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TBR News June 15, 2019

Jun 15 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. June 15, 2019:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary for June 15: “I know just enough about geography to recognize that a conflict in the Persian Gulf between Trump and Tehran would be a major economic disaster for the rest of the world.

Trump, Pompus and others in his inner circle are as brainless as chickens. They bellow like glandered elephants in a forest fire, trample on friend and enemy alike and then whine and snivel when their lies and lunatic acts catch up with them.

If the Hormuz Strait gets blocked, the price of the world’s oil will, without any question, skyrocket. What will Americans do when they can’t drive their gas-guzzling SUVs ten miles to buy a six pack of American beer? That the beer tastes like carbonated defrost is of no consequence but the howls of rage at $10 a gallon gas will resonate in the corridors of the White House and, better still, in the voting booths. People like Trump generally can’t think more than a day in advance. It doesn’t matter if the Fat One falls on his face but the damage he and his pack of trained simians can do to others is something to worry about.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Donald Trump and the Art of the Lie
  • Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $135m last year
  • Welcome to Trump’s Corrupt State – the Star Wars cantina of world politics
  • Russian Intelligence Pays Trump a bribe
  • A Persian Gulf war can have no winners
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

Donald Trump and the Art of the Lie

June 15, 2019

by Andrew Sullivan

The New York Magazine

I like the truth. I’m actually a very honest guy,” President Trump told a slightly incredulous George Stephanopoulos this week. Like almost everything Trump says, it was, of course, a lie. But it was a particularly Trumpish kind of lie. It was so staggeringly, self-evidently untrue, and so confidently, breezily said, it was less a statement of nonfact than an expression of pure power.

For Trump, lying is central to his disturbed psyche, and to his success. The brazenness of it unbalances and stupefies sane and adjusted people, thereby constantly giving him an edge and a little breathing space while we try to absorb it, during which he proceeds to the next lie. And on it goes. It’s like swimming in choppy water. Just when you get to the surface to breathe, another wave crashes into you.

This particular lie was in the context of a report from the New York Times this week, independently confirmed by ABC News, that Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio had found Trump lagging Joe Biden in most of the states he needed to win — even in Texas. The Times reported that Trump had instructed his staff to lie about this polling. When asked about it by Stephanopoulos, Trump simply followed his own advice. “No, my polls show that I’m winning everywhere,” he said blithely. And when you hear him, it sounds as if he is telling the truth. He’s gooood.

In Michael Wolff’s new book, Siege, Steve Bannon recounts on the record several bald-faced lies Trump told him to his face. About Trump’s trip to Moscow, where the alleged and likely chimeric pee tape was supposedly made, Trump insisted repeatedly that he had spent only a day there, and hadn’t stayed overnight, so couldn’t have employed any prostitutes at all. “This story was told to me a dozen times, maybe more, and the details never changed,” Bannon noted, even as evidence emerged that Trump had indeed spent two days and two nights there.

On the affair with Stormy Daniels: “Never happened,” he told Bannon. And when Trump insisted on these things, he was in the moment believable. This preternatural capacity to lie convincingly even when the truth is obvious is a very rare skill. Which is why it works, of course. You simply assume that a grown man with real responsibility wouldn’t behave that way. And you would be wrong. Bannon, Wolff writes, came to understand that the lies were “compulsive, persistent and without even a minimal grounding in reality.” This is not to deceive the public. This is simply the way Trump behaves — in private and public. It’s why I have long believed he is mentally unwell.

It is not true that all presidents lie in this fashion. Take that famous liar, Bill Clinton. Bubba’s lies were infamous —  but he was always calibrating them to avoid telling an outright whopper. A ridiculous parsing of the definition of “sexual relations” or “is” is different than outright denying reality and daring people to correct you. Clinton accepted reality and tried, in lawyerly fashion, to spin his way out of it.

In retrospect, the presidency of George W. Bush was a Trump harbinger of sorts. Recall this famous passage from Ron Suskind, reporting on the Bush White House for the Times:

The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about Enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create reality. And while you are studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’

The joke, in the end, of course, was on them. Reality destroyed them, as it often does. In that time period, however, it also destroyed hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.

No, Trump’s only rival in this department — denying what everyone can see is true — was Sarah Palin, the lipsticked John the Baptist of the Trump cult. During the 2008 campaign, gobsmacked that this lunatic could be in line for the presidency, I began to keep track of everything she said out loud that was provably, empirically untrue. In the two months she was running to be vice-president, I catalogued 34 demonstrably untrue statements, which she refused to correct. She compiled nowhere near Trump’s volume of lies — it’s close to inhuman to lie the way he does — but her capacity to move swiftly on from them, along with the press’s supine failure to keep up, was very Trumpy. The short attention span of digital media has made this worse. And she got away with it. The base didn’t care; the media couldn’t cope.

Trump, too stupid to ape Clinton, and far more accomplished a liar than Palin, combines the sinister Bush-era kind of lie — “We do not torture” — with the Palin compulsion to just make things up all the time to avoid any sense of vulnerability. What Trump adds is a level of salesmanship that is truly a wonder to behold. He is a con man of surpassing brilliance and conviction, and every time he survives the fallout of a con, he gets more confident about the next one.

At some point, the law usually catches up with this kind of con artist, and Trump has had quite a few close calls over the years (and paid out a lot in settlements). But a presidential con man at this level of talent, legitimized by public opinion, enlarged and enhanced by the office and its trappings, is far harder to catch. It seems to me we had one shot of doing this definitively —the Mueller investigation — and we failed. Trump’s lies about the report, and his attorney general’s genius move of lying about its conclusion before the rest of us could check it out fully, helped. So did conservative media’s blackout of the actual substance of the report. Trump’s Roy Cohn tactic of accusing his accusers of the same flaw — it was Hillary who colluded with the Russians! — was another masterstroke of distraction. But it’s hard to deny at this point that in the battle between Trump and Mueller, Trump just won.

