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TBR News April 13, 2018

Apr 13 2018

 

The Voice of the White House 

Washington, D.C. April 13, 2018.: “Sir Roger David Casement was born on September 1, 1864 in Dublin County, Ireland. Although from an Ulster Protestant family, Casement was sympathetic to the cause of the Irish nationalist movement which sought to establish an Irish state free of British political and military control.

As a diplomat in the service of the British government, Casement gained great recognition for exposing the numerous atrocities practiced by the Belgians against the natives in their Congo colony, an endeavor that forced the Belgians to reform their administration. While posted to Brazil, Casement uncovered similar murderous activity by Brazilians in the Putymayo River area. This activity gained him a knighthood in 1912.

At the end of 1913, retired from the Foreign Service for health reasons, Casement became involved with the Irish nationalist movement and formed the Irish National Volunteers. After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Casement went to Germany in November of that year and attempted to secure German aid for an Irish rising against the British. The Germans proved to be unwilling to participate in this venture and Casement went back to Ireland in a German submarine on April 12, 1916. It was his intention to persuade the Irish nationalists to halt their impending Easter rising but he was captured in Ireland by the British a week later, removed to London where he was imprisoned in conditions of considerable barbarity and brutally treated until such time as he was put on trial for treason, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.

International attempts to secure a reprieve for Casement because of his previous humanitarian activities were nullified by the sudden release by British intelligence of diaries purporting to have been written by Casement which detailed alleged homosexual activities. Casement was duly hanged on August 3, 1916.

It has been long believed that the diaries were produced on the order of Captain Reginald Hall, Chief of Naval Intelligence. Captain, later Rear Admiral, Reginald Hall, had been appointed Director of British Naval Intelligence in October of 1914. He was a brilliant but completely amoral intelligence officer and as the war progressed, virtually dictated British naval policy.

Unscrupulous to a degree, Hall has long been suspected as being the moving force behind the forgery of the Casement diaries. Hall also is believed to have caused the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 in the hopes of dragging the United States into the European war that Britain had little chance of winning. He did this by planting a fake report from an alleged German agent in the United States to the effect that the Lusitania was shipping Canadian troops to Europe. Hall’s gambit did not work but the later sinking of the HMS Hampshire with the detested Lord Kitchner on board, did.

The Easter rising was eventually suppressed by the British Army under circumstances of singular atrocity against the participants in particular and the population of Dublin in general. Boys as young as twelve were hanged for curfew violations and unarmed civilians, including women, were shot and bayonetted in the streets by the occupying forces. One of the leaders of the rising, though dying of untreated gangrene, was dragged from his cell and tied to a stretcher before being shot by a firing squad.

This was a strikingly ugly episode in the history of a country with an official policy that resulted in countless historical examples of similar oppressive actions but noteworthy in that it was performed, not in some remote and unobserved area of Africa or India but within the borders of ostensibly civilized England and directed against white Christians.

The question of the authenticity of the diaries immediately arose and has attracted strong partisanship on both sides of the issue. In 1959, the British government released the diaries for inspection by scholars. Predictably, sympathetic British academics proclaimed them original while others held opposite views.

In February of 1965, Casement’s remains were finally returned to Ireland and given a state funeral. The funeral oration was read by Irish President Eamon de Valera.”

 

Table of Contents

  • The Deep State Closes In On the Donald
  • Donald Trump cast as lying ‘mafia boss’ in James Comey book
  • Highlights from former FBI Director James Comey’s new book
  • Cambridge Analytica-linked Kogan collected Facebook users’ private messages
  • Avoid Gulf stream disruption at all costs, scientists warn
  • Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Predict Your Future Actions for Advertisers, Says Confidential Document
  • Suffering Fools Gladly?: David Irving & Revisionism

 

The Deep State Closes In On the Donald

April 13, 2018

by David Stockman

AntiWar

Perhaps we have missed something: Like the possibility that the canyons of Wall Street are actually located on another planet several light years from earth!

Otherwise, how can you explain the equipoise of a stock market sitting at the tippy-top of a nine-year bubble expansion and confronted with the potential outbreak of World War Three?

Folks, like some alien abductors, the Deep State has taken the Donald hostage, and with ball-and-chain finality. Whatever pre-election predilection he had to challenge the Warfare State has apparently been completely liquidated.

Trump’s early AM tweet today, in fact, embodies the words of a man who had more than a few screws loose when he took the oath, but under the relentless pounding of the Imperial City’s investigators, partisans, apparatchiks and lynch-mob media has now gone stark raving mad. To wit:

“….Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

Yes, maybe Wall Street has figured out that the Donald is more bluster than bite. Yet when you consider the broader context and what the Russian side is now saying, it is just plain idiotic to own the S&P 500 at 24X. After all, earnings that have been going nowhere for the past three years (earnings per share have inched-up from $106 in September 2014 to $109 in December 2017), and now could be ambushed by a hot war accident in Syria that would rapidly escalate.

Indeed, did the robo-machines and boys and girls down in the casino not ponder the meaning of this message from the Kremlin? It does not leave much to the imagination:

#Russian ambassador in beirut : “If there is a strike by the Americans on #Syria , then… the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,” Zasypkin told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV, speaking in Arabic.

Sure, the odds are quite high that the clever folks in the Pentagon will figure out how to keep the pending attack reasonably antiseptic. That is, they will bomb a whole bunch of places in Syria where the Russians and Iranians are not (after being warned); and also deploy standoff submarine platforms to launch cruise missiles and high-flying stealth aircraft to drop smart bombs, thereby keeping American pilots and ships out of harm’s way.Then, after unleashing the Donald’s version of “shock and awe” they will claim that Assad has just received the spanking of his life and that the Russians and Iranians have been messaged with malice aforethought.

But our point is not that Douma is Sarajevo, and, besides, this is still April, not August. What should be scaring the daylights out of Wall Street is that we are even at the point where the two tweets quoted above are happening.

For crying out loud, there is a brutal, bloody and barbaric civil war raging in Syria where both sides are bedecked in black hats; both sides have committed unspeakable atrocities; and where it is a documented fact that the rebels possess chemical weapons and have launched false flag gas attacks in the past – even as 1,30o tons of Assad’s inventory, which may or may not have been the totality of it, was destroyed according to the certification of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In that context, who can tell whether the alleged chlorine gas release last Saturday in Douma originated in a bomb dropped by Assad’s air force or came from a rebel stockpile that was hit by a bomb? Or whether it was another deliberate false flag attack staged by the jihadists or perhaps that it never happened at all.

The evidence comes mainly from rebel forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. One of these was the Violations Documentation Center, a virulent anti-Russian organization funded by George Soros. Another was the White Helmets, a completely comprised operation financed by the US and UK and which has operated only in rebel held territories – often check-by-jowl with the al-Nusra Front and other terrorist elements.

Indeed, Washington’s fabled spies in the sky and taps on every node of the worldwide web can read your email and spot a rogue camel caravan anywhere in a Sahara sandstorm. But they can not tell whether dead bodies are the victims of bullets, bombs, collapsing buildings or chlorine gas. You need to be on the ground and perform chemical tests for that, and Washington just plain isn’t there.

Besides, even if a careful investigation – like the one proposed by Sweden and which the US and UK vetoed at the UN – were actually completed, why is it Washington’s prerogative to administer a spanking to the culprit?

For one thing, if you are in the spanking business owing to bad behavior, then just within the region you would also need to administer the rod to al-Sisi in Egypt and Erdogan in Turkey; and also to Washington’s on and off wards in Baghdad and to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for his genocidal attacks on Yemen. While you were at it, why would even Bibi Netanyahu be spared the birch – given his periodic “lawn mowing” exercises on the Gaza strip?

The point is, Assad has never attacked, threatened or even looked cross-eyed at the United States. So you would have thought that administering spankings to international malefactors is the business of Washington’s permanent War Party, not the leader of America First.

To be sure, the only evidence we have to date is the gruesome images posted on the internet by the “Douma Revolution”, which we don’t credit because it is a tool of the good folks of Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), who were holding 3,200 pro-Assad hostages in cages when the attack happened. But even if Assad is culpable, why is the Donald getting out the birch switch if he doesn’t mean to effectuate regime change?

Yes, inconstancy is his middle name. But how in god’s name could even the Donald have rearranged the modest amount of gray matter under his great Orange Comb-Over so quickly and completely with regards to Syria?

As a reminder, this is what the Donald said just last week:

“We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon,” Trump said on Thursday, “Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out….We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”

The fact is, it’s way too late to drag Bashar Assad behind the Moammar Khadafy Memorial Jeep to be ritually sodomized by his enemies. That’s because he’s already won the civil war (red area in map below).

What’s left is not remotely conducive to regime change because the majority Arab population of Syria (regardless of Alawite, Shiite, Sunni, Christian, Druse etc. religious affiliation) would never consent to be ruled by the small minority of Kurds (who control the yellow, largely desert areas). And besides, a Kurdish Syrian state in part or whole would guarantee a Turkish invasion and a blue (Turkish controlled areas surrounding Afrin in the northwest) versus yellow war where Washington would be on both sides.

Indeed, the only thing that a regime change attempt at this late date would accomplish is a resurrection of the remnants of ISIL (small black specs) or an upwelling of chaos from the three or four islets (green areas) that warring gangs of rebels, jihadists, salafists and bloodthirsty warlords now nominally control.

So the map below, in fact, tells you what is really going on. To wit, the neocons and deep staters around Trump – with the Walrus Mouth (Bolton) now literally shouting in his ear – are really about picking a fight with Iran and Russia. These are really Imperial Washington’s designated enemies, and the purpose of the impending attack on Syrian military installations is to intimidate them into backing down – even as they issue hostile warnings and rhetorical fulminations (especially the Iranians) against America.

Stated differently, the Orange Comb-Over is being lured not so much into an Assad spanking exercise or regime change maneuver as into a Proxy War with Iran and Russia. The latter is literally manna from heaven for the Warfare State.

Indeed, with the defense budget already cranked up to the absurd level of $720 billion, the Deep State and its military/industrial/surveillance/congressional complex allies would like nothing better than maximum rhetorical belligerence (and occasional provocative acts) from Russia and Iran in order to keep the national security gravy train inflating toward the $1 trillion funding mark.

Needless to say, the contractual droppings from these staggering budget levels will keep the beltway think tanks, NGOs and pro-war lobbying apparatus in clover for years to come, thereby fueling the ugly secret of Imperial Washington.

Namely, since America lost its only real enemy in 1991, Washington has become an unhinged war capital. It is now endangering the entire planet in a doom-loop of expanding military muscle, multiplying foreign interventions and occupations, intensifying blowback from the victims of Washington’s aggression and an ever greater chorus of Empire justifying experts, apparatchiks and politicians getting fat on the banks of the Potomac.

Nevertheless, the extent of the Donald’s capture by the Deep State and its partisan auxiliaries could not be more dramatically evident than in the last seven days of events in Eastern Ghouta.

As shown in the map below, after a bloody two-month long campaign the Syrian Army – backed by the Russian Air Force – had captured most of the rebel strongholds in the Eastern Ghouta district outside of Damascus. And that meant that the civil war was tantamount to over because what remained of the armed opposition could no longer rain artillery attacks and guerrilla assaults down on the Assad government in its own backyard.

After the renewed government offensive in February, Eastern Ghouta had been split into three pockets of resistance.

The rebel groups in two of these pockets had finally capitulated after punishing battles that caused upwards of 1,200 military and civilian casualties on both sides. Under terms of the rebel/government negotiated deals, however, opposition fighters and their families were evacuated in buses to rebel-held territory in the northern Syrian province of Idlib (green area in the map above).

Only the small enclave of Douma (dark pink in the map below) held out because the Salafist fighters from the “Army of Islam” (Jaish al-Islam) refused to surrender.

By April 5, however, the situation had deteriorated so badly inside Douma that this last cohort of rebel fighters also agreed to negotiations. This too was supposed to end in a convoy of evacuation buses heading north, but the discussions had broke down when, according to some reports, the rebel negotiators were recalled and executed by a faction that wished to keep fighting.

So last Friday, the Syrian military resumed its offensive and the purported gas attack occurred the next day, when it appears that it was all over except the shouting.

We will leave for others to explain the unexplainable. To wit, why in the world would Bashar Assad, who was on the verge of a complete victory over the last redoubt of rebel enemies that could threaten his regime, use chemical weapons on civilians and children when all except a few hard-core fighters had already agreed to get on buses and evacuate Douma entirely?

Yet here is the even more unexplainable part of this sorry episode that amounts to the Deep State waging the Donald. The remaining rebels capitulated on Sunday and the government re-upped the evacuation deal. That is, the remnants of Jaish al-Islam are now all dead or have boarded busses – along with their families – and are already in Idlib province.

