TBR News June 2, 2019

Jun 02 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. June 2, 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 June 2:” Before Trump left for England and what he saw was the glorious moment when the King of the United States was greeted by the Queen of England, he was boasting that he would tell the British just what American would demand of them on the Brexit issue. He is obviously delusional and under the distinct impression that he is important. He loathes the House and is threatening to abolish Congress and rule the nation by his decrees. I was told this by a secretary who heard him bellowing this while hectoring the new Secretary of Defense. More and more employees here are resigning because of Trump’s increasing lunacy and pretty soon, all he will have are the janitors and Secret Service guards who are protecting him from the dope-dealing Russian mafia whose money he once gladly took.”


The Table of Contents

  • Siege review: Michael Wolff’s Trump tale is Fire and Fury II – fire harder
  • Amid USS McCain controversy, Pentagon says military will not be politicized
  • Trump antagonizes both parties on trade
  • US wants access to NHS in post-Brexit deal, says Trump ally
  • Your forces will be exterminated!’ Hezbollah warns US, Israel & Saudi Arabia not to attack Iran
  • Missiles and Rockets of Hezbollah
  • Trump and Putin: The Prospering of Treason
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations


Siege review: Michael Wolff’s Trump tale is Fire and Fury II – fire harder

The follow-up to the first tell-all is a wild ride, stretching credulity, indebted to Steve Bannon. But so is the president

June 2, 2019

by Lloyd Green

The Guardian

Michael Wolff is back and not with a whimper. The latest installment of his Trump chronicles picks up where Fire and Fury ended. Once again, it leaves the president bruised and readers shaking their heads.

Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Don McGahn. None escape unscathed.

As Wolff describes it, Donald Trump calls Kushner “a girl”. As for his vice-president, he’s a “religious nut”. “Why does he look at me like that?” Trump asks about Pence’s beatific gaze. As for Pence’s wife, Karen? “She really gives me the creeps.”

Steve Bannon supplies a running commentary for which Wolff calls him his Virgil. Like Dante’s Inferno, Siege ends on hell’s bottom rung.

Wolff’s tale is credible enough to be taken seriously and salacious enough to entertain. If you have doubts about Wolff’s credibility, and many do, the latest blowup over the USS John S McCain is one more reminder that in the Age of Trump, truth is weirder than fiction. Much weirder.

Beyond that, by early 2018 Wolff had captured the centrality of Robert Mueller in Trump’s life, and nailed Trump’s and Kushner’s insatiable cravings for cash. Fire and Fury records Bannon as saying: “This is all about money laundering … It goes through Deutsche Bank and Kushner and all that shit.” Talk about getting the big picture right.

This time, Wolff finds himself pitted against the special counsel’s office, as to whether Mueller’s team drew up or had drawn up a three-count indictment against the president in March 2018. Team Mueller has issued something other than a categorical denial: “The documents that you’ve described do not exist.” Let us parse.

Note the expression “documents that you’ve described”. Note the use of the present tense. As an impeached former president said: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

Regardless, Wolff’s guide, the major-domo of Trump’s 2016 campaign who became a White House adviser until he wasn’t, enjoys tweaking his former boss. Bannon volunteers that he helped concoct the story that the Mueller investigation was the demon spawn of the “deep state”, and says there was never much substance to it.

As Wolff tells it, “among the nimblest conspiracy provocateurs of the Trump age, Bannon spelled out the … narrative in powerful detail”. But then Bannon’s voice pierces his own self-generated din: “You do realize … that none of this is true.” Allow that one to sink in.

Wolff also has Bannon calling the Trump Organization a criminal enterprise and predicting its downfall: “This is where it isn’t a witch-hunt – even for the hardcore, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy … Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.” Allow that to sink in, too.

Expect Bannon to be quoted by Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the eventual Democratic candidate. Also look for the Democratic National Committee to send chocolates to Bannon, once head of Breitbart and a partner in Cambridge Analytica, next Easter.

More broadly, Wolff injects that “Trump measured loyalty, that significant currency of his business and walk-on-the-wild-side lifestyle, by who was so dependent on him, and as clearly exposed as he was, that they would of course lie for him”. Said differently, there are ample reasons as to why Mueller refused to give Trump anything approaching a clean bill of health on the issue of obstruction of justice.

‘A new alternative reality’

Siege also ladles out what we have come to expect from deep dives into Trumpworld – sex (real or imagined), race and religion.

Wolff reports of Trump bragging to others of a dalliance with the former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and of his supposedly “banging” a junior White House staffer who had “a way about her”.

Wolff badly burned himself when he first raised the notion of a Trump-Haley affair. Haley herself angrily and adamantly denied it.

As for the unnamed White House staffer, Wolff ponders: “Locker room talk? Or all part of a new alternative reality that only he seemed to be living in?”

