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TBR News August 16, 2020

Aug 16 2020

The Voice of the White House

Comments for August 16, 2020; The campaign will be dirty on the Republican side, and very aggressive on the Democratic. Trump and his toadies will spew out the usual lies and racial insults and Biden or rather Harris, will expose the crooked dealing of the Republicans. They cannot accuse them of making fools of them because God beat them to it.

 

The Table of Contents

 

  • Voters can replace a party that knows how to fight with one that knows how to govern
  • Pelosi considering recalling Congress over Post Office woes
  • White House Plants Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorists Among Reporters in Briefing Room
  • Trump floats false, racist birther theory about Kamala Harris
  • A provable Trump scandal
  • The CIA’S Nazi Friends
  • The Encyclopedia of American Loons

 

Voters can replace a party that knows how to fight with one that knows how to govern

The division between Republicans and Democrats is no longer between left and right but between different core competences

August 16, 2020

by Robert Reich

The Guardian

As America heads into its quadrennial circus of nominating conventions (this year’s even more surreal because of the pandemic), it’s important to understand the real difference between America’s two political parties at this point in history.

Instead of “left” versus “right”, think of two different core competences.

The Democratic party is basically a governing party, organized around developing and implementing public policies. The Republican party has become an attack party, organized around developing and implementing political vitriol. Democrats legislate. Republicans fulminate.

In theory, politics requires both capacities – to govern, but also to fight to attain and retain power. The dysfunction today is that Republicans can’t govern and Democrats can’t fight.

Donald Trump is the culmination of a half-century of Republican belligerence. Richard Nixon’s “dirty tricks” were followed by Republican operative Lee Atwater’s smear tactics, Newt Gingrich’s take-no-prisoners reign as House speaker, the “Swift-boating” of John Kerry, and the Republicans’ increasingly blatant uses of racism and xenophobia to build an overwhelmingly white, rural base.

Atwater, trained in the southern swamp of the modern Republican party, once noted: “Republicans in the south could not win elections by talking about issues. You had to make the case that the other guy, the other candidate, is a bad guy.” Over time, the GOP’s core competence came to be vilification.

The stars of today’s Republican party, in addition to Trump, are all pugilists: Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio; Florida governor Ron DeSantis and Georgia’s Brian Kemp; Fox News’s Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson; and attack dogs like Rudolph Giuliani and Roger Stone.

But Republicans don’t have a clue how to govern. They’re hopeless at developing and implementing public policies or managing government. They can’t even agree on basics like how to respond to the pandemic or what to replace Obamacare with.

Meanwhile, the central competence of the Democratic party is running government – designing policies and managing the system. Once in office, Democrats spend countless hours cobbling together legislative and regulatory initiatives. They overflow with economic and policy advisers, programs, plans and goals.

But Democrats are lousy at bare-knuckles political fighting. Their presidential campaigns proffer policies but are often devoid of passion. Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid was little more than a long list of detailed proposals. Democrats seem stunned when their Republican opponents pillory them with lies, rage and ad hominem attacks.

This has put Democrats at a competitive disadvantage. Political campaigns might once have been about party platforms, but today’s electorate is angrier and more cynical. Policy ideas rarely make headlines; conflict does. Social media favor explosive revelations, including bald lies. No one remembers Hillary Clinton’s policy ideas from 2016; they only remember Trump’s attacks on her emails.

As a result, the party that’s mainly good at attacking has been winning elections – and pushed into governing, which it’s bad at. In 2016, the Republicans won the presidency, along with control over both chambers of Congress and most governorships. On the other hand, the party that’s mainly good at governing has been losing elections – pushed into the role of opposition and attack, which it’s bad at. (The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, however, seems to have a natural gift for it.)

This dysfunction has become particularly obvious – and deadly – in the current national emergency. Trump and Senate Republicans turned the pandemic and economic downturn into American catastrophes. They have no capacity to develop and implement strategies for dealing with them. Their kneejerk response is to attack – China, Democrats, public health officials, protesters, “lazy” people who won’t work.

Democrats know what to do – House Democrats passed a comprehensive coronavirus bill in May, and several Democratic governors have been enormously effective – but they’ve lacked power to put a national strategy into effect.

All this may change in a few months when Americans have an opportunity to replace the party that’s bad at governing with the one that’s good at it. After all, Joe Biden has been at it for most of the past half-century.

Trump and the Republican party will pull out all the stops, of course. They’ve already started mindless, smarmy attacks. That’s what they know how to do.

The big question hovering over the election is whether Democrats can summon enough fight to win against the predictable barrage. Biden’s choice of running mate, Kamala Harris, bodes well in this regard. Quite apart from all her other attributes, she’s a fierce fighter.

 

Pelosi considering recalling Congress over Post Office woes

August 15, 2020

by David Shepardson and Raphael Satter

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may recall lawmakers from a summer recess to address changes at the Postal Service that have prompted anger among Democrats and alarm about possible impact on the 2020 election.

A Democratic congressional aide confirmed a Politico report that Pelosi could call back the U.S. House later this month, well ahead of the scheduled resumption of votes in mid-September. The aide confirmed Pelosi held a call with other top Democrats on Saturday to discuss the idea.

“The President, his cronies and Republicans in Congress continue to wage their all-out assault on the Postal Service and its role in ensuring the integrity of the 2020 election,” Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday.

This week, Representative Carolyn Maloney, the Democratic chair of a House panel that oversees the Postal Service, introduced legislation to prohibit the service from implementing any changes to the operations or level of service it had in place in January 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

It is possible the House could vote on that measure, the aide said.

The struggling Post Office has suffered increasing delays following cost-cutting measures imposed by President Donald Trump’s new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy.

DeJoy’s downsizing drive – which has included curbs on overtime and removal of post boxes – has become a major concern for Democrats who accuse Trump of asphyxiating the Post Office to disrupt the Nov. 3 election, which is expected to feature an unprecedented wave of postal voting due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The disruption is driving an unusual amount of anger at DeJoy from otherwise middle-of-the-road politicians, with even some Republicans expressing worry amid reports that medical deliveries were being slowed.

Tennessee Democratic Representative Jim Cooper, a member of the centrist “Blue Dog” coalition, said he was among those who had called on Pelosi to reconvene Congress and that lawmakers should subpoena the postmaster general.

“If he fails to appear, we should send the Sgt at Arms to arrest him,” Cooper said in a Twitter post.

Trump offered qualified support for DeJoy on Saturday, saying he was a “very talented man” who was trying to streamline the Postal Service and only wanted to “make it great again” – a play on his 2016 campaign slogan.

On the other hand, Trump tried to put some distance between himself and the problems at the Post Office since DeJoy took over, telling reporters, “I don’t know what he’s doing,” when asked about DeJoy’s cuts.

On Friday, the Postal Service’s inspector general said it would be investigating the cuts – as well as potential conflicts of interest related to DeJoy’s ownership of millions of dollars in stock in Postal Service rivals and customers, according to a financial disclosure form filed by his wife.

`Early on Saturday, protesters gathered outside DeJoy’s upscale condominium in Washington to chant, bang pots and wave placards that denounced him as “Postmaster Saboteur.”

One sign read, “Deliver DeMail, Depose DeJoy.”

`Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Raphael Satter and Jan Wolfe; Editing by Daniel Wallis

 

White House Plants Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorists Among Reporters in Briefing Room

At every briefing this week, the president took a question from a website dedicated to smearing his political rivals.

August 15, 2020,

by Robert Mackey

The Intercept

 

In an apparent effort to make his daily news conferences even more like campaign events than they already are, the White House press office has been packing the briefing room with supporters of President Donald Trump from far-right media outlets who can be relied on to toss him softball questions and initiate attacks on his political rivals.

Clearly in on the plot, Trump solicited a question each day this week from one of the guests invited by his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, to stand at the back of the room — where representatives of One America News, The Epoch Times and Gateway Pundit compromised the health of reporters by violating social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

On Monday, Trump called on Chanel Rion, a far-right Republican operative and conspiracy theorist now working as a correspondent for One America News, a San Diego cable channel dedicated to spreading lies about Joe Biden and elderly protesters battered by the police.

Rion gave Trump the opportunity to unleash a familiar riff from his pre-pandemic rallies by suggesting to him that Biden might have been considering President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser, Susan Rice, as his running mate because, “she can best cover up a lot of the Obamagate surveillance crimes that have taken place during your campaign.” Trump responded by accusing Obama and Biden of “probably treason.”

The next day, Rion triggered another familiar Trump diatribe by asking for his take on the resignation of Carmen Best, the first Black woman to lead Seattle’s police force, after the city council voted to cut her department’s budget. “What does this say about our country?” Rion asked Trump. “And what does this say about the Defund Police movement?” The president replied by repeating the lie that Seattle’s Democratic mayor had let “a radical left group, Antifa and others, take over a big portion of the city.”

On Wednesday, Rion drew Trump’s attention to what looked like a fairly lame conservative prank — the fact that the obscure website antifa.com was suddenly redirecting traffic to Biden’s campaign site. Suggesting that this stunt might somehow indicate support for Biden from the loose network of antifascist groups Trump has falsely portrayed as a shadow army, Rion asked if the president thought Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, should “publicly denounce the Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization?”

“They should,” Trump replied. “I think they’re afraid to. In my book, it’s virtually a part of their campaign: Antifa.” There was nothing remotely surprising in Trump making the absurd argument that Biden, a centrist Democrat, is secretly part of an antifascist subculture, but Rion’s play-acting as a White House correspondent is not intended to elicit any new information from the president. The point of these exchanges is to shield Trump from what tough questions about his failure to lead a coordinated federal response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to give him an opportunity to repeat lines he has already rehearsed, delivered as if they were answers to questions of vital importance.

Rion, who has been attending briefings as a guest of the White House press secretary since April, previously traveled to Ukraine with the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to promote false accusations about Biden spread by the pro-Russian lawmaker Andriy Derkach. An American intelligence assessment released last week concluded that Derkach was involved in a Russian plot to undermine Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party by “spreading claims about corruption — including through publicizing leaked phone calls” from 2016 between the former vice president and Ukraine’s president.

On Thursday, shortly after Trump praised the crackpot legal scholar who invented a racist conspiracy theory that Harris was not eligible to be vice president, even though she was born to immigrant parents in Oakland, he turned again to Rion. This time, however, she asked if he would, instead, take a question from Emel Akan of The Epoch Times, another of his press secretary’s guests from an equally rabid pro-Trump media outlet.

When Trump agreed, Akan asked him how the U.S. would respond to “the recent attack on press freedom in Hong Kong,” specifically the arrest of the publisher of the popular Apple Daily tabloid news site, Jimmy Lai, who has been an outspoken critic of the pro-Beijing leadership in the semiautonomous Chinese city. Lai could be charged with “collusion” with the United States for meeting Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington last summer to discuss Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protest movement.

Although Trump began by saying, “Well, I think it’s a terrible thing,” he appeared to have little familiarity or interest in the subject of press freedom, or democracy in Hong Kong, pivoting quickly into his stock complaints about China’s trade policies. He even seemed to gloat a bit when he said that, as a result of the U.S. withdrawing the “tremendous financial incentives” for businesses based in Hong Kong, American companies might profit from the crackdown on the territory.

“We’ve now withdrawn all of those incentives. It’s going to be very hard for Hong Kong to compete,” Trump said. “And I will tell you that the United States… will end up making a lot more money because of it, because we lost a lot of business to Hong Kong,” he added. “We made it very convenient for people to go there, for companies to go there. We’ve withdrawn all of that and the United States will be a big beneficiary from an economic standpoint.”

While Trump’s answer was not the kind of stirring endorsement of press freedom Akan might have expected from an American president, inciting an attack on China’s government was probably gratifying to the owners of The Epoch Times. The paper is owned by members of the dissident Chinese Falun Gong spiritual movement who have spent heavily to promote Trump as a useful battering ram against their ultimate enemy: the Chinese Communist Party that considers the banned sect a cult. An Epoch Times coronavirus explainer video echoes Trump’s rhetoric that China is to blame for the global pandemic, but urges people to call it not “the China Virus,” as Trump does, but the “CCP Virus.”

The White House press secretary’s invitation to the Epoch Times writer to participate in the briefing alongside reporters and photographers from some of America’s leading news organizations is remarkably brazen given that last year, when The Epoch Times was the largest buyer of pro-Trump ads on Facebook outside of the president’s own campaign, the site spent heavily to promote the baseless conspiracy theory that Biden had abused his power as vice president in 2016 to protect his son’s business interests in Ukraine.

Since then, the site has been banned from advertising on Facebook, after NBC reported that the newspaper had secretly placed Facebook ads promoting President Trump. Last week, Facebook also removed 303 fake accounts linked to The Epoch Times for spreading misinformation about Covid-19 and pro-Trump conspiracy theories about supposedly shadowy figures behind the ongoing racial justice protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

On Friday, after Trump twice refused to answer a question from The Associated Press about whether he believes the QAnon conspiracy theory in which he is a central figure, he solicited one from Alicia Powe, a proponent of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory who writes for the far-right Gateway Pundit blog.

Powe, who has claimed that the Clinton Foundation controls the FBI and is stifling investigations of child sex-trafficking rings and the murder of Seth Rich, asked Trump to comment on the accusation that Biden had claimed credit for the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Powe’s question was based on a blog post by the founder of Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft, which amplified an attack on Biden from the Kremlin-owned site Russia Today. Hoft’s post also quotes the analysis of Heshmat Alavi, a supporter of a militant Iranian cult called the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, who, as my colleague Murtaza Hussain revealed last year, is a fictional character.

McEnany did not respond to a question about whether she or someone else in her office invited Powe to the briefing on Friday, but Powe is a former blogger for WorldNetDaily, the far-right website that helped create the racist “birther” conspiracy theory to undermine President Barack Obama. Alyssa Farah, the White House director of strategic communications, is the daughter of Joseph Farah, who founded WorldNetDaily. In the 1990s, Joseph Farah was a leading proponent of the conspiracy theory that deputy White House counsel Vince Foster might have been murdered.

The presence of Rion, Akan and Powe also infuriated the White House Correspondents Association, whose members have agreed to send only 14 reporters a day during the pandemic, to maintain safe social distance.

