Deep State 2020-21 News, Revelations, Commentary

justice integrity project new logo

Editor's Choice: 2020-21 News & Views

This archive of assassination, regime change and propaganda news and commentary excerpts significant news stories and commentaries john_f_kennedy_smilingregarding alleged work by those involved with so-called "Deep State" efforts to subvert normal democratic procedures.

The materials are arranged in reverse chronological order backwards in time. They focus heavily on current news arising from the 1960s murders of President John F. Kennedy (shown in a file photo), his brother Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK). Although conventional wisdom is that the deaths were solved long ago and hence of little but historical importance our contention is that close study reveals a Rosetta Stone of lost history that makes current events far more understandable.

Much of that research probes what are known as Deep State activities, which are covert and often illegal activities by powerful private figures working with allies in government, often connected to security bodies, in ways unaccountable in the ostensible leaders. This section includes materials on such other covert activities as government-connected regime change, false flag attacks, propaganda, spy rings, blackmail, smuggling, election-rigging and other major "crimes against democracy" (in the description of historian Lance deHaven Smith). 

The top section shows excerpts since the beginning of the calendar year.  Below at far bottom also are links to the Justice Integrity Project's multi-part and separate "Readers Guides" to the JFK, MLK and RFK assassinations containing notable books, films, archives and commentary. Included also are several reports regarding other alleged political murders of prominent international leaders, or attempts. Correspondence should be sent to this site's editor, Andrew Kreig.

 

Editor's Note: Excerpts below are from the authors' own words except for subheads and "Editor's notes" such as this.

Index: Deep State News, Revelations, Commentary

 2020-21-22

January Updates

Jan. 18

 

washington post logoWashington Post, David S. Ferriero, archivist of the United States, is retiring, Michael E. Ruane, Jan. 18, 2022 (print ed.). David S. Ferriero, who has been the archivist of the United States for more than a decade under three presidents, is planning to retire in April. Ferriero, 76, has been head of the National Archives and Records Administration since he was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009.

nara logo“It has been the honor of a lifetime,” Ferriero, below left, wrote in a note to his staff. “My time here has been filled with opportunities, challenges, and awesome responsibilities. … I am humbled and awestruck and so deeply grateful — grateful to all of you.”

david ferriero 2013 mIn addition to housing national treasures such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the National Archives holds 13 billion pages of text, 10 million maps, charts and drawings, as well as tens of millions of photographs, films and other records.

The archives is also responsible for the nation’s 13 brick-and-mortar presidential libraries.

Before coming to the agency, Ferriero was director of the New York Public Libraries and served in top positions at the libraries of the Massachusetts Institution of Technology and Duke University. A native of Beverly, Mass., he served as a Navy hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War.

A self-described introvert, he is reserved and has a dry sense of humor. On his watch in 2014, the National Archives held its first sleepover.

He has pushed the digitization of the archives, and he embraced social media. In November, he noted in a blog post, “We know that not everyone can come to our facilities [for research] and providing these records online democratizes access.”

He has also promoted the role of “citizen archivists” who volunteer to transcribe and review historic documents online.

“I have met or known half of all Archivists of the United States … and none has done better” than Ferriero, historian Michael Beschloss tweeted.

One of the items framed in Ferriero’s office is a copy of a letter he wrote to President John F. Kennedy when he was in high school. The letter had been found at the Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

The future archivist asked about the Peace Corps and requested a photo of JFK.Later, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library found two letters Ferriero had written to President Eisenhower as a youngster, and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library found one he had written to President Johnson. Ferriero had them framed in his office, too.

Jan. 16

 

Former president Donald Trump endorses the 2022 re-election of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 9, 2021.

Former president Donald Trump endorses the 2022 re-election of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 9, 2021.

Proof, Investigation:The Coming Collapse of Donald Trump’s January 6 Conspiracy, Part 4: Chuck Grassley, Seth Abramson, left, Jan. 16, 2022 (Excerpt from a much longer article). This shocking seth abramson graphicnew PROOF series details mounting evidence that Trump's seditious January 6 conspiracy is at the point of collapse because of the cowardice, fear, and perfidy of his co-conspirators.

Introduction: There’s simply no other way to put this: the bizarre, still unexplained Insurrection Eve statement issued to U.S. media by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)—a stark declaration concerning the anticipated whereabouts of sitting Vice President of the United States Mike Pence over the coming 24 hours—remains one of the most sinister moments in the whole of the January 6 insurrection timeline.

seth abramson proof logoYet it appears as though no one in the DOJ, the FBI, or even the House of Representatives is seriously looking into it. The following Proof report attempts to remove any “fuzz” from the key facts regarding Grassley’s statement.

As you read this report, keep in mind the photograph atop this article: Donald Trump’s October 9, 2021 endorsement of Sen. Grassley for re-election to the United States Senate in 2022.

2022? Yes. Donald Trump travelled to Iowa over a year before the 2022 midterms to endorse Grassley for an election Grassley intends to run in but could easily, given his age and his health, find himself deciding against. Trump, out of office and spreading seditious rhetoric at every opportunity, is intent on drawing the senior senator from Iowa as close to him as possible.

Why would Trump care so much about the political fate of an extremely elderly United States senator surely in his final or second-to-last Senate term? Perhaps because Trump knows that, if the GOP regains control of the Senate in January 2023, Grassley will again chair the Senate Judiciary Committee rather than being (as he is now) merely its ranking member.

Grassley’s prospective 2023 role on the Senate Judiciary Committee would not only have been vital to Trump in a second term in office, but may still be now in the event any issues touching upon Trump’s legal liabilities somehow come before that body— for instance, issues relating to Trump’s rampant misconduct while in the Oval Office.

And yet, even all this might not have been enough to make Trump care about Grassley in October 2021. But at the time Trump went to Iowa to stump with Grassley, the aged senator was just weeks removed from being hounded by U.S. media (see below) as to another component of his Senate service: his past role as Senate president pro tempore. I

In endorsing the 88 year-old Grassley—the second-oldest human in Congress—in October 2021, Trump not only brazenly blew smoke about him (“He’s a very young guy”) but called Grassley a “patriot” (a term now used as code for “insurrectionist”); more importantly, he dropped a line which, in retrospect, seems telling: “When I’ve needed [Senator Grassley] for help, he was always there.” And Donald Trump desperately needed Chuck Grassley’s help on January 6, 2021.

The question now is whether Grassley is linked to Trump in ways that are much less evident—and relate not to 2022 but January 6, 2021. All of the Following Things Are True About Grassley’s Infamous Insurrection Eve Declaration About Pence (1) Grassley’s January 5 statement that Pence would not be overseeing the certification of the 2020 election was definitive and unambiguous. Grassley’s statement, The Hill reported at the time, “sent shock waves” through D.C., and did so on the eve of what would turn out to be the worst attack on Washington since the American Civil War.

Grassley’s claim caused “chaos” in the nation’s capital, wrote The Hill, forcing reporters to suddenly “grapple with [the question of] whether Pence had pulled out of the joint session”—and in effect giving Pence an opportunity to choose that option if he hadn’t been inclined to do so previously, it having been laid so neatly on the table for him by an esteemed senior member of the Republican Party.

Conclusion: Whereas Kevin McCarthy is now dissembling about the content of his January 6, 2021 conversation with Donald Trump, at least he previously (and repeatedly) was candid about it. In contrast, it appears that Chuck Grassley and his staff have been lying from the start about what could’ve been even more consequential contacts with Team Trump

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

Jan. 15

World Crisis Radio, Commentary: In Kazakhstan, Putin’s 2,500 occupation troops get order to shoot and kill protesters on sight, Webster G. Tarpley, right, Jan. 15, 2022. webster tarpley 2007Jan. 1 uprising there triggered by doubling of energy prices after 30 years of Nazabayev-Tokayev dictatorship; death toll measured in scores at minimum; what does mass unrest in Belarus and Kazakhstan tell us about conditions inside Russia pushing Kremlin towards aggression?

US reports Russia preparing false flag provocation against their own forces in Ukraine to furnish pretext for invasion in coming months; terrorists said to be deployed already; tactic recalls Hitler’s ”Sender Gleiwitz” action of August 1939, which was used to launch attack on Poland; Another mirror: Russian invasion of Afghanistan, which started war that ended USSR;

Supreme Court reactionary block votes 6-3 to maintain freeze on Biden’s OSHA vaccine mandate for larger firms; decision approaches depravity of 1857 Dred Scott decision; Generic ballot polls suggest reserves of Dem strength;

Oath Keeper indictments target middle echelons of January 6 coup, focus on illegal armed militias;Democratic Party must back candidates for every school board seat in the country to bar fascist hooligans;

Breaking: Florida’s DeSantis defies Supreme Court, won’t enforce vaccine requirement in Medicare hospitals.

Jan. 12

National Press Club, Club member Madsen compares ‘Trumpism’ with Nazism at virtual event, Joe Motheral, Jan. 12, 2022. On the first anniversary of the Capitol insurrection, Jan. 6, National Press Club member, Wayne Madsen discussed his latest book, The Rise of the Fourth Fascist Reich, the Era of Trumpism and the Far Right, at a virtual event sponsored by the Club's Member-Author Group.

Madsen, below, said he had two inspirations for writing the book. As a reporter, “I covered Capitol Hill for so long and I was nauseated when I saw what was wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallgoing on last year.” The other reason was that his grandmother served in the underground in Denmark during the Nazi occupation and his mother in New Jersey told him about the German-American Bundt.

The title of the book derives from designating the Holy Roman Empire as the first Reich; Imperial Germany as the second Reich and Nazi Germany as the third Reich. The election of Donald Trump and strong-man leaders around the world in Russia, China, India, Brazil, Hungary, Poland and other nations, in Madsen’s view, constitutes the Fourth Reich.

wayne madsen fourth reich coverMadsen went through numerous examples of similarities between Trump and the far right with Hitler and the Nazis such as, “attempts to destroy local and state governments in Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Georgia [and] Richmond, [Virginia]. The far right is trying to get elected to school boards, city councils [and] state government with no interest in governance. The only thing they have in mind is destroying these institutions.”

After the event, Bea Snyder, a Club member and one of the attendees over Zoom, said it was “scary to see the similarities of the ultra-right groups in the 1920s in Germany and those being used today in our country by some ultra-right leaders.”

“Trumps version of Joseph Goebbels, Stephen Bannon, has vowed to fight for political control of precinct-by-precinct in elections around the United States and the world,” Madsen said. Accordingly, his book indicates that the battle lines are being drawn “so that the fight can be joined by progressives and democrats everywhere.”

Madsen recounted Goebbels and the big lie. Goebbels said if you tell it often enough people will believe it. “That’s what’s happening with Trump as he keeps saying the lie that the election was rigged,” he said.

After graduating from the University of Mississippi, Madsen joined the Navy. He later worked at the National Security Agency. As a freelance journalist, his work has appeared in a variety of publications such as The Village Voice, The Progressive and the American Conservative. He has also written columns for several newspapers. He has 21 published books.

The Rise of the Fourth Fascist Reich is available via Amazon.com or through Madsen’s investigative news site, The Wayne Madsen Report. Andrew Kreig, of the Member Author Group introduced the author.

 

vicky ward investigatesVicky Ward Investigates, Money Man: What Epstein’s Wealth Meant to Prince Andrew, Vicky Ward, Jan. 12, 2022. My in-box has been dinging all day about the latest news in the legal battle between Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Prince Andrew.

Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled that the prince does not have grounds to get the case dismissed, which means the battle is now set to go ahead in New York’s Southern District. David Boies, the lawyer for Giuffre, emailed me that “the parties have agreed that he will be deposed in London and she will be deposed in Australia. She will testify live at trial. It will be up to him and the judge whether he comes to trial. He should come for his own sake. If he doesn’t, it will be up to the Court whether to compel him to come—in civil cases, sometimes courts do, sometimes courts don’t.”

Most people are focused on the sexual allegations that Giuffre has made in this case—and, rightly so. Giuffre—who was introduced to the prince in prince andrew virginia roberts ghislaine maxwell 20012001 when she was just 17—alleges that the prince had unwanted sex with her three times: first, on the night they met in London, when that now-infamous photo was taken (in 2001, left, with Ghislaine Maxwell also), and then at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse and on Epstein’s private island in Little St. John. (Prince Andrew has denied meeting or having sex with Giuffre.)

Now it’s no secret that Prince Andrew was partial to pretty women. “Randy Andy” was a much-remembered headline of my childhood growing up in Britain.

But there is another reason, according to my reporting, that explains why Prince Andrew was enamored of the world of not just Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell but of Donald Trump, whom he met around the 2000s, according to my sources, and was wildly impressed by. “Andrew raved about Mar-a-Lago,” says one person who has dinner with him often.

The reason is: Money.

I’ve spoken to several close friends of Prince Andrew during my reporting, and they’ve shared some interesting background.

The fact that Prince Andrew’s former wife, Sarah Ferguson, got into debt and once even had Epstein pay a former employee she owed money to, is no secret. It was widely reported in 2011.

What’s less well known is that the prince himself wanted to make money and saw Epstein—and Trump—as possible tickets to a successful career, according to my sources.

Jan. 8

World Crisis Radio, Commentary: Biden shifts to aggressive posture towards Trump, GOP dark forces, Webster G. Tarpley, right, Jan. 8, 2022. In Kazakhstan, webster tarpley 2007Putin’s 2,500 occupation troops get order to shoot and kill protesters on sight; Jan. 1 uprising there triggered by doubling of energy prices after 30 years of Nazabayev-Tokayev dictatorship; death toll measured in scores at minimum; what does mass unrest in Belarus and Kazakhstan tell us about conditions inside Russia pushing Kremlin towards aggression?

Biden’s economic success story rolls on with 3.9% employment in December, down from 4.2% in November and 6.4% last January: these figures represent the biggest yearly improvement in history; wage growth exceeds expectations; but greedy media bosses and reporters stay grotesquely negative on Biden economy because they don’t want to pay taxes;

Supreme Court clique of reactionary hacks signal their lawless intent to strike down Biden’s OSHA vaccine requirement, needlessly exposing 84 million workers to ravages of pandemic; Gorsuch refuses mask, while incompetents Alito and Thomas display abysmal ignorance of vaccine; two plaintiff AGs out sick with covid; hapless Virginia to join anti-vaxer bloc;

Will Trump appointees also scuttle vaccine requirement for 20 million health workers?

Biden should treat this court the way Lincoln dealt with Taney; As 16th president reminded nation: US Constitution is NOT a suicide pact! Study of 1920s-1930s shows utter folly of giving fascist movements time to grow, instead of nipping them in the bud.

Jan. 6

Proof, Investigation: The Coming Collapse of Donald Trump’s January 6 Conspiracy, Part 2: Roger Stone, Seth Abramson, left, Jan. 5-6, 2022. This shocking new seth abramson graphicPROOF series details mounting evidence that Trump's seditious January 6 conspiracy is at the point of collapse because of the cowardice, fear, and perfidy of his co-conspirators. This is Part 2 of an ongoing series in the January 6 section of Proof. Part 3 is due soon, and will focus seth abramson proof logoon Stop the Steal co-organizer Ali Alexander. Part 1 in the series is here.

Introduction: While we don’t yet know if the walls are closing in on Donald Trump—for the former president to be in significant legal trouble it would take a degree of commitment and verve from AG Merrick Garland that we’ve seen little public evidence of yet—it can now be said that Trump is facing abandonment from his friends. It’s a sign that they, at least, believe the end is nigh for Trump politically and (perhaps) as a matter of law.

bennie thompson headshotAs 2021 turned to 2022, we heard Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), left, and Liz Cheney (R-WY)—chair and vice chair of the House January 6 Committee (hereafter the HJ6C)—boast of having spoken to over 300 fact witnesses in their investigation of January 6, making Trumpist dead-enders Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows, right, who’ve both defied their congressional subpoenas, seem like outliers. Mark Meadows(Bannon, a top adviser to Trump in the days leading up to January 6, faces a federal Contempt of Congress trial later this year, while Congress referred former Trump chief of staff Meadows to the DOJ for potential prosecution via the same charge).

In just the last 72 hours, Thompson and Cheney have gotten even more explicit than this, disclosing that they’ve spoken to “multiple” witnesses with “firsthand knowledge” of Trump’s movements on January 6. Such individuals would have to have been very close to the former president indeed on both Insurrection Day and the days immediately preceding it.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

 

mike pence djt side by side

Axios, Mike Pence’s team helping Jan. 6 committee, Alayna Treene, Jan. 5, 2022. People in and around former Vice President Mike Pence's office have been particularly cooperative as the Jan. 6 select committee focuses on what former President Trump was doing during the more than three hours the Capitol was under attack, sources familiar with the testimony tell Axios.

Why it matters: At the one-year mark of the insurrection, the committee is piecing together a definitive timeline of how Trump resisted pleas from his own advisers, allies, family members and lawmakers to halt the violence down Pennsylvania Avenue. The committee is axios logoramping up its closed-door work with the goal of holding public hearings as early as this spring.

Some Pence-world witnesses have testified without a subpoena, according to one source with direct knowledge of the closed-door hearings. Both Pence's former chief of staff Marc Short, and former press secretary Alyssa Farah, who later served as communications director to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, are among those cooperating with the committee. Keith Kellogg also has given a deposition. One source familiar with their involvement said Short, who was subpoenaed by the committee, would not have cooperated without the approval of Pence.

Jan. 3

 

oliver stone newseum

Filmmaker Oliver Stone poses with a display showing his iconic 1991 film JFK. A sequel, "JFK Revisited," was previewed last summer at the Cannes Film Festival and is being released this month in the United States via Showtime on Nov. 22 (Photo via The Newseum).

Future of Freedom Foundation, Historical Commentary: Clay Shaw, Liar and Perjurer, Jacob G. Hornberger, foundation president, author, book publisher and law school graduate, shown at right, Jan. 3, 2022. In 1969, New Orleans District jacob hornberger newAttorney Jim Garrison brought a criminal prosecution against a man named Clay Shaw. In the trial, Garrison rejected the lone-nut theory of the assassination of President Kennedy. He alleged instead that Kennedy was assassinated in a highly sophisticated regime-change operation spearheaded by the U.S. national-security establishment. Garrison alleged that Shaw had played a role in that operation.

Although Shaw was quickly acquitted, Garrison’s prosecution later inspired Oliver Stone to come out with his movie JFK, whose future of freedom foundation logo squaretheme was the same as Garrison’s — that Kennedy was assassinated by his enemies within the national-security establishment.

At the end of Stone’s movie was a blurb that informed people that official records relating to the assassination would continue to be kept secret until the year 2029. The inference was clear: The secrecy was designed to advance a cover-up of the national-security state’s regime-change operation against Kennedy.

cia logoThat blurb produced such an outcry among the American people that Congress was effectively forced to enact the JFK Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all federal agencies, including the Pentagon and the CIA, release their long-secret assassination-related records to the public. To enforce the law, Congress called into existence the Assassination Records Review Board, which operated from 1994 to 1998.

The ARRB’s enforcement of the JFK Records Act is how we learned that the national-security establishment had conducted a fraudulent autopsy on President Kennedy’s body on the very evening of the assassination. The nature of that fraudulent autopsy was detailed in my books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2.

That fraudulent autopsy is how we know that the national-security establishment orchestrated and carried out one of its patented regime-change operations against Kennedy. As I have repeatedly emphasized over the years, there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy. Once one concludes that the Kennedy autopsy was fraudulent, there is but one reasonable conclusion that he can reach: The national-security establishment, which conducted the fraudulent autopsy, orchestrated and carried out the assassination.

Thus, if it hadn’t been for Garrison’s prosecution of Shaw in 1969, it is a virtual certainty that we still wouldn’t know today that what occurred on November 22, 1963, in Dallas was a national-security state regime-change operation. That’s because Garrison’s prosecution led to Oliver Stone’s movie, which, in turn, led to the JFK Records Act and the ARRB, which led to the evidence that established a fraudulent autopsy.

Ever since the Garrison’s prosecution, however, defenders of the lone-nut theory of the Kennedy assassination have portrayed Clay Shaw as an innocent victim of an abusive criminal prosecution. As it turns out however, Shaw wasn’t as sweet and innocent as the lone-nut theorists have long claimed. He actually was a perjurer and a liar.

At his trial, Shaw testified in his own behalf and denied that he had played any role in the Kennedy assassination. During his testimony, which, of course, was under oath, the following transpired:

Q: Mr. Shaw, have you ever worked for the Central Intelligence Agency?

A: No, I have not.

After he was acquitted, Shaw was interviewed by Penthouse magazine. In the interview, he stated, “I have never had any connection with the CIA.”

On November 1, 2021, the National Archives released a CIA document that had been kept secret since February 1992. That date was several months before the JFK Records Act was signed into law in October 1992. It was clearly an assassination-related record that should have been disclosed during the term of the ARRB in the 1990s. Instead, it was kept secret under a loophole in the law that entitled the CIA and other federal agencies to continue keeping certain records secret for another 25 years, on grounds that their disclosure would reveal “sources” or “methods” or endanger “national security.”

clay shaw early photoIf you read the document, you will see that there is no possibility that it falls within any of those categories. The CIA simply lied to the ARRB to ensure that the document would continue to remain secret for 25 more years. Then, when that 25-year deadline came due in 2017, the CIA again lied, this time to President Trump, to get even more time for continued secrecy of the document. Trump gave the CIA another five years of secrecy. When that deadline came due in 2021, the CIA persuaded President Biden to grant another extension of time for secrecy, this time to December 2022. For some unknown reason — perhaps even a screw-up — the National Archives released the document in November of 2021.

The document is a memo sent by J. Kenneth McDonald, the Chief of the CIA History Staff, to the Director of the CIA, with copies being sent to other CIA personnel. It pertains to how the CIA should handle the CIA’s records from the reinvestigation of the Kennedy assassination by the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s.

In his memo, McDonald states the following: “These records do reveal, however, that Clay Shaw was a highly paid CIA contract source until 1965.”

Thus, by the CIA’s own admission, it turns out that Clay Shaw, left, wasn’t the sweet, innocent man that lone-nut theorists in the Kennedy assassination have long portrayed him to be. At the very least, he was a perjurer and a liar, which, of course, taints his entire testimony at his trial.

Do you see why the CIA is loathe to disclose the 14,000 records that it continues to keep secret from the American people that related to the Kennedy assassination and why it continues to demand continued secrecy of such records?

Jan. 2

 

kennedys and king logo

Logo for Kennedys and King Research Site

Kennedys and King, Commentary: Max Boot vs JFK Revisited, James DiEugenio, Jan. 2, 2022. In this latest installment of what is now a multi-part series answering the disinformation and lies of the Warren Commission apologists reviewing Oliver Stone’s new film "JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass," jim dieugenio fileJim DiEugenio, left, responds to Washington Post columnist Max Boot’s recent piece, which is devoid of any genuine criticism and full of non-analytic smears.

On December 21st, the Washington Post decided to publish an opinion piece by columnist Max Boot about Oliver Stone and his new documentary JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass. Like Alecia Long before him, and Tim Weiner in Rolling Stone, there was little pretense of Boot writing any genuine criticism. (Click here for a reply to Weiner and here for one to Long). After all, the title of the column accused the director of telling lies about JFK’s assassination. Boot then called Stone a demagogue and compared his work to that of Leni Riefenstahl. When a writer stoops to this kind of name calling by the first line of his second paragraph, one knows what lies ahead is going to be a non-analytical smear.

max boot screen shotIn the second paragraph, Boot, right, calls Stone’s 1991 film JFK “the most deceitful film ever produced by a major Hollywood studio.” This for a film that won two Oscars and was nominated for eight. And, as far as Max is concerned, that disposes of that.

Except it doesn’t. When one compares the director’s cut of that film with the declassified record, one will see that compared to other true story films (e.g. The Untouchables), Stone’s film does not use an excess of dramatic license. The hyperbole used in that regard is so exaggerated as to be dismissed as an outburst of collective journalistic hysteria. The truth is that the people making these charges knew next to nothing about the JFK case or what happened in New Orleans with Oswald in the summer of 1963.

I know this since I am aware of those matters and did a comparative analysis of the first 16 scenes of the film with the new records made available by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB). There are some things which appear later in the film that I would have advised Stone not to use, but there are also things that are clearly labeled as speculation or presented as theorizing. (James DiEugenio, The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, pp. 190–94) To point out one major strand of JFK which was vehemently attacked at the time: all the material pertaining to the Vietnam angle is accurate. And further work in this field has made Stone’s thesis even stronger. (Click here for details)

Therefore, at the start, Boot shows what he is writing is bombast, playing to the crowd. In referring to the declassification process, he cannot even spell out the term Assassination Records Review Board. Or inform the reader that the Board declassified 60,000 documents and two million pages of material. Yet today there are still approximately 14,300 pages being withheld from public view: 58 years after Kennedy’s assassination.

Max then writes this whopper:

What has come out so far has done nothing to shake the conclusion reached by all credible investigators that Oswald was the lone gunman.

How does he know? Has he read the two million pages? It’s this kind of arrogance that has made a large part of the public so sick of the MSM that they have turned to alternative forms of media for information.

The other part of Max’s charade is this: He does not tell the reader anything that is in the film based on this new information. If he did, he’d expose his charade, because the ARRB did not just declassify 2 million pages of either redacted or completely classified documents. They were also able to conduct inquiries into ambiguities in the evidence. Therefore, they did an investigation into the autopsy of President Kennedy. Two of the witnesses they deposed under oath were FBI agents Jim Sibert and Frank O’Neill, who were present at the Bethesda morgue that night. Both men stated that they observed a large defect in the right rear of Kennedy’s skull. In their declassified interviews with the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), both men said the bullet in Kennedy’s back did not exit his body. (Doug Horne, Inside the ARRB, pp. 681, 685)

The agents had nothing but scorn for Arlen Specter of the Warren Commission. They were angry because neither testified before that body. They both felt this was due to Specter, since he knew what they would say would contradict his pre-ordained conclusion. They also both learned that Specter had, to put it gently, misrepresented their testimony to the rest of the Commission in order to keep them from testifying. (Horne, pp.702–05)

When the reader is presented with their evidence, one can see why Specter did not want them deposed. First, there is no autopsy picture of the skull wound they describe; a wound which would indicate a shot from the front. Secondly, their testimony vitiates the Single Bullet Theory that Specter needed to construct. If the bullet in the back did not transit Kennedy then Specter’s theory is simply untenable: another bullet hit Governor John Connally and there was a second assassin. JFK Revisited refers to this testimony. But Max Boot doesn’t reveal it to the reader, probably because it would “shake the conclusion reached by all credible investigators that Oswald was the lone gunman.” Or, in plain English, it would show that Max is a poseur.

Another episode in the film that would “shake the conclusion reached by all credible investigators” is the fact that there were two plots to kill Kennedy prior to Dallas. They both occurred in November of 1963. One was in Chicago and one was in Tampa. As essayist Paul Bleau demonstrates in the film, both of these failed attempts had remarkable similarities to what finally succeeded in Dallas. For example, in Chicago the profile of the fall guy—Thomas Vallee—resembled Oswald.

And the FBI informant who helped thwart the Chicago plot was codenamed ‘Lee’. (James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, pp. 204–07)

In Tampa, the suspected patsy was Gilberto Lopez. As Oswald was the organizer of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) branch in New Orleans, and its only member, Lopez was a pro-Castro Cuban who attended meetings of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. He had been hospitalized that year for an epileptic condition. He was in Tampa on the day of Kennedy’s long motorcade route which went past the 23 floor Floridian Hotel. According to Secret Service expert Vince Palamara, the authorities had men on every floor of that hotel due to information about a threat on Kennedy’s life. Afterwards, Lopez went to Texas, and on the night of the assassination, he crossed the border at Nuevo Laredo into Mexico. With money loaned him by the FPCC, he was the only passenger on a Cubana airlines flight from Mexico City to Havana on November 27th. The Mexican authorities later wrote he was acting suspiciously and they had an informant who said he was involved in the Kennedy case. (Michael Benson, Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination, pp. 256–58; see also Daily Mail, September 3, 2019, article by Daniel Bates) On December 3rd, the CIA was alerted to run “urgent traces” on Lopez. Both the Church Committee and the House Select Committee on Assassinations found that, while the Warren Commission was in its most active stage, reports were “circulating that Lopez had been involved in the assassination.” (HSCA Final Report, pp. 118–21)

JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, is the first broadcast documentary to include these prior attempts. For whatever reason, both were covered up at the time. If that had not been the case, it is quite possible that the successful attempt in Dallas would not have occurred. The reason being that the similarities to the prior instances were obvious enough that Oswald would have been removed from the motorcade route. Somehow, Max Boot does not think this information merits public attention.

The film proves matters that Boot labels “lies.” It proves that CE 399, the Magic Bullet, was not fired in Dealey Plaza that day and would not have been accepted into a court of law. It does the latter through an instructor in criminal justice and also the illustrious criminalist Dr. Henry Lee. The film proves that James Humes, the lead autopsist, destroyed both the first draft of his report and, even worse, his autopsy notes. It also shows that Pierre Finck, another Kennedy pathologist, had his notes pilfered. The film illustrates, with blown up photos, points of evidentiary discrepancies not officially explored in the so-called backyard photographs of Oswald. In the forthcoming 4-hour version, the documentary will present the late CIA officer Tennent Bagley’s analysis of the routing of the CIA file on Oswald and his conclusion that he was a false defector.

For Max Boot to write that the information in the film was debunked by Gerald Posner in his book Case Closed is the height of MSM clownishness on the JFK case. That was not possible, since Posner’s book was published before the ARRB went to work. For Max to use the late Vincent Bugliosi to pose the question of why there were no extra bullets discovered is about as silly. In the long version of the film, to be released in America in February, we will show that there is evidence that an extra bullet was recovered that evening that made it into the morgue. (Click here for details)

Boot goes off the edge when he writes that the film uses an absence of evidence “as proof of a monumental coverup.” The film clearly demonstrates parts of the cover up that were concealed, but have been revealed by the ARRB. Another example being the hidden statement of Dorothy Garner, the supervisor to Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles at the Texas School Book Depository. As author Barry Ernest states in the film, she backed up what Adams and Styles officially stated: that they were on the stairs of that building about 15–30 seconds after the shots were fired. Therefore, in all probability, they would have seen or heard Oswald coming down those rickety wooden steps, if he had been on the sixth floor. They didn’t. The presentation of this evidence by Mr. Ernest is a major segment of the film. How Max missed it, or deemed it unimportant, is inexplicable.

Boot ends his column by saying that the film theorizes that Kennedy was a “peacenik” who was trying to end the Cold War. This is not a theory. The film shows with new evidence that JFK was planning to withdraw from Vietnam; his policy to keep the Congo free from imperialism after independence; and his attempts at rapprochement with both the USSR and Cuba in 1963. The film uses excerpts from Kennedy’s famous Peace Speech at American University in June of 1963, where he clearly called for outreach to Moscow. After his death, the last two policies were abandoned and the first two were dramatically reversed—with disastrous results. The upcoming 4-hour version of the film goes into this issue in more areas and at greater length. Boot tries to neutralize all this by using the speech Kennedy made it Fort Worth the morning of his assassination. I hate to tell Max, but if a president goes to a city that relies on defense spending for jobs, he makes a speech about defense spending, especially if his election is coming up the next year. Max ignores Kennedy’s planned speech in Dallas for that afternoon, where JFK was to speak against the John Birch Society, about leadership and learning, about the importance of foreign aid to developing nations, the pursuit of peace, and how military might is secondary to maintaining a just and righteous society.

It is predictable that Boot would cherry pick the speeches, since he was and is a neocon. He was a former member of the calamitous Project for the New American Century, which advocated for American intervention in Iraq as far back as the Clinton administration. He was also part of the mythologizing about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for that debacle. Boot championed intervention in Afghanistan and opposed withdrawal. He had no problem with Hillary Clinton’s unmitigated disaster in Libya. He also agreed with her advocacy of direct American intervention in Syria. As several have said, there has scarcely been a war that Max Boot did not like—no matter how bad the results were. And they do not get much worse than Iraq or Libya.

patrice lumumba raising arms 1960This helps show why Boot cannot be trusted with anything dealing with Kennedy. In 2018, in his hagiography of Ed Lansdale, he wrote that JFK had tried to topple Patrice Lumumba in Congo. (The Road not Taken, p. xxvii). As with Posner debunking the ARRB, this was not possible. How could it be? Lumumba, left, was assassinated before President Kennedy took office. One of the reasons the CIA took part in his murder was because they feared that Kennedy would back Lumumba once he was inaugurated. (John Morton Blum, Years of Discord, p. 23)

As the reader can see Max Boot is in no position to accuse anyone of telling lies about JFK.

Jan. 1

World Crisis Radio, Commentary: After asking for talks, Putin starts another round of rocket rattling in the style of former Soviet party boss N.S. Khrushchev, webster tarpley 2007Webster G. Tarpley, right, Jan. 1, 2021. Will Putin undergo a repeat of Khrushchev’s 1964 ouster on charges of ”harebrained scheming?”

Corporate media start paying attention to Trump’s glaring political weakness as January 6 committee closes in on the coup party, including 100 Congressmen and Senators; Will the Supremes serve the Constitution or the financier oligarchy?

Pearl Harbor as a case study in method: not every big event is a false flag! Paranoid vision of FDR, left, as mastermind of treason derives from franklin d rooseveltreactionary GOP and Roosevelt haters, and cannot withstand scrutiny; The relevance of 1940s context: Synarchist elements of French army refused to fight Hitler, while the Dowding air defense system defeated the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain; Hawaii commanders Kimmel and Short as defeatists who rejected reconnaissance and defense of Hawaii;

US post-1940 coalition government included anti-FDR Republicans Stimson and Knox; Key role of McCloy and Lovett, Stimson’s ”imps of Satan”; Rusbridger-Nave thesis: Churchill knew of looming attack by Yamamoto’s task force thanks to British codebreaking, but never informed FDR so as to guarantee US entry into World War II.


December

Dec. 31

 

James Wolf and Ali WatkinsYahoo News, Investigation: CBP launches review of secretive division that targeted journalists, lawmakers and other Americans, Jana Winter, Dec. 31, 2021. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is conducting a review of a secretive division that uses some of the country’s most sensitive databases to investigate the travel and financial records and personal connections of journalists, members of Congress and other Americans not suspected of any crime.

“A review is underway to ensure that the activities in question during the prior Administration remain an isolated incident and that proper safeguards are in place to prevent an incident like this from taking place in the future,” Luis Miranda, a spokesperson for CBP, told Yahoo News.

CBP’s internal probe was prompted by Yahoo News’ reporting earlier this month on Operation Whistle Pig, a leak investigation targeting reporter Ali Watkins and her then boyfriend, James Wolfe, a Senate staffer (shown above). The investigation was launched by Jeffrey Rambo, a border patrol agent assigned to CBP’s Counter Network Division who was looking at whether Wolfe provided classified information to Watkins and other reporters.

us dhs big eagle logo4As many as 20 national security reporters were also investigated during this time, according to an FBI counterintelligence memo included in the Department of Homeland Security inspector general report obtained by Yahoo News.

The DHS inspector general investigation was launched in response to an article in the Washington Post identifying Rambo as a border patrol agent who used a fake name to meet with Watkins, then a reporter for Politico. During the meeting, he questioned her about her sources and about her relationship with Wolfe, and also discussed leak investigations.

At the end of their two-year probe, investigators referred Rambo, his supervisor Dan White and a colleague Charles Ratliff for potential criminal charges including conspiracy and misuse of government computers. White was also referred for multiple potential counts of making false statements. Federal prosecutors declined prosecution, citing, among other reasons, the lack of policies and procedures governing their work.

Rambo told Yahoo News he was authorized every step of the way, and records included in the DHS investigative report show that his supervisor Dan White ordered him to expand his probe into journalists. White is still working at the Counter Network Division, and Rambo is currently employed as a border patrol agent in San Diego.

The Counter Network Division regularly investigated potential contacts, including journalists, as part of a process it referred to as “vetting.” As part of this process, the subject would be run through multiple databases, including a terrorism watch list.

The division regularly conducts database checks on reporters “to determine personal connections,” Rambo’s supervisor Dan White told investigators, according to the DHS investigation report obtained by Yahoo News.

Charles Ratliff, another CBP employee brought in to assist Operation Whistle Pig, used the vast resources and databases available to the division to build what investigators later described as a phone tree of contacts — mapping out connections between people to identify a hidden network. Such work, which was used to track terrorists, was also directed at Americans, including congressional members and staffers and journalists..

U.S. House logo“When Congressional “Staffers” schedule flights, the numbers they use get captured and analyzed by CBP,” Rambo’s supervisor, White, told investigators.

“White stated that Ratliff “does this all the time –inappropriate contacts between people.”

Ratliff regularly compiled reports on members of Congress with alleged ties to someone in the Terrorist Screening Database, according to the investigative report obtained by Yahoo News.

CBP marshaled those same resources to identify journalists' confidential sources, which was then passed to the FBI.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza was one of the journalists vetted by the Counter Network Division — targeted only because she’d reported on forced labor, one of the issues related to CBP’s work. Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington was also swept up in its dragnet.

“There is no specific guidance on how to vet someone,” Rambo later told investigators. “In terms of policy and procedure, to be 100 percent frank there, there’s no policy and procedure on vetting.”

The Counter Network Division also investigated NGOs, members of Congress and their respective staffs. Enough Project, a nonprofit named by CBP as one of those organizations investigated by Rambo’s team, told Yahoo News it was troubled by the revelations.

“If the Enough Project was in fact targeted for ‘extreme vetting’ by a United States government agency for our work to improve mineral supply chains originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo and investigate corruption that robs the Congolese people of their country’s natural resource wealth, it would be deeply troubling,” the organization said in a statement to Yahoo News. “Such invasive and arbitrary targeting of human rights defenders would be a violation of privacy, a hindrance to this important work, and a waste of public resources.”

A CBP official who asked not to be named told Yahoo News that the National Targeting Center has put in place new procedures and training designed to bennie thompson headshotensure that the First and Fourth amendments are not being violated. The official declined, however, to specify what those measures were.

Congressional oversight committees have also begun looking into the division’s activities.

carolyn maloney oRep. Benny Thompson, left, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee and Carolyn Maloney, right, chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to the DHS inspector general requesting the report.

“We write you regarding disturbing reports that the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Counter Network Division used government databases to “vet” journalists, government officials, congressional members and their staff, NGO workers, and others by obtaining travel records as well as financial and personal information,” they wrote in a Dec. 14 letter to the DHS inspector general.

“The Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigated at least one Counter Network Division employee, Mr. Jeffrey Rambo, who used government databases to gather information on an American journalist Ali Watkins,” Thompson and Maloney wrote the DHS, citing reporting by Yahoo News.

Chairs Thompson and Maloney requested a copy of the Office of the Inspector General report for its investigation into Rambo and any other reports related to conduct by the Counter Network Division by Dec. 21, 2021. The DHS inspector general has to date not provided the committees with the requested information, according to congressional sources.

Sen. Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has oversight over CBP, has also requested a copy of the inspector general report, but a spokesman for Wyden said he has still not received a copy.

The inspector general did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News about the congressional requests.

The DHS has declined to answer any questions posed by Yahoo News about Operation Whistle Pig and the activities of the Counter Network Division. However, in a statement, the department said that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas “is deeply committed to ensuring the protection of First Amendment rights and has promulgated policies that reflect this priority.”

“We do not condone the investigation of reporters in response to the exercise of First Amendment rights,” the statement continued. “CBP and every component agency and office in the Department will ensure their practices are consistent with our values and our highest standards.”

CounterPunch, Commentary: JFK Revisited: Oliver Stone and the New JFK Fact Pattern, Jefferson Morley, right, Dec. 31, 2021. When Oliver Stone first ambles jefferson morley newthrough Dealey Plaza in Dallas in the opening frames his new documentary JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, I couldn’t help but think the man is a soldier. Rumpled, restless, and searching, the 75-year old director looks around the scene of the murder of President John F. Kennedy with the gaze of a combatant and a survivor.

Stone is the dogged veteran of a culture war that has been going on for thirty years since the release of his 1991 Oscar-winning feature film, JFK, a struggle to define American history that ripples through the culture with every new development in the ever-evolving JFK story. He is also a Vietnam veteran who did a dangerous tour of combat duty, as depicted his 1987 film Platoon. The man risked his life for his country, I thought, a sacrifice that few of his harshest critics have ever made.

oliver stone jfk revisited posterWhen I shared that thought with Stone in a telephone interview, he demurred. “Serving as a soldier doesn’t give me any better political insights than someone who did not,” he insisted, with the modesty that has recurred in our occasional conversations over the years. As film critic Ann Hornaday observed in a recent Washington Post piece that was actually fair to the Oscar-winning director. “To spend time with Oliver Stone is to enter a different kind of looking glass,” Hornaday wrote, “A man often caricatured as wild-eyed provocateur is thoughtful, easygoing and generous even at his most contrarian.”

Knowing Stone personally, I can say the canard that he is a fabulist or a fanatic is unfounded and unfair. In person, he is thoughtful, playfully aggressive, and occasionally insecure. The word “encyclopedic” does not do justice to his knowledge of American history or the cinema or politics. His anti-imperialist digressions offend conservatives who believe in the civilizing mission of American empire. His conspiratorial take on JFK’s assassination bothers liberal intellectuals still huddled in that last redoubt of American exceptionalism, the Warren Commission report, which assured a doubting public that it couldn’t happen here. He has made at least four terrific movies (JFK, Nixon, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July), and many more good ones than duds. Viewed with any detachment, he is an accomplished if heretical interpreter of the world, an iconoclastic moralist who distills his search for truth in celluloid.

Reviewing the Record

Stone and his writing partner James DiEugenio perform a basic task of journalism and history in their new documentary JFK Revisited, a task curiously ignored by our newspapers of record and academic historians. In the two-hour film, available on Showtime, the Oscar-winning director revisits a significant historical event—the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963–in light of substantial new evidence. You wouldn’t know it from the predictable media abuse, but his method is time-tested and honorable.

The Washington Post performed this function in June 2007 when the CIA declassified “the Family Jewels,” a file of allegations of CIA misconduct collected in 1973 amidst the Watergate scandal. Under court order, the Agency finally coughed up the 600-plus pages of material 33 years later. I was the World News editor at Washingtonpost.com at the time and role player in the journalistic full-court press that followed.

Bob Woodward took the lead while other senior reporters sifted the papers for new information about the Watergate scandal. We looked for what was new and what it meant for historical understanding of the Watergate affair. At the Post web site, we strove to put the new information in context so readers could make sense of a major event in Washington memory. The in-depth coverage was capped by Woodward’s incisive take on what was truly newsworthy: CIA director Richard Helms emerged from the new files as “the perfect Watergate enabler.” This was proficient journalism as the first draft of history.

Stone’s granular documentary, narrated by actors Whoopi Goldberg and Donald Sutherland, seeks to do the same for JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963: make sense of the newest information. A huge body of new information has come into the record since Stone made his movie. The commercial and critical success of JFK shamed Congress into releasing millions of pages of long-secret government files related to Kennedy’s assassination. Since passage of the 1992 JFK Records Act, federal agencies have made public more than 319,000 once-secret government records, amounting to a new historical record of JFK’s assassination, that is much more comprehensive and detailed than the record available to Stone in 1991.

What to make of this new information?

Stone and DiEugenio interviewed scores of witnesses and experts, me included. They asked us the same basic question about the JFK story that the Post asked about the Family Jewels: what do we know today that we didn’t know yesterday?

Leave aside the conclusions of JFK Revisited for a moment, and note its curious lack of their competition. The Washington Post has never comprehensively reviewed the new historical record of JFK’s assassination that has emerged since the 1990s. Nor has the New York Times, despite voluminous new evidence and a steady stream of newsworthy disclosures.

Since the 1990s, we have learned, among other things, about Operation Northwoods, a top-secret Pentagon plan—a policy conspiracy, if you will– to provoke a war with Cuba in 1963 via violent deceptive operations on U.S. soil. We have learned the surprising extent of the CIA’s pre-assassination surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. We have learned about Agency propaganda operations involving Oswald before and after Kennedy was killed. We have learned about possible tampering with the photographic record of Kennedy’s autopsy, and we have learned about the CIA’s obstruction of Congress’s JFK investigation in the late 1970s.

On December 15, came yet another revelation. Under an October 22 order from President Biden, the CIA released 953 documents in their entirety for the first time, including two cables about Oswald written six weeks before Kennedy was killed. For the first time in 58 years, these two messages were completely declassified.

The last detail to become public was the identity of the CIA contract employee who initiated a request for more information about Oswald, an itinerant ex-Marine who contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. The information was no smoking gun but the delay in disclosure was significant and revealing. Why didn’t the CIA release this trivial information long ago?

As I told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily, the most likely explanation is that everything about the Oswald cables of October 1963 was extraordinarily sensitive. The CIA lied about their existence on November 22, 1963, telling the FBI they knew little about the accused assassin. We now know one of the Oswald cables was drafted by six top CIA officials. The authors included the assistant deputy director of the clandestine service, the counterintelligence liaison to the FBI, and the chief of operations in Agency’s Western Hemisphere division.

If the document made public in December 2021 had been disclosed in December 1963, the Warren Commission’s investigation would have been much different. The CIA would have been investigated for incompetence or worse.

Here’s what these covert operators knew about the accused assassin while President Kennedy was still alive. They knew that Oswald, a former Marine Corps radar operator, had defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959; that he offered to share military secrets with the enemy; that he returned with a Russian wife in June 1962; that he went public with his support for Fidel Castro in the summer of 1963; that he had been arrested for fighting with CIA-funded Cubans; and that he made contact with Valeriy Kostikov, a Soviet intelligence officer, in Mexico City in October 1963.

With all this information in mind, the CIA sent a reassuring cable—now available to the public in its entirety for the first time—telling its Mexico City office that Oswald’s two and half year stay in the Soviet Union had had a “maturing effect” on him. Forty-three days later, Kennedy was dead and Oswald was under arrest for the crime.

The next day Oswald denied he killed Kennedy (a fact that goes unmentioned in every critical review of JFK Revisited that I have read.) Oswald was then killed in police custody by Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner with organized crime connections that the Warren Commission failed to investigate. At the same time, the CIA was already hiding documents related to JFK’s assassination from outside view, a practice that continues to this day, six decades later.

The New Fact Pattern

When one looks at the historical record of Kennedy’s assassination as a whole and with fresh eyes, there emerges a new fact pattern and new questions.

Responsible citizens and curious young people—not crazed conspiracy theorists–want to know: Were these senior operations officers wholly inept when it came to detecting the threat that Oswald posed to President Kennedy?

Defenders of the official theory of a lone gunman shrug off the question. These officials, they say, had no indication that Oswald posed a threat to the president. With no reason to take action, they simply overlooked him.

The problem with this reasonable-sounding proposition is that there is no corroboration for it. That is to say, there is no CIA document–no Inspector General’s report, for example–accounting for the actions of the authors of the Oswald cables, sent on October 10, 1963. The Warren Commission offered no explanation because they were not shown the cable. In the last 58 years, the Agency has never explained these officials’ failure to take action after Oswald was overheard making contact with a known KGB officer.

What we do know is that the CIA dissembled. When the Warren Commission asked about Oswald in May 1964, deputy director Richard Helms–the future Watergate enabler–testified that the Agency had only “minimal” information about him before Kennedy was killed. That statement, we now know, was false.

The Agency’s information was more like maximal. By the time President Kennedy left Washington for a political trip to Texas on November 21, 1963 the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff had a file containing 42 documents detailing Oswald’s whereabouts, politics, personal life, and foreign contacts. The Agency had even intercepted and read his mail, according to a document declassified in 2000. The story of the supposed lone gunman, as told in the Warren Commission report, implied the CIA knew little about him, which simply wasn’t true..

In fact, the men and women of the CIA monitored Oswald’s movements for four years before Kennedy was killed. Indeed, they followed him all the way to Dallas. As I reported in the Daily Beast in 2017, a declassified routing slip shows that CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton received an FBI report that Oswald was living in Texas on November 15, one week before Kennedy was killed.

Was the CIA hiding embarrassment about its failure to detect the threat Oswald posed? Or was someone in the Agency concealing a covert operation involving Oswald. I pointed out in a paywalled November 22 piece for the Miami Herald that among the secret JFK records still held by the Agency are administrative files on five undercover officers who known to have monitored Oswald’s activities and movements before JFK was killed. [1]*

Of course, reasonable people can differ on the meaning of such revelations, which is why you would think newspapers of record would summarize and analyze the new JFK evidence and, if they could, ratify the official theory of a lone gunman. You would think wrong. The editors of the Post and the Times have studiously avoided any comprehensive review of the JFK files released since the 1990s, preferring to repeat the mantra “there’s no smoking gun” and to assail Stone, the man responsible for putting millions of pages of JFK files into the public record.

What accounts for this curious lack of curiosity? I think it’s because the new evidence tends to undermine, not affirm, the notion of a lone gunman but I may be biased.

Self-interest is surely a factor. It is easy for the Washington Post to revisit Watergate (and for the New York Times to revisit the Pentagon Papers) because those stories reflect well on their institutions. By contrast, neither the Post nor the Times has distinguished itself on the JFK assassination story. What has been learned in the last 20 years was not uncovered by any news organization but by a civilian panel, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), which was created by the 1992 JFK Records Act – which Congress approved because of the popularity of Stone’s movie.

nara logoCultural conformity also shapes the narratives adopted by cohesive elite organizations like the Post and Times. To delve into the work of the ARRB is to implicitly credit Stone with serving the public interest. Without the crusading director, the government’s documentation of the JFK assassination story would have stayed where the CIA wanted it: in Langley’s vaults beyond the view of the American people. Given a choice between the CIA and Oliver Stone, ambitious Washington journalists do not hesitate. They know the safest path to promotion is to avoid the new information found by the ARRB, to express no opinion on the JFK story, or to endorse the infirm theory of a lone gunman.

In October, for example, the Post published an online quiz about conspiracy theories, created by data analyst Dylan Byler and data visualizer Wan Yu. The authors asserted “the evidence is clear” that Kennedy was killed one man alone for no reason. None of their editors had the nerve to tell the data reporters that their claim is empirically and incontrovertibly false.

Post editors who have followed JFK developments over the last 20 years (and there are some) know beyond a reasonable doubt that the evidence supporting the official theory is not clear. Many well-informed and astute power players, including Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jackie Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Charles DeGaulle, Joseph Califano and John Kerry, concluded that the Warren Commission was wrong. They all said, privately or publicly, that Kennedy was killed by his enemies, not by one man alone. To the Post’s credit, the editors did categorize Byler and Wu’s display of historical ignorance as “opinion.”

The Documentary

While the Post and Times avert their eyes from the new historical record, Stone and DiEugenio have done the journalistic chore of reporting on it. Not surprisingly, they believe the new records support the interpretation that Stone offered 30 years ago in JFK: Kennedy was killed by enemies in his own government who opposed his liberal policies on Cuba and Vietnam and who had the ability to lay the blame on Oswald.

To make his case Stone drills down on key evidentiary issues in interviews with subject area experts illustrated with new records. He examines the story of the so-called “magic bullet,” producing new evidence that the Warren Commission’s claim that one bullet caused seven wounds in Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally is factually unsupportable.

He brings forward the long-ignored testimony of three women indicating that Oswald was almost certainly not on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository at the time he supposedly fired at the presidential motorcade. He highlights the sworn testimony of photo technician Saundra Spencer who testified she developed photographs of Kennedy’s head wound showing that he had been hit by a shot from the front, photos not found in the official record of JFK’s autopsy.

He reviews the declassified documentation of Kennedy’s approach to Vietnam showing how U.S. policy changed drastically after Kennedy’s removal from the presidency.

Rather than examine whether JFK Revisited proves its claims in each of these areas, Stone’s critics savage him with an oddly tangential attack on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, whose scattershot prosecution of a JFK conspiracy in 1969 ended in acquittal of businessman Clay Shaw, the only man he charged.

A Straw Man

In a sustained attack on Stone in the Washington Post, professor Alecia Long argued that Garrison’s investigation was motivated by homophobia. Shaw was a closeted gay man and Garrison used his private life to smear him, she contends in a new book [Cruising for Conspirators, shown at left with the author]. Long’s unsubtle implication is that anyone who believes Kennedy was killed by his enemies is an ignorant bigot prone to QAnon-type fantasies.

alecia long and cruising coverIf Long thinks that Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Charles De Gaulle and Fidel Castro were deluded fabulists driven by homophobia, her argument is unconvincing, if not totally wrong.

The truth that Long and other critics are loathe to acknowledge is that plenty of serious political observers rejected the Warren Commission’s conclusion, not because they were ignorant or misinformed or hateful but because they knew more than the investigators and the general public.

When Lyndon Johnson told aide Marvin Watson in April 1967 that he thought the CIA had something do with Kennedy’s assassination, was he influenced by Garrison’s homophobia? No. He was speaking from long experience as a power broker at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

When Fidel Castro warned of “a Machiavellian plot” to blame Cuba for the crime of Dallas, was he a deluded fool animated by prejudice? No. He was a canny tactician who knew all about CIA assassination plots because his security forces had dismantled hundreds of them.

Long, a professor of history at Louisiana State University, acknowledges that the CIA was “undeniably guilty of dissemblance, if not outright deceit, but no documents have been released that indicate intelligence agency participation in the assassination.”

She seems mercifully unaware of the declassified documentation of the CIA’s surveillance and manipulation of Oswald, as well as the organizing principle of covert operations, which is to make sure they stay secret from conception to eternity–even from people inside the CIA. Her innocence gives her unwarranted confidence in the Agency’s veracity.

Rather than consider the new fact pattern found in the historical record, Long pledges allegiance to the theory of a lone gunman, which, let us remember, was duly endorsed by the racist Kennedy-hater J. Edgar Hoover and Richard Helms, the only CIA director ever convicted of a crime, If you don’t believe Hoover and Helms on JFK’s assassination, Professor Long argues, you’re a fool.

I submit she’s got it exactly backwards.

A KGB Plot?

On Rolling Stone’s web site, former New York Times reporter Tim Weiner recycled the contrived claim that Stone’s movie was the product of, drumroll please, a KGB disinformation plot. Weiner’s piece in does not mention the Assassination Records Review Board, or any information that has emerged since the late 1990s. The omission is striking.

Rather than report on new evidence, Weiner retails what he calls “the origin story” of Stone’s movie. This is a yarn first spun by Max Holland, a pro-CIA writer whose theory about the gunfire that killed Kennedy has been repudiated by defenders of the Warren Commission. Following Holland’s dubious lead, Weiner argues that an article published in an Italian newspaper in March 1967 speculating about a CIA conspiracy to kill Kennedy was planted by the KGB and read by Garrison. On that one article, Garrison supposedly built his conspiracy case. Because Stone portrayed Garrison heroically in his movie, the argument goes, the director got his “loony” interpretation of November 22 from a hostile intelligence agency.

It’s an ungainly contraption of an argument. As DiEugenio has pointed out in a heated post on his Kennedys and King blog, the Italian article was published after Garrison launched his investigation

But the most distinctive feature of Weiner’s critique, like Long’s, is its irrelevance. Whatever one thinks of Garrison’s failed prosecution in 1969 and Stone’s award-winning film in 1991, those events do not and cannot change the facts of what happened on November 22, 1963.

Was Garrison a ruthless homophobe? Was Stone the dupe of wily communists? A more pertinent question would be, what do such loaded questions tell us about the causes of Kennedy’s assassination? About Oswald’s guilt or innocence? They tell us absolutely nothing. Stone’s critics are more adept at constructing straw men than facing the facts.

Yes, JFK the movie influenced public thinking, but Oliver Stone didn’t make Americans believe in a conspiracy. Two statistically valid polls done by the National Opinion Research Center in late November 1963 found more than 60 percent of people in Dallas and nationwide believed more than one person was involved in Kennedy’s assassination. At the time, Stone was attending boarding school in Pennsylvania.

Despite the insinuations of Stone’s critics, suspicions of conspiracy did not originate in Hollywood or the fantasies of theorists but in the circumstances of the crime in Dallas, and the CIA’s consistent record of denial, deception, and delay ever since.

My Interview With Oliver

As Stone’s findings about the CIA’s role in the events of 1963, JFK Revisited is based, in part, on interviews with me and historian John Newman. Newman is a historian and former Army Intelligence officer who pioneered research on the CIA and FBI files. He has written four books on JFK’s policies in Vietnam and Cuba. I have written three biographies of top CIA officials involved in the events of 1963. In attacks on Stone, I looked for attacks on our work and was relieved to find none.

Stone interviewed Newman about what the new files show about Kennedy’s intentions in Vietnam. He asked me about the CIA’s pre-assassination file on Oswald and what it tells about covert operations involving the accused assassin.

Newman and I cited documents and interviews to support our view that top Agency officers had a keen interest in Oswald held on a need-to-know basis six weeks before Kennedy was killed.

We described the new evidence that has come to light in the last 20 years. Newman explained how the FBI removed Oswald’s name from a security watchlist after he contacted the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City. I talked about how a covert political action program, code named AMSPELL, generated propaganda about Oswald before and after Kennedy was killed. I detailed how George Joannides, a Miami-based covert action specialist CIA ran that operation in 1963 and obstructed Congress’s JFK investigation in 1978.

We don’t claim any one these facts is “smoking gun” proof of a conspiracy. But they are facts, facts that most readers of the Washington Post, the New York Times and Rolling Stone do not know. If Newman and I are wrong on the facts–or mistaken in our analysis–some expert refutation would seem to be in order.

Radio silence. Weiner, author of a good history of the CIA, did not contest anything we said. He didn’t dispute our factual claims. He didn’t question our documentation. He didn’t interview scholars who could refute us, support us, or comment knowledgably. Like Professor Long, he changed the subject.

In the end, Stone’s critics argue anachronistically. They deploy identity politics and Cold War propaganda to impugn a phantom of their own imagination and spare themselves the trouble of asking most basic journalistic question about the new JFK files: What do we know today, that we didn’t know yesterday?

A Dissenting Note

While I’m satisfied with my contribution to JFK Revisited, I must dissent from one of Stone’s claims. About halfway through the film, he says “Conspiracy theories have become conspiracy facts.” Stone is an intellectual pugilist and this is the journalistic equivalent of leading with your jaw, which heavyweight boxers are prone to do. With a great deal of respect, I disagree.

Conspiracy is a legal concept that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a specific individual is guilty in a court of law. In the case of the murdered president, I see no such proof. But that does not mean the official theory of a lone gunman is true. That’s the type of non sequitur offered by O.J. Simpson who, after his acquittal of double murder said, in effect, “I wasn’t convicted in a court of law, therefore I’m innocent.” Of course, when Simpson faced a civil suit in which the legal standard was not “beyond a reasonable doubt” but “the preponderance of evidence,” he was swiftly found culpable.

After 30 years of reporting on the CIA’s role in the JFK story, I am not persuaded by the Agency’s O.J. Simpson defense. I see no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that any one CIA employee was guilty of plotting to kill Kennedy. But that does not mean CIA officers were innocent of malfeasance in the wrongful death of the president. To the contrary, I think, like LBJ and Castro, that the preponderance of evidence shows Kennedy was killed by enemies in his own government. These enemies cannot yet be identified because of the bizarre and suspicious secrecy that still surrounds the JFK files 58 years after the fact.

The State of the Case

Rest assured, I didn’t come by my views via the KGB or QAnon or even Oliver Stone. My thinking has been most influenced recently by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a retired CIA officer who teaches, ironically enough, at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. His espionage credentials are impressive. He playing a leading role in the counterintelligence investigation that snared Soviet spy Aldrich Ames. He ran operations deep in the sphere of Russian influence. As his memoir, State of Mind: Faith and CIA demonstrates, he is a creative thinker with a penetrating mind.

In a compelling presentation to JFK researchers in Dallas in November 2019, Mowatt-Larssen made a cogent case that the gunfire in Dealey Plaza was the product of a tightly compartmentalized operation, mounted by Kennedy’s enemies in the ranks of the CIA that was probably known to only four or five people. Mowatt-Larssen’ interpretation strikes me as more convincing than the large conspiracy that Stone evokes in JFK the movie and implies in JFK Revisited.

While I cannot identify the leaders in such a conspiracy, if there was one, I can identify one participant, the late George Joannides. He was the Miami-based undercover officer whose agents generated propaganda about Oswald and Castro before and after JFK was killed. Fifteen years later, he was called out of retirement to stonewall the House Select Committee on Assassination, a performance that won him a CIA medal.

His story was partially uncovered by my 16 year-long Freedom of Information lawsuit for Joannides’s files, as covered by the Associated Press and USA Today. But key documents remain out of public view, thanks to a split appellate court decision by Judge Brett Kavanaugh. In his last ruling before ascending to the Supreme Court in July 2018, Kavanaugh ruled that the CIA deserved “deference upon deference” when it came to JFK records. In their refusal to confront the new historical record of Kennedy’s assassination, our newspapers of records and Stone’s critics, display a Kavanaughian deference at the expense of their own credibility.

To be sure, there is no evidence that Joannides (who died in 1991) was witting to a plot to kill Kennedy. There is abundant evidence that he was an accessory after the fact. Joannides did not conspire to kill the president. He blocked the investigation of those who probably did.

I say “probably” because we don’t have all the evidence. The CIA continues to withhold 44 documents about Joannides’s secret operations, including an unexplained high-level security clearance in the summer of 1963 and a missing performance evaluation from September 1978 when he was stonewalling congressional investigators.

The withholding of these ancient documents is not smoking gun proof of conspiracy but it is solid evidence that the CIA still has something significant to hide about JFK’s assassination. If and when Joannides’s personnel file and thousands of other still-secret CIA records become public, the question of a large vs small conspiracy–or no conspiracy at all–will be clarified. We won’t see those files until December 15, 2022 at the earliest.

Until then, I can say Oliver Stone represented my views fairly and accurately, and none of his critics have disputed the analysis I shared with him and his audience. So, while there is much to be learned about the role of certain senior CIA officers in monitoring and manipulating Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963, JFK Revisited stands out as a journalistic service that the Washington Post and the New York Times have so far shirked.

Notes.

1. * Note to fact checkers: I’m referring to CIA files of Birch O’Neal, Angleton’s aide who opened the Agency’s first file on Oswald in 1959; J. Walton Moore, the CIA’s man in Dallas who knew Oswald had returned to Texas in June 1962; Ann Goodpasture, Angleton’s protégé who ran the surveillance operations that picked up on Oswald’s conversations with Cuban and Russian officials; David Phillips, chief of Cuba operations in Mexico City who had trouble keeping his Oswald stories straight; and George Joannides, who obstructed Congress’s JFK investigation in 1978. Their still-redacted files are searchable at the Web site of the Mary Ferrell Foundation. ↑

jefferson morley newJefferson Morley is the author of the forthcoming Scorpions’ Dance; The President, the Spymaster and Watergate, to be published by St. Martin’s Press in June 2022.

