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TBR News December 21, 2019

Dec 21 2019

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. December 21, 2019:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.
Commentary for December 21: ”It was ill-advised to post the comments about Fat Donald’s gay problems in military school.
As this came from a highly classified FBI report, once this got up on the Internet, we had agents out here trying to find out who leaked the report.
I do not know the name of the kind soul who stuck a copy of the report in my mailbox but if I did, I certainly would not tell the FBI.
You can never tell these people anything or at once they will start investigating you.
My advice, from the inside, is to keep quiet and mind your own business.
It’s bad enough that these agencies spy on everyone in the country, small children in first grade included, without trying to help them.
But if you lie to them, they can arrest you.”

The Table of Contents

• Spotlight will be on U.S. chief justice in Trump trial and in major cases
• Iranian Missiles in Iraq
• Argus
• Why Bitcoin Is the Most Dangerous Global Scam in 20 Years
• The Anne Frank Diary Fraud
• The Season of Evil

Spotlight will be on U.S. chief justice in Trump trial and in major cases
December 20, 2019
by Lawrence Hurley
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts is poised to serve a highly visible though largely ceremonial role in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump due next month. But it is in his day job on the Supreme Court that the mild-mannered jurist could have a bigger impact on Trump’s presidency.
Roberts, 64, is set to preside over the trial in which the 100 U.S. senators will serve as jurors to decide whether to convict the president and remove him from office, an unlikely result considering Trump’s fellow Republicans control the chamber and a two-thirds majority is needed to oust him.
While the senators – not Roberts – set the rules for the trial and determine its outcome, he is positioned to play a central role in deciding significant cases now before the nine-member court that will directly impact Trump.
It is in the marble-lined corridors of the Supreme Court across the street from the U.S. Capitol, hidden from the television cameras, where Roberts wields real power.
The justices will hear arguments and rule by the end of June – in the heat of the 2020 presidential race – on Trump’s bid to keep details of his finances secret after lower courts ordered that his accounting firm and two banks turn over records to congressional investigators and a New York City prosecutor.
Roberts is considered the ideological center of a court with a 5-4 conservative majority. As such, he could very well represent the decisive vote. Roberts is known for his cautious approach to major cases, sometimes disappointing fellow conservatives.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives on Wednesday made Trump only the third U.S. president to be impeached, passing two formal charges – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – arising from his request that Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden.
The court’s rulings in the financial records cases could set precedents consequential not only for Trump but for other presidents for decades to come.
With Democratic House lawmakers and a Democratic prosecutor in New York issuing subpoenas for his financial records, the businessman-turned-politician has argued for broad presidential immunity. Rulings in Trump’s favor could handcuff Congress and prosecutors in investigating any sitting president. Unlike other recent presidents, Trump has refused to disclose his tax returns.
AN UNCOMFORTABLE EXPERIENCE
The impeachment trial promises to be uncomfortable for Roberts, who prefers to fly under the radar even while he has steered the court in a rightward direction since being appointed as chief justice in 2005 by Republican President George W. Bush.
“My sense is that the chief doesn’t want to make himself the story,” said Sarah Binder, a scholar at the Brookings Institution think tank.
Those who know Roberts, including former law clerks, have said he will take his trial role seriously and, as a history buff, is likely reading up on the previous impeachment trials of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, both of whom were acquitted.
His job is to keep the trial on track, though Roberts could be called upon to rule on whether certain witnesses should appear. Senators could reverse him if a majority disagrees with any ruling he makes.
In Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist had “relatively little to do,” said Neil Richards, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis who was one of Rehnquist’s law clerks at the time.
“I think Chief Justice Roberts is likely to approach his role … the way he has approached his judicial career to date: doing his best to be impartial, doing his best to preserve the dignity of his judicial office,” Richards added.
Roberts has not spoken publicly about his impending role. During a rare public appearance in New York in September, he appeared concerned about Washington’s hyperpartisan politics.
“When you live in a polarized political environment, people tend to see everything in those terms. That’s not how we at the court function,” Roberts said.
Roberts has the reputation as a traditional conservative and strong defender of the Supreme Court’s institutional independence. Roberts, raised in Indiana and educated at Harvard Law School, served in Republican President Ronald Reagan’s administration in the 1980s and was appointed first to a federal appeals court and later to the Supreme Court by Bush.
Roberts is often viewed as an incrementalist in his judicial philosophy, mindful that the Supreme Court risks its legitimacy if its conservative majority is seen as moving too aggressively to the right in its rulings.
He has voted consistently with his fellow conservatives -against gay and abortion rights and for expanded religious liberty and gun rights. But in 2012, Roberts sided with the court’s liberal bloc and cast the deciding vote to uphold the healthcare law dubbed Obamacare, signed by Democratic President Barack Obama in 2010 and reviled by conservatives.
In June, Roberts joined the liberal justices and cast the deciding vote in a 5-4 ruling blocking Trump from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census that critics said was intended to deter immigrants from taking part in the decennial population count.
Roberts publicly differed with Trump in November 2018, taking the rare step of issuing a statement defending the federal judiciary after the president lashed out at judges who had ruled against him.
An independent judiciary, Roberts said, “is something we should all be thankful for.”
Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Jan Wolfe and Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham

Iranian Missiles in Iraq
CSIS Briefs
December 11, 2019
by Shaan Shaikh, Program Manager and Research Associate, Missile Defense Project
Center for Strategic and International Studies
The Issue
Iran-backed militias within Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have acquired short-range ballistic missiles from Tehran, supplementing their existing arsenal of unguided rockets.
These militias’ small, harassing rocket attacks targeting U.S. facilities in Iraq have already disrupted American diplomatic and business activities in the country.
Israeli airstrikes on PMF missile depots have killed and injured dozens of Iraqis , straining relations among the United States, Iraq, and Israel.
Further Iranian missile proliferation in Iraq could increase the number of potential rocket launch sites, impede the attribution of Iranian missile attacks, and locate launch sites closer to U.S. and allied forces in the region.
In discussions of Iran’s regional missile proliferation, Lebanese Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels tend to dominate the conversation. This focus is for good reason: Hezbollah today possesses an estimated 130,000 rockets and short-range missiles, and the Houthis have fired over 250 projectiles into Saudi Arabia since 2015.1 Yet Iran’s strategy of arming proxies with rockets to harass, distract, and deter its regional adversaries has expanded to include factions of a third group. Collectively known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, these militias have taken on increasing importance.
The PMF is a semi-autonomous umbrella group composed of an estimated 75,000-145,000 fighters, split among 50-plus militias.2 It was formally established in 2014 to help Iraq’s armed forces defeat ISIS. Given its complex bureaucracy and history, the organization as a whole should not be considered an Iranian proxy. Each group varies in its politics and interests, with only some loyal to Tehran.3 However, those groups and PMF leaders that do maintain strong ties to Tehran have steadily risen in size and stature. This report designates these factions of the PMF as “Iran-backed Groups,” or “IBGs,” to focus the scope of its analysis.4
Iran has provided training and lethal aid to IBGs since the 1980s.5 Tehran’s provision of sophisticated missiles to these militias, however, is a more recent and growing concern for the United States. An August 2018 report revealed that Iran had transferred a few dozen short-range ballistic missiles to the IBGs. These shipments included the Zelzal (150-250 km), Fateh-110 (200-300 km), and Zolfaghar (700 km) missiles, complementing the militias’ existing arsenal of unguided 107-mm and 122-mm rockets.6 These transfers follow and are likely meant to compensate for Iran’s failed efforts to establish forward-deployed bases in Syria.7 By early May 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced trip to Iraq to discuss the danger of Iranian missile transfers.8 Both Congress and the Trump administration have also issued repeated warnings that the United States would consider any attack by Iranian proxies as an attack by Iran.9 IBG missile acquisitions have also prompted Israel to launch at least seven airstrikes so far on PMF missile depots in Iraq in 2019, expanding upon Israeli policy of targeting Iranian missile bases in Syria.10 Nevertheless, recent news reports have highlighted the prospect of additional Iranian missile transfers into Iraq.11
Threats and Implications
The United States faces three principal challenges regarding IBG rockets. The first is IBG use of projectiles to harass U.S. and Iraqi facilities, disrupting American diplomatic and business activities in Iraq. The second includes the political risks of preemptive or preventative action—namely, Israeli airstrikes on Iraqi weapons depots. While effective in the short-term, these attacks have killed and injured dozens of Iraqis and raised public outcry over Iraq’s national sovereignty, straining relations among the United States, Iraq, and Israel. A third challenge encompasses the many ways in which Iran could use and benefit from a proxy rocket force in Iraq. Through shipment of increasingly sophisticated weapons to IBGs, Tehran could increase the number of potential rocket launch sites, further impede the attribution of Iranian missile and drone attacks and locate launch sites closer to U.S. and allied forces in the region.
1. Harassment of U.S. and Iraqi Facilities
IBGs in Iraq possess a sizeable stockpile of unguided 107-mm and 122-mm rockets, manufactured both locally and in Iran.12 Since September 2018, IBG militants have fired over 30 rockets at U.S. facilities in Iraq, including the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, consulate in Basra, and military training facilities in Taji, Mosul, and Nineveh.13 They have also targeted an Iraqi oil field in Basra which contained American personnel. Based on their timing—often following statements or actions considered harmful to Iranian/IBG interests—and inaccuracy, these attacks are primarily conducted to signal frustration with U.S. or Iraqi policy. Nevertheless, they have still resulted in casualties. An October 30 salvo killed one Iraqi soldier working at a Green Zone checkpoint in Baghdad, and an earlier June 19 attack injured three Iraqi civilians.14
U.S. officials say these attacks are a serious threat to its personnel and have taken action in response. The State Department closed its consulate in Basra just hours after a September 2018 rocket attack and has kept it vacant since. In a written statement, Secretary Pompeo explained the closure followed “repeated incidents of indirect fire from elements of those militias.”15 Following new intelligence related to Iranian missile deployments, the State Department withdrew all nonessential personnel from its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil in May 2019.16
These closures have had significant diplomatic consequences by restricting the space and workforce for diplomats operating in-country. As of July 2019, the Baghdad embassy reportedly had less than 15 officials working on core diplomatic functions following the partial evacuation in May.17 As one senior State Department official said, “We took a powerful functioning embassy that was keeping Iranian influence at bay and created space for the U.S. to exert influence, and we gutted it.”18 These closures could also increase the rocket threat to remaining U.S. personnel, as Iran finds it can limit U.S. diplomatic capability through small-scale attacks.
Such rocket attacks have also harmed U.S. private-sector investment opportunities in Iraq. Exxon Mobil presents one clear case study. Operating in southern Iraq since January 2010, Exxon has invested significantly in Iraq and aims to expand its activities through a potential $53 billion extraction deal. Recent IBG attacks, however, have put these activities at risk. In May 2019, Exxon evacuated 80 personnel amid security concerns relating to Iran-backed militias.19 On June 19, an IBG launched a Katyusha rocket attack on Exxon’s Basra facility, injuring three local Iraqi workers and forcing Exxon to evacuate 21 foreign workers.20 These disruptions have since generated concern among other potential U.S. investors in Iraq. After the June 19 attack on Exxon personnel, one news report suggested that companies were becoming “more cautious about moving forward.”21
2. Escalation Risks
Despite attention from U.S. and Iraqi leadership, Iranian short-range ballistic missiles have still found their way into Iraq, pushing Israel to act. Between July and September 2019, Israel conducted at least seven airstrikes on PMF missile and ammunition depots in western and central Iraq. While the Israeli Ministry of Defence has not publicly confirmed these strikes, U.S. and Iraqi officials have affirmed that Israel is behind the attacks.22
While successful in denying Iran its desired forward-deployed missile bases, Israel’s airstrikes have generated significant political blowback. Following an Israeli airstrike on August 12, the Iraqi government ordered a ban on all military flights in the country unless authorized by the Iraqi Defense Ministry, a policy that could slow U.S. response times to emergency requests.23 Unilateral Israeli action could have further ramifications for the United States. Even if the United States is uninvolved, as officials claim, various Iraqi and PMF officials say they hold the United States responsible for strikes.24 Consequences could get worse yet: as one senior American official warned, too many strikes could get the U.S. military removed from Iraq.25 While Iraq’s current, U.S.-friendly administration is unlikely to take such drastic measures, further attacks could push Iraqi voters to elect more pro-Iran candidates in the future.
Even less acute forms of blowback are problematic. Repeated Israeli airstrikes have already renewed Iraq’s internal debate on procuring non-American air defenses, believed necessary for Baghdad to “impose sovereignty over its airspace.”26 Systems like Russia’s S-300 or the Iran’s Bavar-373 may be more capable of attacking Israeli UAVs than U.S. air defenses, which probably identify these aircraft as friendly units. Acquiring such systems, however, could increase the risk of providing U.S. adversaries with intelligence on U.S. aircraft and military operations. These foreign air defenses would track U.S. and allied aircraft operating in Iraq, and the personnel managing these systems could then forward these records to their countries of origin.27 The PMF have taken at least one concrete step in this direction: on September 5, PMF Deputy Chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis ordered the creation of a PMF air force.28 The United States has previously sanctioned its appointed lead, Salah Mahdi Hantoush, for his involvement in terrorist activity.29
