TBR News December 3, 2011

Dec 03 2011

December 25, 272 AD

            First official public celebration of Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, a pagan Roman holiday that was later co-opted by Christians to celebrate the birth of their favorite Jew. Turning the holiday into “Christmas” (in 336 AD) was part of a pattern of the church stealing various pagan festivals and feast days 


The Voice of the White House


            Washington, D.C. December 1, 2011: “ In August of 2009, this site began to run a series of articles on the hijacking by Somali pirates of the MV Iran Deyanat on August 21, 2008. .It turned out that this cargo container ship, owned by the Revolutionary Guard of the government of Iran, was loaded with cargo containers filled with highly radioactive waste onloaded in Nanjing, China. The containers had explosive devises concealed beneath them with radio operated controls. This ship, with its very lethal cargo, was siezed as he was heading up into the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and the eastern end of the Mediterranean next to the coast of Israel. We ran this story and it was also run in reputable European papers but never, ever inside the United States. All together, counting its appearance on many Internet sites, over 2 millions viewers saw this story. There still was never any comment by the American media.

            In our last issue, we ran what we thought was an interesting niche story about neo-Nazis and counterfeit German relics.

            To our suirprise, over 35,000 viewers looked at this article in three days and thousands downloaded it! We got so intersted in the subject that we contacted the webmaster of the site, Arthur Royster adroyster@hotmail.com, and received a massive return email with all kinds of highly entertaining information on this subject.

            We also received a significant number of emails from apparent collectors of militaria which we referred to Mr. Royster.

            The basic thesis of his posting was that very expensive fake pieces were being manufactured and sold for very high prices. Much, if not all, of the monies raised by these sales were being forwarded to militant anti immigration groups in Europe. That in itself is not particularly surprising. These groups want their dark-skinned neighbors sent back where they came from and are not only very outspoken in their attitudes but often very deadly in their actions. One thinks about the man in Norway who shot nearly a hundred young immigrants at a political outdoor gathering. His connections with British groups was discussed and then quickly dropped by the European media.

            One of the persons mentioned in the article was a George Petersen. Subsequent to the appearance of the article concerning his activities in this field, we understand that Mr. Petersen has denied any connection with the WAF group that is partially responsible for funding the anti immigrant movements, both in the United States and the EU.

            In searching the WAF site on the Internet, we found an interesting posting by a Mr. Bianchi, the head of that group.

‘It is my pleasure to introduce George Petersen (http://www.nchsinc.com/) and Craig Gottlieb (http://www.craiggottlieb.com) as the new sponsors of Wehrmacht-Awards.com. You will begin to see their banners rotating and their links added as I modify the templates.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Craig, who is now venturing deeper (and almost exclusively) into dealer world. He is very enthusiastic and I am confident he will be bringing us high end, high quality militaria for years to come. His bio may be found here – http://www.craiggottlieb.com/catalog.htm.

George Petersen hardly needs an introduction! George is a legend in our hobby, and if I may I will defer his biography to his website (which says it best); http://www.nchsinc.com/shop/petersen.htm. George is mostly concentrating on U.S. Militaria these days and will be sponsoring the U.S. Militaria forum in particular.

I would like to thank these two fine gentlemen for their support of this website.

Sebastián J. Bianchi ‘
Wehrmacht-Awards.com”   ‘’”’



            Mr. Petersen who runs something called National Capital Historical Sales out of a drop address in northern Virginia, claims on his site that he travels a good deal and is seldom available. We looked a bit further into him and discover that he indeed travels a good deal and mostly to China where he facilitates the manufacture, for export, of counterfeit German militaria. Mr. Petersen’s co-worker in these projects is a Mr. Chen (about whom more later). We understand that Mr. Petersen takes original pieces, like German parachutists’ boots or steel helmets, to Hong Kong and Mr. Chen finds firms in China who can replicate them.

            These are then marketed to a select circle of dealers who, in turn, pass them off to their customers as genuine pieces.

            Parallel with items soldiers would wear in combats, there is another business involving very expensive personality items from the Third Reich. Mentioned are the elaborate, hand made cassettes for holders of the German Knights Cross of various grades. As these cost about US 500 to make and, if for a recognized German war hero, worth $50,000, the profit is obviously immense and one can clearly see where the anti-immigrant groups are getting their funding.

            An interesting sidelight brought to our attention concerns a very unique set of papers presenting the Grand Cross of the Knights Cross to Hermann Goering. These were copied from color pictures in a German wartime magazine, purported to have originated with a prominent American dealer in such objects and, on paper, sold to Mr. Chen in Hong Kong. Armed with this rigged provenance, the papers were then offered to sale to a very wealthy Chinese collector for a sum in excess of a million dollars!

            This has proven to be so interesting, and often entertaining, a subject that we have asked Mr. Royster to keep us abreast of this fascinating fraud.

            He sent us a copy of a very informative and also very entertaining book by Gregory Douglas, author of the books on the head of the Gestapo, Mueller, who survived the war and was an asset of the CIA. This is such an entertaining book that we are serializing it, with permission, and the first chapter can be found below.”



The Crooked Cross

by Gregory Douglas

A history of fake Nazi relics 


Chapter 1


A Hong Kong-based CIA operative holding a fake Doenitz Grand Admiral’s baton, The original is in a German museum.



          During the bombing raids of the Second World War, the Marienkirche at Lübeck in Germany was severely damaged by fire. German churches always seemed to draw the attention of Allied bombers and the Marienkirche was no exception.

            An inspection of the damaged church disclosed what appeared to be thirteenth century fresco hidden behind layers of whitewash and after the war, the German authorities commenced a restoration of the church. A number of frescos were worked on by one Dietrich Fey, a prominent restoration specialist and he and his assistant, Lothar Malskat, performed miracles and disclosed an entire church filled with magnificent religious frescos. Amidst great public ceremony, the church was reopened and the magnificent old frescos even became the subject of German postage stamps.

            Herr Malskat, annoyed because of the public glory heaped upon Fey, confessed to forging the entire pantheon of saints. It seems that only fragments of the originals remained and creativity replaced objectivity to the delight of many and the enrichment of a few.