That’s right. There is no opposition left in Douma and it has been liberated by the Syrian army, including release of the 3,200 pro-government hostages who had been paraded around the town in cages by the Saudi Arabia funded warriors of Islam who had terrorized it.

According to the Syrian government, no traces of chemicals or even bodies have been found. They could be lying, of course, but with the OPCW investigators on the way to Douma who in their right mind would not wait for an assessment of what actually happened last Saturday?

That is, if you are not caught up in the anti-Russian hysteria that has engulfed official Washington and the mainstream media. Indeed, the Syrian government has now even welcomed the international community to come to Douma, where the Russians claim there is absolutely nothing to see:

Speaking with EuroNews, Russia’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizov, said “Russian military specialists have visited this region, walked on those streets, entered those houses, talked to local doctors and visited the only functioning hospital in Douma, including its basement where reportedly the mountains of corpses pile up. There was not a single corpse and even not a single person who came in for treatment after the attack.”

“But we’ve seen them on the video!” responds EuroNews correspondent Andrei Beketov.

“There was no chemical attack in Douma, pure and simple,” responds Chizov. “We’ve seen another staged event. There are personnel, specifically trained – and you can guess by whom – amongst the so-called White Helmets, who were already caught in the act with staged videos.”

In short, if they are lying, it would not be hard to ascertain. Presumably, the Donald could even send Jared Kushner – flack jacket and all – to investigate what actually happened at Douma.

Alas, the Donald has apparently opted for war instead in a desperate maneuver to keep the Deep State at bay.

Either way, we think he’s about done, and next time we will explore why what’s about to happen next should be known to the history books, if there are any, as “Mueller’s War”.

 

 

Donald Trump cast as lying ‘mafia boss’ in James Comey book

Ex-FBI chief James Comey in his new book has blasted Donald Trump as a mobster-like figure who is “untethered to the truth.” Tweeting back, the president said Comey was a “slime ball” who should be prosecuted for leaks.

April 13, 2018

DW

Former FBI director James Comey’s depiction of US President as a “mafia boss” in book excerpts published Friday quickly prompted a Trump tirade via social media.

In an early morning two-part Tweet, Trump wrote of Comey:”He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI.

“It was my great honor to fire James Comey,” wrote Trump, adding that Comey should be prosecuted for leaking classified information.

Comey, in his book due out next week, depicts US President Donald Trump as a “mafia boss,” who exists in “a cocoon of alternative reality,” according to excerpts quoted by US media.

“His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty,” Comey writes in the book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”

Trump fired Comey in May 2017 while he was investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Soon afterwards, Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to probe allegations of Moscow meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

That investigation has since expanded to examine whether the president obstructed justice by dismissing Comey.

What did Comey write in the book?

Excerpts from the book obtained by the Washington Post list damning indictments of the Trump presidency, including:

“Meetings with Trump gave me flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob.”

“The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.”

“Donald Trump’s presidency threatens much of what is good in this nation.”

“This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.”

The ex-FBI chief said Trump did not know the difference between right and wrong and tried to blur the line between law enforcement and politics by attempting to personally pressure him to drop an investigation into Russian election interference.

The book claims Trump was obsessed with trying to discredit rumors that he insisted were untrue but could distress his wife, Melania — in particular a video that allegedly showed Trump and Russian prostitutes urinating on a bed in a Moscow hotel. Trump reportedly raised the subject with Comey at least four times: He “strongly denied the allegations, asking — rhetorically, I assumed — whether he seemed like a guy who needed the service of prostitutes,” Comey said.

“I’m a germaphobe,” Trump reportedly said. “There’s no way I would let people pee on each other around me. No way.”

Comey also describes Trump as shorter than he expected with a “too long” tie and “bright white half-moons” under his eyes that he suggests came from tanning goggles.

The former FBI director also writes that then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly — now Trump’s chief of staff — offered to quit out of disgust at how Comey was dismissed.

 

Highlights from former FBI Director James Comey’s new book

April 13, 2018

Reuters

(Reuters) – A searing memoir by former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired last May by U.S. President Donald Trump, is due to be published next week.

Below are some highlights from the book:

– During a private dinner with Trump at the White House, Comey writes:

‘Unprompted, and in another zag in the conversation, (Trump) brought up what he called the “golden showers thing,” repeating much of what he had said to me previously, adding that it bothered him if there was “even a one percent chance” his wife, Melania, thought it was true. That distracted me slightly because I immediately began wondering why his wife would think there was any chance, even a small one, that he had been with prostitutes urinating on each other in Moscow.’

– Comey writes that Trump said he was thinking about asking the FBI to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie. Comey expressed concern about creating a narrative that the president was being investigated personally and that it was difficult to prove something never happened. Trump said he would think about it and asked Comey to consider it too.

‘He then returned to the issue of loyalty, saying again, “I need loyalty.” I paused, again. “You will always get honesty from me,” I said. He paused. “That is what I want, honest loyalty,” he said. This appeared to satisfy him as some sort of “deal” in which we were both winners.’

– Comey described an intelligence briefing for the president-elect at Trump Tower, where Trump and his team were told about Russia’s interference in the election:

‘I recall Trump listening without interrupting, and asking only one question, which was really more of a statement: “But you found there was no impact on the result, right?” The intelligence team said they had done no such analysis.

‘What I found telling was what Trump and his team didn’t ask. They were about to lead a country that had been attacked by a foreign adversary, yet they had no questions about what the future Russian threat might be.’

Instead, Trump and his team immediately started discussing how they would “spin” the information on Russia as if the intelligence officers were not in the room. ‘They were keen to emphasize that there was no impact on the vote, meaning that the Russians hadn’t elected Trump.’

– Comey writes that during the meeting he kept thinking of the New York mafia from his experience as a federal prosecutor in Manhattan, and how the Trump team’s behavior was aimed at making the intelligence community part of his group – his ‘Cosa Nostra’.

– During the Trump Tower intelligence briefing, Comey writes, he asked to talk privately to the president-elect about the allegations in a dossier that Trump had been with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013 and that the Russians had filmed the episode. ‘Before I finished, Trump interrupted sharply with a dismissive tone. He was eager to protest that the allegations weren’t true.’

Comey writes that he explained that the issue was not whether the FBI believed the allegations but that it thought it was important that Trump knew about them, especially since the press was about to report on it.

‘He again strongly denied the allegations, asking – rhetorically, I assumed – whether he seemed like a guy who needed the services of prostitutes. He then began discussing cases where women had accused him of sexual assault, a subject I had not raised. He mentioned a number of women, and seemed to have memorized their allegations. As he began to grow more defensive and the conversation teetered towards disaster, on instinct, I pulled the tool from my bag: “We are not investigating you, sir.” That seemed to quiet him.’

– During the private dinner at the White House, Comey writes that Trump talked about living at the White House and the women who accused him of sexual assault:

‘He talked about the trappings of the White House, saying something to the effect of “This is luxury. And I know luxury.” ‘He said he hadn’t mistreated a long list of women, reviewing each case in detail, as he had in our earlier conversation. There was no way he groped that lady sitting next to him on the airplane, he insisted. And the idea he grabbed a porn star and offered her money to come to his room was preposterous.’

– Comey describes being taken, somewhat unwillingly, to a meeting with Trump by Reince Preibus several days after comments that Trump made about Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Fox News Channel show The O’Reilly Factor:

‘Looking at me, he said. “You think it was a great answer, right?” and started to move on. I jumped on it and did something I might never have done as a younger person – especially to a president of the United States … I interrupted his monologue. “The first part of your answer was fine, Mr. President.” I said, as he took a breath and looked at me with a blank expression. “But not the second part. We aren’t the kind of killers that Putin is.” At that remark, Trump stopped talking altogether. In that brightly lit room, with its shiny gold curtains, a shadow seemed to cross his face. I could see something change in his yes. A hardness, or darkness. In a blink, the eyes narrowed and his jaw tightened. He looked like someone who  wasn’t used to being challenged or corrected by those around him.

‘I found myself thrust in to the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths.’

– Comey recounts that in a little more than a month he wrote multiple memos about his encounters with Trump. ‘I knew I would need to remember those conversations both because of their content and because I knew I was dealing with a chief executive who might well lie about them. To protect the FBI, and myself, I needed a contemporaneous record.’

Reporting by Angela Moore; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Chris Reese

 

Cambridge Analytica-linked Kogan collected Facebook users’ private messages

April 13, 2018

RT

The developer of the quiz app Cambridge Analytica used to collect the data of some 87 million Facebook users also had access to their private messages, according to a warning sent by the social media giant to affected users.

Through Aleksandr Kogan’s “This Is Your Digital Life” app, the Cambridge University researcher was able to collect the data, which was then shared with consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Data was collected not just from users who installed the app, but from their friends and contacts, too.

In the wake of the scandal, Facebook sent out automatic notifications to affected users. At the bottom of the notification, in fine print, read: “A small number of people who logged into This Is Your Digital Life also shared their own news feed, timeline, posts and messages, which may have included posts and messages from you.”

Kogan downplayed the extent of this snooping, and told the New York Times that private messages were only harvested from a small number of people, likely “a couple thousand.” He also said that the messages were for a separate research project, and were never provided to Cambridge Analytica.

Users granted Kogan permission to do this. Mailbox access was included in the list of permissions they accepted when they installed his app. Kogan insists that only the messages of app users were gathered, not those of their friends. He also told the Times that the data “was obviously sensitive so we tried to be careful about who could access it.”

However, in a 2014 lecture in a Russian university, Kogan told students that through his app, he could predict “basically anything” about a person “quick and cheap,” and that this project had major commercial benefits. Reading users’ messages was central to the project.

“It’s messaging… this is private information, which no one sees,” Kogan told the students. “You can also load all of that. We usually load 3,000 (messages) per person. And there they talk about everything.”

The revelation that third-party apps read users’ explicitly private data comes just days after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced a five-hour grilling in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He repeatedly told the committee that users have full control over who sees their information.“Every time someone chooses to share, they choose who they want to share it with,” said Zuckerberg.

The Facebook chief also told the panel that his company had introduced new privacy controls, but stopped short of saying he would be willing to alter the company’s business model to better protect user privacy.

Facebook is conducting an internal audit to discover how many third-party apps scraped user data. Zuckerberg told Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) that such an audit could take “many months,” and that he expected to find “a handful” of breaches from other firms.

Following over a month of privacy scandals at the social media company, a majority of Americans believe their personal data is unsafe with Facebook. Six in 10 Americans also think the government should increase regulations on social media and technology companies in general to prevent their private user data from being shared without their consent.

 

Avoid Gulf stream disruption at all costs, scientists warn

How close the world is to a catastrophic collapse of giant ocean currents is unknown, making halting global warming more critical than ever, scientists say

April 13, 2018

by Damian Carrington Environment editor

The Guardian

Serious disruption to the Gulf Stream ocean currents that are crucial in controlling global climate must be avoided “at all costs”, senior scientists have warned. The alert follows the revelation this week that the system is at its weakest ever recorded.

Past collapses of the giant network have seen some of the most extreme impacts in climate history, with western Europe particularly vulnerable to a descent into freezing winters. A significantly weakened system is also likely to cause more severe storms in Europe, faster sea level rise on the east coast of the US and increasing drought in the Sahel in Africa.

The new research worries scientists because of the huge impact global warming has already had on the currents and the unpredictability of a future “tipping point”.

The currents that bring warm Atlantic water northwards towards the pole, where they cool, sink and return southwards, is the most significant control on northern hemisphere climate outside the atmosphere. But the system, formally called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (Amoc), has weakened by 15% since 1950, thanks to melting Greenland ice and ocean warming making sea water less dense and more buoyant.

This represents a massive slowdown – equivalent to halting all the world’s rivers three times over, or stopping the greatest river, the Amazon, 15 times. Such weakening has not been seen in at least the last 1,600 years, which is as far back as researchers have analysed so far. Furthermore, the new analyses show the weakening is accelerating.

“From the study of past climate, we know changes in the Amoc have been some of the most abrupt and impactful events in the history of climate,” said Prof Stefan Rahmstorf, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and one of the world’s leading oceanographers, who led some of the new research. During the last Ice Age, winter temperatures changed by up to 10C within three years in some places.

“We are dealing with a system that in some aspects is highly non-linear, so fiddling with it is very dangerous, because you may well trigger some surprises,” he said. “I wish I knew where this critical tipping point is, but that is unfortunately just what we don’t know. We should avoid disrupting the Amoc at all costs. It is one more reason why we should stop global warming as soon as possible.”

