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TBR News March 3, 2017

Mar 03 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. March 3, 2017: “There has been much muted excitement in American top-level military circles recently about growing rumor that the Lebanese-based Hezbollah on the verge of launching a massive missile attack on Israel. No one knows the date of this and Israeli spy drones and American surveillance satellites can detect no unusual activity. However, it is also known that launching devices for many of these missiles can easily be concealed in domestic buildings and brought out for use in a very short period of time. It is believed that if the American government appears to be in collusion with Israel, such an attack would be very likely to be launched without warning.”

Table of Contents

 

  • Washington Post anti-Trump headlines for March 2, 2017
  • Homeland Security Sees Anger At Trump as a Driver of “Domestic Terrorist Violence”
  • SECRECY NEWS
  • Annihilation – Humans Annihilated Neanderthals
  • Syrian regime recaptures Palmyra from Islamic State
  • The Crooked Cross: The Neo-Nazi Rennaisance
  • Turkish foreign minister accuses Germany of double standards
  • Oil flows resume from Iraq’s Kirkuk fields after Kurdish forces storm facility
  • Typo blamed for Amazon’s internet-crippling outage
  • Why opioid overdose deaths seem to happen in spurts
  • The Armenian Holocaust of 1916

 Washington Post anti-Trump headlines for  March 2, 2017

 

  • Trump’s proposed budget cuts make federal workers increasingly nervous
  • White House plan would cut EPA staff by one-fifth, shutter programs
  • 4 Pinocchios for Trump’s claim that EPA rule cost ‘hundreds of thousands’ of jobs
  • After a SEAL’s death in Yemen, questions persist on Trump’s decision-making process
  • Do vigilantes see Trump giving them a wink and a nod?
  • Should the media boycott the White House?
  • Transgender kids are resilient. We won’t let Trump keep us down.
  • Crime isn’t out of control. But the White House wants you to think it is.
  • Feds wage uphill fight against Trump’s budget cuts

 

Homeland Security Sees Anger At Trump as a Driver of “Domestic Terrorist Violence”

March 2 2017

by Ryan Devereaux

The Intercept

In the view of the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence wing, anger over the election of Donald Trump, reflected in protests across the country, is a driving force in “domestic terrorist violence,” according to an unclassified report obtained by The Intercept.

The conclusions, laid out in a February 21 report prepared by the North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC) and DHS’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A), come amid a series of controversial post-election efforts by Republican lawmakers to criminalize protest.

Focused on North Carolina, the six-page document “was written in response to a spike in violence and criminal acts — including an arson attack — targeting political party offices and staff that occurred prior to of and immediately following the election” and sets out to provide “an overall threat forecast for the first half of 2017 concerning like activities in the state.”

“In the lead up to and immediately following the 2016 election, North Carolina experienced incidents that included the targeting of political campaign offices and government organizations,” the report notes, which, “highlight their attractiveness as targets for domestic terrorists and various cyber actors seeking to advance political aims and/or influence government operations.”

Based largely on open source reporting and law enforcement assessments, the report focuses on a handful of incidents in late October in which GOP offices were targeted with “low level physical violence,” including with BB guns and, in the most serious incident, Molotov cocktails. Though property was damaged in the latter incident, nobody was injured. The report notes that the words “Nazi Republicans leave town or else,” were spray painted on a building adjacent to the burned GOP office — the report does not mention the “Black Lives Don’t Matter and Neither Does Your Votes” graffiti that appeared on a wall in Durham, North Carolina weeks later, however, nor the Democratic office in Carrboro, North Carolina that was tagged with the words “Death to Capitalism.”

One individual was arrested on federal terrorism charges during the period of heightened activity for allegedly leaving a bomb threat on a GOP answering machine in the county of Henderson.

The report also highlights three incidents of “malicious cyber activity targeting public sector — particularly government — entities in the last half of 2016” that “may have been politically-motivated.” In one incident, “a criminal hacker defaced a North Carolina law enforcement website by gaining access and posting pro-Turkey messaging.” In another, “a criminal hacker group” tried and failed to steal government records. In the third and final example cited in the report, a so-called distributed denial of service attack “significantly degraded” a city website’s “functionality and impacted connectivity.”

Overall, the law enforcement and intelligence analysts in North Carolina expect that the vandalism allegedly motivated by Trump’s election “will likely decrease through the first half of 2017 as compared to the last half of 2016,” basing its conclusion on “the lack of threat reporting and the completion of the Presidential election and the near completion of political transitions in federal and state governments which may have served as a drivng [sic] catalyst for the violence.”

Michael German, a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at NYU’s law school, said it was important to analyze the report and its conclusions for what it is: the work-product of one of the nation’s many law enforcement “fusion centers,” which he said tend to “measure their effectiveness by how many reports they publish.”

A former undercover FBI agent who infiltrated violent domestic organizations, German said the report failed on numerous fronts to achieve its intended purpose of providing information that could help law enforcement stop or solve crimes.

“It claims to provide ‘situational awareness’ but what information does it actually provide about the situation?” German explained in an email to The Intercept. “It doesn’t purport to quantify the number or type of attacks that made up the supposed ‘spike’ in election-related incidents, and it doesn’t qualitatively describe them either. It isn’t clear whether the examples summarized are the only cases, or the most serious cases, or just a handful of cases the analyst chose at random to summarize for this report.”

What’s more, German pointed out, “That election-related violence might go down after the election is over is tautological.”

While the report predicts a decrease in the kinds of incidents seen in North Carolina last year, it also includes a section on the perspective DHS’s intelligence wing, which links national protests over Trump’s election to domestic terrorism.

“DHS assesses that anger over the results of the 2016 Presidential election continues to be a driver of domestic terrorist violence throughout the United States — as evidenced by rioting in Portland, Oregon, following the election and violence and destruction of property in Washington during the inauguration,” the report says.

The early November eruption in Portland, cited in the footnotes of the report, was officially described as a riot by local police, who used flash bang grenades and tear gas to respond to property damage, which law enforcement officials characterized as “extensive criminal and dangerous behavior.” The widely reported inauguration day protests in Washington D.C., which took place a day before the historic women’s march on the capitol, also featured property damage and a hard-edged police response, culminating to more than 200 arrests — including a number of working journalists — most of whom were hit with federal rioting charges.

Trump has lashed out against as those protesting against him — whether they destroy property or not — as illegitimate and/or paid agitators. Following the protests in Portland he tweeted, “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

The message has apparently resonated. Since Trump’s election, Republican lawmakers in at least in at least 18 states have introduced bills aimed at cracking down on protests. Decried by civil liberties advocates as the criminalization of dissent, the recent legislation has included efforts to provide legal protections to drivers who hit protesters with their cars and proposals to use racketeering laws in order to seize the property of any individual who attends a peaceful protest that turns violent.

