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TBR News January 27, 2019

Jan 27 2019

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

Washington, D.C. January 27, 2019:” Because of the growing, and serious, public discontent that had been manifested during the course of the Vietnamese War from 1950 through 1973, the American governmental establishment resolved to take steps to recognize, infiltrate and neutralize any significant future national anti-government actions.

Once the most powerful nation, the United States is rapidly losing its premier position in the international sphere while at the same time facing a potential serious anti-government political movement developing in that country. The number of unemployed in the United States today is approximately 97,000,000. Official American sources claim that employment is always improving but in fact it is not.

Most official governmental releases reflect wishful thinking or are designed to placate the public

This situation is caused by the movement, by management, of manufacturing businesses to foreign labor markets. While these removals can indeed save the companies a great deal of expenditure on domestic labor, by sharply reducing their former worker bodies to a small number, the companies have reduced the number of prospective purchasers of expensive items like automobiles.

The U.S. government’s total revenue is estimated to be $3.654 trillion for fiscal year 2018.

  • Personal income taxes contribute $1.836 trillion, half of the total.
  • Another third ($1.224 trillion) comes from payroll taxes.

This includes $892 billion for Social Security, $270 billion for Medicare and $50 billion for unemployment insurance.

  • Corporate taxes add $355 billion, only 10 percent.
  • Customs excise taxes and tariffs on imports contribute $146 billion, just 4 percent
  • The Federal Reserve’s net income adds $70 billion.
  • The remaining $23 billion of federal income comes from estate taxes and miscellaneous receipts.
  • The use of secret offshore accounts by US citizens to evade U.S. federal taxes costs the U.S. Department of the Treasury well over $100 billion annually.

By moving from a producing to an importing entity, the United States has developed, and is developing, serious sociological and economic problems in a significant number of its citizens, and many suffer from serious health problems that are not treated.

It is estimated that over 500,000 American citizens are without any form of housing. Many of these people either are living on the streets, in public parks, living in cars or in charity shelters. There are at present over 200,000 family groups in America with over 300,000 individuals involved and 25% of the total are minor children.

Over 80,000 individuals are permanently without any residence. Many of these have physical disabilities such as chronic alcoholism or drug addiction. Many are classified as having severe mental disorders.

About 50,000 of these homeless individuals are military veterans, many of whom have serious physical or mental problems. One of the most common mental disorders is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Governmental treatment for these individuals is virtually non-existent.  Approximately half of this number are either black or Latin American (“Hispanics” in official designation.)

Of the total number of the homeless individuals, approximately 10% are female.

Official but private, estimates are that there over 500,000 youths below the age of 24 in current American society that find themselves homeless for periods lasting from one week to a permanent status.

Over 100,000 of this class are young people who are defined as being homosexual. Those in this class find themselves persecuted to a considerable degree by society in general and their peer groups in specific.

Approximately 50% of this homeless population are over the age of 50, many of whom suffer from chronic, debilitating physical illnesses that are not treated.

Drug deaths in the U.S. in 2017 exceeded 60,000.  Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involved prescriptions. Opioids are a class of strong painkillers drugs and include Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin which are synthetic drugs designed to resemble opiates such as opium derived morphine and heroin. The most dangerous opioid is Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. The increasing demand for these drugs is causing them to be manufactured outside the United States.

Suicide is the primary cause of “injury death” in the United States and more U.S. military personnel on active duty have killed themselves than were killed in combat last year.

The growing instability of American families is manifested by the fact that:

  • One out of every three children in America lives in a home without a father.
  • More than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock for women under the age of 30 living in the United States
  • The United States has the highest child abuse death rate in the developed world.
  • The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world although the numbers have declined in recent years due to the use of contraceptives.

The United States has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world. The criminal justice system in the United States holds more than 4,166,000 people in 1,719 state prisons, 102,000 in federal prisons, 901,000 in juvenile correctional facilities, and 3,163,000 in local jails. Additionally, 5,203,400 adults are on probation or on parole.

The number of people on probation or parole has increased the population of the American corrections system to more than 9,369,400 in 2017. Corrections costs the American taxpayer $69 billion a year.

There are a huge number of American domestic and business mortgages, (67 million by conservative estimate) which have been sliced up, put into so-called “investment packages” and sold to customers both domestic and foreign. This problem has been covered up by American authorities by cloaking the facts in something called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System)

This results in the fact that the holders of mortgages, so chopped and packed, are not possible to identify by MERS or anyone else, at any time and by any agency. This means that any property holder, be they a domestic home owner or a business owner, is paying their monthly fees for property they can never own.

Another festering problem consists of the official loans made to students in colleges and universities in the U.S. the predatory nature of the $90 billion student loan industry. These so-called student loans are the most serious economic problem faced today by American university students.

This problem arose due to federal legislation originating in the mid-1990s which effectively removed basic consumer protections from student loans, thus permitting extensive penalties and the methodology for enforced collection.

Because of the highly inflated cost of higher American education, very few students from high school can afford university education. The new college graduate has, on average, a student loan in excess of $20,000 and students attending graduate programs have average debts of over $40,000.

America today has seriously failing public school systems. Upper economic class Americans are able to send their children to expensive private schools and avoid the exceedingly incompetent public systems. The average American lower school graduates are only a step above illiteracy and their lack of knowledge of world affairs is quite unbelievable.

A small number of extremely wealthy men control and operate all of the major American print and television media.

Each of the few very powerful, rich men have their own reasons for deciding what qualifies as news.

But the public in America now gets its news, without cost, from various internet sites and the circulation number of major print news has dropped dramatically. This has forced the internet editions of the print news media to erect what they call “paywalls.” This permits a very limited number of articles to be read or downloaded before the system demands money for the use of additional material.

The major print media in America is faced with imminent bankruptcy and are making frantic efforts at attempts to prevent free news sites from being aired on the internet.

Government surveillance of the American public is very widespread and at the present time, almost every aspect of an American citizen, or resident, is available for official surveillance. This includes mail, television viewing, telephone conversations, computer communications, travel, ownership of property, medical and school records, banking and credit card transactions, inheritances and other aspects of a citizen’s daily life.

This is done to circumvent any possible organization that could contravene official government policy and has its roots in massive civil resistance to governmental policy during the war in Vietnam. The government does not want a reprise of that problem and its growing surveillance is designed to carefully watch any citizen, or groups of citizens, who might, present or future, pose a threat to government policy.

Another factor to be considered is the current American attitudes towards racial issues. There has always been prejudice in the United States against blacks. In 1943 there were bloody riots in Detroit and Los Angeles, the former aimed at blacks and the latter against Mexicans. Since then, there has been chronic racial prejudice but it has been relatively small and very local. Also, there is growing anti-Semitic prejudice in American but this is officially ignored and never is mentioned in the American media. Much of this growing problem is directed at the brutal actions of Israel against Palestinians. Israelis have an undue influence in the American political scene. The very far right so-called neo-cons are almost all Jewish and most are Israeli citizens. Also, the middle-level ranks of American CIA personnel are heavily infiltrated by Israelis and it is said that any secret the CIA has is at once passed to Israel and that countries needs are assuming importance in CIA actions.

