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TBR News November 24, 2018

Nov 24 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. November 24, 2018: “No doubt we will be hearing either from President Trump or his soon-to-be announced Press Secretary Jon Rappaport, that all of Trumps critics are actually Mutant Dwarves residing in the huge under-ice city in Antarctica and who are part of the One World Program that is controlled by both the Bilderburgers and the Illuminati. (Not to mention a mysterious collection of members of a Montana roadkill retrievers’ association who are not Giant Lizards but small garden slugs wearing green hats) I heard yesterday from an FBI fellow that one could always tell when Trump was lying: His lips moved.”

The Table of Contents

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 89
  • It’s True: Trump Is Lying More, and He’s Doing It on Purpose
  • What Is a Pathological Liar? Definition and Examples
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Khashoggi murder reveals power games in US administration
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • Jon Rappoporrt
  • Infowars, a Rappoport supporter

 Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 89

August 8, 2018

by Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau Chief

The Toronto Star, Canada

The Star is keeping track of every false claim U.S. President Donald Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. Why? Historians say there has never been such a constant liar in the Oval Office. We think dishonesty should be challenged. We think inaccurate information should be corrected

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not teling the truth.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2018

  • Jul 11, 2018

“….On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russia, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russia.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: This pipeline has not even been built yet. Germany has long paid Russia for natural gas; nothing “just” changed.

“Now, if you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia because they supply. They got rid of their coal plants. They got rid of their nuclear. They’re getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia.”

Source: Remarks at breakfast with NATO secretary general

in fact: Germany hasn’t gotten rid of either its coal plants or its nuclear power. It does have a plan to close its nuclear plants by 2022, but this has not happened yet. Likewise, the government has created a task force to plan for the phasing out of coal, but this idea is still in the discussion stage; 37 per cent of Germany’s power production came from coal in 2017. That was down from 40 per cent and above in years past, but coal is far from gone.

“On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 per cent (on defence), whereas the United States, in actual numbers, is paying 4.2 per cent of a much larger GDP.”

Source: Remarks at breakfast with NATO secretary general

in fact: The U.S. is spending 3.5 per cent of GDP on defence, according to an official NATO estimate released the month Trump spoke, down slightly from 3.57 in 2017.

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

“Ultimately, Germany will have almost 70 per cent of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas…But Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 per cent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.”

Source: Remarks at breakfast with NATO secretary general

in fact: We usually don’t fact-check Trump’s predictions about the future, but his “70 per cent” prediction is certain to be incorrect. The German energy lobby, the Federal Association of the German Energy and Water Industries , said that natural gas, from all countries, accounted for just 13 per cent of the German power mix in 2017. There is no chance that the construction of a new pipeline from Russia to Germany will result in Russia providing 70 per cent of all of Germany’s energy. (Also, of course, obtaining gas from Russia does not mean Germany is “totally controlled by Russia.”)

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

 

“And many countries are not paying what they should. And, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they’re delinquent, as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them.”

Source: Remarks at breakfast with NATO secretary general

in fact: NATO countries do not owe the U.S. money and are not delinquent in any literal way. Trump was referring to the fact that some European countries had not been meeting their pledge to spend 2 per cent of their gross domestic product on defence. But this 2 per cent figure was merely a guideline or target, not an ironclad commitment, and countries’ failure to meet it did not result in debt of any kind. (One could argue that Trump was speaking figuratively, but he has suggested on several occasions that NATO countries owe the U.S. an actual debt, so we believe he is making a literal claim that is false.)

Trump has repeated this claim 13 times

  • Jul 12, 2018

“In fact, the GDP, since I’ve taken over, has doubled and tripled.”

Source: Interview with The Sun

in fact: This is a wild exaggeration. U.S. gross domestic product grew by 2.3 per cent in 2017. It grew by 2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018.

 

“Two per cent (of GDP on the military) is not enough. Two per cent — and some countries and don’t pay that. And yet the United States says 4.2 per cent — is the actual number, not three-and-a-half, it’s 4.2 per cent of a much larger GDP.”

Source: Interview with The Sun

in fact: The U.S. is indeed spending 3.5 per cent of GDP on defence, according to an official NATO estimate released this same month, down slightly from 3.57 in 2017.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“You know, a poll just came out that I am the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party — 92 per cent. Beating Lincoln. I beat our Honest Abe.”

Source: Interview with The Sun

in fact: Polls show that Trump is more popular with Republican voters at this point in his presidency than almost all previous Republican presidents, but not all of them: Trump is behind George W. Bush. Trump seemed to be inaccurately referring to a recent article in the conservative Washington Examiner that quoted pollster John Zogby, who noted that Trump had an 87 per cent approval rating among Republicans, second to Bush’s 95 per cent at this point. (A June Gallup poll had Trump at 90 per cent among Republicans, still not better than Bush.) Regardless of his numbers, Trump cannot claim to have learned he was “beating Lincoln”; there was no public opinion polling on presidential popularity in the 1860s.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“They had a story in one of the major New York newspapers recently about your hospital. You know about that story? I’m sure you’ve seen it. What they say is, it is worse than any hospital they have ever seen in a war zone. It is right in the middle of London. I guess it used to be the ultimate and now there is, you know, there is blood all over the walls, all over the floors. It was a very major story and I have heard it from others, too, so I think it is very sad.”

Source: Interview with The Sun

in fact: It is not clear to us if there was indeed any story in a major New York newspaper about this British hospital. Regardless, Trump is exaggerating. When he has told this story in the past, he has been referring to an account from Mark Griffiths, a top surgeon at Royal London Hospital, who, according to the Daily Mail, told BBC Radio 4 last year: “About a quarter of what we see in our practice is knife and gun injury and now we are doing major life-saving cases on a daily basis. Some of my military colleagues have described the practice here as similar to being at Bastion (the British military base in Afghanistan), which is a very worrying comment to hear.” Griffiths did not say that the hospital was worse than any his colleagues had seen in a war zone, nor did he say anything about bloody walls.

“You remember that Barack Obama said that there is no way it (Brexit) is going to happen, and the U.K. will get to the back of the line if it ever does, right?”

Source: Interview with The Sun

in fact: Obama did not say there was no way Brexit would happen. He did say the U.K. would be “at the back of the queue” for a U.S. trade deal if Brexit did happen, and he encouraged British voters to vote to remain in the European Union.

“I predicted Brexit…I was cutting a ribbon for the opening of Turnberry — you know they totally did a whole renovation, it is beautiful — the day before the Brexit vote…I said, ‘Brexit will happen.’ The vote is going to go positive, because people don’t want to be faced with the horrible immigration problems that they are being faced with in other countries… I said Brexit will happen, and I was right.”

Source: Interview with The Sun

in fact: Trump was not even at Turnberry, his golf course in Scotland, the day before the Brexit vote — he went to Scotland the day after Brexit. The day before Brexit, he made no prediction: he said in an interview, “I don’t think anybody should listen to me,” because “I haven’t really focused on it very much,” but that his “inclination” would be that Britain should vote to leave the European Union. This was a recommendation, not a prediction.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

 

“And that’s, I guess, why we have NATO, and that’s why we have a United States that just had the largest military budget ever — $700 billion approved; $716 billion next year.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: Neither of these budgets is the biggest ever. As the New York Times noted, Obama signed a $725 billion version of the same bill in 2011.

