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TBR News September 14, 2019

Sep 14 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. September 14, 2019:

“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for September 14: “The Internet has an enormous storehouse of information and nearly any desired material can be located and downloaded. That is the positive aspect of the Internet. The negative side is that the Internet supplies an enormous flood of false, misleading and useless information, almost all of invented out of whole cloth by the same types that also have rushed to join, and use, what is known as the Social Network.

The Social Networks are a handy means for persons to express their personal views on almost any subject and to communicate with others of a like mind. The problem that one notes from reading their postings is the same one observes in reading the comments appended to serious articles on major newspapers. In reading both of these areas, one is at once struck by the utter stupidity of the writers, their total lack of English, their constant bad grammar and terrible spelling and, most important, their desire not to express a thoughtful view but to parade their insignificance and ignorance to a wide audience.

Another negative aspect of the Social Network is that, at least in the United States, all of the networks of any size are working closely with such official governmental agencies as the DHS and the FBI, to spy on their members at no cost or effort to themselves. In these cases, the mindless babblings and boastings of the dim of wit load federal surveillance files with moronic chatters from which the authorities can easily build a criminal case.

We did some research on the social networks and discovered that they have attracted more members than the government can keep up with, redolent of the thousands of hungry flies congregating in a cow pen.”




750,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


250,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


110,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


85,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


70,500,000 – Monthly Visitors

Google +

65,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


25,500,000 – Monthly Visitors

Live Journal

20,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


19,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


17,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


12,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


12,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


7,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


5,400,000 – Monthly Visitors


4,300,000 – Monthly Visitors


117,000,000 Yearly Visitors

BlackPlanet (Black Americans)

20,000,000 Yearly Visitors

Blauk  Anyone who wants to tell something about a stranger or acquaintance.

1,081,215  Yearly Visitors              .

Formspring  social Q&A website

290,000,000  Yearly Visitors

Habbo  For teens. Chat room and user profiles.

268,000,000 Yearly Visitors

Itsmy    Mobile community worldwide, blogging, friends, personal TV shows

2,500,000 Yearly Visitors

Kiwibox General.

2,400,000 Yearly Visitors


The Table of Contents

  • UVA Health System revamps aggressive debt collection practices after story
  • Why Trump shouldn’t run the North Korea playbook on Iran
  • Afghanistan Wars: Drugs for Fun and Profit
  • Parents of murdered Democratic staffer Seth Rich can sue Fox News: U.S. court
  • Veracity of statements by Donald Trump
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons



UVA Health System revamps aggressive debt collection practices after story

September 13, 2019

by Jay Hancock and Elizabeth Lucas,

Kaiser Health News

UVA Health System, which sues thousands of patients each year, seizing wages and home equity to collect on overdue bills, said Friday it would increase financial assistance, give bigger discounts to the uninsured and “reduce our reliance on the legal system.”

“This will have a huge impact on patients to the good,” Doug Lischke, the health system’s chief financial officer, said in an interview. The changes will “positively, drastically reduce the legal process” of lawsuits, garnishments and property liens. “We believe this is much more generous than what we’re doing now.”

Lischke called the new policy “a first step” that could later include financial assistance beyond what was announced. UVA also plans to ask the Virginia General Assembly to change a state law requiring state agencies including health systems to “aggressively collect” unpaid bills and charge 6 percent interest on the balance, he said.

But independent experts said the changed policy, which comes on the heels of a Kaiser Health News investigation published in The Washington Post detailing UVA’s aggressive collection practices, still leaves numerous patients exposed to lawsuits and crippling bills.

By leaving family assets vulnerable and not fully discounting sticker-price charges, the new guidelines remain “very tough on the poor and near-poor who have managed to amass anything of value that will help them with the daily costs of life,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a health policy professor at George Washington University.

The amended policy loosens qualifications for financial assistance, awarding aid to families with income of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $103,000 for a family of four. Until now, families making more than half that much were ineligible for assistance — the most restrictive rules of any major hospital system in Virginia, the KHN analysis found.

“While these changes represent a step in the right direction, it’s unfortunate that UVA, a public institution, insists on still suing patients,” said Marty Makary, a surgeon and researcher at Johns Hopkins Medicine who studies hospital debt collection. “In my conversations with UVA surgeons, they are appalled by the practice of their center in suing patients and want it to stop.”

The new policy will take effect Jan. 1 and in the meantime, officials said they are “committed to working with anyone who currently has an outstanding balance or debt that they are struggling to pay.”

The health system has not decided what to do about patient lawsuits in the pipeline, Lischke, said. Online court records show there are hearings scheduled for more than 500 UVA Medical Center cases over the next 40 days.

Mary Washington Healthcare of Fredericksburg, criticized earlier this summer for a far-smaller number of lawsuits, said it would suspend suing patients and try to eliminate current garnishments. Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in Memphis, another on a growing list of hospitals called out for aggressive collections, said it would suspend all court activity for a month.

UVA will apply the new financial assistance and charging policies to patients treated in July 2017 or later, Lischke said. That means patients on current payment plans could have payments eliminated or adjusted. But there will be no refunds of payments already made, he said.

Taken together the changes will cost UVA “millions to tens of millions,” he said declining to give a more precise figure.

UVA sued former patients for unpaid bills more than 36,000 times over six years ending in June, 2018, seeking repayment of over $106 million and often pushing families into onerous payment plans or bankruptcy, according to KHN’s investigation. And it routinely billed uninsured patients for far more than what a typical insurance company would have paid.

UVA began reviewing its billing and collections policies after being informed of KHN’s findings in August. It examined policies of neighbor hospitals such as Mary Washington, as well as of other major academic medical centers, Lischke said.

Previously just $4,000 in a retirement account could bar UVA patients from financial help, no matter how low their income. Now patients can have at least $50,000 in savings beyond the value of their home and car, and still get assistance if they meet the income test, UVA said.

The nonprofit health system, a taxpayer-supported state agency, also said it would grant discounts of 40 percent to uninsured patients to better reflect the lower rates negotiated and paid by insurance companies. Until now, uninsured patients got only 20 percent off the list or “chargemaster” price, plus another 10 percent to 15 percent if they paid promptly, which few were able to do.

Shaving 40 percent from list prices, which are used as a starting point for insurer negotiations, puts the bills for uninsured patients more in line with those who are covered by commercial health plans, Lischke said.

But Rosenbaum said that is not enough of a discount. She recommended the uninsured be billed at Medicare payment levels, which can be as much as 75 percent or more off the hospital’s list prices. The total of UVA’s cash revenue from all health plans and government programs is 70 percent below its list prices, financial forms filed with the Department of Health and Human Services show.

“Even a 40 percent write-off of charges remains a brutal exposure” for the uninsured, she said. “How could they possibly remain tied to their chargemaster and keep a straight face?”

As part of its ongoing review of billing and collections, UVA will consider further lowering charges to the uninsured — perhaps to Medicare levels, Lischke said.

The new also policy does nothing for those who were sued and garnished for treatment before July 2017.

So far the health system’s announcement also doesn’t help the 20 UVA students reported by KHN to have “active holds” on their enrollment this semester because they owe money to UVA Medical Center. UVA treats unpaid hospitals bills the same as unpaid tuition.

UVA has not approached legislators yet about changing billing laws but hoped to have next year’s General Assembly consider it

“I am hopeful that we are able to influence a change to not only the Debt Collection Act” requiring aggressive collection “but also the state indigent care guidelines,” Lischke said.

Gov. Ralph Northam, a physician who is close to L.D. Britt, a Norfolk surgeon and professor who is chairman of the health system’s board, said Monday that he is “glad to hear the UVA Health System is in the process of changing their policies and practices.”

Hancock is a senior correspondent and Lucas is Data Editor for Kaiser Health News (KHN), a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


Why Trump shouldn’t run the North Korea playbook on Iran

North Korea’s ongoing weapons program has shown why an imperfect nuclear deal is better than no deal at all. By applying “maximum pressure,” the US has isolated Tehran and failed to stop Pyongyang.

September 13, 2019

by Wesley Rahn


US President Donald Trump calls his administration’s strategy for keeping nuclear weapons away from Iran and containing a nuclear North Korea “maximum pressure” — a tough-talking, sanction-heavy policy designed to force adversaries into compliance.

Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton was a primary architect of maximum pressure. After his ouster earlier this week, there have been reports that Bolton was fired for his ultra-hawkish stance on Iran and North Korea.

Whether maximum pressure will subside without Bolton remains to be seen. Even before the neo-conservative adviser joined Trump’s foreign policy team, the administration’s approach had been criticized as erratic and volatile.

After threatening to destroy North Korea in 2017 and holding two summits that ended without a substantial agreement, there is still little evidence that US policy is getting closer to pressuring the regime in Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal. And North Korea continues to antagonize its neighbors, having conductied at least eight missile tests since July.

With Iran, maximum pressure has meant tearing up an international nuclear deal, while pushing the regime in Tehran away from the international community.

In 2017, the world was on edge at the thought of nuclear “fire and fury” on the Korean Peninsula. Then the Trump administration adopted a more conciliatory tone. With Iran, Trump appears to be following a similar negotiating pattern of escalation followed by seeking compromise. But there are important strategic differences to consider.

An imperfect deal is better than no deal at all

North Korea already has nuclear weapons, but Iran does not. This is partly because an “Agreed Framework” between North Korea and the US fell apart in 2002 after both sides failed to meet their commitments. The failure of diplomacy in the wake of its collapse eventually allowed Pyongyang to test a nuclear weapon in 2006.

The 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was far more comprehensive, with an extensive range of requirements and restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and a robust verification regime.

And unlike North Korea, observers agree that Iran had been in full compliance with the JCPOA. Despite this, and against the protest of the deals other signatories, Trump pulled the US out in May 2018, seeking a better agreement.

In August at the G7 meeting, Trump promised “tremendous progress” to both North Korea and Iran if they cut new deals with the US.

But North Korea is a different kind of negotiating partner than Iran. Pyongyang has always been a pariah state, having pursued nuclear weapons for decades as a bargaining chip to ensure its survival. Iran does not seek US-led international recognition and it does not need the nuclear deterrence and weapons-based legitimacy sought by Pyongyang. It has also never been clear whether Tehran was willing to pay the high price of international isolation in exchange for nuclear weapons.

‘The enemy of good enough’

“Iran also has the knowledge and capability to build nuclear weapons but chose to stop short of doing so because it is fundamentally not in its interest,” Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, told DW.

This is why Iran agreed to freeze nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief in 2015. The deal wasn’t perfect; critics said it allowed the regime in Tehran access to billions of dollars. But non-proliferation experts agreed that it was effective in limiting Iran’s development of weapons-grade nuclear fuel.

“The Trump administration chose the perfect to be the enemy of good enough, thus endangering the JCPOA — a plan that has prevented Iran from becoming another North Korea,” said Ali Vaez, Iran director at the Crisis Group, a think tank in Washington

Now Trump says he wants to negotiate a new deal with Iran — one that will include a permanent ban on all uranium enrichment, more intrusive inspections and a restriction on ballistic missiles. Tehran is not likely to agree to any of this and the Islamist regime would probably lose domestic credibility by seeking rapprochement with the US after Trump’s confrontational tactics.

“Unlike North Korea, Iran has domestic politics. No Iranian politician can afford to negotiate under duress with a US president who continues to bully and insult the Iranian leadership,” Vaez told DW. “Without a change in tone and tempering of the maximum pressure strategy, Iran is unlikely to meet the Trump administration at the negotiating table.”

Maximum diplomacy

A report released this week by Bloomberg said that Trump had discussed the easing of sanctions on Iran in return for meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, an idea that was rejected by Bolton. Trump fired him soon thereafter.

If Trump seeks a Singapore-style summit with Iran, a diplomatic breakthrough, symbolic or otherwise, looks unrealistic as the US continues to strong-arm Tehran.

The nuclear deal was already a major diplomatic step forward, and the policy of sanctions relief was proving more effective with Iran than it had been with North Korea.

“North Korea wanted to build nuclear weapons, ostensibly to deter US aggression, and was able to evade sanctions imposed on its economy, which is far smaller and far less dependent on international trade than Iran,” said Kimball.

Iranian society is more dynamic, international and open than North Korea. It has an oil economy and a middle class with a young population ready to join the international community. Tehran has more to lose. That was the logic behind the JCPOA, but this doesn’t mean that the regime will lose face domestically under duress to accept a tougher deal.

Does Iran want nuclear weapons?

“Not surprisingly, Trump’s ill-conceived ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has done nothing to force changes in Iran’s regional behavior or push Iran into accepting new US demands, rather it has sharply increased tensions in the Persian Gulf and decreased Iran’s incentives to continue compliance, ” said Kimball.

“Iran’s decision to breach some of the JCPOA nuclear limits is not part of an effort to ‘race’ toward getting a bomb. Iran is not interested in pursuing nuclear weapons and is seeking to leverage stronger action by Europe, China and Russia to provide the sanctions relief that it was promised when it agreed to the deal.”

There is no evidence that Iran has had an active nuclear weapons program since 2003. But if the JCPOA collapses and Iran is attacked by the US or Israel, all bets will be off,” said Vaez.

Bolton has called North Korea and Iran an “axis of evil.” To keep his nightmare from becoming a reality, the US and its allies should return to an Iran policy that allows all sides to save face while ensuring that the Islamic republic does not become a nuclear-armed, internationally isolated pariah that is even more dangerous to the region than it is already.

“The key lesson: Don’t abandon an effective, detailed written agreement that blocks weapons-related nuclear activities of a proliferant state without a viable ‘plan B,’ especially when your allies continue to support the agreement,” Kimball said.


Afghanistan Wars: Drugs for Fun and Profit

September 14, 2019

by Christian Jürs

It ought to be recognized that part of the so-called Afghan opium pipeline runs through the United Arab Emirates on its way to Kosovo where it is refined into heroin and shipped up into Europe.

Opium crops located in Afghanistan, over 95% of the world’s opium production, is protected by US CIA people and elements of the American military who have made themselves responsible for the bulk of the illegal heroin markets worldwide.

There is a deliberate effort to convince the bulk of the public that opium in Afghanistan is a Taliban operation but in fact it is not

An ‘Afghanistan Opium Survey’ details the ongoing and steady rise of Afghan opium production. In stated: “In 2016, opium production had increased by approximately 25 times in relation to its 2001 levels, from 185 tons in 2001 to 4800 tons in 2016.”

In 2011 a US MI report had stated, very clearly, that US military convoys operating from Pakistani ports were specifically used to ship both raw opium and refined heroin out of that country and to South American ports.

And then there are the origins, and development of the CIA’s modus operandi.

In what is called the Golden Triangle area, during the Vietnam war, when the CIA imposed a food-for-opium scheme on Hmong tribesmen from Laos — complete with a heroin refinery at the CIA headquarters in northern Laos and the set-up of nefarious Air America to export the raw gum opium by CIA-owned aircraft, to Columbia where it was, and is, being refined into heroin.

During its involvement with the war in SEA, the CIA used the Hmong groups to counter the activities of the Pathet Lao groups. The Hmongs used the profits from their opium productions to live on. The CIA protected the opium trade and very soon, realizing the profits to be made from it, expanded their control over the opium-growing business.  The Hmong were very important to CIA operations and the CIA was very concerned with their well-being. The CIA began to export raw opium from the north and east of the Plain of Jars to Long Tieng and later, during the height of the Vietnam wars, began to take a great interest in the very large and successful Afghanistani opium fields.

A Pakistani intelligence report based on Pashtun sources, most specifically indicates that the controlling factor in the opium production is not Muslim but American.

According to Pakistani government intelligence, the CIA is heavily involved with al-Quaeda and IS and introduced them into Afghanistan for guerrilla actions so as to be able to convince Washington to increase the number of American troops into that country to protect the highly profitable opium fields.

If one looks at a map showing the locations of the known opium fields in Afghanistan and then looks at another map showing US military units in place, the two are nearly identical.

Russian intelligence is well aware that the US CIA and the Pentagon are secretly supporting the Saudi-raised Sunni IS, a branch of which is now very active in Afghanistan.

It is very well known that a major portion of Afghanistani gum opium is taken over by CIA people and most of it is shipped to Columbia.

A portion of this opium goes to Kosovo where it is also refined and then shipped up through Germany to Russia. This annoys the Russians who have made a strong effort to put a halt to something that killed over 50,000 Russians last year from heroin overdoses.

