TBR News June 20, 2016

Jun 20 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. June 20, 2016: “Always the select headlines in the media, expressing what they are certain are determinant factors that will swing elections, collapse potential governments and gain the United States more oil. BTW, the fact that the US is running out of oil and will soon have to beg some from Russia is forcing the development of automatic cars. We see “Trump’s Figures Crashing,” or “Brexit In Votes Surge to 130%!” (Our bankers are not happy about the coming collapse of the EU and the press accurately reflects their opinions on a daily basis.)”Gun Control!” Probably not. There will be a ban on water pistols and plastic AK 47s and Congress than go back to counting its bribe money. And America children cannot read (but they do text message!) and when they get to what passes for a college, can expect to be loaded up with fake ‘student loans’ that will enrich both the for-profit school and the bill collectors. And hovering in the background, the fanatic Evangelicals, praying for the day they can snap the whip over everyone else and stand in their yards, wearing ratty old bedsheets and screaming “Jesus, Jesus!” at the top of their lungs. And now Texas wants to secede from the United States. They ought to be encouraged and then they can open up detention and cleansing centers for all those they hate.”


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.

Wednesday, 3. January, 1951

I had lunch today at the White House, privately, with Harry and a friend. We talked about Korea, MacArthur, McCarthy and other matters. Nothing of great importance other Tremens’ anger with his recent discovery that the British are engaged in furious espionage against us here. Of course everyone in the CIA and almost everyone in the FBI know about this activity but so far, T. has been more or less in the dark. I suggested that perhaps we ought to feed these drunken fairies a wagonload of false information and I said that everything that went to London ended up in Moscow the same night, British intelligence being so infiltrated with Soviet agents.

The President thought this might be an excellent idea and my first suggestion is that we let the swine believe we have a hundred atomic bombs now completed. That, I told them, would scare the shit out of both the English and their dear friends in Moscow. Perhaps Stalin will withdraw his air support of the Chinese then. Who knows what will happen?

I happened to have a list of known British agents active in this country that I “acquired” from one of my CIA CO-workers. I have given this to Hoover who responded by giving me a list of what his agents had discovered. Truman was somewhat shocked and he put his copy into his coat pocket.

When lunch was over, General (George C. ed.) Marshall arrived for an official lunch and I had the opportunity of talking with him for a few minutes before my car arrived at the door.

Impression: A dry man with a well-concealed bad temper, no doubt a very competent staff officer. Also, from what I have read in the files, a time-server. M. was involved with the Pearl Harbor business up to his nose. He knew to the minute when the Japanese attack was going to come and, under strict orders from Roosevelt, did absolutely nothing to warn his troops and then hid behind a great screen of lies and such comments as “I can’t recall” and “I am not certain about that.”

Still, Truman values Marshall and who am I to stir things up? In my view, a commander who would allow his own troops to be massacred without attempting to save them is not much of a man but Truman is the President and I do not like to fish in such muddy waters.

A great fraud has died in Maryland. His name was Richard Koreas but he wrote an extremely funny book called “Out of the Night” and wrote under the pen name of Valentine. He claimed to be a communist spy who later worked for the Gestapo but in fact he was a confidence man who had spent some years in San Quentin prison in California for assault and other matters. His book was used for propaganda at one time.

Thursday, 4. January, 1951

The great French singer, (Edith, ed.) Piaf gave a charity concert tonight at the Shoreham that I attended. The French ambassador was there along with a number of other American dignitaries including (John, ed.) Steeleman, one of Truman’s men with whom I have had several conversations in the past, and the Lovetts. I have always been fond of her and she had a marvelous, husky voice. Still looks like a little girl but is getting a bit long in the tooth. Dame Myra Hess is here in the District and is giving a concert but although Bunny would like to go, I would not so we stay at home. Hoover got an award for being nice to young boys! (an award from Big Brothers of America, ed.)

Friday, 5. January, 1951

I had an important visitor today down here. (Colonel John Valentine, ed.) Grombach, whom I have only casually met, wanted to see me and we spent a good deal of time going over various matters. He is terribly anti-communist and was very important during the war when he was a chief of intelligence at the Pentagon. In this position, he conducted a savage war against the communists in the OSS and I must say, he is terribly hated in the CIA because of his persecutions of their friends.

Grombach is a large, very muscular man with a gruff way about him and one gets the feeling that he would cheerfully punch an opponent in the face. This is not surprising because Grombach boxed in the Olympics and still goes to the gymnasium.

He is very sympathetic to Germans, and others, and has been in very close touch with friends of mine. He hates some of my CIA friends, especially Carmel Offie who is a screaming fairy and a friend of Wisner’s. I cannot abide Offie who is America’s answer to the Burgess creature but he seems to be able to ply his activities with impunity.

Grombach is a valuable man with the right attitude and we managed to get on with each other famously. He spoke very highly of Skorzeny, by the way, and was upset because he could not get in touch with him when he was here.

One of the things he told me, and I admit to being shocked, was that the CIA is embezzling millions of dollars from the government! I know about the stolen art business, of course. None of that money I get in goes to the government and after I have taken out my share, the rest is given over by me in cash to Angleton and Wisner. I know they do not put this money into the official funds and I also know from talks with Angleton that they keep it for themselves.

Angleton has started buying up income property in Washington and who knows what Wisner is doing with it. Sending a donation to the Ku Klux Klan, no doubt, considering how much he hates what he calls “nigras.” His family were New York aristocrats but he seems to have picked up local habits very quickly.

How does he justify his black boyfriend? I don’t suppose he does. Maybe he can call him a Cuban (they are all partly black down there but not unattractive people).

What would Polly the parrot (Wisner’s wife, ed.) do if she ever found out? Probably write a terrible poem about it. God save us all from women who write bad poetry. They usually can’t find a publisher so they have to be SPAs. (Self-publishing authors, ed.) Well, it makes money for the vanity presses, I suppose.

If this high level thievery had happened in Germany, I would have put them into a nice, comfortable cell and sent them off to the recreation camp on the next bus.

This is simply stealing and I was surprised that they seem to be doing it on a larger and larger scale. After all, they are well placed to do it. Everything is very secret and no one accounts to anyone else for huge sums of money.

Mr. Grombach is French by background and is called “Frenchy” or the “Frog” and when I told him a branch of my family was from Alsace, he brightened up somewhat. He likes the kitchen here and other amenities so we agreed to agree and to show him my good intentions, I gave him copies of some interesting material and he opened his briefcase and shoved stacks of paper onto my side of the desk. Of course no one kept anything but it made for very interesting reading.