Trump has repeated this claim 11 times

“And one state said — you know, it was interesting, one of the states we won, Wisconsin — I didn’t even realize this until fairly recently — that was the one state Ronald Reagan didn’t win when he ran the board his second time. He didn’t win Wisconsin, and we won Wisconsin.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: Reagan won Wisconsin in his 1984 landslide. The one state he didn’t win was Minnesota.

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

“You know, the 2 per cent (the promise by NATO members to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence) was a range, a goal. It wasn’t something that they were committed to. Now it’s a commitment. There’s a big difference — the 2 per cent number. And that’s why so many people weren’t reaching it or hitting it. It was just sort of like this amorphous number out there. Now it’s a commitment, a real commitment.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: Nothing has changed about the 2 per cent target: it remains a mere target. At this summit, NATO members simply reiterated their promise to hit the target by 2024: “We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all aspects of the Defence Investment Pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit, and to submit credible national plans on its implementation, including the spending guidelines for 2024

“I mean, I think they like me a lot in the U.K. I think they agree with me on immigration.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: The second sentence appears generally correct: like Trump, about two-thirds of Britons think immigration levels have been too high there, YouGov polls suggest. But the first sentence is incorrect: Trump is extremely unpopular in the U.K., according to the same pollster. YouGov reported in February: “Just over one in ten (11%) think he has been a good or great President, down from 16% this time last year. This compares to 14% who think he has been “average” and 67% who think he has been poor or terrible.”

“Now, what has happened is, presidents over many years, from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, they came in, they said, ‘Okay, hey, do the best you can,’ and they left. Nobody did anything about it. And it got to a point where the United States was paying for 90 per cent of NATO.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: The U.S. is not paying for 90 per cent of NATO. According to NATO’s 2018 annual report, U.S. defence spending represented 72 per cent of the alliance’s total defence spending in 2017. Of NATO’s own organizational budget, the U.S. contributes a much smaller agreed-upon percentage: 22 per cent.

Trump has repeated this claim 14 times

“And if they (European leaders) don’t negotiate in good faith, we’ll do something having to do with all of the millions of cars that are coming into our country and being taxed at a virtually zero level, at a very low level.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: “Very low” is fair enough, but “a virtually zero level” is an exaggeration. The U.S. has a 2.5 per cent tariff on cars imported from Europe.

“Now, the United States — depending on the way you calculate it — was at 4.2 per cent (spending of gross domestic product on the military). And I said, that’s unfair.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: The U.S. is spending 3.5 per cent of GDP on defence, according to an official NATO estimate released the month Trump spoke, down slightly from 3.57 in 2017.

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

“Our farmers have been shut out of the European Union.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: While U.S. farmers do face some trade barriers in selling into the European Union, it is a gross exaggeration to say they have been “shut out of the European Union.” According to the website of Trump’s own Department of Agriculture, the U.S. exported $11.6 billion in agricultural items to the European Union in 2016 and $11.5 billion in 2017. The EU ranked fourth for U.S. agricultural exports in 2016 and fifth in 2017.

Trump has repeated this claim 13 times

“I told people that I’d be very unhappy if they didn’t up their commitments very substantially, because the United States has been paying a tremendous amount, probably 90 per cent of the cost of NATO.” And: “But the United States was paying for anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of it, depending on the way you calculate. That’s not fair to the United States.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: There is no credible calculation that finds the U.S. is paying 90 per cent of the cost of NATO. According to NATO’s latest annual report, U.S. defence spending represented 72 per cent of the alliance’s total defence spending in 2017. Of NATO’s own organizational budget, the U.S. contributes a much smaller agreed-upon percentage: 22 per cent.

Trump has repeated this claim 14 times

“Prior to last year, where I attended my first meeting, it (military spending by NATO members) was going down — the amount of money being spent by countries was going down and down very substantially. And now, it’s going up very substantially.” And: “I think NATO got — you know what was happening with spending prior to my getting into office. The numbers were going down. Now the numbers have gone up like a rocket ship. The numbers have gone up a lot, and they’ve gone up rapidly. And they’re now going up further.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: NATO countries’ military spending was increasing, not declining, before Trump took office on January 20, 2017.. NATO figures show that spending by non-U.S. members declined about 2 per cent in each year from 2010 to 2013 and by about 1 per cent in 2014 — but then rose 1.84 per cent in 2015 and 3.08 per cent in 2016.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

“And we really accomplished a lot, with respect to NATO. For years, presidents have been coming to these meetings and talked about the expense — the tremendous expense for the United States. And tremendous progress has been made; everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before.” And: “And now, people are going to start and countries are going to start upping their commitments. So I let them know yesterday, actually. I was surprised that you didn’t pick it up; it took until today. But yesterday, I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening, and they have substantially upped their commitment, yeah. And now we’re very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong NATO, much stronger than it was two days ago.”

Source: Press conference at NATO summit

in fact: There is no indication that NATO countries agreed to “substantially up their commitment” on military spending because of Trump’s pressure at the summit, or that they were going to increase spending levels “they’ve never thought of before.” The countries merely agreed to a declaration in which they reiterated their 2014 commitment to spend 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence by 2024: “We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all aspects of the Defence Investment Pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit, and to submit credible national plans on its implementation, including the spending guidelines for 2024.” French President Emmanuel Macron explicitly rejected Trump’s claim: “The communique is clear. It reaffirms a commitment to 2 per cent in 2024. That is all,” he said.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

  • Jul 13, 2018

“You add it all up and it’s like over 150 million people — that’s a tremendous amount of people between Facebook and Instagram and Twitter — three different platforms, it’s tremendous.”

Source: Interview with Piers Morgan

in fact: Even if you’re counting generously, Trump does not have over 150 million people following him on these three social media platforms. Adding up his Twitter account (53.2 million followers), his Facebook account (23.4 million followers), the White House Facebook account (8.5 million followers), his Instagram account (9.3 million followers), the White House Instagram account (4 million followers), the official “POTUS” Twitter account (23.5 million followers), and the official “POTUS” Facebook account (4.1 million followers), Trump is at 126 million followers. Since many of these people undoubtedly follow him on more than one platform, the total number of actual humans is even further below 150 million.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“But then when I got in, we took a different approach (to North Korea) and there was plenty of testing and plenty of nuclear tests going off and missiles going up and rockets going up…And in the last nine months, there have been no missiles tests, no nuclear tests; there’s been no nothing.”

Source: Interview with Piers Morgan

in fact: “Nine months” is an exaggeration. North Korea’s last known missile test prior to this comment was on November 28, 2017, when it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan. That was less than eight months prior to this interview on July 13, 2018.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“Well all I did was go by the law (in separating families at the border).”

Source: Interview with Piers Morgan

in fact: No law required Trump to separate parents and children at the border. This was his administration’s own policy decision.