Dec. 30

 

ghislaine maxwell jeffrey epstein porchSex trafficking defendant Ghislaine Maxwell, right, in an undated photo with her onetime lover and boss Jeffrey Epstein (Photo submitted to jury by U.S. Department of Justice).

vicky ward investigates

Vicky Ward Investigates, Maxwell Unfiltered: The Full Transcript from My 2002 Interview with Ghislaine Maxwell, Vicky Ward, Dec. 30, 2021. Vicky Ward, shown above, is a journalist working at the intersection of power, money and corruption. She has been a New York Times bestselling author, is working on her fourth book and is host and reporter of "Chasing Ghislaine" streaming on Audible / Discovery.

So, it’s over. This chapter of the Jeffrey Epstein saga, at least. Ghislaine Maxwell has been convicted on five counts out of six charges that constitute hideous sex crimes against children. She was reportedly emotionless as she heard the verdict. The mystery is what is going on inside her head.

We never got to hear from Maxwell herself this whole trial. Her defense’s strategy was to undermine the credibility of the accusers, not to explain her narrative.

So I went back and looked over the transcript of my 2002 interview with Maxwell about Maria and Annie Farmer, the latter who so bravely testified a couple of weeks ago. It was the one and only conversation I had with her on the topic of Annie and Maria Farmer.

It’s very revealing because it tells us—in her own words—who Maxwell really is and what she values. (It also shows that she lied to me about not giving Annie Farmer a massage.)

Here, for the first time, is our conversation, which was transcribed from micro-cassettes by a professional transcription service. The only redaction is the name of an employee who worked at Zorro Ranch, Epstein’s home in New Mexico.

WARD: Hi.

MAXWELL: Hi. Listen, I just got faxed something from the fact checker at Vanity Fair...the implication of which is so outrageous and disgusting to me that I cannot understand for the life of me why you would put something like that in it and not even [Overlap/Inaudible]

....

MAXWELL: Okay. Terrific. Bye.

WARD: Okay. Bye.

So, there you have it—in full, just as Maxwell insisted.

Her false denials condemn her almost as much as the credible testimony of Annie Farmer, which I believed then as now and which was entitled to be told, and all the others.

After my call with Maxwell, I submitted the story to my bosses at Vanity Fair—with the Farmers' description of events and a general denial from Epstein and Maxwell included. I did my journalistic duty: telling both sides of this ugly story. As I was taught from Day 1, journalism lets the readers to decide.

But Vanity Fair had other plans.

There was no subsequent conversation between Maxwell and myself because, shortly after my interview with the Farmer sisters and the follow-up with Maxwell, Epstein paid a visit to Graydon Carter at the Vanity Fair offices, and the Farmers’ allegations were cut from my article and a subsequent blog—to my eternal regret. I have felt deeply for the Farmers ever since. (Carter has said I didn’t have sufficient reporting. I disagree.)

But what this conversation shows is Maxwell’s entitlement—and her belief that money trumps all. It was “crazy” that I could believe strangers over her and report the on-record allegations. It was also outrageous to think she would have time to give people massages. And how lucky these two girls were to benefit from Epstein’s generosity.

Right there, in this conversation is everything you need to know. This is the narrative that was missing from the courtroom these past weeks, but it does validate the jury’s verdict.

“Use your common sense,” AUSA Maurene Comey had told the jury during her closing arguments.

Apparently, they did.

Vicky Ward's documentary series “Chasing Ghislaine” (based on her Audible podcast of the same name) started streaming on discovery+ on November 22nd and has been be available on DiscoveryID since Dec. 3. She has been a senior reporter at CNN, the editor at large of HuffPost and HuffPost’s long-form magazine, Highline, as well as at Town & Country magazine. I was also a contributor to Esquire, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair for eleven years, and a columnist for the London Evening Standard. In June 2020, she joined the Council on Foreign Relations. Her most recent book — Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (St. Martin’s Press, 2019) — was an instant New York Times bestseller.

Dec. 29

 

ghislaine maxwell jeffrey epstein smiling young trial

Sex trafficking defendant Ghislaine Maxwell, left, in an undated photo with her onetime lover and boss Jeffrey Epstein (Photo submitted to jury by U.S. Department of Justice).

ny times logoNew York Times, Live Updates: Ghislaine Maxwell Found Guilty of All But One Charge in Sex Trafficking Case, Benjamin Weiser and Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Dec. 29, 2021. After deliberating for several days, jurors delivered their decision Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Manhattan.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of a British media mogul and the former companion to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted on Wednesday of conspiring with him over a decade to recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage girls.

A federal jury in Manhattan found Ms. Maxwell, 60, guilty of sex trafficking and the four other charges against her. She was acquitted of one count of enticing a minor to travel across state lines to engage in an illegal sexual act.

As the verdict was read, Ms. Maxwell -- seated next to one of her lawyers, Jeffrey Pagliuca -- appeared to look straight ahead, without moving. Once it was done, she leaned in, poured some water from a bottle into a paper cup, and drank it.

The jury acquitted Maxwell of one count -- No. 2 -- which charged her with enticing a minor to travel with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity. This count also related to the accuser referred to in court only as Jane, the first of four accusers who testified for the government.

The three other counts for which Maxwell was found guilty were all conspiracy counts, which carry a potential maximum sentence of 5 years each.

Another of the counts on which Maxwell was convicted, No. 4 -- transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity -- carries a potential maximum of 10 years in prison. This count applied to an accuser known only as Jane.

Of the five counts of which Maxwell was convicted, Count six is the most serious, carrying a potential maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Count 6, the most serious, charged sex trafficking of a minor, in this case of Carolyn, who testified using only her first name. The judge has just adjourned court for the day. No sentencing date has been set yet.

Dec. 27

CovertAction Magazine, Investigative Commentary: Sex Crimes of the CIA — Unreported, Unrepented, and Unpunished, John Kiriakou, right, Dec. 27, 2021. The john kiriakouCIA rivals the Vatican in covering up sex crimes against children and then protecting the members of its organization who commit them.

Buzzfeed reported early this month that, in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the CIA revealed that 10 employees and a contractor had committed sex crimes against children—but only one was ever charged with a crime.

Considering how well the CIA knows how to cover up what it does not want to be known, we may reasonably speculate that those crimes represent only the tip of an iceberg—and I say this as someone who served 15 years in the CIA.

The evidence that the CIA released to Buzzfeed in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit shows that the 10 employees and one contractor committed crimes including child rape, the purchase of violent child pornography, and viewing as many as 1,400 photos of nude children on a CIA CIA Logocomputer while overseas on a work assignment.

The contractor had arranged to have sex with an undercover FBI agent who he thought was a child. The only CIA officer prosecuted for child sex crimes had also mishandled classified information. Four of the other accused employees and the contractor were fired, four were “disciplined administratively,” and the status of one is unknown.

Let’s be clear about these crimes.

These were not “he said, she said” allegations. They were serious sex crimes against children.

The Buzzfeed information, which includes both internal CIA documents and a declassified Inspector General’s report, say that besides the contractor, CIA officers admitted to, “using a government laptop to view photographs and videos of girls as young as 10 being abused by an older guy;” having sexual contact with two girls, ages two and six, and downloading illicit photos of other children; downloading 63 videos of sex between adults and children between the ages of 8 and 16; and distributing lewd photos and videos of children to other pedophiles.

One CIA officer told investigators that he “did not know it was a violation of Agency policy to access child pornography.” He was not prosecuted.

For its part, the Justice Department elected to do practically nothing, notwithstanding a statement to Buzzfeed that, “The occupation or employer of the Justice Department log circularsuspect does not factor into that evaluation” (of whether or not to prosecute.) “While we cannot comment on the reasons why specific cases were declined, we do take very seriously any allegation that our prosecutors declined a potential case based on an improper assessment of the relevant factors.”

That’s nonsense. The truth is that the Justice Department was afraid of graymail. That’s the threat of a CIA officer on trial “accidentally” saying something classified or something that compromises sources and methods. It’s not worth the risk to the CIA to prosecute most cases. And the bottom line is that the CIA doesn’t care one whit about the children.

I spent 15 years at the CIA. It is a highly-sexualized environment full of type A personalities, sociopaths, and psychopaths. We had an old joke that, when you went into a meeting, you should never touch the conference room table because you didn’t know who was having sex on it the night before.

There was one incident in a war zone overseas while I was there where CIA officers were passing around to each other a sexually-transmitted disease unique to the CIA. A CIA doctor had to fly to the country to tell them to stop and to remind them to practice safe sex.

Further afield, it was a common occurrence for CIA case officers developing foreign officials for recruitment to offer them trips to southeast Asia, where both could partake of prostitutes and indulge in whatever sexual fantasies they had.

I note in my first book, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror, that one of my senior bosses, with whom I had had a dispute, tried to lighten the mood by telling me to take some money out of petty cash to pay for oral sex. I declined, angrily.

Case officers get promoted for recruitments and for the development of classified information. They don’t care about human trafficking. They don’t care about prostitution. And as it turns out, they don’t even care about abused children.

It’s accurate to say that I was “shocked but not surprised” when I read the Buzzfeed allegations.

All Americans should be sickened by them. I know that I sound like a broken record when I ask, “Where is the Congressional oversight?”

Why aren’t there hearings or investigations about child sex crimes at the CIA? Why aren’t the House and Senate Judiciary Committees investigating why the U.S. Attorneys refuse to take up the cases? Why are children not being protected?

It’s easy enough to say that we get the government we deserve. But somebody has to stand up for children. The CIA won’t do it. The Justice Department apparently won’t. Now that the cat is out of the bag, where do we go next?

John Kiriakou, right, was a CIA analyst and case officer from 1990 to 2004. In December 2007, John was the first U.S. government official to confirm that john kiriakouwaterboarding was used to interrogate al-Qaeda prisoners, a practice he described as torture. Kiriakou was a former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a former counter-terrorism consultant. While employed with the CIA, he was involved in critical counter-terrorism missions following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but refused to be trained in so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” nor did he ever authorize or engage in such crimes.

After leaving the CIA, Kiriakou appeared on ABC News in an interview with Brian Ross, during which he became the first former CIA officer to confirm the existence of the CIA’s torture program. Kiriakou’s interview revealed that this practice was not just the result of a few rogue agents, but was official U.S. policy approved at the highest levels of the government.

Kiriakou is the sole CIA agent to go to jail in connection with the U.S. torture program, despite the fact that he never tortured anyone. Rather, he blew the whistle on this horrific wrongdoing.

Dec. 26

alex jones screen shot 2020 05 01 at 12.02.06 pm

Proof, Investigation: The Coming Collapse of Donald Trump’s January 6 Conspiracy, Part 1: Alex Jones, Seth Abramson, left, Dec. 27, 2021. This shocking new seth abramson graphicPROOF series details mounting evidence that Trump's seditious January 6 conspiracy is at the point of collapse because of the cowardice, fear, and perfidy of his co-conspirators. Note: This is Part 1 of an ongoing series in the January 6 section at Proof. Part 2 is due soon.

Introduction: One difficulty journalists face in writing about Alex Jones (shown above in a screenshot) is that the man produces so much content daily that sifting through it all is nearly impossible. Those who do are richly rewarded, however; on Jones’s nightly Infowars program (The Alex Jones Show) and in other venues, seth abramson proof logothe infamous far-right conspiracy theorist and self-described “performance artist” has made so many controversial and even self-incriminating statements that one could craft an endless breaking news cycle just by finding obscure video and audio of Jones in which he discusses the January 6th insurrection and his role in it.

Proof has already reported on some of the most shocking statements Jones has made about the attack on the U.S. Capitol, including interviews he has conducted with his Stop the Steal “movement” co-conspirators, domestic terrorist Ali Alexander and longtime Trump friend and political adviser Roger Stone. You can find a few of these reports (in chronological order) here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

A less commonly discussed component of Jones’s carefully constructed public persona is the incredibly delicate state of his relationship with the man who he agreed to lead the march on the Capitol for: Donald Trump. Jones has never been a particularly loyal Trumpist, which makes him a potential weak spot in Trump’s January 6 conspiracy and the ongoing effort to steal the 2024 presidential election linked to that conspiracy.

On November 22, 2021, Congress’s House January 6 Committee (hereafter “HJ6C”) subpoenaed Jones. The subpoena launched a raft of speculation about whether Jones would cooperate with Congress in order to save his own skin—and precisely how far he would be willing to go, and how much damage he would be willing to do to Trump, in an attempt to do so.

Alex Jones and Donald Trump: A Troubled History

The relationship between Jones and Trump has always been an uneasy one, but it’s been especially bad since the attack on the Capitol on January 6. On March 3, 2021, leaked video of a Jones tirade about Trump in 2019—which Jones did not appear to realize was being recorded—was published by a number of media outlets. In the video, Jones says the following of his nominal ally (emphasis supplied):

It’s the truth, and I’m just going to say it—that I wish I never would have fucking met Trump. I wish it never would’ve happened. And it’s not the attacks I’ve been through. I’m so sick of fucking Donald Trump. God, I’m fucking sick of him. And I’ve not doing this [carrying water for him] because, like, I’m kissing his fucking ass, you know. It’s, like, I’m sick of it.

In a longer version of the video, according to Caolan Robertson, who leaked it to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Jones derides his audience for being willing to “buy anything” and boasts about earning tens of millions of dollars—not just millions—via his far-right, often pro-Trump rhetoric.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

Dec. 25

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: Christmas 2021 in the shadow of fascist coup, dictatorship, and civil war, Webster G. Tarpley, right, Dec. 25, 2021. Garland is webster tarpley 2007massively derelict in his duty to defend the US Constitution; AG’s soft on fascism policy cannot enable the rule of law; Public outcry demands decisive action against coup plotters past, present, and future; Non-feasance equals appeasement of totalitarian forces;

Reactionary economist Glenn Hubbard reveals GOP inflation demagogy is camouflage for brutal deflationary austerity on the Volcker model; Warren and other senators mull blocking nomination of Powell;
Desperate demagogue Putin doubles down on threats to West, pointing once again to his severe domestic problems;
This year’s holiday reading might include: Malaparte, Luttwak, Agamben, Carl Schmitt;

Corrupt US media are drowning in corporate greed and the cynical nihilism of many reporters; Time to think like Grant, not McClellan! Merry Christmas to listeners and friends of World Crisis Radio!

Dec. 22

Media News, Freedom of Information

michael fanone

Palmer Report, Opinion: Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone makes his move, Bocha Blue, Dec. 22, 2021. To find love, we need look no further than among each other — and the valiant heroes who fought for us on January 6. One of those heroes is Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone (shown above in a file photo).

You may have seen him on television, in particular CNN. He is as brave a hero as one can find. And on January 6, he was viciously beaten by crazed insurrectionists. They could not take away the love that shines from him.

bill palmer report logo headerFanone has been an outspoken critic of the January 6 attacks and has become an activist in his own right. He also testified before the January 6 committee. Sadly, some of his colleagues were reportedly not pleased with his activism. And now Fanone has resigned from the police force.

“Clearly, there are some members of our department who feel their oath is to Donald Trump and not to the constitution,” Fanone said. “I no longer felt like I could trust my fellow officers and decided to make a change.”

It is unfortunate that such a brave soul could possibly receive derision for his bravery, but this is the world we now live in.

The good news is that Fanone has a new job — and it’s with CNN. This is one of their better decisions. CNN has hired Fanone as a contributor on issues of law enforcement. The world is a better place with Fanone in it, and CNN will undoubtedly be a better network with Fanone on it. We wish him all the best in his new occupation.

 washington post logoWashington Post, Americans distrust Facebook, TikTok, Instagram with their data and want privacy laws, poll finds, Heather Kelly and Emily Guskin, Pulled between not trusting some tech companies and still wanting to use their products, people look to government regulation, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.

washington post logoWashington Post, Kyle Rittenhouse gets standing ovation from conservatives, says he may sue media outlets, Timothy Bella, Dec. 22, 2021. Weeks after Kyle Rittenhouse said he wanted to “lay low” when he was found not guilty of homicide, attempted homicide and other charges related to last year’s fatal shootings that rocked Kenosha, Wis., the teen was welcomed Monday at a conservative conference to music, pyrotechnics and a standing ovation from thousands of attendees.

“You’re a hero to millions,” Turning Point USA leader Charlie Kirk told Rittenhouse during the group’s AmericaFest gathering in Phoenix. “It’s an honor to be able to have you.”

Amid the pomp and circumstance for an 18-year-old who had the crowd chanting his name, Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two men and injured another during mass protests against police violence in August 2020, suggested Monday that lawsuits could be filed against media outlets for how they covered his murder trial.

If he sues media outlets, Rittenhouse would follow the recent footsteps of Nicholas Sandmann, who announced Friday that he has reached a settlement with NBC News regarding its coverage of an interaction between the Catholic school student and Native American activist Nathan Phillips in Washington during the March for Life in 2019. When asked by Fox about Sandmann’s latest settlement, Rittenhouse responded, “Good for him.”

The Washington Post settled a lawsuit by Sandmann’s parents last year. Sandmann’s family contended in a suit filed in 2019 that The Post defamed Sandmann in seven articles and in tweets promoting the articles. The Post has maintained that its reporting was accurate and fair.

Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Max Boot’s Rant Against Oliver Stone, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Dec. 22, 2021. Max Boot, a conservative who has long jacob hornberger newfavored regime-change operations on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment, is going after Hollywood producer and director Oliver Stone. His beef with Stone? He’s upset because Stone has long maintained that the U.S. national-security establishment employed one of its patented regime-change operations here at home, against President John F. Kennedy.

The title of Boot’s piece, which was published in the Washington Post, is “Oliver Stone Just Can’t Stop Spreading Lies About JFK’s Assassination.” In his article, he attacks Stone not only for his 1991 movie JFK but also for Stone’s latest update to the movie, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass.

future of freedom foundation logo squareInterestingly, Boot makes a reference to Stone’s accusation “that Kennedy’s autopsy reports were falsified.”

Actually, the more accurate way to put it is that the U.S. national-security establishment conducted a fraudulent autopsy. That fraud was reflected in both the autopsy photographs as well as the final autopsy report.

But like many other proponents of the official lone-nut theory of the assassination, Boot doesn’t address any of the main features of the autopsy fraud in his rant against Stone.

Let’s take two examples. jacob hornberger jfk autopsy cover(Others are detailed in my two books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2.)

For 30 years, the national-security establishment had falsely claimed that there was only one brain examination in the Kennedy autopsy.

It was a lie. And when people are lying about something that important, you know that they are up to something that is rotten and no good.

In the 1990s, the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s determined that there were two different brain examinations in the JFK autopsy, the second of which involved a brain that did not belong to Kennedy.

How did they determine this? The official photographer for the autopsy, John Stringer, was at the first brain exam. He stated that at that brain exam, the brain was “sectioned” or cut like a loaf of bread is cut. That’s standard procedure with an autopsy that involves a gunshot to the head. Stringer took photographs of the brain, which also is standard procedure.

jacob hornberg jfk autopsy2 coverOne of the three military pathologists who conducted the autopsy, Col. Pierre Finck, stated that he attended the brain examination. But he was not at the brain exam that Stringer attended. Stringer verified that. That means that there was a second brain exam. At that second brain exam, a different photographer was present taking photographs. The brain at the second brain exam was not “sectioned.” A sectioned brain cannot be reconstituted into a non-sectioned brand. That’s how we know that the brain at the second brain exam had to be a brain of someone other than Kennedy.

It’s also worth mentioning two other things about the brain exam. First, when Stringer was asked to examine the official photographs of Kennedy’s brain, he specifically denied that those were the photographs he took. Second, the autopsy report reflects that Kennedy’s brain weighed 1500 grams. An average brain weighs around 1350 grams. Everyone agrees that an extremely large portion of Kennedy’s brain was blown out by the shot that hit him in the head. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, there is no possibility that Kennedy’s brain could have weighed 1500 grams after having a large portion of it blown away by the gunshot.

max boot screen shotWhat does Boot, right, say about the two brain exams? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

There is something else worth noting. If it hadn’t been for Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, we would never have learned about this fraud. That’s because the national-security establishment would have continued lying about there being only one brain exam. It was Stone’s movie that led directly to the JFK Records Act and the ARRB whose job it was to enforce it. That’s how we learned about the fraud relating to the two brain exams.

 

 

oliver stone newseum

Filmmaker Oliver Stone poses with a display showing his iconic 1991 film JFK. A sequel, "JFK Revisited," was previewed last summer at the Cannes Film Festival and is being released this month in the United States via Showtime on Nov. 22 (Photo via The Newseum).

washington post logoWashington Post, Film Review: JFK’ at 30: Oliver Stone and the lasting impact of America’s most dangerous movie, Ann Hornaday, Dec. 22, 2021. Oliver Stone defied Washington, Hollywood and history itself to make his controversial JFK drama. Its legacy endures.

On a warm day in October, Oliver Stone leads a visitor into the sun room of his house in Brentwood, where he has been re-reading the daily journals he kept during the production of JFK, his kaleidoscopic drama about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

Thirty years after its release in December of 1991, JFK’s influence can still be detected, on everything from Washington policy to Hollywood world-building. For baby boomers, it was a film that tapped into still-raw generational loss. For Gen-Xers, it defined all they knew about Kennedy and his death. Its form pushed visual language to visceral new extremes. Its content helped introduce a new generation to America’s long conspiratorial tradition. JFK is still with us, in style and substance.

Stone, 75, is recalling his preparations for the first day of filming on April 15, 1991. Peering avuncularly through a pair of reading glasses, he scans pages covered with looping blue scrawls.

JFK was a film conceived in grief, born of anxiety and destined for controversy. Adapted in part from the book On the Trail of the Assassins, by former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, the film examined Kennedy’s assassination through the cracked lens of Garrison’s 1969 prosecution of local businessman Clay Shaw, whom he accused of being part of a cabal that conspired to kill the president.

It was a scenario that radically challenged the findings of the Warren Commission, which had been tasked with investigating the murder, and whose members concluded that Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald. Garrison’s theory of the case was that the CIA — with whom Shaw had once worked — killed Kennedy because he wanted to de-escalate the conflict in Vietnam and dramatically reshape American foreign policy. A jury found Shaw not guilty in less than an hour.

Kennedy’s assassination had been the subject of speculation almost from the moment gunfire rang out in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963. Two days later, Oswald himself would be shot and killed, an event that created a black hole of suspicion that only seemed to widen.

In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that “Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” By the time filming on JFK got underway, more than 70 percent of the American public — having witnessed the assassinations of Kennedy’s brother Robert and Martin Luther King Jr.; national intelligence malfeasance including domestic surveillance and foreign coups; and the scandals of Watergate and Iran-Contra — believed a larger conspiracy had been at play.

Stone counted himself among that number.

“I did have a very strong feeling at the beginning [of filming], a magnetic attachment to the idea that it had to be powerful people, and they had to have had permission,” he says. With JFK, he would give florid, expressionistic voice to the residual trauma and disenchantment of his generation.

“Oliver Stone ... posed the question, ‘Why was this material still closed?’ ” observes presidential historian Timothy Naftali. “He had a poisonous answer, which was this vast conspiracy. But the question was a good one. And because it was such a good question, it actually moved Congress to act.” (The 1992 law stipulated that all files be declassified by Oct. 26, 2017; although President Donald Trump delayed that date by three years, President Biden has proceeded with the release. More than 1,400 documents were made public on Dec. 15; the next batch is expected in December 2022.)

Then there is JFK as pure cinema. The film operates as a whirling, paradoxical gyre: sprawling and tightly coiled; hallucinatory and clearly legible; shockingly subversive and reassuringly old-school. One of the film’s most vivid characters, a shadowy government figure named Mr. X., played by Donald Sutherland, evoked the jittery political thrillers of the 1970s, while the presence of such beloved actors as Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Kevin Costner, who played Garrison, gave the film a wholesome, all-American patina (the mainstream appeal was reinforced by John Williams’s score).

Working with more than a dozen film stocks, Stone knit together documentary footage, fervid speculations, high-gloss Hollywood dramatizations and note-perfect reenactments, with results that were both technically groundbreaking and disquietingly seamless.

“The concept was that we were going to shake it up with this film,” Stone explains of his flashback-within-a-flashback approach. “Who’s telling the truth? The style would be fractured from the beginning.”

With a running time of more than three hours, "JFK” challenged conventional notions of how long audiences would sit for a complicated, talky story. Improbably, the film’s most effective moments are both monologues: Mr. X’s 17-minute tutorial on secret government machinations and Garrison’s climactic 20-minute courtroom stemwinder.

oliver stone jfk revisited posterThirty years after the release of JFK, it seems, Oliver Stone has not backed down. In November, he released JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, a two-hour Showtime documentary in which he repeats the hypotheses he popularized in JFK, this time with fresh interviews and, he insists, new evidence. “Conspiracy theories are now conspiracy facts,” he declares early in the film.

He is more convinced than ever that Allen Dulles, who headed the CIA until Kennedy fired him in 1961, is at the center of it all. “He was on the Warren Commission, and he was the guy who attended the most meetings,” Stone says. “He supervised everything and made sure the CIA never really cooperated with the Warren Commission or gave them what they wanted.”

While it is true that the CIA either stonewalled or actively thwarted the Warren Commission and House Select Committee on Assassinations, that is not proof that Dulles conspired to kill Kennedy.

“Well, there’s no proof because we won’t allow the proof to come out!” Stone says with frustration. “Who knows what’s on paper? But we can’t even see those files.”

As for the “conspiracy theorist” label he has carried since making “JFK,” he is both philosophical and unapologetic. “I have really not gone in that direction,” he says, before adding: “Conspiracies have happened. Anybody who reads history knows that. But we act so innocent in America, like ‘Who, us?’ ” Stone laughs ruefully. “It just doesn’t work that way.”

Dec. 21

As the reader can see Max Boot is in no position to accuse anyone of telling lies about JFK.

 

kennedys and king logo

Logo for Kennedys and King Research Site

Kennedys and King, Commentary: Why Tim Weiner Never Called Me, James DiEugenio, left, Dec. 21, 2021. In response to Tim Weiner’s hatchet job on "JFK jim dieugenio fileRevisited: Through the Looking Glass" in Rolling Stone magazine, Jim DiEugenio exposes the false alternatives and hypocrisy used in this review, which ignores the work of the Assassination Records Review Board and other new evidence presented in the film.

On November 22, 2021, Tim Weiner wrote an article about Oliver Stone’s new documentary dealing with the JFK assassination for Rolling Stone. It’s really a hit piece, the literary equivalent of a drive by shooting. And, as we shall see, it’s not about what Weiner says it’s about.

Weiner begins by saying that JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass is “rooted in a big lie.” What is that lie? According to Weiner, the lie is that Kennedy was murdered by the Deep State (i.e. the CIA backed by the military-industrial complex). From here, one would think that Weiner would now confront the evidence in the film and, point by point, counter it and thus reduce Oliver Stone to, in his words, “a tinfoil-hatted fabricator.”

oliver stone jfk revisited posterHe does not do that. Not even close. Like a cardsharp, Weiner skips that step and jumps to this accusation: if anyone thinks the CIA killed Kennedy, you are being deluded by a Soviet era disinformation campaign. Unfortunately, I’m not kidding. But before Weiner begins playing his Russian aria, he first does a prelude. He says this about JFK’s assassination:

Either Lee Harvey Oswald, trained by the United States Marines as a sharpshooter before he defected to the Soviet Union, got off a million-to-one shot in Dallas. He acted alone. Or he was an instrument of a conspiracy so immense that it staggers the mind.

Right out of the gate Weiner sets up a game of false alternatives, because JFK Revisited shows Oswald’s “million-to-one shot” did not happen. The film takes pains to demonstrate that the Warren Commission’s Magic Bullet, labeled CE 399, was not fired in Dealey Plaza that day. JFK Revisited proves this on more than one basis. The film also proves that the FBI and the Warren Commission lied about the provenance of CE 399. It does this with evidence made possible by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), but Weiner does not want the reader to know this since it knocks out one of his false alternatives. If he admitted this evidence, then one would be left with, well, a conspiracy.

This phony prelude leads to Weiner’s main theme. It’s not an easy job to soften and make acceptable the life and career of CIA Director Allen Dulles. One would think that, after all we know about Dulles today, no one would try, but Weiner has to, in order to sketch in his other false alternative. Namely that Stone says that Dulles was the “presiding genius of the plot against the president.” (The film doesn’t really say that, but accuracy is not what Weiner is after.)

So now Tim pulls out his make-up kit for Dulles. He writes that the CIA Director did not back the plots to overthrow Charles de Gaulle of France, which is a startling statement. For many interested observers, one of the best books on the career of Allen Dulles is The Devil’s Chessboard. Author David Talbot uses a variety of sources to show that Weiner is wrong. For example, the newspaper Paris-Jour centered on Dulles as the main culprit in the attempted overthrow of April 1961. Later, bestselling French author Vincent Jauvert traced the sources of these stories in the French press to de Gaulle’s own foreign ministry. (Talbot, p. 414.)  In fact, De Gaulle had come to this conclusion himself. (London Observer, May 2, 1961.) Author Andrew Tully also noted columns in Le Monde and l’Express which he wrote were owed to high French officials. (CIA: The Inside Story, pp. 48–49.)

In the USA, The Nation reported that high level French government employees thought the CIA had encouraged the attempted overthrow. And using l’Express, they wrote that one of the dissident French generals had several meetings with CIA agents who advised him that getting rid of de Gaulle would do the free world a great service. (The Nation, May 20, 1961.) These stories also appeared in American mainstream newspapers like The Washington Post. (April 30, 1961.) Most fatally for Weiner, his former employer The New York Times also printed the story. Scotty Reston wrote that the CIA was indeed “involved in an embarrassing liaison with the anti-Gaullist officers.” (New York Times, April 29, 1961.) But further, Talbot goes into the reasons behind the conflict between Dulles and de Gaulle. It was the desire of the French leader to get rid of NATO’s Operation Gladio elements in France and also his intent to set free the French colony of Algeria in North Africa. (Talbot, pp. 416–17.) One would think that all this would be enough to satisfy most objective observers.

In a neat bit of cherry picking, Weiner never mentions any of these sources. He borrows a trick from Max Holland and says that the idea that the CIA backed the attempts by dissident French officers to overthrow de Gaulle was all part of a Russian disinformation campaign that began in Italy. To most informed observers the idea that Scotty Reston would rely on the Italian newspaper Paese Sera is ridiculous on its face.

But further, for Weiner to use Holland as a source for the John F. Kennedy assassination is inexcusable. Ten years ago, Holland made one of the worst documentaries ever produced on the Kennedy assassination. In fact, as Pat Speer has noted, there were indications that Holland knew his thesis was faulty before the documentary even aired. How bad was it? Even Commission zealots Dale Myers and Todd Vaughan attacked the show. The Lost Bullet was so indefensible that one would think no one would ever treat Holland with any degree of respect again. (Click here for details.)

But this is the JFK case, so normal rules of credit and reference do not apply. Therefore, Weiner trots out Holland once more. And he then doubles down on the man. He says that New Orleans DA Jim Garrison arrested Clay Shaw because of a story that ran in Paesa Sera three days after. (Hmm.) He then adds that Garrison bandied this story about as a basis for his prosecution of Shaw and also that it became a central basis for his whole case against the Central Intelligence Agency.

Again, this derives from Max Holland. Holland has been selling this line for a very long time. He was pretty much eviscerated on it by Gary Aguilar back in 2004. This was during a debate that was broadcast by CSPAN and is still available on the web; therefore Weiner could have easily located it. (Click here for the debate.) Aguilar proved that, unlike what Holland and Weiner imply, Garrison did not make the Paesa Sera story a part of his case against Shaw—either in public or at Shaw’s trial. For example, in his 26 page Playboy interview—the longest ever run by the magazine at that time—the DA never brought it up.

But then Weiner does something that is probably even worse. And it shows his utter disdain for the work of the Assassination Records Review Board. He says that Shaw was not a longtime operative of the CIA. Because of the work of the Board, we now have documentation that proves that the defendant lied about this at his trial. Shaw had three CIA clearances, one of them being a covert security clearance. (William Davy, Let Justice be Done, p. 196) As Joan Mellen discovered, Shaw was also a valuable and well-compensated contract agent. (Mellen, Our Man in Haiti, p. 54) Adding the documentation up, Shaw’s CIA career extended over a period of 23 years. Unlike Tim, most people would think that qualifies as being longtime. In fact, the Board’s CIA specialist also discovered that the CIA had destroyed Shaw’s 201 file. Why? (Click here for details.)

Virtually everything in the above paragraph is displayed in the film. Somehow Weiner either missed it or chose to ignore it, but in JFK Revisited we also feature authors Jefferson Morley and John Newman. Those two discuss what Garrison based his own investigation on at its inception: Oswald’s activities in New Orleans. Specifically, how he interacted with the CIA run anti-Castro Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE) and the fact he stamped his pro-Castro flyers with the address of the extremely rightwing Guy Banister. We then detail how:

1.) The FBI covered up Oswald’s association with Banister, (Newman, Oswald and the CIA, p. 310); and

2.) The CIA lied about their liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations having no association with the Oswald case in 1963. The truth was that George Joannides was the CIA handler of the DRE in 1963. (Miami New Times, April 12, 2001, “Revelation 1963”)

Most people, as Garrison did, would think that this information about Oswald in New Orleans would tell us something about him, probably that he was not really a Marxist. The latest discoveries on this issue were made possible by the ARRB and are in the film.

In fact, one of the most shocking things about Weiner’s article is this: He cannot bring himself to mention by name the Assassination Records Review Board. Or the fact that JFK Revisited uses their work to an unprecedented degree. This is quite a bit of alchemy since the film interviews three men who worked for that body, and it mentions the Board throughout. In addition, it displays declassified documents which back up many of the declarations in the film. Weiner does not refer to any of these documents or witness statements.

Toward the end of his screed, Tim writes that he cannot tell us that there wasn’t a conspiracy. He then says that maybe there is a bombshell in the still classified archives. That utterly inane statement demonstrates why Weiner’s article is not criticism; it’s a hatchet job. As demonstrated, Tim does not want to tell the reader what is in the film. The fact that, under oath, the official JFK autopsy photographer told the Board that he did not shoot the pictures of Kennedy’s brain that are in the archives today. John Stringer gave five reasons for his denial. Two of them being that he did not use the type of film with which the extant photographs were taken, and he did not utilize the photographic process evident in those pictures. JFK Revisited has Doug Horne, an ARRB employee who was in the room with Stringer during his sworn testimony, narrate this passage. (Horne, Inside the ARRB, p. 810.)

Just like he does not want to tell his readers about the above, Tim also won’t reveal that the FBI lied about CE 399, the Magic Bullet. They did so in three ways. The film proves that the Bureau lied about its identification by the first two people who handled it. (The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, pp. 282–84) It also proves that the Bureau lied about an FBI agent’s initials being on the exhibit. They are not. Third, by their own records, the FBI lab had the Magic Bullet before it was transferred to the agent who delivered it there. This delivery, of course, was by the agent whose initials are not on the bullet. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, second edition, p. 345)

Like the issue of the autopsy photos, the information about CE 399 is proved out in the film. It would be of great interest to anyone watching, since it goes to the heart of the Warren Commission’s case against Oswald. Like everything else above, Weiner does not mention it. In fact, before writing his piece and attributing sources of information in the script to Paese Sera, he never called this writer, which would seem to be a significant trespass of journalistic ethics since I wrote the script. I could have informed him of the actual sources we used for things like the attempted overthrow of de Gaulle or Clay Shaw and the CIA. Those sources had nothing to do with what Weiner attributes them to. When the annotated scripts are published next year, this will be made plain to anyone who reads them.

So, the question then becomes: Why didn’t Tim Weiner pick up the phone to call Jim DiEugenio? Or shoot an email to Jim to find out what my actual sources were in writing the script? It would have been simple to do either. All he had to do was call Oliver Stone’s office or find me on the web through the Kennedys and King web site.

Since Weiner neither poses nor replies to that question in his column, it leaves the answer open for speculation. He closes his hatchet job by saying something about “a moral obligation to call bullshit when we see it.” Tim is so wrapped up in his own agenda that he does not recognize his own paroxysm of hypocrisy. When a writer does not present any of the documented material that he calls “bullshit” then yes, one can declare it as such. But that is not journalism; its classic propaganda that does nothing to inform the public. When a film can document what it says with sworn testimony and documents written at the time, that is not “bullshit.” These are unpleasant facts that were kept hidden from the public for decades. And it was only through Oliver Stone’s making of his film JFK in 1991 that they finally began to emerge.

One last point about Tim’s concluding issue about disbelief in government. One can see through the graph in Kevin Phillip’s book Arrogant Capitol that, unlike what Weiner want you to think, that erosion of belief is not a recent phenomenon. That graph extends from 1960 to the mid-nineties. The year of the single biggest drop in trust was 1964, when the Warren Report was published.

Another factor that led to overall cynicism was ten years of war in Vietnam—the most divisive conflict since the Civil War. As JFK Revisited shows, if Kennedy had lived, this would not have happened. The film also shows that President Johnson consciously reversed Kennedy’s withdrawal plan in order to escalate that war. There is no mention of this by Wiener in his article.

By that excision, Wiener’s hypocrisy is in full view. For on December 23, 1997, there was an article in the New York Times about the ARRB declassifying documents from the May 1963 SecDef meeting in Hawaii where Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was collecting Vietnam withdrawal schedules from the Pentagon. The title of the story was “Kennedy Had a Plan for Early Exit in Vietnam.”

The reporter was Tim Weiner. What a convenient lapse of memory. Tim Weiner is an object lesson in why the public has lost faith in the MSM.

KGO  / ABC7-TV (San Francisco), JFK Unsolved: The Real Conspiracies examines assassination, who really shot President Kennedy, Dan Noyes, Dec. 21, 2021. New streaming documentary explores analysis of JFK assassination by Bay Area author.

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains the greatest American murder mystery, decades after the official report declared Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman responsible for JFK's death.

But a new book from world-renowned JFK assassination researcher Josiah "Tink" Thompson comes to a shocking different conclusion: Lee Harvey Oswald did not fire the fatal shot that killed President Kennedy.

"JFK UNSOLVED: The Real Conspiracies" is the new ABC7 Originals documentary based on Thompson's book, Last Second in Dallas.

The film explores Thompson's analysis of the evidence and shows how he believes the government tried to cover up what really happened.

Josiah Thompson is part of an elite group of assassination researchers who descended on Dealey Plaza in Dallas after President Kennedy's death on Nov. 22, 1963.

Thompson worked on a cover story for LIFE Magazine and wrote what is considered to be a seminal book on the assassination, Six Seconds in Dallas, in 1967.

Thompson went on to a long, distinguished career as a private detective, but kept coming back to the JFK assassination.

For the past 10 years, he revisited the forensic evidence, worked with a team of scientists, researchers, and assassination buffs, and wrote a new book, Last Second in Dallas.

Thompson trusted investigative reporter Dan Noyes to turn the book into a documentary film.

THE EVIDENCE

For JFK UNSOLVED: The Real Conspiracies, Noyes returned to the site of the assassination and interviewed people who were just feet away from President Kennedy when he suffered the fatal shot, and with Thompson's help, Noyes explored evidence that points to a second gunman.

Debris fields of blood, bone and brain matter from the president traveled in two distinct directions, indicating two gunmen firing from different locations -- the Texas School Book Depository and the Grassy Knoll.

A panel from the National Academy of Sciences initially dismissed a recording from a Dallas motorcycle police officer's open microphone that may have picked up the sounds of gunfire.

Now, the leading acoustics scientist on the case defends the recording as authentic, and it provides a timing framework for the assassination.

Could Lee Harvey Oswald have fired all those shots from his Italian military-style, bolt-action rifle? The answers in JFK UNSOLVED: The Real Conspiracies.

 

jamal khashoggi entering consulate

washington post logoWashington Post, A UAE agency put Pegasus spyware on the phone of Jamal Khashoggi’s wife months before his murder, new forensics show, Dana Priest, Dec. 21, 2021. The new analysis, conducted by a research group devoted to uncovering cyber espionage, provides the first indication that a UAE agency placed the military-grade spyware on a phone used by someone in Khashoggi’s inner circle in the months before his murder.

Emirates flight attendant Hanan Elatr surrendered her two Android cellphones, laptop and passwords when security agents surrounded her at the Dubai airport. They drove her, blindfolded and in handcuffs, to an interrogation cell on the edge of the city, she said. There, she was questioned all night and into the morning about her fiance, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (shown above entering the facility where he would be butchered and at left in the Washington Post's newsroom).

jamal khashoggi washpost newsroom SmallThe next day, at 10:14 a.m. on April 22, 2018, while her devices were still in official custody, someone opened the Chrome browser on one of the Androids.

The spyware had been developed by an Israeli firm, NSO Group, for what it says is use against terrorists and criminals. The website was configured by NSO for a United Arab Emirates customer, said Marczak, whose research group is based at the University of nso group logoToronto and devoted to uncovering cyberespionage.

The new analysis provides the first indication that a UAE government agency placed the military-grade spyware on a phone used by someone in Khashoggi’s inner circle in the months before his murder.

“We found the smoking gun on her phone,” said Marczak, who examined Elatr’s two Androids at The Washington Post’s and her request. Emirati authorities returned them to her several days after her release.

Dec. 20

National Press Club, Club member to discuss book tracing today's far-right tactics back to Nazis on Jan. 6, Andrew Kreig, Dec. 18, 2021. The National Press Club's Member Author Book Group will hold a virtual event at 7 p.m. Jan. 6 with Club member Wayne Madsen discussing his latest book, The Rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich: The Era of Trumpism and the New Far-Right.

The event is open to all Club members. To be admitted, you must RSVP by email to Heather Forsgren Weaver at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to wayne madsen fourth reich coverreceive the link and be put on the guest list.

The event will coincide with the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, when supporters of Donald Trump tried to disrupt the certification of state-certified Electoral College ballots confirming Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

The Rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich is the 21st book by Madsen, an investigative reporter and former naval intelligence officer, who draws on research into the Trump family’s history, and the methods used by ultra-right groups in the 1920s and extending to the present day.

He compares the tactics used in the past with those being used currently by ultra-right leaders in the United States, Europe and Latin America to undermine traditional bulwarks of democracy such as voting, legislatures, the court system and the press.

Madsen, author of a daily investigative column, has appeared on numerous broadcasts. His Navy career included investigating Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and a yearlong detail as a technology analyst at the National Security Agency.

washington post logoWashington Post, Pandora Papers Global Investigation, The ‘Cowboy Cocktail’: How Wyoming became one of the world’s top tax havens for the wealthy, Debbie Cenziper and Will Fitzgibbon, Dec. 20, 2021 (print ed.). New revelations from the Pandora Papers show how a coveted financial arrangement that combines a Wyoming trust and layers of private companies allows the world’s wealthy to move and spend money in extraordinary secrecy. An oligarch, a dictator’s aide and a beverage tycoon turned to America’s least populated state to shelter assets, the Pandora Papers show.

The honky-tonk bar under neon lights on the town square serves Grand Teton Amber Ale and Yellowstone Lemonade. The Cowboy Coffee Co. offers bison chili, and the Five & Dime General Store sells Stetson hats and souvenirs made from bullets.

In this tourist-friendly Western town, home to four celebrated arches fashioned from elk antlers, lawyers and estate planners draw customers with something far more exclusive.

It’s called the “Cowboy Cocktail,” and in recent years the coveted financial arrangement has attracted a new set of outsiders to the least populated state in America.

  • Read key takeaways from the Pandora Papers investigation

The cocktail and variations of it — consisting of a Wyoming trust and layers of private companies with concealed ownership — allow the world’s wealthy to move and spend money in extraordinary secrecy, protected by some of the strongest privacy laws in the country and, in some cases, without even the cursory oversight performed by regulators in other states.

Millionaires and billionaires around the world have taken note. In recent years, families from India to Italy to Venezuela have abandoned international icij logofinancial centers for law firms in Wyoming’s ski resorts and mining towns, helping to turn the state into one of the world’s top tax havens.

A dozen international clients who created Wyoming trusts were identified in the Pandora Papers, a trove of more than 11.9 million records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and shared with The Washington Post that expose the movement of wealth around the world. The documents offer a rare look at Wyoming’s discreet financial sector and the people who rely on its services.

  • Washington Post, Key findings from the Pandora Papers investigation

The Future of Freedom Foundation, Commentary: The Fear of Those Still-Secret CIA Records on the JFK Assassination, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Dec. 20, jacob hornberger new2021. One of the amusing aspects of the ongoing controversy over those still-secret CIA records relating to the Kennedy assassination has been the reaction of lone-nut theorists. Hardly any of them, if any at all, are publicly calling on President Biden to disclose those records now rather than delaying disclosure for another year.

What’s up with that? Surely, lone-nut theorists don’t really buy into the “national security” rationale for keeping 58-year-old records relating to the assassination secret from the American people. I don’t know of anyone who really buys into that rationale. After all, what do they think will happen if those records are suddenly disclosed — that the Cuban communist army will invade Miami and start moving up the coast toward Washington?

future of freedom foundation logo squareI’ll tell you why those lone-nut theorists don’t demand immediate disclosure of those documents? They’re scared. Very scared. They fear, at least on a subconscious level, that those remaining records include powerful circumstantial evidence establishing that what happened on November 22, 1963, was a regime-change operation on the part of the national-security establishment. Why else would they still be hiding those records? No, the Cuban army isn’t not going to invade Miami and start moving north toward Washington.

And no, I’m not suggesting that those 58-year-old, still-secret CIA records contain a confession of wrongdoing. Nobody would be stupid enough to put a confession into writing. And even if someone was that stupid, no one would be stupid enough to deliver such a confession to the Assassination Records Review Board or the National Archives.

The JFK assassination is like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. Imagine a really complicated puzzle that has 1000 small pieces to it. Your kids have lost 25 percent of the pieces. You decide to put the puzzle together anyway. You finish it. Even though you’ve only got 75 percent of it completed, you can still CIA Logotell that it’s a picture of the Eiffel Tower. Then, you find several more pieces. You now have 80 percent of the pieces and you’re able to see the Eiffel Tower more clearly.

That’s the way it is with the Kennedy assassination. With around 75 percent of the pieces, one can see that this was a national-security state regime-change operation. What those remaining records will do is disclose several more small pieces that make the regime-change picture even clearer. That’s why they are hiding them. That’s why they have hidden them for 58 years. That’s why they will continue hiding them, even past Biden’s December 22, 2022, deadline for disclosure. It’s because those still-secret records contain additional incriminating pieces to the puzzle that further fill out the regime-change mosaic.

Permit me to address three factors regarding the Kennedy assassination.

The first one is what I call the Inconceivable Doctrine. It holds that it is just inconceivable that the Pentagon and the CIA would conduct a regime-change operation against President Kennedy.

Really? How can it be inconceivable given the fact that Pentagon and the CIA engaged in regime-change operations against presidents and prime ministers of foreign countries, both before and after the Kennedy assassination?

  • Their violent coup in Iran in 1953 that ousted the democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, from office.
  • Their assassination of Congo leader Patrice Lumumba.
  • Their regime-change operation in Guatemala in 1954, in which they ousted the democratically elected president, Jacobo Arbenz, from office and also targeted him for assassination.
  • Their repeated assassination attempts against Cuban president Fidel Castro.
  • Their kidnapping and assassination of General Rene Schneider, the overall commander of Chile’s armed forces.
  • Their violent coup in Chile against the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, which left him dead.
  • Their participation in Operation Condor, the top-secret kidnapping, torture, and assassination program in South America.

Given those regime-change operations and Operation Condor, how can it be inconceivable that they would do the same to a democratically elected U.S. president, especially one whose policies they are convinced pose a grave threat to national security.

What lone-nut theorists just do not want to confront is the fact that the little monster that was brought into existence to assassinate and regime-change douglas horne 2021foreign leaders and others turned inward to protect America from a president whose philosophy and policies, they were convinced, posed a grave threat to national security — a much graver threat, in fact, than those other leaders posed who they assassinated or regime-changed. See FFF’s book JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne, right.

The second factor: In the Guatemalan and Chilean regime-change operations, the U.S. national-security establishment told their national-security counterparts in those two countries that the latter had the moral duty to protect their countries by ousting their president whose policies supposedly posed a grave threat to their own national security. How can a domestic regime-change operation be inconceivable given that mindset on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment?

The third factor: The fraudulent autopsy. In the 1990s, the Assassination Records Review Board broke the dam of silence surrounding the autopsy that the U.S. national-security establishment conducted on Kennedy’s body just a few hours after the assassination.

Consider just one aspect to the fraudulent autopsy — the two brain exams that were conducted, the second of which did not involve President Kennedy’s brain.

For 30 years, the national-security establishment had succeeded in keeping its autopsy on Kennedy’s body secret from the American people. It did this by “classifying” it and forcing military personnel involved in the autopsy to sign written secrecy oaths. The personnel were threatened with severe punitive actions if they ever talked about what they had done or seen.

For 30 years, the three military pathologists who conducted the autopsy claimed that there was only one brain examination. That was a lie. And there is no innocent explanation for that lie. It is incriminating, highly incriminating.

The ARRB staff determined that there were two brain exams. John Stringer, the official photographer for the autopsy, told the ARRB that he was at the first brain exam. He told them that at that exam, the brain was “sectioned” or cut like a loaf of bread. That’s standard procedure in gunshot wounds to the head.

Stringer also stated that the photographs of the brain in the official autopsy records were not the photographs he took.

Stringer also told the ARRB that he was not at the second brain exam, which was attended by all three military pathologists and some unknown photographer. At that second brain exam, the brain was not sectioned. That could not have been the brain at the first brain exam because a sectioned brain cannot reconstitute itself.

And that’s just the tip of the autopsy iceberg. See my books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2.

As I have repeatedly stated over the years, there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy. Certainly no lone-nut theorist has ever come up with one. That’s how we know that this was a national-security state regime-change operation. A fraudulent autopsy necessarily means cover-up in the assassination itself, especially given that the scheme for a fraudulent autopsy was launched at Parkland Hospital at the moment Kennedy was declared dead. See The Kennedy Autopsy.

Notice something important about all this: Whenever lone-nut theorists say that there isn’t evidence of a domestic regime-change operation, they never — repeat never! — address the fraudulent brain exams and the fraudulent autopsy. That’s because they know that a fraudulent brain exam and a fraudulent autopsy necessarily mean a national-security regime-change operation carried out against Kennedy.

The sooner America comes to grips with the fact that the Kennedy assassination is every bit a part of our legacy as a national-security state as all the other regime-change operations, the better off we will be. Acknowledging the truth about out national-security legacy will be the first step in ridding ourselves of the evil system known as a national-security state and restoring our founding governmental system of a limited-government republic.

 

Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on March 23, 2020  (Photo via the Associated Press).

Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on March 23, 2020 (Photo via the Associated Press).

ny times logoNew York Times, Investigation: HIDDEN PENTAGON RECORDS REVEAL PATTERNS OF FAILURE IN DEADLY AIRSTRIKES, Azmat Khan, Dec. 19, 2021 (print ed.). The promise was a war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs. Documents show flawed intelligence, faulty targeting, years of civilian deaths — and scant accountability.

The Times is making public hundreds of confidential Pentagon reports of civilian casualties. Read them here. Here are six main takeaways from our investigation into the U.S.’s deadly airstrikes.

 The promise was a war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs. The documents show flawed intelligence, faulty targeting, years of civilian deaths — and scant accountability.

This is the first part of a series. Part 2 will examine the air war’s human toll.

Shortly before 3 a.m. on July 19, 2016, American Special Operations forces bombed what they believed were three ISIS “staging areas” on the outskirts of Tokhar, a riverside hamlet in northern Syria. They reported 85 fighters killed. In fact, they hit houses far from the front line, where farmers, their families and other local people sought nighttime sanctuary from bombing and gunfire. More than 120 villagers were killed.

In early 2017 in Iraq, an American war plane struck a dark-colored vehicle, believed to be a car bomb, stopped at an intersection in the Wadi Hajar neighborhood of West Mosul. Actually, the car had been bearing not a bomb but a man named Majid Mahmoud Ahmed, his wife and their two children, who were fleeing the fighting nearby. They and three other civilians were killed.

In November 2015, after observing a man dragging an “unknown heavy object” into an ISIS “defensive fighting position,” American forces struck a building in Ramadi, Iraq. A military review found that the object was actually “a person of small stature” — a child — who died in the strike.

None of these deadly failures resulted in a finding of wrongdoing.

These cases are drawn from a hidden Pentagon archive of the American air war in the Middle East since 2014.

The trove of documents — the military’s own confidential assessments of more than 1,300 reports of civilian casualties, obtained by The New York Times — lays bare how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children, a sharp contrast to the American government’s image of war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs.

The documents show, too, that despite the Pentagon’s highly codified system for examining civilian casualties, pledges of transparency and accountability have given way to opacity and impunity. In only a handful of cases were the assessments made public. Not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action. Fewer than a dozen condolence payments were made, even though many survivors were left with disabilities requiring expensive medical care. Documented efforts to identify root causes or lessons learned are rare.

The air campaign represents a fundamental transformation of warfare that took shape in the final years of the Obama administration, amid the deepening unpopularity of the forever wars that had claimed more than 6,000 American service members. The United States traded many of its boots on the ground for an arsenal of aircraft directed by controllers sitting at computers, often thousands of miles away. President Barack Obama called it “the most precise air campaign in history.”

This was the promise: America’s “extraordinary technology” would allow the military to kill the right people while taking the greatest possible care not to harm the wrong ones.

The ISIS caliphate ultimately crumbled under the weight of American bombing. For years, American air power was crucial to the beleaguered Afghan government’s survival. And as U.S. combat deaths dwindled, the faraway wars, and their civilian tolls, receded from most Americans’ sights and minds.

On occasion, stunning revelations have pierced the silence. A Times investigation found that a Kabul drone strike in August, which American officials said had destroyed a vehicle laden with bombs, had instead killed 10 members of one Afghan family. The Times recently reported that dozens of civilians had been killed in a 2019 bombing in Syria that the military had hidden from public view. That strike was ordered by a top-secret strike cell called Talon Anvil that, according to people who worked with it, frequently sidestepped procedures meant to protect civilians. Talon Anvil executed a significant portion of the air war against ISIS in Syria.

The Pentagon regularly publishes bare-bones summaries of civilian casualty incidents, and it recently ordered a new, high-level investigation of the 2019 Syria airstrike. But in the rare cases where failings are publicly acknowledged, they tend to be characterized as unfortunate, unavoidable and uncommon.

In response to questions from The Times, Capt. Bill Urban, the spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, said that “even with the best technology in the world, mistakes do happen, whether based on incomplete information or misinterpretation of the information available. And we try to learn from those mistakes.” He added: “We work diligently to avoid such harm. We investigate each credible instance. And we regret each loss of innocent life.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Pandora Papers, A global investigation: This block used to be for first- time homebuyers. Then global investors bought in, Peter Whoriskey, Spencer Woodman and Margot Gibbs, Photograph by Salwan Georges, Illustration by Frank Hulley-Jones, Dec. 19, 2021 (Electronically published Dec. 15, 2021). Progress Residential reaps big profits from stressed American renters amid national affordability crisis.

The homes on Tammy Sue Lane aren’t fancy. Modest in size and clad in vinyl siding, the houses were priced below $200,000 when most were built about 15 years ago, and for many families in suburban Nashville, they represented a first chance at homeownership.

A corrections officer bought one, and so did a housekeeper and an electrician.

Then some of the world’s wealthiest people bought in.

icij logoOver the past six years, 19 of the 32 homes on Tammy Sue Lane have been purchased by a billion-dollar investment venture, part of an unprecedented flow of global finance into the American suburbs. Less than 10 years old, the company has amassed one of the nation’s largest portfolios of single-family houses, becoming the landlord for tens of thousands of families.

The venture, Progress Residential, acquires as many as 2,000 houses a month through the use of a computerized property-search algorithm and swift all-cash offers. Progress executives boast that the company’s efficient management practices have been a boon to their tenants who cannot afford to buy one of the “entry level” homes.

But according to previously undisclosed documents and dozens of interviews with renters and former employees, Progress Residential has been ringing up substantial profits for wealthy investors around the world while outbidding middle-class home buyers and subjecting tenants to what they allege are unfair rent hikes, shoddy maintenance and excessive fees.

Dec. 18

World Crisis Radio, Political Commentary: Russian ultimatum to US demands rollback of NATO in eastern Europe, Webster G. Tarpley, right, Dec. 18, 2021 (55:051 mins.). Thirty years after breakup webster tarpley 2007of USSR: Russian ultimatum to US demands rollback of NATO in eastern Europe and limited sovereignty for Ukraine, Georgia, and other nations under new Brezhnev doctrine; direct threat of military action included; Parts of ultimatum clearly designed to be rejected, furnishing pretext for aggression; Retaliation by West to include asset freezes for ruling oligarchs, exclusion from SWIFT payment system, and disruption of banks;

China demands European Union boycott Lithuania for daring to open liaison office for Taiwan; Xi freakout shows nervousness and insecurity of communist regime as US bans slave labor imports from East Turkestan and eyes steps against SMIC semiconductors and Huawei; German industrialists condemn Xi’s defacto embargo of EU-China trade, weakening dictator’s blackmail on Europe; Diplomatic boycott of winter Olympics is expanding; Do these moves reflect Sino-Russian convergence in wake of Putin-Xi virtual summit?

The beginning of the end for BoJo? Scandal-plagued Trump clone and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, reeling from disastrous covid performance, must deal with surprise Tory by-election defeat at hands of Lib Dems in Shropshire north, a constituency held by Conservatives for almost two centuries;
Another reactionary falls with ouster of Czech Prime Minister Babis; Kremlin should recall that ultimata often backfire, as seen with Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia of July 23, 1914, designed to be rejected, which resulted in outbreak of World War I five days later; This attempt to dictate limited sovereignty led to breakup of country issuing ultimatum!

Dec. 17

 

kennedys and king logo

Logo for Kennedys and King Research Site

Kennedys and King, Commentary: Alecia Long Lays An Egg: Part 2, James DiEugenio, Dec. 17, 2021. Jim DiEugenio responds to Alecia Long’s latest foray into JFK assassination disinformation by correcting her obvious mistakes and oversights and exposing her brazen attempts at misdirection in reviewing Olive jim dieugenio fileStone’s new documentary "JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass."

Since Priscilla Johnson has passed on, for the 58th anniversary of the murder of President Kennedy The Washington Post trotted out Alecia Long (shown at right in her Twitter photo). As readers of this site know, Long has been in rehearsal for becoming a public spokesperson defending the mendacity of the alecia long twitterWarren Report for quite a while. (Click here for her early practice session.) 

More recently, she published a truly nonsensical book about the JFK case, one which I was at pains to show, had no saving graces to it. (Click here for details and see below at left for book cover and promo.) Evidently, these prior run throughs were enough for the Post to give her the podium.

Why? Apparently, Long was needed to counter the broadcast by the Showtime cable network of Oliver Stone’s new documentary on the JFK case, JFK Revisited. Long says that the two-hour presentation “is entirely predictable” to anyone was saw Stone’s 1991 alecia long and cruising coverfeature film JFK. Since I wrote the documentary, I can inform Ms. Long that I never even looked at the 1991 film as I worked on the screenplay. What I wrote was focused upon presenting new evidence that had surfaced since 1991. Much of that material was derived from the Assassination Records Review Board, which operated from 1994–98 three years after JFK was released.

One of the things we deal with in the film is Kennedy’s intent to withdraw from Vietnam. Long states early in her piece that the idea that Kennedy was withdrawing from Vietnam “is counterfactual.” And that no one can know "…with certainty whether he would have started an active ground war, as Johnson did. Such thinking fuels conspiracy theories with an entirely unprovable assertion about what might have been."

oliver stone jfk revisited posterOne thing our documentary is not is counterfactual. It can only be deemed that by not telling the reader the facts in the film. The documentary presents three new pieces of evidence, never shown in broadcast format before, that makes the Kennedy withdrawal thesis both credible and provable. They are:

The records of the SecDef conference in Hawaii held in May of 1963, with representatives from Saigon. There, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was reviewing the withdrawal schedules he had previously requested from the Pentagon, CIA, and State Department. Once he looked them over, he told those in attendance the schedules were too slow and had to be speeded up.

The taped conversation in 1964 between Johnson and McNamara, where LBJ clearly admits he knew Kennedy and McNamara were withdrawing from Vietnam and always thought it was a bad idea. But he sat there in silence, since he was not in charge.

Interview subject John Newman listened to McNamara’s Pentagon debriefs after he was removed from office by Johnson. In those sessions, McNamara clearly states that he and Kennedy had decided they could send equipment, trainers, and advisors to Saigon. But that was it. American could not fight the war for South Vietnam. When the training period was over, America was leaving and it did not matter if Saigon was winning or losing.

None of this new evidence was in the 1991 film, but it would convince most objective people that Kennedy was simply not sending American combat troops into Vietnam. But Johnson was quite willing to do so. LBJ thought McNamara and Kennedy were wrong and he browbeat McNamara into changing policies. The evidence on this topic is overwhelming today and has been presented by several authors in different ways: Howard Jones, Gordon Goldstein, James Blight, David Kaiser, and, most prominently, by Newman in the 2017 version of his book JFK and john newman jfk vietnam coverVietnam. It speaks very poorly of Long as a history professor that she is not familiar with this work. Or if she is familiar with it, to simply deny it.

She follows this up with a bizarre statement that is confounding no matter how many times one reads it. She says that assassination related research continues to focus on a narrow set of questions, “including whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted as a lone assassin or if a conspiracy lay behind the president’s murder.” Alecia, that is not a narrow question. Most people would think it’s the ball game. If Oswald acted alone, the Warren Report is correct. If it was a conspiracy, the 900-page Warren Report was wrong and some secret body overthrew our government, with calamitous results.

She then writes something that, even for her, is astounding. She says that JFK Revisited blurs the lines between fact, fiction, and pure speculation in presenting the work of the ARRB. The film presents three people who worked for that body: Chairman John Tunheim, his deputy, Tom Samoluk, and Military Records analyst Doug Horne. JFK Revisited shows documents that were declassified due to their work. Every statement made in the film is backed up by evidence and we show many documents and exhibits in the film. For example, the testimony by the official autopsy photographer that he did not take the pictures of Kennedy’s brain that are today in the National Archives. Which leads to the questions: then who did take them, and why?

But, as with Vietnam, Long does not want to reveal that bit of new information, since it would prove the contrary of what she is preaching.

She then admits that the CIA and FBI delayed the release of many documents. And sometimes they were actually deceptive to the two main federal investigations of Kennedy’s murder: the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations. But she then adds that “no documents have been released that indicate intelligence agency participation in the assassination.”

