TBR News June 7, 2016

Jun 07 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. June 7, 2016: “There are a number of important subjects that are not discussed in the media. That is because the bureaucracy is totally incapable of dealing with them. These subjects are: the rapidly rising sea levels along the east coast of the United States. Sooner, rather than later, a huge number of Americans will become displaced and have to move. They not unreasonably would expect some kind of governmental relieve. They won’t get it because the government is spending most of its tax-payers income funds for futile military operations. The second subject is the enormous unemployment situation. It is never truthfully discussed and papered over and ignored because, again, the government cannot do anything about it. And the third subject is the fact that about 75 million Amerians have MERS on their mortgage which means they can never find out, nor can anyone else, who actually owns their title. This means they cannot sell their property. Again, the government cannot do anything about it. The solution to these problems? At the present time, none. The public would have to become aware of them, realize that the government to whom they pay taxes cannot, and will not, address these issues, and then do what they must.”

The Müller Washington Journals   1948-1951

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

His name was Heinrich Müller.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 25 July 1950

I had Philby come by the club and had a brief meeting with him. Several of the members know him and there was considerable polite back-and-forth but finally we got rid of the nuisances.

Conversation turned on the Korean business. It seems Moscow wants to know as much as they can about Truman’s intentions and especially about the bomb. I gave P. a document, suitably doctored, which shows we will do nothing more in Korea and will not drop the bomb on either northern Korea or on China if it gets into the business. I had this made myself and it has nothing to do with the CIA. It certainly looks authentic and Philby has no reason to doubt it. Why? Well, if the war goes on there, my investments will certainly prosper. It is not to my advantage to see a quick end to this business.

He, in turn, gave me information on British spies here. These are sources for the British, not the usual FO (Foreign Office, ed.) types that come over here and spy. The sources can now be fed false information to show American weakness and lack of determination to finish the course in Asia.

If Stalin gets this sort of information from a number of sources he will absolutely believe it. I made my career dealing with Josef and I can now enhance my personal fortune doing the same thing.

Philby is drinking too much and did so at the club. He can handle his liquor well but drinking as he does will eventually kill him and certainly affect his critical judgment. He drinks from early in the morning and I only drink at night and then very little compared with my late war consumption.

Monday, 31 July 1950

The FBI is about to make the final arrests in the atomic bomb spy ring uncovered earlier. Rosenberg, the leader of the ring, his wife and others involved. His wife’s brother was caught and informed on all of them. I understand the case will be sent before a very ruthless judge who has been asked to make an example of them. A brief conversation with Philby who is well aware of the ring and rather sad it was caught but that is the way things go.

We really need a few public executions to terrify the others and I have made this point a number of times, especially to Harry who agrees, but is concerned about international opinion. Who cares? Are we worried about Russia? France? Italy? All are either controlled by the communists or are so sympathetic as to be useless. The British are so weak and so infiltrated that their opinions are equally worthless.

I have been advocating rounding up all the British agents and hanging a few of them but of course, this will never happen. We could do to them what they did in America during the war. When the British agents here found someone who they disapproved of, they simply killed him. Hoover knows about this and has given me some files on it. I suggested to him that I have a few of my people do the same to them now and he merely smiled and said not to tell him any more about it.

Once I get a few more names from Philby, I will have a talk with Arno and see what can happen.

Philby was loudly complaining that the officials in London were posting a man named (Anthony, ed.) Burgess here next month. P. tells me that Burgess is a “real horror” who is an outrageous homosexual and a drunk with a terrible, destructive drive. P. says that America is the most important diplomatic posting and why this lunatic is being sent here is not to be believed. Also says that Burgess is involved with Soviet intelligence so we will have someone else to watch. Philby said he likes to put on women’s dresses and pick up sailors off the streets so perhaps we can have him arrested for this behavior and then question him privately…and very severely.

Of course, it is my observation that so many of the British are screaming fairies that one more won’t make much of a difference in this town, which is full of domestic ones, so Burgess must be terrible indeed to draw such comments from Philby. He said he went to university with Burgess and his conduct was outrageous even then.

Maybe he will become Ambassador. I can just see him (I would rather not) at a dinner there wearing a gown with jewels, rouge and lipstick! I doubt that something like that can be blackmailed but perhaps Arno could flense him like a whale. P. says he is “nasty, smelly and fat.”

I wonder what there is about government service that draws these assholes to it like flies to pig shit? There were hundreds in Berlin before Hitler came to power and I know that there must be thousands in England. Washington has enough to fill the sewers of Paris and that is one of the reasons why I will be happy to get down into the country.

August is always the worst month in Washington and I will be happy to get to Virginia and see about the house. I bought it, of course, and everyone here is very happy except one of the servants, one of my own from Germany, who has a girl friend here. He came to see me, looking very sad, and mentioned his true love and how much she meant to him. I was sympathetic and because he is a good man, I offered to hire her as well so now all is joy here.

The packing, crating and moving will be an enormous project but the goal makes it worthwhile.

Bunny found an interior decorator who runs around like his legs were tied together at the knees and waves his arms around like an Italian tenor in a Verdi opera. She wants him to oversee the decorations and he has good taste, except no doubt, in his choice of bed partners. And they are so expensive and difficult to deal with.

“Oh no, dear, that has to go there! Oh, and this just won’t do at all!”

I will let her do that part. We can get married either here or down in Virginia. She wants to get married here but on that, I am firm. I do not want the zoo from the CIA to pollute my wedding. They would all get drunk, go into the garden and plot to murder the King of the Belgians because someone thinks he might be a communist agent.

Aunt is not happy. Aunt, I find out, does not have as much money as I thought.

The house down the street, the limousine and all that belong to the estate and Bunny is one of two beneficiaries of the trust, which keeps aunt in nice things. Well, she is an interesting old lady and will stay where she is. Bunny has plenty of money so I informed her that she could spend it on her horses, which she agrees to.

I refuse to get up on a horse.

Next week, Bunny and I will go to New York to see about additional furniture. We are going to take everything out of this house and quite a bit from hers. I don’t think aunt is overly happy but she has plenty to keep her happy.

I told Bunny to let her keep the family pictures because, frankly, most of them look like people with gland disorders. I didn’t tell her that, naturally.

I doubt if Truman would come down there but he might after all.

