TBR News November 28, 2017

Nov 28 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., November 28, 2017: “The frantic trading in electronic currency, such as BitCoin is redolent of the South Seas Bubble of the eighteenth century, the stock market surge in 1928-29 and the more recent ‘dot-com’ episode. Without exception, so-called ’bubbles’ always burst, bringing economic disaster to many and calculated riches to a few. No government can allow its citizens to deal in monies they cannot either control or tax and the current BitCoin bubble is no exception. That it will, thanks to clever manipulations, surge upwards, drawing the gullible and their money, is certain and equally certain is that this bubble will fall and great will be the fall thereof.”

Table of Contents

  • The Dark Inevitability of Zionism
  • The Great Majority of Jews Today Have No Historical or Ethnic Relationship to Palestine
  • The Silent Jew- An Open Letter
  • Infamy at Sea: Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty 50 Years Later
  • The Catch-22 that keeps many vets from getting help
  • German spy agency sets sights on Balkans, focuses on Bosnia
  • Global crypto-currency crackdown sparks search for safe havens


The Dark Inevitability of Zionism

Among the growing assaults on freedom of speech is an Israeli-driven campaign to criminalize a campaign to boycott Israel over its racist persecution of Palestinians

November 26, 2017

by Lawrence Davidson


We know where Zionism has taken Israel. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 led the way. In that imperial and colonial document, the British promised the World Zionist Organization a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine. They did so, as Edward Said put it, in “flat disregard of both the presence and wishes of the native majority residents in that territory.”

Right from the start the Zionists understood “national home” to mean an eventual Jewish state. Actualizing that assumption has had enormous implications not only for the Palestinians but also for the Jews. And, as it turns out, for the rest of us as well.

You cannot introduce one people, in this case a large number of Europeans who happen to be Jewish, into a territory populated by hundreds of thousands of non-Europeans, without negative consequences. And, if the incoming Europeans have the goal of creating a state exclusively for their group alone, those consequences are going to be dire indeed. Surrounded by “the other,” the only way you can achieve your exclusive state is through discriminatory practices and laws ultimately producing an apartheid nation. And that is what happened.

While this has meant, and continues to mean, segregation, ethnic cleansing and Bantustans for the Palestinians, for the Jews it means that their religion is tied to a racist political ideology. There is no instance of Israeli prejudice exercised against the Palestinians, no act of violence committed against them, that does not simultaneously dishonor and debase the Jewish religion and people.

Worldwide Consequences

How about the rest of world? The consequences of Zionism are threatening both security and equality everywhere. Here is how this is happening:—As the Balfour Declaration indicates, Israel and its society are products of a colonial era. That is an era when the people of both Europe and the U.S. openly practiced racist policies and behavior toward non-Europeans. They regularly trampled of the rights of alleged inferiors. Israel continues to operate in this fashion into the present.

—Following World War II, it became understood that these behaviors and attitudes are morally indefensible and their consequences should be remedied. And so, the United Nations was established, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued, and a number of treaties embodying international laws designating crimes against humanity were signed. With this process the world entered a potentially more civilized, post-colonial age.

—When this happened the Zionist project instantly became an anachronism. In fact, Israel became a state that defied the modern norm the moment it was proclaimed.

—However, Israel does not want to be outside the norm. It wants to be accepted as a “normal” nation, particularly within the Western state system. There are only two ways this can happen: either (1) Israel must either give up the racist ideology of Zionism and embrace a form of democracy accessible to all its people regardless of religion or ethnicity, or (2) the world must revert back to an acceptance of at least some of the colonial practices of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries.

You would think that choosing the anti-racist option, and therefore seriously pressuring Israel – as the world had done with white-ruled South Africa – to fundamentally change, would be the obvious choice for today’s statesmen. But it seems not. Why is that?

There is now an ongoing effort, we might call it the updated Zionist project, to move the world backward so as to accept racist past practices as “normal.” It consists of (a) an attack on international law protecting human rights (despite the fact that much of this law was created as a reaction to the anti-Semitic crimes of World War II), (b) an attempt to undermine the International Criminal Court, and (c) an attack on the United Nations and its efforts to protect the human and political rights of Palestinians.

Enter BDS

It is clear that very few of the world’s governments are willing to confront Israel, even though it is an apartheid state existing in an era that claims to detest such racist regimes. This has a lot to do with the financial and special interest strength of Zionist supporters both Jewish and Christian, and the strategic use of such power to corrupt policymaking. This can be seen most plainly in the United States.

There are also Israel’s extensive high-tech and weapons-trading networks in Europe, Africa and South America that lead important political and economic institutions and individuals to support, or at least turn a blind eye to, the Zionist state. And then, of course, there are a growing number of states that themselves have plans to marginalize their own minorities.

Does this mean that there is no defense against the insidious effects of this reactionary regime – one which, according to its own past Prime Minister Ehud Barak, is “infected with fascism”? No, there are options to oppose Israel. However, at present they are to be found outside of the realm of government action and, at least for the moment, outside occupied Palestine as well.

The latter is so because inside Palestine, 70 years of Israeli colonial savagery has worn down much of the indigenous population. This does not mean that resistance from within the Occupied Territories does not continue. It does, but at relatively low levels and at a high cost.

Since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004, too many of the Palestinian leaders have been co-opted into playing the role of modern-day Quislings. The Palestinians within Israeli-controlled territory are now fragmented into Bantustan-style enclaves, and their own “security forces” often work hand-in-hand with the Israeli oppressors.

As a consequence of these circumstances, right now the greatest pressure can be put on apartheid Israel through the activities of organized civil society. This pressure by itself may or may not be able to force fundamental change on Israel, but it can certainly raise the cost of its racist behavior and impact public opinion.

Here we are talking about the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement that urges both individuals and organizations (be they economic, cultural or intellectual) to avoid interacting with Israel and its state-sponsored institutions and projects. To date this has proved to be an effective weapon against Israeli racism and colonialism. For instance, if you go to the website of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, you can find a list of 200 recent victories falling within the Boycott and Divestment categories. State-based sanctions are still in the future.

Israeli Pressure

Success in this regard has, of course, generated a fierce reaction from the Zionists. According to a Huffington Post article, “The Israeli government has reportedly committed tens of millions of dollars, one government ministry and its military and security intelligence assets to the fight.

