TBR News December 27, 2011

Dec 27 2011

December 25, 272 AD

            First official public celebration of Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, a pagan Roman holiday that was later co-opted by Christians to celebrate the birth of their favorite Jew. Turning the holiday into “Christmas” (in 336 AD) was part of a pattern of the church stealing various pagan festivals and feast days

The Voice of the White House

          Washington, D.C., December 27, 2011: “Much ado about Presidential candidate Ron Paul’s alleged racist remarks in the media. It is never safe to attack, in any form, certain minority groups in this country or the media will immediately obey its masters and attack the offender. Mr. Paul’s views on illegal immigrants, blind support of Israeli and government overspending and proliferation are resonating in a society that had grown tired of being lied to and manipulated by its leadership and by the American media. If Mr. Paul begins to make gains in the Presidential race, count on all manner of snide attacks on him in the print media. That having been said, the print media and television are no longer a factor in public opinion, the Internet having replaced both of them. True the Internet has a good deal of utter nonsense in it but it also has very valuable and factual sites that are far better, and much cheaper, than the traditional media. The establishment can certainly control the media but it cannot control the Internet and that is exactly why the ever-obedient Obama and Sunstein want to control it to suit the Power Eilte. They ought to realize that the Power Elite is not the American public.”

A Different View

December 22, 2011

by Elmer Chen

            When I attended classes at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1980’s, I developed a great interest in German militaria through my friendship with a very knowledgeable Virginia businessman. He later told me of his close connections with the Central Intelligence Agency and that he was connected with the Southeast Asia office of that agency. We became good friends and when I returned to the PRC, we did keep in touch with each other. He visited me in Kowloon upon a number of occasions and we discussed the collecting world and often the political and intelligence fields.

            Last year, while visiting, he had a big copy of a special file his department was working with and we read it over and, since it did concern itself with the PRC, I found it more than interesting. This had very detailed information about how the American military intelligence agency DARPA had been working to infiltrate and build defenses against Chinese military computer systems. This covered many technical pages but what I found to be most impressive was a lengthy report about a raging war between the American Army and the Central Intelligence Agency, centered in the Pakistan and Afghanistan areas. According to this, the American Army was very angry with the CIA for its drone bombing attacks on Pakistani targets. They were very upset because the CIA used Army bases to launch attacks against suspected Taliban targets, even if they were inside Pakistan and even if many civilians were killed in these attacks. The reason for the Army’s anger was that the CIA personnel used Army bases to launch their drone attacks and even work US Army uniforms while doing this. The senior military commands were being blamed by the Pakistani government for the killing of civilians when in reality, they had nothing to do with it. Several pages of copies of cables to Washington’s Pentagon showed me very sharply that the Army had protested even as high as the President himself about this and had been ordered by his office to let the CIA do as it pleased. This went very badly with the generals and that was when they began a clandestine war, not against Muslims but against their own CIA!

            To do this, they used many tricks but the most interesting one was the use of the Wikileaks program. Mr. Julian Assanage, the head of this group, was Australian and considered to be a brilliant “hacker.” He had been arrested for getting into sensitive sites in Australia and sent to jail for a short time. Later, from 2002 to 2006, when Assange went to the University of Melbourne he had been recruited by the US Army DARPA program that was designed to hack into Chinese military computer sites.

            They were very successful at this work and then, with DARPA assistance and support, Assange set up Wikileaks as a vehicle for launching counter attacks against chosen Army targets. .With him were other DARPA people like the dissidents Wan Dan, Wang Youcai, (the founder of the Chinese Democracy Party;) Xiao Qiang, who had become the director of the China Internet Project at the University of California at Berkeley, and Rashi Narngyal Khamsitsang, a leading Tibetan exile.

            When the CIA blocked any attempt to move them out of American Army bases, the senior military people in the Pentagon opted to thoroughly discredit both the CIA and the Department of State whom they felt were also blocking them. To do this, they resorted to Assange and his Wikileaks and extracted, and sent to him many thousands of very sensitive secret cables. Then deals were made with major news media and we now all know that the release of these secret cables created the so-called Arab Spring with revolts breaking out in Arab countries throughout the Middle East.

            This disruption of the Arab world was by no means accidental. In the first place, many of the dictators and their intelligence systems had the active support of the CIA and the Department of State and also the Army was increasingly out of sorts with the state of Israel who was trying to force the President into fighting a war with Iran, solely for the benefit of Israel.

            The Army felt that its troops were “being systematically destroyed” by fighting useless politically motivated wars and that a war with Iran would finish their morale off for good. So it was very clear that disrupting Israel’s alliances in the Middle East was another specific goal.

            They were very successful in this project. Now, many CIA assets are destroyed and Israel is in a very dangerous strategic situation thanks to the situations in both Egypt (which was a specific goal) and with Turkey (which was an unintended goal.) 

            The reports made it very clear that his young Manning person was an innocent pawn in a larger game and could never have found or sent the tens of thousands of secret cables to anyone. Many of them never went through his intelligence station but because he was deemed as an “unstable and possibly suicidal” person by the Army, it was felt that by ruthlessly tormenting him, he would commit suicide and that he could posthumously be blamed for everything and Assange no longer accused for stealing the cables.

            Assange is very clever and it is felt that if he is further harassed by the authorities, he might well confess his DARPA connections. The report said he was to be either placated or killed outright.

            That the Chinese military is not, certainly, planning to attack the United States, or any other country for that matter, does not seem to bother the American authorities. Breaking into sensitive PRC systems and manipulating them is very close to an act of war and China cannot permit this to continue. Because the Americans are guilty of this, why naturally they blame the PRC for breaking into their systems in such a self-righteous way.

            Instead of seeking peaceful avenues of mutual cooperation, certain elements of the American leadership look to damage, insult and provoke those whose only goals are the betterment of their people and to have peaceful and harmonious relations with their neighbors at all times.

            Mr. Chen can be contacted at:, chocolfi@netvigator.com, or elmerchen@lukhoitong.com and is most interested in hearing from concerned American friends!


A Pandora’s Box in the Middle East


December 26, 2011

by Bennett Ramberg

New York Times

“Anyone who is thinking of attacking Iran should be prepared for powerful blows and iron fists.” So declared Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Nov. 10, speaking in response to reports that Israel may strike Iran’s nuclear plants. But the risk of tit-for-tat attacks raises a specter few seem to recognize: the first radiological war in history.

General Masoud Jazayeri, deputy commander of Iran’s armed forces, indicated what “blows” and “fists” could mean when he warned last month that Dimona — the center of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program — was “the most accessible target.”

