TBR News June 30, 2010

Jul 01 2010

The Voice of the White House

            Washington, D.C., June 30, 2010:  The Watchbird is Watching You! Yes, and today, the Watchbird is embodied in the presence of the FBI, the NSA and the DHS. One of the chief means by which these snoops can keep an eye on anyone in this country except cave-dwellers and scuba divers, is by using the GPS or Global Positioning System. This is a satellite based system, set up in 1973 under the control of the Department of Defense that provides location information assuming an unobstructed line of sight to one of four plus GPS satellites. This is basically a U.S. government-controlled system but is generally available to private parties and entities who are in possession of a proper receiver.

            DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency the Pentagon’s research arm, unveiled its Total Information Awareness (TIA) project. This project was the brainchild of retired Admiral John Poindexter, the Iran-Contra veteran who had been working as a DARPA contractor at the Arlington, Va.-based Syntek Technologies Inc., based in Arlington, Va. In November 2002, the Washington Post reported that Syntek “helped develop technology to search through large amounts of data.”

            Poindexter intended Total Information Awareness to be the mother of all data retrieval systems, sweeping information garnered from e-mail, Internet use, travel, credit-card purchases, telephone and bank records, driver’s licenses and much more, into one very smart database.

            We are dealing here with the use of the GPS systems to keep instant tracking of any American citizen who has a GPS transmitter. These can be as small as a computer chip embedded in a state drivers license or an American passport or a larger version built into most current model American vehicles.

            There are a number of ways that a GPS reporter can be silenced. For example,in automotive GPS receivers, metallic features in windshields, such as defrosters, or car window tinting films can act as a Faraday cage, degrading reception just inside the car.

            Man-made EMI (electromagnetic interference) can also disrupt or jam GPS signals. In one well-documented case it was impossible to receive GPS signals in the entire harbor of Moss Landing, California due to unintentional jamming caused by malfunctioning TV antenna preamplifiers. Intentional jamming is also possible. Generally, stronger signals can interfere with GPS receivers when they are within radio range or line of sight. In 2002 a detailed description of how to build a short-range GPS L1 C/A jammer was published in the online magazine Phrack.

            The U.S. government believes that such jammers were used occasionally during the 2001 war in Afghanistan. A GPS jammer can be supplemented by putting your driver’s license or passport or other small object into a container that is lined with sheet lead. The latter is very thin, easily formed and is  relatively easy to obtain and can be thin enough to fit comfortably into a waller or passport protector. This will effectively block any outgoing signals while maintaining the integrety of the official document  .

            This is a passive, and entirely legal, method of jamming as opposed to more complicated and expensive methods. It is highly recommended for the average American who wishes to maintain his or her privacy. The GPS systems in a vehicle can be turned off and we will be doing a section on the how and why of this in another article. The writer can testify to the effectiveness of a thin sheet lead lining inside his coat wallet.

            Being an individual somewhat disliked by the Government for the publishing of negative statements, I have recently had occasion to travel to several foreign countries on business. I told a number of people, on the phone, that I was leaving but later heard from friends that no one was able to track my movements while abroad.

            They could, of course, monitor any and all credit card dealings but it is my policy to go to my bank, buy several thousand dollars worth of American Express Traveller’s Checks and not sign them when the teller at the bank asks me to. ‘They are for my sister who is taking a trip,’ I love to tell them.

            No one then has a record of these checks at the bank, ergo the information cannot be passed on to official snoopers and one can then sign both places in, let us say, Belgrade or Moscow without much worry.

            And there will be more to follow, children, do do keep tuned.

            And……I haven’t laughed so hard in years as when I read about the sensational “Russian Spy Bust” by our FBI! Jesus H. Christ, if you believe this, you must be a follower of Sorcha Faal or others of that stripe. Well, if you believe that one, I have a bridge to sell you!”

You Are Being Tracked
June 29, 2010

by atheo

           Cell phones are synonymous with life in the 21st Century. They do everything — display maps, send email, play games and music. They also do one other thing — track you.

            Every seven seconds, your cell phone automatically scans for the nearest cell tower which can pinpoint your location as accurately as within 50 meters. A GPS chip in your phone can reveal your location within a few yards. In just one year, Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with the specific whereabouts of an unknown number of customers more than 8 million times. They required law enforcement to provide neither a warrant nor probable cause to access this information. Sprint even set up a website for law enforcement agents so they could access these records from the comfort of their desks. “The tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement,” said Sprint’s “manager of electronic surveillance.” I bet it has.

            Law enforcement agents have been using location information to surveil Americans since the 1990’s, but we still have no consistent legal standard for when they can gain access to this information. The government has sought access to records through sealed (secret) court proceedings, and chooses not to appeal decisions that might give higher courts an opportunity to establish a warrant standard for accessing location records.

            On Thursday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing to discuss an update to the Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA), the law that is meant to maintain American’s privacy online. Most Members in attendance agreed that advances in technology demand an update to ECPA. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) acknowledged that ECPA was passed when the only options for location information were road atlases and gas stations. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the committee, explained that the courts are in “disarray and understandably so” due to the lack of clarity in the current law.

            Almost every American carries a cell phone, yet few think about the information these devices are collecting and storing. Whether you are visiting a therapist or liquor store, a church or a gun range, your location is available either in real time or months later. The ACLU is asking Congress to require government officials to obtain a warrant before access is granted to any of those electronic records, just as they have always had to do for similarly sensitive personal information. For Americans to maintain the robust privacy protections they expect offline, Congress must act to update ECPA.

            The statement the ACLU submitted to the hearing can be found here. http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty/you-are-being-tracked#comments 


Russian ‘spy ring’ labelled nutty and feckless by former CIA agents

Current and former US intelligence officials have expressed their bemusement at details of an alleged Russian spy ring uncovered by the FBI.

June 30, 2010

The Telegraph/UK 


Eleven “secret agents” have been arrested amid claims that the group have been operating undercover in the US for more than ten years.

Russian officials have confirmed that some of the group were Russian citizens, but said that “they have not committed any actions directed against US interests.”

As the details of their double lives emerged, US intelligence experts voiced their amazement that the team had been allowed to work for so long and seemingly deliver so little.

Frederick Hitz, former inspector general of the CIA, said that the suspected Russian operation was “nutty”.

