TBR News May 22, 2017

May 22 2017

The Voice of the White House

        Washington, D.C. May 22, 2017: “Much uproar about the Trump visit to Saudi Arabia.

His lecturing the Saudis about cooperating in ridding the area of  fanatics is hilarious in view of the fact that the Saudis are the ones who started IS and persuaded the US CIA and Special Forces, with the consent of Washington, to arm and train them.

It has been the Sunni Saudi scheme to establish a Greater Sunni Reich and exterminate their deadly foes, the Shiites.

Iran is a Shiite country and so is Yemen where the Saudis are doing their best, armed with American weapons, to obliterate them in imitation of the Turkish butchery of a million Armenians and their hope to kill even more Kurds.

Trump accused the Saudis of being the mainstay of the 9/11 attacks before he was elected but the Saudis dangled money in front of him and he snapped at it like a trout at a fruit fly.”

Table of Contents

  • Trump to propose big cuts to safety-net in new budget, slashing Medicaid and opening door to other limits
  • Donald of Arabia: A Disgusting Spectacle
  • Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
  • The Real Meaning of ‘Sensitive’ Intelligence
  • ‘WikiLeaks Will Always Be the Bad Boy’
  • North Korea vows to strengthen nuclear-strike ability
  • UK PM May climbs down on ‘dementia tax’ plans after poll lead halves
  • Jews Tried to Kill Truman in 1947

 Trump to propose big cuts to safety-net in new budget, slashing Medicaid and opening door to other limits

May 21, 2017

by Damian Paletta

The Washington Post

President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net.

For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.

The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors. Many anti-poverty programs have elements that are run by both the states and federal government, and a federal order allowing states to stiffen work requirements “for able-bodied Americans” could have a broad impact in terms of limiting who can access anti-poverty payments — and for how long.

Numerous social-welfare programs grew after the financial crisis, leading to complaints from many Republicans that more should be done to shift people out of these programs and back into the workforce. Shortly after he was sworn in, Trump said, “We want to get our people off welfare and back to work. . . . It’s out of control.”

Trump’s decision to include the Medicaid cuts is significant because it shows he is rejecting calls from a number of Senate Republicans not to reverse the expansion of Medicaid that President Barack Obama achieved as part of the Affordable Care Act. The House has voted to cut the Medicaid funding, but Senate Republicans have signaled they are likely to start from scratch.

The proposed changes will be a central feature of Trump’s first comprehensive budget plan, which will be the most detailed look at how he aims to change government spending and taxes over his presidency. Although Trump and his aides have discussed their vision in broad brushes, this will be the first time they attempt to put specific numbers on many aspects of those plans, shedding light on which proposals they see making the biggest difference in reshaping government. Congress must approve of most changes in the plan before it is enacted into law.

Trump offered a streamlined version of the budget plan in March, but it dealt only with the 30 percent of government spending that is appropriated each year. In that budget, he sought a big increase in military and border spending combined with major cuts to housing, environmental protection, foreign aid, research and development.

But Tuesday’s budget will be more significant, because it will seek changes to entitlements — programs that are essentially on auto­pilot and don’t need annual authorization from Congress. The people describing the proposals spoke on the condition of anonymity because the budget had not been released publicly and the White House is closely guarding details.

The proposed changes include the big cuts to Medicaid. The White House also is expected to propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though precise details couldn’t be learned. SNAP is the modern version of food stamps, and it swelled following the financial crisis as the Obama administration eased policies to make it easier for people to qualify for benefits. As the economy has improved, enrollment in the program hasn’t changed as much as many had forecast.

An average of 44 million people received SNAP benefits in 2016, down from a peak of 47 million in 2013. Just 28 million people received the benefits in 2008.

SNAP could be one of numerous programs impacted by changes in work requirements.

Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think tank, said that giving states the flexibility to impose work requirements could lead to a raft of changes to programs ranging from Medicaid to public housing assistance.

“One of the encouraging things about putting this in the budget is that states will see if it works,” he said. “States will try it.”

SNAP already has a work requirement, which typically cuts benefits for most able-bodied adults who don’t have children. But states were given more flexibility during the recent economic downturn to extend the benefits for a longer period, something that split conservatives at the time.

Michael Tanner, a welfare expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the U.S. government spends between $680 billion and $800 billion a year on anti-poverty programs, and considering wholesale changes to many of these initiatives is worthwhile, given questions about the effectiveness of how the money is spent.

‘We’re not seeing the type of gains we should be seeing for all that spending, and that would suggest its time to reform the system,” he said.

Many critics have said work requirements can include blanket ultimatums that don’t take into account someone’s age, physical or cognitive ability, or limitations put in place by the local economy. Benefits from these programs are often low, and hardly replace the income someone would earn from a job. And critics of stricter work requirements also believe it could pave the way for states to pursue even stricter restrictions, such as drug tests, that courts have often rejected.

After The Washington Post reported some of the cuts Sunday evening, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Trump was pulling “the rug out from so many who need help.”

“This budget continues to reveal President Trump’s true colors: His populist campaign rhetoric was just a Trojan horse to execute long-held, hard-right policies that benefit the ultra wealthy at the expense of the middle class,” he said.

The proposed changes to Medicaid and SNAP will be just some of several anti-poverty programs that the White House will look to change. In March, the White House signaled that it wanted to eliminate money for a range of other programs that are funded each year by Congress. This included federal funding for Habitat for Humanity, subsidized school lunches and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates the federal response to homelessness across 19 federal agencies.

Leaked budget documents, obtained by the think tank Third Way, suggested other ways the White House plans to change anti-poverty funding. These documents show a change in the funding for Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program, which provide cash benefits for the poor and disabled. It’s unclear, though, what those changes might look like. A White House official said the Third Way document was out-of-date and would not comment on specifics in their files.

Medicaid, SNAP and the SSI program are now classified as “mandatory” spending because they are funded each year without congressional approval.

Trump has instructed his budget director, former South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney, that he does not want cuts to Medicare and Social Security’s retirement program in this budget, Mulvaney recently said, but the plan may call for changes to Social Security Disability Insurance, seeking ideas for ways to move people who are able out of this program and back into the workforce.

A key element of the budget plan will be the assumption that huge tax cuts will result in an unprecedented level of economic growth. Trump recently unveiled the broad principles of what he has said will be the biggest in U.S. history, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Senate panel last week that these tax cuts would end up creating trillions of dollars in new revenue, something budget experts from both parties have disputed.

The tax cuts would particularly benefit the wealthiest Americans, as Trump has proposing cutting the estate tax, capital gains and business tax rates.

