising new bloc on the planet: BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). Some cynics couldn’t help calling it the “Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concept.”

Not really. Goldman now expects the BRICS countries to account for almost 40% of global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050, and to include four of the world’s top five economies.

Soon, in fact, that acronym may have to expand to include Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea and, yes, nuclear Iran: BRIIICTSS?  Despite its well-known problems as a nation under economic siege, Iran is also motoring along as part of the N-11, yet another distilled concept.  (It stands for the next 11 emerging economies.)

The multitrillion-dollar global question remains: Is the emergence of BRICS a signal that we have truly entered a new multipolar world?

Yale’s canny historian Paul Kennedy (of “imperial overstretch” fame) is convinced that we either are about to cross or have already crossed a “historical watershed” taking us far beyond the post-Cold War unipolar world of “the sole superpower.” There are, argues Kennedy, four main reasons for that: the slow erosion of the U.S. dollar (formerly 85% of global reserves, now less than 60%), the “paralysis of the European project,” Asia rising (the end of 500 years of Western hegemony), and the decrepitude of the United Nations.

The Group of Eight (G-8) is already increasingly irrelevant. The G-20, which includes the BRICS, might, however, prove to be the real thing. But there’s much to be done to cross that watershed rather than simply be swept over it willy-nilly: the reform of the U.N. Security Council, and above all, the reform of the Bretton Woods system, especially those two crucial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

On the other hand, willy-nilly may prove the way of the world.  After all, as emerging superstars, the BRICS have a ton of problems.  True, in only the last seven years Brazil has added 40 million people as middle-class consumers; by 2016, it will have invested another $900 billion — more than a third of its GDP — in energy and infrastructure; and it’s not as exposed as some BRICS members to the imponderables of world trade, since its exports are only 11% of GDP, even less than the U.S.

Still, the key problem remains the same: lack of good management, not to mention a swamp of corruption. Brazil’s brazen new monied class is turning out to be no less corrupt than the old, arrogant, comprador elites that used to run the country.

In India, the choice seems to be between manageable and unmanageable chaos. The corruption of the country’s political elite would make Shiva proud. Abuse of state power, nepotistic control of contracts related to infrastructure, the looting of mineral resources, real estate property scandals — they’ve got it all, even if India is not a Hindu Pakistan. Not yet anyway.

Since 1991, “reform” in India has meant only one thing: unbridled commerce and getting the state out of the economy. Not surprisingly then, nothing is being done to reform public institutions, which are a scandal in themselves. Efficient public administration? Don’t even think about it. In a nutshell, India is a chaotic economic dynamo and yet, in some sense, not even an emerging power, not to speak of a superpower.

Russia, too, is still trying to find the magic mix, including a competent state policy to exploit the country’s bounteous natural resources, extraordinary space, and impressive social talent.  It must modernize fast as, apart from Moscow and St. Petersburg, relative social backwardness prevails. Its leaders remain uneasy about neighboring China (aware that any Sino-Russian alliance would leave Russia as a distinctly junior partner).  They are distrustful of Washington, anxious over the depopulation of their eastern territories, and worried about the cultural and religious alienation of their Muslim population.

Then again the Putinator is back as president with his magic formula for modernization: a strategic German-Russian partnership that will benefit the power elite/business oligarchy, but not necessarily the majority of Russians.


Dead in the Woods

The post-World War II Bretton Woods system is now officially dead, totally illegitimate, but what are the BRICS planning to do about it?

At their summit in New Delhi in late March, they pushed for the creation of a BRICS development bank that could invest in infrastructure and provide them with back-up credit for whatever financial crises lie down the road. The BRICS know perfectly well that Washington and the European Union (EU) will never relinquish control of the IMF and the World Bank. Nonetheless, trade among these countries will reach an impressive $500 billion by 2015, mostly in their own currencies.

However, BRICS cohesion, to the extent it exists, centers mostly around shared frustration with the Masters of the Universe-style financial speculation that nearly sent the global economy off a cliff in 2008. True, the BRICS crew also has a notable convergence of policy and opinion when it comes to embattled Iran, an Arab Sprung Middle East, and Northern Africa. Still, for the moment the key problem they face is this: they don’t have an ideological or institutional alternative to neo-liberalism and the lordship of global finance.

As Vijay Prashad has noted, the Global North has done everything to prevent any serious discussion of how to reform the global financial casino. No wonder the head of the G-77 group of developing nations (now G-132, in fact), Thai ambassador Pisnau Chanvitan, has warned of “behavior that seems to indicate a desire for the dawn of a new neocolonialism.”

Meanwhile, things happen anyway, helter-skelter.  China, for instance, continues to informally advance the yuan as a globalizing, if not global, currency. It’s already trading in yuan with Russia and Australia, not to mention across Latin America and in the Middle East. Increasingly, the BRICS are betting on the yuan as their monetary alternative to a devalued U.S. dollar.

Japan is using both yen and yuan in its bilateral trade with its huge Asian neighbor. The fact is that there’s already an unacknowledged Asian free-trade zone in the making, with China, Japan, and South Korea on board.

What’s ahead, even if it includes a BRICS-bright future, will undoubtedly be very messy.  Just about anything is possible (verging on likely), from another Great Recession in the U.S. to European stagnation or even the collapse of the eurozone, to a BRICS-wide slowdown, a tempest in the currency markets, the collapse of financial institutions, and a global crash.

And talk about messy, who could forget what Dick Cheney said, while still Halliburton’s CEO, at the Institute of Petroleum in London in 1999: “The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies.” No wonder when, as vice president, he came to power in 2001, his first order of business was to “liberate” Iraq’s oil. Of course, who doesn’t remember how that ended?

Now (different administration but same line of work), it’s an oil-embargo-cum-economic-war on Iran. The leadership in Beijing sees Washington’s whole Iran psychodrama as a regime-change plot, pure and simple, having nothing to do with nuclear weapons. Then again, the winner so far in the Iran imbroglio is China. With Iran’s banking system in crisis, and the U.S. embargo playing havoc with that country’s economy, Beijing can essentially dictate its terms for buying Iranian oil.

The Chinese are expanding Iran’s fleet of oil tankers, a deal worth more than $1 billion, and that other BRICS giant, India, is now purchasing even more Iranian oil than China. Yet Washington won’t apply its sanctions to BRICS members because these days, economically speaking, the U.S. needs them more than they need the U.S.


The World Through Chinese Eyes

Which brings us to the dragon in the room: China.

What’s the ultimate Chinese obsession? Stability, stability, stability. 

The usual self-description of the system there as “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is, of course, as mythical as a gorgon. In reality, think hardcore neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics led by men who have every intention of saving global capitalism.

At the moment, China is smack in the middle of a tectonic, structural shift from an export/investment model to a services/consumer-led model. In terms of its explosive economic growth, the last decades have been almost unimaginable to most Chinese (and the rest of the world), but according to the Financial Times, they have also left the country’s richest 1% controlling 40%-60% of total household wealth. How to find a way to overcome such staggering collateral damage? How to make a system with tremendous inbuilt problems function for 1.3 billion people?

