TBR News November 8, 2018

Nov 08 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. November 8, 2018:”The Democratic capture of the House is creating emotional havoc in the White House. Trump is livid with rage that anyone has dared to defy him and in his fury,has threatened anyone in sight with retaliation, sacked the Attorney General to attempt to halt a criminal investigation into his activities, insulted not only the media in general but ‘disloyal’ Republicans who did not, as he sees it, rally around his Sacred Presence and prevent the capture of the House. What Fat Donald the Groper does not seem to realize is that his barrages of insults aimed at anyone in his way only enlarges his growing circle of enemies. And they are starting to circle poor General Custer.”


The Table of Contents 

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 74
  • Trump threatens ‘warlike’ response if Democratic House investigates him
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Iran Sanctions Could Turn Into Demonstration of US Weakness
  • Jeff Sessions firing: top Republicans warn Mueller inquiry must continue
  • What do the US midterms mean for the environment?


Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 74

August 8, 2018

by Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau Chief

The Toronto Star, Canada

The Star is keeping track of every false claim U.S. President Donald Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. Why? Historians say there has never been such a constant liar in the Oval Office. We think dishonesty should be challenged. We think inaccurate information should be corrected

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not teling the truth.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2018

  • May 23, 2018

“We’re down on immigration crossing the border — more than 40 per cent. We were actually down 77 per cent.”

Source: Remarks at roundtable on MS-13 and immigration

in fact: Neither of these statistics is even close to accurate. Last year, the number of would-be immigrants apprehended trying to cross the southwest border did drop sharply for a while, but never by even close to 77 per cent; for a while, the decline was around 50 per cent. Now, though, there is no decline at all. In fact, there is an increase. For the first four months of 2018, apprehensions were actually up 4 per cent from the first four months of 2016 — and up 77 per cent from the first four months of 2017.

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

“I do want to say, and I have to pay great tribute to ICE and Border Patrol. But ICE came in and they are doing a job. We are taking them (MS-13) out by the thousands.” And: “Again, you heard the numbers. You heard what a number of the folks have said. We’re taking them out by the thousands, by the thousands.” And: “Now, if we had laws that were proper, they wouldn’t be coming back to the extent, but they’ve taken them out by the thousands. ”

Source: Remarks at roundtable on MS-13 and immigration

in fact:  “By the thousands” is an exaggeration; it is more like “by the hundreds,” or “by the dozens.” ICE told PolitiFact that its investigations division arrested 405 MS-13 members in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, said in December that “a renewed focus on ID’ing & dismantling the ultra-violent MS-13 gang led to nearly 800 arrests in (fiscal year) 2017, for an 83 per cent increase over last year.” Homan then said at this event with Trump that 896 “MS-13 leaders, members, and associates” were arrested in fiscal year 2017. That figure is disputed, as some of the people arrested may not be actual members of the gang. Even if they are, though, that too is far from “thousands.”

Trump has repeated this claim 15 times

“Crippling loopholes in our laws have enabled MS-13 gang members and other criminals to infiltrate our communities, and Democrats in Congress refuse to close these loopholes, including the disgraceful practice known as catch and release. That’s — you catch them, you write up a little piece of paper that’s meaningless, and then you release them. And they go all through the country, and they’re supposed to come back for trials. They never come back — or very rarely. It’s the rare person that comes back.”

Source: Remarks at roundtable on MS-13 and immigration

in fact: It is not true that people “never” or “very rarely” show up for their immigration court hearing. A 2017 report released by the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that advocates a hard line on illegal immigration, concluded that 37 per cent of people who were free pending trial did not show up for hearings over the past two decades. The author of the report, a former immigration judge, said the number was 39 per cent in 2016. In other words, even according to vehement opponents of illegal immigration, most unauthorized immigrants are indeed showing up for court.

Trump has repeated this claim 10 times

“MS-13 lives by the motto, ‘Kill, Rape, and Control.’ That’s actually their motto. ‘Kill, Rape, and Control.’ Last month, MS-13 reportedly called for its members here on Long Island, where I essentially grew up. You know Jamaica, right? I always said, ‘Long Island.’ It’s very close. To call and to see what happened is just incredible. But they killed a cop for the sake of making a statement. They wanted to make a statement, so they killed a cop, a policeman.”

Source: Remarks at roundtable on MS-13 and immigration

in fact: Trump began to read an accurate claim from his prepared text — MS-13 reportedly called for the murder of a local police officer — and then turned it into an inaccurate claim by saying MS-13 actually did kill a local police officer. That did not happen.


“I hope it’s not so, because if it is, there’s never been anything like it in the history of our country. I hope — I mean, if you look at Clapper, he sort of admitted that they had spies in the campaign, yesterday, inadvertently.”

Source: Remarks before Marine One departure

in fact: The former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, admitted no such thing. Appearing on the television show “The View,” Clapper was asked: “So, I ask you, was the FBI spying on Trump’s campaign?” His response: “No, they were not. They were spying on — a term I don’t particularly like — but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage and influence which is what they do.” In other words, he rejected even that the FBI was spying “on” Trump’s campaign, let alone that the FBI had spies “in the campaign.”

