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TBR News December 18. 2018

Dec 18 2018

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

Washington, D.C. December 18, 2018:”’1 Internet access can be controlled or its use directed according to the server configuration, thus creating an excellent disinformation weapon.  In previous times, a national media report that was deemed to be offensive or problematical to the government could be censored, or removed at governmental request. Now, however, the government cannot control the present Internet in the same manner in which it has previously controlled the public media. The Internet permits uncensored and unfiltered versions of events, personalities and actions to be disseminated worldwide in seconds and the so-called “blogs,” chat rooms and websites are almost completely uncontrolled and uncontrollable. This unfortunate situation permits versions of events to find a far wider and far more instantaneous audience than the standard print and, to a lesser degree, the television mediums ever could.

 

  1. The Internet can be used to send coded messages that cannot be interdicted by any government or law-enforcement agency. If man has devised a code or protection program that is supposed to be unbreakable, it is axiomatic that another man can break it. Even the DoD’s algorithmic field codes were easily broken by the Russian GRU during the initial stages of the Iraqi war and it is now known that CIA/USIA codes were also broken, allowing hostile entities to read Top Secret messages. In unfortunately many cases, individual computer experts are more skilled than their counterparts in the government and while, indeed, their encryptions can be broken, they can only be done so by exerting a great deal of effort and when this happens, new encryptions and firewalls can be almost instantly re-erected.

 

3.The Internet can be utilized to steal and disseminate highly damaging, sensitive government or business data. Although highly sensitive official websites are routinely put under strict control, it seems that intruders always seem to succeed in breaking into them. Once this has happened, highly sensitive, and even damaging, information can, and has, been removed and put out on the Internet without any form of control

 

4.The Internet permits anti-government groups or individuals with few resources to offset the efforts of far larger, and far better funded, government and its national media sources. This is known as the ‘David and Goliath’ syndrome and is a subject of constant concern to all government agencies. Hitherto secure systems can be broken into, information can be extracted or the site (s) can be infected with malicious viruses and destroyed. All it takes to do this is a relatively inexpensive computer, programs that unfortunately are available to individuals seeking them. The best and most effective manner to deal with this kind of threat is the dummy site, designed to lure potential dissidents into joining with it. Skillful questioning of new members has been known to develop important leads to be followed up by conventional law enforcement methods.

 

5.The Internet can be used to create serious disruptions of governmental agencies and the business communities. It is known that certain dissidents, either as individuals or as groups, have developed devastating computer viruses. These viruses, which are capable of destroying large banks of computer information, both governmental or business. These rumors are very persistent and it is strongly believed that they exist as a dormant entity that can lie concealed in a target system until activated by some kind of a trigger mechanism.

 

  1. The Internet can serve as an excellent tool for organizing groups of anti-government individuals. (Redacted)

 

  1. The Internet can be used to expose government actions and military operations in advance of said actions. The immense proliferation of Internet sites has made it possible for adverse elements to break into hitherto secure systems, extract highly sensitive information and either supply it to foreign intelligence agencies such as the Russian SVR or the Israeli Mossad or simply to either publish it or mail it out. A discussion of foreign-based official U.S. computer hacking can be found elsewhere and this study deals solely with ad hoc domestic dissidents.

 

  1. The Internet is capable of hiding the identities of those launching attacks on the actions and personnel of various government agencies. (Redacted)

 

9.The Internet can materially assist an underfunded, anti-government group to raise money for continued operations. The use of such firms as PayPal facilitate the relatively secure transfer of money. Again, although it is possible to pressure such firms officially, if one agrees to cooperate, it is only a matter of time that this information will be leaked. We have once had excellent cooperation from SBC, ATT and AOL in conducting overview of millions of system users but lawsuits and Internet activists have published this information, rendering this valuable cooperation null and void.

 

10.The Internet can be utilized to locate and publicize the personnel of government agencies. It is routine practice in the CIA to have the DoS Passport Division issue official U.S. passports to our operatives working outside the country in names other than their own. The discovery of the real names of the passport holders could result in this material being maliciously posted on the Internet and this could not only subject the agent to serious compromise in the country they are operating in but can also subject them to local exposure and often contempt and harassment.

 

  1. The Internet is capable of limiting the risk of identification of the members of anti-government groups. The FBI, which is responsible for overview and action against counter-terrorism inside the United States. With the advent of the Internet, identification and penetration of anti-government groups has proven to be nearly impossible. The main cause of this failure is due almost entirely to the Internet which has proven a haven for dissidents of all kinds. Given that all domestic telephone calls and all Internet email is readily available to various domestic law enforcement agencies, it is still a monumental task to track and identify possible activists and other anti-government individuals or groups. We have assisted in setting up dummy anti-government sites, peopled them with professionals and provided them with almost-believable information to post for the purpose of establishing importance and also in disseminating disinformation. Persons viewing these sites can readily be identified and tracked, Further, we have an ongoing relationship with several information sites, such as Google, and whenever any viewer seeks information on subjects we deem as potentially negative, this information is automatically forwarded to the concerned agency.

 

  1. The Internet, while impossible to control, is also an excellent recruiting ground for sympathetic or easily-convinced “bloggers” who will quickly disseminate official dissemination for pay or public acclaim. It is invaluable to distract the public from questioning various governmental actions, both domestic and foreign. For this reason, our organization, and others, have “disinformation” centers that prepare information of a sensational nature which is then released to paid sources who, in turn, disseminate it onto the Internet. The purpose of this is to create a cloaking movement that will point the curious into innocuous areas. As a case in point, it was imperative to prevent the public sector from looking too deeply into the origins of the 9/11 attacks. To prevent exposure of the actions of members of the top levels of government in this attack, many stories were released, over a long period, to the public through wholly-controlled sites. Claims of devious plots, mystery methodologies, and often laughable conclusions have proven to be extraordinarily effective in constructive diversion. The collapse of the WTC buildings have been attributed to Thermite bombs, clouds of plasmoid gas and other nonsense but a very gullible American public has easily swallowed all of the fictions. As another example, the DoD has always under-declared its casualty rates in Iraq and Afghanistan because a full accounting could easily lead to public discomfiture and resulting action.

