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TBR News October 13, 2018

Oct 13 2018

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

Washington, D.C. October 13, 2018: Trump says no sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi is a headline seen in the daily news reporting.

If there were allegations that the Russians had been secretly reported (in the New York Times of course) as causing traffic accidents in Bad Seepage, Ohio, Fat Donald would have immediately sanctioned the evil Russians but if the lunatic Saudi heir-apparent had a dissident newsman killed in one of their diplomatic offices and chopped into pieces, Fat Donald will shake his manicured fingers at them and continue to sell the Saudis more weapons with which to butcher others whom they view as unwelcome enemies.

One can forgive a repentant sinner but not a hypocrite and Fat Donald is a rampant manifestation of both hypocrisy and prevarication.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 49
  • With Friends Like These
  • S. weapons makers rattled over Saudi Arabia deals
  • Texas Democrat O’Rourke raises record $38 million in U.S. Senate race
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Fake literature as history
  • Facebook says 14m accounts had personal data stolen in recent breach

 

Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 49

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

  • Jan 18, 2018

“Americans built the Hoover Dam — the magnificent Hoover Dam, if you’ve ever seen it; the Empire State Building. They built it in one year, nobody knows that — one year, it was actually less than one year, the Empire State Building.”

Source: Speech on tax law at Pennsylvania’s H&K Equipment Company

in fact: We’d let Trump with getting away with saying the Empire State Building was built in “one year,” even though that ignores the pre-construction planning process: the construction took 13 months, so he’d be close. But “actually less than one year,” Trump’s ad-libbed exaggeration, is objectively false.

Trump has repeated this claim 4 times

“We’re putting America back to work, and we’re ensuring the forgotten men and women of our country are never, ever forgotten again. Remember? The ‘deplorables.’ The ‘deplorables.’ We’re all deplorables. Who would have thought that was going to turn into a landslide, right?

Source: Speech on tax law at Pennsylvania’s H&K Equipment Company

in fact: Though the term is subjective, Trump’s victory was not even close to a “landslide.” He earned 2.9 million fewer votes than opponent Hillary Clinton. The Electoral College margin he earned, 306 to 232, was substantial, but it was the product of razor-thin margins in three states: about 100,000 total votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

 

“And because of our business tax reforms, Apple has just announced that they are bringing $350 billion, and putting it into investment into our country — $350 billion. Three-fifty. That’s a lot…So we want to thank Apple — $350 billion.”

Source: Speech on tax law at Pennsylvania’s H&K Equipment Company

in fact: Trump was exaggerating: it is not true that Apple said it was bringing back $350 billion into the country because of Trump’s tax policy. Apple’s January press release made clear that the $350 billion figure included both new investments and pre-existing spending. (It said: “Combining new investments and Apple’s current pace of spending with domestic suppliers and manufacturers — an estimated $55 billion for 2018 — Apple’s direct contribution to the US economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years, not including Apple’s ongoing tax payments, the tax revenues generated from employees’ wages and the sale of Apple products.”) The Associated Press reported: “Most of the $350 billion reflects money that Apple planned to spend with its suppliers and manufacturers in the U.S. anyway, even if corporate taxes had remained at the old 35 per cent rate.” Apple’s press release was not specific about how much money it was bringing back from overseas, but AP concluded that the company was suggesting it planned to bring back “about $245 billion of its overseas cash.”

Trump has repeated this claim 20 times

“The other day, you just saw Chrysler announce they’re moving from Mexico back to Michigan — you don’t hear that too often — with a big, big monster factory.”

Source: Speech on tax law at Pennsylvania’s H&K Equipment Company

in fact: Trump could have accurately said that Chrysler is “shifting some production from Mexico,” or something of the sort. It is not accurate, though, to say that Chrysler is “leaving” Mexico. The company announced that it is moving the production of its Ram truck from a plant in Saltillo, Mexico to a plant in Michigan — but it said there would be no layoffs in Mexico and that the Mexican plant would be “repurposed” to production of other vehicles.

Trump has repeated this claim 11 times

 

“We have created nearly 2.2 million jobs since the election. The unemployment rate is at, now, an 18-year low. I would say 17 years, and now it just lifted to 18 years.”

Source: Speech on tax law at Pennsylvania’s H&K Equipment Company

in fact: In claiming that “we” have created 2.2 million jobs, Trump is taking credit for jobs added at the end of the Obama administration; the U.S. had added around 2 million jobs under Trump himself. Leaving that aside, though, the unemployment rate is still at a 17-year low, not an 18-year low. Trump regularly exaggerates numbers that are already impressive.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“The wall has been something that I have been very consistent on always.”

