Research Trip Probing Political Corruption Strikes Paydirt

The Justice Integrity Project’s research trip to Ohio and Chicago last week developed promising new angles on federal abuses, especially regarding high-level political corruption investigations involving famed figures. Names include Obama, Emanuel, Jarrett, Hastert, Kirk, Blagojevich.

The trip was a joint effort with the investigative reporter and author Wayne Madsen, who generously shared sources and undertook joint radio interviews in Ohio and Illinois about our preliminary findings. The editor of the Wayne Madsen Report, an online subscription news service.

Shown in a file photo, Madsen is a former Naval intelligence officer and NSA analyst. His often-controversial muckraking has been vindicated many times, including by a federal indictment in May of more than three million dollars in blackmail payments allegedly paid by former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a former "Family Values" congressman from Illinois shown at right during a C-SPAN appearance.

Dennis Hastert C-SPANBeginning in September 2006, Madsen reported in a four-part 2006 series that Hastert — then third in succession for the presidency behind President Bush and Vice President Cheney — was a gay pedophile subject to blackmail by powerful interests who knew his secret. Hastert has pleaded not guilty in the complex case, which centers on violations of banking laws not the alleged underlying reasons. Details: Here's how the "breaking" story of Dennis Hastert's taste for young wrestlers actually broke nine years ago.

Much of our research during our trip dealt with similar still-hidden sexual, financial, and political scandals that can help sway political races and public policy in law enforcement, civil rights, the justice system, budgets, foreign policy, and almost anything else in the nation's capital.

Our take is that the recent support for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders stems partly from voter resentment over the results of corruption, even if the media only rarely share specifics.  

Details will follow in future columns here and in my revised and updated book, Presidential Puppetry 2016: The Candidate Charade Continues, which derives in part from Madsen's The Manufacturing of a President, one of his dozen books. Madsen has already published several columns.

Unfortunately, the trip revealed also widespread disillusionment with the mainstream media from sources in finance, politics, law, policing, and other governmental operations. Several sources criticized local reporters as cowardly, incurious about new evidence, and otherwise unwilling to research complicated or controversial issues while they instead devote themselves to celebrity and other personality-focused stories.

For such reasons, the trip represented an evocative if not bittersweet homecoming for this Washington-based editor, who was born on Chicago’s South Side and whose first big story was covering the riotous 1968 Democratic National Convention in the city during the reign of “The Boss,” former Mayor Richard Daley. My late mother, Margaret Kreig, had been a crusading freelance magazine writer and author, and my first journalism compensation came from tiny stringer’s checks from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Daily News.

That was enough to foster the notion journalism can be a high calling despite the demonstrably low tactics and methods of some of its most famous practitioners, both in Hollywood portrayals and in real life.

Adolph Menjou in "The Front Page" (Directed by Howard Hughes, 1931)Ben Hecht, who began his Chicago newspaper career as a “picture-snatcher” stealing family photos of crime victims a century ago to sensationalize the news, co-authored the iconic and comedic love-letter to journalism in The Front Page.

The photo at left is from the play's 1931 adaptation to film by director Howard Hughes, the aviation pioneer and tycoon. In this scene, Adolphe Menjou at center portrays the scheming editor "Walter Burns" (modeled on Chicago American Managing Editor Walter Howey, who ran the paper on behalf of William Randolph Hearst, "The Chief").

Burns is shown protecting a scoop in the press room of the Cook County Criminal Courts building by ordering one of his thugs to kidnap his reporter’s prospective mother-in-law to get her out of the way. Meanwhile, the affianced reporter at left timidly apologizes to her on the grounds that the story was important. It wasn't, of course, and instead was pure hokum.

The movie scene and many like it glamorized headline-hungry journalists who puffed up a murder case against a hapless defendant whom officials wanted to smear and then hang promptly on a new gallows outside the press room to boost their popularity before elections.

That’s part of the tradition, in a sense. So are the countless and usually prosaic daily efforts of journalists working with civic-minded sources to put important information before the public.

Frances O. Kelsey receives medal from President Kennedy FDA photoA stellar example last week was the inspiring obituary of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) researcher Frances Kelsey, who held both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. She is shown at right receiving from President Kennedy in 1962 the nation's top annual award for distinguished service by a civilian federal employee.

Against profiteers and bureaucrats, Kelsey had fought against marketing of the dangerous morning-sickness drug Thalidomide, which caused severe birth defects. The Washington Post's obituary was headlined Heroine of thalidomide tragedy kept the drug off U.S. market. 

Margaret KreigKelsey had also been a source and friend to my mother, a former medical editor of Parent’s Magazine shown at left in a National Science Foundation photo. Her globe-trotting investigative work took her to the Amazon jungle and then-Communist China for pioneering research on natural remedies, and to Congress to expose mob-produced counterfeit medicine. For the latter, she was the much-praised star witness in June 1967 before the Government Operations Committee, which was then holding a major hearing to reveal the Mafia's varied threats to the nation.

Below at right is a surveillance photo of her working undercover for the FDA to help it obtain evidence for convictions — and also exclusive material for her courageous 1967 book Black Market Medicine. She was pretending to be a madam seeking illegal prescription drugs for “my girls.” The context is provided by a 2011 column on this site, Learning from Heroes Who Fought the Mafia.

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Margaret KreigOn the Road

Our wide-ranging research trip to Ohio and Chicago last week confirmed a number of investigative leads on corrupt practices.

In Ohio’s state capital of Columbus, the first destination encompassed electronic voting fraud, as well as corrupt financial backgrounds of several nationally prominent political figures. Attorneys Robert Fitrakis and Clifford Arnebeck shared their expertise in use of electronic voting machine software to distort election results.

Arneback is a Harvard Law graduate of nearly forty years of legal experience. One of his former clients was then-Congressman John Kasich, now Ohio’s governor and a 2016 presidential candidate. In recent years, Arneback (like Fitrakis) has focused immense amounts of time on pro bono work to expose election frauds whereby government officials use as vote tabulators politically connected private companies whose electronic methods cannot readily be monitored by the public.

