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TBR News July 11, 2019

Jul 11 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. July 11, 2019:

“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.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for July 11: “Almost every day, the American court system deals Trump another blow by rejecting his addlepated ideas. He runs around the White House offices, bellowing like a glandered elephant in a forest fire and comes up with another scheme that is bound to enrage everyone except his pointy headed supporters (the ones wearing American flag underpants and little red hats on their pointy heads) And the national deficit is growing daily and he does nothing about trying to reduce it. He should divorce his wife, marry Boris Johnson and move to some part of England without electricity.”


The Table of Contents

  • How Iran Would Battle the U.S. In a War (It Would Be Bloody)
  • The US-UK ‘special relationship isn’t broken – it’s just entering a dangerous new phase
  • Trump abandons effort to put citizenship question on 2020 census
  • U.S. government posts $8 billion deficit in June
  • It’s About Time We Recognize What Fuels Terrorism
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Huge racket in fake Nazi relics exposed


How Iran Would Battle the U.S. In a War (It Would Be Bloody)

This is not something Washington should rush into.

June 30, 2019

by Ted Galen Carpenter

The National Interest

Kenneth Adelman, a former assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and a prominent figure in the U.S. foreign policy community, famously predicted in 2002 that a war to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would be a “cakewalk.” President Donald Trump apparently learned nothing from Adelman’s hubris and rosy optimism. Although he aborted a planned airstrike on Iran at the last minute, Trump later warned Iranian leaders that the military option was still very much on the table. He added that if the United States used force against Iran, Washington would not put boots on the ground but would wage the conflict entirely with America’s vast air and naval power. There was no doubt in his mind about the outcome. He asserted that such a war “wouldn’t last very long,” and that it would mean the “obliteration” of Iran.

But history is littered with examples of wars that political leaders and the general public erroneously believed would be quick and easy. When Abraham Lincoln opted to confront the secession of the Southern states with force, his initial troop request was merely for 90-day enlistments. People in Washington, DC, were so confident that the Union army would crush the upstart rebels at the impending battle of Manassas that hundreds drove out in carriages to view the likely battlefield. They treated it like a spectator event, in some cases complete with picnic baskets. Four years later, more than 500,000 American soldiers were dead.

Leaders and populations in the major European capitals in 1914 exuded optimism that the new war would be over in a matter of months—with their side winning a glorious victory, of course. Once again, the situation did not turn out as planned. The projected quick and relatively bloodless conflict became a prolonged, horrific slaughter consuming millions of young lives, toppling established political systems in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, and ushering in the plagues of fascism and communism.

A common thread in the various blunders was the assumption that the initial phase of a conflict would be utterly decisive. That was Adelman’s error. Washington’s military encounter with Saddam’s forces was fairly close to being a cakewalk. The decrepit Iraqi army was no match for the U.S.-led invaders. When Saddam fell from power, President George W. Bush flew to a U.S. aircraft carrier that displayed a huge (later infamous) “Mission Accomplished” banner.

However, the initial military victory proved to be just the beginning of a giant headache for the United States. Within months, an insurgency arose against the U.S. occupation force, and political instability bordering on civil war plagued Iraq, paving the way for the rise of ISIS. At last count, more than 4,400 American troops have perished pursuing the Iraq mission, and the United States has spent well over a trillion dollars. Not exactly a cakewalk.

That is what makes President Trump’s cavalier attitude about a war with Iran so worrisome. He implicitly assumes that the United States has control over the twin processes of retaliation and escalation. U.S. officials made that same faulty assumption in Iraq—and decades earlier in Vietnam. But even adversaries that are inferior in terms of conventional military capabilities may have numerous options to wage asymmetric warfare. And that strategy can become a war of attrition that inflicts serious damage on the militarily superior United States.

Iran may be especially effective if it adopts that course. Indeed, just in the narrow military sense, Iranian capabilities are far from trivial. Retired Admiral James Stavridis notes that Iran has “exceptionally strong asymmetric warfare capability” in several areas. “Cyber [attacks], swarm small-boat tactics, diesel submarines, special forces and surface-to-surface cruise missiles are all high-level assets,” Stavridis stated. “They are also very experienced at employing them in the demanding environment of the Middle East.”

Beyond utilizing its direct military capabilities, Tehran might well call upon its network of Shia political and military allies in the Middle East to create havoc for the United States. Iran maintains very close ties with Hezbollah in Lebanon and several Shia militias in Iraq. The residual U.S. force deployed in the latter country could be especially vulnerable to harassment and lethal attacks. And one should not ignore or discount the potential role of the angry, oppressed Shia majority in Bahrain. If their seething discontent at the Sunni-controlled regime that Washington backs explodes into outright conflict, the Trump administration could find it increasingly difficult to continue basing the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain.

Going to war against Iran would be no minor matter, and President Trump is irresponsible to act in such a flippant manner. Attacking Iran could trigger a prolonged, costly nightmare in both treasure and blood. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a Democratic presidential candidate, likely is prophetic that a war against Iran would make the Iraq War look like a cakewalk. Tehran certainly has a multitude of ways to retaliate for U.S. aggression and to escalate the bilateral confrontation. U.S. leaders would be wise not to venture farther down that perilous path


The US-UK ‘special relationship’ isn’t broken – it’s just entering a dangerous new phase

Reckless rightwing incompetents have taken over both the US and UK governments – and we all have to live the consequences

July 11, 2019

by Michael H Fuchs

The Guardian

The dumpster fires of US and UK politics have converged, and the special relationship is going up in flames.

