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TBR News July 26, 2019

Jul 26 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. July 26, 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 26:”At the urgent prodding by Israel, Bolton and crew are privately, one hears, attempting to get Trump to launch a serious attack on Iran. He launched missiles at Syria because of a false flag report of the use of poison gas but what few realize, Syria and the United States were not at war and blasting their airfield with missiles is a clear-cut act of war. He did this anyway and got away with it. One would hope not again.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Did Trump Just Threaten to Attack Iran With Nukes?
  • Hormuz, Iran and consequences of Trump and Bolton’s threats
  • We Tested Europe’s New Lie Detector for Travelers — and Immediately Triggered a False Positive
  • Racism in Action: The Neo-Confederate Movement in American Politics
  • From Trump to Johnson, nationalists are on the rise – backed by billionaire oligarchs
  • Money Laundering, Deutsche Bank and Donald Trump
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

Did Trump Just Threaten to Attack Iran With Nukes?

He said he could destroy Afghanistan but was signaling elsewhere. The scary part is there’s already a plan.

July 25, 2019

by Scott Ritter

The American Conservative

On Monday during a press conference between Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump spoke rather casually of having reviewed plans to annihilate Afghanistan.

“I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump said. “I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would be gone. It would be over in, literally, in 10 days. And I don’t want to go that route.”

Trump’s seemingly blasé reference to a hypothetical mass murder on a scope and scale never seen in the history of mankind (it took Nazi Germany more than four years to kill six million Jews) was stunning. We know, given the state of play in Afghanistan, that it will never happen. But it wasn’t offhand. Such a policy of total destruction could also be seen as applying to Iran, and the potential for the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a U.S.-Iranian conflict is far from hypothetical. He knew exactly what he was doing.

There is a tendency among observers of the Trump White House to be dismissive of the daily barrage of outlandish statements and tweets. Reporters who cover him have grown so inured to this endless stream of hyperbole that they forget that this man is the commander in chief of the greatest military force in history, possessive of enough nuclear firepower to destroy the world a hundred times over. In an era where tweets have become a forum for the expression of policy, it is also easy to forget that the traditional forms of policy expression, such as the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), continue to exist, and hold actual meaning.

According to the 2018 NPR, the United States “would only consider the employment of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners.” This is a heartening statement, but its value lies in the ability of the U.S. nuclear enterprise to deter nations from using nuclear weapons themselves. As the NPR noted, “if deterrence fails, the United States will strive to end any conflict at the lowest level of damage possible and on the best achievable terms for the United States, allies, and partners.”

Achieving a balance between “the lowest level of damage possible” and “the best achievable terms” for the U.S. and its allies is not something Washington has shown a propensity for achieving—one only need look at the devastation visited upon Kobani, Mosul, and Raqqa in the struggle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. That the U.S. would opt to level entire cities in order to defeat lightly armed insurgents possessing zero strategic capacity speaks volumes about the calculus behind any notion of “balance.” When one factors in the destructive power of modern nuclear weapons, it becomes clear that “the lowest level of damage possible” is an absurd standard that literally has no meaning.

As such, the question becomes at what threshold does the employment of the U.S. nuclear enterprise become likely. First and foremost, the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan does not remotely enter into any equation regarding the potential employment of nuclear weapons by the United States. U.S. military officers ostensibly operate in strict adherence to the Vienna Convention and the Additional Protocols, as it deals with issues of reciprocity during armed conflict. The International Court of Justice has determined that the use of nuclear weapons is incompatible with the laws of war.

However, U.S. and NATO military planners have carved out an exception, noting that once a conflict begins, traditional theories of humanitarianism and international law will become moot. But this exception would never apply to the current situation in Afghanistan, which makes a lie of President Trump’s claiming to have reviewed plans for such. There is simply no chance of America’s military leadership ever allowing such plans to be considered, let alone drawn up and prepared for implementation.

But Trump is clearly using Afghanistan to signal a very different conflict, one between the U.S. and Iran. Amid rising tensions between the two nations, Trump, during the same press conference where he threatened Afghanistan with nuclear annihilation, said of the situation with Iran, “We’re ready for the absolute worst.” Trying to define what Trump meant by “absolute worst” doesn’t take much imagination. Speaking to reporters on June 26, 2019, Trump stated that any war with Iran “wouldn’t last very long, I can tell you that. It would not last very long. I’m not talking boots on ground…or sending a million soldiers.”

This statement was made a day after Trump tweeted out similarly threatening words, declaring, “Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.” There can be no doubt in any rational observer’s mind that the president was, and is, speaking about the use of nuclear weapons.

Unlike the situation vis-à-vis Afghanistan, where the mere consideration of using nuclear weapons on the scope and scale needed to kill 10 million people is inconceivable, the situation vis-à-vis Iran is a far different scenario. The 2018 NPR speaks specifically of the role played by U.S. nuclear deterrence in confronting Iran on several potential points of conflict.