In the case of North Carolina specifically, DHS agreed “that the campaign cycle likely was a driving influence of the rash of incidents” last year, but “cannot discount the possibility that some such individuals could be spurred to violence against a variety of political targets in the state in the coming year.” The report adds that there are “other factors or occurrences that could foment further criminal acts and violence against political entities in North Carolina.”

Examples of other factors noted in the assessment include, “Negative publicity surrounding perceived political scandal involving North Carolina political entities”; “Passage of new state or federal legislation that is unpopular with violent extremists — such as legislation concerning: abortion rights, LGBT rights, environmental concerns, gun control, or federal health insurance”; “Perceived success in violent activity during the 2017 Presidential inauguration that energized local and regional violent extremists”; and “negative publicity surrounding voter registration in North Carolina during the previous 2016 presidential election.”

The report’s forecast for 2017 does not address reported rises in Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, and anti-semitic violence, harassment and vandalism, which some experts have attributed to the president’s right-wing base feeling emboldened by his rhetoric and success. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, such incidents spiked after Trump’s election, and while they have decreased in recent weeks, the organization says they remain above pre-election levels. North Carolina in particular was among the 18 states hit in a string bomb threats targeting dozens of Jewish community centers and schools across the country this week. The FBI, meanwhile, has reported a rise in hate crimes in the state in recent years, and in 2015 the infamous murder of three young Muslims by a white neighbor in the city of Chapel Hill sparked an emotional nationwide debate on the subject.

The Intercept contacted DHS for clarification on the agency’s views regarding domestic terrorism and anger over Trump’s election but did not receive a response.

“The issue of what is counted as political violence and what isn’t, this is a longstanding problem,” German, the former FBI agent, said. “Law enforcement agencies have long tended to view vandalism, civil disobedience, or even just protest against government institutions as more serious than actual violence against marginalized populations. That’s why crimes against government property are ‘terrorism’ but crimes against minorities are ‘hate crimes’ at best and ignored at worst.”

“For example, the report calls private property destruction in DC and Portland after the election ‘domestic terrorism,’ which vastly overstates the charges levied in those incidents,” German said. “For a fusion center to amplify disorderly conduct, vandalism, or civil disobedience into terrorism is inappropriate, factually wrong, and potentially misleading to law enforcement.”

SECRECY NEWS

From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2017, Issue No. 16

March 2, 2017

DETERRING, AND RELYING UPON, RUSSIA

In confronting Russia and rebutting its claims, the United States is hampered by unnecessary or inappropriate classification of national security information, according to former Pentagon official and Russia specialist Evelyn Farkas.

“We are not very good at declassifying and reclassifying information that is not propaganda, showing pictures of what the Russians are doing,” Dr. Farkas told the House Armed Services Committee last year.

“We did it a couple of times, and interestingly, the Open Skies Treaty was actually useful because, unlike satellites, that is unclassified data that is gleaned as a result of aircraft that take pictures for the purposes of our treaty requirements.”

“But in any event, I think that we can do more just by getting some information out. That is the minimum that the State Department could do and should do, together with the intelligence community. But it should also be a push, not a pull–not leaders like yourselves or executive branch members saying, ‘Declassify that,’ but actually the intelligence community looking with the State Department, ‘What should we declassify?’ not waiting for somebody to tell them to do it,” she said.

See Understanding and Deterring Russia: U.S. Policies and Strategies, House Armed Services Committee, February 10, 2016 (published January 2017).

The same hearing featured testimony from Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution. She has just been offered a position in the Trump White House as senior director for Europe and Russia, Foreign Policy reported today. See Trump Taps Putin Critic for Senior White House Position, by John Hudson, March 2.

“Putin is a professional secret service operative,” Ms. Hill told the House Armed Services Committee. “He is very unusual among world leaders at present. Putin has also been trained to conceal his true identity and intentions at all times. This is what makes him particularly difficult to deal with.”

Meanwhile, yesterday the National Reconnaissance Office successfully launched a new U.S. spy satellite aboard an Atlas V rocket — that was powered by a Russian RD-180 engine. (“All in a day’s work,” tweeted Bill Arkin.)

Though it might seem incongruous that U.S. intelligence collection would be dependent on Russian space technology, that is how things stand and how they are likely to remain for some time.

“Goodness knows we want off the Russian engine as fast as any human being on the planet,” said Gen. John E. Hyten of US Air Force Space Command. “We want off the Russian engine as fast as possible.”

But there is a but. “But, asking the American taxpayers to write a check for multiple billions of dollars in the future for an unknown is a very difficult thing to do, and for the Air Force, that will be a very difficult budget issue to work,” Gen. Hyten told the House Armed Services Committee last year.

Pentagon official Dyke Weatherington concurred: “The Department continues to be dedicated to ending use of the Russian manufactured RD-180 engine as soon as reasonably possible, but still believes that access to the RD-180 while transitioning to new and improved launch service capabilities is the optimal way forward to meet statutory and Department policy requirements for assured access to space in both the near and long term.”

Even a new US-manufactured rocket engine will not suffice, Mr. Weatherington added. “Any new engine still has to be incorporated into a launch vehicle. The Department does not want to be in a position where significant resources have been expended on an engine and no commercial provider has built the necessary vehicle to use that engine.”

Their testimony was presented at a 2016 hearing on military and intelligence space programs that has recently been published. See Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request for National Security Space, House Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2016.

IRAN POLICY AND THE EUROPEAN UNION, & MORE FROM CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Iran Policy and the European Union, CRS Insight, February 27, 2017

The European Union: Current Challenges and Future Prospects, updated February 27, 2017

The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy, updated February 28, 2017

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments, updated February 27, 2017

History, Evolution, and Practices of the President’s State of the Union Address: Frequently Asked Questions, February 27, 2017

Gun Control: FY2017 Appropriations for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Other Initiatives, updated February 27, 2017

Filling Advice and Consent Positions at the Outset of Recent Administrations, 1981-2009, updated February 24, 2017

Annihilation – Humans Annihilated Neanderthals

One of the most hotly debated issues in paleoanthropology (the study of human origins) focuses on the origin of modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens.

Roughly 300,000 years ago, the Old World was occupied by a morphologically diverse group of hominids (any primate of the family Hominidae). In North America, Africa and the Middle East there were Homo sapiens; in Asia, Homo erectus; and in Europe, Homo neanderthalensis.

By 130,000 years ago, Neanderthals had all become so anatomically distinct, that they were classified as a separate species — Homo neanderthalensis. Then, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, Cro-magnoids (our ancestors) suddenly appeared on this planet. Instead of living cooperatively with Neanderthals, we annihilated them in North America, Africa and Asia by 40,000 years ago, and in Europe by 25-30,000 years ago.

