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TBR News December 19, 2018

Dec 19 2018

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

Washington, D.C. December 19, 2018:”Although it has not yet become public, the translation of certain Russian internal intelligence documents shows with great clarity the connections between President Trump and that agency and exactly why Trump behaves as he does. Also found in an attachment is a very lengthy, and very specific, accounting of Trump’s quasi-legal business dealings and his thoroughly illegal ones. The purpose of competent authority will be to force Trump to resign his high office rather than face certain prosecutions of a very serious nature. One waits, as they say, with baited breath for all of this to unfold in the public media.All of this has been known on the private one for some time.

 

  • Russia may have nuclear arms in Crimea, hacked EU cables warn
  • Instagram: from Facebook’s ‘best hope’ to Russian propaganda campaign tool
  • 150+ firms, incl Netflix & Spotify thrived on Facebook user data under secretive partnership – media 1
  • Facebook has built a Frankenstein’s monster. When will it admit that?
  • Facebook users cannot avoid location-based ads, investigation finds
  • Saudi outreach to Israel ‘faces setbacks’ after Khashoggi crisis
  • Why There Should Be No Exit from Brexit
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversation
  • List of CIA front organizations, domestic and foreign

 Russia may have nuclear arms in Crimea, hacked EU cables warn

Diplomatic messages describe annexed area of Ukraine as ‘hot zone’ and Trump as ‘bully’

December 19, 2018

by Daniel Boffey in Brussels

The Guardian

Brussels has launched an investigation into the apparent hacking of the EU’s diplomatic communications network after thousands of sensitive cables were made public, including descriptions of Donald Trump as a “bully” and Crimea as a “hot zone” where nuclear weapons may be present.

The dump of confidential cables on a public site laid bare the concerns of EU diplomats and officials over the Trump administration and its dealings with Russia and China.

Among the reports made public was a warning on 8 February that Crimea had been turned into a “hot zone where nuclear warheads might have already been deployed”.

Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian territory in 2014. In public, neither the EU nor the US has suggested there is any evidence of the presence of nuclear weapons.

The EU’s secretariat said in response to the first report of the leak in the New York Times that it was “aware of allegations regarding a potential leak of sensitive information” and was “actively investigating the issue”.

The European commission’s vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, a former prime minister of Latvia, said there was every “institution or country” was vulnerable to such attacks but he declined to comment on the leaks

Much of the content of the cables merely confirmed publicly stated worries in Brussels about the Trump administration, and the descent of the world’s rules-based order, but the security breach will be a major concern.

According to one note, European diplomats described July’s meeting in Finland between Trump and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as “successful (at least for Putin)”.

In a press conference after the meeting, Trump had gone off-script. He appeared to offer the Russians the opportunity to question US intelligence agents in exchange for US interrogation of Russians indicted by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is investigating claims of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Moscow.

According to a 20 July note, White House officials subsequently assured the EU that Trump’s agreement would be “nipped down”.

A second cable, detailing a discussion held on 16 July between European officials and Xi Jinping, quotes the Chinese president as comparing Trump’s “bullying” of his government over trade to a “no-rules freestyle boxing match”.

The account further quoted the Chinese president vowing that his country “would not submit to bullying” from the US, “even if a trade war hurt everybody”.

“China was not a backward country any more,” the European diplomat noted Xi as saying.

A cable in March quoted EU officials speaking of “messaging efforts” to mitigate “the negative attitude to the EU [of the Trump administration] in the beginning, which had created a lot of insecurity”.

Caroline Vicini, the deputy head of the EU mission in Washington, suggested that diplomats from member states continued to describe the US as “our most important partner”. The cable also recommended bypassing Trump by dealing with Congress.

The notes, covering three years of diplomatic activity, had apparently been posted online by hackers, where they were discovered by a security company called Area 1, who passed the information on to the New York Times.

The newspaper said the techniques deployed by the hackers resembled those used by a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army. The leaked cables, of which 1,100 were passed to the New York Times, were only ‘restricted’ documents, however, rather than the EU’s most secretive communications which are held on a different networ

The hackers are also said to have infiltrated the networks of the UN during the months in 2016 when North Korea was launching missiles. References are reportedly made to confidential meetings of the UN secretary general, António Guterres, with leaders in south-east Asia.

Blake Darche, co-founder of Area 1, said he believed that tens of thousands more such documents have been stolen. “We estimate that the ones we found are a small fraction of the overall operation,” he said. “From what we can see, the EU has a significant problem on their hands.”

 

Instagram: from Facebook’s ‘best hope’ to Russian propaganda campaign tool

The app was ‘perhaps the most effective platform’ for the Russian online propaganda campaign by the Internet Research Agency

December 18, 2018

by Julia Carrie Wong

The Guardian

This January, as Mark Zuckerberg was embarking on his quest to “fix” Facebook, one writer proposed a bold idea: make Facebook more like Instagram, “the Facebook-owned app that isn’t destabilizing society”. Instagram was no panacea, according to the New York Times tech columnist, but the downsides of the largely visual network – making “some of its users feel ugly and unpopular” – were insignificant compared with those of a highly politicized Facebook that could “undermine democracies and promote misinformation around the world”.

The idea that Instagram was a safe harbor for social media users in a sea of propaganda and political divisiveness caught on, both among users who didn’t realize the app was owned by scandal-ridden Facebook and with the tech press. An April Bloomberg Businessweek cover story framed Instagram as “Facebook’s best hope” and “Mark Zuckerberg’s way out of the latest data scandal”.

Even Elon Musk, who publicly ordered the deletion of Tesla’s and SpaceX’s Facebook pages amid the #DeleteFacebook Cambridge Analytica backlash, stamped Instagram with his imprimatur, tweeting that it was “probably OK” in his opinion, “so long as it stays fairly independent”.

But two new analyses of the Russian online propaganda campaign by the Internet Research Agency reveal that this view of Instagram was as rose-colored as, well, an artistically filtered Instagram post.

“Instagram was perhaps the most effective platform for the Internet Research Agency,” states the report by New Knowledge, an American cybersecurity firm which analyzed data sets from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

During the period studied by the report’s authors, IRA posts on Instagram garnered more than twice as many engagements (such as likes or comments) as IRA posts on Facebook – 187m on Instagram vs 77m on Facebook – despite the fact that Facebook offers many more ways for users to interact with content, and Instagram has no native “sharing” button to promote virality.

And as public awareness of inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Twitter increased in 2017, the IRA increased its activity on Instagram. In the six months following the US presidential election, the IRA’s activity on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube climbed (by between 45-84%), while activity on Instagram soared (by 238%), according to the second analysis, by researchers at the University of Oxford.

The IRA created dozens of Instagram accounts, each with a particular identity. The most successful, including @blackstagram_, @american.veterans, and @rainbow_nation_us had more than 100,000 followers apiece.

Like traditional Instagram influencers, these accounts were selling something, in some cases literally. Several of the accounts engaged in merchandising, according to New Knowledge, selling T-shirts, as well as “LGBT-positive sex toys and many variants of triptych and 5-panel artwork featuring traditionally conservative, patriotic themes”. The report suggests that selling products might have been a honey pot to extract more information – such as mailing addresses or phone numbers – from users.