Still, Trump can count on the Rev Franklin Graham leading our nation in prayer on Sunday 2 June, on behalf of its beleaguered leader. That is two days before Wolff’s book comes out.

Bannon refuses to rule out that Trump is a racist. As for antisemitism, Bannon doesn’t think so. But Wolff has his doubts.

The author reports a Trump fantasy concerning Allen Weisselberg, an Orthodox Jew and the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer. Weisselberg has reportedly cooperated with law enforcement. In turn, Wolff writes, Trump has “developed a riff on the horrors that an Orthodox Jew would probably encounter in jail, one that sketched a vivid picture of a tattooed Nazi cellmate”.

Catholics come in for their share of distrust and scrutiny, too. After Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, in Wolff’s telling the president became sensitized to the absence of a lifelong Protestant on the highest court.

According to Wolff, Trump began to suspect that he was being played by McGahn, his lawyer, and by Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society who was purportedly a member of Opus Dei, a traditionalist Catholic group. Specifically, Wolff writes, Trump started to ask whether Kavanaugh was the end product of a Catholic plot to abolish abortion. Trump is not so pro-life. Who’d have guessed?

Wolff’s Trump also blamed his nominee’s weepy persona on the church. “He seems weak,” the president is quoted as saying. “Not strong. He was probably molested by a priest.”

‘A single unstable individual’

Wolff’s Siege guns are also turned on Kushner. The author goes into granular detail about business deals and foreign partners. Trump and Kushner come in for scathing criticism for conflating America’s national interest with personal financial needs. “L’état cést moi”, indeed.

On that score, Wolff quotes a stinging rebuke by Henry Kissinger at a small lunch attended by Rupert Murdoch, among others: “The entire foreign policy is based on a single unstable individual’s reaction to perceptions of slights or flattery. If someone says something nice about him, they are our friend; if they say something unkind, if they don’t kiss the ring, they are our enemy.”

Murdoch, Wolff writes, nodded in approval.

After the Guardian published its initial report on Siege, a loyal administration veteran sent a text to this reviewer.

“Why,” it read, “isn’t anyone writing the story that the Mueller investigation [was] designed as a cloak/shield”, as a plot to “overthrow a duly elected president”. To the response that people the individual had worked with had spoken to Wolff on the record, and that the Guardian had not written Siege, the reply was terse: “Got it.”

Doubtful. On Wednesday, Mueller told the world that if his office believed Trump had not obstructed justice, he would have said so. As Michael Wolff returns to torment Donald Trump, the sword of impeachment dangles more ominously than ever.


Amid USS McCain controversy, Pentagon says military will not be politicized

June 2, 2019

by Idrees Ali


SEOUL (Reuters) – The Pentagon has told the White House that the U.S. military will not be politicized, a U.S. official said on Sunday, in response to a controversy after officials directed the United States Navy to keep the USS John S. McCain out of sight during a recent speech by President Donald Trump in Japan.

The White House military office directed the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet to minimize the visibility of the USS John S. McCain, a warship bearing the name of Trump’s former political rival, during the president’s speech last week.

While the directive was not implemented after senior Navy officials found out about the request, the incident has raised questions about the politicization of the military, which has traditionally been seen as being apolitical.

“Secretary (Patrick) Shanahan directed his chief of staff to speak with the White House military office and reaffirm his mandate that the Department of Defense will not be politicized,” Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

“The chief of staff reported that he did reinforce this message,” Buccino said.

Concern has increased about the politicization of the U.S. military under Trump. He has given a number of overtly political speeches to military audiences and the military has been drawn into a mission along the border with Mexico, which some critics have described as a political stunt rather than a national security necessity.

The USS John S. McCain controversy led acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to ask his chief of staff to find out what happened. On Sunday he told reporters that after reviewing the facts, he did not plan to call for an inspector general investigation into the incident.

“There is no room for politicizing the military,” Shanahan told reporters traveling with him to Seoul.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday downplayed the incident, saying that a young White House staffer – knowing how Trump felt about McCain – likely made the request to the Navy.

“That’s not an unreasonable thing to ask,” Mulvaney said on NBC News’ Meet the Press program. He said it would be “silly” to fire that staffer over the incident.

Shanahan said he had spoken with late Senator McCain’s wife in the past few days about the incident but declined to give details of the conversation.

He said that his chief of staff did not have prior knowledge of the White House directive and reiterated that a search had not found any emails to his staff about it. Trump said on Wednesday he had not been aware of the request.

The USS John S. McCain was initially named after the late Senator McCain’s father and grandfather, who were both Navy admirals. In 2018, the Navy added Senator McCain to the official namesake of the guided missile destroyer.

