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TBR News May 4, 2019

May 04 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. May 4, 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 5:The inglorious collapse of the Bolton-instigated Venezuelan revolt coupled with the discovery that the Deutsche Bank has sent reams of inside information about Donald Trump and his crooked finances to New York is causing spastic colon inside the White House. The staff now is not trying to get close to Trump for advancement for distancing themselves for personal safety. When the ship is sinking, the rats desert it.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • House Democrats seek to intervene against Trump lawsuit over bank subpoenas
  • Secret US government doc from February 2018 details planned coup in Venezuela
  • How an Elaborate Plan to Topple Venezuela’s President Went Wrong
  • After Venezuela coup failure, officials & mainstream media desperately spinning explanations
  • Thousands join Glasgow march for Scottish independence
  • Hostilities flare up as rockets hit Israel from Gaza
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • “Rare (fake) gold coins found in sunken steamship off US coast!”
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

House Democrats seek to intervene against Trump lawsuit over bank subpoenas

May 3, 2019

by Brendan Pierson

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two committees of the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Friday asked to intervene in a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump, his three oldest children and the Trump Organization seeking to block House subpoenas seeking financial records from Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp.

In a filing in Manhattan federal court, the Committee on Financial Services and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said they needed to intervene in the lawsuit in order to “defend their significant interests in the enforcement of their subpoenas” as part of “investigations on issues of national significance.”

In a separate filing on Friday, Trump, his children and his company asked U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos for a preliminary order blocking the banks from responding to the subpoenas while their lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, is pending.

They said they will suffer “irreparable harm” without such an order, and that the subpoenas appeared to be intended to expose their confidential financial information “for the sake of exposure.”

“That purpose is illegitimate and provides no constitutional footing for the subpoenas,” they said.

Deutsche Bank has long been one of the main banks for Trump’s real estate empire. A 2017 financial disclosure form showed that Trump had at least $130 million of liabilities to Deutsche Bank.

Democratic lawmakers had asked Capital One’s chief executive in March for documents related to potential conflicts of interest tied to Trump’s hotel in downtown Washington and other business interests.

In their lawsuit, Trump, a Republican, and the other plaintiffs accused House leaders of pursuing records for no legitimate or lawful purpose in hopes they would “stumble upon something” they could use as a political weapon against Trump.

Representative Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and Representative Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said on April 15 their panels had issued subpoenas to multiple financial institutions for information on Trump’s finances.

Trump, who is seeking re-election next year, has aggressively sought to defy congressional oversight of his administration since Democrats took control of the House in January, including possible dealings with Russia, and has said “we’re fighting all the subpoenas” issued by the House.

The White House is also resisting other House subpoenas, including for Trump’s personal and business tax returns, and sought to block current and former administration officials from cooperating with House investigators.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

 

Secret US government doc from February 2018 details planned coup in Venezuela

A detailed plan from “UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND” dated “23 FEBRUARY 2018” was issued with the title “PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP ‘MASTERSTROKE'” and is here presented complete.

This document was personally signed by Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, who was the Commander (the chief), at SOUTHCOM, and he was thus the top U.S. military official handling Venezuela. But this was far more than just a military plan. It was comprehensive – directing military, diplomatic, and propaganda, policies – regarding the Trump Administration’s planned “Overthrow” of Venezuela’s Government. His plan has since guided the Administration’s entire operation, including “the capacities of the psychological war,” regarding Venezuela.

It instructed SOUTHCOM:

“Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises.” …

“intensifying the undercapitalization of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures.” …

“Fully obstruct imports, and at the same time discouraging potential foreign investors in order to make the situation more critical for the population.” …

“compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically” …

“To besiege him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba.” …

“Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation, with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighboring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to.” …

“Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order ‘to leave it with no professionals at all’, which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government.” …

“the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA.”

It was posted online at the Voltairenet site, and was first copied to a web archive on 14 May 2018. So, it has been online since at least that date. However, because the photo in it of the document wasn’t made available via software which includes the individual symbols, but presented only the full visual image of the paper document, it still hasn’t yet gone viral on the Web. Here, therefore, is the first appearance, on the Web, of the full document, that’s manually copied, character-by-character, so that each phrase in this document becomes, for the first time, web-searchable, and thereby conveniently available for journalists and historians to quote from. This prophetic document – the source for what has happened afterward in and to Venezuela – might therefore finally receive the public attention that it so clearly merits.

The document starts with propaganda against Venezuela’s existing Government (and it totally ignores the extent to which the pre-existing U.S. economic sanctions against Venezuela had actually caused these problems), and it then proceeds to present the U.S. plan to overthrow the ‘dictatorship’. (Tidd refers to Maduro only as “the Dictator,” except at the very start and very end. At the end, he commands “the denouncement toward Maduro’s regimen” and he also uses the phrase “the enemy” to refer to him – as if there had been the U.S. Constitutionally required authorization, by the U.S. Congress, of this “war.” The close urges “the dispatch of a UNO military force for the imposition of peace, once Nicolas Maduro’s corrupt dictatorship is defeated.” The U.N. is militarily to “impose” “peace,” after the U.S. and its allies have conquered Venezuela.)

Although Tidd placed 100% of the blame for Venezuela’s problems upon Maduro, and ignored the crucial extent to which U.S. economic sanctions had caused them, his plan emphasized that the U.S. must actively make things even worse for the Venezuelan public than America’s economic sanctions had yet done. His coup-plan is loaded with such statements, and, in fact, opens with one: “Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises.” So: he wasn’t naive. America’s induced suffering upon Venezuelans was part of his plan for Venezuelans, in order to get them to do what the U.S. regime wants them to do – overthrow Maduro. Furthermore, the United States Government has had extensive successes in previous such operations. One example is that this was how Chile’s Salvador Allende was brought down in 1973 (at a time when the U.S. Government’s claims to have done it for ‘national security’ reasons had much more credibility than its current excuse of helping the Venezuelan people does, because the supposedly ideological Cold War was still on). The only excuse that the perpetrators can come up with, this time around, is “to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens.” Impoverish the nation, in order to help Venezuelans attain “true peace and tranquility.” That’s the plan.

Below is the document’s entire text.

SOUTHCOM

TOP SECRET

23 FEB 2018

PLAN TO OVERTHROW

THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP

“MASTERSTROKE”

UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND

23 FEBRUARY 2018

TOP SECRET/20180223

 

CURRENT SITUATION

The Venezuelan Chavista dictatorship staggers as a result of its frequent internal problems; there is a great shortage of foodstuffs, an exhaustion of the sources of foreign currency and a rampant corruption. The international support, won with petrodollars, becomes scarcer each time and the purchasing power of its national currency is in a constant downfall.

Such scenario is not supposed to change, but the Venezuelan present-day leaders, as they usually do, in their despair to preserve their power, are capable to appeal to new populist measures that perpetuate their positions of privilege; the only mechanism that sustains them obstinate to the struggle to hold on their positions.

Maduro’s corrupt regimen will collapse but regrettably, the divided opposing forces, legitimate defenders of democracy and the well-being of their people, do not have power enough to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens.