“It just struck me as a throwback to the Cold War at a time when the Russians and the United States have so many forward-looking kinds of issues,” he told the Washington Post.

“It looks as if it got going at the end of the Soviet era and just continued, even though it wasn’t clear what the immediate goals of these people were.”

Mark Lowenthal, a former senior CIA official, branded the operation “feckless”.

“So many of the things they seemed to be after you can find out by listening to the right radio station or reading the right newspaper… It doesn’t say a lot about the smarts of the SVR [Russia’s foreign intelligence service].”

Even Russian experts were surprised by the methods employed by the team.

“It sounds preposterous to me,” Mikhail Lyubimov, a writer and former member of the SVR, told the paper. “We’ve never used illegals like this,” he said, referring to spies posing as ordinary citizens instead of diplomats. “And it’s a comedy to have 10 of them connected.”

The Spy Who Came Out to the Suburbs 
June 29, 2010
by David Wise 

New York Times

            Washington- A ring of Russian agents who look and sound like ordinary Americans! Suburban spies with orders to infiltrate United States “policy-making circles” and report to Moscow! So, the cold war is back?

No, not really. For the intelligence agencies on both sides — the F.B.I. and the K.G.B.’s successor, the S.V.R. — it never ended.

The Russians love to dispatch “illegals” — spies who usually adopt the identities of real (or dead) Americans — as opposed to the traditional cold war custom of posing as diplomats. Since the illegals act like the family next door, complete with backyard barbecues and unruly teenagers, they can be impossible to detect. Unless, as some of the 11 spies arrested this week did, they communicate with Russian intelligence officers at the United Nations mission or the consulate in Manhattan. Then the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence agents, always keeping an eye on Russian officials, may sniff them out.

What is new about the network of illegals rolled up by the F.B.I. this week is the hi-tech methods they used to communicate with Yasenevo, the supersecret S.V.R. headquarters on the Moscow ring road. Old-fashioned dead drops — leaving documents in a drainpipe or under footbridges, as the American spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen did for their Soviet paymasters — are passé. These illegals used laptops and set up private wireless networks to communicate with Russian officials parked in a van near a coffee shop on Eighth Avenue, a bookstore in Tribeca, a restaurant in Washington.

They also used steganography, the technique of using highly secret software to insert coded messages into images on ordinary Web sites. The messages could be read only by S.V.R. experts in Moscow using the same software. As it turns out, today’s spies, like everybody else, use the Internet.

All of this was an expensive business for the Russians, who had to train and support their operatives here, and for the F.B.I., which spent years trailing them. To what avail? None of the illegals was charged with espionage, which means that none was caught accepting documents from government officials. Instead they were charged with failing to register as foreign agents — take that, James Bond — and money laundering.

And how many secrets from the White House, the Pentagon or the C.I.A. could a Russian spy living in Yonkers or Montclair, N.J., acquire? Unless some future bombshells are disclosed, it sounds as though the S.V.R. did not get much for its investment.

Conspiracy theorists are already asking, why did the arrests come just days after President Obama’s friendly cheeseburger summit with Russian President Dimitri A. Medvedev? Was the White House sending a message, or the F.B.I. trying to sandbag détente?

Most likely neither. The criminal complaint reveals that on Saturday, a Russian-speaking F.B.I. undercover agent met with Anna Chapman, one of the illegals, and instructed her to hand a fake passport to another supposed illegal the next day, using this password exchange: “Excuse me, but haven’t we met in California last summer?”; “No, I think it was the Hamptons.” (The Hamptons!)

But Anna Chapman, it seems, smelled a rat. She bought a cell phone that could not be traced to her and may have called Moscow to find out what was going on. She never showed up for her meeting on Sunday. The F.B.I., fearing the game was up, moved in and arrested her and nine others. The bureau, like the S.V.R., ends up with little to show for its decade of hard work. But its agents can take heart: cold wars come and go, but Russian spies are here forever.

David Wise is writing a book on Chinese espionage against the United States.


Spy Affair Called Attempt to Discredit Obama
June 30, 2010
by Nabi Abdullaev

            U.S. President Barack Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev conversing as they ride to lunch during their Washington visit last Thursday.

            The U.S. arrest of 10 suspected Russian spies right after President Barack Obama welcomed President Dmitry Medvedev to the White House deals a stinging blow to resurgent ties and might discredit Obama, who sees the “reset” of relations as a main achievement of his administration, Russian officials said Tuesday.

            Russian authorities refused to say whether the suspects were indeed “illegals,” as claimed by the U.S. Justice Department in court papers filed Monday, and said they were waiting for an explanation from the United States.

            “The issue was not explained to us. I hope they will explain,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists in Jerusalem.

            The Justice Department said the suspects, detained in raids in New York, Boston and northern Virginia on Sunday, had been collecting information for the Foreign Intelligence Service for at least seven years, and possibly as far back as the early 1990s.

            “The choice of timing was particularly refined,” Lavrov said sarcastically, referring to the fact that the arrests occurred after Obama met with Medvedev on Thursday for a visit widely seen as the latest step in the “reset” of relations between the former Cold War rivals.

            A source in Obama’s administration said the president was not happy about the timing of the arrests, but investigators feared that some of their suspects might flee, The New York Times reported.

            The arrests might have been spurred by an FBI sting operation on Saturday in which one of the purpoprted suspects, Anna Chapman, was given a fake passport by FBI operatives posing as Russian agents to pass on to someone else. Chapman instead turned the passport over to New York police, her lawyer said in court Monday. The police visit, if leaked to the media, could have potentially blown the entire FBI operation.

            The Foreign Ministry confirmed that several suspects were Russian citizens, and NTV television identified two of them as Chapman and Mikhail Semenko.

            The suspects, who are not accused of espionage, have been charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying U.S. authorities, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. Nine of the suspects also have been charged with money laundering, which carries a conviction of up to 20 years.

            An 11th suspect was detained in Cyprus on Tuesday but released on bail.

            “In total, 11 defendants, including the 10 arrested, are charged in two separate criminal complaints with conspiring to act as unlawful agents of the Russian Federation within the United States,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

            This case is the result of a multiyear investigation conducted by the FBI; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York; and the Counterespionage Section and the Office of Intelligence within the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the statement said.