Source: Remarks on tour of H&K Equipment Company

in fact: Trump’s internal thoughts about his wall on the Mexican border may have been consistent from the start, but his public statements have not. Trump once described the wall solely as a giant concrete barrier; he now says that some of it will be more like “fence,” and that parts of it will have to be “see-through.” He began musing in 2017 about how he wanted to use solar panels for part of the wall (“do a solar wall”). He now emphasizes that the wall will only have to cover 700 miles of the border, allowing natural barriers to take care of the rest. And, of course, his claims about the funding of the wall have shifted markedly. His unequivocal claim that Mexico would pay for the wall was a staple of his campaign rallies; he now insists that Mexico will pay “in some form,” “eventually,” and “directly or indirectly.”

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“But if for any reason it (the government) shuts down, the worst thing is what happens to our military…But again, the group that loses big would be the military.”

Source: Remarks before meetings at the Pentagon

in fact: Trump is free to argue that a shutdown would hurt the military. But there is no basis for the argument that the military is “the” group that loses bigger than any other group of government employees. Unlike many government operations, the military largely keeps operating as normal during the shutdown. Troops aren’t scheduled to receive their regular paycheques until Feb. 1, so they won’t be denied money even temporarily unless the shutdown runs for nearly two weeks. (Trump was speaking before the shutdown began.) Congress is virtually guaranteed to pass post-shutdown legislation providing back pay to any non-essential civilian personnel who are furloughed during the shutdown. While the shutdown will have minor impacts on the lives of troops and their families — some commissaries were closed, extracurricular activities at schools on military bases cancelled — other federal employees face similar consequences.

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

“The wall is the wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: Trump’s internal thoughts about his proposed wall on the Mexican border may have been consistent from the start, but his public statements have not. Trump once described the wall solely as a giant concrete barrier; he now says that some of it will be more like “fence,” and that parts of it will have to be “see-through.” He began musing in 2017 about how he wanted to use solar panels for part of the wall (“do a solar wall”). And, of course, his claims about the funding of the wall have shifted markedly. His unequivocal claim that Mexico would pay for the wall was a staple of his campaign rallies; he has since begun to hedge, claiming that Mexico will pay “in some form,” “eventually,” “directly or indirectly.”

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country. We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: It is not exactly clear what “rating” Trump is referring to, but it is likely he got this information from a report that was later retracted. In May 2017, the International Institute for Strategic Studies issued a report that found Mexico had the second-most “armed conflict fatalities” of any country in 2016. After criticism from Mexican officials and academics, the Institute withdrew the report and issued a statement saying: “We accept there was a methodological flaw in our calculation of estimated conflict fatalities that requires revision. Our researchers are working to rectify this and we will share the results in due course. We anticipate this will result in Mexico’s conflict remaining among the ten most lethal in the world, by estimated fatalities attributable to an armed conflict.”

“The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion trade surplus with the U.S. ”

Source: Twitter

in fact: The U.S. trade deficit with Mexico is not that large. When trade in services is included, the 2016 deficit was $56 billion. Counting trade in goods alone, the deficit was $64 billion in 2016, $60 billion in 2015, $55 billion in 2014 and $54 billion in 2013, according to U.S. government data; it has not exceeded $67 billion since 2007.

Trump has repeated this claim 34 times

  • Jan 19, 2018

“Unemployment for women — think of this — at an 18-year low.”

Source: Speech to March for Life marchers and pro-life leaders

in fact: The 4 per cent women’s unemployment rate is a 17-year low, not an 18-year low — as Trump, who regularly exaggerates numbers that are already impressive, correctly said in a speech to a women’s event three days prior.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

  • Jan 23, 2018

“We’re renegotiating our deal with South Korea, which has turned out to be a disaster for this country. It was a deal that was going to create 200,000 jobs, and we lost 200,000 jobs.”

Source: Remarks at signing of Section 201 trade actions

in fact: Both numbers are wrong. Nobody — or nobody important, at least — claimed that the South Korea trade deal would create 200,000 jobs; Obama said that deal would “support at least 70,000 American jobs.” Further, there is no basis for the claim that “we lost 200,000 jobs” because of the deal. Trump’s top anti-free-trade adviser, Peter Navarro, has claimed that the deal cost the U.S. “100,000 jobs”; the Economic Policy Institute estimated “more than 95,000 jobs between 2011 and 2015.” Those figures are hotly disputed by proponents of the deal. Regardless, not even critics of the deal offer an estimate of 200,000 jobs lost.

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

“And that’s what they’re doing. We have massive amounts of money coming in. Apple, as you know, just announced they’re going to spend $350 billion in the United States, which I believe is the largest amount ever invested in this country by a company — $350 billion.”