Israeli Minister of Transport, Intelligence and Atomic Energy, Yisrael Katz, recently called for “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders. Actually, such a reaction reflects not only the fact that the cost of Israeli racism is on the rise, but also that the Zionists have lost the public (if not the governmental) debate when it comes to their behavior toward the Palestinians.

Put broadly, BDS is an effort to help save the positive potential inherent in modern post-colonial society: the civilizing potential to be found in international law, in human and civil rights, in a benevolent and egalitarian rule of law for all of us.

So successful has BDS been to date, and so much potential does it have to help force Israel down the same road as white-ruled South Africa, that Israel and its surrogates in the U.S. and Europe are willing to undermine the very laws and rights that help uphold what freedoms there are within the public realm. For instance, in the U.S., the very right to engage in such a boycott is under Zionist attack, and by extension, so is the constitutional protection to free speech. American Zionists seem willing to subvert their own constitutional protections in order to support a racist foreign state.

Zionism can be seen as a strange twist on the Spanish philosopher George Santayana’s warning that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The Zionists certainly remember the persecutions suffered by European Jews. But they forget that this mistreatment was most often organized by racist states that sought to ethnically cleanse the Jews.

Having forgotten about this state-based aspect of their own past, the Zionist state now commits this same offense against the Palestinians. It also needs the rest of us to forget the sins of past racism if it is to carry on its effort to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. Our response should be to embrace the motto, “Never Again!” It is time to direct this demand to the shameful behavior of Israel and the Zionists.


The Great Majority of Jews Today Have No Historical or Ethnic Relationship to Palestine

by Issa Nakhleh  LL.B

The Jews of today are composed of the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi Jews. The Sephardi Jews are the Oriental Jews wo are descendants of the Jews who left Palestine during the Christian era and migrated to neighboring Arab countries. North Africa and Spain. Some of the Oriental Jews were also converts to Judaism, such as some Berbers of North Africa who were converted to Judaism. The Tunisian Jews, Albert Memmi, a Professor of Sociology at the Sorbonne in Paris, has expressed doubt as “to whether his own ancestors in the Saraha had any historic connection to Palestine. Perhaps, he suggested, they were just Berbers converted to Judaism, since according to his information, “most North African Jews are simply Berber nomads who have accepted Judaism.”

Arthur Koestler maintains that there were many Jewish converts outside of Palestine with no biblical family roots:

‘Witness to the proselytizing zeal of the Jews of earlier times are the black-skinned Falasha of Abyssinia, the Chinese Jews of Kai-Feng who look like Chinese, the Yemenite Jews with the dark olive complexion, the Jewish Berber tribes of the Sahara who look like Tauregs, and so on, down to our prime example, the Khazars.’

The Ashkenazi Jews who lived in Russian and Central Eastern Europe and later on migrated to Western and Southern Europe, are of Khazar origin and were converted to Judaism in the 9th century A.S. The Khazar Jews have no ethnic or historical connection with Palestine. The Ahakenazi Jews who migrated to Palestine during the British mandate and who committed the crime of genocide against the Palestinian people are descendants of the Khazars. The Jewish Encyclopedia refers to the Khazars and their conversion to Judaism:

“A people of Turkish origin whose life and history are interwoven with the very beginnings of the history of the Jews of Russia. The kingdom of the Khazars was firmly established in most of South Russia long before the foundation of the Russian monarchy by the Varangians(855)…Driven onward by the nomadic tribes of the steppes and by their own desire for plunder and revenge, they made frequent invasions into Armenia…

In the second half of the sixth century the Khazar move westward. They established themselves in the territory bounded by the Sea of Azov, the Don and the lower Volga, the Caspian Sea, and the northern Caucasus…In 679 the Khazars subjugated the Bulgars and extended their sway further west between the Don and the Dnieper, as far as the the head-waters of Donetsk….It was probably about that time that the Khaghan (Bulan) of the Khazars and his grandees, together with a large number of his heathen people, embraced the Jewish religion…

It was one of the successors of Bulan, named Obadiah, who regenerated the kingdom and strengthened the Jewish religion. He invited Jewish scholars to settle in his dominions, and founded synagogues and schools, The people were instructed in the Bible, Mishnah, and Talmud…

From the work Kitab al-Buldan written about the ninth century, it appears as if all the Khazars were Jews and that they had been converted to Judaism only a short time before that book was written….It may be assumed that in the ninth century many Khazar heathens became Jews, owing to the religious zeal of King Obadia,. “Such a conversion in great masses says Chwolson (Izvyestia o  Khazaraka, p 58), ” may have been the reason for the embassy of the Christians from the land of the Khazars to the Byzantine emperor Michael…

The Jewish population in the entire domain of the Khazars, in the period between the seventh and tenth centuries, must have been considerable…

The Russians invaded the trans-Caucasian country in 944…This seems to have been the beginning of the downfall of the Khazar kingdom…The Russian prince Sviatoslav made war upon the Khazars (c.974) the Russians conquered all the Khazarian territory east of the Sea of Azov. Only the Crimean territory of the Khazars remained in their possession until 1016, when they were dispossessed by a joint expedition of Russians and Byzanatines…Many were sent as prisoners of war to Kiev, where a Khazar community had long existed…Some went to Hungary, but the great mass of the people remained in their native country. Many members of the Khazrian royal family immigrated to Spain…

Professor Graetz describes the Khazar kingdom as follows:

“The heathen king of a barbarian people, living in the north, together with all his court, adopted the Jewish religion…Their kings, who bore the title of Khakhan or Khaghan, had led these warlike sons of the steppe from victory to victory…

It is possible that the circumstances under which the Khazars embraced Judaism have been embellished by legend, but the fact itself is too definitely proved on all sides to allow any doubt as to its reality. Besides Bulan, the nobles of his kingdom, numbering nearly four thousand, adopted the Jewish religion. Little by little it made its way among the people, so that most of the inhabitants of the towns of the H=Khazar kingdom were Jews…At first the Judaism of the Khazars must have been rather superficial, and could have had but a little influence on their mind and manners…

A successor of Bulan, who bore the Hebrew name of Obadiah, was the first to make serious efforts to further the Jewish religion. He invited Jewish sages to settle in his dominions, rewarded them royally, founded synagogues and schools, caused instruction to be given to himself and his people in the Bible and the Talmud, and introduced a divine service modeled on that of the ancient communities…After Obadiah came a long series of Jewish Khaghans, for according to a fundamental law of the state only Jewish rulers were permitted to ascent the throne…”

According to Dr. A.A. Poliak, Professor of Medieval Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, the descendants of the Khazars-“those who stayed where they were, those who emigrated to the United States and to other countries, and those who went to Israel– constitute now the large majority of world Jewry.”