Here we have an interesting situation.

Russia, with good reason, objects to having heroin smuggled into her country and attempts to put a stop to it.

The United States, a country that, via its agencies, is heavily involved in the international drug trade, objects to this attitude.

Therefore, in addition to all Russia’s oil and gas which America badly needs, the US has an excellent motive for making Russia a handy enemy.

Enemies are necessary to stimulate public support for more profitable (to some at least) small wars.


Parents of murdered Democratic staffer Seth Rich can sue Fox News: U.S. court

September 13, 2019

by Jonathan Stempel


NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit against Fox News Network over its reporting on Seth Rich, a former Democratic National Committee employee whose unsolved murder sparked uncorroborated right-wing conspiracy theories.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Rich’s parents, Joel and Mary Rich, could sue Fox News for causing emotional distress by publishing a May 16, 2017, article claiming their son had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks, implying that the leaks were related to his death.

Fox News, a unit of Fox Corp, retracted the article a week later, saying it fell short of its standards, but some leading conservatives and on-air guests discussed it for months.

The leaked emails suggested that DNC officials favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential nominating campaign.

Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi wrote that the Riches “sufficiently pleaded extreme and outrageous conduct” by the defendants, including reporter Malia Zimmerman, who wrote the retracted article, and Fox News guest Ed Butowsky.

The 3-0 decision overturned an August 2018 dismissal by U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan, and returned the case to him.

Seth Rich, 27, was shot and killed in July 2016 near his Washington home, in what police there consider a botched robbery.

Fox News said in a statement on Friday that it offered the Rich family its “deepest condolences for their loss,” but believed legal proceedings would show it did not engage in conduct that supported the Riches’ claims.

Asked about the decision, Butowsky, who is representing himself, said by phone: “That’s the craziest thing in the world. It has already been proven that the things they accused in the lawsuit never occurred.”

The Riches said in a statement that they looked forward to seeking justice, including at a possible trial.

“We would not wish what we have experienced upon any other parent,” they added.

The couple, from Omaha, Nebraska, had said the campaign against them included their hiring, at Butowsky’s suggestion, a private detective to investigate their son’s death.

Zimmerman later cited the detective’s findings in a discussion of Seth Rich’s alleged contacts with WikiLeaks.

Calabresi said the reporter then lent credibility to those findings by emphasizing the detective’s connection to the Riches.

“We have no trouble concluding that – taking their allegations as true – the Riches plausibly alleged what amounted to a campaign of emotional torture,” Calabresi wrote.

The Riches claimed to suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder, and Mary Rich said she no longer feels comfortable in public.

Friday’s decision also lets the Riches sue for alleged interference with their contract with the detective, and try to revive a negligent supervision claim against Fox News.

The case is Rich et al v Fox News Network LLC et al, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 18-2321.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Alistair Bell, Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis



Veracity of statements by Donald Trump


Donald Trump has made many false or misleading statements, including thousands during his presidency. Commentators and fact-checkers have described the rate of his falsehoods as unprecedented [1] in politics,[2][3][4] and they have become a distinctive part of both his business and political identity.[5] He has a pattern of making controversial statements and subsequently denying having done so.[6][7] By June 2019 many news organizations had started describing some of Trump’s falsehoods as lies.[8]

Business career

Within years of expanding his father’s property development business into Manhattan in the early 1970s, Trump attracted the attention of The New York Times for his brash and controversial style, with one real estate financier observing in 1976, “His deals are dramatic, but they haven’t come into being. So far, the chief beneficiary of his creativity has been his public image.” Der Scutt, the prominent architect who designed Trump Tower, said of Trump in 1976, “He’s extremely aggressive when he sells, maybe to the point of overselling. Like, he’ll say the convention center is the biggest in the world, when it really isn’t. He’ll exaggerate for the purpose of making a sale.”[9]

The architect Philip Johnson said in 1984 that Trump often lied. [10]

In 2018, journalist Jonathan Greenberg released audio recordings from 1984 in which Trump, posing as his own spokesman John Barron, made false assertions of his wealth to secure a higher ranking on the Forbes 400 list of wealthy Americans, including claiming he owned over 90 percent of his family’s business[11]

A 1984 GQ profile of Trump quoted him stating he owned the whole block on Central Park South and Avenue of the Americas. GQ noted that the two buildings Trump owned in that area were likely less than a sixth of the block. [12]

Alair Townsend, a former budget director and deputy mayor of New York City during the 1980s, and a former publisher of Crain’s New York Business, said “I wouldn’t believe Donald Trump if his tongue were notarized.”[13][14] Leona Helmsley later used this line as her own when she spoke about Trump in her November 1990 interview in Playboy magazine.[15]

His 1987 book Trump: The Art of the Deal stated, “I play to people’s fantasies. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.”[16]

When the stock market crashed in October 1987, Trump told the press that he had sold all of his stock a month before and taken no losses. But SEC filings showed that he still owned large stakes in some companies. Forbes calculated that Trump had lost $19 million on his Resorts International holdings alone. [13]

Challenging estimates of his net worth he considered too low, in 1989 Trump stated he had very little debt.[17] Reuters reported Trump owed $4 billion to more than 70 banks at the beginning of 1990.[18]

In 1997, Ben Berzin Jr., who had been tasked with recovering at least some of the $100 million his bank had lent Trump, said “During the time that I dealt with Mr. Trump, I was continually surprised by his mastery of situational ethics. He does not seem to be able to differentiate between fact and fiction.”[19][13]

David Fahrenthold investigated the long history of Trump’s claims about his charitable giving and found little evidence the claims are true.[20][21] Following Fahrenthold’s reporting, the Attorney General of New York opened an inquiry into the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s fundraising practices, and ultimately issued a “notice of violation” ordering the Foundation to stop raising money in New York.[22] The Foundation had to admit it engaged in self-dealing practices to benefit Trump, his family, and businesses.[23] Fahrenthold won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for his coverage of Trump’s claimed charitable giving[24] and casting “doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities”.[25]

In 1996, Trump claimed he wagered $1 million on 20-to-1 odds in a Las Vegas heavyweight title boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. The Las Vegas Sun reported that “while everyone is careful not to call Trump a liar,” no one in a position to know about such a sizable wager was aware of it. [26]

A 1998 New York Observer article entitled “Tricky Donald Trump Beats Jerry Nadler in Game of Politics” reported that “Nadler flatly calls Mr. Trump a ‘liar’,” quoting Nadler stating, “Trump got $6 million [in federal money] in the dead of night when no one knew anything about it” by slipping a provision into a $200 billion federal transportation bill.[27]

Promoting his Trump University after its formation in 2004, Trump asserted he would handpick all its instructors. Michael Sexton, former president of the venture, stated in a 2012 deposition that Trump selected none of the instructors. [28]

Trump often appeared in New York tabloid newspapers. Recalling her career with New York Post’s Page Six column, Susany Mulcahy told Vanity Fair in 2004, “I wrote about him a certain amount, but I actually would sit back and be amazed at how often people would write about him in a completely gullible way. He was a great character, but he was full of crap 90 percent of the time”. (Trump told the magazine, “I agree with her 100 percent”.)[29][30]

During a 2005 deposition in a defamation lawsuit he initiated about his worth Trump stated, “My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings…and that can change rapidly from day to day.”[31]

Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization executive vice president who worked for Trump from 1978 until 1998, said “he would tell the staff his ridiculous lies, and after a while, no one believed a single word he would say.”[32]

In The Art of the Deal

Main article: Trump: The Art of the Deal

Tony Schwartz is a journalist who ghostwrote Trump: The Art of the Deal.[33] In July 2016, Schwartz was interviewed by Jane Mayer for two articles in The New Yorker.[34][33] In them he described Trump, who was running for president at the time, highly unfavorably, and described how he came to regret writing The Art of the Deal.[34][33][35] When Schwartz wrote The Art of the Deal, he created the phrase “truthful hyperbole” as an “artful euphemism” to describe Trump’s “loose relationship with the truth”.[33] This passage from the book provides the context, written in Trump’s voice: “I play to people’s fantasies…People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and it’s a very effective form of promotion.”[36] He said that Trump “loved the phrase”.[33][37]

Schwartz said that “deceit” is never “innocent”. He added, “‘Truthful hyperbole’ is a contradiction in terms. It’s a way of saying, ‘It’s a lie, but who cares?'”[33] Schwartz repeated his criticism on Good Morning America and Real Time with Bill Maher, saying he “put lipstick on a pig”.[38]

Fearing that anti-German sentiments during and after World War II would negatively affect his business, Fred Trump began claiming Swedish descent.[39][40][41] The falsehood was repeated by Fred’s son Donald to the press[9][10] and in The Art of the Deal,[42][43][41] where he claimed that his grandfather, Friedrich Trump, “came here from Sweden as a child”.[44] In the same book, Donald also said that his father was born in New Jersey.[33][45] Trump later said, “My father is German. Right? Was German. And born in a very wonderful place in Germany, and so I have a great feeling for Germany.”[46] Trump’s father was born in the Bronx, New York.

