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TBR News June 28, 2018

Jun 28 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8

Washington, D.C. June 28, 2018:” President Trump is not a man to cross lightly. He does not take kindly to being thwarted in his far right and often brutal plans so his public humiliation and forced retreat on the issue of deliberately separating small children from their parents is producing even more fury in his chubby breast.

There is circulating in senior governmental circles am aide memoire from the White House that postulated rounding up all Mexicans residents in the United States, legal or otherwise, and shipping them, by force, out of the country.

The alt right elements, coupled with the religious right, are heartily in favor of this and the latter want to eject all gays at the same time.

In any other period of American history, excluding the Palmer Raids during the Wilson reign, such a suggestion would be laughed at but with Trump strutting his stuff in the Oval Office, this is all in a day’s work.

And eventually, if he gets his way, all Muslims resident in America will also be rounded up and ejected.

When Canada threatened to expel the African refugees fleeing to their country from anticipated American persecution, they were told that any such individual recrossing the Canadian-US border would be liable to be shot dead on sight.”

The Table of Contents

  • American Empire Demands a Caesar
  • Donald Tusk warns EU leaders to “prepare for the worst” in EU-US relations
  • Automakers warn U.S. tariffs will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, hike prices
  • Facebook Wants To Spy On You Via Hidden Inaudible TV Ad Messages
  • Google Home and Chromecast outage hits millions of users worldwide
  • Thomson Reuters Defends Its Work for ICE, Providing “Identification and Location of Aliens”
  • Manafort had $10 million loan from Russian oligarch: court filing
  • Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought
  • Franklin Roosevelt: The Liberal Emperor and his Family

Eleanor’s love letters to her lesbian lover

Intercepted telephone conversations between Roosevelt and Churchill

Roosevelt’s Jewish ancestry

The Potocki Report


American Empire Demands a Caesar

Trump is hardly our first emperor. The warfare state has been trampling the Constitution for a long time.

June 25, 2018

by Bruce Fein

The American Conservative

The United States has adorned its president with extravagance that makes Roman emperors appear frugal by comparison. And such visible signs of the deification of our president are complemented by legal doctrines that echo Richard Nixon’s once discredited claim to David Frost: “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

These extra-constitutional developments reflect the transformation of the United States from a republic, whose glory was liberty and whose rule of law was king, to an empire, whose glory is global dominion and whose president is law. The Constitution’s architects would be shocked to learn that contemporary presidents play prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner to any person on the planet deemed a threat to national security on the basis of secret, untested evidence known only to the White House.

An empire demands a Caesar and blind obedience from its citizens. World leadership through the global projection of military force cannot be exercised with checks and balances and a separation of powers that arrests speed and invites debate. Napoleon lectured: “Nothing in war is more important than unity of command…. Better one bad general than two good ones.” And Lord Tennyson, saluting the British Empire, versified in The Charge of the Light Brigade:

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”

Was there a man dismayed?

Not though the soldier knew

Someone had blundered.

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die.

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

As justice requires the appearance of justice, a Caesar requires the appearance of a Caesar. Thus is the president protected by platoons of Secret Service agents. The White House, by closing previously open avenues through the heart of the capital and shielding the president from citizen detractors, has become a castle. The White House staff has expanded and aggrandized power at the expense of Cabinet officials confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Debate, encouraged by the separation of powers, is superfluous where support for empire is underwritten by the multi-trillion-dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex, as it is in the United States. The Republican and Democratic parties are unified behind at least seven ongoing unconstitutional presidential wars and climbing trillion-dollar national security budgets.

Our warfare state has given birth to subsidiary surveillance, crony capitalism, and a welfare state. Congress and the judicial branch have become largely sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Constitution’s separation of powers is atrophying.

The life of the law is not justice but genuflections to power. It manufactures doctrines that honor the power principle that the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must. When the configuration of power changes, the law adapts accordingly. The adaptations may not be instantaneous, but they are inexorable. This is not surprising. Judges are not born like Athena from the head of Zeus. They are selected through a political process that vets them for compatibility with the views of their political benefactors. Benjamin Cardozo observed in The Nature of the Judicial Process: “The great tides and currents which engulf the rest of men do not turn aside in their course and pass the judges by.”

The United States has become the largest and most actively garrisoned empire in history, built up by World War II and the 1991 disintegration of the Soviet Union. Our empire has, among other things, approximately 800 military bases in more than 70 countries, over 240,000 active duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories, de facto or de jure commitments to defend 70 countries, and presidential wars as belligerents or co-belligerents in Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The president has by necessity become a Caesar irrespective of whether the occupant of the White House possesses recessive or dominant genes. The law has adapted accordingly, destroying the Constitution like a wrecking ball.

At present, the president with impunity initiates war in violation of the Declare War Clause; kills American citizens in violation of the Due Process Clause; engages in indiscriminate surveillance his own citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment; substitutes executive agreements for treaties to circumvent the requirements of Senate ratifications by two-thirds majorities in violation of the Treaty Clause; substitutes executive orders for legislation in violation of Article I, section 1; issues presidential signing statements indistinguishable from line-item vetoes in violation of the Presentment Clause; wields vast standard-less delegations of legislative authority in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers; brandishes a state secrets privilege to block judicial redress for unconstitutional executive action in violation of due process; refuses submission to congressional oversight in violation of the congressional power of inquiry; and declines to defend defensible duly enacted laws in violation of the Take Care Clause.

The Constitution will be reborn only if the American people reject their Empire in favor of a republic where individual liberty is the summum bonum. The odds of that happening are not good.

Bruce Fein was associate deputy attorney general and general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission under President Reagan and counsel to the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran. He is a partner in the law firm of Fein & DelValle PLLC.


Donald Tusk warns EU leaders to “prepare for the worst” in EU-US relations

European Commission President Donald Tusk has warned EU leaders to “prepare for the worst” in EU-US relations ahead of the EU summit in Brussel this week. Curbing migration and economics is all on the agenda.

June 27, 2018


European Council President Donald Tusk warned European Union leaders that they should “prepare for the worst” in EU-US relations in a letter to EU leaders who will be gathering in Brussels for a summit on Thursday and Friday.

He laid out the agenda for discussions at the important meeting, with migration topping the list.

Transatlantic relations

Writing on the issue of transatlantic relations, Tusk said the EU must be prepared for “worst-case scenarios” as US President Donald Trump’s policies have been increasingly at loggerheads with the bloc’s values.

“It is my belief that, while hoping for the best, we must be ready to prepare our union for worst-case scenarios,” Tusk wrote. “Despite our tireless efforts to keep the unity of the West, transatlantic relations are under immense pressure due to the policies of President Trump.”

Trump has decided to withdraw his country from the Paris climate deal and the Iran nuclear deal, despite repeated pleas by the EU to stick with them.

One EU official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told DPA news agency that such “negative” decisions were starting to “look like a pattern” where the US has “no friends, no enemies” and where preserving the international rules-based structure was not a focus.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will share his views on EU-NATO cooperation at the meeting.

On migration

With Italy and Malta both reluctant to accept further refugees, his letter largely focused on figuring out how to curb the flow of migrants to the EU. He called for the European Council to endorse three key points:

1.”Setting up regional disembarkation platforms outside Europe, if possible together with the UNHCR and IOM, in order to change the functioning of Search And Rescue Operations. Our objective should be to break the business model of the smugglers, as this is the most effective way to stop the flows and bring an end to the tragic loss of lives at sea.”

2.”Creating in the next multiannual EU budget a DEDICATED financial facility geared towards combatting illegal migration. We need a flexible budgetary tool managed by those responsible for migration, as only they are capable of  ensuring effective cooperation with the countries of origin and transit on stemming the flows.”

3.”Stepping up our cooperation with countries of origin and transit, and in particular our support for the Libyan Coastguard, so that they have all the necessary resources to fully control Libyan territorial waters.”

Economic and monetary union on the agenda

Tusk also touched on the topic of the reform of the Economic and monetary union. “As agreed in December, my intention is to take the first decisions about completing the Banking Union and strengthening the European Stability Mechanism.”

At the beginning of June, after a series of waivers, Trump decided to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports from the bloc, prompting Europe to respond with counter-tariffs that went into effect last week. The EU added tariffs to iconic American poducts such as Levis jeans and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

On Friday, EU leaders will hear how Brexit negotiations are coming along.


Automakers warn U.S. tariffs will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, hike prices

June 27, 2018

by David Shepardson


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two major auto trade groups on Wednesday warned the Trump administration that imposing up to 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles would cost hundreds of thousands of auto jobs, dramatically hike prices on vehicles and threaten industry spending on self-driving cars.A coalition representing major foreign automakers including Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), BMW AG, and Hyundai Motor Co, said the tariffs would harm automakers and U.S. consumers. The administration in May launched an investigation into whether imported vehicles pose a national security threat and President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to quickly impose tariffs.