The attitudes of the working class Americans were inflamed during the last presidential elections by Mr. Trump who catered to them and encouraged rebellious attitudes. By speaking against Central American illegal immigrants, Mr. Trump has caused a polarization of attitudes and the militant right wing in America, currently small in number but well-organized and potentially very dangerous, has begun to make its views very well known in public demonstrations.

This movement has played into the hands of far-right American political manipulators.

It is their intention to clandestinely arm these groups and use them to cause violent public confrontations with the far left groups.

By causing this potential violence, the manipulators intend to use the American military to move into unstable area to, as they say, ‘establish law and order’ while in reality, they will use martial law to firm up their basic control of a potentially fractious public.

It is then intended, according to information, to incorporate organized, para-military groups into a sort of domestic Federal police force. These people will not be punished for their actions but rewarded and utilized to ensure further right-wing control of the country.

The Table of Contents

  • Roger Stone Made His Name as a Dirty Trickster, But the Trump-Russia Coverup May Finally Bring Him Down
  • There’s a Better Battlefield for the War Against Trump’s Lies: the Courts
  • Trump and the Numbers Game
  • What is at stake for Russia in Venezuela?
  • Holocaust remembrance in Germany: A changing culture
  • The Numbers Game: An Analysis of Demographics in Holocaust Literature
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

 

 

Roger Stone Made His Name as a Dirty Trickster, But the Trump-Russia Coverup May Finally Bring Him Down

January 26, 2019

by James Risen

The Intrcept

The government was shut down, but Robert Mueller kept working.

That became clear early Friday morning, when FBI agents arrested Roger Stone at his Florida home in connection with Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. Stone later appeared in federal court to face charges that include witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Stone, a longtime ally of Donald Trump and a frenetic character with a reputation as a Republican dirty trickster who has been one of the most colorful figures in the Trump-Russia story, has finally been brought to heel. With this latest indictment, the special counsel is drawing ever closer to Trump’s inner circle.

The indictment sheds new light on the alleged efforts by Stone and others around Trump to glean information about the trove of Democratic emails obtained by WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign. It also raises new questions about whether Stone sought to influence and direct WikiLeaks releases that were damaging to the Clinton campaign.

Since his name first surfaced in connection with the Trump-Russia inquiry, Stone has behaved in public like a clown, reveling in his cheap celebrity while also taunting Mueller and the press. He acted in the same manner after his court appearance on Friday, meeting the crowd outside the Florida courthouse with both arms raised in a Nixon-like victory salute while vowing not to testify falsely against Trump to save himself, and predicting his ultimate vindication.

But the indictment shows that Stone has some serious legal problems, and that his role as a possible link between the Trump circle and the cyber-assault on the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign can’t be laughed off or easily dismissed.

The indictment alleges that Stone engaged in a concerted effort to find out what documents WikiLeaks had obtained that could harm Clinton’s campaign, and what WikiLeaks (identified in the indictment only as “Organization 1”) was going to do with them. He was scrambling to find out in advance when the documents would be released and tried to get messages to WikiLeaks to look for specific documents in their trove that he thought would be most harmful to Clinton, according to the indictment.

The indictment says that in June and July 2016, Stone told Trump campaign officials that he had information that WikiLeaks had documents that would be damaging to the Clinton campaign. The indictment notes that Stone did so after the Democratic National Committee had already made public the fact that it had been hacked by the Russian government, strongly implying that Stone should have known that the material obtained by WikiLeaks had come from the Russians. (The United States intelligence community has now concluded that Russian intelligence hacked the Democrats and turned over a massive archive of emails to WikiLeaks, which later released them.)

The Trump campaign evidently began to realize that Stone knew what he was talking about when WikiLeaks released some documents on July 22, 2016. It was then, according to the indictment, that the Trump campaign began to try to use Stone’s apparent inside knowledge as a weapon.

After that, a senior Trump campaign official was “directed to contact Stone” to determine what he knew about further document releases and what WikiLeaks had about the Clinton campaign, according to the indictment, which does not identify the senior Trump campaign official or say who ordered the official to contact Stone.

Subsequently, Stone told Trump campaign officials about upcoming WikiLeaks releases, according to the indictment. Stone used intermediaries to communicate with WikiLeaks, including in his efforts to influence the release of specific information that he believed would be particularly damaging to the Clinton campaign.

In September 2016, Stone asked an intermediary to contact WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (identified in the indictment as “the head of Organization 1”) to get him to find emails from August 2011 that would help prove specific allegations raised in the press against Clinton about her time as Secretary of State, according to the indictment. The indictment says that on September 18, 2016, Stone sent an email to “Person 2” (widely identified in the press Friday as New York comedian Randy Credico), who Stone was then using as a go-between with Assange. The email included an article that contained allegations against Clinton related to her time as Secretary of State in the Obama administration. The indictment does not say what those allegations were.  “Please ask [Assange] for any State or HRC email from August 10 to August 30 – particularly on August 20, 2011, that mention [the subject of the article] or confirm this narrative.”

If the indictment is borne out, Stone’s actions come very close to making him the key missing link in the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. He allegedly worked hard to acquire advance knowledge of Wikileaks document releases and, at the Trump campaign’s request, gave that information to Trump campaign officials. He seemingly tried to direct WikiLeaks to release certain documents in order to increase the damage to Clinton. And he did it all at a time when he should have realized that the Russians were behind the Democratic hack.

Still, the indictment does not charge Stone with a crime for his efforts to act as an intermediary between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. Instead, he is charged in connection with his efforts to cover up his role in the face of congressional inquiries that began after the election, and more broadly, to block investigators from answering underlying questions about Russian intervention in the 2016 election. “After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened or announced their respective investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which included investigating STONE’s claims of contact with [Wikileaks],” the indictment states. “In response, STONE took steps to obstruct these investigations.”

The indictment shows that Stone used mob-like tactics to try to stop Credico from honestly telling Congress what he knew. In December 2017, Stone told Credico that he should be like “Frank Pentangeli” in his congressional testimony, the indictment says.  Pentangeli was a fictional character in “The Godfather Part II,” who told Congress that he didn’t know information that he actually did know. In April 2018, Stone sent Credico an angry email. “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth.”  Stone also threatened Credico’s dog. In May, Credico wrote an email back to Stone saying, “you’ve opened yourself up to perjury charges like an idiot.”

While the charges against Stone don’t deal with the underlying question of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the Stone indictment still brings Mueller’s probe closer than ever before to the heart of the matter.

 

There’s a Better Battlefield for the War Against Trump’s Lies: the Courts

January 27, 2019

by Trevor Aaronson

The Intercept

President Donald Trump and his administration lie to and mislead the public as a matter of course. It’s a concerning but indisputable fact. So how do we combat propaganda and lies in our post-truth world?