Source: Remarks at signing of Section 201 trade actions

in fact: Apple did not announce a $350 billion investment. Rather, it said the combination of new investments and prior spending would total $350 billion over five years. Here’s the wording from its January press release: “Combining new investments and Apple’s current pace of spending with domestic suppliers and manufacturers — an estimated $55 billion for 2018 — Apple’s direct contribution to the US economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years, not including Apple’s ongoing tax payments, the tax revenues generated from employees’ wages and the sale of Apple products.”) The Associated Press reported: “Most of the $350 billion reflects money that Apple planned to spend with its suppliers and manufacturers in the U.S. anyway, even if corporate taxes had remained at the old 35 per cent rate.”

Trump has repeated this claim 20 times

“Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok?”

Source: Twitter

in fact: All of the missing text messages were later found. Even when they were missing, though, there was no indication that there were 50,000 of them. Fifty thousand was the total number of text messages the FBI said the two exchanged during their entire relationship, not the number they were thought to exchange over the five months for which text records had disappeared. For Trump’s “50,000” number to be accurate, they would have had to exchange more than 300 texts a day over the five-month period.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“In one of the biggest stories in a long time, the FBI now says it is missing five months worth of lovers Strzok-Page texts, perhaps 50,000, and all in prime time. Wow!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: The FBI never said it was missing “perhaps 50,000” texts between the two employees. Fifty thousand was the total number of text messages the FBI said the two exchanged during their entire relationship, not the number they were thought to exchange over the five months for which the records had disappeared. The FBI never provided an estimated figure for the missing texts, but it was obviously well below the 50,000 total; for that number to be accurate, they would have had to exchange more than 300 texts a day over the five-month period. (Note: the texts were soon found.)

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

 

With Friends Like These

October 12, 2018

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Was Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and then his body cut up with a bone saw and flown to Riyadh in Gulfstream jets owned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

So contend the Turks, who have video from the consulate, photos of 15 Saudi agents who flew into Istanbul that day, Oct. 2, and the identity numbers of the planes.

Supporting the thesis of either a murder in the consulate or a “rendition,” a kidnaping gone horribly bad, is a Post story that U.S. intel intercepted Saudi planning, ordered by the prince, to lure Khashoggi from his suburban D.C. home back to Saudi Arabia. And for what beneficent purpose?

If these charges are not refuted by Riyadh, there will likely be, and should be, as John Bolton said in another context, “hell to pay.”

And the collateral diplomatic damage looks to be massive.

Any U.S.-backed “Arab NATO” to face down Iran, with Riyadh as central pillar, would appear dead. Continued US support for the Saudi war in Yemen would now be in question.

The special relationship the crown prince and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have established could be history.

Congress could cancel US arms sales to the kingdom that keep thousands of US defense workers employed, and impose sanctions on the prince who is heir apparent to the throne of his 82-year-old father, King Salman.

Today, the Saudi prince has become toxic, and his ascension to the Saudi throne seems less inevitable than two weeks ago. Yet, well before Khashoggi’s disappearance in the consulate, Crown Prince Mohammed’s behavior had seemed wildly erratic.

Along with the UAE, he charged Qatar with supporting terrorism, severed relations, and threatened to build a ditch to sever Qatar from the Arabian Peninsula. To protest criticism of his country’s human rights record by Canada’s foreign minister, he cut all ties to Ottawa.

Last year, he summoned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh, held him for a week, and forced him to resign his office and blame it on Iranian interference in Lebanon. Released, Hariri returned home to reclaim his office.

A professed reformer, Crown Prince Mohammed opened movie theaters to women and allowed them to drive, and then jailed the social activists who had called for these reforms.

Three years ago, he initiated the war on the Houthis, after the rebels ousted a pro-Saudi president and took over most of the country.

And, since 2015, the crown prince has conducted a savage air war that has brought Houthi missiles down on his own country and capital.

Yemen has become Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam.

That our principal Arab ally in our confrontation with Iran, which could lead to yet another US war, is a regime headed by so unstable a character should raise serious concerns about where it is we are going in the Middle East.

Have we not wars already?

Do we not have enough enemies in the region — Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran — to be starting another war?

As for our regional allies, consider.

NATO ally Turkey, which is pressing the case against our Saudi allies, leads the world in the number of journalists jailed. Our Egyptian ally, Gen. al-Sissi, came to power in a military coup, and has imprisoned thousands of dissidents of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While we have proclaimed Iran the “world’s greatest state sponsor of terror,” it is Yemen, where Saudi Arabia intervened in 2015, that is regarded as the world’s great human rights catastrophe.

Moreover, Iran is itself suffering from terrorism.

Last month, a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in the southwest was attacked by gunmen who massacred 25 soldiers and civilians in the deadliest terror attack in Iran in a decade.

