TBR News November 18, 2013

Nov 18 2013

The Voice of the White House



             Washington, D.C. November 19, 2013: “Just recently, we got an interesting email from a Russian site which we are reproducing below. This appears to be from a left-wing American hate group that, by reputation, attacks anything smacking of right wing politics. In the present case, the writer is now attacking the Christian church and making terrible accusations against Jesus. And this in the name of “exposing the evil right wing?” Bad taste, dudes, bad taste. We have a modicum of free speech in America but it is not a good idea to scream ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater and is terrible taste to attack anyone’s religion.”


Hiding in Plain Sight: The Hypocrite in Disguise

by Heidi Beirich,

Deputy Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Project


 The most dangerous movement to the freedom of mankind are not the Nazis but the Christian church. For two thousand years, this organization has been inflicting its will on hundreds of millions of people, seeking out and killing or torturing those who stand in its way and who even now are trying, with considerable success, to control the United States government.     

 The so-called ‘tea party’ gang, avowed Christians, has deliberately forced this country to the brink of economic disaster. They are right wing Christian fanatics supported by the Heritage Foundation. This far-right group, centered in Washington, is run by former Senator Jim DeMint, appointed in December, 2012, and is supported by right wing crazies like the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch. It is also supported by other significant contributors to  include the conservative Olin, Scaife, DeVos and Bradley foundations.

The unpublished, and until now,  secret credo of this group, and two others is:

 “Jesus Christ is Lord in all aspects of life, including civil government.

 Jesus Christ is, therefore, the Ruler of Nations, and should be explicitly confessed as such in any constitutional documents. The civil ruler, in this case, the office of President,  is to be a servant of God, he must derive his authority from God and he is duty-bound to govern according to the expressed will of God as pronounced by God’s instruments on earth.

 The civil government of our nation, its laws, institutions, and practices must therefore be conformed to the principles of Biblical law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments.

In confronting what these strange creatures call Secular Humanists and Satanists, loyal Evangelicals believe they must realize that it is vital to stress the following Proclaimed Truths:

 1. The unique divine inspiration of all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as originally given, so that they are infallible and uniquely authoritative and free from error of any sort, in all matters with which they deal, scientific and historical as well as moral and theological.

2. Special creation of the existing space-time universe and all its basic systems and kinds of organisms in the six literal days of the creation week.

3. The full historicity and perspicuity of the biblical record of primeval history, including the literal existence of Adam and Eve as the progenitors of all people, the literal fall and resultant divine curse of the creation, and worldwide cataclysmic deluge and the origin of nations and languages at the Tower of Babel.”

By their idea of a faith and with fanatical determination, they have placed many of their creatures into the upper ranks of the Republican Party; have organized local elections to put their members on vital school boards where they can, and have, successfully supplanted what they call the false Darwinism with the Divinely Inspired Biblical Creationism. They have elected members to serve in Congress who are sensitive only to their needs and wishes but they feel strongly that they need far more power in order to establish an unbeatable majority in Congress. 

The twin surges of Christians into GOP ranks in the early 1980s and early 1990s have begun to bear fruit for the leaders of the Evangelical movement , as naïve, idealistic recruits have transformed into highly proficient operatives and leaders, building organizations, winning leadership positions, fighting onto platform committees, and electing many of the Christian fanatics own to public offices at all levels of American governance.

 One of their brilliantly successful tactics in gaining control of Republican organizations is to tie up political meetings for hours until people left. Then they  appointed fundamentalist leaders and make key policy decisions. The Evangelicals feel that once they have taken control of the local leadership throughout a target state, they can then control that state’s political party apparatus.  Once they have a target state under so-called Christian control, they can then use the same tactics in other states until they have built a cohesive and solid Christian oriented power base that can control any election, state or national.

 Former Congressman Ron Paul, through his ‘Texas Straight Talk’ articles and legislative actions, has pursued a white nationalist agenda. Ron Paul does openly support secession.  In 1995, he gave a speech on the “future Republic of Texas” at a conference advertised as “Secession—That’s what the Tenth Amendment is all about.”  In April 2009 he repeated his support for secession.  Thus, secession would lead to a white homeland on the territory of the old Confederacy. Ron Paul has courted white nationalists, neo-Confederates, militia supporters, and neo-Nazis from the start of his career in politics to the present day.

He has proposed court-stripping legislation that would deny all federal courts the ability to hear cases related to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, gay rights, and reproductive rights.  In that sense he pushes a Christian nationalist agenda.

It is not unreasonable to consider Ron Paul a white Christian nationalist. His neo-Confederacy movement as comprising “libertarians connected with organizations such as the Ludwig von Mises Institute, ‘Christian soldiers’ who voiced a fundamentalist religion and a belief in biblical literalism, and ‘racists.’”

 Paul views African-Americans as inherent “looters.”  In a 1990 newsletter, he viewed Martin Luther King Jr. as a “socialist,”  “a pal of the Communists,” and “an advocate of a gigantic welfare state.”  In October 1992 Ron Paul blasted then-Governor William Weld of Massachusetts for his “redistribution of school money from white to black districts.”  In the same issue he urged his readers to arm themselves “For the animals are coming.”