“The greatest threat to the U.S. automotive industry at this time is the possibility the administration will impose duties on imports in connection with this investigation,” wrote the Association of Global Automakers representing major foreign automakers. “Such duties would raise prices for American consumers, limit their choices, and suppress sales and U.S. production of vehicles.”

The group added: “Rather than creating jobs, these tariffs would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs producing and selling cars, SUVs, trucks and auto parts.”

On Friday Trump threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars. On Tuesday Trump said tariffs are coming soon. “We are finishing our study of Tariffs on cars from the E.U. in that they have long taken advantage of the U.S. in the form of Trade Barriers and Tariffs. In the end it will all even out – and it wont take very long!” Trump tweeted.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG, Toyota and others, urged the administration in separate comments filed Wednesday not to go forward.

“We believe the resulting impact of tariffs on imported vehicles and vehicle components will ultimately harm U.S. economic security and weaken our national security,” the group wrote, calling the tariffs a “mistake” and adding imposing them “could very well set a dangerous precedent that other nations could use to protect their local market from foreign competition.”

The Alliance said its analysis of 2017 auto sales data showed a 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles would result in an average price increase of $5,800, which would boost costs to American consumers by nearly $45 billion annually.

Automakers are concerned tariffs will mean less capital to spend on self-driving cars and electric vehicles.

“We are already in the midst of an intense global race to lead on electrification and automation. The increased costs associated with the proposed tariffs may result in diminishing the U.S.’ competitiveness in developing these advanced technologies,” the Alliance wrote.

Both automotive trade groups cited a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics that the cost to U.S. jobs from the import duties would be 195,000 jobs and could be as high as 624,000 jobs if other countries retaliate.

The proposed tariffs on national security grounds have been met by opposition among many Republicans in Congress.

Trump has made the tariffs a key part of his economic message and repeatedly lamented the U.S auto sector trade deficit, particularly with Germany and Japan. Some aides have suggested that the effort is a way to try to pressure Canada and Mexico into making more concessions in ongoing talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday the department aimed to wrap up the probe by late July or August. The Commerce Department plans to hold two days of public comments in July on its investigation of auto imports.

The Commerce Department has asked if it should consider U.S. owned auto manufacturers differently than foreign automakers.

The Association of Global Automakers rejected that contention, saying its members’ American workers “are no less patriotic or willing to serve their country in a time of crisis than any other Americans.”

The group questioned national security as grounds to restrict auto imports. “America does not go to war in a Ford Fiesta,” they added.

The Alliance said “there is no basis to claim that auto-related imports are a threat to national security” and noted that 98 percent of U.S. auto imports came from U.S. national security allies.

In 1941, there were 31 manufacturing facilities in the U.S producing fewer than four million vehicles, the Alliance said. By contrast, the United States now has 45 assembly plants – operated by both U.S. and foreign automakers. Those plants produced nearly 12 million vehicles in 2017, more than three times the production volume before World War II.

“We are confident that today’s U.S. production capabilities are more than sufficient to satisfy our country’s future security needs,” the Alliance wrote.

Reporting by David Shepardson


Facebook Wants To Spy On You Via Hidden Inaudible TV Ad Messages

June 27, 2018

12160 Social Network

Social media giant Facebook continues to ramp up the creepy factor. According to a recently filed patent, Facebook wants to spy on you by hiding inaudible messages in TV ads.

Facebook has filed a patent for a system that hides audio clips in TV commercials. These sounds would be so high-pitched that they are inaudible to human beings. They would then trigger your phone to record all the background noises in your home. The patent application is called “broadcast content view analysis based on ambient audio recording.”

According to The Daily Mail, these secret messages would force your phone to record the audio of the private conversations you have without you even knowing. According to a patent application by the social media platform, clips taken of your background conversations and your movements across a room would help advertisers determine whether or not you are watching their promotions.

According to the patent, originally discovered by Metro, the system would use “a non-human hearable digital sound” to activate your phone’s microphone. This noise, which could be a sound so high-pitched that humans cannot hear it, would contain a “machine recognizable” set of Morse code-style beeps. Once your phone “hears” or recognizes the trigger, it would begin to record the “ambient noise” in the home, such as the sound of your air conditioning unit, plumbing noises from your pipes, and even your movements from one room to another. Your phone would even listen in on “distant human speech” and “creaks from thermal contraction”, according to the patent.

Facebook is currently working on the controversial software too, said a patent application published on June 14 this year. If you’re like the rest of us, you might think this sounds like an Orwellian nightmare technology which will let Big Zucker intrude upon the lives of millions of unsuspecting people in unprecedentedly terrifying ways.

The tech is going to be used to monitor what people watch on their “broadcasting device” so that the adverts they are shown on Facebook are likely to appeal to them. This would also allow companies to get an accurate sense of the size of the audience which has viewed their promotion. That’s what Facebook says in its patent, however, there is absolutely no mention of spying on our private lives, invading our privacy, recording our intimate conversations, and forcing advertising into the heart of our homes whatsoever.


Google Home and Chromecast outage hits millions of users worldwide

Users frustrated by length of the outage and lack of updates from Google about glitch

June 27, 2018

by Kate Lyons

The Guardian

Google devices and apps have experienced serious outages that lasted for more than 12 hours and affected millions of users

The issue affected Google Home and Google Home Mini-speakers that rrespond to voice commands- as well as Chromecast- a device that plugs into a televison and allows people to watch video content.

Users were angry at both the length of the outage and the lack of information from Google about it, once it had been identified. Google has not given a reason why these devices went down, only apologising for the service problems and identifying a fix for the issues.

The bug meant that when some Google Home owners asked a question of their speaker, it responded: “There was a glitch, try again in a few seconds.” If they tried to reset the device, it would sometimes fail to reboot.

People reported that they could not get anything to stream on Chromecast or use Chromecast to connect to other devices.

Users on the US west coast began alerting Google to the outages on Tuesday evening Pacific time. Google originally responded on Twitter by telling people that they may not have set up their Chromecast or Google Home correctly.

But Google’s Twitter account was soon inundated with complaints from around the world, including Spain, Ireland, India Argentina and New Zealand. Google said it had “received reports from users globally” and that through Wednesday their “phone support [was] experiencing an unusually high call volume”.

“The fact that it’s been twelve hours my Chromecast has not been working and we’re only now finding out there’s an issue because of @madebygoogle that is ridiculous,” wrote one Twitter user.

Another said: “Can we get some info on what’s going on? I was unaware there was an issue and factory reset my Google home and it still isn’t working.”

It took Google more than 12 hours to come up with a fix for the bugs, which it announced on Wednesday afternoon PST and said would roll out automatically over the next six hours. Users who wanted to get up and running sooner could do so by rebooting their device.

Google did not respond to questions from the Guardian about the cause of the glitch, but issued a statement saying:

“We’ve identified a fix for the issue impacting Google Home and Chromecast users and it will be automatically rolled out over the next 6 hours. If you would like an immediate fix please follow the directions to reboot your device. If you’re still experiencing an issue after rebooting, contact us at Google Home Support. We are really sorry for the inconvenience and are taking steps to prevent this issue from happening in the future.”


Thomson Reuters Defends Its Work for ICE, Providing “Identification and Location of Aliens”

June 27, 2018

by Sam Biddle

The Intercept

The reporters at Reuters have been providing crucial, unfliching coverage of the cruel treatment of would-be immigrants under policies pushed by President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the news agency’s parent company, Thomson Reuters, has been supplying U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with data from its vast stores as part of federal contracts worth close to $30 million. A letter from a Thomson Reuters executive shows that the company is ready to defend at least one of those contracts while remaining silent on the rest.

Last week, advocacy and watchdog group Privacy International wrote to Thomson Reuters CEO James Smith to “express concern” over contracts between ICE and two of the company’s subsidiaries. Thomson Reuters Special Services sells ICE “a continuous monitoring and alert service that provides real-time jail booking data to support the identification and location of aliens” as part of a $6.7 million contract, and West Publishing, another subsidiary, provides ICE’s “Detention Compliance and Removals” office with access to a vast license-plate scanning database, along with agency access to the Consolidated Lead Evaluation and Reporting, or CLEAR, system, which Thomson Reuters advertises as holding a “vast collection of public and proprietary records.” The two West contracts are together worth $26 million.

The Privacy International letter cites the practice by U.S. authorities of separating children from their parents, as well as the Trump administration’s overall “zero tolerance” approach to immigration violations. The children — thousands of them — are typically intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection with their parents; the parents are then detained by ICE while the children, having been forcibly separated, are held in conditions that some have described in horrifying terms, under the supervision of Health and Human Services. (ICE agents have also been accused of sexual abusing hundreds of detainees, underhanded arrest tactics, and more.)

Privacy International’s letter requested that Thomson Reuters “commit to not providing products or services to U.S. immigration agencies which may be used to enforce such cruel, arbitrary, and disproportionate measures.”