While it’s impossible to pinpoint the effect these accounts may have had on the public, or on the election, it’s also impossible to ignore Instagram’s power to persuade. There’s a reason “Instagram influencer” is an actual career now.

Whether Facebook is prepared to confront this vulnerability is an open question. Since admitting that its platform was hijacked by the IRA, Facebook’s responses have largely glossed over Instagram. The platform was named only three times in the prepared testimony of Facebook’s general counsel, Colin Stretch, when he testified about the influence operation before the Senate in October 2017 – and never in a way that addressed the features of Instagram that distinguish it from Facebook.

Asked whether the company has plans to address propaganda on Instagram specifically, a Facebook spokesperson pointed to three previous blogposts on Russian propaganda that do not include any specific discussion of Instagram.

“Alongside Facebook, we’re continuously working to prevent election interference on Instagram,” an Instagram spokeswoman, Stephanie Noon, said in a statement. “We’ve repeatedly shared action we’ve taken against the IRA and other bad actors who are attempting to interfere with elections on the platform. It’s important to us that people trust the interactions they have on Instagram, and that’s why we’ll continue to focus on this area.”

If the company does attempt to address the particular vulnerabilities of Instagram, the team tasked with fixing it will be Facebook – not Instagram – grown. In September, Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger quit amid suspected conflicts with Mark Zuckerberg. Instagram is now led by Adam Mosseri, a longtime Facebook executive who was previously in charge of Facebook’s News Feed.

A Majority of Americans Don’t Know That Facebook Owns Instagram

And 45% Don’t Know That Google Owns YouTube

In the wake of news about Cambridge Analytica obtaining the personal data Facebook kept on 50 million Americans, #DeleteFacebook went viral. And, as our recent survey revealed, about 60 percent of Americans plan to share less information with Facebook and nearly 40 percent are now more likely to delete their Facebook accounts. But there’s one big problem: a majority of Americans don’t know that Facebook also owns Instagram.

We surveyed 1,153 random U.S. adults (not just DuckDuckGo users), who collectively are demographically similar to the general population of U.S. adults. Surveys were taken on Mar 26th and 27th, 2018.

We found that 56.90 percent (± 2.86%) of respondents were unaware that Facebook owns Instagram.

seen many disengage with Facebook in favor of Instagram, seemingly without realizing that the same company would be handling their personal data.

Quite simply, people who are unaware of the corporate parent ownership of Instagram and YouTube cannot make informed privacy decisions about using them. Facebook and Google amass huge data profiles about people, and can each combine Instagram or YouTube data into these profiles, respectively, further enabling hyper-targeting on their ad platforms.

Add to that the troves of data they’re already collecting on you through their massive tracker networks lurking behind most of the sites you visit, and the question then becomes what don’t they know about you instead of what do they know.

Bottom line: if you want to disengage fully with Facebook, you also need to disengage with Instagram, and also block Facebook’s web trackers.

Methodology

These results are based on the polling of a random sample of 1,153 American adults (18+) on March 26th and 27th, 2018 via SurveyMonkey’s Audience platform, which ensures the demographic make-up of respondents is representative.

 

150+ firms, incl Netflix & Spotify thrived on Facebook user data under secretive partnership – media 1

December 19. 2018

RT

Adding to a growing backlash against Facebook, a New York Times report detailed how the social media platform allowed unhindered access to users’ messages, email addresses and other data as part of deals with selected companies.

Large firms, including Netflix and Spotify, were given free rein to suck up data of millions of users a month, according to the NYT which reviewed over 270 pages of internal Facebook documents. It also interviewed over 50 former employees of Facebook and its partners. Most notably, users were never informed or asked for their consent.

Moreover, it turns out that Facebook had developed a special tool that enabled turning access to private data on and off – even if the user had already disabled sharing. As of 2017, more than 150 companies enjoyed this kind of no-questions-asked access under bilateral deals with Facebook which effectively allowed to firms to bypass the service’s updated privacy rules.

Some companies, including Sony, Microsoft and Amazon, were allowed to view users’ contacts through their friends. Others, like Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada, were able to read, write and delete users’ private messages and to see all participants on a thread. Even the Russian search giant Yandex has been listed. In 2017, it was apparently given access to Facebook users’ IDs, despite sharing of such data having been dropped for other “applications.”

According to the NYT, Bank of Canada brushed off the allegations, while Spotify and Netflix claimed they did not know of such broad powers in their hands.

The NYT report also sheds light on how Facebook shared data with over 60 manufacturers of mobile devices, with Apple being one of the most notable examples. In all, Apple mobile phones and tablets had access to contact numbers and calendar entries of people who had maximum privacy settings. Facebook also allowed Apple to hide all indications that its devices were retrieving data from users.

Steve Satterfield, who is Facebook director of privacy and public policy, claims users’ consent wasn’t needed for the partnerships because Facebook considered the partners extensions of itself. The NYT notes that unlike Europe, where tech firms have to abide by strict privacy regulations, US law leaves them free to monetize personal data as long as they don’t deceive users.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company had found “no evidence of abuse by its partners,” but there’s no evidence they were actually looking. Nevertheless, four former employees said some Facebook engineers believed privacy concerns hampered innovation and growth.

Facebook is up to its neck in scandals around the world as regulators wake up to the danger posed by a social networking monopoly acting unilaterally to enrich itself at the expense of users’ privacy. A new inquiry was opened earlier this year into Facebook’s compliance with the FTC decree, and the company is also being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department

 

Facebook has built a Frankenstein’s monster. When will it admit that?

In the wake of the latest highly critical reports into Facebook and Google, it’s time for the tech giants to relinquish their hold over our lives

December 19, 2018

by David Carroll

The Guardian

We need to do more.” This is the now standard refrain from big tech’s executives caught in yet another civil rights scandal or breathtaking data breach. Sometimes I wonder if they need to do less. Less invasive surveillance into our lives. Less PR-managed spin. Less dissembling before lawmakers. Less lobbying against regulation. Fewer reasons to quit, or wish you could quit.

This week marks the release of two reports commissioned by the Senate select committee on intelligence studying the special counsel-indicted Internet Research Agency’s digital influence campaign. Two groups of independent researchers analyzed data provided to Congress by Facebook, Google and Twitter and came to parallel conclusions. The report by New Knowledge with support from the intrepid researcher Jonathan Albright, who singlehandedly caught Facebook downplaying the scope and scale of the operation, offers clear evidence that the tech companies provided the absolute bare minimum of datasets necessary to study the attack. In particular, Facebook still refuses to disclose the conversion pathways of American users through its targeting and measurement systems, the very analytics it sells to advertisers to prove campaign effectiveness.

This would tell us with considerable precision just how many Americans were targeted and influenced by the hostile foreign operation. There is no evidence that votes were swayed because no control group experiments were conducted, but ample evidence indicates that people engaged deeply with the troll factory’s disinformation, were duped into attending false events, purchased bogus merchandise, and fell into kompromat traps where they divulged incriminating personal information to foreign agents impersonating fellow citizens.

A second report issued by the Computational Propaganda Group at the Oxford University Internet Institute independently corroborates the New Knowledge report, but offers rigorously analyzed details of the astonishing scale of Instagram “meme warfare” offering charts that show how that activity dwarfs the paid ads Facebook hoped we would dismiss and forget.