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

 

Piers Morgan: “I told him (Trump) many people were protesting over his recent highly controversial policy of separating children from their illegal immigrant parents if they tried to cross the border into the U.S.” Trump: “That wasn’t my policy. Obama had the same exact policy.”

Source: Interview with Piers Morgan

in fact: Morgan himself noted that this is false: “Obama did not have the ‘exact’ same ‘zero-tolerance’ policy towards illegal immigrants that Trump’s administration implemented several months ago.” While the Obama administration’s policies did result in some parents being separated from children — former Obama officials say this happened in exceptional circumstances like the parent being found carrying drugs — it was Trump who decided to attempt to criminally prosecute everyone found crossing the border illegally. This decision resulted in the routine separation of parents and children, which did not occur under Obama.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“I think it’s a horrible thing that Germany is doing…I think it’s a horrible thing that you have a pipeline coming from Russia, and I believe that Germany is going to be getting 50, 60, or even, I’ve heard, numbers of 70 per cent of their energy coming in from Russia.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: We usually don’t fact-check Trump’s predictions about the future, but his “50, 60, or even…70 per cent” prediction is certain to be incorrect. The German energy lobby, the Federal Association of the German Energy and Water Industries , said that natural gas, from all countries, accounted for just 13 per cent of the German power mix in 2017. There is no chance that the construction of a new pipeline from Russia to Germany will result in Russia providing 50 per cent to 70 per cent of German energy.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

 

“And I think that the Secretary General — Stoltenberg is doing a terrific job, by the way — he said yesterday that because of President Trump, we’ve taken in $34 billion more for NATO. And I think the number is actually much higher than that. But $34 billion more, at least. And again, that’s nothing that my opponent would have done. My opponent would have — it would have just kept going down. You know, it was going down. You see what was happening over the years. The numbers were going down. Now the number is way up and now it’s going way up higher.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: There is no basis for the claim that military spending by NATO members “would have just kept going down” if Hillary Clinton had won the election: contrary to Trump’s claim that “the numbers were going down” before his election, they were going up. Spending by non-U.S. members increased 1.84 per cent in 2015 and 3.08 per cent in 2016, before Trump took office, official NATO figures show.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

“Well, if you remember, I was opening Turnberry the day before Brexit. And we had an unbelievably large number of reporters there because everybody was there, I guess because of Brexit. And they all showed up on the 9th hole overlooking the ocean, and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ And all they wanted to talk about was Brexit. And they asked for my opinion, and I think you will agree that I said I think Brexit will happen. And it did happen. And then we cut the ribbon…But I said I thought it was going to happen, and it did happen.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: Trump was not even at Turnberry, his Scotland golf course, the day before the Brexit vote — he went there the day after. The day before Brexit, he made no prediction: he said in an interview, “I don’t think anybody should listen to me,” because “I haven’t really focused on it very much,” but that his “inclination” would be that Britain should vote to leave the European Union. This was a recommendation, not a prediction.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

“Well, we’ll have to see what happens, you know? I’m not bad at doing things. If you look at what I’ve done compared to what other people have done 160 days in, there’s nobody even close, I believe.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: Trump was on the 540th day of his presidency, not the 160th.

“And last year, Theresa, we lost $151 billion with the European Union.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: The U.S. had a $102 billion trade deficit with the European Union in 2017. The $151 billion figure counts only trade in goods and excludes trade in services. Trump, as usual, did not say he was excluding services.

Trump has repeated this claim 29 times

“…We do not have a fair deal with the European Union, right now, on trade. They treat the United States horribly…they won’t take many of our things, including our cars.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: While American cars are generally not very popular in Europe, it is not true that the EU “won’t take” American cars. According to Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistical agency, auto imports from the U.S. to the European Union peaked at €7 billion in 2016 (about $10.7 billion Canadian at current exchange rates) and were approximately €6 billion in 2017 (about $9.2 billion Canadian at current exchange rates). According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association: “The U.S. is the third biggest exporter of cars to the EU in terms of value, representing a 15.4% share of EU imports in 2017.”

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“…We do not have a fair deal with the European Union, right now, on trade. They treat the United States horribly….they have barriers that are beyond belief — barriers where they won’t take our farm products…”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: While U.S. farmers do face some trade barriers in selling into the European Union, it is a gross exaggeration to say the EU simply “won’t take our farm products.” According to the website of Trump’s own Department of Agriculture, the U.S. exported $11.6 billion in agricultural items to the European Union in 2016 and $11.5 billion in 2017. The EU ranked fourth for U.S. agricultural exports in 2016 and fifth in 2017.

Trump has repeated this claim 13 times

“You know, we’re in a big trade situation with China, as an example, where we’re behind every year, for many years — $500 billion.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: The U.S. has never once had a $500 billion trade deficit with China, according to U.S. government data. The deficit was $337 billion in 2017.

Trump has repeated this claim 51 times

“And maybe I’d let you tell the number, and it was far greater than anybody else, including the Prime Minister. We expelled how many people (Russian diplomats)?…Yeah, 60. And Germany did three, as an example. So Germany — big country, powerful country — they did three.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: Germany expelled four Russian diplomats in March, not three, over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England.

“When you look at what we’ve done in terms of Russia, I guarantee whoever it is in Russia, they’re saying, ‘Oh, gee, do we wish that Trump was not the victor in that election.'”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: This is absurd. Russian President Vladimir Putin himself said just four days later that he had wanted Trump to win: “Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the normalization of Russian–American relations,” he said when asked directly at their joint press conference. Putin expressed no regrets.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“In addition to that, we’ve become an oil exporter, which would not have happened under the past regime or a new regime, if it weren’t us.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: The U.S. has exported energy for decades — the U.S. government’s website includes oil-export data dating back to 1920 — so, taking Trump’s claim in the most literal way possible, it is false that the U.S. has just now started exporting oil. What he was clearly suggesting, though, is that the U.S. has now become a net exporter of oil — exporting more than it imports. U.S. net imports of crude oil and petroleum products, defined as gross exports minus gross imports, were 2,634,000 barrels a day as of April, according to the data from the government’s Energy Information Administration. While that figure has been falling for the last 12 years, it has never crossed into net-export territory. The administration said in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook that it expected “an average of 1.6 million (barrels per day) in 2019, which would be the lowest level of net imports since 1958” — impressive, but still not net-export status.

Trump has repeated this claim 9 times

“We have a strong and powerful NATO. When I became president, we didn’t. We had people that weren’t paying their bills…”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: NATO countries did not have unpaid bills before Trump took office. Trump was referring to the fact that some European countries had not been meeting their pledge to spend 2 per cent of their gross domestic product on defence. But this 2 per cent figure was merely a guideline or target, not an ironclad commitment, and countries’ failure to meet it did not result in bills of any kind. (One could argue that Trump was speaking figuratively, but he has suggested on several occasions that NATO countries owe the U.S. an actual debt, so we believe he is making a literal claim that is false.)