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

  • May 24, 2018

“And we have another one that passed yesterday called Right to Try. Nobody knows what that means. That’s a patient who’s terminally ill, ends up leaving the country to find help. They wanted hope. And we have drugs that are in the pipeline for anywhere from 10 to 15 years, and they may be very good but you’re not allowed to use them. These people are terminal. They’re terminally ill. They’re going to die, and we have no access — they have no access at all to getting into that pipeline to getting something that may or may not work.” And: “We can go, they’ll sign a waiver, and they’ll be able to use what they need. And in many cases, they’ll be helped. But they won’t have to fly to Africa. They won’t have to fly to South America. They won’t have to fly to Europe or wherever just seeking help. Rich people, poor people, they’re seeking help. They had no access. Now they have the right to try. The right of hope.”

Source: Speech at signing of Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

in fact: Trump was exaggerating how hard it was for these patients to access experimental medication in the absence of the federal legislation that just passed. The Trump-appointed head of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, testified to Congress in October 2017 that the FDA had granted 99 per cent of the requests it has received to get access to unapproved drugs. This figure was confirmed by the Government Accountability Office earlier in the year: “Of the nearly 5,800 expanded access requests that were submitted to FDA from fiscal year 2012 through 2015, FDA allowed 99 per cent to proceed,” the GAO wrote in a July 2017 report. “FDA typically responded to emergency single-patient requests within hours and other types of requests within the allotted 30 days.” Critics argued that the process was still cumbersome and should be improved, but Trump was wrong when he said the patients had “no access at all” to the drugs.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“They wouldn’t do anything. We had a trade deficit last year with China of at least $375 billion, and I believe the number was probably over $500 billion.”

Source: Speech at signing of Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

in fact: The trade deficit the previous year, 2017, was only $375 billion if you count trade in goods but do not count trade in services. Including all kinds of trade, the deficit was $337 billion. There is no basis for the claim that “the number was probably over $500 billion.”

Trump has repeated this claim 51 times

“In the history of our country, no president — whether it’s four years, eight years, or sixteen years, in one case — has ever passed more regulation cuts.”

Source: Speech at signing of Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

in fact: No president has served for 16 years. The longest-serving president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, served just over 12 years.

Trump has repeated this claim 9 times

“And community banks and credit unions should be regulated the same way. And you have to really look at this. They should be regulated the same way with proviso for safety, as in the past, when they were vibrant and strong. But they shouldn’t be regulated the same way as the large, complex financial institutions. And that’s what happened. And they were being put out of business one by one. And they weren’t lending.”

Source: Speech at signing of Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

in fact: Community banks were treated differently from big banks in various ways under the Dodd-Frank regulatory legislation trump was criticizing. And they were indeed lending, and profiting, before Trump signed this legislation to remove and change some of the Dodd-Frank package. In its report on community bank performance in the first quarter of 2018, the government’s Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported that: 73 per cent of community banks reported higher net income than they had a year earlier; total community bank net income was $6.1 billion, up 17.7 per cent in all; and that community banks’ loan and lease balances rose 7.4 per cent, or $107 billion, during the year — “reflecting a growth rate that was 3 percentage points higher than that of noncommunity banks.” Community banks’ lending growth outpaced larger banks’ lending growth even before the Trump era. The FDIC reported that in the fourth quarter of 2016, community banks “expanded small loans to businesses by $6.4 billion (2.2 per cent), more than twice the rate of noncommunity banks ($3.1 billion, or 0.8 per cent).”

“Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: The former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, admitted no such thing. Appearing on the television show “The View,” Clapper was asked: “So, I ask you, was the FBI spying on Trump’s campaign?” His response: “No, they were not. They were spying on, a term I don’t particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage and influence which is what they do.” In other words, he rejected even that the FBI was spying “on” Trump’s campaign, let alone that the FBI had spies “in” the campaign.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

  • May 25, 2018

“You are going to have new equipment, and well-deserved pay raises. We just got to a big pay raise for the first time in 10 years. We got to a big pay increase, first time in over 10 years.”

Source: Speech to Naval Academy graduation

in fact: This raise was neither the first in 10 years nor the biggest in 10 years. Military Times reported: “In fact, troops have seen a pay raise of at least 1 percent every year for more than 30 years. The 2018 military pay raise — which was 2.4 percent — was the largest for the armed forces in eight years.”

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

“And very soon, we are going to get to 355 beautiful ships. That is almost a couple of hundred more ships.”

Source: Speech to Naval Academy graduation

in fact: As Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project and Defense Budget Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted on Twitter, the U.S. currently has 283 deployable ships, so an increase to 355 is not “a couple of hundred more ships” — and the U.S. will not get there “very soon.” As Harrison wrote: “The Navy’s 30-year plan says it will not get to that level until after 2050, but it could possibly be accelerated to the 2030s. Either way, it’s not very soon.”

“We have now the lowest number of ships we have had since World War I.”

Source: Speech to Naval Academy graduation

in fact: Today’s number of deployable battle force ships, 283, is not the lowest since World War I, as As Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project and Defense Budget Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, noted on Twitter. The number was lower at times during the Obama and George W. Bush administrations; in 2007, late in the Bush administration, it was 279.

“No money for the military? Those days are over. And we have just secured, you have read all about it, a $700 billion, largest-ever amount of money to support our great war fighters.”

Source: Speech to Naval Academy graduation

in fact: Trump’s $700 billion defence budget is not the largest ever. As the New York Times noted, Obama signed a $725 billion version of the same bill in 2011.