There is one room which could do duty as a ball room but people don’t have formal dances these days so I plan to turn it into a room with all of the Imperial Russian artifacts.


Hillary Clinton was erratic First Lady, ‘violent’ to husband, staff – Secret Service author

June 6, 2016


Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, was a volatile and at times violent presence as First Lady during her husband Bill’s two terms in the White House, according to a new book by an ex-Secret Service agent.

Hillary’s frequent outbursts and a willingness to violently confront her husband left Secret Service agents and White House staff on edge, writes Gary Byrne, a Clinton-era Secret Service officer, in his forthcoming book, “Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses his Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate.”

Byrne, a veteran of the military and federal law enforcement, said he was posted near the Oval Office during Bill Clinton’s presidency, affording the agent a firsthand look at Hillary, who he says is too “erratic, uncontrollable and occasionally violent” to become president.

“What I saw in the 1990s sickened me,” Byrne wrote, according to the New York Post, which was offered an advanced copy of the book.

Byrne goes on to claim fierce, obscenity-laced tirades by Hillary Clinton directed at White House staff, Secret Service agents and her husband.

“Hillary Clinton is now poised to become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, but she simply lacks the integrity and temperament to serve in the office,” Byrne wrote, adding that she once attempted to have Secret Service banned from the White House.

Bill and Hillary Clinton had at least one “violent encounter,” Byrne wrote, ahead of a major, national presidential address. In fact, Secret Service staff would discuss how to keep Hillary Clinton from physically harming her husband. One morning in 1995, Byrne said he arrived at the White House to find a smashed blue vase and a “put-a-steak-on-it black eye” on the president.

“From the bottom of my soul I know this to be true. And with Hillary’s latest rise, I realize that her own leadership style — volcanic, impulsive, enabled by sycophants, and disdainful of the rules set for everyone else — hasn’t changed a bit,” Byrne wrote.

Byrne also mentions moments in which he walked into a room where Bill Clinton was “involved inappropriately with a woman” who was neither Hillary Clinton nor White intern Monica Lewinsky. Byrne was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury regarding the investigation into Bill Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign waved off the book as another “nonsense” attempt by author’s to smear the former US secretary of state amid an election season. Previous books have claimed that Clinton verbally abused Secret Service agents and other White House staff.

“Gary Byrne joins the ranks of Ed Klein (author of ‘Unlikeable The Problem with Hillary’) and other ‘authors’ in this latest in a long line of books attempting to cash in on the election cycle with their nonsense,” spokesman Nick Merrill said, according to the Post. “It should be put in the fantasy section of the book store.”

Byrne’s book is not the first time Hillary Clinton has been accused of violent behavior towards her husband. Books such as“American Evita: Hillary Clinton’s Path to Power,” by journalist Chris Andersen, and “The Clintons’ War on Women,” by Roger Stone, a longtime conservative political operative and current advisor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, have alleged abusive outbursts by Hillary Clinton aimed at Bill Clinton, especially involving the former president’s supposed philandering.

Bill Clinton’s alleged infidelity before and during his two terms in the White House, as well as various Clinton family scandals dating back to the Clintons’ reign as governor and First Lady of the state of Arkansas, have been well-documented in recent decades. In a 1998 interview, Clinton, responding to the years of attacks, mostly by conservative opponents of the couple, and accusations that Bill Clinton had lied under oath about an affair with Lewinsky, said that there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” out to get her and her husband.

“I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this — they have popped up in other settings. This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”

Byrne’s book will be released on June 28 but has already jumped to the top spot on Amazon’s best-seller list.

Charles Ortel

Notes on the continuing crisis

A Deep Dive into How the Clinton Foundation Operates Illegally and in Haiti

 Understanding illegal activities of the Clinton Foundation requires grasping state, federal, and foreign laws that bar public charities from being run for private gain, and that govern solicitations using the mail, telephones, and digital media.

Remember, as you evaluate the available public record that Clinton Foundation trustees have never submitted the financial records of this web of public charities to an independent, properly certified audit, performed by fully informed and empowered accounting firms.

In addition to providing new overview perspectives on the Clinton Foundation charity fraud network, this update offers extensive background information concerning ways in which the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton family, and affiliates have operated in Haiti–a nation that lies on the epicenter of natural and manmade disasters.

What possesses powerful, wealthy, and educated persons to prey upon the most desperately poor humans on earth, while simultaneously trying to take credit for “philanthropy”?

And why have so many people failed to carry out their solemn duties overseeing charities, for so long?

Expect an increased flow of detailed disclosures centering upon Exhibits 1 through 40 through this website, and continued reaction to breaking developments via my twitter account (@CharlesOrtel).

Third Follow-up Letter to Donors, Charity Regulators, Investigative

Journalists and Citizens Worldwide

22 May 2016

Dear Friends,

Your help and encouragement in recent weeks is already bringing overdue attention upon the largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever attempted–that being the network of illegal activities worldwide, whose heart is the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

The Clinton Foundation, directed by certain individuals and together with numerous affiliates, has been part of an international charity fraud network whose entire cumulative scale (counting inflows and outflows) approaches and may even exceed $100 billion, measured from 1997 forward.

Yet, state, federal, and foreign government authorities, that should be keenly aware of this massive set of criminal frauds, so far, move at a snail’s pace, perhaps waiting for the Federal

Bureau of Investigation to reveal the scope of its work and the nature of any findings.

In the short term, you can help by educating yourselves concerning strict laws that do apply to publicly supported charities, including all Clinton Foundation entities, and their fundraising agents.

And there is one concrete, cost-free, step you can take–you can join me in prodding the Federal Trade Commission to reverse its incorrect decision not to undertake review of the Clinton Foundation record, even though it has recently and vigorously pursued far smaller offenders that committed illegal activities whose consequences were less damaging.Please send out the following tweet to all three FTC Commissioners and to Congresswoman Blackburn, that links to my detailed reports and prods two ends of the political spectrum:

Investigate the REAL @ClintonFdn record @EdithRamirezFTC @MOhlhausenFTC @TMcSweenyFTC @MarshaBlackburn www.charlesortel.com @CNN @FoxNews

Please also spend time reading and sharing these new materials together with others that are found at my website, and can be downloaded, free of charge.

In coming weeks, I will also explain how to bring pressure upon state, federal, and foreign regulators to investigate the complete Clinton Foundation record, and then bring malefactors to justice.




