TBR News July 9, 2011

Jul 08 2011

The Voice of the White House


Washington, D.C. July 9, 2011: “When he was running for the office of President,,Obama made many promises to a gullible electorate. They believed him.

After he was elected, he did what was unexpected: He sold out to the Power Elite in this country and has breached all of his noble promises.

He did not close the notorious Guantanamo prison. He did not push for a “more open government” but instead, tried to crack down on any and all whistleblowers. His openness project resulted in his getting one Cass Sunstein on his staff and task him with finding a way to completely control the Internet that had the potential of questioning his sell-outs. He promised to cease and desist military action in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

He did withdraw troops from the former but they were immediately sent to the latter. The Russians offered to give the United States “strong logistical support” in Afghanistan on the condition we destroyed the huge opium fields that lie in our zone of control. The Obama people at once refused “on the advise of the President” because certain agencies of this country profit from the sale of this opium.

Initially, stories that he was not born in the United States were labeled as mere rumor-mongering but it now is becoming evident that some kind of a ‘fiddle’ took place in Hawaii and that there well may be truth to the rumors. If they were true, Obama could not stay in the Oval Office so of course the trashing of the revisionists will go on. There will certainly be more on this subject in the future.

Also, the looming mortgage disaster that is going to impact many millions of Americans is being shoved under the rug to avoid a last minute explosion that could well wreck the Presidential elections next year. In sum, we did not elect a saint to office but a sinner.”

(On April 27, 2011, the White House released what it claimed was a ‘certified copy’ of Obama’s long-form birth certificate on television and the internet.  However, numerous document examiners, typesetting experts, and graphics consultants have come forward to state, in formal presentations and reports, that the image presented to the public is a poor forgery. The extreme reluctance of Obama to release any copy of the controversial document is in and of itself highly suspicious.)

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

July 7, 2011

Rasmussen Reports

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 24% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –15.

Twenty-five percent (25%) believe the U.S. is generally heading in the right direction.

As Congress continues its debate over the national debt ceiling, just 23% of American Adults are at least somewhat confident that U.S. policymakers know what they’re doing when it comes to addressing the nation’s current economic problems.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Updates are available on Twitter and Facebook.

Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s performance. Fifty percent (50%) at least somewhat disapprove.

Fifty-two percent (52%) have a favorable opinion of the AARP. The NEA draws positive reviews from 42% and the NRA from 54%.

Reports: Obama Pushing for Cuts to Social Security, Medicare


July 7, 2011

by Glenn Greenwald


For months, the standard narrative among progressive commentators was that Republicans were outrageously exploiting the debt ceiling deadline to impose drastic entitlement cuts on a resisting and victimized Democratic President (he’s weak in negotiations!), but The Post article makes clear that the driving force behind these cuts is the President himself, who is pushing for even larger spending cuts than the GOP was ready to accept:

President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue. . . . As part of his pitch, Obama is proposing significant reductions in Medicare spending and for the first time is offering to tackle the rising cost of Social Security, according to people in both parties with knowledge of the proposal. The move marks a major shift for the White House and could present a direct challenge to Democratic lawmakers who have vowed to protect health and retirement benefits from the assault on government spending.

This morning’s New York Times article similarly makes clear that it is the President who is demanding an even larger “deficit reduction” package than has previously been discussed.  Headlined “Obama to Push for Wider Deal With G.O.P. on Deficit Cuts,” the article reports that “President Obama has raised his sights and wants to strike a far-reaching agreement on cutting the federal deficit” and that he “wants to move well beyond the $2 trillion in savings sought in earlier negotiations and seek perhaps twice as much over the next decade.”  This is all in pursuit of “an agreement that ma[kes] substantial spending cuts, including in such social programs as Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security — programs that had been off the table.”  The President, as part of the package, is reportedly seeking some elimination of modest tax “loopholes” that benefit wealthy Americans to claim, absurdly, that there is “balanced” sacrifice.

It’s true that these articles rely upon anonymous sources, though multiple such sources close to the negotiations — from both parties — are cited in consensus about what is taking place, and there are numerous other reports entirely consistent with these.  It’s been bleedingly obvious for some time that the bipartisan D.C. political class and the economic factions that own it have been intent on massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare — see George Carlin’s 2007 video explanation below — but the combination of deficit hysteria (repeatedly bolstered by Obama) and the manufactured debt ceiling deadline has, by design, created the perfect pretext to enable this now.  As one “Democratic official” told the Post: “These moments come along at most once a decade. And it would be a real mistake if we let it pass us by.”  Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine is not a GOP-exclusive dynamic.

How many people who voted for Obama in 2008 would have expected a headline like this a short two-and-a-half years later?  Many more than should have.  As Matt Taibbi explains in trumpeting Frank Rich’s superb new New York article detailing Obama’s subservience to Wall Street:

Throughout 2008, it was hard to shake the feeling that this was a politician whose legacy could still go either way. There were an awful lot of troubling signs on the horizon in Obama’s campaign, not the least of which being the enthusiastic support he was receiving from Wall Street.

Obama in part ran a very slightly economically populist campaign, but the tens of millions pouring into his campaign coffers from the very rich (and specifically from hedge funds) told all of us that we probably shouldn’t expect those promises to come off. For a piece I wrote that summer, I asked people in Washington why Wall Street would be throwing money at a guy who was out there on the stump pledging to reach into their pockets:

“Sadly, the answer to that question increasingly appears to be that Obama is, well, full of shit. . . . These populist pledges sound good, but many business moguls appear to be betting that the tax policies, like Obama himself, are only that: something that sounds good. ‘I think we don’t want to make too much of his promises on taxes,’ says Robert Pollin, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts. ‘Not all of these things will happen.’ Noting the overwhelming amount of Wall Street money pouring into Obama’s campaign, even elitist fuckwad David Brooks was recently moved to write, “Once the Republicans are vanquished, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that capital-gains tax hike.”

Disgustingly, Brooks turned out to be right, and the narrative of the Obama presidency did end up turning sour, on that front anyway.

When I first began writing about politics in late 2005, the standard liberal blogosphere critique — one I naively believed back then — was that Democrats were capitulating so continuously to the Bush agenda because they “lacked spine” and were inept political strategists: i.e., they found those policies so very offensive but were simply unwilling or unable to resist them.  It became apparent to me that this was little more than a self-soothing conceit: Democrats continuously voted for Bush policies because they were either indifferent to their enactment or actively supported them, and were owned and controlled by the same factions as the GOP.

Now, Democratic commentators — mostly the President’s most hardened loyalists — continue to invoke this “he’s-weak-and-inept” excuse for Obama, but the evidence is far too abundant to sustain it any longer.  As Paul Krugman — long more clear-eyed than most progressives about Obama — explained this week:

Since Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying. . . . , here’s an unprofessional speculation: maybe it’s personal. Maybe the president just doesn’t like the kind of people who tell him counterintuitive things, who say that the government is not like a family, that it’s not right for the government to tighten its belt when Americans are tightening theirs, that unemployment is not caused by lack of the right skills. Certainly just about all the people who might have tried to make that argument have left the administration or are leaving soon.

