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TBR News May 7, 2019

May 07 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. May 7, 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 7: “Trump has been pretending to be a firm supporter of right wing Israel, a faux-supporter of rabid Jesus Freaks and now is joining the ranks of the lunatic anti-vaccine wierdos. He put out an in-house memo several days ago forbidding staff members from vaccinating themselves or their children. This is becoming a regular loony bin in addition to tax cheat Crome-Dome Donald’s crooked crime partners running in and out of his enormous, customized lavatory to admire his big picture on the wall. Trump doesn’t want anyone looking at his tax records. Why? He is hysterical because Congress wants copies of his Deutsche Bank records. What Tubby doesn’t know is that the US Attorney’s office in New York got these some time ago and Congress will very soon. What could be in them that gets him so upset? He owes them hundreds of millions of dollars and has never paid them a penny. And they never tried to collect. Interesting, isn’t it? The Godfather in the Oval Office!”

 

 

  • The anti-vaccination movement: March of the lemmings
  • The anti-vaccination movement from Wikipedia
  • At least 8 states now pushing to outlaw non-medical vaccine exemptions
  • 77% of Americans say kids should get measles shot even if parents object: Reuters Poll
  • Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War With Iran?
  • US military flare-up ‘would be a godsend to Iran hardliners’
  • Treasury denies ‘unprecedented’ request for Trump’s tax returns
  • The thorn in Trump’s side: New York attorney general leads barrage of investigations
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • The Iranian Deyanat Affair

 The anti-vaccination movement: March of the lemmings

by Marjorie P. Pollack, MD; Donald Kaye, MD

Infectious Disease News

As physicians who have actually seen patients with tetanus, diphtheria, smallpox and poliomyelitis, we are appalled at the effectiveness of the anti-vaccination movement in the United States. The issue today is the resurgence of measles, but tomorrow it may be any one of the other vaccine-preventable diseases.

To focus on the current epidemic of measles, a disease that was essentially eliminated in the U.S. in the last century, the size of the current epidemic in the U.S. is undoubtedly in large part due to the anti-vaccination groups. As of Feb. 11, 49 (45%) of the 110 cases of measles in California were unvaccinated, and an additional five (5%) had a history of a single dose of measles-containing vaccine.

While some of the unvaccinated have true religious reasons for avoiding vaccination, they are in a minority and often clustered without major contact with outsiders. Also among the unvaccinated are the most vulnerable populations, the immunocompromised and children aged 1 year and younger — both of whom cannot be given attenuated live virus measles vaccines. However, the bulk of the unvaccinated are children of presumably well-meaning parents who have been influenced by rumor, discredited science or often by cult leaders, some of whom are, unfortunately, physicians and other scientists. While motivation for the expressed opinions of these people may be honest belief, we suspect that there are often less altruistic motives.

A prime example of this was the Andrew Wakefield case. In 1998, Wakefield, a former medical doctor from Britain, and colleagues published a paper linking use of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and inflammatory bowel disease. His research was subsequently reported to be fraudulent. A motive reported in both medical journals and the news was related to conflicts of interest, including litigation and business interests. Multiple studies have subsequently found no relationship between autism and vaccination, yet the damage caused by Wakefield lingers on. This begs the question of whether the same conflict of interest exists with some of the physicians and other “experts” who continue to espouse anti-vaccination sentiment. A PubMed search using the terms “measles vaccine, autism” can produce around 450 citations beginning with the original Wakefield paper. The sad thing is that researchers are continuing to conduct case-control studies addressing this issue, suggesting that there is still the need to debunk the Wakefield hypothesis, with the most recent publication on this topic in early January.

The thesis of the anti-vaccination groups seems to be divided into:

  • the purported harm done by vaccines such as causing autism or other neurological disease;
  • vaccines causing the disease they are intended to prevent such as influenza; or
  • the prevention of the full expression of our immune systems by stopping “natural” infections such as measles.

These groups also trivialize the effects of measles as well as rubella, mumps and varicella. A classic example of this can be found at the National Vaccine Information Center’s website (http://www.nvic.org), purporting to help parents and caregivers learn about measles and vaccines to make their own decisions, but clearly misrepresenting data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and providing scare “data” on deaths and permanent injuries reported through VAERS.

These groups also trivialize the effects of measles as well as rubella, mumps and varicella. A classic example of this can be found at the National Vaccine Information Center’s website (http://www.nvic.org), purporting to help parents and caregivers learn about measles and vaccines to make their own decisions, but clearly misrepresenting data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and providing scare “data” on deaths and permanent injuries reported through VAERS.

It cannot be denied that there are side effects of vaccines, and it is critical to consider risk/benefit when vaccinating. Yellow fever vaccine, for example, carries a risk of 1 in 100,000 of causing a life-threatening complication in individuals aged 65 years and older and therefore should not be given to someone who is not traveling to an endemic area. In this scenario, there is risk from the vaccine but no benefit to the vaccinee. On the other hand, MMR is an example of a relatively safe vaccine. Serious side effects occur in less than 1 in 1 million, and measles is not a trivial disease. Approximately 30% of cases have some complication from the disease. Diarrhea is a very common complication (8%), followed by ear infections (7%) that carry the risk for deafness. Pneumonia also is common in pediatric measles cases (6%). Encephalitis occurs in 1 in 1,000 cases. Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis is a degenerative central nervous system disease thought to result from persistent viral infection. It has been reported in 5 to 10 cases per 1 million and has virtually disappeared since the widespread use of measles vaccine. The overall reported case-fatality rate in children is about 2 per 1,000 reported cases. Before 1963 — prior to vaccine use in the U.S. — there were approximately 500,000 cases and 500 deaths reported annually.

Measles also is extremely contagious and communicable for 4 days before appearance of the rash. We wonder how many anti-vaccinators — parents, physicians, etc. — have ever seen a case of measles about which they talk so glibly.

One particular statement that amazed us came from an anti-vaccine physician on CNN, who said our children have the right to get infections, we have immune systems to fight infections and that childhood preventable diseases are benign. He went on to indicate that by putting foreign substances into our children we are experimenting with them. Statements like this coming from medically trained people are not only difficult to comprehend but also feed into the beliefs of parents about the harms of vaccination, such as those in affluent parts of California where it is trendy among some groups to avoid childhood immunizations. As a result, 10% of children or more in some areas are not immunized against measles, a figure higher than some developing nations. We wonder where in a line these anti-vaccine physicians would be to receive their smallpox vaccine if that disease were to return — at the head of the line, most likely.