Enter “stability-mania.” Back in 2007, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was warning that the Chinese economy could become “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable.” These were the famous “Four Uns.”

Today, the collective leadership, including the next Prime Minister, Li Leqiang, has gone a nervous step further, purging “unstable” from the Party’s lexicon.  For all practical purposes, the next phase in the country’s development is already upon us.

It will be quite something to watch in the years to come.

How will the nominally “communist” princelings — the sons and daughters of top revolutionary Party leaders, all immensely wealthy, thanks, in part, to their cozy arrangements with Western corporations, plus the bribes, the alliances with gangsters, all those “concessions” to the highest bidder, and the whole Western-linked crony-capitalist oligarchy — lead China beyond the “Four Modernizations”? Especially with all that fabulous wealth to loot.

The Obama administration, expressing its own anxiety, has responded to the clear emergence of China as a power to be reckoned with via a “strategic pivot” — from its disastrous wars in the Greater Middle East to Asia.  The Pentagon likes to call this “rebalancing” (though things are anything but rebalanced or over for the U.S. in the Middle East).

Before 9/11, the Bush administration had been focused on China as its future global enemy number one.  Then 9/11 redirected it to what the Pentagon called “the arc of instability,” the oil heartlands of the planet extending from the Middle East through Central Asia.  Given Washington’s distraction, Beijing calculated that it might enjoy a window of roughly two decades in which the pressure would be largely off.  In those years, it could focus on a breakneck version of internal development, while the U.S. was squandering mountains of money on its nonsensical “Global War on Terror.”

Twelve years later, that window is being slammed shut as from India, Australia, and the Philippines to South Korea and Japan, the U.S. declares itself back in the hegemony business in Asia. Doubts that this was the new American path were dispelled by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s November 2011 manifesto in Foreign Policy magazine, none too subtly labeled “America’s Pacific Century.” (And she was talking about this century, not the last one!)

The American mantra is always the same: “American security,” whose definition is: whatever happens on the planet.  Whether in the oil-rich Persian Gulf where Washington “helps” allies Israel and Saudi Arabia because they feel threatened by Iran, or Asia where similar help is offered to a growing corps of countries that are said to feel threatened by China, it’s always in the name of U.S. security. In either case, in just about any case, that’s what trumps all else.

As a result, if there is a 33-year Wall of Mistrust between the U.S. and Iran, there is a new, growing Great Wall of Mistrust between the U.S. and China.  Recently, Wang Jisi, Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University and a top Chinese strategic analyst, offered the Beijing leadership’s perspective on that “Pacific Century” in an influential paper he coauthored.

China, he and his coauthor write, now expects to be treated as a first-class power.  After all, it “successfully weathered… the 1997-98 global financial crisis,” caused, in Beijing’s eyes, by “deep deficiencies in the U.S. economy and politics. China has surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy and seems to be the number two in world politics, as well… Chinese leaders do not credit these successes to the United States or to the U.S.-led world order.”

The U.S., Wang adds, “is seen in China generally as a declining power over the long run… It is now a question of how many years, rather than how many decades, before China replaces the United States as the largest economy in the world… part of an emerging new structure.”  (Think: BRICS.)

In sum, as Wang and his coauthor portray it, influential Chinese see their country’s development model providing “an alternative to Western democracy and experiences for other developing countries to learn from, while many developing countries that have introduced Western values and political systems are experiencing disorder and chaos.”

Put it all in a nutshell and you have a Chinese vision of the world in which a fading U.S. still yearns for global hegemony and remains powerful enough to block emerging powers — China and the other BRICS — from their twenty-first century destiny.


Dr. Zbig’s Eurasian Wet Dream

Now, how does the U.S. political elite see that same world? Virtually no one is better qualified to handle that subject than former national security adviser, BTC pipeline facilitator, and briefly Obama ghost adviser, Dr. Zbigniew (“Zbig”) Brzezinski.  And he doesn’t hesitate to do so in his latest book, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power.

If the Chinese have their strategic eyes on those other BRICS nations, Dr. Zbig remains stuck on the Old World, newly configured.  He is now arguing that, for the U.S. to maintain some form of global hegemony, it must bet on an “expanded West.”  That would mean strengthening the Europeans (especially in energy terms), while embracing Turkey, which he imagines as a template for new Arab democracies, and engaging Russia, politically and economically, in a “strategically sober and prudent fashion.”

Turkey, by the way, is no such template because, despite the Arab Spring, for the foreseeable future, there are no new Arab democracies. Still, Zbig believes that Turkey can help Europe, and so the U.S., in far more practical ways to solve certain global energy problems by facilitating its “unimpeded access across the Caspian Sea to Central Asia’s oil and gas.”

Under the present circumstances, however, this, too, remains something of a fantasy.  After all, Turkey can only become a key transit country in the great energy game on the Eurasian chessboard I’ve long labeled Pipelineistan if the Europeans get their act together.  They would have to convince the energy-rich, autocratic “republic” of Turkmenistan to ignore its powerful Russian neighbor and sell them all the natural gas they need.  And then there’s that other energy matter that looks unlikely at the moment: Washington and Brussels would have to ditch counterproductive sanctions and embargos against Iran (and the war games that go with them) and start doing serious business with that country.

Dr. Zbig nonetheless proposes the notion of a two-speed Europe as the key to future American power on the planet.  Think of it as an upbeat version of a scenario in which the present Eurozone semi-collapses.  He would maintain the leading role of the inept bureaucratic fat cats in Brussels now running the EU, and support another “Europe” (mostly the southern “Club Med” countries) outside the euro, with nominally free movement of people and goods between the two. His bet — and in this he reflects a key strand of Washington thinking — is that a two-speed Europe, a Eurasian Big Mac, still joined at the hip to America, could be a globally critical player for the rest of the twenty-first century.

And then, of course, Dr. Zbig displays all his Cold Warrior colors, extolling an American future “stability in the Far East” inspired by “the role Britain played in the nineteenth century as a stabilizer and balancer of Europe.”  We’re talking, in other words, about this century’s number one gunboat diplomat.  He graciously concedes that a “comprehensive American-Chinese global partnership” would still be possible, but only if Washington retains a significant geopolitical presence in what he still calls the “Far East” — “whether China approves or not.”

The answer will be “not.”

In a way, all of this is familiar stuff, as is much of actual Washington policy today.  In his case, it’s really a remix of his 1997 magnum opus The Grand Chessboard  in which, he once again certifies that “the huge Trans-Eurasian continent is the central arena of world affairs.” Only now reality has taught him that Eurasia can’t be conquered and America’s best shot is to try to bring Turkey and Russia into the fold.


Robocop Rules

Yet Brzezinski looks positively benign when you compare his ideas to Hillary Clinton’s recent pronouncements, including her address to the tongue-twistingly named World Affairs Council 2012 NATO Conference.  There, as the Obama administration regularly does, she highlighted “NATO’s enduring relationship with Afghanistan” and praised negotiations between the U.S. and Kabul over “a long-term strategic partnership between our two nations.”

