TBR News January 23, 2020

Jan 23 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 23, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 23: “Trump is back from Davos and howling with rage about the impeachment proceeding in the Senate. I am told by those who have seen him, Trump is losing it little by little. His childish, often illiterate, tweets sound like the come from an occupant of a mental hospital and one of my co-workers says they saw him howling and purple in the face. He is 73, way overweight and has high blood pressure. It woudn’t take much more pressure on him to make something give way inside and off he would go in a rubber bag. What at risk here is public condemnation and, worse for his ego, mockery. Trump claims he is a genius but he most certainly is not. And he is so crooked that I am amazed that his lying, cheating and continual bombast have not finished him off in the court of public opinion.”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 23 reporting

Source Approve Disapprove
Ipsos     39%        56%

The Table of Contents
• Democrats push resistant Republicans to join case for ousting Trump
• Trump’s Impeachment Brief Is a Howl of Rage
• Trump and Putin: The Prospering of Treason
• The frantic rescue mission for Donald Trump’s indiscretions
• From Gestapo Chief to senior CIA official.
• Waiting to Happen
• The Season of Evil
• Encyclopedia of American Loons

Democrats push resistant Republicans to join case for ousting Trump
January 23, 2020
by Steve Holland, David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats planned to plow ahead on Thursday at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with their arguments for removing him from office, but Republicans showed no signs of softening their resistance to the Democratic case.
U.S. Representative Adam Schiff and other Democratic impeachment managers are pressing their argument that Trump should be convicted of two articles of impeachment passed by the House last month – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden last year, and impeding the inquiry into the matter.
Blocked so far in their drive to persuade the Republican-led Senate to let them call new witnesses, Democrats are using their time instead to outline an extensive narrative, complete with video clips, based on the testimony presented during hearings in the Democratic-led House of Representatives.
The case focuses on a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender, and his son on unsubstantiated corruption charges as well as a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election. U.S. military aid to Ukraine was frozen for a period of time.
“We have the evidence to prove President Trump ordered the aid withheld, he did so to force Ukraine to help his re-election campaign,” Schiff said during arguments on Wednesday that stretched for eight hours. “We can and will prove President Trump guilty of this conduct and of obstructing the investigation into his conduct.”
Trump denies any wrongdoing and his fellow Republicans in the Senate say his behavior does not fit the description of “high crimes and misdemeanors” outlined in the U.S. Constitution as a reason to oust a president.
He is almost certain to be acquitted by the 100-member Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed to remove him from office. But the case could help determine whether Trump wins a second term in November’s election.
Democrats have two more days to make their arguments. Trump’s defense team, starting on Saturday, will have three days for rebuttal. Trump is relying on a core group of White House lawyers and outside counsel to undermine the Democratic case.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said it was unclear whether the Trump defense would need all three days.
“We will make a determination on our presentation based on what we are responding to and based on our affirmative case,” Sekulow said. “I don’t know if it will take 10 hours, 14 hours, 24 hours or six hours.”
The House impeachment managers’ presentation appeared to have little impact on the Senate’s deep partisan split.
“I didn’t hear anything new, at all,” said Republican Senator John Barrasso, who added: “It still seems to me as if this was an effort by Democrats, in a very partisan way, to bring a case against President Trump because they weren’t happy with the results of the 2016 election and are concerned that they’re going to have real problems in the 2020 election.”
But Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said: “Anyone following this testimony will see that the truth is right there in plain sight. It’s very clear that President Trump used all the agencies of the federal government to pursue his scheme.”
Senator John Kennedy, a Republican close to Trump, was listening to what he called Schiff’s “eloquent” presentation.
“Most if not all senators are hearing the prosecution and the case of the defense for the first time,” Kennedy said, adding that most senators had not read a transcript of the House proceedings. “Senators, because they’ve been busy being senators, have not heard the case.”
Avidly tracking the Senate trial even during a trip this week to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump told reporters on Wednesday he was the victim of a “takedown attempt.” He arrived back in Washington on Wednesday night.
A Reuters-Ipsos poll released on Wednesday found a bipartisan majority of Americans wanting to see new witnesses testify in the impeachment trial.
Reporting by Steve Holland, Patricia Zengerle, Susan Cornwell, David Morgan and Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney

