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TBR News May 16, 2019

May 16 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. May 16, 2019: “Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for May 16:”I was told today, by a very reliable US Army person of altitude, that the attack on the Saudi tankers and a mortar “attack” on a US diplomatic building was a false flag job, worked between the CIA and the Mossad.

The perps were under orders not to sink the ships or land shells on the building.

This was supposed to be the excuse to open hostilities with Iran but like the business in Venezuela, it flopped.

What will they do next?

What brilliant moves are being planned at Langley?

A retread Italian, wearing a Iranian guard uniform will fire a BB gun at Trump’s wife?

I haven’t seen such unbelievably moronic behavior manifested since the Bolton  yellow-cake uranium fiction or the howlingly funny Pompeo nerve gas  farce in England.

This latest joke won’t work (like most of the other plans) and next they will try something even more flimsy.

And our beloved Fat Donny the Groper will very soon demand that all pet cats and dogs in the US be euthanized to save cows, donkeys and the old fat women who have made up the contents of dog and cat food cans  for years.

Once he gets booted out of the Oval Office, Fat Donny will surely have his own Comedy Hour on CNN.

He and Fat Pompeo can strip naked and do a fast wing and buck as a closer and with a bus station lavatory as a background complete with glory holes and vomiting winos.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • ‘Extraordinary thinning’ of ice sheets revealed deep inside Antarctica
  • Trump’s potential war with Iran is all John Bolton’s doing. But it might also be his undoing.
  • Conrad Black: Trump pardons ex-media baron ‘friend’
  • Reminder: Trump, Not Bolton, is the President
  • Bolton in Wonderland
  • The Deal of the Century
  • Walmart says higher tariffs on China goods will increase prices for U.S. shoppers
  • The Post-War Diary of Anna Frank
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 ‘Extraordinary thinning’ of ice sheets revealed deep inside Antarctica

New research shows affected areas are losing ice five times faster than in the 1990s, with more than 100m of thickness gone in some places

May 16, 2019

by Damian Carrington Environment editor

The Gurdian

Ice losses are rapidly spreading deep into the interior of the Antarctic, new analysis of satellite data shows.

The warming of the Southern Ocean is resulting in glaciers sliding into the sea increasingly rapidly, with ice now being lost five times faster than in the 1990s. The West Antarctic ice sheet was stable in 1992 but up to a quarter of its expanse is now thinning. More than 100 metres of ice thickness has been lost in the worst-hit places.

A complete loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet would drive global sea levels up by about five metres, drowning coastal cities around the world. The current losses are doubling every decade, the scientists said, and sea level rise are now running at the extreme end of projections made just a few years ago.

The research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, compared 800m satellite measurements of ice sheet height from 1992 to 2017 with weather information. This distinguished short-term changes owing to varying snowfall from long-term changes owing to climate.

“From a standing start in the 1990s, thinning has spread inland progressively over the past 25 years – that is rapid in glaciological terms,” said Prof Andy Shepherd, of Leeds University in the UK, who led the study. “The speed of drawing down ice from an ice sheet used to be spoken of in geological timescales, but that has now been replaced by people’s lifetimes.”

He said the thinning of some ice streams had extended 300 miles inland along their 600-mile length. “More than 50% of the Pine Island and Thwaites glacier basins have been affected by thinning in the past 25 years. We are past halfway and that is a worry.”

Researchers already knew that ice was being lost from West Antarctica, but the new work pinpoints where it is happening and how rapidly. This will enable more accurate projections to be made of sea level rises and may aid preparations for these rises.

In the recent past, snow falling on to Antarctica’s glaciers balanced the ice lost as icebergs calved off into the ocean. But now the glaciers are flowing faster than snow can replenish them.

“Along a 3,000km [1,850-mile] stretch of West Antarctica, the water in front of the glaciers is too hot,” he said. This causes melting of the underside of the glaciers where they grind against the seabed. The melting lessens the friction and allows the glaciers then to slide more quickly into the ocean and therefore become thinner.

“In parts of Antarctica, the ice sheet has thinned by extraordinary amounts,” Shepherd said.

Separate research published in January found that ice loss from the entire Antarctic continent had increased six-fold since the 1980s, with the biggest losses in the west. The new study indicates West Antarctica has caused 5mm of sea level rise since 1992, consistent with the January study’s findings.

The expansion of the oceans as they warm and the vast melting in Greenland are the main current causes of the rising oceans, but Antarctica is the biggest store of ice. The East Antarctic ice sheet contains enough ice to raise sea levels by about 60 metres. It had been considered stable, but research in December found even this stronghold was showing signs of melting.

Without rapid cuts in the carbon emissions driving global warming, the melting and rising sea level will continue for thousands of years.

“Before we had useful satellite measurements from space, most glaciologists thought the polar ice sheets were pretty isolated from climate change and didn’t change rapidly at all,” Shepherd said. “Now we know that is not true.”

 

Trump’s potential war with Iran is all John Bolton’s doing. But it might also be his undoing.

The Iranian government knows the national security adviser wants a war, and is banking on the fact that the president doesn’t.

May 15, 2019,

by Trita Parsi

NBC

National security adviser John Bolton has reportedly requested that administration officials draw up plans to send 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East to counter Iran, sending shockwaves through Washington. Bolton, a key architect of the disastrous invasion of Iraq, has long gunned for war with Iran and seems intent on escalating tensions regardless of Tehran’s policies.

At first glance, the plans — a deployment on a scale with the force sent to Kuwait prior to the war in Iraq — suggest that Iran’s decision to respond to Donald Trump’s violations of the Iran deal by restarting elements of its nuclear program has backfired spectacularly.

But there is a different interpretation of what has happened. Rather than Iran walking into Bolton’s trap, it is Bolton who is walking into Iran’s trap. Iran is not being deterred by Bolton’s theatrics and threats of war, because Bolton is actually playing the exact role Tehran expected — and wanted — him to play.

