TBR News January 7, 2012

Jan 07 2012


The Voice of the White House

          Washington, D.C. January 7, 2012: “Obama has now agreed to help out Israel and attack Iran but the Iranians must supply the “incident” necessary to go after them. It is now believed that Iran will not try to block the Straits of Hormuz but the close proximity of US and Iranian naval units could well lead to a situation wherein a “rigged” incident can happen. Israel wants Iran’s atomic projects obliterated and several powerful American/British oil companies have told Obama’s people they are ready and waiting to get their hands on Iran’s oil. On a scale of one to ten, the probability of military action in Iran is about nine and a half at this point in time. Of course, things can change but Israel is jabbering non-stop at us and elections are looming on the horizon. More dead, more oil, more lies in the controlled media.”

Behind the Deepening Crisis with Iran: the Real Story Versus the Cover Story


January 5, 2012

by Mark Gaffney –

Recently, President Obama imposed new sanctions on Iran which according to reports have been very effective, causing a sudden major devaluation of Iran’s currency. The Iranians correctly understand that they are under attack, and have threatened to respond by closing the strait of Hormuz, through which a large percentage of oil from the Mideast flows to the global economy. 

If the crisis deepens and Iran makes good on its threat to close Hormuz, there is little doubt that the US will intervene to reopen the strait. This will lead to a shooting war for which Iran will be blamed, even though the recent US sanctions were tantamount to overt aggression.

I believe the US will exploit the situation to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. But, even more importantly, the US will target Iran’s conventional missiles. Indeed, I believe this is the real reason for US sanctions in the first place, and for the buildup of tensions in recent days. Despite public perceptions, and all the rhetoric about nukes, the present crisis has nothing to do with Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. In my opinion, that is just a cover story. 

The real issue is the fact that Iran has upgraded its medium range conventionally-armed missiles with GPS technology, making its missiles much more accurate. This means Iran can now target Israel’s own nuclear, bio and chemical weapons stockpiles, located inside Israel, as well as the Dimona nuclear reactor. 

In short, Iran has achieved a conventional deterrent to Israel. Therefore, statements by Iranian officials that Iran has no nuclear weapons program are in my view probably correct. Presently, Iran does not need nukes to deter Israel. It can do so with its GPS-guided medium range missiles. The Israelis are no doubt gnashing their teeth over this, because they now find themselves threatened by their own WMD stockpiles, and by their own nuclear reactors, especially Dimona, all of which have become targets.

A few direct hits by Iran could cause a toxic plume, killing thousands of Israelis. A worst case might signal the end of the Jewish state.

It is important to realize that Iran would never launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel because the Iranians know that the US/Israeli response would be devastating. However, if Iran comes under attack first, all bets are off. Iran will defend itself. A counter attack on Israel cannot be ruled out because Iranian leaders understand clearly (even if the American people do not) that the crisis has been manufactured, on Israel’s behalf.

From the Israeli standpoint, the present Iranian deterrent (though conventional) is simply unacceptable. Israel’s military strategists have always insisted on total freedom of movement. This is why Israel refused a US offer many years ago to sign a defense pact with the US. Such a treaty would have limited Israel’s freedom of movement, and this was unacceptable. Israel’s leaders preferred to remain independent. Israel has always insisted on the “freedom” to intimidate its neighbors, whenever and howsoever it chooses. Iran’s conventional missiles now curtail that “freedom.” Israeli officials probably worry, for example, that Iran’s conventional missiles would limit its freedom to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon, in a future conflict. Hezbollah is closely allied with Tehran.

I believe the present crisis has been manufactured to create the pretext for a US air campaign to take out Iran’s conventional missile sites. The US will also target Iran’s nuclear facilities, but the primary target will be Iran’s conventional missiles. The US will be doing Israel’s bidding. The Zionist tail will be wagging the servile US dog. 

Obviously, you can’t generate public support for such a bombing campaign, on Israel’s behalf. Hence the cover story about nukes and the alleged Iranian threat to wipe Israel off the map, all of which is untrue but very effective propaganda nonetheless.

The problem for the US is that depriving Iran of its conventional deterrent will not be easy to accomplish. Indeed, it will be even more difficult than taking out all of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran’s conventional missiles are probably dispersed widely. If they come under attack, the purpose of the air campaign will be transparently obvious to the Iranian leadership. Faced with the prospect of losing their deterrent, the Mullahs may well decide to fire their conventional missiles. If they do and manage some direct hits on Israel’s nuclear-bio-and chemical weapons stockpiles, the ensuing disaster will prompt an Israeli response. Israel may even resort to the Samson Option, and attack Iran with nukes. Words cannot describe the horrific scale of such an outcome. Unfortunately, it is all too possible.

Early in the war, US naval  forces in the Gulf will also come under attack. No mistake, Iran has enough anti-ship cruise missiles to pose a grave threat to the US naval presence in the Gulf. Thousands of US sailors are now in harm’s way, and at risk.

We must rally to prevent such a war. Peace activists must now marshal every asset for peace that we possess. The American people need to know the truth. This is a phony crisis. Yet the danger is very real. Now is the time to speak out with all of our strength. Tomorrow could come too late.

Mark H Gaffney’s forthcoming book, Black 9/11, will be released this winter by Trineday Press. Mark can be reached for comment at markhgaffney@earthlink.net



Racism in Action: The Neo-Confederate Movement in American Politics

December 28, 2011

by Elmer Chen


“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American….And that racism inclination still exists.  And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.” President Jimmy Carter and former Governor of Georgia.

The neo-Confederate doctrine that Congressman Ron Paul is associated with believes in the re-establishment of the Confederacy as a Bible-based republic opposed to all laws, rights, or behaviors that cannot be justified according to the Bible.  Its leading theologians have written justifications of slavery as Biblically-based and have described it as a benign social institution.  On theological grounds, neo-Confederates believe the Civil War was a struggle between orthodox Christianity and a heretical Union.  In the mid-twentieth century, many Christian nationalists became politically involved because they opposed the desegregation of white schools and attempts by the federal government to remove their tax exempt status from white private school created to escape the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision to desegregate white-only schools.  The subsequent development of the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the moral pressure this movement exerted on federal, state and local governments, as well as the reign of terror unleashed by the Ku Klux Klan with the implicit support of Southern governors, legislatures, congressmen, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, juries, white clergy, and public opinion all played a role in the development of the neo-Confederate movement. 

In September 1957, President Eisenhower ordered federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to protect nine black children attempting to desegregate a white public school.  In September 1962, President Kennedy ordered federal marshals, Army, and National Guard troops to protect James Meredith as he attempted to enroll in the University of Mississippi. 

Indicative of the Southern rage underlying the reign of terror, in May 1964, Sam Bowers, Imperial Wizard of the Mississippi White Knights, declared: “‘The events which will occur in Mississippi this summer may well determine the fate of Christian civilization for centuries to come.’”  This Ku Klux Klan statement is no different than statements from the League of the South that was founded in 1994. Opposition to the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s was not limited to Kirk and the neo-Confederate movement and the John Birch Society. William F. Buckley and the National Review defended the white supremacists

 In 1980, right after the Republican Party’s national convention, Ronald Reagan spoke at the fairgrounds to an audience of over thirty thousand, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, “‘I believe in states’ rights.’” Reagan was following in the footsteps of Barry Goldwater in 1964 who carried only his home state of Arizona and five states in the Deep South.  As Zeskind noted, it “was a portent of white voting patterns to come.” A portent that was assisted by George Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign as the American Independent Party candidate; former Klan leader David Duke’s multiple campaigns as a Democrat, Republican, and Populist; and, Patrick Buchanan’s presidential run in 1992 in the Republican primaries that expropriated Duke’s issues. Indeed, Paul Krugman showed that between 1954 and 2004 the Republican gains in the House of Representatives was a reversal of the dominance the Democrats had in 1954.  The Democrats had net gains outside the South, but “more than all of the Democratic net loss to the Republicans came from the Southern switch.” In other words, Krugman argued, “Race, then, was essential to the ability of conservatives to win elections in spite of economic policies that favored a minority over the majority.” It is important to remember that the “New Right” movement that brought Reagan to victory had been deeply involved in opposition to civil rights.  Max Blumenthal reported that after the 1954 Supreme Court decision the late Jerry Falwell “posited segregation as a biblical mandate” and worked with the FBI to try and smear Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. as a “communist subversive,” the same charge raised by the John Birch Society.  In 1966, Falwell started the Lynchburg Christian Academy, “‘a private school for white students.’”  As Blumenthal noted, “For Falwell and the…leadership of the Christian Right, race was the issue that galvanized their political activism.” And, as Michelle Goldberg noted, “what spurred them [the Christian Right] into action was the IRS’s attempt to revoke the tax-exempt status of whites-only Christian schools, schools that had been created specifically to evade desegregation.”

