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TBR News May 6, 2019

May 06 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. May 6, 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 6: “The Attorney General, obviously obedient to the orders of the President, refuses to release material he redacted on the Mueller Report. Why? What is in the redacted portions he is trying to hide? Given the personality and behavior of Trump, the answer is not difficult to find. The general public, most often neutral in such matters, is beginning to stir and look with questions and growing negativity on Trump’s business, and political, dealings. Truth pressed to earth shall rise again.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Showdown looms between Congress and attorney general over Mueller report deadline
  • House panel issues report citing Barr for contempt
  • ‘The NRA is in grave danger’: group’s troubles are blow to Trump’s 2020 bid
  • Another “Jolly Little War”?
  • The Army Scaling Back Recruiting Goals After Missing Target, Under Secretary Says
  • Lowering standards to fill the ranks?
  • Hands off the Arctic: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns China & Russia away from the north
  • America vs Russia
  • Making America Great Again: Trump’s Impossible Challenges
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Showdown looms between Congress and attorney general over Mueller report deadline

May 6, 2019

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General William Barr is headed for a showdown on Monday with Democrats in Congress, as lawmakers prepared to begin contempt proceedings against the top U.S. law enforcement officer if he fails to hand over the full, unredacted Mueller report.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler gave Barr until 9 a.m. EDT to produce the full report and underlying evidence from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation into Russian election meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Nadler has subpoenaed the material but Barr missed an initial deadline to provide it last week.

Nadler’s committee views the full Mueller report as vital to its own corruption and obstruction of justice investigation of President Donald Trump. The chairs of five other House committees investigating the president have also called for its release.

The Mueller report details extensive contacts between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Moscow, and the campaign’s expectation that it would benefit from Russian hacking and propaganda. It also describes actions Trump took to try to impede Mueller’s investigation. Barr released a redacted version of the report on April 18.

Some Democrats have called on Barr to resign, accusing him of protecting Trump by clearing the president of criminal obstruction and excusing actions that many view as evidence of misconduct. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even charged that the attorney general lied to Congress, adding: “That’s a crime.”

In a letter to the attorney general setting out the Monday morning deadline, Nadler put Barr on notice that “the committee will move to contempt proceedings and seek further legal recourse” unless the Justice Department complies with the subpoena. The Justice Department declined to comment on the letter.

Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat on Nadler’s panel, said on Sunday that Barr could avoid contempt proceedings by assuring lawmakers that he would provide the material.

“If Mr. Barr agrees to turn over what we’ve requested in a reasonable way, no one on the committee is interested in moving forward,” Cicilline told Fox News Sunday.

Republicans have rejected Nadler’s efforts as political theater, which they say is intended to satisfy a progressive voter base that helped give Democrats control of the House of Representatives in last year’s midterm election.

But unless Barr complies, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to begin moving forward on Monday with a contempt citation that could lead to a civil court case against Barr, raising the possibility of fines and even imprisonment for failure to comply.

Cicilline and others also say lawmakers could exercise their little-used authority to act outside the court system and fine or even imprison officials who do not comply with congressional subpoenas.

“We have to take this in a deadly serious way,” said Cicilline, who warned that the Trump administration could “extinguish our oversight function” by refusing to provide testimony and evidence.

After missing the initial subpoena deadline for turning over the Mueller material, Barr skipped a hearing before Nadler’s committee on Thursday after Democrats adopted an aggressive format that would have subjected the attorney general to questions from staff attorneys.

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker

 

House panel issues report citing Barr for contempt

May 6, 2019

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Monday issued a report citing Attorney General William Barr for contempt over a panel subpoena seeking Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full unredacted report on his Russia investigation.

The committee set a meeting to consider adopting the report for Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). A committee vote to adopt the report would send the document to the full House of Representatives for a vote, according to an aide.

The report calls on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take “all appropriate action” to enforce the subpoena issued by committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on April 19.

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Susan Thomas

 

Explainer: How hard-hitting are U.S. Congress subpoenas, contempt citations?

May 6, 2019

by Jan Wolfe

Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General William Barr faces the prospect on Wednesday of a vote by a U.S. House committee to hold him in “contempt of Congress.” What does that mean?

Congress has significant, if time-consuming, powers to demand witnesses and documents. One of these is the contempt citation.

Democrats in the House of Representatives are threatening to use it on multiple fronts, including against Barr for ignoring a subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee seeking an unredacted version of the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and President Donald Trump.

Trump and his administration are stonewalling several inquiries being led by House Democrats into his administration, his family and his business interests. Here is how the congressional subpoena, contempt and enforcement process works.

What is a subpoena?

A subpoena is a legally enforceable demand for documents, data, or witness testimony. Subpoenas are typically used by litigants in court cases.

The Supreme Court has recognized Congress’s power to issue subpoenas, saying in order to write laws it also needs to be able to investigate.

Congress’ power to issue subpoenas, while broad, is not unlimited. The high court has said Congress is not a law enforcement agency, and cannot investigate someone purely to expose wrongdoing or damaging information about them for political gain. A subpoena must potentially further some “legitimate legislative purpose,” the court has said.

What can Congress do to a government official who ignores a subpoena?

If lawmakers want to punish someone who ignores a congressional subpoena they typically first hold the offender “in contempt of Congress,” legal experts said.

The contempt process can start in either the House or the Senate. Unlike with legislation, it only takes one of the chambers to make and enforce a contempt citation.

Typically, the members of the congressional committee that issued the subpoena will vote on whether to move forward with a contempt finding. If a majority supports the resolution, then another vote will be held by the entire chamber.

The Democrats have majority control of the House; Trump’s Republican Party holds the Senate.

Only a majority of the 435-member House needs to support a contempt finding for one to be reached. After a contempt vote, Congress has powers to enforce a subpoena.

How is a contempt finding enforced?

The Supreme Court said in 1821 that Congress has “inherent authority” to arrest and detain recalcitrant witnesses.

In 1927, the high court said the Senate acted lawfully in sending its deputy sergeant-at-arms to Ohio to arrest and detain the brother of the then-attorney general, who had refused to testify about a bribery scheme known as the Teapot Dome scandal.