 The strategy of the coming Christian based Republican Party is simple.

 First, they intend to enact a permanent tax cut which will eliminate $6 trillion in revenue over the next 20 years. This will in effect starve the federal government so it will be unable to fund many liberal and essentially anti-Christian governmental functions instituted since the Communist-inspired New Deal.

Second, they are determined to fill, as they see it, the liberal and secular federal judiciary with Christian advocates whose judicial philosophy will reverse the disastrous trends on civil rights, environmental protections, religious liberty, reproductive rights and privacy and so much more.

Third, and very important, they are going to mandate the teaching of what they call Divine Creationism in all public and private schools and remove from all school curriculums the Secular Humanist false theories of Darwin and others.

Fourth, by Congressional action, they will revise the Federal Constitution so that it better reflects Divine Will and strips away false secularism entirely.

 They have sworn to produce an American Constitution that conforms to ‘Biblical Law’ that will rely on the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament as its guiding source. Therefore, to them, the Ten Commandments hold a special meaning. The New Christian lawmakers are expected to pass legislation in various state legislatures that will mandate government posting of the Ten Commandments in all public buildings.

 The Rev. Joseph Morecraft is head of the Reconstructionist Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Georgia and he states his belief in the persecution of nonbelievers and those who are insufficiently orthodox is crystal clear. Reverend Morecraft describes democracy as “mob rule,” and states that the purpose of “civil government” is to “terrorize evil doers. . . to be an avenger!” and “To bring down the wrath of God to bear on all those who practice evil!”

 “And how do you terrorize an evil doer?” he asks. “You enforce Biblical law!” The purpose of government is “to protect the church of Jesus Christ,” and, “Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody’s pseudo-right to worship an idol!” “There is no such thing” as religious pluralism, he declared. Further, “There has never been such a condition in the history of mankind. There is no such place now. There never will be.”

 “When God brings Noah through the flood to a new earth, He re-establishes the Dominion Mandate but now delegates to man the responsibility for governing other men in order to protect human life. He does this by instituting capital punishment – the backbone of civil government.” This is a direct quote by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

 The fanatical Christian’s implementation of their view of what they call Biblical Law is central to their mission of building what they claim will be the ‘Kingdom of God on earth.’ The way to get to ‘Biblical Law’ enacted, and enforced, is through politics. Therefore, God’s law as manifested in the Bible should govern. References to the Ten Commandments are more than symbolic. It reflects a belief that the Bible, not the Constitution, represents the final legal authority.

 1) The federal government should recede into the background through massive tax cuts. This concept, heartily embraced by the tea party Fascists, has more than one benefit. As money available for corrupting so-called “entitlements” dries up, there will not be funding for welfare leeches, birth control programs, support for the army of illegal aliens now flooding out country and the notorious Social Security give-always.

 2) Acceptable churches should be mandated to take over responsibility for welfare and education by faith-based initiatives and school vouchers. By these means, they feel, what they consider as ‘True Christians’ can establish a firm control over the education of American youth. They can, and will, instill what they fondly believe are what they term ‘Christian Values’ in American youth and by this means insure a growing body of young Christian right-wing fanatics, ready, willing and able to assume leadership positions in a Christianized United States.

3) They firmly believe that capitalism is the sole reason that America is now the greatest nation on earth and their ‘Christian Community’ firmly believes that this engine of national success and power should be freed of current regulations that harmfully restrict America’s major corporations in achieving their maximum growth potential. They are, therefore, firmly opposed to so-called environmental rules and regulations, restrictive and repressive work safety regulations, and the involvement by the Federal government and judiciary in civil rights matters. One of their chief goals, one paid for by corporate money, must first and foremost introduce and secure legislation to halt devastating personal injury lawsuits against Corporate America.

 4) The Christian neo-Nazis firmly believe that the U.S. Constitution should conform to Biblical Law.

 Like the Nazis they emulate, the modern Christians are violently opposed to homosexuals, demonizing them and, in some cases, calling for them to be put to death. The next step will be to resurrect the old anti-Semitic game and add the Jews to those to be executed.

Lou Sheldon, founder of the Traditional Values Coalition has said:

 “Our little children are being targeted by the homosexuals and liberals who are pushing for this legislation,” wrote Sheldon. “They want our preschool children…. They want our kindergarten children….They want our grade school children….They want our middle school and high school children….To be brainwashed to think that homosexuality is the moral equivalent of heterosexuality. We can’t let that happen.”

 Sen. Trent Lott equated gays with alcoholics and kleptomaniacs, but it has long been a central tenet of ‘True Christian Right groups’ that homosexuals are diseased, and can be cured with a combination of religious indoctrination and psychological counseling. ‘Reparative therapy,’ as practiced by a variety of ex-gay ministries includes a large dose of gender stereotyping: men are encouraged to play football or learn auto mechanics, women to wear dresses and makeup.