Oh really? In the film, John Newman states that the FBI removed the FLASH warning from the Oswald file just a few days after Oswald’s return from his alleged Mexico City visit. This allowed him to escape being placed on the Secret Service security index in advance of Kennedy’s Texas trip. If the FLASH had not been taken off, Oswald would likely have been removed from the motorcade route due to his active and open communist activities in New Orleans and his alleged visits to the Cuban and Russian embassies in Mexico City. As Newman also states, this same type of maneuver inexplicably occurred at the CIA. In other words, something was going on with the Oswald file at both the FBI and CIA in advance of the assassination. When one throws in the fact that the legendary, ARRB-declassified Lopez Report about Mexico City indicates Oswald was not there—but the CIA insisted he was—then excuse me, but does someone have to hit Alecia Long over the head with a 2 x 4? This whole issue of Oswald’s relationship with the CIA, and counter-intelligence chief James Angleton, will be gone into at length in the four-hour version of the film.

jefferson morley newLong closes her column with her usual hatchet job on Jim Garrison. Through Jefferson Morley, right, the film shows that the alleged pro-Castro communist Oswald was associating with anti-Castro groups like the CIA sponsored DRE. In addition to that, Oswald associated with three known rightwing, CIA associated figures in New Orleans: Guy Banister, David Ferrie, and Clay Shaw. And all three men lied about their association with Oswald after Kennedy was killed. The FBI covered these relationships up, another point Newman talks about in the film. (Click here for proof.) This would seem to raise some questions about who Oswald really was and what he was doing in New Orleans in that fateful summer before Kennedy’s assassination.

But to Long, this is not important. She ends her nonsensical column by saying, and I am not kidding, we should forget about bullets and ballistics. Forget about bullets and ballistics in a homicide case? Instead, we should consult the newly declassified record in order to learn “how events that fertilized citizen cynicism about the government more than a half-century ago can help us document our contentious past…” and also “explain the troubling conspiracy theories of today.”

The reason cynicism sprung up way back then was precisely because the Warren Report did not follow regular procedures in evaluating bullets and ballistics. And we prove that in our film with new evidence exposing the fallacies the Commission hoisted on the public, but somehow that is not important to Long or The Washington Post.

larry sabato cover JFKIn other words: Who the heck cares who killed Kennedy? We should worry about how all that stuff caused QAnon. Alecia, the question of who killed Kennedy is quite important, due to the fact that whether you know it or not, or like it or not, something happened to this country—both domestically and in foreign policy—due to his assassination. And if you do not trust me just look at Larry Sabato’s book, The Kennedy Half Century, right. There he explains, through polling and focus groups, how about 90% of the public feels America lost its way due to JFK’s assassination. (see p. 416.)

As far as QAnon goes, JFK Revisited relies on data, not faith or mysticism—or as some suspect what QAnon really is, a psy-op. The documented screenplays for both versions of the film will be published in February. As Long will then see, and as Stone said at Cannes, JFK Revisited turns conspiracy theory into conspiracy fact. It explains how, just one year after getting elected, Johnson had 175,00 combat troops in Vietnam. On the day he was killed, Kennedy had none. That is a fact. And the film does this throughout with documents and testimony that she either does not know about, or does not want to convey to the public.

The murder of John F. Kennedy was a homicide case. That is the way it should be treated. What Long writes is a diversion from the new calculus of that case. President Kennedy deserves better than that. Much better.

 

kennedys and king logo

Logo for Kennedys and King Research Site

Kennedys and King, Commentary: Alecia Long Lays An Egg: Part 2, James DiEugenio, Dec. 17, 2021. Jim DiEugenio responds to Alecia Long’s latest foray into JFK assassination disinformation by correcting her obvious mistakes and oversights and exposing her brazen attempts at misdirection in reviewing Olive jim dieugenio fileStone’s new documentary "JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass."

Since Priscilla Johnson has passed on, for the 58th anniversary of the murder of President Kennedy The Washington Post trotted out Alecia Long. As readers of this site know, Long has been in rehearsal for becoming a public spokesperson defending the mendacity of the Warren Report for quite a while. (Click here for her early practice session.)  More recently, she published a truly nonsensical book about the JFK case, one which I was at pains to show, had no saving graces to it. (Click here for details.) Evidently, these prior run throughs were enough for the Post to give her the podium.

Why? Apparently, Long was needed to counter the broadcast by the Showtime cable network of Oliver Stone’s new documentary on the JFK case, JFK Revisited. Long says that the two-hour presentation “is entirely predictable” to anyone was saw Stone’s 1991 feature film JFK. Since I wrote the documentary, I can inform Ms. Long that I never even looked at the 1991 film as I worked on the screenplay. What I wrote was focused upon presenting new evidence that had surfaced since 1991. Much of that material was derived from the Assassination Records Review Board, which operated from 1994–98 three years after JFK was released.

One of the things we deal with in the film is Kennedy’s intent to withdraw from Vietnam. Long states early in her piece that the idea that Kennedy was withdrawing from Vietnam “is counterfactual.” And that no one can know, "…with certainty whether he would have started an active ground war, as Johnson did. Such thinking fuels conspiracy theories with an entirely unprovable assertion about what might have been."

oliver stone jfk revisited posterOne thing our documentary is not is counterfactual. It can only be deemed that by not telling the reader the facts in the film. The documentary presents three new pieces of evidence, never shown in broadcast format before, that makes the Kennedy withdrawal thesis both credible and provable. They are:

The records of the SecDef conference in Hawaii held in May of 1963, with representatives from Saigon. There, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was reviewing the withdrawal schedules he had previously requested from the Pentagon, CIA, and State Department. Once he looked them over, he told those in attendance the schedules were too slow and had to be speeded up.

The taped conversation in 1964 between Johnson and McNamara, where LBJ clearly admits he knew Kennedy and McNamara were withdrawing from Vietnam and always thought it was a bad idea. But he sat there in silence, since he was not in charge.

Interview subject John Newman listened to McNamara’s Pentagon debriefs after he was removed from office by Johnson. In those sessions, McNamara clearly states that he and Kennedy had decided they could send equipment, trainers, and advisors to Saigon. But that was it. American could not fight the war for South Vietnam. When the training period was over, America was leaving and it did not matter if Saigon was winning or losing.

None of this new evidence was in the 1991 film, but it would convince most objective people that Kennedy was simply not sending American combat troops into Vietnam. But Johnson was quite willing to do so. LBJ thought McNamara and Kennedy were wrong and he browbeat McNamara into changing policies. The evidence on this topic is overwhelming today and has been presented by several authors in different ways: Howard Jones, Gordon Goldstein, James Blight, David Kaiser, and, most prominently, by Newman in the 2017 version of his book JFK and Vietnam. It speaks very poorly of Long as a history professor that she is not familiar with this work. Or if she is familiar with it, to simply deny it.

She follows this up with a bizarre statement that is confounding no matter how many times one reads it. She says that assassination related research continues to focus on a narrow set of questions, “including whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted as a lone assassin or if a conspiracy lay behind the president’s murder.” Alecia, that is not a narrow question. Most people would think it’s the ball game. If Oswald acted alone, the Warren Report is correct. If it was a conspiracy, the 900-page Warren Report was wrong and some secret body overthrew our government, with calamitous results.

She then writes something that, even for her, is astounding. She says that JFK Revisited blurs the lines between fact, fiction, and pure speculation in presenting the work of the ARRB. The film presents three people who worked for that body: Chairman John Tunheim, his deputy, Tom Samoluk, and Military Records analyst Doug Horne. JFK Revisited shows documents that were declassified due to their work. Every statement made in the film is backed up by evidence and we show many documents and exhibits in the film. For example, the testimony by the official autopsy photographer that he did not take the pictures of Kennedy’s brain that are today in the National Archives. Which leads to the questions: then who did take them, and why?

But, as with Vietnam, Long does not want to reveal that bit of new information, since it would prove the contrary of what she is preaching.

She then admits that the CIA and FBI delayed the release of many documents. And sometimes they were actually deceptive to the two main federal investigations of Kennedy’s murder: the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations. But she then adds that “no documents have been released that indicate intelligence agency participation in the assassination.”

Oh really? In the film, John Newman states that the FBI removed the FLASH warning from the Oswald file just a few days after Oswald’s return from his alleged Mexico City visit. This allowed him to escape being placed on the Secret Service security index in advance of Kennedy’s Texas trip. If the FLASH had not been taken off, Oswald would likely have been removed from the motorcade route due to his active and open communist activities in New Orleans and his alleged visits to the Cuban and Russian embassies in Mexico City. As Newman also states, this same type of maneuver inexplicably occurred at the CIA. In other words, something was going on with the Oswald file at both the FBI and CIA in advance of the assassination. When one throws in the fact that the legendary, ARRB-declassified Lopez Report about Mexico City indicates Oswald was not there—but the CIA insisted he was—then excuse me, but does someone have to hit Alecia Long over the head with a 2 x 4? This whole issue of Oswald’s relationship with the CIA, and counter-intelligence chief James Angleton, will be gone into at length in the four-hour version of the film.

Long closes her column with her usual hatchet job on Jim Garrison. Through Jefferson Morley, the film shows that the alleged pro-Castro communist Oswald was associating with anti-Castro groups like the CIA sponsored DRE. In addition to that, Oswald associated with three known rightwing, CIA associated figures in New Orleans: Guy Banister, David Ferrie, and Clay Shaw. And all three men lied about their association with Oswald after Kennedy was killed. The FBI covered these relationships up, another point Newman talks about in the film. (Click here for proof.) This would seem to raise some questions about who Oswald really was and what he was doing in New Orleans in that fateful summer before Kennedy’s assassination.

But to Long, this is not important. She ends her nonsensical column by saying, and I am not kidding, we should forget about bullets and ballistics. Forget about bullets and ballistics in a homicide case? Instead, we should consult the newly declassified record in order to learn “how events that fertilized citizen cynicism about the government more than a half-century ago can help us document our contentious past…” and also “explain the troubling conspiracy theories of today.”

The reason cynicism sprung up way back then was precisely because the Warren Report did not follow regular procedures in evaluating bullets and ballistics. And we prove that in our film with new evidence exposing the fallacies the Commission hoisted on the public, but somehow that is not important to Long or The Washington Post.

In other words: Who the heck cares who killed Kennedy? We should worry about how all that stuff caused QAnon. Alecia, the question of who killed Kennedy is quite important, due to the fact that whether you know it or not, or like it or not, something happened to this country—both domestically and in foreign policy—due to his assassination. And if you do not trust me just look at Larry Sabato’s book, The Kennedy Half Century. There he explains, through polling and focus groups, how about 90% of the public feels America lost its way due to JFK’s assassination. (see p. 416)

As far as QAnon goes, JFK Revisited relies on data, not faith or mysticism—or as some suspect what QAnon really is, a psy-op. The documented screenplays for both versions of the film will be published in February. As Long will then see, and as Stone said at Cannes, JFK Revisited turns conspiracy theory into conspiracy fact. It explains how, just one year after getting elected, Johnson had 175,00 combat troops in Vietnam. On the day he was killed, Kennedy had none. That is a fact. And the film does this throughout with documents and testimony that she either does not know about, or does not want to convey to the public.

The murder of John F. Kennedy was a homicide case. That is the way it should be treated. What Long writes is a diversion from the new calculus of that case. President Kennedy deserves better than that. Much better.

Dec.16

 

The five most radical right Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are shown above, with the sixth Republican, Chief Justice John Roberts, omitted in this view.

The five most radical right Republican justices on the Supreme Court are shown above, with the sixth Republican, Chief Justice John Roberts, omitted in this photo array.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: The Supreme Court, Weaponized, Linda Greenhouse (shown at right on the cover of her memoir), Dec. 16, 2021. When the Supreme Court overturned a 41-year linda greenhouse cover just a journalistprecedent three years ago and ruled that public employees have a right under the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee not to pay union dues, Justice Elena Kagan accused the 5-to-4 majority of “weaponizing the First Amendment” to serve its anti-labor agenda.

Her powerful dissenting opinion in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees helped propel the “weaponizing” image into circulation as an apt description of how the court’s conservatives were hijacking the First Amendment and converting it into a tool of deregulation.

Now it’s the Supreme Court itself that has been weaponized.

With the accuracy of a drone strike, the three justices appointed by President Donald Trump and strong-armed through to confirmation by Senator Mitch McConnell, then the majority leader, are doing exactly what they were sent to the court to do.

The resulting path of destruction of settled precedent and long-established norms is breathtaking.

Despite the increasingly plaintive reminders by Chief Justice John Roberts that, as he wrote in dissent in the Texas abortion case last week, “it is the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system that is at stake,” the new majority has refused to defend the supremacy of federal law in the face of open defiance by Texas. The court’s acquiescence has left that state’s abortion clinics all but shuttered for months, with pregnant women fleeing to seek care in numbers that are destabilizing the abortion infrastructure in states hundreds of miles from the Texas border.

 jeffrey epstein ghislaine maxwell motorcycle

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (Undated photo introduced by prosecution at trial).

The Unz Review, Investigation: Meet Ghislaine: Daddy’s Girl, Whitney Webb, right, Dec. 16, 2021 (4,500 Words). Introduction: Absent from mainstream discourse on Ghislaine Maxwell’s ongoing trial is any mention of the ties, not only of herself, but her family, to Israeli whitney webb twitterintelligence. Those ties, forged by Ghislaine’s father Robert Maxwell, are critical to understanding Ghislaine’s history and her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual blackmail and trafficking network.

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged madam of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual blackmail and sex trafficking network, has attracted considerable mainstream and independent media attention, though not as much as one might expect given the level of media attention that surrounded Epstein’s 2019 arrest and death or given the public interest in the Epstein/Maxwell scandal and its broader implications.

Unsurprisingly, the broader implications of the Epstein/Maxwell scandal have been largely, if not entirely absent, from mainstream media (and some independent media) coverage of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial as well as absent from the case itself. For example, despite physical evidence of sexual blackmail stored at Epstein’s residences being shown by the prosecution (with the names of those incriminated being notably redacted), the prosecution chose not to mention even the potential role of blackmail in Ghislaine Maxwell’s activities and motives as it related to her involvement in sex trafficking activities alongside Jeffrey Epstein. Not only that, but the names of Ghislaine’s close contacts and even some of her defense witnesses, along with considerable information about her role in Epstein’s network that is very much in the public interest, is due to be filed under seal and forever hidden from the public, either due to “deals” made between the prosecution and the defense in this case or due to rulings from the judge overseeing the case.

Going hand in hand with the blackmail angle of this case is the specter of Ghislaine Maxwell’s family ties to intelligence agencies, as well as the intelligence ties of Jeffrey Epstein himself. Given that blackmail, particularly sexual blackmail, has been used by intelligence agencies – particularly in the US and Israel – since the 1940s and beyond, it is deeply troubling that neither the blackmail or intelligence angle has played any role in the prosecution’s case or in the mainstream media’s coverage of the trial.

To remedy this lack of coverage, Unlimited Hangout is publishing a 2-part investigative report entitled “Meet Ghislaine”, which is adapted from this author’s upcoming book on the subject. This investigation will detail key aspects of Ghislaine Maxwell’s links to intelligence agencies and sexual blackmail activities that are relevant to the case against her and perhaps explain the silence from the prosecution and their interest in sealing potentially incriminating evidence against Ghislaine from public scrutiny. Part 1 of this article will focus on Ghislaine’s father, Robert Maxwell, a “larger than life” figure who straddled the worlds of both business and espionage and whose daughters inherited different aspects of his espionage contacts and activities as well as his influence empire following his 1991 death.

Daily Mail, Classified JFK assassination files are FINALLY released, Jennifer Smith and Keith Griffith, Updated Dec. 16, 2021. Lee Harvey Oswald was in contact with member of KGB two months before shooting and CIA was told 'Russia was planning to pay hitman $100k to kill the president' a YEAR before he died. (Editor's note from Justice Intergrity Project:  The project strongly disagrees with the subheadline of this story and the themes of the text, but excerpts it below anyway in order to advance civic dialogue, including media criticism).,

  • More than 1,500 files were released by the National Archives at noon on Wednesday about JFK's assassination
  • nara logoThey include memos by CIA officers in the immediate aftermath of the shooting on November 23, 1963
  • One details how Lee Harvey Oswald met with a KGB agent on September 29, 1963, in Mexico City
  • The documents also included previously sealed files on Operation Mongoose, the CIA's plan to destabilize the Cuban government and remove Fidel Castro from power
  • Unsealed files from the 1975 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities state that President Kennedy's brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was part of the secret National Security Council group overseeing Mongoose
  • Not all of the files will be released; the NSA is holding some back pending further review
  • The secrecy has fueled conspiracy theories about JFK's assassination
  • The President was killed in 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald while riding in his motorcade in Dallas, Texas
  • Oswald denied shooting JFK in his interviews with police; he was killed two days later while being transported by police by a nightclub owner who shot him
  • Biden had promised to make the files public by October but he delayed, claiming COVID back logs stalled the release

The documents released on Wednesday include memos detailing anonymous phone calls to the US embassy in Canberra, Australia, a year before the shooting, where the caller said the Soviet Government was plotting to kill Kennedy, and details of Oswald's meeting with a KGB agent at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City two months before the shooting.

Another call was placed on November 24, two days after the shooting, claiming the Russians were behind it.

john f kennedy smilingAmong the files is a memo which reveals that the Naval Attaché in Canberra, Australia, cabled the CIA in 1962 to report a crank call of someone warning that 'Iron Curtain countries' were plotting to pay a Polish chauffeur $100,000 to kill Kennedy.

The call was dismissed as a crank.

Oswald's wife Marina, who was was Russian, is referenced throughout the files. One details how a Moroccan student contacted the CIA after the shooting and claimed he had been her boyfriend. The relevance of that to the investigation is not known.

There are also memos detailing interviews with communist activists in Mexico, who Oswald had met with, and details of how he tried to renounce his US citizenship to become Russian four year

In September 1963, two months before he killed JFK, Oswald met with Consul Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov, a KGB agent in Mexico City.

The meeting has been referred to in previous documents but new details emerged today. It's unclear who initiated the meeting.

'According to an intercepted phone call in Mexico City, Lee Oswald was at the Soviet Embassy there on 23 September 1963 and spoke with Consul Valeriy Vladimirovich.

'Oswald called the Soviet Embassy on 1 October, identifying himself by name and speaking broken Russian, stating the above and asking the guard who answered the phone whether there was 'anything concerning the telegram to Washington,' a memo, written by CIA officer Tennent H. Bagley wrote on November 23, 1963, the day after the assassination.

A handwritten memo from May 1964 describes several tips that flowed into the CIA and State Department in the aftermath of the assassination, many of them seemingly from cranks.

On November 24, 1963, two days after Kennedy was killed, the Naval Attaché in Canberra, Australia cabled the CIA that someone claiming to be a Polish chauffer at the Soviet Union embassy had telephoned to report that 'probably' the Soviet government had financed the assassination.

The Naval Attaché said that a similar allegation had been made in an anonymous phone call on October 15, 1962, a year before the assassination, in which the caller stated that 'Iron Curtain Countries' planned to pay $100,000 for Kennedy to be killed.

However, the memo notes that Australian security services considered the caller a 'crank' and were unable to identify any Polish employees at the Soviet embassy. 'Avail. evidence would tend to show caller was a crank but can't confirm this,' the memo states.

CIA LogoThe memo also states that the US Embassy in Stockholm received a letter the day after the assassination, accusing the 'Communist Chinese of plotting the act'. A CIA analysis determined the anonymous letter was written by a Swede, using a Swedish keyboard typewriter.

As well, the US Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica received a letter in late November 1963 claiming the assassination was 'part of a plot to kill all presidents of the free world.'

'Letter was adjudged to be the work of a crank,' the memo states. 'No further info on the writer, signed Rodrigo C, has ever been received.'

The tranche of released documents also included previously sealed files on Operation Mongoose, the CIA's plan to destabilize the Cuban government and remove Fidel Castro from power.

Evolving from the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion debacle in April 1961, Mongoose involved a wide range of plots for economic sabotage, espionage, and even proposals to garner public support for an invasion through 'false flag' attacks attributed to Cuba. The program fell apart in the wake of the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

High-level US Mafia figures have long been rumored to have been involved in Mongoose, due to their connections in Cuba and anger at Castro for shutting down Mob-run casinos in Havana.

Unsealed files from the 1975 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities state that President Kennedy's brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was part of the secret National Security Council group overseeing Mongoose.

The report said Robert Kennedy was 'a vigorous participant in its activities and to many seemed the principal driving force.'

Mongoose has long figured prominently in conspiracy theories involving the JFK assassination, including Oliver Stone's film portrayal of Oswald as involved in the program.

In this telling, Oswald was attached to the CIA, and his overt pro-Castro activities were actually attempts to infiltrate Communist groups.

edward lansdale usaf wikimediaHowever, the documents released on Wednesday do not reveal any such connection, and include testimony from Mongoose chief of operations Edward Lansdale, left, denying any Mafia connection to the program.

The files are not expected to include any bombshells about the 1963 Dallas assassination, but will shed more light on what happened that day and the government's investigation into it.

The files were collected by a review board that was established by Congress in 1992.

Their investigation was finalized in 1997 and they issued a report, but thousands of documents were held back by the government.

The Kennedy family is among those who have repeatedly called for the documents to be made public.

Earlier this year, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., JFK's nephew, fumed that some of the files would remain secret until next year.

The files that will remain secret until next December have been flagged by national security agencies for further review.

'It’s an outrage. It’s an outrage against American democracy. We’re not supposed to have secret governments within the government.

'How the hell is it 58 years later, and what in the world could justify not releasing these documents?' RFK Jr. told Politico in October.

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the son of longtime Biden friend late Sen. Ted Kennedy, also slammed the decision to hold some of the files back.

'I think for the good of the country, everything has to be put out there so there’s greater understanding of our history,' he said.

Kennedy said it was a time of 'a lot of conspiracy theories' and noted there is 'a tendency to distrust government in general.'

Conspiracy theorists continue to question why the government wants to keep some of the files redacted.

joe biden resized oPresident Biden had promised to make the files public in October, but he delayed the release citing COVID backlogs at the National Archives

JFK was sitting in the backseat of a convertible with First Lady Jackie Kennedy when he was shot in the neck at 12.30pm.

He was taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead 30 minutes later.

Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in a theater a short time later. He denied shooting Kennedy in police interviews, and was also charged with shooting police officer J.D. Tippit.

Oswald, a former Marine and Marxism enthusiast, was shot and killed two days later while being transported by police.

He was killed by local Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, and the murder was witnessed by the media and policemen.

He claimed that his rage over Kennedy's assassination is what motivated him.

The files were always meant to be made public within 25 years of the assassination under the JFK Records Act, but Biden delayed their release earlier this year, citing COVID back-logs as the reason.

President Trump agreed to make 10,000 public when he was in office, but they were mostly redacted.

Historians and experts do not believe that Wednesday's dump of files will contain any bombshells or revelations about the assassination but because of the secrecy that has surrounded them, there is still suspicion that the government isn't telling the public everything.

'Because it has taken [the government] so long to get these records out, no matter what comes out, no one is going to believe that that's it,' one official told CNN on Wednesday ahead of the release.

Dec. 15

National Archives, JFK Assassination Records: 2021 Additional Documents Release, Staff Reports, Dec. 15, 2021. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is processing previously withheld John F. Kennedy assassination-related records to comply with President Joe Biden’s Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on the Temporary Certification Regarding Disclosure of Information in Certain Records Related to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, requiring disclosure of releasable records by December 15, 2021.

The National Archives has posted records online to comply with these requirements.

CNN, Biden administration releases previously classified JFK assassination documents, Katie Bo Lillis, Dec. 15, 2021.The Biden administration has released a tranche of secret documents that some historians -- and conspiracy theorists -- hope might shed light on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

CNNThe release of almost 1,500 documents still leaves more than 10,000 either partially redacted or withheld entirely. It is expected to prolong the bitter debate between the federal government and JFK researchers, who have argued that the CIA, the FBI and other national security agencies have continually stonewalled a congressionally mandated release.

Longtime JFK researchers say the release likely does not include a smoking gun that would substantively change the public understanding of the circumstances surrounding Kennedy's death -- nor, historians argue, does one likely exist elsewhere.

joe biden resized oBut for many lawmakers and transparency advocates, releasing all of the remaining documents, as mandated by Congress in 1992, is about restoring faith in the functioning of government. Public polling has long shown that a majority of Americans do not believe the Warren Commission's official finding that Kennedy was killed by a single man, Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone.

"Because it has taken [the government] so long to get these records out, no matter what comes out, no one is going to believe that that's it," said one official familiar with the classification concerns related to the documents.

In October President Joe Biden delayed a scheduled release to "protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in the immediate disclosure."

He set two deadlines: Wednesday, for any documents that national security agencies have not proposed be withheld, and Dec. 15, 2022, to allow for the remaining documents to undergo a rigorous security review and then be released.

Some transparency advocates argue that another filing the government is expected to make on Wednesday will be more significant than the documents release -- and, in fact, is a significant step toward transparency.

Agencies that wish to continue to withhold particular documents past December 2022 are scheduled to provide to the White House "an unclassified index identifying for each such record the reasons for which the agency is proposing continued postponement of information in such record," according to Biden's October order. That order dictated that those indexes should be made public along with the remaining documents in 2022.

"President Biden's memo reinforces the strict standards established by Congress and holds agencies to a strict timeline and well-structured process," Ezra Cohen, the chairman of the Public Interest Declassification Board, a bipartisan advisory panel whose members are appointed by the president and Congress, said in a statement.

"The PIDB's expectation is that, a year from now, most of the records currently withheld will be declassified and available to the public."
Researchers frustrated with Biden administration approach

But even before Wednesday's release, longtime assassination researchers expressed frustrated with the Biden administration's piecemeal approach.

Larry Schnapf, a lawyer and assassination researcher, announced on Tuesday night his intention to sue Biden for failing to release the records in full.
Schnapf has previously sued for internal government communications underpinning the decision behind successive postponements by both former President Donald Trump and Biden.

"We will be seeking a court order instructing the President to release the remaining records or to disclose the specific identifiable harm posed by each document sought to be postponed and how such alleged harm outweighs the strong public interest in the release of these records -- which were supposed to have been released by October 26, 2017," Schnapf wrote in an email to reporters on Tuesday.

Since many of the documents in question involve covert Cold War intelligence activities, there are theoretically legitimate reasons why classified information dating to the 1960s should be withheld, said former CIA officer David Priess, the author of "The President's Book of Secrets."

It is "increasingly unlikely" but "possible" that a CIA source from that era could still be alive and at risk from disclosure, Priess said.

"It could be that there's a source out there who is still in power or still connected directly to someone that would be dangerous for today's intelligence collection," Priess said. "Now, you have to balance that against the historical interest and the compelling public interest here."

In 1992, Congress passed the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, in part prompted by furor caused by the conspiratorial Oliver Stone film "JFK."

The act dictated that all assassination records should be publicly disclosed by October 2017, but Trump and now Biden have allowed multiple postponements on the advice of the FBI, the CIA and other national security agencies. Trump ultimately released tens of thousands of documents, the majority of which include at least some redactions.

Going into Wednesday, more than 90% of the records had been released, according to the National Archives -- 15,834 documents that had been previously released but include redactions and 520 documents that had been withheld in full. The majority of those documents are tax records, according to the Archives, including Oswald's tax returns. Those records are specifically exempted from the JFK records act.

Dec. 14

 

abraham lincoln military commission

Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: Punishment for U.S. coup leaders must be as severe as that which befell Lincoln assassination plotters, wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallWayne Madsen, left, Dec. 14, 2021. In WMR's December 7, 2021 report, we predicted that we are now in a situation of experiencing "Watergate-level of back-to-back developments." The recent revelations by the House Select Committee on the January 6th sedition, now deemed an attempted coup d'état by Donald Trump and his circle of conspirators, bears out our earlier assessment.

It was Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, Attorney General James Speed, and Advocate General of the Army Joseph Holt who successfully argued that the Lincoln assassination conspirators should be tried by a military commission. Those who plotted to kill Lincoln were, according to several historical records, continuing to follow orders from the remnants of the Confederate government, even though its Army chief, General Robert E. Lee, had surrendered his forces to the United States on April 9, 1865.

abraham lincoln alexander gardner library of congress getty imagesWhen Lincoln, right, was assassinated on April 14, 1865, members of the Confederate government and its Bureau of Special and Secret Service continued to be active around the nation. It was important for the federal government to send a message to the Confederate holdouts and the summary military commission trial and sentencing of the Lincoln assassination cabal sent that very message: continue to wage war and the consequences will be swift and harsh.

That same message must be vigorously delivered by the federal government to those who planned and carried out the coup attempt of January 6th.

A modern-day military commission that would handle the sedition trials of Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, Rudolph Giuliani, and other conspirators, could follow the same path as the 1865 tribunal. The lackadaisical attitude of Attorney General Merrick Garland toward the January 6th coup attempt demands why he and his department -- continued to be infiltrated by Trump right-wing loyalists like Alexander Haas, the director of the Civil Division’s Federal Programs Branch and Curtis Gannon, the Deputy Solicitor General -- not be relied upon or trusted to ensure that the coup plotters are dealt with effectively and, if found guilty of seditious conspiracy, severely.

merrick garlandIf Garland does not want to "look backward," as he has stated, then it must be a military commission that looks forward in bringing the judicial hammer down on the seditious conspirators of January 6th. Garland, left, can watch the commission's proceedings on television if he so wishes.

In dealing with our country's worst case of sedition since the Civil War, justice for the main perpetrators and planners must be dealt with by thinking "out of the box." The coup plotters had definitely been creative when it came to interpreting election laws and the Constitution by proposing bogus presidential electors, killing off the major leaders of Congress, and declaring a "national security emergency" and imposing martial law.

America must send a clear message to the world: when our democracy is attacked from within, including by the President of the United States, justice is swift and certain.

And, if that means Donald Trump is found guilty of seditious conspiracy and related crimes against the nation and its Constitution, capital punishment should be a primary option for a special military commission to consider. Had the Trump coup been successful, there is no doubt that Trump and his cronies would have been merciless in dealing with those who opposed his attempted seizure of dictatorial power. This nation will not get a second chance to deal with the coup plotters in a determined and swift manner.

Dec. 13


 mark meadows hands out

Politico, Meadows Jan. 5 email indicated National Guard on standby to ‘protect pro Trump people,’ investigators say, Kyle Cheny and Nicholas Wu, Dec. 13, 2021 (print ed.). Mark Meadows, shown above in a file photo, indicated in a Jan. 5 email that the National Guard was on standby to “protect pro Trump people,” according to documents obtained by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, which the panel described in a public filing Sunday night.

politico CustomThe context for the message is unclear, but it comes amid intense scrutiny of the Guard’s slow response to violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and conflicting timelines about their efforts from the Pentagon and National Guard leadership.

It's unclear who Meadows, the former White House chief of staff to Donald Trump, relayed the information to or whether it was the result of any insight provided by the Defense Department.

But the exchange is of high interest to congressional investigators probing whether Trump played a role in the three-hour delay between the Capitol Police's urgent request for Guard support and their ultimate arrival at the Capitol, which had been overrun by pro-Trump rioters. The comment also aligns christopher miller official.jpgwith testimony from former Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, right, who said that in a Jan. 3 conversation with Trump, the then-president told him to "do whatever was necessary to protect the demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights."

The description of the message is part of a 51-page document released Sunday by the select panel a day before it is set to vote to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress. The full House is expected to vote to hold Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress on Tuesday.

In other messages described by the committee, Meadows appears to have asked members of Congress to help connect Trump with state lawmakers shortly after his defeat in November.

“POTUS wants to chat with them,” Meadows said, according to documents obtained by the Jan. 6 committee and described publicly Sunday evening.

The messages also describe numerous contacts with members of Congress about Trump’s efforts to recruit state lawmakers and encourage them to help overturn the election results. They also included questions about Meadows’ exchanges with members of Congress as they pressed him urgently to issue a statement telling rioters on Jan. 6 to exit the Capitol.

Meadows’ attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The messages are the clearest insight yet into the conversations Trump was having with senior advisers in the chaotic months after his defeat in which President Donald Trump officialhe sought to cling to power in increasingly desperate ways. Though Meadows turned over thousands of text messages and emails, he has declined to sit for a deposition to discuss those messages, claiming he is barred by executive privilege. The committee and Meadows had reached a tentative agreement for him to come in for an interview, but the pact collapsed last week.

Instead, the committee held a closed-door deposition without Meadows present and described the questions they would have asked him. The transcript of that closed session was appended to the panel’s contempt report, describing the details of the documents Meadows had provided.

“We would have asked him about text messages sent to and received from a Senator regarding the Vice President’s power to reject electors, including a text in which Mr. Meadows recounts a direct communication with President Trump who, according to Mr. Meadows in his text messages, quote, ‘thinks the legislators have the power, but the VP has power Too,’” the panel’s investigators noted.

Meadows' comments on the National Guard's readiness to defend Trump supporters align with concerns that have wracked investigators for months. POLITICO reported in May that a Capitol Police leader similarly encouraged officers to focus on anti-Trump forces within the Jan. 6 crowd, prompting concerns about intelligence failures even as the pro-Trump mob encroached on the Capitol.

The committee pointed out that many of the messages he shared already appeared to violate privilege by describing his own contacts with Trump. He mark meadows book chief chiefalso revealed many of those contacts in his recently released book (shown at right).

The committee described a slew of other messages it obtained from Meadows including:

— Text messages with a “media personality” who had encouraged Trump to issue a statement asking those at the Capitol to “peacefully leave.”

— A text “sent to one of — by one of the President’s family members indicating that Mr. Meadows is, quote, ‘pushing hard,’ end quote, for a statement from President Trump to, quote, ‘condemn this shit.’”

— Texts in December 2020 regarding efforts to install Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general.

— Texts to and from a member of Congress in November 2020 seeking contact information for the attorney general of Arizona to discuss claims of election fraud.

— Texts to and from organizers of the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the violent attack on the Capitol.

— Texts “reflecting Mr. Meadows’ skepticism about public statements regarding allegations of election fraud put forth by Sidney Powell and his skepticism about the veracity of claims of tampering with Dominion voting machines.”

Powell, who briefly worked with Trump's campaign legal team before leading her own series of lawsuits intended to overturn the election results, was the most notable purveyor of outlandish claims of election fraud. She huddled with Trump at the White House in December 2020. Trump briefly considered naming her a "special counsel" to pursue election fraud.

The context for the message is unclear, but it comes amid scrutiny of the Guard’s slow response to the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol.

 

U.S. House Jan. 6 insurrection investigating committee members Liz Cheney (R-WY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Jamie Raskie (D-MD) are shown, left to right, in a file photo.U.S. House Jan. 6 insurrection investigating committee members Liz Cheney (R-WY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) are shown, left to right, in a file photo.

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigative Commentary: The PowerPoint that speaks the truth, Wayne Madsen, left (author of 21 books, syndicated columnist and former Navy intelligence officer), Dec. 13, 2021. Let’s talk about the January 5, 2021 PowerPoint slide show that wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smalldescribes the plot by Donald Trump to cancel the 2020 election and call out the National Guard to enforce a staged re-do of the election, one that would have ensured a Trump win over the actual victor, Joe Biden.

wayne madesen report logoThis has its roots in the info-sphere of Trump's far-right network of retired military officers. That includes former Army psychological operations Lieutenant Colonel Phil Waldron and former Lt. General Michael Flynn, who once led the Defense Intelligence Agency and served as Trump's later-disgraced White House national security adviser.

The PowerPoint was shared by former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection. The “insurrection” should properly be called “an attempted coup d'état” involving military and law enforcement assets.

Because the Trump cabal seems to like PowerPoint presentations, WMR has drawn up its own on the Trump-led attempted coup. Widest dissemination of this .PDF is encouraged.

CLICK HERE FOR POWERPOINT

Press Run, Opinion: Slow-walking the coup PowerPoint, Eric Boehlert, right, Dec. 13, 2021. Twelve months after the press shied away from calling Trump’s coup eric.boehlertattempt a “coup,” the Beltway media continue to go slow on the latest revelation about how deeply enmeshed the White House was in its blatant push to sabotage democracy following the Republican’s lopsided loss to Joe Biden.

The discovery of a pro-coup PowerPoint circulating within the White House last winter, designed to nullify millions of American votes, ought to be covered nonstop today, and used as proof that Trump is not suitable to hold office in this country. Instead, the PowerPoint has received mostly passing, disinterested coverage.

Titled “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN,” the 38-page presentation is a rocket ship ride into the Big Lie abyss. The proposed plan was for Trump to declare a national emergency and for all electronic voting to be rendered invalid, citing foreign “control” of electronic voting systems. The chilling PowerPoint came to light recently when Trump’s fourth and final chief of staff, Mark Meadows, turned the electronic presentation over to investigators at the January 6 Committee. Days later, Meadows stopped cooperating with the panel.

The PowerPoint included plans for Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6 to reject electors from “states where fraud occurred.” It also included a proposal in which the certification of Biden’s victory would be delayed, and U.S. marshals and National Guard troops would help “secure” and count paper ballots in supposedly disputed states.

A criminal conspiracy to overthrow last year’s election, the PowerPoint is a heavy-handed plot twist that most Hollywood scriptwriters would dismiss as not being believable. Yet here we are, as Trump plans his re-election run and we learn more about the runaway criminal enterprise he oversaw as president.

We’re learning about it slowly though, and what seems to be reluctantly by the Beltway press, which instead of touting the PowerPoint as a smoking gun that reveals the GOP’s proudly anti-democratic ways, are treating the proposal timidly — an oddity that doesn’t demand much attention. Virtually none of the coverage I’ve seen has included key context, such as quotes from experts on authoritarianism regarding the stunning implications of a White House likely consulting a sabotage plan like that.

“PowerPoint Sent to Mark Meadows Is Examined by Jan. 6 Panel,” was the ho-hum headline the New York Times produced over the weekend. As of Sunday night, there had been no Times follow-up on the story, suggesting the paper does not see the PowerPoint as being overly important or worthy of ongoing coverage.

The coup blueprint still has not appeared on the front page of single major American newspaper, nor has any influential editorial page weighed in. Republican members of Congress have not been repeatedly pressed to explain the document and why, twelve months ago, the president’s chief of staff took a meeting with the author of the unhinged PowerPoint. Or why members of the author’s conspiracy team, just days before the deadly January 6 insurrection, spoke to a group of Republican senators and House members, briefing them on the bogus claims of foreign interference in the election.

As of Sunday afternoon, “PowerPoint” had been mentioned just 20 times on CNN in the previous week, 50 times on MSNBC, and to nobody’s surprise, 0 times on Fox News. There has not been a single network evening news mention, according to a search of Nexis.

The media’s shoulder shrug response has left Democrats perplexed and enraged. “Can someone explain to me why this isn’t the only thing in the news?” tweeted Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). “I deeply respect the fourth estate, but, holy shit they had a plan to just end democracy, and is the press gonna just be like “are democrats using the wrong words again?”

There’s a long and disturbing history of the press sleepwalking through this coup story. The press embraced a timid storyline immediately following Trump's defeat as he unleashed a vicious campaign against free and fair elections in America.

Instead of detailing his treasonous, post-election behavior surrounding the would-be coup as a power-hungry authoritarian out to steal an election, news consumers received updates about Trump’s “tactics,” his vague “moves” and “chicanery”; his legal “strategy” and “power play” while he was “sulking” and “brooding” inside the White House.

One Politico dispatch at the time dismissed Trump’s anti-democratic behavior as merely “bad sportsmanship.”

Back in October 2020, when he was asked whether he would agree to the peaceful transfer of power if he lost, Trump became the first president in American history to balk at the centerpiece of our democratic tradition. The Times placed the story inside the paper on page 15, gently noting that Trump had "declined an opportunity on Wednesday to endorse” the idea. "Trump Won't Commit to Peaceful Transfer of Power" should have been the headline on the front page of every major newspaper in America. It didn't appear on a single one.

Now they’re sleepwalking past the coup.

Dec. 12

Palmer Report, Opinion: Mark Meadows email blows open January 6th National Guard scandal, Bill Palmer, right, Dec. 12, 2021. One of the biggest unanswered bill palmerquestions surrounding the January 6th Capitol attack was the delayed response of the Washington DC National Guard. Various people have made various excuses for the hours-long delay, all of which have sounded suspicious – raising the question of whether the Trump White House may have delayed sending in the National Guard on purpose in order to protect the pro-Trump people who attacked the Capitol.

bill palmer report logo headerNow we appear to be getting an answer. The January 6th Committee just released a fifty-plus page document recommending that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows be referred for criminal contempt. In that document, the committee spells out various things it would have asked Meadows if he’d shown up and testified. One of those questions is why Meadows sent an email on January 5th stating that the National Guard was on standby to “protect pro Trump people.”

Mark MeadowsSo what does this even mean? The darkest interpretation would be that the Trump White House knew the January 6th Capitol attack was coming, and decided that if the National Guard was going to be used at all, it would only be on the side of the pro-Trump terrorists.

Meadows, right, and his defense lawyers might try to argue that the National Guard was really on standby to protect against “Antifa” or other anti-Trump groups. But in such case, why would the National Guard be protecting pro-Trump people from anti-Trump people? Wouldn’t it still be protecting the Capitol from anti-Trump people?

The most obvious interpretation here is that Donald Trump refused to send in the National Guard to fend off the Capitol attackers because he’d already decided to use the National Guard to help protect the Capitol attackers from other law enforcement personnel. Keep in mind that the DC National Guard is technically part of the U.S Army. So if this is the proper context for the Meadows email, then it means Trump directed the U.S. military to side with domestic terrorists and against the United States Congress.

If it comes down to it, Donald Trump will try to pin the entire thing on Mark Meadows. At that point Meadows would have to flip on Trump just to avoid potentially spending the rest of his life in prison, and Meadows had better hope he’s got evidence up his sleeve that proves the orders came from Trump.

Of course that’s all getting a few steps ahead. For now Mark Meadows is being referred for criminal contempt, and based on how serious the referral is, the Department of Justice is highly likely to indict and arrest Meadows for contempt. That’s all before getting to whatever underlying criminal charges Meadows (and others, including Trump) might end up facing as a result of the criminal activity documented in evidence such as these emails.

Dec. 11

World Crisis Radio, Political Commentary: Biden boom: lowest jobless claims since 1969 cuts unemployment rate to 4.2%, Webster G. Tarpley, rght, Dec. webster tarpley 200711, 2021 (59:31 mins.). End phase of globalization rolls on as press fixates on mild inflation, ignoring the wisdom of Anton Erkelenz in late Weimar: deflationary austerity & unemployment are far more likely to produce fascist dictatorship than even the most severe inflation;On eve of Liverpool conference on Ukraine, British Foreign Secretary calls for unity against Putin’s blackmail; Biden must prepare expulsion of Russian banks from SWIFT system;

Gaslighting media fad of anti-Biden defeatism spreads across corporate press and cable outlets;

Signs of weakness by Trump and GOP: January 6 subpoenas accelerate as Trump privilege claim is rebuffed by DC Appeals Court; After caving on CR to fund government and NDAA, McConnell enables suspension of filibuster on extension of debt ceiling; Incessant feuding among Trump & GOP bigwigs; crisis of Protestant evangelicals erodes base; Party ripe for extinction, with New Monroe Doctrine urgent;

Revival of labor movement signaled by SEIU success in NLRB vote at Starbucks in Buffalo, with more to follow;

Overestimating the enemy’s strength can lead to loss of vital opportunities, as shown by failure of defeatist McClellan in the 1862 Peninsular Campaign & Antietam, contrasted with Grant’s realistic optimism;
By 5-4 vote, Trump’s puppet Supremes fail to end monstrous exercise in nullification by Texas abortion law;

UK, Canada, Australia join US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics;

The ouster of UK PM Boris Johnson for incompetence is suddenly thinkable as new wave of covid hits Britain

Washington Decoded, Analysis and Opinion: Once More ‘Round the Plaza, Robert Reynolds, Dec. 11, 2021. Once again the National Archives is preparing to release previously redacted documents from the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection (JFK ARC). And once again the idea is becoming rampant that significant and newsworthy information on the assassination of President Kennedy 58 years ago will soon be revealed.

News coverage of the coming releases started out muted this time around compared to the last big releases, which occurred from July 2017 to April 2018. It picked up markedly, however, when President Biden released a memo on October 22 that spelled out short- to long-range plans for the collection.

The memo called for a first release of redacted documents that agencies no longer wish to withhold in mid-December, then another, larger, release by December next year. The memo also mandated a boat-load of paperwork for agencies to fill out if they want to postpone anything past that date. A nara logolonger-range element of the plan calls for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the federal agency that houses assassination-related materials, to scan the entire collection and put it on-line. How long that will take is not spelled out in the memo.

Reaction to Biden’s memo ranged from yawns to apoplectic complaints that Biden has sold out to pressure from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and is suppressing incriminating documents.

That a collection of mostly paper documents can stimulate such passions is a tribute to the depth of the national trauma inflicted by the assassination. Given the confusing result of the last releases, it is also understandable that people might think there are still important documents left unreleased. A closer look at NARA’s latest data on the ARC, however, reveals just how unlikely this is.


The JFK Database

The 2017-2018 releases from NARA were confusing, first, because it was unclear how much material was from documents previously withheld in full, and second, because it was equally unclear how much was from documents that had been previously released in part. This should not have been the case.[1]

The primary reason for the uncertainty was outdated information in the JFK database, the computer listing of metadata for most records in the collection. The creation of the database had been mandated by the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, the 1992 public law that established the JFK archival collection in the first place. The purpose of the database was to provide a detailed index to the contents of the collection, including basic information for every record, such as the title and date of the document, the agency that generated the record, number of pages, and so on.

The main problem that led to the confusion was a failure to update the release status of each record. Why was this data field not better maintained? During the five years the database was being assembled, 1993 to 1998, there were frequent changes in the status of records. Agencies argued with the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), the limited-term panel created to oversee the assembly and release of the JFK records, about which documents counted as assassination-related records, and what standards should apply for withholding documents in full or redacting portions of their text. These status changes were not always recorded in the database. With more than three hundred thousand records in the database, that should not be surprising.

In addition, the online version of the JFK database was not updated to reflect the status of records in the collection after the 2017-2018 releases. During this period, NARA posted more than 600,000 pages online, in tens of thousands of pdfs, in seven discrete releases. Many of the documents made available online were posted in multiple versions, or were posted with multiple documents lumped into one pdf file. All of this made it a practical impossibility for the general public to keep track of which record was released in full, and which still had redactions.

This lamentable situation was finally addressed when NARA began an epic review of every record in the collection. The old public version of the JFK database was taken off line in October 2020, and in June of this year, NARA posted an updated version of the JFK database in the form of six large Excel files (available here).

This latest version is a significant update, correcting some widely cited figures. For example, a search of NARA’s own JFK ARC webpages will still turn up the estimate that 88 percent of the ARC documents are open in full. The update shows that following the 2017-2018 releases, approximately 95 percent of the documents are now released in full.

This update, though highly significant, is still not the end of the story. A closer look makes clear that NARA’s top-to- bottom review of the collection was not yet complete by May of this year, although that is the posted online date of the update. No doubt NARA is now even further along in the review process, seven months later, having placed a very high priority on reviewing the ARC (before but especially after President Biden’s memo). The JFK Act mandated a level of indexing and detail, however, that is found in no other NARA collection, and the volume of records is truly huge. If NARA actually finishes its review of the ARC this year, it will be doing very well indeed.

Although a work in progress, the May 2021 update of the JFK database still gives us the most current and accurate view of redactions in, and withholding of, ARC documents. Thanks to the large number of records NARA posted online from 2017-2018, moreover, those who are interested can check the database directly against the documents online.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time NARA’s diligent work on the collection has been largely ignored during the latest flap of publicity. The ARC is once again being touted as a source for information that could “blow the case wide open.” The updated database shows otherwise.

Dec. 6

Justice Integrity Project, Explosive New Report Challenges RFK Death Account, Andrew Kreig, Dec. 6, 2021. Editor's Introduction: We present "RFK: The Real Story" below, a major new research report by the Truth & Reconciliation Committee (TRC) debunking official accounts and conventional wisdom that convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan killed Democratic Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) in 1968.

The assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy appeared to be a cut-and-dried case, with Sirhan Sirhan, who undeniably fired a handgun towards Senator Kennedy, being convicted of murder and remaining in prison ever since. Over the decades, however, overwhelming evidence that RFK's murder was actually committed by a different gunman has emerged.

The facts of the case need to be exposed, especially since Sirhan Sirhan is currently being considered for parole by the California Parole Board and Governor Gavin Newsom.

capitol riot shutterstock capitol

Politico, 'Absolute liars': Ex-D.C. Guard official says generals lied to Congress about Jan. 6, Betsy Woodruff Swan and Meridith McGraw, Dec. 6, 2021. In a 36-page memo to the Capitol riot committee, Col. Earl Matthews also slams the Pentagon's inspector general, Sean O'Donnell [also the Trump-appointed Inspector General for the Environmental Protection Agency], for what he calls an error-ridden report about the riot, shown above.

earl matthewsA former D.C. National Guard official is accusing two senior Army leaders of lying to Congress and participating in a secret attempt to rewrite the history of the military's response to the Capitol riot.

politico CustomIn a 36-page memo, Col. Earl Matthews, right,who held high-level National Security Council and Pentagon roles during the Trump administration, slams the Pentagon's inspector general for what he calls an error-riddled report that protects a top Army official who argued against sending the National Guard to the Capitol on Jan. 6, delaying the insurrection response for hours.

Matthews' memo, sent to the Jan. 6 select committee this month and obtained by POLITICO, includes detailed recollections of the insurrection response as it calls two Army generals — Gen. Charles Flynn, who served as deputy chief of staff for operations on Jan. 6, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, the director of Army staff — “absolute and unmitigated liars” for their characterization of the events of that day. Matthews has never publicly discussed the chaos of the Capitol siege.

william walker resized proofOn Jan. 6, Matthews was serving as the top attorney to Maj. Gen. William Walker, right, then commanding general of the D.C. National Guard. Matthews’ memo defends the Capitol attack response by Walker, who now serves as the House sergeant at arms, amplifying Walker's previous congressional testimony about the hourslong delay in the military’s order for the D.C. National Guard to deploy to the riot scene.

“Every leader in the D.C. Guard wanted to respond and knew they could respond to the riot at the seat of government” before they were given clearance to do so on Jan. 6, Matthews’ memo reads. Instead, he said, D.C. guard officials “set [sic] stunned watching in the Armory” during the first hours of the attack on Congress during its certification of the 2020 election results.

charles flynn oMatthews' memo levels major accusations: that Flynn, left, and Piatt lied to Congress about their response to pleas for the D.C. Guard to quickly be deployed on Jan. 6; that the Pentagon inspector general’s November report on Army leadership’s response to the attack was “replete with factual inaccuracies”; and that the Army has created its own closely held revisionist document about the Capitol riot that’s “worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist.”

The memo follows Walker’s own public call for the inspector general to retract its detailed report on the events of Jan. 6, as first reported by The Washington Post. Walker told the Post he objected to specific allegations by the Pentagon watchdog that Matthews’ memo also criticizes, calling the inspector general’s report “inaccurate” and “sloppy work.”

Reached for comment on Matthews’ memo, Walker, the former head of the D.C. Guard, said the report speaks for itself and that he had nothing further to add. A Jan. 6 committee spokesperson declined to comment.

The new memo from Matthews, who now serves in the Army reserves, emerges as officials involved in the response that day try to explain their decision-making to investigators. The House select committee has probed the attack for months, and earlier this year top officials testified before the House oversight panel.

Reached for comment, Matthews said the memo he wrote is entirely accurate. “Our Army has never failed us and did not do so on January 6, 2021,” he said. “However, occasionally some of our Army leaders have failed us and they did so on January 6th. Then they lied about it and tried to cover it up. Department of Defense SealThey tried to smear a good man and to erase history.”

Flynn, now the commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific, and Piatt didn't respond to messages. Army spokesperson Mike Brady said in a statement that the service's "actions on January 6th have been well-documented and reported on, and Gen. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Piatt have been open, honest and thorough in their sworn testimony with Congress and DOD investigators."

“As the Inspector General concluded, actions taken ‘were appropriate, supported by requirements, consistent with the DOD’s roles and responsibilities for DSCA, and compliant with laws, regulations, and other applicable guidance," Brady added. “We stand by all testimony and facts provided to date, and vigorously reject any allegations to the contrary. However, with the January 6th Commission’s investigation still ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

steve sund recroppedMatthews’ memo begins by focusing on a 2:30 p.m. conference call on Jan. 6 that included senior military and law enforcement officials, himself and Walker among them. Then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, left, “pleaded” on the call for the immediate deployment of the National Guard to the Capitol, Matthews recalled, saying that rioters had breached the building’s perimeter. Walker has also told Congress that Sund made that plea then. According to Matthews, Flynn and Piatt both opposed the move.

At the time, Piatt was the director of Army staff, one of the top generals in the Pentagon, and Flynn was the Army’s director of operations. The two men were the highest-ranking Army officials who spoke on the 2:30 call, according to Matthews.

“LTG Piatt stated that it would not be his best military advice to recommend to the Secretary of the Army that the D.C. National Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at that time,” Matthews wrote, adding: “LTGs Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol would not be good."

Piatt and Flynn suggested instead that Guardsmen take over D.C. police officers’ traffic duties so those officers could head to the Capitol, Matthews continues.

In addition to Matthews’ memo, POLITICO also obtained a document produced by a D.C. Guard official and dated Jan. 7 that lays out a timeline of Jan. 6. The D.C. Guard timeline, a separate document whose author took notes during the call, also said that Piatt and Flynn at 2:37 p.m. “recommended for DC Guard to standby,” rather than immediately deploying to the Capitol during the riot.

Four minutes later, according to that Guard timeline, Flynn again “advised D.C. National Guard to standby until the request has been routed” to then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller.

Everyone on the call was “astounded” except Piatt and Flynn, Matthews wrote.

 

Charles Flynn, left, and his brother, Michael Flynn, are shown during their service in Afghanistan

Gen. Charles Flynn, left, and his brother, then-Gen. Michael Flynn, are shown during their service in Afghanistan.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Michael Flynn is “engaging” with the January 6th Committee amid new accusations against his brother, Bill Palmer, right, Dec. 6, 2021. bill palmerLast night we pointed out that Michael Flynn was on the January 6th Committee’s schedule to testify today. While the committee puts subpoenaed witnesses on the calendar whether they intend to testify or not, it was notable in that Flynn hadn’t yet publicly said whether or not he was going to show up.

Then early this morning, Politico reported that former D.C. National Guard official Col. Earl Matthews is now accusing Gen. Charles Flynn – brother of Michael Flynn of having lied about the events of January 6th.

bill palmer report logo headerEven as we wait for the other shoe to drop as far as what was really going on and who’s really telling the truth, NBC is reporting that the January 6th Committee has decided at the last minute to give Michael Flynn a “short postponement” so he can “engage” with the investigation.

So what’s going on here? That’s far from clear. This leaves us with a lot of questions.

Michael Flynn, left, has burned investigators before, cutting a plea deal michael flynn state department Customwith the Mueller team and pleading guilty in court, before changing his mind and backing out of his cooperation. So if Flynn is suddenly offering to cooperate on some level, the committee surely wouldn’t just take him at his word, unless he’s given them something of value to buy himself a few days. And of course the bigger question is whether this last minute maneuvering with Michael Flynn’s testimony is related to this morning’s reporting about his brother, or if that’s mere coincidence.

In any case, if Michael Flynn is suddenly panicking over this report about his brother and has decided to give the committee something of use… well, the committee might as well take it. If it ends up being of insufficient value, or nothing at all, the January 6th Committee can still quickly refer him for indictment for criminal contempt and move on with actual cooperating witnesses.

 

Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani hawking their false claims that they could prove election fraud caused Democratic nominee Joe Biden's presidential victory in 2020.

Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani hawking their false claims that they could prove election fraud caused Democratic nominee Joe Biden's presidential victory in 2020.

washington post logoWashington Post, Investigation: Sidney Powell nonprofit raised $14 million spreading falsehoods, Emma Brown, Rosalind S. Helderman, Isaac Stanley-Becker and Josh Dawsey, Dec. 6, 2021. Records also detail acrimony between the lawyer and her top lieutenants over how the money — now a focus of inquiries by federal prosecutors and Congress — was being handled.

In the months after President Donald Trump lost the November election, lawyer Sidney Powell raised large sums from donors inspired by her fight to reverse the outcome of the vote. But by April, questions about where the money was going — and how much there was — were helping to sow division between Powell and other leaders of her new nonprofit, Defending the Republic.

On April 9, many members of the staff and board resigned, documents show. Among those who departed after just days on the job was Chief Financial Officer Robert Weaver, who in a memo at the time wrote that he had “no way of knowing the true financial position” of Defending the Republic because some of its bank accounts were off limits even to him.

republican elephant logoRecords reviewed by The Washington Post show that Defending the Republic raised more than $14 million, a sum that reveals the reach and resonance of one of the most visible efforts to fundraise using baseless claims about the 2020 election. Previously unreported records also detail acrimony between Powell and her top lieutenants over how the money — now a focus of inquiries by federal prosecutors and Congress — was being handled.

The split has left Powell, who once had Trump’s ear, isolated from other key figures in the election-denier movement. Even so, as head of Defending the Republic, she controlled $9 million as recently as this summer, according to an audited financial statement from the group. The mistrust of U.S. elections that she and her former allies stoked endures. Polls show that one-third of Americans — including a majority of Republicans — believe that Trump lost because of fraud.

Matt Masterson, a former senior U.S. cybersecurity official who tracked 2020 election integrity for the Department of Homeland Security, said Powell’s fundraising success demonstrates one reason so many people continue to spread falsehoods about the 2020 election: It can bring in cash.

“Business is good and accountability is low, which means we’re just going to see continued use of this playbook,” Masterson said. “Well-meaning folks that have been told that the election was stolen are giving out money that they might not otherwise be able to give.”

For Trump advocate Sidney Powell, a playbook steeped in conspiracy theories

Last week, The Post reported that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed financial and other documents related to Defending the Republic and a political action committee by the same name, also headed by Powell. The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection sees Powell as a leading beneficiary of election-related falsehoods and has been seeking to determine how much money she raised, said a person familiar with the committee’s work who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations.

 

Donald Trump debates Joe Biden on Sept. 29, 2020 (Associated Press photo by Patrick Semansky).Donald Trump debates Joe Biden on Sept. 29, 2020 (Associated Press photo by Patrick Semansky).

washington post logoWashington Post, Seven days: Following Trump’s coronavirus trail, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey, Dec. 6, 2021 (print ed.). From the day of his first positive test until his hospitalization last year, the president came in contact with more than 500 people in proximity to him or at crowded events, according to a Washington Post analysis.

mark meadows book chief chiefWhen he first learned he had tested positive for the corona­virus, President Donald Trump was already aboard Air Force One, en route to a massive rally in Middletown, Pa.

With him on the plane that Saturday evening were dozens of people — senior aides, Air Force One personnel, junior staffers, journalists and other members of the large entourage typical for a presidential trip — all squeezed together in the recirculating air of a jetliner.

“Stop the president,” White House physician Sean Conley told Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, right, according to a new book by Meadows set to publish Tuesday that was obtained by the Guardian newspaper. “He just tested positive for covid.”

cdc logo CustomBut Meadows asserts in his book, right, that it was too late to stop Trump and that a second rapid antigen test — apparently done using the same sample — came back negative. But under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Trump should have taken a more accurate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm whether he had the coronavirus.

“Had I been there, and Dr. Conley would have told me they would have received a positive test, I would have assumed it was accurate and frankly canceled everything right away,” said John F. Kelly, one of Trump’s previous chiefs of staff, adding that he also would have rushed Trump to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “To do anything else would be irresponsible.”

In fact, Trump was hospitalized at Walter Reed about a week later. From the day he tested positive until his hospitalization, Trump came in contact with more than 500 people, either those in proximity to him or at crowded events, not including rallygoers, according to a Washington Post analysis of the president’s interactions during that period.

That seven-day window reveals a president and chief of staff who took a reckless, and potentially dangerous, approach to handling the coronavirus, including Trump’s own positive test.

 

vicky ward investigatesVicky Ward Investigates, Investigative Commentary: Week Two of Maxwell Trial, Vicky Ward (author and pioneering reporter in Jeffrey Epstein scandal), Dec. 6, 2021. As we head into week two of the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, I am more confused than ever as to the government’s strategy.

Friday morning saw Maxwell’s defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca destroy the credibility of Epstein’s “butler,” Juan Alessi, who, it emerged, had previously stated under oath in 2009 that he had burgled Jeffrey Epstein’s home twice back in 2003. However, on Thursday at the Maxwell trial, also under oath, Alessi said he had only committed one burglary. I saw at least one juror shake his head at the obvious inconsistency, which undermined the powerful testimony he’d given the day before: that he’d seen two underage girls with Epstein and Maxwell at Epstein’s home in Palm Beach. Alessi’s 2009 testimony had also given different accounts and, crucially, dates about the times he’d seen the girls around than what he testified in court this week.

While all salacious, does this evidence put Maxwell (as opposed to Epstein) at the heart of sexual abuse and trafficking of minors?

Looking forward, week two will likely include the testimony of Accuser Number Two, Annie Farmer, whom I know and first spoke to back in 2002.

Annie Farmer, who is now 41 and a psychotherapist, is remarkable in that her public allegations about what happened to her when she was 16 on Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico have never deviated in even one detail from what she said to me all those years ago, when she was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. She was extraordinarily composed back then, and, when I saw her again two summers ago, I noticed she still has that calm, unflappable manner, without being aloof.

My gut tells me it will be much harder for Maxwell’s defense to find inconsistencies in Annie’s story than it was for them to poke holes in Jane’s. What I suspect they will argue is that 16 was the age of consent in New Mexico when Farmer was there and that “what happened in New Mexico is not illegal conduct,” as defense lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim said in her opening statement.

Unz Review / American Pravda, Book Review: Vaxxing, Anthony Fauci, and AIDS, Ron Unz (Unz Review publisher and California-based software developer), Dec. 6, 2021. Over the last year or so, fervent anti-vaxxers have become a major presence on our alt-media website, a situation I found very disagreeable. Many of our longtime columnists—Mike Whitney, Paul Craig Roberts, Linh Dinh, Gilad Atzmon, and Israel Shamir—had also moved strongly into that ideological camp, with Whitney’s long articles drawing enormous readership from across the Internet.

I’ve never paid any attention to vaccines and my own views on the role they might play against Covid were entirely mainstream and conventional, as I explained a couple of months ago in a candid 9,000 word interview:

  •  Unz Review, Are the Opponents of the Covid Injections “Anti-Vaxx Crackpots”? Interview of Ron Unz by Mike Whitney, Aug. 1, 2021 (9,000 Words)

The resulting comment-thread—heavily laced with ferocious attacks against me—soon exceeded 200,000 words and became quite sluggish, so I was forced to follow it up with two successive Open Threads on the vaxxing controversy. Several of the anti-vaxxing articles by Whitney, Roberts, and Dinh also provoked enormously long exchanges.

The commenting-software I’ve developed for this website is quite powerful and flexible, allowing meaningful debates that may easily reach the length of a hefty book, a situation quite rare elsewhere on the Internet. As a consequence, some of the anti-vaxxers declared that our million or two million words of anti-vaxxing discussions probably constituted the largest such repository in existence, an achievement that gave me rather mixed feelings.

rfk jr gage skidmore CustomI’d gradually discovered that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., right, heir to the famous family, was a leading public figure in the anti-vaxx movement, and he released his lengthy book on the subject last month. A commenter whose opinion I respect had strongly endorsed it, so I decided to get a better sense of the issue directly from that source, and bought it by clicking a button.