And like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, Iran suffers, too, from tribalism, with Arab secessionists in its southwest, Baloch secessionists in its southeast, and Kurd secessionists in its northwest.

The US cannot look aside at a royal Saudi hand in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist in its consulate in Istanbul. But before we separate ourselves from the Riyadh regime, we should ask what is the alternative if the House of Saud should be destabilized or fall?

When Egypt’s King Farouk was overthrown in 1952, we got Nasser.

When young King Faisal was overthrown in Baghdad in 1958, we eventually got Saddam Hussein. When King Idris in Libya was ousted in 1969, we got Qaddafi. When Haile Selassie was overthrown and murdered in Ethiopia in 1974, we got Col. Mengistu and mass murder. When the Shah was overthrown in Iran in 1979, we got the Ayatollah.

As World War I, when four empires fell, testifies, wars are hell on monarchies. And if a new and larger Middle East war, with Iran, should break out in the Gulf, some of the Arab kings, emirs and sultans will likely fall.

And when they do, history shows, it is not usually democrats who rise to replace them.

 

U.S. weapons makers rattled over Saudi Arabia deals

October 12, 2018

by Matt Spetalnick, Mike Stone, Patricia Zengerle

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major U.S. defense contractors have expressed concern to the Trump administration that lawmakers angered by the disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Turkey will block further arms deals with Saudi Arabia, a senior U.S. official told Reuters on Friday.

Turkish reports that journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a vocal critic of Riyadh, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and removed have hardened resistance in the U.S. Congress to selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, already a sore point for many lawmakers concerned about the Saudi role in Yemen’s civil war.

Saudi Arabia rejects the allegations in Turkey as baseless.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was wary of halting arms sales to Riyadh because of Khashoggi as it would just shift its weapons purchases to Russia and China.

Saudi Arabia, where Trump last year announced a $110 billion arms package, has been a centerpiece of his overhaul of weapons export policy in which he has gone further than any of his predecessors in acting as a weapons salesman. However, critics say the new approach gives too much weight to business interests versus human rights concerns.

The senior U.S. official declined to identify the companies that had contacted the administration over their Saudi arms deals. Defense contractors did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Raytheon Co (RTN.N) have been the most active U.S. defense companies with potential sales to Saudi Arabia since Trump announced the package as part of his “Buy American” agenda to create jobs at home.

In Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike are alarmed by the disappearance of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post. He entered the consulate on Oct. 2 to collect documents for his planned marriage. Saudi officials say Khashoggi left the building shortly afterwards, but his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, said he never re-appeared.

Even before Khashoggi’s unexplained disappearance, Democratic lawmakers had “holds” for months on at least four military equipment deals, largely because of Saudi attacks that killed Yemeni civilians.

“This makes it more likely they’ll expand holds to include systems that aren’t necessarily controversial by themselves. It’s a major concern,” the senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

About $19 billion in deals have been officially notified to Congress, according to government records, making it unlikely that they can be halted. These include training packages for Saudi troops and pilots and the THAAD anti-missile system that could cost as much as $15 billion.

One lobbyist for a defense company who spoke on condition of anonymity said worries about a potential across-the-board blockage of Saudi sales by Congress had surfaced in recent days, a development that would hurt a range of contractors.

A second U.S. official said there were also current holds in place on training sales for the Saudi government.

Under U.S. law, major foreign military sales can be blocked by Congress. An informal U.S. review process lets key lawmakers use a practice known as a “hold” to stall deals if they have concerns such as whether the weapons being supplied would be used to kill civilians.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia, threatened on Thursday to introduce a resolution of disapproval for any Saudi military deal that came up.

Senator Bob Corkerthe Republican chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters on Thursday he recently told a defense contractor not to push for a deal with the Saudis, even before the Khashoggi case.

“With this, I can assure it won’t happen for a while,” Corker said.

While details of all the previously blocked Saudi deals were not immediately available, one was the planned sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of high-tech munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Since 2015, Gulf Arab states have fought to restore a government in Yemen driven out by the Houthis, Shi’ite Muslim fighters Yemen’s neighbors view as agents of Iran. The war has killed more than 10,000 people and created the world’s most urgent humanitarian emergency.

Senator Robert Menendez, the top Foreign Relations Committee Democrat, said the Trump administration had not satisfied concerns he first raised in June about the sale to members of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen of Raytheon’s precision-guided munitions.

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, Mike Stone and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; editing by Bill Rigby and Grant McCool

 

Texas Democrat O’Rourke raises record $38 million in U.S. Senate race

October 12, 2018

by Tim Reid

Reuters

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke’s bid to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz got a major financial boost in the third quarter when he said he raised $38.1 million, a record for any U.S. Senate race.