Colonel John Valentine Grombach had been chief of espionage for the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence Service during the Second World War. Grombach, who was known as “Frenchy”, was a champion athlete. He was a bitter enemy of the OSS and was instrumental in supplying the background data to break them up after the end of the war.  Grombach contended, correctly, that the OSS was heavily salted with Communists and pro-Communists and their wartime activities were, if not anti-American, at the least devotedly pro-Russian.

His major battle, while in uniform, was with the OSS’s Research and Analysis (R&A) branch. They claimed Grombach was pro-Fascist and he claimed they were pro-Communist and in this case, both were correct. Grombach, however, was a ferocious and determined adversary and in the end, he was successful. He leaked sensitive information to Congress which resulted in the R&A being broken up. Its director, Colonel Alfred McCormack was forced to resign and Grombach established himself as a power to reckon with in official Washington and in the American intelligence community.

He supported the drive to remove pro-Soviet personnel from government service and eventually joined forces with other anti-Communists, leaking very embarrassing material to Senator McCarthy’s committee. Both Grombach and Müller singled out Carmel Offie, Wisner’s chief deputy in the CIA, for special attention. Offie, a well-known homosexual, had been intimately connected with William Bullett while he was U.S. Ambassador to Russia and was strongly suspected of giving information to Soviet Intelligence.

Offie was subsequently apprehended in a public lavatory by Washington police and in the ensuing scandal, forced to quit his high post in the CIA. Offie always claimed that he had been set up for the arrest and Müller’s later journals bear this contention out.

Neither Grombach, who appears with some frequency in Müller’s journals, nor Müller had any liking for the CIA. Both believed that its upper echelons were filled with ex-OSS men who were very left wing in their beliefs although stridently anti-Communist in their public personas. Müller and Grombach shared detestation towards the burgeoning corruption that was becoming evident to them at the top levels of the CIA.

Under cover of high-level secrecy, many of the operating funds supplied to the CIA by a trusting Congress were diverted for personal usage and the objections raised by some in 1948 that the CIA was a rogue organization with absolutely no oversight whatsoever are equally valid fifty years later.

Unlike Grombach, Müller had long ago ceased being an idealist and while in Washington was a ruthless realist. One of his real objections to the high level thefts was that, in the beginning at least, he was not included in their benefits.


Austria begins court battle over presidential run-off vote

Witnesses have taken the stand in Vienna to testify on alleged voting irregularities during May’s presidential election. Austria’s far-right FPÖ party challenged the vote after its candidate lost by a thin margin.

June 21, 2016


The first public trial into the annulment of the Austrian presidential run-off vote began at Vienna’s Constitutional Court on Monday.

Over the next four days, the court will hear testimony from around 90 witnesses to determine whether or not the run-off vote will need to be partially or totally repeated.

The far-right, populist FPÖ party submitted the legal challenge, saying there had been numerous irregularities with the postal ballots. According to their court challenge, hundreds of thousands of ballot envelopes were opened prematurely – increasing the risk of tampering – and some of the votes were tallied by unauthorized people.

Postal ballots in the May 22 run-off election pushed former leader of the Green Party, Alexander Van der Bellen – who ran as an independent – barely ahead of FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer. The margin of victory was under 1 percentage point, or roughly 31,000 votes.

Witnesses take the stand

On Monday, the first witnesses confirmed that the outer envelopes of around 14,000 absentee ballots had been opened on Sunday May 22 from the large Innsbruck-Land constituency. The postal ballots were not to be counted before 9 a.m. (0700 UTC) on Monday May 23.

“There were preparatory actions, but the envelopes were opened only at 9 a.m.,” one witness told the judges, according to Austrian news outlet oe24. The constituency reportedly received oral permission from the Electoral Commission, but it was not documented.

According to oe24, other witnesses gave explanations for bringing in additional staff to count the votes, with one claiming it would have taken “30 hours” to count all the votes without additional help.

“It is not possible to properly process so many ballots,” he told the court.

A cancellation of the election would be a “disgrace,” Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka told the weekly newspaper Österreich over the weekend.

He rejected any possible errors in his ministry, saying: “The sloppiness occurred within the district or municipal authorities, not with us.”

The court will announce their decision before July 8, when the President-elect Van der Bellen is due to be sworn in.

65 million people displaced worldwide, breaking all records – UNHCR

June 20, 2016


The UN has released alarming displacement statistics claiming 65 million people are now displaced worldwide. Syria and Afghanistan have raised the bar to set the new world record. And progress in the work being done is slow, the agency head says.

According to UNHCR the current figure stands at 65.3 million, up from 2014’s record of 60 million displaced since World War II. The refugee influx into Europe last year has contributed by 10 percent, the agency said on Monday.

“An unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18,” UNHCR writes in remarks to its Global Trends report for 2015.

The figure also jumped by 50 percent in the last five years, meaning that one in every 113 people on Earth is now a refugee, an IDP or an asylum-seeker.

“The refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean and arriving on the shores of Europe, the message that they have carried is that if you don’t solve problems, problems will come to you,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said at a news briefing.

“It’s painful that it has taken so long for people in the rich countries to understand that,” he continued. “We need action, political action to stop conflicts, that would be the most important prevention of refugee flows.”

On average, 24 people were being displaced any given minute in 2015, amounting to 34,000 people per day. In 2005 that figure was only six per minute.  And the number has doubled since 1997. The Syria war raised that by another 50 percent alone when it started in 2011.

Put together, the fighting in Syria, Afghanistan, Burundi and South Sudan have led to displacements amounting to 21.3 million people, half of them children, according to the agency. More than half of the displaced come from three countries – Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

In wealthier industrialized nations, a record two million asylum claims were filed in 2015, the report says. Nearly 100,000 stood for unaccompanied children. That is not only three times the number since 2014, it’s also the global record. Of those northern nations, Germany continued to lead with 441,900 claims, followed by the United States, with 172,700 claims – mostly from southern neighbors, where people fled from gang and drug-related violence.

The High Commissioner is also worried that the huge influx precipitated a rise in xenophobia, something he calls “a very defining featured of the environment in which we work.

“Barriers are rising everywhere – and I’m not just talking of walls. But I’m talking about legislative barriers that are coming up, including in countries in the industrialized world that have been for a long time bastions of principle in defending the fundamental rights linked to asylum.”