Wolff’s analysis is that Trump actually intimidated Mueller, who refused to enter the public fray out of a sense of responsibility but also because no sane person who isn’t in elected office wants to become the next piñata. And battling Trump is very hard for sane people, with a solid reputation, to sustain. You never come out okay. For Mueller to fight back would have dragged him into an insufferably vulgar mire. He demurred, assuming that Congress would immediately spring into action

No such luck. Speaker Pelosi is convinced impeachment would be counterproductive, and fruitless, given the Senate’s tribal backing of Trump, and so she keeps punting. I see her political point but not her constitutional one. Accusing a president of a criminal cover-up and obstruction of justice and not impeaching him smacks of weakness — and Trump smells weakness like a beagle can smell that treat in your pocket. The Democratic congressional leadership is thereby, it seems to me, guilty of appeasement, of putting politics ahead of the more fundamental duty to protect the Constitution. For the Congress to do nothing about proof of a president’s repeated obstruction of justice — not even a vote of censure — is an abdication of constitutional duty. Pelosi took an oath to defend the Constitution, not to win the next election.

So, of course, Trump has upped the ante again. Why wouldn’t he? He has proven that he can obstruct justice and get away with it, so now he is not only refusing to comply with any subpoenas and barring critical witnesses from testifying, but claiming, through his lawyers, that the only branch of government that can investigate the president’s compliance with the law is the executive branch itself, over which the president has total control: “Congress is simply not allowed to conduct law-enforcement investigations of the president.” Congressional oversight of possible crimes by the president “improperly impinges upon and hence interferes with the independence that is imperative to the functioning of the executive branch.” The president, they argue, is the only person who can determine if the president breaks the law. The only possible exception, Trump’s lawyers grudgingly concede, is in an impeachment proceeding — which they well know Pelosi doesn’t have the guts to invoke.

If the president is judge and jury in his own case, he is a monarch, not a president. To add to this, we also have both Trump and his Botoxed dauphin, Jared Kushner, recently express the belief that they did nothing wrong in inviting, welcoming, and encouraging a foreign enemy of the United States to interfere in an American election. Trump, contradicting his own FBI director, told Stephanopoulos this week he’d be open to receiving dirt on a political opponent from a foreign power again in 2020. Hey, why not? “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it,” the president said. He might tell the FBI, or he might not. I know we’re used to this kind of thing — he openly invited Russia to intervene in 2016, after all, and they did — but it is vital to repeat that this is about as impeachable a statement as could be uttered by any president.

The worry about a president receiving assistance from a foreign country, let alone inviting it, was one of the central concerns of the Founders when they came up with the mechanism of impeachment. It need not be a conspiracy or a crime. It was about violating the integrity of the American political system — to the advantage of another country. They were thinking of Britain and France, their equivalent of Russia and China. And they were understandably paranoid about it. “He might betray his trust to foreign powers,” Madison worried about waiting for the next election to call a president to account. Combine the blithe ease with which Trump considers this impeachable offense with his now-demonstrated attempts to obstruct justice, and now add a legal claim that the Congress cannot oversee what might be presidential criminality … well, you have a situation that impeachment was specifically designed for.

It is worth adding to this, for good measure, that, all the while, the president has been attempting to buttress Republican — and essentially white — power, by rigging the census to deny Democrats future seats, and thereby resources. We now have incontrovertible proof that this was the intention behind adding a citizenship question to the Census — thanks to a leaked hard drive. Put all this together and you begin to get a sense of how contested the result of the next election could be. Trump is deliberately undermining public confidence in its integrity. He did this rhetorically as a candidate. Doing it as an incumbent president is an even graver assault on our liberal democracy. Imagine Bush v. Gore, but with an incumbent president who controls the executive branch and has the Supreme Court in his pocket, and you begin to see the risk we are taking by leaving him in place.

He will do anything, we have to understand, to protect his psychic attachment to his own self-interest. Anything. I’ll repeat what I believe: He will not leave his office if he narrowly loses in 2020. He’ll fight — and rally his supporters to fight with him. He’s not Nixon. He’s Erdoğan. When, since becoming president, has Trump conceded anything?

A tyrant’s path to power is not a straight line, it’s dynamic. Each concession is instantly banked, past vices are turned into virtues, and then the ante is upped once again. The threat rises exponentially with time. If we can’t see this in front of our own eyes, and impeach this man now, even if he will not be convicted, we are flirting with the very stability of our political system. It is not impregnable. Why is Putin the only person who seems to grasp this?

 

My Old Chum Boris

Boris Johnson will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom. In an almost perfect representation of deep polarization, the next British general election will be fought between a Tory Etonian performance artist and Jeremy Corbyn, the Marxist anti-Semitic leader of the Labour Party. Despite a wide consensus among his fellow parliamentarians that Johnson is an opportunistic, incompetent, lazy, and unbearable shit, he nonetheless won a huge victory yesterday — 114 votes to his nearest rival’s 43 — in the first round of voting by the Tories in Westminster. There will be further rounds of voting, as various rivals get eliminated, but his lead is so big he’ll certainly be in the final two, and then the 124,000 members of the Tory Party will vote. Johnson is a rock star to his base, who massively favor him over the other candidates. It’s basically over now.

I knew Boris at Oxford. He was at Balliol and I was at Magdalen, but we were both debaters in the Oxford Union, and he became president of the Union in 1986, three years after I did, in 1983. We overlapped in his freshman year and, as president, I always loved calling on him to speak before the House, because it was never dull. Union politics back then was cutthroat but also huge fun, and I became quite fond of him because it was hard not to. He charms. He amuses. He has a certain charisma, and always has. That messy mop of blond? The same as when I knew him.

His full name is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and I was a little wary at first. Back then, and maybe still today, Oxford students were divided between those who came from what are called in England “public schools,” (which, in American English, are actually the private schools for the aristocracy, costing a fortune to attend) and those of us who came from the state sector, what Americans would call public schools. The “public school” boys arrived with a sublime sort of self-confidence, already ensconced in the elite, seeming to fit in naturally among the dreamy spires of that lovely place. The rest of us, bewildered and enchanted (in my case) to be in this Hogwarts of a place, had to prove ourselves. They coasted.