An argument used by the anti-vaccinators is that there have been more reported deaths from MMR vaccine (about 100) in the last decade than from measles in the U.S. These groups have used the VAERS database, ignoring the disclaimers, “Please note that VAERS staff follow-up on all serious and other selected adverse event reports to obtain additional medical, laboratory, and/or autopsy records to help understand the concern raised. However, in general, coding terms in VAERS do not change based on the information received during the follow-up process. VAERS data should be used with caution as numbers and conditions do not reflect data collected during follow-up. Note that the inclusion of events in VAERS data does not imply causality.” Thus, when you consider that there have been no deaths from measles due to herd immunity, which is now evaporating, it is easy for these groups to claim the vaccine caused more reported deaths than the disease itself. On reviewing the VAERS cases, one of the anti-vaccination groups presented data showing a reported death of a child who had received multiple vaccines on the same day. The child reportedly died that day and had a history of cardiac heterotaxy, dextrocardia, complete atrioventricular septal defect, pulmonary atresia and a positive blood culture for Streptococcus pneumoniae and septic shock. A scary report for the non-medically trained person. Need we say more? A vaccination rate of 95% is required for herd immunity to protect against spread, often from cases imported from other countries. Only 10 states have reached that level among children aged 19 to 35 months, and in 17 states less than 90% of children receive at least one dose of measles vaccine.

If the anti-vaccinators had their way, we would go back to about 4,500 deaths in a decade.

Ignoring, for the moment, the danger to their own children, when parents decide not to immunize, the unimmunized pool creates a major public health problem. It serves as a pool that can infect children who cannot be immunized – those aged younger than 1 year and children who are immunocompromised. We wonder just how comfortable some of these “trendy” parents interviewed on television would respond if their neighbor’s infant or immunocompromised child died from measles acquired from that parent’s unimmunized child.

Perhaps a quote from Gandhi says it all about anti-vaccinators: “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does the truth become error because nobody sees it.”

References:

  • CDC. The Pink Book. Chapter 12: Measles. 2012. Accessed on March 4, 2015 at: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/meas.pdf.
  • CDC Telebriefing. Measles in the United States, 2015. Accessed on March 4, 2015 at: www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/t0129-measles.html.
  • Deer B. BMJ. 2011;342:c5347.
  • Lancet. 2010;doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60175-4.
  • Murch SH, et al. Lancet. 2004;363(9411):750.
  • Uno Y, et al. Vaccine. 2015;doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.036.
  • VAERS. VAERS Data. Accessed on March 12, 2015 at: https://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index.
  • Wakefield AJ, et al. Lancet. 1998;351:637-641.
  • Zipprich J, et al. MMWR. 2015;64:153-154.

 

The anti-vaccination movement

Wikipedia

The anti-vaccination movement is a loosely-organized conspiracy theorist subculture that blames the medical practice of vaccinations for a wide range of health problems. The movement, to a large majority led by people with no medical or scientific qualifications (or, ironically, stripped of credentials for malpractice and fraud), is based largely on spuriously alleged short- and long-term side effects of vaccinations. Effects which are — to boot — often trivial when compared to the severity of what were once common illnesses.

Since the argument is made that vaccines are deadly poisons (and that this ought to be “considered completely proven” to anyone but a shill), yet the anti-vaccination movement fails to gain traction outside of social media, then by necessity they argue that some kind of cover-up must be taking place, that the vaccines serve an agenda completely different from disease prevention,, or that the anti-vaccination “whistleblowers” are being kept down by some sort of shadowy power. This, of course, makes perfect sense.

Scaremongering opposition to vaccines is antiquated rather than novel, however, and the iteration of this movement that we’re stuck with today is not responding to any current, new (or real) danger. The original anti-vaccination movement sprang up very soon after the first vaccine had been invented by Edward Jenner in 1798. “Vacca,” being Latin for “cow,” is what gave the new invention, the vaccine, its name, and as early as in 1802, just four years later, forerunners to the modern anti-vaccination movement literally claimed that getting the smallpox inoculation would turn you into a cow. While vaccines have since improved from Jenner’s primitive proof-of-concept to the modern medical science we reap the benefits of today, the anti-vaccination movement hasn’t smartened up noticeably from the level held by their predecessors in the days of Jenner.

In recent times, there has been much debate in the press and in the doctor’s office regarding what possible side effects vaccines cause and whether these outweigh the risks of leaving a population without a vaccination schedule. Vaccines have been alleged to cause all manner of illnesses; autism is a prominent example, as its direct causes are still fairly mysterious and probably very wide-ranging, with no single cause or lifestyle risk factor being identified. Some prominent Americans have also spoken out vociferously about the supposed danger of vaccines.

The mechanisms for claimed health problems are rejected or have not been explained by current scientific research. Vaccine-preventable diseases have been a major cause of illness, death, and disability throughout human history. The advent of the modern vaccine era has changed this significantly; most North Americans and Europeans have little memory of a pre-vaccine era where diseases such as mumps and measles – to say nothing of smallpox or polio – were common and often deadly.

In the United States, many state laws support an individual (or parental) right to choose whether to be vaccinated against any disease. Forty-eight states allow religious exemptions for compulsory vaccinations as of 2014, and twenty states allow exemptions on philosophical or personal objections to vaccinations. Rudolf Steiner, the creator of Waldorf education believed that bouts of childhood disease were spiritually beneficial. This means that Waldorf education has been attractive for those opposed to vaccines. Prior to removal of the religious exemption in California, Waldorf schools had vaccination rates as low as 8% In 2018, a chicken pox outbreak occurred at Asheville Waldorf school in North Carolina; the school has one of the highest vaccination exemption rates in the state.

John D. Grabenstein wrote an extensive analysis on parents’ religious exemptions for vaccines versus what a wide range of religions actually say. His analysis found that there were “few canonical bases for declining immunization, with Christian Scientists a notable exception.” Parents’ claims for religious exemption were usually based on irrational fears rather than specific religious tenets.

The anti-vaccination movement also contains a significant religious element. The damage done to the lives of innocent human beings, especially the poorest and hardest stricken, by this anti-scientific movement is both remarkable and heartbreaking.

 

Anti-vaccination proponents

Michele Bachmann

Adam Baldwin

“Autism-hater” John Best

Del Bigtree

Toni Braxton

Jim Carrey

Billy Corgan

Robert DeNiro

Meryl Dorey

The Geier family quacks

Brian Hooker, instigator of the CDC whistleblower controversy.

Suzanne Humphries

David Icke (“Obama and Queen Elizabeth are giant lizards!”)

Desiree Jennings

Alex Jones

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Bill Maher

Jenny McCarthy

Cynthia McKinney

Holly Robinson

Aidan Quinn

Rob Schneider

Charlie Sheen

Alicia Silverstone

Donald Trump

Andrew Wakefield

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan

Henri Joyeux

 

At least 8 states now pushing to outlaw non-medical vaccine exemptions

May 7, 2019

RT

Amid the worst measles outbreak since the eradication of the disease, more US states are scrambling to amend the laws allowing for religious and other exemptions from vaccination. Oregon is the latest to join the push.

Faced with a health scare in the form of measles, a highly contagious and easily transmitted respiratory infection, lawmakers have been in a hurry to pass laws that would limit or outlaw any exemptions from vaccination that are not rooted in medical reasons.

On Monday, a bill aimed at ending non-medical exemptions passed the Oregon House after weeks of fierce debate. The bill will now have to go through the Senate before it can be signed into law. Oregon has not been at the center of the outbreak, with only 14 reported cases as of April 22, but it did not stop lawmakers from sounding an alarm over the issue, amid the general spike in cases.