Steven Wilkins, co-founder of the racist, secessionist League of the South, is “arguably the most prominent member of the neo-Confederate clergy,” and a “resident instructor at the R.L. Dabney Center for Theological Studies” and “writes for almost all the religious publications and groups that advance neo-Confederate and Christian nationalist ideas. Another follower of Dabney is theologian Douglas Wilson.  For more than 30 years Wilson has run a mini-Christian Reconstructionist empire in Idaho that includes the New Saint Andrews College; Logos School, a private Christian academy; the Association of Classical and Christian Schools that certifies such private academies; Canon Press; the journal Credenda/Agenda; and, the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals.  Both Wilkins and Wilson, writing separately or jointly, are major proponents of the theological war thesis and defend “slavery as Biblically justified.”

Writing in 2002, Sebesta and Hague reported that the “Sons of Confederate Veterans heritage organization, Christian Reconstructionist bodies such as the Chalcedon Foundation, and the League of the South now generally accept the theological war thesis….Collaboration between the Christian Reconstructionist movement and the League of the South has also increased, evidencing a growing overlap in the historical, political and theological perspectives of participants in both organizations.  This indicates a conflation of conservative, neo-Confederate and Christian nationalisms into a potent reinterpretation of American history.”

The practical effect of this conflation of nationalisms is an opposition to the following, according to Michael Hill, co-founder of the League of the South: loss of American sovereignty to foreign institutions; “‘radical egalitarianism; feminism; sodomite rights; Third World immigration; gun control; hate crime legislation (almost meant to be used against whites); judicial tyranny; burdensome taxation; multiculturalism and diversity (code words for anti-white, anti-Christian bigotry); the universal rights of man; and other manifestations of a new brand of politically-correct totalitarianism.’”

The other major neo-Confederate organization of interest here is the radical libertarian Ludwig von Meises Institute headed by Lew Rockwell, a long-time friend and political-business partner of Ron Paul.  In 2003, the Institute and the associated LewRockwell.com spearheaded a protest against the erection of a President Abraham Lincoln statue in Richmond, Virginia, while holding a “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  LewRockwell.com also hosts a “King Lincoln” archive of articles by leading neo-Confederate writers. The Institute also serves as an adjunct home to neo-Confederate professors Thomas D. Lorenzo, Donald Livingston, and Clyde Wilson.  Lorenzo, a professor of economics, has written that the Civil War was fought to end the right of secession, not to end slavery.  He was the star of the “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  Livingston, a professor of philosophy who specializes on David Hume, he was the first director of the League of the South’s Institute for the Study of Southern Culture and History.  Livingston’s writings have strongly defended the right of the pre-Civil War South to  secede and has written that Lincoln started the Civil War in order to establish a centralized state. He also was present at the “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  Lastly, Clyde Wilson is the “biggest intellectual heavyweight associated with the neo-Confederate scene.” Wilson specializes in the writings of John C. Calhoun, “the preeminent states’ rights theorists before the Civil War.” Wilson was also a founding member of the League of the South.

Libertarianism—Born Racist

To sort through these conflicting claims on the centrality of race to the Tea Party movement it is necessary to cover the following salient issues raised by some of the writers.  Is it true, as Sara Robinson asserts, that the conservative movement has largely gotten over the issue of race?  Is it true, as Sara Robinson asserts, that the Tea Party movement is driving the political center-right of conservatives toward the ultra-right?  To what degree has Ron Paul adopted the Southern Strategy of abandoning the N-word racism and adopting the abstract and race-neutral code words and public policies that still amount to a defense of states’ rights and a defense of white supremacy or white nationalism?  To what degree is libertarian economic philosophy inherently racist?  And, finally, is this inherent racism the reason why libertarian writers such as but not limited to David Weigel and Glenn Greenwald still blandly refer to Ron Paul as a “libertarian” and a champion of “individual liberty” but prefer not to discuss his support for a white Christian nationalist agenda?

To begin, we start with the conclusion that twentieth century libertarianism was born racist and is inherently racist.

That conclusion rests on the authority of none other than the late Murray N. Rothbard, co-founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute along with Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul.  The Institute is not only one of the main neo-Confederate think tanks—one of the key components of the Ron Paul network—but also the primary institution supporting Ron Paul and his Tea Party movement.  The Institute is also the home of the Christian Reconstruction economic libertarian Gary North, who is also the informal strategic adviser to Ron Paul.

In 1994 Rothbard published an article, “Life in the Old Right.”  Rothbard argued that the heyday of the “Old Right” spanned from 1933 to 1955 and was the original opposition to the New Deal.  According to Rothbard, this coalition of opposition consisted of “libertarian and individualist writers and intellectuals;” “conservative states’ rights Democrats of the nineteenth century, largely from the South, whose views were almost as libertarian as the first group;”  “conservative Republicans…who largely came from the Midwest;”  and, “former progressives and statists” led by “former President Herbert Hoover who…denounced the New Deal for going too far into ‘fascism.’”

According to Rothbard, this libertarian coalition was hard-core regressive: “A few libertarian extremists wanted to go all the way back to the Articles of Confederation, but the great bulk of the right was committed to the United States Constitution—but a Constitution construed so ‘strictly’ as to outlaw much twentieth-century legislation, certainly on the federal level” (emphasis in original).

Rothbard admitted in the article that he “embraced the new states’ rights or ‘Dixiecrat’ ticket of Strom Thurmond for president and Fielding Wright of Mississippi for vice president.”  As a student at Columbia University, Rothbard “founded a Students for Thurmond group.”  Rothbard’s hope was that the “States’ Rights Party would continue to become a major party and destroy what was then a one-party Democratic monopoly in the South.  In that way, an Old Right, Midwestern Republican coalition with States’ Rights Democrats could become the majority party!”

Although Rothbard did not mention the John Birch Society, he gave a plausible reason why Robert Welch, a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Manufactures (NAM) since 1950, founded the Society in 1958.  Starting in 1946, according to Rothbard, the NAM had “sold out” and accepted the New Deal.

According to Chip Berlet, “early Birch conspiracism reflects an ultraconservative business nationalist critique of business internationalists.” The Society was instrumental in pushing the “‘constitutionalist’” and “‘producerism’” conspiracy theories. According to Berlet, the “JBS simultaneously discouraged overt forms of racism [and anti-Semitism], while it promoted policies that had the effect of racist oppression by its opposition to the Civil Rights movement.”

According to Rothbard’s retrospective, the Old Right was crushed in 1955 by the National Review which “proceeded to purge all rightwing factions that had previously lived and worked in harmony but now proved too isolationist or too unrespectable.”

Edward Sebesta, in an early article on “The Neo-Confederate Movement,” established that Russell Kirk, “perhaps the most prominent conservative of the 20th century,” “promoted the values of southern conservatism and ultimately the neo-Confederates.” Kirk was an early supporter of the Southern Partisan, a leading neo-Confederate journal that attracted conservative writers from across the country, not just the South.  Kirk’s considerable prestige, prodigious writings, and intellectual support ensured that “the values of southern conservatism and admiration for the Confederacy, became accepted and not peripheral, not sectional for conservatism.” Sebesta noted that in 1958, at the start of the Civil Rights movement, Kirk “dedicated an entire issue of Modern Age to defending the South as it was.”

William Voegeli in article on “Civil Rights & the Conservative Movement” noted that Buckley in 1957 wrote an article “Why the South Must Prevail” in which Buckley asked “‘whether the White community in the South is entitled to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically?….The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.’”

Nancy MacLean reported that Buckley and Frank Meyer, his founding co-editor and “leading conservative movement builder in the formative years…forged an alliance with the intellectual architect of ‘massive resistance’ James Jackson Kilpatrick.” Moreover, the National Review “traded mailing lists with this [White Citizens Councils] avid white supremacist organization in 1958, assuring its leader that ‘Our position on states’ rights is the same as your own.’”

Voegeli noted that Buckley “regularly” expressed “the asymmetry of his sympathies—genuine concern for Southern whites beset by integrationists, but more often than not, perfunctory concern for Southern blacks beset by bigots.” Buckley’s views resembled “that of the ‘Southern Manifesto’ signed in 1956 by nearly every senator and representative from the South” which accused the Brown v. Board decision of ‘destroying the amicable relations between white and Negro races that have been created through 90 years of patient effort by the good people of both races.  It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding.’”

The Southern Manifesto was more than a manifesto.  Part of the white supremacist reaction was a reign of terror against civil rights workers and any African American who could be made an example of for disturbing the apartheid system.  The other reaction was the use of Tenth Amendment (states’ rights) to nullify the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling.  For example, the Florida and Georgia legislatures passed laws that with slightly different wording stated, “‘decisions and orders of the Supreme Court of the United States denying the individual sovereign States the power to enact laws relating to the separation of the races in public institutions of a state are null, void and of no force or effect.’”