And what’s left, I’m afraid, are the Very Serious People. It looks as if those are the people the president feels comfortable with. And that, of course, is a tragedy.

I think Krugman’s “personal” explanation — that Obama is far more comfortable with “neo-liberal centrists” (i.e., corporatists) than with actual liberals — is basically true (Frank Rich put it this way:  “For all the lurid fantasies of the birthers, the dirty secret of Obama’s background is that the values of Harvard, not of Kenya or Indonesia or Bill Ayers, have most colored his governing style. He falls hard for the best and the brightest white guys”).  But it’s also about ideology, conviction, and self-interest: Obama both believes in the corporatist agenda he embraces and assesses it to be in his political interest to be associated with it.  If it means “painful” entitlement cuts for ordinary Americans at a time of massive unemployment, economic anxiety and exploding wealth inequality, so be it.

Krugman understandably describes this dynamic in the context of the debt battle because that’s the area on which he focuses most, but this is the same exact dynamic that drives the Obama presidency in almost every realm.  In the context of foreign policy and civil liberties, the public-private National Security State (the “Fourth Branch” of Government) is his Wall Street; military and intelligence officials and defense contractors are his Geithner/Summers/Dimon; and endless embrace of the Bush/Cheney Terrorism template of militarism and civil liberties assaults is his cutting of Social Security and Medicare.  This is who Barack Obama is; it’s what drives his presidency in every realm, not just in economic policy.

What’s particularly revealing in the Social Security/Medicare assault is the political calculation.  The President obviously believes that being able to run by having made his own party angry — I cut entitlement programs long cherished by liberals — will increase his appeal to independents and restore his image of trans-partisan conciliator that he so covets.  But how could it possibly be politically advantageous for a Democratic President to lead the way in slashing programs that have long been the crown jewels of his party, defense of which is the central litmus test for whether someone is even a Democrat?  The answer lies in how lacking in credibility is this statement, from The New York Times:

“Depending on what they decide to recommend, they may not have Democrats,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, said in an interview. “I think it is a risky thing for the White House to basically take the bet that we can be presented with something at the last minute and we will go for it.”

There’s nothing “risky” about that.  Of course enough Democrats will get in line behind Obama’s proposal to pass it once they’re told they must.  Similarly, those progressive commentators who are first and foremost Democratic loyalists — who rose up in angry and effective unison to prevent George Bush from privatizing Social Security in 2005 — will mount no meaningful opposition out of fear of weakening the President’s political prospects.  White House aides will just utter Michele Bachmann enough times like some magical spell and snap more than enough people into fear-induced compliance.  The last thing the White House is worried about — the last thing — is its “base.”

This was the primary lesson from the health care fight.  Obama loyalists who maligned anyone who resisted that bill always misunderstood the point.  It was never about the substantive belief in what became the very weak “public option” provision: at least not primarily.  Instead, it was about political power.

Congressional Democrats began the health care debate by categorically vowing — in writing, by the dozens — never to support any health care bill that did not contain a public option (on the ground that it would be little more than a boon to — an entrenchment of — the private health insurance industry).  But once they all abandoned that pledge when told that doing so was necessary to be good, loyal Democrats, it was clear from that point froward that they could be ignored.  They had no willingness to exercise political power; their partisan loyalty trumped any alleged convictions; and they could always be counted on to snap dutifully into line at the end no matter how much their values were stomped on (and that debate followed the same template as the deficit battle: the White House publicly pretending to advocate for a public option while leading the way in private to ensure it never happened).

Obama knows full well that he can slash Medicare, Medicaid and even Social Security — just like he could sign an extension of Bush tax cuts, escalate multiple wars, and embrace the Bush/Cheney Terrorism template recently known in Democratic circles as “shredding the Constitution” — and have most Democrats and progressives continue to support him anyway.  Unconditional support ensures political impotence, and rightly so.  He’s attending to the constituencies that matter: mostly, Wall Street tycoons who funded his 2008 campaign and whom he hopes will fund his re-election bid, and independent whose support is in question.  And he’s doing that both because it’s in his perceived interest and because, to the extent he believes in anything, those are the constituencies with which he feels most comfortable.

Comment: The Obama White House doesn’t know whom it hates more: Julian Assange or Glenn Greenwald. As for them, many enemies, much honor. Ed

Murdoch stuns critics, shuts down scandal-hit paper

July 7, 2011

by Kate Holton and Georgina Prodhan


LONDON (Reuters) – In a breathtaking response to a scandal engulfing his media empire, Rupert Murdoch moved on Thursday to close down the News of the World, Britain’s biggest selling Sunday newspaper.

As allegations multiplied that its journalists hacked the voicemails of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of Britain’s war dead, the tabloid had hemorrhaged advertising, alienated millions of readers and posed a growing threat to Murdoch’s hopes of buying broadcaster BSkyB.

Yet no one, least of all the 168-year-old paper’s 200 staff, was prepared for the drama of a single sentence that will surely go down as one of the most startling turns in the 80-year-old Australian-born press baron’s long and controversial career.

“News International today announces that this Sunday, 10 July 2011, will be the last issue of the News of the World,” read the preamble to a statement from Murdoch’s son James, who chairs the British newspaper arm of News Corp.

It seemed a bold gamble, sacrificing a historic title that is suffering from the long-term decline of print newspapers to stave off a threat to plans to expand in television — “Talk about a nuclear option,” said a “gobsmacked” Steven Barnett, professor of communications at Westminster University.

But some analysts said Murdoch would still face pressure to remove his close confidante and top British newspaper executive Rebekah Brooks, a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron. Her editorship of the News of the World a decade ago is at the heart of some of the gravest accusations.

Praising a fine muck-raking tradition at the paper, which his father bought in 1969, James Murdoch wrote in a statement to stunned staff that the explosion of a long-running scandal over phone hacking by journalists had made the paper unviable:

“The good things the News of the World does … have been sullied by behavior that was wrong. Indeed, if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our company. The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed when it came to itself.”

It was unclear whether the company would produce a replacement title for the lucrative Sunday market, in which, despite difficult times for newspaper circulations, the News of the World is still selling 2.6 million copies a week.

One option, analysts said, might be for its daily sister paper the Sun to extend its coverage to a seventh day.


Stephen Adams, a fund manager at Aegon asset management, which is one of the biggest shareholders in BSkyB, told Reuters:

“We see it as something to restore or remedy a tarnished reputation for the News Corp group. But we also critically see it as a reflection of News Corp’s desire to progress the BSkyB bid and have full ownership of the company.”

Cameron’s government had already given an informal blessing to the takeover, despite criticism on the left that it gave Murdoch too much media power. But the storm of outrage at the News of the World had turned attention on Cameron’s own links to the paper — he made another former editor his spokesman — and so had fostered concerns among investors that there could be snags in securing final approval for the $14-billion bid.

