TBR News February 1, 2017

Feb 01 2017

The Voice of the White House 

Washington, D.C. February 1, 2017: ” The left-wing media, livid with rage now that a conservative President sits in the Oval Office, is flooding their Internet sites with a continuous flood of ludicrous anti-Trump stories.

Here, as an example, is a sampling of the faux outrage as seen on the British Guardian:

  • Eight-year-old American girl ‘killed in Yemen raid approved by Trump’
  • A chronicle of fear: seven days as a Muslim immigrant in America
  • Donald Trump has treated women like sex holes, trophies or trash. Now we’re fighting back
  • Ellen DeGeneres hits back at Trump by explaining Finding Dory plot
  • Four states sue Trump administration over ‘un-American’ travel ban.

Next we will no doubt see similar articles in the New York Times about Trump’s wife having overdue library books or being a chronic jaywalker and from the Washington Post more articles about the heart-breaking grief and hair-pulling in Mexico over Trump’s immigration policies.

In the end, the public becomes bored with the constant and negative drumfire and goes on to read more balanced news, mostly found on European sites (sans the Guardian of course).”


Descending into Darkness: The Making of a Wartime President

By Brian Harring

www.amazon.com  kindle ebooks $3.99




Published for the first time ever, Descending Into Darkness shows the actual, as opposed to the propaganda, background to the upheavals in the Middle East and the reasons for the 9/11 attacks. It also includes the complete, as contrasted with the false, official (at the time this book went to press) DoD listings of U.S. Military casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Also in Prelude to Disaster:

  • Events leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • War in Iraq – Russian Military Intelligence Reports & Assessment [March 17-April 8, 2003]
  • The “Nazi” Neocons – Who are they?
  • The Secret Downing Street Memo – Setting the Stage for 9/11
  • Israeli Espionage Against the United States

Table of Contents

  • Reports: Russian cyber spy treason cases linked to CIA
  • More Americans approve of Trump’s travel ban than disapprove – poll
  • Soros’s bad bet against Trump cost his clients $1bn
  • Israel starts eviction of West Bank settlement outpost
  • Yemen: America’s Shame
  • The Zipper Documents and the Assassination of Kennedy- Part 5
  • How the FBI Conceals Its Payments to Confidential Sources
  • Despite Anti-Profiling Rules, the FBI Uses Race and Religion When Deciding Who to Target

Reports: Russian cyber spy treason cases linked to CIA

January 31, 2017

Associated Press

MOSCOW: Russian cybersecurity intelligence officers reportedly detained on treason charges are being accused of passing secrets to the CIA.

Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchaev, who worked for the cyber wing of Russia’s FSB domestic intelligence service until their arrests in December, are accused of cooperating with the CIA, according to unnamed sources cited Tuesday by Interfax news agency.

No officials have publicly commented, but Russian media outlets with links to the security services have reported in detail on the case. An executive from cyber-security firm Kaspersky Lab has also reportedly been arrested on linked treason charges.

U.S. intelligence agencies have alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump and that Russian spies hacked into the Democratic National Committee.

More Americans approve of Trump’s travel ban than disapprove – poll

February 1, 2017


Despite nationwide protests and several major Republican figures speaking out against President Trump’s controversial travel ban, a new poll has revealed that more Americans actually support the ban than oppose it.

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday found that 49 percent of Americans approved of the executive order to ban citizens from seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the US. Forty-one percent disapproved.

Some 53 percent of Democrats said they “strongly disagree” with the decision. They were also more than three times as likely as Republicans to say that the US “should continue to take in immigrants and refugees.”

Meanwhile, 51 percent of Republicans said they “strongly agree” with the ban, and were more than three times as likely to agree that “banning people from Muslim countries is necessary to prevent terrorism.”

Thirty-one percent of respondents said the ban made them feel safer, compared to 26 percent who said it made them feel less safe. Forty-three percent said they “didn’t know.”

Republicans were more likely to say the ban made them feel safer, at 58 percent, while only 10 percent of Democrats felt the same.

When asked whether the US should welcome Christian refugees, but not Muslim ones, 72 percent of Democrats disagreed, compared to 45 percent of Republicans.

And finally, 68 percent of Republicans agreed that the travel ban is setting a “good example” of how to confront terrorism, while 70 percent of Democrats said it’s a bad example.

The poll comes amid worldwide protests of Trump’s executive order, which suspends the admission of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 120 days.

UN human rights experts said on Wednesday that the ban contravenes international law and could have devastating effects for those at risk of facing inhumane treatment in their home countries.

UN human rights experts said on Wednesday that the ban contravenes international law and could have devastating effects for those at risk of facing inhumane treatment in their home countries.

“Such an order is clearly discriminatory based on one’s nationality and leads to increased stigmatization of Muslim communities,” the experts said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters.

“Recent US policy on immigration also risks people being returned, without proper individual assessments and asylum procedures, to places in which they risk being subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in direct contravention of international humanitarian and human rights laws which uphold the principle of non-refoulement,” they added.

The ban has also been widely criticized by Democrats, as well as several Republicans, including senators John McCain (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC).

This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country,” the senators said in a joint statement.

Meanwhile, Trump has denied allegations that the ban targets Muslims because of their faith, but is rather intended to keep people out of the US from countries afflicted by terrorism who could pose a threat.

“This is not about religion,” Trump said in a Friday statement. “This is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

The Reuters/Ispos poll, which was conducted online on January 30-31, surveyed 1,201 people from all 50 states, including 453 Democrats and 478 Republicans. It has a margin of error of three percentage points for the entire sample and five percentage points for Democrats and Republicans.

Soros’s bad bet against Trump cost his clients $1bn

February 1, 2017


George Soros’s hedge fund was one of the biggest losers of 2016, as the Hungarian-born billionaire’s misplaced investments turned into a $1 billion loss for his clients, according to a report by hedge fund investor LCH Investments, cited by Bloomberg.