The significance of the threat goes beyond the risk to Israel’s nuclear weapons program. An attack on the Dimona complex could release the facility’s radioactive contents, posing major long-term contamination risks to the reactor site and beyond.

But in a region where the principle of “an eye for an eye” has long held sway Tehran’s advantage stops there. As the country now housing the Middle East’s largest nuclear power plant at Bushehr, Iran has become the holder of the region’s largest radiological hostage. Does this present an Israeli checkmate? In this volatile part of the world, maybe, but don’t count on it.

Potential and active combatants have historically been reluctant to target operating nuclear reactors. The United States, for example, refrained from attacking North Korea’s Yongbyon plant to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, in part over radiological concerns. Israel took off the gloves and bombed Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 and Syria’s Al Kibar plant in 2007 before they went into operation, betting that neither country would strike Dimona in retaliation. The bet paid off. Iraq did not have the capacity to strike back and Syria feared the consequences of doing so.

Only in 1991, during the first Gulf war, did we see the first attack on an operational plant, when the United States bombed a small research reactor outside Baghdad. But Iraq had removed nuclear material from the plant before the war started, then tried its own hand at targeting reactors when it launched Scuds at Dimona. The missiles missed their targets.

Iran’s recent threat against Dimona may be mere puffing, but its ballistic missile capacity makes tit for tat strikes plausible, and General Jazayeri’s statement marks only one of many threats. Fortunately, Dimona is no Chernobyl or Fukushima. It has a relatively small reactor, and because it is used for weapons, operators replace fuel more often, reducing radioactive inventory, and Israel may not operate the plant continually.

On the flip side, after decades of service, adjacent facilities — some underground — hold spent fuel, plutonium and atomic waste that could add significantly to the consequences of an accurate ballistic missile strike from Iran.

Radiological effects would depend on the volume and nature of nuclear isotopes released, seasonal winds and protective measures. Computer models suggest that well beyond the zone immediately in and around the reactor and nearby communities, even the plant’s relatively small inventory of radioactive material could lead to a vast increase in cancers, birth defects and other related illnesses.

There would also be many troubling socioeconomic consequences. Public officials would have to restrict the consumption of foodstuffs from even modestly contaminated zones, and require the evacuation of commercial, industrial and residential districts in radioactive hot spots. The nuclear accidents in Ukraine and Japan suggest a huge increase in stress-related illnesses. Addressing such matters would add to the billions of dollars governments would have to spend on nuclear cleanup.

Bushehr, unlike Dimona, is a very large nuclear power reactor. Located in the northern reaches of the Gulf, the plant only began partial operation in September. It will go to full power early next year, building up an inventory of dangerous elements in the operating fuel as a natural part of the process.

Were a military attack to strike the plant at full power after months of operation, the release of radioactivity could be greater than at Chernobyl. Prevailing north, northwest winds would carry radioactive debris along the Gulf across sparsely populated regions. Given the size of the Bushehr plant, the lessons of Chernobyl and Fukushima tell us that Iran’s cleanup burden, energy loss and medical and population-relocation costs could approach hundreds of billions of dollars over decades.

Despite these grim scenarios, both Israel and Iran can attenuate risks beyond the imperfect air and missile defenses now in place. This includes plant shutdowns in times of crisis and the removal of radioactive elements to more secure locations, as Iraq did in 1991. Israel could close Dimona permanently given the plant’s age and mission fulfillment — the old reactor has generated all the weapons plutonium the country requires. Closure would symbolically help to reduce nuclear tensions in the region as well.

Given the dangers, Israel and Iran would do well to ask if opening a radiological Pandora’s box serves either’s interest.

Bennett Ramberg served as a policy analyst in the State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs under President George H.W. Bush.

13 found dead in truck in eastern Mexico: local media

December  25, 2011


 MEXICO CITY– Thirteen bodies were found in an abandoned truck in eastern Mexico on Sunday, local media reported, as a turf war between drug cartels spreads far from the border with the United States.

The truck was found during a routine security patrol near the border between the eastern states of Veracruz, a major oil-producing region, and Tamaulipas, local media said, citing state officials.

Messages left at the site suggested the dead were killed in a rivalry between criminal gangs, local media said.

Violent drug cartels that have long menaced Mexico’s northern border with the United States have moved into states like Veracruz as they battle rivals for control of drug routes and other criminality.

On Thursday, three American citizens were killed in Veracruz when gunmen attacked the bus in which they were traveling.

On Friday, the tortured bodies of ten people were found in Veracruz as a turf war between the Zetas gang and Gulf drug cartels intensifies.

In September, 35 bodies were dumped along a downtown highway in the Veracruz city of Boca del Rio.

More than 45,000 people have been killed in drug violence since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006. (Reporting by Patrick Rucker; editing by Todd Eastham)


Special Report: Phantom firms bleed millions from Medicare


December 21, 2011

by Brian Grow and Matthew Bigg


MIAMI/ATLANTA – By the time authorities busted a fake AIDS clinic in Miami, it had bilked Medicare of more than $4.5 million. Still, the man behind the scheme remained far ahead of the agents pursuing him.

Michel De Jesus Huarte, a 40-year-old Cuban-American, hadn’t simply avoided arrest. He had hatched a plan to steal millions more from Medicare by forming at least 29 other shell companies – paper-only firms with no real operations. Each time, he would keep his name out of any corporate records. Other people – some paid by Huarte, some whose identities had been stolen – would be listed in incorporation papers.

The shells functioned as a vital tool to hide the Medicare deceit – and not only for Huarte. Hundreds of others have used the veil of corporate secrecy to help steal hundreds of millions of dollars from one of the nation’s largest social service programs, a Reuters investigation has found.

Huarte is now behind bars and did not respond to requests for comment. But basic checks by Reuters of Medicare providers in one city – Miami – suggest shell companies remain prime tools in perpetrating fraud. Simply by reviewing the incorporation records of Medicare providers in two buildings there, reporters uncovered information that one government official said could prompt “a serious criminal investigation” of some of the companies.

The fraud rings merge stolen doctor and patient data under the auspices of a shell company and then bill Medicare as rapidly as possible. Other shell companies are often layered on top to camouflage the fraud, law enforcement officials say.

Some of the shells purport to be billing companies; they form a buffer between the sham clinics and Medicare. Others pay kickbacks to doctors and patients who sign off on bogus medical claims or sell their Medicare ID numbers to enable the shell company to bill the government. Still other shells act as fronts to launder the profits.

The key to this kind of fraud, known as a “bust-out” scheme, is for each of the fake companies to bill as much as possible before authorities catch on. Shell companies become a tool that helps keep the crooks ahead of the cops.