The OII’s report also helpfully maps the quantity and depth of engagement chronologically to key moments in the political cycle, furthering the evidence that Putin’s digital propaganda agency deliberately engaged in an agile campaign responsive to primary, debate and the news cycle itself. Indeed, big tech’s tools are explicitly designed to target and test on precise segmentations to sell ads for ski vacations and hair product alike while promising the advertiser it will eliminate the waste inherent in the advertising of the 20th century. The Kremlin used our US marketing machine as it was intended, to divide us into many different Americas useful for merchandising and eliminating wasted ad spending.

Facebook’s Chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, issued a statement in response to this week’s Senate intel committee reports. She appeared to be alarmed by how a hostile adversary had focused heavily on attacking the African American community and promised to “do more”.

She didn’t suggest that being able to target people by their political beliefs, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is a dangerous proposition and it is time to radically rethink how people can be micro-targeted on Facebook. She didn’t apologize for being many months late on rolling out a new privacy center to revamp controls to be in better compliance to European data protection laws and norms (GDPR) and the looming showdown in Washington DC over an adaptation of data privacy protections for the United States.

It’s clear that Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg believe they can maneuver their way around each scandal as it unfolds, whether it’s another catastrophic data breach (we also learned last week that millions of users had their private photos leaked to unknown third parties), an attack on our democracy, or systemic human rights crises. They can’t admit that they have built a Frankenstein monster.

Former students of mine work at Facebook and Google. For many who earn a master’s from the design and technology graduate program where I teach, Facebook and Google are the ultimate jobs to land. But after this tumultuous year of rethinking big tech, I wonder if these jobs will remain the most coveted careers, despite the inescapable dominance of this duopoly in most people’s lives.

Attitudes have profoundly shifted in a short period of time, evidenced by the reactions to the parade of scandals that have emerged from Silicon Valley over the course of 2018. The industry itself prefers to gather data (or analytics, in their speak) to conduct surveillance on our behavior rather than survey what the press and our social media chatter indicates (“enough is enough”).

To them, people say they want their privacy back and greater competition in the technology industry but we act otherwise. We still use these platforms, enjoying the conveniences only having to switch between as many apps as we have fingers on one hand to do our daily lives online. We may want to explore alternatives, but do any really exist?

 

Facebook users cannot avoid location-based ads, investigation finds

No combination of settings can stop location data being used by advertisers, says report

December 19, 2018

by Alex Hern

The Guardian

Facebook targets users with location-based adverts even if they block the company from accessing GPS on their phones, turn off location history in the app, hide their work location on their profile and never use the company’s “check in” feature, according to an investigation published this week.

There is no combination of settings that users can enable to prevent their location data from being used by advertisers to target them, according to the privacy researcher Aleksandra Korolova. “Taken together,” Korolova says, “Facebook creates an illusion of control rather than giving actual control over location-related ad targeting, which can lead to real harm.”

Facebook users can control to an extent how much information they give the company about their location. At the most revealing end, users may be happy to enable “location services” for Facebook, allowing their iPhone to provide ultra-precise location data to the company, or they may “check in” to shops, restaurants and theatres, telling the social network where they are on a sporadic basis.

But while users can decide to give more information to Facebook, Korolova revealed they cannot decide to stop the social network knowing where they are altogether nor can they stop it selling the ability to advertise based on that knowledge.

Despite going to as much trouble as possible to minimise the location data received by the social network, the researcher wrote, “Facebook showed me ads targeted at ‘people who live near Santa Monica’ (which is where I live) or ‘people who live or were recently near Los Angeles’ (which is where I work). Moreover, I have noticed that whenever I travel for work or pleasure, Facebook continues to keep track of my location and use it for advertising: a trip to Glacier national park resulted in an ad for activities in Whitefish, Montana; a trip to Cambridge, MA, in an ad for a business there; and a visit to Herzliya, Israel, in an ad for a business there.

“Some of the explanations by Facebook for why I am seeing a particular ad even mention specifically that I am seeing the ad because I was ‘recently near their business’.”

The experience was mirrored by the Guardian reporter Julia Carrie Wong, who discovered in April that the site “knows that I took reporting trips to Montana and Seattle and San Diego, despite the fact that I have never allowed it to track me by GPS”.

Facebook tells advertisers that it learns user locations from the IP address, wifi and Bluetooth data, Korolova says.

In its pitch to advertisers, Facebook says: “Local awareness ads were built with privacy in mind […] People have control over the recent location information they share with Facebook and will only see ads based on their recent location if location services are enabled on their phone.” Korolova says her findings show that “this claim is false”.

The academic argues that Facebook needs to offer the ability to opt out of location use entirely, “or, at the very least, an ability to meaningfully specify the granularity of its use and exclude particular areas from being used”.

In 2015, according to leaked emails published by the UK parliament, the team behind a particular version of location-based advertising, which used Bluetooth “beacons” to track users’ shopping habits without resorting to uploading GPS data, was particularly concerned about appearing “scary”.

“We’re still in a precarious position of scaling without freaking people out,” wrote a Facebook product manager in charge of the location-tracking technology. “If a negative meme were to develop around Facebook Bluetooth beacons, businesses could become reticent to accept them from us.”

Facebook said in a statement: “Facebook does not use wifi data to determine your location for ads if you have location services turned off. We do use IP and other information such as check-ins and current city from your profile. We explain this to people, including in our Privacy Basics site and on the About Facebook Ads site.”

 

Saudi outreach to Israel ‘faces setbacks’ after Khashoggi crisis

WSJ says Saudi effort to forge ties with Israel is faltering after crown prince was implicated in journalist’s murder.

December 19, 2018

Al Jazeera

A covert US-backed initiative to improve ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel is facing setbacks after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and two of his aides were implicated in a journalist’s killing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Prince Mohammed, whom the US Senate blamed for Jamal Khashoggi’s killing in October, spearheaded the outreach to Israel, a longtime foe, the Journal said in a report on Tuesday.

But the global outcry over Khashoggi’s murder in October and fallout within the royal court has diminished the prince’s influence and dampened Saudi Arabia’s appetite for risky foreign policy endeavours, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

“Things have definitely cooled off right after Khashoggi’s murder,” a senior Saudi government official told the Journal.

“The last thing the kingdom wants is for this to come out now and cause another backlash.”

Saudi Arabia does not officially recognise Israel and King Salman, who has taken a more active role in government in the aftermath of the Khashoggi crisis, recently described resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict as the kingdom’s “foremost priority” in the region.

The effort to improve Riyadh’s ties with Israel was also hindered, the Journal reported, when two close advisers to Prince Mohammed lost their jobs over their suspected role in Khashoggi’s murder.

The two aides, former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri played key roles in behind-the-scenes contact between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the Journal said, citing people familiar with their work.

Al-Qahtani issued directives to the Saudi press to help soften Israel’s image and was also involved in the kingdom’s purchase of advanced surveillance technology from Israeli firms, the Journal said, citing unnamed Saudi officials.

Meanwhile, al-Assiri, al-Qahtani’s subordinate, secretly travelled to Israel several times to discuss how Saudi Arabia could benefit from Israeli technology, according to the Journal.

