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TBR News December 31, 2018

Dec 31 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. December 31, 2018: “Not only is Donald Trump a compulsive liar, he is also pathologically vindictive towards anyone who dares to disagree with him. Also, as we have seen in the case of Mr. Cohn, his lawyer and co-conspirator in many events, when the wrath comes down on his people, he at once dumps them and walks away. This sort of disloyalty can lead to serious problems, especially if the dumped one is a sharer of guilty secrets. As an example of Trump’s lack of character, when Sheldon Adelson could not secure Republican control of the House by bribing everyone in signt, Trump was very angry and has been slyly attacking Adelson at every opportunity. It has reliably been reported that concrete proof that Trump was bought and paid for by Putin was recently turned over to Mueller to aid him in his on-going investigations. If this ever got into the view of the general public, Trump would either have a fatal stroke or flee to Moscow to exchange pleasantries with Ed Snowden, another Russian agent.”

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 4
  • Donald Trump’s worst weeks of 2018 – the definitive list
  • Sheldon Adelson was a giant loser in midterms — and Trump is letting him know it
  • Democratic Sen. Warren takes step to challenge Trump in 2020
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Stargate, Stuxnet and Scientology

 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 4

November 15, 2018

by Daniel Dale Washington Bureau Chief

Toronto Star

WASHINGTON—It took Donald Trump until the 286th day of his presidency to make 815 false claims.

He just made another 815 false claims in a month.

In the 31 days leading up to the midterm elections on Nov. 6, Trump went on a lying spree like we have never seen before even from him — an outrageous barrage of serial dishonesty in which he obliterated all of his old records.

How bad have these recent weeks been?

  • Trump made 664 false claims in October. That was double his previous record for a calendar month, 320 in August.
  • Trump averaged 26.3 false claims per day in the month leading up to the midterm on Nov. 6. In 2017, he averaged 2.9 per day.
  • Trump made more false claims in the two months leading up to the midterms (1,176), than he did in all of 2017 (1,011).
  • The three most dishonest single days of Trump’s presidency were the three days leading up to the midterms: 74 on election eve, Nov. 5; 58 on Nov. 3; 54 on Nov. 4.

As always, Trump was being more frequently dishonest in part because he was simply speaking more. He had three campaign rallies on Nov. 5, the day before he set the record, and eight more rallies over the previous five days.

But it was not only quantity. Trump packed his rally speeches with big new lies, repeatedly reciting wildly inaccurate claims about migrants, Democrats’ views on immigration and health care, and his own record. Unlike many of his lies, lots of these ones were written into the text of his speeches.

Trump is now up to 3,749 false claims for the first 661 days of his presidency, an average of 4.4 per day.

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not telling the truth.

 

Oct 11, 2018

“And Secretary of State just came back — Mike. He just came back from North Korea. We had very good meetings, and we’ll meet again. But we’re doing good. No more nuclear testing. No more missiles going up. No more nothing. And it’s — that was headed to war. That was headed to war…Yeah. It was so close. We spoke — I spoke to President Obama. I will tell you, that was headed to war. And now it’s going to be — I believe it’s going to work out very well.”

Source: White House visit by Kanye West and Jim Brown

in fact: There is no evidence Obama was ever ready to go to war with North Korea or that, as Trump has claimed, he told Trump that a war was imminent; such a remark would be a total departure from Obama’s long-held views on North Korea. Obama’s office has declined to comment on Trump’s previous claims about Obama supposedly making this statement at his post-election meeting with Trump, but Ned Price, a former special assistant to Obama and spokesperson for the National Security Council, called Trump’s remark “absolute revisionist history,” saying, “I’ve never heard anything even remotely like that coming up during that session.” Obama’s strategy of “containment and deterrence” was “predicated in part on the understanding that a military conflict on the (Korean) Peninsula would be nothing short of catastrophic,” Price said. In the past, Trump has confirmed what news outlets have reported: Obama told him North Korea was the biggest or most urgent problem he would face, not that war was inevitable.

“We’ll have to see what happens. A lot of work is being done on that, and we’re going to have to see what happens. I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money that’s being poured into our country on — I know they’re talking about different kinds of sanctions, but they’re spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs, like jobs and others, for this country.” And: “I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States.” And: “But I will tell you, upfront, right now, and I’ll say it in front of senators: They’re spending $110 billion purchasing military equipment and other things. If we don’t sell it to them, they’ll say, ‘Well, thank you very much. We’ll buy it from Russia.’ Or ‘Thank you very much. We’ll buy it from China.’ That doesn’t help us — not when it comes to jobs and not when it comes to our companies losing out on that work.” And: “I oppose — I would not be in favor of stopping a country from spending $110 billion — which is an all-time record — and letting Russia have that money and letting China have that money. Because all they’re going to do is say, “That’s okay. We don’t have to buy it from Boeing. We don’t have to buy it from Lockheed. We don’t have to buy it from Raytheon and all these great companies. We’ll buy it from Russia. We’ll but it from China.” And: “And we don’t like even a little bit. But as to whether or not we should stop $110 billion from being spent in this country, knowing they have four or five alternatives, two very good alternatives — that would not be acceptable to me.”

Source: Signing of bill on ocean debris

in fact: As the Associated Press and others noted, there has never been evidence that Trump has secured even close to $110 billion in Saudi military purchases. The AP wrote: “Trump’s wrong to suggest that he has $110 billion in military orders from Saudi Arabia. A far smaller amount in sales has actually been signed…Details of the $110 billion arms package, partly negotiated under the Obama administration and agreed upon in May 2017, have been sketchy. At the time the Trump administration provided only a broad description of the defense equipment that would be sold. There was no public breakdown of exactly what was being offered for sale and for how much…The Pentagon said this month that Saudi Arabia has signed ‘letters of offer and acceptance for only $14.5 billion in sales, including helicopters, tanks, ships, weapons and training. Those letters, issued after the U.S. government has approved a proposed sale, specify its terms…Trump’s repeated claims that he’s signed $110 billion worth of new arms sales to Riyadh are ‘just not true,’ said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution and former CIA and Defense Department official.”