Translation; despite being outmaneuvered by a minority Pashtun insurgency for years, neither the Pentagon nor NATO have any intention of rebalancing out of their holdings in the Greater Middle East.  Already negotiating with President Hamid Karzai’s government in Kabul for staying rights through 2024, the U.S. has every intention of holding onto three major strategic Afghan bases: Bagram, Shindand (near the Iranian border), and Kandahar (near the Pakistani border). Only the terminally naïve would believe the Pentagon capable of voluntarily abandoning such sterling outposts for the monitoring of Central Asia and strategic competitors Russia and China.

NATO, Clinton added ominously, will “expand its defense capabilities for the twenty-first century,” including the missile defense system the alliance approved at its last meeting in Lisbon in 2010.

It will be fascinating to see what the possible election of socialist François Hollande as French president might mean.  Interested in a deeper strategic partnership with the BRICS, he is committed to the end of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  The question is: Would his victory throw a monkey wrench into NATO’s works, after these years under the Great Liberator of Libya, that neo-Napoleonic image-maker Nicolas Sarkozy (for whom France was just mustard in Washington’s steak tartar).

No matter what either Dr. Zbig or Hillary might think, most European countries, fed up with their black-hole adventures in Afghanistan and Libya, and with the way NATO now serves U.S. global interests, support Hollande on this. But it will still be an uphill battle. The destruction and overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan regime was the highpoint of the recent NATO agenda of regime change in MENA (the Middle East-Northern Africa). And NATO remains Washington’s plan B for the future, if the usual network of think tanks, endowments, funds, foundations, NGOs, and even the U.N. fail to provoke what could be described as YouTube regime change.

In a nutshell: after going to war on three continents (in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Libya), turning the Mediterranean into a virtual NATO lake, and patrolling the Arabian Sea non-stop, NATO will be, according to Hillary, riding on “a bet on America’s leadership and strength, just as we did in the twentieth century, for this century and beyond.” So 21 years after the end of the Soviet Union — NATO’s original raison d’etre — this could be the way the world ends; not with a bang, but with NATO, in whimpering mode, still fulfilling the role of perpetual global Robocop.

We’re back once again with Dr. Zbig and the idea of America as the “promoter and guarantor of unity” in the West, and as “balance and conciliator” in the East (for which it needs bases from the Persian Gulf to Japan, including those Afghan ones). And don’t forget that the Pentagon has never given up the idea of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance.

For all that military strength, however, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is distinctly a New World (and not in North America either).  Against the guns and the gunboats, the missiles and the drones, there is economic power.  Currency wars are now raging. BRICS members China and Russia have cordilleras of cash. South America is uniting fast. The Putinator has offered South Korea an oil pipeline. Iran is planning to sell all its oil and gas in a basket of currencies, none dollars. China is paying to expand its blue-water Navy and its anti-ship missile weaponry. One day, Tokyo may finally realize that, as long as it is occupied by Wall Street and the Pentagon, it will live in eternal recession. Even Australia may eventually refuse to be forced into a counterproductive trade war with China.

So this twenty-first century world of ours is shaping up right now largely as a confrontation between the U.S./NATO and the BRICS, warts and all on every side. The danger: that somewhere down the line it turns into a Full Spectrum Confrontation. Because make no mistake, unlike Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi, the BRICS will actually be able to shoot back.

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times, a TomDispatch regular, and a political analyst for al-Jazeera and RT. His latest book is Obama Does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

How to spy on a mobile

Posted by spy gsm ·

             Following the broadcast of the show Forbidden zone April 10, 2011 on M6 treating the subject of monitoring in general (domestic, employees, children …), I received many questions on my blog software presented on video or more broadly the tools to monitor anyone with a phone that is like iPhone, Blackberry, Android or other …

             You must install the Flash Player Plugin

             Indeed, in the first part of the show, there are two men who installed monitoring software on the phones of their respective spouses. Before I give you an overview of the software used, it is important to note that these monitoring tools for mobile (or PC as SniperSpy ) are not only used for monitoring a spouse, they can be used to monitor their children for whom it is of concern, an employee to ensure loyalty to the company or the use he makes of his professional portable … This software can also be a way to be sure of finding his personal data, secure or locate his mobile in case of loss or theft.

             Spyware :: Spy-GSM: GSM Surveillance Spy Software Reviews PC http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&rurl=tran…

             To return the software presented, it is software Global GSM Control (French version of the software well known Flexispy ) and Mobile Spy (also known as Flexispy).

Be aware that these programs are very powerful and work in the background and are

completely invisible on the monitored cell. They are compatible with many cell phone.

Each of these two software offers a range of diverse and varied features and prices obviously depend on the number of these features but also the duration of the subscription selected.

             Indeed, you can choose from subscriptions of 3 months, 6 or year for Mobile Spy , Global GSM Control meanwhile offers three versions and a license valid for 12 months (no subscription. Prices for these 2 software is reasonable in the proposed monitoring capability but also the price adjustment at the user’s need in terms of usage time he wants.

To return to the features, you must know that Global GSM Control is a monitoring tool for mobile phones more complete than SPY Mobile. Depending on version, it offers as an example a very powerful feature that is listening environment or listening live telephone conversations. Mobile Spy and Global GSM Control , as mentioned earlier, offer several modules adapted to the needs of each and budget. Among the features are cited: access to Email and SMS sent and received even those that were deleted, consultation with videos and photos stored on the phones, access to call history, GPS … For more details on features, I suggest you go to articles about each program ( GSM Global Control , Mobile Spy )

             Note that to use for an iPhone, you need to jailbreak (Only the iPhone).

             The blog presents only the software I tested and for which I have had positive feedback from users … Feel free to visit the other blog posts for information and more information on these two latest software, or more generally on all the tools on the market and ESPECIALLY to know the users’ comments and avoid getting scammed .

Categories: Spy Android , Blackberry Spy , Spy HTC , iPhone Spy , Spy LG , Nokia Spy , Spy samsung , SMS Spy , Global GSM Control , Mobile Spy , Surveillance PC

Comments (16) Global GSM Control you will, with his power, to do a lot of impressive things with the multitude of features it offers. Depending on your needs, Global GSM Control offers versions with the bare minimum of features espionage until the most complete version offering an arsenal of powerful tools. For you to assess your needs and make your choice! In general, the features offered by the versions are:

             (For more details on the contents of each version of Global GSM Control, visit the official

website ):* Interception of calls in progress

* Listen environmental

* Spy SMS and Email

* The GPS Location

* Location Triangulation (without GPS you can know the position of the target phonewith an accuracy of 5 to 10m)

* Read the Call Logs Relay

* Email (sending reports to your email address)

* Notification of change of SIM card (In case of change of the target phone SIM card,

software GGC send you the new number via SMS so you can continue your spying)

* Control and configuration remotely with SMS commands (all software functions GGC

are activated / deactivated remotely via SMS commands coded invisible, the

frequency of sending the captured data and also configurable via SMS)

* Export reports

* Uninstall remotely via an SMS command

* Change unlimited phone target

* Quick and easy installation (5 to 10 minutes)

* Free updates

* 100% undetectable

* Copy cats BlackBerry Messenger

* Interception and copy cats WhatsApp Messenger (New! for iPhones and Android phones)

* Support in French competent and highly reactive

* Secured Personal Web Account

             In view of all these features, its performance, manuals and quality of its support in French, the software is up to investment. Moreover, like any software for which I wrote an article on the blog, my test results on my iPhone were more than satisfactory, I will not hesitate to recommendit to anyone.