That would make him the most senior Saudi official known to have reportedly set foot in the country.

Despite the setback, the Saudis and Israelis were likely to continue building ties in secret, the Journal said, because of shared business and security interests.

It added that the Saudi government has been considering an investment of at least $100m in various Israeli technology companies and begun issuing a special waiver to Israeli businessmen allowing them to travel to the kingdom on special documents, without using their Israeli passports.

 

Why There Should Be No Exit from Brexit

Brexit has plunged British politics into a state of chaos. Will the country now choose to remain in the European Union? The odds of that happening are rising, but it wouldn’t be a good idea — neither for Britain nor for the EU. December 13, 2018

A Commentary by Markus Becker

Der Spiegel

For two years, the British government has been negotiating the terms of its withdrawal with the European Commission, and now Prime Minister Theresa May is unable to secure a majority for that deal in parliament. The more chaotic things get in London, the more tempting it will become for the country to exit from Brexit through the emergency door the European Court of Justice unlocked on Monday when it declared that the British government could unilaterally move to revoke Article 50. A second referendum that would provide democratic legitimacy to that step seems increasingly likely.

But such a move could potentially have graver consequences than an orderly Brexit — both for Britain and the EU.

A Possible Boost for the EU’s Foes

There’s a good and perhaps even compelling argument for a second referendum: Now that a deal with the EU is on the table, voters would at least finally know what it is they were voting on. In the first referendum in June 2016, that wasn’t even remotely the case.

But the campaign ahead of a second referendum would in all likelihood be even more xenophobic and hate-filled than the first. That could in turn produce a British society that is even more divided than it already is today, particularly given that recent polls show the pro-EU camp winning a second referendum by a narrow margin. This time, however, it is likely that the losers would be even angrier and more disappointed than the losers of the first vote. Many would feel that their long-desired Brexit had been stolen from them and would turn away from democracy in frustration. It would provide a significant boost to anti-European right-wing populists.

And this would lead to problem No. 2: Such an outcome would also be uncomfortable for the rest of the EU. The European bloc is currently desperately seeking to find common ground on important policy areas including economic and monetary union, defense and immigration. A Britain that is hopelessly divided on domestic policy could cause significant damage were it still an EU member state.

A Divided Britain Would Be a Difficult EU Partner

EU-hostile media and right-wing populists have been going after British governments since long before the Brexit referendum. One can only imagine what they might do if the Brexit they fought for with almost religious fervor were to be reversed. The British government would surely face massive resistance each time it took a step toward deeper integration with the EU.

Of course, the idea that British political clowns like Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg might receive their comeuppance in a second referendum is certainly tempting to some in the EU, as is the prospect of keeping a major country like Britain in the club. But it would be better for all concerned if the country first spent a few years outside the union.

There is almost nothing to suggest at the moment that these years would be pleasant. Britain would hardly have much of a voice amid the large power blocs of the United States, China and the EU. Furthermore, if Britain were to ultimately accept the EU deal, it would still be years before the country was allowed to negotiate trade deals of its own — and those treaties would take several more years to finalize. It seems unlikely that the British would be able to secure more favorable conditions than the much larger EU.

In the best-case scenario, Britain would then apply to rejoin the EU — after coming to the realization that not everything about the EU is bad and that Britain itself is no longer a world power.

That, though, is a conclusion that a large majority of the the British voters have to arrive at themselves. As the experiences of the past two years have shown, they’re not there yet.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

December 19, 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. 29

Date: Tuesday July 30, 1996

Commenced: 8:30 AM CST

Concluded: 8:55 AM CST

GD: Good morning, Robert.

RTC: And the same to you, Gregory.

GD: Robert, I know you were not in the CIA’s technical branch but I often wonder when I am on the phone, am I being listened to?

RTC: You don’t have to be from the technical people to know the answer to that one. It’s not so much that you are being snooped on but that you can be observed by almost anyone at any time. We listened in on people and opened mail. That’s the reason why Jim was sacked but that was only an excuse. He was getting crazy. But as far as the telephone is concerned, yes, you could be listened to at any time. It’s not a bug on your phone so much as full and complete cooperation by the telephone people with various agencies. We did it, the FBI and the NSA do it and probably others as well. Your mail can be opened, addresses copied and so on. For instance, if you have a private Swiss bank account, we have the postal people copy down and forward to us the cover of any letter sent by a Swiss bank to an American addressee. We don’t have to open the letter to know it’s a monthly bank statement. And then we know where your account is. And the NSA listened in on each and every phone call overseas. You see, they tap into the communications satellites. Of course there are huge numbers of calls every day so their computers are set to pick out certain words. Like Abu Nidal for instance. Once a key word comes up, the conversation is taped and listened to later.

GD: And the television sets can be used as a monitoring device but only if they’re connected to the cable TV system.

RTC: I’ve heard that but then I rarely watch the garbage on television.

GD: You can circumvent that simply by disconnecting your set from the cable system. Just take out the plug. Put it back later. Or, what I would do, would be to hold a really sizzling but totally fake disinformation conversation right in front of the set. You know…’the Russians really pay well for that information…’ and also ‘ yes the entire building has been mined. One push of a button and we can make the front pages of every newspaper in the world.’ Can you imagine the uproar on the other end? Of course you never are specific and just enough to drive them into a frenzy. I’ve done this a number of times but only twice did I ever find out what a huge stink I caused. Loved it then and I love it now.  Oh yes, Bill told me the other day that he saved Bobby Inman 1.from exposure once. When I asked him from what, he shut down. Can you comment on this?

RTC: Probably the homosexual issue. They are very sensitive to that one.

GD: Why? And is Inman a faggot?

RTC: Now, now, I’ll let Bill discuss this with you. My information would only be second hand. And it has been long felt that if an agent were a fairy, he could be gotten at by the Russians and blackmailed or set up and turned.

GD: Well, that makes sense but there are so many people like that in DC that it would be difficult not to find a few in various agencies. I think it must be the military bases with their legions of muscled hustlers that draws these people. And the, of course, one gets into an agency and of course has to have company.

RTC: Yes. The Jews are the same way. You let one in and pretty soon, the office looks like a synagogue. And it’s always us against them. The same way with the fairies. That’s the main reason why I object to having them on board.

GD: But the problem with Inman….

RTC: Back in 1980 there was a fairy scare over at NSA. Real McCarthy purges, finger pointing, anonymous letters and so on. A number of the top brass there were scared shitless lest they, too, got exposed. Bill knows some of this and he has known Inman for a long time. There was an ugly incident when he was in law school. I was told that Bill was able to shut the matter down. That is one of the reasons Bill has such good rapport in certain circles.

GD: He’s blackmailing them?

RTC: In a sense. During the Carter days, Bill could pretty well get what he wanted from certain highly placed intelligence people. I think I should leave it at that, Gregory. Talk to Bill about this if you like but I doubt he’ll tell you anything and, yes, you are right. Washington is indeed full of those people. A lot in Congress, the military, especially the Air Force and various agencies. The FBI is rather picky but we and NSA have quite a few queers on board. The NSG has more than its share. And if you go into some of the faggot bars here, you might see a number of the prominent dancing around in mesh stockings and wearing really bad wigs.