The physiological differences between the Ashkenazim, who are mainly of Turkic Khazar origin, the Sephardim, who are mainly of Semitic Palestinian origin, has been confirmed by scientific evidence:

“By, and large, the Sephardim are dolichocephalic (long-headed), the Ashkenazim brachycephalic (broad-headed)…The statistics relating to other physical features also speak against racial unity…The hardest evidence to date come from classification by blood groups. “The Thirteenth Tribe” by Arthur Koestler pps. 232-233

Thus both historical and physiological evidence negate any historical claims to being of Palestinian origin to the European Jews in Israel and to the majority of Jews in the world.


The Silent Jew- An Open Letter

by Rabbi Joel Timmerman

Yesterday, I watched with sadness the Columbia tragedy unfold on my television screen and my heart went out to the families of the dead. But later in the day, I had a telephone call from a friend with a bitter comment.

He said that the first few hours of the media coverage of the tragedy dealt with the background and career of an Israeli guest cosmonaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon, and little mention was made of the backgrounds of the American crew.

Another friend, a Jew, called me to say: “Just look at that on the TV! Why CNN is spending all their time talking about an Israeli war hero. Weren’t there any Americans on board?”

Of course there were Americans on board and this is the subject of my open letter.

There are several millions of Jews living in the United States. The bulk of us are Reformed Jews. Nearly all of us consider ourselves to be Americans. We and our children are proud to have served in the American military and even prouder to be citizens of the one nation that has welcomed refugee Jews, fleeing from European persecutions, and permitted them free access to American society.

A much smaller percentage of American Jews are Zionists. They view themselves as Jews first, Israeli’s second and, perhaps, Americans third. Their complete allegiance is to the state of Israel and not to America. They send money to Israel and, when they have access to it, military and commercial secrets. They are the Pollards of this country. They do not represent the rest of us at all.

The State of Israel has always been a Zionist state. It was born in violence and hatred. Jews, mostly from Poland, invaded the Palestine area, killing and maiming anyone who stood in their way: Arabs, British soldiers, civilians and even high UN officials. Bombings, bank robberies, arsons and mass murder attended the birth of this state. One man, Menachim Begin, blew up a hotel full of people and was later made Chief of State!

The Zionists have fastened themselves onto the instruments of power in the United States, feeling, rightly, that American soldiers, and most importantly, money, will nurture their state and protect it from their many enemies.

Instead of making efforts to co-exist with their neighbors, Israel has constantly attacked the impoverished Palestinian Arabs and killed as many of them as they could. The IDF has had no problem murdering Arab men, women and children. It has had no problem destroying the homes and businesses of the reviled Arabs and their sole, stated aim, is to drive the Arabs out of their homes so that Jews can take them over.

How redolent this is of the attacks by the Nazis, the Poles and the Russians in recent times past! It is true that the abused child becomes the abusing parent and Israel has in truth become the National Socialists of the Middle East.

The Zionists have infiltrated the American government to a remarkable degree. They have gained an astonishing hold in the American mass media. CNN, Time Warner, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek and Time magazines and a host of other media giants are either owned outright by Jews or are under the control of Jews.

These mighty organs daily pour out a great stream of pro-Israel commentary while Jewish organizations such as the ADL and various other pressure groups, make constant, threatening demands on a subservient American legislative entity.

The fact that there are many Jews in America that view such blatant and ruthless manipulation with horror is never reported in the media.

We are the silent Jews although we outnumber the loud ones twenty to one. Our views, those of tolerance and moderation, are never seen in the media but the frantic, fanatic views of the hysterical Zionists receive daily, slavish attention.

The American pubic is not stupid but it has no voice to express its concerns. Faked opinion polls, pious statements about Israel as “America’s best ally” can be seen daily in all the major branches of the media.

Believe me, Israel is not America’s best ally. Through the Israel lobby, American leaders and legislators do as they are told. The consequences of refusal or worse, opposition to Zionist demands is orchestrated oblivion. Furious because President Harry Truman blocked the sale of weapons of destruction to the rampaging Zionists in 1948, Jewish money backed Thomas Dewey. An assassination attempt was launched by the Stern Gang against Truman but failed.

The British, the United Nations and the United States eventually let the Zionists have their murderous way in Palestine because they grew tired of the constant acts of savage terrorism which seemed to inspire the terrorists to even greater infamies.

These miserable, vicious and ideological creatures have nothing to do with the great majority of American Jews. We deplore their savage, manipulative behavior because we know from bitter experience that eventually the American public will become aroused and infuriated. When that dismal day comes, and it will come, all the rest of us will be held to account for the savage brutes like Sharon and his butchers. We will become the eternal victims of a population enraged by the ruthless and self-serving manipulations of a small, detestable handful of chronic fanatics. We will, at last, lose the respect of our colleagues, our neighbors and our friends and again, the eternal wandering will begin.

Note here that Israel is afraid of Saddam Hussein. He has attacked Israel before, just as Israel has attacked him even earlier. Why should valuable Jewish youth be sacrificed in a war with Iraq when expendable American youth can accomplish the same thing? Perhaps, and I have learned this from a close friend in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israel and America can also attack Saudi Arabia and thereby gain military control of two major oil producing areas.

The American President is not an intelligent or reasonable man but those who control him are and they, and the Israeli lobby can see that if both America and Israel can wrest control of oil from the Arabs, both countries will be better off…from the Zionist world view. Jews can make money from the captured oil fields and some of this can be stuffed into the pockets of America’s notoriously corrupt legislators…and bureaucrats.

This is a suicidal, very short-term policy. By catering to American religious fundamentalists, Jewish groups and the oil industry, Bush is digging the grave, not only of his own erratic and fanatic administration but also of very loyal American Jews.

The President may be a stupid man but his handlers are not but they are all so myopic that they cannot see that they are rushing in haste towards the top of a very high cliff.