It has been almost a century since Congress exercised this arrest-and-detain authority, and the practice is unlikely to make a comeback, legal experts said.

Alternatively, Congress can ask the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, a federal prosecutor, to bring criminal charges against a witness who refuses to appear. There is a criminal law that specifically prohibits flouting a congressional subpoena.

But this option is also unlikely to be pursued, at least when it comes to subpoenas against executive branch officials, given that federal prosecutors are part of the branch’s Justice Department.

“It would be odd, structurally, because it would mean the Trump administration would be acting to enforce subpoenas against the Trump administration,” said Lisa Kern Griffin, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at Duke University.

For this reason, in modern times Congress has opted for a third and final approach to enforcing a contempt finding: getting its lawyers to bring a civil lawsuit asking a judge to rule that compliance is required.

Failure to comply with such an order can trigger a “contempt of court” finding, enforced through daily fines and even imprisonment, Griffin said.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; editing by Kevin Drawbuagh, Sonya Hepinstall and Jonathan Oatis

 

‘The NRA is in grave danger’: group’s troubles are blow to Trump’s 2020 bid

As the NRA faces a New York inquiry and internal power struggle, analysts say it will not have the financial resources to match its 2016 election magic

May 6, 2019

by Peter Stone

The Guardian

As a fractious National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting was winding down last week, Donald Trump implored his political allies at the gun rights group in a tweet to “stop the internal fighting” involving charges of financial misconduct by top leaders and “get back to GREATNESS – FAST!”

The president is likely right to be worried by the NRA’s travails. His tweet seemed to signal concerns about whether the once all-powerful group would again spend tens of millions of dollars to back him in the 2020 election as it did so effectively during his 2016 win, say NRA veterans and gun rights analysts.

Trump’s tweet, coming just days after he made an unprecedented third speech as president to the NRA annual convention, also blasted a new investigation by New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, into allegations of financial improprieties at the 5 million-member NRA. The tweet charged James and New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, were “illegally using the state’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization”, which has been battered by recent back-to-back yearly losses totaling $64m.

NRA stalwarts say Trump’s Twitter call to end the organization’s internal battle royale – which featured charges of insider self dealing involving its CEO and president – and focus on legal and financial threats, suggests that Trump is hoping to bank again on the NRA’s grassroots political and financial muscle boosting his re-election fortunes.

“The NRA has been a very important ally for Trump, and going into re-election it’s a critical group to have firing on all cylinders,” said Saul Anuzis, a lifetime NRA member and an ex-Michigan Republican Party chairman. “It would be logical for the president and his campaign to have concerns moving forward about how effective an ally the NRA will be because of the infighting and legal threats from the New York [attorney general].”

Former NRA spokesman John Aquilino agreed that NRA support for Trump could be crucial in 2020, but may be endangered by all the turmoil.

“The reality is that the NRA absolutely helped Trump get elected, and probably to an extent greater than most people realize,” Aquilino said “The strongest NRA states are the swing states. Trump realizes that NRA support in those swing states is more important than political party affiliation for winning.” Trump’s tweet, he added, amounted to “telling the children to stop throwing food across the table at each other and get down to business”.

Likewise, veteran GOP operative and lobbyist Charlie Black said Trump’s Twitter message was logical.

“Naturally, he would encourage them [the NRA] to unify and be effective,” Black said. “The NRA was a key partner in Trump’s coalition in 2016, and I’m sure he’s counting on them to be a key part of the 2020 coalition.”

Trump’s 2020 political prospects are expected to turn in part on the NRA repeating what it did in 2016 to back his then long shot candidacy. The NRA spent a record $30m-plus on ads supporting Trump and mobilized its field operations in critical midwestern swing states where the gun lobby has strong grassroots, helping Trump prevail despite losing the popular vote by 3 million.

The NRA reported that it spent $54.4m on the 2016 elections to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). But two NRA sources with ties to the organization’s board told McClatchy last year that the NRA’s total spending in 2016 was at least $70m, a figure that includes spending on its field operations to mobilize voters and online ads, neither of which have to be reported to the FEC.

Outside analysts who have tracked the NRA and gun issues are dubious the organization will now recover enough from its current crisis to spend as lavishly and have a similar impact in 2020.

“For the NRA to be an important player in national politics, it needs to have a visible presence in electioneering,” said Robert Spitzer, a political science professor at State University of New York College at Cortland who has written five books on guns issues. “But given their money and legal woes,that is highly unlikely, meaning that the NRA’s issues and goals will be marginalized in the elections to come.”

Spitzer predicted that unlike 2016, the NRA “will not have the money or resources for 2020 to be an important presence”.

That view could prove overly dire, but if the NRA’s weak spending and poor showing in the 2018 midterm elections is any guide, the organization may well have a tough time next year matching its 2016 election magic.

When Democrats regained the House in the 2018 elections, the NRA’s spending was an anemic $9.4m, only about a third of what it spent in the 2014 midterms. For the first time ever, the NRA was outspent by pro-gun control groups.

The group’s lackluster spending in 2018 was at least partly attributable to big financial losses the group posted in 2016 and 2017 that combined for a total $64m.

The NRA declined to comment on whether its legal and financial problems would impact political spending in 2020.

All that red ink and the 2018 election results were the backdrop for the NRA’s internal battles at its recent convention. Wayne LaPierre, the group’s fiery veteran CEO whose $1m-plus annual salary has rankled some NRA members, faced charges of mismanagement from retired Lt Col Ollie North, the NRA president and a key player in the 1980’s Iran-Contra scandal

But North drew fire, too, over a seven-figure contract he reportedly had with NRATV and charges by LaPierre that North was trying to extort him by giving a “devastating account” of the NRA’s financial condition unless he stepped down.

Still, by convention’s end, the public bloodletting seemed to have subsided. LaPierre effectively ousted North, who announced he would not seek the customary second year as NRA president. And the NRA board, meeting in closed session, re-elected LaPierre, who survived a resolution by some NRA members to sack him too.