McCain, the unsuccessful 2008 Republican presidential nominee, was shot down during the Vietnam War and tortured by his North Vietnamese captors during more than five years in captivity as a prisoner of war.

Trump has long criticized McCain on a variety of fronts, and has kept up his attacks even after McCain’s death in August.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici Editing by Alex Richardson and Bill Berkrot


Trump antagonizes both parties on trade

May 31, 2019

by Niv Elis

The Hill

President Trump is facing fire from all sides following his decision to impose new tariffs on exports from Mexico unless that country curbs illegal immigration into the United States.

Republicans caught off guard by the surprise move said it went beyond Trump’s authority and warned it would imperil the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade that the White House is pressing Congress to approve.

“Following through on this threat would seriously jeopardize passage of USMCA, a central campaign pledge of President Trump’s and what could be a big victory for the country,” Sen. Chuck Grassley

(R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said shortly after the announcement on Thursday.

Grassley, whose committee holds jurisdiction over trade, called the move a “misuse of presidential tariff authority.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said if Trump went through with the tariffs, scheduled for introduction on June 10, “I’m afraid progress to get this trade agreement across the finish line will be stifled.”

Democrats also ripped Trump’s decision, arguing it was devoid of strategy and all about theater and the news cycle.

“This is yet another stunt by a president who chooses showmanship over strategy and plays dangerous games with the livelihoods of American workers and consumers,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

(D-Md.), who warned that the tariffs would hit auto workers particularly hard.

Democrats were also annoyed by a second move Trump made on Thursday, which ended up being overshadowed by his Mexico tariffs surprise.

Hours before Trump announced through Twitter that he would impose escalating tariffs on Mexican exports, he pulled a power move on Speaker Nancy Pelosi(D-Calif.) by triggering a 30-day countdown clock on congressional consideration of the USMCA.

Pelosi and Democrats had wanted to continue to address issues in the deal related to enforcement of labor laws before triggering the clock.

The Speaker said the move was “not a positive step” and that “it indicates a lack of knowledge on the part of the Administration on the policy and process to pass a trade agreement.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said that Democrats would not budge based on Trump’s pressure tactics.

“The timeline for the consideration of a renegotiated NAFTA will be determined by the completion of the work that remains to be done by Democrats and Ambassador [Robert] Lighthizer to address these concerns,” he said.

“The premature submission of a draft statement of administrative action has no impact on that outstanding work or the timeline moving forward,” he added.

Trump has reveled in challenging Washington protocols, particularly on trade. He’s argued that leaders in both parties have negotiated a series of poorly crafted trade deals that have hurt American workers and sent U.S. jobs overseas.

Such arguments were a key part of his appeal in 2016 to many blue-collar workers, and Trump became the first GOP nominee in decades to win several Rust Belt states.

Republicans, particularly those representing farm communities, have frequently been at odds with Trump over tariffs.

Yet during the recent fight with China, most in the GOP have rallied around the president. In that case, they shared a hatred of Beijing’s economic policies. Even Democrats such as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-N.Y.) offered some praise for a tough line with China.

Mexico, a U.S. ally, is a much different situation — particularly with the president imposing tariffs on a trading partner not because of a trade dispute but because of immigration.

Several Republicans also warned that the tariffs would end up hurting their local economies.

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who is up for reelection in 2020 in an increasingly purple state, noted that Mexico is her state’s top trade partner.

“While I support the President’s intention of stopping unchecked illegal immigration, I do not support these types of tariffs, which will harm our economy and be passed onto Arizona small businesses and families,” she said.

Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey , called Trump’s threats “misguided” and said the tariffs were “a dangerous and risky economic tool.”

Across the aisle, Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Small Business Committee excoriated Trump for the proposed tariffs.

“As the President has yet again failed to understand — increasing tariffs means placing unnecessary taxes on the backs of American workers and small businesses,” she said.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham from neighboring New Mexico called on Trump to retract his proposal.

“The president is threatening the employment of tens of thousands of New Mexicans whose livelihoods and families absolutely depend on a mutually beneficial relationship with our neighbors to the south,” she said. “These tariffs have the potential to be economically catastrophic.”

There were also concerns about how Mexico could retaliate, targeting U.S. exporters. Kenneth Smith, Mexico’s former top trade negotiator, tweeted that the U.S. could expect a “stratospheric” response from Mexico.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 355 points Friday, or 1.4 percent, returning to a level it first reached in the opening days of 2018.

In response to the criticisms, the Trump White House laid the blame at Congress’s feet.

“Frankly, Congress should actually fix the laws and we wouldn’t have this problem,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee

Sanders told reporters Friday. “Unfortunately, the president’s the only one that’s actually stepping up and putting forward things to stop it.”