The resignation of Kim Darroch, UK ambassador to the US – and a longtime British civil servant – because of a temper tantrum by Donald Trump is an illustration of the toxic politics of both countries, and the real damage it is doing to the US-UK alliance.

The events of the last week would have been hard to imagine before Trump. The Daily Mail published leaked cables that the British embassy in Washington sent back to London describing the mess that substitutes for a presidential administration in DC today. In doing his job by sending honest, private analysis to his government, Darroch described Trump as “inept” and “incompetent” and called the White House “uniquely dysfunctional” in messages that describe what is readily apparent to anyone who has read the news over the last two and a half years.

In response, Trump tweeted out a series of criticisms of Darroch and Theresa May’s government and said of Darroch, “We will no longer deal with him.” Darroch’s resignation came as no surprise.

Trump’s attacks on the UK come as no surprise either. Despite the “special relationship” between the two countries and the prime minister’s efforts to forge a working relationship with Trump, Trump has reciprocated with endless public insults of May and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan – not to mention policy decisions detrimental to the alliance, as Thomas Wright has documented.

In a time when partisan politics creates gridlock in DC and polarization makes it more and more difficult to have a constructive national conversation about substantive issues, the daily conduct of the president of the United States makes that of a toddler appear mature by comparison. (I’m a parent of a five-year-old. I know these things.) It is still shocking, but far from surprising, that an American president taking to Twitter to call the ambassador of a US ally a “pompous fool” will pass from the news cycle within days.

Politics in the UK are hardly better. When the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, it was as if the country had hit a national self-destruct button. Ever since, the fuse has been burning and every attempt made to mitigate the damage or to change course so far has been as useless as that person waiting for an elevator who keeps hitting the call button but knows it won’t do anything. A country that was a global empire not too long ago and remains one of the top 10 economies in the world now looks – save a massive course correction – to be on the path to global irrelevance.

This is in part because radical and reckless rightwing incompetents are taking over the UK government too. When asked about whether he would keep Darroch in Washington, British Member of Parliament and presumed next prime minister Boris Johnson threw Darroch under the bus. In doing so, Johnson made clear that his priority was not his nation, but rather his own interests of being prime minister and having a good relationship with Trump. After that, Darroch knew it was time to go. As one article in this paper put it, Darroch was “effectively sacked by Johnson on the orders of Trump”. Speculation in Washington now swirls about whether Johnson would appoint arch-Brexiteer – and Trump favorite – Nigel Farage as UK ambassador.

The disastrous effects of both countries’ domestic politics aside, the Darroch incident is a vivid illustration of how Trump’s twitter tirades cause real harm to the US. Trump’s visits to the UK have been delayed because of massive protests. His insults of the UK – culminating in the Darroch affair – have now made it politically expedient for some British politicians to stand up to the US president.

Again, no surprise. In Trump’s Washington, this is how US allies are treated. Trump’s fondness for dictators and disdain for democratic allies is well known, and the impacts on American alliances beyond the UK have been real. Trump’s policies and repeated criticism of Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, caused a German foreign minister to call for a European strategy to push back against Trump’s America. The relationship between France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, and Trump has soured and erupted into open hostility.

In fact, the only positive relationships Trump seems capable of maintaining are with autocrats and populists. All of this plays into Russia’s goals of undermining European and American democracies and Nato – and it’s no coincidence, since Russia is actively meddling in American, UK and European politics.

But neither Trump nor those in the UK like Farage and Johnson, who take a “burn it all down” approach to politics, seem to care about what’s happening to their countries or to the alliance. For the rightwing populists on both sides of the pond, the political nosedives in motion in each country are bringing the rightwing populist movements in the US and the UK closer together.

The US-UK special relationship may very well be entering a new, especially dangerous, phase.

Michael H Fuchs is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a former deputy assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs



Trump abandons effort to put citizenship question on 2020 census

  • Trump drops census proposal and blames ‘radical left’
  • Orders federal agencies to turn over citizenship data

July 11, 2019

by Sabrina Siddiquiin Washington and Tom McCarthyin New York

The Guardian

Faced with a defeat in court and few viable options, Donald Trump on Thursday backed off his effort to place a question about citizenship on the next US census while announcing executive action by his administration to collect information on its own.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Trump said he will order federal agencies to turn over records on the number of citizens, non-citizens and undocumented immigrants living in the US.

“The only people that are not proud to be citizens are the ones who are fighting us all the way about the word ‘citizen’,” Trump said.

The president’s statement came after he teased a news conference on the census and citizenship in a Thursday morning tweet, sparking numerous reports that Trump would unilaterally take executive action to include the citizenship question on 2020 census forms even after his administration was blocked by the Supreme Court.

But Trump’s controversial plan never saw the light of day. Within hours of putting the public on notice, administration officials said the president would defer to the court rulings on the census and instead instruct the commerce department to obtain citizenship data “through other means”.

Standing at the White House podium on a rainy Thursday evening in Washington, Trump began his remarks by letting out a sigh and posing the question he wished to ask of the nation’s population: “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?”