The figure is more than triple what Cruz has raised, reflecting the intense Democratic efforts to win the two Senate seats the party needs to get back control of the upper chamber and mount renewed opposition to President Donald Trump.

Still, opinion polls generally show O’Rourke trailing in the heavily conservative state, which has not sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 30 years. A New York Times/Siena College poll released on Friday showed Cruz with an 8 percentage point lead over O’Rourke.

O’Rourke’s reported fundraising was more than three times the $12 million that Cruz last week told supporters he had raised in the quarter, which ended Sept 30. The Democrat’s cash haul was the largest amount raised by a U.S. Senate candidate in a single quarter, according to data from the Federal Election Commission, which goes back to 1994.

“O’Rourke, unlike any other Democrat in Texas in a very long time, is going to have all the money he needs to make his case,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, in a phone interview.

O’Rourke’s efforts to get out the Democratic message will be offset by the combined heavy spending of Republicans Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has begun running statewide ads, Jillson said.

The previous record for quarterly fundraising for a Senate candidate was held by former U.S. Representative Rick Lazio, the unsuccessful Republican nominee who ran against Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate in New York in 2000. He raised $22 million in the third quarter of that year. Adjusted for inflation, that would be worth $31 million in 2018 dollars, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

O’Rourke, a first-term congressman from El Paso, thanked his more than 800,000 donors in a Twitter video, saying: “It’s going to give us the resources we need to finish this campaign as strong as we possibly can.”

O’Rourke made the disclosure ahead of Monday’s deadline for candidates to report their fundraising to the Federal Election Commission.

Cruz last week warned supporters that he expected O’Rourke to have raised more than $30 million in the quarter.

Cruz has painted O’Rourke, who favors a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, opposes building a wall along the border with Mexico, and supports some gun-control measures, as too radical for Texas.

O’Rourke has blasted Cruz for supporting massive deportations of illegal immigrants. He also criticized Cruz for supporting Trump’s trade policies, which he said have hurt the Texas economy.

Reporting by Tim Reid, Additional reporting by Grant Smith in New York and John Whitesides in Washington, Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

October 13, 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. 47

Date: Wednesday, November 20, 1996

Commenced: 1:50 PM CST

Concluded: 2:22 PM CST

GD: Good afternoon, Robert. Am I being inconvenient?

RTC: No, Gregory. I’ve finished lunch, done a bit with the Switzers, read the papers and the rest of the day is free. How are you doing? Getting ready for Thanksgiving?

GD: Oh yes. I was reading a Sheldon ‘Furry Freaks’ cartoon that showed a bunch of hippies at Thanksgiving. One of them was making a terrible face and he said to the girlfriend, who had obviously cooked the bird, ‘This stuffing is really terrible. What is it?’ And she replied that it came already stuffed from the organic foods shop. It obviously had not been emptied of its innards and I was wondering how much of it they ate.

RTC: Typical long-hair stupidity. I take it your turkey is not from an organic turkey farm?

GD: Free range turkeys? No, they stuff them in little pens, fatten them and then into the eye with the icepick and into the defeathering machine. As Cromwell was supposed to have said about Charles I, ‘Cruel necessity.’ But it tastes fine if you aren’t socially conscious.

RTC: It smacks of the concentration camp soap stories.

GD: And don’t forget the shrunken heads and the lampshades while you’re at it, Robert. We mustn’t be callous and forget the crime of the century. Of course, it’s interesting that the Turkish murders of a million unarmed Armenians some years ago seems to be strangely forgotten.

RTC: Well, the Israelis are friends with Turkey and since they run the media here, they have an understanding about that. There can’t be stories that would eclipse their very own big money maker and which at the same time would offend one of their only allies.

GD: Oh, the bitter realities of realpolitik. You recall talking about the Pedophile Academy you people run?

RTC: I do. You aren’t interested in joining, are you?

GD: No, actually, I lust after sheep. Just think of it as Farrah Fawcett in a fur coat and all will come out in the end.

RTC: A pun is the lowest form of humor, Gregory.

GD: I know and I am so ashamed. but they do look so cute in lacy panties.

RTC: I am certain you’re joking, Gregory. Do you have lamb at Easter?

GD: Sir, think you I am so callous? Months of true love to be followed by sordid death and the roasting pan? Terrible, Robert, terrible. Oh well, I suppose there in our imperial city things are really pure and noble.

RTC: Hardly. You mentioned the kiddie’s club. There’s a lot worse than that in our fair city, believe me.