Additional Background Information

During the past week, I started to make progress1 encouraging interested parties to look more closely into voluminous public disclosures of the Clinton Foundation.

As many are starting to appreciate, Clinton Foundation documents omit crucial facts, include false and materially misleading statements, and exclude legally required audits of financial statements for each year of operation, that must be prepared on a consistent basis.

Moreover, careful review of numerous state, federal, and foreign filings makes plain that the Clinton Foundation has been engaged in substantial illegal and unauthorized activities other than operating a presidential archive and research facility, based in Little Rock, Arkansas, right from the start on 23 October 1997.

One particularly pungent example is what the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton family, and selected associates have been doing in the desperately poor nation of Haiti, starting in 2003. A detailed summary with helpful links on this topic is now circulating in publications targeting the

Haitian diaspora2.

And, I have only begun to explain, nation by nation, and activity by activity, how the Clinton Foundation international fraud network has been allowed to operate with seeming impunity.

Largest Unprosecuted Charity Fraud in World History

In financial terms, how large are the Clinton Foundation charity frauds?

From the outside, without access to internal financial reports, correspondence, board minutes, and key legal agreements that must be available to the FBI, the truth is that a precise estimate isnot possible, at present.

Furthermore, looking through purposefully opaque, inconsistent, and incorrect public filings for the Clinton Foundation itself, careful and experienced analysts easily can miss ongoing frauds carried out by persons linked to the Clinton Foundation who have derived illegal financial benefits in many ways, and who have operated related charities and businesses illegally.

1 Links to certain appearances and commentary are set forth below:


2 Please follow this link and then continue to other resources linked in this document:


That said, comparing publicly available disclosures of Clinton Foundation entities and affiliates with disclosures made by selected donors, one arrives at the inescapable conclusion that the full sweep of this international fraud is likely denominated in the many tens of billions of dollars.

To contemplate the true extent of the Clinton Foundation charity fraud network, you must examine numerous filings in chronological order–important portions (but not all) aspects of the formative phases of the criminal conspiracy through 2011 are discussed in Exhibits 1-40, whose titles flag primary elements of concern.

In contrast, it is irresponsible to evaluate Clinton Foundation filings, as some have done, starting on 31 December 2009–truth emerges long before then, through patient review of records that Clinton Foundation personnel have intentionally concealed, altered, and omitted from their primary information portal3.

Illegal, Unmonitored Organizations with Embedded Conflicts of Interest

Around the world, focus sharpens on the Clinton Foundation; however even experienced observers fail to understand the nature and massive scale of this international criminal conspiracy.

For example, In “Potential Conflict at Heart of Clinton Foundation” published today in The New

York Times4, Al Hunt incorrectly states, in part:

“The Clinton Foundation and its various offshoots have raised about $2 billion from wealthy individuals, corporations–especially Wall Street–and foreign governments. Much of its work is widely praised.”

First, no one actually knows, with precision, how much money was raised in the name of the Clinton Foundation, because no part of the Clinton Foundation has ever obtained a certified and compliant audit of its financial results, as is legally required.

Second, the Clinton Foundation is not a validly organized or operated charity–trustees never shared proof with the general public that required authorizations in relevant states and nations were lawfully obtained and maintained to carry out charitable purposes, beyond serving as a presidential archive and research center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

3 Some of the financial and other reports filed by the Clinton Foundation are found here:


4Please follow this link:

Third, trustees and others connected to the Clinton Foundation continue to omit making disclosures concerning operation of related organizations, and concerning collective private gains.

In short, close review of the Clinton Foundation record shows clearly that it and related entities have operated illegally since inception to serve private interests under the cloak of charitable intention.

A Call for State, Federal, and Foreign Investigations and Prosecutions

For too long, too many have suspended natural disbelief, and failed to appreciate that one of the most powerful political dynasties in America has been brazenly operating a mammoth, illegal, fundraising scheme that enriches itself and connected cronies, while pinching numerous governments by creating costly, unwarranted tax deductions.

The Clinton Foundation steadfastly resists making proper accounting for its inflows, so it is difficult to discern who actually provides support without studying reams of material issued by donors that is available in the public domain.

Counter-intuitively, the likelihood is that taxpayers (through government entities) and small donors (via illegally organized and porous, internet-based fundraising appeals) send more towards the Clinton family and supposed charities, than do wealthy donors.

That said, rich donors also contribute, and many of them have illegally obtained valuable financial and other returns thanks to patronage from the Clinton family, forging business transactions in the guise of charity.

Meanwhile there is little, verifiable evidence that all the “initiatives” and projects discussed in

Clinton Foundation reports actually have served validly authorized and truly charitable purposes, as these are strictly defined in state, federal, and foreign laws.

Perhaps there are worse things than raising and misappropriating tens of billions of dollars by pretending to serve charitable ends–but I fail to understand why so many educated, influential people would be drawn into a web of organizations that functions as “Robin Hood in Reverse”, stealing from the desperately poor to enrich millionaires and billionaires, while harming already overstretched governments in so many nations.

Despite multiple and persistent warnings, government authorities seem unwilling to investigate and expose global fraud at the Clinton Foundation and in the nonprofit sector that dwarfs other notorious frauds in the for-profit sector, including Madoff5 and Enron6.

In coming weeks, pressures will rise on past and present Clinton Foundation trustees who, for years, have been grossly negligent in overseeing multiple public charities; on lawyers and accounting advisors who seem guilty of reckless, professional misconduct; and upon state, federal, and foreign regulators who manifestly have failed to protect the general public in many nations.

