Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/tbrnew5/public_html/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 284

TBR News September 18, 2019

Sep 18 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. September 18, 2019:

“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for September 18:”It is highly entertaining to watch the flood of garbled fake news pouring out of official America whenever something negative to their policies happens.

We had the Walt Disney-style ‘nerve gas poisoning’ of a convicted Russia double agent and his daughter and after the Saudi oil field attack, the fake news that the US was the world’s largest producer of oil (She is actually number ten) and the drone attack is guaranteed to have been launched from Iran.

Satellite tracking now shows it was launched from southern Iraq but as this does not suit the propaganda policy, we read that is was ‘probably’ Iran.

Could it have been Russian?

What about Portugal or Malta?

Or perhaps Blessed Israel, home of the Ashkenazim?

If you watch Fox News, you will learn that the Precious Donald has descended from Heaven to save the rotting soul of America.

And more quatsch will try to convince us that eating toothpaste causes piles to explode.

After all, scientists have proven it in a flith-splattered lavatory in the basement of Sludge University! (Where anyone can buy a PhD degree for less than ten dollars.)

And we are advised that both Planet X and Jesus will be in Dallas on December 3rd so pack your bag lunches, put on your red Trump tiny hats and head south.Note that clean underwear is mandatory in Dallas so be careful.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Israel Spies and Spies and Spies
  • Costly Saudi defenses prove no match for drones, cruise missiles
  • Saudi First: Trump Wants to Start a War With Iran When MBS Gives the Order
  • Saudi oil facility attacks may have come from Iraq
  • Hezbollah
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons     
  • US government files civil lawsuit against Snowden over publication of memoir
  • German Sovereignty

Israel Spies and Spies and Spies

This time the target was Donald Trump

September 17, 2019

by Philip Giraldi

Unz Review

Here we go again! Israel is caught red handed spying against the United States and everyone in Congress is silent, as are nearly all the mainstream media which failed to report the story. And the federal government itself, quick to persecute a Russian woman who tried to join the NRA, concedes that the White House and Justice Department have done absolutely nothing to either rebuke or punish the Israeli perpetrators. One senior intelligence official commented that “I’m not aware of any accountability at all.”

Only President Donald Trump, predictably, had something so say in his usual personalized fashion, which was that the report was “hard to believe,” that “I don’t think the Israelis were spying on us. My relationship with Israel has been great…Anything is possible but I don’t believe it.”

Ironically, the placement of technical surveillance devices by Israel was clearly intended to target cellphone communications to and from the Trump White House. As the president frequently chats with top aides and friends on non-secure phones, the operation sought to pick up conversations involving Trump with the expectation that the security-averse president would say things off the record that might be considered top secret.

The Politico report, which is sourced to top intelligence and security officials, details how “miniature surveillance devices” referred to as “Stingrays” imitate regular cell phone towers to fool phones being used nearby into providing information on their locations and identities. According to the article, the devices are referred to by technicians as “international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.”

Over one year ago, government security agencies discovered the electronic footprints that indicated the presence of the surveillance devices around Washington including near the White House. Forensic analysis involved dismantling the devices to let them “tell you a little about their history, where the parts and pieces come from, how old are they, who had access to them, and that will help get you to what the origins are.” One source observed afterwards that “It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible.”

The Israeli Embassy denied any involvement in the espionage and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adroitly and predictably lied regarding the report, saying “We have a directive, I have a directive: No intelligence work in the United States, no spies. And it’s vigorously implemented, without any exception. It is a complete fabrication, a complete fabrication.”

The Israelis are characteristically extremely aggressive in their intelligence gathering operations, particularly in targeting the United States, even though Trump has done the Netanyahu government many favors. These have included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, withdrawing from the nuclear deal and sanctioning Iran, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and looking the other way as Israel expands its settlements and regularly bombs Syria and Lebanon.

Israel’s high-risk spying is legendary, but the notion that it is particularly good at it is, like everything having to do with the Jewish state, much overrated. Mossad has been caught in flagrante numerous times. In 2010, an undercover Mossad hit team was caught on 30 minutes of surveillance video as it wandered through a luxury Dubai hotel where it had gone to kill a leading Hamas official. And the notion that Mossad and CIA work hand-in-hand is also a fiction. Working level Agency officers dislike their reckless Mossad counterparts. Newsweek magazine’s “Spy Talk” once cited a poll of CIA officers that ranked Israel “dead last” among friendly countries in actual intelligence cooperation with Washington.

The fact is that Israel conducts espionage and influence operations against the United States more aggressively than any other “friendly” country, including tapping White House phones used by Bill Clinton to speak with Monica Lewinski. Israeli “experts” regularly provide alarmist and inaccurate private briefings for American Senators on Capitol Hill. Israel also constantly manufactures pretexts to draw the U.S. into new conflicts in the Middle East, starting with the Lavon Affair in Alexandria Egypt in 1954 and including the false flag attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967. In short, Israel has no reluctance to use its enormous political and media clout in the U.S. to pressure successive administrations to conform to its own foreign and security policy views.

The persistent spying, no matter what Netanyahu claims, is a very good reason why Israel should not receive billions of dollars in military assistance annually. Starting in 1957, Israel’s friends stole enriched uranium from a Pennsylvania refinery to create a nuclear arsenal. More recently we have learned how Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer/billionaire born in Israel, arranged the illegal purchase of 800 krytron triggers to use in the production of nuclear weapons. The operation also involved current Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The existence of a large scale Israeli spying effort at the time of 9/11 has been widely reported, incorporating Israeli companies in New Jersey and Florida as well as hundreds of “art students” nationwide. Five “dancing” Israelis from one of the companies were observed celebrating against the backdrop of the twin towers going down.

While it is often observed that everyone spies on everyone else, espionage is a high-risk business, particularly when spying on friends. Israel, relying on Washington for billions of dollars and also for political cover in international fora like the United Nations, does not spy discreetly, largely because it knows that few in Washington will seek to hold it accountable. There were, for example, no consequences for the Israelis when Israeli Mossad intelligence officers using U.S. passports and pretending to be Americans recruited terrorists to carry out attacks inside Iran. Israelis using U.S. passports in that fashion put every American traveler at risk.

Israel, where government and business work hand in hand, has obtained significant advantage by systematically stealing American technology with both military and civilian applications. The U.S. developed technology is then reverse engineered and used by the Israelis to support their own exports. Sometimes, when the technology is military in nature and winds up in the hands of an adversary, the consequences can be serious. Israel has sold advanced weapons systems to China that incorporate technology developed by American companies.

The reality of Israeli large-scale spying in the United States is indisputable. One might cite Jonathan Pollard, who stole more highly classified information than any spy in history. And then there were Ben-Ami Kadish, Stuart Nozette and Larry Franklin, other spies for Israel who have been caught and tried, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.” The 2005 report states “Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.” It adds that Israel recruits spies, uses electronic methods, and carries out computer intrusion to gain the information.

A 1996 Defense Investigative Service report noted that Israel has great success stealing technology by exploiting the numerous co-production projects that it has with the Pentagon. It says “Placing Israeli nationals in key industries …is a technique utilized with great success.” A General Accounting Office (GAO) examination of espionage directed against American defense and security industries described how Israeli citizens residing in the U.S. had stolen sensitive technology to manufacture artillery gun tubes, obtained classified plans for reconnaissance systems, and passed sensitive aerospace designs to unauthorized users.

The GAO has concluded that Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any U.S. ally.” In June 2006, a Pentagon administrative judge ruled against a difficult to even imagine appeal by an Israeli denied a security clearance, saying that “The Israeli government is actively engaged in military and industrial espionage in the United States.” FBI counter intelligence officer John Cole has also reported how many cases of Israeli espionage are dropped under orders from the Justice Department., making the Jewish state’s spying consequence free. He provides a “conservative estimate” of 125 viable investigations into Israeli espionage involving both American citizens and Israelis that were stopped due to political pressure.

So, did Israel really spy on Donald Trump? Sure it did. And Netanyahu is, metaphorically speaking, thumbing his nose at the American president and asking with a grin, “What are you going to do about it?”

 

Costly Saudi defenses prove no match for drones, cruise missiles

September 17, 2019

by Stephen Kalin and Sylvia Westall

Reuters

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Billions of dollars spent by Saudi Arabia on cutting edge Western military hardware mainly designed to deter high altitude attacks has proved no match for low-cost drones and cruise missiles used in a strike that crippled its giant oil industry.

Saturday’s assault on Saudi oil facilities that halved production has exposed how ill-prepared the Gulf state is to defend itself despite repeated attacks on vital assets during its four-and-a-half year foray into the war in neighboring Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and the United States have said they believe Iran, the kingdom’s arch-enemy, was probably behind the strike. On Tuesday, a U.S. official said Washington believed the attack originated in southwestern Iran. Three U.S. officials said it involved both cruise missiles and drones.

Tehran has denied such accusations, saying that Yemenis opposing Saudi-led forces carried it out. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement is alone in claiming responsibility.

Iran maintains the largest ballistic and cruise missile capabilities in the Middle East that could overwhelm virtually any Saudi missile defense system, according to think-tank CSIS, given the geographic proximity of Tehran and its regional proxy forces.

But even more limited strikes have proved too much for Saudi Arabia, including recent ones by Houthis who claimed successful attacks on a civilian airport, oil pumping stations and the Shaybah oilfield.

“We are open. Any real facility has no real coverage,” a Saudi security source said.

The Sept. 14 assault on two plants belonging to state oil giant Saudi Aramco was the worst on regional oil facilities since Saddam Hussein torched Kuwait’s oil wells during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis.

The company said on Tuesday that production would be back to normal quicker than initially feared, but the attack nonetheless shocked oil markets.

Riyadh said preliminary results indicated the weapons used were Iranian but the launch location was still undetermined.

Authorities initially specified drones, but three U.S. officials said the use of cruise missiles and drones indicated a higher degree of complexity and sophistication than initially thought.

“The attack is like Sept. 11th for Saudi Arabia, it is a game changer,” said a Saudi security analyst who declined to be named.

“Where are the air defense systems and the U.S. weaponry for which we spent billions of dollars to protect the kingdom and its oil facilities? If they did this with such precision, they can also hit the desalination plants and more targets.”

The main Saudi air defense system, positioned mainly to defend major cities and installations, has long been the U.S.-made long-range Patriot system.

It has successfully intercepted high-altitude ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis at Saudi cities, including the capital Riyadh, since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen against the group in March 2015.

But since drones and cruise missiles fly more slowly and at lower altitudes, they are difficult for Patriots to detect with adequate time to intercept.

“Drones are a huge challenge for Saudi Arabia because they often fly under the radar and given long borders with Yemen and Iraq, the kingdom is very vulnerable,” said a senior Gulf official.

SPATE OF ATTACKS

Washington and Riyadh have blamed Iran and its proxies for a series of explosive blasts on tankers in Gulf waters, including two Saudi vessels in May, and attacks on Saudi oil assets.

Two oil pumping stations were hit that month. A transformer station near a desalination plant in Shuqaiq in the south was struck in June.

Those caused limited damage, unlike Saturday’s strikes on Abqaiq and Khurais that damaged the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility and knocked out 5.7 million barrels per day of production.

A Gulf source familiar with Aramco operations said the security system in place at Abqaiq is imperfect against drones. Authorities are investigating whether radar picked up the drones which struck in pre-dawn darkness, the source added.

An executive at a Western defense firm dealing with Saudi Arabia said that as of a year ago there were Patriots protecting Abqaiq.

Asked why Saudi defenses did not intercept Saturday’s attack, coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki told reporters: “More than 230 ballistic missiles were intercepted by coalition forces…we have the operational capacity to counter all the threats and protect the national security of Saudi Arabia.”

The government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear if U.S.-built short-range Avengers and medium-range I-Hawks and Swiss short-range Orelikons which the kingdom owns are currently operational.

SMALL BUT EFFECTIVE

The Saudi security source and two industry sources said Riyadh has been aware of the drone threat for several years and has been in discussions with consultants and vendors for possible solutions but has not installed anything new.

The security source said authorities moved a Patriot battery to the Shaybah oilfield after it was hit last month. There are Patriots at Aramco’s Ras Tanura refinery.

“Most conventional air defense radar is designed for high- altitude threats like missiles,” said Dave DesRoches at the National Defense University in Washington.

“Cruise missiles and drones operate close to the earth, so they aren’t seen because of the earth’s curvature. Drones are too small and don’t have heat signature for most radar.”

Intercepting drones possibly worth several hundred dollars with Patriots is also extremely expensive, with each missile costing around $3 million.

Jorg Lamprecht, CEO and co-founder of U.S. airspace security firm Dedrone, said there are more effective ways of dealing with drones, especially in swarms.

A combination of radio frequency detectors and radar detect them, high-powered cameras verify payloads and technologies like jamming demobilize them, he said.

But the latest technology presents its own challenges: frequency jamming could disrupt industrial activities and have negative health effects on people.

Armed drones are becoming more readily available, so the threat to vital infrastructure is rising disproportionately, according to U.S. intelligence consultancy Soufan Group.

Saudi policymakers have long dreaded a strike against a desalination plant in Jubail which serves central and eastern Saudi Arabia. A successful attack would deprive millions of people of water and could take a long time to repair, the Saudi source said.

“It’s a very target-rich environment,” said an industry source with knowledge of Saudi Arabia. “They’ve kicked them right where it hurts and there’s plenty more of them around.”