 

13.The Internet can be utilized to create an atmosphere of fear or of compliancy in furtherance of official policy. This is a particular ploy that worked very effectively during the two Bush administrations. A constant, on-going threat of vague “terrorist” actions inside the United States was material in gaining, and keeping, public support for the actions of the aforesaid administration. However, it must be noted, that threats must occasionally be proven to be true or too many “duds” tend to dull the public sense and, if continued, will lead to disillusion and anger.’” (to be continued)

 

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • Justice Department asks appeals court to end Trump emoluments case
  • Chaos on French highways as ‘yellow vests’ torch toll booths
  • Should Americans Believe Gallup Polling Data?
  • Trump Backs Down on Border Wall Demand, Likely Ending Shutdown Threat
  • The Grim Future of Urban Warfare
  • The Broken Encirclement Plan: Nato in Eastern Europe
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 Justice Department asks appeals court to end Trump emoluments case

December 17, 2018

by Jan Wolfe

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Justice Department on Monday asked a federal appeals court to step in and halt a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of violating anti-corruption provisions in the U.S. Constitution after the trial judge ruled the case could proceed.

The department asked the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte’s rulings that let the Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia move ahead with the lawsuit against the Republican president, including requests for tax returns and revenue statements.

The department’s request represents an aggressive legal move because federal appellate courts like the 4th Circuit typically do not weigh in on legal disputes until there is a judgment at a lower court level. Trump’s legal team said this was a rare case in which emergency interim relief was necessary.

The two attorneys general on Dec. 4 issued subpoenas for financial records from Trump’s businesses as part of their lawsuit that said his dealings with foreign governments have violated the Constitution’s so-called emoluments provisions.

“The complaint rests on a host of novel and fundamentally flawed constitutional premises, and litigating the claims would entail intrusive discovery into the President’s personal financial affairs and the official actions of his Administration,” Trump’s lawyers said in a court filing.

Karl Racine, the District of Columbia’s attorney general, said in a statement that Trump “is going to extraordinary lengths to try to stop us from gathering information about how he is illegally profiting from the presidency.”

Requests for such an expedited appeal rarely succeed, according to Boston College Law School professor George Brown. But Brown said the 4th Circuit might grant this request because the case implicates the president and raises novel legal questions.

The lawsuit, filed in June 2017, said Trump failed to disentangle himself from his hotels and other businesses, making him vulnerable to inducements by foreign officials seeking to curry favor. One of the Constitution’s emoluments provisions bars U.S. officials from accepting gifts or other emoluments from foreign governments without congressional approval.

Messitte, presiding over the case in Greenbelt, Maryland, has narrowed the lawsuit to claims involving Trump International Hotel in Washington and not Trump’s businesses beyond the U.S. capital.

Messitte ruled in March that the two attorneys general had legal standing to pursue the case, and in July rejected what he called Trump’s “cramped” view that emoluments were limited essentially to outright bribes.

Those rulings allowed the case to enter the discovery phase, evidence-gathering that could force disclosure of Trump’s financial records.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham

 

Chaos on French highways as ‘yellow vests’ torch toll booths

December 18, 2018

by Geert De Clercq and Gilles Guillaume

Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) – French “yellow vest” protesters caused transport chaos on Tuesday after occupying highway toll booths and setting some of them on fire.

France’s biggest toll road operator, Vinci Autoroutes, said demonstrations were under way at some 40 sites in its network and that several highway intersections had been heavily damaged, notably in the south of France.

The Bandol toll station, east of Marseille in the south of France, suffered fire damage overnight into Tuesday and the A50 highway was closed, said Vinci, whose network is mainly in the south and west of the country.

“Motorists should take utmost care as they approach toll gates and motorway access ramps due to the presence of numerous pedestrians,” Vinci said in a statement.

Several people have died in roadside accidents at yellow vest roadblocks in recent weeks, mostly at the many roundabouts blocked by groups of demonstrators.

The ‘yellow vests’ protesters – named after the fluorescent jackets French motorists must have in their cars – have blocked roads and roundabouts across France since mid-November.

The demonstrations began as a protest against fuel tax increases, but have since grown into a bigger backlash against the policies of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Over the past four Saturdays, demonstrators have torched cars, looted shops and clashed with police in Paris and other French cities, although protests in the capital last weekend were smaller and more peaceful than previous ones.

COSTLY DAMAGE

Protesters angry about high fuel costs and new speed limits have also covered, damaged or torched hundreds of traffic radars across France.

Radars-auto.com, a site that tracks traffic radars, estimated that by the middle of last week at least 1,600 radars, about half of all French traffic radars, had been damaged. More than 250 have been entirely destroyed, it said.

The French state will also lose several tens of millions of euros in revenues, it said, adding that in 2017 the radars had yielded on average 84 million euros ($96 million) per month.

Vinci estimates the damages to its installations will cost “several tens of millions” of euros since the start of the protests, not including lost revenue as the protesters have allowed thousands of motorists onto the highways for free.

Vinci plans to send an invoice to motorists who drove past the toll booths without paying and whose license plates were captured on surveillance cameras in the past four weeks.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Gareth Jones

 

Should Americans Believe Gallup Polling Data?

A new look inside Gallup’s massive US Mint fraud

December 17, 2018

by Grant Smith

AntiWar

The Gallup Organization was criminally charged in 2012 under the False Claims and Procurement Integrity Acts. The False Claims Act is the primary tool the U.S. government uses, leveraging insider whistle-blowers, to combat contracting fraud against the government. An uncontested 57-page complaint (PDF) reveals that Gallup intentionally delivered deceptive data to the US Mint, the US Department of State, and DHS (FEMA) to maximize profits on a series of no-bid contracts. Among other acts alleged in the complaint were keeping two sets of books and making job offers to federal employees in positions to renew Gallup’s lucrative government contracts.

Gallup’s history and a review of Gallup’s actual US Mint work product – obtained from the US Treasury under the Freedom of Information Act and made available for the first time online – reveals Gallup’s willingness to secretly engage in fraud to protect lucrative serialized polling contracts. This company culture should raise questions about Gallup polls in categories where there is no similar polling for verification purposes or where Gallup results are inexplicably wildly at odds – over long time periods – with other pollsters.

In 1988 the Lincoln, Nebraska-based Selection Research Inc., a family owned private business, acquired Gallup and installed Jim Clifton as CEO where he remains to this day. In 1996 Gallup created a government division to land more contracts focused on tracking studies, polling, in-depth interviewing, qualitative research, and demographic analyses. In March of 2007, Gallup landed an indefinite delivery, indefinite contract with the United States Mint. CEO Clifton by 2008 was pressuring Gallup’s government division management to improve revenue and profit under its government contracts. Sameer Abraham, Vice President and Managing Research Director of Gallup’s government division hired in 1996, quickly got to work expanding the value of work under the no-bid contract from $3.5 million in 2008 to $7.5 million in 2009. Abraham did it by overbilling the US Mint for more than twice as many work hours as Gallup performed (51,525 hours billed versus 21,627 actually performed according to the criminal complaint).