“The indications are strong this budget will feature Robin-Hood-in-reverse policies in an unprecedented scale,” said Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank.

The White House will use its presumed new revenue from the tax cuts combined with broad spending cuts to claim that its changes would eliminate the budget deficit over 10 years. The budget deficit is the gap between government spending and tax revenue, and there has been a deficit in the United States every year since the end of the Clinton administration.

But the Trump administration on Tuesday will say its plan to cut spending, roll back regulations and cut taxes will bring the United States back to economic growth levels that represent about 3 percent of gross domestic product.

Mulvaney told the Federalist Society last week that the economic growth is needed to balance the budget, because spending cuts alone would be seen as too draconian.

“I think we’ve trained people to be immune to the true costs of government,” Mulvaney said. “People think government is cheaper than it is because we’ve allowed ourselves to borrow money for a long period of time and not worry about paying it back.”

Combined, the tax cuts and spending cuts on anti-poverty programs would signal a sharp reversal of Obama’s legacy by pursuing big tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, a large increase in military spending and major changes to anti-poverty programs.

Its premise is that the creation of more wealth will help all Americans succeed, and the Trump administration believes that some anti-poverty programs have created a culture of dependency that prevents people from re-entering the workforce.

White House budget proposals are a way for an administration to spell out its priorities and goals, setting benchmarks for Congress to work with as they decide how much spending to authorize. Trump has an advantage working with two chambers of Congress controlled by his own party, but even many Republicans have said they won’t back the severity of some of the cuts he has proposed, particularly in the areas of foreign aid.

Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who played a lead role in drafting the 1997 welfare changes in Congress, said Trump will need to find new support from Republicans in Congress if he is going to achieve the welfare-related overhauls he’s seeking.

“I don’t think the Republicans on the Hill are going to feel a strong compulsion to follow the president,” Haskins said. “They are not afraid of him.”

In addition to the myriad cuts, the budget will include some new spending.

Beyond an increase in the military budget and new money for border security, the White House is expected to call for $200 billion for infrastructure projects and an additional $25 billion over 10 years for a new program designed by Ivanka Trump that would create six weeks of parental leave benefits.

Donald of Arabia: A Disgusting Spectacle

This is the worst yet

May 22, 2017

by Justin Raimondo,


Has there been a more disgusting spectacle during the four months of this presidency than the sight of Donald Trump slobbering all over the barbarous Saudi monarch and his murderous family of petty princelings? It’s enough to make any normal American retch, especially when one remembers what Trump said about them during the election:

“Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”

And then there was this tweet:

“Tell Saudi Arabia and others that we want (demand!) free oil for the next ten years or we will not protect their private Boeing 747s. Pay up!”

Now Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, is calling up Lockheed-Martin to get a discount for the Saudis, personally brokering the biggest arms deal in US history. What a difference a presidency makes!

The old Trump told us that the Saudis were “mouth pieces, bullies, cowards,” who were “paying ISIS,” but now they’re our partners in the “war on terrorism.” Why it seems like only yesterday that he was calling out Saudi princes like Alwaleed bin Talal for thinking they can “control our US politicians” – today he’s kowtowing to them.

Most tellingly, it was Trump who made a campaign issue out of the missing 28 pages redacted from the Joint congressional report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In calling for their release, he painted a scenario in which the Saudi royals assisted the hijackers and said:

“You know, it’s sort of nice to know who your friends are, and perhaps who your enemies are.”

Does Trump know who are our friends and who are our enemies?

While the US government, under both Trump and Obama, has routinely maintained that Iran is the biggest exporter of terrorism, that is utter nonsense: the Saudis easily outdo the mullahs of Tehran. Riyadh funds radical madrassas throughout the world that preach pure hatred of the West: they are incubators of terrorism, and have been wreaking havoc from one end of the globe to the other for decades. The terrorist groups that have destroyed Syria are the progeny of the Saudis, and their allies among the Gulf states.

Most shameful of all, the Saudis have invaded nearby Yemen, slaughtering children and women with impunity, bombing funeral processions, and causing a famine that will kill hundreds of thousands of noncombatants: the very young, the sick, and the old. And they’re doing it with US assistance, a pact signed in blood under the Obama administration, now continued and beefed up under Trump.

In all fairness, this is nothing new as far as the US is concerned: our relationship with the Saudi monarchy goes all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt, who cemented the alliance in 1943 by declaring that the defense of their medieval dictatorship was “vital” to our national security: US taxpayer dollars flowed into the Saudi treasury via the Lend-Lease giveaway. The flow hasn’t stopped since that time: indeed, it has only increased.

And the flow will turn into a torrent if Trump’s wacky idea of an Arab NATO ever comes to fruition. We’ll be paying their “defense” bills unto eternity, while they send their army of head-chopping assassins out to murder infidels on a global scale – and US arms dealers rake in cash hand over fist.

Yes, the US-Saudi relationship is one of the central pillars of our globalist foreign policy – but wasn’t Trump supposed to be different? Wasn’t he supposed to be putting America first? Of all the betrayals we’ve had to endure since he took the White House, his pilgrimage to the epicenter of world terrorism has got to be the absolute worst. As he kneels before the Saudi king, he humiliates all of us.

Trump’s next stop is Israel, and that’s no accident: the Jewish state is Saudi Arabia’s main ally in the region, although the relationship is supposed to be covert. They don’t even bother to keep it under wraps anymore. While the Saudis fund the head-chopping barbarians who have destroyed Syria, the Israelis succor them in their hospitals and then set them free to kill and maim again. Israeli officials openly state their preference for ISIS over Bashar al-Assad. If and when Trump’s loopy “Arab NATO” ever comes to pass, Israel will be a silent partner.

The third leg of Trump’s trip will be the Vatican, and there an ambush awaits him. This Pope is no friend of the White House, and he is likely to issue a public rebuke on the immigration issue, at the very least. The whole thing is a public relations disaster waiting to happen, and a testament to the very bad advice Trump is getting from his clueless advisors.

The mawkish idea of visiting the sites of the world’s three major religions is more appropriate for a television special than for a President on his first major trip abroad. Quite aside from the fact that it leaves out the Hindus, the Greek Orthodox, and the Buddhists, the whole concept is typical of the way this administration thinks in terms of mindless clichés, catchphrases without context or real meaning.

Speaking of which, the less said about Trump’s speech in Riyadh the better: it was a farrago of falsehood, kowtowing, and brazen hypocrisy. To top it off, he announced that a new “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology” is to be opened in the Kingdom – which is, itself, the world capital of extremist ideology, having done more to spread religious hatred than any country on earth.