Here’s why.

Tehran’s strategy appears to be predicated on two assumptions. First, that there is an important — but not yet determinate — wedge between Trump and Bolton and that, as long as the distance between the two men remains limited, Trump’s maximum pressure strategy has little to no political cost to him, even if it has a significant cost to Iran.

The second assumption is that the wedge between Trump and Bolton is rooted in Trump’s lack of interest in Bolton’s desired war with Iran. Trump appears to genuinely believe that maximum pressure will force Iran to totally capitulate on its nuclear program with no cost to the U.S. and give him an easy victory (a highly unlikely turn of events.)Bolton, on the other hand, understands that the maximum pressure strategy won’t break Iran. But it will corner Trump and may force him to escalate matters all the way to military action, which is Bolton’s preference.

Trump instinctually opposes going to war but Bolton is most likely calculating that, when deprived of all other options, Trump’s ego will not permit him to back off.

Tehran’s assessment is the opposite. As long as Trump is still a good distance away from any decision on war, the maximum pressure strategy carries few if any downsides for him, and the wedge between him and Bolton will remain indeterminate.

So Tehran’s plan appears to be to accelerate matters toward the point at which Trump will have to decide whether he is truly willing to go to war with Iran or if the strategy of “maximum pressure” will not cross that threshold.

“I don’t think he wants war,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said of Trump during his visit to New York last month — spelling out Tehran’s analysis that the push for war does not come from Trump but from his subordinates and foreign allies.

After all, while fetishizing the military, Trump has not started any new land wars. (By comparison, at this point in his presidency, Bush was knee deep into his second land war in the Middle East.) And, even when he has taken military action, it’s been limited, with Trump choosing the option that minimized both American casualties and the risk of the target country retaliating. In Syria, for instance, Trump forewarned Bashar al-Assad’s government and allowed it time to evacuate the military base that was about to get bombed — revealing Trump’s sensitivity to getting him entrapped in a larger war.

Trump’s offer to meet with Iran’s Rouhani won’t result in a better deal

A senior adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted as much ton Tuesday: “You wanted a better deal with Iran,” Hesameddin Ashena wrote in a tweet directed at Trump. “Looks like you are going to get a war instead. That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache. Good luck in 2020!”

Tehran may be right, and many in Washington agree with Iran’s assessment of Trump disinterest in war. Yet, Iran’s strategy is also immensely risky: Trump is an unpredictable character and, while his political instincts lean against war, his easily manipulated impulses consistently override his instincts.

But with Trump crippling the Iranian economy, Tehran seems to have reached the conclusion that counter-escalating — despite its risks — is its best choice. Iran faces greater danger when all of the cost and risks are on its shoulders. If the cost and risks are more evenly distributed, Iran calculates that it can secure a better outcome for itself.

If the plan works, and the Trump-Bolton tensions grow and lead to Bolton’s firing, Tehran will have proved to Trump that it won’t crack under pressure. Trump will be forced to back off from his belligerent posture — just as he did with North Korea — and adopt a more conciliatory tone. With that leverage in hand, Iran may then be ready to confront Trump at the negotiating table.

But having planned to thwart a U.S. military attack on Iran ever since the mid-1990s, Tehran also appears ready for this plan not to work.

 

Conrad Black: Trump pardons ex-media baron ‘friend’

May 16, 2019

BBC News

US President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for former media mogul Conrad Black, who he describes as a “friend”.

Black, 74, was convicted of fraud and obstructing justice in 2007 and jailed for more than three years in the US.

A White House statement described him as an “entrepreneur and scholar”.

Canadian-born Black, who has British nationality, was released in 2012. Last year he published the book Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other.

The British peer once ran a media empire that included the UK’s Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post.

“Lord Black’s case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character,” a White House statement announcing the pardon said.

It said he had made “tremendous contributions to business, as well as to political and historical thought” and that, “in light of these facts”, he was “entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency”.

On Twitter, Black said when the White House had phoned him, he believed it to be a “prank” by his “friends in the British tabloid media”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Black said he “should never have been charged” and that Mr Trump phoned him last week to announce his pardon.

Writing in Canada’s National Post, which he founded in 1998, Black said Mr Trump “could not have been more gracious” and had offered to give evidence at his trial in 2007.

Mr Trump insisted that “the supportive things” Black said about him and the fact the two men had “known each other a long time” was not the reason for his pardon, Black wrote.

In 2015, Mr Trump tweeted an opinion piece by Black entitled Trump is the Good Guy, calling him “one of the truly great intellects and my friend”, saying “I won’t forget!”.

In the opening chapter of the book, Black writes: “Like the country he represents, Donald Trump possesses the optimism to persevere and succeed, the confidence to affront tradition and convention, a genius for spectacle, and a firm belief in common sense and the common man.”

Stripped of honour

Black renounced his Canadian citizenship when he became a British peer in 2001 but moved back to Canada following his release from a Florida prison.

In 2014 Canada stripped him of its highest honour, the Order of Canada, which was awarded in 1990 for a lifetime of achievement.

In 2007 Black was convicted of defrauding Hollinger International shareholders of $6.1m (£4.7m), by paying himself a tax-free bonus from the sale of newspaper assets without the approval of the company’s board.

He had been forced out of the company by shareholders in 2003.

After his conviction, Black was sentenced to 78 months in prison. He then pursued a partially successful appeal, in which a judge cut his sentence down to 42 months.

Who else has Trump pardoned?

The White House has also announced a pardon for Patrick Nolan, a former Republican leader who spent more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to a racketeering charge.

Nolan told the Los Angeles Times he was “obviously very grateful” and “had hoped” to get a pardon. “There are a lot of other people that are incarcerated who would be better off at home with their family”.