Boris was so posh it was funny. At least that’s how I saw it. And what marked him as different from the other Etonians was his decision to embrace this, and make fun of himself in the process. Others came rather insecure about their privilege and played it down — think of fellow Etonian David Cameron who decided to call himself “Dave.” Not Boris. Alongside party-boy Darius Guppy and Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother, he reveled in it. As sitting president, I did my small part to help him gain his footing, despite a certain amount of class resentment I’m not really proud of.

He belonged, for example, to the Bullingdon Club, an exclusive upper-class fraternity that specialized in hosting expensive restaurant dinners for themselves, in white tie and tails no less, with members eating and drinking till they were stuffed and thoroughly shit-faced and then proceeded to puke on the floors and vandalize the joint, smashing tables and chairs and china, breaking windows and the like. Daddy would always pick up the price for repairs. I remember feeling a mixture of contempt and awe at this. Before going up to Oxford, I could count on one hand the number of times I had eaten at a restaurant. My resolution was to outsmart and outperform them.

This reputation hurt Boris in hunting for votes to be president of the Oxford Union, and he lost the first time around to someone called Neil Sherlock who was a nerdy state school kid. Legend has it Johnson kept reinventing himself politically and playing down his Toryism and poshness — with the help of then-student Frank Luntz, believe it or not — and eventually it worked and he won. I have to say I found him hugely entertaining, and great company, but could never really take him seriously. He has a first-class wit but a second-class mind and got a second-class degree. If you want to measure the quality of his scholarship, check out his deeply awful biography of Churchill, a thinly veiled attempt to redescribe his own career as a Second Coming of Winston.

I lost track of him afterward, which is why perhaps I still like him. But I’m struck by how so many who have followed his career since despise him. My friend, the journalist Nick Cohen has a splendid little rant in the Spectator, the magazine Johnson once edited: “Johnson believes in the advance of Johnson. That’s all there is. There’s nothing else.” Fired by the Times in 1988 for simply making shit up — he fabricated a quote from his godfather, a historian — Johnson went to the Telegraph as a Brussels correspondent and made more shit up. He was still at it this year. Stories about the “EU punishing the rubber industry for making undersized condoms or ordering the straightening of bananas” were total Stephen Glass material, but Tory readers lapped it up.

Boris in due course became a classic Cameron-type liberal Tory when it was cool, and then, sensing a moment of opportunity, suddenly backed the Leave campaign in the Brexit referendum, stabbing his friend Dave in the front. His support for Brexit was a critical moment in the credibility of the Leave campaign. It’s not a huge leap to say that without

And that’s why the impossible conundrum of Brexit is now rightly in his ample lap. Unlike May, he voted for it (or said he did). Panicked by the rise of the Brexit party, the Tories believe he will bring the faithful back and get out of the E.U. definitively by Halloween — even though there is no parliamentary majority for it, and if Boris thinks he will have more luck negotiating a better deal with the E.U., he’s crackers. You think Macron will go easier on Boris than May?

He once said, with characteristic brio, that “my chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.” That was as colorful as it was untrue. But there is some sweet cosmic justice in Boris having to take responsibility for the Brexit he backed. It may be a catastrophe, but it will be his, and, for him at least, it sure will be fun.

 

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $135m last year

In their second year as White House aides, couple took in funds from real estate holdings, stocks, and a book deal

June 14, 2019

AP

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner took in as much as $135m in income during their second year as aides to Donald Trump, generated from their vast real estate holdings, stocks and bonds and even a book deal, according to their financial disclosures released Friday.

Ivanka Trump’s stake in her family’s Washington DC hotel down the street from the Oval Office generated $3.95m in revenue in 2018, barely changed from a year earlier. The hotel, a favorite gathering spot for foreign diplomats and lobbyists, is at the center of two federal lawsuits claiming Trump is violating the constitution’s ban on foreign government payments to the president.

Another big Ivanka Trump holding, a trust that includes her personal business selling handbags, shoes and accessories, generated at least $1m in revenue in 2018, down from at least $5m the year before. Ivanka Trump announced in July of last year that she planned to close her fashion company to focus on her work as a White House adviser for her father.

The disclosure for her husband, Jared Kushner, shows that he took in hundreds of thousands of dollars from his holdings of New York City apartments and that he owns a stake in the real estate investment firm Cadre worth at least $25m.

The disclosures released by the White House and filed with the US Office of Government Ethics shows minimum revenue for the couple of $28m last year. The disclosures that must be filed by federal government officials show both assets and debts compiled in broad ranges between low and high estimates, making it difficult to precisely chart the rise and fall of the financial portfolios.

Among the dozens of sources of income was a $263,500 book advance for Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, published in 2017. Trump has pledged to donate royalties to her charitable fund.

Kushner’s holdings of apartment buildings through his family real estate firm, Kushner Companies, was the source of much of his income. Westminster Management, the family business overseeing its rental buildings, generated $1.5m.

Separately, one of the family’s marquee holdings, the Puck Building in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan, generated as much as $6m in rent.

Among other properties cited in the disclosure was a former warehouse-turned-luxury-condominium in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn that brought in more than $350,000 in sale proceeds and rent.

Former and current tenants in the building have filed a suit against the Kushner Companies, alleging it used noisy, dusty construction to make living conditions unbearable in an effort to push them out so their apartments could be sold. The company has said the suit is without merit.

Cadre has also drawn conflict-of-interest questions. It launched a fund to take advantage of large tax breaks by investing in downtrodden areas designated “Opportunity Zones”, a Trump administration program pushed by both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Also, this month the Guardian reported that Cadre had received $90m in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since Kushner entered the White House.

Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.

Kushner appears to have cut his debt. He had loans and lines of credit worth at least $27m at the end of last year, down from a minimum value of $40m the previous year. His lenders include Bank of America, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank is also a major lender to Donald Trump’s company and has been subpoenaed by congressional investigators looking into his finances.

