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TBR News November 16, 2019

Nov 16 2019

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. November 16, 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.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.
Commentary for November 16: “It is becoming obvious that as the impeachment movement is making progress Trump will dissolve into a furious ten year old girl and scream at everyone who dares to cross his path. This shows the general public what the government of this, and other countries,have to deal with. Some of the material that will come out is very ugly but time will tell in the end.”

The Table of Contents
• Trump attacks impeachment witness on Twitter, Democrats see intimidation
• Yovanovitch delivers powerful riposte to Trump as he smears her – again
• Turkey says no stepping back from Russian S-400 system
• Turkey says it bought Russian S-400s to use them, not put them aside
• Trump and the Deutsche Bank Scams
• Stalin vs Hitler
• Stalin’s Intelligence Game
• The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
• Encyclopedia of American Loons

Trump attacks impeachment witness on Twitter, Democrats see intimidation
November 15, 2019
by Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan and Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump launched a Twitter attack on a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on Friday while she was testifying to an impeachment hearing in Congress, in an extraordinary moment that Democrats said amounted to witness intimidation.
Trump blasted Marie Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, as she explained to the second day of televised impeachment hearings how she had fought corruption in Ukraine and how the Trump administration abruptly removed from her post earlier this year.
Democrats say Yovanovitch was pulled back to Washington to clear the way for Trump allies to persuade Ukraine to launch corruption probes into Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
Trump’s pressure on Ukraine is at the heart of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into whether the Republican president misused U.S. foreign policy to undermine one of his potential opponents in the 2020 election.
As Yovanovitch testified, Trump fired off criticism on Twitter in a move Democrats labeled “real-time” witness intimidation.
“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?” Trump asked.
In the most dramatic moment of the public impeachment hearings that began on Wednesday, Representative Adam Schiff, who is chairing the hearing in the House Intelligence Committee, asked Yovanovitch for her reaction to the tweet. She said it was “very intimidating.”
“I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating,” she said.
Schiff replied: “Well, I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”
Afterward, Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell, a member of the committee, told reporters the Trump attack could be considered for a separate article of impeachment against Trump for obstruction of justice.
“It’s evidence of more obstruction: intimidating, tampering with the witness’s testimony,” he said.
At the White House, Trump told reporters he did not think his tweets were intimidating.
“I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just as other people do,” Trump said.
Yovanovitch was removed from her post as ambassador to Kiev in May after coming under attack by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, at a time when he was working to persuade Ukraine to carry out two investigations that would benefit the president politically.
Giuliani also was trying to engineer a Ukrainian investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory embraced by some Trump allies that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.
The main focus of the impeachment inquiry is a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who took office in May, to open the investigations.
Democrats are looking into whether Trump abused his power by withholding $391 million in U.S. security aid to Ukraine as leverage to pressure Kiev to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to take on Trump in 2020.
The money, approved by the U.S. Congress to help U.S. ally Ukraine combat Russia-backed separatists, was later provided to Ukraine.
The hearings could pave the way for the Democratic-led House to approve articles of impeachment – formal charges – against Trump. That would lead to a trial in the Senate on whether to convict Trump and remove him from office. Republicans control the Senate and have shown little support for Trump’s removal.
Many Republicans in Congress say Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine are not impeachable offenses, and the president denies any wrongdoing. Republicans have offered no evidence of corruption by the Bidens.
Yovanovitch said that her removal had undercut confidence in the U.S. diplomatic corps.
“I had no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals,” she said. “I still find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interests were able to undermine U.S. interests in this way.”
Republican Devin Nunes criticized Democrats for launching the impeachment inquiry, calling it a political exercise based on second- and third-hand hearsay. He noted Yovanovitch was not involved in Trump’s July 25 phone call, or deliberations on the pause in security aid for Ukraine.
“I’m not exactly sure what the ambassador is doing here today,” Nunes said.
During their questioning, Republicans on the panel praised Yovanovitch for her long career of foreign service, a characterization at odds with Trump’s description of her as “bad news” in the call with Ukraine’s president.
Some people in the hearing room applauded when Yovanovitch’s testimony ended after more than four hours.
Two other U.S. diplomats, William Taylor and George Kent, testified on Wednesday, expressing alarm over the pressure tactics on Ukraine by Giuliani.
Taylor is acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. His aide David Holmes, who Taylor said overheard a July 26 telephone conversation in which Trump asked about progress in getting the Ukrainians to launch the Biden investigations, appeared before lawmakers in a closed-door session later on Friday.
Democratic Representative Ted Lieu emerged from the session saying there were at least two other witnesses who attended a lunch where Trump was overheard asking about investigations in a cell phone conversation with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.
“It was very damning for the president,” Lieu told reporters.
Separately, Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone was convicted on all charges on Friday by a federal court jury that found the veteran Republican operative and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” guilty on seven counts of lying to the U.S. Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan, David Morgan, Doina Chiacu and Karen Freifeld; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Scott Malone, Alistair Bell and Sonya Hepinstall