Speaking of his advocacy work for criminal justice reform, Nolan tweeted that he was “grateful that God used my time to open my eyes to injustice”.

Critics have accused Mr Trump of using his powers of pardon to address what he believes are political wrongs.

In 2017, he pardoned ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt, after he defied a court order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected immigrants.

Last year he issued a pardon to conservative writer Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted in 2014 of violating campaign finance laws.

Other pardons have included Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, who was convicted of lying about leaks to the media, and Jack Johnson, boxing’s first black heavyweight champ, convicted in 1913 of taking his white girlfriend across state lines.

 

Reminder: Trump, Not Bolton, is the President

Why is the commander-in-chief suddenly forced to restrain his own national security advisor from aggressive impulses?

May 15, 2019

by W. James Antle III

The American Conservative

Unsatisfied with the direction of U.S. foreign policy? You’re not alone. The Washington Post describes a “frustrated” Donald Trump who feels he has been “misled” about how easy it would be to oust Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

“The president’s dissatisfaction has crystallized around national security adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires,” the Post reported on May 8.

Channeling pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, Trump may be beginning to recognize that his administration’s stance toward Iran is crazy and that Tehran should call him, maybe. “What they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down; we can make a deal, a fair deal. …We’re not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy. But they should call, and if they do, we’re open to talk to them.”

Trump dismissed a New York Times report that the White House was reviewing a plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East—”military plans against Iran, in echoes of Iraq war”—as “fake news.”

“It used to be that the staff around the president were the counterweight to some of his more aggressive impulses. Now it seems as if the situation has reversed itself,” former Trump official Fernando Cutz told the Washington Examiner. “The president is the counterweight to some of his more hawkish staff members, particularly Bolton.”

Trump has said as much himself. “I actually temper John,” he recently advised reporters. “I have John Bolton and I have other people that are a little more dovish than him and ultimately I make the decision.”

Who are these doves? And when will the president of the United States make a decision that overrides a rogue national security team ideologically committed to policies that are nearly the opposite the ones he campaigned on in 2016? Those are the fateful questions that could determine the course of a presidency—and the country.

For even on Iran, long an unprincipled exception to Trump’s “America First” skepticism of regime change in the Middle East, there have been signals that the president is reluctant to do Iraq 2.0. “We are not going to war in Iran,” said White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a group of Iranian-American community leaders that the administration wasn’t contemplating military intervention, asserting, per Axios, “We’re careful not to use the language of regime change.” Pompeo also sought to distance the White House from Bolton’s and Rudy Giuliani’s dalliances with Iranian resistance groups.

“It used to be that the staff around the president were the counterweight to some of his more aggressive impulses. Now it seems as if the situation has reversed itself,” former Trump official Fernando Cutz told the Washington Examiner. “The president is the counterweight to some of his more hawkish staff members, particularly Bolton.

Trump has said as much himself. “I actually temper John,” he recently advised reporters. “I have John Bolton and I have other people that are a little more dovish than him and ultimately I make the decision.”

Who are these doves? And when will the president of the United States make a decision that overrides a rogue national security team ideologically committed to policies that are nearly the opposite the ones he campaigned on in 2016? Those are the fateful questions that could determine the course of a presidency—and the country.

For even on Iran, long an unprincipled exception to Trump’s “America First” skepticism of regime change in the Middle East, there have been signals that the president is reluctant to do Iraq 2.0. “We are not going to war in Iran,” said White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a group of Iranian-American community leaders that the administration wasn’t contemplating military intervention, asserting, per Axios, “We’re careful not to use the language of regime change.” Pompeo also sought to distance the White House from Bolton’s and Rudy Giuliani’s dalliances with Iranian resistance groups.

 

Bolton in Wonderland

May 16, 2019

by John Feffer

AntiWar

Only 70 days into his presidency, Ronald Reagan faced an assassination attempt. While he was in surgery and the vice president was mid-flight over Texas, Secretary of State Alexander Haig famously declared in front of the press, “As of now, I am in control here, in the White House.”

Haig’s statement was a surprise to everyone else in the Reagan administration – as well as to anyone with a passing familiarity with the line of succession outlined in the Constitution.

Haig’s presumption of power was the logical culmination of weeks of jockeying for influence within the young administration, with the secretary of state convinced that he should wield control over all aspects of foreign policy. Chief of Staff Jim Baker had this response to Haig’s early memo on the foreign policy process: “Why, what you propose here would give you control over all foreign policy matters; that does not work. The president has that authority.”

Haig’s impromptu press conference would make him the butt of many jokes (including this brilliant parody by Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live). Reagan ultimately recovered, but Haig’s reputation never did. He ultimately resigned from his position a little over a year later.

John Bolton has a Haig-sized ego. He aspires to control the ebb and flow of foreign policy in the Trump administration. He is often at odds with his colleagues from the State Department and Pentagon. And he is dealing with a president who, if not asleep much of the time, is only intermittently focused on national security issues.

Recently, Bolton too seemed to have his “I’m in control here” moment. With the conflict intensifying in Venezuela, the national security advisor leaked the opposition plan for the army to defect en masse from the Maduro government in favor of challenger Juan Guiado. Bolton’s tweets reportedly angered President Trump, who felt “boxed into a corner,” particularly after the defections didn’t materialize and Nicolas Maduro did not flee the country.

The Trump administration is currently facing the consequences of its erratic foreign policy. Put a pin in the map of the world and you’ll either hit an example of U.S. foreign policy failure or, at best, another part of the globe that the administration is studiously ignoring. Conflicts are escalating with Iran and Venezuela. US support of Saudi Arabia and Israel is producing enormous backlash in the region. The trade war with China is back on after the failure of the latest round of negotiations. Talks with North Korea have stalled, and Pyongyang is losing patience.