So far, the only response has come from Thomson Reuters Special Services CEO Stephen Rubley, who, in a letter passed on to The Intercept, replied that his parent company “provides products and services to many parts of the U.S. government in support of the rule of law,” and pointed Privacy International to the corporation’s “Trust Principles,” which make no mention of the acceptability or unacceptability of providing data services to the agency — though Trust Principle No. 5 does state, tellingly, that “no effort shall be spared to expand, develop, and adapt the news and other services and products so as to maintain its leading position in the international news and information business.”

NBC News previously reported that Rubley is “on the board of the ICE Foundation, a nonprofit that ‘supports the men and women of ICE.’”

Rubley’s response continues by stating that TRSS does not provide data directly to those who are responsible for the separating children from their parents:

In the case of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, we have considered who in that organization should be granted access to our products and for what specific purposes. Thomson Reuters Special Services provides the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency with products that support active investigations and priority cases involving threats to public safety and/or national security.

Our products are not used by the Border Patrol Division for purposes of patrolling the border for undocumented immigrants or their detainment.

Rubley also claimed that every TRSS “customer must certify its specific legally permissible uses prior to being granted access to any data,” and that “we take our role as a good corporate citizen extremely seriously, and we have well-documented evidence of the positive role our data systems can make to a society.” This defense, even if accurate, completely elides any criticism of ICE on the basis of general inhumanity, as opposed to illegality.

In a new second letter to Reuters’s CEO provided to The Intercept, Privacy International makes clear that the response from the company so far “does not address any of our specific questions,” and that Privacy International is “disappointed to have so far not received a response from West Publishing Corporation, or from Thomson Reuters itself.”

In response to a request for more information about Thomson Reuters’ overall corporate relationship with ICE and West Publishing’s work for the agency specifically, a company spokesperson replied saying only that Thomson Reuters Special Services “products are not used by the Border Patrol Division for purposes of patrolling the border for undocumented immigrants or their detainment,” again making no mention of West Publishing. The spokesperson declined to comment on whether Thomson Reuters would pursue further business with an agency involved in separating children from their parents.


Manafort had $10 million loan from Russian oligarch: court filing

June 27, 2018


A search warrant application unsealed on Wednesday revealed closer links than previously known between President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin.

In an affidavit attached to the July 2017 application, an FBI agent said he had reviewed tax returns for a company controlled by Manafort and his wife that showed a $10 million loan from a Russian lender identified as Oleg Deripaska.

The application to search Manafort’s Virginia apartment was granted, providing key evidence for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of Manafort as part of his investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller has been investigating the financial links between Manafort and Deripaska, a metals magnate who is known to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Deripaska was among the Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the United States in April.

Mueller also has indicted Konstantin Kilimnik, a political operative who sometimes served as an intermediary between Manafort and Deripaska. In court filings Mueller’s prosecutors have said Kilimnik has ties to Russian spy agencies, which Kilimnik denies.

The affidavit unsealed on Wednesday also disclosed that Deripaska had financially backed Manafort’s consulting work in Ukraine when it started in 2005-2006, citing information from a source whose name was redacted, a sign that a former Manafort associate may have cooperated with the investigation.

On Tuesday a federal judge in Virginia dealt a blow to Manafort by rejecting a motion to dismiss the case on the argument Mueller did not have the mandate to prosecute him.

Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager during part of his 2016 presidential campaign, has been indicted in Washington and Virginia on charges ranging from conspiring to launder money, bank and tax fraud and failing to register as a foreign agent for the pro-Russia Ukraine government.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty. His Virginia trial starts in July and his Washington trial is scheduled for September.

The search warrant application also confirmed that Mueller has been investigating Manafort’s role in a June 9, 2016, meeting that he attended at the Trump Tower in New York between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer and self-professed Kremlin informant who purportedly was carrying damaging information on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president.

The FBI sought “communications, records, documents and other files involving any of the attendees of the June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump tower, as well as Aras and Amin Agalarov,” said the application, which misspelled the first name of Emin Agalarov.

Aras Agalarov is a Russian oligarch close to Putin who joined the elder Trump in staging the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow. His son, Emin, is a popular singer.

Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; Additional reporting by Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Bill Trott



Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought

by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

The Washington Post

As Sen. Sam Ervin completed his 20-year Senate career in 1974 and issued his final report as chairman of the Senate Watergate committee, he posed the question: “What was Watergate?”

Countless answers have been offered in the 40 years since June 17, 1972, when a team of burglars wearing business suits and rubber gloves was arrested at 2:30 a.m. at the headquarters of the Democratic Party in the Watergate office building in Washington. Four days afterward, the Nixon White House offered its answer: “Certain elements may try to stretch this beyond what it was,” press secretary Ronald Ziegler scoffed, dismissing the incident as a “third-rate burglary.”

History proved that it was anything but. Two years later, Richard Nixon would become the first and only U.S. president to resign, his role in the criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice — the Watergate coverup — definitively established.

Another answer has since persisted, often unchallenged: the notion that the coverup was worse than the crime. This idea minimizes the scale and reach of Nixon’s criminal actions.

Ervin’s answer to his own question hints at the magnitude of Watergate: “To destroy, insofar as the presidential election of 1972 was concerned, the integrity of the process by which the President of the United States is nominated and elected.” Yet Watergate was far more than that. At its most virulent, Watergate was a brazen and daring assault, led by Nixon himself, against the heart of American democracy: the Constitution, our system of free elections, the rule of law.

Today, much more than when we first covered this story as young Washington Post reporters, an abundant record provides unambiguous answers and evidence about Watergate and its meaning. This record has expanded continuously over the decades with the transcription of hundreds of hours of Nixon’s secret tapes, adding detail and context to the hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives; the trials and guilty pleas of some 40 Nixon aides and associates who went to jail; and the memoirs of Nixon and his deputies. Such documentation makes it possible to trace the president’s personal dominance over a massive campaign of political espionage, sabotage and other illegal activities against his real or perceived opponents.

In the course of his five-and-a-half-year presidency, beginning in 1969, Nixon launched and managed five successive and overlapping wars — against the anti-Vietnam War movement, the news media, the Democrats, the justice system and, finally, against history itself. All reflected a mind-set and a pattern of behavior that were uniquely and pervasively Nixon’s: a willingness to disregard the law for political advantage, and a quest for dirt and secrets about his opponents as an organizing principle of his presidency.

Long before the Watergate break-in, gumshoeing, burglary, wiretapping and political sabotage had become a way of life in the Nixon White House.

What was Watergate? It was Nixon’s five wars.

  1. The war against the antiwar movement

Nixon’s first war was against the anti-Vietnam War movement. The president considered it subversive and thought it constrained his ability to prosecute the war in Southeast Asia on his terms. In 1970, he approved the top-secret Huston Plan, authorizing the CIA, the FBI and military intelligence units to intensify electronic surveillance of individuals identified as “domestic security threats.” The plan called for, among other things, intercepting mail and lifting restrictions on “surreptitious entry” — that is, break-ins or “black bag jobs.”

Thomas Charles Huston, the White House aide who devised the plan, informed Nixon that it was illegal, but the president approved it regardless. It was not formally rescinded until FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover objected — not on principle, but because he considered those types of activities the FBI’s turf. Undeterred, Nixon remained fixated on such operations.

In a memorandum dated March 3, 1970, presidential aide Patrick Buchanan wrote to Nixon about what he called the “institutionalized power of the left concentrated in the foundations that succor the Democratic Party.” Of particular concern was the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank with liberal leanings.

On June 17, 1971 — exactly one year before the Watergate break-in — Nixon met in the Oval Office with his chief of staff, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, and national security adviser Henry Kissinger. At issue was a file about former president Lyndon Johnson’s handling of the 1968 bombing halt in Vietnam.

“You can blackmail Johnson on this stuff, and it might be worth doing,” Haldeman said, according to the tape of the meeting.

“Yeah,” Kissinger said, “but Bob and I have been trying to put the damn thing together for three years.” They wanted the complete story of Johnson’s actions.

“Huston swears to God there’s a file on it at Brookings,” Haldeman said.

“Bob,” Nixon said, “now you remember Huston’s plan? Implement it. . . . I mean, I want it implemented on a thievery basis. God damn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.”

Nixon would not let the matter drop. Thirteen days later, according to another taped discussion with Haldeman and Kissinger, the president said: “Break in and take it out. You understand?”

The next morning, Nixon said: “Bob, get on the Brookings thing right away. I’ve got to get that safe cracked over there.” And later that morning, he persisted, “Who’s gonna break in the Brookings Institution?”

For reasons that have never been made clear, the break-in apparently was not carried out.

  1. The war on the news media

Nixon’s second war was waged ceaselessly against the press, which was reporting more insistently on the faltering Vietnam War and the effectiveness of the antiwar movement. Although Hoover thought he had shut down the Huston Plan, it was in fact implemented by high-level Nixon deputies. A “Plumbers” unit and burglary team were set up under the direction of White House counsel John Ehrlichman and an assistant, Egil Krogh, and led by the operational chiefs of the future Watergate burglary, ex-CIA operative Howard Hunt and former FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy. Hunt was hired as a consultant by Nixon political aide Charles Colson, whose take-no-prisoners sensibility matched the president’s.