The internal disputes, the supreme particular likings, the corruption similar to the one of their rivals, as well as the scarcity of rooting, do not grant them the opportunity to make the most of this situation and to give the necessary step to overturn the state of penury and precariousness in which the pressure group, that exercises the leftist dictatorship, has submerged the country. We are at the presence of an unprecedented criminal action in Latin America.

This affects the entire region, there is no respect to international right and local political alternatives are unacceptable.

Democracy spreads out in America, continent in which radical populism was intended to take over. Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil are examples of it. The rebirth of democracy has the support of the most valuable determinations, and the conditions in the regions run in its favour.

It is the time for the United States to prove, with concrete actions, that they are implicated in that process, where overthrowing Venezuelan dictatorship will surely mean a continental turning point.

It is the first opportunity of the Trump Administration to bring forward the vision in reference to security and democracy. Showing its active commitment is crucial, not only for the administration, but also for the continent and for the world.

The time has come to take positive Steps to speed up the definite overthrow of Chavismo and the expulsion of its representative:

Undermining the decadent popular support to Government.

Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises.

Securing he the present-day dictator’s irreversible deterioration

Developing actions to encourage the egocentrism and the verbal incontinence of the Dictator, compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically, while continuing to minimize the international significance of his public figure.

To beseige him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba. Exacerbating the division among members of the governing group. Revealing the differences in his living conditions with respect to those of his followers, at the same time to incite them to keep on increasing those divergences. Highlighting examples as the ones of Rafael Ramirez from PDVSA and Nelson Mercengtes from gthe BCV.

Making his government unsustainable, forcing him to claudication, to negotiate or to run away, as other close collaborators have done.

Making provisions for a back or escaping door, in case he finally chooses to look for a safe port out of his country.

Increasing the internal instability to a critical level.

Intensifying the undercapitalization of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures that increase its deterioration and that simultaneously provoke the citizens with less access – who support the present-day rulers – and those who are best positioned, to see their social status threatened or affected. Establishing that the use of bitcoin, Petro, is a key element in the deterioration of the economy, which is an unconstitutional and illegal manipulation of the national currency, useable for money laundering.

Fully obstructing imports, and at the same time, discouraging potential foreign investors in order to contribute to make more critical the situation of the population – mainly in the sphere of oil, essential for any attempt of recuperation of the national economy.

Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation, with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighboring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to.

Making use of the generalized corruption and the originating profits from their operations with prohibited drugs, to do away with their image in front of the world and their domestic followers.

Promoting fatigue inside the members of the PSUV, inciting the annoyance and nonconformity among themselves, for them to break noisily away from the line of the Government; for them to refuse the measures and restrictions which also affect them, inciting the rising of internal politic factions, which divides it in its schism, making it as weak as the the opposition is. Creating frictions between the PSUV and “Somos Venezuela”.

Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order “to leave it with no professionals at all”, which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government.

Using the army officers as an alternative of definite solution.

Continuing hardening the conditions inside the Armed Forces to carry out a coup d’etat before concluding 2018, if the crisis does not make the dictatorship to collapse or the dictator does not decide to move aside.

Continuing setting fire to the common frontier with Colombia. Multiplying the traffic of fuel and other goods. The movement of paramilitaries, armed raids and drug trafficking. Provoking armed incidents with the Venezuelan frontier security forces.

Recruiting paramilitaries mainly in the campsites of refugees in Cucuta, La Guajira and the north of Santander, areas largely populated by Colombian citizens who emigrated to Venezuela and now return, run away from the regimen to intensify the destabilizing activities in the common frontier between both countries. Making use of the empty space left by the FARC, the belligerency of the ELN and the activities in the area of the Gulf Clan.

Preparing the involvement of allied forces in support of the Venezuelan army officers or to control the internal crisis, in the event they delay too much in taking the initiative.

Establishing a speedy time line that prevents the Dictator to continue winning control on the internal scenario. If it’s necessary, act before the elections stipulated for next April.

Getting the support of the allied authorities of friendly countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Guyana).

Organizing the provisioning, relief of troops, medical and logistic support from Panama. Making good use of the facilities of electronic surveillance and signals intelligence, the hospitals and its deployed endowments in Danen, the equipped airdromes for the Colombian Plan, as well as the landing fields of the old-time military bases of Howard and Albrook, as well as the one belonging to “Rio Halo”. In addition, the Humanitarian Regional Center of the United Nations, designed for situations of catastrophes and humanitarian emergency, which has an aerial landing field and its own warehouses.

Moving on the basification of combat airplanes and choppers, armored conveyances, intelligence positions, and special military and logistics units (police and military district attorneys and prisons).

Developing the military operation under international flag, patronized by the Conference of American Armies, under the protection of the OAS and the supervision, in the legal and media context, of the Secretary General Luis Almagro. Declaring the necessity that the continental commandment be strengthened to act, using the instrument of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in order to avoid the democratic rupture.

Binding Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Panama to the contribution of greater number of troops, to make use of their geographic proximity and experience in operations in forest regions. Strengthening their international condition with the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA.

Using the facilities at Panamanian territory for the rear guard and the capacities of Argentina for the securing of the ports and the maritime positions.

Leaning on Brazil and Guyana to make use of the migratory situation that we intend to encourage in the border with Guyana.

Coordinating the support to Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tabago and other States in front of the flow of Venezuelan immigrants in the event of the crisis. Promoting international participation in this effort, as part of the multilateral operation with contribution of the States, Non-Profit Organizations and international bodies. Supplying the adequate logistic, intelligence, surveillance and control support.

Anticipating, specially, the most vulnerable points in Arauca, Puerto Carreno and Ininda, Maicao, Barranquilla and Sincelejo, in Colombia, and Roramia, Manaos and Boa Vista, in Brazil.

Information Strategie

Silencing the symbolic presence of Chavez-representative of unit and popular support-, and in the other way around, keeping the harassment to the Dictator as the only responsible of the crisis in which he has submerged the nation.

Holding the Dictator and his closer followers responsible, in the first place, for the prevailing crisis due to his inability to find the way out that the Venezuelans are in need of.

Intensifying the media denouncement about the cubanization of Venezuela.

Outstandingly intensifying the denouncement toward Maduro’s regimen, considering him

  • A criminal
  • An illegitimate
  • A thief of the wealth of the Venezuelan people
  • Someone who plunders the national treasury to carry out his evasion

Highlighting the incompetence of the mechanisms of integration created by the regimens of Cuba and Venezuela, specially the ALBA and PETROCARIBE, in order to tackle the situation of the country and their inability to find solutions to the problems that the citizens are facing.

Increasing, inside the country and through the mass media established abroad, the dissemination of designed messages based on testimonies and publications originated in the country, making use of all the possible capacities, including the social networks.

Claiming, through that mass media, the need to put an end to this situation because of its unsustainable essence.

Justifying and assuring through violent means the international backup to the deposal of the dictatorship, displaying an extensive dissemination, inside the country and to the entire world, through all the open means and the capacities of the psychological war of the US ARMY.

