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TBR News January 18, 2019

Jan 18 2019

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

Washington, D.C. January 18, 2019:”It is only a matter of time before his deeds and misdeeds will crash down upon Donald Trump’s dyed hair and he will follow Richard Nixon into disgrace and private life. Throughout his life, Trump has lied, cheated and gotten others to lie for him over such a long period and with considerable success. But in the end, what is now at the top of the wheel will fall to the bottom. Many books have been written about the assassination of Kennedy and the future holds many more books about the decline and fall of a paper tiger.”

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 17
  • President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project
  • Trump’s Articles of Impeachment Are Writing Themselves, With Echoes of Richard Nixon Growing Stronger
  • House committees to probe report Trump told lawyer to lie to Congress
  • Trump revealed: The Golden Shower
  • The Vice President’s Men
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 17

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 2, 2018

“We’ve recognized the capital of Israel and opened the American embassy in Jerusalem. Many, many presidents said they were going to do that, they never got it done. I got it done. I even got it built. I already built the embassy. $1 billion under budget, right? One billion. One billion under budget. It was supposed to go as $1.1 billion, we got it done for less than $500,000. That’s not bad, that’s — it’s a long story, I won’t bother telling you this.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: The renovations required by the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will cost far more than $500,000. ABC News reported in July: “Documents filed with the official database of federal spending show that the State Department awarded the Maryland-based company Desbuild Limak D&K a contract for $21.2 million to design and build an ‘addition and compound security upgrades’ at the embassy. These updates will be made to the former consular building in Jerusalem — the embassy’s temporary location.” The ABC article continued: “A State Department official told ABC News today that President Trump’s estimates only factored in that first phase of modifications to the former consular building, not this second round of renovation.”

“And I know they don’t care about this, they couldn’t care less, they don’t mind; maybe we’ll take it back. We gave them the largest pay raise they’ve had in more than a decade. OK? Our military. They deserve it.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

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.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

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.

“We were laughed at just like these stupid immigration laws. The whole world looks at it, they laugh, they said what is this all about? A person comes into our country — another country throws them out. Hey, get out. You’re not supposed to be here, you have to go through a process. You know what we do? We take them — we can’t do anything — we bring them through a court proceeding. We take a person who walks onto our property we have a big deal — a court case. They have lawyers, we have lawyers and what happens is then they go away and is supposed to come back for the trial. Could be two years, three years later and they disappear into the country never to be seen again. There’s no trial, very few people come back — almost none. This is the procedure. This is the law. This is crazy.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: “Almost none” 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.

“Nucor — Nucor, a big steel company is building brand new plants: $750 million, $900 million, brand new plants. It’s incredible. They haven’t been built in years.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: In September, Nucor announced that its board of directors “approved an investment of $650 million to expand the production capability of Nucor Steel Gallatin, the company’s flat-rolled sheet steel mill located in Ghent, Kentucky.” It has not announced any plant investment of $900 million. The company has not responded to our requests for comment; we will update this entry if more information becomes available.

“We started it about eight months ago. It’s incredible. The head of U.S. Steel called up, he said I’ve never said anything like it — what you’ve been able to do in such a short part of time. They’re building seven new plants, they’re expanding plants.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

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 seven 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.

“And the hottest industry — one of the hottest industries now, look at what’s happened to steel. Steel, like coal, it was going off the cliff. You weren’t going to have a steel industry in this country and we need it.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

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.”

“We’ve added half a million manufacturing jobs — soon to be 600,000 — since the election, including 32,000 in just the last month. These were jobs that the previous administration said would never happen.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Trump’s number was more or less correct on the first number — the economy added 446,000 manufacturing jobs between Nov. 2016 and Oct. 2018 — though, at the current pace, it will take several months, at least, to reach 600,000. But the Obama administration never said these jobs “would never happen.” 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.

“They want to keep drug dealers and predators and traffickers — how about the traffickers? These are human traffickers. These are the worst scum in the world. They want them out of our country. And we do that. The Democrats don’t do that. They want the open borders. ‘Fly right in, folks. Come on in. We don’t care who the hell you are, come on in.’”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Democrats do not want open borders and are not inviting in human traffickers. 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.

“And some communities in California, of all places, down to miss San Diego, we’re just about finishing it up. But they’re demanding the wall. They want the wall. I said, ‘Let’s not give it to them because then they’ll put pressure on their government to build it,’ right? Now once we build it for them, they’ll say, ‘We shouldn’t have a wall.’ But they already have their wall.

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Trump’s border wall is not under construction, much less close to being finished anywhere, and there is no basis for Trump’s repeated claim that the people of San Diego want a border wall. San Diego city council voted 5-3 in September to express opposition, and even the Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, has stated that he is opposed: “Mayor Faulconer has been clear in his opposition to a border wall across the entirety of the U.S. southern border,” a spokesperson said in September. (The board of supervisors of San Diego County has voted to endorse a lawsuit against California “sanctuary” laws protecting unauthorized immigrants, but “this county has taken no action with regard to the wall,” county spokesperson Michael Workman told local news outlet KPBS.)

“I’m sure you don’t mind that. As we speak, Democrats are openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to violate our laws and to over run our borders. They want to sign illegal aliens up for free healthcare, free welfare, free education and the right to vote. Otherwise, they don’t get much.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

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 to enter the country illegally and “sign up” these people to vote immediately, which was Trump’s clear suggestion.

“I’m sure you don’t mind that. As we speak, Democrats are openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to violate our laws and to over run our borders.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: There is no basis for this claim.

“Democrats’ plan to destroy health care also includes raiding Medicare to fund benefits for illegal immigrants.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: There is no basis for this claim.

“We said we were going to do things and we’ve done a lot more and they will be the first to tell you tell. Democrats’ plan — that’s right, the magic wand, right? Remember, he said you need a magic wand to produce manufacturing jobs. Well, we just hit almost 600,000.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Trump exaggerated. The economy added 416,000 manufacturing jobs between Jan. 2017 and Oct. 2018; if you start from the month of the 2016 election, as Trump often does, it’s 446,000 manufacturing jobs between Nov. 2016 and Oct. 2018.

“I listened to President Obama speak today. He had a very small crowd. I have to be honest with you. They don’t tell you that. You know? They don’t tell you that. We had — in Houston we had the biggest thing you’ve ever seen and they were saying Donald Trump spoke today in front of a few thousand people. Few thousand? We had over 100,000 people that wanted to come. We had 22,000 people in the arena. We had thousands and thousands of people outside of the arena. Donald Trump spoke today in front of a crowd of a few thousand people. Can you believe it? It’s called the fake news, folks. But I head President Obama speak today.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Media outlets accurately reported that Trump filled a Houston basketball arena that has a standard capacity of 19,000.

“And Republicans will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. We’re all doing that.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

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.

“If Democrats gain power, they’ll also be planning a takeover of American health care and that would be socialism, what they want to do. The Democrat plan would obliterate Medicare and eliminate Medicare Advantage for more than 121,000 West Virginia seniors who depend on it. Republicans will protect Medicare for our great seniors who earned it and by the way, who paid for it. Right?”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Democrats’ “Medicare for all” proposals tend to be vague, but they would not take Medicare health insurance away from seniors. 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.

“And we started the wall and built $1.6 billion and we have another $1.6 billion and then get another $1.6 billion.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

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.

