TBR News January 26, 2010

Jan 25 2011

The Voice of the White House

            Washington, D.C., January 25, 2011: “Someone gave me an interesting file concerning the WikiLeaks matter that is actually funny to read, although the government officials involved no doubt view it very seriously. The release by the media, now stopped by order from Those On High, of the DoS cables has caused spastic colon in a number of fancy offices here inside the Beltway. Obama is screeching as is Hilary and many others. Pressure was put on all domestic and foreign media to shut off the tap because of the damage, real and imagined, being done to the tattered image of a bullying U.S. Poor Bradley Manning has been terribly harassed by the military but as this has gotten out, media pressure is driving them wild. But the really entertaining part are the cables, never to be released, between Washington, Stockholm and London in which the discussed plan was to have Sweden file some kind of trumped-up charges against Julian Assange, head of WiliLeaks, have him arrested in Europe and then quickly removed to the United States to be tried as some kind of a “traitor” to the US (although Julian is an Australian and “treason against the United States” is a real joke!) Washington was rubbing its hands with malicious glee, contemplating a tiny cell in some beastly Army-run prison with no one allowed to see him and a diet of pills and poison. This did not work out because the British courts paid no attention to Washingtons’ frantic yapping and had Julian released on bail. This is exactly want Those On High did not want because Julian promptly got back on the computer and now all manner of interesting things are coming out. The Bank of America and the vile Rupert Murdoch are targets but it is interesting to note that none of this can be found anywhere in the United States. It certainly can be found outside the country but even the Guardian in England has proven to be very, very quiet. The BoA data also concerns the huge mortgage scandal threatening to break in which it will be revealed that 65 million Americans have no rights to their homes that they are making mortgage payments on. All in all, these cables are not fatal bullets but red-hot smaller buckshot pellets that make this country look like a Mafia boss threatening everyone in sight and having its critics either killed in the usual CIA-sponsored “accidents” or put into prisons and tortured (with official consent) Let’s hear it for Julian!”

US cant link Julian Assange to Bradley Manning: report

January 25, 2011

by Daniel Tencer
Raw Story

One avenue by which the United States could press charges against Julian Assange appeared to have closed Monday, with US military officials’ admission that they can’t find a link between the WikiLeaks founder and PFC Bradley Manning, the alleged source of WikiLeaks’ State Department cables.

News reports late last year indicated that the US was trying to build a criminal conspiracy case against Assange through evidence that he aided Manning when the Army private allegedly copied more than a quarter million classified State Department cables onto CD and walked away with them.

But according to military officials who spoke to NBC News, the US has failed to find evidence proving that link:

The officials say that while investigators have determined that Manning had allegedly unlawfully downloaded tens of thousands of documents onto his own computer and passed them to an unauthorized person, there is apparently no evidence he passed the files directly to Assange, or had any direct contact with the controversial WikiLeaks figure.

The news appears to jibe with what Assange himself has said. In an interview with ABC News, Assange said he had “never heard of the name Bradley Manning before it was published in the press.”

Assange added that WikiLeaks technology was designed such that sources of leaked information remain anonymous even to WikiLeaks itself. “That is, in the end, the only way the sources can be guaranteed that they remain anonymous, as far as we are concerned.”

However, Assange has exhibited concern for PFC Manning’s welfare, calling him a “political prisoner” and donating $15,000 to his legal defense fund.

Without a link to Manning, the US can’t charge Assange with conspiracy under the Espionage Act. The only clear path towards prosecution left would be to charge Assange directly with disseminating secret US information — the first time a non-governmental employee would be charged directly under the Espionage Act.

Critics see that option as politically distasteful, because the law could just as easily be applied in the same way to the New York Times, which worked with WikiLeaks last year to release the State Department cables. US media have a long tradition of publishing classified government information, and traditionally it has been the government employees who leaked the information, and not the reporters who disseminated it, who have been charged.

Thus, prosecuting Assange in this way could alienate and antagonize the US media establishment.


US military officials also denied to NBC News that Manning is being mistreated in US custody at the brig at Quantico.

Many observers have said Manning’s pre-trial detention — which sees him in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day — is a form of torture, perhaps designed to break his will before the trial.

Officials told NBC News Manning’s treatment is standard for any maximum security detainee at the facility.

They did, however, note that the brig commander “did not have the authority” to place Manning on “suicide watch” last week.

Manning was temporarily confined to his cell, stripped of his clothing and denied his reading glasses for several days last week when the suicide watch was in effect. The watch was quickly dropped after Manning’s lawyer filed a complaint.

Is the world’s largest super-volcano set to erupt for the first time in 600,000 years, wiping out two-thirds of the U.S.?

January 25, 2011

by Daniel Bates
Daily Mail/UK

 The super-volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has been rising at a record rate since 2004 

It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.

Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away.

Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes.
            This is the nightmare that scientists are predicting could happen if the world’s largest super-volcano erupts for the first time in 600,000 years, as it could do in the near future.

Yellowstone National Park’s caldera has erupted three times in the last 2.1million years and researchers monitoring it say we could be in for another eruption.

They said that the super-volcano underneath the Wyoming park has been rising at a record rate since 2004 – its floor has gone up three inches per year for the last three years alone, the fastest rate since records began in 1923.
            But hampered by a lack of data they have stopped short of an all-out warning and they are unable to put a date on when the next disaster might take place.