Assuring that the disclosed images and reports of the military actions are approved by the General Staff to prevent their manipulation and use by the enemy.

The United States should entirely back up the OAS, strengthening the image of the OAS and other multilateral institutions for the inter-American system, as instruments for the solution to the regional problems.

Promoting the request of the the dispatch of a UNO military force for the imposition of peace, once Nicolas Maduro’s corrupt dictatorship is defeated.

[signature]

K.W. TIDD

Admiral, USN COMMANDER

 

How an Elaborate Plan to Topple Venezuela’s President Went Wrong

The United States thought all the pieces were in place for Maduro to leave. Then everything came crashing down.

May 1, 2019

by Uri Friedman

The Atlantic

In the effort to topple Nicolás Maduro, Colombia’s ambassador to the United States once told me, the military men propping up Venezuela’s authoritarian president are like chess pieces.

“If they defect from the regime, “you lose that chess piece,” Francisco Santos explained. “They work better from the inside.”

As Tuesday, April 30, began, the United States and its allies thought they finally had checkmate, after months of building up the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president and recruiting more than 50 nations to their cause.

By the end of the day, the board had been flipped upside down, pieces were scattered everywhere, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on CNN blaming the kingmakers, Russia and Cuba, for sabotaging the game.

Donald Trump’s administration has at the same time continued issuing warnings to Maduro and his associates, though it’s unclear what effect they will actually have or whether they will save Guaidó. (In the latest sign that major U.S. actions could still be in the offing, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has canceled a trip to Europe in order to coordinate with the National Security Council and State Department on Venezuela.)

Maduro’s airplane was on the tarmac and he was prepared to depart for Cuba on Tuesday morning, but “the Russians indicated he should stay,” the U.S. secretary of state revealed. (The Russians have disputed this account.) The Cubans, he added, are “protecting this thug” and are “at the center of this malfeasance.”

Earlier in the day, National Security Adviser John Bolton had declared that the upheaval in Venezuela was “clearly not a coup.” What has since become clearer is that it amounted to a botched attempt to replace the Maduro government from within.

With the elaborate, out-of-control bid for regime change in Latin America, the U.S.-Russia proxy struggle, and the intrigue involving shadowy Cuban forces, it was as if the world had suddenly been seized by a live experiment in what the Cold War would have been like had it played out on Twitter. (Bolton’s coup comment, after all, came in response to a reporter’s question about whether the Trump administration was providing any support to Maduro’s challengers beyond “tweets of support,” a query Henry Kissinger never fielded back in the day.)

Tuesday started with Guaidó posting a video on Twitter at dawn of him at a military air base—flanked by soldiers and the imprisoned opposition figure Leopoldo López, apparently freed by security forces from house arrest—announcing the “final phase of Operation Freedom” in partnership with Venezuela’s “main military units,” ahead of planned protests on May 1.

This, it turned out, would be the high point of the day for Guaidó’s pro-democracy movement.

Bedlam, not freedom, ensued. Maduro officials accused Guaidó and fringe elements of the military of staging a coup, as opponents and supporters of Maduro clashed violently in the streets.

Within hours, dozens of people had been injured, López and his family had taken refuge in the Spanish embassy, Venezuelan military personnel were seeking asylum at the Brazilian embassy, and Maduro appeared on television to declare victory over the uprising and dismiss Pompeo’s claims about his near-flight from the country as a lie. Donald Trump, who earlier in the day had cheered on the pro-democracy demonstrators on Twitter, returned to the site to threaten a “complete embargo” and “highest-level sanctions” on Cuba if “Cuban Troops and Militia do not immediately CEASE military and other operations” in Venezuela

As Operation Freedom went sideways, U.S. officials began divulging details of an effort that had gone spectacularly wrong.

After months of hinting coyly that Maduro’s support within the military was more wobbly than it seemed, Bolton named three top Venezuelan officials—Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino; Supreme Court Chief Justice Maikel Moreno; and the commander of the presidential guard, Iván Rafael Hernández Dala—who he claimed had been engaged in lengthy talks with the Venezuelan opposition and had “all agreed that Maduro had to go,” only to renege this week (at least so far) on their commitments to facilitate a democratic political transition.

In a tweet addressed to the three men, Bolton suggested that the terms of the deal had been to help remove Maduro from power in exchange for amnesty from Guaidó and the lifting of U.S. sanctions against them. (Pompeo even implied that the Trump administration was involved in the negotiations, noting that “senior leaders” in Maduro’s government had “told us” they “were prepared to leave … over the past few weeks.”)

On Wednesday, in an interview with the radio host Hugh Hewitt, Bolton outlined how the plan was supposed to work. The senior officials and Guaidó would sign documents memorializing their agreement. The Venezuelan Supreme Court would declare Maduro’s Constituent Assembly illegitimate and thereby legitimize the Guaidó-led National Assembly. Military leaders like Padrino would then have the political and legal cover to take action against Maduro.

Yet “for reasons that are still not clear, that didn’t go forward yesterday,” Bolton admitted. (Another senior official, the head of Venezuela’s intelligence service, did in fact split with Maduro, according to U.S. officials.

Speaking with reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Bolton offered one theory for why the plan never came to fruition: The Cuban government had prevailed on the three officials to stick with their boss. Fear of the tens of thousands of Cuban security forces in the country, he argued, is keeping military officials in check.

On television and Twitter on Tuesday, the defense minister repeatedly backed Maduro. But by ratting out Padrino and the other officials, and thus exposing them to Maduro’s retribution, U.S. officials seemed to be deliberately sowing dissension and mistrust in the upper echelons of the Maduro government—as a means of deepening its dysfunction and pressuring top officials to move against Maduro before he moved against them.

As the Republican Senator Marco Rubio, an influential adviser to Trump on Venezuela, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, “high ranking #MaduroRegime officials must now deal with the realization that despite their tweets of support & appearance with #Maduro on TV last night he knows they plotted against him. If Maduro remains in power what do you think their future holds?” Just in case his point was too subtle, Rubio appended an image of a scene from The Godfather in which Michael Corleone lashes into his brother Fredo for betraying him, before ordering his assassination.

Guaidó, for his part, seems undaunted and has called for more May 1 “Labor Day” protests, while Pompeo said on Tuesday that the Trump administration would consider the arrest of the opposition leader a “major escalation.” As for the intervention of other countries on behalf of Maduro, Bolton told Hewitt, “I just don’t believe President Trump is prepared to see foreign governments effectively take over the control of Venezuela, which possesses the largest reserves of petroleum in the world.”

But after playing some of its best chess pieces and coming up empty, the U.S. government is running low on ways to counter such escalations and boot Maduro from Caracas.

Despite administration officials’ ominous mantra that “all options are on the table” in Venezuela, they appear to have little appetite for taking military action, even as Cuba and Russia have shown no similar qualms about inserting their military personnel into the country. Pompeo said on Wednesday that U.S. “military action is possible” if “that’s what’s required,” but a senior Pentagon official told lawmakers that the military has not been given orders to prepare for war in Venezuela.