The only notable hedge fund which did worse than Soros is Paulson & Co, which lost $3 billion last year, according to LCH. The biggest winner is billionaire Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, which earned $4.9 billion for its clients.

After Donald Trump’s election victory, Soros made some bearish market bets. While Soros called Trump a “would-be dictator,” and predicted uncertainty and sell-off after his win, the markets rallied significantly.

“The overall returns from hedge funds in 2016 were disappointing. Even the managers with the greatest long-term records did not perform strongly, and their results were no better than average,” Rick Sopher, chairman of LCH, said in the report.

“This underperformance by the world’s greatest money managers reflects the difficulties experienced by most active managers for much of 2016,” he added.

Soros and Bridgewater hedge funds were created in the 1970s and remain top-performers, cumulatively earning nearly $90 billion since then

Israel starts eviction of West Bank settlement outpost

Under a court order, Israeli security forces have begun to evacuate the unauthorized Amona settlement, despite resistance from residents. Hours earlier, the government unveiled plans for 3,000 new settlement homes.

February 1, 2017


Hundreds of officers marched into the outpost near Ramallah on Wednesday to carry out the removal of dozens of hard-line Jewish settlers, after an eviction notice was given to residents a day earlier.

Police said once residents have been evacuated, their homes will be demolished.

The Amona outpost, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Jerusalem, has been the subject of an eight-year legal tussle over whether the settlement homes had been built on private Palestinian land.

Homes to be bulldozed

A Supreme Court ruling, which sided with the Palestinian claimants, ended months of attempts by government hardliners to legalize the outpost, instead ordering it to be evacuated by February 8.

But as police arrived, dozens of protesters waited at the entrance, blocking access to roads, setting tires on fire and pouring oil in the streets, local media reported.

Police said they had been in dialogue with the residents throughout the night in order to ensure “a peaceful eviction.”

But some locals and protesters refused to leave, vowing not to resort to violence against the police.

“We won’t be going, they’ll have to take us,” Amona resident Rivka Lafair, 19, told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Controversial communities

Around 600,000 Israelis currently live in more than 200 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The settlements are considered by most countries to be a major obstacle to a peace agreement with the Palestinians. But Israel disagrees, citing historical and political links to the land – which the Palestinians also assert – as well as security interests.

The Obama administration had pressured Israel tofreeze the building of additional settlements, over fears they could derail hopes of a negotiated two-state solution.

But new US President Donald Trump has pledged strong support for Israel, and his aides are more sympathetic to the settlement plan.

The change of US administration has allowed the Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu to take advantage. Late on Tuesday, the prime minister announced plans tobuild 3,000 new West Bank settlement homes, the third such declaration since Trump took office on January 20.

More than half are set for immediate construction, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Yemen: America’s Shame

Why are we helping the Saudis to commit war crimes?

February 1, 2017

by Justin Raimondo,


The ridiculous truth is that the imposition of a travel ban on Yemen – in addition to six other countries – has evoked more anguish than America’s major role in making that country unlivable. Here’s a very sad story about the plight of a young Yemeni girl who is being blocked from entering the US – but where is the outrage about what’s being done to her homeland with our tax dollars and in our name?

And make no mistake: the Saudi invasion of Yemen on behalf of a “government” that has no popular support and was kicked out of office by its disgusted citizens is one of the worst atrocities in recent history. More than 25,000 have died, many more have been grievously wounded, and the country is being swept by famine. The result has been the empowerment of America’s worst enemies – and by that I mean not just al-Qaeda.

Yemen has been in turmoil since the end of the cold war, with a many-sided civil war making normal life nearly impossible. Yet things have gotten much worse since the 2015 Saudi invasion, which aims at installing a puppet government and crushing the Houthi insurgency in the north. The Saudis and Yemeni government troops have generally ignored al-Qaeda, which controls a swathe of territory in the southeast, instead concentrating their efforts on bombing civilians in Houthi areas.

The Houthis are adherents of the Zaydi faith, a dissident sect of Islam, often likened to the Shi’ites – a facile comparison, since there are significant theological differences. They have long maintained their autonomy in the face of successive (and notoriously unstable) central governments, but were pushed to the brink when the Saudis sent in Sunni fundamentalist preachers who challenged the authority of local religious and tribal authorities. This led to the rise of the “Believing Youth,” a Zaydi revivalist group that eventually coalesced into a military force.

As the so-called Arab Awakening swept through the Middle East, destabilizing longstanding governments, Yemen was no exception: massive demonstrations eventually forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had reigned as undisputed despot for thirty years, to resign in favor of his Vice President, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi – whose “election” in 2012 was made possible by the fact that he was the only candidate.

Yet this did not appease the various tribal and factional groups that had been unleashed by the end of Saleh’s rule: it only emboldened them. It wasn’t long before Hadi, too, was driven out of office, and forced to flee: the Houthis took over the capital, Sana’a, and declared the establishment of a “Revolutionary Committee.” Hadi fled to Aden, while the former President Saleh denounced him and demanded that he go into exile: troops still loyal to Saleh allied with the Houthis.

In 2015, the Saudis invaded, declaring their support for Hadi and bombing Sana’a and the Houthi strongholds in the north. Hadi and his Saudi masters say that the Houthis are being funded and trained by Iran and Hezbollah, but in the past US government officials have been dubious about this claim.

Hadi has received unconditional support from Washington in spite of his inability to either control the country or confront the growing influence of al-Qaeda. Last week, the US launched an attack on an al-Qaeda redoubt, killing a number of civilians – including the young daughter of US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was himself killed by the US along with his teenage son in 2011. One US soldier was killed, and three were injured.

The irony here is that the Houthis are militant opponents of the Sunni supremacist al-Qaeda, and are the only military formation indigenous to the country capable of confronting and defeating them. Yet the US is aiding the Saudis and the Hadi regime in their merciless war against the Houthis and allied tribes, while al-Qaeda continues to make gains.

