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TBR News July 22, 2019

Jul 22 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. July 22, 2019:

“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for July 22:” A good friend who is in one of the investigative agencies, loaned me a complete copy of what Mueller is going to testify to before Congress. Be prepared to be not surprised. We are dealing here with sleazy crooks, con men, tax cheats, frauds and more.  Enjoy!”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Explainer: Send him back? What it would take for Congress to impeach Trump
  • Robert Mueller: ‘damning and explosive’ testimony expected before Congress
  • Donald Trump’s Russian Connections
  • Tale of the Terrible Neighbor
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

Explainer: Send him back? What it would take for Congress to impeach Trump

July 22, 2019

by Jan Wolfe and Richard Cowan

Reuters

(Reuters) – A dark cloud of impeachment has threatened President Donald Trump for many months, with Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, where any such effort to remove him from office would begin, divided about whether to proceed.

In American politics, few procedures are as arduous or as divisive as the Constitution’s carefully balanced law for ousting a chief executive found to be unfit to serve.

No president has ever been removed as a direct result of it. One, President Richard Nixon, resigned before he could be removed. Two, presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were impeached by the House, but not convicted by the Senate.

Since he took office in January 2017, Trump has been under investigation. A turning point came in mid-April with the release of a redacted version of a long-awaited report from former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

On Wednesday, Mueller will testify before two House committees about his report, with Democrats planning to focus the proceedings on Trump’s conduct. The strategy, described by Democratic congressional aides, is intended to build support among Americans for Democrats’ investigative agenda, possibly leading to impeachment proceedings.

The 448-page Mueller report explored an effort by Moscow to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Trump win. It described contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians, but found insufficient evidence to establish that the Trump campaign and the Kremlin engaged in a criminal conspiracy.

The Mueller report also described numerous attempts by Trump and his advisers to impede Mueller’s investigation, but offered no conclusion on whether obstruction of justice was committed.

Trump has attacked Mueller, called his probe a “witch hunt” and scorned talk of impeachment as “dirty, filthy, disgusting.”

Some lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House favor starting the impeachment process, but their leaders have resisted these demands. Last week, an impeachment resolution came to a vote on the House floor and was killed.

The Senate is controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, meaning that any impeachment proceedings that might begin in the House would likely die in the Republican-controlled Senate, unless public sentiment were to shift dramatically in favor of removing the president.

About 45 percent of Americans said Trump should be impeached in a Reuters/Ipsos poll in May, up from 40 percent in April.

Here is how the impeachment process works.

WHY IMPEACHMENT?

The founders of the United States created the office of the presidency and feared that its powers could be abused. So they included impeachment as a central part of the Constitution.

They gave the House “the sole power of impeachment;” the Senate, “the sole power to try all impeachments;” and the chief justice of the Supreme Court the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.

The president, under the Constitution, can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” What exactly that means is unclear. Historically, it can encompass corruption and other abuses, including trying to obstruct judicial proceedings.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Impeachment begins in the House, which debates and votes on whether to bring charges against the president via approval of an impeachment resolution, or “articles of impeachment,” by a simple majority of the House’s 435 members.

If the House approves such a resolution, a trial is then held in the Senate. House members act as the prosecutors; the senators as jurors; the chief justice presides. A two-thirds majority vote is required in the 100-member Senate to convict and remove a president. This has never happened.

CAN THE SUPREME COURT OVERTURN?

No. Trump has said on Twitter that he would ask the Supreme Court to intervene if Democrats tried to impeach him. But the founders explicitly rejected making a Senate conviction appealable to the federal judiciary.

PARTY BREAKDOWN IN CONGRESS?

The House has 235 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one independent and two vacant seats. As a result, the Democrats could impeach Trump with no Republican support.

In 1998, when Republicans had a House majority, the chamber voted largely along party lines to impeach Clinton, a Democrat.

The Senate now has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who usually vote with the Democrats. Conviction and removal of a president would require 67 votes. So, for Trump to be impeached, at least 20 Republicans and all the Democrats and independents would have to vote against him.

WHO BECOMES PRESIDENT IF TRUMP IS REMOVED?

In the unlikely event the Senate convicted Trump, Vice President Mike Pence would become president for the remainder of Trump’s term, which ends on Jan. 20, 2021.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Richard Cowan; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Jonathan Oatis

Robert Mueller: ‘damning and explosive’ testimony expected before Congress

Former special counsel will publicly detail ties between Russia, Trump and his potential efforts to obstruct justice in investigation

July 22, 2019

by Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington

The Guardian

Appearing before Congress on Wednesday, former special counsel Robert Mueller will for the first time publicly detail ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow and potential efforts by the president to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation.

One Democrat on the House judiciary committee told the Guardian Mueller’s testimony will prove “damning and explosive”.

The highly anticipated appearance is expected to reinvigorate heated debate among Democrats over whether Trump should be impeached.

For Democrats who took control of the House in November, Mueller’s remarks could prove a make-or-break moment as they grapple with how to hold the president accountable – and whether the public will be on their side if they move ahead with impeachment.

We cannot emphasize enough that this will be the first opportunity for many, many Americans to actually hear what’s contained in the Mueller report,” said Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island who sits on the House judiciary committee.