Yovanovitch delivers powerful riposte to Trump as he smears her – again
The ex-ambassador captured gnawing anxiety about the ways in which the president is undermining trust while Trump attacked her in real time
November 15, 2019
by David Smith in Washington
She sat ramrod straight with hands folded, soft-voiced yet resolute, vulnerable yet steely. At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, he was irate, impulsive and menacing as always. Only one of them was unimpeachable.
Marie Yovanovitch, an immigrant and a career diplomat, delivered on Friday the profound riposte to Donald Trump that many in America had been hoping for from an impeachment inquiry that could lead to his removal from office.
The former US ambassador to Ukraine captured in one morning much of the gnawing anxiety of foreign service professionals about the ways in which the president is undermining trust in America and fracturing the world.
But even as Yovanovitch testified about being smeared and ousted, the president went and smeared her again, live, via Twitter. It was not the first time Donald Trump had tried to demean and disparage a woman and prompted Democrats to warn against “witness intimidation”.
It was the second public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into whether Trump sought to bribe Ukraine to boost his chance of re-election by investigating a political rival, former vice-president Joe Biden. Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled in May after coming under attack from Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, at a time when he was trying to persuade Ukraine to carry out the investigation.
In a committee room as chilly as a winter’s day in Kyiv, the bespectacled Yovanovitch, wearing black jacket and black trousers, sat at a long, curving desk with cans of Coca-Cola and ginger ale, bottles of water and disposable coffee cups.
From her seat, she could see Democrats and Republicans at ornately carved oak desks against a backdrop of blue velvet curtains with gold trim, framed by classical columns, decorative alcoves, clocks with roman numerals and sculpted eagles. Above her was a huge chandelier with two dozen lights. Behind her sat journalists at laptops and members of the public.
The power of televised impeachment hearings – so evident during Watergate in the 1970s – was realized again as Yovanovitch, far from speaking like a dry bureaucrat like previous witnesses, told a deeply personal story about the country she loves.
She delivered a 13-page opening statement, laying out her 33 years of government service under Democratic and Republican presidents, including 13 moves and spells in seven countries, five of them hardship posts, starting with Mogadishu in Somalia. She championed efforts against corruption in Ukraine – making her a target for some there who, astonishingly, found American accomplices.
In a cool, clear tone that was a useful antidote to the rage and hysteria of the social media age, Yovanovitch described a “smear campaign” involving Giuliani, reinforced by cable news hosts and the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. Eventually, she recalled, she was told in April 2019 to come back to Washington on the next plane because she no longer had the confidence of the president.
Yovanovitch described how professional public servants serve US interests regardless of who occupies the White House. She cited the diplomats killed in the 2012 Benghazi attacks in Libya, tortured in captivity in Iran and injured in mysterious attacks in Cuba.
“We honor these individuals,” she told the hearing. “They represent each one of you here and every American. These courageous individuals were attacked because they symbolized America.”
Under questioning from Democrats, Yovanovitch said she was “shocked and devastated” when a rough transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, revealed the American president was bad-mouthing her to a foreign leader behind her back. “It was a terrible moment. A person who saw me reading the transcript said the color drained from my face.”
She added in a low voice: “Even now words fail me.”
In that now infamous phone call, Trump had ominously said of Yovanovitch that “she was going to go through some things”.
Yovanovitch said: “It didn’t sound good. It sounded like a threat.”
The effect of Trump’s comments, she said, “is very intimidating” and both for her and others who might be inclined to publicly attack corruption.
There was a surprise to come on a similar theme. As Yovanovitch was still testifying, Trump reached for his retaliatory weapon of choice, Twitter.
“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” he tweeted, pointing to the time she spent in Somalia and in Ukraine, where Trump said “the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavourably about her”.
Adam Schiff, the committee chairman, seized his moment. He told the former ambassador: “The president is attacking you in real time.” He read the tweet aloud and asked Yovanovitch for her reaction. Maintaining her dignity throughout, she paused and said: “I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.”
Schiff replied: “Well, I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”
And everyone in the room knew that, not only had Trump once again dug a hole for Republicans, but quite possibly just written a new article of impeachment against himself. It was also a sign of the times.
Susan Glasser, a writer at the New Yorker, tweeted: “For those who wondered what an impeachment in the Twitter era will look like, the answer is here: the President attacking a witness and impugning her in real time, as she is testifying. Imagine Nixon hate-tweeting John Dean live.”

Turkey says no stepping back from Russian S-400 system
Ankara and Washington launch ‘joint mechanism’ to look into solving issues between F-35 and S-400 programmes
November 15, 2019
by MEE and agencies
Turkey on Friday vowed there would be no “step back” from Ankara’s controversial purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system, despite forming a joint working group with the US seeking to solve the issue.
“There is no question of a step backwards, Turkey will activate the S-400,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, in an interview with state broadcaster TRT.
Still, Kalin said a “joint mechanism” working group looking into solving the problems with running the F-35 fighter jets near the Russian system had begun on Friday, AFP news agency reported.
The US fears that running the S-400 near American-made fighter jets may compromise the F-35.
While the US has continuously tried to talk Turkey out of going forward with the S-400, even threatening sanctions, Turkey has been unshakeable in its plans to activate it.
Tensions were exacerbated in July, when the Russian missile defence systems arrived in Turkey against the US’s explicit wishes, resulting in Washington pulling Turkey from the F-35 programme.
Threat of sanctions
US lawmakers have been pushing legislation that would slap sanctions on Turkey both for its purchase of the S-400 and for its incursion into northeast Syria that began last month.
On Thursday, one of the Senate bill’s backers, Senator Jim Risch, who is also the Republican chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he wanted to put a hold on the bill.
“Probably it’s best we don’t pass a sanctions bill at this moment,” Risch said during a meeting with reporters in his office on Thursday, Reuters news agency reported.
Risch is one of several Republican senators that US President Donald Trump called to the White House on Wednesday for a meeting with Turkish President Erdogan.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Risch said the Turkish leader had left with a “very, very clear picture” that Turkey would face consequences if it went ahead with the S-400 purchase.
Trump told reporters after their meeting on Wednesday that Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 system created “serious challenges” for Washington.
Last month, the US said Turkey would be spared sanctions under a 2017 law if the S-400 system was not turned on, an offer that Turkey refused.
The American act, known as CAATSA, mandates sanctions for any “significant” purchases of weapons from Russia.
Meanwhile, Erdogan told reporters that Turkey cannot risk its relationship with Russia.
As recent relations between Ankara and Moscow have strengthened, it was announced on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to visit Turkey in the first week of January.

Turkey says it bought Russian S-400s to use them, not put them aside
November 16, 2019
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey bought S-400 missile defense systems from Russia to use them, not put them aside, the head of the Turkish Defense Industry Directorate said on Saturday, days after talks between President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Erdogan and Trump held talks in Washington on Wednesday to overcome increasing differences between the NATO allies, ranging from Syria policy to sanctions threats over Turkey’s purchase of the S-400s, which Washington says pose a threat to its Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.
Washington has warned that Ankara will face sanctions over its purchase of the S-400s, and has suspended Turkey from the F-35 program, in which it was a customer and manufacturer. It has yet to impose any sanctions on Turkey, which began receiving the Russian systems in July.
In an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Ismail Demir said it was not logical for any country to purchase such systems only to put them aside, and added that Ankara and Washington aimed to tackle the issue.
“It is not a correct approach to say ‘we won’t use them for their sake’ about a system that we bought out of necessity and paid so much money for,” Demir said. “We have allied relations with Russia and the United States. We have to go on and respect the agreements we signed,” he said.
On Wednesday, Trump urged Erdogan at the White House to drop the S-400 systems, but Erdogan later said Ankara could not harm its relations with Russia. He reiterated Turkey’s desire to buy U.S. Patriot defenses in addition to the S-400s.
A top aide to Erdogan said on Friday that Turkish and U.S. officials had begun working as part of a joint mechanism aiming to evaluate the impact of the S-400s on the F-35s.
Demir said the move showed an easing in the position of the United States, and added that Turkey was ready to take measures that will address U.S. concerns over the S-400s after the talks.
“As a loyal friend and ally, we have said we were ready to take measures if there are any risks that we have overlooked on this issue,” Demir said. “We still believe we can find a middle ground on the S-400 issue, so long as both sides are open.”
Demir also said Turkish personnel were continuing their training on the S-400s in Russia, but added that there would be no Russian personnel coming to Turkey to operate the systems.
Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Catherine Evans and David Evans

