Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/tbrnew5/public_html/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 284

TBR News February 27, 2018

Feb 27 2019

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

Washington, D.C. February 26, 2019:” Trump, who claims to be brilliant, is not.

He has a long, long history of lies, illegal and immoral manipulations, very bad judgement and daily manifestations of ego-maniacal problems.

His habit of tossing his crime partners over the side of his boat with casual abandonment is going to cost him the shreds of his tattered reputation and very probably, his position in the government.

He quickly abandoned his lawyer when he was arrested and the result is that the lawyer is dumping on him with relish.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Cohen to accuse Trump over WikiLeaks, Moscow project, hush payments
  • Michael Cohen testimony: key excerpts to reveal ‘truth about Trump’
  • Cohen warns Republican lawmakers: don’t protect Trump
  • Nuclear fears abound after India-Pakistan military escalation
  • India builds bunkers to protect families along Pakistan border
  • India and Pakistan’s troubled history
  • What would happen if Pakistan attacks India with nuclear weapons?
  • The Kremlin’s Military Posture Reconsidered
  • Power of Siberia: Russia’s 3000 km gas pipeline to China 99% complete
  • The Canadian-American Border and Immigration Policies
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • The travel trick that airlines hate

Cohen to accuse Trump over WikiLeaks, Moscow project, hush payments

February 27, 2019

by Nathan Layne

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Michael Cohen, the former “fixer” and personal lawyer of U.S. President Donald Trump, arrived at Capitol Hill on Wednesday, where he will testify that Trump knew ahead of time about a leak of emails that would hurt his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen will also tell Congress that Trump directed negotiations for a real estate project in Moscow, even as he publicly said he had no business interests in Russia while he campaigned for the presidency, according to a draft of Cohen’s prepared testimony.

In the text of his planned opening statement before a House of Representatives committee, Cohen calls Trump a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat,” and said he would be handing over documents to support his assertions. The draft statement was first reported by the New York Times.

Cohen says Trump ordered him to pay $130,000 to an adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels to cover up an affair in violation of campaign finance laws, and also told Cohen to lie about it to First Lady Melania Trump.

Although many of the accusations against Trump emerged in news reports during his 2016 election campaign and in the more than two years since he entered the White House, the televised congressional testimony under oath of a former longtime loyalist puts them on the public record – and in greater detail – with the potential to influence a large U.S. audience.

The sweeping claims against Trump, from a man who was once a loyal ally, come as Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be close to completing his investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign team and Russian efforts to interfere in the election.

Trump, who has denied any collusion between his campaign and Moscow, dismisses the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt” and has said Cohen is a liar and a “rat.”

“He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time,” Trump said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday from Vietnam, where he was meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try to break a stalemate over the North’s nuclear weapons.

Later, sitting alongside Kim, Trump did not answer reporters’ questions about Cohen, who has already been sentenced and begins a three-year prison term in May after pleading guilty to multiple crimes.

Trump has previously denied knowing ahead of time about the WikiLeaks dump of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails during the election.

Cohen, in his prepared comments, said he was in Trump’s office in July 2016 when Roger Stone, a self-described “dirty trickster” and longtime political adviser to Trump, called the Republican presidential candidate.

Cohen said Stone told Trump he had been speaking with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who told him there would be a dump of emails within a couple of days that would damage Clinton’s campaign.

On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks released internal DNC emails that drove a wedge between supporters of Clinton and her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders. Although Clinton won the nomination, that rift weakened her election bid.

Stone was indicted by Mueller on charges of lying to Congress about his communications with others related to WikiLeaks email dumps.

Stone denies having advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans, although text messages reviewed by Reuters show that during the campaign he made several attempts to make contact with Assange.

Although Cohen will accuse Trump on a wide range of issues in his testimony on Wednesday, he said in his draft statement that he does not have direct evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia.

“I do not. I want to be clear. But I have my suspicions,” Cohen said.

It is not clear whether Cohen’s testimony will significantly alter public perception of Trump’s business practices or put him in greater legal peril.

Cohen, 52, was one of Trump’s closest aides and fiercest defenders, working with him on business and personal deals for a decade. But he turned against him last year and is cooperating with prosecutors after pleading guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

MOSCOW DECEPTION

The prepared remarks show Cohen intends to apologize for his initial statements to Congress in 2017, in which he said efforts to build a Trump skyscraper in Moscow had ceased by January 2016, when in fact they continued through June 2016.

Cohen said Trump’s lawyers “reviewed and edited” those false statements to Congress.

In hindsight, Cohen said he believed the son was referring to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between a Russian lawyer promising “dirt” on Clinton and members of Trump’s campaign.

Trump has denied having advance knowledge of the meeting, which has come under intense scrutiny in the Mueller probe.

REGRET

Cohen said in his draft statement he regrets the things he did for Trump. They included, he said, hush-money payments to two women and writing letters on Trump’s orders that threatened Trump’s high school, colleges and the College Board not to release his grades.

Cohen said he planned to provide the committee with a copy of a $35,000 check Trump signed on Aug. 1, 2017, one in a series to reimburse him for paying off Daniels after Trump took office.

“I am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty – of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him,” Cohen said. “I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat.”

Cohen’s testimony will be made under penalty of perjury, but Republicans on the House oversight panel, including ranking member Jim Jordan, are likely to aggressively question Cohen’s credibility, given his guilty plea for lying to Congress last year.

Republican lawmaker Matt Gaetz, a Trump ally, caused controversy with a tweet on Tuesday suggesting compromising information about Cohen’s private life might soon be released. He later apologized and deleted the post.

How Cohen handles the Republican assault could determine whether he is perceived as credible and if he will have anything like the impact of John Dean, who helped bring down President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal of the 1970s.

Advocates for Cohen have likened his decision to come clean to Mueller’s team and federal prosecutors in Manhattan to that of Dean.

But Dean, former White House counsel to Nixon, told Reuters the significance of Cohen’s testimony would depend on what he says and how he responds to Republican criticism.