            The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it did not understand what motivated the U.S. Justice Department to publicly speak in the spirit of “spy passions dating back to the times of the Cold War.” It said the “unfounded” arrests pursued “unseemly goals” that contradicted the “reset” in U.S.-Russian ties proclaimed by the Obama administration.

            Putin took a low-key approach to the arrests.

            “Back at your home, the police went out of control and are throwing people in jail,” Putin told former U.S. President Bill Clinton during a meeting in Moscow. “But that’s the kind of job they have. I hope that all the positive gains that have been achieved in our relationship will not be damaged by the recent event.”

            In Washington, the State Department said Tuesday that the spy case would not derail “reset” efforts. “We feel that we have made significant progress in the 18 months that we have been pursuing this different relationship with Russia. We think we have something to show for it,” Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon told reporters.

            But Gennady Gudkov, a former KGB counterintelligence official who serves as deputy head of the State Duma’s Security Committee, said the spy allegations threaten to upset the “reset” by tarnishing Russia’s image in the eyes of the American people and could have been masterminded by opponents hoping to discredit Obama.

            “Now millions of Americans will think that Russia was only pretending to be a partner of the United States but is in fact still going after U.S. secrets like during the Cold War,” he told The Moscow Times.

            He said the timing of the arrests sharply departed from a time-honored tradition by intelligence services to lay low before, during and immediately after major foreign policy efforts by national leaders in order to avoid spoiling them.

            “It looks like the work of someone who is very powerful and in the political opposition to Obama, or a hawkish military and intelligence group not happy with the reset of relations with Russia,” Gudkov said.

            Another former top spook, Nikolai Kovalyov, pointed to a number of discrepancies in the Justice Department’s case as proof that it was an attempt to undercut Obama’s “reset” effort.

            In addition to the timing of the arrests, Kovalyov said details in U.S. court papers about the suspects using invisible ink, fake documents and even transferring money by burying it in a glass jar for retrieval months later were “complete nonsense” and sounded like “a cheap detective novel,” Interfax reported. Kovalyov, a former director of the Federal Security Service, heads the Duma’s Veterans Committee.

            The Foreign Intelligence Service refused to comment Tuesday.

            The Cold War era saw several high-profile spy cases, dating back to the arrests of Russian agents like the Rosenberg couple in 1951 and Colonel Rudolf Abel in 1957.

            More recently, senior FBI official Robert Hanssen was detained in February 2001 and sentenced to life in prison later that year for spying for the Soviet Union and then Russia for 15 years. His involvement with Russian intelligence was described by the Justice Department in 2002 as “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history.”

            Hanssen was arrested two months after then-President Putin pardoned U.S. businessman Edmond Pope, who was sentenced in 2000 to 20 years in prison on charges of collecting information about a secret Russian torpedo.

            The Hanssen and Pope scandals did not prevent a brief rapprochement between Moscow and Washington later in 2001 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States and Putin’s offer to help in the subsequent “war on terror.”



Russian spy ring claim: Kremlin attacks US ‘cold war’ tactics

Moscow says FBI arrest of 11 alleged Russian spies is a deliberate attempt to undermine improved US-Russia relations as one suspect is released on bail in Cyprus

June 29, 2010

by Chris McGreal in Washington, Luke Harding in Moscow and Helena Smith in Athens



            The alleged paymaster of a Russian spy ring was arrested today, as Moscow attacked the US for using “cold war tactics” over the exposure of an 11-strong team of “deep cover” agents who are said to have spent almost 20 years integrating themsleves into American society.

            Christopher Metsos was stopped by Cypriot police at Larnaka airport moments before he was due to board a plane to Budapest. But, to the surprise of officers, a district court granted him bail and he was released.

            Ten alleged agents were arrested in the United States. Two of them were alleged to have travelled on fake British and Irish passports. Their friends and neighbours today expressed surprise and shock at their double lives: some of the accused even had children with each other.

Russia today described the arrests as groundless and unseemly.

            In its most vehement response so far, Moscow suggested the arrests were a deliberate attempt to undermine the recent improvement in US-Russian ties. “We believe such actions are ungrounded and have unseemly goals,” the Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.

            “We do not understand the reasons why the US department of justice has made a public statement in the spirit of the cold war.”

            He said the scandal was regrettable, and was taking place against the backdrop of a “reset” in relations announced by the US administration.

            Five of the suspects briefly appeared in a Manhattan federal court yesterday, where a judge ordered them to remain in prison until a preliminary hearing set for 27 July.

            The FBI said the deep-cover agents were called “illegals” by Moscow, and that they adopted Americanised names as part of their efforts to blend in and make connections to thinktanks and government officials.

            Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence agency was today tight-lipped about the arrests. “We refuse to comment on these reports,” the agency’s spokesman, Sergei Ivanov, said.

            The office of the Russian president, Dimitri Medvedev, said it would not comment because those arrested were “not Russian citizens”.

            In an indictment that might have been taken from the plot of a cold war thriller, the FBI alleged that the SVR sent spies to live in the US under false names, with the intent of becoming so Americanised they could build relationships with sources and gather information without raising suspicion. Some of the agents lived as married couples and had children who have grown up as Americans – unaware that their parents are Russian.

            The FBI alleges that the accused spies were able to get close to a scientist working with “bunker-buster” nuclear bombs and a New York financier with powerful political ties. But the intercepts do not suggest they were successful at uncovering valuable information, and some of the exchanges with Moscow appear almost laughable in their simplicity, including advice to one agent to “build up, little by little, relations” with the financier.

            The arrests follow a reset in relations between Washington and Moscow, which soured during the Bush era, and comes just days after a successful visit by Medvedev to the US. The Kremlin will now be weighing its response. Hardliners will call for punitive measures including tit-for-tat expulsions, but more pragmatic voices will hope the episode can be ignored and quickly forgotten.

            The suspects include a couple known as Richard and Cynthia Murphy, who were arrested in New Jersey, Vicky Pelaez and a man who went by the name of Juan Lazaro, who were arrested in Yonkers, New York state, and Anna Chapman, who was arrested in Manhattan.

Another three – Mikhail Semenko and a couple operating under the names Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills – appeared in a court in Alexandria, Virginia, after being arrested in Arlington, close to the Pentagon and CIA headquarters.

            A couple called Donald Howard Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley were also arrested in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

            Metsos, accused of organising the financing of the group, was arrested in Cyprus.