Trump and the Deutsche Bank Scams
The large German financial conglomerate Deutsche Bank, later to become one of Donald Trump’s favored institutions, became entangled with Russia after the bank bought boutique investment bank UFG in order to gain entry into Moscow’s financial markets. UFG’s chairman, Charles Ryan, was an American banker; his partner was Boris Fyodorov, formerly Russia’s Finance Minister in the Yeltsin administration. Deutsche’s future co-CEO, Anshu Jain, was the one who wants Deutsche to become more involved with Russia.
Other investment banks soon found Deutsche’s business practices suspicious. Christopher Barter, at the time the CEO of Goldman Sachs Moscow, said later: “They were doing some very curious things. Nobody could make sense of their business. We found the nature and concentration of their business with VTB (Vneshtorgbank) quite galling. Nobody else could touch VTB.” VTB was known to be deeply connected to Russian intelligence, the FSB.
2001-2014: Russians Own Over $98 Million in Trump Properties in Florida
At least 63 Russian oligarchs purchased $98.4 million in properties in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in South Florida. They included businessmen with deep ties to the Putin regime and suspected criminals.
None of the buyers are members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
The Russian ownership is much higher than is publicly known, as about a third of the owners are LLCs (limited liability companies) who routinely hide the identities of property owners. And the nationalities of some of the buyers is not publicly known.
The South Florida area has a large concentration of Trump-owned and/or branded buildings. Sunny Isles Beach, which has six of the seven Trump-branded residential towers, has one of the highest concentrations of Russian-born residents in the US.
Six of those seven Trump properties in Florida are the result of an agreement between Trump and the father-and-son development team of Michael and Gil Dezer. Gil Dezer says that the project generated some $2 billion in initial sales, of which Trump received a commission, 4%, for an estimated profit of anywhere between $20 and $80 million. In March 2017, one of those properties, the Trump International Beach Resort, continued to generate profits for Trump.
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) said in 2017: “While [Trump] has denied having invested in Russia, he has said little or nothing about Russian investment in his businesses and properties in the United States or elsewhere. This should concern all Americans and is yet another reason why his refusal to release his tax returns should be met with considerable skepticism and concern.” Some of the Russians who own Trump-branded property are using the properties to “stow cash,” in the words of the team of Reuters journalists who authored the initial report.
One buyer, Pavel Uglanov, is a former deputy minister for industry and energy in the Saratov regional government of central Russia. He bought a 3-bedroom apartment in Trump Hollywood for $1.8 million in 2012, and sold it for $2.9 million two years later. Uglanov struggled to keep businesses running in America. In August 2016, Uglanov posted a photo of himself on Facebook standing with Alexander Zaldonostov, leader of a motorcycle gang calling themselves the “Night Wolves.”

Stalin vs Hitler
Stripped of prolix discussions of troop strengths and various German military plans for operations against Soviet Russia , Operation “Barbarossa” comes down to whether or not it was a manifestation of growing megalomania on Hitler’s part or a legitimate preventive attack on a nation preparing to invade him.
The initial military planning was considered to be a study of the nature of a war with the Soviet Union should such an event prove necessary. The first studies were instituted in July 1940 after the defeat of France and the expulsion of the British military from continental Europe.
Parallel with the purely military studies was Hitler’s own political analysis of the relationship between Germany and Russia. There is no question that Stalin was exerting pressure along his western borders and increasing the number of military units in these areas.
In August of 1940, Stalin had a total of 151 infantry divisions, 32 cavalry divisions and 38 mechanized brigades available to him. Of these, 96 infantry divisions, 23 cavalry divisions and 28 mechanized brigades were available for use against Germany. By June 1941, as a result of an extensive mobilization of his military, Stalin had 118 infantry divisions, 20 cavalry divisions and 40 mechanized brigades in position on the Russo-German border with an additional 27 infantry divisions, 5 1/2 cavalry divisions and 1 mechanized brigade in reserve in European Russia.
The bulk of these units was in place to the north of the Pripyat marshes and the remainder to the south of this large natural barrier of swampy forest. Although German military intelligence had difficulties in obtaining exact figures of the Soviet buildup, there could be no question that such a massive increase in military forces was in progress. German Luftwaffe reconnaissance overflights, foreign diplomatic reports and increased Soviet military radio traffic all pointed to the heavy concentration of Russian forces.
The question is whether the Soviet troop concentrations were defensive or offensive in nature. Historians have argued that no proof of Soviet intentions to invade Germany have ever surfaced and a balanced view of the troop movements could well indicate that either purpose could be valid. There is the question of the placement of Soviet artillery units along the border. The Soviets used their artillery en masse as a preliminary to a major attack and the positioning of this artillery close to the German lines would tend to support the thesis that it was to be used to open an attack, not defend against one. The positioning of armored and mechanized infantry units behind the artillery would be reasonable if these forces were intended to spearhead an attack.
A defensive posture would have the artillery toward the rear areas of the Soviet forward units to bombard an advancing enemy. A defensive posture would also prohibit the massing of armored units so close to the front lines. They would be held much further back to strike at an enemy penetration with more freedom of movement. These are merely comments, not meant to be taken as proof of anything but a more important opinion is one given by General Franz Halder, Chief of Staff of the German Army at the inception of “Barbarossa.” Halder was a bitter enemy of Hitler, who eventually fired him, and in his postwar writings disparaged the Führer as a military commander.
In his book, Hitler as Military Leader published as Hitler als Feldherr in Munich, 1949 and subsequently translated as Hitler as War Lord and published in England in 1950, Halder devotes considerable space to the “Barbarossa” operation and deserves to be quoted at some length.
“…the horizon in the East grew steadily darker. Russia was moving with ever-growing strength into the Baltic States, which had been conceded as her sphere of interest; on the Russo-German demarcation line there stood over a million Russian soldiers in full battle order with tanks and aircraft opposite a few German security formations sparsely stretched over wide sectors of the line; in the South-East, Russia had occupied Rumanian territory in Bessarabia and Bukovina. Moreover, she was showing herself unresponsive to Hitler’s political maneuvers. The last attempt to gain her as a partner in the division of the world according to Hitler’s plans had foundered at a two-day meeting with Molotov in the middle of November 1940. Hitler the Politician has come to the end of his devices.
In December 1940, he issued his order to the three services – the “Barbarossa” Order – to make military preparations for an attack on Russia against the possibility of Russo-German relations undergoing a fundamental change. It was a prepatory measure, no decision had then been taken. One must admit the politician’s right to delay taking the final decision until the last moment. Precisely when Hitler did take it, can probably no longer be established. Statements, speeches and orders with which he prepared the machine, both materially and psychologically, in case it should be required, cannot be regarded as meaning anything with this master of duplicity. It can be assumed, however, that it was not taken until after the quick successes of the Balkan campaign, in the course of which Russia’s hostility towards Hitler had been unmistakably revealed.
The decision for the attack on Russia came anything but easily to Hitler. His mind was occupied with the warnings of his military advisers; the shadow of Napoleon, with whom he liked to hear himself compared, lay across the mysterious spaces of that country. On the other hand, he had a firm and not unfounded conviction that Russia was arming for an attack on Germany. Today we know from good sources that he was right. Russia would naturally choose a moment for the attack when Germany was in a position least favorable to herself…in other words when the West was once again ready for action. The war on two fronts, which the army general staff memorandum had forecast as long ago as 1938, would then be a fact.”
Halder certainly was in a position to know the facts, many of which were found by German units after the invasion and the rout of Soviet forces, but as a severe critic of Hitler, Halder’s comments, which reflect on the necessity for military action on Hitler’s part, are far more valid than some apology written by one of Hitler’s supporters.
Also, a military attache attached to the Swedish Embassy in Moscow, learning of Stalin’s aggressive plans from a Russian officer who drank too much at an official gathering duly notified the German military attache at the German Embassy. This information was relayed to Berlin and the Luftwaffe, on Hitler’s orders, began overflights of Russian military positions to determine if the reports were accurate. When they were, Hitler began to plan a pre-emptive German strike to prevent an invasion by massive Soviet military units.
The partisan warfare that raged behind German lines during the campaign, was savage in the extreme. Neither side showed any quarter and the Soviets specialized in invading a peaceful area, committing acts against the German rear area and leaving their fellow countrymen to bear the brunt of reprisals.