Out of 764 reported cases in the US, the majority originated from the state of New York, having hit predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg County, Rockland County and Queens where residents are averse to vaccinations. New York City and nearby Rockland County have declared emergencies over the outbreak, which saw officials shut down schools and introduce a range of punitive measures, including fines and public bans in a bid to combat the rapid spread of the disease.

Bills to limit vaccination exemptions to various degrees have been introduced in Washington, Colorado, Arizona, New Jersey, New York, Maine and Connecticut.

In Connecticut, draft legislation by House Majority Leader Democrat Matt Ritter, that outlaws religious exemptions, received a nod from the state’s Attorney General.

William Tong, Connecticut’s Attorney General, issued a ruling on the proposed law on Monday, stating that “the law is clear that the State of Connecticut may create, eliminate or suspend the religious exemption.” Although non-binding, Tong’s blessing might come in handy to Ritter as he faces tough opposition from advocates of the freedom of religion and anti-vaxxers. Speaking in March Ritter vowed that the Connecticut General Assembly would vote on the bill in the next 12 months. It’s unclear if the vote will take place in the ongoing session that wraps up on June 5.

The chances of his bill becoming law are difficult to evaluate since there is a strong opposition to getting rid of the religious objections clause.

In Maine, an attempt by Democrats to streamline a bill that would have outlawed all non-medical exemptions failed last week after the state Senate voted against eliminating religious grounds, while agreeing to end exemptions for “philosophical reasons.”

While opposition to the legislation has been mostly partisan, some prominent Democrats –such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo– have raised concerns about whether removing the religious exemption would be in line with the First Amendment.

“(Does) government have the right to say you must vaccinate your child because I’m afraid your child can infect my child even if you don’t want it done and even if it violates your religious beliefs?” Cuomo told WAMC-FM in an interview in April, noting that it was “a serious First Amendment issue.”

Despite a renewed push to scrap non-medical exemptions, only three states – California, Mississippi and West Virginia – have so far outlawed the practice

 

77% of Americans say kids should get measles shot even if parents object: Reuters Poll

May 7, 2019

by Gabriella Borter

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Three out of four Americans believe children should be vaccinated against measles even if their parents object, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found, showing little sympathy for the anti-vaccination movement that U.S. officials blame for the ongoing outbreak.

Some 764 cases of the disease have been confirmed in the United States so far this year, the most seen in 25 years, in an outbreak that public health officials have called “completely avoidable” and largely linked to misinformation campaigns against the vaccines.

A small but vocal community of parents refuse to vaccinate their children, citing concerns about the injections that are not supported by science. But the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed U.S. adults by a wide majority share the scientific consensus that the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease is dangerous, while vaccines are safe.

Eighty-five percent of the 2,008 adults polled April 30 through May 2 said that all children should be required to get vaccinated unless there was a medical reason not to, such as an allergy or compromised immune system. Some 77 percent said children should be immunized even if their parents object to the vaccinations.

“Those numbers are not really as high as they should be,” said Dr. Jennifer Lighter, an epidemiologist at NYU Langone Health hospital in New York. “It’s putting children at risk and other people at risk who are vulnerable to severe measles if you’re not vaccinating your own child.”

In order to achieve herd immunity that protects those unable to get the measles vaccine, such as infants and people with compromised immune systems, 90% to 95% of the population needs to be vaccinated.

Less than 4 percent of respondents said they do not believe the vaccine is safe.

State and local officials in recent weeks have looked at new ways to fight the outbreak. In New York City, where some 423 cases have been recorded, Mayor Bill de Blasio last month issued a mandatory vaccination order for Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood and other communities hard-hit by the disease.

Lawmakers in a half-dozen states are mulling new measures that would prohibit parents from citing religious or personal beliefs to avoid vaccinating their children.

“The government’s role should definitely be to mandate the vaccine,” Lighter said. “It is a safety issue. It’s a law to wear your seatbelt, it should be a law to get vaccinated.”

Officials have also warned that certain adults living in areas hard-hit by the epidemic, which include parts of California, New Jersey and Michigan, may need another shot to ensure that they are protected from measles.

Many adults are unsure if they remain immune, given that vaccinations are typically administered early in childhood. Twenty-two percent of respondents told Reuters/Ipsos that they either are not vaccinated for the disease or don’t remember if they are.

Doctors attributed this memory failure to the fact that many people got the vaccine as young children and often do not have documentation because they received it before electronic records were kept.

“That’s one of the most crucial areas where we can intervene,” said Dr. Teresa Dean, an internist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Doctors recommend that adults who are unsure of their immunity should get tested and then get the vaccine if needed.

The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points.

Reporting by Gabriella Borter, additional reporting by Chris Kahn in New York, writing by Scott Malone; editing by Bill Berkrot

 

Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War With Iran?

May 7, 2019

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Last week, it was Venezuela in America’s gun sights.

“While a peaceful solution is desirable, military action is possible,” thundered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “If that’s what is required, that’s what the United States will do.”

John Bolton tutored Vladimir Putin on the meaning of the Monroe Doctrine: “This is our hemisphere. It’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering.”

After Venezuela’s army decided not to rise up and overthrow Nicholas Maduro, by Sunday night, it was Iran that was in our gun sights.

Bolton ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln, its carrier battle group and a bomber force to the Mideast “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

What “attack” was Bolton talking about?

According to Axios, Israel had alerted Bolton that an Iranian strike on U.S. interests in Iraq was imminent.

Flying to Finland, Pompeo echoed Bolton’s warning:

“We’ve seen escalatory actions from the Iranians, and … we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests. … (If) these actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxy, whether that’s a Shia militia group or the Houthis or Hezbollah, we will hold the … Iranian leadership directly accountable for that.”

Taken together, the Bolton-Pompeo threats add up to an ultimatum that any attack by Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, or Iran-backed militias – on Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE or U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria or the Gulf states – will bring a U.S. retaliatory response on Iran itself.

Did President Donald Trump approve of this? For he appears to be going along. He has pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions. Last week, he canceled waivers he had given eight nations to let them continue buying Iranian oil.

Purpose: Reduce Iran’s oil exports, 40% of GDP, to zero, to deepen an economic crisis that is already expected to cut Iran’s GDP this year by 6%.

Trump has also designated Iran a terrorist state and the Republican Guard a terrorist organization, the first time we have done that with the armed forces of a foreign nation. We don’t even do that with North Korea.

Iran responded last Tuesday by naming the U.S. a state sponsor of terror and designating U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorists.

Iran has also warned that if we choke off its oil exports that exit the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait could be closed to other nations. As 30% of the world’s oil shipments transit the Strait, closing it could cause a global crash.

In 1973, when President Nixon rescued Israel in the Yom Kippur War, the OPEC Arabs imposed an oil embargo. Gas prices spiked so high Nixon considered taking a train to Florida for Christmas vacation.

The gas price surge so damaged Nixon’s standing with the public that it became a contributing factor in the drive for impeachment.

Today, Trump’s approval rating in the Gallup Poll has reached an all-time high, 46%, a level surely related to the astonishing performance of the U.S. economy following Trump’s tax cuts and sweeping deregulation.

While a Gulf war with Iran might be popular at the outset, what would it do for the U.S. economy or our ability to exit the forever war of the Middle East, as Trump has pledged to do?