In his statement, James Murdoch said: “This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World.

“In addition, I have decided that all of the News of the World’s revenue this weekend will go to good causes … We will run no commercial advertisements this weekend.”

Journalists said that an emotional editor Colin Myler had read out the announcement at the east London newsroom where Murdoch changed the face of British journalism in the 1980s by breaking the power of the printing unions.

Myler, journalists said, had asked Brooks to leave the room, adding that many were angry that some 200 people were losing jobs in what they saw as a move to shield the former editor.

James Murdoch made clear Brooks remained in place as chief executive, telling Sky News he was satisfied that Brooks knew nothing of the crimes allegedly committed when he was editor.

One employee of the doomed paper told Reuters: “We didn’t expect it at all. We had no indication. The last week has been tough. None of us have done anything wrong. We thought we were going to weather the storm.”

One source at News International said the decision had been taken and acted upon with little delay.

The journalists’ trade union said it was Brooks, not they, who should be fired: “It is the people at the top who need to be punished, not ordinary working journalists,” the union said.

The leader of the opposition Labor party Ed Miliband also said Brooks should go. “What I’m interested in is not closing down newspapers, I’m interested in those who were responsible being brought to justice and those who have responsibility for the running of that newspaper taking their responsibility and I don’t think those two things have happened today.”

Ian Hargreaves of the Cardiff School of Journalism called closing the paper “an astonishing and unprecedented act”: “It is appropriate to the moral horror that the owners of the newspaper faced but…killing the paper does not kill the story.”

Tom Watson, a Labour member of parliament who had campaigned for a reckoning from the paper over the phone hacking scandal, said: “This is a victory for decent people up and down the land.

“I say good riddance to the News of the World.”


The scandal had deepened on Thursday with claims News of the World hacked the phones of relatives of British soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain’s military veterans’ association broke off a joint lobbying campaign with the paper and said it might join major brands in pulling its advertising.

The British Legion said it could not campaign with the News of the World on behalf of the families of soldiers “while it stands accused of preying on these same families in the lowest depths of their misery.”

Signaling how far the racy, flag-waving title has alienated a core readership already horrified by suggestions its reporters accessed the voicemails not only of celebrities and politicians, but also of missing children and crime victims, an online boycott petition garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures.

News Corp wants to buy out the 61 percent of BSkyB it does not already own. The government has said the News of the World case should not affect that. But U.S. shares in News Corp fell over 5 percent on Wednesday, though they recovered somewhat in a stronger general market on Thursday.

Formal approval for the deal had been expected within weeks after the government gave its blessing in principle. But it now seems unlikely for months, although officials denied suggestions that they were delaying a decision because of the scandal.

“The Secretary of State has always been clear that he will take as long as is needed to reach a decision. There is no ‘delay’ since there has been no set timetable for a further announcement,” a government spokesman said. Some British media reported that a decision was now expected in September.

The main accusations are that journalists, or their hired investigators, took advantage of often limited security on mobile phone voicemail boxes to listen in to messages left for celebrities, politicians or people involved in major stories.

Disclosure that the practice involved victims of crime came when police said a private detective working for the News of the World in 2002 hacked into messages left on the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler while police were still looking for her.

Police have also been criticized over allegations officers took money from the News of the World for information. London’s Evening Standard newspaper said on Thursday that police officers took more than 100,000 pounds ($160,000) in payments from senior journalists and executives at the paper.

Analysts believe the global Murdoch empire, which includes Fox television and the Wall Street Journal, can weather a storm of reproach from advertisers, readers and politicians in Britain — though there were signs of international ramifications.

In Murdoch’s native Australia, the leader of the Greens party said he wants the government to examine the ramifications on Australia of the phone hacking scandal.

(Writing by Alastair Macdonald)

Everyone P-P-Panic!  al-Qaida is Sewing Bombs Into People!

July 6, 2011

by Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman


DC and media types are often accused of stoking fear about terror plans that sound more like movie plots, from anthrax-filled cropdusters to one-man cyber armies. This time, they’ve just decided to bite from Hollywood directly, and spread the word about a nefarious terrorist scheme already seen in The Dark Knight.

That’s right: Al-Qaida wants to surgically implant bombs into people. Or so the government claims.

Not that there’s an imminent threat, says the Department of Homeland Security. Or a surgery bomb plot that’s been foiled at the last stitch. No, this was just an “aspirational” terror plan – one that the government is now ever-so-conveniently leaking.

The Transportation Security Administration has begun warning airlines that terrorists might sow bombs into themselves. Advantage: the porno scanners at select airports couldn’t detect a bomb lodged in someone’s gut or chest. Disadvantage: ow.

Supposedly, this fantastical story is based on “new intelligence,” Reuters reports. And we’ve been told by people in position to see such information — who wouldn’t talk on the record — that this is more than just a page from the last Batman script. But.

There are a few reports that al-Qaida tried this before. Well, kinda sorta. The terror crew allegedly ”surgically implanted powerful explosives and detonators” in two dogs. (The bastards.) The idea was to kennel the dogs on a Baghdad flight bound for the United States. But the dogs died on board, leaving the air crew to discover their body’s lethal cargo. That is, if you believe Le Figaro and the New York Post.

Before that, of course, al-Qaida affiliates tried to turn tighty whiteys into a weapon, and shove a bomb in a wannabe martyr’s bum. Neither of those plots really worked out, either.

There was a time when al-Qaida actually needed to blow something up in order to scare us into overreaction. After a while, we got so nervous that a failed plot would send our leaders lunging for daddy’s junk and granny’s shoes. Now, the botched plans don’t even have to involve people. A couple of dead dogs and a few whispered rumors may be all it takes for a new round of panic.

Or perhaps, just this once, our so-called defenders could stop acting like pussies and imbeciles. Perhaps they could cool it with the mega-expensive, mega-invasive, brain dead, one-size-fits all searches for terror weapons — as if each weapon will be the last. Perhaps they could pour more money into spotting actual terrorists.

But don’t count on it. Already, airport security companies cackling at the chance to develop new detection tech for surgically implanted bombs. An Indiana company claims to have developed an imagery machine that can find “explosive materials, narcotics, and low-density plastics hidden inside or outside of the human body,” according to its CEO, by analyzing X-rays scattered or refracted from the body’s soft tissue.

See how this works, everyone?

A TSA spokesman is already warning passengers about the expanded groping and picture-taking they can now expect during the vacation travel season. “These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same activity at every international airport,” mouthpiece Nicholas Kimball said.

So: a disruptive, potentially expensive panic based on a wild aspirational scheme? Actually, that sounds a lot like al-Qaida. And the TSA.

Update: Thanks to our friends at Public Intelligence, we learn that last year, Homeland Security issued an alert about women suicide bombers that breathlessly warned al-Qaida was “considering using breast implants as a means to conceal explosives.” Not that that could ever be an excuse to grope women at the airport or anything.