Trump has repeated this claim 11 times


“Funny to watch the Democrats criticize Trade Deals being negotiated by me when they don’t even know what the deals are and when for 8 years the Obama Administration did NOTHING on trade except let other countries rip off the United States. Lost almost $800 Billion/year under ‘O.’

Source: Twitter

in fact: The U.S. did not have an $800 billion trade deficit in any year under Obama. The deficit under Trump in 2017, $566 billion, was the biggest since 2008, George W. Bush’s last year in office.

Trump has repeated this claim 30 times

“Chicago Police have every right to legally protest against the mayor and an administration that just won’t let them do their job. The killings are at a record pace and tough police work, which Chicago will not allow, would bring things back to order fast…the killings must stop!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: Chicago is not experiencing a record pace of homicides. As of the end of April 2018, the number of homicides for the year was down 22 per cent from the same period in 2017 — and the city’s full-year 2017 homicide number was down 16 per cent from the year prior. Further, none of these Chicago years have had homicide numbers even close to those of the early 1990s.

“Democrats are so obviously rooting against us in our negotiations with North Korea. Just like they are coming to the defense of MS 13 thugs, saying that they are individuals & must be nurtured…”

Source: Twitter

in fact: We’ve seen no evidence that any Democratic official said MS-13 gang members “must be nurtured.” Some merely said it was wrong that Trump used the word “animals” while discussing MS-13. (The precise meaning of Trump’s comment was unclear. Some Democrats, and others, believed he was referring broadly to unauthorized immigrants; Trump said he was only talking about members of MS-13, which had been talked about by the person he was addressing.) House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, one of the Democrats who interpreted Trump’s comments broadly, argued that “we’re all God’s children, there’s a spark of divinity in every person on Earth,” and that “we all have to recognize that, as we respect the dignity and worth of every person, and as we recognize our responsibilities with that spark of divinity within us.”

Trump has repeated this claim 4 times

“Can anyone even imagine having Spies placed in a competing campaign, by the people and party in absolute power, for the sole purpose of political advantage and gain? And to think that the party in question, even with the expenditure of far more money, LOST!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: There are no credible allegations that “spies” were “placed in” the Trump campaign. The FBI appears to have had an informant, a Republican professor, communicate with members of Trump’s campaign to try to determine the nature of their relationship with Russia. This informant was not embedded in the campaign.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

“The Democrats are now alluding to the the concept that having an Informant placed in an opposing party’s campaign is different than having a Spy, as illegal as that may be. But what about an ‘Informant’ who is paid a fortune and who ‘sets up’ way earlier than the Russian Hoax?”

Source: Twitter

in fact: There are no credible allegations that anyone — spy, informant, whatever you want to call him — was “placed in” the Trump campaign. The FBI appears to have had an informant, a Republican professor, communicate with members of Trump’s campaign to try to determine the nature of their relationship with Russia. This informant was not placed in the campaign. There is no public evidence that the informant was “set up” in connection to the campaign before questions arose about the Trump campaign and Russia; he received unrelated government contracts beginning in 2012, three years before Trump announced his candidacy.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times


Trump threatens ‘warlike’ response if Democratic House investigates him

  • House majority gives Democrats subpoena powers
  • Trump talks of ‘beautiful, bipartisan-type situation’

November 7, 2018

by David Smith in Washington

The Guardian

Donald Trump has threatened a “war-like” response if his political opponents investigate him after a bruising night at the polls in which he lost control of a crucial arm of the US government.

In their first nationwide verdict since Trump won the presidency in 2016, Americans offered a split decision, with Democrats claiming a majority in the House of Representatives – including record numbers of women and people of colour – while Republicans expanded control of the Senate.

The result hands Democrats powers to block Trump’s legislative agenda, for example his wall on the Mexican border, and to seek his long-concealed tax returns, investigate possible conflicts of interest in his business empire and dig into any evidence of collusion between him and Russia in the 2016 election. They can demand documents and issue subpoenas if needed.

At a combative, rambling and often wild press conference on Wednesday, Trump offered an olive branch for “a beautiful bipartisan-type situation” but also issued a warning. “Now we have a much easier path because the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for health care, a plan for whatever they’re looking at, and we’ll negotiate,” he said.

But if Democrats launch investigations against him, Trump warned, his attitude will be different. “If they do that, then it’s just – all it is is a warlike posture.”

He added: “They can play that game, but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the United States Senate and a lot of questionable things were done between leaks of classified information and many other elements that should not have taken place. I could see it being extremely good for me politically because I think I’m better at that game than they are, actually, but we’ll find out.”

Trump repeated his denial of collusion with Russia and insisted that he would not release his tax returns, claiming: “Look, as I’ve told you, they’re under audit. They’re extremely complex. People wouldn’t understand them.”

Tuesday’s election outcome fell short of the repudiation of the president that millions in America, and around the world, had yearned for after two years of tumult, offensiveness and shattering of democratic norms. Trump’s bellicose campaign, widely condemned for appeals to overt racism, actually increased support for Republicans in some strongholds.

“I thought it was very close to a complete victory,” he bragged on Wednesday, highlighting projected victories in states such as Florida and Georgia, where former president Barack Obama and media star Oprah Winfrey campaigned for Democrats. He also openly mocked Republicans who refused his help during the campaign. “Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”

Trump looked tired at first but became fired up as he clashed angrily with reporters, barking at several to sit down. He unleashed a tirade at CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, declaring: “CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them. You are rude, terrible person.” An aide tried to grab the microphone from Acosta’s hand. Trump stepped away from the podium for a few moments before resuming.