All of which raises a larger issue: the US-Saudi relationship under President Donald Trump. Despite a recent conversation between the Saudi king and the President, Trump has never said a good word about the Kingdom or its rulers. He vocally supported the campaign to release the famous “28 pages” of a joint congressional report on the role of foreign governments in aiding the 9/11 hijackers, which exposed the part played by Saudi officials in facilitating the attack. Indeed, fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi citizens. Highlighting the danger posed by “radical Islamic terrorism” was a major theme of Trump’s presidential campaign, and it continues to be the overarching theme of his administration. The Saudis have long been the main perpetrators of this ideology, funding radical mosques and their demagogic imams, and setting up madrassas that spread the doctrines that energize al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

In trying to imagine what Trump’s policy toward the Saudis will be, I’m reminded of a passage from a recent essay by Branko Milanovic, a visiting professor at City University of New York’s Graduate Center, in which he wrote:

“The Western elites treat Trump as they would treat a tiger with whom they are unwillingly locked in a cage: they try to be friendly to the tiger hoping to avoid being eaten, but they hope that the tiger would soon be taken out of the cage.”

This applies to the Middle Eastern elites as well. The Saudis hope to deploy Trump as a battering ram against their Iranian archrivals, but the fear is that they will also be battered in the process. Riyadh is quite justified in this fear. The Saudi foreign minister has decried the seven-nation travel ban as “very very dangerous,” in part because it applies to Sudan, one of their allies in the Yemen war, and in part because, if applied across the board, it could very well wind up being applied to them.

Trump’s foreign policy predilections are fraught with contradictions: on the one hand, he’s a critic of the decision by the Bush administration to invade and occupy Iraq, but on the other hand he claims we left “too soon.” He inveighs against the Obama administration’s efforts to overthrow Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, and his National Security advisor, Mike Flynn, was fired from his post as head of Obama’s Defense Intelligence Agency for his criticism of our Syrian policy. And yet Flynn – and Trump – are also hot under the collar about the alleged growth of Iranian influence in the region, denouncing the Iran deal to limit their nuclear program as a “bad deal”(while saying they wouldn’t ditch it). Yet the Iranians have been fighting ISIS alongside the Iraqis, who are, in turn, our allies – at least they were our allies, until the Trump administration barred Iraqi nationals from the US for three months.

Another contradiction is Trump’s often-stated desire to repair relations with Russia, and even to enlist their help in eradicating ISIS. Yet the Russians are in cahoots with the Iranians in Syria, and have defended Tehran against American attempts to strong-arm them. The present balance of forces in the Middle East pits the Saudis and their Sunni allies against Iran, Syria, and, standing behind them, Russia, with Turkey (moving away from Washington) and Egypt standing on the sidelines.

A Trumpian rapprochement with Moscow would mean a seismic shift in the delicate balance of Middle Eastern forces – away from the Sunni-centric policy that motivated our support for Syria’s Islamist “rebels” and our appeasement of Riyadh.

As this shift takes place, a reconsideration of our policy in Yemen is an absolute necessity – on strategic and moral grounds. Washington’s support for the Saudi Kingdom’s vicious war in Yemen is unconscionable. The Saudis have been committing war crimes with impunity – and with our help. How is it in America’s interests to reduce Yemen, one of the poorest nations on earth, to a pile of rubble? How does it serve us to give unconditional support to Saudi Arabia, a country that has birthed more terrorists than any other in the Muslim world?

Is that putting “America first,” or is it putting the Saudis first?

The Zipper Documents and the Assassination of Kennedy- Part 5

February 1, 2017

by Gregory Douglas


  • The Alternative Theory

There is no question that President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas on Friday, November 22, 1963.

There is a question of whether the official government report is accurate. There is a further question as to whether this report is a deliberate attempt to confuse and hide what might actually have happened.

The key issue is whether Lee Harvey Oswald, acting entirely alone, shot and killed President Kennedy and shot and wounded Texas Governor John Connally from a so-called sniper’s nest on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository where he was employed.

There is a question of the weapon used. Did Oswald use a surplus Italian army rifle, a 6.5-mm Mannlicher-Carcano, equipped with an American telescopic sight?

If Oswald did not act alone, who may have acted with him?

If Oswald did not act at all, who then shot the President to death and wounded the Governor?

If persons other than Oswald assassinated the President, who were they and, more important, why did they act?

If there were other assassins, were they politically motivated?

Were they professionals, merely performing their work for money?

If professionals were hired to kill the President, who hired them and why?

These are all questions that will hopefully be fully addressed in the following pages, but certainty is always illusion, and, contrary to the title of Posner’s book, cases of such complexity are never closed. And wishing does not make it so, ever.

While there were a significant number of groups and individuals who disliked and even hated John Kennedy, most of them possessed neither the means nor the ability to terminate his presidency.

However, there were a very few who did. Leaving out the chronically displeased and the lunatic fringe and concentrating on those who might have had not only the means but also the ability to assassinate a heavily guarded President, here is the primary question:

Who were these groups? There was, first and foremost, organized American crime.

At the time of the assassination, Robert Kennedy, the President’s brother, was conducting a serious campaign against organized crime. He was doing so at the request of his father, multimillionaire and former Ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy.

The Mafia, most especially the Chicago branch of that confederation, was enraged at these attacks on them. They felt that because the “Ambassador” (as he liked to be called) had openly solicited their active assistance for the candidacy of his son, John, during the presidential campaign of 1960, attacks by the Kennedy administration on them were not in order.

They had agreed with Joseph Kennedy to work in conjunction with the Chicago political machine, under the capable hands of Mayor Richard Daley, to secure blocks of vital votes for John F. Kennedy. In this, they were very successful. In Chicago it is still said that in 1960, people voted early and often. So great was the enthusiasm for a Kennedy victory that even the dead were said to have voted, again, early and often.

The presence of Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson on the ticket as Vice President somehow secured the negation of over 100,000 votes in Texas and this dubious act, coupled with the successes in Chicago, secured Kennedy’s election but by the slimmest of margins.