5 Estimates vary widely concerning total losses suffered by investors in the Madoff vehicles–here is one summary from 2011:

6 For an overview of the Enron fraud and brief discussion of other corporate frauds, please follow this link:


Selected Topics to be Covered in Detail in Forthcoming Exhibits

1 Fundraising Activities in the Name of the Clinton Foundation–October 1997 through January 2001

2 Fundraising Activities in the Name of the Clinton Foundation for the William J. Clinton Peace Centrein Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Starting After 1998

3 Undisclosed Administrative Proceedings Against Persons Who Exercised Significant Influence Over Clinton Foundation Activities

4 Fundraising Activities in the Name of the Clinton Foundation for the William J. Clinton Scholars Program at American University in Dubai, Starting After 2000

5 Undisclosed Activities in the Name of American India Foundation Allegedly Providing Earthquake Relief in Gujarat, India Starting in January 2001

6 Undisclosed Activities Working With MindSpirit LLC, Rajat Gupta, and InfoUSA After January 2001

7 Undisclosed Activities Organizing, Helping to Operate, and Fundraising for International AIDS Trust Starting Around January 2001

8 Undisclosed Activities in the Name of the Clinton Foundation Allegedly Fighting HIV/AIDS

9.Internationally Starting in July 2002 9 Undisclosed Activities Working With Ron Burkle and Yucaipa Companies Starting in 2002

10 False and Materially Misleading Organization and Operation of Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, Inc. (“Old CHAI”), Starting in March 2004

11 Submission of False and Materially Misleading Disclosures to Government Authorities Concerning 2003 and Prior Years

12 False and Materially Misleading Accounting for Construction of the Presidential Library and for a Donation to the National Archives and Records Administration on 18 November 2004

13 False and Materially Misleading Accounting for Loans Secured During 2004 to Fund Construction of the Little Rock, Arkansas Complex

14 Illegal Operation and False, Materially Misleading Disclosures Concerning Old CHAI During 2005

15 Fundraising Operations in the Name of the Clinton Foundation Allegedly Providing Tsunami Relief, Starting in January 2005

16 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Alliance for a Healthier Generation Starting in May 2005

17 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Bush Clinton Katrina Fund Starting in August 2005

18 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Clinton Global Initiative Starting by September 2005

19 Submission of False and Materially Misleading Disclosures to Government Authorities Concerning 2004 and Prior Years

20 Arrangement of “Sham” Merger of Old CHAI into the Clinton Foundation Effective 31 December 2005

21 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, Starting in 2006 22 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Clinton Climate Initiative Starting in August 2006 23 Deceptive Procurement of Strategic Partnership with UNITAID by September 2006

24 Submission of False and Materially Misleading Disclosures to Government Authorities Concerning 2005 and Prior Years

25 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, Starting in June 2007

26 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of William J. Clinton Foundation UK, Starting in July 2007

27 Submission of False and Materially Misleading Disclosures to Government Authorities Concerning 2006 and Prior Years

28 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Gulf Coast Recovery Fund Starting September 2008

29 Deceptive Procurement of a Memorandum of Understanding with President Obama’s Transition Team Starting in November 2008

30 Submission of False and Materially Misleading Disclosures to Government Authorities Concerning 2007 and Prior Years

31 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of William J. Clinton Foundation Corporation (Florida) starting in June 2009

32 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Clinton Global Initiative, Inc. Starting in September 2009

33 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. Starting in September 2009

34 Submission of False and Materially Misleading Disclosures to Government Authorities Concerning 2008 and Prior Years

35 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Starting in January 2010

36 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Inc. Starting in February 2010

37 Undisclosed Activities Working With Laureate Education Inc, Starting in 2010

38 Submission of False and Materially Misleading Disclosures to Government Authorities Concerning 2009 and Prior Years

39 Unauthorized and Illegal Operation of Clinton Health Access Initiative-UK Starting in November 2011

40 Submission of False and Materially Misleading Disclosures to Government Authorities Concerning 2010 and Prior Years

The Real Clinton Foundation Record is Getting Exposed

Readers who visit Clinton Foundation websites are forgiven for believing information found there presents the complete record.

In fact, key documents and disclosures are missing or contradict other filings that a persistent investigator only finds by scanning a raft of state, federal, and foreign databases.

Today’s posting concentrates upon explaining certain issues that are subjects of growing media interest, but fall outside the chronological order of forthcoming Exhibits 1 through 40, that explain history important to an assessment of Clinton Foundation filings for 23 October 1997 through 31 December 2010.

As this posting discusses in detail, the biggest issue presented by revelations concerning a $2 million private investment arranged by a Clinton Foundation entity is whether this entity, the Clinton Global Initiative, Inc (“New CGI”) is even a duly constituted tax-exempt charity.

Furthermore, if New CGI was never a validly constituted tax-exempt charity, how was the tax and legal status of its parent, the Clinton Foundation, affected?

Meanwhile, much larger issues surround Clinton family connections to Laureate Education Inc., its key executives, investors, and affiliates.

Do not listen to surface level media reports that fail to consider the complete public record.

Trump Should Make an Issue of Hillary’s Warmongering

June 3, 2016

by Anthony T. Salvia


“The Security of the U.S. & the Peace of the World”

by Jim Jatras and Anthony T. Salvia

One cannot help but wonder if Hillary Rodham Clinton is smart enough to be President. She evidently learned nothing from her attempt a few weeks ago to play the “woman card” against Donald Trump. He responded by slamming her for enabling her rapist husband’s multiple predations while savaging his accusers.

You would think she would have remembered the old adage: “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

But as if to demonstrate the truth of another proverb characterizing fools, “once burned, twice shy,” there she was in San Diego throwing rocks with reckless abandon in the glass house of America’s foreign policy. Donald Trump, she claimed, is dangerous. He is a threat to our national security. He doesn’t love NATO enough. Or Muslims.

Her tirade is an engraved invitation for Trump to shine a bright, unflattering light on Hillary’s foreign policy views and record as U.S. Secretary of State—one of the most checkered and blood-soaked in U.S. history.

Hillary’s overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi (conspicuously absent from her San Diego speech) has turned that country into an ISIS stronghold. Her cackle over his murder, echoing, tellingly, Julius Caesar—“we came, we saw, he died”—speaks volumes about her weird vainglory and bloody-mindedness.

Hillary pushed for a Security Council resolution to allow U.N. forces to relieve the beleaguered city of Benghazi during Gaddafi’s last days—then promptly sandbagged the other members of the Security Council by superseding the resolution’s mandate, using it as carte blanche to hunt down Gaddafi and bring about regime change. Russia and China, which could have vetoed the resolution, but did not believing (naively) in Washington’s good will, felt deeply betrayed. Indeed, her perfidy and aggression may well have convinced Vladimir Putin that he needed to replace then-president Dmitri Medvedev—with himself.