Trade adviser Peter Navarro repeated the false talking point that American consumers would not be affected by the tariffs on Mexico and China.

“The government of China and Mexico will pay for it and the producers in Mexico and China pay for this,” he said on CNBC.

One study found that Trump’s tariffs and their retaliations were already costing U.S. households an average of $831 a year.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, an anti-tariff advocacy group, has calculated that a 20 percent tariff “would wipe out about $95 billion, or 0.5 percent, from GDP annually.”

Brett Samuels and Rafael Bernal contributed.


US wants access to NHS in post-Brexit deal, says Trump ally

Before president’s visit, Woody Johnson says every area of UK economy up for discussion

June 2, 2019

by Jessica Elgot

The Guardian

The US will want business access to the NHS in any post-Brexit trade deal, the US ambassador has said, prompting anger from politicians and campaigners before Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK this week.

Woody Johnson, who is a close friend of the US president, said every area of the UK economy would be up for discussion when the two sides brokered a trade deal.

Asked if the NHS (National Health Service) was likely to form part of trade negotiations, Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I think the entire economy, in a trade deal, all things that are traded would be on the table.” Asked if that specifically meant healthcare, he said: “I would think so.”

His comments were met with alarm from opposition politicians. The shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said the comments were deeply concerning.

“The ambassador’s comments are terrifying and show that a real consequence of a no-deal Brexit, followed by a trade deal with Trump, will be our NHS up for sale. This absolutely should not be on the table,” he said. “Nigel Farage and the Tories want to rip apart our publicly funded and provided NHS. Labour will always defend it.”

Ed Davey, a candidate for the Lib Dem leadership, said the comments showed the NHS would be “up for sale under the Conservatives” and Brexit would leave the UK in a “far weaker negotiating position against Trump and his America First agenda”.

Johnson was also pressed on whether the US would seek a loosening of agricultural standards, including the importation of chlorinated chicken. He said the products should be offered to British consumers who could decide whether to buy them.

“There will have to be some deal where you give the British people a choice,” he said. “American products can come over and be allowed to come over. Agriculture is extremely important to the president and to any American president … but if the British people like it, they can buy it; if they don’t like it, they don’t have to buy it.”

Johnson said complaints about US food standards were ill-informed. “It’s completely safe. They can have a choice, we have five million Brits coming over every year and I’ve never heard a complaint about anything to do with chicken,” he said.

Trump, who gave several interviews to UK papers before his state visit on Monday, has suggested the UK should send the Brexit party leader, Nigel Farage, to negotiate its departure from the EU and has said he hopes Boris Johnson becomes Conservative leader.

Woody Johnson said on Sunday that Trump’s support for Boris Johnson stemmed from their personal relationship. “He’s known Boris Johnson for a long time and what he’s commenting on is his knowledge of Boris Johnson as a person,” the ambassador said.

On Sunday Trump denied calling the Duchess of Sussex “nasty” for having previously criticised him. In a tweet after the Sun made the claim, he said he had “never called Meghan Markle nasty” and claimed the “Fake News Media” had invented his remarks.

The Sun posted a recording of the original interview to prove that its reporting was accurate.


‘Your forces will be exterminated!’ Hezbollah warns US, Israel & Saudi Arabia not to attack Iran

June 2, 2019


The leader of Hezbollah has warned the US and its Middle Eastern allies against seeking war with Iran, saying it would set the entire region on fire and result in the extermination of American, Israeli, and Saudi forces.

“Any war on Iran would mean the whole region will be set ablaze,” Hassan Nasrallah warned Friday. “All US forces and interests in the region will be exterminated and those who conspired [with US] will pay the price; first Israel, then Al Saud.”

The leader of Lebanese Hezbollah, and a close ally of Tehran, made the comments on the day King Salman of Saudi Arabia gathered the kingdom’s Arab allies in Mecca to reach a common position against Iran. Addressing delegates of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) emergency summit, the monarch accused Iran of sabotaging commercial ships in the Gulf, and claimed that Tehran may once again try to “target the safety of navigation and world oil supplies.”

While the Saudis try to form a united front against its arch-rival, the US military has already mustered a massive force in the region, including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, right on Iran’s doorsteps under the pretext of countering “clear indications” of threats to American interests from the Islamic Republic.

Iran, which strongly denies attacking four vessels off the coast of United Arab Emirates last month, rejected the accusations made at an Arab summit as “baseless,” and blamed the Saudis of joining the United States and Israel in a “hopeless” effort to turn public opinion against the Islamic Republic. Tehran, which called American military deployments and hawkish statements a form of “physiological warfare,” claims that it has enough capabilities to repel any unlikely US-led aggression.