Both Kushner and his wife took steps to distance themselves from their businesses before taking on their roles as unpaid White House advisers. Kushner stepped down as CEO of Kushner Companies and sold stakes in many holdings, while Ivanka Trump similarly stepped away from executive roles at her companies.

 

Welcome to Trump’s Corrupt State – the Star Wars cantina of world politics

The administration and the Republican party are nests of lobbyists and con artists who make Greedo look like a saint

June 15, 2019

by Robert Reich

The Guardian

Trump has been ramping up his “Deep State” rhetoric again. He’s back to blaming a cabal of bureaucrats, FBI and CIA agents, Democrats and “enemies of the people” in the mainstream media for conspiring to remove him from office, in order to allow the denizens of foreign “shitholes” to overrun America.

But with each passing day it’s becoming clearer that the real threat to America isn’t Trump’s Deep State. It’s Trump’s own Corrupt State.

Not since the sordid administration of Warren G Harding have as many grifters, crooks and cronies occupied high positions in Washington.

Trump has installed a Star Wars cantina of former lobbyists and con artists, including several whose exploits have already forced them to resign, such as Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, Tom Price and Michael Flynn. Many others remain.

When he was in Congress, the current White House acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from payday lenders, then proposed loosening regulations on them. Mulvaney was also acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, of all things.

When he was Trump’s special adviser on regulatory reform, the Wall Street billionaire Carl Icahn sought to gut the Environmental Protection Agency rule on ethanol credits, which was harming his oil refinery investments.

This week the Guardian reported that a real estate company partly owned by Trump son-in-law and foreign policy adviser Jared Kushner has raked in $90m from foreign investors since Kushner entered the White House, through a secret vehicle run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands. Kushner’s stake is some $50m.

All this takes conflict of interest to a new level of shamelessness.

What are Republicans doing about it? Participating in it.

The secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, who also happens to be the wife of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has approved $78m in grants for her husband’s home state, Kentucky, including a highway improvement project twice rejected in the past. Chao has even appointed a special liaison to coordinate grants with McConnell’s office. Did I say McConnell is up for re-election next year?

Under normal circumstances, news that a cabinet secretary is streamlining federal funding for her husband’s pet projects would be a giant scandal. But in the age of Trump, ethics have gone out the window.

Since he was elected in November, congressman Greg Pence, who just happens to be the brother of Vice-President Mike Pence, has spent more than $7,600 of campaign funds on lodging at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Federal election law forbids politicians from using campaigns dollars to cover housing costs.

The Corrupt State starts with Trump himself, giving new meaning to the old adage about a fish rotting from the head down.

When foreign governments aren’t currying favor with Trump by staying at his hotel, they’re using state-owned companies to finance projects that will line his pockets, like China’s $500m for an entertainment complex in Indonesia that includes a Trump-branded hotel.

Trump claims the Deep State allows foreigners to take advantage of America. The reality is Trump’s Corrupt State allows Vladimir Putin and his goon squad to continue undermining American democracy.

“I’d take it” if Russia again offered campaign help, Trump crowed this week, adding that he would not necessarily tell the FBI. Just days before, Trump acknowledged “Russia helping” him “get elected” the first time.

Despite evidence that Russia is hacking and trolling its way toward the 2020 election, Republican defenders of Trump’s Corrupt State won’t lift a finger.

McConnell refuses to consider any legislation on election security. He and Senate Republicans even killed a bill requiring campaigns to report offers of foreign assistance to federal authorities.

The charitable interpretation is McConnell and his ilk don’t want to offend Trump by doing anything that might appear to question the legitimacy of his 2016 win. The less charitable view is Republicans oppose more secure elections because they’d be less likely to win them.

Trump and his Republican enablers are magicians who distract us by shouting “look here!” at the paranoid fantasy of a Deep State, while creating a Corrupt State under our noses.

But it’s not a party trick. It’s the dirtiest trick of our time, enabled by the most corrupt party in living memory.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US

 

Russian Intelligence Pays Trump a bribe

June 15, 2019

by Rolf Kimmel

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) is the principal security agency of Russia and the main successor agency to the USSR’s Committee of State Security (KGB). Its main responsibilities are within the country and include counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance as well as investigating some other types of grave crimes and federal law violations. It is headquartered in Lubyanka Square, Moscow’s centre, in the main building of the former KGB. According to the 1995 Federal Law “On the Federal Security Service”, direction of the FSB is executed by the president of Russia, who appoints the Director of FSB.

The immediate predecessor of the FSB was the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) of Russia, itself a successor to the KGB: on 12 April 1995, Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed a law mandating a reorganization of the FSK, which resulted in the creation of the FSB. In 2003, the FSB’s responsibilities were widened by incorporating the previously independent Border Guard Service and a major part of the abolished Federal Agency of Government Communication and Information (FAPSI). The three major structural successor components of the former KGB that remain administratively independent of the FSB are the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the State Guards (FSO), and the Main Directorate of Special Programs of the President of the Russian Federation.

Under Russian federal law, the FSB is a military service just like the armed forces, the MVD, the FSO, the SVR, the FSKN, Main Directorate for Drugs Control and EMERCOM’s civil defence, but its commissioned officers do not usually wear military uniforms.

The FSB is mainly responsible for internal security of the Russian state, counterintelligence, and the fight against organized crime, terrorism, and drug smuggling, whereas overseas espionage is the primary responsibility of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, successor to the KGB’s First Directorate, as well as the GRU, a body within the Russian Ministry of Defence. However, the FSB’s FAPSI conducts electronic surveillance abroad. All law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Russia work under the guidance of the FSB, if necessary.

The FSB employs about 66,200 uniformed staff, including about 4,000 special forces troops. It also employs Border Service personnel of about 160,000–200,000 border guards.

Under Article 32 of the Federal Constitutional Law On the Government of the Russian Federation, The FSB answers directly to the RF president and the Director of FSB, while a member of the RF government which is headed by the Chairman of Government, reports to the president only; the Director also, ex officio, is a permanent member of the Security Council of Russia presided over by the president and chairman of the National Anti-terrorism Committee of Russia.