If only it were the guilty, the stupid and the vicious that would plunge down to their deaths, nothing would be lost and much gained but they will drag with them tens of thousands of completely innocent people.


Joel Timmerman

Director, Holocaust Survivors Association

New York


Infamy at Sea: Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty 50 Years Later

June 2, 2017

by Jeffrey St. Clair


In early June of 1967, at the onset of the Six Day War, the Pentagon sent the USS Liberty from Spain into international waters off the coast of Gaza to monitor the progress of Israel’s attack on the Arab states. The Liberty was a lightly armed surveillance ship.

Only hours after the Liberty arrived it was spotted by the Israeli military. The IDF sent out reconnaissance planes to identify the ship. They made eight trips over a period of three hours. The Liberty was flying a large US flag and was easily recognizable as an American vessel.

Soon more planes came. These were Israeli Mirage III fighters, armed with rockets and machine guns. As off-duty officers sunbathed on the deck, the fighters opened fire on the defenseless ship with rockets and machine guns.

A few minutes later a second wave of planes streaked overhead, French-built Mystere jets, which not only pelted the ship with gunfire but also with napalm bomblets, coating the deck with the flaming jelly. By now, the Liberty was on fire and dozens were wounded and killed, excluding several of the ship’s top officers.

The Liberty’s radio team tried to issue a distress call, but discovered the frequencies had been jammed by the Israeli planes with what one communications specialist called “a buzzsaw sound.” Finally, an open channel was found and the Liberty got out a message it was under attack to the USS America, the Sixth Fleet’s large aircraft carrier.

Two F-4s left the carrier to come to the Liberty’s aid. Apparently, the jets were armed only with nuclear weapons. When word reached the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara became irate and ordered the jets to return. “Tell the Sixth Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately,” he barked. McNamara’s injunction was reiterated in saltier terms by Admiral David L. McDonald, the chief of Naval Operations: “You get those fucking airplanes back on deck, and you get them back down.” The planes turned around. And the attack on the Liberty continued.

After the Israeli fighter jets had emptied their arsenal of rockets, three Israeli attack boats approached the Liberty. Two torpedoes were launched at the crippled ship, one tore a 40-foot wide hole in the hull, flooding the lower compartments, and killing more than a dozen American sailors.

As the Liberty listed in the choppy seas, its deck aflame, crew members dropped life rafts into the water and prepared to scuttle the ship. Given the number of wounded, this was going to be a dangerous operation. But it soon proved impossible, as the Israeli attack boats strafed the rafts with machine gun fire. No body was going to get out alive that way.

After more than two hours of unremitting assault, the Israelis finally halted their attack. One of the torpedo boats approached the Liberty. An officer asked in English over a bullhorn: “Do you need any help?”

The wounded commander of the Liberty, Lt. William McGonagle, instructed the quartermaster to respond emphatically: “Fuck you.”

The Israeli boat turned and left.

A Soviet destroyer responded before the US Navy, even though a US submarine, on a covert mission, was apparently in the area and had monitored the attack. The Soviet ship reached the Liberty six hours before the USS Davis. The captain of the Soviet ship offered his aid, but the Liberty’s conning officer refused.

Finally, 16 hours after the attack two US destroyers reached the Liberty. By that time, 34 US sailors were dead and 174 injured, many seriously. As the wounded were being evacuated, an officer with the Office of Naval Intelligence instructed the men not to talk about their ordeal with the press.

The following morning Israel launched a surprise invasion of Syria, breaching the new cease-fire agreement and seizing control of the Golan Heights.

Within three weeks, the Navy put out a 700-page report, exonerating the Israelis, claiming the attack had been accidental and that the Israelis had pulled back as soon as they realized their mistake. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara suggested the whole affair should be forgotten. “These errors do occur,” McNamara concluded.


In Assault on the Liberty, a harrowing first-hand account by James Ennes Jr., McNamara’s version of events is proven to be as big a sham as his concurrent lies about Vietnam. Ennes’s book created a media storm when it was first published by Random House in 1980, including (predictably) charges that Ennes was a liar and an anti-Semite. Still, the book sold more than 40,000 copies, but was eventually allowed to go out of print. Now Ennes has published an updated version, which incorporates much new evidence that the Israeli attack was deliberate and that the US government went to extraordinary lengths to disguise the truth.

It’s a story of Israel aggression, Pentagon incompetence, official lies, and a cover-up that persists to this day. The book gains much of its power from the immediacy of Ennes’s first-hand account of the attack and the lies that followed.

Now, decades later, Ennes warns that the bloodbath on board the Liberty and its aftermath should serve as a tragic cautionary tale about the continuing ties between the US government and the government of Israel.

The Attack on the Liberty is the kind of book that makes your blood seethe. Ennes skillfully documents the life of the average sailor on one of the more peculiar vessels in the US Navy, with an attention for detail that reminds one of Dana or O’Brien. After all, the year was 1967 and most of the men on the Liberty were certainly glad to be on a non-combat ship in the middle of the Mediterranean, rather than in the Gulf of Tonkin or Mekong Delta.

But this isn’t Two Years Before the Mast. In fact, Ennes’s tour on the Liberty last only a few short weeks. He had scarcely settled into a routine before his new ship was shattered before his eyes.

Ennes joined the Liberty in May of 1967, as an Electronics Material Officer. Serving on a “spook ship”, as the Liberty was known to Navy wives, was supposed to be a sure path to career enhancement. The Liberty’s normal routine was to ply the African coast, tuning in its eavesdropping equipment on the electronic traffic in the region.

The Liberty had barely reached Africa when it received a flash message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to sail from the Ivory Coast to the Mediterranean, where it was to re-deploy off the coast of the Sinai to monitor the Israeli attack on Egypt and the allied Arab nations.

As the war intensified, the Liberty sent a request to the fleet headquarters requesting an escort. It was denied by Admiral William Martin. The Liberty moved alone to a position in international waters about 13 miles from the shore at El Arish, then under furious siege by the IDF.

On June 6, the Joint Chiefs sent Admiral McCain, father of the senator from Arizona, an urgent message instructing him to move the Liberty out of the war zone to a position at least 100 miles off the Gaza Coast. McCain never forwarded the message to the ship.