Trump has repeated this claim 13 times

“Because in Germany, we have 52,000 troops.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: The U.S. military had 47,492 personnel in Germany as of the end of March, three-and-a-half months prior to Trump’s comment, including reservists and civilians, according to the latest report from the military’s Defense Manpower Data Center. Of those people, 34,821 are on active duty.

 

“The United States was paying, you know, anywhere from 70 to 90. And I choose 90, depending on the way you want to calculate. We were paying 90 per cent of the cost of NATO.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: There is no valid calculation under which the U.S. was “paying 90 per cent of the cost of NATO.” According to NATO’s 2018 annual report, U.S. defence spending represented 72 per cent of the alliance’s total defence spending in 2017. Of NATO’s own organizational budget, the U.S. contributes a much smaller agreed-upon percentage: 22 per cent.

Trump has repeated this claim 14 times

“I didn’t criticize the prime minister.”

Source: Joint press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May

in fact: Trump indeed criticized the U.K. prime minister, Theresa May, in this interview with The Sun tabloid. While he also briefly praised her, he explicitly criticized her strategy in Brexit negotiations: “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me.”

  • Jul 14, 2018

“Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russia. They pay only a fraction of their cost. The U.S. pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe, and loses Big on Trade!… This is now changing – for the first time!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: While NATO’s secretary general has credited Trump for prompting recent military-spending increases by NATO members, this is not “the first time” that countries have increased their spending. Non-U.S. NATO members boosted spending by 1.84 per cent in 2015 and 3.08 per cent in 2016, before Trump took office, according to official NATO data.

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

 

It’s True: Trump Is Lying More, and He’s Doing It on Purpose

by Susan B. Glasser

The New Yorker

On Thursday, the Washington Post published a remarkable story on its front page revealing a recent spike in the number of “false and misleading claims” made by President Trump. In his first year as President, Trump made 2,140 false claims, according to the Post. In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th, the Post found what appears to be Trump’s most untruthful day yet: seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions he made in a campaign-style rally in Great Falls, Montana, were “false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.” Trump’s rallies have become the signature events of his Presidency, and it is there that the President most often plays fast and loose with the facts, in service to his political priorities and to telling his fervent supporters what they want and expect to hear from him. At another rally this week, in Tampa, Trump made thirty-five false and misleading claims, on subjects ranging from trade with China to the size of his tax cut.

These astonishing statistics were compiled by a small team overseen by Glenn Kessler, the editor and chief writer of the Post’s Fact Checker column, who for much of the last decade has been truth-squadding politicians and doling out Pinocchios for their exaggerations, misrepresentations, distortions, and otherwise false claims. At this point, Kessler practically has a Ph.D. in the anthropology of the Washington lie, a long and storied art form which has always had skilled practitioners of both parties. But Trump has challenged the Fact Checker, Kessler told me over coffee this week, in ways that have tested the very premise of the column. The President, for example, has a habit of repeating the same falsehoods over and over again, especially as they concern his core political causes, such as trade or immigration or getting European allies to contribute more to NATO. What should Kessler do, he often asks himself, when Trump repeats a four-Pinocchio whopper? Since taking office, the Post fact-checking team found, Trump has repeated close to a hundred and fifty untruths at least three times. Kessler has instated a Trump-specific database in response. Initially, the Post planned to compile the database of Trump’s misrepresentations as part of a project for his first hundred days in office. But the numbers kept piling up; now, Kessler told me, he is committed to keeping it up for Trump’s full term, documenting every “untruth” (per Post policy, he does not use the label “lies” even for the most egregious Presidential whoppers). “We’re kind of doing it for history,” he said.

History books will likely declare the last few months a turning point in the Trump Presidency, and Kessler’s laborious work gives us metrics that confirm what is becoming more and more apparent: the recent wave of misstatements is both a reflection of Trump’s increasingly unbound Presidency and a signal attribute of it. The upsurge provides empirical evidence that Trump, in recent months, has felt more confident running his White House as he pleases, keeping his own counsel, and saying and doing what he wants when he wants to. The fact that Trump, while historically unpopular with the American public as a whole, has retained the loyalty of more than eighty per cent of Republicans—the group at which his lies seem to be aimed—means we are in for much more, as a midterm election approaches that may determine whether Trump is impeached by a newly Democratic Congress. At this point, the falsehoods are as much a part of his political identity as his floppy orange hair and the “Make America Great Again” slogan. The untruths, Kessler told me, are Trump’s political “secret sauce.”

That appears to be the case for others on Trump’s team as well. As Kessler and I talked, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, presided at one of her increasingly rare press briefings. (Another metric to consider: Sanders gave three briefings in all of July, while previous Administrations conducted them daily.) In the briefing, Sanders repeated a number of false claims, including one that Kessler had previously debunked, that reporters put out “leaked” information that caused Osama bin Laden to stop using his satellite phone and slowed the hunt for the Al Qaeda leader before the 9/11 attacks. Kessler heard about Sanders’s false claim as we were leaving and retweeted his old article. “Kind of amazed but not surprised,” he wrote on Twitter, that the White House press secretary “would cite uninformed reporting that appeared BEFORE I debunked this fable in 2005.

To me, the striking thing was that Sanders’s false claim was part of her prepared remarks; she read them from a piece of paper in the midst of a press-bashing jeremiad about the evils of what Trump calls “fake news.” A day later, she made her personal view of the press clear. Asked repeatedly Thursday whether she endorses Trump’s oft-stated line that the media are the “enemies of the people,” Sanders refused to reject Trump’s characterization. “I’m here to speak on behalf of the President,” she said. “He’s made his comments clear.” The White House assault on the truth is not an accident—it is intentional.

Other metrics make clear the significant changes in Trump’s approach to the Presidency in recent months, as he has become more confident, less willing to tolerate advisers who challenge him, and increasingly obsessed with the threats to his Presidency posed by the ongoing special-counsel investigation. One is the epic turnover rate of Trump’s White House staff, which as of June already stood at the unprecedented level of sixty-one per cent among the President’s top advisers.

All the departures from Trump’s troubled West Wing have created a new set of dilemmas for the political world, which normally welcomes even the most controversial White House advisers into a comfortable post-power life of high-paid lobbying or consulting jobs, speaking tours, and cushy think-tank or academic gigs. Will those smooth transitions continue? Should they?