Reporting by Stephen Kalin and Sylvia Westall, additional reporting by Rania El Gamal and Alexander Cornwell in Dubai and Samia Nakhoul in Beirut; Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous and Mike Collett-White

 

Saudi First: Trump Wants to Start a War With Iran When MBS Gives the Order

September 17, 2019

by Mehdi Hasan

The Intercept

Who remembers “The Bow”?

In April 2009, three months into his first term in office, Barack Obama found himself in the midst of a bizarre controversy. At a meeting of the G-20, the new U.S president appeared to bow his head to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Conservatives lost their minds. Fox News ran chyrons suggesting that Obama was “pandering” to Muslims; host Sean Hannity played the clip in slow motion and on a loop. Senate Republicans even ran an online ad attacking the president for bowing to the Saudi king, while the right-wing Washington Examiner published an editorial calling it “a shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate.”

Fast forward a decade: If a president bowing to the Saudis made conservatives mad in 2009, what do they make of a president effectively putting the Saudis in charge of the U.S. military in 2019?

This was Donald Trump’s response to the recent airstrikes on two state-owned oil facilities in Saudi Arabia

Two points are worth considering here. First, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the “power to declare war.” Previous presidents, including Obama, have ignored this War Powers Clause and transferred authority for war-making to the executive branch; none of them, however, publicly handed over that authority to a foreign government — an absolute monarchy, no less. Reread those words again from the president: “Waiting to hear from the Kingdom … and under what terms we would proceed.”

This is “America First”? This doesn’t constitute “a shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate”? It is difficult, as the New York Times reports, “to imagine him allowing NATO, or a European ally, such latitude to determine how the United States should respond.” So what is behind this jaw-dropping tweet from the president? Is this Trump’s longstanding and hawkish obsession with the Iranians on show again, which also led him to unilaterally withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018? Is this yet another example of his love affair with foreign tyrants, whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Kim Jong Un of North Korea, or Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, who he has called his “favorite dictator”? (Can you imagine, incidentally, how jealous the crown prince must have been when he heard the news about Trump and Sisi?)

Or is this further evidence of how this commander-in-chief is financially compromised by his business connections to the Saudis? As I explained in a video essay last year, the Saudis have been bailing out Trump since the 1990s — and have continued to do so since he entered the White House. “Saudi Arabia … they buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million,” Trump once declaimed. “Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

Harsh questions need to be asked of the president’s relationship with the Saudi royals — especially if he is planning on putting U.S. forces in harm’s way on their behalf, and at their direction, without congressional approval.

Second, Trump is a belligerent hawk and has always been a belligerent hawk. The “Donald the Dove, Hillary the Hawk” nonsense from Maureen Dowd & Co. during the election campaign wasn’t true then and isn’t true now. Who else but a belligerent hawk deploys the action-movie rhetoric of “locked and loaded”? On Monday, the day after his tweet, Trump was asked by a reporter in the Oval Office if he had evidence that Iran was behind the attacks on Saudi Arabia. “We’re having some very strong studies done, but it’s certainly looking that way at this moment,” he replied, before bragging about having “the strongest military in the world.”

Will the media pose any tough questions about the nature of these “strong studies”? It doesn’t look good so far. Consider this uncritical headline from MSNBC, based on three anonymous sources: “U.S. intelligence shows Saudi oil attack was launched from Iran.”

Thankfully, however, there has been some pushback from a range of unexpected sources. Pentagon officials — still under the leadership of an acting defense secretary since the departure of James Mattis — have “recommended a restrained response to the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities, arguing against a potentially costly conflict with Iran” and told reporters that “the administration would need to find a valid legal basis to take action.” Former Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until the start of this year, called the timing of these attacks “really strange,” adding: “We need to make sure we know who is responsible. Who benefits most from these actions?”

Then there is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself. In an odd twist, “Saudi officials said the U.S. didn’t provide enough proof to conclude that the attack was launched from Iran,” reported the Wall Street Journal on Monday, “indicating the U.S. information wasn’t definitive.” The kingdom has “asked United Nations experts to help determine who was responsible for the airstrikes.” The Saudis, it seems, want war with Iran — they just don’t want to be blamed for helping start it.

So what happens next? How can anyone possibly know anything, except that the odds of another catastrophic conflict in the Middle East have rapidly increased? This is the bizarro world we now inhabit, in which the Saudis spend years pushing to fight Iran “to the last American,” the president of the United States then publicly says he’ll fight that war on their behalf and on their command, but they then seem to turn him down; in which a Democratic senator goes on Fox News to (wrongly) suggest that military action against Iran is justified while a Fox News personality takes to Twitter to (rightly) urge the president not to “put our military men & women in harm’s way defending multi-billionaire oil sheiks”; in which superhawk John Bolton left the Trump administration because he believed that the president was going soft on Iran and yet the very next week Trump says he is “locked and loaded” and ready to bomb Tehran; in which The Onion now seems more accurate and prescient than the New York Times or the Washington Post.

My head hurts.

 

Saudi oil facility attacks may have come from Iraq

Missile and drone attacks most likely launched by pro-Iranian militias operating openly in Iraq

September 15, 2019

by Stephen Bryen

Asia Times

It is growing more certain that the attacks on the Khurais oil field and the Abqaiq oil processing center in Saudi Arabia were launched from southern Iraq and not from Yemen by the Houthis. This was made clear by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said: “There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

While Pompeo put the blame squarely on Iran, he did not say where the attacks originated. Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian Air Force launched retaliatory attacks on Houthis military sites in Yemen.

Yahia Sarie, the military spokesman for the Houthi forces in Yemen, appearing on al-Masirah satellite news channel in a short TV address, claiming the Houthis had launched 10 suicide drones and had help in targeting Saudi oil facilities from “intelligence” sources inside Saudi Arabia.

But sources in Iraq and Washington say the attacks were launched from Iraq, most likely from pro-Iranian militias operating in the open and guided by Iran’s al-Quds (Revolutionary Guards) forces, led by Major General Qasem Soleimani. It was this same force that recently attempted to launch a swarming drone attack on Israel.

It is possible that Soleimani feared some deal emerging between the Iranian government and the United States, and launched this attack as a preemptive strike. But offsetting this thesis is the fact that the preparation for this strike took some time and required the movement of a lot of equipment from Iran to Iraq, and careful intelligence about the Saudi targets. This weighs against the preemption theory.

But whichever way, there isn’t much doubt in the minds of Iraqi observers.

The leading Iraqi analyst based in the United States is Entifadh Qanbar, President and Founder of the Future Foundation. He previously served as Iraq’s deputy military attaché and as the spokesman and adviser for Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister. He closely follows developments in his home country and has many associates feeding him information that has more than once proved to be accurate. His information about the attack coming from Iraq is backed by prior history and by Pompeo’s clear declaration.

As Qanbar knows, this attack would not be the first time Iran has used Iraq to hit Saudi oil facilities. At least one major previous attack was launched by Iraqi militias and the Iranians from Iraqi territory. Last June the Wall Street Journal carried an important report, based on conclusions reached by US officials, that a May 14 drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry originated in southern Iraq. According to the Journal, when challenged by the United States, Iraqi officials requested more information and claimed there was no conclusive evidence the attacks originated on their territory.

There are a number of Iranian-guided Shia militias in Iraq that have received drones from Iran. Former senior Iraqi officials in Washington, who are opponents of the current Iraqi government they view as compromised by Iran, believe the likely culprit is Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (Movement of the Party of God’s Nobles). Hezbollah al-Nujaba had been heavily involved in the fighting in Syria and has received from Iran and operated a drone called the Yasir UAV (drone), based on the US Boeing-Insitu ScanEagle.

Iran apparently captured a few ScanEagle drones and cloned them, and also changed them from surveillance models to suicide drones. This drone has an endurance (depending on model) of 8 to 20 hours, making it more than capable of flying from southern Iraq to the Saudi oil facilities. “The (suicide) drone can be used for hitting the aerial and ground targets and can carry out an attack when it identifies a suspicious target,” Iranian Army Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan,” said in 2015.

But Iraqi observers say the attack on Abqaiq involved three drones and three cruise missiles.  The cruise missile is believed to be the Quds-1. A version of the Quds-1, using a small jet engine (model PBS TJ100 ) manufactured in the Czech Republic, is produced in Iran for the Houthis. Nothing specific is known of the range of the Quds-1 but experts say it is a version of Iran’s Soumar cruise missile. Ẉith its 43 pound Czech turbine engine, the Quds-1 probably carries a smaller payload than the Soumar, which could have a Russian or Chinese engine. (The Soumar is said to resemble the Russian Kh55SM cruise missile.)

Iran likely replaced the more capable engines of their Quds-1 with a lesser-powered system for the Houthis, primarily so as not to implicate the Russian or Chinese suppliers, since the Iranian version has a very long-range (2,000 km or more) and large warhead.

The Houthis previously fired a Quds-1 at the Abha International Airport in Asir, which is located close to Yemen near the Red Sea. According to the Houthi military spokesman, “[The] Quds 1 missile targeted the military operations center and warplanes’ locations at the airport. A number of civilians were injured in the attack, including one carrying an Indian passport.  There is no information about damage to military aircraft or military compounds at the airport.

If the Iraqi reports are accurate, then other missiles or drones or both were launched at the Khurais oil field facilities.  Houthi spokesman said there were “10 drones” but did not mention cruise missiles.

The Houthis have a variety of Iran-supplied drones which are re-badged by the Houthis. If the attacks on the oil facilities did not use the weaponized Yasir UAV, which is rather small, it is probable that the drones used were Houthi models of the Iranian Ababil 2/T, which the Houthis have named the Qasef-2K.

An earlier version, Qasef-1, has been exploited by Western technicians and experts, including experts from the United Nations. The warhead is a molded high explosive fragmentation type stuffed with ball bearings to cause maximum damage.

These drones, classified as loitering munitions, are powered either by the German (3W110i B2 engine) or Chinese (DLE-111 two-cylinder petrol model manufactured by the Chinese company Mile HaoXiang Technology Co. Ltd.) two-cylinder engines and push propellers and can fly at least six hours. In the UN Security Council Report, the range for the Qasef drone, which it calls the UAV-X, is between 1,200 and 1,500 km (745 to 932 miles).

Why Deception?

It would have been strongly in Iran’s interest to make the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities look like they were launched by the Houthis. The Houthis were happy to take responsibility for an attack that may have destroyed half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil production. Most reports say the destruction of the Saudi facilities has cut oil supplies by five million barrels per day. Saudi oil output has been down in 2019 delivering less than 10 million barrels per day. The loss of Abgqaiq, which removes impurities from Saudi oil before being shipped from the Kingdom may mean the loss in output could even be greater. Oil prices are already surging upwards.

The previous attack launched from Iraqi territory was designed to avoid Saudi and US air defenses, particularly the Patriot (MIM-104) surface to air missile system. Previous Houthi drone attacks had been aimed to neutralize the Patriot system by destroying its surveillance and targeting radars. In this latest attack, however, it seems the main idea was to avoid the Patriot system altogether by attacking from behind (from the north) where the Patriot is not looking.  To make the problem even more difficult for the Saudis defending their oil facilities, the attack featured a swarming-type scenario (multiple UAV’s) mixed with cruise missiles, meaning the attack would come from different operating altitudes to confuse Saudi and US radars.

Another feature of the scheme was to avoid jammers. Increasingly, jammers are being used as a counter-drone strategy. For jammers to work the target has to be identified, usually by radar, and the jammer activated on the frequencies used by the drones or cruise missiles.

The drones used in the attack were far from their control center locations and were probably flying autonomously without a data link, pre-programmed with attack coordinates. Thus the only jammer target would be to try and disable the drone’s GPS or to send false coordinates to the GPS. It is not known if any jammers were positioned to carry out this tactic. In any case, jammers probably are limited and may not be successful in the case of swarming attack drones and missiles.

Other tactics may also have been used, including flying at extremely low altitude as the drones approached their targets in order to avoid radar detection.

There is no evidence that the Saudi Patriot system was activated, nor is there any information that jamming was used, suggesting that the attack that hit the facilities between 3 and 4am local time was not picked up by radar or any other sensor.

A photo of a crashed and exploded Quds-1 cruise missile said to have attacked the Saudi facilities is circulating on Twitter. The photo is almost certainly a Quds-1 (judging from the fins configuration). The origin of the photo is unsourced.

Iran has denied any responsibility for the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, no doubt to try and avoid a retaliatory strike that would knock out critical Iranian oil facilities. Any successful attack on Iran’s oil terminals and other facilities would decisively collapse the current regime who would run out of hard currency and suffer immediate and fatal domestic currency inflation or collapse.

But nonetheless, as Secretary of State Pompeo said: “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy.

“Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

Hezbollah

September 17, 2019

by Christian Jürs

Hezbollah, a Lebanese-based Shiite group, has fought the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) from the early 1980s to 2000, when the IDF was deployed in Lebanon. In 2006 the two sides clashed again, for 34 days, a war that ended in a tie but was not certainly an IDF victory.

Hezbollah is the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor, and has been described as “a militia trained like an army and equipped like a state.”

This is especially true with regard to its missile and rocket forces, which Hezbollah has in vast quantities arrayed against Israel.

The next round will happen when Israel believes that Iran has produced a nuclear weapon, a move which will certainly result in Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear sites.

Iran will retaliate with its proxies, mostly with Hezbollah.

Israel’s evaluation of the duration and cost of a war with Hezbollah, along with its other ramifications and consequences, will play a major part in Israel’s decision whether to bomb Iran or not.

Israel does not have long-range heavy bombers but the United States does, hence the constant prodding by the current Israeli government to procure an American strike on Tehran.