First and foremost, the NPR states that “Iran retains the technological capability and much of the capacity necessary to develop a nuclear weapon within one year of a decision to do so.” It should be noted that the 2018 NPR was written and published while the U.S. was a member of the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (or JCPOA, popularly known as the Iran nuclear agreement). The U.S. withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, and since that time has engaged in a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran to compel it to enter new negotiations about limiting its nuclear program. Rather than accede to this pressure, Iran has increased its nuclear capabilities beyond that permitted by the JCPOA, meaning that the one-year threshold mentioned in the 2018 NPR has been shortened considerably.

The U.S. is also concerned about nuclear proliferation and “denying terrorists access to finished weapons, material, or expertise.” Iran has been declared a state sponsor of terrorism, and its Revolutionary Guard Command, which plays a critical role in its nuclear program, a terrorist entity. The 2018 NPR declares that “Preventing the illicit acquisition of a nuclear weapon, nuclear materials, or related technology and expertise by a violent extremist organization is a significant U.S. national security priority.” It notes that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by “rogue states” such as Iran “that possess nuclear weapons or the materials, technology, and knowledge required to make them” increases the likelihood that terrorist organizations will acquire them. “Further,” the NPR notes, “given the nature of terrorist ideologies, we must assume that they would employ a nuclear weapon were they to acquire one.”

It doesn’t matter that Iran isn’t pursuing a nuclear weapon today, or that the designation of both Iran and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command as terrorist entities by the U.S. is an entirely political move devoid of reality. The fact remains that, when it comes to the issue of U.S. nuclear deterrence policy, the theoretical ability and intent on the part of Iran to both acquire nuclear weapons and share this technology with terrorist organizations has been solidified in American policy. As such, any declaration by the U.S. that deterrence has failed creates the very “extreme situation” under which Washington can consider the employment of nuclear weapons  “to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners.”

It would take the United States, using nuclear weapons, less than a week to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and eliminate their government and ancillary organizations, including the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command. The numbers of Iranians who would be killed in such an attack could very well exceed 10 million. President Trump understood that his reference to annihilating Afghanistan was nonsensical. But his willingness to use nuclear weapons to achieve a short, decisive military victory was not.

The fact that the United States has defined conditions that would legitimize the use of nuclear weapons against Iran should frighten all Americans. The fact that the current crisis could meet these conditions should alarm the entire world. Under normal circumstances, the American people could expect a rational president to walk away from any situation that needlessly invited the specter of nuclear war. That President Trump so easily invokes his powers amid critical international tensions should give us serious pause.

 

Hormuz, Iran and consequences of Trump and Bolton’s threats

The Strait of Hormuz is the kink in the hose of the Gulf’s oil supply to the world. A small amount of pressure can have a disproportionate effect, sending world crude prices soaring and starving the world’s oil-dependent economies.

At its narrowest point, between the Oman peninsula and the Iranian islands off Bandar Abbas, the strait is 20 miles wide, but the channels down which more than a third of the world’s ocean-borne oil flows – 17m barrels a day – are even more tenuous. The tanker lanes going in each direction are just 2 miles wide in parts, through the deep water off Oman and then again, further west, inside Iranian territorial waters.

This is where oil tankers are most vulnerable to an Iranian attempt to turn off the global petrol pump. It was enough for an Iranian official to simply raise the prospect of closing the strait, in retaliation for the threat of sanctions, for the world price of crude to rise to $115 (£74) a barrel. Maintained over the long term, that is costly enough to strangle any hint of a global economic recovery.

That is what makes Iranian naval action in the Gulf such a potent weapon. But it is a decidedly double-edged one, potentially more lethal to Iran than its adversaries. For, while Saudi Arabia can bypass the strait by pipeline, all of Iran’s oil terminals are west of the choke point. Iran would cut off its own lifeblood, which accounts for more than 60% of its economy.

Furthermore, the US has made clear that interruption to sea traffic in the Gulf would be a “red line”, triggering an overwhelming military response in which Iran’s nuclear facilities would be on the target lists. Until now, the US military has ruled out strikes on the nuclear programme, as the costs of starting a war with Iran outweigh the gains of setting the programme back, in defence secretary Leon Panetta’s estimation, one or two years at most. But if the US was going to war anyway over oil, that cost-benefit analysis would change.

So closing the strait outright would be – if not suicidal – an exercise in extreme self-harm for Iran. But the choice facing Tehran is not a binary one.

There is a spectrum of options falling well short of total closure; forms of harassment of the oil trade that would drive the price of crude up and keep it up, very much to Iran’s benefit, but fall short of a casus belli for war. However, exercising such options requires subtlety and fine judgment on all sides and that is by no means a given.