Comment: The TSA/DHS are not scraping the bottom of the barrel, children, they are the bottom of the barrel! Remember the dimwitted Tom Ridge waving papers around and talking about duct-taping your windows? And every time the Bush creeps wanted something, a laughable fake ‘bin Laden’ tape was released? Or a dangerous gang of 15 year olds “plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago?” The very obvious aim is to terrify the public into permitting them to expand their ludicrous activities into bus, train and subway stations all across the country. Yes indeed, the pointy-heads get to grope more grannies. And all the while, our President’s smiling head bobs up and down like those spring-loaded toys in the back of trailer park car windows. Ed

The House of Saud paranoia

July 7, 2011

by Pepe Escobar

Asia TImes

A very quiet summit recently took place at a North Atlantic Treaty organization (NATO) base in Molesworth, in the United Kingdom. Facing the British was none other than Prince Turki al-Faisal, former director general of Saudi Arabia’s feared Mukhabarat (intelligence services), and once a very close friend of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Prince Turki was there to explain the House of Saud’s take on the great 2011 Arab revolt. In a nutshell; he told the British – and the Americans – to forget their silly ideas about “democracy”. This was all an Iranian plot.
The deployment of Saudi Arabian troops in Bahrain and Yemen, and the deployment of Wahhabi mercenaries in Libya and Syria was nothing other than tools to fight in ideological combat – and engage in hardcore repression – against the spread of Shi’ite Iran’s influence.
The icing in this desert cake is the ongoing transformation of the Gulf Cooperation Council – in fact now a Gulf Counter-Revolution Cub – into an alliance of Sunni monarchies, with the incorporation of Jordan and Morocco to current members Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
The House of Saud remains the proverbial staunch ally of the Washington/London “special relationship” – its petrodollars ($300 billion in oil revenues in 2011, made possible by owing 12% of global oil production) buying everyone in sight from Egypt to Libya and Palestine, while Arab al-Qaeda-linked networks merrily bolster the uprisings in both Libya and Syria.
Yet – in this House of supreme paranoia – what if the day comes when they wouldn’t be regarded as indispensable, staunch allies anymore? What if Washington/London are convinced that a more acceptable Middle East should have Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood as “models”?
On the crucial energy front, the House of Saud didn’t fail to notice the fact that the US will prefer to concentrate its future energy needs on gas – and not oil, and this while Saudi oil reserves are declining and China is already Saudi Arabia’s top trade partner (that’s one of the key reasons China abstained from United Nations resolution 1973 on Libya; Beijing didn’t want to antagonize Riyadh).
Washington/London certainly increased their own fears of a regional disaster when Prince Turki was very clear Saudi Arabia would go for its own nuclear bomb in case Iran did the same – although there’s no evidence whatsoever, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program. By the way Prince Turki himself made it clear on a separate occasion; the only regional actor allowed to have nuclear weapons is Israel.
So Prince Turki’s message at this “secret” NATO meeting was essentially that we’re top dog in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, and from now on we do what we want to do first, not necessarily what you want us to do.
That could be the definitive hint for Washington to finally drop this inconvenient, medieval but staunch ally that stubbornly wants to stop the flow of history – but it won’t be interpreted as such.

All about Iranophobia

The House of Saud has used the great 2011 Arab revolt to propel Iranophobia in the Sunni Arab world to all-out hysteria. Iranophobia has been deployed as a Saudi-orchestrated psy-ops for years now – geared towards isolating Iran in the arc from Northern Africa to Southwest Asia.
While trying to depict Iran to Arab public opinion as the ultimate evil, the House of Saud may hope to obscure the role of the real profiteers – Western neo-colonial powers which occupy or control, directly and indirectly, the Arab world. Most of all, Iranophobia is extremely useful for the House of Saud, as well as the al-Khalifa Sunni dynasty in Bahrain and the Emirates rulers, to mercilessly repress their own people.
In the West, Iranophobia has been misunderstood as a cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. No; it’s a counter-revolutionary pys-ops conducted by the House of Saud out of supreme fear of Iran’s regional alliances – with Hezbollah in Lebanon or the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad – as well as Iranian support, for instance, for the Houthi rebellion in northern Yemen in 2009.
There’s also a running myth that Saudi King Abdullah, 86, illiterate and close to meeting his maker, has tried to integrate Saudi Shi’ites – especially via the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue. There’s no way to understand Saudi Arabia without examining its historical prejudice against Shi’ites. Saudi schoolbooks treat Shi’ites as non-Muslim infidels, or worse – evil “polytheists”.
The heart of the matter is that the House of Saud is bound by blood with the Sunni Wahhabi clerical establishment. As long as the monarchy follows their medieval interpretation of sharia law, the king is incensed as the legitimate “custodian of the two holy mosques”.
So Iranophobia – as it’s being deployed especially after Tahrir Square in Egypt – only serves to bolster Wahhabi medievalism, and to demean Shi’ites, inside and outside the kingdom. Thus the overall belief in Saudi Arabia that Iran forced the overwhelming majority of Bahrain’s population to cry for democracy.
The power of the Saudi counter-revolution should not be underestimated. As much as the House of Saud was horrified by Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak being “dumped” by the Barack Obama administration, they have been clever enough to bribe the Tantawi junta currently in power with almost $4 billion. The House of Saud is furious that Mubarak will have to stand trial.
Asia Times Online has extensively reported on the Saudi invasion and repression in Bahrain. In Yemen, Saudi “made-in-the-USA” jets have routinely pulled an Obama AfPak gimmick, bombing Shi’ite rebels across the border. But now the House of Saud craves “stability” – that is, to pick up the new post-Ali Abdallah Saleh ruler.
In Syria, it’s more complicated. The House of Saud, officially, is silent – while Saudi media has a ball demonizing President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi-financed networks, mildly Islamist and even jihadi-oriented, work in the shadows.

Welcome to the end of history

House of Saud minions are all over Saudi-controlled media talking about the kingdom’s “non-interference” policy. That’s absurd; the House of Saud for decades has interfered against scores of progressive or leftist movements all across the world, and pushed several countries to civil war, from Lebanon to Yemen and Somalia – either serving Washington’s interests or most of all the interests of their medieval Wahhabi clerics.
King Abdullah recently ordered that the grand mufti and other top clerics simply cannot be criticized. If you are even mildly opposed to the House, you go to jail; 11,000 people have been arrested since 9/11, and more than 5,000 remain in prison. No one has a clue who these people are. Transparency is zero. And there’s no legal system responding to internationally accepted standards.
Beheadings abound; 121 people last year. There’s no elected government, no political parties, no free press. Two women were arrested last Sunday in Riyadh because they were demanding a fair trial for their relatives, according to Amnesty International. On the same day, at least 20 people – including 16 women and children – were arrested outside the feared Ministry of Interior because they were demanding the release of political prisoners, according to the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association.
Iranophobia is just another facet of a House living in perpetual fear – and paranoia. Wanna see the end of history? Board a flight to Riyadh.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

The Second Coming! It is near; it is at hand. Maybe tomorrow but probably never

A compendium of endless predictions of the Second Coming based on period documents

by Frederick Norris

An untold number of people have tried to predict the return of Jesus by using elaborate timetables. Most date setters do not realize that mankind has not kept an unwavering record of time. Anyone wanting to chart, for example, 100 BC to 2000 AD, would have to contend with the fact that 46 BC was 445 days long, there was no year 0 BC, and in 1582 we switched from Julian Years (360 days) to Gregorian (365 days). Because most prognosticators are not aware of all of these errors, their math is immediately off by at least several years if not decades.