“I don’t think anyone should expect there’s going to be an explosive new moment where [Mueller] is going to add something the investigation didn’t cover, but the contents of the report are damning and explosive.”

448-page report was released in April.

The former FBI director made only a brief statement in May, reiterating his team’s consensus that Trump could not be exonerated but also could not be charged with committing a crime. Mueller signaled a reluctance to testify, stating that his report should speak for itself.

But his decision not to recommend charges against the president, choosing instead to punt the issue to a divided Congress, has left Democrats with little clarity on how to move forward.

Roughly a third of House Democrats have called for a formal impeachment inquiry. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has cautioned against such a move, stating the ensuing fight would be “divisive” and play into Trump’s hands as he seeks re-election.

Greg Brower, a former assistant director in the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs, said Mueller’s testimony could be “very impactful” in shifting the political winds.

“I don’t think the American people or Congress fully understands what the evidence is,” Brower said. “It’s part of Mueller’s continuing duty to explain his findings in as compelling a way as possible that, at a minimum, is intended to inform Congress, but could also change public opinion.

“Just assuming that nobody cares and it’s not going to change any minds is an abdication of his responsibility to make sure the public understands the details of his report.

“That’s not to say it’s Mueller’s duty to advocate for a certain outcome. That would be wrong. But I think he needs to explain the facts so that the members decide what the right outcome is, based on constituent input and their own analysis of the evidence.”

Mueller’s report outlined 11 attempts by Trump or his campaign to obstruct justice after January 2017. It also concluded that the campaign was “receptive” to help from Moscow in the 2016 election and expected to benefit electorally from Russian interference.

The former special counsel’s testimony will consist of three hours of questioning from each House committee. The intelligence committee is expected to focus on whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians while the judiciary panel will examine the president’s actions in office and whether they amounted to obstruction.

The notoriously tight-lipped and nonpartisan Mueller is unlikely to deviate from the contents of his report. But Cicilline said the special counsel had turned up “extraordinary evidence” that Trump sought to obstructed justice on numerous occasions.

“If the activity described in the Mueller report was anyone other than the president of the United States, they would indict that individual,” Cicilline

Polling has found that the Mueller report did not substantially change public perceptions of the Russia investigation, although a slim majority would like to see some kind of action against the president. Just 39% believe no further action should be taken and investigations into Trump should end.

All eyes are now on Mueller, with millions of Americans due to tune in from home.

Republican members of the House committees have promised tough questioning, with supposed FBI misconduct around the Russia investigation, tweeted about by Trump on Monday, one likely subject.

Trump himself suggested he had no plans to watch the hearing.

“Maybe I’ll see a little bit of it,” he told reporters at the White House, before swiftly reversing course.

“I‘m not going to be watching Mueller because you can’t take all those bites out of the apple. We had no collusion. No obstruction. We had no nothing.”

 

Donald Trump’s Russian Connections

by Christian Jürs

Trump is not an honest man by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. He has a long record of bankruptcies, business failures, very dubious business practices and extraordinarily negative behavior to staff and other employees. To catalogue the full sweep of a flood of patently dishonest business allegations against Donald Trump would require thousands of words and lump together the trivial, the blatently criminal with the truly scandalous.

Certainly, the psychological personal profile of Donald Trump could hardly be better tailored to being easily turned by a hostile intelligence agency.

The concept of Trump taking bribes from the Russians (or the PRC) is completely understandable if one applies the concept of Occam’s Razor to the tumult and disruption he is deliberately causing both domestically and in foreign areas.

Russian intelligence agencies are known to have highly compromising and often bizarre sexual material on him going back more than 30 years and they have used Trump and his elaborate network of business entites as a funnel for laundering dirty money from the Russian mafia and from post-Soviet oligarchs. The Russians are well-known to have more than enough compromising material on Trump to bend him to their will.

Trump has constantly been engaged in bribings and manipulations and has done this through second parties such as Cohen his former lawyer or Manafort, his recently convicted campaign manager, during the election.

Following Mr.Trump’s bankruptcies in the 1990s he borrowed very large sums of operating capital from Russian sources. He also obtained large loans from the Deutsche Bank (over 640 million dollars)

Other big banks, domestic and foreign, have long refused to lend to him, coining the term “the Donald risk” to refer to his repeated bankruptcies and failures to repay loans. However, Deutsche Bank, whose real-estate division continued to lend him hundreds of millions of dollars to finance his projects, seemed to have a greater risk appetite. There is a solid connection and on-going business between this bank and two Russian-based banks.

The remarkably troubled recent history of Deutsche Bank, its past money-laundering woes — and the bank’s striking relationship with Trump — became the subject of investigation by the German State Attorney’s office. The German bank loaned a cumulative total of around $2.5 billion to Trump projects over the past two decades, and the bank continued writing him nine-figure checks even after he defaulted on a $640 million obligation and sued the bank, blaming it for his failure to pay back the debt.