The NRA’s financial and legal problems, however, are widely expected to remain drags on the group for some time to come, say NRA insiders and analysts. Last month, the NRA sued its longtime ad agency Ackerman McQueen, which several years ago launched NRATV and was paid a whopping $40m in 2017, a sum that some NRA members and watchdogs view as exorbitant and helped fuel the litigation.

Filed in Virginia, the NRA suit is seeking large caches of documents to determine if Oklahoma-based Ackerman, which has been a major vendor to the NRA for over three decades and a key force in shaping NRA messages, was overbilling the NRA or spending improperly.

“The Ackerman suit is going to roil the NRA for a while if it proceeds,” said one GOP source with NRA ties.

And a former NRA lobbyist with board ties added that in light of the NRA’s recent red ink and the New York inquiry, “the NRA is now in grave danger”.

The investigation by James could be fatal if she determines there has been financial misconduct. The attorney general’s office oversees not-for-profits, including the NRA, which was founded in New York in 1871 and is still chartered there, and has the authority to compel the NRA to dissolve or require repayment of funds improperly obtained.

NRA lawyer Bill Brewer has said that the group will cooperate with James, as well as a new request for documents by three Democrats on the Senate finance committee, which has jurisdiction over tax exempts and is looking into similar allegations, as the Washington Post first reported.

To Aquilino, the group’s growing problems stem partly from the hefty salaries of LaPierre and other top executives, coupled with the high Ackerman fees. “The NRA has become part of the Washington swamp where people look out for themselves and their buddies, as opposed to the constitution,” Aquilino said. “The dollar sign has replaced the constitution as the emblem of the NRA management.”

Those stinging words, in tandem with the NRA’s legal and financial woes, might help explain why Trump tweeted that the NRA “must get its act together quickly”.

 

Another “Jolly Little War”?

May 4, 2019

by Eric Margolis

Unz Review

Sure. Let’s invade Venezuela. Another jolly little war. It’s full of commies and has a sea of oil. The only thing those Cuban-loving Venezuelans lack are weapons of mass destruction.

This week, leading US neocons openly threatened that if the CIA’s latest attempts to stage a coup to overthrow Venezuela’s Maduro government failed, Washington might send in the Marines.

Well, the coup was a big fiasco and the Venezuelan army didn’t overthrow President Maduro. The CIA also failed to overthrow governments in Moscow, Tehran and Damascus. Its only ‘success’ to date has been in overthrowing Ukraine’s pro-Moscow government and putting a bunch of corrupt clowns in its place at a cost near $10 billion.

The US has not waged a major successful war since World War II – unless you count invading Grenada, Panama and Haiti, or bombing the hell out of Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Libya. That’s a sobering thought given the Pentagon’s recent announcement that it is cutting back on little colonial wars (aka ‘the war on terror’) to get ready for real big wars against Russia and China, or even North Korea.

Venezuela is in a huge economic mess thanks to the crackpot economic policies of the Chavez and Maduro governments – and US economic sabotage. But my first law of international affairs is: ‘Every nation has the absolute god-given right to mismanage its own affairs and elect its own crooks or idiots.

Now, however, the administration’s frenzied neocons want to start a war against Venezuela, a large, developed nation of 32.7 million, at the same time we are threatening war against Iran, interfering all around Africa, and confronting Russia, China and perhaps North Korea. Large parts of the Mideast and Afghanistan lie in ruins thanks to our ‘liberation’ campaigns.

Invading Venezuela would not be much of a problem for the US military: half the population hates the current government and might welcome the Americans. Venezuela’s military has only limited combat value. Right-wing regimes in neighboring Colombia and Brazil might join the invasion.

But what then? Recall Iraq. The US punched through the feeble Iraqi Army whose strength had been wildly exaggerated by the media. Once US and British forces settled in to occupation duties, guerilla forces made their life difficult and bloody. Iraqi resistance continues today, sixteen years later. The same would likely happen in Venezuela.

There is deep anti-American sentiment in Latin America that existed long before Col. Chavez. Recall, for example, the large anti-American riots that greeted Vice President Nixon’s visit to Caracas in 1958.

‘Yankees Go Home’ is a rallying cry for much of Latin America. Blundering into Venezuela, another nation about which the Trump administration knows or understands little, would stir up a hornet’s next. Their ham-handed efforts to punish Cuba and whip up the far right Cuban-American vote in Florida would galvanize anti-American anger across Latin America. Beware the ghost of Fidel.

Talks over Venezuela are underway between Washington and Moscow. Neither country has any major interest in Venezuela. Moscow is stirring the pot there to retaliate for growing US involvement in Russia’s backyard and Syria. Both the US and Russia should get the hell out of Venezuela and mind their own business.

Instead, we hear crazy proposals to send 5,000 mercenaries to overthrow the Maduro regime. How well did the wide-scale use of US-financed mercenaries work in Iraq and Afghanistan? A complete flop. The only thing they did competently was wash dishes at our bases, murder civilians, and play junior Rambos.

For those who don’t like the American Raj, a US invasion of Venezuela would mark a step forward in the crumbling of the empire. More aimless imperial over-reach, more lack of strategy, more enemies generated.

The big winner would, of course, be the Pentagon and military industrial complex. More billions spent on a nation most Americans could not find on a map if their lives depended on it, more orders for ‘counter-insurgency’ weapons, more military promotions, and cheers from Fox News and wrestling fans.

Worst of all, the US could end up feeding and caring for wrecked Venezuela. How did we do with storm-ravaged Puerto Rico? It’s still in semi-ruin. Few want Venezuela’s thick, heavy oil these days.

Venezuela could turn out to be a big, fat Tar Baby.

 

The Army Scaling Back Recruiting Goals After Missing Target, Under Secretary Says

Discussions over the Army’s fiscal 2020 budget request have focused on cutting current programs to fund modernization, but the service also significantly lowered its recruiting goals for the next several years after missing last year’s recruiting target by more than 6,000 soldiers.

The Army plans to increase active end-strength by 2,000 soldiers each year over the 2020-2024 Future Years Defense Program, or FYDP. The fiscal 2020 request is 50 percent less than the service’s fiscal 2019 budget request for 4,000 soldiers.