The WHCA, which normally decides which accredited journalists are allowed in to the briefing room on a given day, also wants the aisles at the sides and the back of the room to be open for photographers and video crews to operate safely. “It is outrageous that the White House continues to invite ‘guests’ to press briefings, putting the health and safety of everyone in that workspace at greater risk,” the WHCA president, Zeke Miller, said in an email. “The WHCA’s social distancing guidelines were crafted in consultation with the White House based on the recommendations of the CDC and the nation’s leading public health professionals. Trampling on those guidelines endangers the critical work of reporters who have maintained independent press coverage of the presidency throughout the pandemic.”

Until April, OAN was a member of the correspondents’ association but the cable channel was expelled after Rion kept showing up at briefings when it was not her turn. Since then, she has attended press events as a guest of the White House press secretary.

Unlike the original, freewheeling coronavirus task force briefings — which came to a sudden halt in April when Trump mused that doctors should “check” to see if injecting patients suffering from Covid-19 with bleach or isopropyl alcohol, or exposing them to ultraviolet light, might cure them — the president’s current news conferences are much shorter and seem designed mainly to get his lengthy, written opening statements on the air and get him out of the briefing room after taking just a handful of questions.

Trump’s opening statements at the latest briefings are often nakedly political in nature, featuring crude, jarring attacks on Biden and other Democrats. “Today, we saw Joe Biden continue to politicize a pandemic and to show his appalling lack of respect for the American people. That’s what it is,” Trump said at the start of Thursday’s briefing. “At every turn, Biden has been wrong about the virus, ignoring the scientific evidence and putting left-wing politics before facts and evidence.”

After then blatantly lying about Biden’s suggested response to the pandemic in the most idiotic terms — “Sleepy Joe rejects the scientific approach in favor of locking all Americans in their basements for months on end” — Trump concluded, with a stunning lack of self-awareness: “To Joe, I would say: Stop playing politics with a virus. Too serious. Partisan politics has no place here. It’s a shameful situation for anybody to try and score political points while we’re working to save lives and defeat the pandemic.”

Trump’s prepared remarks at these briefings almost always feature highly misleading health and economic statistics intended to convey the false impression that the federal government’s pandemic response is the envy of the world.

At Tuesday’s briefing, for example, Trump said in his opening statement: “Since the end of July, the seven-day average for cases in the United States has fallen by nearly 20 percent, but the virus continues to increase in nations across the globe. Last week, France and Germany both recorded their highest daily number of new cases in three months — not that I want to bring that up, but might as well explain it to the media.” While those statistical measures of the increase by percentage of new cases in Europe and decrease by percentage in the U.S. were accurate, what they hid was the fact that, in raw numbers, the pandemic is obviously far less under control here than there.

The day Trump made those remarks, 53,315 new Covid-19 infections were confirmed by testing in the U.S. Germany’s highest number of daily infections in three months, recorded this week, was 1,445. Cases are down more in the U.S. but from a very high level to a slightly less high level. In much of Europe, cases are rising but from very low baseline. Adjusted for population, the U.S. recorded 154 new cases per million on Friday, while France had 41 and Germany 17.

“Those were model countries that you used to talk about and say how well they were doing,” Trump said to a reporter on Wednesday, of other, unnamed nations, “except, they just exploded — they just had very big flare ups.”

Trump also steadfastly refuses to admit that deaths from Covid-19, which have averaged over 1,000 a day for the past three weeks in the U.S., are now far higher than anywhere in Europe, even when adjusted for population.

While the pandemic is resurgent in many parts of the world, Trump has been unable so far to brow-beat the public into accepting his obviously false claims that things are better in the United States than in Europe or Asia. A new poll released by Monmouth University on Thursday showed that 52 percent of Americans “think the United States’ handling of the pandemic is worse than other countries,” while just 15 percent feel the U.S. is doing a better job than others and 29 percent say it is doing about the same.

Having complained on Wednesday about what he called “a wiseguy question” from a reporter who noted that two top Federal Reserve officials “said that the economy hasn’t recovered strong enough because the country hasn’t contained the virus,” Trump devoted part of his opening remarks at Thursday’s briefing to falsely complaining that Biden, who held a news conference two weeks ago, “never takes questions.”

“I take questions; he never takes questions,” Trump continued. “And you sort of wonder what’s going on, because they’re not that difficult. Some can be nasty, but they’re not that difficult.”

Updated: Saturday, August 15, 2:52 p.m. PDT

This article was updated to note President Donald Trump’s objection to former Vice President Joe Biden not holding as many news conferences as him.

 

Trump floats false, racist birther theory about Kamala Harris

A legal expert called it “100% bogus.”

August 14, 2020

by Will Steakin and Terrance Smith

NBC News

President Donald Trump on Thursday promoted a false and racist theory that Sen. Kamala Harris, the first woman of color on a major political party general election ticket, and who was born in California, is not eligible to be vice president because her parents were immigrants.

At a White House briefing, Trump amplified the baseless theory that’s gained traction in some right-wing circles since Harris was announced as Joe Biden’s running mate on Tuesday, including being embraced by his own reelection campaign legal adviser.

Despite Trump and his allies pushing the claims about Harris, experts said the false theory has absolutely no basis in the U.S. Constitution, and Harris, born in Oakland in 1964, is a U.S. citizen eligible to serve as president or vice president.

“I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” the president said when asked by a reporter, while also boosting the credentials of the author of a widely panned op-ed highlighting the theory as a “very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.”

“I have no idea if that’s right, I would’ve — I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president. That’s very serious,” the president said, echoing previous racist attacks the president made on former President Barack Obama, falsely questioning his birth certificate and the legitimacy of the first Black U.S. president.

Kate Shaw, a professor at the Cardozo School of Law and an ABC News Supreme Court contributor, said it’s an “absolutely baseless argument” and that the concerns don’t compare to questions raised in the 2016 campaign about Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.

“She was born here and has lived her whole life here; she’s a natural born citizen, eligible, full stop,” Shaw said. “The questions around the eligibility of Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, were legitimate ones, though I thought he was eligible. These aren’t.”

Sheldon Goldman, a distinguished professor of political science emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, called the argument being made about Harris’ eligibility “100% bogus.”

“The 14th Amendment provides a clear definition of citizenship. Anyone born in the United States is an American citizen regardless of where their parents were born,” Goldman told ABC News.

The Biden-Harris campaign quickly condemned the false theory, and Trump for giving it oxygen at Thursday’s briefing, pointing to his history of spreading a similar false and racist theory about his predecessor.

“Donald Trump was the national leader of the grotesque, racist birther movement with respect to President Obama and has sought to fuel racism and tear our nation apart on every single day of his presidency,” Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement to ABC News. “So it’s unsurprising, but no less abhorrent, that as Trump makes a fool of himself straining to distract the American people from the horrific toll of his failed coronavirus response that his campaign and their allies would resort to wretched, demonstrably false lies in their pathetic desperation.”

Before Trump pushed the false theory questioning Harris’ citizenship, it gained traction after a widely panned Newsweek op-ed by conservative law professor John C. Eastman, who argued that Harris might not be a “natural born citizen,” despite being born in California, because Harris’ parents weren’t naturalized citizens at the time at the time she was born.

But Bernadette Meyle, Carl and Sheila Spaeth Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, told ABC News that argument has “no basis in constitutional law,” saying it’s been settled law since the Supreme Court decided the issue in 1898.