  • Deutsche Bank’s private wealth unit loaned Trump $48 million — after he had defaulted on his $640 million loan and the bank’s commercial unit didn’t want to lend him any further funds — so that Trump could pay back another unit of Deutsche Bank.
  • Deutsche Bank loaned Trump’s company $125 million as part of the overall $150 million purchase of the ailing Doral golf resort in Miami in 2012. The loans’ primary collateral was land and buildings that he paid only $105 million for, county land records show. The apparent favorable terms raised questions about whether the bank’s loan was unusually risky.
  • To widespread alarm, and at least one protest that Trump would not be able to pay his lease obligations, Deutsche Bank’s private wealth group loaned the Trump Organization an additional $175 million to renovate the Old Post Office Building in Washington and turn it into a luxury hotel.

Like Trump, Deutsche Bank has been scrutinized for its dealings in Russia. The bank paid more than $600 million to regulators in 2017 and agreed to a consent order that cited “serious compliance deficiencies” that “spanned Deutsche Bank’s global empire.” The case focused on “mirror trades,” which Deutsche Bank facilitated between 2011 and 2015. The trades were sham transactions whose sole purpose appeared to be to illicitly convert rubles into pounds and dollars — some $10 billion worth.

The bank was “laundering money for wealthy Russians and people connected to Putin and the Kremlin in a variety of ways for almost the exact time period that they were doing business with Donald Trump,” “And all of that money through Deutsche Bank was being channeled through the same exact legal entity in the U.S. that was handling the Donald Trump relationship in the U.S. And so there are a lot of coincidences here.”

It wasn’t just Donald Trump who maintained a warm relationship with Deutsche. The German bank looked after his entire family. Jared Kushner, Ivanka, and Kushner’s mother Seryl Stadtmauer were all Deutsche clients.

The large German financial conglomerate Deutsche Bank, later to become one of Donald Trump’s favored institutions, became entangled with Russia after the bank bought boutique investment bank UFG in order to gain entry into Moscow’s financial markets. UFG’s chairman, Charles Ryan, was an American banker; his partner was Boris Fyodorov, formerly Russia’s Finance Minister in the Yeltsin administration. Deutsche’s future co-CEO, Anshu Jain, was the one who wants Deutsche to become more involved with Russia. Other investment banks soon found Deutsche’s business practices suspicious. Christopher Barter, at the time the CEO of Goldman Sachs Moscow, said later: “They were doing some very curious things. Nobody could make sense of their business. We found the nature and concentration of their business with VTB (Vneshtorgbank) quite galling. Nobody else could touch VTB.” VTB was known to be deeply connected to Russian intelligence, the FSB.

An issue was a very large sum of money that Trump borrowed from the German bank in 2005 to fund the construction of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. Trump had personally guaranteed to repay the $US640 million ($828.7 million) debt.

Since then, a global financial crash had arrived. Trump had defaulted on payment, with $US330 million still outstanding. In late November 2008, Deutsche was seeking an immediate $US40 million from the tycoon, plus interest, legal fees and costs.

In 2010 Trump settled his feud with Deutsche. This was done, extraordinarily, by borrowing more money from … Deutsche Bank.

1,300 Trump condominiums have been sold to Russian-connected buyers. Even a cheap Trump condo costs over a million dollars, so there over 1,300 condos that meet all the criteria for what is normally called money laundering. Russian intelligence is using Trump real estate to launder money

In 2008 his son, Donald Trump Jr., said that Russia was an important source of money for the Trump businesses.

Trump and his entourage have made a significant number of trips to Russia in the past (a list of these along with Russian personages he was in contact with can easily be found on Google), seeking financing and permission to build luxury hotels in that country

Russian intelligence owns Wikileaks entirely and released the damning, and authentic, ‘Podesta papers’ concurrent with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in coordinated agreement with the Trump people. This did serious damage to her campaign and was a major contributory factor to her narrow defeat and Trump’s election to the presidency.

Trump’s actions, as President, are deliberate efforts to alienate both the putative allies of the US such as Germany, France, and Canada and, to a lesser degree, Mexico. Also, the tariffs suggested by Trump against China would result in retaliation by that country and many retail outlets in the United States would be forced to close because they would be unable to purchase Chinese-made goods, the bulk of their stock.

Trump has deliberately launched pointless, and destructive, attacks against Mexican and Muslim immigrants, as well as Canadian, Chinese and German imports. All this has done is to create a highly negative image of his persona primarily and secondarily, the global image of the United States. This is only to the benefit of Putin’s Russia, not the United States.

Trump’s tariffs, and threats of tariffs, have engendered counter-tariffs that will, when implemented, create serious economic problems for American businessmen and, eventually, the American public.

Trump’s politically foolish but calculated support of the Israeli far right has done, and is doing, serious damage to the US image in the Middle East. It should be noted that Russian influence in the Shiite areas of the Middle East, is growing. Also note that Iran, and parts of Iraq, both Shiite, have extensive oil reserves and that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni state, once America’s primary source of badly-need oil, is running dry. Further, his aggressive support of Israel is resulting in increasing antisemitism in the United States.

The Middle East areas where Russia now has growing influence, have oil and if Russia sets itself up as major oil merchandising source, this will give them tremendous economic leverage vis a vis the United States which is the world’s largest consumer of oil and its by-products.

By alienating America’s allies and disrupting that country’s social structure, Trump benefits only Russia and its interests.