3. Another Iranian Proxy
Iran’s proxy forces comprise an essential element of its military and deterrence strategy.30 In their operations against Israel and Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah and Houthi fighters have repeatedly demonstrated their utility for Tehran in harassing, distracting, and deterring its competitors. Should Iran develop the IBGs to a similar degree (if it has not already), the militias could serve Tehran’s interests in several ways.
First, the growing list of regional actors with Iranian missile technology could make attack attribution more difficult, supporting Iranian efforts in maintaining plausible deniability. Iran seeks plausible deniability in its attacks to raise uncertainty in U.S. and allied assessments, making it more difficult for policymakers to legitimatize a military response.31 Plausible deniability also helps shield Tehran from international criticism regarding its morally dubious activities.32 Iran has used the Houthis several times for these purposes. On June 13, for example, Iran blamed the Houthis for attacks on two oil tankers transiting the Gulf of Oman. This explanation seemed plausible, given previous Houthi attacks on other ships. Footage captured by an American MQ-9 drone, however, later showed IRGC sailors removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships, thus strongly implicating Iranian involvement.33
A new proxy in Iraq would also provide Iran with a greater number of launch points for various air threats, including ballistic or cruise missiles, artillery rockets, or armed-UAVs. This increase in potential attack vectors would also complicate U.S. and allied missile defense. Armed with 120-degree sectored Patriot radars, for example, Saudi Arabia struggles to comprehensively cover potential launch points in Yemen, Iran, and Iraq at once. Such limitations may explain why Saudi air defenses failed to detect a September 14 attack on refineries at Abqaiq and Khurais coming from the north, during which Saudi radars were reportedly focused on air and missile threats coming from Yemen to the south.34 Similarly, a May 14 drone attack on a major Saudi oil pipeline caught Saudi air defenders unaware. While Houthi rebels initially claimed responsibility, U.S. officials later said the attack originated from Iraq, likely launched by Kata’ib Hezbollah.35
Iran’s missile proliferation would also complicate “Scud hunting” in a wartime scenario. In a regional conflict, the United States and its partners would have to devote more intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance (ISR) and strike assets to cover IBG operating areas to destroy missiles before they launch. IBG rocket launch sites are also located close to U.S. military facilities in Iraq, thus enabling the militias to expand the conflict west through mortar, rocket, or missile fires.36
Managing the IBG Threat
The emergence of another Iranian proxy armed with rockets and missiles is a significant development in the Middle East. Left unsettled, it risks wider military escalation, worsened U.S.-Iraqi relations, and greater Iranian power projection across the region.
Direct counterproliferation efforts have yielded little return thus far. U.S. policymakers have repeatedly communicated to Iraqi leadership on the need to engage with these issues, but Iraqi policymakers have failed to make substantial progress.37 Iraqis will also not accept continued Israeli airstrikes over their territory as a new status quo. While U.S. dialogue with Iran could potentially reduce the threat, the benefits Tehran stands to gain from an Iraqi proxy force make Iranian concessions unlikely.
The IBG threat will remain, pending major political shifts in Tehran or Baghdad. Nevertheless, in order to manage and minimize this threat, Washington may need to expand its counterproliferation strategy—more so politically than militarily. This primarily means increasing resources dedicated to countering Iranian influence in Iraq, but also to weakening, delegitimizing, and regulating IBGs.
Analysts have posited various political, diplomatic, military, and economic strategies in support of these missions. Some options are attractive, requiring minimal U.S. resources and inviting little operational risk. On the political-diplomatic front, this includes strengthening the U.S. diplomatic corps in Iraq, continuing to engage in high-level dialogue with Iraqi and Israeli leadership, and (perhaps indirectly) naming and shaming IBGs for prioritizing Iranian interests over those of Iraq. Regarding military engagement, continued U.S. support for Iraq’s national security services is essential. Encouraging those forces to oversee and regulate PMF-controlled infrastructure may also help minimize potential proliferation nodes. And on the economic side, U.S. support for non-Iranian trade partners for Iraq would serve broad interests in limiting Iranian influence.
To be sure, these policies are long-term approaches that are likely either ongoing or have already been attempted. There are other more risk-tolerant strategies to immediately push back on IBGs and Iranian influence, but these face several challenges. Some options, like conditioning U.S. aid on PMF reform or incentivizing PMF retirement, are politically costly for U.S. and Iraqi policymakers. Others, such as direct attacks on IBGs or their IRGC partners, may incite retaliation. U.S. and Iraqi officials also cannot implement these policies in a cookie-cutter fashion given differences in the militias’ politics, interests, and likely reactions.38 Moreover, officials must always consider potential Iranian responses.
The complexity presented here is obvious, but so too is the need for engagement. U.S. officials should push forward on some mix of these and other counter-IBG policies, following careful analysis on potential costs and benefits. Even if the IBG threat cannot be removed completely, the possibility that it can be managed in a way that satisfies U.S., Iraqi, Israeli, and perhaps even Iranian interests makes such efforts worthwhile.
Shaan Shaikh is a program manager and research associate with the Missile Defense Project at the Center for International and Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C.
Notes
1. Shaan Shaikh and Ian Williams, “Hezbollah’s Missiles and Rockets,” CSIS, CSIS Briefs, July 2018, https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/180705_Williams_HezbollahMissiles_v2.pdf; Missile Defense Project, “Interactive: The Missile War in Yemen,” Missile Threat, CSIS, last modified August 27, 2019, https://missilethreat.csis.org/missile-war-yemen/.
2. Defense Intelligence Agency, Iran Military Power (Washington, DC: November 2019), https://www.dia.mil/Portals/27/Documents/News/Military%20Power%20Publications/Iran_Military_Power_V13b_LR.pdf.
3.Michael Knights, “Iran’s Expanding Militia Army in Iraq: The New Special Groups,” CTC Sentinel 12, no. 7 (August 2019), https://ctc.usma.edu/app/ uploads/2019/08/CTC-SENTINEL-072019.pdf.
4. Michael Knights uses the term “Special Groups” to include “groups with primary loyalty to U.S.-designated terrorist Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and who are willing to provide material support to IRGC-QF and other sanctioned entities including but not limited to Lebanese Hezbollah.” This paper employs the same definition for IBGs. See ibid. For more on the PMF, see Brian Katz, “Axis Rising: Iran’s Evolving Regional Strategy and Non-State Partnerships in the Middle East,” CSIS, CSIS Briefs, October 11, 2018, https:// www.csis.org/analysis/axis-rising-irans-evolving-regional-strategy-and-nonstate-partnerships-middle-east; and International Crisis Group, Iraq’s Paramilitary Groups: The Challenge of Rebuilding a Functioning State (Brussels: July 2018), https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iraq/188-iraqs-paramilitary-groups-challenge-rebuilding-functioning-state.
5. Some IBGs trace their origin to the Iran-Iraq War. For most, however, rudimentary training began in 2003 and higher-level training in 2007. See Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, Iranian Strategy in Iraq: Politics and ‘Other Means’ (West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, October 2008), p. 62, https://ctc.usma.edu/app/uploads/2010/06/Iranian-Strate-gyin-Iraq.pdf.
6. Josh Irish and Ahmed Rasheed, “Exclusive: Iran moves missiles to Iraq in warning to enemies,” Reuters, August 31, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/ article/us-iran-iraq-missiles-exclusive/exclusive-iran-moves-missiles-toiraq-in-warning-to-enemies-idUSKCN1LG0WB.
7. Mona Yacoubian, “The Shadow War: Iran Against Israel in Syria,” United States Institute of Peace, May 17, 2018, https://iranprimer.usip.org/ blog/2018/may/17/conflict-pitting-iran-against-israel-syria.