“And I couldn’t tell people that had been standing in line for a day and a half, wanting to get into the arena, that I’m not going. I went there. We had great control over what we were doing both on Air Force One, at the White House, and in Florida.” And: “And I think you’re seeing we’re getting tremendous marks for the job that we did. And I wasn’t going to disappoint thousands and thousands of people who have been standing in line for, in some cases, a day and a half. I wasn’t going to do that.”

Source: Signing of bill on ocean debris

in fact: Trump supporters began lining up for Trump’s Erie, Pennsylvania rally before dawn on the same day of the rally, well under 24 hours before it began, not a day and a half before the rally, according to Erie journalists who were present.

“The one good thing we can say — we were just discussing — is that it was the fastest hurricane anybody has seen. It just was speedy. If it wasn’t, there would be absolutely nothing left. It was incredibly powerful. You’ve seen the destruction.”

Source: Signing of bill on ocean debris

in fact: The Associated Press reported that Hurricane Michael was not moving at an exceptional speed, let alone the fastest speed ever: “Michael moved across land at a relatively normal pace. Michael moved at 13 mph to 17 mph for most of Wednesday, then sped up to as high as 23 mph on Thursday. Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach notes that does not hold a candle to Hurricane Hazel in 1954. That one raced along at 55 mph. Atmospheric scientist Brian McNoldy, from the University of Miami, said Michael’s forward movement was ‘perfectly average.’ ‘Very average forward speed,’ agreed meteorologist Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground. In contrast, a 1961 tropical storm hurtled at 69.75 mph from the mid-Atlantic over the Northeast, and a 1938 hurricane hit Long Island while traveling over 50 mph, he said.”

“The guy (Sen. Richard Blumenthal) was never, and if you remember, he sort of dropped out of the race and then he won, because he’s a Democrat. It’s impossible not to win, right? It’s Connecticut.”

Source: Interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito

in fact: Blumenthal won his 2010 Senate race by 12 percentage points, 55 per cent to 43 per cent. In that race, in which his dishonesty about supposedly serving in Vietnam was exposed, “he never dropped out of the race. He never stopped campaigning,” said Ronald Schurin, a University of Connecticut political science professor (who was also a delegate at the state convention where Blumenthal was selected as that year’s nominee). Schurin said the polls tightened after the scandal erupted, but Blumenthal never gave up in any way. “None of this happened,” he said.

“The greatest, he’s not running of course — he could never do that — but the greatest is Da Nang Dick, right? You remember — I just can’t believe, it’s because of the media, they’ve taken so much of it all. But he, apologized like Jimmy Swaggart. Crying, bawling, because he conned the public when he was Attorney General of Connecticut for 15 years, talking about, ‘As I went to Da Nang, bullets left and right. My friends going down.’ Meaning being killed. ‘Bullets flying right by my face and over my shoulder.’ I thought he was a war hero for years. You know He’s in Connecticut, I’d hear the story. I say, ‘Hey, he’s a great war hero.’ The guy was never in Vietnam. He was in the Reserves…Da Nang Dick. We call him Da Nang because it was Da Nang province. He said, ‘When I was Da Nang province, going up the hill, my buddies falling left and right.'”

Source: Interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito

in fact: Only a smidgen of this story is true. Trump was correct that Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal lied about having served in Vietnam. But Trump was also lying: Blumenthal never claimed to have served in Da Nang, to have been a war hero, or to have fought in battles in which people died, or to have had bullets flying by his face and shoulder. He simply claimed to have served in Vietnam during the war, when he served in the Marine Corps Reserve in the U.S.

“She’s (Elizabeth Warren) made a living off getting things because of her heritage…She’s not Indian. She’s not an Indian. Her mother says she has high cheekbones, okay, and therefore she’s an Indian, therefore she applies under minority protections. It’s ridiculous.”

Source: Interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito

in fact: Even Trump’s highly sympathetic interviewer, Salena Zito, noted in her article that his claim that Warren has “made a living” from claiming Native American heritage is “highly questionable.” There is no evidence that Warren applied for jobs “under minority protections.” The Boston Globe reported: “In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren’s professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman.” The Globe continued: “The Globe closely reviewed the records, verified them where possible, and conducted more than 100 interviews with her colleagues and every person who had a role in hiring decisions about Warren who could be reached. In sum, it is clear that Warren was viewed as a white woman by the hiring committees at every institution that employed her.” At the University of Pennsylvania, the hiring committee explained at length at the time why they chose to hire a white woman over minority candidates; “not until she had been teaching at Penn for two years did she authorize the university to change her personnel designation from white to Native American, the records show.” At Harvard University, “Warren first listed her ethnicity as Native American nearly five months after she started her tenured position at Harvard and 2½ years after she was there as a visiting professor and first offered the job.”

“This is a person (Brett Kavanaugh) that actually when I chose him, I said this would be very easy, he’s led an exemplary life. I mean, he’s never had a problem in his life, from being number one at Yale and number one at Yale Law School, number one in high school and everywhere, and all of a sudden this stuff came up at the end and totally, you know, uncorroborated.”

Source: Interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito

in fact: As a Yale undergraduate, Kavanaugh graduated cum laude, which means he was not first in his class; other students graduated summa cum laude and magna cum laude. Yale Law School’s grading system does not allow the calculation of class rankings at all.

“They say ‘sources,’ Ainsley. ‘Sources say,’ ‘five sources within the White House say,’ and there are no sources. They make it up. They’re like novelists. There are no sources.” And: “And they say ‘sources’ and people think, ‘Oh gee, sources,’ and there are no sources. Some of these books that are written, they don’t have sources for those quotes. They make them up. They will literally make up a quote and say it’s a ‘source,’ and it’s disgusting.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: There is no evidence that journalists have fabricated quotes from White House sources.

“There’s no collusion. There is collusion with Hillary Clinton and the Russians. But there’s no collusion with the Republicans and there’s certainly no collusion with Donald Trump.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: The claim that Clinton or other Democrats colluded with Russia is simple nonsense; the word “collusion” — in common language, a “secret agreement or co-operation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose” — just does not apply to Democrats’ Russia-related activities. The accusation is based on the fact that the British ex-spy who produced a research dossier on the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russia, which was funded in part by Clinton’s campaign, used Russian sources in compiling his information. That does not come close to meeting the definition of “collusion.”