The United States has also already deployed its most powerful economic weapon against the Maduro government—a de facto oil embargo—and is now resorting to dribbling out additional sanctions with diminishing returns.

Ahead of more anti-Maduro demonstrations on Wednesday, Bolton tried to put a rosy spin on Tuesday’s tumultuous events. Maduro’s support within the military has cratered and his support among the Venezuelan public is nonexistent, he argued, forcing the Venezuelan president to desperately cling to Cuba, a cadre of corrupt officials, and paramilitary groups known as colectivos.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that if the campaign to dethrone Maduro fails, Venezuela could “sink into a dictatorship from which there are very few possible alternatives.”

The results of that campaign at the moment—something utterly unsettled, halfway between kleptocracy and democracy—were on display in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday at the Venezuelan embassy. Pro-Maduro activists affiliated with Code Pink and other groups, who had occupied the abandoned building and plastered it with messages denouncing American imperialism and regime change, confronted pro-Guaidó protesters across steel barricades and expressionless Secret Service agents. The dueling chants and posters punctuated the confusion of the present moment.

After grabbing a megaphone and denouncing the embassy squatters for siding with Maduro’s repressive rule, Carla Bustillos, a Venezuelan American from Maryland, told me that one stubborn fact was standing in the way of real political change in Venezuela. “You have to understand that the regime holds the arms,” she said, while holding her 1-year-old son, cloaked in Venezuelan-flag clothing, in a baby carrier. “The regime holds the hard power.”

Comment: Oil reserves are an estimate of how much oil can ultimately be recovered. This broad definition is also called oil in place. It includes undiscovered or “yet to find” reserves. It’s based on the probability of finding reserves in certain geological areas. It also assumes new types of technology will make it economically feasible to extract the oil.

Don’t believe it when someone says the world will run out of oil on a certain date. Instead, oil will become too expensive to use long before it runs out.

Here’s the number of barrels of proven oil reserves for the top 20 countries:

 

  1. 1. Venezuela – 300.9 billion.
  2. Saudi Arabia – 266.5 billion.
  3. Canada, which includes shale oil – 169.7 billion.
  4. Iran – 158.4 billion.
  5. Iraq – 142.5 billion.
  6. Kuwait – 101.5 billion.
  7. United Arab Emirates – 97.8 billion.
  8. Russia – 80 billion.
  9. Libya – 48.4 billion.
  10. Nigeria – 37.1 billion.
  11. 11. United States5 billion

 

After Venezuela coup failure, officials & mainstream media desperately spinning explanations

May 4, 2019

RT

Months of insistence in Washington that the people of Venezuela stood by the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido basically went up in smoke when his ‘Operation Liberty’ fizzled. The question now is whom to blame.

Senior US officials like National Security Advisor John Bolton and special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams expressed confidence in “regime change” in Caracas on Tuesday, named top Venezuelan officials ready to defect, and even spoke of signed documents to that effect.

Yet literally none of this happened, and by the early evening on Tuesday, the handful of Guaido’s armed supporters were seeking sanctuary in foreign embassies.

Then came the spin. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went on CNN and Fox News to claim that Maduro was getting ready to flee to Cuba, but “the Russians” talked him out of it. Bolton claimed Maduro was “hiding in a bunker” even as video evidence from Caracas showed him addressing supporters numbering in the thousands on May Day. The truth was inescapable, though: Guaido had failed.

“The opposition took a step backward with the military,” Rocio San Miguel, president of the Colombian NGO Control Ciudadano, told Bloomberg on Thursday. “Guaido appearing with [his mentor Leopoldo] Lopez at a single point in the city with a few dozen soldiers and no major firepower showed their weakness.”

So what happened? Several US media outlets have since sought to explain, citing anonymous sources allegedly privy to US government plots. These sources told Bloomberg they believe Maduro got wind of the coup on April 29, and Guaido rushed it ahead of schedule “or it would all collapse.”

Lopez was released from house arrest because the head of the Venezuelan intelligence agency SEBIN, General Manuel Christopher Figuera, had defected to Guaido, the anonymous and entirely unverifiable sources claimed, adding that it was Lopez resurfacing that might have spooked other senior officials – defense minister Vladimir Padrino, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maikel Moreno, and military intelligence and presidential guard head General Ivan Hernandez.

According to these sources, Figuera’s wife left Venezuela on Sunday for the safety of the US, and the general left the country as well after he was sacked on Tuesday night, though his whereabouts are unknown.

Meanwhile, AP published a long speculative piece about missed opportunities to turn senior Venezuelan officials, from Hernandez being denied a visa in 2017 for his 3-year-old son’s brain surgery, to Padrino reaching out to the US government in early 2016, after a troubled Venezuelan election.

Padrino in particular has been seen as “a potential white knight,” being a graduate of the School of the Americas. Apparently, very little US influence in the Venezuelan army had survived what the AP described as “thorough scrubbing” by Former President Hugo Chavez.

“There’s a theory that’s gaining ground, and I think there’s some credence to it, that it was all part of a big ‘rope-a-dope’ operation, whereby the Maduro officials pretended to go along with this coup to smoke out the opposition,” Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, told RT.

“That’s one possibility, the other is that Pompeo’s lying” about Maduro’s attempted flight to Cuba, McAdams said, adding that neither reflects well on the US.

 

Thousands join Glasgow march for Scottish independence

Rally comes as polls indicate SNP likely to make gains in European elections

May 4, 2019

by Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent

The Guardian

Thousands of people have marched in Glasgow in the largest show of support for Scottish independence since Nicola Sturgeon said she would introduce legislation to hold a second referendum on the issue.

The All Under One Banner event, led by a single flag-bearer and a pipe band, left Kelvingrove Park at 1.30pm and was following a route west to east through the city centre to a rally at Glasgow Green.

Marchers were still streaming out of the park at 2pm, many carrying Scottish and EU flags. There was a carnival atmosphere as families and dog-walkers joined drummers and bagpipers, and there were chants of “independence now”.

Police Scotland said it was difficult to estimate numbers accurately because people had joined the march at different points along the route, but by 5pm they believed there were between 30,000 and 35,000 people gathered at the rally on Glasgow Green.

Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said at the end of April that a second independence referendum should be held by May 2021 if Brexit went ahead, but stopped short of repeating previous calls for the UK government to give her the power to call one.

All Under One Banner, which describes itself as “open to everyone who desires an independent Scotland”, has marches planned across Scotland throughout the summer, culminating in an event in Edinburgh on 5 October.

Writing in the National on Friday, organisers alerted attendees to the possible presence of counter-demonstrations along the route. “Marchers can either ignore the counter-demonstrators or smile and wave … our movement doesn’t need any negative publicity,” they said.

Traffic Scotland advised drivers to plan ahead as access to the M8 motorway would be shut off through the city centre.

Meanwhile, SNP activists were distributing half a million “Stop Brexit” flyers across the country on the first of three campaign Saturdays in the run-up to the European elections.

