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TBR News October 21, 2018

Oct 21 2018

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

Washington, D.C. October 21, 2018: “In Washington upper official circles, it is well known that President Trump is a rabid racist.

In his private circles, he uses the ‘nigger’ word constantly and is known to detest all dark-skinned peoples, be they blacks, Latin Americans, American Indians, or Middle Eastern people.

One of his strongest campaign themes was to block such people, regardless of abilities or needs, from the United States and in the case of dark-skinned American citizens, to marginalize any government support for them, like medical care, food stamps or educational benefits.

Trump has issued Hitlerian edicts to Customs and Immigration agencies to do all in their power to prevent or make extremely difficult for any of these people to enter the country.

The current wave of refugees from Central American pouring up through Mexico,bound for legal immigration entrance stations is outraging the President and he has promised to use American military force to block them.

But if the physical land borders are blocked, there is another very well-traveled path by which refugees can, and do, enter the United States and that is by the water route.

A small fleet of Chinese-owned boats has been clandestinely, and very successfully, assisting  large  numbers of immigrants and refugees to sail up from Central      American ports to many ports in California.

Large sums of money have been raised for this project from the Palo Alto, California-based ‘Dump Trump’ association, much of the monies raised by the Silicon Valley executives.

San Diego, Santa Monica, Monterey, Half Moon Bay, San Francisco and Oakland, as well as San Francisco Bay harbors as Redwood City are all used by this humanitarian fleet as debarking areas and considering the large number of private and commercial boating found daily in these areas, virtually impossible to interdict.

To staunch the flow, the Coast Guard would have to stop, and search, literally thousands of boats, private and commercial, on a daily basis and this they are incapable of doing, even if Trump screams and shakes his wrinkled fists at them.

And he can expect no cooperation in his neo-Nazi anti-immigrant efforts from the government of California who view Trump as a vicious and thoroughly evil man and who have been blocking him at every opportunity.

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • Honduran refugee caravan crosses into Mexico through river
  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 56
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • What’s at stake if investors begin to shun Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

Honduran refugee caravan crosses into Mexico through river

Thousands of migrants abandon legal crossing in bid to reach the United States

October 21, 2018

by Associated Press in Ciudad Hidalgo

About 2,000 Central Americans trying to reach the US in a “migrant caravan” have swam or rafted across a river separating Guatemala from Mexico, defying Mexican efforts to stop them at the border.

The refugees, who said they gave up trying to enter Mexico legally because the asylum application process was too slow, gathered on Saturday at a park in the border city of Ciudad Hidalgo. They voted by a show of hands to continue north en masse, then marched to the bridge crossing the Suchiate River and urged those still on it to join them.

“We are going to reach the United States,” said Erasmo Duarte, from Danlí, Honduras, despite warnings to turn back this week from the US president, Donald Trump, who has sought to make the caravan and border security into a campaign issue before the US midterm election in November.

The decision to re-form the caravan came on the day that Mexican authorities again refused mass entry to refugees on the bridge, instead accepting small groups for asylum processing and giving out 45-day visitor permits to some. Authorities handed out numbers for people to be processed in a strategy seen before at US border posts when dealing with large numbers of migrants.

But many became impatient and circumvented the border gate, crossing the river on rafts, by swimming or by wading in full view of the hundreds of Mexican police manning the blockade on the bridge. Some paid locals the equivalent of $US1.25 to ferry them across the muddy waters. They were not detained on reaching the Mexican bank.

“We couldn’t wait because we had already waited too long and they only told us lies,” said Duarte, who joined the caravan with his wife and children six days ago.

Sairy Bueso, a 24-year-old Honduran mother of two, was another refugee who abandoned the bridge and crossed into Mexico via the river. She clutched her two-year-old daughter Dayani, who had recently had a heart operation, as she got off a raft.

“The girl suffered greatly because of all the people” crowded on the bridge, Bueso said. “There are risks that we must take for the good of our children.”

Group leaders said the caravan, which will be smaller than the original one, would strike out Sunday morning for the city of Tapachula.

Whereas at least 3,000 people were on the bridge the previous day, the crowd had thinned out considerably by Saturday. In addition to those who crossed the river, immigration agents processed people in small groups and bussed them to an open-air, metal-roof fairground in Tapachula, where the Red Cross set up small blue tents on the concrete floor.

Each time a small side gate opened to allow people to pass for processing, there was a crush of bodies as refugees desperately pushed forward. Scarleth Cruz hoisted a crying, sweat-soaked baby girl above the crowd, crying out: “This girl is suffocating.”

Cruz, 20, said she was going to ask for political asylum because of threats and repression she faced in Honduras from President Juan Orlando Hernández’s governing party.

People in the caravan cited widespread poverty and gang violence in Honduras, one of the world’s deadliest nations by homicide rate, as their reasons for joining the caravan.

“One cannot live back there,” said Fidelina Vasquez, a grandmother traveling with her daughter and two-year-old grandson, standing next to the main border gate.

The caravan elicited a series of angry tweets and warnings from Trump early in the week, but Mexico’s handling of the situation at its southern border seems to have satisfied him more recently.