Missiles and Rockets of Hezbollah

Hezbollah (“Party of God”) is a Lebanese political party and militant group with close ties to Iran and Syria’s Assad regime. It is frequently identified as an Iranian proxy, as the Party supports Tehran’s regional ambitions in exchange for military, financial, and political support.

Hezbollah is the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor, and has been described as “a militia trained like an army and equipped like a state.”

This is especially true with regard to its missile and rocket forces, which Hezbollah has in vast quantities arrayed against Israel.

Hezbollah’s arsenal is comprised mostly of small, man-portable and unguided surface-to-surface artillery rockets. Although these devices lack precision, their sheer number make them effective weapons of terror. According to Israeli sources, Hezbollah held around 15,000 rockets and missiles on the eve of the 2006 Lebanon War, firing nearly 4,000 at Israel over the 34-day conflict. Hezbollah has since expanded its rocket arsenal, today estimated at 130,000.

In May 2006, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah explained that “The purpose of our rockets is to deter Israel from attacking Lebanese civilians…The enemy fears that every time he confronts us, whenever there are victims in our ranks among Lebanese civilians, this will lead to a counter-barrage of our rockets, which he fears.”

Indiscriminate rocket fire, particularly from small, easily transportable launchers makes the suppression of fires with airpower more challenging. This forces Israel to rely more heavily on ground forces in a conflict. Lacking any air force of its own, Hezbollah prefers ground wars in its own territory to bombardment from the skies. As Human Rights Watch notes, however, these arguments do not justify civilian targeting and casualties under international law.

The continued growth of Hezbollah’s missile and rocket forces is undesirable for both the United States and Israel, for several reasons.

It may, for example, embolden the party to overstep Israeli red lines. Hezbollah’s push to acquire longer-ranged and precision-guided munitions could likewise spur Israel into preemptive action. Hezbollah’s weapons acquisition also raises the prospects for the proliferation of missile technology and know-how. According to Saudi and UAE officials, Hezbollah militants have worked with their Houthi forces in rocket development and launch divisions.

Hezbollah forces in Syria and Iraq similarly operate with various Shiite militias. Growing relations among these groups presents risks for the dissemination of missile technology and knowledge.

Land Attack Missiles and Rockets

107 & 122 mm ‘Katyusha’ Rockets+


Fajr-1 / Chinese 107 mm Rockets+


Falaq 1/2+


333 mm Shahin-1

122 mm Type-81 Rocket+

Fajr-3 and Fajr-5+


Raad-2 and Raad-3 / 220 mm Uragan-type Rockets+


302 mm Khaibar-1 / M-302 / B-302+


Zelzal-1 and Zelzal-2+


Fateh-110 / M-600+



And the most recent Hezbollah long-disance missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead is the

RS-28 Sarmat (Russian: РС-28 )

Type: Superheavy Intercontinental ballistic missile

Place of origin: Russia

Service history

Used by: Russian Strategic Missile Troops

Production history

Designer: Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau

Manufacturer: KrasMash, Zlatous MZ, NPO Energomash, NPO Mashinostroyeniya, KBKhA


Weight: 220 tonnes

Length: 36.3 m

Diameter: 3.0 m

Warhead:10–24 MIRVs (various type and yield, including HGVs); At the maximum reported throw-weight of up 10,000 kg, the missile could deliver a 50 Mt charge (the maximum theoretical yield-to-weight ratio is about 6 megatons of TNT per metric ton, and the maximum achieved ratio was apparently 5.2 megatons of TNT per metric ton in B/Mk-41).

Engine: First stage: PDU-99 (RD-274 derived)

Propellant: Liquid

Operational range: approx. 10,900 kilometres (6,800 mi)

Speed: over Mach 20.7; 25,000 km/h (16,000 mph)

Guidance system: Inertial guidance, GLONASS, Astro-inertial

Accuracy: 10 m

Launch platform: Silo

Antiship Missiles (ASMs)

C-802 / Yingji-2 / Noor+




Antitank Missiles (ATMs)

According to Israeli tank commanders at the front of the 2006 War, Hezbollah’s anti-tank missiles damaged or destroyed Israeli vehicles on about 20% of their hits. The party successfully struck nearly 50 Israeli Merkava tanks during the conflict, penetrating the armor of 21. Hezbollah used ATGMs against buildings and Israeli troop bunkers as well. More Israeli infantry soldiers were killed by anti-tank weapons than in hand-to-hand combat.

While fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Hezbollah has effectively used ATMs to counter suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devises (SVBIED) launched by the extremist group.

