TBR News June 12, 2016

Jun 12 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. June 12, 2016:”Another mass shooting, this time in Florida at a gay club. Fifty dead and that many wounded. The doer was an Afghanistan Muslim who did not like to see men kissing. What next? Three hundred shot at an Alabama outdoor event specializing in barbecued pork ribs. And this by another maddned Muslim. Americans are not noted for either their tolerance or kindness and if we see more such acts, trust me, you will see mosques burnt with the congregatons inside.   Terror begets terror and in the end, the only ones who will profit from all of this will be the funeral directors and the workers at cemetaries.”  


The Müller Washington Journals   1948-1951

At the beginning of December, 1948, a German national arrived in Washington, D.C. to take up an important position with the newly-formed CIA. He was a specialist on almost every aspect of Soviet intelligence and had actively fought them, both in his native Bavaria where he was head of the political police in Munich and later in Berlin as head of Amt IV of the State Security Office, also known as the Gestapo.

His name was Heinrich Müller.

Even as a young man, Heini Müller had kept daily journals of his activities, journals that covered his military service as a pilot in the Imperial German air arm and an apprentice policeman in Munich. He continued these journals throughout the war and while employed by the top CIA leadership in Washington, continued his daily notations.

This work is a translation of his complete journals from December of 1948 through September of 1951.

When Heinrich Müller was hired by the CIA¹s station chief in Bern, Switzerland, James Kronthal in 1948, he had misgivings about working for his former enemies but pragmatism and the lure of large amounts of money won him over to what he considered to be merely an extension of his life-work against the agents of the Comintern. What he discovered after living and working in official Washington for four years was that the nation¹s capital was, in truth, what he once humorously claimed sounded like a cross between a zoo and a lunatic asylum. His journals, in addition to personal letters, various reports and other personal material, give a very clear, but not particularly flattering, view of the inmates of both the zoo and the asylum.

Müller moved, albeit very carefully, in the rarefied atmosphere of senior policy personnel, military leaders, heads of various intelligence agencies and the White House itself. He was a very observant, quick-witted person who took copious notes of what he saw. This was not a departure from his earlier habits because Heinrich Müller had always kept a journal, even when he was a lowly Bavarian police officer, and his comments about personalities and events in the Third Reich are just as pungent and entertaining as the ones he made while in America.

The reason for publishing this phase of his eventful life is that so many agencies in the United States and their supporters do not want to believe that a man of Müller¹s position could ever have been employed by their country in general or their agency in specific.

Saturday, 30 September 1950

An interesting time has been had by all this last week. The leak about me did come from the CIA. I first made certain of the source then went to the trouble of inviting him down into the country for a visit. Arno and I had an interesting time trying to corner and question him, and after a half a bottle of Scotch whiskey, he became indiscreet.

He had learned about me from Wisner, also drunk at the time, who is angry because I obviously don’t like him and he knows about my activities with various wives. My befuddled informant assured me that he had told no one, aside from the man at the club, and would never breathe a word of what he had heard.

That turned out to be quite true because Arno took him outside to look at the sunset and only Arno returned much later with mud on his pants cuffs.

That left Wisner and the man at the club.

Arno will attend to the man at the club, a high-level academic, and I will take care of Wisner. I have an appointment to see him on Sunday after Mass and will take him to the offices for a nice, private chat while Arno is busy elsewhere.

Monday, 2 October 1950

A pleasant weekend was had by no one except Bunny who stayed in Virginia while I went to Washington to attend Mass and take care of the Wisner matter. He was sober at the time but later got terribly drunk.

We met at the office and I sat down in my office (with the recorder on, just in case) and began to discuss my small problem. He got quite red in the face but before he could leave, I handed him a file I had compiled on him. He got quite white, dropped it onto the rug and then vomited in my bathroom. He is entirely crazy, of course, but not so crazy not to recognize that I could destroy him in less than five minutes if I wanted. I could turn the file over to Hoover, Harry or whomever and ruin him forever. Imagine a southern gentleman with a young black male lover hidden away in Chevy Chase, just waiting for the return of the avowed bigot! Waiting with bated breath as the novelists say. And two pictures of them in Rock Creek Park! How wonderful the camera is in aiding others to change their minds.

If Polly (Wisner’s wife, ed.) found out, there would be trouble and he knows what I am capable of doing. I pointed out, in the friendliest way, that I had three choices: I could do nothing. I could expose him or I could kill him. I asked him what he thought would be the best course for me to take.

I thought the swine would have a heart attack but in the end, he saw it my way and will agree to keep his drunken mouth entirely shut in the future! I forced him to reveal the names of those people he had discussed exposing me to and he gave me three. One Arno stuck into the boiler room on the estate and the other Arno will visit with (the one from the club) and I will now give Arno the opportunity to earn his considerable salary. Before he sends the last on the list to visit Baby Jesus, he will question him to see whom he might have told. I hope he either didn’t care or is the silent type because we can’t deplete the ranks of important people.

I have reluctantly agreed to permit Bunny to “educate me” about horses. She wanted me to at least sit on one and I suppose I will have to do this stupid thing to please her.

About midnight, Arno returned from his task with the pleasant news that the academic killed himself earlier this evening. I asked Arno if the man was intact or if they would have to close the coffin lid at the funeral. Arno said he left a handwritten note and hanged himself in his apartment. Arno left the note pinned to his pants and locked up behind him. Tomorrow, he will talk to the last man. I am assured that the one who just judged himself from the dining room light fixture talked to no one. There were no marks on the body and Arno said he did mess himself but that would be overlooked by the authorities. He turned up the heat in the apartment before he left so I assume when he is found he will be riper than a Brie cheese. The man did not live in Washington so news of his tragic demise might not get into the local papers at all.

He will visit the other one in the morning.

I will cut out the death notices from the Herald, if they appear, and leave them on Wisner’s desk if he comes back to work this week. When I left him, he was not feeling too well and I recommended that he take a few days off and rest. Better a few days than forever, correct?

Thursday, 5 October 1950

Well, two interesting things. One, I have finally gotten up on a horse. I had to put on riding breeches, boots and spurs and learn how to get up on an enormous horse. From the left side, left leg in the left stirrup, swing up over the horse, right foot in the right stirrup. Of course I was instructed only to put the ball of each foot in the stirrup because if the foot went in any further and the horse threw me off, I could be dragged to death!

Things like that install quick confidence, believe me.

The next step is to learn how to hold the reins. Top rein in the left hand between the index and middle fingers, bottom rein between the middle and next finger. Then we move around the paddock with a bored horse snorting and moving his head up and down.

Next week, we will learn how to fall off the horse and how to post…whatever that joyful act is.

Arno has visited the last of the informants who had a heart attack. I think spraying him with the drug is much less effort than breaking his neck or drowning him in his own bathtub. Arno is young and likes physical effort but I am older and much more experienced so I earnestly suggested the spray. Of course it works, but Arno is upset because he couldn’t have more entertainment!

Well, he can marry Heini’s charming sister and perhaps become less active while on the job.


Several killed in shooting at Florida night club

Some 20 people have been killed during a shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, police have said. The attacker was killed when a SWAT team moved into the building, according to the officials.

June 12, 2016


“Many lives were lost,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said. “Tonight we had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community.”

The authorities refused to provide the exact death toll, but mentioned that some 20 people might have been killed in the shooting. Around 42 people were hospitalized, officials said at a press conference on Sunday.

A policeman first engaged a suspect at the entrance of the Pulse club after he started firing around 2 am local time. The shooter then entered the club, turning the firefight into a hostage situation, Orlando police chief John Mina said.

At approximately 0500 the decision was made to rescue hostages that were in there,” he said.A SWAT team moved in and killed the attacker on the premises.

“The suspect is dead; he appeared to be carrying an assault type rife, a handgun, and some kind of device with him,” Mina added.

The assailant appeared to have been prepared for the attack, according to the police. An FBI spokesman said that the shooting was being investigated as an act of terrorism.

Witnesses reported that the gunman used an automatic weapon.

Club visitor Jon Alamo said he was in the back of one of the club’s rooms when an armed man came into the front.

“I heard 20, 40, 50 shots,” Alamo said. “The music stopped.”

Another patron, Rob Rick, said the incident took place around closing time on Sunday morning, with around 100 people still inside.

“Everybody was drinking their last sip,” he said.

When the shooting occurred, around 2 a.m. local time (0800 GMT), the club, on Facebook, warned people to “get out of pulse and keep running.”

Multiple emergency vehicles were reported to have been dispatched to the scene, including the Fire Department’s bomb squad and hazardous material team.

The police said they conducted a controlled explosion in the area.

US media reported that between seven and 20 people had been injured and that the suspected shooter may have been carrying a bomb. People at the club made similar reports on social media.

The incident comes less than a day after a gunman killed American singer Christina Grimmie after an Orlando concert. Her assailant committed suicide after the fact.

Fifty people killed in massacre at Florida gay nightclub: police

June 12, 2016

by Barbara Liston


ORLANDO, Fla.-A gunman killed 50 people and injured 53 in a massacre at a gay nightclub in the tourist hub of Orlando, Florida, early on Sunday, the city’s mayor and police said, in an attack U.S. authorities are described as a “terrorism incident.”

The shooter was identified as Omar S. Mateen, a man that a senior FBI official said might have had leanings towards Islamic State militants. Officials cautioned that the Islamist tie required further investigation.

The death toll given by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to reporters made the attack the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, eclipsing the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University, which left 32 dead.

A police officer working as a security guard inside the Pulse nightclub, which has operated in downtown Orlando since 2004, exchanged fire with the suspect at about 2 a.m. (0600 GMT), police officials said.

A hostage situation quickly developed, and three hours later a squad of officers stormed the club and shot dead the gunman. It was unclear when the gunman shot the victims.

“Do we consider this an act of terrorism? Absolutely, we are investigating this from all parties’ perspective as an act of terrorism,” said Danny Banks, special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. “Whether that is domestic terrorist activity or an international one,that is something we will certainly get to the bottom of.”

(Additional reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Chris Michaud in New York and Mary Milliken in Los Angeles; Writing by Frank McGurty and Scott Malone; Editing by Mark Heinrich)


Omar Mateen: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

June 12, 2016


Omar Mir Seddique Mateen has been named as the gunman who killed 50 people and wounded 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, CBS News reports.

He was later killed by police after taking hostages at the LGBT club.

