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TBR News July 3, 2019

Jul 03 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. July 3, 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 3:”Working in the White House is like being a ward attendant in a nut house. Trump is not only not a normal person, he is vulgar, irrational and if the general public ever got a glimpse of him waddling around the premises, saying things that would have anyone else in a rubber room, they would vote for Charlie Manson or their neighbor’s poodle and have better results.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • From ‘freedom gas’ to violating deals ‘before they exist’: Five baffling statements from Washington
  • Trump’s G20 Trip Was More Bizarre and Embarrassing Than You Thought
  • Donald Trump Quotes
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • Scientists have proven….!
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

From ‘freedom gas’ to violating deals ‘before they exist’: Five baffling statements from Washington

July 2, 2019

RT

US officials are no strangers to making sweeping statements that provoke eye-rolls and raised eyebrows in other parts of the world, but Washington does seem to be on a roll in recent months.

With tensions rising over Iran, a trade and tech war raging with China and immigration trouble on its southern border, the bombastic statements from Washington seem to be coming thick and fast.

‘Freedom gas’

It’s no big surprise to hear US officials harp on about spreading “freedom and democracy” around the world — but US undersecretary of energy Mark Menezes took that concept to the extreme in May with an attempt to rebrand the country’s energy experts as “freedom gas.”

Another official built on the idea and decided to term US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports as “molecules of US freedom.” That’s certainly one way to try and increase energy exports to Europe — just maybe not the most convincing one, if the instant online ridicule was anything to go by.

New weapons to ‘never use’

No one ever accused the US of being frugal when it comes to spending on its war machines, but just in case anyone thought it had gotten stingy, Trump reassured Americans last week that he would increase the country’s military budget (yet again) to ensure it has “the most and the best in the world” when it comes to weaponry.

“Brand new nuclear weapons” are on the shopping list, but don’t worry, Trump “never” plans to use them, so it’s all good. One could be forgiven for asking why bother even manufacturing them in that case? There are probably a few other things Americans would like him to sort out first… like healthcare, for example.

Iran deal ‘violated before it existed’

Washington has thrown plenty of accusations Tehran’s way lately, but the oddest yet might be… time travel. The White House this week claimed Iran had been violating the 2015 nuclear deal “even before its existence” — a complaint which was met with derision on Twitter. How do you violate a deal that doesn’t exist yet?

It wasn’t the first time US officials sparked skepticism with sketchy denunciations of Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo probably expected a better reaction when he said Tehran was “almost certainly” responsible for attacks on two oil tankers last month, but the finger-pointing prompted more of a collective international eye roll than the outrage Pompeo anticipated.

China deal must be ‘better for us’

All good negotiators know that the best way to strike a deal that suits all parties is to announce at the outset that the final arrangement must be better for your side than theirs.

Well okay, maybe not. Yet, that’s how Trump has recently framed his efforts to strike a new trade deal with China. The deal must be “better for us than for them” and “tilted to [US] advantage” since they (allegedly) previously had “advantages” that the underprivileged US did not have.

Anyway, China should probably watch out. Even if Beijing does sign a new trade deal with the US, Trump could later ditch it on the grounds that it had been unacceptably violated in an alternate universe…or something.

 

Trump’s G20 Trip Was More Bizarre and Embarrassing Than You Thought

Here are seven lowlights from Trump’s latest adventure abroad.

June 30, 20219

by Dan Friedman

Mother Jones

President Donald Trump is heading home after an eventful trip to G20 summit in Japan packed with enough bizarre statements and diplomatic gaffes to render the visit a disaster, if anyone weren’t already used to this stuff. Here are some lowlights.

  1. Praise for autocrats

Trump has heaped praise on Kim, a practice he continued during his G-20 trip. “There’s a good feeling,” Trump said Saturday of their ties. “I just think we have a very good relationship—the two of us.” Trump also had kind words for Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Arabian prince accused of ordering the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. “You have done a spectacular job,” Trump told the Saudi, known as MBS, who functions as the day-to-day ruler of his country, during a meeting Friday. Ignoring reported US intelligence assessments that MBS personally ordered Khashoggi’s gruesome murder, Trump said that “nobody so far has pointed directly a finger at the future king of Saudi Arabia.”

  1. Putin pandering

Trump also made light of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and the possibility that Moscow will again work to support his campaign in 2020 during a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. “Don’t meddle in the election, please,” Trump said, jokingly wagging his finger at Putin, while avoiding eye contact with Putin as the two leaders appeared before reporters.

Worse, Trump bonded with Putin over their mutual distain of journalists. Reminder: Putin is suspected of directing the murder of journalists. “Get rid of them,” Trump said. “’Fake news’ is a great term, isn’t it. You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.” Putin responded: “We also have. It’s the same.”