Casting blame on the “radical left”, Trump accused Democrats of turning a blind eye to illegal immigration and cast the fight as one over the very meaning of citizenship. “This is part of a broader leftwing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen and it is very unfair to our country,” Trump said.

Trump was joined by his attorney general, William Barr, who defended the president’s motivations. Barr said: “It is entirely reasonable to want to know how many citizens and non-citizens there are in the United States.”

Barr nonetheless acknowledged there were legal and practical limitations preventing the administration from including the citizenship question without jeopardizing the government’s ability to carry out the census.

Legal advocates had promised an immediate challenge to any attempted executive action on the matter by Trump.

“Trump’s attempt to weaponize the census ends not with a bang but a whimper,” Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement following Trump’s remarks.

“It is clear he simply wanted to sow fear in immigrant communities and turbocharge Republican gerrymandering efforts by diluting the political influence of Latino communities,” added Ho, who argued the supreme court census case.

“Trump may claim victory today, but this is nothing short of a total, humiliating defeat for him and his administration.” Ho added that the ACLU would closely scrutinize Trump’s new effort to compile citizenship data and assess its legality.

In a ruling last month, the supreme court upheld the lower court decision against Trump, saying that the commerce department’s stated rationale for including the question – to protect voting rights – “seems to have been contrived” and was a “distraction”.

Trump acknowledged the truth of that assessment last week, when he told reporters at the White House that the proposed citizenship question was part of a longterm Republican blueprint to use the congressional redistricting process to tilt power in their favor. “Number one, you need it for Congress – you need it for Congress for districting,” Trump said. “You need it for appropriations – where are the funds going?”

Legal analysts warned that any attempt by Trump now to alter the census could open administration lawyers to charges of lying before the supreme court, because in an effort to accelerate the case they told the court five times that the census had to be finalized by 30 June – nearly two weeks ago.

“Separate from whether the president has the power to take this step,” tweeted the University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck, “the Solicitor General repeatedly represented to #SCOTUS that the #2020Census had to be finalized by 6/30. Any move to add the question at this point suggests those representations were false.”

Following the Supreme Court ruling in June, the matter appeared to be settled – until a Trump tweet.

Justice department lawyers affirmed to federal judges that the decision had been taken to print the census without the question, and the commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, announced on 3 July that “the Census Bureau has started the process of printing the decennial questionnaires without the question”.

Then it came crashing down in 280 characters.

“The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE!” Trump tweeted. “We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.”

But despite the Trump administration’s projections of confidence that they would ultimately prevail, options quickly ran scarce.

A federal court dealt a blow to the administration earlier this week by refusing a justice department request to change its legal team on the case. “Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons’, for the substitution of counsel,” wrote the judge in a blistering denial.

Even as he abandoned his quest to modify the census, Trump insisted on Thursday the fight was not yet over.

“I’m here to say we are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population,” he said.


U.S. government posts $8 billion deficit in June

July 11, 2019

by Andrea Ricci


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government posted an $8 billion budget deficit in June, according to data released on Thursday by the Treasury Department.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a $6.35 billion deficit for the month.

The Treasury said federal spending in June was $342 billion, down 12% from the same month in 2018, while receipts were $334 billion, up 6% compared with June 2018.

The deficit for the fiscal year to date was $747 billion, compared with $607 billion in the comparable period the year earlier.

When adjusted for calendar effects, the deficit for June was $55 billion compared with an adjusted deficit of $30 billion in June 2018. Calendar adjustments had little effect on the year to date figures.

Reporting by Andrea Ricci; Editing by Melissa Bland


It’s About Time We Recognize What Fuels Terrorism

July 11, 2019

by Dave DeCamp


Since September 11th 2001, the U.S. media and government have demonized Muslims and fetishized the US military so much that many Americans do not understand what a devastating impact our foreign policy has had on the Muslim world. It is the duty of every American to question their government’s action, we need to get this idea out of our head that patriotism means blind support for our military adventures in the Middle East.

Osama bin Laden has been painted as a maniac, a man so insane and blind with rage that he toppled the Twin Towers because Allah told him to hate Western culture. But the fact is bin Laden made his motivation for attacking us very clear: US intervention in the Middle East. If we don’t address the root cause of terrorism this cycle of violence will never end.

Bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa was entitled, “Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holiest Sites (Expel the infidels from the Arab Peninsula).” The title makes bin Laden’s goal clear. After the Soviet Union was driven out of Afghanistan and collapsed at the end of the Cold War, bin Laden turned his eye on the United States. The US support for Israel long angered the rich Saudi, but it was US troops occupying the Arabian Peninsula that really stoked his rage.

George H. W. Bush’s cabinet found a new enemy in Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein, giving up on the peace dividend that would have slashed the defense budget and reinvested the money back into the United States. After Operation Desert Storm, when Saddam was driven out of Kuwait, the US maintained its presence on the Arabian Peninsula. The administration broke its promise to Saudi leadership that they would go home once Saddam’s forces retreated back to Iraq.