RPG-29 Vampir+


9M14 Malyutka (NATO: AT-3 Sagger) +


9K111 Fagot (NATO: AT-4 Spigot)+


M113 Konkurs (NATO: AT-5 Spandrel)+


9K115-2 Metis-M (NATO: AT-13 Saxhorn-2)+


9M133 Kornet-E (NATO: AT-14 Spriggan)+


Antiair Missiles (AAMs)

Most of Hezbollah’s antiair missile systems offer only a relatively small area of protection. They nevertheless force Israeli aircraft to fly at higher altitudes, reducing Israel’s ability to accurately strike ground-based targets. Israeli policymakers and military officers have consistently reiterated their concerns about Hezbollah acquiring more sophisticated air defenses from Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.

Misagh-1/2 +


ZU-23 +


9K32 Strela-2 (NATO: SA-7 Grail)+


9K33 Osa (NATO: SA-8 Gecko)+


9K34 Strela-3 (NATO: SA-14 Gremlin)+

9K310 Igla-1 (NATO: SA-16 Gimlet) and 9K38 Igla (NATO: SA-18 Grouse)+

9K40 Buk-M2 (NATO: SA-17 Grizzly)+

Pantsyr-S1 (NATO: SA-22 Greyhound

220 tonnes


36.3 m


3.0 m


10–24 MIRVs (various type and yield, including HGVs; At the maximum reported throw-weight of up 10,000 kg, the missile could deliver a 50 Mt charge (the maximum theoretical yield-to-weight ratio is about 6 megatons of TNT per metric ton, and the maximum achieved ratio was apparently 5.2 megatons of TNT per metric ton in B/Mk-41).

Further, should the United States prepare to assist Israel, it is believed that Russian intelligence will quickly detect such actions and Hezbollah would be forwarned in sufficient time to launch pre-emptive strikes, to include silo-based heavy missiles.

Mashinostroyeniya, KBKhA


Weight: 220 tonnes

Length: 36.3 m

Diameter: 3.0 m

Warhead:10–24 MIRVs (various type and yield, including HGVs); At the maximum reported throw-weight of up 10,000 kg, the missile could deliver a 50 Mt charge (the maximum theoretical yield-to-weight ratio is about 6 megatons of TNT per metric ton, and the maximum achieved ratio was apparently 5.2 megatons of TNT per metric ton in B/Mk-41).

Engine: First stage: PDU-99 (RD-274 derived)

Propellant: Liquid

Operational range: approx. 10,900 kilometres (6,800 mi)

Speed: over Mach 20.7; 25,000 km/h (16,000 mph)

Guidance system: Inertial guidance, GLONASS, Astro-inertial

Accuracy: 10 m

Launch platform: Silo

These missiles create reluctance of the Pentagon officials to support Israeli demands for preemptive strikes.


Trump and Putin: The Prospering of Treason

June 2, 2019

by Robert Johnson


‘Cui bono’ is a Latin phrase meaning ‘who benefits?’

In the matter of the accusations at a high level that President Trump has worked, does work, for the Russians, the application of this phrase is quite important.

  • Who benefits from Trump’s economically restrictive tariffs?
  • Who benefits from Trump’s undeclared war on Latin Americans?
  • Who benefits from Trump’s harassment of China?
  • Who benefits from Trump’s divisive attacks on sections of the American public such as the black community and the latino?
  • Who benefits from Trump’s very ill-advised and illogical actions in the Middle East?

American interests, economic and social?

No, they not only do not benefit but they are seriously injured and impaired.

Who, then, benefits from these actions?

Simple logic and an application of Occam ’s Razor show with great clarity that only one entity benefits from Trumps belligerent actions and that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The recent allegations that Trump worked for the Russians; had been gotten at by them earlier on is the only clear and logical answer to the question ‘cui bono.’

And for the leader of a country to deliberately work against the interests of his country for another is an act of treason and should be treated accordingly.


Encyclopedia of American Loons

Jonathan Saenz

Jonathan Saenz is the president of Texas Values, which is a piece of information that should really be sufficient to establish that he is a serious loon. Texas Values is the lobbying arm of the Liberty Institute, an organization notorious for peddling conspiracy theories and discredited stories about how government and progressive activists are attacking religious liberty.

And just as you’d expect, Saenz really, really doesn’t like gay people – that his former wife apparently left him for another woman might be part of it, but his lunacy is nevertheless all his own. The primary goal of his group is to combat LGBT equality and basic protections for LGBT people, such as efforts to prevent anti-LGBT bullying (that would, as they see it, constitute granting “special rights” to “homosexuals”). They also wish to keep anti-sodomy laws on the books, claiming that efforts to repeal such laws are efforts to push a gay “agenda”. In addition, Texas Values opposes sex education and considers themselves brave soldiers for good in the mythical “war on Christmas”, mostly by pushing conspiracy theories and myths: the “war” is “a key front in the radical movement to remove all religious expression from the public square” and create a world where children are too afraid to even talk about Christmas at school.