Of all Trump’s many betrayals – and they’re piling up at such a rate that he’s creating a veritable Mountain of Mendacity – this Saudi trip has got to be the one that will demoralize and alienate even his hardcore supporters. After rising to power on the strength of portraying Islam as inherently violent and dangerous, he’s now joining hands with the leaders of what he once described as “the hateful ideology of radical Islam.” It’s as if Mother Theresa had embraced the Church of Satan.

It’s been a very long four months – that seems more like four years. In voting for Trump, many of his supporters – some of whom are now among Antiwar.com’s regular readers and supporters – were hoping for a return to normalcy. What they got instead was a descent into Bizarro World.

Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias

May 21, 2017

by Patrick Cockburn

The Unz Review

It was crude stuff. President Trump called on 55 Muslim leaders assembled in Riyadh to drive out terrorism from their countries. He identified Iran as a despotic state and came near to calling for regime change, though Iran held a presidential election generally regarded as fair only two days previously.

He denounced Hezbollah and lined up the US squarely on the side of the Sunni against the Shia in the sectarian proxy war that is tearing apart the Middle East.

The impact of US presidential visits and speeches abroad are generally over-rated and turn out to have far less influence than was claimed at the time.

Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo in 2009 about the conflicts in the region was more sophisticated than anything Mr Trump said in Riyadh, but it turned out to denote no new departures in US policy. The same may turn out to be true of Mr Trump’s address.

The most important aspect of Mr Trump’s two-day visit to Saudi Arabia is that it took place at all. He chose to go first to the world’s most thorough-going autocracy where his speech will be lauded by the state-controlled media.

But the radicalism of what he said can be exaggerated because so far his policies towards Syria, Iraq, Turkey and other countries in the region are so far little different from what Mr Obama did in practice.

Almost all of the 55 Muslim rulers and leaders in the vast hall in Riyadh will have breathed a little easier on hearing Mr Trump’s repeated call “to drive out terrorism”, since they have always described anybody who opposes their authority as “terrorists”.

This will be a green-light to people like Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to go on imprisoning and torturing Muslim Brotherhood members. American pressure on the ruling Sunni minority in Bahrain to stop persecuting the Shia majority was always tame, but Mr Trump’s praise for the island’s rulers may make the situation even worse.

Mr Trump’s failure to refer to human rights’ abuses was criticised by some observers, but more serious than his words was his presence in Riyadh before an audience of autocrats.

Saudi leaders will be pleased by Mr Trump’s condemnation of Iran as the fountainhead of terrorism. This was the most substantive part of speech and is the one most likely to increase conflict.

The Saudis will see it as a licence to increase their support for proxy wars being waged against Shia movements and communities in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and beyond. Houthi militiamen in Yemen and Shia militiamen in Iraq and Syria are often referred to as “Iranian-backed”, which may or may not be true, but it is their Shiism which is by far the most important determinant of their political identity.

In targeting them, Mr Trump is plugging the US into the ferocious sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia.

This is not a war that is going to be won by either side, but the stance of the Trump administration will help ensure that it goes on being fought. Ever since Mr Trump was elected, Iraqi leaders in Baghdad have been concerned that a deeper confrontation between the US and Iran will further destabilise Iraq, just as the Iraqi security forces are getting control of the last enclaves of Isis control in Mosul.

An escalation in the war in Yemen by the Saudi backed forces could close the port of Hodeida on the Red Sea coast through which is imported much of the food reaching the 17 million Yemenis on the verge of famine.

In the last years of Mr Obama, US public opinion was increasingly focussed on Saudi Arabia as the country most to blame for 9/11 because 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis as was Osama bin Laden and, according to a CIA report, the private financing for the operation. Senior US officials have repeatedly pointed to financing from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf as essential to the rise of Isis and al-Qaeda type organisations in Iraq and Syria.

Mr Trump himself blamed Saudi Arabia for 9/11 during the presidential election campaign, but this was all forgotten when he spoke in Riyadh. This might have two serious consequences: leaders of the Shia community fear that Isis may be nominally destroyed but the bulk of its fighters could simply join other anti-Shia paramilitary movements in Iraq and Syria.

As for driving out “terrorism” from Muslim societies for which Mr Trump called, one important aspect of the growth of al-Qaeda type movements has been the way in which Saudi Arabia has used its oil wealth for half a century to spread Wahhabism, its puritanical and fanatical variant of Islam. This has become an increasingly predominant influence over mainstream Sunni Islam, increasing its sectarianism.

The Real Meaning of ‘Sensitive’ Intelligence

Why sources and methods matter more than the material itself.

May 16, 2017

by Philip Giraldi

The American Conservative

Intelligence agencies and senior government officials tend to use a lot of jargon. Laced with acronyms, this language sometimes does not translate very well into journalese when it hits the media.

For example, I experienced a sense of disorientation two weeks ago over the word “sensitive” as used by several senators, Sally Yates, and James Clapper during committee testimony into Russiagate. “Sensitive” has, of course, a number of meanings. But what astonished me was how quickly the media interpreted its use in the hearings to mean that the conversations and emails that apparently were recorded or intercepted involving Trump associates and assorted Russians as “sensitive contacts” meant that they were necessarily inappropriate, dangerous, or even illegal.

When Yates and Clapper were using “sensitive” thirteen times in the 86 page transcript of the Senate hearings, they were referring to the medium rather than the message. They were both acknowledging that the sources of the information were intelligence related, sometimes referred to as “sensitive” by intelligence professionals and government insiders as a shorthand way to describe that they are “need to know” material derived from either classified “methods” or foreign-liaison partners. That does not mean that the information contained is either good or bad or even true or false, but merely a way of expressing that the information must be protected because of where it came from or how it was developed, hence the “sensitivity.”

The word also popped up this week in a Washington Post exclusive report alleging that the president had, in his recent meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, gone too far while also suggesting that the source of a highly classified government program might be inferred from the context of what was actually revealed. The Post describes how

The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump’s decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.

The Post is unfortunately also providing ISIS with more information than it “needs to know” to make its story more dramatic, further compromising the source. Furthermore, it should be understood that the paper is extremely hostile to Trump, the story is as always based on anonymous sources, and the revelation comes on top of another unverifiable Post article claiming that the Russians might have sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during the visit.

No one is denying that the president discussed ISIS in some detail with Lavrov, but National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, both of whom were present at the meeting, have denied that any sources or methods were revealed while reviewing with the Russians available intelligence. McMaster described the report as “false” and informed the Post that “The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.” Tillerson commented that “the nature of specific threats were (sic) discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations.”