Others apparently shared my interest. For ten days or so, The Real Anthony Fauci became the #1 bestseller on Amazon, and it has now accumulated over 1,500 reviews, 95% of them five-stars, which must be close to a record. The work also carried a couple of dozen strong endorsement-blurbs, mostly from medical doctors or scientists, including a Nobel Laureate, but also from public figures across the ideological spectrum including Oliver Stone, Tucker Carlson, Naomi Wolf, and Mark Crispin Miller. Meanwhile, despite its huge success and the famous name of its author, the work seems to have been greeted by almost total silence across the media.

I found the book itself rather unprepossessing. Although the text seemed fine and generally well-edited, I noticed some peculiar stylistic quirks. The text-margins were extremely narrow, so narrow that the pages lacked any chapter-headings, while the font-size was also smaller than normal, and tiny for the quoted passages. These unusual choices allowed a work that should have filled 600 or 650 pages to be squeezed down to just 480, but at the cost of some readability, with the intent probably being to minimize the length and the price. There were a couple of thousand reference-notes, but instead of being shown on each page or grouped together at the end, they were distributed chapter-by-chapter, which I found inconvenient. Worse still, the book lacked any index, severely diminishing the usefulness of the hard copy version, which I prefer reading. All of this suggests that the book was produced in considerable haste, but I think it would have been worth the effort to take an extra week to produce an index or reorganize the notes, and perhaps this will be done in a second edition.

However, none of these flaws nor the apparent near-total lack of any media coverage or advertising seem to have hindered the rise of this gigantic #1 bestseller, proving that controversial content does still sometimes triumph over anything else.

But evaluating that content is another matter entirely, especially for an ignorant layman such as myself. A sizable fraction of the author’s two thousand source-references are to academic journal articles or discussions of other scientific studies, and I am neither a medical doctor nor a biological researcher, so even if I had tried to check any of them—which I did not—I wouldn’t have been able to properly weigh their evidence against that on the other side. Therefore, all my remarks, at least with regard to the scientific issues, should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Surprisingly enough, and very contrary to my expectations, Kennedy’s stated position on vaccines seemed rather mild, quite different from the wild fear-mongering so regularly encountered on the Internet. He claimed that many vaccines weren’t properly tested, often had harmful side-effects, and were promoted mostly due to the profiteering of greedy pharmaceutical corporations and their subverted governmental regulators, accusations far more moderate—and far more plausible—than I had assumed he would make. While it’s not at all uncommon for wild-eyed anti-vaxxers to warn of millions—or even billions!—of deaths due to the current Covid vaccination drive, I didn’t see any such egregious claims in the carefully-documented chapters of this book.

bill gatesSome of his theories about vaccination efforts over the last couple of decades do seem rather implausible to me. He regards Microsoft founder Bill Gates, left, as a nefarious mastermind behind the global vaccination project, though Gates’ suggested motive is the multiplication of his wealth and power rather than a diabolical plot to exterminate most of the human race, with the latter allegation being widespread among the more excitable anti-vaxxers. But despite reading Kennedy’s account with an open mind, I saw nothing to seriously challenge my own much more mundane explanation. After having been vilified in the 1990s as a monopolist who had become the wealthiest man in the world by selling mediocre, buggy software, Gates may have simply sought to redeem his reputation by funding completely innocuous do-good projects, and he selected public health and vaccines as obvious choices, never dreaming that two decades later these efforts would have become so exceptionally controversial.

Similarly, although there is certainly much to condemn in the responses of the American and European governments to the Covid epidemic, my own interpretation sharply diverges from that of the author. In his opinion, the lockdowns and other disease control measures taken by our political elites represented a planned, sinister strategy for destroying all our traditional freedoms and establishing a totalitarian police state, while what I saw instead was utter incompetence.

China had responded brilliantly to the totally unexpected threat of a mysterious, highly-contagious disease, imposing an extremely severe short-term lockdown a thousand times larger than anything seen in world history; this allowed the government to completely stamp out the virus with minimal human losses, while restoring normal life for almost all Chinese within a month or two. But when the West tried to mimic that successful approach, the lockdowns imposed were so haphazard and disorganized that they proved entirely ineffective at controlling the virus, and since our flummoxed leaders had no other solution, they kept those lockdowns in place for a year or more, so that millions died while the lives of many hundreds of millions were severely disrupted.

My analysis is obviously quite different from Kennedy’s. But if we merely disagree about whether our ruling elites should be condemned and punished for their evil subversion or instead for their criminal incompetence, we are obviously allies in every practical sense, and disputing such matters of interpretation serves no purpose.

This relates to a broader criticism. Though many of the substantive, factual claims Kennedy makes seem reasonably plausible and are usually well-documented, they are often presented in an overly shrill tone that I found distracting, a tone that at times almost lapses into hysteria. Given the enormity of the issues involved and the millions of lives at stake, his tendency is quite understandable, but I think the book would have been strengthened if the same material had been presented in a more restrained manner.

RFK Jr. clearly ranks as a leader of America’s anti-vaxxer movement, which may broadly encompass 20-30% of our population, and his massive bestseller seems likely to become its seminal text. Meanwhile, I would regard myself as very much on the other side, but after carefully considering his views, I think the disagreements may be more apparent than real. I lack the scientific expertise to evaluate 95% of his claims. Yet even if many or most of them were correct, I do not think I would need to retract any of the statements I made in my long August interview denouncing “anti-vaxx crackpots.”

His first and longest chapter discussed the various proposed responses to the Covid epidemic, arguing that the use of extremely cheap but reasonably effective medical treatments such as Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Ivermectin (IVM) had been torpedoed by the vested interests of the powerful pharmaceutical industry, eager for lucrative profits from experimental vaccines and their own patented and very expensive drugs. This exact debate has been raging on the Internet since the early months of 2020, and I have never taken a stand on the contentious issue. But although I can’t weigh the credibility of the scientific studies he cites against those on the other side, I thought he made a reasonably persuasive case, especially with regard to IVM.

Unlike some of his more extreme supporters, Kennedy seemed to fully admit that Covid is a dangerous disease, but correctly emphasized its extreme age-skew. He pointed out that the vaccines have proven far less effective than originally predicted, and he noted that they were rushed into widespread release without sufficient testing, which may eventually lead to major future health problems. The legal fig-leaf that allowed the normal regime of patient trials to be set aside was the claim that no other medical treatment existed, and this probably explains the widespread attacks on the use of IVM. Moreover, the vaccination of children or the youthful seemed very misguided given mildness of the illness for those age-cohorts.

Mandatory vaccination efforts enforced by serious legal or employment sanctions are the explosive flashpoint of the anti-vaxxer movement, but these never made any sense to me. The vaccines appear ineffective in preventing infection or transmission, and their main benefit is to greatly reduce the risk of serious illness or death. So the vaccinated have little to fear from those who reject the needle, while the latter can made an informed—or perhaps emotional—choice in weighing the risks of a relatively untested vaccine against those of severe Covid illness. Given the extreme paranoia of a considerable segment of anti-vaxxers, heavy governmental pressure may even be proving counter-productive.

The Hidden Background of American Biological Warfare Programs

Kennedy is most closely identified with Covid vaccine issues, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover few sharp disagreements on those matters, but I was even more pleased with his discussion of one of my own areas of focus. I regard the long-obscured history of America’s massive biowarfare program as central to properly understanding the global epidemic currently ravaging the world, but any such association has been almost entirely avoided by mainstream journalists and even within the alternative media very few have been willing to broach that subject. Yet Kennedy squarely confronts the reality, devoting his last and second-longest chapter to this topic, ensuring that many millions will probably now encounter it for the first time.

tucker carlson gage skidmoreAlthough the author is a liberal Democrat, with deep ideological roots and the strongest of family pedigrees, in today’s topsy-turvy America his only significant mainstream media coverage came from an hour-long interview by Tucker Carlson of FoxNews (shown in a Gage Skidmore photo), who praised him as “one of the bravest and most honest people” he’d ever met. And near the end of that broadcast, listeners were told that if they only read one chapter of the book, the section on American biowarfare was the most important:

That chapter begins with a brief overview of the World War II origins and later growth of those controversial military programs, noting that they were officially abolished by President Richard Nixon in 1969, and afterwards banned by international treaty. But those prohibitions contained a large loophole, allowing the continuing existence of “dual use” biodefense projects, so much of what had been biological warfare development was simply rechristened “vaccine research” and shifted from the Pentagon to the National Institutes of Health.

Kennedy then focuses his attention on Dr. Robert Kadlec, a central figure in the story he tells. From the late 1990s onward, Kadlec had been one of America’s leading advocates of biowarfare, arguing that the technology offered the possibility of launching powerful attacks against the food supply or population of global adversaries while minimizing the risk of direct retaliation. As he wrote in 1998:

Biological weapons under the cover of an endemic or natural disease occurrence provides an attacker the potential for plausible denial. Biological warfare’s potential to create significant economic losses and consequent political instability, coupled with plausible deniability, exceeds the possibilities of any other human weapon.

Over the last few decades, our biowarfare programs have absorbed well over $100 billion in government funding, yet ironically the only known victims have been the American citizens who died in the false flag anthrax attacks that quickly followed 9/11. As Kennedy explains, those deadly bioweapon mailings to leading U.S. Senators and journalists stampeded Congress into passing the controversial Patriot Act and although purportedly from Islamic terrorists, the FBI later determined that the spores had been drawn from our own biowarfare stockpiles, possibility the one at Ft. Detrick. Although I had always been aware of these facts, until reading Kennedy’s book I hadn’t known that Kadlec’s business associates benefited enormously from those mysterious attacks, which panicked the government into rescuing their BioPort corporation from the brink of bankruptcy with huge and lucrative new biodefense contracts.

During the years that followed, Kadlec regularly switched back and forth between senior roles in America’s federal biowarfare programs and in the private corporations that received related contracts, with investigative journalist Whitney Webb providing a very detailed account of his activities. After the Trump Administration came into office, some of its leading elements began immediately mobilizing for a global confrontation against China, and Kadlec was brought back into government in 2017. Then in 2018 and 2019, China’s food supply was severely impacted by mysterious viral epidemics that destroyed much of its poultry industry and 40% of its entire pig herd, by far the largest in the world.

During these years, Kadlec was also heavily involved in a number of different biowarfare drills, intended to help prepare American society for the outbreak of dangerous and mysterious new viruses. In particular, he ran the large-scale “Crimson Contagion” simulation exercise from January to August 2019, in which federal and local authorities practiced a coordinated defense of their communities against risk of infection from the hypothetical outbreak of a dangerous respiratory virus in China; and two months after this major drill ended, a mysterious virus of exactly those characteristics suddenly appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The chapter also notes the close links between America’s biowarfare establishment and the Wuhan lab, which held the closest genetic match to the Covid virus and also received American funding to undertake the “gain of function” experiments that many experts now believe produced the enhanced virus that created the current pandemic. The author is very careful to avoid including any of the explicit accusations or scenarios that have been the centerpiece of my own series of articles over the past 18 months, but he provides a enormous amount of important information spread across those 65 pages and nearly 300 source references. This conveniently allows thoughtful readers to easily connect the dots.

The HIV/AIDS Crisis as a Medical Media Hoax?

Based upon Kennedy’s public focus and the individuals championing his book, I had expected it would contain a detailed critique of vaccines and the controversial public health measures Western governments had implemented to control the Covid epidemic, and so it did. I was pleased to also see a lengthy chapter on the substantial nexus between the mysterious new virus that had devastated the world and America’s longstanding biological warfare programs. But a major portion of the text was devoted to an entirely different topic, one that I had not expected to see and found completely astonishing.

The eponymous target of Kennedy’s book is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who had spent five decades playing a leading role in the public health activities of the American government before he became the official face of our response to the Covid epidemic. With the calm, soothing demeanor of an experienced physician and his ubiquitous presence on TV, he was elevated as a national hero by the political mainstream, which endorsed the policies he advocated, but eventually attracted huge hostility from those segments of the population that vehemently opposed lockdowns, masking, and vaccinations.

Since I don’t watch cable news and hadn’t paid much attention to the details of our Covid public health response, I completely missed most of Fauci’s burgeoning fame, and never had strong feelings about him one way or the other. However, his name was already somewhat familiar to me from three or four decades earlier when he had played a similar governmental role in America’s AIDS crisis, and he’d always been vaguely associated with that disease in my mind.

Given that Fauci was Kennedy’s primary target and AIDS had launched his career, I might have expected some discussion of that topic, but what I encountered were seven full chapters running nearly 200 pages and constituting almost half the entire book. The incendiary claims that Kennedy makes about AIDS and Fauci’s role in that human disaster were entirely new to me, and I lack even a sliver of the technical expertise to properly evaluate them. But if even 10% of his accusations are correct, his portrait is an absolutely devastating one.

Almost half of Kennedy’s book may be devoted to AIDS, but this shocking material seems to have been studiously avoided by most who have discussed it or interviewed the author, and it receives negligible attention on the Amazon sales page. Indeed, when I mentioned some of his claims to an academic I know, he checked around a bit, found no mention of them anywhere, and almost seemed to suspect that I had been hallucinating. Kennedy opens one of this AIDS chapters with the phrase “I hesitated to include this chapter…” and I can easily understand why.

As all of us know from the media, AIDS is a deadly auto-immune disease that was first diagnosed in the late 1970s, primarily afflicting gay men and intervenous drug users. Transmitted by body fluids, the disease usually spread through sexual activity, blood transfusions, or the sharing of needles, and HIV, the virus responsible, was finally discovered in 1984. Over the years, a variety of medical treatments were developed, mostly ineffective at first, but more recently so successful that although being HIV-positive was once considered a death-sentence, the infection has now become a chronic, controllable condition. The current Wikipedia page on HIV/AIDS runs more than 20,000 words including over 300
references.

Yet according to the information provided in Kennedy’s #1 Amazon bestseller, this well-known and solidly-established picture, which I had never seriously questioned, is almost entirely false and fraudulent, essentially amounting to a medical media hoax. Instead of being responsible for AIDS, the HIV virus is probably harmless and had nothing to do with the disease. But when individuals were found to be infected with HIV, they were subjected to the early, extremely lucrative AIDS drugs, which were actually lethal and often killed them. The earliest AIDS cases had mostly been caused by very heavy use of particular illegal drugs, and the HIV virus had been misdiagnosed as being responsible. But since Fauci and the profit-hungry drug companies soon built enormous empires upon that misdiagnosis, for more than 35 years they have fought very hard to maintain and protect it, exerting all their influence to suppress the truth in the media while destroying the careers of any honest researchers who challenged that fraud. Meanwhile, AIDS in Africa was something entirely different, probably caused mostly by malnutrition or other local conditions.

I found Kennedy’s account as shocking as anything I have ever encountered.

Extraordinary claims obviously require extraordinary evidence. Kennedy’s chapters on AIDS include more than 900 source-references, many of them to academic journal articles or other sources of supposedly authoritative scientific information. But although I have a strong science background, with my original academic training having been in theoretical physics, I am not a medical doctor nor a virologist, let alone someone with specialized expertise in AIDS research, and these articles would mean nothing to me even if I had attempted to read them. So I was forced to seek other indications that Kennedy’s 200 pages on AIDS represented something more than sheerest lunacy.

His book carries glowing praise from a long list of medical doctors and scientists, but their names and backgrounds are completely unknown to me, and with nearly a million practicing physicians in America, a few could surely be found to endorse almost anything. However, the first endorsement on the back cover is from Prof. Luc Montagnier, the medical researcher who won a Nobel Prize for discovering the HIV virus in 1984, and he writes: “Tragically for humanity, there are many, many untruths emanating from Fauci and his minions. RFK Jr. exposes the decades of lies.” Moreover, we are told that as far back as the San Francisco International AIDS Conference of June 1990, Montagnier had publicly declared “the HIV virus is harmless and passive, a benign virus.”

Perhaps the Nobel Laureate endorsed the book for other reasons and perhaps the meaning of his striking 1990 statement has been misconstrued. But surely the opinion of the researcher who won a Nobel Prize for discovering the HIV virus should not be totally ignored in assessing its possible role.

And he was hardly alone. Kennedy explains that the following year, a top Harvard microbiologist organized a group containing some of the world’s most distinguished virologists and immunologists and they issued a public statement, endorsed by three additional science Nobel Laureates, that raised the same questions:

It is widely believed by the general public that a retrovirus called HIV causes a group of diseases called AIDS. Many biomedical scientists now question this hypothesis. We propose a thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against this hypothesis, to be conducted by a suitable independent group. We further propose that the critical epidemiological studies be designed and undertaken.

As Kennedy tells the story, by that point AIDS researchers and the mainstream media were completely in thrall to the ocean of government funding and pharmaceutical advertising controlled by Fauci and his corporate allies, so these calls by eminent scientists were almost entirely ignored and unreported. According to one journalist, some two trillion dollars has been spent on HIV/AIDS research and treatment over the decades, and with so many research careers and personal livelihoods dependent upon what amounts to an “HIV/AIDS industrial-complex,” few have been willing to critically examine the basic foundations of that empire.

Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never given any thought to questioning AIDS orthodoxy. But discovering the longstanding scientific skepticism of so many knowledgeable experts, including four Nobel Laureates, one of them the actual discoverer of the HIV virus, has completely shifted my perspective. I cannot easily ignore or dismiss the theories Kennedy presents, but can only briefly summarize them and leave it to individual readers to investigate further then decide for themselves. And in basic fairness to the author, he himself also repeatedly emphasizes that he can “take no position on the relationship between HIV and AIDS” but is simply disturbed that Fauci has successfully used his government funding and media clout to suppress an ongoing and perfectly legitimate scientific debate. According to Kennedy, his book is intended “to give air and daylight to dissenting voices.”

His narrative of the origins of the HIV/AIDS connection is absolutely stunning and seems well-documented. Dr. Robert Gallo, an NIH researcher in Fauci’s orbit, originally announced HIV as the apparent cause of AIDS at a packed 1984 press conference, which he held before any of his supportive research findings had actually been published and reviewed by his scientific peers. Only long after the theory had become firmly embedded in the national media did it come out that only 26 of the 76 AIDS victims in his seminal study showed any traces of the HIV virus, an extremely slender reed for such a momentous conclusion.

Furthermore, critics eventually noted that many thousands of documented AIDS victims similarly lacked any signs of the HIV virus, while millions of those infected by HIV exhibited absolutely no symptoms of AIDS. Correlation does not imply causality, but in this case, even the correlation seemed a very loose one. According to Kennedy, fully orthodox AIDS researchers grudgingly admit that no scientific study has ever demonstrated that HIV causes AIDS. The widespread accusations of serious scientific misbehavior and outright intellectual theft that long swirled around Gallo’s laboratory research were eventually confirmed by legal proceedings, and that helped explain why his name was not included on the Nobel Prize for the HIV discovery.

AIDS had originally come under the purview of the National Cancer Institute, but once it was blamed on a virus, Fauci’s own infectious disease center managed to gain control. That resulted in an enormous gusher of Congressional funding and media attention for what had previously been a sleepy and obscure corner of the NIH, and Fauci soon established himself as America’s reigning “AIDS Czar.” The HIV-AIDS link may or may not be scientifically valid, but it carried enormous political and financial implications for Fauci’s career.

In 1985 AZT, an existing drug, was found to kill the HIV virus in laboratory tests. Fauci then made tremendous efforts to speed it through clinical trials as an appropriate treatment for healthy, HIV-positive individuals, with FDA approval finally coming in 1987, producing Fauci’s first moment of triumph. Priced at $10,000/year per patient, AZT was one of the most expensive drugs in history, and with the cost covered by health insurance and government subsidies, it produced an unprecedented financial windfall for its manufacturer.

Kennedy devotes an entire chapter to the story of AZT, and the tale he tells is something out of Kafka or perhaps Monty Python. Apparently, Fauci had been under enormous pressure to produce medical breakthroughs justifying his large budget, so he manipulated the AZT trials to conceal the extremely toxic nature of the drug, which rapidly killed many of the patients who received it, with their symptoms being ascribed to AIDS. So following FDA approval in 1987, hundreds of thousands of perfectly healthy individuals found to be infected with HIV were placed on a regimen of AZT, and the large number of resulting deaths was misattributed to the virus rather than to the anti-viral drug. According to the scientific experts cited in the book, the vast majority of post-1987 “AIDS deaths” were actually due to AZT.

One of the major scientific heroes in Kennedy’s account is Prof. Peter H. Duesberg of Berkeley. During the 1970s and 1980s, Duesberg had been widely regarded as among the world’s foremost virologists, elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences at age 50, making him one of its youngest members in history. As early as 1987 he began raising serious doubts about the HIV/AIDS hypothesis and highlighting the dangers of AZT, eventually publishing a series of journal articles on the subject that gradually won over many others, including Montagnier. In 1996 he published Inventing the AIDS Virus, a massive 712 page volume setting forth his case, with the introduction provided by Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis, the renowned inventor of PCR technology and himself another leading public critic of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. Duesberg even underscored the confidence of his HIV skepticism by offering to be injected with HIV-tainted blood.

But rather than openly debate such a strong scientific opponent, Fauci and his allies blacklisted Duesberg from receiving any government funding, thereby wrecking his research career, while also vilifying him and pressuring others to do the same. According to fellow researchers quoted by Kennedy, Duesberg was destroyed as a warning and an example to others. Meanwhile, Fauci deployed his influence to have his critics banned from the major national media, ensuring that except for a narrow segment of the scientific community few ever even became aware of the continuing controversy.

These elements merely scrape the surface of Kennedy’s remarkable story and I would urge those interested to buy and read the book, then decide for themselves, an inexpensive option since the Kindle version sells for just $2.99. For further information, they can also consult the lengthy review we published a week ago by French writer Laurent Guyénot, which focuses on exactly the HIV/AIDS chapters that are the most explosive but under-reported elements:

• Unz Review, Fauci and the Great AIDS Swindle: Partial Review of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. /  'The Real Anthony Fauci,' Laurent Guyénot, Nov. 27, 2021 (5,900 Words)

Contemplating a Complete Inversion of Scientific Reality

I found the medical history presented by Kennedy absolutely extraordinary, representing as it did a near-total inversion of the scientific reality that I had always accepted until just a couple of weeks ago. I do vaguely recall that my newspapers had occasionally included some mention of these sorts of AIDS controversies 25 or 30 years ago, but I had assumed that such disputes had long since been resolved. Although I have now read all his AIDS chapters twice and found his narrative disturbingly credible and persuasive, I would obviously need to read several books on the other side before I could hope to form an intelligent opinion.

But suppose that despite Kennedy’s wealth of factual material we assume that there is an 80% chance that the theory he presents is overwhelmingly wrong. That necessarily means that there is also a 20% chance that it is substantially correct, and such a conclusion would be staggering. Prior to the Covid outbreak, AIDS had spent almost four decades as the world’s highest-profile disease, absorbing perhaps a couple of trillion dollars of funding and becoming the central focus of an army of scientists and medical experts. It simply boggles the mind for someone to suggest that HIV/AIDS might have largely been a hoax, and that the vast majority of deaths were not from the illness but from the drugs taken to treat it.

My science textbooks sometimes mentioned that during the benighted 18th century, leading Western physicians treated all manner of ailments with bleeding, a quack practice that regularly caused the deaths of their patients, with our own George Washington often numbered among the victims. Indeed, some have argued that for several centuries prior to modern times, standard medical treatments inadvertently took far more lives than they saved, and those too poor or backward to consult a doctor probably benefited from that lack. But I had never dreamed that this same situation might have occurred during the most recent decades of our modern scientific age.

According to Kennedy, the extremely lucrative nature of AZT and other early AIDS treatments blinded their manufacturers to the obvious harm they were inflicting, and that situation recalls the similar case of Vioxx, a heavily-marketed pain medication eventually removed from use. As I discussed in a 2012 article, Merck had continued to promote that very profitable drug in a massive advertising campaign long after learning of its sometimes deadly side-effects. By the time the FDA finally demanded that it be withdrawn, government studies indicated that Vioxx had already caused tens of thousands of premature deaths, while my own examination of the mortality statistics suggested that the true figure may have been in the hundreds of thousands.

Dec. 4

World Crisis Radio, Political Commentary: Whatever happened to the fight against Wall Street? Webster G. Tarpley, right, Dec. 4, 2021 (55:20 mins.). In webster tarpley 2007recent years, predators of international high finance have run wild without accountability as spotlight was shifted to race, gender, climate, and anti-vaccine; But while campaign against Wall Street could aspire to 99% support, these other issues are vulnerable to divide & conquer strategies: the debilitating effect of wokeism increasingly recognized;

Prime suspect in price hikes is speculation on London oil market using energy derivatives;

Fourth wave of covid in Europe & US hitting supply chains, triggering lockdowns; Options come down to being vaccinated, cured, or dead, says German Health Minister;
Jury awards $26 million in damages to Charlottesville riot victims; Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and “First Amendment Praetorians” must pay;

New human rights atrocities mean that US should lead total world boycott of February Winter Olympics in Communist China;

Lasting influence in American history of the defeatist Gen. George B. McClellan, the archetype of pessimism; How Grant sought to treat this problem in the Army of the Potomac; Submitting to psychological domination by the weakened Trump is recipe for disaster!

Dec. 3

 

The five most radical right Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are shown above, with the sixth Republican, Chief Justice John Roberts, omitted in this view.

The five most radical right Republican justices on the Supreme Court are shown above, with the sixth Republican, Chief Justice John Roberts, omitted in this photo array.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: The Supreme Court Gaslights Its Way to the End of Roe, Linda Greenhouse (shown at right on the cover of her memoir, "Just linda greenhouse cover just a journalista Journalist"), Dec. 3, 2021. There are many reasons for dismay over the Supreme Court argument in the Mississippi abortion case, but it was the nonstop gaslighting that really got to me.

First there was Justice Clarence Thomas, pretending by his questions actually to be interested in how the Constitution might be interpreted to provide for the right to abortion, a right he has denounced and schemed to overturn since professing to the Senate Judiciary Committee 30 years ago that he never even thought about the matter.

Then there was Chief Justice John Roberts, mischaracterizing an internal memo that Justice Harry Blackmun wrote to his colleagues as the Roe v. Wade majority was discussing how best to structure the opinion Justice Blackmun was working on. The chief justice was trying to delegitimize the place of fetal viability in the court’s abortion jurisprudence, where for nearly 50 years, viability has been the unbreached firewall protecting the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

And then there was Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who rattled off a list of “the most consequential cases in this court’s history” that resulted from overruling prior decisions.

It was Justice Sonia Sotomayor who asked the uncomfortable question. “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” she demanded of Scott Stewart, a former law clerk to Justice Thomas who argued for Mississippi as the state’s solicitor general. Listening to the live-streamed argument, I first heard “political acts” as “political hacks,” I suppose because still in my mind were Justice Barrett’s words when she spoke in mid-September at a center in Louisville, Ky., named for her Senate confirmation mastermind, Senator Mitch McConnell. “My goal today is to convince you that the court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” she said then.

Last month, the court heard arguments in a case that challenges New York’s strict requirement for a license to carry a concealed weapon. Most states have looser restrictions. New York, through its legislative process, is in a minority.

Will Justice Kavanaugh and those of his colleagues who glorify a recently manufactured version of the Second Amendment allow New York City to keep going its own way on gun safety in the name of “letting the people decide”? That’s about as likely as the chance that those very same justices will decide to keep the right to abortion on the books. In both cases, we know what they’re going to do. The only mystery is how they will explain it.

Linda Greenhouse, the winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize, writes on alternate Thursdays about the Supreme Court and the law. She reported on the Supreme Court for The Times from 1978 to 2008, and is the author of the forthcoming "Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months That Transformed the Supreme Court."

Dec. 2

vicky ward investigates

Vicky Ward Investigates, Investigative Commentary: Less Than Total Recall, Vicky Ward (author and pioneering reporter in Jeffrey Epstein scandal), Dec. 2, 2021. In the past two years while I’ve been researching “Chasing Ghislaine,” my Audible podcast and discovery+ documentary series (airing in back-to-back episodes on ID starting at 8/7c this Friday, December 3rd), sources close to Maxwell’s defense team have told me consistently that they are unbothered by the fact that the Southern District of New York’s conviction rate is extraordinarily high—reportedly over 95 percent.

“I don’t care what the statistics are,” someone close to Maxwell and her lawyers told me nine months ago. “Ghislaine is innocent, and we will prove that.”

At the time, I thought this person was crazy.

The charges against Maxwell are so heinous, and the notoriety of the case so great. Plus, the fact that Jeffrey Epstein, who Maxwell is accused of aiding in his abuse and sex-trafficking of minors, died in jail pre-trial has led almost every New York lawyer I speak to to say they believe the government really, really doesn’t want to lose in the wake of that. There is just too much at stake.

Now, however, I’m beginning to see why the defense appears so confident in the way they handle themselves in the courtroom. (By contrast, the four prosecutors look absurdly young. “Are any of them out of their 20s?” a lawyer, a veteran prosecutor herself, who was sitting next to me asked rhetorically. “Why didn’t they add one person, at least, who was more experienced?”)

Yesterday in court, the defense didn’t just prevail—they hammered yesterday’s shocking testimony by Maxwell Accuser Number One, who is going under the pseudonym “Jane.” The most oft-repeated phrase of the day was “I don’t recall,” uttered by Jane when asked by Maxwell’s attorney Laura Menninger to explain the contradictions between Tuesday’s testimony and the prior statements Jane had made to the FBI in the past two years.

It's understandable one wouldn’t have perfect recall of traumatic events from twenty years ago. It’s quite another not to be able to recall what happened just months ago—a point Menninger got at in her clever, dogged way.

If the last three days showed the best opening the government has got, I can see why Maxwell’s defense has been quietly confident for so long. I cannot reveal my source, but I have been told that the most pressing question on their minds this past year is if they can find an unbiased jury. If so, they have always said, they believe they will win.

I, like most people I know, ignored that.

Now, I am paying attention.

Justice Integrity Project, Expert Report Part 2: JFK's Assassination and Why It Matters, Andrew Kreig, Dec. 2, 2021. Editor's Introduction: This excerpt concludes our presentation of "JFK: The Real Story," a major new research report by the Truth & Reconciliation Committee (TRC), which was founded in 2019 to investigate the 1960s assassinations of President John F. Kennedy (JFK), his brother, New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., (MLK) and the Black civil rights leader Malcolm X.

The TRC (www.americantruthnow.org) was formed by members of the Kennedy and King families, Daniel Ellsberg, Martin Sheen, Rob Reiner, David Crosby, Reverend James Lawson Jr., Oliver Stone, Adam Walinsky, James Galbraith, David Talbot, and other public figures. It states:

JIP Logo

The Justice Integrity Project, which has been active as a co-founding board member in supporting the committee's work, republished the first part of the report here (JFK's Assassination Part 1) to advance public understanding of evidence that has been ignored or under-reported by the mainstream media.

Today's second and final part (with photo selection and captions by our project, not the TRC) answers the key questions about the tragic event in Dallas in 1963: "Who Killed JFK? Why Does It Matter Now?"

Dec. 1

 

Trump-allied attorney Sidney Powell, right, with allied attorney Jenna Ellis in the background last fall.

Trump-allied attorney Sidney Powell, right, with allied attorney Jenna Ellis in the background last fall, has pushed baseless claims of election tampering.

washington post logoWashington Post, Prosecutors demanded records of Sidney Powell’s fundraising groups as part of criminal probe, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Emma Brown and Rosalind S. Helderman, Dec. 1, 2021 (print ed.).  

Federal prosecutors have demanded the financial records of multiple fundraising organizations launched by attorney Sidney Powell after the 2020 election as part of a criminal investigation, according to a subpoena reviewed by The Washington Post.

The grand jury subpoena, issued in September by the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, sought communications and other records related to fundraising and accounting by groups including Defending the Republic, a Texas-based organization claiming 501(c) 4 nonprofit status, and a PAC by the same name, according to the documents and a person familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of the probe.

As part of the investigation, which has not been previously reported, prosecutors are seeking records going back to Nov. 1, 2020.

 

capitol riot deposition list

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Trump’s coverup of his Jan. 6 corruption takes an ominous new turn, Greg Sargent, right, Dec. 1, 2021 (print ed.). As the Jan. 6 greg sargentselect committee investigation gathers momentum, Donald Trump has gotten several cronies to refuse to testify by invoking “executive privilege.” That’s absurd on its face: Much of the information Trump wants to keep buried doesn’t relate to the office of the presidency, but rather to his incitement of mob violence to remain president illegitimately.

But there’s something uniquely troubling about the latest turn in this saga. Trump might now succeed, at least temporarily, in using this tactic to muzzle testimony from someone who apparently communicated personally and directly with Trump about some of his most flagrantly corrupt efforts to overturn our political order.

jeffrey clark nyt

We’re talking about Jeffrey Clark, above, the former Justice Department official who reportedly launched various efforts to conscript the department into helping Trump subvert the election. The committee subpoenaed Clark, but he has rebuffed questions, citing Trump’s effort to assert executive privilege to block Congress from obtaining internal information.

This week, the select committee will vote to hold Clark in criminal contempt. If and when the full House follows, the matter will be referred to the Justice Department for potential prosecution. But then the matter will likely land in the courts, perhaps for a long time.

To see why this is so perverse, let’s dig into Clark’s involvement. It’s detailed in a Senate Judiciary Committee report examining Trump’s pressure on the Justice Department, which relied on testimony from another top official, then-acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen.

That pressure constitutes the beating heart of Trump’s coup attempt. The report found that Trump extensively pressured department leaders to take official action to portray his loss as fraudulent, via investigations, lawsuits and public statements.

The idea was apparently to create a fake rationale for Trump’s vice president to simply declare Joe Biden’s electors invalid, after which friendly states might send alternate electors. That plot was outlined in the now-notorious Trump coup memo.

But the role of Clark was particularly troubling. The report found that Trump and Clark personally communicated before Clark undertook extraordinary actions on Trump’s behalf.

These included an effort to send official Justice Department letters to swing states declaring that the department was examining election problems and advising state legislators to consider appointing new electors. That was thwarted by Rosen and other officials, but it was an extraordinary abuse of power.

Subsequent to that, Clark reportedly informed Rosen that Trump had offered to install him in Rosen’s place, presumably amid Trump’s anger over Rosen’s rebuffing of his corrupt designs.

The question is, to what degree did Trump and Clark elaborate this scheme in their own conversations?

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the select committee, noted that Clark could testify about his conversations throughout that time. This might illuminate what Trump directed Clark to do, or understood him to be doing, on his behalf.

Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor, told me that Clark could speak to potentially criminal conduct by Trump, by testifying about “Trump conspiring with Department of Justice officials to undermine our free and fair elections.”

That may have run afoul of the law, Kirschner notes, citing criminal conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

That offense, he said, could include seditious conspiracy or attempted coercion of government employees into carrying out political activity. Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe has also detailed how Trump’s pressure on the Justice Department could constitute such crimes.

But Clark has now refused to testify, citing Trump’s executive privilege claim. And we don’t know how long it will take to get Clark’s testimony, if ever. This could remain bogged down in court and could end up before the Supreme Court.

 

November

Nov. 29

Justice Integrity Project, Expert Report: JFK's Assassination and Why It Matters (Part 1), Andrew Kreig, Nov. 29, 2021. Editor's Introduction: This is an

JIP Logo

excerpt that begins "JFK: The Real Story," a major new research report by the Truth & Reconciliation Committee, which was founded in 2019 to investigate the 1960s assassinations of President John F. Kennedy (JFK), Black civil rights leader Malcolm X, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., (MLK) and the president's brother, New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

jeffrey clark nyt

Palmer Report, Opinion: Down goes Trump DOJ stooge Jeffrey Clark, Bill Palmer, Nov. 29, 2021. Earlier today we explained why the January 6th bill palmerCommittee’s criminal referral against Steve Bannon, which resulted in his indictment and arrest by the DOJ, has worked. “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander announced in a video last night that he’s coming out of hiding to cooperate with the committee, specifically because he doesn’t want to go to prison. Indicting Bannon was always about scaring other, more skittish witnesses into cooperating.

bill palmer report logo headerNow the committee has announced that it’s holding a vote this week to recommend former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, shown above, for indictment. This vote will pass unanimously, and then the full House will formalize the referral within a day or two after that.

Given that Clark tried to invoke the same nonexistent “privilege” argument as Bannon, it’s not difficult to figure out that the DOJ will very likely indict and arrest Clark. What’s notable is that while Bannon simply refused to show up and testify at all, Clark, tried the trick of showing up and testifying but invoking “privilege” in response to key questions. The resulting criminal referral against him is a reminder that there are no magic wands for these witnesses.

Again, the point of indicting an obstructor like Jeffrey Clark is to scare other people into cooperating. The committee has scheduled dozens of Trump-connected people to testify, and while a few have publicly vowed not to cooperate, many of them are likely on the fence, trying to figure out their least bad option. Ali Alexander took one look at these contempt indictments coming down the pike and decided to cooperate. He likely won’t be the only one. The committee doesn’t need everyone to cooperate; it only needs a handful of key people.

Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: The right's trashing of American symbols, Wayne Madsen (left, author of 21 books, including that portrayed below left, and a former Navy intelligence officer), Nov. 29, 2021. America's pro-Donald Trump wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallfascist movement proclaims itself as "patriotic" and its members as "patriots."

wayne madesen report logoHowever, these dregs of society have done everything possible to deface American symbols, including the U.S. flag. Almost every Trump rally features American flags that have been either disfigured with Trump's mug or recolored in a bizarre combination of black, white, and blue.

wayne madsen fourth reich coverThe Thin Blue Line flag and other defaced U.S. flags have a precedent in 1920 in Germany. While writing Mein Kampf while in prison following the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, Adolf Hitler wrote about his desire for a new flag for Germany encompassing the red, white, and black colors of the defunct German Empire.

As was the case with Hitler's swastika flag that replaced the Weimar Republic's tri-band of black, red, and gold in 1933, the right's fascination with redesigning the U.S. flag to suit their far-right political aims symbolizes their opposition to the U.S. djt trump flag thumbs upConstitution and America's democratic history and traditions.

The most outrageous disfiguration of the American flag is the one often seen at Donald Trump rallies and among the crowd of insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

Trump, his supporters, and the far-right continue to show their utter contempt for the United States, its fallen, its traditions, and its history every time they display defaced alterations of Old Glory. They are shameless, repugnant, and despicable creatures in their thoughts, words, and deeds.

Nov. 28

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: The Rule of Six: A newly radicalized Supreme Court is poised to reshape the nation, Ruth Marcus, right, Nov. 28, 2021. Supreme ruth marcusCourt Justice William J. Brennan Jr., the Eisenhower appointee who became the liberal lion of the Warren Court, had a tradition for introducing every new batch of law clerks to the realities of the institution.

“Brennan liked to greet his new clerks each fall by asking them what they thought was the most important thing they needed to know as they began their work in his chambers,” Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel write in Liberal Champion, their Brennan biography. “The … stumped novices would watch quizzically as Brennan held up five fingers. Brennan then explained that with five votes, you could accomplish anything.”

Brennan, master vote-counter and vote-cajoler, was right — but there is an important corollary to his famous Rule of Five, one powerfully at work in the current Supreme Court. That is the Rule of Six. A five-justice majority is inherently fragile. It necessitates compromise and discourages overreach. Five justices tend to proceed with baby steps.

A six-justice majority is a different animal. A six-justice majority, such as the one now firmly in control, is the judicial equivalent of the monarchy’s “heir and a spare.” The pathways to victory are enlarged. The overall impact is far greater than the single-digit difference suggests.

On the current court, each conservative justice enjoys the prospect of being able to corral four colleagues, if not all five, in support of his or her beliefs, point of view or pet projects, whether that is outlawing affirmative action, ending constitutional protection for abortion, exalting religious liberty over all other rights or restraining the power of government agencies.

A six-justice majority is emboldened rather than hesitant; so, too, are the conservative advocates who appear before it. Such a court doesn’t need to trim its sails, hedge its language, or abide by legal niceties if it seems more convenient to dispense with them.

A conservative justice wary of providing a fifth vote for a controversial position can take comfort in the thought that now there are six; there is strength in that number. Meantime, a court with a six-justice majority is one in which the justices on the other side of the ideological spectrum are effectively consigned to a perpetual minority. They craft dissents that may serve as rebukes for the ages but do little to achieve change in the present. The most they can manage is damage control, and that only rarely.

Nov. 27

World Crisis Radio, What ever happened to the fight against Wall Street? Webster G. Tarpley, right, Nov. 27, 2021. In recent years, predators of international webster tarpley twitterhigh finance have run wild without accountability as spotlight was shifted to race, gender, climate, and anti-vaccine; But while campaign against Wall Street could aspire to 99% support, these other issues are vulnerable to divide & conquer strategies: the debilitating effect of wokeism increasingly recognized;

Prime suspect in price hikes is speculation on London oil market using energy derivatives;

Fourth wave of covid in Europe & US hitting supply chains, triggering lockdowns; Options come down to being vaccinated, cured, or dead, says German Health Minister;

Jury awards $26 million in damages to Charlottesville riot victims; Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and “First Amendment Praetorians” must pay;

New human rights atrocities mean that US should lead total world boycott of February Winter Olympics in Communist China;

Lasting influence in American history of the defeatist Gen. George B. McClellan, the archetype of pessimism; How Grant sought to treat this problem in the Army of the Potomac; Submitting to psychological domination by the weakened Trump is recipe for disaster!

Nov. 25

Justice Integrity Project, JFK Murder Documents, Deadlines, Disclosures, Disputes, Andrew Kreig, Nov. 7, 2021, updated Nov. 25. The Biden Administration’s recent delay in releasing the final trove of classified documents pertaining to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy tees up three annual research conferences this month during the anniversary of JFK’s slaying in downtown Dallas.

JIP Logo

The conferences and postponed document releases build on millions of pages of previously declassified documents and many hundreds of books through the decades fanning widespread public doubts about official accounts. Those official accounts, most notably the 1964 Warren Commission report, assigned guilt for the president’s death solely to ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald. Flaws in the report largely ignored by government, academic and mainstream media foster lingering fears that watchdog institutions fail to probe and prevent civic tragedies and cover-ups, including in current times.

Today’s column surveys this fall’s major developments. These include the records release delay, the three conferences and Oliver Stone's sequel, JFK Revisited, to his blockbuster film JFK three decades ago. The new documentary launched in the United States on Showtime on Nov. 22, the anniversary of JFK's death.

This editor has published a book in the field this year, worked closely with leaders in records release advocacy and also spoke at two of the three November conferences.

One was organized by Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), shown via Zoom with details, on the weekend days of Nov. 20 and 21, with a free all-day session on Friday, Nov. 19 for students. The other was the JFK Assassination Conference, which was seen both via Zoom and in person at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Dallas, beginning Thursday Nov. 18.

A third conference, organized since 1996 by the JFK Lancer event and publishing company, was its "November in Dallas" annual event, this year via remote viewing from Nov. 19 through 21, with heavily discounted admission for students.

Our project always seeks to promote all three conferences with the view that there is much to discuss, with many valuable perspectives deserving an audience.

An appendix below contains more details on these events, as well as excerpts from a number of news stories and commentaries this fall regarding the records release process and its implications, plus analysis of several recent assassination witness revelations.

This column is also the 57th segment of the Justice Integrity Project's JFK Assassination Readers Guide, which lists major books, films, archives and interpretative articles, with an index and links in the appendix.

Shown also below is a report on the new issue of Garrison, a 398-page webzine published this month. This edition's focus is on original commentaries about the 1960s assassinations of John Kennedy (JFK), his brother, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) and Malcolm X.

Nov. 23

 

Torchlight parade of neo-Nazis and White Supremiscists chanting such slogans as

Torchlight parade of neo-Nazis and white supremiscists chanting such slogans as "Jews will not replace us" in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12, 2017.

washington post logoWashington Post, Spencer, Kessler, Cantwell and other white supremacists found liable in deadly Unite the Right rally, Elisa Silverman, Nov. 23, 2021. 
A federal jury in Charlottesville was asked to consider whether some of the country’s most notorious white supremacists and hate groups conspired to commit racially motivated violence.

richard spencer file thumbProminent white supremacists Richard Spencer, left, Jason Kessler and Christopher Cantwell and others (portrayed below right on the front page of the New York Daily News) engaged in a conspiracy in advance of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017, a jury has ruled.

The jury did not reach a verdict on two federal conspiracy charges, but did find that every defendant was liable for civil conspiracy under Virginia law.

charlottesville ny daily news cover death hate august 13 2017 custom 3The jury then awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against all 12 individual defendants, and $1 million against five white nationalist organizations on that conspiracy count. Other damages followed on further counts.

The 11 jurors need only to find “a preponderance of the evidence,” rather than the higher bar of “beyond reasonable doubt” in criminal trials. But they deadlocked on two federal claims of a race-based conspiracy, while agreeing that there was a conspiracy under Virginia state law and that the victims were entitled to compensation.

During that rage-filled weekend, a torch-carrying mob chanted “Jews will not replace us!” and a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer. Nine people who said they suffered physical and emotional harm filed the action.

Here’s what to know

  • Jason Kessler, the lead organizer of the Unite the Right rally, Richard Spencer, a featured speaker who coined the term “alt-right,” and Christopher chris cantwell mugCantwell, right, who became widely known as the “crying Nazi” after an emotional video of him was posted when a warrant was issued for his arrest in a separate case, are among the defendants.
  • Plaintiffs’ attorneys used a trove of evidence, including planners’ messages leaked from the group-chat platform Discord, in their argument that defendants planned, executed and celebrated the violence of that weekend.
  • Representatives for many of the two dozen defendants named in this case blamed others for the violence and said their hateful language in messages that featured calls for and celebrations of violence were hyperbolic — and constitutionally protected — speech.

 enrique tarrio mic

   Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, shown above and currently serving a jail sentence, the chairman of the Proud Boys, was issued a subpoena for his involvement with the Capitol attack on Jan. 6.

ny times logoNew York Times, House Panel Investigating Capitol Attack Subpoenas Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, Luke Broadwater, Nov. 23, 2021. Investigators believe the militia or paramilitary groups have information about the deadly siege on Jan. 6.

The House committee investigating the Capitol attack issued subpoenas on Tuesday to three militia or paramilitary groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, that investigators believe have information about the deadly siege on Jan. 6.

The subpoenas were issued to the Proud Boys International, L.L.C., and its chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio; the Oath Keepers and its president Elmer Stewart Rhodes; and the 1st Amendment Praetorian and its chairman Robert Patrick Lewis.

“The select committee is seeking information from individuals and organizations reportedly involved with planning the attack, with the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 or with efforts to overturn the results of the election,” Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, said in a statement. “We believe the individuals and organizations we subpoenaed today have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack.”

The committee said members of Proud Boys International called for violence before Jan. 6, and the Justice Department indicted at least 34 people affiliated with the group.

People associated with the Oath Keepers were similarly involved in planning and participating in the Capitol riot, the committee said, including 18 members who were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly planning a coordinated attack to storm the building. Mr. Rhodes repeatedly suggested that the Oath Keepers should engage in violence to ensure their preferred election outcome. He was also allegedly in contact with several of the indicted Oath Keepers members before, during and after the Capitol attack, including meeting some of them outside the Capitol.

1st Amendment Praetorian is an organization that provided security at multiple rallies leading up to Jan. 6 that amplified former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims of a stolen election. The group’s Twitter account suggested on Jan. 4 that violence was imminent, the committee said.

“Today is the day that true battles begin,” Mr. Lewis wrote on Twitter on Jan. 6. He also claimed to be involved with “war-gaming” to continue efforts to overturn the election results, the committee said.

The panel has issued more than 40 subpoenas and interviewed more than 200 witnesses as it investigates the violence that engulfed Congress and delayed the formalization of President Biden’s victory. The latest subpoenas demand records and testimony by mid-December.

 Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: A coup by any other name is still a coup, Wayne Madsen, Nov. 23, 2021. The committee's investigators wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallare on a trail that could ultimately point to Donald Trump being aware of the plans by insurrectionists to march on the U.S. Capitol. Those Oval Office plans could also include the physical occupation of the Capitol, as well.

If the plans to occupy the Capitol included placing the Vice President, Speaker of the House, Vice President-elect, and other key senators and representatives in physical harm's way, the criminal charges could be increased to conspiracy to commit murder of an elected federal official.

wayne madesen report logoHistory instructs us that some coup plans involve the storming of the national legislature. For example, the August 19, 1991 Soviet coup against President Mikhail Gorbachev also involved plans by the coup leaders' State Emergency Committee to storm the Russian Parliament building in Moscow  on the night of August 20-21, 1991.

Had it not been for Russian President Boris Yeltsin and thousands of his supporters encircling the Parliament building to protect it from pro-coup Soviet military and KGB personnel -- a force that never materialized -- the Parliament would have been stormed and the Russian democracy movement would have been stopped in its tracks.

The lessons of the Russian and Spanish coup attempts should not be lost on the House January 6th committee. Trump's involvement in the first actual American coup d'état should be met with a criminal indictment and trial. To do less only cheapens America's Constitution and rule of law.

washington post logoWashington Post, Investigation: N.Y. prosecutors set sights on new Trump target: Widely different valuations on the same properties, David A. Fahrenthold, Jonathan O'Connell, Josh Dawsey and Shayna Jacobs, Nov. 23, 2021 (print ed.). The Trump Organization owns an office building at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan. In 2012, when the company was listing its assets for potential lenders, it said the building was worth $527 million — which would make it among the most valuable in New York.

But just a few months later, the Trump Organization told property tax officials that the entire 70-story building was worth less than a high-end Manhattan condo: just $16.7 million, according to newly released city records.

That was less than one-thirtieth the amount it had claimed the year before.

That property is now under scrutiny from the Manhattan district attorney and New York attorney general, along with several others like it for which the Trump Organization gave vastly different value estimates, according to public records and people familiar with their investigations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing inquiries.

After the indictment of the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer this summer for income tax fraud, prosecutors now appear to be examining whether the company broke the law by providing low values to property tax officers, while using high ones to garner tax breaks or impress lenders.

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has said she is considering a lawsuit, and prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office have also convened a new grand jury, which could vote on criminal charges, according to the people familiar with the investigations.

Among the other properties under scrutiny: former president Donald Trump’s California golf club, for which he valued the same parcel of land at $900,000 and $25 million depending on the intended audience, and an estate in suburban New York, for which Trump’s valuations ranged from $56 million up to $291 million. The valuations were all given in the five years before Trump won the presidency.

washington post logoWashington Post, Federal judge orders nearly $187,000 in fees assessed against two lawyers who filed suit challenging 2020 presidential election, Rosalind S. Helderman, Nov. 23, 2021 (print ed.). The order is one of the first efforts to put a dollar figure on penalties for lawyers who attempted to use the legal system to overturn the results of the presidential balloting.

A federal judge has ordered two Colorado lawyers who filed a lawsuit late last year challenging the 2020 election results to pay nearly $187,000 to defray the legal fees of groups they sued, arguing that the hefty penalty was proper to deter others from using frivolous suits to undermine the democratic system.

“As officers of the Court, these attorneys have a higher duty and calling that requires meaningful investigation before prematurely repeating in court pleadings unverified and uninvestigated defamatory rumors that strike at the heart of our democratic system and were used by others to foment a violent insurrection that threatened our system of government,” wrote Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter.

“They are experienced lawyers who should have known better. They need to take responsibility for their misconduct,” he wrote.

The two lawyers, Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker, filed the case in December 2020 as a class action on behalf of 160 million American voters, alleging there was a complicated plot to steal the election from President Donald Trump and give the victory to Joe Biden.

The two argued that a scheme was engineered by the voting machine vendor Dominion Voting Systems; the tech company Facebook, its founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan; and elected officials in four states. They had sought $160 billion in damages.

Their case was dismissed in April. In August, Neureiter ruled that the attorneys had violated their ethical obligations by filing it in the first place, arguing that the duo had run afoul of legal rules that prohibit clogging the courts with frivolous motions and lodging information in court that is not true. At the time, he called their suit “the stuff of which violent insurrections are made,” alleging they made little effort to determine the truth of their conspiratorial claims before filing them in court. He ordered them to pay the legal fees of all of the many entities that they had sued.

Rolling Stone, Investigation: Jan. 6 Organizers Used Anonymous Burner Phones to Communicate with White House and Trump Family, Sources Say, Hunter Walker, Nov. 23, 2021. A key planner of the Jan. 6 rally near the White House insisted the burner phones be purchased with cash, a source says.

Some of the organizers who planned the rally that took place on the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6 allegedly used difficult-to-trace burner phones for their most “high level” communications with former President Trump’s team.

Kylie Kremer, a top official in the March for Trump group that helped plan the Ellipse rally, directed an aide to pick up three burner phones days before Jan. 6, according to three sources who were involved in the event. One of the sources, a member of the March for Trump team, says Kremer insisted the phones be purchased using cash and described this as being “of the utmost importance.”

The three sources say Kylie Kremer took one of the phones and used it to communicate with top White House and Trump campaign officials, including Eric Trump, the president’s second-oldest son, who leads the family’s real-estate business; Lara Trump, Eric’s wife and a former senior Trump campaign consultant; Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff; and Katrina Pierson, a Trump surrogate and campaign consultant.

Some of the organizers who planned the rally that took place on the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6 allegedly used difficult-to-trace burner phones for their most “high level” communications with former President Trump’s team.

Kylie Kremer, a top official in the March for Trump group that helped plan the Ellipse rally, directed an aide to pick up three burner phones days before Jan. 6, according to three sources who were involved in the event. One of the sources, a member of the March for Trump team, says Kremer insisted the phones be purchased using cash and described this as being “of the utmost importance.”

The three sources say Kylie Kremer took one of the phones and used it to communicate with top White House and Trump campaign officials, including Eric Trump, the president’s second-oldest son, who leads the family’s real-estate business; Lara Trump, Eric’s wife and a former senior Trump campaign consultant; Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff; and Katrina Pierson, a Trump surrogate and campaign consultant.

Some of the organizers who planned the rally that took place on the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6 allegedly used difficult-to-trace burner phones for their most “high level” communications with former President Trump’s team.

Kylie Kremer, a top official in the March for Trump group that helped plan the Ellipse rally, directed an aide to pick up three burner phones days before Jan. 6, according to three sources who were involved in the event. One of the sources, a member of the March for Trump team, says Kremer insisted the phones be purchased using cash and described this as being “of the utmost importance.”

The three sources say Kylie Kremer took one of the phones and used it to communicate with top White House and Trump campaign officials, including Eric Trump, the president’s second-oldest son, who leads the family’s real-estate business; Lara Trump, Eric’s wife and a former senior Trump campaign consultant; Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff; and Katrina Pierson, a Trump surrogate and campaign consultant.

Nov. 20

World Crisis Radio, House passes Build Back Better bill, 220 to 213; together with bipartisan infrastructure bill, these two measures add up to a second webster tarpley twitterFranklin D. Roosevelt New Deal, Webster G. Tarpley, right, Nov. 20, 2021. So contact your senator and demand immediate action with no more cuts!

House GOP leader McCarthy breaks Fidel Castro’s record with 8.5 hour marathon tirade; deranged speech included everything from cabbages to kings, but somehow did not mention covid pandemic;

If Supremes destroy the New York State Sullivan law requiring permits for concealed weapons, New Year’s Eve in Times Square could become a dangerous gauntlet;

CDC recommends boosters for all adults as Austria, Germany, and others tighten public health restrictions;

What ever happened to to Wall Street? Ten years ago, finance oligarchs were main target of popular rage, but far less so today; FTC must probe London-traded energy derivatives as root cause of rise in gasoline prices;

As forms of legal positivism, the textualism, originalism, and formalism practiced in US jurisprudence ignore morality and justice; For 90 minutes, a black woman is acting President!

Nov. 18

 

pro publica logo

ProPublica, Texts Show Kimberly Guilfoyle Bragged About Raising Millions for Rally That Fueled Capitol Riot, Joaquin Sapien and Joshua Kaplan, Nov. 18, 2021. Text messages reviewed by ProPublica represent the strongest indication yet that members of the Trump family inner circle were involved in financing and organizing the Jan. 6 “Save America” rally, which immediately preceded the Capitol riot.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for former President Donald Trump and the girlfriend of his son Donald Trump Jr., boasted to a GOP operative that she had raised $3 million for the rally that helped fuel the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In a series of text messages sent on Jan. 4 to Katrina Pierson, the White House liaison to the event, Guilfoyle detailed her fundraising efforts and supported a push to get far-right speakers on the stage alongside Trump for the rally, which sought to overturn the election of President Joe Biden.

Guilfoyle’s texts, reviewed by ProPublica, represent the strongest indication yet that members of the Trump family circle were directly involved in the financing and organization of the rally. The attack on the Capitol that followed it left five dead and scores injured.

A House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 has subpoenaed more than 30 Trump allies for testimony and documents, including Pierson and Caroline Wren, a former deputy to Guilfoyle. But Guilfoyle herself has so far not received any official scrutiny from Congress.

Guilfoyle’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, denied that Guilfoyle had anything to do with fundraising or approving speakers. He said the text from Guilfoyle “did not relate to the Save America rally” on Jan. 6 and the “content of the message itself” was “inaccurate” and “taken out of context.” He did not respond to additional questions asking about the accuracy and context of the message.

Reached by phone, Pierson declined to comment.

The text messages show that Guilfoyle expressed specific concerns that she might not be allowed to speak on stage at the Jan. 6 rally. Pierson responded that Trump himself set the speaking lineup and that it was limited to people he selected, including some of his children and Amy Kremer, a grassroots activist who organized the event.

Guilfoyle replied that she only wanted to introduce Trump Jr. and had "raised so much money for this."

"Literally one of my donors Julie at 3 million,” she added.

Guilfoyle was referring to Julie Jenkins Fancelli, a Publix supermarket heir who Guilfoyle had developed a professional relationship with during the campaign.

Until now, Wren has been the only person identified as having worked with Fancelli. As ProPublica reported last month, Wren also boasted in private conversations with colleagues of raising $3 million for the events of Jan. 6.

It remains unclear whether that amount was really raised and, if so, how the majority of it was spent. Some of the money raised from Fancelli flowed to dark money groups that supported the rally, according to wire transfers described to ProPublica, planning documents and interviews with insiders.

In a statement from her attorney, Wren acknowledged helping to produce the rally but did not provide further details about her role in fundraising.

“To Ms. Wren’s knowledge, Kimberly Guilfoyle had no involvement in raising funds for any events on January 6th,” the statement said. “They were both present at a peaceful rally with hundreds of thousands of Americans who were in DC to lawfully exercise their first amendment rights, a primary pillar of American democracy.”

The texts between Guilfoyle and Pierson and interviews with Trump officials also suggest that Guilfoyle attempted to influence the lineup of speakers scheduled to appear at the event.

On the night of Jan. 5, Trump Jr., Guilfoyle and Wren attended an event at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where Trump donors mingled with prominent figures in the movement to overturn the election, according to interviews and social media posts from attendees.

Around the time of that event, Wren called rally staff and urged them to allow speaking roles for Ali Alexander, a far-right provocateur and leader of the Stop the Steal movement; Roger Stone, a former Trump advisor; and conspiracy theorist and InfoWars leader Alex Jones, according to a former campaign official who was told details of the call by people who listened to it.

Trump aides had already deemed the men too radical to go on stage, worrying they might embarrass the president.

During the call, Guilfoyle voiced her support for the controversial speakers, the former campaign official was told. She also specifically demanded that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who had sued to challenge election results in four other states, address the crowd. Alexander later said on a newscast that he also received a call from Guilfoyle that same evening.

Tacopina, Guilfoyle's lawyer, said she did not urge staffers to change the speakers. "Your contention that Ms. Guilfoyle approved a speaking list for January 6th is patently false," he wrote. He threatened to “aggressively pursue all legal remedies available” against ProPublica.

But the texts show Guilfoyle and Pierson talking about a “leaked” speaking list — an apparent reference to an article about the Jan. 6 rally published by the conservative news website Breitbart the day before.

That list included Alexander, Stone and Paxton, among others.

“All I know is that someone leaked a list of ‘speakers’ that the WH had not seen or approved,” Pierson wrote. “I’ve never had so much interference.”

Guilfoyle responded: “Yea and this the list we approved.”

Tacopina did not answer further questions about what Guilfoyle meant in the text where she said "we" had approved a speaking list.

Untangling the relationship between Guilfoyle, Wren and Fancelli is key to understanding the financing of the events of Jan. 6.

In January 2020, Guilfoyle was appointed national chair of the Trump Victory finance committee, a leading fundraising vehicle for Trump’s reelection campaign. She brought Wren on as her deputy.

Guilfoyle, through her relationship with Trump Jr., had access to the family and a certain star power that appealed to donors. Wren, by all accounts a relentless, high-energy worker, brought fundraising expertise and a Rolodex of wealthy Republicans willing to invest handsomely to keep Trump in office. The duo ultimately brought in tens of millions of dollars toward Trump’s reelection.

The pair focused primarily on ramping up the campaign’s “bundling” program, a method of fundraising that relies on volunteers collecting money from their personal networks.

Fancelli, a reclusive member of one of the country’s richest families, was one of those volunteers, according to interviews and internal Trump Victory records. Splitting her time between Florida and Italy, Fancelli raised at least $72,000 from her friends and family.

She stood out to Wren and Guilfoyle, who in 2020 considered her for a role as Florida state co-chair for the bundling program, according to an internal Trump Victory planning document reviewed by ProPublica. The document highlighted Fancelli as a person Guilfoyle should contact personally.

Nov. 17

 

norman 3X butler thomas 15X johnson ap

The exoneration of the two men, Muhammad Aziz, left, formerly known as Norman 3X Butler) and the late Khalil Islam (formerly known as Thomas 15X Johnson), represents 'a remarkable acknowledgment of grave errors made in a case of towering importance,' the New York Times reported. Aziz and the estate of Islam were both reprsented by the Innocence Project and attorney David Shanies. Photos by Associated Press.

ny times logoNew York Times, 2 Men Convicted of Killing Malcolm X Will Be Exonerated After 55 Years, Ashley Southall and Jonah E. Bromwich, Nov. 17, 2021. Two of the men found guilty of the assassination of Malcolm X are expected to have their convictions thrown out on Thursday, the Manhattan district attorney and lawyers for the two men said, rewriting the official history of one of the most notorious murders of the civil rights era.

The exoneration of the two men, Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, represents a remarkable acknowledgment of grave errors made in a case of towering importance: the 1965 murder of one of America’s most influential Black leaders in the fight against racism.

malcolm x stamp black heritageA 22-month investigation conducted jointly by the Manhattan district attorney’s office and lawyers for the two men found that prosecutors and two of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department — had withheld key evidence that, had it been turned over, would likely have led to the men’s acquittal.

The two men, known at the time of the killing as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, spent decades in prison for the murder, which took place on Feb. 21, 1965, when three men opened fire inside a crowded ballroom at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan as Malcolm X was starting to speak.

But the case against them was questionable from the outset, and in the decades since, historians and hobbyists have raised doubts about the official story.

The review, which was undertaken as an explosive documentary about the assassination and a new biography renewed interest in the case, did not identify who prosecutors now believe really killed Malcolm X, and those who were previously implicated but never arrested are dead.