In late April, in an interview with Fox News, Iran’s foreign minister identified those he believes truly want a U.S.-Iranian war.

Asked if Trump was seeking the confrontation and the “regime change” that Bolton championed before becoming his national security adviser, Mohammad Javad Zarif said no. “I do not believe President Trump wants to do that. I believe President Trump ran on a campaign promise of not bringing the United States into another war.

“President Trump himself has said that the U.S. spent $7 trillion in our region … and the only outcome of that was that we have more terror, we have more insecurity, and we have more instability.

“People in our region are making the determination that the presence of the United States is inherently destabilizing. I think President Trump agrees with that.”

But if it is not Trump pushing for confrontation and war with Iran, who is?

Said Zarif, “I believe ‘the B-team’ wants to actually push the United States, lure President Trump, into a confrontation that he doesn’t want.”

And who makes up “the B-team”?

Zarif identifies them: Bolton, Benjamin Netanyahu, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

Should the B-team succeed in its ambitions – it will be Trump’s war, and Trump’s presidency will pay the price.

Comment:

Interestingly, Gallup polls as of May 3, shows Trump with a 91% approval rating nationally but Project 5/38 an two other polls shows Trump has a 42.7 approval rating (and a 53.4 disapproval rating)as of May 6.  In this case is “surging ever upwards” actually “dropping quickly in public opinion?” I suppose this depends on who owns the polling company and if the Trump people pay them enough.

 

US military flare-up ‘would be a godsend to Iran hardliners’

The US has announced it would deploy an aircraft carrier to the Middle East to give a “clear message” to Iran that it is prepared to defend its interests. Crisis Group’s Ali Vaez says the move could lead to a war.

May 7, 2019

by Shabnam von Hein

DW

National Security Advisor John Bolton said Sunday that the US is deploying an aircraft carrier and bombers to the Middle East as a signal to Iran.

Bolton said the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group with a bomber task force was a response “to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

Trump’s national security adviser said the Lincoln was headed to the area overseen by US Central Command, which could mean east to the Red Sea and perhaps to the Arabian Sea or the Persian Gulf, where the US Navy currently has no aircraft carrier stationed.

The announcement comes amid increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran. Last year, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and has since then increased sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

Recently, the Trump administration also took the bold step of designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group.

In an interview with DW, Ali Vaez, the Iran Project Director at the Crisis Group, talks about the risks posed by the latest US move.

DW: How do you view the US government’s decision to send the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier to the Middle East?

Ali Vaez: The exact nature of US threats remains unclear. Apparently, the US allies in the Middle East are wary of Iranian plans to target US assets in the region.

Some people claim that Iran is behind the latest escalation in Gaza. However, there is no concrete evidence that Tehran is trying to inflict harm on the US and its allies in response to Washington’s “economic warfare” [sanctions] against Iran.

Will the deployment of the aircraft carrier increase the likelihood of a full-scale military confrontation between the US and Iran?

It certainly increases the risks. The presence of US warships in the Persian Gulf is not unusual. What is unusual is the Trump administration’s level of bellicosity toward Iran. With so much friction between Iran and the US – and their respective allies in the region – and with no channel of communication between these parties, the risk of a confrontation is worryingly high.

Is it possible that these high stakes could force Washington and Tehran to engage in talks?

The odds of Iran negotiating with the Trump administration, which has violated the nuclear agreement between the two countries and is bullying Tehran, are very low. Also, Tehran will have to restore its nuclear leverage to return to the negotiating table. That would add fuel to the fire and increase the risk of a confrontation.

How will Iran react to this situation?

Iran is likely to partially cease its commitments under the nuclear deal as a last ditch effort to get an economic lifeline from the remaining signatories to the deal.

At the same time, a military confrontation with the US would be a godsend to Iran’s hardliners. They would try to use it to further militarize the domestic sphere and appropriate all levers of power.

Ali Vaez is an Iran Project Director at Crisis Group, a non-governmental organization committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

The interview was conducted by Shabnam von Hein.

 

Treasury denies ‘unprecedented’ request for Trump’s tax returns

Analysts viewed the flat denial as a direct challenge to Congress’ power to oversee the other two branches of government

May 6, 2019

by Tom McCarthy

The Guardian

The Treasury department has denied a request by Congress for copies of Donald Trump’s tax returns, saying that Congress had overstepped its bounds in requesting them.

The flat denial, which analysts viewed as a direct challenge to the supposed power of Congress to oversee the other two branches of government, was the latest in an escalating series of confrontations between Trump and the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives.

Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal on Monday that the request from Congress was “unprecedented” and that he had consulted with the justice department on its legality.

“In reliance on the advice of the Department of Justice, I have determined that the committee’s request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose,” Mnuchin writes, “and … the department is therefore not authorized to disclose the requested returns and return information.”

Democrats in congress have said that Trump’s tax returns must be reviewed for what the returns could reveal about foreign investments, debts or other financial arrangements. Trump has resisted the push, accusing Democrats of harassment.

Neal, the committee chairman, replied in a statement Monday that he would seek legal advice on what to do next.

“Today, secretary Mnuchin notified me that the IRS will not provide the documents I requested under section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code,” Neal said. “I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response.”

Mnuchin said the justice department would “memorialize its advice in a published legal opinion as soon as practicable”. But after the refusal of attorney general William Barr to testify before a House committee and a Democratic move to hold him in contempt of Congress, a legal fight over the tax returns appeared inevitable.

Analysts rejected Mnuchin’s assertion that Congress did not have a “legitimate legislative purpose” for requesting Trump’s taxes.

Daniel Hemel, assistant professor at University of Chicago law school, pointed out that the Ways and Means committee, where tax law is written, has oversight authority over the IRS and the tax system more generally.

“Whether the president is paying his taxes is important to overall tax morale,” Hemel wrote. The request for tax returns, Hemel continued, did not mean that the committee was encroaching on IRS turf, but rather that congress was verifying that the IRS is doing its own job.

“If anyone doubted that president is influencing tax administration in his favor, the fact that Mnuchin won’t let the IRS comply with Neal’s request should erase that doubt,” Hemel concluded.

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI special agent on the Yale faculty, added some historical background.

“The legislative purpose of the law under which the Ways & Means Committee is requesting Trump’s tax returns was passed in the wake of the Teapot Dome scandal,” Rangappa tweeted.

“The entire purpose of the law is to have oversight over potential financial conflicts of public officials.”

Trump is the first president since Richard Nixon to conceal his tax returns, which Congress has the explicit power to obtain under a 1924 law, the Washington Post reported.

 

The thorn in Trump’s side: New York attorney general leads barrage of investigations

Letitia James has grabbed the attention of the president by launching investigations into his business dealings

May 7, 209

by Erin Durkin in New York

The Guardian

While running to be New York’s attorney general, Letitia James did not mince words about Donald Trump. She called him an “illegitimate president” who should be removed from office, and vowed to use every legal avenue to investigate Trump and his business dealings.

Since taking office at the beginning of the year, she has toned down the rhetoric but she has let subpoenas do the talking instead – pursuing a barrage of investigations and emerging as a major thorn in the side of Trump and his political allies and notching up successes where even Congress has been blocked.