Commenting on the refugee deal betweethe EU and Turkey, Grandi has criticised the mentality of believing the problem is solved once the European flow is halted.

“The fact that that flow has stopped does not mean the problem of displacement has ended. It may have ended for some countries that don’t have to deal with it anymore, for now,” he said.

Furthermore, work isn’t being done fast enough: the plan for some EU members to take in 160,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy is not being implemented swiftly enough. To date, only 2,406 of those have been relocated.

“There is no Plan B for Europe. Europe will continue to receive people seeking asylum,” Grandi added. “Everybody has to share responsibility now.”

Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation

June 19, 2016

by Nocholas Casey

New York Times

CUMANÁ, Venezuela — With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food.

Venezuela is convulsing from hunger.

Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves.

And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food.

In the last two weeks alone, more than 50 food riots, protests and mass looting have erupted around the country. Scores of businesses have been stripped bare or destroyed. At least five people have been killed.

This is precisely the Venezuela its leaders vowed to prevent.

In one of the nation’s worst moments,  riots spread from Caracas, the capital, in 1989, leaving hundreds dead at the hands of security forces. Known as the “Caracazo,” or the “Caracas clash,” they were set off by low oil prices, cuts in subsidies and a population that was suddenly impoverished.

The event seared the memory of a future president, Hugo Chávez, who said the country’s inability to provide for its people, and the state’s repression of the uprising, were the reasons Venezuela needed a socialist revolution.

Now his successors find themselves in a similar bind — or maybe even worse.

The nation is anxiously searching for ways to feed itse

The economic collapse of recent years has left it unable to produce enough food on its own or import what it needs from abroad. Cities have been militarized under an emergency decree from President Nicolás Maduro, the man Mr. Chávez picked to carry on with his revolution before he died three years ago.

“If there is no food, there will be more riots,” said Raibelis Henriquez, 19, who waited all day for bread in Cumaná, where at least 22 businesses were attacked in a single day last week.

But while the riots and clashes punctuate the country with alarm, it is the hunger that remains the constant source of unease.

A staggering 87 percent of Venezuelans say they do not have money to buy enough food, the most recent assessment of living standards by Simón Bolívar University found.

About 72 percent of monthly wages are being spent just to buy food, according to the Center for Documentation and Social Analysis, a research group associated with the Venezuelan Teachers Federation.

In April, it found that a family would need the equivalent of 16 minimum-wage salaries to properly feed itself.

Ask people in this city when they last ate a meal, and many will respond that it was not today.

Among them are Leidy Cordova, 37, and her five children — Abran, Deliannys, Eliannys, Milianny and Javier Luis — ages 1 to 11. On Thursday evening, the entire family had not eaten since lunchtime the day before, when Ms. Cordova made a soup by boiling chicken skin and fat that she had found for a cheap price at the butcher.

“My kids tell me they’re hungry,” Ms. Cordova said as her family looked on. “And all I can say to them is to grin and bear it.”

Other families have to choose who eats. Lucila Fonseca, 69, has lymphatic cancer, and her 45-year-old daughter, Vanessa Furtado, has a brain tumor. Despite also being ill, Ms. Furtado gives up the little food she has on many days so her mother does not skip meals.

“I used to be very fat, but no longer,” the daughter said. “We are dying as we live.”

Her mother added, “We are now living on Maduro’s diet: no food, no nothing.”

Economists say years of economic mismanagement — worsened by low prices for oil, the nation’s main source of revenue — have shattered the food supply.

Sugar fields in the country’s agricultural center lie fallow for lack of fertilizers. Unused machinery rots in shuttered state-owned factories. Staples like corn and rice, once exported, now must be imported and arrive in amounts that do not meet the need.

In response, Mr. Maduro has tightened his grip over the food supply. Using emergency decrees he signed this year, the president put most food distribution in the hands of a group of citizen brigades loyal to leftists, a measure critics say is reminiscent of food rationing in Cuba.

“They’re saying, in other words, you get food if you’re my friend, if you’re my sympathizer,” said Roberto Briceño-León, the director of the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a human rights group.

It was all a new reality for Gabriel Márquez, 24, who grew up in the boom years when Venezuela was rich and empty shelves were unimaginable. He stood in front of the destroyed supermarket where the mob had arrived at Cumaná, an endless expanse of smashed bottles, boxes and scattered shelves. A few people, including a policeman, were searching the wreckage for leftovers to take.

“During Carnival, we used to throw eggs at each other just to have some fun,” he said. “Now an egg is like gold.”

Down the coastal road in a small fishing town called Boca de Uchire, hundreds gathered on a bridge this month to protest because the food deliveries were not arriving. Residents demanded to meet the mayor, but when he did not come they sacked a Chinese bodega.

Residents hacked open the door with pickaxes and pillaged the shop, venting their anger at a global power that has lent billions of dollars to prop up Venezuela in recent years.

The Chinese won’t sell to us,” said a taxi driver who watched the crowd haul away all that was inside. “So we burn their stores instead.”

Mr. Maduro, who is fighting a push for a referendum to recall him this year over the country’s declines, said it was the political opposition that was behind the attacks on the stores.

“They paid a group of criminals, brought them in trucks,” he said on Saturday on television, promising compensation to those who lost property.

At the same time, the government also blames an “economic war” for the shortages. It accuses wealthy business owners of hoarding food and charging exorbitant prices, creating artificial shortages to profit from the country’s misery.

It has left shop owners feeling under siege, particularly those who do not have Spanish names.

“Look how we are working today,” said Maria Basmagi, whose family immigrated from Syria a generation ago, pointing to the metal grate pulled over the window of her shoe store.

Her shop was on the commercial boulevard in Barcelona, another coastal town racked by unrest last week. At 11 a.m. the day before, someone screamed that there was an attack on a government-run kitchen nearby. Every shop on Ms. Basmagi’s street closed down in fear.

Other shops stay open, like the bakery in Cumaná where a line of 100 people snaked around a corner. Each person was allowed to buy about a pound of bread.

Robert Astudillo, a 23-year-old father of two, was not sure there would be any left once his turn came. He said he still had corn flour to make arepas, a Venezuelan staple, for his children. They had not eaten meat in months.

“We make the arepas small,” he said.

In the refrigerator of Araselis Rodriguez and Nestor Daniel Reina, the parents of four small children, there was not even corn flour — just a few limes and some bottles of water.

The family had eaten bread for breakfast and soup for lunch made from fish that Mr. Reina had managed to catch. The family had nothing for dinner.