Gallup simultaneously dangled offers to hire FEMA’s Timothy Cannon, who renewed and extended ever larger FEMA contracts for Gallup. On December 19, 2008 CEO Clifton and Cannon had lunch together. At the time, it was consensus among Gallup’s management that “We’ve got to give him an award or something. He is Gallup’s MVP outside of Gallup.” After winning another round of contracts, on February 5, 2009 Gallup formally extended an offer of employment to Cannon to work in the Gallop government division starting at $175,000 per year. Both Cannon and Gallup subsequently reissued employment offer and acceptance letters to falsely certify that Cannon had no prior agreement for employment outside the federal government before he retired, to skirt rules against such hires.

Gallup’s overbilled polling work at the Mint proceeded smoothly. In 2005 Congress passed a law that authorized the production of $1 coins to address what it hoped would be high demand among public transportation, parking meter, vending machine and low denomination transaction currency users, citing earlier, hopeful coin studies containing Gallup data from the US and Canada.

The US began issuing $1 coins bearing the images of Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison in 2007. Gallup had won the US Mint contract on the basis of a November 21, 2006 Gallup report titled “Americans Support Dollar Coins Featuring Past Presidents” claiming Americans were at long last ready to begin using $1 denominated coins, rather than collecting or returning them to the bank as they had done in the past. Earlier efforts to launch dollar coins featuring suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1979-1981, 1999) and Lewis and Clark expedition guide Sacagewea (2000) were costly failures. But Gallup claimed in unverified polling that a new presidential $1 coin series would achieve success with a “95 percent confidence” at “maximum margins of sampling error” of “+/- 5%.”

It simply wasn’t true. Over the 2007-2009 period Gallup conducted its contract work for the US Mint $1 presidential coins soon either disappeared (as collectors kept them) or were unceremoniously dumped by merchants back at banks. Gallup had to admit that Americans found the coins too heavy, did not value claims that they saved money by lasting longer than paper currency, and that the coins would “save our country $5 billion.”

Internal documents reveal the extremely questionable machinery of Gallup proprietary polling through the “Gallup panel of 48,000 households and 68,000 individual members.” Recruits into the Gallup panel receive a welcome packet and demographic questionnaire to complete, and then agree to answer three surveys per month. As rewards the panel members receive token thank-you gifts and a magazine that subtly flatters poll respondents with compliments about their importance and value of their opinions. Despite the compensation, the response rate is only 50-70%. The pool inevitably becomes saturated with respondents who want to retain the compensation, and ostensibly provide answers they feel will achieve that purpose. Others, perhaps critical thinkers and skeptics, leave the pool, leading to a 3% attrition rate. Gallup is left with a pool of respondents that will provide consistent – and consistently unrepresentative – results while allowing Gallup to claim to clients and stakeholders they are somehow “statistically relevant.” As a no-bid contractor, none of Gallup’s polling work for the Mint was ever verified.

But even such flawed polling machinery forced Gallup to admit in research findings and awareness studies what the US Mint already knew – that new $1 presidential coins were once more a tremendous flop. Undaunted, Gallup simply submitted additional proposals for crafting messaging, launching new pilot ad campaigns, and conducting more overbilled polling results. Gallup clearly intended to keep milking the no-bid US Mint contract for all it was worth.

Although the Government Accountability Office incorporated Gallup results into its own 2011 forecast (PDF) predicting that growing public acceptance of Presidential dollar coins would save the government $5.5 billion over three decades due to the coin’s durability, the gig was just about up. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced on December 11, 2011 circulation would be suspended due to budget constraints and increasing stockpiles of the unpopular Presidential dollar coins.

On November 27, 2012 with the aid of a whistle-blower inside Gallup, the Department of Justice filed a criminal complaint against Gallup for is overbilling the US Mint and False Claims Act violations. Gallup paid a $10.5 million fine. But in the end CEO Jim Clifton kept his job. Although he was barred from running Gallup’s government division, he soon installed his son Jon Clifton in that role. According to USASpending.gov, Gallup continues to engage in multi-million-dollar government contracts with various agencies.

However, Gallup polling is coming under increasing scrutiny. Gallup has been calling the wrong winner in election polling since trumpeting Thomas Dewey as the winner of the 1948 contest. Fordham ranked Gallup 17th of 23 in 2008, and Nate Silver found Gallup was the least accurate of 23 major firms in 2012. Gallup predicted a Hillary Clinton win up until the final results came in during the 2016 elections.

Gallup’s poll results revealing “high and growing American sympathy for Israel” are also wildly at odds with similarly and identically worded polls conducted by Pew Research and through Google Surveys. Nevertheless, a survey of news outlets reveals Gallup’s consistently sunny results are the most used of available polls.

Gallup launches its annual results early each year under titillating headlines such as “Americans Remain Staunchly in Israel’s Corner” (2018 poll) and “Israel Maintains Positive Image in US” (2017 poll). Gallup’s polls are immediately splashed across newspapers such as the New York Times and the Jerusalem Post and have even been used by the Government Accountability Office as a proxy to assert that Americans support unconditional US foreign assistance to Israel, long the highest recipient of any foreign country.

Many Israel lobby organizations and media outlets automatically recirculate Gallup polls in order to advance Israel’s public relations objectives. These include The Israel Project, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the American Jewish Committee, and pro-Israel scribes. Given the high value Gallup delivers to them through its impossibly inflated claims of American sympathy for Israel, it is reasonable to speculate that – consistent with its corporate culture – Gallup might have a long term contract or quid pro quo arrangement with one or more Israel lobby organizations, if not the Israeli government itself, conditioned on continually churning out highly positive results.

Gallup leveraged its self-proclaimed acumen as “the most trusted name in polling” to issue just enough tantalizing polling data to keep US Mint contracts flowing. Gallup seems to be pursuing the same strategy with its longer running unverifiable polling on US sympathy for Israelis over Palestinians. However, because of Gallup’s extremely incremental approach, at its current rate of “sympathy” increase, Gallup has until the year 2058 before alleged American sympathy for Israelis over Palestinians finally reaches an unsurpassable 100%. At that point, like the US Mint contract, the game will be up.

That is, unless Americans stop believing unverified and widely divergent Gallup polling data.

 

Trump Backs Down on Border Wall Demand, Likely Ending Shutdown Threat

December 18, 2018

by Ed Kilgore

The New York Magazine.