         The two forgers were promptly jailed but someone remembered the frescos in the cathedral in Schleswig and decided that Malskat had copied the frescos in the cloister of that building. Unfortunately, it turned out that Malskat had done these too but before the war in 1938!

             In the main, fraud, counterfeiting and deceit are certainly immoral  and very often felonious but in some instances, the essential ludicrous nature of some frauds manages to overcome the gravity.

            Such is the case of the enormous industry devoted to the creation, manufacture and sale of faked items of German militaria from the Third Reich period.

            Fraud and deceit are certainly not limited to this area and the marketplace in fine art is awash in a sea of swindlers but at least an art forger is not apt to paint a medieval prince wearing a modern baseball hat and standing in front of a McDonalds’ restaurant.

            There is an abiding fascination with the trappings of the Third Reich but the number of actual relics is much smaller than a burgeoning demand. Nature abhors a vacuum and if original pieces are no longer available, the vacuum is filled with creations to satisfy the demand.

            Not only are legitimate pieces of German militaria copied and marketed, a number of outrageous fantasy pieces have also been created and merchandised like the Reverend Ernie’s Holy Healing Cloths on Christian television stations.

            There is an interesting parallel here between the manufacture and sale of Nazi relics and the manufacture or misidentification of relics of the Catholic church.

            In the latter we can find the knuckle bones of a pig being passed off as having once been a part of Saint Rosa of Compostella or the ever-popular St. Nicholas. Expert study has clearly proven that the notorious Shroud of Turin is a 13th Century fake and it has been said that there are enough pieces of the True Cross around to build a small hotel.

            At St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna, we can view the skull of the saint but in the church at St. Polten, we can see the skull of St. Stephen as a 15 year old boy!

            The author of this work is a pragmatist, not a moralist. Fraud and chicanery are the hallmarks of any marketplace, be it Wall Street, Carnaby Street or the Intenet auctions. The information in this study did not come to the author second-handed. It reflects, in small measure, his own personal experiences.

            As a collector, the author was victimized on a regular basis by both the collecting fraternity and the merchandisers. Deciding that it was far more blessed to give than to receive, (and far more profitable) your author eventually did to the dealers and advanced collectors what they had done to him.

            It has been a long and very profitable experience. Perpetrating massive frauds on defrauders can be very entertaining. The pomposity of most of these individuals is matched only by their colossal stupidity and it is amazing that so many of these creatures are able to find either end of themselves in a dark room or, as the author’s sainted Granny used to say, ‘Too lazy to work, too stupid to steal and completely unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

            The easiest person to defraud is a crook. It has been said that you cannot cheat an honest man and this may well be true. Never having met any such individuals during a long and successful career, the validity of this statement is unproved to the author.

            The hallmark of the German military collectors is, in the main, a fascination with a period they are constantly reminded is the very essence of terrible evil. In spite of countless reams of utter nonsense produced about German wickedness (as opposed to American, British or Russian asocial behavior) German items are far more in demand that anything else and of all the items most sought after and commanding the highest prices are relics of the awful SS.

            So much for failed propaganda which has only made its sworn enemy so attractive.

            One dealer bought the iron gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp from a Polish scrap dealer and tried to sell them to the American Holocaust Museum. They were most eager to obtain this dubious relic but on principle (or perhaps because of a lack of it) absolutely refused to pay for the massive entrance to their netherworld.. A tax-free gift would be much more to their liking but the greedy and uncharitable dealer merely cut the gates into small pieces and sold these off like souvenirs of the Berlin Wall (or fragments of the True Cross).

            Eventually, the prices on Third Reich relics reached such a level that frustrated collectors turned to such relatively worthless items as American uniforms or East German NVA items. This is called bottom-feeding in the trade. If one American army jacket cost ten dollars with all insignia, think of how happy the collector will be when he informed his collector friends that he now had seventy five ten dollar tunics, eighteen American army helmets at twenty dollar apiece and over two hundred pairs of old boots that a used clothing dealer gave him to keep the rats from nesting in them.

            Having started out to teach crooked dealers and collectors a very well-deserved lesson, the author learned so much about the dirty back alleys of the marketplace that he branched out into the field of Fine Art. This is a much more respectable field than the selling of Hermann Göring’s Damascus Ear Wax Picks.




Rootkit called Carrier IQ discovered phoning home with user data


Finding and cleaning out your smartphone’s Carrier IQ poison


David Citron
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Arsenic—It’s in Animal Feed Too

December 2, 2011

by Ben Lilliston


The media has been splashed with recent findings of elevated levels of arsenic in apple juice. Much less attention has been given to concerns about the presence of arsenic in meat. Last week, IATP and the Center for Food Safety filed a series of petitions with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling for the agency to vastly reduce the legally permissible levels of arsenic in meat. Pharmaceutical companies produce and sell four arsenic compounds that are added to animal feed for turkey, chicken and swine production to increase weight and improve pigmentation of the meat.

“Arsenic’s a poison that causes cancer, among other harm,” IATP’s David Wallinga, M.D. said in a press release on the petitions. “The FDA can’t seriously uphold its public health mission while allowing residues of arsenic in the meat our children and families eat. That’s why we’ve submitted this petition>”

In 2006, IATP’s report Playing Chicken: Avoiding Arsenic in Your Meat estimated that more than 70 percent of all U.S. chickens raised for meat are fed arsenic. That report found detectable levels of arsenic in many name brand poultry products from supermarkets and fast food restaurants.

Earlier this year, Pfizer voluntarily agreed to stop selling 3-Nitro, an arsenic-containing product for food animals. But Pfizer has given no indication that it will stop marketing the product in as many as 11 other countries where it has been sold, or that it will stop selling other FDA-approved arsenic feed additives. 

The four petitions filed last week called for FDA action to reduce levels of arsenic-containing compounds in animal feed, including: arsanilic acid, nitarsone, carbarsone and roxarsone.


Are You Held Hostage By Bad Credit? The Hidden Truth Behind the Shady Credit Agencies That Can Ruin Your Life

How a billion-dollar industry’s mission transformed from assessing creditworthiness to chasing profits and holding consumers hostage.

November 29, 2011

by Lynn Parramore



Remember the old idiom, “Don’t become a statistic”? Well, you already are.