The popular pre-Trump solution among news media outlets of fact-checking in real time — explaining to the public in dry, dispassionate language what’s true and what’s not — has proven ineffective and farcical at a time like this. In the bustling business of publicly fact-checking Trump, the Washington Post has counted more than 8,000 “false or misleading claims” from the 45th president. But that isn’t stopping his lies. However well-intentioned, the “Pants on Fire!” graphics are the equivalent of, in the eloquent words of antihero Erlich Bachman, bringing piss to a shit fight.

Consider the recent tweet from Trump about prayer rugs found near the U.S.-Mexico border: Its foundation was a report that — no joke — was based on the word of an anonymous rancher passing on what she said she heard from unnamed sources in the U.S. Border Patrol. How do you even fact-check such a claim?

Now, though, there might be a better battlefield for this information war: the courts.

The Information Quality Act, sometimes referred to as the Data Quality Act, is an obscure law enacted in 2001 as a rider in a spending bill. The initial idea behind the legislation was to guarantee that agencies of the U.S. government are held to reasonably high information-quality standards as more and more of their reports and data were made available on the internet.

The legislation directed the Office of Management and Budget to establish standards for information distributed by U.S. government agencies. The guidelines require information published by U.S. agencies to be objective and honest, with any analysis based on clear and transparent methodology.

Indeed, there’s nothing radical about the guidelines. Basically, they require government agencies to meet the same standards your local community college requires of its students. But the law also provides for a remedy: If a federal judge can be persuaded that an agency’s published information does not meet the standards, the judge can order the report to be removed and retracted.

Such an order has never been issued, largely because the Information Quality Act is a law with very little history of litigation. Before Trump’s election, special interest groups tried unsuccessfully to use the law to undermine distribution of government research they simply disliked. The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, for example, tried to force the Commerce Department, which includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to halt distribution of the 2002 U.S. Climate Action Report.

Trump, however, has ushered in a new hope of relevancy — and use — for the law. We’ve never had a presidential administration whose lies are as frequent and blatant as this one’s. While previous administrations have certainly told lies, including some very big and consequential ones, the Trump administration is without equal in its prolific output of propaganda that can be debunked with readily available information. Enter the Information Quality Act.

There are plenty of areas in which public-interest lawyers can seek to make use of the Information Quality Act. One example came to us as the result of the executive orders that established the so-called Muslim ban. In one of the orders, Trump asked the departments of Homeland Security and Justice to create a report studying the risk of terrorism from immigrants.

The report, released in January 2018, claimed that 73 percent of 549 international terrorism defendants prosecuted in federal courts from September 11, 2001, to December 31, 2016, were born outside the United States — a striking data point that appeared to bolster the national security concern that the Muslim ban was ostensibly created to address.

The problem? The report’s standard of information quality might be politely described as equine feces.

Two coalitions of nongovernmental groups challenged the report under the Information Quality Act: Democracy Forward Foundation and Muslim Advocates filed a lawsuit in California and Protect Democracy, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Brookings Institution filed a similar complaint in Massachusetts.

The Homeland Security and Justice report provided an ideal test of the Information Quality Act because it is demonstrably flawed and dishonest. As The Intercept noted after the report’s release, the 549 number that government officials used suggested that the Justice Department’s list of international terrorism defendants had been selectively edited to support the Trump administration’s predetermined conclusion.

Since 9/11, the Justice Department has periodically released its list of international terrorism defendants. In March 2010, then-Attorney General Eric Holder presented it to Congress as part of testimony. The list then included 403 defendants. A second version, updated through December 31, 2014, had 580 defendants. A third list ending in 2015 included 627 international terrorism defendants.

Somehow, according to the report from the departments of Homeland Security and Justice under Trump, the list shrunk from 627 international defendants in 2015 to 549 in 2016.

Where did the 78 missing defendants go? Impossible to say, because government officials refused to release the underlying data. And they still won’t — though they’re now struggling to defend the report under the Information Quality Act.

In a December 2018 letter to the Democracy Forward Foundation and Muslim Advocates, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael Allen admitted that the report had flaws but that the government can’t “control the way in which information in the report is used or interpreted.” Allen also refused to provide the report’s underlying data, noting that neither law nor policy requires government agencies to make available such work product.

In addition, Allen defended the report’s use of eight “illustrative examples,” which included terrorism defendants whose crimes took place in other countries, but who were brought to the United States only for the purpose of prosecution. With Clintonian wordplay, Allen claimed that “illustrative examples” are not “representative” examples.

“This letter is fascinating, right?” said Robin Thurston, senior counsel for Democracy Forward Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2017 to expose corruption in the executive branch. “It acknowledges a lot of our concerns and walks the line about as close as possible to admitting that the report is false and misleading — and yet they’re letting the report stand.”

Allen sent a similar letter to Protect Democracy, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Brookings Institution. In the letter, he conceded that “the report could be criticized by some readers,” though he claimed that, despite not providing the underlying data, the Justice Department had been “reasonably transparent.”

The organizations challenging the report are now waiting for a response from the Department of Homeland Security. Once that arrives — and it’s safe to assume that the agency will not volunteer to retract the report — the issue will be on track to go before judges in California and Massachusetts, setting up an unprecedented challenge of Trump administration propaganda under the Information Quality Act.

This should be one of many court challenges. The Trump administration is consistently making dubious claims, bigly, that could be challenged under the Information Quality Act. Officials have said 3,700 people with terrorist ties were apprehended at the border; that a border wall will stop terrorists; and that more than 600 criminals were part of the migrant caravan in November. Democracy Forward Foundation has already challenged as “misleading and unreliable” statements made by Treasury Department officials, including Secretary Steven Mnunchin, in support of the Republicans’ 2017 tax cut.

No more Truth-O-Meters, please. They’re toothless in our Trumpian age. Let’s file some lawsuits and give judges an opportunity to play their constitutional role in our increasingly dysfunctional republic.

 

Trump and the Numbers Game

There were 56.5 million Hispanics in the United States in 2015, accounting for 17.6% of the total U.S. population.

The Hispanic Mexican population of the United States is projected to grow to 107 million by 2065.

The share of the U.S. population that is Hispanic has been steadily rising over the past half century. In 2015, Hispanics made up 17.6% of the total U.S. population, up from 3.5% in 1960, the origins of the nation’s Hispanic population have diversified as growing numbers of immigrants from other Latin American nations and Puerto Rico settled in the U.S.

For example, between 1930 and 1980, Hispanics from places other than Mexico nearly doubled their representation among U.S. Hispanics, from 22.4% to 40.6%. But with the arrival of large numbers of Mexican immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, the Mexican share among Hispanics grew, rising to a recent peak of 65.7%.

California has the largest legal poplation of Mexicans, 14,013,719. And  California is also home to almost 25% of the country’s undocumented population. California is followed by Texas where 31.14%,(8,500,000) are Mexican, Florida has 4,223,806 Mexicans, Illinois 2,153,000, Arizona,1,895,149, Colorado, 1,136,000 Georgia, 923,000, North Carolina, 890,000, and Washington, 858,000 Mexicans.

