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TBR News January 17, 2019

Jan 17 2019

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

Washington, D.C. January 17, 2019:” Operation Cyclone was the code name given to the CIA program designed to arm, train, and finance the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, from 1979 to 1989. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups that were favored by neighboring Pakistan, rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan regime since before the Soviet intervention. The CIA was actively supporting and financing the Islamic brigades, later known as Al Qaeda. In the Pashtun language, the word “Taliban” means “Students”, or graduates of the madrasahs (places of learning or coranic schools) set up by the Wahhabi missions from Saudi Arabia, with the support of the CIA.

Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken; funding began with $20–30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987. CIA financial aid to the insurgents within Afghanistan was approved in July 1979, six months before the Soviet invasion, though after the Soviets were already covertly engaged there. Arms were sent to CIA-loyal Afghani rebels only after the formal Soviet invasion.

The Soviet War in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the indigenous Afghan Mujahideen and foreign “Arab–Afghan” volunteers. The mujahideen found military and financial support from a variety of sources including the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Egypt, China and other nations. The Afghan war became a proxy war in the broader context of the late Cold War. . On April 14, 1979, the Afghan government requested that the USSR send 15 to 20 helicopters with their crews to Afghanistan, and on June 16, the Soviet government responded and sent a detachment of tanks, BMPs, and crews to guard the government in Kabul and to secure the Bagram and Shindand airfields. In response to this request, an airborne battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. Lomakin, arrived at the Bagram Air Base on July 7. They arrived without their combat gear, disguised as technical specialists. They were the personal bodyguards for President Taraki. The paratroopers were directly subordinate to the senior Soviet military advisor and did not interfere in Afghan politics. On July 3, 1979, Carter signed a presidential finding authorizing funding for anticommunist guerrillas in Afghanistanas a part of the Central Intelligence Agency program called Operation Cyclone, led by their elite Special Activities Division, which would later include the massive arming of Afghanistan’s mujahideen.

The initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979 under Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev. The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989 under the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Due to the interminable nature of the war, the conflict in Afghanistan has sometimes been referred to as the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam War”.

President Jimmy Carter insisted that what he termed “Soviet aggression” could not be viewed as an isolated event of limited geographical importance but had to be contested as a potential threat to US influence in the Persian Gulf region. The US was also worried about the USSR gaining access to the Indian Ocean by coming to an arrangement with Pakistan.

On July 3, 1979 ,Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. The aim of US was to drag the Soviet Union into what then US Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski liked to call the “Afghan trap.”

The Afghans were supported by a number of other countries, with the US and Saudi Arabia offering the greatest financial support.

The United States began training insurgents in, and directing propaganda broadcasts into Afghanistan from Pakistan in 1978.Then, in early 1979, U.S. foreign service officers began meeting insurgent leaders to determine their needs After the Soviet deployment, Pakistan’s military ruler General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq started accepting financial aid from the Western powers to aid the mujahideen In 1981, following the election of US President Ronald Reagan, aid for the mujahideen through Zia’s Pakistan significantly increased, mostly due to the efforts of Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson and CIA officer Gust Avrakotos.

US “Paramilitary Officers” from the CIA’s Special Activities Division were instrumental in training, equipping and sometimes leading Mujihadeen forces against the Soviet Army. Although the CIA in general and Charlie Wilson, a Texas Congressman, have received most of the attention, the key architect of this strategy was Michael G. Vickers, a young Paramilitary Officer. Michael Pillsbury, a senior Pentagon official overcame bureaucratic resisistance in 1985-1986 and persuaded President Reagan to provide hundreds of Stinger missiles.

Between December 25, 1979 and February 15, 1989, a total of 620,000[soldiers served with the forces in Afghanistan (though there were only 80,000-104,000 serving at one time): 525,000 in the Army, 90,000 with border troops and other KGB sub-units, 5,000 in independent formations of MVD Internal Troops, and police forces. A further 21,000 personnel were with the Soviet troop contingent over the same period doing various white collar and blue collar jobs.

The total irrecoverable personnel losses of the Soviet Armed Forces, frontier, and internal security troops came to 14,453. Soviet Army formations, units, and HQ elements lost 13,833, KGB sub-units lost 572, MVD formations lost 28, and other ministries and departments lost 20 men. During this period 417 servicemen were missing in action or taken prisoner; 119 of these were later freed, of whom 97 returned to the USSR and 22 went to other countries, the rest were murdered by their captors.

Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed close relations with the most radical mujahideen leaders. He also worked closely with the CIA, Since September 11, [2001] CIA officials have been claiming they had no direct link to bin Laden.” -Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. The US covert education destroyed secular education. The number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000. From the outset of the Soviet Afghan war in 1979, Pakistan under military rule actively supported the Islamic brigades. In close liaison with the CIA, Pakistan’s military intelligence, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), became a powerful organization, a parallel government, wielding tremendous power and influence.

The ISI had a staff composed of military and intelligence officers, bureaucrats, undercover agents and informers, estimated at 150,000. Meanwhile, CIA operations had also reinforced the Pakistani military regime led by General Zia Ul Haq:

“Relations between the CIA and the ISI had grown increasingly warm following [General] Zia’s ouster of Bhutto and the advent of the military regime. During most of the Afghan war, Pakistan was more aggressively anti-Soviet than even the United States. Soon after the Soviet military invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Zia [ul Haq] sent his ISI chief to destabilize the Soviet Central Asian states. The CIA only agreed to this plan in October 1984

The ISI operating virtually as an affiliate of the CIA, played a central role in channeling support to Islamic paramilitary groups in Afghanistan and subsequently in the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union.

Acting on behalf of the CIA, the ISI was also involved in the recruitment and training of the Mujahideen. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 Muslims from 43 Islamic countries were recruited to fight in the Afghan jihad.

The madrassasin Pakistan, financed by Saudi charities, were also set up with US support with a view to “inculcating Islamic values”. “The camps became virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism,” (Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban). Guerilla training under CIA-ISI auspices included targeted assassinations and car bomb attacks.

Weapons’ shipments were sent by the Pakistani army and the ISI to rebel camps in the North West Frontier Province near the Afghanistan border. The military governor of the province was Lieutenant General Fazle Haq, who allowed hundreds of heroin refineries to set up in his province. Harvested gum opium was trucked to a Pakistani Army base and taken over by CIA personnel where it was trans-shipped to Columbia by CIA proprietary aircraft companies.