The Minneapolis-based Fair Issac Corporation, popularly known as FICO, keeps close tabs on your credit files and uses a secret formula to reduce that information to a number that can powerfully impact your life. If you pay a bill late, they know about it. When you use your credit card, they see it. They even know if you are making inquiries to learn about your credit score.

There’s also a lot they don’t know. Some things, like your race or marital status, are prohibited by law from being considered in credit scoring. Other things, like your employment history, where you live, or how much you’ve saved, don’t fit into the algorithms FICO uses. Any normal person might suspect they are relevant to assessing the quality of your credit, but they won’t make a difference in your score.

We are all living, breathing human beings, but big businesses and banks have turned us into half-baked statistics in order to grease the wheels of capitalism – wheels that often catch us in their spokes. At best these statistics are inexact; in many cases, they are much worse than that, with disastrous consequences for the humans they purport to describe.

How did this happen and what can we do about it?


A Bit of History

Credit reporting in the U.S. kicked off in the 19th century when retail merchants and other interested parties created loosely organized local exchanges of information. In a big, young and mobile country, lenders understandably wanted to know something about the people doing the borrowing. Given the cultural norms and the lack of reliable data around, creditworthiness was closely connected to popular notions of “character,” like honesty and thriftiness. This emphasis led local retailers to collect intimate details about peoples’ health, drinking habits and sexual behavior from newspapers and gossip. Being Jewish could also earn you a bad credit rating, or being Chinese, or Catholic or unmarried, all of which were associated with questionable “character.”

As communication technology developed in the 20th century, the loose-knit organizations evolved into credit bureaus that went national – they were actually among the first businesses in the U.S. to do so. They got quite savvy and efficient about zipping information about consumers from coast to coast. FICO was founded in 1956. Two years later it began selling its credit scoring system. It was the first company to develop algorithms for generating credit scores and got paid royalties for their use.

As these systems grew and became more deeply embedded in the nation’s financial system, they increasingly impacted the the lives and opportunities of citizens. The work of advocacy groups defending consumer rights led to new laws that tried to address fairness and accuracy in credit scoring. In 1971, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)  gave consumers, among other things, the right to view and dispute reports. The laws continue to be tweaked in an effort to keep up with a rapidly expanding and increasingly influential business. In 2003, an amendment was passed giving consumers the right to view one free credit report a year.

The Federal Reserve inherited consumer rule writing in the 1960s, and for a long time, officials at the Fed took their role seriously and had competent staff. Paul Volcker, Fed chairman from 1979 to 1987, was widely regarded as reasonably tough on consumer affairs and maintained a decent apparatus to regulate industry players and investigate abuses.

Then along came Alan Greenspan. Greenspan’s fanciful free-market economic theories and world view rendered him completely uninterested in consumer affairs matters. Consumer affairs work at the Fed declined sharply in quality and strength. In the past, the Fed had promoted fairness and accuracy in credit scoring as a shield for banks that might face discrimination charges. But in the 1980s and 1990s, bankers turned the shield into a sword. They began holding the scores over consumers’ heads.

Pressures from Wall Street convinced banks to chase consumer fee income, and they began to use credit scores as a device for justifying higher fees. Ever wonder how bank CEO pay started skyrocketing? Socking consumers with above-average interest rates and collecting fees on late payments and other penalties is a big chunk of bank earnings today. If consumers balked or missed a payment, they would be threatened with lowered credit scores. Consumers became hostages.

Today, FICO sells its assessment of your creditworthiness to credit rating bureaus – the three giants are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and their reports influence everything from credit cards to mortgages to job offers. A bad score will cost you dearly. For example, a borrower with a bad credit score could end up paying more than $5,000 in extra interest on a $20,000, five-year car loan. Most banks use the scores to set finance charges; the lower the score, the higher the interest rate on a new loan.

Millions of Americans have seen their credit scores plummet since the financial crash. Meanwhile, the credit-scoring business is rife with problems and abuses, ranging from processes that favor speed over accuracy to preferential treatment for the rich and powerful. Unless you are wealthy, you will likely have to borrow money at some point in your life, whether to buy a house or attend college. Here are a few things you need to know about these all-powerful scores that dominate our lives.


Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

Businesses and banks rely on consumer credit bureaus as authoritative sources of accurate information and analysis. But are their calculations up to snuff? Not really, alas.

A credit score is created when an algorithm is applied to the data in your credit file. This system started out with limited pencil-and-paper calculations, and later clunky operations on early computers. Things took off in the 1980s with the development of turbo-computing power and the ability to do massive data mining. A new branch of applied science was born, and by the 1990s, firms were using large databases in order to make predictions about consumer behavior.

Proponents hailed this as a major intellectual breakthrough. What was once a slow and cumbersome process of pouring big data sets into computers and then painstakingly figuring out correlations became a fast, easy operation on mega-computers. Once the firm ponied up the large initial investment in computers, it was home-free. New consumers and more data could be added at very little cost. This system was irresistibly alluring to mathematicians and statisticians – and to profit seekers.

But the new statistical models could best be described by the title of an Errol Morris documentary: Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control. The beauty of credit scores for the financial industry is that they’re inexpensive to produce. Profit incentives have led to a sort of cut-and-run, brute force data mining in which the possibility of errors is enormous. Political economist Thomas Ferguson, who uses large data sets to do analysis of voting patterns, political money and stock market phenomena, scoffs at the crudity of systems used in credit scoring. “The results probably would not pass muster in any serious academic journal,” he says. “You almost certainly couldn’t publish the results.”

One problem with credit scoring is related to the so-called “lantern problem” common to scientific inquiries, illustrated in the stock image of a person looking for lost keys where the light is shining rather than where the keys are actually lost. In the case of evaluating credit risk, the statistician will use whatever data is around to plug into the algorithms, rather than ferreting out information that would best determine actual credit worthiness. She may be able to get a certain type of history this way—drawn from your checks, purchases and other typical activity. But she can’t get at the atypical parts, such as whether or not you are out of work, about to come into an inheritance, or have co-signed a note so your children could get a mortgage.