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

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

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

Shut out from its real estate division, Trump turned to another part of the same institution – Deutsche’s private wealth division, which typically deals with high net worth individuals. It doesn’t normally do property. Still, the unit lent him the money.

And later gave him another $US25 to $US50 million in credit.

According to one estimate, Deutsche Bank’s Moscow subsidiary began notching up profits of $US500 million to $US1 billion a year, with VTB generating somewhere between 50 and 80 per cent of all revenue. In Moscow, a Russian client bought blue-chip Russian stocks from Deutsche Bank Moscow in companies like Gazprom or Sberbank. The payment was in roubles. The size of a typical order was $US2 million to $US3 million. Shortly afterwards a non-Russian “customer” sold exactly the same number of securities to Deutsche Bank in London, paying in dollars.

These “mirror trades” were fake and had no economic logic. The selling parties were based in offshore territories like Cyprus or the British Virgin Islands. Billions were moved out of one Deutsche Bank, from its modern glass office at Building 2, 82 Sadovnicheskaya Street, to another Deutsche Bank, at 60 Wall Street. There were nearly 6000 transactions. Nobody in New York or London or Frankfurt or any of the international financial centres really noticed.the chairman of Trump and his companies’ estimated $360 million in outstanding loans from Deutsche Bank.

Trump’s assets manager at Deutsche, Rosemary Vrablic, specialized in real estate and is close enough to Trump and his family — both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are clients — that she was invited to attend the inauguration. In the past decade, the Deutsche Bank private wealth unit helped finance three of Trump’s properties, including a golf resort near Miami (Doral), a new hotel in Washington DC and Trump Tower in Chicago, all of which include personal guarantees by Trump. He and his organization currently owe Deutsche Bank over $300

“Deutsche Bank is our long-standing partner and has been working in Russia since 1881 … It would take ages to describe everything that Deutsche Bank is doing in Russia,” Putin said at the time.

Three big American banks – Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup –have laundered shady financial flows from Russia. The interference of the Kremlin into the everyday life of America has been staying in the headlines for several years already. The Congress continuously introduces new sanctions against Russia for intervention in the US internal affairs. Even after the publication of results of the official inquest into the possible interference of Moscow into the American Presidential elections stating that the Kremlin has nothing to do with the victory of Donald Trump, American people still believe that the Russians are somewhere nearby

New York State Department of Financial Services fined Deutsche Bank almost $630 million for participation in so-called ‘matching deals’ – i.e. two simultaneous deals made at once – involving Russian shares. In the framework of the first deal amounting to some $10 million, the brokers were purchasing shares of Russian blue-chip companies (e.g. Lukoil) for Russian rubles. In the second deal, they had acted on behalf of a different company – normally, incorporated in offshore territories, including the British Virgin Islands, – and sold the same amount of the same Russian shares in London for dollars, pounds, or euros. Both the Russian and offshore companies belonged to the same owners. This is how the clients had purchased shares from themselves via Deutsche Bank and siphoned off the funds from Russia abroad.

Generally speaking, matching deals are not prohibited by the law. At the Moscow stock market, such operations are called “conversion”; in the English-language press, this scheme is known as “mirror trading”. There may be perfectly legal reasons for matching deals. Banks have special departments checking such operations and verifying their purposes. Deutsche Bank top manager Tim Wiswell agreed to assist in turning a blind eye to the true reasons behind the ‘mirror deals’ for a monthly reward of $100 thousand. According to Boris Fomin, ex-Chairman of the Board of Promsberbank, convicted in August 2018, he had personally delivered the money to Wiswell several times.

Fomin claims that:

  • Russian Land Bank,
  • Russian Credit,
  • Sammit Bank,
  • Deutsche Bank

were involved in the channeling of funds from the Russian Federation.

Promsberbank co-owner Oleg Belousov and its primary shady shareholder Ivan Myazin created companies accumulating cashed-out funds for subsequent bribery of Bank of Russia officers. In exchange for such ‘rewards’, the controllers had ignored illegal transfers of vast amounts of money abroad.

The General Administration of Criminal Investigation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation has recently completed its inquest against Ivan Myazin. The final charges are to be laid against him soon, and then the suspect will start reviewing the case file.

In March 2019, new facts popped up in relation to the laundering of Russian money via above-mentioned Deutsche Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Citigroup, and Lithuania-based Ūkio Bankas. According to the OCCRP report, Troika Dialog private investment bank has established a network of some 75 offshore companies used to siphon off funds from Russia. This sophisticated financial chain had operated in 2006–2013; $4.6 billion were injected into the offshore network in this period and $4.8 billion withdrawn from it. The total volume of transactions made between the dozens of offshore companies in that period reaches $8.8 billion; this makes it impossible to track the origin of the money.

Some other big international banks, including Credit Suisse, ING Groep NV, and Standard Bank Group, had also run large-scale joint business projects with Troika Dialog.

The OCCRP reviewed transactions of companies having accounts in Ūkio Bankas – one of the largest Lithuanian banks belonging, up until the revocation of its license in 2013, to businessman Vladimir Romanov suspected of misappropriation of some €15 million by the Lithuanian authorities. Romanov fled the country in May 2013; he received asylum in Russia and currently resides there. At least 30 companies affiliated with Troika Dialog had accounts in Ūkio Bankas. In that period, Troika belonged to Ruben Vardanyan; he sold it to Sberbank in 2011.

According to Ruben Vardanyan, the OCCRP report is full of inventions, interpretations, and statements torn from the context. In March 2011, Sberbank purchased Troika Dialog and established Sberbank CIB on its basis. Sberbank CEO German Gref claims that the companies mentioned in the OCCRP report dedicated to the operations of Troika Dialog have nothing to do with Sberbank.

Still, the OCCRP report refers to a number of large-scale deals whose sole purpose was to siphon off funds from Russia and other suspicious operations.