The return of Jesus Christ for His Church will easily be the most important event in Pentecostal fictive history and long before the Pentecostal sect evolved in 1900, empty-headed religious zealots, banging on their empty drums, have been predicting the Second Coming. Herewith we present a brief compendium of the more entertaining prophesies for the entertainment of the reader.

53 AD
Even before all the books of the New Testament were invented,  there was talk that Christ’s Return had already taken place. The Thessalonians panicked when they heard a rumor that the day of the Lord was at hand, and they had missed the event..

A Roman priest living in the second century predicted Christ would return in 500 AD, based on the dimensions of Noah’s ark. Someone must have used a bad ruler because Jesus did not appear in 500 AD

.All credulous members of what passed for normal society seemed affected by the prediction that Jesus was coming back at the start of the new millennium. The magic of the number 1000 was the sole reason for the expectation. During concluding months of 999 AD, everyone was on his best behavior; worldly goods were sold and given to the poor; swarms of pilgrims headed east to meet the Lord at Jerusalem; buildings went unrepaired; crops were left unplanted; and criminals were set free from jails. When the year 999 AD turned into 1000 AD, nothing happened. Many citizens of the world who had given their property away, but certainly not those who accepted it, were stunned but eventually hopeful that the event would be postponed until 1001. Nothing happened then, either.

This year was cited as the beginning of the millennium because it marked 1,000 years since Christ’s alleged crucifixion.

The “Letter of Toledo” warned everyone to hide in the caves and mountains. The world was reportedly to be destroyed with only a few spared, including the letter writer. It was not.

The Taborites of Czechoslovakia predicted every city in the known world would be annihilated by fire. Only the five mountain strongholds they occupied would be saved from the Celestial Barbeque. This did not happen

Muntzer, a leader of German peasants, announced that the return of Christ was near. After Muntzer and his men destroyed the high and mighty, the Lord would supposedly return. This belief led to an uneven battle against government troops. He was strategically outnumbered. Muntzer claimed to have had a vision from God in which the Lord promised that He would catch the cannonballs of the enemy in the sleeves of His cloak. The prediction within the vision turned out to be false when Muntzer and his followers were mowed down by cannon fire. If one believes their stories, the disintegrated had the pleasure of going to heaven in a number of pieces which God Himself would lovingly sort out just like pious Jewish religious ambulance workers reassembling those fragmented in a Jerusalem bus bomb attack.

A repeat of the Muntzer affair occurred a few years later. This time, one greatly deluded by apparently very forceful, Jan Matthys took over the city of Münster in Germany. The city was to be the only one spared from Divine destruction. The inhabitants of Münster, evicted by Matthys and his men, regrouped and laid siege to the city. Within a year, every one of the strange occupiers in the city was dead. They also had an express ticket to Heaven.

In an England beset by religious fanatics, the Fifth Monarchy Men  beseeched Jesus to establish a theocracy. They took up arms and tried to seize England by force. The movement, and most of the senior leaders of it, died when the British monarchy was restored in 1660. Jesus apparently was not listening or was otherwise engaged. Heads rolled, quite literally, as England finally escaped from the unwanted attention of dim-witted fanatics.

Mary Bateman, who specialized in fortune telling, had a magic chicken that laid eggs with end-time messages on them. One message said that Christ was coming. The uproar she created ended when an unannounced visitor caught her forcing an egg into the hen’s oviduct. Mary later was hanged for poisoning a wealthy client. History does not record whether the offended and sodomized chicken attended the hanging.

Spiritualist Joanna Southcott made the startling claim that she, by virgin birth, would produce the second Jesus Christ. Her abdomen began to swell and so did the crowds of people around her. This gathering is similar to certain primitive ethnic groups who see visions of the Virgin Mary on refrigerator doors or reflected on rooming house walls. The time for the birth came and passed with no Jesus appearing. As for the miraculous Southcott, she died soon after. An autopsy revealed she had experienced a false pregnancy. Her followers blamed the Antichrist for this.

John Wesley wrote that “the time, times and half a time” of Revelation 12:14 were 1058­1836, “when Christ should come” John Wesley was wrong in this matter as well as a number of other items of religious thought he preached.

William Miller was the founder of an end-times movement that was so prominent it received its own name, Millerism. From his studies of the Bible, Miller determined that the second coming would happen sometime between 1843-1844. A spectacular meteor shower in 1833 gave the movement  excellent momentum. The buildup of anticipation continued until March 21, 1844, when Miller’s one-year timetable ran out. Some followers set another date–Oct 22, 1844. This too failed, collapsing the movement. One follower described the days after the failed predictions: “The world made merry over the old Prophet’s predicament. The taunts and jeers of the ‘scoffers’ were well-nigh unbearable.”  People in general do not suffer fools gladly.

Rev. Thomas Parker, a Massachusetts minister, looked for the millennium to start about 1859. It did not. Parker subsequently was placed in a lunatic asylum when discovered running, buck naked, down the street in Bainbridge, screeching that Jesus was right behind him. What were behind the Reverend Parker were local bailiffs with nets.

The revisit of Halley’s comet to the earth’s bemused vision was, for many, an indication of  Jesus’ Second Coming. The earth actually passed through the gaseous tail of the comet. One enterprising man sold comet pills to people for protection against the effects of the toxic gases. Toxic gasses, mostly vocal methane, from frantic Fundamentalists did not need pills. It might have been better if the predictors had used Prozac tranquilizer pills but as they had not yet been invented, this is a moot point.

Charles Russell, after being exposed to the lunatic babblings of William Miller, founded his own organization that evolved into the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1914, Russell predicted the return of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was not listening and did not appear in 1914.

In 1918, new studies assisted Russell from extending his predictions to that year. Jesus Christ, or His travel agent, did not oblige.

The Witnesses had no better luck in 1925. They already possessed the title of “Most Wrong Predictions.” They would expand upon it with great zeal and no sense whatsoever in the years to come.

When the city of Jerusalem was captured from the Arab inhabitants by the Jews in 1967, prophecy watchers declared that the “Time of the Gentiles” had come to an end.