The quid pro quo stated in the beginning, and fully expected to be operable by the Chicago group, was that the ongoing prosecution, and, as they saw it, persecution of Teamsters’ Union President James R. Hoffa by the government be halted. Organized crime had been making effective use of the Teamsters’ Union’s enormous pension fund to build casinos in Las Vegas, and Hoffa was considered to be more than friendly, and very useful, to their business projects.

By accepting the aid of Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana in the election, it was generally, and not unreasonably, felt by this individual that his terms had been accepted. John Kennedy had been elected with the Chicago mob’s vital support, and the actions against Hoffa therefore would cease.

They reckoned, however, without the personality of Joseph Kennedy.

During Prohibition, the elder Kennedy had been deeply involved in the importation and sale of liquor that had been officially banned in the United States. This activity was the real basis for the large Kennedy fortune, and Joe Kennedy had formed a partnership in the Chicago area with gang leader Al Capone during this period.

There was an incident in which Kennedy attempted to cheat Capone over a large shipment of illegally imported liquor and the enraged Capone threatened to kill the future ambassador. In order to prevent this, Kennedy was forced to bring two suitcases filled with money to Chicago to seek to repair the dangerous breach between himself and the brutally effective Capone:

75.The senior Kennedy, it is known, was heavily involved with rumrunning during the Prohibition era and had extensive mob connections. He had been closely associated with Al Capone, mob boss in Chicago and had a falling out with him over an allegedly hijacked liquor shipment. Capone, Chicago police records indicate, had threatened Kennedy’s life over this and Kennedy had to pay off the mob to nullify a murder contract.” DIA analysis

Kennedy had never forgiven Capone for his threats, for the loss of money, and most especially for the humiliations he had suffered by his mea culpa.

The “Ambassador” was a man who never forgot and never forgave, and when his son was safely in the White House, he demanded that the new President appoint his younger brother as the Attorney General of the United States. Robert Kennedy had been slated for a less important post in the new administration, but Joe Kennedy demanded it, and when he demanded, he was obeyed.

The children of Joseph Kennedy were completely under the influence and certainly the domination of their ferocious father, and they did as they were told, even if they occupied the Oval Office.

When Bobby Kennedy became Attorney General, he immediately, on his father’s instructions, instituted a reign of terror against organized crime in general and specifically the Chicago branch. The targets of this vengeance must have viewed these renewed and greatly intensified attacks on themselves as a gross breach of faith and a betrayal by a long-time business associate.

The Mafia certainly had the means of assassinating someone, although perhaps not the President of the United States, and they certainly had the motivation.

In fact, they did play a significant part in the plot but not as a prime mover, only as a very willing and able subcontractor.

Professional crime, then, is one significant player on the board.

Well organized, intelligent, and completely ruthless as they may be, this segment of the American business community did not achieve its position in American society because they were stupid. Had they personally attempted to assassinate a sitting President, if caught before or after the act, the reprisals would have been swift and deadly.

However, the mob’s connections reached well up into various governmental structures, and if they had an even more powerful patron guiding and ultimately protecting them, the chances of detection and subsequent retribution would be greatly lessened:

  1. It is known now that the American gangsters had very close relations with the Central Intelligence Agency. This relationship began during the war when the American OSS made connections with the Sicilian members of the American gangs in order to assist them against the fascists. The man who performed this liaison was Angleton, later head of counter intelligence for the CIA. These gangster contacts were later utilized by the CIA for its own ends. Russian Intelligence Study
  2. The connections of Angleton, Chief of Counter Intelligence for the CIA with elements of the mob are well known in intelligence circles. Angleton worked closely with the Sicilian and Naples mobs in 1944 onwards as part of his duties for the OSS
  3. The connections of Robert Crowley, another senior CIA official, with elements of the Chicago mob are also well known in intelligence circles. . DIA analysis

The American mob is one of the major pieces on the chessboard but there are others to consider.

The next significant group to consider is the Cuban exiles. In 1959, when Fidel Castro and his revolutionary movement overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, the U.S. backed and thoroughly corrupt Cuban head of state, a massive influx of upper and professional class Cubans fled to the protection of the United States.

Castro soon made his Marxist leanings very clear and by doing this, became an immediate player in the ongoing Cold War. While elements of the CIA had actively assisted him in achieving power, others began a campaign against him, using every means to remove him, including plotting his assassination.

Not only did Castro nationalize American business holdings, he also forced out the Mafia owners of Cuba’s very lucrative casino industry. Since the CIA had strong and often useful contacts with the Mafia, the anger of the mob because of the dispossession of its assets matched or surpassed that of American business interests and strongly motivated the powerful anti-Castro movement, which was sponsored and maintained by the CIA.

Paramilitary cadres of Cuban anti-Castro activists were organized, armed, and funded by the CIA and, in April of 1962, these units attacked the island with the intention of initiating a revolt against Castro. The landing was met by Cuban regular military units under Castro’s command and was decisively crushed.

Kennedy did not back up the commando units with armed support by U.S. military units, and the fury of the rebel Cubans was intense.

More promises to liberate their country were made by the CIA, and the units were increased in size and armament. It was their continuing commando raids against Cuba that eventually led directly to the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962.

A combination of Kennedy’s perceived weakness coupled with the CIA’s commando raids convinced Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that he could threaten the United States with possible military reprisals while shoring up the Soviet Union’s relations with its Western Hemisphere ally.

Kennedy proved to be far stronger than the Soviet leader had bargained for, and the risk of war, which was great, diminished quickly as the result of a significant rapprochement between the two leaders.

As a result of this rapprochement, Kennedy agreed to halt the incursions and Khrushchev agreed to withdraw Soviet missiles from Cuba.

This demarche infuriated the volatile Cubans who felt they had been betrayed twice by the Kennedy administration in general and specifically by the President himself.

The CIA condoled with the Cuban rebels and, in spite of presidential orders to cease and desist the raids, continued to encourage and support them with unabated zeal.