An early assignment was to destroy the reputation of Daniel Ellsberg, who had provided the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of the Vietnam War, to the news media in 1971. Publication of the documents in the New York Times, the Washington Post and eventually other newspapers had sent Nixon into rants and rages, recorded on his tapes, about Ellsberg, the antiwar movement, the press, Jews, the American left and liberals in Congress — all of whom he conflated. Though Ellsberg was already under indictment and charged with espionage, the team headed by Hunt and Liddy broke into the office of his psychiatrist, seeking information that might smear Ellsberg and undermine his credibility in the antiwar movement.

“You can’t drop it, Bob,” Nixon told Haldeman on June 29, 1971. “You can’t let the Jew steal that stuff and get away with it. You understand?”

He went on: “People don’t trust these Eastern establishment people. He’s Harvard. He’s a Jew. You know, and he’s an arrogant intellectual.”

Nixon’s anti-Semitic rages were well-known to those who worked most closely with him, including some aides who were Jewish. As we reported in our 1976 book, “The Final Days,” he would tell his deputies, including Kissinger, that “the Jewish cabal is out to get me.” In a July 3, 1971, conversation with Haldeman, he said: “The government is full of Jews. Second, most Jews are disloyal. You know what I mean? You have a Garment [White House counsel Leonard Garment] and a Kissinger and, frankly, a Safire [presidential speechwriter William Safire], and, by God, they’re exceptions. But Bob, generally speaking, you can’t trust the bastards. They turn on you.”

Ellsberg’s leak seemed to feed his prejudice and paranoia.

In response to suspected leaks to the press about Vietnam, Kissinger had ordered FBI wiretaps in 1969 on the telephones of 17 journalists and White House aides, without court approval. Many news stories based on the purported leaks questioned progress in the American war effort, further fueling the antiwar movement. In a tape from the Oval Office on Feb. 22, 1971, Nixon said, “In the short run, it would be so much easier, wouldn’t it, to run this war in a dictatorial way, kill all the reporters and carry on the war.”

“The press is your enemy,” Nixon explained five days later in a meeting with Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to another tape. “Enemies. Understand that? . . . Now, never act that way . . . give them a drink, you know, treat them nice, you just love it, you’re trying to be helpful. But don’t help the bastards. Ever. Because they’re trying to stick the knife right in our groin.”

  1. The war against the Democrats

In Nixon’s third war, he took the weapons in place — the Plumbers, wiretapping and burglary — and deployed them against the Democrats challenging his reelection.

John N. Mitchell, Nixon’s campaign manager and confidante, met with Liddy at the Justice Department in early 1972, when Mitchell was attorney general. Liddy presented a $1 million plan, code-named “Gemstone,” for spying and sabotage during the upcoming presidential campaign.

According to the Senate Watergate report and Liddy’s 1980 autobiography, he used multicolored charts prepared by the CIA to describe elements of the plan. Operation Diamond would neutralize antiwar protesters with mugging squads and kidnapping teams; Operation Coal would funnel cash to Rep. Shirley Chisholm, a black congresswoman from Brooklyn seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, in an effort to sow racial and gender discord in the party; Operation Opal would use electronic surveillance against various targets, including the headquarters of Democratic presidential candidates Edmund Muskie and George McGovern; Operation Sapphire would station prostitutes on a yacht, wired for sound, off Miami Beach during the Democratic National Convention.

Mitchell rejected the plans and told Liddy to burn the charts. At a second meeting, less than three weeks later, Liddy presented a scaled-back, $500,000 version of the plan; Mitchell turned it down again. But soon after, Mitchell approved a $250,000 version, according to Jeb Magruder, the deputy campaign manager. It included intelligence-gathering on the Democrats through wiretaps and burglaries.

Under oath, Mitchell later denied approving the plan. He testified that he told Magruder: “We don’t need this. I’m tired of hearing it.” By his own account, he did not object on the grounds that the plan was illegal.

On Oct. 10, 1972, we wrote a story in The Post outlining the extensive sabotage and spying operations of the Nixon campaign and White House, particularly against Muskie, and stating that the Watergate burglary was not an isolated event. The story said that at least 50 operatives had been involved in the espionage and sabotage, many of them under the direction of a young California lawyer named Donald Segretti; several days later, we reported that Segretti had been hired by Dwight Chapin, Nixon’s appointments secretary. (The Senate Watergate committee later found more than 50 saboteurs, including 22 who were paid by Segretti.) Herbert Kalmbach, Nixon’s personal attorney, paid Segretti more than $43,000 from leftover campaign funds for these activities. Throughout the operation, Segretti was contacted regularly by Howard Hunt.

The Senate investigation provided more detail about the effectiveness of the covert efforts against Muskie, who in 1971 and early 1972 was considered by the White House to be the Democrat most capable of beating Nixon. The president’s campaign paid Muskie’s chauffeur, a campaign volunteer named Elmer Wyatt, $1,000 a month to photograph internal memos, position papers, schedules and strategy documents, and deliver copies to Mitchell and Nixon’s campaign staff.

Other sabotage directed at Muskie included bogus news releases and allegations of sexual improprieties against other Democratic candidates — produced on counterfeit Muskie stationery. A favored dirty trick that caused havoc at campaign stops involved sweeping up the shoes that Muskie aides left in hotel hallways to be polished, and then depositing them in a dumpster.

Haldeman, the White House chief of staff, advised Nixon of the Chapin-Segretti sabotage plan in May 1971, according to one of the president’s tapes. In a memo to Haldeman and Mitchell dated April 12, 1972, Patrick Buchanan and another Nixon aide wrote: “Our primary objective, to prevent Senator Muskie from sweeping the early primaries, locking up the convention in April, and uniting the Democratic Party behind him for the fall, has been achieved.”

The tapes also reveal Nixon’s obsession with another Democrat: Sen. Edward Kennedy. One of Hunt’s earliest undertakings for the White House was to dig up dirt on Kennedy’s sex life, building on a 1969 auto accident at Chappaquiddick, Mass., that resulted in the death of a young Kennedy aide, Mary Jo Kopechne. Though Kennedy had vowed not to seek the presidency in 1972, he was certain to play a big role in the campaign and had not ruled out a 1976 run.

“I’d really like to get Kennedy taped,” Nixon told Haldeman in April 1971. According to Haldeman’s 1994 book, “The Haldeman Diaries,” the president also wanted to have Kennedy photographed in compromising situations and leak the images to the press.

And when Kennedy received Secret Service protection as he campaigned for McGovern, the Democratic presidential nominee, Nixon and Haldeman discussed a novel plan to keep him under surveillance: They would insert a retired Secret Service agent, Robert Newbrand, who had been part of Nixon’s protection detail when he was vice president, into the team protecting Kennedy.

“I’ll talk to Newbrand and tell him how to approach it,” Haldeman said, “because Newbrand will do anything that I tell him.”

“We just might get lucky and catch this son of a bitch and ruin him for ’76,” replied the president, adding, “That’s going to be fun.”

On Sept. 8, 1971, Nixon ordered Ehrlichman to direct the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax returns of all the likely Democratic presidential candidates, as well as Kennedy. “Are we going after their tax returns?” Nixon asked. “You know what I mean? There’s a lot of gold in them thar hills.”

  1. The war on justice

The arrest of the Watergate burglars set in motion Nixon’s fourth war, against the American system of justice. It was a war of lies and hush money, a conspiracy that became necessary to conceal the roles of top officials and to hide the president’s campaign of illegal espionage and political sabotage, including the covert operations that Mitchell described as “the White House horrors” during the Watergate hearings: the Huston Plan, the Plumbers, the Ellsberg break-in, Liddy’s Gemstone plan and the proposed break-in at Brookings.

In a June 23, 1972, tape recording, six days after the arrests at the Watergate, Haldeman warned Nixon that “on the investigation, you know, the Democratic break-in thing, we’re back in the problem area, because the FBI is not under control . . . their investigation is now leading into some productive areas, because they’ve been able to trace the money.”

Haldeman said Mitchell had come up with a plan for the CIA to claim that national security secrets would be compromised if the FBI did not halt its Watergate investigation.

Nixon approved the scheme and ordered Haldeman to call in CIA Director Richard Helms and his deputy Vernon Walters. “Play it tough,” the president directed. “That’s the way they play it, and that’s the way we are going to play it.”

The contents of the tape were made public on Aug. 5, 1974. Four days later, Nixon resigned.

Another tape captured discussions in the Oval Office on Aug. 1, 1972, six weeks after the burglars’ arrest, and the day on which The Post published our first story showing that Nixon campaign funds had gone into the bank account of one of the burglars.

Nixon and Haldeman discussed paying off the burglars and their leaders to keep them from talking to federal investigators. “They have to be paid,” Nixon said. “That’s all there is to that.”