             Spyware :: Spy-GSM: GSM Surveillance Spy Software Reviews PC http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&rurl=tran…

             Mobile Spy ( www.espionnertelephone.com ) today announced the immediate availability of their iPhone spy software 4. If you want to spy on an iPhone 4, Mobile Spy is the first software on the market today that supports the new iPhone 4. This was actually a lot of time considering the fact that the iPhone 4 was marketed about five months ago.

             I know many readers have long sought an application that supports the iPhone 4. At least their wait is finally over.

             So what are the features of Mobile Spy for iPhone 4?

             Spyware :: Spy-GSM: GSM Surveillance Spy Software Reviews PC  http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&rurl=tran…

             The main features that I’ve tested:

            GPS tracking – This feature allows you to secretly locate the iPhone 4 in real time. The results are then displayed on a map.

             Secretly Read the SM S – With this feature you will be able to read all incoming and  outgoing SMS. This works even if messages are deleted after they are read.

             Secretly read emails – Mobile Spy software also allows you to read the incoming and outgoing emails. This also works even if the emails are deleted.

            Secretly see the pictures – This feature allows you to view all photos taken by the iPhone

             View call logs – This lets you view all your call logs on the iPhone 4. Incoming, outgoing, caller name associated with the number in the address book, time and date.

See the history of web browser – see the URLs of websites visited by the user of the


             See the Contact List – This feature of Mobile Spy, you will be able to view all contacts stored on the iPhone 4.

             Other points to note are:

             The software operates in 100% undetectable. This means that the user of the iPhone 4 has no idea that Mobile Spy is installed.

             The iPhone 4 MUST be jailbroken. To use Mobile Spy. This is now very easy to do and only takes a few minutes (see HERE how).

             The iPhone 4 requires an Internet subscription. To download the information recorded.


Singapore raises sea defenses against tide of climate


Reuters –

             A 15-km (10 mile) stretch of crisp white beach is one of the key battlegrounds in Singapore’s campaign to defend its hard-won territory against rising sea levels linked to climate change.

Stone breakwaters are being enlarged on the low-lying island state’s man-made east coast and their heights raised. Barges carrying imported sand top up the beach, which is regularly breached by high tides.

Singapore, the world’s second most densely populated country after Monaco, covers 715 square km (276 sq miles). It has already reclaimed large areas to expand its economy and population — boosting its land area by more than 20 percent since 1960.

But the new land is now the frontline in a long-term battle against the sea.

Every square meter is precious in Singapore.

One of the world’s wealthiest nations in per-capita terms, it is also among the most vulnerable to climate change that is heating up the planet, changing weather patterns and causing seas to rise as the oceans warm and glaciers and icecaps melt.

Late last year, the government decided the height of all new reclamations must be 2.25 meters (7.5 feet) above the highest recorded tide level — a rise of a meter over the previous mandated minimum height.

The additional buffer was costly but necessary, Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told Reuters in a recent interview.

“You are buying insurance for the future,” he said during a visit to a large flood control barrier that separates the sea from a reservoir in the central business area.

The decision underscores the government’s renowned long-term planning and the dilemma the country faces in fighting climate change while still trying to grow. It also highlights the problem facing other low-lying island states and coastal cities and the need to prepare.

A major climate change review for the Chinese government last week said China’s efforts to protect vulnerable coastal areas with embankments were inadequate. It said in the 30 years up to 2009, the sea level off Shanghai rose 11.5 centimeters (4.5 inches); in the next 30 years, it will probably rise another 10 to 15 centimeters.


Since it was created by the British as a trading port in the early 19th century, Singapore has turned to the sea to expand and has become one of the world’s fastest-growing countries in terms of new land area. More land is being regularly reclaimed.

In this pocket powerhouse, there is much to protect. Singapore’s recipe for success is to be a city of superlatives to keep ahead of competitors. It is a major Asian centre for finance, shipping, trading, manufacturing, even gambling, with giant casinos as glitzy as those in Las Vegas or Macau.

Much of the city centre is on reclaimed land, including an expanding financial district, a new terminal for ocean liners and a $3.2 billion underground expressway, part of which runs under the sea.

The industrial west has one of Asia’s largest petrochemical complexes, much of it on reclaimed islands.

The wealth generated from these sectors has created a $255 billion economy. Per-capita GDP stands on a par with the United States at nearly $50,000, though opposition politicians complain about growing wealth gaps within the island’s society.

The U.N. climate panel says sea levels could rise between 18 and 59 centimeters (7 to 24 inches) this century and more if parts of Antarctica and Greenland melt faster. Some scientists say the rise is more likely to be in a range of 1 to 2 meters.

Singapore could cope with a rise of 50 cm to 1 m, coastal scientist Teh Tiong Sa told Reuters during a tour of the East Coast Park, the city’s main recreation area.

“But a rise of two meters would turn Singapore into an island fortress,” said Teh, a retired teacher from Singapore’s National Institute for Education. That would mean constructing more and higher walls to protect against the sea.

Indeed, between 70 and 80 percent of Singapore already has some form of coastal protection, the government says.

The dilemma Singapore faces is mirrored by other coastal cities, such as Mumbai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and New York, though not all have Singapore’s financial muscle.

The threat underscores the limits on Singapore’s physical growth in terms of further reclamation, costs and managing long-term growth of its population, which has risen from 3 million in 1990 to nearly 5.2 million in 2011.

Topping up reclamation levels “does not fundamentally change the way we approach reclamation — while we reclaim to meet our development needs, we are cognisant that there is a physical limit to how much more land we can reclaim,” a spokesman for the National Climate Change Secretariat told Reuters.

To make more efficient use of existing land, a government agency floated the idea this month of building a science city 30 stories underground.


Climate change presents a host of other challenges.

More intense rainfall has caused embarrassing floods in the premier Orchard Road shopping area.

And the government says average daily temperature in tropical Singapore could increase by 2.7 to 4.2 degrees Celsius (4.9 to 7.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from the current average of 26.8 deg C (80.2 F) by 2100, which could raise energy use for cooling.

Here lies another dilemma. The country is already one of the most energy intensive in Asia to power its industries and fiercely airconditioned malls and glass office towers — a paradox in a country at such risk from climate change.

The government has focused on energy efficiency, such as strict building codes and appliance labeling to curb the growth of planet-warming carbon emissions and has steadily switched its power stations to burn gas instead of fuel oil.

It has also invested heavily in slick subway lines and promoted investment and research in the clean-tech sector.

But electricity demand is still set to grow. Consumption doubled between 1995 and 2010, government figures show, and long-term reliance on fossil fuels for energy is unlikely to change, given limited space for green energy such as solar.

Balakrishnan said the government is keen to do its part in any global fight against climate change and that pushing for greater energy efficiency made sense anyway in a country with virtually no natural resources.