Trump himself has taken notice. After the attorney general launched an investigation into the National Rifle Association, Trump said in a tweet that the gun group is “under siege” by James and New York governor Andrew Cuomo, and accused them of “illegally using the state’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization, & others”.

Earlier, he complained that James “openly campaigned on a GET TRUMP agenda” and called her investigations “part of the Witch Hunt Hoax”.

The attorney general has issued subpoenas as part of an investigation into the non-profit status of the NRA, where an internal power struggle has exposed allegations of financial mismanagement.

That came after her office launched an investigation into Trump’s own finances, sending subpoenas to Deutsche Bank, which has made loans to the president’s businesses. The investigation was prompted by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony that Trump falsely inflated his assets while seeking loans.

“We follow the facts and the evidence wherever it leads, and no one is above the law,” James said last week at her lower Manhattan office. “Including powerful organizations such as the NRA. Including the most powerful individual in this country, the president of these United States. It’s really about the rule of law.”

Unlike similar subpoenas from Congress, which Trump and his children sued the bank to block, there has been no effort so far to quash the attorney general’s subpoenas, and the bank has begun turning over documents, James said. She hopes to review Trump’s tax returns as well.

James is also pursuing legislation to change the state’s double jeopardy laws, so that any Trump associates pardoned by the president for federal crimes could be charged on the state level.

Her lawyers argued before the Supreme Court in a lawsuit seeking to stop the administration from adding a question on citizenship to the US census, and investigators are investigating complaints of labor violations at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester in the New York suburbs.

Democratic attorneys general across the nation have fought Trump with scores of lawsuits, but the powers of James’s office and her perch in the president’s home state positions her as a unique threat.

“Trump has decades of complex and shady business deals that make for a target-rich environment,” said Eric Soufer, who was a senior counsel in the attorney general’s office before James took over

The state’s financial fraud laws give the attorney general “incredible power” to demand documents and records, said Paul Nolette, a political science professor at Marquette University.

“New York is in a unique position to lead a lot of these investigations,” he said. “Number one, they have the resources to take Trump on, and number two, they have the location where Trump is potentially most legally vulnerable.”

New York has joined 51 multi-state lawsuits against the Trump administration, including 26 where it has led the group – the most of any state, according to Nolette’s count.

When James took office in January, she became the first black woman to serve as attorney general – and the first to hold any statewide office in New York.

A Brooklyn native, she was New York City’s public advocate, a job that has virtually no formal power, but has often been a springboard to higher office. Mayor Bill de Blasio was also public advocate before he won his current job.

James had been eyeing the mayor’s office too, until the resignation of Eric Schneiderman, accused of violent behavior against multiple women, created a sudden vacancy for attorney general.

She jumped into the race as the early front runner, although some of her one-time allies on the left, put off by her embrace of Cuomo, flocked to law professor Zephyr Teachout instead. In the end, James prevailed in a four-way primary, and easily defeated her Republican opponent.

As some progressives look to James as their next best hope to hold Trump accountable after the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, conservative critics say her approach is excessively partisan for a law enforcement office and she should focus on troubles closer to home.

“She is trying to make a name for herself as a partisan,” said Joe Borelli, a Republican city councilman and one of the few prominent Trump supporters in New York politics. “If she cared about public corruption, she would be investigating the governor of her own state, whose top aides and allies are now in prison and who disbanded his own investigative commission when it began to look at him.”

Trump lawyers have taken the feud beyond Twitter, arguing in court papers that a suit against Trump’s charitable foundation should be rejected because it is “the product of the attorney general’s animus and bias against President Donald J Trump and it was filed for improper, biased and political reasons”.

The foundation agreed to dissolve as part of a settlement with the AG’s office, which alleged its funds were misused for political and personal purposes, but James has continued to pursue it for damages and seek an order banning Trump and his children from running New York charities.

Some staffers in the AG’s office were “taken aback” by James’s comments during the campaign, Soufer said, but he added she has conducted the investigations responsibly since taking office.

“All of the investigations and work around the Trump administration have been taken on in a very credible way. I don’t think anyone can credibly accuse the office of overreaching in any of those areas,” he said.

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Michael & Debi Pearl

Michael Pearl a Christian fundamentalist pastor, missionary, and evangelist. His day job is to run the No Greater Joy organization, but he is most famous for his, shall we say, controversial book To Train Up A Child written with his wife Debi. The Pearls claim to have sold 670,000 copies of that one, though the Nielsen BookScan records only 9,579 sales since 2001. Given the contents of the book one would hope the Nielsen numbers are more accurate.

To Train Up A Child is, simply put, a handbook in child abuse in which the Pearls book advises parents to use objects like a quarter-inch plumbing tube to spank children and “break their will,” as well as to subject them to other forms of torture (such as putting children under a cold garden hose and advice that “a little fasting is good training”) to ensure that they succumb to Jesus. The book has been linked to at least three child deaths, but according to the Pearls it is apparently a good way of teaching children arithmentics: “I have told a child I was going to give him 10 licks. I count out loud as I go … Pretending to forget the count, I would again stop at about eight and ask him the number. Have him subtract eight from ten, (a little homeschooling) and continue with the final two licks.”

The book claims to espouse “simple, Biblical principles.” In their own words: “If you are just beginning to attempt to control an already rebellious child who runs from discipline and is too incoherent to listen, then use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay. If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring, and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.” It’s really an epic battle of the wills, like Jesus against Satan. Carri Williams, home-schooling mother of one of the children who died, claimed that her daughter rebelled herself to death.

At least the Pearls have some empathy for parents who don’t follow their ways, comparing such parents to Holocaust victims on the way to the concentration camp, and the toddlers their deranged concentration camp abusers, or something (the medical and civil authorities, on the other hand, are consistently referred to as “the Gestapo”)

Part of the purpose is to keep the child away from the New World Order: “If you want a child who will integrate into the New World Order and wait his turn in line for condoms, a government funded abortion, sexually transmitted disease treatment, psychological evaluation and a mark on the forehead, then follow the popular guidelines in education, entertainment and discipline, but if you want a son or daughter of God, you will have to do it my God’s way.”

The Pearls are not alone. Similar books for parents are Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp; and Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

Diagnosis: You’ll hardly find much more repugnant people in the US.

 

Jock Doubleday

 

A standard ploy among denialists is to offer pseudo-challenges to scientists to prove that the scientific fact they deny is true or that their pseudoscientific delusions are false – where the protocol for testing or standards of proof are set by them, of course, to ensure that they will (with some exceptions) never be satisfied. Kent Hovind’s $250,000 challenge is probably the most famous, but Ray Comfort’s $10,000 prize to anyone who can present a “genuine living transitional form” has received its share of scorn as well (Comfort defines a transitional form as “a lizard that produced a bird, or a dog that produced kittens, or a sheep that produced a chicken, or even as Archaeopteryx–a dinosaur that produced a bird,” which is not what a transitional form is, making the challenge an impossible one). Deepak Chopra’s “explain consciousness” challenge is arguably even dumber.