Bob FitrakisFitrakis, shown at left, also hosted us on his weekly public affairs radio show The Other Side of the News and shared insights from the dozen books he has authored during his years as an attorney, professor, political candidate, and civic activist.

The show broadcast Aug. 2 on WCRS Columbus Community Radio (102.1 on the FM dial) is archived here. Topics included threats to the public's civil rights posed by federal surveillance of all Americans without warrants. Another topic was frame-up of political targets on a selective basis, sometimes implemented by trial judges compromised by scandals known only to prosecutors.

Fitrakis has a deep investigative knowledge of Ohio political intrigue bolstered by a library of several thousand books. His historical insights included background on the little-known Columbus-based money-making of prominent families.

One was Bush family patriarch Samuel P. Bush the grandfather of George H.W. Bush, great-grandfather of Jeb Bush, and leader from 1908 to 1928 of the Rockefeller-linked Buckeye Steel Casting, Inc.

Another was billionaire investor and convicted sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, whom Fitrakis described as working with smugglers and gamblers in Ohio early in his career.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Epstein (shown in a file photo at right) later became internationally notorious as a pedophile with friends among the highest levels of the world’s elite, including Prince Andrew and former President Clinton. Former special prosecutor Ken Starr then negotiated for him and his friends extraordinary plea deal whereby he would spend nights in jail and receive immunity from any investigation of his friends and employees from claims that teenage girls, some as young as 12 or 13, had been sexually molested many times, as we reported earlier this year in Moralist Ken Starr Explains His Help For Billionaire Pervert Jeffrey Epstein.

As a continuing theme for some of us who investigate such matters, the civic dangers go far beyond the sex crimes to an overall perversion of the justice system and political process with the potential for unimaginable harms, depending on which agencies or even nations hold the secret information American voters are denied.

It happens that Chicago holds a unique position in enabling political success through adroit release of sex scandal, aided by cooperating judicial authorities and media. That is, after all, how State Sen. Barack Obama vanquished two much better known and funded opponents to win the U.S. Senate seat, paving the way for his successful 2008 presidential campaign.

Sweet Home Chicago

Our trip’s second stage of research centered on political-legal scandals in Chicago. These involved high levels government and the federal court system, including previous work probing irregularities in the probe of President Kennedy's assassination and in so-called reform of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance practices.

Looming in the background, of course, was the city's longtime pattern of scandal orchestrated on a selective, politicized basis by law enforcers and the media.

Although professors and most in the traditional media are too squeamish to remind voters of the facts, every American should know that Obama's presidency was enabled by the release of divorce records at the worst possible time for his opponents. The major ones were Obama's 2004 Democratic primary rival Blair Hull and GOP Senate nominee Jack Ryan. The circumstances were slightly different but a common denominator was the pro-release advocacy of the Chicago Tribune, the region's most dominant news organization and also then the employer of future Obama strategist David Axelrod.

The Tribune and its allies hounded Hull, a multimillionaire investor then leading the Democratic primary field of seven, to release his divorce records. Foolishly, he did so and the media then pummeled him to the point where he finished third in the primary behind Obama, whom we now know was a faux populist and bankster puppet who had the secret backing of Chicago's billionaire power structure such as the Pritzker family.

Even more dramatic was the political demise of the GOP senate nominee Ryan, a wealthy, handsome former Goldman Sachs executive with a populist flair that encouraged him to teach at a Catholic high school after leaving the investment business.

Due to pressure led by the Tribune and Chicago's Disney-owned ABC News affiliate WLS-TV, a Los Angeles judge suddenly released in June 2004 Ryan's child custody records. These records that had been sealed within otherwise public divorce records adjudicating the candidate's 1999 split with famed Star Trek: Voyager actress Jeri Lynn Ryan.

Neither parent wanted the custody records released. But the judge did so for rare if not unprecedented reasons, thereby revealing Jeri Ryan's sensational claim that her husband had asked her to join him at sex clubs in three cities, thereby destroying her love.

Ryan's Senate campaign was devastated. It happened that I was on a trip to Chicago when the story broke and observed some of the early carnage from a vantage point at the Billy Goat Tavern, the legendary journalists' hangout located underground across North Michigan Avenue from the Tribune. The televisions above the bar blared news of the sex scandal non-stop, part of the media storm prompting Ryan to drop out of the race, leaving a clear path for Obama.

Curiously but perhaps not surprisingly, Ryan went on to form his own newspaper company in 2005, 22nd Century Media, which publishes 14 hyper-local weekly community newspapers. 

Barack Obama Capital Yet no one to my knowledge has definitively traced Obama or Axelrod fingerprints to these legal calamities destroying his 2004 Senate opponents.

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter made the circumstantial case in a 2012 column, Obama's Signature Move: Unsealing Private Records: "Let's take a romp down memory lane and review the typical Obama campaign strategy. Obama became a U.S. senator only by virtue of David Axelrod's former employer, the Chicago Tribune, ripping open the sealed divorce records of Obama's two principal opponents."

Yet Coulter, despite her bombastic style, is reluctant go beyond conventional two-party partisanship to explore why a supposed "community organizer" and adjunct law professor like Obama would have acquired de facto allies at the highest levels of the nation's power structure in preference to financiers Ryan and Hull. The Tribune has been a force for arch-conservative policies for generations, after all. And Disney, despite its origins as the home of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, has evolved into a major war contractor because of its expertise in video.

The secret, as Madsen confided to me more than six years ago based on his document research and then shared with his readers, is that Obama has a hidden past in liaison with intelligence, banking and non-profit groups who want reliable Democratic office-holders in place when necessary during the inevitable oscillations between Republican and Democratic victories.

Following that trail in Chicago, it becomes fairly easy to reconstruct some of the people and patterns that advanced Obama to the presidency.

Near the forefront would be the Crown family that has been enriched by the weapons industry, including control of the General Dynamics arsenal of submarines, fighter planes, and tanks. Blogger Nicolas Davies summarized that relationship in The Crown family: investing in weapons, war ... and Obama.

Among other important figures supporting Obama early on have been several key members of the billionaire Pritzker family, whose most prominent members (including Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker) are reputed to average about $2.5 billion in assets apiece. Their longtime investment partner Sam Zell announced in early 2007 his plan to buy the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and numerous other broadcast and newspaper properties.