  On the September 4, 1998 Armstrong Williams talk show, Colorado talk-radio personality Bob Enyard called for the death penalty for gays and adulterers. And later, a Christian radio talk-show host in Costa Mesa, California said, “Lesbian love, sodomy are viewed by God as being detestable and abominable. Civil magistrates are to put people to death who practice these things.”

Given the murderous hatred for gays manifested by the religious right, it is very interesting to learn that their hero, Jesus the Christ, was gay, and even the New Testament literary inventions spoke of his lovers such as James the Beloved and the handsome young man who was seen, nude, in the company of Jesus at the Mount of Olives.

Jesus, an Alexandrian Jew, joined the Essene sect after his family emigrated from Egypt.

 The Essenes were a religious sect of Judaism that flourished from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD in Qumran, a plateau in the Judean Desert along the Dead Sea. The origin of the name Essene is debated. Some credible possibilities are either a version of the Greek word for “holy,” or an Aramaic dialect term for “pious.” In their writings, they refer to themselves as the “Sons of Light”. Many scholars today believe there were a number of separate but related groups that had in common mystic, eschatological, messianic, and ascetic beliefs that were referred to as the “Essenes.”

The Essenes were the followers of a group of priests who had essentially rejected the Second Temple. They argued that the Essene community was itself the new Temple, although they did not reject the notion of the temple outright. Eventually, they believed, like current Christian fanatics, they would be triumphant, gaining control of the temple and remaking it according to their own ideals. Accordingly, the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 was for them a symbol of imminent victory. With this came the end of the Sadducees and the end of the house of Shammai. They also believed strongly in the end-times and wrote an entire scroll on that subject. The “Rule of War” detailed the battle plans for the “final” battle.

 When the Romans overran the rebellious province of Judea in 70 CE they believed that it was time to fight the last battle. They had been ready and prepared for it and therefore threw their entire beings and everything they had into it. They may have thought they were strong, but they were not strong enough to withstand the Romans. They were mercilessly and almost totally annihilated. And, like the Spartans, the Essenes were an all-male association, communistic in nature, and well-known as practicing homosexuals.

 And where is it written that Jesus was gay and not the product of virgin birth, or the miraculous Son of God? A very clear exposition can be found in one of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls

 The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 that consist of biblical manuscripts from what is now known as the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name. They were specifically located at Khirbet Qumran in what was then British Mandate Palestine, and since 1947, what has been known as the West Bank.

They are written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Nabataean, mostly on parchment, but with some written on papyrus and bronze. These manuscripts have been dated to various ranges between 408 BCE and 318 CE.

The Qumran–Essene theory holds that the scrolls were written by the Essenes residing at Khirbet Qumran. They composed the scrolls and ultimately hid them in the nearby caves during the Jewish Revolt sometime between 66 and 68 CE. The site of Qumran was destroyed and the scrolls were never recovered by those that placed them there.

There are striking similarities between the description of an initiation ceremony of new members in the ‘Community Rule’ and descriptions of the Essene initiation ceremony mentioned in the works of Flavius Josephus – a Jewish–Roman historian of the Second Temple Period.

Josephus mentions the Essenes as sharing property among the members of the community, as does the Community Rule

 Pliny the Elder (a geographer writing after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE) describes a group of Essenes living in a desert community on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea near the ruined town of ‘Ein Gedi.

The scroll in question, concerning Jesus, was found near Cave 3 in 1952 and its hiding place was contained in information found in the cave. It is on parchment, used for important messages, deals with the revolts against the Romans and is the only known period discussion of Jesus. This scroll is written in Hebrew Cryptic script “B” It was carbon dated in 1972 and it was created in the latter part of the first century, CE

Jesus, who called himself Bar Nasha’ (son of man), was, according to the 3rd cave scroll, born in Alexandria, Egypt,  of Jewish parents. His family, Jesus, his mother, father and two brothers, later emigrated to Judea. There, Jesus became interested in the Essene cult, joined it and became one of its leaders.

 During the Procuratorship of Antonius Felix (52 to 58 CE) not Pontius Pilate, Jesus and his fellow Essenes assembled a mob of about 30,000 Palestinian Jewish dissidents, and planned to attack Jerusalem and drive out the Roman garrison.  One of Jesus’ Essene associates, a man named Judas, informed Felix of the impending raid and it was stopped by Roman troops with a heavy loss of life for the rebels. Many were taken prisoner, tried and crucified for rebellion against the Roman government but the period records show, very clearly, that the leader, Jesus (or Bar Nasha’ from Alexandria,) escaped and vanished, along with survivors of the Essenes, into the desert.

This badly-flawed fanatic is the beau ideal of the modern Christians who have no idea who Jesus really was and go about their ways blindly believing in the badly-written New Testament. And they fail to realize that early Christianity was a Jewish religion, later taken over by the Romans and turned into what has become a fanatical hate movement, seeking control over everyone and determined to punish any one or any thing that dares to stand in their way. Over the centuries, they have slaughtered their enemies and Protestants and Catholics have been killed in large numbers and when they have finished killing off opposing Christians, they both turn to slaughter Jews.