On March 21, 1973, in one of the most memorable Watergate exchanges caught on tape, Nixon met with his counsel, John W. Dean, who since the break-in had been tasked with coordinating the coverup.

“We’re being blackmailed” by Hunt and the burglars, Dean reported, and more people “are going to start perjuring themselves.”

“How much money do you need?” Nixon asked.

“I would say these people are going to cost a million dollars over the next two years,” Dean replied.

“And you could get it in cash,” the president said. “I, I know where it could be gotten. I mean, it’s not easy, but it could be done.”

Hunt was demanding $120,000 immediately. They discussed executive clemency for him and the burglars.

“I am not sure that you will ever be able to deliver on the clemency,” Dean said. “It may just be too hot.”

“You can’t do it till after the ’74 election, that’s for sure,” Nixon declared.

Haldeman then entered the room, and Nixon led the search for ways “to take care of the jackasses who are in jail.”

They discussed a secret $350,000 stash of cash kept in the White House, the possibility of using priests to help hide payments to the burglars, “washing” the money though Las Vegas or New York bookmakers, and empaneling a new grand jury so everyone could plead the Fifth Amendment or claim memory failure. Finally, they decided to send Mitchell on an emergency fundraising mission.

The president praised Dean’s efforts. “You handled it just right. You contained it. Now after the election, we’ve got to have another plan.”

  1. The war on history

Nixon’s final war, waged even to this day by some former aides and historical revisionists, aims to play down the significance of Watergate and present it as a blip on the president’s record. Nixon lived for 20 years after his resignation and worked tirelessly to minimize the scandal.

Though he accepted a full pardon from President Gerald Ford, Nixon insisted that he had not participated in any crimes. In his 1977 television interviews with British journalist David Frost, he said that he had “let the American people down” but that he had not obstructed justice. “I didn’t think of it as a coverup. I didn’t intend a coverup. Let me say, if I intended the coverup, believe me, I would have done it.”

In his 1978 memoir “RN,” Nixon addressed his role in Watergate: “My actions and omissions, while regrettable and possibly indefensible, were not impeachable.” Twelve years later, in his book “In the Arena,” he decried a dozen “myths” about Watergate and claimed that he was innocent of many of the charges made against him. One myth, he said, was that he ordered the payment of hush money to Hunt and others. Yet, the March 21, 1973, tape shows that he ordered Dean to get the money 12 times.

Even now, there are old Nixon hands and defenders who dismiss the importance of Watergate or claim that key questions remain unanswered. This year, Thomas Mallon, director of the creative writing program at George Washington University, published a novel called “Watergate,” a sometimes witty and entirely fictional story featuring many of the real players. Frank Gannon, a former Nixon White House aide who now works for the Nixon Foundation, reviewed the book for the Wall Street Journal.

“What emerges from ‘Watergate’ is an acute sense of how much we still don’t know about the events of June 17, 1972,” Gannon wrote. “Who ordered the break-in? . . . What was its real purpose? Was it purposely botched? How much was the CIA involved? . . . And how did a politician as tough and canny as Richard Nixon allow himself to be brought down by a ‘third rate burglary?’

“Your guess is as good as mine.”

Of course, Gannon is correct in noting that there are some unanswered questions — but not the big ones. By focusing on the supposed paucity of details concerning the burglary of June 17, 1972, he would divert us from the larger story.

And about that story, there is no need to guess.

In the summer of 1974, it was neither the press nor the Democrats who rose up against Nixon, but the president’s own Republican Party.

On July 24, the Supreme Court ruled 8 to 0 that Nixon would have to turn over the secret tapes demanded by the Watergate special prosecutor. Three of the president’s appointees to the court — Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Justice Harry Blackmun and Justice Lewis Powell — joined that opinion. The other Nixon appointee, Justice William Rehnquist, recused himself.

Three days later, six Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee joined the Democrats in voting, 27 to 11, to recommend Nixon’s impeachment for nine acts of obstruction of justice in the Watergate coverup.

By August, Nixon’s impending impeachment in the House was a certainty, and a group of Republicans led by Sen. Barry Goldwater banded together to declare his presidency over. “Too many lies, too many crimes,” Goldwater said.

On Aug. 7, the group visited Nixon at the White House.

How many votes would he have in a Senate trial? the president asked.

“I took kind of a nose count today,” Goldwater replied, “and I couldn’t find more than four very firm votes, and those would be from older Southerners. Some are very worried about what’s been going on, and are undecided, and I’m one of them.”

The next day, Nixon went on national television and announced that he would resign.

In his last remarks about Watergate as a senator, 77-year-old Sam Ervin, a revered constitutionalist respected by both parties, posed a final question: “Why was Watergate?”

The president and his aides, Ervin answered, had “a lust for political power.” That lust, he explained, “blinded them to ethical considerations and legal requirements; to Aristotle’s aphorism that the good of man must be the end of politics.”

Nixon had lost his moral authority as president. His secret tapes — and what they reveal — will probably be his most lasting legacy. On them, he is heard talking almost endlessly about what would be good for him, his place in history and, above all, his grudges, animosities and schemes for revenge. The dog that never seems to bark is any discussion of what is good and necessary for the well-being of the nation.

The Watergate that we wrote about in The Washington Post from 1972 to 1974 is not Watergate as we know it today. It was only a glimpse into something far worse. By the time he was forced to resign, Nixon had turned his White House, to a remarkable extent, into a criminal enterprise.

On the day he left, Aug. 9, 1974, Nixon gave an emotional farewell speech in the East Room to his staff, his friends and his Cabinet. His family stood with him. Near the end of his remarks, he waved his arm, as if to highlight the most important thing he had to say.

“Always remember,” he said, “others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”

His hatred had brought about his downfall. Nixon apparently grasped this insight, but it was too late. He had already destroyed himself.

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are the co-authors of two Watergate books, “All the President’s Men,” published in 1974, and “The Final Days,” published in 1976. This is their first joint byline in 36 years.


Franklin Roosevelt: The Liberal Emperor and his Family

June 28, 2018

by Christian Jürs

24 Very Gay Excerpts from Eleanor Roosevelt’s Love Letters with Lorena Hickok

Lorena Hickok was known as “Hick” to all her friends, including Eleanor Roosevelt. Lorena was the first woman to have her byline featured on the front page of the New York Times. By 1932, she was the most successful female reporter in the nation. She also dated women. Hick came into Eleanor’s life in September 1928 when Hickok was covering FDR’s bid for governor of New York, but she purposefully avoided taking on assignments centered on Eleanor. The boundary-breaking reporter didn’t want to be confined to covering the lives of politicians’ wives. She knew that a story about the wife of the Democratic candidate for governor of New York would never make the front page. While she continued to cover FDR’s campaign and his tenure as governor, she deliberately avoided stories about Eleanor.

In 1978, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library uncovered 18 boxes of letters exchanged between Eleanor and Hick. During the 30 years they knew each other, the two women wrote nearly 4,000 letters to each other.

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, March 5, 1933

“Hick my dearest, I cannot go to bed to-night without a word to you. I felt a little as though a part of me was leaving to-night, you have grown so much to be a part of my life that it is empty without you even though I’m busy every minute.”

Most of Eleanor’s early letters to Hick as First Lady followed the same format. They began with some personal words to Hick, followed by a very detailed account of everything she had done that day, closing with some more personal words to Hick, usually about how excited the First Lady was to see her next. Eleanor’s fastidious recaps of her day suggest how desperate she was to let Hick know what she was doing at all times.

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, March 6, 1933

Hick darling, Oh! how good it was to hear your voice, it was so inadequate to try & tell you what it meant, Jimmy was near & I couldn’t say ‘je t’aime et je t’adore’ as I longed to do but always remember I am saying it & that I go to sleep thinking of you & repeating our little saying.”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, March 7, 1933

“Hick darling, All day I’ve thought of you & another birthday [when] I will be with you, & yet to-night you sounded so far away & formal, oh! I want to put my arms around you, I ache to hold you close. Your ring is a great comfort, I look at it & think she does love me, or I wouldn’t be wearing it!”

This was written to Hick on her 40th birthday. The two women were apart, and Eleanor was clearly having a rough time of it. She sounds a little insecure talking about how Hick sounded distant on the phone. Often in her letters, Eleanor would remark if she hadn’t received a letter from Lorena that day

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, March 9, 1933

“My pictures are nearly all up & I have you in my sitting room where I can look at you most of my waking hours! I can’t kiss you so I kiss your picture good night & good morning!”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, March 10, 1933

“Remember one thing always, no one is just what you are to me. I’d rather be writing this minute than anything else & yet I love many other people & some often can do things for me probably better than you could, but I’ve never enjoyed being with anyone the way I enjoy being with you.”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, March 11, 1933

“I miss you greatly dear. The nicest time of the day is when I write to you. You have a stormier time than I do but I miss you as much, I think. I couldn’t bear to think of you crying yourself to sleep. Oh! how I wanted to put my arms around you in reality instead of in spirit. I went & kissed your photograph instead & the tears were in my eyes. Please keep most of your heart in Washington as long as I’m here for most of mine is with you!”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, November 17, 1933

“I’m getting so hungry to see you.”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, November 27, 1933

“Dear one, & so you think they gossip about us. Well they must at least think we stand separation rather well! I am always so much more optimistic than you are. I suppose because I care so little what ‘they’ say!”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, November 29, 1933

“I wish you were going to spend Thanksgiving here, it surely would be Thanksgiving, wouldn’t it?”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, December 3, 1933

“Darling, I feel very happy because every day brings you nearer. I love you deeply & tenderly & oh! I want you to have a happy life. To be sure I’m selfish enough to want it to be near me but then we wouldn’t either of us be happy otherwise, would we?”