Because credit scoring and reporting firms sell their products to banks, and banks like to assign high interest rates, guess what kind of information about you they don’t like to put in their reports? Positive information. Negative information, like missing a payment on your phone bill, is welcome. Positive information, like your steadily increasingly salary or the fact that you paid down a credit card, is not.

Credit scoring has some predictive accuracy, but not nearly enough to justify its influence. In old-fashioned risk evaluation, a loan officer at a bank would sit down with an individual and study the typical and atypical factors that make up a person’s credit history. Then he or she would make a judgement about credit worthiness that incorporated what wasn’t in the statistical models, as well as what was. Obviously, you can’t rapidly and cheaply assess credit risk on tens of millions of people using personal interviews. And so now we have a fast, cheap, effectively hit-or-miss system that can prevent you from renting an apartment or getting a job. The motivation of the industry is now less about actually finding out if you’re credit worthy, and more about finding out how lenders can make profits off you.


The Oligopoly Game

Competition is not exactly robust when it comes to consumer credit scoring and reporting. The industry, which does $1 billion a year in business, is dominated by four players: FICO controls the vast majority of the credit score market in the U. S. and Canada, and its scores are distributed by only three major companies, Experian, Equifax and Transunion. FICO is at the very top, condensing our credit worthiness into the three-digit FICO score. Experian, Equifax and Transunion use the FICO scoring system to come up with their own credit scores, based on data they collect about you in their systems. They then sell access to those scores to millions of businesses that want to make various decisions and judgments about you.

Around 90 percent of banks use FICO scores, along with the 25 largest credit card issuers. Talk about industry dominance!

When an industry becomes an oligopoly, several things that are bad for consumers tend to happen. Product innovation becomes limited. Players can collude to raise prices, even as the cost of doing credit scoring and reporting goes down. Up until very recently, you could not get a credit report or score without paying for it, a major reason for the 2003 law requiring that consumers be allowed to view one free report per year.

Worse still, there’s not much incentive to get things right when oligopoly conditions exists. The law provides little penalty to these giant firms when they screw up, and it’s not like consumers can vote with their feet when the product is shabby. You can’t remove your information from the bureaus without enormous hassle, and you can’t take your business elsewhere.


Error Explosion

A shockingly high portion of consumer credit reports contain errors. But just as firms are not rewarded for including positive information in your credit report, neither are they rewarded for removing erroneous information.

Horror stories abound. Like the man who was refused a mortgage for money owed on an appendectomy he never had. Chances are high that if you just ask amongst your friends, you’ll find someone who was inconvenienced–or worse–by a credit score or report error. A study released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in June 2004 found that 79 percent of the consumer credit reports surveyed contained some kind of error. Of these, a quarter contained mistakes serious enough to result in the denial of credit, such as false delinquencies or accounts that belong to somebody else.

Several years ago when I was looking to buy an apartment, I checked my credit reports and found a listing for a bank account I supposedly opened in Texas, a place I have never lived. I had to go through an irritating and time-consuming process of writing dispute letters in order to get this false information removed.

Typical errors include credit bureaus mixing the files and identities of consumers; attributing a debt to the wrong consumer; incorrectly recording payment histories; and inaccuracies caused by identity theft or compromised data, which the agencies often try to conceal.

Credit reporting agencies have a legal obligation to address errors, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is lax in enforcing the rules. The perfunctory, mechanized system currently used by the industry to deal with error complaints is a travesty. (For more on this, see the 2009 report by the National Consumer Law Center, “Automated Injustice.”) Credit bureaus don’t have much incentive to carry out thorough investigations, and the burden of proof is placed squarely on the consumer. The consumer, after all, is not the primary paying customer, so why should the credit reporting agency spend its dollars and time resolving her disputes?

If you get screwed by this system, you can take your complaint to court. But that can be a slow, costly, and frustrating experience. An entire sub-industry, the credit repair business, has arisen to address this consumer nightmare – and to profit from it. The credit repair industry has a symbiotic relationship with the reporting and scoring industry. Companies charge stiff fees, maybe $250 up front plus monthly maintenance, for promising to do things you should, in theory, be able to accomplish yourself, like writing dispute letters. Why do they have better luck? Maybe because they get the V.I.P. treatment. And they aren’t the only ones.


Preferential Treatment for the 1 Percent

The major credit ratings bureaus are known to have a two-tiered system for addressing errors. If you’re rich and powerful, you get special treatment. In May 2011, a report by the New York Times revealed that Equifax, Experian and TransUnion keep a V.I.P. list of celebrities, politicians, judges, and other muckety-mucks who will get rapid response to error claims. And for the other 99 percent? Expect to have your complaint funneled into an automated system and farmed out to overseas contractors where a worker will spend an average of two minutes figuring out the problem.

Perhaps this explains why members of Congress are so uninterested in credit scoring issues. They don’t have to worry about them. Time to Occupy the credit bureaus?


Who’s Looking at You?

Credit reports are a goldmine of information on consumers. Landlords, insurance companies, employers and potential employers, child support enforcement agencies, and others can now gain access to your report. According to the New York Times, 40 percent of employers now do credit checks on their employees. This creates a vicious cycle whereby a person may get into financial difficulties, say, from an illness, and then find that getting or maintaining a job is impossible due to a low credit score. Which leads to foreclosures. And broken families. And untold human misery.

Who else gets gets to see your scores? Marketers, for one. Generating and selling lists for use in “pre-approved” credit and insurance offers is allowed by law. TransUnion, Experian and Equifax all engage in selling lists of consumers who meet certain criteria in order to receive an offer of credit or insurance. This is the source of the many pre-approved credit offers that clog your mailbox. In order to opt out you must remove your name from any marketing list compiled by a credit rating bureau, whether the list is for pre-approved credit offers or direct marketing. (Call 888-5-OPTOUT or 888-567-8688, or go online to www.optoutprescreen.com.)

Right from the earliest days of the industry, control of information on consumer credit was a problem. When you want to borrow, you do expect to give up some privacy in return for the privilege. But with high-speed, error-prone, profit-driven transfers of information, plus toothless national laws, the chance of your information ending up in the wrong hands is too high for comfort.