  1. North Korean jostling

Trump walked into North Korea with that country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, becoming the first sitting US president to so. Trump received little beyond a photo-op in exchange for an act of legitimating a tyrannical regime. But the visit also produced a bizarre moment when Trump’s new press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, jostled with North Korean security in an effort to ensure American reporters documented the meeting. CNN reported that Grisham got in “an all out brawl” with North Korean officials, and was bruised in the effort. Watch the confrontation:

  1. Ignorance of “liberal democracy”

Trump’ sympathy for Putin was exhausted by their exchange about election meddling and “fake news.” When asked Saturday about Putin’s claim that Western-style liberalism has failed, Trump not only didn’t defend the liberal democratic political tradition—majority rule tempered by individual rights—of the United States and its allies. Trump also seemed unaware that the liberalism championed by thinkers like John Locke and John Stuart Mill, which includes enthusiasm for capitalism, differs from the meaning of the term liberal when used to describe people like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the American left. He also seemed to interpret “Western” literally, by listing cities on America’s west coast: “I guess you look at what’s happening in Los Angeles, where it’s so sad to look, and what’s happening in San Francisco, and a couple other cities which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people.”

In the same appearance, Trump, seemed unaware that the term “busing” is often used to mean a federally mandated busing to desegregate schools, rather than to describe the literal use of buses to transport children to school.

  1. Insults allies

Trump also managed to find fault with the country hosting his visit, criticizing the U.S.-Japan security alliance. “If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War III,” Trump said on Fox Business News, adding: “But if we’re attacked, Japan doesn’t have to help us at all. They can watch it on a Sony television.” Whatever the failures of the US pact with Japan, it is a direct result of terms American forces imposed on the Japanese at the conclusion of World War II. Japan renounced war as part of a Constitution drafted in 1945 in consultation with General Douglas MacArthur, whom Trump often exults.  The Japanese government’s top spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, later pushed back on Trump’s remarks, stating that obligations are “balanced between both countries.” During his trip, Trump also repeated a frequent attack on Germany, saying the NATO ally “doesn’t pay what they’re supposed to pay.” This is a mischaracterization of a pledge by NATO members to devote two percent of their gross domestic product to defense.

  1. Attacks Democrats from abroad

Trump’s habitual violation of the norm of avoiding partisan commentary while abroad was apparent throughout his trip. Perhaps the most striking display came when Trump appeared to fully fabricate a claim about his political rivals, telling Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, that “there’s a rumor that the Democrats are going to change the name of the party from the Democrat Party to the Socialist Party.” It’s hard to know if Trump made this claim, which came during a conversation about Venezuela, as part of his ongoing effort to tar Democrats with the Socialist label, or to curry favor with the far-right Bolsonaro. Either way, it was clearly a lie.

7, Awkward nepotism

Trump brought his daughter Ivanka with him, a decision that resulted in cringe-worthy instances of the younger Trump, who had no political experience prior to her father giving her job as a White House advisor, appearing to insert herself into pictures and conversations with world leaders. A viral video released Saturday by the office of French President Emmanuel Macron shows Trump joining a conversation between Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde. The effort drew widespread mockery.

“Being someone’s daughter actually isn’t a career qualification,” Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

 

Donald Trump Quotes

The Outrageous and the Ridiculous

May 24, 2019

by Daniel Kurtzman

liveabout.com

With the 2016 presidential campaign bringing Donald Trump an audience every day, he also had an opportunity each day to say something outrageous and oftentimes inaccurate or at least contradictory. But, as this collection shows, he’s been saying outrageous things for decades.

Showing His Humility 

“I’m also honored to have the greatest temperament that anybody has.” —November 3, 2016

“I alone can fix it.” —in his self-aggrandizing acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, July 21, 2016

“I think I am, actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.” —”60 Minutes” interview, July 17, 2016

“The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”

“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” —announcing his campaign for president

“All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

“Let me tell you, I’m a really smart guy.” —on his intelligence

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure. It’s not your fault.”

On His Body 

“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well been documented, are various other parts of my body.”

“He referred to my hands, if they’re small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee it.” —bragging about his penis size in reference to a joke by Republican rival Marco Rubio, GOP presidential debate, March 3, 2016

On the Campaign and Election 

“We should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump.” —speaking at a rally in Toledo, Ohio, October 27, 2016

“I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?” —refusing to say whether he will accept the election outcome during the third presidential debate, October 19, 2016

“I’ve had a beautiful, I’ve had a flawless campaign. You’ll be writing books about this campaign.” —July 29, 2016

‘You know what I wanted to. I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them. No, no. I was going to hit them, I was all set and then I got a call from a highly respected governor…I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy. I was gonna hit this guy so hard his head would spin and he wouldn’t know what the hell happened…I was going to hit a number of those speakers so hard their heads would spin, they’d never recover. And that’s what I did with a lot—that’s why I still don’t have certain people endorsing me: they still haven’t recovered.” —reacting to the Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2016

“I think the only card she has is the women’s card. She has got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she would get 5% of the vote. And the beautiful thing is women don’t like her, ok?” —victory press conference, New York, April 26, 2016

“I don’t think I’m going to lose, but if I do, I don’t think you’re ever going to see me again, folks. I think I’ll go to Turnberry and play golf or something.” —Maryland rally, April 24, 2016

“I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots. I’m representing many, many millions of people. In many cases first-time voters…If you disenfranchise those people? And you say, well, I’m sorry, you’re 100 votes short, even though the next one is 500 votes short? I think you’d have problems like you’ve never seen before. I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things will happen.” —on what will happen if the nomination is taken from him at the Republican convention, CNN interview, March 16, 2016

“We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.” —on his performance with poorly educated voters who helped him win the Nevada Caucus, Feb. 23, 2016

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.” —speaking at a rally in Sioux Center, Iowa, as the audience laughed, January 23, 2016

“I know where she went—it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting.” —on Hillary Clinton taking a bathroom break during a Democratic presidential debate

“I don’t think I’ve made mistakes. Every time somebody said I made a mistake, they do the polls and my numbers go up, so I guess I haven’t made any mistakes.”