“They (Democrats) have the caravans, let them in. Do you want to let them in? Does anybody want to let them in? I don’t get it. Think of it — you campaign on open borders and higher taxes. How the hell do you win that — how do you win? And: “So the Democrats want to invite caravan after caravan.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Democrats are not campaigning on “open borders” or inviting in caravans of migrants. 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.

“They (Democrats) want to take away your good health care, and essentially use socialism to turn America into Venezuela and Democrats want to totally open the borders.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: There is no basis for these claims.

“But you’re back in business. Your miners are back. And last year, our coal exports skyrocketed by 65 per cent. Pretty amazing.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: This is a slight exaggeration. Coal exports rose 61 per cent in 2017, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration.

“We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal and we’re putting our coal miners back to work. That you know better than anybody.

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: The term “clean coal” is false in itself. Even if one were to believe that there is indeed “clean coal,” a term that is the creation of industry spin, the term is not meant to be applied to all coal from a country or state, which is how Trump uses it. The phrase, the New York Times reported, “is often understood to mean coal plants that capture the carbon dioxide emitted from smokestacks and bury it underground as a way of limiting global warming.” As the Washington Post wrote: “Saying that the United States exported clean coal is like saying that the United States is shipping bathrobes overseas each time a shipping container full of cotton leaves an American port. Maybe it will be a bathrobe, but that’s not what we’re sending.”

“And as you know very well, because you look at your wallet, 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 Huntington, West Virginia

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.

“Wages are rising and you know it’s — it’s been incredible…First time in a long time. They haven’t gone up. People were making more money 19 years ago. I used to talk about it during the campaign. Where people had single jobs and they were making more money than they had with two and three jobs today. And now for the first time wages are going up, and they’re going up nicely, and people have a choice of lots of different jobs.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Wages have been rising since 2014, though the pace has accelerated under Trump, to 3.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018. As PolitiFact reported: “For much of the time between 2012 and 2014, median weekly earnings were lower than they were in 1979 — a frustrating disappearance of any wage growth for 35 years. But that began changing in 2014. After hitting a low of $330 a week in early 2014, wages have risen to $354 a week by early 2017. That’s an increase of 7.3 percent over a roughly three-year period.” FactCheck.org reported: “For all private workers, average weekly earnings (adjusted for inflation) rose 4% during Obama’s last four years in office.”

“African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian-Americans unemployment have all reached the lowest levels in the history of our country.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Trump was correct about the first two, incorrect about the third. 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 the most recent rate at the time Trump spoke, for 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.

“The unemployment rate just fell to the lowest level in over 50 years.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: The unemployment rate, 3.7 per cent, is the lowest in 49 years, since 1969. We would not count this as false if Trump rounded to “50 years,” but “over 50 years” is objectively false.

“We’ve created 4.5 million new jobs since the election, a number that was unthinkable. If I would have said that during the campaign, oh they would have given me a hard time. They would have said Pinocchio, you know, they do the whole thing.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Media fact-checkers would not have said Trump was being wildly unrealistic if he had claimed 4.5 million jobs would be created between Nov. 2016 and Oct. 2018. Under Obama, 4.9 million jobs were created during the previous 23-month period.

 

 

“Where’s big Jim (Justice)? He’s around here someplace. One thing you can’t miss him. There he is. You can’t miss him. He’s got to be 6’11” and he’s up there in the weight, but I won’t get into it. He’s the greatest.”

Source: Campaign rally in Huntington, West Virginia

in fact: Justice is 6’7”.

“And speaking of choice, what we’ve done for the military and the vets — we’ve gotten them Choice, where they can now go to a doctor and the United States pays for it instead of waiting in line for two months and three months and not being able to see a doctor, and literally dying — dying while they were waiting on line to see a doctor. After 44 years they’ve been working on it, I got it approved. And that’s Choice for veterans. So it’s a great thing.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

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.

“Everything we’re doing is totally legal. It’s all going through the courts. But we have one of the few systems, where instead of telling people, ‘You can’t come in,’ we take them in and we have to bring them through a court system. It is the most ridiculous system in the world. It’s obsolete, but that’s not the problem.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

in fact: “This statement is patently false,” James Hathaway, law professor and director of the refugee and asylum law program at the University of Michigan, said in an email. “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.”

“What they did to the Mexican military is a disgrace. They hit them with rocks — some were very seriously injured. And they were throwing rocks in their face.” And: ‘You know what? We’re not going to stand for people doing what they did to the Mexican military and to the Mexican police, what they did to those people. They were very badly hurt, very badly injured — the military and the police. What they did with rocks being thrown in their faces — not going to happen to our soldiers.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

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.

 

President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project

Trump received 10 personal updates from Michael Cohen and encouraged a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin.

January 17, 2019

by Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier

BuzzFeed

President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.

And even as Trump told the public he had no business deals with Russia, the sources said Trump and his children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. received regular, detailed updates about the real estate development from Cohen, whom they put in charge of the project.

Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying about the deal in testimony and in a two-page statement to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Special counsel Robert Mueller noted that Cohen’s false claim that the project ended in January 2016 was an attempt to “minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1” — widely understood to be Trump — “in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”

Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.

The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.

This revelation is not the first evidence to suggest the president may have attempted to obstruct the FBI and special counsel investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

But Cohen’s testimony marks a significant new frontier: It is the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.

On the campaign trail, Trump vehemently denied having any business interests in Russia. But behind the scenes, he was pushing the Moscow project, which he hoped could bring his company profits in excess of $300 million. The two law enforcement sources said he had at least 10 face-to-face meetings with Cohen about the deal during the campaign.

BuzzFeed News first reported last year that Cohen and an associate, Felix Sater, had continued working on Trump Tower Moscow through June 2016. Sater communicated with Russian bankers, developers, and officials connected to the Kremlin. That revelation was confirmed in Mueller’s filings against Cohen in court last November.

Attorneys close to the administration helped Cohen prepare his testimony and draft his statement to the Senate panel, the sources said. The sources did not say who the attorneys were or whether they were part of the White House counsel’s staff, and did not present evidence that the lawyers knew the statements would be false.

An attorney for Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel who reportedly gave about 30 hours of testimony to the special counsel, told BuzzFeed News: “Don McGahn had no involvement with or knowledge of Michael Cohen’s testimony. Nor was he aware of anyone in the White House Counsel’s Office who did.”

After Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the matter, Mueller’s team filed a memo in court saying he had offered them “credible” and “useful” information over the course of seven interviews. The special counsel wrote that Cohen had provided details about his contacts with “persons connected to the White House” in 2017 and 2018 and about how he had prepared his statements to Congress.

The White House did not return detailed messages seeking comment, nor did an attorney for Donald Trump Jr. or the Trump Organization.

A spokesperson for the Office of Special Counsel declined to comment.

Cohen also declined comment — but the law enforcement sources familiar with his testimony to the special counsel said he had confirmed that Trump directed him to lie to Congress, and also that he had provided details of his conversations about the project with the president and Ivanka and Donald Jr.

Those three members of the Trump family have distanced themselves from the Moscow project, saying that they had little knowledge of the negotiations. But a picture of their deep involvement is now emerging, as FBI agents and prosecutors pore over witness interviews and internal documents from Cohen and other Trump Organization officials and executives.