It has not always been clear what provokes the riots. Is it hunger alone? Or is it some larger anger that has built up in a country that has crumbled?

Inés Rodríguez was not sure. She remembered calling out to the crowd of people who had come to sack her restaurant on Tuesday night, offering them all the chicken and rice the restaurant had if they would only leave the furniture and cash register behind. They balked at the offer and simply pushed her aside, Ms. Rodríguez said.

“It is the meeting of hunger and crime now,” she said.

As she spoke, three trucks with armed patrols drove by, each emblazoned with photos of Mr. Chávez and Mr. Maduro.

The trucks were carrying food.

“Finally they come here,” Ms. Rodríguez said. “And look what it took to get them. It took this riot to get us something to eat.”

The New Iron Curtain

Our new cold war with Russia risks World War III

June 21, 2016

by Justin Raimondo


A foreign army consisting of 31,000 soldiers from an anti-American alliance are conducting military “exercises” a few miles from San Diego. Hundreds of tanks converge on the Rio Grande, while jets from 24 countries converge in attack formation, darting through Mexican skies.

It isn’t hard to imagine Washington’s response.

Yet that’s precisely what has been happening on Russia’s border with the NATO alliance, as the cold war returns. Economic sanctions aimed at sinking Russia’s fragile economy, plus a propaganda campaign designed to characterize Russian President Vladimir Putin as the second coming of Stalin – or, in Hillary Clinton’s view, Hitler – have history running in reverse. Once again, an iron curtain is descending across Europe – only this time it’s the West’s doing.

The European Union renewed sanctions against Crimea on Friday: their “crime” – holding a referendum in which the overwhelming majority of voters opted for union with Russia, restoring what had been the status quo since the days of Catherine the Great. And the EU is slated to extend sanctions against the Russian Federation later this week.

Yet dissent against this revival of the cold war is rising in Europe, notably in Germany, where Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is calling for the “gradual” lifting of sanctions to reflect progress in the implementation of the Minsk accords, which call for the demilitarization of Ukraine and elections in rebel-held territory. This reflects a division within Germany’s left-right coalition government: Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats are holding out for “full” implementation of the accords. Yet it is the government in Kiev – held hostage by far-right crazies – that has been dragging its feet over Minsk, refusing to grant autonomy to east Ukraine and vowing to continue the war against the rebels in spite of Kiev’s lack of success in pacifying the rebellious region.

Steinmeier went further in another interview, characterizing provocative military exercises conducted near Russia’s borders as “warmongering.” The “drill,” which ended Friday, simulated a Western response to an improbable Russian attack on Poland. “What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmonger,” averred Steinmeier:

“Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken. We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation. [It would be] fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence.”

The reality is that it is NATO that has to be deterred: ever since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the implosion of international communism the West has been advancing eastward, gathering its forces at the very gates of Moscow. They didn’t call the recent exercises “Spearhead” for nothing. Herr Steinmeier is correct that the “tank parade” within spitting distance of the Kremlin is “symbolic,” but neglects to tell us what it symbolizes, which is nothing less than World War III.

The Germans are rebelling against the EU/NATO war on Russia because, as in the old cold war, they will be caught in the middle: if the unthinkable becomes thinkable and hostilities break out Germany will become a battlefield, i.e. a smoking ruin. As Cold War II rears its ugly head, it’s hardly surprising that Euro-neutralism is making a comeback.

Aside from that, the post-cold war structures erected by the new cold warriors are coming apart at the seams: the EU itself is disintegrating, with Euro-skepticism threatening to take Britain out of the Union and the rise of anti-EU parties across Europe challenging the legitimacy of the Brussels bureaucracy.

And here in the US, questions are being raised about the utility of the main bulwark of the anti-Russian foreign policy of the West: former defense secretary Robert Gates wants to know why our European protectorates are failing to pay their fair share of NATO’s mounting costs. And presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has gone much further, declaring that NATO is “very obsolete” and raising the possibility that, if he makes it to the White House, the Western alliance will be no more, or will, at least, take on a much different form.

With the focus of US foreign policy on the Middle East, and the alleged threat of ISIS preoccupying US policymakers, the impending collapse of the post-World War II international order has taken a back seat in the public eye. Yet this development is far more important, in the long run, for the simple reason that relations with Russia far outweigh whatever is happening in, say, Syria – where the Russian factor is key to solving that seemingly intractable problem.

Here, again, the political class and their journalistic camarilla split with the American people: most Americans want nothing to do with Ukraine and its many problems. The elites, however, have taken up the cause of what is one of the world’s most corrupt regimes as if it is a paragon of virtue and democratic liberalism. It is neither: the present rulers came to power in a violent coup, chasing out the democratically-elected President, and paving the way for a far-right regime that openly celebrates World War II collaborators with the Nazis.

The demonization of Putin’s Russia is based on historical illiteracy. It was only a short time ago that Russia was a one-party dictatorship where millions were enslaved by a regime that had as much blood on its hands as Nazi Germany. To fail to acknowledge the enormous progress that country has made, against overwhelming odds, is beyond ridiculous.

The neoconservatives have long held a grudge against Putin for denouncing the Iraq war as a foolish adventure: American liberals use Putin as a piñata, the puncturing of which is supposed to prove how “tough” they are. Indeed, the Clintons have long been among the worst of the Russia-bashers, and a Clinton Restoration will see the US go head-to-head with Putin, not only in Europe but also in Central Asia, where Bill has long been canoodling with various despots.

It’s time to lift the new iron curtain that is descending across Europe. Russia and the United States have many interests in common: a new cold war, which could easily escalate into a hot war, is in no one’s interests.

Database corruption erases 100,000 Air Force investigation records

Inspector General’s case tracking system data back to 2004 lost.

June 14, 2016

by Sean Gallagher


The database of the Air Force’s Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS)—which is used by the Air Force Inspector General’s Office to manage investigations into complaints from whistleblowers of waste, fraud, and abuse; Freedom Of Information Act requests; and congressional inquiries—has become corrupted, rendering over 100,000 case files dating back to 2004 unreadable. And because of the way the database was backed up, an Air Force spokesperson said that neither the service nor Lockheed Martin—the contractor that operates the ATCS system for the Air Force—can recover the data.

“The database crashed and there is no data,” Ann Stefanak of Air Force Media Operations said in a statement to press. “We’ve kind of exhausted everything we can to recover [the data internally]… and now we’re going to outside experts to see if they can help.” Efforts are being made to see if the data was backed up in other locations, and the Air Force has begun asking for help from other organizations within the Department of Defense and from outside experts in recovering the database’s contents.