“It could be historic,” said Dean, now a frequent commentator on television. “But if he just gets beat up by the Republicans, it won’t be.”

Reporting by Nathan Layne and Karen Freidfeld; additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Hanoi and Makini Brice in Washington; Editing by Kieran Murray, Janet Lawrence and Bernadette Baum

 

Michael Cohen testimony: key excerpts to reveal ‘truth about Trump’

The US president’s former lawyer labels him an unpatriotic ‘liar’, a ‘cheat’ and a ‘racist’ who was part of a criminal scheme

February 27, 2019

by Josephine Tovey

The Guardian

The US president, Donald Trump, is a “conman”, a “racist” and “liar” who knew about the WikiLeaks trove of hacked Clinton campaign emails before they were released and lied about negotiating a real estate project in Russia during his presidential campaign, his former lawyer Michael Cohen will allege.

The explosive opening statement which Cohen says is “the truth about Mr Trump” is to be delivered to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday. It was obtained by the New York Times and confirmed by the Guardian and also claims Trump directed Cohen to pay off an adult film star with his own money, which he later reimbursed.

The statement paints a picture of Trump as dishonest and vain, even directing Cohen to threaten the president’s former college and schools to prevent the release of his grades. Cohen also details racist remarks made by the president in private.

Here are some of the most dramatic excerpts:

Wikileaks

Mr Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails. In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone.

Mr Trump put Mr Stone on the speakerphone. Mr Stone told Mr Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr Assange told Mr Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Mr Trump responded by stating to the effect of “wouldn’t that be great”.

Moscow Tower project

I lied to Congress about when Mr Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign. Mr Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates.

In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie.

You need to know that Mr Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.

To be clear: Mr Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.

Paying off adult film star

He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did.

Mr Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign. I did that, too – without bothering to consider whether that was improper, much less whether it was the right thing to do or how it would impact me, my family, or the public.

I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank account on August 1, 2017 – when he was President of the United States – pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me – the word used by Mr Trump’s TV lawyer – for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf. This $35,000 check was one of 11 check instalments that was paid throughout the year – while he was President.

The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws.

Racism

The country has seen Mr Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries “shitholes”.

In private, he is even worse. He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “shithole”. This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States.

While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.

Suppressing educational record

I’m talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores.

As I mentioned, I’m giving the Committee today copies of a letter I sent at Mr Trump’s direction threatening these schools with civil and criminal actions if Mr Trump’s grades or SAT scores were ever disclosed without his permission.

Cheating

Mr Trump is a cheat.

It was my experience that Mr Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.

Mr Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon.

The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organisation, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself.

And it should come as no surprise that one of my more common responsibilities was that Mr Trump directed me to call business owners, many of whom were small businesses, that were owed money for their services and told them no payment or a reduced payment would be coming. When I advised Mr Trump of my success, he actually reveled in it.

Vietnam draft

Mr Trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft.

Mr Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment.

He finished the conversation with the following comment. “You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.”

Trump campaign

Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power.

Mr Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the “greatest infomercial in political history”.

He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign – for him – was always a marketing opportunity.

Lying

I knew early on in my work for Mr Trump that he would direct me to lie to further his business interests.

I am ashamed to say, that when it was for a real estate mogul in the private sector, I considered it trivial. As the President, I consider it significant and dangerous.

But in the mix, lying for Mr Trump was normalised, and no one around him questioned it. In fairness, no one around him today questions it, either.

 

Cohen warns Republican lawmakers: don’t protect Trump

February 27, 2019

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen warned Republican lawmakers attacking his integrity at a congressional hearing not to make the same mistake he did in protecting Trump.

“I did the same thing as you’re doing now, for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years,” Cohen told a House of Representatives committee hearing. “The more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I am suffering.”

Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Ginger Gibson; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

 

Nuclear fears abound after India-Pakistan military escalation

Pakistan has claimed to have shot down two Indian jets a day after New Delhi “targeted a militant camp” on its soil. The confrontation could escalate into a full-blown war between these two nuclear-armed countries.

February 27, 2019

by Shamil Shams

DW

India and Pakistan are once again on the verge of a full-scale war. It is an unimaginable scenario as the two South Asian neighbors possess high-tech nuclear arms. They have fought three wars over Kashmir, which they both claim in full, but rule in part. Any escalation of military conflict between the two countries always has a dangerous risk of a nuclear confrontation, and this time it is no different.

New Delhi justifies its air strike inside Pakistan by saying that it targeted a militant camp run by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. JeM seeks the India-administered Kashmir’s “independence” from New Delhi.

The group claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide bombing in Kashmir’s Pulwama district, which killed more than 40 Indian troops. JeM, which allegedly has links to al Qaeda, regularly targets government installations in India-administered Kashmir. So India claims its military operation was actually an act in self-defense.

Pakistan, on its part, denies any involvement in the Pulwama bombing. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan told New Delhi that his government was ready to take action against JeM if it provided concrete evidence about its involvement in the deadly attack. Islamabad also denies backing any Islamist group in Kashmir or anywhere else in the region.

New Delhi justifies its air strike inside Pakistan by saying that it targeted a militant camp run by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. JeM seeks the India-administered Kashmir’s “independence” from New Delhi.

The group claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide bombing in Kashmir’s Pulwama district, which killed more than 40 Indian troops. JeM, which allegedly has links to al Qaeda, regularly targets government installations in India-administered Kashmir. So India claims its military operation was actually an act in self-defense.

Pakistan, on its part, denies any involvement in the Pulwama bombing. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan told New Delhi that his government was ready to take action against JeM if it provided concrete evidence about its involvement in the deadly attack. Islamabad also denies backing any Islamist group in Kashmir or anywhere else in the region.

“All wars are miscalculated, and no one knows where they lead to,” Pakistani PM Khan said in his address to the nation on Wednesday following Pakistan’s retaliatory strikes against India. “World War I was supposed to end in weeks, it took years. Similarly, the US never expected the war on terrorism to last 17 years,” he added.Nuclear capabilities

Both India and Pakistan have ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. According to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), India possesses nine types of operational missiles, including the Agni-3 that can reach targets up to 5,000 kilometers. Pakistan’s missiles, built with Chinese support, can also reach any part of India, CSIS said.

