TBR News October 26, 2014

Oct 26 2014

The Voice of the White House

          (Comments from readers are always welcome and can be addressed to: tbrnews@hotmail.com with a note for the attention of this editor)


             Washington, D.C., October 26, 2014: “From planted ‘ihadists’ of the FBI, the government has learned that IS has been sending American Muslims and Muslim-converts to inspect various targets inside both the US, the UK and Canada.

            The purpose of this reconnaissance is to prepare for attacks on: the US stock market on Wall Street, the Capitol building while Congress is in session, the White House when the President is in residence, such icononic east coast schools as Harvard and Yale, Dulles International airport, Chicago’s O’Hare, the New York State legislature at Albany, the Amtrak train the Empire Builder and other significant targets.

            The double-agents have also passed on a list of important Americans to include elected officials, prominent motion picture stars, Christian religious leaders and right-wing American politicians for physical attacks.

            Also gleaned has been information on similar targets in both Canada and the UK.

            The IS jihadists plan to strike, physically, at such targets both for maximum publicity but also as revenge for military strikes at IS oil targets in the Middle East.

            And because Putin’s Russia has also, in the past, been the target of such attacks by their own Muslim fundamentalists and terrorist, very private talks between US and Russian intelligence senior officials have been in progress in Bern, Switzerland, for the past three months.  

            It is also known that the IS people have been recruiting terrorism activists in: Denmark, Sweden, France and Germany.

            In these matters, the almost-universal official spying on communication lines such as computers and cell-phones has proven to be invaluable in pin-pointing the terrorists and locating their targets well in advance of physical attacks.

            There is also the very alarming information that the IS people are trying to find a way in which to send EBOLA-infected people into various target countries such as the US, the UK and Canada and then leak this information to the respective media in order to cause civic panic.

            The countering of this program of terror is to play it back on the Muslim terrorists by blowing up sacred mosques, assassinating popular religious leaders, destroying one or more of the sites at Mecca, continuing to destroy IS-captured oil facilities in the Middle East and other retaliatory actions. American geo-political and natural resource wars with Putin are taking a back seat to the very real threat that Muslim terrorists are now posing to Western governments and people.”


Jihadists inspected UK Parliament as tourists – intel report

October 26, 2014



Islamists went on tours of the Houses of Parliament in London in order to examine the buildings, British intelligence revealed, prompting calls for the closure of the Palace of Westminster to the public.

The information on jihadists having joined groups touring the Parliament was disclosed to the MPs at one of security briefings, according to intelligence sources who spoke to the Mail on Sunday.

The revelation coming in the wake of the Canadian parliament shooting has led to Labour MP Barry Sheerman to demand that Speaker John Bercow limit the number of tourists visiting the House of Commons.

“When I raised this danger earlier this year I had my knuckles rapped,” Sheerman said. “The former Commons Clerk Sir Robert Rogers accused me of being a scaremonger. But it does not just belong to the realms of Doctor Who for people to blow up Big Ben.”

An aide to Bercow, who would not give his name, opposed the idea of closing Parliament for tourists, saying that it had tight enough security to prevent an attack similar to the one in Ottawa.

“The day people would rather click on the internet to read about politics than come to Parliament to see it in action would be a dark day for democracy,” the aide told the Mail on Sunday. “We must not hand that propaganda victory to the terrorists.”

MPs have meanwhile been instructed on what to do in case a shooter does break into the parliament building.

“In the event of an incident involving firearms or other weapons, the police will take operational control,” the new security protocol, cited by the Telegraph, reads.

“If you hear gunfire, move away; but consider barricading yourself and others in a room if danger is close.”

Among various safety measures, MPs are being advised to installing panic buttons in their offices and setting up a “safe room” in their homes to be able to hide from possible intruders.

Earlier this week, a senior British politician and former cabinet minister, Peter Hain, called for a review of the House of Commons’ security procedures and infrastructure in the wake of the Canadian parliament shootings.

Britain’s most senior police officer Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned several days ago that “up to five British jihadis” were joining militant groups in Syria every week, and that there have been at least 500 Britons who have traveled to the region to fight.

A London-based think tank, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), has estimated one British jihadist fighting in Syria dies every three weeks.



The Religious Commentary

by Dr. Alan Dicker


Christ the Essene (excerpt)


by Dr. Phillip L. Kushner




            The British philosopher, William of Occam, has stated that entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity; that the simplest answer to a complex problem is the correct one.

If this thesis, called Occam’s Razor, is applied to many convoluted historical situations such as the origins of various international wars or incidents like the assassination of Kennedy or the realities behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, myths and legends fall and the truth remains standing amongst the rubble.