The party’s spring conference, held in Edinburgh last weekend, called on voters to use the EU elections as an opportunity to reinforce Scotland’s support for remaining in the EU.

Two polls, by YouGov and Panelbase, have suggested the SNP will win three or four of Scotland’s six European seats, reducing Labour and the Tories to one each. YouGov showed the SNP on course for 40% of the vote.

Sturgeon told the conference: “As voters go to the polls for the European elections on May 23, our message will be clear and direct. And unlike Labour’s, it will be unambiguous. Scotland’s not for Brexit, Scotland’s for Europe.”

 

Hostilities flare up as rockets hit Israel from Gaza

May 4, 2019

BBC News

Militants in the Gaza Strip have fired more than 200 rockets into Israel, the army says, prompting air strikes and tank fire on the Palestinian territory.

Three Israelis were wounded by the rockets. Israeli fire killed three Palestinians, including a mother and her baby daughter, Gaza officials say.

Four Palestinians, including two Hamas militants, were killed on Friday after an attack injured two Israeli soldiers.

The flare-up followed a truce in the run-up to Israeli elections in April.

It marks yet another increase in hostilities despite attempts by Egypt and the United Nations to broker a longer-term ceasefire, says the BBC’s Tom Bateman in Jerusalem.

What happened on Saturday?

The rocket barrage hit several homes in parts of Israel bordering the Gaza Strip. Many residents rushed to bomb shelters.

The injured include two men in Ashkelon, 10km (six miles) north of Gaza, and an elderly woman in Kiryat Gat, further east.

The country’s Iron Dome missile-defence system shot down dozens of the rockets, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

In response the IDF launched air and artillery strikes against 30 Gaza sites belonging to Hamas, a militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, and against groups including Islamic Jihad. It blamed both for the attacks

Palestinian officials say a 22-year-old man was killed. Reuters news agency quotes a small pro-Hamas militant group as saying he was one of their fighters.

The other death was that of a woman and her 14-month-old daughter who were killed in an air strike in the east of the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian officials.

Several Gaza residents were wounded.

Islamic Jihad said it had launched the rocket attacks in response to Friday’s violence.

The statement also accused Israel of failing to implement last month’s ceasefire deal, which was brokered by Egypt.

What triggered the latest unrest?

The violence began during weekly Friday protests in Gaza against the tight blockade of the area. Israel says this is needed to stop weapons reaching Gaza.

A Palestinian gunman shot and wounded two Israeli soldiers at the boundary fence. The IDF blamed Islamic Jihad for the shooting.

The Israeli air strike in response killed two Hamas militants. Another two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire at the fence.

Saturday’s rocket attacks coincided with Palestinians burying the two militants.

The resistance will continue to respond to the crimes by the occupation and it will not allow it to shed the blood of our people,” Hamas spokesman Abdel-Latif al-Qanoua said in a statement on Saturday. He made no explicit claim for Hamas firing the rockets.

About two million Palestinians live in Gaza, which has suffered economically from the Israeli blockade as well as recent foreign aid cuts.

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Ray Rooney, jr.

The digital media editor for the American Family Association, Ray Rooney, Jr., is the kind of person who goes out of his way to warn us that “we’re surrounded by venomous LGBT activists, antagonistic atheists, vitriolic academics, Christian bashers, God haters, Muslim sympathizers, BlackLivesMatter hate groups, and government officials who are hell bent on stripping away every last vestige of Christian heritage and religious freedom from us;” that is, people who disagree with Rooney and may even criticize his views. They shouldn’t do that, since doing so is a threat to his religious freedom.

No, Rooney doesn’t fancy gay people. Homosexuality, according to Rooney, is “unhealthy” and “unrighteous,” “unfruitful and unnatural” (source: his common sense). The real reason homosexuality is wrong, however, as detailed in his column “The Real Problem With Homosexuality”, is that unlike “normal people”, who never disclose that they have sex with someone of the opposite sex, gays just want to “broadcast to the world the details of their sex lives”; because being in a homosexual relationship is all about broadcasting “sex” whereas being in a heterosexual relationship is not, obviously, or put differently: “gay” makes Rooney immediately think about sex, whereas “heterosexuality” does not. Complains Rooney: “I am fed up with the gay community,” and“just sick of hearing about how one group of people demand that everyone in the world accept who they have sex with!” The real problem with homosexuality, in other words, is that it is homosexuality.

Rooney is, of course, also a creationist, and has ardently complained about how evolution together with “pluralism, progressivism, abortion, and pornography” have “all come and established themselves in the culture with barely a collective stir from the people of God.” Except for all the persistent, loud, deranged and deeply confused rage from fundamentalists, of course.

Diagnosis: Dolt

Fred Pulver

Tachyons are theoretical particles or waves that travel faster than the speed of light, a recurring theme in popular science, and thus far without empirical support for their existence. New Age religions are religions, however, and have never cared for empirical support. So, according to Fred Pulver, not only is it the case that the “Tachyon Field supplies the energy needs of all living organisms until balance is achieved, then it eases until called upon again. As it is needed, and a depletion occurs, it rushes in until balance is achieved once again;” Pulver has also harnessed its energy. It’s like ormus. Just in case you run out of tachyon balance, you can buy one of his many takionic products (beads, belts, water). The products are of course called “takionic” since “tachyon”, being a common word, cannot be trademarked; “takionic” can.

He claims to have empirical evidence, though: “Motors have been built which draw upon the Tachyon Field for energy. They exhibit strange behavior, such as increasing in speed the longer they run, even though they are connected to no visible power source.” Well, it’s not empiricalempirical: no one has actually seenthe aforementioned motors. But how can you doubt someone who offers to restore your takionic balance for something as mundane as money? Moreover, “[t]akionic products, with their aligned atomic polarities, enhance the body’s natural ability to draw from the Tachyon Field for its energy needs. Athletes have discovered that Takionic products allow them to perform faster and longer, and shorten recovery time. As conduits for input from the Tachyon Field, Takionic products are proving themselves in the sports performance arena.” He probably just forgot to name said athletes due to sheer excitement over the results.

Oh, but there is more: Did you know that “[t]achyon theory is holistic”? Bet you didn’t. It is holistic “because it accepts the notion of two interdependent universes which are actually indivisible: the visible, sub-light speed universe and an invisible, faster-than-light one. Tachyon theory also substantiates omnipresence, a purely metaphysical concept. God is omnipresent (simultaneously existing everywhere). Omnipresent existence can only occur at faster-than-light speeds, since slower-than-light travel takes time to cross space. Therefore, omnipresence can only be an attribute of a Tachyon Universe where time and space are uniform.” This is not quite what “holistic” means, but we have at this point left the realm of coherence and sense behind a long time ago anyways, so why not? He can even explain the powers of healers: “Healers have learned to access the Tachyon Field’s resources for its healing powers more successfully than the average person has.” (Ok, so “explain” may be a bit too strong.) At least he’s got testimonials (some rather confused examples here), including an enthusiastic endorsement from Gary Null, no less.

