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TBR News April 11, 2019

Apr 11 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. April  11, 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 April 11:

Even to the minor White House staff membership, such as myself, Trump’s increasingly erratic and angry behavior, his self-imposed isolation, his inability and refusal to listen to intelligent and experienced advisers that he hired, all are viewed as leading him to a total collapse

Legally, Trump is in peril from not only from the release, expected soon, of the unredacted  special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation but also from separate investigations being conducted by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York into Trump’s life and business dealings. Also, right-wing media supporter, Rupert Murdoch calculates Trump’s coming collapse and has obviously concluded that he does not want Fox News network to crash down along with Trump.

Without Fox approving Trump’s agenda, his support will decline from the 40s into the upper 20s;

And there is the unanswered question about millions of foreign dollars from Russians, Saudis, Emiratis, Qataris  illegally going into the Trump campaign bank accounts in 2016;

And on a more personal note, Trump is known for speaking highly of the White House’s meatloaf — so much so that he has insisted guests are served meatloaf while eating dinner and his dinner most often consists of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, and a small chocolate shake The president loves Diet Coke, drinking 12 cans a day.

Trump also views himself as an attractive person. When he was much, much younger, he was quite handsome but now he is fat with jowels, an large food bag,  a bald head covered by a comb-over and a face fresh from a tanning booth.”

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • Trump’s DHS purge floors Republicans
  • US immigration police broke Facebook rules with fake profiles for college sting
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons

          –Stephanie & Michael Relfe

          –Glenn Spencer

  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • NSA’s Domestic Spying Program Needs to End—Permanently
  • Fakes and Frauds
  • Explainer: What might be blacked out of Mueller’s Trump-Russia report?
  • The Internet as a Spy-tool
  • JAMES P. ATWOOD: The CIA’S Fake Dagger King
  • Breaking: Taliban claims it shot down US B-52 strategic bomber in Afghanistan
  • NSA Gave Contractors $630M in Incentives. Its Watchdog Has Questions

 Trump’s DHS purge floors Republicans

Even GOP allies of the president are distressed by the chaos unleashed on federal immigration policy.

April 8, 2019

by Burgess Everate, John Bresnahan and Melanie Zanona

Politco

President Donald Trump’s congressional allies are alarmed by his purge at the Department of Homeland Security — urging him not to fire more top officials and warning him how hard it will be to solve twin crises at the border and the federal agencies overseeing immigration policy.

The president’s frantic four days of bloodletting at DHS and other agencies blindsided senior Republicans who are already fretting about difficult confirmation battles ahead. Some are worried about the rising influence of top White House aide Stephen Miller. And after November elections in which suburban voters rejected Trump’s hard-line immigration agenda, the president is once again making it the centerpiece of the GOP’s platform.

It’s a mess,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said, summing up the dynamic on the border and in Washington.

Republicans note that the president has the right to fire whoever he wants, but few offered an explicit defense of his decisions to oust DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, pull the top Immigration and Customs Enforcement pick, remove the Secret Service director and threaten more terminations.

“Strikes me as just a frustration of not being able to solve a problem. Honestly, it wasn’t Secretary Nielsen’s fault. It wasn’t for lack of effort on her part. I don’t know if there’s anybody who’s going to be able to do more,” said Cornyn, who spoke to Nielsen on Monday and planned to speak to her interim replacement, Kevin McAleenan, later in the day.

Cornyn said he has no idea what Miller’s “agenda” is in determining immigration policy because he isn’t Senate-confirmed and doesn’t correspond with the Hill.

“I thought that Nielsen was doing a fantastic job,” added Joni Ernst of Iowa, the No. 5 Senate GOP leader. “I would love to see some continuity. I think that’s important.”

Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the most senior GOP senator, is trying to head off even more dismissals as Trump tries to reshape DHS into a “tougher” mold.

In an interview, Grassley expressed concern that Trump may soon boot U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Lee Francis Cissna and Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, who heads the office of policy and strategy at USCIS.

“I heard that they are on the list to be fired,” Grassley said. “They are doing in an intellectual-like way what the president wants to accomplish. So no, they should not go.”

Republicans empathize with Trump’s frustrations over the border and Congress’ languid pace at changing immigration laws. They mostly backed him on his 35-day government shutdown over the border wall, buckling only as the standoff dragged into its second month.

Most of them hated his emergency declaration on the southern border, but only 25 GOP lawmakers between the two chambers ended up bucking him. And when Trump and Miller sought to tank an immigration compromise last year, Senate Republicans overwhelmingly sided with the president and left Democrats holding the bag on the legislative collapse.

But on immigration, the party is not in lockstep with Trump. So even as the president pursues more aggressive strategies on the border, the GOP might not stick with him ahead of an election cycle that has the Senate up for grabs and with Republicans eager to take back the House.

“He thinks it’s a winning issue,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Republican whip. “It works for him. It may not work for everybody else.”

Nielsen’s ouster wasn’t a shock. Stories had emanated from the White House for months that she could be kicked off the job given Trump’s rising frustration with the growing number of border crossings.

But Republicans said they did not like that she was made to take the fall.

“Nielsen was doing the best she can. She can’t make Congress get off its ice-cold, lazy butt and fix the asylum laws. She can’t build a wall by herself. She can’t make the Central American countries work with us. … Only the president can do that,” Sen. John N. Kennedy (R-La.) said. “If someone resigns and then the White House staff cuts ‘em to pieces, I just think that’s classless.”

On Monday, Trump found few allies in his decision to get rid of Nielsen with the exception of congressional Democrats who viewed her as the face of the administration’s family separation policy and wanted her gone.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) admitted the obvious in a written statement: “I am concerned with a growing leadership void” at DHS.

Most Republicans liked Nielsen and thought she’d been given an impossible job. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised her glowingly on the Senate floor for her “experienced and steady leadership.”