“This is a ‘Catch Me If You Can’ environment,” says Ryan K. Stumphauzer, a former assistant U.S. attorney with the Department of Justice in Miami who prosecuted the Huarte case and scores of other Medicare frauds involving shell companies. “We had no clue who Huarte was. We had no idea there was some mastermind out there.”

Last year, “improper payments” resulted in $48 billion in losses to the Medicare program, nearly 10 percent of the $526 billion in payments the program made, according to a Government Accountability Office report last March. Exactly how much of those payments moved through shell companies remains unclear. That’s because neither Medicare nor law enforcement agencies systematically track how often such companies are used in the frauds. And not until 2007 did the federal government form task forces to exclusively target Medicare fraud rings.

But recent indictments issued by those task forces indicate that shell-perpetrated fraud is pervasive. Reuters examined indictments issued since 2007 in the eight states that have Medicare fraud task forces in place. The examination found that shell companies were involved in more than a third of the fraudulent Medicare claims identified by the task forces – $1 billion of the $2.9 billion uncovered.

The indictments and other cases indicate that at least 300 shell companies posed as legitimate Medicare providers and billing firms, or laundered payments from Medicare. Court records show shells have purported to provide services ranging from treating varicose veins to supplying prosthetic limbs.

“These companies are nameless, faceless entities collecting billions in secret,” says Patrick Burns, director of communications for the advocacy group Taxpayers Against Fraud in Washington, D.C. Medicare is “chasing it,” he says. “But they’re not getting any closer.”


The shell companies bedeviling Medicare exemplify a national problem that Reuters documented in a series of stories this year. During the last decade, Washington has called on the rest of the world to clean up shady financial flows and improve corporate transparency to combat terrorism and tax evasion.

Even so, U.S.-based shell companies remain a significant tool of deception – in this case, to swindle hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayer-supported Medicare.

In one of the largest cases of Medicare fraud ever charged, the operation was enabled by shell companies. In October 2010, federal prosecutors indicted 44 members of an Armenian organized crime ring. Their network, which stretched from Los Angeles to Savannah, Ga., used 118 shell companies in 25 states to pose as Medicare providers, billing more than $100 million, according to federal indictments in three states.

The difficulty of spotting – and stopping – shell-perpetrated Medicare fraud is compounded by incorporation laws that vary from state to state and make forming fake businesses easy.

Intentionally submitting false corporate information constitutes fraud in every state. But none check the validity of corporate records when a company incorporates or collect information on the “beneficial owners” – those with a controlling interest in the corporations.

Because Huarte’s shell companies, like others, were incorporated with various state governments, the corporate documentation gave the fake clinics a veneer of legitimacy. And because Huarte was seldom listed in the incorporation papers, connecting him to the cons became more complicated.

The strategy enabled the scheme to go largely undetected by authorities for years, even though most of the operations had mailing addresses that betrayed their fiction. More than a dozen corresponded to UPS stores, Reuters found. Others tracked back to shabby apartments.

For example, a purported cancer clinic called Bellemeade Oncology Care lists its address in Georgia state records as 1500 Bellemeade Dr., #4D, Marietta, Ga. But a visit to the address reveals it isn’t a clinic at all. Rather, it’s an apartment with a broken washing machine on the front stoop and a pick-up truck parked in the grass outside the complex on Atlanta’s north side.

In Florida, FBI agents say almost every Medicare fraud scheme involves shell companies. There, Reuters scrutinized incorporation documents for firms located in two buildings near the Miami International Airport. In a building with dimly lit corridors, a rickety elevator and almost no one in sight, a host of companies purport to provide services to Medicare recipients. But telltale signs of fraud abound.

Many of the 26 companies in the buildings had replaced corporate officers at least once in the last four years. Some had changed ownership, or their corporate executives represented more than one medical-related company. Law enforcement officials consider such activities to be red flags for fraud.

Reuters subsequently asked analysts from the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board to use its software programs to examine the companies. The board monitors $787 billion in stimulus funds for fraudulent activity using sophisticated computer systems; last year, it had worked with Medicare officials to look for patterns of fraud.

Earlier this month, board head Earl E. Devaney said the companies Reuters identified represent “a pretty big case.”

Devaney, who is also the inspector general for the Department of the Interior, says the board’s analysis of the 26 Medicare providers led investigators to another 15 Medicare entities associated with those providers. He believes the findings could prompt a “serious criminal investigation.”

The Miami Medicare providers, he said, “have the distinct look of the kinds of scams we’ve seen before.” The results of the board’s analysis were sent to the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services for further investigation, Devaney said.


Federal prosecutors struggled for years to spot, let alone stop, Huarte’s shell game. They describe his operation as “remarkable for its geographic breadth, organization, sophistication, and size.” From 2005 until early 2009, Huarte and at least seven co-conspirators operated at least 35 fake Medicare clinics in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina, court records show.

During that time, his scams operated “virtually uninterrupted,” according to a September 2009 superseding indictment and other court records filed in U.S. District Court in Florida.

They billed Medicare for more than $100 million and received at least $34 million in payments for non-existent HIV and AIDS treatments and varicose vein care and pain management therapy that never occurred.

The key: Huarte stayed steps ahead of authorities by setting up new companies before the government could sniff out the fraud from his old ones, court records show.

“It was like whack-a-mole for a time,” says Alanna Lavelle, a director of investigations for Medicare contractor WellPoint Inc., who chased the case against Huarte for more than a year. “It became frustrating.”

It began like this: In 2005, Huarte and his co-conspirators formed or acquired control of six medical clinics in Florida, each with its own office. Patients were then recruited and paid kickbacks to periodically appear at the clinics or allow use of their Medicare numbers, according to a plea agreement signed by Huarte in October 2009. The clinics were shams – patients weren’t receiving legitimate treatment there. Later, when authorities caught on, Huarte created shell companies consisting of entirely fictional clinics — those that corresponded with mailbox stores, for instance.

Most of the clinics purported to treat HIV and AIDS patients. Bills submitted for expensive injections of drugs such as Infliximab and Rituxan, which fight immune system deficiencies, cost Medicare as much as $7,800 per dose, according to the indictment.

To disguise Huarte’s role, “straw owners” were paid as much as $200,000 to put their names on Florida incorporation records and bank accounts. In return, some straw owners agreed to “flee to Cuba to avoid law enforcement detection or capture,” according to the indictment.

For instance, Madelin Machado is listed as president of Zigma Medical Care, the fake Miami clinic that collected $4.5 million from Medicare. In January 2008, after authorities figured out the scam, Machado was indicted for healthcare fraud in Florida. She subsequently disappeared, although she’s still listed as Zigma’s president in state records.