Mateen, 29, is a U.S. citizen of Afghani descent from Port St. Lucie, Florida, according to CBS News. He has ties to radical Islamic ideology, CBS reports. His name was confirmed by U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson at a press conference.

Port St. Lucie is about 125 miles away from Orlando.

Police have not yet said why Mateen attacked the Pulse club. His father told MSNBC that the shooting was not about his son’s religion, but that his son became very angry after seeing two men kissing in Miami months ago. He said “we are apologizing for the whole incident.”

“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country,” Mir Seddique, his father, told NBC News.

Mateen worked as a security guard and drove to Orlando to carry out the attack, CNN’s Evan Perez reports.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The Gunman Exchanged Fire With a Police Officer Outside the Club Before Going Inside & Taking Hostages

The gunman, Omar Mateen, was engaged in a shootout with police outside the night club at about 2 a.m., police said at a press conference. Mateen then entered the night club and took hostages.

“The officer engaged in a gun battle with that suspect. The suspect at some point went back inside the club and more shots were fired. This did turn into a hostage situation,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a press conference.

Mateen was armed with an “assault-type” rifle, a handgun and a “suspicious device,” authorities said.

Management at Pulse took to Facebook to warn people to stay away. Everyone is being asked to stay out of the area.

The attack occurred during Latin Night at Pulse, the one of the largest gay clubs in Orlando.

Kenya Michaels was scheduled to perform at midnight and the shooting took place around 2 a.m. Michaels’ colleagues, who were also at Pulse, are OK, according to posts that were making the rounds on social media. Roxy Andrews posted on Facebook that she was in Tampa and was fine, and that Axel Andrews and Angelica Michelle Jones made it out OK.

  1. He Was Killed by a SWAT Team in an Effort to Rescue Hostages

Mateen died at the scene after he was shot by police at about 5 a.m.. He had barricaded himself in the nightclub after opening fire. Witnesses reported that some of their friends were hiding in dressing rooms and bathrooms, trying to stay safe.

A video from the scene appears to show the moment the SWAT team engaged in a final gun battle with the suspect:

Authorities had been in contact with Mateen before the raid, but have not said what that communication was.

An officer was wounded during the shootout, but was saved by his Kevlar helmet, police said. More than 30 hostages were rescued from the club.

Police said there was blood everywhere inside Pulse, and veteran SWAT officers were shaken by the scene.

Mateen has no known criminal history, according to CBS News.

It is not clear if he was known to federal authorities prior to the attack.

  1. Police Are Investigating Mateen’s Possible Ties to Radical Islam

Local FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Ron Hopper said at the press conference that there are “suggestions” the gunman “may have leanings” toward Jihadist ideology. Hopper had been asked about whether the shooter was connected to radical Islamic terrorism.

Hopper said they can’t say definitively whether the gunmen is connected to that ideology. He said we’re looking into all angles right now.”

Police were searching Mateen’s home in Port St. Lucie on Sunday morning:

ISIS supporters and sympathizers on Twitter posted messages after the shooting, but there have been no official claims by the Islamic State terror organization

  1. Mateen Had Security Officer & Firearms Licenses in Florida

Mateen had a license to be a security office and a firearms license in Florida, according to the state records.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, of New York, told CNN that the gunman was “trained in the use of weapons.”

The FBI says the gunman was “organized and well-prepared.” Police have not released further details about the plot or whether anyone else was involved.

Police have asked anyone with information about the shooting and the gunman to come forward.

“If you have some information, no matter how small you think it may be, that would relate back to today’s events, please share it with us,” Hopper said. “I would urge you to call the 1-800-CALL-FBI public access line, we have phones standing by to take any information or lead whatsoever.”

Hopper said they will be conducting interviews and a huge FBI presence will be seen in coming days.

A man who answered the phone at Mateen’s home, Mustafa Abasin, told NBC News “we are in shock and we are sad,” but didn’t say how he knew Mateen. He said he is helping investigators.

The shooting comes one night after former Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was gunned down outside of Plaza Live, about four miles away from Pulse. The gunman in that shooting, Kevin Loibl, fatally shot himself, police said.

But police said the shootings are not connected.

  1. Mateen’s Parents Are From Afghanistan & He Was Married in 2009

Both of Mateen’s parents are originally from Afghanistan, according to CBS News.

Mateen was born in New York, NBC News reports.

He was married in 2009, public records show. It is not clear if he was still married at the time of the attack.

Mateen is a registered Democrat who has also lived in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to online records.

He was also a notary public in Florida, but his license, issued in 2008, expired in 2012, records show.


Laid-Off Americans, Required to Zip Lips on Way Out, Grow Bolder

June 11, 2016

by Julia Preston

New York Times

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. — American corporations are under new scrutiny from federal lawmakers after well-publicized episodes in which the companies laid off American workers and gave the jobs to foreigners on temporary visas.

But while corporate executives have been outspoken in defending their labor practices before Congress and the public, the American workers who lost jobs to global outsourcing companies have been largely silent.

Until recently. Now some of the workers who were displaced are starting to speak out, despite severance agreements prohibiting them from criticizing their former employers.

Marco Peña was among about 150 technology workers who were laid off in April by Abbott Laboratories, a global health care conglomerate with headquarters here. They handed in their badges and computer passwords, and turned over their work to a company based in India. But Mr. Peña, who had worked at Abbott for 12 years, said he had decided not to sign the agreement that was given to all departing employees, which included a nondisparagement clause.

Mr. Peña said his choice cost him at least $10,000 in severance pay. But on an April evening after he walked out of Abbott’s tree-lined campus here for the last time, he spent a few hours in a local bar at a gathering organized by technology worker advocates, speaking his mind about a job he had loved and lost.

“I just didn’t feel right about signing,” Mr. Peña said. “The clauses were pretty blanket. I felt like they were eroding my rights.”

Leading members of Congress from both major parties have questioned the nondisparagement agreements, which are commonly used by corporations but can prohibit ousted workers from raising complaints about what they see as a misuse of temporary visas. Lawmakers, including Richard Durbin of Illinois, the second-highest-ranking Senate Democrat, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, have proposed revisions to visa laws to include measures allowing former employees to contest their layoffs.

“I have heard from workers who are fearful of retaliation,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut. “They are told they can say whatever they want, except they can’t say anything negative about being fired.”

Lawyers said the paragraph Mr. Peña and other workers object to in their separation agreements is routine in final contracts with employees who are paid severance as they leave, whether they were laid off or resigned voluntarily.

“It’s a very, very common practice,” said Sheena R. Hamilton, an employment lawyer at Dowd Bennett in St. Louis who represents companies in workplace cases. “I’ve never recommended a settlement that didn’t have a clause like that.”

But former Abbott employees said the provisions had stopped them from speaking openly with elected officials or appearing at congressional hearings.

“It is very frustrating that you can’t share your story with the public,” said one former Abbott manager, who had worked for the company for 13 years, rising to an important supervisory position. He had prepared a 90-page manual for his foreign replacements showing how to perform every detail of his work. With a disabled child who requires medical care, he said he had to take his severance and its nondisparagement clause, since it extended his medical benefits. So he asked to remain anonymous.

“I’ve been laid off before, I can understand that,” he said. “But these visas were meant to fill in gaps for resources that are hard to find. This time the company actually asked me to transfer my knowledge to somebody else. That changes the equation.”

According to federal rules, temporary visas known as H-1Bs are for foreigners with “a body of specialized knowledge” not readily available in the labor market. The visas should be granted only when they will not undercut the wages or “adversely affect the working conditions” of Americans.

But in the past five years, through loopholes in the rules, tens of thousands of American workers have been replaced by foreigners on H-1B and other temporary visas, according to Prof. Hal Salzman, a labor force expert at Rutgers University.

In March, two Americans who had been laid off in 2014 by a New England power company, Eversource Energy, spoke at a news conference in Hartford even though they had signed nondisparagement agreements. Craig Diangelo, 63, and Judy Konopka, 56, said most of the 220 people facing dismissal had been required as part of their severance to train Indian immigrants with H-1B and other visas.

In a protest, departing employees posted American flags outside their cubicles. As they left, they took the flags down. Mr. Diangelo took a photograph of the flags in his final days at the utility. At the time, he and Ms. Konopka spoke with reporters, including from The New York Times, but they did not want to be quoted, even without their names.

In January, Senator Blumenthal spotted the photograph in an article in Computerworld, a tech industry publication, and was dismayed to learn of the layoffs so long after they happened. In a letter to the company, the senator questioned whether the dismissals were “accomplished through apparent abuses” of visas, and he demanded assurances that former employees would not be sued if they spoke with government officials.

In a forceful reply, the Eversource general counsel, Gregory B. Butler, said the company had not violated any laws, and its nondisparagement provisions were a “standard form release” that did not restrict former employees from discussing their layoffs “with you or anyone else.”

Mr. Diangelo said he was not so sure the company would refrain from legal action if he spoke to the news media. But, he said, “I finally got to the point where I am tired of hiding in the shadows.”

Two years later, his work with a local tech contracting company pays $45,000 a year less than his Eversource salary. Many of his former co-workers are also struggling, Mr. Diangelo said, but stay quiet to avoid provoking the company.

At Abbott, executives announced in February that technology jobs would be taken over by the Indian company Wipro. Senator Durbin, who is from Illinois, criticized the layoffs and said Abbott’s nondisparagement clause was “overly broad.”

According to a copy of the agreement, that clause read, in part: “You agree to make every effort to maintain and protect the reputation of Abbott and its products and agents.”

A spokesman for Abbott, Scott Stoffel, said the changes were part of its efforts to “remain globally competitive and a strong U.S. employer.” He said the company would retain “the vast majority” of its tech jobs in the United States. Nondisparagement clauses like Abbott’s are “very common” in severance agreements, he said.

Mr. Peña said he could afford to turn down his severance payment because he is single and has no children. “I was the only one with the ability to put my foot down,” he said.

He received consistently positive work reviews, and a merit raise weeks before his layoff, he said. With no indication that poor performance was a factor, he believed it was a measure to cut costs.

“Anything that had to deal with technology and resolving problems, that was my satisfaction, my passion,” Mr. Peña said. “But these days that has no bearing on the decision making of the executives in the higher positions.”

Abbott tried to reduce the role of foreigners in the layoffs. Only about 20 percent of the workers brought in by Wipro would be foreigners on H-1B visas, Mr. Stoffel said, while the rest would be American workers.