“I understand the frustration” by Trump, said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who backed the president’s efforts to “shake things up” at DHS. “Whether there’s a design behind this, I honestly don’t know. I have been told there’s going to be new policies and proposals, but I don’t know what those are yet.”

Centrist GOP Rep. Will Hurd, who narrowly won reelection in 2018, said the turnover in the upper ranks of DHS isn’t helpful during a critical time at the southern border, though the Texan expressed confidence in Nielsen’s successor.

“When you’re dealing with something that’s the worst we’ve seen in 12, 13 years, having to deal with that problem and having new people come in and deal with it is always tricky,” said Hurd, whose district stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Moderate GOP Rep. Tom Reed of New York said he would prefer to focus on issues like infrastructure, drug pricing and health care in the 2020 election cycle, saying the issue of immigration is being kept alive “for political purposes.”

Reed also took a veiled shot at Miller: “One hard-liner is not going to dictate the outcome of this.”

But Miller’s rise in the Trump administration is merely one more indication of how the president gravitates toward the restrictionist wing of his party.

“The president is really unhappy with the results and he’s trying to find a different formula that produces a different result,” said Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 4 Senate GOP leader. “Unless you either change the court directives or the asylum law, it’s very hard to quickly come up with a solution. And the president’s frustrated by that.”

The problem for Trump is that that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Congress’ dithering on immigration in the six years since the Senate passed its “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration bill, which died in the House, is no surprise.

Last year’s bipartisan Senate talks sputtered. Talks between Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on the family migration crisis went nowhere. So it’s easy for the president and his closest confidants to blame the Hill.

That’s what House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) did in an interview Monday.

“Congress also has a responsibility here to act. This is where legislation has to be passed,” he said, echoing Trump’s call to revamp U.S. asylum laws.

“What the president is doing is seeing the crisis and trying to solve the problem,” McCarthy said. “He’s trying to get the right people in the right positions.”

 

US immigration police broke Facebook rules with fake profiles for college sting

Revealed: Ice investigators set up social media profiles linked to a sham university for foreign students

April 11, 2019

by Amanda Holpuch

The Guardian

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) violated Facebook policy by creating fake social media profiles tied to the University of Farmington, a sham university it created to identify people committing immigration fraud.

More than 600 students, nearly all Indian citizens, were caught up in the scheme, which the Guardian has found included fake Facebook profiles created by the nation’s second largest federal investigative agency, Ice’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division.

“Law enforcement authorities, like everyone else, are required to use their real names on Facebook and we make this policy clear on our public-facing Law Enforcement Guidelines page,” a Facebook representative told the Guardian. “Operating fake accounts is not allowed, and we will act on any violating accounts.”

Starting in 2015, undercover agents built the Michigan school’s facade, with a fake website, government documents that confirmed it was eligible to enroll foreign students and fake Facebook accounts, including supposed staff members. In a January indictment, the government accused students of enrolling in the school to stay in the country illegally, knowing that the institution was a sham.

In a network of suspicious Facebook accounts linked to the University of Farmington, the college’s alleged president, Ali “AJ” Milani, liked the Michigan Jaguars sports club and had a 51-person friend list that was mostly people from south Asia, despite Milani ostensibly living in Detroit. Carey Ferrante, who did not list any link to the school but had interactions with persons interested in it, posted three photos of herself that were actually stock photos, including one of a faceless woman in a bikini, and sent Facebook messages to at least one person.

These two accounts were friends with several other people whose Facebook albums were filled with stock photos and whose friends’ lists were overwhelmingly people from south Asia.

Edward Bajoka, an attorney for one of the eight people criminally indicted in the case, Avinash Thakkalapalli, confirmed the government owned Ali “AJ” Milani and Carey Ferrante’s accounts.

Ice’s north-east regional communications director, Khaalid Walls, declined to comment on the Facebook accounts, citing the ongoing investigation. He said 172 students have been arrested for civil immigration violations in the case.

Facebook has long stood by its policy that allows people to use only their “authentic” name on the site.

But fraudulent accounts persist – and sometimes they are operated by law enforcement agencies.

Police departments in Ohio, New York, Georgia and Nebraska have previously admitted they have policies allowing investigators to use aliases and undercover profiles on social media. And in 2015, HSI said it had created an undercover Facebook account for a 15-year-old girl to lure in a person suspected of recruiting teenagers to become prostitutes.

Facebook has admonished law enforcement for having fake accounts in the past.

In September 2018, Facebook wrote to the Memphis police department, informing them that law enforcement officials are subject to the same prohibitions on creating fake accounts as normal users and to cease its activities on Facebook that involve fake accounts. In 2014, Facebook told the US Drug Enforcement Administration to stop impersonating a user.

Facebook removed the University of Farmington accounts shortly after being contacted by the Guardian and a representative said it contacted the Department of Homeland Security about its policy on fake accounts.

Dave Maass, senior investigative researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said that there were many ways law enforcement can create fake accounts, from simply setting them up to purchasing these accounts from fake account mills.

“Facebook has ratcheted up a little bit of the pressure the last few years and has sent letters to agencies when they’ve behaved badly,” Maass said. “And, also removed some of these accounts, but oftentimes they don’t find these accounts or remove these accounts until it’s far too late.”

Maass said Facebook should be more transparent by posting a list of law enforcement entities caught violating the site’s policy by using fake accounts.

The extent to which Ice used these accounts to lure students to the University of Farmington is not yet clear. The Carey Ferrante account exchanged direct messages with at least one person contacted by the Guardian – a Pakistani man who was not involved with the university but had become Facebook friends with Ferrante and provided screenshots of their conversation to the Guardian. They last spoke in October 2016, when Ferrante said she would send photos of herself to the user.