A little after seven in the morning on June 8, Ennes entered the bridge of the Liberty to take the morning watch. Ennes was told that an hour earlier a “flying boxcar” (later identified as a twin-engine Nord 2501 Noratlas) had flown over the ship at a low level.

Ennes says he noticed that the ship’s American flag had become stained with soot and ordered a new flag run up the mast. The morning was clear and calm, with a light breeze.

At 9 am, Ennes spotted another reconnaissance plane, which circled the Liberty. An hour later two Israeli fighter jets buzzed the ship. Over the next four hours, Israeli planes flew over the Liberty five more times.

When the first fighter jet struck, a little before two in the afternoon, Ennes was scanning the skies from the starboard side of the bridge, binoculars in his hands. A rocket hit the ship just below where Ennes was standing, the fragments shredded the men closest to him.

After the explosion, Ennes noticed that he was the only man left standing. But he also had been hit by more than 20 shards of shrapnel and the force of the blast had shattered his left leg. As he crawled into the pilothouse, a second fighter jet streaked above them and unleashed its payload on the hobbled Liberty.

At that point, Ennes says the crew of the Liberty had no idea who was attacking them or why. For a few moments, they suspected it might be the Soviets, after an officer mistakenly identified the fighters as MIG-15s. They knew that the Egyptian air force already had been decimated by the Israelis. The idea that the Israelis might be attacking them didn’t occur to them until one of the crew spotted a Star of David on the wing of one of the French-built Mystere jets.

Ennes was finally taken below deck to a makeshift dressing station, with other wounded men. It was hardly a safe harbor. As Ennes worried that his fractured leg might slice through his femoral artery leaving him to bleed to death, the Liberty was pummeled by rockets, machine-gun fire and an Italian-made torpedo packed with 1,000-pounds of explosive.

After the attack ended, Ennes was approached by his friend Pat O’Malley, a junior officer, who had just sent a list of killed and wounded to the Bureau of Naval Personnel. He got an immediate message back. “They said, ‘Wounded in what action? Killed in what action?’,” O’Malley told Ennes. “They said it wasn’t an ‘action,’ it was an accident. I’d like for them to come out here and see the difference between an action and an accident. Stupid bastards.”

The cover-up had begun.


The Pentagon lied to the public about the attack on the Liberty from the very beginning. In a decision personally approved by the loathsome McNamara, the Pentagon denied to the press that the Liberty was an intelligence ship, referring to it instead as a Technical Research ship, as if it were little more than a military version of Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso.

The military press corps on the USS America, where most of the wounded sailors had been taken, were placed under extreme restrictions. All of the stories filed from the carrier were first routed through the Pentagon for security clearance, objectionable material was removed with barely a bleat of protest from the reporters or their publications.

Predictably, Israel’s first response was to blame the victim, a tactic that has served them so well in the Palestinian situation. First, the IDF alleged that it had asked the State Department and the Pentagon to identify any US ships in the area and was told that there were none. Then the Israeli government charged that the Liberty failed to fly its flag and didn’t respond to calls for it to identify itself. The Israelis contended that they assumed the Liberty was an Egyptian supply ship called El Quseir, which, even though it was a rusting transport ship then docked in Alexandria, the IDF said it suspected of shelling Israeli troops from the sea. Under these circumstances, the Israeli’s said they were justified in opening fire on the Liberty. The Israelis said that they halted the attack almost immediately, when they realized their mistake.

“The Liberty contributed decisively toward its identification as an enemy ship,” the IDF report concluded. This was a blatant falsehood, since the Israelis had identified the Liberty at least six hours prior to the attack on the ship.

Even though the Pentagon knew better, it gave credence to the Israeli account by saying that perhaps the Liberty’s flag had lain limp on the flagpole in a windless sea. The Pentagon also suggested that the attack might have lasted less than 20 minutes.

After the initial battery of misinformation, the Pentagon imposed a news blackout on the Liberty disaster until after the completion of a Court of Inquiry investigation.

The inquiry was headed by Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd. Kidd didn’t have a free hand. He’d been instructed by Vice-Admiral McCain to limit the damage to the Pentagon and to protect the reputation of Israel.

The Kidd interviewed the crew on June 14 and 15. The questioning was extremely circumscribed. According to Ennes, the investigators “asked nothing that might be embarrassing to Israeland testimony that tended to embarrass Israel was covered with a ‘Top Secret’ label, if it was accepted at all.”

Ennes notes that even testimony by the Liberty’s communications officers about the jamming of the ship’s radios was classified as “Top Secret.” The reason? It proved that Israel knew it was attacking an American ship. “Here was strong evidence that the attack was planned in advance and that our ship’s identity was known to the attackers (for it its practically impossible to jam the radio of a stranger), but this information was hushed up and no conclusions were drawn from it,” Ennes writes.

Similarly, the Court of Inquiry deep-sixed testimony and affidavits regarding the flag-Ennes had ordered a crisp new one deployed early on the morning of the attack. The investigators buried intercepts of conversations between IDF pilots identifying the ship as flying an American flag.

It also refused to accept evidence about the IDF’s use of napalm during the attacks and choose not to hear testimony regarding the duration of the attacks and the fact that the US Navy failed to send planes to defend the ship.

“No one came to help us,” said Dr. Richard F. Kiepfer, the Liberty’s physician. “We were promised help, but no help came. The Russians arrived before our own ships did. We asked for an escort before we ever came to the war zone and we were turned down.”

None of this made its way into the 700-page Court of Inquiry report, which was completed within a couple of weeks and sent to Admiral McCain in London for review.

McCain approved the report over the objections of Captain Merlin Staring, the Navy legal officer assigned to the inquiry, who found the report to be flawed, incomplete and contrary to the evidence.

Staring sent a letter to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy disavowing himself from the report. The JAG seemed to take Staring’s objections to heart. It prepared a summary for the Chief of Naval Operations that almost completely ignored the Kidd/McCain report. Instead, it concluded:

that the Liberty was easily recognizable as an American naval vessel; that it’s flag was fully deployed and flying in a moderate breeze; that Israeli planes made at least eight reconnaissance flights at close range; the ship came under a prolonged attack from Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats.