Trump’s Impeachment Brief Is a Howl of Rage
The document released by the president’s lawyers reads more like the scream of a wounded animal than a traditional legal filing.
January 20, 2020
by Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes
The Atlantic
Over the weekend, as the Senate prepared for the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the newly appointed House impeachment managers and the president’s newly appointed legal team both filed their initial legal briefs.
At least, one of them was a legal brief. The other read more like the scream of a wounded animal.
The House managers’ brief is an organized legal document. It starts with the law, the nature and purposes of Congress’s impeachment power, then walks through the evidence regarding the first article of impeachment, which alleges abuse of power, and seeks to show how the evidence establishes the House’s claim that President Trump is guilty of this offense. It then proceeds to argue that the offense requires his removal from office.
The brief then rinses and repeats the exercise with respect to the second article of impeachment, which deals with alleged obstruction of Congress. It concludes: “President Trump has betrayed the American people and the ideals on which the Nation was founded. Unless he is removed from office, he will continue to endanger our national security, jeopardize the integrity of our elections, and undermine our core constitutional principles.”
By contrast, the White House’s “Answer of President Donald J. Trump” to the articles of impeachment, filed by the president’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow and the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, does not read like a traditional legal argument at all. It begins with a series of rhetorical flourishes—all of them, to one degree or another, false. The articles of impeachment are “a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President,” the president’s lawyers write—as though the impeachment power were not a constitutional reality every bit as enshrined in the founding document as the quadrennial election of the president. The articles are “a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election,” and are “constitutionally invalid on their face,” they write, as though the president’s right to extort foreign leaders for political services were so beyond reasonable question, it is outrageous that anyone might object to it.
This document reads like one of the president’s speeches at his campaign rallies. The language is a little more lawyerly, if only a little. In Sekulow and Cipollone’s hands, Trump’s cries of “Witch hunt!” have turned into “lawless process that violated basic due process and fundamental fairness.” His allegations that Democrats are a “disgrace” have turned into “an affront to the Constitution.” And Trump’s insistence that there’s a plot to destroy his presidency has become a “highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the president [that] began the day he was inaugurated and continues to this day.”
But the message is unchanged. It’s not a legal argument. It’s a howl of rage.
There is, to be sure, a lack of parallelism between the purposes of the two documents. The House managers’ document is an opening brief that lays out the prosecutors’ case at some length, while the president’s response is an initial six-page reply to the articles. The White House’s first full brief is due this afternoon, so it’s possible that the lawyers will sound, well, a little more like lawyers in that document. But don’t hold your breath.
In fact, this is not the first time Cipollone has signed his name to a screed along these lines. In October, shortly after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the beginning of a formal impeachment inquiry, Cipollone sent the House a rambling eight-page letter that read almost as if it had been dictated by the president—down to the obsessive focus on the moral failings of the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff, which would be familiar to anyone reading the president’s Twitter feed. The former White House counsel Bob Bauer decried it as offering “arguments hopelessly weak in substance, political in both content and tone, and harmful to the credibility of [Cipollone’s] office.”
The document produced by the White House this weekend is a little more organized, but the arguments and the angry tone are the same. Read together, Cipollone’s October letter and this new document written with Sekulow set expectations for the president’s defense: barely contained, and barely coherent, rage—a middle finger stuck at the impeachment process, rather than any kind of organized effort to convince senators or the public that the president’s conviction would be unmerited, imprudent, or unjust.
Consciously or not, Trump’s pick of defense counsel for the Senate trial sends the same message. Along with Sekulow and Cipollone, the president will be represented by the former independent counsels Ken Starr and Robert Ray—Starr’s successor in the investigations against Bill Clinton—and the Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, among others. This is not the legal team one might expect a president facing the fight of his political life to select. Starr, after all, made robust arguments during the Clinton impeachment against the assertion of executive privilege and made others for the impeachability of a president for obstructing an investigation into his conduct using privilege claims. Dershowitz has made plenty of arguments against impeaching and convicting Trump in recent years, but he has a habit of staking out positions that are not merely iconoclastic—like that the president may be impeached only for violating the criminal code, or that the Supreme Court could overturn an unjust conviction in an impeachment trial—but intellectually sloppy, too.
Were Trump trying to make a traditional legal argument, he’d have picked the wrong legal counsel. But that’s not what the president is trying to do. CNN describes the president’s merry band as a “Fox News defense team,” noting that the main through line among the lawyers representing Trump is that they have all regularly appeared on the president’s favorite network. It’s not that the president’s legal team lacks talent. Starr was, after all, an esteemed appellate lawyer, a judge on the D.C. circuit, and the solicitor general of the United States. And Dershowitz was a Harvard law professor. But the president isn’t fundamentally making a legal case here. His arguments are that his phone call was “perfect,” that there’s a “deep state” conspiracy against him, and that impeachment is an effort to overturn an election. You don’t need good lawyers to make such silly arguments. You need lawyers who will yell untruths loudly, lawyers whose very presence will argue the us-against-them nature of the president’s defense.
And this is a group of people who do just that. Just by being there, they will make the president feel good, feel validated. Their presence will give expression to his anger, in the same way that Brett Kavanaugh’s tirade against the Senate Judiciary Committee reportedly delighted Trump.
For this reason, the contradiction of choosing Starr to argue in favor of a hyperaggressive vision of executive privilege and against conviction on the basis of obstruction of justice isn’t a problem, just as Dershowitz’s lazy argumentation and Cipollone’s hyperventilating outrage aren’t problems either. They’re the whole point. Flaunting the dissonance of having Starr defending a president in an impeachment trial is itself an expression of rage and defiance against the president’s critics—including, one must imagine, Hillary Clinton, whom both Starr and Ray investigated. It’s a legal team designed to own the libs, and the fact that Dershowitz has been accused of perpetrating misconduct against women (allegations he denies), and Starr of mishandling an investigation into such allegations, is perhaps no coincidence.
To the extent that there is an argument in the president’s defense, it’s that the president’s rage is more important than building a systematic legal case. Putting together a legal brief, after all, depends on a system of mutual understanding between the writer and the audience. The goal is to convince a neutral arbiter of the correctness of one’s point, within a structure of traditions and constraints. Trump’s howl of anger is a declaration that he doesn’t need to convince any arbiter, abide by any constraints, or reach any understanding, because his own emotions are the most important thing.
But the flip side of Trump’s insistence on his own preeminence is his grasping need for other people to reaffirm him. And so the president’s defense, the argument and the team alike, has another purpose: It’s a message to Republican senators. It says to each of them that no, the White House will not make a factual argument on the merits of the case—not a real one, anyway. And no, it will not make a real legal argument either. It, rather, will announce that, per George Orwell, two plus two equals five. And it will demand of the senators that they get in line to endorse that proposition, preferably on television, where the president can see. It will be a failure of loyalty if they are not willing to do this. And they will be subject to retaliation.
It’s not a strategy that would work in court. But the Senate is not, at the end of the day, a court—even when it’s sitting as the trial court of an impeachment. The Senate is a body composed of people who, as the past few years of Republicans’ willing subjection to Trump have shown, are exquisitely sensitive to this sort of pressure.
And the more absurdly bombastic the defense gets, the stronger this message becomes.