2016 presidential campaign

Within six months of Trump’s announcement of his presidential candidacy, FactCheck.org declared Trump the “King of Whoppers” stating, “In the 12 years of FactCheck.org’s existence, we’ve never seen his match. He stands out not only for the sheer number of his factually false claims, but also for his brazen refusals to admit error when proven wrong.”[47]

Trump has promoted a number of conspiracy theories that have lacked substance. These have included Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories from 2011. Known as “birther” theories, these allege that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.[48][49][50] In 2011, Trump took credit for pushing the White House to release Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate, while raising doubt about its legitimacy,[51] and in 2016 admitted that Obama was a natural-born citizen from Hawaii.[52] He later falsely stated that Hillary Clinton started the conspiracy theories.[52][53][54]

In 2016, Trump suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He also claimed that he lost the popular vote in the 2016 election only because of the “millions” of illegal voters in that election cycle.[55][56]

Trump claimed repeatedly on the campaign trail in 2015 that the actual unemployment rate of around 5% “isn’t reflective [of reality]…I’ve seen numbers of 24%, I actually saw a number of 42% unemployment.” Politifact rated this claim “Pants on Fire”, its rating for the most egregious falsehoods. [57]

Jeremy Adam Smith, writing for the Greater Good Magazine, stated that Trump’s falsehoods may be “blue lies,” which are “told on behalf of a group that can actually strengthen the bonds among the members of that group.” As a result, he posited, Trump’s dishonesty does not cause him to lose the support of his political base, even while it “infuriates and confuses most everyone else.”[58]

In November 2015, Buzzfeed News’ Andrew Kaczynski reported that Trump, despite having claiming to have the best memory in the world, actually has a history of “conveniently forgetting” people or organizations in ways that benefit him. In July 2016, PolitiFact’s Linda Qiu also pointed out that despite Trump’s boast for his memory, he “seems to suffer bouts of amnesia when it comes to his own statements”. Both Kaczynski and Qiu cited examples of Trump stating he did not know anything about former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke despite past statements showing that he clearly knew who Duke was. [59]


Fact-checking Trump

Trump’s statements as president have engaged a host of fact-checkers. Tony Burman wrote: “The falsehoods and distortions uttered by Trump and his senior officials have particularly inflamed journalists and have been challenged — resulting in a growing prominence of ‘fact-checkers’ and investigative reporting.”[61] The situation is getting worse, as described by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ashley Parker: “President Trump seems to be saying more and more things that aren’t true.”[62]

Glenn Kessler said in 2017 that in his job as a fact-checker for The Washington Post there was no comparison between Trump and other politicians. Kessler gave his worst rating to other politicians 15 percent to 20 percent of the time, but gave it to Trump 63 percent to 65 percent of the time. [63] Kessler wrote that Trump was the most fact-challenged politician that he had ever encountered and lamented that “the pace and volume of the president’s misstatements means that we cannot possibly keep up.”[64]

The Washington Post fact-checker created a new category of falsehoods in December 2018, the “Bottomless Pinocchio”, for falsehoods that have been repeated at least 20 times (so often “that there can be no question the politician is aware his or her facts are wrong”). Trump was the only politician who met the standard of the category, with 14 statements that immediately qualified for the category. According to the Washington Post, Trump has repeated some falsehoods so many times that he has effectively engaged in disinformation. [65]

Professor Robert Prentice summarized the views of many fact-checkers:

Here’s the problem: As fact checker Glenn Kessler noted in August, whereas Clinton lies as much as the average politician, President Donald Trump’s lying is “off the charts”. No prominent politician in memory bests Trump for spouting spectacular, egregious, easily disproved lies. The birther claim. The vote fraud claim. The attendance at the inauguration claim. And on and on and on. Every fact checker — Kessler, Factcheck.org, Snopes.com, PolitiFact — finds a level of mendacity unequaled by any politician ever scrutinized. For instance, 70 percent of his campaign statements checked by PolitiFact were mostly false, totally false, or “pants on fire” false. [66]

At the end of 2018, Kessler provided a run-down summary of Trump’s accelerating rate of false statements during the year:

Trump began 2018 on a similar pace as last year. Through May, he generally averaged about 200 to 250 false claims a month. But his rate suddenly exploded in June, when he topped 500 falsehoods, as he appeared to shift to campaign mode. He uttered almost 500 more in both July and August, almost 600 in September, more than 1,200 in October and almost 900 in November. In December, Trump drifted back to the mid-200s. [1]

Several major fact-checking sites regularly fact-check Trump, including:

PolitiFact, [67] which awarded Trump its “Lie of the Year” in 2015[68] and 2017.

FactCheck.org, [69] which dubbed Trump the “King of Whoppers” in 2015. [70]

The Washington Post, which said on April 29, 2019, that Trump had made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims as president, [71] an average of more than 12 such statements per day.

The Toronto Star, which said that, as of May 2019, Trump had made almost 5,000 false statements since his inauguration. [72]

As late as summer 2018, the news media were debating whether to describe use the word “lie” to describe Trump’s falsehoods. However, by June 2019, many news organizations, including CNN, Star Tribune, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker, and Foreign Policy, had started describing some of Trump’s false statements as lies. The Toronto Sun was one of the first outlets to use the word “lie” to describe Trump’s statements, and continues to do so frequently. Still, some organizations have continued to shy away from the term. Glenn Kessler, author of The Washington Post ‘s “Fact Checker” column, has used the word “lie” only once to describe Trump’s statements, although he has sometimes used other terminology that implies lying.[8]

Credibility polling

According to a September 2018 CNN-SSRS poll, only 32% percent of Americans find Trump honest and trustworthy, the worst read in CNN polling history. The number was 33% on Election Day, November 8, 2016. [73]

Commentary and analysis

As president, Trump has frequently made false statements in public speeches and remarks.[74][64][75][76] Trump uttered “at least one false or misleading claim per day on 91 of his first 99 days” in office according to The New York Times,[74] and 1,318 total in his first 263 days in office according to the “Fact Checker” political analysis column of The Washington Post.[77] By the Post’s tally, it took Trump 601 days to reach 5,000 false or misleading statements and another 226 days to reach the 10,000 mark.[71] For the seven weeks leading up to the midterm elections, it rose to an average of 30 per day[78] from 4.9 during his first 100 days in office.[79] The Post found that Trump averaged 15 false statements per day during 2018.[1]

The New York Times editorial board has frequently lambasted Trump’s dishonesty. In September 2018, the board called him “a president with no clear relation to the truth”.[80] The following month, the board published an opinion piece titled, “Donald Trump Is Lyin’ Up a Storm”.[81]

In the journal Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Dr. Donnel B. Stern commented on Trump’s falsehoods during his presidency. Stern wrote that “Donald Trump lies so often that some have wondered whether he has poisoned the well […] We expect politicians to stretch the truth. But Trump is a whole different animal. He lies as a policy. He lies to get whatever he wants, and he clearly feels entirely justified in doing it…He will say anything to please what gets called ‘his base’ and to inflate his own sense of importance.”[82]

Specific topics

Inaugural crowd

Trump’s presidency began with a series of falsehoods originated by Trump himself. The day after his inauguration, he falsely accused the media of lying about the size of the inauguration crowd. Then he exaggerated the size, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer backed up his claims. [83][84][85][86] When Spicer was accused of intentionally misstating the figures, [87][88][89] Kellyanne Conway, in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, defended Spicer by stating that he merely presented “alternative facts”.[90] Todd responded by saying, “Alternative facts are not facts; they’re falsehoods.”[91]