Mr. Peña said he had been told at first that he would train his Wipro replacements. But after Senator Durbin’s rebuke, Wipro workers were trained only by employees who would be remaining with Abbott, he said.

He and 13 other former Abbott employees filed federal claims saying they faced discrimination because of their ages and American citizenship, said Sara Blackwell, a lawyer representing them. Those claims are confidential. Ms. Blackwell organized the tavern meeting where Abbott workers were invited to mourn their jobs. Of the small group that came, only Mr. Peña spoke up.

On April 20, about two dozen employees of EmblemHealth, a health insurer, protested outside its offices in Manhattan after the company announced that it would transfer about 200 tech jobs to Cognizant, another technology outsourcing company. Even though they were in the street holding signs, the employees declined to have their names used in news reports.

WikiLeaks to publish more Hillary Clinton emails – Julian Assange

New release likely to fan controversy and provide further ammunition for Republican presidential rival Donald Trump

June 12, 2016

by Mark Tran

The Guardian

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said his organisation is preparing to publish more emails Hillary Clinton sent and received while US secretary of state.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is under FBI investigation to determine whether she broke federal law by using her private email in sending classified information. A new WikiLeaks release of Clinton emails is likely to fan a controversy that has bedevilled her campaign and provide further ammunition for Donald Trump, her Republican presidential rival, who has used the issue to attack her.

Assange’s comments came in an interview on ITV’s Peston on Sunday. “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton … We have emails pending publication, that is correct,” Assange said.He did not specify when or how many emails would be published.

WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive in March of 30,322 emails and email attachments sent to and from Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. The 50,547 pages of documents are from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014, and 7,570 of the documents were sent by Clinton, who served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

Assange, a trenchant Clinton critic, said she was receiving constant personal updates on his situation. The WikiLeaks founder has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London since July 2012, when he sought asylum to avoid extradition. Assange is wanted in Sweden over allegations of rape dating from 2010, which he denies, but he has not been charged.

A Stockholm district court upheld an arrest warrant against the Australian last month, saying there was still “probable cause for suspicion” against him.

Assange said it was highly unlikely that the US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, would indict Clinton. “She’s not going to indict Hillary Clinton, that’s not possible. It’s not going to happen. But the FBI can push for concessions from a Clinton government,” he said.

He has attacked Clinton as a “liberal war hawk”, claiming that WikiLeaks had published emails showing her to be the leading champion in office to push for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, despite Pentagon reluctance.

“They predicted that the postwar outcome would be something like it is … she has a long history of being a liberal war hawk,” he said.

He also accused Google last week of helping Clinton in her presidential campaign, lumping together two of his bugbears.

Google “is intensely aligned with US exceptionalism” and its employees will likely be rewarded if Clinton wins the presidential election come November, Assange told an international media forum in Moscow.

His attacks on Clinton may be dismissed as highly partial, but the email controversy continues to dog her. An internal report last month found she had broken several government rules by using a private server rather than more secure official communication systems.

The 78-page investigation by the inspector general of the state department singled out several previously unknown breaches while Clinton was secretary of state, including the use of mobile devices to conduct official business without checking whether they posed a security risk.

‘We want food!’ Looting and riots rock Venezuela daily

June 12, 2016

by Girish Gupta and Alexandra Ulmer


CARACAS-A young woman faints in the heat as hundreds fight for pasta, screaming they are hungry. Slum-dwellers and armed gangs wait for nightfall to hijack food trucks or ransack stores. A mother is shot dead fleeing police after hundreds storm warehouses.

Food riots and violent looting have become a daily occurrence across scarcity-struck Venezuela and a major problem for the struggling leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Despite hours in lines, Venezuelans increasingly find that coveted supplies of subsidized flour and rice run out before they can buy them. Many are skipping meals, getting by on mangoes stripped from trees – or taking matters into their own hands.

On a recent morning in the rundown, garbage-strewn Caracas district of El Valle, some 200 people pushed up against police guarding a supermarket as they chanted, “We want food!” and “Loot it!” A few at the front were allowed in for two bags of pasta each.

“We’re not eating. People are desperate for a looting,” saidmother-of-three Miza Colmenares, 55, who had spent the night in line and not eaten since the previous day when she had eggs for breakfast.

One young woman fainted in the heat, an elderly lady cried uncontrollably on the sidewalk and the seething crowd chased away a government supporter.

Supermarkets have become flashpoints across Venezuela, one of the world’s most violent countries.

More than 10 lootings occur every day now, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, and are increasing in the usually more insulated capital.

More than a quarter of the 641 protests last month were for food, according to a tally by the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, a figure that has risen every month this year.

Venezuela’s angry streets are arguably a bigger threat for Maduro than the political opposition, which is pushing to remove him via a recall referendum this year. One recent food protest came within blocks of the Miraflores presidential palace.

It is a remarkable turnaround for a government which prided itself on social welfare programs such as Cuban-staffed medical posts and subsidized supermarkets. It won elections time-and-time again thanks to devoted support from Venezuela’s poor.

But with their beloved former president, Hugo Chavez, dead for three years and the economy deteriorating rapidly, many former “Chavistas” have turned on Maduro. “Behind all this is the president, the rat in his palace, eating riches while we fight to buy pasta,” said homemaker Maria Perez, 31, once a Chavez supporter, at the El Valle supermarket.

Maduro accuses the opposition of hoarding food to stoke unrest, an argument convincing fewer and fewer people.

When Socialist Party community organizer Pedro Gonzalez, 58, told a Reuters reporter the unrest at El Valle was “orchestrated by the country’s opposition,” he was chased away by angry bystanders.

The opposition says the government’s distorted currency controls and crumbling state-led economic system are to blame.

“HOODED AND ARMED” For months now, groups have ransacked delivery trucks that crash or suffer flat tires. But in recent weeks, there has been an increase in frustrated shoppers storming supermarkets after food runs out as well as cases of communities or armed gangs organizing lootings, sometimes reportedly to re-sell the goods.

In the small roadside town of Tacuato in the remote Paraguana peninsula late last month, residents and delinquents frustrated after spending the night in line for no food decided to loot the next passing truck.

“If you have a son who says, ‘Mommy I want my bottle,’ and you don’t have milk to give him, in a moment like that you don’t think of anything else and you grab everything you can for your family,” said one woman, asking to remain anonymous to avoid compromising her job.

Also in late May, a group stormed a small store in the Andean state of Tachira after the owner declined to sell all the corn flour she had, preferring to keep some for the next day.

“They waited for nightfall, watched me get on the bus … and some 70 people came up, hooded and armed,” said the store owner, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. They stole a TV, cash, and eight bags of flour, said the owner, who has not dared re-open her store.

Much of Caracas’ Petare slum, one of Latin America’s largest, was a ghost town one recent morning after a night of lootings and food protests that spooked shopowners from opening. Authorities said one person was shot dead during the melees.

A policeman is being charged in Tachira after a woman was gunned down following a looting attempt earlier this month.

Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. With imports shrinking and local production ailing, Venezuelans fear lootings will only increase.

On a recent day in affluent eastern Caracas, dozens waiting outside a supermarket started shouting that they be sold two packs of pasta instead of one. Managers briefly closed up, demanded the crowd calm down, and re-opened 10 minutes later – caving in to shoppers’ demands for fear of unrest.

Amid the tensions, Venezuelans are increasingly drawing parallels with the 1989 ‘Caracazo’ – roughly translated as ‘Caracas disaster’ – when hundreds died in riots and looting sparked by a fuel price increase amid an economic crisis.

“We’re going to tire of this. There will be something like the ‘Caracazo’ for sure,” said Yubisai Blanco, 40, clutching her two bags of pasta after seven hours in line.

(Additional reporting by Anggy Polanco in San Cristobal, Mircely Guanipa in Punto Fijo and Manuel Hernandez in Maracaibo.; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Steve Orlofsky)

Congress eyes $1 billion to aid at-risk families

June 10, 2016

by Duff Wilson and John Shiffman


WASHINGTON-Key members of the U.S. Congress said Friday they had reached a compromise to shift more than $1 billion to try to keep struggling families together, including those with babies born dependant on opioids.

The proposal is driven in part by an opioid crisis that threatens thousands of families. The bill would allow mental health, substance abuse and parenting assistance whenever a child is deemed at “imminent risk” of entering foster care. The measure also offers support for relatives who unexpectedly assume responsibility for a child when a parent cannot.

Under current law, such funds may only be spent after a child enters foster care. A spokesman for the Child Welfare League of America, John Sciamanna, called the proposed change “a landmark…, potentially historic.”

The legislation involves more than $1 billion over 10 years. Related opioid bills have not included funding.

“This bill would make a historic shift in child welfare funding by offering a way for moms and dads to get help and treatment rather than pitching in only after children are removed from home,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.

The bill is a compromise between four powerful members of Congress: Wyden; the Senate Finance committee’s Republican chair, Orrin Hatch of Utah; the Republican chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, Kevin Brady of Texas; and the ranking Democrat on Ways & Means, Sander Levin of Michigan.

The plan offers “bipartisan solutions for families and children affected by the opioid addiction crisis,” Hatch said in a statement.

In December, a Reuters investigation revealed that at least 110 babies had died since 2010 after being born opioid-dependent and sent home with parents ill-prepared to care for them. No more than nine of the 50 U.S. states followed a federal law requiring them to help those newborns, the news agency found.

In response to the Reuters series, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked all states to report by June 30 whether and how they are following the existing law, known as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. In May, the House passed legislation to improve safety planning for children born dependent on opioid drugs.

Reanne Pederson of Devils Lake, N.D., one of the women portrayed in the Reuters series who accidentally smothered her newborn in bed while on drugs, said she was happy to hear about new funding possibilities.

“It’s important to me that moms who are struggling with addiction get help,” she said.

(Editing by Ronnie Greene)

Saudi official says kingdom beset by increase in terror attacks

June 8, 2016

by Maggie Ybarra


WASHINGTON-Saudi Arabia is fending off a growing number of terror attacks inside its borders even as it tries to lead a multinational counterterrorism coalition in a financial and physical battle with the Islamic State and al Qaida, a senior Saudi official said Wednesday.

The ultraconservative country is the head of a 34-nation effort to combat terrorism in the Middle East and a key participant in the U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But those efforts have not kept Saudi Arabia itself safe from terror attacks, according to Maj. Gen. Mansour al Turki, a senior Interior Ministry official who spoke by phone from Riyadh with reporters who’d been gathered at the Saudi Embassy in Washington

“Most of these attacks targeted police persons or policemen or police facilities,” he said. He added that the attackers were “trying to scare off our people.”