“We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.'” —plugging his book in his presidential campaign announcement

“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.” —while teasing a presidential run in 2000

Showing His Ignorance 

“‘You do know you just attacked a Gold Star family?’ one adviser warned Trump

Trump didn’t know what a Gold Star family was: ‘What’s that?’ he asked.” —as reported by New York Magazine

“Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?” —reportedly asking a foreign policy adviser three times during a meeting why the United States couldn’t use its nuclear weapons stockpile, according to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough

“[Vladimir Putin] is not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not gonna go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down.” —apparently unaware that Russia had already annexed Crimea in a 2014 intrusion into Ukraine that left thousands dead, July 31, 2016

“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” —when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” whom he talks with consistently about foreign policy, March 16, 2016

“I’ll tell you, it’s Big Business. If there is one word to describe Atlantic City, it’s Big Business. Or two words—Big Business.”

“Trump Steaks, where are the steaks? Do we have steaks? We have Trump Steaks.” —touting his alleged steak business during a press conference by handing out steaks from Bush Brothers Provision Co. Trump frozen steaks were offered at Sharper Image stores in 2007 but have since been discontinued, March 8, 2016

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems…they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

On Not Paying Taxes and His Wealth

“That makes me smart.” —responding to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that he pays no federal income tax, Sept. 26, 2016

“I’m not a schmuck. Even if the world goes to hell in a handbasket, I won’t lose a penny.”

“I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy. If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know you could make a lot of money.” —in a 2006 audiobook produced by Trump University, expressing excitement two years before a housing-market collapse brought down the U.S. economy

Showing His Double Standards

“I don’t care. It’s a long time ago. And he voted that way and they were also misled. A lot of information was given to people…” —forgiving his running mate, Mike Pence, for voting in favor of the Iraq war, saying he was “entitled to make a make mistake,” but adding that Hillary Clinton isn’t, “60 Minutes” interview, July 17, 2016

On Women and Womanizing 

Donald Trump at the third presidential debate: “Nobody respects women more than me.”

Three minutes later: “Such a nasty woman.” —October 19, 2016

“I sorta get away with things like that.” —on bursting into Miss Universe pageant dressing rooms

“Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.” —Donald Trump, mocking the women who alleged he sexually assaulted them, suggesting his accusers weren’t attractive enough to earn his attention. —October 14, 2016

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p**sy. You can do anything.” —in a 2005 interview with “Access Hollywood”’s Billy Bush

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”

“There has to be some form of punishment…you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places, but we have to ban it.” —on women who have abortions, MSNBC interview, March 30, 2016

“Women: You have to treat them like shit.”

“A person who is very flat chested is very hard to be a 10.”

“I don’t even know some of those statements. I don’t even know what they are. Nobody respects women more than I do.” —when asked in a CNN interview about his degrading remarks about women, March 21, 2016

On Michelle Fields

“She had a pen in her hand, which Secret Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb.” —on reporter Michelle Fields, whom his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, allegedly assaulted when she tried to ask Trump a question after a rally, CNN town hall, March 29, 2016

“She’s not a baby. She was grabbing me. Am I supposed to press charges against her?” —suggesting it was Michelle Fields who was the aggressor, not his campaign manager, who he insisted had been merely protecting him from her. Lewandowski was arrested on battery charges following the incident, CNN town hall, March 29, 2016

On 9/11 

“40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan…And now it’s the tallest.” —bragging about his building following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in an interview with WWOR/UPN 9 News in New York, Sept. 11, 2001

“I wrote this out, and it’s very close to my heart. Because I was down there and I watched our police and our firemen down at 7/11, down at the World Trade Center right after it came down. And I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action.” —confusing 7/11 with 9/11, Buffalo, New York, April 18, 2016

On Russia and Putin

“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. [Clinton’s] saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t—maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?” —in the first presidential debate, Sept. 26, 2016

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”—calling on Russian espionage services to intervene in the U.S. election and help sabotage Hillary Clinton. The emails in question were deemed “personal,” but Trump had previously said he thinks they contain sensitive intelligence, meaning that Trump is hoping Vladimir Putin gains access to classified U.S. government information, July 27, 2016

“I was shocked to hear [Vladimir Putin] mention the N-word. You know what the N-word is. Number one he doesn’t like him and number two he doesn’t respect him. I think he’s going to respect your president if I’m elected and I hope he likes me.” —implying that Putin uses the “N-word” to describe President Barack Obama, July 27, 2016

On Obama’s Birth Certificate 

“Hillary Clinton…started the birther controversy. I finished it.” —falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton started the rumors that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States, Sept. 16, 2016