Given the fact that President Trump has strong personal dislikes for both Blacks and Latinos, manifest in his recent vicious treatment of Mexican immigrants in their legal attempts to immigrate to the United States, the sheer number of Mexicans now resident in the United States ought to give him, and his far-right Republican Congressional supporters serious pause in their denial of entrance for legal immigrant attempts and the subsequent brutal maltreatment of small children of these immigrants.

If the Mexican voting population of the United States were to organize, like the recent organizing of the black voting population of Alabma in opposition to the fanatical Judge Moore, the results in the November elections could well prove to be a stunning disaster for both Trump and the Republicans.

Numbers certainly count but Trump is obviously unaware of their potential danger, both to him and his right-wing radical supporters.

 

 

What is at stake for Russia in Venezuela?

Russia could lose a lot if Nicolas Maduro is ousted in Venezuela. Moscow’s massive loans to Caracas are only one piece of the puzzle — Venezuelan oil reserves could bring down the price of oil and upset Russia’s economy.

January 26, 2019

by Andrey Gurkov

DWThe regime of Nicolas Maduro is struggling for power against his opposition rivals in Venezuela. Maduro is backed by Moscow and his departure from power would also be a loss for Russia, in more ways than one.

Rosneft’s loan of $6 billion

Russia’s most immediate worry is the oil giant Rosneft, which is majority-owned by the Russian state. In 2017, it was reported that Rosneft effectively granted a $6 billion (€5.26 billion) loan to Venezuela. The Venezuelan side was expected to repay it by giving Rosneft stakes in five major projects with their own energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA. The rest of the debt would be covered by oil deliveries.

As of late 2018, Rosneft owned between 25 and 40 percent of the five ventures but deliveries had been delayed, prompting Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin to travel to Caracas in November. However, taking into account that the deal is set to expire in 2019, it is safe to assume that Rosneft has already retrieved most of its money.

It also appears unlikely that a new government would expropriate funds provided by foreign investors — as long as these stakes were obtained legally, without corruption. In other words, any traders rushing to get rid of Rosneft stocks at the Moscow stock market this week may have acted prematurely.

Russian money for Russian weapons

The situation appears to be more complicated when it comes to loans that Russia approved to Venezuela for buying Russian arms. According to Russian media, Moscow has transferred some $11 billion to Caracas for this purpose in the last two decades. It is not clear how much of that sum has been repaid. However, there are reports that Moscow is restructuring Venezuela’s debts under favorable conditions

It is far from certain that a new government would be willing to pay the money back to Russia. For example, Ukraine is still refusing to repay a massive 2013 loan which Russia approved to boost pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych . However, even if Venezuela does not pay back its debt, the project would not be a pure loss to Russia. The funds were used to produce Kalashnikov rifles, military jets, helicopters, tanks and other Russian weaponry, boosting Russia’s own arms industry.

Hitting where it hurts

All in all, Russia stands to lose about €11 billion if there is regime change in Venezuela. But this sum pales in comparison to the possible impact of Venezuela’s enormous oil reserves on global markets. Experts believe that Venezuela has more oil than any other country in the world, including Saudi Arabia. However, after 20 years of mismanagement under Hugo Chavez and later Maduro, the oil industry has deteriorated dramatically and plays only a minor role on the world stage.

A new government could install more capable leaders in the oil sector, who could in turn revive Venezuela’s oil industry and exports. Also, western — most likely American — companies could be allowed back into the country. This development could create a completely new playing field for global oil deliveries and bring down oil prices. This would be a worst-case scenario for Russia, whose economy relies heavily on oil and gas exports, and keeping the price of oil at the higher end of the scale.

 

Holocaust remembrance in Germany: A changing culture

Every year in January, German officials commemorate the murder of millions of Jews and other groups perpetrated by the Nazis. Now more than ever, people are debating the “right” way to remember that horrific event.

January 27, 2019

by Christoph Hasselbach

DW

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This quote by Spanish-American philosopher and writer George Santayana can be found at Auschwitz concentration camp. Remembering the Holocaust has basically been a state effort in Germany for years — from bureaucrats to members of parliament. But public interest is still strong as well. Former concentration camps and other memorial sites are registering record visitor numbers.

And yet, Jewish organizations say they have seen an increase in anti-Semitism in Germany. “The remembrance world champion is losing the battle against today’s hatred against Jews,” says Meron Mendel, the director of the Frankfurt Anne Frank Educational Center.

That concern is backed by a recent survey from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in 12 European countries. It found that over the last year, Jews in Germany haven’t just faced more hostility than in previous years, but also more than in other countries.

Some 41 percent of Jews in Germany said they were victims of anti-Semitic hostility, compared to an average of 28 percent in the other surveyed countries.

What particularly worries Jews in Germany are statements made by politicians from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Last year, its leader Alexander Gauland said that “Hitler and the Nazis are just a speck of bird shit in over a thousand years of successful German history.” And two years ago Thuringian state AfD leader Björn Höcke called for a “180 degree change” in Germany’s culture of Holocaust remembrance.

According to historian Wolfgang Benz, incidents such as these do not necessarily mean that anti-Semitism is once again socially acceptable in Germany, considering the “outrage” that Gauland and Höcke have caused. In an interview with DW, he denied that the situation was getting worse: “We are just more sensitive to this rage yelling that’s coming from the AfD, for example.”

Too much, too little or wrong remembrance?

Remembrance itself has a checkered history in Germany. Until the 1960s there was a general silence. People didn’t want to know anything about their own crimes or lack of action. Things began to change when the country’s younger generation started questioning — and accusing — their elders.

Forty years ago, the American television series Holocaust was viewed by millions of people in West Germany. The word “holocaust” was still unknown to most Germans in 1979. The series had a tremendous effect. “It was this film that created something like a culture of remembrance in Germany,” says Werner Jung, director of the National Socialism Documentation Center in Cologne.

Others complained of an excess of remembrance culture. In 1998, German author Martin Walser lamented what he called the “instrumentalization of Auschwitz” and said that the constant use of the Holocaust as a “moral cudgel” had the opposite effect. The remarks triggered a heated debate.

Meanwhile, German-Canadian sociologist Yark Michal Bodemann has criticized the situation quite differently. He argues that Holocaust remembrance in Germany has been nationalized and no longer has a Jewish character. It should mostly be the Jews themselves who take care of remembrance, he believes, adding that they didn’t need a state anti-Semitism commissioner either.

At the recent Hanukkah Festival in Berlin, during which German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier lit the first candle, concern was expressed that “the memory of the Shoah will be lost.”

Amid that concern, however, there have been positive stories. Leonid Danziger’s, for example. Born in Kyiv, he came to Berlin roughly two decades ago. “I learned Jewish life in Germany,” he says. And Charlotte Knobloch, the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, sees a future in the country despite anti-Semitism: “We are here, we will stay here.”

Other signs of hope include Israel’s recent posthumous honoring of two Germans who had protected Jews: lawyer Heinz Gützlaff and actor Hans Söhnker. Or British-Jewish opera singer Simon Wallfisch assuming German citizenship because of Brexit. Several of his great-grandparents were murdered by the Nazis.