The US and UN together maintained a brutal sanction and bombing campaign after the war, a UN sponsored report in 1995 claimed the US sanctions were responsible for the deaths of over half a million Iraqi children. In a 1996 interview with Nida’ul Islam magazine, when listing examples of the US killing innocent Muslims, bin Laden said, “the death of more than 600,000 Iraqi children because of the shortage of food and medicine which resulted from the boycotts and sanctions against the Muslim Iraqi people.”

Since September 11th there have been more terrorist incidents within the U.S. where the perpetrators motives were related to US intervention in the Middle East. In 2009, Nidal Hasan, a US Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people in a mass shooting at Ft Hood in Texas. Col. Terry Lee, a colleague of Hasan said he was angry about US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, “He was hoping that President Obama would pull troops out and that things would settle down, and when things were not going that way, he became more agitated and more frustrated with the conflicts over there, and he would just – he made his views well known about how he felt about the US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Hasan was about to be deployed, although it was not clear at the time if it would be to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber wrote a note on the inside of the boat police found him in, “The bombings were in retribution for the US crimes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan [and] that the victims of the Boston bombing were collateral damage, in the same way innocent victims have been collateral damage in US wars around the world. Summing up, that when you attack one Muslim you attack all Muslims.” Tsarnaev’s note leaves no doubts as to his motive.

On June 12th 2016, Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 innocent patrons. In the wake of the massacre, it was reported as a hate crime, but more evidence has been released showing Mateen’s motive was US bombing campaigns in the Middle East. The shooter didn’t even know the club was a gay club, reportedly asking the security guard where all the women were before opening fire.

Mateen posted to facebook during the shooting, “You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes. … Now taste the Islamic state vengeance.” Released transcripts of a conversation between Mateen and a 911 operator make his motivations clear, “A lot of innocent women and children are getting killed in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan, okay,” Mateen said. “You see, now you feel, now you feel how it is, now you feel how it is.”

In 2007, during the republican presidential debates, candidate Ron Paul said, “They attack us because we’ve been over there, we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East. I think Reagan was right. We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics.”

Rudy Giuliani, who was also running for the presidential nomination responded to Paul, “That’s an extraordinary statement of someone who lived through the attack of Sept. 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11.” Giuliani then asked, “the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn’t really mean that.”

Giuliani’s response is a perfect example of the type of willful ignorance that has helped continue our disastrous foreign policy. The fact that Giuliani was the mayor of New York at the time of the attacks makes it all the more pathetic that he never thought to question his own governments responsibility for the deaths of thousands of his constituents.

Now that it’s 2019, almost 18 years after 9/11, our government can no longer guilt us into ignoring the plain facts in front of us: what drives these terrorists to kill is not Islam, their religion is just a common identity, the real motivation and drive to commit violence stems from US intervention. Ignoring these facts is not patriotism, it’s cowardice.

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Dylan Avery

Dylan Avery is a filmmaker and, in particular, the creator of the Loose Change films (together with Korey Rowe and Jason Bermas), which have established his position as one of the movers and shakers of the troofer community. Through embarrassingly fallacious reasoning, selective use of evidence and numerous misunderstandings based largely on the producers’ lack of understanding of the relevant issues, the “documentary” attempts to “prove” that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a false flag operation carried out by high-ranking members of the Bush administration. The claims made in the movie have been falsified numerous times (a viewer’s guide is available here), and there have been several updates of the “documentary” in which various bogus claims have been removed; no matter how thoroughly debunked the claims may be it won’t affect the main hypothesis, however, since their method is emphatically not the scientific one of testing hypotheses against data, but the pseudoscientific one of selecting the data that fit the hypothesis and disregarding the rest.

Among its claims:

  • The World Trade Center towers did not fall because planes flew into them (they do admit that planes did fly into them, but not the Pentagon), but because explosives were placed in the towers causing them to fall.
  • The Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile, not an airplane.
  • United flight 93 did not crash in Pennsylvania, but landed in Ohio, where all the passengers were removed and disappeared (it is unclear why; if the government were going to kill all those passengers anyway, wouldn’t it have been easier to crash the plane?).

Apparently 9/11 was a set-up in order for the US to justify a war in Iraq, although it has no explanation for why the government would carry out such a ruse and not incorporate any connection to Iraq in it. Furthermore, the producers seem to think that if the towers had not fallen, people would not have supported a war, and to accomplish this the Republican Party would risk their very existence by planting explosives in the buildings. Most of the claims are discussed in detail here, and many central claims are refuted here.

Oh well, like other conspiracy theories (and creationism, which really is a conspiracy theory as well, in fact), its proponents aren’t really prepared to seriously evaluate or test their own hypotheses; instead, the point is to try, with whatever desperate means available, to poke holes in their opponents’ views, apparently being under the delusion that any reason to doubt the opposing hypothesis is automatic evidence for their own views.

Diagnosis: Really as dense and deluded as they come, and his claims are laughable. It is unsurprising, but disconcerting, that his screeds have achieved the popularity they have achieved.


Jeffry John Aufderheide

There is a substantial number of blogs and websites out there devoted to anti-vaccine promotion; many of them claim otherwise, but it is often easy to gauge from the very name that we are talking some hardcore science denialism. Sane Vax is one such. Their official mission is “to promote Safe, Affordable, Necessary & Effective vaccines and vaccination practices through education and information,” and the underlying premise is accordingly that vaccines of today are largely unsafe (or not sane, which does indeed emphasize the lunacy of the group).