Turki’s comments offer a rare glimpse into the insular kingdom’s internal struggle against terrorism and come as American officials once again are discussing possible Saudi links to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States.

Members of Congress are urging President Barack Obama to make public a 28-page portion of an 838-page report on those attacks that details allegations of Saudi contacts with the 9/11 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi subjects. The section was classified at the time the report was done and has never been shared with the public.

North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, one of the lawmakers trying to secure public access to part of the report, met with Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper in May and urged him to declassify the report. Jones had initially petitioned Obama to declassify parts of the report in a 2014 letter.

Also advocating for release of the pages is former Sen. Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat, who chaired the congressional panel that produced the report.

Turki declined to respond to questions about the report, including one about allegations reportedly in the classified section that a member of the Saudi royal family gave money to a person who’d been in contact with two of the hijackers.

“I’m not really involved in the so-called white paper and I would not like actually to comment on something that I’m not really following or involved in in any way,” he said.

Saudi officials insist that they are victims of terrorism themselves.

Unfortunately, yes, we had 26 attacks terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia within the last two years and . . . more than a hundred citizens or policemen were killed or injured,” Turki said.

The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia is a complex one. The kingdom is one of only five countries that provide support for anti-Islamic State operations inside Syria. Kingdom officials also are leading a controversial military intervention in Yemen for which the United States has provided logistical and intelligence support.

But legislation has been proposed in Congress to limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia and to allow Saudi Arabia to be sued in court over alleged support for the hijackers, a notion that has angered Saudi officials. President Barack Obama has said he would veto the bill, which has passed the Senate but has yet to come before the House.

“Saudi Arabia represents a paradox for U.S. counterterrorism. On the one hand, the Saudi government is a close partner of the United States on counterterrorism,” Center For Middle East Policy Research Director Daniel Byman said during a May congressional hearing on the U.S.-Saudi Arabia counterterrorism relationship.

“On the other hand, Saudi support for an array of preachers and non-government organizations contributes to an overall climate of radicalization, making it far harder to counter violent extremism. Both these problems are manifest today as the United States seeks to counter the Islamic State and its allies.”

Graham said on CNN last month that the White House told him that the classification review of the 28 pages was nearing completion and that he believed they could be released as early as this month.

Who is Sorcha Faal?

A Posterboy for Mental Health

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

Sorcha Faal turns out to be a nom de plume for one David Booth, a retired computer programmer from New Hampshire who stirred up limited controversy in conspiracy circles with the promotion of his book ‘Code Red: The Coming Destruction of the United States 2004.’

Booth claimed the book originated in a  “consecutive ten day dream he alleged he experienced in 2003 in which he saw a large sized planetary body pass close to Earth causing an explosion.  This was then built up into the story about ‘Planet X’ a heretofore unknown planet in our solar system  on a very long, elliptical orbit.

In May 2003, it was alleged by the lunatic fringe that the non-existent “Planet X” would pass close enough to the Earth to affect it in some way, causing it to flip over (what many call a “pole shift”) and spur many other huge disasters. The end result was solemnly predicted be the deaths of many billions of people.

There are a large number of web pages, chat rooms and books about Planet X and its horrible effects on the Earth. So the question is, does this planet exist, and did it come close enough to Earth in May 2003 and cause great catastrophes?

Did an atomic bomb explode over downtown Houston, Texas, on December 25th, 2004 by orders of Paul Wolfowitz?

Many internet readers were breathlessly informed of this by a Canadian masquerading as the “German Guy,” a purported senior intelligence official in the German BND. Houston still stands, undamaged, and as far as the mythical ‘Planet X’ is concerned, here is a comment from the official NASA website:

From the NASA website:

There is no known Planet X or 10th planet in our solar system. Scientists have been looking for about a hundred years. It was believed that such a planet was required to explain the orbital characteristics of the outer planets Uranus and Neptune. Many searches have been performed and, to date, no evidence of such a planet has emerged. In addition, better information about the masses of outer planets has also now shown that no other planets are necessary to explain the planetary orbits. (See our article on “Planet X” below)

There also is no Sorcha Faal in St. Petersburg, Russia or Florida. None of the Russian scientific bodies listed in the Faal accounts, specifically the Russian Academy of Science, has any record of such a person and a good deal of interesting information on this whole subject can be found at:http://www.rense.com/general51/plagiar.htm

There is no known Planet X or 10th planet in our solar system. Scientists have been looking for about a hundred years. It was believed that such a planet was required to explain the orbital characteristics of the outer planets Uranus and Neptune. Many searches have been performed and, to date, no evidence of such a planet has emerged. In addition, better information about the masses of outer planets has also now shown that no other planets are necessary to explain the planetary orbits.



by Curzio Malaparte

While the strategy of the Bolshevik revolution was due to Lenin, the tactician of the October coup d’Etat in 1917 was Trotsky.

When I was in Russia early in 1929, I had the opportunity of talking to a large number of people, from every walk of life, about the part played by Trotsky in the Revolution. There is an official theory on the subject which is held by Stalin./ But everywhere, and especially in Moscow and Leningrad where Trotsky’s party was stronger than elsewhere, I heard judgments passed on Trotsky which differed altogether from those enunciated by Stalin. The only refusal to answer my questions came from Lunacharski, and Madame Kamenev alone, gave me an objective justification of Stalin’s theory, which ought not to be surprising, considering that Madame Kamenev is Trotsky’s sister.

We cannot enter here into the Stalin – Lenin controversy on the subject of the “permanent revolution” and of the part played by Trotsky in the coup d’Etat of October 1917. Stalin denies that Trotsky organized it: he claims that merit for the Commission on which Sverdlov, Stalin, Boubrov, Ouritzki, and Dzerjinski sat. The Commission, to which neither Lenin nor Trotsky belonged, was an integral part of the Revolutionary Military Committee presided over by Trotsky. But Stalin’s controversy with the upholder of the theory of the “permanent revolution” cannot alter the history of the October insurrection, which, according to Lenin’s statement, was organized and directed by Trotsky. Lenin was the “strategus,” idealist, inspirer, the deus ex machina of the revolution, but the man who invented the technique of the Bolshevik coup d‘Etat was Trotsky.

The Communist peril against which governments in modern Europe have to defend themselves lies, not in Lenin’s strategy, but in Trotsky’s tactics. It would be difficult to conceive of Lenin’s strategy apart from the general situation in Russia in 1917. Trotsky’s tactics, on the contrary, were independent of the general condition of the country; their practical application was not conditioned by any of the circumstances which were indispensable to Lenin’s strategy. In Trotsky’s tactics is to be found the explanation why a Communist coup d‘Etat always will be a danger in any European country. In other words, Lenin’s strategy cannot find its application in any Western European country unless the ground is favorably prepared and the circumstances identical with those of Russia in 1917. In his Infantile Disease of Communism, Lenin himself noted that the novelty in the Russian political situation in 1917 “lay in four specific circumstances, which do not at present obtain in Western Europe, and doubtless never will develop either on exactly the same, or even analogous, lines.” An explanation of these four conditions would be irrelevant here. Everyone knows what constituted the novelty of the Russian political situation in 1917. Lenin’s strategy does not, therefore, present an immediate danger to the Governments of Europe. The menace for them, now and always, is from Trotsky’s tactics.

In his remarks on The October Revolution and the Tactics of Russian Communists, Stalin wrote that whoever wished to form an estimate of what happened in Germany in the Autumn of 1923, must not forget the peculiar situation in Russia in 1917. He added: “Comrade Trotsky ought to remember it, since he finds a complete analogy between the October Revolution and the German Revolution and chastises the German Communist party for its real or supposed blunders.” For Stalin, the failure of the German attempt at revolution during the Autumn of 1923 was due to the absence of those specific circumstances which are indispensable to the practical application of Lenin’s strategy. He was astonished to find Trotsky blaming the German Communists. But for Trotsky the success of an attempt at revolution does not depend on circumstances analogous to those obtaining in Russia in 1917. The reason why the German revolution in the Autumn of 1923 failed was not because it was impossible at that time to put Lenin’s strategy into operation. The unpardonable mistake on the part of the German Communists lay in their neglect of the insurrectional tactics of Bolshevism. The absence of favorable circumstances and the general condition of the country do not affect the practical application of Trotsky’s tactics. In fact, there is no justification of the German Communists’ failure to reach their goal.

Since the death of Lenin, Trotsky’s great heresy has threatened the doctrinal unity of Leninism. Trotsky is a Reformer who has the odds against him. He is now a Luther in exile, and those of his adherents who were not so rash as to repent too late, have hastened to repent- officially-too early. Nevertheless, one still frequently meets with heretics in Russia who have not lost the taste for criticism and who go on drawing the most unexpected conclusions from Stalin’s argument. This argument leads to the conclusion that without Kerenski there could be no Lenin, since Kerenski formed one of the chief elements in the peculiar condition of Russia in 1917. But Trotsky does not recognize that there is any need for Kerenski; any more than for Stresemann, Poincaré, Lloyd George, Giolitti, or MacDonald, whose presence, like that of Kerenski, has no influence, favorable or unfavorable, on the practical application of Trotsky’s tactics. Put Poincaré in the place of Kerenski and the Bolshevik coup d’Etat of 1917 would prove to be equally successful. In Moscow, as in Leningrad, I have sometimes come across adherents of the heretical theory of the “permanent revolution” who virtually held that Trotsky could do without Lenin, that Trotsky could exist without Lenin; which is equivalent to saying that Trotsky might have risen to power in October 1917 if Lenin had stayed in Switzerland and taken no part whatever in the Russian revolution.