“I’m very disappointed that we go through this witch hunt — this ridiculous witch hunt. And now even Richard Burr, who’s the highly respected senator in charge of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he just came out he said, ‘No, there’s been no collusion.’ He sees absolutely — this is after spending a year and a half on this stuff.” And: “They’ve done — they’ve interviewed everybody that you can imagine you could interview. And then Richard Burr stands up a few days ago and says, ‘We found absolutely no collusion.'”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: Burr, a Republican, himself pointed out that Trump’s claim is false. He did not make his comments on collusion “a few days ago”; it was a month ago. (Trump regularly moves up the date of good news to make it sound fresher.) More importantly, he did not flatly declare that there was no collusion. His actual September comments: “I can say as it relates to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation that we have no hard evidence of collusion. Now, we’re not over. That leaves the opportunity that we might find something that we don’t have today.” After Trump began mischaracterizing his remarks in October, Burr told CNN: “The president’s using a quote from three weeks ago, that you heard that I said we didn’t have any hard evidence. That’s fine. But we have a lot of investigation left.”

“The wall is being built, but it’s being built in chunks that I don’t like. I’m not happy with it. We’re getting $1.6 billion, and we’ve got two of them and now we’re getting a third under this budget.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: Construction on Trump’s border wall has not started, and Trump has not secured $4.8 billion for the wall. When Trump has claimed in the past that wall construction has begun, he has appeared to be referring to projects in which existing fencing is being replaced. The $1.6 billion Congress allocated to border projects in 2018 is not for the type of giant concrete wall Trump has proposed: spending on that kind of wall is expressly prohibited in the legislation, and much of the congressional allocation is for replacement and reinforcement projects rather than new construction. Trump has requested another $1.6 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, but this has not yet been approved, much less spent. In these comments, Trump also added a third “$1.6 billion” that does not exist.

“But same thing happened with the European Union. I told them the same thing. They don’t take our product, and yet they send their Mercedes-Benzes and their BMW in to — BMWs in to see us.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: While the European Union has some trade barriers that affect American exports, it is obviously false that the European Union does not “take our product,” period. The U.S. exported $283 billion worth of goods to the EU in 2017. Trump’s claim is false even if he is talking only about cars: according to Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistical agency, auto imports from the U.S. to the EU peaked at €7 billion in 2016 (about $10.7 billion Canadian at current exchange rates) and were approximately €6 billion in 2017 (about $9.2 billion Canadian at current exchange rates). According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association: “The U.S. is the third biggest exporter of cars to the EU in terms of value, representing a 15.4% share of EU imports in 2017.”

“Well, sure, but you stop them economically. Look, China was taking out $500 billion a year: $500 billion, Brian, a year. I said, ‘It’s not going to happen any longer.'” And: “They let China get out of control, and we are not going to pay $500 billion a year to China and rebuild China.” And: “But with China — because that’s the big one, that’s the real big one — they’re taking out $500 billion…”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: The U.S. has never once had a $500 billion trade deficit with China, according to U.S. government data. The deficit was $337 billion in 2017, $375 billion if you only count trade in goods and exclude trade in services.

“But the Democrats hated Comey; hated him. And I said, the one thing is, when I fired him I said I was going to get bipartisan support. And you look at Schumer and all of those people they put out horrible statements about Comey. ‘He should be fired. He’s a disgrace.’ The minute he was fired they came out and they said, ‘He was a wonderful man.’ I said, ‘I can’t believe it.’ I can’t believe what they said the day after he was fired. It was like from a different planet. So, you know, look, they’re politicians, what can I tell you.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer was not calling for Trump to fire Comey, and he did not issue any statements calling for Comey’s ouster. He said in November 2016, before Trump’s election victory: “I do not have confidence in him any longer…To restore my faith, I am going to have to sit down and talk to him and get an explanation for why he did this.” Trump fired Comey in May 2017.

 

“But (Andrew) McCabe, very bad, but he worked for Comey. Remember one thing about McCabe, his wife was running for office and he got $750,000 from Hillary Clinton’s — essentially, PAC. It was run by Terry McAuliffe, who is absolutely Hillary Clinton’s — absolutely Hillary Clinton’s best friend — and Bill Clinton. They gave him $750,000 for his wife. Nobody even knows if she spent the money. She might not have spent the money.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: As we noted in a separate fact check, Andrew McCabe, former FBI deputy director, did not get any money, let alone $750,000; these were donations to his wife Jill’s campaign for the Virginia state Senate. As Factcheck.org noted: “Campaign finance reports filed with the Virginia Department of Elections show that Jill McCabe’s campaign spent all of the nearly $1.7 million it raised for her race.”

 

“But (Andrew) McCabe, very bad, but he worked for Comey. Remember one thing about McCabe, his wife was running for office and he got $750,000 from Hillary Clinton’s — essentially, PAC. It was run by Terry McAuliffe, who is absolutely Hillary Clinton’s — absolutely Hillary Clinton’s best friend — and Bill Clinton. They gave him $750,000 for his wife. Nobody even knows if she spent the money. She might not have spent the money. And this was at the time that she was being investigated by McCabe. So McCabe is investigating Hillary Clinton and they — her PAC, essentially, run by her best friend, is paying McCabe $750,000; to me, that’s a big deal.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: Andrew McCabe, former FBI deputy director, did not get any money, let alone $750,000. Here’s what happened: Jill McCabe, his wife, was running for Virginia’s state Senate in 2015; her campaign received nearly $700,000 from political allies of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Andrew McCabe was not involved, and there is no evidence Hillary Clinton was involved. McAuliffe’s political action committee, or PAC, gave Jill McCabe’s campaign more than $450,000; though Clinton is indeed friends with McAuliffe, it is not her PAC.

“It turned out with Russia there was collusion, but it was with Hillary Clinton, the DNC.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: The claim that Clinton or the Democrats colluded with Russia is simple nonsense; the word “collusion” — in common language, a “secret agreement or co-operation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose” — just does not apply to Democrats’ Russia-related activities. The accusation is based on the fact that the British ex-spy who produced a research dossier on the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russia, which was funded in part by Clinton’s campaign, used Russian sources in compiling his information. That does not come close to meeting the definition of “collusion.”