The Troika Dialogue’s offshore system received over $27 billion from companies involved in the channeling of funds from Sheremetyevo International Airport and tax frauds. In 2006–2007, the scammers have earned at least $200 million on surcharges, while the budget did not receive some $40 million in taxes. Flight ticket prices raised as well. The funds were transferred to the offshore companies via bank accounts of a Vienna lawyer who later admitted that he had rendered financial services to Russian criminal groups. In 2012, he was abducted and killed.  Offshore companies controlled by Troika Dialog have lent €14.7 million to an 80-year-old female Russian citizen without any securities or guarantees. The lady purchased a villa in Costa Brava, Spain. The female retiree had a residential registration at the very same address where Vladimir Artyakov, Governor of the Samara Region since August 2007 and until May 10, 2012, was registered. In 2014, Vladimir Artyakov’s son Dmitry and wife Yulia became the owners of the property in Spain. Currently, Artyakov senior is the first deputy of Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov.

A few months before the military conflict between Russia and Georgia in August 2008, offshore structures of Troika Dialog have transferred $85 million to Multiplex Energy Limited incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Multiplex Energy Limited has shipped water supply systems for several towns and villages in Georgia. The privatization deal was nontransparent; as a result, residents of Tbilisi, Mtskheta, and Rustavi were not aware who had supplied water to them. The funds were transferred by the three ‘key’ Troika Dialog companies and Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital.

In early 2019, the UK launched a special group for combating fraud, corruption, and money laundering. The primary targets of this group are financial flows from Russia, former Soviet republics, Asia, and Nigeria. The government is going to allocate £3.5 million (€3.9 million) to the special group in two years for improvement of the system used for identification of suspicious transactions.

At least $17 million were channeled to the offshore network by companies charged with tax evasion. According to the investigation, Russian citizen Sergei Tikhomirov was the mastermind behind this fraud. Based on the court materials, he had controlled a chain of dummy firms signing fictitious contracts with insurance companies. The insurance companies had paid Tikhomirov remuneration for his ‘services’. After a series of transactions, the funds ended up on accounts of offshore structures controlled by Troika Dialogue.

 

A Persian Gulf war can have no winners

After the attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, the US is blaming Iran. How credible is the accusation, asks DW’s Rainer Sollich, and could there be other powers at play?

June 15, 2019

by Rainer Sollich

DW

A blurry black-and-white video from the United States military allegedly shows a team of Iranian Revolutionary Guards deployed on a speedboat in the Strait of Hormuz. According to US accounts, Iran’s elite soldiers removed a limpet mine from the hull of the Kokuka Courageous oil tanker that they had installed earlier, but it had failed to explode during the attack.

The Iranians removing this piece of evidence shows that Tehran is behind the attack on the two ships in the Strait of Hormuz — at least that is the official view from Washington.

Is this the smoking gun, proof enough to convict the perpetrator? It is sufficient evidence to politically justify a military retaliation? Can we trust the video and the American allegations?

False allegations? Not a first

It is natural to have doubts after the US launched a war against Iraq and dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 based on entirely false claims. On top of that, we live in an increasingly digital age, in which highly professional manipulation of videos and other forms of evidence is easier than ever before. At first glance, it also seems somewhat illogical that Iran — even its faction of hardliners — would so willingly provide the US with a possible reason for war — a war it would most certainly lose when taking into account the country’s vastly inferior military might.

On the other hand, experts point out that members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard indeed have “expertise” in dealing with limpet mines; and that Tehran has threatened several times to sabotage the free movement of ships in the event of a conflict. The sea passage is vital for the world economy, in particular for crude oil. The attack on the two tankers could thus be interpreted as Iran attempting to flex its military muscles, especially to show the US: “We have our own methods, we will not be defeated by you.”

Yes, this is speculation. But it is equally as speculative to suspect an American, Saudi or Israeli conspiracy behind the two attacks, as Iran’s leadership suggests. Or, for example, the conspiracies flowing on social media from US-critical users in Germany and many Arab countries.

Of course, given the foreign policy and strategic interests of the US, Israel and the Gulf states, it is not difficult to come up with a possible motive — sometimes even several — to manipulatively bring about a casus belli. However, there are just as many equally logical contradicting motives — not in the least for US President Donald Trump’s sake. He was elected — among other things — on a promise to bring an end to the country’s wars in the Middle East. Presumably, a war against Iran would be expensive, require troops on the ground and would likely mean US military casualties. None of those things would help Trump’s chances of re-election in 2020.

Ready to face the risk of war

In the end, there is one bitter truth: No matter who is behind the tanker attacks, there are forces at play here who, contrary to all political reason and humanity, consciously accept the risk of war. Or — in the worst case — are aiming to trigger conflict as a means to “solve” their sense of tensions with the other side. This should ring alarm bells.

War in the Gulf would likely have devastating consequences for many countries in the region, especially those in which Iranian-funded militias are already active, such as Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would presumably also be affected. The Iranian-backed Houthis are already attacking the latter two from Yemen.

There can be no winners in such a war — there would only be losers. This is why everything must be done to prevent it. Germany, and Europe, with its restricted means — must pitch in. Nonetheless, this war that purportedly nobody wants, a war that should be feared, is now drawing nearer.

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Allen West

Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and the former Representative from Florida’s 22nd district. West is a Teabagger, and is often mentioned by other Teabaggers to deflect accusations of racism in the movement (West himself claims that racism in the Tea Party movement is a conspiracy invented by liberal media). He was elected in the Teabagger wave of 2010 but was defeated in his 2012 reelection bid, perhaps partially because people realized he was more or less clinically insane (though that should have been pretty damn obvious the first time around as well).

His 2010 campaign went over well with certain segments of wingnuts, however, and he did get the Sarah Palin stamp of approval early on. Also, Glenn Beck praised West for his service in Iraq, which ended (Beck didn’t mention) when West and his gang beat an Iraqi detainee senseless and used the information the detainee provided to arrest another, entirely innocent person, whereupon West was found in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, relieved of his post, and fined $5,000.