Ongoing but increasingly limited, public interest in the life and preachings of Jesus the Christ has highlighted this parallel problem: the Christ’s life, ministry and death are so surrounded with a thick growth of myth and legend that it takes a serious, and thoroughly objective, effort to hack through this undergrowth to find the actual, as opposed to the legendary, Jesus.

Stripped of centuries of myth-making, legend and creative writing, the actual facts about Jesus the Christ show a man who is certainly a powerful figure and whose teachings resound, though greatly diminished, even two thousand years after his death.

In an analytical historical study of Jesus, stripped of legend, myth and deliberate propaganda, the real figure emerges from the myth and a strong reality replaces a weak fiction.

Consider, then, this study as an educational process and not an iconoclastic attack and in that light, the resulting revelations will have a powerful, and in the end, a positive, and certainly lasting, effect.

Truth can, indeed, be beneficial. But not to all.



God Hates Fags!


 “It’s NOT OK to be gay. It will damn the soul, destroy the life, and doom any nation that tolerates such evil. God Hates Fags is a profound theological statement, which America needs more than it needs oxygen or bread.” — Westboro Baptist Church “News Release,” May 3, 1999.

  Although an extreme attitude, the anti-homosexual hysteria expressed by the mid-west Baptist church is prevalent in the preachings and dogmas of the Evangelical, far-right Christian churches. A number of these churches have called for the imprisonment of all homosexuals and a few demand their execution.

That their views are increasingly at odds with the views of the general public is of no concern to them. In their minds, they are right, the others wrong and they will, by one means or another, force the majority to obey the minority.

 The interesting part of this hysterical and irrational hatred can be found in the self-hatred of closet gays who have a significant representation in the ministries, but from a historical point of view, the great irony is that the icon of their religion, Jesus, was himself a practicing homosexual!

Not even the year of Jesus’ birth is known although many theologians have concluded that Jesus was born sometime in the autumn , between 11 and 13 CE. Also, there is disagreement about where Jesus was born. Different theologians, as opposed to historians, argue Bethlehem in Judea, and Nazareth.

            That was prior to certain archeological discoveries in the Dead Sea area.  

            From the Dead Sea scrolls, we learn that Jesus was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to an Egyptian Jewish father and Egyptian mother.

            He was not born in a stable in Bethlehem nor were there any wise men visiting nor a special star hovering overhead.

            The basis of all of this revisionist material is clearly set forth in a scroll found at Cave #3 on the Dead Sea in 1953.

            It is on parchment (used only for important documents…the rest were on papyrus) and was written at the time of Jesus, about 50-55 CE.

            The document is the only extant period reference to Jesus; all the others were created, often out of whole cloth,  two hundred years later, and in the case of significant paragraphs in Josephus, later Christian forgeries.

            This revealing scroll has been forensically tested as to age, type of ink, handwriting etc and was very clearly created at the time and place indicated.

            The text of the Dead Sea Scrolls were written in four different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Nabataean.

            The scroll in question here, from cave #3 is in Nabataean, used from the 2nd century BCE to the 4th century CE

            From this we discover that Jesus was a Jew but born in Alexandria, Egypt, ten years after the date ascribed in the Gospels to his nativity.

            ‘Bar Nasha’(son of man) was Jesus name for himself.

            Jesus was not a Nazerene, as is often stated in the New Testament,  but an Alexandrian Jew. His parents emigrated to Palestine, and the young Jesus joined the Essene religious movement where Jesus’ elder brother was a member of this religious and agricultural cult.  He subsequently  became heavily involved in their revolts against the occupying Roman power, was one of the leaders in a revolt attempt, fled when the Roman troops attacked in a pre-emptive strike, leaving many of his fellow cult members to be captured by the Romans and all later crucified.

            He escaped  with a small number of Essenes to the desert where he remained until he died.

            The interesting aspect of this is that the Essene cult was an all-male agricultural commune and very specifically homosexual in nature and practice.

            In the scroll, Jesus’ sexual orientation is specifically addressed and names of his male lovers covered.

 It should be noted that the scrolls themselves were prepared by members of the Essene cult who were themselves homosexuals and therefore not critical of Jesus orientation.

            During the Procuratorship of Antonius Felix (52 to 58 CE) Jesus amassed a mob of about 30,000 Palestinian Jewish dissidents, planning to attack Jerusalem and drive out the Roman garrison. One of Jesus’s Essene close associates, a man named Judas, informed Felix of the impending raid and it was stopped by Roman troops with a heavy loss of life for the rebels. Many were taken prisoner, tried and later crucified for rebellion against the Roman government but the period records show, very clearly, that their leader, Jesus from Alexandria, escaped and vanished into the desert.