To date, no definite Neanderthal specimens newer than 25,000 years ago have ever been found. However, that does not mean that Neanderthals are necessarily extinct. In fact, there is every possibilty that what we identify as Yeti and Bigfoot today, are actually Neanderthal survivors, and there is overwhelming physical evidence to suggest that is indeed what they are.

In 1999, when the skeleton of a child was unearthed in Lapido, Portugal, evolutionists celebrated wildly. Dated to around 25,000 years ago, the remains showed a mixture of Neanderthal and modern features, suggesting it may be a hybrid, possibly even the proverbial ‘missing link’. But, small fragments of DNA extracted from three different specimens of the child revealed that it was not closely related to any present day human populations. All evidence continues to point to the fact that our arrival on Earth was very sudden, and that we are radically different from all native life forms that have ever existed here.

The global paleoanthropological and archaeological picture changed dramatically with the sudden and unexpected appearance of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Cro-Magnon or Modern Man).

The placement of Cro-Magnons on the planet caused abrupt and dramatic change in subsistence patterns, tools and symbolic expression worldwide. This stunning change in cultural adaptation was not merely a quantitative one, but one that represented a significant departure from all earlier humanoid and hominoid behavior, reflecting a major qualitative transformation.

It was literally a creative explosion which exhibited technological ingenuity, social formations, and ideological complexity never before seen on Earth. However, while early Cro-Magnons were anatomically modern, they were not yet intellectually or behaviorally modern. It is significant to note that modern anatomy pre-dates modern intelligence and behavior.

The sudden appearance of modern humans placed Neanderthals in direct competition with our ancestors for resources. Though they were larger, stronger, faster and possessed larger brains than Cro-Magnons, it was a competition that the Neanderthals lost. There was much scientific debate as to whether it was climatic change or Cro-Magnon’s sudden appearance that resulted in the demise of the Neanderthals. Studies have since concluded that it was competition with our ancestors, and not the climate, that resulted in Neanderthal extermination.

While there has been a great deal of effort by evolutionists in the last century to “construct” an evolutionary link between Neanderthals and Cro-magnons, to date none has ever been proven to be accurate or true. In fact, several of the attempts were actually scientifically proven to be intentional frauds, and the rest were revealed to be nothing more than wild speculation.

NOTE: The oldest “prehistoric” cave drawings and paintings, petroglyphs and other forms of stone art are estimated to be from 20-25,000 years ago. Many of the academic community have inaccurately portrayed the early artists as Neanderthal man, but Neanderthals were virtually exterminated by our Cro-Magnon ancestors thousands of years earlier. Despite incredible efforts and acts of deception to prove otherwise, Neanderthals are not the ancestors of modern humans.

Modern humans simply do not have Neanderthal ancestors in their family tree, a DNA study concluded.

The DNA extracted from the ribs of a Neanderthal infant buried in southern Russia 29,000 years ago, was found to be too distinct from modern human DNA to be related. “There wasn’t much, if any mixture, between Neanderthals and modern humans,” said William Goodwin, of the University of Glasgow, UK. “Though they co-existed, we can’t find any evidence of genetic material being passed from Neanderthals to modern humans.” The work, published in the journal Nature, contradicts evidence from ancient remains of a child found in Portugal, which was later proven wrong.

The bones from the Neanderthal infant were very well preserved, and the child must have been among the last of the Neanderthals as they died out about 30,000 years ago. Research, by Dr Goodwin, along with Swedish and Russian colleagues, agrees with the findings of the first analysis of Neanderthal DNA in 1997. That study of DNA, taken from the first Neanderthal skeleton found in the Feldhofer Cave in Germany in 1856, supports the theory that modern humans replaced Neanderthals.

According to Dr Goodwin, the DNA sequence from the infant was very similar to the specimen from the Feldhofer Cave, proving that there was little diversity among Neanderthals. “If they had been very diverse at the DNA level, they could have encompassed modern humans. The fact that these two Neanderthals are closely related, and not related to modern humans, implies that they don’t have the diversity to encompass a modern human gene pool,” said Dr Goodwin.

DNA comparisons also showed that different ethnic groups cannot be genetically identified (there is no ‘race’ gene in us), nor do we have any direct genetic links to Neanderthals. In a commentary on the research in Nature, Matthias Hoss, of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, said the two studies provide the most reliable proof so far of the authenticity of ancient DNA sequences. The similar features of the two samples “argues against the idea that modern Europeans are at least partly of Neanderthal origin,” he said.

Another study by a group of geneticists, coordinated by Guido Barbujani and David Caramelli of the Universities of Ferrara and Florence, showed that a Cro-Magnoid individual who lived in Southern Italy 28,000 years ago was a modern European, genetically as well as anatomically. The Cro-Magnoid people briefly coexisted in Europe with other humanoids, the Neanderthals, whose anatomy and DNA were clearly different from ours. However, obtaining a reliable sequence of Cro-Magnoid DNA was technically challenging. “The risk in the study of ancient individuals is to attribute to the fossil specimen the DNA left there by archaeologists or biologists who manipulated it,” Barbujani says. “To avoid that, we followed all phases of the retrieval of the fossil bones, and typed the DNA sequences of all people who had any contact with them.”

The Cro-Magnoid people briefly coexisted in Europe with other humanoids, the Neanderthals, whose anatomy and DNA were clearly different from ours. However, obtaining a reliable sequence of Cro-Magnoid DNA was technically challenging. “The risk in the study of ancient individuals is to attribute to the fossil specimen the DNA left there by archaeologists or biologists who manipulated it,” Barbujani says. “To avoid that, we followed all phases of the retrieval of the fossil bones and typed the DNA sequences of all people who had any contacts with them.”

The researchers wrote in the newly published paper: “The Paglicci 23 individual carried a mtDNA sequence that is still common in Europe, and which radically differs from those of the almost contemporary Neanderthals, demonstrating a genealogical continuity across 28,000 years, from Cro-Magnoid to modern Europeans.” The results demonstrate for the first time that the anatomical differences between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnoids were associated with clear genetic differences.

The Neanderthals, who lived at the top of Earth’s food chain for nearly 300,000 years, were not the ancestors of modern humans. We suddenly appeared from somewhere about 50,000 – 60,000 years ago. Despite any similarities of Neanderthals to modern man, they have no direct link to our evolution.

It has been proven that our intelligence is not the result of evolution as we have been led to believe, but rather is the direct result of genetic regression…

Syrian regime recaptures Palmyra from Islamic State

Iranian and Russian forces help push extremists out of historic city, which has been badly damaged during occupation

March 2, 2017

by Martin Chulov

The Guardian

Beirut-Forces loyal to the Syrian regime have recaptured most of the city of Palmyra two months after it fell to Islamic State militants for the second time in a year.