Asked by an African American reporter about his claim to be a nationalist, Trump retorted: “That’s a racist question.” He also made a claim that will make his critics’ jaws drop: “I think I am a great moral leader and I love our country.”

But he said little to heal the nation’s polarisation. Analysts forecast two years of partisan gridlock and rancour on Capitol Hill. The election outcome only seemed likely to deepen the nation’s divisions across lines of gender, race and education. Democratic successes were fuelled by women, people of colour, young people and university graduates. The typical Republican voter was an older, white male and less likely to have a degree.

In the 435-member House, Democrats were heading for a gain of around 30 seats, beyond the 23 they needed to claim their first majority in eight years. The road to a majority ran through two dozen suburban districts that Hillary Clinton won against Trump in 2016. Democrats flipped seats in suburban districts outside Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Denver. They also reclaimed a handful of blue collar districts carried by both former president Barack Obama and Trump.

Nearly two years after women marched in the streets of Washington and other cities in defiance of Trump’s inauguration, they proved decisive at the ballot box. Preliminary exit polls showed that women voted for House Democrats by a 21-point margin, 60% to 39%, while men were closely divided (50% for Republicans, 48% for Democrats).

In the final weeks of the campaign, Trump warned of an “invasion” by a migrant caravan that would spread violent crime and drugs, even though it was hundreds of miles from the US border. Democrats focused on issues such as healthcare maintaining insurance protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. They also delivered a symbolic rebuke to the president: for the first time in US history, the majority of a major party’s candidates were not white men.

The midterms were on course to send at least a hundred women to the House, breaking the current record of 84. In New York, 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina, became the youngest women elected to Congerss. In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids beat a Republican incumbent to become the first gay Native American woman elected to the House. Tennessee elected its first female senator and the House gained its first two Muslim women.

Ayanna Pressley, who became the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, told supporters: “Now, listen, I know for a fact none of us ran to make history, we ran to make change. However, the historical significance of this evening is not lost on me.”

Nancy Pelosi, 78, who in 2007 became the first female speaker in US history, looked set to regain the gavel. She spoke of “a new day in America”, telling supporters: “Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans, it’s about restoring the constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration.”

But even as they celebrated revival after the nadir of 2016, many on the left felt a sense of anti-climax. In Florida, Trump-backed Republican Ron DeSantis, accused of weaponising racism for his own benefit, ended Democrat Andrew Gillum’s bid to become the state’s first African American governor. The party also lost Senate battlegrounds in Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, North Dakota and Texas, where Republican Ted Cruz saw off an insurgent challenge from rising Democratic star Beto O’Rourke, who had raised a record $70m.

Republican turnout appeared to have been boosted by the row over Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court despite allegations of sexual assault and bitter political fight. They also scored a major victory in Ohio’s governor race, where Mike DeWine, the state attorney general, defeated Democrat Richard Cordray, who served as the first director of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The night was therefore not a disaster for Trump, whose approval rating is just 40%, according to Gallup. A president’s party has traditionally suffered deep losses in his first midterm election. Both Obama’s and Bill Clinton’s approval ratings were five percentage points higher, and both suffered midterm losses of 63 and 54 House seats respectively.

Trump supporters were quick to point out that many of the candidates he backed in a late burst of campaign rallies did prevail, suggesting that he could be a formidable incumbent for Democrats to challenge in the 2020 presidential election.

John Zogby, a pollster and author, said: “What you will have is investigation after investigation … The Democrats will want blood, just as the Republicans wanted blood, and it will give a tremendous opportunity to President Trump to run as a victim of a machine of an old network, an elite that has been ruling Washington for too long.”

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

November 8, 2018

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 publications.


Conversation No. 48

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 1996

Commenced:  1:45 PM CST

Concluded:  2:16 PM CST


GD: Good morning, Robert. Well, I have all my reservations lined up and we should be getting together on the 9th of December. I have hotel reservations and it isn’t too far to the University Club, but I’ll take a cab. About noon?

RTC: Yes, that’s the drill. Now, look, Gregory, if you get there early and then Kimmel and Bill are there, be polite but non-committal with both of them. I should be on time but one never knows. Kimmel is looking for any way to discredit you so be very careful with him. Have you ever met him before?

GD: No, just talked on the phone.

RTC: A tall blonde fellow, a little past his prime but an impressive type. Has a deep, well-regulated voice and likes to overawe people. You won’t be overawed, will you?

GD: I doubt it. I am sure Mueller was twice the man Kimmel is and Heini never overawed me. We got along fine on those grounds.

RTC: Look, can you tell me the name of your hotel?

GD: Certainly. It’s the Capitol Hill Suites. The phone number there is…just a second….202 543-6000 and my reservation number is C 1820CE8. I’ll be checking in on Saturday afternoon and I have a lunch date with Willis Carto on Sunday. He is doing a piece in his paper on the Mueller books and wants to do an interview.

RTC: Fine. OK, here’s what I have in mind. I have all the Warren Commission books, all 26 or so volumes. I have gone through every one of them and made notes all over the pages. You can read my writing very clearly. I have marked up all the irrelevant material, the fake material and the factual material. I think when you come to write about the ZIPPER business, this will be of great help to you. I will have them delivered to you in a sealed box over the weekend. And whatever you do, do not mention this to either Tom or Bill. Just leave the box sealed and take it back with you on the plane. When are you leaving to go back?