Both countries also have smaller nuclear warheads that can be attached to short-range missiles (50-100 kilometers). According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Pakistan is estimated to have around 140 to 150 nuclear warheads, compared to India’s 130-140 warheads.

Analysts agree that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program is driven by its perception of the threat posed by India. “Pakistani officials state that their nuclear weapons are ‘India-specific,’ and as India’s military power grows — with its much larger economy, it is able to invest more in modern military capability — Islamabad believes it needs more nuclear weapons to maintain deterrence with India,” Toby Dalton, a co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment, told DW in a previous interview.

Gregory Koblentz, an associate professor at George Mason University and author of a 2015 Carnegie report “A normal nuclear Pakistan,” says that the Pakistani military has adopted a strategy of “full spectrum deterrence” so it can “continue to engage in asymmetric warfare against India and deter even limited Indian conventional military retaliation with the threat of tactical nuclear weapons.”

This inequality between Indian and Pakistani military strengths could pose a huge risk, experts say.

Michael Kugelman from the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars is of the view that because Pakistan’s conventional military capacity is much inferior to that of India, the possibility of a nuclear conflict thus increases. “Pakistan’s retaliatory action in the present scenario could be met with a destructive Indian response. If that happens, we have to start worrying about a nuclear scenario,” Kugelman said.

But Talat Masood, a former Pakistani army general and defense analyst, told DW that he does not think the latest Kashmir conflict could escalate into a nuclear conflict. “Yes, there are fears because the tension is rising and no talks are being held. Pakistan has offered talks but India will not hold such talks because of the [upcoming] elections there,” Masood said.

“I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford such a miscalculation? If this escalates, things will no longer be in my control or in Narendra Modi’s,” the prime minister continued.

A risky affair

The concerns regarding a potential nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan are also heightened by the threat posed by militant groups active in Pakistan — groups like Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), “Islamic State” (IS) and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. Any war or a war-like situation could trigger immense chaos in the South Asian country and pose the danger of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of “non-state actors.”

Islamabad-based defense analyst Maria Sultan, however, insists that Pakistan’s nuclear command and control authorities have a strong grip on the country’s nuclear assets. “Pakistan has the capability of monitoring its nuclear weapons, and the technology it is using to do that is very sophisticated,” Sultan told DW. She insisted that the West’s concerns about Pakistan’s nuclear safety were “unfounded.”

But some experts believe that a nuclear arsenal is “never safe.” “On the one hand there is perhaps a hype about Pakistani bombs in the Western media, on the other there is genuine concern,” Sweden-based Pakistani researcher Farooq Sulehria told DW. Despite the concern, political and defense analyst Zahid Hussain told DW that the West was “unnecessarily worried.”

“Pakistan conducted its nuclear tests more than 15 years ago. Nothing has happened since then. Pakistan has made sure the nuclear weapons remain safe.”

Efforts to avoid an India-Pakistan war are already underway and experts say that the nuclear threat could be a big factor for the international community to bring Islamabad and New Delhi to a dialogue.

Talat Masood, a retired military general, believes that Washington could help lower tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi.

“I think that in the past the US’ invisible and visible pressure worked to calm the situation like during the Kargil crisis [in the late 1990s]. So, Washington should mediate behind the scenes to calm down the situation. If the US and international community do not intervene then the situation will get the worse,” Masood underlined.

The US has already urged Islamabad and New Delhi to engage in a dialogue. “We encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday. India, too, is now seeking to ease tensions with Pakistan, with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj saying New Delhi “does not wish to see further escalation of the situation.”

 

India builds bunkers to protect families along Pakistan border

February 27, 2019

by Krishna N. Das and Mukesh Gupta

Reuters

CHACHWAL VILLAGE, India (Reuters) – India is building more than 14,000 bunkers suitable for families living along its border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir state, hoping to keep them safe near their homes instead of evacuating them as artillery shells scream over

On Tuesday evening, Pakistan used heavy caliber weapons to shell 12 to 15 places along the Indian side of the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed Kashmir region, a spokesman for the Indian defense forces said. The Indian army retaliated with its own shelling of the Pakistani side, he said.

That had created “panic among people”, said Rahul Yadav, the deputy commissioner of the Poonch district, a remote area of the Indian state that faced some of the attacks.

The new shelters, which were planned before this week’s spike in tensions, are supposed to reduce that fear and prevent people from having to flee when the shelling begins.

There have been frequent exchanges of fire along the actual and de facto borders in recent months, but Tuesday’s firing marked a major escalation after India carried out an air strike on what it said was a training camp run by an Islamist militant group in Pakistan. India was responding to a suicide car bombing claimed by a member of the group that killed 40 Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir almost two weeks ago.

As well as the shelling, Pakistan retaliated on Wednesday by carrying out airstrikes on the Indian side of the border and, according to officials in Islamabad, shot down two Indian jets over Pakistan.

India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring militancy in Kashmir, Hindu-majority India’s only Muslim-dominated region.

Villagers on the Indian side of the border said they were tired of fleeing their homes when outbreaks of firing erupt. Some have seen family members killed, and the cost of leaving behind their cattle and crops is too heavy for many poor farmers.

Tanattar Singh, a frail 75-year-old man from Chachwal village, said his daughter was killed in 2002 when she was hit by a bullet just outside their house, which is surrounded by wheat fields near a watch tower.

“Firing could happen again and we know there are risks of living so close to the border,” Singh said, as he and other elders watched earth being dug out for the construction of a bunker for one of the village’s 400 families.

“But what can we do? We can’t leave the village for good like some rich people do.”

Government engineers said work on the underground steel and concrete structures, which could cost a total of $60 million, began in June last year as relations between the nuclear-armed rivals worsened.

State government officials and contractors said hundreds of underground bunkers, with their walls and roofs three times the thickness of a regular house and consuming 10 times as much steel, have already been built.

Reuters visited nearly a dozen such bunkers, some waterlogged and constructed on farm land or next to people’s houses.