“I have people that have been studying [Obama’s birth certificate] and they cannot believe what they’re finding…I would like to have him show his birth certificate, and can I be honest with you, I hope he can. Because if he can’t, if he can’t, if he wasn’t born in this country, which is a real possibility…then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics.” —three weeks before President Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011

“I am really honored frankly to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue. We have to look at it, we have to see is it real, is it proper, what’s on it, but I hope it checks out beautifully. I am really proud, I am really honored.” —on President Obama releasing his long-form birth certificate

“Let me tell you, I’m a really smart guy. I was a really good student at the best school in the country. The reason I have a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him.” —on why he thought President Obama wasn’t born in the United States

On Violence against Hillary Clinton 

“I think what we should do is—she goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. Right? Right? I think they should disarm—immediately. What do you think? Yes? Yes. Yeah. Take their guns away! She doesn’t want guns. Take their—let’s see what happens to her.” —on Hillary Clinton, Sept. 16, 2016

“If she gets to pick her judges—nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.” —in what many interpreted to be a suggestion that someone might shoot Hillary Clinton, her Supreme Court picks, or both, Wilmington, North Carolina, campaign rally, August 9, 2016

On Violence against Protestors 

“I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There’s a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed punch back anymore….I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya.” —on how he would handle a protester in Nevada, sparking roaring applause from the audience, February 22, 2016

“There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell—I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.” —encouraging violence at his rallies, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Feb. 1, 2016

“That was so great. Who was the person who did that? Put up your hand, put up your hand. Bring that person up here. I love that.” —praising two audience members who tackled a protester at his rally in South Carolina, Feb. 16, 2016

“The press is now going, they’re saying, ‘Oh but there’s such violence.’ No violence. You know how many people have been hurt at our rallies? I think, like, basically none except maybe somebody got hit once. It’s a love fest. These are love fests. And every once in a while…somebody will stand up and they’ll say something.…It’s a little disruption, but there’s no violence. There’s none whatsoever.” —on his campaign rallies, despite documented evidence to the contrary, March 14, 2016

Unfounded Accusations 

“I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall.” —accusing U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the fraud case against Trump University, of being biased against him because of his Mexican heritage, despite the fact that he is a U.S. citizen who was born in Indiana, CNN interview, June 5, 2016

“How about bringing baskets of money into Iraq? I want to know—who were the soldiers who had that job? I want to know who were the soldiers that had that job, ’cause I think they’re living well right now, whoever they may be.” —Donald Trump, apparently accusing U.S. soldiers in Iraq of grand larceny, June 14, 2016

“His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being—you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.” —suggesting that Ted Cruz’s father may have been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Fox News interview, May 3, 2016

“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down.” —making an unfounded accusation regarding the 9/11 attacks

On China 

“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters—rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.” —misspelling “unprecedented” in a tweet that drew widespread mockery, December 17, 2016

Who knows?” —when asked if, as president, he would start a war with China, New York Times interview, March 25, 2016

“When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time.” —on his diplomacy skills

On Politicians 

“I don’t like the crying.” —on House Speaker John Boehner

“My entire life, I’ve watched politicians bragging about how poor they are, how they came from nothing, how poor their parents and grandparents were. And I said to myself, if they can stay so poor for so many generations, maybe this isn’t the kind of person we want to be electing to higher office. How smart can they be? They’re morons.” —New York Times interview with Maureen Dowd, Nov. 28, 1999

On the Middle East 

“When Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.” —threatening to go to war with Iran over rude hand gestures, Pensacola, Florida, Sept. 9, 2016

“Iraq and Iran were very similar militarily, and they’d fight, fight, fight, and then they’d rest. They’d fight, fight, fight, and then Saddam Hussein would do the gas, and somebody else would do something else, and they’d rest.” —demonstrating his knowledge of foreign policy at a town hall meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Sept. 6, 2016

“Yeah, I guess so.” —when asked if he supported the Iraq war in 2002, despite the fact that he now claims he opposed it, interview with Howard Stern, Sept. 11, 2002

“I think Islam hates us.” —CNN interview, March 10, 2016

“We’re going to knock the shit out of ISIS.” —Portsmouth, New Hampshire

“The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” —Fox News interview, Dec. 2, 2015

On African-Americans 

“Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” —tweeting about the tragic death of Nykea Aldridge, cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, and making it all about him, Aug. 27, 2016

“What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? You’re living in poverty; your schools are no good; you have no jobs; 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?” —making a pitch to win over African-American voters, adding, “At the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get 95 percent of the African-American vote,” Aug. 19, 2016

“Look at my African-American over here!” —at a campaign rally, June 3, 2016

“I have a great relationship with the blacks.”

On Trade 

“Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people.”