Led by Iranian-backed militias and Russian special forces, the loyalist units entered the city on Thursday, nearly three months after Isis took it over.

The fight to retake Palmyra, a world heritage site, had been long and intense, with the retreating Isis fighters laying an extensive network of mines and booby traps throughout the famed Roman ruins that were once one of Syria’s pre-eminent tourist attractions.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, congratulated loyalist forces on the seizure. Moscow’s elite military units had been on the ground when Palmyra was recaptured from Isis for the first time last March and were again present over the past month.

The ancient site was extensively damaged during the terror group’s first occupation and that damage is thought to have increased since December. Isis used the Roman amphitheatre and library to stage public executions, wreaking widespread destruction throughout one of the region’s most esteemed archeological sites. The extremists hold most pre-Islamic civilisations in contempt.

When Isis stormed back into Palmyra in December, using the same desert tracks it had used to flee the city nine months before, it was taking advantage of the campaign by the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, to retake opposition-held eastern Aleppo. It stole some priceless treasures and destroyed others, overrunning Syrian government troops in less than a day.

Its latest retreat comes amid steady losses of territory elsewhere in Syria and in Iraq, where a campaign to defeat the terror group has stepped up in recent weeks. Turkish-backed Arab units fighting under the Free Syrian Army banner retook the town of al-Bab, north-east of Aleppo, last month, driving Isis forces west towards Raqqa, their last redoubt in Syria.

Across the border, Iraqi troops have established a foothold in Mosul’s south-west, confining some of the organisation’s most diehard fighters to a corner of one of their two remaining centres of gravity – the other being Raqqa.

The campaign to retake the rest of Mosul is thought likely to roll on well into the spring and then turn towards Raqqa, where much of the Isis leadership is believed to be in hiding.

A loose alliance of Turkish, Russian and US forces are yet to determine the force that will attack Raqqa, with Turkey remaining adamant that Syrian Kurdish proxies currently being employed by the US to isolate the city should not be used to storm it.

Donald Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo, gave Turkey no assurances on a recent trip to Ankara. Turkey says it will continue to defy attempts by Syrian Kurds to establish a foothold west of the Euphrates river, which would bring them into a pocket of its border in which Kurds have no historical presence. Turkey fears that once there, the Kurds would link up with Kurdish areas further west, changing the demography of its entire border with Syria.

Kurdish units in the border town of Manbij said on Thursday that Russia had brokered a deal to allow Syrian government forces into villages to the west of Manbij, a move that restored the presence of the central government near the border for the first time in five years.

Turkey denied such a deal had been struck and said it would advance against the Kurds in Manbij if they did not withdraw to the east. The claims underscore the complexity of the battlefield in northern Syria which, after the recapture of rebel-held Aleppo, has shifted into a multi-pronged fight against Isis, while localised conflicts have also played out.

In recent weeks, loyalist forces have attacked Turkish-backed rebels fighting Isis near al-Bab. US-backed Kurds have squared off against rebels backed by both Ankara and Washington

The Crooked Cross: The Neo-Nazi Renaissance

March 3, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

In the main, fraud, counterfeiting and deceit are certainly immoral  and very often felonious but in some instances, the essential ludicrous nature of some frauds manages to overcome the gravity.

Such is the case of the enormous industry devoted to the creation, manufacture and sale of faked items of German militaria and elevated personality items from the Third Reich period, purporting to belong to such people as Hitler and Hermann Goering.

There is an abiding fascination with the trappings of the Third Reich but the number of actual and original relics is much smaller than a burgeoning demand. Nature abhors a vacuum and if original pieces are no longer available, the vacuum is filled with creations to satisfy the demand.

Not only are legitimate pieces of German militaria copied and marketed, a number of outrageous fantasy pieces have also been created and merchandised like the Reverend Ernie’s Holy Healing Cloths on Christian television stations.

There is an interesting parallel here between the manufacture and sale of Nazi relics and the manufacture or misidentification of relics of the Catholic church.

In the latter we can find the knuckle bones of a pig being passed off as having once been a part of Saint Rosa of Compostella or the ever-popular St. Nicholas. Expert study has proven that the notorious Shroud of Turin is a 13th Century fake and it has been said that there are enough pieces of the True Cross around to build a small hotel.

Fraud and chicanery are the hallmarks of any marketplace, be it Wall Street, Carnaby Street or the Internet auctions.

It is amazing that so many of these neo-Nai fraud merchants are able to find either end of themselves in a dark room or, as the author’s sainted Granny used to say, ‘Too lazy to work, too stupid to steal and completely unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

The hallmark of the German military and personality collectors is, in the main, a fascination with a period they are constantly reminded is the very essence of terrible evil. In spite of countless reams of utter nonsense produced about German wickedness (as opposed to American, British or Russian asocial behavior) German items are far more in demand that anything else and of all the items most sought after and commanding the highest prices are relics of the awful SS.

So much for failed propaganda which has only made its sworn enemy so attractive.

One dealer bought the iron gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp from a Polish scrap dealer and tried to sell them to the American Holocaust Museum. They were most eager to obtain this dubious relic but on principle (or perhaps because of a lack of it) absolutely refused to pay for the massive entrance to the netherworld.. A tax-free gift would be much more to their liking but the greedy and uncharitable  dealer merely cut the gates into small pieces and sold these off like souvenirs of  the Berlin Wall (or fragments of the True Cross).

The author once spoke with a very wealthy dealer in Nazi fakes and he said, with some humor, that when he has had occasion to visit various highly prestigious military collections in the past as he walks down the line of glass cases filled with the cream of Third Reich militaria, such as Hitler’s dinnerware or Goering’s swords, he keeps hearing tiny voices that say, “Papa, papa!” as he passes.

Items which are purported to have belonged to Adolf Hitler are quite naturally, worth a great deal of money and Hitler fakes abound in the market place. It should be noted that Hitler wrote very few personal letters and signed almost nothing at all after the outbreak of the war. Such items as original caps, uniforms and the like are non-existent because Hitler ordered their destruction at the end of the war and in the main, this order was faithfully executed.

Hitler was 5 foot, 8.5 inches in height and weighed in the vicinity of 150 pounds. Any uniform alleged to be the property of Hitler would conform to these requirements. On the Party uniforms, the buttons on all items were silvered, but on the post-1939 uniforms, the buttons were gold.

Until 1938 Hitler wore the Iron Cross First Class and the black wound badge on the left hand pocket and, on some occasions (such as the ceremonial march in Munich on 9 November of each year) the Blutorden on the flap of the right breast pocket. After 1938, Hitler discarded the Blood Order ribbon and medal and added the Gold Party Badge on the left breast pocket, above the Iron Cross.