Trump and Putin: The Prospering of Treason

‘Cui bono’ is a Latin phrase meaning ‘who benefits?’
In the matter of the accusations at a high level that President Trump has worked, does work, for the Russians, the application of this phrase is quite important.
• Who benefits from Trump’s economically restrictive tariffs?
• Who benefits from Trump’s undeclared war on Latin Americans?
• Who benefits from Trump’s harassment of China?
• Who benefits from Trump’s divisive attacks on sections of the American public such as the black community and the latino?
• Who benefits from Trump’s very ill-advised and illogical actions in the Middle East?
American interests, economic and social?
No, they not only do not benefit but they are seriously injured and impaired.
Who, then, benefits from these actions?
Simple logic and an application of Occam ’s Razor show with great clarity that only one entity benefits from Trumps belligerent actions and that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The recent allegations that Trump worked for the Russians; had been gotten at by them earlier on is the only clear and logical answer to the question ‘cui bono.’
And for the leader of a country to deliberately work against the interests of his country for another is an act of treason and should be treated accordingly.

The frantic rescue mission for Donald Trump’s indiscretions

On 4 March 2018, it is alleged that Sergei Viktorovich Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer who secretly worked for, and was well paid by, British intelligence, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, England, allegedly with a “Novichok nerve agent.”
It was reported that the pair were observed on a public park bench, acting very ill and were taken to the Salisbury District Hospital and put into an intensive care unit.
No one was allowed to visit them but a British official claimed they had done so and assured the media they had been seen.
There have no medical bulletins concerning the Skripals since then.
Immediately, it was officially claimed that somehow the Russians were responsible and the British Prime Minister and their buffoon of a Foreign Minister made endless accusative public comments about Russian guilt.
The British Prime Minister May’s claim that the “novichok” formula allegedly used was a deep secret, known only to the Russians is, like the rest of the drama, entirely false.
There are currently a number of countries who have been carrying out intense research on the substances from the so-called ‘Novichok’ program since the end of the 1990s to the present: the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, the United States and Sweden.
Russia is not one of them.
The near universal belief among chemical weapons experts, and the official position of the OPCW, was that “Novichoks” were at most a theoretical research program which the Russians had never succeeded in actually synthesizing and manufacturing. That is why they are not on the OPCW list of banned chemical weapons.
It should be noted that in England, where the alleged attack occurred, is home to the Porton Down facility
Porton Down, a secret British facility that works with, among other products, nerve gasses, is located northeast of the village of Porton near Salisbury, in Wiltshire, England.
It is home to UK Government facilities: a site of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
Work carried out at Porton Down on usable nerve gasses has, to date, remained secret
Between 1963 and 1975 the MRE carried out trials in Lyme Bay in which live bacteria were sprayed from a ship to be carried ashore by the wind to simulate an anthrax attack.
That to one side, there exists a secret CIA report that gives the lie to the allegations of Russian poisoning.
Origins of the purported nerve gas attack
Michael Richard Pompeo is an American politician and businessman who had been serving as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency since January 23, 2017, following his nomination by President Donald Trump.
Previously, he was the member of the United States House of Representatives for Kansas’s 4th congressional district (2011–2017).
He is a member of the radical right wing Tea Party movement within the Republican Party. He was a Kansas representative on the Republican National Committee and member of the Italian American Congressional Delegation.
Pompeo is also an Evangelical Christian.
In August of 2017, Pompeo took direct command of the Counterintelligence Mission Center, the department which helped to launch an investigation into possible links between Trump associates and Russian officials.
Former CIA directors expressed concern since Pompeo is known to be an ally of Donald Trump
William Evanina is currently the head of NCIX, which is the executive officer of the United States Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX), and who is also the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.
The London branch of this secret organization is located at 33 Nine Elms Ln. London SW11 7.
Formerly, it was headquartered at Caversham Park.
A supposedly secret communication from Evanina’s office in question is marked USA/GBR/ EYES ONLY and addressed to M. Aubineau in the UK office of ONCIX (detailed information from Booth)
Part of the document reads:
“Necessary to remove Skripal from any possibility of allowing him to be interviewed via Judicial Assistance Request, by on-going U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump/Russian working agreements. If possible try to make this look like some kind of a negative Russian intelligence operation, thus killing two birds with one stone. Note that Skripal is of considerable value to UK intel so termination with extreme prejudice not suggested.”
And further in the same document:
“President Trump does not tolerate anything that he views as opposed to his will. For that reason, he has developed a very strong dislike for the Justice Department’s FBI because of their ongoing investigation of his extensive contact with Russian entities. He has been contemplating abolishing the FBI and turning its domestic intelligence programs over to the CIA, creating one massive surveillance entity that he can easily control.”
The British agency involved in the purported “nerve gas attack” scenario is the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU)
In May 2013, the NDEDIU was split into two units:
a )Protest and Disorder Intelligence Unit. This unit collates and provides strategic analysis relating to protest and disorder across the UK; and b) Domestic Extremism Intelligence Unit. This unit provides strategic analysis of domestic extremism intelligence within the UK and overseas.
The NDEU had been created in 2011 following a merger of the three domestic extremism units under the National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism – the National Domestic Extremism Team, National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).
The quid pro quo for Pompeo’s cooperation in keeping devastating information about Trump’s clandestine political deals with Russia away from hostile investigators is evident.
On March 13, 2018, Trump announced his intention to nominate Pompeo as the new United States Secretary of State, on March 31, 2018, succeeding Rex Tillerson who had the audacity to disagree with Trump.
There is absolutely no question whatsoever that Russian intelligence was able, by the offering of large amounts of money for rigged hotel business deals as well as securing his interest through the activities of very attractive women, to get Trump to work with them closely in the event he was able to secure election to the American presidency.
U.S. Congressional committees also have been investigating Russia and the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
It is now known that the Trump people hired the Facebook people to influence the election and it is also known, but only in top intelligence circles, that the WikiLeaks organization that released damning emails about the Clinton organization is entirely owned by Russian intelligence.
Trump, therefore, bought support with cash from Facebook and promises of cooperation from Russian top level sources.