When he is caught at this, and it is common knowledge that the FBI was deeply interested in his Russian connections long before he ran for President, either the American public will have to deal with another Dallas or Trump will suffer a fatal heart attack. Vice-President Pence, a Christian fanatic, would then have to be told to mind his manners or suffer similar terminal problems.

Trump is very well aware of the ongoing and growing official investigation into his denied but completely genuine Russian connections and is certainly also well aware of what they can find, and probably have already uncovered, so he initially fired the head of the FBI and even now, according to a very reliable source, is determined to replace the FBI with the cooperative CIA (their former head, Pompeo, is now Secretary of State) as the sole foreign and domestic intelligence agency. He, and his Russian intelligence handlers, want to nip any FBI revelations in the bud so that Trump can continue on his course of castrating the United States as a global power to the benefit of Putin’s Russia.

There was a full page ad that he took out in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post in 1988, putting forth foreign policy points that could have been dictated by Vladimir Putin. It was an assault against NATO, and the European Union, both anathema to Russia

In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies in France and Germany began picking up solid evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit. In April 2016, one of the Baltic States shared with then–CIA director John Brennan an audio recording of Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, flew to Washington to brief Brennan on intercepted communications between the Trump campaign and Russia.

During the Soviet era, Russian intelligence cast a wide net to gain leverage over influential figures abroad. (The practice continues to this day.) The Russians would lure or entrap not only prominent politicians and cultural leaders, but also people whom they saw as having the potential for gaining prominence in the future. In 1986, Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin met Trump in New York, flattered him with praise for his building exploits, and invited him to discuss a building in Moscow. Trump visited Moscow in July 1987. He stayed at the National Hotel, in the Lenin Suite, which certainly was known to be bugged

Throughout his career, Trump has always felt comfortable operating at or beyond the ethical boundaries that constrain typical businesses. In the 1980s, he worked with La Cosa Nostra, which controlled the New York cement trade, and later employed Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, both of whom have links to the Russian Mafia. Trump habitually refused to pay his counter parties, and if the people he burned (or any journalists) got in his way, he bullied them with threats. He also used LLCs which he created for the purpose of swindling firm who, for example, laid new carpet in one of his hotels. The vendor billed the LLC which promptly went bankrupt. This has been a favorite gambit of Trump.

Trump continually acts like a man with a great deal to hide: declining to testify to anything under oath, dangling  Presidential pardons to keep potential witnesses and former employees from incriminating him, publicly chastising his attorney general for not quashing the whole Russian investigation, and endorsing Russia’s claims that it had nothing to do with the election. (“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” he tweeted last month, contradicting the conclusion of every U.S. intelligence and counter-intelligence agency.) Trump’s behavior toward Russia looks exactly like that of an accessory after the fact.

When, and not if, it becomes public knowledge that the President of the US is an agent of a foreign power, it would be the worst scandal in American history, far surpassing Tea Pot Dome or Watergate.

In conclusion, it is clearly obvious that President Trump was jobbed into his office with the full cooperation of Russian intelligence and that he is currently engaged in efforts to carry out their political global programs which, if allowed to continue, will wreak economic and political havoc on the American government, business community and public.

And consider that the United States has been harassing Vladimir Putin’s Russia economically and causing considerable problems for that country. Mr. Putin’s reactive countermeasures aganst the United States are certainly in response to these actions and in the long view, far more effective than sanctions and hysterical threats.

Tale of the Terrible Neighbor

July 22, 2019

by John Dangelo

AntiWar

The tale of the terrible neighbor is a cliché familiar to all Americans. Days drone on with monotonous drum beats as you exist seemingly by freeze-frame image pulling into your driveway with the neighbor’s hose spilling over your fence, with his crabgrass and brush invading your backyard, whose pet prefers your grass to his owners for relieving himself. This nightmare of suburban America is practically overlaid onto our psyche as one to avoid at all cost, like overcooked top sirloin or watching soccer for fun. If border disputes arise, escalate by visiting the clerk’s office. If their eldest son develops a budding interest in repairing used cars, contact the homeowner’s association. If the relationship becomes too tenuous, make a fruit cake knowing full well they’re gluten-free. These are ardent defenders of property rights for a milquetoast showing of sovereignty because after all, this is America.

So how about abroad?

Iran has become America’s latest subject of the two-minutes hate, and how vociferously Joe the Plumber participates. The transition from targeting Sunni insurgents to aligning with them against the Shiite Iranian has been seamless. It wasn’t until just recently any American even considered a Persian for the “fight-them-over-there” principle US foreign policy has adopted, so what an incredible relief it must be to see Trump talk tough on nukes and oil for spoon-fed onlookers.

If hawkish Iranian-war supporters could take even one commercial break to consider the position of this new and supposedly existentially-threatening opponents, I think they’d see just how preposterous these policies have become.

Iran’s borders are predominantly shared by Iraq and Turkey to their west and Afghanistan and Pakistan to their east. Without delving too far into the historical implications of those neighbors, suffice it to say US policy has thoroughly politically destabilized a country on both sides (and then some). In the case of both Iraq and Afghanistan ostensibly, the US enemy was the enemy of the Iranians, Sunni radicals. Just across the Persian Gulf are two major regional allies of the US, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Iran is nearly surrounded by unfriendly nations linked in varying ways to the US and its military.