“These can withstand simple shelling,” said an engineer with the Jammu and Kashmir public works department tasked with building the bunkers. The engineer declined to be named citing government rules.

ON THE OTHER SIDE

On the Pakistani side of the border, most houses built after a ceasefire in 2003 do not have bunkers, though the Pakistani government does have a program to build more.

A number of people have been killed and injured by Indian shelling in recent days, and many have fled away from the border areas, said local officials.

Muhammad Din, a resident of Chakothi, a border town, said most of the residents had moved to safer areas.

“The only families still here are those who have concrete bunkers built within or along their homes,” he said.

Thousands of people have either relocated or are planning to do so, said Umer Azam, senior administration official in Kotli, who has ordered the closure of schools in the most dangerous areas.

Back in India, men rode motorbikes along the road between the sleepy Jammu villages of Suchetgarh and Gulabgarh, close to the border fence, despite a warning by security forces to exercise caution and stay indoors as much as possible.

Shravan Kumar, whose wheat and mustard fields run along the barbed wire, urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do more to end the frequent shelling, saying only a tough crackdown on militancy in Kashmir could “break Pakistan’s back”.

“I had to flee my house four times in December alone,” said Kumar, a 60-year-old father-of-three. “Can you imagine the toll it takes on our families? Bunkers are not a solution, neither is this ‘one strike here, one strike there’ policy. Finish militancy in Kashmir, and this will end.”

Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Manoj Gupta in CHACHWAL VILLAGE, India; Additional reporting by Abu Arqam Naqash in MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan; Editing by Martin Howell and Alex Richardson

 

India and Pakistan’s troubled history

Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan after New Delhi launched air strikes in Pakistani territory. DW takes a look at the turbulent history between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

February 27, 2019

by Ashutosh Pandey

DW

Bloody partition (1947): The two neighbors have shared a tense relationship ever since the British divided the Indian subcontinent in a secular but mainly Hindu India and Muslim-majority state of Pakistan. The partition sparked riots and communal violence across the region and led to one of the largest human migrations in history.

The escalation of Kashmir conflict (1947-48): India and Pakistan contested Kashmir — a Muslim-majority kingdom ruled by a Hindu Maharaja — even before their independence from Britain. But the dispute escalated after Kashmir ruler Hari Singh acceded Kashmir to India in return for New Delhi’s help to ward off attacks by an army of Pakistani tribesmen. The developments led to the first full-blown war over Kashmir between the two countries.

UN resolution (1948): India dragged the Kashmir dispute to the United Nations Security Council, which passed a resolution calling for a referendum to decide the status of Kashmir. But the Security Council made the referendum conditional to the withdrawal of Pakistani troops and reduction of Indian military presence to the minimum to maintain law and order in the region. The war ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire but Pakistan refused to withdraw its troops. A ceasefire line effectively partitioned Kashmir with both sides controlling parts of the erstwhile kingdom but claiming it in its entirety.

Indo-Pakistan War (1965): Despite several attempts to solve the Kashmir dispute and deescalate tensions, the two neighbors fought their second war over the contested region. The brief war ended with yet-another UN-mandated ceasefire. Both sides returned to their previous positions.

War over Bangladesh (1971): India and Pakistan fought their third war, this time over East Pakistan. The conflict ended in a defeat for Pakistan and the formation of Bangladesh.

Simla Agreement (1972): Following Pakistan’s surrender in the 1971 war, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistani leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto met and signed an agreement in the Indian hill town of Simla. The ceasefire line in Kashmir is designated as the Line of Control (LoC) and the two parties agree to resolve the dispute through negotiations

Armed resistance in Kashmir (1989): A pro-independenceinsurgencygathered momentum in India-administered Kashmir following disputed stateelections. The insurgency escalated over the next decade, partly fanned by a violent crackdown by Indian troops. India accused Pakistan of supporting the insurgents by providing weapons and training. Pakistan denied this claim.

Kargil conflict (1999): The two neighbors, by now nuclear powers, entered into an armed conflict after militants from across the LoC took control of key strategic positions in India-administered Kashmir. India drove the militants out but blamed Pakistan for supporting the incursion. The diplomatic gains made after a historic meeting in Lahore between the prime ministers of the two countries were eroded and India broke off relations.

Indian Parliament attack (2001): Tensions between India and Pakistan reached a new high after a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament. India blamed Pakistan-based terror outfits for the attack and deployed troops on its borders with Pakistan. Islamabad reciprocated. The standoff ended after an international mediation.

Ceasefire (2003): The two sides agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC. The ceasefire is still in force but the two countries have blamed each other for occasionally violating it.

Mumbai attacks (2008): Armed gunmen launched several attacks in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, killing more than 150 people. India blamed Pakistan for the attacks. But Islamabad vociferously denied the Indian assertion that Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terror outfit behind the attacks, was sanctioned by Pakistan’s intelligence agency. India broke off all talks with Pakistan after the attacks. New Delhi continues to maintain that “terror and talks” can’t go together.

Surgical strikes (2016): Efforts by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to relaunch talks came to an abrupt halt after an attack on an Indian army base by a Pakistan-based terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed. India retaliated to the killing of 19 soldiers by launching “surgical strikes” on alleged terror camps on the other side of the LoC. Pakistan denied India’s claims.

India bombs targets in Pakistan (2019): India conducted air strikes on an alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. The attack came just days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for killing 40 Indian soldiers in a suicide attack in Kashmir. A day later, Pakistan said it downed two Indian jets in retaliation.

 

What would happen if Pakistan attacks India with nuclear weapons?

by Sivaram Krishnan

Quora

This answer assumes that Pakistan made the first strike.

 

There are multiple scenarios for such an attack:

  1. A) Full-scale strategic missile attack on multiple urban targets.
  2. B) Limited missile/air attack on specific targets.
  3. C) Use of tactical nukes on Indian targets on Indian or Pakistani territory.
  4. D) Sneak attack.