Persona involved

• Sergei Viktorovich Skripal is a former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for the UK’s intelligence services during the 1990s and early 2000s. In December 2004, he was arrested by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and later tried, convicted of high treason, and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He settled in the UK in 2010 following the Illegals Program spy swap and became a British subject.
• Christopher David Steele is a former British intelligence officer with the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 from 1987 until his retirement in 2009. He is also the founding director of Orbis Business Intelligence, a London-based private intelligence firm
Steele later went to for work for Fusion GPS a commercial research and strategic intelligence firm based in Washington, D.C.
The firm was subsequently hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee through their shared attorney at Perkins Coie, Marc Elias. The purpose was to create a document that could be used to accuse Trump of having improper contact with the Russians.
Fusion GPS then hired Steele to investigate Trump’s Russia-related activities. According to CNN, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee took over the financing of the inquiry into Donald Trump and produced what became known as the Trump dossier.
According to an official British analysis, Steele was in contact with Skripal and claimed he used much of Skripal’s information for his Trump report.
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian influencing the 2016 U.S. election, and potential collusion in this by Trump aides. Russia has denied U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it meddled in the election and Trump has said there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow officials.
Mueller has indicted several Trump associates and more than a dozen Russians.
When it was learned in Washington that Steele was on Mr. Mueller’s prime list to interrogate, fears that Skripal, an associate, who was known to give information to anyone willing to pay for it, was also considered a subject for interrogation under oath, a form of panic arose in the White House and the CIA spoke with their opposite numbers in England.
The thrust of this intended contact was that American intelligence and political entities did not want Skripal to be deposed.
Steele has been privately warned about speaking out of turn but Skripal was considered to be a “loose cannon.”
The concocted story about “nerve gas attacks” served to hide Skripal and his daughter in a safe house and prevent him from further revelations that could well spell the end of Trump’s presidency.

From Gestapo Chief to senior CIA official.