Conservative opposition to all civil rights legislation continued with Goldwater’s argument derived from legal advice given by his legal advisers William Rehnquist and Robert Bork that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was “‘a grave threat’ to a constitutional republic in which fifty sovereign states have reserved to themselves and to the people those powers not specifically granted to the central or Federal government.’” With all due respect to Rehnquist and Bork, the Ninth Amendment gave all unenumerated rights to the people and none of these unenumerated rights to the states.

Conservative and Republican opposition to all civil rights legislation and the defense of states’ rights continued under the GOP’s Southern Strategy—a strategy the Republicans have never repudiated and continue to follow.  According to the late Lee Atwater, the essence of the strategy was to conceptually shift the focus away from overt and explicit expressions of racism (the N-word) to “say[ing] stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”  When candidate Reagan went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, and said “‘I believe in states’ rights’” that Reagan “was elbow deep in the same race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.”  As Bob Herbert noted, “When Democrats revolted against racism, the G.O.P. rallied to its banner.”

 In January 1992, Murray Rothbard, who co-founded the Ludwig von Mises Institute with Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul—the three of whom would eagerly join Patrick Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign—authored an article on incorporating David Duke’s libertarian economic platform into a paleo-libertarian/paleo-conservative coalition.  Essentially the same as the Republican Party’s Southern Strategy, Rothbard wrote, “there was nothing in Duke’s current program or campaign that could not also be embraced by paleo-conservatives or paleo-libertarians; lower taxes, dismantling the bureaucracy, slashing the welfare system, attacking affirmative action and racial set-asides, calling for equal rights for all Americans, including whites: what was wrong with any of that?”

Rothbard’s plan for a coalition was couched in the John Birch Society’s producer populism theory: “to tap the masses directly, to short circuit the dominant media and intellectual elites, to rouse the masses of people against the elites that are looting them, and confusing them, and oppressing them, both socially and economically.”  Furthermore, the ruling elites are an “unholy alliance of ‘corporate liberal’ Big Business and media elites, who, through big government, have privileged and caused to rise up a parasitic Underclass, who among them all, are looting and oppressing the bulk of the middle and working classes in America.”

In Rothbard’s formulation (and by extension Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell), to attract social conservatives and their opposition to “pornography, prostitution, or abortion” the “pro-legalization and pro-choice libertarians” should use states’ rights to “end the tyranny of the federal courts, and to leave these problems up to states, and better yet, localities and neighborhoods.” As I demonstrated in Parts IV-D and –E, Ron Paul has consistently followed this strategy in pushing opposition to civil rights, the establishment of religion, same-sex rights, and reproductive rights.

Voegile noted that in 2004 Buckley barely was able to support passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Wrote Buckley in an email exchange with Michael Kinsley, “‘I’d vote with trepidation, however, for the obvious reason that successful results cannot necessarily legitimize the means by which they were brought about.’”  As Voegile put it, “Buckley never retracted his limited government arguments against the civil rights agenda.”

In other words, taking Buckley’s final position, the continued efficacy of the Southern Strategy, Rothbard’s Duke-inspired economic libertarianism as strategy for a paleo-libertarian and paleo-conservative alliance, and Ron Paul’s consistent positions there is no evidence that conservatives are, in Sara Robinson’s term “past racism.” This is especially true at the ideological and institutional levels of analyses.

But the problem is both deeper and broader than the paragraph above suggests if one does not take into account—as all the analyses in the preceding section do not—the ideology, values, and organizational basis of the neo-Confederate movement, of which Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty and the Ludwig von Mises Institute are a part.

I have previously noted that Russell Kirk used his enormous influence and prestige to bring conservative Southern ideas into the mainstream of conservative thought and he defended the white supremacist South in 1958.

Emil Prague in 1996 wrote that the neo-Confederate movement was already a national movement.  Neo-Confederate writers had a broad revisionist view of American history going back to the American Revolution and the Civil War and that the movement represented a regressive “alienation to modernity.”  Steve Wilkins, one of the co-founders of the League of the South, was a Christian Reconstructionist theologian who promoted the idea of the Civil War as a “theological conflict.”  Prague argued that the neo-Confederate view underscored how much of the “Religious Right is underpinned by historical interpretation.” The neo-Confederate movement and the Christian Right were opposed to civil rights for minorities and women and gays, opposition to immigration, and for a “Christian nation.” According to Prague, “the neo-Confederacy is the historical ground which is tilled by these activists to grow a viewpoint, a consciousness, a political ideology, for a Confederate vision of America.”

Edward Sebesta also wrote that neo-Confederate ideas for conservatives are a “core binding element of their political beliefs.”  Sebesta summarized the neo-Confederate view of American history which has informed conservatives: “Essentially neo-Confederates believe that with the Civil War, Lincoln was able to expand the power of the federal government beyond constitutional limits, and that with the defeat of the Confederacy the ideals of states’ rights were defeated.  They believe that the 14th Amendment was illegally adopted.  To them this has resulted in the growth of federal government into a Leviathan, a very large monstrous beast in the bible….In this historical view big government, integration and Brown vs. Brown, gay rights, civil rights, feminism, minorities, taxes, FDR, and other issues can be viewed as the result of the American Republic jumping the tracks during the Civil War and being out of control.”

Like the Southern Manifesto which claimed that relations between the races during the Jim Crow era were “amicable” and based on “friendship and understanding,” the neo-Confederate movement sought to portrays racial relations under slavery as highly favorable to the slaves and a burden to the slave masters.  A book written in the 1950s claimed, “‘No, the Southern planter’s work was civilizing the poor, deluded Negro—the greatest missionary work known to history….The institution of slavery as it was in the South, so far from degrading the Negro was fast elevating him above his nature and his race.”

A survey of the slave conspiracy literature in 1993 noted that many of these studies had the “‘felt necessity of refuting the notion that American slaves were contented in their bondage.’”

Steven Wilkins and Douglas Wilson co-authored a 1996 book, Southern Slavery: As It Was, which claimed that “‘Slavery as it existed in the South…was a relationship based upon mutual affection and harmony….There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.’”

Sebesta asked two pertinent questions which underlie the “happy slave”  narrative of the neo-Confederate movement: “Can a being that would be content to be a slave really be considered fully human?  Can a person who would be content to be a slave really be thought to have a soul, spirit, an intellectual capacity?” The answers are obvious.

What is not so obvious is that this narrative, while it is not the same, it is a lesser form of Holocaust denial.  While Holocaust deniers deny that the Holocaust took place, the neo-Confederates acknowledge that slavery took place but the slaves loved their masters, there was mutual affection, harmony, and mutual intimacy.

Is it really any wonder why conservatives and libertarians continue to work against implementing civil rights legislation?

Sebesta provided the key organizations of the neo-Confederate.  The League of the South had as two of its “founding and charter members”  Lew Rockwell, co-founder with Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and Jeffrey Tucker, director of research at the Mises Institute.45

In addition to the Ludwig von Mises Institute, other leading neo-Confederate organizations include the Council of Conservative Citizens, Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Rockford Institute in Illinois.  There are many others.

In 2002, Sebesta reported that the League of the South, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Christian Reconstructionist Chalcedon Foundation accept the Civil War theological thesis that the war “was a theological war over the future of American religiosity fought between devout Confederate and heretical Union states” and that the Confederate “battle flag and other Confederate icons are Christian symbols and the assertion that opposition to them equates to a rejection of Christianity

Central to the concept of “banal white nationalism” is the much larger concept of the neo-Confederacy which has as its basic principles, among others: states’ rights, local control of schooling, Christian traditions, Confederate symbols, Southerners are persecuted as racists, a natural social hierarchy, white men being dominant in a social hierarchy stratified by race and gender, a disdain for gays and lesbians, and an opposition to modern democracy.  Much of this is no longer unique to neo-Confederates, but extends to Christian nationalists, variants of libertarianism, and other white nationalists.  Moreover, there are institutional linkages across domains such as Christian nationalist and libertarian organizations and white nationalist organizations.

It should therefore come as no surprise that there are two main flags associated with the Tea Party movement—the Confederate flag symbolizing slavery and treason (the neo-Confederates would prefer secession) and the Gadsden flag symbolizing patriotic revolution. Sebesta provides a more rounded understanding of the Confederate flag’s symbolism: “It is the very Confederate flag which represents a view that the holder’s interests are ultimately their white skin and a privileged position in society as a white man versus gays, minorities, feminists, immigrants, and others. The Confederate tradition is the anti-democratic tradition and short circuits the politics of class.” The anti-immigration movement used the Confederate flag as well as the Nazi flag—symbolizing the Holocaust and treason.  No Republican leadership objected.

That no Republican or Tea Party movement leaderships vociferously opposed the presence of the Confederate flag, or Nazi symbols or references, is indicative of just how pervasive this neo-Confederate mindset, banal white nationalism, and anti-Semitism are in the larger conservative movement.the proliferation of Nazi symbolism and rhetoric associated with the Tea Party movement.  David Harris, president of the NJDC, pointed out “roughly 50 instances in the past few months where either a media personality or a politician manufactured a Nazi analogy or Holocaust reference to push a point.”  Stein noted that the fifth-ranking Republican in the House, Cathy McMorris Rogers, offered this mild criticism: “I think the purpose of the town halls is for people to be able to express their views in an orderly and respectful manner, and that needs to take place on both sides.” In other words, both Democrats and Republicans were equally guilty.  Eric Cantor’s response to proliferation of Nazi symbols and analogies was to deem them “not, I think, very helpful.”