            It is time now for the world to realize that Christianity does not equate with brotherhood and mutual love but control and death.



Court rules 3,000-year-old gold relic to be returned to German museum

Family lore says Holocaust survivor, who brought the tablet when he settled in US, got it by trading cigarettes to a Russian soldier


November 14, 2013

Associated Press in Albany



In a ruling rejecting any claims to the “spoils of war,” New York’s highest court concluded Thursday that an ancient gold tablet must be returned to the German museum that lost it in the Second world war.


The court of appeals unanimously agreed that Riven Flamenbaum’s estate is not entitled to the 3,000-year-old Assyrian relic, a 9.5-gram (0.34oz) tablet nearly the size of a credit card.


“We decline to adopt any doctrine that would establish good title based upon the looting and removal of cultural objects during wartime by a conquering military force,” the court said in a memorandum.


“The ‘spoils of war’ theory proffered by the estate – that the Russian government, when it invaded Germany, gained title to the museum’s property as a spoil of war, and then transferred that title to the decedent – is rejected.”


The tablet, inscribed with an exhortation to honor King Tukulti-Ninurta I, was excavated a century ago by German archaeologists from the Ishtar Temple in what’s now northern Iraq. It went on display in 1934 and disappeared after the start of the war.


Flamenbaum, an Auschwitz survivor, brought the tablet to the United States when he settled in New York. Family lore says he got it by trading cigarettes to a Russian soldier.


The New York court also rejected the argument the Vorderasiatisches Museum, part of the renowned Pergamon Museum, waited too long – more than 60 years – before trying to reclaim it. A judge on Long Island said it had unreasonably delayed, but a midlevel court last year ruled the other way.


“New York has really affirmed its moral leadership in protecting true property owners,” said museum attorney Raymond Dowd. “This decision makes it clear that the rule of finders keepers is not the law in New York.”


The ruling should ensure the safe return of the tablet, Dowd said. The museum has many other pieces still missing since the war, he said, adding that some Holocaust groups filed a court brief supporting the museum’s claim.


Calls to attorneys for the Flamenbaum family were not immediately returned Thursday.


According to court documents, the tablet dates to 1243 to 1207 BC, during Tukulti-Ninurta’s reign. Placed in the foundation of the temple of the fertility goddess, its 21 lines call on those who find the temple to honor the king’s name.


In 1945, the Berlin museum’s premises was overrun, with many items taken by Russians, others by German troops and some pilfered by people who took shelter in the museum. The museum director was not in a position to say who took it, only that it disappeared.


It has been in a deposit box in New York.


FBI warns of U.S. government breaches by Anonymous hackers


November 15, 2013

by Jim Finkle and Joseph Menn



 BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO  – Activist hackers linked to the collective known as Anonymous have secretly accessed U.S. government computers in multiple agencies and stolen sensitive information in a campaign that began almost a year ago, the FBI warned this week.


The hackers exploited a flaw in Adobe Systems Inc’s software to launch a rash of electronic break-ins that began last December, then left “back doors” to return to many of the machines as recently as last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a memo seen by Reuters.


The memo, distributed on Thursday, described the attacks as “a widespread problem that should be addressed.” It said the breach affected the U.S. Army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and perhaps many more agencies.


Investigators are still gathering information on the scope of the cyber campaign, which the authorities believe is continuing. The FBI document tells system administrators what to look for to determine if their systems are compromised.


An FBI spokeswoman declined to elaborate.


According to an internal email from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’ chief of staff, Kevin Knobloch, the stolen data included personal information on at least 104,000 employees, contractors, family members and others associated with the Department of Energy, along with information on almost 2,0000 bank accounts.


The email, dated October 11, said officials were “very concerned” that loss of the banking information could lead to thieving attempts.


Officials said the hacking was linked to the case of Lauri Love, a British resident indicted on October 28 for allegedly hacking into computers at the Department of Energy, Army, Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Sentencing Commission and elsewhere.


Investigators believe the attacks began when Love and others took advantage of a security flaw in Adobe’s ColdFusion software, which is used to build websites.


Adobe spokeswoman Heather Edell said she was not familiar with the FBI report. She added that the company has found that the majority of attacks involving its software have exploited programs that were not updated with the latest security patches.


The Anonymous group is an amorphous collective that conducts multiple hacking campaigns at any time, some with a few participants and some with hundreds. In the past, its members have disrupted eBay’s Inc PayPal after it stopped processing donations to the anti-secrecy site Wikileaks. Anonymous has also launched technically more sophisticated attacks against Sony Corp and security firm HBGary Federal.


Some of the breaches and pilfered data in the latest campaign had previously been publicized by people who identify with Anonymous, as part of what the group dubbed “Operation Last Resort.”


Among other things, the campaigners said the operation was in retaliation for overzealous prosecution of hackers, including the lengthy penalties sought for Aaron Swartz, a well-known computer programmer and Internet activist who killed himself before a trial over charges that he illegally downloaded academic journal articles from a digital library known as JSTOR.


Despite the earlier disclosures, “the majority of the intrusions have not yet been made publicly known,” the FBI wrote. “It is unknown exactly how many systems have been compromised, but it is a widespread problem that should be addressed.”