So the question becomes to what extent can an intelligence mechanism be identified from the information that it produces. That is, to a certain extent, a judgement call. The president is able on his own authority to declassify anything, so the legality of his sharing information with Russia cannot be challenged. What is at question is the decision-making by an inexperienced president who may have been showing off to an important foreign visitor by revealing details of intelligence that should have remained secret. The media will no doubt be seeking to magnify the potential damage done while the White House goes into damage control mode.

The media is claiming that the specific discussion with Lavrov that is causing particular concern is related to a so-called Special Access Program, or SAP, sometimes referred to as “code word information.” An SAP is an operation that generates intelligence that requires special protection because of where or how it is produced. In this case, the intelligence shared with Lavrov appears to be related to specific ISIS threats, which may include planned operations against civilian aircraft, judging from Trump’s characteristically after-hours tweets defending his behavior, as well as other reporting.

There have also been reports that the White House followed up on its Lavrov meeting with a routine review of what had taken place. Several National Security Council members observed that some of the information shared with the Russians was far too sensitive to disseminate within the U.S. intelligence community. This led to the placing of urgent calls to NSA and CIA to brief them on what had been said.

Based on the recipients of the calls alone, one might surmise that the source of the information would appear to be either a foreign-intelligence service or a technical collection operation, or even both combined. The Post claims that the originator of the intelligence did not clear its sharing with the Russians and raises the possibility that no more information of that type will be provided at all in light of the White House’s apparent carelessness in its use. The New York Times, in its own reporting of the story, initially stated that the information on ISIS did not come from an NSA or CIA operation, and later reported that the source was Israel.

The Times is also reporting that Trump provided to Lavrov “granular” information on the city in Syria where the information was collected that will possibly enable the Russians or ISIS to identify the actual source, with devastating consequences. That projection may be overreach, but the fact is that the latest gaffe from the White House could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East while reinforcing the widely held impression that Washington does not know how to keep a secret. It will also create the impression that Donald Trump, out of ignorance or hubris, exhibits a certain recklessness in his dealing with classified information, a failing that he once attributed to his presidential opponent Hillary Clinton.

And President Trump has one more thing to think about. No matter what damage comes out of the Lavrov discussion, he has a bigger problem. There are apparently multiple leakers on his National Security Council.

‘WikiLeaks Will Always Be the Bad Boy’

Has WikiLeaks become a tool of Russian propaganda? Platform founder Julian Assange, 45, responds to the accusations, addresses the effects of hackers on Western elections and talks about the “WannaCry” attack.

May 19, 2017

Interview Conducted by Michael Sontheimer and Jörg Schindler  in London


SPIEGEL: Mr. Assange, after WikiLeaks published emails and documents from the Democratic Party during last year’s presidential campaign, Donald Trump said: “I love WikiLeaks.” But in April, CIA Director Mike Pompeo called the organization “a non-state, hostile intelligence service.” Is the U.S. government stepping up the pursuit of WikiLeaks?

Assange: People love WikiLeaks when it is exposing corruption in their opponents. People oppose WikiLeaks when it is exposing corruption or dangerous behavior in themselves. We have exposed extremely dangerous incompetence in the CIA, with their giant hacking program and the group of hackers they have installed at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt. Now, Trump’s CIA director Pompeo has started the counterattack.

SPIEGEL: He said: “This,” meaning WikiLeaks, “ends now.” That sounds rather threatening.

Assange: I think it is very serious that he chose to make WikiLeaks the dominant theme of his first speech as head of the CIA. Particularly when combined with the statement of the US attorney general that my arrest is a priority.

SPIEGEL: What WikiLeaks members are under investigation by the grand jury in Virginia, aside from yourself?

Assange: As far as I know, the grand jury is investigating WikiLeaks journalists Sarah Harrison, Joseph Farrell and Kristinn Hrafnsson. It is investigating me and Jacob Appelbaum, who is a supporter of WikiLeaks. And U.S. officials also recently said that they are going after the staff of WikiLeaks.

SPIEGEL: The most important WikiLeaks source, former U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, was released from military prison on Wednesday, the result of a pardon from Barack Obama after she served seven years behind bars. Did she reveal details of a possible cooperation with WikiLeaks?

Assange: First of all, her release is an amazing victory for which we and many others have fought very hard. We are proud of that, though she should have been pardoned and compensated, not simply given clemency by Barack Obama. You must remember that the UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendes, found Manning had been subject to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. In her trial, she produced a statement that she had communicated with someone from WikiLeaks but, contrary to what CIA director Pompeo claimed, WikiLeaks had not instructed her.

SPIEGEL: Recently, you have been the focus of fierce criticism from a growing number of politicians and journalists who are linking WikiLeaks to Russian propaganda and disinformation.

Assange: That is all spin. After Hillary Clinton lost the election, she and her campaign manager John Podesta decided to blame it on FBI director James Comey, on Russia and on WikiLeaks.

SPIEGEL: The credibility of Wikileaks depends on it being non-partisan, on not having a hidden political agenda.

Assange: WikiLeaks’ credibility with the public depends on our proven record of accuracy. In 10 years, we have published over 10 million documents. Not a single one of them had been proven to be forged. But of course, every source has its own interest. That’s a basic law of journalism.

SPIEGEL: Do you know your sources?

Assange: We usually have very good insight into our material to authenticate it. In some cases, that means that we also develop insight into a source.

SPIEGEL: If the U.S. government were able to prove that the CIA documents WikiLeaks has published were submitted by Russian sources, that would damage the credibility of WikiLeaks severely, don’t you think?

Assange: That is a media fantasy. The official position of the U.S. government, as expressed by Barack Obama in his last press conference as president, is that it has no evidence whatsoever of collusion between WikiLeaks and Russia. U.S. officials have said they believe that the CIA documents don’t come from a state party, but from an American private contractor.

SPIEGEL: But you can’t deny that WikiLeaks lost a lot of its popularity since it published documents about Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

Assange: What are you saying? If we hadn’t published Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches, she would have won? Or should we have censured information to favor one candidate? WikiLeaks will never do that.

SPIEGEL: Increasingly, though, secret services seem to be trying to influence the outcome of elections in foreign countries.

Assange: That may well be.

SPIEGEL: If these secret services are using WikiLeaks as a useful weapon, you can’t just lean back and say: “That may well be.”

Assange: Secret services are planting things in the media every day. And if WikiLeaks is logistically able to publish documents before an election, we will do that – and that’s also exactly what the public expects.