The Ali “AJ” Milani account shares a name with the person listed as the University of Farmington’s president on LinkedIn. He also exchanged emails with students, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Milani was Facebook friends with Ferrante, as well as three other suspicious accounts that appeared to be fake. One of those accounts featured a picture from inside the University of Farmington with one like – from Carey Ferrante. The three suspicious accounts, as well as Milani’s and Ferrante’s, were taken offline after the Guardian approached Facebook for comment.

These Facebook profiles were just one part of the University of Farmington’s illusion. The school was listed as legitimate in government documents, and at the school’s physical address was an office with a University of Farmington logo mounted on the wall.

In the indictment, the government said: “Each student knew that the University’s program was not approved by the United States Department of Homeland Security, was illegal, and that discretion should be used when discussing the program with others.”

But attorneys for the students facing civil immigration charges and civil rights experts have questioned this characterization.

Prashanthi Reddy, an attorney in New York City who offered pro bono help to some of the students, said most people she helped chose to leave the US voluntarily instead of facing immigration court.

“They are kids and they’ve never had a traffic offense before,” Reddy said. “They are relatively new to the country and from small towns back in India.”

Reddy said some of the students she spoke to attempted to transfer out of the school when they realized classes were not being held, but couldn’t get a school official to approve the transfer. Others were suspicious about the lack of classes, she said, but had more of a “wait and see” mentality.

This is the second known sham university created by Ice. In 2016, the agency announced 20 brokers were arrested for recruiting students to the University of Northern New Jersey, a fake school. The alleged school president there also used Facebook to post updates about the school, as well as his personal life.

Rachel Levinson-Waldman, senior counsel to the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, said courts so far have seen the use of undercover social media accounts as similar to face-to-face undercover operations. “They haven’t seen the use of undercover accounts online as inappropriate, to the contrary, they have by and large blessed that,” Levinson-Waldman said.

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

  • Stephanie & Michael Relfe

Stephanie & Michael Relfe are among the stars of whale.to, insofar as they are committed to virtually any crazy thing ever suggested on that site. Yes, they are. Here you can read their interview with a reptilian. According to the Relfes “it was information from this interview of a female Reptilian that enabled Michael to work out how to stop his monthly abuductons, and my occasonal abductions, by changing the Quantum Matrix so that the various technologies of the enemy do not work.” And so it goes. “If this interview was permitted by senior reptilians, it was allowed for no good purpose as far as we are concerned. However, it is also possible that God allowed her to come and speak with us to give us some information, and she has since been punished (terminated).” The reptilians are liars, and as the Relfes point out in the article “The Causeof Many Miscarriages: Reptilians Steal Babies”, … well, I don’t think much comment is needed. Apparently the reptilians are not magical, however: “[M]etaphysical abilities are a gift from God to good beings, and that reptilians who are strongly associated with Fallen Angels do not fit this category. In fact, any display of metaphysical abilities is all due to their, admittedly very advanced, technology.” So there: Magic is good; technology is bad. There is also something about freemasons putting obelisks everywhere and worshipping Satan, but the connection is unclear.

How, by the way, do they know that reptilians are evil? “Next time you are at the zoo, look into the eyes of a crocodile and ask yourself, how much love is that crocodile captable of?” Evidently the same must go for extraterrestrial reptilians as well – though there may be good ones: “[S]ome reptilians did fight and die with the humans in some underground battles.”

For self-help advice, Stephanie Relfe has produced this one, which points out that “[t]he universe is a hologram. Everything is connected on an energy level with everything else.” Therefore the Law of Attraction. She also provides relationship advice: “Relationship troubles may be caused by commands inserted into the brain during alien or military abduction” – and treatises on mind control in films and computer games.

Stephanie also has some psychic abilities: “My psychic alter is very powerful and deadly. I found that out, quite by chance, in February, 2002. I decided to try a mental exercise from the book, ‘The Silva Mind Control Method.’ It consisted of counting backwards while looking upward behind my closed eyelids at a 20-degree angle. For some reason, this position of the eyes automatically produces an Alpha state in the brain. (I find it interesting that the posters and pictures of Harry Potter depict him with this eye position. Does the shadow government want today’s children to be in Alpha most of the time? *Parents, please take note and take action.) […] This incident has totally convinced me that my psychic alter and killer alter do exist; logically if these parts of me exist, then the other parts must exist as well. If the other parts exist, then, logically, something had to have happened to me to create them.” I don’t think “logically” is the right word here, but what do I know?

They have furthermore produced two books of Mars Records, available for free. The first describes “[b]iofeedback meter sessions where a man regained hidden memories of military service on Mars, Time Travel, Killing with Remote Viewing, Mind Control, and Military and Alien abductions.” In the second you can “[l]earn how YOU can stop military & alien abduction, and radionic attack! Plus learn the kinesiology Wernicke’s Correction.” Have fun.

Diagnosis: It is probably a bit enjoyable to be like the Relfes, and they are probably harmless. Someone should nevertheless gently tell their parents not to let them watch too many cartoons on TV, however.

  • Glenn Spencer

Glenn Spencer is a white supremacist known, in particular, for his anti-immigration activism. Though he used to be a standard KKK-style guy he seems to have realized, at some point, that wearing a sign saying “stupid bigot” wasn’t conducive to public sympathy – yet his current groups, American Border Patrol, Ranch Rescue, the Minutemen Project, and Voices of Citizens Together (VCT) have all been designated as hate groups as well.

Spencer is probably most famous for having bought a ranch a thousand feet from the Mexico/Arizona border, converting it to a hi-tech security zone complete with infrared cameras, aerial drones and motion detectors. The idea seems to have been to show the American federal government how easy it is to halt illegal immigration. Currently it serves as a base for American Border Patrol’s armed vigilante activities (covered here), which ostensibly take place on “private grounds”. There is a fine portrait of Spencer here.