            Roman period writings show that this man came out of the desert with a force of 30,000 and went up the Mount of Olives in order to fall on the city of Jerusalem, expel the Roman garrison and become ruler. Felix engaged the Egyptian and his followers in battle and dispersed them, taking most of them prisoners.

             Josephus, who lived and wrote during the period, wrote about this plot of an Egyptian Jew under the procurator Felix.

The history of Josephus is full of similar occurrences., which show the state of mind of the Jewish population at the time of Jesus.

An attempted putsch by the Alexandrian Essene prophet, Jesus, would be fully in accord with it.

If we think of Jesus’ activism as such an attempt against Roman authority, the betrayal of the Essenes to the Roman authorities by Jesus’ co-conspirator, Judas, becomes understandable as well.

             Marcus Antonius Felix was the Roman procurator of Iudaea Province 52-58 CE, in succession to Ventidius Cumanus.

The period of his rule was marked by internal feuds and disturbances on the part of the Jewish population, which he put down with  great severity.

            On returning to Rome, Felix was accused of using a dispute between the Jews and Syrians of Caesarea as a pretext to slay and plunder the inhabitants, but through the intercession of his brother, the freedman Pallas, who had great influence with the Emperor Nero, he escaped unpunished.

            Porcius Festus succeeded him as procurator of Judea.


(to be continued)


Blackwater contractors convicted

October 23, 2014

by Jim Lobe

Asia Times


WASHINGTON – A federal jury here on Wednesday convicted one former Blackwater contractor of murder and three of his colleagues of voluntary manslaughter in the deadly shootings of 14 unarmed civilians killed in Baghdad’s Nisour Square seven years ago. The judge in the case ordered the men detained pending sentencing.

The massacre, which resulted in a wave of popular anger in Iraq against the United States, and especially the army of private security contractors which it employed there, contributed heavily to the Iraqi government’s later refusal to sign an agreement with Washington to extend the US military presence there.

It also sealed the reputation of Blackwater, a “private military” firm

headed by Erik Prince, a right-wing former Navy Seal, as a trigger-happy mercenary outfit whose recklessness and insensitivity to local populations jeopardzed Washington’s interests in conflict situations.

After the incident, the Iraqi government banned the company, which had a US$1 billion contract at the time to protect US diplomats. Iraq’s parliament subsequently enacted laws making foreign contractors working in the country subject to Iraqi legal jurisdiction for criminal acts they committed.

It was Baghdad’s insistence in 2011 that such a condition also apply to all US military forces that scotched a proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that would have permitted Washington to maintain thousands US troops in Iraq after the December 31, 2011 deadline for their final withdrawal.

“The verdict is a resounding affirmation of the commitment of the American people to the rule of law, even in times of war,” said Ronald Machen, the US attorney who prosecuted the case, after the Wednesday’s verdicts were announced.

Seven years ago, these Blackwater contractors unleashed powerful sniper fire, machine guns and grenade launchers on innocent men, women and children. Today, they were held accountable for that outrageous attack and its devastating consequences for so many Iraqi families,” he said in a statement.

While praising the verdicts, some observers said that Blackwater itself should have been on trial. “[H]olding individuals responsible is not enough,” noted Baher Azmy, the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which represented Iraqi victims of the killings in a human-rights case against Blackwater that settled in 2010.

“Private military contractors … have engaged in a variety of war crimes and atrocities during the [2003 Iraq] invasion and occupation while reaping billions of dollars in profits from the war. To this day, the US government continues to award Blackwater and its successor entities millions of dollars each year in contracts, essentially rewarding war crimes,” he said.

Wednesday’s verdicts, which confirmed initial findings by a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe carried out within two months of the massacre, are likely to be appealed to a higher court by the defendants’ attorneys, who contend that the convoy they were leading had come under attack and that their clients were acting in self-defense at the time.

They are also likely to challenge the verdicts on the grounds that key evidence presented to the jury consisted of initial statements of what took place that were effectively “coerced” by interrogators, who allegedly assured them that what they said would not be used in court. That issue has been bounced between courts since the Justice Department filed the case in 2010.

Altogether, 17 Iraqi civilians, including two boys aged nine and 11, were killed and 20 more injured when, on September 16, 2007, a State Department convoy entered Baghdad’s busy Nisour Square with the armored Blackwater vehicle in the lead.

While defendants and Blackwater itself insisted that the convoy came under attack, the FBI and prosecution contended there was no evidence to sustain such a conclusion.