Election results

Further information: United States presidential elections in which the winner lost the popular vote

Trump went on to claim that his electoral college victory was a landslide;[92][93][94] that three of the states he did not win in the 2016 election had “serious voter fraud”;[95][96][97][98] and that Clinton received 3 million to 5 million illegal votes.[99][100] Trump made his Trump Tower wiretapping allegations in March 2017, which the Department of Justice has twice refuted.[101][102] In January 2018, Trump claimed that texts between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were tantamount to “treason”, but The Wall Street Journal reviewed them and concluded that the texts “show no evidence of a conspiracy against” Trump.[103][104]

Dismissal of FBI director

On May 9, 2017, Trump dismissed James Comey, the director of the Federal BureaofInvestigation, stating that he had accepted the recommendations of U.S. attorneygeneral Jeff Sessions and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to dismiss Comey.In their respective letters, neither Trump, Sessions nor Rosenstein mentionedthe issue of an FBI investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials, with Rosenstein writing that Comey should be dismissed for his handling of the conclusion of the FBI investigation into the Hillary Clinton email controversy, while Sessions cited Rosenstein’s reasons.[105][106][107] On May 11, Trump said in a videoed interview: “…regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey…in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”[108][109][110] On May 31, Trump wrote on Twitter: “I never fired James Comey because of Russia!”[103]

Personal lawyer

In 2017 and in the first half of 2018, Trump repeatedly praised his personal attorney Michael Cohen as a “a great lawyer”, “a loyal, wonderful person”, “a good man”, and someone Trump “always liked” and “respected”. In the second half of 2018, with Cohen testifying to federal investigations, Trump attacked Cohen as a “rat”, “a weak person, and not a very smart person”, and described Cohen as “a PR person who did small legal work, very small legal work…He represented me very little.”[108][111][112]


In May 2018, Trump developed and promoted the false[113][114] Spygate conspiracy theory[113][56] alleging that the Barack Obama administration planted a spy inside Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to assist Hillary Clinton in winning the 2016 US presidential election.[115][116]

Special Counsel Investigation

In March 2019, Trump asserted that the special counsel investigation is “illegal”; previously in June 2018, Trump argued that “the appointment of the Special Counsel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” However, in August 2018, Dabney Friedrich, a Trump-appointed judge on the DC District Court ruled the appointment was constitutional, as did a unanimous three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in February 2019.[117][118]

The Mueller Report asserted Trump’s family members, campaign staff, Republican backers, administration officials, and his associates lied or made false assertions, with the plurality of lies from Trump himself (mostly while he was president), whether unintentional, or not to the public, Congress, or authorities, per a CNN analysis.[119]

Also in March 2019, following the release of Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the findings of the completed special counsel investigation, Trump tweeted: “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.” However, Barr had quoted special counsel Mueller as writing that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” on whether he had committed obstruction of justice. Barr declined to bring an obstruction of justice charge against the President. In testimony to Congress in May 2019, Barr said that he “didn’t exonerate” Trump on obstruction as that was not the role of the Justice Department. [120][121][122]


Through his first 28 months in office, Trump repeatedly and falsely characterized the economy during his presidency as the best in American history. [123]

As of March 2019, Trump’s most repeated falsehoods, each repeated during his presidency over 100 times, were: that a U.S. trade deficit would be a “loss” for the country; that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, passed during his term, was the largest tax cut in American history; that the American economy was the strongest ever during his administration; and that the Trump wall was already being built. By August, he had made this last claim at least 190 times. He has also made 100 false claims about NATO spending, whether on the part of the United States or other NATO members. [124]

Trump claimed during the campaign that the U.S. real GDP could grow at rate of “5 or even 6” percent under his policies. During 2018, the economy grew at 2.9%, the same rate as 2015 under President Obama. Longer-term projections beyond 2019 by the CBO and Federal Reserve are for growth below 2%. President Obama’s advisers explained growth limits as “sluggish worker productivity and shrinking labor supply as baby boomers retire”. [125]

Trump claimed in October 2017 that he would eliminate the federal debt over 8 years, even though it was $19 trillion at the time.[126] However, the annual deficit (debt addition) in 2018 was nearly $800 billion, about 60% higher than the CBO forecast of $500 billion when Trump took office. The CBO January 2019 forecast for the 2018–2027 debt addition is now 40% higher, at $13.0 trillion rather than $9.4 trillion when Trump was inaugurated.[127] Other forecasts place the debt addition over a decade at $16 trillion, bringing the total to around $35 trillion. Rather than a debt to GDP ratio in 2028 of 89% had Obama’s policies continued, CBO now estimates this figure at 107%, assuming Trump’s tax cuts for individuals are extended past 2025.[128]

Trump claimed in March 2019 that Chinese exporters were bearing the burden of his tariffs. However, studies indicate consumers and purchasers of imports are bearing the cost and that tariffs are essentially a regressive tax. While Trump has argued that tariffs would reduce the trade deficit, it expanded to a record dollar level in 2018. [129]

Trump has sought to present his economic policies as successful in encouraging businesses to invest in new facilities and create jobs. In this effort, he has on several occasions taken credit for business investments that began before he became president. [130][131]

Family separation policy

President Trump has repeatedly and falsely said that he inherited his administration’s family separation policy from Obama, his predecessor. In November 2018, Trump said, “President Obama separated children from families, and all I did was take the same law, and then I softened the law.” In April 2019, Trump said, “President Obama separated children. They had child separation; I was the one that changed it.” In June 2019, Trump said, “President Obama had a separation policy. I didn’t have it. He had it. I brought the families together. I’m the one that put them together…I inherited separation, and I changed the plan.” Trump’s assertion was false because the Obama administration had no policy systematically separating migrant families, while the “zero tolerance” policy was only instituted by Trump’s own administration in April 2018. Politifact quoted immigration experts saying that under the Obama administration families were detained and released together and separations rarely happened. [143][144][145]

Article II and unlimited executive power

In July 2019, during a speech addressing youth at Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit in Washington, The Washington Post reported that, while criticizing the Mueller investigation, Trump falsely claimed that Article Two of the United States Constitution ensures that “I have to the right to do whatever I want as president.” The Post clarified that “Article II grants the president ‘executive power.’ It does not indicate the president has total power.”[146]

Hurricane Dorian

President Trump receives an update on Hurricane Dorian on August 29, 2019. This map was later altered to show Dorian impacting Alabama

President Trump displays the altered map in a video published by the White House on September 4, 2019

As Hurricane Dorian approached the Atlantic coast in late August 2019, Trump presented himself as closely monitoring the situation, tweeting extensively about it as The New York Times reported he was “assuming the role of meteorologist in chief.”[147] On September 1, Trump tweeted that Alabama, among other states, “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by Dorian.[148] By that time, no weather forecaster was predicting that Dorian would impact Alabama and the eight National Hurricane Center forecast updates over the preceding 24 hours showed Dorian steering well away from Alabama and moving up the Atlantic coast.[149][150] The Birmingham, Alabama office of the National Weather Service (NWS) contradicted Trump twenty minutes later, tweeting that Alabama “will NOT see any impacts from Dorian.”[151] After ABC News White House reporter Jonathan Karl reported the correction, Trump tweeted it was “Such a phony hurricane report by lightweight reporter @jonkarl.”[152]

On September 4 in the Oval Office, Trump displayed a modified version of an August 29 diagram by the National Hurricane Center of the projected track of Dorian. The modification was done with a black marker and extended the cone of uncertainty of the hurricane’s possible path into southern Alabama. Modifying official government weather forecasts is illegal in the United States.[153][154][155] A White House official later told The Washington Post that Trump had altered the diagram with a Sharpie marker.[156] Trump said he did not know how the map came to be modified and defended his claims, saying that he had “a better map” with models that “in all cases [showed] Alabama was hit.” Later on September 4, Trump tweeted a map by the South Florida Water Management District dated August 28 showing numerous projected paths of Dorian; Trump falsely asserted “almost all models” showed Dorian approaching Alabama.[157] A note on the map stated it was “superseded” by National Hurricane Center publications and that it was to be discarded if there were any discrepancies.[149][158]