“The language of the Fourteenth Amendment stating ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ was debated for a period following the Amendment, where some claimed that this phrase meant to incorporate descent and parents’ citizenship into the Amendment in terms of considering whether someone should be considered a citizen by birth … however, Trump in his 2016 campaign tried to make the argument that the Newsweek article is making, then later seemed to drop it. It has been a claim brought up several times by right-wing thinkers over the past decade or so. It has, however, no basis in constitutional law.”

Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis shared the op-ed on Twitter on Tuesday morning and later, when asked about pushing the false theory herself, told ABC News: “It’s an open question, and one I think [Sen. Kamala D.] Harris should answer so the American people know for sure she is eligible.”

The Trump campaign did not respond to ABC News requests for comment on Ellis’ statement.

On Friday, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, told “CBS This Morning:” “At the end of the day, it’s something that’s out there” before saying, “I personally have no reason to believe she’s not,” referring to Harris’ eligibility.

Trump now encouraging questions over Harris’s citizenship echoes how he rose to political prominence, in part, by making false allegations about Obama’s birth certificate as part of the “birther” conspiracy movement.

In recent years, however, Trump has attempted to publicly distance himself from the false birther theory he had long-championed. In September 2016, then-Republican presidential nominee Trump acknowledged for the first time — five years after the former president released his long-form birth certificate — that Obama was born in the United States.

Still, in late 2017 the president continued to question its authenticity behind closed doors, according to The New York Times.

 

A provable Trump scandal

The current American President is directly descended from the German Trumpf family. His ancestor in the direct line, was Johannes Trump(f), a native of the village of Kallstadt.

The same Trumpf family also produced one Arnold Wilhelm August Trumpf.

Arnold Trumpf was Vorstand Reichsverband Deutscher Landwirtschaftlicher Genossenschaften-Raiffensene.V and Hauptabteilungsleiter III of the Reichsnahrstand, Allegemeine SS since 1934.

This Trumpf was also a director of the Reichsbank.

SS background of Arnold Trumpf:

SS-Oberführer / Leutnant d.R. a.D.

Born: 27. Oct. 1892 in Gifhorn

Died: 7. January 1985 in Garmish-Partenkirchen

NSDAP-Nr.: 389 920 from 1, December 1930

SS-Nr.: 187 119

Promotions:

 SS-Oberfuhrer: 30. Jan. 1939

Career:

 Bei dem RuS-Hauptamt: (9. Nov. 1944)

Decorations & Awards:

1914 Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse

 Kriegsverdienstkreuz II. Klasse ohne Schwerter

 Verwundetenabzeichen, 1918 in Schwarz

 Ehrenkreuz fur Frontkampfer

 Ehrendegen des RF SS

 Totenkopfring der SS

The RuSHA was founded in 1931 by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler

Among their duties were:

  • Kidnapping of children suitable for Germanization
  • Population transfers
  • The persecution and liquidation of Jews

 

The RuSHA also employed Josef Mengele from November 1940 to early 1941, in Department II of its Family Office, where he was responsible for “care of genetic health” and “genetic health tests”

References

  • http://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Trumpf,_Arnold
  • Das Deutsche Führerlexikon, Otto Stollberg G.m.b.H., Berlin 1934
  • Dienstaltersliste der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP 9, November 1944

 

The CIA’S Nazi Friends

August 7, 2020

by Christian Jürs

From a long list, once in the private files of Robert Trumbull Crowley, formerly deputy director of Clandestine Operations for the CIA, we have discovered a large number of prominent Nazis hired by the CIA from 1948 onwards. They were most often members of the Gehlen Org, a CIA German spy organization set up at Pullach in Bavaria, under the command of Colonel James Crtichfield. Gehlen was code-named “Rusty” and there is a thick Critchfield/Rusty file also at hand.

The first person on the list was former SS-Oberführer or Senior Colonel, Willi Krichbaum. Krichbaum was an associate of  Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo and a later CIA agent,  and later the Deputy Chief of the Gestapo. Krichbaum was in charge of the deportation of the Hungarian Jews in 1944—a deportation that took nearly 300,000 lives. Krichbaum is also the man who shot Raoul Wallenberg. The Geheime Feld Polizei or the Secret Field Police which Krichbaum had commanded was responsible for all manner of atrocities, including the killing of Soviet prisoners of war. Although Russia was not a member of the Geneva Convention, Germany was a signator and this Convention forbade the execution of prisoners of war. Krichbaum was not only Gehlen’s chief recruiter, mostly of former Gestapo and SD people, but also informed Müller of the inner workings of the Gehlen organization which was considered a highly secret American intelligence resource. Krichbaum continued to work for Gehlen, according to an interview with Colonel Critchfield, until at least 1956 when the West German government took over control of the group.

The second name on the list was SS-Standartenführer or Colonel Walter Rauff who had a most interesting career. In 1942, Walter Rauff was chief of the SD units attached to the AOK Afrika, Rommels’ Afrikakorps. In 1943, after the collapse of the DAK, Rauff worked in Italy as the chief of the SD in Milan. In this capacity, Rauff was involved with SS General Karl Wolff’s negotiations to surrender the German troops in Italy in 1945. This was a pet project of Allen Dulles and was called “Operation Sunrise.” During the course of the negotiations, Dulles became very friendly with Rauff. Consequently, as the new Gehlen organization was formed, Dulles was instrumental in acquiring Rauff for an advisory position with them.

In 1941, Rauff had been involved with the SD anti-partisan activities in the captured areas of the S     oviet Union. Rauff conceived, constructed and personally supervised the use of gas vans. These vans had the exhaust pipes vented inside the rear compartments which were then filled with Jews who died of carbon monoxide poisoning. While it spared some SD men from the guilt associated with murdering large numbers of civilians, it did have certain negative aspects—the collection of bodies in the back of the van. When the rear door was opened to remove the dead, the stench proved to be a serious occupational hazard. An ingenious man, Rauff had a special fitting constructed that helped alleviate this unfortunate problem. A lengthy file on Rauff’s gas vans is stored at the National Archives.

At the end of the war, Rauff was imprisoned in Italy. He later emerged in Germany, happily working for the Gehlen group. Unfortunately for him, his presence became known to the wrong people, and he found it necessary to move to Syria where he continued to represent Gehlen’s interests. As the stress of discovery there became too much for Gehlen to bear, it was decided that Rauff should move to Chile. His friend and later protector, Allen Dulles, ordered that he be given new identity papers and funds for travel and relocation. While in Chile, the loyal Rauff continued to provide intelligence reports to Gehlen and his other protectors.

Another senior Gehlen aide was former SS-Oberführer Dr. Franz Six. Six was an intellectual academic, Professor of Political Science at Königsberg University. Six joined the SS on April 20, 1935 and became a member of the SD. In 1941, Six was in command of an Einsatzgruppe and was directly responsible for the murder of the Jews in the Russian city of Smolensk. Following this military triumph, Six was made the head of Section VII of the RSHA. In 1943 he was sent to the Foreign Ministry where he was in charge of the Cultural Division. In 1946, Dr. Six was an early member of the Gehlen organization but was eventually tracked down and his supporters were unable to prevent his standing trial in April of 1948 for his actions. He received a sentence of 25 years. However, US authorities interceded on his behalf and on September 30, 1952, Six was released and at once returned to his duties with Gehlen.