Hitler’s visor cap had a long, brown leather visor (worn because he was very sensitive to light) and the top piping of the cap was twisted gold cord. The lower two pipings were white, the cap band brown velvet and the cap cords in gold. The eagle was always embroidered directly into the cap as was the wreath, which was added after 1938.

Hitler’s uniforms were made by the Berlin military tailoring firm of Wilhelm Holters and his caps were made by Robert Lubstein of Berlin under the trade name of eReL. Contrary to amusing myths circulating after the war, Hitler did not wear a bullet-proof vest nor was there a steel liner in his cap.

In the First World War, Hitler won the Iron Crosses 1st and 2nd Classes, the Bavarian service medal, fourth class, the wound badge in black. As a member of the Bavarian army, did not wear any Austrian army decorations.

Hitler wore French-cuff shirts with gold links depicting the civic arms of the city of Danzig, the swastika motiv picked out in diamonds. Before the war, he wore a party eagle on his tie in solid gold, no wristwatch and no other jewelry.

Occasionally, gaudy pictures of Hitler’s mother, grotesque «ruby” rings and the like show up, allegedly Hitler’s property but all of these were birthday gifts and in all probability, never even seen by him. An alleged suicide pistol which has appeared in several publications is a fake. The Walther with the ivory grips once had the maker’s name, Carl Walther, and their post-war address in Ulm/Donau on the slide but this has since been replaced with the proper wartime address. in Zella-Mehlis. This piece was made by the Walther factory for Colonel James Atwood in the early 1960s as the still-extant serial number proves. It has been seen in many post-war militaria publications but its present whereabouts is unknown.

Hitler carried a Belgian Browiing 7.65mm pistol in his pant’s pocket and the right hand pocket of all of his trousers had a leather lining to hold the gun.

There are no surviving original Hitler paintings and sketches. Everyone from Konrad Kujau to Alfred Speer took a hand at copying Hitler’s style, with various degrees of success. Speer’s sketches come much closer to the mark as he was an architect and very familiar with Hitler’s style.

An example of the Speer drawings can be seen in a biography of Hitler by British writer, David Irving.

A book edited by Billy Price of Texas on Hitler’s artwork (Hitler as Maler und Zeichner) is crammed to the plimsoll line with fakes but is quite valuable in that it shows a very few known original Hitler pieces (those he himself authenticated before the war and marked as being from the NS archives. In the Price book, original Hitler pieces have the BA or Bundesarchiv numbers) with fakes. Hitler’s style is most distinctive and anyone with an eye for design can easily spot the hundreds of fakes.

Aside from some items held by the U.S. Army, no known original Hitler pieces exist in the United States and one of the largest collections in England is stuffed with fakes.

When Hitler joined the D.A.P. in 1919, his party number was 555, there being fifty five members and the numbers starting at 500 for propaganda reasons. When the Party was reorganized in later years, Hitler carried the number one and no medal or pin with the number seven is original.

In “Mein Kampf” Hitler indicates that he was the seventh member of the central committee and stupid forgers have seized on this to assume that he carried the party number of seven.

“Hitler silverware” was made up in some quantity and exists in two patterns; so-called formal and informal. This silver, which bears the state eagle and the letters A H was actually state silver and was used in governmental cafeterias. Reichskanzelei silver was marked R K.

It should be noted that all manner of State silver existed. One dealer in militaria claims to possess “Adolf Hitler’s” silver cigarette case. The price for this relic is somewhat less than the national debt of Mexico but since Hitler was a vehement non-smoker, the attribution is sadly in error.

Aside from personality items, yards of fake tapestries are offered, claimed to be from Hitler’s house or from Heinrich Himmler’s office and huge eagle and swastika bronze table decorations, jostle the auction house catalogs, cheek by jowl with oil paintings made in China of top level Nazi officials, fake dinnerware, honorary citizens awards, napkin rings engraved with Eva Braun’s initials, lavishly embroidered Hitler standards, copies of Mein Kampf with fake dedications and on and on.

Jewish holocaust professtionals and other left-wingers spend a good deal of time informing anyone bored enough to listen, that Hitler was an evil monster. And in spite of these fulminations, auction houses worldwide are reaping a huge profit from selling his counterfeit possessions.

Turkish foreign minister accuses Germany of double standards

Ankara has condemned Germany and threatened retaliation in a row between the two countries. Turkey’s foreign minister said Germany applies double standards to his country and wants to thwart a constitutional referendum.

March 3, 2017

by Chase Winter

DW

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Germany of double standards on Friday after a southern German town did not allow its justice minister to attend a meeting and give a campaign speech. Cavusoglu said Ankara would not be “intimidated.”

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was scheduled on Thursday to speak to supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to rally support behind an April referendum to dramatically expand the powers of the presidency. Germany’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it was not involved in the decision to cancel the speech, adding that it was reached by local authorities.

A bomb threat was phoned in to the Gaggenau town hall on Friday after the canceled speech. Police did not find any explosives in their search of the building.

Cavusoglu criticized officials in Gaggenau who denied permission on technical grounds, suggesting that the decision was a “systematic practice of the German deep state” to weaken Turkey. The deep state is a reference usually associated with Turkey to describe a shadowy network within the military and bureaucracy that acts as a state within the state.

“They don’t want Turkey to campaign because they are working for a ‘No’ vote [in the referendum], because they want to undermine a powerful Turkey,” Cavusoglu told reporters. Germany is home to some 3 million people of Turkish origin, about half of whom can cast a ballot in April.

Speaking on Friday, Bozdag described the cancellation “in the truest sense of the word a fascist approach.”

Cavusoglu said Germany “gives lectures on democracy,” but then implements double standards on freedom of speech and assembly. He accused Germany of allowing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to organize in Germany, referencing a Kurdish rally last year in Cologne.

But he said nearly a week before the Kurdish rally, the elected president of Turkey was blocked from giving a live video speech at an anti-coup rally of government supporters.

“Giving permission to terrorists and not giving permission to our president and ministers shows Europe’s double standards,” Cavusoglu said.

“If you want to continue relations, you [Germany] need to learn how to behave towards us. We will respond without hesitation,” he said without providing details on what actions Ankara might take.

Cavusoglu’s comments reflect a broader deterioration in relations between Ankara and Berlin, impacted most recently by the arrest on Monday of Deniz Yucel, the Turkish-German “Die Welt” correspondent. He faces up to several years in prison if convicted on “terrorism” charges.

Turkey responded to the withdrawal of permission for Bozdag to speak by canceling a meeting with Germany’s justice minister, in which Yucel’s case was to be a prominent issue. On Thursday, Turkey summoned Germany’s ambassador to Ankara to the foreign ministry.

