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TBR News July 12, 2019

Jul 12 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. July 12, 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 12:”Poor Trump wants to project the public an image as a powerful businessman, a studly ladies’s man and a friend of fanatic Jesus Freaks and American Nazis. In truth, he is a chronic liar, made money swindling people, is a tax cheat, and is also a weak personality who boosts his self-image by threats, bigotry and bluster. The Jesus Freaks and neo-nazis love him and the rest of the country views him as they would a smelly wino begging money from them in a public park.”

The Table of Contents

  • The Death of Privacy: Government Fearmongers to Read Your Mail
  • Russia delivers missile system to Turkey in challenge to NATO
  • Ruining a country near you soon: the beta males who think they’re alphas
  • An Oveview of Drones
  • Alex Acosta resigns as US labor secretary following Epstein plea deal scandal
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 The Death of Privacy: Government Fearmongers to Read Your Mail

July 11, 2019

by Philip Giraldi

The Unz Review

It is discouraging to note just how the United States has been taking on the attributes of a police state since 9/11. Stories of police raids on people’s homes gone wrong are frequently in the news. In one recent incident, a heavily armed SWAT team was sent to a St. Louis county home. The armed officers entered the building without knocking, shot the family dog and forced the family members to kneel on the floor where they were able to watch their pet struggle and then die. The policemen then informed the family that they were there over failure to pay the gas bill. Animal rights groups report that the shooting of pets by police has become routine in many jurisdictions because the officers claim that they feel threatened.

Indeed, any encounter with any police at any level has now become dangerous. Once upon a time it was possible to argue with an officer over the justification for a traffic ticket, but that is no longer the case. You have to sit with your hands clearly visible on the steering wheel while answering “Yes sir!” to anything the cop says. There have been numerous incidents where the uncooperative driver is ordered to get out of the car and winds up being tasered or shot.

Courts consistently side with police officers and with the government when individual rights are violated while the Constitution of the United States itself has even been publicly described by the president as “archaic” and “a bad thing for the country.” The National Security Agency (NSA) routinely and illegally collects emails and phone calls made by citizens who have done nothing wrong and the government even denies to Americans the right to travel to countries that it disapproves of, most recently Cuba.

And traveling itself has become an unpleasant experience even before one sits down in the 17 inches of seat-space offered by major airlines, with the gropers of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) acting as judge, jury and executioner for travelers who have become confused by the constantly changing rules about what they can do and carry with them. The TSA is now routinely “examining” the phones and laptops of travelers and even downloading the information on them, all without a warrant or probable cause. And the TSA even has a “little list” that identifies travelers who are uncooperative and flags them for special harassment.

Congress is considering bills that will make criticism of Israel a crime, establishing a precedent that will end freedom of speech, and the impending prosecution and imprisonment of Julian Assange for espionage will be the death of a truly free press. Americans are no longer guaranteed a trial by jury and can be held indefinitely by military tribunals without charges. Under George W. Bush torture and rendition were institutionalized while Barack Obama initiated the practice of executing US citizens overseas by drone if they were deemed to be a “threat.” There was no legal process involved and “kill” lists were updated every Tuesday morning. And perhaps the greatest crimes of all, both Obama and George W. Bush did not hesitate to bomb foreigners, bring about regime change, and start wars illegally in Asia and Africa.

The latest assault on civil liberties relates to what used to be referred to as privacy. Indeed, the United States government does not recognize that citizens have a right to privacy. Officials in the national security and intelligence agencies have reportedly become concerned that some new encryption systems being used for email traffic and telephones have impeded government monitoring of what information is being exchanged. As is often the case, “terrorism” is the principal reason being cited for the need to read and listen to the communications of ordinary citizens, but it should be observed in passing that more people in the US are killed annually by falling furniture than by acts of terror. It should also be noted that the federal, state and local governments as well as private companies spend well in excess of a trillion dollars every year to fight the terrorism threat, most of which is completely unnecessary or even counter-productive.

At the end of June senior Trump Administration officials connected to the National Security Council met to discuss what to do about the increasing use of the effective encryption systems by both the public and by some internet service providers, including Apple, Google and Facebook. Particular concern was expressed regarding systems that cannot be broken by NSA at all even if maximum resources using the Agency’s computers are committed to the task. It is a condition referred to by the government agencies as “going dark.”

Under discussion was a proposal to go to Congress and to ask for a law either forbidding so-called end-to-end encryption or mandating a technological fix enabling the government to circumvent it. End-to-end encryption, which scrambles a message so that it is only readable by the sender and recipient, was developed originally as a security feature for iPhones in the wake of the whistleblower Edward Snowden’s exposure of the extent to which NSA was surveilling US citizens. End-to-end makes most communications impossible to hack. From the law enforcement point of view, the alternative to a new law banning or requiring circumvention of the feature would be a major and sustained effort to enable government agencies to break the encryption, something that may not even be possible.

In the past, government snooping was enabled by some of the communications providers themselves, with companies like AT&T engineering in so-called “backdoor” access to their servers and distribution centers, where messages could be read directly and phone calls recorded. But the end-to-end encryption negates that option by sending a message out on the ethernet that is unreadable.

Phone security was last in the news in the wake of the 2015 San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack that killed 14, where the Department of Justice took Apple to court to access a locked iPhone belonging to one of the gunmen. Apple refused to create software to open the phone but the FBI was able to find a technician who could do so and the case was dropped, resulting in no definitive legal precedent on the government’s ability to force a private company to comply with its demands.