Meanwhile there is an ongoing tension between Israel and Hezbollah and a miscalculation by one or both sides might certainly ignite a major war.

The IDF, one of the strongest militaries in the Middle East, outnumbers and outguns Hezbollah in both troops and weapon systems. Yet Hezbollah has quite a powerful hybrid force, which has antiaircraft and anti tank missiles, hundreds of drones and above all up to 150,000 rockets and missiles, some of which cover all of Israel. Hezbollah could fire more than a 1,000 rockets a day during a confrontation with Israel and many of these missiles have GPS control systems and can strike accurately at specified targets.

Israel has systems to shoot down rockets, mostly the Iron Dome. Yet Israel does not have enough of them to intercept most of Hezbollah’s rockets, so the IDF can’t rely on a defensive strategy.

IAF (Israeli air force) has mostly fighter–bombers such as F- 15/16. The IAF has been training to launch thousands of sorties in Lebanon but the IAF might not be able to stop the pounding of Israel by Hezbollah. To do that Israel needs boots on the ground i.e. to carry out a major land offensive following a massive strategic bombing by U.S. heavy bombers.

On August 13, 2015, the IDF published the “IDF Strategy”, which explains how the IDF plans to operate in the next war. In September 2017 the IDF ran its biggest exercise in almost two decades, aimed against Hezbollah. The IDF, which had some major setbacks in the 2006 war, will be determined to prove it has learned its lessons. However, defeating Hezbollah is a tall order since Hezbollah, which is rooted inside the Shiite community in Lebanon, can always continue fighting with guerrilla and terror tactics. Israel will therefore strive for more limited objectives, mostly to destroy Hezbollah’s rockets and cause the group heavy casualties in order to deter it and other groups as well from confronting Israel.

The IDF will penetrate several dozen kilometers into Lebanon, on a wide front, to completely destroy all possible Hezbollah missiles and missile sites but it will stay there for a few weeks at most. Israel does not wish to renew its deployment in Lebanon, exposing its troops to attacks, as it was in the 1980s and the 1990s.

The IDF’s elite armor and infantry units will carry the burden of the offensive. Special Forces such as the 89th commando brigade will assist by launching raids behind the lines, collecting information etc.

The IDF relies on reserves. Tens of thousands of them will be mobilized. Many might be called while rockets hit them at their homes and on their way to their bases, where they get their weapons, vehicles etc. Rockets might continue to strike them when they will move to the frontline.

Israeli officials repeatedly warned about the danger of storing rockets in about 200 villages and towns in Lebanon. If rockets are launched from those places, the IDF will strike them, possibly causing huge collateral damage. The civilians living there will be warned in advance to evacuate their homes. Hopefully they will be able to do that, for Hezbollah might order some of them to remain behind, to serve as human shields.

The IDF can inflict a major blow to Hezbollah by catching it off guard. A massive surprise attack might be Israel’s best chance to handle the rockets and reduce Israel’s casualties. However, such an attack could cause significant collateral damage since the Lebanese population might not have sufficient time to escape.

Further, there is no guarantee that the United States would enter the conflict.

The IDF will have to run urban warfare, including underground, inside tunnels. The IDF has been training for that in various ways.  Its troops must be familiar with the terrain of Lebanon so they exercise in similar areas, in the north of Israel. Cooperation between the corps such as infantry and armor is another important factor the IDF has been working on, as part of the preparations to fight Hezbollah. The IDF will also use its advanced C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) network.

Unfortunately for this thesis, this system has been compromised by Russian specialists and the results given to Hezbollah command.

Hezbollah got stronger and bigger during the Syrian civil war. The group is now more like a military organization, but this could actually benefit the IDF because it will be easier to find and attack Hezbollah fighters. The latter also got accustomed to enjoy air superiority and receiving air support from the Russian and the Syrian air forces while confronting Syrian rebels who had no aircraft. In a war against Israel Hezbollah will be both without air support and it will have to deal with a powerful air force, albiet one without long-range heavy bombers.

The newer Russian anti-aircraft defenses, however, are extremely effective and, like US bombers, the Israeli planes would suffer heavy losses.

The United States sees Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Prior to 9 / 11 Hezbollah killed more Americans than any other militant Muslim group. In the next war Israel will require US support. On the diplomatic level Israel will need the United States to stand by Israel in the UN Security Council, which, given the pro-Israel attidudes of President Trump, is fully expected.

Militarily the United States can provide Israel with weapons, ammunition and spare parts, without sending US troops.

The next round between Israel and Hezbollah is expected to be much more destructive than the 2006 war. The IDF wants to try to reduce the cost to Israel and to shorten the war by conducting a large scale and effective air, land and sea offensive. To accomplish this, they must somehow get the United States involved both to save the lives of IDF personnel and avoid the massive expenses of a major war. To prevent a Hezbollah missile attack on a very vulnerable Israel, the current IDF plan is to launch a sudden joint US/Israeli attack on all of southern Lebanon.

President Trump has expressed his “firm desire” to strike southern Lebanon with US forces but to date, the response of the Pentagon has been extremely negative. The area Israel wants flattened is full of very effective Russian anti-aircraft defenses and American losses of attacking aircraft would be “significant” in the opinion of American military experts.

Further, should the United States prepare to assist Israel, it is believed that Russian intelligence will quickly detect such actions and Hezbollah would be forwarned in sufficient time to launch pre-emptive strikes, to include silo-based heavy missiles.

Mashinostroyeniya, KBKhA

Specifications:

Weight: 220 tonnes

Length: 36.3 m

Diameter: 3.0 m

Warhead:10–24 MIRVs (various type and yield, including HGVs); At the maximum reported throw-weight of up 10,000 kg, the missile could deliver a 50 Mt charge (the maximum theoretical yield-to-weight ratio is about 6 megatons of TNT per metric ton, and the maximum achieved ratio was apparently 5.2 megatons of TNT per metric ton in B/Mk-41).

Engine: First stage: PDU-99 (RD-274 derived)

Propellant: Liquid

Operational range: approx. 10,900 kilometres (6,800 mi)

Speed: over Mach 20.7; 25,000 km/h (16,000 mph)

Guidance system: Inertial guidance, GLONASS, Astro-inertial

Accuracy: 10 m

Launch platform: Silo

These missiles could easily reach the east coast of the United States, hence the reluctance of the Pentagon officials.

 

Missiles and Rockets of Hezbollah

Hezbollah (“Party of God”) is a Lebanese political party and militant group with close ties to Iran and Syria’s Assad regime. It is frequently identified as an Iranian proxy, as the Party supports Tehran’s regional ambitions in exchange for military, financial, and political support.

Hezbollah is the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor, and has been described as “a militia trained like an army and equipped like a state.”

This is especially true with regard to its missile and rocket forces, which Hezbollah has in vast quantities arrayed against Israel.

Hezbollah’s arsenal is comprised mostly of small, man-portable and unguided surface-to-surface artillery rockets. Although these devices lack precision, their sheer number make them effective weapons of terror. According to Israeli sources, Hezbollah held around 15,000 rockets and missiles on the eve of the 2006 Lebanon War, firing nearly 4,000 at Israel over the 34-day conflict. Hezbollah has since expanded its rocket arsenal, today estimated at 130,000.

In May 2006, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah explained that “The purpose of our rockets is to deter Israel from attacking Lebanese civilians…The enemy fears that every time he confronts us, whenever there are victims in our ranks among Lebanese civilians, this will lead to a counter-barrage of our rockets, which he fears.”

Indiscriminate rocket fire, particularly from small, easily transportable launchers makes the suppression of fires with airpower more challenging. This forces Israel to rely more heavily on ground forces in a conflict. Lacking any air force of its own, Hezbollah prefers ground wars in its own territory to bombardment from the skies. As Human Rights Watch notes, however, these arguments do not justify civilian targeting and casualties under international law.

The continued growth of Hezbollah’s missile and rocket forces is undesirable for both the United States and Israel, for several reasons.

It may, for example, embolden the party to overstep Israeli red lines. Hezbollah’s push to acquire longer-ranged and precision-guided munitions could likewise spur Israel into preemptive action. Hezbollah’s weapons acquisition also raises the prospects for the proliferation of missile technology and know-how. According to Saudi and UAE officials, Hezbollah militants have worked with their Houthi forces in rocket development and launch divisions.

Hezbollah forces in Syria and Iraq similarly operate with various Shiite militias. Growing relations among these groups presents risks for the dissemination of missile technology and knowledge.

Land Attack Missiles and Rockets

107 & 122 mm ‘Katyusha’ Rockets+

katyusha

Fajr-1 / Chinese 107 mm Rockets+

Fajr-1

Falaq 1/2+

falaq-1

333 mm Shahin-1

122 mm Type-81 Rocket+

Fajr-3 and Fajr-5+

Fajr-5

Raad-2 and Raad-3 / 220 mm Uragan-type Rockets+

raad

302 mm Khaibar-1 / M-302 / B-302+

khaibar-1

Zelzal-1 and Zelzal-2+

zelzal-1

Fateh-110 / M-600+

fateh-110

Scud-B/C/D+

And the most recent Hezbollah long-disance missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead is the

RS-28 Sarmat (Russian: РС-28 )

Type: Superheavy Intercontinental ballistic missile

Place of origin: Russia

Service history

Used by: Russian Strategic Missile Troops

Production history

Designer: Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau

Manufacturer: KrasMash, Zlatous MZ, NPO Energomash, NPO Mashinostroyeniya, KBKhA

Specifications

Weight: 220 tonnes

Length: 36.3 m

Diameter: 3.0 m

Warhead:10–24 MIRVs (various type and yield, including HGVs); At the maximum reported throw-weight of up 10,000 kg, the missile could deliver a 50 Mt charge (the maximum theoretical yield-to-weight ratio is about 6 megatons of TNT per metric ton, and the maximum achieved ratio was apparently 5.2 megatons of TNT per metric ton in B/Mk-41).

Engine: First stage: PDU-99 (RD-274 derived)

Propellant: Liquid

Operational range: approx. 10,900 kilometres (6,800 mi)

Speed: over Mach 20.7; 25,000 km/h (16,000 mph)

Guidance system: Inertial guidance, GLONASS, Astro-inertial

Accuracy: 10 m

Launch platform: Silo

Antiship Missiles (ASMs)

C-802 / Yingji-2 / Noor+

C-802

Yakhont+

yahont

Antitank Missiles (ATMs)

According to Israeli tank commanders at the front of the 2006 War, Hezbollah’s anti-tank missiles damaged or destroyed Israeli vehicles on about 20% of their hits. The party successfully struck nearly 50 Israeli Merkava tanks during the conflict, penetrating the armor of 21. Hezbollah used ATGMs against buildings and Israeli troop bunkers as well. More Israeli infantry soldiers were killed by anti-tank weapons than in hand-to-hand combat.

While fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Hezbollah has effectively used ATMs to counter suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devises (SVBIED) launched by the extremist group.

RPG-29 Vampir+

RPG-29

9M14 Malyutka (NATO: AT-3 Sagger) +

AT-3

9K111 Fagot (NATO: AT-4 Spigot)+

AT-4

M113 Konkurs (NATO: AT-5 Spandrel)+

AT-5

9K115-2 Metis-M (NATO: AT-13 Saxhorn-2)+

AT-12

9M133 Kornet-E (NATO: AT-14 Spriggan)+

at-14

Antiair Missiles (AAMs)

Most of Hezbollah’s antiair missile systems offer only a relatively small area of protection. They nevertheless force Israeli aircraft to fly at higher altitudes, reducing Israel’s ability to accurately strike ground-based targets. Israeli policymakers and military officers have consistently reiterated their concerns about Hezbollah acquiring more sophisticated air defenses from Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.

Misagh-1/2 +

Misagh-1

ZU-23 +

ZU-23

9K32 Strela-2 (NATO: SA-7 Grail)+

sa-7

9K33 Osa (NATO: SA-8 Gecko)+

sa-8

9K34 Strela-3 (NATO: SA-14 Gremlin)+

9K310 Igla-1 (NATO: SA-16 Gimlet) and 9K38 Igla (NATO: SA-18 Grouse)+

9K40 Buk-M2 (NATO: SA-17 Grizzly)+

Pantsyr-S1 (NATO: SA-22 Greyhound

220 tonnes

Length

36.3 m

Diameter

3.0 m

Warhead

10–24 MIRVs (various type and yield, including HGVs; At the maximum reported throw-weight of up 10,000 kg, the missile could deliver a 50 Mt charge (the maximum theoretical yield-to-weight ratio is about 6 megatons of TNT per metric ton, and the maximum achieved ratio was apparently 5.2 megatons of TNT per metric ton in B/Mk-41).

Further, should the United States prepare to assist Israel, it is believed that Russian intelligence will quickly detect such actions and Hezbollah would be forwarned in sufficient time to launch pre-emptive strikes, to include silo-based heavy missiles.

Mashinostroyeniya, KBKhA

Specifications:

Weight: 220 tonnes

Length: 36.3 m

Diameter: 3.0 m

Warhead:10–24 MIRVs (various type and yield, including HGVs); At the maximum reported throw-weight of up 10,000 kg, the missile could deliver a 50 Mt charge (the maximum theoretical yield-to-weight ratio is about 6 megatons of TNT per metric ton, and the maximum achieved ratio was apparently 5.2 megatons of TNT per metric ton in B/Mk-41).