In a period of sustained high tension, an over-zealous Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander could seize his moment to start a war, or a nervous American captain, his vessel just seconds from Iran’s anti-ship missiles, could just as easily miscalculate. The last time Iran and America played chicken in this particular stretch of water, in 1988, a missile cruiser called the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian Airbus, killing 290 civilians including 66 children.

The shadow of Iran Air 655 hangs over the current standoff, as a reminder of how even the world’s mightiest and most advanced militaries cannot necessarily control a situation in which tensions have been allowed to escalate.

US military options

There is no doubting the overwhelming firepower at America’s disposal. The US Fifth Fleet, whose job it is to patrol the Gulf, is expected to be beefed up from one to two aircraft carriers. Meanwhile, as it has pulled its troops out of Iraq, the Pentagon has quietly boosted its army’s presence in Kuwait. The Los Angeles Times reported that it now has 15,000 troops there, including two army brigades and a helicopter unit. The US is also bolstered by the significant naval presence of its British and Gulf allies.

The Iranian military looks puny by comparison, but it is powerful enough to do serious damage to commercial shipping. It has three Kilo-class Russian diesel submarines which run virtually silently and are thought to have the capacity to lay mines. And it has a large fleet of mini-submarines and thousands of small boats armed with anti-ship missiles which can pass undetected by ship-borne radar until very close. It also has a “martyrdom” tradition that could provide willing suicide attackers.

The Fifth Fleet’s greatest concern is that such asymmetric warfare could be used to overpower the sophisticated defences of its ships, particularly in the narrow confines of the Hormuz strait, which is scattered with craggy cove-filled Iranian islands ideal for launching stealth attacks.

In 2002, the US military ran a $250m (£160m) exercise called Millennium Challenge, pitting the US against an unnamed rogue state with lots of small boats and willing martyr brigades. The rogue state won, or at least was winning when the Pentagon brass decided to shut the exercise down. At the time, it was presumed that the adversary was Iraq as war with Saddam Hussein was in the air. But the fighting style mirrored that of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

In the years since, much US naval planning has focused on how to counter “swarm tactics” – attacks on US ships by scores of boats, hundreds of missiles, suicide bombers and mines, all at once.

“Every couple of weeks in Washington you can go to a different conference on swarming,” said Sam Gardiner, a retired US air force colonel who has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College. “War games have shown that swarming, missiles and mines all together put a strain on the capacity of ships to defend themselves. Your challenge is how to protect your minesweepers from swarming techniques.”

One of the US naval responses has been to develop a new kind of fighting vessel, the littoral combat ship (LCS), tailor-made for countering Iran’s naval tactics. The LCS is sleek, small and agile with a shallow draft and high speeds, allowing it to operate along island-pocked coastlines.

At the low-tech end of the scale, the Fifth Fleet is reported to have deployed a significant number of dolphins trained to seek out mines.

Ultimately, the US response to swarming will be to use American dominance in the air and multitudes of precision-guided missiles to escalate rapidly and dramatically, wiping out every Iranian missile site, radar, military harbour and jetty on the coast. Almost certainly, the air strikes would also go after command posts and possibly nuclear sites too. There is little doubt of the effectiveness of such a strategy as a deterrent, but it also risks turning a naval skirmish into all-out war at short notice.

Iranian tactics

For that reason, most military analysts argue that if Iran does decide to exact reprisals for oil sanctions, it is likely to follow another route. Gardiner believes the most likely model will be the “tanker war” between Iran and Iraq from 1984 to 1987. The aim would be to raise insurance premiums and other shipping costs, and so boost oil prices as a way of inflicting pain on the west and replacing revenues lost through the embargo.

“They wouldn’t necessarily do anything immediately. If they do what they did in the tanker war, a mine would be hit and it wouldn’t be clear exactly how long it had been there. Things like that push up the price of oil. People talk about a spike in oil prices, but it might be more like a plateau,” Gardiner said.

“The answer is not to escalate. You start protecting tankers and searching for mines.”

Even if Iran decides on retaliation, there is no reason for it to be confined to an immediate response in the strait. It could target the oil price with acts of sabotage aimed at Arab state oil facilities along the southern shore of the Gulf, or western interests could be targeted anywhere around the world, months or years after the imposition of an embargo.

 

We Tested Europe’s New Lie Detector for Travelers — and Immediately Triggered a False Positive

July 26, 2019

by Ryan Gallagher and Ludovica Jona

The Intercept

They call it the Silent Talker. It is a virtual policeman designed to strengthen Europe’s borders, subjecting travelers to a lie detector test before they are allowed to pass through customs.

Prior to your arrival at the airport, using your own computer, you log on to a website, upload an image of your passport, and are greeted by an avatar of a brown-haired man wearing a navy blue uniform.