The way people in Germany remember the Holocaust is now changing, largely because there are increasingly fewer surviving contemporary witnesses. Despite this, the historian Wolfgang Benz believes that “remembrance is independent from contemporary witnesses, and the knowledge about the historical events does not disappear with the death of the contemporary witnesses.”

The 86-year-old Israeli historian Saul Friedländer will deliver this year’s commemorative speech in the Bundestag. “At some point people will read books about the Third Reich and the Holocaust like we do about Caesar’s Gallic War today,” Friedländer once said. “That’s how it’ll be, there is nothing we can do about it.”

Benz sees the change as a natural process, “but one that cannot be equated with apathy or indifference,” he says. “The Holocaust will never disappear from public memory.”

 

 

The Numbers Game: An Analysis of Demographics in Holocaust Literature

by Christian Jürs

AUSCHWITZ: (Polish: Oswiecim)

Located approximately 60km (37mi) west of Krakow, in Eastern Upper Silesia, which was annexed to Germany following the defeat of Poland, in September, 1939

The first camp was built shortly after Poland’s defeat, in a suburb of Oswiecim (Zasole), at the site of a former Imperial Austrian Army Artillery barracks complex and initially held about 10,000 prisoners, mostly Polish prisoners of war.

The second site, known as Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, was built 3km from the original camp, in March of 1941

All of the satellite camps, such as Auschwitz II, were under the control of the main Auschwitz camp commander’s headquarters. The Auschwitz monthly camp statistics that were sent to KL Headquarters outside Berlin reflected all of the auxiliary camps as well as the main camp.

In the years intervening since the end of the Second World War, there has built up a legend about the planned murder by the Germans of European Jewry. A program of euthanasia, it is said, was later developed into a wide-spread program of mass gassings of Jews in several of the German prisons called Concentration Camps.

The motivator behind these mass killings was, the legend states, Adolf Hitler whose personal hatred of Jews drove him to order his dread Gestapo and SS to round up and kill every Jew they could lay their hands on.

Initially, the camp at Dachau, outside of Munich, was stated to be the center of the murder machine but as it became evident that this camp did not gas large numbers of Jews, the center was arbitrarily moved to the east, to the town of Auschwitz located on several rivers in Upper Silesia.

Here, it is said, a vast death camp was built to house tens of thousands of Jews awaiting their turn in the enormous gas chambers, and a second camp, Auschwitz II or Birkenau was also built for the sole purpose of slaughtering the Jews who made up almost the entire population of this murder central.

Jewish victims, it has been written, poured into Auschwitz from all over conquered Europe. They arrived, jammed into cattle cars, were dragged out of their transport, lined up and immediately forced into the huge gas chambers. Later, after they were dead, their stiffened corpses were dragged out by other camp inmates and shoved into equally gigantic crematoria and burned to ashes.

In recent years, bits and pieces of evidence that would tend to bring some of this into question has resulted in a further shift to the east. Supporters of the mass murder theories now postulate that the SS Einsatzgruppen or Combat Units, composed of Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and German police units, who were operating behind the German front lines in Russia, were the true murders of millions of Jews. In the savage anti-Partisan wars, the Einsatzgruppen were stated to have slaughtered millions of Russian, and some Polish, Jews.

Opposing an enormous body of literature and media productions, a number of dissatisfied historians began to question the validity of the allegations of an immense German murder plot aimed primarily at Jews but also expanded to include Gypsies. Any attempts to bring these allegations into question were met immediately by loud outcries from their proponents and needless to say, no major publishing house anywhere in the world would dare to publish even the most moderate and meticulously researched revisionistic work.

The enormous death toll, it is firmly said by proponents of the murder machine theory, is immutable; these figures are well and permanently established in history and questioning them is the work of anti-Semites, neo-Nazis and professional, unbalanced hate-mongers.

It is the actual figures, however, upon which the legend of the Holocaust stands or falls. Are there such figures? Are they reliable? Surely in the enormous official German records, captured by both the Soviets and Americans, there have to be specific confirmations of the awful death tolls.

In fact such records do exist; some in Moscow and some in Washington, DC, but these original documents are generally not available to what Holocaust supporters state are prevaricators, liars and anti-Semites. They can be found today in official state archives, some difficult to find because they have been misfiled and others because pressure groups who fear their publication have pressured the archives to keep them hidden.

In this study, we have explored these forbidden or obscured documents, collated them and are presenting the results in an effort to achieve some balance for a subject that heretofore has been the private playground of individuals and organizations who have a vested financial and political motive in preventing any erosion of what they see is their own territory.

As huge sums of money have resulted from the maintenance and careful nurturing of what has proven to be an extraordinarily successful cash cow, the desperation of its creators can easily be understood.

Truth, however, is mighty and shall prevail.

“How many people died at Auschwitz?

“…Foner’s Spotlight article made assertions regarding the number of people killed at the Auschwitz camp:

Most Americans have been instructed in the “irrefutable fact” that homicidal gassings had taken place at Auschwitz. The number of those so executed – also declared irrefutable – was 4.1 million.

Then came the Leuchter Report in 1988. This was followed by a “re-evaluation” of the total deaths at Auschwitz (down to 1.1 million).

Previous to 1992, anyone who publicly doubted the 4.1 million “gassing” deaths at Auschwitz was labeled an anti-Semite, neo-nazi skinhead (at the very least). Quietly, because of revisionist findings, the official figure was lowered to 1.1 million. No mention of that missing 3 million.

Foner’s assertions are simply not true; although it is correct to note that the Polish Communist government did claim that four million people were exterminated at Auschwitz, historians (Feig, Reitlinger, Hilberg, et al.) have never supported that figure. Consider the estimates provided by Buszko at the end of his article on Auschwitz, which appeared in the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust:

  • Of the 405,000 registered prisoners, 65,000 survived
  • Of the 16,000 Soviet POW’s, 96 survived
  • Various estimates suggest 1.6 million were murdered

Buszko’s article, and the above estimates, appeared in the 1990 edition of the

Encyclopedia, which clearly puts the lie to Foner’s comment that “anyone who publicly doubted the 4.1 million .. ” figure “previous to 1992…” was “…labeled an anti-Semite…”. Buszko is not only a Jewish historian, but Polish as well.

Leon Poliakov, the author of the well-documented “Harvest of Hate,” which was, we note, first published in 1956, provides the following information, which clearly demonstrates that Foner’s contention, cited above, is an outright lie:

After some thirty months of intense activity, the Auschwitz balance sheet showed close to two million immediate exterminations (this figure can never be fixed exactly), (8) to which one must add the deaths of some 300,000 registered prisoners – Jews for the most part, but not entirely – for whom the gas chamber was only one of any number of ways by which they might have perished. (Poliakov, 202)

In his affidavits, Hoess spoke of two and a half million, ‘a figure set officially,’ he wrote, under the signature of [Eichmann], in a report to Himmler. This figure has been accepted by several authors, and it appears in the verdict at the trial of the major war criminals. However, there is no reason for accepting without question the statistics attributed to Eichmann, which may err on either side.

Adding the number of victims to those deported from different countries gives a lower figure, although we have little data, for example, on the number of Polish Jews sent to Auschwitz. An approximate figure in the neighborhood of two million seems closer to the truth.” (Ibid.)