At Harvard, an uproar greeted the decision of the Kennedy School of Government to name Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, a visiting fellow, although, at Stanford, the recent decision by the Hoover Institution to name H. R. McMaster, Trump’s fired national-security adviser, a senior fellow prompted little protest. After Marc Short quit the Trump White House last month, he headed toward such a life as well. Short, a veteran conservative political operative, worked to oppose Trump’s nomination in the 2016 Republican primaries while on the payroll of the big G.O.P. donors the Koch brothers. Nonetheless, he went on to serve as Trump’s chief legislative liaison and congressional vote-counter. Short also often defended Trump on television. After leaving the White House, he landed a paid gig as a CNN commentator (the network where I am also a contributor), a partnership at a Washington consulting firm, and a fellowship at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

Short’s hiring at U.V.A. has set off a major controversy in Charlottesville, which will soon mark the one-year anniversary of the violence-scarred white supremacist march that prompted one of Trump’s most controversial statements as President, his declaration that there were bad people and violence “on both sides.” Unlike others in the Administration, Short never publicly objected to Trump’s Charlottesville remarks (though he told me the White House had not handled it “the way we should have.”) In the two weeks since Short’s hiring, thousands of U.V.A. students and professors have signed a petition opposing it, although the Miller Center and U.V.A.’s new president are sticking by him. William Antholis, the Miller Center’s director, told me he believed Short’s appointment was about “understanding the Trump Presidency and engaging in civil dialogue about it, including with somebody who knows it and understands it well, but in my view is still within the legitimate bands of political disagreement.” But Antholis acknowledged that, for many opponents of Trump, this is not a Presidency to be treated like those that preceded it. “The challenge we face is similar to the one all media organizations face: the Trump Presidency and the Congress represent forty per cent of the American people and eighty to ninety per cent of the Republican Party, so can you just completely say that is an illegitimate viewpoint and that anybody complicit in it is by association guilty? Where do you draw the bands of complicity?”

On Monday, two well-regarded history professors quit the Miller Center in protest of Short’s hiring. William Hitchcock, the author of an admiring new biography of President Dwight Eisenhower (“He is the anti-Trump,” Hitchcock said of Eisenhower, when we met at a Miller Center breakfast that I co-hosted this summer—“He is the un-Trumpian in every way”), told me this week that he is fine with universities hiring other former officials with controversial backgrounds, such as the current Miller Center fellow Eric Edelman, who was Vice-President Dick Cheney’s close adviser during the invasion of Iraq, or McMaster at Stanford University, each of whom has an academic background. It is Short’s role as a public propagator of Trump’s untruths that most bothers Hitchcock, and, as a historian, he said that this makes the Trump Administration unique among American Presidencies.

“What is the appropriate position for universities to adopt not just to former Trump officials but to the Trump era?” he asked. “Universities have got to speak up for the basic principles of inquiry, of open-mindeness, and facts that have been cast into doubt . . . . If you invite the slickest, most skillful bender of the truth from the Trump Administration and say, ‘What can you tell us about the Trump Administration?’ Well, what are you going to get out of him?”

On Thursday, I reached Short by telephone and asked him to respond to this criticism. Short said he thought a lot of the backlash around his hiring had to do with Trump’s “unique Presidency ” and the “raw emotions” in Charlottesville and that he hoped he could contribute to “an honest conversation about how this Presidency came to be.” Short suggested that those who objected to him were doing so because they were uncomfortable with a “disruptive President” or because of their “dismissal of Trump voters—and that is a wide swath of America.” When I pointed out that many of the objections, like Hitchcock’s, had to do with a more basic question, of Short’s accountability—and that of other Trump officials—for the President’s unprecedented record of untruths, Short said he did feel “a responsibility to be truthful. All of us have a responsibility to be truthful, and that’s essential.” So, I asked, would he be open to correcting the record of the President’s misstatements? “Tell me specifically where you think there have been things stated that are not true,” he said. “Let’s have that conversation, as opposed to saying, ‘I’m going to resign.’ We’re all better off if we have that conversation in a civil way.”

The previous gold standard in Presidential lying was, of course, Richard Nixon. Barry Goldwater, the Republican Presidential nominee four years before Nixon won the White House in 1968, famously called Nixon “the most dishonest individual I ever met in my life.” Writing in his memoirs, Goldwater observed that Nixon “lied to his wife, his family, his friends, longtime colleagues in the U.S. Congress, lifetime members of his own political party, the American people, and the world.”

There have been comparisons between Nixon and Trump since Trump first entered office, but these, too, have escalated in recent months as the President has been shadowed by the threat of the ongoing special-counsel investigation into the electronic break-in of the Democratic National Committee (another eerie Watergate echo) and whether Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. Trump’s obsession with the special counsel, Robert Mueller, also comes with metrics: he has called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt” on Twitter more than twenty-one times a month on average this spring and summer, compared with an average of just three times a month in the previous nine months.

Another commonality between Nixon and Trump is their obsession with the press as an enemy or, in Trump’s phrase “enemies of the people.” Nixon went so far as to order his White House staff to create an actual “enemies list,” a document with twenty names on it, which was released as part of the Watergate hearings. Reporters like CBS’s Daniel Schorr featured prominently on it. When Sanders announced at her press briefing last week that Trump was considering stripping the security clearances of six former senior U.S. officials who have emerged as scathing Trump critics, many made immediate comparisons to Nixon’s list. “An enemies list is ugly, undemocratic, and un-American,” Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, responded.

Only three members of Nixon’s enemies list are still alive. (Ron Dellums, a former member of Congress particularly loathed by Nixon for his anti-war protests and militant civil-rights activism, died on Monday.) I called one of them, Morton Halperin, to ask what he thought of the proliferating Trump-Nixon comparisons. Halperin, who oversaw the writing of the Pentagon Papers and then served on Nixon’s National Security Council staff before breaking with him over the invasion of Cambodia, sued when he found out that Nixon had secretly taped him and others in the White House. Over the years, he has been one of Nixon’s proudest and most persistent enemies. So I was surprised when Halperin insisted, strongly, that Nixon wasn’t nearly as damaging to the institution of the Presidency as Trump has been. “He’s far worse than Nixon,” Halperin told me, “certainly as a threat to the country.”

 

What Is a Pathological Liar? Definition and Examples

November 2, 2018

by Robert Longley

ThoughtCo

A pathological liar is an individual who chronically tells grandiose lies that may stretch or exceed the limits of believability. While most people lie or at least bend the truth occasionally, pathological liars do so habitually. Whether or not pathological lying should be considered a distinct psychological disorder is still debated within the medical and academic community.

Key Takeaways

  • Pathological liars habitually lie in order to gain attention or sympathy.
  • The lies told by pathological liars are typically grandiose or fantastic in scope.
  • Pathological liars are always the heroes, heroines, or victims of the stories they concoct.

Normal Lies vs. Pathological Lies 

Most people occasionally tell “normal” lies as a defense mechanism to avoid the consequences of the truth (e.g. “It was like that when I found it.”) When a lie is told to cheer up a friend or to spare another person’s feelings (e.g. “Your haircut looks great!”), it may be considered a strategy for facilitating positive contact.

In contrast, pathological lies have no social value and are often outlandish. They can have devastatingly negative impacts on those who tell them. As the size and frequency of their lies progress, pathological liars often lose the trust of their friends and family. Eventually, their friendships and relationships fail. In extreme cases, pathological lying can lead to legal problems, such as libel and fraud.

Pathological Liars vs. Compulsive Liars 

Though often used interchangeably, the terms “pathological liar” and “compulsive liar” are different. Pathological and compulsive liars both make a habit of telling lies, but they have different motives for doing so.

Pathological liars are generally motivated by a desire to gain attention or sympathy. On the other hand, compulsive liars have no recognizable motive for lying and will do so no matter the situation at the time. They are not lying in an attempt to avoid trouble or gain some advantage over others. Actually, compulsive liars may feel powerless to stop themselves from telling lies.