Even as the federal government drifted toward a partial shutdown over the last few days, it’s been obvious to just about everyone that it was an entirely avoidable crisis created by Donald Trump’s temper tantrum last week during a photo op with Democratic congressional leaders. Even as he was signaling he was backing down on his border wall demands, he let himself get baited into a chest-pounding statement on his ability and willingness to shut down the government if he didn’t get his way. So the question since then has been how long it would take the president to creep back to his previous position.

The answer just arrived via a bland statement from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as reported by the Washington Post:

Sanders told Fox News Channel: “We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion.”

“At the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the White House was exploring other funding sources and believed it could be legally done.

“There are certainly a number of different funding sources that we’ve identified that we can use, that we can couple with money that would be given through congressional appropriations that would help us get to that $5 billion that the president needs in order to protect our border,” she said.

This is apparently an allusion to Trump’s talk about using Department of Defense resources to help build the wall, which he was deploying to walk back the appropriations demand before his Oval Office meltdown. In other words: Never mind!

It shouldn’t take congressional Republicans that long to cut a deal with Democrats to keep the government open beyond the current December 21 deadline, now that their chief seems willing to get out of the way. But it would be wise to keep an eye on the presidential Twitter feed until the deal is completely done.

 

 

 

The Grim Future of Urban Warfare

New technologies are making war even more horrific.

December 11, 2018

by Darran Anderson

The Atlantic

War is won by breaking an enemy’s morale until their ability to resist collapses. In Iraq, the U.S. military employed “shock and awe,” demonstrating overwhelming force while using superior technology and intelligence. It was a new term for an ancient approach: “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt,” Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, centuries before Christ. Strike suddenly, brutally, and with the element of surprise to sow confusion and encourage surrender and retreat—or to stage annihilation.

The Third Reich’s blitzkrieg techniques did the same (“the engine of the Panzer is a weapon just as the main gun,” the German general Heinz Guderian noted), along with the shrieking “Jericho Trumpet” sirens its Luftwaffe attached to planes making dive-bomb attacks on cities. The aim was not just the shattering of buildings but the shattering of nerves.

In the present, war’s terror arrives more silently. Soon, the missiles raining down will be hypersonic, traveling in excess of five times the speed of sound, and evading detection and interception in the process.

War has changed and remained the same. The origins of future wars are already here, being laid in policies and ambitions, rivalries and resources, greed and grievances. The technologies that will be used to dominate and destroy are already in use or development. They will bring more conflict to cities, where casualties will multiply, along with chaos and fear. War is always bad, but it’s going to become much worse.

Proxy and civil wars will continue to flourish, as will conflicts on the peripheries of power blocs. The danger of inadvertent escalation is high. The planet has already survived the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the Soviet false alarm of 1983, and the Norwegian Black Brant nuclear-rocket scare of 1995. Eventually our luck might run out, and when it does, cities will likely be ground zero. The world’s city-dwelling population exploded from 746 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion in 2018, according to the United Nations (which expects that total to increase by another 2.5 billion by 2050). To dominate a nation has come to mean dominating its population centers.

There are reasons that coming wars will be more, not less, deadly. As weapons systems become increasingly accurate through satellite positioning, surgical strikes on military targets will seem more viable. But the blood-soaked history of “smart bombs” show that they have only been as smart as the intelligence used to deploy them. In 1991, laser-guided missiles entered the Al-Amiriyya bomb shelter in Iraq through a ventilation shaft, killing more than 400 civilians. In 2008, an air raid obliterated a bridal party at Haska Meyna. Such “aberrations” likely will increase in frequency.

The “double tap” approach—one strike followed quickly by a second meant to target rescue and medical personnel—that has been favored by Islamist terrorists, CIA drones, and Syrian and Russian air strikes will continue to devastate civilian morale and the public’s ability to survive and recover. Absent repercussions, or just to test the geopolitical order, combatants might abandon even the appearance of avoiding civilian targets. That’s already happened in the Russian bombardment of civilian parts of Syrian cities.

Even an “ethical” attack, on infrastructure rather than civilians, will result in misery. Destroyed airports, downed bridges, disabled power stations, and disrupted communication networks will tear daily life asunder. The psychological impact upon children—living in basements; subject to the sounds and tremors of bombardments; isolated from social systems, education, adequate sanitation; facing food and medical shortages—is inestimable. Danger in the form of cluster bombs (which are still killing and maiming people in Southeast Asia decades after their deployment) and chemical weapons litters the wreckage that children play in.

The threat of attack has already changed the design of cities. Some had underground metros where people could take refuge; in Uzbekistan, Tashkent’s even boasted atomic blast doors. Beijing has an entire underground city called Dixia Cheng, built in case the Sino-Soviet split went nuclear, capable of sheltering millions of people. During World War II, Switzerland built enough bunkers for its entire population to disappear into, along with infrastructure that was rigged to explode upon invasion.

But most cities would require improvised refuge in the case of attack: the digging of impromptu and ineffective shelters, with most inhabitants fleeing into refugee camps or taking up residence in the interior rooms of buildings, avoiding windows and daylight, shrouding themselves in the shadows.

In order to minimize the uncertainty of war, armies now practice on purpose-built fake towns, long before taking on the real thing. China has designed a replica Taipei to be stormed in Inner Mongolia. The German Bundeswehr pre-enacts civil war scenarios in the artificial settlement of Schnöggersburg. The Americans simulated an Afghan ghost town called Ertebat Shar in the Mojave Desert. The infrastructure of real cities crumbles while governments construct fake ones in order to destroy them.

For those who do bring combat to the metropolis, data and smart technology can come to their aid. Aircraft pilots can see the landscape below them via augmented-reality headsets that supply up-to-date information and instructions. Already, supposedly innocuous social technology is being put to murderous use. Before and during the Rwandan genocide, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines was spreading conspiratorial paranoia and agitating for violence. In the case of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group in Myanmar that has been targeted by the country’s military, the hate was stirred up on Facebook.

On the ground, advances in facial-recognition and surveillance software would identify targets and innocents, but it could also single out specific ethnic groups, facilitating repression (or worse). This tech is already aiding “China’s Muslim gulag” and its authoritarian social-credit system, setting the stage for granular information to service formal conflicts

Despite all those innovations, the block-by-block, building-by-building, room-by-room fighting seen from Stalingrad to Aleppo will continue at great cost. Soldiers avoid conventional routes, preferring “mouse-holing” by blowing holes through the walls. For invading forces, the fear of infiltration and assault from below, from the city’s bowels, is ever-present. Jewish resistance fighters surviving beneath the Warsaw ghetto noticed that the German soldiers above suffered from “sewer paranoia,” fearing they could be attacked from any location. In Vietnam, the American soldiers referred to the Viet Cong tunnels at Cu Chi with the nightmarish term “Black Echo.” But invaders in the future would be armed with more than flamethrowers, harnessing sonar and special 3-D-mapping drones that could venture down where soldiers feared to tread.