He’s not the only one to tap the marketing potential of tachyons, though. There is at least also e.g. the, Advanced Tachyon Technologies (ATT) of Santa Rosa. They’ve got chakra balancing kits.

Apparently Pulver is also an expert on sanpaku, the idea that it is a symptom (or proof, or whatever) of physical and spiritual imbalance if the white of the eye can be seen between the pupil and the lower lid when the subject looks forward. The condition can ostensibly be cured by a macrobiotic diet. Apparently both JFK and Robert Kennedy were sanpaku, as was Marilyn Monroe. I suppose we’ll have to confirm with Barry Martin.

“Do we all have to conform to the scientific method before we promote anything? Such rigidity seems counterproductive and illogical to me,” says Pulver when the scientific basis of his claims are questioned. Meanwhile, just to have it both ways, his website states that “[h]undreds of tests conducted on students and adults revealed that this unique headband improved their mathematical test scores by as much as 20-30%. The headband delays mental fatigue and heightens focus and concentration.” The tests are, of course, as unavailable for double-checking as the motors and athletes he claims to have observed.

Diagnosis: Seems to be a true believer, which is pretty incredible.

Fakes and Frauds, governmental and private

May 4, 2019

by Christian Jürs

The government is not above its own manipulations with the detested Internet. A computer expert, working for a government contract firm in California, has sent us a long paper on the “Internet II” program which in essence is an FBI operation. This will set up “a new Internet system” that is very “user-friendly” and “regionally located” to permit users “quicker and more efficient” Internet access. Whey they do not tell you is that the FBI itself will run this system which will give them complete internal control over any and all subscribers. In essence, our informant advised us, it would be the same as using the FBIs own internet system right out of their regional offices for your personal email. Be advised.

And here we have a very interesting fraud concerning the Chinese manufacture of rare American coins and the stories concocted to sell them to the trusting, and rich.

 

“Rare gold coins found in sunken steamship off US coast!”

05/14/2008 |

AP

NEW ORLEANS – A steamship that sank off the Louisiana coast during an 1846 storm has produced a trove of rare gold coins, coin experts say.

Last year, four Louisiana residents salvaged hundreds of gold coins and thousands of silver coins from wreckage the SS New York, submerged in about 60 feet (18 meters) of water in the Gulf of Mexico, said David Bowers, co-chairman of Stack’s Rare Coins.

“Some of these are in uncirculated or mint condition,” Bowers said, and predicted the best could bring $50,000 to $100,000 (€32,310 to €64,630) apiece at auction.

Of particular interest to coin experts are gold pieces known as quarter eagles and half eagles, which carried face values of $2.50 and $5 in the days before the United States printed paper currency.

Those coins were struck at mints in New Orleans; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Dahlonega, Georgia. The Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints operated from 1838, when the first significant US gold deposits were found in those areas, until the start of the Civil War in 1861, said Douglas Mudd, curator of the American Numismatic Association’s Money Museum in Denver. Neither reopened.

“These are the first coins produced by gold from the United States,” Mudd said. “The California gold rush didn’t occur until about 1850.”

The United States minted tens of millions of gold coins before the federal government confiscated those held by individuals, banks and the US Treasury in 1933 and melted them into gold bars as the country abandoned the gold standard.

“Relatively speaking, they are rare,” Mudd said of the Charlotte- and Dahlonega-minted coins. “The Mints were set up to take advantage of the resources there.” The Dahlonega Mint produced 1.38 million gold coins, while 1.2 million were minted in Charlotte.

The treasure also includes $10 gold pieces, known as eagles, that were minted in Philadelphia and New Orleans, Mudd said.

The SS New York was a 165-foot (50-meter) sidewheel steamer built in its namesake city in 1837. By 1846, it was making regular commercial runs between Galveston, Texas, and New Orleans.

When the ship sank in the Gulf, 17 of the 53 people aboard were killed and the others were rescued.

The wreckage, nearly covered in mud, was discovered in 1990 by four hobbyists who enjoyed looking for sunken vessels. After making several trips and bringing up a handful of coins at a time, they invested in a full-scale salvage operation in 2007.

“What we’ve found is varied, a little of everything,” said Craig DeRouen, who is on a leave from his job as a mechanical engineer in the oil industry. “There are different denominations from different years, silver and gold.”

DeRouen, along with fellow New Iberia residents Avery Munson and Gary and Renee Hebert, have ownership of the coins after obtaining title to the wreck from a federal court.

Mudd said that, although the coins are worth much more today because of current gold prices around US$900 (€582) an ounce, the collector value could be more.

“It depends upon the individual piece and its individual rarity,” he said.

John Albanese, a rare coin dealer in Far Hills, New Jersey, appraised about 200 of the gold coins. “This is the most impressive Southern-minted gold I’ve seen in my lifetime,” he said.

Mudd said US$100,000 (€64,630) might be possible for an exceptional coin, and that US$8,000 (€5,170) to US$16,000 (€10,340) wouldn’t be unusual for a coin in high-grade condition.”

 

The dramatic story concerning the alleged “wreck of the SS New York” and coins she might have been carrying is a fraud. A close investigation reveals very clearly there was no such ship, no such storm and no such sinking. The discovery story had been invented out of whole cloth, based on ‘Issac’s Storm” book on the devastating 1900 Galveston hurricane and the finding of the SS Central America, to explain the appearance of coins now being minted in China.

These coins are: Morgan silver dollars of every year and mint, gold U.S. Indian head $2.50, $5.00 and $10 denominations and, of course, the coins purported to have been fished up from the Gulf of Mexico. The Chinese government makes these coins for the American gullible coin trade and that by doing so, they are counterfeiting American coinage. And there is the equally concocted story about the alleged ‘Elmali horde” or “rare Greek coins” all of which had been struck in the Bulgarian state mint in Sofia as a means of raising dollar currency for their version of the KGB.  The British Museum people (who have a wonderful collection of such original coins) exposed this fraud, to the anger and disappointment of a number of British coin dealers and very rich American collectors. The Chinese do not make their forgeries from the same carat of gold or silver as the originals.

Therefore, a fake rare U.S. gold coin or a relatively common Morgan silver dollar will weigh less than the original.

www.coinlink.com/News/us-coins/ngc-releases-ss-new-york-population-report/

www.coinlink.com/News/us-coins/the-ss-new-york-and-the-branch-mint-gold-market

acoins.com/ssnewyork.html –

coincollectingnews.blogspot.com/2008/06/ngc-releases-ss-new-york-shipwreck.html –

www.austincoins.com/ss_New_York_Shipwreck_Coins.htm

coins.www.collectors-society.com/news/ViewArticle.aspx?IDArticle=1048

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/95191/Rare-gold-coins-found-in-sunken-steamship-off-US-coast

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

May 4, 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. 2

Date: Friday, February 9, 1996

Commenced: 9:11 AM (CST)

Concluded: 9:38 AM (CST)

GD: Robert.

RTC: Good morning, Gregory. How are you doing today?

GD: Functioning. Yourself?