The ‘True Light Church of Christ’ made its claim to fame by incorrectly forecasting the return of Jesus. A number of church members had quit their livelihoods ahead of the promised advent. In earlier time, such deluded creatures gave their property away to their gleeful, non-believing neighbors, donned white nightgowns and stood up on hilltops, waiting for the Celestial Elevator. It never came for them but pneumonia did.

A comet that turned out to be a visual disappointment nonetheless compelled one preacher to announce that it would be a sign of the Lord’s return. It was not.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses were back at it again with commendable zeal in 1975. The failure of the latest forecast did not affect the growth of the movement. The Watchtower magazine, a major Witness periodical, had over 13 million subscribers. Many of them actually are able to read, albeit very slowly, but the majority love the large pictures. However, over 40 millions have read the Left Behind books or, as they have irreverently been termed, the My Left Behind books.

One author boldly declared that the rapture would occur before December 31, 1981, based on Christian prophecy, astronomy, and a dash of ecological fatalism. He pegged the date to Jesus’ promised return to earth a generation after Israel’s rebirth. He also made references to the “Jupiter Effect,” a planetary alignment occurring every 179 years that supposedly could lead to earthquakes and nuclear plant meltdowns. Also, there were saintly rumors of the Lost Continent of Atlantis suddenly emerging from the depths of Lake Baikal in Russia, or according to other enlightened cretins, Lake Michigan, New York Harbor, the Mississippi River just off of New Orleans or the main public reservoir of Phoenix, Arizona. There was no rapture and Atlantis never surfaced.

The lunatic fringe was at it again in 1982 when they loudly proclaimed that the world as we all knew it was going to end in 1982, when the planets lined up and created magnetic forces that would bring “Armageddon” to the earth. Astrologers and religious predictors joined forces here and when nothing happened, all of them went back to the Ouija boards. Armageddon is, of course, pure fiction and is not found in the Bible, even in the weird rantings of the lunatic John of Patmos.

A group called the Tara Centers placed full-page advertisements in many major newspapers for the weekend of April 24-25, 1982, announcing: “The Christ is Now Here!” They predicted that He was to make himself known “within the next two months.” After the date passed, they said that the delay was only because the “consciousness of the human race was not quite right…”  Obviously, this same statement can easily apply to the mental stability of the Tara Center people. Unfounded rumor had it that Jesus in fact did arrive but was arrested by New York City Vice Squad for unmentionable acts in a public lavatory in Central Park.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses made sure, in 1984, that no one else would be able to top their record of most wrong doomsday predictions. The Witnesses’ record currently holds at nine. The years are: 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and 1984. Tired of loud public scorn and derision, the Witnesses have modestly retired from the field of predictions and now spend their time banging on doors and hawking their magazines, T-shirts and Second Coming bath mats and ashtrays.

The book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988, came out only a few months before the event was to take place. What little time the book had left to it and its feeble minded readers, it used effectively. By the time the predicted dates, September 11-13, rolled around, whole churches were caught up in the excitement the book generated. Not unnaturally, nothing happened. The writer and publisher, however, benefited greatly from the sales.

After the passing of the deadline in 88 Reasons, the author, Edgar Whisenant, came out with a new book called 89 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1989. This book sold only a fraction of the number of copies his prior release had sold.

A group in Australia predicted Jesus would return through the Sydney Harbor at 9 a.m., March 31, 1991. Rumors are that He was doing the breast stroke in the Harbor but was run over by a car ferry and drowned.

Menachem Schneerson, a mystic Russian-born rabbi, called for the Messiah to come by September 9, 1991, the start of the Jewish New Year. Apparently, Jesus was not listening and failed to appear. The good rabbi passed away and his followers eagerly anticipated his own return. He did not do so.

A Korean group, called Mission for the Coming Days, had the Korea Church in a state of frenzied  excitement  in the fall of 1992. They foresaw October 28, 1992 as the date for the Glorious Rapture and arrival of the Celestial Ominbus.  Numerology was the basis for the date. Several camera shots that left ghostly images on pictures were thought to be a supernatural confirmation of the date. Careless photography was a more likely suspect.

If the year 2000 is the end of the 6,000-year cycle, then the rapture must take place in 1993, because you would need seven years of the tribulation. This was the murky thinking of a number of prophecy writers. They were all wrong.

In the book, 1994: The Year of Destiny , F. M. Riley foretold of God’s plan to rapture His people. The name of his ministry was “The Last Call,” and he operated out of a Missouri that has produced both John Ashcroft and Jesse James.

Pastor John Hinkle of Christ Church in Los Angeles caused quite a stir when he announced he had received a vision from God that warned of apocalyptic event on June 9, 1994. Hinkle, quoting God, said, “On Thursday June the 9th, I will rip the evil out of this world.” From a proper reading of Bible prophecy, the only thing that God could possibly rip from the earth would be the Christian Church. Some people tried to interpret Hinkle’s unscriptural vision to mean that God would the rip evil out of our hearts when He raptured us. As usual the date came and went with no heart surgery or rapture.

Harold Camping, in his book Are You Ready?, predicted the Lord would return in September 1994. The book was full of numerology that added up to 1994 as the date of Christ’s return. The numbers did not crunch and Camping joined a long list of failed prophets, seers and other mountebanks in blessed oblivion.

After promising they would not make anymore end time predictions, the Jehovah’s Witnesses fell off the wagon and proclaimed 1994 as the conclusion of an 80-year generation; the year 1914 was the starting point. Magazine sales are up but the ashtrays are not doing as well as expected. This group of lovelies is now selling Rapture Travel Suits, matching Rapture luggage and Dramamine pills for the trip.

A self-proclaimed California psychic Sheldon Nidle predicted the end would come with the convergence of 16 million space ships and a host of angels upon the earth on December 17, 1996. Nidle explained the uneventful passing of the date by claiming the angels placed us in a ‘holographic projection’ to preserve us and give us a second chance. His doctors will not let him write any more and even took away his crayons.

When Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat signed their peace pact on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, some saw the events as the beginning of tribulation. With the signing of the peace agreement, Daniel’s 1,260-day countdown was underway. By adding 1,260 days to September 1993, you arrive at February 24, 1997. Jesus, on the other hand, did not arrive nor were the Elect of the Pentecostal cults shot up into the stratosphere like so many ballistic missiles.

Stan Johnson of the Prophecy Club saw a “90 percent” chance that the tribulation would start September 12, 1997. He based his conclusion on several end-time signs: that would be Jesus’ 2,000th birthday and it would also be the Day of Atonement, although it wouldn’t be what is currently the Jewish Day of Atonement. Further supporting evidence came from Romanian pastor Dumitru Duduman. In several heavenly visions, caused by the imbibing of too much plum wine,  Dumitru claimed to have seen the Book of Life. In one of his earlier visions, there were several pages yet to be completed. In his last vision, he noticed the Book of Life only had one page left. Doing some rough calculating, Johnson and friends figured the latest time frame for the completion of the book would have to be September 1997. There were, quite naturally, more bitter disappointments as the time came and passed without a sight of Jerusalem Slim.