When the eruption finally happens it will dwarf the effect of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which erupted in April last year, causing travel chaos around the world.

The University of Utah’s Bob Smith, an expert in Yellowstone’s volcanism told National Geographic: ‘It’s an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high.

‘At the beginning we were concerned it could be leading up to an eruption.’
            But he added: ‘Once we saw the magma was at a depth of ten kilometres, we weren’t so concerned.

‘If it had been at depths of two or three kilometre we’d have been a lot more concerned.’

Robert B. Smith, professor of geophysics at the University of Utah, who has led a recent study into the volcano, added: ‘Our best evidence is that the crustal magma chamber is filling with molten rock.

‘But we have no idea how long this process goes on before there either is an eruption or the inflow of molten rock stops and the caldera deflates again’.

The Yellowstone Caldera is one of nature’s most awesome creations and sits atop North America’s largest volcanic field.

Its name means ‘cooking pot’ or ‘cauldron’ and it is formed when land collapses following a volcanic explosion.

In Yellowstone, some 400 miles beneath the Earth’s surface is a magma ‘hotspot’ which rises to 30 miles underground before spreading out over an area of 300 miles across.

Atop this, but still beneath the surface, sits the slumbering volcano.
            Scientists monitoring it believe that a swelling magma reservoir six miles underground may be causing the recent uplifts.

They have also been keeping an eye on a ‘pancake-shaped blob’ of molten rock he size of Los Angeles which was pressed into the volcano some time ago.

But due the extreme conditions it has been hard to work out what exactly is going on down below, leading researchers unable to say with certainty what will happen – or when.

Since the most recent blast 640,000 years ago there have been around 30 smaller eruptions, the most recent of which was 70,000 years ago.

They filled the caldera with ash and lava and made the flat landscape that draws thousands of tourists to Yellowstone National Park every year.

‘Clearly some deep source of magma feeds Yellowstone, and since Yellowstone has erupted in the recent geological past, we know that there is magma at shallower depths too,’ said Dan Dzurisin, a Yellowstone expert with the U.S. Geological Survey at Cascades Volcano Observatory in Washington State.

‘There has to be magma in the crust, or we wouldn’t have all the hydrothermal activity that we have.

‘There is so much heat coming out of Yellowstone right now that if it wasn’t being reheated by magma, the whole system would have gone stone cold since the time of the last eruption 70,000 years ago.’
Who’s Hitting on Iran?

January 22, 2011

by Richard M Bennett

AFI Research

            That Israel would be the main beneficiary of any damage done to Tehran’s nuclear program – which some suspect is designed to develop nuclear weapons – by the deaths of a number of senior Iranian scientists and engineers cannot seriously be doubted.

            However, whether these killings were actually carried out by the Mossad hit squad reportedly known as the Kidon or its Israel Defense Forces (IDF) equivalent the Sayeret Matkal “Caesarea” is far less certain.

            The Kidon (Hebrew for bayonet or dagger) reputedly has about 40 trained officers, including a small number of women. The main operational and training base is supposedly hidden deep within the Negev desert in southern Israel.

            They are hand-picked from within the already elite special forces units such as the IDF’s Sayeret Matkal and S13. All are on short-term contracts, in their twenties or very early thirties and are highly trained marksmen, explosives experts and silent killers.

            While all the members of Kidon are expert linguists, mainly in Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish, a small number are also fluent in Persian. They would undoubtedly be considered far too important to risk in covert operations, but would prove to be invaluable as trainers and controllers for dissident groups tasked with conducting operations within Iran.

            One of the most recent killings of an Iranian scientist occurred early on November 29, 2010, when Dr Majid Shahriari was killed when attackers on a motorbike attached an explosive device similar to a World War II “sticky bomb” to his car.

            Shahriari was the director of the team developing the design for a nuclear reactor core and had been described by the US magazine Time as the “highest-ranking non-appointed individual working on the project”.

            This is but the latest of a number of killings of scientists linked to Iran’s nuclear program. In 2007, Dr Ardeshir Hassanpour was allegedly poisoned, which according to the United States think-tank Stratfor had all the hallmarks of an Israeli operation.

            In January 2010, Dr Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was killed by a bomb attached to his car as he was driving to work in the morning. Despite rumors that he may have been targeted by MOIS (Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security) because of his reported connections to opposition groups, the modus operendi of his attackers is far too similar to that of numerous other incidents to give those rumors too much credence.

            There is, however, growing suspicion and with some anecdotal evidence for support, that the actual attacks on the Iranian nuclear infrastructure are being carried out by Kurds and quite probably Balochs trained by Mossad.

            Neither group has any love for the mullahs in Tehran and indeed both have been regularly in open conflict with the Iranian regime. There are unconfirmed reports that the Baloch insurgency in eastern Iran has recently reignited.

            It cannot be denied that it would be very difficult for any foreign agent to operate effectively or for any length of time in the paranoid, high-security and repressive environment of modern Iran.

Even the well-trained and well-prepared Mossad operatives have had only limited success, while the much vaunted US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been largely bereft of serious HUMINT (HUMan INTelligence) resources in Iran following a number of intelligence blunders.