GD: Oh, I’ve seen these in San Francisco. The wigs look like dead cats. They don’t look any more like women than my dog but who argues with self-delusion? Five kids and a wife at home and into the lavatories with the holes in the partitions after work. During the week, his name is George but on Saturdays, his name is Phyllis.

RTC: (Laughter) Yes, we are overrun here.

GD: Well, at least you can’t dump that one on Clinton although God knows that the weird Christian freaks might try. My God, they hate him and as far as I am concerned, these bone headed twits are far worse than the queens. They believe in the strangest things and are really obnoxious swine. They believe the world is only six thousand years old, that Noah’s ark came to ground at 5,000 feet on a mountain side and God only knows what other myths. I mean, Robert, if another religious cult arose that worshipped the Easter Bunny, it wouldn’t any more unbelievable than the Evangelicals. By the way, did you know that Crisco’s main production plant in New Jersey burned down last night? Yes. Millions now living will never fry.

RTC: (Laughter) Ah, Gregory, I can see why so many hate you so much.

GD: Well, one day, it will come out that Heini Mueller, head of the Gestapo and number two man on the wanted Nazi escapee list was living right near you and visiting the White House.

RTC: We may have to wait a while before that gets to be public knowledge. My God, the Hebes would scream so loud we would have to stuff hundred dollar bills into their mouths like a mama bird shoving worms into her babies. They are such arrogant and demanding people.

GD: Yes, God’s chosen people, Robert. I wonder what God chose them for? Probably to wait in line for the showers somewhere in Poland.

RTC: If that’s true, Gregory, God should have finished the job.

(Concluded at 8:55 AM CST)

  1. Admiral Bobby Ray Inman (April 4, 1931 in Rhonesboro, Texas) is a retired United States admiral who held several influential positions in the U.S. Intelligence community. He served as Director of Naval Intelligence from September 1974 to July 1976, then moved to the Defense Intelligence Agency where he served as Vice Director until 1977. He next became the Director of the National Security Agency. Inman held this post until 1981. His last major position was as the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a post he held from February 12, 1981 to June 10, 1982.

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

 

List of CIA front organizations, domestic and foreign

  • AALC, see Afro-American Labor Center
  • A.P.I. Distributors, Inc.
  • Actus Technology
  • ADEP, see Popular Democratic Action
  • Advertising Center, Inc.
  • Aero Associates
  • Aero Service Corp. of Philadelphia
  • Aero Systems, Inc
  • Aero Systems Pvt. Ltd
  • AFME, (see American Friends of the Middle East)
  • African-American Institute
  • Agencia Orbe Latinoamericano
  • Agribusiness Development, Inc.
  • AID (Agency for International Development – shared facilities with NIA)
  • Air America
  • Air Asia
  • Air Proprietary Company
  • All Ceylon Youth Council Movement
  • Alliance for Anti-totalitarian Education
  • American Committee for Liberation (of Cuba)
  • American Committee on a United Europe
  • America Fore Insurance Group
  • American Association of the Middle East
  • American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, Inc.
  • American Committee for the Liberation of the People of Russia
  • American Committee for the International Commission of Jurists
  • American Council of Churches
  • American Economic Foundation
  • American Federation for Fundemental Research
  • American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL/CIO)
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • American Foundation for the Middle East
  • American Friends of the Middle East
  • American Friends of the Russian Freedom
  • American Friends Service Committee
  • American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees
  • American Fund For Free Jurists
  • American Geographic Society
  • American Historical Society
  • American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD)
  • American Institute of Cairo
  • American Machine & Foundry
  • American Mutual Insurance Company
  • American Newspaper Guild
  • American Newspaper Publishers
  • American Political Science Association
  • American Research Center in Egypt, Inc.
  • Anderson Security Associates (Virginia)
  • American Society of African Culture
  • American University – Special Operations Research Office
  • Ames Research Center
  • M.D. Anderson Foundation
  • ANSA (Italian Wire Service)
  • Antell, Wright & Nagel
  • Anti-Communist Christian Front
  • Anti-Communist Liberation Movement
  • Anti-Totalitarian Board of Solidarity with the People of Vietnam
  • Anti-Totalitarian Youth movement
  • Appalachian Fund
  • Armairco
  • Area Tourist Association
  • Arbian-American Oil Company
  • Arnim Proprietary, Ltd
  • Arrow Air
  • Ashland Oil and Refining Company
  • Asia Foundation
  • Association American Oriental Society
  • Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)
  • Association of American Geographers
  • Association of Computing Machinery
  • Association of Friends of Venezuela
  • Association of Preparatory Students
  • Atomics, Physics & Science Fund, Inc.
  • Atwater Research Program in North Africa
  • Audio Intelligence Devices, Inc.
  • Australian Association for Cultural Freedom
  • Assoziation ungarischer Studenten in Nordamerika
  • AXA Financial Center

 

 

  • B.R. Fox Laboratories (B.R. Fox Company)
  • Bahamas Commonwealth Bank
  • Bank of Lisle
  • Ball, Janik, and Novack
  • Bankers Trust Company
  • Basic Resources
  • Battelle Memorial Institute
  • Beacon Fund (West)
  • Berliner Verein (West)
  • Berliner Verein zur Forderung der Publizistik in Entwicklungslandern
  • Bird Air
  • Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham and Wong
  • Blythe & Company, Inc
  • Boni, Watkins, Jason & Company
  • Brazilian Institute for Democratic Action (IBAD)
  • BRS Holding Company
  • Broad and High Foundation
  • J. Frederick Brown Foundation
  • Bruce Campbell and Company
  • Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND)
  • Burndy Corporation
  • Burgerkomitee fur Außenpolitik (SS)
  • Butte Pipe Line Company

 

 

  • Cahill, Gordon, Reindel & Ohl
  • Cahill & Wilinski
  • Caramar (Caribbean Marine Aero Corp)
  • California Shipbuilding Corporation
  • Caribban Marine Area Corporation
  • Caspian Pipeline Consortium
  • Castle Bank and Trust
  • Catherwood Foundation
  • (CRESS) Center for Strategic Studies
  • (CEAS) CEOSL,( see Ecuadorean Confederation of Free Trade Union Organizations)
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Center of Studies and Social Action
  • Central Investigative Agency
  • Century Special (controled by ICC)
  • Chalk’s International Airlines
  • Chesapeake Foundation
  • Church League of America
  • Civil Air Transport
  • Civilian Irregular Defense Group
  • Civilian Military Assistance
  • Clothing and Textiles Workers Union COG, (see Guayana Workers Confederation)
  • CMI Investments
  • Coastal Products
  • Coastal Trade Unions Cross, Murphy and Smith
  • Cocke and Phillips International
  • Columbian Financial Development Company
  • Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Company
  • Committee for Free Albania
  • Committee for the Defense of National Interests
  • Committee for Liberty of Peoples
  • Committee of One Million Against the Admission of Communist China to the United Nations
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  • Community Congress for Cultural Freedom
  • Combat Military Ordinances Ltd.
  • Computerized Thermal Imaging, Inc.
  • Confederation for an Independent Poland
  • Conference of the Atlantic
  • Continental Press
  • Continental Shelf Explorations, Inc.
  • Cooperative League of America
  • Coordinating Committee of Free Trade Unionists of Ecuador
  • Coordinating Secretariat of National Unions of Students (cosec), see International Student Conference (ISC)
  • Corporate Air Services
  • Cosden Petroleum Corporation
  • COSECOIN (Corporate Security Consultants International )
  • Council on Economic and Cultural Affairs, Inc
  • Council of Foreign Relations
  • Cox, Langford, Stoddard & Cutler
  • CRC, (see Cuban Revolutionary Council)
  • Crest Detective Agency (Santa Monica)
  • CROCLE, see Regional Confederation of Ecuadoreas
  • Crossroads of Africa
  • Crusade for Freedom
  • Cryogenics, Inc.
  • CSU, see Urugayan Labor Conference
  • CTM, see Mexican Worker Confederation
  • Cuban Portland Cement Company
  • Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC, Cuban Exile)
  • Cummings and Seller
  • Curtis Publishing Company
  • CUT, see Uruguayan Confederation of Workers