On September 5, after Fox News correspondent John Roberts reported about the story live from the White House, Trump summoned him to the Oval Office. Roberts later characterized Trump as “just looking for acknowledgment that he was not wrong for saying that at some point, Alabama was at risk — even if the situation had changed by the time he issued the tweet.”[159] Late that day, Trump’s Homeland Security Advisor Peter Brown issued a statement asserting Trump had been provided a graphic on September 1 showing tropical storm force winds touching the southeastern corner of Alabama; a White House source told CNN that Trump had personally instructed Brown to issue the statement.[159]

On September 6, at Trump’s direction, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross to order acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs to fix the contradiction by Birmingham NWS, and Ross threatened to fire top NOAA officials if he did not.[160][161] NOAA then tweeted a statement by an unnamed spokesman disavowing the Birmingham NWS tweet, asserting “the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama,” adding that the Birmingham tweet “spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”[162][163] The president of the NWS Employees Organization responded, “the hard-working employees of the NWS had nothing to do with the utterly disgusting and disingenuous tweet sent out by NOAA management tonight.”[164] Former senior NOAA executives were also sharply critical.[165] That evening, Trump tweeted a video of a CNN hurricane forecast from the Wednesday before his Sunday tweet in which the forecaster mentioned Alabama could be affected by Dorian — with the video altered to show “Alabama” being repeated several times; the video ended with a CNN logo careening off a road and bursting into flames.[166] Trump continued to insist he was correct through September 7,[167] asserting “The Fake News Media was fixated” on the matter and tweeting forecast maps from at least two days before his original Sunday tweet, as the media dubbed the episode “Sharpiegate.”[168][169][170] Numerous commentators expressed bafflement that Trump chose to continue insisting he was correct about what might otherwise have passed as a relatively minor gaffe.[171][172][173][174][175][176]

On September 9, NWS director Louis Uccellini said that the Birmingham NWS had not tweeted in response to Trump’s tweet, but rather in response to numerous phone calls and social media contacts their office had received in response to Trump’s tweet. “Only later, when the retweets and politically based comments started coming to their office, did they learn the sources of this information,” he said. [177]


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The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

September 14, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.


Conversation No. 70

Date:  Thursday, February 27, 1997

Commenced: 6:15 PM CST

Concluded: 6:38 PM CST

RTC: Gregory? Have I interrupted your dinner?

GD: Not at all. I eat later, if I think about it that is. I thought you’d be in bed by now, Robert. A problem?

RTC: Actually, yes, there is…or might be. Do you have some time there?

GD: Sure. Not a problem.

RTC: It’s about that Atwood person we spoke of earlier. Remember the one?

GD: Oh, yes, I do remember Atwood. Did old Critchfield off him?

RTC: No, not as I understand but there is unhappiness about Atwood’s proclivity to talk to the wrong people and you are certainly considered the wrong people. By Critchfield’s crowd. Jim does not like me any more over that Angolia business but one of our mutual friends was in touch with me yesterday about this and I thought I ought to discuss it with you. There are, or were, certain aspects to Atwood’s activities, both on and off the board, that there is some anxiety about. It’s known he had very dubious dealings with you six or seven years ago and you are considered to be a loose cannon. Atwood is considered to be a loose mouth and in my calling, that is not considered to be either wise or conducive of a long and happy life. Might I ask you what, if anything, Atwood discussed with you concerning his activities with the Company? Can you recall?

GD: My memory is very good, Robert, as you might have noticed.

RTC: I have. At times a great asset, Gregory, but at other times, a great liability. If you take my meaning?

GD: Oh, I do. Atwood? I got to know him while I was living in Munich in ’65. I was selling German militaria via the Shotgun News….

RTC: And that was….?

GD: Is. It’s a trade paper for gun and military collectors. In Hastings, Nebraska. I was a guest of Franzi von Otting and I used his name. Con premise and he got a percentage of the take. Anyway, Jimmy saw the advert and since he was in Germany, decided to look me up. He wrote and made an appointment and I met him in the lobby of the Vierjahrezeiten.

RTC: Pardon?

GD: A posh Munich hotel. He was staying there with two tarts. Bargirl types if you know what I mean. He was very polite and civil. Slight southern accent. Anyway, we had a long conversation about the collecting trade. Jimmy had written a book on Nazi daggers and was, as he admitted over a drink or two, having these made up in Solingen and selling them. He was making very good money and was highly ambitious. Made up Hermann Goering’s wedding sword and shoved it off on some stupid collector and, as I recall, Hitler’s suicide pistol. A Walther with ivory grips. Got it on the cover of Argosy magazine and sold it to another sucker in Canada. Anyway, we had a talk about creative selling and, as I recall, he was interested in my expertise on the historical aspects. I pointed out to him that in the picture of the alleged Hitler gun, the maker was Walther but their factory was in Ulm, not in what was now the DR. He laughed and said, as I remember, ‘well…you caught me….’ and on we went. I don’t drink very much but he certainly could put it away. And we went out to a restaurant and continued the talking. I learned a lot about him, the more he drank, but he learned nothing about me. Considering everything, that was just as well. I know he had a good opinion of me because in ’90 we went to Austria and dug up some buried Nazi concentration camp loot an SS general buried there in ’45.

RTC: And who might that have been?

GD: A Slovene named Globocnik. Had been the Gauleiter of Vienna until Hitler sacked him for stealing.

RTC: I was told about him. Not a nice person.

GD: No, but you used him after his faked suicide. The Brits sold him to you and you sent him down to Syria to help the rag heads.

RTC: Gregory, you are most interesting and informative. And I hope you are also discreet.

GD: Oh, I can be. Why the interest in Jimmy?

RTC: It has slowly dawned on certain exalted people that perhaps you might have gleaned some forbidden information about brother Atwood in the course of your wild career. Do go on

GD: Well, I don’t know what was, or is, forbidden, and what isn’t.

RTC: Why not just go on and let me be the judge of that. Please continue about Atwood.

GD: I will. Atwood was one of your people and was not only involved in merchandising and otherwise making a profit selling fake German militaria…

RTC: By German, you specifically mean Nazi, don’t you?

GD: Yes, of course. I’ll tell you about the market in a few minutes. Right now, I am going to fill you in on what I learned from James. I give you some background here on the very off chance that you know nothing about it. Since at least 1981 and probably earlier, there exists a worldwide network of ‘free-standing’, or especially and specifically. no direct U.S. government ties companies, including airlines, aviation and military spare parts suppliers, and trading companies, set up that  have been put to good use by the CIA and the U.S. government to illegally ship arms and military spare parts to Iran and to the Contras. And, of course, to smuggle people who can’t go by commercial airlines and, let us not forget, drugs

RTC: I rather wish you would forget about drugs. I don’t think brother Atwood was involved with drugs. Do go on.

GD: Yes. These companies were set up with the approval and knowledge of senior CIA officials and other senior U.S. government officials and staffed primarily by ex-CIA, ex-FBI and ex-military officers. I am correct here?

RTC: Yes. Go on.

GD: You will probably end up hating me if I do, Robert, but I note you asked me to continue.

RTC: I think I am above that, Gregory.

GD: OK. Now let’s look at the Iran Contra business. I know all about at least a part of this so we can go into it a little. Secord’s arms shipments, arraigned through the CIA, transferred weapons destined for Central America to Merex. This was known officially as Merex International Arms and was, and is, based in Savannah. The Merex address was occupied by Combat Military Ordinances Ltd., controlled by Jimmy Atwood. He had been in the Army in MI and then went to work for your people. James was involved in major arms trades with your sponsored international buyers, specifically Middle Eastern Arab states. Monzer Al-Kassar utilized the Merex firm for some of his weapons transactions with the Enterprise.   Now Merex was originally set up, after the war, by old Skorzeny co-worker, one Gerhard Mertins. Gerhard had been a Hauptmann (captain to you, Robert) in the German paratroopers and got the Knight’s Cross in, I believe, ’45. After the war, Mertins went to work in Bonn and the Merex arms business was considered a CIA proprietary firm. Mertex was close to and worked with the BND, the German intelligence service evolved from the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization. Atwood was involved with Interarmco, run by Samuel Cummings, an Englishman who ran the largest arms firm in the world. Cummings died in Monaco because he had looted his CIA employers and found that principality safer than Warrenton, Virginia. Also connected with Atwood’s firm were Collector’s Armory, run by one Thomas Nelson, whose nickname was ‘Red Nelson’ because of his hair color, not his politics, and a George Petersen of Springfield, Virginia, and one Manny Wiegenberg, a Canadian arms dealer. Jimmy was heavily involved in your support of Canadian separatists and I know something of his role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement. The head of your Canada Desk was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. I know for a fact that your people do not want ever to mention this little historical aside.