Jeffry John Aufderheide blogs for Sane Vax, and does so by combining utter scientific ignorance with paranoia in a manner that rivals the worst. He also writes for – indeed, was the founder of – VacTruth.org, the name of which is equally revealing. His article “WWII Military Handbook Reveals Pesticide Chemicals Used In Infant Vaccines” made its rounds in the expected parts of the Internet, and described Aufderheide’s shock reaction to discovering that some vaccines contain Triton X-100, Tween 20, or Tween 80, which, he discovered in said handbook, were also “used as major components of spraying operations of DDT.” And now, readers, you probably already see what conclusions Aufderheide is going to draw, and also why they reveal such abysmal ignorance of anything remotely resembling anything having to do with science. A sample: “To minimize the above information, you may hear arguments about the chemicals being safe because they are in hand soaps, ice cream, and in our lungs (natural surfactant). For the record, I’ve never seen a mother feeding or injecting a newborn with soap or ice cream. My word of advice to mothers is follow your intuition and ask a lot of questions.” That is some hardcore ignorance going on.

A similar level of crazy can for instance be found in his “History shows polio caused by pesticide exposure, then was eradicated by decline in DDT use.” Yes, it claims that polio was really caused by pesticides, and that doctors have been wrong all along. Do you need to know what his argument is? Oh yes, there’s correlation; that’s enough for Aufderheide, who has apparently never heard of the distinction between correlation and causation. Of course, the correlation doesn’t exist either, which even he might probably have discovered if he’d bothered to look more closely (probably not) – the decline in polio preceded the decline in the use of DDT. But I guess that “close enough” sufficed for Aufderheide.

Diagnosis: Yet another one. I don’t really know how influential Aufderheide actually is, but his articles sometimes get picked up by others, and whatever the amount of influence is, it sure isn’t beneficial.


The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

July 11, 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 publication.

Conversation No. 12  

Date: Thursday, May 2, 1996

Commenced: 8:45 AM CST

Concluded: 9:22 AM CST

GD: Good day to you, Robert. How goes the battle with you?

RTC: I think I’m slowly losing ground, Gregory, but I’m still fighting.

GD: I’ve been fighting for years so I understand the concept.

RTC: I hear the Germans are not happy over some of your writings. You are disturbing the Jewish community with your allegations that we hired the head of the Gestapo.

GD: Who cares?

RTC: You heard the old saying that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Well, the Beltway has no fury like a Jew ignored. How dare we hire the head of the Gestapo? How could we do such a thing to them? They are the Chosen of God, after all.

GD: What did God choose them for? To stand in the shower lines in some Polish camp?

RTC: Oh, now, Gregory, show some compassion.

GD: My God, why should any of us care about all of those nonsense stories? Lampshades and cakes of soap, my ass.

RTC: We are all supposed to care about that, Gregory. And if they use it right, they can get discount airline tickets and something off on that new sofa.

GD: Stunning revelations indeed, Robert. Another group of obnoxious nuts.

RTC: Believe me, Gregory, there are far worse.

GD: Who? The Pedophile’s Protective League? The Bellowing Jesus Freaks of Bad Seepage, Ohio?

RTC: There are worse things in this world than the Society of Professional Hebrew Moaners.

GD: The Sackcloth and Ashes League? The Humpback’s Tuesday Afternoon Bridge Club?

RTC: Why don’t you try the Scientologists? Now that group is really something to contemplate.

GD: I’ve read a little about them but not much. Started by some old faker named Hubbard. L. Ron Hubbard. I used to be a science fiction nut and I remember reading one of his stories years ago. Awful writing. Sounded like it was written by a ten year old.

RTC: That’s the one. He may have been an awful writer but he was a class A conman. Those people made more Goddam trouble for us. They were running all over the Med in the ‘60s in some rusty tub called the Royal Scotsman. My God, what a ship of fools that was. We were getting requests from DoS and other people to look into them. All over the place, docking here and there, chasing frantic deserters into towns, screaming at people…my God what a circus that one was. And old Hubbard waddling around in some naval uniform, shouting at people one minute and trying to bribe some public official on shore the next.

GD: That I knew nothing about.

RTC: We did, believe me. Hubbard was as crazy as a loon and Washington was afraid he would start a war. You ever read about them?

GD: Just something here and there. Hubbard died, didn’t he?

RTC: Yes, about ten years ago. His people got rid of him because he was getting to be a flaming nut and threatened to fire all of his top people. Since their scam brought in about a million dollars a day, those at the top had no intention of allowing a fat, old psychotic liar push them out.

GD: Was that in the press?

RTC: No. Hubbard was a raging paranoid, among other failings, and was convinced that everyone was out to get him so he went into hiding. That was where he was, out in California, when they gave him the needle. Of course they got the old idiot to sign a will leaving them everything and in with the drugs. As I recall, they cremated him as fast as possible and dumped his ashes into the Pacific off the stern of a sardine boat.

GD: Sic transit Gloria mundi, Robert

RTC: Isn’t that always the truth?

GD: How did they make a million a day? Print it?

RTC: No, Barnum was right, Gregory. There is a sucker born every minute. When I took Jim’s files out of there, I got the Scientology file, too. Three large boxes of files. My son read through some of them and said it sounded like a group therapy session over at St. Elizabeth’s The money? It came from legions and more legions of suckers who flocked to the tin can boys and paid until they were broke.