Stalin’s Intelligence Game
Playing the United States and Japan against Each Other, this resulted in Pearl Harbor and the Japanese attack on the United States in 1941
In the spring of 1941, Stalin feared the Soviet Union would become trapped in the vise of a two-front war, crushed between Germany and Japan. To escape the trap, three separate Soviet intelligence operations in Chungking, Tokyo, and
Washington, without knowledge of each other, manipulated Japan to attack Ameri- can forces in the Pacific and bring the United States into World War II. In concerted covert efforts directed from Moscow, Soviet intelligence worked to divert
Japanese expansionism south against “colonialist imperialism,” so that Japan would take over French Indochina, the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), and American interests in the Philippines protected by the U.S. Navy, instead of pushing westward through Siberia. Stalin’s desperate purpose was to fend off a unified, two-pronged attack by Germany and Japan that he feared would destroy the Soviet Union.
Stalin’s nightmare was a German-Japanese “handshake in the Urals.”
Attacking Southeast Asia meant the Japanese navy would come into conflict with the American Pacific fleet, which had been moved from southern California to Pearl Harbor in October 1939 and in May 1940. Stalin signed a nonaggression treaty with the Germans in 1939, then a neutrality pact with the Japanese in 1941, playing the pride and duplicity of Berlin and Tokyo off against each other. His goal was to deflect a Japanese attack away from the Soviet Union.
War between the United States and Japan was the alternative Stalin favored.
Retracing the reasons for Stalin’s frenzy to push the Japanese to attack the
United States reveals the answer to one of the great mysteries of the twentieth century.
Both communist devotees of Stalin and anticommunist commentators have long wondered why Stalin entered a pact with the devil named Hitler, knowing what a dangerous ally he might become. The 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact of Non-Aggression, signed in August of that year, was a landmark on the path to World War II. The answer to the mystery: Stalin was already fighting the Japanese in the Far East and he feared a two-front war.
Until recently, we had only one piece of the skeleton in the closet of history, the confession of Richard Sorge, a dynamic, heavy-drinking officer of Soviet militaryintelligence, the GRU (Glavnoe Razvedyovatelnoe Upravlenie), under cover as a German foreign correspondent in Tokyo. A statue of Richard Sorge, clad in a foreign correspondent’s trench coat, stands in homage to him on a Moscow back street near GRU headquarters.
Sorge enjoyed access to the highest officials of the German embassy and to members of the Japanese prime minister’s cabinet before he was arrested by the Japanese and hanged for spying in November 1944.
Now there are new pieces to clarify those events: officially released, deciphered intercepts of Russian intelligence traffic during 1939-1946, code-named VENONA; the memoirs of Vitali Pavlov, an NKVD (Narodny Kommissariat Vnu-trennikh Del, predecessor to the KGB) intelligence officer; and secret messagesfrom the Russian archives, which throw new light on the work of Vasili Zarubin, an experienced NKVD intelligence officer sent to China during the tense months before Pearl Harbor.
This is a Soviet intelligence success story, which changes the conventional history of the year 1941 and our memory of Pearl Harbor. It is a story that until now none of the participants wanted known.
What was Operation Snow? It is the title of a book published in Russian in
1996, but not in English, in which a high ranking retired KGB officer, Vitali
Pavlov, recalled his mission to Washington in April and May 1941.2 Pavlov, then a junior officer on his first trip abroad, was sent to the United States seven months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to meet with Harry Dexter White, then director of Monetary Research for the Treasury.
Did “Snow” mean “White”? Yes,
Harry Dexter White had been a Soviet “asset” since the early 1930s, providing information to Whittaker Chambers, a courier for the communist underground.
By 1941 White was a top aide and adviser to Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury. Pavlov wrote that the Soviets feared a Japanese attack from the east, and his mission was to discuss with White what could be done to keep the Japanese from joining forces with the Germans. Tsarev’s reference to Operation Snow brought back into focus his earlier statement that in the years leading up to World War II the United States was not a main intelligence target “except as a balance against Japan.”
What did “balance” mean to the Soviet Union?
In the spring of 1941, Vitali Pavlov, an eager 27-year-old intelligence officer, msat nervously in his office on the sixth floor of Lubyanka, NKVD headquarters, torn by fear of invasion. The Soviet Union was facing a two-front war with the threat of attack from Japan in the east and Germany in the west. Pavlov and his colleagues devised a plan for him to go to Washington and help deflect a Japanese attack on the Soviet Union. His mission was to be a “sacred secret” (meaning they would carry it to their graves with no paper trail).
The goal: exacerbate tensions between the United States and Japan to divert Japanese expansionism away from Siberia and toward Southeast Asia, where Japan would come into conflict with the United States and its Pacific fleet. Pavlov’s plan did not begin and end with him, but was part of a larger Soviet design to worsen relations between Japan and the United States, even if their efforts led to war, to prevent a Japanese invasion of the Soviet Union.
Pushing the limits of discord between capitalist powers was a central tenet of
Lenin’s foreign policy. Stalin learned it well and used it in the 1939 Non-Aggression
Pact. Stalin’s contribution was to set up intelligence operations worldwide to capitalize on these rifts to further Soviet interests.
In this light we must examine Sorge, Pavlov, and Zarubin in their activities on the eve of the war.
Pavlov’s mission in April 1941, when he met with Harry Dexter White, U.S.
Treasury Director of Monetary Research, at the Old Ebbitt Grill across the street from the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., was to confirm that White’ thinking toward Japan was in line with Soviet interests.
Soviet intelligence knew that White formulated all of Morgenthau’s recommendations bearing on foreign relations, especially monetary policy toward China, Japan, and the Soviet Union.
In the name of peace in Asia, Pavlov urged White to demand that Japan remove its troops from China, which the Soviet Union knew the Japanese would never accept.
The impetus for Operation Snow began in the top leadership of Soviet intelligence. It followed a report from New York NKVD resident Gaik Ovakimian in
January 1941 to Moscow Center suggesting that Harry Dexter White be used to press Soviet aims for the Far East. Ovakimian’s report was the seed from which Pavlov’s mission grew.
On January 30, 1941, Foreign Intelligence Director Pavel Fitin compiled a spravka (summary), which reported that the NKVD New York resident, Gaik
Ovakimian (code name, GENNADI), had cabled from New York to raise the possibility of using agents and friendly sources in America to influence the formulation of American foreign policy toward Japan. The summary went to Lavrenti Beria, head of the NKVD, and his deputy, Vsevelod Merkulov.
The text read: “GENNADI reported 28 January from New York about agent possibilities of influencing from outside the formulation of USA foreign policy toward
Japan because
(1) USA cannot accept unlimited Japanese expansion in the Pacific region which affects its vital interests,
(2) Having at its disposal thenecessary economic and military might, Washington is capable of preventing aggression, but it prefers to negotiate mutually acceptable solutions under the conditions that Japan:
(1) stops its aggression in China and areas adjacent to it,
(2) recalls its military forces from the continent and halts its plans of expansion in this region.
Signed Fitin (Chief of the Fifth Department, Main Administration of
State Security)
On this summary report are handwritten notes:
VERNO [verified] Captain of State Security Grauer under instruction of
Comrade Merkulov.