Cypriot police appeared surprised that Metsos, the alleged paymaster of the Russian “deep cover” spying operation, should have been released on bail. “It’s not what we expected,” police spokesman Michalis Michael told the Guardian. “We wanted to have him detained until an extradition hearing … we are now waiting for more documents from the United States in the hope that we can go back to the courts.”

            An intercepted message from the SVR to two of the alleged spies outlined their mission. “You were sent to USA for long-term service trip. Your education, your bank accounts, car, house, etc – all these serve one goal: fulfil your main mission, ie to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US and send intels [intelligence reports] to C [Centre],” said an intercepted message, according to the indictment.

            The FBI described the “illegals” as being paired in Russia “so that they can live together and work together in a host country, under the guise of a married couple. Illegals who are placed together and cohabit in the country to which they are assigned will often have children together”.

According to the indictment, members of the spy ring reported back to Moscow in 2004 that they were able to get close to an American who the Russian agents described as involved in “strategic planning related to nuclear weapon development” and “had conversations with him about research programmes on small yield high penetration nuclear warheads recently authorised by US Congress [nuclear ‘bunker-buster’ warheads]”.

            One of the alleged spies, named as Cynthia Murphy, built a relationship with a man described as a prominent New York-based financier active in politics. Moscow responded that he was a very interesting target because he might be able to provide information about foreign policy and discussions among the president’s closest aides.

            The SVR also urged its agents to collect information on US positions on arms talks, Iran’s nuclear programme and Afghanistan in advance of Barack Obama’s visit to Russia last year. Moscow also sought information about personnel turnover at the top of the CIA and the 2008 presidential election.

            The indictment says the alleged spies used a number of methods to communicate with the SVR, including unique wireless networks to transfer encrypted data. One of the wireless networks was run from a van in New York that on one occasion parked outside a coffee shop where one of the accused, named as Anna Chapman, was sitting. The FBI said it observed as she established a connection with the wireless link in the van and transmitted data. A few weeks later she did the same from a bookshop.

            The FBI said it also observed a car with diplomatic plates registered to the Russian government park outside a Washington DC restaurant where another alleged spy, named as Mikhail Semenko, used a computer to establish a connection with a wireless signal from the car.

            Other information was passed by posting pictures on the internet that had text buried in them, as well as long established techniques such as drops and “brush pasts” in local parks.

Relations between the alleged spies and their handlers were not always cordial as the “illegals” took to the American way of life.

            In one intercepted message, Richard and Cynthia Murphy, who arrived in the US in the mid-1990s, decided to buy a house in New Jersey. That did not go down well at Moscow centre.

“We are under the impression that C views our ownership of the house as a deviation from the original purpose of our mission here,” they said in an intercepted message. “We’d like to assure you that we do remember what it is. From our perspective, purchase of the house was solely a natural progression of our prolonged stay here. It was a convenient way to solve the housing issue, plus to ‘do as the Romans do’ in a society that values home ownership.”

            Each of the 10 people arrested in the US has been charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government. They face up to five years in prison if convicted, although it is possible that more serious charges will be added.

            The alleged spies are also accused of money laundering.


.           The full charges have been released and you can see them here.

            6/5/2006 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Michael Zottoli & Patricia Mills

 ZOTTOLI and MILLS boarded a plane at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport bound for the John F. Kennedy International Airport

            6/8/2006 “Bury Location”, in direction of Wurtsboro, New York Michael Zottoli & Patricia Mills

 ZOTTOLI and MILLS traveled in the direction of Wurtsboro, New York – to the Bury Location, where, two years before, METSOS had gone just after receiving money from Russian Government Official #2 at the Forest Hills Train Station. On FBI surveillance video ZOTTOLI can be seen digging at the Bury Location, and retrieving a small package – in the immediate vicinity of where the brown beer bottle was partly dug up by law-enforcement agents during the fall of 2004. On the surveillance video, MILLS is visible in the vicinity of the Bury Location.

.           6/9/2006 “Washington Hotel”, Washington DC Michael Zottoli & Patricia Mills

 Shortly after visiting the Bury Location ZOTTOLI and MILLS traveled to Washington, DC, stayed in “Washington Hotel”. Audio and visual surveillance in their room showed ZOTTOLI with what appears to be a “money belt” which seems full. When ZOTTOLI and MILLS left the Washington Hotel, ZOTTOLI generally wore the money belt; and when they were in the room, ZOTTOLI generally placed the belt out of view, including underneath a pillow on the bed. The video also shows ZOTTOLI apparently dividing the money among several wallets.

.           6/6/2009 North White Plains train station, White Plains, New York Richard Murphy Brush-pass between RICHARD MURPHY and Russian Govt official #3 (who worked at Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN) – As Russian Government Official #3 and MURPHY passed one another on the stairs, MURPHY held out his backpack and Russian Government Official #3 placed the Shopping Bag that he had been holding into MURPHY’s backpack. Believed bag contained flash card and cash.


             9/26/2009 Brooklyn Street Corner/1 Richard Murphy & Michael Zottoli Agents saw MICHAEL ZOTTOLI approached by RICHARD MURPHY, wearing a backpack. MURPHY and ZOTTOLI shook hands, and then appeared to speak with one another. The men then walked around together and sat down on a park bench in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. While sitting on the bench, after approx 90 minutes, MURPHY gave ZOTTOLI a bag and a smaller item. MURPHY and ZOTTOLI then walked away in separate directions. “I believe that..RICHARD MURPHY handed MICHAEL ZOTTOLI the money (“$150k”) and the flash memory card (“the card”) that had been given to him (MURPHY) by Russian Government Official #3 a few weeks before, June 6, 2009.”

            2/9/2010 “Computer Store” in Manhattan Richard Murphy Computer Store employees spoke with investigating agents and identified MURPHY from a photograph as having bought a laptop computer. A database of sales maintained by the Computer Store reflected that an individual who identified himself as “David Hiller” had paid cash for an ASUS EEE PC 1005HA-P laptop computer. This was the make and model of computer that the SVR had directed MURPHY to buy.