  1. Lorena to Eleanor, December 5, 1933

“Only eight more days. Twenty-four hours from now it will be only seven more—just a week! I’ve been trying today to bring back your face—to remember just how you look. Funny how even the dearest face will fade away in time. Most clearly I remember your eyes with a kind of teasing smile in them, and the feeling of that soft spot just northeast of the corner of your mouth against my lips. I wonder what we’ll do when we meet—what we’ll say. Well—I’m rather proud of us, aren’t you? I think we’ve done rather well.”

Good night, dear one. I want to put my arms around you and kiss you at the corner of your mouth. And in a little more than a week now—I shall!

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, December 9, 1933

“Hick dearest, I can’t help wondering if my pencil note will reach you which I sent off last night! No letter from you to-day but I had two yesterday so I am just expressing a longing not a complaint!”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, February 4, 1934

“Hick darling, I just talked to you, darling, it was so good to hear your voice. If I just could take you in my arms. Dear, I often feel rebellious too & yet I know we get more joy when we are to-gether than we would have if we had lived apart in the same city & could only meet for short periods now & then. Someday perhaps fate will be kind & let us arrange a life more to our liking for the time being we are lucky to have what we have. Dearest, we are happy to-gether & strong relationships have to grow deep roots. We’re growing them now, partly because we are separated, the foliage & the flowers will come, somehow I’m sure of it.”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, February 4, 1934

“I dread the western trip & yet I’ll be glad when Ellie can be with you, tho’ I’ll dread that too just a little, but I know I’ve got to fit in gradually to your past & with your friends so there won’t be close doors between us later on & some of this we’ll do this summer perhaps. I shall feel you are terribly far away & that makes me lonely but if you are happy I can bear that & be happy too. Love is a queer thing, it hurts but it gives one so much more in return!”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, February 12, 1934

“I love you dear one deeply & tenderly & it is going to be a joy to be to-gether again, just a week now. I can’t tell you how precious every minute with you seems both in retrospect & in prospect. I look at you long as I write—the photograph has an expression I love, soft & a little whimsical but then I adore every expression. Bless you darling. A world of love, E.R.”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, March 26, 1934

“Hick darling, I believe it gets harder to let you go each time, but that is because you grow closer. It seems as though you belonged near me, but even if we lived to-gether we would have to separate sometimes & just now what you do is of such value to the country that we ought not to complain, only that doesn’t make me miss you less or feel less lonely!”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, April 4, 1934

“Dearest, I miss you & wish you were here I want to put my arms around you & feel yours around me. More love than I can express in a letter is flying on waves of thought to you.”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, April 9, 1934

“This will be just a note to tell you I love you.”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, April 18, 1934

“My dearest one, I got in early & then came at 8:30 to breakfast & I looked at all the new models. One corner cupboard I long to have for our camp or cottage or house, which is it to be? I’ve always thought of it as in the country but I don’t think we ever decided on the variety of abode nor the furniture. We probably won’t argue!”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, February 12, 1935

“May the world be full of sunshine,

And our meetings frequent be

Hours of joy & quiet time,

Take us over life’s rough seas”

The poem above was handwritten by Eleanor on the back of a valentine card to Hick. 21. Eleanor to Lorena, January 14, 1936

“Dearest, Darling, you were low & I know that in some way I hurt you & I am sorry & I wish I had not but all I can say is, I really love you.”

  1. Lorena to Eleanor, December 27, 1940

“Thanks again, you dear, for all the sweet things you think of and do. And I love you more than I love anyone else in the world except Prinz—who, by the way, discovered your present to him on the window seat in the library Sunday.”

  1. Lorena to Eleanor, October 8, 1941

“I meant what I said in the wire I sent you today—I grow prouder of you each year. I know no other woman who could learn to do so many things after 50 and to do them so well as you, Love. You are so better than you realize, my dear. A happy birthday, dear, and you are still the person I love more than anyone else in the world.”

  1. Eleanor to Lorena, August 9, 1955

“Hick dearest, Of course you will forget the sad times at the end & eventually think only of the pleasant memories. Life is like that, with ends that have to be forgotten.”


Intercepted telephone conversations between Roosevelt and Churchill

Roosevelt-Churchill Conversation of November 26, 1941

This conversation is taken directly from a German transcript of a trans-Atlantic scrambled telephone conversation initiated by British Prime Minister Winston Spencer-Churchill and American President Franklin Roosevelt. The original was taken down in English and a German translation is in the German State Archives.

The original carbon copy of this, and other historically important German intercepts, came from the private files of Robert T. Crowley, formerly Deputy Director of Clandestine Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Conversation Participants

A=Franklin Roosevelt, Washington

B= Winston Churchill, London

B: I am frightfully sorry to disturb you at this hour, Franklin, but matters of a most vital import have transpired and I felt that I must convey them to you immediately.

A: That’s perfectly all right, Winston. I’m sure you wouldn’t trouble me at this hour for trivial concerns.

B: Let me preface my information with an explanation addressing the reason I have not alluded to these facts earlier. In the first place, until today, the information was not firm. On matters of such gravity, I do not like to indulge in idle chatter. Now, I have in my hands, reports from our agents in Japan as well as the most specific intelligence in the form of the highest level Japanese naval coded messages (conversation broken) for some time now.

A: I felt this is what you were about. How serious is it?

B: It could not be worse, A powerful Japanese task force comprising (composed of) six of their carriers, two battleships and a number of other units to include (including) tankers and cruisers, has sailed yesterday from a secret base in the northern Japanese islands.

A: We both knew this was coming. There are also reports in my hands about a force of some size making up in China and obviously intended to go (move) South.

B: Yes, we have all of that. (Interruption) ..are far more advanced than you in our reading of the Jap naval operations codes. But even without that, their moves are evident. And they will indeed move South but the force I spoke of is not headed South, Franklin, it is headed East..

A: Surely you must be…will you repeat that please?

B: I said to the East. This force is sailing to the East…towards you.

A: Perhaps they set an easterly course to fool any observers and then plan to swing South to support the landings in the southern areas. I have…

B: No, at this moment, their forces are moving across the northern Pacific and I can assure you that their goal is the (conversation broken) fleet in Hawaii. At Pearl Harbor.

A: This is monstrous. Can you tell me…indicate…the nature of your intelligence? (conversation broken) reliable? Without compromising your sources…

B: Yes, I will have to be careful. Our agents in Japan have been reporting on the gradual (conversation broken) units. And these have disappeared from Japanese home waters. We also have highly reliable sources in the Japanese Foreign Service and even the military…

A: How reliable?

B: One of the sources is the individual who supplied us the material on the diplomatic codes that (conversation broken) and a Naval officer whom our service has compromised. You must trust me, Franklin and I cannot be more specific.

A: I accept this.

B: We cannot compromise our code breaking. You understand this. Only myself and a few (conversation broken) not even Hopkins. It will go straight to Moscow and I am not sure we want that.

A: I am still attempting to…the obvious implication is that the Japs are going to do a Port Arthur on us at Pearl Harbor. Do you concur?

B: I do indeed. Unless they add an attack on the Panama Canal to this vile business. I can hardly envision the canal as a primary goal, especially with your fleet lying athwart their lines of communications with Japan. No, if they do strike the canal, they will have to first neutralize (destroy) your fleet (conversation broken).

A: The worse form of treachery. We can prepare our defenses on the islands and give them a warm welcome when they come. It would certainly put some iron up Congress’ ass (asshole).

B: On the other hand, if they did launch a bombing raid, given that the aircraft would only be of the carrier-borne types, how much actual damage could they inflict? And on what target?

A: I think torpedoes would be ruled out at the outset. Pearl is far too shallow to permit a successful torpedo attack. Probably they would drop medium bombs on the ships and then shoot (conversation broken) damage a number of ships and no doubt the Japs would attack our airfields. I could see some damage there but I don’t think either an airfield or a battleship could sink very far. What do your people give you as the actual date of the attack?

B: The actual date given is the eighth of December. That’s a Monday.

A: The fleet is in harbor over the weekend. They often sortie during the week…

B: The Japs are asking (conversation broken) exact dispositions of your ships on a regular basis.