In view of the upcoming negotiations with the Japanese by the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, Comrades Kabulov and Grauer are directed to urgently prepare information for instancia [the leadership, in this case Vyacheslav Molotov and Joseph Stalin]. Also undertake verification of GENNADI’s sources, ZVUK [Jacob Golos], RICHARD [Harry Dexter White], and ROBERT [Nathan Silvermaster] in line with data from the First Special Department, special investigation department, and NKVD Lithuanian SSR pending to the fact that they were known to Shpigelglas, Gutzeit, Sobel, now arrested by us.
Signed Merkulov”
Merkulov was giving instructions for operational research on the intentions of the Japanese, to identify hidden motives behind the Japanese desire in early 1941 to sign a neutrality pact with the USSR. He was instructing his staff to check on Harry Dexter White’s relatives in Lithuania for anti-Soviet activities to make certain of White’s political reliability. This was the period following the Great Purges of the 1930s in which Stalin arrested “enemies of the people” who he believed were competing with him for control of the Soviet Union and the world communist revolution. Soviet intelligence organizations were regrouping and vetting their ranks. Moscow Center wanted to make certain that the purge and execution of suspected senior officers such as Shpigelglas, Gutzeit, and Sobel had not affected the loyalty of their own New York-based espionage chief, Golos, or the continued services of two American sources, White and Silvermaster.
Fitin’s summary reveals that the impetus for Operation Snow came from the top, following Ovakimian’s suggestion. Fitin’s report demonstrates that there are traces of Operation Snow in the NKVD archives, that not every shred of the paper trail was destroyed.
Stalin’s internal purges, during which he had his suspected rivals for absolute power executed, exiled, or sent to labor camps, occurred in the period 1934-1939.
During these purges, Stalin had about 100 senior Soviet intelligence officers re- called, including Akhmerov. Only about twenty-five survived. This was the period of “cleansing” for the intelligence services, with ensuing executions and banishments, during which foreign intelligence operations came to a near standstill. Pavlov’s rapid rise to deputy director of the American desk of NKVD intelligence was a result of the purges.
When these upheavals began to quiet down and intelligence officers went back to supplying the leadership with intelligence on war preparations in 1941, they found their system in suspended animation. Akhmerov was still being kept on the shelf in Moscow. Moscow Center first had to reassess its most valued assets in Washington, to see who was still working for them. They had to indoctrinate their agents and sources to the Soviet viewpoint in matters of diplomacy affecting Soviet national interest. It made sense to dispatch a young officer untainteby association with the previous suspected generation and still unknown in the United States to make the necessary call.
It was under these circumstances that Pavlov left for an inspection tour of the Washington rezidentura (intelligence station). His real mission was to determine whether the NKVD’s important U.S. Treasury assets were still in place and would cooperate with the USSR. In his memoir, Pavlov states that before going to America the NKVD assessment of the situation was: “USA cannot reconcile with uncontrolled Japanese expansion in the Pacific area which affects their vital interests.
Having adequate economic and military might, Washington is capable of preventing Japanese aggression but it prefers to reach mutually beneficial decisions with Japan if it
(1) stops its aggression in China and bordering areas,
(2) recalls its military forces from the continent and halts its expansion plans in this region,
(3) pulls out its forces from Manchuria.”
Pavlov’s explanation is a replay of Fitin’s spravka, reporting Ovakimian’s suggestion from New York.
White contacted AGENT X [Joseph Katz] looking for BILL [Akhmerov] because he wanted to thank him for one idea that had been realized with great success. Akhmerov worked out the detailed plan for a meeting in Washington. It was called Operation Snow to match the name White. We understood that only by strengthening the position of the group in Japanese ruling circles who advocated the extension of Japanese aggression in China southward could we postpone the Japanese plan to conquer the northern territories. We understood that the doubts of the Japanese militarists to immediately implement their northern plans to a great extent depended on the position of the U.S. From what we knew about White it was clear that we could influence through Morgenthau the strengthening of a line in the
American administration that would counterbalance the Japanese expansion.
I was to pass on to White the above-mentioned three principles. It was presumed that White would formulate them himself to be presented to the American administration.
With these instructions firmly in his mind, Pavlov left for Washington. If he succeeded, he would change history. He had been entrusted with a “sacred secret so awesome that he did not reveal it for more than half a century.
For the Soviet Union, Japan was a threatening and ambiguous enemy. European Russians-citizens of Moscow and those west of the Urals-imbibe fear of attack from the east with their mothers’ milk.
Deep in their national memory is conquest by cruel Mongol hordes who ruled Russia for more than 200 years, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. Russians believe that the followers of Genghis Khan left no improvements, only a more defined slant to the cheekbones of Russians acquired through the rape of their female ancestors.
A more recent memory was the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, in which the Japanese pushed Russia out of the Pacific Rim areas it had moved into since 1895. The British National Review for September 1904 noted: “The military power of the Island Empire has been revealed.”
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Kwantung Army of Japan set out to rid Manchuria of its Chinese warlord ruler and create an autonomous state in the vast, untamed territory. The Japanese military hoped Manchuria would be a buffer zone against the Soviet Union on its border; it would provide space and resources for Japan’s merchants and impoverished proletariat.
On September 18, 1931, the Kwantung Army took over Mukden, “to keep order.” In 1933 the Japanese invaded northern China proper.
The Soviet Union sent military advisers to both nationalists and communists, the two groups competing to rule China. The Soviet Union’s goal in China was to control Japanese expansionism.
In the early 1930s, the Soviet Union began a propaganda campaign against
Japanese aggression through the Comintern, the communist international organization that, under Moscow’s aegis, controlled communist parties worldwide. Soviet intelligence distributed the “Tanaka Memorial,” said to be a 1927 memorandum from Baron Giichi Tanaka to the Emperor, outlining Japan’s imperial ambitions to become a “continental nation”: Japan’s destiny was to establish a predominant position in China and Southeast Asia. Tanaka’s design would develop a new plan against Siberia.
The Communist Party translated the Memorial into English and first published it in the United States in the Comintern theoretical magazine, ‘Communist International’, in December 1931, then later reprinted it as a book. Evidence points to Soviet intelligence and propaganda organs jointly rewriting the actual document.
Tanaka’s ideas had been skillfully manipulated to make Japan an aggressor. All of the Memorial’s prophecies were to become Japan’s strategy for World War II.’
Within Japanese leadership circles, both aggressive militarists and thoughtful intellectuals agreed on the moral rationale for invading China and pushing southward to control all of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Australia, and New
Zealand. They believed in the spiritual unity of East Asians, and in ridding the western Pacific Rim nations of imperial domination by European powers.
The Japanese included the United States in this group-enemy image because American power competed with Japan for trade, political influence, and control of the seaways.
Most important in Japan’s antagonism against the United States was American support for China and its struggle to repel Japanese aggression. Japan considered
America to be an imperialist nation not only for its own overseas territories, but because American naval forces also protected the colonial domination of the French, British, and Dutch in China, Indochina, and the East Indies, controlling the flow of oil, rubber, tin, and other natural resources necessary to military and industrial strength.
The Japanese called their vision “The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” They saw themselves to be the liberators of East Asia from European and American imperialists.