.           2/21/2010 Newark Airport, flight to Rome Richard Murphy Passenger on Continental Airlines flight 40 to Rome – consistent with Moscow Center’s instruction that MURPHY fly to Rome before receiving a false Irish passport for his continued travel to Moscow Center


            3/3/2010 Newark Airport from Rome Richard Murphy Arrived from Continental Airlines flight 41 from Rome. Official with US Dept of Homeland Security searched MURPHY’s luggage. MURPHY’s luggage contained the same make and model of laptop computer that MURPHY had bought using the name “David Hiller” on February 9, 2010


             3/6/2010 Arlington Apartment & “Upper East Side Hotel”, Manhattan Michael Zottoli & Patricia Mills At approx 12:25 p.m., agents saw ZOTTOLI and MILLS leave the Arlington Apartment in a grey BMW sedan registered in ZOTTOLI’s name. ZOTTOLI and MILLS drove from the Arlington Apartment to a Manhattan Hotel (the “Upper East Side Hotel”), which they were seen entering at approximately 6:00 p.m.


            3/7/2010 Coffee Shop nr corner of Vanderbilt and DeKalb Avenues, nr Fort Greene Park, New York Richard Murphy & Michael Zottoli At approx. 11:00 a.m., agents conducting surveillance in Brooklyn observed MURPHY and ZOTTOLI meet at a pay phone located at the corner of Vanderbilt and DeKalb Avenues, and then walk to a nearby coffee shop. ZOTTOLI and MURPHY sat down together at a table where they stayed for approximately one hour and fifty minutes. Law-enforcement agents overheard MURPHY and ZOTTOLI discussing problems that the Seattle Conspirators were having with the computer equipment that they used for communicating with Center. At approx 12:50 p.m., MURPHY removed a plastic shopping bag from his backpack and put the plastic bag into ZOTTOLI’s duffel bag; MURPHY and ZOTTOLI then left the Coffee Shop.

            Moscow Center reported MURPHY delivered “laptop, two flash drives, and $9K in cash” to ZOTTOLI.


             9/10/2002 inside the Yonkers House Juan Lazaro & Vicky Pelaez recorded discussing Moscow Center’s disappointment with the quality of LAZARO’s then-recent reporting


            9/23/2004 inside the Hoboken Apartment Cynthia Murphy & Richard Murphy CYNTHIA MURPHY advised her husband RICHARD MURPHY that he should improve his information-collection efforts. She that he would not be able to work at the top echelons of certain parts of the United States Government – the State Department, for example. She suggested he should therefore approach people who have access to important venues (the White House, for example) to which he could not reasonably expect to himself gain direct personal access


 Comment: This reeks of memories of a pompous and brainless head of DHS coming onto the idiot box during the reign of Bush II and informing you that it is now a Red Day and you can duct tape the lavatory window. These idiot fairy stories always seem to erupt just in time to scare the public into beileving some bovine fecal matter the Ones in Command are about to try to stuff down your throats.   

Granny Shocked by Police Stun Gun in Bed Sues

June 30, 2010


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An 87-year-old grandmother subdued by police with a stun gun while she was lying in bed hooked up to an oxygen machine is suing her Oklahoma hometown.

Attorney Brian Dell said Tuesday that he filed the lawsuit June 21 on behalf of his client, Lona Varner. He did not specify the amount she’s seeking from the city of El Reno but said it’s at least $75,000.

Varner’s grandson called 911 on Dec. 22 and told the dispatcher his grandmother ”wanted to end her life” and that he was concerned she had taken some unknown medicine.

Officer Thomas Duran says in a police report that Varner pulled a kitchen knife from under her pillow and threatened to stab and kill him if he tried to take her from her home.

The report says another officer used a stun gun on Varner.


Amnesty reports US, Europe shielding Israel over Gaza war crimes
27May10 May 28, 2010
In its annual report, the rights group accuses Israel of continually violating human rights in Gaza with its ongoing economic siege.
May 27, 2010

Haaretz –

            Amnesty International complained in its annual report released Thursday that the U.S. and members of the European Union had obstructed international justice by using their positions on the UN Security Council to shield Israel from accountability for war crimes allegedly committed during last year’s Gaza war.

            The rights group also accused Israel of continually violating human rights in the Gaza Strip. It cited Israel’s ongoing economic blockade as violating international law, leaving Gaza residents without adequate food or water supplies

            In its report, Amnesty lauded a United Nations commissioned report released last year by South African justice Richard Goldstone for highlighting Israeli violations during the war in Gaza. Goldstone’s findings found both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes during the conflict.

            “Israeli forces committed war crimes and other serious breaches of international law in the Gaza Strip during a 22-day military offensive codenamed Operation ‘Cast Lead’ that ended on 18 January (2009),” the rights group said.

            “Among other things, they carried out indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians, targeted and killed medical staff, used Palestinian civilians as ‘human shields’, and indiscriminately fired white phosphorus over densely populated residential areas,” it added. “More than 1,380 Palestinians, including over 330 children and hundreds of other civilians, were killed.”

            “In a display of counter political bias, the UN Human Rights Council, initially resolved to investigate only alleged Israeli violations,” said the report. “To his credit, Judge Richard Goldstone, subsequently appointed to lead that investigation, insisted that the UN Fact-Finding Mission should examine alleged violations by both Israel and Hamas.”

            The group’s report listed examples of what it said were war crimes committed by Israeli forces, but did not provide details of sources.

            Amnesty’s annual roundup of global human rights abuses urged members of the G-20 — a collection of major industrial countries and fast-growing developing countries — to set an example to the international community by signing up to the International Criminal Court.

            The United States and others have refused to ratify the court’s founding treaty partly because they fear the court could become a forum for politically motivated prosecutions of troops in unpopular wars like Iraq.

            The U.S. State Department said in response to Amnesty’s accusations that it “supports the need for accountability for any violations that may have occurred in relation to the Gaza conflict by any party.”

            “As we have said, the responsibility to address alleged abuses during the Gaza conflict lies with the Israelis and the Palestinians,” the State Department said in a statement.

            Israel earlier this year submitted a 46-page response to Goldstone’s inquiry, which accused both Israel and Hamas of “grave breaches” of the fourth Geneva Convention.

            In its report, Israel claimed its forces abided by international law throughout the war last year.



Breaking an unbreakable bond
June 30, 2010

by Simon Roughneen

Asia Times

            JERUSALEM – In The Great Divorce, British novelist C S Lewis attempted to allegorize about a reality he admitted he could not know but tentatively hoped to suggest. The United States-Israel relationship, to most, seems like an unbreakable bond, and any potential divorce might be regarded as unimaginable.