There is apparently little desire in Congress to take up the encryption issue, though the National Security Council, headed by John Bolton, clearly would like to empower government law enforcement and intelligence agencies by banning unbreakable encryption completely. It is, however, possibly something that can be achieved through an Executive Order from the president. If it comes about that way, FBI, CIA and NSA will be pleased and will have easy access to all one’s emails and phone calls. But the price to be paid is that once the security standards are lowered anyone else with minimal technical resources will be able to do the same, be they hackers or criminals. As usual, a disconnected and tone-deaf government’s perceived need “to keep you safe” will result in a loss of fundamental liberty that, once it is gone, will never be recovered.

 

Russia delivers missile system to Turkey in challenge to NATO

July 12, 2019

by Sarah Dadouch and Ezgi Erkoyun

Reuters

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Russia began delivering an advanced missile defense system to Turkey on Friday, a move expected to trigger U.S. sanctions against a NATO ally and drive a wedge into the heart of the Western military alliance.

The first parts of the S-400 air defense system were flown to a military air base near the capital Ankara, the Turkish Defense Ministry said, sealing Turkey’s deal with Russia which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.

The United States says the Russian military hardware is not compatible with NATO systems and that the acquisition may lead to Ankara’s expulsion from an F-35 fighter jet program.

Investors in Turkey have been unsettled by the deal. The Turkish lira TRYTOM=D3 weakened as much as 1.6% to 5.7780 against the dollar after the ministry announced the arrival of the S-400 consignment to the Murted Air Base, northwest of Ankara. The main Istanbul share index .XU100 fell 2.13%.

Turkish broadcasters showed footage of huge Russian Air Force AN-124 cargo planes offloading equipment at the airbase.

“Today three cargo planes arrived,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told state-owned Anadolu news agency, adding that deliveries would continue in coming days.

A second delivery by air will take place soon, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted an unnamed military-diplomatic source as saying. A third delivery – of 120 guided missiles – will be carried out by ship at the end of the summer, the source said.

Twenty Turkish servicemen received training from Russia in May-June and 80 more Turkish servicemen will receive training to use the S-400 system, the source was quoted as saying.

In Washington, the Pentagon said senior officials would announce a response to the move, which has raised concerns that Turkey is drifting away from its Western allies – something Ankara denies.

ERDOGAN-TRUMP TALKS

Turkey says the system is a strategic defense requirement, particularly to secure its southern borders with Syria and Iraq. It says that when it made the deal with Russia for the S-400s, the United States and Europe had not presented a viable alternative.

President Tayyip Erdogan said after meeting President Donald Trump at a G20 summit last month that the United States did not plan to impose sanctions on Ankara for buying the S-400s.

Trump said Turkey had not been treated fairly but did not rule out sanctions, and U.S. officials said last week the administration still plans to act.

Under legislation known as Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which targets purchases of military equipment from Russia, Trump should select five of 12 possible measures.

These range from banning visas and denying access to the U.S.-based Export-Import Bank, to the harsher options of blocking transactions with the U.S. financial system and denying export licenses.

Washington says the S-400s could compromise its Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy.

Turkey could also face expulsion from the F-35 program under the sanctions. Erdogan has dismissed that possibility, but Washington has already started the process of removing Turkey from the program, halting training of Turkish pilots in the United States on the aircraft.

Investors in Turkey have been concerned about the impact of potential U.S. sanctions on an economy which fell into recession after a currency crisis last year.

Turkey’s dollar bonds dropped to three-week lows on the news of the delivery, while the cost of insuring exposure to Turkish sovereign debt also rose.

The S-400 acquisition is one of several issues which have frayed ties between the two allies, including a dispute over strategy in Syria east of the Euphrates River, where the United States is allied with Kurdish forces that Turkey views as foes.

The detention of U.S. consular staff in Turkey has also strained relations, along with disagreements over Iran, Venezuela and Middle East policy. Turkey has long demanded Washington hand over a Muslim cleric which Ankara holds responsible for an attempted coup in 2016.

Additional reporting by Orhan Coskun in Ankara, Maxim Rodionov and Tom Balmforth in Moscow; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans and Gareth Jones

 

Ruining a country near you soon: the beta males who think they’re alphas

What could be more insecure than a 55-year-old bragging about Latin, or a literal president tweeting his enemies on the bog?

July 12, 2019

by Marina Hyde

The Guardian

If the Tory leadership election unfolds as widely expected, the UK will basically be ruled by a Fathers4Injustice activist. Boris Johnson is the kind of guy who’d don Spider-Man pyjamas and scale a building in order to see less of his kids. Sorry, fewer. Even so, he remains a remarkably typical hero of our political times. “There are two kinds of women,” Harry explains at one point in When Harry Met Sally. “High maintenance and low maintenance.” “Which one am I?” Sally asks. “You’re the worst kind,” he says. “You’re high maintenance, but you think you’re low maintenance.”

After a week in which paddle-less Britain has found itself once more caught in dangerous transatlantic currents, it’s clear that there are two kinds of political men. Strong men and weak men. Which one is our most likely next prime minister? I’m afraid Boris Johnson is the worst kind: he’s a weak man who thinks he’s a strong man. See also selective antiracist Jeremy Corbyn, whose unshakeable conviction that he hasn’t been wrong in several decades has left him stubbornly incapable of being the bigger person. See also gratefully submissive Donald Trump fanboy Nigel Farage, who has spent much of the past three years hanging wanly around Washington on the off-chance of a half-hour 6pm burger with the alpha male to his beta. And see also Donald Trump himself, the leader of the free world, who spent about 48 hours this week tweeting like some homicidal 11-year-old Justin Bieber fan about the leaked comments of the British ambassador. Who, apparently, we now let him pick. More on toxic insecurity’s poster boy shortly.

Back on these shores, the ITV debate between Johnson and his so-called rival Jeremy Hunt was like watching an am-dram version of Amadeus, with Hunt apparently keen to come off as the Salieri to Johnson’s Mozart. It comes as zero consolation that Johnson may, even in the hours before his triumph, already be writing his own funeral music. On this evidence, rather a lot of the country will be in the coffin with him before he’s finished.