In 2014 Saenz called the marriage equality ruling in Texas a “hollow victory” (??), after calling it “one of the most egregious forms of judicial activism of our generation;” judicial activism, of course, is when the courts issue a ruling Saenz doesn’t like (https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Judicial_activism). To help himself cope with such decisions, Saenz has turned to denialism so delusional (growing support for gay marriage in the US is “a myth” – the vast majority of Americans really agrees with him; facts be damned) one would almost have felt sorry for him if he weren’t so hateful; the same sort of delusions are on glorious display here.

He is no fan of non-discrimination ordinances either, ostensibly because they discriminate against his religious freedom to discriminate against those who don’t share his religious beliefs. Indeed, with regard to Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, Saenz called it a demonic attempt to empower “sexual predators” to “terrorize women and children.”

In conclusion, according to Saenz, gay people are like an enemy army, and “America today is occupied territory. The enemies of religious freedom occupy every power center from government to academia. Everyone except its spiritual core…” That core would be the pastors, who are now “the Leaders of the Resistance,” who are accordingly targeted by this demonic army of gay people (therefore you should send Saenz money). Indeed, Saenz seems to think that the battle for marriage equality is really just a flimsy cover for a Satanic attack on churches and, ultimately, Christianity itself – gay rights advocates really want to “destroy” marriage, “attack churches,” and make sure “religious liberty will be obliterated”; indeed, advocates of gay rights ultimately want to throw their opponents in jail, or even in concentration camps. Of course, Saenz’s paranoia is partially fueled by his complete inability to grasp the distinction between criticism and censorship – true to form, Saenz has called those who criticize him “enemies of freedom”. He also, unsurprisingly, has a bit of trouble with the distinctions truth/falsehood and honesty/lying.

He is also a firm supporter of reparative therapy.

Though his energies have, at least the last few years, mostly been devoted to anti-gay efforts, Saenz has a long history of wingnut advocacy for a wide range of types of bigotry, denialism or pseudoscience. Saenz, a staunch creationist (the theory of evolution, which he doesn’t remotely understand, is a “left-wing ideology” that “any respectable scientist” should see through), was for instance a supporter of having Texas public schools teach creationism; when the education board decided that science classes should be devoted to science in 2009, Saenz was outraged and lambasted the board for wanting to “bow down to the scientific community”: “It’s outrageous that our highest elected education officials voted to silence teachers and students in science class” and thus prevent them from teaching kids all other non-science stuff that Saenz they might believe. “Despite being overwhelmed by e-mails and phone calls to keep strengths and weaknesses, the divided State Board of Education ignored constituents and sided with a small group of activists,” continued Saenz: “This decision shows that science has evolved into a political popularity contest. The truth has been expelled from the science classroom.” It is a lovely illustration of Saenz’s deranged mind that he failed to notice the blatant contradiction between those two claims. He did, however, commend the board for a resolution calling on textbook publishers to limit references to Islam, ostensibly to combat the stealth influence of Middle Easterners on textbook publishing.

He has also called it “untrue and factually and historically inaccurate” that the Constitution separates church and state, as if he had any idea what “untrue” and “inaccurate” mean.

There is a good Jonathan Saenz resource here.

Diagnosis: As confident as he is delusional, Saenz actually wields quite some influence in his native Texas. Extremely dangerous.


The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

June 2, 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. 119

Date: Friday, December 19, 1997

Commenced: 11:09 AM CST

Concluded: 11:24 AM CST


GD: Well, another damned Christmas season is upon all of us. The gap-jawed ninnies waddling around the malls, the latest electronic noise-makers clutched in sweaty hands while the owners jabber endlessly to their equally moronic friends on the other end. Jesus H. Christ, you ought to listen to them, Robert, Babble, chatter, simper and squeal. Well, this electronic new age is upon us and I have it from a friend at NASDAC that a new and major con is about to be born. Are you interested?

RTC: Of course I am. Don’t forget that I was the man with the business connections for the Company.

GD: You ought to write a book on it.

RTC: Don’t tempt me.

GD: Well, they could augment your pension, believe me. Anyway, a circle of crooked stock brokers, who ought to be in Congress, have concocted a scheme based on the public’s fascination with the flashing lights and novelty of the electronic age. What they are going to do is this. They get some computer specialist, fresh out of MIT, to set up a company called, let’s say, ‘Batdung,.com’ which postulates that they raise bats and collect their crap for sale to people raising Venus Fly Catchers. Or another system called ‘Pelco.com’ that delivers goose livers to blind orphans. Anyway, they get this front to set up a legit corporation, say in Delaware, and then they get it up onto the board. The NYSE I mean.

RTC: Understood. And then?