Huarte’s cover-ups proved successful for years, even as he secretly directed his fake companies, authorities say. He later replaced Zigma and the other Florida clinics with shell clinics in Atlanta such as New Age Family Institute and Elusive Quality, according to federal court records. Although each was registered in state incorporation records, neither the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) nor state officials checked the validity of the corporate documents, a review that may have uncovered the fraud.

CMS, which runs Medicare, says it doesn’t have the resources to analyze incorporation records for each of its 1.5 million providers and suppliers. Those records are separately maintained by each state.

Almost all of Huarte’s corporate data proved a lie. The purported representative of New Age Family Institute was a deaf retiree whose identity had been stolen, an FBI affidavit said.

Medicare claims filed by each of the fake clinics were accompanied by all the right doctor, patient and treatment codes, say law enforcement officials and fraud investigators.

But New Age Family Institute was purportedly located in Atlanta at 205 South 49th St., according to state incorporation records. A Google Maps search shows that address doesn’t exist. Elusive Quality’s address – 925B Peachtree Street N.E., Suite 131 – was actually a UPS store in Atlanta’s Midtown district.

Some of the people listed as officers in incorporation papers say they didn’t know their names had been used until contacted for this article.

One, Jimmie Dominic Dancer, is an instructor at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. State incorporation records name him as the chief executive and chief financial officer of S.T.R. of Georgia, a purported HIV and AIDS clinic in Atlanta that was part of the Huarte fraud network.

Dancer says he was surprised to learn that his name was listed in state records. A specialist in internal medicine, he says he has not practiced medicine since 2002. “I’ve never been a CEO or CFO,” he said. “I’ve never heard of S.T.R. of Georgia.”


For much of 2008, Huarte continued his use of shell companies outside of Florida. From February to December 2008, he and co-conspirators formed at least 29 new sham Medicare clinics in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana, according to state incorporation records.

Authorities say Huarte bought lists of real Medicare beneficiaries from a Medicare contractor and from employees of a company that administered benefits. Then he submitted claims in the beneficiaries’ names.

But instead of billing Medicare directly as he had done initially, Huarte changed his approach, court records show. He began charging Medicare Advantage Plans, a program administered by private health insurers such as WellPoint and UnitedHealthcare Group, according to the indictment and a July 2009 motion to revoke bond.

A break came in early 2008, when a Medicare beneficiary complained to WellPoint that his Medicare benefits statement was wrong. It listed him as having received HIV treatments from a Huarte sham clinic called BIBB Group Services – but he didn’t have HIV and he’d never received any such care.

WellPoint fraud investigator Lavelle says her team began to review the claims and the incorporation records for other clinics in Georgia.

Reuters also reviewed records and found that BIBB Group’s purported home in the central Georgia town of Warner Robins — 1000 Martha Street, Suite F — is an abandoned building behind a $59-a-night motel.

Despite efforts to stop him, Huarte and his cohorts adapted.

Using stolen patient information, they called WellPoint’s customer service line. They pretended to be the patients, Lavelle says, and asked to change the patients’ billing addresses to post office boxes. That way, the patients themselves wouldn’t receive benefits letters and the fraud might remain undetected, she says.

For the next 15 months, WellPoint denied claims and stopped payment on checks worth $34 million that were sent to Huarte clinics.

After BIBB Group claims were blocked, new ones flowed in from new shell clinics. They first came from First Choice Group Services, Lavelle says. When those were stopped, new bills for HIV and AIDS treatments came from Strong Hope Co., In Excess LLC and More Than Ready Co. LLC. Each of those firms was formed in August 2008, according to Georgia state records.

“We saw more unusually named clinics pop up,” Lavelle says. “We actually thought they were playing with us.”

The addresses for Strong Hope, In Excess, More Than Ready and four other shell clinics also tracked to UPS stores. They billed Medicare for $15.1 million in false medical services and received $4.2 million in payments, according to court records.

Huarte’s four-year Medicare fraud spree was finally ended in 2009. That’s when federal investigators in Florida identified co-conspirators who ran Miami check-cashing businesses that turned the Medicare checks into cash. Early that year, the check-cashers agreed to secretly wear recording devices that caught Huarte and others talking about the scam.

In October 2009, Huarte, the master of the Medicare shell game, pleaded guilty to healthcare and mail fraud. He was sentenced to 22 years in a federal prison in Pennsylvania and ordered to repay $18.3 million.

Although WellPoint had blocked millions in payments, Huarte’s fake clinics outside Florida had still received more than $12 million from almost a dozen private insurers, according to Huarte’s plea agreement. In total, his fraud garnered at least $34 million from Medicare.

At a sentencing hearing in January 2010, former prosecutor Stumphauzer told the judge why he felt Huarte deserved a lengthy prison term for his shell-driven scam.

“I think what really troubles me most is their innovation,” he said, according to a court transcript.

“Every time Medicare gets close, every time Medicare clamps off one path, it never occurs to them to stop stealing. They just evolve the scheme and steal some more.”


CMS says it has been handcuffed in combating shell companies that posed as legitimate providers because it lacked the resources to extensively review the backgrounds and addresses of providers. Less than 5 percent of all payments were subjected to audits.

That led to a system in which Medicare cut checks and asked questions later. Analysts and law enforcement officials call it “pay and chase.”

Until recently, Congress offered little funding to help Medicare prevent abuses. But the healthcare reform law passed in March 2010 allocates $350 million over the next 10 years to fight fraud in Medicare and Medicaid, its sister program for the poor. The law also imposes stiffer sentences for the scam artists.

CMS is installing new fraud-fighting computer analytics to check the backgrounds of doctors and providers to ensure, for example, that Medicare ID numbers aren’t being stolen. The programs may help connect the people to the corporations they’re running about 75 percent of the time, says Peter Budetti, deputy administrator and director of program integrity at CMS.

Beginning in January, the locations of providers also will be checked by “geo-spatial mapping,” Budetti says.

In the aftermath of the Huarte case, CMS and private contractors launched a comparison of UPS store addresses and Medicare provider locations. Investigators visited 823 locations and found that 185 providers – 22 percent – listed a UPS store as the practice location on their Medicare enrolment application. CMS says 134 providers have had their license revoked or deactivated.

New providers also will be subject to automated enrolment screening. Their names will be checked against databases that include the federal government’s banned contractor lists, state and federal criminal dockets, and state licensing records.

But how much shell-perpetrated fraud these steps will eliminate remains unclear. The dragnet, for instance, might prompt criminals to simply create new shell companies – entities with no prior histories that wouldn’t register on any government watch list.