GD: Tin cans?

RTC: Yes. Hubbard had a very simple device that registered electrical skin responses. Works like the polygraph but has no value. We all have these electrical impulse things and of course the little needle jumps around. They have so called experts called auditors who tell the mark that this is helping to clear up their psyche so they can go out into the real world without a bag over their head. We know, and I am sure you do too, that the world is full of failures and worse. Now, instead of hanging themselves or jumping in front of Amtrak trains, they can grab the tin cans and let someone tell them that being ugly, stupid or a failure is really not their fault. Others are to blame. Of course they will never be free of their loads of guilt until the auditor tells them they are OK and that day never comes. As long as the marks have money, the tin cans are grasped and the wallets slowly empty. When it does, the sucker is tossed out on the street and then, broke, they jump off of railroad bridges and make messes on the tracks.

GD: A million a day?

RTC: Oh yes, at least. Hubbard once said that if a man wanted to be really rich, he should found a religion.

GD: Faking it with tin cans and some worthless meter is not a religion.

RTC: Oh, they turned it into one. They have a lock on a number of frustrated fanatics, fueled by vast sums of money pouring in from the army of suckers.

GD: You mentioned a boat?

RTC: Oh yes, in the 80’s, old Hubbard got it into his head that powerful forces were after him so he bought an old boat, filled it up with nuts and off they went, cruising all over the place and creating diplomatic havoc. Later, he got tired of his admiral’s uniform so he took over some town in Florida and terrorized the normal people before moving on to California, the true home of fruits and nuts. And in the meantime, before Hebe the Yench and the Dwarf, Miscarriage, terminated him, old Hubbard had his crazy followers break into government building and steal sensitive files. Of course they got caught but Hubbard claimed ignorance. He wasn’t stupid by any means but he had Borderline Personality disorder and couldn’t tell the truth when a lie would suffice.

GD: Who are the Hebe and the Dwarf?

RTC: In house for Heber Jentsch and David Miscavage. The first one is a front and the dwarf is the one who runs the show now that his founder is floating on the surf. Oh, you should read the nonsense….Gregory, do you know what a DC 3 is?

GD: Certainly. It’s an older commercial jet.

RTC: Hubbard said, and the ninnies still believe, that certain superior aliens, the father of all of the more enlightened of us, were brought to Earth from Venus millions of years ago on DC 3s.

GD: Robert…

RTC(Laughter) No, I’m serious. We don’t need to even discuss this moronic crap but thousands of panting believers accept it as the truth. The problem is, while they have stopped running around in the boat, they now try to take over small towns and are heavy in the electronics business. And of course swindling fools out of Daddy’s trust fund.

GD: You have material on them?

RTC: Yes, I do, Gregory.

GD: Any chance I could see it?

RTC: Of course, I can dig it out and ship it to you. But a word of caution here, Gregory, never try to use it.

GD: Why not?

RTC: My God, these twits sue everyone in sight for no reason. If you wrote that all up, they would sue you, your dog, your neighbors, your dead grandmother, your school and probably the mailman. The word ‘crazy’ is too mild to use in conjunction here. But, I will send this off to you with my caveat.

GD: You know, my sister’s cat keeps crapping on her bed. Maybe I could stuff it into a tin can and read the meter.

RTC: (Laughter) Be my guest. Why not audit a cat?

GD: I used to think it was books that were audited.

RTC: Gregory, these people can’t read books.

GD: Speaking of books, Bender is going ahead with the Mueller series so I guess Wolfe will hiss at you in the Archives like Loki.

RTC: Bill and I will look forward to the new books, Gregory. And we do need to get together in person sometime, right here. It’s safe enough here.

GD: Should we invite Kimmel?

RTC: Gregory, I have enough problems from the Justice people over you without fanning the flames. I think you love to fan the flames. Have you ever considered a gracious retirement?

GD: That takes money, Robert.

RTC: Yes, that it does. Sell more books.

GD: That’s not my bailiwick. Maybe I could start a religion, Robert. Tell people I came from Venus and if they are good, and give me lots of money, I can elevate them to a huge and invisible flying saucer and take them to Pluto where the men will have huge peckers and the women get to eat a ton of chocolates a day and not gain a pound. And they will all live forever and never worry about falling hair or sagging breasts. Why? Because I will turn them all into little green toads and eventually feed them to the Great God Dagon.

RTC: Well, that way we would get rid of everyone in Los Angeles and Washington.

GD: And our magic spaceship will be a 707 and we can call it the Ship of Fools.

RTC: I will look up those files for you Gregory.

GD: Thanks. It will beat reading the obits in the paper, looking for dead enemies.


(Concluded at 9:22 AM CST)


Huge racket in fake Nazi relics exposed

July 11, 2019′

by Christian Jürs

Murder is murder, Voltaire once said, and punishable with execution….unless it is carried out in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

In the main, fraud, counterfeiting and deceit are certainly immoral  and very often felonious but in some instances, the essential ludicrous nature of some frauds manages to overcome the gravity.

Such is the case of the enormous industry devoted to the creation, manufacture and sale of faked items of German militaria from the Third Reich period.