“What is your surname?” he asks. “What is your citizenship and the purpose of your trip?” You provide your answers verbally to those and other questions, and the virtual policeman uses your webcam to scan your face and eye movements for signs of lying.

At the end of the interview, the system provides you with a QR code that you have to show to a guard when you arrive at the border. The guard scans the code using a hand-held tablet device, takes your fingerprints, and reviews the facial image captured by the avatar to check if it corresponds with your passport. The guard’s tablet displays a score out of 100, telling him whether the machine has judged you to be truthful or not.

A person judged to have tried to deceive the system is categorized as “high risk” or “medium risk,” dependent on the number of questions they are judged to have falsely answered. Our reporter — the first journalist to test the system before crossing the Serbian-Hungarian border earlier this year — provided honest responses to all questions but was deemed to be a liar by the machine, with four false answers out of 16 and a score of 48. The Hungarian policeman who assessed our reporter’s lie detector results said the system suggested that she should be subject to further checks, though these were not carried out.

Travelers who are deemed dangerous can be denied entry, though in most cases they would never know if the avatar test had contributed to such a decision. The results of the test are not usually disclosed to the traveler; The Intercept obtained a copy of our reporter’s test only after filing a data access request under European privacy laws.

The virtual policeman is the product of a project called iBorderCtrl, which involves security agencies in Hungary, Latvia, and Greece. Currently, the lie detector test is voluntary, and the pilot scheme is due to end in August. If it is a success, however, it may be rolled out in other European Union countries, a potential development that has attracted controversy and media coverage across the continent.

IBorderCtrl’s lie detection system was developed in England by researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University, who say that the technology can pick up on “micro gestures” a person makes while answering questions on their computer, analyzing their facial expressions, gaze, and posture.

An E.U. research program has pumped some €4.5 million into the project, which is being managed by a consortium of 13 partners, including Greece’s Center for Security Studies, Germany’s Leibniz University Hannover, and technology and security companies like Hungary’s BioSec, Spain’s Everis, and Poland’s JAS.

The researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University believe that the system could represent the future of border security. In an academic paper published in June 2018, they stated that avatars like their virtual policeman “will be suitable for detecting deception in border crossing interviews, as they are effective extractors of information from humans.”

However, some academics are questioning the value of the system, which they say relies on pseudoscience to make its decisions about travelers’ honesty.

Ray Bull, professor of criminal investigation at the University of Derby, has assisted British police with interview techniques and specializes in methods of detecting deception. He told The Intercept that the iBorderCtrl project was “not credible” because there is no evidence that monitoring microgestures on people’s faces is an accurate way to measure lying.

“They are deceiving themselves into thinking it will ever be substantially effective and they are wasting a lot of money,” said Bull. “The technology is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what humans do when being truthful and deceptive.”

In recent years, following the refugee crisis and a spate of terrorist attacks in France, Belgium, Spain, and Germany, police and security agencies in Europe have come under increasing political pressure to more effectively track the movements of migrants. Border security officials on the continent say they are trying to find faster and more efficient new ways, using artificial intelligence, to check the travel documents and biometrics of the more than 700 million people who annually enter the E.U.

The European Commission — the E.U.’s executive branch — has set aside a proposed €34.9 billion for border control and migration management between 2021 and 2027. Meanwhile, in September last year, European lawmakers agreed to establish a new automated system that will screen nationals from visa-free third countries — including the United States — to establish whether or not they should be allowed to enter the E.U.

In the future, a visa-free traveler who, for whatever reason, has not been able to submit an application in advance will not be granted entry into the Schengen zone, an area covering 26 countries in Europe where travelers can move freely across borders without any passport checks.

IBorderCtrl is one technology designed to strengthen the prescreening process. But transparency activists say that the project should not be rolled out until more information is made available about the technology — such as the algorithms it uses to make its decisions.

Earlier this year, researchers at the Milan-based Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights used freedom of information laws to obtain internal documents about the system. They received hundreds of pages; however, they were heavily redacted, with many pages completely blacked out.

“The attempt to suppress debate by withholding the documents that address these issues is really frightening,” said Riccardo Coluccini, a researcher at the Hermes Center. “It is absolutely necessary to understand the reasoning behind the funding process. What is written in those documents? How does the consortium justify the use of such a pseudoscientific technology?”

A study produced by the researchers in Manchester tested iBorderCtrl on 32 people and said that their results showed the system had 75 percent accuracy. The researchers noted, however, that their participant group was unbalanced in terms of ethnicity and gender, as there were fewer Asian or Arabic participants than white Europeans, and fewer women than men.

Giovanni Buttarelli, head of the E.U.’s data protection watchdog, told The Intercept that he was concerned that the iBorderCtrl system might discriminate against people on the basis of their ethnic origin.