“So, as of this moment, I thank Mexico,” Trump said on Friday at an event in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I hope they continue. If that doesn’t work out, we’re calling up the military — not the [National] Guard. They’re not coming into this country.”

 

Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 56

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

  • Feb 24, 2018

“Now you know they’re not going to have their best people in the lottery, ’cause they’re not going to put their best people in the lottery. They don’t want to have their good people leave.”

Source: Phone call to Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show, Justice

in fact: This is, as always, an inaccurate description of Diversity Visa Lottery program. Contrary to Trump’s regular claim, foreign governments do not put the names of their problem citizens into the lottery to try to dump them on the United States. Would-be immigrants sign up on their own, as individuals, of their own free will; they are not “given” to the United States by nefarious foreign leaders.

Trump has repeated this claim 21 times

“We actually have lottery systems — where you go to countries and they do lotteries for who comes into the United States.”

Source: Phone call to Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show, Justice

in fact: The diversity visa lottery, in which people receive “green cards” for permanent residency, is conducted by the U.S. State Department, not by foreign countries.

“I’m the one that’s pushing DACA. And the Democrats are nowhere to be found.”

Source: Phone call to Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show, Justice

in fact: This is transparently inaccurate. Trump, a Republican, cancelled the Democrat-created DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program that gives young unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, the “DREAMers,” work permits and protection from deportation. Democrats are now urging him to simply re-protect DACA enrollees without conditions. Conversely, Trump and other Republicans are demanding steep concessions — billions of dollars for a border wall, a reduction of one third or more in legal immigration — in exchange for protecting DACA enrollees, and some conservative Republicans continue to deride any permanent protection for enrollees as “amnesty.” Democrats have consented to billions in wall funding, but Trump has rejected even this deal on the grounds that he also wants the cuts to legal immigration. In short: Trump is free to argue, as some DREAMers are, that Democrats are not fighting hard enough for DACA enrollees, but there is no reasonable argument that they are “nowhere to be found” on the subject or that Trump is the one “pushing DACA.”

Trump has repeated this claim 13 times

“He got scammed by somebody pretending to be a Russian…if you look at Adam Schiff, last week, two weeks ago, he got scammed by somebody…he spoke to this person, thought he was a Russian, but it didn’t work out that way, he wasn’t a Russian.”

Source: Phone call to Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show, Justice

in fact: Trump had both the “when” and the “who” wrong in this story. The “when”: Schiff was tricked by a phone prankster in April, 10 months prior, not last week or two weeks ago. (Trump might have been confused because news outlets wrote stories on the call two weeks prior to this phone call to Pirro.) The “who”: Schiff believed he was speaking to Ukrainian politician Andriy Parubiy, the chairman of that country’s parliament, not a Russian; he was, in fact, speaking to Russians, two Russian pranksters.

“That document (Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff’s memo) really verifies the Nunes memo. And that’s why they didn’t push hard to have it — if you notice, they did not push it hard, because they understood this was going to happen.”

Source: Phone call to Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show, Justice

in fact: There is no reasonable argument that the Democrats “didn’t push hard” for the release of the Schiff memo. They pleaded with Trump to release it. When he refused, they denounced him. (“What’s really going on here is that the president doesn’t want the public to see the underlying facts,” Schiff said on CBS’s Face the Nation.) The memo was only released after extensive redactions by the FBI.

“‘Congressman Schiff omitted and distorted key facts’ @FoxNews So, what else is new. He is a total phony!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: This is an egregious distortion of what the Fox News host actually said. The real quote: “Congressman Schiff, he argues the Republican memo ‘omitted and distorted key facts.'” Trump, in other words, left out the words “he argues the Republican memo” in order to make it seem as if Fox was criticizing Schiff rather than simply reporting on Schiff’s own views.

“‘Russians had no compromising information on Donald Trump’ @FoxNews Of course not, because there is none, and never was.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent for CNN, checked the Fox footage and reported that the alleged Fox quote Trump tweeted here was never actually uttered on television. Stelter wrote on Twitter: “He’s completely misquoting Fox here. Fox hosts pointed out that there’s nothing *in the Dem memo* about the Russians having compromising info about Trump. But what he quoted was never said on Fox. Maybe he misunderstood the TV coverage?”

“Dems are no longer talking DACA! ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ they say. DACA beneficiaries should not be happy. Nancy Pelosi truly doesn’t care about them.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: This is transparently inaccurate. Trump, a Republican, cancelled the Democrat-created DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program that gives young unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, the “DREAMers,” work permits and protection from deportation. Democrats are now urging him to simply re-protect DACA enrollees without conditions. Conversely, Trump and other Republicans are demanding steep concessions — billions of dollars for a border wall, a reduction of one third or more in legal immigration — in exchange for protecting DACA enrollees, and some conservative Republicans continue to deride any permanent protection for enrollees as “amnesty.” Democrats have consented to billions in wall funding, but Trump has rejected even this deal on the grounds that he also wants the cuts to legal immigration. In short: Trump is free to argue, as some DREAMers are, that Democrats are not fighting hard enough for DACA enrollees, but there is no reasonable argument that they are no longer talking about DACA. Pelosi, further, has been one of the most vocal Democrats on the issue. In early February, she set a House of Representatives record by giving an eight-hour speech in support of DACA recipients.