Fraud and deceit are certainly not limited to this area and the marketplace in fine art is awash in a sea of swindlers but at least an art forger is not apt to paint a medieval prince wearing a modern baseball hat and standing in front of a McDonalds’ restaurant.

There is an abiding fascination with the trapping of the Third Reich but the number of actual relics is much smaller than a burgeoning demand. Nature abhors a vacuum and if original pieces are no longer available, the vacuum is filled with creations to satisfy the demand.

Not only are legitimate pieces of German militaria copied and marketed, a number of outrageous fantasy pieces have also been created and merchandised like the Reverend Ernie’s Holy Healing Cloths on Christian television stations.

One dealer bought the iron gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp from a Polish scrap dealer and tried to sell them to the American Holocaust Museum. They were most eager to obtain this dubious relic but on principle (or perhaps because of a lack of it) absolutely refused to pay for the massive entrance to the netherworld.. A tax-free gift would be much more to their liking but the greedy and uncharitable  dealer merely cut the gates into small pieces and sold these off like souvenirs of  the Berlin Wall (or fragments of the True Cross).


As a typical example

The faking of German swords and daggers began in the early 1960’s when an enterprising American, Lt. Col James Atwood, once of the United States Army and later of the Central Intelligence Agency, then resident in Germany, went to the German city of Solingen and bought up as many bits and pieces of Third Reich German daggers and swords as he could find. The great majority of these surplus pieces were factory rejects. Missing parts were newly manufactured and the completed items were sold as “parts daggers.”

As the original parts were exhausted, new ones were made until, in the end, the entire dagger was constructed of totally fake parts.

Not satisfied with copying pieces which did exist prior to the end of the war, unscrupulous dealers began to invent items which did not such as the “Himmler Damascus Presentation Letter Opener” and the NSKK “prototype” dagger and to put these into books allegedly produced as “historical reference” works.

An enterprising English author of a work on fake daggers once grafted a poor copy of a rare “diplomatic bayonet” grip onto a pre-Third Reich police bayonet, without bothering to remove the police markings from the scabbard. Although the hilt was crude and the fit was terrible, this piece was sold to a California collector for over $7,000 and is to be found in a standard reference work as “the only known example” of a very rare item. After the death of the owner, it was resold for $15.000.

It is, however, in the area of fantasy pieces that the great bulk of the fakes are to be found.

For instance, the so-called “Göring Wedding Sword” was hand crafted by the Solingen firm of Carl Eichhorn (before it was closed for fraud) at the order of an American dealer. James Atwood, in the early 1960’s, conveniently “discovered” in the hands of a willing ex-GI friend and, after considerable helpful publicity in several books, sold and subsequently resold for bigger and bigger profits.

The original of this sword, presented to General Göring by his staff on the occasion of his wedding in 1935, is in a West German collection where it has been since 1948.

Another fantasy piece attributed to Göring is the so-called “Industrial Dagger” alleged to have been prepared for presentation to Göring by a group of German industrialists. This piece is a fantasy although a photograph has surfaced allegedly showing the piece on the wall of the original plant. It should be noted that faked photographs are extremely easy to produce by even a semi-skilled photographer.

Also forged has been the so-called “Reichsmarschall Dagger” the original of which was made for Göring by the students of the Berlin Technical Academy in 1940.

The fake piece, once in the hands of the notorious dealer in fakes, “Roger Steele”, has a serious error in the marking on the cross guard. On the original, there were two Balkan crosses engraved on the top of the cross guard, one on either side of the grip while on the fake, these crosses are replicas of the iron Cross. The amusing story connected with the “appearance” of this rare piece is that it was “discovered” in a London costume shop, covered with brown paint!

Roger Steele (aka Gaylord E. Wessock) of Hollywood Military Hobbies was known to have well-developed sense of humor when it came to inventing stories to accompany his exotic fakes.

Other Third Reich fantasy pieces include the “Sepp Dietrich Honor Sword”, the “Sepp Dietrich Honor Dagger”, the “Theodor Eicke Honor Dagger” and a number of Damascus-bladed SS officer’s swords alleged to have been made by the craftsman Paul Müller and presented by Himmler to various SS officials. At least one can say of these swords (most of which were alleged to have been made after the Müller forge at Dachau was closed permanently in the year 1940) is that the fittings are generally original even if the overly-antiqued blades are not.

Another incredible fantasy item is the “Adolf Hitler Ehrenburger Sword”, a copy of a 14th century piece which appears on the cover of this book. This piece was originally presented to Hitler by the city of Solingen and photos of it can be found in the city archives. However, that having been said, the one shown in a number of books on German edged weapons is not the same one show in period photographs. Col Atwood had one of these made at the same time he had the Eichhorn factory manufacture annother copy of the Göring Wedding Sword and the Göring Industrial Dagger. A quick comparison of the Damascus patterns on the pictures of the original are sufficient to expose the fake.

There is also an Italian Fascist dagger with an ivory hilt allegedly presented by Mussolini to Hitler in 1937 and last, but by no means least, a so-called “Eastern Official’s Dagger” made from a wartime drawing of an item which was never produced.