Jock Doubleday, also known as the director of Natural Woman, Natural Man, Inc. and the author of such intriguing works as ‘The Burning Time (Stories of the Modern-day Persecution of Midwives)’ and ‘Lolita Shrugged (THE MYTH OF AGE-SPECIFIC MATURITY )’ has, in the same vein, gained himself some ridicule for his offer of “$75,000.00 to the first medical doctor or pharmaceutical company CEO who publicly drinks a mixture of standard vaccine additives ingredients in the same amount as a six-year-old child is recommended to receive under the year-2005 guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (In the event that thimerosal has recently been removed from a particular vaccine, the thimerosal-containing version of that vaccine will be used.)” The mixture will be body weight calibrated. By 2006 Doubleday claimed that “14 doctors, or persons claiming to be doctors, have contacted me about publicly drinking the vaccine additives mixture. None have followed through.” And to ensure that no one actually follows through with the challenge, Doubleday has created a pretty substantial list of criteria to be satisfied: Any participant must go through a psychiatric evaluation, a history of any mental health based counseling, an email exam of 10 questions regarding vaccine theory and history, compulsory purchase and reading of at last five altmed anti-vaccine books, a 20 question written exam, a certificate of good health, and so on and so forth. In short: You’re not going to pass; just forget it. In fact, several doctors have approached Doubleday, but they have all been rejected by him because of various details with regard to their application or because Doubleday just rejected them – it is, after all, up to him to determine whether the challenger is eligible). Of course, the test itself has been passed with flying colors: In 1996 a German guy ingested a dose of at least 1500 times the maximum dose of thimerosal a 6-year old with a complete vaccine history would theoretically have received in one go (weight adjusted!). It seems to have been unpleasant, but the guy recovered completely and did not develop autism.

Doubleday is, of course, a hardcore anti-vaxx loon. Not only are vaccines dangerous, “vaccines have never been shown by science to prevent any disease (you’d need a long-term controlled study for that).” Yeah, it’s kind of precisely like claiming that no one has shown that falling to the ground from 9000 feet is harmful. And no, Doubleday doesn’t understand science, or how evidence is measured, at all. Not that it would matter; all the science in the world wouldn’t change Doubleday’s mind, since it is all a conspiracy. Writes Doubleday: “There is a dark force working to undermine all ecosystems on Earth. This force is a trans-century cult that calls itself the Illuminati – because its members believe that one day they will be ‘illuminated’ and become gods on Earth. Illuminati members have infiltrated all world politics and control all financial systems. They have engineered the present financial crisis and they are responsible for the events of 9/11 and for the majority of false-flag events in recent history. Through war and other means, they are responsible for the hyper-poisoning of the planet.” Why they would be deliberately trying to undermine “all ecosystems” is a bit unclear, but Morgoth and Ungoliant, Skynet, the Harkonnens and the aliens in the classic documentary “They Live” have all been up to stuff like that befor

Diagnosis: Mike Adams, Sherri Tenpenny and Ken Adachi all rolled into one, only dumber (well … less influential, at least). A joke, really.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

May 7, 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. 17

Date: Monday, June 24, 1996

Commenced: 11:24 AM CST

Concluded: 12: 05 PM CST

 

GD: Good morning, Robert. I just got back from a business trip. What’s new inside the Beltway?

RTC: I missed your daily chats, Gregory. How was your trip?

GD: St. Petersburg was great. Moscow is improving from the old days but expensive as Hell and getting to be a Western-style mess. Still, I got to tour the older parts of the Kremlin and look at some of the stock in the military museum there.  Money is necessary to live but collectables are far more interesting. Great art collections in St. Petersburg. Our St. Petersburg is full of ancient retired Jews, hoping the hot sun will extend their petty lives instead of giving them skin cancer.

RTC: Back to your cheerful self, I see. Did you have any trouble going through Immigration? You are on the watch list, you know.

GD: I know. No, I flew with a friend who has a private plane. I never go through the lines getting back. I sent Tom Kimmel a nice postcard from Moscow and put my prints all over the thing. I hope it distracts him.

RTC: What a terrible thing to do, Gregory. They will spend a week testing the card and once they decide it was authentic, they will get our Moscow…I assume you sent it from Moscow…people to check hotel rosters. If they find you, then they’ll check the Immigration records to see when you arrived back here. If they don’t find you and they know you’re back…

GD: Oh, I called Kimmel to cinch this up. He hadn’t gotten my card yet so I told him all about the joys of Moscow. Of course, he probably didn’t believe me but when he gets that card, my I will have so much fun.

RTC: And expect a smarmy call from him asking you about your plane trip. Oh, and what airline did you take? Oh, and where did you land, coming back? My, they have so little imagination, don’t they?

GD: No brains, either. That’s what comes from marrying your sister.

RTC: Gregory, how rude. Can’t you show some class? You know they’re trying to quit all that.

GD: (Laughter) Yes.

RTC: Did you know old Hoover was part black?

GD: Besides being queer?

RTC: In addition to that. But I think Hoover was more asexual that homosexual. A really vicious old man. Do you know how he kept from being kicked out by succeeding Presidents? He kept files on everyone of consequence, both in business, the media and, especially, government. The real dirt as it were. And no one, not the President, the Attorney General or Congress to whom he had to go every year to get the yearly appropriations would every dare to cross J. Edgar. Bobby Kennedy crossed him and Bobby was killed for his trouble. No, Hoover was a vicious man. We, on the other hand, use the same methodology but we are far smoother in applying it. We have a strong influence, for want of a better term, with the banking industry. We have the strongest and most effective influence with the print and television media. We have a much stronger hold on the Hill than Hoover ever had. At times, we’ve had iron control over the Oval Office. Hell, the NSA snoops domestically and we get it all. We have a strong in with the telephone people and we don’t need warrants to listen to anybody, domestically, we want, when we want. Now that the internet is in full bloom, trust it, Gregory, that we will establish our own form of control over that. It’s an invisible control and we never, ever talk about it and anyone who gets really close to the truth gets one in the back of the head from a doped-up burglar. And if something gets loose, who will publish it? Surely not our boys in the media.  A book publisher?  A joke, Gregory. Never. Rather than off some snoop, it’s much more subtle to marginalize them in print, imply they are either liars or nuts and make fun of them. Discredit them so no one will listen to them and then later, the car runs over them in the crosswalk. Oh, sorry about that, officer,  but my foot slipped off the brake. I am desolated by that. And we pay for fixing the front end of his car.

GD: Such an insight. Too much coffee, today, Robert?

RTC: No, just an old man and his memories.

GD: How come you never nailed Hoover about the homosexual business?

RTC: We had a working relationship with him, observed, I might add, in the breach more than not. The old faggot put his men in foreign embassies as legates while our men were the USIA.  We tried to take them over but it never worked out. We just made their lives miserable instead..

GD: Question here. Now that Communism is effectively dead in Russia and they are imploding, why go after them? Once the Second World War was over, we made friends with the evil Germans and Japanese and built them up again. Why not work with the non-Communist Russians?