Criminals interested in identity theft are delighted by the easy availability of confidential financial information, coupled with sloppy practices by creditors and credit bureaus, which routinely lose data. This makes it a cakewalk for crooks to do things like open accounts in your name. The credit scoring and reporting agencies will now sell you products and services that are supposed to protect you from identity theft — which is ironic, considering that their activities make much of this identity theft possible in the first place!

Then there are potential national security issues. What if a foreign company, say, a Chinese company, decided to buy up an American credit reporting bureau? Or maybe a Mexican drug cartel? What use would they make of that information? Let’s hope we don’t find out.

A People’s Revolution?

The system of credit scoring and reporting is clearly in dire need of reform. But how are we ever going to get it?

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed by Congress in 2010, ensures that you are now entitled to a free copy of your credit score if you are denied a loan based on that score, and also if you get a high interest rate on a new loan. This is a positive development. But what is the mantra of nearly every Republican candidate for president? Repeal Dodd-Frank! Meanwhile the Obama administration is less than eager to push on consumer rights — which is why Elizabeth Warren is running for Senate in Massachusetts, instead of heading up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Warren conceived CFPB as a watchdog that would oversee credit scoring and reporting practices and serve as a recourse to consumers. The bureau released a helpful preliminary study in July 2011, which looked at how scores purchased by consumers and those shown to lenders can vary, leaving consumers in the dark about their actual credit worthiness. We can be thankful that the bureau is doing these ongoing investigations. But without Warren at the helm, and given CFPB’s placement inside the bank-centric Federal Reserve, its impact will be restricted. The industry, along the politicians it lavishes money upon, will try to stymie even its most modest efforts.

The truth is that fundamental reforms are required if we want to truly take back our lives from these credit scoring juggernauts. Attorney Walker Todd, who spend two decades in the legal departments of the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Cleveland, assured me that in order to even begin to address the systemic and structural problems of the industry, a full-dress congressional hearing is order, ideally in three parts, as follows:

1) Role of regulators in the industry. Regulators would come in and testify under oath exactly how they conceive of their role. (You get a maximum potential for embarrassment here.)

2) History of the industry. Focus on how the purpose and design of the industry have changed from the pre-1990s to the present. This section would also address structural changes in the banking industry that have made credit reporting a mess.

3) Testimony on misuses. Consumers would get to tell their stories about the misuses of credit scoring and reporting.

The overall purpose of the hearing would be to determine whether current arrangements and systems have improved the availability and condition of credit, degraded it, or left it about the same.

The bad news is that our broken political system makes such a hearing a very difficult proposition. In the House, Rep. Maxine Waters, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, may not have the necessary support to lead such a hearing. In the Senate, the chairman of the Committee on Finance, Max Baucus, wouldn’t touch the subject with a 10-foot pole. Senator Richard Shelby, the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, has sometimes exhibited a healthy distrust of bankers. But his colleague, Senator Tim Johnson, the chair, hails from South Dakota, where Citibank reigns supreme.

Which brings us to the White House. It’s critical to have an executive branch agency that can deal with consumer issues. But of course, CFPB is conveniently housed in the Fed, where the very bank-friendly Ben Bernanke will have to go along with regulations and scrutiny. What we need is a president willing to go to bat on an issue that affects the daily lives of so many of his constituents. We probably shouldn’t hold our breath. With bank-loving advisers like Timothy Geithner and former JPMorgan exec Bill Daley roaming the White House, consumers’ interests are an afterthought. Besides, the president is trying to raise a billion dollars for his election campaign, a great deal of which will come from the financial sector.

What’s left then? A people’s revolution may be the only thing that will truly get the ball rolling. The Occupy Wall Street movement has shined a light on the problem of money and politics, which is crucial to address if there is to be any hope of getting our elected officials to act in our interest. Robust reforms like a constitutional amendment regulating money in elections have been floated, and should remain front-and-center in the national dialogue.

Or how about a credit-reporting agency of the people, for the people and by the people? Similar to the Move Your Money campaign, a Move Your Credit Score campaign might be an experiment worth running, if only to keep the topic in the minds of the public. The idea is that we would all volunteer to submit our information to our own agency, which would agree to sell its scoring to banks and other lenders at a lower fee that those currently charged by credit ratings bureaus. The banks would certainly try to squash it, but a national campaign would be a good way to expose the mess and gain the attention of the mainstream press, which has so far largely confined its reporting to “How to Improve Your Credit Score” pieces.

Taking back the control of our financial destinies is something the 99 percent can certainly rally around. Left, right and center, this is an issue none of us can escape.

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet contributing editor. She is co-founder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of ‘Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.’