John Bolton has a rather consistent answer to all of these foreign policy challenges: maximum pressure. He’d like to see regime change in Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea. He’d risk war to achieve these ends.

But the riskiest war that Bolton is courting is the one with his boss. Will Bolton’s ambition overreach itself and produce the same kind of ignominious result that Alexander Haig experienced nearly 40 years ago?

Bolton in Wonderland

John Bolton is that most dangerous of political operators. He is bombastic on the outside and ruthless on the inside. He has the passion of an ideologue and the patience of a realist.

“Bolton has spent decades in federal bureaucracies, complaining often of hating every minute,” Dexter Filkins writes in a recent New Yorker profile. “He has established himself as a ferocious infighter – often working, either by design or by accident, against the grain of the place to which he’s assigned.” Bolton is not above making threats or throwing his weight around. He loves to make liberals, diplomats, and anyone who stands in his way squirm.

As national security advisor, Bolton has arrived after a number of so-called adults have fled the administration (or been tweeted out of office): H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson, Jim Mattis, John Kelly. With these obstacles out of the way, Bolton has virtually unrestricted access to the president.

The former national-security officials that Filkins interviews are uniformly aghast at what Bolton has done in his position: reduce coordination, eliminate briefings, encourage chaos. Remember: he hates bureaucracy. But there is method in his madness: he wants to reduce the background chatter so that his own voice is loud and clear in Trump’s ear.

In this looking-glass world, Trump is the Queen of Hearts, who reacts with fury at the world around her. “The embodiment of ungovernable passion,” Lewis Carroll called the queen who rules over Alice in Wonderland. She threatens people left and right with decapitation. Bolton, meanwhile, is the Mad Hatter, presiding over an intimate foreign policy tea party where he is as crazy as a march hare. Once, when the Mad Hatter sang to his sovereign, he received a death sentence as well and only survived through the intercession of Time.

Bolton has been singing to Trump for more than a year and he hasn’t yet been excommunicated. But push might just be coming to shove.

Deal, No Deal

Of all the places where John Bolton would like to go to war, Iran is currently in the lead position.

The national security advisor was in office for less than two months before Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran, a key Bolton objective. Since then, Bolton has been part of the team that has put the squeeze not only on Iran (with additional economic sanctions) but any country with the temerity to continue any kind of economic engagement with Tehran (with the threat of secondary sanctions). Last year, Bolton also asked the Pentagon to prepare a menu of military options for striking Iran, scaring even some seasoned administration officials.

But it was earlier this month that Bolton upped the ante considerably. On May 5, he assumed the prerogative of the commander-in-chief by issuing a direct threat to Iran.

In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force. The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.

Bolton was apparently motivated by a tip from Israel that Iran was preparing an attack on US interests in the region. But the national security advisor was not speaking only for himself. The May 5 statement came from the White House, so it had the full backing of the administration. Pentagon head Patrick Shanahan, CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joseph Dunford have all endorsed the deployments.

At the same time, Trump is presenting an entirely different face to Iran. Just as he turned on a dime in his policy toward North Korea – from “fire and fury” to lovey-dovey with Kim Jong Un – the president last week told reporters:

What they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down; we can make a deal, a fair deal. … We’re not looking to hurt Iran. I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy. But they should call, and if they do, we’re open to talk to them.

The administration even reached out to the Swiss to provide Iran with the president’s phone number (as if Iran didn’t already know how to reach Trump).

This might seem like so much political theater designed to confuse, terrify, and ultimately cow the Iranians into signing a humiliating agreement with Washington – if not for what happened in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend.

A Useful Pretext

John Bolton warned on May 5 that Iran should think twice about attacking US interests or face retaliation. One week later, Saudi Arabia reported that an act of sabotage damaged two of its oil tankers, and the United Arab Emirates claimed that the attackers targeted four ships in total. Gulf officials didn’t speculate on who might have been behind the attacks.

The US government has not been so reluctant to point fingers. A preliminary US intelligence assessment has identified Iran as the culprit. Trump, in his characteristic children’s book language, has said, “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens.” And now Saudi Arabia is reporting that the Houthis have conducted two drone strikes on its oil facilities. The Houthis are aligned with Iran.

Bolton has what he wants: a pretext for launching a retaliatory strike against Iran. The Strait of Hormuz incident is the equivalent of the yellowcake allegations that helped cement the case for war in Iraq (which turned out to be false) or the chemical weapons allegations that Bolton tried to use to drum up support for a war against Cuba (which also turned out to be false).

Iranians, and many others besides, would like to believe that Trump is being led toward war by Bolton, that the president ultimately wants to make a deal with Iran. Given Trump’s resemblance to the Queen of Hearts, however, it would not be a good idea to bet on his reasonableness.

On the other hand, Bolton might have stuck his neck out a little too far this time. This just might be his Haig moment. He is encroaching on the executive’s power. He is setting up the United States to intervene on the side of a country, Saudi Arabia, that is increasingly reviled around the world for its human rights record.

Like so many of his predecessors who dared to disagree with their boss, Bolton this time might lose his head.

 

The Deal of the Century

Trump Team and Netanyahu conspire to sell out the Palestinian

May 14, 2019

by Philip Giraldi

The Unz Review

In the aftermaths of both the First and Second World Wars national borders were readjusted to suit the victors and entirely new countries were created from the ruins of the empires that had collapsed as a result of the conflict. The process continued with the end of the Soviet Union but the new states were constituted within an already existing ethnic and linguistic framework. More recently, the United States has engaged in imperialism-lite, with “regime change” programs seeking to lop off the governments of existing nations by coercion or through military invasion, replacing them with Quislings supportive of Washington’s continuing dominance exercised from “over the horizon.”