Control over confidential personal information is part of the advantage of the power players, whose clout within the media and court system helps ensure those watchdog institutions overlook sensitive areas.

Thus, the data collected by federal surveillance officials and their local teams and their contracting companies regarding public officials and their donors is rarely disclosed to the public except on a selective basis, sometimes in what is known as "parallel construction" prosecutions. In these, prosecutors use illegally obtained information to initiate an investigation and then use it to initiate a separate paper trail of legally admissible evidence. That way, defendants and their attorneys never have a realistic ability to challenge government methods in political prosecutions.

Madsen and I revisited on our trip long-hidden aspects of Obama's ascendancy and, more importantly, their more current parallels. One way was to stop at the Billy Goat to savor the atmosphere (made famous by Saturday Night Live, among other places) from a perch at the same bar corner where the late columnist Mike Royko presided for decades. The corner provides a vantage point over the entire room, including a distant table where Axelrod as a Tribune reporter was reputed to have brainstormed on a yellow legal pad, fortified with soft drinks.

Elsewhere, Madsen, the former Navy intelligence officer and defense contracting executive, introduced me to information sources regarding more current alleged scandal involving such Democrats as Obama during his presidency, his senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former Obama chief of staff.

Patrick FitzgeraldOn the Republican side, we inquired about Chicago-based former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a former Naval intelligence officer whose Senate website since October has vilified Madsen for criticizing the federal government's official 9/11 story and speaking at a conference in Iran.

In a twist on the usual reporting sequence, we undertook also preliminary investigations of the investigators, particularly judgments of ambitious prosecutors like Fitzgerald, shown in his official photo. The favorable press coverage he received during his 10-year term ending in 2012 appears on closer examination to have masked a political agendas.

Former Justice Department official Victoria Toensig provided that minority view in a 2008 Wall Street Journal column, Fitzgerald Should Keep His Opinions to Himself amid a more general cheerleading in the press for his work through the years.

Although a Republican like Fitzgerald, Toensig focused especially on the unfairness of the prosecutor's indictment announcement of the Democrat Blagojevich, whom the prosecutor described as engaging in conduct that would "make Lincoln roll over in his grave." In a nod to the press, the prosecutor also said at the news conference he stayed awake at nights fearing for the security of Tribune executives based on taped comments by the governor, while a top FBI agent told the media pre-trial that agents were "disgusted" and "revolted" by what they heard.

Although normal journalistic practice is to regard convictions as done deals aside from appeals, we asked questions about the fairness of a 10-day sentence for Blogojevich's chief of staff and co-defendant John Harris, whereas the boss "Blago" received 14 years. True, Harris had cooperated with prosecutors. But that kind of sentencing disparity gives far too much power to prosecutors like Fitzgerald and should continue to raise questions about the overall fairness of the process.

A similarly unanswered question remains about the reasons for the unusual prosecutorial initiative in going after Hastert for technical violations of banking laws so many years after he left office in early 2007 and the underlying alleged sexual misconduct, now past the statute of limitations. In many other serious cases of alleged pedophilia involving high level officials (including the Franklin Scandal in Nebraska and a related male and female prostitution rings in Washington, DC, federal authorities have taken extraordinary steps through the years to shield VIP customers and other perpetrators from public exposure, much less indictment.

One such case a decade ago involved massive federal charges against the so-called "DC Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey. She was unsuccessful in winning the right to compel testimony by VIP customers and instead the trial focus was extraordinary shaming of the women. Palfrey was convicted and then found dead by hanging. First, however, she gave Madsen and two other reporters her list of 20,000 customer telephone numbers. Also, she shared with him, including during a dinner with him and her attorney, her view that authorities did not want her to retire overseas as she had planned because of high status of some on her customer list and likelihood that deep political and intelligence intrigue was involved in certain of the assignations, not simply sex.

With that kind of background in other investigations as well, we questioned sources on whether there was a similar political reason Hastert's prosecution at this point beyond the facts of his case. Others shared suspicions and theories but the answer remains unknown, for now.    

Of particular interest was whether Kirk, a senator from a major state, might be facing any special pressures in using the power and majesty of his office to mount a blog attack at taxpayer expense upon a freelancer like Madsen.

Aside from the Wayne Madsen Report, Madsen publishes his findings in books, opeds, and broadcast commentaries. Some but not all are controversial because he often alleges scandal involving financial corruption and cover-ups involving sexual blackmail in ways that challenge conventional wisdom about illustrious figures, including President Obama and GOP U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Madsen typically protects sources by not naming them. This allows both targets and other journalists to ignore the findings, even when the allegations are supported by documents.

In Chicago, we encountered individuals with information and strong views about how Democrats and Republicans alike abuse the federal justice system to enhance their power and crush political opponents. The non-partisan Justice Integrity Project has since its inception investigated such scandals and last month presented shocking abuses at both the National Press Club and the Whistle Blowers Summit on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, as summarized here.

A number of confirmed or suspected political prosecutions loom in the news currently in Chicago that we reviewed.

Rod Blagojevich

One of the biggest involved a federal appellate court decision July 21 affirming for the most part corruption convictions against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, thereby leaving intact for now the 14-year sentence being served by the defendant, shown in a file photo.  

The convictions arose from the defendant's attempts to raise money from his gubernatorial powers, most notably the power to fill the U.S. senate vacated by Barack Obama in 2009 because of election to presidency.

A federal team under Republican former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald won convictions at two trials by showcasing the former shoeshine boy's often profane tape-recordings lusting after payoffs, especially for the right to confer a temporary Senate appointment.

The prosecution case was bolstered by a government witness rewarded with just a 10-day sentence. The defense and many neutral observers challenged many pro-prosecution trial rulings, such as federal trial judge James Zagel's refusal to permit tape recordings of other prominent politicians. Suspect also was Zagel's long sentence for white collar crimes in which the defendant arguably received no financial reward before he gave up trying to peddle the seat. The governor instead appointed a placeholder, the local pol Roland Burris.