US may abandon Pakistan supply routes

December 1, 2011

by Amir Mir

Asia Times

            ISLAMABAD – The United States may abandon Pakistan as a major supply route to Afghanistan unless the blockade on provisions to coalition forces is ended, after Islamabad turned down a request to allow crucial food and military hardware to transit to neighboring Afghanistan unless it receives a formal apology and sees stern action taken against those responsible for the November 26 cross-border air strike that killed at least two dozen Pakistani soldiers.
            Shortly after midnight on November 26, American military helicopters rocketed and strafed two lightly manned observation points, known as the Salala security posts, on the Anargai Ghakhi mountain peak in Mohmand tribal agency, about 2.5 kilometers inside Pakistani territory on the Afghan border. The check posts had been recently set up to stop Taliban militantsholed up in Afghanistan from crossing the border and staging attacks in Pakistan. The Salala security posts are located in the Taliban-controlled Baizai area of Mohmand tribal agency, a well-known hotbed of militant activity that has significantly impacted security on both sides of the border. Baizai is a known transit point and safe haven for two key commanders of the Tehrik-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan (TTP) – Faqir Mohammad and Mullah Fazlullah.
            The air strike, in which at least 24 soldiers were killed has plunged the frosty Pakistan-US ties into deeper crisis because it took place a day after US General John Allen met the Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kiani to discuss border control and enhanced cooperation. The Pakistan-Afghanistan border is often poorly marked and differs on various maps by up to five miles in some places. A similar incident on September 30, 2009, which killed two Pakistani troops, led to the closure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supply routes through Pakistan for 10 days. NATO apologized for that incident, which it said happened when gunships mistook warning shots by the Pakistani forces for a militant attack. But retaliating angrily, Pakistan immediately suspended supply routes.
            According to highly informed diplomatic sources in Islamabad, the US has already explored several alternative supply routes for the international forces stationed in Afghanistan in the wake of an increasing number of attacks on NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) convoys travelling through Pakistan, coupled with a frequent suspension of the supply routes by the Pakistani authorities. Pakistan currently receives a huge reimbursement of economic and military assistance from the United States for providing these logistical facilities to the war-torn country. The NATO/ISAF convoys travelling through Pakistan are the principal source of logistical support for coalition forces. Pakistan, being the shortest and most economical route, has been used for nearly a decade to transit almost 75% of ammunition, vehicles, foodstuff and around 50% of fuel for coalition forces fighting the Taliban militia in Afghanistan.
            The November 26 attack has caused an intense diplomatic tussle between Islamabad and Washington. Besides suspending NATO supplies to Afghanistan, Pakistan has ordered the Americans to vacate Shamsi airbase in Balochistan within 15 days. Shamsi Airbase – leased out to the United Arab Emirates, which sublet it to American forces – was the major operational center for US drones. Pakistani President Asif Zardari has already turned down a request by the UAE government to extend the deadline for withdrawal of the US troops from the base. Official military delegations between the two countries have also been cancelled.
            No direct apology has come either from the US or from NATO, though both have expressed regret over the ”tragic, unintended” deaths of the Pakistani soldiers. A White House spokesman has issued a statement saying President Barack Obama sees the deaths of Pakistani soldiers in a NATO raid as a tragedy. A joint statement by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who offered their condolences for the loss of life, backed an investigation into the incident and stressed the importance of the Pakistan-US partnership. On the other hand, the western media quoted senior Western and Afghan officials as saying that a small group of US and Afghan forces on patrol in Kunar province were fired on first from positions inside Pakistani territory, prompting calls for close air support which wiped out the two Pakistani mountain posts.
            The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Afghan officials and one Western official, has caused fury in Islamabad with a report that the attack was called to shield NATO and Afghan forces targeting Taliban fighters. The fire came from remote outposts in the Mohmand region.
            A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), General Carsten Jacobson, told CNN that ”a technical situation on the ground … caused the force to call for close air support and it is this close air support that highly likely caused the soldiers that perished on the Pakistani side.” In another interview to CBS News, General Jacobson elaborated that Afghan and NATO forces were holding a joint exercise in Kunar, close to the border with Pakistan. ”Air support was called in, and it is highly likely that this close air support killed Pakistani soldiers,” he said. General Jacobson assured Pakistan that an investigation was under way into why close support had been called in: ”We need to have the technical proof of what was said at what time by whom to whom. Speed is not important, but we need to get the Pakistani side involved to find out what their involvement was,” he said.
            But the Pakistani military has maintained that the attack was intentional and unwarranted. Major General Athar Abbas, chief spokesman for the Pakistan military, said he did not believe that ISAF or Afghan forces had received fire from the Pakistani side. ”I cannot rule out the possibility that this was a deliberate attack by ISAF. Let me inform you that a total of 72 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in eight cross border attacks by the Allied Forces during last three years. The latest episode has deeply impacted the progress made by the two countries on improving bilateral relations, forcing Pakistan to revisit its current terms of engagement with the United States”, said the military spokesman.           

In an interview with CNN, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani warned that there would be ”no more business as usual” with Washington after what his government has been describing as ”unprovoked NATO attack on Pakistani territory”. He went on to add that for the relations to continue there had to be ”mutual respect and respect for Pakistani sovereignty” which he regretted was no longer the case. Gilani, who added that an apology this time would not be enough to satisfy his nation, has also decided to take parliament into confidence about the review of relations with the United States.
            Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has made it clear that first of all, there must be a formal apology from the US over the killings followed by a thorough investigation into the incident and stern punishment to the people responsible for it. Only then would Pakistan decide what to do, she added. A statement issued here by the Foreign Office said Khar told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a phone conversation: ”The incident negates the progress made by the two countries on improving relations and forces Pakistan to revisit the terms of engagement with the United States.” Interior Minister Rehman Malik has declared that the NATO supplies have not been suspended, but stopped permanently.
            There are two routes into Afghanistan from Pakistan, one across the Khyber Pass in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to the Afghan border town of Torkham and on to Kabul. The other goes through the Balochistan Province to the border town of Chaman and on to the southern Afghan city, and former Taliban stronghold, of Kandahar. On an average, around 300 heavy vehicles, 200 container-mounted trailers and 100 tankers set off daily from Pakistan to Afghanistan through these two supply routes to transport food and military supplies meant for coalition forces stationed in Afghanistan.
            Available figures show that since January this year a total of 109 NATO convoys have been targeted by the Taliban militants, killing 52 people, most of whom were drivers of the trucks. The convoys that were targeted included fuel tankers, each of which carries about 45,000 litres of oil, as well as containers with unspecified quantities of logistic material for the 120,000-strong NATO/ISAF Forces, besides armored transport for the allied forces, which were either torched or looted by militants. Apart from tonnes of small commodities being transported everyday from Pakistan to Afghanistan, choppers and Humvees were also transshipped via this route in the past few years.
            However, diplomats say that having fully realized the Pakistan-Afghan supply route was no longer safe, the high command of the allied forces has accelerate efforts to secure an agreement with some of the former Russian states to allow food and military supplies to pass through the Central Asian republics. That the Americans have been trying to secure multiple supply routes for transportation of food and military supplies to Afghanistan is already an open secret. Landlocked, mountainous, inundated by war and extreme underdevelopment, Afghanistan is surrounded by a clutch of hostile, apprehensive, barely functioning sovereignties. But the allied forces there require a phenomenal amount of supplies – from ammunition to toothbrushes, fuel, computers, night-vision goggles, concertina wire etc – at the rate of thousands of tons per day.
            The main problem is that these supply trucks are civilian-operated, with no military escorts, primarily because of the Pakistani sensitivities about its sovereignty. Therefore, many of the trucks become an easy target of the militants, prompting the Americans to seek alternative supply routes from countries which can also allow security men to guard them.
            According diplomats, the Americans are now trying to secure three different alternative supply routes for Afghanistan. The first one is the northern route which starts in the Latvian port of Riga, the largest all-weather harbor on the Baltic Sea, where container ships offload their cargo onto Russian trains. The shipments roll south through Russia, then southeast around the Caspian Sea through Kazakhstan and finally south through Uzbekistan until they cross the frontier into north Afghanistan. The Russian train-lines were built to supply Russia’s own war in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, and these can be used by the US-led forces in their own Afghan campaign.
            The second one is the southern route which transits the Caucuses, completely bypassing Russia, from Georgia. Starting from the Black Sea port, Ponti, it travels north to Azerbaijan and its port, Baku, where goods are loaded onto ferries to cross the Caspian Sea. Landfall is Kazakhstan, where the goods are carried by truck to Uzbekistan and finally Afghanistan. While shorter than the northern route, it is more expensive because of the on-and-off loading from trucks to ferries and back onto trucks. A third supply route, which is actually a spur of the northern route, bypasses Uzbekistan and proceeds from Kazakhstan via Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which has a north east border with Afghanistan. However, this route is hampered by bad road conditions in Tajikistan.
            Yet there are those in the Pakistani security establishment who think that it would be hard for the Americans to induce any of the former Russian states for the NATO supplies because many of their leaders believe that the American plans to get military supplies via their countries could draw the former Soviet colony into the battle as Cambodia was dragged into the Vietnam war. But diplomats say NATO is already using some alternate supply routes after a string of disruptions caused by the Pakistani authorities. As recently as July 2011, these circles say, the balance of supplies transiting through Pakistan and the northern distribution network were weighted in Pakistan’s favor, with more than half of ground-transported supplies arriving through Pakistan. But the situation has changed with the US deciding that only 25% of ground cargo should arrive via Afghanistan’s eastern neighbor.
            The decision to suspend transit for convoys through Pakistan was taken at a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC), the highest strategic decision-making forum where it was also decided that all arrangements with the United States and NATO, including diplomatic, political, and military and intelligence activities, would be reviewed. More importantly, Pakistan is also contemplating to boycott the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan where thorny issues about the withdrawal of occupying forces from the war-torn country and dialogue with the Taliban are to be taken up. Pakistan’s absence from the conference is going to be a major setback to US-led efforts to bring the Taliban to the dialogue table.
            Pakistani analysts say Islamabad’s cooperation is crucial to ongoing American successes in the region but that the fragility of bilateral ties doesn’t leave much room to withstand disruptive developments such as the November 26 NATO attack. Such ugly episodes will only fuel more anti-American sentiments in Pakistan that will ultimately jeopardize longer-term US interests in the region.