SPIEGEL: You don’t care if WikiLeaks influences the outcome of elections?

Assange: WikiLeaks is made up of human beings who have different political views. But we cannot undermine our publicly given commitments, our publicly stated principles.

SPIEGEL: And these principles require that you publish authentic documents as quickly as possible, regardless of who benefits or is damaged?

Assange: That’s our current policy, which might be changed under extreme circumstances.

SPIEGEL: What sort of circumstances?

Assange: If we were on the brink of a nuclear war and a WikiLeaks publication could be misinterpreted, then it would make sense to delay the publication.

SPIEGEL: You didn’t delay the publication of the material which harmed Clinton.

Assange: We are not in this business for likes. WikiLeaks publishes documents about powerful organizations. WikiLeaks always will always be the bad boy.

SPIEGEL: What do you have to say to people who accuse WikiLeaks, among others, of being responsible for Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president?

Assange: WikiLeaks revealed the dirty tactics of the Clinton campaign. Some voters took it in. It was their free choice to do so. That’s their right. That’s democracy.

SPIEGEL: As secretary of state, Clinton sought to take action against WikiLeaks. Was the publication of Democratic Party documents a kind of vendetta?

Assange: That is U.S. East Coast psychobabble. The reason that WikiLeaks follows its principles is because one man has a problem? No! But here is some historic irony behind it. Clinton was involved in putting our alleged source Chelsea Manning in prison. There seems to be some natural justice.

SPIEGEL: You derived satisfaction from her loss?

Assange: . . .

SPIEGEL: You are smiling.

Assange: On a personal level I would probably get along with her quite well. She is a charismatic person. She is a bit of wonk – like me. A little bit awkward – like me. However, there has to be a line drawn. She decided to destroy the Libyan state. As a result, she fueled the European refugee crisis. We published a lot of her emails on how this unfolded. It seems an inescapable conclusion that she is a war criminal.

SPIEGEL: Are we heading for an era in which the party with the better hackers wins the election?

Assange: Not necessarily. If we have a look at the Macron leaks, it is clear they came too late to have an impact on the elections. The documents have a very conspicuous insertion of metadata, which point to a guy who is a contractor for the Russian secret service FSB. But why should Russia signal it is behind it? That would be a rather stupid mind game.

SPIEGEL: The initial WikiLeaks mission statement from 2006 said: “Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia.” But we haven’t learned much about these countries from your organization.

Assange: That’s absolutely false. This wrong impression is the result of navel gazing in the West and the United States. When we publish in languages other than English, in New Nork they don’t care.

SPIEGEL: But your biggest scoops, like documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Clinton emails or the recent CIA documents, have all targeted the United States.

Assange: Because the U.S. is an empire with 700 military bases spread across the world. That which exposes American power is of interest worldwide. When we published 2.3 million Syrian documents, including emails from Bashar al- Assad, it wasn’t seen as a scoop.

SPIEGEL: After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, you wrote on Twitter that the U.S. had annexed the entire world with mass surveillance. Is it wise to excuse one crime with another?

Assange: Come on. That’s typical journalistic cherry picking. I have been very critical of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. At a strategic level it was a disaster, for Ukraine and for Russia.

SPIEGEL: If you had the chance to bring down Russian President Vladimir Putin with leaked documents, would you do it?

Assange: We don’t publish documents to bring people down. If the documents were authentic, we would publish them. We do not accept censorship. We think freedom of information is what human civilization needs in order to be just and equitable.

SPIEGEL: You don’t believe there are any limits to transparency?

Assange: That’s not a question for WikiLeaks. That’s a question for society. Each organization has its own role. Police have a role in stopping the mafia. Media has the duty to tell people the truth. That’s our primary role. Not censorship.

SPIEGEL: Do you not think there is a danger that an anonymous source could instrumentalize WikiLeaks?

Assange: Certain media groups have tried to say that in order to excuse themselves for their lack of success and their relatively poor output. Meanwhile many newspapers and magazines have copied WikiLeaks and are offering the possibility of delivering documents anonymously. WikiLeaks publishes harder than anyone else. WikiLeaks is successful through its commitment to its values and through its robustness in the defense of its sources. That attracts sources.

SPIEGEL: What do you make of the global “WannaCry” attack?

Assange: The American National Security Agency, the NSA, built a giant stockpile of digital weapons, but lost control of it in 2013. The NSA, though, did not inform Microsoft and other companies so that they could fix their programs, for which the NSA had attacking tools.

SPIEGEL: Do you think worse is yet to come?

Assange: There are serious questions to be asked: Did the NSA and CIA conceal the fact that they lost control over most of their cyber weapons or did they inform president Obama and his administration? Following the Edward Snowden revelations, the U.S. government promised they would not hoard these vulnerabilities but inform IT corporations so they could fix vulnerable software. It turns out that that was a lie. Another important question is: What liabilities does the NSA bear for the damage the “WannaCry” attack has caused around the world?

SPIEGEL: Mr. Assange, we thank you very much for this interview.

North Korea vows to strengthen nuclear-strike ability

Pyongyang deputy ambassador to the UN says his country will strengthen and develop nuclear capability despite sanctions.

May 20, 2017


North Korea had vowed to rapidly strengthen its nuclear-strike capability as long as it faces a “hostile” US policy.

At the United Nations, North Korea’s deputy ambassador, Kim In Ryong, said Pyongyang would never abandon its “nuclear deterrence for self-defense and pre-emptive strike capability” even if the US ratchets up sanctions and pressure “to the utmost.”

North Korea tested a longer-range missile last weekend, which experts say was a significant advance for a weapons programme that aims at having a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike America.

The test triggered a new US-backed push for a fresh round of UN sanctions against the North.

Speaking to reporters, Kim hailed the test launch and said that if the Trump administration wants peace on the divided Korean Peninsula, it should replace the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy.

All 15 members of the UN Security Council, the world organisation’s most powerful body, this week called the launch a violation of existing sanctions and vowed to take new measures, including additional sanctions.

Kim accused the council of playing “to the tune of the US again” and protested the Trump administration’s demand for countries to choose allegiance between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, his country’s official name.

Asked about Beijing and Moscow’s support for the six previous rounds of UN sanctions, Kim said both countries are “close neighbours” who “understand our nuclear projection occurred through the US continued nuclear threat and its hostile policy” toward North Korea.

If the United States “persists in anti-DPRK sanctions without understanding its rival, the (Trump) administration will have to take full responsibility for the ensuing catastrophic consequences,” he warned.