Trump has repeated this claim 13 times

“…lowest black unemployment in history!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: This used to be true, but it was false at the time Trump tweeted. The Black unemployment rate did hit an all-time low (for the period since the government began tracking Black unemployment separately in the early 1970s), 6.8 per cent, for December. But then, in January, it spiked to 7.7 per cent, a non-record. The government report showing the spike to 7.7 per cent had been out for three weeks when Trump posted this tweet.

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

  • Feb 25, 2018

“Your GDP numbers, as you know, the first quarter — or the last quarter for the previous administration — was not good. And if you look at them now, we’re hitting 3s routinely, and we had a 3.2. ”

Source: Speech at the Governors’ Ball

in fact: It is an exaggeration to say the U.S. is now hitting 3 per cent GDP growth “routinely.” Trump has been president for three full quarters. In the first two (the second and third quarter of 2017), GDP growth did indeed hit 3: 3.1 per cent and 3.2 per cent. But in the third quarter (the fourth quarter of 2017), the most recent, growth was 2.6 per cent.

  • Feb 26, 2018

“This is a time of great opportunity for our country. We’ve created nearly 3 million jobs since the election — a number that nobody would have thought possible. You go back and take a look at what they were saying just prior to the election. Nobody thought it was even possible.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Between November 2016, the month of the election, and January 2018, the U.S. added 2.7 million jobs, so leaving aside the fact that Obama was president in November, December and most of January, Trump’s “nearly 3 million jobs” number is accurate enough. It is false, though, that nobody would have thought this number was possible. More jobs, 3.1 million, were added during the 15 months prior to that, under Obama.

Trump has repeated this claim 16 times

“Apple is investing $350 billion in the United States.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Apple did not announce a $350 billion investment. While it did announce a “$350 billion” figure in January, the company, unlike Trump, made a point of separating its actual investment from its pre-existing spending. Its press release made clear that the new investment is only a fraction of the $350 billion total. It said: “Combining new investments and Apple’s current pace of spending with domestic suppliers and manufacturers — an estimated $55 billion for 2018 — Apple’s direct contribution to the US economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years.” In other words, Apple’s pre-existing 2018 spending would have put it on track for $275 billion in spending over five years if maintained.

Trump has repeated this claim 20 times

“And you look at what’s going on, it’s really quite something. You just read, a week ago, Exxon is now coming in with $50 billion — and many, many companies.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Exxon made this announcement on Jan. 29, a month, not a week, prior to Trump’s remark on Feb. 26. Trump periodically moves up the date of good news to make it seem more recent. (In addition, Exxon made clear that it had already announced $35 billion of this investment.)

“But we have to make the deals fair. You know, with Mexico, as an example, we probably lose $130 billion a year. Now, for years, I’ve been saying — for the last year and a half, I’ve been saying $71 billion, but it’s really not.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Leaving aside Trump’s claim that a trade deficit means the U.S. is “losing,” his “$130 billion a year” figure is about double the actual deficit. Data from his administration shows a $71 billion deficit with Mexico in the 2017 trade of goods. When trade in services is counted too — services data wasn’t immediately available at the time he spoke in early 2018 — the overall trade deficit with Mexico is almost certainly even lower.

“We lose a lot with Canada. People don’t know it. Canada is very smooth. They have you believe that it’s wonderful. And it is — for them. Not wonderful for us; it’s wonderful for them.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: The U.S. has a trade surplus with Canada when trade in goods and trade in services are both counted. Trump’s own Council of Economic Advisers said as much in its annual report, issued the previous week: “The United States has free trade agreements (FTAs) with a number of countries — some of which represent net trade surpluses for the United States (Canada and Singapore)…In 2016, the United States ran a trade surplus of $2.6 billion with Canada.” The U.S. government’s Office of the Trade Representative, which uses a different method of calculation, says on its website: “The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016.” While the U.S. trade deficit with Canada in the trade of goods alone grew larger in 2017, going from $11 billion in 2016 to $17.6 billion, trade in services, for which 2017 data was not immediately available in early 2018, almost certainly continued to give the U.S. a substantial net surplus.

Trump has repeated this claim 15 times

“World Trade Organization: a catastrophe. China became strong –you look at it. It was going like this” — makes a flat line with his hand — “for years and years, and hundreds of years, it was going just like this.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: While China’s entry into the World Trade Organization at the end of 2001 does appear to have helped its economy, it is not true that its economy was stagnant before its entry. Its GDP growth rates for 1992, 1993 and 1994 were all higher than its growth rates for 2002, 2003 and 2004, the years following its admittance to the WTO. As Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote in 2008: “China has been the fastest growing economy in the world over almost three decades, expanding at 10 per cent per year in real terms.”