Stalin never doubted that the United States would in some way support Japan in its dream of attacking Siberia. Ever since 1919, when the United States intervened on the side of the Whites during the 1918-1920 civil war, for a short time landing troops in Siberia to fight the Red Army, Stalin had a deep distrust of offers of friendship from America. This continued even after President Roosevelt granted diplomatic recognition to the USSR in 1933. Stalin believed that eventually the “capitalist-fascist-imperialists” in Washington would be overthrown in favor of communism.
With Japan’s occupation of Manchuria in 1931, Stalin became preoccupied with the new threat from the east and put his military on a “half-war, half-peace” footing.
As early as 1931 and 1932, while the Japanese army was invading Manchuria on the Soviet border, Stalin’s intelligence services were setting up networks in California to sabotage shipping in case of a new Russo-Japanese war.
In 1937 a shooting incident between Chinese and Japanese troops at the Marco Polo Bridge near Peking escalated into open war. The Japanese declared a “new order” in China. The question remained whether Japan’s expansionism would be directed north to Siberia and the entire Soviet Far East, or south to secure Japanese military and commercial domination of China and Southeast Asia. Through China,
Japan would be on its way to the riches of Southeast Asia, while ridding the Eastof Western colonialists.
In June 1938, Soviet Commissar of State Security in the Far East Genrich
Samuelovich Lyushkov defected across the Manchurian border and revealed to the Japanese occupation army full details of the levels of Soviet military strength in the region. Lyushkov, who took his family with him, feared he would be a victim of the purges Stalin was carrying on against his own officers.
After he surrendered, Lyushkov was transferred to Tokyo, where he was interrogated by Japanese military intelligence and military attaches at the German embassy. Lyushkov provided the Soviet order of battle both in Ukraine and the Far East. His debriefing was turned into a memorandum of approximately 100 pages, “Report on a Meeting Between Lyushkov and the German Special Envoy, and Related Information.”
The secret pages were photographed by Richard Sorge, correspondent of the
German newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung, who used his journalist’s cover to head a
Soviet espionage ring in Tokyo.
Sorge was a German national, secretly working for the Red Army’s Fourth Bureau, the GRU, military intelligence. Sorge, the son of a German father and Russian mother, became a communist while recovering from wounds he received fighting on the German side in World War I.
His legs had been shattered and he was left with a lifelong limp. From having been an avid volunteer in the German army, he went into deep disillusionment and depression and emerged a dedicated Marxist.
Sorge had close friendships with high ranking diplomats and military officers in the German embassy; one of them, the military attache Major Erwin Scholl, lent the Lyushkov document to Sorge, unaware of the use the newspaperman would make of its pages.
Lyushkov’s main thesis: because of widespread discontent caused by Stalin’s purge in the Red Army and strong opposition to Stalin in Siberia, the Soviet military machine in the Far East would collapse under a Japanese offensive. Lyushkov is also believed to have provided the military wireless codes being used by the Red Army. He described the location, organization, and equipment of twenty-five Soviet divisions. It was clear to Lyushkov’s German and Japanese interrogators that his defection resulted from Stalin’s purges of the Red Army high command and reflected the army’s weakened strength.
For the Germans and Japanese, this information created the temptation to strike the Soviet Union soon, while it was weak from internal strife. To his Japanese and German friends, Sorge played down the importance of Lyushkov’s information; he compared it to anti-Nazi books written by German refugees suggesting that the Nazi regime faced imminent collapse.
But Moscow was getting another message. Sorge later confessed: “One consequence of Lyushkov’s report was a danger of joint Japanese-German military action against the Soviet Union.”
Western leaders were less aware of Stalin’s problem in the East, which figured as strongly into his calculations as his alliance with Hitler. At all cost Stalin needed to avoid a two-front war. In fact, he was already at war with Russia’s historic rival, Japan. In 1938 the Soviets and Japanese had fought each other in a series of incidents on the Manchurian frontier, about seventy-five miles southwest of Vladivostok, without a clear victory on either side.
What began as skirmishes in January 1939 gradually brought in larger Japanese units; by May, major Japanese forces were engaged against Soviet-Mongolian units near Khalkhin-Gol (the Khalkhin River on the Manchurian border with Mongolia) and the town of Nomonhan.
The Japanese call it the Nomonhan Incident.
By July it had become a war, to which the Japanese brought heavy pressure to bear against the Soviet troops. Even while Stalin’s and Hitler’s emissaries were negotiating their infamous 1939 Non- Aggression Pact, Soviet and Japanese troops were battering each other at Khalkhin- Gol.
In a decisive Soviet tank offensive that took place in August, General (later Marshal) Georgi Zhukov, then a corps commander, exhibited his aggressive leadership. Zhukov’s massive armored assault was a totally unexpected innovation that defeated the Japanese and led to his rise in the Soviet officer corps.
With Sorge’s microfilm of Lyushkov’s report in hand, the Soviet High Command knew what the Japanese expected when they pushed across the Manchurian border at Khalkhin-Gol. As a result, Zhukov built up his forces to much greater strength and overwhelmed the Japanese.
Sorge continued to advise Moscow during the fighting, warning that although sizable Japanese reinforcements might be transferred to the battlefield from North China and Manchuria, there was no evidence that large-scale units were being sent from Japan. This was the evidence, reported Sorge, for his standing firm on the view that: “Japan had no intention of waging war against the Soviet Union.” He repeated variations of this radio message several times during the fighting.
At this point Zhukov assumed command of the Soviet First Army Group. For weeks he maintained a defensive posture, methodically but stealthily building up his forces. He created a three-to-two superiority in manpower, two-to-one strength in artillery and airplanes, and a four-to-one advantage in armor. He gathered 35 infantry battalions to fight 25 Japanese infantry battalions; 20 cavalry squadrons against 17 Japanese cavalry squadrons. Zhukov had nearly 500 tanks, 346 armored cars, and 500 planes to go up against the Japanese Sixth Army, which had no tanks.
Zhukov drew the Japanese in without revealing his strength, then counterattacked for the kill. The attack against the Japanese forces came at 5:45 a.m., August 20, 1939, only three days before the announcement of the Non-Aggression Pact. The battle raged for more than ten days, until the Japanese were driven back across the frontier in disorder.
The defeat of the Japanese at Khalkhin-Gol forced a reassessment in Tokyo of plans for the timing to attack the Soviet Union and discredited the army officers responsible for the defeat.
Red Army intelligence has never released evidence of the connection between
Lyushkov’s information and the defeat of the Japanese at Khalkhin-Gol. In 1941, when Sorge was arrested by the Japanese for espionage activities, a leading
Japanese procurator, Yoshikawa Mitsusada, made the connection between the failure of the Japanese military operation at Khalkhin-Gol and Sorge’s transmission to Moscow of the Japanese evaluation of Soviet strength based on Lyushkov’s information. In their study of Sorge, F. W. Deakin and G. R. Storry wrote,
“Sorge’s activity in connection with the Lyushkov affair was one of the greatest services he rendered to the Fourth Bureau (Soviet Military Intelligence) during his Japan mission.”
When the fighting ended, it had changed the course of history. Khalkhin-Gol was the decisive turning point that created fear and doubt for the Japanese in their plan to attack the Soviet Union through Siberia.
Two years later the Japanese focused south into Indochina, but until they attacked Pearl Harbor, Stalin was uncertain whether or not the Japanese would attempt another invasion of the Soviet Far East.