“The US should mind that the DPRK nuclear striking capability will be strengthened and developed at a rapidly high speed as long as the US insists (on) its anti-DPRK policy, nasty nuclear threats and blackmails, sanction and pressure,” Kim said.

At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stressed the need for a peaceful resolution by working through the UN with countries including China, the North’s traditional ally and benefactor.

“If this goes to a military solution it is going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale, and so our effort is to work with the UN, work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation,” Mattis said at a news conference.

UK PM May climbs down on ‘dementia tax’ plans after poll lead halves

May 22, 2017

by Kylie MacLellan and Kate Holton


LONDON-British Prime Minister Theresa May made a public climbdown on Monday over plans to force elderly people to pay more for their social care, after her governing Conservative Party’s opinion poll lead halved in the run-up to a national election.

In her biggest misstep of the campaign to date, May set out plans last week to transfer a greater share of the cost of care for the elderly from taxpayers to recipients who can afford to fund it themselves.

That raised concerns some might see their houses sold off after their deaths to pay for care received, rather than passed on to their descendants. May’s opponents dubbed it a “dementia tax”, saying it will particularly hit those who need long-term care at home.

“We will make sure nobody has to sell their family home to pay for care. We will make sure there’s an absolute limit on what people need to pay … so you will always have something to pass on to your family,” May said on Monday.

She said opponents and the media had misrepresented the policy proposal which she called part of an important attempt to change the care system in an aging society.

But May appeared flustered as she faced questions from journalists about her announcement of a cap.

“Nothing has changed, nothing has changed, we are offering a long-term solution for the sustainability of social care for the future,” she said, shaking her head and raising her voice as it was described as a u-turn by journalists. “Nothing has changed.”

When May called a snap election for June 8, surveys indicated she would win a landslide comparable with Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 majority of 144 seats in the 650-seat parliament.

That picture changed after both the Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party set out their election pitches to voters last week, with a Survation poll published on Monday showed May’s lead over Labour had halved to 9 percentage points.

It followed surveys over the weekend suggesting the gap had narrowed.


May had sought to poach traditional Labour supporters with a mix of pledges more radical than those of her predecessor, David Cameron.

A YouGov poll on Saturday found 40 percent of the public were opposed to the change to elderly care provision while 35 percent were supportive. It also showed 49 percent opposed May’s plan to tighten the criteria for raising the state pension each year, compared to 30 percent who supported it.

May called the election to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain’s departure from the European Union and win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce. But if she gains less than an impressive majority, her electoral gamble will have failed.

With polls showing the Conservatives’ lead over Labour down from 20 points or more earlier in the campaign, May is projected to win a smaller majority of around 40 seats.

But many are skeptical of the headline poll numbers after surveys failed to correctly predict Britain’s last national election in 2015, as well as the 2016 EU referendum and Donald Trump’s U.S. election victory.

Pollsters have said their 2015 findings significantly overestimated support for Labour. While they have since adjusted their methodology to seek to address this, it will not be known until June 9 whether they have now gone too far the other way.

Survation said in a blog alongside its data that respondents “were more likely to say that Labour, rather than the Conservatives, had the best policies for young people, families with young children, managing the National Health Service, improving the education system and older people and pensioners.”

Britain’s pound edged lower after the polls showed May’s lead had fallen, trading down 0.2 percent against the dollar and flirting with a fall back below $1.30.

(Additional reporting by William James, Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and John Stonestreet)

Jews Tried to Kill Truman in 1947

May 22, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

The date is December 3, 1972, and it’s right there in a headline of the Tri-City Herald, the newspaper that serves Pasco-Kennewick-Richland in the state of Washington: “Jews sent President Truman letter bombs, book tells.” The newspaper picked up the article, we see, from the Associated Press (AP).

Not only does the article carry the authority of the AP, but the book in question bears the authority of none other than President Harry Truman’s own daughter, Margaret. It is her biography of her father, entitled simply Harry S. Truman, and at the time the article was written, the book had just been published. The passage in question—a long paragraph that begins on page 489 and ends on page 490 (pp. 533-534 of the paperback edition)—is in a section on threats and attempts on President Truman’s life. Note that she misidentifies Anthony Eden as Foreign Secretary, which he had not been since 1938. Later, of course, he would become Prime Minister. Ernest Bevin was Foreign Secretary in 1947, and he was the primary target to the assassination attempts:

“In the summer of 1947, the so-called Stern Gang of Palestine terrorists tried to assassinate Dad by mail. A number of cream-colored envelopes about eight by six inches, arrived in the White House, addressed to the President and various members of the staff. Inside them was a smaller envelope marked “Private and Confidential.” Inside that second envelope was powdered gelignite, a pencil battery and a detonator rigged to explode the gelignite when the envelope was opened. Fortunately, the White House mail room was alert to the possibility that such letters might arrive. The previous June at least eight were sent to British government officials, including Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. The British police exploded one of these experimentally and said it could kill, or at the very least maim, anyone unlucky enough to open it. The mail room turned the letters over to the Secret Service and they were defused by their bomb experts. The Secret Service still screens all our mail.”

The AP article also reminds us that the news of the aborted attack on Truman did not originate with Margaret Truman, some quarter century after the fact. It had been reported in far greater and more accurate detail by White House staff mail reader Ira R. T. Smith (with Joe Alex Morris) in his 1949 book, Dear Mr. President … The Story of Fifty Years in the White House Mail Room. Fortunately, that entire book is now online here. This is from pp. 229-230:

‘On another occasion, in the summer of 1947 I was summoned back to Washington from my vacation because controversy over important issues, including the Palestine question, had greatly increased the volume of mail to the President. I was rather surprised that the volume should be more than could be handled routinely by the office but when I got back I found that not all the difficulty was due to volume. Some of the letters received had obviously been intended to kill.

There had been a flurry in England in June of that summer because eight or more government officials and political personages had received terrorist letters in which explosives were cleverly concealed. Among those who got such letters were Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones, President of the Board of Trade Sir Stafford Cripps, and former Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. Cripps’s secretary noticed that the letter he received was hot (police said later it was apparently about ready to explode) and he stuck it in water. Eden carried his letter unopened in his briefcase for twenty-four hours before a secretary, tipped off by police, found it. There were two envelopes, the outer one about eight by six inches and cream-colored. The inner envelope was marked “Private and Confidential,” presumably in an effort to see that it was opened by the man to whom it was addressed. Inside the second envelope was powdered gelignite, a pencil battery, and a detonator arranged to explode when the envelope was opened. Police exploded one experimentally and said that it was powerful enough to kill a man. The so-called Stern gang of Palestine terrorists later claimed responsibility for having sent the letters from its “branch in Europe.” The letters were postmarked from Italy.