History and Origins of Pathological Lying 

While lying—the act of intentionally making an untrue statement—is as old as the human race, the behavior of pathological lying was first documented in medical literature by German psychiatrist Anton Delbrueck in 1891. In his studies, Delbrueck observed that many of the lies his patients told were so fantastically over-the-top that the disorder belonged in a new category he called “pseudologia phantastica.”

Writing in a 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, American psychiatrist Dr. Charles Dike further defined pathological lying as “falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime, in the absence of definite insanity, feeble-mindedness or epilepsy.”

Traits and Signs of Pathological Liars 

Pathological liars are driven by definite, typically identifiable motives such as bolstering their ego or self-esteem, seeking sympathy, justifying feelings of guilt, or living out a fantasy. Others may lie simply to alleviate their boredom by creating drama.

In 1915, pioneering psychiatrist William Healy, M.D. wrote “All pathological liars have a purpose, i.e., to decorate their own person, to tell something interesting, and an ego motive is always present. They all lie about something they wish to possess or be.”

Keeping in mind that they typically tell their lies for purposes of self-gratification, here are some common identifying traits of pathological liar

Their stories are fantastically outlandish: If the first thing you think is “No way!”, you may be listening to a tale told by a pathological liar. Their stories often depict fantastic circumstances in which they possess great wealth, power, bravery, and fame. They tend to be classic “name-droppers,” claiming to be close friends with famous people they may have never met.

They are always the hero or victim: Pathological liars are always the stars of their stories. Seeking adulation, they are always heroes or heroines, never villains or antagonists. Seeking sympathy, they are always the hopelessly suffering victims of outrageous circumstances.

They really believe it: The old adage “if you tell a lie often enough, you start to believe it” holds true for pathological liars. They sometimes come to believe their stories so completely that at some point they lose awareness of the fact that they are lying. As a result, pathological liars can seem aloof or self-centered, with little concern for others.

They don’t need a reason to lie: Pathological lying is considered a chronic tendency driven by an innate personality trait. That is, pathological liars need no external motivation to tell a lie; their motivation is internal (e.g. seeking adulation, attention, or sympathy).

Their stories may change: Grandiose, complex fantasies are hard to tell the same way every time. Pathological liars often expose themselves by frequently changing material details about their stories. They may simply be unable to remember exactly how they told the lie the last time, their exaggerated self-images drive them to further embellish the story with each telling.

They don’t like to be doubted: Pathological liars typically become defensive or evasive when the believability of their stories is questioned. When backed into a corner by facts, they will often defend themselves by telling even more lies.

Sources

Dike, Charles C., “Pathological Lying Revisited,” Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, Vol. 33, Issue 3, 2005.

“The Truth About Compulsive and Pathological Liars.” Psychologia.co

Healy, W., & Healy, M. T. (1915). “Pathological lying, accusation, and swindling: A study in forensic psychology.” The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 11(2), 130-134.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

November 24, 2018

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 publications.

 

Conversation No. 34

Date: Monday, September 9, 1996

Commenced:   10:07 AM CST

Concluded:    10:56 AM CST

GD: Good day to you, Robert. How does it go with you?

RTC: I’m tired today. I didn’t get much sleep last night. Ever have a night like that, Gregory?

GD: Sometimes. Get to sleep about four AM and then wake up at seven. Can’t get back to sleep and feel like garbage the next day. If you are not up to talking, I can call back later.

RTC: No, no, I’m fine. What are you up to?

GD: Somebody I know just vanished. His wife is hysterical and has called me twice. I have no idea what happened to him and neither does she. The police were polite but they can’t do much unless they find his body in the middle of the road or feeding the varmints on some local farm. I guess he was getting along fine with his wife and no problems with his job.

RTC: How did he disappear?

GD: Went to do some shopping, made it to the market, bought things, put them in his car and drove off. People at the store remember this, because one of the boys helped him load the trunk. No sign of any trouble and the kid said he was cheerful and tipped him. Anyway, they found the car parked by the side of the road, keys still in it and no sign of trouble like the top his skull on the floor and brains all over the seat. Neighbors saw and heard nothing. Nobody has any idea. I can’t help her but I always try to be polite.

RTC: We had a case like that once. Damnedest thing I ever ran into. I understand, however, that it wasn’t unique. One of our senior people lived on a nice farm down in Virginia. Late fall. It had been raining on and off. He gets up, has breakfast with his wife. The dog starts barking and from the window, he and his wife see the mailman stuffing the box down on the road. Finished breakfast, puts on his fancy hiking boots and a warm parka and down the dirt driveway to the street. Never gets there. The wife took something off the table and put it in the sink and the dog starts in barking furiously. She goes to the window and looks out. Can’t see her husband anywhere. Fenced fields on both sides of the driveway with horses on one side and stubble on the other. She puts on a coat and goes outside. The driveway has some mud and the boot prints are very visible. And then, about halfway down to the street, nothing. Prints stop cold. She’s a Company wife and she gets a hold of us first. The local sheriff’s people are decent but clumsy. We sent people out right away and they were very professional and careful. Mail was still in the box. Gate was closed and chained up. Footprints very clear and then stopped. No sign of anything, no struggle, no mess and no other footprints except the wife’s coming down from the house. The fields are muddy and no sign of anyone walking along the fences on either side of them. I mean not a sign. He’s vanished into thin air.

GD: The dog barked twice?

RTC: Yes. He always barked to let his people know when there were visitors coming. Very reliable dog.

GD: The dog that did not bark in the night. Sherlock Holmes.

RTC: Yes, the team commented on that.

GD: The wife was temporarily distracted….was it a long time?

RTC: As I recall, about a half a minute. She put some coffee cups in the sink.

GD: That takes about 30 seconds. No shouting or noises?

RTC: No, nothing at all. Very disturbing and very strange. You know, Gregory, about 800,000 to 900,000 a year just vanish in the United States?

GD: My God, that many?

RTC: Oh yes but about 65 to 75 % are found. Mostly solved within 24 hours. Most of these are young people running away or kidnapped by a parent in a custody case.  But let’s say that out of, say, 800,000, a low figure, 650,000 are accounted for. But that leaves a balance of 150,000 unaccounted for. And who are these missing ones? Men getting out of a bad marriage, stuck with a nasty wife and screaming kids. They might have a girl friend and they don’t want the long, drawn out process of a divorce that will probably bankrupt them and stick them with years of very punitive child support. Or we have children unhappy in an uncaring home, lonely, frustrated and trying to find a better life somewhere else. Or we have the wife taking off with a new boyfriend and becoming another person with a new name. And we have the criminal class to consider. A stock broker who just looted a customer of a half a million dollars or someone on parole who is sick and tired of continual harassment. These make up the bulk of runaways. But at the same time, Gregory, many of the vanished people had no wives or children to run away from, were perfectly normal people with no apparent personal or financial problems.

GD: Would you add the children abducted for sexual abuse?