“You can take a look at what we did at the VA. Now I have Choice. Where you are allowed, if you have to wait in line for 20 days or if you have to meet — some of these people are waiting 30 to — and 40 days to see a doctor. What happens is now under VA Choice they’re able to go out get a private doctor, we pay the bill.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: The Veterans Choice health program was created in 2014 under Obama. The law Trump signed merely modified the program.

“And you saw that last night when the auditorium, which held about 12,000 people, it was full, and we had 20 (thousand) or 25,000 people outside watching screens.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: The Erie arena has a capacity of 9,000 people. Erie police estimated that 3,000 people gathered to watch his speech on a screen outside the venue, according to the local Erie Times-News, not 25,000 people.

“It’s a great thing it’s happening. It’s a great movement in our country. I go make a speech in the 12,000-seat auditorium (in Erie, Pennsylvania) and people start lining up two days early.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: Trump supporters began lining up before dawn on the same day of the rally, not two days early, according to Erie journalists who were present.

“It’s a great thing it’s happening. It’s a great movement in our country. I go make a speech in the 12,000-seat auditorium (in Erie, Pennsylvania) and people start lining up two days early.”

Source: Interview with Fox and Friends

in fact: The Erie arena has a capacity of 9,000 people.

 

Donald Trump’s worst weeks of 2018 – the definitive list

The administration’s base-level awfulness has made this a competitive category but some weeks stood out as truly dire

December 31, 2018

by Adam Gabbatt in New York

The Guardian

It would be safe to say Donald Trump hasn’t had the best year. From his longtime adviser flipping on him, to inside revelations about the level of his ineptitude, to being named in court filings as having allegedly directed illegal campaign payments, the president has faced a barrage of scandals.

Trump also lost the House of Representatives, held a number of bizarre press conferences and demonstrated his lack of familiarity with umbrellas. The president did, however, score one recent success, when his neologism “smocking” proved popular.

Let’s take a look at Trump’s worst weeks of 2018.

Monday 12 – Friday 16 February 2018

What they were saying: “President Donald Trump hasn’t had a lot of good weeks since becoming president last January. But this one looks like one of the worst.”

What happened:

A lot.

Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals for their role in interfering in the 2016 election. Then it emerged that Rick Gates, a senior adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, was close to a plea deal with Mueller. Michael Cohen – who will be featuring heavily in this compilation – admitted paying porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump. That was on the day before Valentine’s Day.

The weekus horribilis didn’t stop there. The New Yorker reported on an alleged affair between former Playboy model Karen McDougal and Trump, and introduced the term “catch and kill” to the public lexicon. McDougal said the National Enquirer – run by Trump’s friend David Pecker – had paid her $150,000 for exclusive rights to her story, then buried it.

And: the Trump administration was criticised for not acting quickly enough in ousting the White House staff secretary, Rob Porter, after both his ex-wives accused Porter of domestic abuse.

Bonus misery: on Sunday 11 February the Washington Post reported how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, Scott Pruitt, had been splurging taxpayers’ money on luxury travel. Pruitt was booted from the government in July.

Monday 16 – Friday 20 July

What they were saying: “President Donald Trump has had more than his share of bad weeks, but it’s hard to imagine any week worse than this one.”

What happened:

This was the week of Trump’s now infamous tête-à-tête with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. In a joint press conference that Senator John McCain dubbed “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory”, Trump appeared cowed and subservient alongside the Russian president.

In the live briefing, Trump sided with Putin on Russia meddling in the US election.

“He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said, nodding to Putin.

“I will say this,” Trump continued, “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

In doing so Trump rejected the advice of his own intelligence officials, who very much do see reason why it would be Russia who fiddled around in the 2016 vote. The meeting did little to quell rumors and speculation about the exact nature of Trump’s relationship with Putin.

“Treasonous,” said former CIA director John Brennan. “Thoughtless, dangerous, and weak,” said Chuck Schumer, Democratic minority leader in the Senate. “Shameful,” was the verdict of Republican senator Jeff Flake.

For his part, Trump said – after seeing the criticism – that he had used “a double negative”, and that he did believe his own agencies’ verdict on Russia. But that didn’t really fly.

“An insult to America’s intelligence,” was the verdict of the Washington Post.

Trump did get a football out of it though.

Monday 20 – Friday 24 August

What they were saying: “This has been, unequivocally, the worst week of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

What happened:

This disaster of a week really centered around one bombshell hour.

Remember those payments to Daniels and McDougal? On Tuesday 21 August Michael Cohen admitted paying both women for their silence about alleged affairs, in an attempt to influence the election – which is illegal. (On 12 December Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for this and other crimes.) What’s more, Cohen said Donald Trump had directed him to make the payments.

Cohen told a judge in Manhattan the payments were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office”. The candidate was Trump.

“I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal purpose of influencing the election,” Cohen said.

Minutes earlier, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight charges of bank and tax fraud.

Later that week, on Friday 24 August, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization was granted immunity to talk to federal prosecutors about those Cohen payments. And David Pecker, CEO of American Media Inc, which publishes the National Enquirer, the magazine allegedly involved in buying, and suppressing, negative stories about Trump, was reported to have been given the same immunity – for the same reason. (On 12 December AMI admitted it had made the payments, and admitted they were made to influence the election.)

Monday 3 – Friday 7 September

What they were saying: “It’s hard to pinpoint a worst week in what has been a presidency full of them.”

What happened:

Another fine mess.

Bob Woodward’s explosive book portrayed a president gripped by anger, anxiety and paranoia, and a barely functioning White House where staff strain to rein in Trump’s impulses.

Senior aides regularly yanked official papers from Trump’s desk, according to Woodward, so the president couldn’t see or sign them. His national security team regularly balked at Trump’s lack of knowledge of world affairs and whims regarding military use – including one example where Trump suggested the US should “fucking kill” the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

On Wednesday 6 September a “senior official” in the Trump administration wrote an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times essentially confirming Woodward’s account. The official said “many” people in the White House were in effect working against Trump to sabotage parts of his agenda.