According to the latter, the unit’s sniper, Nicholas Slatten, opened fire on a car which, according to the defense, had approached the Blackwater vehicle in a suspicious manner. Slatten’s shots, which killed the car’s driver, a medical student, triggered chaos throughout the circle.

In addition to Slatten, who was convicted of first-degree murder, a total of six members of the Blackwater team fired their weapons as they moved through the circle, according to the prosecution.

One team member, Jeremy Ridgeway, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter in 2008 and served as a prosecution witness in the case. Charges against another defendant were dropped shortly afterwards. Several other team members also testified against the defendants.

Aside from Slatten’s conviction, three other guards Wednesday were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, as well as various weapons offenses.

The Justice Department had charged that they “unlawfully and intentionally, upon a sudden quarrel and heat of passion, did commit voluntary manslaughter”.

If sustained, Slatten’s murder conviction requires a sentence of life imprisonment. Each count of voluntary manslaughter – and each of the other three defendants were convicted of multiple counts – can carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

The trial itself began earlier this summer and lasted two months. In addition to the Blackwater guards who testified for the prosecution, the Justice Department brought 30 Iraqi witnesses, including surviving family members who witnessed or were injured in the incident, to testify. Despite their dramatic and often wrenching accounts, the trial received relatively little media attention.

The verdicts were hailed by Paul Dickinson, an attorney who represented six of the families – including the nine-year-old victim, Ali Kinani, whose father was the first witness to testify for the prosecution in the current case – whose members were killed or injured in the massacre in a separate civil lawsuit filed against Blackwater in North Carolina in 2009. That case was settled with an undisclosed compensation agreement in 2012.

“I am confident that my clients are pleased with today’s verdict, knowing that the men they alleged killed their family members have been brought to justice and held criminally accountable for their actions,” he told IPS in an email. “While a criminal conviction can never fully satisfy a family that lost a loved one, it does provide some closure for my clients.”

The verdict, he said, was “significant because it shows that government contractors who commit crimes abroad can be prosecuted in US courts for their criminal actions”.

Pratap Chatterjee, an investigative reporter who has focused on the operations of US military contractors, including Blackwater, in Iraq and Afghanistan, agreed with that assessment, but, echoing CCR’s Asmy, stressed that it was “only one step of many that need to be taken in bringing justice to Iraq”.

“Many similar incidents have neither been investigated nor anyone prosecuted,” Chatterjee, who currently heads California-based Corpwatch, told IPS. “To this day, the private companies and their executives who turned Baghdad into a free-fire zone have yet to be charged.”

Earlier this summer, the New York Times reported that the State Department had initiated an investigation of Blackwater’s operations in Iraq just before the Nisour incident but had abandoned it after Blackwater’s top manager there issued an apparent death threat. According to a State Department memo of the conversation, the Blackwater official said “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq”.


Jim Lobe’s blog on US foreign policy can be read at Lobelog.com. He can be contacted at ipsnoram@ips.org


The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy

When the editor’s gorgeous sister-in-law was killed, Bradlee rushed to find her diary. But why was James Jesus Angleton looking for it too?

by Will Rahn



On October 12, 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer, the glamorous sister-in-law of Ben Bradlee and sometime lover of Jack Kennedy, was shot to death while walking along the C & O Canal in Georgetown. And in the hours that followed, the search for Meyer’s scandalous diary would find the future Washington Post editor in a race with one of the Cold War’s most legendary spies.

Bradlee, who died Tuesday at age 93, is rightly lionized as a master journalist. But he was also a key figure in a Washington establishment that arguably no longer exists—the kind of guy who advised presidents even as he reported on them, and counted some of the CIA’s top officers as personal friends.

The day Meyer died, these roles converged. After Bradlee had returned home from identifying Meyer’s body at the city morgue, he and his wife Tony received a call from the Tokyo-based artist and sculptor Anne Truitt. “She had been perhaps Mary’s closest friend,” Bradlee recounts in his memoir, A Good Life, “and after she and Tony had grieved together, she told us that Mary had asked her to take possession of a private diary ‘if anything ever happened to me.’ Anne asked if we had found any such diary, and we told her we hadn’t looked for anything, much less a diary.”

Bradlee and his wife began their search the next morning, only to find that someone else had been tipped off about the diary’s existence. Meyer’s door had been locked, but when Bradlee made his way in, he found James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s counterintelligence chief, standing there in the living room. He, too, was looking for Meyer’s diary.

Asked how he had gotten into the house, Angleton, who was among other things an expert at picking locks, “shuffled his feet.” Angleton was a Washington social figure in his own right, and his wife Cecily had been close with Mary, who had been married to another high-ranking CIA officer. “We felt his presence was odd, to say the least, but took him at his word, and with him we searched Mary’s house thoroughly,” Bradlee wrote. After an exhaustive search, however, no diary was found.