“Are we only evaluating possible lies about identity or we are also trying to analyze some of the person’s somatic traits, the edges of the face, the color of the skin, the cut of the eyes?” Buttarelli said. “Who sets the parameters to establish that a certain subject is lying or not lying?”

A spokesperson for iBorderCtrl declined to answer questions for this story. A website for the project acknowledges that the lie detection system will “have an impact on the fundamental rights of travellers” but says that, because the test is currently voluntary, “issues with respect to discrimination, human dignity, etc. therefore cannot occur.”

The reporting for this story was supported by the Investigative Journalism for Europe grant (IJ4EU) and by the Otto Brenner Foundation

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

“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 Movement

Robert Lewis Dabney, a 19th century theologian, is considered to be the most 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.

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.  Dabney’s writings contain such concepts as: “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.

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.

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 supremacist.

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. This became a strong indication of future white voting patterns.  One should also consider 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. 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. Basicially the racial issue became 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. King’s subsequent assassination has never been satisfactorily solved and the accepted stories that James Earl Ray was, like Oswald, the lone assassin does not stand up to objective analysis.  In 1966, Falwell started the Lynchburg Christian Academy, “‘a private school for white students.’”  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.

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.  It is clearly evident that the conservative movements in the United Sates have never accepted integration in any of its manifestations and it is also true that the Tea Party movement is forcing the conservative movement in the United States towards the ultra-right and its strong racial sentiments. 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 and inherently anti-black agenda?

It is clearly evident 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.

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).

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.”

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.’”

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.”

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.”

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.’”

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.

It is the core belief of the League of the South, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Christian Reconstructionist Chalcedon Foundation that the Civil 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

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.

Also noted is the proliferation of Nazi symbolism and rhetoric associated with the Tea Party movement.

 

From Trump to Johnson, nationalists are on the rise – backed by billionaire oligarchs

The ultra-rich are benefitting from disaster capitalism as institutions, rules and democratic oversight implode

July 26, 2019

by George Monbiot

The Guardian

Seven years ago the impressionist Rory Bremner complained that politicians had become so boring that few of them were worth mimicking: “They’re quite homogenous and dull these days … It’s as if character is seen as a liability.” Today his profession has the opposite problem: however extreme satire becomes, it struggles to keep pace with reality. The political sphere, so dull and grey a few years ago, is now populated by preposterous exhibitionists.

This trend is not confined to the UK – everywhere the killer clowns are taking over. Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Jair Bolsonaro, Scott Morrison, Rodrigo Duterte, Matteo Salvini, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Viktor Orbán and a host of other ludicrous strongmen – or weakmen, as they so often turn out to be – dominate nations that would once have laughed them off stage. The question is why? Why are the technocrats who held sway almost everywhere a few years ago giving way to extravagant buffoons?

Social media, an incubator of absurdity, is certainly part of the story. But while there has been plenty of good work investigating the means, there has been surprisingly little thinking about the ends. Why are the ultra-rich, who until recently used their money and newspapers to promote charisma-free politicians, now funding this circus? Why would capital wish to be represented by middle managers one moment and jesters the next?

The reason, I believe, is that the nature of capitalism has changed. The dominant force of the 1990s and early 2000s – corporate power – demanded technocratic government. It wanted people who could simultaneously run a competent, secure state and protect profits from democratic change. In 2012, when Bremner made his complaint, power was already shifting to a different place, but politics had not caught up.

The policies that were supposed to promote enterprise – slashing taxes for the rich, ripping down public protections, destroying trade unions – instead stimulated a powerful spiral of patrimonial wealth accumulation. The largest fortunes are now made not through entrepreneurial brilliance but through inheritance, monopoly and rent-seeking: securing exclusive control of crucial assets such as land and buildings privatised utilities and intellectual property, and assembling service monopolies such as trading hubs, software and social media platforms, then charging user fees far higher than the costs of production and delivery. In Russia, people who enrich themselves this way are called oligarchs. But this is a global phenomenon. Today corporate power is overlain by – and mutating into – oligarchic power.

What the oligarchs want is not the same as what the old corporations wanted. In the words of their favoured theorist, Steve Bannon, they seek the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. Chaos is the profit multiplier for the disaster capitalism on which the new billionaires thrive. Every rupture is used to seize more of the assets on which our lives depend. The chaos of an undeliverable Brexit, the repeated meltdowns and shutdowns of government under Trump: these are the kind of deconstructions Bannon foresaw. As institutions, rules and democratic oversight implode, the oligarchs extend their wealth and power at our expense.

What the oligarchs want is not the same as what the old corporations wanted. In the words of their favoured theorist, Steve Bannon, they seek the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. Chaos is the profit multiplier for the disaster capitalism on which the new billionaires thrive. Every rupture is used to seize more of the assets on which our lives depend. The chaos of an undeliverable Brexit, the repeated meltdowns and shutdowns of government under Trump: these are the kind of deconstructions Bannon foresaw. As institutions, rules and democratic oversight implode, the oligarchs extend their wealth and power at our expense.