GD: The 10th.

RTC: Fine. And I have put together a big packet of material on the ZIPPER business that I will put into a briefcase and bring with me to the Club. After lunch, we can go somewhere and I can give it to you. Everything you want is in there, all original papers, notes, transcriptions and so on. But remember your promise to keep this under your hat until after I’m gone. For some odd reason, Bill and Trento think they are going to get their hands on all this. I never made any concrete promises but when people pester me, I give satisfactory but non-binding comments. None of them would dare to publish a word of any of this and I know you will. I did give Bill a copy, but only a copy, of the Driscoll report and he thinks he has the world by the balls. Anyway, talk about Pearl Harbor and keep Tom happy. Also, try to keep your discussion of Mueller to a bare minimum. Tom is hot on Pearl, but everyone else wants to find out about Mueller. What can you prove, what evidence, if any, do you have of his working for us and so on. I’ve warned you before on all of this but just be vague and go off on a story. But for God’s sake, don’t tell them stories about soap in the soup or things like that. Kimmel has no sense of humor and would try to accuse you of mass poisonings or something. Bill just talks too much.

GD: I appreciate the confidence but since the Mueller book came out, I’ve been bombarded with requests from broken down academics to stop by with their friend, Willy, just to look at my precious documents. I don’t know where they find these people, Robert, but they do not engender any confidence in our precious government. They should really keep their mouths closed or all the flies will get out. No, childish games like that go nowhere. What about the Kennedy buffs, as they call them?

RTC: Almost all of that is in the package for you. You see, we set up a disinformation group to spread confusion and to distract anyone from digging too deeply. You know, the man with the umbrella, the man in the storm drains, the wandering people in the train yards, the third figure on the sixth floor of the book building, Hoover on the roof of a building along with Nixon and the Hunt brothers. And a fake Oswald renting a car or buying a gun. Not to mention the really bad stories, which Hunt made up, of Oswald in Mexico City. God, reams of paper with no end. The truth, which is all there, is much more simple.

GD: Question, Robert. This business with Ruby. Was he involved?

RTC: Well, yes. The Chicago mob, with whom I have family connections, got him to do a job on Oswald. That was a setup. You see, Oswald had nothing to do with the business but was involved in other things for us. If he came to trial, very ugly things could have come out and we couldn’t control a courtroom scene. Better to insure it never went that far.

GD: And Ruby?

RTC: The locals were going to try him and he was starting to sweat the electric chair so he threatened to talk.

GD: But he died in jail. Did you get to him in there?

RTC: Certainly. Ruby died of rampant cancer. As you are aware, Gregory, we can give people fatal heart attacks and cancer is only a little more difficult and problematical. A medical examination, an injection with cells and so on. Ask a good oncologist. It is possible to do this. It takes more time but what did Ruby have? There was no immediate danger of him blabbing, so we pacified him with stories of last minute rescues and let him die.

GD: I was watching the telly and I saw them bring out the rifle. I know a great deal about guns, Robert, and they showed very clear shots of it. Besides, the local cop who found it ran a gun shop and he must have known it was an Argentine Mauser and not a worthless Carcano 6.5mm. Why did they make the change?

RTC: As I recall it, they had ordered the smaller piece through the mail to a fake PO box in Oswald’s fake name. Oswald worked for ONI and used several names.

GD: Not the FBI?

RTC: Oh, no, the ONI. These people won’t allow their people to work for another agency.

GD: Just a point or two. These fake stories….how many of them are yours?

RTC: Gregory, when such things happen and cannot be instantly clarified, the lunatic fringe leaps up waving their arms with all kinds of strange stories. We have the Farrell woman who is their top librarian and we can plant any kind of a distraction we want, but actually, most of the distractions are from the fertile imaginations of self-important people. The Russians must have had a wonderful time with all of this smoke and mirrors. After all, we used Oswald solely because of his Russian connections. We felt it would point right back to them again. We got two birds with one stone. But then the nuts were more interested in people with umbrellas and so on so we stopped pushing the Russian connection. Yes, Lee was in Russia and yes, he was working for the ONI. The Atsugi connection was what got their attention. Oswald was very smart but very abrasive and I notice his wife was the niece of a top MVD man. Figure that one out. Anyway, they are relieved. And besides, if they ever got their hands on ZIPPER, they would make hay. We have to be a little careful here because of the Stalin business. You see, L.P. Beria, their intelligence chief, had come over to our side in the early ‘50s. He built their atomic program, but Stalin was getting senile and very dangerous. Beria knew his days were numbered so he made contact with us and agreed to work with us. Shutting off the cold war, getting Russian troops out of the DDR and so on. This progressed and as he grew more desperate with his sinking star, we hit on the idea of getting rid of Comrade Stalin and setting Beria up in his place. Old L.P. was a sex fiend and loved little girls and boys so it was no problem to keep him line. And of course the Jewish business cropped up. Stalin used Jews but he hated them and was, in his increasing madness, planning to exterminate them like he had exterminated so many others. Beria was Jewish as was Molotov’s wife so there was general fear that the axe could fall on all of them.

GD: Fouche used this ploy to bring down Robespierre. ‘Oh, you are on the death list’ and so on.

RTC: I didn’t know about that.

GD: There is no new thing under the sun, Robert. How did they kill Stalin? I assume he was well guarded.