The assertion is a risky one but only those who magnify the importance of strategy in a revolution will deem it arbitrary. What matters most are insurrectional tactics, the technique of the coup d’Etat. In a Communist revolution Lenin’s strategy is not an indispensable preparation for the use of insurrectional tactics. It cannot, of itself, lead to the capture of the State. In Italy, in 1919 and 1920, Lenin’s strategy had been put into complete operation and Italy at that time was, indeed, of all European countries, the ripest for a Communist revolution. Everything was ready for a coup d‘Etat. But Italian Communists believed that the revolutionary state of the country, the fever of sedition among the proletarian masses, the epidemic of general strikes, the paralyzed state of economic and political life, the occupation of factories by the workers, and of lands by the peasants, the disorganization of the army, the police and the civil service, the feebleness of the magistrature, the submission of the middle classes, and the impotence of the government were conditions sufficient to allow for a transference of authority to the workers. Parliament was under the control of the parties of the Left and was actually backing the revolutionary activities of the trade unions. There was no lack of determination to seize power, only of knowledge of the tactics of insurrection. The revolution wore itself out in strategy. This strategy was the preparation for a decisive attack, but no one knew how to lead the attack. The Monarchy (which used then to be called a Socialist Monarchy) was actually talked of as a serious obstacle to an insurrectional attack. The parliamentary majority of the Left was very much concerned with the activities of the trade unions, which gave it reason to fear a bid for power out- side the sphere of Parliament and even directed against it. The trade unions suspected Parliament of trying to convert the proletarian revolution into a change of ministry for the benefit of the lower middle classes. How could the coup d‘Etat be organized? Such was the problem during the whole of 1919 and 1920; and not only in Italy, but in almost every Western European country. Trotsky said that the Communists did not know how to benefit by the lesson of October 1917, which was not a lesson in revolutionary strategy but in the tactics of an insurrection.

This remark of Trotsky’s is very important for an understanding of the tactics used in the coup d‘Etat of October 1917, that is, of the technique of the Communist coup d’Etat.

It might be maintained that the tactics of insurrection are a part of revolutionary strategy, and indeed its aim and object. Trotsky’s ideas on this point are very definite. We have already seen that he considers the tactics of insurrection as independent of the general condition of the country or of a revolutionary state of affairs favorable to insurrection. The Russia of Kerenski offers no more of a problem than Holland or Switzerland for the practical application of the October tactics of 1917. The four specific circumstances as defined by Lenin in The Infantile Disease of Communism (i. e., the possibility of combining the Bolshevik revolution with the conclusion of an imperialist war; the chance of benefiting for a short while, by a war between two groups of nations who, except for that war, would have united to fight the Bolshevik revolution; the ability to sustain a civil war in Russia lasting long enough in relation to the immense size of the country and its poor means of communications; the presence of a democratic middle-class revolutionary movement among the peasant masses) are characteristic of the Russian situation in 1917, but they are not indispensable to the successful outcome of a Communist coup d‘Etat. If the tactics of a Bolshevik revolution were dependent upon the same circumstances as Lenin’s strategy, there would not be a Communist peril just now in all the states of Europe.

Lenin, in his strategic idea, lacked a sense of reality; he lacked precision and proportion. He thougnt of strategy in terms of Clausewitz, more as a philosophy than as an art or science. After his death, among his bedside books, a copy of Clausewitz’s Concerning War was found, annotated in his own writing; and his marginal notes to Marx’s Civil War in France show how well- founded was Trotsky’s challenge of his rival’s strategic genius, It is difficult to see why such importance is officially given to Lenin’s revolutionary strategy in Russia unless it is for the purpose of belittling Trotsky. The historical part played by Lenin in the Revolution makes it unnecessary for him to be considered as a great strategist.

On the eve of the October insurrection Lenin was hopeful and impatient. Trotsky’s election to the Presidency of the Petrograd Soviet and to the Revolutionary Military Committee, and the winning over of the Moscow Soviet majority, had finally set his mind at rest about the question of a majority in the Soviets, which had been his constant thought since July. All the same, he was still anxious about the second Soviet Congress which was due in the last days of October. “We need not get a majority,” Trotsky said, “it will not be the majority that will have to get into power.” And Trotsky was not mistaken. “It would be simply childish,” Lenin agreed, “to wait for a definite majority.” He would have liked to rouse the masses against Kerenski’s government; he wanted to bury Russia under the proletariat; to give the signal for insurrection to the entire Russian People; to appear at the Soviet Congress and override Dan and Skobelov, the two leaders of the Menshevik minority; and to proclaim the fall of Kerenski’s government and the advent of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Insurrectional tactics did not enter into his mind, he thought only in terms of revolutionary strategy. “All right,” said Trotsky, “but first of all, you must take possession of the town, seize the strategic positions and turn out the Government. In order to do that, an insurrection must be organized and storming parties trained. Few people are wanted; the masses are of no use; a small company is sufficient.”

But, according to Lenin, the Bolshevik insurrection must never be accused of being a speculation. “The insurrection,” he said, “must not rest on a plot nor on a party, but on the advanced section of the community.” That was the first point. The insurrection must be sustained by the revolutionary impulse of the whole people. That was the second point. The insurrection must break out on the high-water mark of the revolutionary tide: and that was the third point. These three points marked the distinction between Marxism and mere speculation. ‘‘Very well,” said Trotsky, “but the whole populace is too cumbersome for an insurrection. There need only be a small company, cold- blooded and violent, well-trained in the tactics of insurrection.”

Lenin admitted: “We must hurl all our units into the factories and barracks. There they must stand firm, for there is the crucial spot, the anchor of the Revolution. It is there that OK program must be explained and developed in fiery, ardent speech, with the challenge: Complete acceptance of this program, or insurrection !”

“Very good,” said Trotsky, “but when our program has been accepted by the masses, the insurrection still remains to be organized. We must draw on the factories and barracks for reliable and intrepid adherents. What we need is not the bulk of workers, deserters and fugitives, but shock troops.”

“If we want to carry out the revolution as Marxists, that is to say as an art,” Lenin agreed, “we must also, and without a moment’s delay, organize the General Staff of the insurrectional troops, distribute our forces, launch our loyal regiments against the most salient positions, surround the Alexandra theatre, occupy the Fortress of Peter and Paul, arrest the General Staff and the members of the Government, attack the Cadets and Cossacks with detachments ready to die to the last man, rather than allow the enemy to penetrate into the center of the town, We must mobilize the armed workers, call them to the supreme encounter, take over the telephone and telegraph exchanges at the same time, quarter our insurrectional General Staff in the telephone exchange and connect it up by telephone with all the factories, regiments, and points at which the armed struggle is being waged.”

“Very good,” Trotsky said, “but . . .”

“All that is only approximate,” Lenin recognized, “but I am anxious to prove that at this stage we could not remain loyal to Marx with- out considering revolution as an art. You know the chief rules of this art as Marx laid them down. When applied to the present situation in Russia, these rules imply: as swift and sudden a general offensive on Petrograd as possible; at- tacking both from inside and out, from the workers’ districts in Finland, from Reval and from Kronstadt; an offensive with the whole fleet; the concentration of troops greatly superior to the Government’s forces which will he 20,000 strong (Cadets and Cossacks). We must rally our three chief forces, the fleet, the workers, and the military units to take over the telephone and telegraph offices, the stations and the bridges and to hold them at any cost. We must recruit the most tenacious among our storming parties for detachments whose duty it will be to occupy all the important bridges and to take part in every decisive engagement. We must also form gangs of workers armed with rifles and hand grenades who will march on enemy positions, on the officers’ training schools and on the telephone and telegraph exchanges, and surround them. , The triumph of both the Russian and the world- revolution depends on a two or three days’ struggle.”

“That is all quite reasonable,” said Trotsky, “but it is too complicated. The plan is too vast and it is a strategy which includes too much territory and too many people. It is not an insurrection any longer, it is a war. In order to take possession of Petrograd it is needless to take the train in Finland. Those who start from too great a distance often have to stop halfway. An offensive of 20,000 men from Reval or Kronstadt for the purpose of seizing the Alexandra theatre is rather more than is required; it is more than an assault. As far as strategy is concerned, Marx himself could be outdone by Kornilov. One must concentrate on tactics, move in a small space with few men, concentrate all efforts on principal objectives, strike hard and straight. I don’t think it is so complicated. Dangerous things are always extremely simple. In order to be successful, one must not challenge an un- favorable circumstance nor trust to a favorable one. Hit your adversary in the stomach and the blow, will be noiseless. Insurrection is a piece of noiseless machinery. Your strategy demands too many favorable circumstances. Insurrection needs nothing. I t is self-sufficient.”

“Your tactics are extremely simple,” said Lenin: “There is only one rule: succeed, You prefer Napoleon to Kerenski, don’t you?”

The words which I attribute to Lenin are not invented. They are to be found, word for word, in the letters he wrote to the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party in October 1917.

Those who are acquainted with all Lenin’s writings, and especially with his notes on the insurrectional technique of the December Days in Moscow during the Revolution of 1905, must be rather surprised to find how ingenuous his ideas about the tactics and technique of an insurrection are on the eve of October 1917. And yet it must not be forgotten that he and Trotsky alone, after the failure of the July attempt, did not lose sight of the chief aim of revolutionary strategy, which was the coup d‘Etat. After some vacillation (in July the Bolshevik Party had only one aim and it was of a parliamentary nature: to gain the majority in the Soviets), the idea of insurrection, as Lunacharski said, had become the driving power of all Lenin’s activities. But during his stay in Finland where he had taken shelter after the July Days to avoid falling into the hands of Kerenski, all his activity was concentrated on the preparation of the revolution in theory. There seems to be no other explanation for the ingenuousness of his plan to make a military offensive on Petrograd that was to be backed up by the Red Guards within the town. The offensive would have ended in disaster. With Lenin’s strategy checkmated, the tactics of an insurrection would have failed and the Red Guards have been massacred in the streets of Petrograd. Because he was compelled to follow the course of events from a distance, Lenin could not grasp the situation in all its details. None the less, he visualized the main trend of the revolution far more clearly than certain members of the Central Committee of t he party who objected to an immediate insurrection. “It is a crime to wait,’’ he wrote to the Bolshevik Committees in Petrograd and Moscow.

And although the Central Committee in its meeting on October 10, at which Lenin, just returned from Finland, was present, voted almost unanimously for an insurrection (only Kamenev and Zinoviev dissenting), yet there was still a secret opposition among certain members of the Committee. Kamenev and Zinoviev were the only members who had publicly protested against an immediate insurrection, but their objections were the very same as those fostered by many others in secret. Those who disagreed, in secret, with Lenin’s decision brought all their hatred to bear on Trotsky, “the unattractiveTrotsky,” a new recruit to the ranks of Bolshevism whose pride was beginning to arouse a good deal of jealousy and attention among Lenin’s old life guards.