According to Spencer he is countering what he seems to take to be Mexican plans to (literally) “reconquer” the U.S. Indeed, Spencer is (together with people such as Barbara Coe, who leads the hate group California Coalition for Immigration Reform), one of the main proponents of the Aztlan conspiracy theory, according to which there is a bona fide conspiracy endorsed and backed by Mexico and, in some versions, by most Mexican Americans to forcibly take over the US (“The dream of conquering Aztlan lies deep in the heart of the Mexican psyche,” says Spencer; “[t]his explains why some are willing to risk death. Their goal is more than jobs, it is conquest”).

And, oh, he has also written the article “Is Jew-Controlled Hollywood Brainwashing Americans?” Just to prove to people that he is an insane, paranoid conspiracy theorist. In the article, he assured readers that he had Jewish friends but added that he featred that “this small handful of patriotic Americans are far outnumbered by liberal Jews who now have total control over our media.” Obama isn’t doing a particularly good job either (“brainwashed Americans have just voted to commit national suicide” was his comment on the 2008 election): He does at least follow a rather standard pattern of rationality-related morbidity associated with paranoia and conspiracy theories, and there is little risk that his views will become mainstream anytime soon. But he has enough followers to make him dangerous.

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

April 11, 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. 48

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 1996

Commenced:  1:45 PM CST

Concluded:  2:16 PM CST

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

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

GD: No, just talked on the phone.

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

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

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

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

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

GD: The 10th.

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

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

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

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

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

GD: And Ruby?

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

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

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

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

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

GD: Not the FBI?

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

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

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

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

RTC: I didn’t know about that.

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

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

GD: Wafrarin.

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

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

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

GD: Do you have anything on this?

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

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

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

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

RTC: Might I ask who the ancestor was?

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

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

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

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

GD: No.

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

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

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

(Concluded at 2:16 PM CST)

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

 

NSA’s Domestic Spying Program Needs to End—Permanently

The U.S. National Security Agency has reportedly mothballed a large domestic spying program, but discontinuation of is not necessarily permanent. Now’s a good time to look at the program’s potential for abuse.

March 18, 2019

by Sarah St.Vincent

The Progressive magazine

George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act in November, 2001. Article 215, which allows the NSA to listen in on calls and texts conducted on major US telecommunications lines, has been suspended but remains the law.

The U.S. National Security Agency has reportedly mothballed a large domestic spying program that the NSA and its allies in Congress fought vigorously to retain just a few years ago.

This program, first publicly revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013, allows the NSA to gather records of U.S. phone calls and texts from major telecommunications companies in secret under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.

Despite the enormous scale and long duration of the snooping, there is no evidence that it was ever used to thwart a terrorist offense aimed at the United States.

Such records – which show who we called, when and for how long – can be highly revealing. They can show that we called a psychiatrist or marriage counselor, consulted with a religious adviser, helped plan a protest, or reached out to a rape hotline. They can also let the government create an elaborate picture of our relationships – not just who our friends are, but who our friends’ friends are.

Congress took a step toward reining in this surveillance when it passed the USA Freedom Act in 2015, ending the NSA’s collection of U.S. phone records in bulk. However, the reformed law still allows the agency to review and collect phone records. In 2017, even under the new constraints, the NSA reported collecting a startling 534 million of these records. Thus, while this domestic surveillance is no longer as sweeping as it once was, the government has still had vast, intrusive powers under Section 215.

The reported discontinuation of this monitoring during the past six months is not necessarily permanent. The U.S. executive branch could still ask Congress to renew Section 215, which will otherwise expire in December.

This is a good time for us to reflect on the program’s many problems. For example, despite the enormous scale and long duration of the snooping, there is no evidence that it was ever used to thwart a terrorist offense aimed at the United States.

Moreover, the Section 215 program’s implementation was botched so badly that last year the NSA deleted years’ worth of the records.

Routinely gathering the phone records of potentially thousands of Americans is a serious and disproportionate intrusion on rights, especially given that there are alternatives.

If authorities suspect someone in the United States is involved in planning a crime, including a terrorism offense, they can easily obtain the person’s phone records through a subpoena. Law enforcement officers do this routinely.

If the government believes it needs to conduct surveillance of someone in the United States for intelligence reasons, it can seek a specific order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Agents can do this when, for example, they suspect someone of being a spy for a foreign power or part of a terrorist organization.

The Section 215 phone records program, it seems, was from the beginning a large-scale fishing expedition. Letting government stockpile sensitive information about individuals, especially in secret, should raise alarm in any society. The potential for abuse is clear.

The reforms Congress imposed in the USA Freedom Act were a good start, but insufficient to end the human rights violations this domestic spying entailed. If this program is indeed dormant, the government should let it stay that way until the law underpinning it expires.

Congress should also look hard at other surveillance activities that may trample rights domestically and abroad. These include snooping under the highly secretive Executive Order 12333, a 1981 authority that could let the NSA spy on people in the United States, and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows widespread NSA and FBI use of warrantless surveillance.

As the experience with the domestic call-records program shows, government claims that spying activities are justified should not be taken at face value – and the intrusion on rights should be taken seriously.

 

Fakes and Frauds

April 11, 2019

by Richard Hansard

chj

The CIA, has been responsible for manufacturing the nearly-perfect counterfeit 50 and 100-dollar-notes that Washington has been accusing the North Koreans for making.The charge comes after an extensive investigation in Europe and Asia by the German BfV and after interviews with counterfeit money experts and leading representatives of the high-security publishing industry.

The U.S.-dollar forgeries, designated ‘Supernotes,’  are so good that even specialists are unable to distinguish them from genuine notes, have circulated for almost two decades without a reliable identification of the culprits. Because of their extraordinary quality, experts had assumed that some country must have been  behind the enterprise.