But regime change too is falling out of favor, even if it is currently being pursued in both Venezuela and Iran, eschewing using armed force in favor of “economic warfare” intended to make life so miserable for the inhabitants of the targeted country that they will rise up in revolt and remove their leaders. So far regime-change policies have been a disappointment, with major failures in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya that relied on military interventions that converted stable countries into hotbeds of insurgency and unrest.

Given all of that, it is extremely audacious for the White House to consider going back to the old Sykes-Picot model of 1916 and seeking to impose a peace plan that will include reordering borders for Israel/Palestine, something that has been tried before in various forms by presidents named Carter and Clinton without any success. The new plan, which is already being touted as the “Deal of the Century,” has been the product of a group of Orthodox Jews working for senior advisor and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, together with representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt and the U.S. (sic) Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. There are no Arabs or Muslims (or Christians) on the team but there have been numerous discussions with the leaders of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and, of course, Israel. Israel has clearly been allowed to see the nearly complete report and has likely participated in drafts as it moved along, but it is not clear what access the Arabs had to it. The Palestinians, of course, played no real part in the process and the Lebanese, a frontline state confronting Israel, also was not a party to the deliberations.

All of the Kushner team supports Israel’s settlements, which are illegal under international law and contrary to long-standing American government policy, which rather suggests that an open consideration of all the complex issues involved was unlikely to have taken place. Whether there are any actual American interests involved in the plan is unknown, but, given the make-up of Trump team, it is likely that there was an assumption that what is good for Israel is also good for the United States. Donald Trump has announced that the plan, which is apparently complete but for some minor tinkering, will be unveiled in June.

Those who follow the so-called peace process are likely aware that a document in Hebrew purporting to be the Deal of the Century plan has been recently leaked by an Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom that is owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and which also has been linked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson, as the major donor to the Republican Party in the U.S., is somewhat of a bridge between Netanyahu and Trump and the document would not have appeared without foreknowledge by Adelson himself as well as the prime minister and president. The authenticity of the document has been debated, however, and the White House has claimed it was both “speculative” and “inaccurate,” but, in its defense, it is very close to what Jared Kushner revealed in comments made a month ago.

There has been considerable speculation regarding what the document and the peace plan it proposes actually mean. Though it forces both sides to make some concessions, including the creation of a Palestinian capital in part of Jerusalem, it is heavily favorable to Israel and to Netanyahu’s vision for Jerusalem and the West Bank. Even the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem would, for example, be under Israeli municipal control.

Signatories to the deal outlined in the document would be Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority with the United States serving as the guarantor of the agreement. It would create a Palestinian state called “New Palestine,” which would consist of the Gaza Strip and those parts of the West Bank that do not have Israeli settlements. Arab residents of Jerusalem, even if they live in the Jewish area, would be citizens of New Palestine, not of Israel. To maintain the status quo created by the division of Jerusalem, no Arab or Jew would subsequently be able to buy a home in the region controlled by the other community. New Palestine would have an airport on land currently in Sinai leased to it by Egypt and there would be a seaport in Gaza. New Palestine and Gaza would be linked by a road running through Israel and controlled by it to guarantee “security.”

To make the deal palatable to Palestinians, there would be $30 billion in economic investment over the first five years, coming from the United States, European Union, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. New Palestine will have police to suppress potential trouble makers but no armed forces. Israel will control the Jordan River valley but New Palestine will have two crossing points into Jordan. The U.S., as the enforcer of the deal, will cut off all aid to any party that refuses to sign the agreement. It threatens to use its control over the Swift dollar denominated international banking system to block all money transfers from any source to the Palestinians if they do not sign, similar to the squeezing that is currently being applied to Venezuela and Iran.

It is quite plausible that Netanyahu leaked the document to create controversy that would lead to Kushner having to go back to the drawing boards. The wily and unscrupulous prime minister likely sees no gain in the agreement as he is obtaining most of what he wants from Trump incrementally without conceding anything at all to the Palestinians. And he has already committed himself to virtually complete annexation of the West Bank, meaning that the creation of any kind of legitimate quasi-independent Palestinian state would be an obstacle to achieving that goal.

Even if Bibi were to go along with the plan, it would be a bad deal for the Palestinians. Without a military or control of its own borders it would be a state without any real sovereignty and, if all the Israeli settlements were to be excluded from the new nation, it would have control over only 12% of historic Palestine. The Kushner plan would mean a green light from Washington for a Greater Israel that would include 88% of the land regarded as Palestinian when Israel was created and stolen since that time. The New Palestine 12% would also be broken into smaller bantustans-like entities surrounded by Israeli roads and settlements and Israel will also be certain to obtain control of the region’s water resources.

If the Palestinians object to the way they are being treated, the United States as guarantor, as noted above, could step in and work with Israel to cut off their money, just as takes place currently, to punish them when they do not toe the line. It is, meanwhile, difficult to imagine that any circumstances might arise that would impel Washington to cut money going to Israel.

One of the more interesting details of the alleged plan is the demand that both Hamas and Islamic Jihad disarm completely, surrendering their weapons to Egypt. If they refuse, the White House would endorse and support Israel’s personal attacks directed against the groups’ leadership through the use of extrajudicial assassinations.

The leaked “peace” plan is so one-sided, harsh, and catastrophic with respect to any possible viable Palestinian state that it must be true. It is a Netanyahu dream document but for the fact that the Israeli leader would prefer to achieve what it outlines by stealth without giving anything as a sop to the Palestinians. If it fails to convince its audience, which includes a number of Arab states required to donate tens of billions to the cause, it will be back to square one with Israel continuing its creeping annexation of Palestinian land with the United States looking the other way. And speaking of the United States, what’s in it for the American people? Nada. Zilch. Nothing at all. So much for Make America Great Again

 

Walmart says higher tariffs on China goods will increase prices for U.S. shoppers

May 16, 2019

by Nandita Bose

Reuters

(Reuters) – Walmart Inc said on Thursday that prices for shoppers will go up due to higher tariffs on imports from China as the world’s largest retailer reported its best comparable sales growth for the first quarter in nine years.