Some war technologies exist only to protect (and to restore confidence in) troops entering potentially hostile territory. Sniper-detection devices can be fitted on vehicles. Soldiers will wear exoskeletons to increase strength and mobility, or graphene armor to reduce vulnerability. They will fire self-steering bullets, and drive tanks built with composite metal foams that are supposedly invincible.

Given the dangers of physically entering cities on the ground, drones offer a safer alternative. Underwater drones can patrol seaside towns. Drone swarms, consuming everything in their path like a biblical plague, will be the stuff of psychological warfare long before they became reality. Paranoia pervades the sky, which might look empty but harbor invisible threats. Land-based robots will also strike terror into city dwellers, while collecting information from within the fog of confusion they also create.

Reassurances that there was always a human supervisor somewhere in the operating of these otherwise autonomous weapons systems means little to the citizens who will watch them make their way through the streets like mechanical dogs, apes, or human beings.

The ethics of autonomous warfare has become a contemporary crusade. There is a Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, with signatories such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk urging caution. Other researchers disagree, begging for progress on robot soldiers to keep ahead of the “bad guys.” International legislation probably won’t come to pass, for a number of reasons. First, the arms race is already on, and it’s profitable. Second, there is a gray area as to what counts as a “killer robot,” given that automated weapons systems are already being used for defensive positions. And third, it is easy to portray war robots as a humanitarian advance. They spare soldiers from PTSD caused by messy operations. Not to mention that robotic troops wouldn’t require food or sleep, and would not suffer from guilt or remorse. That’s probably a mistake. Though it can be horrific, humans suffer trauma in part as a warning system, the mind’s message that an experience is deeply wrong.

The roots of future conflicts are already here. Trade wars, territorial disputes, and resource grabs bubble away. International institutions promoting development and stability are being undermined by exceptionalism. Crucial urban infrastructure gets hacked and sabotaged by state agents. This battlefield alone promises to be devastating in the age of the Smart City. Political disinformation campaigns are rife across the internet, with the Russian fog-creating technique of maskirovka, or military deception, going digital.

The Institute of Economics and Peace has noted eight pillars of what it calls “positive peace”: well-functioning government, equitable distribution of resources, free flow of information, good relations with neighbors, high levels of human capital, acceptance of the rights of others, low levels of corruption, and a sound business environment. The absence or fragility of these is not encouraging. The catastrophe of climate change alone has already begun to fuel conflict, and even attempts to mitigate it may lead to violence.

What might spark the powder kegs could be anything from the seizure of an island in the South China Sea to a spree of graffiti to a market seller setting fire to himself.

Though these wars may happen far away from the metropolitan centers of the West, in a globalized world, ripples will undulate globally: Failed harvests. Economic collapses. Surges in refugees. The rise of populist parties. The technological militarization of domestic police forces continues unabated—long-range acoustic devices and microwave “pain rays,” for example. War is privatizing at the urging of defense contractors, and arms fairs, selling technology to be used at home and abroad, are booming. In the fog of war, and its manufacture, there is a lot of money to be made.

 

 

The Broken Encirclement Plan: Nato in Eastern Europe

December 18, 2018

by Christian Jürs

The first serious, and successful, U.S. direct interference in Russian leadership policies was in 1953. An ageing Josef Stalin, suffering from arteriosclerosis and becoming increasingly hostile to his subordinates, was poisoned by Laverenti P. Beria, head of his secret police. Beria, was a Mingrelian Jew, very ruthless and a man who ordered and often supervised the executions of people Stalin suspected of plotting against him, had fallen out of favor with Stalin and had come to believe that he was on the list of those Stalin wished to remove. With his intelligence connection, Beria was contacted by the American CIA through one of his trusted agents in Helskinki and through this contact, Beria was supplied dosages of warfarin  The first drug in the class to be widely commercialized was dicoumarol itself, patented in 1941 and later used as a pharmaceutical  potent coumarin-based anticoagulants for use as rodent poisons, resulting in warfarin in 1948. The name warfarin stems from the acronym WARF, for Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation + the ending -arin indicating its link with coumarin. Warfarin was first registered for use as a rodenticide in the US in 1948, and was immediately popular; although it was developed by Link, the WARF financially supported the research and was assigned the patent.

Warfarin was used by a Lavrenti Beria to poison Stalin. Stalin’s cooks and personal bodyguards were all under the direct control of Beria. He acknowledged to other top Soviet leaders that he had poisoned Stalin, according to Molotov’s memoirs. Nikita Khrushchev and others to poison Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Warfarin is tasteless and colorless, and produces symptoms similar to those that Stalin exhibited. Stalin collapsed during the night after a dinner with Beria and other Soviet leaders, and died four days later on 5 March 1953.

Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, in his political memoirs (published posthumously in 1993), claimed that Beria told him that he had poisoned Stalin. “I took him out,” Beria supposedly boasted. There is evidence that after Stalin was found unconscious, medical care was not provided for many hours. Other evidence of the murder of Stalin by Beria associates was presented by Edvard Radzinsky in his biography Stalin. It has been suggested that warfarin was used; it would have produced the symptoms reported.

After the fall of Gorbachev and his replacement by Boris Yeltsin, a known CIA connection, the Russian criminal mob was encouraged by the CIA to move into the potentially highly lucrative Russian natural resource field.

By 1993 almost all banks in Russia were owned by the mafia, and 80% of businesses were paying protection money. In that year, 1400 people were murdered in Moscow, crime members killed businessmen who would not pay money to them, as well as reporters, politicians, bank owners and others opposed to them. The new criminal class of Russia took on a more Westernized and businesslike approach to organized crime as the more code-of-honor based Vory faded into extinction.

The Izmaylovskaya gang was considered one of the country’s most important and oldest Russian Mafia groups in Moscow and also had a presence in Tel Aviv, Berlin, Paris, Toronto, Miami and New York City. It was founded during the 1980s under the leadership of Oleg Ivanov and was estimated to consist of about 200 active members (according to other data of 300–500 people). In principle, the organization was divided into two separate bodies—Izmailovskaya and Gol’yanovskaya  which utilized quasi-military ranks and strict internal discipline. It was involved extensively in murder-for-hire, extortions, and infiltration of legitimate businesses.