8. Falih Hassan, Megan Specia, and Rick Gladstone, “Pompeo Makes Unscheduled Trip to Iraq to Press U.S. Concerns About Iran,” New York Times, May 7, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/07/world/europe/pompeo-can-celsberlin.html?module=inline; Mr. Pompeo followed up with Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi on June 14, thanking Mr. Mahdi for his “com-mitment to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq” following increased U.S.-Iran tensions. See “Secretary Pompeo’s Phone Call With Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi,” U.S. Department of State, June 14, 2019, https://www.state.gov/secretarypompeos-phone-call-with-iraqi-prime-minister-adil-abd-al-mahdi/.
9. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, and John Hudson, “Pompeo warns Iran about trigger for U.S. military action as some in administration question aggressive policy,” Washington Post, June 18, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost. com/world/national-security/pompeo-warns-iran-about-trigger-for-usmilitary-action-as-some-in-administration-question-aggressive-policy/2019/06/18/48bd3be0-9116-11e9-b570-6416efdc0803_story.html; “Statement by the Press Secretary – National Security and Defense,” White House, September 11, 2018, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-33/; Marco Rubio Tweet, May 6, 2019, @ marcorubio, https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/112535897418069196 8?lang=en.
10. Author’s compilation.
11. Julian E. Barnes and Eric Schmitt, “Iran Is Secretly Moving Missiles Into Iraq, U.S. Officials Say,” New York Times, December 4, 2019, https://www. nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/iran-missiles-iraq.html.
12. See Isabel Coles and Ghassan Adnan, “Rocket Strikes at Site of Foreign Oil Firms in Iraq,” Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/ articles/rocket-strikes-at-site-of-foreign-oil-firms-in-iraq-11560988449; Felter and Fishman, Iranian Strategy in Iraq.
13. Author’s compilation.
14. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Ali Abdul-Hassan, “Rocket attack kills Iraqi soldier, adding to growing unrest,” Associated Press, October 31, 2019, https:// apnews.com/9abcea267bd04c61ac48e00902f2f59d; Coles and Adnan, “Rocket Strikes at Site of Foreign Oil Firms in Iraq.”
15. As the New York Times notes, this evacuation followed a year’s debate on shutting down the consulate to save an estimated $200-350 million in annual operating costs. Financial factors very likely contributed to its closure. Edward Wong, “Blaming Iran, U.S. Evacuates Consulate in Southern Iraq,” New York Times, September 28, 2018, https://www.nytimes. com/2018/09/28/world/middleeast/iraq-iran-consulate-basra-closed.html.
16. “Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq,” U.S. Department of State, May 15, 2019, https://iq.usembassy.gov/security-alert-u-s-embassy-baghdad-iraq-2/.
17. Robbie Gramer, “Pompeo Seeks to Make Baghdad Embassy Pullout Permanent, Officials Say,” Foreign Policy, July 12, 2019, https://foreignpolicy. com/2019/07/12/pompeo-seeks-to-make-baghdad-embassy-pullout-permanent-officials-say-state-department-diplomacy-middle-east-iran-tensions-embassy-drawdown-evacuation/.
18. Ibid. 19. Khalid Al Ansary, “Iraq Says Exxon Evacuation of Staff Is `Unacceptable’,” Bloomberg, May 18, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2019-05-18/iraq-says-oil-and-gas-output-isn-t-affected-by-exxonevacuation.
19. Khalid Al Ansary, “Iraq Says Exxon Evacuation of Staff Is `Unacceptable’,” Bloomberg, May 18, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2019-05-18/iraq-says-oil-and-gas-output-isn-t-affected-by-exxonevacuation.
20. “Rocket attack hits Exxon Mobil oil site in Iraq, prompting evacuations, officials say,” ABC News, June 19, 2019, https://abc7news.com/rocket-hits-exxon-site-prompting-evacuations-officials/5352938/.
21. Coles and Adnan, “Rocket Strikes at Site of Foreign Oil Firms in Iraq.”
22. Ahmed Rasheed et al., “Iraqi PM says Israel is responsible for attacks on Iraqi militias: Al Jazeera,” Reuters, September 30, 2019, https://www. reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security/iraqi-pm-says-israel-is-responsible-forattacks-on-iraqi-militias-al-jazeera-idUSKBN1WF1E5; Lukas Mikelionis, “US confirms Israel behind last month’s air strike in Iraq against Iranian base,” Fox News, August 23, 2019, https://www.foxnews.com/world/us-israel-airstrike-iran-base.
23. “The biggest concern would be, if there’s an immediate call to respond to troops in danger . . . quickly routing so that any kind of [quick reaction force] could get to the troops in contact or in immediate need of support,” retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Holmes told Military Times. Meghann Myers, “US complies with new rules as Iraq cracks down on use of its airspace,” Military Times, August 16, 2019, https://www.militarytimes.com/ news/your-military/2019/08/16/us-agrees-to-stand-down-on-anti-isis-airstrikes-in-iraq/.
24. A sample of statements: PMF Deputy Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis: “And be sure that if the confrontation between us starts, it will only end with your removal from the region once and for all.” Ayatollah Sayyid Kazem al-Haeri: “I declare from the position of religious responsibility that the presence of any US military force in Iraq is forbidden under any title: military training, advice or the rationale of fighting terrorism.” Kata’ib Hezbollah statement: “We Issue a final warning to the American enemy that any new targeting of any Iraqi positions will be met with a tough, categorical response.”
25. Alissa J. Rubin and Ronen Bergman, “Israeli Airstrike Hits Weapons Depot in Iraq,” New York Times, August 22, 2019, https://www.nytimes. com/2019/08/22/world/middleeast/israel-iraq-iran-airstrike.html. 26. “Demands to arm Iraq with two missile systems,” Shafaq News, August 19, 2019, https://www.shafaaq.com/en/iraq-news/demands-to-arm-iraqwith-two-missile-systems/. This debate reaches back to at least February 2018, when Iraqi officials reported interest in procuring Russia’s S-400 system. See “Department Press Briefing – February 22, 2018,” U.S. Department of State, https://www.state.gov/briefings/department-press-briefing-february-22-2018/.
27. Based on this concern, the United States canceled F-35 sales to Turkey following Turkey’s S-400 purchase in July 2019. See Kyle Rempfer, “Here’s how F-35 technology would be compromised if Turkey also had the S-400 anti-aircraft system,” Air Force Times, April 5, 2019, https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-military/2019/04/05/heres-how-f-35-technologywould-be-compromised-if-turkey-also-had-the-s-400-anti-aircraft-system/.
28. “Pro-Iran Militia In Iraq Announces Formation Of ‘Air Force’,” Radio Farda, September 6, 2019, https://en.radiofarda.com/a/pro-iran-militia-iniraq-announces-formation-of-air-force-pmf/30148745.html. 29. “Designations of 4 individuals Pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ‘Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism’,” U.S. Treasury Department, November 15, 2012, https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2012-27831.pdf.
30. Anthony H. Cordesman, “Iran Primer: The Conventional Military,” U.S. Institute of Peace, August 2015, https://iranprimer.usip.org/resource/conventional-military.
31. Becca Wasser and Ariane M. Tabatabai, “Iran’s Network of Fighters in the Middle East Aren’t Always Loyal to Iran,” RAND Blog, May 21, 2019, https:// www.rand.org/blog/2019/05/irans-network-of-fighters-in-the-middle-eastarent.html. 32. Felter and Fishman, Iranian Strategy in Iraq, p. 39.
32. Felter and Fishman, Iranian Strategy in Iraq, p. 39.
33. Phil Stewart, “U.S. releases video it says shows Iran’s military recovering mine,” Reuters, June 13, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideasttanker-usa-release/u-s-releases-video-it-says-shows-irans-military-recovering-mine-idUSKCN1TF071.
34. Ian Williams, “How drone attacks reveal fixable flaws with American air defenses,” The Hill, September 24, 2019, https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/462661-how-drone-attacks-reveal-fixable-flaws-with-american-air-defenses.
35. Isabel Coles and Dion Nissenbaum, “U.S.: Saudi Pipeline Attacks Originated From Iraq,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/ articles/u-s-saudi-pipeline-attacks-originated-from-iraq-11561741133.
36. Todd South et al., “What war with Iran could look like,” Military Times, June 4, 2019, https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2019/06/04/what-warwith-iran-could-look-like/.
37. Most recently, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi announced on July 1, 2019 that the PMF must fold into Iraq’s formal security services by July 31. The announcement reportedly came following U.S. pressure. As of this writing, however, the PMF have yet to comply with this order. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced a similar decree in March 2018, which likewise failed. See Alissa J. Rubin and Falih Hassan, “Iraqi Prime Minister Tries to Rein in Militias, and Their Grip on Economy,” New York Times, July 1, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/world/middleeast/iraq-armedgroups-prime-minister.html.
38. Bryce Liodolt, “Iranian Resources and Shi`a Militant Cohesion: Insights from the Khazali Papers,” CTC Sentinel 12, no. 1 (January 2019), https://ctc.usma.edu/app/uploads/2019/01/CTC-SENTINEL-012019.pdf.