Walmart shares, which have gained 7% so far this year, rose 2.4% to $102.30 in premarket trade.

U.S. President Donald Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from 10% last week. The move is widely expected to raise prices on thousands of products including clothing, furniture and electronics. China retaliated on Monday, though on a smaller scale.

Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs told Reuters that higher tariffs will result in increased prices for consumers. He said the company will seek to ease the pain, in part by trying to obtain products from different countries and by working with suppliers’ “costs structures to manage higher tariffs.”

Moody’s analyst Charlie O’Shea said the potential impact on Walmart and its shoppers (from tariffs) is limited by its food business. Its grocery operation, which includes fresh food, contributes roughly 56 percent to overall revenue.

“We believe Walmart has the wherewithal both financially and via its vendor relationships to minimize the impact on both itself and its shopping base,” he said.

CFO Biggs said the retailer has not seen signs of a slowdown in consumer spending, but he declined to comment on the health of the consumer in the near term.

Investors and analysts expect U.S. spending to slow this year against a backdrop of rising debt, tariffs and economic uncertainty.

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in April as households cut back on purchases of vehicles and a range of other goods, reflecting a slowdown in economic growth after a temporary boost from exports and inventories in the first quarter.

Earlier this week, Walmart stepped up its battle with Amazon.com Inc by offering one-day delivery in some markets without a shipping fee, weeks after Amazon announced a similar plan. Walmart said it will cost the company less than two-day shipping since orders will be delivered from warehouses closer to the customer and arrive in a single box rather than multiple packages.

Sales at Walmart’s U.S. stores open at least a year rose 3.4%, excluding fuel, in the quarter ended April 30. Analysts estimated growth of 3.1%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Adjusted earnings per share increased to $1.13 per share, beating expectations of $1.02 per share.

Online sales rose 37%, slowing from the previous quarter’s 43% increase but stronger than online sales growth at most of its brick-and-mortar rivals. The company has forecast a 35% increase in online sales this year.

Total revenue was up 1% at $123.9 billion but lower than analysts’ estimates of $125.03 billion dragged down by currency impact and lower international sales. Excluding currency, revenue was up 2.5% at $125.8 billion.

On Tuesday, Walmart said it was considering a stock market listing for its British supermarket arm Asda, whose attempt to combine with rival J Sainsbury Plc was blocked by

UK regulators last month.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

 

The Post-War Diary of Anna Frank

May 16, 2018

by Christian Jürs

‘The Diary Of Anne Frank’ was first published in 1952 and immediately became a bestseller. It has been republished in paperback, 40 printings. It is impossible to estimate how many people have been touched and aroused by the movie production.

Why has the trial involving the father of Anne Frank, bearing directly on the authenticity of this book, never been “officially reported”?

In royalties alone, Otto Frank has profited richly from the sale of this book, purporting to depict the tragic life of his daughter. But is it fact, or is it fiction? Is it truth or is it propaganda? Or is it a combination of all of these? And to what degree does it wrongfully appeal to the emotions through a misrepresentation as to its origin?

School publications for years have recommended this book for young people, presenting it as the work of Anne Frank. Advertising in advance of the movie showing has played up the “factual” nature of the drama being presented. Do not writers of such editorials and promoters of such advertising, “fan the flames of hate” they rightly profess to deplore?

Not only is the “Anne Frank” diary now considered to be a fake, so also is “The Painted Bird” by Jerzy Kosinski. This book, which is a mass of pornographic and sadistic imagery which, had it not been taken so seriously by the Jewish community, would be merely the pathetic manifestation of a self-serving and very sick person.

This was duly exposed as a shabby, though much revered (by the Jewish community) and quoted, fraud. When this was exposed, Kosinski committed suicide. Later, in Kosinski’s footsteps we find the next fiction entitled “Fragments, ” by a Swiss Protestant named Bruno Dosseker who spent the war in Switzerland as a young child. Dosseker posed as a very young Baltic Jewish concentration camp inmate named Binjamin Wilkomerski. This work consists of allegedly fragmented “memories” and is very difficult to read

Dosseker became the poster boy for the Holocaust supporters and was lionized by the international Jewish community, reaping considerable profit and many in-house awards for his wonderful and moving portrayal of German brutality and sexual sadism.

Another book, allegedly by a Hungarian doctor, concerning his deportation from Budapest in 1944 and subsequent journey by “Death Train” to Auschwitz is another fraud.

There was never such a doctor in Hungary during the period involved and the alleged route of the train from Budapest to Auschwitz did not exist.

These sort of pathetic refugees from the back wards seem to be drawn to the Holocausters…and they to them. There are now “Holocaust Survivors” as young as thirty which is an interesting anomaly because the last concentration camp was closed in 1945.  Perhaps they consider the last frenzied spring sale at Bloomingdale’s department store to be what they survived.

Next we can expect to see a book based on twenty-seven volumes of secret diaries prepared on a modern word processor within the current year by an alleged inhabitant of the Warsaw ghetto, describing the Nazi slaughter of tens of millions of weeping Jews by means that would shame a modern African state.

And, predictably, the publication of these howlers would be greeted with joy on the part of the fund raisers and fanatics, praised in the columns of the New York Times and scripted by Steven Spielberg for a heart-wrenching and guaranteed Oscar-winning film.

Hundreds of thousands of DVD copies will be donated to American schools and the Jewish community will demand that subservient executive and legislative bodies in America create a Day of Atonement as a National Holiday to balance the terrible Christian Christmas and the wickedly Satanic Halloween.

Conservationists must hate these books because so many otherwise beautiful and useful trees are slaughtered for their preparation.