RTC: Good days, bad days. I have to be careful in the bathroom because I sometimes lose my balance.

GD: Put in some grab irons.

RTC: Better said than done. I have some advice for you Gregory. Don’t get old.

GD: Do I have a choice?

RTC: We know the alternative. Have you heard back from your publisher?

GD: He’s too patient with me, I must say. He wants to see something about flying saucers but I have a diary entry for Müller that covers this subject and I want to put it in there. His cousin was involved in the Roswell business and Roger actually saw one of the American ones out at Moffitt Field once. Actually climbed up on it.

RTC: Oh the hysteria of it all.

GD: I remember very clearly. At least three sightings a week. I created one of them at least.

RTC: How so?

GD: Oh we made a fake saucer out of balsa and silver paper, mounted two pulse jets at the rear and set it up for radio control.

RTC: Did you put little green men in it?

GD: No. The pilot area was covered with a plastic salad bowl upside down, but it really wasn’t very big. We took it down to the beach on a really hot day in July and flew it from one cliff to another. Right past a beach full of fat people getting sunburns. It was a distance of…oh say about 1000 feet give or take. To me, it wasn’t realistic but we put some noisemakers inside the jet pipes and it made a shitawful noise. High whistling and farting noises. Anyway, I was on one headland and my friend was on the other. We flew it fairly slowly in a straight line and believe me, the beach was packed. Right at the surf level but about 300 feet up in the air. God, you never heard so much shrieking and yelling in your life.

RTC: You always seem to have such a bizarre sense of humor, Gregory. Do you still do things like that?

GD: No. At my age, people get stuck into nut houses doing that but at the time, I did enjoy it. I remember once we carved the dorsal fin of a Great White out of a Styrofoam boogie board, mounted an underwater motor at the base with the control antenna running up to the top. Jesus, it was a huge fin at that. And of course we painted it up right. That was about the time that ‘Jaws’ came out. And this time we took it down to an even bigger beach…..do you know the California coast by any chance? I could be more specific

RTC: No, not really. Go on.

GD: It was the Fourth of July and hot as shit and the beach and the surf were jammed with intercity types. There was a pier that ran out well past the surf at the northern end of the beach so we took a rented rowboat with the fake fin and the radio control equipment and rowed right under this pier. It was a big pier with a road on it and all kinds of shops along the sides so there was certainly room under it. Anyway, we put the fin in the water, turned on the motor and aimed it towards the beach. It was a little hard to direct what with the surf and all but with a few tries, we got it fine. Ran it towards the beach and then paralleled it just out past the surf line. Jesus H. Christ, Robert, you couldn’t imagine the havoc. Screaming we could hear under the pier and everyone stampeded out of the water. We ran it back and forth a few times and then headed out to where a bunch of twits were fishing and again panic reigned supreme. Little outboard jobbies fleeing in terror in all directions. I mean given the size of the fin, what was supposed to be underneath it must have been the size of the Titanic. We saw a Coast Guard boat coming so we just aimed it out to sea and opened it up. Lost the whole rig but I didn’t feel like trying to get it back. If we’d been bagged, I would have got at least ten years out of it. But probably for contaminating the beach. I’ll bet there were six inches of shit floating in the surf.

RTC: Your escapades always entertain me, Gregory. But what do you know about real saucers? I don’t mean toys.

GD: The Germans developed one during the war and flew it. That I do know. Habermohl, Meithe and some wop.

RTC: Yes, true enough. And after the war we got the plans and one of the engineers. The Russians got a prototype and another scientist.

GD: Bender tells me the one he saw at Moffitt was made in Canada.

RTC: Yes, by the A.V. Roe Company. Called it AVRO.

GD: He said they had used it as a high altitude recon craft and it had USAF marking on it.

RTC: They let him see it?

GD: Been out of service for some time and he had some friend in the Navy who got him in.

RTC: Well, those were the legit ones. There really were others, you know.

GD: Russian?

RTC: No. We have no idea where they came from. Radar picked up flights around the moon that never came from down here. And the Roswell business was true enough. That’s where we got transistors, you know. But the sightings came at a sensitive time. The Korean War, the Cold War and so on. Great national fears. Remember the Orson Wells program?

GD: On Halloween of ’38. Mercury Theater radio show. I heard it as a kid. Of course I read Wells’ book and knew it was just a show.

RTC: A lot of others did not, believe me. It caused an enormous national panic. Hundreds dead, people killing themselves and their children, fleeing into the countryside and so on. I’m, surprised they didn’t lynch Orson. But he infuriated old Hearst with his movie….

GD: Citizen Kane.

RTC: Right and old Hearst blackballed Orson and ruined his career. But because of the huge flap over this, Truman decided to keep serious accounts about the sightings out of the papers and they minimalized it and made fun of the whole thing. But they were real enough.

GD: Given the huge number of systems out there, from a mathematical point of view, there isn’t any question superior entities do exist. Why would they bother with our planet? To watch the pink monkeys running around killing each other? Investigate Elvis concerts?

RTC: Well, most of the legit sightings came around the period when they were all testing A-Bombs so maybe that got the little green men interested.

GD: Did the Company have anything to do with all of this?

RTC: No. We had the U-2 business but not the saucers. The real ones. They were strictly military. No weapons but did carry cameras. These were used in various places because they were impossible to intercept but not as stable a camera platform as the U-2. The Russians knew all about these and when the strangers showed up, they thought they were ours and we thought they were theirs. We had several secret conferences about these at the time to try to clarify this.

GD: Any authentic reports of landings or abduction of humans?

RTC: Not that I remember. Mostly what we could call recon passes. The Roswell one was a fluke. Lightning was supposed to have hit one of their ships and brought it down. Don’t forget that Roswell was in a very sensitive military area at the time.

GD: Did they recover bodies?

RTC: As I understand it, they did but I can’t give you any more than that. What did Müller have to say about these?

GD: That they were both domestic and from somewhere unknown. I’ll include this passage when I do the journals or diaries.

RTC: Journals sounds more authoritative. Diaries sounds like something a little girl keeps about her pets or boyfriends.

GD: I think you’re right.

RTC: When are they coming out?

GD: They’re in German and the handwriting is terrible. And his wife is terrified that I’ll somehow identify her or the children. I won’t but she is not sure of that. Some of your friends will not be happy when this comes out but so what?

RTC: So what. And after that? After the journals?

GD: I don’t know. Any ideas?

RTC: Well, we can always think about the Kennedy killing. I can give you some material on that that could produce a best seller.

GD: For example?

RTC: Now, Gregory, everything in its own good time. First things first. Finish up with the Müller business and then on to other things. One of these days, we’ll have to jerk Jim Critchfield’s chain a little. I can’t stand that man. His wife, Lois, used to work for me and when we were shortening staff, I got her a job with Jim but we both wish I hadn’t. Jim is a first class asshole and a sadist of sorts. I think we can do a number on him as they say.

GD: Well, if you want to off him, I’m not your man. I’ve truly done in a few in my life but I prefer the typewriter to the gun. I do have an Irish friend who is a hit man but only political. He worked for your people in Ireland. He led the team that did Mountbatten in ’79.