Beginning around 1982, Pakistani army trucks carrying CIA weapons from Karachi often picked up heroin in Haq’s province and return loaded with heroin. They were protected from police search by ISI papers. During the Reagan administration, Osama, who belonged to the wealthy Saudi Bin Laden family was put in charge of raising money for the Islamic brigades. Numerous charities and foundations were created.

The operation was coordinated by Saudi intelligence, headed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, in close liaison with the CIA. The money derived from the various charities were used to finance the recruitment of Mujahieen volunteers.

Al Qaeda, “The Base” in Arabic, was a CIA-instituted and maintained data bank of volunteers who had enlisted to fight in the Afghan jihad. That data base was initially also controlled by Osama bin Laden. U.S. CIA and U.S. Army counterinsurgency experts worked closely with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in organizing Mujahideen groups and in planning operations inside Afghanistan. But the most important contribution of the U.S. was to bring in men and material from around the Arab world and beyond. The most hardened and ideologically dedicated men were sought on the logic that they would be the best fighters. Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 16
  • ‘Radicalized’ man planned to storm White House with BAZOOKA, FBI says
  • Trump lawyer Giuliani shifts on collusion, can’t say if campaign tied to Russia
  • Fake editions of The Washington Post handed out at multiple locations in D.C.
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 16

November 15, 2018

by Daniel Dale Washington Bureau Chief

Toronto Star

WASHINGTON—It took Donald Trump until the 286th day of his presidency to make 815 false claims.

He just made another 815 false claims in a month.

In the 31 days leading up to the midterm elections on Nov. 6, Trump went on a lying spree like we have never seen before even from him — an outrageous barrage of serial dishonesty in which he obliterated all of his old records.

How bad have these recent weeks been?

  • Trump made 664 false claims in October. That was double his previous record for a calendar month, 320 in August.
  • Trump averaged 26.3 false claims per day in the month leading up to the midterm on Nov. 6. In 2017, he averaged 2.9 per day.
  • Trump made more false claims in the two months leading up to the midterms (1,176), than he did in all of 2017 (1,011).
  • The three most dishonest single days of Trump’s presidency were the three days leading up to the midterms: 74 on election eve, Nov. 5; 58 on Nov. 3; 54 on Nov. 4.

As always, Trump was being more frequently dishonest in part because he was simply speaking more. He had three campaign rallies on Nov. 5, the day before he set the record, and eight more rallies over the previous five days.

But it was not only quantity. Trump packed his rally speeches with big new lies, repeatedly reciting wildly inaccurate claims about migrants, Democrats’ views on immigration and health care, and his own record. Unlike many of his lies, lots of these ones were written into the text of his speeches.

Trump is now up to 3,749 false claims for the first 661 days of his presidency, an average of 4.4 per day.

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not telling the truth.

 

  • Nov 1, 2018

“But if Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Claire McCaskill, and the crazy Democrats — and one thing I will say, even Claire McCaskill today said they are crazy Democrats, which is pretty good — if they get back into power, they will try everything they can to raise the hell out of your taxes and restore those regulations that have meant so much, impose socialism, destroy your Medicare, and eliminate your borders.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Democrats might try to raise taxes at some point. They had no plans to eliminate U.S. borders, destroy Medicare, or impose socialism.

 

“And I know it doesn’t mean anything to the warriors that are with us tonight in the military, I know they couldn’t care less about this, but we gave them their largest pay raise in more than 10 years.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The military pay increase in the 2019 defense bill, 2.6 per cent, is the largest in nine years, since the 3.4 per cent increase under Obama in 2010. We’ve let Trump get away with saying this is the largest increase in “a decade,” but “more than a decade” is incorrect.

“We passed Veterans Choice, giving our veterans the right to see a private doctor. Forty-four years, and I thought it was my idea. And I said, ‘I have the greatest idea.’ I went to my people. ‘I have the greatest idea. What you’ll do is instead of having them wait seven days, 23 days, 38 days, three months, we have had patients and people that were not very sick, and by the time they saw the doctor, they were literally terminally ill. Now you go out and you see a private doctor, and we pay the bill.’ And Senator Blunt helped a lot on that, Senator Blunt. But I thought that was my idea. I’ll tell you, I walked off — I said, man, am I smart? I’m so smart. Then I went to my people, I said, ‘I have an idea. We’re going to take the person off the line, let them go see a local doctor maybe a block away, we pay the bill.’ They said, ‘Yes, sir, we’ve been working on this for 44 years.’ But I got it done. So, you know, at least I got it approved, right? At least I got it approved.

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The Veterans Choice health program was passed and created in 2014 under Obama. The law Trump signed in 2018, the VA MISSION Act, modified the Choice program.

“To help critically ill patients get life-saving treatment, we passed something that they’ve been trying to pass for 46 years. It’s called Right to Try. You all know what it is. Hopefully, nobody has to use it. I don’t want you to use it. I hope you don’t have to use it, but we have the finest doctors and research and medicines in the world…But if we had something that really looked promising and somebody was terminally ill, they could not use that drug, and you’d see them — if they had money. If they didn’t, they’d go home and there was nothing they could do. They’re looking for hope. And what happened is they’d go all over the world, they’d go to Asia, they’d go to Europe, all over the world looking for a secret cure. And we have the best chance right here. So now you go in, you sign a piece of paper, which is just fine, and you get taken care of, and we have had some incredible results already. It’s amazing. It’s really amazing. It’s amazing. It’s also a great way to see if it works, to be honest with you. I mean, it’s a great way. But it gives these people hope. It gives them hope. And they don’t have to go all over the world to much lesser talents and look for something. We have had already — this was three months ago — already some amazing stories.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Trump was exaggerating how dire the situation was before this Right to Try legislation passed. It is not true “there was nothing” patience could do in terms of getting access to experimental medicines. Rather, they simply had to ask the Food and Drug Administration for approval first. While many patients objected to this requirement, which the Trump-backed new legislation removed, the FDA approved 99 per cent of all patient requests, the Trump-appointed head of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, testified to Congress in October 2017. The Government Accountability Office confirms: “Of the nearly 5,800 expanded access requests that were submitted to FDA from fiscal year 2012 through 2015, FDA allowed 99 per cent to proceed,” the GAO wrote in a July 2017 report. “FDA typically responded to emergency single-patient requests within hours and other types of requests within the allotted 30 days.” Further, the new law will not help the patients whose requests for experimental treatments have been rejected by drug companies themselves, which Trump himself noted was a problem. The legislation does not compel the companies to provide access.