The move comes after the service fell short of meeting its active recruiting goal for fiscal year 2018.

“We missed last year; we missed by 6,500 people in the active force,” Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy told an audience Thursday, a Center for Strategic & International Studies event. “We have reduced our end-strength goal effectively immediately … and across the FYDP to 2,000 year-over-year.”

The recruiting shortfall prompted Army leaders to launch a massive new recruiting strategy that involves adding more recruiters, targeting 22 major cities and rethinking how the Army communicates with America’s youth.

“We looked at ourselves and we said we were kind of getting fixed to certain areas of the country, and we said we need to get back to the cities,” McCarthy said, adding that the Army hired an outside firm to help with “micro targeting so we can go look at a geographic zip code and understand the demographics.”

The Army conducted a pilot program in Chicago, a city where only 4 percent of youth have a propensity to serve, compared to the 11-percent average nationwide, McCarthy said.

“We brought the firm in, did a 100-day study, and they helped us improve leads by 10 percent within the first 100 days,” McCarthy said.

Despite the cuts the Army’s active recruiting goals, leaders project that the slow growth will get the Army to 488,000 by the end of the FYDP — growth that is needed for the Army to handle DoD requirements, McCarthy said.

“We want to maintain quality and still be able to grow, because, as I mentioned earlier about demand — it’s not going to go away,” McCarthy said.

Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Maryland, also attended the CSIS event and said he applauds the Army for the steps it has taken to improve its recruiting strategy.

“I want to commend the Army for not lowering its standards in order to meet a number; I think our superiority is in the quality of the soldiers that we recruit, we train and we retrain and that is our real competitive advantage,” Brown said.

Brown also said it may be time for the United States to reevaluate the number of worldwide commitments it places on the U.S. military.

“Why are we in 80 countries in every region around the world?” Brown said. “Do we need to have such a strong military presence around the world, or should we be investing more in our diplomatic efforts?”

.

Lowering standards to fill the ranks?

March 1, 2019

by Ed Palm

Readers who assume I have nothing good to say about President Trump are wrong. His stated commitment to rebuilding our military is laudable, his own avoidance of military service notwithstanding. Trump proposed giving the Pentagon more money than they asked for — $750 billion instead of $733 billion — promising that our troops will have the best, up-to-date equipment. But we’ve yet to hear him address the most basic and pressing need of our Armed Forces — more qualified people.

A year ago, Congress formed the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. The commission was charged with conducting a three-year study of American attitudes toward service and with determining how best to “inspire more Americans to serve.” While the commission is not scheduled to report out until March, 2020, they have recently released an interim report containing an alarming finding. Of the nearly 32 million young Americans, ages 17-24, 71 percent are ineligible for military service. Disqualifying factors include medical problems, criminal records, a history of drug use, too many tattoos, too much fat, or too little education. But, to my mind, this raises even more troubling, unanswerable questions: Of the 29 percent of those eligible to serve, how many would be willing to serve? And how low can we go in filling the ranks of our all-volunteer military?

Way back during those troubling years of our Vietnam involvement, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and his whiz kids came up with a cynical plan to meet the increasing manpower requirements for the war. Called Project 100,000, the rationale behind it was that at any given time our military could absorb that number of men who would otherwise be ineligible for military service due to medical problems, criminal records, or low intelligence. Military service, it was thought, would give underprivileged and troubled young men the discipline and socialization necessary to become responsible, contributing members of society. That, at least, was how Project 100,000 was billed. The reality — as I and others have long thought — is that these young men were considered expendable.

Lawrence M. Baskir and William A. Strauss long ago produced the definitive study of the Vietnam-era draft, “Chance and Circumstance: The Draft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation” (1978). Project 100,000, they suggest, came as a political godsend for President Johnson. It allowed him to expand “the pool of potential manpower” without increasing opposition to the war by mobilizing the reserves or ending college and other draft deferments. But, in the end, Project 100,000 would prove to be yet another bad idea in a misbegotten war.

According to the website Americanwarlibrary.com, 336,111 men served under Project 100,000, and 2,072 of those were killed — about 4 percent of those listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Project 100,000 recruits were categorized together with unpublicized exemption programs under the heading “Category IV.” As Baskir and Straus document, most Category IV recruits were enlisted or inducted into the Marine Corps or Army. Forty-one percent were black; 50 percent were from the South. Over 40 percent were given direct combat assignments. Almost 60 percent came from broken homes. Over 80 percent had dropped out of high school, and half had IQs below 85. Some 180,000 Category IV recruits received punitive or general discharges. So much for setting them up to succeed in civilian life.

Thus far, our all-volunteer military has managed to maintain high standards. Military.com reports that about 95 percent of Army recruits are high-school graduates. But last spring, the Army announced that it would not meet its goal of enlisting the 80,000 recruits necessary to bring its end strength up to 500,000 in order to meet the current operational tempo. The Marine Corps is struggling with retention. The Navy is having trouble recruiting enough sailors, especially for nuclear billets. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, moreover, each remain about 25 percent short of the pilots they need.

In the meanwhile, that National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service is trying to determine how to tap into the spirit of service and sacrifice that Alexis de Toqueville observed among Americans some 200 years ago. Frankly, I believe that spirit — if it ever really existed — went by the boards with Vietnam. Inspiring more of today’s young people to serve, whether in the military or in some other capacity, will require even more incentives than we now offer. And lowering military enlistment standards is not the answer. We may just have to restore the draft.

So I put it to you, the Millennial Generation: Prove me wrong.

 

Hands off the Arctic: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns China & Russia away from the north

May 6, 2019

RT

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned China and Russia to “respect our interests” in the Arctic, or face the consequences.

Frozen and desolate, the Arctic region looks set to be the next frontier for competition between the US, Russia, and China. Speaking at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Finland on Monday, Pompeo launched a broadside against the US’ competitors in the region, particularly China.

“Arctic seaways could become the 21st century Suez and Panama canals,” America’s top diplomat stated.

“China is already developing shipping lanes in the Arctic Ocean. This is part of a very familiar pattern. Beijing attempts to develop critical infrastructure using Chinese money, Chinese companies and Chinese workers, in some cases to establish a permanent Chinese security presence.”