The three-judge U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel voided five of the 18 convictions because Zagel's instructions failed to inform the jury that it could convict only for corrupt gubernatorial decisions helping private parties, not for "logrolling" barters between government officials that help each other in ways ingrained in America's political tradition. The 23-page decision was by an all-Republican panel and was authored by Frank Easterbrook, who had been one of my professors at the University of Chicago School of Law.

Tom Haugh Stocks and Jocks logoThe defendant’s family and attorney have protested the decision as failing to address many dubious aspects of the case, as well as the harsh 14-year sentence for conduct that never resulted in any money for the big-talking Blagojeveich.

More interestingly, we found that repeated suspicions even among Chicagoans who disliked for "Blago" for his crass and seemingly corrupt ways that he was being scapegoated and silenced by the power structure from talking in ways that would embarrass the president and others in his inner-circle. Similar suspicions have long percolated about the prosecution of businessman and Obama-contributor Tony Rezko, who was released last month to a halfway house after another controversial Fitzgerald prosecution.

On Aug. 4, Madsen and I shared views on Chicago morning drive radio show host Tom "The Chief" Haugh on his Stocks and Jocks show WAIT (850 on the AM dial and streamed from here). The host is chief investment officer of PTI Securities and is a past president of the Professional Trader’s Institute and member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange board of directors. Our comments primarily responded to questions about news events, and thus touched only lightly and in preliminary fashion on most of the topics here.

Looking Ahead

Discerning readers have noticed that this column similarly is short on specifics and instead sets the stage for more thorough treatments to come here.

We each have different styles, however, and Wayne Madsen has already published several accounts of the trip, primarily on his subscription-website and excerpted below with his permission.

U.S. Sen. Mark KirkWe cite one here about Senator Kirk, recalling as it does (at least for us) words from Front Page actor Adolf Menjou that an "unseen power" vanquishes his paper's opponents. A more current analogy might be Donald Trump's tendency return fire to critics.

Whatever the case, the column Political morsels from Illinois  accuses Kirk (shown in his official photo) of lying about his military record and covering up other personal scandal known in political circles but not by the public. The allegations go far beyond the lewd implication of Kirk's open mic "Bro with no ho" description in June of his bachelor Senate colleague Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.

It remains for the future whether the "unseen" power of the press is also unheard. But based on recent observation, many in Chicago and in the rest of the country are sick of crooks, hypocrites, and cover-ups.

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Justice Integrity Project Backgrounders

Richard NixonMargaret KreigJustice Integrity Project, Learning from Heroes Who Fought the Mafia, Andrew Kreig, June 20, 2011. The nation’s top leaders from both parties put aside their differences in the late 1960s to create tough-but-fair law enforcement tools that broke the Mafia’s horrid power. That process was the focus of a fascinating panel organized last week by the Richard Nixon Foundation. The topic carries strong interest for me. My mother (shown in a National Science Foundation photo for her drug counterfeiting book) was a star witness kicking off one the major congressional oversight hearings about the Mafia after its existence was revealed. More recently, the Justice Integrity Project that I lead exposes misconduct by officials at today's Justice Department in situations where politics leads to dire results for the public.

Justice Integrity Project, Media Protected Hastert, Then Pounced Like Hyena Pack On Scapegoat, Andrew Kreig, June 8, 2015. Political reporters failed for years to connect the dots on former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s involvement in the national capital’s gay scene. Even now, the mainstream and alternative media's "pack journalism" style remains focused almost solely on a near-frenzy to publish details about Hastert's story while refraining from probing the broader implications of the clout once held by a man second-in-line to the presidency. Whether from timidity or complicity, the media are focusing as usual in holding up one miscreant as a scapegoat while remaining nearly silent regarding a long term pattern of links between sex scandal, blackmail, federal contracts that bilk taxpayers, selective prosecution, and other corrupt policy making. A tradition of such silence has enabled Hastert, 73, and other vice-seeking politicians and their blackmailers/controllers to wield vast power over the public. That’s the real story.

Justice Integrity Project, Pioneering Black Secret Service JFK Guard Warns Of Current Lessons, Andrew Kreig, July 22, 2015. Abraham Bolden, the first African American to serve on the Abraham Bolder (recent)White House detail guarding a president, has a secret to share July 29 in Washington, DC: Gross security lapses enabled President John F. Kennedy's murder in 1963. Bolden will break the persistent media silence about those security shortfalls at the annual Whistle Blowers Summit beginning July 29 on Capitol Hill.

Justice Integrity Project, Feds Crushed Telecom CEO Who Protected Customer Data from NSA Snoops…But He’s Back, Protesting New Reform Law, Andrew Kreig, July 26, 2015. Long Joseph P. Nacchiobefore 9/11 in 2001 or the reformist surveillance law signed last month, one of the nation’s top telecom executives reminded federal officials they needed court approval before his company could hand over en masse private customer data to the National Security Agency (NSA). Qwest Chairman and CEO Joseph P. Nacchio, chair of two national telecom advisory councils under the then-new Bush administration, thus followed traditional business and legal principles regarding government requests for electronic data. But Nacchio then endured a long nightmare of reprisal that is relevant to the supposed protections of the USA Freedom Act signed last month.

Justice Integrity Project, Moralist Ken Starr Explains His Help For Billionaire Pervert Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 8, 2015. Famed educator and legal scholar Ken Starr led a forum last Ken Starr Baylor Universityweek at the National Press Club to inspire faith-based instruction — and then was asked to describe why he had helped billionaire Jeffrey Epstein avoid serious prison time in 2008 on allegations Epstein had molested dozens of underage girls. The president and chancellor of Baylor University, responding to a question after the close of a forum he led Feb. 4 on “The Calling of Faith-based Universities,” told me he was “very happy” to help serve a client of his former law firm, Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis.


Editor's Recommendation

Washington Post, Frances Oldham Kelsey 1914-2015: Heroine of thalidomide tragedy kept the drug off U.S. market, Adam Bernstein and Patricia Sullivan, Aug. 7, 2015. The scientist Frances O. Kelsey receives medal from President Kennedy FDA photoraised concerns about the morning-sickness drug that was found to cause severe birth defects. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy awarded Frances O. Kelsey the President's Award for Distinguished Civilian Federal Service.