Trump was even made aware that Cohen was speaking to Russian government officials about the deal. The lawyer at one point spoke to a Kremlin aide as he sought support for the tower.

Trump also encouraged Cohen to plan a trip to Russia during the campaign, where the candidate could meet face-to-face with Putin.

BuzzFeed News has previously reported that text messages and emails show Sater — a real estate developer, convicted stock swindler, and longtime asset for US government intelligence agencies — worked furiously to arrange a trip for Cohen to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where he was supposed to meet with top Russian bankers and government officials. Cohen told Sater that to advance the deal, Trump himself would also go to Russia, after the Republican National Convention in July 2016.

The trip to St. Petersburg never took place and the plans to build Trump Tower Moscow never came to fruition. But the negotiations occupy an important place in Mueller’s investigation, as agents try to learn whether it is connected to the Kremlin’s interference campaign and whom Trump associates were in contact with to close the deal.

After Cohen pleaded guilty last November, Trump defended his continued involvement in the Moscow project during the election, telling reporters: “There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won, in which case I would have gotten back into the business, and why should I lose lots of opportunities?”

Federal agents looking into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election also tried to clarify the roles that Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. played in the Moscow tower negotiations, the sources said.

In his plea deal with Mueller’s team, Cohen acknowledged that the conversations he had about the project with Trump exceeded the three short briefings he testified that he gave the president and that he also held more extensive discussions about it with other members of the Trump family. The sources said Cohen gave Trump’s children “very detailed updates.”

Ivanka Trump was slated to manage a spa at the tower and personally recommended an architect. She also instructed Cohen to speak with a Russian athlete who offered “synergy on a government level” to get the Moscow project off the ground, in another aspect of the deal first revealed by BuzzFeed News that later was affirmed by the special counsel’s sentencing memo. Cohen rebuffed the athlete’s proposal, which angered Ivanka Trump, according to emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

A spokesperson for Ivanka Trump’s attorney wrote that she was only “minimally involved” in the project. “Ms. Trump did not know about this proposal until after a non-binding letter of intent had been signed, never talked to anyone outside the Organization about the proposal, never visited the prospective project site and, even internally, was only minimally involved,” wrote Peter Mirijanian.

Donald Trump Jr., meanwhile, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 7, 2017, that he was only “peripherally aware” of the plan to build a tower in Moscow. “Most of my knowledge has been gained since as it relates to hearing about it over the last few weeks.”

The two law enforcement sources disputed this characterization and said that he and Cohen had multiple, detailed conversations on this subject during the campaign.

Cohen will testify publicly before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Feb. 7.

Trump’s Articles of Impeachment Are Writing Themselves, With Echoes of Richard Nixon Growing Stronger

January 18, 2019

by Mehdi Hasan

The Intercept

On Thursday, at 10:11 p.m. ET, BuzzFeed News dropped one of the biggest bombshells of the Trump presidency: “President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.”

Let’s be clear: This is obstruction of justice, plain and simple. If this report from BuzzFeed News is correct, the president has committed a crime — obstruction of justice is prohibited by a number of federal criminal laws, including obstruction of judicial proceedings (18 U.S.C. 1503) and witness tampering (18 U.S.C. 1512) — and should therefore be impeached and indicted.

Trump’s lawyers have always claimed that the president “cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer” under the Constitution. Again, let’s be clear: This is ahistorical nonsense; it is Trumpian dishonesty and deflection of the most brazen sort.

The president “cannot obstruct justice”?

Tell that to Richard Nixon. The very first article of impeachment adopted by the House Judiciary Committee in July 1974 stated that Nixon had “prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice,” and in the wake of the Watergate break-in, had “engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.”

Tell that to Bill Clinton. In December 1998, the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against him, one of which stated that Clinton had “prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice, and has to that end engaged personally, and through his subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, impede, cover up and conceal the existence of evidence and testimony related to a Federal civil rights action brought against him in a duly instituted judicial proceeding.”

In Nixon’s case, the article of impeachment listed nine different examples of obstruction; in Clinton’s case, there were seven such examples.

What would such a list look like in Trump’s case? At the top of it would have to be the devastating allegation contained in this latest BuzzFeed News story, based on two law enforcement sources:

Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement. The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office. … It is the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.

As even Trump’s own nominee for attorney general, William Barr, confirmed this week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a president persuading a person to commit perjury would constitute obstruction of justice.

Then there is the firing of former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. The president may have had the legal authority to fire him, but it became obstruction of justice the moment he showed “corrupt intent.” How so? Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that he had been thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided to get rid of the FBI boss. The day after he fired Comey, Trump told the Russian foreign minister — of all people! — that “great pressure because of Russia” had been “taken off.”

But there are also plenty of other examples of the president obstructing justice with “corrupt intent.” As a recent study by the Brookings Institution handily summarized:

To take only a few examples, it has … been reported that President Trump: attempted to block Attorney General Sessions’ recusing himself from the Russia investigation despite the AG’s clear legal duty to do so; asked Sessions to reverse his recusal decision; demanded and obtained the resignation of Sessions for his failure to contain the Russia investigation (before ultimately rejecting it); twice ordered the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller; dictated a false account for a key witness, his son Donald Trump Jr., of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign and Russian representatives; publicly attacked Special Counsel Mueller and key witnesses to the obstruction case; and has repeatedly disputed the underlying Russian attack and Vladimir Putin’s role in it despite possessing evidence to the contrary.

Obstruction, obstruction, obstruction!

So what now? Trump’s apologists argue that he cannot be indicted; they point to Department of Justice guidance that says that the indictment of a sitting president “would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.”

Yet as a recent paper for the California Law Review by University of Chicago law professors Eric Posner and Daniel Hemel points out, “it is simply not settled law that a president is immune from indictment while in office,” plus “even if a president cannot be indicted while in office, it may be possible to indict and convict him after he leaves office of a crime he committed while in office,” and “even if a president cannot be indicted for a crime committed while in office, he may be impeached for such a crime.”

Is there an appetite on the Democratic side for launching impeachment hearings, prior to the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government? On Thursday night, Rep. Ted Lieu tweeted: “Based on the Buzzfeed report and numerous other articles showing @realDonaldTrump committed Obstruction of Justice and other possible felonies, it is time for the House Judiciary Committee to start holding hearings to establish a record of whether @POTUS committed high crimes.” Former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted: “If true — and proof must be examined — Congress must begin impeachment proceedings.” We will find out in the coming days and weeks, though, how many other top Democrats are willing to get onboard the impeachment train.

On this week’s Deconstructed podcast, I asked new member of Congress Rashida Tlaib — who only a few hours after being sworn in on January 3 grabbed the headlines by pledging to “impeach the motherfucker” — how she responded to critics on the left and the right who suggest that impeachment by a Democrat-led House would be a colossal waste of time and resources, given a Republican-led Senate would never agree to convict Trump and remove him from office.

“It’s not a waste of time to hold the president of the United States accountable,” she told me. “We need to understand our duties as members of Congress. And I believe, looking at even Nixon’s impeachment … it was Republicans and Democrats coming together and putting country first.”

There is very little chance of the modern Republican Party putting the national interest above their own partisan interests. So every GOP member of Congress should be asked, again and again, the fundamental questions posed by founding father George Mason at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, in response to those who objected to the inclusion of an impeachment clause in the new Constitution.