As for Benghazi, the original casus belli, it is well-known how little Hillary cared about the security of the U.S. diplomatic mission there, let alone the city as a whole. A Fox News report released May 12th sheds light on Hillary’s negligence and incompetence: a member of the U.S. Air Force squadron at Aviano airbase in Italy said he and his fellow airmen were waiting for the order to conduct a rescue effort, but it never came. The report also quotes a certain “Mike,” a member of an anti-terror quick reaction force: “We had hours and hours and hours to do something . . . and we did nothing.”

Questions put to Hillary by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee suggest Hillary’s  main concern—and the reason the late U.S. ambassador had travelled from Tripoli to Benghazi in the first place—was to arrange for the transfer of weapons from Gaddafi’s arsenal to Turkey and then to jihadist groups in Syria. Thus, the Benghazi calamity had its roots in our, ill-conceived “Assad-must-go” policy, which has plunged Syria into a horrendous cycle of violence and destruction, and continues to be U.S. policy today and Hillary’s preferred outcome.

Once again—as in Iraq and Libya (and with Hillary’s full-throated support)—we are seeking to overthrow a secular government that has a long history of tolerating local Christian churches (the fate of Christianity being, of course, of zero interest to Hillary). Thanks in large part to her—we are now backing jihadist groups in Syria that are closely aligned ideologically with the people who knocked down the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

The result of Clintonian aggression and incompetence has been the destabilization of the entire region, and the migration of tens, indeed hundreds, of thousands of refugees to Europe, threatening to swamp the security, economy, and cultural cohesion of the Old Continent under a tidal wave of inassimilable people. Hillary is not appalled by this; she thinks it is marvelous.

Bernie Sanders has taken Hillary to task for her vote for the Iraq War. He is right about that. But he will not connect the dots linking Iraq to Libya to Syria. These dots in turn connect to Hillary’s outspoken dislike for Vladimir Putin and hatred of Russia, and ultimately to her husband’s appalling war of aggression against Serbia and her advising him that he should bomb the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade—the first aerial bombardment of a European city since 1945, as Gary Leupp, professor of history at Tufts University, has pointed out in a helpful survey of her many crimes and blunders.

What do Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Serbia have in common? They were all friends and allies of Russia when they were attacked. It is hardly a coincidence that America swings into military action (Serbia, Iraq) and/or seeks regime change (Libya, Syria, Ukraine) if it contributes to our policy of isolating, encircling, and defeating post-communist Russia.

Hillary’s comparing of Vladimir Putin to Hitler and her current advocacy of a no-fly zone (directed against Russian aircraft) in Syria and beefed up military assistance to Ukraine—plus the Obama Administration’s enhancement of NATO’s presence on Russia’s borders (now including deploying nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers over the Baltic States!)—has convinced many Russia-observers that what was unthinkable during the Cold War has become plausible, even probable. As Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, has observed, the large-scale U.S.-NATO massing of military forces on Russia’s western border—in Poland and the Baltic states, and in the Black Sea—which NATO considers its “Eastern Front,” is unprecedented and creates the impression in Moscow that we are preparing for war.

It is no wonder that even as Obama cautions that the world is “rattled” at the prospect of a Trump presidency (as though foreigners were entitled to pick our leaders), Russians prefer The Donald by a significant margin. Maybe they just fear what having Hillary back in the White House would mean for them. Americans should be scared too.

Few people under 50 years of age remember that once upon a time the Democrats were known as “the War Party” and Republicans stood for peace. Some pundits have suggested that Trump’s less bellicose policies mean he is “left-flanking” Hillary on war. That is inaccurate. As with his positions on immigration and trade, he is not so much flanking her from the “left” as hitting her destructive globalism from the American side.

Adding endless wars—and the prospect of a nuclear war against Russia, or possibly China—to his bill of particulars against Hillary would serve Trump, America, and the world well. Maybe it’s time for him to fund a remake of the famous “Daisy” attack ad that helped propel Lyndon Johnson to a landslide victory over Barry Goldwater in 1964.

‘Grimy business’: John Oliver makes TV history, forgives $15m in medical debt he purchased

June 6, 2016


In a scathing attack on the lack of regulations in the debt-collection industry, HBO comedy host John Oliver announced that a debt collection agency formed by his show would forgive $15 million in medical debts held by about 9,000 people.

On Sunday’s episode of his show, ‘Last Week Tonight,’ Oliver detailed the lack of oversight and basic standards of verification in the debt-collection industry. In many states, unlicensed collectors can buy debt from entities like banks at a fraction of the total debt amount. The show gathered news reports of debtors who were hassled and threatened repeatedly by collectors over debts, sometimes even after a declared bankruptcy or death.

‘Last Week Tonight’ showed hidden-camera footage taken at a Debt Buyers Association conference, during which panelists mocked debtor confusion over their rights while excusing the industry’s questionable tactics

In response to the industry’s unprincipled behavior, Oliver’s show set up a Mississippi-based debt collection company — “Central Asset Recovery Professionals,” or CARP, named after “a bottom-feeding fish,” Oliver said. CARP was formed with ease and supported by a basic website.

“Debt buying is a grimy business and badly needs more oversight,” Oliver said. “Because as it stands, any idiot can get into it, and I can prove that to you, because I’m an idiot and we started a debt buying company and it was disturbingly easy.”

The show “spent $50 to incorporate a debt acquisition company online” in April. With Oliver as the chairman of the board, the company was soon offered a portfolio of nearly $15 million “of out-of-statute medical debt from Texas at a cost of less than half a cent on the dollar, which is less than $60,000,” he said. “For that amount, CARP would be sent the personal information — including names, current addresses, and social security numbers — on nearly 9,000 people.”

Oliver called the easy debt purchase “absolutely terrifying, because if I wanted to, I could legally have CARP take possession of that list and have employees start calling people turning their lives upside down over medical debt they no longer had to pay.”

Instead of collecting the money, Oliver said the show would forgive the debt – not just because it’s the “right thing to do,” but because the show “would be staging the largest onetime giveaway in television show history” to date, besting Oprah Winfrey’s $8 million giveaway to a studio audience in 2004.

The debt portfolio the show had purchased through CARP would be transferred to RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that works to forgive medical debt without worry of tax ramifications for debtors, Oliver said.

As of December 2014, 43 million Americans had overdue medical bills that impacted their credit report, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The federal agency said at the time that half of all overdue debt on credit reports was attributed to medical debt. Of the consumers with unpaid medical bills on their credit report, 22 percent of them had an otherwise clean credit standing, the CFPB said.