Trump has repeated this claim 4 times

“But the World Trade Organization makes it almost impossible for us to do good business. We lose the cases, we don’t have the judges. We have a minority of judges.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: It is false, or at least a gross exaggeration, to claim the U.S. merely loses cases at the World Trade Organization. Trump’s own Council of Economic Advisers said in its report the previous week that the U.S. is overwhelmingly successful in the WTO complaint cases it brings: it has won 86 per cent of those cases; the global average is 84 per cent, China’s figure 67 per cent. (Other analyses have put the U.S. victory rate as high as 91 per cent). As is standard for the WTO, the U.S. tends to lose cases where a complaint is brought against it — but even in those cases, Trump’s advisers noted that it does better (25 per cent victory rate) than the world average (17 per cent) or China’s record (just 5 per cent). Further, it is misleading to say “we don’t have the judges.” No judge on one of the three-judge WTO panels that adjudicate complaints can be from a country involved in the dispute — so while the U.S. doesn’t have the judges, neither do its adversaries. Further, panel decisions can be appealed to the WTO’s seven-member appeals body — on which the U.S. has a judge. “The United States, in fact, has always had one of the Appellate Body members with U.S. nationality, which is very unusual, but it is the situation,” WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said in response to Trump’s remark.

Trump has repeated this claim 4 times

“I mean, it’s really sad when every single case filed against us is in the 9th Circuit. We lose, we lose, we lose, and then we do fine in the Supreme Court. But what does that tell you about our court system? It’s a very, very sad thing.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: It is not true that “every single” lawsuit filed against the Trump administration is filed in the 9th Circuit, which Trump accuses of being excessively liberal. Numerous suits have been heard in areas covered by other circuits. For example, the 4th Circuit ruled against Trump’s travel ban in February, while the D.C. Circuit ruled in favour of Trump in December, deciding that a privacy group didn’t have the standing to sue Trump’s voter fraud commission over its collection of information on voters.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“And India sells us a lot of motorbikes. So when they have a motorbike — a big number, by the way — they have a company that does a lot of business. So they have a motorcycle or a motorbike that comes into our country — the number is zero. We get zero.

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: India does not sell the U.S. “a lot” or “a big number” of motorcycles. Indian automotive website Cartoq reported: “India exports very few motorcycles to the U.S., which is predominantly a market that prefers high-end, high-performance motorcycles, not the commuter bikes that India generally exports around the world. The only notable Indian brand selling motorcycles in the U.S. is Royal Enfield, which exports less than 1,000 bikes every year to that country.” India’s Car and Bike website, run by NDTV, reported: “Among the Indian manufacturers, Royal Enfield has some presence in the U.S., but the brand is still trying to find its feet in the American market and only account for a few hundred unit sales. When contacted, Royal Enfield refused to comment on the issue.” In a September story on Royal Enfield’s U.S. operation, Milwaukee’s Journal-Sentinel reported, “Its North American sales are still minuscule.”

“Now, with all of that being said, let’s talk China. Because China, we probably lost $504 billion, last year, on trade — $504 billion.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Trump is off by at least $129 billion. The U.S. trade deficit with China was $375 billion in 2017 when counting goods alone. When data on trade in services is added, the net number will almost certainly be smaller.

Trump has repeated this claim 51 times

“You know, they’ve been talking for 25 years. Other presidents should have solved this problem long before I got here. And they’ve been talking for 25 years. And you know what happened? Nothing. The Clinton administration spent billions and billions of dollars. They gave them billions. They built things for them. They went out of their way, and the day after the agreement was signed, they continued with nuclear research. It was horrible.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: The Washington Post reports that “billions” is an exaggeration: “Under the Clinton accord with North Korea, between 1995 and 2003 the United States spent about $400 million supplying the fuel oil to North Korea that was required under the deal. An international consortium spent about $2.5 billion to replace the North’s plutonium reactor with two light-water reactors; the project was not completed before the deal collapsed…the money mostly went to South Korean and Japanese companies, not North Korea.”

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“Look, you had the one mother — you remember, in Connecticut — how horrible that was. She was begging — begging — to take her son in and help him — do something, anything, he’s so dangerous. And nobody really listened to her. And he ended up killing her, and then the rest. You know what happened. It was a horror. But she was begging to do something about her own son.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Trump appeared to be confusing the stories of two school shooters. The mother of 2018 Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz had reportedly tried to get him help. Nancy Lanza, the mother of Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, declined to push him to take prescribed medications and did not schedule mental health appointments after he said he did not want to go; rather than begging for help or asking others to take her son in, she attempted to deal with him herself. Trump is correct that Lanza killed her before he began the school massacre. An investigation by a state-commissioned panel found “medical experts at Yale University had called for drastic measures to help Adam Lanza in the years before he shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., but those calls ‘went largely unheeded’ by his mother, who was also shot to death, according to a new study,” the New York Times reported.

“You know, it’s wonderful that we’re setting records on the economy. We’re setting records. Black unemployment at an all-time historical low.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: This used to be true, but it was false at the time Trump made the claim. The Black unemployment rate did hit an all-time low (for the period since the government began tracking Black unemployment separately in the early 1970s), 6.8 per cent, for December 2017. But then, in January 2018, it spiked to 7.7 per cent, a non-record. The government report showing the spike to 7.7 per cent had been out for three weeks when Trump made this claim.

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

“Hispanic unemployment at a historical low.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: The Hispanic unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 percentage point in January 2018, to a non-record 5 per cent. The record (since the government started measuring Hispanic unemployment separately in the early 1970s) is 4.8 per cent, achieved in 2006 and October and November 2017.