But there was a limit to how fast it would move, opening the way for criticism from some countries that Singapore was hiding behind its developing country status under the United Nations, which obliges it to take only voluntary steps to curb emissions.

“What we want is a level playing field and unilateral moves are not feasible, not possible, for a small, tiny island state that actually is not going to make a real difference at a global level to greenhouse gases,” Balakrishnan said.

Singapore’s emissions, though, are forecast to keep growing, having roughly doubled since 1990. The government is looking at putting a price on carbon emissions and perhaps setting up an emissions trading market.

“We’re already half way there in the sense we are already pricing everything according to the market,” said Tilak Doshi, head of energy economics at the Energy Studies Institute in Singapore.

He pointed to Singapore being the world’s largest bunkering port.

“Bunkering is huge in terms of carbon emissions and Singapore can play a key role in how to handle global shipping emissions,” he said. “How to handle bunker fuels — do we tax it, do we cap-and-trade it, do we get bunkering companies to start trading emissions certificates?”

The government has a number of levers to adjust energy policies over time. Against rising sea levels, it is a campaign in progress to tame the tides.

In some cases, it might be better to let the sea reclaim the land in a managed retreat, said Teh, the coastal scientist.

“It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Some areas you keep, others you let go.” For land-limited Singapore, that could prove a tough decision to make.

(Editing by Ron Popeski and Sanjeev Miglani)

Regicide: The Official Assassination of JFK

by Gregory Douglas




                         The Central Intelligence Agency grew out of the wartime Office of Special Services (OSS) which was set up by William Donovan, a New York attorney, at the request of his friend, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The President, a firm supporter of Josef Stalin and a man of strong left wing politics, mandated the OSS to render as much logistical support to the Soviet Union as possible. The Roosevelt administration was packed with Soviet agents who dedicated their existence to the unqualified support of the Communist State.

Top presidential aide Harry Hopkins has been identified as a paid Soviet agent as were Harry Dexter White, top advisor to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Alger Hiss, senior official of the Department of State, David K. Niles, senior presidential advisor, and many others.

The Vice President, Henry Wallace, was in complete sympathy with the aims of Stalin, and while he was not a paid agent, he was an agent of influence and worked closely with the head of Soviet intelligence in Washington throughout and after the war.

The OSS was filled with pro-Soviet agents who had been instructed by OSS chief William Donovan to cooperate fully with their counterparts in the NKVD.[1]

With the death of Roosevelt in April of 1945 and the elevation of Vice President Harry Truman to the presidency, the eager, unstinting and certainly unquestioned cooperation between Stalin’s agents and the United States came to an end. Unlike his predecessor, Truman was not enraptured with fuzzy dreams of a People’s Republic on the Potomac and almost immediately ordered the disbanding of the OSS.[2]

A number of its ultra-left wing former agents were posted to the U.S. Department of State to await a dignified separation from government service, untainted by accusations of being active Communists. There the matter stood until 1947 when Truman mandated the formation of a new intelligence-gathering agency.

This was to be called the Central Intelligence Agency and its sole purpose was to keep the President and his top officials current with global political intelligence.[3]

Military intelligence was in the hands of the respective services, but Truman wished to prevent another Pearl Harbor from being launched on the United States. One of the training films shown to CIA recruits has this anti-Pearl Harbor message as its main theme.[4]

If the purpose of the CIA was to prevent future surprise attacks on the United States, the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, are overwhelming evidence that an astronomical amount of taxpayer’s money was completely wasted.

The vast sums voted by Congress and not subject to accounting under any circumstances might have been far better spent on constructive national programs that would have been subject to strict accountability.[5]

Starting out as a small agency under the direction of Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the CIA was filled with former OSS personnel who certainly found their new role confusing. Instead of giving powerful assistance to the Soviet Union, their new agency rapidly grew into an anti-Soviet entity.

When Allen Welch Dulles joined the CIA in 1950, the agency was under the control of General Walter Bedell Smith, once Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff and later U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Dulles had been the OSS Chief of Station in neutral Switzerland and his officially praised activities there were nothing more than an intelligence disaster of the highest magnitude.

Dulles, who always entertained a very high opinion of himself, attempted to penetrate the defenses of the German Reich and actually believed that he had done so with brilliant success. In truth, German counterintelligence had easily penetrated his organization and filled the complaisant Dulles with an incredible amount of highly destructive disinformation.

The Dulles analysis of conditions inside the Greater German Reich, when read with hindsight, would be amusing in the extreme had not so many OSS agents been caught and executed because of the incompetence of the OSS chief of station, in many cases by the same man who later occupied a prominent position in the CIA.[6]

The Cold War was an engineered affair and its chief architect was former German Army General Reinhard Gehlen, a former head of the Soviet military intelligence section of the Wehrmacht. In 1948, at the request of his superiors, Gehlen concocted a lengthy pseudo-informational report stating that 135 Soviet armored divisions were poised to strike into Central Europe.

This report was a complete fiction and was prepared solely to create a situation wherein the American military could legitimately increase its size, and American business, in a slump after the end of the boom years of World War II, would once again gear up for a highly profitable wartime economy.

The so-called Gehlen Report was brilliantly successful once it had been leaked to key members of Congress and the President. This was the starting gun of a Cold War that ran on for over forty years and lofted the CIA into a position of supreme power in the ruling circles of the American government.[7]

Because of what they convinced the American leadership was a mortal danger to the security of the United States, the CIA grew from an informational service to an enormous, bloated agency with tens of thousands of employees and an annual budget running into the billions.

They were, as they often pointed out to various occupants of the Oval Office and Congress, the shield and buckler of American freedom and, by extension, the freedom of the rest of the world.[8] Or at least that part of the world that had the approval of the CIA and, by inference, the American government.

At the time of his devastating essay into creative writing, former General Gehlen was a paid employee of the CIA.[9]

After Truman came Eisenhower, a man who strongly supported the CIA and cooperated in its empire building. From modest quarters in a disused Washington hospital, the CIA later expanded into an enormous office complex in Langley, Virginia. It now owns hundreds of “proprietary” businesses, including air and shipping lines, publishing and weapons companies, think tanks, import and export companies, and telecommunication networks. It also controls hundreds, if not thousands, of voluntary sources scattered throughout key elements of both the American and European private sectors.[10]

It was under Eisenhower that the CIA launched its clandestine warfare against the Marxist Cuban regime of Fidel Castro, warfare that the Agency warmly believed would terminate in a successful invasion of the Caribbean bastion of the world Communist movement.

If history can be said to be instructive, the CIA, like the Bourbons, obviously forgot nothing and learned nothing from their past errors.

In 1956, a CIA-instigated revolt broke out in Hungary, fueled by repeated CIA promises of immediate U.S. military assistance if the occupants of that nation rose up against their Soviet occupiers.[11]

The revolt was an initial success, but President Eisenhower quite sensibly refused to support it with American military aid and it died in a bloodbath of Soviet military repression. Better, Eisenhower reasoned, a few thousand dead Hungarians than hundreds of thousands of dead Americans.