The administration of George W. Bush had officially accused Pyongyang of the deed in the autumn of 2005, derailing Six-Party Talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. Since then, tensions on the Korean Peninsula have increased considerably. America charged that North Korea has been financing its rocket and nuclear weapons program with the counterfeit ‘Supernotes.’

North Korea is one of the world’s poorest nations and lacks the technological capability to produce notes of such high quality. According to the BfV, North Korea is at present unable to even produce the won, the North Korean currency.

The German sources state that the CIA has printed the falsified ‘Supernotes’ at a secret facility near Washington to fund covert operations without Congressional oversight. The same agency has also been falsifying Euros to fund its large-scale bribery of German government officials.

In 1984, over 2,000 extremely rare, nearly mint condition, ancient Greek silver coins, dating from 465 BC, were unearthed near Elmali in Turkey. The hoard of coins, in violation of Turkish law, quickly circulated into the international marketplace, and many coins sold for huge sums of money. Discovering that their national treasures had apparently been looted, the irate Turkish government forced the return of most of the horde through legal and diplomatic means. The British Museum inspected some of the rarer specimens and concluded that the entire collection had been recently manufactured at the Bulgarian State Mint in Sofia by that country’s intelligence agency to raise much-needed Western currency. Following this revelation, the value of rare Greek coins toppled as quickly as the British pound had fallen in 1945.

 

The Internet as a Spy-tool

April 11, 2019

by Christian Jürs

The government intelligence agencies and their allied private contractors now regularly accesses all emails, chats, searches, events, locations, videos, photos, log-ins and any information people post online with a warrant, which the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court always  grants secretly and without being ever made public.

And the revelation of Prism, a secret government program for mining major Internet companies, states that the government now has direct access to Internet companies’ data without a warrant.

Every company impacted – Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype, PalTalk and AOL – publically deny knowing about the program or giving any direct access to their servers. These denials are intented to bolster public confidence in their services because in reality, all of these entities cooperate fully with requests for customer information.

Google is the supplier of the customized core search technology for Intellipedia, a highly-secure online system where 37,000 U.S. domestic and foreign area spies and related personnel share information and collaborate on investigative missions.

And there is absolutely nothing one can commit to the Internet that is private in any sense of the word

In addition, Google is linked to the U.S. spy and military systems through its Google Earth software venture. The technology behind this software was originally developed by Keyhole Inc., a company funded by Q-Tel http://www.iqt.org/, a venture capital firm which is in turn openly funded and operated on behalf of the CIA.

Google acquired Keyhole Inc. in 2004. The same base technology is currently employed by U.S. military and intelligence systems in their quest, in their own words, for “full-spectrum dominance” of the American, and foreign, political, social and economic spheres.

However, Internet Service Providers and the entertainment industry are now taking Internet monitoring to a whole new level….

If someone download copyrighted software, videos or music, all Internet service providers (ISP)  have the ability to detect this downloading.

The vast majority of computer surveillance involves the monitoring of data and traffic on the Internet. In the United States for example, under the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act, all phone calls and broadband Internet traffic (emails, web traffic, instant messaging, etc.) are required to be available for unimpeded real-time monitoring by Federal law enforcement agencies, to include the FBI, NSA, the CIA and the DHS.

There is far too much data on the Internet for human investigators to manually search through all of it and so automated Internet surveillance computers sift through the vast amount of intercepted Internet traffic and identify and report to human investigators traffic considered interesting by using certain “trigger” words or phrases, visiting certain types of web sites, or communicating via email or chat with suspicious individuals or groups. Billions of dollars per year are spent, by agencies such as the Information Awareness Office, NSA, and the FBI, to develop, purchase, implement, and operate systems such as Carnivore, NarusInsight, and ECHELON to intercept and analyze all of this data, and extract only the information which is useful to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. One flaw with NSA claims that the government needs to be able to suck up Internet data from services such as Skype and Gmail to fight terrorists: Studies show that would-be terrorists don’t use those services. The NSA has to collect the metadata from all of our phone calls because terrorists, right? And the spy agency absolutely must intercept Skypes you conduct with folks out-of-state, or else terrorism. It must sift through your iCloud data and Facebook status updates too, because Al Qaeda.Terrorists are everywhere, they are legion, they are dangerous, and, unfortunately, they don’t really do any of the stuff described above.

Even though the still-growing surveillance state that sprung up in the wake of 9/11 was enacted almost entirely to “fight terrorism,” reports show that the modes of communication that agencies like the NSA are targeting are scarcely used by terrorists at all.

Computers can be a surveillance target because of the personal data stored on them. If someone is able to install software, such as the FBI’s Magic Lantern and CIPAV, on a computer system, they can easily gain unauthorized access to this data. Such software can be, and is   installed physically or remotely. Another form of computer surveillance, known as van Eck phreaking, involves reading electromagnetic emanations from computing devices in order to extract data from them at distances of hundreds of meters. The NSA runs a database known as “Pinwale”, which stores and indexes large numbers of emails of both American citizens and foreigners.

 

JAMES P. ATWOOD: The CIA’S Fake Dagger King

by Benjamin Dova

A most interesting individual was James P. Atwood (April 16, 1930- July 20, 1997).

During the Iran Contra affair, General Secord’s arms shipments, arraigned through the CIA, transferred weapons destined for Central America to Merex Corporation, (Merex International Arms) of Savannah, Ga. The Merex address was occupied by Combat Military Ordinances Ltd., controlled by a James P. Atwood.

Atwood, a retired Lieutenant Colonel of U.S.Military Intelligence, (and later a CIA contract worker), stationed in their Berlin office, was involved in major arms trades with CIA-sponsored international buyers, specifically Middle Eastern Arab states.

Among other titles, Atwood became known as the ‘Dagger King’ because of his manufacture and merchandising of a large number of German ceremonial swords and daggers from the Third Reich period.