“CFPB is concerned the complex processes by which medical bills are incurred, collected by a wide range of debt collectors, and reported to credit reporting agencies can create challenges for consumers,” the agency said when it released a medical debt study.

A 2013 study found that medical bills were the leading cause of bankruptcies in the US, impacting about 2 million people. Most people who have difficulty paying off medical bills do have health insurance, according to a 2014 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Weak U.S. productivity likely to remain a drag on profits

June 7, 2016

by Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON-U.S. nonfarm productivity fell less sharply than initially thought in the first quarter and labor-related costs surged for a second straight quarter as companies hired more workers to raise output, suggesting profits could remain under pressure.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, contracted at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent, instead of the 1.0 percent pace the government reported last month.

Productivity fell at a 1.7 percent rate in the fourth quarter. The revision for the first quarter, which reflected modestly higher output than previously estimated, was in line with economists’ expectations.

“Despite subdued wage growth, low productivity growth means that companies still face significant labor costs for producing an extra unit of output,” said Blerina Uruci, an economist at Barclays in New York. “Fast-rising unit labor costs have been associated with weak profits for companies in recent years.”

Corporate profits have been soft, also hurt by a strong dollar, which has undercut demand for U.S.-manufactured goods and overseas earnings of multinational firms. After-tax corporate profits fell 5.1 percent in 2015 and rose at only a 0.6 percent rate in the first quarter.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the productivity report.

Output per worker in the first quarter was revised to show a 0.9 percent rate of increase, up from 0.4 percent. The government last month raised its first-quarter economic growth estimate to a 0.8 percent rate from the 0.5 percent pace reported in April.


Productivity has only increased in two of the last six quarters. It rose at a 0.7 percent rate compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The weakness in productivity partially explains the divergence between the economy’s anemic performance at the start of the year and a fairly strong labor market, marked by average monthly job gains of 196,000 in the first quarter.

Some economists have attributed the weak productivity to the changing industry mix, which has seen a shift from manufacturing and energy toward the production of services. Productivity increased at an annual rate of less than 1.0percent in each of the last five years, suggesting the economy’s potential rate of growth has declined.

That would imply the spare capacity in the economy is being squeezed out more quickly than thought and that inflation pressures may take hold a bit faster than had been anticipated.

“The slower pace of productivity gains in recent years suggests the economy’s potential rate of growth has fallen,” said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Even with economic growth of around only 2 percent for the remainder of the year, inflation is likely to rise if corporations aim to maintain margins.”

Unit labor costs, the price of labor per single unit of output, increased at a revised 4.5 percent pace in the first quarter. They were previously reported to have advanced at a 4.1 percent rate.

Fourth-quarter unit labor costs were revised to show a 5.4 percent rate of increase, the fastest rate since the fourth quarter of 2014, instead of 2.7 percent. Unit labor costs rose at a 3.0 percent rate compared to the first quarter of 2015.

Hourly compensation per hour increased at an upwardly revised 3.9 percent rate in the first quarter instead of the previously reported 3.0 percent pace.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Blast targets Turkish police vehicle near bus stop in central Istanbul

A suspected bomb blast has hit a police vehicle near a bus stop in central Istanbul. The city’s governor has confirmed that 11 people were killed and dozens injured.

June 7, 2016


A suspected bomb blast hit a police vehicle on Tuesday near a bus stop in central Istanbul, leading to a number of deaths.

A remote-controlled bomb exploded as a service shuttle carrying police officers was passing in the Beyazit district, state-run TRT television reported.

Police detained four people in connection with the bombing, Turkish news agencies reported. The suspects were being questioned at Istanbul’s police headquarters.

Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported that the four people rented the car which was used in the attack.

Eleven people were killed in the explosion, including seven police officers, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin confirmed shortly after the attack. In addition, he said that at least 36 people had been injured.

Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene, images of which showed a city street whose storefronts had been shattered by the force of the blast. Gunshots had also been heard in the area following the blast, according to state-run news organization Anadolu Agency.

The explosion took place close to the Vezeciler metro station, which is within walking distance of some of the main sights of the historical center, including the Suleymaniye Mosque. It is also close to an Istanbul University building and Istanbul’s municipality building.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Shortly after the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited some of those who were wounded. “These [attacks] are being carried out against people whose duty it is to ensure the security of our people. These cannot be pardoned or forgiven. We shall continue our fight against terrorists tirelessly until the end,” Erdogan later told reporters.

Following the attack, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “horrified” about the attack and voiced support for Turkey, a country with which Germany has close – albeit increasingly fraught – relations.

“When it comes to the fight against terrorism, Germany is on Turkey’s side,” Merkel said on Tuesday.

Germany’s foreign ministry also tweeted their condolences following the attack: “We condemn the brutal attack in Istanbul and mourn with Turkey and with the dead. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the victims,” the ministry said on Twitter.

Turkey has experienced a string of terrorist attacks since the beginning of the year. Kurdish militants claimed two separate bomb blasts in Ankara that claimed dozens of lives. And last month, at least eight people were wounded when a car bomb detonated in Istanbul, an attack that was also claimed by Kurdish extremists.

Crimes of the War on Terror

Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed?

by Rebecca Gordon


“The cold was terrible but the screams were worse,” Sara Mendez told the BBC. “The screams of those who were being tortured were the first thing you heard and they made you shiver. That’s why there was a radio blasting day and night.”

In the 1970s, Mendez was a young Uruguayan teacher with leftist leanings. In 1973, when the military seized power in her country (a few months before General Augusto Pinochet’s more famous coup in Chile), Mendez fled to Argentina. She lived there in safety until that country suffered its own coup in 1976. That July, a joint Uruguayan-Argentine military commando group kidnapped her in Buenos Aires and deposited her at Automotores Orletti, a former auto repair shop that would become infamous as a torture site and paramilitary command center. There she was indeed tortured, and there, too, her torturers stole her 20-day-old baby, Simón, giving him to a policeman’s family to raise.

Mendez was an early victim of Operation Condor, a torture and assassination program focused on the region’s leftists that, from 1975 to 1986, would spread terror across Latin America’s southern cone. On May 27th, an Argentine court convicted 14 military officers of crimes connected with Operation Condor, issuing prison sentences ranging from 13 to 25 years. Among those sentenced was Reynaldo Bignone, Argentina’s last military dictator, now 88. (He held power from 1982 to 1983.)