SS-Sturmbannführer (Major) Alois Brunner was a Gestapo official who worked directly under Adolf Eichmann in the deportation department. Ambitious and energetic, Brunner was an instigator of the notorious razzia carried out in France in 1942 against the Jews of Paris. So outraged was his putative chief, Müller, that Brunner was transferred to Sofia in Bulgaria. He was sentenced to death by a French court, in absentia because Brunner had gone to Damascus, Syria, as Gehlen’s resident agent. He used a number of names including “Georg Fischer” and “Waldo Munk.” Brunner was later made a part of a CIA-directed program to train the security forces of Abdel Nasser and Israeli agents attempted to blow him up with a letter bomb but failed. In addition to the French death sentence, Brunner was also on the wanted list of the CIC.

Probably the worst offender of all was SS-Gruppenführer Odlio Globocnik, once the Gauleiter of Vienna until fired by Hitler for theft and pillage. Globocnik went on to run the Lublin camps in Poland where he stole millions more and was responsible for the gassing of large numbers of Jews and Poles. His stolen millions saved him from prosecution. After working for a time for the British, he eventually ended up as an American resource, also in Damascus. The name of the program that sent him there was called “Argos.”

Like its Biblical counterpart, the 20th century road to Damascus was traveled by converts to the new religion of the West.

There were many more individuals connected with the Gestapo or SD who openly worked for Gehlen including SS-Standartenführer Frederich Panziger, another old friend of Müller’s who had married into his family. Panziger was not responsible for wartime atrocities but was a key player in the break-up of the Rote Kapelle, a Russian spy ring considered to be of great value to Gehlen.

If retired Lt. Colonel Hermann Baun had thought to damage his nemesis Gehlen, he was in error. His lengthy and detailed report only made Gehlen more popular with the US intelligence agency that ran him and, through them, with the US-controlled puppet government of West Germany—a government that did exactly what it was told and clicked its heels together while doing it.

What did the CIA and those in the more elevated US positions of command know about the flawed membership of their prize German possession? Was the quickly suppressed Baun report the only indicator that had surfaced between 1948 and 1956? If there was any substantive material on this subject, it certainly would never be made available to anyone and would, undoubtedly, be sequestered in some remote place in Arizona or perhaps even somewhere on the grounds of an academic institution closer to hand.

Correspondence and conversations with Colonel James Critchfield, once the CIA overseer of the Gehlen organization during its tenure as an American agency, has shed considerable light on the subject.

Critchfield initially acknowledged awareness of the use by the CIA-run Gehlen agency of a number of the individuals encountered earlier in this chapter. However, the Colonel, now living in comfortable retirement in Williamsburg, Virginia, stated that aside from Dr. Six, he had no knowledge of any of the allegations of war crimes against his former employees, which he termed “outrageous.” He stated finally that Krichbaum, whom he had earlier claimed to have played a “very important role in our history” was certainly not a member of the SS, not Müller’s Deputy Chief of the Gestapo, not involved with the deportation and deaths of the Hungarian Jews, and could never have shot Raoul Wallenberg. The membership of Krichbaum in the SS, his rank, and his position inside the Gestapo organization is absolutely beyond doubt. All of Willi Krichbaum’s official history, as that of the others included in this study is presently available for public inspection in the US National Archives records in Washington.

Also beyond doubt is the participation of a significant number of unsavory individuals in the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization and no question whatsoever as to the atrocities they committed while members of the SD and Gestapo.

From 1945 on, the US had control of the Berlin Document Center, which was the repository for all SS, Gestapo and SD personnel files. US investigators were required to check the backgrounds of all potential German employees against their records. In addition, CROWCASS (Central Registry of War Crimes and Security Suspects) files contained the names of suspected or wanted war criminals. The CROWCASS information was widely circulated to American agencies, including the CIA, which were in a position to hire or come into contact with such people. These files, which contained a great deal of potentially damaging information on German nationals, were turned over to Gehlen in 1948, no doubt to assist his recruitment drives.

When pressed, Colonel Critchfield acknowledged the existence of the background and personal history files and dossiers but averred that the investigation of his employees had been a matter for the Central Registry of the CIC. When asked if he had ever been advised by this agency that many of his senior functionaries were on the wanted lists, Critchfield gave no response.

Intelligence agencies have a tendency to place former military personnel in positions of responsibility precisely because they are trained to obey, without questioning, orders from superiors.

A very significant number of the German nationals belonging to the CIA-controlled Gehlen Organization have been discovered to have belonged to either the Gestapo or the RSHA, the Reichssicheitshauptamt. This was the blanket organization for all German State and Party intelligence and counterintelligence agencies.

The fact that an indivual was assigned to the RSHA does not mean that they were involved in anything more sinister than clerical work in an office. But included in this list are a number of individuals whose wartime record indicates their activities were of a criminal nature and their inclusion in any U.S. sponsored and controlled agency has no justification whatsoever.

The American members of this group (the Gehlen Organization was entirely controlled by the U.S. CIA from 1948 through 1956) will be included in a subsequent study. The listing here of some, and it must be emphasized that this treatment covers only the most serious offenders, is alphabetical and not by rank.

SS-Sturmbannführer Emil Augsberg, SS No. 307 925. Born May 1, 1905. Subject was a member of the RSHA, the adjutant to SS-Gruppen¬führer Globocnik who was SS and Police Leader in the Polish district of Lublin. He was the head of the concentration camps of Treblinka and Belzec. Augsburg later was a member of the Wannsee Institute in Berlin where he was a specialist in Polish problems. He ended the war on the personal staff of Heinrich Himmler.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Fritz Baader, SS No. 278 278. Born April 9, 1909. Dr. Baader was on the staff of the Senior SS and Police Leader in Hungary.

SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Barnewald, SS No. 6 469. Born January 10, 1896. Subject was on the staff of the Concentration Camp, Buchenwald.

SS-Sturmbannführer Ernst Biberstein, SS No. 272 692. Born February 15, 1899. Biberstein was a member of the RSHA. He also commanded Einsatzkommando 6 of Einsatzgruppe C. The Einsatzgruppen were composed of RSHA personnel and operated behind the front lines in warfare against partisans. The activities of these groups often far exceeded their briefs and many of them were responsible for dreadful atrocities against partisans, civilians and Jews. Biberstein’s activities were such as to secure a death sentence by an Allied court after the war, a sentence that was commuted in 1951, permitting him to work for the Gehlen organization.

SS-Sturmbannführer Ludwig Boehme, SS No.249 802. Born August 21, 1898. Subject was on the staff of the Concentration Camp at Ausch¬witz.

SS-Brigadeführer Christoph Diehm, SS No.28 461. Born March 1, 1892. Diehm was chief of staff of the Kaminiski Brigade. This unit was commanded by a Russian named Kaminiski and was involved in fighting partisans on the East Front. The unit took part in the fighting in Warsaw in 1944 where its behavior was so brutal that it was ordered disbanded and its leader shot.

SS-Sturmbannführer Karl Döring, SS No 67 310. Born February 5, 1903. Subject was on the staff of the Concentration Camp at Dachau. He was later the postwar West German Ambassador to the Cameroons.

SS-Sturmbannführer Dr.Max Eberl, SS No. 680 352, Born December 26,1892. Dr. Eberl was a member of the RSHA and was involved with euthanasia at Treblinka Concentration Camp under Globocnik.