Oceanographer Peter Spooner, at University College London, shares the concern: “The extent of the changes we have discovered comes as a surprise to many, including myself, and points to significant changes in the future.”

A collapse in the Amoc would mean far less heat reaching western Europe and plunge the region into very severe winters, the kind of scenario depicted in an extreme fashion in the movie The Day After Tomorrow. A widespread collapse of deep-sea ecosystems has also been seen in the past.

But as the Amoc weakens, it might actually increase summer heatwaves. That is because it takes time for the cooling of the northern waters to also cause cooling over the adjacent lands. However, the cooler waters affect the atmosphere in a way that helps warm air to flood into Europe from the south, a situation already seen in 2015.

Other new research this week showed that Greenland’s massive ice cap is melting at the fastest rate for at least 450 years. This influx will continue to weaken the Amoc into the future until human-caused climate change is halted, but scientists do not not know how fast the weakening will be or when it reaches the point of collapse.

“Many people have tried to check that with computer models,” said Rahmstorf. “But they differ a lot because it depends on a very subtle balance of density – that is temperature and salinity distribution in the ocean. We are not able to model this with any confidence right now.”

“We are hoping to somehow make some headway, but I have been in this area for more than 20 years now and we still don’t understand why the models differ so much in the sensitivity of the Amoc,” he said.

However, Rahmstorf said the international climate deal agreed in 2015 offers some hope if its ambition is increased and achieved: “If we can keep the temperature rise to well below 2C as agreed in the Paris agreement, I think we run a small risk of crossing this collapse tipping point.”

 

Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Predict Your Future Actions for Advertisers, Says Confidential Document

April 13 2018

by Sam Biddle

The Intecept

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted in March, Facebook has been attempting to make a moral stand for your privacy, distancing itself from the unscrupulous practices of the U.K. political consultancy. “Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do,” wrote Paul Grewal, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, just a few weeks before founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hit Capitol Hill to make similar reassurances, telling lawmakers, “Across the board, we have a responsibility to not just build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good.” But in reality, a confidential Facebook document reviewed by The Intercept shows that the two companies are far more similar than the social network would like you to believe.

The recent document, described as “confidential,” outlines a new advertising service that expands how the social network sells corporations’ access to its users and their lives: Instead of merely offering advertisers the ability to target people based on demographics and consumer preferences, Facebook instead offers the ability to target them based on how they will behave, what they will buy, and what they will think. These capabilities are the fruits of a self-improving, artificial intelligence-powered prediction engine, first unveiled by Facebook in 2016 and dubbed “FBLearner Flow.”

One slide in the document touts Facebook’s ability to “predict future behavior,” allowing companies to target people on the basis of decisions they haven’t even made yet. This would, potentially, give third parties the opportunity to alter a consumer’s anticipated course. Here, Facebook explains how it can comb through its entire user base of over 2 billion individuals and produce millions of people who are “at risk” of jumping ship from one brand to a competitor. These individuals could then be targeted aggressively with advertising that could pre-empt and change their decision entirely — something Facebook calls “improved marketing efficiency.” This isn’t Facebook showing you Chevy ads because you’ve been reading about Ford all week — old hat in the online marketing world — rather Facebook using facts of your life to predict that in the near future, you’re going to get sick of your car. Facebook’s name for this service: “loyalty prediction.”

Spiritually, Facebook’s artificial intelligence advertising has a lot in common with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica’s controversial “psychographic” profiling of voters, which uses mundane consumer demographics (what you’re interested in, where you live) to predict political action. But unlike Cambridge Analytica and its peers, who must content themselves with whatever data they can extract from Facebook’s public interfaces, Facebook is sitting on the motherlode, with unfettered access to staggering databases of behavior and preferences. A 2016 ProPublica report found some 29,000 different criteria for each individual Facebook user.

Zuckerberg has acted to distance his company from Cambridge Analytica, whose efforts on behalf of Donald Trump were fueled by Facebook data, telling reporters on a recent conference call that the social network is a careful guardian of information:

The vast majority of data that Facebook knows about you is because you chose to share it. Right? It’s not tracking. There are other internet companies or data brokers or folks that might try to track and sell data, but we don’t buy and sell. … For some reason, we haven’t been able to kick this notion for years that people think we will sell data to advertisers. We don’t. That’s not been a thing that we do. Actually it just goes counter to our own incentives. Even if we wanted to do that, it just wouldn’t make sense to do that.

The Facebook document makes a similar gesture toward user protection, noting that all data is “aggregated and anonymized [to protect] user privacy,” meaning Facebook is not selling lists of users, but rather essentially renting out access to them. But these defenses play up a distinction without a difference: Regardless of who is mining the raw data Facebook sits on, the end result, which the company eagerly monetizes, are advertising insights that are very intimately about you — now packaged and augmented by the company’s marquee machine learning initiative. And although Zuckerberg and company are technically, narrowly correct when they claim that Facebook isn’t in the business of selling your data, what they’re really selling is far more valuable, the kind of 21st century insights only possible for a company with essentially unlimited resources. The reality is that Zuckerberg has far more in common with the likes of Equifax and Experian than any consumer-oriented company. Facebook is essentially a data wholesaler, period.

The document does not detail what information from Facebook’s user dossiers is included or excluded from the prediction engine, but it does mention drawing on location, device information, Wi-Fi network details, video usage, affinities, and details of friendships, including how similar a user is to their friends. All of this data can then be fed into FBLearner Flow, which will use it to essentially run a computer simulation of a facet of a user’s life, with the results sold to a corporate customer. The company describes this practice as “Facebook’s Machine Learning expertise” used for corporate “core business challenges.”

Experts consulted by The Intercept said the systems described in the document raise a variety of ethical issues, including how the technology might be used to manipulate users, influence elections, or strong-arm businesses. Facebook has an “ethical obligation” to disclose how it uses artificial intelligence to monetize your data, said Tim Hwang, director of the Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative, even if Facebook has a practical incentive to keep the technology under wraps. “Letting people know that predictions can happen can itself influence the results,” Hwang said.

Facebook has been dogged by data controversies and privacy scandals of one form or another — to an almost comedic extent — throughout its 14-year history. Despite year after year of corporate apologies, nothing really changes. This may be why the company has thus far, focused on the benign, friendly ways it uses artificial intelligence, or AI.

FBLearner Flow has been publicized as an internal software toolset that would help Facebook tune itself to your preferences every time you log in. “Many of the experiences and interactions people have on Facebook today are made possible with AI,” Facebook engineer Jeffrey Dunn wrote in an introductory blog post about FBLearner Flow.

Asked by Fortune’s Stacey Higginbotham where Facebook hoped its machine learning work would take it in five years, Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said in 2016 his goal was that AI “makes every moment you spend on the content and the people you want to spend it with.” Using this technology for advertising was left unmentioned. A 2017 TechCrunch article declared, “Machine intelligence is the future of monetization for Facebook,” but quoted Facebook executives in only the mushiest ways: “We want to understand whether you’re interested in a certain thing generally or always. Certain things people do cyclically or weekly or at a specific time, and it’s helpful to know how this ebbs and flows,” said Mark Rabkin, Facebook’s vice president of engineering for ads. The company was also vague about the melding of machine learning to ads in a 2017 Wired article about the company’s AI efforts, which alluded to efforts “to show more relevant ads” using machine learning and anticipate what ads consumers are most likely to click on, a well-established use of artificial intelligence. Most recently, during his congressional testimony, Zuckerberg touted artificial intelligence as a tool for curbing hate speech and terrorism.

But based on the document, the AI-augmented service Facebook appears to be offering goes far beyond “understanding whether you’re interested in a certain thing generally or always.” To Frank Pasquale, a law professor at the University of Maryland and scholar at Yale’s Information Society Project who focuses on algorithmic ethics, this kind of behavioral-modeling marketing sounds like a machine learning “protection racket.” As he told The Intercept:

You can think of Facebook as having protective surveillance [over] how competitors are going to try to draw customers. … We can surveil for you and see when your rival is tying to pick off someone, [then] we’re going to swoop in and make sure they’re kept in your camp.

Artificial intelligence has more or less become as empty a tech buzzword as any other, but broadly construed, it includes technologies like “machine learning,” whereby computers essentially teach themselves to be increasingly effective at tasks as diverse as facial recognition and financial fraud detection. Presumably, FBLearner Flow is teaching itself to be more accurate every day.

Facebook is far from the only firm scrambling to turn the bleeding edge of AI research into a revenue stream, but they are uniquely situated. Even Google, with its stranglehold over search and email and similarly bottomless budgets, doesn’t have what Zuckerberg does: A list of 2 billion people and what they like, what they think, and who they know. Facebook can hire the best and brightest Ph.D.’s and dump an essentially infinite amount of money into computing power.

Facebook’s AI division has turned to several different machine learning techniques, among them “gradient boosted decision trees,” or GBDT, which, according to the document, is used for advertising purposes. A 2017 article from the Proceedings of Machine Learning Research describes GBDT as “a powerful machine-learning technique that has a wide range of commercial and academic applications and produces state-of-the-art results for many challenging data mining problems.” This machine learning technique is increasingly popular in the data-mining industry.

Facebook’s keen interest in helping clients extract value from user data perhaps helps explain why the company did not condemn what Cambridge Analytica did with the data it extracted from the social network — instead, Facebook’s outrage has focused on  Cambridge Analytica‘s deception. With much credit due to Facebook’s communications team, the debate has been over Cambridge Analytica’s “improper access” to Facebook data, rather than why Cambridge Analytica wanted Facebook’s data to begin with. But once you take away the question of access and origin, Cambridge Analytica begins to resemble Facebook’s smaller, less ambitious sibling.

The ability to hit demographic bullseyes has landed Facebook in trouble many times before, in part because the company’s advertising systems were designed to be staggeringly automated. Journalists at ProPublica were recently able to target ads at dubious groups like self-identified “Jew haters.” Whether it’s a political campaign trying to spook a very certain type of undecided voters, or Russians spooks just trying to make a mess, Facebook’s ad tech has been repeatedly put to troubling ends, and it remains an open question whether any entity ought to have the ability to sell access to over 2 billion pairs of eyeballs around the world. Meanwhile, Facebook appears to be accelerating, rather than tempering, its runaway, black-box business model. From a company that’s received ample criticism for relying on faceless algorithms to drive its business, the choice to embrace self-teaching artificial intelligence to aid in data mining will not come as a comforting one.

That Facebook is offering to sell its ability to predict your actions — and your loyalty — has new gravity in the wake of the 2016 election, in which Trump’s digital team used Facebook targeting to historic effect. Facebook works regularly with political campaigns around the world and boasts of its ability to influence turnout — a Facebook “success story” about its work with the Scottish National Party describes the collaboration as “triggering a landslide.” Since Zuckerberg infamously dismissed the claim that Facebook has the ability to influence elections, an ability Facebook itself has advertised, the company has been struggling to clean up its act. Until it reckons with its power to influence based on what it knows about people, should Facebook really be expanding into influencing people based on what it can predict about them?

Jonathan Albright, research director at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, told The Intercept that like any algorithm, especially from Facebook, AI targeting “can always be weaponized.” Albright, who has become an outspoken critic of Facebook’s ability to channel political influence, worries how such techniques could be used around elections, by predicting which “people … might be dissuaded into not voting,” for example.

One section of the document shines the spotlight on Facebook’s successful work helping a client monetize a specific, unnamed racial group, although it’s unclear if this was achieved using FBLearner Flow or more conventional methods. Facebook removed the ability to target ethnic groups at the end of last year after a ProPublica report.

Pasquale, the law professor, told The Intercept that Facebook’s behavioral prediction work is “eerie” and worried how the company could turn algorithmic predictions into “self-fulfilling prophecies,” since “once they’ve made this prediction, they have a financial interest in making it true.” That is, once Facebook tells an advertising partner you’re going to do some thing or other next month, the onus is on Facebook to either make that event come to pass, or show that they were able to help effectively prevent it (how Facebook can verify to a marketer that it was indeed able to change the future is unclear).

The incentives created by AI are problematic enough when the technology is used toward a purchase, even more so if used toward a vote. Rumman Chowdhury, who leads Accenture’s Responsible AI initiative, underscored the fact that like Netflix or Amazon’s suggestions, more ambitious algorithmic predictions could not only guess a Facebook user’s behavior, but also reinforce it: “Recommendation engines are incentivized to give you links you will click on, not necessarily valuable information.”