Poor old Salieri. Almost all of Hunt’s wistfully exasperated attempts to get Johnson to answer a question – any question – could have been replaced with the howl “I speak for all the mediocrities in the world”. Whatever skills Hunt possesses are entirely out of style.

It was reportedly after watching Johnson refuse to defend him that US ambassador Kim Darroch made the decision to resign. He had little choice, especially given the way the political winds are blowing. The weak strongmen are inheriting the earth. Johnson has spent weeks claiming he’s the only one strong enough to get the better of the European Union, yet his first public test saw him cravenly submit to the disgraceful whims of Trump. In the circs, it feels a little unfair to class this move as “pussying out”. What would you call it instead? Penising out? Yes, I believe we saw Boris Johnson totally penis out to Donald Trump.

During the 2016 presidential election campaign, the Atlantic asked eminent primatologist Jane Goodall to assess Trump. “In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” she judged. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.” Rather than passing, this political mood has intensified. It is impossible to watch how Farage or Johnson relate to Trump, or each other, or to their own underlings, without imagining the entire evolutionary regression voiced by David Attenborough.

Great leaders show, rather than tell, their skills. Yet Johnson never lets up with telling people that he is not “defeatist”, that he will “put some lead in the collective pencil”, that “energy” is needed, that what the EU really fears is a big strong man like him. Mm. I hear they talk of little else in the 27 European capitals. “O Fates, please spare us the dreaded ‘positive energy’ of a guy internationally ridiculed as the worst foreign secretary in memory; and the unplayable charm of a surprisingly indifferent orator who knows the Latin for ‘can we just take out the backstop?’”

And Johnson does know Latin, as he never misses a chance to remind us. No one could accuse him of wearing his learning lightly – or, indeed, wearing any of it lightly. Witness his excruciating promise to reach out to something he pointedly referred to as “Oppidan Britain”. To which the increasingly despairing response has to be: YES YES! I KNOW WHAT SCHOOL YOU WENT TO! I KNOW WHAT HOUSE YOU WERE IN! I KNOW YOU GOT A SECOND CLASS CLASSICS DEGREE! I KNOW THIS SOMEHOW ENDS WITH YOU CONSIGNING OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY TO THE CATACOMBS THEN BEATING US TO DEATH WITH YOUR RELATIVELY MIDDLEBROW ACHIEVEMENTS! But mate: you are 55 – FIFTY-FIVE – years old. How, how can you possibly still be wanking on about any of this, in public, as though it was still the best thing you’ve ever done? Can it really be because it was? [Spoiler: yes.]

It feels doubly shameful that this gilded overpromotee should have failed to defend Darroch, a scholarship boy who grew up in a council house, but who appears to have drawn rather less self-admiring attention to his own background than Johnson insists upon doing every time his carers let him out. He may use longer words, but Johnson’s sledgehammer self-admiration does not differ materially from the US president’s diurnal reminders that he is a strong, good-looking and very stable genius.

In many ways, there can be no greater therapist’s case study than Trump. If – like many of us at times in our lives – you are one of those people who thinks they’d feel better about themselves if they only got that promotion/ earned more money/ were more successful in whichever way, then will you just look at this guy. LOOK AT HIM. He’s the actual president of the actual United States of America, and he still spends half his time tweeting on the bog, horrifyingly weakly, about people who should be so far below his sight line as to not even remotely register. What a reminder that it’s really not about how you do externally. Unless you take care of your shit, it’s still there inside, gnawing you to bits, and it never goes away. For all his unrivalled power and immense wealth, Donald Trump is by far and away the most insecure person most of us have ever seen.

And it looks like we’re getting our own, small-pond version of him inside of a fortnight. If only alleged strongman Boris Johnson had found some way of taking care of his shit. Instead, we’ll be picking up the tab. Still, I’m sure every Briton will be honoured by the chance to play their small part in the larger story of this one defective, arrogant man. Or, to put it in classical terms we can all understand, the guy who really puts the anus into Coriolanus.

 

 

An Overview of Drones

July 12, 2019

by Christian Jürs

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is either controlled autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a navigator, or pilot (in military UAVs called a Combat Systems Officer on UCAVs) on the ground or in another vehicle.

Lieutenant Uchatius could not have expected it at the time but his novel attack on Venice in August 1849 has become an important date in the history of modern aviation.

The Austrian army officer launched 200 “balloon bombs” controlled by lengths of copper wire and timed fuses, over the city in an attempt to get the Venetians to surrender. He Uchtaius may might not have been the mother of invention but he may well have been the father of a new weapon: the military drone.

More than 160 years later, technology is driving military and civilian uses of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into remarkable areas.

On the smallest scale, moths, living moths have had been implanted with electrodes in their nervous systems to control their movements. On the grandest, UAVs could be flying in civilian airspace by the end of this decade, some aviation experts believe.

This potential is one of the reasons why the UAV sector is the most dynamic of the aviation industry. It is worth an estimated $6bn (£4bn) a year, according to US market analyst, the Teal Group. And that figure is expected to double within 10 years. This potential has been accompanied by fears among scientific critics and human rights groups that downgrading the “man in the loop” means devolving life and death decisions to airborne robots.

Those anxieties are unlikely to be allayed as established arms manufacturers and various start-up firms jostle for position in the competitive field.

A crucial piece of technology is needed to take UAVs to the next level is a robust “sense and avoid” system allowing unmanned planes to fly safely in busy airspace. Arms maker BAE Systems is confident this development is within reach and that UAVs will be able to manoeuvre safely in civilian airspace by 2020.

Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal, BAE’s engineering director (systems and strategy), said: “We need to design products that fit in everywhere. We want to open up [civilian] airspace. At the moment you can’t fly UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] in unsegregated airspace and you can’t exploit the commercial market. You have to replace the responsibilities of the pilot.”

Dopping-Hepenstal said Astrea, a collaboration between aerospace firms and the UK government, was looking at all the issues needed to persuade air traffic regulators that civilian drones were safe.

“They have to behave correctly even if they lose communications links to the ground. They must be able to behave as safely as a human pilot.” Even then, he added, there would be little point deploying them on holiday charter flights.

“It’s about long endurance activities like search and rescue. You can put them into places where you couldn’t put a human – for example, an ash cloud.

“In Fukushima, after the Japanese earthquakes, they used a small UAV to assess damage and radiation. There’s no night flying in fighting forest fires: they let them burn during the hours of darkness.” A drone could carry on dousing flames overnight.

The CAA says 120 companies and other organisations have been given approval to fly UAVs in Britain. Five police forces are said to be among them.

At present the UAVs can only be flown within “the line of sight” of the operator, though even with these restrictions companies can see great potential.

Andre Clot, from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVSA), said: “This is not an aerospace market any more. It is an information and technology market. We are seeing lots of small, nifty, flexible companies coming up with solutions, and they offer much lower prices than the bigger manufacturers. Eighty-per cent of the UAV market is made up of small companies.”

Drone technology is rapidly spreading around the globe and for the moment the military is still driving innovation. Since losing aircraft to Syrian missile batteries in the 1973 Yom Kippur war, Israel has been a leading developer of UAVs. It sells the vehicles to US and European armies. Working with the US manufacturer Northrop Grumman, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) had a contract to fly them over Iraq.

The UK’s Watchkeeper UAV, a military “target acquisition” spotter is based on an Israeli prototype. A spokesman for IAI said the firm had sold $1bn worth of drones “over the last few years”.

More than 50 countries now manufacture or use drones. China, for example, makes the Yilong drone (which translates as “pterodactyl”).

Beijing has said it will sell the armed surveillance UAV, equivalent to the US Predator, to Pakistan and other countries.

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, Latvia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates all have active UAV research or manufacturing programmes.

According to UK strategic export controls, in the last three months of 2011 alone, British firms exported UAVs or components for drones to at least 18 countries.

As well as Nato allies, the equipment went to destinations including Brazil, Croatia, India, Israel, South Korea, Nigeria, Serbia and Singapore.

Sustaining long-endurance flights for persistent surveillance or loitering above targets is a recurrent problem for designers. In the US, Sandia National Laboratories explored the possibility of nuclear-powered drones but suspended work because of public antipathy towards what would amount to a dirty bomb if the device crashed.

One US air force strategist, Adam Lowther, suggested the USAF replace its strategic bombers with drones capable of carrying a nuclear payload. The White House has shown no enthusiasm for adopting the idea.

Some drones are so small they are intended to resemble insects, to avoid detection. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has commissioned a drone the size of a humming bird, equipped with a camera, from the firm AerEnvironment.

A Dutch firm, Green X, builds drones that fly by flapping wings and are disguised as falcons or hawks. They have been flown low around Schiphol airport to scare away geese so the birds do not get sucked into plane engines at take-off or landing. The robot’s radar profile makes it indistinguishable from a real bird of prey. Green X is working on multiple drones to simulate and redirect bird flocks.

Bio-inspired technology has been a source for one of the more improbable strands of drone research. DARPA has implanted gold-plated electrodes into the pupae of tobacco hawkmoths to learn how to control animals remotely, exploiting their flights.

There is also interest in such work in Britain. The MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), which works from Porton Down, Wiltshire, and other locations, this summer produced a HoriZone briefing on current research “to stimulate new lines of thought”.

The review, which notes that “inclusion of any information does not constitute an endorsement by DSTL or the MOD”, carries reference to a US patent on an “animal sensor network”. The US study, it said, aimed to develop a “method for the remote guidance and training of free-roaming animal sensor networks”.

It noted: “Electrodes implanted into the nervous systems of animals are used to provide clues and rewards by stimulating specific regions of the brain to induce desired behaviours such as the direction and speed of movement.

“Each animal carries a backpack containing wireless networking equipment, sensors, and data storage and processing equipment.” Animals, it suggests, could be trained in odour detection.

A call by the MoD agency for research proposals sent out by DSTL last September, asked for projects involving micro UAS (weighting less than 2kg) and nano UAS (60g or less), which would “operate inside buildings and within deep urban canyons” and explore in “confined spaces”. DSTL said it was also interested in “bio-inspired technology” for small UAS systems, aircraft that could detect chemical, biological and radiation hazards, and be used in “crowd monitoring”.

Another use envisaged is for miniature drones that could land and “perch-and-stare on the edge of buildings, on window ledges, [or] on telegraph wires”.

One big weakness of UAVs is their reliance on radio signals. DSTL is eager to improve anti-jamming technology to prevent unmanned aircraft being disabled mid-flight or even hijacked.

Critics of drones, such as the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), warn that as communications can easily be disrupted there will be a drive towards greater automation of the technology, including selection of targets.

Drone makers and developers often focus on civilian uses of the technology to try to stop it being demonised in the media.

The US-based Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, issued a code of conduct, noting that: “Whether it is aiding search and rescue efforts, navigating through airspace too hazardous for manned vehicles, or furthering scientific research, UAS are capable of saving time, saving money and most importantly, saving lives.”

While drones are best known for attacks on al-Qaida supporters – and bystanders – in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, they are already being used for police surveillance, monitoring fires and inspecting wind turbines, crops, high buildings and power lines. Once they can fly in mixed airspace, their roles will proliferate.