The unnamed official essentially confirmed much of Woodward’s reporting said there was a cabal of senior officials “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of [Trump’s] agenda and his worst inclinations”.

The book prompted a “West Wing witch-hunt”, according to CNN.

Monday 10 – Friday 14 December

What they were saying: “This week was nothing short of disastrous. In fact, this may just be Trump’s worst week of his presidency. And that’s no easy feat.”

What happened:

What didn’t happen?

Nick Ayers, widely said to be Trump’s favoured choice for his next chief of staff, removed himself from the running on Sunday 9 December. It left a scramble for Trump to choose his new chief, amid reports that, basically, no one wanted the job.

The search continued all week, with Chris Christie said to be Trump’s second choice. Christie then dropped out on Friday.

While that was going on, Trump was digging himself a border control hole. In a meeting with top Democrats on Tuesday 11 December, shown live on TV, Trump was goaded into promising he would take ownership of a government shutdown over his border wall demand. That caused no end of problems.

Then on Wednesday 12 December, longtime Trump aide Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, for crimes including lying to Congress and making illegal payments to silence two women who alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen said he was directed to make the payments by Trump – directly implicating the president.

The same day, federal prosecutors said they had reached a deal not to pursue charges against the owners of the National Enquirer. As part of the agreement the owners admitted involvement in illegal payments “in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign”.

Monday 17 – Friday 21 December

What they were saying: “The beginning of the end of the Trump presidency came and went a long time ago […] This week was a big step toward that endgame, and surely one of the most remarkable weeks in American history.”

What happened: Trump’s whirlwind end to 2018 continued.

After promising to shut down the government over his border wall, Trump flip-flopped, and the White House suggested it would find funding from somewhere else. Trump’s base let him know they didn’t like that idea, so Trump said he would shut down the government after all. And he did.

The shutdown is likely to continue into January, when Democrats will control the House, and when Trump is even less likely to get money for his wall.

In the meantime, Trump unilaterally announced that he would withdraw troops from Syria, prompting shrieks and howls from within Republican party.

His defence secretary, James Mattis – often categorised as one of the few remaining “adults in the room” in the White House – promptly resigned over the withdrawal. Usual Trump loyalists Senators Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell also criticized the president, and even the traditional sycophants at Fox & Friends weighed in to criticize Trump.

While Trump struggled on without his usual solace from the rightwing media, the stock market crumbled. It hit a one-year low, wiping out the year’s gains. CNN reported that stocks are on course for their “worst December since the Great Depression”. For a president who has tied his own success in office to the performance of the stock market, it was a dismal end to a dismal year.

 

Sheldon Adelson was a giant loser in midterms — and Trump is letting him know it

December 28, 2018

by Philip Weiss

Mondoweiss

A lot of people are scratching their heads over Trump’s recent moves distancing himself from Israel. He announced that he was pulling troops from Syria, thereby nettling Israel’s friends who counted on him to take on Iran in Syria. Iran, Iran, Iran, say Chuck Schumer, Lindsey Graham, and Bret Stephens. Trump overrode John Bolton, his neoconservative national security adviser, in announcing the withdrawal. Jonathan Tobin writes that Trump just gave the finger to his Jewish voters.

Then Trump held a briefing in Iraq the night after Christmas and complained about all the money we give Israel, exaggerating the sum to $4.5 billion a year.

I think there’s a simple explanation for Trump’s shift. He was counting on his biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, to deliver the House to him in the midterm elections; and Adelson failed, bigtime. Donald Trump is sore about that.

Remember that in the runup to the election last spring, the transactional president did his part: He tore up the Iran deal and moved the embassy to Jerusalem and installed Adelson’s friend John Bolton as national security adviser– after declining to do all these actions in his first year in office, he saved them for the election year.

What did Trump get for those moves? Bupkus. Yes Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam gave upwards of $87 million to the Republican congressional effort, including some $50 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund. More than half that money came in last May, just as the embassy was opened. All to save the House.

And what was the result? The Democrats picked up 40 seats in the House in what the media are calling a “blue tsunami.” Democrats had a huge advantage in raw votes over Republicans. 61 million to 51 million votes, Democrats to Republicans in Congress. Many Dems are even talking about impeachment!

Adelson’s ineffectiveness might be judged by his own state. The 85-year-old casino mogul and his wife gave some $20,000 specifically to a fundraising committee supporting Cresent Hardy, an incumbent Republican congressman in Nevada. Democrat Steve Horsford walloped Cresent Hardy 52 to 44 percent! In fact, three of four congresspeople from Nevada are Democrat.

The Democrats’ sole win by a challenger over a Republican incumbent in the Senate was also Nevada: Jacky Rosen knocked off Republican Senator Dean Heller.

You don’t think Trump noticed all this? Of course he did. Donald Trump is a shrewd man, and he has surely concluded what any gamer would, that Sheldon Adelson’s millions didn’t have the impact in 2018 that they did in 2016, when they helped deliver the White House. Hey, maybe Adelson should have given more for the embassy! He can afford it!

Trump once said that if Marco Rubio got Adelson’s money he would be Sheldon Adelson’s perfect little puppet. Then Trump got Adelson’s money, and he was Adelson’s perfect little puppet for a whole year.

Well things change, and millions don’t mean what they used to. And Trump is surely registering his displeasure.

Of course, come 2020, it’s a whole new ballgame. But right now Trump is clearing the books.

P.S. Adelson’s Birthright millions are also hemmorhaging– young Jews are starting to see the free trip to Israel as toxic.

 

Democratic Sen. Warren takes step to challenge Trump in 2020

December 31, 2018

by Doina Chiacu

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a liberal firebrand and Wall Street antagonist, took the first step toward a 2020 White House run on Monday, becoming the most prominent Democrat to announce a challenge to Republican President Donald Trump.

Warren said she had formed an exploratory committee, which will allow her to begin raising campaign funding as part of what is expected to be a crowded Democratic field before the November 2020 presidential election.