The identical scenario was to be repeated in the so-called Bay of Pigs invasion in April of 1961. Kennedy, Eisenhower’s successor, had only been partially briefed by the CIA and had given his conditional approval to the projected invasion by Cuban nationals of Castro’s fortress.[12]

In order to prevent another Hungarian fiasco, the CIA had thoughtfully dispatched a boatload of Cuban rebels disguised as members of the regular Cuban armed forces to launch an attack on the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

In furtherance of strongly desired military attacks on Cuba, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) prepared Operation NORTHWOODS. This plan was to deliberately provoke a war with Cuba by executing a series of assaults on the United States by American special forces! Boats full of Cuban refugees were to be sunk on the high seas, aircraft were to be hijacked, bombs detonated in American cities, an American military ship was to be blown up, and passenger aircraft destroyed in the air. All of these terrorist acts against American cities and its citizens, shockingly redolent of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, were to be planned and executed by the American military, under orders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and conducted by American military and civilian personnel.

The attacks on shipping in Guantánamo Bay were part and parcel of Operation NORTHWOODS:[13]

37. At that time, the FBI was involved, at the request of the Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, in watching the clandestine activities of the CIA and its Alpha and Omega special commando groups, some of whom were in training in the New Orleans area.

            38. The American President was greatly concerned that continued and fully unauthorized para-military action against Cuba might upset the balance he had achieved in seeking peace with the Soviet Union.

            39. It is knows from informants inside the CIA and also from Cuban double agents that the CIA was, in conjunction with the highest American military leadership, to force an American invasion of Cuba.

            40. These joint plans, which consisted of acts of extreme provocation by American units against American property and citizens,  were unknown to Kennedy.

            41. When the American President discovered that Cuban insurgents, under the control of the CIA and with the support of the highest military leadership, were embarked on a course of launching military action against American naval bases under the cover of being Cuban regular troops, he at once ordered a halt.

Russian Intelligence study

The JCS anticipated that the U.S. forces at the base would naturally return fire and call for military assistance. This assistance, they reasoned, would guarantee full, and official, American military support of their venture.

They did not anticipate that some unhelpful individual in their ranks would have informed Kennedy of their scheme to involve the United States in a massive invasion of Cuba, nor that the new President’s immediate response to the Guantánamo diversion was to not only recall the projected attackers but also refuse to support the CIA-organized landings at the Bay of Pigs.[14]

Instead of the Cuban people rising in joyous revolt against Castro, as the CIA pundits fondly believed, the evil Marxist dictator easily crushed the invasion and captured or killed all of the CIA’s troops.

There was great and understandable unhappiness in the camps of Cuban rebels, and the CIA, with commendable forthrightness, shifted the blame for the disaster onto the new President.

This was one of the major building blocks of the conspiracy to remove John Kennedy from office.

When the President learned the full scope of the CIA’s duplicity, he fired the beloved head of the CIA, Allen Welch Dulles, as well as General Charles P. Cabell and Richard E. Bissell, Jr., the CIA’s Director of Clandestine Services. He also told Senator Mike Mansfield that he planned to “break up the CIA and scatter it to the winds.”[15]

The leadership of the CIA, especially James Jesus Angleton, felt that Kennedy had sufficient knowledge of the Cuban putsch and that his sacking of their top officials and threats to disband them were merely designed to distance him from the debacle.[16]

This was another of the building blocks in the CIA’s growing fear of the Kennedy presidency.

After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the CIA continued their commando raids against Cuba and its ruler. It was during this time that Angleton approached the Chicago Mafia with an eye to assassinating Fidel Castro:[17]

47. The attempts of the CIA and the JCS to remove Castro by assassination are also part of the official record. These assassination plots, called RIFLE show the connections between the CIA and the Chicago branch of the Mafia. DIA analysis

The mob was certainly eager to regain control of its lucrative Cuban casinos, and various conversations took place concerning the physical removal of the Cuban leader.

As has always been the case, the CIA demands plausible deniability on its part should one of their often-bizarre plots suddenly come to the public attention. In the case of Castro, the plans discussed bordered on the lunatic: he would be blown up by a booby trap cunningly disguised as a rare sea shell; his wet suit would be poisoned; and even more ludicrous, a drug would be put into his shoes to cause his trademark beard to fall out![18]

As the usual method of Mafia removal was to shoot their target and be done with it, one wonders if Sam Giancana was entertaining himself with the slapstick efforts of the shield of democracy.

The Soviet KGB learned of these plots and Nikita Khrushchev became convinced that the United States planned to kill off one of his more prominent satellite leaders and invade his bastion of Western Hemisphere Marxism. In order to frustrate the United States in its ambitions and to protect his client, Khrushchev began to clandestinely move Soviet troops and missiles into the tropical paradise with an eye to balancing the scales.

The United States, after all, had placed its Jupiter missiles in Turkey, right on the Soviet border, and a quid pro quo appeared to be entirely in order:

74. American, and most especially the CIA, attempts to destabilize a Communist state i.e., Cuba, could not be permitted by the Soviet leadership. Castro was a most valuable client in that he provided an excellent base of intelligence and political operations in the American hemisphere. As the CIA had been setting up its own ring of hostile states surrounding the Soviet Union, Cuba was viewed officially as a completely legitimate area of political expansion. Threats of invasion and physical actions against Cuba were viewed by the Chairman as threats against the Soviet Union itself.”


Russian Intelligence Study,

77.Soviet attempts to gain a strategic foothold in close proximity to the United States and certainly well within missile range, was intolerable and had to be countered with equal force. At that time, the threat of major war was not only imminent but anticipated. In retrospect, all out nuclear warfare between the United States and the Soviet Union was only barely averted and only at the last minute. DIA analysis

The U.S. discovered the Soviet actions and the Cuban Missile Crisis erupted in October of 1962. Kennedy ordered overflights of Cuba to verify Soviet missile positions, then blockaded the country and threatened to prevent further Soviet shipments of weaponry by force if necessary.

In the end, common sense on both sides prevailed and the crisis ended peacefully. The Soviets agreed to withdraw their weapons and the United States agreed to withdraw its Jupiter missiles from Turkey. Kennedy also agreed to halt armed commando raids against Cuba and abandon any attempt to physically invade Khrushchev’s ally.

As this meant the cessation of the CIA attacks, the Agency was infuriated. The training and supply of these militant units was an excellent source of money that, again, did not need to be accounted for. The termination of funding for the Cuban adventurers meant a serious diminution of the flow of money that the CIA found so comforting and useful.[19]

As a result of his rapprochement with his opposite number in the Kremlin, Kennedy ordered all CIA incursions and commando activities against Cuba to cease.

The CIA paid no attention to the President’s orders and Kennedy then ordered the FBI to raid the CIA camps, seize weapons and paperwork and arrest anyone found:[20]


43. The American President, unsure of the depth of his influence with the leadership of the American military and the CIA, ordered the FBI to investigate these matters and ordered the Director, Hoover, to report directly to him on his findings

Russian Intelligence study

These actions merely confirmed to certain high elements in the CIA that Kennedy had to be silenced. He had, in fact, become a stone in their shoe.

What really convinced the CIA to remove their President had its roots in the Bay of Pigs episode and was viewed by Angleton, Crowley, and others as an imperative that both Kennedy and his brother Robert be removed from the levers of power as expeditiously as possible. Injured feelings and lost revenue aside, the leadership of the CIA did indeed have what could well be considered as a thoroughly legitimate reason for their actions.