Sebesta differentiated “explicit white nationalism” from “banal white nationalism.”  In Sebesta’s view, “Explicit white nationalism is the activation of banal white nationalism.”  Explicit white nationalists apparently perceive that “there is a great majority of white people out there to support their agenda, that this majority is there to be activated.” Banal white nationalism are “words, actions, symbols, [and] objects” that are “widely diffused in the general white population” and work in “subtle, indirect, and unrecognized ways.” In Sebesta’s view, this “form of white nationalism is fairly extensive” and “more widely diffused in the general white population.” Part of this, by way of example, is how whites accommodate, often unthinkingly, words, phrases, or historical narratives that further the pursuit of the neo-Confederate agenda.  For example, neo-Confederates refer to their nation-state as “the South.”  It infuriates them that anyone would refer to that region of the United States as “Southeastern.” Another example is Senator Kerry praising Strom Thurmond for his service to the Senate while omitting any reference that Thurmond used the Confederacy’s states’ rights theory of the Civil War to oppose civil rights legislation.

The Neo-Confederate Movement

In their study of the development of the neo-Confederate movement Edward Sebesta and Euan Hague identified Robert Lewis Dabney, a rather marginal 19th century theologian, when judged against his contemporaries, as “arguably the most significant early advocate of a theological perspective of the Civil War.” Dabney served during the Civil War as the chaplain to General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.  After the war, Dabney argued in books and lectures, based on scripture, that slavery was justified by the Bible and that “slavery was a necessary good for what he called the ‘depraved’ classes.” Sebesta and Hague wrote, “Dabney believed that the Bible legitimated slavery, and thus opposition to slavery was tantamount to rejecting Christianity.” Based on their readings of this nineteenth century body of Southern Presbyterian Church literature and League of the South’s internet postings, Sebesta and Hague identified a “theological war thesis, an assessment that interprets the nineteenth century CSA [Confederate States of America] to be an orthodox Christian nation and understands the 1861-1865 US Civil War to have been a theological war over the future American religiosity fought between devout Christian and heretical Union states.”

Dabney’s post-Civil War writings established the theological cornerstone from which future Christian Reconstructionists and neo-Confederate theologians and strategists would expand their theological ideology and programmatic endeavors.  Sebesta and Hague identified several themes in Dabney’s writings: “governments were legitimate only if they derived from the will of God;” “condemned human equality and women’s rights… [and] opposed public schooling…justifying all his positions by Biblical interpretation;” “that modern science and development of the theory of evolution were ‘anti-theological’ and that amongst future generations this would result in a ‘nascent contempt for their father’s Bibles and irreparably damage the South’s ‘Christian households.’”

Three key theologians and theoreticians trace their own intellectual lineage back to Dabney—the late Rousas J. Rushdoony, founder of Christian Reconstructionism at the Chalcedon Foundation; Steven Wilkins, co-founder (with history professor Michael Hill) of the racist, secessionist League of the South; and Douglas Wilson, who heads the Association of Classical and Christian Schools, the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals, Credenda/Agenda, Canon Press, and New Saint Andrews College—all of them located in Moscow, Idaho.


The Christian Reconstructionist Component of the Neo-Confederate Movement

Frederick Clarkson, in his 1997 book Eternal Hostility—The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy—identified the key theological ideas of Christian Reconstructionism developed by Rushdoony: “the Bible is to be the governing text for all areas of life—such as government, education and law;” “Reconstructionists have formulated a ‘Biblical worldview’ and ‘Biblical principles’ to govern and inform their lives and politics;” “Reconstructionists…set a course of world conquest or ‘dominion,’ claiming a biblically prophesied ‘inevitable victory;’”  “Epitomizing the Reconstructionist idea of biblical ‘warfare’ is the centrality of capital punishment…for apostasy (abandonment of the faith), heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, ‘sodomy or homosexuality,’ incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and in the case of women, ‘unchastity before marriage’…[and] women who have had abortions should be publicly executed.”  Clarkson noted that Christian Reconstructionism is “arguably the driving ideology of the Christian Right today.”

That is not to imply that Christian Reconstructionism did not have variants or that the Christian Right adopted wholesale the Christian Reconstructionist theology, or did not have other theological influences.  The Christian Right, for example, has conveniently ignored or softened its approach to the death penalty for the wide variety of “crimes” demanded for by Rushdoony.  But, it has largely adopted its agenda.  Clarkson noted that the Christian nationalist’s Council for National Policy’s secular and theological agendas range “from the dismantling of the public schools, to the criminalization of abortion and homosexuality, the radical deregulation of every major consumer and environmental protection initiative of the federal government, and the weakening, if not elimination of civil rights laws protecting the interests of women and minorities.”

A decade later Michelle Goldberg in her 2007 book, Kingdom Coming—The Rise of Christian Nationalism, observed its totalitarian “elements.”  Goldberg wrote that Christian nationalism was a “totalistic political ideology” based “on the conviction that true Christianity must govern every aspect of public and private life, and that all—government, science, history, culture, and relationships—must be understood according to the dictates of scripture.  There are biblically correct positions on every issue, from gay marriage to income tax rates, and only those with the right worldview can discern them.”the historical revisionist interpretation of America being founded as a “Christian nation” is the “war on the courts.”  Goldberg noted that the “Christian nationalists view the courts as the last intolerable obstacle to their palingenetic dream.  Believing America to be a Christian nation, they see any ruling that contradicts their theology as de facto unconstitutional, and its enforcement tyrannical.  They’re convinced that they must destroy the judiciary’s power to liberate themselves.”  Moreover, the Christian nationalist effort to strip the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts from hearing cases related to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause “could let state governments criminalize abortion and gay sex [read vociferous advocacy of states’ rights under the Tenth Amendment].  It could sanction the reinstitution of school prayer and the teaching of creationism and permit the ever greater Christianization of the country’s social services…It could intrude into the most intimate corners of Americans’ private lives.”

Goldberg described one event (among several) in which Republican congressional staffers came together with neo-Confederates, Christian Reconstructionists, and others who had subconsciously absorbed Rushdoony’s dominionist message.

At a mid-2005 Confronting the Judicial War on Faith rally key speakers included Michael Peroutka, a prominent militia supporter, member of the League of the South, and former presidential candidate of the Constitution Party; Howard Phillips, founder and head of the Constitution Party; and, Herb Titus, the party’s former vice presidential candidate in 1996, and the founder and former dean of Oral Roberts’ Regent University Law School.  David Gibbs, a lawyer trained at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, subconsciously echoed the Christian revisionism of Rushdoony and David Barton, founder of the Texas-based Wallbuilders and leading pseudo-historian promoting the myth that America was founded as a “Christian nation.” Gibbs told the crowd, “‘How many here understand we were founded as one nation under God?…That’s why the Ten Commandments are so important.  They were the original source of American law.  The Bible was understood to be authoritative.  When the founding fathers said, ‘One Nation under God,’ they made the decision that they would submit to what God had put forward in his law.’”

The purpose of the Judicial War on Faith rally was to express support for the Constitution Restoration Act authored by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was impeached over his refusal to remove a nearly three-ton monument of the Ten Commandments from the capitol’s judicial building, and Herb Titus.  The Constitution Restoration Act was introduced in 2004 into the Senate by Senators Sam Brownback and Richard Shelby, and, the House by Representatives by James Sensenbrenner. Blumenthal reported that the Act “authorized Congress to impeach judges who failed to abide by ‘the standard of good behavior’ supposedly required by the Constitution.  Refusal to acknowledge ‘God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government,’ or reliance in any way on international law in their rulings would also trigger impeachment.”

Goldberg reported that the totalitarian elements and a desire for the physical destruction (death) to judges came from both religious and secular speakers.  Reverend Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America for “‘patriot pastors,’” prayed for the death of Judge George Greer who had decided the Schiavo case: “‘Father, we echo the words of the apostle Paul, because we know Judge Greer claims to be a Christian.  So the apostle Paul said in his First Corinthians 5…deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may saved in the day of our Lord Jesus.’”  The constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira in criticizing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in the Lawrence v. Texas case (in a defeat for states’ rights, it struck down Texas’ sodomy law), admiringly borrowed a truncated phrase from Joseph Stalin as a solution to the “‘personnel problem,’” “‘No man, no problem.’”  Goldberg gave Stalin’s full quote: “‘Death solves all problems: no man, no problem.’” Goldberg’s account is fully corroborated by Max Blumenthal who attended the Judicial War on Faith rally.