Amir Mir is a senior Pakistani journalist and the author of several books on the subject of militant Islam and terrorism, the latest being The Bhutto murder trail: From Waziristan to GHQ.


Conversations with the Crow


When the CIA discovered that their former Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs, Robert T. Crowley, had been talking with author Gregory Douglas, they became fearful (because of what Crowley knew) and outraged (because they knew Douglas would publish eventually) and made many efforts to silence Crowley, mostly by having dozens of FBI agents call or visit him at his Washington home and try to convince him to stop talking to Douglas, whom they considered to be an evil, loose cannon.          

            Crowley did not listen to them (no one else ever does, either) and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

          Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to:


Here is the hundred and third  chapter

Conversation No. 103


Date: Monday, September 15, 1997

Commenced: 1:38 PM CST

Concluded: 1:55 PM CST

RTC: Good morning, Gregory. Did you, by any chance, get the packet I sent you?

GD: The one on weird conspiracy crap?
RTC: Yes, the same.

GD: I did and I am still laughing. My God, when Reagan closed the nut houses in California, these things really took off. Actually, to be fair, that sort of lunacy has been around for years. But how the CIA could get tied up with some of them boggles the imagination.

RTC: Well, there were indeed very strange people in our ranks, I’ll grant you that. We had Gottlieb, Cameron and other odd ones. The Swann person was another one. You know, the Remote Viewing insanity.

GD: Oh yes, indeed. I lived near SRI in Menlo Park and I heard hysterically funny stories about this at the time. Leaving the astral body to float around in space and then down to old Mother Russia to slip into the KGB headquarters to spy on the workings. Or float off to China to see what Mao was doing. The thought that taxpayer’s money went into such things is really not very funny. Tell me, although I only saw a brief mention of it, were you tied up with the Scientology nutties? The planet Xenu? The bringing of the Thetan master race to Montana by DC3s? Jesus, I know Hubbard spent some time in a ‘Frisco nut house but how, or I mean why, do sane people believe such shit?

RTC: From a poor, very bad science fiction writer to cult leader is quite a step but L. Ron made it.

GD: My God, I know about him and I met some of his drooling acolytes once. And had to listen to hours of psycho-babble about being clear or their fake emeters. All they do is rope in rich fools and skin them to the bone. But please tell me the CIA wasn’t tied up with these nutties.

RTC: No, Hubbard hated us. We were asked by DoS to investigate him when he was running all over the Med, getting the police of various countries after him. We concluded that all of them were crazy as hell and that Hubbard was either an inspired paranoid idiot or a total fraud. I rather suspect he was both. I hear he got so crazy out in California that his people killed him.

GD: I have heard the same. And cremated him and dumped the ashes into the ocean off the stern of an old sardine boat. Well, now Lafayette is up on Xenu, running the pay toilets in the Imperial Palace there. God, I thought that once we got rid of the Christian Scientists, the fake churches were done for.

RTC: Well, Gottlieb was crazy and Cameron was crazier what with their experiments but at least Hubbard had a run for everyone’s money and enjoyed lots of teen-aged pussy before they offed him. Gottlieb fucked goats and we had to off Cameron for everyone’s welfare. No, we had nothing to do with the Hubbard business.

GD: Ah, but you did get into the Remote Viewing business. Did you do crystals too?