Angleton is one of those people who will always be shrouded in mystery. To his detractors, he was a half-mad paranoiac who nearly destroyed the CIA in his obsessive search for a Soviet mole. He was also an unquestionably brilliant “master of the game” with highbrow literary interests—borrowing a line from T.S. Elliot, he memorably referred to the world of espionage as a “wilderness of mirrors.” He essentially invented the CIA’s counterintelligence operation and, until his fall from grace nearly a decade after Meyer was killed, was perhaps the most powerful man at the Agency.

“If [British defector Kim] Philby was, as many have called him, the spy of the century,” wrote historian Ron Rosenbaum, “James Angleton was the counterspy of the century.”

It was mostly concerned with her paintings. Ten or so pages of it, though, recounted her affair with President Kennedy.And here he was, on his hands and knees, fruitlessly searching for a diary with his friend Ben Bradlee, then the Washington bureau chief for Newsweek. Eventually they both gave up, and parted ways.

A few hours later, though, it occurred to Bradlee that Meyer could have kept the diary in her artist’s studio, which was actually located behind his house. “We had no key,” Bradley wrote, “but I got a few tools to remove the simple padlock, and we walked toward the studio, only to run into Jim Angleton again, this time actually in the process of picking the padlock. He would have been red-faced, if his face could have gotten red, and he left almost without a word.”

Meyer, in addition to being considered one of the great, sought-after beauties of Washington at the time, was involved with the artists’ scene in the city and its nascent counterculture. She was friendly with Timothy Leary, with whom allegedly she dropped acid. “Her paintings and paints in the palest colors, and simplest shapes, pretty much covered the studio,” Bradlee wrote. After about an hour, Tony found the diary.

It was slim, about “fifty to sixty pages,” according to Bradlee, and mostly concerned with her paintings. Ten or so pages of it, though, recounted her affair with President Kennedy, of which Bradlee and his wife had been completely unaware.

“To say we were stunned doesn’t begin to describe our reactions,” Bradlee wrote. The Bradlees and the Kennedys had been close, and while there were persistent rumors that the president cheated on his wife, Kennedy had always denied it to Ben even as he playfully flirted with Tony. Jackie Kennedy once joked to the Bradlees that Jack liked to call Tony his “ideal woman.” Jack, meanwhile, told Ben that he imagined the trouble-loving Mary must be “hard to live with.”

It all threw the Bradlees off Jack’s scent. Kennedy disliked having girlfriends, preferring one-off conquests instead, but made an exception for Mary Meyer. “I was truly appalled by the realization of the deceit involved,” Bradlee wrote. “I remembered, for instance, Kennedy greeting Tony often by asking, ‘How’s your sister?’, presumably including those occasions when he had just left her arms.”

Bradlee felt deceived by his friends but, “with both of them gone from my life, resentment seemed foolish.” In hindsight, the affair made sense to him: “They were attractive, intelligent, and interesting people before their paths crossed in this explosive way, and they remain that way in mind.” Coming to terms with their relationship, he wrote, was harder for Tony, who “had been kept in the dark by her sister and her friend.”

Mary Meyer had told her friend Anne Truitt that she had wanted the diary destroyed, and while Bradlee felt it was in some sense “a public document,” he agreed that it this was mostly a family matter, and went along with Mary’s wishes. Here, again, Angleton comes into the picture: In exchange for the diary, he promised Ben and Tony, he would destroy it. After all, who better to make something disappear than the CIA? And so Tony handed it over.

In 1976, Anne Truitt’s “troubled” ex-husband told the National Enquirer about the diary and Meyer’s affair with JFK. He said that the pair had smoked weed together on one occasion, and that the romance lasted from 1962 until roughly Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Bradlee was on vacation when the story broke and, when reached by his own reporters for comment, told them off-the-record that the diary had been destroyed.

Except it hadn’t. A few years after the Enquirer story broke, Tony asked Angleton what, exactly, he had done with it, and Angleton admitted it was still in his possession. Tony demanded he give it back. Angleton complied, and Tony finally set the thing on fire “with a friend as witness.”

None of us has any idea what Angleton did with the diary while it was in his possession, nor why he failed to follow Mary and Tony’s instructions,” Bradlee wrote. According to Truitt and Angleton’s wife, he burned “the loose papers” and “safeguarded” the rest of it, insisting that he had never been explicitly told to destroy it in its entirety.

The murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer was never solved, and is still a regular fixture of JFK conspiracy narratives. The police apprehended a man shortly after her shooting, but without much by way of evidence against him, he was acquitted at trail. Regardless, the psychic blow of Mary’s murder, coming so soon after his friend Jack Kennedy’s, had a profound effect on Bradlee.

“Even after more than 40 months in a shooting war, after years as a police reporter, and after more years covering shooting wars in the Middle East, violence as a fact of my life had begun only with Kennedy’s assassination,” he wrote. And now, after Mary’s “almost unbearable” funeral, he felt that “his own world was somehow threatened.”



(The following excerpt is from ‘Conversations with the Crow’ by Gregory Douglas)


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 plans 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)



Controversial Ten Commandments smashed outside Oklahoma City capitol

Apparent vandal drives car into disputed religious monument on state property in act condemned by officials as ‘appalling’

October 24, 2014

Associated Press in Oklahoma City


Someone drove up a ramp near the Oklahoma capitol steps overnight and into a disputed granite monument of the Ten Commandments, smashing it to pieces in an apparent act of vandalism, authorities said.

Oklahoma highway patrol captain George Brown said the person abandoned the car and fled the scene after destroying the monument Thursday night, and that investigators are searching the sedan for clues. He said he didn’t know if there were any witnesses, but that investigators are reviewing security video.

The six-foot-tall monument was erected in 2012 with the blessing of Oklahoma’s conservative legislature. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has been suing to have it removed, arguing that it violates the state constitution and could be seen as a state endorsement of a religion.

“We consider this an act of violence against the state of Oklahoma,” said Republican state representative Mike Ritze, of Broken Arrow, whose family spent nearly $10,000 having the monument erected. “We are obviously shocked and dismayed, but we’re not discouraged,” he said, vowing to have it rebuilt.

Governor Mary Fallin called it an “appalling” act of vandalism and volunteered to help raise private funds to restore it.

The ACLU sued on behalf of a Norman minister and others who allege the monument’s location violates the state constitution’s ban on using public property to support “any sect, church, denomination or system of religion”.

A judge ruled last month that the monument does not violate the state constitution, and ACLU attorneys filed an appeal with the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Ryan Kiesel, the ACLU of Oklahoma’s executive director, said he and his clients are “outraged” that the monument was vandalized.

“To see the Ten Commandments desecrated by vandals is highly offensive to them as people of faith,” Kiesel said.

The monument’s placement has led others to seek their own on the capitol grounds, including a satanic group that earlier this year unveiled designs for a seven-foot-tall statue of Satan. Other requests have been made from a Hindu leader in Nevada and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.


Facebook a gift to intelligence agencies’ – Laura Poitras

October 25, 2014



             Investigative journalist Laura Poitras says she is worried about intelligence agencies using the all-too-easily-accessible data gathered from social networks – as people share their personal information voluntarily and governments only need to ask.

Poitras, who helped NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden expose illegal activities of the organization, still believes that people should be worried about the amount of power governments have to conduct surveillance searches of what they are doing online.

“Facebook is a gift to intelligence agencies. People volunteer all their social information,” she told the Washington Post in an interview.

Users should be wary about the information that the likes of Facebook and Google have compiled on them, Poitras warns. Still she does believe that these technology companies pose less of a threat than governments.

“On technology companies, we should be concerned, but we are consenting to that relationship – and they don’t have the same powers. They can help the government find out who your sources are, but they don’t have the power to investigate people,” she said.

To try and overcome the problem of unwanted government surveillance, she advocates the greater use of encryption tools, especially for journalists, but does understand that they can often be hard to use for those without specialist knowledge of computer systems. Poitras told the Washington Post she believes this could change in the future.

“I think what we’re going to see is a market for privacy that’s going to emerge. I think technology companies will come forward and offer tools that are easier to use. I mean, [email encryption tool] PGP is not easy, but it could be, and I think it will be,” she said.

The investigative journalist also touched on the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which was setup in December 2012 to support free speech and the freedom of the press. It also offers encryption tools, which can be downloaded online, as well as a service called SecureDrop.

SecureDrop is an open-source whistleblower submission system, which any news organization can install to securely receive information and documents from whistleblowers and sources, according to the Foundation’s website. She also says that the organization can give guidance on what products can be trusted and which should be avoided.

“I think one of the really exciting things about the organization is that we have a technology board who has all sorts of experience in the free software movement who actually know how to determine what are the good forms of encryption and how to handle peer review,” Poitras added.

Poitras also talked about the release of her new film, Citzenfour, which potrays the eight days that she spent in Hong Kong with Snowden, after he began leaking sensitive NSA documents. The film opened on Friday in selected cinemas in New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles.