On Lying and His Lies 

“I might lie to you like Hillary does all the time, but I’ll never lie to Giacomo, okay?” —admitting to lying to voters while speaking at a rally in Connecticut but saying he would not lie to an 18-year-old cancer patient in the audience, Giacomo Brancado, August 13, 2016

“From a moral standpoint, I believe in it. But you also have to get elected. And there’s no way a Republican is going to beat a Democrat when the Republican is saying, ‘We’re going to cut your Social Security’ and the Democrat is saying, ‘We’re going to keep it and give you more.” —privately explaining to House Speaker Paul Ryan that he supports cutting Social Security even though he says the opposite on the campaign trail (Bloomberg Businessweek, May 26, 2016)

“These are stupid people that say, ‘Oh didn’t Trump declare bankruptcy? Didn’t he go bankrupt?’ I didn’t go bankrupt.” —Donald Trump, on filing for bankruptcy on parts of his various businesses

“Yeah, I guess so.” —when asked if he supported the Iraq war, despite the fact that he now claims he opposed it, interview with Howard Stern, Sept. 11, 2002

“Actually, I was only kidding. You can get that baby out of here. Don’t worry, I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking. That’s OK People don’t understand. That’s OK.” —booting a mother and her crying baby from a rally moments after saying “I love babies,” August 2, 2016

“I’ve seen numbers of 24 percent—I actually saw a number of 42 percent unemployment. Forty-two percent. 5.3 percent unemployment—that is the biggest joke there is in this country.…The unemployment rate is probably 20 percent, but I will tell you, you have some great economists that will tell you it’s a 30, 32. And the highest I’ve heard so far is 42 percent.” —vastly overstating the unemployment rate in a claim rated false by Politifact, Sept. 28, 2015

On Getting to Heaven 

“For evangelicals, for the Christians, for the everybody, for everybody of religion, this will be, may be, the most important election that our country has ever had. And once I get in, I will do my thing that I do very well. And I figure it is probably, maybe the only way I’m going to get to heaven. So I better do a good job.” —speaking to evangelical leaders in Orlando, Florida, August 11, 2016

On the Media 

“They don’t write good. They have people over there, like Maggie Haberman and others, they don’t—they don’t write good. They don’t know how to write good.” —attacking The New York Times in a grammatically flawed tirade, Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, Aug. 1, 2016

“I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe.” —seemingly unconcerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin kills journalists who disagree with him, when pressed to condemn such actions in an interview with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough

“The man that wrote the second book…didn’t write the first book. The difference was like chicken salad and chicken s**t.” —on President Obama’s books

On the Military 

“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.” —on receiving a Purple Heart as a gift from a retired lieutenant colonel and supporter, August 2, 2016

“I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me…I would bomb the shit out of them.”—Nov. 13, 2015

“This is the Trump theory on war. But I’m good at war. I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war. I love war in a certain way. But only when we win.” —though he never served in the military and received five draft deferments, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Nov. 12, 2015

On John McCain

“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” —

On His Sacrifices 

“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard.” —rejecting the assertion made at the Democratic convention by Muslim lawyer Khizr Khan, whose son died in Iraq in 2004, that Trump had “sacrificed nothing and no one.” Trump was unable to name a single sacrifice when pressed to elaborate, ABC News interview, July 30, 2016.

On Immigration 

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” —campaign statemen

“I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

Insults About Specific Women 

“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.” —insulting Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly over questions she asked during the first Republican primary debate

“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” —on Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina

“Even a race to Obama, [Hillary Clinton] was gonna beat Obama. I don’t know who would be worse, I don’t know, how could it be worse? But she was going to beat—she was favored to win—and she got schlonged, she lost, I mean she lost.” —using a vulgar Yiddish word in reference to Clinton

“I’d like to hear [her] say something.” —smearing Ghazala Khan, the mother of a fallen American soldier, by implying that she was not allowed to speak, despite the fact that she has spoken publicly about her son’s death, ABC News interview, July 30, 2016

“Must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.” —to female “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant Brande Roderick, after another cast member said she had gotten down on her knees and begged not to be fired

“If I were running ‘The View,’ I’d fire Rosie [O’Donnell]. I mean, I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say, “Rosie, you’re fired.”

On Gays 

“It’s like in golf. A lot of people — I don’t want this to sound trivial — but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive. It’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.” —telling The New York Times why he opposes gay marriage

“The LGBT community, the gay community, the lesbian community—they are so much in favor of what I’ve been saying over the last three or four days. Ask the gays what they think and what they do, in, not only Saudi Arabia, but many of these countries, and then you tell me—who’s your friend, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?” —in a boast that provoked widespread ridicule from the LGBT community, June 15, 2016

On His Family 

“I like kids. I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds, and she’ll take care of the kids.”

“I don’t think Ivanka would do that, although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” —when asked how he would react if Ivanka posed for Playboy

“Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father…” —on his daughter Ivanka

“She really has become a monster…I mean monster in the most positive way.” —on his pregnant wife Melania