GD: Oh, I am sure of that. Prominent Evangelical leaders meeting in a basement dungeon while someone like Pat Robertson, dressed in mesh stockings and a feather boa, whipping teen-aged acolytes with a cat of nine tails. I’ve heard Washington is famous for things like that.

RTC: Actually, yes it is. For example, one of the less appetizing aspects of our little Company has been the fairy club.

GD: You mean you hire all those nasty florist types?

RTC: No, I mean we have an entire subsection devoted to the care and feeding of queers. Its under the Science and Technology people and consists of raging homos whose job it is to infiltrate groups of prominent Beltway queers, get the information on them so we can blackmail them into doing what we want. We’ve set up male whorehouses around here, all equipped with special mikes and cameras so we can get the evidence on the creeps and then twist their arms. They staff these places with young military personnel…mostly Marines but quite a few Army people, and naturally sailors. We have a lot of Congressmen in the basket and one hell of a lot of senior military people around to do what we want, not to forget foreign diplomats, important business people and, as you say, some impressive religious leaders. It’s mostly the military that we bag and a large number of the far right and the very fanatical religious types.

GD: That’s not surprising. Most of those people are drawn to strength and a well-muscled Marine with a leather belt is a pretty good illustration of what they consider strength. Far right types like leather boots and domination. I suppose the marks pay for sex?

RTC: Oh, yes, and pay very well. First they pay cash and then they pay later in services. You would be astounded the number of fairies in high places here and most of them are in our little bags. And they do perform for us. A proper vote on yearly cash allotments, no questions asked, shutting off people who don’t like us, promoting or assisting those who are known to be on our good list. We have one Supreme Court justice, at least five appellate court judges, God knows how many senior FBI people, quite a few NSA personnel and, who would be shocked, enough State Department queers to stock a good hotel. I, personally, have nothing to do with this, but my friend Ed is involved in the administration of this and he has mentioned governors, senior senators and so on that he can jerk around at leisure. Of course, we set up the male whorehouses, but never, never have any of our people on the premises. We have surveillance monitors all over the neighborhood and perhaps next door listening to the tapes and turning on the TV cameras but we don’t want one of our straight people bagged if the local cops raid a place. The DC cops are stupid and corrupt beyond belief, but one never knows if they’ll get a wild hair up their ass and pull a raid. If they did, of course, we could quiet it down in the court system here, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. It does pay off, Gregory, and I can assure you that I, personally, have nothing to do with it.

GD: I don’t question that, Robert. Anyone I might know about?

RTC: Oh, God, it would be wonderful if you put all of this into your books, but if you did, don’t talk about it in front or you would have many problems. Faggotry is a fact of life, Gregory, but none of these assholes want to be exposed. Nixon had his times with Bebe Rebozo, too, but of course never in one of our DC peg houses. That never went anywhere, but I know it’s true. There are tapes. We bug all kinds of rendezvous places like certain motels, beach houses and so on. For example, we couldn’t bug Nixon’s place in Florida, but we certainly could bug Rebozo. It’s quite an area of exploitation, Gregory. Once we nailed a very senior Israeli diplomat who liked to be whipped by muscular young blacks and when we wanted some information, Jim just casually showed him some stills from a surveillance tape and you would be amazed how much instant cooperation we got on a certain Arab matter. And speaking of diplomatics, the Saudis are absolutely the worst. They’ll fuck anything in sight if it’s warm, and my, they do have lots of money.

GD: I recall an old Persian poem I once read out loud in Lit class that goes, ’Across the river there is a boy with an ass like a peach, but alas, I cannot swim.’ I had to go home for two days for that but the class had quite a laugh.

RTC: You must indeed have been quite a scholar.

GD: No, I was quite a trouble-maker. One of my teachers once told me, in front of the class, that I was an idiot’s delight. I told her right back that I was pleased to make her so happy. This time, I went on leave for a week.

RTC: Well, she had it coming.

GD: Oh yes, she did. They never liked me in high school, Robert, and the feeling was mutual. Once, I entered a national patriotic essay contest and, by God, I won a big prize. I wrote about the joys of being a patriot and the usual drivel. Anyway, I got the letter at home and I assume the school was told at the same time. Wonderful responses from them. They had planned for a special assembly to honor the gifted one, but no way would they do this for me. Do you know, they actually called me in and suggested, very firmly, that I step aside and let little Robbie the Pig get the prize? This was the son of the local Methodist minister and a real toad. Chubby, whining, self-righteous and a born stool pigeon. Learned the art from dad, no doubt. Anyway, I flatly refused to yield. Then they called my mother and went to work on her. Of course she didn’t need any leaning and for two weeks, I got nothing but stereophonic yammering from both parents. I just wasn’t a good advertisement for the school and a real gentleman would let them have a grand ceremony for Robbie the Pig. I still wouldn’t budge so they sent the award and the check to me at home and I had a hell of a time getting the check away from my father, who tried to keep it. Lovely.