Nor do the steps address the fundamental loophole. Although the new screening system will have access to state incorporation records, CMS acknowledges it will still struggle to pierce the shell-company veil because states don’t collect information on the real owners when corporations are formed or sold.

“We want to catch this stuff when it’s at the $30,000 level instead of the $10 million level before anyone notices,” Budetti says.

“With the shell companies, these people just keep trying over and over again.”

(Additional reporting by Kelly Carr; editing by Blake Morrison and Michael Williams)


To examine how often shell companies were used in Medicare fraud schemes, Reuters obtained a list of some 300 closed criminal cases brought by federal Medicare fraud task forces in eight states since March 2007. Reuters then scrutinized federal court records using Pacer, a publicly available court docket system. Open case files for fraud rings indicted by the task forces also were examined.

The federal indictments rarely make specific reference to shell companies. So Reuters looked for descriptions of false corporate entities that posed as legitimate Medicare providers or for sham companies pretending to be billing firms. Reuters also looked for firms that paid kickbacks to doctors and patients, or that laundered stolen Medicare funds.

Ship held after missiles discovery cleared to travel again

MS Thor Liberty had docked in Finnish port of Kotka when police found and seized missiles and explosives

December 26, 2011

Associated Press


A British-registered ship that was held in a Finnish port after authorities discovered 69 surface-to-air missiles and 160 tons of explosives onboard has been given permission to travel again but without those materials or its captain, a port official said on Monday.

The MS Thor Liberty was heading to China and had docked in the southern Finnish port of Kotka to pick up anchor chains when police discovered and seized the missiles and explosive piric acid on board last week.

The Patriot missiles were an official shipment from Germany to South Korea, while the Finnish authorities said the explosives were a legitimate shipment for China. However, police said the missiles lacked proper transit documents and the explosives were not safely stored.

The military has destroyed some of the cargo, while other pieces were being repacked in a safer way, Markku Koskinen, the director of traffic operations at the port of Kotka, told the Associated Press. He said he did not know exactly which pieces had been disposed of.

The ship’s Ukrainian captain and first mate were taken into custody on suspicion of violating weapons export laws, and have not been cleared to leave the country. Eleven other crew members were on the ship.

Koskinen said the vessel’s travel ban was lifted on Monday afternoon, but could not say whether it would leave without its captain or whether the intention was still to travel to China.

“She can sail, but customs is still holding the cargo and the [detained] crew isn’t allowed to leave Finland,” he added.

Back to the future

December 22, 2011

by Chris Cook

Asia Times

            Problems of the 21st century problems cannot be solved with 20th century solutions. Martin Hutchinson recently wrote an interesting and entertaining article in which he suggested that we must go back to 1693 in order to find solutions. He advocated not only a return to the gold standard, but also to a system of “free banking”, whereby private banks would create gold-backed credit – without interference from Treasuries or central banks – in order to re-base and re-boot our economy.
            It was stirring stuff, and in my view he was right to suggest we look for solutions prior to 1693, but not necessarily the ones he proposes. …

            Economy 1.0
            The first economic paradigm – Economy 1.0, where buyers and sellers were physically present in the market – was decentralized but disconnected. The price of corn in one town’s corn exchange would have been different to that of the next town’s corn exchange, never mind corn exchanges in other regions or countries.
            An intellectual battle is currently raging among economists, historians and even anthropologists in relation to whether this Economy 1.0, which existed for thousands of years, involved primitive forms of credit or whether it was based upon barter transactions.
            The answer is that both mechanisms were in use: firstly, units of currency – objects of value – which were accepted in exchange because they were perceived as a store of value which would be accepted in turn by others; secondly, credit was routinely extended by sellers who created – in exchange for value provided – obligations by counter-parties to provide something of value in exchange.

            Currency – Forms of currency developed which were mutually acceptable forms of value or money’s worth, such as standard amounts of silver and gold, but other forms of value have been generally accepted over the years from cowrie shells to copper, and from cigarettes to salt (hence the word salary).
            Governments provided standardization, so that currency became understood as a pricing reference or unit of account; and also quality control, in the case of gold and other precious metals, by assaying, weighing, and minting coins as a standard unit of currency.

            Credit Instruments – The first form of credit instrument or IOU was the tally stick. A tally stick was a wooden stick, marked with notches which recorded the value of a transaction. It was split lengthways, and part of it – the “stock” – was given to a creditor who had provided value in exchange. The debtor retained the “counter-stock” or “foil”, and undertook to provide value in exchange when the stock was returned to him for redemption by whoever held it – ie, the bearer.
            In order for “stock” to be generally acceptable in payment, it had to be issued by a creditworthy counter-party. This would typically be a merchant of good standing (hence merchant banker), or an institution like a temple which levied tithes on the population, or a sovereign who levied and collected taxes.

            Economy 2.0
            The second economic paradigm, which evolved over a period of several hundred years, is the present centralized but connected economy, where transactions take place at a distance, through middlemen, ie intermediaries, who aim to make transaction profit and put capital at risk to do so.
            The development of regional, national and international trade was driven by the growth of generally accepted and trusted currencies and documentary credits and from the Middle Ages, the innovation of double entry book-keeping and accounting.
            The second great innovation was the creation of the corporate body, which enabled productive assets to be owned over generations, and was initially developed by the church and by municipalities – such as London’s City Corporation. Such corporations eventually came to be created for commercial purposes as an enterprise agreement between individuals with a view to profit.
            The first of these “Joint Stock Companies” in which individuals shared risk collectively – but not, as with partnerships, also individually – was the British East India Company in 1600 – but the Dutch East India Company was the first to issue “Stock” to raise investment. This was a credit instrument that gave permanent rights of asset ownership and to the fruits of ownership, and which was typically divided into “Shares” denominated in the national currency.

            Private credit – There were essentially two sources of documentary credits. Firstly, traders who deposited their bullion and coins on “bancs” in goldsmiths’ vaults for safe-keeping began to use the goldsmith’s receipt as currency instead of the gold itself. The goldsmiths – realizing that the gold they held was rarely withdrawn – began to create additional receipts and loan them for a period of time at interest. This essentially fraudulent practice of private credit creation formed the basis of modern-day banking, and was subject to a breakdown in confidence in the bank – “runs on the bank” – and hence bankruptcy.
            The second form of documentary credit was the issue of “bills of exchange” by merchants, which began to be accepted by third parties through an endorsement or assignment, often many times over, before the bill of exchange found its way back to the issuer to be exchanged for value. Trust in the issuer was key.
            These forms of credit enabled the flow of goods and services to take place, oiling the wheels of commerce, and were essentially based upon the capacity of people, individually and collectively to provide goods and services.