Wayne Madsen Report Coverage

Investigative reporter Wayne Madsen, author of a dozen books and political commentaries appearing more than 200 times in mainstream U.S. newspapers the past three years, is shown below on a panel May 30 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Wayne Madsen May 29, 2015

WMR, Political morsels from Illinois, Wayne Madsen, Aug. 10, 2015 (Subscription required). Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) continues to host on his Senate website a diatribe against WMR's editor for attending a 2014 conference in Tehran that attracted "anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, 9/11-conspiracy theorists and anti-American propagandists." This editor was singled out as a "9/11-truther journalist." Perhaps Kirk has never received the message. Any politician or other government official or businessman who attacks me personally, either directly or through surrogates, will receive the full investigative treatment. Just ask former Representative Mark Foley (R-FL), former Naval War College national security professor John Schindler, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, or Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), In 2006, WMR reported on Hastert's blackmailable "misconduct," Wayne Madsen, May 29, 2015. Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted in Chicago on May 28 for lying to FBI agents about his cash withdrawals from his various bank accounts. Hastert withdrew the money, allegedly beginning in 2010, to pay an individual described only as "Individual A" in the federal indictment as blackmail over "prior misconduct" on the part of Hastert. The Chicago Tribune only referred to the blackmail as "Dennis Hastert's dark secret," but northern Illinois was abuzz with credible rumors that dark secret had something to do with Hastert's earlier years as a wrestling coach for boys at Yorkville High School outside of Chicago. The indictment indicates that Individual A had something to do with Hastert's coaching years because it begins, "from approximately 1965 to 1981, defendant John Dennis Hastert was a high school teacher and coach in Yorkville, Illinois." Dennis Hastert official photo from 109th CongressThe indictment also states that from 2010 Hastert paid Individual A, who is said to be from Yorkville, a total of $3.5 million to "compensate for and conceal (Hastert's) prior misconduct" with the unnamed person from Hastert's past. There is no mention of his having been blackmailed as a result of his activities as Speaker.

The indictment indicates that Individual A had something to do with Hastert's coaching years because it begins, "from approximately 1965 to 1981, defendant JOHN DENNIS HASTERT was a high school teacher and coach in Yorkville, Illinois." The indictment also states that from 2010 Hastert paid Individual A, who is said to be from Yorkville, a total of $3.5 million to "compensate for and conceal (Hastert's) prior misconduct" with the unnamed person from Hastert's past. There is no mention of his having been blackmailed as a result of his activities as Speaker. Since leaving Congress in 2007, Hastert has been a lobbyist for the Washington law firm of Dickstein Shapiro.

In 2006, WMR scooped the Washington media by reporting that Hastert was involved with the cover-up of a major sex scandal involving Republican congressmen and underage male pages. WMR led off its reporting on Hastert with this September 30, 2006 report:

"Congressional sources told WMR that Hastert, while working from 1964 to 1980 as a popular history/government teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School, in Yorkville, Illinois -- a suburb of Chicago -- was the subject of persistent rumors about inappropriate contact with male members of his high school wrestling team. The culture of the times usually resulted in such alleged behavior being covered up by public and parochial school authorities. However, the rumors were enough for his Yorkville constituency to reject him when he ran for an open seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1980. However, Hastert lucked out when another sitting Republican House member who represented the three-seat district had a stroke and declined to run for re-election. The GOP machine bosses selected Hastert as the replacement candidate.

Hastert served in Springfield from 1980 to 1986, six years to make the transformation from wrestling coach with a cloud surrounding himself to politician. In 1986, Hastert received an unexpected promotion. After incumbent Republican Rep. John Grotberg was nominated by the GOP for a second term, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and fell into a coma. The Illinois Republican Convention selected Hastert as the replacement on the ticket, a virtual election to the U.S. House of Representatives in the strongly Republican district.

In 1989, when the allegations of homosexuality among GOP congressmen arose during the first 'Pagegate"' scandal [the so-called "Franklin cover-up], Hastert's name was one of those whispered. In 1995, Hastert became Chief Deputy Whip under now-disgraced GOP Majority Whip Tom DeLay. Hastert would luck out again. In late 1998, amid scandal, House Speaker Newt Gingrich resigned. After Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston was elected as Speaker by the GOP House Caucus, he too resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair -- an amazing development since the House had impeached President Bill Clinton for lying about his own extramarital affair. Hastert, without much scrutiny, emerged as the compromise candidate for Speaker, after the GOP deadlocked on Majority Leader Dick Armey (also the subject of various rumors after he called Barney Frank, "Barney Fag") and Majority Whip DeLay.

Now Hastert is fending off allegations that he knew about the page problem with Mark Foley for 11 months and refrained from taking any action. It is also noteworthy that the Chairman of the House Page Board is Republican Rep. John Shimkus, a close ally of Hastert's from Illinois. Allegations of cover-up are also surrounding Louisiana GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander, the sponsor of the 16-year old Louisiana page to whom Foley sent messages concerning masturbation and erections, and New York Republican Rep. Tom Reynolds, the chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Both representatives stand accused of covering up Foley's activities for as long as 11 months.

On October 2, 2006, we reported:

"In August 2004, the GOP House leadership, which included Speaker Dennis Hastert, then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and Majority Whip Roy Blunt, took no action against Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida for his repeated salacious contact by email with underage male teens even though a heterosexually-married Republican congressman resigned over trolling gay web sites for 'younger men.' In August 2004, one-term Republican Rep. Ed Schrock of Virginia resigned after it became public that he was surfing gay and dating web sites in search of younger men for sex. Schrock, a political ally of his Virginia Beach constituent TV evangelist Pat Robertson and a retired U.S. Navy Captain, resigned after he was outed by a Washington, DC web site.

However, rather than dealing with Foley's sexual habits on the Web, the GOP leadership sank deeper into cover-up mode, burying the Foley matter lest it shine a light on other GOP gay hypocrites in Congress whose anti-gay agenda would embarrass the party a few months before a critical presidential and congressional election.