A: But Monday seems odd. Are you certain?

B: It is in the calendar. Monday is the eighth. (conversation broken).

A:…then I will have to reconsider the entire problem. A Japanese attack on us, which would result in war between us…and certainly you as well…would certainly fulfill two of the most important requirements of our policy. Harry has told me repeatedly…and I have more faith in him than I do in the Soviet ambassador…that Stalin is desperate at this point. The Nazis are at the gates of Moscow, his armies are melting away…the government has evacuated and although Harry and Marshall feel that Stalin can hang on and eventually defeat Hitler, their is no saying what could transpire (happen) if the Japs suddenly fell on Stalin’s rear. In spite of all the agreements between them and the Japs dropping Matsuoka, there is still strong anti-Russian sentiment in high Japanese military circles. I think that we have to decide what is more important…keeping Russia in the war to bleed the Nazis dry to their own eventual destruction (conversation broken) supply Stalin with weapons but do not forget, in fact he is your ally, not mine. There are strong isolationist feelings here and there are quite a number of anti-Communists…

B: Fascists…

A: Certainly, but they would do all they could to block any attempt on my part to do more than give some monetary assistance to Stalin.

B: But we too have our major desperations, Franklin. Our shipping upon which our nation depends, is being sunk by the huns faster than we could ever replace (conversation broken) the Japs attack both of us in the Pacific? We could lose Malaya which is our primary source of rubber and tin. And if the Japs get Java and the oil, they could press South to Australia and I have told you repeatedly, we cannot hold (conversation broken) them much but in truth I cannot deliver. We need every man and every ship to fight Hitler in Europe…India too. If the Japs get into Malaya, they can press on virtually unopposed into Burma and then India. Need I tell you of the resultant destruction of our Empire? We cannot survive on this small island, Franklin, (conversation broken) allow the nips (knips?) to attack, you can get your war declaration through your Congress after all. (conversation broken)

A: Not as capable as you are at translating there messages and the army and navy are very jealous of each other. There is so much coming in that everyone is confused. We have no agents in place in Japan and every day dozens of messages are (conversation broken) that contradict each other or are not well translated. I have seen three translations of the same message with three entirely different meanings (conversation broken) address your concern about British holdings in the Pacific…if the Japanese do attack both of us, eventually we will be able to crush them and regain all of the lost territories. As for myself, I will be damned glad to be rid of the Phillipines.(sic)

B: I see this as a gamble (conversation broken) what would your decision be? We cannot procrastinate over this for too long. Eleven or twelve days are all we have. Can we not agree in principle now? I should mention that several advisors have counseled (advised) against informing you of this and allowing it to happen. You see by notifying you where my loyalty lies. Certainly to one who is heart and soul with us against Hitler.

A: I do appreciate your loyalty, Winston. What on the other hand, will happen here if one of our intelligence people is able to intercept, decipher and deliver to me the same information you just gave me? I cannot just ignore it…all of my intelligence people will know about it then. I could not ignore this.

B: But if it were just a vague message then?

A: No, a specific message. I could not just sweep it under the rug like that (conversation broken).

B: Of course not. I think we should matters develop as they will.

A: I think that perhaps I can find a reason to absent (leave) myself from Washington while this crisis develops. What I don’t know can’t hurt me and I too can misunderstand messages, especially at a distance (conversation broken)

B: Completely. My best to you all there.

A: Thank you for your call.


No. 324                                                             July 25.1943

By coincidence I was again at Shangri-la this afternoon when the news from Rome came, but this time it seems to be true? If any overtures come we must he certain of the use of all Italian territory and transportation against the Germans in the north and against the whole Balkan peninsula, as well as use of airfields of all kinds. It is my thought that we should come as close as possible to unconditional surrender followed by good treatment of the Italian populace. But I think also that the “head devil” (Mussolini. Ed) should be surrendered together with his chief partners in crime. In no event should our officers in the field fix on any general terms without your approval and mine. Let me have your thoughts.


No. 382                                                             July 25, 1943

Changes announced in Italy probably portend peace proposals. Let us consult together so as to take joint action. The present stage may only be transition. But anyhow, Hitler will feel very lonely when Mussolini is down and out. No one can be quite sure this may not go farther.


July 29, 1943

(Note: There were two such intercepts retrieved from captured German records. This one has not been officially published and came from the personal files of Robert T. Crowley, once Deputy Director of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division)

In this conversation ‘A’ stands for America (Roosevelt) and ‘B’ for Britain, (Churchill.)

A: I have some additional thoughts on the Italian situation I wanted to discuss with you. I have thought about our actions concerning Mussolini and his eventual fate. After he has been surrendered to us.

B: You have to catch the fish before you can cook it. I have no doubts he will end up our prisoner unless, of course, they kill him first or he escapes his just rewards by killing himself.

A: And there is also the possibility the Nazis might get to him as well. Where is he now?

B:  The Italians have advised us he is currently under arrest at the Police Headquarters in Rome. They want to move him out directly because it appears that the Germans might suddenly decide to reinforce their numbers in Italy and Rome would be the logical target. They will move him.

A: But they will not release him, say to the Germans? As some kind of quid pro quo.?

B: I think not. The Italians hate the Germans and the court circle is very firmly in our pocket. We can be reasonably certain that Mussolini will end up our captive.

A: Would that be a wise move, Winston? We would be compelled to have a kind of major trial that could drag on for months and even though we control it, lead to problems with the general populace. And I should also note that many Italians here are at least the secret admirers of the creature. That might lead to problems here if we tried him. Of course the outcome would never be in doubt and in the end he would die at the end of a rope.

But in the meantime, these trials, and I am assuming we would have a good sized bag of his miserable cronies also available for trial and execution, could drag on endlessly. I can forsee various negative aspects to this business.

B: Of course there are negative aspects to every business, Franklin. Do you then feel he should not be tried? What would our friends in Italy think about our misplaced generosity? I have the finest relations with certain elements in Italy and to a man, they want the public humiliation and death of Mussolini. Surely we are not at a point in time where such largess is possible. His death would have a salutary effect on the Nazis as well.

A: I don’t disagree with that thesis but from my own point of view, a public trial might have negative connotations on the situation in this country. As I said, there is some sympathy with the creature among the Italian community here and the question would be what sort of reaction would such a trial have on them? I am thinking primarily of the upcoming elections here. The trial would certainly not be over in a week and the closer it would come to the nominations and, eventually, to the elections, the more danger there would be of this alienating the Italians who have some, I feel, significant weight in the balance.

B: I cannot accept that releasing Mussolini could further any of our common ends. At this point in history, I feel a watershed has been passed and the momentum lies with us now. I do not feel that the war will be over immediately but the perception is that we are on a via Triumphalis now, not a via Dolorosa as we have been for so long.

A: I didn’t mean we should release the devil. Not at all. I referred to a public trial. If Mussolini died before such a trial could take place, I think we would be better off in many ways.


No. 331                                                             July 30,1943

Your message No. 383 dated 26 July 1943 expresses generally my thoughts of today on prospects and methods of handling the Italian situation with which we are now confronted.

In the following draft 1 have suggested for consideration certain minor changes, the reasons for which if they are not obvious we can discuss at our next meeting.

It seems highly probable that the fall of Mussolini will involve the overthrow of the Fascist regime and that the new government of the King and Badoglio will seek to negotiate a separate arrangement with the Allies for an armistice. Should this prove to be the case it will be necessary for us to make up our minds first of all upon what we want and secondly upon the measures and conditions required to gain it for us.

At this moment above all others our thoughts must be concentrated upon the supreme aim, namely the destruction of Hitler and Hitlerism. Every military advantage arising out of the surrender of Italy (should that occur) must be sought for this purpose.

The first of these is the control of all Italian territory and transportation against the Germans in the north and against the whole Balkan peninsula as well as the use of airfields of all kinds. This must include the surrender to our garrisons of Sardinia, the Dodecanese, and Corfu as well as of all the naval and air bases in the Italian mainland as soon as they can be taken over.

Secondly and of equal importance the immediate surrender to the Allies of the Italian fleet, or at least its effective demobilization and the disarmament of the Italian air and ground forces to whatever extent we find needful and useful. The surrender of the fleet will liberate powerful British naval forces for service in the Indian Ocean against Japan and will he most agreeable to the United States. Also of equal consequence the immediate surrender or withdrawal to Italy of all Italian forces wherever they may be outside of Italy proper.

Another objective of the highest importance about which there will be passionate feeling in this country and Britain is the immediate liberation of all United Nations’ prisoners of war in Italian hands and the prevention which can in the first instance only be by the Italians of their being transported northwards to Germany. We regard it as a matter of honor and humanity to get our own flesh and blood back as soon as possible and spare them the measureless horrors of incarceration in Germany during the final stages of the war.