With a new election cycle only one year after agreeing to significant terms on nuclear non-proliferation, a new Iranian diplomatic stance has emerged; red-faced blustering and flying flecks of spit to show just how brash Uncle Sam can be. The Trump administration has pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement and imposed heavy economic sanctions on the country and its global traders. The people of Iran are already feeling the effects with the Rial losing significant value and costs for medical treatment and food rocketing upwards.

Meanwhile, the US leads the entire planet in weapons exports, with Iranian neighbors on the receiving end of billions of dollars in arms sales. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Pakistan, and Iraq are four among the top ten, with the Saud House at number two per 2017 data.

Aside from increasing military and economic pressures beyond the point of pragmatism, Iran is one rash decision from being beset upon on all sides by US military might. The United States has dozens of military bases surrounding the country’s borders, with missile systems and missile defense set strategically to mitigate potential attacks. An increasingly inflammatory US posture is one that Iran has to take seriously.

In an interview with NBC, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif explicitly mentions his untenable domestic position as a considerable remora for furthering peace talks. Encroaching military and strategic efforts, crippling sanctions on oil sales and regional dissemination of billions in weapons has made Iran increasingly into the victim of strong-armed circumstance, rather than the regional power brokers they should be treated as.

In diplomacy, the proof is in the pudding. Rhetoric like “greatest exporter of terrorism” goes much further when the fly-stuck corpse of Yemen isn’t visible across the Gulf, or Iraq’s just a door down, with Old Glory waving above them both. Iran’s left to consider that they’re now untethered from a nuclear nonproliferation deal that took months to finalize requiring they don’t make nukes they never intended to make, peace remains fragile with potential military siege and examples of the same all around them, and a populace blockaded. No counterpoint tips the scale.

We, as Americans, can recognize a bad-faith actor as well as any lousy neighbor. There’s no denying the Trump administration has thoroughly botched Iranian diplomacy in the hopes of escalating tensions internationally with the threat of war and domestically, through sanctions, with the risk of revolt. If the ultimate ends of Iranian talks were a real peace and not a justification for war, every aspect of our policy would be something more like its opposite.

The ends are never peace in hegemonic politics, with Iran or any other perceived belligerent. Much like the bad suburban neighbor, capitulation to my will at the expense or in complete disregard to your own is the only suitable outcome. Unfortunately for the people of Iran and any liberty-minded, peace-loving American, that lesson will likely be strewn in blood across another medium in Persia.

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Jennifer Margulis

Jennifer Margulis is a a journalist and a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, home birth advocate, quackery promoter, author, and a radical anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and infectious disease advocate. As most critics of modern medicine, Margulis moves between legitimate concerns related to e.g. over-treatment, and batshit paranoid conspiracy theories involving how Big Medicine and Big Pharma are out to destroy you and your children for profit.

According to herself, she is “not anti-vaccine, I am pro-questions,” which is the typical refrain among those who are anti-vaccine and don’t want those beliefs questioned, and although Margulis admits that “vaccines work”, she has repeatedly peddled many of the typical and thoroughly discredited anti-vaccine talking points, suggesting that vaccines may cause autism, that vaccine schedules recommend “too many too soon”, and that vaccines are potentially harmful because they’re not “natural”, as opposed to the often deadly diseases they prevent.

Homebirths

Margulis is perhaps most famous as a homebirth advocate and promoter of the idea of “embracing the pain to make you stronger” because it is natural. In her book The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line (good review here; here is Margulis trying to manipulate Amazon reviews of her book), Margulis argues not only for homebirths and “parents know better than doctors” (after all, doctors were wrong before) and that bathing a newborn is harmful, but questions the need for well baby checkups – which she apparently thinks are primarily a gimmick to sell vaccines – and for giving newborns vitamin K and prophylactic eye drops. Indeed, Margulis is against chemicals in general, and tries to scare you as she has scared herself for instance by telling us hat Johnson’s Baby Wash contains “a host of unpronounceable chemicals [yes, the Food Babe gambit, no less], some of which are known toxins … and carcinogens,” which shows that Margulis has failed to grasp even the most rudimentary principles of toxicology and chemistry, or at least that she’s aware that her readers obviously haven’t. Similarly, Margulis is firmly opposed to formula, which she says is killing babies because it’s unnatural, and against disposable diapers because they contain chemicals which, according to Margulis, can cause your child to become infertile, citing – as her only evidence – a single study showing that disposable diapers, rather obviously, raise scrotal temperatures. There is another good review of the book here.

A typical move in her book is to chide doctors (lots of that) for ignoring “the existing scientific literature” on bed rest or toilet training, and then promptly assert that ultrasound exams of pregnant women may be responsible (they aren’t) for (the mythical) rising rates of autism among children, based on information by “a commentator in an online article” (who is left anonymous but has apparently “used ultrasonic cleaners to clean surgical instruments (and jewelry)”). Also, “[p]eople who do not use ultrasound, like the Amish, are at lower risk for autism,” says Margulis, which is not even wrong, since Amish women don’t reject ultrasound and the urban legend that Amish don’t get autism is demonstrably exactly that.