This succinct and largely accurate report was stamped Top Secret by Navy brass and stayed locked up for many years. But it was seen by many in the Pentagon and some in the Oval Office. But here was enough grumbling about the way the Liberty incident had been handled that LBJ summoned that old Washington fixer Clark Clifford to do damage control. It didn’t take Clifford long to come up with the official line: the Israelis simply had made a tragic mistake.

It turns out that the Admiral Kidd and Captain Ward Boston, the two investigating officers who prepared the original report for Admiral McCain, both believed that the Israeli attack was intentional and sustained. In other words, the IDF knew that they were striking an American spy ship and they wanted to sink it and kill as many sailors as possible. Why then did the Navy investigators produce a sham report that concluded it was an accident?

Twenty-five years later we finally found out. In June of 2002, Captain Boston told the Navy Times: “Officers follow orders.”

It gets worse. There’s plenty of evidence that US intelligence agencies learned on June 7 that Israel intended to attack the Liberty on the following day and that the strike had been personally ordered by Moshe Dayan.

As the attacks were going on, conversations between Israeli pilots were overheard by US Air Force officers in an EC121 surveillance plane overhead. The spy plane was spotted by Israeli jets, which were given orders to shoot it down. The American plane narrowly avoided the IDF missiles.

Initial reports on the incident prepared by the CIA, Office of Naval Intelligence and the National Security Agency all reached similar conclusions.

A particularly damning report compiled by a CIA informant suggests that Israeli Defense minister Moshe Dayan personally ordered the attack and wanted it to proceed until the Liberty was sunk and all on board killed. A heavily redacted version of the report was released in 1977. It reads in part:

“[The source] said that Dayan personally ordered the attack on the ship and that one of his generals adamantly opposed the action and said, ‘This is pure murder.’ One of the admirals who was present also disapproved of the action, and it was he who ordered it stopped and not Dayan.”

This amazing document generated little attention from the press and Dayan was never publicly questioned about his role in the attack.

The analyses by the intelligence agencies are collected in a 1967 investigation by the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations. Two and half decades later that report remains classified. Why? A former committee staffer said: “So as not to embarrass Israel.”

More proof came to light from the Israeli side. A few years after Attack on the Liberty was originally published, Ennes got a call from Evan Toni, an Israeli pilot. Toni told Ennes that he had just read his book and wanted to tell him his story. Toni said that he was the pilot in the first Israeli Mirage fighter to reach the Liberty. He immediately recognized the ship to be a US Navy vessel. He radioed Israeli air command with this information and asked for instructions. Toni said he was ordered to “attack.” He refused and flew back to the air base at Ashdod. When he arrived he was summarily arrested for disobeying orders.


How tightly does the Israeli lobby control the Hill? For the first time in history, an attack on an America ship was not subjected to a public investigation by Congress. In 1980, Adlai Stevenson and Barry Goldwater planned to open a senate hearing into the Liberty affair. Then Jimmy Carter intervened by brokering a deal with Menachem Begin, where Israel agreed to pony up $6 million to pay for damages to the ship. A State Department press release announced the payment said, “The book is now closed on the USS Liberty.”

It certainly was the last chapter for Adlai Stevenson. He ran for governor of Illinois the following year, where his less than perfect record on Israel, and his unsettling questions about the Liberty affair, became an issue in the campaign. Big money flowed into the coffers of his Republican opponent, Big Jim Thompson, and Stevenson went down to a narrow defeat.

But the book wasn’t closed for the sailors either, of course. After a Newsweek story exposed the gist of what really happened on that day in the Mediterranean, an enraged Admiral McCain placed all the sailors under a gag order. When one sailor told an officer that he was having problems living with the cover-up, he was told: “Forget about it, that’s an order.”

The Navy went to bizarre lengths to keep the crew of the Liberty from telling what they knew. When gag orders didn’t work, they threatened sanctions. Ennes tells of the confinement and interrogation of two Liberty sailors that sounds like something right out of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program.

“In an incredible abuse of authority, military officers held two young Liberty sailors against their will in a locked and heavily guarded psychiatric ward of the base hospital,” Ennes writes. “For days these men were drugged and questioned about their recollections of the attack by a ‘therapist’ who admitted to being untrained in either psychiatry or psychology. At one point, they avoided electroshock only by bolting from the room and demanding to see the commanding officer.”

Since coming home, the veterans who have tried to tell of their ordeal have been harassed relentlessly. They’ve been branded as drunks, bigots, liars and frauds. Often, it turns out, these slurs have been leaked by the Pentagon. And, oh yeah, they’ve also been painted as anti-Semites.

In a recent column, Charley Reese describes just how mean-spirited and petty this campaign became. “When a small town in Wisconsin decided to name its library in honor of the USS Liberty crewmen, a campaign claiming it was anti-Semitic was launched,” writes Reese. “And when the town went ahead, the U.S. government ordered no Navy personnel to attend, and sent no messages. This little library was the first, and at the time the only, memorial to the men who died on the Liberty.”


So why then did the Israelis attack the Liberty?

A few days before the Six Days War, Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban visited Washington to inform LBJ about the forthcoming invasion. Johnson cautioned Eban that the US could not support such an attack.

It’s possible, then, that the IDF assumed that the Liberty was spying on the Israeli war plans. Possible, but not likely. Despite the official denials, as Andrew and Leslie Cockburn demonstrate in Dangerous Liaison, at the time of the Six Days War the US and Israel had developed a warm covert relationship. So closely were the two sides working that US intelligence aid certainly helped secure Israel’s devastating and swift victory. In fact, it’s possible that the Liberty had been sent to the region to spy for the IDF.

A somewhat more likely scenario holds that Moshe Dayan wanted to keep the lid on Israel’s plan to breach the new cease-fire and invade into Syria to seize the Golan.

It has also been suggested that Dayan ordered the attack on the Liberty with the intent of pinning the blame on the Egyptians and thus swinging public and political opinion in the United States solidly behind the Israelis. Of course, for this plan to work, the Liberty had to be destroyed and its crew killed.

There’s another factor. The Liberty was positioned just off the coast from the town of El Arish. In fact, Ennes and others had used town’s mosque tower to fix the location of the ship along the otherwise featureless desert shoreline. The IDF had seized El Arish and had used the airport there as a prisoner of war camp. On the very day the Liberty was attacked, the IDF was in the process of executing as many as 1,000 Palestinian and Egyptian POWs, a war crime that they surely wanted to conceal from prying eyes. According to Gabriel Bron, now an Israeli reporter, who witnessed part of the massacre as a soldier: “The Egyptian prisoners of war were ordered to dig pits and then army police shot them to death.”