Facebook did not respond to repeated questions about exactly what kinds of user data are used for behavioral predictions, or whether this technology could be used in more sensitive contexts like political campaigns or health care. Instead, Facebook’s PR team stated that the company uses “FBLearner Flow to manage many different types of workflows,” and that “machine learning is one type of workflow it can manage.” Facebook denied that FBLearner Flow is used for marketing applications (a “mischaracterization”) and said that it has “made it clear publicly that we use machine learning for ads,” pointing to the 2017 Wired article.

Problematic as well is Facebook’s reluctance to fully disclose how it monetizes AI. Albright described this reluctance as a symptom of “the inherent conflict” between Facebook and “accountability,” as “they just can’t release most of the details on these things to the public because that is literally their business model.”

But Facebook has never been eager to disclose anything beyond what’s demanded by the Securities and Exchange Commission and crisis PR. The company has repeatedly proven that it is able to fudge the facts and then, when reality catches up, muddle its way out of it with mushy press statements and halfhearted posts from Zuckerberg.

And yet the number of people around the world using Facebook (and the company’s cash) continues to expand. One wouldn’t expect the same kind of image immunity Facebook has enjoyed — at least up until the Cambridge Analytica scandal — from, say, a fast-food corporation plagued by accusations of dangerous indifference toward customers. It’s possible that people don’t care enough about their own privacy to stay angry long enough to make Facebook change in any meaningful way.

Maybe enough Facebook users just take it as a given that they’ve made a pact with the Big Data Devil and expect their personal lives to be put through a machine learning advertisement wringer. Hwang noted that “we can’t forget the history of all this, which is that advertising as an industry, going back decades, has been about the question of behavior prediction … of individuals and groups. … This is in some ways the point of advertising.” But we also can’t expect users of Facebook or any other technology to be able to decide for themselves what’s worth protesting and what’s worth fearing when they are so deliberately kept in a state of near-total ignorance. Chipotle is forced, by law, to disclose exactly what it’s serving you and in what amounts. Facebook is under no mandate to explain what exactly it does with your data beyond privacy policy vagaries that state only what Facebook reserves the right to do, maybe. We know Facebook has engaged in the same kind of amoral political boosting as Cambridge Analytica because they used to brag about it on their website. Now the boasts are gone, without explanation, and we’re in the dark once more.

So while the details of what’s done with your data remain largely a matter of trade secrecy to Facebook, we can consider the following: Mark Zuckerberg claims that his company has “a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t, then we don’t deserve to serve you.” Zuckerberg also runs a company that uses your data to train AI prediction models that will be used to target and extract money from you on the basis of what you’re going to do in the future. If it seems difficult to square those two facts — maybe because it’s impossible.

 

Suffering Fools Gladly?
David Irving & Revisionism

by Christian Jürs

An aged David Irving, who has begun to look more and more like a demented Rudolf Hess with lantern jaw and sunken eyes, was once considered the enfant terrible of the world of historical writers.

Now, he is merely the enfant, having slipped into almost total obscurity. This diminution of public attention is highly distressing to Irving, the victim of a deprived, fatherless childhood, who lusts after public attention like a hart panteth after water but in his case, the well has run dry.

His early books such as the “Destruction of Dresden,” first published in 1963, were well-researched and crafted but the decline set in early and progressed to the terminal state, an awful biography of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels, published in 1996. Based to a very large degree on completely fictitious documentation prepared by the former Soviet KGB as political disinformation, this book is full of pointless anecdotes, sniggering sexual innuendo and leaves an objective reader with the distinct feeling that the book should have been written in the sort of soft crayon supplied to therapy patients in locked wards.

Although Irving has written, co-authored or translated, thirty-odd books, the great majority of them have the greatest overall similarity to a meringue; there is bulk but no substance.

This plenitude of books must be viewed by their owners as being of great value because they are so seldom touched.

A fair number of Irving’s works could have been found, in palmier days, in many major, and some minor, public and academic libraries but as he has diminished in an accelerated fashion, these books have been removed from the shelves in increasing numbers.

Their author attributes this to the underhanded work of malicious Jewish groups but since the index cards have also been removed from the library files, it would be safer to assume that librarians, like so many others, have had quite enough of David Irving.

Irving ascended, or descended (depending entirely upon the view of the reader), from a pro-German writer to a fierce and highly partisan supporter of Adolf Hitler, his acquired and well-worshipped father figure, and an intemperate and completely inaccurate denigrator of his legion of critics.

He once had access to the personal diaries of a number of luminaries of the Third Reich and was able to publish a great deal of interesting information that proved to be of limited use to legitimate historians. Unfortunately for students of history, most historical diaries are, more often than not, completely self-serving and Irving’s interpretations of them have proved to be equally so.

His major fault as a historical writer, aside from a serious lack of literary style, has been that he wrote to an idea and instead of making a study of authentic documentary, as opposed to anecdotal, sources, he selected material that supported his various ideological thesis and deliberately ignored anything else that might refute the ideas he tried to nourish in the minds of his readers.

Also, Irving has no problem whatsoever in inventing conversations or archival records and putting these spurious evidences into his political screeds with perfect aplomb.

The respected historian John Lukacs has devoted what amounts to more space than he deserves to Irving in his 1997 book, “The Hitler of History.” In this work, which is a scholarly and reasonably balanced work on Hitler’s place in historical reporting, Lukacs, on pages 229 through 232 points out a small sampling of Irving’s deliberate distortions of records and his habit of not identifying any references for important assertions.

In a number of specific cases, it is obvious that Irving has simply invented sources, quotes and other supportive data.

British author and historian Martin Middlebrook has dealt with Irving’s failings very clearly in his 1973 book, “The Nuremberg Raid.” On pages 293 through 296, Middlebrook dissects a story that Irving reported in his work “And the German Cities Did Not Die-A Documentary Account” published by a small, right wing Swiss house in 1963.

In this book, Irving stated categorically that the Germans had learned in advance about the disastrous 1944 British air raid on Nuremberg in which a very large percentage of the raiding aircraft were lost to German action.

Irving quotes three British airmen, who were prisoners of war in Germany, to the effect that the Germans had prior knowledge of this raid.

Very extensive research on the part of Middlebrook proved that two of the named airmen had no knowledge whatsoever of the statements attributed to them by Irving, in fact flatly denying them, and the third alleged witness simply never existed anywhere except in Irving’s imagination.

Another exposition of Irving’s literary mendacity can be found in a chapter of a 1994 book entitled “The Churchill Papers” by Alexander Baron, pages 13 through 17.

This study lists a large and significant number of serious errors of fact appearing in Irving’s book, “Churchill’s War.”

In all of his books, Irving consistently misstates or creates facts, invents important dates and proper titles and generally acts as if has never read any of the works in the lengthy bibliographies he always provides as proof of his research.

Probably the worst example of this can be found in “Hitler’s War”, published in 1977, in which Irving discusses the German Freikorps leader, Albert Leo Schlageter. This man was involved in the Ruhrkampf in the 1920’s and was caught and executed by the French in Dusseldorf in 1923.

This part of Irving’s reportage is correct.

What is not correct, however, and is an error exposing such a gross unfamiliarity with the subject of German history as to stagger the imagination, is the connected statement that at Schlageter’s side on that date was also shot one Andreas Hofer.

As any legitimate scholar of German history will instantly recognize, Hofer was the man who raised the Austrian Tyrol against Napoleon I and was indeed captured and shot by the French but in Mantua, Italy in 1810!

Also in “Hitler’s War”, on page 260, Irving speaks of a “secret meeting” held at the Kremlin by Josef Stalin on May 5, 1941. Present at this meeting were top members of his government. In this “secret meeting”, Irving claims that Stalin outlined his plans to attack Hitler.

This episode was tailor-made by Irving to support his thesis that Hitler did not have any reason to attack Stalin in 1941. Unfortunately, this “secret” speech (and another one on the following evening) was not secret and copies of it survive in the Russian archives.

In spite of the historical importance of this speech, Irving completely neglects to credit or footnote it.

Irving, who once had access to Russian archives, must doubtlessly have seen these files, which are certainly not secret nor permitted to be viewed by only a select few, among whom Irving, by inference, includes himself.

If he ever had such a positive relationship with the Russian archives, it was quickly terminated when the archive authorities discovered that Irving had been systematically pilfering their papers and selling them to document collectors. ‘Irving, in breach of an agreement which he had made and without permission, removed and transported abroad certain microfiches of Goebbels’ diaries, thereby exposing them to a real risk of damage;’

This light-fingered, and very profitable lifting, (an original Hitler signature is worth over a thousand dollars on the autograph market) has not been limited to the contents of the Moscow archives but extends to the German Bundesarchiv, the American National Archives and several other prominent repositories of Third Reich documents.

In 1996, Irving attempted to sell a number of valuable papers from this era to Charles Hamilton, New York-based autograph expert and dealer.

Hamilton became suspicious of the origins of these documents and contacted a number of archives. Discovering that most of them had been stolen, Hamilton informed various authorities both in Germany and England.

 

 

From the Desk of Charles Hamilton

Mr. Gregory Douglas

75 West Alexander Ave., No. 10

Merced, CA 95348

 

Dear Gregory:                                         August 19, 1995

 

 

Like to take this opportunity of thanking you for the Christian Wirth signature! This is a scarce one indeed!

 

The second volume should be out in a few months and I am now working on the third. Since the German Army is one of your specialties, would appreciate anything you might have in the way of signatures.

 

Just send these to Roger with a copy to me.

 

I thought I would keep you up to the mark on my problems with David Irving.

 

He has been sending me quantities of Hitler, and other personalities, papers for sale in my auctions. So far, until this month at least, no problems but Irving is really terrible to deal with. No manners and very rude.

 

The last batch contained a number of Hitler documents. I had to tell Irving that some were mechanically signed and he became very abusive…as usual.

 

I had my suspicions about the origins of several of these and found a circular from the former Soviet Archives about stolen Hitler papers. Sure enough, one of these Irving pieces turned out to be stolen.

 

Well, as you know, I am careful about this so I did some more digging and discovered that all of these Irving pieces had been taken from various archives over the past few years.

 

I naturally informed Irving about this and he became extremely abusive, telling me that he had no idea (hah!!) that they were stolen (but all seem to have come from archives that he had visited) and then absolutely demanding their immediate return!

 

When I told him that these pieces were being returned to their legal owners, he really let fly at me! He demanded their return, threatened to actually sue me for stealing his (stolen) documents! He also said that if I ever mentioned his name in connection with all of this, he would also sue me for defamation!

 

Of course he won’t get them back and he will be damned lucky if he isn’t permanently 86’ed out of these archives.

 

He has a bad reputation for selling very, very dubious Nazi relics and now this!

 

I think I made a mistake when I told him off because I said that Pete Stahl knew all about his diddlings and cons. I am sure he now hates Stahl and will now turn on him!

 

I did blow it but perhaps he will realize that I can no longer have any dealings with him. (J. Costello told me three years ago that Irving was stuffing original papers into his briefcase at the NA.)

 

Thanks again for your courtesy and I promise not to put your name into this sorry business.

 

Yours,

 

Bud/s/

 

Letter from Hamilton to author Gregory Douglas-

 

 

 

An article appearing in a Toronto, Canada, paper of November 9, 1996 was headed: AUTHOR’S LONDON HOME RAIDED, bylined by Canadian Press and covered a raid conducted by British police at the London Mayfair apartment of David Irving wherefrom a large number of documents allegedly stolen from British, American and German archives were recovered.

It is also interesting to note that the raid also uncovered a “considerable quantity of documents with Nazi letterheads, a folder containing what appears to be Adolf Hitler’s personal note paper, 1940’s-era German typewriters, Nazi document stamps and seals and examples of original signatures of prominent Nazi officials.”

Perhaps this latter information indicates the source of the oft-repeated comments from outraged, legitimate historians that if Irving can’t find a supporting document, he makes one.

Irving has developed an understandably strong interest in the subject of forgeries; loudly criticizing the authenticity of any documents discovered and utilized by any other writer whose work refutes his own pet theories and postulations. In these denunciations, he is shrill, vindictive and completely devoid of substance, lending some credence to the old saying that it is the kicked dog that yelps.

Also in his “Hitler’s War”, Irving states, on page xxiii, that postwar faked Mussolini diaries were “perpetuated by two Italian nuns.” If Irving had taken the trouble to research the subject, he would have found that the forgeries, which fooled all of the recognized experts, had been prepared by an Italian woman named Amalia Panvini and her eighty-four-year old mother.

At the time Irving made this statement, the actual and accurate information on these faked diaries was certainly well-known, especially in England and reference to it can be found in the highly entertaining book by Robert Harris entitled “Selling Hitler” which appeared in 1986. The section on the Panvini fraud can be found on pages 289-290.