Nor did it uncover a police or government conspiracy to murder him. It also left unanswered questions about how and why the police and the federal government failed to prevent the assassination.

But the acknowledgment by Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney who is among the nation’s most prominent local prosecutors, recasts one of the most painful moments in modern American history. New York Times excerpt continued below.

ny times logoNew York Times, Live Updates: Reactions to the Malcolm X Case, Staff Reports, Nov. 17, 2021. A timeline of major events in the case since Malcolm X’s death:

  • This is who scholars believe really killed Malcolm X.
  • What we know about Malcolm X’s assassination.
  • A new witness supports the original alibi of one of the wrongfully convicted men.
  • Al Sharpton calls exonerations in Malcolm X case a ‘strange and perverted irony.’

Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Why Doesn’t the CIA Just Destroy Its Secret JFK Records? Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Nov. 17, 2021. With President jacob hornberger newBiden’s order granting the CIA’s request for continued secrecy of its 60-year-old records retailing to the JFK assassination — on grounds of protecting “national security” — the question naturally arises: Why doesn’t the the CIA simply sneak into the National Archives and just destroy its records and be done with it?

By now, it should be obvious to everyone, including the CIA’s assets in the mainstream press, that the CIA’s remaining secret records contain incriminating evidence pointing toward a national-security state regime-change operation against President Kennedy, just as Oliver Stone posited in his movie JFK in 1991. The notion that the release of 60-year-old records will endanger “national security,” no matter what definition is placed on that meaningless, nebulous term, is patently ludicrous on its face.

future of freedom foundation logo squareMind you, I’m not advocating that the CIA do this, of course. I believe those long-secret records should have been disclosed to the American people six decades ago. I’m just asking a question and wondering why the CIA doesn’t do what it has done in the past to prevent the American people from seeing its dark-side activities.

Yes, it know that doing this would be violating the JFK Records Act of 1992. But we all know that nothing would happen to the CIA if it broke the law and destroyed those records. Nobody would get indicted. No one would even lose his job. No one would even get a slap on the wrist. After all, this is the CIA we are talking about.

When the CIA intentionally destroyed its videotapes of its brutal torture sessions with suspected terrorists, nothing happened to the CIA. When the CIA intentionally destroyed its MKULTRA records of its drug experiments on unsuspecting American citizens, again nothing happened.

Moreover, consider what the Secret Service did after the JFK Records Act was enacted. That sordid story is recounted in Douglas Horne’s watershed secret service logo5-volume book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board.

The JFK Records Act mandated that all federal agencies disclose their assassination-related records to the public. To enforce the law, Congress called into existence The Assassination Records Review Board.

After the law was enacted, a letter was sent to the Secret Service and other federal agencies specifically directing them to not destroy any assassination-related records. The Secret Service received the letter and understood the directive.

Nonetheless, the Secret Service intentionally destroyed critically important secret information relating to the assassination.

CIA LogoNo one got indicted for what was obviously a knowing, intentional, and deliberate violation of the law. No one got cited for contempt. No one got fired. The Secret Service got away with it. The American people never got to see those secret assassination-related records.

The Secret Service’s intentional destruction of those records looked especially bad in the context of the Secret Service’s actions prior to and immediately after the assassination.

  1. First, it didn’t seal the windows or the roof of the Texas School Book Depository or other high-rise buildings overlooking Dealey Plaza, where President Kennedy was assassinated,
  2. Second, it prevented agents from stationing themselves on the side and back of the presidential limousine during the motorcade.
  3. Third, it ensured that the motorcycle cops stayed behind the limousine rather than on its sides.
  4. Fourth, the custom was to have the official press corps car in front of the presidential limousine so that the professional photographers could easily take pictures and film during the motorcade. This time, the Secret Service placed the press corps car several cars behind the limousine, which ensured that there were few professional photographers capturing the assassination in photographs or film.
  5. Fifth, when the first shot rang out, the Secret Service agent who was driving the presidential limousine — William Greer — failed to floor the accelerator and immediately escape from the area before a second shot could hit the president.
  6. Sixth, the Secret Service agent in the passenger seat — Roy Kellerman — sat there like a bump on the log after the first shot rang out, even though his duty was to immediately jump in the back seat and cover the president with his own body. That’s what Secret Service agent Clint Hill was trying to do when he ran from his car toward the president’s car.
  7. Seventh, as I detail in my book The Kennedy Autopsy, Kellerman was actually the person who first launched the scheme for a fraudulent autopsy that was conducted later that day at the military’s medical facility at Bethesda National Naval Medical Facility. When Dr. Earl Rose, the Dallas County Medical Examiner, announced his intention to conduct an autopsy on the president’s body in accordance with Texas state criminal law, Kellerman, who was carrying a submachine gun, declared that no such autopsy would be permitted. Stating that he was operating on orders. Kellerman and his team of Secret Service agents, who were themselves brandishing their own guns, forced their way out of Parkland with the president’s body in a very heavy ornate casket. Kellerman and his team then delivered the body to new President Lyndon Johnson. Later that day, Johnson delivered the president’s body to the military, which then conducted a top-secret, classified fraudulent autopsy on Kennedy’s body.

Kennedy’s body was secretly sneaked into the Bethesda morgue in a cheap shipping casket at 6:35 p.m., which was almost 1 1/2 hours before the official entry time of 8 p.m. As I also detailed in The Kennedy Autopsy, Secret Service agents Kellerman and Greer participated in the secret reintroduction of Kennedy’s body into the expensive, heavy ornate Dallas casket, which was then brought into the morgue at the official entry time of 8 p.m.

What was in those top-secret Secret Service records that the Secret Service intentionally destroyed after being specifically told not to destroy them?

I don’t know, but my hunch is that there was a good reason why the Secret Service felt the need to destroy them.

There is obviously a good reason why the CIA doesn’t want its 60-year-old records disclosed to the American people, and I have no doubts that it has nothing to do with protecting “national security.” Which causes me to wonder why the CIA doesn’t do what the Secret Service did and just be done with the entire controversy.

Nov. 15

 

steve bannon rally source unstated

washington post logoWashington Post, Stephen Bannon surrenders after he was indicted on charges of contempt of Congress, Spencer S. Hsu and Tom Jackman, Nov. 15, 2021. Stephen K. Bannon, the former Trump White House adviser who was indicted last week for defying a congressional subpoena, surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning and was scheduled to make his first court appearance later Monday afternoon.

Bannon, 67 (shown above in a file photo), walked through a group of photographers outside the FBI field office in downtown Washington. Bannon told the news media, “I don’t want anybody to take their eye off the ball for what we do every day. . .We’re taking down the Biden regime.”

Bannon is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather for his arraignment on two counts of contempt of Congress.

A federal grand jury indicted Bannon on Friday after he ignored a Sept. 23 subpoena to testify and provide documents to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The committee wants to question Bannon about activities that occurred at the Willard Hotel the night before the riot, when pro-Trump activists sought to convince Republican lawmakers to block certification of the election. The committee’s subpoena also noted that Bannon was quoted predicting “hell is going to break loose” on Jan. 6.

The panel has subpoenaed at least 20 Trump aides, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Meadows did not appear Friday for a scheduled deposition, officials said. The charges against Bannon are misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

 

steve bannon billionaire guo wengui

Wayne Madsen Report,  Investigative Commentary: Time to extradite Bannon's patron to China, Wayne Madsen, Nov. 15, 2021. The method to bring down a massive far-right conspiracy to overthrow the government is to, as the Department of Justice did during Iran-contra, and, to a lesser extent, for Watergate is to "follow the money."

wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallToday, as former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is arraigned in federal court in Washington for two criminal counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to appear before the January 6th special House committee and turn over requested documents, it is an important reminder that Bannon's financial patron is Guo Wengui, a fugitive billionaire Chinese national who resides in the United States. Bannon and Guo are shown above in a file photo.

wayne madesen report logoGuo (shown above in a file photo with Bannon) was granted political asylum by the Trump administration in 2017 as a Priority 1 asylee after Trump was informed that Guo had laid out the required $200,000 in initiation fees and $14,000 in annual dues to become a member of Trump's Mar-a-Lago billionaires' beach club in Palm Beach, Florida. Guo is currently the subject of an Interpol Red Notice arrest warrant issued in April 2017 by China.

Guo is accused of fraud, rape, bribery, money laundering, kidnapping, and other crimes committed in China and abroad before he was granted political asylum in the United States.

Guo has the distinction of being involved in simultaneous attempts to overthrow two governments, that of his asylum-grantor, the United States, and that of China. Guo maintains a Chinese government-in-exile in Manhattan, which he calls the New Federal State of China, which has its own flag and Himalaya Coin cryptocurrency, issues its own "Himalaya" passport, and claims to represent a post-Communist state in China.

Guo's government-in-exile is nothing more than a fraudulent micronation involved in dubious activity and is not much different than the Dominion of Melchizedek and Kingdom of EnenKio, which were the subjects of international criminal investigations for banking and securities fraud.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Journalists also have an obligation to fix democracy, Jennifer Rubin (shown at right, with the cover of her book this fall below left), Nov. 15, 2021.jennifer rubin new headshot Looking back on the first 10 months of Joe Biden’s presidency, we see little evidence the media has examined its own role in Republicans’ assault on democracy.

Indeed, one could argue mainstream media outlets have been complicit in the current crisis of democracy. The trivialization of coverage, default to false equivalency, amplification of GOP spin and habitual treatment of Republicans’ conduct as within the normal boundaries of politics have serious implications for a democracy that relies on an informed citizenry.

jennifer rubin book resistanceJournalism professor and media critic Jay Rosen observes that “the incremental coverage, the focus on the inside game, the notion of tactics and strategy, and the joining up of the political class with the information junkies” does little to inform voters about major pieces of legislation. We get nonstop coverage of the “sausage making” but little about the content of bills that cost trillions. We hear incessant chatter about the filibuster but little examination of Senate Democrats’ compromise voting-rights plan, while Republicans are rarely grilled as to the basis for their objections to common-sense measures (e.g. enhancing penalties for threats to election officials, requiring a paper audit trail, limiting wait times to 30 minutes).

This style of political coverage reduces critical issues of the day to sporting events and celebrity gossip.

Republicans are rarely grilled on their tacit approval of violence — from the former president’s rationalization of the “Hang Mike Pence!” chants on Jan. 6 to warnings of “bloodshed” from Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) to violent imagery posted on social media by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.). At best, we get easily sidestepped inquiries “What is your response?”); virtually never are Republicans asked “How can you remain in a party that tolerates violence?” or “How can we entrust power to people who follow the MAGA leader and/or stir violence?”

The press treats leaders of the GOP, who fail to condemn such aberrant conduct, continue to deny their nominee lost in 2020 and still pledge fidelity to the former president who instigated a violent insurrection, as ordinary politicians. Hmm, why has the president “failed” to get Republican support for his initiatives?

Nov. 13

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: Trump’s ideologist Bannon finally indicted on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress by DC grand jury, Webster G. Tarpley, webster tarpley 2007right, Nov. 13, 2021. Move could open door to forcing cooperation from ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows, Gen. Michael Flynn, Stephen Miller, ex-DoJ official Jeffrey Clark, and other honchos of January 6 subversion; Will Garland eschew his abject appeasement of Trump faction?

Apotheosis of tyrant Xi as Communist Party Central Committee places him third after genocidalist Mao and Tien an Men perpetrator Deng; Is an imperial Xi dynasty next?

Biden administration is dismantling key abuses of three decades of globalization: global minimum tax strengthens nation-state vs. finance oligarchs and monopolists, while White House fights union-busting and crushing deflation; Inflation bad for creditors, but advantageous for debtors!

Nov. 12

SkyHorse Publishing, Coup in Dallas: The Decisive Investigation into Who Killed JFK, H. P. Albarelli Jr. with foreward by Dick Russell, Publication Date: Nov. 16, 2021 (720 Pages). Publisher's Description:

The CIA, Dallas, and the Hard Details of the JFK Assassination: Coup in Dallas leaves speculation and theory aside to give the hard details of who killed hp albarelli jr cover coupPresident John F. Kennedy and how the assassination plot was carried out. Through exhaustive research and newly translated documents, author H. P. Albarelli uncovers and explains the historical roots of state-sponsored assassination, finding disturbing parallels to the assassination of JFK. Albarelli goes beyond conventional JFK assassination theory to piece together the biographies of the lesser-known but instrumental players in the incident, such as Otto Skorzeny, Pierre Lafitte, James Jesus Angleton, Santo Trafficante, and others.

Albarelli provides shocking detail on the crucial role that the city of Dallas and its officials played in the maintenance of Dallas as a major hub of CIA activity, and how it led to JFK’s assassination and its cover-up. Go beyond LBJ, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby, and read the full, definitive account of what happened on November 22, 1963—and how it came to fruition.

Authors: H. P. Albarelli Jr., investigative reporter and author of A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments and A Secret Order: Investigating the High Strangeness and Synchronicity in the JFK Assassination, focused on the foreign and domestic intelligence apparatus, government mind control research projects, biological warfare, and political assassinations. His body of work, including articles published in Huffington Post, Pravda, and CounterPunch, has been cited in leading-edge books and periodicals. Albarelli made his home in Vermont, Florida, and the UK.

Dick Russell is an investigative journalist and bestselling author who has written for such varied publications as Time, Sports Illustrated, and the Village Voice. His books include Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Black Genius, and On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, as well as the New York Times bestsellers American Conspiracies, 63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read, and They Killed Our President. He lives in Boston and Hollywood.

Nov. 11

WhoWhatWhy, Opinion: The JFK Assassination and the Conspiracy Theory Experts at the Washington Post, Brian Baccus (a Texas attorney), Nov. 11, 2021. If you haven’t kept up with the latest developments in QAnon world, then you may have been wondering why hundreds of its adherents poured into Dallas last week, packing Dealey Plaza, the infamous site of President John F. Kennedy’s murder.

whowhatwhy logoThey were there harboring the fervent belief they were actually about to see the triumphant return of John F. Kennedy Jr., who was supposed to announce a 2024 vice presidential run with Donald Trump. Some even hoped to see the slain president himself.

Never mind that John Jr. died in a plane crash in 1999 and his father has been dead since 1963.

What has led to the current situation where a fair number of people actually believe that the Kennedys — Senior and Junior — are alive and have been hiding from the deep state all these years, waiting for their chance to come out of the shadows and save democracy?

Although the absurdity of these opinions is easy to laugh off, such beliefs are perhaps not so surprising given the curious reluctance of the federal government to reveal everything it knows about the Kennedy story. When Washington is still actively concealing key documents regarding his murder, which occurred almost 60 years ago, should it shock us that some of our fellow citizens are drawn to fill the vacuum with surreal inventions of their own?

The Gurus

Much has already been written about the perpetually delayed JFK records. But the consequences of such governmental dereliction of duty are perhaps best captured in a recent Washington Post opinion piece by a couple of data gurus, David Byler and Yan Wu. Although little of the subject really requires a data guru’s expertise, Byler in particular appears to be upset about the very concept that conspiracies could sometimes actually exist, and the Post seems to like to give him a platform.

Under the title Will you fall into the conspiracy theory rabbit hole? Take our quiz and find out, the authors cite a recent study by a team of academics who surveyed over 4,000 people in the United States about the degree of credence they give to a variety of so-called conspiracy theories.

A handful of questions from the study are included in the Post’s quiz. The first question asks which of the following four statements is true:

(a) ​​Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire accused of running an elite sex trafficking ring, was murdered to cover up the activities of his criminal network.

(b) President John F. Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy rather than a lone gunman.

(c) The FBI kept tabs on civil rights leaders, such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., attempting to find compromising information and damage their reputations.

(d) Regardless of who is officially in charge of the government and other organizations, there is a single group of people who secretly control events and rule the world together.

While you may be wondering why, just for good form, they don’t include an option to declare multiple answers correct, we are told that only one is: (c ), the well-known fact that J. Edgar Hoover had a vendetta against MLK. The authors also provide helpful explanations as to why the other answer choices are wrong.

Not surprisingly, the Post piece chides anyone who answered “yes” to whether JFK was killed by a conspiracy rather than a lone gunman. The authors state emphatically: “The evidence is clear: Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone to assassinate President Kennedy.”

The refusal of the media and academia to question the official story of Kennedy’s murder — in spite of the decades of evidence that casts serious doubt on it — is the height of illogical thinking.

Nov. 9

washington post logoWashington Post, Jan. 6 panel can gain access to Trump records, judge rules, Spencer S. Hsu, Nov. 9, 2021. Attorneys for the former president vowed to appeal the decision.

tanya chutkanA federal judge in Washington ruled late Tuesday that hundreds of pages of Trump White House records can be turned over to a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol despite the former president’s objections.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, right, clears the way for the release of government records requested by Congress, with a deadline of Nov. 12. Attorneys for Trump vowed to immediately appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

U.S. House logo“The court holds that the public interest lies in permitting—not enjoining—the combined will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led to and occurred on January 6, and to consider legislation to prevent such events from ever occurring again,” Chutkan wrote in a 39-page opinion.

House Democrats are probing Trump’s communications and activities leading up to and during the mob riot by his supporters that contributed to at least five deaths and forced the evacuation of Congress as it met to confirm the 2020 presidential election results.

In court filings, the House has argued it needs the communications records “of the then-President who helped foment the breakdown in the rule of law” by assembling thousands of supporters in Washington after a months-long effort to falsely brand the 2020 election as stolen.

 kayleigh mcenany djt

washington post logoWashington Post, Jan. 6 committee subpoenas more Trump aides, including Miller, McEnany and McEntee, Jacqueline Alemany and Josh Dawsey, Nov. 9, 2021. The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas Tuesday to 10 Trump administration officials, including some of former president Donald Trump’s closest advisers who were in the White House that day.

john mcentee CustomThose subpoenaed to provide testimony and documents include John McEntee, right, the former White House personnel director; Ben Williamson, a former deputy assistant to the president and senior adviser to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; and Nicholas Luna, the former president’s personal assistant.

Also on the list of subpoenas that went out Tuesday was Kenneth Klukowski, senior counsel to former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who is also on the list because of his involvement “in drafting a letter that urged legislatures in certain states to delay certification of the election, according to the report recently released by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary,” the committee said.

Trump loyalists and top advisers including Kayleigh McEnany, above right, the White House press secretary, and Stephen Miller, the senior adviser to the former president, and Cassidy Hutchinson, a special assistant to Trump for legislative affairs, have also been asked to provide depositions and documents.

Others close to the president who were subpoenaed include Molly Michael, the Oval Office operations coordinator to Trump. Michael still works for Trump and was in the White House for much of Jan. 6. McEntee, according to the committee’s statement, was “in the White House on January 6th and was with former President Trump when he traveled to the Ellipse and spoke at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.”

McEntee was a key figure in hiring of Trump loyalists across the government during the final stretch of Trump’s presidency.

Luna was “reportedly in the Oval Office the morning of January 6, 2021, when former President Trump was on a phone call to Vice President Pence pressuring him not to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election,” according to the committee.

The committee has sent out subpoenas in recent weeks to aides and allies of the former president as it tries to crack his inner circle as part of its investigation into the attack as well as the former president’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

It remains unclear how many people are cooperating with the probe and, if so, how much information they are providing. Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) has said the panel will aggressively go after anyone who tries to stonewall the investigation.

The House recently voted to hold former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. But Attorney General Merrick Garland has yet to announce whether his department will prosecute Bannon for failing to cooperate. Members of the select committee have said they view the Justice Department pursuing these charges as key to getting needed information and the department’s decision could impact whether other witnesses will cooperate with the congressional probe.

Nov. 8

 

michael flynn djt

ny times logoNew York Times, Jan. 6 Inquiry Subpoenas Close Trump Allies, Luke Broadwater, Nov. 8, 2021. The latest batch of subpoenas from the House panel investigating the Capitol riot includes officials from former President Trump’s re-election campaign. Michael Flynn, above left, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, is included among those called to turn over documents and sit for depositions.

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol issued subpoenas on Monday for six close allies of former President Donald J. Trump who promoted false claims of election fraud or worked to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including his former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.

The subpoenas demand records and testimony from Mr. Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien and a senior adviser, Jason Miller, as well as others associated with a so-called “war room” of planners who sought to halt Congress’s counting of electoral votes before a violent mob overtook the Capitol. They include John Eastman, a lawyer who drafted a memo laying out how Mr. Trump could use Congress to try to overturn the election and Mr. Flynn, who discussed seizing voting machines and invoking certain national security emergency powers.

The subpoenas demand that the witnesses turn over documents this month and sit for depositions in early December.

 

Trump-supporting former law school dean John Eastman, left, helps Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inflame pro-Trump protesters in front the White House before the insurrection riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the presidential election certification of Joe Biden's presidency on Jan. 6, 2021 (Los Angeles Times photo). Trump-supporting former law school dean John Eastman, left, helps Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inflame pro-Trump protesters in front the White House before the insurrection riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the presidential election certification of Joe Biden's presidency on Jan. 6, 2021 (Los Angeles Times photo). 

“In the days before the Jan. 6 attack, the former president’s closest allies and advisers drove a campaign of misinformation about the election and planned ways to stop the count of Electoral College votes,” Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the committee chairman, said in a statement. “The select committee needs to know every detail about their efforts to overturn the election, including who they were talking to in the White House and in Congress, what connections they had with rallies that escalated into a riot, and who paid for it all.”

The six subpoenas bring to 25 the number issued so far by the committee. More than 150 witnesses have testified in closed-door sessions with the committee’s investigators.

Mr. Stepien was the manager of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign, which urged state and party officials to affect the outcome of the 2020 election by asking states to delay or deny certification of electoral votes and by sending multiple slates of the votes to Congress to allow a challenge to the results, the committee said.

Mr. Miller, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, spread the false claim of widespread fraud and coordinated with the former president and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani in attempts to overturn the election, the committee said. It cited the fact Mr. Miller participated in a meeting on Jan. 5 at the Willard Hotel in Washington in which Mr. Giuliani, Stephen K. Bannon, and others discussed pressuring former Vice President Mike Pence to not certify the Electoral College results.

The panel also subpoenaed the Trump campaign’s national executive assistant Angela McCallum, who reportedly left voice mail for an unknown Michigan state representative in which she said that she wanted to know whether the Trump campaign could “count on” the representative. She is also believed to have told the representative that they had the authority to appoint an alternate slate of electors based on purported evidence of widespread election fraud, the committee said.

Mr. Eastman has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent weeks after it was revealed that he wrote a memo to Mr. Trump suggesting that Mr. Pence could reject electors from certain states in order to deny Joseph R. Biden Jr. a majority of the Electoral College vote.

Mr. Eastman is reported to have participated in a briefing for nearly 300 state legislators, during which he told the group that it was their duty to “fix this, this egregious conduct, and make sure that we’re not putting in the White House some guy that didn’t get elected,” the committee said. He participated in the Jan. 5 meeting at the Willard Hotel and spoke at the rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6 before the Capitol assault.

Mr. Flynn attended a meeting in the Oval Office on Dec. 18 during which participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers and continuing to spread the false message that the 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud, the committee said.

It has also issued a subpoena for Bernard Kerik, the former New York police commissioner who reportedly participated in the Willard Hotel meeting and paid for rooms and suites in Washington hotels as he worked with Mr. Giuliani to promote baseless litigation and “Stop the Steal” efforts, the committee said.

 

igor danchenko john durham

Proof, Investigative Commentary: The Durham Indictment of Igor Danchenko (above at left) Is An Embarrassment to the Department of Justice, Seth Abramson, left, Nov. 7-8, seth abramson graphic2021. A longtime criminal defense attorney, Trump biographer, and chronicler of the Trump-Russia scandal unpacks an irresponsible criminal indictment by Trump-appointed special prosecutor John Durham, above right,that has fooled reporters into thinking it significant.

On the tenth page of the first volume of the major Trump-Russia report coordinated by former FBI director Robert Mueller, the venerated lawman seth abramson proof logoopines that he hasn’t been able to access a significant percentage of the stock of evidence he’s been aiming to accrue.

The reason? Not dumb luck or any particular investigative failure at the FBI, but systematic hindrance of his efforts by people FBI logoassociated with Donald Trump.

Mueller would later on in his report disclose that much of that hindrance had been coordinated by Trump himself, aided and abetted by Trump’s personal attorneys. If this tune sounds familiar, it should—as it’s exactly what would lead, 21 months after the Mueller Report was released, to an attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five dead.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

Nov. 6

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: Time to end haggling in Congress and pass both bills! Webster G. Tarpley, right, Nov. 6, 2021. Dem losses in 2021 elections webster tarpley 2007shaped by backlash against Washington logjam, but ultra-left Dems reject obvious lesson of unity and double down on sabotage of Biden’s program, despite direct appeal from President; Rebellion of a few right-wing Dems demanding CBO report quelled;

AOC’s candidate for mayor of Buffalo is handily defeated by write-in campaign waged by 4-term Mayor Byron Brown, who had been narrowly beaten in primary; Fratricide model fails test; Minneapolis referendum repudiates “defund the police” slogan in its place of origin; Youngkin backer Barbara Comstock from Northern Virginia thanks Jayapal for her obstructionism;

Biden’s mere presence in Rome and Glasgow is enough to banish Xi and Putin, who ran wild under Trump; Pope Francis nixes anti-Biden propaganda of Vatican reactionaries; Worldwide minimum tax is key step in ending race to the bottom under globalization;

With Chinese aggressors readying 100 ICBM silos, 1,000 nuclear warheads, and hypersonic weapons, time to pass the NDAA Pentagon bill!;

$1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passes House 228-209, with 13 GOP seeing the light; Ultra-lefts AOC, Omar, Bush, Bowman, Pressley, Tlaib vote no, choosing oblivion.

Nov. 4

oliver stone newseum

Filmmaker Oliver Stone poses with a display showing his iconic 1991 film JFK. A sequel, "JFK Revisited," was previewed last summer at the Cannes Film Festival and is being released this month in the United States via Showtime on Nov. 22 (Photo via The Newseum).

Collider, Oliver Stone's 'JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass' Doc Lands on Showtime This Month, David McGuire, Nov. 4, 2021. 'JFK Revisited' premiered at Cannes earlier this year.

showtime logoFor the last 58 years, the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy has been the subject of debate and has become enveloped by conspiracy theories. Countless books, TV shows, and movies have been made about that fateful day, none more prolific and swimming in controversy than Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK. 30 years later, Stone is back with a new documentary film, to be released on Showtime, entitled JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass.

oliver stone jfk revisited posterJFK Revisited premiered at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and presents a fresh look at the recently declassified archive of material that has been re-examined and placed into the public record. The documentary is poised to inform the latest generation and the generation that lived through it that this unsolved murder was not only shocking but, perhaps, calculated.

The film will be narrated by Whoopi Goldberg (The Stand) and Donald Sutherland (Moonfall) and will feature new interviews with historians, witnesses, and other experts on the subject.

The 1991 film made a very similar promise as it focused on the events leading up to the assassination and the alleged cover-up as told through the eyes of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner).

Based on the book The Plot That Killed Kennedy, by Jim Marrs, the film was immediately embroiled in controversy as it made implications that Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, was part of the coup d'état to assassinate the sitting president. Stone was said to have described the film as a "counter myth" to the Warren Commission's "fictional myth." The film boasted an incredible cast with Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, and even the real Jim Garrison as Earl Warren.

JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass is an Ingenious Media production. Written by James DiEugenio, the film is produced by Rob Wilson for Ixtlan and executive produced by Andrea Scarso, Amit Pandya, Peter Touche, Fernando Sulichin, and Angela Ceccio.

JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass will make its linear debut on Showtime on November 22 at 7 p.m. ET/PT, the anniversary of JFK’s death.

[The film is scheduled to be released in the U.K. and Ireland by the U.K.'s Altitude Film Distribution in late 2021.]

 

Justice Department logo

washington post logoWashington Post, Igor Danchenko arrested, charged with lying to FBI about information in Steele dossier, Devlin Barrett and Tom Jackman, Nov. 4, 2021. An analyst who was a primary source for a 2016 dossier of allegations against Donald Trump has been arrested on charges that he repeatedly lied to the FBI about where and how he got his information, officials said Thursday.

Igor Danchenko’s role in providing information to British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the accusations about Trump in a series of reports, has long been a subject of scrutiny from internal Justice Department investigators and special counsel John Durham, according to people familiar with the investigations.

Steele presented the dossier to the FBI, and it was part of the basis for secret surveillance court orders targeting former Trump adviser Carter Page as the FBI investigated possible ties between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

A 2019 report by the Justice Department inspector general found major problems with the accuracy of Danchenko’s information. But the 39-page indictment unveiled Thursday paints a more detailed picture of claims that were allegedly built on exaggerations, rumors and outright lies. The indictment is likely to buttress Republican charges that Democrats and FBI agents intentionally or accidentally turned cheap partisan smears into a high-stakes national security investigation of a sitting president.

The indictment also suggests Danchenko may have lied to Steele and others about where he was getting his information. Some of the material came from a Democratic Party operative with long-standing ties to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to the charges, rather than well-connected Russians with insight into the Kremlin.

The allegations cast new uncertainty on some past reporting on the dossier by news organizations, including The Washington Post.

Danchenko appeared briefly Thursday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., where his lawyer tried to enter a plea of not guilty on his behalf. The judge did not accept the plea because the hearing was not an arraignment, and Danchenko was released.

His lawyer declined to speak to reporters outside the courtroom.

Durham’s probe into the FBI’s Russia investigation has also led to the indictment of a lawyer connected to Democrats, on a charge that he lied to the FBI. In addition, a former FBI lawyer who worked on the Page surveillance application later pleaded guilty to altering an email related to that case.

Former FBI officials have said the dossier did not launch their Trump campaign investigation, nor was it a factor in the conclusions reached by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. But the dossier did play a critical role both in how the FBI sought court-approved surveillance and, after it was published by BuzzFeed News in 2017, the public debate about Trump and Russia.

Trump and his supporters have accused FBI officials of trying to discredit or defeat him through an unfair investigation premised on false accusations. The FBI’s defenders, however, say the agency was obligated to examine allegations of Russian interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign during the election.

igor danchenko john durhamNBC News, Analyst who worked on Steele dossier arrested as part of investigation into Mueller probe, Michael Kosnar and Dareh Gregorian, Nov. 4, 2021. The analyst, Igor Danchenko, has been described as the primary researcher on the dossier.

NBC News logoAn analyst who worked on the so-called Steele dossier — the salacious, largely unverified collection of former President Donald Trump's links to Russia — was arrested on a federal indictment Thursday, a senior Justice Department official confirmed to NBC News.

Igor Danchenko, above left, who's been described as the dossier's primary researcher, was arrested as part of an investigation by John Durham, above right, the special counsel appointed by Trump’s Justice Department to investigate the origins of the Russia probe.

Danchenko is expected to appear in federal court in Virginia Thursday afternoon. The exact charges are unclear.

Danchenko is the second person to be charged in recent months as part of the Durham probe. In September, prominent Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann was charged with making a false statement to the FBI. Sussmann, who shared concerns with the bureau in 2016 about communications between the Trump campaign and Russia, allegedly failed to disclose during the meeting that he was working for multiple clients, including Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report found the Russian government did try to interfere in the 2016 election for Trump's benefit and that Trump's campaign had numerous undisclosed contacts with Russians, but much of the information in the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele has largely been discredited.

The FBI used information from the Steele dossier as part of its legal argument for secret government surveillance of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, during the 2016 election, without noting any red flags about the information.

Danchenko told The New York Times last year that he'd simply passed along raw intelligence information to Steele. “Even raw intelligence from credible sources, I take it with a grain of salt,” Danchenko said. “Who knows, what if it’s not particularly accurate? Is it just a rumor or is there more to it?”

ny times logoNew York Times, Authorities Arrest Analyst Who Contributed to Steele Dossier, Adam Goldman and Charlie Savage, Nov. 4, 2021. A Russia analyst who worked with Christopher Steele, the author of a dossier of rumors and unproven assertions about Donald Trump, was taken into custody. Federal authorities on Thursday arrested an analyst who in 2016 gathered leads about possible links between Donald J. Trump and Russia for what turned out to be Democratic-funded opposition research, according to people familiar with the matter.

The arrest of the analyst, Igor Danchenko, is part of the special counsel inquiry led by John H. Durham, who was appointed by the Trump administration to scrutinize the Russia investigation for any wrongdoing, the people said.

Mr. Danchenko was the primary researcher of the so-called Steele dossier, a compendium of rumors and unproven assertions suggesting that Mr. Trump and his 2016 campaign were compromised by and conspiring with Russian intelligence officials in Moscow’s covert operation to help him defeat Hillary Clinton.

Justice Department log circularThe people familiar with the matter spoke on condition of anonymity because the indictment of Mr. Danchenko had yet to be unsealed. A spokesman for Mr. Durham did not respond to a request for comment.

Some claims from the Steele dossier made their way into an F.B.I. wiretap application targeting a former Trump campaign adviser in October 2016. Other portions of it — particularly a salacious claim about a purported sex tape — caused a political and media firestorm when Buzzfeed published the materials in January 2017, shortly before Mr. Trump was sworn in.

But most of the important claims in the dossier — which was written by Mr. Danchenko’s employer, Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent — have not been proven, and some have been refuted. F.B.I. agents interviewed Mr. Danchenko in 2017 when they were seeking to run down the claims in the dossier.

The interview suggested that aspects of the dossier were misleading: Mr. Steele left unclear that much of the material was thirdhand information, and some of what Mr. Danchenko — who was born in Russia but lives in the United States — had relayed was more speculative than the dossier implied.

A 2019 investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general sharply criticized the F.B.I. for continuing to cite material from the dossier after the bureau interviewed Mr. Danchenko without alerting judges that some of what he said had cast doubt on the contents of the dossier.

The inspector general report also said that a decade earlier, when Mr. Danchenko worked for the Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington think-tank, he had been the subject of a counterintelligence investigation into whether he was a Russian agent.

In an interview with The New York Times in 2020, Mr. Danchenko defended the integrity of his work, saying he had been tasked to gather “raw intelligence” and was simply passing it on to Mr. Steele. Mr. Danchenko — who made his name as a Russia analyst by exposing indications that the dissertation of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia contained plagiarized material — also denied being a Russian agent.

“I’ve never been a Russian agent,” Mr. Danchenko said. “It is ridiculous to suggest that. This, I think, it’s slander.”

Mr. Steele’s efforts were part of opposition research that Democrats were indirectly funding by the time the 2016 general election took shape. Mr. Steele’s business intelligence firm was a subcontractor to another research firm, Fusion GPS, which in turn had been hired by the Perkins Coie law firm, which was working for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Mr. Danchenko said he did not know who Mr. Steele’s client was at the time and considered himself a nonpartisan analyst and researcher.

Mr. Durham has been known to be interested in Mr. Danchenko and the Steele dossier saga. In February, he used a subpoena to obtain old personnel files and other documents related to Mr. Danchenko from the Brookings Institution, where Mr. Danchenko had worked from 2005 until 2010.

The charges against Mr. Danchenko follow Mr. Durham’s indictment in September of a cybersecurity lawyer, Michael Sussmann, which accused him of lying to the F.B.I. about who he was working for when he brought concerns about possible Trump-Russia links to the bureau in September 2016.

Mr. Sussmann, who then also worked for Perkins Coie, was relaying concerns developed by data scientists about odd internet logs they said suggested the possibility of a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked financial institution. He has denied lying to the F.B.I. about who he was working for.

 

wayne madesen report logo

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigative Commentary: Durham's phony investigation a waste of scant DOJ resources, Wayne Madsen, left, Nov. 1, 2021. wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallAttorney General Merrick Garland,merrick garland right, who has become the least popular member of President Biden's Cabinet, is continuing to allow a holdover special prosecutor from the Trump administration to engage in a costly and time-consuming "investigation" of absolutely nothing rising to a level of criminality.

On October 19, 2020, just a few weeks prior to the 2020 election, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham was secretly appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr as special counsel to investigate Trump's alleged "Russia Hoax." Durham was originally tasked by Barr in April 2019 to investigate the Justice Department's ongoing internal probe of federal law enforcement john durham Customsurveillance activities of the Trump campaign for connections to Russia. Trump falsely insisted that the investigation was a "witch hunt."

Durham, left, has been permitted by Garland to continue with a fool's errand of an investigation that has resulted in two dubious indictments. It is clear that Durham's targets now include the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, the Robert Mueller investigation of that campaign, and anything else that Durham (and his puppeteer Trump) decides is worthy. Garland has failed to show any desire to order Durham to wrap up his investigation or be shown the door.

ken starr wEssentially, Durham has become a new Ken Starr, right. Starr was the independent Whitewater counsel who began an investigation into Bill Clinton's involvement in an Arkansas real estate deal and ended with a dubious probe of Clinton for receiving a blowjob in the Oval Office from White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Durham is operating under a mandate to "broadly examine the government's collection of intelligence involving the Trump campaign's interactions with Russians." Durham has now turned the investigation on to top Democrats, which raises the belief that Garland is acting in the interests of the Republicans.

In November 2019, Durham succeeded in obtaining a guilty plea by FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith for altering an email request.

 

cy vance resized djt

Palmer Report, Opinion: Manhattan DA has new grand jury to bring more criminal indictments in case against Donald Trump, Bill Palmer, right, Nov. 4, 2021. On bill palmerTuesday, Palmer Report pointed to the election of Alvin Bragg as the next Manhattan District Attorney as signifiant in the criminal case against Donald Trump.

Cy Vance (above right) is still in office until the end of the year. But he brought the initial indictments in the Trump case the week after Bragg won the Democratic primary election, suggesting he was waiting to break the news so that it wouldn’t be seen as influencing the election. Now that Bragg has won the general election, we suggested Vance might soon make his next big move.

bill palmer report logo headerSure enough, that’s rapidly turning out to be the case. The Washington Post is reporting this afternoon that Vance has empaneled a new grand jury for the purpose of bringing more criminal indictments in the case against Donald Trump. The article cautions that this doesn’t mean indictments will definitely happen. But in reality, when prosecutors want a grand jury to indict someone, it happens greater than 99% of the time.

The article also points out that the grand jury is empaneled for up to six months. But this does not mean that it’ll take six months for indictments to come down; only that prosecutors wanted grand jurors who are going to be available for that long in case things end up taking that long.

Interestingly, the Post says that this new grand jury is empaneled in relation to the Trump Organization’s false valuation of its assets. The Manhattan DA probe began when Michael Cohen provided evidence of Trump’s crimes including asset valuation, so it’s not surprising that the DA is now looking to bring indictments related to asset valuation.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the next round of indictments will be against Donald Trump. The DA could decide to quickly bring additional charges against Allen Weisselberg instead, in the hope that as the number of years he’s facing in prison piles up, he’ll decide to cut a plea deal. The next indictments could also be against Trump’s kids, in an effort to flip them against him. Or the next round of indictments could indeed be directly against Trump himself. It’s previously been reported that Trump Organization insiders like Matthew Calamari have been cooperating with the probe, which could be enough to indict Trump even without Weisselberg’s help.

So we still have a number of unknowns about precisely where the Manhattan DA’s probe is heading next. But if you read the Post article, it’s fairly obvious that the DA’s office is the source, and that the DA therefore wanted this information out there right now – right after the new DA was elected, just as we were expecting.

We’re not going to try to put a timetable on Donald Trump’s arrest and indictment, because there are still too many variables in terms of who will flip and who will be indicted in what order. But if Vance doesn’t indict Trump on his way out the door by the end of the year, it seems a given that Bragg will indict Trump swiftly once he takes office at the beginning of the year.

The bottom line is that Donald Trump is, more obviously than ever, on a clear path to prison in New York. Once Trump is arrested, the media will start trying to scare you into staying tuned in by suggesting that the jury will just magically let Trump go, but these are the kinds of financial charges that essentially always result in conviction. The media may also try to scare you by suggesting that New York will elect a Republican Governor who will pardon Trump, but it’s exceedingly unlikely that New York will elect a Republican.

Nov. 3

jeanine djt jeanine pirro 2018 book

Fox News personality "Judge" Jeanine Pirro (left) and President Donald Trump (right) promote the host's book in the Oval Office in 2018. Image via Pirro's Twitter.

Raw Story, Fox's Judge Jeanine orchestrated payments for ‘command centers’ that could blow up Trump’s defense, Travis Gettys, Nov. 03, 2021. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro orchestrated campaign payments for 'command centers' at DC hotels that could blow up Donald Trump's executive privilege claims.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, right, and the city's former police chief Bernie Kerik had been paying for hotel rooms and travel related to their rudy giuliani recentefforts to overturn Trump's election loss, but the pair grew concerned by early December as the bills piled up, reported the Washington Post.

fox news logo Small"How do I know I'm gonna get my money back?" Kerik thought at the time, as he recently told the newspaper.

Kerik knew that Giuliani hadn't been reimbursed for his expenses or paid for his services, but their friend Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News host beloved by the twice-impeached one-term president, called Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and asked her to help them out.

McDaniel, below at left, spoke to Kerik by phone but refused to give him money, and instead recommended that he ask the Trump campaign to reimburse his expenses, according to the former police chief and a GOP official.

The campaign cut its first check to Kerik in mid-December with Trump's approval, according to a former senior campaign official, and eventually paid more than $225,000 for hotel rooms and suites at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., that served as a "command center" for efforts to overturn the ronna mcdaniel djt Customelection results ahead of Jan. 6 riots.

Those payments, according to legal experts, could undermine Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents and testimony related to the U.S. Capitol riots sought by the House select committee investigating the insurrection.

"[This] further undermines a wildly broad assertion of executive privilege," said Richard Ben-Veniste, a former Watergate prosecutor. "Executive privilege is typically limited to the protection of communications involving a president's official duties — not to those relating to personal or political campaign matters."

Former Justice Department official John Yoo, who advised former vice president Mike Pence's staff that there was no legal basis to deny the certification of Joe Biden's election win, agreed that the payments could upend Trump's defense.

"If he acts as a president, he gets these things we talk about — executive privilege and immunity," Yoo said. "But if he's acting as a candidate, he's deprived of all of those protections."

ricardo monkey morales oswald gunWhoWhatWhy, Claim: JFK Assassin Oswald Was CIA-Trained — And Bad at Shooting, Chris Roberts, Nov. 3, 2021. What’s hidden in the government records related to the John F. Kennedy assassination that President Joe Biden (and Donald Trump before him) promised to release — in Biden’s case as recently as last month — and then didn’t?

Only the CIA, FBI, and archivists know, and only they can say for certain, what knowledge survived the 1960s and 1970s and what vital clues ended up in the shredder. Maybe something is in there that could vet the most recent claim that Lee Harvey Oswald — whom the Warren Commission fingered whowhatwhy logoas the lone shooter and whom the House Select Committee on Assassinations (and almost everyone else alive) believe was probably part of some conspiracy — was a CIA asset who received CIA training before November 22, 1963, and who, according to his purported trainer, was a terrible shot.

Maybe there’s nothing in the archives that could verify that one. Either way, it might be nice to know!

Over the Halloween weekend, the Miami Herald picked up a story, initially dropped via Spanish-language radio, that a notorious anti-Castro Cuban exile and sniper trainer who had verifiably worked with the CIA recognized Oswald as one of his trainees in a secret CIA sniper camp, or so he told his sons decades later.

Additionally — according to the tale related on Miami-based Actualidad 1040 AM by one of the sons of Ricardo “Monkey” Morales (shown above at left) and later repeated to the Herald — Morales and some associates were sent to Dallas on the order of his CIA handler two days before the assassination for an unspecified “clean-up” mission. They were then recalled to Miami after the shooting, without receiving further orders.

Possible? Sure. Plausible? Those records certainly would be handy!

According to 58-year-old Ricardo Morales Jr., about a year before the elder Morales was shot in the back of the head during a December 1982 fracas in a Miami bar — a killing his attorney said was a setup — the ex-spy had become paranoid and fearful about his safety.

Nov. 1

Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: The Silence of CIA Media Assets on the JFK Cover-Up, Jacob G. Hornberger, Nov. 1, 2021. One of the funniest aspects of President Biden’s decision to continue the CIA’s cover-up of the national-security establishment’s regime-change operation on November 22, 1963, has been the silent reaction of the mainstream media. Ordinarily, the CIA’s journalistic assets would have gone into action by now, jacob hornberger newpublishing editorials and op-eds supporting Biden’s decision to grant the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy on grounds of “national security.”

What’s the reason for the silence? I suspect that despite their extreme loyalty to the CIA, they’re all too embarrassed to make such a ludicrous argument. Better to remain silent and hope the whole controversy just goes away.

By the time of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK in 1991, the CIA and the rest of the U.S. national-security establishment had kept their assassination-related records secret for some 30 years. They said that “national security” required such secrecy, notwithstanding their claim that a lone-nut communist former U.S. Marine had killed President Kennedy.

future of freedom foundation logo squarePeople didn’t buy it. Stone’s movie induced a massive public outcry against continued secrecy. In one of those rare instances in which Congress is forced by public pressure to act against the wishes of the Pentagon and the CIA, Congress enacted the JFK Records Act of 1992, which forced the national-security establishment to disclose their long-secret assassination-related records.

To enforce the law, Congress called the Assassination Records Review Board into existence. From 1993 to 1998, the ARRB forced the release of thousands of long-secret records, oftentimes over the vehement objections of the Pentagon and the CIA.

As a result of those disclosures in the 1990s, the United States did not fall into the ocean. The communists did not take control over the United States. Cuba did not invade Miami. The dominoes did not fall in Southeast Asia.

What did happen, however, is that the ARRB lifted the shroud of secrecy that the national-security establishment had placed over the autopsy that it had conducted on the body of President Kennedy a few hours after the assassination. The records revealed one reason why the military and the CIA had wanted to keep their assassination-related records secret forever: The autopsy they conducted was fraudulent to the core.

As I have repeatedly emphasized, there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy, especially given that the scheme was launched at Parkland Hospital immediately after Kennedy was declared dead. See my two books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2. Also see Douglas Horne’s excellent video presentation at our conference last spring on the Kennedy assassination as well as his watershed five-volume book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board.

Unfortunately, however, there was a flaw in the law. The law gave the national-security establishment another 25 years of secrecy if the release of certain records posed “an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

The ARRB went out of existence in 1998 and, therefore, it wasn’t around to enforce the law when that 25-year deadline materialized in 2017 during the Trump administration. Trump surrendered to the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy and pushed the secrecy deadline into 2021.

Not surprisingly, Biden has also now surrendered to the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy. Like Trump, he says that the release of the records will threaten “national security” by posing “an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

Will the remaining records contain a “smoking gun” confession of the national-security establishment’s regime change on November 22, 1963. Of course not. No one would be so stupid as to put such a confession in writing and then turn it over to the National Archives.

But the records undoubtedly contain incriminating pieces of the puzzle that will further fill out the regime-change mosaic, just as the ARRB’s forced disclosure of the medical evidence in the 1990s established the existence of a fraudulent autopsy.

Let me give you another example of this phenomenon. In 2017, a few of the secret records that were released under Trump disclosed a secret memorandum from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that was dated November 24, 1963, the day that Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald. The memo stated: “The thing I am concerned about, and so is Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.”

Oswald was referring to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, who himself issued a memorandum to presidential aide Bill Moyers on November 25, 1963, stating, “The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.”

Three questions naturally arise:

1. How in the world could two of the nation’s top law-enforcement officers be certain that Oswald assassinated the president within just two or three days of the assassination, especially given that Oswald was not only proclaiming his innocence but also claiming he was being framed for the crime?

2. Even if Oswald was involved in the crime, how in the world could anyone be certain that he didn’t have confederates without weeks or even months of investigation, especially since the Dallas treating physicians had said that Kennedy’s throat wound was an entry wound, which necessarily meant a shot having been fired from the president’s front?

3. How would the release of Hoover’s memo back in the 1990s possibly have threatened “national security” or possibly posed “an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure”?

It couldn’t have, which meant that the national-security establishment lied to the ARRB when they used that excuse to keep the Hoover memo secret.


 

wayne madesen report logo

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigative Commentary: Durham's phony investigation a waste of scant DOJ resources, Wayne Madsen, left, Nov. 1, 2021. wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallAttorney General Merrick Garland,merrick garland right, who has become the least popular member of President Biden's Cabinet, is continuing to allow a holdover special prosecutor from the Trump administration to engage in a costly and time-consuming "investigation" of absolutely nothing rising to a level of criminality.

On October 19, 2020, just a few weeks prior to the 2020 election, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham was secretly appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr as special counsel to investigate Trump's alleged "Russia Hoax." Durham was originally tasked by Barr in April 2019 to investigate the Justice Department's ongoing internal probe of federal law enforcement john durham Customsurveillance activities of the Trump campaign for connections to Russia. Trump falsely insisted that the investigation was a "witch hunt."

Durham has been permitted by Garland to continue with a fool's errand of an investigation that has resulted in two dubious indictments. It is clear that Durham's targets now include the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, the Robert Mueller investigation of that campaign, and anything else that Durham (and his puppeteer Trump) decides is worthy. Garland has failed to show any desire to order Durham to wrap up his investigation or be shown the door.

Essentially, Durham has become a new Ken Starr. Starr was the independent Whitewater counsel who began an investigation into Bill Clinton's involvement in an Arkansas real estate deal and ended with a dubious probe of Clinton for receiving a blowjob in the Oval Office from White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Durham has been using the Justice Department to conduct a far-right and conspiracy theory-laden crusade against Trump's political foes. It is Durham who has misused his special prosecutor position for his own political goals and interests

 

October

Oct. 30

 

Donald J. Trump, left, and William Barr (Justice Department photo in March 2019).

Donald J. Trump, left, and William Barr (Justice Department photo in March 2019).

Palmer Report, Opinion: The Durham probe is finally backfiring on Donald Trump, Bill Palmer, right, Oct. 30, 2021. When Donald Trump and his Attorney General bill palmerBill Barr tasked John Durham, below right, with criminally investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, Palmer Report predicted that it wouldn’t end up helping Trump one bit. Sure enough, the probe went nowhere, found nothing, and changed zero minds heading into the 2020 election.

But the Durham probe is still ongoing, having finally resulted in a single indictment against one person for lying to investigators. Given the bill palmer report logo headerlack of legitimate evidence in the indictment, it’s likely to end in dismissal or acquittal. In fact, the indictment has turned out to be so sketchy, it’s beginning to backfire.

Remember the story about a computer server at Trump Tower that was communicating almost solely with Russia’s Alfa Bank? There john durham Customhave been so many different connections between Donald Trump and Russia, you may have forgotten that the server scandal even existed. But because the Durham indictment falsely claimed that the original authors of that article didn’t believe in their own work, they’re now coming forward to reiterate that they do indeed stand by their story.

This gives you an idea of just how absurd this indictment is; it’s based on the false claim that a group of journalists didn’t believe their story, and that someone else was therefore lying when he told federal investigators otherwise. Yeah, this is now pretty obviously alpha bank logo russiaheading for acquittal.

But it’s also served to pushed the Trump server – Alfa Bank story back into the headlines, including a major expose on the Rachel Maddow show last night. Thus far the only thing the Durham probe has done, aside from temporarily making life unfairly difficult for one indicted and pretty clearly innocent guy, is to push the Trump-Russia scandal back into the headlines. That’s the last thing Trump wanted.

russian flag wavingOf course we’ve seen this over and over again. When Donald Trump was in office, he spent much of his time trying to prove to himself that his 2016 win was legitimate, because his fragile ego couldn’t handle the possibility that he only won because Russia helped him. Accordingly, the people around him like Bill Barr ended up focusing on doing things not aimed at helping him in any real way, but instead aimed at calming Trump’s insecurities.

As a result we ended up with things like the Durham probe, an investigation that was never, ever going to help Donald Trump in any tangible way. And while these latest revelations should finally give the DOJ a legal basis for shutting Durham down, it’s not as if his probe was helping Trump. At this point the Durham probe is only serving to make Trump’s life more difficult.

 

kennedys and king logo

Logo for Kennedys and King Research Site

Kennedys and King, Book Review: Alecia Long Lays an Egg ( Part 1), James DiEugenio, Oct. 30, 2021. Nearly 55 years after the New Orleans inquiry into the JFK jim dieugenio fileassassination began, yet another character assassination of Jim Garrison has been published, Alecia Long’s Cruising for Conspirators, so Jim DiEugenio, left, diligently documents how the LSU history professor ignores a preponderance of ARRB evidence released in the last 30 years and instead relies upon the outdated and biased Clay Shaw apologia, "American Grotesque, to smear Garrison and his investigation.

The Assassination Records Review Board did some good work in New Orleans. For one, they made available the Clay Shaw trial transcript, which made James Kirkwood’s book, American Grotesque, obsolete. Today, in these post ARRB days, with 2 million pages of declassified documents available, Kirkwood’s wildly biased book—towards the end he actually compared Garrison’s assistants to the guards at the Nazi death camps—is a museum piece. In 2021, any writer on the New Orleans scene has to tell the reader about what the ARRB record reveals about things like AMSPELL (CIA code name for the DRE, Student Revolutionary Directorate), about David Phillips and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), about CIA officer George Joannides, about Oswald’s false friend Kerry Thornley, etc. In fact, kennedysandking.com has led the way on many of these issues. (Click here for the FPCC and click here for Thornley.)

What makes Alecia Long’s book, Cruising for Conspirators, rather shocking is this: 23 years after the closing of the ARRB, she deals with none of these alecia long and cruising covermatters. Her book looks backward to Kirkwood—which means 1970. The ARRB uncovered many, many new documents from the FBI and CIA about the Crescent City and there were literally thousands of pages from Jim Garrison’s inquiry that finally entered the public domain. With all this new material now available, why would anyone—except maybe Paul Hoch—want to even pick up Kirkwood? But Long does something even worse. She uses Hugh Aynseworth. And while doing the latter, she does not tell the reader what these declassified documents reveal about the man. Namely that Aynseworth was a secret, and prolific, FBI informant on the JFK case.

This serves as a good introduction for what is to follow.

Unlike what Long depicts, photographer Lyle Bonge told Romney Stubbs and myself in the mid-nineties that Shaw was actively involved in pursuing a writer to compose a book on his case. He first tried to get Bonge’s longtime friend, James Leo Herlihy, to do such a volume. Herlihy declined, but he told Shaw that he knew a young up-and-coming writer who would probably be willing to take the assignment. And that is how then novelist Kirkwood wrote his book. It was, for all intents and purposes, commissioned by Shaw. And this is why it has today, an almost ludicrous, impenetrable Maytag dryer spin to it.

clay shawAs opposed to what Long implies, Shaw, left, was quite active in smearing Garrison, while portraying his indictment as completely unwarranted. He had previously gotten a friend of his to go to the FBI and spread rumors that somehow Garrison was involved in an approach to a 14-year-old boy. (FBI memo of March 16, 1967) This is most likely a reference to the so-called Bezou incident, which Long writes about. (Long, p. 178, all references to eBook version) Long says that the alleged episode at the New Orleans Athletic Club is shrouded because of grand jury secrecy. Not so. This reviewer talked to Bill Alford in his office back in 1994. Alford was the assistant DA who was running the grand jury at the time. As he related, Shaw’s lawyers had planted a ringer on the grand jury who would repeatedly bring this up. The grand jury chair said, fine, bring in the witness. No one showed. The pattern repeated itself twice more. Again, no one showed up. As Alford said to me, you can repeat this kind of stuff over and over, but if no one shows up what is one to make of it?

And Shaw was not just on the offensive with the homophobic smear. He was also involved in witness harassment and obstruction of justice. Either Long did not read the following memo from Garrison’s files or she chose to ignore it. Nina Sulzer worked in the Sheriff’s Department and was a friend of Clay Shaw’s. In May of 1967, Sulzer entered the prison to talk to Vernon Bundy. During the preliminary hearing Bundy said that he had seen a man he identified as Shaw approach Oswald with an envelope in hand and leaflets in his pocket at the seawall near Lake Pontchartrain. Sulzer began talking to Bundy, telling him he was on the losing side and pointing out articles in magazines like Newsweek and Saturday Evening Post attacking Garrison. She was there for about twenty minutes working him over. She accused him of taking rewards and asked what they were doing for him. Bundy denied both charges and said, “There is no one doing nothing for me.” He then added, he did not want anyone doing anything for him. Sulzer then went further. She concluded by saying, “You’ll see, somebody will get you out there.” After this, Sulzer was tracked to a residence where Shaw was staying and spent about three hours with him. (William Davy, Let Justice be Done, pp. 126–27) Because of the above, and much more, many of us are not predisposed to comparing Shaw with a suffering Jesus Christ, which, quite literally, Long does. (Long, p. 76)

Quoting Shaw’s lawyers, she writes that somehow Garrison bartered for Bundy’s testimony by dropping narcotics charges against him which could have resulted in a five-year sentence. (Long, p. 118.) This is contradicted by memos in Garrison’s files. His office contacted local narcotics officers. Bundy was in prison on a voluntary basis, in order to break his drug habit. The most serious crime he committed was breaking into cigarette machines. (Davy, p. 125; also 1995 interview with investigator Gary Raymond by the reviewer) Back then, a pack of cigarettes cost about 30 cents.

But more importantly, this reviewer interviewed assistant DA John Volz in 1994. Volz was a skeptic on Garrison’s JFK case, but the DA assigned him to interview Bundy. Volz decided to test the witness. He asked him: When you picked up the leaflet that Shaw had dropped, what color was it? Bundy had a rather unusual reply: he said it was yellow. Volz was impressed by this reply, since he had checked some of the flyers distributed in New Orleans and some were yellow. After conducting the interview, this reviewer visited the Royal New Orleans Collection. In a glass case was one of the yellow flyers the authorities had collected. Long lists the Royal New Orleans Collection, today, called the Historic New Orleans Collection, in her bibliography.

II

But Long goes off the rails even before she gets to New Orleans. Somehow, she feels she has to pay lip service to the Warren Commission, so she describes Jack Ruby’s shooting of Oswald in about two paragraphs and calls him, “an eccentric local nightclub owner with a history of violent volatility…” (Long, p. 32) Well, I guess that’s one way to dispose of Mr. Ruby. Another way is to buy into his polygraph test for the Commission, which, no surprise, she does, even though the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and author Don Thomas, exposed that test as being so fundamentally flawed as to be worthless. (Long, p. 67 and Don Thomas, Hear No Evil, pp. 537–53.)

And she abides by this Commission standby: Lee Oswald, as a boy in New York, pulled a pocket knife on his stepbrother’s wife and threatened her. (Long, p. 33) Greg Parker did a nice job in casting doubts on this story and showing how it appears to have been created by the FBI with some witness coaching. (Parker, Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War, pp. 129–35.)

But the above is just her warm up about Oswald. She mentions his days in the Civil Air Patrol—without bringing up David Ferrie. (Long, p. 34) That is quite a disappearing act, because many people who have written about Oswald consider his friendship with Ferrie to be a key event in his life. For instance, Greg Parker spends about seven pages on the topic. (Parker, pp. 223–29.) And he describes the powerful influence that Ferrie had on some of his CAP students. With Oswald, this included an apparent charade: Ferrie masqueraded as a Marine Corps recruiter, in order to convince Oswald’s mother to have her son join the service before he was age eligible. (See Parker, pp. 232–33; Davy, p. 6.)

Long deals with Oswald’s entire military service in five lines. This allows her to skip over crucial issues. For instance, if Oswald was intent on joining the Marines, why was he writing letters to the Socialist Party of America? This was just two weeks before he enlisted. (Parker, p. 249.) In that letter, Oswald said he was a Marxist and had been studying Marxist principles for over a year. Does Long know any students at LSU who studied Marxism and joined the Marines? To most objective observers, this double agent masquerade would suggest the influence of Ferrie. She also fails to bring up the military matters of his Russian language test and his association with the U2 spy plane. (Philip Melanson, Spy Saga, pp. 8–12.) Was it just a coincidence that, when he left the service, he hightailed it to Russia and offered them radar secrets? (Melanson, p. 13.)

Long then spends all of one sentence on Oswald’s journey to and his stay in the USSR. This radical ellipsis allows her to avoid questions like: How did Oswald know that, in all of Europe, the city of Helsinki granted the fastest visas into Russia? Secondly, how did the impoverished Marine afford to stay in jim dieugenio destiny covertwo five-star hotels when he got to Helsinki? (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, second edition, pp. 137–39.)

I could go on and on. My point is that Long seems intent on discounting or avoiding all the earmarks that, in the words of Senator Richard Schweiker, branded Oswald with the “fingerprints of intelligence.” (Henry Hurt, Reasonable Doubt, p. 192.) This includes the fact that the KGB did not believe he was a genuine defector. And this is why they shipped him out of Moscow to Minsk and surrounded him with a ring of human and electronic surveillance. (DiEugenio, pp. 144–49) As John Newman will state in Oliver Stone’s upcoming JFK Revisited, Tennent Bagley, a veteran CIA counter intelligence officer, agreed with the KGB on that. Upon Oswald’s return to Texas, the most influential figure for him was George DeMohrenschildt. And before George died, he admitted that he would never have befriended Oswald on his own. He was told to do so by the Dallas CIA station chief, J. Walton Moore. (DiEugenio, pp. 152–53.)

All of this is important information, and not just in understanding Oswald, but because it helps explain a fundamental paradox about Oswald’s life after he returned from the Soviet Union. One that Long does not in any way make explicit. Why, in 1962 and 1963, did the Warren Commission’s Marxist abide amidst two of the most right-wing communities in America? This would be, of course, the White Russians in Dallas/Fort Worth and the Cuban exiles in New Orleans. As many writers have shown—Phil Melanson, Jeff Morley, John Newman—both of these groups were tied in with the CIA and FBI. One example: when the wife of one of the White Russians saw the book Das Kapital at Oswald’s apartment; the couple called the FBI about it. The FBI told them not to worry, “Oswald was alright.” (Harold Weisberg, Whitewash II, p. 46)

III

Another character slighted by Long is Guy Banister. And, like many things in the book, this is weird. Why? Because back in May of 1989, in an interview with Dave Mendelsohn of Pacifica Radio, Jim Garrison said that, as far as the New Orleans aspect of the conspiracy went, Banister was the most important personage. The duality of the pinko Marine Oswald, which Long plays down, fits in adroitly with what Banister was doing in the Crescent City—which she also plays down.

Guy BanisterAs one of his preoccupations, Banister, left, had taken up the habit of recruiting spies on local college campuses. These would be conservative students who would infiltrate leftist groups. How did Banister find his way into this occupation? After retiring from the FBI in 1955, he came to New Orleans to work for Mayor Shep Morrison. Morrison wanted him to serve as a kind of ombudsman over his problematic police force. The mayor then shifted him over to study communist subversion with the aid of the conservative Senator James Eastland of the Senate Security Sub-Committee. (Davy, p. 12)

In January of 1958, Banister filed articles of incorporation to open a private detective service. It is notable that the articles were written up by William Wegmann, the brother of Ed Wegmann, Clay Shaw’s attorney. It gets even more interesting, because Banister forwarded for clearance the names of prospective student spies to attorney Guy Johnson, who was a partner to Bill Wegmann. (Letter from Johnson to Wegmann, 1/5/59) Through an informant to Garrison’s office, George Eckert, the DA learned that the former FBI agent never really severed himself from government service, which is why he could charge such low investigative fees. (Davy, p. 14) For instance, one of his spies, Dan Campbell, said “Banister was a bagman for the CIA and was running guns to Alpha 66 in Miami.” (Campbell interview with the reviewer, 9/6/94) Joe Oster, who used to work for Banister, remembered his boss calling Washington and speaking directly to J. Edgar Hoover. (HSCA interview with Oster, 1/27/78) Another former Banister employee saw George Lincoln Rockwell, who ran the American Nazi party, in Banister’s office. (NODA interview with Vernon Gerdes, 10/30/68.)