Aside from several individuals in England, there are two espada factories now operating in Spain which produce nearly all of the Third Reich daggers and several of the swords and all of a superior quality. A listing of their combined efforts is as follows:


  1. Army Officer’s dagger.
  2. Kriegsmarine Officer’s dagger, plain blade.
  3. Kriegsmarine Officer’s dagger, engraved blade, various designs.
  4. Kriegsmarine Honor Dagger with special scabbard, Doenitz or Raeder inscription. Brilliants on finial swastika
  5. Kriegsmaarine Officer’s dagger with Damascus blade.
  6. Luftwaffe Fliegerdolch, plain blade.
  7. Luftwaffe Fliegerdolch, engraved blade.
  8. Luftwaffe Officer’s dagger, plain blade.
  9. Luftwaffe Officer’s dagger, engraved blade.
  10. Luftwaffe Officer’s dagger, Damascus blade.
  11. SA Service dagger, M-33, standard blade.
  12. SA Service dagger, M-33, Roehm engraving.
  13. SA Honor dagger with Damascus blade, double chain hanger and brown leather-covered scabbard.
  14. SA Feldherrnhalle dagger, cherrywood grips.
  15. SA Feldherrnhalle dagger, ivory grips.
  16. NSKK Service dagger, M-33.
  17. NSKK Service dagger, M-36 with hallmarked hanger fittings.
  18. SS Service dagger, M-33.
  19. SS Service dagger, M-33 with Roehm inscription.
  20. SS Service dagger, M-33 with Himmler inscription.
  21. SS Service dagger, M-36 with SS hallmarked hanger.
  22. SS Service dagger, M-36 with Himmler inscription.
  23. Hitler Youth Leader’s dagger.
  24. NPEA Student’s dagger, olive green scabbard.
  25. NPEA Leader’s dagger with double chain fittings.
  26. RAD Dagger (hewer).
  27. RAD Leader’s dagger with double suspension fittings.
  28. NSFK dagger. Leather covered grip and sheath, black swastika on guard.
  29. RLB Leader’s dagger.
  30. RLB Leader’s dagger, M-38.
  31. Teno dagger.
  32. Teno Leader’s dagger.
  33. Land Customs dagger.
  34. Water Customs dagger.
  35. Railway Protection Leader’s dagger.
  36. Postschutz Leader’s dagger with double chain hanger.
  37. Red Cross Leader’s dagger.
  38. Diplomatic dagger, silver fittings.
  39. Diplomatic dagger, gilt fittings.
  40. State Official’s dagger, silver fittings.
  41. State Official’s dagger, gilt fittings.
  42. SS Officer’s Damascus presentation sword.
  43. SS Officer’s sword.
  44. SS NCO sword.
  45. Luftwaffe Officer’s sword
  46. Kriegsmarine Officer’s sword
  47. Cossack’s sword with German insignia.
  48. “Legion Condor” main gauche letter opener
  49. SS Feldgendarmerie” balisong flip knife.
  50. Diplomatic sword.

Such rare items as Diplomatic and State Officials hangers with gold and silver fittings as well as rare knots such as Teno, Postschutz and Bahnschutz are readily available.

After the end of the war, the firm of Carl Eichhorn in Solingen, in addition to making expensive fakes of Third Reich items, also made swords for the Air Force of Chile.

These are identical with the Luftwaffe General’s degen minus the blade engraving and the Luftwaffe eagle on the clamshell guard.

On the original degen, the silver Luftwaffe eagle was an integral part of the guard while on the pieces made for Chile, the eagle is fixed on with rivets. No original Luftwaffe  General’s  sword had rivets, not even the famous “late war issues” so beloved of dealers.

Also, the bluing behind the Göring engraving on the originals extended out into the floral finials whereas on the fakes, the bluing stops short of the finials.

After the war, the firm of WKC made up the so-called “second issue” Luftwaffe General’s degen, the one with the wire-wrapped grips. These were made for a fraternal organization but when dealers ‘added the small Luftwaffe eagle used on the large medal bar to the grip, there is little to distinguish this piece from the wartime original.

Atwood also created an SS “Prototype dagger and the infamous “Heinrich Himmler Damascus Letter Opener.”  This piece is genuine Damascus purported to have been made by the Müller forge at Dachau and has lettering epoxied onto the blade. Both pieces are fantasy items but the letter openers are to be found in many of the best collections, objects of reverent veneration.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that daggers and edged weapons of the Third Reich are not safe investment items, reams of propaganda to the contrary, and certainly, personality items should be strictly avoided under all circumstances.


Gold in France

As of May 23, 2013. the French government has banned sending all currency by post, including cash, coins, gold and silver.

“The insertion of banknotes, coins and precious metals is prohibited in mailings,” says a decree approved on 23 May and published on Legifrance, the French government site accountable for publishing legal texts online.

Service Publique – the official site for administrative updates and news in France – notes that a decree in April put a €5,000 limit on the value of any item being sent by mail.

The gold trade has already undergone many restrictions,particularly the compulsory traceability of transfers and cheques.

One cannot use the French postal service for mailing items to customers, as La Poste will no longer insure precious metal contents.

The law is to limit the “anonymous market”, where buyers and sellers avoid taxes and people trade without being regulated by the government.

However, bank notes, coins and bullion in France carry no sales tax. This law is an attempt to discourage the ownership of gold, silver and other precious metals outside the banking system.


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