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

“I want to bring aluminum back into our country. These plants are all closing or closed.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Five aluminum smelters were operating in the United States as of late 2017. That was down from 23 in the 1990s, but it is not true that they are “all closing or closed.”

 

“Recently, we put a tariff on washing machines because we were getting killed, believe it or not, on washing machines and solar panels. That was two months ago.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Trump announced those tariffs on Jan. 23, less than five weeks before he made this “two months ago” comment on Feb. 26.

“You have to see the activity on new plants being built for washing machines and for solar panels. We had 32 solar-panel plants. Of the 32, 30 were closed, and two were on life-to-life resuscitation. They were dead. Now they’re talking about opening up many of them — reopening plants that have been closed for a long time.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Trump appeared to be referring to the two solar companies that brought a trade complaint to the U.S. International Trade Commission, Suniva and SolarWorld Americas. It is not true that these two firms are now talking about reopening shuttered plants. Suniva filed for bankruptcy last year, and its current status is “unknown,” Greentech Media reported in a fact-check of Trump’s claim in February. SolarWorld, meanwhile, announced it would hire 200 additional workers, but it did not say it would open any new plants; it has an Oregon plant operating below capacity.

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

“But how many Chevrolets are in the middle of Berlin? How many Fords are in the middle of Tokyo? Not too many. In fact, Ford, sort of, closed up their operation in Japan because they couldn’t get cars in there.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: While a Ford spokesperson said it was withdrawing from Japan in 2016 because Japan is the world’s “most closed developed auto economy,” it is false to claim that Ford “couldn’t get cars in there.” Ford simply failed to establish a profitable presence in Japan; it was not prevented from importing cars. As another Ford spokesperson said at the time: “After pursuing every possible option, it has become clear that there is no path to sustained profitability, nor will there be an acceptable return over time from our investments in Japan or Indonesia.” In the previous year, it had sold only 5,000 vehicles in Japan, NBC and Japanese news outlets reported — less than 2 per cent of the sales of all foreign vehicles imported to Japan.

“I spoke to Prime Minister Abe, another great friend of mine — he’s a great person — but I said, listen, you’re sending us millions of cars, and if we send you one and if we make it so perfect — they actually told me a case where they made this car so good. This was — they spent a fortune. They had the best environmental, the best this, the best skins, the best — everything you can have in a car. The best safety. They brought it in, and after inspections that lasted forever, it was rejected.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: Trump appeared to be misstating the history of the Chevrolet Cavalier, the General Motors car Toyota agreed to sell in Japan in the mid-1990s. A number of Cavaliers were rejected in late 1995, but not by Japanese authorities, as Trump suggested — it was Toyota itself, which found “fit-and-finish imperfections” with those particular cars, the Wall Street Journal reported. Contrary to Trump’s suggestion that the car was rejected outright, GM corrected the issues and continued shipping to Japan. The experiment failed simply because the cars were not popular in Japan. “Annual sales peaked at just 11,467 in 1996, the first full year of the experiment, even backed by a favorable dollar-yen exchange rate. GM finally canceled the deal in 2000,” Automotive News reported in 2017 Finally, car experts dispute the claim that the Cavalier was an elite car that contained “everything you can have in a car.” It was an unremarkable non-luxury sedan.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“But with respect to MS-13, and these people are really causing havoc in certain communities, and with schoolchildren, and people walking home from school — what’s going on. And we’re moving them out by the thousands.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: “By the thousands” is an exaggeration; it is more like “by the hundreds,” or “by the dozens.” The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, said in December that “a renewed focus on ID’ing & dismantling the ultra-violent MS-13 gang led to nearly 800 arrests in (fiscal year) 2017, for an 83 per cent increase over last year.” That figure is disputed, as some of the people arrested may not be actual members of the gang. Even if they are, though, that is far from “thousands.” In November, Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed the U.S. had “worked with our partners in Central America to arrest and charge some 4,000 MS-13 members.” But those additional arrests were made abroad, so the people arrested were not “removed.”

Trump has repeated this claim 15 times

“I don’t know if it’s going to be mentioned, but you have to also look at videos. They’re vicious. You look at some of these videos. I mean, I don’t know what this does to a young kid’s mind. Somebody growing up and forming and looking at videos where people are just being blown away left and right. The internet, movies — you look at these movies that are out today. I see, just by a commercial, the level of craziness and viciousness in the movies. I think we have to look at that, too. Maybe we have to put a rating system on that. They have a rating system for other subjects. Maybe we have to do a rating system for that.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: We gave Trump a pass the first time he seemed to suggest that there was no existing rating system that addresses violence in movies and video games, only sexual content; it seemed that time like he might have just been urging a toughening of the current rating standards on violence. This time, in saying “they have a rating system for other subjects,” it is clear that he was indeed suggesting that that there is no current rating system that addresses violence at all. That is false.

“But when the press covered it, the headline was, ‘Trump wants all teachers to have guns.'”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: No major news outlet, and possibly no news outlet at all, ran a headline saying Trump wanted “all” teachers to have guns. Media outlets correctly reported that he wants some teachers to have guns.