WMR, Beyond 2016: the Rise of Rahm, Wayne Madsen, Aug. 7, 2015 (subscription required). On the day after the two-tier Republican presidential debate, the major media pundits are all focused on 2016. However, many Chicago political and financial insiders, both Democrats and Republicans, have told WMR that the real ominous specter for the future of America is not found among the over 20 GOP and Democratic presidential candidates running for their party's respective 2016 nods, but a candidate who has initiated his stealthy and nascent run for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. That candidate is Chicago Mayor Rahm Israel Emanuel.

WMR, Massive movement of cash from Fed prior to 9/11, Wayne Madsen, Aug. 5, 2015 (subscription required). Although the 9/11 Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigation claimed they thoroughly investigated suspicious "put options" placed against the shares of United and American Airlines, as well as Swiss Re and Munich Re prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they failed to investigate another set of suspicious financial transactions prior to 9/11.

WMR, NSA requested warrantless wiretapping in February 2001, Wayne Madsen, July 30, 2015 (subscription required). Officials of the National Security Agency requested warrantless wiretapping from the chairman of the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Council (NSTAC) at a meeting at NSA headquarters on February 27, 2001, seven months before Joseph  Nacchio at NPCthe 9/11 attack. This stunning revelation was made by the former NSTAC chairman, Joseph Nacchio, who cited court documents from the government's retaliatory 2005 case against him for insider trading. Nacchio made his remarks at a Newsmaker press conference at the National Press Club on July 29. (Photo courtesy of Noel St. John.)

Strategic Culture Foundation, Partners in Crime: NSA, U.S. Justice Department, and Telecom Firms, Wayne Madsen, Aug. 10, 2015. The so-called USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 is a placebo law designed to placate certain ignorant and uninformed quarters in America concerned about the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of "metadata" on individuals. The USA FREEDOM Act, which is a ridiculous-sounding "backronym" that actually stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring Act," is a ruse designed to continue ad infinitum NSA’s illegal surveillance.

NSA was angling for warrantless eavesdropping even before 9/11. Thanks to courageous NSA whistleblowers like former Chairman and CEO of Qwest Communications Joseph Nacchio, AT&T engineer Mark Klein, former NSA system architect William Binney, NSA senior executive Thomas Drake, and NSA employees Kirk Wiebe, Russell Tice, and Edward Snowden, it is now known that NSA was bent on massive bulk collection of personal data prior to 9/11. The terrorist event merely served as an opportunity for the NSA to turn its foreign intelligence apparatus on the American people.


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Related Senate and Justice System News

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, Kirk Statement on Tehran’s Anti-American and Anti-Semitic Conference This Week, Oct. 2, 2014. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today released the following statement in response to the second annual “New Horizons” conference in Tehran this week that brought together former Iranian nuclear negotiators with a “who’s who” of the world’s leading anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, 9/11-conspiracy theorists and anti-American propagandists:

“The so-called ‘New Horizon’ conference in Tehran proves why the current Iranian regime under President Hassan Rouhani is, at its core, no less extremist and dangerous than the regime under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The conference’s participants promoted anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and were even greeted on day one by high-ranking Iranian cleric Mohsen Ghomi, a close advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who falsely alleged that ‘American officials are puppets of the Zionist lobby.’ It’s critical that U.S. Administration officials, who are desperately offering ever more dangerous nuclear concessions to get Iran to accept a watered-down nuclear deal, open their eyes to the true nature of the current Iranian regime.”

WLS-TV (ABC News affiliate in Chicago), Rod Blagojevich convictions vacated on 5 counts, Staff report, July 21, 2015. Not eligible for release during re-trial. An appeals court vacated five convictions and threw out the sentence of former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday afternoon. The rest of Blagojevich's convictions were affirmed by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. "He's optimistic that justice will prevail eventually," said Patti Blagojevich, his wife. The Blagojevich family and his legal team were hoping for more, calling the ruling "disappointing" and "shocking." Though the appeals court threw out five counts, they said the long-awaited decision "is not justice." The Blagojevich family and his legal team were hoping for more, calling the ruling "disappointing" and "shocking". Though the appeals court threw out five counts, they said the long-awaited decision "is not justice." "My advice to the governor is he should fight on," said Leonard Goodman, Blagojevich appellate attorney. "Most people would look at this and say 'Wow, if a quarter of his counts were reversed, and so a quarter of his sentence should be taken off'  but that's not the way that it works," said Lauren Kaeseberg, Blagojevich attorney.

The New Yorker, Unforgivable: The Governor and the Teen-Ager, Evan Osnos, Jan. 8, 2015. Bob McDonnell, the disgraced ex-governor of Virginia, appealed for the mercy of the court, and he received it. A former Presidential prospect with a career in state politics, McDonnell, along with his wife, Maureen, was convicted in September of trading the powers of his office for loans, shopping sprees, golf trips, a Rolex, and use of a Ferrari and a country home—a pattern that unfolded in the course of eleven months, netting his family a range of pleasures worth a hundred and seventy-seven thousand dollars, until federal prosecutors took notice.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for ten to twelve years. Michael Dry, an assistant United States attorney who prosecuted the case, called the series of abuses “unprecedented in Virginia’s two-hundred-and-twenty-six-year history,” and sought six and a half years. By the time the U.S. district judge James Spencer rendered his sentence, he sounded almost as pained. “It breaks my heart, but I have a duty I can’t avoid,” Spencer said. In a lengthy preamble, he compared himself to the Roman prefect who reluctantly condemned Jesus Christ. “Unlike Pontius Pilate, I can’t wash my hands of it all,” Spencer said. “A meaningful sentence must be imposed.” He sentenced McDonnell to two years, a term of such impressive leniency that McDonnell’s first words outside the courthouse in Richmond were ones of thanks to the justice system.