Finally, Kennedy ordered the FBI to break up the commando training camps in Florida and Louisiana and seize all their weapons and arrest as many militants as could be found:

76.Anti-Castro Cuban militants viewed Kennedy’s abandonment of their cause with great anger and many members of these CIA-trained and led groups made calls for revenge on the President for his abandonment of their cause. DIA analysis

These FBI raids occurred shortly before the November Dallas visit, and certainly volatile Cuban rage provided another entity that was added to the list of those who not only wanted revenge on Kennedy but also possessed the temperament, the experience, and the motivation to accomplish it.

The third group is one that is only mentioned by most revisionist writers almost in passing, and yet of all of the possible suspects brought before the bar of public and historical inquiry, it had the strongest motive to remove John F. Kennedy as President of the United States.

This group is the Central Intelligence Agency, an entity that had close connections to both organized crime and the militant Cubans. In retrospect, the CIA had the clearest, most logical, and immediate reason for removing John F. Kennedy from the Presidency and the further removal of anyone privy to their instigation and implementation of such an act.

The CIA has, since its inception in 1947, been accused of an unending catalog of instigating rebellions, civil wars, religious upheavals, the planning and execution of assassinations, and numerous other acts of terrorism throughout the world.

It was, after all, the CIA who recruited, trained, and armed Osama bin Laden and his terrorists, a group that then turned on its creator with terrible results.

By these actions, which are certainly known to its victims, the CIA has built up a reservoir of suspicion, general animosity, and specific hatred throughout the world, and these perceptions have had serious consequences for the American people. In many of these cases, the sins of the fathers have indeed been visited upon their children.

In order to discomfit and disrupt the Soviet Union when that country occupied Afghanistan, the CIA organized, funded and armed groups of young Muslims to conduct guerrilla warfare in that bleak mountain country.

Russian military units were so badly mauled by the rebels that they eventually withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving the rebels in command of the country. When the Soviets left, so did the CIA. The rebels were left in control of an impoverished country with an obliterated infrastructure and with no support from their erstwhile friends.

A strong sense of betrayal turned into animosity, and then into hatred and ready acceptance of the belief that the United States was an evil entity. From this hardening attitude, it was only a short step to attacking their former allies with the same ruthless zeal they had so effectively practiced against America’s previous enemy.

And what are the origins of this official arm of the American people? The Central Intelligence Agency was instituted by the National Security Act in 1947. President Harry S. Truman used the CIA to keep the White House informed of foreign activities that could have an impact on the United States. They were, in fact, a presidential intelligence and information agency and nothing more.

With the expansion of the Cold War, which they helped formulate and encourage, the CIA started on a campaign of empire building that grew to enormous proportions. They convinced the President and key members of his administration as well as the American Congress that the Central Intelligence Agency alone was able to combat the machinations of the evil Soviet Union, to preserve democracy, and to maintain American economic superiority throughout the world.

Their annual budget grew to astronomical proportions, and none of it was accounted for. Anyone who questioned the actions of the CIA was immediately singled out for attack in the American media as a suspect and unreliable person. Questions by legislators about CIA operations, even very benign operations, were met with a stony refusal of cooperation. The favorite CIA defense was to cite the concept of what they loved to call “National Security” to silence their critics.  They were trusted by the White House and, in the minds of many in Washington, became the vital and trusted shield of the United States.

The CIA set American foreign policy to a remarkable degree. They subjected foreign governments and leaders to their brilliant scrutiny, made determinations based on their brilliant scrutiny, and then wrote secret reports concerning these determinations—which then became state policy:

  1. American foreign policy was, and still is, firmly in the hands of the CIA. It alone makes determinations as to which nation is to be favored and which is to be punished. No nation is permitted to be a neutral; all have to be either in the US camp or are its enemies. Most often, the wishes of American business are paramount in the determination as to which nation will receive US support and which will not only be denied this support but attacked. It is the American CIA and not the Soviet Union, that had divided the world into two warring camps. Russian Intelligence study

Like historical events, government bureaucracies are complex, diverse, and beyond simple understanding.

The entity that had the greatest reason to remove John Kennedy from his office was divided and subdivided into many sections and branches, many of which operated as semi-independent entities, answerable in theory to their superiors but in fact to no one.

In the compartmentalization of an agency with a fanatic fascination with secrecy, the opportunities for indulgence in private actions were immense and, in almost every instance, entirely secure.

The CIA was headed by a Director and beneath him, during the period in question, was the Deputy Director, the Deputy Director for Community Relations and beneath them were: the Directorate of Intelligence, the Directorate of Science and Technology, the Directorate of Management and Services, and, finally, the Directorate of Operations, also known as Clandestine Services.

It was in the Directorate of Operations that the initial disaffection with the actions of President Kennedy first surfaced. In light of their wider discoveries of certain of Kennedy’s activities, the dissatisfaction had hardened into a resolve to remove him, or, as was said at the time, to “neutralize” him.

The CIA has always found euphemisms for its murderous activities. “Neutralize” is one word and another euphemism is to “terminate with extreme prejudice” as well as to “close the files” on a successfully terminated “resource” or perhaps what was coming to be viewed as a “rogue” President.

To fully understand the dynamics of the Kennedy assassination, it is necessary to study both the President’s actions and the CIA’s reactions to them.

A historical incident, for example the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, is an excellent example of changing perspectives. There was the immediacy, and inaccuracy, of the initial newspaper reports. The liner was safe and on its way to Halifax with all saved, the world press reported, when, in reality, the shattered remains of the White Star’s luxury liner were actually at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Initial reports and observations have historical importance by showing often-erroneous primary impressions but it takes the passage of time, shifting policies, and extensive and objective investigation to show a matter in the round and with far greater accuracy.

As in so many other cases, it was the personality, actions, and family background of John Kennedy that led to his death.

It has emerged in the decades since his death that Kennedy was a man who enjoyed living on the edge. He acquired his serious flirtations with disaster from his father. The senior Kennedy was a thoroughly ruthless controlling man who let nothing and no one stand in his way. Pathologically ambitious, Joe Kennedy believed that he should have been destined for political and social greatness, but his treacherous and savage lifestyle effectively blocked his advance in the public arena.