Argus

The Loudoun-based paramilitary organization known as ARGUS (Armored Response Group U.S.) organization, is reported to be a Loudoun component of the FEMA/Doomsday apparatus. ARGUS units were on stand-by during the October 1986 raids in Leesburg, and were ready for the planned assassination at Lyndon LaRouche’s residence. This was cancelled at the last minute by order of the President. ARGUS was a product of the same circles that sponsored North’s operations.
The financing for ARGUS came from some of the same very private but well-funded foundations–such as the Hanes Foundation and the Ohrstrom Foundation–which also funded Carl “Spitz” Channell’s National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty, and PRODEMCA, a “Project Democracy” front, both of which were used to funnel “private” donations into Ollie North’s Contra projects.
More specific in counter-domestic insurgence within the United States and possible out of country support:

902nd Military Intelligence Group. (‘The Duce”)
Nathan Hale Hall, 4554 Llewellyn Ave. Fort George G. Meade, MD
CO Colonel Christopher L. Winne as of July, 2006
WINNE, CHRISTOPHER COL 051201 December of 2005
Unit l July 20, 2003 as Lt Col Cmd 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Group, Lt. Col. Christopher L. Winne. Schofield Barracks Hawaii

No of employees, 1097

Task: Infiltrates any domestic American group deemed to be “potentially hostile” to U.S. “geo-political aims and goals.”