“German officials say that when Turkish ministers come to Germany they must speak with their counterparts. If you want to meet with Turkish ministers, you will request the meeting like a man and we will gladly meet with you. But with such force and demands we will not meet,” Cavusoglu said.

The city of Cologne also blocked an event where Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybecki was to campaign on Sunday, citing security concerns.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara soured last year after the German parliament passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide. Ties took another downward turn in the wake of the failed July coup attempt. Ankara accused Germany of failing to condemn the putschists.

Erdogan has used post-coup emergency powers to carry out a massive purge targeting tens of thousands of people, journalists and the Kurdish opposition, drawing criticism from Europe.

The opposition in Turkey has warned if April’s referendum passes Turkey will turn into a full-blown dictatorship.

Oil flows resume from Iraq’s Kirkuk fields after Kurdish forces storm facility

March 2, 2017

by Ahmed Rasheed

Reuters

BAGHDAD-Crude flows from Iraq’s northern Kirkuk fields resumed on Thursday after being halted for several hours when Kurdish forces stormed a facility in protest at the Iraqi government’s oil policy, several sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Kurdish forces stormed the facility early on Thursday, saying they were searching for explosives planted by Islamic State militants whom Iraqi forces are fighting with the backing of a U.S.-led coalition.

But a Kurdish official later said the facility had been seized to put pressure on Baghdad to build an oil refinery in Kirkuk, and that Kurdish forces would shut down oil flows again unless their demands were met within a week.

“What we did today was a warning bell to the government,” said Kurdish official Aso Mamand. “It’s not fair for Kirkuk’s oil to be sent to other provinces whilst Kirkuk is suffering a crisis.”

Oil officials and security sources in Kirkuk said the Kurdish forces had not withdrawn from the facility, but had allowed pumping to resume via a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Kurdish peshmerga forces took full control of Kirkuk city and the surrounding area in 2014 when Islamic State militants overran around one third of Iraq and the army’s northern divisions disintegrated.

But Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company (NOC) now operate the oil fields in the region, which were pumping around 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) into the pipeline before the shutdown, the NOC executive said.

The forces that seized the facility, located around 15 km (10 miles) west of Kirkuk, are loyal to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party, which is dominant in the area.

Pumping was suspended for several months last year because of a conflict between Baghdad and Kurdish regional authorities on oil revenue sharing.

Before last year’s interruption, Kirkuk flows were independently handled by Kurdish authorities.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and Isabel Coles; Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)

 Typo blamed for Amazon’s internet-crippling outage

Human error downed sites and services reliant on AWS, as engineer trying to fix billing issues took out far more than they intended to with errant command

March 3, 2017

by Samuel Gibbs

the Guardian

Amazon has blamed the outage of its S3 web service, which took down many different sites, services and devices across the internet, on a typo.

The failure of a critical section of Amazon Web Services (AWS) called S3 (Simple Storage Solution) on Tuesday, led to sites such as Business Insider and Medium failing, while some people found they could not turn on their internet-connected lightbulbs because automation service Ifttt was knocked offline.

Amazon said that at the time of the outage one of its engineers was attempting to diagnose why its billing service for S3 was running slowly. The engineer attempted to take a small subset of the servers for one of S3’s subsystems involved in billing offline for inspection, executing a command from Amazon’s “established playbook”.

Amazon said in an apology to customers: “Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended. The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems. One of these subsystems, the index subsystem, manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region.”

Like most other cloud providers, Amazon’s S3 and other services under the AWS banner are built with redundancy in mind, allowing things to fail without taking out the whole system. But it seems accidently taking the wrong servers in the wrong quantity offline caused a cascade of more major issues.

The problem was compounded by the fact that Amazon hasn’t rebooted the indexing system parts of AWS relies on for years.

Amazon said: “We have not completely restarted the index subsystem or the placement subsystem in our larger regions for many years. S3 has experienced massive growth over the last several years and the process of restarting these services and running the necessary safety checks to validate the integrity of the metadata took longer than expected.”

The issue actually only affected Amazon’s Northern Virginia region, but that was enough to cause major problems for sites and services using that particular data centre region.

Amazon apologised for the issue and said that it has put schemes in place to avoid the same problems caused by human error in the future.

Why opioid overdose deaths seem to happen in spurts

February 8, 2017

by Jacqueline Howard

CNN

Drug deaths in America sometimes seem to come in groups; just look at Ohio.

At least 14 people died of opioid overdoses in Cuyahoga County over the weekend, CNN affiliate WEWS reported.

Already this year, more than 60% of the autopsies conducted at the Montgomery County Coroner’s office in Ohio involved drug overdose deaths — and the office is running out of room for the bodies.

Many of these overdoses were related to the abuse of opioids, a class of drugs that includes powerful prescription painkillers and heroin.

Why do so many opioid overdose deaths across the country appear to occur at once? Experts warn that the answer is more complicated than it may seem.

How fentanyl plays a role

Sometimes, the abuse of opioids can begin when patients are prescribed pain medication in a way that puts them at risk for addiction. As some patients continue to take the medication and enjoy the euphoria that might come with it, it can mark the beginning stages of a deadly addiction.

When drugs are used repeatedly, the body can simultaneously build up a tolerance to opioids and become dependent on them.

Tolerance occurs when the body needs to use more and more to get the same effect. Dependence occurs when a person relies on the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Many times, a number of overdose deaths can sweep a community in one day and make eyebrow-raising headlines — such as in September, when seven people died from drug overdoses in Cuyahoga County in a mere 24 hours.

But we shouldn’t assume that such deaths are necessarily linked, cautioned Nicholas King, an associate professor at McGill University in Montreal who has studied the factors behind increased opioid-related deaths in the United States and Canada. “We know from historical experience with so-called ‘cancer clusters’ that in many cases the clustering is either the result of confirmation bias, or is simply the result of random chance,” he said.

“That said,” he added, “in some very specific cases, we can identify an underlying cause for multiple opioid overdoses in a short period of time: for example, after the appearance of an illegal drug with unusually high potency.”

When a very high-potency opioid, such as the painkiller fentanyl, enters a community, that introduction could spawn an overwhelming number of overdose deaths in a short time span, said Dr. David Fiellin, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine who conducts research on opioid treatment strategies.

“It’s the extent to which these high-potency opioids are being distributed within the illicit drug markets,” he said, adding that people who are using opioids might congregate in certain communities in an attempt to purchase higher-potency versions when they are available.