This work also contains a number of uncomplimentary commentaries on Irving’s personal behavior in the Hitler diary scandal including references to a £26,000 overdraft on Irving’s bank account.

It is an enormous series of errors of omission and commission that render Irving’s literary excursions into historical fiction as little more than propaganda pamphlets for the promulgation of the godhead of Adolf Hitler and which have no place in the history section of any library.

A compilation of these errata would fill, at the very least, a small book and are viewed as absolutely appalling by any serious historical researcher, regardless of whatever point of view they espouse.

Most of these exposed errata are of such a nature as to very clearly establish that David Irving is either an ideological fabricator of the worst kind or a grossly incompetent and thoroughly careless researcher.

His desperate craving to be noticed, to be the cynosure of all eyes, once led him to initially attack the authenticity of the Stasi-created “Hitler Diaries” that caused so much amusing havoc in the publishing world in 1983, and then, seeing that the tide appeared to be running in the favor of their authenticity, Irving at once publicly reversed himself and claimed that the terrible fakes were indeed authentic.

According to a British writer, Irving was the first to call the documents fake and the last to authenticate them.

By doing this, Irving certainly obtained the print media attention that he so frantically craves, but in the long view, he forever destroyed the tattered remnants of his professional reputation.

Irving, who once enjoyed considerable fame and recognition in ideological circles, has certainly given validity to the statement by Charles DeGaulle that old age is shipwreck. His extramarital adventures in sundry different arenas cost him his wife and daughters and his increasingly polarized and erratic political views resulted in his being banned from Germany, Canada, Australia, Italy, Russia and New Zealand.

There is a strong, and hopefully successful, movement now in train to have him permanently banned from the United States to which he had fled after losing a libel suit in England and being forced into involuntary bankruptcy. This would leave only France and England for Irving to sport in.

The French, it should be noted, revere the actor Jerry Lewis as a brilliant performer and the British are simply stuck with him.

Being banned from a county in no way discourages Irving. In August of 1998, Irving ostensibly came to America to address what he claimed was a “crowd” of thousands at a meeting in Buffalo, New York. He did indeed travel to Buffalo but instead of addressing the multitude from the balcony of the city hall in emulation of the Führer or the Pope on Easter Sunday, he was quietly driven into Canada via Windsor, and did address a meeting of his Canadian minions in Montreal where he regaled the house with his daring exploits in swimming across a river in the dead of night and escaping Canadian border guards and their snarling dogs.

Since Irving has considerable difficulty getting in and out of his bathtub due to various infirmities, it is doubtful that he could brave more than a tepid wading pool at a day care center.

A head count of the Montreal meeting disclosed that the total number of attendees was one hundred and five, three less than his biggest house in Los Angeles, earlier in the year. At the Los Angeles meeting, held in a motel meeting hall by the Institute for Historical Review, Irving sold an incredible fifteen copies of his book on Goebbels.

The impressively titled Institute was once a reputable historical revisionist entity but was taken over by ideological radicals and was housed in a rented garage in a run-down commercial area of Costa Mesa, California. They once produced a historical journal with a large circulation, but chronic mismanagement coupled with expensive legal problems reduced their subscription list to less than twenty individuals of the type who once worshipped Irving and their slim “Journal” appears about as often as Irving’s books after the fall.

One of its “directors” was once arrested in Germany for defacing a Catholic church with swastikas and now supplements his income by acting as a shift manager for a fast food restaurant in South Central Los Angeles.

A second “director” abruptly resigned his position after posting on his Internet site the stunning revelations that he was a space alien whose parents had been giant turtles.

A third “director” found it necessary to leave the United States and he now lives in a small village outside Tijuana, Mexico and runs a Flying Saucer Research Center. His own newsletters specialize in well-illustrated articles on anal probes allegedly conducted by small, pale men with large black eyes. The illustrations come from a book on proctology and are not recommended for viewing before eating.

On this particular trip to Los Angeles, as on many others, Irving was accompanied by a very young woman who was passed off as a “research assistant.” His antics with her were such that his California host had to remove them from his home and put them up at a local hotel where the bill for three days of frolic amounted to over three thousand dollars.

But still Irving made his presence known to the masses, diminished though their numbers might be.

Where once he addressed large crowds of screaming young former East Germans, his later meetings with his admirers are confined to small rooms with ten or fifteen strange, pale people of the sort who believe in flying saucers and Martin Bormann’s survival as a fruit stand operator in Brazil.

However, as long as vanity presses exist, Irving will always be able to pay someone to print his increasingly disoriented books.

These he has dragged around the United States in a rented car, offering them like so many wilted cabbages to the attendees of Nazi relic shows. Even this avenue has finally been closed to Irving who was unceremoniously forbidden entrance to the prestigious American Military Extravaganza show held on a yearly basis in Pennsylvania and he is now totally dependent on occasional sales to those of his devoted followers who are still at liberty or above room temperature.

In England, a photograph was published in a British newspaper in 1984 that showed Irving, in shabby clothes, selling his book, “The Destruction of Dresden” on the sidewalk in front of his former apartment house on Duke Street, a practice that eventually resulted in his being ordered by the police to cease and desist because of a flood of complaints by his neighbors.

At the same time he was proffering his books like overripe melons to disinterested passersby, Irving was also accused by the same police report of making “loud and incoherent” speeches about his persecutions by “powerful Jewish groups.”

Stories of persecutions, including mythic break-ins at his flat and public assaults, are part and parcel of Irving’s standard speech to his loyalists.

Two examples of Irving’s bizarre pursuit of any kind of public attention he can obtain are herein dissected.

According to a number of British newspaper articles, on November 27, 1963, Irving excitedly informed the media that a number of “dangerous men” attempted to smash down the door of his flat and assault him. He claimed he drove them off by physically confronting them.

The actual truth of the matter, in an article in the “Evening Standard” of November 28, 1963, was that three men attempted to gain entrance to Irving’s apartment by displaying a stolen government television technician’s card. Irving invited them in, called the police and the three men were arrested for “an attempt at burglary.”

The police reports indicated that no one attempted to smash down a door. Irving, needless to say, did not chase the putative burglars away, being genuinely terrified of anything over ten years of age and not confined to a wheelchair.

Another incident, often mentioned by Irving in his speeches, is one that occurred in 1992.

Irving claimed that on Sunday, July 12, 1992, he was having lunch at the Richoux restaurant in London with his mistress, one Bente Hogh, then 28, a Danish citizen.

He again called the press and claimed that he was attacked by an irate mob, which he was able to drive off although there were “a large number of them, all armed.”

This got into the press the next day but was immediately refuted by the manager of the restaurant, along with other witnesses, who stated that the “armed mob” consisted entirely of a young man having dinner in the expensive Mayfair restaurant. The diner had addressed several negative remarks to Irving on his way out of the building.

Irving, the witnesses stated, immediately jumped up from his table, and his mistress, and ran into the back of the Richoux in what was described in the police report as a state of terror, barricading himself in the men’s lavatory. He remained there, inconveniencing other patrons, and wouldn’t leave until a waitress gallantly escorted him out of the establishment through the kitchen. By mixing both stories together, it is apparent that Irving covered himself with glory on the one hand and flour on the other.

These entirely fictional accounts harken to the bombast of the Baron von Münchhausen and are designed to impress a shrinking legion of the awestruck with the importance of David Irving.

Irving constantly alludes to death threats, assassination plots, attempted kidnappings, avoided beatings, projected arsons and on and on to impress upon others, having first impressed it upon himself, that he is indeed a man of great importance in the scheme of things and a heroic and dauntless fighter for what he calls “Real Truth.”

This small band of fanatical followers continues to fan the dead ashes of his career with worshipful, if badly scrawled, letters, homemade fruitcakes and small checks.

If it were not for this support, Irving and Bente, his young Danish paramour, would have to go onto public assistance.

Of course there is a very strong belief in many circles, some official, that Irving has, in the past, received large amounts of money from various Saudi groups in order to encourage him to harass and embarrass the Jewish community.

Once Irving drove a Rolls Royce but now rides a bicycle or takes public transportation. He lived in an apartment that had one small room set aside as “David Irving’s War Room” and the walls of the entire establishment were covered with hundreds of pictures of David Irving in various mock-heroic poses as well as a number of sketches by the late, former Nazi Minister of Armaments, Albert Speer.

This interesting individual spent his own declining years making small ink sketches and passing them off, for considerable sums of money, to true believers and the gullible as “original Hitler artworks.”

It seems ironic that Irving, whose career has been based on self-delusion, prevarication and a frenzied campaign of Hitler-worship, would, in the end, have his apartment walls covered in sacred Hitlerian relics that are as fake as his own documentary references.

Miss Hogh was interviewed for an article in the “Spectator” on April 27, 1996, and her comments on her lover are both amusing and instructive.

The reporter, Nicholas Farrell, noted that Irving was constantly complaining in his presence about the fact that his mistress was not keeping the apartment clean and certainly not ironing his shirts. The interview was then moved to a nearby cafe where Ms. Hogh explained that Irving was a very moody, unpredictable man, an egoist who reveled in his disruption of governments and institutions and who boasted often, long and loudly about his many lawsuits against anyone he disliked.

And Irving apparently disliked nearly everyone who did not view him as having a nimbus surrounding his fundament.

The interview also disclosed that Irving was obsessive about his eating habits, demanding that his coffee cup be pre-heated in boiling water, that his beer be served in a frosted glass and that he refused to cook any meals or perform even the most simple of household tasks.

This lack of breeding has manifested itself a number of times over the years when Irving is engaged in speaking engagements in the United States.

He has been known to severely criticize his hosts for not serving him the kind of food he is used to or in neglecting to provide the sort of creature comforts he deems proper to his station in life.

Also, Irving, as a rule, will never thank his hosts for their hospitality.

While Ms Hogh expressed no particular animosity towards Jews, one of Irving’s most obsessive topics, she did indicate that both of them shared a hearty and highly vocal detestation of individuals of the colored persuasion who have immigrated to the United Kingdom from its former colonies.

At one time, Irving founded a political party in England, with a mercifully short lifespan, that advocated rounding up all the “Coloured people in England”, putting them into detention camps and then deporting them to any country that would accept them.

It is obvious from this that Irving has made excellent use of his research into similar activities during the course of what he firmly believes is his very own Third Reich.

In conclusion, Ms. Hogh also stated that her lover was sadistic towards others, supporting published interviews with Irving himself who stated that he was a very strong believer in corporal punishment.

Irving has always denigrated women, claiming that they were intellectually inferior to men and it has been openly discussed, and published in at least one book, by Alexander Baron, that Irving was homosexual. Given his frenzy to sue anyone who publishes even the mildest criticism of him, it is strange that Irving never filed a suit against Mr. Baron for his published and well-circulated accusations.

While Irving takes every opportunity to criticize women, he very publicly and aggressively drags around an assortment of attractive younger women on his book-selling tours. One of these, a 22-year old Miami waitress named Charlene Touhy, a high school dropout, was introduced as his “research assistant” and shown off to his hosts and admirers in America. Eventually a severely chastened, and apparently well-blistered, Charlene departed the Irving ménage and has made a number of very unkind remarks about the world-renowned writer, calling him, among other printable things, “Mr. Spanky”, which needs no further comment.

Mr. Baron has produced no evidence in support of his accusations but there are a series of letters that have surfaced between Irving and someone named Diane Schreiber that might bear on this issue.

Schreiber, a resident of Keene, New Hampshire, ran a Nazi relic emporium called “Brandenburg Historica” and became closely associated with Irving when he was still permitted to attend the larger militaria shows in America.

After establishing contact in the mid-90s, Schreiber and Irving have kept in

constant touch with each other by letter, fax, email as well as personal contact.

The only flaw in what on the surface might appear to be a romantic interlude is that ‘Diane Schreiber’ is actually one Frank Russo, a fact that becomes quickly obvious to any first-hand observer.

It is doubtful in the extreme that Irving is unaware of the real gender, cross-dressing and other inclinations of his close associate but perhaps their shared interests extend well beyond busts of Josef Goebbels and photo albums of blonde, well-muscled former East German soldiers.

In the years following his decline and fall, Irving has increasingly sought more publicity by filing legal actions against as many people as he can identify as having criticized his inaccuracy, ideological nonsense and general literary buffoonery.

His lawsuits, which he files in his own name, being unable, as he falsely claims, to afford an attorney, are universally thrown out by the courts but only after he has put his victims through great expense and travail.

On July 22, 1994, the “Guardian” published a story about Irving receiving public aid to permit him to file suit against “The Sunday Times.” Public aid, in this case, was granted because Irving was believed to be significantly below the poverty level.