Engine: First stage: PDU-99 (RD-274 derived)

Propellant: Liquid

Operational range: approx. 10,900 kilometres (6,800 mi)

Speed: over Mach 20.7; 25,000 km/h (16,000 mph)

Guidance system: Inertial guidance, GLONASS, Astro-inertial

Accuracy: 10 m

Launch platform: Silo

These missiles could easily reach American and Saudi military targets in Europe and the Middle East, hence the reluctance of the Pentagon officials to support Israeli demands for preemptive strikes.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

September 18, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

Conversation No. 65

Date: Tuesday, February 11, 1997

Commenced: 9:05 AM CST

Concluded: 9:42 AM CST

RTC: Why, Gregory, so soon after our last conversation? We’ll have to be careful or Emily might get jealous. Do you have something new for me to chew on?

GD: No, I’ve been working on the latest Mueller book and I’m about worked out for the rest of the day. Writing is not hard, Robert, but the research is a killer. Still, if you don’t want the rat-faced gits in your old agency or Wolfe’s decaying Hebrews braying at you like a barn full of donkeys in a fire, you have to dot every “i” and cross every “t”. Not that these chinless wonders are capable of finding errors, but eventually someone might and then the jackass chorus begins. No, Corson told me my strong suit was my research and my stronger one was taking the results of it and making it readable without being a pompous, opinionated university pedant. When I worked for Army Intelligence years ago, I was well-known for my research. Of course, the whole office hated me.

RTC: And why so?

GD: Actually, because I worked on my material until I had finished, even if I had to spend the night in the office. I was known to have slept on my desk and subsisted on coffee. But the work got done and, most important, it got done right. And I never tried to shove my own views down anyone’s throat. I liked then, as I like now, to present both sides of an issue, clearly and without passion, letting the reader make up its own mind.

RTC: Very, very rare, talent, Gregory. Bill commented on this once and I would have to agree. Well, who do you work for now? This seems to be in your blood.

GD: Myself. I am a wonderful boss, Robert, really inspired and so kind to myself.

RTC: Do you treat yourself well at Christmas?

GD: Oh yes, Christmas. I haven’t had a Christmas card for years and not a present from anyone. It’s just another day for me and quieter than most.

RTC: I would invite you to have Christmas with us, but my son would be unhappy.

GD: Well, thank you for the thought.

RTC: And how is the Mueller book coming?

GD: Fine, and the blow-flies from your former agency are starting to buzz around again. Let’s see how much I can clip them for this time.

RTC: Well, I suppose if they can’t be more creative, they have to pay the price.

GD: No, they would never come right out and try to communicate with me. Why, the Gods do not deign to descend to earth to speak with mere mortals. And they pay the price, too. After all, they don’t care how much of the taxpayer’s money ends up in my pocket. What about the fool returning to his own folly? Or the dog to his own vomit? At least they don’t descend to the petty and sadistic harassments that we find in the local police.

RTC: I would hope not.

GD: That puts me in mind of a sordid but highly entertaining incident in my earlier life. Most people remember Thanksgivings with the grandparents or their first experience in the cramped backseat of the family car but I recall more entertaining things.

RTC: Are you planning to enlighten me? This has nothing to do with the Company, has it? You’re rather negative today, Gregory.

GD: I’m negative all the time. No, nothing to do with your people. Just an example of how to deal with illegally intrusive agencies. I was living in a rural area once and in a nearby town was a friend of mine. He was a gun collector. He actually collected Swiss Lugers.

RTC: German?

GD: No, Swiss. Beautifully made pieces.

RTC: I can well imagine. Go on.

GD: Anyway, he collected these and people knew about this. I want to stress that they were quite legal. The local sheriff’s people somehow got wind of this and began to harass him. I think they just wanted to frighten him and steal his collection. The police love to do things like that. When I was younger, I knew one cop who liked to take war relics like Japanese swords away from kids because he said they were illegal, which they were not. I fixed his wagon good but this is not the forum for that one. So he had vague and sinister threats like, ‘You could go to prison for years…’ and so on. He told me about this harassment. He had no money and it was a rural area where there are no real lawyers to intervene, so I gave the matter a lot of thought and finally hit on a plan to rid himself of the swine. Not nice but it worked.

RTC: Yes. What did you do? Shoot someone?

GD: Oh God, no. Someone else did.

RTC: This is beginning to sound rather ugly.

GD: It does get that way. First off, I told him to hide the guns, the Lugers, away from his home and I gave him some suggestions. He did, but he hated to lose physical control of them. Now you know, in the rural area in his county was a junkyard that was run by an old nut. He was convinced that the Communists were taking over the local schools and kept getting up at local governmental meetings and bitching about this. And, of course, sent long misspelled letters to the local paper. I didn’t know him personally, but I knew, or found out, a lot about him. He shot the neighborhood dogs and cats and was, in my estimation at least, a perfect foil. My friend now had no weapons, legal or otherwise, in his physical possession. So I got the name of the chief of detectives that was hoping to add some nice pieces to his personal gun collection and I called him at home. They wouldn’t have a trace on his line then. I told him a good deal of really accurate information to establish my bona fides and then said that he also had two German machine pistols, which I went into some detail on and that he had hidden them with the owner of the junkyard, who, I knew, was also a gun collector. This one was not very smart and he bought the whole cake. I waited a few days and then called the junk dealer. I told him I was on the local sheriff’s staff and we knew a gang of armed Communists were going to come out to his place and kill him.

RTC: Oh, sweet Jesus, you didn’t? No, you did. Go on, but I know the ending.

GD: Naturally. One dark night, two cars full of deputies, all heavily armed with guns and shovels, drove down his lane, lights out. The junkyard dogs started barking and the old man was ready. The one I talked to, kicked down his door and the old man let fly with a 12 gauge shotgun, full choke, pointblank range, both barrels, right in the face. Down went the greedy one with no head left. Reload and the one behind got both barrels in the tum-tum. Another one got it in the leg and they later had to cut if off above the knee. Screaming, shouting, guns going off all over the place, screams from the junkyard as the vicious dogs munched on deputies. My God, Robert, the neighbors said it sounded like the Battle of Cold Harbor. Some deputy had a Truflight 37 millimeter flare gun and he got winged and let fly up in the air. That’s the sort of tear gas gun that is really designed to set fire to buildings. A little tear gas for effect and a lot of incendiary material. The Feds used that in LA to nail the SLA. ‘Oh, gosh,’ they say after they burned down a house with fifteen people in it,’ someone must have knocked over a candle in there.’ So one of these shells went up and came down on a neighbor’s house. Set it on fire and by the time the rural fire boys managed to get out there, it had burnt to the ground with a wheel-chair bound granny inside. Of course, they finally killed the old man and all of his dogs and his place burnt down with two of the law roasted along with the old man. You could see the flames for miles. The next day, the remaining law-breakers were out there, picking through the smoking rubble and digging in the junkyard in a frantic search for the guns. Of course, there weren’t any guns. And as a precaution, I had told my friend to absent himself from the area and visit friends. Of course they came after him but he was 500 miles away and had been there before, during and after the carnage. And now the really nice part. The old man’s son was a prominent lawyer in another state and I called him up, telling him I was a horrified local policeman. He had no idea what had happened, so I said they had killed his father and burned his house down because he was making trouble for them. That lawyer went ballistic, as they say, and believed every word I said. And when he descended on the town, along with the FBI, I would like to have been in the civic offices. Of course I wasn’t, because I am not stupid but there were copious newspaper accounts and local gossip. I know there were several closed coffins at various funerals in the weeks to come. And huge lawsuits, Federal charges and so on followed. The local law could give no reason why they raided the place other than to claim some informant had phoned in a tip. Who was this informant? No idea. The lawyer got big money in the end, people were arrested and many new faces were seen in the much-subdued sheriff’s office. And I had my friend contact the son and tell him a story and tell him he was terrified for his life. The lawyer used his testimony and, good for him, paid for my friend’s exit from the area and his comfortable establishment under a new name elsewhere.

RTC: Probably got him under Witness Protection. That’s quite a story, Gregory, but I believe it. Your friend kept his guns?

GD: That was the drill, Robert, he kept his guns. There never were any machine guns, of course. I moved away out of prudence about this time so I can’t tell you any more.

RTC: Take care of your friends, Gregory, don’t you?

GD: Always, Robert. And I take care of the bad people as well. Does this turn you off?

RTC: Not really. I see a typical abuse of power there, Gregory, and I’m really so happy we seem to get on with each other.

GD: Now he could just have moved away, but why should he have to do that? They were wrong and that’s the end of the matter.

RTC: I told Bill once that you should have worked for us.

GD: No, I would not have. I am happy when I work by myself and I would not do well in a bureaucracy. They aren’t overly bright and they love to tell you why you can’t do this or that. The point is, Robert, that you win the real battle, not the paper one.

(Concluded at 9:42 AM CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Merrill Keiser

Merrill Samuel “Sam” Keiser Jr. is an insane religious fundie nutter truck driver from Fremont, Ohio, who got a few minutes in the spotlight when he attempted to run as a candidate in the Democratic primary for Senate in 2006 against Sherrod Brown. Keiser ran on a platform of “traditional values”, including opposition to gay marriage, appointment of strict constructionist jurists on every level, “winning” the War on Terror (and the War on Drugs), teaching and encouraging school prayer, taxpayer-financed school vouchers, support for a strong military and using the US armed forces to “battle drugs and terrorism”, supporting US withdrawal from the UN, anti-abortion and a “Biblical” view of Israel. He was also opposed to embryonic stem cell research, saying that it “is a ploy of money-hungry academic researchers and blood-thirsty liberals and politicians who want to bring a culture of death to America and it part of their religion. It is just like the religions of old in which they used human infant sacrifice in idol worship.” Yeah, throw in a conspiracy theory for good measure. Of course, “money-hungry academic researchers” is sort of a contradiction; if you’re money-hungry, you’d stay as far away from academic research as you’d get. Keiser’s premise is really rather just the good’ol one that he doesn’t like or understand stem cell research, and everyone who disagrees with him is corrupt.

During his campaign Keiser called creationism “true” and endorsed the position that creationism, not evolution, should be taught in public schools (since “if you teach kids that they’re here by accident rather than purposely by somebody putting them here, their self-worth won’t be more than any other animal,” an argument famously championed by Jack Chick). School children should be “taught to pray,” and “liberals” have spent too long worshipping the “god of Reason.” Yeah, that bloody hallmark of heathen perversion, reason. As Mark Rushdoony says, “we must base our laws on faith, not reason.”

In May 2006 Keiser called for homosexuality to be punishable by death: “Just as we have laws against taking drugs, we should have laws against immoral behavior,” said Keiser. He has later apparently modified the position, claiming that although he would not oppose making homosexuality a crime punishable by death for the overall spiritual and moral health of society, he himself, would not introduce such legislation In March 2006, Keiser suggested that Elton John should be killed (“worthy of death”), as should Mary Cheney (daughter of Dick Cheney), for being homosexual.

Diagnosis: One of many raging about the evils of radical Islam while themselves favoring a society governed by principles somewhere to the extreme right of the Taliban. Deranged fundie bigot, and apparently his votes in the 2006 primary exceeded what can be explained by ballot-marking errors, which is scary. Then people elected Trump.

Jon Kelly

Jon Kelly is a colleague of Alfred Webre, and a, uh, “researcher” on exopolitics. In particular, Kelly is “a world-famous expert in the application of voice-based disclosure technology for revealing UFO secrets.” That would be … playing recordings of people speaking backward to see if they reveal hidden messages about extraterrestrials; “expertise” doesn’t seem to enter into the process at any discernible point. Now, apparently Webre is currently considered “fringe” even in the exopolitics community – which is like … well, I struggle to come up with a good simile – and was ultimately considered too crazy even for the Examiner website and given the boot in 2011. Kelly’s defense of Webre: “Examiner.com’s corporate publication ban against the Seattle Exopolitics Examiner is an Illuminati agenda-inspired media hit targeting the columnist who revealed President Barack Obama’s participation in the CIA’s secret Mars visitation program.”

As for Kelly’s own investigations, here is an example: Kelly analyzes statements by Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, and Edgar Mitchell about UFOs and Extraterrestrials using backwards speech analysis “and discovers startling revelations. One of these 4 may be an E.T. abductee. One of these 4 may have an E.T. implant. Only one of these four key actors in Exopolitics conscious mind (‘forward speech’) is saying what his subconscious mind actually thinks.” (By the way: Mitchell, himself a loon, is clearly part of the conspiracy – how conspiracy theory groups tend to dissolve into infighting and accusations that other conspiracy theorists are part of the conspiracy seems to be pretty lawlike.) So apparently forward speech reflects the conscious mind and backward speech the unconscious. Good to know. According to himself, Kelly has “responded to the call of science [yeah, about that …] for improved methods of UFO witness interrogation by revealing the UFO and extraterrestrial secrets of Kenneth Arnold, Betty Hill, NASA astronauts, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and President Obama.” And his credentials? “Jon’s work in sound and consciousness is heavily influenced by a multi-decade immersive study in classical yoga meditation.” Science, people.

And don’t worry: Kelly is pushing terrestrial conspiracies as well, for instance about how the UK Monarchy is using snipers to destabilize the world and push for WWIII. I suppose when you have figured out how you can use backward masking to uncover evidence for alien mind control, you’ll be able to find evidence for anything anywhere. Kelly can even predict the future. The novel discoveries he proudly mentions on his website are:

– “Accurately reported the ‘Shock and Awe’ strikes that opened the Iraq War 2 years in advance.

– Successfully identified the BTK Killer on Wichita morning radio 15 minutes before he confessed.

– Reliably disclosed Oprah’s true feelings about James Frey on Atlanta morning radio 2 weeks before she called him out as a liar on daytime television.”