Scenario A:

A full-scale nuclear attack will set both countries back by years.  Millions of lives will be lost.  Economic shock will be severe.  Foreign investment and trade will be severely limited.  India, by virtue of its size and geography, will come out ahead (if ahead means anything at all).  What will be the mood of the general populace if Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh….you get the drift….. are all lost?

  1. a) Does Pakistan have the nukes?

Multiple sources currently estimate Pakistan’s nuke total to be greater than 100 and can produce more (the 4 reactors at Kushab produce about 50 kg/year of plutonium or about 10 bombs; this is in addition to the considerable stockpile of HEU).  Not all of them are in a form factor that is missile warhead, but there are enough.  And there are enough to send multiple nukes to each major target.

  1. b) How will Pakistan deliver these nukes?

One option is the solid fuel Shaheen III that was tested in early 2015.  It has a range to cover all parts of India including Andaman & Nicobar.  Very rudimentary gyroscopic inertial navigation systems can guide missiles carrying nuclear weapons easily into a kill zone.   India does not have a credible missile shield at this time.

Given multiple hits, expect to lose a significant portion of political leadership and significant military command and control in addition to (tens of ) millions of civilian casualty.  The international community led by the US will be needed to just sustain life for the remaining population.  This will be the largest humanitarian effort in the history of mankind in terms of resources, manpower, time, effort and reconstruction.  Import of food, water, clothing and medicines will happen on an industrial scale for months.  Though I say “industrial”, it will be run with the help of military forces from many nations.

Scenario B:

There is little for Pakistan to be gained by having a limited nuclear strike.  Pakistan may do this during a time of war when faced with imminent defeat to send a warning to India.  The devastation caused will itself be the biggest humanitarian crisis till date. However, there is no way India will know and understand that this is limited and so will unleash a full retaliatory response.

All of the above discussion is “What would happen TO INDIA if Pakistan nuked India.  But, what happens to Pakistan?

In both Scenarios A and B, Pakistan as a nation will cease to exist.  Under no circumstance, will India allow Pakistan to reconstitute its armed forces to any respectable size.   It will  redraw international borders in multiple sectors annexing Kashmir (POK), redrawing the Durand line border with Afghanistan, and taking control over all sea ports indefinitely.  All major Pakistan cities will be in shambles.  Its military leadership – especially those involved in the chain of command, from the chief of army staff to each missile launch technician – will be hunted and tried.

A little detour:  In 1998, when both India and Pakistan conducted their last tests, India claimed to have tested a thermonuclear weapon – the hydrogen bomb (Pakistan did not conduct a thermonuclear test).  However, there have been significant doubts about whether this was successful mainly because the yield (25-40 kt) was very small (even smaller than many fission weapons) and the fallout did not have the right chemical signature.  There was a lot of speculation that this was a boosted fission device or that only partial thermonuclear ignition resulted.  India is likely to have perfected a thermonuclear weapon by fallout analysis; however, it is unlikely to be miniaturized sufficiently to fit atop a missile warhead.  So, this will have to be delivered by heavy aircraft.  However, there is likely only one target – Karachi.  Lahore is too close to the Indian border and the rest of the targets are too small.  If India manages to aircraft deliver such a weapon and detonate at altitude, Karachi will be fully contained within the fireball.  For this reason, Karachi will suffer the worst of all cities – in India or Pakistan.

Scenario C:

This is the case where, e.g., during a Cold Start attack, India makes rapid ground advances into Pakistan.  Here Pakistan uses low yield tactical nukes against advancing Indian tank army – even in Pakistani territory.  Though India’s doctrine initially called for a No-First use unless India was attacked, it was later modified to a No-First use unless its forces were attacked (even outside India).  So, while India has promised a full response, it is unlikely to escalate this and attack the Pakistani civilian population.

India is also unlikely to use tactical nukes in response here for several reasons.  The radioactive fallout (because of prevailing winds) is likely to fall in western India.  India’s superiority in conventional forces is likely to be more useful and there will likely be less collateral damage for Indian forces.  By this time, the international community will exert tremendous pressure to de-escalate.

Scenario D:

If terrorists or rogue elements within the Pakistani establishment managed to get a nuke, sneak it in and detonate it anywhere, chemical signature analysis will establish where the nuke originated.  I would expect the entire world community including US, Russia and China to force Pakistan to de-nuclearize as they will likely be the next victims of another stolen bomb.

 

The Kremlin’s Military Posture Reconsidered

February 27, 2019

by Gilbert Doctorow

To the vast majority of Americans, including the foreign policy establishment, the question posed in the title may seem something of a joke. After all, absolute military superiority over Russia and other potential rivals for global influence has been the objective of US military policy for the last twenty-five years or more, at vast budgetary expense. One instrument for its achievement has been the roll-out of a system known as the global missile defense, which in effect encircles Russia and China, posing the threat of massive simultaneous missile strikes that could overwhelm any defenses. To intelligence specialists at the Pentagon, who likely have been watching, as I have done, what the Kremlin disseminated earlier today in Russian only versions so far, the question of Moscow turning the tables is entirely serious and shocking.

When Vladimir Putin first publicly described Russia’s latest state-of-the-art weapons systems in development and deployment one year ago, during his 1 March 2018 Address to the bicameral legislature, he said these systems would ensure the re-establishment of full strategic parity with the United States. Western media sniggered. US politicians, with a very few exceptions, chose to ignore what they considered to be just domestic electioneering during a presidential campaign that Putin was expected to win handily. It was all a bluff, they said.

In his annual Address this past Wednesday, 22 February, President Putin expanded on those developments in armaments, reported which systems were now entering active service. He made it clear one of them is the planned Russian response to a likely consequence of US withdrawal from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: the stationing by the U.S. of nuclear armed cruise missiles like the Tomahawk on land and directed against Russia, all of which would reduce the warning time of incoming attack in Moscow to just 10–12 minutes and constitute an existential risk.