Air Force officials were informed by Lockheed Martin employees of the database crash on June 6 after the company spent two weeks attempting to recover the data. While much of the data in the system was historical, ACTS is primarily used to track ongoing investigations and inquiries—and those cases are now “experiencing significant delays,” Stefanek said.

International Israeli Internet Spying & Fraud

June 20, 2016

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

For the past five years, there have been growing fears that somehow, outsiders have been able to penetrate into the confidential computer files of government agencies, business entities such as banks and defense contractors and individuals.

Some of this appeared to be an attempt to obtain highly classified information that could be of use to others and in other instances, attempts to get into the personal, and corporate, bank accounts of individuals and corporations.

This is a brief study of some of the salient aspects of this problem of computer theft and espionage and we will start with the discovery of massive computer penetration in Israel. We will then consider further penetrations of American business and intelligence computer systems by agents of a foreign government as opposed to confidence men and then conclude with the use of the same methods to commit frauds on the gullible in the United States and elsewhere.

Some of the first public notice of this problem surfaced first in Israel in 2004 when  Israeli law enforcement cyber crime experts discovered that what is known as a Trojan Horse (illicit spyware planted on an unsuspecting computer) had been inserted into about 60 major Israeli businesses. Isreali law enforcement subsequently indicted various members of three of Israel’s largest private investigative agencies on charges of criminal fraud. These spyware plants were in various commercial areas such as : Israeli military contracting, telephone systems, cable television, finance, automobile and cigarette importing, journalism and high technology. These intrusive spyware plants were nearly identical with ones developed by the American NSA and widely used inside the United States to glean political, economic and counter-intelligence information from a huge number of American businesses and agencies. Israeli investigators believed that there was illicit cooperation between the American agency and a counterpart in Israel.

These Trojan horses that penetrated the Israeli  computers came packaged inside a compact disc or were sent as an e-mail message that appeared to be from an institution or a person that the victims thought they knew very well. Once the program was installed, it functioned every time the victim’s computer system was in use, logging keystrokes or collecting sensitive documents and passwords before transmitting the information elsewhere.

This clandestine theft of valuable commercial, military and political secrets is certainly not limited to Israel and many important agencies and individuals have become increasingly concerned about what is called “phishing” in which both con men and foreign (and domestic) intelligence agencies can locate, capture and use valuable personal, political and financial information. In September of 2005, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an ad hoc group  of corporate and law enforcement groups that track identity theft and other online crimes, said it had received more than 13,000 unique reports of phishing schemes in that month alone, up from nearly 7,000 in the month of October, 2004..

In late 2005, a new form of phishing, called “spear-phishing” emerged.

.So-called spear-phishing is a highly concentrated and far more effectove version of phishing. That’s because those behind the schemes bait their hooks for specific victims instead of casting a broad, ill-defined net across cyberspace hoping to catch throngs of unknown victims.

Spear-phishing, say security specialists, is much harder to detect than phishing. Bogus e-mail messages and Web sites not only look like near perfect replicas of communiqués from e-commerce companies like eBay or its PayPal service, banks or even a victim’s employer, but are also targeted at people known to have an established relationship with the sender being mimicked. American banks such as Chase and Bank of America are among those whose names are faked and also the online auction house of Ebay and the international money transfer firm of PayPal receive considerable attention from the international conmen and credit thieves. These thieves are not necessarily gangs operating for financial gain but also include theft of trade secrets, private corporate banking and highly sensitive military and political information.

While some of these phishers are merely out to make money, others are interested in securing military secrets and political activities, all at the highest and what is hopefully considered as the most secure.

As a case in point, in June of 2005 , the National Infrastructure Security Coordination Centre, a British government agency that monitors national UK computer security, took the step of publicly warning about a spear-phishing campaign of “targeted Trojan e-mail attacks” aimed at industrial and government computer networks. The warning noted that the e-mail messages appeared to come from a trusted sender, that antivirus software and firewalls was completely incapable of  protecting  recipients, and that, in fact, there was no way to completely protect any computer connected to the Internet from the Trojan attacks once recipients opened and downloaded a faked e-mail message containing a virus.

The report noted that: “Files used by the attackers are often publicly available on the Web or have been sent to distribution lists,” the warning said. “The attackers are able to receive, trojanise and resend a document within 120 minutes of its release, indicating a high level of sophistication.”

In December of 2005, a more traditional phishing scam infected about 30,000 individual computers worldwide, according to CipherTrust, a computer security firm. Consisting of what CipherTrust said was about 50 million e-mail messages that a German hacker deployed simultaneously, the communiqués purported to come from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency and a German intelligence agency and tried to convince recipients to provide personal information and open a file containing a virus. The F.B.I. issued a warning about the scheme and a spokeswoman said that thousands of people swamped the agency with phone calls inquiring about it. Public awareness and FBI actions sharply reduced and finally obliterated this specific form of fraud but no information has been released to the public by the FBI concerning the identity or motives of many of the hackers. No bank or financial institution ever contacts their depositors and customers by email with warnings about misuse of their credit cards or errors in their personal accounts. The phishers have advanced technologically to the point where actual company logos can be snatched from Web sites to build customized databases of corporate logos. Any email message purporting to come from any bank or financial institution, most especially one that has the proper company logo and format but contains grammatical errors should ever  be responded to.

Some computer security specialists suggest at least one basic approach that might allow e-mail recipients to learn right away that a communiqué appearing to come from a company like Amazon.com actually originated somewhere in the Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia or any of the other places that law enforcement officials say are hot spots for phishing scams According to CipherTrust, a spear-phisher can rent a server for about $300 month after paying a $100 setup fee; install spam-sending software on the server for about $1,200 a month; and get spam-sending proxies, a database of e-mail addresses, and other necessary add-ons for another $1,900 a month. How much phishers make depends on how many victims they hook, but the relatively small expense means the work can be lucrative. According to a research report issued in June by Gartner Inc., a consulting firm, about 2.4 million Americans reported losing about $929 million to phishing schemes during the previous year.

In 2005, is has been estimated by the FBI and private cyper-protection agencies that about 73 million American adults who use the Internet believed that they received an average of more than 50 phishing e-mails during the prior 12 months. And that, of course, is just what Internet users actually know might be happening.

Phishers main goal is to obtain a victim’s checking-account number and, in addition,  credit card and A.T.M. card numbers, which they can copy onto bogus cards they have manufactured for the purpose of extracting money and goods from a victim’s account.