Defending ourselves from oligarchy means taxing it to oblivion. It’s easy to get hooked up on discussions about what tax level maximises the generation of revenue. There are endless arguments about the Laffer curve, which purports to show where this level lies. But these discussions overlook something crucial: raising revenue is only one of the purposes of tax. Another is breaking the spiral of patrimonial wealth accumulation.

Breaking this spiral is a democratic necessity: otherwise the oligarchs, as we have seen, come to dominate national and international life. The spiral does not stop by itself: only government action can do it. This is one of the reasons why, during the 1940s, the top rate of income tax in the US rose to 94%, and in the UK to 98%. A fair society requires periodic corrections on this scale. But these days the steepest taxes would be better aimed at accumulated unearned wealth.

Of course, the offshore world the billionaires have created makes such bold policies extremely difficult: this, after all, is one of its purposes. But at least we know what the aim should be, and can begin to see the scale of the challenge. To fight something, first we need to understand it.

 

Money Laundering, Deutsche Bank and Donald Trump

July 26, 2019

by Christian Jürs

Between 2000–2010, Mr.Trump entered into a partnership with a development company headquartered in New York represented by a Russian immigrant, Felix Sater. During this period, they partnered for an assortment of deals that included building Trump towers internationally and Russia was included. For example, in 2005 Slater acted as an agent for building a Trump tower alongside Moscow River with letters of intent in hand and “square footage was being analyzed.”

In 2006, Mr.Trump’s children Donald Jr. and Ivanka stayed in the Hotel National, Moscow for several days, across from the Kremlin, to interview prospective partners, with the intention of formulating real estate development projects.

Sater had also traveled to Moscow with Mr. Trump, his wife Ivanka and son Donald Jr.

Mr. Trump was associated with Tevfik Arif, formerly a Soviet commerce official and founder of a development company called the Bayrock Group, of which Sater was also a partner.

Bayrock searched for deals in Russia while Trump Towers company were attempting to further expand in the United States. Mr. Sater said, “We looked at some very, very large properties in Russia,” on the scale of “…a large Vegas high-rise.”

In 2007, Bayrock organized a potential deal in Moscow between Trump International Hotel and Russian investors

During 2006–2008 Mr.Trump’s company applied for a number of trademarks in Russia with the goal of real estate developments. These trademark applications include: Trump, Trump Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and Trump Home.

In 2008, Mr. Trump spoke at a Manhattan real estate conference, stating that he really prefered Moscow over all cities in the world and that within 18 months he had been in Russia a half-dozen times.

Mr.Trump had received large and undisclosed payments over 10 years from Russians for hotel rooms, rounds of golf, or Trump-licensed products such as wine, ties, or mattresses, which would not have been identified as coming from Russian sources in the tax returns

A secret KGB memo under date of February 1, 1984 concerned the necessity of making an expanded use of the facilities of cooperating foreign intelligence services—for example, Czechoslovakian or East German intelligence networks.

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.”

Deutsche Bank AG is a German multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany.

The bank is operational in 58 countries with a large presence in Europe, the Americas and Asia. As of April 2018, Deutsche Bank is the 15th largest bank in the world by total assets. As the largest German banking institution in the world, it is a component of the DAX stock market index.

The company is a universal bank resting on three pillars – the Private & Commercial Bank, the Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB) and Asset Management (DWS). Its investment banking operations often command substantial deal flow and maintain different “sell side” and “buy side” departments.

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Jeff Schoep

The National Socialist Movement (NSM) is a Detroit-based neo-Nazi organization, and a part of the Nationalist Front. NSM refers to itself as a “white civil rights organization” but objects to being referred to as “racist” and “Neo-Nazi” in part because such descriptions of their goals are unflattering. The descriptionsare not what is wrong here – the group did for instance use the swastika as logo until 2016, and has stated that “When you put on your NSM uniform, you are not just representing the NSM but all National Socialists that fought and died for our Race and our Cause! You are showing the Jews and the rest of the world that our Führer is not forgotten and that his life’s struggle was not in vain!”. The aforementioned goals include a US inhabited only by those of “pure White blood” (Jewish people and homosexuals need not apply), and they demand that “all non-Whites currently residing in America be required to leave the nation forthwith and return to their land of origin: peacefully or by force” – according to their website “The Constitution was written by white men alone. Therefore, it was intended for whites alone.” Supporters include Randy Gray and Christian Identity pastor James Wickstrom.