Warren, 69, who became a senator from Massachusetts in 2013, has frequently clashed with Trump, who has cast aspersions on Warren’s claim to Native American ancestry and mockingly referred to her as “Pocahontas.”

Warren released a video in which she outlines her vision of a path to opportunity for all Americans, not just the wealthy.

“Every person in America should be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, & take care of themselves & the people they love,” she said in a Twitter post. “That’s what I’m fighting for, & that’s why I’m launching an exploratory committee for president. I need you with me.”

Warren said in September she would take a “hard look” at running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Trump in 2020. The former Harvard Law School professor campaigned with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 and attacked Trump as an “insecure money grubber” driven by greed and hate.

Earlier this month, Julian Castro, 44, who was mayor of San Antonio and secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under Democratic President Barack Obama, said he was forming an exploratory committee and would announce his intentions on Jan. 12.

In 2017, former Democratic congressman John Delaney of Maryland said he would seek the party’s nomination.

FOCUS ON WALL STREET

Warren has been a strong voice in the U.S. Senate on financial issues and a self-described defender of the ordinary American against powerful interests.

Following the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, she emerged as a leading critic of Wall Street and continues to advocate for stiffer regulation and oversight, including reinstating a rule that would separate banks’ retail business from their riskier investment banking activities.

Warren, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, has vigorously fought the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken post-crisis financial rules, going as far as to attack moderate Democrats who backed a May rewrite of the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law.

In a September interview marking 10 years since the financial crisis, Warren was asked about wanting to break up big banks. “Oh yeah,” she told the New York Times. “Give me a chance.”

She also has opposed the administration’s efforts to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency she helped create, and has pressurized the Federal Reserve to take a tough line on scandal-hit lender Wells Fargo (WFC.N).

In October, Warren released a DNA analysis she said supported her assertion that she had Native American lineage that goes back six to 10 generations.

Trump, who had promised $1 million to her favorite charity if she took a DNA test that showed she had Native American blood, greeted the results with a shrug, saying, “Who cares?”

Trump’s use of the name Pocahontas refers to a 17th century Native American woman associated with the British colony in Jamestown, Virginia, and was aimed at drawing attention to a controversy over her heritage raised during Warren’s 2012 Senate race. Trump’s mocking reference has drawn criticism from some Native American groups while others criticized Warren for trying to lay claim to a tribal nation.

The website announcing Warren’s exploratory committee portrays her as a product of the American dream that has slipped out of reach for too many Americans.

“America’s middle class is under attack,” Warren says on the website’s video. “How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie and they enlisted politicians to cut them a fatter slice.”

Additional reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Bill Trott

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

December 31, 2018

by Dr. Peter Janney

 

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas  in 1993  when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications.

 

Conversation No. 83

Date: Tuesday, May 6, 1997

Commenced: 8:30 AM CST

Concluded: 8:55 AM CST

GD: What’s up, Robert?

RTC: At my age, Gregory, not a great deal. Yourself?

GD: My sheep are happy, Robert. Listen, I got a leaflet in the mail about the POWs and MIAs in Vietnam and your agency was purported to have proof that there were hundreds of poor Americans still locked up in hidden Vietnam camps. True or not?

RTC: Not. The Cong did have captives and they either died in captivity or we did get them back. After we pulled out and they said they won, relations got back to relative normalcy. No, the stories are basically just that, stories. But in this case, there are organizations interested and when organizations are interested, there are charity drives, requests for money and so on. If there were any number, say over ten, Americans still captive, we would know about it. Most of this is just self-serving hype and I would not believe any of it.

GD: Well, we know the Soviets had some American airmen under lock and key during the Stalin time.

RTC: Stalin was a crazy old man later in life. Mind you, very intelligent, ruthless and very clever but mad as a hatter. While he was slowly dying of hardening of the arteries, he got crazier and crazier. He was paranoid and fearful. Assassins were everywhere and once Joe got it into his head that some group, like the Soviet Jews, were plotting against him, he schemed and planned to kill them all off. Never in public but out in the camps although quite a few were shot in the head in various basements and dumped into pits along with quicklime. Stalin was in some sense, a great man, but typically Russian, or Georgian as you wish. Peter the Great was at one time, a great visionary and at the same time, a paranoid creep. It must have something to do with the water.

GD: But you can say authoritatively that to your first hand knowledge there are no large numbers of Americans still held in prison in Vietnam?

RTC: You don’t quote me, of course, but yes, that is true. And what about the voluntary stay-behinds? There were a few in Korea and a few in Vietnam. And as to the missing in action, most of these are men killed when a chopper full of troops crashed into a quagmire of a rice paddy complex and the bits and pieces scattered all over the place and soon covered with mud. No, leave the dead alone, Gregory. Maybe in the future, some bones or a dog tag will show up and another missing man will be at least partially found.

GD: I felt that this was just another professional money machine.

RTC: Yes, just like the Jews howling about everyone giving them money because they suffered as no one else ever had. Entire families wiped out in some camp, including the pet cat, but then where did the survivors come from? Some ash heap somewhere? No, that business is for political gain and money, pure and simple. It never got started until well after the war because it wasn’t true and got invented about ’48. Now, it’s a huge money machine and they use it as an excuse for butchering Arabs, and a reason for attacking their perceived enemies by calling them Nazis and moaning about new holocausts being planned in some underground Nazi bunker in Des Moines. Only problem is that Americans don’t really care about such things and they get pushed aside by other, more interesting, schemes of enrichment. Oh, even the Irish have their weeping machines but nowhere as huge and sophisticated…and politically powerful as our Hebrew friends. And when one of them starts moaning about our eternal debt to them, I remind them of the Liberty. I suppose I brand myself as a Jew-hater but no one likes the truth. No, as far as I know, there are very few Americans missing that possibly could still be imprisoned by the Vietnamese or Koreans.

GD: How about the Japanese still holding enormous compounds of prisoners deep in the jungles of Borneo?

RTC: Gregory, we both know that is pure crap but please do not say such things, even in jest because some clever person will take it up and have a Freedom for American Prisoners of Imperial Japan foundation with s retired Marine Corps general as honorary chairman.

GD: The truth at last from the mouth of the great one.