            The CIA lost its entire agent network in Iran in 2004 when, according to US intelligence sources, “a CIA headquarters communications officer was about to send instructions to an agent via its Immarsat transmitter/receivers. The CIA officer attempted to download data intended for a single operative, but accidentally hit a button that sent it to the entire US spy network in Iran.”

            In what turned out to be an unmitigated intelligence disaster, the information was received by a double agent who forwarded it to MOIS), which was then quickly able to wrap up the entire US network, leaving Washington completely blind in HUMINT terms.

            The CIA has still not recovered from this or several other setbacks at the hands of Iranian counter-Intelligence.

            Most Western intelligence services have struggled to maintain any foothold within Iran, barring perhaps the German BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst or Federal Intelligence Service), which reputedly has managed to run several small but effective rings for a number of years.

            MOIS and its foreign espionage department VEVAK are rated by many observers as one of the most effective intelligence organizations in the Middle East today.

            It is widely accepted that the Iranian national security services run deadly anti-dissident and highly effective counter-intelligence operations around the world, while they have a justified reputation for their fearsome and wide-ranging powers to suppress dissent within Iran.

            It is unlikely that MOIS would ever tolerate the lax levels of security found in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Mossad was widely suspected of assassinating a senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in January 2010.

            It would be both difficult and dangerous for foreign intelligence services to attempt to deploy their own officers inside Iran for the long periods needed to acquire the targeting and surveillance information necessary to carry out a successful attack, even with the help and local knowledge of an in-country support network.

            So again it is likely that the most effective intelligence assets along with the probable culprits for the recent killings are drawn mainly from dissident nationalities such as those in the Kurdish and Baloch regions.

            There are persistent reports that Israel does still maintain surveillance facilities and SIGINT (SIGnals INTelligence) sites run by the highly secretive Unit-8200 in northern Iraq and it would not therefore be too surprising if Iranian Kurds in particular, found it possible to slip across the border into Kurdish controlled Iraqi territory to receive training and arms from Mossad.

            The recent attacks on the Iranian nuclear infrastructure by sabotage and the targeted use of a computer worm (Stuxnet) have reportedly caused significant disruption, while the deaths of leading scientists may well have slowed down the overall research and development program. All such claims are usually denied by the authorities in Tehran.

            More attacks can now be expected as Israel is becoming ever-more frustrated at being prevented by the current US administration from taking unilateral military action and by a Washington that many Israelis see as seemingly unwilling to countenance direct action themselves.

            It has been reported that Israel has also faced considerable US opposition to Mossad-instigated assassinations not only in Iran but in Lebanon and elsewhere. Despite Washington’s reservations, Israel is believed to remain determined to continue its attempts to further delay Iran’s nuclear program by killing key scientists.

            The covert operations also extend to disrupting and sabotaging Iran’s nuclear technology purchasing network abroad and its vital research and development infrastructure within Iran, US Intelligence sources have confirmed.

            It is undeniable that anything short of a massive and prolonged air and missile attack would be sufficient to seriously degrade, let alone destroy, a significant part of the Iranian nuclear facilities’ infrastructure.

            Despite occasional bouts of saber-rattling by Washington, there appears to be little chance of effective military action being taken any time soon by the Barack Obama administration.

            Yet the US lease on trust in the Middle East is fast running out.

            For it is not only Israel, but Saudi Arabia and quietly behind the scenes Kuwait, some of the other smaller Gulf States, Jordan and even Egypt, which have constantly been pressing a reluctant Washington to finally take decisive military action.

            Many of the Arab states – for a number of individual reasons – see a confident, expansionist, nuclear-armed Iran as a far greater long-term threat to their own security than Israel could ever be.

However Obama is widely perceived in certain circles in the Middle East as no longer listening to his closest allies in the region, whether Jewish or Muslim.

            Iran can therefore expect its enemies, Israeli or Arab from without and the Kurds and Balochs from within, to redouble their attempts to both delay the possible development of a nuclear weapons capability and attempt to further destabilize an already shaky regime in the continuing absence of serious US military intervention.

            The often controversial Meir Dagan was the memun or director of Mossad largely credited with developing assassination as a significant part of Israel’s operations to cripple any Iranian attempts to build a nuclear weapon.

            Gordon Thomas writing in the British Daily Telegraph on the December 5, 2010, states that on his first day in office eight years ago, Dagan promised to support any operation against any of Israel’s enemies, with every means he had – legal or illegal.

            He reportedly said that he would allow his field agents to use nerve toxins, dumdum bullets and methods of killing that even the Russian or Chinese secret services would not use.

            “We are like the hangman, or the doctor on death row who administers the lethal injection,” Dagan continued, “Our actions are all endorsed by the state of Israel. When we kill we are not breaking the law. We are fulfilling a sentence sanctioned by the prime minister of the day.”

            Dagan, who retired as Mossad director last December, has apparently stated his belief recently that it is unlikely that Iran would be able to produce even a crude nuclear device before 2015.

            There are a number of increasingly worried Middle Eastern leaders who will be hoping that Dagan is correct in his prediction and also that a far more responsive US president just might be in the White House several years before that deadline is finally reached.