The gangs were termed the Oligarchy and were funded by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Israeli-owned Bank of New York all with the assistance of the American government.

The arrival of Vladimir Putin as the new leader of Russia was at first ignored in Washington. A former KGB Lt. Colonel who had been stationed in East Germany, Putin was viewed as inconsequential, bland and colorless by the purported Russian experts in both the Department of State and the CIA.

Putin, however, proved to be a dangerous opponent who blocked the Oligarchs attempt to control the oil fields and other assets, eventual control of which had been promised to both American and British firms.

The Oligarchs were allowed to leave the country and those remaining behind were forced to follow Putin’s policies. Foreign control over Russian natural resources ceased and as both the CIA, various foreign firms and the American government had spent huge sums greasing the skids, there was now considerable negative feelings towards Putin.

The next serious moves against Russia came with a plan conceived by the CIA and fully approved by President George W. Bush, whose father had once been head of the CIA.

This consisted of ‘Opertion Sickle’ which was designed to surround the western and southern borders of Russia with states controlled by the United States through the guise of NATO membership. Included in this encirclement program were the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Georgia and a number of Asiatic states bordering southern Russia. It was the stated intention of the NATO leadership to put military missiles in all these countries. The so-called “Orange Revolution” funded and directed by the CIA, overthrew the pro-Moscow government in the Ukraine, giving the United States theoretical control over the heavy industrialized Donetz Basin and most importantly, the huge former Soviet naval base at Sebastopol.

The Georgia Train and Equip Program (GTEP) was an American-sponsored 18-month, $64-million program aimed at increasing the capabilities of the Georgian armed forces by training and equipping four 600-man battalions with light weapons, vehicles and communications. The program enabled the US to expedite funding for the Georgian military for Operation Enduring Freedom.

On February 27, 2002, the US media reported that the U.S. would send approximately two hundred United States Army Special Forces soldiers to Georgia to train Georgian troops. The program implemented President Bush’s decision to respond to the Government of Georgia’s request for assistance to enhance its counter-terrorism capabilities and addressed the situation in the Pankisi Gorge.

The program began in May 2002 when American special forces soldiers began training select units of the Georgian Armed Forces, including the 12th Commando Light Infantry Battalion, the 16th Mountain-Infantry Battalion, the 13th “Shavnabada” Light Infantry Battalion, the 11th Light Infantry Battalion, a mechanized company and small numbers of Interior Ministry troops and border guards.

Eventually, responsibility for training Georgian forces was turned over to the US Marine Corps in conjunction with the British Army. British and American teams worked as part of a joint effort to train each of the four infantry battalion staffs and their organic rifle companies. This training began with the individual soldier and continued through fire team, squad, platoon, company, and battalion level tactics as well as staff planning and organization. Upon completing training, each of the new Georgian infantry battalions began preparing for deployment rotations in support of the Global War on Terrorism

The CIA were instrumental in getting Mikheil Saakashvili, an erratic politician, pro-West, into the presidency of Georgia but although he allowed the country to be flooded with American arms and “military trainers” he was not a man easily controlled and under the mistaken belief that American military might supported him, commenced to threaten Moscow. Two Georgian provinces were heavily populated by Russians and objected to the inclusion in Georgia and against them, Saakashvili began to make threatening moves.

The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War (in Russia also known as the Five-Day War) was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other.

During the night of 7 to 8 August 2008, Georgia launched a large-scale military offensive against South Ossetia, in an attempt to reclaim the territory. Georgia claimed that it was responding to attacks on its peacekeepers and villages in South Ossetia, and that Russia was moving non-peacekeeping units into the country. The Georgian attack caused casualties among Russian peacekeepers, who resisted the assault along with Ossetian militia. Georgia successfully captured most of Tskhinvali within hours. Russia reacted by deploying units of the Russian 58th Army and Russian Airborne Troops in South Ossetia, and launching airstrikes against Georgian forces in South Ossetia and military and logistical targets in Georgia proper. Russia claimed these actions were a necessary humanitarian intervention and peace enforcement.

When the Russian incursion was seen as massive and serious, U.S. president George W. Bush’s statement to Russia was: “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.” The US Embassy in Georgia, describing the Matthew Bryza press-conference, called the war an “incursion by one of the world’s strongest powers to destroy the democratically elected government of a smaller neighbor”.

Initially the Bush Administration seriously considered a military response to defend Georgia, but such an intervention was ruled out by the Pentagon due to the inevitable conflict it would lead to with Russia. Instead, Bush opted for a softer option by sending humanitarian supplies to Georgia by military, rather than civilian, aircraft. And he ordered the immediate evacuation of all American military units from Georgia. The huge CIA contingent in the Georgian capital fled by aircraft and the American troops, mostly U.S. Marines, evacuated quickly to the Black Sea where they were evacuated by the U.S. Navy. British and Israeli military units also fled the country and all of them had to leave behind an enormous amount of military eqipment to include tanks, light armored  vehicles, small arms, radio equipment, and trucks full of intelligence data they had neither the time nor forersignt to destroy.

The immediate result of this demarche was the defection of the so-called “NATO Block” eastern Europeans from the Bush/CIA project who saw the United States as a paper tiger that would not, and could not, defend them against the Russians. In a sense, the Russian incursion into Georgia was a massive political, not a military, victory.

The CIA was not happy with the actions of Vladimir Putin and when he ran for reelection, they poured money into the hands of Putin’s enemies, hoping to reprise the Ukrainian Orange Revolution but the effort was in vain

 

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

December 18, 2018

by Dr. Peter Janney

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

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

 

Conversation No. 68

Date: Wednesday, February 19, 1997

Commenced: 8:46 AM CST

Concluded: 9:30 AM CST

 

GD: You called me, Robert. Role reversal here. Is something up back there?

RTC: Yes, in a way. I’ve been keeping my eye on a growing negative situation here that directly affects you and indirectly affects me. This is going to be a little prolix, so I was wondering if you had a tape recorder handy and might hook it up so you can make some sense of all this later. You ought to listen to it, make notes at your convenience and then we can talk about things after you do this. Is this possible? The recorder?

GD: Yes, I have one over on the shelf. I’ll just go and get it.

RTC: Well, I’m not going anywhere.

(Pause)

GD: I got it and put a tape in it. Let me hook the mike up to the phone here….OK now fire away.