On May 22, 1945, a German Wehrmacht General, Reinhard Gehlen, the former head of the German Army High Command’s Foreign Armies East, surrendered along with his key staff members to the United States military at Fischhausen in southern Germany.
Gehlen’s unit was responsible for gathering and analyzing military intelligence on the Soviet Union,. His staff accomplished this by interrogating prisoners in army POW camps—captured Soviet military personnel and, in their headquarters—Soviet defectors. They also studied battlefield intelligence from captured Soviet documents, maps and code books. Further material was obtained by signals intelligence which listened to Soviet non-coded, low-level combat unit radio traffic. These methods of gathering combat intelligence are standard procedures still used by all armies.
During the war, Gehlen did not have intelligence agents in the Soviet Union. The General was not accustomed to gathering and analyzing Soviet political data. Unlike ‘Gestapo’ Müller, whose radio playback section had direct contact with very high-level Soviet intelligence agents inside Russia, Gehlen dealt strictly with combat intelligence.
On August 26, 1945, Gehlen and four of his closest assistants were flown to Washington for substantive talks with U.S. authorities. Gehlen was the subject of an inter-agency struggle when Allen Dulles of the OSS, once their station chief in Switzerland during the war, and General William Donovan, commander of the agency, attempted to secure Gehlen and his files for themselves. Dulles eventually won and his assistant Frank Wisner was appointed to oversee the former head of Foreign Armies East.
The Gehlen team was based at Fort Hunt, near Washington. Gehlen began his new career by preparing a series of reports which were well received. In July of 1946, Gehlen returned to Germany, and set up shop at Pullach, a former housing project for elite Nazi officials such as Martin Bormann. Gehlen was instructed to build an intelligence agency capable of conducting the highest level surveillance of the Soviets. His microfilmed files were sold to U.S. intelligence for $5 million.
Considering that these files only contained material on Soviet military units that had long been disbanded or were no longer combat ready, Gehlen was very well paid for very cold coffee.
Since Gehlen had no experience with internal Soviet intelligence or with their foreign intelligence, he was hard-pressed to use his former army staff officers to supply the United Stateswith relevant material. In 1946, Gehlen hired Willi Krichbaum, formerly the deputy chief of the Gestapo, as his senior agent recruiter.
While Gehlen had no experience with Soviet spies, the Gestapo certainly did, and Krichbaum immediately sought out to hire many of his old associates.
At the same time, Krichbaum contacted his former chief, Heinrich Müller, formerly head of the Gestapo who was now a resident in Switzerland, and a respected and wealthy citizen.
Müller was, by no means, inactive in his enforced retirement and was in contact with Krichbaum almost from the beginning of his exile. Lengthy handwritten reports from Krichbaum to Müller spanning nearly three years exist and, while Müller’s correspondence to Krichbaum is not in his files, the Krichbaum correspondence indicates without a doubt, that “Gestapo” Müller was supplying his former deputy with reams of information on prospective employees for the new Gehlen organization, as well as a flood of concise directives on the structure necessary to implement the needs of the US intelligence.
In 1946, Gehlen began the construction of his new agency, while the Soviet military machine in the East Zone of Germany was in the process of downsizing. The Second World War had proven to be a terrible economic disaster to Stalin. His troops were in the process of dismantling German factories which were still intact, ripping up the railroad system, and sending their spoils back to Russia.
The American armed forces were also being sharply reduced, since the war in the Pacific had ended in 1945. Military units were disbanded and their soldiers returned to civilian life as quickly as possible. On the economic front, businesses that had enjoyed lucrative government military contracts found themselves with empty assembly lines and tens of thousands of laid off workers.
It has been said that there never was a good war nor a bad peace. While the latter was certainly beneficial to the Soviets and permitted them to rebuild their economy, it certainly was not beneficial for either the rapidly-shrinking military or business communities in the United States.
This situation permitted the development of the Gehlen organization and secured its position as a vital American political resource. The U.S. had virtually no military intelligence knowledge of the Soviet Union. But the Germans, who had fought against them for four years, had. Gehlen and his military staff only had knowledge of wartime Soviet military units which were either reduced to cadre or entirely disbanded. However, this was of no interest to the senior officials of U.S. intelligence. Gehlen was to become a brilliant intelligence specialist with an incredible grasp of Soviet abilities and intentions. This preeminence was almost entirely fictional. It was designed to elevate Gehlen in the eyes of American politicians including President Truman and members of Congress, and to lend well-orchestrated weight to the former General’s interpretation of his employer’s needs.
In 1948, Stalin sent troops into Czechoslovakia after a minority but efficient communist coup that overthrew the Western-oriented government. This act, in February of 1948, combined with the blockade of West Berlin, then occupied by the British, French and Americans in June of the same year, gave a group of senior American military leaders a heaven-sent opportunity to identify a new and dangerous military enemy—an enemy which could and would attack Western Europe and the United States in the immediate future.
To facilitate the acceptance of this theory, Gehlen was requested to produce intelligence material that would bolster it in as authoritative a manner as possible. This Gehlen did and to set the parameters of this report, Gehlen, General Stephen Chamberlain, Chief of Intelligence of the U.S. Army General Staff, and General Lucius D. Clay, U.S. commander in occupied Germany met in Berlin in February of 1948, immediately after the Czech occupation but before the blockade.
After this meeting, Gehlen drew up a lengthy and detailed intelligence report categorically stating that 135 fully-equipped Soviet divisions, many armored, were poised to attack. General Clay forwarded this alarming example of creative writing to Washington and followed up with frantic messages indicating his fear that the Soviets were about to launch an all-out land war on the United States.
Although the sequence of events might indicate that Clay was involved in an attempt to mislead U.S’ leaders, in actuality, he was misled by Chamberlain and Gehlen. They managed to thoroughly frighten General Clay and used him as a conduit to Washington. He was not the last to fall victim to the machinations of the war party.
The Gehlen papers were deliberately leaked to Congress and the President. This resulted in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. This was not a historical first by any means.
Elements in England at the beginning of the 20th century, alarmed at the growing economic threat of a united Germany, commenced a long public campaign designed to frighten the British public and their leaders into adopting a bellicose re-armament program based on a fictional German military threat.
Gehlen and his organization were considered vital to U.S. interests. As long as the General was able to feed the re-armament frenzy in Washington with supportive, inflammatory secret reports, then his success was assured.
The only drawback to this deadly farce was that the General did not have knowledge of current Soviet situations in the military or political fields. He could only bluff his way for a short time. To enhance his military staffs, Gehlen developed the use of former SS Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and Gestapo people, brought to him by Krichbaum, his chief recruiter.
At the same time, Krichbaum contacted his former chief, Heinrich Müller, former head of the Gestapo, who was now a resident in Switzerland, and a respected and wealthy citizen. Müller was, by no means, inactive in his enforced retirement and was in contact with Krichbaum almost from the beginning of his exile.
Lengthy handwritten reports from Krichbaum to Müller spanning nearly three years exist and, while Müller’s correspondence to Krichbaum is not in his files, the Krichbaum correspondence indicates without a doubt, that “Gestapo” Müller was supplying his former deputy with reams of information on prospective employees for the new Gehlen organization, as well as a flood of concise directives on the structure necessary to implement the needs of the US intelligence.
At the same time, a joint British-American project called “Operation Applepie” was launched with the sole purpose of locating and employing as many of the former Gestapo and SD types now being employed by Gehlen.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all
In 1973, West German authorities issued a warrant for the arrest of Heinrich Müller, formerly head of the Gestapo, having good reason to believe that he did not die in Berlin in 1945.
That Heinrich Müller was hired by the CIA as an expert on Soviet intelligence is obviously not a subject the CIA wishes to have made public, their clumsy attempts to silence public comment on this is understandable.
Correspondence, in U.S. files, between German legal agencies and their U.S. counterparts indicates unhappiness, frustration and growing displeasure on the part of the Germans and classic stonewalling on the part of the Americans.
Portions of Müller’s U.S. CIC files now in Ft. Meade, Md, have been censored. None of the documents once refused to researchers deal with immediate postwar searches for Müller but cover a much later period. The reasons given for continued classification is that their release would adversely affect U.S. national security.
The extensive files of Heinrich Müller represent a treasure trove of historical material. The natural repository for such a collection should rightfully be an archive or institution where the entire body of documentation would be available to anyone wishing to conduct research. They are also a source of intense embarrassment for the CIA .
But the Müller papers and CIA secret documents, in private hands, are now being prepared for general publication and will be available to all and sundry, and the general attitude of senior archivists and CIA and BND officials is now one of dismay and fury.