Chris Hedges in his 2006 book, American Fascists—The Christian Right and the War on America—reported on the “racist and brutal intolerance of the intellectual godfathers of today’s Christian Reconstructionism.”  Based on his reading of Rushdoony’s The Institutes of Biblical Law, Hedges observed that “The Jews, who neglected to fulfill God’s commands in the Hebrew scriptures, have, in this belief system, forfeited their place as God’s chosen people and have been replaced by Christians….Rushdoony dismissed the widely accepted estimate of 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust as an inflated figure, and his theories on race often echo those found in Nazi eugenics, in which there are higher and lower forms of human beings.  Those considered by the Christian state to be immoral and incapable of reform are to be exterminated.”

The other key development in movement towards an American theocracy is the influence of the John Birch Society upon R.J. Rushdoony and the Christian nationalists’ Council for National Policy.

Clarkson noted that Rushdoony admired the cellular structure of the John Birch Society as having a ‘strong resemblance to the early church.’”  Furthermore, Christian “Reconstructionist literature can be found in JBS affiliated American Opinion bookstores.  Indeed, the conspiracist views of Reconstructionist writers (focusing on the United Nations and the Council on Foreign Relations, among others) are consistent with those of the John Birch Society.”  While the Christian Reconstructionists placed their primary emphasis on orthodox Christianity rather than politics, Clarkson noted that in the “1990s the JBS worldview is more persuasive to more people when packaged as a Biblical worldview.” In other words, there is market segmentation where the same conspiracy theory can be presented to two different, even mutually exclusive target audiences, in two different narratives, one orthodox Christian and the other secular.  But, Chip Berlet and Matthew Lyons in their analysis of the John Birch Society noted that the influence could also run in the opposite direction.  They reported that the “influence of fundamentalist Christian beliefs on Birch doctrine are often obscured by the group’s ostensible secular orientation.  As Welch [founded the JBS in 1958] put it, “‘This is a world-wide battle, between lightness and darkness; between freedom and slavery; between the spirit of Christianity and spirit of [sic] anti-Christ for the souls and bodies of men.’”

Clarkson quoted investigative journalist Russ Ballant that the Council for National Policy “‘was inspired by business and political leaders who were also leaders of the John Birch Society.’” Nelson Bunker Hunt, a member of the John Birch Society’s national council, assisted Tim LaHaye, a former JBS trainer and later co-author of the very successful Left Behind series of fictiona ‘Rapture’ novels, in founding the Council for National Policy.


Other Neo-Confederate Associations

the radical anti-tax group, The Patriot Network.  They characterized him as “very sympathetic to the patriot’s cause.”  On the website, Ron Paul makes this statement:  “If we stuck to the Constitution as written, we would have no federal meddling in our schools; no Federal Reserve; no U.S. membership in the UN; no gun control; and no foreign aid.  We would have no welfare for big corporations; or the ‘poor;’ …no arrogant federal judges usurping states’ rights; no attacks on private property; no income tax.  We could get rid of most of the cabinet departments, most of the agencies, and most of the budget.” This is a mixture of Christian Reconstructionism and Posse Comitatus ideology.  There should be no surprise that the founder of The Patriot Network is also the founder of the South Carolina Constitution Party and the state’s Libertarian Party.

The CIA’s Hidden Agendas

December 15, 2011

by Craig Gottlieb

Since at least 1981, a worldwide network of ‘free-standing’ [i.e., no direct U.S. government ties] companies, including airlines, aviation and military spare parts suppliers, and trading companies, has been utilized by the CIA and the U.S. government to illegally ship arms and military spare parts to Iran and to the Contras. These companies were set up with the approval and knowledge of senior CIA officials and other senior U.S. government officials and staffed primarily by ex-CIA, ex-FBI and ex-military officers.

These CIA-controlled companies include Aero Systems, Inc., of Miami, Arrow Air, Aero Systems Pvt. Ltd of Singapore, Hierax of Hong Kong, Pan Aviation in Miami, Merex in Georgia, Sur International, St. Lucia Airways, Global International Airways, International Air Tours of Nigeria, Continental Shelf Explorations, Inc., Jupiter, Florida, Varicon, Inc., Dane Aviation Supply of Miami, Parvus, Safir, International Trading and Investment Guaranty Corp., Ltd., and Information Security International Inc., Zenith Technical Enterprises, Ltd., Mineral Carriers, Ltd.

During the Iran Contra affair, General Secord’s arms shipments, arraigned through the CIA, transferred weapons destined for Central America to MEREX CORP,  (MEREX INTERNATIONAL ARMS), Savannah, Ga. Combat Military Ordinances Ltd., once controlled by a CIA-employed retired military officer, Ja,mes P. Atwood, occupied the Merex address. Atwood, a retired Lieutenant Colonel of U.S. Military Intelligence and later a CIA officer station in their Berlin office, was involved in major arms trades with CIA-sponsored international buyers, specifically Middle Eastern Arab states. Monzer Al-Kassar utilized the Merex firm for some of his weapons transactions with the Enterprise.  Merex weapons systems was founded by Otto Skorzeny’s associate Gerhard Mertins[1] in Bonn after the war and was considered a CIA proprietary firm. Mertex was close to and worked with the BND, the German intelligence service evolved from the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization.

 Atwood was involved with Interarmco, run by Samuel Cummings, an Englishman who ran the largest arms firm in the world. Cummings died in Monaco because he had looted his CIA employers and found that principality safer than Warrenton, Virginia. Also connected with Atwood’s firm were Collector’s Armory, Thomas Nelson Prop, and a George Petersen of Springfield, Virginia, and Emmanuel (Manny) Wiegenberg, a Canadian arms dealer.and look into Atwood’s role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement. The head of the Canada Desk at the Company was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. This is a chapter that the CIA does not want discussed. Also look into Atwood’s connections with Skorzeny and the IRA/Provo wing.

 One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979 and I have a file on this as well (but not here) You might also want to investigate the shipping of weapons into the southern Mexican provinces by Atwood and his Guatemala based consortium. Atwood had a number of ex-Gestapo and SD people on board,some of whom were wanted. Klaus Barbie was also connected.

 Barbie, who was Gestapo chief in Lyon, France, during the war, worked for the CIC after the war and fled to South America when his American handlers tipped him off. Barbie took some of the hidden Nazi gold and invested it in several businesses and  also continued to prosper by starting the Estrella Company which sold bark, coca paste, and assault weapons to a former SS officer, Frederich Schwend in Lima, Peru. Schwend had been trained by the OSS in the early 1940s after he had informed Allen Dulles that the German SS had hidden millions in gold, cash, and loot as the European war was winding down. Atwood knew about the Weissensee hoard but didn’t have what I obtained from Bob Crowley, to wit the overlay for the map that showed what was buried and where.  Both Schwend and Barbie formed Transmaritania which was a shipping company that also generated millions of dollars in profits from the cocaine business. They purchased their weapons from another SS colleague, Colonel Otto Skorzeny who had been head of SS Commando units towards the end of the war, later worked for the CIA  and had started the Merex weapons business in Bonn after the war. Also a person to consider is one Walter Rauff, a senior SD officer, friend of Dulles and once head of the SD in Milan (after a tour in Tunesia as head of the SD there during Rommel’s campaign in Africa. The Rauff story is even more entertaining than the Barbie one and more disruptive. Rauff worked for the CIA and I got a lovely Renoir painting from him (probably looted) that will look nice in my new study in France.

 Since at least 1981, a worldwide network of independent  [i.e., no direct U.S. government ties] companies, including airlines, aviation and military spare parts suppliers, and trading companies, has been utilized by the CIA and the U.S. government to illegally ship Aero Systems Pvt. Ltd arms and military spare parts to Iran and to the Contras. These companies were set up with the approval and knowledge of senior CIA officials and other senior U.S. government officials and staffed primarily by ex-CIA, ex-FBI and ex-military officers.

These CIA-controlled companies include Aero Systems, Inc., of Miami, Arrow Air, of Singapore, Hierax of Hong Kong, Pan Aviation in Miami, Merex in Georgia, Sur International, St. Lucia Airways, Global International Airways, International Air Tours of Nigeria, Continental Shelf Explorations, Inc., Jupiter, Florida, Varicon, Inc., Dane Aviation Supply of Miami, Parvus, Safir, International Trading and Investment Guaranty Corp., Ltd.,  Air America, CAA, and Information Security International Inc.

During the Iran Contra affair, General Secord’s arms shipments, arraigned through the CIA, transferred weapons destined for Central America to Merex Corporation(Merex International Arms)  of Savannah, Ga. The Merex address  was occupied by Combat Military Ordinances Ltd., controlled by retired  military officer James P. Atwood.  Atwood, a retired  Lieutenant Colonel of U.S. Military Intelligence, [and later a CIA contract worker], stationed in their Berlin office, was  involved in major arms trades with CIA-sponsored international buyers, specifically Middle Eastern Arab states. Monzer Al-Kassar utilized the Merex firm for some of his weapons transactions with the CIA-controlled international weapons cartel.