US ARMY INTELLIGENCE and SECURITY COMMAND – INSCOM – Huachuca, Arizona Ft Huachuca, AZ 821-2214 / 520-533-2214

11th Signal Brigade,
FAX: 3-3177 EXT BLDG
COMMANDER (ATZS-TP) – …………………..….3-1154 51005
Deputy Commanding Officer (TPX) – ………….3-1155
Command Sergeant Major (TPC) – …………….3-1157
Secretary – …………………………………………..3-1156
Dean of Instruction(TPD) – ………………………3-5407
Associate Dean and Pre-Command Course/TIDEP Manager – ……………………3-6527
Associate Dean and and Chief, Functional Course Division…………………………3-1601
Associate Dean, Advanced Training and Resource Management…………………3-5270
Legal (TPJ) – ……………………………3-0570 51002
Budget – ………………………………….3-1977
Brigade Chaplain (TPY) – ………………..3-8774
Consolidated SDO………………………….3-6838 81405
S1 – Adjutant (TPA) – …………………..…3-1205 51005
Assistant Adjutant – ………………….….3-1199
Civilian Personnel Liaison (TPA-P) – ……..3-4538
Consolidated Mailroom (TPA-M)……………3-3347
S2 – Security (TPI) – …………………..….3-2308
Operations/Plans – ………………………3-2308
S3 – Operations (TPS) – …………………3-2508
Training – …………………………..…….. 3-3631
S4 – Supply (TPL) – ……………………… 3-3006
Brigade Warehouse (TPW) – …………………3-3969 72914
SECURITY DIVISION (TPP) – ……………….8-2102 22320
Security NCOIC – …………………………3-4392
Foreign Disclosure/Information Security Assistant
(TPP-F) – ………………………………..8-2101 51005
FAX: 8-8016
Personnel Security (TPP-P) – ……………… 22320

FCA is a multi-function, strategic counterintelligence activity that supports U. S.
Army and national counterintelligence and counterterrorist objectives by detecting, identifying and providing a unique operational “window” into foreign intelligence organizations worldwide.

. 902d Military Intelligence Group
Building 4554 Llewellyn Avenue
Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-5910
Cyber Counterintelligence Activity, the CCA aks the Information Warfare Branch of the 310th MI Battalion located at Fort George G. Meade. The CCA also conducts investigations of network intrusion into Army InformationSystems; they support CI surveys by providing technical advice and assistance to the command concerning computer security posture. The CCA can also conduct mobile training at customer sites regarding network intrusion and seizing computer evidence for forensic analysis.

66th MIG (CI) EAC Europe, Augsburg (Germany)
108th MIB EAC, Bad Aibling (Germany) in Collaboration with NSA
109th MIG, Menwith Hill (GB) Collaboration NSA
108th MIB EAC, Bad Aibling (Germany) in Collaboration with NSA
701st MIB, Augsburg (Germany)
Infiltration-interception of all TOP SECRET messaging from and to POTUS.

Why Bitcoin Is the Most Dangerous Global Scam in 20 Years
When bitcoin inevitably crashes, inexperienced investors who believed the hype could lose everything.
by Vivek Wadhwa
INC.com
During the late ’90s, Silicon Valley venture capitalists and New York City investment bankers used phrases such as “monetizing eyeballs,” “stickiness,” and “B2C” to justify the ridiculous valuations of internet companies. They claimed conventional methods were inapplicable in valuing the dot-com companies — which had no revenue — because we were entering an entirely new economy.
Believing these people, and afraid to miss out on the gold rush, small-time investors, grandma and grandpa, and barbers and taxi drivers invested their life savings in companies such as Pets.com, Webvan, and eToys. The bubble burst, and they lost everything. Through a transfer of wealth in the billions of dollars from Main Street to Wall Street, VCs, unscrupulous CEOs, and bankers had effectively enriched themselves at the expense of hundreds of thousands of ordinary investors, leaving them to despair about their futures.
History is repeating itself now with bitcoin. This time, it isn’t just Main Street USA that is about to lose its shirt; it is also the developing world. Technology has made it possible for hypesters in Silicon Valley, China, and New York City to fleece anyone, anywhere, who has a bank account and an internet connection.
The story that bitcoin victims are being sold is that, because we cannot trust government-issued currencies, bitcoin is the future of money. One investor calls bitcoin “a gift from God to help humanity sort out the mess it has made with its money.” A PayPal director predicts that bitcoin’s price will reach $1 million in the next five to 10 years; asset managers say it is the new gold.
This is complete nonsense.
Yes, the price of bitcoin may yet double or even quadruple — because its price is based on pure speculation, and these stories are feeding such speculation. But bitcoin’s market price is almost certain at some point to crash and burn, just as the dot-coms’ did, and for the same reason: because it is all hype. And there will be no one to turn to when it does, because no government or bank is backing bitcoin up; and the people who are hyping bitcoin will have cashed out and be long gone.
Bitcoin’s price is not a reflection of its growing usage as currency; it reflects merely demand for the mirage of its speculative value. Its price is rising only because people all over the world are hearing stories of how others doubled or tripled their money in a short period — and they don’t want to miss out. Unsophisticated investors are taking out loans to buy bitcoins. Those who have spent the currency feel remorseful when they see its price subsequently increase, so they hoard it.
Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group to be a digital currency. It allows money to be transferred directly between individuals using cryptography. The bank ledger is distributed to all users, and complex mathematical transactions ensure transaction integrity. Such a system makes it difficult for governments to know the identities of people exchanging money, so it has become a haven for money laundering, drug dealing, and corruption.
Beyond its usability for crime, bitcoin has major design flaws.
Bitcoins are created (or “mined”) at predetermined and gradually decreasing rates, with a total limit of 21 million issuable coins. The rate of increase in available bitcoins is not keeping pace with the number of people keen to buy them, so the price of a bitcoin keeps increasing. Because its price increases, both its “miners,” whose computers do complex calculations to earn the currency, and those who buy bitcoins from others feel reluctant to use them as currency by spending them. Instead, they sit on their coins while they wait for the price to rise further. With bitcoin supply constrained and increasingly falling short of demand, instead of functioning as a currency, bitcoin is a speculative empty asset.
Then, there are problems with the technology itself.
First, anyone who has access to a bitcoin password (or private key) has the authority to spend the bitcoins it unlocks; loss of the password means loss of all of the associated bitcoins, with no recourse.
Second, linear growth in the chain of blocks that make up bitcoin is resulting in exponential growth in the computation necessary to process and verify transactions: Transactions that used to take 10 minutes now take hours.
Third, with bitcoin transaction fees hovering above $25, a $5 payment now costs $30. This obviously is not a workable digital currency.
What is most worrisome for the planet is the energy expenditure that verifying transactions now requires. The bitcoin network is reportedly consuming energy at an annual rate of 32TWh — about as much as the entire nation of Denmark. Each transaction consumes 250kWh, enough energy to power an average Western home for nine days. China has become the dominant bitcoin-mining nation, with its provinces providing ultra-cheap energy to miners.
Digital currencies surely are the future, but other options make more sense than bitcoin. Take China’s WeChat Pay and Alipay, which now process $5.5 trillion of payments. Or India’s Unified Payments Interface, which makes it possible to transfer money between people within seconds — for no fee. This occurs bank to bank, provides customer support and security, and has little overhead. So there are better and simpler ways.
Comment:
A fool and his money are soon parted.