Richard M Bennett, intelligence analyst, AFI Research.


No Jobs, No Hope, No Future: 27 Signs That Americas Poverty Class Is Rapidly Becoming Larger Than Americas Middle Class

January 25, 2011

The American Dream

In the America that most of us grew up in, most Americans considered themselves to be part of the “upper middle class”, the “middle class” or “the lower middle class”.  Yes, there have always been poor people and homeless people, but they were thought to be a very small sliver of the population.  Well, today all of that is dramatically changing.  America’s emerging “poverty class” is exploding in size at the same time that America’s middle class is rapidly disappearing.  You won’t hear it on the mainstream news, but the truth is that the United States has lost ten percent of its middle class jobs over the past decade.  Only the top 5 percent of income earners in the U.S. has had their incomes increase enough to keep up with the rising cost of living over the past 40 years.  The truth is that today there are a whole lot of people aggressively jostling for the small number of good jobs that are actually available and each year millions more Americans are being squeezed out of the middle class.  The number of Americans that are financially dependent on the U.S. government continues to set new records month after month.  The number of Americans that are participating in the labor force continues to go down.  The sad reality is that the “American Dream” that so many Americans used to take for granted is being ripped away from us.  If you still believe that the United States is guaranteed to always have a very large, very prosperous middle class then you really need to read the statistics listed below.

If you told most Americans ten years ago that in 2011 over 43 million Americans would be on food stamps hardly anyone would have believed you.

But yet here we are.

The U.S. economy simply is not producing enough good jobs anymore.  Most of those that are able to acquire one of these jobs have been able to cling to middle class status, but for millions upon millions of others economic desperation has become “the new normal”.

In fact, more Americans than ever seem to have just given up.  The number of working age Americans that are not even looking for work anymore is at a record high.  The number of Americans that endlessly receive government “anti-poverty” benefits continues to go up and up.

Once upon a time America was a nation packed with hopelessly optimistic “go-getters” that were brimming with entrepreneurial spirit.  But now we have tens of millions of docile sheep that seemingly have no hope, no future and that apparently have no problem with permanently being dependent on the government.

But of course it must be noted that thanks to “globalism” and thanks to the greed of the gigantic predator corporations that now dominate our economy that it has become extremely difficult to “make it” in today’s economy.

It really is incredible to see what has happened to America.  Once upon a time we were the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, but now we are literally being dismantled piece by piece.  The poverty that we are witnessing today is only going to become even worse as the U.S. economy continues to decline.

            The following are 27 signs that America’s poverty class is rapidly becoming larger than America’s middle class….

#1 Only 47 percent of working-age Americans have a full-time job at this point.

#2 One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.

#3 In America today, 8.9 million people are working part-time jobs for “economic reasons”.

#4 During the last school year, almost half of all school children in the state of Illinois came from families that were considered to be “low-income”.

#5 In 2010, more Americans than ever before were living below the official federal poverty line.

#6 The number of net jobs gained by the U.S. economy during this past decade was smaller than during any other decade since World War 2.

#7 The Bureau of Labor Statistics originally predicted that the U.S. economy would create approximately 22 million jobs during the decade of the 2000s, but it turns out that the U.S. economy only produced about 7 million jobs during that time period.

#8 108.6 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed or considered to be “not in the labor force”.

#9 The United States now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.

#10 The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they have given up searching for work completely now stands at an all-time high.

#11 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#12 According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, visits to soup kitchens are up 24 percent over the past year.

#13 Approximately 5 million U.S. homeowners are now at least two months behind on their mortgage payments.

#14 The number of Americans filing for bankruptcy rose another 9 percent in 2010.

#15 In 2009, total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined in the United States.

#16 According to a survey released very close to the end of 2010, 55 percentof all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.

#17 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

#18 The number of Americans on food stamps set a new all-time record every single month during 2010, and now well over 43 million Americans are enrolled in the program.

#19 Even in our nation’s capital stunningly large numbers of Americans are suffering in desperate poverty.  Today, 21.5 percent of the population of Washington D.C. is on food stamps.

#20 It now takes the average unemployed American over 33 weeks to find a job.

#21 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#22 The number of American families that were booted out of their homes and into the streets set a new all-time record in 2010.

#23 Some formerly great industrial cities are rapidly turning into ghost towns.  For example, in Dayton, Ohio today 18.9 percent of all houses are now standing empty.

#24 Ten years ago, the “employment rate” in the United States was about 64%.  Since then it has been constantly declining and now the “employment rate” in the United States is only about 58%.  So where did all of those jobs go?

#25 A recent study by a law professor from the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States.  Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.  It is getting really, really hard to live on a fixed income in the United States.

#26 In the United States today, there are over 6 million Americans that have been unemployed for half a year or longer.

#27 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government.

In 2011, even more Americans are going to fall out of the middle class and into the poverty class.

The dynamics of the game have changed.  Once upon a time if you got a college education and you worked really hard you were virtually guaranteed a ticket to the middle class.

Well, no matter what you may have been promised, those days are now long gone.  Now those in the U.S. middle class are trapped inside a really twisted, really bizarre game of musical chairs.  If you still have your seat you should be very thankful, because chairs are being pulled out of the game constantly as the middle class rapidly shrinks.