Fentanyl, a pain reliever often given to cancer patients, was the drug that killed pop star Prince last year. Another high-potency opioid frequently linked to overdoses is the elephant tranquilizer carfentanil, a form of fentanyl that’s 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

When an opioid overdose occurs, a person may have pinpoint pupils, lose consciousness and stop breathing. Opioids can affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing.

Combining opioids with alcohol or other drugs, such as Xanax or other sedatives, can increase these symptoms of an overdose, Fiellin said.

“In the state of Connecticut, we’re seeing that over 40% of individuals with opioid-related overdose deaths also have other substances in their body at the same time,” he said.

In hospitals across the country, opioid overdose patients are often treated with a medication called naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan.

The Food and Drug Administration first approved naloxone in 1971 as a treatment that can reverse opioid intoxication by administering it as an injection.

Yet Fiellin thinks more can be done to treat those who overdose.

“I think, too often, there is too much of a focus on Narcan and naloxone as a fix. That treats the acute episode but doesn’t address the underlying condition,” Fiellin said.

“Survivors of opioid overdose are at multiple-fold risk for repeat events and ultimately having a fatal overdose. So resources need to be brought to decrease their subsequent risk,” he said. “Typically, what happens in individuals who have opioid use disorder is, their level of physical tolerance develops to the point where they are rarely continuing to use opioids for the high or euphoria. They are oftentimes using the opioids to help with the withdrawal.”

Therefore, after overdose patients are treated with naloxone, they should receive treatment for the underlying addiction, Fiellin said. For instance, methadone and buprenorphine are medications that can treat narcotic drug addiction.

A dramatic surge of opioid deaths nationwide

Death rates from synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, rose a whopping 72.2% from 2014 to 2015 across the country, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A total of 33,091 Americans died from opioid overdose in 2015, and 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

The recent increase in opioid overdose deaths nationwide may be attributable to a number of factors, said McGill’s King. They include the dramatically increasing use of prescription opioids among patients and the combined use of opioids with other, licit and illicit, drugs and alcohol, he said.

Yet one of the most common misconceptions is that the opioid overdose epidemic is amenable to simple, one-size-fits-all solutions, such as better training of physicians or use of prescription drug monitoring programs, King said.

“Certainly, these are important steps, but reducing opioid-related deaths will require cutting down both the supply of the drugs and the demand for them,” he said.

The Armenian Holocaust of 1916

The killing of large numbers of Armenians who lived within the Ottoman Empire and its successor Turkish state in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From 1915 to 1920, more than a million Armenians died as the result of executions, massacres, starvation, and other repressive measures, and many fled to the United States and other countries.

The most recent move by the Turkish government in this regard was for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the head of the main opposition party Deniz Baykal to hold a press conference in March 2005 inviting Armenian historians to meet with historians from Turkey to find out what happened, and called on Armenia to open its archives. This was met with a response from the Armenian Foreign minister that the world already knew what happened, and that Armenia’s archives were always open.

Turkey has never established diplomatic relations with Armenia and has closed its land borders with Armenia. Armenia has declared repeatedly it is ready for relations and an open border without preconditions but denied to withdraw its own troops from occupied Azerbeidzan. Turkey claims that it would support the occupation of Nagorno-Karabagh by opening his borders.

The Armenian Holocaust

Before World War I the Ottoman Empire came under the Young Turks government. At first some Armenian political organizations supported the Young Turks in hopes that there would be a real change from Abdul Hamid’s policies towards the Armenian population. There were Armenians elected to the Ottoman Parliament, where some remained throughout the ensuing world war. However they were later to be disappointed. Other parliamentarians such as Muradyan and Garo would go on to lead Armenian rebels in ethnic cleansing campaigns against Muslim and Jewish Ottoman villagers. The Young Turks feared the Armenian community, which they had believed was more sympathetic to allied powers (specifically Russia) than to the Ottoman Empire.

In 1914 Ottomans passed a new law that required all adult males up to age 45, to either be recruited in the Ottoman army or pay special fees in order to be excluded from service. Most of the Armenian recruits were later turned into road laborers and the executed. Those who escaped joined the Russians on the east.

In early 1915, simultaneously with a disastrous Ottoman defeat at the hands of Russia at Sarikamish, with the loss of over 80% of a huge military force, battalions of Russian Armenians organized the recruiting of Turkish Armenians from behind the Turkish lines. In response the Young Turk government executed 300 Armenian nationalist intellectuals, although a partisan source as Peter Balakian’s “The Burning Tigris” tells us most were imprisoned and there were even survivors. The fact that most Armenian men were also butchered in the army and many influential figures arrested and killed, places a question mark over certain arguments that Armenians organized revolts and that there was a civil war, given that Armenians were outnumbered, outmanned and outgunned. On the other hand, there were articles in the New York Times as early as November 7, 1914, days after Russia had declared war, attesting to Armenian uprisings (“ARMENIANS FIGHTING TURKS — Besieging Van—Others operating in Turkish Army’s Rear”), and accounts from Armenians themselves, such as Boghos Nubar’s 1919 letter in the Times of London stressing Armenian belligerence. In addition, there is evidence of Russian financial support, testimony from even those such as Ambassador Henry Morgenthau to the effect of “…In the early part of 1915… every Turkish city contained thousands of Armenians who had been trained as soldiers and who were supplied with rifles, pistols, and other weapons of defense,” and even accounts from Armenian newspapers hailing the rebellion. Chronology here is important and not incontestably established.

After the recruitment of most men and the arrests of certain intellectuals, widespread massacres were taking place throughout Ottoman Empire. In desperate attempts at survival, upon hearing of massacres of nearby villages, Armenians in Musa Dagh and Van organized their self defense. In Van, they handed over control of the city to advancing Russians. After waves of massacres and countermassacres, the Ottoman government ordered the deportation of over 1 million Armenians living in Anatolia to Syria and Mesopotamia though this figure has not been conclusively established. Indeed, there is another consensus this number did not exceed 700,000, and Arnold Toynbee reported in his Wellington House (British propaganda division) report of “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire” that 500,000 were alive in 1916. Although the word deportation seems pretty innocent (some would prefer the word “relocation,” as the former means banishment outside a country’s borders; Japanese-Americans, for example, were not “deported” during WWII), things were not, because the deportations themselves were a silent method of mass execution that led to the death of many of the Armenian population, by forcing them to march endlessly through desert, without food or water or enough protection from local Kurdish or Turkish bandits.

In the process several hundred thousand died in the resulting death marches from starvation, dehydration, disease or exhaustion. Several hundred thousands more were massacred by Kurdish militia and Ottoman gendarmes (while other gendarmes gave up their lives defending the Armenians), giving an estimated total under certain counts of 1,500,000 Armenians dead. Then again, the Armenians contend one million survived, and even the Patriarch Ormanian provided a pre-war population figure of 1,579,000. Sympathetic sources as Le Figaro, prompted by Armenian terrorism in 1977 France, figured only 15,000 Armenians as having died from shootings, sickness and deprivation on the march. It also must be borne in mind that of the 2.5-3 million Turkish mortality, many succumbed to the same factors as famine and disease.