RTC: Oh yes, that, too. But take all of these away and there are still so many missing. And these figures are only in the U.S. You can multiply this many times if you get global stats.Now our man was important to us so we really made a very thorough investigation. Finances in order, got on well with his wife, didn’t drink or use drugs, and we could basicially account for every minute of his waking life. Left home, drove to work, worked all day, drove home, dinner with the wife and once in a while a movie in town. The wife did the shopping. Very peaceful and ordered life. And what happened to him, Gregory? No trace of him anywhere. No phone calls to anyone that didn’t check out, bank account untouched, credit cards and phone call cards never used. Walked down his driveway on a clear day and just vanished off the face of the earth. That was fifteen years ago and nothing, ever. Right off the face of the earth.

GD: That’s a possibility, Robert.

RTC: Went to Heaven?

GD: No, not the silly Rapture fiction. Perhaps some entity from eleswhere nailed him. Abducted him.

RTC: That’s not the sort of thing we put in any kind of official report, Gregory. We can’t even begin to get into that area. Easier to say the Russians got him.

GD: I’m not advocating that but it has been reported before, and many times at that.

RTC: Yes, and some of it is real and some isn’t.

GD: But if you are giving me accurate information, Robert, what could have happened to this guy? Absolutely no reason for vanishing, no proof of any kind of abduction, What happened to him? Someone with a crane parked in the street suddenly reached over the fence and grabbed him? The wife would have seen it. A huge flying saucer hovering overhead? Now that might be possible, assuming you couldn’t see it. And they could beam him up like the TV show. That could explain it, couldn’t it? And the dog barked, didn’t it?

RTC: If it were true, yes. And the dog could have barked at a passing car or a cat in the field.

GD: Question here, Robert. We have warning radar all over the place, don’t we?

RTC: We have many systems.

GD: Well, assuming there are such UFOs, don’t the radar people pick them up?

RTC: I read a report back then that is interesting. A radar station out in the wilds. Two men on duty. One goes out to take a piss and sees a huge round object hovering about a half a mile away. Scared the hell out of him and he ran back inside and told his partner. Radar was working fine but no trace. The other one thought the pisser was nuts so he went outside and saw the same thing. More fussing with the set. Nothing. They reported it and other systems got involved. They both went outside and watched it hover for about ten minutes and then off it went, straight up so fast it was gone in a few seconds. More calls and nothing to report. When they got off shift, there were some Air Force police and some intelligence people who wanted to talk to them. They had seen nothing and better keep it that way. Yes something obviously got in and the radar couldn’t pick it up. Mysteries. This vanished fellow was on my staff and so I have some inside knowledge of what happened. Abduction was indeed brought up but left way, way behind. In the end, we put it out that he had been transferred to a special project and left it alone.

GD: I don’t suppose he ever showed up? Or even a part of him?

RTC: No, not even an ear. Wife waited seven years, got the insurance and eventually remarried. We went through the house and embargoed all his papers, of course.

GD: Here and there I encounter stories of abductions by aliens and some probings and so on. It wouldn’t surprise me if some fat housewife in Georgia didn’t have a boyfriend, two or three farms over and she would sneak out at night for a mattress polka. Boyfriend like to slap her around and watch the fat jiggle so when she gets back home, clothes torn and bruises all over her tits, she tells her hubby that some flying saucer grabbed her and they did awful things to her. All night. The police get involved and so do the local papers. Some other woman, two towns over, used the same story for the same reason, now starts in saying it happened to her. She had what looked like cigarette burns on her tits but now everyone realized they were alien test marks. Still, where there’s smoke, sometimes we find fire.

RTC: Well, all speculation, Gregory.

GD: But in the case of your man who vanished, Robert, did anything ever turn up?

RTC: No, never.But anything could have happened.

GD: I was doing research a few years ago on the German Zeppelins. You know, the Graf Zeppelin and the Hindenburg. That’s because I was working on the Hindenburg disaster for the Mueller book. I came across some fascinating material about odd so-called Zeppelin sightings in America back in the late 1890s. Hundreds…no thousands…of people saw what they believed to be some kind of silvery craft in the sky. It’s sort of interesting to note that these were mostly in the area in the Pacific northwest, near Mt. Shasta and south. Does that area ring a bell?

RTC: No, it doesn’t.

GD: That’s an area where pilots have seen what they all believed were some kind of high-speed, circular vehicles while flying in that region. I had a friend of mine in Canada who was training to be a commercial pilot and he saw three so-called bright objects on his port side, paralleling his flight pattern. They, all three of them, suddenly shot straight upwards so fast that no human could have survived the G thrust. I knew him well and I trust him absolutely. By the way, he never reported this sighting anywhere. Told me that if he had, even though he was in Vancouver, the U.S. Air Force intelligence people would have visited him and harassed him into admitting he saw seagulls or something like that. He told me that a number of his other pilot friends had seen similar things but never dared to report them. I believed him when he told me and I believe him now.

RTC: That doesn’t surprise me. They have been sitting on such things here for years. I never heard of the mystery Zeppelins before. When was this?

GD: I would have to look at my notes, but if memory is good, and it usually is, I think the sightings started before Christmas in 1896 and ran through until…about six months I think….May or June of 1897. Almost all in the Northwestern area but some further east, into the mid-west. The papers reported it as fact although some thought it might be a hoax. Too many responsible people saw these things, Robert, to be a hoax.

RTC: These days, the sightings are all put down as hoaxes. What they do is to get some obvious nut who claims he saw something, interview him and get him to make wild and lunatic statements. That’s usually enough. They keep away from professional pilots, doctors, policemen and so on. They home in on the nut fringe and play it up. That’s what they are supposed to do.

GD: But to go back to the missing people. You know, I looked into this once and I found that hundreds of thousands of people have just vanished each year in this country alone. Yes, of course many are found, some are killed, some go crazy and get put in the nut houses and so on and many are guys running away from their families, bad marriages, child support payments and so on. But if you subtract these, there is still a huge number left. Like your co-worker. Just vanished. No reason and no trace. I mean you can look on the Internet at the official FBI reports and see what I say is true. I asked an FBI agent who dealt with missing persons and he told me that there was a fixed percentage of people who ran off or were taken away by family members in a divorce case or abducted by sex maniacs and probably killed. Fine. After that, they had no idea what happened to the rest. No idea. Tens of thousands of Americans vanishing off the face of this earth each and every year.

RTC: You did check this out?

GD: Yes, I did. I have cut it this way and looked it that way and try as I can, and I have a very skeptical mind, Robert, I could not explain this mass number of missing. Some hole open in the ground? Giant birds swooping down and flying off with them? They couldn’t all be rotting under the Jersey Pine Barrens.

RTC: (Laughter)

GD: I’m serious now, Robert.

RTC: Oh, I’m sure you are and I’ve heard all about this before. When my man vanished, we did quite a bit of research and what you say is quite true. However, Gregory, I suggest that you look into other matters and stay strictly away from this one.

GD: Why is that?