We’re as impressed as anyone has any right to be. And if you wish, you could sign up for “Jon’s online streaming on-demand video class ‘UFOs and You: Experiential Contact for Beginners’ provides essential insights into Disclosure, UFO Communications, Psychic Dimensions of Contact and Night Vision Equipment in a way that students describe as informative, educational and riveting”.

Diagnosis: He adds some color. We’ll give him that. Probably harmless.

 

US government files civil lawsuit against Snowden over publication of memoir

Suit contends whistleblower published Permanent Record ‘in violation of non-disclosure agreements’ with both CIA and NSAS

by Tom McCarthy in New York and David Smith in Washington

Reuters

The US government on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit against Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, over the publication this week of his memoir.

Snowden, the suit contends, “published a book entitled Permanent Record in violation of the non-disclosure agreements he signed with both CIA and NSA”.

The lawsuit alleges that Snowden published without submitting the book to the agencies for pre-publication review, “in violation of his express obligations under the agreements he signed”.

Additionally, the suit argues that Snowden has given public speeches on intelligence-related matters, “also in violation of his non-disclosure agreements”.

Although it does not seek to block publication, the suit aims to recover all proceeds earned.

Assistant attorney general Jody Hunt of the justice department’s civil division said in a statement: “Edward Snowden has violated an obligation he undertook to the United States when he signed agreements as part of his employment by the CIA and as an NSA contractor.

“The United States’ ability to protect sensitive national security information depends on employees’ and contractors’ compliance with their non-disclosure agreements, including their pre-publication review obligations.”

In response, Snowden, 36, tweeted a link to his book on Amazon: “The government of the United States has just announced a lawsuit over my memoir, which was just released today worldwide. This is the book the government does not want you to read.”

In 2013, Snowden leaked top secret documents on global surveillance programmes run by American and British spy agencies to media outlets. The Guardian and the Washington Post shared a Pulitzer prize for the story.

At the time, Donald Trump, who had not yet begun a political career in earnest, described Snowden a “traitor” who gave “serious information to China and Russia” and who “should be executed”.

Snowden now lives in Moscow. In an interview with the Guardian to mark the publication of his book, he discussed a life spent communicating with supporters in the US by computer. He said he had detected a softening in public hostility.

“We live in a better, freer and safer world because of the revelations of mass surveillance,” he said.

Snowden also said he was reconciled to life in exile. He married his partner, Lindsay Mills, in a Russian courthouse two years ago.

If the US government gets its way, they might not enjoy the proceeds of his work. In a statement, the eastern district of Virginia said: “The United States’ lawsuit does not seek to stop or restrict the publication or distribution of Permanent Record.

“Rather, under well-established supreme court precedent … the government seeks to recover all proceeds earned by Snowden because of his failure to submit his publication for pre-publication review in violation of his alleged contractual and fiduciary obligations.”

The lawsuit also names as nominal defendants corporate entities involved in publishing Snowden’s book. The US is suing the publisher, Henry Holt, solely to ensure no funds are transferred to Snowden, or at his direction, while the court resolves the claims.

“Intelligence information should protect our nation, not provide personal profit,” said G Zachary Terwilliger, the US attorney for the eastern district of Virginia. “This lawsuit will ensure that Edward Snowden receives no monetary benefits from breaching the trust placed in him.”

The lawsuit is separate from the criminal charges brought against Snowden, whom the government has accused of violating the Espionage Act.

In his Guardian interview, he neither confirmed nor denied a detail from Oliver Stone’s 2016 film Snowden, a dramatisation of his story which showed him, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, smuggling secrets on a memory card stuck to a Rubik’s cube.

“A Rubik’s cube can be very useful and functions as a distraction device and also functions as a concealment device,” he said.

He also discussed life as an NSA contractor, saying that in 21st century intelligence agencies, “there are no James Bonds”.

Reviewing Snowden’s book, which also contains excerpts from a diary kept by Mills, the Guardian head of investigations, Nick Hopkins, wrote: “His account of the experiences that led him to take momentous decisions, along with the details he gives of his family background, serve as a robust defence against accusations that he is a traitor.

“It also offers a reminder that his disclosures of mass surveillance and bulk collection of personal information are as relevant now as they were in 2013. More so, he argues, given that private companies have become the new data behemoths.”

The government lawsuit was condemned by the American Civil Liberties Union. Ben Wizner, director of its speech, privacy, and technology project and a lawyer for Snowden, said: “This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organisations.

“Had Mr Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified.”

Jesselyn Radack, a lawyer who represents whistleblowers, drew a parallel with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, tweeting: “In both [cases] we’re seeing a toxic new trend of [the justice department] going after PUBLISHERS.”

The government may rest its case on the precedent of Frank Snepp, a former CIA analyst who in 1977 published a book, Decent Interval, about the agency’s role in the Vietnam war.

The government sued him for breach of contract and a federal court imposed a “constructive trust” on proceeds from the book, later reimposed by the supreme court.

Francis Boyle, an international law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law who believes Snowden performed a vital public service, said: “I don’t think he should be penalised for it financially but, regrettably, that’s the Snepp case and now the supreme court is even more rightwing, so I think he will lose his proceeds.”

 

German Sovereignty

by Henry C K Liu

Asia Times

In Germany, the successor regime that signed the unconditional surrender documents after Hitler’s death was immediately dissolved afterwards by the victors, raising questions on the validity of the surrender, since the government that agreed to the surrender had since ceased to exist, thus dissolving all government-to-government obligations. Unconditional surrender as a coherent statement of political objectives has two competing definitions. The first definition does not mean absence of terms, but that whatever terms are imposed would not result from bargaining with the defeated enemy. The victor lays down all the terms of surrender and for the vanquished, the terms are unconditional. In the second definition, the surrender is not subject to conditions or limitations. In this case, the victor has absolute freedom over the vanquished because, as diplomats put it, the enemy is actually signing a political blank check; there are no contractual elements whatever in the agreement. But even a blank check is collectable only if the signatory survives. In either definition, death cancels all obligations. Secular wars are against governments, not nations. Wars against nations are acts of genocide. The Allies had made clear repeatedly during the conflict that the war was not against the German nation, only the Nazi government. Yet the requirement of unconditional surrender of the Axis powers as a condition of ending the war, adopted by the Allies at the Casablanca Conference, was unprecedented in the history of war. It could not be justified even as a posture of moral outrage, for active official response to the Holocaust occurred only after German surrender.

In the official Casablanca Conference Communique issued on January 24, 1943, the part dealing with plans for “unconditional surrender” reads: “Borrowing a phrase from a letter of General US Grant to the Confederate Commander of Forts Henry and Donelson during the American Civil War, the president called the sessions the ‘unconditional surrender’ conference. The one hope for peace he asserted, lay in depriving Germany and Japan of all military power.”

There is little doubt that the unconditional surrender requirement prolonged the war unnecessarily and added to otherwise avoidable bloody casualties on all sides in the final phase of hostility for no political purpose. It might have even intensified the despicable Nazi program of methodically liquidating Jews toward the final years of the war. On August 14, 1941, US president Franklin D Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter. On January 1, 1942, representatives of the Allies – the World War II coalition of 26 nations fighting against Germany and Japan – signed the declaration of the United Nations accepting the principles of the Atlantic Charter. The declaration included the first formal use of the term “United Nations”, a name coined by President Roosevelt.

Extermination camps for Jews, as opposed to concentration camps for all undesirables, were established by the Nazis in March 1942. On December 17, 1942, nine months later, the Allies finally condemned the extermination of Jews and promised to punish the perpetrators upon victory. But it was not until April 19, 1943, that the Bermuda Conference was held to carry on fruitless discussions between US and British delegates on deliverance of Nazi victims, and only after the Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple stood up in the House of Lords in London on March 23, 1943, and pleaded with the British government to help the Jews of Europe. “We at this moment have upon us a tremendous responsibility,” he said. “We stand at the bar of history, of humanity, and of God.” The Vatican remained conspicuously silent.

The British Foreign Office had one fear: that the plan to rescue Jews might be too successful. In an internal memo the Foreign Office pointed out there were some “complicating factors”: “There is a possibility that the Germans or their satellites may change over from the policy of extermination to one of extrusion, and aim as they did before the war at embarrassing other countries by flooding them with alien immigrants.” Thus the Bermuda Conference was organized in a way that prevented it from producing results. Both the British and the US governments carefully restricted what their delegates could promise before the meeting even opened. The US instructed its representatives not to make commitments on shipping, funds or new relief agencies. Additionally, the Roosevelt administration warned that it had “no power to relax or rescind [US immigration] laws”, despite all its sweeping war-time powers. US immigration laws at the time were openly racist. The British government imposed the additional restriction that its policy on admitting refugees to Palestine could not be discussed, out of concern for British geo-political interests in the Middle East.

When the Bermuda Conference finally wrapped up its 12 days of secret deliberations very little had been achieved. Jews in the US met the disappointing news from Bermuda with outrage. One Jewish organization took out a three-quarter page advertisement in The New York Times with the headline: “To 5,000,000 Jews in the Nazi Death-Trap, Bermuda Was a Cruel Mockery.” There is no way of measuring how many Jews died as a result of the procrastination at Bermuda. However, two days after the conference opened, the Allies received news that yet another savage calamity was unfolding in Europe. The Jews of the Warsaw ghetto, who had begun their heroic uprising the day the conferees first met in Bermuda, flashed a four-sentence radio message to the West. It ended with the words: “Save us.” The war between the Axis and the “Democracies” was not a war between good and evil; it was a war between raw evil and sanitized evil. Despite popular belief, World War II was far from being the “good war”, if any war could ever be.

The Atlantic Charter a fraud

The Atlantic Charter contained eight points of “common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future for the world”, the third of which stated: “They [US and Britain] respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.” The eighth point stated: “They believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments.”

The Atlantic Charter was a fraud because one of the two original parties never had any intention of observing the principles it proclaimed. Churchill’s foreign policy consisted of three essential goals: 1) preserving the British Empire, 2) smashing the Axis (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan) in order to eliminate threats to the British Empire, and 3) preventing the spread of communism and Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. The preservation of the British Empire was carried out under the guise of defending democracy and a desperate strategy of turning the crumbling empire over to an expansionist US with Britain hanging on as a submissive junior partner. The defeated Axis powers were molded into post-war neo-fascist regimes as bulwarks against communism. Self government was permitted on condition of suppressing socialism and implementing subservient foreign policy. Full sovereign rights have yet to be granted to Germany and Japan after six decades of occupation. Disarmament has been all but forgotten.

Churchill’s absolute silence policy

Throughout 1938-39, London refused to pledge that it would cease hostilities in the event of a coup in Germany to topple the Third Reich. When Roosevelt and Churchill met at Casablanca in January 1943, the president emerged from the meeting to tell the world that the US and Britain would accept nothing short of unconditional surrender. Churchill was surprised and later claimed that he had not been consulted but had to go along for the sake of the Atlantic Alliance. Churchill had in the back of his mind the use of Germans to resist post-war communist incursion into Europe, and was interested in preserving the Wehrmacht for that purpose. He knew that no Wehrmacht officer would support a coup against Hitler only to be invaded, occupied, and humiliated by the enemy. Better to stand by Nazi Germany, even if it meant following Hitler’s madness toward total destruction, than to commit such dishonorable high treason. But Roosevelt left Churchill no room to maneuver.

Coming when it did in January 1943, the same month the German 6th Army surrendered at Stalingrad, the unconditional surrender proclamation prompted Ulrich von Hassel to conclude that the Allies had bailed out Hitler from his disaster at Stalingrad. Hassel was a conservative lawyer and career diplomat who served in Spain, Denmark, Yugoslavia, and finally as German ambassador to Italy from 1932 to 1938 when he was dismissed for opposing Germany’s military alliance with fascist Italy. He opposed Hitler’s foreign policy from the outset, predicting that it would lead Germany to war. During World War II, Hassel used his international contacts to arrange secret meetings with British and American officials, and hoped that a successful coup would translate into an honorable peace treaty with Britain and the US. He also worked closely with co-conspirators Dr Carl Goerdeler, who in 1937 resigned his post as mayor of Leipzig in protest over the removal of the statue of Jewish composer Felix Mendelssohn, finance minister Johannes Popitz who submitted his resignation over Hitler’s persecution of Jews, and army chief-of-staff general Ludwig Beck who was the leader of the planned coup, to lay the foundations of the new Germany they hoped to build after a successful coup. Like Goerdeler, Hassel dreamed of uniting Europe into a family of nations under the principle of mutual respect and adherence to international law. He joined the inner circle of the conspiracy and became intimately involved in the political planning of the coup.

Operation Valkyrie was the official code name for an emergency contingency plan designed to protect the Nazi regime against the potential threat of serious internal disturbances or uprisings during World War II. The presence of millions of foreign workers, compelled to work as forced laborers, was the most likely reason for such concern. Valkyrie was the brainchild of General Friedrich Olbricht who served under Home Army Commander General Friedrich Fromm. What Hitler did not know was that Olbricht and later home army chief of staff Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg were secretly transforming Valkyrie into an elaborate coup d’etat plan to overthrow the Nazi regime.