“We’ve taken bold action to reduce the price of prescription drugs. We’re reducing the price. The drug companies aren’t liking me too much now, but that’s OK. That’s OK. I’ve had people say that’s more important than almost anything. I have people that say — because we’ve done great on health care, but I’ve had people say that reducing the cost of prescription drugs is maybe in a certain way more important than health care. And you watch what’s going to happen. Just watch prescription drug prices. You know, I called up Pfizer and some of the great drug companies. They’re great companies. Novartis, a couple of others, about a month ago, because they raised the price of their drugs. And I called, I said, ‘What are you doing? You can’t do that. I’m cutting prices.’ Look, it’s all profit. So much profit. They make so much profit. But they just raised it. You know, why not? They’ve been raising it for years. They got away with it with the politicians that didn’t know what the hell they were doing. So they were raising the price of drugs, and they were going to raise them substantially, and they announced the raise. One after the other, I called my people, Secretary Alex Azar, fantastic. I said, I’ve got to call these people. I called the head of Pfizer. I called some of the others. And that’s when I realized this is a very powerful office. They had raised them. They had announced the raise of price. And they said, ‘Sir, we will immediately drop the price down to where it was.’ Can you believe that? Can you believe that? It didn’t get much news, folks, but you know it. You know it. At least I can tell you. Might as well talk about yourself, because nobody else is going to. Nobody else is going to! Nobody else. So these drug companies — and I do appreciate Pfizer and Novartis and so many others, they really did, they dropped it down. Now they’re going to drop it down because we’re getting rid of a lot of the middleman, it’s called. I never heard middleman and middlewoman. You probably have some women in there, too, so we’ll call them the middleman and the middlewoman. But this tremendous gap of wasted money. And we’re knocking it down, and we are — you’re going to see some great results very soon.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Trump pressured Pfizer and Novartis to reduce their drug prices in July, more than three months prior to these remarks, not “about a month ago.” Trump has a habit of moving up the date of good news to make it sound more recent. Also, while Pfizer and Novartis did agree to delay planned price increases, prescription drug prices are still rising on the whole. The Associated Press reported: “Few, if any, drugmakers actually lowered prices as a result of Trump’s pressure. A few drugs had price cuts for business reasons. More broadly, an Associated Press investigation of brand-name prescription drugs found 96 price increases for every price reduction in the first seven months of this year. There were fewer price increases this year from January through July than in comparable prior year periods, but companies still raised prices far more often than they cut them.”

“And by the way, we need a steel industry. We were going to have no steel industry within a couple of years.” And: “But we need steel for defense. What happens if we don’t have steel? We were not going to have steel in a couple of years. It was going to — it was a dead business.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The steel industry was not nearing extinction before Trump imposed his tariffs, though it was obviously much smaller than it was at the heyday of large integrated steel mills. The American Iron and Steel Institute said then: “The steel industry directly employs around 140,000 people in the United States, and it directly or indirectly supports almost one million U.S. jobs.” Bloomberg reported in an October fact check: “In fact, U.S. steelmakers Nucor Corp. and Steel Dynamics Inc. were two of the healthiest commodity companies in the world before Trump took office and imposed 25 percent tariffs on foreign steel imports.”

“U.S. Steel is now building seven plants. They’re renovating plants.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Though Trump had been making such claims for four months, there was still no evidence at the time that U.S. Steel is building any new plants. At the time Trump spoke, U.S. Steel had only announced a major development at two existing facilities since he introduced his steel tariffs. First it said it was restarting two shuttered blast furnaces at its plant in Granite City, Illinois, then that it was investing $750 million to revitalize a plant in Gary, Indiana.

“Hispanic American and Asian-American unemployment rates have also reached all-time historic lows.

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Trump was correct about Hispanics, incorrect about Asians. The Asian-American unemployment rate briefly dropped to a low, 2.0 per cent, in May — a low, at least, since the government began issuing Asian-American data in 2000 — but rate as of the end of October was 3.2 per cent. This was higher than the rate in Obama’s last full month in office — 2.8 per cent in December 2016 — and in multiple months of George W. Bush’s second term.

“We’ve created almost 600,000 new manufacturing jobs. You remember the previous administration? ‘We can’t create manufacturing jobs anymore.’ They’re the best jobs.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The Obama administration never said “we can’t create manufacturing jobs anymore.” Rather, at a televised PBS town hall in Elkhart, Indiana in 2016, Obama said that certain manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back” — but also boasted that some manufacturers are indeed “coming back to the United States,” that “we’ve seen more manufacturing jobs created since I’ve been president than any time since the 1990s,” and that “we actually make more stuff, have a bigger manufacturing base today, than we’ve had in most of our history.” Obama did mock Trump for Trump’s campaign claims that he was going to bring back manufacturing jobs that had been outsourced to Mexico, saying: “And when somebody says — like the person you just mentioned who I’m not going to advertise for — that he’s going to bring all these jobs back, well, how exactly are you going to do that? What are you going to do? There’s no answer to it. He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is he doesn’t have an answer.” But, again, Obama made clear that he was talking about a certain segment of manufacturing jobs, not all of them.

“We’ve created almost 600,000 new manufacturing jobs.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The economy added 416,000 manufacturing jobs between Jan. 2017 and Oct. 2018. (Trump often gives himself credit for job growth at the end of the Obama era, after Trump was elected; if you start counting in Nov. 2016, it’s 446,000 manufacturing jobs added.)

“The wonderful media back there — I’m trying to be nice — the wonderful media, if I would have said during the campaign that we’re going to create 4.2 million new jobs since the election and lifted over 4 million Americans off of food stamps, they’d say, ‘How can he dare say a thing like that?’ Well, that’s what we did. Far, far, far greater than anyone thought.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Trump would not have been mocked or had his reasonableness questioned if he had predicted there would be 4.2 million jobs added in the 22 months after the election. Over the previous 22-month period, under Obama, 4.7 million jobs were added.

“And I told you, we’re finishing the wall, we’re working on the wall, we’re taking down MS-13.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Construction on Trump’s border wall has not started, and Trump has not secured $4.8 billion for the wall. When Trump has claimed in the past that wall construction has begun, he has appeared to be referring to projects in which existing fencing is being replaced. The $1.6 billion Congress allocated to border projects in 2018 is not for the type of giant concrete wall Trump has proposed: spending on that kind of wall is expressly prohibited in the legislation, and much of the congressional allocation is for replacement and reinforcement projects rather than new construction.