“Shall any man be above justice?” he asked. “Above all, shall that man be above it, who can commit the most extensive injustice?”

House committees to probe report Trump told lawyer to lie to Congress

January 18, 2019

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two leading Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives promised to investigate U.S. President Donald Trump’s dealings with his personal lawyer Michael Cohen after a media report alleged Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress in violation of U.S. law.

The BuzzFeed news website, citing two law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter, said on Thursday that Trump and Cohen hatched a plan to continue efforts to build a Trump Tower in Russia during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. After Trump won the election, he personally directed Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and has been cooperating with investigators, to lie to U.S. lawmakers about their endeavors.

Reuters has not verified the report and does not vouch for its accuracy.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, asked about the report by the Washington Post, said, “If you believe Cohen I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Cohen adviser Lanny Davis said he and Cohen declined to comment on the report. Cohen’s lawyer, Guy Petrillo, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The allegation that the president of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date,” U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Twitter late on Thursday following the Buzzfeed report. “We will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler said on Twitter that the House Judiciary Committee, which he heads, also would investigate.

“We know that the President has engaged in a long pattern of obstruction,” he said. “Directing a subordinate to lie to Congress is a federal crime.”

Giuliani has accused Cohen, who served for years as Trump’s “fixer” and once said he would “take a bullet” for him, of lying in order to get a reduced sentence. Cohen received a three-year sentence in December and is set to start serving it in March.

Directing or encouraging someone to lie under oath is a crime known as subornation of perjury. While the U.S. Department of Justice has previously concluded that a sitting U.S. president cannot be charged while in office, such an allegation, if found true, could fuel impeachment proceedings in Congress.

Trump repeatedly has denied collusion with Russia and slammed U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.” Russia also has rejected U.S. intelligence findings that Moscow interfered in U.S. politics in the 2016 election in an effort to boost Trump and harm his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

Representatives for the U.S. Special Counsel’s Office declined to comment and representatives for the White House and the Trump Organization could not be immediately reached.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld, Nathan Layne, Mark Hosenball and David Morgan; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott

 

Trump revealed: The Golden Shower

There has been a persistent rumor circulating on the Internet that during one of his many visits to Russia, Donald Trump was clandestinely filmed in a hotel room with a Russian prostitute. Apparently this is not a rumor but the truth. A contributor who has been publishing negative information about Trump received the following email, along with a large number of photographs taken from a surveillance tape. I have seen these and decline to publish them but the rest of the message is enclosed herewith.

 

christian@juersmilitaria.com HACKED <brandie844@c.aanonymous.ml>

To christian@juersmilitaria.com
Reply-To brandie844@c.aanonymous.ml
Date Today 17:57
Priority Normal

 

ATTN: christian@juersmilitaria.com

I have seen your printed articles about your President Trump working for the Russians. I have a picture tape called У президента есть золотой душ. (The President has a golden shower!) that was made by the Russian secret police and that shows Mr. Trump being pissed on by a very nice looking Russian woman in a hotel room. This last three minutes. I got this from a friend in Israel who got it from a Russian. I show you some pictures from it here. If you are interested in buying this and showing it to people, it will cost you but you will have a really first class story for your lookers. Send 2.000 USD to this Bitcoin address immediately:
3GkQCi1v3GeSyRsPsRRX69927FpKS3WCQG
(copy and paste)
1 BTC = 3,580 USD right now, so send exactly 0.564976 BTC
to the address provided above.

If you like these, I can get more things about President Trump that are even more bad so can we not do business?

Brandie

 

The Vice President’s Men

January 24 2019 Issue

by Seymour M. Hersh

London Review of Books

When George H.W. Bush arrived in Washington as vice president in January 1981 he seemed little more than a sideshow to Ronald Reagan, the one-time leading man who had been overwhelmingly elected to the greatest stage in the world. Biography after inconclusive biography would be written about Reagan’s two terms, as their authors tried to square the many gaps in his knowledge with his seemingly acute political instincts and the ease with which he appeared to handle the presidency. Bush was invariably written off as a cautious politician who followed the lead of his glamorous boss – perhaps because he assumed that his reward would be a clear shot at the presidency in 1988. He would be the first former CIA director to make it to the top.

There was another view of Bush: the one held by the military men and civilian professionals who worked for him on national security issues. Unlike the president, he knew what was going on and how to get things done. For them, Reagan was ‘a dimwit’ who didn’t get it, or even try to get it. A former senior official of the Office of Management and Budget described the president to me as ‘lazy, just lazy’. Reagan, the official explained, insisted on being presented with a three-line summary of significant budget decisions, and the OMB concluded that the easiest way to cope was to present him with three figures – one very high, one very low and one in the middle, which Reagan invariably signed off on. I was later told that the process was known inside the White House as the ‘Goldilocks option’. He was also bored by complicated intelligence estimates. Forever courteous and gracious, he would doodle during national security briefings or simply not listen. It would have been natural to turn instead to the director of the CIA, but this was William Casey, a former businessman and Nixon aide who had been controversially appointed by Reagan as the reward for managing his 1980 election campaign. As the intelligence professionals working with the executive saw it, Casey was reckless, uninformed, and said far too much to the press.

Bush was different: he got it. At his direction, a team of military operatives was set up that bypassed the national security establishment – including the CIA – and wasn’t answerable to congressional oversight. It was led by Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau, a brilliant navy officer who would be known to those on the inside as ‘M’. He had most recently been involved, as deputy chief of naval operations, in developing the US’s new maritime strategy, aimed at restricting Soviet freedom of movement. In May 1983 he was promoted to assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Vessey, and over the next couple of years he oversaw a secret team – operating in part out of the office of Daniel Murphy, Bush’s chief of staff – which quietly conducted at least 35 covert operations against drug trafficking, terrorism and, most important, perceived Soviet expansionism in more than twenty countries, including Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Libya, Senegal, Chad, Algeria, Tunisia, the Congo, Kenya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Vietnam.

Moreau’s small, off-the-record team, primarily made up of navy officers, was tasked with foreign operations deemed necessary by the vice president. The group’s link to Bush was indirect. There were two go-betweens, known for their closeness to the vice president and their ability to keep secrets: Murphy, a retired admiral who had served as Bush’s deputy director at the CIA; and, to a lesser extent, Donald Gregg, Bush’s national security adviser and another veteran of CIA covert operations. Moreau’s team mostly worked out of a room near the National Military Command Centre on the ground floor of the Pentagon. They could also unobtrusively man a desk or two, when necessary, in a corner of Murphy’s office, which was near Bush’s, in the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House.

The Reagan administration had been rattled by a wave of Soviet expansionism and international aggression that had begun before the president took office. In 1979, even before their incursion into Afghanistan, the Soviets had taken over the old airbase at Cam Ranh Bay in the former South Vietnam, which had been extensively rebuilt and updated by the US during its losing war. It was a base heavy with symbolism for the American and British navies – in December 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor, Japanese dive bombers operating from Cam Ranh sank two of Britain’s premier battleships – and the Soviet decision to expand there was seen by some senior admirals as an alarming affront. And a revolutionary increase in America’s capacity to intercept and decode Soviet signal traffic in the year before Reagan came to power led to the discovery by analysts at the National Security Agency of a ring of Soviet sleeper agents inside the United States, many of them working in federal jobs with – the Carter White House feared – access to national security data.