RTC: Not very civilized behavior, Gregory. I think you did the right thing then.

GD: Oh yes, Robert, and I certainly did the right thing about two weeks later.

RTC: I am almost afraid to ask. No more detergent in the school soup pot?

GD: No, this came before that. I felt I had been dishonored, and as Mueller once said to me, I have a fine fourteenth century mind. One cannot permit that sort of thing. My revenge was fairly simple and direct. Of course, no one suspected me, which is a little of a letdown, but the uproar was worth it. In the main hall of the school, right by the front office, was a large, bronze medallion with a depiction of the school symbol on it. It was set into the floor right in front of another bronze piece that listed all the former students of the high school who died in the Second World War. On both sides were flags, and during school hours, two members of the Honor Patrol stood on both sides of the sacred lares and panares to prevent careless or evil students from trampling on the school crest or not saluting, hand on chest, the plaque. My, my, what an inviting and sacred target. I broke into the school one Saturday night, very easy considering the very pickable locks and the better reality that there was no watchman. Now, I suppose, they would have surveillance cameras every ten feet but we were not so advanced then. I got into the chemistry lab, stole two bottles of concentrated nitric acid and a pair of acid-proof lab gloves, went down the hall and poured one bottle all over the floor relic. Much hissing and bubbling and clouds of stinking smoke. The second bottle I uncorked and poured the contents all down the wall piece. Much hissing, smoking and so on. Then, I tossed the bottles into a convenient trash bin and left by the front door. Outside they had the imperial flag pole in the courtyard. Every morning, the royal honor guard attended the morning flag-raising while someone played some raucous piece, off key of course, on a bugle. As a sort of afterthought, I took out my Swiss Army knife and cut the halyards on the pole and pulled down the lines. The pole was about sixty feet tall and set in concrete so replacing the lines would be a major task. My, my, and I felt so good all the way home.

RTC: Your honor had been avenged?

GD: Yes, and the next day, it was even more pleasurable. I had so little to really enjoy in those days, I treasured every moment, believe me. Came into the school and saw no one. Halls empty. For a hopeful moment, I thought that there was no school but it was not to be. Walking around, I came to the main hall which was packed with very emotional fellow students. Weeping girls and outraged boys. I managed to work my up towards the front of the mourners and saw my handiwork, full in the face as it were. It looked like the sacred relics had been made of brown sugar and melted in great gullies. I didn’t obliterate them but you could only see a few letters on the wall plaque and the mess on the floor looked like it had been at the bottom of the sea for a thousand years. Police all over the place, taking pictures, very angry honor students, people in a state of anger and grief. And all over a few crummy pieces of bronze. Oh, yes, and a scene outside where a fat janitor was risking his life on a ladder that kept slipping, to replace the flagpole ropes. They had to get a local fire truck out later on to do the job. Oh, my, and the police, who made Mongoloid idiots look like Harvard graduates, running all over the place with note books, interviewing everyone that would hold still. Massive grief and anger. A special assembly, mandatory attendance, in which the principal and other lesser lights offered a small reward to any snitches listening. You’d have thought someone took the Shroud of Turin and used it for toilet paper. Ah well, these rare and beautiful moments are ones to be treasured.

RTC: Simple but effective, Gregory.

GD: Always smile at a man when you kick him in the balls, Robert. Oh, that thing played out for about a month and then we were all asked to contribute to a replacement venture. When the collection cup came around in my math class, I spit into it. Another moment of perverse happiness. The soaping of the stock pot was a real, transcendent joy for me, but the curtain raiser was almost as much fun. The thought, and the sight, of most of the student body soiling their clothes, and the floors, was good enough to keep me warm for months but the wailing and cursing of my fellow stoats at the scene of the great sacrilege in the upper hall was not to be denigrated.

RTC: Did you ever tell your friend Heinrich Mueller about this?

GD: No. I don’t think he would have approved of it and I admired him. Listen, do you think you might get a list of your limp-wristed victims? Of course, I assure you that I will publish it, know that in front.

RTC: Not while I’m alive, but yes, I think I can accommodate you. Too bad I wouldn’t be around to read about all the suicides or flights from Congress.

(Concluded at 2:22 PM CST)

 

Fake literature as history

by Christian Jürs

History is written by those who win wars, not by those who lose them.

Germany lost the Second World War and the history of that conflict was written by those who won.

Since Germany lost, she was not only a loser but also depicted as a throughly evil country, replete with mass murders and other dispicable acts.