 

 

  • Daddario & Burns
  • Dane Aviation Supply
  • Debevoise, Plimpton, Lyons & Gates (West)
  • Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA
  • Defense Services, Inc
  • Defense Systems, International
  • Dektor Counterinteligence (Virginia)
  • Deutscher Kunstlerbund
  • Dominion Rubber Company
  • Double-Check Corporation
  • DRE, see Revolutionary Student Directorate in Exile

 

 

  • Eagle Aviation Technology and Services
  • Eagleton Institute of Politics – Princeton University East Asian Institute
  • East-West Center
  • EATSCO (the Egyptian American Transport and Service Company)
  • EC (see also EC varients, PGES, Granville Road Company, Idaho Power Systems, Coastal Products, Fouch Electric, Linnco Electric, and law firm of Ball, Janik, and Novak)
  • EC Company
  • EC Distributing
  • EC Engineering
  • EC Pulp and Paper
  • EC Technical Services
  • EC Voice and Data
  • Ecuadorean Anti-Communist Action
  • Ecuadorean Anti-Communist Front
  • Ecuadorean Confederation of Free Trade Union Organizations (CEOSL)
  • Ecuadorean Federation of Telecommunications Workers (FENETEL)
  • Editors Press Service
  • Edsel Fund
  • Electrical Construction
  • Electrical Contractors
  • Electrical Contractors of Oregon
  • Electric Storage Battery Company
  • El Gheden Mining Corporation
  • Encounter Magazine
  • End Kadhmir Dispute Committee
  • Energy Resources
  • Ensayos
  • ERC International, Inc.
  • ESI Electronic Specialties, Inc.
  • Enstnischer Nationalrat
  • Enstnischer Weltzentralrat
  • Estrella Company
  • Europe Assembly of Captive Nations
  • Evergreen International Air
  • Exeter Banking Company

 

  • Fairfield Aviation
  • Farfield Foundation, Inc.
  • Federal League for Ruralist Action (Ruralistas)
  • Federation for a Democratic Germany in Free Europe
  • Fed. Inte. des Journalistes de Tourisme
  • FENETEL, see Ecuadorean Federation of Telecommunications Workers
  • Fidelity Reporting Service
  • Fiduciary Trust
  • First Florida Resource Corporation
  • Food, Drink and Plantation Workers Union
  • Ford Foundation
  • Foreign Broadcast Information
  • Foreign News Service
  • Foreign Press Association B.C
  • Forest Products, Ltd.
  • “Forum” (Wein)
  • Fouch Electric
  • Foundation for International and Social Behavior
  • Foundation for Student Affairs
  • Franklin Broadcasting Company
  • Free Africa Organization of Colored People
  • Free Europe Committee, Inc
  • Free Europe Exile Relations
  • Free Europe Press Division
  • Freie Universitat (FU)
  • Frente Departmental de Compensinos de Puno
  • Fund For Peace
  • Fund for International, Social and Economic Development

 

 

 

  • Gambia National Youth Council
  • GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company)
  • Geneva’s Exchange and Investment Bank
  • Geological Society of America
  • George L. Barnes & Associates (Los Angeles)
  • Georgia Council on Human Relations
  • Gibralter Steamship Corp
  • Global Financial
  • Global International Airways
  • Glore, Forgan & Company
  • Golden West Airlines
  • Goldstein, Judd & Gurfein
  • Gotham Foundation
  • Government Affairs Institute
  • Grace Capital
  • W.R. Grace and Company
  • Grandville Road Company
  • Gray and Company
  • Granary Fund
  • Great American Banks
  • Grey Advertising Agency
  • Gulf Stream, Ltd.
  • Gulf Oil Corporation
  • Guyana Workers Confederation (COG)

 

 

  • Andrew Hamilton Fund
  • Heights Fund
  • Joshua Hendy Iron Works
  • Hercules Research Corporation
  • Hierax
  • Hill & Knowlton
  • Himalayan Convention
  • Histadrut – The Federation of Labor in Israel
  • Hiwar
  • Hoblitzelle Foundation
  • Hodson Corporation
  • Hogan & Hartson, legal firm (Edward Bennett Williams firm)
  • Hoover Institute on War, Revolution and Peace
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Hutchins Advertising Company of Canada
  • Huyck Corporation

 

  • IBAD, see Brazilian Institute for Democratic Action
  • IBM (International Business Machines)
  • ICC (International Controls Corp )
  • Idaho Power Systems
  • Impossible Electronic Techniques (Russiaville, In.)
  • Independence Foundation
  • Independent Research Service
  • Industrial Research Service
  • Information Security International Inc.
  • Institut zur Erforschung der USSR e.V.
  • Institute Battelle Memorial
  • Institute of Historical Review
  • Institute of International Education
  • Institute of International Labor Research Education
  • Institute of Political Education
  • Institute of Public Administration
  • Inter-American Capital
  • Intermountain Aviation
  • Inter-Probe, Inc.
  • Interarmco (International Armament Corp.)
  • Intercontinental Industries
  • Intercontinental Finance Corporation
  • Intercontinental Research Corporation
  • Intermountain Aviation
  • International-American Center of Economic and Social Studies
  • International-American Federation of Journalists
  • International-American Federation of Working Newspapermen (IFWN)
  • International-American Labor College
  • International-American Police Academy, (see International Police Academy)
  • International-American Regional Labor Organization (ORIT)
  • International Armament Corporation (INTERARMCO) International Air Tours of Nigeria
  • International Bancorp, Ltd
  • International Business Communications
  • International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (IFCTU)
  • International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
  • International Cooperation Administration (ICA)
  • International Credit Bank of Switzerland
  • International Development Foundation, Inc.
  • International Fact Finding Institute
  • International Federation of Christian Trade Unions IFCTU, (see World Confederation of Labor)
  • International Federation of Journalists
  • International Federation of Petroleum and Chemical Workers (IFPCW)
  • International Federation of Plantation, Agriculture and Allied Workers (IFPAAW)
  • International Federation of Women Lawyers (IFWL)
  • International Geographical Union
  • International Investigators, Inc.
  • International Journalists Conference
  • International Labor Research Institute
  • International Press Institute
  • International Rescue Committee
  • International Police Services (INPOLSE)
  • International Secretatiate of the Pax Romana
  • International Student Conference (ISC)
  • International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (ITT)
  • International Trade Services
  • International Trade Secretariats
  • International Trading and Investment Guaranty Corp., Ltd.,
  • International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)
  • International Union Officials Trade Organizations
  • International Union of Young Christian Democrats
  • International Youth Center
  • Internationale Federation der Mittel- und Osteuropas
  • Internationale Organization zur Erforschung kommunistischer Methoden
  • Internationaler Bund freier Journalisten
  • Internationales Hilfskomitee
  • Intertel (International Intelligence Incorporated)
  • IOS (Investor’s Overseas Services)
  • ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph)