            Public credit – The historic role of public credit has been almost forgotten. From the 12th century onwards, the Exchequer of English sovereigns would pledge the sovereign’s credit – against value received – through the issue of stock which was later returned by the eventual holder in payment for taxes. The very phrase “rate of return” alludes to this long forgotten practice of returning stock to the issuer for cancellation.
            The important role of stock in UK public finances may be gauged by the fact that by 1694, when the Bank of England was privately incorporated, more than 17 million pounds worth of government stock in the form of tally sticks were still in circulation, at a time when the cost of running the government was 2 to 3 million pounds per year.
            But by this time, the Exchequer had also – in order to finance public expenditure, particularly military – begun to issue stock in documentary form. Issue of interest-bearing perpetual annuities, also known as stock, met a need for a “risk free” investment bearing a reasonable return. In order for interest to be paid, registers of entitlements were usually kept, although some documentary instruments carried coupons, which could be detached and presented to collect payment of interest.

            Privatization begins – The Bank of England was a private UK Joint Stock Company incorporated by Royal Charter and it began to create and provide credit on the basis of gold deposited with it. The Bank of England began to finance the UK government by purchasing its interest-bearing stock and annuities and indeed had a monopoly on this activity.
            In 1705, the remarkable Scottish gambler and adventurer, John Law, proposed in Scotland a form of money backed by land rentals, which came to nothing, but his proposal contained some remarkable insights as to the nature of money and credit. By 1716, Law had become the trusted adviser to the French prince regent, and after many successful economic reforms in France as controller general he created the Banque Generale.
            The credit created by this private bank created the first modern-day bubble, which was not directly in land value but in the shares of the French Mississippi Company, which had a monopoly on trade in the French territories which then formed almost a third of the modern US land-mass, right up to the Canadian border.
            The collapse of the Mississippi Bubble ruined the French economy, and a very similar bubble in shares of the South Sea Company, which collapsed in 1720, and had been fueled by credit from the Bank of England, caused similar widespread ruination in the UK.

            Twin Peaks

            Since that time, the “Twin Peaks” of finance capital – investment through Joint Stock Companies and debt created by private banks – have driven the development of the modern industrialized world, assisted by further innovations such as the privilege of free limited liability for Joint Stock Company investors in 1855.
            In the mid 19th century, a number of failures/bankruptcies of private Free Banks – which had issued their own bank notes but were unable to provide gold when these were presented for redemption – led to the Bank of England being given a monopoly on bank note issuance, which at that time was a very significant part of credit in circulation.
            A sophisticated system of wholesale and retail banking has since evolved, central to which is the relationship between the Treasury and the Central Bank, and a vast pyramid of credit was built upon a tiny base of gold. In 1971, even the technical ability to demand gold was dispensed with, and the present day system of public and private financing and funding reached its final form, at the heart of which is a Black Hole.

            A very secret agent

            The myth underpinning virtually all schools of economics is that the Treasury has a  banking relationship with the central bank. The pervasive belief is that the central bank lends money to the Treasury and is therefore a creditor of the Treasury.
            This is a myth. The central bank is actually the fiscal agent of the Treasury, and it creates credit on behalf of the Treasury either in note form or by crediting clearing bank accounts with new fiat currency.
            The truth of this is demonstrated in the United States by the fact that a few million US Treasury Notes (credit issued by the US Treasury) still circulate alongside Federal Reserve Notes (credit created by the Federal Reserve Bank) and they spend exactly the same. US Treasury Notes are to all intents and purposes modern day US paper stock, since they are accepted by the Treasury in payment of taxes. So what is actually going on, and it is a continuation of what the Bank of England began in 1694, is that private banks create credit on the basis of a cushion of capital specified by the Bank of International Settlements in Basel, and this credit created out of thin air is exchanged for interest-bearing Treasury debt.
            In this way, private bank credit – which carries an overhead of substantial salaries to management and handsome returns to shareholders – has come to replace public credit.
            This reality is actually obscured by deceptive language in the balance sheets of central banks, which describe both undated demand deposits – of cash held by the central bank as custodian – and dated term deposits, of cash loaned to banks at interest for a period through a sale and repurchase (Repo) agreement, as liabilities. These are two completely different types of liability: the first is an ownership obligation – a credit instrument; the second is a debt obligation/instrument.
            This misrepresentation leads to further myths in respect of how the system operates in reality, and these in turn feed completely mistaken economic policies and political rhetoric to justify them.

            Fractional reserve banking – This is a myth. In the modern banking system , bank deposits are not, as most people suppose, money which is taken in and then lent out. The creation of new credit/money by private banks is no longer constrained by reserves of cash deposited with the central bank, since clearing banks may obtain deposits by borrowing from other banks. The only constraint on credit creation is now the capital cushion that banks must hold to cover defaults by borrowers and operating costs.

            Tax and spend – Another myth. Tax has never in 800 years in the UK been collected and then spent, and the tally stick system is the evidence.
            Public spending on credit came first, and when stock was returned in payment of taxation this credit/money was retired. This is also true of all modern economies using a privatized fiscal and monetary architecture centered upon a central bank, but that fact has been obscured.
            What actually happens is that Treasuries first spend – using central banks as fiscal agents – and then fund that expenditure through the unnecessary issue and sale of interest-bearing debt to private banks, and through taxation, which is the only way that either public or private credit may be retired and extinguished.
            The truth of it is that tax-payers’ money has never been anywhere near a tax-payer.

            Peak credit – In or around 2007 the financial system reached a point of “peak credit”, at which the debt obligations taken on by populations exceeded their capacity to pay. This occurred because banks began to outsource credit risk and free their capital for further lending, to “shadow bank” investors:
            a. Totally – through securitization and sale of debt;
            b. Temporarily – through credit derivatives ie time limited guarantees;
            c. Partially – through credit insurance eg by AIG or Ambac;
            d. Toxic cocktails of these, such as collateralized debt obligations (CDOs); CDO squared and so on.
            The result was a series of massive bubbles in property prices which imploded from 2007 onwards and led to a breakdown in trust in the banking system so that banks ceased to lend to each other. I believe that the collapse of Lehman Brothers in October 2008 will come to be seen as the definitive end of the centralized, but connected, Economy 2.0 paradigm operated by and for the profit of middlemen.

            Economy 3.0
            The direct, instantaneous connections of the Internet make possible direct people-based (peer-to-peer) credit relationships between individuals and direct asset-based (peer-to-asset) credit relationships between individuals and productive assets.
            On the face of it, it could be expected that such dis-intermediation – which I term Napsterization, after the music file sharing phenomenon – would be resisted by banks as credit intermediaries. But in fact, the opposite is true.