Putin, being Putin, did not spell out the threats implicit in the prospective deployment of the new Russian weapons systems. He remained always polite and open to discussion in his speech. But as we saw earlier today, he entrusted the task of dotting i’s to a member of his close entourage, Dmitry Kiselyov who is the chief administrator of all news programs on Russian state television while also serving as the anchor of the widely watched News of the Week, a summary newscast shown on two federal channels on Sunday evenings. To expand the circulation still more, the segment dealing with Putin’s Address and the new arms systems was released as a separate 10 minute video on YouTube.com early in the afternoon.

And a summary of the information in the television broadcast was distributed still earlier today by the associated news agency RIA Novosti.

The central point of the television broadcast was summarized in one paragraph by RIA Novosti and bears repeating here. It makes reference to Putin’s mention of the threat of shortened warning times and to the Russian “mirror like” response. Putin claimed that Russia now has the means to do so immediately and with full confidence of success. Such counter measures would be directed not only at countries hosting the American missiles but at the decision making centers authorizing use of these missiles, meaning in the United States.

With more than a dollop of sarcasm, Putin said that the Americans surely can still count. He urged them to consider the speed and the range of the new missile system that will be arrayed against them before taking any decision on deployment in Europe.

We were told today that the missile system that Putin had in mind is the Zircon, a hypersonic missile capable of traveling at 11,000 km/hour and having a range of 1,000 km. It can be installed in submarines that already carry the Kalibr cruise missile which was already used to great effect in the Syrian campaign.

Kiselyov’s people now did the calculations for us on what the Zircon will mean for US security. I quote from RIA Novosti:

“If we, without violating anything or disturbing anyone, should simply locate in the oceans our submarines with launchers for the Zircon missiles – each carrying 40 pieces, – then in the operational zone of the Russian hypersonic weapons we find the very centers of decision making about which Putin spoke. Our vessels are beyond the boundaries of the exclusive economic zone of the USA which extends 200 miles from the coast. Two hundred miles is 370 kilometers. We can calmly position ourselves at 400 km from the coast. All these centers of decision making are also not so far from the coast. Let’s say they are an additional 400 km. Thus, a total of 800 km. The Zircon flies with a speed of 11,000 km/h. Thus to cover the 800 km the Zircon spends a bit less than five minutes. This is a problem that third grade school children can solve. There you have it, the flight time.”

And which decision-making centers in the United States will the Russians be targeting? On the East Coast, they are the Pentagon, Camp David and Fort Ritchie in Maryland. On the West Coast: MacClellan in California and Jim Creek in the state of Washington. What Kiselyov was talking about might be called a “decapitating strike” or a “first strike capability” against all of US strategic command and control over its nuclear forces that would leave the US unable to respond in a coordinated manner.

After setting out these facts, Dmitry Kiselyov turned over the reporting to a journalist team who described in some detail the other major new weapons systems that Vladimir Putin first mentioned one year ago and spoke of in passing on the 22nd, bringing us up to date on the state of their testing and or introduction in the active armed forces. However, there is no need for us to deal with them, because they reflect the vast potential for attack on the United States that the Russians would enjoy following the decapitating strike of the Zircon systems.

There was however, one especially noteworthy point from their report, a statement by Minister of Defense Shoigu underlining the high efficiency of the Russian arms development, which, he said, costs hundreds of times less than the systems being developed by the US for use against Russia. To that I would add the minute or so of additional video from Putin’s speech closing out the discussion of weapons and foreign policy. The Russian President remarked that he was ready at all times to negotiate with the United States over arms limitation whenever the States are ready to do so on an equitable basis. And he continues to seek full-bodied, mutually beneficial and friendly relations with America.

How can we characterize this Russian broadcast? Is it a threat, pure and simple? Or is there something else that the Kremlin has in mind?

One might say that the intention was to warn the US to come to its senses and reconsider its withdrawal from the INF Treaty. Failing that, it is a warning not even to think about stationing cruise missiles in Europe, lest the Russians proceed with the Zircon deployment.

However, it is also possible to see the Kremlin announcement as presaging Russia’s taking absolute strategic military superiority over the United States, i.e., appropriating to itself what it accuses the United States of having tried to achieve vis-à-vis Russia with encirclement and the move of NATO to Russian borders.

In this connection, it is worth paying attention to one other broadcast on Russian television this past week, on Thursday, 23 February, that is the day after Putin’s speech. This was a lengthy interview with Yakov Kedmi, an Israeli political scientist and intelligence expert speaking by video link from Tel Aviv to Russia’s most authoritative political talk show, Evening with Vladimir Solovyov.

Kedmi is a frequent guest on the Solovyov show, both in person and on video link. He is a colorful personality with unusual insights into military and foreign policy of Russia and in the Middle East. A former Soviet citizen, a Jewish “refusenik” who was long denied emigration rights but finally did leave for Israel, he made a career in one of the Israeli intelligence agencies and was declared persona non grata in Russia. Then about five or six years ago his right to travel to Russia was restored and he has been making appearances on Russian television ever since.

In his analysis of Putin’s speech and of the new security posture of Russia, Kedmi argued that thanks to its latest weapons systems the country is well positioned to establish absolute strategic superiority over the United States. To respond to the challenge of these weapons, the US will have to make vast investments that it will not be able to afford unless it cuts back on its global network of military bases.

Perhaps Kedmi’s most interesting and relevant observation is on the novelty of the Russian response to the whole challenge of American encirclement. He noted that for the past 200 or more years the United States considered itself secure from enemies given the protection of the oceans. However, in the new Russian military threat, the oceans will now become the most vulnerable point in American defenses, from which the decapitating strike can come.

Now the ball is in the American court. Much will depend on how Washington responds to the Russian challenge and whether the Russian red lines over installation of cruise missiles in Europe are crossed.

 

Power of Siberia: Russia’s 3000 km gas pipeline to China 99% complete

February 27, 2019

RT

Gazprom has announced that construction of its gas pipeline to China is 99 percent finished. The Russian energy giant is expected to start delivering gas to China via the Power of Siberia line as early as December.

In 2019, the company is planning to invest 147.5 billion rubles ($2.24 billion) into the project which is set to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to China annually, according to Gazprom’s Investor Day presentation in Singapore.

Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) sealed a 30-year agreement for gas supplies via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in 2014. In September, Gazprom reported that the Russian part of the pipeline, running from Yakutia gas production centers to China’s border, was almost complete.

The Russian part of the pipeline goes through three Russian regions, including the Irkutsk and Amur Regions and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Construction on the Chinese territory started in April 2017, and is currently close to completion.

Gazprom is planning to conduct the test of the 3,000km (1865 miles) pipeline, bridging all the gaps by December.

The Russian firm announced plans to invest 320 billion rubles ($4.8 billion) into the Amur gas processing plant which is expected to get gas from the Irkutsk and Yakutia gas production centers as part of the Eastern Gas Program.

Gazprom intends to become China’s biggest supplier, making up for more than 25 percent of gas imports by 2035 as the country’s demand for natural gas grows. China is the world’s largest importer of oil and second-biggest buyer of natural gas.

 

The Canadian-American Border and Immigration Policies

February 27, 2019

by Christian Jürs

The U.S.-Canada border, stretching for over 4,000 miles, is the longest international border in the world.

In December 1999, Algerian terrorist Ahmed Ressam was caught trying to cross the Canadian-American border at Port Angeles, Washington, with explosives in his car. Ressam belonged to a Montreal-based terrorist cell thought to be linked to both the Algerian terrorist group Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and Al Qaeda. The cell was apparently planning a millennium terror attack at Los Angeles International Airport. In April 2001 Ressam was convicted in Los Angeles of conspiracy to commit terrorism, document fraud and possession of deadly explosives.

By penetrating various Sikh organizations in the Vancouver, BC area, joint American/Canadian counter intelligence has learned that at least two, and probably three, Sikh groups have set up three secret camps deep in the heavy woods of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. This extensive wilderness area west of Seattle has very few roads and these are mere trails for logging trucks. This area borders on Puget Sound to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and could easily hide a small army. Counter-intelligence, working both sides of the borders, has yet to positively identify a Sikh camp although radio and cell phone intercepts positively indicate such safe havens. The purpose of such camps is to both hide illegal Sikh immigrants who enter the United States via the harbor at Aberdeen, somewhat south of the Olympic Peninsula. Once there, they can be given false papers, trained in Canadian habits and speech and then brought into Vancouver area, not via the Highway 5 through Blaine but by boat to one of the small harbors that dot the Vancouver area. From there, the smuggled aliens can enter the existing Sikh communities without a problem.

Furthermore, the Olympic Peninsula camps are believed to be hiding places for explosives and automatic weapons which, using basic caution, can easily be tested in the forests without the danger of being heard, or seen. From radio and cell phone traffic, a conservative estimate is that at lest 150 persons could be located on the Peninsula at any given time but interdiction and discovery is made more difficult both by the denseness of the woods and the very easy access to small boats, such as small fishing or pleasure craft that are very much in evidence on Puget Sound.

U.S. authorities, in this case both the CIA and the FBI, are very much concerned that the Sikhs might well start to move into the United States where their instability and fanaticism could equal or surpass Al Quaeda in potential terrorist activity.

A program now under consideration is to move American Special Forces into the suspect wooded areas and engage the Sikhs directly with the purpose of killing them and leaving them to rot in the woods. Other Sikhs coming to the area, would find only corpses instead of living terrorists and it is believed that this might cause very real panic and evacuation of all of the training and holding camps

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

February 27, 2019

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 publication.

 

Conversation No. 76

Date:  Friday, April 11, 1997

Commenced: 7:15 PM CST

Concluded: 7:50 PM CST

 

GD: Good evening, Robert. Too late for you?

RTC: No, finished eating a bit ago and was just about to start a book on the Afghanistan business the Russians had. Not a problem.

GD: Your people armed the natives there.

RTC: Oh, yes, and the Russian helicopters fell from the heavens like leaves from trees in the fall.

GD: You created a Frankenstein’s monster there, Robert. Those tribesmen are deadly guerrilla fighters and when they’re not fighting invaders like Alexander the Great and the British, who knows who they might go after next? Well, history counts for nothing with those who do not understand it. I had some utterly mindless twit talking to me the other day and somehow they got off on out-of-body experiences. They were telling me about this Remote Viewing business and said the CIA had invented it.

RTC: My God, not that crap again, Gregory. Yes, we started it. You see, we got news that the Russians were working on psychic phenomena called psychotronics. The theory, and it was never more than that in my mind, was that an agent who was trained could give information about something hidden from physical observation while the so-called viewer was at a distance from the sought-after object. This was on my watch and was gathering steam about ’69 and into the ‘70’s. Let me see if I can…Gregory, give me a minutes of so and let me get into my files…

GD: Of course

 

(Pause)

 

RTC: Here we are. The first program was named SCANATE which, according to this, means scanning by coordinates and we started funding this utter idiocy in ’70.  We got a hold of SRI….

GD: Stanford Research Institute. It’s in Menlo Park, right up the road from me. It was built on Dibble Hospital of the Army. I remember Dibble from the wartime. We used to call it Dribble because they let the nuts out to walk around Menlo Park and piss on parked cars. Dribble. Charlie Burdick used to live in one of the reclaimed Army barracks when he was going to Stanford back in ’52. Sorry to digress, Robert. Please go on.

RTC: No problem, Gregory. We also used the services of Science Applications International Corporation in the same town. What do you know about SRI? As a local?

GD: I met some of their people when I worked at Stanford in the hospital. A bunch of drooling nuts if you asked me. Two of their top people ended up in the hospital’s psych ward. One kept hiding in the toilet, claiming someone was trying to get into his mind and the other just sat around talking to himself and wetting his pants. I remember the CIA’s taking over the hospital basement with that Filipino sailor with the plague…

RTC: Jesus Christ, Gregory, how did you find out about that? That’s a cosmic situation right there.

GD: Everyone on the pathology staff knew it. When the guy died, they came for the body in a special ambulance and there were armed guards all over the cellar and the loading ramp.

RTC: You ought not to talk about that.

GD: What were they doing? Developing something nasty for the Russians?