RTC: Oh yes, and paranoid as hell. We got some rat poison that works on the blood. What…

GD: Wafrarin.

RTC: Something like that. Got it from people in Wisconsin. Anyway, Beria slipped it into Joe’s booze and off he went with a stroke. Of course he started bleeding from the mouth but no one noticed that and then Beria got in. Did you know that Stalin was going to transport all the Jews in Moscow off to Siberia in the middle of winter and freeze the lot of them to death? Oh yes, and they all joined forces to save themselves. I think rat poison was apt. Stalin was a terrible monster.

GD: He did thin out the Russian population. Did anyone here, besides your people, know about this?

RTC: Eisenhower was noticed on this and jumped at it. Thought it was a wonderful idea. You know, when I told you about the Army plan to attack American targets like aircraft and blowing up buildings and use this as a basis for attacking Castro, old Ike jumped for joy. Kennedy stopped it.

GD: Do you have anything on this?

RTC: The Stalin business? Yes, I do. The Army plan? No, I do not.

GD: Well, at least I know about it. Can I get the Stalin material?

RTC: I can put it into the packet for you. Now getting this to you might be a problem. Kimmel does not like the idea of me taking with you and at the lunch, will watch both of us like a hawk. I think after the lunch, we might go into the Club library.

GD: I have a better idea. I looked at a DC map and I see the National Portrait Gallery is nearby. I have an ancestor whose picture is up there and I always wanted to see it. We could take a cab over there because of your leg and leave Tom and Bill behind.

RTC: Might I ask who the ancestor was?

GD: Certainly. Robert Morris. He was a Philadelphia banker…Weller and Morris…and he financed Washington. They call him ‘Robert the Signer’ because there were other Morris people and he signed the Declaration of Independence.

RTC: That’s impressive. Be sure you mention this to Tom. That’ll get him ever more upset. His ancestors were farmers about the time yours was making history. Oh, yes, that will excite him. Just think, the evil Gregory Douglas is descended from an American hero, a founding father. I’d love to watch his face when you spring this one on him.

GD: It means less than nothing to me what people care about. Yes, and then you can give me your packet away from prying and jealous eyes.

RTC: We can push them into the Club bar, get them started…do you drink, by the way?

GD: No.

RTC: Well, I’ll tell them my doctor said I couldn’t, so off we can go to look at your ancestor. My basic reason, Gregory, for getting you to do this is because it might come out in the future and I really want the American people to know that we had very good reasons for putting ZIPPER in action. It wasn’t just a South American junta. We had very good reasons and I only hope you make it clear that this had a real and solid basis for action. I don’t regret our actions for a minute but in the future, historians ought to have all the facts before they judge. You do see my point?

GD: Of course, and there would be no reason to write this unless I explained why you and your friends undertook such a drastic action. That has to be part of the whole package. An interesting microcosm, Robert, a history of a major assassination plot, capturing world attention, all in a small book and very accurate. Instead of speculating on the sinking of the Maine or who told what to whom before Pearl Harbor, we have it all down nice and crisp and accurate.

RTC: Ah, there, you have the crux of it, Gregory. Now, let us return to our daily lives and look forward to our meeting.

(Concluded at 2:16 PM CST)

Iran Sanctions Could Turn Into Demonstration of US Weakness

November 6, 2018

by Patrick Cockburn

The Independent

US sanctions imposed on Iran today are the greatest test so far of President Donald Trump’s ambition to act unilaterally in defiance of both rival powers and traditional allies.

The aim of the Trump administration is to put enough economic pressure on Iran to force it to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 or, more ambitiously, to secure regime change in Tehran by provoking popular unrest.

It will be difficult to achieve either objective: sanctions can impose intense pressure on a country if maintained over a long period, but their effectiveness depends on support and enforcement by a broad coalition of powers. This is what happened with UN sanctions on Iraq between 1990 and 2003 and with sanctions on Iran between 2006 and 2015.

But this time round there is no coalition supporting sanctions and a great array of states from China and Russia to the EU and Iran’s immediate neighbours, Turkey and Iraq, which are opposing them. On one level, they are seeking to save the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the five permanent members of the Security Council – US, UK, France, Russia, China – plus Germany and EU, agreed with Iran three years ago.

The danger for the US is not only that these countries are opposing sanctions against Iran, but that they all have an interest in making sure that they fail. They know that if Trump does succeed then their own authority will be damaged because the US will have proved that it can act unilaterally and effectively without their assistance.

The power of the US Treasury is never to be underestimated, but at this stage the odds against Trump succeeding look long and are getting longer. He could decide to negotiate with Iran – as he did with North Korea – and declare a famous victory, which is not impossible.

For all Trump’s bellicose rhetoric, he has yet to start a war and his fantasy picture of Iran trying to take over the Middle East would make it easy for him to claim to have repelled it since it is not happening in the first place.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that “because of the sanctions we are announcing today, Iran will have zero oil revenue to spend on terrorism, missile proliferation, regional proxies, or a nuclear programme”.

But Iranian power in the Middle East does not really depend on any of these things and is, in any case, only strong in the northern tier of the region – Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – where the Shia have political strength and Iran is in loose alliance with Russia and Turkey.

In any case, Iranian political and military intervention was at its height up to 2017 in Iraq, when the Iraqi army recaptured Mosul, and 2015-16 in Syria, when Russian began its military intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad, and East Aleppo was recaptured from the armed opposition. Winners and losers have emerged in this part of the Middle East and the success or failure of US sanctions on Iran will not change the outcome.