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
November 16, 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. 39
Date: Monday, September 30. 1996
Commenced: 12:23 PM CST
Concluded: 12:47 PM CST

RTC: Gregory?
GD: Yes, Robert. I am letting you know that I got a letter from Critchfield today.
RTC: Excellent! What did he say?
GD: If you know the score, a great deal and if you don’t, it’s still interesting. Shall I read it to you?
RTC: Not on the phone. Can you copy it and send it to me at home?
GD: He says that you spoke well of me and that you said I was a former intelligence employee, just as you said he would. He is very eager to get ahold of me to find out what I know about Mueller and who told me.
RTC: Oh, he’s a very alarmed person, Gregory. They all are.
GD: He did mention that his ex-CIA friends were all in a tizzy. Some believed me and other said that none of it could be true.
RTC: That’s typical, Gregory. We always had members who laughed at everything. You could tell them today was Monday and they would say, “Well, that remains to be seen.” How did he leave it?
GD: He is most insistent that I call him at home.
RTC: But be careful of that, Gregory. He’ll tape you. He wants to find out what you know about Mueller….have you mentioned Kronthal yet?
GD: I haven’t responded to the letter, Robert, but when we talk, I will.
RTC: He’ll ask you if Corson told you this. Say that he did not. Say that Mueller did. Also tell him that the Company terminated Kronthal because he was a faggot and was being blackmailed by the Russians. Got that?
GD: I do.
RTC: This might prove to be very interesting. Be sure you tape him. Do you have the equipment for that?
GD: I do indeed, Robert.
RTC: And be very accurate about Gehlen. No interesting stories.
GD: Robert, please give me some credit, won’t you? I’ve been doing this sort of crap for years now and I haven’t put my foot into it yet.
RTC: No, but I’ve never seen you in action.
GD: You will. I have had dealings with the CIA before. My God, what a bunch of idiots. They have two approaches, Robert and only two. They tell you that you’re in very serious trouble but they can help you or they say they want to be my friend. As far as the latter is concerned, I’d much rather try to fuck a rabid bulldog than trust one of them. They couldn’t talk a Mongoloid idiot out of a candy bar. Now, on the other hand, the Russians I know are far better. I’ve never had a bad word from any of them. I would say that the average Russian KGB person, but on a higher level, is far more intelligent and savvy than any CIA person I’ve ever met.
RTC: Ever been to Russia?
GD: Once. As a tourist, of course. I have a nice picture of myself sitting in their headquarters, reading a local paper under a picture of Lenin.
RTC: Are you serious?
GD: Certainly I am. I met one of their leaders when he and I were in Bern. He was a trade delegation person at their embassy of course. And they do know how to feed you. I got rather fond of smoked sturgeon and really good Beluga caviar, all washed down with a first class Crimean wine.
RTC: Who was your friend there?
GD: He’s in the First Directorate but somehow I seem to have forgotten his name. He was on the idiot tube during the Gorbachev problem a few years ago.
RTC: Stocky? Sandy hair? Thinning?
GD: I believe so.
RTC: My God. If I gave you a name would…
GD: No, I would not. Besides, I’m not a spy, Robert. Don’t forget, I’m an analyst, a scenario writer, not a spy. Besides the sturgeon, I enjoy dissecting a complex problem and arriving at a simple answer. It’s not popular with most people, Robert, but it’s almost always right.
RTC: Such vanity.
GD: I prefer to call it a realistic appraisal of facts, Robert.
RTC: Could I see the picture?
GD: I’ll show it to you in person but I would prefer not to send it to you by mail. It might get lost.
RTC: Yes, these things do happen.
GD: I will certainly speak with Critchfield and I will tape the conversation for you. Do you want a copy of the tape?
RTC: No, just play it for me so I can hear what the shit has to say. I’d like you to get him to talk about the Nazis who worked for him. You know Jim liked the Nazis and hired a fair number of them. Grombach made out a list after the war so they could track some of the war crimes boys who might be in POW cages. They called it the Crowcrass List. Jim got his hands on it and used it to recruit from. I told him once this could come back to haunt him if the Jews ever found out about it but Jim just said the Jews were loud-mouthed assholes, his exact words, and Hitler missed the boat when he left any alive.
GD: Do you want me to get him to say that?
RTC: Now that’s an interesting idea, Gregory. Would you?
GD: Why not? I really knew Gehlen, as I’ve said, in ’51. He told me once that his famous report that the Russians were planning to attack western Europe in ’48 was made up because the U.S. Army, who were paying him, wanted him to do this. He said he lied like a rug and that no German intelligence officer would ever believe a word of it. He said the Russians had torn up all the rail lines in their zone and they could no more move troops up to the border than crap sideways. He said that this was designed to scare the shit out of the politicians in Washington so the Army, which was being sharply reduced in size, would be able to rebuild. That meant more money from Congress and more Generals got to keep their jobs. He said it worked like a charm and even Truman was terrified. I assume that’s the real beginning of the Cold War, isn’t it?
RTC: That’s a very good and accurate assessment. Jim told me that Gehlen was a pompous ass whom Hitler had sacked for being a champion bullshit artist but he was very useful to our side in frightening everyone with the Russian boogeyman. It’s all business, isn’t it?
GD: Marx said that. The basis of all wars is economic.
RTC: Absolutely, Gregory, absolutely. But talk about the Nazi SS men he hired, if you can. My God, they say it was like a party rally up at Pullach. If we can get him to admit that he, and others, knew what they were hiring, I’ll have him over the proverbial barrel and then I can have some leverage over him. Why, you don’t need to know.
GD: I don’t care, Robert. From his letter, I would agree he is a gasbag with a bloated opinion of himself. He should never have written that letter because I can see right through it. He’s afraid I know too much and if I knew Mueller, he’s even more frightened Mueller might have said things about him. You know, Robert, if you dance to the tune, you have to pay the piper eventually.
RTC: Do keep the letter and try to get him to put more down on paper.
GD: I will try but I don’t think he’s that stupid. We’ll try the tape and see what I can pry out of him. Mueller got me a list of names working for Gehlen and some background on them. I agree that they hired some people who are going to haunt them if it ever gets out.
RTC: Well, you have a problem there. Your publisher is not big enough to reach too many people and a bigger one would be told right off not to talk to you. I also might suggest several things to you. If anyone tries to come to visit you, and they want to bring a friend, don’t go for it.
GD: Are they planning to shoot me?
RTC: No. The so-called friend would be a government expert. They would examine any documents you had and if there was the slightest hint that you were sitting on something you had no business having, they would go straight into federal court, testify that these papers were highly sensitive and classified and get a friendly judge to issue a replevin order. That means they would send the FBI crashing into your house and grab everything sight. If you had a Rolex it would vanish along with any loose cash and, naturally, all the papers. And one other thing, if you get a very nice offer from some publisher you never heard of, just begging you to let them publish, be warned that they would take the manuscript, send it to Langley and if Langley thought it was dangerous, give you a contract to publish it along with a token payment. Of course they would never publish it but since they paid you and had a contract to publish, you could never find another publisher. They’d get a court order in record time, blocking it. Just some advice.
GD: Thank you. But I never let these morons into my house. Oh, and I have had such invites but once you talk to these jokers, you can see in a few minutes that they know nothing about Mueller, the Gestapo or anything else. They read a book and think they are an expert but most post war books are bullshit written by the far left or by Jews and are completely worthless from a factual point of view. No, it takes me only a few minutes to figure them out and then, suddenly, my dog is tearing the throats out of the Seventh Day Adventists on the front porch and I have to ring off. I don’t know why these Mongoloids don’t find someone with an IQ larger than their neck size. That is a chronic disappointment. There’s no challenge there, Robert. It’s a little like reading Kant to a Mongoloid. Such a waste of my time and so unrewarding when you find they pissed on the rug.
RTC: That should do it for now, Gregory. Keep me posted.
GD: I’m going out of town for a few days but will get back with you next week.