How much money Irving has is not known. It is known that he keeps several accounts in Florida banks in which he hides the money he gets from selling books in America. Irving does this to avoid the payment of taxes to the British Inland Revenue and the American IRS.

It is also known that Irving received money from Syrian Arab sources via a bank in Lebanon for promoting Arab points of view and for launching attacks against the Jewish holocaust writers and organizations.

Libel laws in England are very severe and Irving has delusional hopes that his victims will pay him off and avoid the expenses of lawsuits. To date, no one has accommodated him and he has seen case after case thrown out of court by indignant judges as having no merit whatsoever.

There is a provision in British law called barratry, which prohibits the continuous filing of frivolous lawsuits, and the courts in England have repeatedly threatened Irving with this but to no avail.

Irving became outraged by negative comments about his activities by American religious history professor, Deborah Lipstadt, a fanatic holocaust supporter and Jewish equivalent of David Irving, filing a libel suit against the academic and her publishers.

Claiming, in this case rightly, that he had no funds, Irving made the enormous error of appearing as his own attorney in the case while Lipstadt was ably supplied with an the services of an excellent firm of British attorneys, paid for by the Jewish community.

The outcome was never in doubt and Irving lost his case, the judge finding that he was not libeled. The court also confirmed that Irving had stolen valuable documents from the Russian archives in his research into the book on Goebbels.

British law had a provision that a litigating party in a civil action that loses his case is responsible for the legal expenses of the winner. In this case, Irving would owe Lipstedt and her backers over £2,000,000!

In essence, this defeat means that Irving can never publish, or republish, another book because all of his advances and royalties are subject to attachment. His publishers, one must note, are not held to answer for this but any monies intended for the author are now subject to seizure. Not only was Irving forced into bankruptcy by the British courts, his copyrights were seized by the same courts as valuable assets. This means that Irving can no longer publish any of his previous works without them being immediately attached by the Bankruptcy Court Trustees and anyone foolish enough to finance such a publishing venture would lose their investment.

The British firm of bankruptcy referees, Baker-Tilly in London, have possession of all of Irving’s copyrights.

Defeated in his libel action and held accountable for the immense legal fees opposing attorneys ran up, Irving was pushed into bankruptcy by the courts and subsequently fled to the United States where he lives, at last report, in a small rental house on Angela Street in Key West, Florida.

To his few supporters left in the United States, Irving has revealed his secret plan of becoming an American citizen and to achieve this worthy goal, he has gone to ground and refrained from any publishing ventures that would tend to irritate the American authorities.

What David Irving has not revealed to his far-right supporters is the surprising fact that Irving is a Jew! His father was an English naval officer but his mother was Jewish and in Jewish law, that makes the anti-Semitic writer a Jew. This startling information was found on Irving’s British birth certificate when the bankruptcy court launched an in-depth investigation into his background. When asked about this by a German publisher, Irving admitted the truth about his mother’s origins but said that “it really doesn’t matter because I never even thought about it.”

As Irving’s star sinks quickly, and mercifully, from the sight of mortal men, the failed writer had loudly blamed a great catalog of mythic enemies for his eclipse and obliteration.

He sets these earth-shattering truths forth in a newsletter for his true believers called “David Irving’s Action Report” which reads like the product of a remedial middle-school class in beginning journalism and contains such weighty statements as…”Today a man gave me a ride in a big car”…and shows a picture of a small child looking at plant life over the caption…”Jessica sees the big leaf.” This occasional publication, printed on yellow paper, covers Irving daily activities, his travels, his sore feet, waitresses he has met, the weather in various cities he visits and a plethora of miscellany of endless and boring intensity.

Irving, in his “David Irving Fighting Fund” newsletter, written and mailed from his rented beach cottage in Key West, Florida, his “American Battle Headquarters”, produces an endless series of whining requests for funds from the true believers, the “Inner Circle.”

Accompanying these tearful entreaties is a colored picture of an aging Irving clutching a very small child. This is presumably his out-of-wedlock daughter but if not, it makes him appear as an aged poster boy for pedophiles.

Irving moans that if he does not pay his rising legal bills, bills incurred solely because of the dismissals by various British courts of his endless and merit less lawsuits, he will be “driven from the battlefield of Real History forever.”

This is a consummation devoutly to be wished by anyone with a respect for written history and these feelings include historians of all beliefs and persuasions.

His Action Report has been filled with paranoid mutterings accusing anyone criticizing him with being an agent provocateur, a probable Zionist spy and a functional idiot.

Irving’s newsletters read like the diaries of a paranoid in the final stages of disintegration and he sees the hand of Zionism behind every unpleasant episode in his life, from inflamed piles, electrical problems to his recent eviction from his London apartment for non-payment of rent.

This Action Report, sent to his drooling devotees, was seized upon by the Lipstadt attorneys and used, very tellingly, against Irving in court

Being what he is, Irving has viewed his crushing British legal defeat as a stunning victory and has regaled cheering dozens throughout the United States with such idiotic phrases as “Yes, Irving has scored once more!” and “We certainly showed the other side who was right and who was wrong, didn’t we?”

A person like Irving cannot keep silent for long and from his secret Florida command post, he has issued confidential bulletins to the faithful concerning his latest book that he feels will be his magnum opus. This, he says, will be a scathing investigation into Jewish control of American media and banking institutions and he claims he can show clearly that the American President is a tool of the Israeli Mossad.

As a prelude to his literary and political rebirth, Irving has posted on his internet site, a doctored photograph of concentration camp inmates purported to have been forged by the California-based Simon Wiesenthal Institute.

This picture, which shows a chimney belching smoke in the background, has obviously been doctored but has been in existence long before the Wiesenthal people set up shop and has been used for years as “absolute proof” by the lunatic fringe of forgery concerning allegations of mass murder in the German concentration camps.

In addition to his own lawsuits against others, Irving himself has been sued for copyright violations and accepting moneys given to him by foolish, small publishing houses for books that he has not, never will, or can, write for them

An article in the “Independent” of February 22, 1994 discussed Irving being thrown in jail in England because of a lawsuit against him for his refusal to return a £50,000 advance from a gullible German publisher.

As Irving loudly claims to have no money, these lawsuits only serve to goad him into greater frenzies of manic activity.

No one seems to be successful in halting his increasingly disordered behavior and the catalog of his baseless charges, complaints, lawsuits and slanders continues unabated.

One of his most insistent, and meglomaniacal, charges is that criticism of him and his scribblings has made him fearful of assassination!

Famous, public figures like presidents and popes are assassinated but the killing of David Irving would be far more in the way of euthanasia than assassination.

Instead of being ashamed of his lunatic antics, Irving boasted of them on what he called his “Inner Circle” website. This site, which he terms “a confidential location which I have created for the inner circle of my supporters at http://www.fpp.co.uk/ Inner/ Circle.html” was a bizarre arena that was a compendium of whining pleas for money, psychotic and badly written attacks on everyone whom Irving sees as his enemy and delusional pages about his importance in the world order.

In addition to his Internet nuisances, Irving produced a pamphlet that was a color copy of a cover from the German “Stern” magazine, an institution that loathes him. This counterfeit printing, which Irving takes very seriously, was filled with pompous pictures of himself and accompanied by a thoroughly faked cover story about his greatness, coupled with a fictitious abject apology from the editorial staff of the German magazine for having defamed him.

There have appeared, from Irving’s hand, a number of his printed speeches, which would indicate that he addressed a “Clarendon Club” in London. These speeches appear to be very well received by the audience with a number of textual comments such as “loud laugher” and “wild cheering” from what one would assume were the assembled, aristocratic guests.

Unfortunately, there is no such club. Irving invented it and copyrighted the name so he could use it for his reportage. The speeches are made not to cheering upper class Britons but to a tape recorder in his London flat and the background noises are not loud laughter and wild cheering but the domestic sounds of his housekeeper-cum-mistress vacuuming his carpets and dealing with a screeching child.

As a matter of fact, in reading through these dismal anti-Semitic and anti-black babblings, the observation could well be made that anyone who would either laugh at or wildly cheer the speaker’s dismal bigotry would have to be either completely drunk or coked to the gills.

Probably the most illustrative, and bizarre, example of Irving’s eccentricity is to be found in a decades-long feud launched by Irving against a minor military historian, Peter Stahl.

Stahl, who has published a number of books on German military subjects, met with Irving in San Jose, California in June of 1980 at Irving’s request. Stahl was a friend of Dr. Charles Burdick, Dean of Social Sciences at San Jose University and an academic historian specializing in German military subjects. As Irving was visiting California, Burdick suggested to Irving that perhaps Stahl could assist Irving in locating specific Third Reich documents.

Burdick described Irving to Stahl as “a boorish type” who usually toured with “teenaged tarts” in tow but was a fairly competent researcher in his genre.

During the course of the meeting, Irving informed Stahl that he was looking for any period Third Reich documents that could prove, conclusively, that Adolf Hitler had no knowledge of the Holocaust. He also indicated that he would pay “most generously” if Stahl were able to locate such documents.

In a subsequent conversation with Dr. Burdick, Stahl described the British writer as overbearing and not overly conversant with his subjects. When he informed Burdick of Irving’s request, they both laughed because it was highly doubtful if such documents ever existed, saving in the imagination of David Irving.

Stahl did, however, contact Agnes Peterson of the Hoover Library at Stanford University and when queried about the possible existence of the Hitler-knew-nothing papers in the libraries’ extensive collection, the librarian, like Burdick, laughed and commented that David Irving had been frantically searching for something to exculpate his hero for a number of years and was considered to be a comic figure at the library.

She also advised Stahl to “keep his distance” from the British writer who, Peterson said, was a “terrible, rude pest” and highly demanding.

Shortly after this, Stahl discovered that Peterson was entirely correct in her evaluation of Irving’s persona. No sooner had Irving returned to London than he began to telephone Stahl on a regular basis, usually at four or five in the morning. When advised that the sun had not yet come up in California, Irving always replied with a giggle that it was certainly after lunch in England and then demanded to know what progress Stahl was making in his efforts at locating the desired documents. Since Stahl had quickly abandoned the project as a thoroughgoing waste of his time, he attempted, without any success whatsoever, to convince Irving that he was having no success in his searches.

Irving responded to this by increasing the number of pre-dawn telephone calls until Stahl finally had to resort to leaving the telephone unplugged until a more reasonable hour. This did not deter Irving who merely began his calling regimen very late in the evening instead of early in the morning.

Stahl discovered that Irving was totally incapable of comprehending that no Hitler-exculpating documents had been found and probably never would be. Irving’s response to this information was to become typically, sarcastic and verbally abusive, claiming that Charles Burdick had highly recommended Stahl as a source and urging him to “press forward” in his labors in the vineyards of what Irving called, the “needs of the most important of all modern historians.”

Finally, in a thoroughly misguided effort to silence the annoying Irving, Stahl asked a friend of his who had been a U.S. Army clerk once stationed in Germany, to write up a fake document in the most atrocious German he could muster. This production turned out to be a mythical letter from Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, to Oswald Pohl, the head of the SS Economics Office. The letter claimed that Hitler had no knowledge of the killing of Jews in the Concentration Camp system and believed that Jews were being sent to these camps to work for the Reich.

The next time Irving called, Stahl gleefully advised Irving that he had indeed found the document Irving was so eager to have. Irving at once demanded that the document be read to him over the phone and when this was done, Stahl said Irving was “absolutely ecstatic” and promised to “liberally reward” Stahl.

A photo copy of the document was duly sent to a delighted Irving.

As Irving was very conversant with good German, Stahl naturally thought that Irving was being sarcastic with his outlandish praise but several days later, he was called by Dr. Burdick regarding the “remarkable find.” It seems that Irving had telephoned Burdick, bubbling with high spirits, and advised him that the redoubtable Peter Stahl was indeed the expert Burdick has so lavishly praised.

Irving’s “liberal reward” consisted of a wartime propaganda photograph of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, worth about twenty dollars on the postcard market.

Burdick, quite naturally, wanted to know what this miraculous document consisted of and when Stahl dropped a copy of it off at Burdick’s office at San Jose State University, Burdick laughed so loudly that his secretary rushed in expecting to see her employer in the midst of a seizure.

Not only had Irving swallowed this outrageous practical joke whole, he sent messages around to his supporters, bragging of his earth-shattering find.

 

 

June 21, 1980 (From the Diaries of David Irving)

New Orleans[…]
7:25 pm Telephoned Professor Joe Hobbs at Raleigh, North Carolina, and told him about the Peter Stahl document. He was astonished, and full of admiration and congratulations. He compared it with Copernicus and said that the difference was that I was living to see myself vindicated in my lifetime. He added that a few days ago he had seen a picture book on aerial warfare with several pages on the Dresden raids and drew the conclusion that even if I had written only the Dresden book I would have justified my writing activities for my lifetime. he will be in Washington at the end of next week and we will probably meet then.