The fate of the German troops in Italy and particularly of those south of Rome will probably lead to fighting between the Germans and the Italian army and popu1ation. When we see how this process goes we can take a further view about action to be taken north of Rome. We should however try to get possession a t the earliest moment of a safe and friendly area on which we can base the whole forward air attack upon south and central Germany and of points on both the west coast and east coast railways of Italy as far north as we dare. This is a time to dare.

In our struggle with Hitler and the German army we cannot afford to deny ourselves any assistance that will kill Germans. The fury of the Italian population may now be turned against the German intruders who have as they will feel brought these miseries upon Italy and then come so scantily and grudgingly to her aid. We should stimulate this process in order that the new, liberated anti-Fascist Italy shall afford us at the earliest moment a safe and friendly area on which we can base the whole forward air attack upon south and central Germany.

This air attack is a new advantage of the first order as i t brings the whole of the Mediterranean air forces into action from a direction which turns the entire line of air defenses in the west and which furthermore exposes all those centers of war production which have been increasingly developed to escape air attack from Great Britain. It will become urgent in the highest degree to get agents, commandos. and supplies by sea across the Adriatic into Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia. It must be remembered that there are fifteen German divisions in the Balkan peninsula of which tell are mobile. Nevertheless once we have control of the Italian peninsula and. qf the Adriatic and the Italian armies in the Balkans withdraw or lay down their arms it is by no means unlikely that the Hun will be forced to withdraw northwards to the line of the Sava and Danube, thus liberating Greece and other tortured countries.

We cannot yet measure the effects of Mussolini’s fall and of Italian capitulation upon Bulgaria. Rumania. and Hungary. They may be profound. In connection with this situation the collapse of Italy should fix the moment for putting the strongest pressure on Turkey to act in accordance with the spirit of the alliance and in this Britain and the United States should if possible be joined or at least supported Russia. I believe that in any important negotiations! affecting the Balkans the concurrence of Russia should be obtained if practicable. It is my opinion that an effort to seize the “head devil”, in the early future would prejudice our primary objective which is to get Italy out of the war. We can endeavor to secure the person of the “head devil” and his assistants in due time,” and to then determine their individual degrees of guilt for which “the punishment should fit the crime.”


No. 334                                                                       July 30, 1943

There are same contentious people here who are getting ready to make a row if we seem to recognize the House of Savoy or Badoglio. They are the same element which made such a fuss over North Africa I told the press today that we have to treat with any person or persons in Italy who can best give us first disarmament and second assurance against chaos, and I think also that you and I after an armistice comes could say something about self-determination in Italy at the proper time.


Roosevelt’s Jewish ancestry

The New York Times of March 14, 1935, quotes Roosevelt as saying: “In the distant past my ancestors may have been Jews. All I know about the origin of the Roosevelt family is that they are apparently descended from Claes Martenszen van Roosevelt, who came from Holland. Nicholas the son of Claes, was the ancestor of both Franklin and Theodore. He married a Jewish girl named Kunst in 1682. Nicholas had a son named Jacobus Rosenfelt. ”

Additional information regarding the nationality of the Roosevelt family, was given by Chase S. Osborn, early in 1934, at St. Petersburg, Florida. Mr. Osborn was formerly Governor of Michigan. The leading newspaper of the city (The Times) carried the following report after the interview: “Although a Republican, the former Governor has a sincere regard for President Roosevelt and his policies. He referred to the ‘Jewish ancestry’ of the President, explaining how he is a descendant of the Rossocampo family expelled from Spain in 1620. Seeking safety in Germany, Holland and other countries, members of the family, he said, changed their name to Rosenberg, Rosenbaum, Rosenblum, Rosenvelt and Rosenthal. The Rosenvelts in North Holland finally became Roosevelt, soon becoming apostates with the first generation and others following suit until, in the fourth generation, a little storekeeper by the name of Jacobus Roosevelt was the only one who remained true to his Jewish faith.

It is because of this Jewish ancestry, former Governor Osborn said, that President Roosevelt has a growing anger with the anti-Semetic actions of Chancellor Hitler.


The Potocki Report

Count Jerzy Potocki, Poland’s Ambassador to the United States, was a man of strong opinions, but was also very observant and very well connected in the Washington diplomatic circles. He wrote many reports to the Foreign Minister in Warsaw and four of them are reproduced here because they show a European diplomat’s view of Roosevelt’s foreign policy, or rather his lack of a rational and coherent one.

The report here is under date of January 12, 1939 and is a discussion of Potocki’s view of Jewish influence on Roosevelt and its impact on his policies.

‘To The Foreign Minister in Warsaw:

Public opinion in America nowadays expresses itself in an increasing hatred of Fascism, Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with National Socialism. Above all, propaganda here is entirely in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100 percent of the radio, the films and the daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and is designed to present Germany as blackly as possible, when bearing American public ignorance in mind, their propaganda is so effective that people here have no real knowledge of the true state of affairs in Europe.

At the present time, most Americans are taught to believe that Chancellor Hitler and National Socialism are the greatest evil and the greatest peril threatening the world. The situation here provides an excellent program for public speakers of all kinds, among whom are many refugees from Germany and Czechoslovakia who with much effort and many patently false accounts, incite the American public. These speakers praise American liberty which they repeatedly contrast with totalitarian states.

It is interesting to observe that in this carefully thought-out campaign, which is primarily conducted against National Socialism, no reference at all is made to Soviet Russia. If that country is mentioned, it is referred to in a friendly manner and people are given the impression that Soviet Russia is part of the democratic group of nations. Thanks to astute propaganda, public sympathy in the United States is entirely on the side of Communist Spain. Side by side with this pro-Communist propaganda, an artificial war panic is created, The American people are told that peace in Europe is hanging only by a slim thread and that war is inevitable. No effort is spared to impress upon the American mind that in the event of a world war, the United States must take an active part in a struggle for “freedom and democracy.” President Roosevelt was the first in the field to give expression to this hatred of Fascism. He had a two-fold purpose in mind: firstly, he wanted to divert American public opinion from difficult and complicated domestic problems, especially the problem of the struggle between capital and labor. Secondly, by creating a war-panic and inventing rumors about threats to Europe, he wanted to induce Americans to endorse his huge program of armaments, a program which far exceeds the United States defense requirements.

Regarding the first point, it must be said that the internal situation here on the labor front is growing steadily worse. The unemployed today already number twelve million. Federal and state expenditures are increasing daily. Only these huge sums, running into billions, which the US treasury expends for emergency labor projects, are keeping a certain amount of peace in the country. Thus far only the usual strikes and local unrest have taken place. As to how long this artificial governmental aid can be kept up is difficult to predict at present. The unhappiness and growing indignation of public opinion coupled with the serious conflict between private enterprise and the enormous trusts on one hand and with a radicalized labor movement on the other, have made many enemies for Roosevelt and are no doubt causing him many sleepless nights.

As to the second point, I can only say that President Roosevelt is a skillful expert in domestic politics and a connoisseur of the American mentality and he has effectively turned public attention away from internal domestic problems and focused it on foreign policy. His means of achieving this effective distraction was simple. He needed, on the one hand, to highlight a fictional war menace threatening the world because of Chancellor Hitler, and on the other hand, to create a specter of war and invasion by speaking ominously about an attack of the totalitarian states on the United States. The Munich pact came to President Roosevelt as a godsend. He described it as the capitulation of France and England to growing and aggressive German militarism. As was said here: Hitler compelled Chamberlain at pistol point. Hence, France and England had no choice, but to back down and were compelled to conclude a shameful peace.

Furthermore, the brutal treatment meted out to the Jews in Germany, as well as the problem of the large number of Jewish and anti-German refugees flooding this country are both factors which intensify the existing hatred of everything connected with German National Socialism. In this campaign of hatred, individual Jewish intellectuals such as Bernard Baruch, Lehman, the Governor of New York State, Felix Frankfurter, the newly appointed Supreme Court Judge, Morgenthau, the Secretary of the Treasury and other well-known personal friends have taken a prominent part in this campaign of hatred. All of them want the President to become the protagonist of human liberty, religious freedom and the right of free speech and be the man who, in the future, will punish trouble-mongers, especially those who are not liked by Jews. This particular group of people, who are all in highly placed official American positions and who are desirous of being representatives of “true Americanism” and seen as “Champions of Democracy” are, in point of fact, linked with international Jewry by ties incapable of being torn asunder. For this Jewish international, so intimately concerned with the interests of its own race, President Roosevelt’s “ideal” role as a champion of human rights was indeed a godsend, In this way they are not only able to establish a dangerous center of hatred and enmity in this hemisphere, but name also succeeded in dividing the world into two warlike camps. The whole problem is being worked out in a most mysterious manner. Roosevelt has been given the power to enable him to energize American foreign policy and at the same time create huge reserves in armaments for a future war which the Jews are deliberately heading for. With regards to domestic policy, it is extremely convenient to divert public attention from anti-Semitism which is on the increase in the United States, by talking about the necessity of defending religious faith and individual liberty against the assault of Fascism.

/s/ Jerzy Potocki,

Ambassador of the Republic of Poland’














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