A former military officer who worked closely with Moreau recalled the early tensions that prompted Bush to increase the targeting of Soviet operations. Moreau’s actions were aimed at limiting Soviet influence without provoking a confrontation. ‘We saw the Russians sorting out their internal politics and expanding economically,’ the officer recalled. ‘Its military had become much more competent, with advances in technology, nuclear engineering and in space. They were feeling good about their planned economy and believed that their state control of education from cradle to grave was working, and it seemed as if the Russians were expanding everywhere. We were in descent; our post-Vietnam army was in shambles; morale was at rock bottom, and the American people had an anti-militarist attitude. There was a sense of general weakness, and the Russians were taking advantage of it. They had developed the MIRV’ – the multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle, a missile carrying several nuclear warheads – ‘and were putting ICBMs on wheels and hardening nuclear silos. This was at the time when it became clear that the president was drifting, and was not an effective leader.’

By 1983, it was plain to those who worked on national security for the White House that Reagan wouldn’t or couldn’t engage with intelligence or counterintelligence matters. Bush had emerged, by default and very much in private, as the most important decision-maker in America’s intelligence world. ‘He controlled the strings,’ the officer said. ‘We ran small, limited operations that were discreet, with a military chain of command. These were not long-term programmes. We thought we could redouble our efforts against the Soviets and nobody would interfere. And do it in such a way that no one could see what we were doing – or realise that there was a masterplan. For example, the published stories about our Star Wars programme were replete with misinformation and forced the Russians to expose their sleeper agents inside the American government by ordering them to make a desperate attempt to find out what the US was doing. But we could not risk exposure of the administration’s role and take the chance of another McCarthy period. So there were no prosecutions. We dried up and eliminated their access and left the spies withering on the vine.’ Once identified, the Soviet sleepers who worked inside the federal bureaucracy were gradually dismissed or moved to less important jobs, in the hope that the low-key counterintelligence operation would mask the improvements in the US’s capacity to read sensitive Soviet communications. ‘Nobody on the Joint Chiefs of Staff ever believed we were going to build Star Wars,’ the officer said, ‘but if we could convince the Russians that we could survive a first strike, we win the game.’ The aim of the game was to find a way to change the nuclear status quo of Mutual Assured Destruction, or seem to do so. ‘We wanted the Russians to believe that we had removed the M from MAD.’

In the beginning, the officer told me, ‘there was a great fear that the Russians were ten feet tall. What we found was total incompetence.’ Moreau’s team were amazed to find how easy it was to reverse Soviet influence – often with little more than generous offers of American dollars and American arms. Across the Third World – in countries such as Chad, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire – the offer of advanced American electronics and communications equipment was also invaluable. ‘The Russians simply were not liked abroad,’ the officer said. ‘They were boors with shoddy clothing and shoes made out of paper. Their weapons were inoperative. It was a Potemkin village. But every time we found total incompetence on the part of a Soviet mission, the American intelligence community would assume that it was Soviet “deception”. The only problem was that it was not deception. We came to realise that the American intelligence community needed the threat from Russia to get their money. Those of us who were running the operations were also amazed that the American press was so incompetent. You could do this kind of stuff all over the world and nobody would ask any questions.’

Congress, and the constitution, were at first no more of an obstacle to Bush and Moreau’s covert operations than the press. The one member of Congress who knew what was going on was Dick Cheney, a close friend and confidant of Bush’s from their days together in the Ford administration. In 1976, in the aftermath of the Church Committee’s inquiry into CIA abuses, standing intelligence committees had been set up in both the Senate and the House, charged with holding the CIA and other intelligence agencies to account. But it was understood by all those involved in the vice president’s secret team that these committees could be bypassed, even though the laws governing covert intelligence activities had been stiffened: there was now a legal requirement that all covert CIA and military intelligence operations had to be made known to the committees through a formal, written document known as a ‘finding’. But there was a big loophole in the legislation, in the view of the vice president’s men. ‘There was no requirement for a finding for merely asking questions,’ the officer said, ‘and so we’d make routine requests for intelligence assessments from the CIA through the Joint Chiefs and the National Security Council. Our basic philosophy was that we were running military’ – not intelligence – ‘operations and therefore did not have to brief Congress. So we could legally operate without a finding.’ He was describing an ingenious procedure for getting around the law: one that would be put into use again after 9/11, when Cheney, by then vice president, triggered the unending war on terror. ‘The issue for Moreau was how do we take advantage of what the CIA has to offer – its people, with their language skills and its networks and assets overseas,’ the officer said. ‘The disadvantage was if we used the CIA in an intelligence context, we had to get a finding. We decided to get around the law by using agency people in what we claimed was a “liaison capacity”.’ The next step was ‘to attach the CIA operators to military units as liaison who were working for Moreau. Casey knew his CIA was being cut out and so he became more active where he could – in Latin America.’ As a precaution, the team prepared written findings when CIA men or information were being made use of – but they were put ‘in a safe’, to be produced only if anyone in Congress found out what was going on.

Moreau was contemptuous of Casey and ‘thought the CIA was a crazy organisation that had no concern about the consequences of its covert actions’, according to the officer. He remembered Moreau telling his subordinates on the secret staff: ‘I’m accountable to the vice president and you motherfuckers are accountable to me. The agency is not accountable to anybody – not the president, not Congress, not the American people. They will do whatever they want to support their mission, which is defined by them.’ Cutting out the CIA leadership – though using their resources where needed, partly through the good offices of Dan Murphy, who had many connections inside the agency – was key to Moreau’s operations. ‘From the beginning our philosophy was no publicity,’ the officer said. Enlisting the agency formally would involve findings, and relying on ‘the CIA’s knuckle-draggers’ – paramilitary units – ‘who were seen as too dumb and too incompetent. But by using only the military we inadvertently laid the groundwork for what we have now – a Joint Special Operations Command essentially out of civilian control.’

One of Moreau’s confidants was Alfred Gray Jr, a marine who rose from enlisted private to general. He was someone who could be trusted to do the dirty jobs that were seen as inevitable in combating the spread of communism in the Third World. By the early 1980s, Gray was a two-star major general commanding a division of the marines; he would be made commandant of the Marine Corps in 1987. If there were people to hurt, he would get it done and leave no footprints. ‘Gray was profane and tough as nails,’ the officer said. ‘He tells us: “I can do that. We’ve got guys who can do stuff.” And the marines are organised, unlike the navy. Whenever there are two marines together, one is senior to the other.’ As the team’s activity stepped up, the officer told me, they began compiling ‘hit lists’. ‘The CIA would provide us with lists of bad guys from the files of the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Justice Department and the National Security Agency, much of it focused on the drug war and anti-communist operations. A lot of it was in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and of course Nicaragua. We were doing the same thing then that the administration is doing now – only now it’s institutionalised with JSOC. Back then we used the marines and Delta Force, and there was no reason, as today, to say anything to the Joint Chiefs. Moreau’s strategy was to act in advance to pre-empt terrorism. “Why wait for it to take place?”’