“I tell the story, we have — a horrible incident took place on West Side Highway a year ago, where a maniac decided to kill people, so he’s driving his car at a very, very high rate of speed along a park right along the beautiful Hudson River…And he decides to hang a right and run over many people. Eight people died…And what happens? He is a man that through chain migration brought in his mother, his father, his uncles, his brothers, his sisters. They think it’s probably 22 people came on and into this country because of this guy who killed eight people and so gravely wounded and injured so many more. It’s a disgrace.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: There is no evidence that Sayfullo Saipov, the alleged perpetrator of the terror attack in 2017 on Manhattan’s West Side Highway, brought 22 relatives into the U.S. through “chain migration.” Even Trump’s own aides have declined to endorse this claim, and even anti-immigration advocates say it is wildly improbable that one man with a green card could have sponsored 22 people.

“I tell the story, we have — a horrible incident took place on West Side Highway a year ago, where a maniac decided to kill people, so he’s driving his car at a very, very high rate of speed along a park right along the beautiful Hudson River. And there’s a group of people working out and running and all sorts of things, recreation, most beautiful park along the river. And he decides to hang a right and run over many people. Eight people died. They never mention all the people that have been so horrifically injured, where they lose arms and legs and everything else. They never mention. They say eight people died. What they don’t tell you is that many arms lost, many legs lost. So they got him, this maniac.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Nobody lost an arm in the terror attack on Manhattan’s West Side Highway in 2017. The Associated Press reported that one woman, a Belgian tourist, lost two legs. The commissioner of New York’s fire department offered corroboration, saying the attack led to one double amputation.

“As we speak, the Democrat Party is openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders, and bankrupt our country, and they want to sign them up for free health care, free welfare, free education, and, of course, the right to vote. Great.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Trump’s claim about voting is so misleading that we’re calling it false. Many Democrats, and a significant number of Republicans, want to offer the unauthorized immigrants currently in the country a path to citizenship, which would allow them to vote years down the road. They do not want to invite people into the country and “sign them up” to vote immediately, which was Trump’s clear suggestion.

 

“As we speak, the Democrat Party is openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders, and bankrupt our country…”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: There is no basis for this claim.

“The Democrat plan also raids Medicare to fund benefits for illegal aliens.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: There is no basis for this claim.

“And Republicans will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: This claim is belied by Republicans’ actions. The party has tried repeatedly during Trump’s presidency to replace Obamacare with a law that would give insurers more freedom to discriminate against people with pre-existing health conditions. As part of a Republican lawsuit to try to get Obamacare struck down, Trump’s administration is formally arguing that the law’s protections for pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional and should be voided. Trump has not said what he would like to replace these protections with.

“A majority of the Democrats on the ballot for Congress have already signed up to support a total socialist takeover of health care that would totally destroy Medicare. So true.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Democrats’ “Medicare for all” proposals tend to be vague, but they would not destroy Medicare. Rather, they would extend similar government-provided health insurance to younger people as well, and they would give current Medicare recipients additional coverage for things like vision and dental services.

“She’s (Claire McCaskill) got one of the most open borders, until today, voting records in Congress. Today she changed. I must take that back. Did she change? Maybe. Josh, did she change? She’s totally for open borders, but today she thinks I’m right. I don’t know.”And: “That’s great. Democrats are the party of open borders, socialism, and crime, whether you like it or not.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Trump is correct that Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill tacked to the right on immigration during her losing campaign for re-election, saying on Fox News, “I do not want our borders overrun. And I support the president’s efforts to make sure they’re not.” But McCaskill never supported “open borders.”

“No more lotteries. Oh, let’s see, lottery, lottery, who are these people? You know, when countries do lotteries and they put people in a lottery, do you really believe they’re giving us their finest? And then we have problems, and we say we don’t understand it.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: This is, as usual, an inaccurate description of the Diversity Visa Lottery program. Contrary to Trump’s claim foreign countries “do lotteries,” the U.S. State Department conducts the lottery. Contrary to Trump’s claim that foreign countries “put people in a lottery” to get rid of their bad apples, would-be immigrants sign up on their own, as individuals, of their own free will, because they want to immigrate.

“Look what we got, Foxconn, one of the great companies of the world, what they did in Wisconsin for Governor Walker. I mean, what he’s done, what he did — and I was very much involved with that one, and I want to give him full credit, because, I’ll tell you what, I gave him that one, and he took it, and got it done. It’s one of the great companies of the world, and you have to see what they built. You have to see what they built in Wisconsin. Scott Walker. You have to see what they built. It’s incredible, actually. It’s as good as anything I’ve ever seen.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The Foxconn factory in Wisconsin has not been built yet. On Aug. 30, two months before Trump spoke, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, “Workers this week began erecting the walls for the first building on the massive Foxconn project site.”

“I was with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. He gave me company after company — automobile company — moving to Michigan, moving to Ohio, moving to Pennsylvania.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: There are no automotive assembly plants in Pennsylvania, and there is no sign that any Japanese auto company plans to build one there. The Los Angeles Times reported: “The facts: Toyota and Mazda announced in August 2017 that they would jointly build a $1.6 billion assembly plant in the United States and in January said the factory would be in Huntsville, Ala. That is the only new U.S. factory announced by any of the major automakers, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit research organization in Ann Arbor, Mich.”

“And by the way, those caravans, you know, you look at what’s happening, does anybody think that’s just by accident that they’re forming? Does anybody think — does anybody think? You know, I think what happened — I really believe somebody was involved that’s not on our side of the ledger. Somebody was involved.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: There is no basis for Trump’s suggestion that Democrats were involved in the formation of the migrant caravan.

“And you take a look at the scene, where thousands and thousands of people are marching, and then you hear that Democrats want to have open borders, and they want to invite caravan after caravan into our country, overwhelming your schools, your hospitals, and your communities.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Democrats do not want open borders, and they are not inviting migrant caravans into the country. Most of them support a less aggressive immigration policy than the one Trump advocates, but they are not calling for people to be able to walk across from Mexico unbothered.