In 1980, Otto Frank sued two Germans, Ernst Romer and Edgar Geiss, for distributing literature denouncing the diary as a forgery. The trial produced a study by official German handwriting experts that determined everything in the diary was written by the same person. The person that wrote the diaries had used a ballpoint pen throughout. Unfortunately for Herr Frank, the ballpoint pen was not available until 1951 whereas Anne was known to have died of typhus in 1944.

Because of the lawsuit in a German court, the German state forensic bureau, the Bundes Kriminal Amt [BKA] forensically examined the manuscript, which at that point in time consisted of three hardbound notebooks and 324 loose pages bound in a fourth notebook, with special forensic equipment.

The results of tests, performed at the BKA laboratories, showed that “significant” portions of the work, especially the fourth volume, were written with a ballpoint pen. Since ballpoint pens were not available before 1951, the BKA concluded those sections must have been added subsequently.

In the end, BKA clearly determined that none of the diary handwriting matched known examples of Anne’s handwriting. The German magazine, Der Spiegel, published an account of this report alleging that (a) some editing postdated 1951; (b) an earlier expert had held that all the writing in the journal was by the same hand; and thus (c) the entire diary was a postwar fake.

The BKA information, at the urgent request of the Jewish community, was redacted at the time but later inadvertently released to researchers in the United States.

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Joseph Pizzorno

Not as market-aggressive as Joe Mercola or as high-profile as Andrew Weil, Joseph Pizzorno is nevertheless one of the most influential pseudoscientists affiliated with the world of woo (and associated conspiracy mongering) working today. Pizzorno is the founding President and currently President Emeritus of Bastyr University, arguably the most influential “schools” of naturopathic “medicine” in North America, and is still involved in the institution where he, right from the beginning and until 2000, was running its day-to-day operations. Now, Pizzorno’s style is a far cry from the paranoia-driven delusions of someone like, say, Mike Adams – he did, for instance, recognize Hulda Clark’s quackery for what it was (not exactly a major cognitive feat, though) – but his own brand of naturopathy is hardly more evidence-based or health-promoting; it just sounds less deranged to the uninitiated. Bastyr embraces homeopathy without criticism, for instance; indeed, Bastyr’s students are required to study homeopathy together with all the other nonsense suggested to be beneficial by naturopaths, from myofascial analysis and vega testing to traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and even distant healing and germ theory denialism. Make no mistake; Pizzorno, his university, and naturopathy in general, are anti-science to the core.

Pizzorno is the co-author of the Textbook of Natural Medicine(with Michael T. Murray, who is also former faculty at Bastyr University and currently on its Board of Regents), which is widely used even in accredited education programs – despite being demonstrably a piece of unscientific junk. The book is described in some detail here. It is advertised as “the gold standard in natural medicine,” and as a scientific presentation that “includes the science behind concepts and treatments, and discusses Western medical treatments and how they can work with natural medicine in a comprehensive treatment plan;” more than “10,000 research literature citations show that the content is based on science rather than opinions or anecdotes.” It is interesting that they felt the need to point it out. Of course, as most critics would also point out, more important than what they included is what they did not include (i.e. all the well-designed tests, real scientific literature, and the parts of the texts they cited that do not support the conclusions they wish to draw); besides, the authors are fully prepared to drop any pretense of scientific support when it suits them, and the chapters on therapeutic modalitis baldly admits that “[a]lthough this textbook is strongly oriented to the scientific method and the use of the peer-review literature for documentation of the efficacy of a therapy, these modalities’ widespread clinical use and long history of patient satisfaction demand that they be given a place here even though the mechanisms of action of several have yet to be elicited.” Or in short: when scientific evidence shows that what they wish would work doesn’t work, disregard the science and rely on anecdotes and appeals to popularity or tradition instead. Among the most obvious and damning things that should strike anyone opening the book is naturopathy’s wholesale endorsement of medieval-style and thoroughly refuted vitalism; Pizzorno and Murray are unfazed by refutation, however, and claim against all evidence, knowledge and reality that homeostasis, entropy, and even evolution require vitalistic rather than mechanistic explanations. This is, of course, not simply false but a testament to the authors’ poor judgment and equally poor understanding of science. There is a good review of the second edition of the textbook here.

Pizzorno is also co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods and The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the Bible of Woo, in which more or less every piece of quackery is described as efficacious and studies that might seem to support those types of quackery if you don’t look closely enough to see the flaws, are carefully selected to provide a sheen of legitimacy while the many high-quality studies that don’t “fit the narrative” are just not mentioned. Like the textbook, the Encyclopedia (e.g.) recommends a range of questionable dietary measures, vitamins, minerals, and/or herbs for more than 70 health problems ranging from acne to AIDS – in many cases daily administration of ten or more products is recommended, often in dosages high enough to cause toxicity.

Pizzorno is also the author of Total Wellness: Improve Your Health By Understanding Your Body’s Healing Systems, which even contains a chapter titled “Strengthen Your Immune System” arguing (assuming) that “immune suppression” as an underlying cause of most disease. Total Wellness book is also antivaccine, of course. “Quackery” simply isn’t strong enough to describe the nature of Pizzorno’s advice. And things are barely better in his How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine (with Murray, Tim Birdsall, and Paul Riley), one of many cancer quack books providing a whole “arsenal” of advice that range from the admittedly sensible to the useless, and since the latter is hard to distinguish from the former in the authors’ presentation, the book is one to avoid completely and with prejudice if you ever need information about cancer.

From the very founding of Bastyr, Pizzorno’s main concern seems to have been how to make naturopathic quackery look respectable. An important part of that process was of course to get their naturopathic program accredited, and to achieve this goal, Pizzorno helped write the CNME standards for naturopathic programs that would eventually be used to accredit Bastyr’s naturopathic program in 1987. Yes, accredidation is a mess; what Pizzorno and his allies achieved, was establishing a separate accrediting agency for naturopathic schools, effectively shielding them from effective oversight of their pseudoscience-filled curricula. Pizzorno is also on the board of AAFP’s Board on Functional Medicine; “functional medicine” being one of the ultimate misnomers in the world of woo.