Numerology: Because 666 times three equals 1998, some people point to this year as being prophetically significant. This incredible information was posted on the Internet where it stunned dozens of true believers. .

A Taiwanese cult operating out of Garland, Texas predicted Christ would return on March 31 of 1998. The group’s leader, Heng-ming Chen, announced God (not his offspring) would return and then invite the cult members aboard a UFO at group excursion rates, no meals served.

The group abandoned their prediction when a precursor event failed to take place. The cult’s leader had said that God would appear on every channel 18 of every TV in the world. Maybe God realized at the last minute, the Playboy Network was channel 18 on several cable systems, and He didn’t want to have Christians watching a porn channel.

1998 Marilyn Agee, in her book, The End of the Age, had her sights set on May 31, 1998. for the Glorious Arrival. This date was to conclude the 6,000-year cycle from the time of Adam. Agee looked for the rapture to take place on Pentecost, which is also known as “the Feast of Weeks.” Another indicator of this date was the fact that the Holy Spirit did not descend upon the apostles until 50 days after Christ’s resurrection. Israel was born in 1948; add the 50 days as years and you come up with whatever figure you like.

After her May 31 rapture date failed, Agee, unable to face up to her error, continued her date-setting by using various Scripture references to point to June 7, 14, 21 and about 10 other dates. Marilyn then set a new date for the rapture: May 21 or 22 of the same year, Again, she and the dozens of believers who read her works were doomed to disappointment. Eventually, later rather than sooner, Agnes joined the ranks of the Disproven and passed into blessed oblivion.

TV newscaster-turned-psychic Charles Criswell King had said in 1968 that the world as we know it would cease to exist on August 18, 1999. It did not.

Philip Berg, a rabbi at the Kabbalah Learning Center in New York, proclaimed that the end might arrive on September 11, 1999, when “a ball of fire will descend . . . destroying almost all of mankind, all vegetation, all forms of life.” Nothing happened on that date of note except that the Devil was arrested at a sex arcade in Times Square using counterfeit coins in an animal porn film viewer.

The names of the people and organizations that called for the return of Christ at the turn of the century is too long to be listed here. If there were a day on which Christ could not return, it must have been January 1, 2000. This day came and passed and the waiting multitude did not see Jesus descending on Dallas, arrayed like Solomon in all his splendor. Many had hangovers and the only visions they had on that day were of the double variety.

On May 5, 2000, all of the planets were supposed to have been in alignment. This was said to cause the earth to suffer earthquakes, volcanic eruption, and various other nasty stuff. A similar alignment occurred in 1982 and nothing happened. People failed to realize that the other nine planets only exert a very tiny gravitational pull on the earth. If you were to add up the gravitational force from the rest of the planets, the total would only amount to a fraction of the tug the moon has on the earth.

According to Michael Rood, the end times have a prophetically complicated connection to Israel’s spring barley harvest. The Day of the Lord began on May 5, 2000. Rood’s fall feast calendar called for the Russian Gog-Magog invasion of Israel to take place at sundown on October 28, 2000. It did not. Perhaps Prophet Rood might have considered the annual Harvest of the Floating Condoms from the waters of New York City as an alternative event.

Dr. Dale SumburËru looked for March 22, 1997 to be “the date when all the dramatic events leading through the tribulation to the return of Christ should begin” The actual date of Christ’s return could be somewhere between July 2000 and March 2001. Dr. SumburËru is more general about the timing of Christ’s second coming than most writers. He states, “The day the Lord returns is currently unknown because He said [Jesus] these days are cut short and it is not yet clear by how much and in what manner they are cut short. If the above assumptions are not correct, my margin of error would be in weeks, or perhaps months.”


ARKANSAS CITY (AP) — A Little Rock woman was killed yesterday after leaping through her moving car’s sun roof during an incident best described as “a mistaken rapture” by dozens of eye witnesses. Thirteen other people were injured after a twenty-car pile up resulted from people trying to avoid hitting the woman who was apparently convinced that the rapture was occurring when she saw twelve people floating up into the air, and then passed a man on the side of the road who she claimed was Jesus. “She started screaming “He’s back, He’s back” and climbed right out of the sunroof and jumped off the roof of the car,” said Everet Williams, husband of 28-year-old Georgann Williams who was pronounced dead at the scene. She had been run over by several vehicles, including a long-distance truck. “I was slowing down but she wouldn’t wait till I stopped,” Williams said. “She thought the rapture was happening and was convinced that Jesus was gonna lift her up into the sky,” he went on to say. “This is the strangest thing I’ve seen since I’ve been on the force,” said Paul Madison, first officer on the scene. Madison questioned the man who looked like Jesus and discovered that he was dressed up as Jesus and was on his way to a toga costume party when the tarp covering the bed of his pickup truck came loose and released twelve blowup dolls filled with helium which floated up into the air. Ernie Jenkins, 32, of Fort Smith, who’s been told by several of his friends that he looks like Jesus, pulled over and lifted his arms into the air in frustration, and said “Come back here,” just as the Williams’ car passed him. Mrs. Williams was sure that it was Jesus lifting people up into the sky as they passed by him, according to her husband, who says his wife loved Jesus more than anything else. When asked for comments about the twelve dolls, Jenkins replied “This is all just too weird for me. I never expected anything like this to happen.”

This event is probably the most illustrative of all the great compendiums of Prophesy.

For the past several decades, Jack Van Impe has hinted at nearly every year as being the time for the rapture. Normally, he has only gone out one or two years from the current calendar year. However, Jack’s latest projection for the rapture goes out several years. His new math uses 51 years as the length of a generation. If you add 51 years to 1967, the year Israel seized Jerusalem from its Arab inhabitants, you get 2018. Once you subtract the seven-year tribulation period, you arrive at 2011. Dozens will be energized and will sell off their bicycle training wheels and lifetime collection of used dignity pants but again, sad to say, nothing will happen.

New Age writers cite Mayan and Aztec calendars that predict the end of the age on December 21, 2012.

Sir Isaac Newton, Britain’s greatest scientist, spent 50 years and wrote 4,500 pages trying to predict when the end of the world was coming. The most definitive date he set for the apocalypse, which he scribbled on a scrap of paper, was 2060. The original scrap is now in the archives of Brother Pat Robertson. It appears to have been written in a ball point pen which was not invented until 1948. Note here that the Sacred Anna Frank Diaries are all written by a ball point pen

Conversations with the Crow

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

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

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


Here is the eighty-eighth  chapter

Conversation No. 88

Date: Thursday, June 19, 1997

Commenced: 2:30 PM CST

Concluded: 3:01 PM CST

GD: Are you in the mood for several fairly sensitive questions, Robert?
RTC: Why, Gregory, I am always ready for sensitive questions. Of course, I might not answer them but I will if I can.

GD: I have been reading about Gottlieb and Cameron and some stuff on your development of LSD and using it on unsuspecting people….