Waiting to Happen

It was in the Spring of 2001 when a young computer expert living in the Mid-West developed a lethal virus intended to do a full-bore global destruction to the international computer/internet system.
The virus is spread from computer to computer system to computer and it is so constructed that it cannot be searched out by any known computer security system. The virus remains placidly dormant until it is triggered and then after a specific lapse of time, is fully activated.
What does this virus do?
Totally obliterates the computer hard drive and expunges it of all memory.
In essence, the hard drive is flat line and cannot be reconstructed.
What sort of a trigger would activate this?
Perhaps a first, middle and last name coupled with a fake social security number.
The probability of this trigger accidentally emerging would be a mathematical impossibility.
Let us say that this was triggered on the computer system of a major bank.
When the activating time arrived, everything on the bank computer would be gone. No one could access the ATM machine, cash checks, or otherwise have access to the bank’s services.
There would be mass panic and the bank’s computer people would install backup systems.
After a frenzied flurry, all would return to normal, that is until the activated triggers would work again.
Official records, social security, food stamps, passport data, criminal rap sheets, and dozens and dozens more of vital services would, in essence, be gone with the wind.
And since this project has been silently contaminating the global systems since 2001, the length and depth of the infections would be immense and all-inclusive.
Of course the Russians would be blamed but the computers would be as dead as a squashed cockroach and the entire societal global informational and business structures would gasp, gurgle and die.
People could not buy food, electrical systems would fail and soon, the woodlands of America, and the world, would be filled with frantic citizens digging caves in the soil, or places to bury their surviving family members.
The motto?
Never put all your eggs in one basket