Putin Slams West for Refusing to Accept Legitimacy of Crimea’s Reunification With Russia

October 24, 2014

by Mikhail Voskresenskiy

RIA Novosti.


            SOCHI, October 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has commented on the West’s position on Crimea’s reunification by likening it to the Latin proverb, “What is permissible for Jove is not permissible for an ox.”

Putin pointed out that Western countries consider Kosovo’s declaration of independence legitimate, while refusing to accept Crimea’s right to self-determination, granted to any nation by the UN charter. The decision to hold a referendum in Crimea was made by a legitimate representative body of power, the Crimean parliament, following a coup in Ukraine, the Russian president reiterated.

Crimea’s reunification with Russia is in accordance with international law whatever some might say. In that respect, the Russian president recalled the saying “Quod licet Jovi (Iovi) non licet bovi”, stressing that “we cannot agree with such definitions”.

“Maybe it is not permissible for an ox, but I have to say a bear will not ask anyone for permission,” Putin said in response to a question during the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi. The president added that a bear is considered “the master of taiga” and does not intend to give it away.

Vladimir Putin also stated that Western countries had decided Russia is no longer a force to reckon with after the collapse of the Soviet Union, emphasizing that the West had“started doing anything they wanted with no regard to any rules.”



Israeli finance minister: ‘there is a crisis with the United States’

Comments follow the Obama administration’s refusal to allow Israeli defense minister to meet with top national security aides

October 25, 2014

Associated Press in Jerusalem


A top Israeli minister said on Saturday there was a “crisis” in the country’s relations with the United States that must be fixed.

Finance minister Yair Lapid’s comments came a day after US officials said the Obama administration refused Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon’s requests to meet several top national security aides.

The White House and the State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with vice-president Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and secretary of state John Kerry on his five-day trip to the US. The administration is still angered by negative comments Yaalon made about Kerry’s peace efforts in the middle east and nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Lapid said “there is a crisis with the United States” and added that the relationship “must be managed respectfully and responsibly”.


Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required

October 25, 2014

by Shalia Dewan 

New York Times


             ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa — For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her funds, almost $33,000.

The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”

The federal government does.

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up and settle the case for a portion of their money.

The government seized $447,000 from the business, a candy and cigarette distributor run by one family for 27 years. Credit Bryan Thomas for The New York Times “They’re going after people who are really not criminals,” said David Smith, a former federal prosecutor who is now a forfeiture expert and lawyer in Virginia. “They’re middle-class citizens who have never had any trouble with the law.”

On Thursday, in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by “exceptional circumstances.”

Richard Weber, the chief of Criminal Investigation at the I.R.S., said in a written statement, “This policy update will ensure that C.I. continues to focus our limited investigative resources on identifying and investigating violations within our jurisdiction that closely align with C.I.’s mission and key priorities.” He added that making deposits under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements, called structuring, is still a crime whether the money is from legal or illegal sources. The new policy will not affect seizures that have already occurred.

The I.R.S. is one of several federal agencies that pursue such cases and then refer them to the Justice Department. The Justice Department does not track the total number of cases pursued, the amount of money seized or how many of the cases were related to other crimes, said Peter Carr, a spokesman.

But the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public interest law firm that is seeking to reform civil forfeiture practices, analyzed structuring data from the I.R.S., which made 639 seizures in 2012, up from 114 in 2005. Only one in five were prosecuted as a criminal case.

The practice has swept up dairy farmers in Maryland, an Army sergeant in Virginia saving for his children’s college education and Ms. Hinders, 67, who has borrowed money, strained her credit cards and taken out a second mortgage to keep her restaurant going.

Her money was seized under an increasingly controversial area of law known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement agents to take property they suspect of being tied to crime even if no criminal charges are filed. Law enforcement agencies get to keep a share of whatever is forfeited.

Owners who are caught up in structuring cases often cannot afford to fight. The median amount seized by the I.R.S. was $34,000, according to the Institute for Justice analysis, while legal costs can easily mount to $20,000 or more.

Under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks and other financial institutions must report cash deposits greater than $10,000. But since many criminals are aware of that requirement, banks also are supposed to report any suspicious transactions, including deposit patterns below $10,000. Last year, banks filed more than 700,000 suspicious activity reports, which are reviewed by over 100 multiagency task forces.

There is nothing illegal about depositing less than $10,000 unless it is done specifically to evade the reporting requirement. But often a mere bank statement is enough for investigators to obtain a seizure warrant. In one Long Island case, the police submitted almost a year’s worth of daily deposits by a business, ranging from $5,550 to $9,910. The officer wrote in his warrant affidavit that based on his training and experience, the pattern “is consistent with structuring.” The government seized $447,000 from the business, a cash-intensive candy and cigarette distributor that has been run by one family for 27 years.