Indeed, her book relies primarily on i) anecdotes, and ii) appeals to nature to support her claims, as well as the (familiar) formula “anything used by mainstream doctors and hospitals = bad; anything used by midwives or alternative healers = good,” and she laments how back in the days “birthing women were usually attended by informally trained midwives who passed on their skills from generation to generation,” whereas today a birth taking place in a hospital today involves “at least half a dozen medical professionals.” Therefore giving birth was much better before. Margulis has several stories of babies or mothers dying in those horrible “sterile” and “hygienic” hospitals because of indifferent or incompetent doctors, and no stories of women dying in childbirth without the intervention of doctors; you do the math.

Of course, the mortality rates for homebirths in the US are rather frightening, something that Margulius has some trouble explaining away. Her response is … striking.

Autism

As for Margulis’s inane hypothesis that there is a connection between ultrasound and autism, she later wrote to Linda Birnbaum, the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and a toxicologist with a PhD in microbiology and an extensive publication list, offering to educate Birnbaum on the causes for the (mythical) rise in autism, citing her degrees in English and literature, her background as an “award-winning journalist” and her stay in Niger in 2006–07 (“I think it is important to have a global perspective on health”) as her qualifications. “My extensive research,” said Margulis, who has no background in research (she means google guided by confirmation bias), “as a journalist has led me to suspect that two environmental factors may be directly contributing to the autism epidemic:1) Over/ill-timed exposure to prenatal ultrasound … 2) The use of Acetaminophen, especially before or after infant vaccination. This may be the smoking gun …” Neither of the two hypotheses, which are not compatible, has any plausible connection to autism, the prevalence of which has not increased in any case – there isn’t even a correlation to confuse with causation here! The hubris of Jennifer Margulis is breathtaking.

Vaccines

“As a parent, I would rather see my child get a natural illness and contract that the way that illnesses have been contracted for at least 200,000 years that Homo sapiens has been around. I’m not afraid of my children getting chicken pox. There are reasons that children get sick. Getting sick is not a bad thing”

–       Jennifer Margulis

We don’t know if that quote needs further comment, but if you think it does, try (following one “Bradley”) to replace “illness” with “bear attack” and “getting sick” with “mauled by bear”).

Though Margulis admits, as mentioned, that vaccines save lives, she still pushes the most ridiculous and demonstrably false anti-vaxx myths. Margulis insists, for instance, that “weknow vaccines cause autism in some children”, misinterprets the significance of the Hannah Poling case and misrepresents the story of the removal of thimerosal from US vaccines. It’s all a grand conspiracy, you see; the US vaccine schedule is a result of profit motives and collusion between Big Pharma and the government. Margulis also claims that the chickenpox vaccine is more dangerous than the disease (despite the fact that the death rate from chickenpox dropped 97% after the introduction of the vaccine and no deaths have been reported from the vaccine). She even asserts, without a shred of evidence, that the doctors who most vocally support the CDC’s current vaccine schedule are choosing an alternative schedule for their own children.

In 2010, during a Frontline episode Margulis asked why we are still vaccinating for polio since polio has become more rare. This is not an intelligent question.

Lately, Margulis has – in addition to continuing to promote antivaccine myths and pseudoscience published in fake studies – been observed defending Andrew Wakefield’s newest antivaccine conspiracy film Vaxxed, and writing defenses of Bob Sears related to the disciplinary proceedings against him initiated by the Medical Board of California (Sears is currently one of the celebrity members of the antivaccine movement, and probably its most famous physician, after Wakefield). She is also a mainstain at various antivaccine events, and was for instance among the speakers – an impressive lineup of conspiracy theorists – at the antivaccine rally Revolution for Truth in 2017.

Nor can she let the vaccine-autism link go.

Diagnosis: Rabid, loud and – frankly – stupid infectious disease advocate, conspiracy theorist and promoter of all sorts of things that count as natural according to her standards for such matters. She seems to be relatively influential, however. Extremely dangerous.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

July 22, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

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

 

Conversation No. 10

Date:  Monday, April 22, 1996

Commenced: 11:17 AM CST

Concluded:   11:59 AM CST

GD: Good morning, Robert. I wanted to let you know the box is finished and I have checked it out. The neighbor’s cat started screeching like a maniac and kept it up for the ten minutes I left the thing plugged in.

RTC: Wonderful news, Gregory. I am so looking forward to receiving it. Send it to the drop address I gave you and use the name we decided on.

GD: No problem at all, Robert. It uses regular household current and on one side you will find a dial and a toggle switch. The switch turns it on and off and the dial adjusts the level of noise. I mean you won’t hear any noise but that’s as good a term as anything else. If you have pets, be careful to aim the box towards the embassy, better up against the window, which I would keep open during operational times. I suggest you turn it on and off about three or four times during the day but never leave it on for more than ten minutes. You want general malaise but not protracted agony.

RTC: And if their windows are closed?

GD: Even better. The glass acts as a sounding board. If the curtains or drapes are open, get a pair of glasses and stand back from the window and watch for reactions. If not, just turn it on and off from time to time. You won’t get people with exploding heads but eventually you’ll hear about it.

RTC: I suppose exploding Swiss diplomats would cause a stir.