This is all ignored by Long, as is the following information from Tommy Baumler, an attorney who had worked for Banister as one of his student spies. In 1981, Baumler told researcher Bud Fensterwald that “Clay Shaw, Banister, and Guy Johnson made up the intelligence apparatus of New Orleans.” He also stated that Shaw and Banister were close and that Oswald worked for Banister. (Baumler interview with Fensterwald, 12/30/81.) Guy Johnson was with the Office of Naval Intelligence and was Shaw’s first criminal lawyer after Garrison indicted him. As everyone except Long seems to know, Banister was involved with preparations for the Bay of Pigs invasion. (Davy, p. 26) Later, according to HSCA Deputy Counsel Bob Tanenbaum, he was also involved with training for Operation Mongoose. (Probe Magazine, July/August, 1996, p. 24.) In fact, at a hearing that David Ferrie called to try and salvage his position with Easten Airlines, Banister said,

"I have had high-ranking Cuban refugees in my office asking me how to go underground and I gave them diagrams for that. I have talked to military and leaders from the various provinces of Cuba that have slipped out and slipped back." (Grievance hearing for Ferrie, 8/5/1963, p. 841.)

Now that we have established the profile of the pinko Marine and the role of Guy Banister in New Orleans subterfuge from the fifties on to 1963, let us turn to Oswald in New Orleans at that time, which, no surprise, Long also wants to discount. She does this by relying on two sources to filter the raw data, namely the FBI and the HSCA. But today, with the declassifications of the ARRB, plus the further work done on this subject since then, it’s not possible to deny the association of Oswald with Banister or his 544 Camp Street address.

For example, in April of 1968, Garrison’s office interviewed George Higginbotham, who was familiar with Banister and 544 Camp Street in 1962 and 1963. He said he kidded Banister about sharing a building with people passing out leaflets on the street, to which the former FBI man replied: “Cool it, one of them is one of mine.” (NODA memo of interviews, April 12, 16, 17 of 1968.) Recently, this writer wrote an article in which I quoted a man named Richard Manuel, who worked in New Orleans in the mid-sixties. He knew two men who worked near Banister’s office and saw him at Mancuso’s coffee shop with Oswald. (ARRB notes of Manuel call of 2/1/96) Dan Campbell, a student spy and Cuban exile trainer for Banister, saw Oswald come into the 544 Camp Street office one day that summer to use the phone. (DiEugenio interviewed Campbell in both New Orleans and Los Angeles in 1994.) His brother, Allen Campbell, also worked out of the Camp Street office. He recalls Banister’s secretary, Delphine Roberts, going to see her boss to tell him about Oswald’s leafleting. She got the same reaction that Higginbotham did: Don’t worry, he’s with us. (DiEugenio interview with Allen in New Orleans, 1994.) William Gaudet was a CIA asset who had an office in Clay Shaw’s International Trade Mart. He told the HSCA that he had observed Banister talking to Oswald on a street corner. (HSCA Report, p. 219.) Two INS agents were tracking illegal Cubans in New Orleans at the time. They got onto to David Ferrie’s association with them. They followed Ferrie to 544 Camp Street and observed Oswald going in also. (DiEugenio, p. 113.) With all the above, and more that I left out, her strategy, borrowed from the HSCA—to insinuate that somehow Jack Martin, who worked for Banister, and his secretary, Delphine Roberts, were insufficient—gets turned upside down. Their testimony is bolstered by these other corroborating witnesses.

IV

Harold Weisberg is an author that Long knocks almost as badly as she smears Jim Garrison, but she does not give Harold credit for uncovering some rather interesting information about Oswald in New Orleans. When Marina Oswald was sequestered at the Inn of the Six Flags in Dallas, she was harold weisbrg archiveinterrogated by the Secret Service. They asked her questions about her husband: about whether he owned a rifle, a handgun, or had been to Mexico City. But they also asked her about a “Mr. Farry.” And also if she knew about a Leonard Reisman at Tulane University, who was part of the Committee for Peaceful Alternatives. (Weisberg, p. 19.)

As a reader later wrote to Harold, what makes these questions so startling is that they seem to have been asked on November 24th, before Garrison brought Ferrie in for questioning. “Farry” is obviously a misspelling for Ferrie. In other words, the FBI was on to Ferrie before the DA even talked to him. But it’s the Reisman query that is perhaps even more crucial, because as John Newman points out in his book on Oswald, this leafleting at Tulane was done while the pinko Marine was in his undercover mode in New Orleans. That is when Banister was secretly trying to smoke out suspected Cuban sympathizers in the Crescent City. (John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, pp. 309, 331–32.) This was before Oswald got into an overt and direct conflict with a CIA funded Cuban exile group run by Agency officer and psychological warfare expert George Joannides.

With that, let us proceed to place another layer over all this New Orleans activity. One that Long completely avoids. That is the CIA’s operations against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) and in support of the DRE, the Student Revolutionary Directorate. Oswald was the only member of the FPCC in New Orleans. He stamped Banister’s office address—544 Camp Street—on one (or more) of the pamphlets he passed out that summer in the Crescent City. Beginning in 1961, that particular pamphlet went through several printings and the CIA ordered copies of the first edition, which is the printing that Oswald had in New Orleans. According to Roberts’ first interview with the HSCA, Banister was very upset about Oswald placing his address on his pamphlets. (Bob Buras interview with Roberts, 7/6/78.)

It is even more provocative than that. And again, Long somehow missed it. The FBI knew about Oswald’s faux pas. After retrieving several of Oswald’s pamphlets, they did two things to conceal the association of Banister with Oswald from the Warren Commission. They either used the alternative address for Banister’s office, which was 531 Lafayette Street or, in their messages to headquarters, they scratched out the fact that Oswald had actually stamped the Camp Street address on his flyers. (Newman, p. 310; Tony Summers, Official and Confidential, p. 325) It would appear that J. Edgar Hoover was trying to conceal Oswald’s association with his former agent, because, as John Newman has written, both the FBI and CIA had ongoing operations against the FPCC at this time. (Newman, pp. 241–44.)

The man who began those CIA operations against the FPCC was David Phillips, left. And according to Howard Hunt’s testimony to the HSCA, it was also his david a phillips signed friend Phillips who started up the DRE. (Interview of 11/3/78, p. 77.) As we all know AMSPELL—the CIA code name for the DRE—collided with Oswald’s FPCC during a mild ruckus on Canal Street in August. After which, Oswald was arrested, apparently for receiving a punch from local DRE leader Carols Bringuier. After this, Oswald was part of a broadcast debate between Bringuier and Ed Butler, manager of the anti-communist organization Information Council for the Americas. It was these activities, and the photos and films of his leafleting, that got injected into the media very quickly after the assassination. They provided a public image and background for Oswald. And it was this which the Commission and the press used to incriminate him, as well as his alleged journey to Mexico City, which incredibly, Long just leaves out.

As Jeff Morley has pointed out, immediately after the JFK shooting, Bringuier placed stories about Oswald in the Miami Herald and Washington Post. About 24–48 hours after the assassination, Bringuier and the DRE published a broadsheet clearly suggesting Oswald had killed Kennedy for Castro. In other words, CIA assets were shaping the story at the start. That publication was at the CIA’s expense, as the DRE was being subsidized to the tune of $51,000 per month by the Agency. George Joannides was the case officer. He later lied about this to the HSCA, when he came back to stymie their investigation of Oswald in 1978. (Morley, Miami New Times, 4/12/2001.). Needless to say, the other immediate result was the long time CIA goal of the destruction of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

As many authors have pointed out, what is so notable about the confrontation on Canal Street is that Oswald wrote about it to the New York City branch of the FPCC about a week before it happened. (Click here for Paul Bleau’s fine article.) What we did not know prior to Paul’s milestone two-part essay was another fact that is important to understand Oswald’s role in the street theater. The host of the debate was local radio personality Bill Stuckey. Stuckey had written to the FBI in April of 1962 about their knowledge of any FPCC chapter in New Orleans. (FBI Memo of April 6, 1962.) Beyond that, Paul also discovered that Oswald had written the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New York, not in 1963, but in 1962.

To cap it all off, there is evidence Phillips was in Banister’s office in late 1960 planning a TV telethon to benefit the Cuban exiles with Banister and Butler. (Davy, pp. 21–24.)

From all the above, and more, one can understand why CIA officer William Kent, who worked out of the Miami JM/WAVE station, once said that Oswald was a useful idiot. You will learn almost all of this from Paul Bleau’s article. You will learn virtually none of it from Alecia Long. In other words, there is more current and cogent information about Oswald in New Orleans in Paul Bleau’s two-part essay than there is in Long’s entire book. Whether this failing is by design or a matter of poor scholarship is a question only she can answer.

V

Then what is Long’s book about? For one, it’s the weirdest interpretation of the Warren Report I have ever read. She writes that the Commission placed the sex lives of Oswald and Ruby under scrutiny for what that could mean as far as motivation went. (Long, p. 65.)

alecia long and cruising coverThis is balderdash. I am quite familiar with the Warren Report and I do not recall anything like this in those nearly 900 pages. Long later uses the testimony of Dean Andrews about Oswald as her source. Yet Andrews is shuffled on and off stage in that report in the space of one paragraph. (Warren Report, p. 325.) The other reference she uses is another throwaway paragraph about the Commission searching for a nexus point between Oswald and Ruby. In going through a list of possibilities, they wrote that there was not any homosexual relationship between the two men. (Warren Report, p. 364.) Two paragraphs out of 900 pages is grasping at straws.

In further desperation, she trots out the whole White Russian rigamarole about Oswald having problems satisfying his wife. Long writes that perhaps this was because Oswald harbored a hidden preference. She then says this was an obvious question. (Long, p. 66.) Obvious to who? After several pages of these eccentric and groundless comments, it struck me that Long was grafting her own agenda onto the facts—to such a degree as to be solipsistic. And when I saw her describing the Jack Gremillion complaint to the FBI about a homosexual ring in New Orleans that the DA was using, I understood the idea behind the book. (Long, p. 58.) And also why she discounted Banister: he was not gay.

State Attorney General Gremillion was a notorious racist and rabid McCarthyite. He opposed Garrison and his treatment of the famous James Dombrowski case, because Dombrowski was an active leftist who supported civil rights in the New Orleans area. Garrison took control of the case, in order to guide it to the highest court to invalidate the phony charges grafted onto a Gremillion/Eastland/Banister fabrication: the state’s Communist Control Law. Garrison thought this was unconstitutional. Dombrowski was smeared as a communist, because he was standing up for the civil rights of African Americans. In 1965, the Supreme Court ruled against Gremillion. (Click here for details.) It is clear that Gremillion greatly resented what the DA had done and he retaliated with this almost incomprehensible complaint, which he filed with, of all agencies, the FBI. For a scholar to side with riffraff like Gremillion in order to smear Garrison indicates that she has lost her compass.

When one combines that with the fact that she fails to give the reader a full portrait of Shaw and his association with the CIA, how can one come to any other conclusion? There is no mention of the ARRB declassified documents that reveal Shaw had a covert security clearance. (Davy, p. 195.) Or that he was a highly valued and well-paid contract agent for the CIA. (Joan Mellen, Our Man in Haiti, pp. 54–55.) Or that the Agency tried to hide all of this. Going as far as destroying Shaw’s 201 file. (Click here for details.) Need I also add that I could not detect any mention of Shaw and Permindex, which after the release of Michele Metta’s important book on the subject, is again, quite a disappearing act.

Throughout, Long tries to deny that Shaw was Clay Bertrand. In an amazing piece of sleight of hand, she even acknowledges the FBI memo which states such was the case—and further that the Bureau knew Shaw was Bertrand before Garrison arrested him, data they had from two sources. One being Aaron Kohn, a staunch Shaw ally. (FBI memo of March 2, 1967.) I could detect nothing in the text concerning the FBI inquiry back in December of 1963, where Cartha DeLoach wrote to Clyde Tolson that Shaw’s name “had come up in our investigation…as a result of several parties furnishing information concerning Shaw.” (DeLoach memo of 3/2/67, italics added.) Lawrence Schiller, a prolific FBI informant on the JFK case, sent information to the Bureau that he had several sources in New Orleans and San Francisco saying that Shaw went by other names, including Clay Bertrand. (FBI memo of March 22, 1967.) At the Shaw trial, FBI agent Regis Kennedy admitted that he was investigating the Kennedy case prior to his interview with Dean Andrews and that he was searching for Bertrand as part of that investigation. He was then stopped from answering any other questions by Washington. (Trial transcript, 2/17/69)

The information about Shaw using the Bertrand alias was common knowledge in the French Quarter. But many sources did not want to tell Garrison about it due to their resentment over his prior crusade against B girl drinking, which caused a lot of economic dislocations there. Two such witnesses were Barbara Bennett and Rickey Planche, the latter bought a house Shaw had owned previously. (Jim Garrison: His Life and Times,The Early Years, by Joan Mellen, p. 117) Need I add that she also ignores Andrews’ own secret admission to Weisberg that Shaw was Bertrand. (Mailer’s Tale, Weisberg unpublished manuscript, Chapter 5, p. 11.) Only by eliding all this data from one’s text can one write that the identity of Bertrand remained a mystery. (Long, p. 59.)

VI

Another important aspect of Oswald in New Orleans that Long discounts is Oswald’s leafleting in front of Shaw’s International Trade Mart in mid-August. This also had some interesting telltale points to it. First, Bringuier and his right hand man Carlos Quiroga said that they went to see Oswald in an lee harvey oswald new orleans leaflets rafael cruz wdsuattempt to infiltrate his FPCC “group” after the ITM incident. The visit occurred before it happened. And Quiroga arrived with a stack of flyers about a half foot thick. In other words, the DRE appears to have been supplying Oswald with his leaflets in preparation for the incident. Secondly, the reason we have films of the event is that Shaw’s first assistant at the ITM, Jesse Core, had summoned the cameras. (Davy, p. 38) Beyond that, it was this leafleting episode that caused George Higginbotham to alert Banister, and his reply was “One of them is one of mine.” (Oswald had hired two helpers from the unemployment office to aid him.) But there was something else to note. In addition to calling the cameras for the ITM incident, Jesse Core picked up a pamphlet from the prior Canal Street episode, the one which got Oswald arrested. He noted that it had Banister’s address on it. He mailed it from the Trade Mart to the FBI with a message attached: “note the inside back cover.” (John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee, p. 568) This would suggest that both Shaw and Core knew about Oswald’s mistake. How would they know unless they were aware of Banister’s operation? Which recalls the work done for Banister by Bill Wegmann and Guy Johnson. But further, the FBI then knew about Oswald at 544 Camp Street before the assassination.

In light of all the above, for Long to say that the connection of Banister, Oswald, Ferrie, and Shaw was a Garrison innovation which relied on our culture’s suspicions about homosexuals—this is simply fruity. (See p. 90.) If one leaves out everything I wrote above about the CIA, then maybe you can sidestep someone with that bunk. But since the first two were not gay, it’s kind of hard to buy. But what makes it harder is all the relevant material she leaves out, like the fact that Ferrie was so desperate to separate himself from Oswald in the wake of the assassination that he committed obstruction of justice and perjury. He went to two sources to see if they recalled Oswald using his library card and he called a former CAP cadet to find any picture he might have depicting him with Oswald. He then lied to the FBI about not recalling Oswald. (See The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, by James DiEugenio, pp. 175–77; Destiny Betrayed, pp. 176–77) Those four instances indicate, as prosecutors term it, consciousness of guilt. I won’t even discuss the illustration of Dealey Plaza that Ferrie had in his desk at work. (Destiny Betrayed, p. 216) And then there were Ferrie’s admissions to investigator Lou Ivon right before he died about his association with both Oswald and Shaw and Shaw’s hatred of JFK. (Davy, p. 66) In the face of this, Long is again ludicrous in saying that Garrison had little evidence against Ferrie. (Long, p. 111.)

We can do the same with Shaw. Since he committed perjury as many as six times on the stand during his trial. Long admits that Shaw lied about his CIA association to the press. She does not admit he did the same under oath at his trial. (Click here for details.)

Let us conclude this silly, utterly superfluous book with this. Long quotes Shaw as saying: Well if I was innocent, why didn’t we just go to trial and get it over with back in 1967? (Long, p. 138.) Well Alecia, that might have something to do with another declassified document you missed. It describes 24 folders the CIA titled Black Tape. James Angleton collected them from September of 1967 until March of 1969. He then deemed them classified until 2017. Is it just a coincidence that the beginning date matches the first meeting of the Garrison Group at CIA, which was specifically set up to counter Garrison? At that meeting, Ray Rocca, Angleton’s assistant, said that if things proceed as they are, Shaw would be convicted. (Destiny Betrayed, pp. 269–71) When they set up the Garrison Group and the Black Tape files, the Agency made sure things did not proceed that way, which makes Shaw’s comment likely more revealing than he meant it. (ibid, pp. 271–85.)

But that is the kind of book this is. It’s an almost humorous diversion created for one purpose. It wants us to forget virtually everything we have learned about New Orleans since the creation of the ARRB back in 1994. Sorry Alecia, no sale. It was too difficult to get those files opened in the first place. And when they were opened, we understood why Angleton wanted them closed for fifty years. Consciousness of guilt.

Oct. 29

Miami Herald, Cuban exile told sons he trained Oswald, JFK’s accused assassin, at a secret CIA camp, Nora Gámez Torres, Updated Oct. 29, 2021. Almost 40 years after his death following a bar brawl in Key Biscayne, Ricardo Morales, known as “Monkey” — contract CIA worker, anti-Castro militant, miami herald logocounter-intelligence chief for Venezuela, FBI informant and drug dealer — returned to the spotlight Thursday morning when one of his sons made a startling claim on Spanish-language radio: Morales, a sniper instructor in the early 1960s in secret camps where Cuban exiles and others trained to invade Cuba, realized in the hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 that the accused killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, had been one of his sniper trainees.

Morales also told his two sons that two days before the assassination, his CIA handler told him and his “clean-up” team to go to Dallas for a mission. But after the tragic events, they were ordered to go back to Miami without learning what the mission was about.

The claims made by Ricardo Morales Jr. during a show on Miami’s Actualidad Radio 1040 AM, add to one of the long-held theories about the JFK assassination — that Cuban exiles working for the CIA had been involved.

But the claims also point the finger at the CIA, which some observers believe could help explain why President Joe Biden backed off last week on declassifying the remaining documents in the case.

Morales’ son, 58, said the last time his father took him and his brother to shooting practice in the Everglades, a year before dying in 1982, he told them he felt his end was near because he had revealed too much information of his work for the CIA to a Venezuelan journalist and he was writing a memoir.

So he encouraged his sons to ask him questions about his life.

“My brother asked ‘Who killed John F. Kennedy?’ and his answer was, ‘I didn’t do it but I was in Dallas two days before waiting for orders. We were the cleaning crew just in case something bad had to be done.’ After the assassination, they did not have to do anything and returned to Miami,” his son said on the radio show.

Morales Jr. said his father told them he did not know of the plans to assassinate Kennedy. “He knew Kennedy was coming to Dallas, so he imagines something is going to happen, but he doesn’t know the plan,” he said. “In these kinds of conspiracies and these big things, nobody knows what the other is doing.”

Morales also knew Oswald, his son claims. “When my old man was training in a CIA camp — he did not tell me where — he was helping to train snipers: other Cubans, Latin Americans, and there were a few Americans,” he said. “When he saw the photo of Lee Harvey Oswald [after the assassination] he realized that this was the same character he had seen on the CIA training field. He saw him, he saw the name tag, but he did not know him because he was not famous yet, but later when my father sees him he realizes that he is the same person.”

Morales Jr. gave a similar account to the Miami Herald in an interview Thursday, adding that his father said he didn’t believe Oswald killed Kennedy “because he has witnessed him shooting at a training camp and he said there is no way that guy could shoot that well.”

He said he believes his father told the truth at a moment he was fearing for his life after losing government protection.

While Lee Harvey Oswald was accused in Kennedy’s assassination, a 1979 report from the House Select Committee on Assassinations contradicted the 1964 Warren Commission conclusion that JFK was killed by one lone gunman. The committee instead concluded that the president was likely slain as the result of a conspiracy and that there was a high probability that two gunmen fired at him.

The House Select Committee, which also interviewed Morales, said they couldn’t preclude the possibility that Cuban exiles were involved.

Oct. 27

Proof, Investigative Commentary: The Secret Behind Trump’s January 2 Phone Call, Seth Abramson, left, Oct. 27-28, 2021. Congress must subpoena Joe diGenova seth abramson graphicand the Stop the Steal leaders who were on Trump's January 2 pre-insurrection strategy call. If it does, it will discover in full what Trump planned for January 6.

Introduction Late last night, CNN reported that the House January 6 Committee will subpoena testimony from Donald Trump lawyer John Eastman, author of a now-infamous pre-January 6 memo that may well run afoul of federal criminal statutes and has been the subject of significant reporting from Proof over the last two weeks. The problem with this prospective subpoena is that Eastman has a host of arguments available seth abramson proof logoto him to resist calls for him to testify to the House January 6 Committee.

But is there someone else Congress could speak to right now who has both more to offer the Committee and less basis to argue that he can’t be compelled to do so?

The Trump Lawyer to Speak to Isn’t a Trump Lawyer

Newly discovered information about another man very close to Trump suggests that he might be the person Congress needs to speak to—not just because it appears he has a great deal to say, but because he is precluded from claiming that he’s Trump’s lawyer on the grounds that both he and Donald Trump have repeatedly insisted that he is not.

That man is Joe diGenova, one of the primary figures in my national bestselling book Proof of Corruption (Macmillan, 2020) because he worked with Trump to try to steal the 2020 presidential election using manufactured dirt on Joe Biden illicitly offered to the Trump campaign by pro-Kremlin Ukrainians.

DiGenova is, to be clear, a Trump lawyer, whatever he and the former president may have said on the subject. Indeed, diGenova has been one of Trump’s most invaluable legal assets for at least two years, as Trump ensured in the run-up to the 2020 election that diGenova and his wife, fellow attorney Victoria Toensing (the two co-run a law firm) would not only represent him but also several his co-conspirators in the Trump-Ukraine scandal that led to his second impeachment. Trump thereby ensured, or so he believed and appears to still believe, that diGenova would be an ideal conduit between the former president and his co-conspirators.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

washington post logoWashington Post, Jan. 6 committee expected to subpoena lawyer who advised Trump, Pence on how to overturn election, Jacqueline Alemany, Oct. 27, 2021 (print ed.). The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is expected to subpoena John Eastman, the pro-Trump legal scholar who outlined scenarios for denying Joe Biden the presidency, according to the panel’s chairman.
2021 Election: Complete coverage and analysis

“It will happen,” Chair Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said in an interview Tuesday of a subpoena for Eastman, who played a key role in the legal operation that was run out of a “command center” at the Willard Hotel in Washington in the days and hours leading up to Jan. 6. Thompson did not provide a timeline for when the subpoena will be issued.

The committee has requested documents and communications related to Eastman’s legal advice and analysis on how President Donald Trump could seek to overturn the election results and remain in office.

Eastman told The Washington Post last week that he had not been contacted by the panel investigating the insurrection, but a person familiar with the select committee’s work disputed that claim and said investigators have been in touch with Eastman. This person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations, added that a subpoena would be avoidable if Eastman cooperated with the committee’s investigation voluntarily. The committee is expected to issue subpoenas to other witnesses in the days ahead.

Eastman confirmed in subsequent text messages late Tuesday that the committee had contacted him.

“I returned the call and left a voice message. No further contact,” Eastman added. When asked whether he planned on cooperating with the committee, he responded: “No comment.”

Eastman, a member of the conservative Federalist Society and a law professor, outlined the scenarios for overturning the election results in two memos that served as the basis of an Oval Office meeting on Jan. 4 between Eastman, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

In recent months, Eastman has distanced himself from the memos, telling the National Review last week that the options he outlined did not represent his advice. He said he wrote the memos at the request of “somebody in the legal team” whose name he could not recall.

Oct. 27

Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: The Evil Rot at the Center of the Empire, Jacob G. Hornberger, Oct. 27, 2021. Given President Biden’s decision to jacob hornberger newsuccumb to the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy of the CIA’s 60-year-old Kennedy assassination-related records, this would be a good time to remind ourselves of how President Kennedy felt about this type of secrecy:

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.

future of freedom foundation logo squareKennedy’s attitude toward the evil of governmental secrecy was just another reason why the U.S. national-security establishment hated him so deeply and considered him a grave threat to national security, in addition to, of course, Kennedy’s determination to end the Cold War racket and establish friendly and peaceful relations with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the rest of the communist world.

In his 1985 book People of the Lie, the noted psychiatrist M. Scott Peck noted that there definitely is evil in the world.

The Central Intelligence Agency epitomizes the evil to which Peck was referring. That’s not to say, of course, that everyone who works for the CIA is evil. It’s to say that everyone who works for the CIA is either wittingly or unwittingly working for an evil institution, one that should never have been grafted onto America’s federal governmental system and that now forms the core of the rot that afflicts the American empire.

CIA LogoThe problem, of course, is that all too many Americans do not wish to confront, much less acknowledge, the existence of this evil. Succumbing to CIA propaganda and wishing to defer to the power of the national-security establishment, they have convinced themselves that the CIA is a force for good in the world and that it is necessary to their safety and well-being.

Thus, such Americans have turned a blind eye to the evil actions in which the CIA has engaged practically since its inception in 1947.

How many times are we reminded of the evil of the Nazi regime that the U.S. defeated in World War II? Hardly a week goes by without someone bringing it up in the mainstream press.

Yet, here we have an an entity within the federal government that secretly hired Nazi officials after World War II ended. How can that possibly be reconciled with moral or religious principles? When an entity knowingly cavorts and partners with evil, doesn’t that say something about the evil nature of that entity?

Let’s not forget the drug experiments that the CIA conducted on unsuspecting Americans. I don’t know if the CIA’s secret Nazi employees assisted with those drug experiments, but I do know that the mindset that went into those experiments was the same type of mindset that motivated the Nazis to conduct medical experiments on people.

That CIA partnership with Nazis isn’t the only partnership with evil that the CIA has engaged in. There is also its partnership with the Mafia, one of history’s most evil criminal organizations, one that engages in murder as one of its regular activities. Yet, all too many Americans ignore that CIA-Mafia partnership. They would rather just look the other way.

fidel castroWhat was the purpose of that secret CIA-Mafia partnership? Assassination, which is really just a fancy word for murder. The purpose of the secret CIA-Mafia partnership was to murder Cuba’s president Fidel Castro, left.

Why Castro? Because he was a communist. More important, he was also a communist who established peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and rest of the communist world.

That’s it. That’s what the CIA says justified its assassination partnership with the Mafia to assassinate Castro and its repeated attempts to assassinate Castro.

One of the fascinating aspects of the CIA-Mafia partnership to assassinate Castro has been the reaction of many Americans who just have taken it all in stride. That blasé reaction to unjustified state-sponsored murder is a perfect example of what CIA propaganda and indoctrination has done to warp, pervert, and stultify the consciences of many Americans.

The fact is that not only was the CIA partnership with the Mafia evil, so were its repeated assassination attempts on Castro. The CIA never had the moral, religious, or legal authority to murder anyone, including Castro, just because he happened to be a communist or a socialist or just because he favored establishing peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world.

And yet, all too many Americans, especially the mainstream press, have been so nonchalant about those repeated CIA murder attempts on Castro.

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, there has also been a steadfast willingness among many Americans to turn a blind eye to the overwhelming evidence establishing that the November 22, 1963, assassination of President Kennedy was a regime-change operation on the part of the CIA and the national-security establishment, no different in principle from the CIA’s repeated assassination attempts on Castro.

patrice lumumba raising arms 1960But let’s set aside the Kennedy assassination. Let’s just talk about the CIA’s assassination of Patrice Lumumba, shown at right in 1960, three years before Kennedy was murdered. Or how about the CIA’s kidnapping/murder of Gen. Rene Schneider in Chile seven years after Kennedy was assassinated? How can those two assassinations be labeled anything but evil? What did Lumumba and Schneider do to warrant having their lives snuffed out by the CIA? They did nothing to warrant their assassinations.

Or how about the CIA’s regime-change operation in Iran ten years before Kennedy was assassinated? It was accompanied by the deaths of many innocent Iranian people. Then came 26 years of U.S.-supported horrific tyranny and oppression under a brutal U.S.-installed dictator. That led to the Iranian revolution and more decades of horrific tyranny and oppression. That led to brutal U.S. economic sanctions that have killed and impoverished countless innocent citizens of Iran. How can all that not be labeled evil?

Or how about the CIA’s regime-change operation in Guatemala nine years before the Kennedy assassination? The CIA had a secret assassination list for that operation which listed the people who were to be murdered as part of the operation.

What did Guatemalans do to deserve such evil being inflicted on them? They had the audacity to elect a socialist named Jacobo Arbenz, who declared a willingness to establish peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world.

He wasn’t the only one. Ten years after Kennedy was assassinated, the Chilean people elected a socialist named Salvador Allende, who, like Arbenz, established peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world. The CIA said that that made him a threat to U.S. “national security.” The CIA and the Pentagon convinced the Chilean national-security establishment that it had a moral duty to violently oust their country’s president from office. How can the CIA/Pentagon-instigated Chilean coup, which left Allende dead and tens of thousands of Chilean citizens raped, tortured, executed, or disappeared by the brutal U.S.-supported military dictator who replaced him, not be labeled evil?

In fact, that’s why the CIA’s goons kidnapped and murdered General Schneider. Schneider opposed the CIA’s violent regime-change operation and instead favored supporting and defending the Chilean constitution, which provided only two ways to remove a president from office: impeachment and election.

With the exception of the Kennedy assassination, Americans have come to accept all of these CIA regime changes as part of America’s legacy as a national-security state. Unfortunately, however, owing to a stultification of conscience that came with the unconstitutional conversion of the federal government to a national-security state, all too many Americans have not yet come to the moral realization that every one of those regime-change operations, including the Kennedy assassination, was evil to the core.

In his 1978 book The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck stated, “Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.”

The same principle applies to a nation. For America to heal in the wake of the Afghanistan and Iraq debacles and all the lies that came with them, it is necessary for Americans today to dedicate themselves to reality at all costs — especially the reality that a rotten evil entity known as the CIA lies at the core of America’s federal governmental structure. For America to restore morality, freedom, health, and right conduct to our land, it is necessary to eradicate, not reform, that evil.

Oct. 25

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Book Launch: The Rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich: The Era of Trumpism and the New Far-Right, Wayne Madsen, left, Oct 25, 2021. wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallToday, WMR announces the release of The Rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich.

This book details Donald Trump's serious efforts to bring about a fascist dictatorship in the United States. In addition to emulating Adolf Hitler's "Big Lie" (große Lüge) to the letter, Trump made common cause with the world's other leading fascists in creating a new "Axis" alliance. In fact, the wayne madsen fourth reich covergovernment of the neo-Nazi President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, was direcrly involved in the January 6th coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol. It was no less a violation of U.S. national sovereignty than was Nazi Germany's involvement in the attempted July 25, 1934 attempted coup in Austria that saw Nazis, with German support, assassinate Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss.

The Holy Roman Empire was the First Reich. It was followed by Imperial Germany of the Kaisers, the Second Reich. From the ashes of Imperial Germany rose the Third Reich of the National Socialists and Adolf Hitler.

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and the return of strongmen leaders around the world -- in Russia, China, India, Brazil, Hungary, Poland, and other nations -- ushered into place the Fourth Reich. No less an observer than the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, commented that the Trump administration and the events of January 6, 2021 were reminiscent of the Nazi Party's burning of the Reichstag in 1933. In the third decade of the 21st century, the signs of fascism were present in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, and even in London -- with the ascendance of the proto-fascist Boris Johnson to the Prime Minister's office. This book describes the re-emergence of fascist rule long after it was believed that World War II ended the threat of this venal system of government forever.

In addition to copying Hitler's strategy of employing the Big Lie, Trump stood to implement other Nazi playbook policies. The Nazis used the outbreak of typhus in the infamous Warsaw Ghetto and forced ghettos in other Polish cities to blame the interned Jews for harboring typhus-causing lice. The same scenario played out during the initial infections of Covid-19 in major U.S. cities, including New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Newark, New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, because these cities had Democratic mayors or were in states with Democratic governors. Trump Covid advisers like Jared Kushner and Peter Navarro decided to withhold federal support support in states with Democratic governors so that voters in those states would blame those governors for the pandemic's rising death rate. It was no more an insidious operation than the Nazis blaming Polish Jews for typhus.

facebook logoFacebook and Mark Zuckerberg had permitted Trump's Big Lies on Covid, police killings of black Americans, and other triggering subjects to martial Trump's increasingly-frenzied political base to threaten to kill Democratic governors in Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, and other states. This propaganda operation ultimately led to January 6th, Trump's version of Hitler's Reichstag Fire of 1933 and the 1934 "Night of the Long Knives."

Trump's version of Joseph Goebbels, Steve Bannon, the aspirant propagandist for a global fascist "Movement," vowed to fight for political control "precinct-by-precinct" in elections around the United States and the world.

This book delineates where the political battlefield's lines at the electoral district level have been drawn -- from Hungary and Poland to Brazil and the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and Arizona -- so that the fight can be joined by progressives and democrats everywhere.

Alternet, 'This makes my blood boil': Outrage erupts as new report links GOP lawmakers to the Jan. 6 rally, David Badash, Oct. 25, 2021. Americans are expressing outrage after a bombshell Rolling Stone report that claims several GOP Members of Congress and their staffs were involved in planning and organizing Donald Trump's January 6 rally that led to the violent and deadly insurrection, along with "Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss."

Some of those who are among the most outraged are Democratic Members of Congress, who were in the Capitol on January 6 and feared for their lives. Learning that some of their GOP colleagues were involved in the planning of the rally that precipitated the insurrection has been "triggering," as one House Democrat revealed, adding that it makes her "blood boil."

The Rolling Stone article cites two "planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C.," who allege Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) were deeply involved, along with these members of Congress or their aides: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Legal experts have called for those members of Congress and staffers to be expelled if the allegations are true, while one has urged people to "chill," and let the DOJ do what it needs to.

U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) calls the Rolling Stone article "highly disturbing."

"No one should be above the law," he says, "including Members of Congress and former White House Staff. And if pardons were indeed discussed in advance, why would that be? Because folks knew crimes were about to be committed."

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) says she is "joining the calls for those who helped plan the deadly January 6th insurrection to be immediately expelled."

"Every Member of Congress that helped to plan the attempted coup of our government shouldn't be allowed to serve in Congress."

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, the first Asian-American elected to Congress from New York, says she has "angry tears right now," citing the Rolling Stone report.

"During 1/6, I, like many, texted loved ones goodbye. Countless people have asked if I've been ok since & I've always answered truthfully that i was fine. But this article was triggering. How could colleagues be traitors? This makes my blood boil."

Rolling Stone, Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff, Hunter Walker, Oct. 24, 2021. Hunter Walker is the author of the politics newsletter The Uprising. He previously spent the entirety of the Trump administration as a White House correspondent for Yahoo News. Walker has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, NBC News, Vanity Fair's HIVE website, and New York Magazine, among others.

Two sources are communicating with House investigators and detailed a stunning series of allegations to Rolling Stone, including a promise of a “blanket pardon” from the Oval Office.

Rolling Stone reports "planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C., have begun communicating with congressional investigators and sharing new information about what happened when the former president's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Two of these people have spoken to Rolling Stone extensively in recent weeks and detailed explosive allegations that multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent."

Oct. 24

Politico, What Biden is keeping secret in the JFK files, Bryan Bender, Oct. 24, 2021. The censored files may offer insights into Cold War covert ops, but don't expect a smoking gun about the assassination.

President Joe Biden has once again delayed the public release of thousands of government secrets that might shed light on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

politico Custom“Temporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure,” Biden wrote in a presidential memorandum late Friday.

He also said that the National Archives and Records Administration, the custodian of the records, needs more time to conduct a declassification review due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision, which follows a delay ordered by President Donald Trump in 2017, means scholars and the public will have to wait even longer to see what remains buried in government archives about one of the greatest political mysteries of the 20th century. And the review process for the remaining documents means Biden can hold the release further if the CIA or other agencies can convince him they reveal sensitive sources or methods.

nara logoPublic opinion polls have long indicated most Americans do not believe the official conclusion by the Warren Commission that the assassination was the work of a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine who once defected to the Soviet Union and who was shot to death by a nightclub owner Jack Ruby while in police custody.

A special House committee in 1978 concluded “on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.”

But longtime researchers almost uniformly agree that what is still being shielded from public view won’t blow open the case.

“Do I believe the CIA has a file that shows former CIA Director Allen Dulles presided over the assassination? No. But I’m afraid there are people who will believe things like that no matter what is in the files,” said David Kaiser, a former history professor at the Naval War College and author of “The Road to Dallas.”

His book argued that Kennedy’s murder cannot be fully understood without also studying two major U.S. intelligence and law enforcement campaigns of the era: Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s war on organized crime and the CIA’s failed efforts to kill communist dictator Fidel Castro in Cuba (with the Mafia’s help).

Still, Kaiser and other experts believe national security agencies are still hiding information that shows how officials actively stonewalled a full accounting by Congress and the courts and might illuminate shadowy spy world figures who could have been involved in a plot to kill the president.
What’s still hidden?

Portions of more than 15,000 records that have been released remain blacked out, in some cases a single word but in others nearly the entire document, according to the National Archives.

The records were collected by the Assassination Records Review Board, which was established by Congress in the 1992 JFK Records Act.

The independent body, which folded in 1998, was headed by a federal judge and empowered to collect classified information from across the government that might have bearing on Kennedy’s murder and make public as much as possible after consulting with the agencies where the intelligence originated. It also had legal authority to overrule recalcitrant agencies.

A large portion of the JFK collection came from the probe by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978, which investigated the murders of President Kennedy and the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The panel also delved into a series of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement activities in the early decades of the Cold War as part of its probe.

The creation of the review board ultimately led to the release of thousands of files. But the board also postponed the release of other documents until 2017, when Trump used his authority to further delay full public disclosure.

Much of what has yet to be released involves intelligence activities during the height of the Cold War that likely had no direct bearing on the plot to kill Kennedy but could shed light on covert operations.

One heavily censored file involves a CIA plot to kill Castro. Another is a 1963 Pentagon plan for an “engineered provocation” that could be blamed on Castro as a pretext for toppling him. Then there’s a history of the CIA’s Miami office, which organized a propaganda campaign against Castro’s Cuba.

Other redacted files are believed to contain new CIA information about the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee in Washington’s Watergate Hotel by former CIA operatives that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

But some could reveal more about the events leading up to the assassination itself.

Researchers are keenly interested in the personnel file of the late George Joannides, a career CIA intelligence operative who staffers on the House investigation in the late 1970s believe lied to Congress about what he knew about a CIA-backed exile group that had ties to Oswald.

A federal appeals court in 2018 upheld the CIA’s rejection of a lawsuit by researcher Jefferson Morley to obtain the file.
Lee Harvey Oswald denies shooting President Kennedy.

Paraded before newsmen after his arrest, Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 23, 1963, tells reporters that he did not shoot President John F. Kennedy. | AP Photo

Another partially released file contains information about how the CIA may have monitored Oswald on a trip he purportedly took to Mexico City ahead of the assassination.

The files could reveal more of “what the CIA was doing in New Orleans, some more info about Mexico City and likely even some revelations about the CIA role in Watergate,” said Larry Schnapf, a lawyer and assassination researcher.

Morley, who has filed multiple lawsuits to force disclosure, believes the CIA is covering up for individuals who may have had a role in Kennedy’s death or knew who was responsible and wanted it hidden from the public to protect the agency.

He says the CIA’s refusal to comply “can only be interpreted as evidence of bad faith, malicious intent, and obstruction of Congress.”

A spokesperson for the CIA, which accounts for the majority of the withheld records, declined to address the charge, saying only that the agency will comply with the law and the president’s directive.
When will the secret files be revealed?

Biden did set in motion the release of some of the remaining records.

“Any information currently withheld from public disclosure that agencies have not proposed for continued postponement shall be reviewed by NARA before December 15, 2021, and shall be publicly released on that date,” the memo states.

He also directed that the National Archives conduct an “intensive review” over the next year “of each remaining redaction to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, disclosing all information in records concerning the assassination, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel.”

But that means the CIA and other agencies can still convince Biden to further delay the release of some documents.

A coalition of legal experts and academics asserts that Trump and now Biden have been flouting the 1992 law that set up the disclosure process.

They contend in a legal memo the legislation laid out a “stringent process and legal standard for postponing the release of a record” that requires the president to certify why any single file is being withheld.

“Congress established a short-list of specific reasons that federal agencies could cite as a basis for requesting postponement of public disclosure of assassination records,” they advised Biden last month. “A government office seeking postponement was required to specify, for each record sought to be postponed, the applicable grounds for postponement.”

Schnapf plans to file a lawsuit on Monday seeking copies of the underlying communications that have led to the decision by successive presidents to postpone the release of so many documents.

The Public Interest Declassification Board, a bipartisan advisory panel appointed by the president and leaders of Congress, appealed to Biden last month to limit further postponement to the “absolute minimum,” noting that “we understand that agencies are asking you to extend the postponement of public disclosure for parts of many records subject to the JFK Act.”

The board said it believes disclosure after all these years would “bolster the American people’s confidence and trust in their government.”

The board’s chair, Ezra Cohen, the former acting undersecretary of defense for intelligence, called the Biden memo “a step in the right direction” but “we will know more regarding agency and Archives implementation come December.”

“In the short term,” he added, “the Archivist will need to work hard to keep agencies on track with the President’s guidance.”

Schnapf said Congress may have to step in if military and intelligence agencies keep delaying full disclosure.

He pointed out that with the expiration of the JFK records review board, there is no authority other than Biden who can overcome the “kind of stalling, delaying and excessive secrecy that led to the enactment of the JFK Act in the first place.”

“Trump gave the agencies three and a half years … and yet full disclosure has not been obtained,” he added. “This is not about conspiracy but about compliance with the law. There is widespread bipartisan support to have the rest of the records released. These records will reveal important secrets about our country’s history. When President Biden agreed to release the 9/11 records, he said 20 years is long enough. How about 58 years?”

Oct. 23

 

The Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC (Photo by Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK via WikiMedia Commons).

The Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC (Photo by Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK via WikiMedia Commons).

washington post logoWashington Post, Investigation: Ahead of Jan. 6, Willard hotel in downtown D.C. was a Trump team ‘command center’ for effort to deny Biden the presidency, Jacqueline Alemany, Emma Brown, Tom Hamburger and Jon Swaine, Oct. 23, 2021. They called it the “command center,” a set of rooms and suites in the posh Willard Hotel a block from the White House where some of President Donald Trump’s most loyal lieutenants were working day and night with one goal in mind: overturning the results of the 2020 election.

The Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse and the ensuing attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob would draw the world’s attention to the quest to physically block Congress from affirming Joe Biden’s victory. But the activities at the Willard that week add to an emerging picture of a less visible effort, mapped out in memos by a conservative pro-Trump legal scholar and pursued by a team of presidential advisers and lawyers seeking to pull off what they claim was a legal strategy to reinstate Trump for a second term.

They were led by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Former chief White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon was an occasional presence as the effort’s senior political adviser. Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik was there as an investigator. Also present was John Eastman, the scholar, who outlined scenarios for denying Biden the presidency in an Oval Office meeting on Jan. 4 with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The effort underscores the extent to which Trump and a handful of true believers were working until the last possible moment to subvert the will of the voters, seeking to pressure Pence to delay or even block certification of the election, leveraging any possible constitutional loophole to test the boundaries of American democracy.

  Trump-supporting former law school dean John Eastman, left, helps Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inflame pro-Trump protesters in front the White House before the insurrection riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the presidential election certification of Joe Biden's presidency on Jan. 6, 2021 (Los Angeles Times photo).

Trump-supporting former law school dean John Eastman, left, helps Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inflame pro-Trump protesters in front the White House before the insurrection riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the presidential election certification of Joe Biden's presidency on Jan. 6, 2021 (Los Angeles Times photo).

ny times logoNew York Times, Internal Alarm, Public Shrugs: Facebook’s Employees Dissect Its Election Role, Ryan Mac and Sheera Frenkel, Oct. 23, 2021 (print ed. ).  Company documents show that employees repeatedly raised red flags about the spread of misinformation before and after the contested November vote; he internal dispatches reveal the degree to which Facebook knew of extremist movements and groups on its site that were trying to polarize American voters.

Sixteen months before last November’s presidential election, a researcher at Facebook described an alarming development. She was getting content about the conspiracy theory QAnon within a week of opening an experimental account, she wrote in an internal report.

On Nov. 5, two days after the election, another Facebook employee posted a message alerting colleagues that comments with “combustible election misinformation” were visible below many posts.

Four days after that, a company data scientist wrote in a note to his co-workers that 10 percent of all U.S. views of political material — a startlingly high figure — were of posts that alleged the vote was fraudulent.

In each case, Facebook’s employees sounded an alarm about misinformation and inflammatory content on the platform and urged action — but the company failed or struggled to address the issues. The internal dispatches were among a set of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times that give new insight into what happened inside the social network before and after the November election, when the company was caught flat-footed as users weaponized its platform to spread lies about the vote.

washington post logoWashington Post, Investigation: Facebook documents show how platform fueled rage ahead of Jan. 6 attack on Capitol, Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Reed Albergotti, Oct. 23, 2021 (print ed.). Thousands of internal documents turned over to the SEC show what Facebook knew about the growth of the Stop the Steal movement on its platform in the weeks before a pro-Trump mob overran the Capitol — and the anger that many employees felt at their company’s failure to stop the Jan. 6 violence.

Relief flowed through Facebook in the days after the 2020 presidential election. The company had cracked down on misinformation, foreign interference and hate speech — and employees believed they had largely succeeded in limiting problems that, four years earlier, had brought on perhaps the most serious crisis in Facebook’s scandal-plagued history.

facebook logo“It was like we could take a victory lap,” said a former employee, one of many who spoke for this story on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive matters. “There was a lot of the feeling of high-fiving in the office.”

Many who had worked on the election, exhausted from months of unrelenting toil, took leaves of absence or moved on to other jobs. Facebook rolled back many of the dozens of election-season measures that it had used to suppress hateful, deceptive content. A ban the company had imposed on the original Stop the Steal group stopped short of addressing dozens of look-alikes that popped up in what an internal Facebook after-action report called “coordinated” and “meteoric” growth. Meanwhile, the company’s Civic Integrity team was largely disbanded by a management that had grown weary of the team’s criticisms of the company, according to former employees.

But the high fives, it soon became clear, were premature.

On Jan. 6, Facebook staffers expressed their horror in internal messages as they watched thousands of Trump supporters shouting “stop the steal” and bearing the symbols of QAnon — a violent ideology that had spread widely on Facebook before an eventual crackdown — thronged the U.S. Capitol. Many bashed their way inside and battled to halt the constitutionally mandated certification of President Biden’s election victory.

How one of America’s ugliest days unraveled inside and outside the Capitol
The face of President Donald Trump appears on large screens as supporters participate in a rally in Washington. (John Minchillo/AP)

Measures of online mayhem surged alarmingly on Facebook, with user reports of “false news” hitting nearly 40,000 per hour, an internal report that day showed. On Facebook-owned Instagram, the account reported most often for inciting violence was @realdonaldtrump — the president’s official account, the report showed.

Facebook has never publicly disclosed what it knows about how its platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp, helped fuel that day’s mayhem. The company rejected its own Oversight Board’s recommendation that it study how its policies contributed to the violence and has yet to fully comply with requests for data from the congressional commission investigating the events.

But thousands of pages of internal company documents disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission by the whistleblower Frances Haugen offer important new evidence of Facebook’s role in the events. This story is based on those documents, as well on others independently obtained by The Washington Post, and on interviews with current and former Facebook employees. The documents include outraged posts on Workplace, an internal message system.

“This is not a new problem,” one unnamed employee fumed on Workplace on Jan. 6. “We have been watching this behavior from politicians like Trump, and the — at best — wishy washy actions of company leadership, for years now. We have been reading the [farewell] posts from trusted, experienced and loved colleagues who write that they simply cannot conscience working for a company that does not do more to mitigate the negative effects on its platform.”

World Crisis Radio, Commentary: Trump clones are losing power worldwide! Webster G. Tarpley, right, Oct. 23, 2021. Virtually unnoticed by US media, the reactionary-webster tarpley twitterpopulist-dictatorial wave of the past half-dozen years is ebbing away, with Trump, Netanyahu, German CDU/CSU, Babis of Czech Republic, and Kurz of Austria already ousted and Duterte leaving; Orban and Bolsonaro face grim odds; Italian cities turn toward center-left, making future Salvini-Meloni anti-immigrant regime less likely;

Criminal contempt of Congress charge for Bannon and coming Jeffrey Clark testimony could be steps towards further demolition of GOP;

With UK posting almost 50,000 covid cases daily under ”Freedom” policy compared to Italy’s 2,800, Tory Boris Johnson is also going down hill; Putin shuts down Russia for a week;

1934 off-year election win by New Deal Dems after FDR’s Hundred Days shows how delivering mass traction economic measures can preserve and expand a narrow majority; this shows need to pass Biden’s program this coming week as part of final push for McAuliffe in Virginia!

Oct. 22

Washington Examiner, Biden delays release of secret JFK assassination files, Daniel Chaitin and Misty Severi, Oct. 22, 2021. President Joe Biden ordered yet another delay in the release of secret files related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy yet to see the light of day more than 50 years after his death.

A White House memo, signed by Biden, said "[t]emporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure."

The order comes in response to the archivist of the United States recommending the president “temporarily certify the continued withholding of all of the information certified in 2018” and “direct two public releases of the information that has” ultimately “been determined to be appropriate for release to the public,” with one interim release on Dec. 15 and one more comprehensive release in late 2022, according to the memo.

Former President Donald Trump ordered in 2018 that documentation still under wraps stay redacted for national security reasons, with a deadline of Oct. 26, 2021. His administration said the decision was made at the behest of the intelligence community.

This time around, delays associated with the coronavirus pandemic were to blame for the recommendation to put off the release.

David Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, reported “unfortunately, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the agencies” and National Archives and nara logoRecords Administration, the White House memo said.

NARA “require[s] additional time to engage with the agencies and to conduct research within the larger collection to maximize the amount of information released," added the memo, which also said the archivist noted that “making these decisions is a matter that requires a professional, scholarly, and orderly process; not decisions or releases made in haste.”

Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas. [Editor's noted: This is heavily disputed by critics of the official investigation, who dispute also the disparaging term of "conspiracy theory" popularized by the CIA via is longstanding media relationships to smear researchers.]

lee harvey oswald minskOswald, left, was arrested and charged with the killings of Kennedy and Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit. The 24-year-old denied shooting Kennedy, claiming he was a "patsy," before he was shot dead soon after on national television by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

According to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which was signed into law by former President George H.W. Bush in an attempt to minimize conspiracy theories about Kennedy's death, the Congress declared, “all Government records concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy ... should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination.”

Congress also found at the time that “most of the records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are almost 30 years old, and only in the rarest cases is there any legitimate need for continued protection of such records.”

Tens of thousands of the JFK assassination documents, with varying levels of redactions, have already been released .

Among the information that has not been made public are highly sensitive details about U.S. operations against Cuba in 1963, according to the Intercept. There are also unseen passages about surveillance techniques that detected Oswald's visits to the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City weeks before Kennedy's assassination.

"Since the 1990s, more than 250,000 records concerning President Kennedy’s assassination — more than 90 percent of NARA’s collection — have been released in full to the public. Only a small fraction of the records contains any remaining redactions," the memo said.

A lot of the information that has been made available to the public is not accessible online. Under the order Friday, Biden instructed the archivist to issue a plan for the digitization of the records by Dec. 15.

Oct. 21

djt steve bannon

Donald Trump, left, and Steve Bannon, who has been quoted as backing the idea of a Trump reinstatement, saying that the "return of Trump" will be in "2022 or maybe before."

washington post logoWashington Post, House votes to hold Bannon in contempt for refusing to comply with Jan. 6 subpoena, Felicia Sonmez, Marianna Sotomayor and Jacqueline Alemany, Oct. 21, 2021. Former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon (shown above in a file photo) has argued through his attorney that he can’t respond to the subpoena because of executive privilege asserted by former president Donald Trump. The matter now goes to the Justice Department, which will decide whether to pursue the contempt referral.

U.S. House logoThe House voted Thursday to hold former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

The measure was approved on a 229-to-202 vote, with nine Republicans joining all Democrats present in voting “yes.” Thursday’s full House vote comes days after the members of the bipartisan select committee voted unanimously in favor of the resolution.

Bannon has previously argued through his attorney that he can’t respond to the subpoena because of executive privilege asserted by former president Donald Trump.

Justice Department log circularThe matter now goes to the Justice Department, which will decide whether to pursue the contempt referral. Contempt of Congress is a misdemeanor criminal offense that can result in up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Asked at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday how the Justice Department would handle such a referral, Attorney General Merrick Garland said it “will do what it always does in such circumstances — it will apply the facts and the law.”

Legal experts have cast doubt on the merit of Bannon’s defense of his defiance of the subpoena and say the former president’s immunity from congressional subpoena extends only to his closest White House advisers — and not to private citizens like Bannon.

Trump’s sweeping claims of executive privilege to shield his activities and his aides and allies from congressional scrutiny have also been questioned by constitutional experts and lawyers.

Trump filed a 26-page lawsuit on Monday to block the House committee from receiving records for its inquiry from the National Archives, arguing that the committee’s document request serves no legislative purpose, that it undermines Trump’s executive privilege, and that the committee has provided Trump’s legal team with insufficient time to review the records requests.

 

Trump-supporting former law school dean John Eastman, left, helps Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inflame pro-Trump protesters in front the White House before the insurrection riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the presidential election certification of Joe Biden's presidency on Jan. 6, 2021 (Los Angeles Times photo). Trump-supporting former law school dean John Eastman, left, helps Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inflame pro-Trump protesters in front the White House before the insurrection riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the presidential election certification of Joe Biden's presidency on Jan. 6, 2021 (Los Angeles Times photo). 

Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: Move over Watergate, here comes Willardgate, Wayne Madsen (left, author of 21 books, including the forthcoming Trump's Fourth Reich, widely published commentator and former Navy intelligence officer), Oct. 21, 2021. Long the king of Washington wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallpolitical scandals, the Watergate office, residential, and hotel complex stands to be eclipsed by "Willardgate."

Watergate lent its name to countless other political "gate" scandals due to its being the location where the Democratic National Committee headquarters was burglarized by Richard Nixon re-election henchmen, an act that ultimately brought down the administration of Richard Nixon. Willardgate, however, may replace Watergate as the granddaddy of all DC scandals because, as with Guy Fawkes Day in England, Willardgate has become synonymous with "Treason and Plot."

wayne madesen report logoThe Willard Hotel, which is a mere few blocks from the White House and lies in-between the Executive Mansion and the Trump International Hotel, was the scene of a January 6th eve "War Council" meeting involving top Trump advisers. Documents subpoenaed by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection point to the Willard War Council as planning the storming of the Capitol the next day in order to delay or suspend the certification of Joe Biden's presidential election victory.

It is also becoming clearer that the Willard Hotel served as a nexus between the Oval Office and insurrection perpetrators, many of whom were staying at Trump's hotel, with a few others at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, which is across 14th street from the Willard. The Willard apparently acted as a relay point for a "sneaker net" in order to limit the electronic communications of the conspirators. E-mail and phone call records could and would be made available to law enforcement as "smoking gun" evidence if the plotters' plan failed, which, of course, it did.

There is a major difference between how the Watergate and Willard have gone down in American history. The Watergate scandal demonstrated that the Nixon White House was not above the law and the affair ultimately cost Nixon his presidency. Willardgate, on the other hand, has thus far shown that Trump may get away with almost having carried out a coup.

Tag Hollywood, New Book ' Unanswered Questions' Explores the slick oil connection between the Saudis and the Bush Administration, Ilene Proctor for Ray McGinnis, Oct. 20, 2021. Unanswered Questions: What the September Eleventh Families Asked and the 9/11 Commission Ignored is a brutally persuasive book for those who want answers to the real origins of the Afghanistan war.

ray mcginnis unanswered coverMany families wondered how American national security would be imperiled by 9/11 families suing the Saudis? How could details of possible Saudi complicity in the attacks embarrass the United States government, or harm the nation? Are there classified documents that point not only to Saudi complicity, but to the United States itself?

Bob McIlvaine, whose son Bobby McIlvaine Jr. died while entering the North Tower lobby calls the headlines about Saudi Arabia “a distraction, a joke.” McIlvaine, whose family story was featured in the Atlantic Monthly this September, calls for a new independent investigation. He wants it to include legitimate suspects in the former Bush White House, and other private citizens working for think tanks or corporations, and have them testify under oath.

Some families are hopeful that President Biden’s September 3 Executive Order on Declassification Review of Certain Documents Concerning the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, will clear the air. But others worry what “certain documents” will be declassified? Will there be other documents kept sealed, possibly harming American national security or implicate the U.S. government?

Most of the questions the families asked remain ignored. The history we teach our children cannot be based on a false narrative and understanding of what really happened two decades ago. Many families, first responders, and veterans of wars in Afghan and Iraq are still waiting for truth and accountability.

Unanswered Questions is a must-read book on the crime that quite literally altered the face and fate of America. 9/11 became the turning point of the great American experiment, the moment when Americans began to truly question their government? Why were 9/11 Commissioners so obsequious and deferential toward the families, while ignoring their questions during the investigation?

ray mcginnisAbout the Author: Since 1999 Ray McGinnis, right, has been a free-lance presenter of journal writing, poetry, and memoir workshops to over 15,000 participants. He has taught at business conferences, colleges, theological schools, retreat settings, churches, synagogues, grief and loss support groups, schools, mental health settings, hospitals, and professional development days including for first responders, and lawyers. In 2005, he authored Writing the Sacred: A Psalm-inspired Path to Appreciating and Writing Sacred Poetry.

McGinnis believes the stories of the families of the victims of September 11th, and their efforts to establish an inquiry into the attacks, offer a doorway for theological reflection about what it means to live in a post-9/11 world.

Oct. 20

 

The Intercept, Commentary: Biden Faces Deadline For Release of More JFK Assassination Papers, Jefferson Morley, right, and Rex Bradford, Oct. 20, 2021. John F. jefferson morley newKennedy was assassinated 58 years ago, but the U.S. government has balked at the full release of some secret CIA documents.

Will Biden follow the law? The JFK Records Act, passed unanimously by Congress in 1992, called for “expeditious public transmission” of all JFK files into the public record. Twenty-nine years later, the intent of Congress has been effectively nullified by the demands of federal agencies, particularly the CIA, which is responsible for 70 percent of the withheld records. The National Archives website says 15,834 JFK files that have been released remain redacted, though some redactions involve only a single word.

Federal Judge John Tunheim, chair of the civilian review board which declassified more than 300,000 JFK documents in the 1990s, called on Biden to release the JFK files without exception. “Why keep on holding back stuff?” Tunheim told The Intercept. “I don’t think there is any reason to protect any of it.”

What’s in the files?

The most sensitive JFK secrets involve U.S. operations against Cuba in 1963. Oswald was a public supporter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, or FPCC, a popular campus group which defended Fidel Castro’s government from aggressive U.S. policies. Records declassified in the 1990s revealed that the CIA targeted CIA Logothe FPCC for disruption in September 1963. Within the records that have been partially released, propaganda sources, deception methods, and surveillance techniques are often redacted.

One passage in a file on Operation Northwoods, a top-secret Pentagon operation that aimed to provoke a U.S. invasion of Cuba, is still off-limits to the public. Two paragraphs of the 200-page document remain classified in 2021.

There are scores of similar erasures in the JFK files that illuminate how the letter and spirit of the JFK Records Act is being flouted by extreme claims of secrecy. The information withheld hardly seems earthshaking, but the full significance of the last of the JFK files can only be assessed after full disclosure. Biden’s decision is expected on October 26.

Related articles on the JFK Facts site written and curated by Jefferson Morley:

  • Why Did the CIA Reclassify Parts of Some JFK Files in 2018?
  • JFK Redacted: The CIA's Collaborators in the Miami News Media
  • From the Secret JFK Files, Praise for a CIA Officer Who Monitored Oswald
  • Former DA says CIA hides JFK details but are they related to the assassination?
  • The JFK Records Act: Will There Be a Final Chapter?
  • Final Deadline Loom on JFK Records: Will Biden Follow the Law?

Oct. 18

joe biden

washington post logoWashington Post, Advocates worry Biden is letting U.S. democracy erode on his watch, Ashley Parker, Tyler Pager and Amy Gardner, Oct. 18, 2021 (print ed.).  Voting rights advocates meet once every week or two with White House officials via video conference, and in almost every session, an advocate speaks up to say that President Biden must do more, that American democracy is under threat and the president is not meeting the challenge.

At one such meeting earlier this year, a Biden aide responded that Democrats would simply have to “out-organize” the other side, according to multiple american flag upside down distressadvocates familiar with the exchange who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private meeting. The comment infuriated advocates, who believe they are watching former president Donald Trump actively and perhaps permanently undermine faith in U.S. elections.

“There’s been a lot of anger and frustration with that line from the White House, which was communicated as a response to advocates wanting the White House to do more,” said Aaron Scherb, legislative director of Common Cause, a longtime pro-democracy group.

Scherb conceded that the White House’s urgency has significantly amped up in recent days, as voting rights legislation comes up for debate on Capitol Hill, and White House officials denied the activists’ account of the meeting. But the ongoing frustration is widespread among activists and many Democrats who fear Biden is missing the urgency of the moment.

In the nine months since Biden took office, GOP officials throughout the country have baselessly challenged the 2020 results, conducting elaborate and clumsy audits. States have restricted voting, often in ways activists say will hurt disadvantaged communities, and have changed their procedures to allow political influence over future elections.

Trump, meanwhile, frequently proclaims — with much fury but no evidence — that the last election was stolen, and some Republicans routinely assert that upcoming votes will be rigged as well. Many in Trump’s camp have taken to lauding the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which was aimed at violently overturning the last election, as a heroic act.

Related Stories:

 

U.S. United National Ambassador Colin Powell, flanked by CIA Director George Tenant and White House National Security Advisor John Negroponte, shows what he calls a vial of anthrax at the United Nations in a key run-up to the Iraq War in 2003. The claims that Iraq leader had U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, flanked by CIA Director George Tenet at left and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, showed what he called a vial of anthrax at the United Nations to build international support for a U.S.-led invastion of Iraq War soon afterward in 2003. Their claims that Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction" such as anthrax, thereby justifying his overthrow, were never substantiated.

ny times logoNew York Times, Colin Powell, Who Shaped U.S. National Security, Dies at 84, Eric Schmitt, Oct. 18, 2021. A secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he served in top national security roles and helped pave the way for the war in Iraq.