RTC: Like Olson…

GD: Yes. Interesting to note that the rapidly descending Olson worked up at Detrick. Question, if you want to get rid of an inconvenient person, how is it done?

RTC: Of course there is just taking them out into the woods and shooting them in the head. That is one method. Fake suicides are another. You know about those. And getting someone else to nail your person is another. Say we leak to a terrorist or criminal group we have infiltrated that the mark is a stool pigeon. They do it for us. And there are more technical means as well.

GD: Such as killing Hunt’s wife by crashing a commercial plane she was on?

RTC: Yes. Regretful collateral damage there. And sometimes, if we have access to a person who, let us say, is not dangerous now but could become dangerous later on or who has to be removed to make room for someone else, more friendly to us, to move into his place. We got rid of a British Prime Minister that way. Wilson. Too left-leaning for a lot of us so he suddenly got dementia and vanished from the scene.

GD: How ever did you accomplish that bit. Harold Wilson, of course. How?

RTC: Well, the people up at Deterick are very good at such things so, as I recall, they got up a solution that had a lot of mercury and aluminum in it and we got one of doctors on MI6’s payroll to inject him. Can’t have him just drop in his tracks so the injections come over a period of time as he gets dottier and dottier. It works so don’t knock it. That’s the long, slow but very safe way. They tell me that an autopsy won’t show it. They just figure the poor fool went around the bend and bought the farm,  And if the mark is too well protected and we don’t have anyone close enough to him to put a nice additive in his food or drink, we just shoot him in the head when he takes an open car trip through Dallas.

GD: Yes, I have that one down.  How about slow poison?
RTC: No, that might have worked back in the Borgia’s day but not now. We don’t want anything detected at the post so it has to appear natural. Regretful, saddening but natural.

GD: You could have tried that on Nixon, couldn’t you?
RTC: Oh, God no. Dick was batty enough without additives. And off the record, Henry Kissinger, his evil genius, is only a step behind him. A little push is all it takes, sometimes. Now our beloved President just calls up his friends and inconvenient people get shot in public lavatories by unknown gunmen, have ugly, disfiguring car accidents or whatnot. Brother Clinton is direct and not too subtle.

GD: The Foster business.

RTC: There old Vince was…by the way, Vince was getting religion and the Imperial Couple was starting to worry about him developing a conscience…and old Vince, lying on another grassy knoll in one of our lovely parks, shot through the head, gun in hand but the dried blood trail on his poor head was running up while his feet were down.. Of course Vince was shot elsewhere and dumped. They should have taken the elevation into account but of no matter. All we do then, or what they do, is to have the story tellers come up with complex, stunning theories, stuff them into the drooling idiot brigades just waiting for some new weird story and off they go.

GD: Camouflage.

RTC: I think distraction is a better word. The media is under tight control these days and we plant whatever sensational story we want and kill any story that might prove to be embarrassing to us. That used to be one of my jobs. Cord had it once but he is such an arrogant, threatening asshole that we had to replace him with someone like myself who is more political.

GD: And the Cameron torture palaces…

RTC: Oh, please, leave the poor doctor in peace. Completely nuts and starting to show it so he passed away, very quickly, while on a hiking trip. Once the local wildlife gets at them, there really isn’t much left over for a good autopsy.

GD: Well, I suppose you could analyze a pile of bear shit but I doubt if anyone would be that through. One would have to find the bear first and waiting around…well, you get my drift.

RTC: Well, our mark really just can’t vanish forever into the foundation of a stadium like Hoffa but then the people we send to Heaven are usually known. They have jobs, families and so on and if one of them just vanishes, there are annoying questions asked by wives and relatives. Actually, since most marriages go flat after a time, we are doing the wife a favor by doing her mate so the body can be found and wills can be probated. And new husbands located. And it’s nice for the children too. Tell me, Gregory, how many people have you sent off to play pool with Jesus?
GD: Now, Robert, what a leading question. Not at all nice. I would like to think that Jesus was happy with my pool-playing friends but I don’t have the resources your people do. I usually get someone else to do the job. Like you, get the bad people to find a motive and then go to the movies and watch a religious picture. But be sure to go with friends. Now that’s of course if your bad people let you know just when they are going to effect the transfer from the mundane life here to the rapturous one there.

RTC: We all sleep better, knowing we have helped a fellow to better himself.

GD: Yes, and think of the bears, the foxes, the various insects and flies or perhaps the fish as in the case of the Paisley fellow.

RTC: He fed quite a few marine creatures before they found him.

GD: Yes, heartwarming how considerate the CIA can be of our wild creatures.

RTC:  Colby…

GD: The cheese? No, the DCI.

RTC: Yes, but the former DCI.

GD: No, Robert, the late DCI. He might he been late to his own dinner but not to the bottom feeders.

RTC: Memories.

GD: Yes. I don’t like to have flu shots, Robert, and now I have an excellent reason to stop getting them.

RTC: Oh, Gregory, as much as I like you, I must tell you that you are only a nuisance, not a menace.

GD: Well, better to be a live dog than a dead lion. As they say. Fellow in England used to insure his new wife, lure her into a bathtub and then grab her ankles and pull the legs straight up. Drowned her almost instantly. Brides-in-the Bath Smith they called him.

RTC: Got caught?
GD: Yes, and hanged. Interesting technique, however. We learn from the mistakes of others, Robert.

RTC: Yes I suppose we do.

GD: Whatever happened to Dr. Gottleib”

GTC: The Goat Boy? His real name is Scheider. Grandfather was a rabbi. That one is as vicious as they come and crazy. He believes in out of body intelligence work. The what…the remote viewing crazies. Yes, I am sorry to say we put good taxpayer’s funds into the strangest things.

GD: Ah, for a moment there, Robert, I thought you were going to say your pockets but strange things are more interesting. You know, what with all this equal opportunity crap the lefties are preaching, I suppose the next target will be the telephone company operators. They’ll have to start hiring hairlips next.

RTC: (Laughter) Or epileptic brain surgeons?
GD: Oh, those flashing lights, Robert. I’ve heard of epileptic whores before…

RTC: Catch-22…

GD: I see you are a well-read person. Yes, I do recall that charming book. The next grand-mal is just for you, sweetie, and hang on for the ride.

RTC: I’m glad Emily went out to shop, Gregory. It would distress her to overhear me.

GD: She seems very conventional.

RTC: Most of the CIA wives are. If we talked shop with them, they would tell everyone at the beauty parlor and then our wet teams would be awfully busy. What brought this up, by the way?
GD: Oh I was reading a tell-all book about Cameron and Gottleib.

RTC: Both of them were worse, ever, than the mythical Mengele. You should walk around this one, Gregory. No one cares any more but the Goat Boy is still alive and he could send you a virus laden box of candy.

GD: Just give it to the church for the poor. There are too many of them, anyway

(Concluded at 3:01 PM CST)

Dramatis personae:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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