Although China holds observer status on the Arctic Council, the country is 900 miles from the Arctic Ocean. Nevertheless, melting polar ice means viable sea routes across the region will soon be open, and Beijing has given these consideration in its Maritime Silk Road infrastructure plan. During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed interest in linking Russia’s Northern Sea Route with China’s Maritime Silk Road.

Such a route could slash shipping times from China to the West by several weeks.

Where Beijing sees a business opportunity, Pompeo sees a threat.

“China’s pattern of aggressive behavior elsewhere should inform what we do, and how it might treat the Arctic,” he warned.

“Do we want crucial Arctic infrastructure to end up like Chinese-constructed roads in Ethiopia? Crumbling and dangerous after only a few years. Do we want the Arctic Ocean to transform into a new South China Sea? Fraught with militarization and competing territorial claims.”

Aside from its plans to hook up trade routes with China, Pompeo also warned Russia against militarizing the Arctic region. However, 50 percent of the Arctic coastline is Russian territory, and the region is of key strategic and sovereign importance for Moscow.

Both the US and Russia have flexed their military muscle in the region. NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise last year was the alliance’s biggest drill in Norway in more than a decade, and Russia’s upcoming Tsentr-2019 exercises are poised to be “a serious test of the battle capacities” of the nation’s Arctic forces, according to the Russian military

 

America vs Russia

The following  are excerpts Anne Williamson’s testimony before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the U.S. House of Representatives, presented Sept. 21, 1999.

”It shows how the historic opportunity given the U.S. to help transform Russia into a free, peaceful, pro-Western country was squandered in the form of a bruising economic rape carried out by corrupt Russian politicians and businessmen, assisted by Bush and (especially) Clinton administrations engaged in political payoffs to Wall Street bankers and others, and by ineptitude and greed on the part of the U.S. Treasury and the Harvard Institute for International Development, assisted by fellow travelers and manipulators at Nordex, the IMF, the World Bank, and the Federal Reserve.

The losers were the Russian people and (mainly) U.S. tax-payers.

In the matter before us – the question of the many billions in capital that fled Russia to Western shores via the Bank of New York and other Western banks – we have had a window thrown open on what the financial affairs of a country without property rights, without banks, without the certainty of contract, without an accountable government or a leadership decent enough to be concerned with the national interest or its own citizens’ well-being looks like. It’s not a pretty picture, is it? But let there be no mistake, in Russia the West has truly been the author of its own misery. And there is no mistake as to who the victims are, i.e. Western, principally U.S., taxpayers and Russian citizens whose national legacy was stolen only to be squandered and/or invested in Western real estate and equities markets.

The first mistake was the West’s perception of the elected Russian president, Boris Yeltsin; where American triumphalists saw a great democrat determined to destroy the Communist system for freedom’s sake, Soviet history will record a usurper. A usurper’s first task is to transform a thin layer of the self-interested rabble into a constituency. Western assistance, IMF lending and the targeted division of national assets are what provided Boris Yeltsin the initial wherewithal to purchase his constituency of ex-Komsomol Communist Youth League bank chiefs, who were given the freedom and the mechanisms to plunder their own country in tandem with a resurgent and more economically competent criminal class. The new elite learned everything about the confiscation of wealth, but nothing about its creation. Worse yet, this new elite thrives in the conditions of chaos and eschews the very stability for which the United States so fervently hopes knowing full well, as they do, that stability will severely hamper their ability to obtain outrageous profits. Consequently, Yeltsin’s “reform” government was and is doomed to sustain this parasitic political base composed of the banking oligarchy.

Instead, after robbing the Russian people of the only capital they had to participate in the new market – the nation’s household savings – by freeing prices in what was a monopolistic economy and which delivered a 2500 percent inflation in 1992, America’s “brave, young Russian reformers” ginned-up a development theory of “Big Capitalism” based on Karl Marx’s mistaken edict that capitalism requires the “primitive accumulation of capital”. Big capitalists would appear instantly, they said, and a broadly-based market economy shortly thereafter if only the pockets of pre-selected members of their own ex-Komsomol circle were properly stuffed. Those who hankered for a public reputation were to secure the government perches from which they would pass state assets to their brethren in the nascent business community, happy in the knowledge that they too would be kicked back a significant cut of the swag. The US-led West accommodated the reformers’ cockeyed theory by designing a rapid and easily manipulated voucher privatization program that was really only a transfer of title and which was funded with $325 million US taxpayers’ dollars.

One particularly striking aspect of Bill Clinton’s presidency is how aggressively his administration has worked to capture the political support of the financial sector, offering up heretofore unseen gobs of government favor. A disproportionate number of firms receiving OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a government entity) guarantees, Export-Import bank lending, and IFC (International Finance Corporation, the private lending arm of the World Bank) and Russian Enterprise Fund participation were generous contributors to both Clinton campaign coffers and the DNC. The basic formula was simple, it’s not the rocket science Russia’s Harvard advisers intimated it was: The bread and butter of all equity markets are bonds. Wall Street wanted a debt market. You build it and we’ll come, they said.

During the Cold War, the International Monetary Fund got itself repeatedly into all sorts of financial and ethical mishaps in the West’s effort to contain the Soviet empire. But the IMF’s excesses were of little concern so long as its financial firepower could be directed at whatever nation appeared on the verge of toppling into the Soviet camp.

But weren’t Americans told that Russia’s financial oligarchy paid for Yeltsin’s re-election? To the contrary, Russia’s bankers made serious money on Yeltsin’s electoral weakness by buying government bonds at distressed prices using cheap money handed over from government deposits. The lion’s share of the domestic bonds’ high yields have always been paid with IMF loans. Russia’s first representative to the World Bank, Leonid Grigoriev, explained, “Of course, the government was to return this money and that is why the yields on 3-month paper reached as much as 290 percent. The government’s paying such huge, impossible rates on treasury bills, well, it’s completely unbelievable. It had nothing to do with the market and therefore such yields can only be understood as a payback, just a different method.