The Anne Frank Diary Fraud
by Aaron L. Johnson –
When Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she did so prompted by the highest of motives. Yet she, herself, relates the incident that when she first met Abraham Lincoln in 1863, he commented “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”
Few will deny that the printed word in this instance fanned the flames of passion which brought about one of the bloodiest and saddest wars of American history, with brother sometimes pitted against brother, father against son. Perhaps if there had been less appeal to the emotions the problems might have resolved themselves through peaceful means. However, almost universally read at the time, few people then recognized the potency of one small book or the injustice done the South through its wide acceptance as a fair picture of slavery in the South.
Propaganda, as a weapon of psychological warfare is in even wider use today. Communists were masters of the art. Often they used the direct approach; just as often they employed diversion tactics to focus the eyes and ears of the world in directions other than where the real conflict was being waged. For many years, through propaganda alone, the dead threat of Hitler and Nazism had been constantly held before the public in a diversion maneuver to keep attention from being directed against the live threat of Stalin, Khrushchev and Communism.
Such has been the effect, if not the deliberate intention of many who have promoted its distribution, of a book of popular appeal-The Diary Of Anne Frank. It has been sold to the public as the actual diary of a young Jewish girl who died in a Nazi concentration camp after two years of abuse and horror.
Many Americans have read the book or seen the movie version, and have been deeply moved by the real life drama it claims to present. But have we been misled in the belief that Anne Frank actually wrote this diary? And if so. should an author be permitted to produce a work of fiction and sell it to the world as fact, particularly one of such tremendous emotional appeal?
The Swedish journal Frio Ord published two articles commenting on The Diary of Anne Frank. A condensation of these articles appeared in the April 15, 1959 issue of Economic Council Letter, as follows:
“History has many examples of myths that live a longer and richer life than truth. and may become more effective than truth.
The Western world has for some years hem made aware of a young Jewish girl through the medium of what purports to he her personally written story, “Anne Frank’s Diary.” Any informed literary inspection of this book has shown it to have been impossible as the work of a teenager.
A noteworthy decision of the New York Supreme Court confirms this point of view, in that the well known American writer, Meyer Levin, was been awarded $50.000 to be paid him by the father of Anne Frank as an honorarium for Levin’s work on the “Anne Frank Diary.”
Mr. Frank, in Switzerland, had promised to pay to prominent Jewish author, Meyer Levin. not less than $50,000 because he had used the literary creation of author Levin in toto, and represented it to his publisher and the public as his late daughter’s original work.
Inquiry of the County Clerk. New York County. as to the facts of the case referred to in the Swedish press, brought a reply on April 23, 1962, giving the name of a New York firm of lawyers as “attorneys for the respondent.” Reference was to ”The Dairy of Anne Frank 2203-58.”
A letter to this firm brought a response on May 4, 1962 that “Although we represent Mr. Levin in other matters, we had nothing to do with the Anne Frank case.”
On May 7, 1962, came the following reply from a member of a firm of New York lawyers to whom the original inquiry had been forwarded:
“I was the attorney for Meyer Levin in his action against Otto Frank and others. It is true that a jury awarded Mr. Levin $50,000 in damages, as indicated in your letter. That award was later set aside by the trial justice. Hon. Samuel C. Coleman. on the ground that the damages had not been proved in the manner required by law. The action was subsequently settled between the litigating parties, while an appeal from Judge Coleman’s decision was pending.
I am afraid that the case itself is not officially reported, so far as the trial itself, or even Judge Coleman’s decision, is concerned. Certain procedural matters were reported. both in 141 New York Supplement. Second Series 170. and in 5 Second Series 181. The correct file number in the New York County Clerk‘s office is 2241-1956 and the file is probably a large and full one which must include Judge Coleman’s decision. Unfortunately, our file is in storage and 1 cannot locate a copy of that decision as it appeared in the New York Law Journal early in the year 1960.”
The Diary Of Anne Frank was first published in 1952 and immediately became a bestseller. It has been republished in paperback, 40 printings. It is impossible to estimate how many people have been touched and aroused by the movie production.
Why has the trial involving the father of Anne Frank, bearing directly on the authenticity of this book, never been “officially reported”? In royalties alone, Otto Frank has profited richly from the sale of this book, purporting to depict the tragic life of his daughter. But is it fact, or is it fiction? Is it truth or is it propaganda? Or is it a combination of all of these? And to what degree does it wrongfully appeal to the emotions through a misrepresentation as to its origin?
School publications for years have recommended this book for young people, presenting it as the work of Anne Frank. Advertising in advance of the movie showing has played up the “factual” nature of the drama being presented. Do not writers of such editorials and promoters of such advertising, “fan the flames of hate” they rightly profess to deplore?
Many American Jews were shocked at the handling of the Eichmann case, the distortions contained in the book Exodus and its movie counterpart, but their protests have had little publicity outside of their own organ, Issues, by the American Council for Judaism. Others who have expressed the same convictions have been charged with anti-Semitism. Yet it is to be noted that both Otto Frank and his accuser Meyer Levin, were Jewish, so a similar charge would hardly be applicable in pursuing this subject to an honest conclusion..
File number 2241-1956 in the New York County Clerk’s office should be opened to the public view and its content thoroughly publicized. Misrepresentation, exaggeration, and falsification has too often colored the judgment of good citizens. If Mr. Frank used the work of Meyer Levin to present to the world what we have been led to believe is the literary work of his daughter, wholly or in part, then the truth should be exposed.
To label fiction as fact is never justified nor should it be condoned.
Since actual period documentation does not exist in support of the Holocaust myth, it has always been incumbent on its supporters to create it.
Not only is the “Anne Frank” diary now considered to be a fake, so also is “The Painted Bird” by Jerzy Kosinski. This book, which is a mass of pornographic and sadistic imagery which, had it not been taken so seriously by the Jewish community, would be merely the pathetic manifestation of a self-serving and very sick person.
This was duly exposed as a shabby, though much revered (by the Jewish community) and quoted, fraud. When this was exposed, Kosinski committed suicide. Later, in Kosinski’s footsteps we find the next fiction entitled “Fragments,” by a Swiss Protestant named Bruno Dosseker who spent the war in Switzerland as a young child. Dosseker posed as a very young Baltic Jewish concentration camp inmate named Binjamin Wilkomerski. This work consists of allegedly fragmented “memories” and is very difficult to read
Dosseker became the poster boy for the Holocaust supporters and was lionized by the international Jewish community, reaping considerable profit and many in-house awards for his wonderful and moving portrayal of German brutality and sexual sadism.
Another book, allegedly by a Hungarian doctor, concerning his deportation from Budapest in 1944 and subsequent journey by “Death Train” to Auschwitz is another fraud. There was never such a doctor in Hungary during the period involved and the alleged route of the train from Budapest to Auschwitz did not exist.
These sort of pathetic refugees from the back wards seem to be drawn to the Holocausters…and they to them. There are now “Holocaust Survivors” as young as thirty which is an interesting anomaly because the last concentration camp was closed in 1945. Perhaps they consider the last frenzied spring sale at Bloomingdale’s department store to be what they survived.
Next we can expect to see a book based on twenty-seven volumes of secret diaries prepared on a modern word processor within the current year by an alleged inhabitant of the Warsaw ghetto, describing the Nazi slaughter of tens of millions of weeping Jews by means that would shame a modern African state.
And, predictably, the publication of these howlers would be greeted with joy on the part of the fund raisers and fanatics, praised in the columns of the New York Times and scripted by Steven Spielberg for a heart-wrenching and guaranteed Oscar-winning film.
Hundreds of thousands of DVD copies will be donated to American schools and the Jewish community will demand that subservient executive and legislative bodies in America create a Day of Atonement as a National Holiday to balance the terrible Christian Christmas and the wickedly Satanic Halloween.
Conservationists must hate these books because so many otherwise beautiful and useful trees are slaughtered for their preparation
Insofar as the Anne Frank diary is concerned, herewith is some background on Anne Frank, her family and her alleged Diary.
The Franks were upper class German Jews, both coming from wealthy families. Otto and his siblings lived on the exclusive Meronstrasse in Frankfurt. Otto attended a private prep school, and also attended the Lessing Gymnasium, the most expensive school in Frankfurt.
Otto attended Heidelberg University. After graduation he left for a long vacation in England.
In 1909, the 20 year old Otto went to New York City where he stayed with his relatives, the Oppenheimers.
In 1925 Anne’s parents married and settled in Frankfurt, Germany. Anne was born in 1929. The Frank’s family business included banking, management of the springs at Bad Soden and the manufacture of cough drops. Anne’s mother, the former Edith Holländer, was the daughter of a manufacturer.
In 1934, Otto and his family moved to Amsterdam where he bought a spice business, Opekta, which manufactures Pectin used in making household jellies.
On May 1940, after the Germans occupied Amsterdam Otto remained in that city while his mother and brother moved to Switzerland. Otto remained in Amsterdam where his firm did business with the German Wehrmacht. From 1939 to 1944, Otto sold Opeka, and Pectin, to the German army. Pectin was a food preservative, and a anti infectant balm for wounds and as a thickener for raising blood volume in blood transfusions. Pectin was used as an emulsifier for petroleum, gelatized gasoline for fire bombing. By supplying the Wehrmacht, Otto Frank became, in the eyes of the Dutch, a Nazi collaborator.
On July 6, 1942 Otto moved the Frank family into the so-called ‘Secret Annex’. The annex is a three story, mostly glass townhouse that shares a garden park with fifty other apartments.
While he was allegedly in hiding, Otto Frank still managed his business, going downstairs to his office at night and on weekends. Anne and the others would go to Otto’s office and listen to radio broadcasts from England.
The purported diary begins on June 12, 1942, and runs to December 5,1942 . It consists of a book that is six by four by a quarter inches. In addition to this first diary, Anne supplemented it with personal letters. Otto said Anne heard Gerrit Bolkestein in a broadcast say: ~ “Keep a diary, and he would publish after the war”, and that’s why Anne’s father claimed she rewrote her diaries second time in 1944.
In this second edition, the new writer changed, rearranged and occasionally combined entries of various dates.
When Anne allegedly rewrote the diaries, she used a ball point pen, which did not exist in 1945, and the book took on an extremely high literary standard, and read more like a professional documentary than a child’s diary. In Anne’s second edition her writing style, and handwriting, suddenly matured.
The actual diary of Anne Frank contained only about 150 notes, according to The New York Times, of October 2 ,1955.
In 1944, German authorities in occupied Holland determined that Otto Frank had been swindling then via his extensive and very lucrative Wehrmacht contracts. The German police then raided his apartment attic, and the eight Jews were sent to Westerbork work camp and forced to perform manual labor .Otto himself was sent to Auschwitz.. Anne, her sister Margot, and her mother, subsequently died of typhus in another camp.
In 1945, after being liberated from German custody, Otto returned to Amsterdam, where he claimed he found Anne’s diary cleverly hidden in the Annex’s rafters. However, another version has a Dutch friend, Meip Geis finding Anne’s diary of fictional events, which she then gave to Otto Frank.
Otto took what he claimed were Anne’s letters and notes, edited them into a book, which he then gave to his secretary, Isa Cauvern, to review. Isa Cauvern and her husband Albert Cauvern , a writer, authored the first diary.
Questions were raised by some publishers as to whether Isa and Albert Cauvern, who assisted Otto in typing out the work used the original diaries or whether they took it directly from Mr. Frank’s personal transcription.
American author, Meyer Levin wrote the third and final edition
Meyer Levin was an author, and journalist, who lived for many years in France, where he met Otto Frank around 1949.
Born in 1905, Meyer Levin was raised in the section of Chicago notoriously known in the days of gangster warfare as the “Bloody Nineteen Ward.” At the age of eighteen he worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and during the next four years became an increasingly frequent contributor to the national literary magazine, The Menorah Journal. In 1929 he published THE REPORTER, which was the first of his sixteen novels.
In 1933 Levin became an assistant editor and film critic at the newly-created Esquire Magazine where he remained until 1939.
Perhaps his best-known work is COMPULSION (1956), chronicling the Leopold and Loeb case and hailed by critics as one of the greatest books of the decade. The compelling work was the first “documentary novel” or “non-fiction novel.”
After the enormous success of COMPULSION, Levin embarked on a trilogy of novels dealing with the Holocaust. The first, EVA (1959) was the story of a Jewish girl’s experiences throughout the war and her adjustment to life after the concentration camps. This was followed by THE FANATIC (1963), which told the hypnotic story of a Jewish poet dealing with the moral questions that arose from his ordeal at the hands of the Nazis. The last in the triptych, THE STRONGHOLD (1965), is a thriller set in a concentration camp during the last days of the war.
At the outset of World War II Levin made documentary films for the US Office of War Information and later worked in France as a civilian expert in the Psychological Warfare Division. He eventually became a war correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, with the special mission of uncovering the fate of Jewish concentration camp prisoners. Levin took his role very seriously, sometimes entering concentration camps ahead of the tanks of the liberating forces in order to compile lists of the survivors.
After the war Levin went to Palestine and turned his attention again to the motion picture camera. His film MY FATHER’S HOUSE told the story of a child survivor searching for his family in Palestine. He wrote this story as a novel as well and the book was published in 1947.
Levin also joined the Hagana underground and helped smuggle Jews from the interior of Poland to Palestine, then basically an Arab country under the control of the British..
In 1951 Levin came upon a copy of the French edition of the Anne Frank diary He made a number of attempts to have the work published in English, and conceived it as a play and film. When the diary finally found an American publisher, his play was accepted for production but then suddenly barred, ostensibly for being “unstageworthy,” and another writer’s version was commissioned.
Levin fought for the rights to perform his version of the play, claiming that the real reason the producers refused to stage his work was because they thought it “too Jewish.” He saw the suppression of the play as an extension of the Stalinist attack on Jewish culture and, outraged that even Anne Frank could be censored, he took the producers to court and began an agonizing, prolonged struggle that dragged on for years.
Levin eventually won a jury award against the producers for appropriation of ideas, but the bitterness of the trial made him many enemies in the Jewish and literary communities.
Although Levin’s version of the play is still banned by the owners of the dramatic rights, underground productions of the work are frequently staged throughout the world.
Meyer Levin died in 1981
Levin rewrote the various post-war treatments of the Anne Frank diary with an eye toward a Broadway production, but Otto decided to cut him out, refusing to honor his contract or pay him for his work. Meyer Levin sued Otto Frank for his writings, and the New York Supreme court awarded Meyer Levin $50,000, for his ‘intellectual work’.
In 1980, Otto sued two Germans, Ernst Romer and Edgar Geiss, for distributing literature denouncing the diary as a forgery. The trial produced a study by official German handwriting experts that determined everything in the diary was written by the same person. The person that wrote the diaries had used a ballpoint pen throughout. Unfortunately for Herr Frank, the ballpoint pen was not available until 1951 whereas Anne was known to have died of typhus in 1944.
Because of the lawsuit in a German court, the German state forensic bureau, the BundesKriminalAmt [BKA] forensically examined the manuscript, which at that point in time consisted of three hardbound notebooks and 324 loose pages bound in a fourth notebook, with special forensic equipment.
The results of tests, performed at the BKA laboratories, showed that “significant” portions of the work, especially the fourth volume, were written with a ballpoint pen. Since ballpoint pens were not available before 1951, the BKA concluded those sections must have been added subsequently.
In the end, BKA clearly determined that none of the diary handwriting matched known examples of Anne’s handwriting. The German magazine, Der Spiegel, published an account of this report alleging that (a) some editing postdated 1951; (b) an earlier expert had held that all the writing in the journal was by the same hand; and thus (c) the entire diary was a postwar fake.
It should also be noted that all of the pages allegedly written prior to the end of the war in 1945 were on paper that contained paper whiteners. Since this product was not developed until the early 1950’s, the BKA determined that the diary was not produced until long after it was alleged to have been written.
The BKA information, at the urgent request of the Jewish community, was redacted at the time but later inadvertently released to researchers in the United States.