Perhaps the most famous incident of his 2010 campaign occurred when a reporter asked West about the IRS lien placed on him. West responded by saying that the IRS document was “faked”, and that he could document this. After he promptly failed to produce said documentation, he invented the interesting logical fallacy of “appeal to security clearance” to try to escape the “gotcha” questions, which consisted of claiming that he had an even higher security clearing than the president, therefore shut up. Christine O’Donnell also tried to invoke that one at one point, by the way.

Otherwise, West’s campaigns seem primarily based on relatively familiar stuff. For instance, House Democrats are communists. Indeed, there are “between 78 and 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the communist party, according to West, who failed to provide any references or indication of how he arrived at the numbers (well, in one sense he indicated it pretty clearly). He also diligently uncovered a “Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist” meaning in the Obama campaign’s “forward” slogan. So there is plenty of conspiracy going on. Indeed, since West refuses to believe that Obama could achieve anything, when e.g. statistics showed a drop in unemployment rates, West was quick to dismiss it as a conspiracy: “This is Orwellian to say the least and representative of Saul Alinsky tactics from the book ‘Rules for Radicals’ – a must read for all who want to know how the left strategize.” (No, he didn’t address the numbers themselves.) He has also compared Food Stamps to slavery, and, with dizzying lack of self-awareness, accused Obama of demagoguery – and for being a “disgusting racist” who “despises” white people. An equally impressive degree of self-awareness can be found in his assertion that “the Left tries to win the women’s vote by talking from the waist down” – Democrats want the government to be the “sugar daddy” and replace men – while Republicans seek to reach the hearts and minds of female voters. Meanwhile Chuck Hagel is a “traitor” who dutifully serves “Barack Obama’s game plan to weaken the United States of America” – Obama wants to weaken the US ostensibly because he only cares about people on welfare (yeah, that’s the “reasoning”; such is the mind of Allen West).

Then there is Benghazi. According to West, the media’s focus on the Boko Haram group in Nigeria in Spring 2014 was part of the Obama administration’s efforts to draw focus away from Benghazi. “Are we witnessing an Obama ‘Wag the Dog’ moment with Boko Haram in Nigeria? I say yes,” said West. When Ahmed Abu Khattala, the accused perpetrator of the Benghazi attack, was captured just a few weeks later, West promptly tweeted that the capture was just a way for the Obama administration to distract from non-Benghazi scandals. In the meantime, he had also claimed to have gotten the horrible “truth” about Benghazi from a random, unnamed stranger seated next to him on a plane (Kent Hovind’s main source of scientific “information”), but he didn’t tell us what it might be, only that it was really shocking.

He also claimed that African American Democrats are trying to keep African Americans “on the plantation,” while casting himself as the “modern-day Harriet Tubman” ferrying them to rescue. In a critical summation of West’s style, Mother Jones aptly concluded that for West “every sentence is a proxy war in the larger struggle between patriots and the ‘people in this world that just have to have their butts kicked.’” You can probably guess his reaction to a 2013 admission by the IRS that it had particularly scrutinized tea party groups (a conspiracy spearheaded by Obama in person). It is, to put it mildly, not the only time West has endorsed whale.to-level conspiracy theories.

When he lost his seat in the 2012 general election (which included at least one incident of threats and harassment), the reason was that he was cheated out of it (he seems, indeed, to genuinely believe this), and when he finally conceded defeat (“[w]hile many questions remain unanswered”), he promptly struck a (delusional) martyr pose. Some other lunatics of the House, including Paul Broun and Louie Gohmert, nevertheless endorsed him for Speaker, despite the fact that he no longer helda seat (which is rather illuminating). In his political career West’s main achievement seems to have been being a keynote speaker at CPAC 2011, where he ranted more or less incoherently about the Civil War, Nazism and Obama – said political career seems to have been somewhat inhibited by the fact that West clearly has no idea how our system of government works (e.g. when he rejected Obamacare as “not the law of the land” but an “edict” that shows that President Obama is establishing a monarchy). He was, for instance, shocked to learn that Muslims, for instance, were allowed to vote in the US. He has threatened to run again in 2016, though.

In 2012 he joined the Thomas More Law Center’s Citizens Advisory Board, because the group doesn’t know or care about how government works either “knows the true threat to our nation posed by radical Islam and it has initiated and funded more cases challenging the Stealth Jihad being waged against our Nation than any other public interest law firm in America.”

Special mention should also be given West’s selection of chief of staff in 2010, local wingnut talk radio host Joyce “if ballots don’t work, bullets will” Kaufman, who for instance advocated hanging illegal immigrants charged with crimes and who apparently seems to think that automated phone recordings telling her to press 2 for Spanish is the end of the world and America and Jesus. Shortly after West was elected Kaufman resigned, allegedly due to the “liberal media’s ‘attacks’” on her and the “electronic lynching” she was receiving on the internet. West accused the media of racism and sexism in their “attack” on Kaufman, defending her as a “brilliant political mind.”

West’s memoirs, Guardian of the Republic, are most notable for its range of fake Founding Father quotes.

Diagnosis: A moronic clown. But when such clowns are given power and influence, like West, they stop being particularly funny.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

June 15, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Conversation No. 49

Date: Thursday, November 28, 1996

Commenced: 8:45 AM CST

Concluded: 9:22 AM CST

 

RTC: How are you today, Gregory?

GD: Been up since six working on the next Mueller book. Working on the concentration camp business.

RTC: A sensitive and profitable subject. For the same people. My God, what a money-maker that one is!

GD: Tell me about it. An established writer like Irving could never approach it. If he did, the Jews would go for his throat. Or his back more like it. Did you have many dealings with them?

RTC: As individuals or as professional agents?

GD: Either.

RTC: I have to tell you, Gregory, that I do not like Jews very much and I do not trust any of them. I know a few as individuals and some as agents. Jim loved them and spent half his time sucking up to the Mossad creeps. It bothered me because they were using him, but Jim loved flattery and ate it up. I don’t and I’m an Irish Catholic boy from Chicago. Jim was part Mexican and maybe that was part of it. Anyway, with Jews, it’s take, take and never give. You can’t trust any of them to the corner for a pound of soft soap.