Merex systems was founded by Otto Skorzeny’s associate Gerhard Mertins in Bonn after the war and was considered a CIA proprietary firm. Merex was close to and worked with the BND, the German intelligence service evolved from the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization. Atwood was involved with Interarmco, run by Samuel Cummings, an Englishman who ran the largest arms firm in the world. Cummings died in Monaco Carlo with a country place at Villars in the Swiss Alps. where he resettled in 1960 because he had looted his CIA employers and found European residence safer than Warrenton, Virginia.

 Interarms (formerly  Interarmco and officially the International Armaments Corporation) was the world’s largest private arms dealer, and once had enough weapons in their warehouses to equip forty U.S. divisions. The sole owner was Sam Cummings, who got his start working with the CIA to procure weapons for the 1954 coup in Guatemala

A most interesting individual was James P. Atwood (April 16, 1930- July 20, 1997).

A top US Army Intelligence agent and important CIA contract worker and former FBI employee who ran guns, drugs, counterfeit rare German daggers, stolen archives and much more in and out of various countries from his headquarters in Savannah, Georgia.

During his career, Atwood worked with the CIA’s Sam Cummings, Tom Nelson, Jim Critchfield and many others

Atwood’s activities are linked to Robert Crowley (who knew him and disliked him) ,to Jim Critchfield and a number of other CIA luminaries.

Arrested by the Army’s CIC in the early 60s, for misuse of government mail, tax fraud and other matters,  Atwood  got the CIA to force the charges against him dropped. All the paperwork was supposed to have been destroyed but a copy of the 62 count indictment plus the Chicago Federal judge’s orders have survived.

Atwood operated in the Middle East, Germany and Central America. He sold US secrets to Marcus Wolfe of the Stasi and the BND photographed them together in East Berlin

He smuggled guns into Guatemala and Nicaragua and drugs into the US.

Atwood’s role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement. The head of the Canada Desk at the Company was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. This is a chapter that the CIA does not want discussed. Atwood’s connections with Skorzeny and the IRA/Provo wing make dramatic reading. One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who ran the cell that blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. There is also the shipping of weapons into the southern Mexican provinces by Atwood and his Guatemala based consortium. Oceanic Cargo.

Atwood had a number of ex-Gestapo and SD people on board, some of whom were wanted for war crimes.

Both Schwend and Klaus Barbie formed Transmaritania which was a shipping company that also generated millions of dollars in profits from the cocaine business. They purchased their weapons from another SS colleague, Colonel Otto Skorzeny who had been head of SS Commando units towards the end of the war, later worked for the CIA and had started the Merex weapons business in Bonn after the war. Another Atwood contact was one Walter Rauff, a senior SD officer, friend of Dulles and once head of the SD in Milan (after a tour in Tunisia as head of the SD there during Rommel’s campaign in Africa.) The Rauff story is even more entertaining than the Barbie one and more disruptive when it becomes public. Rauff worked for the CIA, lived unmolested and well protected by the CIA, in South America .

While Atwood was involved in supplying weapons to Cuban insurgents for the Bay of Pigs incident, he stated to a number of his associates that he learned of highly classified information on the accidental release, in Florida, of deadly toxins that the CIA was planning to use in advance of the invasion to “soften up” Castro’s militia.

The designated head of the CIA, Porter Goss, was a CIA agent in Florida at this time, was involved in the planning and expected execution of the Cuban invasion and suddenly became “very ill”, as his specs on Google point out, and had to retire. Atwood told his friends that Goss, later a Florida political figure, was a participating party in this specific part of the CIA invasion plans.

In 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was considerable concern expressed in US intelligence circles about the whereabouts, and also the security of, certain ex-Soviet military tactical atomic warheads. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union launched R&D to miniaturize and improve reliability of nuclear weapons. Development activities included strategic systems for the Navy; cruise missiles, aviation bombs and artillery projectiles [the smallest nuclear charge was developed for a 152mm artillery projectile].The model is based on unclassified data on the components in an atomic artillery shell, to see if such a system could be reassembled in a suitcase. Indeed, as it turns out, the physics package, neutron generators, batteries, arming mechanism and other essentials of a small atomic weapon can fit, just barely, in an attaché case. The result is a plutonium-fueled gun-type atomic weapon having a yield of one-to-ten kilotons, the same yield range attributed  in a 1998 US media interview by General Lebed to the Russian “nuclear suitcase” weapon.”

The smallest possible bomb-like object would be a single critical mass of plutonium (or U-233) at maximum density under normal conditions. An unreflected spherical alpha-phase critical mass of Pu-239 weighs 10.5 kg and is 10.1 cm across.

In 1992, following his successful treasure hunt in Austria, James Atwood, the former Interarmco people and an Israeli Russian named  Yurenko (actually Schemiel  Gofshstein) formed a consortium in conjunction with James Critchfield, retired senior CIA specialist on oil matters in the Mideast  to obtain a number of these obsolete but still viable weapons. Both Critchfield and the Interarmco people had, at the behest of the CIA, supplied weapons to the rebels in Afghanistan during their protracted struggle with the Soviet Union. Critchfield worked with the Dalai Lama of Tibet in a guerrilla war against Communist China and headed a CIA task force during the Cuban missile crisis. He also ran regional agency operations when the two superpowers raced to secure satellites first in Eastern Europe, then in the Middle East. In the early 1960s, Critchfield recommended to the CIA that the United States support the Baath Party, which staged a 1963 coup against the Iraqi government that the CIA believed was falling under Soviet influence. Critchfield later boasted, during the Iran-Iraq war that he and the CIA “had created Saddam Hussein.” With the growing political importance of Middle East oil, he became the CIA’s national intelligence officer for energy in the late 1960s and early 1970s, then an energy policy planner at the White House. He also fronted a dummy CIA corporation in the Middle East known as Basic Resources, which was used to gather OPEC-related intelligence for the Nixon administration. .

Critchfield was the chief of the CIA’s Near East and South Asia division in the 1960s and a national intelligence officer for energy as the oil shortage crisis began in the early 1970s.  Officially retiring from the CIA in 1974, Critchfield became a consultant, corporate president of Tetra Tech International  a Honeywell Inc. subsidiary  and which managed oil, gas, and water projects in the strategic Masandam Peninsula. It sits on the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the West’s oil is transported. At the same time, Critchfield was a primary adviser to the Sultan of Oman., focusing on Middle East energy resources, especially those in Oman.


Guys, No Dealing Drugs at the Office – I’m Trying to Run a Ponzi Scheme Here

Lowering the Bar


            Lots of entertainment value in the transcripts of Scott Rothstein’s deposition, which was taken in December. As you may recall, Rothstein was one of our nation’s top Ponzi schemers until the scam came to light in 2009, whereupon he briefly fled to Morocco before deciding to return and plead guilty. See, e.g., “Wanna Buy a Watch? Asks Man With Golden Toilet,” Lowering the Bar (Feb. 19, 2010); see also Scott Rothstein: Why Go to Morocco?” and “Scott Rothstein: Why Come Back From Morocco?Lowering the Bar (both Feb. 23, 2010). Rothstein’s deposition was taken in a case related to his scheme; he is being as candid as possible, he says, because full cooperation is his only chance to not die in prison.

            Hence the entertainment value.

            All the transcripts are available at the website of plaintiffs’ law firm, Conrad & Scherer, but Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal have been posting some good excerpts. In this one, for example, Rothstein takes offense at being compared to über-Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff, even though Madoff Ponzi-schemed 20 to 50 times as much as Rothstein’s lame $1.2 billion. Madoff is a scumbag, according to Rothstein, because he hasn’t ratted out his partners. “Madoff should have taken me, and I’m proud to say this, as an example as to what you do when you want to do the right thing…. Because if you think he did that by himself, then you don’t know anything about how these crimes work.” I’m fine with the guy turning on his co-conspirators, I’m just not sure it raises his moral standing.

            The better one, though, is the excerpt in which Rothstein says many of his law partners smoked pot in the office, some on a daily basis:

Q: [T]hat wasn’t incorporated in the rock-star lifestyle, using drugs with any of your investors or co-conspirators?

Rothstein: No, actually, never. Actually, I had a lot of opportunities to because there was a lot of marijuana smoking going on in my office, but it wasn’t something — I prefer to drink vodka.

Q: Actually in the office it was going on?

Rothstein: In the office, in the garage, outside the office, I had some partners that couldn’t come to work without smoking pot.

This is a shocking revelation, of course, because most big-firm partners prefer meth. But even worse, Rothstein says that some were actually dealing drugs from the office. This is where Rothstein claims he tried to draw the line:

Rothstein: I actually tried to put a stop to that.

Q: That was one crime you wouldn’t tolerate?

Rothstein: No, no, it’s not that. I didn’t want to draw attention. You don’t want to have marijuana dealing from the middle of your law office because I was running a giant Ponzi scheme out of there.