Moreau’s activities have remained secret, and, as I learned while reporting on this aspect of history, those who knew of his activities at the time remain sceptical that they can be written about today. ‘I’m aware of what you’re referring to,’ one senior defence official told me. ‘And Art Moreau was just like “M”. But you are working in an area that remains highly classified, and even today it may be too sensitive to reveal the rudiments of our intelligence networks. I doubt if any records still exist.’

Over the course of 1983, Moreau’s team was given a target that would prove much tougher than the Soviets – terrorism in the Middle East. Sixty-three American diplomats, intelligence experts and military personnel, along with civilian employees, were killed when the US embassy in Beirut was bombed in April 1983, and six months later 241 military personnel, most of them marines, were killed in an attack on a barracks at Beirut airport. The US embassy in Kuwait was bombed in December that year, and there was a wave of kidnappings of Westerners – among them William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, who would die in captivity.

A particular target was Muammar Gaddafi. ‘By 1981 Gaddafi was beginning to get more and more bizarre,’ the officer said. ‘He was making a lot of moves into our hemisphere: selling air-to-surface missiles to Argentina, selling Hind attack helicopters to Nicaragua, supplying aid to Peru, supporting the government in Venezuela, and even dealing with the Popular Front in Palestine. He also closed the Gulf of Sidra to our 6th Fleet. We had to take care of Libya. Gaddafi was a primary military and oil threat, and he became a strategic target.’

An assassination was planned, using Casey’s CIA assets in Libya, the officer said, and because of the CIA’s involvement the administration was required to inform the congressional leadership about aspects of the plan via a highly classified finding. This was promptly leaked by someone in Congress, so Moreau’s team thought, and the operation called off – allegedly. Moreau’s people continued to support the Libyan opposition. In May 1984, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, an opposition group that would later be clandestinely supported by the CIA, failed in an attempt on Gaddafi’s life. Eight rebels were killed along with eighty government soldiers, according to published reports. Gaddafi responded by executing three members of the Muslim Brotherhood and arresting and torturing thousands of others. One of the Americans involved in the plot was Major-General Richard Secord, who had resigned from the air force in 1983 after being accused of improper dealings with a former CIA officer. Secord, who had a long career in special operations, pleaded guilty in 1989 to a felony count for lying to Congress about his role in the Iran-Contra affair, but never came close to spending a day in jail. His sentence of two years on probation was reversed the following year.

Moreau’s operations were described, indirectly, in The Reagan Imprint (2006) by John Arquilla, who teaches in the special operations programme at the United States Naval Postgraduate School. Arquilla wrote about a secret 1984 White House memorandum – NSDD 138 – that authorised ‘sabotage, killing … pre-emptive and retaliatory raids, deception and a significantly expanded [intelligence] collection programme, aimed at suspected radicals and people regarded as their sympathisers’. Arquilla reported that the memorandum (which wasn’t declassified until 2009) triggered intense controversy inside the government, and the directive was never implemented in full. He added that Bush ‘was initially cool to the idea as well, though he eventually warmed to it’.

It seems likely, from the suggestive reference to Bush, that Arquilla knew more than he could write, or wanted to write. The officer remembered the bitter internal dispute over the memorandum, which was promulgated well after Moreau’s team began its activities. ‘The irony was, of course,’ the officer said, ‘that as we racked up some amazing successes, the administration took credit and defence and the agency each thought the other was responsible.’

There were a few hints of Moreau’s real authority in the early Reagan years. A 2010 US army history of the 1983 decision to invade the Caribbean island of Grenada includes a paper by Edgar Raines of the US Army Centre of Military History. It recounts a series of secret planning meetings in which Moreau, while junior to others present, ‘was in many ways the most influential person in the room … Moreau’s ideas thus had a way of reaching the very highest echelon of government. It made him a force with which to reckon.’ Raines notes that Moreau had managed to direct the most sensitive operational decision-making to the Special Situation Group, a committee of the most senior policymakers chaired by Bush. None of this was made public at the time.​*

A memorandum declassified in 2008, written in April 1984 by Richard Kerr, then deputy director of the CIA, noted that the agency’s ‘products’ – its intelligence reports and estimates – were being cut off by Moreau and his team, and not reaching the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ‘I have the feeling,’ Kerr wrote plaintively, ‘that if we are going to get something past Admiral Moreau we will need to send it via the briefer with a note . . . asking that it be called to the attention of the chairman.’ Moreau himself received the full range of CIA products. ‘Admiral Moreau’s interests,’ Kerr added, ‘are all subjects, worldwide.’

Another hint came in Colin Powell’s 1995 autobiography – he was military aide to the secretary of defence, Caspar Weinberger, at the time of the Grenada invasion. Powell wrote that Moreau came to me one morning with an odd revelation. The secretary’s office was not getting some of the most curious traffic that the NSA plucked out of the air. On his own hook, Art had decided to share this withheld material with me. What I read enraged me … The content of the messages was startling enough, but what troubled me just as much was why the secretary’s office should be cut out of the loop.

Powell, who shared his boss’s scepticism about the value of a war on terror, showed the intercepts to Weinberger. Weinberger – equally furious – asked where they had come from. ‘I explained,’ Powell wrote, ‘that they were bootlegged to us by Admiral Moreau, who got them from the NSA.’ ‘And don’t I control the National Security Agency?’ Weinberger asked. There was no suggestion in Powell’s book that either he or Weinberger challenged Moreau’s access to intercepts deemed too sensitive for the secretary of defence

‘Bush was petrified that the president would say the wrong thing to outsiders about what was going on, and he was hanging around the Oval Office,’ the officer said. ‘You never knew whether the president might start talking about an operation in China or into Vietnam.’​† Reagan was kept out of trouble at important national security meetings by being given a script. ‘My colleagues and I would write a talking paper for the president before meetings that resembled movie scripts, because the Old Man knew scripts as a reference. We were constantly updating the script, because if we made a dumb mistake, he would read it. We’d talk among ourselves about where to put the emphasis for certain words and phrases.’ In Deadly Gambits, his 1984 study of arms control, Strobe Talbott showed what happened when Reagan didn’t have a script. During a conversation about arms control with a group of congressmen, the president suddenly proclaimed: ‘Land-based missiles have nuclear warheads, while bombers and submarines don’t.’ ‘Even as he said these words,’ Talbott wrote, ‘his voice dropped and wavered, as though he had forgotten his lines and knew there was something not quite right about his attempt to improvise.’

Casey was another source of tension, the officer said. He ‘was going around giving the impression that he was a super spook, but nobody on the inside cared because he had no juice. We knew he was over the hill and living on his past glory with the OSS’ – the Office of Strategic Services, the CIA’s wartime predecessor. He may have run Reagan’s election campaign, he may have been controlling the US operation in Afghanistan, but the military men working with Moreau saw him as ‘bizarre, unpredictable, out of control and dishonest’. Murphy made sure to be kept up to date on what Casey was up to. The CIA’s director got his chance of glory in Nicaragua, whose Sandinista government was inordinately feared by Reagan and Casey as a dire threat to the United States. Casey was able to get his way because of a rare error of judgment by Moreau, who had brought Marine Lieutenant Oliver North onto the secret team. The Iran-Contra story, as seen from inside the Moreau operation, has little in common with the public record. Bush, known to his friends and aides as ‘Poppy’, was also worried about Nicaragua and Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista leader, and was instrumental in the decision to give clandestine American support to the Nicaraguan opposition force known as the Contras. Moreau’s team inevitably became involved: a high-risk proposition for the group because Congress had passed an amendment barring the use of American funds for support of the Nicaraguan opposition. There was no question about Bush’s part in what would become the Iran-Contra scandal. ‘Dan Murphy and Poppy would sit down and work it out about the Contras,’ the officer said. ‘They saw Ortega as turning Nicaragua into a Russian puppet state. “We can’t have that. This is our turf. We have to protect Guatemala and Honduras and Panama.” So I and my colleagues on Moreau’s team wrote findings about covert actions going after Daniel Ortega.’