A weakness of the Trump administration’s policy in the Middle East is its exaggerated reliance on Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman: long before the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi assailants in Istanbul on 2 October, the operational incapacity and poor judgement of the kingdom’s leadership was, to some, self-evident.

The growing power in the Muslim world is not Saudi Arabia but Turkey, which has friendly if edgy relations with Iran and balances between the US and Russia. Iraq, a Shia-majority country, tries to keep on good terms with both Tehran and Washington, but in any conflict between the two will side with Iran because of deep-rooted Iranian influence and common Shia identity.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been in the forefront of pushing the US towards withdrawing from the nuclear deal and confronting Iran.

“Iran is the biggest threat to Israel, to the Middle East and to world peace,” he declared on Monday. “For many years I dedicated my time and energy to fighting the Iranian threat … Today we see the fruit of that long and continuous battle.”

But the Israeli leader, like Mr Trump, has previously specialised in belligerent rhetoric and threat inflation, but is cautious about engaging in real military conflict. This could change, but Israel would not gain much and could lose a lot from war with Iran and Hezbollah.

The US sanctions will put strong pressure on Iran, but the temporary waivers granted to eight importers of Iranian crude shows the difficulty the US is having in imposing an economic siege. Trump’s demonstration of US strength could easily turn into a demonstration of weakness.


Jeff Sessions firing: top Republicans warn Mueller inquiry must continue

Matthew Whitaker, Trump’s interim replacement for attorney general, is longtime critic of special counsel

November 7, 2018

by Jon Swaine in New York

The Guardian

Senior Republicans led a chorus of public warnings that the special counsel Robert Mueller must be allowed to continue his Russia investigation after Donald Trump finally fired his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

As Trump replaced Sessions with a senior aide, Matthew Whitaker, a critic of Mueller’s inquiry, Senator Susan Collins was amongst the first Republicans to warn: “It is imperative that the Administration not impede the Mueller investigation … Special Counsel Mueller must be allowed to complete his work without interference.”

Mitt Romney, who won the race on Tuesday to become a senator for Utah, aimed his first broadside at Trump, tweeting: “It is imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues, and that the Mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded.”

As progressives activated a plan for mass protests across the United States, starting at 5pm Thursday in all time zones, the former CIA chief, John Brennan, predicted that it was likely Mueller had already completed his report for the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who was yesterday relieved of his duty overseeing the investigation into Russian election interference and any collusion with the Trump campaign.

Brennan told MSNBC: “If there are some major indictments coming down the pike, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re going to see it very soon. Generally the report that the special counsel will draft and deliver to Rod Rosenstein, I wouldn’t be surprised if that is ready to go.”

Sessions looked close to tears as he was applauded by justice department staff on his way out of the building on Wednesday night.

His departure came hours after he received a White House call ordering him to resign.

He was replaced by his former chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, who has previously called for Mueller’s investigation to be defunded and reined in.

Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon that Whitaker had been appointed acting attorney general and that a permanent replacement would be nominated later.

Whitaker, 49, will take charge of the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign. Sarah Isgur Flores, a justice department spokeswoman, said in an email: “The acting attorney general is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice.”

Democrats expressed concern that the president was moving to sabotage Mueller’s investigation, which has obtained guilty pleas to federal criminal charges from Trump’s former campaign chairman, deputy campaign chairman, White House national security adviser and campaign foreign policy adviser.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said in a statement that Whitaker should recuse himself from the Russia issue in light of “his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation”.

Trump’s decision concluded a long-running public feud between the president and his beleaguered attorney general.

Sessions said in an undated letter to Trump released on Wednesday: “At your request, I am submitting my resignation.” He took credit for reversing a recent rise in violent crime. He was later applauded by staff as he left the department’s headquarters.

“We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well,” Trump said.

A US official said on Wednesday that Sessions was told he had to resign in a telephone call from John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, rather than Trump himself.

Sessions, a former US senator for Alabama, was one of the earliest supporters of Trump’s presidential campaign, but ran into trouble soon after being confirmed to the new administration.

He enraged Trump by recusing himself in March 2017 from investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, following revelations that he had two undisclosed meetings with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US.

Sessions had not disclosed the discussions when asked under oath during his Senate confirmation hearing in early 2017 about contacts between Trump’s campaign and Moscow. Following his recusal, the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, took over responsibility for Russia matters.

In May 2017, after Trump fired the FBI director, James Comey, Rosenstein shocked the White House by appointing the former FBI chief Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russia’s interference and any coordination with Trump’s campaign team.

That investigation has since continued without Sessions being involved, leaving Trump deeply frustrated. Trump has publicly lambasted Sessions for recusing himself, claiming he ought instead to have protected Trump against what the president has termed a “witch-hunt” over Russia. Sessions and Rosenstein have defended Mueller’s integrity.

Whitaker’s view on the investigation appears to be in more line with the president’s. He has publicly proposed choking off funding for Mueller’s investigation and wrote an article for CNN last year declaring that the special counsel was “going too far” and needed to be brought under control.

“The president is absolutely correct,” Whitaker said, after Trump suggested Mueller would exceed his remit by looking into the president’s finances. “Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.”

Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, the likely new chairman of the House judiciary committee, said the American public “must have answers immediately” on Trump’s reasons for firing Sessions.