Jeff Schoep was chairman of the group from 1994 to 2019. It was hence under Schoep’s tenure that the NSM for instance led the demonstration that sparked the 2005 Toledo riot and the rally that turned into the 2016 Sacramento riot – ostensibly “non-violent” NSM has a history of seeking out violence that distinguishes them from other expressedly non-violent groups. In November 2016, following the election of Donald Trump, the organization changed its logo from the swastika to an Odal rune, apparently eyeing an opportunity to enter mainstream politics. Apparently Schoep worked hard to unite “pro-white organizations”, though he also sought to distance his group from the KKK: “We’re both pro-white, but our politics are very different,” said Schoep, apparently because whereas the NSM is political, the Klan promotes religion. Anti-semitism is of course at the core of NSM’s conspiracy theories, and according to Schoep “illegal immigration from Latin America is driven by an international Jewish conspiracy whose leaders are plotting “the destruction of all races through the evils of race mixing.”

In 2019, Schoep was replaced as director and president of the NSM by James Hart Stern, a black activist vowing to eradicate the group. Apparently Schoep was responsible for the takeover because he wanted to leave the group due to the legal issues he was embroiled in (nothing suggests that Schoep has become noticeably less lunatic about the issues that constitute the core of NSM’s mission). Matthew Heimbach used to be the group’s community outreach director.

Diagnosis: Yeah, well …

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

July 26, 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. 11 b

Date:  Monday, April 29, 1996

Commenced: 2:09 PM  CST

Concluded:  2:28  PM CST

 

GD: Back again, Robert. Are you OK for time?

RTC: I have enough time, Gregory. What is it?

GD: I had a chat with Kimmel today and I made a mistake. I had read something once about forged evidence and innocently mentioned faked fingerprint evidence used in a Federal case. He got very testy about this and tried to lecture me about minding my own business.

RTC: That would be a very sore spot with Kimmel. He has to defend his turf. Faked evidence? The Bureau has been known to stoop to that on a number of occasions. If they know, or believe you did something but can’t quite get you, why lo and behold they find your fingerprints all over something. Possibly a gun used in icing Martin Luther King or a blood stained print at the scene of a mob killing. Faking evidence and suborning perjury is nothing new for the Bureau. No one likes to talk about it because of the uproar it would cause. All kinds of lawsuits by innocent and framed convicts would follow. Kimmel is very protective of the Bureau but I think he spends more time trying to rehabilitate the Admiral. Still, I don’t know if he dirties his hands with such goings on but he surely knows about them. I certainly do

GD: Tell me something, Robert. Do you think Kimmel hooked up with you to spy on you?

RTC: Probably but I never tell him, or Bill, anything.

GD: Kimmel was mad I am talking to you. He said you were an old man and to leave you alone.

RTC: Tom can fuck himself. I’ll talk to anyone I wish, whenever I wish. All Tom thinks about is getting his grandfather the Admiral pardoned.

GD: I know. I tried to help the family out on that because of some of the documents Mueller had. I told him the Roosevelt/Churchill conversation papers came from Mueller, not you.

RTC: Thank you for that. Tom has been running around, all over Washington, trying frantically to prove you faked them. They tested the paper and checked on the typing and everything was fine but Tom won’t accept that you might be right, even though it would help his futile quest. They’re all a bunch of treacherous assholes there, believe me.

GD: Why would he get so upset about the question of fingerprints? I don’t see how you can fake these seriously.

RTC: Fingerprints? A piece of cake for the FBI. They know just how to put someone’s prints just where they want them. I could tell you about this if you kept quiet about it. If it ever got out how they fake evidence, as I just said, the appellate courts would be jammed up for years.

GD: I won’t say a word.

RTC: For your own sake, don’t. All right, here goes. If the FBI has a copy of your fingerprints, they can make molds of them and put them onto a rubber glove. It goes this way: They make a photographic negative of the prints , make a reverse negative and…do you know what a zinc is?

GD: Yes, I do. It is a metal copy of a negative. I learned this when I was getting some of my earlier books printed. They use this for rubber stamps.

RTC: Oh yes, just so. And then they get a pair of thin rubber surgeon’s gloves and paint liquid latex onto the zinc. When you peel the very thin, dried latex off of the zinc, you glue the prints down on each finger by using spirit gum. You can buy both the liquid latex and the spirit gum in any theatrical supply house right over the counter.

GD: Jesus, how simple, Robert. And you can go into a murder scene in private, say as an FBI technician, put on the gloves and touch things.

RTC:I know for a certainty that there are a significant number of people now incarcerated who are entirely innocent of a crime but whose fingerprints were found at the scene of a crime or on otherwise damning evidence. Many. Now do you see why I don’t want you talking about this?

GD: This explains Kimmel’s agitation.

RTC: Interesting because…when did he tell you this?

GD: Two days ago.

RTC: And he called me the next day to tell me you had been in a lunatic asylum and I should really stop talking to you. Makes sense. You were asking question about the prints and he knows you dig so he decided to head you off at the pass as far as I was concerned. Doing that with faked prints is easier than getting the usual perjured testimony from people facing Federal criminal charges.