 

 

  • Japan Cultural Forum
  • John P. Muldoon Detective Agency
  • Joseph Z. Taylor & Associates Kenyon Electronics

 

  • KAMI
  • Kaplan Fund, Inc.
  • Kennedy & Sinclaire, Inc.
  • Kentfield Fund J.M.
  • Kenya Federation of Labour
  • Khmer Airlines
  • Kilmory Investments, Ltd
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Komittee fur internationale Beziehungen
  • Komittee fur Selbstbestimmung
  • Komittee fur die Unabhangigkeit des Kaukasus
  • Korean C.I.A.
  • Korean Freedom and Cultural Foundation, Inc.

 

 

 

  • Labor Committee for Democratic Action
  • Lake Resources
  • Law Enforcement Assistance Administration
  • Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit
  • Lawyer’s Constitutional Defense Committee
  • League for Industrial Democracy
  • League for International Social and Cooperative Development
  • Ligue de la Liberte
  • Linking Progressive Corp., S.A.
  • Linnco Electric
  • Litton Industrial Company
  • London American

 

  • Management Safeguards, Inc.
  • Manhattan Coffee Company
  • Maritime Support Unit
  • Marconi Telegraph-Cable Company
  • Marshall Foundation, Center for International Studies (MIT-CIS)
  • Martin Marietta Company
  • Mathieson Chemical Corporation
  • McCann-Erikson, Inc.
  • Megadyne Electronics
  • Mercantile Bank and Trust Company
  • Merex
  • Meridian Arms
  • Charles E. Merrill Trust
  • Mexican Workers Confederation (CTM)
  • Military Armaments Corp.
  • Miner & Associates
  • Mineral Carriers, Ltd.
  • MITRE Corporation
  • Mobil Oil Company
  • Molden-Verlag
  • Monroe Fund
  • Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc.
  • Moral Majority Moral Rearmament Movement
  • Mount Pleasant Trust
  • Movement for Integrated University Action
  • Robert Mullen Company
  • Narodno Trudouoj Sojus (NTS)
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Board for Defense of Sovereignty and Continental Solidarity
  • National Catholic Action Board
  • National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse
  • National Council of Churches
  • National Defense Front
  • National Educational Films, Inc.
  • National Education Association
  • National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty
  • National Federation of Petroleum and Chemical Workers of Ecuador
  • National Feminist Movement for the Defense of Uruguay
  • National Intelligence Academy,
  • National Railways Security Bureau, Inc
  • National Research Council
  • National Student Association
  • National Student Press Council of India
  • National Union of Journalists of Ecuador
  • Newsweek
  • New York Times
  • Norman Fund
  • Norman Jaspan Associates
  • North American Rockwell Corporation
  • North American Uranium, Inc
  • Norwich Pharmaceutical Company
  • Nugan Fruit Group
  • Nugan Hand Bank

 

 

  • Oceanic Cargo
  • Oil Workers International Union
  • Omni Spectra, Inc. (Tempe, Az.)
  • Operations and Policy Research, Inc.
  • Orange Spot
  • Organix. Ukrainischer Nationalisten (OUN)
  • ORIT, (see International-American Regional Labor Organization)
  • Overseas New Agency
  • Overseas Southeast Asia Supply Company

 

  • Pacific Corporation
  • Pacific Life Insurance
  • Paderewski Foundation
  • PAMCO (Pacific Aircraft Maintenance Company)
  • Pan-American Foundation
  • Pan Aviation
  • Pappss Charitable Trust
  • Parvus
  • Jere Patterson & Associates
  • Pax Romana
  • Peace and Freedom
  • Penobscot Land & Investment Company
  • Phoenix Financial
  • Plant Protection, Inc.
  • Plenary of Democratic Civil Organizations of Uruguay
  • Pope & Ballard
  • Popular Democratic Action (ADEP)
  • Press Institute of India
  • Price Fund
  • Project Democracy
  • Property Resources, Ltd.
  • Public Service International (PSI)
  • Publisher’s Council

 

  • Rabb Charitable Foundation
  • Radio Americas
  • Radio Free Europe
  • Radio Free Asia
  • Radio Liberty
  • Radio Liberty Committee, Inc.
  • Radio Liberation
  • Radio Swan
  • Rand Corporation
  • Rapid-American Corp.
  • Red Pearl Bay, S.A.
  • Regional Confederation of Ecuadorean Coastal Trade Unions (CROCLE)
  • Republican National Committee (RNC)
  • Research Foundation for Foreign Affairs
  • Resorts International (Parent of Intertel)
  • Retail Clerk’s International Association
  • Revolutionary Democratic Front (RFD, Cuban exile)
  • Reynolds Metal Company
  • Robert A. Maheu Associates
  • Robert R. Mullen Company
  • Rubicon Foundation
  • Rumanisches Nationalkomitee
  • Russian and East European Institute
  • Russian Institute
  • Russian Research Center

 

 

  • Safir
  • Saman
  • San Jacinto Foundation
  • San Miguel Fund
  • SBONR
  • SECOIN (Security Consultants International)
  • Sentinels of Liberty
  • Sheffield Edwards & Associates (Virginia)
  • Shenandoah Airleasing
  • SIONICS
  • Southern Air Transport Spectre Security Products (Orange, Ca)
  • Sith & Company
  • Social Christian Movement of Ecuador
  • Sociedade Anomima de Radio Retransmissao (RARETSA)
  • Society for Defense of Freedom in Asia
  • SODECO (Sakhalin Oil Development Cooperation Co)
  • SODIMAC Southern Air Transport
  • St. Lucia Airways
  • Standard Commerz Bank of Switzerland
  • Standard Electronics, Inc.
  • Standish Ayer & McKay, Inc.
  • Stanford Technology Trading Group International (STTGI)
  • Strauss Fund
  • Sterling Chemical Co.
  • Streamlight, Inc. (King of Prussia, Pa.)
  • Student Movement for Democratic Action
  • Sur International
  • Sullivan & Cromwell
  • Summit Aviation
  • Sylvania Electric Products, Inc.
  • Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Outside of Russia
  • Systems Development Corporation

 

 

  • Tarantel Press
  • Tetra Tech International
  • Thai-Pacific Services Company
  • The Aquatic Club
  • The Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant
  • The Broyhill Building (Arlington, VA)
  • The Law Association for Asia and the Western Pacific
  • The Second National Bank of Homstead (Florida)
  • The Texas Tavern
  • The Washington Monthly
  • The World Finance Corporation
  • Tibet Convention
  • Time Magazine
  • Tower Fund
  • Tractron (Vienna, Va.)
  • Trade Winds Motel
  • Transmaritania
  • Trident Bank
  • Twentieth Century Fund

 

 