RTC: Oh, that drunk Yeltsin was in our pocket but in the case of the former, we did build up their industries but we also owned them, lock, stock and barrel. Germany and Japan were our puppets but the Russians could never be brought to heel because they were too large and too diverse. Also, take into account that our main thesis at the Company was that the evil Russian Communists had to be stopped lest they take over Nova Scotia and bombard New York. With a decades-long mindset like that, you can’t expect our people to change overnight into actually accepting the Russians. Not likely. And besides, we tried to nail down all their oil and gas but we lost hundreds of millions in the process when they got wise and stopped it. We have to find a new international enemy to scare the shit out of American with; an enemy that only the CIA can save us from. The Jews are screaming about the Arabs, who are natural enemies of the Christians. We could dig up historians who will write about the Crusades and Hollywood people who will make movies about the triumph of Christianity over the Crescent. The Jews are getting too much power these days but remember that the Arabs have all the big oil and we need it. Yes, no doubt a resurrection of the Crusades will be next. Without enemies to protect from, we are of no use. Besides, Arabs are highly emotional and we can easily push them into attacking us, hopefully outside the country. Then, the well-oiled machinery that we have perfected over the years can start up and off we go on another adventure.

GD: My, how Heini Müller would have loved to listen in on this conversation. A thoroughgoing pragmatist and you two would have a wonderful time.

RTC: Remember that he and I had occasion to talk while he was here in Washington. I liked him as a matter of fact.

GD: In spite of the propaganda about the Gestapo in overcoats with dogs dragging screaming Jews into the streets, beating them with whips and driving them, in long parades, into the gas chambers? Of course that was wartime fiction but it got the Jews sympathy.

RTC”:And don’t forget, Gregory, it also got them political power and money. And they love both. I worked with them on a number of occasions and while they are all smart people, I wouldn’t trust one of them to the corner for a pound of soft soap. During the Stalin era, they spied on us for Josef by the carload, stealing everything, worming their way into Roosevelt’s New Deal and high government office and everything they could lay their hands on, went straight to Moscow. Now, it’s the identical situation but the information goes to Tel Aviv.

GD: Stalin hated them. He didn’t trust them.

RTC: Ah, but he did use them to kill people off, didn’t he?

GD: Yes, but when he was done with them, he planned to make the fictive Hitler’s death programs look like a fairy tale. Going to round up all the Jews and dump them into the wilds of a Siberian winter and let God freeze them all.

RTC: Oh, they won’t ever face up to that one, Gregory. No, Communism was wonderful because they used it as a ladder to climb up to where the white man held sway. Truman initially supported their cause until he found out how they were murdering Palestinians to steal their farms so he stopped US support of Israel. And then Israel tried to kill him.

GD: Müller mentioned that.

RTC: But Harry got cold feet after that.

GD: And now they have a place at the white man’s table, don’t they?

RTC: Hell, now they own the table and the restaurant and ten blocks around it. Roosevelt hated them, you know and he and Long kept them out of the country. Roosevelt said they were a pest and we did not want them here. Funny, because long ago, the Roosevelt family was Jewish.

GD: I know. German Jews from the Rhineland. Name was Rosenfeld. Went to Holland after they were run out of Germany and changed the name to a Dutch spelling.

RTC: Yes. I know that. Old Franklin’s second cousin was an Orthodox rabbi as late as 1938. Of course no one ever mentions that just like no one ever talks about Eleanor’s rampant lesbianism. God, what s sewer the White House was then. A veritable racial and ethical trash bin.

GD: Now they’re all dead.

RTC: There should be a way to prevent that sort of thing but of course we were not in existence when Franklin was king. Wouldn’t happen now. I’m afraid that the Jews will dig into the Company the same way they dug into Roosevelt’s bureaucracy and the second time around, we will have a terrible time rooting them all out.

GD: I can see pogroms in Skokie and Miami even as we speak.

RTC: Dream on, my boy, dream on. At any rate, I shall await the demonization of the Arab world. We can send the military into Saudi Arabia on some flimsy pretest, like the demolition of some US Embassy in a very minor state, like Portugal, by positively identified Saudi Arabs and then a new Crusade! Oh, and the precious oil!

GD: And the oil. Remember the Maine, Robert.

RTC: Yes and remember what old Hearst said? ‘ You supply the pictures and I’ll supply the war?’

Oh yes and we got Cuba and the Philippines, although why we wanted the latter escapes me. The problem with that country is that it’s full of Filipinos and monkeys. Of course it’s often hard to differentiate between them but life is never easy. The Navy calls them the niggers of the Orient. I was at Pubic Bay once…

GD: (Laughter) what? You mean Subic Bay, don’t you?

RTC: A service joke. My God, Gregory, every square foot of land for miles around that base was filled with bars and tens of thousands of local prostitutes. ‘Oh you nice American! I love to fuck you! Take me back to America!’ And many of our corn-fed sailors went for the okeydoke and found out what Hell was like once they got Esmiralda back to Iowa. Ah well, thank God I never listened to their whining siren songs.

GD: I would imagine they had more claps than a football crowd….

RTC: (Laughter) My, isn’t it fun being bigots?

GD: I would prefer ‘realistic observers.’ Robert.

RTC: Call it what you will, Gregory, underneath the nice, polished veneer, we are all really cheap plywood.

GD: Hypocrisy is, after all, the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

RTC: Did you go to Harvard, Gregory? Such polished wit.

GD: I know. No, Not Harvard. The University of Unfortunate Experiences. I read a good deal, Robert, and I have moved in elegant circles and know just what to say and do at the appropriate time. Good manners are just the polish on the knife blade.

RTC: The University has embittered you, hasn’t it?

GD: Of course. Remember the Canadian counterfeit caper? A good case of embitterment. They stole from me so I returned the favor…in spades if you’ll pardon a rampant, bigoted remark. They stole four dollars and ten cents from me and I responded by stealing over two million dollars from them. In cash and their expenses. Loved every minute of it, too. I don’t think the Canadians expected me to come back and certainly not the way I did.

RTC: I read all about it. You made the press and we took note.

GD: I’m sure you did. Always strike at the weakest spot, unexpectedly and with force. Take them by surprise and then withdraw. They will rush their troops to the point of attack and then you circle around and hit them somewhere else.

RTC: How much did you get away with?

GD: Oh, Robert, such a pointed question. I got my four dollars and ten cents back and it cost them millions in a frantic attempt to stop what they called the efforts of the largest ring in their history. And if I made a profit out of it, why consider Delilah. Didn’t she make a prophet?

RTC: Oh, Gregory, a pun is the lowest form of humor. I should expect better from you.

GD: It would not be a good idea for me to go back to Canada, Robert. They will still be waiting for me. After all, I never used a lubricant. Sometimes, rarely but sometimes, I can sit back and enjoy a good laugh. I have two Canadian two dollar bills and a dime in a nice shadow box along with a newspaper clipping from the Vancouver Sun, next to my desk, It warms me on a cold night.