Those convictions are deeply satisfying to the surviving victims and their families, to the legal teams that worked for more than a decade on the case, and to human rights organizations around the world. And yet, as just as this outcome is, it has left me with questions — questions about the length of time between crime and conviction, and about what kinds of justice can and cannot be achieved through prosecutions alone.

Operation Condor

Operation Condor was launched by the security forces of five military dictatorships: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Brazil soon joined, as did Ecuador and Peru eventually. As a Cold War anti-communist collaboration among the police, military, and intelligence services of those eight governments, Condor offered an enticing set of possibilities. The various services could not only cooperate, but pursue their enemies in tandem across national borders. Indeed, its reach stretched as far as Washington, D.C., where in 1976 its operatives assassinated former Chilean ambassador to the U.S. Orlando Letelier and his young assistant, Ronni Moffitt, both of whom then worked at the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-wing think tank.

How many people suffered grievously or died due to Operation Condor? A definitive number is by now probably beyond recovery, but records from Chile’s secret police suggest that by itself Argentina’s “dirty war” — the name given to the Argentine junta’s reign of terror, “disappearances,” and torture — took the lives of 22,000 people between 1975 and 1978. Thousands more are thought to have died before that country’s dictatorship ended in 1983. It’s generally believed that at least another 3,000 people died under the grimmest of circumstances in Chile, while thousands more were tortured but lived. And although its story is less well known, the similar reign of terror of the Uruguayan dictatorship directly affected the lives of almost every family in the country. As Lawrence Wechsler wrote in a 1989 article in the New Yorker:

“By 1980, one in every fifty Uruguayans had been detained at some point, and detention routinely involved torture; one in every five hundred had received a sentence of six years or longer under conditions of extreme difficulty; and somewhere between three hundred thousand and four hundred thousand Uruguayans went into exile. Comparable percentages for the United States would involve the emigration of thirty million people, the detention of five million, and the extended incarceration of five hundred thousand.”

And what was the U.S. role in Operation Condor? Washington did not (for once) plan and organize this transnational program of assassination and torture, but its national security agencies were certainly involved, as declassified Defense Department communications indicate. In his book The Condor Years, Columbia University journalism professor John Dinges reported that the CIA provided training for Chile’s secret police, computers for Condor’s database, telex machines and encoders for its secret communications, and transmitters for its private, continent-wide radio communications network. Chilean Colonel Manuel Contreras, one of Condor’s chief architects (who was then on the CIA payroll), met with CIA Deputy Director Vernon Walters four times. And what did the CIA get in return? Among other things, access to the “results” of interrogation under torture, according to Dinges. “Latin American intelligence services,” he added,considered U.S. intelligence agencies their allies and provided timely and intimate details of their repressive activities. I have obtained three documents establishing that information obtained under torture, from prisoners who later were executed and disappeared, were provided to the CIA, the FBI and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). There is no question that the U.S. officials were aware of the torture.”

Justice Delayed

Why did it take 40 years to bring the architects of Operation Condor to justice? A key factor: for much of that time, it was illegal in Argentina to put them on trial. In the first years of the new civilian government, the Argentine congress passed two laws that granted these men immunity from prosecution for crimes committed in the dirty war. Only in 2005 did that country’s supreme court rule that those impunity laws were unconstitutional.  Since then, many human rights crimes have been prosecuted. Indeed, Reynaldo Bignone, the former dictator, was already in jail when sentenced in May for his role in Operation Condor. He had been convicted in 2010 of kidnapping, torture, and murder in the years of the dirty war. As of March, Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) had recorded 666 convictions for participation in the crimes of that era.

But there’s a question that can’t help but arise: What’s the point of bringing such old men to trial four decades later? How could justice delayed for that long be anything but justice denied?

One answer is that, late as they are, such trials still establish something that all the books and articles in the world can’t: an official record of the terrible crimes of Operation Condor. This is a crucial step in the process of making its victims, and the nations involved, whole again. As a spokesperson for CELS told the Wall Street Journal, “Forty years after Operation Condor was formally founded, and 16 years after the judicial investigation began, this trial produced valuable contributions to knowledge of the truth about the era of state terrorism and this regional criminal network.”

It took four decades to get those convictions.  Theoretically at least, Americans wouldn’t have to wait that long to bring our own war criminals to account. I’ve spent the last few years of my life arguing that this country must find a way to hold accountable officials responsible for crimes in the so-called war on terror. I don’t want the victims of those crimes, some of whom are still locked up, to wait another 40 years for justice.

Nor do I want the United States to continue its slide into a brave new world, in which any attack on a possible enemy anywhere or any curtailment of our own liberties is permitted as long as it makes us feel “secure.” It’s little wonder that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate feels free to run around promising yet more torture and murder. After all, no one’s been called to account for the last round. And when there is no official acknowledgement of, or accountability for, the waging of illegal war, international kidnapping operations, the indefinite detention without prospect of trial of prisoners at Guantánamo, and, of course, torture, there is no reason not to do it all over again. Indeed, according to Pew Research Center polls, Americans are now more willing to agree that torture is sometimes justified than they were in the years immediately following the 9/11 attacks.

Torture and the U.S. Prison System

In a recent piece of mine, I focused on Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner the CIA tortured horribly, falsely claiming he was a top al-Qaeda operative, knew about a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, and might even have trained some of the 9/11 pilots. “In another kind of world,” I wrote, Abu Zubaydah “would be exhibit one in the war crimes trials of America’s top leaders and its major intelligence agency.” Although none of the charges against him proved true, he is still held in isolation at Guantánamo.

Then something surprising happened. I received an email message from someone I’d heard of but never met. Joseph Margulies was the lead counsel in Rasul v. Bush, the first (and unsuccessful) attempt to get the Supreme Court to allow prisoners at Guantánamo to challenge their detention in federal courts. He is also one of Abu Zubaydah’s defense attorneys.

He directed me to an article of his, “War Crimes in a Punitive Age,” that mentioned my Abu Zubaydah essay. I’d gotten the facts of the case right, he assured me, but added, “I suspect we are not in complete agreement” on the issue of what justice for his client should look like. As he wrote in his piece,

”There is no question that Zubaydah was the victim of war crimes. The entire CIA black site program [the Agency’s Bush era secret prisons around the world] was a global conspiracy to evade and violate international and domestic law. Yet I am firmly convinced there should be no war crimes prosecutions. The call to prosecute is the Siren Song of the carceral state — the very philosophy we need to dismantle.”