The legend of the Holocaust, as the German anti-Jewish persecutions became known (though the word means ‘burnt offering.’), began about 1948 and very shortly turned into a very profitable business venture.

Stories of screaming Jews being shoved into vast ovens, bodies of the slain rendered into hand soap and their skins turned into tanned leather gloves grew and were enhanced by a flood of allegedly first hand accounts of terrible sadism.

Kosinski’s “Painted Bird” was one of the first. Unfortunately, before he killed himself, Kosinski revealed that he had invented the entire saga of sadistic suffering.

The next major literary work was the moving diary of a young Jewish girl, Anna Frank. This turned out to have been written by Meyer Levin, an American writer and copied by Anna’s father’s secretary using a pen not invented until some years after the diaries were supposed to have been written.

Then we had a book entitled “Fragments” by one Benjamin Wilkomerski. This became a well-marketed work until it was discovered that the alleged Baltic Jew was actually one Bruno Dossecker, a Protestant Swiss citizen who was born in 1944 and his book a bad copy of the “Painted Bird.”

But the stories of immense gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp still linger, though seldom believed by anyone, and the fictional accounts, like the weird legends created around the 9/11 Saudi attack on the World Trade Center, have had their day.

In 1980,  Otto Frank, father of Anna, purported writer of a diary that became a standard reading in American schools and depicted the suffering and persecution of European Jews, sued Ernst Romer and Edgar Geiss, for distributing literature denouncing the diary as a forgery.

The trial produced a study by handwriting experts that determined everything was written by the same person. The person that wrote the diaries used a ballpoint, which was available till 1951 ~ Anne died in 1944.

During the course of this trial, the German criminal investigation BundesKriminal Amt BKA bureau examined the manuscript, in the form of three hardbound notebooks and 324 loose pages bound in a fourth notebook, were examined with special equipment.

The results of tests performed at the BKA laboratories show that large portions of the work, especially of the fourth volume, were written with a ballpoint pen. Since ballpoint pens were not available before 1951, the BKA concluded, those sections must have been added subsequently.

Also, none of the diaries handwriting matched known examples of Anne’s handwriting, all the writing in the journal was by the same hand; and thus the entire diary was a highly probable fake.

 

 

Facebook says 14m accounts had personal data stolen in recent breach

Hackers were able to access name, birthdate and other data in nearly half of the 30 million accounts that were affected

October 12, 2018

by Dan Tynan

The Guardian

Facebook has revealed 30m accounts were affected in a data breach last month. The company said hackers were able to access personal information for nearly half of those accounts.

That information included name, relationship status, religion, birthdate, workplaces, search activity, and recent location check-ins. The company had initially said 50m accounts were affected.

According to Facebook VP of Product Management Guy Rosen, attackers were able to access name and contact information for half of the hacked accounts. For 14m, the attackers were also able to scrape virtually all the other data available on members’ profile pages. One million victims got away without any information being stolen.

Rosen says the attackers did not access any credit card information associated with members’ accounts, and that the company has not received any reports of stolen information being available on the

The social network also found no evidence that attackers used the stolen tokens to access any third-party apps, including those that use Facebook’s single-sign-in to log in. It also did not impact users on other Facebook properties such as Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Oculus.

Facebook plans to notify members over the next few days as to what information may have been taken, and alert them to be on the lookout for suspicious emails, text messages, or calls.

Asked whether Facebook would pay for some kind of identity theft monitoring service for affected users – as breached companies often do – a spokeswoman said: “Not at this time.”

The hackers began by using a series of seed accounts and attacking the accounts of friends, then friends of friends, and so on down the line, eventually amassing a group of 400,000 compromised accounts. Using some of these accounts, they managed to steal access tokens for an additional 30m before they were stopped.

Rosen says Facebook first noticed a spike in unusual activity on 14 September. By the 25th, it had identified that activity as an attack. Two days later, Facebook had plugged the hole and reset users’ tokens, preventing attackers from accessing any further information.

By then, the damage had already been done.

Upon request from the FBI, Facebook declined to offer any information as to who might be behind the attack, or whether users in specific regions were targeted.

If any of the victims reside in Europe, it could trigger significant penalties under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, notes Pravin Kothari, CEO of security firm CipherCloud.

“Not knowing all of the details about when the breach was discovered and who was impacted, the possible outcomes may be worse than we know today,” he says. “We’ll have to see what Facebook discloses about potential liability, if any exists. The calculations of the potential fines under GDPR are a bit mind-boggling.”

Because the vulnerability has existed since July 2017, Facebook has not ruled out the possibility that smaller attacks on its token system went undetected before September. It is currently investigating.

Facebook has created a security notice page where users can check whether their account was impacted by the data breach.

Julia Carrie Wong contributed reporting

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