It should be noted that many American banks have serious security gaps in the software used to analyze magnetic stripe coding on the back of A.T.M. cards, and these gaps have permitted card hijackers to use bogus copies. American regulators, concerned about online vulnerabilities at the country’s banks, have sharply tightened security requirements at financial institutions.

Although Interner Provider (IP) numbers lead to Italy, the Netherlands, the Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and Russia, a secret investigation by NSA and other American domestic and foreign intelligence agencies has disclosed that almost all of the scams originate inside Israel and that while the Israeli authorities are aware of this, the fact that information considered “vital to the interests of the State of Israel” is part of the intercepts, no action has been taken against operations that are not directed against Israeli agencies or individuals.  Further, one of the caveats to the continued functioning of these enormously profitable computer frauds is that any monies gleaned from them must be deposited in Israeli, and not foreign, banks.

Isreali intelligence, having formed a cooperative association with Israeli internet swindlers, has, according to an NSA report, not hesitated to spy on their American counterparts.

Among the Israeli corporations on the receiving end of stolen information were two telecommunications affiliates of Bezeq, the country’s largest telephone company. The Israeli government held a controlling interest in Bezeq until it sold most of its stake to private investors, including Los Angeles media mogul Haim Saban, shortly before the Trojan horse scandal became public. A lawyer representing Bezeq and the two affiliates, YES and Pele-Phone, declined to comment on the investigation; Mr. Wismonsky said that Bezeq itself appeared to have been a victim, not a recipient, of stolen information.

Israeli intelligence also is able to oversee almost all telephonic contacts, to include internet usage, in the United States.

This is accomplished by obtaining and analyzing data that is generated every time someone in the U.S. makes a telephone call.

Here is how the system works. Most directory assistance calls, and virtually all call records and billing inside the U.S. are done for the telephone companies by Amdocs Ltd., an Israeli-based private telecommunications company.

Amdocs has contracts with the 25 biggest telephone companies in America, and even more worldwide. The White House and other secure government phone lines are protected, but it is virtually impossible for any American to make a call on any American phone without generating an Amdocs record of it.

In recent years, the FBI and other government agencies have investigated Amdocs more than once. The firm has repeatedly and adamantly denied any security breaches or wrongdoing. In 1999, the super secret National Security Agency, headquartered in Ft. George Meade in northern Maryland, issued what is called a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information report, TS/SCI, warning that records of calls in the United States were getting into foreign hands – in Israel, in particular.

Investigators do not believe such calls are being listened to, but the data about who is calling whom and when is extremely valuable in itself. An internal Amdocs memo to senior company executives suggests just how Amdocs generated call records could be used. “Widespread data mining techniques and algorithms…combining both the properties of the customer (e.g., credit rating) and properties of the specific ‘behavior….’” Specific behavior, such as who the targeted customers are calling is also noted.

The Amdocs memo says the system should be publicly advertised as “helping to prevent telephone fraud.” However, U.S. counterintelligence analysts say it could, and unquestionably was, also be used to spy via the records of the American telephone system. The N.S.A has held numerous classified conferences to warn the F.B.I. and C.I.A. how Amdocs records could be used.

At one classified NSA briefing, a diagram by the Argonne National Laboratory was used to show that if phone records are not completely secure, major security breaches are more than possible.

Another NSA briefing document said, “It has become increasingly apparent that systems and networks are vulnerable…Such crimes always involve unauthorized persons, or persons who exceed their authorization…citing on exploitable vulnerabilities.”

Those vulnerabilities are growing, because according to another briefing, the U.S. relies too much on foreign companies like Amdocs for high-tech equipment and software. “Many factors have led to increased dependence on code developed overseas…. We buy rather than train or develop solutions.”

U.S. intelligence does not officially believe the Israeli government is involved in a misuse of information, and Amdocs insists that its data is secure. What U.S. government officials are worried about, however, is the possibility that Amdocs data could get into the wrong hands, particularly organized crime. And that would not be the first time that such a thing has happened.

In a 1997 drug trafficking case in Los Angeles, telephone information, specifically of the type that Amdocs collects, was used to “completely compromise the communications of the FBI, the Secret Service, the DEA and the LAPD.”

There has been considerable but very quiet concern about the 60 Israelis who were detained in the anti-terror investigation, and the suspicion that some investigators have that they may have picked up information on the 9/11 attacks ahead of time and not passed it on.

There exists a classified Justice Department report stating that the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, did indeed send representatives to the U.S. to warn, just before 9/11, that a major terrorist attack was imminent. How does that leave room for the lack of a warning?

What investigators have stated is that that warning from the Mossad was nonspecific and extremely vague and general, and they believe that it may have had something to do with the Israeli desire to protect what are called “sources and methods” in the intelligence community while at the same time attempting to convince American authorities that they were being cooperative and friendly. There is very substantive and documented evidence that those sources and methods were, and still are, taking place in the United States.

The question arose in the Select Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, chaired by former CIA agent, Porter Goss. Concern was expressed concerning this Mossad spying issue but nothing came of this and the matter was very quickly, and quietly, shelved

An official listing of known Mossad agents and a much larger one listing Mossad informants in the United States is perhaps the best indicator of the degree and extent that this official Israeli organ has penetrated American security, business and military organizations. Its publication would certainly create terrible havoc and would very adversely impact on American/Israeli diplomatic and military relations.

Reports indicate that such established agencies as the Anti Defamation League, several identified national newspapers and one major television network also harbor and assist a significant number of active Mossad agents engaged in espionage activities.

The concern about telephone security extends to another company, founded in Israel, that provides the technology used by the U.S. government for electronic eavesdropping. The company is Comverse Infosys, a subsidiary of an Israeli-run private telecommunications firm, with offices throughout the U.S. It provides wiretapping equipment for law enforcement. Investigative reports also indicate that these offices have been and are being used as bases for intelligence operations directed against the United States via the Mossad agents working in this country.

Here is the method that foreign wiretapping works in the U.S.

Every time a call is made in America, it passes through the nation’s elaborate network of switchers and routers run by the phone companies. Custom computers and software, made by companies like Comverse, are tied into that network to intercept, record and store the wiretapped calls, and at the same time transmit them to investigators.