Chicago's Dark Side

Wall Street Journal, Fitzgerald Should Keep His Opinions to Himself, Victoria Toensing, Dec. 13, 2008. As in the Libby case, his behavior is 'appalling.' Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's "conduct would make Lincoln Patrick Fitzgeraldroll over in his grave," according to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. But Mr. Fitzgerald's statement would, at the very least, make well-regarded former Attorney General Robert Jackson flinch in his. Almost seven decades ago, Jackson admonished a meeting of U.S. attorneys that they should be dedicated "to the spirit of fair play and decency . . . . A sensitiveness to fair play and sportsmanship is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power . . . ." In the Dec. 9 press conference regarding the federal corruption charges against Gov. Blagojevich and his chief of staff, Mr. Fitzgerald violated the ethical requirement of the Justice Department guidelines that prior to trial a "prosecutor shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that pose a serious and imminent threat of heightening public condemnation of the accused." The prosecutor is permitted to "inform the public of the nature and extent" of the charges. In the vernacular of all of us who practice criminal law, that means the prosecutor may not go "beyond the four corners" -- the specific facts -- in the complaint or indictment. He may also provide any other public-record information, the status of the case, the names of investigators, and request assistance. But he is not permitted to make the kind of inflammatory statements Mr. Fitzgerald made during his media appearance. What's more, Mr. Fitzgerald is a repeat offender. Additionally, Mr. Fitzgerald violated another ethical mandate under Justice guidelines for prosecutors: He is supposed to "exercise reasonable care to prevent" law enforcement -- in this case the FBI Agent -- from making the same type of extrajudicial statements. Mr. Fitzgerald exercised no care. Special Agent Rob Grant volunteered that when he arrived in Illinois four years ago, he was asked by the media whether Illinois is the "most corrupt state in the United States." He then answered that four-year-old question claiming, "[I]t's one hell of a competitor." Mr. Grant did not stop there. He revealed that the FBI agents who participated in the case were "thoroughly disgusted and revolted by what they heard."

New York Times, At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture, David Carr, Oct. 5, 2010. In January 2008, soon after the venerable Tribune Company was sold for $8.2 billion, Randy Michaels, a new top executive, ran into several other senior colleagues at the InterContinental Hotel next to the Tribune Tower in Chicago. Mr. Michaels, a former radio executive and disc jockey, had been handpicked by Sam Zell, a billionaire who was the new controlling shareholder, to run much of the media company’s vast collection of properties, including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, WGN America and The Chicago Cubs. After Mr. Michaels arrived, according to two people at the bar that night, he sat down and said, “watch this,” and offered the waitress $100 to show him her breasts. The group sat dumbfounded.

“Here was this guy, who was responsible for all these people, getting drunk in front of senior people and saying this to a waitress who many of us knew,” said one of the Tribune executives present, who declined to be identified because he had left the company and did not want to be quoted criticizing a former employer. “I have never seen anything like it.” Based on interviews with more than 20 employees and former employees of Tribune, Mr. Michaels’s and his executives’ use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective shocked and offended people throughout the company. Tribune Tower, the architectural symbol of the staid company, came to resemble a frat house, complete with poker parties, juke boxes and pervasive sex talk., Obama's Signature Move: Unsealing Private Records, Ann Coulter, Aug. 1, 2012. Obama became a U.S. senator only by virtue of David Axelrod's former employer, the Chicago Tribune, ripping open the sealed divorce records of Obama's two principal opponents. One month before the 2004 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, Obama was down in the polls, about to lose to Blair Hull, a multimillionaire securities trader. But then the Chicago Tribune leaked the claim that Hull's second ex-wife, Brenda Sexton, had sought an order of protection against him during their 1998 divorce proceedings.

Those records were under seal, but as the New York Times noted: "The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had 'worked aggressively behind the scenes' to push the story." Many people said Axelrod had "an even more significant role that he leaked the initial story."

Both Hull and his ex-wife opposed releasing their sealed divorce records, but they finally relented in response to the media's hysteria 18 days before the primary. Hull was forced to spend four minutes of a debate detailing the abuse allegation in his divorce papers, explaining that his ex-wife "kicked me in the leg and I hit her shin to try to get her to not continue to kick me."

After having held a substantial lead just a month before the primary, Hull's campaign collapsed with the chatter about his divorce. Obama sailed to the front of the pack and won the primary. Hull finished third with 10 percent of the vote.

As luck would have it, Obama's opponent in the general election had also been divorced! Jack Ryan was tall, handsome, Catholic  and shared a name with one of Harrison Ford's most popular onscreen characters! He went to Dartmouth, Harvard Law and Harvard Business School, made hundreds of millions of dollars as a partner at Goldman Sachs, and then, in his early 40s, left investment banking to teach at an inner city school on the South Side of Chicago. Ryan would have walloped Obama in the Senate race. But at the request of  again the Chicago Tribune, California Judge Robert Schnider unsealed the custody papers in Ryan's divorce five years earlier from Hollywood starlet Jeri Lynn Ryan, the bombshell Borg on "Star Trek: Voyager."

Jack Ryan had released his tax records. He had released his divorce records. But both he and his ex-wife sought to keep the custody records under seal to protect their son. Amid the 400 pages of filings from the custody case, Jack Ryan claimed that his wife had had an affair, and she counterclaimed with the allegation that he had taken her to "sex clubs" in Paris, New York and New Orleans, which drove her to fall in love with another man.

War Is A Crime, The Crown family: investing in weapons, war ...and Obama, Nicolas Davies, May 1, 2012. Americans who went to the polls in 2008 believing that a vote for Barack Obama was a vote for peace, now face the prospect of a presidential election in which both major party candidates will be openly wedded to endless war, cold-blooded “targeted killings,” record military budgets, and the systematic violation of U.S. and international law. Corporations give bribes to secure policies that will boost their bottom lines, but the wealthy individuals who use their social connections to raise huge sums of money for a candidate want even more for their money. One family stands out as playing exactly that role in the political career of Barack Obama: the Crown family of Chicago. The importance of this relationship in Obama’s career exposes some of the roots of his subservience to the government of Israel, his threats of aggression against Iran, his expansion of the JSOC/CIA targeted killing program, and his unswerving commitment to record military budgets in a time of economic and fiscal crisis. The Crowns are the children and grandchildren of Henry Crown, who made a fortune in the building materials business, had reputed links to the Chicago Mafia, and discovered the armaments business as a military procurement officer during the Second World War. Henry Crown bought a controlling interest in General Dynamics in 1959 and developed it into the largest weapons maker in the world, building the Trident submarine, the Atlas rocket, the F-16 fighter, the Abrams tank and much of America’s Cold War arsenal. The General Dynamics board forced him out as CEO in 1966, but he bought back a 20 percent share in the company and regained effective control in 1970.