Colin L. Powell, who in four decades of public life served as the nation’s top soldier, diplomat and national security adviser, and whose speech at the United Nations in 2003 helped pave the way for the United States to go to war in Iraq, died on Monday. He was 84.

colin powell 2005 wHe died of complications from Covid-19, his family said in a statement. He was fully vaccinated and was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his family said.

Mr. Powell (shown at left in a 2005 photo) was a path breaker serving as the country’s first African American national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state.

Born in Harlem of Jamaican parents, Mr. Powell grew up in the South Bronx and graduated from City College of New York, joining the Army through R.O.T.C. From a young second lieutenant commissioned in the dawn of a newly desegregated Army, Mr. Powell served two decorated combat tours in Vietnam. He later was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan at the end of the Cold War, helping negotiate arms treaties and an era of cooperation with the Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev.

As chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he was the architect of the invasion of Panama in 1989 and of the Persian Gulf war in 1991 that ousted Saddam Hussein from Kuwait but left him in power in Iraq. Along with then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, Mr. Powell reshaped the American Cold War military that stood ready at the Iron Curtain for half a century. In doing so, he stamped the Powell Doctrine on military operations — armed with clear political objectives and public support, use decisive and overwhelming force to defeat enemy forces.

Wayne Madsen Report, Investigation and Commentary: Is the Havana Syndrome a result of classified U.S. technology falling into the hands of right-wing Cubans in wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallMiami? Wayne Madsen, left (former Navy intelligence officer, now completing his 21st book, which will document a near-century of fascist growth in America that was temporarily blocked by the Allied victory in WW II over the fascist powers), Oct. 18, 2021.

The first reports of U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana being stricken with ear ringing, dizziness, and severe fatigue, dubbed the "Havana Syndrome," resulted in a series of botched investigations of the source of the illness by the Trump administration.

wayne madesen report logoAlthough there have been a number of theories about the source of what some experts now believe may have been a psychotronic weapon emitting pulsed radio frequency/microwave bursts directed at the U.S. and Canadian embassies and diplomatic housing areas in Havana. These bursts resulted in the targets suffering from the Frey effect, which manifests itself with ringing, buzzing, grinding, or clicking auditory sensations.

This is named for Allan H. Frey, the former General Electric Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University scientist who originally discovered the effect that now carries his name. He was interviewed in 2018 by The New York Times at his home in suburban Washington, DC. Frey said federal investigators interviewed him about the Havana Syndrome and he agreed with the prevailing view at the time within the Trump administration about Russian and Cuban government involvement. He told the paper that "Cubans aligned with Russia, the nation’s longtime ally, might have launched microwave strikes in attempts to undermine developing ties between Cuba and the United States."

cuba flag saving CustomHowever, the Cuban government would have had no interest in severing relations with the U.S. that had been restored by President Obama after a 60-year freeze in diplomatic relations. And why would Russia have sought a confrontation with their first intelligence asset [Donald Trump] sitting at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office?

The party that would have had a motive and means to fracture U.S.-Cuban relations was the exile community in Miami that has become a virtual "nation within a nation" and which has a documented history of carrying out terrorist attacks against innocent people, including Americans.

But, what about the expats' means to carry out a psychotronic attack in Havana?

In 2008, the Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada, a longtime CIA contractor, began development of MEDUSA, or "Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio," a microwave weapon designed to transmit short microwave pulses. These pulses cause tissue to rapidly heat up and result in a shockwave inside a target's skull that is detected by the ears. More than a single pulse produces sounds in the ears. These effects, which emanate from the brain and not through the ears, which can even be heard by deaf people, describe most of the symptoms suffered by the U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana, including extreme discomfort, and, in some cases, incapacitation.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, had originally received a patent for a "Psychological Warfare" microwave weapon in 2002, with an improved modification patent being awarded the following year in 2003. Initial research on the weapon involved expat scientists from Russia and Ukraine, which raises some red flags in itself when considering the close links between Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, and other Trump administration officials and Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.

Had the Cuban exile community been able to gain possession of such technology why would they have used it on U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana? The right-wing activists, with their history of terrorist attacks, would have been able to kill two birds with one stone. First, the far-right extremists in the Trump administration, who, in early 2017, included Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn, Sebastian Gorka, Stephen Miller, Peter Navarro, and others would have immediately pushed for a freeze in relations with Cuba by blaming it for the attacks. And that is exactly what occurred.

canadian flagAs far as Canada was concerned, the exiles may have seen an opportunity to drive a wedge in Ottawa's relations with Havana, especially when considering that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's parents had been close friends of Fidel Castro.

The fact that the Trump administration dragged its feet on initially investigating the true cause of the injuries sustained by American diplomats in Havana attests to the fact that it never wanted the actual perpetrators caught, since that might lead right back to the Oval Office. The FBI failed to conduct an adequate investigation of the attacks and the State Department, Pentagon, and CIA appeared to have thrown their hands up as far as finding a cause.

ny times logoNew York Times, Investigation: Axel Springer removes a top editor after a Times report on workplace behavior, Ben Smith, right, and Melissa Eddy, Oct. 18, 2021. The ben smith twitterGerman media giant Axel Springer said on Monday that Julian Reichelt, the editor of Bild, its powerful tabloid, had been removed from his duties after The New York Times reported on allegations that he had behaved inappropriately with women at the publication.

The Times reported on Sunday on details of Mr. Reichelt’s relationship with a trainee, who testified during an investigation sponsored by the company that he had summoned her to a hotel near the office for sex and asked her to keep a payment secret.

bild logoMr. Reichelt had “not clearly separated private and professional matters, even after the compliance proceedings were concluded in spring 2021,” and had misled the company’s executive board on the subject, Axel Springer said in a statement. Mr. Reichelt has denied abusing his authority.

The company’s chairman and chief executive, Mathias Döpfner, praised Mr. Reichelt for his leadership but said retaining him had become impossible. He said his replacement, Johannes Boie, would combine “journalistic excellence with modern leadership.”

Mr. Reichelt, shown at right in a 2018 photo, was also removed from his duties at Bild TV, a television network introduced in August, said julian reichelt 2018Deirdre Latour, a spokeswoman for Axel Springer.

Axel Springer — whose leading publications pride themselves on their ability to dig up exclusive news before others do — also said in its statement that it would take legal action against third parties who it claimed tried to illegally influence the company’s compliance investigation, “apparently with the aim of removing Julian Reichelt from office and damaging Bild and Axel Springer.”

Despite the apparent threat, Ms. Latour said that “they will not go after whistle-blowers or anybody who brings forward complaints.”

Pressure built in Germany after the Ippen media group, a competitor of Bild, decided on Friday to pull its own in-depth investigation into Mr. Reichelt. That revelation stirred outrage among reporters in Berlin, leading one to ask Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman at a news conference on Monday whether that decision had raised concerns in the German government that freedom of the press could be in danger. Ms. Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, declined to comment.

Ippen said in a statement on Monday that it had decided not to publish its investigation to avoid the appearance that it wanted to harm a rival publisher. Bild is the flagship publication of Axel Springer, a titan of German media since after World War II. The company is now focusing much of its energy on the United States and digital publishing. In 2015, the company bought Business Insider (now called Insider) for $442 million. This summer, it announced that it had purchased Politico for $1 billion.

liberty ship

The Unz Review, Historical Commentary and Opinion: American Pravda: Remembering the Liberty, Ron Unz (a California software developer and former Republican politician shown at right in a file photo from decades ago), Oct. 18, ron unz2021 (11,300 Words). Concealing the Deliberate Israeli Attack.

I’m not exactly sure when I first heard of the Liberty incident of 1967. The story was certainly a dramatic one, the attack upon an almost defenseless American intelligence ship by Israel’s air and naval forces late in the Six Day War fought against several Arab states. Over 200 American servicemen were killed or wounded by Israeli machine-guns, rockets, napalm, and torpedoes, representing our greatest naval loss of life since World War II. Only tremendous luck and the heroic actions of the sailors prevented the Liberty (shown above after the attack) from being sunk with all hands lost.

The Israeli government quickly claimed that the attack had been accidental, a consequence of mistaken identification and the fog of war, but none of the survivors ever believed that story, nor did many of America’s top political and military leaders, notably Secretary of State Dean Rusk, CIA Director Richard Helms, and numerous top officers, including a later Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

lyndon johnson phone 1 10 64 lbj libraryAlthough a brief investigation ordered by President Lyndon Johnson, shown at left in a file photo, quickly endorsed the Israeli account, over the next half-century the Liberty survivors regularly condemned that official verdict as a cover-up and a whitewash. Their deep outrage was only slightly assuaged by the flood of medals they had received from our guilt-ridden government, which established the Liberty as perhaps the most highly-decorated ship in American naval history, at least with regard to a single engagement.

The real-life events of that day almost seem like a script out of Hollywood. The first wave of unmarked attacking jets had targeted and destroyed all of the Liberty’s regular transmission antennas while also trying to jam all standard American broadcast frequencies to prevent any calls for help. A flotilla of torpedo boats later machine-gunned the life-rafts to ensure there would be no survivors. These relentless attacks lasted for more than an hour and completely perforated the vessel, with the sides and the decks being pitted by more than 800 holes larger than a man’s fist, including 100 rocket-hits that were six to eight inches wide, and a 40 foot hole below the waterline produced by a torpedo strike. Only a miracle kept the ship afloat.

But the desperate sailors braved constant enemy fire to jury-rig a single transmission antenna, allowing them to send out an urgent plea for help. Their SOS was finally received by our nearby Sixth Fleet, whose commanders immediately dispatched two waves of jet fighters to rescue the Liberty and drive off the attackers, only to have both flights recalled by order of America’s highest political leadership, which chose to abandon the Liberty and its crew to their fate. At the end, two large helicopters filled with commandos dressed in full battle gear and armed with assault weapons were preparing to board the Liberty, sweep its decks clear of any resistance, and sink it. But at that moment their headquarters apparently discovered that the ship had managed to report its plight to other American military forces, so the enemy broke off the attack and retreated. The first American assistance finally arrived seventeen hours after the first shots had been fired, as two destroyers reached the stricken vessel, which was still desperately trying to stay afloat.

This story combined so many elements of exceptional military heroism, political treachery, and success against all odds that if the Liberty had been attacked by any nation on earth except Israel, the inspirational events of June 8, 1967 might have become the basis for several big-budget, Oscar-nominated movies as well as a regular staple of television documentaries. Such a patriotic narrative would have provided very welcome relief from the concurrent military disaster our israel flagcountry was then facing in its Vietnam War debacle. But events involving serious misdeeds of the Jewish State are hardly viewed with great favor by the leading lights of our entertainment industry, and the story of the Liberty quickly vanished from sight so that today I doubt whether even one American in a hundred has ever heard of it.

Our news media has been almost as silent on the subject. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, there was naturally some coverage in our major newspapers and magazines, with several of the reports expressing considerable skepticism of the Israeli claims of having made an innocent mistake. But the Johnson Administration quickly imposed an extreme clampdown to suppress any challenges to the official story.

An American admiral soon met with all of the survivors in small groups, including the many dozens still hospitalized from their serious injuries, and he issued fearsome threats to those terrified young sailors, most of whom were still in their teens or early twenties. If any of them ever mentioned a word of what had happened—even to their mothers, fathers, or wives, let alone the media—they would immediately be court-martialed and end their lives in prison “or worse.”

With our journalists having great difficulty finding any eyewitnesses willing to talk and our government firmly declaring that the attack had been an unfortunate instance of accidental “friendly fire,” the newsmen quickly lost interest and the story faded from the headlines. Our government still remained so concerned about the smoldering embers of the incident that the surviving sailors were distributed across the other ships of our navy, apparently with efforts made to avoid having any of them serve together, which would have allowed them an opportunity to discuss the events they had barely survived.

The ensuing decade of the 1970s saw the Watergate Scandal unfold, culminating in the impeachment and resignation of a president, and numerous other sordid governmental scandals and abuses of power came to light in the years that followed, greatly eroding popular faith in the honesty of our government.

These changed circumstances helped provide an opening to James M. Ennes, Jr., one of the young surviving Liberty officers, who defied the threats of prosecution and imprisonment in order to reveal to the world what had happened. Working closely with many of his fellow survivors, he spent years preparing a powerful manuscript and was introduced to a major publishing house by star New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan, who had written one of the earliest news accounts of the attack. His book Assault on the Liberty was released in 1979, producing the first major crack in the continuing wall of silence.

Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, contributed a Foreword to a later edition, and the facts and gripping eyewitness testimony philip nelson liberty coveralmost conclusively established that the Israeli attack had been entirely intentional. There were quite a number of favorable early reviews and interviews, leading to strong initial sales and further media coverage.

But organized pro-Israel groups soon counterattacked with a widespread campaign of suppression, working to prevent book sales and distribution while pressuring such influential television shows as ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS’s Sixty Minutes into canceling their planned segments.

  • Author Phil Nelson and three co-author survivors published a 2017 book (shown at right) well-regarded by other survivors, Remember the Liberty! Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas.

Successful books may sell tens of thousands of copies, but popular television programs reach tens of millions, so only a sliver of the American public ever learned the story of the Liberty. However, those who were politically aware and interested in the topic now had a solid reference source to cite and distribute, and the book also sparked the creation of the Liberty Veterans Association, which began to demand a reopening of the case and an honest investigation of what had happened that day.

The Israelis always claimed that the Liberty had been attacked because it was misidentified as a particular Egyptian naval vessel, and the official report of the American investigation had concurred. But Ennes’ book demolished that possibility.

(*) As America’s most advanced electronic surveillance ship, the Liberty had one of the most unique profiles in any navy, with its topside covered by an enormous array of different communications antennas, even including a 32-foot satellite-dish used to bounce signals off the Moon. By contrast, the Egyptian vessel was a decrepit old horse-transport just a fraction of the size, which was then rusting away in the port of Alexandria.

(*) By nearly all accounts, the air and naval forces deployed against the Liberty were completely unmarked, thus disguising their origins. None of the calls for help sent out mentioned the identity of the attackers, which the victims only discovered near the very end of the sustained engagement. If the Israeli forces had merely been striking against an assumed Egyptian military vessel, why would they have bothered to conceal their nationality?

(*) Despite repeated Israeli claims to the contrary, the Liberty had a large and very visible American flag flying at all times, and when the first one was shot down and destroyed early in the attack, an even larger Stars and Stripes was quickly hoisted as a replacement. The name of the ship was written in large English letters on its side, instead of the Arabic used by Egyptian vessels. The clear, bright weather that day provided perfect visibility.

(*) Israeli surveillance planes had repeatedly over-flown the Liberty all that morning, sometimes flying so low that the faces of the pilots could be seen, so the ship would have been easily identified.

(*) From the moment the attack began, Israeli electronic jamming had been employed to blanket all regular American communication channels, proving that the attackers knew the nationality of the ship they were targeting.

(*) The Israelis claimed that they initially assumed that the Liberty was a warship because it was traveling at a high speed of nearly 30 knots, but the ship’s speed during that entire period had merely been 5 knots, slower by a factor of six.

haiti flag

washington post logoWashington Post, U.S. in contact with Haitian officials over effort to free kidnapped American missionaries, Miriam Berger, Oct. 18, 2021. For months, the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation has been battling a surge in gang violence and kidnappings.

U.S. and senior Haitian officials are working to free 17 members of an Ohio-based Christian aid organization kidnapped Saturday in Haiti, the State Department said Sunday.

“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. “We have been in regular contact with senior Haitian authorities and will continue to work with them and interagency partners.”

American missionaries and family members kidnapped in Haiti by ‘400 Mawozo’ gang, groups say

FBI personnel are in Haiti assisting with negotiations for the release, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Saturday’s kidnapping of 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian national thrust Haiti once more into the center of an international crisis. But for months, the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation has been battling a surge in gang violence and kidnappings. A power struggle after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse has further eroded any semblance of rule of law.

washington post logoWashington Post, American missionaries and family members kidnapped in Haiti by ‘400 Mawozo’ gang, groups say, Anthony Faiola, Oct. 18, 2021 (print ed.). A notorious gang known for mass kidnappings is believed to have abducted a group of 17 missionaries and family members — primarily Americans — in Haiti on Saturday while they were returning from a visit to an orphanage, the latest in a wave of kidnappings to grip the Caribbean nation.

An audio recording described as a “prayer alert” from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries and obtained by The Washington Post stated that “men, women and children” associated with the group were being held by an armed gang. Those abducted included organization staff as well as family members, according to the recording and a person familiar with the abduction.

“The mission field director and the American embassy are working to see what can be done,” the voice on the recording stated. It later added, “Pray that the gang members will come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.”

Organizations that monitor kidnappings in Haiti said the missionaries were abducted by a much-feared gang known as 400 Mawozo, which is known for targeting religious groups and controls parts of Ganthier, a town east of the capital where the group was seized on Saturday. In recent months, its members have increasingly engage in mass kidnappings from buses and cars.

The gang in April kidnapped five priests and two nuns, including French nationals, in an incident that led Catholic universities and schools to close in protest. Then-Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe resigned shortly afterward, following a surge of other gang crimes — including an attack on an orphanage in which children were sexually assaulted.

Gédéon Jean, director of the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights in Port-au-Prince, said he had received information from authorities that Saturday’s captives included 16 Americans and one Canadian citizen. A person familiar with the abduction, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing crisis, said there may have been two Haitian nationals also abducted.

“The modus operandi is they take entire cars and buses,” Jean said. “Then they ask for a price to release everybody.”

 

Oct. 17

haiti flag

washington post logoWashington Post, American missionaries and family members kidnapped in Haiti by ‘400 Mawozo’ gang, groups say, Anthony Faiola, Oct. 17, 2021. A notorious gang known for mass kidnappings is believed to have abducted a group of 17 missionaries and family members — primarily Americans — in Haiti on Saturday while they were returning from a visit to an orphanage, the latest in a wave of kidnappings to grip the Caribbean nation.

An audio recording described as a “prayer alert” from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries and obtained by The Washington Post stated that “men, women and children” associated with the group were being held by an armed gang. Those abducted included organization staff as well as family members, according to the recording and a person familiar with the abduction.

“The mission field director and the American embassy are working to see what can be done,” the voice on the recording stated. It later added, “Pray that the gang members will come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.”

Organizations that monitor kidnappings in Haiti said the missionaries were abducted by a much-feared gang known as 400 Mawozo, which is known for targeting religious groups and controls parts of Ganthier, a town east of the capital where the group was seized on Saturday. In recent months, its members have increasingly engage in mass kidnappings from buses and cars.

The gang in April kidnapped five priests and two nuns, including French nationals, in an incident that led Catholic universities and schools to close in protest. Then-Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe resigned shortly afterward, following a surge of other gang crimes — including an attack on an orphanage in which children were sexually assaulted.

Gédéon Jean, director of the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights in Port-au-Prince, said he had received information from authorities that Saturday’s captives included 16 Americans and one Canadian citizen. A person familiar with the abduction, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing crisis, said there may have been two Haitian nationals also abducted.

“The modus operandi is they take entire cars and buses,” Jean said. “Then they ask for a price to release everybody.”

Christian Aid Ministries did not respond to a request for comment. According to the group’s website, American staff members returned to its Haiti base in 2020 after being gone for nine months because of political unrest.

Abductions by the busload: Haitians are being held hostage by a surge in kidnappings. The person familiar with the matter said that one of the abducted Americans had posted a call for help in a WhatsApp group as the kidnapping was occurring.

suharto

Indonesian General Suharto, later the nation's longtime president, shown above left in camouflage uniform in the days after the September 30th Movement (National Security Archive).

National Security Archive at George Washington University, Newly Declassified U.S. Embassy Jakarta Files Detail Army Killings, U.S. support for Quashing Leftist Labor Movement, Edited by Brad Simpson (Founder and Director of the Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project, Associate Professor of History and Asian  Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 by Bradley R. SimpsonStudies, University of Connecticut, author of "Economists With Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968" shown below), Oct. 17, 2021.

The U.S. government had detailed knowledge that the Indonesian Army was conducting a campaign of mass murder against the country’s Communist Party (PKI) starting in 1965, according to newly declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. The new materials further show that diplomats in the Jakarta Embassy kept a record of which PKI leaders were being executed, and that U.S. officials actively supported Indonesian Army efforts to destroy the country’s left-leaning labor movement.

The 39 documents made available today come from a collection of nearly 30,000 pages of files constituting much of the daily record of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1964-1968. The collection, much of it formerly classified, was processed by the CIA LogoNational Declassification Center in response to growing public interest in the remaining U.S. documents concerning the mass killings of 1965-1966. American and Indonesian human rights and freedom of information activists, filmmakers, as well as a group of U.S. Senators led by Tom Udall (D-NM), had called for the materials to be made public.

The documents concern one of the most important and turbulent chapters in Indonesian history and U.S.-Indonesian relations, which witnessed the gradual collapse of ties between Jakarta and Washington, a low-level war with Britain over the formation of Malaysia, rising tension between the Indonesian Army and the Indonesian Communist Party, the growing radicalization of Indonesian President Sukarno, and the expansion of U.S. covert operations aimed at provoking a clash between the Army and PKI.

These tensions erupted in the aftermath of an attempted purge of the Army by the September 30th Movement – a group of military officers with the collaboration of a handful of PKI leaders. After crushing the Movement, which had kidnapped and killed six high-ranking Army generals, the Indonesian Army and its paramilitary allies launched a campaign of annihilation against the PKI and its affiliated organizations, killing up to 500,000 alleged PKI supporters between October 1965 and March 1966, imprisoning up to a million more, and eventually ousting Sukarno and replacing him with General Suharto, who ruled Indonesia for the next 32 years before he himself was overthrown in May 1998.

In an unprecedented collaboration, the National Security Archive worked with the National Declassification Center (NDC) to make the entirety of this collection available to the public by scanning and digitizing the collection, which will be incorporated into the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) digital finding aids. When completed, scholars, journalists, and researchers will be able to search the documents by date, keyword, or name, providing unparalleled access, in particular for the Indonesian public, to a unique collection of records concerning one of the most important periods of Indonesian history.

Of the 30,000 pages processed by the NDC, several hundred documents remain classified and are undergoing further review before their scheduled release in early 2018. While some of the documents in this collection were declassified and deposited at NARA or the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library in the late 1990s, many thousands of pages are being made available for the first time in more than 50 more than 50 years.

The Guardian, Revealed: how UK spies incited mass murder of Indonesia’s communists, Paul Lashmar, Nicholas Gilby and James Oliver, Oct. 17, 2021. Newly declassified papers show shocking role played by Britain in slaughter.

A propaganda campaign orchestrated by Britain played a crucial part in one of the most brutal massacres of the postwar 20th century, shocking new evidence reveals.

United Kingdom flagBritish officials secretly deployed black propaganda in the 1960s to urge prominent Indonesians to “cut out” the “communist cancer”.

It is estimated that at least 500,000 people – some estimates go to three million – linked to the Indonesia Communist party (PKI) were eliminated between 1965 and 1966. [The events are described by, among other places, The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 by scholar Geoffrey B. Robinson, shown at right.]

geoffrey robinson killing seasonRecently declassified Foreign Office documents show that British propagandists secretly incited anti-communists, including army generals, to eliminate the PKI. The campaign of apparently spontaneous mass murder, now known to have been orchestrated by the Indonesian army, was later described by the CIA as one of the worst mass murders of the century.

As the massacres started in October 1965 British officials called for “the PKI and all communist organisations” to “be eliminated.” The nation, they warned, would be in danger “as long as the communist leaders are at large and their rank and file are allowed to go unpunished”.

sukarno wBritain launched its propaganda offensive against Indonesia in response to President Sukarno’s hostility to the formation of its former colonies into the Malayan federation, which from 1963 resulted in a low-level conflict and armed incursions by the Indonesian army across the border. In 1965 specialist propagandists from the Foreign Office’s information research department (IRD) were sent to Singapore to produce black propaganda to undermine Sukarno’s regime. The PKI was a strong supporter of both the president, left, and the Confrontation movement.

As the massacres started in October 1965 British officials called for “the PKI and all communist organisations” to “be eliminated”. The nation, they warned, would be in danger “as long as the communist leaders are at large and their rank and file are allowed to go unpunished”.

Britain launched its propaganda offensive against Indonesia in response to President Sukarno’s hostility to the formation of its former colonies into the Malayan federation which from 1963 resulted in a low-level conflict and armed incursions by the Indonesian army across the border. In 1965 specialist propagandists from the Foreign Office’s information research department (IRD) were sent to Singapore to produce black propaganda to undermine Sukarno’s regime. The PKI was a strong supporter of both the president and the Confrontation movement.

indonesia flagA small team produced a newsletter purporting to be produced by Indonesian émigrés and targeted at prominent and influential individuals, including army generals. It also supplied a black radio station broadcasting into Indonesia run by the Malaysians.

By mid-1965 the operation was in full swing, but an attempted coup by leftwing army officers and, secretly, by agents of the PKI, in which seven generals were murdered, provided the chance to have a real impact on events.

The coup was swiftly crushed by Indonesia’s future president General Suharto, who then set about a gradual seizure of power from Sukarno and the elimination of the PKI, then the biggest communist party in the non-communist world.

The propagandists called for “the PKI and all it stands for” to be “eliminated for all time” advising its influential readers that “procrastination and half-hearted measures can only lead to… our ultimate and complete destruction.” Over the following weeks massacres of alleged PKI members, few if any with any involvement in the attempted coup, and other leftists spread across the archipelago.

Related stories:

  • Uncovering Indonesia’s Act of Killing, The New York Review of Books, Oct 20, 2017
  • What the United States Did in Indonesia, The Atlantic, Oct 20, 2017
  • Declassified files outline US support for1965 Indonesia massacre, Financial Times, October 18, 2017
  • U.S. Stood by as Indonesia Killed a Half-Million People, Papers Show, New York Times, October 18, 2017
  • How The U.S. Came to Declassify 30,000 Pages of Indonesian Embassy Files, Voice of America, October 18, 2017
  • Files show new details of US support for Indonesia bloodbath, AP, October 17, 2017

Oct. 16

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: Biden calls on Garland’s Department of Justice to prosecute January 6 figures who defy subpoenas! Webster G. Tarpley, right, Oct. 16, 2021. webster tarpley twitterHouse scheduled to vote on criminal referral for Bannon next Tuesday; Garland must defend nation, not his own vanity; Fascist armed militias and death threats (aka coercion) are illegal in all states;

Following same unity method used by Navalny against Putin, Czech opposition sets example of political realism and maturity for US Democrats by forming ”Spolu” united front against would-be dictator Babis; Rivals agree to put divisive questions ”on ice” to gain victory; Defeat of Babis isolates Trump clone Orban of Hungary, weakens Salvini in Italy;

Anti-vaxers join fascists in attacking key Rome labor union HQ; Italian Green Pass now in force in the workplace, while in UK most rules have been lifted since July: Italy has about 2,500 cases per day, the UK 43,000 cases under BoJo’s policy of learning to co-exist with covid;

Rev. Pinckney of Benton Harbor, Michigan calls for passage of $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to replace poisonous lead pipes causing water crisis;
Trump orders Republicans not to vote!

Oct. 15

JFKFacts.org, From the Secret JFK Files, Praise for a CIA Officer Who Monitored Oswald, Jefferson Morley, right, Oct. 15, 2021. The secret JFK assassinations files now jefferson morley newunder review at the White House include the records of senior CIA officers who knew about the supposed assassin Lee Harvey Oswald before President Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963.

The Public Interest Declassification Board, which advises the president on historical issues, has urged President Biden to insure “maximum disclosure” in JFK files, set for release on October 26. Sabato’s Crystal Ball has examined the uneven enforcement of the JFK Records Act.

I want to share with readers, reporters, and Twitter, what is on the public record about these officers, individually and collectively. These files may shed light on the breakdown of presidential security in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

They are certainly relevant to the current White House review of JFK files. These officers were involved in the CIA’s monitoring of Oswald before Kennedy was killed. After Kennedy was dead, they lied about what they knew.

The first is Birch O’Neal, a CIA “mole hunter” who figures at the very beginning of the CIA-Oswald story.

CIA LogoBirch O’Neal was a former FBI man from Georgia who served as station chief in Guatemala in 1954 when a CIA coup overthrew the democratically elected government of President Jacobo Arbenz. He went on to work closely with counterintelligence chief James Angleton for many years, serving as chief of the Special Investigations Group (CI/SIG), a secretive office that pursued Angleton’s theory that the Soviet intelligence had a “mole” in the upper ranks of the CIA.

O’Neal was involved in the opening the CIA’s first file on Oswald when the ex-Marine defected to the Soviet Union in November 1959.
‘Sensitive Matters’

O’Neal’s personnel file, largely but not totally declassified in April 2018, disclosed the fact that his primary job responsibility in 1959 was directing “special john newman oswald ciainvestigations.” If O’Neal investigated Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union, or his subsequent return to Texas, or his alleged involvement in Kennedy’s assassination, no trace of it has ever surfaced.

O’Neal also coordinated “sensitive matters” between the CI Staff and the Office of Security, the Agency’s internal police force. The Office of Security opened the Agency’s first file on Oswald in November 1959. At right is the cover of a book by Dr. John Newman, an historian and former official with the National Security Agency.

On the day Kennedy was killed, O’Neal told the FBI that there was “nothing in the CIA file regarding Oswald other than material furnished to the CIA by the FBI and the State Department”–a statement that he almost certainly knew was untrue.

.In fact, the CIA Counterintelligence (CI) Staff had recently received and sent multiple messages about Oswald’s visit to Mexico City.

Oct. 14

djt phone amazon public images

Proof via Substack, Investigation and Commentary: Revelation Involving January 2 Call Between Trump and Insurrectionist Leaders Confirms That Trump Coordinated seth abramson graphicthe January 6 Coup Personally, Seth Abramson, left, Oct. 13-14, 2021 (excerpt continued below). In view of this new information, there can no longer be any doubt that the former president (shown above at the White House in a file photo), his lawyers, and top White House advisers were intimately involved in coordinating the chaos of January 6.

seth abramson proof logoIntroduction: As Proof has previously reported, on January 2, 2021—just 96 hours before the attack on the Capitol—then-president Donald Trump held a conference call with hundreds of Republican state legislators to communicate to them how key they were to his plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He wanted them to de-certify Joe Biden’s slates of electors in six battleground states, and to do so quickly enough that it would give Vice President Mike Pence a slender pretext to prorogue Congress and postpone the certification of Biden’s 2020 election win, which was then scheduled for January 6.

New details about that call now put it at the heart of Trump’s coup conspiracy, and reframe dramatically the stunning January 4 Oval Office meeting—between Trump, Pence, and Trump attorney John Eastman—that Proof reported on this past Monday.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: Trump has his own "deep state" and it's more dangerous than any other, Wayne Madsen, left, Oct. 14, 2021. Donald wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallTrump and his acolytes are often complaining about the "deep state."

When asked to describe their "deep state," Trumpists are unable to provide a coherent answer. Some spew forth the stock villains often cited by wayne madesen report logothe far-right: the CIA, the Federal Reserve, the Vatican, George Soros, the Illuminati, the Bilderberg Group, the globalists, and, of course, their traditional target, the Jews.

The one thing that is standard practice with Trump and his supporters is their use of projection, accusing others of what they, themselves, do. And when it comes to charges that the deep state is out to get them, they fail to mention that a much-more clearly defined deep state supports Trump and his anti-democratic goals to destroy the constitutional order of the United States and replace it with a pluto-theocracy. How do we know about Trump's deep state? We have the list of its members.

washington post logoWashington Post, Jan. 6 committee preparing to aggressively enforce subpoenas, Jacqueline Alemany and Tom Hamburger, Oct. 14, 2021 (print ed.). Lawmakers on the panel said they are prepared to pursue charges against witnesses such as Stephen K. Bannon who have balked at cooperating, and they may issue a subpoena as early as Wednesday to a Trump Justice Department official.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is planning to ramp up its efforts to force Trump administration officials to comply with its subpoenas as the former president attempts to stymie the inquiry.

jeffrey clark oLawmakers who sit on the panel said they are prepared to pursue criminal charges against witnesses like Stephen K. Bannon who have balked at cooperating. And the committee may issue a subpoena as early as Wednesday to Jeffrey Clark, right, a Trump Justice Department official who sought to deploy department resources to support former president Donald Trump’s false claims of massive voting fraud in the 2020 election.

What happens to the Trump advisers who don’t comply with subpoenas?

“We are completely of one mind that if people refuse to respond to questions without justification that we will hold them in criminal contempt Justice Department log circularand refer them to the Justice Department,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the panel, said in an interview Tuesday.

Tensions over compliance with subpoenas are increasing as the committee’s plan to hold depositions this week with Bannon and three other Trump administration officials — former chief of staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino and Kash Patel, who was serving as chief of staff to the acting defense secretary on Jan. 6 — is already facing head winds.

Negotiations between Clark’s legal team and the committee did not proceed as rapidly as the committee hoped, according to a person familiar with the conversations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive talks. As a result, the committee is contemplating issuing a subpoena, this person said.

Oct. 14

tribune publishing logoThe Atlantic, Investigation: Inside Alden Global Capital, McKay Coppins (at The Atlantic and the author of The Wilderness, a book about the battle over the future of the Republican Party), Oct. 14, 2021. A Secretive Hedge Fund Is Gutting Newsrooms.

tribune tower 2013The Tribune Tower (shown at right in 2013) rises above the streets of downtown Chicago in a majestic snarl of Gothic spires and flying buttresses that were designed to exude power and prestige.

atlantic logo horizontalWhen plans for the building were announced in 1922, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime owner of the Chicago Tribune, said he wanted to erect “the world’s most beautiful office building” for his beloved newspaper. The best architects of the era were invited to submit designs; lofty quotes about the Fourth Estate were selected to adorn the lobby.

Prior to the building’s completion, McCormick (below left) directed his foreign correspondents to collect “fragments” of various historical sites—a brick from the Great Wall of China, an emblem from St. Peter’s Basilica—and send them back to be embedded in the tower’s facade. The final product, completed in 1925, was an architectural spectacle unlike anything the city had seen before—“romance in stone and steel,” as one writer described it. A century later, the Tribune Tower has retained its grandeur. It has not, however, retained the robert mccormickChicago Tribune.

To find the paper’s current headquarters one afternoon in late June, I took a cab across town to an industrial block west of the river. After a long walk down a windowless hallway lined with cinder-block walls, I got in an elevator, which deposited me near a modest bank of desks near the printing press. The scene was somehow even grimmer than I’d imagined. Here was one of America’s most storied newspapers—a publication that had endorsed Abraham Lincoln and scooped the Treaty of Versailles, that had toppled political bosses and tangled with crooked mayors and collected dozens of Pulitzer Prizes—reduced to a newsroom the size of a Chipotle.

Spend some time around the shell-shocked journalists at the Tribune these days, and you’ll hear the same question over and over: How did it come to this? On the surface, the answer might seem obvious. Craigslist killed the Classified section, Google and Facebook swallowed up the ad market, and a procession of hapless newspaper owners failed to adapt to the digital-media age, making obsolescence inevitable. This is the story we’ve been telling for decades about the dying local-news industry, and it’s not without truth. But what’s happening in Chicago is different.

In May, the Tribune was acquired by Alden Global Capital, a secretive hedge fund that has quickly, and with remarkable ease, become one of the largest newspaper operators in the country. The new owners did not fly to Chicago to address the staff, nor did they bother with paeans to the vital civic role of journalism. Instead, they gutted the place.

alden global capital logoTwo days after the deal was finalized, Alden announced an aggressive round of buyouts. In the ensuing exodus, the paper lost the Metro columnist who had championed the occupants of a troubled public-housing complex, and the editor who maintained a homicide database that the police couldn’t manipulate, and the photographer who had produced beautiful portraits of the state’s undocumented immigrants, and the investigative reporter who’d helped expose the governor’s offshore shell companies. When it was over, a quarter of the newsroom was gone.

The hollowing-out of the Chicago Tribune was noted in the national press, of course. There were sober op-eds and lamentations on Twitter and expressions of disappointment by professors of journalism. But outside the industry, few seemed to notice. Meanwhile, the Tribune’s remaining staff, which had been spread thin even before Alden came along, struggled to perform the newspaper’s most basic functions. After a powerful Illinois state legislator resigned amid bribery allegations, the paper didn’t have a reporter in Springfield to follow the resulting scandal. And when Chicago suffered a brutal summer crime wave, the paper had no one on the night shift to listen to the police scanner.

As the months passed, things kept getting worse. Morale tanked; reporters burned out. The editor in chief mysteriously resigned, and managers scrambled to deal with the cuts. Some in the city started to wonder if the paper was even worth saving. “It makes me profoundly sad to think about what the Trib was, what it is, and what it’s likely to become,” says David Axelrod, who was a reporter at the paper before becoming an adviser to Barack Obama. Through it all, the owners maintained their ruthless silence—spurning interview requests and declining to articulate their plans for the paper. Longtime Tribune staffers had seen their share of bad corporate overlords, but this felt more calculated, more sinister.

“It’s not as if the Tribune is just withering on the vine despite the best efforts of the gardeners,” Charlie Johnson, a former Metro reporter, told me after the latest round of buyouts this summer. “It’s being snuffed out, quarter after quarter after quarter.” We were sitting in a coffee shop in Logan Square, and he was still struggling to make sense of what had happened. The Tribune had been profitable when Alden took over. The paper had weathered a decade and a half of mismanagement and declining revenues and layoffs, and had finally achieved a kind of stability. Now it might be facing extinction.

  • “They call Alden a vulture hedge fund, and I think that’s honestly a misnomer,” Johnson said. “A vulture doesn’t hold a wounded animal’s head underwater. This is predatory.”

When Alden first started buying newspapers, at the tail end of the Great Recession, the industry responded with cautious optimism. These were not exactly boom times for newspapers, after all—at least someone wanted to buy them. Maybe this obscure hedge fund had a plan. One early article, in the trade publication Poynter, suggested that Alden’s interest in the local-news business could be seen as “flattering” and quoted the owner of The Denver Post as saying he had “enormous respect” for the firm. Reading these stories now has a certain horror-movie quality: You want to somehow warn the unwitting victims of what’s about to happen.

Of course, it’s easy to romanticize past eras of journalism. The families that used to own the bulk of America’s local newspapers—the Bonfilses of Denver, the Chandlers of Los Angeles—were never perfect stewards. They could be vain, bumbling, even corrupt. At their worst, they used their papers to maintain oppressive social hierarchies. But most of them also had a stake in the communities their papers served, which meant that, if nothing else, their egos were wrapped up in putting out a respectable product.

  • The model is simple: gut the staff, sell the real estate, jack up subscription prices, and wring out as much cash as possible.

The 21st century has seen many of these generational owners flee the industry, to devastating effect. In the past 15 years, more than a quarter of American newspapers have gone out of business. Those that have survived are smaller, weaker, and more vulnerable to acquisition. Today, half of all daily newspapers in the U.S. are controlled by financial firms, according to an analysis by the Financial Times, and the number is almost certain to grow.

What threatens local newspapers now is not just digital disruption or abstract market forces. They’re being targeted by investors who have figured out how to get rich by strip-mining local-news outfits. The model is simple: Gut the staff, sell the real estate, jack up subscription prices, and wring as much cash as possible out of the enterprise until eventually enough readers cancel their subscriptions that the paper folds, or is reduced to a desiccated husk of its former self.

  • John Temple: My newspaper died 10 years ago. I’m worried the worst is yet to come.

The men who devised this model are Randall Smith and Heath Freeman, the co-founders of Alden Global Capital. Since they bought their first newspapers a decade ago, no one has been more mercenary or less interested in pretending to care about their publications’ long-term health. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that Alden-owned newspapers have cut their staff at twice the rate of their competitors; not coincidentally, circulation has fallen faster too, according to Ken Doctor, a news-industry analyst who reviewed data from some of the papers. That might sound like a losing formula, but these papers don’t have to become sustainable businesses for Smith and Freeman to make money.

With aggressive cost-cutting, Alden can operate its newspapers at a profit for years while turning out a steadily worse product, indifferent to the subscribers it’s alienating. “It’s the meanness and the elegance of the capitalist marketplace brought to newspapers,” Doctor told me. So far, Alden has limited its closures primarily to weekly newspapers, but Doctor argues it’s only a matter of time before the firm starts shutting down its dailies as well.

This investment strategy does not come without social consequences. When a local newspaper vanishes, research shows, it tends to correspond with lower voter turnout, increased polarization, and a general erosion of civic engagement. Misinformation proliferates. City budgets balloon, along with corruption and dysfunction. The consequences can influence national politics as well; an analysis by Politico found that Donald Trump performed best during the 2016 election in places with limited access to local news.

  • margaret sullivan 2015 photoMargaret Sullivan (right): The Constitution doesn’t work without local news

With its acquisition of Tribune Publishing earlier this year, Alden now controls more than 200 newspapers, including some of the country’s most famous and influential: the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, the New York Daily News. It is the nation’s second-largest newspaper owner by circulation. Some in the industry say they wouldn’t be surprised if Smith and Freeman end up becoming the biggest newspaper moguls in U.S. history.

They are also defined by an obsessive secrecy. Alden’s website contains no information beyond the firm’s name, and its list of investors is kept strictly confidential. When lawmakers pressed for details last year on who funds Alden, the company replied that “there may be certain legal entities and organizational structures formed outside of the United States.”

Smith, a reclusive Palm Beach septuagenarian, hasn’t granted a press interview since the 1980s. Freeman, his 41-year-old protégé and the president of the firm, would be unrecognizable in most of the newsrooms he owns. For two men who employ thousands of journalists, remarkably little is known about them.

 

mlk injustice quotation

The Atlantic, The Second Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Ibram X. Kendi, Oct. 14, 2021. King’s nightmare of racism is being presented as his dream.

Early on the evening of October 23, 2019, I took a tour of the Lorraine Motel. I’d been to Memphis, Tennessee, several times before, and I’d come back to speak at the National Civil Rights Museum, which encompasses the motel. But until that October, I’d never been able to bring myself to visit the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

atlantic logo horizontalI saw what King saw moments before he saw no more. His second-floor room had been preserved. Walking into there was like walking into 1968. I saw the antique dishes from the motel’s kitchen. I saw two beds: one for King, unmade, and one for his friend Ralph Abernathy. On April 4, 1968, King had been feeling under the weather.

The night before he was killed, King addressed striking Black sanitation workers in Memphis. “If something isn’t done, and in a hurry,” he said, “to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed.”

The second assassination of King began days after the first assassination. Almost a third of Americans polled in April 1968 felt that King himself was to blame for his assassination, felt that he had “brought it on himself.”

When King was killed, he was one of the most hated people in the United States. Nearly half of Black Americans and three-quarters of white Americans disapproved of him when he stepped out onto that motel balcony. Death threats were a fact of his life.

King’s first assassins professed to hate him half a century ago. His second assassins profess to revere him. Death threats to King’s legacy are now sold as love songs to his legacy. King is adored in death, literally. King is still hated in life.

Take the small Ohio crowd that gathered for a political rally last month. A white woman held a sign that read EDUCATE DON’T INDOCTRINATE. Another sign said SAVE THE DIVISION FOR MATH CLASS. Another person held a large poster of King.

Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, spoke to the crowd. “What the liberals are doing by advancing the cause of critical race theory—they are stomping on the grave of Martin Luther King,” said Mandel, whose internal poll shows him leading the Republican primary race.

“Martin Luther King once said that he had a dream that his grandkids would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” Mandel added. “But what you have going on in the government schools by these liberals and the media, by the secular left, by the radical left, they’re trying to make everything about skin color.”

The sniper shots aimed at King’s body of work sound this way almost every time.

His modern-day assassins endlessly recite King’s “dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”—as if that was all King said during his 1963 March on Washington speech. They disregard the lines before and after it, when King lamented that his dream was being thwarted by “vicious racists” in places “sweltering with the heat of oppression.”

They disregard King’s paraphrase of his iconic “dream” line in 1965: that “one day all of God’s Black children will be respected like his white children.” They disregard King’s recognition that the civil-rights movement did not end racism, leading him to tell an NBC News correspondent on May 8, 1967, that the “dream that I had [in 1963] has at many points turned into a nightmare.” (Ironically, it was this nightmare of post-civil-rights racial inequality that caused legal scholars in the 1970s to develop critical race theory in law schools, particularly to study and reveal the law’s role in the maintenance of inequality.)

King’s modern-day assassins disregard everything he said about education. “Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance,” King wrote in 1967. “It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.”

It is wrong to present King, who continuously spoke out against racism, as someone who stood against people speaking out against racism. It is wrong to claim that teachers educating their students about past and present racism “are stomping on the grave of Martin Luther King,” to quote Mandel. But people such as Trump, McCarthy, and Mandel aren’t simply stomping on King’s grave themselves. These self-professed admirers of King are digging a new grave, and burying King’s body of work within it.

It’s been a year. I’ve raged. But rage has not been my overwhelming emotion as I’ve witnessed the assassinations of reality, of history, of King. I’ve largely felt grief, like I did at the Lorraine Motel two years ago. Grief—as I long for the wisdom of evidence and history to guide our policy decisions. Grief—as I long for King to live through his body of anti-racist words. Grief—as I realize that the assassins of his legacy will stop at nothing until those words are dead, until every trace of the dreamer of a multiracial democracy is gone.

Ibram X. Kendi is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is the author of several books, including the National Book Award–winning Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and How to Be an Antiracist.

Oct. 13

 

The Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinin: Why the Mainstream Media Remains Silent on the JFK Records Deadline, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 13, 2021. With the jacob hornberger newOctober 26 deadline only two weeks from now on releasing the 60-year secret records of the CIA relating to the Kennedy assassination, the silence from the mainstream press is deafening.

The great mainstream defenders of transparency and openness in government, at least when it comes foreign dictatorships, cannot bring themselves to openly advocate for the release of thousands of records relating to the JFK assassination that the CIA still insists on keeping secret.

Why the silence? I will explain the reason, but first please permit me to restate the prediction I have made regarding this matter.

I predict that within the next weeks, President Biden will grant a request by the CIA for continued secrecy of its assassination-related records. I predict that Biden will order the release of some of the records for appearance’s sake, but he will cite “national security” to justify continuing the secrecy of the vast majority of the records.

Why do I make this prediction? Because the reason that the CIA needed to keep these records secret 60 years ago still exists. That same reason was why it it future of freedom foundation logo squareneeded to keep them secret during the 1990s, when the Assassination Records Review Board was enforcing the JFK Records Act of 1992, which mandated the release of all federal records relating to the assassination.

Further, that same reason obviously caused the CIA, despite the law’s mandate, to continue keeping its records secret for another 25 years after the JFK Records Act was enacted. When that deadline came due in 2017, that same reason obviously motivated the CIA to petition President Trump for another extension of time for secrecy, which Trump dutifully granted. That deadline comes due on October 26, 2021 — two weeks from now — and mark my words: The same reason will cause the CIA to request that Biden grant another extension of time for secrecy, which Biden, like Trump, will dutifully grant.

What is the reason that has caused the CIA to want to keep these thousands of records secret from the American people. The reason, I am more convinced than ever, is that the CIA knows that those remaining records constitute more pieces to the overall puzzle of criminal culpability on the part of the CIA in the regime-change operation that took place on November 22,1963.

cia logoAfter all, let’s face it: No matter what definition is put on that nebulous and meaningless term “national security,” there is no possibility that anything bad will happen to the United States if those 60-year-old secret records are released to the American people. The United States will not fall into the ocean. The supposed international communist conspiracy to take over the United States that was supposedly based in Moscow, Russia (yes, that Russia!) during the Cold War won’t be reinvigorated. Communist Cuba will not invade the United States. The dominoes near North Vietnam will not fall to the communists. North Korea will not come and get us.

President Biden just ordered the release of President Trump’s secret records relating to the January 6 Capitol protests. Why not the same joe biden resized odecision with respect to those 60-year-old secret records of the CIA relating to the Kennedy assassination?

Why won’t the mainstream press call on Biden to enforce the JFK Records Act of 1992? They’re scared to do so.

In a remarkably candid and direct statement made to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in 2017, New York Senator Charles Schumer explained why they are scared: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer said to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Schumer was referring to President Trump, but actually the admonition applies to everyone. The CIA, the Pentagon, the NSA, and the FBI — i.e., the entire intelligence community — has “six ways from Sunday at getting back” at anyone who takes it on, including newspaper owners, publishers, and editors.

Most people know about Operation Mockingbird, the top-secret operation of the CIA to acquire assets within the mainstream press to advance the CIA’s propaganda. Does anyone really think that the CIA would stop there in the quest to expand its power and influence?

dwight eisenhower mic speechNot a chance! For example, the entire national-security establishment would concentrate on acquiring, installing, and grooming assets in Congress, which sets the budgets. Does anyone think it’s just a coincidence that Congress gives the national-security establishment whatever it wants plus sometimes even more than what it wants? There is good reason why President Eisenhower planned to use the term “military-industrial-congressional” complex in his Farewell Address (shown at right). No one can reasonably deny that Congress is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the national-security establishment.

But they obviously would not stop there. They would also be acquiring assets within the IRS, one of the most powerful and tyrannical agencies within the federal government. There isn’t anyone, including newspaper owners, publishers, and editors, who isn’t afraid of receiving an audit notice from the IRS.

irs logoAnd if it happens, no one would ever be able to prove that it originated with the CIA or the rest of the national-security establishment. It would just look like it was occurring at random. If any victim of an IRS audit accused the CIA or the rest of the national-security establishment of being behind the audit, they would be ready to hurl the infamous “conspiracy theorist” label at him.

What newspaper owner, publisher, or editor wants to take that chance? They all know that the national-security establishment frowns very seriously on any mainstream media outlet that even remotely suggests that the Kennedy assassination was a regime-change operation, no different in principle from those in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Congo, and Chile both before and after the Kennedy assassination. But they also do not want to take the chance of upsetting the CIA by simply calling on it to release its 60-year-old still-secret records relating to the assassination.

After all, everyone knows that if an entity is powerful enough to regime-change presidents and prime ministers, both foreign and domestic, with impunity, it can easily destroy any mainstream media executive who dares to buck the CIA on the assassination.

It’s just the way life works in a national-security state. It’s why the mainstream media is maintaining strict silence on the upcoming October 26 deadline on the release of those 60-year-old still-secret records of the CIA relating to the Kennedy assassination.

Oct. 12 

virginia roberts giuffre nbc screenshot

washington post logoWashington Post, British police drop investigation into Prince Andrew over sexual abuse claims, Jennifer Hassan, Oct. 12, 2021 (print ed.). British law enforcement officials are dropping their investigation into Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, following a review of sexual assault allegations sparked by an American woman who says convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with the prince on at least three occasions.

United Kingdom flagVirginia Giuffre (shown above in an NBC interview and below left in 2001 with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell) filed a lawsuit in August in New York against the prince, alleging that she was first trafficked at the age of 16 by Epstein, who was found dead in a jail cell in August 2019.

prince andrew virginia roberts ghislaine maxwell 2001The lawsuit, which described the impact of the alleged abuse on Giuffre as “severe and lasting,” prompted British officials to review the allegations. Giuffre says the abuse by the prince first took place in London, at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime companion.

In an email to The Washington Post on Monday, London’s Metropolitan police service said it was “taking no further action” but that it would continue to “liaise with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein.”

The lawsuit in New York remains ongoing, and the prince has until Oct. 29 to respond to the claims, per the Associated Press.

prince andrew jeff epstein news syndication CustomAndrew (shown at right with Epstein) has denied the allegations and said he had no recollection of meeting Giuffre or having sexual encounters with her. A photo of the prince with his hand around Giuffre, apparently taken in London when she was 17, first surfaced in 2011 and posed huge questions for Buckingham Palace.

On Monday, British police also confirmed that they had “reviewed information” separately passed to them by a local broadcaster and that no further action would be taken against the prince.

In June 2021, Channel 4 News reported that Epstein and Maxwell sexually abused, trafficked and groomed multiple women and girls in Britain over a period of 10 years — including to London, where Giuffre alleged Andrew abused her.

Following the report, British police said they would review the claims of rape and sexual assault, which Channel 4 said came from “a combination of publicly available documentation (including court papers), witness accounts, and interviews.” In its report, the broadcaster also explored claims that the royal’s ties to the sex abuse scandal may have influenced Britain’s handling of the case.

The decision by British police to drop their investigation comes at a period of intense scrutiny of Britain’s police force and its treatment of crimes against women. Earlier this year, 33-year-old Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a serving police officer — sparking widespread calls for police reform.

Andrew, who is the second son of reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II, announced in 2019 that he would be quitting his public duties “for the foreseeable future.”

The announcement came following an interview the prince gave to the BBC in which he attempted to defend his friendship with Epstein. The interview was widely criticized by viewers on both sides of the Atlantic, with one royal watcher calling it “nuclear explosion level bad.”

Oct. 11 djt steve bannon

Donald Trump, left, and Steve Bannon, who has been quoted as backing the idea of a Trump reinstatement, saying that the "return of Trump" will be in "2022 or maybe before."

Proof via Substack, Investigative Commentary: If You Know Who Steve Bannon's Lawyer Is, You Understand How Closely Trump Is Linked to the Cover-Up of His Own seth abramson graphicRole in the January 6 Conspiracy, Seth Abramson, left, Oct. 10-11, 2021. Suspicious, possibly corrupt conduct by lawyer Robert Costello confirms Trump is doing more than using public declarations to obstruct the January 6 investigation—he's using his usual backroom ploys.

seth abramson proof logoIntroduction: Perhaps no top Donald Trump adviser was more important to the former president’s January 6 attack on our democracy than Steve Bannon. Whereas Kimberly Guilfoyle, Katrina Pierson, and Peter Navarro acted as adjuncts to Trump’s will, Bannon’s role was to shape it—to give his patron a vision of what was possible if he’d simply cease thinking (or continue not to think) of the future of the United States or its rule of law.

We know that Bannon recently revealed, in a conference call with GOP leaders, a plan to “control this country” via “20,000 shock troops”—neo-fascists personally recruited by Bannon and ready to seize control of America’s ship of state as soon as the GOP is again in power.

And we know that Bannon now claims the power to defy Congressional subpoenas, with his fig-leaf in asserting this unprecedented right being the absurd declaration that anyone who speaks to a president is protected from ever having to reveal what was said in such a conversation—whether or not they were a member of the federal executive branch when the conversation occurred. It’s rank nonsense, of course (and dangerous nonsense, at that).

But what Americans must now understand is how closely coordinated with Trump Bannon’s defiance of U.S. law appears to be—and how vital to Trump’s own interests it is that Bannon remain quiet, given the white supremacist Trump adviser’s infamous Insurrection Eve claim that “all hell is going to break loose [on January 6].”

Robert Costello Is Either Donald Trump’s Lawyer or the Equivalent

On December 11, 2020, the then-under-indictment Bannon hired Robert J. Costello as his criminal defense lawyer. Thirteen months earlier, in November 2019, Costello had been hired by Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, who was then facing—and still faces—a federal criminal investigation of his own.
It took under six weeks for Trump’s lawyer’s lawyer to get Trump to pardon Bannon.

You might think that Bannon’s ease in getting a pardon from Trump was due in part to him working for Trump as an adviser during the period he was seeking that pardon, and you’d be right.

But what you might not realize is that Bannon’s connection to Trump came not just in phone calls with the then-president or meetings with the president’s attorney, but via his own lawyer Robert Costello—who, it turns out, is effectively Trump’s advocate as much as he is Bannon’s. And Costello doesn’t just seem to work for Trump, his specific task appears to be getting men who have dirt on Trump to stay quiet in exchange for Trump’s aid.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

 

john eastmanProof via Substack, Investigation: Trump Lawyer John Eastman Speaks Out About January 6—and Makes Everything Worse for Trump, Seth Abramson, Oct. 11, seth abramson graphic2021. In an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee, Eastman, above—one of Trump's lawyers on January 6 and a participant in the former president's Willard Hotel war room—offers a stunning defense of Trump's coup conspiracy.

By January 6, 2021, not a single state legislature in the United States—whether GOP-led or otherwise—had voted to de-certify its presidential electors. Indeed, every state had certified its 2020 election results, including every GOP-led state legislature that sent Biden electors to D.C. for the joint session of Congress scheduled for January 6.

There was, in short, no way for Trump to receive a second term as President of the United States as dawn broke on January 6 and his legal team, including Giuliani and Eastman, met in the Willard Hotel to stage what one participant (domestic extremist Joe Oltmann) would call a “war room.”

seth abramson proof logoIn his Sacremento Bee op-ed, Eastman admits, stunningly, that on January 6 Trump was suffering from the “absence of certifications of alternate Trump electors from the contested states’ legislatures.” In other words, he admits the “Trump electors” he and Giuliani and Trump’s campaign brought to D.C. had no legal status or significance.

Every time Trump or his allies open their mouths to speak about January 6, they bury themselves and the former president further. No wonder Trump had engaged in such extraordinary actions to try to keep his advisers quiet. In Eastman’s case, Trump may have believed that the fact that Eastman was his lawyer on January 6 would keep him quiet; certainly, with the help of Robert Costello, Trump had successfully kept Rudy Giuliani quiet about the most sensitive components of his coup plotting with Trump.

But now that Eastman has spoken, what he’s said cannot be ignored: not by the FBI, not by the House January 6 Committee, and not by the American people. Eastman’s words confirm that the Trumpist coup conspiracy of January 6—which encompassed Trump’s legal team, political staffers, and top advisers within the White House—was centered on extra-legal actions that could only be accomplished by the very paramilitary entities Trump had just spoken with hours earlier.

In the next 72 hours, Proof will issue a breaking news report explaining this last sentence. It’s being written up right now.

 

oan logo

washington post logoWashington Post, Perspective: Trump’s favorite channel, One America News, was never ‘news’ at all, Margaret Sullivan, right, Oct. 11, 2021 (print ed.). A stunning margaret sullivan 2015 photoReuters exposé demonstrates that for OAN, “it was never, never the full truth” when covering Trump.

The whitewashing and denialism of the Jan. 6 insurrection started at One America News on that very same day.

As President Donald Trump tried to overturn the legitimate results of the presidential election — inciting a deadly riot along the way — the cable robert herring sr croppedchannel’s brass were sending an all-too-clear message to their team about how to cover this horrifying event.

“Please DO NOT say ‘Trump Supporters Storm Capitol. . . .’ Simply call them demonstrators or protestors. . . . DO NOT CALL IT A RIOT!!!” came the impassioned email directive from a news director to the staff.

The next day, OAN’s top boss, founder Robert Herring Sr., left, ordered producers to get in line behind the president, as he floated the conspiracy theory that it wasn’t Trump supporters breaking those windows and storming those barricades — that it was the leftist movement reuters logoantifa instead.

When Reuters, the global news agency, published its two-part investigation last week of OAN, the most startling finding was that AT&T indirectly provided 90 percent of the channel’s revenue, after letting it be known that it was eager to host a new conservative cable network.

att logoYes, the world’s largest communications company played a major role in creating and sustaining the far-right channel that spins wacky ideas, promotes fraudulent covid-19 cures and, in its fervor, makes the pro-Trump market leader, Fox News, look almost reasonable. (AT&T has challenged aspects of Reuters’ reporting and said that the company, through its offshoot, DirecTV, provides “viewpoints across the political spectrum.”)

But just as noteworthy as AT&T’s involvement was the way Reuters’s John Shiffman pulled back the curtain on how the San Diego-based network operates, relying in part on court documents.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: The fight between Biden and Trump over executive privilege should be decided in favor of the sitting president, Laurent Sacharoff (law professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law), Oct. 11, 2021 (print ed.). Whose privilege is it anyway?

The Jan. 6 select committee’s investigation has escalated along two main fronts. It has demanded Trump-era documents from the National Archives and subpoenaed his former aides to testify.

In the past few days, former president Donald Trump has objected to both inquiries by asserting executive privilege, in a formal letter to the National Archives and by way of individual letters to each potential witness. He is doing so, he has said, “in defense of the Office of the Presidency.”

President Biden has said that the extraordinary circumstances of the Jan. 6 inquiry justify waiving claims of privilege, at least over the archive documents. As for witnesses, Biden has hinted that he will not assert the privilege over most information central to the inquiry into the Jan. 6 attack.

These inconsistent positions raise two questions: Do former presidents have constitutional authority to invoke executive privilege to keep private their communications with top advisers? If so, what happens if the incumbent president disagrees and they end up in court?

The answer in this murky corner of constitutional law isn’t entirely clear — executive privilege itself isn’t mentioned in the Constitution and there have only been a few Supreme Court cases on the subject.

My view is that a president’s ability to invoke executive privilege ends with the presidency. After all, the framers were crafting a chief executive whose power was limited in tenure, unlike the British monarch. As a practical matter, the incumbent president’s interest in safeguarding the institutional interests of the presidency should provide sufficient protection.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: One more time Trump tried to undo the will of the voters, Ruth Marcus, right, Oct. 10, 2021 (print ed.). Jeffrey Clark asked the attorney ruth marcus twitter Customgeneral for a lift on the way to topple him.

It was Sunday evening, Jan. 3. Clark, a previously obscure Justice Department official, had caught President Trump’s eye as a willing accomplice jeffrey rosenin seeking to overturn the election results — a role that Jeffrey Rosen, left, the acting attorney general, had shown he was unwilling to play.

So Trump, meeting with Clark behind Rosen’s back, had offered to install him in the top job. Clark, then the acting head of the civil division — and a colleague of Rosen’s stretching back decades in government and private practice — told Rosen he’d let him stay on, as the department’s number two.

Now, Rosen and Clark were headed to the White House for a hastily scheduled showdown with the president. Could Clark get a ride in the AG’s motorcade?

Justice Department log circular“Maybe this was ungracious of me, but I declined,” Rosen told Senate Judiciary Committee investigators in an interview transcript released Thursday.

The interviews, with Rosen and others, were included in a committee report that offers new details — some amusing, others chilling — of the slow-motion coup gathering steam inside the Trump administration even before the public insurrection of Jan. 6. The new material underscores the imperative of hearing from Clark himself. What did the president say to him in their private meetings? How did Clark get connected with Rep. Scott Perry, the Pennsylvania Republican who introduced him to Trump? Who else was involved? The last best hope of obtaining Clark’s testimony appears to be the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

As outlined in the report, the White House meeting opened with Trump brazenly summarizing the choice before him. “One thing we know is you, Rosen, aren’t going to do anything to overturn the election,” Trump said, according to Rosen. Let that sink in: A sitting president, in the Oval Office no less, announcing that he wants an attorney general who will use the Justice Department to undo the will of the voters.