There are often legitimate business reasons for keeping deposits below $10,000, said Larry Salzman, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice who is representing Ms. Hinders and the Long Island family pro bono. For example, he said, some grocery store owners in Fraser, Mich., had an insurance policy that covered only up to $10,000 cash. When they neared the limit, they would make a deposit.

Ms. Hinders said that she did not know about the reporting requirement and that for decades, she thought she had been doing everyone a favor.

“My mom had told me if you keep your deposits under $10,000, the bank avoids paperwork,” she said. “I didn’t actually think it had anything to do with the I.R.S.” Lawyers say it is not unusual for depositors to be advised by financial professionals, or even bank tellers, to keep their deposits below the reporting threshold. In the Long Island case, the company, Bi-County Distributors, had three bank accounts closed because of the paperwork burden of its frequent cash deposits, said Jeff Hirsch, the eldest of three brothers who own the company. Their accountant then recommended staying below the limit, so the company began using the excess cash to pay vendors, and carried on for more than a decade.

More than two years ago, the government seized $447,000, and the brothers have been unable to retrieve it. Mr. Salzman, who has taken over legal representation of the brothers, has argued that prosecutors violated a strict timeline laid out in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, passed in 2000 to curb abuses. The office of the federal attorney for the Eastern District of New York said the law’s timeline did not apply in this case. The federal attorney’s office said that parties often voluntarily negotiated to avoid going to court, and that Joseph Potashnik, the Hirsches’ first lawyer, had been engaged in talks until just a few months ago. But Mr. Potashnik said he had spent that time trying, to no avail, to show that the brothers were innocent. They even paid a forensic accounting firm $25,000 to check the books.

 “I don’t think they’re really interested in anything,” Mr. Potashnik said of the prosecutors. “They just want the money.”

Bi-County has survived only because longtime vendors have extended credit — one is owed almost $300,000, Mr. Hirsch said. Twice, the government has made settlement offers that would require the brothers to give up an “excessive” portion of the money, according to a new court filing.

“We’re just hanging on as a family here,” Mr. Hirsch said. “We weren’t going to take a settlement, because I was not guilty.”

Army Sgt. Jeff Cortazzo of Arlington, Va., began saving for his daughters’ college costs during the financial crisis, when many banks were failing. He stored cash first in his basement and then in a safe deposit box. All of the money came from his paychecks, he said, but he worried that when he finally deposited it in a bank, he would be forced to pay taxes on the money a second time. So he asked the bank teller what to do.

“She said: ‘Oh, that’s easy. You just have to deposit less than $10,000.’”

The government seized $66,000; settling cost Sergeant Cortazzo $21,000. As a result, the eldest of his three daughters had to delay college by a year.

“Why didn’t the teller tell me that was illegal?” he said. “I would have just plopped the whole thing in the account and been done with it.”



DHS Agents Raid Lingerie Shop, Save America From Unlicensed Underwear

from the ever-vigilant-agency-on-top-of-nation’s-bottoms dept

Your homeland has never been more secure. (h/t to Techdirt reader jupiterkansas)

October 24th 2014

by Tim Cushing



“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”

Peregrine Honig runs a lingerie shop in Kansas City. Not coincidentally, her shop was raided by DHS agents just as the World Series commenced. The target? “Boy shorts” sporting an approximation of the Kansas City Royals logo as well as the cheekily-applied phrase (yes, pun completely intended) “Take the crown.”

They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn’t use the logo.

Which she technically didn’t. It was her own drawing, but the DHS agents pointed out that “connecting the K and C” turned it into the protected property of a major league baseball franchise.

            Up until the fortuitously-timed DHS raid, Honig had experienced no problems with law enforcement.

“We’d had so many cops come in and buy these,” Peregrine Honig says.

The DHS has yet to comment on its pre-World Series panty raid. Neither has ICE, which is also usually fairly active in the days leading up to major sporting events. Neither agency has bothered to issue a press release about the hard work done in service to the multibillion-dollar entities currently attempting to “take the crown.”

            Honig, however, has provided plenty of color commentary, including the fact that these particular DHS agents didn’t appear to be reveling in their petty IP enforcement efforts.

She says you could tell “they [DHS agents] felt like they were kicking a puppy.”

At least there’s still a little shame left in overzealous trademark enforcement. This is part of what your $39 billion a year in mandatory contributions gets you: a few dozen pairs of underwear seized, most likely at a cost exceeding the retail value of the “counterfeit” goods.

[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.

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