The bigger question is why the US government would participate so enthusiastically in the cover-up of a war crime against its own sailors. Well, the Pentagon has never been slow to hide its own incompetence. And there’s plenty of that in the Liberty affair: bungled communications, refusal to provide an escort, situating the defenseless Liberty too close to a raging battle, the inability to intervene in the attack and the inexcusably long time it took to reach the battered ship and its wounded.

That’s but par for the course. But something else was going on that would only come to light later. Through most of the 1960s, the US congress had imposed a ban on the sale of arms to both Israel and Jordan. But at the time of the Liberty attack, the Pentagon (and its allies in the White House and on the Hill) was seeking to have this proscription overturned. The top brass certainly knew that any evidence of a deliberate attack on a US Navy ship by the IDF would scuttle their plans. So they hushed it up.

In January 1968, the arms embargo on Israel was lifted and the sale of American weapons began to flow. By 1971, Israel was buying $600 million of American-made weapons a year. Two years later the purchases topped $3 billion. Almost overnight, Israel had become the largest buyer of US-made arms and aircraft.

Perversely, then, the IDF’s strike on the Liberty served to weld the US and Israel together, in a kind of political and military embrace. Now, every time the IDF attacks defenseless villages in Gaza and the West Bank with F-16s and Apache helicopters, the Palestinians quite rightly see the bloody assaults as a joint operation, with the Pentagon as a hidden partner.

Thus, does the legacy of Liberty live on, one raid after another.


The Catch-22 that keeps many vets from getting help

November 27, 2017

by Brandon Heffinger


(CNN) — Joseph Heller would have had a field day describing what happens to too many American soldiers these days. While on active duty in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, they begin suffering mental health problems — often they reflect the early onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of their illness, they act out, get in trouble with their chain of command, and are forced to leave with less than honorable discharges.

But when they return home, their less than honorable discharges prevent them from being considered veterans, so they can’t get help from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to address their PTSD.

It’s a classic Catch-22.

Their exclusion from services is both cruel and absurd in cases where the mental and physical scars they bring home from combat, in the form of PTSD or traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused the behaviors that got them discharged less than honorably. Although Congress is working to correct this issue, more must be done — and as soon as possible.

Service members receive a discharge when they leave active service. Discharges are characterized as Honorable, General, Other Than Honorable, Bad Conduct, or Dishonorable, depending on the circumstances under which they are discharged. The term “less than honorable” refers to any characterization that is not Honorable.

A large percentage of the veterans who receive less than honorable discharges are no longer considered veterans under the law and therefore cannot qualify for VA benefits. There are some cases, however, where veterans with less than honorable discharges can get proper care, either because they received a General discharge or obtained a waiver. Still, despite the fact the VA reports that PTSD is a significant risk factor for homelessness and suicide, many veterans are left high and dry.

I served as a Marine Corps officer in Iraq and Afghanistan and continue to serve in the reserves. I have seen many service members discharged less than honorably. While most of them deserved it, others were veterans whose misconduct was linked to combat-related PTSD.

This problem has existed for a long time, and Vietnam veterans are a strong case in point. The military granted 260,000 less than honorable discharges to Vietnam veterans. Meanwhile, 30% of Vietnam veterans have struggled with PTSD in their lifetimes, according to VA estimates.

But this issue also affects those who fought more recently: more than 125,000 post-9/11 veterans are excluded from basic VA services. The VA estimates that up to 20% of post-9/11 veterans suffer from PTSD, so it is highly likely that many of the veterans excluded from basic VA services have a less than honorable discharge as a result of the consequences of their illness.

That said, there are efforts underway to begin to address this injustice. In fact, there is an administrative process for veterans to upgrade their discharge characterizations. I currently direct the Veterans Legal Clinic at Wake Forest University School of Law, which files discharge upgrade petitions on behalf of veterans with unjust discharges.

Over the past three years, the Department of Defense and Congress have significantly improved discharge upgrade policies by requiring administrative boards to give “liberal consideration” to petitions based on PTSD, TBI, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.

However, the discharge upgrade process takes time, and many veterans are severely at-risk while they wait.

The House of Representatives has also passed the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Health Care Act, which is now before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The bill requires the VA to provide an initial mental health assessment and, if necessary, mental health care to veterans, even if they have less than honorable discharges.

Unfortunately, the bill expands this access only to veterans with discharges characterized as Other Than Honorable. This is a significant improvement — but it means we are continuing to leave many veterans whose PTSD resulted in a lesser characterization, such as a bad conduct discharge, to deal with the mental wounds of war alone.

In some cases, there is no clear or logical line between the nonviolent conduct that would result in an Other Than Honorable versus a Bad Conduct discharge. For example, a veteran struggling with PTSD who fails to report for stateside duty could easily receive either an Other Than Honorable or a Bad Conduct discharge. The bill would continue to bar the veteran with a Bad Conduct discharge from VA mental health care.

Congress should expand the scope of this bill to include an exception for veterans with Bad Conduct discharges that resulted from nonviolent offenses. Expanding access to mental health care would not change these veterans’ discharge characterizations or remove accountability for their actions. But it would allow at-risk veterans to treat their combat-related mental disorders.

In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln called on the country “to care for him who shall have borne the battle . . .” It remains the official motto of the VA today. But we have not kept Lincoln’s promise. We are allowing these men and women, who faced our enemies in combat, to fight their current battle alone. Help us demand that Congress expand and pass this bill and finally bring our veterans home.


German spy agency sets sights on Balkans, focuses on Bosnia

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency BND is increasingly focusing on the Balkans and especially Muslim-majority Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Berliner Zeitung reports. Bosnia faces a growing influence from the Gulf states.

November 28, 2017

by Darko Janjevic (with Reuters)


The German Intelligence Agency (BND) is increasingly concerned about Islamist tendencies in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Berliner Zeitung daily newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing sources from the intelligence community. The agency is allegedly also turning its attention to the whole of the volatile Balkan region.