One of the top Soviet intelligence agents in Washington at the time of the Bay of Pigs was Georgi N. Bolshakov. Ostensibly a reporter for the Soviet TASS news agency, Bolshakov was approached by Robert Kennedy’s press secretary, Edwin Guthman, shortly after the disastrous Bay of Pigs. The President and his brother were, above all, political pragmatists. They had learned this from their practical and ruthless father. From April of 1961 onward, the President of the United States, through his brother, the Attorney General, was in direct contact with Soviet Premier Khruschev, effectively bypassing not only his Department of State but the CIA as well.[21]

The Soviets bypassed their own ambassador in this, and the two leaders kept in constant contact. The purpose of this unofficial contact was to insure that neither party suffered from the actions of the other and that both men could be of mutual assistance to each other’s political careers without the danger of serious confrontations and possible conflict.

In August of 1961, in order to prevent the flight of valuable East German professionals to the West, the German capital was bisected by the Berlin wall. In the West, this act was viewed as a terrible provocation, but serious confrontation between the two powers was quickly averted when Kennedy granted, through the offices of Bolshakov, that he would not make any serious move to contest the Soviet actions.

The Kennedy-Khruschev contacts continued on a regular basis at the very least until January of 1963.[22]

In August of 1962, James Jesus Angleton, Chief of Counterintelligence for the CIA, was informed from a very reliable Soviet source that highly secret top-level American intelligence information was coming into the hands of the Soviet leadership on a regular basis. Angleton was given several specific items of an extraordinarily sensitive, and accurate, nature then circulating in Moscow.

A second report from the same source, via Sweden, in early September of 1962 thoroughly frightened Angleton and convinced him that there was a very high level mole somewhere in the upper levels of his own CIA.

Always inclined to a paranoid view of his profession,[23] the frantic Angleton started an intense search for the disastrous leak. The CIA was so large and those possessing knowledge of the secret material so diverse in number that he found himself frustrated in his efforts to pinpoint the mole in his agency.

Finally, Robert Crowley suggested a possible means by which the leak could be identified. He knew that the leaked information was all contained in the regular CIA reports that were circulated in official Washington. These reports were highly classified and only a handful of top-level personnel were privy to their contents.

Crowley suggested that each report be prepared with a different additive. The basic reports, he said, should all be the same but each one should contain an entirely different subject. This inclusion should be of such a nature as to draw strong attention to itself but not detract from the thrust of the intelligence evaluations.

Desperate and frantic at his lack of success in tracking the leak and the leakers, Angleton followed Crowley’s shrewd and very practical advice.

Subsequent top-level CIA briefing reports did indeed have the telltale additives included in them.

In December of 1962, a report from the Soviet source contained an almost verbatim copy of a CIA report with an identifying marker included.

Angleton and his inner circle of counter intelligence staff were horrified to discover that the leak was coming from the CIA reports given to the President himself!

It was a well-known Washington secret that the President entertained a steady stream of Washington prostitutes, party girls, and other women of easy virtue in the White House whenever his wife was absent. There were nude swimming parties in the White House pool with Kennedy and some of his aides cavorting with his female visitors. Drugs were used, including marijuana, cocaine, and, finally, LSD.[24]

Kennedy, who liked three-way sex, had professional pictures taken of himself and his ladies. A number of these photographs, developed and printed (and often framed as presidential gifts) by a well-known Washington photography gallery, came into the hands of Robert Crowley at one point and ended up in his papers:[25]


74….It is an absolute fact that both the American President, Kennedy, and his brother, the American Attorney General, were especially active in a sexual sense. A number of sexually explicit pictures of the President engaging in sexual acts are in the official files as are several pictures of the Attorney General, taken while on a visit to Moscow in 1961.

            75. The President was aware that a number of these pictures were in Soviet hands and acted accordingly. In addition to a regular parade of whores into the White House, it was also reliably reported from several sources that the President was a heavy user of various kinds of illegal narcotics. It is also known from medical reports that the President suffered from a chronic venereal disease for which he was receiving medical treatment.


Russian Intelligence study

Angleton found it an extremely difficult prospect to investigate the White House personnel to determine the source of the serious leaks of the CIA’s top briefing papers.

Kennedy’s personal staff was noted for its loyalty to the President and Angleton said repeatedly that any hint of his very active suspicions of peculation in the White House might well backfire in a fatal way if they became known.

Finally, in late December of 1962, a personal friend commented in passing that Bobby Kennedy had developed a very close relationship with a top Soviet agent in Washington, and at this point the entire secret backstairs diplomacy became a matter of growing knowledge in the CIA.

Angleton had the technical section of the CIA tap the telephones of the Attorney General, both those in his private office and the ones in his home in Virginia. It was only a matter of time before the CIA technicians successfully intercepted a call between Bobby Kennedy and Bolshakov in February of 1963.[26]

During the course of this taped conversation, it became very clear that the American President and the Soviet Premier had been in direct contact for some time through the medium of Bobby Kennedy and a senior KGB agent. A comment from the Russian about material that could only have come from the President’s CIA briefing papers convinced Angleton that the Kennedys were engaging in treasonable activities and had severely compromised a number of important CIA agents and operations throughout the world:  

76. In order to better cooperate with the Soviet Union, President Kennedy used to regularly keep in close, private communication with the Chairman. These contacts were kept private to prevent negative influences from the State Department and most certainly from the Central Intelligence Agency. The President said several times that he did not trust this agency who was bent on stirring up a war between the two nations. Through this personal contact, many matters that might have escalated due to the interference of others were peacefully settled. Russian Intelligence study


78.The President’s highly unorthodox form of personal diplomacy vis a vis the Soviets created far more problems that it ever solved. When it came to light, both the DOS and the CIA were extremely concerned that sensitive intelligence matters might have been inadvertently passed to the Soviets. DIA analysis

The fact that the President’s brother, with his permission, was passing what the CIA considered highly secret material to their chief enemy had a terrible effect. Angleton, who knew the President and his family socially, was devastated. In a series of private meetings held between himself and several of his trusted associates, including Robert Crowley (who took notes), Angleton made a strong case against Kennedy.

He claimed that Kennedy himself had approved the Bay of Pigs action but dropped it at the last minute out of moral weakness. Angleton believed that Kennedy then deliberately attacked the leadership of the CIA, firing Allen Dulles among others and basically accusing the Agency of bad faith and duplicity. Angleton was positive that Kennedy had fully approved all of the CIA’s actions in the Bay of Pigs mission but had blamed others to save his own reputation. The failure of the mission was, Angleton said, solely the result of Kennedy’s cowardice.

His negotiations behind the back of responsible American government agencies with the head of the Soviet Union smacked of treason and certainly undermined all of the intense work the CIA was doing to thwart Soviet imperialism both in Europe and Latin America.