Feig also provides evidence of the false nature of Foner’s comment when she notes that:

Höss testified that the Tesch directors could not help but know of the use for their product because they sold him enough to annihilate two million people.’

Feig’s book was published in 1981

According to Snyder, Adolf Eichmann reported to Himmler, in 1944, that four million had been killed in the camps, and another million had been shot or killed by mobile units. (Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. 1989) Eichmann’s report, which referenced all the camps (most of which were in Nazi-occupied Poland), may have been the source of the Polish Communist government’s figures. (Snyder is a Professor of History at the City College and the City University of New York.)

During the war crimes trials, Höss was asked if it was true that he had no exact numbers because he had been forbidden to compile them, and he agreed. He also agreed that Adolf Eichmann had told him that that more than two million people had been exterminated there. (von Lang, 120)

The Institut Für Zeitgeschichte, Munich, provided the following capsulated paragraph about Auschwitz in a March, 1992, letter of inquiry.

The extermination camp in Birkenau, established in the second half of 1941, was joined to the concentration camp Auschwitz, existing since May 1940. From January 1942 on in five gas chambers and from the end of June 1943 in four additional large gassing-rooms gassings with Zyklon B have been undertaken. Up until November 1944 more than one million Jews and at least 4000 gypsies have been murdered by gas. (IFZ)

While it is admittedly difficult to compile exact figures, (emphasis added) since the Nazis did not maintain registration records for those who were to be exterminated immediately upon arrival at Auschwitz, it seems accurate to assert that the number of Jews killed fell somewhere between one and one-point-six million.

According to figures provided by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the overall number of victims of Auschwitz in the years 1940-1945 is estimated at between 1,100,000 and 1,500,000 people. The majority of them, and above all the mass transports of Jews who arrived beginning in 1942, died in the gas chambers. (Waclaw Dlugoborski and Franciszek Piper, Eds. Auschwitz 1940-1945. Central Issues in the History of the Camp. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, 2000, 5 vols., 1799 pp., ISBN 83-85047-87-5)

Jews were not the only victims of this Nazi German killing machine – historians estimate that among the people sent to Auschwitz there were at least 1,100,000 Jews from all the countries of occupied Europe, over 140,000 Poles (mostly political prisoners), approximately 20,000 Gypsies from several European countries, over 10,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and over 10,000 prisoners of other nationalities.

The Leuchter Report, which Foner alludes to extensively in his Spotlight article, has been thoroughly refuted. For detailed information about the report, see the Leuchter FAQ.

Two German firms, Tesch/Stabenow and Degesch, produced Cyclone B gas after they acquired the patent from Farben. Tesch supplied two tons a month, and Degesch three quarters of a ton. The firms that produced the gas already had extensive experience in fumigation.”

This overview is entirely typical of the death camp argument. It is not based on official figures obtained from various archives but solely upon the personal opinions of individuals who are obviously writing to an idea. Such phrases as “absolutely established”, “irrefutable facts” and “thoroughly refuted” are the easily-recognized hallmarks of the propagandist, not the historian. In point of fact, writers attempting to confirm the allegations of astronomical death tolls for European Jews are not writing from any kind of an objective historical point of view but from thoroughly skewed and propagandistic one.

Truth is the first casualty of the propagandist.

The argument is made that since it is “clearly evident” that six million European Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis under Hitler, the fact that nowhere in the through and extensive files of the Third Reich can be found any specific reference to such acts, the answer to this absence is also clearly evident; there are special and secret lists made of Jews who were not entered onto the rolls of the camps but who were immediately executed.

However, if there are no existing Third Reich documents proving the mass murders, neither are there any of the secret lists to be found.

The “secret list” theory is one of desperation, not a clever invention.

When the Glücks files emerged in Moscow, the archivists at the Central Archives stated that Jewish groups were well aware of these documents and had repeatedly insisted that the Russians not release them to “outsiders” who were “not able to properly understand them.”

What obviously was meant is that these extensive, and complete, files clearly did not support the murder of six millions of European Jews and their release would merely complicate the fundraising efforts of the proponents of the planned extermination theories.

As an historical footnote to this commentary, the following officially recorded conversation of Hitler’s is set forth. The first part of it has been widely quoted in a number of books but the second part, for obvious reasons, has not.

On Saturday, October 25, 1941, Hitler received Count Ciano, Italian Foreign Minister at his East Prussian military headquarters for a conference. Present were a number of senior government officials. Following the conference, Hitler held a small, private dinner for several of these personages. One of them was Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the SS and the other was (SS-Obergruppenführer) Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Main State Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt-RSHA) which controlled the Gestapo and the SD. During the course of the dinner, Hitler said:

“From the rostrum of the Reichstag I prophesized to Jewry that, in the event of war’s proving inevitable, the Jew would disappear from Europe. That race of criminals has on its conscience the two million dead of the First World War, and now already hundreds of thousands more.”

At this point, historians generally comment on Hitler’s obvious intention to slaughter all the Jews he could lay his hands on. The balance of the conversation conveys a rather different meaning.

“Let nobody tell me that all the same we can’t park them in the marshy parts of Russia! Who’s worrying about our troops? It’s not a bad idea, by the way, that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews. Terror is a salutary thing.”1

The question of the number of persons who died in Auschwitz has been addressed in a publication entitled Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp.2 A chapter by Franciszek Piper entitled “The Number of Victims” addresses the issues discussed here and sections of it deserve to be quoted and enlarged upon.

“In erasing traces of the crimes perpetrated in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazis destroyed documents that could serve as the basis for determining how many people died there. When the Soviet soldiers liberated the camp in January 1945, they found documents that confirmed only 100,000 deaths. Yet surviving prisoners maintained that millions had perished at Auchwitz.

Faced with this disparity, officials of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, the organization entrusted with investigating the crimes committed at Auschwitz, conducted an in-depth study. Based on witness testimonies regarding the capacity of the camp and the length of time that its machinery for mass murder was operative, (emphasis added) the commission concluded that no fewer than four million (emphasis added) persons were put to death at the camp…Four million…is the number recorded in Polish literature, as well as in publications of other countries.”

In The Final Solution, one of the first books to deal with the Holocaust, published in 1953, the figure of four million was radically reevaluated. English art historian Gerald Reitlinger estimated the number of victims at Auschwitz to be roughly 800,000 to 900,000, (emphasis added) based on an analysis of the losses of Jews reported by specific countries…

The destruction by the Nazis of most Auschwitz records is the most important cause of divergent estimates…researchers had to rely on discrepant and imprecise data from testimonies and depositions of witnesses, former prisoners and Nazi functionaries and on court decisions and fragmentary and incomplete records of camp registries, archives, (sic) and other institutions. (Emphasis added).”

The question of the destruction of Auschwitz records has been raised over the years to support the claims that large numbers of people died in the camp but were not recorded. If the SS camp administration did destroy or remove official records from Auschwitz before the complex was overrun by the Soviets in early 1945, they did not and could not touch the records that had been sent to the headquarters of the camp system outside of Berlin, or any other copies sent to different agencies. According to the author of the article, the Soviets did find records indicating 100,000 deaths.