Mr. Hovhannes Katchaznouni, first Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic, describes this part of history as follows in his 1923 Manifesto: “At the beginning of the Fall of 1914 when Turkey had not yet entered the war but already been making preparations, Armenian revolutionary bands began to be formed in Transcaucasia with great enthusiasm and especially with much uproar… The Armenian Revolutionary Federation had active participation in the formation of the bands and their future military action against Turkey… In the Fall of 1914 Armenian volunteer band organized themselves and fought against the Turks because they could not refrain themselves from fighting. This was an inevitable result of psychology on which the Armenian people had nourished itself during an entire generation; that mentality should have found its expression and did so….The Winter of 1914 and Spring of 1915 were the periods of greatest enthusiasm and hope for all Armenians in the Caucasus including of course the Dashnaktsutiun. We had no doubt the war would end with the complete victory of the Allies; Turkey would be defeated and dismembered and its Armenian population would be liberated. We had embraced Russia wholeheartedly without any compunction. Without any positive basis of fact we believed that the Tzarist government would grant us a more-or-less broad self-government in the Caucasus and in the Armenian vilayets liberated from Turkey as a reward for our loyalty, our efforts and assistance. ”

Statistics of the Second Massacre

In 1896 the Ottoman government recorded 1,144,000 Armenians living in Anatolia. Professor Justin McCarthy, U.S. historian and expert in Ottoman history, whose books are published by a Turkish organization as well as prestigious university presses such as the Oxford University Press, estimated that there were 1,500,000 Armenians in Anatolia in 1912. According to the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, there were between 1,845,000 and 2,100,000 Armenians in Anatolia in 1914. Estimates range from 1,000,000 given by some Turkish sources to more than 3,500,000 given by some Armenian sources. Arnold J. Toynbee, who served as an intelligence officer during World War I, estimates there were 1,800,000 Armenians living in Anatolia in 1914. Encyclopaedia Britannica took 1,750,000 Armenians living in Anatolia as their estimate, in certain later editions. In 1911, the encyclopedia had figured 1.1 million, and Toynbee estimated less than one million in his 1915 book, “Nationalism and the War,” before his services were enlisted in Wellington House.

Primary Documents: Talaat Pasha’s Official Orders Regarding the Armenian Massacres, March 1915-January 1916

Updated – Saturday, 27 September, 2003

Reproduced below are official telegrams despatched by Turkish Minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha authorising ongoing massacre of Armenians from March 1915 onwards.  All were signed by Talaat himself other than the first.  The first telegram is signed by the “Djemiet”, i.e. the executive committee of the ‘Young Turk’ organisation; given that Talaat was himself chairman of the organisation the telegram was necessarily issued with his authorisation.

Talaat Pasha’s Official Orders Regarding the Armenian Massacres, March 1915-January 1916

March 25th, 1915

To Djemal Bey, Delegate at Adana:

The duty of everyone is to effect on the broadest lines possible the realization of the noble project of wiping out of existence the well-known elements who for centuries have been the barrier to the empire’s progress in civilization.

We must, therefore, take upon ourselves the entire responsibility, pledging ourselves to this action no matter what happens, and always remembering how great is the sacrifice which the Government has made in entering the World War.  We must work so that the means used may lead to the desired end.

In our dispatch dated February 18th, we announced that the Djemiet has decided to uproot and annihilate the different forces which for centuries have been a hindrance; for this purpose it is forced to resort to very bloody methods.  Certainly the contemplation of these methods horrified us, but the Djemiet saw no other way of insuring the stability of its work.

Ali Riza [Note: the committee delegate at Aleppo] harshly criticised us and urged that we be merciful; such simplicity is nothing short of stupidity.  We will find a place for all those who will not cooperate with us, a place that will wring their delicate heartstrings.

Again let me remind you of the question of property left.  This is very important.  Watch its distribution with vigilance; always examine the accounts and the use made of the proceeds.

THE DJEMIET

September 3rd, 1915

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

We advise that you include the woman and children also in the orders which have been previously prescribed as to be applied to the males of the intended persons. Select employees of confidence for these duties.

Minister of the Interior, TALAAT.

September 16th

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

You have already been advised that the Government, by order of the Djemiet, has decided to destroy completely all the indicated persons [Armenians] living in Turkey.

All who oppose this decision and command cannot remain on the official staff of the empire.

Their existence must come to an end, however tragic the means may be; and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to conscientious scruples.

Minister of the Interior, TALAAT.

November 18th, 1915

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

It appears, from the interventions which have recently been made by the American Ambassador [Note: Mr. Morgenthau] at Constantinople on behalf of his Government, that the American Consuls are obtaining information by some secret means.  They remain unconvinced, despite our assurance that the deportations will be accomplished in safety and comfort.

Be careful that events which attract attention shall not occur in connection with those who are near cities and other centres.  In view of our present policy, it is most important that foreigners who are in those parts shall be convinced that the expulsion of the Armenians is in reality only deportation.

Therefore it is necessary that a show of gentle dealing shall be made for a while, and the usual measures be taken in suitable places.

All persons who have given information to the contrary shall be arrested and handed over to the military authorities for trial by court-martial.  This order is recommended as very important.

TALAAT.

December 11th, 1915

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

We are informed that some correspondents of Armenian journals are acquiring photographs and letters which depict tragic events, and these they give to the American Consul at Aleppo.

Dangerous people of this kind must be arrested and suppressed.

Minister of the Interior,

TALAAT.

December 29th, 1915

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

We are informed that foreign officers are finding along the roads the corpses of the indicated persons, and are photographing them.

Have these corpses buried at once and do not allow them to be left near the roads.

This order is recommended as very important.

Minister of the Interior,

TALAAT.

January 15th, 1916

To the Government of Aleppo:

We are informed that certain orphanages which have opened also admitted the children of the Armenians.

Should this be done through ignorance of our real purpose, or because of contempt of it, the Government will view the feeding of such children or any effort to prolong their lives as an act completely opposite to its purpose, since it regards the survival of these children as detrimental.

I recommend the orphanages not to receive such children; and no attempts are to be made to establish special orphanages for them.

Minister of the Interior,

TALAAT.

(Undated.)

From the Ministry of the Interior to the Governor of Aleppo:

Only those orphans who cannot remember the terrors to which their parents have been subjected must be collected and kept.

Send the rest away with the caravans.

Minister of the Interior,

TALAAT.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. III, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

 

 

 

 

 

 

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