            But when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets US President Barack Obama on July 6, they will discuss a relationship that is on the rocks, despite an annual US$2 billion in aid and – in keeping with the traditional parameters of the relationship – Obama’s repeated commitment to Israel’s security. Stirring things up in advance, Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, spent Sunday and Monday denying media reports that he told Israeli diplomats that a “tectonic rift” was emerging between the two countries.

            The summit will be a reprise of a stillborn meeting originally scheduled for late May, which Netanyahu canceled after nine Turks were killed by Israeli commandoes onboard one of the six boats attempting to breach the blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. In the aftermath, whatever Obama’s private thoughts, he refused to join the chorus condemning Israel. But American policymakers felt themselves to be caught between a rock and a hard place, and beyond this incident, there are divergent worldviews coloring thinking in both administrations.

            Much has been made of Obama’s attempt to reach out to the Muslim world and his sackcloth-and-ashes pose for perceived American foreign policy sins-of-the-fathers. But in Israel, his June 2009 Cairo speech was taken as a signal that this American administration does not see Middle East geopolitics in the same light as its ally, and therefore puts Israel in danger.

            It is not the first time that the two countries have quarreled, with tetchy relations apparent during the first George W Bush administration. Alon Pinkas is former Israeli consul general to the US. Speaking to a seminar of foreign and Israeli journalists at the IDC Herzliya last week, he argued that a turning point has been reached in bilateral relations. “In reality, US interests in the Middle East are with the Arab world. That is where the oil is, and Israel is just one small country surrounded by 290 million Arabs,” he said.

            That is just part of the bigger picture. Both Obama and Afghanistan-bound General David Petraeus believe that “solving” the Israel-Palestine conflict will contribute to US strategy elsewhere – particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unproven and hazy thesis that fits in well with Obama’s hoped-for outreach to the Muslim world.

            Again, Israelis are noting this. Dr Jonathan Fine teaches at the IDC Herzliya. Reminding the US that Israel is dealing with much the same ideological opponents in Hamas as the jihadis the US faces in Afghanistan or Iraq, he reminded Asia Times Online that America’s targeted assassinations and drone warfare continue in South Asia, in greater number and to deadlier effect than during the second Bush administration. However, “the Obama effect” means that the US does not receive anywhere near the same condemnation as when Israel attacks its nearby enemies, he lamented.

            Israel feels it has been sacrificed on the altar of another Obama initiative, which might otherwise be described as inherently laudable. At the recent nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, Obama endorsed a resolution that omitted any mention of Iran but specifically targeted Israel, demanding that it sign the NPT and allow inspections of its facilities. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the specifics, the disparity between including Israel and excluding Iran was glaring to Israeli policymakers.

            Netanyahu has already signaled his willingness to concede in the face of international pressure by the recent announcement to ease the Gaza blockade, which the US regards as untenable. In doing so, he may have left himself vulnerable domestically, with the so-called “centrist” Kadima Party led by Tzipi Livni leading the charge. She is seen by many in Washington as less hardline than the current coalition, with whispers that the US might work behind the scenes to unseat Netanyahu, who is seen as beholden to religious parties in his coalition and therefore unable to meet the US halfway on issues such as settlement expansion.

            After the announcement that the Gaza blockade would be relaxed, Livni accused the Netanyahu government of making policy at the dictates of international opinion. Previously, she accused the incumbent of destroying Israel’s position in world opinion, by its reaction to the flotilla. So before Netanyahu goes to the White House, it seems that Livni has her sights trained on him, irrespective of whether he aligns more closely to Obama on settlements, Gaza or Iran, or whether another row ensues.

            It has been just a few weeks since US Vice President Joe Biden was humiliated in Jerusalem by the announcement that Israel plans to build 1,600 new houses in East Jerusalem. In contrast with the visiting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu did not during his most recent visit to the US get the customary White House Lawn press and photo-op with the US president.

            He is likely to this time, though cynics might feel this is more about Obama playing to domestic politics than a reappraisal of how the US administration views Israel. Well-known foreign policy analyst Anthony Cordesman recently rationalized that Netanyahus government was becoming a “strategic liability” for the US, saying, “It is time Israel realized that it has obligations to the US, as well as the US to Israel, and that it becomes far more careful about the extent to which it tests the limits of US patience and exploits the support of American Jews.”

            And that support will weigh on Obama’s mind as he continues his introduction to what predecessor Harry S Truman described as a problem unmatched in its complexity and potential for controversy. While 78% of American Jews voted for Obama in 2008, it seems many might be having second thoughts. With mid-term elections looming and the passage of the healthcare bill tempered by spectacular losses such as Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, Obama may not want to see the relationship with Israel deteriorate on his watch, for now at least.

            Old-school powerhouses in the American-Jewish lobby have rowed in behind the Israeli government and lambasted the Obama administration’s cool approach to the “special relationship” between the two countries, though there are divergent views within the constituency.

            Stephen M Walt co-authored The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy, a provocative take on the influence of the Jewish lobby in the US. He told Asia Times Online that there “are some new pro-Israel groups like J Street that are trying to encourage smarter policies, and there is a much more open discussion of these issues now (due in part to the rise of the Internet and the blogosphere), but the raw political power of AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] et al is still formidable.”

            An April survey by Quinnipiac University showed 67% of Jews as disapproving of Obama’s “handling [of] the situation between Israel and the Palestinians”. In another poll, support for Obama in the Jewish community went down to 58%, a loss of 20 points on the 2008 election.

            However, other data suggest that the majority of American Jewish voters are card-carrying Democrats and liberal progressives first, with Israel policy less of a priority. This makes them somewhat of an anomaly in a party whose supporters are far less likely to be supportive of Israel than Republicans. (48% among Democrats, 85% among Republicans).

            Simon Roughneen is a foreign correspondent. His website is www.simonroughneen.com. 


FTC: Scammers Stole Millions Using Micro Charges to Credit Cards

June 28, 2010

by Kim Zetter


            A gang of unknown thieves has stolen nearly $10 million using micro charges made to more than a million credit and debit cards in an elaborate multiyear scam, according to a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission in March.