As a top US Army Intelligence agent and important CIA contract worker and former FBI employee, Atwood ran guns, drugs, counterfeit rare German daggers, stolen archives and much more in and out of various countries from his headquarters in Savannah, Georgia.

Merex systems was founded by Otto Skorzeny’s associate Gerhard Mertins in Bonn after the war and was considered a CIA proprietary firm. Merex was close to and worked with the BND, the German intelligence service evolved from the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization and currently heavily under its control.

Monzer Al-Kassar utilized the Merex firm for some of his weapons transactions with the CIA-controlled international weapons cartel.

Atwood was involved with Interarmco, run by Samuel Cummings, an Englishman who ran the largest arms firm in the world. Sam Cummings got his start working with the CIA to procure weapons for the 1954 coup in Guatemala.  Cummings died in Monaco Carlo with a country place at Villars in the Swiss Alps where he resettled in 1960 because he had looted his CIA employers and found European residence safer than Warrenton, Virginia.

Interarms (formerly Interarmco and officially the International Armaments Corporation) was the world’s largest private arms dealer, and once had enough weapons in their warehouses to equip forty U.S. divisions

Also connected with Atwood’s firm were Collector’s Armory, Thomas Nelson Prop, and a George Petersen of Springfield, Virginia, and Emmanuel (Manny) Wiegenberg, a Canadian arms dealer.and look into Atwood’s role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement.

Atwood’s activities are linked to the CIA’s Robert Crowley, Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs (who knew him and disliked him), to Jim Critchfield and a number of other CIA luminaries.

Arrested by the Army’s CIC in the early 60s, for misuse of government mail, tax fraud and other matters, Atwood got the CIA to force the charges against him dropped. All the paperwork was supposed to have been destroyed but a copy of the 62 count indictment, plus the Chicago Federal judge’s orders, have survived.

Atwood operated in the Middle East, Germany and Central America. He sold US secrets to Marcus Wolfe of the Stasi and the BND photographed them together in East Berlin

He smuggled guns into Guatemala and Nicaragua and drugs into the US.

Atwood’s role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement. The head of the Canada Desk at the Company was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. This is a chapter that the CIA does not want discussed. Atwood’s connections with Skorzeny and the IRA/Provo wing make dramatic reading. One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who ran the cell that blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. There is also the shipping of weapons into the southern Mexican provinces by Atwood and his Guatemala based consortium, Oceanic Cargo.

Atwood had a number of ex-Gestapo and SD people on board, some of whom were wanted for war crimes.

Both Schwend and Klaus Barbie formed Transmaritania which was a shipping company that also generated millions of dollars in profits from the cocaine business. They purchased their weapons from another SS colleague, Colonel Otto Skorzeny who had been head of SS Commando units towards the end of the war, later worked for the CIA and had started the Merex weapons business in Bonn after the war. Another Atwood contact was one Walter Rauff, a senior SD officer, friend of Dulles and once head of the SD in Milan (after a tour in Tunisia as head of the SD there during Rommel’s campaign in Africa.)

The Rauff story is even more entertaining than the Barbie one and more disruptive when it becomes public. Rauff worked for the CIA, lived unmolested and well-protected by the CIA, in South America.

While Atwood was involved in supplying weapons to Cuban insurgents for the Bay of Pigs incident, he stated to a number of his associates that he learned of highly classified information on the accidental release, in Florida, of deadly toxins that the CIA was planning to use in advance of the invasion to “soften up” Castro’s militia.

The designated head of the CIA, Porter Goss, was a CIA agent in Florida at this time, was involved in the planning and expected execution of the Cuban invasion and suddenly became “very ill”, as his specs on Google point out, and had to retire. Atwood told his friends that Goss, later a Florida political figure, was a participating party in this specific part of the CIA invasion plans.

The head of the Canada Desk at the Company (CIA) was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. This is a chapter that the CIA does not want discussed.

One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979 and there was also 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. Klaus Barbie was also connected.

Barbie, who was Gestapo chief in Lyon, France, during the war, worked for the CIC after the war and fled to South America when his American handlers tipped him off. Barbie took some of the hidden Nazi gold and invested it in several businesses and also continued to prosper by starting the Estrella Company which sold bark, coca paste, and assault weapons to a former SS officer, Frederich Schwend in Lima, Peru. 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.

Both Schwend and Barbie formed Transmaritania which was a shipping company that also generated millions of dollars in profits from the cocaine business. They purchased their weapons from another SS colleague, Colonel Otto Skorzeny who had been head of SS Commando units towards the end of the war, later worked for the CIA and had started the Merex weapons business in Bonn after the war. Also a person to consider is one Walter Rauff, a senior SD officer, friend of Dulles and once head of the SD in Milan (after a tour in Tunesia as head of the SD there during Rommel’s campaign in Africa.)

The Rauff story is even more entertaining than the Barbie one and more disruptive.

Rauff and the notorious Mengele worked for the CIA.

In 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was considerable concern expressed in US intelligence circles about the whereabouts, and also the security of, certain ex-Soviet military tactical atomic warheads. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union launched R&D to miniaturize and improve reliability of nuclear weapons. Development activities included strategic systems for the Navy; cruise missiles, aviation bombs and artillery projectiles [the smallest nuclear charge was developed for a 152mm artillery projectile]

The model is based on unclassified data on the components in an atomic artillery shell, to see if such a system could be reassembled in a suitcase. Indeed, as it turns out, the physics package, neutron generators, batteries, arming mechanism and other essentials of a small atomic weapon can fit, just barely, in an attaché case. The result is a plutonium-fueled gun-type atomic weapon having a yield of one-to-ten kilotons, the same yield range attributed in a 1998 US media interview by General Lebed to the Russian “nuclear suitcase” weapon.”

The smallest possible bomb-like object would be a single critical mass of plutonium (or U-233) at maximum density under normal conditions. An unreflected spherical alpha-phase critical mass of Pu-239 weighs 10.5 kg and is 10.1 cm across.