The possibilities are seemingly endless. At Farnborough airshow in July, Craig Lippett, of the UAS training programme, said he had been approached by the Welsh Development Agency, which said it was interested in “using drones to count sheep”.

Israel Aerospace Industries is Israel’s prime aerospace and aviation manufacturer, producing aerial systems for both military and civilian usage. It has 16,000 employees as of 2007. IAI is wholly owned by the government of Israel.

In addition to local construction of fighter aircraft, IAI also designs and builds civil aircraft (including for Gulfstream with aircraft such as the G100/G150 and G200/G250 mid-sized business jets) and performs local maintenance and reconfiguration of foreign-built military and civilian aircraft. In addition, the company works on a number of missile, avionics, and space-based systems.

Although IAI’s main focus is aviation and high-tech electronics, it also manufactures military systems for ground and naval forces. Many of these products are specially suited for the Israel Defence Forces needs, while others are also marketed to foreign militaries.

 

Alex Acosta resigns as US labor secretary following Epstein plea deal scandal

Acosta is stepping down following criticism of his handling of a 2008 plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein, who is awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges

July 12, 2019

by Edward Helmore in New York and agencies

The Guardian

Donald Trump’s labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, has resigned following criticism of his handling of a 2008 plea deal with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking underage girls.

Trump announced the news on Friday with Acosta by his side at the White House. “Alex Acosta is a great secretary of labor,” Trump said. “I hate to see this happen.” He said he did not ask Acosta to leave the cabinet.

Acosta becomes the latest in a long line of high-profile officials to resign their post. The Trump administration holds the record for the highest turnover of cabinet and White House staff. He said his resignation would be effective in seven days.

Acosta said he did not think it was right for his handling of Epstein’s case to distract from his work as secretary of labor.

“I called the president this morning and told him I thought the right thing was to step aside,” Acosta said, adding that “it would be selfish for me to stay in this position and continue talking about case that’s 12 years old rather than the amazing economy we have right now”.

Acosta was the US attorney in Miami when he oversaw a non-prosecution agreement for Epstein in 2008, which secretly ended a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls that could have landed him behind bars for life.

Epstein instead pleaded guilty to state charges and was jailed for 13 months – though he was allowed to leave during the day to work at his luxury office. He paid settlements to victims and is a registered sex offender.

Fresh charges of sex trafficking filed this week against Epstein by federal prosecutors in New York had put Acosta’s role in the 2008 deal under renewed scrutiny. The charges were brought following an investigation by the Miami Herald.

He is accused of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005 at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida.

The indictment charges that Epstein “enticed and recruited, and caused to be enticed and recruited, minor girls” to “engage in sex acts with him, after which he would give the victims hundreds of dollars in cash”.

Top Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates demanded that Acosta resign over his handling of the 2008 plea deal, which a federal judge has said violated federal law because Acosta did not notify Epstein’s victims of the arrangement. The justice department is undertaking an investigation.

Acosta was further criticised for leading efforts to dramatically cut labor department budgets dedicated to combating human trafficking.

Acosta had attempted to clear his name and, encouraged by Trump, held a news conference on Wednesday to defend his actions. Acosta argued his office had secured the best deal it could at the time and was working in the victims’ best interests.

“We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail,” he said, refusing to apologize for his actions. “We believe that we proceeded appropriately.”

Pressed on whether he had any regrets, Acosta repeatedly suggested that circumstances had changed since then.

“We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight and we live in a very different world,” he said. “Today’s world treats victims very, very differently,” he said.

After federal attorneys in New York announced the new charges against Epstein this week, Acosta tweeted that he was “pleased” by their decision.

“Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice,” he said.

Epstein, a well-connected financier, was known for socializing with politicians and royalty, with friends who have included Trump, Bill Clinton and, according to court papers, Prince Andrew. None of those people was mentioned in the New York indictment.

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years,” Trump said in a 2002 New York magazine article. “Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

Trump has since tried to distance himself from Epstein.

Announcing Acosta’s resignation, he said: “Yes, I did have a falling out a long time ago. The reason doesn’t make any difference … I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years or more. I wasn’t a big fan of Jeffrey Epstein, that I can tell you.”

Acosta took on the role of labor secretary officially in early 2017, leading a sprawling agency that enforces more than 180 federal laws covering about 10 million employers and 125 million workers. He was confirmed in the Senate 60-38.

But Acosta had frustrated some conservatives who had been pushing for his ouster long before the Epstein uproar. Among their frustrations were Acosta’s decisions to proceed with several employment discrimination lawsuits and to allow certain Obama holdovers to remain on the job.

Associated Press contributed to this report

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Gary Schneeberger

Gary Schneeberger is president of communication at Focus on the Family and editor of their publication Family News in Focus. According to Schneeberger, the biblical view of marriage and sexuality is badly needed for balance in mainstream media, and “what Focus on the Family’s analysts and experts bring to the national discussion in their media appearances are reasoned, passionate and compassionate insights that help families make sense of, and make their mark in, the world around them.” Of course, “experts” here means “people who agree with us”, not expertson anything remotely relevant to determining the truth of the claims the group is pushing; “passionate”, “compassionate”, “reasoned” and “insights” are similarly understood in non-standard ways. Meanwhile, critics of the group are of course opposed to free speech and trying to silence them by criticism and confronting bigots with stuff they actually say (very fine example here of Schneeberger trying to argue that Keith Olbermann is misrepresenting James Dobson by showing viewers Dobson saying what he actually did say, in context). Exactly as you’d expect, in other words.

According to Schneeberger, the views of the group are shared by a majority of Christians, but he helpfully explains that “we use that word ‘Christian’ to refer to people who are evangelical Christians.” The rest are presumably infidels.