The manufacturers have continuing access to the computers so they can service them and keep them free of technical errors. This process was authorized by the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA. Senior government officials have reluctantly acknowledged that while CALEA made officially authorized, and unauthorized, wiretapping much easier for Federal authorities, it has led to a system that is seriously vulnerable to compromise, and may have undermined the whole wiretapping system.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller were both warned on October 18, 2001 in a hand-delivered letter from 15 local, state and federal law enforcement officials, who complained that “law enforcement’s current electronic surveillance capabilities are less effective today than they were at the time CALEA was enacted.”

Congress insists the equipment it permits to be installed is secure. But the complaint about this system is that the wiretap computer programs made by Comverse have, in effect, a back door through which wiretaps themselves can be intercepted by unauthorized parties.

In this case, the unauthorized parties is the Israeli Mossad and through them, the government and commercial interests of Israel itself.

Adding to the suspicions is the fact that in Israel, Comverse works closely with the Israeli government, and under special programs and gets reimbursed for up to 50 percent of its research and development costs by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. But investigators within the DEA, INS and FBI have all privately stated that to pursue or even suggest Israeli spying through Comverse is considered career suicide because of the enormous political and political power wielded by the Israeli lobby, the extremely pro-Israeli American television and print media and many Jewish financial organizations in the United States.

And sources say that while various F.B.I. inquiries into Comverse have been conducted over the years, they have been halted before the actual equipment has ever been thoroughly tested for leaks. A 1999 F.C.C. document indicates several government agencies expressed deep concerns that too many unauthorized non-law enforcement personnel can access the wiretap system. The FBI’s own small office in Chantilly, Virginia that actually oversees the CALEA wiretapping program, is among the most agitated about the Israeli ongoing threat.

It is the FBI’s office in Quantico, Virginia, that has jurisdiction over awarding contracts and buying intercept equipment. And for years, they have awarded the majority of the business to Comverse. A handful of former U.S. law enforcement officials involved in awarding Comverse lucrative U.S. government contracts over the years now work for the Israeli-based company.

Numerous sources say some of those individuals were asked to leave government service under what knowledgeable sources call “troublesome circumstances” that still remain under administrative review within the Justice Department.

And what troubles investigators the most, particularly in New York City, in the counter terrorism investigation of the World Trade Center attack, is that in a number of cases, suspects they had sought to wiretap and survey immediately changed their telecommunications processes. This began as soon as those supposedly secret wiretaps went into place

There are growing and very serious concerns in a very significant number of top-level American intelligence and counterintelligence. Many of these agencies have begun compiling evidence, and instigating a very highly classified investigation, into the very strong probability that the Israeli government is directly involved in this matter and has been from the outset.

Speaking confidentially, top U.S. intelligence agencies indicate that “the last thing needed is another Pollard scandal.”

Following the 9/11 attacks, Federal officials have arrested or detained nearly 200 Israeli citizens suspected of belonging to an “organized intelligence-gathering operation.” The Bush administration has deported most of those arrested after Sept. 11, although some are in custody under the new anti-terrorism law. Some of these detainees are being investigated for their possible penetration of known Arab terrorist groups located in the United States, Canada and Europe and through this, having gained specific knowledge of the time and location of the September 11 attacks.

It has been established that an Israeli firm generated billing data that could be used for intelligence purpose, and a recent Justice Department report describes concerns that the federal government’s own wiretapping system may be vulnerable.

In Los Angeles, in 1997, a major local, state and federal drug investigation suddenly collapsed. The suspects: Israeli organized crime organizations, composed mostly of Russian Jews, with ongoing operations in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Canada, Israel and Egypt.

The allegations: cocaine and ecstasy trafficking, and sophisticated white-collar credit card and computer fraud. . A DEA report under date of December 18 stated that there existed serious security breaches in DEA telecommunications by unauthorized “foreign nationals” — and cites an Israeli-owned firm with which the DEA contracted for wiretap equipment .

The problem: according to classified law enforcement documents, is that the Israeli-based gangsters had the Federal and State law enforcement beepers, cell phones, even home phones under constant surveillance. Some identified Israeli gangsters who did get caught, readily admitted to having hundreds of confidential law enforcement telephone and beeper numbers and had been using them to avoid arrest.

An official LAPD intelligence report states:

“This compromised law enforcement communications between LAPD detectives and other assigned law enforcement officers working various aspects of the case. The Israeli-based criminal organization discovered communications between organized crime intelligence division detectives, the FBI and the Secret Service.”

Shock spread from the DEA to the FBI in Washington, and then the CIA. An investigation of the problem, according to law enforcement documents, concluded, “The (criminal) organization has apparent extensive access to database systems used to identify pertinent personal and biographical information.”

When investigators tried to find out where the information might have come from, they looked at Amdocs, a publicly traded firm based in Israel. Amdocs generates billing data for virtually every call in America, and they do credit checks. The company denies any leaks, but investigators still fear that the firm’s data is getting into the wrong hands.

When investigators checked their own wiretapping system for leaks, they grew concerned about potential vulnerabilities in the computers that intercept, record and store the wiretapped calls. A main contractor is Comverse Infosys, which works closely with the Israeli government, and under a special grant program, is reimbursed for up to 50 percent of its research and development costs by Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Asked about another sprawling investigation and the detention of 60 Israeli since Sept. 11, the Bush administration treated the questions with frightened circumspection. The reason for this is also contained in the body of several U.S. investigative and highly classified reports. The extremely competent Israeli Foreign Intelligence branch, the MOSSAD, had penetrated the groups of terrorists who planned, and eventually executed, the hijacked aircraft attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the White House. After some debate in the highest official circles in Tel Aviv, the Israeli government decided to pass the very concrete and specific information about the September 11th attack to competent authority in the United States. This was done on three specific occasions, the Department of State, the CIA and the NSC all having been given MOSSAD reports. The nature of the attacks were specified as were two different dates of attack. That the Bush Administration was informed of this planned attack by a putative ally and in specific detail and did nothing to attempt to circumvent it, came as a great surprise to Israeli officials.  When it became obvious to them that their specific and timely warnings were obviously ignored, it then put Israel politicians in the position of having information which, if released to the American public, would cause terminal political damage, they decided, according to intercepted internet communication, that discretion was the better part of valor.

Interventionism Is a Rotten Tree with Rotten Fruit

by Jacob G. Hornberger

June 17, 2016


Fifty-one State Department officials are calling on President Obama to expand U.S. interventionism in Syria by initiating a bombing campaign against the Syrian government. Apparently they’re not satisfied with the great “success” that their philosophy of interventionism has brought to Iraq, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and the rest of the Middle East. They want the U.S. national-security state’s death machine to bring even more death and destruction than it has already brought to that part of the world for the past 25 years.