Q: Did you ever have any of the escorts visit the office?

Rothstein: Yeah. Sure.

Q: You had had prostitutes in the office, but you wouldn’t have pot?

Rothstein: You’re missing the point. The police also were sleeping with my escorts…. Pot, not a great idea in the office, I don’t know why, specifically, it bothered me; … probably because they were actually dealing the pot out of the office while I was in the middle of running a several-hundred-million-dollar Ponzi scheme.

(Emphasis added.) “Hey, guys, could you do me a favor here and not deal drugs out of the office? Your illegal conduct is gonna ruin my giant Ponzi scheme. I’m working my butt off here – can I get just a little cooperation? … No, the whores are fine.”

There are almost certainly other gems in these lengthy transcripts, if anybody has time to do the mining.


Did Psychopaths Take Over Wall Street Asylum?: William D. Cohan


January 2, 2012

by William D. Cohan


It took a relatively obscure former British academic to propagate a theory of the financial crisis that would confirm what many people suspected all along: The “corporate psychopaths” at the helm of our financial institutions are to blame.

Clive R. Boddy, most recently a professor at the Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University, says psychopaths are the 1 percent of “people who, perhaps due to physical factors to do with abnormal brain connectivity and chemistry” lack a “conscience, have few emotions and display an inability to have any feelings, sympathy or empathy for other people.”

As a result, Boddy argues in a recent issue of the Journal of Business Ethics, such people are “extraordinarily cold, much more calculating and ruthless towards others than most people are and therefore a menace to the companies they work for and to society.”

How do people with such obvious personality flaws make it to the top of seemingly successful corporations? Boddy says psychopaths take advantage of the “relative chaotic nature of the modern corporation,” including “rapid change, constant renewal” and high turnover of “key personnel.” Such circumstances allow them to ascend through a combination of “charm” and “charisma,” which makes “their behaviour invisible” and “makes them appear normal and even to be ideal leaders.”


Stable Environment

Until the last third of the 20th century, he writes, companies were mostly stable and slow to change. Lifetime employment was a reasonable expectation and people rose through the ranks.

This stable environment meant corporate psychopaths “would be noticeable and identifiable as undesirable managers because of their selfish egotistical personalities and other ethical defects.”

For Wall Street — a rapidly changing and highly dynamic corporate environment if there ever was one, especially when the firms transformed themselves from private partnerships into public companies with quarterly reporting requirements — the trouble started when these charmers made their way to corner offices of important financial institutions.

Then, according to Boddy’s “Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the Global Financial Crisis,” these men were “able to influence the moral climate of the whole organization” to wield “considerable power.”

They “largely caused the crisis” because their “single- minded pursuit of their own self-enrichment and self- aggrandizement to the exclusion of all other considerations has led to an abandonment of the old-fashioned concept of noblesse oblige, equality, fairness, or of any real notion of corporate social responsibility.”

Boddy doesn’t name names, but the type of personality he describes is recognizable to all from the financial crisis.

He says the unnamed “they” seem “to be unaffected” by the corporate collapses they cause. These psychopaths “present themselves as glibly unbothered by the chaos around them, unconcerned about those who have lost their jobs, savings and investments, and as lacking any regrets about what they have done. They cheerfully lie about their involvement in events, are very convincing in blaming others for what has happened and have no doubts about their own worth and value. They are happy to walk away from the economic disaster that they have managed to bring about, with huge payoffs and with new roles advising governments how to prevent such economic disasters.”


‘Reasoning Aptitudes’

In closing his short essay, Boddy recognizes that the theory is relatively untested and would benefit from “further development and research” into the “personalities and moral reasoning aptitudes of the leaders” of the companies that got into serious trouble in the financial crisis.

In an e-mail correspondence with me, he said his article has been warmly received and has been downloaded 9,440 times in the past 90 days. “Apparently this is a lot for an academic article and it is more than the next four most-downloaded papers combined,” he wrote.

He also has a prescription for how to prevent psychopaths from getting into positions of power on Wall Street and elsewhere.

“Anyone who makes decisions that affect significant numbers of other people, concerning issues of corporate social responsibility or toxic waste, for example, or concerning mass financial markets or mass employment, should be screened to make sure that they are, at the very least, not psychopaths and at most are actually people who care about others,” he wrote.

Makes sense to me.


(William D. Cohan, a former investment banker and the author of “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World,” is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Santorum: “That’s Latin for Asshole”

January 4, 2012

by Jefffrey St. Clair



Editors’ Note: In honor of Rick Santorum’s sudden emergence in the Iowa caucuses as the anti-Romney du jour, CounterPunch is reprinting this 2003 profile of the Pennsylvania zealot about his career in the United States senate, where he was almost universally reviled as both stupid and mean by his colleagues and staff. –AC / JSC

Rick Santorum had only been in the senate for a few weeks when Bob Kerrey, then Senator from Nebraska, pegged him. “Santorum, that’s Latin for asshole.” It was probably the funniest line the grim Kerrey ever uttered and it was on the mark, too.

Such a stew of sleazy self-righteousness and audacious stupidity has not been seen in the senate since the days of Steve Symms, the celebrated moron from Idaho. In 1998, investigative reporter Ken Silverstein fingered Santorum as the dumbest member of congress in a story for The Progressive. Considering the competition, that’s an achievement of considerable distinction.

Even Santorum’s staff knows the senator is a vacuous boob prone to outrageous gaffs and crude outbursts of unvarnished bigotry. For years, they kept him firmly leashed, rarely permitting him to attend a press interview without a senior staffer by his side. They learned the hard way. While in serving in the House, Santorum was asked by a reporter to explain why his record on environmental policy was so dreadful. Santorum replied by observing that the environment was of little consequence in God’s grand plan. “Nowhere in the Bible does it say that America will be here 100 years from now.” The reference was to the Rapture, which apparently is impending.

Santorum is the self-anointed prophet of family values on the Hill, who issues frequent jeremiads on the threats Hollywood fare poses to the “fabric of American culture.” Of course, these sermons are hard to swallow from a man with Santorum’s resume. After all, before entering Congress Santorum worked as a lobbyist. His top client? The World Wrestling Federation.

But now the Republican leadership, apparently cruising along in self-destruct mode, has elevated Santorum to the number three spot in the senate and his staff can’t run interference for him anymore. The results have been comically predictable. Six months ago, Santorum penned an op-ed for a Christian paper blaming the sexual molestation scandals in the Catholic Church on “the culture of liberalism.” Surely, an omen that the senator from Pennsylvania wasn’t quite ready for prime time.

So it came to pass that on April 7, Santorum sat down for an interview with AP reporter Lara Jordan. He should have been on his guard. After all, Jordan is married to Jim Jordan, who oversees John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz, despises Santorum. He inherited the senate seat left open when her previous husband, John Heinz, perished in a plane. “Santorum is critical of everything, indifferent to nuance, and incapable of compromise,” Heinz said. This should have been a warning signal to Santorum that the interview with Jordan might be hostile terrain, but his intellectual radar seems to function about as well as Baghdad’s air defense system. Post-war, that is.

After a brisk discussion of the degeneracy of American culture, the interview turned to the subject of the pending Supreme Court case on sodomy laws. Like most religious zealots, Santorum is obsessed not just with homosexuals but with visualizing the postures and physical mechanics of homosexual love. He seized on her question with an enthusiasm many Republicans reserve for discussions of the tax code.

“I have no problem with homosexuality,” Santorum pronounced. “I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with acts of other, what I would consider to be, acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. And that includes a variety of different acts, not just homosexual. I have nothing, absolutely nothing against anyone who’s homosexual. If that’s their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations. The question is, do you act upon those orientations? So it’s not the person, it’s the person’s actions. And you have to separate the person from their actions.”

In the past, one of Santorum’s staffers would have found some way to interrupt the interview and deftly muzzle the senator. But he was flying solo and evidently trying to impress Ms. Jordan with his encyclopedic knowledge of the work of Krafft-Ebbing. Note the senator’s excited and flirtatious tone.

AP: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?

SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that [have] sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold – Griswold was the contraceptive case – and abortion. And now we’re just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you – this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it’s my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that’s antithetical to strong, healthy families. Whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, where it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.

“Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality

At this point, even the unnerved reporter tried to rein in Santorum. “I’m sorry,” Jordan interjected. “I didn’t think I was going to talk about ‘man on dog’ with a United States senator, it’s sort of freaking
me out.”

But the man was on a roll and there was no stopping him. “And that’s sort of where we are in today’s world, unfortunately,” Santorum said. “The idea is that the state doesn’t have
rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there
are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we’re seeing it in our society.”

There you have it. A case study in the politics of pathological homophobia. Despite outcries from gay Republicans, Bush stood by Santorum in his hour of media martyrdom: “The president believes the senator is an inclusive man,” Ari Fleishcer informed the press. “And that’s what he believes.” Santorum’s pal Tom Delay, the pest exterminator-turned-Republican House Majority Leader, was ebullient. He called Santorum’s remarks “courageous.”