Diagnosis: Schneeberger is not the most flamboyantly crazy spokesperson for the organization, and mostly seems to publicly address organizational or fiscal matters. He is, however, something of a mover and shaker, and his influence, and the harm he is causally responsible for, should not be underestimated.

Richard Moskowitz

Richard Moskowitz is a homeopath and antivaccine advocate. Apparently Moskowitz was trained as an MD some 50 years ago, but his more recent activities show in the strongest possible way that you should turn elsewhere for medical advice.

As an antivaccine activist (given his background he did make it onto this sorry list of purported anti-vaccine doctors), Moskowitz thinks immunization is an act against God (in “Vaccination: A Sacrament of Modern Medicine” – no link provided). His main idea, though, is that vaccine-preventable diseases are not that bad – a 1/1000 chance of dying from measles is something he thinks you should be willing to deal with, since suffering and death is nothing to worry about as long as it is relatively uncommon – and that if they occur they should be treated with homeopathic nostrums, which don’t do anything and would increase the mortality rate only some (not Moskowitz’s own words). In his article “Unvaccinated Children”, published in the dubious journal (website, really) Medical Voices and discussed here, he even suggests that at least “any child whose sibling or parent previously contracted poliomyelitis, or a severe or complicated case of measles or whooping cough or any of the other diseases listed, should not receive the vaccine prepared against that illness.” A moment’s reflection should reveal that this is not good advice. As for tetanus, Moskowitz recommendation is that“Hypericum can reputedly treat as well as prevent tetanus, but I would recommend giving human antitoxin at the first sign of the disease, since it is far less effective later on.” This piece of advice is actually rather likely to kill you if you ever contracted tetanus. His advice on anthrax (no link provided) would be hilarious if it wasn’t so scary, displaying an almost perfect lack of understanding of the disease.

Moskowitz’s defense of homeopathy reveals an understanding of science and evidence to match his understanding of anthrax, and consists primarily of tirades against Big Pharma (the pharma is shit therefore my magic beans cure cancer-gambit), delusional attacks on real medicine, claiming that clinical trials are not adequate to study homeopathy, since such trials consistently show that it doesn’t work, contrary to Moskowitz’s powers of intuition – how else would he know that homeopathy works, insofar as there can be no proper trials? Besides, modern medicine doesn’t take into account “the energy field of the patient as a whole” – the life force, if you want. He also argues that since homeopathy works in animals and in newborns it can’t be placebo, which is seriously misunderstanding what the placebo effect is and completely missing that part about evaluator bias. It would be interesting to hear Moskowitz try to answer the question of why medical trials use double blinding, but then again it probably wouldn’t.

Diagnosis: Crackpot, pseudoscientist and genuinely dangerous lunatic. He’s apparently viewed as something of an authority in certain anti-vaccine circles, which tells you quite a bit both about them and about him.

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

July 12, 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. 2

Date: Friday, February 9, 1996

Commenced: 9:11 AM (CST)

Concluded: 9:38 AM (CST)

GD: Robert.

RTC: Good morning, Gregory. How are you doing today?

GD: Functioning. Yourself?

RTC: Good days, bad days. I have to be careful in the bathroom because I sometimes lose my balance.

GD: Put in some grab irons.

RTC: Better said than done. I have some advice for you Gregory. Don’t get old.

GD: Do I have a choice?

RTC: We know the alternative. Have you heard back from your publisher?

GD: He’s too patient with me, I must say. He wants to see something about flying saucers but I have a diary entry for Müller that covers this subject and I want to put it in there. His cousin was involved in the Roswell business and Roger actually saw one of the American ones out at Moffitt Field once. Actually climbed up on it.

RTC: Oh the hysteria of it all.

GD: I remember very clearly. At least three sightings a week. I created one of them at least.

RTC: How so?

GD: Oh we made a fake saucer out of balsa and silver paper, mounted two pulse jets at the rear and set it up for radio control.

RTC: Did you put little green men in it?

GD: No. The pilot area was covered with a plastic salad bowl upside down, but it really wasn’t very big. We took it down to the beach on a really hot day in July and flew it from one cliff to another. Right past a beach full of fat people getting sunburns. It was a distance of…oh say about 1000 feet give or take. To me, it wasn’t realistic but we put some noisemakers inside the jet pipes and it made a shitawful noise. High whistling and farting noises. Anyway, I was on one headland and my friend was on the other. We flew it fairly slowly in a straight line and believe me, the beach was packed. Right at the surf level but about 300 feet up in the air. God, you never heard so much shrieking and yelling in your life.

RTC: You always seem to have such a bizarre sense of humor, Gregory. Do you still do things like that?

GD: No. At my age, people get stuck into nut houses doing that but at the time, I did enjoy it. I remember once we carved the dorsal fin of a Great White out of a Styrofoam boogie board, mounted an underwater motor at the base with the control antenna running up to the top. Jesus, it was a huge fin at that. And of course we painted it up right. That was about the time that ‘Jaws’ came out. And this time we took it down to an even bigger beach…..do you know the California coast by any chance? I could be more specific

RTC: No, not really. Go on.

GD: It was the Fourth of July and hot as shit and the beach and the surf were jammed with intercity types. There was a pier that ran out well past the surf at the northern end of the beach so we took a rented rowboat with the fake fin and the radio control equipment and rowed right under this pier. It was a big pier with a road on it and all kinds of shops along the sides so there was certainly room under it. Anyway, we put the fin in the water, turned on the motor and aimed it towards the beach. It was a little hard to direct what with the surf and all but with a few tries, we got it fine. Ran it towards the beach and then paralleled it just out past the surf line. Jesus H. Christ, Robert, you couldn’t imagine the havoc. Screaming we could hear under the pier and everyone stampeded out of the water. We ran it back and forth a few times and then headed out to where a bunch of twits were fishing and again panic reigned supreme. Little outboard jobbies fleeing in terror in all directions. I mean given the size of the fin, what was supposed to be underneath it must have been the size of the Titanic. We saw a Coast Guard boat coming so we just aimed it out to sea and opened it up. Lost the whole rig but I didn’t feel like trying to get it back. If we’d been bagged, I would have got at least ten years out of it. But probably for contaminating the beach. I’ll bet there were six inches of shit floating in the surf.