In 1992, following a successful treasure hunt in Austria, where he and author Gregory Douglas located and dug up a small fortune in gold and silver coins buried in the last weeks of the war by SS General Odilo Globocnik, James Atwood, the former Interarmco people and an Israeli Russian named  Yurenko (actually Schemiel  Gofshstein) formed a consortium in conjunction with James Critchfield, retired senior CIA specialist on oil matters in the Mideast  to obtain a number of these obsolete but still viable weapons.

Both Critchfield and the Interarmco people had, at the behest of the CIA, supplied weapons to the rebels in Afghanistan during their protracted struggle with the Soviet Union. Critchfield 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 also ran regional agency operations when the two superpowers raced to secure satellites first in Eastern Europe, then in the Middle East.

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.” With the growing political importance of Middle East oil, he became the CIA’s national intelligence officer for energy in the late 1960s and early 1970s, then 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.

Officially retiring from the CIA in 1974, Critchfield became a consultant, corporate president of Tetra Tech International, a Honeywell Inc. subsidiary and which managed oil, gas, and water projects in the strategic Masandam Peninsula.

It sits on the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the West’s oil is transported. At the same time, Critchfield was a primary adviser to the Sultan of Oman, focusing on Middle East energy resources, especially those in Oman.

Since at least 1981, a worldwide network of independent  [i.e., no direct U.S. government ties] companies, including airlines, aviation and military spare parts suppliers, and trading companies, has been utilized by the CIA and the U.S. government to illegally ship arms and military spare parts to Iran and to the Contras.

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.

CIA-controlled companies include Aero Systems, Inc., of Miami, Arrow Air, Aero Systems Pvt. Ltd of Singapore, Hierax of Hong Kong, Pan Aviation in Miami, Merex in Georgia, Sur International, St. Lucia Airways, Global International Airways, International Air Tours of Nigeria, Continental Shelf Explorations, Inc., Jupiter, Florida, Varicon, Inc., Dane Aviation Supply of Miami, Parvus, Safir, International Trading and Investment Guaranty Corp., Ltd., and Information Security International Inc., Zenith Technical Enterprises, Ltd., Mineral Carriers, Ltd. Air America, CAA, and Information Security International Inc.,Air Asia Co., Ltd., Arrow Air, Civil Air Transport (CAT) , Dane Aviation Supply, Intermountain Aviation, SODIMAC Southern Air Transport

And they control another three hundred committees, ‘institutes’, media entities and other ventures.

Atwood had a bad habit of talking entirely too much while drinking and when his interesting conversations, filled with unwelcome detail, got to the ears of senior CIA officials, poor Atwood had a sudden”brain embolism” while lunching with two CIA friends and fell face-down into his salad.

Sic transit Gloria mundi!

 

Breaking: Taliban claims it shot down US B-52 strategic bomber in Afghanistan

April 10, 2019

DEFI

The Taliban claimed it shot down US B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber while it was taking off from Shawrab airbase in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

“Mujaheddin of the Islamic Emirate targeted US B-52 bomber with heavy weapons today early morning in Lar area in Washir district of Helmand province, the bomber went down and all its crew were killed while smoke still rising from the crash site”, Taliban’s spokesman Qarri Muhammad Yousef Ahmad said.

No confirmation or comment by officials in Afghanistan or the US yet.

https://muraselon.com/en/2019/04/taliban-claims-b52-bomber-afghanistan/

 

Explainer: What might be blacked out of Mueller’s Trump-Russia report?

April 11, 2019

by Jan Wolfe

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Attorney General William Barr has pledged to release next week Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election and contacts between Moscow and President Donald Trump’s campaign, albeit with color-coded redactions.

While congressional Democrats have demanded the release of the full report with nothing blacked out, as well as the underlying evidence Mueller collected, Barr has said he will redact four categories of sensitive information.

Barr told a congressional committee on Tuesday these redactions will be color-coded and accompanied by notes explaining the grounds for withholding information. It is unclear how much will be blacked out.

According to a March 24 letter Barr sent to lawmakers, Mueller’s nearly 400-page report presents evidence on both sides of the question of whether Trump engaged in obstruction of justice, and while it “does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Barr said in his letter that Mueller did not establish that the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia. Barr also said that he as attorney general concluded that Mueller’s evidence was “not sufficient” to establish that Trump committed criminal obstruction of justice.

Here is an explanation of the four categories of information that Barr has said will be redacted.

In the U.S. criminal justice system, prosecutors generally must get authorization from a group of citizens known as a grand jury before bringing criminal charges or issuing subpoenas. Grand juries meet in secret to ensure that people being investigated are not tipped off, while also protecting the privacy of potential criminal defendants who ultimately are not charged.

Over the course of Mueller’s investigation, which led to charges against 34 people and three Russian companies, his team used grand jury proceedings to issue more than 2,800 subpoenas and executed nearly 500 search warrants. A provision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure called Rule 6(e) requires government lawyers to maintain the confidentiality of “matters” before grand juries, with some exceptions.

This rule is unlikely to lead to many redactions in the part of the Mueller report dealing with whether Trump committed the crime of obstruction of justice with actions aimed at impeding the inquiry. For that investigation, Mueller’s team gathered evidence through voluntary FBI interviews with witnesses, which do not implicate grand jury secrecy rules.

Mueller did use a grand jury to question associates of Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Trump who came under scrutiny due to his interactions with the Wikileaks website that published emails the special counsel has said were hacked by Russia to harm Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. In January, Mueller indicted Stone on charges including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering and making false statements. Stone has pleaded not guilty.

Another key figure who testified before Mueller’s grand jury was George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman involved in an effort to set up a back channel between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin while Barack Obama was still president, according to a Washington Post report.