During those days Lenin hid away in a suburb 1 of Petrograd and, without losing touch with the situation as a whole, he carefully watched the machinations of Trotsky’s adversaries. At a moment like this, indecision in any form would have been fatal to the revolution. In a letter to the Central Committee, dated October 17, Lenin resisted most energetically the criticisms of Kamenev and Zinoviev whose arguments were intended to expose Trotsky’s mistakes. They said that “without the collaboration of the masses and without the support of a general strike, the insurrection will only be a leap in the dark and doomed to failure. Trotsky’s tactics are a pure gamble. A Marxist party cannot associate the question of an insurrection with that of a military conspiracy.”

In his letter of October 17, Lenin defended Trotsky’s tactics: “Trotsky is not playing with the ideas of Blanqui,” he said. “A military conspiracy is a game of that sort only if it is not organized by the political party of a definite class of people and if the organizers disregard the general political situation and the international situation in particular. There is a great difference between a military conspiracy, which is deplorable from every point of view, and the art of armed insurrection.” Kamenev and Zinoviev might answer: “Has Trotsky not constantly been repeating that an insurrection must disregard the political and economic situation of the country? Has he not constantly been stating that a general strike is one of the chief factors in a communist coup d’Etat? How can the co-operation of the trade unions and the proclamation of a general strike be relied upon if the trade unions are not with us, but in the enemy’s camp? They will strike against us. We do not even negotiate directly with the railwaymen. In their Executive Committee there are only two Bolsheviks to forty members. How can we win without the help of the trade unions and without the support of a general strike?”

These objections were serious: Lenin could only meet them with his unshakable decision. But Trotsky smiled: he was calm. “Insurrection,” he said, “is not an brt, it is an engine. Technical experts are required to start it and they alone could stop it.”

Trotsky’s storming party consisted of a thousand workmen, soldiers and sailors. The pick of this company had been recruited from workmen of the Putilov and Wiborg factories, from sailors of the Baltic fleet and soldiers of the Latvian regiments. Under- the orders of Antonov- Ovseienko, these Red Guards devoted themselves for ten days to a whole series of “invisible maneuvers” in the very center of the town. Among the crowd of deserters that thronged the streets, in the midst of the chaos that reigned in the government buildings and offices, in the General Headquarters, in the Post Offices, telephone and telegraph exchanges, in the stations, barracks, and the head ofices of the city’s technical services, they practiced insurrectional tactics, un- armed and in broad daylight. And their little groups of three or four men passed unnoticed.

The tactics of “invisible manoeuvres” and the practice of insurrectional action which Trotsky demonstrated for the first time during the coup d‘Etat of October 1917 is now a part of the revolutionary strategy of the Third International. The principles which Trotsky applied are all stated and developed in the handbooks of the Comintern. In the Chinese University in Moscow, among the subjects taught, there is “the tactics of invisible manoeuvres,” which Karakan, with Trotsky’s experience for guidance, applied so successfully in Shanghai. In the Sun-Yat-Sen University in Moscow, the Chinese students learn the same principles which German Communist organizations put into practice every Sunday in order to get into training for the tactics of insurrection; and they do it in broad daylight, under the very nose of the police and of the sober citizens of Berlin, Dresden, and Hamburg.

I n October 1917, during the days prior tc the coup d‘Etat, the Reactionary, Liberal, Menshevik and Socialist revolutionary press nevei ceased to enlighten public opinion as to the activities of the Bolshevik Party, which was openlj preparing an insurrection. I t accused Lenin anc Trotsky of seeking to overthrow the democratic republic in order to set up a dictatorship of thf proletariat. They were not trying to disguisf their criminal intentions, said the middle-class press, the proletarian revolution was being organized in broad daylight. When Bolshevik leaders made speeches to the masses of workers an? soldiers gathered in the factories and barracks they loudly proclaimed that everything was ready and that the day for revolution was draw. ing nearer. What was the Government doing? Why had Lenin, Trotsky and the other member: of the Central Committee not been arrested? What measures were being taken to protecl Russia from the Bolshevik danger?

I t is incorrect to say that Kerenski’s Government did not take the measures needed for the defence of the State. Kerenski must be given due credit for having done everything in his power to prevent a coup d‘Etat. If Poincari, Lloyd George, MacDonald, Giolitti, or Stresemann had stood in his place, they would not have acted otherwise. Kerenski’s system of defence

consisted in using the police methods which have always been relied upon and are still relied upon today by absolute as well as by liberal governments. But these police methods can no longer adequately defend the State from the modern technique of insurrection. Kerenski’s mistake was the mistake of all governments that regard the problem of the defence of the State as a police problem.

Those who accuse Kerenski of a lack of fore- sight and of incompetence forget the skill and courage he showed in the July Days against the workers’ and deserters’ revolt, and again in August against Kornilov’s reactionary venture. In August he did not hesitate to call in the Bol- sheviks themselves in order to prevent Korn- ilov’s Cossacks from sweeping the democratic victories of the February revolution overboard. On this occasion he astonished Lenin: “We must beware of Kerenski,” he said, “he is no fool.” Kerenski must have his due: it\ was impossible for him, in October, to act differently from the way he did. Trotsky had said that the defence of the State was a matter of method. Moreover, in October 1917 only one method was known, only one could be applied whether by Kerenski, Lloyd George, Poincar I , or Noske: the classical method of relying on the police.

In order to me1 e t the danger, Kerenski took care to garrison tl ie Winter Palace, the Tauride Palace, the Govei rnment offices, the telephone and telegraph excl ianges, and the General Head- quarters with milit ary Cadets and loyal Cossacks. The 20,000 men 01 n whom he could count inside the capital were 1 thus mobilized to protect the strategic points in the political and bureaucratic organization of tk ie State. (This was the mis- take by which Tr otsky would benefit.) Other reliable regiments were massed in the neighbor- hood at Tsarkoik C ;&lo, Kolpino, Gatchina, Obou- khovo, and Pulkc ivo-an iron ring which the Bolshevik insurrec :tion must sever if it was not to be stifled. All t1 ie measures which might safe- guard the Governr nent had been taken, and de- tachments of Cade t s patrolled the town day and night. There werl e clusters of machine-guns at the crossroads, on the roofs, all along the Nevski Prospect, and at e: 3ch end of the main streets, to prevent access to the squares. Military patrols passed back and forth among the crowds: armoured cars ma lved slowly by, opening up a passage with the long howl of their hooters. The chaos was te rrible. “There’s my general strike,” said Troi sky to Antovov Ovseienko, pointing to the SL uirling crowds in the Nevski Prospect. e t the danger, Kerenski took

Meanwhile, Kerenski was not content with mere police measures; he set the whole political machine in motion. He not only wanted to rally the Right but to make assurance doubly sure by agreement with the Left. He was most con- cerned about the trade unions. He knew that their leaders were not in agreement with the Bolsheviks. That fact accounted for the Kame- nev-Zinoviev criticism of Trotsky’s idea of in- surrection. A general strike was an indispensable factor for the insurrection. Without it the Bol- sheviks could not feel safe and their attempt was bound to fail. Trotsky described the revolution as “hitting a paralysed man.” If the insurrec- tion was to succeed, life in Petrograd must be paralysed by a general strike. The trade union leaders were out of sympathy with the Bolshe- viks, but their organized rank and file inclined towards Lenin. If the masses could not be won over, then Kerenski would like to have the lead- ers on his side: he entered into negotiations with them and finally, but not without a struggle, was successful in obtaining their neutrality. When Lenin heard of it he said to Trotsky: “Kamenev was right. Without a general strike to support you, your tactics can but fail.” ‘‘I have disor- ganization on my side,” Trotsky answered, “and that is better than a general strike.”

In order to grasp Trotsky’s plan one must appreciate the condition of Petrograd at that time. There were enormous crowds of deserters who had left the trenches at the beginning of the February revolution and had poured into the capital and thrown themselves on it as though they would destroy the new temple of liberty. During the last six months they had been camp- ing in the middle of the streets and squares, ragged as they were, dirty, miserable, drunk or famished, timid or fierce, equally ready to revolt or to flee, their hearts burning with a thirst for vengeance and peace. They sat there in a never- ending row, on the pavement of the Nevski Prospect, beside a stream of humanity that flowed on slowly and turbulently. They sold weapons, propaganda leaflets and sunflower seeds, There was chaos beyond description in the Zramenskaia Square in front of the railway station of Moscow: the crowd dashed against the wall, surged back, then forward again with renewed vigour until it broke like a foaming wave on a heap of carts, vans, and tramcars piled up in front of the statue of Aiexander 111, and with a deafening din which, from afar, sounded like the outcry of a massacre.

Over the Fontanka bridge at the crossroads between the Nevski and Liteyni Prospects, news- boys sold their papers: they shouted the news at the top of their voices, about the precautions taken by Kerenski, the proclamations of the Military Revolutionary Committee, of the Soviet and of the Municipal Duma, the decrees of Colonel Polkovnikov, who was in command of the square and who threatened to imprison all deserters and forbade manifestations and meet- ings and brawls. Workers, soldiers, students, clerks, and sailors at the street corners debated at the top of their voices and with sweeping gestures. In the cafis and stulovuie everywhere, people laughed a t Colonel Polkovnikov’s proc- lamations which pretended that the 200,000 deserters in Petrograd could be arrested and that brawls could be forbidden. In front of the Win- ter Palace there were two 75 cm. guns, and be- hind them the Cadets in their long greatcoats, were nervously pacing up and down. In front of the General Staff building two rows of military motorcars were drawn up. Near the Admiralty, in the Alexander Gardens, a battalion of women sat on the ground around their stacked rifles.

The Marinskaia Square overflowed with ragged and haggard workers, sailors, deserters. The entrance of the Maria Palace, where the Republican Council sat, was guarded by a de- tachment of Cossacks, their tall black chupkas tilted over one ear. They talked in loud voices, smoking and laughing. A spectator from the top of the Isaac Cathedral could have seen heavy smoke clouds over Putilov’s factorie: i where the men worked with loaded rifles slung round their shoulders; beyond that, the Gulf c if Finland; and, behind the island of Rothine, Kronstadt, “the red fortress,” where the blue-e :yed sailors were waiting for Dybenko’s signal t o march to the aid of Trotsky and slaughter 1 :he Cadets. On the other side of the town, a re ddish cloud brooded over the countless chimn eys of the Wiborg suburb where Lenin was in hiding, rather pale and feverish, wearing tha t wig which made him look like a little provincial actor. No one could have taken this man, with01 ut his beard and with his false hair well glued on to his fore- head, for the terrible Lenin who < :odd make Russia tremble. I t was there, in 1 :he Wiborg factories, that Trotsky’s Red Guarc i s expected Antonov Ovseienko’s signal. The w( men in the suburbs had sad faces and their eyes had become hard. Towards evening, as soon as d irkness had swept the streets, parties of armed wc )men moved towards the centre of the town. Thes ,e were days of proletarian migration: enormt )us masses passed from one end of Petrograd ti o the other, then came back to their quarters afte br hours and hours of walking to and from meetir igs, demon- strations and riots. There was mc seting after meeting in barrack and factory. ‘‘/ 111 power to the Soviets!” The hoarse voices of the orators were smothered in the folds of red flags. Keren- ski’s soldiers, manning the machine-guns on the housetops, listened to the hoarse voices below as they chewed their sunflower seeds and threw the shells on to the crowds thronging the streets.