RTC: No, in this case, for the Red Chinese.

GD: Lovely. Never mind that. Go on about the nut fringe.

RTC: Gregory, I consider myself to be an intelligence agent with an Army background. I consider myself to be innovative enough but not interested in crazy stories about psychic powers. There are no psychic powers, Gregory, only psychos babbling away to themselves. Jesus, some of our people believed all of this. It started out costing about fifty thousand and went upwards from there. A number of us spent some time trying to persuade people like Dulles and Helms to abandon this nonsense, as well as the completely useless MK-Ultra programs that were draining our available funds and spending valuable time on things that did not work and could not work because they were based either on wishful thinking or downright fraud. They had all kinds of con men running around claiming that they were psychic and could see into KGB headquarters. SRI and the morons in the upper levels actually hired the American Institutes for Research crooks to work on some Stargate project in conjunction with the Army and in spite of a total absense of any kind of proof, they only discontinued their crap as late as ’95. I have boxes of gibberish on this. By God, Gregory, we spent twenty million on this fantasy crap before it stopped. McMahon was fascinated with this. He became Deputy Director before he fouled up and got the sack in’82.

GD: What happened to him?

RTC: Went to work for Lockheed Martin as a lobbyist. Poor John was another strange one. And Drs Gottleib and Cameron were two more crazies we paid millions to for the purpose of creating controlled agents…mind controlled that is…that we could use as assassins.

GD: Like the movie.

RTC: Exactly. They killed people by microwaving them, tossing them out of windows, giving them heart attacks and killing off all kind of failed experiments. Gottleib poisoned them and Cameron lured them out into the Canadian wilds and shot them in the head. My God, what raging idiots and not even the slightest successes. Millions wasted. Joe Trento lusts after these files, which I slipped out when I left, but I really don’t think Joe is capable of doing anything with them. If you want them, I’ll get my son to box them up and ship them to you. Could you use this?

GD: Love it.

RTC: Same address in Freeport?

GD: Absolutely. Many thanks in advance, Robert. I might have some trouble getting a publisher but I can work on it.

RTC: Well, we control most of the major publishers or if we don’t, they would never dare to put out anything that would get us upset. Hell, we have our man right there in the New York Times and they jump through the hoops, believe me. The Times is in our pocket absolutely. Of course for silence, we give them inside stories. Sometimes, Gregory, the stories are actually true. Can you believe that?

GD: Why not? I never believe anything I see in the press anyway. But what if the pin heads at Langley…no offense since you’ve left….if the pin heads get wind of this? Don’t tell Trento.

RTC: No. He’s like the rest of them. If he finds out I gave these to you, he’ll run to Langley and squeal like a pig. And do not, I repeat, do not tell either Kimmel or Bill. Kimmel would run to his bosses and Bill would hire a sound truck. Kimmel doesn’t like you at all but Bill has mixed feelings. No man can serve two masters, let alone nine or ten and poor Bill runs around, filled with self-importance and looking for a pat on the head.

GD:If he tries anything on me, I’ll give him something very hard on the head. Or through it.

RTC: Now, now, Gregory, violence is not the solution. If you want to get at either of them, feed them some disinformation and then when they run around chattering about it, in the end, they’ll make fools of themselves. Then, no one will believe them and you will have made your point.

GD: Poor Irving is hysterical about the Mueller book. Such a bad writer and a worse ideologue. That one has about run his course and one of these days, the loud-mouthed Jew will go too far and get nailed.

RTC: Is Irving a Jew?

GD: His mother was so according to Jewish practice, David must be one as well. Well, I know some rabid Nazis, Robert and at least two of them are self-hating Jews. Well, they’re making money with it so God bless them. Yes, I can use anything you send me. That file on Critchfield is pure gold. If I ever published it, he would probably shoot at me but in Washington, people would point at him in the streets and laugh.

RTC: I wouldn’t weep over that but be careful with him. He has friends.

GD: Amazing. I take your point. Maybe he can catch a heart attack or get cancer. Look at what happened to Ruby. Got cancer right in the jail. That can be done, you know, by an injection. The heart attack we both know about. No trace at the post and off to the maggot buffet in a tin box. Better than shooting them at a play or tossing out the window like they did in the ‘40s, right?

RTC: Yes, a little subtlity is not a bad idea at times. Well, it will mean more room here for other things so I’ll see what else I have on these idiot games and see you get it.

GD: Oh, psychics are wonderful, Robert. If you pay them enough, they’ll see all kinds of brilliance in you.  People are such idiots. But still, when I want to really laugh, I read some of the material on the Kennedy business. Umbrellas, men in sewers and everything else. How much of that garbage did your people make up?

RTC: We have people still cranking it out but there are so many nuts out there that we really needn’t bother.

GD: Well, from what I read about the fantasy world of Dallas in ’63, most of the brilliant ones could get their haircuts in a pencil sharpener.

 

(Concluded at 7:50 PM CST)

 

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

 

The travel trick that airlines hate

Why airlines are cracking down on “skiplagging” — the hack that savvy travellers use to fly for less.

February 26, 2019

by Kathryn B. Creedy

BBC News

There’s a sneaky travel hack out there, right under your nose – but you may not even know it exists. It could save you big money on airfare.

And airlines are doing everything they can to stamp it out once and for all.

It’s called “skiplagging”, and here’s how it works: Say if someone wants to fly from Boston to Houston, but the airfare is too high. So they buy a ticket from Boston to Las Vegas with a layover in Houston, because it is cheaper than the direct Boston-to-Houston fare. The passenger disembarks at Houston, leaving an unused portion of the ticket. So they never actually finish the entire journey they booked – but they’ve saved money doing so.

The practice made headlines earlier this month. German airline Lufthansa sued a passenger who saved money by skipping a leg of a round-trip ticket.

Airlines hate it when passengers game the system. Despite the fact that such lawsuits have failed in the past, past, Lufthansa is suing for more than $2,000. But while airlines try to stem the tide of passengers getting cheaper fares by using “hidden-city” ticketing, few airline analysts have much sympathy.

No responses yet

Leave a Reply