Other Offensive or Stupid Comments 

  • “I don’t know what hotel this is, but you ought to try turning on the air conditioning or we’re not going to get you paid.” —delivering an extended rant about a hot ballroom at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Virginia. The hotel said the air conditioning system was working properly, July 26, 2016.
  • “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” —tweeting a humble brag following the Orlando shooting massacre, June 12, 2016
  • “Happy Cinco de Mayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” —via Twitter
  • “What do I know about it? All I know is what’s on the internet.” —on trying to smear a protester who rushed the stage at his campaign rally by tweeting a widely debunked hoax video tying him to ISIS, ‘Meet the Press’ interview, March 13, 20
  • “Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know. I don’t know—did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.” —refusing to condemn former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and noted white supremacist David Duke, who endorsed Trump for president, February 28, 2016
  • “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” —in a tweet quoting fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, February 28, 2016
  • “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian.…If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’ ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.” —in response to remarks by Pope Francis saying that “a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” (February 18, 2016)
  • “Now, the poor guy—you’ve got to see this guy, ‘Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!'” —mocking New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a physical disability called arthrogryposis that limits flexibility in his arms, by jerking his arms in front of his body
  • “I will build you…one of the great ballrooms of the world.” —on building a $100 million ballroom at the White House
  • “You know the funny thing, I don’t get along with rich people. I get along with the middle class and the poor people better than I get along with the rich people.”
  • “If Obama resigns from office NOW, thereby doing a great service to the country, I will give him free lifetime golf at any one of my courses!”
  • “We’re gonna bring businesses back. We’re gonna have businesses that used to be in New Hampshire, that are now in Mexico, come back to New Hampshire, and you can tell them to go fuck themselves. Because they let you down, and they left!” —at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

“These people—I’d like to use really foul language. I won’t do it. I was going to say they’re really full of shit, but I won’t say that.” —speaking about politicians at a campaign rally in Exeter, New Hampshire

“When it comes time to default, they’re not going to remember any of the Republicans’ names. They are going to remember in history books one name, and that’s Obama.” —urging Republicans to force a default on America’s debt so that Obama wouldn’t be reelected

“In life you have to rely on the past, and that’s called history.” —on “Celebrity Apprentice”

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Richard Schiffman

The evidence is pretty clear that popular alternative treatments are, at best, no more effective than placebo, which means for instance that they have no detectable effect on the actual pathophysiology of disease, are (as placebos) variable, unreliable and weak, and that recommending them to patients requires deception. One common conclusion altmed defenders draw from the evidence (if they bother with evidence at all) is therefore that their favored treatments “show promise”, a phrase that to some extent has come to be equivalent to “show no promise”. Another common strategy, however, is to rebrand CAM as “harnessing the power of placebo”, e.g. to produce “powerful mind-body healing”, which sounds utterly silly to anyone with minimal understanding of placebo, but does indeed, well, show promise as a marketing technique.

Richard Schiffman is not, as far as we can tell, an altmed practitioner, but he is a journalist for the hive of quackery that is The Huffington Post and the author e.g. of the article “How the Placebo Effect Proves That God Exists”. Now, Schiffman has already decided that prayer and spirituality is correlated with better health, and that the “jury is out” regarding whether intercessory prayer works (it isn’t), but even if the healing powers of prayer don’t on its own establish the existence of God, surely the placebo effect does: “To my way of thinking, the very existence of this mysterious effect proves that God exists. That’s right, you can find evidence for the foundational truths taught by religion in virtually every double blind medical research study!” You really cannot, and Schiffman doesn’t consider the possibility that “my way of thinking” might be a weak link in the argument. Of course, Schiffman hastens to add that he isn’t making specific claims about specific gods: “But I am not saying that you and I in our egocentric and separate selves are God. It is rather the other way around – when we drop the elaborate pretense and disguise of being these limited and conditioned entities, we discover that we are not separate or apart from anything. We are part and parcel of all that exists.” I.e., by “God” he means the contents of a word salad tossed by a Deepak Chopra generator. How the placebo effect is supposed to support the existence of thisis not entirely clear but has something to do with (this and) mystics who proclaim themselves to be “one with God”. Well, ultimately the argument is that because Schiffman really doesn’t understand the placebo effect, science cannot explain it (they can), and there placebo effects are “miracles” leaving holes in any scientific explanations that Schiffman is free to fill with whatever he wants, and he predictably chooses something resembling the Secret.

And he really doesn’t get it; Schiffman for instance explicitly characterizes placebo responses as a sugar pill making a sick person healthy again (which then is “miraculous” and resists explanation). It would, of course, be good if it worked that way, but it really doesn’t. The placebo effect really is just a name for a rather complex set of phenomena, including experimental bias, observer effects, expectancy effects, and certain well-known artifacts of the clinical trial process. And most importantly, perhaps: placebo effects are commonly observed only for subjectiveoutcomes, and will not detectably affect the pathophysiology of any disease or condition. Life is hard, and invoking The Secretis really not going to make it any easier.

Diagnosis: Chopra-style word salad processor, quack apologist and amateur pseudoscientist. That Huffpo gives this kind of nonsense a platform is really a disgrace.

Jonathan Saenz

Jonathan Saenz is the president of Texas Values, which is a piece of information that should really be sufficient to establish that he is a serious loon. Texas Values is the lobbying arm of the Liberty Institute, an organization notorious for peddling conspiracy theories and discredited stories about how government and progressive activists are attacking religious liberty.