Kennedy thought he could manipulate Franklin Roosevelt, but he was, in turn, used by the President who was far more skilled in Byzantine plottings than the bootlegger and stock market manipulator. Kennedy had been head of the Securities and Exchange Commission and performed outstandingly, but his completely predatory approach to all things he desired was such as to keep Roosevelt from using his genuine talents.

Kennedy essentially purchased the ambassadorship to the Court of St. James in London but, when there, proceeded to perform in a manner that infuriated Roosevelt. He immediately became involved in stock market manipulations, dealing in foreign holdings, and using his inside connections to add to his already impressive holdings.

Worse, from Roosevelt’s point of view, he did everything possible to sabotage the joint program Roosevelt and Churchill were putting forward to involve the United States in Britain’s war with Germany.

British intelligence, with a mandate from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, spied on Kennedy, bugging his telephone and intercepting his correspondence, and passed on their findings both to Churchill and Roosevelt. Without realizing it, Kennedy had effectively destroyed any hope he might have entertained that Roosevelt would support any Kennedy for high political office.

His eldest son, Joe Jr., was killed in the war under circumstances that are still unknown and highly suspect.  As Kennedy was planning to put this son forward for the high political offices he himself could never achieve, he then turned his attentions to the next eldest son Jack.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was not a likely candidate for high political office. He was plagued with ill health, had aspirations to become a professional athlete, and was thoroughly under his father’s thumb. He also possessed a good sense of humor, considerable intelligence, youthful good looks, and the ability to make people like him.

Unfortunately for his image, many of the people who liked him were women, and for them, Kennedy had an insatiable appetite. His sexual appetites were of such a voracious nature as to verge on the pathological and posed a terrible public relations threat to the occupant of the White House.

As well as having the potential to destroy his public reputation, his frenzied pursuit of sexual gratification left him and, to a lesser degree, his younger brother Robert in a position to be blackmailed.

If it had not been for the vaulting ambition of his father, it is doubtful if John F. Kennedy would have achieved much more than an elevated position in the business world. Once he became Senator, and then President, his father oversaw his actions to a remarkable degree, and only when the senior Kennedy had a crippling stroke did his son begin to show signs of being his own man.

Beneath his considerable charm, John F. Kennedy was a very ruthless individual who could move with great effect against his enemies when it proved necessary to do so. It was the ruthless pragmatism learned from his father that eventually set in motion the forces that led directly to his assassination. From his early experiences with American politics through his tutoring by an aggressive and manipulative father, Kennedy was a totally pragmatic politician, and this pragmatism made him far more dangerous enemies than American organized crime or furious Cuban activists.

He crossed swords with, and greatly antagonized, the most powerful secret society in American history: the Central Intelligence Agency. (continued)

How the FBI Conceals Its Payments to Confidential Sources

A classified policy guide creates opportunities for agents to disguise payments as reimbursements or offer informants a cut of seized assets.

January 31 2017

by Trevor Aaronson

The Intercept

In a Southern California courtroom in September 2014, defense attorney Jeffrey Aaron pressed an FBI informant named Mohammad Hammad about the hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments he’d received from the government.

“Did the FBI ever say, ‘Mr. Hammad, there’s a limit to how much we can pay you on one case’?” Aaron asked.

“No, sir,” Hammad answered.

“So as far as you know, there’s no limit to how much you could get paid on this case?” Aaron followed.

“I don’t know, sir,” Hammad responded.

“Is there a limit as to how much you could be paid working for, as an FBI informant, on all of your cases?”

“I don’t know, sir,” Hammad repeated.

Aaron was deploying a well-worn tactic among lawyers defending cases involving FBI informants: suggest to the jury that the informant is primarily motivated by money. Hammad had led an FBI counterterrorism sting in Southern California that targeted four men, including Ralph Deleon, a citizen of the Philippines, and Sohiel Omar Kabir, an Afghanistan-born U.S. citizen. By Aaron’s calculations, Hammad, who previously had been convicted of aiding a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and was later released from immigration custody to help the FBI, had received $380,000 in government payments for his work on that one case alone.

Hammad isn’t the only handsomely compensated informant working for the U.S. government. Defense lawyers have long known that informants can earn tens of thousands, even millions, of dollars. Shahed Hussain, a prolific FBI informant, received $96,000 for his work in the Newburgh Four case. Naseem Khan collected $230,000 following a counterterrorism sting in Lodi, California. In the course of a 20-year career as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security, Alex Diaz has taken in more than $4.9 million.

For the first time, we can now point to an internal government document that provides the framework for how informants are paid.

The FBI’s Confidential Human Source Policy Guide, a nearly 200-page manual classified secret and obtained by The Intercept, describes how payments to FBI informants are accounted for and authorized and how these payments can quickly become serious money.

The picture that emerges is of an approach that borrows some of the sophistication of modern banking. The bureau has devised a variety of ways to pay informants, including directly, before or after trial; via reimbursements; and through a cut of asset forfeitures. The guide provides some options that are clearly preferable when trying to sway a jury at trial, even as it explicitly disclaims selecting them for such reasons.

The FBI’s Confidential Human Source Policy Guide makes clear what anecdotal evidence in criminal cases has suggested: Informants can make a lot of money working for the bureau.

A special agent-in-charge has the authority to pay each of his office’s informants up to $100,000 per fiscal year. However, informants may earn substantially more as long as each additional $100,000 is approved by successively higher levels within the bureau. With deputy director approval, according to the policy guide, an informant may earn more than $500,000 per year.

In addition to compensation, an informant may be eligible for 25 percent of the net value of any property forfeited as a result of the investigation, up to $500,000 per asset, according to the guide. This can be a particularly lucrative benefit for drug informants, whose cases sometimes result in the forfeiture of planes, boats, cars, and real estate.