A number of British and US government officials, diplomats, intelligence officers, and even generals, opposed the unconditional surrender demand, including General George C Marshal and secretary of state Cordell Hull. But Roosevelt was adamant because he understood that the US public, with its long isolationist tradition, only went to war to fight evil, which required unconditional surrender. There was a divergence between Roosevelt and Churchill in their separate world views. Roosevelt envisioned a post-war cooperative alliance with the Soviet Union to prevent the emergence of neo-fascism while Churchill saw the need to use a conservative if not neo-fascist Germany as a post-war bulwark against communism. In deference to the more powerful partner, Churchill throughout his tenure as prime minister during World War II never dared deviate from his policy of absolute silence toward the German resistance from both the left and the right and the conservative conspirators who sought to overthrow Hitler. Despite repeated appeals from such conservative figures as Dr Carl Goerdeler, Churchill’s government gave no quarter to any peace overtures from the German conspirators for fear that Stalin could offer a better deal to the German left.

The fact that the Soviet Union was bearing the brunt of the war against Nazi Germany was undoubtedly the overriding factor in Churchill’s policy of absolute silence and Roosevelt’s unconditional surrender demand. For Roosevelt, it was vital not to give Stalin any incentive that would tempt him to strike a separate deal with Nazi Germany that would lead to a separate peace. Generals Paul Von Hindenberg and Erich Ludendorff had pulled off such an affair with new Soviet Russia in early 1918, but too late to allow them to move their forces westward to smash the Anglo-French lines before US forces arrived. It was very likely that the Allies might never have won if Stalin, having regained the 1939 Soviet border, suddenly backed out of the war.

The fact that the Western powers had not yet opened a second front (and would not do so until June 1944) was tempting enough for Stalin to seek a separate peace. Churchill and Roosevelt were fully aware of this. Moreover, the United States was eager to get the Soviet Union to declare war on Japan since the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb was still years away from completion in 1942 and success was not totally guaranteed.

Throughout 1942-43, Hitler irately refused to negotiate a ceasefire with the Soviet Union. But the staunchly anti-communist German conspirators were far more intent on securing peace first with the West. Stalin made no effort to conceal his peace feelers to Germany, most likely to frighten his Western allies into speeding up their opening of a second front. Thus an obstacle to a negotiated peace with Germany was locked in place by a balance of calculations from both the left and the right among the Allies.

In Japan, the unconditional surrender requirement that included the prospect of eliminating the emperor led to the need to use nuclear weapons to end the war. In the end, the US kept the emperor despite his less-than-titular role in the planning and prosecution of the war, which had been the key condition in Japanese overtures to surrender before Hiroshima. There was no regime change in Japan after the war as in President George W Bush’s aim for the “axis of evil” – Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

German sovereignty delayed

World War I ended ended without a decisive battle and the Imperial Government of Germany accepted an armistice while its troops were still occupying enemy territories from France to the Crimea. With the US landing 250,000 troops every month in France, the German High Command notified the Imperial government that the war could not be won and the German Foreign Office made peace overtures to US president Woodrow Wilson. An armistice was arranged and on November 11, 1918, the guns went silent on the Western Front. The German military caste, at the moment of national crisis, decided to save its honor rather than the nation. Under pressure from the German High Command, Kaiser William II abdicated on November 9 and slipped across the frontier to Holland where, despite demands to put him on trial as a war criminal, he lived quietly until his death in 1941.

No fighting ever took place on German soil in World War I. This paradox led German nationalists and militarists to blame the defeat in World War I on traitors in the home government. The German Imperial Government fell not from popular discontent or social revolution, not even from demand for regime change from the foreign victors. It fell from pressure on the Kaiser from General Erich Ludendorff of the German High Command to appease president Wilson’s fixation on democracy by casting the Kaiser as an obstacle to peace.

The Weimar Republic came into existence to ward off radical revolution at home, not from defeat in war, or from foreign-imposed regime change, but from misplaced German hope that a democratic government would stand a better chance for more liberal peace terms from the Allies. But it was not to be, as the Peace of Versailles was exceedingly harsh on the German nation and blamed it unfairly for the sole responsibility for the war. In fact, the victors, including many in the United States who did not support Wilson’s utopian ideology, were generally unhappy about the success of undesirable revolutions in both Russia and Germany. The German military leaders shied away from the dishonor of surrender, and the armistice signing was left to two little known civilians.

World War I was decidedly not a class war, but a war of intra-imperialist rivalry. But Wilson had obtained a rousing declaration of war from Congress on April 2, 1917, with his speech: “We shall fight for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own government, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.” Democracy then became a factor in the terms of the Armistice while the war to make “the world at last free” was not at all interested in eliminating Western imperialism and colonialism around the world. Wilson’s Fourteen Points-proposal was not supported by the Allies or by Congress at home.

The Nazis, after staging a regime change in defeated Germany, rejected all the surrender terms agreed to in the armistice by the German Imperial Government and honored by the Weimar Republic, with considerable sympathetic support from the West where opinion had shifted from fear of German militarism to fear of Bolshevism. The idea of using Germany as a bulwark against communism in Europe was gaining currency and kept alive by Churchill throughout World War II. The US reaped enormous geopolitical and economic benefits from entering the war at its late stage, as it did once more in World War II. US troops faced combat for only four months while the other nations fought for four years. In the last year of the war in 1918, for every 100 artillery shells fired, the French fired 51, the British 43 and the US only 6.

Germany’s rapid economic recovery during the decades after World War II masked its failure to retain full sovereignty as a state or to regain it quickly, as defeated France had done at the Congress of Vienna in 1814, or even defeated Imperial Germany had done at the Versailles Conference in 1919. In 1945, the German economy had been shattered by war, and its cities, housing stock and industrial plants destroyed by carpet bombings from Allies air raids. A good part of what survived was later dismantled and carried off by the victorious Allies. The Nazi party, which had dominated German politics and government, was outlawed and a new political regime had to be constructed from its ashes. The war that had begun as a contest over territories had ended up as a contest over ideology mainly because the US needed a moral purpose to overcome popular resistance to involvement in a foreign war. The German nation was required by the victors to go through total de-Nazification to cleanse itself of a genetic immorality, not just to atone for a virus of fanatic aberrations. A contest over ideology leads to a religious war with a demand for unconditional surrender and subsequent regime change in the conquered nation.

The Allies, not unlike victorious Napoleon in Moscow on September 14, 1812, could not find a legitimate government from which to accept an unconditional surrender in 1945. The Third Reich had ceased to exist with the suicide of Hitler and the unconditional surrender was signed by Admiral Karl Doenitz, a non-entity in German politics and history, except among U-boat enthusiasts. Doenitz’s fame came from his secret build-up of the German submarine fleet in the years following the Treaty of Versailles. He was given command of submarine operations by Hitler in 1935, and made chief naval commander in 1943, by which time the German navy was only a club of sailors without surface ships. Having sunk more civilian vessels than enemy warships, Doenitz’s stature among the German military establishment was not much higher than that of Hitler, the World War I corporal.

In his last will and testimony signed at 4am, April 29, 1945, a day before his suicide, Hitler wrote: “Before my death I expel the former Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering and deprive him of all the rights he may enjoy by virtue of the decree of June 29, 1941, and also by virtue of my statement in the Reichstag on September 1, 1939. I appoint in his place Grossadmiral Doenitz as president of the Reich and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

“Before my death I expel the former Reichsfuehrer-SS and minister of the interior Heinrich Himmler from the party and all offices of state. In his place I appoint Gauleiter Karl Hanke as Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police and Gauleiter Paul Giesler as Reich minister of the interior.

“Goering and Himmler, by their secret negotiations with the enemy, without my knowledge or approval, and by their illegal attempts to seize power in the state, quite apart from their treachery to my person, have brought irreparable shame to the country and the whole people.”

The Third Reich essentially died with Hitler on April 29, 1945.

On the announcement on May 1, 1945, that Hitler was dead and had designated Doenitz as his successor devoid of a functioning government, the U-boat admiral formed a new cabinet and ordered the unconditional surrender of Germany to the Allies effective May 7, not withstanding the fact that Goering and Himmler had both been sacked by Hitler for secretly negotiating with the enemy and that Hitler’s last will and testament clearly expected Doenitz to carry on with resistance. Doenitz’ new government, at Kiel, was summarily dissolved by the Allies before the ink on the surrender documents was dry. The Third Reich did not fall from German internal politics. Like Hitler, the successor government committed suicide by signing its own death warrant in the form of unconditional surrender and was immediately dissolved afterwards by the victorious foreign powers. Doenitz was imprisoned for 10 years (1946-56) for war crimes. Legally, the surrender became void with the dissolution of the signing government.

On May 8, 1945, a military surrender of the German armed forces (Wehrmacht) was signed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel in Berlin, ending all formal resistance. Keitel was a loyal supporter of Hitler’s policies and after the invasion of Poland he issued orders to the Schutz Statteinel (SS) and the Gestapo to exterminate the country’s Jews. In May 1941, Keitel signed the commissar order that instructed German field commanders to execute Communist Party officials immediately after they were captured on the Eastern Front. In July 1941 he signed another order giving Himmler the power to implement his racial program in the Soviet Union. After the surrender, Keitel was immediately arrested and later tried at Nuremburg as a major war criminal. In court, his main defense was that he was merely obeying orders. Found guilty, he was executed by hanging on October 16, 1946. His request to be shot by firing squad as befitting his rank was denied.

On V-E Day, Allied supreme commander General Dwight D Eisenhower had 61 US divisions, 1,622,000 men, in Germany, and a total Allied force in Europe numbering 3,077,000. When the shooting ended, the divisions in the field became occupation troops, charged with maintaining law and order and establishing the Allied military presence in the Western occupied part of the defeated nation. This was a military occupation, the object of which was to control the population and stifle insurgent resistance by putting troops into every part of the occupied nation. Divisions were spread out across the countryside, sometimes over great stretches of territory. The 78th Infantry Division, for instance, for a time after V-E day, was responsible for an area of 3,600 square miles, almost twice the size of the state of Delaware, and the 70th Infantry Division for 2,500 square miles. Battalions were deployed separately, and the company was widely viewed as the ideal unit for independent deployment because billets were easy to find and the hauls from the billets to guard posts and checkpoints would not be excessively long. Frequently single platoons and squads were deployed at substantial distances from their company headquarters.

There is no indication that the US Defense Department has any such plans or intentions for the occupation of rogue states facing regime change from pending US invasion. Iraq with an area of 437,072 square kilometers (168,800 square miles) will take more than 100 divisions to carry out the type of occupation the US devised for post-war Germany. Currently, some 70,000 US troops are assigned to Germany, although the army’s First Infantry Division and First Armored Division are now in Iraq, leaving about 40,000 US Army troops, the equivalent of two divisions, in Germany.

The Allied occupation of Germany is approaching its sixth decade, and in the eyes of many Germans it has not yet ended. Foreign armies are still based on German soil and Europe’s largest and most prosperous “democracy” still does not have a constitution and a peace treaty putting a formal end to World War II. Its temporary constitutional instrument is the Grundgesetz (Basic Law) adopted on May 23, 1949, last amended August 31, 1990, by the Unification Treaty of August 13, 1990, and Federal Statute of September 23, 1990.

If the German model is applied to Iraq, there may never be a formal end to the war in Iraq. Because there is no formal peace treaty between Germany and the Allies headed by the US, German sovereignty is compromised. On October 20, 1985, John Kornblum of the US State Department told Germany’s provisional Reichskanzler Wolfgang Gerhard Geunter Ebel: “Until we have a peace treaty, Germany is a colony of the United States.” Ebel headed the provisional government that claims to be the legal successor to the Second German Reich, which was replaced by Hitler’s illegal Third Reich (1933-45). The Second German Reich was never restored by the Allies after World War II. The legitimacy of the current German government is an open question and can be exploited in a future national crisis.

In 1945, the German people were suddenly confronted by a situation never before experienced in their history. The entire German territory was occupied by foreign armies, cities and infrastructure were largely reduced to rubble, the country was flooded with millions of refugees from the east, and large portions of the population were suffering from hunger and the loss of their homes. The proud and prosperous nation-state unified by Otto von Bismarck in 1871 lay in ruins and deprived of self government. Germany did not just lose the war, its people lost their state and have yet to regain full sovereignty as a fully independent state after more than half a century.

Within Germany, there was much discussion about what kind of government should emerge out of the political vacuum and chaos and how to rebuild the collapsed economy. But the principle of the Atlantic Charter notwithstanding, it was soon clear that the decision was not for the German people to make, but for the victors to impose. De-Nazification came to a screeching halt and a neo-fascist regime was put in place under four years of US occupation that eventually transformed itself into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in 1949. West Germans could have any type of government they wanted as long as it was not communist. Democracy in Germany was to serve the Cold War purposes of the victorious United States. Germany was positioned in 1949 as the focus of geopolitics in a global ideological conflict that resulted in the emergence of two separate German states, each being forced by its contesting superpower sponsor to play new roles in a geographically and ideologically divided Europe.

In the post-war debate on the proper path for West German political and socio-economic reconstruction, German socialists argued for a democratic government with a central distribution system, extensive state controls, and the nationalization of banks and industry. The opposition came from Ludwig Erhard, a liberal economist appointed by the Allies to head the Office of Economic Affairs in the US-British Bizone; he later became minister for economics and ultimately chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) (1963-66), succeeding Konrad Adenauer, co-founder of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), who had been elected chancellor of the FRG in 1949 with US backing. Kurt Schumacher, leader of the Social Democratic Party (Sozialisttischer Parti Demokratic or SPD), ran against Adenauer, the former mayor of Cologne, whom the US, not wanting to see socialism of any kind in Germany, was grooming for leadership. Adenauer united most of the prewar German conservatives into the CDU. Schumacher campaigned for a united socialist Germany, and particularly for nationalization of heavy industry, whose owners he blamed for having funded the Nazi rise to power. When the occupying powers opposed his ideas, he denounced them with Marxist rhetoric. Adenauer opposed socialism on principle, and also argued that the quickest way to get the Allies to restore self-government to a sovereign Germany was to co-operate with them. The quick way turned out to be half a century.