Sadly, the economic decline of America is only going to accelerate as government debt continues to mount and as our jobs and our industries are shipped overseas as part of the new “global economy”.

Our politicians are doing nothing to stop all of the long-term trends that are ripping the middle class to shreds so the poverty class is going to continue to explode in size in the months and years to come.

So if you are still part of the middle class, enjoy it while you can, because the party is ending and they are starting to turn out the lights.

Cold Is Tied to Weaker Arctic Fence

January 24, 2011

by Justin Gillis

New York Times

            Judging by the weather, the world seems to have flipped upside down.

For two winters running, an Arctic chill has descended on Europe, burying that continent in snow and ice. Last year in the United States, historic blizzards afflicted the mid-Atlantic region. This winter the deep South has endured unusual snowstorms and severe cold, and a frigid Northeast is bracing for what could shape into another major snowstorm this week.

Yet while people in Atlanta learn to shovel snow, the weather 2,000 miles to the north has been freakishly warm the past two winters. Throughout northeastern Canada and Greenland, temperatures in December ran as much as 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Bays and lakes have been slow to freeze; ice fishing, hunting and trade routes have been disrupted.

Iqaluit, the capital of the remote Canadian territory of Nunavut, had to cancel its New Year’s snowmobile parade. David Ell, the deputy mayor, said that people in the region had been looking with envy at snowbound American and European cities. “People are saying, ‘That’s where all our snow is going!’ ” he said.

The immediate cause of the topsy-turvy weather is clear enough. A pattern of atmospheric circulation that tends to keep frigid air penned in the Arctic has weakened during the last two winters, allowing big tongues of cold air to descend far to the south, while masses of warmer air have moved north.

The deeper issue is whether this pattern is linked to the rapid changes that global warming is causing in the Arctic, particularly the drastic loss of sea ice. At least two prominent climate scientists have offered theories suggesting that it is. But many others are doubtful, saying the recent events are unexceptional, or that more evidence over a longer period would be needed to establish a link.

Since satellites began tracking it in 1979, the ice on the Arctic Ocean’s surface in the bellwether month of September has declined by more than 30 percent. It is the most striking change in the terrain of the planet in recent decades, and a major question is whether it is starting to have an effect on broad weather patterns.

Ice reflects sunlight, and scientists say the loss of ice is causing the Arctic Ocean to absorb more heat in the summer. A handful of scientists point to that extra heat as a possible culprit in the recent harsh winters in Europe and the United States.

Their theories involve a fast-moving river of air called the jet stream that circles the Northern Hemisphere. Many winters, a strong pressure difference between the polar region and the middle latitudes channels the jet stream into a tight circle, or vortex, around the North Pole, effectively containing the frigid air at the top of the world.

“It’s like a fence,” said Michelle L’Heureux, a researcher in Camp Springs, Md., with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

When that pressure difference diminishes, however, the jet stream weakens and meanders southward, bringing warm air into the Arctic and cold air into the midlatitudes — exactly what has happened the last couple of winters. The effect is sometimes compared to leaving a refrigerator door open, with cold air flooding the kitchen even as warm air enters the refrigerator.

This has happened intermittently for many decades. Still, it is unusual for the polar vortex to weaken as much as it has lately. Last winter, one index related to the vortex hit its lowest wintertime value since record-keeping began in 1865, and it was quite low again in December.

James E. Overland, a climate scientist with NOAA in Seattle, has proposed that the extra warmth in the Arctic Ocean could be heating the atmosphere enough to make it less dense, causing the air pressure over the Arctic to be closer to that of the middle latitudes. “The added heat works against having a strong polar vortex,” he said.

But Dr. Overland acknowledges that his idea is tentative and needs further research. Many other climate scientists are not convinced, saying that a two-year span, however unusual, is not much on which to base a new theory. “We haven’t got sufficient insight to make definitive claims,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at a company called Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Lexington, Mass., has spotted what he believes is a link between increasing snow in Siberia and the weakening of the polar vortex. In his theory, the extra snow is creating a dense, cold air mass over northern Asia in the late autumn, setting off a complex chain of cause and effect that ultimately perturbs the vortex.

Dr. Cohen said in an interview that the rising Siberian snow might, in turn, be linked to the decline of Arctic sea ice, with the open water providing extra moisture to the atmosphere — much as the Great Lakes produce heavy snows in cities like Buffalo and Syracuse.

He is publishing seasonal forecasts based on his work, supported by the National Science Foundation. Those forecasts correctly predicted the recent harsh winters in the midlatitudes. But Dr. Cohen acknowledges, as does Dr. Overland, that some of his ideas are tentative and need further research.

The uncertainty about what is causing the strange winters highlights a core difficulty of climate science. While mainstream researchers are sure that greenhouse gases released by humans are warming the Earth, they acknowledge being on shakier ground in trying to predict the regional effects of that change. It is entirely possible, they say, that some regions will cool temporarily, because of disruption of the atmospheric and oceanic circulation, even as the Earth warms over all.

Bloggers who specialize in raising doubts about climate science have gleefully pointed to the recent winters in the United States and Europe as evidence that climatologists must be mistaken about a warming trend. These commentators have not been as eager to write about the strange warmth in parts of the Arctic, a region that scientists have long predicted will warm more rapidly than the planet as a whole.