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas

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

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019

Chapter 65

Claude had parked a block away from the address on Ernie’s drivers license and walked to the small house with the bright blue front door. He had Ernie’s leather-framed detective’s badge in his hand and he knocked on the door with a gloved hand.
The door opened and an attractive woman, short, slim and blonde, opened it.
He showed her the badge briefly.
“I’m Detective Snowdon from the Duluth police. Can I come in, ma’am? I’m investigating the attack on your husband.”
She looked Claude up and down.
“He’s not my husband but come in. He’s just a friend.”
The living room was very small and very warm. He saw the couch he was supposed to look for and she had obviously been sleeping on it. The woman, who introduced herself as Bambi, was pretty with an excellent figure. He could see that she was Alex’s mother from the eyes and the hair.
“Yes ma’am. Sorry to wake you up. How’s Ernie today?”
She sighed.
“I was up there last night. Not too good. He got beat up pretty bad, didn’t he?”
“Yes, I’m afraid it was a savage beating. I haven’t been up to see him because there is too much paperwork to keep up with. Give him my regards. Detective Snowdon. He calls me Jimbo.”
“I’ll call you that too. That’s a cute name. He never told me about you.”
“I do internal affairs work Bambi. Very secret. Now about the assailants….”
“Well, I hope you catch those black assholes soon! Four guys with baseball bats running around the big mall and no one even saw them! I mean, how blind can people be?”
Claude nearly laughed. It made sense, of course. How could Ernie tell people that he had the crap beaten out of him for tormenting a young kid and by two men well under his six foot five height? Yes, four angry African Americans all armed with steel pipes might just be enough to vanquish a valiant Polish knight.
“We think he stumbled on a major drug operation.”
“Well, tell me about it! He was head of the drug section.”
“That explains the whole thing, Bambi. Crazed black drug addicts armed with ball bats running around the Mall. Oh, the tragedy of it all! One of our best men ambushed but by God, he must have left his mark on all of them.”
She had on a yellow sweater that was partially buttoned down the front and it was very obvious that the woman had a magnificent pair of breasts, just yearning to leap free from their confinement.
“The doctor said he might lose one of his balls.”
“Oh my God, what a terrible thing!”
“Yes, but at least he’s still alive.”
Chuck was debating that issue, but silently.
“Well actually, Bambi, there’s another reason why I’m here. You have a son, don’t you?”
He took out his address book and looked through it.
“His name is Alexis?”
“Oh, Alex. Yes, he’s my son. He hasn’t been home since the thing with Ernie. They went to the Mall together but I haven’t seen him since.”
There was no concern in her voice so Claude proceeded.
“Bambi, I have a personal question for you. Please don’t get upset but I have to ask it. You know how it goes, living with Ernie and all.”
She blinked.
“Sure, I don’t mind.”
“Well, do you know who Alexis’ father is?”
Her face tightened.
“That’s awfully personal, awfully.”
“Well, we wondered, that’s all. Do you know?”
“Actually…I really don’t. I was only fifteen and I was at a party down in Minneapolis and I got really stoned. And when I woke up the next day, I hurt down…down there,” she pointed to her crotch, “and then I had Alex.”
“I see. But you don’t know who the man was?”
“No, and I don’t care.”
“Well, our sources tell us that Alex’s father was Guido Cannelloni from Detroit. He’s very big in the Detroit mob. You must have heard of him? Cannelloni?”
She frowned.
“I heard that name somewhere. He’s a gangster? With the mob?”
“A very bad man, Bambi. The FBI told us that they have a man in the mob who told them that Guido was trying to find his son and heard that…this is terrible to tell you…heard that Ernie had been beating the boy up.”
Her eyes widened.
“Oh, no, that’s not true. I mean Ernie was a very strict person. Why you know how he is. Tough on the outside but a real sweetie inside. Ernie had problems with Alex but he never, never beat him up.”
“Well, I’m afraid Guido thinks so and some of us feel that Guido caught Ernie disciplining the boy at the Mall and did a number on him. And we’ve also heard that the boy is with him now and Guido is so mad he’s going to have you snuffed.”
Her face went white. She was well aware that Ernie had beaten Alex but as long as the welfare people never found out about it and the child support checks kept coming in, she really didn’t care. The boy was such a loser in her mind. But the thought of some crazed Mafioso coming after her was much more immediate and terrifying.
“Oh Jesuschrist! Are you kidding?”
“I’m afraid not. Last year old Guido caught some hooker who clipped him and cut off both of her breasts and made tobacco pouches out of them.”
She clutched at her own breasts and Claude hoped he might join her.
“We can’t protect you all the time, Bambi. You have a job…”
“Yes, I’m a receptionist at the Log Inn out by the interstate.”
“Is that the Old Log Inn?”
“I don’t know. I’ve only been there a few months. Did they used to call it that?”
“Why sure, dear,” Claude said with a lewd grin as he leaned forward and touched her bare knee. “People coming up here for the festival always used to ask how far was the old log in.”
He laughed and she laughed back, licking her upper lip as she did so.
This one is hot and wet Claude thought to himself as he leaned forward and, in a mock sympathetic gesture, patted her on the leg again.
She made no effort to stop him.
“What am I going to do? You can’t protect me?”
“No, not from Guido. No one can protect you from Guido. No one will bother you for a day or two but I wouldn’t leave this house and do not answer the door. If someone tries to get in, call 911 and we’ll try to get out within a half an hour. The emergency line is pretty tied up what with New Year coming and all.”
“Can’t you protect me? Maybe I could get you to stay here for a few days.”
He smiled warmly and slid his hand further up her leg. She moved it to accommodate him and slid her tongue out over her even, white teeth.
“I could stay for a while, Bambi, if you want, but I suggest that you pack up and get out of here. Do you have some place to go?”
She closed her thighs on his hand just before he was able to plumb the depths of her soul.
“I have a sister in Fort Worth. Down in Texas.”
“Why don’t you go down there for a few months and then I can call you and let you know what’s happened. Ernie won’t be out of the hospital for some time, honey, so there’s nothing much you can do for him.”
She looked at Claude with glazed eyes. Fear, he thought, was a marvelous aphrodisiac.
“Oh, I can do that. I can see why Ernie never told me about you. You’re a very attractive man, Inspector.”
Her voice had dropped an octave and she was beginning to pant.
His hand resumed its journey and in less than a minute, he was pulling off his overcoat and other pieces of clothing.
After regaling Chuck with this much of his adventure, he finished his sandwich and drank a cold bottle of Coke to wash it down.
“Jesus, Charlie, what a screw! That woman was hot, wet and more than willing and what a pair of tits! And wiggle around? I was there for three hours and we never stopped once. You can see why I don’t want anyone listening to this, can’t you? That poor kid must never know.”
“Oh, I think he probably does, Claude, but your decency is a great comfort to us all. What happened then?”
“Four times around the block and even Claude the Love Machine was tired. I got her to pack her bags and get her fine, little ass out the door and on her way to Texas. After that, I cleaned out the couch where the kid kept his stuff, stole old Ern’s new CD stereo for him as a sort of Christmas present and then fixed up the house.”
He had taken a cigarette from a box on the broken coffee table, lit it and stuck it into a paper pack of matches and closed the cover. This went into a small closet that he stuffed with crumpled newspapers, way at the bottom and right up against the paper.
Five minutes later, he left the house carrying his loot, walked to his car and very casually put the cardboard box of Alex’s treasures and the stereo into the trunk, got in and slowly drove away.
Fifteen minutes later, the burning cigarette ignited the matches and the papers in the closet and a half an hour later, the house was totally enveloped in flames.


This is also an e-book, available from Amazon:

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Richard Stephenson & the CTCA