Darkness descended on the city like a black cloud, In the huge Nevski Prospect the stream of deserters flowed towards the Admiralty. There were hundreds of soldiers, women, and workmen camping in front of the Kazan Cathe- dral, lying full-length on the ground. The whole town was in the throes of fear, disorder, and frenzy. And all of a sudden, out of this crowd, men would spring up, armed with knives and mad with sleeplessness, and throw themselves on the Cadet patrols and the female battalions de- fending the Winter Palace. Others would break into the houses to fetch the bourgeois out of his own dwelling, catching him in bed and wide awake. The city was sleepless with the fever of insurrection. Like Lady Macbeth, Petrograd could no longer sleep. Its nights were haunted with the smell of blood.

Trotsky’s Red Guards had been rehearsing in the very centre of the town during the past ten days. Antonov Ovseienko it was, who organized these tactical exercises, this sort of dress re- hearsal of the coup d’Etat, in broad daylight, wherever the streets were thronging with move- ment, and round buildings which were of the greatest strategic importance in the govern- mental and political strongholds. The police and military authorities were so obsessed by the idea of a sudden revolt by the proletarian masses, and so concerned with meeting the danger, that they failed to notice Antonov Ovseienko’s gangs at work. Amid such widespread disorder, who should notice the little groups of unarmed work- ers; the soldiers and the sailors who wandered about in the corridors of the telephone and tele- graph exchanges, in the Central Post Office, in the Government offices and General Headquar- ters, taking note of the arrangement of the of- fices and seeing how the telephones and lights were fitted? They visualized and remembered the plan of these buildings and studied the means of getting into them suddenly and at a moment’s notice. They reckoned with their chances of success, estimating the oppositicn, and looking for the places of least resistance, the weakest and most vulnerable places in the defensive or- ganization of the technical, military, and secre- tarial services of the State. In the general con- fusion, who should notice some three or four sailors, a couple of soldiers, or a stray workman wandering round some buildings, going in and climbing the stairs; people who did not even look at each other when they met? No one even suspected these people of obeying precise and detailed orders, of carrying out a plan or of undergoing exercises directed against the strat- egic points in the State’s defence. Later the Red Guards would strike effectively because they had conducted their invisible manoeuvres on the very ground where the battle would shortly begin.

Trotsky succeeded in getting hold of the plan of the town’s technical services. Dybenko’s sail- ors, aided by two engineers and engine-room artificers, mastered the underground gas and water piping, the electric power cables and the telephone and telegraph system. Two of them explored the drains under the Headquarters of the General Staff. The isolation of a whole dis- trict or even of a mere group of houses had to be made practicable within a few minutes; so Trotsky divided the town into sections, deter- mined which were the strategic points, and al- lotted the work, section by section, to gangs of soldiers and skilled workers.

Technical experts were necessary as well as soldiers. The capture of the railway station in Moscow was allotted to two squads consisting of 25 Latvian soldiers, 2 sailors, and 10 railwaymen. Three g a n p of sailors, workmen, and railway officials, 160 men in all, were ordered to take over the station in Warsaw. For the capture of other stations Dybenko assigned a number of squads of 20 men each . A telegraphist attached to every squad control1 ed movements on the rail- way lines. On Octobe ‘r 21, acting under orders from Antonov Ovseien ko, who was in close touch with the manoeuvres, a 11 the gangs rehearsed the capture of the railway stations, and the general rehearsal was perfect11 i well-ordered and precise in every detail. On th; at day, three sailors went to the Main Electricit) 7 Plant near the port: the Plant, run by the city ’s technical services, was not even guarded. Th e manager asked the sail- ors whether they wen : the men whom he had asked the Commander 4 3f the Square to send him. He had been wanting a guard for the last five days. The three sailo Irs took over the defence of the Electric Plant, ir 1 case of insurrection, they said. In the same wa: y, a few gangs of engine- room artificers took ov er the other three munic- ipal plants.

Kerenski’s police anc 3 the military authorities were especially concer ned with the defence of the State’s official an( 1 political organizations: the Government offices , the Maria Palace where the Republican council sat, the Tauride Palace, seat of the Duma, the Winter Palace, and Gen- era1 Headquarters. P Jhen Trotsky discovered this mistake he decL ied to attack only the technical branches of tl ie national and municipal Government. Insurrec tion for him was only a question of technique. “In order to overthrow the modern State,” he said, “you need a storming party, technical experts and gangs of armed men led by engineers.”

While Trotsky was organizing the coup d‘Etat on a rational basis, the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party was busy organizing the prole- tarian revolution. Stalin, Sverdlov, Boubrov, Ouritzki, and Dzerjinski, the members of this committee who were developing the plan of the general revolt were nearly all openly hostile to Trotsky. These men felt no confidence in the insurrection as Trotsky planned it, and ten years later Stalin gave them all the credit for the Octo- ber coup ZEtat.

What use were Trotsky’s thousand men? The Cadets could so easily deal with them. The task surely was to rouse the proletarian masses, the thousands upon thousands of employees from the works of Putilov and Wiborg, the huge crowd of deserters and the Bolshevik sympathizers in- side the garrison of Petrograd, it was these who ought to be stirred up against the Government. A great rebellion must be started. Trotsky, with his storming parties, seemed both a useless and a dangerous ally.

The Commission considered the revolution much in the same way as Kerenski, as a matter chiefly concerni ng the police. And, strangely enough, the ma n who later on created the Bol- shevik police ( a ftenvards known as the G. P. U.) belonged to thi % Commission. Dzerjinski, pale and anxious, st udied the defence of Kerenski’s government anc 1 decided on the plan of attack. He was the n nost formidable and the most treacherous of a dl Trotsky’s critics, and he was as bashful as a wc ,man in his fanaticism. He even denied himself a glance at his hands to see whether they were stained with his deeds. Dzerjinski died at the Bench during his prosecu- tion of Trotsky in 1926.

On the eve c )f the coup d’Etat, Trotsky told Dzerjinski that Kerenski’s government must be completely ignc red by the Red Guards; that the chief thing was i to capture the State and not to fight the Gover mment with machine-guns; that the Republican Council, the Ministries and the Duma played a n unimportant part in the tactics of insurrection and should not be the objectives of an armed re1 Jellion; that the key to the State lay, not in its )olitical and secretarial organiza- tions nor yet i, n the Tauride, Maria or Winter Palaces, but in its technical services, such as the electric station s, the telephone and telegraph offices, the po rt, gasworks and water mains. Dzerjinski an57 wered that the insurrection must be planned to a nticipate the enemy’s movements and that the latter must be i ittacked in his strongholds. “We must attack i the Government and beat it on the very ground where it is de- fending the State. If the enem iy withdraws to the Government offices, to the M: aria, Tauride, or Winter Palaces, he must be houn ded out of them. In order to get possession of 1 the State,” said Dzerjinski, “we must hurl the masses against the Government.”

All important in the Commissi on’s plan for the Insurrection was the neutralit: y of the Trade Unions. Could the State really be overthrown without the assistance of a ( ;enera1 Strike? “No,” said both the Central Cor nmittee and the Commission, ”the strike must be ! started by get- ting the masses to take part in the insurrection itself. The tactics of a general i nsurrection and not those of isolated revolts are b going to make it possible for us to hurl the ma sses against the Government and to promote a ( ;enera1 Strike.” “A General Strike is unneces :sary,” Trotsky replied. “Chaos in Petrograd is more useful for our purpose than a General Strik e. The Govern- mpnt rannnt rnne with an innui rrection when a general disorganization paralyses the State. Since we cannot rely on the Strike, we will rely on the chaos.”

The Commission is said to have objected to Trotsky’s tactics on the ground that his view of the situation was too optimistic. Trotsky, as a matter of fact, was inclined to be pessimistic; he judged the situation to be more serious than most people thought. He did not trust the masses and knew very well that the insurrection would have to be made by a minority. The promotion of a General Strike with the idea of enlisting the masses in a real battle against the Government was an illusion. The insurrection could only be made by a minority. Trotsky was convinced that if a General Strike broke out it would be directed against the Bolsheviks and that in order to pre- vent such a General Strike, power must imme- diately be seized. Subsequent events have proved that Trotsky was right. By the time the rail- waymen, the postal, telegraph, and telephone clerks, the secretariats in the Government offices and the employees in public services had left their work, it was too late. Lenin was already in power: Trotsky had broken the back of the gen- eral strike.

The Central Committees’ objections to Trot- sky’s tactics was a paradox which might have jeopardized the success of the insurrection. On the eve of the coup d‘Etat there were two Head- quarters, two plans of action, and two different aims. The Commission, relying on the mass of workers and deserters, wanted to capture the Government in order to seize the State. Trotsky, who relied on about a thousand men, wanted to capture the State in order to overthrow the Gov- ernment. Marx himself would have considered the circumstances more favorable to the Com- mission’s plan than to Trotsky’s. But Trotsky had said: “An insurrection does not require favorable circumstances.”

On October 24th, in full daylight, Trotsky launched the attack. The plan of operations had been drawn up by a former officer of the Imperial army, Antonov Ovseienko, who was also known as a mathematician, a chess player, a revolu- tionary, and an exile. Lenin, referring to Trot- sky’s tactics, once said of Antonov Ovseienko that only a chess player like him could organize the insurrection.

Antonov Ovseienko had a melancholy and unhealthy expression. He looked rather like Napoleon before the 18th of Brumaire, with his long hair falling on his shoulders: but his eyes were lifeless and his thin pale face was that of a sad and unhealthy man.