GD: I would think so. Now, I’ll send this out today before five and then let you know. I won’t send it registered because then your Mr. Fake Name would have to sign for it.

RTC: Understood. You’ll be in my debt for this, Gregory.

GD: My pleasure.

RTC: And I’ve been digging out Kennedy material for you.

GD: Wonderful, Robert. Now that that’s taken care of, I would like to ask you about something I found in Mueller’s journals. I’m translating them and believe me, it’s not the easiest job. His German is short and to the point but not very cultured and I was brought up to speak Hanoverian German. Mueller’s material reads like police reports. Anyway, there was a passage I really want to verify with you. I mean I will read my translation to you in toto and then let me know if you know anything about it, either first or second hand. It’s such a nasty piece of work that Bender won’t want to publish it unless I get some confirmation. It isn’t too long.

RTC: Read on.

GD: OK, here we go: Now remember that Mueller moved from DC to Warrenton and lived on a large estate with his wife. He calls her Bunny and that’s who he’s talking about. It starts out

Friday, 12. July, 1951

Such a damned outrage! This is very hard to put down but I really ought to just for reference and also for relieving me of the pressure. I went out for a ride this morning, in spite of the weather. I thought it would be my last before I went on the trip and I do enjoy the rides now. I have gotten used to the horse and he to me. So early this morning, I went out riding and worked my way across the property to the area where the CIA unit was installed.

I smelt it before I got to it and so did the horse. A very unhappy horse and later, a very unhappy Heini! The stench was terrible as I approached the fenced-in trailers with their antenna stuck up on top of two of the trailers. There was a path leading down the hillside but the horse balked so I had to dismount and lead him down the path. I wanted to see what smelt so bad and I found out very quickly. In a small clearing were two human bodies, very much decayed and bloated. There were two men wearing some kind of blue shirts and pants and badly infested with maggots. They appeared to be black men but given the advanced state of corruption, it was not a certainty.

I remounted at the top of the path and rode over to the fenced area but no one was in sight. By this time, I was becoming very angry and went back home at a good canter and later a gallop. Phone calls to the CIA people. There are dead human bodies on my land! What is going on there? Silly, placating answers. Not good enough for me. Get rid of these things or I will call the local police and mortician at once! No, no, sir, do not do that! was the response. They would send someone right out to clean it up. I was please not to call anyone. It was (the usual shit) a matter of national security! National security indeed! Two dead blacks and how did they get there?

I want Bunny to know nothing about this. She came in when I was shouting at the CIA fool so I had to pretend it was something else. Oh yes, they came almost at once in a station wagon and drove in at the gate and then out to the charnel house. Another car came with two smooth-faced young men who wanted to talk to me privately. Into the library and later Bunny said she could hear me shouting one floor up through three closed doors! Angry is not the word to use, believe me.

What have these swine done now? It seems that the CIA is interested in mind control and were “practicing” on “willing” subjects. They wanted to see if some new radio system would have any effect on humans so they obtained several “volunteers” from a Virginia jail and experimented on them. They used radio microwaves in varying degrees of intensity on these poor fellows and literally roasted them alive! The bodies were tossed down the hill and it had been planned to bury them quietly on my farm!

There was a change of personnel and someone forgot the dead blacks!

When I asked these two sleek weasels about this, the reply was so awful I could not believe it! It seems that the CIA has no problem roasting people alive as long as they are convicted black criminals! Isn’t that a wonderful attitude? One of the CIA people said, in such an offhanded way as to infuriate me that no one cared about blacks because they were scarcely human!

It took an enormous amount of self-control on my part to keep me from picking up a poker from the fireplace and doing great damage to these two worms. I threw both of them out and ordered them to not only remove the bodies but their experimental station as well. I told them that if I heard one more word of this insane behavior I would personally take it to the President first and the newspapers second.

White faces and many apologies. They crawled out and I had a very stiff drink to calm down again. The station wagon left, the driver had a white mask over his face and the other one threw up on the driveway as the car bumped along!

Fortunately, Bunny saw, smelt or heard nothing and I had to go up and lie terribly to her. I am totally frustrated by this because my first instinct, besides shoving my shoe up their assholes, was to put them under arrest and turn them over to the local police for obvious murder. I can’t do that in my position but I would go to Harry with this if I ever hear about it again.Mind control indeed!

Later: I spoke very sharply with (Walter Bedell, ed.) Smith when I calmed down and he was also furious. Told me that there are elements in the organization that are “completely lunatic” and he will speak with “someone” about this. I told him that if I ever heard of such psychotic nonsense again, the President would be the next on my list of callers and Smith said not to worry about this reoccurrence. No doubt the lunatics will go somewhere else. If I ever catch these evil swine on the property again, I will turn Arno loose on them and he can certainly earn his pay.

Apparently, they (the CIA, ed.) are involved in “mind control” work. This consists of drugging people, using electric shock on others, God knows what else! You should see some of the thoroughly lunatic types that scuttle up and down the halls, mumbling to themselves while clutching files to their breasts like a mama monkey with a dead baby. As expected, Wisner is involved in this madness. And him with a well-endowed (from the photos) black lover! When they are not burning people to death or looting the safes of cash, they are encouraging all kinds of strange madness.