It doesn’t take a conspiracy theory to observe that the downward arc of citizens’ liberties, independence and civic competence and of American culture generally parallels the declining value of the U.S. dollar, which has lost 99 percent of its value since the founding of the Fed, and 75 percent of that debasement has occurred since the last link with gold established by Bretton Woods collapsed in 1971. From that perspective, it’s really not very surprising that at the end of the century, not quite a century after America instituted the Federal Reserve and thereby began the process that would deliver the power of creating unlimited debt to the political class, the White House is occupied by a couple who share not so much a marriage as they do a collection of felonies.”

 

Making America Great Again: Trump’s Impossible Challenges

May 6, 2019

by Christian Jürs

Once the most powerful nation, the United States is rapidly losing its premier position in the international sphere while at the same time facing a potential serious anti-government political movement developing in that country.

The number of unemployed in the United States today is approximately 97,000,000. Official American sources claim that employment is always improving but in fact it is not. Most official governmental releases reflect wishful thinking or are designed to placate the public

This situation is caused by the movement, by management, of manufacturing businesses to foreign labor markets. While these removals can indeed save the companies a great deal of expenditure on domestic labor, by sharply reducing their former worker bodies to a small number, the companies have reduced the number of prospective purchasers of expensive items like automobiles.

The U.S. government’s total revenue is estimated to be $3.654 trillion for fiscal year 2018.

  • Personal income taxes contribute $1.836 trillion, half of the total.
  • Another third ($1.224 trillion) comes from payroll taxes.

This includes $892 billion for Social Security, $270 billion for Medicare and $50 billion for unemployment insurance.

  • Corporate taxes add $355 billion, only 10 percent.
  • Customs excise taxes and tariffs on imports contribute $146 billion, just 4 percent
  • The Federal Reserve’s net income adds $70 billion.
  • The remaining $23 billion of federal income comes from estate taxes and miscellaneous receipts.
  • The use of secret offshore accounts by US citizens to evade U.S. federal taxes costs the U.S. Department of the Treasury well over $100 billion annually.

By moving from a producing to an importing entity, the United States has developed, and is developing, serious sociological and economic problems in a significant number of its citizens, and many suffer from serious health problems that are not treated.

It is estimated that over 500,000 American citizens are without any form of housing. Many of these people either are living on the streets, in public parks, living in cars or in charity shelters. There are at present over 200,000 family groups in America with over 300,000 individuals involved and 25% of the total are minor children.

Over 80,000 individuals are permanently without any residence. Many of these have physical disabilities such as chronic alcoholism or drug addiction. Many are classified as having severe mental disorders.

About 50,000 of these homeless individuals are military veterans, many of whom have serious physical or mental problems. One of the most common mental disorders is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Governmental treatment for these individuals is virtually non-existent.  Approximately half of this number are either black or Latin American (“Hispanics” in official designation.)

Of the total number of the homeless individuals, approximately 10% are female.

Official but private, estimates are that there over 500,000 youths below the age of 24 in current American society that find themselves homeless for periods lasting from one week to a permanent status.

Over 100,000 of this class are young people who are defined as being homosexual. Those in this class find themselves persecuted to a considerable degree by society in general and their peer groups in specific.

Approximately 50% of this homeless population are over the age of 50, many of whom suffer from chronic, debilitating physical illnesses that are not treated.

Drug deaths in the U.S. in 2017 exceeded 60,000.  Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involved prescriptions. Opioids are a class of strong painkillers drugs and include Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin which are synthetic drugs designed to resemble opiates such as opium derived morphine and heroin. The most dangerous opioid is Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. The increasing demand for these drugs is causing them to be manufactured outside the United States.

Suicide is the primary cause of “injury death” in the United States and more U.S. military personnel on active duty have killed themselves than were killed in combat last year.

The growing instability of American families is manifested by the fact that:

  • One out of every three children in America lives in a home without a father.
  • More than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock for women under the age of 30 living in the United States
  • The United States has the highest child abuse death rate in the developed world.
  • The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world although the numbers have declined in recent years due to the use of contraceptives.

The United States has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world. The criminal justice system in the United States holds more than 4,166,000 people in 1,719 state prisons, 102,000 in federal prisons, 901,000 in juvenile correctional facilities, and 3,163,000 in local jails. Additionally, 5,203,400 adults are on probation or on parole.

The number of people on probation or parole has increased the population of the American corrections system to more than 9,369,400 in 2017. Corrections costs the American taxpayer $69 billion a year.

There are a huge number of American domestic and business mortgages, (67 million by conservative estimate) which have been sliced up, put into so-called “investment packages” and sold to customers both domestic and foreign. This problem has been covered up by American authorities by cloaking the facts in something called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System)

This results in the fact that the holders of mortgages, so chopped and packed, are not possible to identify by MERS or anyone else, at any time and by any agency. This means that any property holder, be they a domestic home owner or a business owner, is paying their monthly fees for property they can never own.

Another festering problem consists of the official loans made to students in colleges and universities in the U.S. the predatory nature of the $90 billion student loan industry. These so-called student loans are the most serious economic problem faced today by American university students.

This problem arose due to federal legislation originating in the mid-1990s which effectively removed basic consumer protections from student loans, thus permitting extensive penalties and the methodology for enforced collection.

Because of the highly inflated cost of higher American education, very few students from high school can afford university education. The new college graduate has, on average, a student loan in excess of $20,000 and students attending graduate programs have average debts of over $40,000.

America today has seriously failing public school systems. Upper economic class Americans are able to send their children to expensive private schools and avoid the exceedingly incompetent public systems. The average American lower school graduates are only a step above illiteracy and their lack of knowledge of world affairs is quite unbelievable.

A small number of extremely wealthy men control and operate all of the major American print and television media.

Each of the few very powerful, rich men have their own reasons for deciding what qualifies as news.

But the public in America now gets its news, without cost, from various internet sites and the circulation number of major print news has dropped dramatically. This has forced the internet editions of the print news media to erect what they call “paywalls.” This permits a very limited number of articles to be read or downloaded before the system demands money for the use of additional material.

The major print media in America is faced with imminent bankruptcy and are making frantic efforts at attempts to prevent free news sites from being aired on the internet.