SS-Standartenführer Hans Eichele, SS No. 21 640. Born May 1, 1901. Eichele was Standortkommandat at the Concentration Camp, Dachau

SS-Gruppenführer Odilio Globocnik, SS No, 292 776. Born April21, 1904. Globocnik was Senior SS and Police Leader of the Adriatic Coastal area and previous, the SS and Police Leader, Lublin. He also ran the Lublin concentrations camps, Treblinka and Sobribor.He worked for US Intelligence post 1945

SS-Sturmbannführer Walter Huppenkoethen, SS No.126 785. Born December 31, 1907. Huppenkoethen was a member of the RSHA and Commanding Officer of the SD & Police in Lublin and Cracow (Poland). He was tried after the war for his activities.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Erich Isselhorst, SS No.267 313. Born February 5, 1906. Subject was Commander of the Police and SD at Strassburg and also Inspector of the SD, Stuttgart . He was also Commanding Officer of Einsatzkommando 8 of Einsatzgruppe A.

SS-Gruppenführerr Heinrich Müller, SS No. 107 043 Born April 29, 1900. Müller was head of the RSHA Amt IV (Gestapo) from 1935-1945.He later worked with Swiss intelligence and finally, the CIA

SS-Obersturmbannführer Oswald Poche, SS No. 267 316. Born January 28, 1908. Poche was commanding officer of the Security Police and SD, Tromsö, Norway.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Albert Rapp, SS No.280 341. Born November 16, 1908. Subject was Inspector, Security Police and SD, Braunschwieg and commanding officer of Einsatzkommando 7, Einsatzgruppe B.

SS-Standartenführer Walter Rauff, SS No. 290 947. Born June 19, 1906. Rauff was a member of RSHA and with Senior SS and Police Commander, Italy (Karl Wolff). Rauff was responsible for the construction of the gas vans and eventually had to move to South America to avoid prosecution.

SS-Oberführer Dr. Franz Six, SS No.107 480. Born August 12, 1909. Dr. Six was a member of RSHA, and Commanding Officer of Einzatz¬gruppe Vorkommando Moscow. Six was an early member of the Gehlen Organization, but was finally arrested and tried for his activities in 1948. He was sentenced to life in prison, but released in 1951. Six worked for Porsche and Gehlen after his release.

SS-Standartenführer Eugen Steimle, SS No. 272 575. Born December 8, 1909. Subject was a member of RSHA and commanding officer of Einsatzgruppen B and later C. He was subsequently convicted by an Allied court and sentenced to a long term in prison, but released in 1951.

SS-Sturmbannführer Alois Thaler, SS No.347 142. Born November 28, 1909. Subject was a member of RSHA and was Senior SS & Police Commander, Italy.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Ernst Weimann, SS No. 263 985. Born August 5, 1906. Commanding officer, Security Police & SD, Bergen, Norway

SS-Sturmbannführer Kurt Weisse, SS. No. 563 159. Born October 11, 1909.    Subject was a member of SS Regiment Dirlewanger. Oscar Dirlewanger was a convicted child molester and friend of Himmler. His unit was made up of paroled convicts and used to fight the partisans. Like the Kaminiski unit, their record was so appalling that they were withdrawn from combat by Hitler’s order. Dirlewanger vanished at the end of the war

SS-Sturmbannführer Eugen Wenner, SS No. 200 581. Born November 15, 1912. Wenner was a member of RSHA and was with the Senior SS and Police Commander, Italy.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Wiebens, SS No.16 617. Born March 17, 1906. Subject was a member of RSHA and Commanding Officer of Einzatzkommando 9 under Einsatzgruppe B.

These names represent only a small percentage (less than 4%) of the names found on a listing of all personnel of the Gehlen Organization from 1945 onwards. These are only the names of higher ranking officers in the SS/SD and Police. The names of many lower rank SS/SD and Police members are still being verified as of this writing, but the names of thousands of Croatians, Slovenes, Balts and Russians are impossible to locate in existing files so they are excluded from this study.

The international uproar attendant upon the discovery that Klaus Barbie was gainfully employed by the U.S. CIC after the war, even after it became well known that Barbie was wanted for his Gestapo activities in Lyon, France, would pale to insignificance when the full impact of the Gehlen Organization’s complete list becomes a matter of public record.

The Gehlen group was controlled completely by the U.S. Army from 1945 until 1948. It was then taken over and controlled directly by the Central Intelligence Agency under the command of Colonel James Critchfield until 1955-56, when the group was taken over by the Federal Government of Germany and renamed the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) or State Intelligence Service .Today, the BND is very closely connected with the CIA and fully cooperative with it.

 

The Encyclopedia of American Loons

 

Austin Miles

 

Rev. Austin Miles is a paranoid idiot writing for Alan Keyes’s website Renew America. Miles is a 1950s throwback red-scare conspiracy theorist and the kind of person who, in 2014, would assert that Obama were going to cancel the 2016 elections as part of his plot to turn America into a Marxist dictatorship: “This has been planned for a long, long time. One thing about the Communists, they are very patient as they quietly work toward the completion of a definitive goal ahead,” says Miles. The patience of communism is, of course, all the evidence he presented, as well as all the evidence he needed. The goal in question is “to see America turned into a Marxist Socialist Nation controlled by Communist Czars – and did you notice that the word ‘Czar’ was never used in regards to government officer titles in the United States until Obama was placed on the throne? That term was only used in Communist Russia.” As a matter of fact, on the other hand, the term has been used at least since Nixon, and annoying people who actually learned something in elementary school might point out that communist Russia had little love for “czars”. Details.

Presumably, communism is a black people thing. “The Communists are scheming for the Ferguson, Missouri incident to be the fuse that explodes into a national race riot. That is what Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are hoping to accomplish,” says Miles. And you might have wondered, like Miles, how zeh communists managed “to keep Obama’s birth certificate and university papers (which listed him as a ‘foreign student’) out of sight” (Miles is of course a birther). Well, you see, zeh Communists have “slowly managed to work their way into key positions in the U.S. Government, corporations, the schools, and even the churches. They were in a position to block any inquiries about Obama and to humiliate anyone who suggested that his paper work was flawed.” It is “no secret that Obama’s sponsors and pushers were and are, The Communist Party USA (CPUSA). These days, what was once kept in secret, is now in the open. They have inserted themselves into every facet of American Life and can gang up on critics or questioners. They also control the media.” The idea that the CPUSA controls the media and the White House is arguably even more insane than the idea that it is controlled by bands of extraterrestrial chickens in human-flesh suits.

Here is Miles hysterically reporting that Obama “according to news reports, spent his 4th of July at a Mosque and invited Muslims to be with him at the White House.” The news reports in question were the rather obviously satirical National Report. And “[w]hat did Joan Rivers mean when she called Obama Gay and Michelle Trans on national TV? Actually that idea has been bandied about for some time. There will no doubt be more to come. It is interesting to Google the name, Michael LaVaughn Robinson who was born in Chicago along with Michelle Obama. The world gets nuttier every day,” says Miles, citing similar sources; the irony being of course completely lost on him. It’s not Miles only foray into fake news.