Pizzorno has worked tirelessly to achieve more widespread acceptance of quackery through other venues as well, including offering courses for the American Council for Continuing Medical Education, where he for instance teaches about “Detoxification” and “Assessing Body Burden” – the latter presumably related to his Encyclopedia’s nonsensical claim that 25% of the US population suffers from heavy metal poisoning, which can ostensibly be assessed by provoked urine testing. That is a myth, of course, but tests almost ensuring false positives are useful for people pushing fraudulent detox regimes – you won’t have toxic levels of heavy metals in your body after completing the detox regimes, of course, and what more do you want? More on his efforts here.

As for his own background, Pizzorno has a B.S. in Chemistry and an N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine) degree in 1975 from National College of Naturopathic Medicine. He does, in other words, not have a background in medicine.

Diagnosis: Quackery galore. But Pizzorno isn’t just a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist with a website, and his efforts to give naturopathy a sheen of legitimacy – marketing is everything, since most people don’t have the resources or background knowledge to assess the contents – have proved scarily successful. Definitely one of the most dangerous loons alive today.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

May 16, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

Conversation No. 98

Date: Wednesday, August 20, 1997

Commenced: 10:20 AM CST

Concluded: 10 30 AM CST

GD: And another day rushes upon us, filled with candy and goat shit. How are you today, Robert?

RTC: Tolerable. Did you get my papers?

GD: Oh yes. Thank you very, very much for the originals of the Roosevelt conversation. Kimmel would give his left nut for these.

RTC: As I understand it, he already has done this. I thought you would be the best person for these and the other papers. When, not if, I go, the vultures and sewer rats will pour into this place, gabbling to Emily and making every effort to grab anything incriminating they can find. No point in trying to educate her because she really has no grasp of these things. I imagine Trento and Kimmel having a fist fight on the stairs here so I am removing temptation from their paths. I have been culling my papers and putting all the ones I think you might be able to use in one stack and leaving the luncheon invitations in another. Give Joe and his Frau something to warm themselves with on a cold night in Front Royal. Did you like the Dulles reports from Switzerland?

GD: I know more about things going on inside the Third Reich than Dulles ever could have and his OSS reports read like Alice in Wonderland. Mueller told me that every agent Dulles parachuted into Germany got caught. Mueller turned the more intelligent ones and shot the others. He said he was in Switzerland during the war and met Dulles. Not as head of the Gestapo, of course, but as someone else. Told me Dulles couldn’t keep his pants buttoned up and was as gullible as a three year old. Why, I ask, do we hire such idiots? Never mind. Yes, these Dulles reports are hysterically funny and I can see why your people snatched them from the files and stamped ‘Top Secret’ on every page. Their beloved leader was such a dimwit.

RTC: Well, Allan thought very well of himself.

GD: Another Critchfield. Anyway, it’s interesting to read the actual words of our beloved leaders. My such propaganda about both of them. Roosevelt was part Jewish and Churchill and his father were both pansies. While the court historians are wielding the whitewash brush, I am using the scalpel. There are more of them than there are of me but I figure that one of me beats twenty of them. Such literate, or at least semi-literate, whores

RTC: The cruelty from you can be so refreshing.

GD: No, the word whore is wrong. A whore fucks for money only but a slut does it because it feels good. Most of these court historians do it to get a pat on the head from people like you. Tell me, Robert, did you wash your hands with Lysol after contact?

RTC: We gave them gift pen sets.

GD: Awesome, Robert. A real pen set. Did your DCI send them a machine-signed Christmas card?

RTC: (Laughter) Yes, often Something to impress the dog with, I suppose.

GD: The image of a dog pissing on the DCI’s card is priceless. It would be more entertaining to see the dog piss on the DCI himself.

RTC: Now, now, Gregory.

GD: Oh, I know. Loyalty dies hard but if you loved them so much, you would have never sent me so many dangerous documents that exposed them as drug runners and murderers. Not to mention being total morons in action. I can just visualize a large van full of chimpanzees pulling into the Langley parking lot every morning and a horde of chimps scrambling out and running inside to their desks. Well, if they ever get wind of your generosity with the papers, they might send you a box of doctored chocolates. Or give you an embolism like they gave Jimmy Atwood.

RTC: Well, if I get chocolates, I can pass them across the street to the Swiss.

GD: How about giving it to Trento?

RTC: He wouldn’t be worth it, believe me. Critchfield would be more to the point. Such a cow’s anus.

GD: Have mercy on cows, why not? I don’t think Jesus would like either one of us, Robert.

RTC: If a fraction of the horror stories about you I am flooded with were true, you would be a wonder. The devil himself would flee in terror before you.

GD: Oh, I’m not that bad, Robert. I seem to get on with you.

RTC: Well, yes, we do get on. Kimmel loathes you and Bill is afraid you might expose him for a champion bs artist so I take all their input with salt. My God, that idiot Irving hates you, though.

GD: Oh yes, I know. He makes more negative noise about me than a donkey that’s had a hot sweet potato shoved up his ass.

RTC: (Laughter) Did you do that? I mean with the donkey?

GD: No, not ever and I don’t like sweet potatoes either. A friend of mine did a donkey once and told me about it. The donkey was hitched to a little cart and when the business with the hot potato came down, he let out an awful bray and took off running. They found the cart about a mile away, smashed to bits up against a bridge abutment but the donkey vanished forever from the sight of man.

RTC: Probably didn’t trust people any more.

GD: Sad

(Concluded at 10:30 AM CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

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