Government surveillance of the American public is very widespread and at the present time, almost every aspect of an American citizen, or resident, is available for official surveillance. This includes mail, television viewing, telephone conversations, computer communications, travel, ownership of property, medical and school records, banking and credit card transactions, inheritances and other aspects of a citizen’s daily life.

This is done to circumvent any possible organization that could contravene official government policy and has its roots in massive civil resistance to governmental policy during the war in Vietnam. The government does not want a reprise of that problem and its growing surveillance is designed to carefully watch any citizen, or groups of citizens, who might, present or future, pose a threat to government policy.

Another factor to be considered is the current American attitudes towards racial issues. There has always been prejudice in the United States against blacks. In 1943 there were bloody riots in Detroit and Los Angeles, the former aimed at blacks and the latter against Mexicans. Since then, there has been chronic racial prejudice but it has been relatively small and very local. Also, there is growing anti-Semitic prejudice in American but this is officially ignored and never is mentioned in the American media. Much of this growing problem is directed at the brutal actions of Israel against Palestinians. Israelis have an undue influence in the American political scene. The very far right so-called neo-cons are almost all Jewish and most are Israeli citizens. Also, the middle-level ranks of American CIA personnel are heavily infiltrated by Israelis and it is said that any secret the CIA has is at once passed to Israel and that countries needs are assuming importance in CIA actions.

The attitudes of the working class Americans were inflamed during the last presidential elections by Mr. Trump who catered to them and encouraged rebellious attitudes. By speaking against Central American illegal immigrants, Mr. Trump has caused a polarization of attitudes and the militant right wing in America, currently small in number but well-organized and potentially very dangerous, has begun to make its views very well known in public demonstrations

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Lawrence Rosen

Lawrence Rosen is an “integrative” pediatrician and chair-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Clinical Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at UMDNJ/New Jersey Medical School, and Chief of Pediatric Integrative Medicine at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, medical advisor to the antivaccine organization the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center, and blogger for The Whole Child blog. He is, in other words, not a nobody, but he is a crank and pseudoscientist through and through. Rosen is at least an antivaccine sympathizer, who opposes vaccine mandates (in particular mandates for the flu vaccine and Gardasil), and seems to think that thimerosal causes autism (though chooses to remain carefully vague about it) despite the fact that the hypothesis that it does is falsified beyond any vestige of doubt – which is, of course, a hallmark of pseudoscientific practice. He is also a speaker at anti-vaccine conferences, and was one of the “experts” who “vetted” the conspiracy theory flick “The Greater Good”, something that ought to prevent anyone even minimally reasonable from ever listening to his advice on anything ever again. He is also on the advisory board for the zealously delusional Holistic Moms Network.

Rosen has managed to establish himself as one of the leading promoters and advocates of woo in the US, and he promotes woo and pseudoscience in familiar ways: “Conventional Western medicine is about fixing disease, mainly acute illnesses. It’s oriented around disease labeling and treatment,” says Rosen, which is blatantly false, but rhetorically useful in promoting himself as a Brave Maverick Doctor who has seen the light and gone his own ways. And Rosen promotes the whole gamut of ineffectual nonsense regimes and treatments, backed up with fluff and appeals to nature, including homeopathy, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, and guided imagery, “operated according to the principles of ecologically sustainable medicine” (which he is free define any way he likes, of course). Indeed, Rosen promotes oscillococcinum, no less, stating – with an apparently straight face – that: “Oscillococcinum has been found to be a good homeopathic treatment for children and adults with flu-like symptoms.” It is hard to imagine that he made the claim in good faith.

Now, Rosen targets his quackery at children in particular. His Whole Child Center practices “integrative medicine,” based “on a practitioner-client partnerships in which both conventional and alternative modalities are used to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential.” Their website does feature a quack Miranda warning, at least. They also feature Bob Sears’s vaccine book, a large tome of scare tactics and anecdotes of children experiencing problems after receiving vaccines, apparently straight from the VAERS database. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article criticizing Sears’ callous and unprofessional conspiracy mongering, crackpottery, lies and general dimwittedness.

And critics? Rosen is nothing if not fond of the pharma shill gambit. It is very effective with certain audiences.

Diagnosis: Pseudoscientist, crackpot and quack, but of the charismatic and trust-inspiring kind; what he promotes, however, isn’t better grounded in reality or evidence than the stuff promoted by incoherent, raging lunatics in weird color schemes and random capitalization over at whale.to. Maintain a safe distance.

 

Paul G. Humber

Paul G. Humber is the director of CR Ministries and author of things like 400+ Prophecies, Appearances, or Foreshadowings of Christ in the Tanakh and Evolution Exposed. Humber is, of course, a young-earth creationist, and has also penned articles for the Institute of Creation Research and Creation Matters, the newsletter of the Creation Research Society (both organization apparently put “Research” in their name since otherwise no one would ever have guessed that this is what they think they are doing).

Well, Humber’s writings on science contain the usual tropes, appeal to the Bible, obvious lack of expertise and rank denialism, and we’ll limit ourselves to an example: One obvious problem for young-earth creationists is radioactive decay, which rather clearly, uh, suggests that the Earth is somewhat older than they’d like to think. Their solution is of course to (completely out of the blue) assert that radioactive decay isn’t constant but happened much faster in the past. So here’s Humber:

“[C]onsider Deuteronomy 32:22 – ‘For a fire is kindled by My anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of mountains.’ This verse may point us in the direction that radioactive decay is a physical manifestation of God’s anger against evil, affecting even biological life. Prior to the Noachian flood, mankind lived much longer. His lifespan has diminished substantially since the flood. Also, even though Noah might well have had some immature dinosaurs on the ark, their nearly total extinction following the flood seems obvious. This also holds with respect to many other animals that have become extinct.”

Or put differently: radioactive decay can’t be used to measure the age of anything, but is instead a measure of how angry God is at any moment. It’s hard to express how mind-boggling it is that anyone above the age of 7 can write this with a straight face and expect to be taken seriously (it’s at the level of “rain is angels relieving themselves”), but at least it entails that God is much less angry these days and accordingly unlikely to be overly concerned with gay marriage, abortion or transgender people using their bathroom of choice.