For generations, the Muslim population in multi-ethnic Bosnia has adhered to a very liberal interpretation of Islam. This perspective was also reinforced by authorities in secular former Yugoslavia, which included Bosnia along with six other present day Balkan states. However, religious divisions flared up during the break up of the socialist state in the 1990’s and the influence of religion has been growing ever since.

During the war, volunteers from various Middle Eastern countries traveled to the Balkans to join forces with the Muslim Bosniaks. Many of them were issued Bosnian passports after the war and went on to recruit young people for their religious struggle.

According to Tuesday’s report, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are investing a lot of money to push a much stricter, Wahhabist teaching of Sunni Islam in the Bosnian society. Saudi charities also poured funds into building places of worship, including the King Fahd Mosque in Sarajevo, the biggest mosque in the Balkans, which is dominated by Wahhabis.

‘Fragile states’

Hundreds of people from Bosnia also traveled to the Middle East to join jihadi militias in the recent years, with similar cases also reported in the other Muslim-dominated Balkan states, Kosovo and Albania. According to Balkan media, the war in Syria attracted a number of veterans from the Yugoslav wars who went to fight as mercenaries.

Another issue, the Berliner Zeitung states, is that the country was part of the so-called Balkan route during the 2015 refugee influx, which saw over a million migrants travel from the Mediterranean across Greece and further north to reach the wealthy western European nations.

The BND is also cooperation with other intelligence services in their Balkan-related activities, according to the report.

Two weeks ago, BND chief Bruno Kahl described Bosnia and several ex-Yugoslav nations as potentially “fragile states.”


Global crypto-currency crackdown sparks search for safe havens

November 28, 2017

by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss


NEW YORK (Reuters) – When U.S. entrepreneur Bharath Rao looked around for the best place to raise money for his crypto-currency derivatives trading business, the United States did not make his list. Instead he chose the East African island nation Seychelles to sell the trading platform’s tokens.

Rao, a San Diego-based technology veteran who has worked for major Wall Street banks, is not alone.

Confronted with national regulators’ intensifying scrutiny of digital currency fund-raising, known as initial coin offerings, many entrepreneurs are moving businesses to locations more welcoming to crypto-currencies and known for low taxes.

Dozens of start-ups have flocked to Singapore, Switzerland, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean this year, according to interviews with entrepreneurs and company registration data made available to Reuters.

Like bitcoin, the best-known crypto-currency created in 2009, the coins use encryption and a blockchain transaction database enabling fast and anonymous transfer of funds without centralized payment systems.

The numbers compiled by crypto-currency research firm Smith + Crown show how national regulators’ attempts to curb coin sales may just shift business elsewhere.

The United States leads with 34 digital currency start-up registrations so far this year, but that reflects Silicon Valley’s role as a technology hub and the depth of U.S. financial markets rather than a welcoming regulatory climate.

Singapore registered 21 entities, up from one in 2016, followed by 19 in Switzerland, up from three last year, according to Smith + Crown. Central Europe saw 14 companies registered this year, compared with one in 2016 and the Caribbean hosted 10, up from two last year.

“The data affirms our sense that Switzerland and Singapore remain go-to locations, but the U.S. could remain for companies raising large amounts of money,” said Matt Chwierut, Smith + Crown’s research director.


Switzerland does not have specific rules on digital coin sales, but some parts of an offer may fall under existing regulations, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said in September.

So far, four of the five largest token sales, raising a total of over $600 million, were carried out by firms registered in Zug, a low-tax region south of Zurich known as the “crypto-valley” of the world.

In contrast, China and South Korea banned digital coin sales this year and regulators in the United States, Malaysia, Dubai, United Kingdom and Germany warned investors that current scant oversight exposed them to risks of fraud, hacking or theft.

Soaring registrations in “friendly” jurisdictions show how hard it is for national watchdogs to regulate digital coin sales. It is a challenge regulators begin to recognize.

“We are talking to other regulators, and we know that there are a lot of bilateral discussions taking place,” the Dubai Financial Services Authority said in an email to Reuters.

The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission declined to comment about the migration of coin issuers to remote jurisdictions.

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority and Securities Commission Malaysia reiterated their stance that digital coin sales are high-risk, speculative investments and that retail investors should be aware of that. A spokesman for Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) told Reuters “hopping” within the European Union would be “largely futile” since the EU supervisory authority has adopted the same stance as BaFin on the issue.

The Dubai regulator pointed out that seeking out friendly jurisdictions was not unusual, but regulators still needed to warn about the inherent risks in digital coin sales.

Financial regulators from South Korea and China were not immediately available for comment.

In the United States, the SEC’s July 25 ruling that digital coins should be regulated as securities had a short-lived chilling effect on the crypto-currency market. Short-lived, because many U.S. startups thought they could avoid such scrutiny by selling “utility tokens,” which gave buyers access to products or services rather than a stake in the company.

Still, concerns that regulators’ views might evolve, have made potential U.S. coin issuers consider sales overseas.

“Our lawyers certainly think regulations on utility tokens could change. So for safety, the ICO should be done outside the U.S.,” said Arran Stewart, co-founder of U.S.-based Job.com, an online employment platform which plans a token offering in the Cayman Islands in February.

In fact, out of 15 start-ups interviewed by Reuters only one, Airfox, sold digital tokens in the United States, raising $15 million last month. Others have either carried out a coin sale overseas or are planning one.

Rao, who started Leverj, a decentralized crypto-currency futures trading platform, said he picked Seychelles for fund-raising because of its openness to crypto-currencies.

“It has not issued anything negative on crypto,” Rao said.


Digital coin sales soared to about $3.6 billion by mid-November, compared with just over $100 million in the whole of 2016, according to Autonomous NEXT, which tracks technology in the financial services industry.

Typically, issuers publish a “white paper” describing their business plan and the news of new coin sales spread via online forums and websites tracking new offers. Investors pay for them with bitcoins or ether – two most widely accepted crypto-currencies – via a company’s website.

The ease with which start-ups can raise millions of dollars with little scrutiny in as little as minutes, has alarmed regulators, but without unified approach they hold little sway over that new funding market.

“It’s very difficult for governments to work together in any organized fashion,” said Lewis Cohen, a partner at Hogan Lovells in New York, which has a team of lawyers specializing in blockchain.

“Different jurisdictions will look at token sales through different lenses and it would be very difficult to get on a completely harmonized place.”




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