(Concluded at 12:47 PM CST)

Encyclopedia of American Loons
Cynthia Nevison

Cynthia Nevison is a climate scientist, and although she is right about climate – as far as we can tell, her efforts support the consensus among experts thoroughly anchored in an enormous body of evidence pointing in the same direction – that doesn’t make her an expert on other areas of science, areas on which she has no relevant expertise but nevertheless opts to disagree with just as firmly established scientific conclusions. Unfortunately, going idiotic denialist about other areas of science tends of course to jeopardize her position of authority, at least in the public eye, on climate change. And it will be used against her, and against climate science in general, by climate change denialists.
So, what’s up? Well, Nevison is also a board member of SafeMinds, an anti-vaccine organization, and has herself pushed some serious antivaccine nonsense. Officially, Nevison’s position is a call for moderation: “In the majority of mainstream articles in newspapers, magazines, and on-line sites, one is either for vaccines or against them. The possibility of a middle ground is not acknowledged,” which is simply the familiar false compromise fallacy. (It’s interesting to see the hoops she’d have to go through to avoid making the same argument with regard to climate change denialism.) Of course, Nevison is really against vaccines, but it sounds rhetorically better to tout herself as the moderate voice. And her arguments for her anti-vaccine position are, of course, the usual combination of non sequiturs, post-hoc fallacies (reminder) and bad science and pseudoscience, with the usual dash of conspiracy theories. For instance, Nevison complains that parents are “mocked” for “for wanting to protect their children from developing these chronic, sometimes debilitating, and often lifelong health conditions” (“[t]he most pressing health problem facing American children today is not measles, but rather the rise in chronic immune system and neurological disorders,” which is true since few people today actually contract measles because of vaccines), which is false but tellingly assumes that there is a link between vaccines and these conditions, which, of course, there isn’t.
Nevison’s position is apparently based on the following five “facts” (for a more thorough discussion of these “facts”, go here):
1. Autism is caused by improper brain synapse formation (true).
2. Empirical data shows autism is on the rise (false: empirical data strongly suggest that the rise in autism diagnoses is a combination of changing criteria and increased awareness.)
3. Autism is caused by environmental triggers but the government continues to spend most of its money searching for the elusive “autism gene” (false: autism is to a large extent genetic, regardless of what denialists claim, and it is interesting that Nevison just assumes that the environmental component must be vaccines without further evidence).
4. The increase in the number of childhood vaccines correlates with the increase in autism (no: see point 2; the increase in autism diagnoses also correlates at least as well with the change in sales of organic food, by the way.)
5. Asking whether our packed vaccine schedule might be a trigger for autism is a scientifically plausible question that is not equivalent to climate change denial (false: the hypothesis might not have been prima facie stupid, but at present it is as thoroughly refuted as any scientific hypothesis has ever been, and continuing to stick with it is probably even more delusionally denialist than sticking with the claim that climate isn’t changing; Nevison, though, supports her claim by claiming, laughably falsely, that “[e]pidemiology cannot address underlying biological mechanisms” and that there is a conspiracy to cover up research fraud – yup, it’s the CDC “whistleblower” conspiracy (background here)).
Of course, Nevison herself actually tries to compare those who deny that vaccines cause autism with climate change denialism, in what must be close to a world record in tortured reasoning.
Diagnosis: Crazy, hardcore denialist, but it is at least a very good example of how compartmentalization works, when she engages in precisely the same types of denialist gambits about a field in which she has no expertise, that she at the same time lament that people are using against her own field of expertise. The comparison should be telling, but to someone like Nevison it isn’t.

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