RTC: Very well, let’s get started. I begin by telling you something we both know and this is that you are most unpopular back here, at least in certain circles. For example, Wolfe hates you and keeps telling me I ought not to talk to you. How odd that Kimmel tells me the same thing and so does Joe Trento. Do you have any dealings with him, by the way?

GD: No. I’ve heard the name. He wrote a book with you once if I recall.

RTC: Yes, Joe and his wife.

GD: Not very deep writers, are they?

RTC: No, Trento is like Bill. So eager to be part of a larger picture, so desperate to be noticed, so unimportant. Wolfe is only a government librarian but he, too, had delusions of grandeur. And Tom…Poor Tom was once the golden boy and now he is getting older and he is going to have to retire.

GD: I talk to him quite often, Robert, and I’ve been of help to him and his family over the Pearl Harbor business.

RTC: Yes, I know that, but you are not on his good side for several reasons. In the first place, he views you as subhuman and only puts up with you for the same reason the others do…They want something from you. What they want is to get any papers Mueller might have given you and in the end, they want you to be quiet about him. Now Jim Critchfield wants you dead.

GD: Why so?

RTC: It’s all about Mueller. Now let me go on for a time here. I know and you know that Mueller worked for the CIA. Critchfield’s SS boys recruited him in ’48 and he came here. We hired him, in spite of the fact he ran the evil Gestapo, because he was a genuine expert on Soviet intelligence and very effective. Russia, officially, is our convenient enemy. Convenient, because everyone makes money because they threaten to invade us or atom bomb New York. Of course, they were going to do no such thing, but a frightened public is generous with funds to its protectors. So we hired Mueller. That, in and of itself, is a major scandal. The left wing, the Jews and anyone the Gestapo arrested would howl the house down if they ever found out about this. The other little problem is that no one alive, aside from myself and you, knows the name Mueller was given when he came over to us. This was a large secret and only a few knew. Harry Truman knew, Beetle Smith[1] knew and so did Jim Critchfield and myself. And, of course, Mueller and his wife, who worked for us, too. So we have a situation that could prove to be very, very embarrassing for many people. Mueller is dead and his wife will say nothing but then we have you in the equation. You met him in California and his wife knows you. Apparently, you two hit it off. His wife, who doesn’t approve of you because she is afraid of you, tells us you two were thick as thieves. So much for that. You used your entrée to write a book on him. My dear sweet Jesus, what a stink you made. Mueller was dead and forgotten and along came you, a loose cannon, and tore off the scabs of time. It takes bureaucracies a long time to react. But to save their collective asses, they do react. Initially, Bill was all gung ho about you because your book supported his ‘Widows’ book and he clearly identified Mueller’s Swiss-based CIA interrogator…

GD: Kronthal.

RTC: Absolutely, and when Bill talked with you about this after reading the book, you gave him some inside information on Kronthal you got from Mueller. This was private information and you could never have made it up. Bill was sold and got me involved in this. Of course, I didn’t tell them that we had known each other previously, albeit rather casually. You know, the Costello business.

GD: I recall.

RTC: And suddenly it began to dawn on certain elevated people in our organization that you might know far more than you should. And your book, which was interesting, but not too revealing about our methods and activities, got out, you became a person of real interest. A question here, Gregory. Did Mueller ever mention the Kennedy business to you?

GD: Yes. I was having lunch with him when it happened. As I recall, we were having a late lunch at Stickney’s Hickory House in Palo Alto when Mueller started staring at the restaurant television set which was behind and above me. He said, ‘I see they shot your President in Dallas.’ I turned around and watched the uproar for a minute and then the food came. At one point, a little later, Mueller called me and asked me if I had been watching television and I said I had. He asked me if I had noticed Oswald being walked through crowded corridors in the Dallas police station and I said I had. He said that Oswald was not guilty, and those who did it were trying to get him killed by exposing him to strangers. And he did get shot in the same surroundings the next day. Mueller said that the business was now over and that Ruby would also either hang himself in his cell or be knifed in jail by an inmate wanting fame and fortune. When I told him much later that Ruby died of cancer, Mueller only laughed and said that he preferred the heart attack and that cancer took too long to work.

RTC: Astute. Anything else?

GD: Nothing that I remember.

RTC: You see, Gregory, Mueller was involved in the business.

GD: I was having lunch with him when it happened and I had known him for some time before, Robert. Was he?

RTC: Mueller was hired by us as probably the best expert on Soviet intelligence alive. When Jim Angleton learned that the most important secrets, the President’s Daily Briefing material was all over Moscow, he went over the edge. Only a very few people ever saw that paper. I suggested that he have these salted with different information prior to distribution. This bit of fiction in one report and that in another. That way, Jim found out that the leaks came from the White House. That’s when we dragged Mueller out of retirement and he pinpointed Bolshakov, the top KGB operative in this country, as the conduit. And a little bit of snooping discovered that Bobby Kennedy was in regular touch with Bolshakov. Obviously, the material went from JFK to RFK to Bolshakov to Nikita in Moscow. That’s when it was decided to remove Kennedy, in fact, both Kennedys. We got the President and Hoover got Bobby. The latter was more in the line of revenge, but the President had to be stopped. And of course, he was. Mueller knew this and we, or rather they, are terrified as to what else he might have told you.

GD: He never told me any of this.

RTC: But of course we don’t know that, do we? So the plan has been to gain your confidence, promise you much, get even closer to you and then find out if you have any papers or tapes on any of this, but especially the Kennedy business.

GD: And then they’ll shoot me.

RTC: Oh no, not that. With Critchfield in play, I told him that if any harm came to you, he would suffer terribly, so I doubt if anyone would shoot you. They would lie to you, con you, trick you and maybe break into your house and steal anything that might make trouble. Did you get anything from Mueller?

GD: Oh yes, much.

RTC: And safe? And by safe, I don’t mean cunningly hidden in the attic or cellar or, worse, in a local storage facility under your name. You know what I mean.

GD: Oh, I do indeed. I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday, Robert. Very safe.

RTC: After Mueller died, we talked to his widow and went through all his papers, but they were very thin and there were a lot of things missing that she had remembered seeing. Most important were documents with Mueller’s new name. I told you, they don’t know that name…

GD: But they know his wife, so they must know the name.

RTC: Good chap here, but he had a number of names and his married name was not the same as our cover. Anyway, old papers were missing and then after we found out about you and your friend Laegel, we became very concerned. Laegel died in ’66 and you had vanished into thin air.

GD: I went to Europe under a false identity. I have dozens of them.