Diagnosis: Oh, you silly duck. All the facepalms in the world wouldn’t reflect how crazy and silly Humber’s pseudoscientific babbling is, yet he is apparently viewed as an authority in certain quarters.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

May 6, 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. 5

Date:  Friday, March 22, 1996

Commenced:  8:15 AM CST

Concluded: 8:45 AM CST

RTC: Up early, aren’t you, Gregory?

GD: Actually, I haven’t been to bed yet, Robert. Been reading a really interesting paper someone sent me about the Clintons. Such lovely people. Of course, I can’t do anything with it but I will make Xerox copies and send them off. Costs money and no paper would dare to even ask questions. Such sleazy crooks, Robert. Roosevelt stole but he had some class after all.

RTC: Do you think they shot that Foster man?

GD: I have no idea. It was the convenient death of a man who knew far too much, Robert. Have you any comments?

RTC: Bill is utterly ruthless and his shrew of a wife is one step behind him. They would have ordered it, for certain, but one does not know.

GD: I saw the in situ pictures from the Virginia park police of the body. Poor Vince. His last act was to defy the law of gravity. He was lying in the park with his head pointing down a hillside but the dried blood all ran up. Isn’t that wonderful?

RTC: Some of those people are mindless, Gregory. But that doesn’t mean he was murdered. Someone might have dumped the stiff there to get him out of the White House.

GD: Well, false in one thing, false in all, as they used to say. Frau Clinton looks like a bimbo who could put kittens into a microwave and have a real laugh. She was tied up with the Black Panthers in Oakland some years ago. I have a California police report about that. A friend in Sacramento sent me a copy about a day before the FBI came and removed the original. Caught in the sack with a nice black lassie, she was. They went to Sacramento, the Panthers and the gun moll, and they sported guns there and terrified people. The late night motel raid was the result. Well, I could send that around too but we would never hear a word about it.

RTC: Our people had connections with Bill when he was the governor there. Used to bring drugs in from Mexico and land them downstate. Arkansas is about as backwards as Kenya these days and Bill had no problem sticking a bag full of cash in his sock drawer. Oh, well, if it weren’t for the crooked pol, none of us could make an honest buck.

GD: Ah, Robert, that’s just what the Indian hooker said when the bank teller told her one of her twenties was counterfeit.

RTC: Now that’s a good one, Gregory.

GD: I thought so, Robert. Oh how about the whore who, when told by another teller in another bank, that a hundred was fake, ‘My God, I’ve been raped!’

RTC: Fun and games so early in the day.

GD: Yes, I suppose so. When I’m working…doing research…I’m very quiet and very focused on my work but all of the nasty comments and so on are just a form of relief. I have known a few CIA people in my life but you are the first one with whom I can have a nice talk. The others like to think that their feces smell like lilacs in bloom. They ask much and give little.

RTC: I see your point but you don’t fully grasp the techniques. No one wants to talk with you, Gregory, because while they are interrogating you, you are interrogating them and, let me be very clear on this as Nixon would have said, you are way and above any of them and certainly their superior  in the interrogation business. If one of them makes the slightest slip, you pounce on the knowledge and he loses control. You have a phenomenal memory and the ability to use it in a very abstract and very deadly manner. You know this, naturally, but always complain that people behave like swine around you. I agree they do. Kimmel is an example of this. Actually, they are afraid of you, Gregory, really afraid. I don’t mean that you’ll pull a knife or gun and do them but they cannot control you and when they cannot control a person or a situation, they panic. They live by rule books and you do not. May I ask you a question here?

GD: Surely.

RTC: Do you work for anyone?

GD: Like the Germans or the Russians? Or the Chinese? No, I work for myself. I hate working for other people who only want you to support the views of their superiors. If they want this or that to be a certain way and I see very clearly that they are wrong, I have to be silent or become a toady. For example, Gehlen told me that in ’48, the Army…he worked for them just before your people took him over…Critchfield that is…Gehlen told me that the Army wanted him to prepare a paper showing that the Russians were going to attack Western Europe. Gehlen said this was impossible. He said the Russians had torn up all the railroad lines in their Zone and sent the rails back to Russia. Obviously, they could not rush troops to the border except on bicycles or mules. And of the 135 Russian armored units technically…note that I said technically…stationed in their Zone, almost all of them were just cadre with perhaps ten officers and men and no armored units. No, our people needed a dangerous enemy against whom to arm. Revisiting the business heyday of the war was the right idea but, of course, without real dangers. We knew the Russians were not going to attack but the report, lies that it contained, was deliberately leaked by the Army to Congress and others. Hey presto! A Cold War starts. We had to rearm and stop the reduction of our Army. Oh yes, the Generals did not want to lose their cushy jobs and the American industrial people were cooing with delight over all the contracts for aircraft, bombs, rifles, tanks and battleships that they all knew would never be used. No, that was all a deliberate sham and designed to make the elite people richer. Of course the film industry and the media cranked out horror stories about the evil Stalin’s plans to attack us. Christ, they were terrified we would nuke Moscow like we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I can see the first attack but the second was not needed. The Japanese immediately indicated they would surrender but the military wanted to try out another bomb with a different approach. Just for fun as it were.

RTC: Well, and here we are, Gregory. Reagan played high stakes poker with the Russians and made them fold their hand. We beat them. No war, no destruction, was there?

GD: No there was not but what do we do now? Our greedy businessmen now try to loot Russia and strip her of her natural resources. We could try to make an ally of her, why not? No one needs an enemy.

RTC: Too many people in power remember the propaganda of the Cold War, Gregory and their mind sets are so strong that logic would scarcely move them.

GD: It’s too bad I am not in control. Can you see that, Robert?

RTC: You would be dead in a week, Gregory.

GD: Not if I got to them first.

RTC: Well, what would you do?

GD: Divide and conquer and the ones who wanted a turf war, would quickly end up under it. My main crime is a faint conscience. You can’t be moral when dealing with dung-munchers.

(Concluded at 8:45AM 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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