INFORMATION THAT COULD AFFECT ONGOING CASES

Barr has said he will redact information that could interfere with ongoing prosecutions.

“You’ll recall that the special counsel did spin off a number of cases that are still being pursued,” Barr told lawmakers. “And we want to make sure that none of the information in the report would impinge upon either the ability of the prosecutors to prosecute the cases, or the fairness to the defendants.”

Mueller’s team has enlisted attorneys from other parts of the Justice Department, court records show, to jointly prosecute certain ongoing cases. These include: charges against Stone; witness-tampering charges against Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian associate of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort; charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking Democratic emails; and a Russian “troll farm” accused of flooding social media sites with propaganda to promote Trump and disparage Clinton.

Separately, referrals by Mueller gave rise to inquiries by federal prosecutors in Washington, Virginia and New York. The New York referral related to Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to a variety of charges and is due to report to prison for a three-year sentence in

May. U.S. prosecutors in Virginia are investigating secret Turkish lobbying involving Michael Flynn, Trump’s fired former national security adviser. In Washington, lobbyist Samuel Patten pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians and helping a pro-Russian Ukrainian businessman illegally purchase tickets to Trump’s inauguration.

Stone’s trial is set to begin in November and Manafort has been hit with state charges in New York, so information about those two men could be redacted.

‘PERIPHERAL THIRD PARTIES’

Barr has said he will redact “information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.” This is another way of articulating a long-standing Justice Department policy of not releasing disparaging information about a person unless the individual is indicted. The policy is grounded in the belief that people who are indicted can defend themselves in court, but people who are investigated without being charged do not have this opportunity.

This policy has been dispensed with before, including in June 2016 when then-FBI Director James Comey publicly pronounced that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in handling classified information even though she was never charged.

Some legal experts have said this policy should not apply to Mueller’s report because it was primarily a counterintelligence operation, rather than a traditional criminal investigation. By focusing on the privacy rights of “peripheral” third parties, Barr may be signaling he will make an exception to the policy in order to allow information to remain unredacted concerning people who, while not charged with crimes, are central to the probe, potentially including Trump.

INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING SOURCES AND METHODS

In investigating Russian election interference, Mueller’s team may have relied on information from top-secret intelligence sources. Justice Department officials last year turned down a request by Republican lawmakers for certain information about Mueller’s investigation, saying doing so could put lives at risk and expose the identity of a U.S. citizen who provided intelligence to the FBI. While redacting such material, Barr might opt to divulge it to certain lawmakers behind closed doors.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham

 

NSA Gave Contractors $630M in Incentives. Its Watchdog Has Questions

April 11, 2019

by Charles S. Clark

Defense One

More than half of the incentive-based contracts reviewed by the agency’s inspector general lacked proof that such incentives were necessary.

The highly secretive National Security Agency may have relied too heavily on the contractor incentives provided in cost-plus award fee contracts, according to a new inspector general report calling into question some $630 million in awards.

A review of 54 contracts awarded using that method in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 showed that more than half “did not have a valid Determination and Finding justifying use of this contract method,” the NSA inspector general said in an April 3 report. Fifty-one of the 54 “lacked the required cost-benefit analysis of the expected benefits versus the additional administrative costs of monitoring and evaluating the contractor’s performance.”

The review was launched “because of the magnitude of the agency award fee contract pools and the significant potential financial risk to the agency and administrative burden associated with effectively managing award fee contracts,” the IG said.

So-called award fee contracts have long been permitted under the Federal Acquisition Regulation for work of a nature that makes it neither feasible nor effective to devise predetermined objective targets applicable to cost, schedule and technical performance, the report noted. Such awards are also appropriate if the likelihood of a company meeting the agency’s acquisition objectives will be enhanced by using a contract that “effectively motivates the contractor toward exceptional performance and provides the government with the flexibility to evaluate both actual performance and the condition under which it was achieved

That assumes that any additional administrative costs and risks for monitoring that performance are justified in a documented cost-benefit analysis.

The award fee arrangement does not include predetermined targets or automatic fee adjustment formulas; instead, the award fee becomes a subjective decision made unilaterally by the government.

NSA, a component of the Defense Department, in recent years has been increasing its obligations for award fee contracts, which rose by 139 percent from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2017, the report noted. This is all at a time when the Defense Department is moving away from award fee contracts toward “objective incentive arrangements,” with the Pentagon’s reliance on award fee arrangements falling from $34 billion to $10 billion from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2015.

The IG faulted NSA for failing to “evaluate the effectiveness of award fees. The agency does not comprehensively collect and analyze relevant data pertaining to award and incentive fees paid. Therefore, it cannot determine” whether they have led to improved contractor performance or achieved desired program outcomes.

Because the auditors found “insufficient evidence to support the determination” that the use of award fee contracts was appropriate, the auditors said, “we question $636 million in award fees earned over multiple years associated with 54 contracts.”

One possible reason NSA’s handling of the contracts may not have served the government’s interest, the report suggested, is a “supposition expressed to the OIG by some participants in the contracting process that award fee administrative procedures discourage individuals from rating contractor performance as less than optimal. For example, one individual stated that they were not permitted to assign a 70 percent award fee earned because the contractor had not been given formal notice.”

The IG made three recommendations to assist NSA and its Central Security Service in “addressing the record-keeping deficiencies and data analysis requirements identified in this audit.”

Following publication of the IG report, an NSA spokesman told Government Executive, “When preparing the 54 contracts reviewed by the OIG, NSA contracting officers used sound business decisions and their professional judgment to determine the appropriate contract type in accordance with federal regulations. In response to the OIG’s findings, NSA agreed to the recommendations and is making changes to improve the documentation associated with providing the rationale for the use of award fee contracts and percentages. The award fees earned were properly calculated in accordance with the award fee plans under each individual contract.

 

 

 

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