Irving discusses the fake Himmler letter with one of his colleagues.

 

Here we have David Irving in all his delusional glory: “admiration”, “congratulations”, “justified… for my lifetime”, amazingly megalomaniacal, and even comparing himself with Copernicus.

In his 1977 book Hitler’s War, he first uttered his thesis that Hitler didn’t know anything about the final solution against the Jews, which stirred up quite a controversy and was rejected by all reputable historians. In his probably invented diary entry from June 21, 1980 and which he subsequently posted on his website, Irving openly writes that he was searching for corroborating evidence to support his controversial thesis that Hitler didn’t know, a theory that seems to be supported by the above quoted faked Himmler letter.

In other words, this entry suggests that Irving did not adjust his theories according to the evidence he had at hand, but that he was frantically trying to find evidence to support his theories; that because of his ideological zeal, he turned a blind eye for years to the obvious fact that this grotesque “document” was an obvious forgery!

Furthermore, in his diary entries, he never mentioned that when he finally received a copy of this “document” he certainly ought to have immediately recognized  as a very crude forgery and then proceed to expose the evil man “Peter Stahl” who had cost him so much time and effort to delude him and cause him to make himself into a greater fool than God had already done.

Such an outrage must have left traces in his alleged diary, certainly producing the longest and most vicious attack on “Peter Stahl” to be found in it, but no such entry exists. However if Irving is true to his previous behavior, after he will have read this, he will invent this entry and post it immediately.

It was not before February 15, 1997–17 years after Irving allegedly wrote down the text of this “document”!–that he describes this Himmler “letter” as being “phony.” But surprisingly, he does not mention the impossible German language of this forgery that he touted for over a decade to his followers.

The text of the joke “Himmler letter”

 

REICHSFÜHRER SS
1 Berlin SW 11  den 20 Oktober 1943.
Prinz Albrecht Straße 8
Feldkommandostelle

SS Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen SS Oswald Pohl,
SS Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt
Berlin Lichterfelde-West
Unter den Eichen 126-135.

Sehr geehrter Herr Obergruppenführer,

Der Reichsleiter Bormann hat mehrmals im letzten Monat eine besondere Interesse an der Degussa-Aktion und Ihr Verhältnis mit dem KZ-System. Wie Sie wissen, eine solche Interesse seinerseits völlig überheblich ist und gefährliche Folgerungen haben können.

Bis jetzt habe ich eine direkte Gegenüberstellung mit dem Reichsleiter vermieden, aber der gebraucht natürlich sein je näheres Verhältnis mit dem Führer um diese Einmischung in KZ-Gelegenheiten zu verlangen. Er hat dem Führer eingeredet, daß er erlernte Arbeiter von KZ-Insassen herausholen kann, und hat sogar den Reichsminister Dr. Speer wenigstens teilweise überzeugt von seine Fähigkeit eine solche Aufgabe durchzusetzen.

Der Führer hat mich gebeten in dieser Sache den Reichsleiter zu assistieren. Ich bin informiert worden, daß eine Kommission von fünf Männern der Bormann-Staffel wird in zwei Wochen das KZ Buchenwald besuchen. Zu dieser Zeit habe ich keine Liste ihrer Namen bekommen; ich habe gehört, daß ein Buchhalter unter ihnen sein wird.

Natürlich kann ich nicht gegen des Führers Wunsches die Erlaubnis für eine Untersuchung verweigern, aber unter keinen Umständen dürfen diese Einmischer die Akten der Degussa-Aktion nachprüfen.

Weiter muß die äußerste Sorgfältigkeit gebt werden, daß irgendeine Nachricht über unsere Methoden in der Endlösung der Judenfrage den Ohren des Reichsleiters nicht gelangt. Als der Führer keine Ahnung dieser Endlösung hat und glaubt, die Juden arbeiten in Übersiedlungsgebieten im Osten, es wäre höchst unratbar, ihn zu dieser Zeit zu informieren, besonders nicht mittels des Reichsleiters, der keinen Anlaß hat, uns sonst zu lieben.

Ich verlasse ganz und gar auf Sie für die Sicherheit dieser Sache und erwarte von Ihnen einen vollen Bericht alsbald die Kommission abreist.

Herzliche Grüsse und Heil Hitler
H. Himmler
Reichsführer

REICHSFÜHRER SS
1 Berlin SW 11 den 20. Oktober 1943.
Prinz Albrecht Straße 8
Feldkommandostelle

SS Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen SS Oswald Pohl,
SS Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt
Berlin Lichterfelde-West
Unter den Eichen 126-135.

Sehr geehrter Herr Obergruppenführer,

Der Reichsleiter Bormann hat mehrmals im letzten Monat ein besonderes Interesse an der Degussa-Aktion und ihrem Verhältnis zum KL-System geäußert. Wie Sie wissen, ist ein solche Interesse seinerseits völlig unangebracht und könnte gefährliche Folgen haben.

Bis jetzt habe ich eine direkte Konfrontation mit dem Reichsleiter vermieden, aber er nutzt natürlich sein enges Verhältnis zum Führer, um diese Einmischung in KL-Angelegenheiten zu verlangen. Er hat dem Führer eingeredet, daß er aus den KL-Insassen ausgebildete Arbeiter  machen kann, und hat sogar den Reichsminister Dr. Speer wenigstens teilweise von seiner Fähigkeit überzeugt, ein solche Vorhaben umzusetzen.

Der Führer hat mich gebeten, den Reichsleiter in dieser Sache zu unterstützen. Ich bin informiert worden, daß eine Kommission von fünf Männern der Bormann-Staffel in zwei Wochen das KL Buchenwald besuchen wird. Bisher habe ich keine Namensliste bekommen. Ich habe gehört, daß ein Buchhalter unter ihnen sein wird.

Natürlich kann ich die Erlaubnis für eine Untersuchung nicht gegen den Wunsch des Führers verweigern, aber unter keinen Umständen dürfen diese Schnüffler die Akten der Degussa-Aktion prüfen.

Weiterhin muß äußerste sorgfältig darauf geachtet werden, daß keine Nachricht über unsere Methoden bei der Endlösung der Judenfrage dem Reichsleiters zu Ohren kommt. Da der Führer keine Ahnung von der Endlösung hat und glaubt, die Juden arbeiteten in Übersiedlungsgebieten im Osten, wäre es höchst unratsam, ihn jetzt zu informieren, insbesondere nicht über den Reichsleiters, der auch sonst keinen Anlaß hat, uns zu mögen.

Hinsichtlich des sicheren Ablaufs dieser Sache verlasse ich mich ganz und gar auf Sie und erwarte von Ihnen einen vollen Bericht, sobald die Kommission abgereist ist.

Herzliche Grüsse und Heil Hitler
H. Himmler
Reichsführer

Irving’s transcript Proper German

 

 

There the matter lay. Copies of the ludicrous forgery quickly found their way, via Dr. Burdick, into the hands of personnel at both the U.S. National Archives in Washington as well as the Hoover Library at Stanford University and a number of prominent, and legitimate, German military historians. Irving at once become, very privately, an in-house laughingstock in his profession.

In August, 1995, thanks to the irate indiscretions of handwriting and document expert Charles Hamilton (reproduced earlier in this study), it came to Irving’s attention that Stahl had accused Irving of theft and peculation.

From all accounts, Irving flew into a monumental rage and at once began to attack Stahl in his little newsletter, accusing him of document forgery  because by now Irving had discovered seventeen years later that the “Himmler letter” was a grotesque fake.

Shortly before Irving discovered the terrible joke played on him, author Gregory Douglas published the first of his books based on the wartime and post war career of one Heinrich Müller, once head of Hitler’s feared Gestapo and during the post war period, a CIA employee.

For reasons that no one but a psychiatrist could determine, Irving became convinced that the unfortunate Mr. Douglas was actually the evil Peter Stahl and this resulted in the following alleged letter to the Observer, a British newspaper. For obvious reasons, the paper, if it ever received it, did not print this, being subject to strict British libel laws, but Irving later posted it on his manic website for the benefit of his dimwitted adherents:

 

Letter to the Editor of The Observer
[Not published]

London, April 23, 1996

Sir,
May  I comment on Gitta Sereny’s entertaining article (Review, Apr.21). She is right in exposing “Gregory Douglas,” who has crafted the latest historical forgery — a book of supposed post-war interrogations of the missing Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller, as Peter Stahl the well-known American counterfeiter and forger. I first encountered this impostor in 1980, eight years before Ms. Sereny, and saw through the documents he was then offering me after making a few simple cross-checks (in that case with the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, and the Library of Congress). I have been warning everybody about him since — including, it is proper to say, Ms Sereny herself who was at first taken in by Stahl when researching an article about the Nazi mass-murderer Odilo Globocnik which she published in The Independent on Sunday, Jul 19, 1992; it was no doubt thanks to the five page letter which I wrote to that newspaper exposing Stahl that Ms Sereny realised she had been conned.

I also wrote to the German publishers of this latest book, warning them that many of the Müller “1945 interrogations” reproduced almost verbatim chunks of Stahl’s 1980 conversations with me (which I had taped); the result was a string of abuse from the publishers accusing me of envy and malice, and they went — or should I say forged? — ahead with their publication plans.

Yours faithfully,
David Irving

When this matter was brought to the attention of Mr. Douglas, he replied as follows:

“Dear Dr. Kolchak:

Thank you for your letter with the enclosed comments by David Irving.

I have had problems with this strange creature for a number of years past and nothing he says surprises me

I have never met David Irving but from what I have heard, and read, of him, Irving is as mad as a hatter.

He claims I am a half a dozen people and in his manic newsletter, screeches like a turpentined tom cat constantly about me.

Irving, it seems, sues everyone he can, hoping to extort money from them to avoid long and expensive litigation.

His suit against Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt is ironical in the extreme because Irving himself is a Jew (his mother is Jewish and according to Jewish law, so is her son)

In the late 90s, few people in the British media paid any attention to the rantings of an obviously unbalanced and failing Irving and it is extremely doubtful if he ever wrote such a letter to any newspaper editor, or that he seriously expected them to publish it.

This eruption occurred after Druffel Verlag in Germany had published the first edition of my series on Heinrich Müller. The publisher, Dr.Gert Sudholt, advised me that he had received a frantic letter (mentioned in Irving’s “unpublished letter”) from Irving attempting to convince him that he should not publish anything written by myself.

Sudholt, who was well aware that Irving had deliberately and knowingly swindled a number of German publishing houses by taking money for non-existent manuscripts which he was unable to even begin writing due to his failing creative abilities, wrote in response that “…you are obviously envious of the superior writing ability and research skills of Mr. Douglas… I am fully aware of your dishonest activities with other publishing houses in Germany and with the numerous accusations that you have stolen valuable historical documents from private persons and libraries.”

And further, Sudholt said, “I have been informed by Herr Genoud of Switzerland that you falsely obtained original Goebbels material from him and then tried to publish it against his express instructions.” Sudholt said later that Genoud had stopped the publication, in Germany, of Irving’s work on Goebbels that contained stolen copyrighted material.

Sudholt continued: “And the German publishing house lost much money because of this, money you refused to return to them.” Irving had been the target of several lawsuits in England and had been jailed over failure to return a £50,000 advance from a German publisher.

When I brought this documented matter to the attention of the St. Martins Press in New York, to whom Irving was attempting to peddle his book on Goebbels, I was subsequently informed that they refused to publish Irving’s book on Hitler’s Propaganda Minister exactly because of his previous legal problems with German publishers. They were well aware, I was told, that they discovered that Irving had a “terrible” reputation for fraud and theft in the trade and that they would never publish anything coming from him for fear of lawsuits.

It was also known to them at that time that the so-called “Moscow papers” purported by Irving to be “original Goebbels diaries” and on which his book was based, were, in fact, well-known post war KGB political fakes, designed to embarrass the West German authorities.

I am well aware of the lunatic writings of Irving in his yellow sheet and I wrote to Mr. Stahl to see if perhaps we might jointly sue Irving for libel. We hired a private investigator in England who eventually advised us that Irving was so deeply embroiled in lawsuits and teetering on the verge of bankruptcy that litigating him would be absolutely useless. One would have to wait in a very long line and would have to post a large bond with the courts as foreign litigants.

In the end, it proved to be pointless. It is felt by everyone I have spoken with about the Irving babblings that he has reached the end of his sordid career and attacking him would only be tantamount to kicking a decaying corpse.