GD: I suppose I ought to be careful.

RTC: Yes, what with Critchfield wanting your head because you are outing him on the subject of his hiring the head of the Gestapo and many other SS men and now Kimmel in an uproar, I would be a little careful, my boy.

GD: I thought you were going to say Kimmel had his balls in an uproar.

RTC: Strictly speaking, that would not be accurate. He lost them some time ago to cancer.

GD: Well, he can always sing soprano in his choir at church. I never discuss religion with him because he spouts Proverbs at me all the time. What is he?

RTC: Tom? I think the family is Episcopalian. His wife is Mormon but Tom hates Mormons. He probably doesn’t want to wear the hairshirt underwear.

GD: Well, old Brigham Young had about fifty wives and most of them were very, very young. Do you know what he once said? No? ‘I don’t care how you bring’em but bring’em young.’

RTC: (Laughter) Not nice at all.

GD: Did I tell you about the big bronze statue of Young and its official unveiling in Salt Lake City? God, the whole Young family was there, senators, congressmen and half the town. There were speeches made, the choir sung and then an elderly daughter pulled the rope to drop the bunting. During the night, some evil soul had hung a huge salami and two cocoanuts on the crotch of the figure.

RTC: (Laughter) Do tell that to Kimmel. I mean, really do tell him. He loathes you anyway so why not tromp on his corns?

GD: Not a bad idea at all. Anyway you filled me in on the Kimmel anger. And these people are supposed to be protecting all of us poor sheep.

RTC: One can dream. And one can look out the dining room window and see the Easter Bunny doing hopscotch in the back yard.

GD: And the Baby Jesus riding his tricycle over your cat.

RTC: Now, now, let’s keep religion out of this. Who knows, some Mormon FBI agent might be listening to this.

GD: One hopes. Ah the trials and tribulations of being a successful author. The chorus of outraged petty academics, and I guess, furious Jews and angry civil servants.

RTC: How do you cope with the assholes?

GD: Well, I do. I attack them, Robert, gut them and leave their stinking carcasses to rot in the sunlight. Methodology? I do not get into pissing matches with skunks. I look deeply into the personas of my detractors and when I am ready, I strike. Not always in print, either. You see, Robert, they are all very vulnerable. The can be fired from jobs, have their wives and children vanish into the night, disgusted with Daddy’s pranks, have the neighbors dump garbage on their lawns or into their swimming pools and generally have a terrible life.

RTC: And how do you accomplish those worthy goals?

GD: Oh, by various means.  An old newspaper clipping, well circulated in their circles, attributing an earlier arrest for pedophilia or torture of neighbor’s pets is a good start. A company owned by a friend turns them into a collection agency for a very large  unpaid bill is also a good move. There are literally dozens of ways to teach lessons to the small of mind and the large of mouth. People, Robert, are stuck in their very small and shabby castles. They have employers, friends, neighbors and so on. That is where you can get at any of them. How can they respond to the mass distribution of that newspaper clipping exposing their activities in that Florida motel room?  Or the earlier arrest of their mother for exposing herself at a Fourth of July parade? Oh, the permutations are endless and the victim, or the evil-does, can not respond. Colonel X a militant transvestite, arrested in drag on a turnpike in New Jersey and slugging a policemen with his purse. Funny indeed and humorous enough for a neighbor to show to his friends. Stalin once said that no matter where you toss the stone into the pond, the ripples spread. No one, and I mean no one, except perhaps for a bag lady or a nut living in a cabin deep in the woods, is safe from me when I take down my creative rifle and go out for a morning hunt. I once got a stack of terrible, pornographic magazines and I mean terrible, printed up some fake address labels and stuck them on the covers. The next step was to take a few of them down to the office of a local dentist who was making trouble for me. I stuck the magazines into the piles of old magazines in his office….

RTC: Sweet Jesus.

GD: Oh yes indeed. And I sat there reading an old Geographic and was intensely gratified when a mommy and child came in for a dental checkup. A little while later, while I was enthralled looking at the huge sagging tits of native women, I heard the small child say, ’Mommy, what is the doggy doing to the lady?’

RTC: (Laughter)

GD: Oh, and the mommy looked at the magazine and shrieked. And when she saw the one about the fat woman and the dwarf, she really let loose. And she saw the dentist’s name and address on these and I can assure you, he was soon out of practice, to make a pun.

RTC: Creative nastiness, Gregory. I observe that Wolfe is making noises about you. What would you do to him?

GD: Wolfe? What? A retired librarian, friend of the CIA? Subscribe to Playgirl magazine and send it either to his former office or, better, to his home. If his wife ever saw the naked men with large joints waving around, there would be stressful moments in the living room, believe me.

 

(Concluded at 2:28 PM 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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