(Reporting by Joseph Menn in San Francisco and Jim Finkle in Boston; Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Alina Selyukh; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Tim Dobbyn)


Five Myths:

Challenging everything you think you know Five myths about John F. Kennedy


November 13, 2013

by Larry J. Sabato 

Washington Post


Most everyone who was alive on Nov. 22, 1963, remembers where they were when they heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. JFK was the youngest elected U.S. president and the youngest to die. The fascination with him is never-ending: There have been hundreds of books, TV specials and films about his New Frontier, as well as the enduring controversy surrounding his assassination. Let’s debunk some of the most pervasive myths.


1. The JFK-Nixon TV debates propelled Kennedy to victory.


The four televised debates were the great innovation of the 1960 presidential race, and Sen. Kennedy’s impressive appearance and performance at the first one on Sept. 26 gave his campaign a jolt of energy. But Vice President Richard Nixon stepped up his game in the remaining three, especially the final one on foreign policy, a strength of his.


While polls were much less frequent in 1960 than today, Gallup has enough data to show that the JFK-Nixon matchup was close throughout. From mid-August onward, the candidates were essentially tied, before and after the debates. Any boost Kennedy got from the first debate disappeared before Election Day.


President Dwight Eisenhower, still quite popular, campaigned for Nixon in the race’s final days, contributing to the photo finish in the popular vote: 49.72 percent for Kennedy, 49.55 percent for Nixon; out of about 69 million votes cast, JFK won by about 119,000. Sure, the debates were memorable and precedent-setting, but they barely moved the needle.



2. JFK was a liberal president.


This view is widely held today, both because Kennedy is now associated with the civil rights movement and because his legacy is lumped together with those of his late brothers, the much more liberal Bobby and Ted. (The brothers followed Jack’s moderate lead while he lived, but both became more openly progressive later on.) In reality, JFK was a cautious, conservative chief executive, mindful of his 1964 reelection bid after the squeaker of 1960. He was fiscally conservative, careful about spending and deficits, and sponsored an across-the-board tax cut that became President Ronald Reagan’s model for his 1981 tax cut.


While he was more conciliatory after the Cuban missile crisis, JFK’s early Cold War rhetoric was so hawkish that Reagan and other Republicans later quoted him at every opportunity to buttress their fight against communism. And Kennedy was so hesitant and timid about civil rights that he frustrated the movement’s leaders at virtually every turn until finally articulating a vision for equal rights in June 1963.


            3. Kennedy was determined to land Americans on the moon.


That’s how we recall it, because of JFK’s blunt declarations to Congress and the public beginning in May 1961, yet Kennedy actively considered alternatives. He actually wanted to send astronauts to Mars but had to be talked out of it because it was so impractical. Once he lowered his sights to our lunar satellite, Kennedy continued to have doubts because of the cost. “Why should we spend that kind of dough to put a man on the moon?” he asked NASA Administrator James Webb in September 1963.


Kennedy even approached Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev about ending the superpower space race and establishing a Soviet-American partnership for a moon landing. Khrushchev responded favorably, and JFK mentioned it in his fall 1963 speech to the United Nations. His order to NASA to “make it happen” fell by the wayside in the next administration.


            4. After the assassination, Lyndon Johnson adhered to JFK’s agenda.


Johnson capitalized on Kennedy’s memory and cited JFK more than 500 times in public speeches, statements and news conferences — more than any other president except Bill Clinton — as he tried to shepherd his own agenda to congressional passage. LBJ sought to out-Kennedy Kennedy.


Take Johnson’s signature project, the War on Poverty. Right before JFK left for Dallas, an aide, Walter Heller, met with the president and proposed a program to combat poverty. Kennedy would consider signing off only on a pilot program in a few cities; he wanted no big-spending, budget-busting welfare subsidies.


Heller met with LBJ the day after the assassination to revisit the issue. Johnson, with his hardscrabble background, loved the idea and immediately countermanded Kennedy’s cautious approach: “That’s my kind of program. It’s a people’s program. . Give it the highest priority. Push ahead full tilt.”


The Vietnam War is an even better example. No one knows for sure whether Kennedy would have fully disengaged from Vietnam after his reelection, but almost no one believes that JFK, a wary incrementalist, would have committed 535,000 troops to Southeast Asia as Johnson did.


5. Fifty years later, we know everything we’ll ever know about Kennedy’s assassination.


Even a half-century later, we don’t have the complete story. This is because many government documents remain classified and hidden. Reputable groups and individuals have estimated that there are 1,171 unreleased CIA documents concerning Nov. 22, 1963. The Center for Effective Government has even claimed that there may be more than 1 million unseen CIA records related to Kennedy’s assassination. No one can close the book on this subject without examining them.