The only other reason that I can determine that could possibly explain his prolonged hysteria concerning myself is that some years ago, I bought a collection of the correspondence between Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun.

These letters were in the Schloss Fischhorn collection and came from a Eugene Frankenfeld of Philadelphia. Frankenfeld was a CIC operator that was part of a team that discovered the papers of Hermann Fegelein that were buried at the SS Riding School at Fischhorn run by his brother, Waldemar. Instead of turning these letters, and other important historical papers, in to the U.S. Army authorities, Frankenfeld kept many of them and sold them off to various collectors.

Irving, true to form, erroneously believed these documents to be in the possession of a man named Gutierrez in New Mexico and hounded him for several years in a futile attempt to get them for publication. When he discovered that I had purchased them from another party, he called up the seller and screeched like a petulant florist for nearly an hour.

The seller, a retired U.S. Army officer, told me later with some humor that Irving was probably the most obnoxious individual he had ever encountered, was in all probability a mental case, and wished me well.

It is interesting to observe a constant thread that runs through all of Irving’s hysterical outbursts aimed at me. He consistently accuses me and Peter Stahl, quite falsely and without any evidence to substantiate his claims, of the very things he himself has been repeatedly accused of, and been charged in court for, namely ]fraud, theft, and dealing in forged and stolen documents and counterfeit Nazi memorabilia.

At least he has not accused me of another of his failings; frantic and sordid dalliances with rather young women of no sense whatsoever whom he drags around the United States, transparently cloaked as ‘research assistants.’

If the bankruptcy courts do not put paid to his psychotic ramblings, perhaps some aggressive Child Protective Services might.

Most sincerely,

Gregory Douglas”

Anyone who doubts that David Irving is a sane man needed only visit his “confidential location” to realize that Irving entertains a strong possibility of eventually ending up in a padded room, hopefully sooner rather than later, eating cold beans from a tin tray while someone with a monocle watches him through a peephole in the door.

Instead of a diet of bubble-and-squeak, an appalling cockney dish of fried cabbage and potatoes that Irving regularly indulges in, he will end up gobbling fistfuls of Thorazine and spending his golden years, tightly wrapped in a sheet and immersed in a tub of cold water.

Here he will be able to endlessly chant paragraphs from “Mein Kampf” for the edification of his West Indian ward attendants and thoroughly soil the tub water.

Eventually, as Irving’s fortunes descended to somewhat below sea level, he has been reduced to asking his readers to pay the printer’s bill for reprints of his “Hitler’s War.” Investors are assured that they will be given a note personally signed by the Master and will have the rare privilege of purchasing these books (which they have already paid for in advance) at a special low price. It would be entirely up to the investor to sell these charitable productions and since bookstores will no longer handle Irving’s works, it is to be assumed that the investor will have to stand on street corners with a pushcart full of Irving’s books in order to recoup his investment.

Since his crushing, and very public, defeat in a British court, Irving was bankrupted by the court in order that he reimburse the defendants for their extensive legal costs. Losing his heavily mortgaged British apartment in the posh Mayfair district, Irving fled to the United States where he has been attempting to both become an American citizen and to persuade various individuals to republish various of his earlier works.

Unfortunately for this idea, the British courts through the bankruptcy commissioners of Baker-Tilly in London, now own all of Irving’s copyrights, seized as valuable property after the enforced bankruptcy.

If someone else published these books, the profits due the writer can, and will, be taken by legal action and in all probability, the books themselves will be subject to seizure and impounding.

Although he is fully aware of these dismal prospects, Irving still nurtures fond hopes of somehow making a stunning return from the literary cemetery, staggering down a moonlit road, dripping damp earth and body parts on the deserted tarmac as he heads for what he dreams will be a great hall filled with an adoring and cheering crowd of his equally resurrected and rejuvenated supporters.

As an added incentive to the tardy of donation, Irving personally offers a color poster of Adolf Hitler and some of his staff. Heavy investors receive one of these rare treasures absolutely free but the general public has to pay for them. Irving’s lecture tours are rapidly assuming the general appearance of something produced by the famous P.T. Barnum who, like Irving, believed that there was a sucker born every minute. Perhaps future listeners will be entertained by an Irving-operated Punch and Judy show followed by Irving singing “Knees Up Mother Brown.” while strumming a five-string banjo.

It is said in legal circles that he who defends himself in a court action has a fool for a client. By his verbose bumblings in a British court of law in the Lipstadt case, Irving did terrible damage to the historical revisionist movement. The post-case disclosure that Irving is Jewish will do nothing to repair his shattered reputation either.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and Irving’s has been the intimate friendship developed between himself and the redoubtable Lady Renouf. As a member of London’s high society, the former wife of a New Zealand lord, and prior to that union, the spouse of a member of the Imperial Russian nobility, Lady Renouf attended the long Irving libel trial and found herself in great sympathy with the embattled writer.

As a member of the famous London Reform Club, Lady Renouf made several attempts to invite Irving into her club but the unfortunate writer was promptly blackballed and forced to leave, never to return.

The matter of Lady Renouf is, upon closer examination, absolutely typical of the self-created imagery that Irving has delighted in foisting off on his small circle of adoring supporters.

“Lady Renouf” was born Michele Mainwaring in New Zealand in 1947.  Her father, Arthur Mainwaring, was a truck driver. Michelle, an attractive woman, was a model, an ‘exotic dancer’ and a beauty contest entrée before marrying a Jewish psychiatrist, Daniel Griaznoff, by whom she had two daughters.

Following her departure from the Griaznoff ménage, Michele adopted the name “Countess Griaznoff” and in January, 1991, married multimillionaire New Zealand financier, Sir Frank Renouf. On her marriage certificate Michelle stated that was the Countess Griaznoff, ex-wife of a Russian nobleman. Shortly after the wedding, Sir Frank discovered that his aristocratic wife was actually the daughter of a truck driver and her former husband was certainly not an Imperial Russian count.

Having been made a fool of, Sir Frank immediately left his new wife and they were eventually divorced in 1996.

This, then, is the “member of the British aristocracy” who has actively supported Irving. She was nearly expelled from her club by circulating a particularly vicious screed attacking Jewish press interests in England and attempting to get this published in British newspapers.

To a long list of frauds and deceptions including faked public assaults, burglaries, the counterfeiting of copies of German magazines praising him, the selling of non-existent manuscripts to gullible publishers and publishing grossly faked information in his books, Irving has now taken up a late autumnal romance with a woman who is as fraudulent as he is.

God does indeed have a sense of humor.

Even those who espouse a right-of-center philosophy find David Irving  to be an acute embarrassment and spend a good deal of their time in distancing themselves from his shrill, hysteric mouthings.

In point of fact, if Irving wishes to view the enemy who has destroyed him he need only look in the bathroom mirror while shaving.

The British have a long record of cherishing eccentrics and Irving is precisely the kind that ends up giving wild and emotional public speeches about his persecution by mysterious Jewish groups, speeches that would be filled with dramatic, Hitlerian gestures and what he considers biting sarcasm and wit.

These speeches are not to crowds of cheering, teen-aged neo-Nazis but to an audience composed of one small child engaged in picking his nose and a pensioner asleep on the same bench at London’s famed Hyde Park corner. Here he can join legions of other eccentrics who daily fulminate on Global Warming, Scientology and Martians who send radio messages to the select via their dental fillings.

Instead of the cheers of hundreds, the only noises that now greet Irving’s rants are the hootings of passing police vehicles and the rude, but not entirely unfitting, sounds emitted by a flatulent dog off to one side, and hopefully, downwind.

Since Irving has fled to the United States to avoid the penalties of the British bankruptcy court, he can no longer strut on the Hyde Park corner. It is Irving’s passionate desire to become an American citizen in spite of the fact that in his continental speeches, Irving has referred to Americans as “dirty and stupid farmers, controlled by the Jews.”

In November, 2005, Irving took a plane from England, headed for the Austrian city of Graz, in the southern province of Styria. He had been invited to address a very right-wing orientated group of Austrian studemts at the University of Vienna.

For this meeting he had chosen as his subject, the secret negotiations between Adolf Eichmann and the Jewish leaders in Budapest, Joel Brand and Rezsö Kasztner, the so-called “trucks for Jews” deal, and British knowledge of the scheme from codebreaking.

Traveling to Austria was not a good idea for Irving because in 1989, Irving had been arrested by the Austrian authorities for making “provocative” speeches and after an appearance before an Austrian judge, formally expelled from that country and forbidden future entrance.

However, Irving’s looming disaster was not due to his arrogance or his lust after public adoration but specifically to his ongoing and distasteful feud with American author Gregory Douglas. Irving, has been pathologically jealous of any historian who dared to write on Adolf Hitler, a man whom Irving adored without reservation and he and Douglas became involved in a savage battle. Irving instigated it and Douglas, as will be seen, finished it.

Irving’s jealous rage was based on the knowledge that Douglas’ books on Gestapo Chief Heinrich Mueller were selling better than his own and that, even more terrible, Douglas had managed to obtain important historical documents that Irving lusted after.

At one point in their open warfare, Douglas, who has a reputation for appalling vindictiveness, warned Irving that if he persisted in his manic ad hominem public attacks; Douglas would retaliate in a manner that Irving would never forget. Irving’s response to this warning was to publish it, complete with snide commentary, and continue his drumfire against Douglas consisting of inaccurate and often pathological attacks.

When Douglas learned from a friend in England that Irving was planning to address the Burschenschaft at the University of Vienna, he got the relevant dates from his informant, rang up a friend in one of the ministries in Vienna and passed along the information. So despite Irving’s precautions, the Austrian political police were aware of his travel plans and decided to intercept and arrest him, based on the 1989 expulsion order

On 11 November 2005, the Austrian police in the southern Austrian state of Styria, acting under the 1989 prohibition order, followed Irving after he landed at Graz until he was away from population centers and, blocking his rented car, siezed him at gunpooint at the town of Hartberg, northeast of Graz, just before he could get onto the A2 Autobann to Vienna.

Four days later, he was taken, in restrainst, to Vienna where he was rapidly charged by state prosecutors with the speech crime of “trivialising the Holocaust” and violating the 1989 expulsion and prohibition order. His application for bail was denied on the grounds that he would flee or repeat the offence. He remained in jail awaiting trial. On 20 February 2006 Irving pleaded guilty to the charge of “trivialising, grossly playing down and denying the Holocaust”.

         Irving is well-known for his cowardice and, trying to avoid a jail sentence, he quickly and firmly repudiated his long-standing opinions on the Holocaust .He stated to the Austrian court: “I’ve changed my views. I spoke then about Auschwitz and gas chambers based on my knowledge at the time, but by 1991 when I came across the Eichmann papers, I wasn’t saying that any more and I wouldn’t say that now. The Nazis did murder millions of Jews. ..I made a mistake by saying there were no gas chambers, I am absolutely without doubt that the Holocaust took place. I apologise to those few I might have offended though I remain very proud of the 30 books I have written”.

This spineless recanting did him no good and at the conclusion of the one-day official hearing, Irving was duly sentenced to three years of imprisonment “in accordance with the Austrian Federal Law on the prohibition of National Socialist activities (officially Verbotsgesetz, “Prohibition Statute”) for having denied the existence of gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps in several lectures held in Austria in 1989.

At his sentencing, the presiding judge, Peter Liebtreu, summarized:

“He showed no signs that he attempted to change his views after the arrest warrant was issued 16 years ago in Austria…. He served as an example for the right wing for decades. He is comparable to a prostitute who hasn’t changed her ways…. Irving is a falsifier of history and anything but a proper historian.”

In prison, Irving launched a campaign in which his piteous complaints about bunks that were too short and bad food went unheeded and in his anguish, he told everyone he had drunk cleaning fluid. This had some effect on the Austrian legal system and on 21 December 2006, Irving was technically “expelled” from Austria; he was banned from ever returning to the country again. Upon Irving’s arrival in the relative safety of England, Irving once again reaffirmed his position on the Holocaust, stating that he felt “no need any longer to show remorse” for his Holocaust views.

Should Irving, by some very remote chance, escape permanent residence in an asylum, and as his Inner Circle of admirers diminishes due to death or confinement, and the loss of his copyrights has frightened off putative publishers, he will quite predictably end his career talking to himself in public transportation and writing long, rambling screeds, dealing in the main with the Passion of David Irving, incoherent mumblings that the local newspapers will soon cease to publish.

Finally, he will burst a blood vessel when he tries to find a rare, unautographed copy of one of his earlier books in a second hand book store in Cincinnati, Ohio and hears a clerk say, “David Who?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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