RTC: Your escapades always entertain me, Gregory. But what do you know about real saucers? I don’t mean toys.

GD: The Germans developed one during the war and flew it. That I do know. Habermohl, Meithe and some wop.

RTC: Yes, true enough. And after the war we got the plans and one of the engineers. The Russians got a prototype and another scientist.

GD: Bender tells me the one he saw at Moffitt was made in Canada.

RTC: Yes, by the A.V. Roe Company. Called it AVRO.

GD: He said they had used it as a high altitude recon craft and it had USAF marking on it.

RTC: They let him see it?

GD: Been out of service for some time and he had some friend in the Navy who got him in.

RTC: Well, those were the legit ones. There really were others, you know.

GD: Russian?

RTC: No. We have no idea where they came from. Radar picked up flights around the moon that never came from down here. And the Roswell business was true enough. That’s where we got transistors, you know. But the sightings came at a sensitive time. The Korean War, the Cold War and so on. Great national fears. Remember the Orson Wells program?

GD: On Halloween of ’38. Mercury Theater radio show. I heard it as a kid. Of course I read Wells’ book and knew it was just a show.

RTC: A lot of others did not, believe me. It caused an enormous national panic. Hundreds dead, people killing themselves and their children, fleeing into the countryside and so on. I’m, surprised they didn’t lynch Orson. But he infuriated old Hearst with his movie….

GD: Citizen Kane.

RTC: Right and old Hearst blackballed Orson and ruined his career. But because of the huge flap over this, Truman decided to keep serious accounts about the sightings out of the papers and they minimalized it and made fun of the whole thing. But they were real enough.

GD: Given the huge number of systems out there, from a mathematical point of view, there isn’t any question superior entities do exist. Why would they bother with our planet? To watch the pink monkeys running around killing each other? Investigate Elvis concerts?

RTC: Well, most of the legit sightings came around the period when they were all testing A-Bombs so maybe that got the little green men interested.

GD: Did the Company have anything to do with all of this?

RTC: No. We had the U-2 business but not the saucers. The real ones. They were strictly military. No weapons but did carry cameras. These were used in various places because they were impossible to intercept but not as stable a camera platform as the U-2. The Russians knew all about these and when the strangers showed up, they thought they were ours and we thought they were theirs. We had several secret conferences about these at the time to try to clarify this.

GD: Any authentic reports of landings or abduction of humans?

RTC: Not that I remember. Mostly what we could call recon passes. The Roswell one was a fluke. Lightning was supposed to have hit one of their ships and brought it down. Don’t forget that Roswell was in a very sensitive military area at the time.

GD: Did they recover bodies?

RTC: As I understand it, they did but I can’t give you any more than that. What did Müller have to say about these?

GD: That they were both domestic and from somewhere unknown. I’ll include this passage when I do the journals or diaries.

RTC: Journals sounds more authoritative. Diaries sounds like something a little girl keeps about her pets or boyfriends.

GD: I think you’re right.

RTC: When are they coming out?

GD: They’re in German and the handwriting is terrible. And his wife is terrified that I’ll somehow identify her or the children. I won’t but she is not sure of that. Some of your friends will not be happy when this comes out but so what?

RTC: So what. And after that? After the journals?

GD: I don’t know. Any ideas?

RTC: Well, we can always think about the Kennedy killing. I can give you some material on that that could produce a best seller.

GD: For example?

RTC: Now, Gregory, everything in its own good time. First things first. Finish up with the Müller business and then on to other things. One of these days, we’ll have to jerk Jim Critchfield’s chain a little. I can’t stand that man. His wife, Lois, used to work for me and when we were shortening staff, I got her a job with Jim but we both wish I hadn’t. Jim is a first class asshole and a sadist of sorts. I think we can do a number on him as they say.

GD: Well, if you want to off him, I’m not your man. I’ve truly done in a few in my life but I prefer the typewriter to the gun. I do have an Irish friend who is a hit man but only political. He worked for your people in Ireland. He led the team that did Mountbatten in ’79.

RTC: Oh, I know about that. They caught one man.

GD: The man who planted the bomb on the boat but not my friend. A very interesting story.

RTC: Are you planning to use it? He’s still alive I take it?

GD: Oh yes, and doing fine in the private sector. And, most important, a very good friend. If I do anything, I’ll talk to him first. It’s not only OK but a real duty to fuck your enemies but never your friends.

RTC: Well, in time I can tell you our part in that one but let’s wait awhile. Every day is not Christmas, is it?

GD: That would be nice. Christmas every day. By the way, I read in the Post that it was so cold in DC the other day that a Senator was seen with his hands in his own pockets.

RTC: (Laughs)

GD: Did I ever tell you the one about the man who asked his girl friend to put her hands into his pocket? No?

RTC: Not that I recall.

GD: Anyway, she said ‘I feel silly doing this,” and he said, “If you put them any further down, you’ll feel nuts.”

RTC: Gregory, so soon after breakfast. Don’t you know any refined jokes?

GD: Limericks?

RTC: God no. The last time you got off on those we were an hour on the phone and Emily wondered why I was laughing so much. You must know thousands of them. How can you remember so much?

GD: It’s a curse, believe me.

RTC: Bill said you have a phenomenal memory.