GD: And then, they ring up a dozen or so of their rich clients and tell them that they want them to buy ‘Batdung.com’ at ten and they will sell out at twenty. And when huge purchases are recorded on the Board, why the gap-jawed twits rush out to buy ‘Batdung.com’ or ‘Pelco.com’ and the stock shoots up into the heavens. Meanwhile, the new teen-aged wonder who owns the name and an empty office, buys five new cars, a huge slate-topped desk and some huge and ugly new house with round windows somewhere. The stock goes up and up, slows down and then when it is obvious that there is nothing behind it, takes a dive. What do the crooks care? They took their fees from the rich enablers who got in and got out. Say they sold out at twenty and the stock went up to two hundred. One day at two hundred, the next at one ninety and the following day at fifty cents. Ah well, the wise ones have gotten in and gotten out, more or less like the early arrivals at a Reno brothel. Someone else has to take sloppy seconds and at the end, they all have the clap and the gleet. But the whorehouse owner makes all the money and the stockbrokers and their rich friends do very well. The patsy ends up losing his cars, his desk and his home and has to go back living with mother in a basement apartment he shares with the rats and cockroaches.

RTC: Serious?

GD: Oh, yes, very. This will take some time to ripen but it will take place and no one will be able to do anything about it. You know, the Republicans are waiting for Clinton to finish his term and they will do everything in their power to take the White House. Who will run? Probably Gore but who knows who else? The Republican right is yammering and yearning to get into power after the liberal Clinton and if they get in, look for some attempt to establish a permanent majority. I know a number of these people and they love to rub their hands and talk about the coming Days of Wrath and Mourning for the left wing Jews and fellow travelers on both coasts. The religious freaks will crawl out from under the dead cows or up out of the cesspits all across this land and add their squawkings to the cacophony. I think this country is heading into an abyss, Robert. We will eventually see a reprise of 1929 if the Republicans get into power or get both Houses. They will screw up the stock markets, the banks and the money markets and then down all will crash and these scumbags will crawl out of the rubble, clutching bags of money and headed for Aruba or Tel Aviv. Yes, and there are now tens of thousands of young kids that get out of high school with no prospect of a job because the blue collar jobs are all going to slave labor camps in Southeast Asia. Of course this kind of poverty and denial of what we all see as the American Dream can lead to all kinds of domestic problems.

RTC: Oh, you’re right on there, my boy. Reagan set up a virtual concentration camp system and special Army units so that if he had any problems domestically like Johnson had during the Vietnam war, they could sweep up all the protestors, their mothers and wives and jam them all into the new Dachaus.

GD: Do you have chapter and verse on this, Robert?

RTC: Could get it but why bother with it? If you put that in every newspaper in America, no one would believe you. Sure, I’ll look it up. Oh yes, they have plans waiting for another Vietnam rebellion, believe me. Reagan said, like the Jews, never again and if the public get their tit in the wringer, off they go with no problem and they can see their family through the barbed wire.

GD: Oh my, and then we can take a leaf from the holocaust nutties and start talking about mythic gas chambers and lampshades.

RTC: Oh God, let’s do not go there. I am so tired of hearing about that shit.

GD: Americans are far crueler than the Germans or Russians so I imagine that future historians, not like the decayed creeps you people use, historians will write about the neo fascism riding the GOP elephant. And over the cliff. Couple this with economic meddling and I will really think about permanently moving away.

RTC: There are many who would love to see you go, Gregory.

GD: And I would love to see them take long walks on short piers, Robert, and carrying heavy weights. Feed the sharks, why not?

RTC: Do sharks eat crap?

GD: No, but the bottom feeders like the crabs would stuff themselves. No, you can see this coming.  Maybe not right away but all the bits and pieces are there, Robert. Maybe not in your time but in mine…that is unless Wolfe comes up behind me and slugs me with his purse.

RTC: (Laughter) Do you also foresee pogroms?

GD: Of course. If the economy is artificially inflated and collapses, why scapegoats have to be found. The Mexicans, the Jews and…no, the fewer the better. I would say the blacks but there are too many of them. Probably the illegals. Yes. Mass imprisonment and deportations. Who will cut our lawns then?

RTC: Reagan foresaw closing the universities as hotbeds of anti government actions there.

GD: Why not? The students can’t learn anything because the intellectual levels of our professors would shame a baboon. My God, I have encountered a few in my life and I swear my dogs are smarter. They say a little learning is a dangerous thing, don’t they?

RTC: So I’ve heard.

GD: Well then, let’s  let our young and unemployed live dangerously. They can go to school and then to the camps.

RTC: Does this blessed season of giving always motivate you to be so bloody negative?

GD: Oh yes, the mythic Jesus is about to be born in the cow barn and save us all. I love these preachers who get up in front of the TV cameras and squeal about the fictional Jesus. Why not the Celestial Easter Bunny?


(Concluded at 11:24 AM CST)


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