RTC: What?
GD: No, just some New Age nonsense. I know if I had an out of body experience, I would want to visit the girl’s gym shower room at a local high school. Not too young and before the bodies turn to rubber and the tits topple. High school girls were OK for Hubbard to play stink finger with but they really aren’t too smart. Some of them are nice to look at, though. Go to any beach, Robert, and look at the flab and sag. Oh and men too. Must be democratic here. Guys get sagging tits and jelly bellies as well. But in the old days, young people kept their shapes longer but now, they bag, sag and drag at ten or eleven.

RTC: (Laughter) We all get there, Gregory.

GD: Yes, we do but I would rather look at the cat box than the blubber guts strutting their stuff. Ah, well, so much for Remote Viewing.

RTC: Mr. Swann conned some of our less intelligent people out of millions.

GD: Maybe they can start their own church, Robert. Like Hubbard, the ebox king. Former Xenu Imperial Chancellor. Oh, and don’t forget the Illuminati. Robert, they rule the world now. Tens of thousands of them wearing soiled underwear, sitting in their own dung at their underground headquarters in Des Moines and controlling the world. And the New World Order! Robert, we are both getting old so maybe the Order will give birth after we are gone. Isn’t it amazing, the hysterically funny fictions that bipeds actually believe? The Easter Bunny now has become legend. I look for a Book of the Bunny any day now and frantic worshippers holding Bunny Meets on high school football fields, buck naked and jumping up and down. My God, what a disgusting image. And the Remote Viewing people can all gather in the stands and soil themselves in sexual frenzies while caressing their crystals and smoking pot. Malthus had the right idea but why do we have to wait? How about starting a plague somewhere and getting rid of the nutties in the process?

RTC: Utterly futile, Gregory. When the human race regenerated, the types would emerge again.

GD: Yes, along with piles and chronic skin diseases. I had to listen to more unadulterated  crap back in the ’70s than you can imagine and the Remote Viewing and Scientology shit fits right in with bong dreams.

RTC: Bong?
GD: A water pipe for smoking hash. But most of these lunatics don’t need drugs to hallucinate. Imagine Thetans or superior people and by that, I mean those who have read the really terrible Hubbard sci-fi stories, Thetans are flown to this planet on DC3s. Of course space is a vacuum so no plane could fly between here and Xenu. And where, pray tell, is Xenu? Somewhere in the Cornflakes galaxy, right near the planet Vulva. And if you pay the Scientologists enough money, they’ll suddenly discover you are a Thetan and get to the head of the contributing class. Oh well, just because the CIA went for the out of body nonsense is no reason to link it with the Hubbard freaks. I shouldn’t have even brought it up. Dealing with fatties and space cases are so debilitating. And then we can contemplate getting it on with an epileptic whore. Just as enlightening and thrilling.

RTC: Well, I sent you what I had on all of that.

GD: And I thank you but if I tried to get any of it published, they’d lock me up in a rubber room. You know it’s true and I believe it’s true but I doubt if normal people would believe a word of it. Listen, let’s send Corson to Xenu! Great! He could tell them he was an American field marshal and take over the Xenuvian army and invade Mars next month. Bill would have a wonderful time out at the L. Ron Hubbard Theme Park where all the Thetans love to visit. Enough, enough. I ought to get back to throwing roofing nails out on the freeway and watching the accidents. 

(Concluded 1:55 PM CST)




Dramatis personae:

            James Jesus Angleton: Once head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, later fired because of his obsessive and illegal behavior, tapping the phones of many important government officials in search of elusive Soviet spies. A good friend of Robert Crowley and a co-conspirator with him in the assassination of President Kennedy

            James P. Atwood: (April 16, 1930-April 20, 1997) A CIA employee, located in Berlin, Atwood had a most interesting career. He worked for any other intelligence agency, domestic or foreign, that would pay him, was involved in selling surplus Russian atomic artillery shells to the Pakistan government and was also most successful in the manufacturing of counterfeit German dress daggers. Too talkative, Atwood eventually had a sudden, and fatal, “seizure” while lunching with CIA associates.

            William Corson: A Marine Corps Colonel and President Carter’s representative to the CIA. A friend of Crowley and Kimmel, Corson was an intelligent man whose main failing was a frantic desire to be seen as an important person. This led to his making fictional or highly exaggerated claims.

            John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States.

            James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organizaed the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.

            Robert T. Crowley: Once the deputy director of Clandestine Operations and head of the group that interacted with corporate America. A former West Point football player who was one of the founders of the original CIA. Crowley was involved at a very high level with many of the machinations of the CIA.

            Gregory Douglas: A retired newspaperman, onetime friend of Heinrich Müller and latterly, of Robert Crowley. Inherited stacks of files from the former (along with many interesting works of art acquired during the war and even more papers from Robert Crowley.) Lives comfortably in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean.

            Reinhard Gehlen: A retired German general who had once been in charge of the intelligence for the German high command on Russian military activities. Fired by Hitler for incompetence, he was therefore naturally hired by first, the U.S. Army and then, as his level of incompetence rose, with the CIA. His Nazi-stuffed organization eventually became the current German Bundes Nachrichten Dienst.

            Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired, lives in Florida, and works for the CIA as an “advisor.”

            Willi Krichbaum: A Senior Colonel (Oberführer) in the SS, head of the wartime Secret Field Police of the German Army and Heinrich Müller’s standing deputy in the Gestapo. After the war, Krichbaum went to work for the Critchfield organization and was their chief recruiter and hired many of his former SS friends. Krichbaum put Critchfield in touch with Müller in 1948.

            Heinrich Müller: A former military pilot in the Bavarian Army in WWI, Müller  became a political police officer in Munich and was later made the head of the Secret State Police or Gestapo. After the war, Müller escaped to Switzerland where he worked for Swiss intelligence as a specialist on Communist espionage and was hired by James Critchfield, head of the Gehlen Organization, in 1948. Müller subsequently was moved to Washington where he worked for the CIA until he retired.

            Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this. Neither were his employers.

            Frank Wisner: A Founding Father of the CIA who promised much to the Hungarians and then failed them. First, a raging lunatic who was removed from Langley, screaming, in a strait jacket and later, blowing off the top of his head with a shotgun.           

            Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers specializing in creative writing. Although he prefers to be called ‘Dr,’ in reality he has no PhD.

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