Schumacher also wanted a new constitution with a strong national presidency, confident that he would soon occupy that post. But the first draft of the 1949 Basic Law provided for a federal system with a weak national government, as favored both by the Allies and the CDU. Schumacher absolutely refused to give way on this, and eventually the Allies, keen to get the new German state functioning in the face of the Soviet challenge, conceded some of what Schumacher wanted. The new federal government would be dominant over the states, although there would be no strong presidency.

The Federal Republic of Germany’s (West Germany’s) first national elections were held in October 1949. Schumacher was convinced he would win, and most observers agreed with him. But Adenauder’s new CDU had several advantages over the SPD. Some of the SPD’s strongest areas in pre-war Germany were now in the Soviet Zone, while the most conservative parts of the country – Bavaria and the Rhineland – were in West Germany. In addition both the American and French occupying powers favored Adenauer and did all they could to assist his campaign; the British under a Labor government remained neutral.

Further, the onset of the Cold War produced an anti-socialist reaction in all US-controlled territories, including West Germany. The SPD would probably have won an election in 1945, but by 1949 the tide had turned. The result was that the SPD won 30% of the vote with the CDU winning 25%. But the CDU formed a coalition with the conservative Christian Social Union and two other minor parties to win a plurality of seats in the legislature, and was able to form a majority government. The German politicians, both Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, by their coerced opposition to communism and thus refusal to accept neutrality in the Cold War, allowed the US to institutionalize the division of Germany for half a century.

The basic tenets of Erhard’s economic policy were what he called social market economy principles. Social market economy as established by Erhard in 1948, one year before the creation of FRG, or West Germany, has been credited by US historians as having fundamentally changed the West German economy, and with it the whole of post-war German society, presumably for the better, at least in terms of US geopolitical interests. It unleashed enormous mercantilist and competitive energies that brought West Germany the economic miracle of the 1950s, which was welcomed by the US as long as West Germany stayed firmly in the US camp in the Cold War. Economic success from competition with foreign economies in turn generated dynamic nationalistic social developments at home – a fact acknowledged by Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the CDU party convention in Hanover in 1996, where he also declared that the task for the future was to reform European security systems to safeguard their efficiency and funding, in other words, a revival of militarism.

When Kohl was elected West German chancellor in 1982, he inherited a difficult political situation. The country was suffering from mass unemployment inherent in market capitalism, and was deeply split over US deployment of nuclear weapons on German territory without German control, which Germany had been forced to accept since the end of the war. He presided over the unification of Germany during his 16 years in office. Kohl saw German unity and European unity as two sides of the same coin. In a bid to allay fears about the emergence of a united Germany as the new power in Central Europe, he pushed for closer European integration. He camouflaged German rearmament through its membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Adenauer had been forced to accept integration with the West as the only option for a defeated Germany in the context of an East-West conflict. Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik consolidated the FRG with normalizing relations with the communist world. Yet Brandt had to repeatedly emphasize that conciliation with the East was only possible, or tolerated by the US, for a German Republic securely integrated with the West and firmly under US leadership. The election of 1969 that put Brandt in power marked a new chapter in German politics. Through it the Federal Republic finally had a president and a chancellor who had been actively associated with the resistance to Nazism. Brandt said as the results came in that “tonight, finally and for ever, Hitler lost the war”. Brandt was not overly melodramatic. Post-war Germany had been visibly neo-fascist. In view of recent developments in the Vatican, Brandt’s proclamation might have been premature. Both Adenauer and Erhard had been more willing to be reconciled with ex-Nazis than with the full consequences of defeat.

Helmut Schmidt’s leadership earned West Germany international respect. Yet, the West Germans had to accept two constraints: First, they had to restrain themselves from projecting power outside the Alliance; and second, they had to defer not only to US leadership but also to US dominance. In the decade of the 1980s Schmidt set the stage for increased West German self-confidence. Although Germany and the US could never totally agree on all issues, friction had risen to new highs under Schmidt. In fact, Jimmy Carter, in his memoirs, described one of his encounters with Schmidt as “the most unpleasant personal exchange I ever had with a foreign leader”. By the end of Schmidt’s tenure as chancellor, the West German public was strongly questioning the underlying motives of US foreign policy. In a 1981 public opinion poll, only 38% of the German population felt the Federal Republic should adopt US president Ronald Reagan’s hard-line course toward the Soviet Union, while 60% spoke in favor of distancing itself from Reagan’s foreign policy. Yet the German government was not yet free to follow the popular will of the German nation.

The West German media described Reagan as a neo-conservative, an extremely pejorative term in German, implying propensities for war-mongering. Reagan’s “messianic promise” to redesign US military power to support a moralistic and belligerent US foreign policy was viewed by a large majority of Germans as threatening to world peace. It simply reminded many of the last world wars, the destructive impact of which was still felt by Germany as a nation, and especially the city of Berlin. Reagan’s embrace of neo-conservative values was thus interpreted as reactionary and as a move backward. A nation once victimized by Nazism was aghast by the embrace of neo-fascist values by the former slayer of the Nazi dragon.

The counterculture that developed in West Germany spread fears of the future and of progress in the context of the Pax Americana. There was also a lot of pessimism, which has a long tradition in German culture. The consequences of the failure of the 1848 movements to solve the problem of unification in a liberal and constitutional way left Germany with a less benign form of nationalism and contributed to a fateful estrangement between Germany and the liberal West. Massive migration of liberal Germans to the US, known as the “forty-eighters” brought the new nation a refreshing ripple of revolutionary agitation as well as a rich wave of talents in politics, science, medicine and the arts. The resultant depletion of liberal minds in German culture contributed to the rise of fascism decades later in Germany.

German materialism holds that all mental, spiritual and ideological concepts grow out of physical or physiological forces. German positivism holds that reliable knowledge is based on concrete facts, not abstract ideas. In 1818, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) published his profound work: Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (translated in 1958 as The World as Will and Representation), which was ignored during the first three decades of its appearance. Schopenhauer holds that the underlying reality of the universe is Will, a blind, instinctual dynamic driving force to live, which needs to be restrained for the sake of civilization. Ideas are shadowy representations projected by Will for its own purposes. Out of this emerged German Realpolitik, rejecting the notion of government action guided by ideology or any desire to promote a particular world view, in favor of a foreign policy of practical purpose, an approach practiced to great effect by Otto von Bismarck.

Neo-fascism and German terrorism

The 1968 radical student protests around the world affected Germany deeply. During the years of 1968-1977 Germany lived in fear of extremist terrorism. Three terrorist groups were dominant – the Red Army Faction (RAF) or the Baader-Meinhof gang; Movement 2 June (an anarchist group that named itself after the date on which a young pacifist named Benno Ohnesorg had been killed by police during a 1967 protest in Berlin), and the Revolutionary Cells, formed in Frankfurt am Main around 1972-1973 and organized into semi-autonomous cells, each aware of the group’s overall mission yet mostly unaware of the identities of other group members. In 1968, the prominent German journalist Ulrike Meinhof joined Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin to launch the most terrifying era in German postwar history.

As in the United States, the student anti-war protests of 1968 at times turned into full-scale riots, with some elements evolving into various extreme groups that attempted naively to start a world revolution by taking to terrorism, starting with bank robberies and turning to kidnappings and killings. Most of the leaders of the most famous West German terrorist group, Baader, Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, were captured by mid-1972. Their followers continued kidnappings and killings over the next five years in repeated unsuccessful efforts to secure the release of their leaders from prison. The German government used the terrorist crisis to push through new laws that granted it broad powers in fighting terrorism. Radical leftists protested the loss of civil liberty, but the majority of the German people were firmly on the side of the government.

The context of the formation and activities of the Red Army Faction in Germany evolved from three events: the bombing of South Vietnam by the US Air Force in 1963 and North Vietnam in 1965; the visit of the Shah of Iran to Berlin in the summer of 1967; and the April 11, 1968, assassination attempt on Rudi Dutschke, the leader of the student movements of the 1960s. The would-be assassin was Joseph Bachmann, a young neo-Nazi who along with his pistol was carrying a copy of Bild-Zeitung, an extreme right-wing newspaper with the headline: “Stop Dutschke now!” During the court trial, it became evident that Bachmann, an unskilled worker, was influenced by the intense propaganda campaign of the mass media owned by Alex Springer, especially the Bild-Zeitung newspaper.

Dutschke recovered sufficiently to play an important role in the formation of the Green Party in 1980, by inspiring many student protesters, including Joschka Fischer who later became foreign minister in Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s government, to join the Green movement. Dutschke died in 1979 from complications of the assassination wounds.

All violence is despicable. Yet violence is never an isolated act, neither are its political manifestations: war and terrorism. All acts of terrorism are points in a cycle of terrorism that escalate and beget more acts of terrorism. Many of the leaders in the Red Army Faction were not involved in violence at the beginning of their activism, but were gradually radicalized into full-fledged terrorists. Baader’s trouble with the law began over motor vehicle offences. Meinhof was a journalist/editor for Konkret, a leftwing student newspaper. Ensslin started out as a student pacifist. During the demonstration against the Shah of Iran on June 2, 1967, a fellow student pacifist, Benno Ohnesborg, was shot dead by the police. That incident of state terrorism precipitated the June 2 Movement. After the protest, Ensslin went to the local office of the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) and screamed hysterically: “This fascist state means to kill us all! Violence is the only way to answer violence!”

Though unconnected to its US counterpart that shared its acronym, the German SDS occupied a parallel place in German society. It was the leading left-wing student organization throughout the 1960s. Originally, the SDS was the student wing of the Social Democratic Party, but the SPD disassociated itself from the SDS in 1960 when the SDS began advocating an anti-nuclear weapon stance.

Baader and Ensslin met, became lovers and began to plant bombs in department stores in response. At her trial for arson on October 4,1968, Ensslin explained: “We have found that words are useless without action!” On July 8,1970, the “June 2 Movement” was organized. At the start of the 1970s, the RAF, the June 2 Movement and the German state were at war. On July 15, 1970, Petra Schelm was shot and killed in a shoot-out with the Hamburg police. Her death caused shock waves throughout Germany as many Germans found themselves horrified at the violent death of the young innocent hairdresser. A national poll taken shortly after the death of Schelm revealed that 20% of the German population felt some sympathy for her cause. On October 22, 1971, during another shoot-out in Hamburg, Norbert Schmid, a policeman, was shot dead. The chronology of events becomes ever bloodier. Baader explains his viewpoint in 1973: “The gun livens things up. The colonized European comes alive, not to the subject and problem of the violence of our circumstances, but because all armed actions subjects the force of circumstances to the force of events. I say our book should be entitled ‘The Gun Speaks!'”

Gerhard Richter’s 15-painting cycle, “October 18, 1977”, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, is a collection of black and white oil paintings drawn from ubiquitous photographs of the Baader-Meinhof era. Robert Storr, the curator of the MOMA collection who recommended the purchase of the “October 18, 1977” cycle, as well as organized the Richter retrospective, considered Richter to be among the most important contemporary artists. Storr’s 152-page book about the “October 18, 1977” cycle provides an explanation on the importance of the artist and this work.

The student protests of 1968 that promised positive hope for a new society quickly degenerated into violent street riots and misguided terrorism. Many leftist students would be inspired by Dutschke to begin their “long march through the institutions”. A decade later, many of these former radical students were the main force behind the Greens party. But a handful of the more radical wanted “revolution now”, and resorted to revolutionary terrorism in response to state terrorism.

Post-war West Germany had been created as a loose confederation of states, with no federal police force on the order of the FBI, only the disconnected Lander police forces. In the early 1970s, terrorists were able to take advantage of this decentralization by constantly traversing different states, whose police forces seldom coordinated their work or shared information.

On January 10, 1972, Der Spiegel published a letter by 1972 Nobel laureate for literature Heinrich Boll, in which he decried Baader-Meinhof coverage in the the Springer Press’ Bild as not “cryptofascist anymore, not fascistoid, but naked fascism, agitation, lies, dirt”. Boll, a devout Catholic, attacked the materialistic values of the post-war German society. Boll was born in Cologne where his father was a cabinetmaker and sculptor, whose ancestors had fled from England to escape the persecution of Roman Catholics. Boll started to write poetry and short stories in his youth. He was one of the few boys in his school who did not join the Hitler Youth movement, unlike the new German Pope. Boll himself had experienced harassment by the media and his house was searched by police when he proclaimed that Meinhof deserved a fair trial.

Film directors Volker Schlondorff and Margarethe von Trotta adapted Boll’s book, The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, (1974) which attacked yellow journalism, onto the screen the following year. In 1985, von Trotta made a film about Rosa Luxemburg with Barbara Sukowa in the title role. Boll’s The Safety Net (1979), translated from German by Leila Vennewit in 1982, was inspired by the sensational press coverage of the Baader-Meinhof gang. Right-wing critics, particularly in the popular press, accused Boll of sympathizing with social dissidents and even condoning the aims of terrorists. Boll actually was of the view that bungling terrorists inadvertently and ironically helped big business. By 1973, the German state imprisoned gang members under conditions so horrid that Amnesty International lodged a complaint. After 1973, radicals justifiably protested the inhumane prison conditions. In November 1974, Jean-Paul Sartre interviewed Baader in Stammheim Prison at Meinhof’s request which resulted in an article “The Slow Death of Andreas Baader”, published in Liberation, December 7, 1974. The first sentence Baader made to Sartre was: “I asked for a friend and they sent me a judge,” reflecting his disappointment with Sartre’s comments made on German television the night before Sartre had a chance to hear what Baader had to say.