The Assassination Records Collection Act, signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, requires that all remaining documents about the Kennedy assassination be released by Oct. 26, 2017. The next president will rule on any requests from the CIA and other agencies that materials be withheld or redacted after 2017. Under the law, the president can do so only if there is “identifiable harm to military, defense, intelligence operations, or conduct of foreign relations, and the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”


In addition, new technologies applied to hard evidence remaining from Dallas may yield fresh insights and conclusions. Recently, for instance, my research team used advanced audio analysis of a Dallas police recording from Nov. 22 to debunk the conclusion of the 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations that the recording proved that there were two shooters in Dealey Plaza.


 As Kennedy said only a month before his death, “Science is the most powerful means we have for the unification of knowledge.” The scientific method may be our best hope to answer lingering questions about that awful day in Dallas.


Larry J. Sabato is director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. His latest book is “The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy.”


Israel and strategic US partner fall out over Iran

November 16, 2013



Israel and its US ally have hit a troubled patch in their close relationship, caused by differences over Iran’s nuclear plans and peace with the Palestinians.


In a highly public spat, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama are each seeking to directly address the other’s public.


At the moment, Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett is campaigning in Washington, while the US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, has been making his case in the Israeli media.


“I’m not telling the Americans what they should do; I just give them the information, it’s for them to decide,” Bennet, who heads the far-right Jewish Home party, told Israeli public radio by telephone on Friday.


“It’s not really lobbying, more a dialogue between friends,” he said of his meetings on Capitol Hill and a speech to the Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy.


Meanwhile, Shapiro told public radio the high-profile war of words over a nascent deal Western powers are negotiating with Iran, which would see some easing of sanctions against the Islamic republic, was regrettable.


“It would be preferable if our differences were addressed in private, but sometimes that’s not possible,” he said.


In a speech to North American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem this week he said Obama “has made it crystal clear that he will not permit Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, period, and is prepared to use all elements of our national power to ensure that we are successful.”


Despite such reassurances, Israeli media speak of a trans-Atlantic crisis of confidence over what Israel and the US say are Iran’s plans to develop a nuclear weapon. A second element involves increasingly fragile peace talks with the Palestinians amid an Israeli West Bank settlement drive, which has come in for sharp US criticism.


On Friday, left-leaning daily Haaretz cited an unnamed senior Israeli minister saying that Secretary of State John Kerry “can no longer serve as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians”.


Israeli Home Front Minister Gilad Erdan lashed out at Kerry on Thursday for slamming Netanyahu’s intensive campaigning against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran.


“I was astounded to hear John Kerry’s remarks about why the prime minister is criticising the agreement being formulated in Geneva without waiting for it to be signed,” Erdan told an Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv.


“When we’re dealing with a country that wants to destroy Israel and the conditions that will enable it to carry out its wishes, what do they expect from the Israeli prime minister? Not to cry out when they’re holding the knife, but only when it’s at our throat?” he asked.


On Monday, Kerry had said Washington had Israel’s interests at heart and that he shared Netanyahu’s “deep concerns” about Iran.


“But I believe the prime minister needs to recognise that no agreement has been reached about the endgame here that’s the subject of the negotiations,” he said.


A ‘bad and dangerous’ deal


Netanyahu has repeatedly warned world powers against striking a “bad and dangerous” deal with Iran that fails to bring its alleged military nuclear programme to a complete halt.


On Wednesday, he warned that a “bad deal” could result in war.


Israel, the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, views a nuclear Iran as an existential threat and has said it will not be bound by any deal with its arch-foe, refusing to rule out military action to halt its programme.


Netanyahu’s hard line has the backing of the Israeli public, according to an opinion poll published on Friday that showed 65.5 percent of Jewish respondents opposed to a deal with Iran.


President Shimon Peres, however, urged restraint in relations with Washington.


“There can be disagreements, but they must be conducted with a view to the true depth of the situation,” he said in a speech on Thursday night.


“If we have disagreements we should voice them, ” he said. “But we should remember that the Americans also know a thing or two; we are not the only ones.”


Public radio commentator Ronen Pollak said Netanyahu knows that a deal with Iran is inevitable, “but he has decided on a trial of strength with Washington so that the agreement is the least bad possible.”


German expose of America’s “Secret War” attracts quick, strong U.S. rebuttal

From spying to murder campaigns, reported allegations cover it all


November 15, 2013

by Matthew Schofield

McClatchy Foreign Staff 


             BERLIN — To appreciate the scope and impact of a joint investigative series by the highly regarded German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and German public television station NDR on the depth of American trespasses in this country, you don’t even have to read a word of the reports, or watch the videos.All you really have to do is take a look at the U.S. Embassy rebuttal of the series.


The multi-part, multi-media series was put on line beginning Friday morning, though some parts weren’t up until evening. And others are said to be coming during the coming weeks. The U.S. Embassy in Germany press office statement came out just after 3 p.m.The statement:“Press OfficeU.S. Embassy BerlinNovember 15, 2013U.S. Embassy Statement on “Secret War” AllegationsThe article in today’s Sueddeutscher Zeitung, ‘The Secret War: Germany and the Role of America,’ is full of half-truths, speculation, and innuendo. 