“Did you see how tough these young men, mostly young men, strong, tough, what they did to the police, the Mexican police, in breaking through the border? What they did — what they did to the Mexican military in breaking through the border? These are tough people. These are not angels. These are not little angels. These are tough people.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Mexico deployed federal police to confront the caravan, not soldiers. CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago reported that she had spoken to the Mexican government; “they tell me two federal police officers were struck by rocks during a confrontation at border. Injuries were ‘not serious or life threatening.’”

“And the wall is being built. We spent $1.6 billion… we spent another $1.6 billion this last year. We’re getting another one — we want to build it all at one time. We need it. They are doing everything in their power, the Democrats, to delay it and to stop it. And you need the wall. And now it’s more obvious than ever. We’ll get it. We’ll get it. We’ll get it. I don’t like doing it in bits and pieces, but that’s what they’re forcing us to do.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Construction on Trump’s border wall has not started, and Trump has not secured $4.8 billion for the wall. When Trump has claimed in the past that wall construction has begun, he has appeared to be referring to projects in which existing fencing is being replaced. The $1.6 billion Congress allocated to border projects in 2018 is not for the type of giant concrete wall Trump has proposed: spending on that kind of wall is expressly prohibited in the legislation, and much of the congressional allocation is for replacement and reinforcement projects rather than new construction. Trump has requested another $1.6 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, but this has not yet been approved, much less spent. In these comments, Trump also added a third “$1.6 billion” that does not exist.

“Democrats…want many more regulations, and they want to shut down American energy. We’re not shutting down American energy.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: Democrats do not want to shut down American energy production.

“I want the cleanest water on the planet. We want the cleanest air on the planet. And we’ve got it. But we want to keep it just that way. We’ve got it. Better now than ever before.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The U.S. does not have the cleanest air on the planet, though it is near the top. The Environmental Performance Index, developed by Yale University, Columbia University and the World Economic Forum, ranks the U.S. 10th in the world for air quality.

“And again, with China, we’re doing really well, too, on trade. They want to make a deal. We’ve got to make the right deal. Five hundred billion dollars a year for years have been coming out of this country, and lots of other things. And I said we have to make right deal.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The U.S. has never once had a $500 billion trade deficit with China, according to U.S. government data. The deficit was $337 billion in 2017, $375 billion if you only count trade in goods and exclude trade in services.

“The veterans are all for us. Veterans Choice. We got ’em Veterans Choice.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: The Veterans Choice health program was passed and created in 2014 under Obama. The law Trump signed in 2018, the VA MISSION Act, modified the Choice program.

“Republicans passed a massive tax cut for working families, and we will soon follow it up with another 10 per cent tax cut for the middle class.”

Source: Campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri

in fact: We do not usually fact-check promises of future action, but there was no sign that Republicans were actually pursuing an additional 10 per cent tax cut for the middle class; Trump suddenly introduced this claim two weeks before the election, with no details attached. We will amend this item if he proves serious.

“The Democrats want to, I mean, double up your taxes. In some cases, you’ll have to pay three times what you’re paying right now in order to get bad health care.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: Democrats do not want to double people’s taxes. Some want to marginally raise taxes on wealthy people.

“We just announced yesterday, you probably heard — Kevin Brady put it out — a reduction of tax. We’re going for a reduction of middle-income tax or 10 per cent.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: We do not usually fact-check promises of future action, but there was no sign that Republicans were actually pursuing an additional 10 per cent tax cut for the middle class; Trump suddenly introduced this claim two weeks before the election, with no details attached. We will amend this item if he proves serious.

“Now President Obama had the chance to do that in September before ’16, but he chose not to do that because he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. And while everybody agrees it didn’t affect the vote at all, nevertheless he could have done things that probably would have made it a little more obvious, a little clearer. But he was told by the FBI in September before the election in ’16 about potential meddling or potential Russian meddling, and he did nothing about it. He didn’t do that because he thought that Hillary Clinton would win.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: While Obama has been widely faulted, including by many Democrats, for not responding more aggressively when he was informed of the reported Russian interference in the 2016 election, it is not true that he “did nothing” in response. In October 2016, a month before the election, the administration issued an extraordinary statement attributing the election interference to “Russia’s senior-most officials.” According to a comprehensive Washington Post story, Obama and his officials also delivered a series of warnings to Russia: CIA director John Brennan warned his Russian counterpart in August 2016; “a month later, Obama confronted Putin directly during a meeting of world leaders in Hangzhou, China”; national security adviser Susan Rice summoned the Russian ambassador to the White House in October “and handed him a message to relay to Putin”; “then, on Oct. 31, the administration delivered a final pre-election message via a secure channel to Moscow originally created to avert a nuclear exchange.” Obama reportedly also sought to get Republicans and Democrats to sign on to a joint statement denouncing the Russian interference; former Obama officials have alleged that Republican leaders refused to agree to participate.

“Anybody throwing stones, rocks — like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police, where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico — we will consider that a firearm. Because there’s not much difference, where you get hit in the face with a rock — which, as you know, it was very violent a few days ago — very, very violent — that break-in. It was a break-in of a country. They broke into Mexico.” And: “There’s nothing political about a caravan of thousands of people, and now others forming, pouring up into our country. We have no idea who they are. All we know is they’re pretty tough people when they can blast through the Mexican military and Mexican police. They’re pretty tough people. Even Mexico said, ‘Wow, these are tough people.’ I don’t want them in our country. And women don’t want them in our country.” And: “We will consider that the maximum that we can consider that, because they’re throwing rocks viciously and violently. You saw that three days ago. Really hurting the military. We’re not going to put up with that. If they want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We’re going to consider — and I told them, consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say, consider it a rifle.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: Mexico deployed federal police to confront the caravan, not soldiers. CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago reported that she had spoken to the Mexican government; “they tell me two federal police officers were struck by rocks during a confrontation at border. Injuries were ‘not serious or life threatening.’”

“But I will say that, by doing that, tremendous numbers — you know, under the Obama plan, you could separate children. They never did anything about that. Nobody talks about that. But under President Obama, they separated children from the parents. We actually put it so that that didn’t happen. But what happens when you do that is you get tremendous numbers of people coming. It’s almost like an incentive to — when they hear they’re not going to be separated, they come many, many times over. But President Obama separated the children, the parents. And nobody complained. When we continued the exact same law, this country went crazy.” And: “We will be holding the family and the children together. Remember this: President Obama separated children from families. And all I did was take the same law, and then I softened the law.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: Obama did not have “the exact same” policy as Trump. While Obama administration policies did result in some parents being separated from children — former Obama officials say this happened in exceptional circumstances like the parent being found carrying drugs — it was Trump who decided to attempt to criminally prosecute everyone found crossing the border illegally. This decision resulted in the routine separation of parents and children, which did not occur under Obama. It is highly misleading to claim that all Trump did was “soften the law.” Trump imposed a much harsher policy than Obama had, then abandoned it after a loud public outcry.