            Have any of these company names appeared on your bank card statement? The FTC says they were front companies used by scammers to make nearly $10 million in charges to consumer credit and debit card accounts. (FTC v. API Trade, LLC)

            The fraudulent charges went unnoticed by the majority of card owners because they were made in small amounts — ranging from 20 cents to $10 — that bypassed fraud detection algorithms, and because the scammers typically made only one fraudulent charge per card.

The sophisticated scam, which was first reported by IDG News Service, began in 2006 and was stifled only recently after the FTC succeeded to shut down merchant accounts the scammers were using and halt the activities of at least 14 money mules who were laundering illegal proceeds for the gang.

            According to court documents filed (.pdf) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the scammers — identified only as “John Does” in the complaint — recruited money mules through a spam campaign that sought to hire a U.S.-based financial manager for an international financial services company.

            Mules who responded to the ad and were chosen for the task opened multiple bank accounts and about 100 limited liability companies for the scammers, which were then used to make the fraudulent charges and launder money to bank accounts in Cyprus and several Eastern European countries, including Estonia and Lithuania.

Front companies set up by the mules included Albion Group, API Trade, ARA Auto Parts Trading, Data Services, New York Enterprizes, and SMI Imports, among others.

            The scammers then purchased domain names and set up phone numbers and virtual office addresses for the front companies through services such as Regus. They used this information — along with federal tax ID numbers stolen from legitimate companies with similar names — to apply for more than 100 merchant accounts with credit card processors, such as First Data.

According to IDG,

They used another legitimate virtual business service — United World Telecom’s CallMe800 — to have phone calls forwarded overseas. To further make it seem as though their companies were legitimate, the scammers would set up fake retail Web sites. And when credit card processors asked them to provide information about company executives, they handed over legitimate names and social security numbers, stolen from ID theft victims.

When they had to log into payment processor Web sites, they would do this from IP addresses that were located near their virtual offices, again evading payment processor fraud detection services.

            Once approved by the card processors, the front companies were able to charge consumer credit and debit cards. Money charged to the cards was directed into the bank accounts set up by the money mules, who then transferred it to accounts overseas.

            The charges showed up on consumer credit and debit card statements with a merchant name and toll-free phone number. But consumers who called the numbers to question the charges generally encountered an automated voicemail recording saying the number had been disconnected or instructing them to leave a detailed message. The calls, of course, were never returned.

            More than 1.35 million cards were used to make fraudulent charges, according to IDG, but 90 percent of the charges went uncontested by consumers.

            The FTC has been unable to identify the scammers so far, though finding the money mules was much easier. One of the mules, James P. Smith of Brownwood, Texas, wrote the judge in the case that he worked for a scammer named “Alex Moore” for four years, never realizing that he was involved in anything illegal.

Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/ftc-sues-scammers/#ixzz0sLmyaPYW



The Conversations with the Crow

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

            Crowley did not listen to them and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

            Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to: http://www.shop.conversationswiththecrow.com/Conversations-with-the-Crow-CWC-GD01.htm🙂

             Here is the eighth chapter:

Conversation No. 8

Date: Sunday, April 14, 1996

Commenced:  3:24 PM CST

Concluded:  4:01 PM CST

GD: Hello?

RTC: Oh, hello, Gregory. I didn’t think you’d be calling today. Usually, you’re earlier.

GD: Went up to Madison. Always go up on the weekends. Borders book store has the best history section I’ve ever seen and there’s a good Chinese restaurant nearby. That’s my social life these days. Yourself?

RTC: Trying to keep busy. One of these days, I ought to get your creative opinion as to what to do about the Swiss. They’re right across the street from me and they keep using their microwave to send messages home and it’s been causing me trouble.

GD: Have you tried complaining to them?

RTC: Pointless. I tried lodging a complaint with DoS but no good there either. In the old days, a few words about this would have worked miracles but I’m out of harness and out of the picture. Gregory, a small piece of advice for you: Don’t get old.

GD: Can’t help it. I have an idea for you on the Swiss. You face them? What kind of building are they in?

RTC: It’s their embassy.

GD: Got a pencil?

RTC: Yes. Will a pen do?

GD: Yes, of course.

RTC: Well?

GD: Do you still have any connections with your tech section at Langley?

RTC: I think so. Why?

GD: There’s a wonderful little device called an audio oscillator. Do you want me to spell that?

RTC: I have it. Go on.

GD: It puts out sound waves. It’s easy to build if you know your business. Anyway, it’s in a smallish box…shoe box size…and you plug it in and point it at your target. It puts out sound that the human ear can’t hear but animals can. That’s not the point. I’m sure the Switzers don’t have poodles typing reports. Oh, and if your man is good enough, you can hit the frequency that causes involuntary bowel movements.

RTC: (Laughter) Now that’s something to consider.

GD: I thought you might enjoy that. Just imagine the entire Swiss embassy ankle deep in shit. Anyway, it makes the people on the other end nervous and irritable. They don’t know why but they feel depressed and very, very unhappy.

RTC: Go on. This is interesting.

GD: So the windows in the embassy will act as a sounding board and all the offices in the front of the building will be full of suicidal people or, if you’re lucky, filled with Swiss shit.

RTC: Can you build one of these for me?

GD: God no. I know nothing about electronics except how to plug them in. It’s not a state secret and very easy to build but I’m not your man on this one. I would……..you have windows facing them?

RTC: Oh, yes.

GD: Put it in a window, preferably opened, and plug it in. That’s all. Makes no noise at your end and your wife would never notice it. Just tell her it’s an air freshener or something.

RTC: No point in telling her anything. Can they detect anything over there?

GD: No unless they have budgies in every office. I mean this does work because I’ve tried it out. I once lived in an apartment and was friendly with the manager and his wife. They had a minority couple living there under section eight. Played their boom box all the time, never paid the rent on time and threatened the other neighbors. The police didn’t want to bother them so I suggested the solution. I had a friend at Radio Shack build an oscillator and since the apartments on both sides of the creeps were vacant because of the noise, I went into one, plugged the box in and put it right up against a connecting wall. And believe me, it did work. They moved out within a week. Jesus, what a mess they left behind. One or both of them used to shit in the shower stall, not to mention the fact that all the carpets had to be replaced and the walls patched and repainted. The manager was so happy he gave me six months of rent free on the condition I used my little toy to help him get rid of other obnoxious tenants. Anyway, I went into the apartment to see what it was like, being on the other end of the toy and believe me, it was something else, Robert. A feeling of anxiety coupled with severe depression…

RTC: No bowel movements?