And just as you’d expect, Saenz really, really doesn’t like gay people – that his former wife apparently left him for another woman might be part of it, but his lunacy is nevertheless all his own. The primary goal of his group is to combat LGBT equality and basic protections for LGBT people, such as efforts to prevent anti-LGBT bullying (that would, as they see it, constitute granting “special rights” to “homosexuals”). They also wish to keep anti-sodomy laws on the books, claiming that efforts to repeal such laws are efforts to push a gay “agenda”. In addition, Texas Values opposes sex education and considers themselves brave soldiers for good in the mythical “war on Christmas”, mostly by pushing conspiracy theories and myths: the “war” is “a key front in the radical movement to remove all religious expression from the public square” and create a world where children are too afraid to even talk about Christmas at school.

In 2014 Saenz called the marriage equality ruling in Texas a “hollow victory” (??), after calling it “one of the most egregious forms of judicial activism of our generation;” judicial activism, of course, is when the courts issue a ruling Saenz doesn’t like (https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Judicial_activism). To help himself cope with such decisions, Saenz has turned to denialism so delusional (growing support for gay marriage in the US is “a myth” – the vast majority of Americans really agrees with him; facts be damned) one would almost have felt sorry for him if he weren’t so hateful; the same sort of delusions are on glorious display here.

He is no fan of non-discrimination ordinances either, ostensibly because they discriminate against his religious freedom to discriminate against those who don’t share his religious beliefs. Indeed, with regard to Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, Saenz called it a demonic attempt to empower “sexual predators” to “terrorize women and children.”

In conclusion, according to Saenz, gay people are like an enemy army, and “America today is occupied territory. The enemies of religious freedom occupy every power center from government to academia. Everyone except its spiritual core…” That core would be the pastors, who are now “the Leaders of the Resistance,” who are accordingly targeted by this demonic army of gay people (therefore you should send Saenz money). Indeed, Saenz seems to think that the battle for marriage equality is really just a flimsy cover for a Satanic attack on churches and, ultimately, Christianity itself – gay rights advocates really want to “destroy” marriage, “attack churches,” and make sure “religious liberty will be obliterated”; indeed, advocates of gay rights ultimately want to throw their opponents in jail, or even in concentration camps. Of course, Saenz’s paranoia is partially fueled by his complete inability to grasp the distinction between criticism and censorship – true to form, Saenz has called those who criticize him “enemies of freedom”. He also, unsurprisingly, has a bit of trouble with the distinctions truth/falsehood and honesty/lying.

He is also a firm supporter of reparative therapy.

Though his energies have, at least the last few years, mostly been devoted to anti-gay efforts, Saenz has a long history of wingnut advocacy for a wide range of types of bigotry, denialism or pseudoscience. Saenz, a staunch creationist (the theory of evolution, which he doesn’t remotely understand, is a “left-wing ideology” that “any respectable scientist” should see through), was for instance a supporter of having Texas public schools teach creationism; when the education board decided that science classes should be devoted to science in 2009, Saenz was outraged and lambasted the board for wanting to “bow down to the scientific community”: “It’s outrageous that our highest elected education officials voted to silence teachers and students in science class” and thus prevent them from teaching kids all other non-science stuff that Saenz they might believe. “Despite being overwhelmed by e-mails and phone calls to keep strengths and weaknesses, the divided State Board of Education ignored constituents and sided with a small group of activists,” continued Saenz: “This decision shows that science has evolved into a political popularity contest. The truth has been expelled from the science classroom.” It is a lovely illustration of Saenz’s deranged mind that he failed to notice the blatant contradiction between those two claims. He did, however, commend the board for a resolution calling on textbook publishers to limit references to Islam, ostensibly to combat the stealth influence of Middle Easterners on textbook publishing.

He has also called it “untrue and factually and historically inaccurate” that the Constitution separates church and state, as if he had any idea what “untrue” and “inaccurate” mean.

Diagnosis: As confident as he is delusional, Saenz actually wields quite some influence in his native Texas. Extremely dangerous.

 

Scientists have proven….!

by Jack Mehoff, PhD

Whenever an invented story emerges on the Internet, believe it that sooner or later a reader sees the assurance that Scientists have Proven some nonsense.

Since there are no legitimate scientists involved with these childish fictions, identifying names are never published.

Here is a partial list of scientific-approved fables:

  • The Antarctic Ice cap is growing larger every day
  • Bigfoot exists and was seen in downtown Dallas
  • A huge city is discovered under the ice in Antarctica
  • Paul Wellstone’s plane was shot down by Boy Scouts
  • Planet X is rapidly approaching the Earth
  • Princess Diana was killed by space aliens
  • The Queen of England is a giant lizard
  • Chemtrails are covering the US with mind-control powder
  • Jesus will return next March
  • The Earth is flat
  • BitCoin will make some of us very wealthy
  • President Obama was born on Mars
  • The Lochness Monster is in Lake Erie
  • America is winning the War in Afganistan.
  • Drinking commercial bleach makes one grow taller
  • Fat people make good eating
  • All US paper money contains mind-control strips
  • Donald Trump is a brilliant intellectual
  • A proctologist found John Bolton’s brain
  • Vaccines cause Terminal Flatulence in Republican Senators
  • The Bermuda Triangle has moved to West Virginia

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

July 3, 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. 19

Date: Thursday, June 27, 1996

Commenced: 9:30 AM CST

Concluded: 9:45 AM CST

 

GD: Good morning, Robert.