The government adopted “Lex Baader-Meinhof” or the “Baader-Meinhof Laws” as amendments to the Basic Law, West Germany’s quasi-constitution, to allow the courts to exclude a lawyer from defending a client merely if there is suspicion of the lawyer “forming a criminal association with the defendant”, denying the basic concept of attorney-client confidentiality. The new laws also allow for trials to continue in the absence of a defendant if the reason for the defendant’s absence is of the defendant’s own doing, ie, they are ill from a hunger strike. As the Baader-Meinhof trial dragged on, Meinhof reportedly hanged herself in her cell on Mother’s Day 1975, according to official records, but many suspected she was killed by the state.

The Baader-Meinhof era ended with the “German Autumn”, a name given to the 44 days in the fall of 1977 when all Germany was gripped in a terrorist crisis. It began on September 5, when the industrialist Hanns-Marin Schleyer was kidnapped in Cologne by the RAF. For the next month and a half, his kidnappers attempted to secure the release of the imprisoned leaders of the RAF. On October 17, 1977, Palestinian terrorists hijacked a Lufthansa plane, demanding, among other things, the release of Baader and his fellow prisoners. The Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG-9 or Border Guard Group Nine), the newly formed German anti-terrorist force, ended the hijacking by killing the Palestinian hijackers when the plane landed in Modagshu, Somalia. Upon hearing the news, the gang leaders Baader, his girl friend Ensslin, who was a descendant of Hegel, and Raspe reportedly all committed suicide in prison, bringing the German Autumn to an end. Many suspected that the gang leaders were killed by the authorities to prevent future attempts to free them. Schleyer’s body was found in an abandoned car.

The name “German Autumn” evoked the notion that German society was at an end of an era; that the progressive optimism of the late 1960s had degenerated into a ruthless situation. “It wasn’t just about killing Americans, and killing pigs, at least not at first. It was about attacking the illegitimate state that these pawns served. It was about scraping the bucolic soil and exposing the fascist, Nazi-tainted bedrock that propped up the modern West German state. It was about war on the forces of reaction. It was about Revolution,” wrote Richard Huffman in The Gun Speaks: The Baader-Meinhof Gang at the Dawn of Terror.

The liquidation of the leaders of the Baader-Meinhoff gang by the German state did not end terrorism. A police shoot-out took place with suspected RAF terrorist Wolfgang Grams, and then there was the bomb killing of prominent banker Alfred Herrhausen (1989) and Treuhand head Detlev Rohwedder (1991). Treuhand is the government privatization agency. Herrhausen fell victim to a deadly terrorist bomb shortly after leaving his home in Bad Homberg on the November 30, 1989. He was being chauffeured to work in his armored Mercedes, with bodyguards in both a lead vehicle and another following behind. At the time of his death Herrhausen was a key director (Vorstandssprecher, literally, “speaker of the board”) on the Deutsche Bank board. He had been with Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest, since 1969. From 1971 on he was a member of the bank’s board of directors. The laser-triggered bomb seemed too sophisticated for so-called fourth generation RAF terrorists to deploy. In a CNN Berlin bureau chief’s report on November 8, 1999, reference was made to the unsolved murder of a prominent West German businessman who headed the Treuhand, without mentioning any suspected RAF involvement. Detlev Rohwedder was fatally shot on April 21, 1991, days after he announced a plan that placed social restrictions on privatization.

An article by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, wife of Lyndon LaRouche (perennial US candidate for president), in the December 10, 2004, issue of Executive Intelligence Review, “Unmasking the Secret War by the ‘Economic Hit Men'” (by John Perkins), dealt with the murder[s] of Alfred Herrhausen … and Detlev Rohwedder:

The two political economy-motivated murders which, more than all others, set the stage for this catastrophe, in which the German economy for 15 years has been destroyed in both East and West, were the killings of Alfred Herrhausen on November 30, 1989, and Detlev Rohwedder on April 21, 991. In a manner similar to John Perkins today, during the 1990s the former high-ranking Pentagon official Fletcher Prouty, in an interview with the Italian publication Unita, said that the murders of Herrhausen, John F Kennedy, Aldo Moro, Enrico Mattei, and Olof Palme were all the consequences of the fact that they did not want to subjugate themselves, one by one, to be minor consuls of the ruling pax universalis … Real terrorists do not kill the president of a bank without a special reason. Most terrorists are paid agents and instruments of larger power centers. A certain such power center wanted, for a certain reason, the leading spokesman of the Deutschebank, on this day and in this manner, eliminated, in order to teach a lesson to others. Thus, there was a message in the way and manner in which he was brought down. Prouty said that the key to the explanation lay in 11 pages of a speech, which Herrhausen was to have given one week later in New York, on December 4, 1989, before the American Council on Germany, and which would now go undelivered. In this speech, Herrhausen was to have laid out his vision of the new organization of East-West relations, which would have steered history after 1989 into a dramatically different course. Herrhausen, at that time, was the only banker whose proposals for the development of Poland as a model for the other Comecon nations, according to the model of the Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, went in the same direction as the ideas of Lyndon LaRouche. Let us recall the dramatic events of Autumn 1989: On November 9, the Berlin Wall came down; in documentation later made public, the Federal government admitted that it had not had the slightest plans for the unforeseen eventuality of German reunification. On November 28, Helmut Kohl took the only sovereign step of his entire time in office. He proposed the 10-point program for the formation of a confederation of both German states, and indeed, without consultation with the Allied Powers or his coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP). Two days later, on November 30, Herrhausen was assassinated by the so-called Third Generation of the RAF, whose existence was described in an ARD TV broadcast as “Phantom”. This “Phantom” then appeared once more in the assassination of Rohwedder, and has since then vanished into thin air … There was yet another leading industry representative, who had far-reaching visions for the development of Germany: Detlev Rohwedder. As head of the Treuhand, he was in charge of the transformation of publicly owned businesses in eastern Germany. In 1990-91, he came to the conclusion, that a reckless privatization of the real – economic – and still completely useful – industrial firms would have unacceptable social consequences. Therefore, he resolved, in the first months of 1991, to change the concept of the Treuhand into “first restoration, then privatization” – always with a view to the social effects. This was the moment, when the Phantom-RAF struck again. His successor at the Treuhand, Birgit Breuel, the daughter of a banker from Hamburg, did not have the same scruples as he did: Under her leadership severe privatization took its free course.

Why did both of these men have to die? Were they the symbolic figures of the “fascist capital structure,” of which the RAF speaks in its statement taking credit for the Herrhausen assassination? On the contrary: Both committed the mortal sin against the system of the financial oligarchy by expressing moral misgivings regarding the consequences of this policy. Thus, in his book, Alfred Herrhausen, Power, Politics and Morality, Dieter Balkhausen describes how Herrhausen, already in 1987 at the funeral of his fellow board member Werner Blessing, expressed the view that the debt crisis of the Third World could no longer be met with silence. A discussion with President Miguel de la Madrid in Mexico about the debt crisis of the developing nations had affected him deeply, and he began to think about partial debt relief. Balkhausen reports further that during the Evangelical Church-Conference there had been a discussion about why the international banks, up until 1987, had made available to the semi- or under-developed states the gigantic sum of $1.2 billion, whereas they otherwise cut off credit lines with a “explosive harshness” and auctioned off the houses of the poorer classes. Perkins’ revelation, that the EHMs (economic hit men) had the task of luring the developing nations into the condition of indebtedness, in order then to be able to exploit them the more mercilessly, provides the answer to this apparent contradiction. In a television broadcast on “Arte” on November 18, 2002, a Catholic priest who was a friend of Herrhausen’s, reported that Herrhausen had come to the conclusion that a system, in which a few make a very high profit from the economy, while it crushes many others, cannot endure. Herrhausen struggled with the idea, that he perhaps had protected something that he should not have protected, did not want to protect and morally was not permitted to protect. With that, Herrhausen committed a mistake in the eyes of the financial oligarchy, which was to cost him his life: He came to the idea that the economy had something to do with morality and with the image of humanity.

Neo-fascism and militarism

Anti-war protest movements in post-war Germany evoked anti-Reagan demonstrations against the deployment of Pershing II and ground-launched cruise missiles. Under the umbrella of the peace movement, the ideologically divergent groupings, ranging from communists to concerned Christians, propagated neutralism and self determination. By the 1980s, the Federal Republic of Germany had become ambiguous as a dependable ally in the eyes of US neo-conservatives. In addition, the 1985 Bitburg affair, the 1986 Waldheim affair, as well as the renewed debate on Germany’s past and its significance for national identity, have stirred up deep-rooted emotions in the US and West Germany, as well as all of Europe.

The Waldheim Affair began with revelations about the Austrian presidential candidate’s “brown past” in the weekly Austrian magazine Profil that soon surfaced in the Western press. The allegations that Kurt Waldheim may have been a war criminal, that he had been involved in savage reprisals against Yugoslav partisans in the Balkans and in the deportation of Greek Jews from Salonika, were never actually proved. What was demonstrated beyond doubt was that Waldheim had systematically lied about his past in the Third Reich and that he knew far more than he had ever cared to reveal about atrocities against partisans and Jews. His supporters, however, chose to treat the evidence against Waldheim as a “Jewish inspired” campaign, and Michael Graff, the abrasive secretary-general of the Austrian People’s Party, accused the World Jewish Congress of indulging in hate-filled attacks and deliberate defamation. The campaign against Waldheim, he suggested, was provoking “feelings that we don’t want to have”.

Robert S Wistrich wrote in the American Jewish Committee: “The Waldheim Affair had repercussions far beyond the tensions and conflicts it created between Austrians and Jews. At stake as well was Austria’s image and standing in the international community. The Affair epitomized postwar Austrian unwillingness or inability to confront the implications of the Nazi Holocaust, bringing to the surface a stream of discourse about Jews that had been taboo in theory, if not in practice, since 1945. A new space was now opened for fantasies about an international Jewish conspiracy against Austria. Anti-Semitic attitudes dating back to pre-Nazi Austria and the Third Reich could now be expressed more openly, with the mass circulation press (most notably the Neue Kronen-Zeitung) reinforcing and also shaping popular prejudices. The notion that the Jew was at the root of any given problem (the Iudeus ex machina), well-rooted in Austrian history, could once more be utilized, this time for the political ends of the Waldheim campaign. This resurgence of anti-Semitism was undoubtedly linked to the justification of Austria’s past in the Nazi era and to fears of Jewish revenge. During the Waldheim Affair, stereotypes of world Jewish power, negative Christian images about the Jews, and the notion that Jews were themselves responsible for anti-Semitism became part of a “we-they” confrontation pitting little Austria against international Jewry. The effects could be seen in a survey of Austrian attitudes sponsored by the American Jewish Committee and conducted by the Gallup Institute in the summer of 1991. It showed that substantial portions of the Austrian population still had strong negative attitudes toward Jews and believed it was time to forget the Holocaust.” Waldheim won the 1986 election for president of Austria, despite the war crime scandal. His tenure as president was marked by international isolation, and he did not run again in 1992.

At Kohl’s request, made only weeks after Reagan’s landslide 1984 US presidential reelection victory, Reagan, whose approval rating at home had plummeted to 35% by January 1983, visited Bitburg Cemetery on May 5, 1985, less than four months into his second term, to honor the German victims of World War II and to celebrate the reconciliation between the US and West Germany. A great deal of controversy surrounded Reagan’s visit to the German military camp at Bitburg, which also contains graves of Nazi soldiers of the Waffen SS. Honoring war criminals by neo-conservative political leaders has since become respectable, as Japan has also recently followed suit. It was the beginning of a resurgence of militarism. For balance, Reagan also visited Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, as if the SS and murdered Jews were both equal victims of war. On the same day, the Reagan administration acknowledged the “Reagan Doctrine” of sponsoring armed insurgencies, or terrorists by another name, against leftist governments in the Third World. The Reagan Doctrine was essentially war by terrorism.

After Kohl was elected West German chancellor in October 1982, he tried to redefine the basics of US-German relations, claiming fundamental common values. In his farewell speech for a Reagan state visit on June 12, 1987, Kohl noted that US-German relations were based on “our commitment to freedom, the common heritage and civilization of our peoples, which rest upon the principles of democracy, individual freedom, and the rule of law”. Many cultural historians did not have the faintest idea what he was referring to. To many, the birth of both the Weimar Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany governments had been externally imposed to counter historical German militarism. Bilateral differences in opinions, Kohl stated, only follow naturally from major differences in size, geography, and global significance and could not shake the foundation of common values. However, for Kohl, the West Germans had to consciously realize that these values that they shared with the US were also their own values. It was the classic utterance of a house slave.

By focusing on the gap between political ideals and actual institutions, Kohl highlighted US-German conflict to be rooted in German national identity. While the Federal Republic’s Basic Law, its temporary constitution, mandated adherence to German national identity, decades of geopolitical reality and Germany’s recent past had stifled natural feelings of German history and culture. A gap existed between the constitutional ideal of one German national identity and the Cold War reality of two German states. In the post-World War II decades, West German national identity had only been defined in terms of economic growth and social security. Determined to close this identity gap, Kohl developed a new program called “national identity and moral re-orientation”, which included a different approach to reunification. It was both an internal and an external concept. West Germans must strive to identify with positive historical and cultural values, while assuaging the mutual suspicions of both West and the East and their fears of a revival of German nationalism and militarism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No responses yet

Leave a Reply