Without doubt, the winter weather that began and ended 2010 was remarkable. Two of the 10 largest snowstorms in New York City history occurred last year, including the one that disrupted travel right after Christmas. The two snowstorms that fell on Washington and surrounding areas within a week in February had no known precedent in their overall impact on the region, with total accumulations of 40 inches in some places.

But the winters were not the whole story. Even without them, 2010 would have gone down as one of the strangest years in the annals of climatology, thanks in part to a weather condition known as El Niño, which dumped heat from the Pacific Ocean into the atmosphere early in the year. Later, the ocean surface cooled, a condition known as La Niña, contributing to heavy rainfall in many places.

Despite cooling from La Niña, newly compiled figures show that 2010 was among the two warmest years in the historical record. It featured a blistering heat wave in Russia, all-time high temperatures in at least 17 countries, the hottest summer in New York City history, and devastating floods in Pakistan, China, Australia, the United States and other countries.

It was a wild year,” said Christopher C. Burt, a weather historian for Weather Underground, an Internet site.

Still, however erratic the weather may have become, it is not obvious to most people how global warming could lead to frigid winters. Many scientists are hesitant to back such assertions, at least until they gain a better understanding of what is going on in the Arctic.

In interviews, several scientists recalled that in the decade ending in the mid-1990s, the polar vortex seemed to be strengthening, not weakening, producing mild winters in the eastern United States and western Europe.

At the time, some climate scientists wrote papers attributing that change to global warming. Newspapers, including this one, printed laments for winter lost. But soon after, the apparent trend went away, an experience that has made many researchers more cautious.

John M. Wallace, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, wrote some of the earlier papers. This time around, he said, it will take a lot of evidence to convince him that a few harsh winters in London or Washington have anything to do with global warming.

“Just when you publish something and it looks like you’re seeing a connection,” Dr. Wallace said, “nature has a way of humbling us.”    

75% of AOL Subscribers Don’t Need to Pay, Says Report

January 24, 2011

by: Sara Yin

PC Magazine

            Seventy-five percent of AOL’s subscribers, mostly elderly users, pay an extra $300 a year for a service they don’t need, The New Yorker reported this week.

The most controversial statement in Ken Auletta’s profile of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is the company’s “dirty little secret: 75% of the people who subscribe to AOL’s dial-up service don’t need it.”

According to Auletta’s source, an alleged ex-AOL employee, most of its subscribers are paying $25 a month for a dial-up fee, not realizing their cable or DSL plans already enable them to log onto the Internet while still retaining their AOL email address. Auletta says most of these users are “older people who have cable or DSL service but don’t realize that they need not pay an additional $25 a month to get online and check to their email.”

Let’s do some math. According to an AOL filing with the Security and Exchange Commission, 43 percent of AOL’s revenue in the quarter ending September 30—$563.5 million—comes from its 4.1 million subscribers.

That’s 3,075,000 subscribers paying an extra $300 a year for dial-up service. If Auletta’s source is correct, this means AOL is collecting nearly $1 billion a year from consumers who aren’t questioning their bills.

On another note, Aluetta also attacks AOL’s editorial content (which includes TechCrunch and Engadget) by calling “most of what it publishes” “piffle.” Over at TechCrunch Paul Carr responds, “Auletta’s piece must—and should—have made painful reading at AOLHQ. After all, he’s right that the majority of AOL’s editorial output is total horseshit. And yet, and yet—his critique lacks an important punchline: so is everybody else’s.”

AOL did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Conversations with the Crow


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

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

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


 Here is the fifty ninth  chapter

Conversation No. 59


Date: Saturday, January 11. 1997

Commenced:  2:23 PM CST

Concluded:  3:11 PM CST

RTC: Gregory, would you believe your nice present arrived here today? You mailed it on the fifteenth and it took almost a month to get here. Unbelievable. Symptomatic of the growing inefficiency in the entire bureaucratic structure. Nice book by the way. Who was Malaparte?

GD: Curzio Malaparte was the pen name of an Austrian journalist named Stuckert. A friend and adherent of Mussolini. The book is a classic study of the coup, as you will note. Dutton put this out in ’32, just while the Depression was getting a full head of steam, and it was decided by those in power that it ought not to be circulated so it was pulled. I got your copy from a Denver dealer and I got mine from my grandfather’s library. Very interesting, especially the business with Trotsky in Petrograd. Have you read any of it?

RTC: Yes, actually I have read the Trotsky section. Very perceptive.

GD: And be sure to read the chapter on Trotsky versus Stalin. The differences between the two are well-covered. Trotsky was brilliant but mercurial and Stalin was equally brilliant but thorough, methodical and far more deadly than Trotsky. In Josef’s case, patience was a real virtue.

RTC: At any rate, thank you for your gift. I can assure you I will read it.

GD: You are the only person I know that might appreciate it. I can just see Tom Kimmel with it. Never read it.

RTC: Corson might.

GD: Yes, that’s true.

RTC: I’m sure they have a copy at Langley.

GD: I don’t doubt that at all. But they remind me of a dog I had once. He loved to chase cars. I wonder what would have happened if he caught one?

RTC: Now, they’re not all that bad.