In other words, one of the leading legal opponents of everything the war on terror represents is firmly opposed to the idea of prosecuting officials of the Bush administration for war crimes (though he has not the slightest doubt that they committed them). Margulies agrees that the crimes against Abu Zubaydah were all too real and “grave” indeed, and that “society must make its judgment known.”  He asks, however, “Why do we believe a criminal trial is the only way for society to register its moral voice?”

He doubts that such trials are the best way to do so, fearing that by placing all the blame for the events of those years on a small number of criminal officials, the citizens of an (at least nominally) democratic country could be let off the hook for a responsibility they, too, should share.  After all, it’s unlikely the war on terror could have continued year after year without the support — or at least the lack of interest or opposition — of the citizenry.

Margulies, in other words, raises important questions.  When people talk about bringing someone to justice they usually imagine a trial, a conviction, and perhaps most important, punishment. But he has reminded me of my own longstanding ambivalence about the equation between punishment and justice.

Even as we call for accountability for war criminals, we shouldn’t forget that we live in the country that jails the largest proportion of its own population (except for the Seychelles islands), and that holds the largest number of prisoners in the world. Abuse and torture — including rape, sexual humiliation, beatings, and prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and cold — are routine realities of the U.S. prison system. Solitary confinement — presently being experienced by at least 80,000 people in our prisons and immigrant detention centers — should also be considered a potentially psychosis-inducing form of torture.

Every nation that institutionalizes torture, as the United States has done, selects specific groups of people as legitimate targets for its application. In the days of Operation Condor, Chilean torturers called their victims “humanoids” to distinguish them from actual human beings. Surely, though, the United States hasn’t done that? Surely, there’s no history of the torture of particular groups? Sadly, of course, such a history does exist, and like so many things in this country, it’s all about race.

The practice of torture in the U.S. didn’t start with those post-9/11 “enhanced interrogation techniques,” nor with the Vietnam War’s Phoenix Program, nor even with the nineteenth century U.S. war in the Philippines. It began when European settlers first treated native peoples and enslaved Africans as subhuman savages. As southern farmers started importing captured Africans to augment their supply of indentured English labor, they quickly realized that there was little incentive for those slaves to work — none but the pain of whippings, mutilations, and brandings, and the threat of yet more pain. Torture and slavery, in other words, were fused at the root. From the first arrival of black people on this continent, it has been permissible, even legal, to torture them.

And it didn’t stop with emancipation. After the end of slavery, southern states began the practice of convict leasing — arresting former slaves and then their descendants, often on trumped-up charges, and renting them out as labor to farmers and later coal mine owners who had the power and legal right to whip and abuse them as they chose.

Then there’s lynching. Many people think of it as an extrajudicial death by hanging.  As it was practiced in the Jim Crow South, however, it was a form of public, state-approved torture, often involving the castration or disembowelment of the living victim, sometimes followed by death by fire. Lynching thus continued the practice of treating black minds and bodies as legitimate targets of torture. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that, of the more than two million prisoners in the United States today, 40% are black, while the U.S. population is only 13% black.

Here’s the problem, then. When we say that putting George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other top officials in their administration in prison for war crimes would be justice, we endorse a criminal justice system that is more criminal than just, and where torture is a daily occurrence.

Do we want to do to Bush, Cheney, and their accomplices essentially what they did to their victims?  There is, of course, a certain appeal to the idea of someday seeing such powerful white men among the suffering, tortured millions in our prison system, or even — like the supposed “dirty bomber” José Padilla and Abu Zubaydah — in perpetual solitary confinement.

And yet, would this truly provide even a facsimile of justice, given that American prisons are hardly instruments of justice to begin with? Those opposed to the acts at the heart of America’s never-ending war on terror were heartened when President Obama ordered the CIA “black sites” dismantled globally. We continue to demand the closing of Guantánamo (something that looks increasingly unlikely to happen in his presidency). How, then, can we find justice through a prison system that uses similar methods on an everyday basis here in the U.S.?

Forty Years to Go?

And then, of course, there is the question: Whom should justice truly serve?

The first answer is: the victims of the “war on terror,” including those who were tortured, those detained without trial, the civilian “collateral damage” of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the “unintended” victims of drone assassinations. Then there are all those in the rest of the world who have to live with the threat of a nuclear-armed superpower that has in these years regularly refused to recognize the most basic aspects of the rule of law.

Many who work with survivors of organized repression like Operation Condor say that their primary desire is not the punishment of their oppressors but official acknowledgement of what happened to them. In his New Yorker article, Wechsler, for instance, pointed out that, for the victims of torture, accountability may not be identical to punishment at all.

“People don’t necessarily insist that the former torturers go to jail — there has been enough of jail — but they do want to see the truth established… It’s a mysteriously powerful, almost magical notion, because often everybody already knows the truth — everyone knows who the torturers were and what they did, the torturers know that everyone knows, and everyone knows that they know.”

Seeing “the truth established” was the purpose behind South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Torturers and murderers on both sides of the anti-apartheid struggle were offered amnesty for their crimes — but only after they openly acknowledged those crimes. In this way, a public record of the horrors of apartheid was built, and imperfect as the process may have been, the nation was able to confront its history.

That is the kind of reckoning we need in this country. It started with the release of a summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program, which brought many brutal details into the light. But that’s just the beginning. We would need a full and public accounting not just of the CIA’s activities, but of the doings of other military and civilian agencies and outfits, including the Joint Special Operations Command. We also would need a full-scale airing of the White House’s drone assassination program, and perhaps most important of all, a full accounting of the illegal, devastating invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Justice would also require — to the extent possible — making whole those who had been harmed. In the case of the “war on terror,” this might begin by allowing torture victims to sue their torturers in federal court (as the U.N. Convention against Torture requires). With one exception, the Obama administration has until now blocked all such efforts on national security grounds. In the case of the Iraq War, justice would undoubtedly also require financial reparations to repair the infrastructure of what was once a modern, developed nation.

We’re unlikely to see justice in the “war on terror” until that cruel and self-defeating exercise is well and truly over and the country has officially acknowledged and accounted for its crimes. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 40 years.

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