(Concluded at 12:02 PM CST)

 

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

 

The Iranian Deyanat Affair

May 7, 2019

by Christian Jürs

This heavily-suppressed story about the Iranian ship laden with highly radioactive waste, bound for the eastern end of the Mediterranean, is typical of how the American government sits on inconvenient stories. They imposed a silence on the Forward Base Falcon disaster and have not posted all the U.S.dead in Iraq and now we have the interrupted saga of the MV Iran Deyanat being blocked from all regular media sites. The story, cut off initially by a dismissive article in late September in the ‘Long War Journal,’ a “very friendly government (DoD) entity” was renewed by an article by Brian Harring at the beginning of October. It then got a tremendous reading around the world…in the millions…but never a word in our controlled press, or government-controlled sites like ‘Wikipedia’ basically controlled in toto by the CIA.

On August 21st, 2008, the Iranian MV Iran Deyanat, a 44468 dead weight tonnage carrier that is  owned and operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) – a state-owned company run by the Iranian military that was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for its false manifests and traffic in forbidden nuclear materials, was seized by Somali pirates to be held for their usual ransom.

The ship had set sail from Nanjing, China, July 28, 2008

The Old Nanking Port of Nanjing is the largest inland port in China, yearly reaching 108.59 million tons in 2007. The port area is 98 kilometers (61 mi) in length and has 64 berths including 16 berths for ships with a tonnage of more than 10,000. Nanjing is also the biggest container port along the Yangtze River; in March 2004, the one million container-capacity base, Longtan Containers Port Area opened, further consolidating Nanjing as the leading port in the region.

During her stay at Nanjing, the MV Iran Deyanat was loaded primarily with eight cargo containers, lined with lead and with electronic locks. The 20 ft containers are  8’ wide, and carry a load of 48,060 lb per container. This special container cargo had a total load of 384,480 pounds which consisted of packaged of nuclear waste that originated at the Tianwan 1&2 Atomic plants from Jiangsu Province (built in 2007) Once the radiation death of many of the pirates (16) became known, reporters attempting to contact responsible officials in the Pentagon and the Department of State were told these officials refused to comment on any of the implications of the cargo. The ship’s manifest was falsified but the deadly cargo was supposed to be headed for Rotterdam and an unspecified “German client.”

Much of the story was covered in a London Times article which was subsequently removed from that paper’s archive and the initial story was tailored by the ‘Long War Journal,’ a website with close connections to the Department of Defense and the CIA. It tended to dismiss the entire question of a radioactive cargo and instead, discussed unspecified chemicals.

Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander, US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain Combined Maritime Forces, said the U.S.-led coalition patrolling the Gulf of Aden “does not have the resources to provide 24-hour protection for the vast number of merchant vessels in the region,”

Russia said it will soon join international efforts to fight piracy off the Somalia coast.However, it will conduct its operations independently, RIA-Novosti news agency reports Navy commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky as saying . “We are planning to participate in international efforts to fight piracy off the Somalia coast, but the Russian warships will conduct operations on their own,” he said.

Russian nationals are frequently among the crews of civilian ships hijacked by pirates off the Somalia coast, notes RIA-Novosti.

At the beginning of June, the UN Security Council passed a resolution permitting countries to enter Somalia’s territorial waters to combat “acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.”

The American media gave no coverage of any kind to this incident,

Russian sources disclosed that when American Naval personnel, attached to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, finally boarded the MV Iran Deyanat and took all of her crew, including the Iranian captain, into what was called “protective custody,” and while the opened cargo container containing Chinese atomic waste was being sealed and decontaminated, the bridge and the captain’s quarters were thoroughly searched.  An “intensive” interrogation of the initially recalcitrant captain plus documents obtained from his safe showed a truly horrifying picture to the trained naval intelligence people.

The Deynant was not the only cargo ship to load containers of radioactive waste at Nanjing; and  two others had preceded her July, 2008 visit. The problem is that the captain did not know either the names of the two Iranian -controlled ships nor their destinations.

His destination was the eastern end of the Mediterranean but it now appears that the ship was not intended to be blown up. Instead, the eight cargo containers were to be taken to the Israeli port of Haifa on the Mediterranean. Haifa is the largest of Israel’s three major international seaports, which include the Port of Ashdod, and the Port of Eilat. It has a natural deep water harbor which operates all year long, and serves both passenger and cargo ships. Annually, 22 million tons of goods pass through the port..In 2007, the U.S. DHS’ CBP initiated a joint security agreement with Israel whereby U.S. agents, working with Israel, would develop and install programs to protect the ports from terrorist attacks..

CBP’s Container Security Initiative, (CSI), is a cooperative effort with host country governments to identify and screen high-risk shipments before they leave participating ports. More than 80 percent of all cargo containers destined for U.S. shores originate in or are transshipped through 55 CSI ports in North, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

CSI addresses the threat to border security and global trade posed by the potential for terrorist use of a maritime container to deliver a weapon. CSI proposes a security regime to ensure all containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism are identified and inspected at foreign ports before they are placed on vessels destined for the United States.

The initiative seeks to:

Identify high-risk containers. CBP uses automated targeting tools to identify containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism, based on advance information and strategic intelligence.

Prescreen and evaluate containers before they are shipped. Containers are screened as early in the supply chain as possible, generally at the port of departure.

Use technology to prescreen high-risk containers to ensure that screening can be done rapidly without slowing down the movement of trade. This technology includes large-scale X-ray and gamma ray machines and radiation detection devices.

If a cargo container ship sails from another port that has the U.S. –controlled CBP system, and does not stop at another port enroute, it is able to enter another port equipped with the CBP system and unload its cargo without interference.

Let us say that a mythical ship, the Extreme Venture, picks up a cargo at an approved port and sails off to another port that is also approved. Again, if a country or entity wanting to take a dangerous cargo to the same port, it need only paint out its name, change its radio call signs, and using the methodology instituted by the U.S., enter, for example, the port of Haifa a day in advance of the real Extreme Venture. Having passed all the approved requirements, it can enter the harbor, proceed to an assigned dock, unload its containers onto waiting trucks and sail out of the harbor without let or hindrance. And the next day when the real Extreme Venture arrives, one can expect that the security people would be in a state of frenzy. By that time, the fake Extreme venture has put yet another name on her bows and stern, run up another flag and using shipping information easily available on the internet, become another innocent cargo ship among many.

The American view, known to several other countries, is that as both the United States and Israel have been at the forefront of violent verbal attacks against, and threats of violence to, Iran, they are now the prime targets of what, at the worst case scenario, could amount to a commercial delivery of least 16 containers of deadly radioactive material, mixed with high explosives.

One of the largest cargo container ports in America, Long Beach, California, has DHS inspection teams at work on a round the clock basis but because of the huge volume of traffic, only 2% of the cargo containers can be checked thoroughly at any given time. This means that should another Iranian cargo container, sailing under a false flag and with a false manifest, dock at Long Beach and offload her deadly cargo, there is a 98% chance that it could avoid any kind of inspection, be loaded onto waiting trucks and shipped to destinations all over the United States.

It is not certain if the erratic Trump administration would attack Iran but because they have been in loud support of an even louder and more threatening Israel, our useless President, has, by his loud but empty threats against Iran, put millions of Americans at potential risk of a terrible death by radiation poisoning. This explains the stunned silence on the subject of the Deyanat affair and the tight blackout imposed on any news of her or the purpose of her cargo of powdered death.”

 

 

 

 

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