But far and away the gravest charge leveled against the President was his behavior in not striking militarily at the armed Soviet troops and their deadly missiles stationed only a few miles away from American soil. Not only had Kennedy allowed the Soviets to get away with their aggression, he further removed American missiles from Turkey and materially weakened the American military position in Europe. As far as the passing of highly sensitive material to the Soviets was concerned, a furious Angleton claimed that this was high treason and the President should be removed from his high office.

Kennedy was far too popular to institute impeachment proceedings against him in the Congress.[27] Leaking the information about the CIA reports being given to Khruschev to the CIA’s many friendly press sources was also ruled out. If made public, this information would not only damage Kennedy, it would also damage the reputation of the CIA and unduly alarm its many highly placed international sources.

Finally, after a series of heated meetings over the period of a month, the subject of physical removal was not only broached but also developed. After all, the CIA had been responsible for a significant number of high-level political assassinations in the past, albeit in other countries,[28] and they had not only the means but also the conditioning to assist their planning.

In late February, the general outline of the plot was well set. Initial plans to blow up the presidential plane were scrapped. Secret Service and U.S. Air Force security were far too comprehensive to permit the clandestine placing of an explosive device on Air Force One.[29]

A second plan was to approach one of the President’s physicians, Dr. Max Jacobson, with a view to convince the doctor, who supplied and injected the President with amphetamines, to put certain fatal additives in Kennedy’s drugs. The CIA had a small but effective laboratory that specialized in rare poisons. This plan was rejected because it was felt Jacobson was unstable and associated with too many questionable individuals. Using his services would have necessitated removing the doctor as well, and Angleton was strongly against involving more untrustworthy people than necessary in his plot.

It was also suggested that since the President was known to sail in Massachusetts’ coastal waters, an assassin could either shoot him at a distance or attach an explosive charge to the bottom of his boat.[30] This was generally rejected by everyone but Angleton, because the President’s wife and children might well be on board and this was found to be unacceptable.

It was finally decided to shoot the President when he was in the open rather than in a building that could easily be sealed off and immediately searched. The political trip to Dallas had not yet been planned, and there was a great deal of practical work to do before any assassination could be successfully attempted.

If the President was shot in public, the assassin stood a high risk of being captured. If this happened, there was an even worse risk that he could somehow be traced to the CIA. The CIA therefore realized that it had to get the support of the entire governmental apparatus to be able to implement such a radical solution to what it considered to be the most serious threat to U.S. security in decades.

[1]    There is an excellent new book on this subject. Thomas Fleming, The New Dealers’ War, Basic Books, New York, 2001.

[2]    D. McCullough, op. cit. (passim.

[3]    See footnote

[4]    This contention can be found on the CIA’s web site, www.CIA.gov.

[5]    An excellent, if often anecdotal, accounting of the misuse by the CIA of its funding and other pertinent material, can be found in the two volume work, Müller Journals: The Washington Years, Vol. 1: 1948-1950, by G. Douglas, San Jose: Bender, 1999 The Müller in question had once been the head of the German Gestapo who was recruited by the CIA after the war and worked in Washington from 1948 onwards under the control of Robert Crowley. For additional information on the CIA’s use of Heinrich Müller, see Joseph Trento, The Secret History of the CIA, New York: Random House, 2001, p. 29 and notes. The former Gestapo chief worked with and was under the control of Robert Crowley, and this information can be found not only in the Douglas works but also in the Crowley Papers as noted by Trento.

[6]    Cf. G. Douglas, ibid., Vol. 1, pp. 12, 18, 22n, 232.

[7]    Christopher Simpson, Blowback, New York: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1988, pp. 60f.

[8]    An interesting work on the Bay of Pigs was prepared by some of its leading participants. Haynes Johnson et al., The Bay of Pigs, New York: W. W. Norton, 1964.

[9]    Gehlen initially worked for the United States Army until his group was given over to the CIA in 1948. It was run out of Pullach, a Munich suburb, by Colonel James Critchfield, an Army officer who worked for the CIA at that time. The CIA controlled Gehlen until 1955-56, when his organization was taken over by the West German Government as their equivalent of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).

[10]   See Appendix.

[11]   Background information about the Hungarian revolt can be found in C. Simpson, op. cit. (note pp. 254ff.

[12]   It has tentatively been approved by Eisenhower and was under the supervision of his Vice President, Richard M. Nixon, prior to Kennedy’s assumption of office in January of 1960; cf. P. Grose, op. cit. (p. 519; see also V. Marchetti, J. Marks, op. cit. (note pp. 260-265; H. Johnson, op. cit. (note

[13]   James Bamford, Body of Secrets, New York: Doubleday, 2001, pp. 82-91. Also see JCS, Top Secret/Special Handling/Noforn. Appendix to Enclosure A—“Pretexts to Justify US Military Intervention in Cuba, March 12, 1962”, Assassinations Records Review Board.

[14]   V. Marchetti, J. Marks, op. cit. (p. 108; also H. Johnson, op. cit.

[15]   R. Groden, H. Livingstone, op. cit. (p. 355. See also the Soviet Intelligence Study, Driscoll Report, p. 5, as reproduced on p. 76.

[16]   Bay of Pigs and the Dulles firing can be found in S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 202-221, P. Grose, op. cit.), 522-539.

[17]   Personal conversation with R. T. Crowley.

[18]   S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 185f., P. Grose, op. cit. pp. 493f.

[19]   Personal conversation with R. T. Crowley.

[20]   S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 380-383.

[21]   Driscoll Report, pp. 9, 18, as reproduced on p. 84, and S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 248ff., 254f., 261f.

[22]   S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 346-350 et seq.

[23]   James Jesus Angleton was an inherently suspicious person, bordering on paranoia. Driscoll Report, p. 18, no. 74 (see p. 54), and Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: The CIA’s Master Spy Hunter, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.

[24]   S. Hersh, op. cit. pp. 10f. et seq.; T. C. Reeves, op. cit. pp. 240ff., Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman, New York: Bantam Books, 1998, pp. 194ff.

[25]   These professional and pornographic pictures, 8½”×11″, black and white and color, were prepared for the President by the Mickelson Gallery in Washington (S. Hersh, op. cit. p. 11). These are from the Crowley Papers but are not included in the present work. Kennedy gave these very explicit pictures to various women who had participated in his group sex acts.

[26]   Later, the Director of the National Security Agency, Lieutenant General Gordon Blake, helped the CIA to gather more information on Kennedy’s activities: ZIPPER Document, 5, 21, 28 May (11:34am), 3, 4, 6, 19 June (11:35am), 25 June, 4, 11, 16 July (10:45am).

[27]   See ZIPPER Document, no. 4.

[28]   Patrice Lumumba, Rafael Trujillo, Salvatore Allende Goosens of Chile, President Diem of South Vietnam, plus many more, were all removed as the result of CIA orders. The leadership in Langley never pulled a trigger in its life but was very adept at getting its servitors to do this. All of this information stems directly from conversations with R. T. Crowley.

[29]   See the entries on AF1 (Air Force One) for 10 May, 24 May, 5 July 63 of the ZIPPER Document as reproduced in the Appendix.

[30]   See the entries on AF1 (Air Force One) for 2 May 63, 4:30pm-5:37pm, in the ZIPPER Document as reproduced in the Appendix.

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