Richard Stephenson is the founder of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), which is probably the most powerful backer of the quackery that is naturopathic oncology in the US. Stephenson founded the CTCA out of frustration with cancer care after his mother died of cancer, but confused “holistic” care with welcoming quackery, fraud and nonsense, and made sure to facilitate the incorporation of naturopathy and similar bullshit into CTCA from the start. Now, the CTCA does provide state-of-the-art conventional cancer care, but that care is integrated – sometimes almost seamlessly – with fraudulent nonsense, and Stephenson, despite his best intentions, is as such also partially responsible for ensuring that others will meet the same fate as his mother but with the addition of some meaningless wellness terminology at extra cost so that a slew of quacks and frauds can benefit from the tragedies.
Treatments offered by the CTCA include acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic, naturopathy – according to the CTCA “[n]aturopathic medicine can help reduce these [cancer-related] symptoms, strengthen the immune system and support the healing process throughout your brain cancer treatment, claims that are so bland or meaningless (“strengthen the immune system”) that they are probably not legally actionable – homeopathy, reflexology, aromatherapy, myofascial release, hydrotherapy and mind-body medicine, including Reiki (faith healing with an orientalist touch) and Qigong. They also, of course, provide a lot of nutritional advice, which is generally fine, but includes fair amount of quack talking points (e.g. the ridiculous lie that conventional medicine doesn’t care about nutrition – you see: making it sound like only alternative practitioners do would be an effective way of legitimizing their woo; rebranding scientific therapies as “integrative” is actually a big thing) and even appeals to superfoods, no less. And telling cancer patients that “nature heals through the response of the life force” really shouldn’t inspire confidence (it’s exactly as based in reality as an appeal to midichlorians would have been). You can read a more detailed description of the quackery endorsed by the CTCA here.
Just as woo is integrated into cancer treatments in CTCA hospitals, so it is integrated in the organization’s national leadership, which includes:
– Katherine Anderson is the National Director, Naturopathic Medicine and also Director, Naturopathic Medicine, Southwestern Regional Medical Center;
– Timothy Birdsall, no less, is the Chief Information Officer. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone more explicitly anti-science (he doesn’t think he is) and a stauncher advocate for special pleading on behalf of woo than Birdsall;
– James Rosenberg, National Director of Chiropractic Care;
– Carolyn Lammersfeld, Vice President of Integrative Medicine;
– Katherine Puckett, National Director of Mind-Body Medicine, and Director of the Department of Mind-Body Medicine;
– Karen Gilbert, National Director of Oncology Rehabilitation, who also prides herself of being certified in auriculotherapy.
Importantly, Stephenson is also one of the primary funding sources for the wingnut Tea Party organization Freedom Works, and yes, it’s relevant (and no exaggeration): Stephenson’s for-profit hospitals, while offering real treatment, also sell unscientific nonsense and woo to people in the most vulnerable positions imaginable, and then use the profits to fund wingnut causes.
Diagnosis: Though they do offer what appear to be state-of-the art treatments, you should be very, very careful about the advice they give you. Stephenson himself is probably more confused than evil, but that doesn’t make the sorry state of affairs at the CTCA any less sorry.

Bill Posey

William Joseph Posey is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 8th congressional district, member of the Freedom Caucus and Congress’s resident (main) anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist after the departure of Dan Burton.
Together with Carolyn Maloney, Posey – who has received significant donations from the anti-vaccine movement – sponsored “The Vaccine Safety Study Act”, which would direct the National Institutes of Health to conduct a retrospective study of health outcomes, including autism, of vaccinated-versus-unvaccinated children, and to determine whether exposure to vaccines or vaccine components are associated with autism spectrum disorders, chronic illnesses, or other neurological conditions. The bill should, according to Posey, “bring an answer to this decades-long question.” Of course it won’t, and of course Posey knows that it couldn’t. For, of course, the “decades-long question” has long been settled; there is accordingly no scientific rationale for the suggested studies, in particular since there is no evidence suggesting that the problem exists (but plenty showing it doesn’t) – antivaxx delusions really don’t count. The purpose of the bill was, in other words, not to settle anything but to legitimize antivaxx conspiracy theories by suggesting otherwise. Posey has been pushing similar resolutions for a long time.
He is, however, particularly famous for pushing the utterly debunked CDC whistleblower conspiracy theory (still popular in antivaxx circles) in Congress, attempting to initiate apparently formal investigations, without providing any documentation whatsoever of any wrongdoing to be investigated, for obvious reasons; he claimed to have a bunch of documents, but it quickly became clear that there was nothing interesting in any of them – no whistle to blow, in other words. Posey also suggested that there is – despite near-conclusive evidence to the contrary – a link between vaccines and autism (it is worth pointing out that Posey doesn’t care one whit about autism, however). He has also pushed the Poul Thorsen gambit, which is pretty ridiculous (a Danish coauthor on one of numerous studies showing that vaccines are safe once misused grant money to cover personal expenses; therefore all research showing that vaccines are safe is invalidated). Posey denies being anti-vaccine, however; he just pushes antivaxx conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine legislation.
Now, pseudoscience and conspiracy theorizing rarely come in isolation, and Posey is also a climate change denialist. At a 2018 hearing in the Science, Space and Technology Committee, Posey claimed that climate scientists in the 1970s believed that the Earth was cooling, which is a myth but at least shows what kinds of sources Posey is using to inform his policy decisions. At the hearing Posey expressed skepticism that humans contributed to climate change, asked whether climate change was occurring because carbon dioxide captured in permafrost was now leaking out, and suggested that global warming would be being beneficial (it won’t). “I don’t think anybody disputes that the Earth is getting warmer,” said Posey, but “I think what’s not clear is the exact amount of who caused what, and getting to that is, I think, where we’re trying to go with this committee.” God forbid that the question is left to scientists, who, unlike Posey, have some ineffable agenda. It really isn’t not clear.
He is also consistently opposed to gay rights or legal protection from discrimination. And to top it all, Posey was the sponsor of H.R. 1503 to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 requiring the campaign committee to give documents proving that a candidate for president is actually eligible for the office – yes, if not a birther himself, Posey was one of the major birther conspiracy theory enablers in Congress. He declined to provide documents to disprove rumors about his own past, however.
Diagnosis: Perhaps the leading conspiracy theorist in Congress at the moment, and that says quite a bit. Posey is anti-science and pro-pseudoscience to the core, and if you scratch any denialist position even superficially, a deranged conspiracy theory appears. But Posey also wields quite a lot of influence and power, and though his wild-eyed conspiracy rants still appear to be mostly ignored, he may cause serious damage to civilization.

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