GD: I can remember everything but dates and figures. No pre-natal memories.

RTC: The shrinks are useless, Gregory. We hired weird people like Cameron and you would be astonished at the pure crap they peddled on everyone.

GD: You know, I think most of them went into the game because they started reading up on their own psychosis and went on from there. Freud used to bang his sister when he wasn’t smoking Yen Shee….

RTC: You mean opium?

GD: Yes. Coleridge loved it too but Xanadu is all he had to show for it. Oh, I was digging into the Elmali business. The Greek coins. Now there’s a funny story for you. The Bulgarians forged up thousands of the rarest old Greek coins and sold them to the sucker brigades for millions. Cash for operations. Like the Stasi doing the Hitler Diaries.

RTC: You were into that one, weren’t you?

GD: I did all the detail work for Wolfgang and let Connie Kujau do the writing. Old Billy Price gave them a million dollars for the Hitler diary I turned out. I mean I did the research and Connie did the writing. Now that would make a nice book.

RTC: Was if profitable for you?

GD: Oh God, yes. Very. They still can’t account for millions of marks.  But I really enjoyed watching the phonies and experts like Irving and Trevor-Roper get shit on their bibs. God, such a frenzied drive to get their names into print. Irving is such a brainless fuck that I can’t believe it. One of these days, Dave will really start believing his own lies and then he’ll get caught. ‘Irving’s been in hiding since early last fall when his picture first appeared on the Post Office wall.’

RTC: Costello admired him.

GD: Don’t forget, I met Costello. If he admired Irving, Irving must have a huge cock.

RTC: Now, now, I liked Costello.

GD: Brittle and vituperative without a reason or an excuse. I didn”t have much use for him but he was a better writer than Irving.

RTC: I’ll agree. But John tried.

GD: What an epitaph!

RTC: Do I detect professional jealousy here, Gregory?

GD: No. You know how Costello died, don’t you?

RTC: There is somewhat of a mystery about that. There is a story going around that the Russians did him because he had discovered something sinister on his last trip to Moscow. What have you heard?

GD: John died of AIDS on a flight from Spain to Miami. Found him dead in his seat.

RTC: Gregory, come now. Where did you get that canard?

GD: It’s not a canard. Miami is in Dade County, Florida. When someone dies like that, the local coroner gets the body and has to do a post on it. I used to do posts so I have some knowledge. Anyway, I called the coroner’s office there, talked shop with a technician and got him to pull the initial death certificate and the final report. Costello had a raging lung infection only caused by HIV and died from it. Not open to debate at all. Since these are public records, I sent my new friend the money and he got official copies and sent them off to me. When I told Kimmel and Bruce Lee about this, Lee was very irate and, true to form, Kimmel refused to believe me. I can understand why Kimmel was negative because I can never be right but Lee’s reaction was interesting. And, of course, Tom has a penchant for young men. He made a very strong pass at the son of a Swedish farmer I know. He likes to teach basketball to the small ones. Playing doctor is more like it. If the Russians ever find out about his secret lusts, they will bag him for sure. I wonder if they already have?

RTC: Why speculate?

GD: I’m a curious person, Robert. Why did the dog not bark in the night? Lee told me sinister forces got Costello and poisoned him with shellfish. The official autopsy report shows differently. I sent him a copy of the reports and he was not happy.

RTC: Regardless of the truth of this, Costello was a very competent historian, don’t you think?

GD: Costello alive didn’t particularly impress me. I talked with him in Reno, as you know, for about three hours and I’ve had more enlightening conversations with the hairlip who grooms my dogs.

RTC: How are your dogs?

GD: Being dogs. Actually, Robert, I am a firm believer in Frederick the Great’s sentiment. He said that the more he saw of people, the more he loved his dogs. I told Tom Kimmel that and he got huffy about it.

RTC: Tom is a decent sort, although your comments about nice young men are not a surprise. We used to call Tommy the Arrow Shirt Kid, but I agree he’s conventional.

GD: How can you be a good intelligence officer and be conventional? I’m not at all conventional and you yourself said I would have been your best agent. Or were you just flattering me?

RTC: You have talent.

GD: Ah, my Russian friends have said the same thing but we don’t need to discuss that aspect, do we?

RTC: That might be interesting.

GD: Not to the author of the ‘New KGB.’ You did write that, correct?

RTC: We had some help from Joe Trento.

GD: I wouldn’t admit that to anyone. You should have used my literary abilities. Trento is of the mistaken impression that he’s important and articulate.

RTC: We didn’t know you then but you probably would have done a much better job at that.

GD: Truth pressed to earth will rise again.

RTC: That’s….?

GD: Mary Baker Eddy. Actually, it’s Latin. I could give it to you in Latin but what the hell? Oh, well, another day and another fifteen cents. How’re your family?

RTC: Doing fine, thank you for asking. And yours?

GD: My evil sister is still alive but all the rest of them have gone off to play cards with Jesus. If it’s true that when you die you have a great burst of glowing light and then you get to meet all your dead relatives, I think I’ll try to postpone the inevitable and find some place where they aren’t. Like Monaco.

RTC: Sam Cummings and Monaco. Do you know about Sam?

GD: A Limey who ran Interarmco and sold to the wrong people. That’s a no-no for one of your people. And safe in Monaco. Sometime I’ll talk to you about Jimmy Atwood and his Merex gun operation but not now.

RTC: Always promises. I’m going to have to cut this short Gregory because I have to do a little maintenance work upstairs and Emily keeps reminding me about this in a nice way. If you talk to Bill, ask him to call me, would you? His wife is not doing too well and it’s hard to get a hold of him.

GD: Of course. And be good.

RTC: At my age, there isn’t much reason not to.

 

(Concluded at 9:38AM CST)

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