Trent Lott must be snickering in the senate cloakroom.

Santorum, the Mullah Omar of Pennsylvania, is a ridiculous spectacle but he can’t be taken lightly. He is the slick-haired darling of the neo-cons, an obedient automaton that feverishly promotes their wildest fantasies without hesitation.

Undeterred by the First Amendment, Santorum says planning to introduce legislation that will limit criticism of Israel in colleges and universities that receive federal money.

And his passion for Israel is so profound that it obviates even his rancid homophobia. When it comes to the Middle East, liberal Democrats race to co-sponsor legislation with him. Most recently, Santorum and Barbara Boxer teamed up to introduce the Syria Accountability Act, which would inflict trade sanctions on Syria like those which gripped Iraq for 12 years, killing nearly one million children. Talk about family values.

Sure, Santorum is an asshole. But he’s not one of a kind.

Jeffrey St. Clair’s latest book is Born Under a Bad Sky. He is the co-editor of Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

Pot smoking not tied to middle-age mental decline

In the study, past and current users of marijuana actually scored higher on memory tests than those who didn’t use the drug.

January 4, 2012


Middle-aged adults whose memories have grown hazy can’t blame occasional pot smoking or other light illicit drug use for their forgetfulness, according to a British study, although experts warn heavy, prolonged use could harm mental functions.

The study, carried in the American Journal of Epidemiology, tested the mental function and memory of nearly 9,000 Britons at age 50 and found that those who had used illegal drugs as recently as in their 40s did just as well, or slightly better, on the tests than peers who had never used drugs.

 Marijuana was by far the most common indulgence for the participants — who were surveyed at age 42 about current or past drug use, then tested at age 50 — with six percent saying they had used it in the past year, while one-quarter said they had ever used it.

 Other drugs they were asked about included amphetamines, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine and ecstasy — with anywhere from three percent to eight percent of study participants saying they’d ever used those drugs.

 “Overall, at the population level, the results seem to suggest that past or even current illicit drug use is not necessarily associated with impaired cognitive functioning in early middle age,” said lead researcher Alex Dregan, of King’s College London.

 “However, our results do not exclude possible harmful effects in some individuals who may be heavily exposed to drugs over longer periods of time.”

 A small subset of participants who said they had ever been treated for their drug use, which could suggest heavy or addicted drug use, did not fare as well cognitively at 50, but there were too few of them to draw meaningful conclusions, the study authors noted.

 Dregan’s team used data on 8,992 42-year-olds participating in a UK national health study, who were asked if they had ever used any of 12 illegal drugs. Then, at the age of 50, they took standard tests of memory, attention and other cognitive abilities.

 Overall, the study found, there was no evidence that current or past drug users had poorer mental performance. In fact, when current and past users were lumped together, their test scores tended to be higher.

 But that advantage was small, the researchers said, and might just reflect another finding — that people who’d ever used drugs generally had a higher education level than non-users.

 “In a Western population of occasional drug users, this is what you’d expect to see,” said John Halpern, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, who has studied the potential cognitive effects of drug use.

 “In some ways, this is not surprising. The brain is resilient.”

 Though some studies have found that drugs like marijuana and cocaine may cloud thinking, memory and attention in the short term, the current findings support the notion that those effects may be temporary, Dregan’s team said.

 Halpern noted that work focusing on people who have smoked pot regularly for years showed that once they stop the drugs, their deficits on cognitive tests improve after a month.

 Still, he said this should not be taken as an endorsement of drug use, noting that the current study did not rule out the possibility of lasting negative cognitive effects from heavy, prolonged drug use.

 (Reporting from New York by Amy Norton at Reuters Health; Editing by Elaine Lies and Yoko Nishikawa)

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:




Conversation No. 107

Date: Sunday, October 19, 1997
Commenced: 3:30 PM CST

Concluded: 3:50 PM CST

RTC: How are you this fine day, Gregory? Up and at ‘em?

GD: Trying to catch up on some of your documents. This Afghan business is interesting. One of the most consistently volatile areas on earth. Full of savage, very competent guerrilla warriors.

RTC: Oh yes, I give you that. When we decided to enter the lists there in ’79, we were well aware of the make up of the country. Utter, backward savages but very, very effective guerrilla warriors. We felt at the time that if we could lock the Soviets in to a drawn out war, they would lose it, take terrible personnel losses and hemorrhage money the way we did in ‘Nam. It worked like a charm. We got the Saudis in this with us and they did a wonderful job. They trained the locals, armed them with weapons we sent them and did everything they could to help us field a good response to Ivan.

GD: Well, I was reading about the Russian copters and how you gave the rag heads the small missiles to knock them down. Up to that point, those choppers were a deadly weapon for the Russians.

RTC: Well, we did our best and we won, we won there and they lost. We avenged ‘Nam if you want to look at it that way.

GD: But they did the fighting.

RTC: So much better for us, don’t you think?

GD: But the Russians must have known what they were getting into. They had a long history with the rag heads down there. Why invade a totally hostile area?

RTC: Well, something to do but also because of the opium down there. Outside of our dear friends the Turks, Afghanistan is the world’s largest grower of opium. Immense money to be made there, my boy.

GD: I can imagine. And do we?

RTC: Of course we do. Started out in the golden triangle under my direction and just spread out. We set them up there, gave them pep talks, money and guns. No, they are on our side…or were.

GD: ‘Were’ is a good word. You can’t trust tribal people like that. Give them guns to kill you enemy and when he’s dead, they’ll turn on you.

RTC: Much too pessimistic, Gregory, much to pessimistic. Although I haven’t been in harness for some time, I keep in touch. No, those people love us, make book on it.

GD: I don’t trust the Saudis, either. They hate us, Robert. I went to college with one of their royal family and he gave me quiet an insight. The royal family came from generations of camel thieves and I wouldn’t trust one of them to the corner for a pound of butter. We buy their oil and they smile and give us gold pen sets, just like you do to the boobies who help you for free. Thee is a large body of well-trained terrorists or freedom fighters as you will, looking for more exciting work. And the Saudis do not want them looking at their country.

RTC: Well, the Saudis do hate us, quietly, but they own the Afghans and their people run them there. Most of the leaders of the so-called activist movements in Afghanistan are Saudis. Of course to a stupid American, all Arabs look the same. Agreed they dislike the infidels in the west but they sell their oil for American dollars, don’t they?
GD: Oh subtle one, oh serpent, as the line went. As I said, the Saudi leadership, their royal family, descend directly from brigands and camel thieves so don’t be astounded if they sic the other ones onto us. What would they gain? Getting us out of the Middle East for one thing. I mean getting our military people out of there. And because they hate Israel with a passion, our ass kissing of those Mongol assholes will get us into real trouble.

RTC: And what do you propose, Gregory?
GD: Me? I know nothing but if it were up to me, I would get my pink ass out of that area and deal with everyone equally. When the Jews saw we were no longer their bigger brother, believe me, they would settle up with the Arabs in jig time. Oh, do excuse the awful racial remark there. Anyway, I think your people opened a Pandora Box giving weapons to those people. And they did terrible things to captured Russians. Tortured and killed them.

RTC: Yes, one of the more enjoyable aspects of the whole business. A dead Russian whose head is being used as a soccer ball can’t fight us, can he?
GD: As ye sow, Robert, so shall ye reap.

RTC: My God, don’t drag the Bible into this. We did terrible damage to the Soviets, who, by the way, were our enemies at the time. They supported North Korea, didn’t they? Yes, I can tell you they did. So, what’s wrong with our supporting the Afghanistanis?

GD: Well, it isn’t something I would have done but then I am not the shield and buckler of the nation.

RTC: Ah, well now there you go! Right on the old nail head, Gregory. If it weren’t for the CIA, where would we be? Probably an occupied country.

GD: Can we forget the little question of the opium? On the one hand, this has become a nation of drug addicts and most of the drug, other than the glue-sniffers, get their drugs from the Mexicans, who get it from the Columbians, who, in turn, get the raw opium from Afghanistan courtesy of Air America. Crime rates soar, jails are packed, billions are spent on this but I suppose someone in Washington, or Langley, lives in a nice place, has a boat, a summer house on Long Island and another one in Bermuda. Well, so much for pragmatic sanctions.

GD: An historical joke, Robert. Anyway, knowing you, I doubt if you made a dime from the drug business.

RTC: Of course not. We got the political benefit in my department and at my level and others lower down, got the money.. You can’t make an omelet, Gregory, without breaking a few eggs.

GD: A favorite phrase of Ulanov.

RTC: Lenin, of course. At certain elevated levels, it’s all just a game.

GD: Unless your grandson overdoses, Robert.

(Concluded at 3:50 PM CST)


Dramatis personae:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Mertins Gerhard – Hauptmann – Fallsch.Pi.Btl. 5 – 6. Dezember 1944 RK

No responses yet

Leave a Reply