Reliance on anything originating from Stalin’s agents is totally unrealistic. The Soviets had no problem continuously rewriting their own history and obviously would have had no problem rewriting the history of other nations. The concurrence of the Poles in Soviet findings has no validity whatsoever.

Poland was under complete control of the Soviets at the time of their reports and any official commission would do precisely as it was told by its masters.

It was only after the implosion of the Soviet Empire that their state archives became available to outside researchers, at least on a limited basis. As has been noted before, it was the standard policy of the Soviet government to denigrate and attack the government of West Germany, not support it. The microfilms released by the Russian archives in the early 1990s were copies of documents found at the SS camp headquarters in 1945 and had these supported the theory of extensive extermination programs, they certainly would have been released years before.

There is another argument used to explain the lack of documentation supporting the thesis of a million or more dead at Auschwitz. This argument claims that endless transports of Jews were delivered to the camp, not recorded anywhere and immediately executed. This, it is claimed, explains why there is such a disparity between official German figures and those proposed by others.

This argument has some fleeting validity but the question arises that if these transports were unrecorded in German records, how could anyone use them as references other than by supposition and speculation? It is very difficult to have one’s cake and eat it too.

The question of transport also needs to be addressed. When the German Reichsbahn scheduled rail transportation to Auschwitz, it was listed officially as special trains (Sonderzug) which indicated that the transports were privately contracted…in this case by the SS. If these transports were of an official, State nature, they would be listed as regular traffic, paid for by the government. While in the beginning of the forced Jewish emigration prior to the war, the Jewish community in Germany and overseas was compelled to pay for the emigration out of their own pockets, such accommodations were not operational during the war except in rare cases.

It should also be noted that transport from Auschwitz taking manufactured products to various points in Europe were also listed as Special Trains. Auschwitz was part of the SS economic empire and as such, was run by the SS and not the German government. The Armed SS (Waffen-SS) was not an official part of the Wehrmacht and its operating expenses, as were the operating expenses for the entire SS, had to be paid for by the SS itself.

This in itself would cast considerable doubt on the thesis that a vast extermination program had been ordered by Hitler officially as State policy. When the SS ran out of operating capital, the transports stopped running.

The use of prisoner labor was certainly addressed in the numerous trials held after the war.

Another thesis often expressed is that the victims at Auschwitz were nearly all Jewish. Reports from the camp break down the exact number of inmates by groups, to include Jews. At Auschwitz, by far the largest group were those held in protective custody or as political prisoners.

With former Soviet archival material now available, a greater balance should be much easier to obtain. It was only their stubborn refusal to release these records that allowed inflated figures, supported only with anecdotal and unsupported material, to flourish and, like ivy, expand and cover every aspect of the building beneath.

This archival material has, in fact, been available on microfilm since 1989 but is rarely discussed.

An article in the New York ‘Times’ of March 3, 1991 quotes the Soviet sources with considerable accuracy. Forty-six camps are covered with a total death toll of more than 400,000. Auschwitz records contain approximately 70,000 death certificates and in addition the death totals of 130,000 among the forced laborers in all camps and 200,000 additional names of various classes of prisoners in all camps to include Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Gross Rosen. When queried about this article and the numbers reflected in it, Red Cross officials in Washington, DC agreed that they were indeed the figures contained in the microfilms they had received from Soviet sources but that “special secret lists” existed that boosted the death toll far higher. Further questioning elicited that no one had seen these “secret lists” but that they must certainly exist and that quoting from the official records was “misleading” and should not be done.

The records of the concentration camp system discovered by the Soviets at the system headquarters outside of Berlin in 1945 are complete. From a chronological point of view, there are no gaps. Many of the records found by the Soviets at Auschwitz are not complete but the headquarters files contain copies of all the Auschwitz records

The arrest, deportation and forced labor of a large number of people, including Jews, was repugnant and on a parallel with the British concentration camps (from whence the name came) instituted during the Boer War in which over 20,000 Boer women and children died in conditions of disease, filth and squalor, and is not possible to ignore or justify.3

Aside from the records of the camp headquarters siezed by the Soviets in 1945 from Oranienburg, another source exists that deals with the monthly population reports made by the individual camps to headquarters. These consisted of radio reports sent in to Oranienburg on a monthly basis. From early 1942 through February of 1943, British intelligence was monitoring these reports and in their official history of the British intelligence system, stated that,

“The returns from Auschwitz, the largest of the camps with 20,000 prisoners, mentioned illness as the main cause of death, but included references to shootings and hangings. There were no references in the decrypts to gassing.” (emphasis added) 4

Given inaccurate demographics about the post-war Jewish population, there is still a considerable gap in the number of Jews, mostly Polish Jews, who were living in Poland in 1939 and unaccounted for in 1945. The assumption was made, and is still being made, that these differences were clearly explained by the extermination theory.

The former Soviet Union maintained a rigid control over its files until its collapse, and it has only been since this point in time that a much clearer picture of events has become evident.

In 1995, Russian author Arkady Vaksberg, a Jewish writer, attorney, and investigative journalist, published a book entitled Stalin Against The Jews, the basic theme of which is the persecution of Soviet Jews by Stalin after he had used them against his enemies.

Vaksberg goes into some detail about the Polish Jews who, in September of 1939, fled the German advance into Poland and went into the Soviet Union. Vaksberg states that these Polish Jews were seized by Stalin’s agencies and put into prison camps.

The author states that exact figures of these prisoners are not presently available but speaks of “hundreds of thousands.” He also mentions that Soviet border police shot down many escaping Jews before they crossed the border into Communist territory.

Survival in Soviet Gulags was very poor; of the 80,000 German prisoners of war captured at Stalingrad, only 6,000 were alive in 1955 to return to Germany. How many of these hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews survived the war is not known, but perhaps former Soviet archives hold the final answer to this issue, an issue that has persisted for half a century.5

After the breakup of the Yugoslav state in the 1990s, the “ethnic cleansing” by the winsome Serbs of anyone they disliked, including Catholics and Jews, was greeted with a chorus of dismay from other nations…but nothing more.

 

  1. “Hitler’s Secret Conversations, 1941-1945,” New York, 1953, p 72, Protocol 52.
  2. “Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp,” ed. Yisrael Gutman and Michael Berenbaum, 1994, Indiana University Press. pps 61 et seq.
  3. Amery, vol.5, 252, 253, 601; vol. 6, 24-25
  4. “British Intelligence in the Second World War,” Hinsley et al, London, 1980, vol. 11, p 673.
  5. “Stalin Against the Jews,” Vaksberg, New York, 1995, pp 103-107.

 

Note: The complete German files on the camps is being prepared for publication. CJ

 

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

January 27, 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. 36

Date: Sunday, September 15, 1996

Commenced:  11:15 AM CST

Concluded: 11: 37 AM CST

 

RTC: Ah, good morning, Gregory. Been to church early today?

GD: No, haven’t been to church for some time. Yourself? I mean someone who lives on Cathedral Avenue ought to have some nearby inspiration.