Trump has repeated this claim 4 times

“The maniac on the West Side Highway that ran over eight people…he killed eight people. What they don’t talk about are the 14 people that were devastated. They go to put themselves in shape and to work out, and they’re very proud, and they end up missing a leg and missing an arm, or missing two legs and an arm.”

Source: Remarks at White House meeting with governors

in fact: None of the people injured in this Manhattan terror attack was either “missing a leg and missing an arm” or “missing two legs and an arm.” The Associated Press reported that one woman, a Belgian tourist, lost two legs in the attack. The commissioner of New York’s fire department offered corroboration, saying the attack led to one double amputation.

Trump has repeated this claim 4 time

 

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

October 21, 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. 7

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 1996

Commenced: 10:17 AM (CST)

Concluded: 10:57 AM (CST)

GD: Am I interrupting anything there? It took awhile for you to pick up.

RTC: No, everything’s fine. I was going through my files seeing if I could find anything more about your friend Müller but I came across something interesting on H&K instead.

GD: Heckler and Koch? The German arms company?

RTC: No, Hill and Knowlton. The PR people.

GD: Public relations.

RTC: Yes. One of my jobs with the company was to keep up our connections with major business and H&K was my baby. Actually, you might be interested in all of this. We were talking about Frank Wisner’s contacts with the media and Cord Meyer’s with the publishing business so I thought this might just fit right in. We always wanted to emulate Colonel Hoover’s good PR. You know, the Hollywood and radio dramas about the wonderful G-Men. I think we established a far more effective system but then, of course I am prejudiced. Before we were finished, we had our fingers in every pot imaginable from the major media to book companies, television networks and so on.

GD: I knew Brownlow in Munich who ran Radio Liberty.

RTC: Station chief there. Yes, but that was for foreign consumption. My specialty was domestic. I guess you can call it propaganda if you like but we needed it to push our programs forward, ruin our enemies and help our friends. I think these were noble goals, Gregory, don’t you?

GD: Well, at least from your point of view.

RTC: We had to cover up failures as well. I think you can say that the Company pretty well controls the media in this country now. Take the AP for example. Every little jerkwater paper out in East Jesus, Texas, cannot have a reporter in Washington or Moscow so they rely almost entirely on the AP for anything outside their town. I mean if a cow wanders out onto the highway and wrecks a truck or the local grange burns down, sure, they have the local reporters, but for what’s going on in Washington or elsewhere, it’s the AP. Look, you get on a plane in New York bound for, say, Chicago. You read the paper and then stuff it into the seat pocket and get off. In Chicago, you pick up the Tribune and read it. Same national and international news. Fly to ‘Frisco and the same thing. The AP is a wonderful asset, believe me. Let’s say you want to put a story about that a certain foreign potentate is about to get kicked out. Or better, you want him kicked out. So, we plant a story with the New York Times, the Washington Post or other big papers and then get AP to send our special message all over the damned country. Let’s say we start in the night before. By the six o’clock news the next day, all of America knows just what we want it to know and we do this so anyone reading an article can only come to the conclusions we want.

GD: This is not a surprise, Robert. I’ve been in the newspaper game for forty years now and I know most of the games.

RTC: Well, you can see why I developed H&K as a purely captive asset, can’t you?

GD: Of course.

RTC: And we used them to plant our own agents all over the world. It is a wonderful cover. We have some of the major columnists, of course, and many editors and more than a few publishers but putting our own agents in, say, France or Ottawa, is a great advantage, believe me. And H&K had the best, the very best, connections. Bobby Gray was Ike’s press secretary and was a good friend of Nixon and Reagan and had their ear. We infiltrated our people into every level of the business, political and professional worlds and you never knew when one of your people might bring home the bacon. I can say with some pride that, let’s say, we wanted to get some legislation passed, it was a piece of cake. Sometimes we made bad calls like the time we pushed Fidel Castro into office only to have the bastard turn on us. I remember the howling the Alcoa people did when he nationalized their plants in Cuba. Or the United Fruit people demanding we get rid of Guzman[1] in Guatemala because he was expropriating their banana plantations. The man we put in after we kicked Guzman out turned on us and we had to shoot him, but in theory it was a slick deal. Sam Cummings got Nazi weapons from the Poles and we shipped them over there on a freight line we owned and for a little while, Levi and Zentner were happy. It was a question of helping our friends. I’ll tell you about Sullivan and Cromwell, some time.

GD: Not Gilbert and Sullivan?

RTC: No the New York law firm. Dulles was with them. They helped everyone out. Very pro-Hitler once, but then the Company was full of ex-Nazis; in fact our Gehlen Org was almost exclusively Nazi. Frenchy Grombach drew up a list of top Nazis wanted for war crimes after the war and Critchfield used it at his main recruiting guide. Of course if the Jews ever found this out, we would have to do some major damage control. Israel is friendly with us just as long as we keep the money and the guns coming. But then we have to kiss up to the Arabs as well because of the oil so the main thing here is to maintain a careful balance. But not only H&K but a number of other firms have been of inestimable help to us. They plant stories we want planted, they open offices in foreign countries of interest and let our men come in as employees and so on. The PR people can move mountains. Paster, who not only worked for H&K but also the Clintons, worked with Bill’s people to neutralize the Lewinski scandal, which was really not political but religious in nature. The right wing Christians, who are as crazy as shit house owls, wanted Clinton’s scalp so they could put one of their own pro-Jesus nuts in the White House. Ken Starr is as strange as they come and I am ashamed to admit he’s a lawyer from my hometown. Stands in his yard and screams for Jesus to listen to him. The neighbors made such as fuss about these nocturnal shouting sessions, they called the police.