Politico, Sen. Mark Kirk regrets calling Lindsey Graham a 'bro with no ho,' Nick Gass and Burgess Everett, June 11, 2015. Sen. Mark Kirk said in an interview that he regrets referring to Sen. Lindsey Graham (shown in a file photo) as a Lindsay Graham“bro with no ho” but declined to clarify or further explain his controversial remark. One of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans in 2016, Kirk (R-Ill.) made the remark about Graham during a Senate Appropriations Committee markup session on Thursday. The Huffington Post, which first reported on the comment, posted audio of the hot mic incident.

Legal Schnauzer, Here's how the "breaking" story of Dennis Hastert's taste for young wrestlers actually broke nine years ago, Roger Shuler, June 4, 2015. The No. 1 news story in the country right now is about former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and his efforts to cover up the sexual molestation of at least one youth wrestler during his days as a high school teacher and coach. It took a federal indictment last week for the story to become national news. But it actually broke almost nine years ago, thanks to the investigative work of D.C.-based journalist Wayne Madsen. In fact, Madsen provided details that the mainstream press still seems afraid to touch.


Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues, The US Economy Continues Its Collapse, Paul Craig Roberts, Aug. 10, 2015. Do you remember when real reporters existed? The false reality in which Americans live extends into economic Paul Craig Robertslife. Last Friday’s employment report was a continuation of a long string of bad news spun into good news. The media repeats two numbers as if they mean something — the monthly payroll jobs gains and the unemployment rate—and ignores the numbers that show the continuing multi-year decline in employment opportunities while the economy is allegedly recovering.

The so-called recovery is based on the U.3 measure of the unemployment rate. This measure does not include any unemployed person who has become discouraged from the inability to find a job and has not looked for a job in four weeks. The U.3 measure of unemployment only includes the still hopeful who think they will find a job. The government has a second official measure of unemployment, U.6. This measure, seldom reported, includes among the unemployed those who have been discouraged for less than one year. This official measure is double the 5.3% U.3 measure. What does it mean that the unemployment rate is over 10% after six years of alleged economic recovery? In 1994 the Clinton regime stopped counting long-term discouraged workers as unemployed. Clinton wanted his economy to look better than Reagan’s, so he ceased counting the long-term discouraged workers that were part of Reagan’s unemployment rate. When these unemployed are included, the US rate of unemployment as of July 2015 is 23%, several times higher than during the recession with which Fed chairman Paul Volcker greeted the Reagan presidency.

Guardian, Ted Heath: IPCC to probe alleged failings in child abuse investigation, Peter Walker, Aug. 3, 2015. The independent police watchdog has launched a formal inquiry into claims that Wiltshire police did not properly investigate allegations of sexual offences against children involving the former Conservative prime minister Edward Heath. The Independent Police Complaints Commission said the inquiry, linked to a wider investigation into allegations of historical sexual abuse, was triggered by claims made by a retired senior police officer. Heath, who died aged 89 in 2005, was prime minister from 1970 to 1974.

Independent, Ted Heath child abuse claims: Former Prime Minister was 'not a paedophile... just an old, sad, gay man' says brothel owner, Kunal Dutta, Aug. 11, 2015. Myra Ling-Ling Forde denies allegations she escaped prosecution in 1992 by stating she would expose the former Prime Minister as a sex offender. The motives of Ms. Forde, who was jailed in 1995 and 2009 for running a brothel in Salisbury, near the home of the former Prime Minister, remain unclear.

Huffington Post, Journalists Attend Private Koch Brothers Gathering, But Agree Not To Name Donors, Michael Calderone, Aug. 2, 2015. Aren't they a big part of the story? Several news organizations gained rare access Saturday into a private gathering of influential Republican donors hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization backed by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch. But journalists covering the three-day event, held at a luxurious California resort, had to agree to an unusual restriction. They weren’t allowed to report the names of any of the 450 donors attending without the individual’s permission. The Washington Post’s Matea Gold disclosed in a Saturday night piece that her paper was “one of nine news organizations allowed in to cover the traditionally private confab, on the condition that the donors present not be named without their permission.”

Tampa Bay Times, Why did the FBI detain Bob Graham?  Lucy Morgan, August 7, 2015. Going to lunch with former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham can be hazardous to retirement. And extremely interesting. He told us Bob Graham with Keys to the Kingdomabout the day in 2011 when he and Adele were heading to the Washington, D.C., area to spend Thanksgiving with one of their daughters. As they stepped off an airplane at Dulles International Airport, two FBI agents approached and asked the Grahams to accompany them to a nearby agency office. Graham had not informed the FBI that he was traveling to the Washington area and to this day does not know how they knew where he planned to spend Thanksgiving or what airplane he would be aboard. A little scary huh? Perhaps his phone is on the NSA's list.

Editor's note: In a photo by the Justice Integrity Project taken at the National Press Club, Graham is shown with his novel Keys to the Kingdom — which portrays in semi-fictional form his understanding of how entities affiliated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia funded 9/11 attackers, whose role has been suppressed by authorities. Although Graham was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-authored its 2003 report on the attack he and other elected representatives supposedly providing oversight to the powerful U.S. intelligence community face imprisonment if they tell the public what they know, except in circumstances carefully controlled by the intelligence agencies themselves.

Richard SchweikerJFK Facts, The late Richard Schweiker on the Warren Commission, Jeffeson Morley, Aug. 7, 2015. RegardingRichard Schweiker, Republican Critic of JFK Assassination Probe, Dies at 89, here is what the late Senator Richard Schweiker (R-Pennsylvania) said on Face the Nation in 1976. When asked about the Warren Commission report, Schweiker replied:

I think that the report, to those who have studied it closely, has collapsed like a house of cards, and I think the people who read it in the long-run future will see that. I frankly believe that we have shown that the [investigation of the] John F. Kennedy assassination was snuffed out before it even began, and that the fatal mistake the Warren Commission made was not to use its own investigators, but instead to rely on the CIA and FBI personnel, which played directly into the hands of senior intelligence officials who directed the cover-up.