The same kind of terrorist letters had been found in the White House mail, and as a result the staff had been handling all letters with great care, thus slowing up the routine. So far as I know none of those received in this country resulted in an explosion, which may have been due to the excellent system introduced for handling the White House mail during the war. “

Upon reading these two accounts, two questions come immediately to mind: Why is this attempted assassination of the president of the United States not common knowledge and what is the larger political context? That is to say, why would the Stern Gang want to kill President Truman?

Why Kill Truman?

Addressing the second question first, the reader can’t help but note that the books use the identical vague term “Stern Gang of Palestine terrorists” to refer to the perpetrators. One might get the impression that they were Palestinian terrorists, except for the fact that the Stern Gang is well known as a Jewish extremist group with a long string of murderous outrages to its credit (or discredit, if you prefer). Both accounts at least tell us that the White House bombs were part of a pattern, that similar attempts had previously been made by the Stern Gang upon various British officials. But their common purpose in telling us this is to explain why the White House was on alert for such bombs and was successful in interdicting them. They don’t give us the slightest clue as to why the bombs might have been sent in the first place.

In 1946 the British were still in political control of Palestine, formerly ruled by the Ottomons, under an arrangement created in the wake of World War I and approved by the League of Nations in 1923. Prior to WW I, it should be pointed out, Palestine had been part of the Muslim Ottoman Syria since 1516, more than a century before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, and before that it had been part of the Muslim Mamluk Empire centered in Egypt. The Zionist movement, led primarily by Jews from Eastern Europe, was determined to drive the British out and terrorism of all sorts—assassinations, kidnappings, bombings, extortion, etc.—was at the very core of the effort.

The problem with the British was that they were carrying out their commitment under the Balfour Declaration far too conscientiously. As a means of gaining support from world Jewry, especially in the United States and Russia, against their enemies in World War I, which included the Ottomon Empire, the Balfour Declaration endorsed the idea of a Jewish home (not the Zionist objective of a “homeland” or “state”) in Palestine (still at that time under Ottomon control), “it being clearly understood that nothing would be done which would prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine….”

The Zionists wanted massive Jewish immigration from Europe and total political control of Palestine, with the apparent eventual goal of supplanting the entire non-Jewish population from the area. Such policies would certainly have been—and have been—prejudicial in the extreme toward the rights of the locals, and the British refused to institute them, incurring the murderous wrath of the terrorist Stern Gang, which counted future Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir (born Icchak Jeziernicky) among its leaders and its brother in terror, Irgun, one of whose leaders was future Prime Minister Menachem Begin (born Mieczysław Biegun). Why British government officials, and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin in particular, would have been targeted for killing by the Zionist terrorists can be well appreciated by reference to Bevin’s Wikipedia page.

Although the attempted assassinations in Britain were unsuccessful, the terror campaign against the British worked. The British gave up their mandate and turned the whole question of Palestine’s future over to the United Nations to decide. Under heavy pressure from the United States, the majority of the UN General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and non-Jewish sectors. This final arrangement, according to Bevin, was “…so manifestly unjust to the Arabs that it is difficult to see how we could reconcile it with our conscience.”

Terror had worked on the British, but why would anyone have thought it necessary against President Truman, of all people? With a village and an institute named for him there, he is regarded today as a hero in Israel for defying almost all his foreign policy advisers and recognizing the new Jewish state of Israel as soon as David Ben Gurion declared its existence in May of 1948. But in the summer of 1947 it was far from a foregone conclusion that Truman would come through for the Zionists. Some idea of his thinking on Palestine at the time can be gleaned from a letter he wrote to a friend, Edward W. Pauley, on October 22, 1946:

That situation is insoluble in my opinion. I have spent a year and a month trying to get some concrete action on it. Not only are the British highly successful in muddling the situation as completely as it could possibly be muddled, but the Jews themselves are making it almost impossible to do anything for them. They seem to have the same attitude toward the “underdog” when they are on top as they have been treated as “underdogs” themselves. I suppose that is human frailty. –Robert H. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman, A Life (1994), p. 307.

Some more evidence of his thinking in 1946 can be had from Truman’s memoirs:

My efforts to persuade the British to relax immigration restrictions in Palestine might have fallen on more receptive ears if it had not been for the increasing acts of terrorism that were being committed in Palestine. There were armed groups of extremists who were guilty of numerous outrages. On June 16 eight bridges were blown up near the Trans-Jordan border, and two other explosions were set off in Haifa. The following day there was a pitched battle between Jews and British troops in Haifa, other explosions had started a fire and caused great damage in the rail yards there. British officers were kidnapped. Others were shot at from passing automobiles. Explosions took place in ever-increasing numbers, and the British uncovered a plot by one extremist group to kidnap the British commander in chief in Palestine. –Memoirs of Harry S. Truman, Vol. 2, Years of Hope (1956). pp. 150-151

Many of the signals being picked up by the Jewish leadership in the United States, as Truman expressed his exasperation over their heavy pressure campaign, could easily have made their way to the Stern Gang, persuading them that in this Missouri Baptist from a relatively humble background they had an American Bevin on their hands:

In June of 1946 he at first refused to see a delegation of all the New York Congressmen, and finally received them only with obvious impatience. He was no better when the two Senators from the state, Robert Wagner and James Mead, brought a former member of the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry (into Palestine) to see him. “I am not a New Yorker,” Truman is alleged to have told them. “All these people are pleading for a special interest. I am an American.” – Roy Jenkins, Truman (1986), p. 117

Particularly offensive to Truman was the attitude of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland, who, with Stephen Wise, was co-chairman of the American Zionist Emergency Council. A Republican and close ally of Senator Taft, Rabbi Silver had helped write a pro-Zionist plank in the 1944 Republican platform. At one point during a meeting in Truman’s office, Silver had hammered on Truman’s desk and shouted at him. “Terror and Silver are the causes of some, if not all, of our troubles,” Truman later said, and at one Cabinet meeting he reportedly grew so furious over the subject of the Jews that he snapped, “Jesus Christ couldn’t please them when he was on earth, so how could anyone expect that I would have any luck.” –David McCullough, Truman (1992), p. 599

Why Don’t We Know?

In 2006 The Times of London had what appeared to be a blockbuster revelation: “Jewish terrorists plotted to assassinate Ernest Bevin, the foreign secretary, in 1946, as part of their campaign to establish the state of Israel, newly declassified intelligence files have shown.” Five terrorist cells from the Stern Gang and Irgun were planning to descend upon London with bombings and assassinations, the MI5 files are said to have shown, but, in the end, only some 20 letter bombs were sent, with Bevin his Tory predecessor Anthony Eden mentioned as among the recipients.