RTC: And the Red Cross is the worst of all, Gregory.

GD: Oh tell me. We had a small flood in our town when a clogged creek backed up and poured water in one part of town. The Red Cross came into town, got the schools to open their gyms and local restaurants to donate free meals, all to people with six figure incomes and seven figure houses. Ah, but after the victims went back to their damp living rooms a day later, they were sent huge bills by the Red Cross. Know about this first hand. But the United Crusade is worse. I worked for Catholic Charities once and I can tell you that they do a great job. The Salvation Army, too, is good. Anyway, thanks for the input on the MIA business. I probably won’t write about it anyway because the people who run the business, will view me as an interloper who might be after some of their money so they would trash me. They’ll get some Medal of Honor winner to point at me and call me a crook when actually, he is the tool of crooks. Actually, Robert, most people are overweight mentally deficient twits who haven’t seen their dicks or even their feet for ten years and will soon die of heart attacks. They cremated one really huge fatty recently and he melted and the river of fat caught on fire and destroyed the building. Well, if Malthus was right and we overgraze our ranges, we can put the fatties into pens and use them to feed our people, our skinny people that is.

RTC: I don’t think eating all that greasy fat is good for people.

GD: Well, we could flense them and use the blubber to make a kind of whale oil for our lamps. The flame of the statue of Liberty run on human fat.

RTC: Now, be careful of that, Gregory, or the Jews will start to howl. They are sensitive about rending people.

GD: I once went to a military show and commented to a Jewish attendee who was pointing at some military badge with an evil swastika on it and moaning about the great suffering. I had seen a pile of soap bars on a table and I pointed it out to him. I told him he should check it out and that he might find a relative there.

RTC: (Laughter) Bad boy.

GD: Oh, I thought you said bad goy.  When I come to see you, Robert, I will give you a lampshade made of human skin with a tattoo of a ship on it.

 

(Concluded 8:55 AM CST)

 

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

Stargate, Stuxnet and Scientology

Or how the inmates got to run the asylum and get very rich doing so.

December 32, 2018

by Christian Jürs

SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), is an American technology applications company headquartered in the United States and who works for a number of U.S. federal, state, and private sector clients. It works extensively with the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the American domestic and foreign intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, as well as other U.S. Government civil agencies and selected commercial markets.From 2001 to 2005, SAIC was the primary contractor for the FBI’s unsuccessful Virtual Case File project. SAIC relocated its corporate headquarters to their existing facilities in Tysons Corner in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, near McLean, in September 2009. As part of its outsourcing solution, SAIC has development centers in Noida and Bangalore, India. Scicom Technologies Noida was acquired by SAIC in September 2007.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) transitioned a Remote Viewing Program to SAIC in 1991 and it was renamed Stargate Project. STARGATE was one of a number of “remote viewing programs” conducted under a variety of code names, including SUN STREAK, GRILL FLAME, and CENTER LANE by DIA and INSCOM, and SCANATE by the eccentrics at the CIA. These efforts were initiated to assess foreign programs in the field; contract for basic research into the phenomenon; and to evaluate controlled remote viewing as an intelligence tool.

The program consisted of two separate activities. An operational unit employed remote viewers to train and perform remote viewing intelligence-gathering. The research program was maintained separately from the operational unit.

This effort was initiated in response to CIA concerns about highly unreliable reports of Soviet investigations of ‘psychic phenomena.’ Between 1969 and 1971, US intelligence sources erroneously concluded that the Soviet Union was engaged in “psychotronic” research. By 1970, it was suggested that the Soviets were spending approximately 60 million rubles per year on it, and over 300 million by 1975. The money and personnel devoted to Soviet psychotronics suggested that they had achieved breakthroughs, even though the matter was considered speculative, controversial and “fringy.” Using a declared, but fictional ‘Soviet threat,’ the CIA and other agencies have successfully deluded Congress, and often the White House, into heavily funding project that the agencies consider to be ‘cash cows.’

The initial research program, called SCANATE [scan by coordinate] was funded by CIA beginning in 1970. Remote viewing research began in 1972 at the Stanford Research Institute [SRI] in Menlo Park, CA. This work was conducted by Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff, once with the NSA and a later-identified Scientologist. The effort initially focused on a few “gifted individuals” such as the very eccentric Ingo Swann, an OT Level VII Scientologist. Many of the SRI “empaths” were from the Church of Scientology. Individuals who appeared to show potential were trained and taught to use talents for “psychic warfare.” The minimum accuracy needed by the clients was said to be 65%, and proponents claim that in the later stages of the training effort, this accuracy level was “often consistently exceeded.”

Ingo Swann born in 1933 in Telluride, Colorado, has been heavily involved with the bizarre Scientology movement from its onset and is best known for his work as a co-creator (according to his frequent collaborators Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff) of what has been called ‘remote viewing,’ specifically the Stargate Project.

Swann has described himself as a “consciousness researcher” who had sometimes experienced “altered states of consciousness.” In other words, Swann actually believed that “special” individuala can leave their body and travel through space..

Swann helped develop the process of remote viewing at the Stanford Research Institute in experiments that caught the attention of the Central Intelligence Agency. He proposed the idea of Coordinate Remote Viewing, a process in which ‘remote viewers’ would see a location given nothing but its geographical coordinates,. This bizarre project, was developed and tested by Puthoff and Targ with CIA funding.. Details and transcripts of the SRI remote viewing experiments themselves were found to be edited and even unobtainable.

A Dr. Silfen and Swann prepared an unofficial report of later out-of-body experiments and circulated it to 500 members of the ASPR, before the ASPR board was aware of it. According to Swann, Dr. Silfen has ‘disappeared’  (or like so many other Scientology stories, never existed) and ‘cannot be located.’ Swann claimed he searched diligently for her and begged help from all his Scientology friends. According to Swann, in April 1972 a move was made at the ASPR in New York to discredit him and throw him out because he was a scientologist

GONDOLA WISH was a 1977 Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) Systems Exploitation Detachment (SED) effort to evaluate potential adversary applications of remote viewing.