GD: I don’t get involved but I have had bad experiences with them. Always watch your back around them has been my experience.

RTC: I have a report for you made for the UN in ’48 listing all their crimes against the Palestinian. The abused child becomes the abusing parent. My God, those filthy Polacks did terrible, vicious things to the Arabs. Murdered them, poisoned their farm wells, killed their animals and finally slaughtered whole villages of them, women and children. The Jews claim they own the Holy Land but these are Polack Jews and had nothing to do with Palestine. The Russian Jews are the same breed and Stalin, who really hated Jews, used them to butcher Russian Christians whom they hated. And then Josef planned to kill off all the Jews in Moscow.

GD: What about that?

RTC: Round them all up, put them in boxcars and ship them off to Siberia in mid-winter. He planned to slaughter all of them. And after all the filthy work they did for him, too! An ungrateful but realistic man.

GD: Why was this turn-about? He loved Jews, didn’t he?

RTC: No, he did not. Josef was far-sighted and knew, and said, that Jews had no loyalty to anyone except themselves. They hate all other people and feel that anything they do to them is justified. They claim centuries of persecution as their excuse.

GD: Yes, isn’t it odd that over thousands of years, everyone has persecuted the poor Jews. One wonders why.

RTC: Why? They burrow into the machinery of the state and the banking system and eventually take it over. And then, always, the locals get after them and either set them on fire or drive them out of their area or country. This has been going on for many centuries. One could say that the Jews of the world have been very unlucky or people know what they’re doing when they pile up wood for the burning pyres or set up camps.

GD: The stories about gassed millions is hysterically funny. Puts me in mind of the stories about the Easter Bunny or the Second Coming. Useful lies for children on one hand and a means to get money out of the suckers who actually believe the silliness about the Rapture, the Battle of Armageddon and other idiotic legends. Barnum was right.

RTC: Yes, he was. And I once looked into the camp story just because I could. There is much on this issue at the National Archives but most people can’t see it.

GD: Why not?

RTC: The Jews don’t want you see this. It would destroy the myth of vast gas chambers and soap factories. My God, Gregory, the Jews make vast sums of money off these made-up stories. I can just hear some raddled Jewess moaning in a furniture store about how her whole family was gassed and can she get 50% off on that chair? Oh yes, I know all about such creatures. And now, the Mossad wants us to hunt down people they don’t like, or send them confidential files on people they want to blackmail. They robbed and murdered the Arabs, so they have to hate them to justify their filthy behavior. The Arabs outnumber them 20 to 1 but the Israelis have us behind them so they literally can get away with murder. And how do they have our support? By working their way into the system, by owning most of the media, by bribery and blackmail, by political pressure. I could go on for days but I just ate breakfast and I don’t want to vomit onto my lap.

GD: I knew the Polish Jews in Munich after the war. Jesus H. Christ, Robert, I have never seen such really terrible people in my life. They were all up on the Muehl Strasse and going there to buy cheap butter for my friends was quite an experience. It was like tiptoeing into a den of circling hyenas. I was always neutral as far as Jews were concerned, but my experiences there radically altered my views. They were DPs. Displaced Persons. Couldn’t go back to Poland where the locals would have shoved them into barns and set them on fire. The Germans got blamed for much of that, but it was the local Poles who snuffed all the Jews in the neighborhood once their central government fell apart in ’39. A friend of mine was a Major in the thirty seventh infantry and he said the Poles would round up all the Jews and barbecue them. Said some of the villages smelt like a badly-vented crematorium. And of course they got the blame for it. Well, they lost so they can expect this. I once bought a German steel helmet at a flea market in Germany and I was carrying it down the street under my arm and some old hag came up behind me, screeching like a wet pea hen. There was no one around so I bashed her on the head with the pot until she shut up. Had to wash the helmet off later. It looked like pink oatmeal on part of it.

RTC: Bravo. I suppose she was dead, Gregory?

GD: I didn’t stop to examine her but she had certainly shut up.

RTC: I suppose she was a Jew.

GD: I didn’t care who she was. She could have been anyone and I would have shut her up regardless.

RTC: You are certainly not a nice person at times.

GD: Oh, I love that, Robert. If I were in your house for dinner, I assure you my manners would be impeccable. But we digress. Can we find out more about that business you people had with the French getting us into Vietnam?

RTC: I wrote on that, Gregory. I ought to send you my manuscript some day. I can’t publish it because I signed a pledge to never publish without permission and I am sure it would never be given. I know all about that slaughterhouse, believe me. A nation steeped in blood. Terrible business. Wars for nothing and when Kennedy tried to get out, that was one of the reasons he got killed. Too much money to be made in a war. It ruined Johnson. No chance of getting reelected. McNamara thought he could apply business norms to a military business and he went as well. Probably be made the head of a think tank. My God, what a misnomer. ‘Think tank’ my ass. Bunch of loud-mouthed idiots running around babbling as if anyone cared what they thought about unimportant things. “I think…” is one of the worst openings for any kind of a conversation. Run into these congenital assholes at any Beltway social function and especially in the CIA circles. I say, who gives a damn what you think?

GD: I’ve been to Beltway functions, Robert. My God, if we could somehow trap all the hot air these methane monsters create, we could heat New York for ten years. Don’t light any matches and breathe very shortly but the gas is tremendous. “I think…?” I doubt it. Most of these self-important cow anuses should join hands and jump off the Key Bridge in the middle of winter. Right through the ice and then blessed silence. Downriver, however, all the marine life dies a terrible death.

RTC: (Laughter) Ah, well, it won’t happen. One day a Jew will sit in the Oval Office and on that day, we will drop atom bombs on anyone Tel Aviv doesn’t like.

GD: Where is Genghis Kahn now that we need him?

RTC: Lee Harvey Oswald would be more to the point.

 

(Concluded at 9:22 Am CST)

 

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

 

 

 

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