  • Udall Corp.
  • Unabhangiger Forschugsdienst
  • Ungarischer Nationalrat
  • United Fruit Company
  • United States Youth Council
  • United Ukrainian American Relief Committee
  • Universal Service Corporation
  • Untersuchungsausschub freiheitlicher Juristen (UfJ)
  • Uruguayan Committee for Free Detention of Peoples
  • Uruguayan Confederation of Workers (CUT)
  • Uruguayan Labor Confederation (CSU)
  • USAID (Agency for International Development – shared facilities with NIA)
  • USIA (United States Information Agency)
  • USIA Weapon Sales
  • U.S. News and World Report
  • U.S.-Russian Commercial Energy Working Group

 

  • Vanguard Service Corporation
  • Varicon, Inc
  • Vector, Ltd.
  • Venture Fund

 

 

  • Wackenhut
  • Wainwright and Matthews Joseph Walter & Sons
  • Warden Trust
  • Erwim Wasey, Ruthrauff & Ryan, Inc.
  • Washington Post
  • Wexton Advertising Agency
  • Western International Ground Maintenance Organization (WIGMO)
  • Whitten Trust
  • Wikipedia
  • Williford-Telford Corporation
  • World Assembly of Youth (WAY)
  • World Confederation of Labour
  • World Marine, Inc.
  • Wynnewood Fund

 

  • York Research Corporation

 

  • Zapato Off-Shore Oil Company
  • Zapato Petroleum Corp
  • Zenith Technical Enterprizes
  • Zen Nihon Gakusei Jichikai Sorengo
  • Zentrale for Studien und Dokumentation
  • Zweites deutschen fernsehen (ZDF)

 

A Trump Biography for Teens Is a New Lens on the President’s Totalizing Awfulness

December 19, 2018

by Katy Waldman

The New Yorker

The new book “Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump,” by Martha Brockenbrough, is itself unprecedented, at least according to the publicist who declared it “the first ever critical biography of a sitting president for teen readers.” Even without its index, political time lines, list of life milestones, Who’s Who chart, and diagram of Russia connections, the book runs to almost four hundred pages. I open it at random and read, “Trump’s brash tactics were helping him win, and that is what Trump always liked to do.” The line is simple, rhythmic, somehow homiletic—there’s a symmetry to it that evokes “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” If you give a teen-ager this book, will he read it?

After consulting several colleagues in possession of teen-agers, and drawing on my expertise as a weekly listener of the parenting podcast “Mom and Dad Are Fighting,” my answer is a qualified “no.” Brockenbrough’s biography is more the kind of thing a civic-minded teen would receive for her birthday than a product she’d buy for herself. The kids, I am told, have mobile games and social media. The politically engaged among them have probably already watched a forty-five-minute documentary about Donald Trump’s rise to power on YouTube. In many liberal households, the President’s election in 2016 marked a rupture of parental authority. Mothers and fathers had spent the previous year dispensing reassurances that the authoritarian clown was bad, yes, but that he wouldn’t win against Hillary Clinton. They’d built a narrative—the first female President, a better world—and then Trump had shattered it. “Unpresidented,” which patiently combs through past and present to assemble a coherent portrait of a chaotic man, may restore some of the equilibrium that dissolved on Election Night.

Brockenbrough is exhaustive. She maps Trump’s path from birth (little Donald possessed “golden hair, pink cheeks, and a tiny pucker of a mouth”) to military school (his nickname was “Mr. Meticulous”) to real estate (“Trump admitted no wrongdoing” becomes a refrain) to reality television (the book credits “The Apprentice” with making Trump seem commanding, capable, rich) to the campaign trail (“candidates typically don’t insult the parents of soldiers who die in combat”) to the highest office in the land (“Having positive coverage—called the ‘propaganda document’ by more cynical staff—helped him keep his chin up”). Writing that her “goal is to be both accurate and fair,” the author observes that “sometimes we define fairness as a balance of positive and negative information. . . . But this is a bit like saying you can create balance by putting ten elephants on one side of the scale and ten babies on the other.”

“Unpresidented” details corrupt business practices, shady campaign tactics, and gross governing errors without explicitly condemning them. Of Trump’s stewardship of the Trump Organization, Brockenbrough notes, “Some [tenants] thought he was racist.” Of the famously aggro handshakes he inflicts on foreign leaders, she writes, “Various media observers described Trump’s behavior in such instances as a show of dominance.” I’m not sure that this ersatz restraint will make it past teen-agers’ finely tuned bullshit detectors. Reading the book can feel like watching a morality play about the virtues of being slow to judge. Yet kids may appreciate the effort to let them decide about Trump for themselves—another well-meaning failure from a grownup. A colleague pointed out to me that his adolescent children are swimming in a kind of ambient hyperawareness of others: their tolerance for fluid identities and diverse viewpoints is turbo-charged. He said that his kids will notice—at school, at a friend’s house—when hatred for the President is enforced as dogma. They have no quibble with such anger, but they see how other teen-agers might view it as incongruous with open-mindedness. “Unpresidented” seems mindful of this gap.

Tone aside, the pages offer a grim illumination. Some combination of how the book is narrated—carefully, dispassionately, thoroughly—and whom it is narrated for brings Trump’s totalizing awfulness into especially sharp relief. He is at home in children’s literature: a dastardly liar and cheater awaiting his showdown with Spider-Man. His story is, in a very real sense, amazing. As a developer, Trump’s persistence in racially discriminating against tenants was amazing. His willingness to stiff and exploit workers was amazing. His behavior has been demonically consistent, and he has never concealed his nature. There is prescient meaning in every anecdote Brockenbrough includes, down to the poem Donald wrote in elementary school: “I like to hear the crowd give cheers, so loud and noisy to my ears.” Reading “Unpresidented,” it is easy to slip into an outrage so gentling and narcotic it feels almost like sleep, as the scenes coalesce and disperse in succession: Ivana accusing her husband of rape; Trump the candidate enthusing about waterboarding; President Trump demurring about white supremacists in Charlottesville. The truth doesn’t fit in one brain; it barely fits in one biography. The profundity of the President’s ascent and failure and horror requires a level of distance to absorb. Perhaps teen-agers have this distance; many adults do not.

Brockenbrough’s effort to translate our broken reality into a narrative that young people can process occasionally has a jamming effect on one’s consciousness. Here she is explaining racism in the United States: “Because America has long had a white majority, whiteness has been seen by some as an American trait.” Her aside about the Electoral College—that it was “meant as a safeguard” against “demagogues—political leaders who appeal to popular desires and prejudices rather than reasoned arguments”—is so nauseating and tragic that it should be a restricted substance. Working through “Unpresidented,” one becomes aware all over again of the trauma caused by Trump’s tenure in the White House. It is tempting to hear in Brockenbrough’s plain language a kind of scrabbling in the rubble, an articulation of first principles, an attempt to justify the status quo to whatever is childlike and unalienable enough in us to have survived the demolition. (There is additional pain in the fact that the book is pitched to people who surpass Trump in reading comprehension.) But “Unpresidented” is also not aimed at that dithering part of the national consciousness that can’t get out of bed in the morning. It speaks to real teens. Brockenbrough devotes her dedication “to the Parkland generation.” She writes, “You know what to do.”

 

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