RTC: No, I get out very seldom these days what with my hip problem and I do have a balance issue. Asthma makes me short of breath sometimes. Never mind that. Anyway, I was looking for some papers on the Vietnam business….for addition to my book on that sorry time…and I found an analysis of the flying saucer business we talked about.  I pulled it out for you. On the Vietnam business, I’ve finished the manuscript long ago but I keep thinking that I ought to put more documentation with it. Stupid dreams because I can never publish it. Had to sign that paper, you know. Bill has looked at it and thinks it would become a best seller but I am not going to give it to him in spite of what he thinks. Trento would love to lay his hands on it. He wouldn’t publish it, of course, but would run to Langley for that pat on the head and another nice pen set. Joe does love to collect pen sets and get those loving pats on the head.

GD: Could I look at it, Robert?

RTC: Ah….I might consider it but you couldn’t use any of it while I am still kicking. But anyway, this Roswell business…and oh yes, one in Montana about three years later…now the Company had nothing to do with any of this but we did get a copy of an official and very secret report, not because we cared about a spaceship wreck or little green men but because of the methodology used in containing and negating the story. Too many people knew about this so the cover-up had to be through and intense. It was a sort of primer for us. We improved on it, of course, but it was an excellent foundation for other matters.

GD: Such as?

RTC: Now, now, Gregory, one thing at a time. Yes, an excellent primer.

GD: I used to live in Las Cruces which is close by that area and from talking with people down there, it is almost universally believed. I believe a space ship crashed there and the Air Force was involved. The locals are still afraid of the threats they got back in ’47-’48 so I feel that where there is smoke, there must once have been fire.

RTC: What is your understanding of the incident?

GD: There was a big thunderstorm then and much lightening and one of the farmers or ranchers found debris all over his landscape. The Air Force people descended on the place and in essence shut everyone up. I was told repeatedly that bodies of aliens were found. Is that in your paper? Make a wonderful story.

RTC: Yes, as I recall, about four dead ones and one living.

GD: Little green men?

RTC: As I read it, not green but a sort of grayish green or gray. About four feet in height with no body hair, fewer fingers than ours and large eyes. I mean no question because there are original photographs attached. And the dead ones started rotting right away and the stink was monumental. There were complete autopsies, of course, but not in situ. Flew them out, iced up, for work at Wright.

GD: And the live one?

RTC: Died a little later. They were not of this world, Gregory but it was, and is, amazing how they at least resembled humans.

GD: That alone would drive the religious freaks nuts. Human forms from outer space?

RTC: Yes and that’s why in the movies you see giant crabs or whatever. Can’t look like us.

GD: Such closed minds. Darwin was basically right and someday, they will discover the so-called missing link that proves him right. Would that get suppressed, do you think?

RTC: Depends who is in power in the White House at the time. But let me send the report off to you to evaluate. I personally don’t see this as tabloid news about green men but how the story was contained and essentially countered. The one in Montana was much safer because this one crashed into a mountain, way up, with no busybody farmers and local hicks around to pick up dangerous souvenirs

GD: What was the determination there?

RTC: Essentially the same as Roswell. Unworldly metals and other debris, crisped remains of small people…I guess four feet was general…and so on. Again, lightening storms in the area. These things can be detected by a certain form of radar but not by most so there was a fix and that’s how the wreckage was found. The metal in both sites was odd enough. Very light but impossible to bend or even cut into. Equipment containers that were impossible to open or even open. That drove them all crazy because if we could construct aircraft, or even tanks, from such a metal, the advantages would be obvious. No shell could penetrate and the light weight would be a huge advantage in combat. As I understand it, no one could ever figure the composition out.

But again, the methodology…the mixture of threats of death and the cover stories are what this report was mostly about. Of course the press does just as it’s told as do the local police and so on. And no one in the Air Force is going to talk or they’ll end up taking a long walk on a very short pier. Time goes by and everyone but a few forget and that’s the end of it.

GD: Did they have any idea where these things came from?

RTC: No, they never did and therein lies another factor. Truman ordered silence, or rather approved the order on it because no one wanted a panic. The Cold War was just starting and they were afraid of the Orson Wells business all over. No, there could be no mass panic. My God, every attention-starved nitwit in the country would chime in with fictional stories about landings in their yard and so on. That no one wanted so rather than stifle any talk about genuine sightings, they rigged thousands of fakes ones until the public thought it was all too funny for words and went back watching baseball games on the idiot box. We took this and refined it. I wrote some suggestions on this and I will attach them for you. Sometimes we can’t cover up some nasty action so the best way to hide it is to magnify it so much and pass it to so many gabbling idiots that the public is quickly bored. I recall the business of people vanishing and that is true so the story goes out about flying saucers landing in cow pastures and kidnapping cows or fake stories about this or that child vanishing, and then his turning up later in a local candy store. A few dozen like this every year gets the public accustomed to disbelieving abduction stories. Or we could throw in a child molester from time to time just to spice up the pot. Hell, we, and the Pentagon, among others, have full-time departments handling fake stories. We leak them to the supermaket press.

GD: Or one of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid rags…

RTC: Yes, Rupert can be so accommodating.  He keeps the trailer park crowd in a state of perpetual excitement. Bread and circuses. Always the same.

GD:  Do you know how many actual incidents got investigated?

RTC: I know of the two specifically. The one in New Mexico in ’47 and then the Montana one about two years later. I am sure there are more. The Russians had their own problems but they have much better control over the media that we do. They had less running around and creative writing issues.

GD: Nothing hostile?

RTC: Not that I ever heard about. I think just recon trips. That’s the educated guessing. Roswell was near some of our more sensitive A-bomb areas but I can’t figure out Montana.

GD: Maybe they were looking to kidnap some mountain goats for sexual escapades.

RTC: As I recall, they had no sex organs. I think goats would be out.

GD: No organs? How could they reproduce the species?

RTC: I don’t think the Pentagon was interested in that question. Maybe they just came out of a big machine somewhere, did their routines and died. I understand that they rotten very quickly and the stink when they did made it really impossible to do effective autopsies.

GD: I had that problem with floaters. Or abdominal cancer. God, what stenches from both. I used to wear a mask soaked in bay rum but I have seen techs puke on the spot. You just have to blot it out. A little like waking up after a drunken party and finding yourself in the sack with a really ugly woman. Never happened to me but did to a friend. A quiet departure. And a quick one too. And the forlorn cries of ‘Oh Honey, where are you going?’ echoing behind him. ‘Why outside to puke, my lovely one” might be an appropriate answer. Later, send her flowers you filched out of a cemetery and a zucchini in remembrance of things past. I don’t think Marcel would like that. I think he liked sailors.

RTC: Who?

GD: Marcel Proust. Wrote a book called that. Well, at this point either the visitations have stopped or the little gray men with no dicks have all gone into Congress. Except those thieves stink before they are dead. Well, send it all on and I promise to read it with interest….

RTC: Yes, and keep quiet indeed.

GD: A given.

 

(Conclusion at 11:37:AM 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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