“Why is the president making this change and who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation? We will be holding people accountable,” Nadler said on Twitter.

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, urged senators from both parties to “speak out now and deliver a clear message” to Trump that he must not interfere with Mueller’s investigation.

Legal analysts said that Trump’s decision, announced soon after a lengthy and chaotic post-midterm election press conference at the White House, may set off a long-feared constitutional crisis over the fate of the inquiry, which followed a conclusion by US intelligence agencies that Russia intervened to help Trump win in 2016.

Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, said Trump’s replacement of Sessions with Whitaker was arguably an impeachable offence in itself. “This rule of law crisis has been a slow-motion train wreck for a long time,” said Tribe.

In any case, the firing of Sessions will conclude a bitter public dispute between the attorney general and his president that is unprecedented in recent times.

In August, Trump sharply criticised Sessions in a television interview the day after the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted of fraud – both cases having stemmed from the Mueller investigation.

Trump said: “I put in an attorney general that never took control of the justice department.”

Sessions struck back with a statement that said: “I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in … While I am attorney general the actions of the department will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”


What do the US midterms mean for the environment?

For the last two years, Trump has gutted US environmental regulation and promoted climate denial. But following Democratic gains, planet Earth should have more allies in the House of Representatives.

November 7, 2018

by Shay Meinecke


US President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget and staffed it with climate skeptics, and ditched Barack Obama’s national Clean Power Plan.

He and his allies at the EPA, the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior have scrapped climate policy put in place by previous administrations, even as record-breaking hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves hit the US.

But with the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, his opponents could thwart the president’s determination to silence climate science and weaken environmental protections.

Thanu Yakupitiyage of environmental organization 350.org says last night’s result was a win for the environment, despite Trump’s claims of victory.

“The win means we’re not dealing with climate denial anymore and that could have lasting impacts,” she told DW.

Fresh focus on the environment

According to a survey by The Associated Press (AP), 26 percent of voters rated healthcare, and 23 percent immigration, as the most important issue facing the country during the first nationwide ection under the Trump presidency.

The environment was the top priority for only 7 percent of voters. But a poll by Yale Univeritsy found that several US districts were deeply concerned with climate change and climate policies.

According to their data, around 67 percent of residents in California’s 48th district, which includes coastal Orange County, were worried about the impacts of flooding.

For resident of two districts in Texas — the 7th that includes Houston, and the 32nd that includes suburbs north of Dallas — extreme drought and heat waves were major concerns.

And a majority of Florida residents in district 26 — the state’s southernmost region — were concerned about “climate gentrification” and rising sea levels. They voted to oust incumbent House Republican Carlos Curbelo in favor of Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who campaigned heavily on healthcare and environmental protection.

For a democrat, Curbelo has been seen as relatively supportive of climate protection, opposing Trump’s exit from the Paris Agreement. But his controversial vote to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration may have spelled his doom.

Still, it wasn’t all good news for the environment.

Big oil wins voters

Voters in Washington State also had the chance to vote for state-wide carbon tax, but following heavy campaigning by the fossil fuel industry that claimed consumers would be left out of pocket, voters rejected the plan.

Big Oil convinced voters in Colorado to vote ‘No’ on increasing the setback distance between drilling operations and neighborhoods.

Utility also successfully campaigned in Arizona, where the electorate voted against plans to force energy companies to source at least half their electricity from renewables.

These setbacks proved that the fossil fuel industry is still a powerful force in US politics, says Yakupitiyage: “They poured $100 million dollars into stopping progressive climate initiates and essentially won.”

But there were some key wins as well.

In Florida, voters banned offshore oil drilling (and indoor vaping that was also included on the same referendum) and in Nevada, voters passed an initiative to double the amount of solar, wind and other types of renewable energy provided by the state’s electric company.

Now that they have a House majority, the Democrats must stand up for the interests of people and planet over rich companies, she added.

“The Democrats in Congress need to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable and show just how dangerous they are,” Yakupitiyage said. “By winning the House, the Democrats can keep Trump in line by enacting a system of checks and balances.”

Steven Cohen, executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, agrees and pointed to the fact that revenue and spending starts in the House.

“Many of Trump’s executive actions received little oversight and scrutiny, but with the Democrats now in control, they’ll finally have the leverage they need to provide scrutiny into Trump’s climate-denying administration,” he told DW.

Before it’s too late

Ahead of the vote, leader of the House Nancy Pelosi promised that climate change would become a major issue if the Democrats took back the House.

In a New York Times interview, she said she would revive a special committee to develop climate change legislation to curb the effects of greenhouse gases, which was effectively shut down by the Republicans.

Cohen pointed out that Pelosi’s party still had limite powers “The Democrats don’t have the White House or the Senate, so they’ll still face problems.”

“But with the newly gained leverage, they’ll be able to delegate funding and oversight to enact climate change policies,” he added.

Yakupitiyage says this kind of action needs to include incentives for a rapid shift to cleaner energy.

“We’re pumped about the Democratic win,” she said. “But Democrats need to rapidly enact change at the local level to transition to renewables.”

Not doing so could have catastrophic effects on the climate, as outlined in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report, she added. The report warned that the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent on 2010 levels, by 2030 or face ever-more extreme drought, floods, wildfires and food shortages across the globe.

“We have little time to avoid a disastrous future. We need our politicians to enact change now,” Yakupitiyage said.




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