I have no time for my journal now and am getting ready to leave here on the 19th for a working vacation. Will get in touch with Willi (Krichbaum. A former SS colonel who was Müller’s deputy in the Gestapo and later a senior employee of Colonel Critchfield’s CIA-controlled Gehlen organization in Munich, ed.) and then a musical interlude. I cannot see the family because they are still watched but will drop a card to Sophie.

There will be no mention of the new wife or the forthcoming (I hope) child. No point of putting honey on your ass and squatting on an anthill, is there?”

RTC: My God, Gregory! He wrote that?

GD: Yes, he did but in German. Is it true?

RTC: They did….I mean these mind control idiots did far worse than that. Is that true? I don’t doubt it for a second. Cameron 1   once decided to put a woman into ice water to see if he could break down her resistance and she died of shock. That sort of thing. Loaded one of their own with LSD and when he started screaming, got frightened and tossed him out of a hotel window. Oh, and we mustn’t forget the Goat Boy. That’s the strange Dr. Gottleib.2  We called him that because he lived in a hovel and kept a bunch of goats around. He used to have sexual affairs with them. Gregory, we have had lots of people like that. Fortunately, for my sanity at least, and my reputation, I was in the intelligence branch and I left the care and feeding of the nut fringe to others with stronger stomachs. Believe it? I have no knowledge of that incident but I believe it. I can see why your Mr. Bender would be queasy about that. You know, if things like this ever become really public, they will burn all of us at the stake. I personally never was involved with such madness and actually, outside of my own areas, I had no real idea what we were up to but I can tell you that we had more than our share of raging nuts on board.

GD: Do you have any problems if I publish it?

RTC: That’s not my call, Gregory. They would have a fit over there but I’m not in service anymore and I can plead ignorance of the whole thing. Is there more like that in these diaries?

GD: That’s mild, very mild, Robert. Getting paid to kill the Iranian prime minister.

RTC: That I know about. Who was the prime mover here?

GD: Anglo-Iranian and Angleton.

RTC: Could you make a copy of that one and send it to me? We don’t need to discuss it on the phone. My God, the burned darkies were bad enough.

GD: Where do your people recruit?

RTC: St. Elizabeth’s does occur to me as a natural source.

GD: A church?

RTC: No, a local asylum.

GD: Robert, thanks for the patience and watch for the box. If it gets lost, I can have another made. Let me leave you now and I will get back to work on the Mueller material. OK?

RTC: I have a nice new name for you, Gregory. Try Mr. Sunshine.

GD: That’s such a happy name, Robert. And it does fit me so well.

RTC: I’ll call you the moment the package arrives. I’ll thank you for the poems.

GD: For sure. Goodbye.

RTC: Goodbye, Gregory.

[1]  Donald Ewen Cameron (1901-1967) was a ScottishAmerican psychiatrist. Born in Bridge of Allan, he graduated

from the University of Glasgow in 1924.

Cameron lived and worked in Albany, New York, and was involved in experiments in Canada for Project MKULTRA, a United States based CIA-directed mind control program which eventually led to the publication of the KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation manual Cameron was the author of the psychic driving concept which the CIA found particularly interesting. In it he described his theory on correcting madness, which consisted of erasing existing memories and rebuilding the psyche completely. After being recruited by the CIA, he commuted to Montreal every week to work at the Allan Memorial Institute of the McGill University, and was paid $69,000 from 1957 to 1964 to carry out MKULTRA experiments there.

The CIA tasked him with  the deadly experiments to carry out, as they would be tried on non-US citizens. However, documents released in 1977 revealed that thousands of unwitting, as well as voluntary subjects, were tested on during that time period. These included United States citizens.In addition to LSD and PCP, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs, as well as electroconvulsive therapy at 30 to 40 times the normal power. His “driving” experiments consisted of putting subjects into drug-induced coma for months on end (up to three in one case) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements.

His experiments were typically carried out on patients who had entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and post-partum depression, many of whom suffered permanently from his actions. His work in this field was inspired and paralleled by the British psychiatrist Dr William Sargant who carried out virtually identical experiments at St Thomas’ Hospital, London and Belmont Hospital, Surrey, also without his patients’ consent.

 

2

Sidney Gottlieb (August 3, 1918 – March 7, 1999) was a American military psychiatrist and chemist probably best-known for his involvement with the Central Intelligence Agency‘s mind control program MKULTRA.

Sidney was born in the Bronx under the name Joseph Scheider. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. A stutterer from childhood, Gottlieb got a master’s degree in speech therapy. He also had a club foot, but this did not stop him from practicing folk dancing, a lifelong passion.

In 1951, Sidney Gottlieb joined the Central Intelligence Agency. As a poison expert, he headed the chemical division of the Technical Services Staff (TSS). Sidney became known as the “Black Sorcerer” and the “Dirty Trickster.” He supervised preparations of lethal poisons and experiments in mind control. Gottleib later lived like a hermit in a cottage where he raised goats. He was commonly known at the Goat Boy inside the CIA and viewed as totally mad. Both Cameron and Gottlieb are typical of the members of the lunatic frings that staffed much of the CIA, and still does to this day.

 

(Concluded at 11:59 AM CST)

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

 

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