GD: No but the smell in the place would have made me puke if I’d stayed there for another minute. Let me tell you, I wanted to get away from that place in the worst way and it was not the stench. No, the Swiss will not be happy campers once you turn the thing on. I would suggest that you turn it on about three times a day, at odd intervals and don’t leave it on all the time. They might get someone in to do a sweep and if they’re competent, they might be able to pick up the sonics.

RTC: Gregory, rather than my bothering the boys on this, could you get one for me? More than happy to pay for it.

GD: I’ll be happy to do it for free, Robert. It’ll take about three weeks. I’ll start tomorrow. I know at least one person who can build one of these for sure. I suppose if the Swiss found out about this, they might make trouble for you so I will work on this here. And keep you posted.

RTC: If this works, Gregory, I will be greatly in your debt.

GD: Can we talk about Kennedy?

RTC: Oh, I think we certainly can.

GD: That I appreciate. After I build your box for you, then we can discuss this?

RTC: As I said.

GD: Is there any paper on that subject? If I publish anything, the government stool pigeons will yammer that it’s all made up and they, personally, can’t believe a word of it. And consider the huge number of books on the subject. The thousands of writers will join in a chorus of denial. After all, I didn’t mention the man in the sewer, the man on the grassy knoll…

RTC: Ah, but there was a man on the grassy knoll. Not in the sewer, of course, but I read that there were men in the trees, on the roofs of various buildings and lots of very funny stories. Of course we were responsible for most of them. Keeps the idiot public satisfied and very confused. I have a Soviet report on this that basically says it all. The box first.

GD: I’ll make it big enough to pulverize the building.

RTC: No, Gregory, just enough to drive them crazy. Just like they’ve been driving me up the wall.

GD: I don’t suppose you could hint a little on this?

RTC: Well, it wasn’t the Mafia or the KGB and I can say very clearly that it wasn’t Lee Oswald or the Girl Scouts. Now that’s all for now on that subject.

GD: It’s your call.

RTC: To change the subject, you mentioned Mountbatten some time ago. What can you tell me about that?

GD: The name Moran mean anything to you?

RTC: Oh, I think it could. Tell me what you know and I will comment on it.

GD: Moran is not his name but no one ever uses their real name these days. He was, probably still is, Irish-American. His grandfather was hanged by the Brits after the ’16 rising in Dublin and he hates them with a real passion. He was one of your boys who liased with the IRA Provo people. Worked out of our embassy in Dublin as one of those utterly transparent cultural aides. Everyone knows the legal officers are FBI and the USIA people are all CIA so why bother with the name game? Anyway, this Moran got the idea to kill off Lord Mountbatten[1]. Besides the dead grandfather, he had an uncle who lived in Canada and was killed at Dieppe. That was Mountbatten’s grab at fame, you know. They had planned a cross-channel raid on Dieppe but cancelled it. Mountbatten was pathologically ambitious and as empty of brains as a ladle decided to go ahead with the raid anyway. Churchill was out of the country, in Egypt if memory serves, and off they went. Germans knew it was in the wind and the invasion party ran into a German small boat convoy enroute and the game was known. The town was heavily armed and the poor Canadians were slaughtered. Moran hated Mountbatten, who got away with it because he was connected to the royal family. Actually, there’s an interesting story about his family. They were of the house of Hessen-Darmstadt. Same small princely house that produced the present Prince Philip and the last Empress of Russia. One of them, a Prince Alexander, married a Polish Jewess whose father was the chief baker to the King of Poland and because the family did not want the title involved with Jews, they changed their name to Battenberg. And later, that was anglicized to Mountbatten. So far so good?

RTC: You left me way behind, Gregory, but go on.

GD: You can check it out later.

RTC: I will. Prince Philip is a German? I thought he was Greek.

GD: So does everyone else. The Prince Consort was in the Hitler Youth and his brother was in the SS. I have a picture of Phil in a Nazi uniform. But to continue here. Mountbatten had married into the Cassel family. The old man was banker to Edward the VII. More Jewish connections again. Anyway, the old man, God, he was almost 80 then, used to summer up in County Sligo on the west coast of Ireland. He had a sail boat docked at Mullaghnmore and one day, Mountbatten took some his family out fishing. I can’t remember the name…oh yes, the Shadow. That was the boat’s name. It was painted green. Anyway, it sailed out into the bay and suddenly blew up. Mountbatten lost his legs and died of blood loss and shock and a few more got killed. The man who did this, who ran the operation, is a friend of mine.

RTC: Moran?

GD: No, an Irish friend who was with the Provos. He was up on the cliff and pushed the button that set off the charge his people planted the night before. Then they all went their separate ways and one of them got caught by a traffic stop. My friend got clean away. A very decent fellow and a good friend. I could be more specific but we don’t need to go into that. So Moran got his revenge and there was a state funeral. I do like the Irish, Robert, but if there were only two of them left alive in the world, they would be sending letter bombs to each other.

RTC: There’s some truth to that, Gregory, but not a lot. We got connected with the IRA people because we wanted to protect a certain oil refinery in Belfast that they had been threatening to blow up. The CIA has many, many friends in business and one of them asked us to be sure they left the project alone. So we supplied them explosives, intelligence and some support in exchange for their neutrality concerning American property in Ireland. It worked out.

GD: But not for Mountbatten, though.

RTC: He was a pompous ass.

GD: But a member of the royal family, Robert! Mostly inbred idiots, as a friend of mine once said, who marry their own cousins and produce children with the intellect of chickens.

RTC: How cruel. But true. And keep me posted on the box, won’t you?

GD: And look for the Kennedy papers. Goodbye for now, Robert and my best to your wife.

(Concluded at 4:01 PM CST)

Dramatis personae:

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

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

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

            John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight             James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organized the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this.

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

            Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Arcnives. A strong supporter of fictive holocaust writers.

[1] Lord Louis Mountbattten – June 25,  1900 –  August 27, 1979 Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma KG, In 1979 Mountbatten was assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who planted a bomb in his boat at Mullaghmore, County Sligo in the Republic of Ireland.

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