            Inflation hedging – In parallel with the credit innovation that eventually led to the point of Peak Credit and the collapse of the banking system, there has been a parallel series of innovations in legal vehicles for investment in productive assets, involving trust law and partnership law, rather than company law.
            From 1995 onwards, beginning with the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index fund, a breed of funds was created that took on commodity risk – initially through holding long-term positions in the futures markets – with a view to “hedging inflation” and a decline in the value of commodities relative to the dollar.
            From 2005 to 2008, these funds grew rapidly and began to inflate commodity market prices as producers began to lease – through sale and repurchase agreements – commodities to the funds in return for a loan in dollars. The outcome was to enable oil producers to literally monetize oil stored in the ground, in tanks or in pipelines, and the flow of dollars into funds led to the bubble and collapse in oil prices in 2008.
            The Federal Reserve Bank addressed the collapse of Lehman Brothers by reducing dollar interest rates to zero and by creating dollars that were used to buy Treasury Bills – so-called quantitative easing.
            At this point, through 2009, the flow of inflation-hedging dollars became a flood as banks queued to launch new funds and to set up the necessary support and trading operations. Commodity and equity prices became completely detached from the underlying reality of physical production and consumption, and of flows of profits and dividends, as funds took ownership – through purchases or leases – of commodities and equities purely as an alternative to holding dollars.

            Dis-intermediation – Since the credit market is essentially dead, or at least on life support, the reason banks flocked to sell funds to clients is that market risk is not with the banks but with investors. Banks need relatively little capital to be service providers to the funds, and are able to make substantial profits in very short-term trading on behalf of the funds.
            The banks have knowledge in respect of the ownership of market inventory which is not known to other market participants. These are the merchants who buy and sell physical commodities, and speculative financial traders such as hedge funds or even risk-taking individual investors, who attempt to make transaction profit. Through such information asymmetry, and the use of new trading tools such as high-frequency trading which provide often dubious liquidity, high profits may be made on minimal capital.

            The adjacent possible – The point is that, as capital became scarce after October 2008, banks evolved their business model to the adjacent possible of marketing and operating new quasi-equity instruments. They transitioned from an intermediary role to a service provider role because it was and is profitable to do so.
            But these instruments, and the presence in the markets of investors who aim to avoid loss rather than make profits, have now led to what are essentially two tier and false markets.
            In my home turf of the oil market, all the signs are that in the absence of massive new flows of quantitative easing dollars from the Federal Reserve, and/or substantial cuts in oil production, especially from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, there will be a collapse in oil market prices in the first quarter of 2012. Indeed, some market participants have already taken option positions in the oil market in anticipation (or in fear) of a fall in the oil price as low as $45 per barrel in 2012.
            The coming collapse in commodity prices will lead to the next great regulatory scandal of mis-selling, when the risk-averse investors who bought these funds from the banks make massive market losses to which they never realized they were exposed.
            At that point the way will be open to go Back to the Future – to the next adjacent possible – which is direct people-based credit and direct asset-based credit.

            P & I clubs – People-based credit is not the direct peer-to-peer interest-bearing credit provided by companies such as Zopa. Instead, trade credit is extended directly from trade sellers to trade buyers, within the kind of mutual risk-sharing agreements that have existed for thousands of years. To this day, mutual “P & I club” insurance of shipping and other risks still takes place in the City of London, and these protection and indemnity mutual clubs have been managed by the same service provider for 135 years.
            In a mutual “credit clearing” system within a P & I cub risk-sharing agreement – or guarantee society – buyers and sellers would pay no interest on credit but would pay for the use of the system, and would also pay a guarantee charge or provision into a pool in common ownership to guard against defaults.

            21st century stock
            Issues of stock appropriate for the 21st century will enable direct credit creation not only for short term/high risk development financing but also when productive assets are complete, for long term/low risk funding.
            Owners of productive assets simply create and issue undated credits/units that are redeemable in payment for the use of the asset. For example $1.00’s worth of rental revenues pre-sold for 80 cents will give an absolute return of 25%, but the rate of return depends – literally – upon the rate at which units of stock may be returned to the issuer and redeemed against use.
            Instead of debt fragmented by date and rate of interest, there will simply be single classes of stock, and even if financial investors do not buy stock for investment, users of productive assets such as occupiers will always buy stock at a price less than face value in order to redeem it against use.
            The fact that the issuance of stock is as possible for assets in public ownership as it is in respect of assets in private ownership opens up simple but radical new options for public financing and funding.

            Open capital – Stock may in fact be seen as currency sold forward at a wholesale discount, and I think of such undated credit as open capital, to distinguish it from closed and proprietary forms of debt and equity finance capital.
            My vision of a 21st century “Open Capitalism” is of new forms of stock based upon land rentals which will come to be what are essentially networked land-based national currencies created literally from the ground up.
            Other forms of stock, some locally acceptable, others internationally, will be based upon the intrinsic value of energy, such as stock redeemable in payment for carbon fuels; electricity, and even heat.
            These currencies will change hands “peer to peer” against goods and services with the backing of a mutual guarantee based upon the capacity of individuals to provide such goods and services.
            Finally, the reference point or pricing benchmark against which transactions will be made will logically be an absolute amount of energy, and the global economy will go onto an “Energy Standard” for exchange, thereby enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy.

            Chris Cook is a former director of the International Petroleum Exchange. He is now a strategic market consultant, entrepreneur and commentator.

(Copyright 2011 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)


Conversations with the Crow


When the CIA discovered that their former Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs, Robert T. Crowley, had been talking with author Gregory Douglas, they became fearful (because of what Crowley knew) and outraged (because they knew Douglas would publish eventually) and made many efforts to silence Crowley, mostly by having dozens of FBI agents call or visit him at his Washington home and try to convince him to stop talking to Douglas, whom they considered to be an evil, loose cannon.          

            Crowley did not listen to them (no one else ever does, either) and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

          Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to:



Conversations with the Crow


Conversation No. 105


Date: Tuesday, October 7, 1997

Commenced: 11: 23 AM CST

Concluded: 11:38 AM CST

GD: What’s up, Robert?

RTC: Emily is pestering me to have some tests made to see if I have lung cancer. Surgery is indicated. I smoke a lot and sometimes I get short of breath but I do not want to go under the knife. At my age, that’s a virtual death sentence. I’ll just keep on stalling as long as I can.

GD: Well, good luck to you.

RTC: Thanks. And what are you up to these days?
GD: Being of some assistance to the KLA people.