Well, in 2015 he put it all together. Apparently he had worked on this for a while, so let’s let him state it in his own words: “Obama is not clinically insane but has been specifically programmed by his Communist handlers along with his Muslim allies to take America over the cliff. […] Obama is totally controlled as an authentic Manchurian Candidate. Obama’s importance to The Party is that he is the one tool created by the Communist Party to destroy America, the last country standing in the way of a Marxist-led One World Order. He was the handpicked candidate to bringing America down. This is precisely why he is he so important in history and remains so calm and poised in all situations. Obama and the Party have conducted many rehearsals to prepare for the take-over which will be accomplished in the early part of November 2016. The first rehearsal was when the Communists and Muslims, who had deftly shoehorned their way into government offices by deceit and voter fraud, put him the Oval Office. He would not show his birth certificate, or any information about his real identity including his educational records which shows conclusively that he was here on a foreign student visa. All of that was sealed. […] The rehearsal was to determine if the Congress, Senate, Speaker of The House or Sgt. At-Arms would have him removed. Those spineless jelly fish sat quietly with no questions or hearings. The next rehearsal was to see if Obama could make Marxist statements with his exact intentions with no push back reaction. Check: Rehearsal Went Well. The final rehearsal will be the early part of November, 2016 when Obama intends to use Executive Order to declare himself president (dictator) for life.”

Part of the plot is, of course, to confiscate guns, and the push for doing so is underway. “First of all, I am convinced that these mass killings were purposely orchestrated for this very purpose, to disarm all Americans to retard resistance. Notice how the mentally ill (or just disturbed) perpetrated these shootings. They could easily be brainwashed into carrying out such deeds […]. Then when Obama makes his move in 2016, he can waltz to the throne with no push back.” One hitch, though, is that Obama is going to die himself: “Obama has already rehearsed the nosedive of America to destruction. What he does not seem to realize, is that as millions of Americans die while the plane crashes, Obama will be among the dead. He is too blinded and stupid to consider that.”

In short, “[t]he sub-human creature called Obama, can rightfully be identified as a charismatic monster that rose straight from the pits of hell. From hell did he come and to hell shall he return,” says Miles.

Miles is also a creationist, of course, and has written columns mocking the Big Bang Theory and calling Carl Sagan “corrupt”. He nevertheless quote-mines Sagan to make his “points”, which do not, shall we say, reveal profound insights into biology, cosmology or science in general.

Diagnosis: Has been described as the Platonic ideal of deranged wingnut idiocy. So there’s that. His audience is probably fairly limited, but that it exists at all is pretty frightening.

 

Barbara Mikulski

 

Barbara Mikulski served as Senator (D-Maryland) for some thirty years between 1987 and 2017 – and was ten years in the House of Representatives before that – and is currently a professor of public policy at Johns Hopkins University.

For our purposes, Mikulski is notable for her support of quackery. In 2013, Mikulski was the main force behind US Senate Resolution 221 declaring October 7 to 13 to be the “Naturopathic Medicine Week”. Naturopathic medicine is , of course, not medicine. Naturopathic medicine is quackery. Nevertheless, the aim of the Naturopathic Medicine Week was recognition of “the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care.” Naturopathic Medicine is neither effective, nor particularly affordable, nor necessarily safe, of course. Of course, we do ought to recognize that it isn’t, but that was hardly what Mikulski had in mind. (A House Resolution with the same text was apparently introduced by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, but it did apparently not go anywhere.)

Mikulski herself was for a long time a close ally of the Senate’s big godfather of woo, Tom Harkin. Back when Obamacare was being debated, Harkin and Mikulski were the main drivers behind inserting into the law provisions that could be used to ensure that CAM practitioners would be reimbursed. Also with Harkin, Mikulski co-chaired a meeting at the Institute of Medicine to promote “integrative medicine”; more on those efforts here. Mikulski has also participated in numerous events supporting the legal and political recognizition of quackery, such as the 20thanniversary celebration of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. “If we can change medicine, we can change the world,” said Mikulski, which is of course true even given the changes she suggested, but not in a good way. Heck, Mikulski has even appeared on Dr. Oz’s (then) radio show to promote integrative medicine as some sort of solution to any and every problem in American medicine.

Mikulski and Harkin repeated the Naturopathic Medicine Week resolution in 2014. This time they emphasized the problem of chronic diseases in the US, which is, indeed, a problem, but which – contrary to their assertions – naturopathy does nothing whatsoever to remedy (quite the opposite). According to Mikulski and Harkin:

–      “Naturopathic medicine provides noninvasive [yeah, right], holistic treatments that support the inherent self-healing capacity of the human body and encourage self-responsibility in health care,” which – except arguably the last bit – is false.

–      “Naturopathic medicine focuses on patient-centered care, the prevention of chronic illnesses, and early intervention in the treatment of chronic illnesses,” suggesting falsely that conventional medicine does not; the realdifference is, of course, that conventional medicine actually helps.

–      “Naturopathic physicians attend 4-year, graduate level programs that are accredited by agencies approved by the Department of Education;” which is nominally true (but dishonest) but says nothing about the quality of naturopathic education, which is garbage.

–      “Aspects of naturopathic medicine have been shown to lower the risk of major illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes;” which cannot be characterized as anything but a blatant lie.

–      “Naturopathic physicians can help address the shortage of primary care providers in the United States,” which is false – but it is deeply frightening that someone in Harkin’s and Mikulski’s positions of influence would even consider a strategy like this (but they do; this is some scary stuff).

–      “Naturopathic physicians are licensed in 20 States and territories;” indeed, which tells one a bit about how little licensing reflects evidence, truth or facts.

–      “Naturopathic physicians are trained to refer patients to conventional physicians and specialists when necessary;” even though many of them will go to great lengths to avoid precisely that.

This time, a similar bill did indeed pass in the House, again sponsored by Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large) and cosponsored by Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Sam Farr (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Frank LaBiondo (R-NJ).

At least follow-up efforts have met with mixed results. You can read more about Harkin’s and Mikulski’s (and other Senators’ and Representatives’) war on facts, evidence and health here.

Diagnosis: Probably even more frightening than the anti-science and fundamentalism of the religious right (creationism is fringe-nonsense compared to this kind of pseudoscience), at least Mikulski is no longer in the Senate to promote denialism, quackery and efforts to undermine health-care. Unfortunately, there are plenty of others to fill her shoes.

 

 Harry Mihet

 

Liberty Counsel (LC) is an organization created (ostensibly) to defend religious freedom. In reality, they do no such thing, of course. Instead, LC is an extremist, at least borderline dominionist hate group for whom “religious freedom” means the freedom of fundamentalist, radical wingnuts to suppress other people’s religious freedom. Its most prominent members are Mat Staver and Matt Barber, but those are not the only deranged lunatics associated with the group. Harry Mihet, for instance, is the current vice president of legal affairs and chief litigation counsel for LC, and his confusion regarding what constitutes religious oppression and freedom is telling.

For instance, Mihet thinks that gay rights is the same as communist oppression. Indeed, in 2017 Mihet brought anti-gay hero and wingnut welfare recipient Kim Davis on a tour to Romania to spread their message that “same-sex ‘marriage’ and freedom of conscience are mutually exclusive, because those who promote the former have zero tolerance for the latter.” (Davis and Mihet, of course, wouldn’t dream of promoting either.) Mihet said that Davis gave a “powerful” message about the need to define marriage in the Constitution in a way that prevents the kind of “devastating” impact on people of faith experienced in the United States because of “judicial activism and judicial overreach,” where “judicial activism” means that a court issued a decision Mihet didn’t like. Davis didn’t choose to become a celebrity, said Mihet (she sort of did), who has also compared Davis to MLK, but because of her courage: “God gave her a tremendous platform for liberty.”