Martin Stolar, a New York criminal defense lawyer, said large payments are a way for FBI agents to control informants, many of whom are criminals who might otherwise readily break an agreement. “They justify payments to informants by saying it’s for the greater need, for getting inside information,” Stolar said. “It’s dirty business, but it’s not illegal.”

Payments to informants are a thorny issue for the bureau, because agents know defense lawyers will use the payments to question the credibility of an informant while he or she is testifying, pointing to the money as a way of suggesting that the informant will say anything for a payday.

There are two types of payments available when a case is active: expense reimbursements and payments for services.

The policy guide allows for plenty of wiggle room in expense reimbursements, creating opportunities for agents to disguise service payments as reimbursements. The guide permits informants to be reimbursed for, among other things, housing costs, vehicles and transportation, meals, equipment, and even medical bills.

It’s in the interest of the FBI and prosecutors for payments to be seen as reimbursements, not compensation, according to Stolar. “What it looks like otherwise is a person whose testimony has been bought, just a straight-up bribe,” Stolar said. “If it’s described as an expense reimbursement, then it’s more defensible.”

The FBI policy guide implicitly acknowledges this temptation, instructing agents not to consider the effects at trial when paying informants. “In determining the way to classify a particular payment to a (source) as a service or an expense, the (case agent) should not consider whether or not that classification might result in a basis for an impeachment at trial,” the policy guide reads. An FBI spokesperson said that the bureau prohibits service payments from being classified as expense reimbursements.

Craig Monteilh, a bodybuilder who worked undercover as an informant for the FBI by spying on mosques in Southern California, said he received $177,000 from the FBI over a one-year period. Monteilh said that his compensation was disguised as expense reimbursements. He said he provided receipts for everything — rent, car payments, gasoline, medical bills, food, even for the steroids he was taking — to justify an $8,200 monthly expense bill.

“Most informants are criminals. So the FBI gets that,” Monteilh said. “They know that I’m going to get the bill for lunch, even if someone else pays for it, and I’m going to say I paid for it. That includes the movies, the theater, going to an Angels game — everything. I’m paying for everything, even though I’m really not.”

That’s how the informant payment game is played, Monteilh said, and the FBI is a sober and willing player. “Everything they do is based on covering something up if it goes to trial,” Monteilh said. “They always told me that 98 percent of cases do not go to trial, but if indeed this one does, then all these payments are for reimbursements.”

Monteilh and the FBI cut ties years ago, after he went public with claims of warrantless surveillance of Muslim communities. Monteilh’s information prompted the American Civil Liberties Union and others to file a class-action lawsuit against the FBI for alleged constitutional violations. The U.S. Department of Justice largely dodged the lawsuit by asserting the state secrets privilege.

Under oath and on the witness stand, Hammad, the FBI informant, described a similar method of disguising payments as reimbursement, though he was less forthcoming than Monteilh. He admitted that the FBI was paying his personal living expenses and even the maintenance on his car. Aaron, the defense lawyer, asked him about an FBI check for nearly $4,000 that was labeled “miscellaneous.” Hammad couldn’t remember what the payment was supposed to cover.

“You can’t remember receiving $3,806?” Aaron asked him.

“I can’t remember every penny I get,” Hammad said.

In addition to expense reimbursements and service payments, the FBI has a third, potentially more lucrative option for informants.

At the conclusion of a case, agents may offer “lump-sum payments” to informants, according to the confidential informant policy guide.

These payments must be approved by the special agent-in-charge. Their total size may be influenced by the value of any seized property.

Peter Ahearn, a retired FBI special agent who headed the field office in Buffalo, New York, said that in cases that go to court and require an informant to testify, lump-sum payments are generally provided after the trial. This practice saves the informant and federal prosecutors from having to disclose the full amount of compensation an informant will receive and thereby limits a defense lawyer’s ability to undermine the informant’s credibility. (The document does not specify the timing of these payments in relation to the trial.)

Ahearn described this as a long-standing practice at the bureau. He said agents are more likely to refer to these payments as “performance incentives” than “lump-sum payments,” the language used in the policy guide.

“Source payments come at the end,” Ahearn said. “That’s the way it’s always done. You never tell your source how much he’s going to get at the end of a trial. You just wink and nod, and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to take care of you at the end.’”

The wink and nod allow informants to testify, without fear of perjury, that they do not know if they will receive additional compensation from the FBI.

That’s what happened in Hammad’s testimony in Southern California. Aaron, the defense lawyer, couldn’t nail the informant down to answer whether he expected to receive one of the FBI’s lump-sum payments after the trial.

“Aren’t you hoping that you’ll get a bonus for your work in the case when the case is done?” Aaron asked.

“No, sir,” Hammad answered.

“You know of other FBI informants who have gotten bonuses, right?”

“No, sir.”

“You’ve gotten bonus payments in other cases, haven’t you?”

“No, sir.”

“Are you quite sure about that?” Aaron pressed.

“Not that I remember,” Hammad said, softening his position.

“So you could have gotten bonus payments; you just don’t remember?”

“I don’t recall,” Hammad answered. “I don’t remember.”

Despite Anti-Profiling Rules, the FBI Uses Race and Religion When Deciding Who to Target

The bureau still claims considerable latitude to use race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in deciding which people and communities to investigate.

January 31 2017

by Cora Currier

The Intercept

One of the Obama administration’s high-profile criminal justice reform efforts was a new policy that purported to ban racial profiling in federal law enforcement. But internal policy guidelines The Intercept has obtained show that the FBI has left its racial profiling practices virtually unchanged, and that the bureau still claims considerable latitude to use race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in deciding which people and communities to investigate.

The issue of profiling by federal law enforcement and immigration authorities has taken on new urgency with the inauguration of Donald Trump, who as a candidate called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and was slow to denounce white supremacist supporters. Among his first moves in office has been an executive order banning immigration from a list of majority-Muslim countries.