GD: Tell me, Robert, did Jesus ever answer?

RTC: I don’t think so but Ken was warned that if he kept his yowling up at night, or even in the daytime, it was off to St. Elizabeth’s funny farm in an ambulance.

GD: Don’t talk to me about the Jesus Freaks! My God, I’ve known my share and the best place for them is a desert island populated by hungry tigers.

RTC: I think there are things even a hungry tiger wouldn’t eat.

GD: But back to the press again. Did you control or did you influence?

RTC: Both. I can give you an example. Ben Bradlee was the managing editor of the Washington Post and was our man all the way. It’s a long, involved story and if you have the time, I’ll give you the background. I know we’ve talked about this before but it’s absolutely typical of what I was telling you. Do you have the time?

GD: Yes, as the old whore said, if you have the money.

RTC: Ben’s best friend when he was a child was Dick Helms. After Ben left Harvard during the war, he joined ONI and worked in their communications center. He dealt with a flood of secret codes messages from all over the world. He had married Jean Saltonstall, the Governor’s daughter and the old man was also a spook. Not generally known, however. War was over and Ben was sent to join the ACLU as a spy. Pretty soon Ben got an inside connection with Gene Meyer, who’s family ran the Post and he got a job there covering the police beat. Eugene’s son-in-law married Katherine and poor Gene was a blossoming nut and he eventually swallowed his gun and the wife took over the paper. Graham got Ben a job with the Foggy Bottom people…

GD: What?

RTC: State Department. Anyway, Ben was off to France where he worked in the embassy in Paris where he did propaganda work and started working very closely with us. Then he went to work for Newsweek. Ben is an ambitious type and he ditched the Saltonstall woman and married Tony Pinchot. Her sister, Mary, was married to Cord Meyer, our beloved Cyclops….

GD: And a friend and co-worker with party comrade Cranston…

RTC: The same one. And joined together in the Mockingbird program we have been talking about….

GD: The Mighty Wurlitzer of Wisner?

RTC: Same idea.

GD: Graham and Wisner killed themselves and Wisner spent a lot of time in a nut house, didn’t he?

RTC: Raving mad. They had to drag him screaming out of headquarters, trussed up in a strait jacket and foaming at the mouth. Not one of my fonder moments. As I recall it, Bradlee knew Jim Angleton in France. I’ll tell you about Jim one of these days. Ben was kicked out of France because the CIA was secretly supporting the FLN…supplying them inside information about French counter-terrorist groups and give them plastique and other nice things…just as they did later with the Quebec Libré people in Canada. The French png’ed him…

GD: What?

RTC: Persona non grata. Not wanted in the country. Then he did his Newsweek work and got to know Kennedy and wrote some puff pieces for him and got on the inside track there. In the early ‘60’s Helms told Bradlee that one of his relatives wanted to sell Newsweek and Bradlee brokered the deal with the Post people. We had a firm in with the Post and now with Newsweek, a powerful opinion molder and a high-circulation national magazine. Then there was the towpath murder. Cord’s ex-wife was one of Kennedy’s women and everyone felt she had too much influence with him, not to mention her hippifying him with LSD and marijuana. We can discuss the Kennedy business some other time but Mary was threatening to talk and you know about the rest. Good old Ben and his friend Jim went to Mary’s little converted garage studio, which Ben just happened to own, and finally found her diary. They took it away and just as well they did. She had it all down in there, every bit of the drugs use, all kinds of bad things JFK told her as pillow talk and her inside knowledge of the hit. Not good.

GD: If you want to talk about the Kennedy business, Robert, I am perfectly willing to listen.

RTC: But I am not perfectly willing to talk at this point. We can get to it little by little, Gregory. Ben got to be vice president of the Post company and retired with honor and plenty of money.

GD: The diary?

RTC: Jim burned the original but made a copy. Makes interesting reading. It gives you different view of Camelot, believe me. What the American public doesn’t know, cannot hurt them, can it?

GD: No it can’t but if….do you still have your copy?

RTC: Now, now, Gregory. I don’t want a black bag job here. I’m too old to start shooting at mysterious burglars, or even being shot by them.

GD: This has been very interesting today, Robert.

RTC: An old man has little left sometimes but his memories.

GD: Do an autobiography, why not?

RTC” I don’t feel like committing suicide, Gregory, and I signed the paper keeping me from writing about any of this.

GD: But I haven’t.

RTC: No, you haven’t. Let’s call it a day for now, Gregory. I’m a little tired now. The Swiss have been working their microwave transmissions overtime.

GD: ‘Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,’ Robert. I’ll be out of town for a few days so I’ll get back in touch next week.

RTC: Have a nice trip and thanks for the call.