The interesting thing here is that these are treated as brand new revelations, available only because some secret files have finally been declassified. But as we have seen, the essential facts about the letter bombs in Britain had been published—with even more detail given—in a book in the United States in 1949 and then repeated in outline form in a book by none other than the daughter of the American president. Another interesting fact is that the 2006 story in The Times was not picked up by a single mainstream news organ in the United States and was even taken down from The Times’ web site within a couple of weeks. The only reason we still have the full story up on the Internet is that it was picked up by the alternative news organ Information Clearing House (“news you won’t find on CNN,” indeed).

The Wikipedia page on the letter bomb is doubly revealing. First, for anyone entertaining the fantasy that a mere bomb small enough to be contained in a mail envelope is too trivial a thing to be treated as an assassination attempt, the list of historical examples given is instructive. The Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski, killed three people and wounded 27 others with his mailed bombs, and the list is full of other instances of people killed or seriously maimed by them.

Perhaps even more interesting is that as of the date of the publication of this article, eighteen examples of the use of letter bombs are given, but the attacks on such important figures as Truman, Bevin and Eden are not mentioned. The list even includes an attack on a U.S. vice president in 1915. Since anyone can put information on Wikipedia as long as it meets that page’s requirements for credibility—which the foregoing revelations certainly do—what we must conclude is that even with the 2006 report by The Times and the 1972 book by Margaret Truman, the fact of Zionist terrorist letter-bomb attacks on major political leaders in Great Britain and the United States is still hardly known by anyone.

We have noted how the U.S. press suppressed the relatively recent news of the attempts on Bevin and Eden. Writers of history (or is it their publishers?), at least in the United States, are at least as guilty of withholding this information. Perhaps I did not search diligently enough, but the only Truman biography that I could find that mentioned the letter bomb attack on Truman was that of his daughter. All those biographies that I consulted were written after hers, and, for some reason, they apparently found this attempted assassination unworthy of mention.*

Even someone as generally well informed about high level skulduggery as this writer had his scholarship diminished by his ignorance of the revelations in the Margaret Truman and Ira R. T. Smith books. When I learned of the Zionist attacks on Bevin et al., I wrote Part 4 of “Who Killed James Forrestal?” subtitled “Britain’s Forrestal,” and included a section that reflected my ignorance entitled “Who Knew?” It is worth repeating in its entirety here:

Although it is apparent that those signers of the warning letter to The New York Times had no knowledge of the previous attempt on the life of Ernest Bevin, one must wonder who, outside the ranks of British intelligence, did know about it. In particular, we have to wonder if one so connected to the higher reaches of power in the world as Bernard Baruch, when he warned his friend Forrestal in February of 1949 that he had already become too identified with opposition to Israel for his own good, knew more than he was telling about the danger that Forrestal faced. And when Forrestal complained about being followed and bugged, did he know that the Irgun crowd had come pretty close to snuffing out the life of his British counterpart? Could such knowledge have been behind his resistance to commitment to Bethesda Naval Hospital and his reported claim that he would never leave the hospital alive when he attempted to get out of the car taking him there? Might that have been the revelation from Secretary of the Air Force Symington on the day of Forrestal’s departure from office that drove him into his sudden funk?

And after Forrestal’s death, could there have been any doubt in the minds of those aware of the attempt on Bevin who had ultimately been behind the later crime? Might these have included those powerful friends such as Ferdinand Eberstadt and Robert Lovett, who had failed to visit him in the hospital and then, when the results of the investigation of his death were never made public, failed to register any public complaint? At the very least, those in the know included the contemporary and future leaders of Great Britain, and the knowledge that the leaders of the United States government had conspired with Zionist thugs in the assassination of the one courageous voice of reason in their midst would very likely have animated their own future Middle East policy.

Now we can see that those questions almost certainly answer themselves. Not only would such connected, well-informed people as Baruch, Forrestal, Eberstadt, and Lovett, have known about the Zionists’ attempts to kill Bevin, they would in all likelihood have known about the attempts on Eden and Truman as well. But thanks to the controllers of information and molders of opinion in our society, most of the rest of us did not know.

Not only was my scholarship undermined by the general blackout of the news of the attempted Truman hit, but so, too, was that of Alison Weir, as reflected in her January article, “Bush & Obama? Assassination and U.S. Presidents.” Her article is about the public suggestion of a Jewish leader in Atlanta that Israel might consider assassinating a U.S. president deemed “unfriendly to Israel.” She observes that such a thing might not be all that farfetched by citing a 1992 article by former Representative Paul Findley of Illinois in which he alleges that Israel, in fact, had pretty advanced plans in 1991 to assassinate President George H.W. Bush and blame it on Saddam Hussein. She notes, as well, that former Stern Gang leader Yitzhak Shamir was prime minister of Israel at the time. How much stronger would her case have been had she known about the attempt on Truman!

Even David Duke, in his video, “Israeli Deception against America,” as he details Israel’s terrorist attacks against the United States, seems to be unaware of the attempt on the life of our president, unless his failure to mention it rests on the technicality that in 1947 the state of Israel was still a year away from its creation.

Reflecting on these matters, we are more and more convinced of the truth of the quote by Abraham Lincoln, with which we lead off “America’s Dreyfus Affair, the Case of the Death of Vincent Foster,” “In this and like communities, public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who moulds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions.” And molding public sentiment begins with controlling public information. On no subject is information more controlled and public sentiment more manipulated than the subject of Israel and Palestine. Why don’t we know about the attempt by the Stern Gang on the life of Harry Truman? That’s why.

Coercion and Bribery

Information control might take care of the general public, but that is hardly sufficient for our elected representatives. On Palestine, as we learn from his memoirs, Truman was amply informed by his foreign policy advisers and by Arab leaders. For our politicians, Anthony Lawson has charged, the Zionists mainly use coercion and bribery. Few things are more coercive than assassination, or even an assassination attempt, and if Gore Vidal and John F. Kennedy are to be believed, Truman was strongly influenced by that other measure as well.

  • The situation is just as bad when it comes to Bevin. The most balanced book we were able to find at our local library on the Israel-Palestine question has this slanderous speculation about Bevin’s motives, “…he may have shared many of the vulgar anti-Jewish prejudices of his working-class background, a background he had not forgotten.” — Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 4th ed. (2002), p. 79. But on the subject of attempts on his life, which are not matters of speculation, the book is silent.

















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