Rnttmov Ovseienko was playing chess on a topographical map of Petrograd in a small room on the top floor of the Smolny Institute, the Gen- eral Headquarters of the Bolshevik Party. Be- low him, on the next floor, the Commission was met to fix the day for the general insurrection. Little the Commission imagined that Trotsky had already launched the attack. Lenin alone had been informed, a t the last minute, of Trot- sky’s sudden decision. The Commission stood by Lenin’s word. Had he not said that both the 2lst and the 24th would be too early and the 26th too late? No sooner had the Commission met to decide definitely on the date, than Podvoisky came in with unexpected news. Trotsky’s Red Guards had already seized the main telegraph office and the Neva bridges. These bridges had to be held in order to insure the lines of com- munication between the centre of the city and the workmen’s district of Wiborg. Dybenko’s sailors already held the municipal electricity sta- tions, gasworks, and railway stations. Things had happened with unimagined speed and order- liness. The main telegraph office was being de- fended by some fifty police and soldiers, lined up in front of the building. The insufficiency of police measures was evidenced by those tactics of defence called “service of order and protec- tion,’’ which may give good results when di- rected against a crowd in revolt but not against a handful of determined fighters. Police meas- ures are useless in the face of a surprise attack. Three of Dybenko’s sailors, who had taken part in the “invisible manoeuvres” and knew the ground already, got in among those who were defending, right into the offices; and by throwing a few hand grenades from the window on to the street, they succeeded in creating chaos among the police and the soldiers. Two squads of sail- ors took up their positions with machine-guns in the main telegraph office. A third squad, posted in the house opposite, was ready to meet a pos- sible counter-attack by shooting in the rear of the assailants. Communications between the Srnolny Institute and the various groups working in different districts of the town were assured by armoured cars. Machine-guns were concealed in the houses at the chief crossroads: flying squads watched the barracks of those regiments which had remained loyal to Kerenski.

About six o’clock that evening Antonov Ovseienko, paler than usual but smiling, went into Lenin’s room at the Smolny Institute. “It is over,” he said. The members of the Govern- ment, taken unawares by these events, sought refuge in the Winter Palace, defended by a few Cadet companies and a battalion of women. Kerenski had fled. They said he was a t the Front to collect troops and march on Petrograd. The entire population poured into the streets, anxious for news. Shops, cafk, restaurants, cinemas, and theatres were all open; the trams were filled with armed soldiers and workers and a huge crowd in the Nevski Prospect flowed on like a great river. Everyone was talking, dis- cussing and cursing either the Government or the Bolsheviks. The wildest rumours spread from group to group: Kerenski dead, the heads of the Menshevik minority shot in front of the Tauride Palace; Lenin sitting in the Tsar’s room in the Winter Palace.

A great crowd surged continuously towards the Alexander Gardens from the Nevski Pros- pect, the Gorokovskaia and Vosnessenski Streets (those three great roads that meet at the Admir- alty), to see whether the Red Flag was already flying on the Winter Palace. When the crowd saw the Cadets defending the Palace, it drew back. The machine-guns, the lighted windows, the deserted square, and the motors drawn up in front of the General Headquarters were a dis- turbing sight. The crowd watched from a dis- tance without grasping the situation. And Lenin? Where was he? Where were the Bol- sheviks ?

Meanwhile none of their opponents, whether Liberal, Reactionary, Menshevik, or Socialist Revolutionary, could grasp the situation. They refused to believe that the Bolsheviks had captured the State. These rumours they argued had probably been circulated by paid agents of the Smolny Institute: in point of fact the Gov- ernment offices had only been moved into the

Winter Palace as a precaution; wy measui re;if the day’s news was correct, then t :here had i not been a coup d‘Etat, but rather, a set +ies of moi -e or less successful armed attacks (no thing defii iite was yet known) on the organizat ion of the ! State’s and the town’s public service: 9. The leg $dative, political, and administrative b Bodies werc 3 still in Kerenski‘s hands. The Tauric 3e and Mz rria Pal- aces, and the Ministries had not even 1 been at- tacked. The situation was cert ainly para doxical : never before had an insurrectic In claimed to have captured the State without el yen attack :ing the Government. It looked as thou igh the Bo Isheviks did not care about the Govern ment. W hy were the Government offices not ta .ken over? Could one master the State and gove rn Russia without even controlling the State’s adr ninistratic tn? The Bolsheviks had, of course, capt ured all th e public services, but Kerenski had not resigned. He was still the head of the Governmei nt, even if: , for the present, the public services, the : railways, electric plants, telephone, telegraph, an d Post Off ices, the State Bank, and the coal, pet roleum an d grain depots were not under his co ntrol. Ir I actual fact, the Ministers in the Wi ‘nter Palat ce were unable to govern ; Governmen t offices u. ‘ere not working, the Government had been cut ( )ff from the rest of Russia and every m eans of co mmuni- cation was in the hands of thc : Bolshevi ks. All the roads in the suburbs were barricaded; no one might leave the town. General Headquarters were cut off. The Bolsheviks had taken over the main wireless telegraphy station ; Red Guards were quartered in the fortress of Peter and Paul and a number of regiments belonging to the gar- rison of Petrograd were already acting under orders from the Revolutionary Military Com- mittee. Action must be taken at once. Why was the General Staff idle? It was said to be waiting for Krasnov’s troops which were marching on the capital. All measures necessary for the de- fence of the Government had been taken. If the Bolsheviks had not yet decided to attack the Government it must mean that they did not yet feel their position to be powerful enough to do so. All was not yet lost.

The next day, on October 25th, during the opening of the second Pan-Russian Soviet Con- gress in the Smolny Institute, Trotsky ordered Antonov Ovseienko to attack the Winter Palace where Kerenski’s ministers had taken refuge, and now the question was, would the Bolsheviks win a majority in the Congress?

The Soviets of all Russia would not believe that the insurrection has been successful on the mere announcement that the Bolsheviks had captured the State. They must be told that the Red Guards had captured the Members of the

Government. Trotsky said to L enin: “That is the only way of convincing the C entral Committee and the Commission that the Cl w p d‘Etat has not been a failure.”

“You have made up your n iind rather late,” answered Lenin.

“I could not attack the Gc )V ernment before I was convinced that the garri: i0 n would not come to its rescue,” Trotsky answ :ri td, “I had to give the soldiers time to come ove r to our side. Only the Cadets have remained lo: Ya 1,”

Then Lenin, in his wig, beai rd less and disguised as a workman, left his hic iii ng-place for the Smolny Institute to take part i n the Soviet Con- gress. I t was the saddest mo m ent in his life for he thought the insurrection h ac 1 failed. Like the Central Committee, the Cot ni mission. and the greater part of the delegate re at the Congress, Lenin needed proof of the GOT ir rnment’s fall and of the capture of Kerenski’s M kJ listers by the Red Guards. He distrusted Trots1 ill 7’s pride, his self- assurance and his reckless w -d 3s. Trotsky was no member of the Old Guai b , he was not an absolutely reliable Bolshevik s Nut a new recruit who joined the Party after thc r; luly Days. “I am not one of the Twelve,” said ’ ie -otsky, “but I am more like St. Paul who was th first to preach to the Gentiles.”

Lenin was never greatly att r: rcted by Trotsky. Trotsky was generally unpopular. His eloquence was suspect. He had that dangerous gift of swaying the masses and unleashing a revolt. He could split a Party, invent a heresy-but, how- ever formidable, he was a man they needed. Lenin had long ago noticed that Trotsky relished historical comparisons. When he spoke at meet- ings or assemblies or took part in one of the Party’s debates, he constantly referred to Crom- well’s Puritan Revolt or to the French Revolu- tion. One must beware of a man who judges and estimates the men and the events of the Bol- shevik Revolution by the standard of the men and events of the French Revolution. Lenin could never forget how Trotsky, as soon as he came out of the Kresty prison where he had been shut up after the July Days, went into the Soviet in Petrograd and, in the course of a violent speech, advocated the need for a Jacobine reign of terror. “The guillotine Ieads to a Napoleon,” the Mensheviks shouted at him. “I prefer Napo- leon to Kerenski,” Trotsky answered back. Lenin was never going to forget that answer. Dzerjinsky later on used to say of Trotsky: “He likes Napoleon better than Lenin.”

The second Pan-Russian Soviet Congress was meeting in the main hall of the Smolny Institute, and in the room adjoining it, Lenin and Trotsky sat at a table heaped with papers and journals.

A curl of Lenin’s wig dangled on his forehead. Trotsky could not help smiling a t the sight of such an absurd disguise. He thought the moment had come for Lenin to take off his wig, since there was no longer any danger. The insurrec- tion had triumphed and Lenin was virtually the ruler of Russia. Now at least, he could let his beard grow, take his wig off, and make an ap- pearance in public. Dan and Skobelov, the two leaders of the Menshevik majority, passed in front of Lenin on their way to the Congress Hall. They exchanged a look and grew paler at the sight of the little provincial actor in his wig, whom they seemed to recognize as the man who could utterly annihilate Holy Russia.

“It is all over,” Dan said softly to Skobelov. “Why are you still disguised?” Trotsky asked Lenin. “Those who have won do not usually conceal themselves.” Lenin scrutinized him, his eyes half-closed, with an ironic smile just playing on his lips. Who had won? That was the ques- tion. From time to time the rumble of artillery and the rat-tat-tat of machine-guns could be heard in the distance. The cruiser Aurora, anchored in the Nwa, had just opened fire on the Winter Palace to support the Red Guards who were attacking it.

They were now joined by Dybenko, very tall, blue-eyed, his face framed in soft fair hair: both the Kronst, adt sailors and Madame Kollontai loved him f or his transparent eyes and for his cruelty. Dy benko brought the news that Antonov-Ovseien iko’s Red Guards had broken into the Winter Pal: ace, that Kerenski’s Ministers were the prisoners of the Bolsheviks, and that the Government : had fallen. “At last!” cried Lenin. “You are twenty-four hours late,” answered Trotsky. Le:nin took his wig off and passed his hand across i his forehead. (H. G. Wells once said of Len; in that his skull was the same shape as that of Lord Balfour.) “Come on,” said Lenin, walk ing into the Congress Hall. Trotsky followed in silence. He looked tired and a kind of drowsinei 5s dimmed his steely eyes. Lunacharski declares that Trotsky, during the insurrec- tion, reminc jed him of a Leyden Jar. But now the Governr nent had fallen, Lenin took his wig off, as one lays down a mask. The coup d‘Etat was Trotski r’s feat. The man who profited by it, the Chief ar id the Dictator, was Lenin.

Trotsky followed him in silence, with a doubtful smile tl bat never grew to gentleness until Lenin died.




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