But it was important to keep Casey out of the way, the officer said, in order ‘to protect our real operations’. Unfortunately, the person charged with protecting the vice president’s inside team was Ollie North, then on the staff of the National Security Council. ‘We were in different parts of the White House’ – where conspiracy was a constant – and ‘North’s job was to keep Moreau up to date on all NSC operations. North was a plant.’ It became clear to the Moreau team that the CIA’s Casey-led operations in support of the Contras were veering out of control. Casey had been busy illegally raising millions of dollars for the Contras from ‘concerned’ American citizens and foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia and Brunei, whose leaders were seeking favour with the White House. ‘Moreau thought that Casey’s actions in support of the Contras were stupid and a time bomb,’ the officer said. ‘What had begun as a quiet op designed by Moreau to influence public opinion inside Nicaragua was becoming a political football. So Moreau calls on his boy Ollie and tells him to get involved with the Contra issue and keep it from getting out of control. He picked the wrong guy. North was loyal and enthusiastic, but he was fucking dumb.’ North saw a career path through keeping in with Casey – but then the operation took a ludicrous turn after Buckley’s kidnapping in Beirut in March 1984 by members of the group that would soon call itself Hizbullah.

A plan developed to sell anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles to Iran, via the Israelis, in return for Iranian help in releasing Buckley and the other prisoners (the government of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who had overthrown the shah in 1979, was viewed with great hostility by the Reagan administration). Profits from the arms sales would then be used to finance support for the Nicaraguan opposition – in direct violation of the congressional ban. ‘Ollie brings in Dick Secord and Iranian dissidents and money people in Texas to the scheme, and it’s gotten totally out of control,’ the officer said. ‘We’re going nuts. If we don’t manage this carefully, our whole structure will unravel. And so we’ – former members of Moreau’s team who were still working for Bush – ‘leaked the story to the magazine in Lebanon.’ He was referring to an article, published on 3 November 1986 by Ash-Shiraa magazine in Beirut, that described the arms for hostages agreement. He would not say how word was passed to the magazine, nor did he acknowledge that with this leak Moreau’s group was acting with as much self-interest, and as little regard for the consequences, as Moreau had accused the CIA of doing. The officer explained that it was understood by all that the scandal would unravel in public very quickly, and Congress would get involved. ‘Our goals were to protect the Moreau operation, to limit the vice president’s possible exposure, and to convince the Reagan administration to limit Bill Casey’s management of covert operations. It only took a match to light the fire. It was: “Oh my god. We were paying ransom for the hostages – to Iran.”’

Moreau was gone by the end of 1985: at the recommendation of Bush, he had received his fourth star and was rewarded for his high-pressure double duty in the White House by being appointed commander of US naval forces in Europe and Nato forces in southern Europe. There was another factor: on 1 October 1985, Admiral William Crowe replaced John Vessey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The formidable Crowe had been filled in, up to a point, on the clandestine operations inside the vice president’s office. ‘He got a whiff of what was going on,’ the officer said. Crowe quickly disbanded Moreau’s secret team and returned its officers to navy duty. There would be no undeclared operations on his watch. The roof could have fallen in the following November, when the Iran-Contra scandal became public. The congressional inquiry that followed focused on Reagan, and what he did and didn’t know. Bush was mostly out of the line of fire, and so was Moreau. Casey, meanwhile, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 1986, and left office within days. He died five months later.

If Casey had not taken ill, the officer assured me, ‘he would have been the fall guy, and taken one for the Boss’ – the president. Bush, with his seemingly secure run for the presidency in 1988 under threat, flew into a panic about the burgeoning scandal. He had played a major role in the sure-to-fail scheme; a comprehensive inquiry might well discover the 35 or so earlier covert operations – many of them successful – that he and the Moreau group had conducted. The team’s carefully prepared findings, none of which had been given to Congress, were destroyed, as were any other records of the extraordinary operations unit. Moreau suffered a major heart attack in December 1986, while on duty, and died soon afterwards at a military hospital in Naples.

Secrecy, internal rivalries and illegality had doomed Moreau’s project but, for all its flaws, there were some in the defence establishment who felt, as Moreau did, that extraordinary efforts were needed to combat international terrorism. ‘How ironic it is,’ a senior defence official told me, ‘given all the interest now in waging covert warfare, that the very real opportunity to pre-empt al-Qaida, and launch a war decades before 9/11, was squandered by a mix of overzealous, sometimes misguided operators and bickering administration officials.’

In 1986, as the Iran-Contra scandal turned toxic, the immediate problem for Vice President Bush was political survival. Too many outsiders – men like Oliver North – knew too much. The vice president began keeping a diary – with notable fake elements – late in 1986, as the scandal was being investigated by the special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh. The diary wasn’t turned over to Walsh’s inquiry until after Bush’s defeat in the 1992 presidential election, despite relevant subpoenas dating back to 1987. It begins with the sentence: ‘This is November 1986, the beginning of what I hope will be an accurate diary, with at least five and maybe 15 minutes a day on observations about my run for the presidency in 1988.’ But Bush was unable to restrain himself, repeatedly wondering whether North and his close associate on the National Security Council, Admiral John Poindexter, would ‘do the right thing’ when testifying before Congress. The ‘right thing’, of course, was for North and Poindexter to lie and not say what they knew about Bush’s involvement. At one point, Bush refers to allegations in the media that he has not come clean on his part in the scandal, and adds: ‘The implication being that I was some way linked in to the diversion of funds to the Contras or that I was running a secret war’ – which, of course, was precisely what he had been doing. Later, writing about the arms for hostage agreement, he says: ‘I’m one of the few people that know fully the details, and there is a lot of flack and misinformation out there. It is not a subject we can talk about.’

Bush’s unconscious seemed to spin out of control again when he was summoned in December 1986 by the Tower Commission, a three-member investigating group put together by the White House in a failed attempt to head off the Walsh inquiry. ‘The testimony before the Tower Commission, I think went well,’ Bush wrote. ‘I made several suggestions to them … [and] they include no more operations by the NSC; CIA to conduct covert operations; formalise process of the NSC staff; clearly [no more] oral findings, and failure to follow up on these covert operations was wrong. Nobody had any dream that these kinds of things were going on.’ He was once again describing what Moreau’s group had been doing. The diary, had it been turned over earlier, as Bush’s team of lawyers certainly understood, would have led to a great deal of further questioning, and possibly to an indictment.