In 2014, the Church of Satan in Oklahoma sought to arrange a black mass in a public civic center in Oklahoma City (since other religious groups were allowed to). Mihet, of course, argued that Oklahoma City should not allow its public facilities to be “used by a satanic group for the sole purpose of mocking, insulting and offending other faiths through a lewd and lascivious ceremony. The perverted sexual deviance characteristic of a ‘black mass’ ought to remain in the dark tombs and catacombs where it originated, and should not see the light of day in a civilized society, much less on public property.” I.e. religious practices should be banned if they offend people of other faiths, but only if those practices are not his practices, of course. The reason an organization puts “Liberty” in its name is that no one would ever think that what they were doing had anything to do with liberty just based on looking at what they are, in fact, doing.

As you’d expect, Mihet is miffed about the fact that subjects such as evolution are allowed to be taught in schools but creationism is not. This is completely unfair, since atheism and humanism are religions, too, and if “public schools decide to teach the tenets of those religions while excluding the tenets of other theistic religions, then that is discriminatory treatment in and of itself.” It’s instructive to note how the distinction between a religious tenet and a scientific result is lost on Harry Mihet, and it is something to keep in mind when Mihet elsewhere might happen to say anything about what science shows or says.

When New Jersey banned the practice of ex-gay therapy on minors in 2013, the LC filed a lawsuit to block the law, with Mihet claiming that the law is really an attack on Christianity, mostly because everything Mihet doesn’t like is an attack on God. He also warned then-governor Chris Christie that he would beat him up his friend would come beat him up he’d risk divine punishment for having “declared war” on the Gospel and for assisting the “power of darkness” (the ban is part of an “intense and coordinated effort to silence people of faith when it comes to the subject of homosexuality”). The LC didn’t win the court case.

Apparently God will also punish America in general for gay marriage, presumably by sending tornadoes to areas of the US where gay marriage is unpopular (as He seems to have a tendency to do). Mihet has also claimed that good Christians in the near future may well have to go to jail for their opposition to gay marriage, once again just “like Martin Luther King did”. As usual, the predictions are based solely on Mihet’s febrile imagination, just like it is when he claims that the “destruction of marriage has been [marriage equality proponents’] goal all along,” since obviously you’d only want to enable couples to get married if you hate marriage, and therefore marriage equality is really motivated by a hatred of God. According to Mihet, marriage equality proponents are not even trying to hide the fact that this is their goal, since he can easily see that it is through his powers of intuition.

Apparently anyone who disagrees with him is intent to put Christians in jail; those who oppose ENDA, for instance, will soon be charged with crimes against humanity, according to Mihet, presumably because that’s how he would treat those who disagree with him if he could. As usual, Mihet’s claim tells you little about proponents of ENDA but quite a bit about the workings of the deranged mind of Harry Mihet.

Diagnosis: Pure insanity. Mihet’s level of bigotry is arguably only matched by his level of critical thinking skills and his paranoia. The LC as an organization, however, is not without power and influence.

 

           Christina Michas

Christina Michas is the head of the Palm Springs chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. Like so many associated with the organization, Michas is a conspiracy theorist, and has putatively rigorously researched the Satanic connection between Common Core education standards, Agenda 21 and Obamacare. And the conclusions of her research? The people behind this nefarious conspiracy have, as their “ultimate goal” to set up “internment or re-education camps for those that will not comply with their sick agenda.” According to Michas “the comparison of Nazism and Common Core” is, as it figures in her febrile and deranged imagination, “uncanny.” “If this isn’t Nazism, Communism, Marxism and all the ‘ism’s,’ I don’t know what is,” says Michas, which is true, but not in the way she imagines. “I know this sounds insane,” Michas adds in a moment of clarity, but concludes that “sadly, it is a reality we are facing today.” That conclusion is not the most apt she could have drawn from her stated premise.

A more complete glimpse into the ravings of Christina Michas: “The ultimate goal of UNESCO, via the nationalization of our education system is to create ‘good global, sustainable citizens’ who will be ‘managed’ by a Global Government. The ultimate goal is to have a ‘managed citizenry’, a managed economy, and a managed environment once again returning to Mother Earth worship. This is where eugenics and William (Bill) Ayers, Obamacare, the Nationalization of our Economy, Energy, Health and Education systems comes into play. Ayers is a major driver behind Common Core and sadly is a very radical Professor today that has had much influence on students thinking … He and other key players including the Clinton’s, Bushes’, Gore, Gates, Soros, Rockefeller, Warren Buffet, Obama and his minions, etc. Understand that one cannot ‘manage’ most of adult America today. The ultimate goal of these radicals from the UN, the US and other nations is to set up Internment or Re-education camps for those that will not comply with their sick agenda. You either are ‘retrained’ or you will have to be eliminated. The Healthcare Bill will take care of the ‘useless’ senior population via ‘managed care’. The government will have free reign with the youth. You cannot change a nation unless you change how it thinks and operates … Hence, the lesson learned from Lenin, Stalin, Marx et al., “get the children and you change generations’.”

Some will probably notice some rather major leaps in that reasoning, but that’s because they’ve been brainwashed with reason, logic, distinctions and care for evidence, which are the tools of the Satanic-Muslim-gay-atheist-liberal-environmentalist-Illuminati agenda.

Diagnosis: Not the faintest trace of coherence. Completely and utterly deranged. At least she is a living illustration of why kids need education in how to use the Internet to search for information.

 

 David Michael

David Michael is an Ohio-based writer for the website The Journal of Natural Food and Health, which is of course not a medical or scientific journal but is likely to confuse precisely their target audience: those who wouldn’t know the difference. Michael is a supporter of all things woo and quackery, and – no surprise – staunchly antivaccine. He is, despite displaying similar attitudes toward truth and evidence, probably not numerically identical to British holocaust denier David Michael, however.

The David Michael in question is perhaps best known for weighing in on the Sarah Hershberger case, where he defended and recommended choices (foregoing chemotherapy in favor of “natural” cures for cancers, like herbs and diet) likely to lead to pain and death but for which he would almost certainly never be held responsible. Michael even claimed that natural cures had cured Hershberger, without any indication whatsoever that Hershberger was, in fact, cancer free – and even if she was, it would of course have been because of the chemotherapy she did undergo and not because of any woo she received (“nutritional supplements, including high doses of vitamin C and B17, oxygen therapy, detoxification methods, as well as the IV chelation”) or diet (“lots of vegetables and raw foods and taking special natural supplements”) she adopted afterwards. For people like Michael, however, you figure out which factors correlate with an event, pick the one you want, and declare this to be the “cause”. Also, there is a conspiracy (there is always a conspiracy): hospitals are only in it for the money, unlike quacks who sell expensive, untested remedies supporting no plausible beneficial mechanism to people in desperate situations.

Diagnosis: The Internet’s full of them, but we’ll pick out those we can. David Michael is yet another idiot lending his voice to pseudoscience, denialism, quackery and anti-vaccine nonsense, and he’s loud, stupid and enthusiastic. Stay away.

 

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