GD: Perhaps not when you were in harness, but some of the idiots they have working for them now certainly aren’t worth a pinch of sour owl shit.

RTC: I haven’t heard that one for years, Gregory.

GD: I’m not young either, Robert.

RTC: Are you working on anything interesting these days?

GD: Still trying to create a structure for the Kennedy business. I translated some wartime German documents last week dealing with their flying saucer program. Habermohl?

RTC: I know that the Krauts had one or two but the name means nothing.

GD: They made and flew at least one prototype, but the project was just one of many at the time.

RTC: Well, the U.S. built them after the war. Some place in Canada.

GD: AVRO. The Roe Company.

RTC: Doesn’t ring a bell.

GD: But that means we did have some examples.

RTC: Oh, yes, that we did. I told you that the Russians thought these were ours and we thought they were theirs. I did some sit-downs on this one. Russian Intelligence was one of my fields, as you know. And we did have some of these, but we used them for high-altitude reconnaissance and photographing. The U-2 replaced them, so we retired them. The Russians had at one working model, that I know.

GD: So all the sightings were of these planes, or whatever they called them?

RTC: No, not all. Most of the public sightings were basically wishful thinking or mass hysteria. But there certainly were other incidents that were not of ours or Russian construction.

GD: Where did they come from?

RTC: No one had any idea. Of course, Truman had all of that shut up to prevent another Orson Wells panic. The idea was to make the whole thing look like a hoax so that people spotting something would ignore it at the risk of being branded a fool.

GD: Know anything about the Roswell business?

RTC: Oh, indeed. Now that was the real thing, Gregory. And there were space cadets on board that one. They had to clamp down on the story and said it was a weather balloon. As I remember, they retrieved a lot of electronic gadgetry that was highly advanced. They reconstructed the thing, or did you know that?

GD: No, I did not. Did they fly it?

RTC: Too complex. Do you know about Groom Lake in Nevada?

GD: No.

RTC: We used it as a U-2 base. Out in the remote desert. They have several of these things there. One is a reconstruction and another one was fished out of a lake in Montana intact, crew and all. That one they did fly around, as I understand.

GD: Why keep it quiet?

RTC: As I said, panic. The Cold War was in full swing, Korea had happened and everyone was afraid of the Russians, so it was decided to play it all down. We got certified idiots on board and got them to set up Flying Saucer clubs to attract the brainless moths and kept the pot boiling. You understand that once the government decides on a program, they never change it. They never do. Poor Tom keeps thinking they will rehabilitate his grandfather over Pearl Harbor, but they never will. I told him that once, and I thought he’d weep. First off, no one cares these days about Pearl Harbor and secondly, once a policy has been set, no one will change it later. Same with the saucers.

GD: They have no idea where they came from?

RTC: Absolutely none. But there were no attacks from any of them and the best thinking was that they were doing what we were doing, and that is photo recon. They weren’t from us because no human could survive the speeds they could move at. Flatten them out. I hope to God you’re not going to get into that mess, Gregory.

GD: Intellectual curiosity only. What did ours photograph?

RTC: The same things the U-2 did. Military bases like airfields, missile launching areas, naval bases. They took some wonderfully clear pictures. They had a building down on Fifth and K streets where they processed and printed these. It was the Steuart or Seward Building. I was in there a couple of times. And some very interesting buildings out on Wilson Boulevard. Remind me to tell you about them some time. Anyway, I recommend you keep away from the saucer side. As much as they hate you around here that would all that would be needed to label you a certified lunatic.

GD: Oh, I know about the official stories about me. Once the Mueller book came out, they got Gitta Sereny to go after me. Do you know who she is?

RTC: She’s a friend of Wolfe. I looked her up once because he made it a point of shoving some piece of trash on me at the Archives about you she got published. A Communist dyke as I remember. She does not like you.

GD: (Laughing) Oh, I know that, and note that I do not like her. When I uncovered the fact that an SS concentration camp head had been declared dead and then put to work by the Brits and later by us, she came to see me in California, with the assistance of Wolfe, and with the sole intention of getting me to say something she could use to discredit me.

RTC: Well, they didn’t like it made public that this fellow worked for us. The same as your friend Mueller. What did she write?

GD: Long story.

RTC: I have plenty of time and you have the happy knack of making long boring stories interesting. Go on.

GD: She published a book in 1974 entitled Into That Darkness. This work purported to be based on an interview with Franz Stangl, an alleged SS officer who ran a camp in occupied Poland during the war where many prisoners were later stated to have been gassed. Stangl was not an SS man but Sereny never bothered to mention that unimportant fact. The book contains a lengthy section quoting Stangl, who according to Sereny’s version, fully admitted his part in the purported killings and asks for forgiveness from God and his victims. The balance of the work consists of various supplementary testimonies from former associates and family members, all attesting to the evil nature of Stangl’s activities and all clearly acknowledging his willing cooperation in a state-sponsored program of genocide. Of course, Sereny has carved out her niche as a holocaust writer, trashing all the Germans, and she has made a nice living out of it. But this particular book shows with great clarity the pitfalls that occur when a journalist, as opposed to a legitimate academic historian, produces a work which is not only entirely anecdotal in content, but ideological in thrust. There is no documentation, whatsoever, in this work which relies almost entirely on the author’s purported interviews with various people. Stangl died on the day following Sereny’s visit to him in prison where he was appealing his life sentence.