“The only long-term solution to the crisis, and the only way to ensure the endurance of our nation as a sovereign country, is for Congress to overcome open borders obstruction. That’s exactly what it is: It’s open border obstruction. No votes.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: Democrats do not advocate open borders. Most of them support a less aggressive immigration policy than the one Trump advocates, but they are not calling for people to be able to walk across from Mexico unbothered.

“We got borders. And once that control is set and standardized, and made very strong — including the building of the wall, which we’ve already started. $1.6 billion spent last year; $1.6 billion this year. We have another $1.6 [billion] that will be coming, but we want to build it at one time.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: Construction on Trump’s border wall has not started, and Trump has not secured $4.8 billion for the wall. When Trump has claimed in the past that wall construction has begun, he has appeared to be referring to projects in which existing fencing is being replaced. The $1.6 billion Congress allocated to border projects in 2018 is not for the type of giant concrete wall Trump has proposed: spending on that kind of wall is expressly prohibited in the legislation, and much of the congressional allocation is for replacement and reinforcement projects rather than new construction. Trump has requested another $1.6 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, but this has not yet been approved, much less spent. In these comments, Trump also added a third “$1.6 billion” that does not exist.

“Once they (illegal immigrants) arrive, the Democrat Party’s vision is to offer them free health care, free welfare, free education, and even the right to vote.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: Trump’s claim about voting is so misleading that we’re calling it false. Many Democrats, and a significant number of Republicans, want to offer the unauthorized immigrants currently in the country a path to citizenship, which would allow them to vote years down the road. They do not want to grant them the right to vote immediately upon entry, which was Trump’s clear suggestion.

“I want to thank the Army Corps of Engineers. They’ve been so efficient, so good, so talented. And we have thousands of tents. We have a lot of tents; we have a lot of everything. We’re going to hold them right there. We’re not letting them into our country. And then they never show up — almost. It’s like a level of 3 per cent. They never show up for the trial. So by the time their trial comes, they’re gone. Nobody knows where they are. But we know where a lot of them are, and they’re going to be deported.” And: “Well, they’re going to go to court. They’re going to go to court, as crazy as it sounds. They’re going to go…Excuse me. Excuse me. Ready? They’re going to go to court, and a judge is going to determine. But usually, when they go to court, they’re deported. It just seems that most of the people are deported once they go. The problem is they never end up going to court, because when they come in, they’re told to come back in a year, for a court case, and they disappear into the United States never to be seen again.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: Trump’s “3 per cent” statistic is not even close to accurate. The Justice Department says 72 per cent of people showed up for their immigration court hearings in 2017. For asylum seekers in particular, it was 89 per cent. There is no group for which it was even close to 3 per cent. A 2017 report released by the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that advocates a hard line on illegal immigration, concluded that 37 per cent of people who were free pending trial did not show up for hearings over the past two decades. The author of the report, a former immigration judge, said the number was 39 per cent in 2016. In other words, even according to vehement opponents of illegal immigration, most unauthorized immigrants are indeed showing up for court.

 

“On average, once released, an asylum case takes three and half years to complete. Think of it. Somebody walks into our country, reads a statement given by a lawyer, and we have a three-and-a-half-year court case for one person, whereas other people tell them, ‘Out. Get out. Just get out.’ Other countries — ‘Get out. We have a border. Get out.’”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: The U.S. is far from the only country that allows people to claim asylum and signs them up for legal proceedings rather than immediately deporting them. “This statement is patently false,” James Hathaway, a Canadian law professor and director of the refugee and asylum law program at the University of Michigan, said in an email after Trump made a similar claim. “It is completely routine in other countries that, like the U.S., have signed the UN refugee treaties for asylum-seekers to have access to the domestic legal system to make a protection claim (and to be allowed in while the claim is pending). If anything, the U.S. is aberrational in the opposite direction: U.S. domestic law falsely treats the granting of protection to refugees as a matter of discretion, whereas international law *requires* a grant of protection to anyone who meets the refugee definition. This doesn’t mean that refugees have a right to stay in the U.S. or anywhere else forever — but they *do* have a right to stay for the duration of the persecutory risk, unless another safe country that has also signed the refugee treaties agrees to take them in.”

“At this very moment, large, well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our southern border. Some people call it an ‘invasion.’ It’s like an invasion. They have violently overrun the Mexican border. You saw that two days ago. These are tough people, in many cases. A lot of young men, strong men. And a lot of men that maybe we don’t want in our country. But again, we’ll find that out through the legal process. But they’ve overrun the Mexican police, and they’ve overrun and hurt badly Mexican soldiers. So this isn’t an innocent group of people. It’s a large number of people that are tough. They’ve injured, they’ve attacked, and the Mexican police and military has actually suffered.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: Mexico deployed federal police to confront the caravan, not soldiers. CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago reported that she had spoken to the Mexican government; “they tell me two federal police officers were struck by rocks during a confrontation at border. Injuries were ‘not serious or life threatening.’”

“A lot of the cause of this problem is the fact that we right now have the hottest economy anywhere in the world. It’s doing better than any economy in the world.”

Source: Speech on immigration

in fact: The New York Times explained why this is false: “The United States does have one of the fastest growing of the world’s largest economies. But it is not the fastest growing in the whole world. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development compiles quarterly growth in real gross domestic product for its 36 member nations and nine other major economies like China, India and Brazil. The United States had the eighth-highest rate in the second quarter of 2018 out of this group. Its rate was the highest among the Group of 7, the largest of the industrialized democracies. Among the entire world, however, the United States is nowhere near ‘the fastest-growing economy.’ Growth rates among developing nations, while volatile, often exceed those of the big industrialized countries. In 2017, the United States’ GDP annual growth rate ranked in the bottom third out of more than 180 countries, according to data from the World Bank. The International Monetary Fund’s projections for GDP growth rate for 2018 place the United States among the bottom half of about 190 countries. Similarly, Harvard University’s Atlas of Economic Complexity projects that the United States will reach an annual growth rate of 3.07 per cent by 2026, placing it No. 104 out of 121 countries.” While China’s growth rate has slowed down in 2018, its 6.5 per cent growth in the third quarter was still about twice the forecasts for the not-yet-announced growth rate in the U.S.