RTC: No, we do not, Go on.

GD:Also, I know all about Atwood’s connections with Skorzeny and the IRA/Provo wing. I can give you chapter and verse on this one if you want it. One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979 and I have a file on this as well in some safe and private place. You might also be aware of the shipping of weapons into the southern Mexican provinces by Atwood and his Guatemala based consortium. Atwood had a number of ex-Gestapo and SD people on board, some of whom were wanted. I recall a former SS officer, Frederich Schwend who worked with your people and was down in Lima. Schwend had been trained by the OSS in the early 1940s after he had informed Allen Dulles that the German SS had hidden millions in gold, cash, and loot as the European war was winding down. Atwood knew about the Weissensee gold hoard that Müller told me about. Jimmy knew about it but I had the overlay so he courted me and we ended up, shovels in hand, in the beautiful mountains in ’90.

RTC: There are conflicting stories about that business. You murdered two British people as I understand it.

GD: No such thing, Robert. As I understand it, and I was there, they fell off the boat in the middle of the Caribbean. Such lies your people make up.

RTC: Well, there are always two sides to every story, Gregory. You are better than two cups of coffee, I must say. I think I ought to get some Pepto Bismol pretty soon. After the Treasure Island adventure, what happened next?

GD: To Atwood? Well, as Jimmy told me, about 1992, he and your Jimmy Critchfield, along with a Russian Jew, formed a partnership in order to obtain a number of obsolete Soviet atomic artillery shells which they then sold to the Pakistanis.  I think the two of them kept the money and no one ever saw the Jew again. If you don’t know this, I can tell you that both Critchfield and the Interarmco people had supplied weapons to the rebels in Afghanistan during their long and vicious guerrilla activities against the Soviet Union. Critchfield also worked with the Dalai Lama of Tibet in a guerrilla war against Communist China and headed a CIA task force during the Cuban missile crisis. He ran regional agency operations when the U.S. and the Soviets raced to secure satellites first in Eastern Europe, then in the Middle East. And note that in the early 1960s, Critchfield recommended to the CIA that the United States support the Baath Party, which staged a 1963 coup against the Iraqi government that the CIA believed was falling under Soviet influence. Critchfield later boasted, during the Iran-Iraq war that he and the CIA had created Saddam Hussein.

RTC: Gregory, where in the sweet hell did you get all of this?

GD: From Atwood when he was drunk.

RTC: You’ve just guaranteed that he will pass to his reward very soon. Does that bother you?

GD: I never liked him. He tried to rip me off once but he was so crude about it that I have no respect for him. Shall I go on?

RTC: I have approach-avoidance conflicts here, Gregory. You might as well ruin the rest of my evening. Proceed.

GD: Are you sure? You don’t sound too happy.

RTC: I am not but do go on.

GD: As you wish. When Arab oil became paramount, your Critchfield became your national intelligence officer for energy and was also an energy policy planner at the White House. He also fronted a dummy CIA corporation in the Middle East known as Basic Resources, which was used to gather OPEC-related intelligence for the Nixon administration. . Critchfield was the chief of the CIA’s Near East and South Asia division in the 1960s and a national intelligence officer for energy as the oil shortage crisis began in the early 1970s. Of course your people, along with the oil barons, forced the price of oil up and up. My, I wonder how much money you all made. Oh well, not important here. Critchfield retired in the mid ‘70s and ended up as both a consultant and the CEO of Tetra Tech International, a Honeywell Inc. subsidiary and which managed oil, gas, and water projects in the strategic Masandam Peninsula. This, in case your geography is weak, is located on the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the West’s oil is transported. And at the same time, Critchfield was a primary adviser to the Sultan of Oman, focusing on Middle East energy resources, especially those in Oman.

RTC: I should never have asked you about this.

GD: The Bible says ask and ye shall receive.

RTC: Yes. We can forget the Bible here. It has no part in the intelligence business. You mentioned Merex. Do you know of other friendly assets?

GD: Surely, Try Aero Systems, Arrow Air, Global International, and how about Zenith?

RTC: Did you get these names from Atwood?

GD: Of course I did. I told you Jimmy was not discreet while he was drinking. I listened to his tales of self-importance and remembered it all. Oh, and I write it up as well.

RTC: Gregory, for the Lord God’s sake, if not mine, or more important, yours, do not discuss any of this with anyone else, your son or people like Willis Carto. If you aren’t careful, Critrchfield will have you eliminated. I shall have to warn him off on that topic but…I mean why would Atwood tell you such terrible things and if he told you, who else could he have told?

GD: One of his German whores, probably. Jimmy goes on and on.

RTC: So I note. And we can ring the curtain down on that one ASAP.

GD: From your reaction, Robert, I assume Jimmy was accurate.

RTC: No comment but Atwood is a dead man.

GD: Well, I might have gotten my insights from the back of a Wheaties’ box but Jimmy is a better candidate. Do you know why I dislike Jimmy and would frame his death notice? His wife stuck with him when he was arrested for tax evasion in smuggling in the ‘60s and as a mark of his appreciation, he deserted her and his two daughters to run off with one of his bar girls. The rest of his activities are one thing but I do not tolerate such domestic treachery. Do you think I’m being too critical?

RTC: What a question. Who cares about his wife and children? This man has gone way beyond the bounds. Way beyond. Of course I believe you. You could never have made all that up and I can assure you it was never in the New York Times. They might know some of it but they wouldn’t dare publish it. No, you got it from Atwood or someone connected with him. Ah, well, I did ask and I did receive. They hate you Gregory, they hate you with a passion but at the same time, they are scared shitless of you. They would have killed you some time ago but others counseled them against it. Who knows what you put down on paper? If you were run over by a truck in the middle of a shopping mall or attacked and eaten by a leopard in your own living room, who knows what might find its way out of some hiding hole and into the public? The public is happy with its football games and beer so we had best not disturb them with such stories.

GD: They might make a good movie out of all this.

RTC: Never, Gregory, I can promise you that. A studio that even considered this would be bankrupt within a few months. No, none of this will ever see the light of day and if you want to continue walking around, remember that silence is golden.

GD: I have no problem with gold. Just think of all that looted concentration camp gold Jimmy and I dug up.

RTC: Yes and I understand you cheated him out of his share.

GD: When thieves fall out, Robert, honest men prosper.

RTC: Meaning no disrespect but do you consider yourself to be an honest man?

GD: Selectively, Robert, selectively. And Jimmy?

RTC: Don’t make book on his seeing Christmas.


(Concluded at 6:38 PM CST)




Encyclopedia of American Loons


Sharum Sharif


Sharum Sharif is not a doctor but a “board-certified, licensed naturopathic physician” and graduate of Bastyr University. Of course, naturopathy is (dangerous) quackery based on pseudoscience, and “board-certified” and “licensed” just mean that other naturopaths have given Sharif their stamp of approval as part of an effort to protect their turf from other nonsense-based practitioners. Sharif is not someone you should consult if you suffer from an actual health-related issue. Sharif is also a homeopath, and “a graduate of the New England School of Homeopathy”, which justifies pride approximately as much as any diploma you can purchase by following a link in your spambox. Currently Sharif works as a “full-time as a naturopathic physician at his two clinics in Kent and Bellevue, Washington,” but is also affiliate clinical faculty at Bastyr. He is the author of a book on homeopathy called Visual Homeopathy.

At his practice, you will be subjected to the standard naturopathic battery of tests – some of them standard but completely unnecessary in the absence of specific diagnostic markers, but also “various alternative tests performed mainly by the naturopathic community,” including adrenal hormone testing to assess adrenal fatigue, a fake disease. Rest ye assured: Sharif will find something wrong with you. Then you may receive prescription for specific nutritional and herbal supplements – which probably won’t hurt but certainly won’t help (luckily you probably don’t have and couldn’t have the condition they’re supposed to remedy anyways) – prescriptions for homeopathic remedies “uniquely tailored for each concern”, and “natural hormones” (natural is apparently key). According to Sharif even “the most perplexing conditions, including auto-immune diseases and cancer, can be treated and ultimately potentially cured by following this truly holistic approach to healthcare.“ This is inaccurate.