RTC: I agree. That makes no sense. This man was not an SS camp man?

GD: No. He is in none of the official SS personnel lists anywhere at any time.

RTC: Did he exist?

GD: Yes. He was an Austrian policeman. And she must have known it, because she is tied up with Wolfe who has ready access to all the official lists. And herein lies the key to the questionability of the entire book. Stangl had been sentenced to a life term in prison. He, through his attorneys, was appealing this sentence. It is highly doubtful if either Stangl or his attorneys would permit such a damaging interview to take place and to permit Sereny, whose extremist views were well known, free and unfettered access to the prisoner. There would appear to be no question that Sereny and her photographer husband, Don Honeyman, did indeed visit the prison and did see Stangl. Sereny’s husband took several photographs of him, photographs which are extensively reproduced in the book. The published pictures, however, do not support statements alleged to have been made by the former Austrian police officer, but merely prove that he permitted himself to be photographed by his visitors. By making such incriminating statements as Sereny placed, post mortem, in his mouth, Stangl would have irrevocably destroyed any chance he might have had in his pending appeal before the German courts. I think it is beyond reasonable belief that such statements were made under the circumstances indicated. A dead Stangl, however, could comfortably be alleged to have made any statement that the author chose to put into his mouth, and without the possible embarrassment to her or her publisher of an instant denial or possible legal proceedings.

RTC: These fabricators never use logic, do they. Lie like rugs, throw in a few fuzzy pictures of Hitler and, Bingo, a new Holocaust book. Well, they have made quite a business out of it.

GD: Oh, yes, and you dast not dare question them with inconvenient facts. If you have the time and the stomach to read the book, you can clearly see the author’s prejudice towards Stangl and the system he served, but also is entirely devoid of any facts to support her thesis. She notes that a number of witnesses died before the book was published, of course, including her main source, Stangl. Much of the anecdotal material Sereny had put together to support her case is of such a nature as to preclude its ever being introduced in a court of law. Several examples are set forth as illustration.  In one, Sereny claims that Stangl’s wife wrote her a letter following an interview Sereny had with the wife in Brazil. In this letter, which is not reproduced, Frau Stangl allegedly states that in 1945 she was interviewed by two members of the U.S. Army’s Counter Intelligence agency, and that they knew of her husband’s whereabouts in an American jail. “I examined their papers,” she is quoted as writing, “I have no doubt whatever that they were genuine.” The flaw in this scenario is obvious. It is simply not believable that the wife of an obscure police officer would have the slightest idea what “genuine” U.S. CIC identification papers looked like. But Sereny states that the woman would have no reason to invent the incident. Perhaps the invention did not originate with Stangl’s wife, but with the author herself. Robert, generations must pass before the fictive is eventually weeded out from the factual, and in the meantime an appellation which has been applied to the Sereny book, Dialogs with the Dead, could well be applied to other mendacious creative writing essays that people like Wolfe, who certainly will never be any kind of a successful writer or Sereny the ideological hack.

RTC: Maybe Sereny…what is that name, by the way?

GD: She’s a Hungarian Jewess, but the name was changed somewhere years ago to become more Aryan. Anyway, she published some libels about me in two major British papers. I got a solicitor in the UK to represent me and not only were the stories pulled but dear old Gitta was sacked. It was either sack her for free, or I would sue the papers for malicious defamation. There wasn’t any contest. One of the paper’s editors told me on the phone that she was a nasty old bitch and he was glad to be rid of her. Actually, she mumbled away about me for a little while more until I had to take certain actions that dissuaded her from future essays into more libels.[1]

RTC: I don’t suppose…

GD: Not on the phone. Did I bore you?

RTC: No, and none of that surprised me. You ought to have heard old Wolfe screeching about how evil you are. He sounds like you have a picture of him humping the neighbor’s cocker spaniel.

GD: (Laughter) I think it was a sheep named Minnie he keeps in his garage. By God, sir, with mesh stockings and lipstick, she drives men mad with passion.

RTC: Why don’t you turn him into the Humane Society?

GD: I’d much rather turn him into a pumpkin. Speaking of that, do you know what happened to Cinderella?

RTC: No, I don’t. She married her prince?

GD: Maybe, but did you know what happened when the clock struck midnight?

RTC: Not offhand.

GD: Her tampon turned into a pumpkin.

RTC: (Laughter) Such an image!

GD: You see the connection in my imagination, at least, between Wolfe and a pumpkin?

RTC: It’ll give me something to think about over dinner, Gregory. Or are you equating Wolfe with a tampon?

GD: Pay your money, Robert, and take your choice.

(Concluded at 3:11 PM CST)

Dramatis personae:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired, [2]lives in Florida, and works for the CIA as an “advisor.”


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


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


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

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

Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers

[1] “Fritz Stangl” is a non-existent individual. He was never a member of either the SS or German police and was never the head of any concentration camp. Like so much “Holocaust” literature, Stangl is a creation by British author Gitta Sereny who has invented other such stories. The British government decorated her late in her life proving that lies can be rewarding!

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