‘Radicalized’ man planned to storm White House with BAZOOKA, FBI says

January 17, 2018

RT

FBI agents captured a young man who allegedly became radicalized and planned to wage jihad by blasting a hole in the White House with a portable anti-tank weapon and massacring everyone inside.

Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, from the Atlanta suburb of Cumming, Georgia, was arrested during an FBI sting on Wednesday. The man was charged with intent to attack the White House and a number of iconic landmarks in Washington, DC, US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung Jin Pak told reporters.

The agents apprehended Taheb in a parking lot as he was trying to sell his vehicle in order to buy weapons and explosives, according to the FBI.

The suspect caught the FBI’s attention in March after the agency was tipped off that he became “radicalized.” In August, Taheb put his vehicle up for sale, and an agent came into contact with him acting as a prospective buyer.

As the two entered talks, Taheb allegedly shared his plans of waging jihad and becoming a “martyr.” He expressed disdain towards the US and Israel, sought accomplices and wanted to eventually attack the White House, the FBI said. He is even said to have shown the agent a hand-drawn map of the White House ground floor and the West Wing, where the US president’s Oval Office is located.

In an affidavit filed to the court, the FBI alleged that Taheb sought to acquire semi-automatic firearms, hand grenades and a portable AT-4 anti-tank weapon, commonly known as a bazooka, to storm the White House with. The suspect described how he would use the AT-4 “to blow a hole in the White House” so he could then enter and “take down” as many people as possible, FBI Special Agent Tyler Krueger wrote.

At some point, Taheb also said that he wanted to target the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and a synagogue as well, according to the authorities.

The agents earlier said that during the conversations the suspect also mentioned his desire to travel overseas and join Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) but didn’t have a passport to do that. In July, he applied to get a new passport, saying that he lost the previous one, ABC reported.

The agents believe that he was acting alone and didn’t link him to any terrorist group.

Trump lawyer Giuliani shifts on collusion, can’t say if campaign tied to Russia

January 17, 2019

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who along with the president has repeatedly denied that any collusion occurred between Russia and other people in Trump’s 2016 campaign, retreated from those earlier broad statements, saying he had no idea whether any aides colluded with Moscow during that time.

Trump and Giuliani have repeatedly and publicly said there was no collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. But in a television interview with CNN on Wednesday night, Guiliani said, “I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign. I have no idea,” Giuliani told the cable news network.

“There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC,” he said, referring to the Democratic National Committee, whose servers were hacked during the 2016 campaign and emails released publicly.

“The president did not collude with the Russians,” Giuliani told CNN.

Giuliani in an interview with Reuters on Thursday reaffirmed his comments to CNN, and noted that he only represented Trump.

“I know the president wasn’t involved in collusion. How would I know about anybody else? I wouldn’t know,” he said.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Moscow interfered in the 2016 election campaign to bolster Trump and hurt his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Federal prosecutors investigating the alleged meddling have charged more than 30 people as part of their probe, including more than two dozen Russian individuals and entities.

Several members of Trump’s campaign, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, have also either been charged or pleaded guilty as part of the probe being led by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller or in related investigations.

Trump has frequently denied, in tweets and in public remarks, that any collusion with Russia occurred, calling the U.S. Special Counsel’s Office investigation a “witch hunt.” Russia has also denied any interference. Mueller’s team is also investigating any possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

Representatives for the White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Media reports over the weekend drew fresh scrutiny over Trump’s dealings with Russia.

The New York Times reported about an FBI investigation into whether the former U.S. reality television star and real estate developer was working on behalf of Russia. A Washington Post report raised questions about Trump’s handling of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the confiscation of his interpreter’s notes.

Trump on Monday called the Post report false but did not offer any evidence to back up his claim, and said he never worked for Russia.

Congressional scrutiny this week of Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Justice, William Barr, has also renewed concern over the ongoing Russia probe. As U.S. attorney general, Barr would oversee Mueller’s probe.

Barr told U.S. senators on Tuesday that he did not believe Mueller’s investigation was a witch hunt and that, if confirmed to lead the department, he would allow Mueller to complete his work.

Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Steve Orlofsk

 

Fake editions of The Washington Post handed out at multiple locations in D.C.

January 16, 2019

Outline

Fake editions of The Washington Post claiming that President Trump was leaving office were handed out Wednesday morning at multiple locations in Washington.

The print papers — dated May 1, 2019, and looking strikingly similar to actual copies of The Post — were filled with anti-Trump stories, which also appeared on a website that mimicked the official Post site.

The Post’s PR department released a statement on Twitter: “There are fake print editions of The Washington Post being distributed around downtown DC, and we are aware of a website attempting to mimic The Post’s. They are not Post products, and we are looking into this.”

Late Wednesday morning, a group that describes itself as a “trickster activist collective” called the Yes Men said it produced the bogus newspapers and website — which went offline Wednesday afternoon.

Under the headline “Unpresidented,” the fake newspaper’s lead story said Trump had left a resignation message on a napkin in the Oval Office and left Washington for Yalta, the Crimean resort that was the site of a meeting of Allied leaders during World War II.

The false story also reported that his abrupt departure was prompted by “massive women-led protests” around the country, suggesting that the stunt was a promotion for a planned women’s march on Saturday.

Andy Bichlbaum, one of the co-founders of the Yes Men, said the paper was intended to offer the “grass-roots movement” ideas for how to support Trump’s impeachment. “The idea was a newspaper from the future and how we got there — like a roadmap for activists,” he said.

The print and digital newspapers cost about $40,000, Bichlbaum said, adding that $36,000 was raised from the organization’s mailing list. They printed 25,000 copies, and he estimated 10,000 of the papers were distributed.

He said the group, which is a collaboration between Bichlbaum and author-activists Onnesha Roychoudhuri and L.A. Kauffman, practices “clowny activism,” and put together a similarly fake copy of the New York Times in 2008. That fake edition, which came out after the election of President Obama, had stories depicting liberal activists putting pressure on the new administration.

The stunt involving the fake Washington Post newspapers also included two emails sent out Wednesday morning designed to look like they came from a Post account. The first announced the fake news of Trump’s departure and the second was labeled as an “errata,” correcting the first.

Copies of the bogus papers were handed out at locations around Washington, including outside the White House and Union Station.