The FBI updated its policy on racial profiling as recently as March 3, 2016, in a section of its main governing manual, known as the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide. (The Intercept is publishing the 2011 edition of the DIOG in its entirety, along with the updated section on profiling.) The guidelines make clear that when an FBI agent is deciding whether or how to investigate someone, he or she can consider factors like race, nationality, or ethnicity so long as these factors are clearly relevant and coincide with other reasons for suspicion. And when the FBI selects communities on which to gather intelligence — in order to generate what the bureau calls “domain awareness” — it also allows itself to take such factors into consideration.

The only policy change on profiling added in the five-year gap between the manuals — and in the wake of former Attorney General Eric Holder’s anti-profiling initiative — is that the new version reflects an expanded definition of profiling, which covers not just race and ethnicity but also gender identification, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation.

Civil liberties groups, which have long objected to the FBI’s practice of surveilling ethnic communities and seeding them with informants, say that the guidelines leave the door open to alarming forms of monitoring.

“The fact that the DIOG hasn’t changed is exactly what we had feared,” said Ferhana Khera, president of the group Muslim Advocates. “While we appreciate that Attorney General Holder expanded the categories to include religion, national origin, and sexual orientation, we were concerned that he did not go far enough in making those revisions, and that it still gave a green light to the FBI to engage in activities that would target our communities.”

The flexible guidelines on racial profiling show that the FBI’s formal procedures reflect the blunt talk of its leadership. In late 2014, when the Department of Justice announced the new rules, Holder, who had spoken about his own experiences being stopped by the police as a young black man, heralded them as an important step to ensure “sound, fair, and strong policing practices.”

Yet the very next day, FBI Director James Comey insisted that the new guidance would have no impact on his agency’s counterterrorism investigations or on its ability to look for informants and map Muslim communities and businesses in the United States.

“No, nothing. It doesn’t require any change to our policies or procedures,” he said in a press briefing.

Behind the scenes, the FBI had reportedly pushed back against any rules from Holder that would ban consideration of race, ethnicity, and religion in counterterrorism investigations. Federal law enforcement has long been barred from scrutinizing someone solely on the basis of race or ethnicity, unless chasing down a particular suspect of a crime. But rules in effect under the administration of George W. Bush included a blanket exception for national security and border investigations.

Holder’s guidelines retain significant loopholes. For example, they explicitly permit cultivating sources of a particular ethnicity when investigating a terrorist organization made up of members of that ethnic group. They also allow mapping a city and looking at “population demographics, including concentrations of ethnic demographics,” if that information is collected “pursuant to an authorized intelligence or investigative purpose.” Moreover, the guidelines apply only to federal law enforcement, not to local and state police, and not to federal agents near the borders.

The FBI argues that agents need such latitude in order to recruit informants who might have insight into terrorist networks. For example, the bureau has suggested, agents might look within Somali communities in the United States for people who might have information about the Shabab militant group.

“When there is a threat from outside the country, it makes sense to know who inside the country might be able to help law enforcement,” Comey argued in 2014. “It is about knowing the neighborhoods: What’s it like, where’s the industry, where are the businesses, are there particular groups of folks who live in a particular area?”

In recent years, the American Civil Liberties Union obtained documents showing FBI field offices investigating ethnic communities based on broad generalities. For example, a 2009 document from San Francisco justified mapping that city’s Chinese neighborhoods because “within this community there has been organized crime for generations.” In Michigan, the FBI looked at the “large Middle Eastern and Muslim population” as “prime territory for attempted radicalization.”

Civil liberties groups, and Muslim groups in particular, oppose this logic, noting that the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans have nothing to do with terror networks.

“Imagine the FBI deciding to collect data on where all Italian-Americans live, the churches that they worship in, and their charitable giving activities, because they’re concerned about the mob,” said Khera. “Rather than focusing on where there’s evidence of particular criminal activity, they collect data in one broad brush on an entire ethnic group.”

The mapping policy has also come under criticism from those who see it as a representation of the FBI’s mutation after the 9/11 attacks into an intelligence agency with broad investigative powers aimed at counterterrorism rather than at solving specific crimes.

Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, said that she worried about the FBI combining mapping with “the vast reams of public information that are now available about everybody (including, for example, social media posts and travel records obtained through license plate readers) to create detailed portraits of each of us and of entire communities.”

An FBI spokesperson said the guidelines under which the FBI operates “are very clear that the FBI cannot predicate investigative activity solely on the exercise of First Amendment rights, including freedom of religion, or on race or ethnicity.”

The FBI’s profiling loopholes raise questions about the extent to which other federal law enforcement agencies will amend their practices — especially under a Trump administration that has pledged to take a hard line on immigration and counterterrorism. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Security Administration have all been expected to put out new policies, which are “badly overdue,” said Chris Rickerd, policy counsel for the ACLU.

The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees CBP and TSA, does have its own policy against racial profiling, but it has a broad loophole for national security. CBP’s current guidance states that “the use of nationality as a screening, enforcement, or investigative criterion is appropriate for the vast majority of CBP functions and operations.” A CBP spokesperson told The Intercept this fall that the agency follows Holder’s 2014 rules but did not elaborate on whether or how it will update its own guidance.

A spokesperson for DHS told The Intercept last month that the department “has reviewed the Attorney General’s guidelines on racial, ethnic, religious and other profiling by federal law enforcement and is in the process of developing our own department-wide standards.”

Activist groups have documented the targeting of Latino drivers for traffic stops and other examples of Border Patrol activity that extends well beyond actual border crossings. Last year, The Intercept reported on FBI cooperation with CBP to create lists of passengers arriving from “countries of interest” who might make good informants.

The TSA has also been singled out for allegedly profiling minority passengers for extra screening. In April, a Minnesota TSA manager said that he was told by his supervisor to look for Somali-Americans.

“Absent a specific, reliable suspect description, no law enforcement agency should engage in profiling based on protected characteristics because such profiling is ineffective and offensive,” Rickerd said. “We call on CBP and TSA to make clear that discriminatory enforcement plays no role in their operations, as well as to implement public data collection and training reforms to be vigilant against profiling.”









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