 

(Concluded at 10:57 AM CST)

 [1] Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán September 14, 1913 – January 27, 1971) was a Guatemalan military officer and politician. He served as Defense Minister of Guatemala from 1944 – 1951. He served as President of Guatemala from 1951 to 1954. When he attempted to nationalize the extensive United Fruit Company’s extensive holdings, the CIA fomented a coup d’état by a military junta, headed by Colonel Carlos Castillo, a CIA employee. He died in Mexico in 1971.

What’s at stake if investors begin to shun Saudi Arabia

October 19, 2018

by David Mchugh, AP Business Writer

Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The disappearance of a Saudi journalist last seen entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul has shaken confidence in the country as a place to do business, with potential consequences for billions of dollars in investments going into and out of the country.

It’s a blow, analysts say, to efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to convince the world that the country is a reputable place to strike the deals needed to power a wide-ranging transformation of the economy.

As allegations emerge that Jamal Khashoggi was gruesomely murdered, political pressure to isolate Saudi Arabia is increasing.

Here is a look at the Saudi leader’s economic plans and what is at stake if business leaders begin to shun the country.

___

Q: Why does Prince Mohammed need foreign investors?

A: The crown prince wants to diversify the economy away from oil and transform its business and political model. For years, oil revenues paid for plenty of government sector jobs and benefits. That model has come under strain amid a growing population and a period of low oil prices.

The prince’s Vision 2030 strategy foresees the creation of a vibrant private sector. As part of that, he wants to develop new industries like alternative energy, tourism and entertainment. Projects include a new business zone near the Red Sea called NEOM that would focus on advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology.

Saudi Arabia has its own companies in more traditional fields like construction, which would get a lot of that investment. But the country would need technology, expertise and financing from outside to carry out Prince Mohammed’s ideas. He wants, for instance, to have his Public Investment Fund — the state-backed investment vehicle — raise more money by selling a stake in chemicals company SABIC to state oil firm Saudi Aramco. Analysts say Saudi Aramco would likely have to borrow to make the deal happen. The PIF itself has already borrowed $11 billion from international banks.

“Foreign investment is a main pillar of Vision 2030,” said Sebastian Sons, an expert on Saudi Arabia at the German Council on Foreign Relations. “The old tradition is on the brink. Diversification of the economy is strongly needed and Vision 2030 is the strategy for that.”

___

Q: How would the Khashoggi disappearance affect that?

A: Foreign investors already had doubts about the country amid regional conflicts like a blockade of neighbor Qatar and a brutal war against rebels in Yemen. Saudi Arabia ranks 92nd out of 190 countries on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, which measures things like ability to enforce contracts and get goods in and out of the country. Another cloud was cast over the business environment when Prince Mohammed locked up several dozen members of the Saudi elite in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel and seized what the country’s attorney general said was more than $100 billion in assets.

The Khashoggi scandal comes at a time when “the private sector is cowed and hurting in many ways,” said David Butter, an analyst with the Middle East and North Africa program at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London.

The hotel incident shows that “they don’t know if their assets are safe from sequestration.” And grisly details reported in news media about Khashoggi’s alleged killing “are just going to make the private sector even more worried,” he said.

The war in Yemen has led to horrors such as an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition that killed 40 children, but the Khashoggi incident is harder to play down as a regrettable mishap of war. Butter said Prince Mohammed’s image as the “face of future reform is now much more difficult to sustain.”

Turkish authorities say Khashoggi was killed. The Saudis have denied involvement.

___

Q: Are people losing faith in Saudi Arabia as a business destination?

A: Foreign business and political leaders are dropping out of next week’s Future Investment Initiative, an annual event started last year to showcase the country as a place to do business. Among those cancelling are U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Sons of the German Council on Foreign Relations, said the no-shows “are a serious indicator for Mohammed bin Salman that he is losing trust, that Saudi Arabia is not seen as the ideal place to invest.”

___

Q: Why are the Saudis investing abroad as well?

A: They’ve been buying stakes mainly in technology firms to diversify their revenue and show the country as forward-looking and tech-friendly place.

The sovereign fund has invested $3.5 billion in Uber, for example. It has pledged $45 billion for the SoftBank Vision Fund, a private equity fund that has taken stakes in Uber and messaging software maker Slack Technologies Inc.

The question now is, whether companies will be leery of Saudi money for fear it will taint their reputations. Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Group, has said he is freezing talks for Saudi investment in his space companies. Other executives have limited themselves to the symbolic rebuke of shunning next week’s Saudi conference. Others have simply kept quiet.

___

Q: How likely are sanctions against Saudi Arabia?

A: Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham called for Saudi Arabia to be punished if it is confirmed it organized Khashoggi’s disappearance. But they did not specify what that might mean in practice.

The 2016 Global Magnitsky Act makes it possible to impose visa bans barring entry into the U.S. and targeted sanctions on individuals for committing human rights violations or acts of significant corruption. Congress can submit proposed names.

Analyst Butter at the Royal Institute said the prospect of sanctions was unclear but that “any kind of sanctions would have a strong symbolic effect.”

President Donald Trump has promised “severe punishment” if regime involvement is proved, but has also said he does not want to cost U.S. jobs by curtailing U.S. sales of military equipment to the Saudis.

 

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