It would be difficult to find anything more incredible and audacious than that. The Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and the rest of the military-industrial complex, whose financial well-being necessarily depend on making interventionism in the Middle East a permanent part of American society, must be ecstatic. The fact that the demand is coming from State Department officials, rather than assets of the CIA, makes it look even better.

Now, let’s consider the following hypothetical. Let’s suppose that President Obama accedes to the interventionist demands of these people. Let’s assume then that the bombing campaign succeeds in killing multitudes of Syrian citizens. One day a Syrian-American whose sister and father have been killed in the bombing campaign retaliates with a suicide bomb that kills 150 people in a shopping mall in some American city.

What will those 51 State Department diplomats say about that?

I’ll tell you what they’ll say: “That Syrian terrorist hated America for its freedom and values. He was obviously a caliphater who was determined to lead a Muslim army in an invasion and conquest of the United States, with the aim of taking over the federal government and forcing everyone to study the Koran.”

That pronouncement will be followed by others issued by fellow interventionists that proclaim something like this: “This terrorist attack only goes to show why the federal government needs to confiscate everyone’s weapons so that the American people can be kept safe. We also need to build higher walls around America to protect us from the Muslims who are hell-bent on establishing a worldwide caliphate. And we also need to begin populating our FEMA camps with American citizens who we suspect are planning more attacks.”

One thing is for sure: The last thing those 51 State Department diplomats would ever do is to take individual responsibility for the deaths of those 150 people in that American shopping mall. The last thing they would do is acknowledge that the suicide bombing was a direct consequence of their bombing campaign in Syria. They would act like the killing of the suicide-bomber’s sister and father had nothing to do with their interventionist death and destruction in Syria.

How do we know this? Because that is precisely the type of behavior that has characterized American interventionists for the past 25 years of U.S. interventionism in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Every single time there has been terrorist blowback from the U.S. death machine’s campaigns in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the interventionists have consciously chosen to ignore the motivation for killing Americans — the death and destruction that U.S. interventionism has wreaked in the Middle East and Afghanistan for the past 25 years.

Even with the latest episode of deadly blowback in Orlando, interventionists were undoubtedly hoping for evidence that the killer was motivated not by the death and destruction that U.S. interventionism has brought to the Middle East and Afghanistan but instead for love of the violence in the Koran and hatred for America’s freedom and values. Alas, their hopes were dashed again, just as they have been dashed in every other anti-American terrorist attack for the past 25 years. It’s all blowback from U.S. interventionism in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Look at what U.S. interventionism has done to Iraq. The victims in Orlando, San Bernardino, Boston, and Ft. Hood, and others are not the only ones who have paid the price of U.S. interventionism. The Iraqi people have also been made to pay a high price for the U.S. invasion and occupation of their country.

For example, just a few days before the attack in Orlando, ISIS suicide bombers killed multitudes of people in Baghdad. It was not an anomaly. Terrorist attacks happen there on a regular basis.

Look at the rest of Iraq. A massive civil war in which people are being killed and which will continue to bring enormous death and destruction to the Iraqi people for the indefinite future.

There is no light at the end of this interventionist tunnel.

Keep in mind something important: Neither Iraq nor the Iraqi people ever attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. Nonetheless, they were made the target of a U.S. interventionist regime-change operation, one that not only has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of people but also has turned the entire country into one gigantic deadly and destructive hellhole.

Keep in mind that every time an Iraqi was killed during the past 25 years by the U.S. interventionist death machine, interventionists cheered and thanked the troops for their “service,” notwithstanding the fact that the victims had never done anything to the United States.

Keep in mind also that ISIS, which is the newest official enemy of the U.S. national security establishment and which is now being used as the latest excuse for permanent intervention in the Middle East, is a direct consequence of the U.S. intervention and regime-change operation in Iraq.

To emphasize: If there had never been U.S. interventionism in Iraq (after the U.S. national security establishment lost its official enemy by the end of the Cold War), there never would have been an ISIS that today is used as the excuse for permanent and perpetual interventionism in the Middle East.

For that matter, if there never been U.S. interventionism in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the rest of the Middle East, there never would have been terrorist blowback in Orlando, San Bernardino, Boston, Fort Hood, New York City, Virginia, and elsewhere in the United States. All those people would be alive today but for U.S. interventionism in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

One more thing to keep in mind: If there had never been U.S. interventionism in the Middle East, there never would have been a massive refugee crisis in Europe.

Interventionism is the gift that just keeps giving. And what it gives is death, destruction, mayhem, chaos, crisis, and financial and economic catastrophe.

And yet, those 51 State Department officials want to water this rotten tree notwithstanding its rotten fruit.

Why? What could possibly be motivating these people to call for the continuation of a policy that has brought nothing but death and destruction to people over there and people over here, not to mention the destruction of the liberty and privacy of the American people in the process of keeping us “safe” from the enemies that interventionism has produced?

Only they know the reasons they are calling for more interventionism.  But one thing is for certain—something that 51 State Department officials have to be fully aware of: Continued and expanded interventionism in the Middle East means permanently growing budgets, influence, and power of the old Cold War-era dinosauric U.S. national-security establishment, whose financial well-being necessarily depends on a constant stream of terrorists and a never-ending threat of terrorist attacks against Americans. If that were to come to an end, people might start asking why we need an old Cold War-era dinosauric entity, one that is characteristic of totalitarian regimes and that was never meant by the Framers to be a part of America’s federal governmental system.

Of course, those 51 State Department officials would undoubtedly defend their interventionism by exclaiming their popular refrain, “We can’t return to isolationism,” ignoring the fact that it is their interventionism that generates calls for travel bans into the United States, stricter immigration and travel controls, trade restrictions with foreign regimes, sanctions, embargoes, and, of course, a gigantic wall around the United States to keep us “safe.”

Libertarians have a better idea: Stop the war on terrorism. Bring the U.S. death machine home. Order an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan (and preferably the rest of the world). Bring them home and discharge them, which would save a lot of money for a government that is heading toward financial bankruptcy. Leave the Middle East and Afghanistan alone. Interventionism has caused enough damage already and any attempt to fix the damage it has caused only makes matters worse for people over there and people over here.

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s end all foreign aid to and partnerships with brutal, anti-democratic, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, like Egypt and Bahrain (and foreign aid to every other regime in the world).

In other words, there is only one thing to do with a rotten tree that produces rotten fruit. Pull it out by its root and throw it away.

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