RTC: You will be branded as a nut and your many enemies will gleefully get their hands on this and really lambaste you. Just deal with other matters. If you do something on Kennedy, believe me, all the night creatures will come up from under their wet logs and bite you on the ankles. Try to stay main line and you’ll do much better.

GD: I see your point but do you see mine?

RTC: Which is?

GD: Which is that huge number of people in this country, and probably in others, have just vanished.

RTC: Off the face of the earth.

GD: Exactly.

RTC: Well, maybe they have, Gregory, maybe they have. You know, aside from drawing unwelcome attention from the rabid lunatic fringe, you will get the government excited if you really push this vanishing business. Why? Because it obviously can lead to the UFO business and that is strictly off limits. It’s fine for the nuts to write weird books but if someone like you, who is a serious writer and an excellent researcher, starts in on this, they will come down on you very quickly. Just stay away from this and I assure you we will all be happy.

GD: I suppose you’re right. But still…

RTC: Gregory, let it be. OK?

GD: Fine.

(Concluded at 10:56 AM CST)

 

Khashoggi murder reveals power games in US administration

The latest row between US President Donald Trump and the CIA over the Jamal Khashoggi case is yet another round in Washington’s power struggle.

November 24, 2018

by Cagri Özdemir

DW

The decision by US President Donald Trump to shield Saudi Arabia in the case of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, despite the assessment from the CIA that Khashoggi’s death was ordered directly by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, shows the scope of the ongoing power games in the current US administration.

“We are talking about two different warring parts of America,” said David Hearst, editor-in-chief of the Middle East Eye, a UK-based online news outlet.

“As we all know, this is not the first time such an open information war has been declared between the CIA and the Trump administration,” Hearst said, a reference to the Russia investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the president’s attacks on former CIA Director John Brennan.

After Trump’s much criticized statement this week that effectively shielded the Saudis from any repercussions from the US in relation to the murder, Trump has continued his attacks on the intelligence agency.

On Thursday, the president rebuffed the CIA over its claims regarding the crown prince, saying the CIA “did not come to a conclusion. They have feelings certain ways… I don’t know if anyone’s going to be able to conclude the crown prince did it.”

It’s likely the CIA will make another move in the coming days or weeks. Turkish media has reported that the agency’s director, Gina Haspel, suggested to Turkish officials last month that she had a recording in which the crown prince gave instructions to silence Khashoggi.

‘Blunt, undiplomatic language’

According to Hall Gardner, professor at the American University of Paris and author of World War Trump, there have always been divisions between the National Security Council, the CIA and the State Department under various US administrations.

“While these divisions were recurrent in every administration, what appears unprecedented is Trump’s own policy statement on the Khashoggi affair, written in blunt, undiplomatic language,” Gardner told DW, adding that the reason for the policy divide between the US institutions and the Trump administration is Trump himself.

In the White House statement — which echoed Trump’s media statements and tweets — the president argued at length for Washington’s choice to stand with Saudi Arabia. He reiterated that Riyadh’s multibillion dollar investments in the US are of utmost importance for US national security and job creation.

On the Khashoggi affair, the statement said “intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

The Committee to Protect Journalists called the statement “an appalling message to send to Saudi Arabia and the world,” while Fred Ryan, CEO of The Washington Post, the newspaper that published Khashoggi’s columns, accused Trump of betraying “long-established American values of respect for human rights.”

For Gardner, Trump’s decision to side with Saudi Arabia allows Riyadh to believe it can act with impunity, which could lead to dangerous implications for the entire Middle East region.

Democrats to investigate US-Saudi Arabia ties

Hearst believes this week’s White House statement backing the Saudis will not be the end of the Khashoggi affair in Washington.

“What’s going to happen now is that the CIA is going to get its evidence on the public record, either through the press or most likely through hearings by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee, which is now Democrat controlled,” Hearst said.

On Friday, Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the incoming head of the House intelligence panel, told The Washington Post that the panel will investigate Trump’s response to Khashoggi’s murder as part of a “deep dive” into US-Saudi Arabia ties next year.

Hearst believes more information will be unveiled regarding the Khashoggi murder, forcing the Saudis — and Trump — to change their stories once again.

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

#1050: Jon Rappoport

Jon Rappoport is a deliriously insane “independent researcher” and blogger. According to his bio, he “has lectured extensively all over the US on the question: Who runs the world and what can we do about it?” For the last decade, however, he has “operated largely away from the mainstream” because, as he puts it, “[m]y research was not friendly to the conventional media.” Indeed. His independent research encompasses “deep politics, conspiracies, alternative health, the potential of the human imagination, mind control, the medical cartel, symbology, and solutions to the takeover of the planet by hidden elites.”

He is, for instance, a germ theory denialist, and in his post “Germ theory and depopulation” he argues that “[i]n general, so-called contagious diseases are caused, not by germs, but by IMMUNE SYSTEMS THAT ARE TOO WEAK TO FIGHT OFF THOSE GERMS” (yes, the capitalization is in the original). Indeed, “GERMS ARE A COVER STORY. What do they cover up? The fact that immune systems are the more basic target for depopulation and debilitation of populations.” The main tool is of course vaccines, which are weapons the nefarious powers that be use to kill off, well, it is a bit hard to see, partially because Rappoport’s post is mostly all-caps from there. At least HIV is a cover story as well.

He has a similar screed on flu vaccines on whale.to if that’s the kind of stuff you fancy reading. It is barely grammatical, but at least he gets his enthusiastic anger across rather well.

Currently Rappoport seems to write on various topics for InfoWars. Recently, for instance, Rappoport and InfoWars dubbed Rep. Tim Murphy’s bill seeking to reform the way the government addresses mental health services a “diabolical legislative package,” since Rappoport thought the legislation would require almost all children to take “psychiatric meds,” and that the bill will ultimately give the federal government “a monopoly of the mind.” Yeah, that’s the way he rolls.

 

 

Infowars, a Rappoport supporter

 from Wikipedia

InfoWars is a far-right American conspiracy theory and fake news website It was founded in 1999, and is owned by Free Speech Systems LLC.

Talk shows and other content for the site are created primarily in studios at an undisclosed location in an industrial area outside Austin, Texas. The InfoWars website receives approximately 10 million monthly visits, making its reach greater than some mainstream news websites such as The Economist and Newsweek.

The site has regularly published fake stories which have been linked to harassment of victims. In February 2018, Alex Jones, the publisher, director and owner of InfoWars, was accused of discrimination and sexually harassing employees. InfoWars, and in particular Jones, advocate numerous conspiracy theories particularly around purported domestic false flag operations by the U.S. Government (which they allege include the 9/11 attacks and Sandy Hook shootings). InfoWars has issued retractions various times as a result of legal challenges.Jones has also had contentious material removed, or been suspended or banned from various social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Apple.

InfoWars earns revenue from the sale of products pitched by Jones during the show. It has been called as much “an online store that uses Mr. Jones’s commentary to move merchandise”, as a media outlet.

Editor’s comment:

Both Jones and Rapport have been exposed by Icke as Giant Lizards, in company with Queen Elizabeth of England and former President Obama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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