RTC: Vanished and so on. And then the book. That got everyone’s bowels in a ferment, Gregory and that’s why Bill got a hold of you.

GD: But you got me earlier.

RTC: That was on another matter entirely, but fortunate for both of us in the end.

GD: All this over Kennedy?

RTC: Kennedy’s demise and our employment of the Gestapo head and some very sensitive things he knew and had been involved in. And what he might have told you and, most important, what he might have given to you such as papers, files or the like. You can understand why you began to hear from Tom Kimmel of the FBI and others, can’t you? And weren’t they so pleasant and jovial with you?

GD: Certainly.

RTC: Of course, they were. And invitations to come to Washington to talk at historical conferences where you met all kinds of interesting people. And how many of these nice, attentive people have asked you about what Mueller might have given to you, or told you about really interesting historical happenings?

GD: Kimmel and Andrew Grey…

RTC: Yes, one of ours. You obviously didn’t oblige them, but then they got Bob Wolfe into the act. A fellow historian with, very important for your future researches, access to government files.

GD: I always wondered why a professional Jew with strong ties to the Holocaust industry would be so smarmy with me. It figures.

RTC: And were you overwhelmed by the attention? By the free hotel rooms? By the dinners for you?

GD: I take what I can get, Robert.

RTC: And give?

GD: I give nothing, Robert, that I don’t want to give. Oh, yes, many little questions about Mueller and who he might have been and did I have his address in California and so on. But they knew where he was living after all.

RTC: They wanted to know what you knew. Kimmel told me, and Bill confirmed it and I learned myself first hand, that you can get on the phone and talk for three hours. Very interesting, very much in the know, but you never, ever let anything slip. This drives them all crazy, Gregory.

GD: Oh, yes, I am aware. For example, someone, whose name is not your business, would give me the name of a very sensitive government operation, and I mean very sensitive. But just the name and nothing else. I would casually drop it into a conversation with Wolfe, Andrew or Tom but just a drop, not a discussion. No response, of course. It was too new and too important for them to know about it. Then I would wait a few weeks and guess what? I would get a smarmy call from Wolfe, Andrew or Tom, or sometimes all three, with a query. Say, one or all of them would say, last week you mentioned Operation Bunghole. That’s really interesting because just yesterday someone was talking about it to me. What more do you know about it? I mean just between the two of us?

RTC: How did you get out from under that one?

GD: I would say, Oh yes, Operation Bunghole! Yes, well, it’s…oh, excuse me Robert, Andrew or Tom, but the UPS man is at the door with some packages and I have to get off. Let me get back to you on this. And of course I don’t and the next time they call on this, I say, Oh that thing. Such cold coffee. Let me tell you about the giant eagles we have around here. They just grabbed some small kid out of the parking lot and flew off with him! Is that what I should have done, Robert?

RTC: You are a very evil person, Gregory, causing so much trouble. I love it.

GD: But they obviously didn’t, did they?

RTC: No, you drove them crazy. Your natural arrogance coupled with the confusion you sowed among them has not made you a popular person.

GD: Good. Mueller would have loved it as much as we both do.

RTC: Well, that’s some background. You are beginning to get some of these people very annoyed.

GD: The Wolfe and Kimmel people?

RTC: No, the people they work for. There will, I think, be some intense efforts to get their hands on you. Someone said getting anything from you was like trying to pick up some mercury from a table top. You slide this way and that and nothing can be done. They know you have something, but just what is a mystery. Keep it that way, Gregory. It’s insurance. And on that subject, I have been going through all of my files and I am going to ship you some really interesting material. Some of it, as I promised, has to do with the Kennedy business, but the rest covers sundry other matters. I’m going to have my son ship these to you, because I am long past dragging heavy boxes to the post office. Now when you get these papers, be very sure to put them in a very safe place and tell no one about them. And here is more information for you. Do not trust your son in any way.

GD: Are you serious? My son?

RTC: Yes, because of the name. They can use his name at one point. I have to tell you this and I realize it may have an adverse effect on you, but it’s important. Bill told me that he has approached your son and offered him a job with the CIA.

GD: You really must be joking. He has no academic background and would never pass a security clearance.

RTC: It doesn’t matter. He has been offered a consultant job at forty thousand a year and has more or less accepted. Bill said he was more than willing to work with him, and through him, the Company. They want cooperation in the event you start to push them or they even suspect you are about to pull off their covers. He is not too friendly to you and, of course, the money matters. Once he served his purpose, naturally, the job would disconnect. Tell him nothing and never let him know that you got anything from me. If he quizzes you about your relationship with me or gets interested in specifics, be on your guard and do not trust him. I don’t say you should walk away from him, but just watch yourself.

GD: Not surprising. He’s clever but a coward and would never come at me from the front. But he has had so much trouble with the law such as having fake driver’s licenses, huge bills and the like that I doubt if any government agency would hire him if he used standard employment techniques. He never mentioned Bill or his offer and I did not know he had talked with Corson. He talked with Kimmel and Wolfe, but not Bill. Well, it’s a disappointment, considering what it cost me to raise him and pay his bills, but not a surprise. His favorite game is to knock up his girl friends, walk off and then expect me to pay for the abortion. Or the bill I knew nothing about. Or the car he ran into the week before. That sort of thing. He’s very clever, but totally amoral and I don’t trust him to the corner, Robert, but I thank you for the input. Now, I can stuff him with disinformation which, as it comes from the inside, just has to be right. I should be able to squeeze a few dollars out of the swine, if I play it right, and I can always find ways to get them after people I don’t like. I mean I can tell my kid that so and so has the papers and plans to blackmail Langley with them. Then we can read the paper about a terrible gas explosion or a car wreck somewhere, and another enemy is crisped.

RTC: Yes, well, you know the game.

GD: Of course I do. What did they say during our Glorious Revolution? Trust in God but keep your powder dry? Trust in no one, not even God, and keep your knife sharp. I don’t suppose you’d like to fill me in on your surprise?

RTC: Not on the phone, Gregory.

GD: They might be listening, but I doubt it. I’m using a special phone. But they might be listening to you. If they are, Wolfe, Andrew or Tom, kiss my royal ass.

RTC: Don’t do that, Gregory. They might.

 

(Concluded at 9:30 AM CST)

 

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

 

[1]  General Walter Bedell “Beetle” Smith GBE KCB (October 5, 1895 – August 9, 1961) was Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s Chief of Staff during Eisenhower’s tenure at SHAEF and Director of the CIA from 1950 to 1953. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1946 to 1948.

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