RTC: Oh, I know about that. They caught one man.

GD: The man who planted the bomb on the boat but not my friend. A very interesting story.

RTC: Are you planning to use it? He’s still alive I take it?

GD: Oh yes, and doing fine in the private sector. And, most important, a very good friend. If I do anything, I’ll talk to him first. It’s not only OK but a real duty to fuck your enemies but never your friends.

RTC: Well, in time I can tell you our part in that one but let’s wait awhile. Every day is not Christmas, is it?

GD: That would be nice. Christmas every day. By the way, I read in the Post that it was so cold in DC the other day that a Senator was seen with his hands in his own pockets.

RTC: (Laughs)

GD: Did I ever tell you the one about the man who asked his girl friend to put her hands into his pocket? No?

RTC: Not that I recall.

GD: Anyway, she said ‘I feel silly doing this,” and he said, “If you put them any further down, you’ll feel nuts.”

RTC: Gregory, so soon after breakfast. Don’t you know any refined jokes?

GD: Limericks?

RTC: God no. The last time you got off on those we were an hour on the phone and Emily wondered why I was laughing so much. You must know thousands of them. How can you remember so much?

GD: It’s a curse, believe me.

RTC: Bill said you have a phenomenal memory.

GD: I can remember everything but dates and figures. No pre-natal memories.

RTC: The shrinks are useless, Gregory. We hired weird people like Cameron and you would be astonished at the pure crap they peddled on everyone.

GD: You know, I think most of them went into the game because they started reading up on their own psychosis and went on from there. Freud used to bang his sister when he wasn’t smoking Yen Shee….

RTC: You mean opium?

GD: Yes. Coleridge loved it too but Xanadu is all he had to show for it. Oh, I was digging into the Elmali business. The Greek coins. Now there’s a funny story for you. The Bulgarians forged up thousands of the rarest old Greek coins and sold them to the sucker brigades for millions. Cash for operations. Like the Stasi doing the Hitler Diaries.

RTC: You were into that one, weren’t you?

GD: I did all the detail work for Wolfgang and let Connie Kujau do the writing. Old Billy Price gave them a million dollars for the Hitler diary I turned out. I mean I did the research and Connie did the writing. Now that would make a nice book.

RTC: Was if profitable for you?

GD: Oh God, yes. Very. They still can’t account for millions of marks.  But I really enjoyed watching the phonies and experts like Irving and Trevor-Roper get shit on their bibs. God, such a frenzied drive to get their names into print. Irving is such a brainless fuck that I can’t believe it. One of these days, Dave will really start believing his own lies and then he’ll get caught. ‘Irving’s been in hiding since early last fall when his picture first appeared on the Post Office wall.’

RTC: Costello admired him.

GD: Don’t forget, I met Costello. If he admired Irving, Irving must have a huge cock.

RTC: Now, now, I liked Costello.

GD: Brittle and vituperative without a reason or an excuse. I didn”t have much use for him but he was a better writer than Irving.

RTC: I’ll agree. But John tried.

GD: What an epitaph!

RTC: Do I detect professional jealousy here, Gregory?

GD: No. You know how Costello died, don’t you?

RTC: There is somewhat of a mystery about that. There is a story going around that the Russians did him because he had discovered something sinister on his last trip to Moscow. What have you heard?

GD: John died of AIDS on a flight from Spain to Miami. Found him dead in his seat.

RTC: Gregory, come now. Where did you get that canard?

GD: It’s not a canard. Miami is in Dade County, Florida. When someone dies like that, the local coroner gets the body and has to do a post on it. I used to do posts so I have some knowledge. Anyway, I called the coroner’s office there, talked shop with a technician and got him to pull the initial death certificate and the final report. Costello had a raging lung infection only caused by HIV and died from it. Not open to debate at all. Since these are public records, I sent my new friend the money and he got official copies and sent them off to me. When I told Kimmel and Bruce Lee about this, Lee was very irate and, true to form, Kimmel refused to believe me. I can understand why Kimmel was negative because I can never be right but Lee’s reaction was interesting. And, of course, Tom has a penchant for young men. He made a very strong pass at the son of a Swedish farmer I know. He likes to teach basketball to the small ones. Playing doctor is more like it. If the Russians ever find out about his secret lusts, they will bag him for sure. I wonder if they already have?

RTC: Why speculate?

GD: I’m a curious person, Robert. Why did the dog not bark in the night? Lee told me sinister forces got Costello and poisoned him with shellfish. The official autopsy report shows differently. I sent him a copy of the reports and he was not happy.

RTC: Regardless of the truth of this, Costello was a very competent historian, don’t you think?

GD: Costello alive didn’t particularly impress me. I talked with him in Reno, as you know, for about three hours and I’ve had more enlightening conversations with the hairlip who grooms my dogs.

RTC: How are your dogs?

GD: Being dogs. Actually, Robert, I am a firm believer in Frederick the Great’s sentiment. He said that the more he saw of people, the more he loved his dogs. I told Tom Kimmel that and he got huffy about it.

RTC: Tom is a decent sort, although your comments about nice young men are not a surprise. We used to call Tommy the Arrow Shirt Kid,  but I agree he’s conventional.

GD: How can you be a good intelligence officer and be conventional? I’m not at all conventional and you yourself said I would have been your best agent. Or were you just flattering me?

RTC: You have talent.

GD: Ah, my Russian friends have said the same thing but we don’t need to discuss that aspect, do we?

RTC: That might be interesting.

GD: Not to the author of the ‘New KGB.’ You did write that, correct?

RTC: We had some help from Joe Trento.

GD: I wouldn’t admit that to anyone. You should have used my literary abilities. Trento is of the mistaken impression that he’s important and articulate.

RTC: We didn’t know you then but you probably would have done a much better job at that.

GD: Truth pressed to earth will rise again.

RTC: That’s….?

GD: Mary Baker Eddy. Actually, it’s Latin. I could give it to you in Latin but what the hell? Oh, well, another day and another fifteen cents. How’re your family?

RTC: Doing fine, thank you for asking. And yours?

GD: My evil sister is still alive but all the rest of them have gone off to play cards with Jesus. If it’s true that when you die you have a great burst of glowing light and then you get to meet all your dead relatives, I think I’ll try to postpone the inevitable and find some place where they aren’t. Like Monaco.

RTC: Sam Cummings and Monaco. Do you know about Sam?

GD: A Limey who ran Interarmco and sold to the wrong people. That’s a no-no for one of your people. And safe in Monaco. Sometime I’ll talk to you about Jimmy Atwood and his Merex gun operation but not now.

RTC: Always promises. I’m going to have to cut this short Gregory because I have to do a little maintenance work upstairs and Emily keeps reminding me about this in a nice way. If you talk to Bill, ask him to call me, would you? His wife is not doing too well and it’s hard to get a hold of him.

GD: Of course. And be good.

RTC: At my age, there isn’t much reason not to.

 

(Concluded at 9:38AM 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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