Walsh reluctantly ended his far from satisfactory inquiry in 1993. Convictions his staff won at trial were later overturned or suspended, as in North’s case; others were pardoned by Bush before he left office. One of Walsh’s last acts was to determine whether there was a case against Bush for his initial refusal to turn over the diary. He decided against it after concluding that there was little likelihood of a successful prosecution. The same general conclusion had been reached two years earlier, before the existence of the diary became known, by Christian Mixter, a senior attorney on Walsh’s staff. While there was much evidence that Bush had attended most of the important meetings on Iran-Contra, Mixter wrote, his role as ‘a secondary officer’ to the president made him less likely to be criminally liable for the actions he took. Mixter’s analysis was not made public until 2011.

There is no evidence that Walsh or any of the lawyers on his staff found out about the existence of Moreau’s special operations group, though it was clear to some that there was more to know. John Barrett, who now teaches at St John’s University School of Law in New York, spent five years working for Walsh and came away, as he told me, with ‘a very strong sense that the water was way deeper than we could see. And who knew what was below. I concluded that we were at the mercy of the executive branch.’ He added that Archibald Cox, the Harvard law professor who was in charge of the Watergate investigation in 1973, had been able to turn for help to John Dean – the White House counsel who testified in public about the presidential cover-up. Unlike Cox, ‘we didn’t have an intelligence insider.’

The Washington press corps was equally in the dark. Scott Armstrong, a Washington journalist who spent years researching US policy on Iran, recalled a pleasant lunch he had long after the Iran-Contra inquiry with Don Gregg, Bush’s national security adviser. The conversation inevitably turned to the Iran-Contra days and Armstrong told Gregg that he and other journalists had always been interested in his role. Gregg’s answer, as Armstrong recalled it, was crude and mysterious: ‘You guys [in the press] were always sniffing around my ass, and Dan Murphy passed right by you.’

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

January 18, 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. 5

Date:  Friday, March 22, 1996

Commenced:  8:15 AM CST

Concluded: 8:45 AM CST

 

RTC: Up early, aren’t you, Gregory?

GD: Actually, I haven’t been to bed yet, Robert. Been reading a really interesting paper someone sent me about the Clintons. Such lovely people. Of course, I can’t do anything with it but I will make Xerox copies and send them off. Costs money and no paper would dare to even ask questions. Such sleazy crooks, Robert. Roosevelt stole but he had some class after all.

RTC: Do you think they shot that Foster man?

GD: I have no idea. It was the convenient death of a man who knew far too much, Robert. Have you any comments?

RTC: Bill is utterly ruthless and his shrew of a wife is one step behind him. They would have ordered it, for certain, but one does not know.

GD: I saw the in situ pictures from the Virginia park police of the body. Poor Vince. His last act was to defy the law of gravity. He was lying in the park with his head pointing down a hillside but the dried blood all ran up. Isn’t that wonderful?

RTC: Some of those people are mindless, Gregory. But that doesn’t mean he was murdered. Someone might have dumped the stiff there to get him out of the White House.

GD: Well, false in one thing, false in all, as they used to say. Frau Clinton looks like a bimbo who could put kittens into a microwave and have a real laugh. She was tied up with the Black Panthers in Oakland some years ago. I have a California police report about that. A friend in Sacramento sent me a copy about a day before the FBI came and removed the original. Caught in the sack with a nice black lassie, she was. They went to Sacramento, the Panthers and the gun moll, and they sported guns there and terrified people. The late night motel raid was the result. Well, I could send that around too but we would never hear a word about it.

RTC: Our people had connections with Bill when he was the governor there. Used to bring drugs in from Mexico and land them downstate. Arkansas is about as backwards as Kenya these days and Bill had no problem sticking a bag full of cash in his sock drawer. Oh, well, if it weren’t for the crooked pol, none of us could make an honest buck.

GD: Ah, Robert, that’s just what the Indian hooker said when the bank teller told her one of her twenties was counterfeit.

RTC: Now that’s a good one, Gregory.

GD: I thought so, Robert. Oh how about the whore who, when told by another teller in another bank, that a hundred was fake, ‘My God, I’ve been raped!’

RTC: Fun and games so early in the day.

GD: Yes, I suppose so. When I’m working…doing research…I’m very quiet and very focused on my work but all of the nasty comments and so on are just a form of relief. I have known a few CIA people in my life but you are the first one with whom I can have a nice talk. The others like to think that their feces smell like lilacs in bloom. They ask much and give little.

RTC: I see your point but you don’t fully grasp the techniques. No one wants to talk with you, Gregory, because while they are interrogating you, you are interrogating them and, let me be very clear on this as Nixon would have said, you are way and above any of them and certainly their superior  in the interrogation business. If one of them makes the slightest slip, you pounce on the knowledge and he loses control. You have a phenomenal memory and the ability to use it in a very abstract and very deadly manner. You know this, naturally, but always complain that people behave like swine around you. I agree they do. Kimmel is an example of this. Actually, they are afraid of you, Gregory, really afraid. I don’t mean that you’ll pull a knife or gun and do them but they cannot control you and when they cannot control a person or a situation, they panic. They live by rule books and you do not. May I ask you a question here?

GD: Surely.

RTC: Do you work for anyone?

GD: Like the Germans or the Russians? Or the Chinese? No, I work for myself. I hate working for other people who only want you to support the views of their superiors. If they want this or that to be a certain way and I see very clearly that they are wrong, I have to be silent or become a toady. For example, Gehlen told me that in ’48, the Army…he worked for them just before your people took him over…Critchfield that is…Gehlen told me that the Army wanted him to prepare a paper showing that the Russians were going to attack Western Europe. Gehlen said this was impossible. He said the Russians had torn up all the railroad lines in their Zone and sent the rails back to Russia. Obviously, they could not rush troops to the border except on bicycles or mules. And of the 135 Russian armored units technically…note that I said technically…stationed in their Zone, almost all of them were just cadre with perhaps ten officers and men and no armored units. No, our people needed a dangerous enemy against whom to arm. Revisiting the business heyday of the war was the right idea but, of course, without real dangers. We knew the Russians were not going to attack but the report, lies that it contained, was deliberately leaked by the Army to Congress and others. Hey presto! A Cold War starts. We had to rearm and stop the reduction of our Army. Oh yes, the Generals did not want to lose their cushy jobs and the American industrial people were cooing with delight over all the contracts for aircraft, bombs, rifles, tanks and battleships that they all knew would never be used. No, that was all a deliberate sham and designed to make the elite people richer. Of course the film industry and the media cranked out horror stories about the evil Stalin’s plans to attack us. Christ, they were terrified we would nuke Moscow like we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I can see the first attack but the second was not needed. The Japanese immediately indicated they would surrender but the military wanted to try out another bomb with a different approach. Just for fun as it were.

RTC: Well, and here we are, Gregory. Reagan played high stakes poker with the Russians and made them fold their hand. We beat them. No war, no destruction, was there?

GD: No there was not but what do we do now? Our greedy businessmen now try to loot Russia and strip her of her natural resources. We could try to make an ally of her, why not? No one needs an enemy.

RTC: Too many people in power remember the propaganda of the Cold War, Gregory and their mind sets are so strong that logic would scarcely move them.

GD: It’s too bad I am not in control. Can you see that, Robert?

RTC: You would be dead in a week, Gregory.

GD: Not if I got to them first.

RTC: Well, what would you do?

GD: Divide and conquer and the ones who wanted a turf war, would quickly end up under it. My main crime is a faint conscience. You can’t be moral when dealing with dung-munchers.

(Concluded at 8:45AM 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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