For many decades there have indeed been military facilities in Germany for our mutual security under Status of Forces Agreements, but the fact that they are closed to the public in no way implies that illegal activities are being organized there.   Although we do not comment on specifics, as a matter of policy the United States does not engage in kidnapping and torture, and does not condone or support the resort to such illegal activities by any nation. 


Germany is one of the closest allies and partners of the United States, cooperating in areas ranging from counter-terrorism to international economic sustainability.  Outrageous claims like those raised in this article are not helpful to the German-American relationship and to our shared global agenda.”The newspaper reaction to that reaction: “The American Embassy also comments and rejects the reports as innuendo. They are stating the the United States “are not kidnapping and torturing on principal.” This is a daring claim.


Only seven months ago a commission made up of Democrats and Republicans called it “undeniable” that the United States tortured inmates following the terror attacks of 2001. Even President Barack Obama said in 2009 that the American practice of water boarding was torture.” The website does note that almost 20 reporters started gathering this series more than a year ago.So it doesn’t look as if the newspaper and television station will be backing away from their reporting just yet.In any case, the U.S. embassy makes a strong statement, and takes on some of Germany’s most respected journalists.Why? One piece of the SZ English language version of the series begins:“Tapping Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone would seem like an outrageous breach of trust—except that there have been so many other, deadlier and lesser-known, breaches of trust wrought by the U.S. in Germany in recent years.“Where to begin?


There’s the worldwide secret drone war—a massive break with international law. Then there’s the large and growing shadow army of private spies. And, finally, the asylum seekers, whose knowledge is unwittingly used to drop bombs in their home countries.“The worst part? Germany doesn’t even seem to mind.”The series goes on at great detail in each of these areas. At times, it advances with videos, including one showing it’s reporter being stopped from shooting video near the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, or near a number of bases, and allegedly secret bases, of both the United States and the United Kingdom around Germany.


The series reports that the $3 billion a year the United States spends in Germany pay for everything from bases for the 43,000 U.S. soldiers stationed here to the American drone campaign in Africa. According to the newspaper’s English language version, that drone program works like this:“First they practice with their 57 drones getting ready for the real thing. When they receive intelligence on potential targets and suspected terrorists, they deliver that information to U.S. intelligence officers, also based in Germany. And these soldiers are responsible when innocent civilians in Africa die as a result. Moral issues aside, the fact remains: without these bases in Germany, the U.S.’s ‘war on terror’ would not be the well-oiled machine it is now.


Germany acts as the headquarters for secret wars in Africa, the European hub for CIA operations and the training ground for drone attacks worldwide. And Germany’s location is indispensable.”There is much, much more, here. And the website notes that stories will be coming out during the next several weeks. 



Snowden effect: Young people now care about privacy

November 18, 2013

by Byron Acohido



Results of a Harris Poll released this morning show four out of five people have changed the privacy settings of their social media accounts, and most have made changes in the last six months.


What’s more, the poll, commissioned by anti-malware vendor ESET, reveals clear evidence that, contrary to what some believe, young people actually do care about the privacy of their online personas.


The ESET poll is that latest proof point of what could, at the end of the day, take hold as a tectonic societal shift: the return of privacy as a social norm. Call it the Edward Snowden effect.


Some 40% of 2,089 survey takers, aged 18 and older, said they had made changes to their privacy settings in the last three months, and 53 percent in the last six months. The poll was taken in late September.


The survey found people over the age of 45 are less likely to check social media privacy settings, with 26 percent in that age group having never made any changes to their privacy settings, while just 11 percent of respondents aged 18 to 44, said they never made privacy setting changes.


“We were impressed that almost two thirds of respondents appeared to embrace individual responsibility,” says Stephen Cobb, ESET senior researcher.


Still, more than half of the respondents said they have not read the most recent privacy policy for their social accounts. And roughly one in five people have never changed the privacy settings on their social media accounts, not ever.


Even so, the steady flow of revelations from the Snowden documents, detailing the pervasive nature of the National Security Agency’s anti-terrorism surveillance activities, has kept privacy top of mind for many consumers.


Of course the NSA can tap into online data to the extent it does largely because commercial companies, led by Google and Facebook, pursue business models that treat consumer privacy as a free profit-making resource.


It took a wild card, in the form of Edward Snowden, to get the masses focused on who is doing online tracking and profiling, and for what agendas.


On Wednesday, some three dozen advocacy groups sent a letter to NSA Director Keith Alexander and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, seeking assurances that “their operations are not under surveillance by U.S. government agencies.”


Signers of the letter included the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, Friends of the Earth, Communication Workers of America, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Organic Consumers Association, American Medical Student Association and Consumer Federation of America.


The letter was a reaction to the New York Times November 3 story disclosing how the NSA has collected data at the request of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The non-profits are concerned that the government is spying on organizations to further trade policies.


“The U.S. digital giants, including Google, Facebook and Yahoo, want the U.S. Trade Representative to help them become powerful commercial versions of the NSA,” says Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy. “Americans must be assured that the administration won’t trade away their privacy rights to help expand the information collected by the NSA and U.S. data companies.”


The groups’ letter asks the NSA and USTR to disclose whether any U.S. groups or individuals aiming to influence trade policy are under surveillance, regardless of whether such surveillance occurred within U.S. borders.


Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to consider the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s challenge to the NSA telephone record collection program at conference this week. EPIC wants the high court to to overturn the court order that compelled Verizon to produce all of the telephone records of all of its customers to the NSA.


EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg maintains that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court exceeded its authority in issuing that order. EPIC’s petition is supported by briefs from prominent scholars in information law, federal jurisdiction and constitutional law.


The Rise Of The Bear: 18 Signs That Russia Is Rapidly Catching Up To The United States

by Michael Snyder


            The Russian Bear is stronger and more powerful than it has ever been before. Sadly, most Americans don’t understand this. They still think of Russia as an “ex-superpower” that was rendered almost irrelevant when the Cold War ended. And yes, when the Cold War ended Russia was in rough shape. I got the chance to go over there in the early nineties, and at the time Russia was an economic disaster zone. Russian currency was so worthless that I joked that I could go exchange a 20 dollar bill and buy the Kremlin. But since that time Russia has roared back to life. Once Vladimir Putin became president, the Russian economy started to grow very rapidly. Today, Russia is an economic powerhouse that is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Their debt to GDP ratio is extremely small, they actually run a trade surplus every year, and they have the second most powerful military on the entire planet. Anyone that underestimates Russia at this point is making a huge mistake. The Russian Bear is back, and today it is a more formidable adversary than it ever was at any point during the Cold War.

Just check out the following statistics. The following are 18 signs that Russia is rapidly catching up to the United States…


1 Russia produces more oil than anyone else on the planet. The United States is in third place.

2 Russia is the number two oil exporter in the world. The United States is forced to import more oil than anyone else in the world.  

3 Russia produces more natural gas than anyone else on the planet. The United States is in second place.

4 Today, Russia supplies 34 percent of Europe’s natural gas needs.

5 The United States has a debt to GDP ratio of 101 percent. Russia has a debt to GDP ratio of about 8 percent.

6 The United States had a trade deficit of more than half a trillion dollars last year. Russia consistently runs a large trade surplus.

            7 The United States has an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. Russia has an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. 

8 Since Vladimir Putin first became president of Russia, the Russian economy has grown at a very rapid pace. The following is fromWikipedia…


Under the presidency of Vladimir Putin Russia’s economy saw the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) double, climbing from 22nd to 11th largest in the world. The economy made real gains of an average 7% per year (1999: 6.5%, 2000: 10%, 2001: 5.7%, 2002: 4.9%, 2003: 7.3%, 2004: 7.2%, 2005: 6.4%, 2006: 8.2%, 2007: 8.5%, 2008: 5.2%), making it the 6th largest economy in the world in GDP(PPP). In 2007, Russia’s GDP exceeded that of 1990, meaning it has overcome the devastating consequences of the recession in the 1990s.
            During Putin’s eight years in office, the industry grew by 75%, investments increased by 125%, and agricultural production and construction increased as well. Real incomes more than doubled and the average salary increased eightfold from $80 to $640. The volume of consumer credit between 2000–2006 increased 45 times, and during that same time period, the middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million, an increase of 7 times. The number of pe ople living below the poverty line also decreased from 30% in 2000 to 14% in 2008.


9 According to Bloomberg, Russia has added 570 metric tons of gold to their reserves over the past decade. In the United States, nobody seems to be quite sure how much gold the Federal Reserve actually has left.

10 Moscow is the second most expensive city in the world. Meanwhile, the United States actually has the unfriendliest city in the world (Newark, New Jersey).

11 More billionaires live in Moscow than in any other city on the globe.

12 The Moscow metro system completely outclasses the subway systems in Washington D.C. and New York City.

13 The United States has the most powerful military on the planet, but Russia is in second place.

14 Russia has introduced a new “near silent” nuclear submarine which is far more quiet than anything the U.S. has…

            The Borey Class submarine, dubbed Vladimir Monomakh, has a next generation nuclear reactor, can dive deeper than 1,200 feet, and carries up to 20 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Each of these “Bulava” ICBM’s can carry ten detachable MIRV warheads, what they call “re-entry vehicles,” capable of delivering 150 kiloton yields per warhead 

15 While Barack Obama is neutering the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal, Vladimir Putin is working hard to modernize Russian nuclear forces.

16 Russian missile forces will hold more than 200 drills during the second half of 2013.

17 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made headlines all over the world when he climbed into the cockpit of Russia’s new “fifth generation” fighter jet and announced that it was far superior to the F-22 Raptor.

18 It is estimated that Russia has more spies inside the United States today than it did at any point during the Cold War.

Unfortunately, whenever I write an article about Russia I find that most people simply do not get it. They will make statements such as “the Cold War is over” or “Russia is our friend” which show a complete and total lack of understanding of the current geopolitical situation.
            Russia has been steadily building a stronger relationship with China, and collectively they represent the number one strategic threat to the United States.
Someday this will become abundantly clear to the American people. Hopefully it will not be too late by the time they realize it.
            Did you already share this? No? Share it now

No responses yet

Leave a Reply