The liberal activist group Code Pink posted a video on Facebook of the organization’s founder, Medea Benjamin, passing out copies at what appears to be a Capitol Hill office building.

In the video, Benjamin tells people, “The crisis is over — Trump has left the White House.” Later, she adds, “You got to believe in The Washington Post.”

Benjamin said in an e-mail that Code Pink, which has become well known in Washington for staging protests that disrupt congressional hearings and other official proceedings, helped to distribute the fake newspapers.

The liberal group MoveOn, which some on social media suspected of being behind the fake paper, tweeted that it was not responsible. “While we love the headline, we didn’t produce today’s satirical Washington Post,” it said.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

January 17, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conversation No. 69

Date:  Saturday February 22,1997

Commenced:  2:05 PM CST

Concluded: 2:40 PM CST

RTC: Good morning, Gregory…or rather good afternoon.

GD: It’s a bit later in the day. Am I interrupting anything?

RTC: Oh, no, not at all. I finished lunch two hours ago. How is the day going with you?

GD: It goes after a fashion. Did you, or have you, ever read C. Wright Mills’ book, ‘The Power Elite?’ Came out in ’54.

RTC: I have skimmed it before for certain. The groups that control?

GD: Yes. It’s a little dated as to specifics but quite good in the abstract. The abstract being that our society is controlled by certain groups of men with specific interests, mostly economic but often economic and political.

RTC: Well, that’s basically true, Gregory. I mean the concept is obvious and it is certainly not a domestic product by any means.

GD: No, no, I realize that. I mean that a town is not run by the city councils or selectmen but by, let’s say, a small group consisting of, well, a local judge, a real estate developer, a retired military officer. That sort of combination but there are other permutations of course.

RTC: But this is not a surprise to you, is it?

GD: No, of course not, Robert but let us say that Congress is like the local council. Only a front for the real power brokers.

RTC: I have had a close connection with such groups here for years. Yes, they fluctuate and change but in the end, small groups run everything. How does it go from my own experience? Well, let’s say there is a cocktail party out on the Hamptons. Many rich people there, a small orchestra, drinks served and groups of the rich and powerful chatting about their children, their boats or their horses or the last trip to Paris or Rome. Florence if they are cultured. And then a few of the guests, all men, drift off to the library where the door is locked and they sit around in comfortable chairs, drinks in hand or perhaps a very expensive cigar or two. And then after some casual comments about life in general, they get down to specifics about how things are supposed to happen. You spoke of Guatemala to me once. You said your uncle was in the business didn’t you?

GD: Yes and my father’s family was connected with Grace and United Fruit. Or Levi and Zentner. Yes.

RTC: And when Guzman wanted to nationalize the banana plantations and spend the money on the stupid peasants, why the business interests got together over cigars and brandy and worked out a plan. Then one of them brought it to one of us. And then we discovered a terrible Communist plot, directed from Moscow of course, to set up a Soviet Republic in Central America. The president was solemnly informed of this vile business and gave his OK for counter measures. In essence, we supplied the weapons and expertise and the unfriendly government was overthrown and replaced with a friendlier one.

GD: And the new head of state realized that the Guzman plan was very good and tried to implement it.

RTC: Yes, you’re right and so we shot him and put another and more pliable man in place there. And the United Fruit people gave money to the right people or perhaps hired a few Company relatives and another blow for freedom was stuck.

GD: And if the Russians did not exist, they would have to be invented. We had the evil Spanish in Cuba, the wicked Nazis who were going to invade this country and rape all the women in Peoria and then the even more evil Stalin and his gangs of liberal Jewish spies in America who also wanted to invade this country but this time planning a mass rape in New Orleans.

RTC: Cynical, Gregory, but true. Just think of how profitable such an undeclared war can be. Hundreds of millions for the CIA, unaccountable of course, and lots of very profitable contracts for military hardware that will never be used.

GD: I knew Gehlen, don’t forget, and he personally told me about his faked 1948 report about a pending Russian attack on Europe.

RTC: The opening guns of the Cold War, Gregory. And we and the military could expand and so could the economic sector. We could quietly shoot our enemies and blame it on national security while the money flowed in from patriotic taxpayers.

GD: And Mills was right.

RTC: He belabored such an obvious issue, Gregory. Of course there are power elites everywhere at all times. I’m sure there are such in every country and inside those countries, in all major businesses and domestic political machinery. Why this should surprise you astonishes me.

GD: It actually doesn’t but I wanted to use the subject to ask you who runs the show now? It’s not 1954 anymore.

RTC: And we don’t live in Kansas, either, thank God. Now? My God, it changes…is in a constant flux. At this moment, I couldn’t tell you but perhaps fifteen years ago I could have. I mean if you were to take an Uzi and snuff out a whole library of cigar smoking plotters, they would be replaced by others within a few days. You’d run out of ammunition in the end. Besides, a few clever pragmatists are easier to deal with that a Congress full of idiots and thieves. Don’t you agree?

GD: I’d say you need both.

RTC: Only at appropriations time do we need Congress to refill the empty treasure chests. The rest of the time, we depend on the power people to help out. I mean… Gregory, you could contain all the world’s really important secrets in a notebook you kept in your pocket. But we have to justify acres of offices, safes, burn centers, a vast army of experts, analysts , agents in Tasmania, code machines and the like. To get the money, we need the excuse, and the excuse is secrecy. You know, Harry Truman set us up in business because he did not trust the intelligence input from the Army. We were a small handful of experts to advise him and now we run the country the way we feel it ought to be run. The president is a nuisance to be coddled and conned. We give him the information he needs for his purposes, regardless of how silly and utterly fake it might be. It’s just a game played with spoiled children, Gregory, and nothing more.

GD: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

RTC: Oh, no, Gregory, not nothing. Look at our budget and you won’t say nothing.

GD: And don’t forget the profit from the drugs, either.

RTC: Most uncalled for, Gregory. We are all American capitalists, and if there is a need, we fill it, even if, I must say, we have to create the need first.

GD: Money talks…

RTC: No, Gregory, in this country, as in most others, money rules and you ought not to ever forget that.

GD: I don’t. One of my grandfathers was a banker as I have told you. I can’t imagine him talking the way we do, however.

RTC: In what way is that?

GD Pragmatic cynicism.

RTC: If the shoe fits, my friend, wear it.

 

(Concluded at 2:40 PM CST)

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

 

 

 

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