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas

Preface
This is in essence a work of fiction, but the usual disclaimers notwithstanding, many of the horrific incidents related herein are based entirely on factual occurrences.
None of the characters or the events in this telling are invented and at the same time, none are real. And certainly, none of the participants could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be either noble, self-sacrificing, honest, pure of motive or in any way socially acceptable to anything other than a hungry crocodile, a professional politician or a tax collector.
In fact, the main characters are complex, very often unpleasant, destructive and occasionally, very entertaining.
To those who would say that the majority of humanity has nothing in common with the characters depicted herein, the response is that mirrors only depict the ugly, evil and deformed things that peer into them
There are no heroes here, only different shapes and degrees of villains and if there is a moral to this tale it might well be found in a sentence by Jonathan Swift, a brilliant and misanthropic Irish cleric who wrote in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels,”
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most odious race of little pernicious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Swift was often unkind in his observations but certainly not inaccurate.

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019
Chapter 34
Three days later, a tall, very thin man in an unobtrusive sedan was parking across from the post office when he saw a dark van driving away. Thinking that it might contain the people he was paid to attend to, he followed it out of the very small town and into the wooded countryside.
The van, which he observed had a small Nazi flag in the rear window, turned off the secondary road and finally came to stop in front of a metal gate on which was a large, white sign. Lettered on it were the words “The Führer Bunker” and below this, “Agnes Rattenhuber and Lois Kozinski, Props.”
What appeared to be a muscular woman with very short hair got out and marched over to the gate, unlocking it. The man was parked down the road in the camouflage of heavy brush and he noticed that when she got out of the passenger side, the other woman was tall and thin with a hooked nose.
Both of them were wearing riding breeches and black leather boots.
Agnes Rattenhuber’s real name was Kenneth LeMoyne and the divine Lois had been christened Oscar Kolchek at birth but the name, and parts of the body that some men considered very important, had been left behind long ago.
The “Führer Bunker” specialized in selling mail order Nazi relics, almost all of which had been made within the last year.
They specialized in military and para-military uniforms belonging to the elite of the Third Reich. The basic uniforms were entirely genuine but originally had belonged to very low-ranking individuals. However, when Agnes finished upgrading them, the profits were immense. In the last year, they had sold three tunics belonging to Adolf Hitler, four for Hermann Göring and seven for Heinrich Himmler. Simple lieutenants of infantry were promoted to Field Marshal with the rattle of a sewing machine and Luftwaffe aces sprouted from a trunk full of stripped uniform jackets.
The insignia was entirely fake and the profits highly gratifying. Both of the owners were saving money to adopt a Mexican or Nigerian baby, preferably a boy, and to date their profits were coming close to allowing them to realize their fondest passion.
When they had finished a day’s work, they would put aside their cares and their clothing and dress up in leather uniforms for an evening of what the late Mr. Tolliver would have greatly enjoyed.
Agnes, in closing the gate, saw the car parked down the road and pointed to it.
“Look! We’re being spied on, Lois! Let’s just have a look-see and kick some ass!” and off both of them went, boots thudding on the old asphalt of the road.
The driver, not wishing to be kidnapped and strapped into a body harness, threw his car into reverse and easily outdistanced the panting pursuers.
He resumed his station across from the post office and ate a cold Philly steak sandwich for lunch.

Chuck made it a habit to turn on the television set in his room from time to time and watch the local weather channel. Although people in the post office told him that it didn’t always snow heavily, like last year when it almost didn’t snow at all, sometimes it snowed very heavily.
He had made a number of rude remarks about Global Warming but no one seemed to particularly care about the concept. It was rarely very warm in that area and often it was very cold and windy and yes, it did snow sometimes.
The noon local report showed a radar picture of an irregular bright green mass inching slowly down the upper part of the map of Minnesota with the voice over comment that a very heavy storm was now moving into the northern part of the state and Lake Superior region.
Heavy snow, high winds and greatly reduced temperatures were indicated in the immediate future.
It took about ten minutes to get to town, perhaps twenty to do the shopping and check the post office box with another ten back. The darkening sky hastened his decision to load up on supplies before the coming storm arrived.
Gwen was busy reading so he took Lars, suiting up carefully, and off they went for milk, fresh fruits, vegetables and mail.
The waiter at the post office instantly recognized Lars and started his engine in anticipation of earning a large sum of money in the immediate future.
On the trip back, Chuck was more interested in the advancing bank of black clouds than in the traffic, so he did not notice the car that stayed far behind him. When they entered the last section of the road, the driver slowed down and pulled over, parking well up on the road edge. He could just see the back of the van as it turned up the long, ascending driveway and he turned off the engine, put his food into a small, zippered bag and took a flat, metal case out of the trunk.
Climbing up the heavily wooded hill at right angles to the road, he peered through the undergrowth until he saw the outline of the house.
The wind was hissing through the tops of the pine trees when he found an excellent blind. A thick windfall lay roughly north and south and had been blown down in another storm three years ago. There was a natural deep space beneath it and he stooped down, shoving the metal case into the cave-like opening. The tree blocked much of the cold wind and with a small pair of binoculars, he had an excellent view of the front door. Once he got set up, he could hit anything that came through it.
He had a soft drink and a candy bar and opened the case. Inside was what looked like a number of pieces of tubing. He began to assemble them and a rifle, complete with long telescopic sight, emerged. There were a few small bushes growing in front of the blind and he could very easily use these to mask the barrel of the gun and by bending and breaking off a branch here and there, had a perfect field of fire. It couldn’t have been better if he had spent a day constructing the blind. Now, it was only a matter of minutes before his target reappeared and he could take care of his assignment and make the long drive back to Chicago.
The rapidly blackening sky and increasing wind did not bother him. No more than an hour and he would be on his way again.
(Continued)

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