RTC: Those are very dangerous terrorists, Gregory. Do you know any?
GD: Oh my yes, I do. By accident but I had no idea who these people were when I gave them some good advice on certain matters and got a lawyer for them. I don’t care what our government thinks of them. I don’t like Serbs and neither do they so that makes us on the same side.

RTC: What kind of advice did you give them, if I might ask?
GD: You may indeed. We discussed the nickel mines. The Ferronkeli mines.

RTC: A rather sensitive subject, Gregory. What do you know about that?
GD: I told them to grab the mines, get rid of the management and stuff the shafts or whatever with charges. Set them off if and when. I think I know some people who might be interested in making a deal on the output if and when. I am sure that guerrilla warfare against Belgrade will be successful in the end.

RTC: The mines are of interest to a number of people, you know.

GD: I’ve heard. I told my friends to get the mines and then they could pick and choose.

RTC: I think there are people right now who have a reasonable expectation of getting their hands on that.

GD: Your people?
RTC: A mutual interest. I suggest you do not interfere in this, if you take my advice.

GD: I usually do, Robert, but this time, I launched a project without mentioning it to you mainly because you are not involved any more and it did not occur to me that the CIA might have business friends. I know your people are stirring things up over there so I just tried to be of friendly use to people I rather like.

RTC: Bigger mines than Petsamo.

GD: Yes and I think the locals should have control over them, not the friends of anyone here. More wars, insurrections and protracted death are due to business interests who have friends at Langley. Besides, they rather like me because I help my friends without bothering to ask for money.

RTC: What do you expect to get out of this?

GD: Good will. I think if the Serbs attack, they will have the shit kicked out of them and the Albanians will come out ahead. I like Albanians anyway. I mean they are very good friends and terrible enemies. I prefer people like that as opposed to the sissified cunts that are on the other side. No offense to you, of course, but I have run into some of our spies overseas and I have no respect for the purse-swingers.

RTC: I have gathered that and not only from you. You have so many friends, Gregory.

GD: Judge a man by his enemies, Robert. And as Otto said, many enemies, much honor. If the KLA keeps on the way it has been going, they will start the ball rolling and it could be the breakup of the Tito empire. Terrible thought. I am sure the Croats, the Albanians and the Slovenes will be overjoyed. The Balkans have always been a hotbed of turmoil and disasters. The Serbs started the First World War and have been making trouble for decades. Maybe the KLA can start a bonfire and others can achieve militarily which they cannot. We can only wait and see and in the meantime, I love to get together with my Albanian friends and enjoy a pleasant interlude discussing politics and military projects.

RTC: But the KLA are terrorists, Gregory.

GD: I’m sure but Robert, your terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.

RTC: And they’re not Christians.

GD: I would hope not. The Christians have been responsible for more bloodshed over the years than Genghis Kahn and the Mongols. I can cite chapter and verse to you. My connections are Muslims anyway and that group is coming up to the top now. Another Mideast problem hatching from the egg. Of course any Muslim nationalism will be a direct counteraction to perceived Western meddling and, even more important, our slavish devotion to Israel. Hell, 95% of the Jews in Israel are Khazars and don’t have a drop of Jewish blood in them. The Ashkenazi are a bunch of bloody bastards and they simply barged into Palestine, claiming that was their ancestral home…which it was not. Ah well, far be it from me to try to enlighten our thoroughly corrupt legislators. Maybe a bomb up their collective asses will get them to be a bit less devoted and a bit more neutral.

RTC: I doubt that will ever happen, Gregory, but you have a point there.

GD: Of course but it is obvious. Israel would never help us but they demand we help them to the tune of billions of dollars down our drain. We don’t get value for money from that one, believe me.

(Concluded at 11:38 AM CST) 

Dramatis personae:

            James Jesus Angleton: Once head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, later fired because of his obsessive and illegal behavior, tapping the phones of many important government officials in search of elusive Soviet spies. A good friend of Robert Crowley and a co-conspirator with him in the assassination of President Kennedy

            James P. Atwood: (April 16, 1930-April 20, 1997) A CIA employee, located in Berlin, Atwood had a most interesting career. He worked for any other intelligence agency, domestic or foreign, that would pay him, was involved in selling surplus Russian atomic artillery shells to the Pakistan government and was also most successful in the manufacturing of counterfeit German dress daggers. Too talkative, Atwood eventually had a sudden, and fatal, “seizure” while lunching with CIA associates.

            William Corson: A Marine Corps Colonel and President Carter’s representative to the CIA. A friend of Crowley and Kimmel, Corson was an intelligent man whose main failing was a frantic desire to be seen as an important person. This led to his making fictional or highly exaggerated claims.

            John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States.

            James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organizaed the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.

            Robert T. Crowley: Once the deputy director of Clandestine Operations and head of the group that interacted with corporate America. A former West Point football player who was one of the founders of the original CIA. Crowley was involved at a very high level with many of the machinations of the CIA.

            Gregory Douglas: A retired newspaperman, onetime friend of Heinrich Müller and latterly, of Robert Crowley. Inherited stacks of files from the former (along with many interesting works of art acquired during the war and even more papers from Robert Crowley.) Lives comfortably in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean.

            Reinhard Gehlen: A retired German general who had once been in charge of the intelligence for the German high command on Russian military activities. Fired by Hitler for incompetence, he was therefore naturally hired by first, the U.S. Army and then, as his level of incompetence rose, with the CIA. His Nazi-stuffed organization eventually became the current German Bundes Nachrichten Dienst.

            Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired, lives in Florida, and works for the CIA as an “advisor.”

            Willi Krichbaum: A Senior Colonel (Oberführer) in the SS, head of the wartime Secret Field Police of the German Army and Heinrich Müller’s standing deputy in the Gestapo. After the war, Krichbaum went to work for the Critchfield organization and was their chief recruiter and hired many of his former SS friends. Krichbaum put Critchfield in touch with Müller in 1948.

            Heinrich Müller: A former military pilot in the Bavarian Army in WWI, Müller  became a political police officer in Munich and was later made the head of the Secret State Police or Gestapo. After the war, Müller escaped to Switzerland where he worked for Swiss intelligence as a specialist on Communist espionage and was hired by James Critchfield, head of the Gehlen Organization, in 1948. Müller subsequently was moved to Washington where he worked for the CIA until he retired.

            Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this. Neither were his employers.

            Frank Wisner: A Founding Father of the CIA who promised much to the Hungarians and then failed them. First, a raging lunatic who was removed from Langley, screaming, in a strait jacket and later, blowing off the top of his head with a shotgun.           

            Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers specializing in creative writing. Although he prefers to be called ‘Dr,’ in reality he has no PhD.

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