Otherwise, Sharif’s website is notable for the density of standard false and misleading altmed tropes, such as their claim to treat “the whole person, not just the symptoms” (insinuating that real doctors don’t) and to “identify the root cause of his patients problem,” which is somewhat curious since homeopathy, in addition to all its other ludicrous bullshit, is premised on the idea that there is nothing to disease beyond the totality of your symptoms. Coherence doesn’t matter much when all you do is nonsense anyways, we suppose. Sharif does claim that homeopathy is science-based. He doesn’t cite any science, and basically just appeals to irrelevant authority (Luc Montagnier, Dana Ullmann (!) and some economist and social theorist), points out that homeopathy is 200 years old, which makes it younger than trepanation, and personal anecdotes (“I have seen results with homeopathic remedies that most people would consider miraculous”). He doesn’t have the faintest idea what “scientific” means, which comes as no surprise.

His presentation “Visual Homeopathy – Identifying a Person’s Constitutional Homeopathic Remedy in Minutes” at the 2010 American Association of Naturopathic Physicians Convention is briefly discussed here. At least it really is a nice illustration of the scary insanity that is naturopathy

Diagnosis: He seems to be a true believer, which really doesn’t make his advice any better or his treatment of patients any less disconcerting. Perhaps not among the movers and shakers in the antiscience movement, but Sharif is in a position to cause real harm to real people


Doug Phillips


We’ve covered some deranged fundies over the years, but Doug Phillips has something of a special position among them. Phillips is the kind of guy that conjures up the image of someone shedding tears of elation over the sheer beauty in the justice in seeing heretics tortured and people in general suffer for the glory of God, the kind who views the Republic of Gilead as inspirational and the 11thcentury as already dangerously mired in wayward progressive enlightenment ideas about science, liberty and autonomy. Phillips main concern is women– the fairer and weaker and less rational sex – and how to save women from unbiblical horrors like independence, freedom and having to make decisions for themselves.

Phillips used promoted his views through the Vision Forum until he admitted to having an extramarital affair (though not the abusive details of that affair), which turned out to be somewhat awkward given Vision Forum’s, well, vision, and the Forum was closed down. There is a splendid resource on the Vision Forum and its work here. Before closing, however, the Forum was pretty influential in Christian homeschooling circles, and used to have booths and speakers at every major convention, as well as networks across the Christian homeschooling scene (it’s probably notable that the other proponent of the Biblical Patriarchy model for homeschooling, Bill Gothard, suffered the same fate as Phillips). Phillips was also a central figure in the quiverfull movement.

A vehemently theocratic group, the central pillar of Vision Forum’s mission was Biblical Patriarchy – complementarianism with an emphasis on the fact that man was created first and woman’s creation was secondary. Patriarchy is accordingly the divine family order ordained by God, where the husband and father is the head of the household and the wife and mother created to be his helper and bearer of children. Moreover, children are to marry through a process of courtship guided at every step by their parents, and unmarried adult daughters are to remain under their fathers’ authority and in their fathers’ homes; illuminating detail here). (Choice Phillips quote: “Daughters aren’t to be independent. They’re not to act outside the scope of their father. As long as they’re under the authority of their fathers, fathers have the ability to nullify or not the oaths and the vows. Daughters can’t just go out 
independently and say, ‘I’m going to marry whoever I want.’ No. The father has 
the ability to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, that has to be approved by me.’”) You know the deal (and note: the movement is actively encouraging people to deny their daughters contact with the outside world – this is not just some abstract ideal), though we suspect the Forum associates would be quick to try to explain how the idea is different from the ideas imposed by … well, people they wouldn’t otherwise want to be associated with in other parts of the world. In any case, this organization of society is apparently crucial to bringing about the coming kingdom of God on Earth.

So yes, the Vision Forum subscribes to dominionism, the idea that God has called Christians to take over society, mass culture, and government, bringing them into line with God’s law to establish a theocratic, hierarchical and ordered society – and the explicit goal of homeschooling, then, is to groom children to be soldiers for spiritual warfare. Even Michael Farris has distanced himself from the Vision Forum ideology. The Duggars, however, are apparently fans.

An illustrative example of their work was their Beautiful Girlhood Collection, built on what is ostensibly a Biblical vision of femininity and promoting a vision of girls’ childhoods centered on the idea that servility is beauty: girls play with dolls and cook and clean. There is a brief but apt description here. They even have a “science” section. We’ll pass that one over in silence. The Vision Forum is also opposed to women’s suffrage, having produced an alleged civics study guide “Law and Government: An Introductory Study Course” where it is argued that women should not be allowed to run for office or vote. The “study guide” included contributions from e.g. Roy Moore.

At the 100-year anniversary of the Titanic disaster, Phillips took the opportunity to declare that Titanic was evidence of the goodness of Christianity while the sinking of a French ship La Bourgogne a few years before demonstrates the evils of evolution: “People that were on board the deck of the Titanic at that time were individuals that grew up in a culture which was distinctively Christian in its perspective of the role of men and women; [by comparison, when the La Bourgogne] sunk the sailors and the officers literally threw women and children into the water, beat them over the head, and the men lived and the women died. [,,, ] And in trying to understand why that happened, the commentary was, they grew up in a culture that embraced evolution, it was the struggle of the survival of the fittest, they grew up in the culture of the French Revolution which had rejected biblical Christianity and embraced paganism and the consequences were that men treat women horrifically.” Needless to say, Phillips didn’t quite get the historical details about the two events quite correct (mild criticism here), but of course, his point was not accuracy: “flash forward to the year 2012 and this year our president has finally taken us over the abyss and we have full-fledged commitment to women in the frontlines of combat in overseas battles.” As for evolution, Phillips elaborated: “Evolution says the struggle of the survival of the fittest, there are no differences between men and women, there is no charity, there is no deference, and in an evolutionary world feminism reaches its height and we see no distinctions. The result is babies are killed en masse, women are treated like chattel and men no longer take on their masculine role as defenders.” It is little surprise that a fundie creationist fail to grasp the rather basic and easy distinction between a descriptive, scientific claim about biological reality (not that Phillips is remotely on track here either) and a value system, but it is equally facepalm-inducing every time.

It is certainly not Phillips’s only forays into anti-evolution rants. The Vision Forum even produced a “documentary” (promoted by the WND) called “Mysterious Islands: A Surprising Journey to Darwin’s Eden,” which “debunks the conclusions Charles Darwin reached during his storied trip to the Galapagos Islands.” Apparently they took a group of Christian “scientists” to the Galapagos Islands to determine whether the islands “are a laboratory for evolution as Darwin believed – or a truly magnificent showcase of God’s creation,” which suggests some rather basic (but predictable) lack of understanding of how data and evidence work in hypothesis testing. Phillips, however, have more arguments: Darwin “said we would see fossil examples of animals going from one kind to another,” said Phillips (this is not quite what Darwin said), but it is “our contention that not one transitional form has ever been found.” Yes, we are aware that this is your contention, and that the fact that you are demonstrably wrong is not going to change your mind. “Today people look to the Galapagos, and evolutionists and Darwinists see it in the same way that Christians look to Jerusalem and Muslims look to Mecca,” Phillips said, which is not only a ridiculous thing to say but tells you quite a bit about Phillips’s somewhat cursory understanding of science, scientists and scientific practice. But given this false assumption, it is a short step to Phillips’s conclusion: “They [evolutionists] really embrace the evolutionary faith. In our film, we insist that evolution is, in fact, a faith. It’s a worldview based on unprovable assumptions that are accepted by faith.” We don’t for a second doubt that Phillips is confounded by the lack of impact his contributions have on science, but we are fairly confident that he’ll blame it on heretics and demons.

Phillips is also the founder of the Christian Filmmakers’ Academy and a close associate of Kirk Cameron. He was also featured in Colin Gunn’s “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America”, which explicitly advocated that the Bible should be the model and core of all public education.

Diagnosis: One of the most disgusting, vile pieces of evil, hateful garbage to ever walk the face of the Earth, and as delusionally insane as he is morally corrupt. Hopefully somewhat neutralized, but his ideology certainly lives on.



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