Building on GONDOLA WISH, an operational collection project was formalized under Army intelligence as GRILL FLAME in mid-1978. Located in buildings 2560 and 2561 at Fort Meade, MD, GRILL FLAME, (INSCOM “Detachment G”) consisted of soldiers and a few civilians who were believed to possess varying degrees of natural psychic ability. The SRI research program was integrated into GRILL FLAME in early 1979, and hundreds of remote viewing experiments were carried out at SRI through 1986.

In 1983 the program was re-designated the INSCOM CENTER LANE Project (ICLP). Ingo Swann and Harold Puthoff at SRI developed a set of instructions which theoretically allowed anyone to be trained to produce accurate, detailed target data. used this new collection methodology against a wide range of operational and training targets. The existence of this highly classified program was reported by columnist Jack Anderson in April 1984.

In 1984 the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council evaluated the remote viewing program for the Army Research Institute. The results were unfavorable.

When Army funding ended in late 1985, the unit was redesignated SUN STREAK and transferred to DIA’s Scientific and Technical Intelligence Directorate, with the office code DT-S.

Under the auspices of the DIA, the program transitioned to Science Applications International Corporation [SAIC] in 1991 and was renamed STAR GATE. The project, changed from a SAP (Special Access Program) to a LIMDIS (limited dissemination) program, continued with the participation of Edwin May, who presided over 70% of the total contractor budget and 85% of the program’s data collection.

Over a period of more than two decades some $20 million were spent on STAR GATE and related activities, with $11 million budgeted from the mid-1980’s to the early 1990s. Over forty personnel served in the program at various times, including about 23 remote viewers. At its peak during the mid-1980s the program included as many as seven full-time viewers and as many analytical and support personnel. Three psychics were reportedly worked at FT Meade for the CIA from 1990 through July 1995. The psychics were made available to other government agencies which requested their services.

Participants who apparently demonstrated psychic abilities used at least three different techniques various times:

  • Coordinate Remote Viewing (CRV) – the original SRI-developed technique in which viewers were asked what they “saw” at specified geographic coordinates
  • Extended Remote Viewing (ERV) – a hybrid relaxation/meditative-based method
  • Written Remote Viewing (WRV) – a hybrid of both channeling and automatic writing was introduced in 1988, though it proved controversial and was regarded by some as much less reliable.

By 1995 the program had conducted several hundred intelligence collection projects involving thousands of remote viewing sessions. Notable successes were said to be “eight martini” results, so-called because the remote viewing data were so mind-boggling that everyone has to go out and drink eight martinis to recover. It is now believed that they drank the martinis before the sessions.

Reported intelligence gathering failures include:

  • Joe McMoneagle, a retired Special Project Intelligence Officer for SSPD, SSD, and 902d MI Group, claims to have left Stargate in 1984 with a Legion of Merit Award for providing information on 150 targets that were unavailable from other sources. There is no support for the Legion of Merit story and less on the so-called ‘150 targets.’
  • One assignment included locating kidnapped BG James L. Dozier, who had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades in Italy in 1981. He was freed by Italian police after 42 days, without help from the psychics. [according to news reports, Italian police were assisted by “US State and Defense Department specialists” using electronic surveillance equipment, an apparent reference to the Special Collection Service]
  • Another assignment included trying to hunt down Gadhafi before the 1986 bombing of Libya, but Gadhafi was not injured in the bombing. One remote viewer said that the Libyan dictator was in Morocco but he was not. The “target” supplied by another government ‘remote viewer’ was a hospital.
  • In January 1989 DOD asked the SAIC project about Libyan chemical weapons work. A remote viewer reported that ship named either Patua or Potua would sail from Tripoli to transport chemicals to an eastern Libyan port. Subsequent investigation by legitimate agencies disclosed that there was no such ship registered under any flag and that no chemicals has been transported to an eastern Libyan port.
  • During the Gulf War remote-viewers suggested the whereabouts of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, but their information was not accurate and, at best, “confused” and “an obvious attempt to please” the DoD officials.
  • The unit was tasked to find plutonium in North Korea in 1994, but the results were “totally incorrect” and “worthless.”
  • During the US attack on Belgrade, a remote viewer “positively identified” the Chinese Embassy as an ‘important Serbian military headquarters.’ The U.S.immediately attacked it with serious diplomatic repercussions.
  • Remote viewers also vainly attempted to find SCUD missiles and secret biological and chemical warfare projects, and tunnels and extensive underground facilities in Iraq as the justifying evidence for an invasion. None of this material “had the slightest worth” and was “completely delusional.”

The US ‘STARGATE” program was sustained through the support of Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.I., and Rep. Charles Rose, D-N.C., who were convinced of the program’s effectiveness. However, by the early 1990s the program was plagued by uneven and “often bizarre” management, poor unit morale, divisiveness within the organization, poor performance, and few, if any results that could be considered accurate.

The FY 1995 Defense Appropriations bill directed that the program be transferred to CIA, with CIA instructed to conduct a retrospective review of the program. In 1995 the American Institutes for Research (AIR) was contracted by CIA to evaluate the program. Their 29 September 1995 final report was released to the public 28 November 1995. It was highly negative in nature. The final recommendation by AIR was to terminate the STARGATE effort. CIA concluded that there was not a single case in which ESP had provided data used to guide intelligence operations.

In June 2001 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) paid SAIC $122 million to create a Virtual Case File (VCF) software system to speed up the sharing of information among agents. But the FBI abandoned VCF when it failed to function adequately. Robert Mueller, FBI Director, testified to a congressional committee, “When SAIC delivered the first product in December 2003 we immediately identified a number of deficiencies – 17 at the outset. That soon cascaded to 50 or more and ultimately to 400 problems with that software … We were indeed disappointed.”

While Ingo Swnn is obviously neither normal nor rational, the head of the Vancouver project, Raj Mohindir Srivastava..is a former Indian navy cryptographer with past connections to  SAIC Srivastava, whol lives in Coquitlan, British Columbia, is officially listed as working for a firm called FSS International operating in Vancouver, BC. This firm was founded by Srivastava himself and has no address or telephone number listed in that city. Technical papers authored by Srivastava  listed as from his “Vancouver office.” It should be obvious that this firm is a shell or front.

 

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