RTC: And to you, Gregory.

GD: Do you have some time now or could I get back to you later?

RTC: Now is just fine. What’s on your mind?

GD: You had been speaking of the overall CIA organizational control in certain domestic areas. I’ve been making rough notes and I would like to get a bit more from you.

RTC: I don’t mind discussing these matters with you, Gregory, but I must ask you to be very, very careful about whom you discuss these things with. Do not, I beg you, ever tell Tom Kimmel about what you and I discuss. He would run to his superiors so fast he would make Jesse Owens look like a paraplegic.

GD: No, no, I wouldn’t even consider that. I know about him. My assurances on all of this. You see, sometime, I might like to upgrade the Müller books and since he worked for you in D.C., some detailed background might be in order. If I put in enough detail, it would shock the brass there into comparative silence. They wouldn’t have to get their paid rats to squeal about me being a fraud or worse.

RTC: OK. Just so we understand each other. These pissheads keep calling me to warn me about how horrible you are and I really don’t want to keep hanging up on them.

GD: Can they make trouble for you, Robert? If so…

RTC: No, retired old crock as I am, I could wipe them out with one phone call and they know it. While we’re on the subject, I have made it very clear that if they overtly go after you, they will have me to answer to.

GD: Thanks for the support. I must tell you that I always wear a bulletproof vest but on my back. That’s where I need it, believe me.

RTC: (Laughter) Ah, well, Gregory, welcome to the club. Now what were you interested in discussing?

GD: All right. Fine. Here we go. We have spoken…or rather you have…about the size and complexity of the CIA. From its humble beginnings as a sort of digest of foreign intelligence for the President. And now, it’s huge. And you discussed the press and business and so on. How great is the overall power or control and how obvious is is? Do you have agents in the local Post Office for instance?

RTC: No, not that finely tuned. As you said, we started out small and ended up big. That’s the way of bureaucracies. Expand or die. Old Hoover hated us and tried his best to take us over but he failed. There were more of us that there were of him and while initially we dealt only with foreign matters, as a matter of pure survival, we turned our eyes and attention to the domestic market. Hoover was in a constant attack mode, whispering, rumor spreading, attempts at internal spying on us, aggravated turf wars and so on.  We not only had to get around him, and did so by being more than useful to the President and also, note this Gregory, by expanding and getting more power. These things have a life of their own but with increasing power comes increasing omnipotence. Eventually, we did an end run on Hoover, although we continued to work with him but very gingerly, and then we moved with caution into the domestic business and political field. For both security and, I might add, profit. I was in charge of business contacts as it were and often a CEO would come to me complaining that this or that country was interfering with their business. Could I help? Of course I would try and if the interference was bad enough, we would try to help our friend by replacing the troublemaking government or president, or king, involved. We justified this by telling the President or his top people that the target country, or president or king was a current serious threat to the security of the United States. In order to support our thesis, we went to one of our wholly-owned think tanks like the RAND people and have them prepare a supportive paper on order. This I would look at and make suitable changes if needed and forward it to our man, or men as it were, on the staff of the New York Times followed by a personal call to the publisher or senior editor and hey presto, the very next day a wonderful story would be on the front page of that influential paper.

GD: Above the fold?

RTC: Yes, above the fold. On the upper right. And the president and his people would see this just before we paid him a solemn visit with our RAND evaluation added to our own. It never failed and pretty soon, the public would learn that the Shah of Iran was running away or that this or that tinhorn dictator like Trujillo got snuffed by what we liked to call ‘dissident internal elements.’

GD: I knew about Guatemala from my uncle. The family had connections with Grace and United Fruit…

RTC: Well, you know what I mean. You know, this usually works but in one case, it did not. We were asked by our mob friends to get rid of Battista in Cuba who was shaking them down more than usual so we were happy to oblige fellow workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Unfortunately, one of our people put Fidel Castro forward as a brilliant reformer and out went Battista and in went Fidel. Of course we do not talk about that.

GD: What happened to the careless agent?

RTC: We don’t talk about that, either.

GD: Robert, have you heard about the joys of finely ground glass? I mean ground in a pestle until it’s like face powder, not gravel.

RTC: Oh, yes, indeed I have. It destroys someone careless enough to eat something the stuff is mixed into. But it takes quite a bit of time before the arteries give way. I don’t recommend it for emergency situations. Still, shooting someone is so public. Better the heart attack, don’t you think?

GD: Yes. A French medical fellow originally developed the drug and Müller got it. Gave it to the CIA. He said it worked better than chucking inconvenient people out of the window. Heini was, all in all, a very considerate person. He used to be concerned, he once told me, about the people and vehicles that might be down below. Someone rapidly descending from ten floors up would do terrible damage to a casual pedestrian, not to mention the damage they could do to a parked car. No, once he got in with your people there, I notice defenestrating seemed to stop and the heart attack surged forward. Harry Dexter White is a case in point.

RTC: Ah, my yes, old Harry. Got him before he was up for sentencing and decided to talk. Although perhaps Stalin had a hand in that, don’t you think? Qui Bono, Gregory?

GD: A good point.

 

(Concluded at 10:01 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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