Specifically, Clark was willing to do what Rosen wouldn’t: send a letter to officials in Georgia — to be replicated with other contested states — declaring that the Justice Department had “taken notice” of “irregularities” in the election and calling on the state to convene a special session of the legislature. This was so preposterously outside the department’s purview that Rosen had summarily refused Clark’s entreaties. Clark, for his part, told Rosen that he’d turn down Trump’s offer to become attorney general if Rosen would simply send the letters himself.

washington post logoWashington Post, U.S. Capitol Police’s failure to share intelligence internally crippled its Jan. 6 response, former official says, Mariana Alfaro, Oct. 11, 2021. In a joint statement responding to the criticism, members of the Capitol Police’s executive team said many of the problems described in the letter have been addressed.

A former senior official in the U.S. Capitol Police accused two of the department’s top officials of failing to properly share vital intelligence in the days ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection, crippling the response to the attack.

yogananda pittmanIn a blistering letter to Congress, the former official claims that Assistant Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, right, and acting assistant chief Sean Gallagher received an intelligence report on Dec. 21 that had specific warnings and information about a potential riot similar to a report that the FBI later provided to the department on Jan. 5.

In the 16-page letter, dated Sept. 28, the former official claims that Pittman and Gallagher deliberately never shared this December intelligence report with other department officials or used it to update security assessments provided to Capitol Police officers.

Sharing that information, the former official alleges, could have “changed the paradigm of that day” and “would have provided the documentation needed to support securing the National Guard and other allied agency manpower for January 6th.” It also would have provided the intelligence needed to procure hard gear and other weapons.

A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 to try to stop the counting of electoral college votes affirming President Biden’s win. In the worst attack on the seat of democracy since the War of 1812, four people died and an officer who had been sprayed with a powerful chemical irritant, Brian D. Sicknick, suffered a stroke and died the following day. Some 140 members of law enforcement were injured as rioters attacked them wielding flagpoles, baseball bats, stun guns, bear spray and pepper spray.

The individual, who sought anonymity for privacy reasons, declined to comment Monday beyond the letter, saying he wants the focus on the allegations he raised. “This is not about me,” the former official said.

In a joint statement responding to the criticism, members of the Capitol Police’s executive team — which includes Pittman and Gallagher along with Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger — said that while “there is more work to do, many of the problems described in the letter have been addressed.”

The former official claims Pittman lied to Congress when she claimed that the critical information detailed in that December report was shared with assistant chiefs and deputy chiefs. The information contained warnings that individuals online were sharing maps of the Capitol campus and were planning on confronting members of Congress while armed. Pittman told Congress that senior officials in the department were aware of these reports, but the former official claims that this is “unconditionally false.”

“It was never sent or shared. It also was never used to update any intelligence brief forwarded to the commanders,” the official writes, claiming that Gallagher and Pittman were the only officials who had “all the intelligence information” on Jan. 6.

 Related Recent Headlines

Oct. 10

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: One more time Trump tried to undo the will of the voters, Ruth Marcus, right, Oct. 10, 2021 (print ed.). Jeffrey Clark asked the attorney ruth marcus twitter Customgeneral for a lift on the way to topple him.

It was Sunday evening, Jan. 3. Clark, a previously obscure Justice Department official, had caught President Trump’s eye as a willing accomplice in seeking to overturn the election results — a role that Jeffrey Rosen, the acting attorney general, had shown he was unwilling to play.

So Trump, meeting with Clark behind Rosen’s back, had offered to install him in the top job. Clark, then the acting head of the civil division — and a colleague of Rosen’s stretching back decades in government and private practice — told Rosen he’d let him stay on, as the department’s number two.

Now, Rosen and Clark were headed to the White House for a hastily scheduled showdown with the president. Could Clark get a ride in the AG’s motorcade?

Justice Department log circular“Maybe this was ungracious of me, but I declined,” Rosen told Senate Judiciary Committee investigators in an interview transcript released Thursday.
Rosen calls Jan. 6 attack a ‘tragic episode in our nation's history’
Acting attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen on Jan. 12 strongly condemned the U.S. Capitol attack, adding that the "wrongdoers will be held responsible." (The Justice Department)

The interviews, with Rosen and others, were included in a committee report that offers new details — some amusing, others chilling — of the slow-motion coup gathering steam inside the Trump administration even before the public insurrection of Jan. 6. The new material underscores the imperative of hearing from Clark himself. What did the president say to him in their private meetings? How did Clark get connected with Rep. Scott Perry, the Pennsylvania Republican who introduced him to Trump? Who else was involved? The last best hope of obtaining Clark’s testimony appears to be the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

As outlined in the report, the White House meeting opened with Trump brazenly summarizing the choice before him. “One thing we know is you, Rosen, aren’t going to do anything to overturn the election,” Trump said, according to Rosen. Let that sink in: A sitting president, in the Oval Office no less, announcing that he wants an attorney general who will use the Justice Department to undo the will of the voters.

Specifically, Clark was willing to do what Rosen wouldn’t: send a letter to officials in Georgia — to be replicated with other contested states — declaring that the Justice Department had “taken notice” of “irregularities” in the election and calling on the state to convene a special session of the legislature. This was so preposterously outside the department’s purview that Rosen had summarily refused Clark’s entreaties. Clark, for his part, told Rosen that he’d turn down Trump’s offer to become attorney general if Rosen would simply send the letters himself.

 

MIDNIGHT IN WASHINGTON: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could

By Adam Schiff. Random House. 510 pp. $30.

adam schiff march 20 2019 hearing cnn screenshot

washington post logoWashington Post, Adam Schiff points to a second insurrection — by members of Congress themselves, Carlos Lozada, Oct. 10, 2021 (print ed.). In his memoir, the House Intelligence Committee chair (shown above) argues America barely passed Trump’s “stress test” of American democracy .

How do you know when democracy is threatened?

Well, an actual physical assault is a good tip-off. “Be prepared to don your gas mask in the event the room is breached,” a Capitol Police officer warned Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and his fellow lawmakers in the House chamber on Jan. 6, as rioters penetrated the building. “Be prepared to get down under your chairs if necessary.”

Schiff begins his memoir, Midnight in Washington, with scenes of that day, recalling that, as they huddled in a secure location within the Capitol complex, some of his colleagues were already considering whether to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the attack. But the violence against the Capitol — carried out when lawmakers gathered to certify the 2020 election results — was not the only offensive against the American experiment that Schiff witnessed. “What took place inside our chamber, with the challenge to the electors, was every bit as much an attack on our democracy,” he asserts. “We can reinforce the doors and put up fences. But we cannot guard our democracy against those who walk the halls of Congress, have taken an oath to uphold our Constitution, but refuse to do so.”

In effect, there were two insurrections, not one, Schiff argues, and he is more interested in the insurrectionists wearing suits and ties than in the shirtless ones in buffalo horns. “We came so close to losing our democracy,” he writes, looking back on the varied political and legalistic efforts to overturn the 2020 vote and to convince the public that the contest was illegitimate. “The system held, if barely.”

Oct. 9

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: Time to aggressively prosecute Trump machine to the fullest extent of the law! Webster Griffin Tarpley, right, Oct. 9, 2021. House AND Senate webster tarpley twittercommittees close in on GOP crimes of January 6 and in months-long effort to use Department of Justice to subvert November vote count; Mitch blinks on debt default;

Jobless rate falls from 5.2% to 4.8% in a month, but Wall Street’s controlled media can‘t contain their ”disappointment”;

Rejecting unrealistic advice from outside ”experts,” Biden signals abundant booster availability in US while increasing vaccine exports;
Defeatist essay by neocon prince Kagan unleashes wave of fashionable panic among liberals: he calls for popular front against fascism with ”zombie” GOPers like Romey informed by ”republican virtue” (!!);

”Mr. Globalization” Thomas Friedman challenges Dems to show the courage of Liz Cheney, but cannot see this would be devastating for working-class base; New York Times resident reactionary Douthat foolishly downplays danger of Trump dictatorship;

Jonathan Chait does better, judging that ”anybody fighting Biden now is helping Trump’s next coup,” since ”all Republican politics is now functionally authoritarian”; But all fall short of calling for outright extinction of Republican Party, the surest way to defend Constitutional government.

Oct. 7

Proof via Substack, Investigative Commentary: New Evidence Emerges About Where Congresswoman Lauren Boebert Was in the Hours Before the January 6 seth abramson graphicAttack, Seth Abramson, left, Oct.7- 8, 2021. While we don't yet know all the details of this newly discovered, secretive Insurrection Eve meeting, what we do know points to it being critical—and suggests it may have been held at the White House.

Introduction: Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) may have one of the most peculiar backgrounds of any person ever to serve in the United States Congress. The New York Post notes that despite being fairly young—Boebert entered Congress at the age of 34—the Colorado politician has, along with her husband Jayson, “racked up arrests” in her home state, and is widely known for “dust-ups” with uniformed police.

The Denver Post called Boebert’s criminal record “unusually long” for anyone seeking public office, let alone someone who loudly and repeatedly professes her love for the police. The Post also adds to the criminal incidents mentioned above another fact-pattern that involved involve allegations of Criminal Harassment and many instances of the now-Congresswoman skipping out on court dates without explanation. During one of her several arrests she loudly declared that the careers of the arresting officers would be ruined once she exposed them through her “friends at Fox News.” A friend of the police Lauren Boebert certainly was not in the years leading up to her implicit encouragement of violence against police officers at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

The congresswoman, who regularly deletes tweets just after posting them, infamously tweeted “Today is 1776” on Insurrection Day, and then not once but twice tweeted out the location of members of Congress, including House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as the attack unfolded.

Boebert was later accused by her peers of giving a “large” Capitol tour to a group of unidentified persons on Insurrection Eve.

Boebert’s history of deceit, violence, lawlessness, and contempt for rule of law raises the natural question of what role she may have played in encouraging and seth abramson proof logofacilitating the attack on the Capitol on January 6. Because Boebert wasn’t sworn into office until January 3—just 72 hours before the attack—there was little opportunity for her to be actively engaged in a Capitol plot as a congresswoman (that is, at the level potentially available to a newly minted insurrectionist member of the House) until January 4 at the earliest. This makes the question of how Lauren Boebert spent her first 48 hours in Congress—post-January 3, pre-January 6—of great interest to federal investigators.

Due to some fantastic sleuthing by a Proof reader, Proof has new information on this....[reserved for "Proof" subscribers]

With the Guardian reporting that Trump is “preparing to direct” some of his top aides—including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Trump political adviser Dan Scavino (who now appears to be missing), and former post-election Trump whisperer Steve Bannon—to defy Congressional subpoenas, the discovery that a non-executive branch employee like Boebert, who can’t claim executive privilege, may have been at one of the most important and secretive insurrection planning meetings could change the scope of the House January 6 Committee investigation considerably. Let’s hope so.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

ny times logoNew York Times, Report Cites New Details of Trump Pressure on Justice Dept. Over Election, Katie Benner, Oct. 7, 2021 (print ed.). A Senate panel fleshed out how Donald Trump pursued his plan to install a loyalist as acting attorney general to pursue unfounded reports of fraud. It provides the most complete account yet of Mr. Trump’s efforts and describes how officials fought them off.

Even by the standards of President Donald J. Trump, it was an extraordinary Oval Office showdown. On the agenda was Mr. Trump’s desire to install a loyalist as acting attorney general to carry out his demands for more aggressive investigations into his unfounded claims of election fraud.

Justice Department log circularOn the other side during that meeting on the evening of Jan. 3 were the top leaders of the Justice Department, who warned Mr. Trump that they and other senior officials would resign en masse if he followed through. They received immediate support from another key participant: Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel. According to others at the meeting, Mr. Cipollone indicated that he and his top deputy, Patrick F. Philbin, would also step down if Mr. Trump acted on his plan.

Mr. Trump’s proposed plan, Mr. Cipollone argued, would be a “murder-suicide pact,” one participant recalled. Only near the end of the nearly three-hour meeting did Mr. Trump relent and agree to drop his threat.

Mr. Cipollone’s stand that night is among the new details contained in a lengthy interim report prepared by the Senate Judiciary Committee about Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to do his bidding in the chaotic final weeks of his presidency.

The five most radical right Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are shown above, with the sixth Republican, Chief Justice John Roberts, omitted in this view.

The five most radical right and partisan Republican justices on the Supreme Court are shown above, with the sixth Republican, Chief Justice John Roberts, omitted in this photo array.

ny times logoNew York Times, Commentary: The Supreme Court’s Pain — and Our Anger, Linda Greenhouse (shown at right on the cover of her memoir, "Just a Journalist"), Oct. 7, 2021 (print ed.). In January 2001, the Supreme Court linda greenhouse cover just a journalistwas hurting. Thirty-six days after Election Day, on Dec. 12, 2000, the justices had divided 5 to 4 in its vote that stopped the Florida recount and effectively called the presidential election for the Republican candidate, George W. Bush.

In the ensuing weeks, with the court in a monthlong winter recess, justices on both sides of Bush v. Gore fanned out across the world to reassure the public, and perhaps themselves, that normal life at the Supreme Court would resume.

Two decades later, as a new Supreme Court term begins, the court is hurting again. The majority’s refusal a month ago to prevent Texas from shutting down access to legal abortion while lower courts weigh challenges to the state’s bizarre vigilante law — a law paused yesterday night by a federal judge — has once again turned a harsh public spotlight on a 5-to-4 division among the justices. And once again members of the court have taken to the road in defense of the institution’s ability to render impartial justice.

But there is a difference. The justices’ defensiveness comes with an edge. The conservatives appear to have deflected any impulse toward self-examination to a critique of how the media has covered the court’s recent actions. The problem isn’t the court, in other words, it’s those who presume to explain the court to the public.

Three polls within the past month show that fewer than a third of Americans want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade. Yet it appears that only a third of the justices can be counted on to preserve the right to abortion as defined by the court’s current precedents. The culture war that brought us to this point may acquire another tangible manifestation as women unlucky enough to live in red states are forced to travel hundreds of miles from home to exercise what for 50 years was their constitutional right.

Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: Republican election strategy comes out of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, Wayne Madsen, left, Oct. 7, 2021. The gerrymandering of U.S. House of Representatives and wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallstate legislative seats, as well as the adoption of restrictive voting laws and partisan vote counting "audits" and unofficial election oversight by pro-Donald Trump GOP hacks, comes straight out of the segregationist policies of minority wayne madesen report logowhite-ruled Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa.

Republicans in states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and other states, fearful of shrinking white populations and the voting clout of non-white groups, have decided to opt for the minority-rule election tricks employed by the two racist regimes in Rhodesia and South Africa. By resorting to the minority-rule and apartheid playbooks, Republicans hope to ensure continued white rule with only a facade of democratic legitimacy.

 washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Will you fall into the conspiracy theory rabbit hole? David Byler and Yan Wu, Oct. 7, 2021 (print ed.). Take our quiz and find out. Who believes in conspiracy theories? Statistically speaking: almost everyone.

A team of researchers recently showed several thousand Americans a list of 20 common conspiracy theories and asked if they believed them. These included false conspiracy theories about the John F. Kennedy assassination, 5G cellular wireless technology, Barack Obama’s birth certificate, covid-19 and climate change. The result: Nine in 10 Americans believed in at least one conspiracy theory.

The study — led by Adam Enders of the University of Louisville and Joseph Uscinski of the University of Miami — surveyed a representative sample of 2,023 Americans in March 2020 and 2,015 more in October 2020. This article uses questions from their surveys to test your knowledge — and your credulity.

JIP Editor's Note: We except this deceptive "quiz" above to illustrate how shoddy academic research parrotted by inexperienced graphic artists can continue reinforcing deceptive conventional wisdom that cannot withstand real reporting on controversial current and recent historical events.

Oct. 6

washington post logoWashington Post, Investigation: Secret trove illuminates the lives of billionaires: Buying influence, avoiding taxes, owning yachts, Peter Whoriskey and Agustin Armendariz, Oct. 6, 2021. While cash may be the traditional means of providing untraceable gifts to politicians, the very wealthy often turn instead to the offshore world to produce an alternative currency: companies registered in secrecy havens and stuffed with valuable assets.

When three of Africa’s wealthiest people wanted to win favors from the Nigerian oil minister, they didn’t pay cash, according to company filings and court papers describing the alleged transactions.

Instead, the oil tycoons arranged to influence her with shell companies, each one holding a valuable piece of London real estate, according to the documents.

icij logoOther shell companies owned by the oilmen provided the minister and her family with a chauffeured car, and they shipped her luxury furnishings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, U.S. prosecutors later alleged.

With billions in Nigerian oil revenue at stake, the men engaged in “an international conspiracy,” according to U.S. prosecutors, offering millions of dollars’ worth of gifts in exchange for “lucrative business opportunities.”

While cash may be the traditional means of providing untraceable gifts to politicians, the very wealthy often turn instead to the offshore world to produce an alternative currency: companies registered in secrecy havens and stuffed with valuable assets.
Story continues below advertisement

The tycoons who allegedly provided the oil minister with more than $17 million worth of gifts were, according to the court filings and documents, Olajide Omokore and Kolawole Aluko, both previously ranked by Forbes magazine as among the “richest people in Africa,” and Benedict Peters, a man who has been described by Bloomberg and African media as a billionaire.

Peters is identified by name in the Nigerian court filings and as “Co-Conspirator #2” in a forfeiture case by U.S. prosecutors. Through a spokesman, Peters denied dealing in improper benefits and his representatives wrote that one of the key pieces of evidence presented by Nigerian investigators is a “concoction malevolently contrived.” Attorneys for Omokore and Aluko declined to comment.

The world’s wealthiest are among the most avid users of offshore companies, a new cache of documents known as the Pandora Papers shows, and they turn to tax and secrecy havens for a variety of reasons.

The documents obtained by the International Consortium of Journalists (ICIJ) and shared with The Washington Post and journalists in 117 countries and territories around the world shed light on the Nigerian oil dealings and, in more breadth than was previously possible, the extent to which the world’s wealthy use offshore companies to conduct business.

Related Recent Headlines:

Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary:WMR, Eastman Memo belongs in the archives of other fascist power seizure documents, Wayne Madsen, left (former Navy intelligence officer, now completing his 21st book, which will document a near-century of fascist growth in America that was temporarily blocked by the Allied victory in WW II over the fascist powers), Oct. 6, 2021. The Eastman Memo, a six-point memo written by the far-right wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallClaremont Institute's John Eastman, on how Donald Trump could have become dictator of the United States, ranks as among most dangerous and despicable of recent history's other fascist power seizure documents.

wayne madesen report logoEastman, the former Dean of the Law School of Chapman University in Orange County, California, wrote the memo in support of Trump's false contention that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent and then appeared at the Trump rally outside the White House on Jan. 6 to help inflame fellow insurrectionists in the plot to prevent certification of the November presidential election at the U.S. Capitol.

Oct. 5

 

supreme court resized 2021ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: The Supreme Court Has Gone Off the Rails, Donald Ayer (below at right, a U.S. attorney and principal deputy solicitor general in the Reagan administration and deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration), Oct. 5, 2021 (print ed). The Supreme Court has final authority to make difficult judgment calls articulating the powers of government and the limits and constraints upon them. To merit the public trust, these judgments must not appear donald ayer 2018simply as assertions of individual value choices by the justices or willy-nilly discard long-established court precedents that profoundly affect people’s lives. Nor should they actively undermine the ability of governments to advance public purposes as established by a fair democratic process.

As the court begins a new term, regrettably, its recent history suggests that it lacks a majority of justices with sufficient concern about the basic continuity and integrity of the law or the ability of government to function.

The evidence has been growing quietly in recent years — and then, last summer, quite loudly, when the court decided to twiddle its thumbs while Texas enacted an abortion law that practically bans nearly all procedures while evading timely judicial review.

This distressing turn of events has a special irony for me personally. In the 1980s, along with three of the current justices (John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas), I participated in the Reagan revolution in the law, which inspired and propelled the careers of three other current justices (Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett).

The Reagan revolution pitted itself against “activist” judges who were seen as following personal whims by altering the law and creating rights not found in the Constitution. Through interpretive tools like textualism and originalism, the Reagan lawyers sought to make the law more predictable and steady — as articulated by John Roberts, the job of justices was “to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat.”

That revolution, however, has morphed into what it was meant to curtail, as the expanding right-wing majority on the Supreme Court has relied on an array of innovative constitutional rights to undermine traditional governmental actions while discarding longstanding precedents with which they disagree.

ny times logoNew York Times, Captured, Killed or Compromised: C.I.A. Admits to Losing Informants, Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman, Oct. 5, 2021.Top American counterintelligence officials warned every C.I.A. station and base around the world last week about troubling numbers of informants recruited from other countries to spy for the United States being captured or killed, people familiar with the matter said.

CIA LogoThe message, in an unusual top secret cable, said that the C.I.A.’s counterintelligence mission center had looked at dozens of cases in the last several years involving foreign informants who had been killed, arrested or most likely compromised. Although brief, the cable laid out the specific number of agents executed by rival intelligence agencies — a closely held detail that counterintelligence officials typically do not share in such cables.

The cable highlighted the struggle the spy agency is having as it works to recruit spies around the world in difficult operating environments. In recent years, adversarial intelligence services in countries such as Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan have been hunting down the C.I.A.’s sources and in some cases turning them into double agents.

The large number of compromised informants in recent years also demonstrated the growing prowess of other countries in employing innovations like biometric scans, facial recognition, artificial intelligence and hacking tools to track the movements of C.I.A. officers in order to discover their sources.

While the C.I.A. has many ways to collect intelligence for its analysts to craft into briefings for policymakers, networks of trusted human informants around the world remain the centerpiece of its efforts, the kind of intelligence that the agency is supposed to be the best in the world at collecting and analyzing.

Oct. 3

Investigations

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Pandora Papers Investigation: Offshore havens and hidden riches of world leaders and billionaires exposed in unprecedented leak, Staff Reports, Oct. 3, 2021. The Pandora Papers reveal the inner workings of a shadow economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else. The largest investigation in journalism history exposes a shadow financial system that benefits the world’s most rich and icij logopowerful. Investigations published on Oct. 3:

  • Money Laundering: Leak reveals how Swiss wealth consultants shield global cast of suspects, Scilla Alecci.
  • Jordan: While foreign aid poured in, Jordan’s King Abdullah funnelled $100m through secret companies to buy luxury homes, Will Fitzgibbon
  • Russia: Putin image-maker’s role in billion-dollar cinema deal hidden offshore, Jelena Cosic
  • Data journalism: An offshore data tsunami, Emilia Díaz-Struck -

Millions of leaked documents and the biggest journalism partnership in history have uncovered financial secrets of 35 current and former world leaders, more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories, and a global lineup of fugitives, con artists and murderers.

tony blair recent head shot.jpgThe secret documents expose offshore dealings of the King of Jordan, the presidents of Ukraine, Kenya and Ecuador, the prime minister of the Czech Republic and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left. The files also detail financial activities of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “unofficial minister of propaganda” and more than 130 billionaires from Russia, the United States, Turkey and other nations.

The leaked records reveal that many of the power players who could help bring an end to the offshore system instead benefit from it – stashing assets in covert companies and trusts while their governments do little to slow a global stream of illicit money that enriches criminals and impoverishes nations.

Among the hidden treasures revealed in the documents:

  • A $22 million chateau in the French Riviera – replete with a cinema and two swimming pools – purchased through offshore companies by the Czech Republic’s populist prime minister, a billionaire who has railed against the corruption of economic and political elites.
  • More than $13 million tucked in a secrecy-shaded trust in the Great Plains of the United States by a scion of one of Guatemala’s most powerful families, a dynasty that controls a soap and lipsticks conglomerate that’s been accused of harming workers and the earth.
  • king abdullah ii current wThree beachfront mansions in Malibu purchased through three offshore companies for $68 million by the King of Jordan, King Abdullah II, right, in the years after Jordanians filled the streets during Arab Spring to protest joblessness and corruption.

The secret records are known as the Pandora Papers.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists obtained the trove of more than 11.9 million confidential files and led a team of more than 600 journalists from 150 news outlets that spent two years sifting through them, tracking down hard-to-find sources and digging into court records and other public documents from dozens of countries.

The leaked records come from 14 offshore services firms from around the world that set up shell companies and other offshore nooks for clients often seeking to keep their financial activities in the shadows. The records include information about the dealings of nearly three times as many current and former country leaders as any previous leak of documents from offshore havens.

In an era of widening authoritarianism and inequality, the Pandora Papers investigation provides an unequaled perspective on how money and power operate in the 21st century – and how the rule of law has been bent and broken around the world by a system of financial secrecy enabled by the U.S. and other wealthy nations.

The findings by ICIJ and its media partners spotlight how deeply secretive finance has infiltrated global politics – and offer insights into why governments and global organizations have made little headway in ending offshore financial abuses.

An ICIJ analysis of the secret documents identified 956 companies in offshore havens tied to 336 high-level politicians and public officials, including country leaders, cabinet ministers, ambassadors and others. More than two-thirds of those companies were set up in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction long known as a key cog in the offshore system.

At least $11.3 trillion is held “offshore,” according to a 2020 study by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Because of the complexity and secrecy of the offshore system, it’s not possible to know how much of that wealth is tied to tax evasion and other crimes and how much of it involves funds that come from legitimate sources and have been reported to proper authorities.
Believe in the power of investigative journalism?

washington post logoWashington Post, Pandora Papers Global Investigation: Billions hidden beyond reach, Greg Miller, Debbie Cenziper and Peter Whoriskey, Oct. 3, 2021. A massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and — in 14 cases involving current country leaders — citizens around the world.

king abdullah ii jordan uniformThe revelations include more than $100 million spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan, shown in his younger days at right, on luxury homes in Malibu, Calif., and other locations; millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries; and a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin, left.

vladimir putin o wOther disclosures hit closer to home for U.S. officials and other Western leaders who frequently condemn smaller countries whose permissive banking systems have been exploited for decades by looters of assets and launderers of dirty money.

The files provide substantial new evidence, for example, that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing.

The details are contained in more than 11.9 million financial records that were obtained by the  (ICIJ) and examined by The Post and other partner news organizations. The files include private emails, secret spreadsheets, clandestine contracts and other records that unlock otherwise impenetrable financial schemes and identify the individuals behind them.

icij logoA massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and — in 14 cases involving current country leaders — citizens around the world.

Washington Post: Key findings from the Pandora Papers investigation

  • Letter from the editor: Why The Post published the Pandora Papers investigation
  • What is offshore finance? Who benefits? And why does it matter? Here are some answers.
  • 3 p.m. ET, Monday: Post reporters discuss the investigation. Ask your question now.

 

Trump-supporting former law school dean John Eastman, left, helps Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inflame pro-Trump protesters in front the White House before the insurrection riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the presidential election certification of Joe Biden's presidency on Jan. 6, 2021 (Los Angeles Times photo). Trump-supporting former law school dean John Eastman, left, helps Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inflame pro-Trump protesters in front the White House before the insurrection riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the presidential election certification of Joe Biden's presidency on Jan. 6, 2021 (Los Angeles Times photo). 

ny times logoNew York Times, Editorial: Jan. 6 Was Worse Than We Knew, Editorial Board, Oct. 3, 2021. However horrifying the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol appeared in the moment, we know now that it was far worse.

The country was hours away from a full-blown constitutional crisis — not primarily because of the violence and mayhem inflicted by hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters but because of the actions of Mr. Trump himself.

In the days before the mob descended on the Capitol, a corollary attack — this one bloodless and legalistic — was playing out down the street in the White House, where Mr. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and a lawyer named John Eastman huddled in the Oval Office, scheming to subvert the will of the American people by using legal sleight-of-hand.

Mr. Eastman’s unusual visit was reported at the time, but a new book by the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa provides the details of his proposed six-point plan. It involved Mr. Pence rejecting dozens of already certified electoral votes representing tens of millions of legally cast ballots, thus allowing Congress to install Mr. Trump in a second term.

Mr. Pence ultimately refused to sign on, earning him the rage of Mr. Trump and chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” by the rioters, who erected a makeshift gallows on the National Mall.

djt maga hatThe fact that the scheme to overturn the election was highly unlikely to succeed is cold comfort. Mr. Trump remains the most popular Republican in the country; barring a serious health issue, the odds are good that he will be the party’s nominee for president in 2024. He also remains as incapable of accepting defeat as he has ever been, which means the country faces a renewed risk of electoral subversion by Mr. Trump and his supporters — only next time they will have learned from their mistakes.

That leaves all Americans who care about preserving this Republic with a clear task: Reform the federal election law at the heart of Mr. Eastman’s twisted ploy, and make it as hard as possible for anyone to pull a stunt like that again.

The Electoral Count Act, which passed more than 130 years ago, was Congress’s response to another dramatic presidential dispute — the election of 1876, in which the Republican Rutherford Hayes won the White House despite losing the popular vote to his Democratic opponent, Samuel Tilden.

But the law contains numerous ambiguities and poorly drafted provisions. For instance, it permits a state legislature to appoint electors on its own, regardless of how the state’s own citizens voted, if the state “failed to make a choice” on Election Day. What does that mean? The law doesn’t say. It also allows any objection to a state’s electoral votes to be filed as long as one senator and one member of the House put their names to it, triggering hours of debate — which is how senators like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley were able to gum up the works on Jan. 6.

joe biden podiumThe “failed” election provision should be restricted to natural disasters or terrorist attacks — and even then, it should be available only if there is no realistic way of conducting the election. Remember that the 2012 election was held just days after Hurricane Sandy lashed the East Coast, and yet all states were able to conduct their elections in full. (This is another good argument for universal mail-in voting, which doesn’t put voters at the mercy of the weather.) The key point is that a close election, even a disputed one, is not a failed election.

Finally, any objection to a state’s electoral votes should have to clear a high bar. Rather than just one member of each chamber of Congress, it should require the assent of one-quarter or more of each body. The grounds for an objection should be strictly limited to cases involving clear evidence of fraud or widespread voting irregularities.

The threats to a free and fair presidential election don’t come from Congress alone. Since Jan. 6, Republican-led state legislatures have been clambering over one another to pass new laws making it easier to reject their own voters’ will, and removing or neutralizing those officials who could stand in the way of a naked power grab — like Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, did when he resisted Mr. Trump’s personal plea to “find” just enough extra votes to flip the outcome there.

Democrats should push through these reforms now, and eliminate the filibuster if that’s the only way to do so. If they hesitate, they should recall that a majority of the Republican caucus in the House — 139 members — along with eight senators, continued to object to the certification of electoral votes even after the mob stormed the Capitol.

  mike lindell screengrab

Proof via Substack, Investigation: Team Trump Isn't Waiting Until 2024 to Find Corrupt Republicans Willing to End Our Democracy—Which Is Why Its Insurrectionist Plot Has seth abramson graphicMoved On to Blood-Red Idaho, Seth Abramson, left, Oct. 3, 2021. Michael Lindell (above) —Stop the Steal funder, Trump adviser, pillow salesman, recovering crack addict and ally of dubious foreign nationals—is now alleging the 2020 vote in every Idaho county was hacked.

Introduction: This past spring, Proof reported in great detail on the bizarrely persistent connection between Donald Trump’s pre-insurrection planning seth abramson proof logoand the blood-red State of Idaho.

Trump’s January 5 “war house”—Trump Town House at Trump International Hotel, the most expensive property in the former president’s real estate empire—hosted the most elite Trump war room on Insurrection Eve, and it included not one but two GOP officials from Idaho: longtime Bonneville County GOP Chairman Doyle Beck (a 2016 Trump RNC delegate) and his friend Layne Bangerter, whose GOP bona fides are still more impressive: Trump hired him to be his 2016 Campaign Chair in Idaho and then hired him to be a Special Assistant to the President; he previously worked for 13 years as a staffer of current GOP senator Mike Crapo (R-ID); and he was eventually hired by Trump to work in the Department of Agriculture. The Bonner’s Ferry Herald notes that when Bangerter worked for Trump in 2016, he was “hired by Paul Manafort.”

Proof notes that Bangerter’s close ties to Senator Crapo render it nearly unthinkable that he wouldn’t have reported back to Crapo on the deliberations that unfolded in Trump’s pre-insurrection war house (assuming Crapo wasn’t there himself; only one of the three senators known to have attended the January 5 meeting, Alabama senator Tommy Tuberville—who at first lied about attending—have thus far been revealed).

The Trump International Hotel war room also included Daniel Beck, the son of Doyle Beck and the owner of a heavy military equipment company called Combat Armor Defense (CAD). CAD has a factory in the Brazilian São Paulo district represented by Eduardo Bolsonaro, who Proof has reported on repeatedly overt the last nine months because of his history of corruption, the fact that his father is neo-fascist Trump ally Jair Bolsonaro—the President of Brazil—and, most importantly, because he held two secretive, subsequently lied-about meetings at the White House with Trump family members during Insurrection Week and another in Pentagon City with Trump adviser Michael Lindell.

That the Becks—perhaps the most powerful Republican family in Idaho—and Trump whisperer Lindell appear to have a mutual friend in Eduardo Bolsonaro will be worth remembering as you read the news below, given that Trump and Lindell’s “Big Lie” conspiracy theory about the 2020 presidential election argues that the sworn enemy of the Bolsonaros, Preasident Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, was one of the architects of a communist plot to install Joe Biden as President of the United States. Lindell, with other members of Team Kraken (like Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, Patrick Byrne, and 1st Amendment Praetorian paramilitary founder/leader Robert Patrick Lewis) claim that “international” sources tipped them off to the nefarious (and as it happens, entirely fictional) plot allegedly orchestrated by Maduro.

While no definitive proof of this has yet been found, the possibility that the Becks’ Brazilian representative—and Lindell’s friend—Eduardo Bolsonaro is connected to this alleged “source” can’t be ignored, given the closeness of the Bolsonaros to the Trumps and the evident political benefit to the former in keeping Donald Trump in office and discrediting Maduro (and it should be noted, as well that Layne Bangerter grew up in Brazil, São Paulo specifically). In any case, the chance that the Bolsonaros helped propel the “Big Lie” places the Idaho GOP even closer to the center of Trump’s insurrection than it already would be on the basis of two of its most powerful figures meeting Trump’s inner circle—including Rudy Giuliani, Peter Navarro, and Donald Trump Jr.—in Trump’s “private residence” in Washington (as top Trump ally Charles Herbster has called it) on Insurrection Eve.
Michael Lindell Moves Brings His Circus to Idaho.

...

Conclusion

As MSNBC just reported, Trump has now endorsed three insurrectionist secretary of state candidates immediately after they called for the decertification of Biden’s 2020 election victory. One is Finchem, another Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA)—who helped Trump plot the events of January 6 during a December 21 Oval Office meeting with several other members of the House Freedom Caucus—and the third is Kristina Karamo in Michigan. In short, it couldn’t be clearer to any current or aspiring GOP official what they must do to gain Trump’s approval—and there’s reason to worry that it won’t be long before one makes the ultimate sacrifice, committing the federal crime of election fraud during a partisan, wholly unnecessary local election “audit” in order to make their name and build their brand in a political party that is now 78% insurrectionist.

In view of this, the good news that’s recently come out of Bonner County, Idaho can only be celebrated in a muted way. According to the Bonner County Daily Bee, Mike Rosedale, the local official who decided to recount votes from his jurisdiction’s wholly air-gapped election machines despite Michael Lindell’s false claim that the machines were connected to the internet, is not a fan of Lindell or his tactics. As the Daily Bee reports, while Rosedale has had a few kind words for Lindell, they’ve mostly been scathing, instead (even as Lindell’s key role in the tragic events of January 6 remains unconsidered by many in major media; see these two Proof reports for more).

What happens if the next “Bonner County audit”—a needless “audit” in a blood-red state—is instead in Holes County in Florida, Winston County in Alabama, Brantley County in Georgia, Leslie County in Kentucky, LaSalle County in Louisiana, George County in Mississippi, Bollinger County in Missouri, Holt County in Nebraska, Beaver County in Oklahoma, Wayne County in Tennessee, Wheeler County in Texas Grant County in West Virginia, Crook County in Wyoming, or any other blood-red county in America where an ambitious politician could make a name for themselves by substantiating Trump’s Big Lie?

Can anything be done to stop the inevitable from happening?

The answer appears to be “no.” America will have to continue to rely on the integrity of far-right Republican elected officials who, like Rosedale, embrace insurrection even as they protect their own good names by claiming they ran a clean election in 2020.

Yet the question remains: why did Michael Lindell target Idaho, of all states? Is it because Trump’s inner circle includes movers and shakers in Idaho’s Republican Party? Why is the former president now insisting on an audit in Texas, a state run by one of his most radical and unscrupulous allies, but which was close enough in 2020 that you might think Trump—who knows there was no significant election fraud in 2020—would want to leave it alone?

The answer is so evident is hardly needs stating. Trump is now looking for states with unscrupulous allies in positions of power, and his recent public endorsements of three secretary of state candidates who’ve already fraudulently claimed that Biden’s victory must be immediately decertified is intended to send a very clear message to just that sort of ally: You know what I’m expecting you to do, and one of you better do it—and soon.

Previous Proof reporting on pro-Trump election intrigues includes:

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

Oct. 2

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: Trump forces seen preparing creeping coup against US Constitution! Webster G. Tarpley, right, Oct. 2, 2021. Biden calls for patience to pass webster tarpley twitterbipartisan infrastructure bill; Reconciliation bill likely to shrink below $3.5tr target; Neocons scare liberals with defeatist putsch scenarios, but forget Trump lacks magical powers.

  • Government shutdown averted by continuing resolution that extends federal funding through December 3
  • Democrats eye abolition of debt ceiling, a pernicious device that only serves GOP destabilization of US government; Time to implement Fourteenth Amendment, which makes debt ceiling, default, and national bankruptcy all illegal and unconstitutional!
    German election shows left shift to SPD, but ultra-lefts are decimated and anti-vaccine demagogy falls flat; Anti-immigrant party fares poorly
  • A distant mirror for budget brinksmanship: the March 1933 Weimar debate about funding jobless benefits which brought down the Mueller SPD government; from then on, no government could muster a majority in parliament, speeding advent of Hitler 3 years later

Oct. 1

Covert Action Magazine (CAM), Commentary on: A Company Family: The Untold History of Obama and the CIA, Jeremy Kuzmarov, Oct. 1, 2021. Despite his liberal pretensions, Obama’s foreign policy was dreamed up at Langley—which should not have been surprising given his background.

CIA LogoThis essay is another in CAM’s series on the history of the CIA. Obama has been in the news this week for overseeing groundbreaking on his presidential center. This center has sparked controversy because it will not house any actual documents and is being built on the supposedly protected Jackson Park on Chicago’s southern lakefront. Hugh Iglarsh wrote in Counterpunch that the main tower—which resembles a giant upraised cell phone—will be “a Great Tower of Nothing, a monument to hubris, chutzpah and Chicago-style clout…which rivals the Pyramid of Khufu in its brutal, enigmatic grandiosity.“

In the summer of 2012, President Barack Obama signed a secret order authorizing the CIA and other U.S. agencies to support rebels in Syria seeking to oust Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad—a nationalist who had allied with Iran and stood up to U.S. proxy Israel.[1]

Costing more than $1 billion, Operation Timber Sycamore evolved into the largest covert operation since the arming of mujahadin fighters in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

U.S. Special Forces under Timber Sycamore again trained Islamic fundamentalists, this time in Jordan, who again carried out a reign of terror.[2]
A picture containing ground, sky, outdoor, person Description automatically generated.

A voracious consumer of intelligence, Obama’s trademark throughout his presidency was to move war into the shadows, a light-footprint approach designed to expand U.S. power covertly.

General Joseph Votel, head of the special operations command (SOCOM) characterized the Obama era as a “golden age for special operations.” Green Berets were deployed to 133 countries—70 percent of the world—in 2014 alone.

In a meeting about Afghanistan, Obama told CIA Director Leon Panetta that the CIA would “get everything it wanted.”

 

September

Sept. 27

 

american flag upside down distress

 

Global Growth of Facism, Election Frauds

 

U.S. Budget, Debt Limit, Infrastructure Hardball

 

U.S. Election Fraudsters, Insurrectionists, White Nationalists

 

Top Stories

 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a file photo speaking Jan. 8 about the deadly pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to prevent certification of Democrat Joe Biden's presidential victory in November (Screengrab).

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a file photo speaking Jan. 8 about the deadly pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to prevent certification of Democrat Joe Biden's presidential victory in November (Screengrab).

Proof, Investigative Commentary: A January Lawsuit in Texas Appears to Be the Focus of a Seditious Conspiracy Involving Trump, His Lawyers and Political Aides, seth abramson graphicTexas Politicians, Stop the Steal, and the Capitol Attack, Seth Abramson, left, Sept. 27, 2021. The January 6 Capitol attack appears to have been a planned stalling tactic aimed at clearing a path for Trump to retake the White House via a Supreme Court ruling — just as George W. Bush did in 2000.

seth abramson proof logoYesterday we learned that in late December of 2020, Donald Trump attorney Sidney Powell worked with top Trump Congressional ally Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) to file a petition for emergency injunction intended to reach the Supreme Court — a petition whose purpose was to block certification of Joe Biden’s election victory in Congress.

louis gohmertGohmert, left — alongside members of the Arizona Republican Party who had long been in close contact with domestic terrorist Ali Alexander (of Trump adviser Roger Stone’s Stop the Steal “movement”) — filed his lawsuit on January 1, 2021.

While Dallas-based attorney Sidney Powell’s name didn’t appear on the filing, a firm located just over ten miles from Powell’s Dallas office did. The head of the tiny Dallas law firm is William Lewis Sessions, brother of top Trump Congressional ally Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), a co-conspirator with Trump in the Trump-Ukraine and Trump-Venezuela scandals (discussed in exhaustive, fully sourced detail in the USA Today-bestselling 2020 book Proof of Corruption, published by Macmillan). Sessions, a vocal insurrectionist, was also, before January 6, an adjunct member of Powell’s Team Kraken, making regular contact with a small ring of dubious “intelligence experts” attached to her operation.

sidney powellIn an interview Powell recently did with far-right activist/propagandist Stew Peters, Powell, right, refers to the Gohmert-Sessions team using the first-person plural—“we”—confirming that, as Trump’s attorney in December 2020, she also considered herself a part of the legal team that filed Gohmert’s lawsuit, if not one named in the filing itself.

This is only the beginning of the connections between Trump’s legal team and a now historically controversial lawsuit — and only the beginning of what makes Gohmert’s lawsuit the new epicenter of criminal and Congressional investigations of January 6. Present indications are that Gohmert’s lawsuit, and its intersections with the attack on the U.S. Capitol, bear all the signs of a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the federal government.

washington post logoWashington Post, Democrats outside Washington fear loss of historic opportunity, Sean Sullivan and Tyler Page, Sept. 27, 2021 (print ed.). Gilda Cobb-Hunter is furious with fellow Democrats. A veteran social worker, civil rights activist and the longest-serving member of the South Carolina House, she is losing patience with the infighting that has stalled efforts to enact the agenda the party sold to voters.

democratic donkey logo“I am seething at how Democrats continuously revert to the circular firing squad method of governing,” she said. “I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why we continue to do that.”

As Democrats in Washington struggle through contentious negotiations over a sweeping domestic policy proposal, many party activists and officials across the country are watching with a collective head-shake and mounting anxiety.

They see Democrats in control of the White House and Congress, yet so far unable to resolve their differences over a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure and social safety net package.

joe biden resized oThey see in President Biden, left, a candidate who ran on unity but is now plagued by intraparty divisions. In House and Senate Democratic leaders, they see competing priorities and a reluctance to get their members in line.

Leading Democrats all want to expand heath-care access. They just don’t agree on the best way to do it.

'While many Democrats say that in the end, party leaders will find a way to pass their ambitious plan, some have started contemplating a nightmare scenario, in which the talks fall apart and Democrats are left explaining to voters who gave them the keys why they couldn’t get the car out of neutral.

“We’re running out of time,” said Sean Bagniewski, chair of the Polk County Democratic Party in Iowa. “The midterms are almost here.”

Having already passed the infrastructure portion with bipartisan support in the Senate, Democrats can finish the job without a single additional Republican vote thanks to the process, known as budget reconciliation, they are using to pass the spending for social programs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a letter to colleagues Saturday that the House will aim to pass both measures this week.

Clinching enough Democratic support to make the whole thing work has proved elusive, putting Democrats in battleground states on edge.

 

Global Growth of Facism, Election Frauds

American Prospect, Opinion: Fight Fascism First, Robert Kuttner, Sept. 27, 2021. Robert Kagan’s must-read essay in The Washington Post, "Our Constitutional Crisis Is Already Here," gets the big picture right, but gets some tactical details seriously wrong.

robert kagan looking leftKagan, right, is all too accurate when he points out that Trump has captured the Republican Party and that Trumpers are now fully prepared to destroy democracy in order to win the 2022 and 2024 elections. "Trump’s grip on his supporters left no room for an alternative power center in the party," he points out. "One by one, the ‘adults’ resigned or were run off."

He is correct that Democrats, going about the normal business of negotiating their differences on the budget resolution, are not sufficiently mindful of the deeper threat of full-on fascism.

republican elephant logoKagan is also right that the Republicans are playing a double game, behaving as a normal opposition party in trying to block or weaken the governing party’s program, while being enablers of dictatorship, quite like the German conservatives who threw in with Hitler in 1932.

What to do? Here is where the wishful second part of Kagan’s powerful essay contradicts the unflinching first part. He writes that Republicans like Mitt Romney and the six other Republican senators who voted to convict Trump for inciting an insurrection should fashion themselves as Constitutional Republicans who, in the present emergency, are willing to form a national unity coalition in the Senate for the sole purpose of saving the republic.

Sure, that would be swell. But it’s not going to happen. And it won’t happen even if the Democrats reduce Biden’s Build Back Better program to 50 cents to "strive for a temporary governing consensus."

Rather than looking for anti-Trump Republicans, who Kagan accurately reminds us are as dead as dinosaurs, Democrats should be redoubling their efforts to get voting rights legislation, and to use the federal government’s police and prosecutorial powers to give no quarter to fascists seeking to overthrow what remains of our democracy.

Proof, Investigation: Trump Lawyer Admits Trump's Legal Team Was Seeking An Emergency Injunction Against Certification of Biden's Win As Trump Incited a Riot seth abramson graphicto Delay the Joint Session of Congress, Seth Abramson, left, Sept. 26-27, 2021. New revelation confirms the actions of Trump's legal team in the Willard "war room"—whose occupants were in direct contact with Trump—were designed to dovetail with the violent attack on the Capitol.

Introduction: On March 10, 2021, Proof published an article entitled “Here Is the Twelve-Point Plan Donald Trump Had for January 6.” Based on two seth abramson proof logomonths of research relating to January 6, Proof concluded that Trump’s plan for January 6 was built on the following foundation....

In a new interview with far-right activist and propagandist Stew Peters, Powell admits that Trump’s legal team filed for an injunction against Congress in the first days of January.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

Trump attorneys Sidney Powell, right, and Rudy Giuliani falsely claiming election fraud last November at a press conference. Trump attorneys Sidney Powell, right, and Rudy Giuliani falsely claiming election fraud last November at a press conference.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Sidney Powell just decided to take everyone down with her, Bill Palmer, right, Sept. 27, 2021. Former Trump election lawyer Sidney Powell is not to bill palmerbe taken at her word. Not only does she constantly lie, she spins conspiracy theories so absurd that she comes off as mentally unhinged.

So when Powell appeared on something called “Steve Peters TV” this weekend and claimed that Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito were all in on the plot to overthrow the 2020 election, none of it’s to be believed without external confirmation.

bill palmer report logo headerMoreover, her story is laughable on its face. She’s claiming that Alito was somehow magically going to overturn the election results on January 7th – even though doing so would have required five Supreme Court votes. Obviously, in such a scenario, Alito wouldn’t have gotten a single vote beyond his own. For that matter, while Alito is a corrupt piece of crap, he’s not stupid enough to have been willing to try such an idiotic and guaranteed-to-fail plot.

All that said, it’s still noteworthy that Sidney Powell is making this accusation at all. While the accusation against Alito is obviously unhinged fiction aimed at taking the heat off herself, it’s clear that Powell has concluded she’s going down, and she’s looking to take as many people kevin mccarthyon her own side down with her as possible.

Moreover, since McCarthy, left, and Scalise are caught up in the January 6th conspiracy on at least some level, and it appears that Powell was at least in communication with them about it, she may have documents that could actually incriminate them.

It’s probably best if we ignore the Alito allegations as the obvious fiction that they are. Rather than getting distracted by that silliness, the real story here is that Sidney Powell has decided to try to take down some big-name folks who were involved in the 2020 election conspiracy. At the least, the January 6th Committee should seize the opportunity to subpoena Powell for all documents she has in relation to the 2020 election fraud conspiracy.

steve bannon billionaire guo wengui

Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire wanted by the government of China for bribery, kidnapping, money laundering, fraud and rape, is shown above with Trump ally and former 2016 campaign CEO Steve Bannon. Guo funds through his GTV Media Group conglomerate Bannon's "War Room" podcast and "Real America's Voice" Internet television broadcast and other propaganda supporting the January 6th insurrection in Washington and the overthrow of the the U.S. government, which is giving him political asylum in New York City and elsewhere.

Related Recent Headlines:

American Prospect, Opinion: Fight Fascism First, Robert Kuttner, Sept. 27, 2021. Robert Kagan’s must-read essay in The Washington Post, "Our Constitutional Crisis Is Already Here," gets the big picture right, but gets some tactical details seriously wrong.

Kagan is all too accurate when he points out that Trump has captured the Republican Party and that Trumpers are now fully prepared to destroy democracy in order to win the 2022 and 2024 elections. "Trump’s grip on his supporters left no room for an alternative power center in the party," he points out. "One by one, the ‘adults’ resigned or were run off."

He is correct that Democrats, going about the normal business of negotiating their differences on the budget resolution, are not sufficiently mindful of the deeper threat of full-on fascism.

Kagan is also right that the Republicans are playing a double game, behaving as a normal opposition party in trying to block or weaken the governing party’s program, while being enablers of dictatorship, quite like the German conservatives who threw in with Hitler in 1932.

What to do? Here is where the wishful second part of Kagan’s powerful essay contradicts the unflinching first part. He writes that Republicans like Mitt Romney and the six other Republican senators who voted to convict Trump for inciting an insurrection should fashion themselves as Constitutional Republicans who, in the present emergency, are willing to form a national unity coalition in the Senate for the sole purpose of saving the republic.

Sure, that would be swell. But it’s not going to happen. And it won’t happen even if the Democrats reduce Biden’s Build Back Better program to 50 cents to "strive for a temporary governing consensus."

Rather than looking for anti-Trump Republicans, who Kagan accurately reminds us are as dead as dinosaurs, Democrats should be redoubling their efforts to get voting rights legislation, and to use the federal government’s police and prosecutorial powers to give no quarter to fascists seeking to overthrow what remains of our democracy.

Sept. 26

Proof, Investigation: Trump Lawyer Admits Trump's Legal Team Was Seeking An Emergency Injunction Against Certification of Biden's Win As Trump Incited a Riot seth abramson graphicto Delay the Joint Session of Congress, Seth Abramson, left, Sept. 26, 2021. New revelation confirms the actions of Trump's legal team in the Willard "war room"—whose occupants were in direct contact with Trump—were designed to dovetail with the violent attack on the Capitol.

Introduction: On March 10, 2021, Proof published an article entitled “Here Is the Twelve-Point Plan Donald Trump Had for January 6.” Based on two seth abramson proof logomonths of research relating to January 6, Proof concluded that Trump’s plan for January 6 was built on the following foundation....

In a new interview with far-right activist and propagandist Stew Peters, Powell admits that Trump’s legal team filed for an injunction against Congress in the first days of January.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

 

steve bannon billionaire guo wengui

Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire wanted by the government of China for bribery, kidnapping, money laundering, fraud and rape, is shown above with Trump ally and former 2016 campaign CEO Steve Bannon. Guo funds through his GTV Media Group conglomerate Bannon's "War Room" podcast and "Real America's Voice" Internet television broadcast and other propaganda supporting the January 6th insurrection in Washington and the overthrow of the the U.S. government, which is giving him political asylum in New York City and elsewhere.

Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: International fascist collusion to overthrow the U.S. government, Wayne Madsen, left, Sept. 26, 2021 (authorized for republication in wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallan excerpt form after first pubication on Sept. 9 behind the paywall of the Wayne Madsen Report. The author is national security expert who has appeared on all but one major U.S. broadcast and cable news networks. He is a former Navy Intelligence Officer and NSA analyst, and author of 20 books, including the forthcoming, "The Rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich: The Era of Trumpism and the Far-Right."

Not since the planned 1934 fascist coup against the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt by various right-wing, fascist, and Nazi forces, backed by wealthy Wall Street interests, has the United States faced a coordinated plot by Americans and foreign interests to overthrow democracy in the United States.

wayne madesen report logoIn 1933 and 1934, the fascist coup planning, which was exposed by retired Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, were directly linked to Adolf Hitler's Germany, Benito Mussolini's Italy, and French Croix de Feu fascist political leaders. Groups supporting a coup against FDR included groups ranging from the pro-Mussolini American Legion to Nazi organizations like the Silver Legion of America, the German American Bund, Friends of New Germany, the Ku Klux Klan, the Sentinels of the Republic, and the Crusaders.

Today, substitute the government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Chinese expatriate billionaire Guo Wengui, and groups like the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, Boogaloo Bois, and Falun Gong, and you will see that history is merely repeating itself with different countries and groups involved in establishing a fascist dictatorship in America, Brazil, and other nations.

Steve Bannon's effort to create an international fascist movement, which is known as simply as "The Movement," has brought together Donald Trump loyalists with the Brazilian government of Bolsonaro and his family. Trump and Bolsonaro loyalists are actively attempting to corrupt and destroy the electoral underpinnings of democratic rule in the United States, Brazil, and third countries, for example, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and others.

Bolsonaro's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, a member of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies, the Latin American leader of Bannon's Movement, and Trump's personal choice but failed nominee as Brazil's ambassador in Washington, was very active with the attempted January 6 coup attempt in Washington.

Eduardo Bolsonaro participated in an insurrection eve "War Council" held at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. Other participants in the war council included Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, Rudolph Giuliani, MyPillow's Mike Lindell, disgraced ex-National Security Adviser under trump Lt. General Michael Flynn, and lawyer Sidney Powell. Eduardo Bolsonaro also held a meeting at the White House on January 4 with Ivanka Trump and separately with expatriate Brazilian fascist political adviser and astrologer Olavo de Carvalho. Carvalho, who has been dubbed the "Rush Limbaugh" of Brazil, lives south of Richmond, Virginia in Dinwiddie County. Carvalho, a close associate of Bannon, is a "flat earther," climate change and Covid-19 pandemic denier, and anti-vaccine (anti-vaxx) proponent.

The House Select Committee on the January 6 insurrection would do well to cooperate with Brazilian Senator Jacques Wagner (PT-Bahia) of the Workers' Party of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Wagner is conducting a Senate investigation of Eduardo Bolsonaro's role in the January 6 coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol. Wagner asked the then-Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ernest Araujo, someone who has erroneously called Nazism a "leftist" movement, to answer eight questions [right] dealing with the roles played by Bolsonaro's son and the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC into the January 5 war council at the Trump hotel and additional meetings between Eduardo Bolsonaro and "several other members of the Republican Party."

Those who diminish the importance of the January 6 coup attempt by calling it a "riot" or a "violent protest" fail to understand that it is the subject of formal legislative investigations by the U.S. House and the Brazilian Senate. That fact, alone, points to the January 6 event being a vast international conspiracy.

Bannon's operations, including his own involvement in the January 6 insurrection, have been financed by Guo Wengui and Lindell, as well as previously by the multi-billionaire hedge fund father-daughter team of Robert and Rebekah Mercer.

On August 10, 2021, Eduardo Bolsonaro was back in the United States attending Lindell's kooky "cyber symposium" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Bannon emceed the live-streamed symposium. Bolsonaro gave Lindell a "Make America Great Again" hat signed by Donald Trump. Bolsonaro said he had met Trump at his Bedminster, New Jersey on August 9 and Trump asked him to give the hat to Lindell. Bolsonaro gave a speech on how Brazil's election system was as "rigged" as that of the United States. Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly threatened that he might cancel the 2022 presidential election, which polls currently indicate that he would lose to the leftist Lula da Silva in a landslide.

Former Trump White House adviser Jason Miller, the CEO of the right-wing social media platform GETTR, participated in the September 3-4 Conservative Political Action Conference Brasil (CPAC Brasil) conference in Brasilia, the nation's capital. On September 7, Jair Bolsonaro urged tens of thousands of his supporters who gathered in Brasilia to storm the Brazilian Supreme Court and imprison the justices, including Alexandre de Moraes, who has been leading an investigation of President Bolsonaro and members of his family, including Eduardo, for corruption. Miller and his delegation met with Jair and Eduardo Bolsonaro in Brasilia.

The House January 6 committee should also invite Justice Moraes to share on a confidential basis any information he has gleaned on the Bolsonaros involvement with the attempted January 6 coup in Washington. Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly threatened a military coup in Brazil to cement his rule over the country.

The Fourth Reich movement of Donald Trump and his fellow fascists is the focus of the forthcoming editor's book titled, "The Rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich: The Era of Trumpism and the Far-Right."

washington post logoWashington Post, Election fraud, QAnon, Jan. 6: Extremists in Germany read from a pro-Trump script, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Sept. 26, 2021 (print ed.). Apocalyptic messages circulating ahead of German elections on Sunday import conspiratorial rhetoric from the United States.

One message advocated “occupying election offices.”

Another warned of “coronavirus tyranny.”

And a third extolled former president Donald Trump and Q, the shadowy oracle of the extremist ideology QAnon, for inspiring a new social movement prepared to take back power from the state. “America is waking up and ready to fight,” it vowed.

The calls to action came not in anticipation of the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. Rather, they emerged this month in Germany, within a far-right group on the messaging app Telegram, where neo-Nazis and doomsday preppers foresee what’s known as “Day X” — the collapse of the German state and assassination of high-ranking officials.

Such apocalyptic messages — posted in the run-up to German elections on Sunday — import conspiratorial, anti-government rhetoric broadcast in the U.S., according to screenshots of the since-deleted chatroom reviewed by The Washington Post.

  capitol noose shay horse nurphoto via getty

A crowd of Trump supporters surrounded a newly erected set of wooden gallows outside the Capitol Building on Jan. 6. "Hang Mike Pence!" members of the crowd shouted at times about the Republican Vice President who had announced that he could not comply with the president's call to block election certification that day. The wooden gallows near the Capitol Reflecting Pool

american flag upside down distress

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Our constitutional crisis is already here, Robert Kagan, right, Brookings Institution fellow, best-selling author and former State Department official, Sept. 26, 2021 (print ed.). The United States is heading into its greatest political and constitutional robert kagan looking leftcrisis since the Civil War, with a reasonable chance over the next three to four years of incidents of mass violence, a breakdown of federal authority, and the division of the country into warring red and blue enclaves. The warning signs may be obscured by the distractions of politics, the pandemic, the economy and global crises, and by wishful thinking and denial. But about these things there should be no doubt:

First, Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president in 2024. The hope and expectation that he would fade in visibility and influence have been delusional. He enjoys mammoth leads in the polls; he is building a massive campaign war chest; and at this moment the Democratic ticket looks vulnerable. Barring health problems, he is running.

Second, Trump and his Republican allies are actively preparing to ensure his victory by whatever means necessary. Trump’s charges of fraud in the 2020 election are now primarily aimed at establishing the predicate to challenge future election results that do not go his way. Some Republican candidates have already begun preparing to declare fraud in 2022, just as Larry Elder tried meekly to do in the California recall contest.

Meanwhile, the amateurish “stop the steal” efforts of 2020 have given way to an organized nationwide campaign to ensure that Trump and his supporters will have the control over state and local election officials that they lacked in 2020. Those recalcitrant Republican state officials who effectively saved the country from calamity by refusing to falsely declare fraud or to “find” more votes for Trump are being systematically removed or hounded from office. Republican legislatures are giving themselves greater control over the election certification process. As of this spring, Republicans have proposed or passed measures in at least 16 states that would shift certain election authorities from the purview of the governor, secretary of state or other executive-branch officers to the legislature. An Arizona bill flatly states that the legislature may “revoke the secretary of state’s issuance or certification of a presidential elector’s certificate of election” by a simple majority vote. Some state legislatures seek to impose criminal penalties on local election officials alleged to have committed “technical infractions,” including obstructing the view of poll watchers.

The stage is thus being set for chaos. Imagine weeks of competing mass protests across multiple states as lawmakers from both parties claim victory and charge the other with unconstitutional efforts to take power. Partisans on both sides are likely to be better armed and more willing to inflict harm than they were in 2020. Would governors call out the National Guard? Would President Biden nationalize the Guard and place it under his control, invoke the Insurrection Act, and send troops into Pennsylvania or Texas or Wisconsin to quell violent protests? Deploying federal power in the states would be decried as tyranny. Biden would find himself where other presidents have been — where Andrew Jackson was during the nullification crisis, or where Abraham Lincoln was after the South seceded — navigating without rules or precedents, making his own judgments about what constitutional powers he does and doesn’t have.

Today’s arguments over the filibuster will seem quaint in three years if the American political system enters a crisis for which the Constitution offers no remedy.

Most Americans — and all but a handful of politicians — have refused to take this possibility seriously enough to try to prevent it. As has so often been the case in other countries where fascist leaders arise, their would-be opponents are paralyzed in confusion and amazement at this charismatic authoritarian. They have followed the standard model of appeasement, which always begins with underestimation. The political and intellectual establishments in both parties have been underestimating Trump since he emerged on the scene in 2015. They underestimated the extent of his popularity and the strength of his hold on his followers; they underestimated his ability to take control of the Republican Party; and then they underestimated how far he was willing to go to retain power. The fact that he failed to overturn the 2020 election has reassured many that the American system remains secure, though it easily could have gone the other way — if Biden had not been safely ahead in all four states where the vote was close; if Trump had been more competent and more in control of the decision-makers in his administration, Congress and the states. As it was, Trump came close to bringing off a coup earlier this year. All that prevented it was a handful of state officials with notable courage and integrity, and the reluctance of two attorneys general and a vice president to obey orders they deemed inappropriate.

These were not the checks and balances the Framers had in mind when they designed the Constitution, of course, but Trump has exposed the inadequacy of those protections. The Founders did not foresee the Trump phenomenon, in part because they did not foresee national parties. They anticipated the threat of a demagogue, but not of a national cult of personality. They assumed that the new republic’s vast expanse and the historic divisions among the 13 fiercely independent states would pose insuperable barriers to national movements based on party or personality. “Petty” demagogues might sway their own states, where they were known and had influence, but not the whole nation with its diverse populations and divergent interests.

Such checks and balances as the Framers put in place, therefore, depended on the separation of the three branches of government, each of which, they believed, would zealously guard its own power and prerogatives. The Framers did not establish safeguards against the possibility that national-party solidarity would transcend state boundaries because they did not imagine such a thing was possible. Nor did they foresee that members of Congress, and perhaps members of the judicial branch, too, would refuse to check the power of a president from their own party.

Robert Kagan, author of the long column excerpted above, is the Stephen & Barbara Friedman Senior Fellow with the Project on International Order and Strategy in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He is a contributing columnist at the Washington Post. His new book is The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World” (Knopf, 2018). He previously wrote the New York Times bestseller, The World America Made (Knopf, 2012), as well as other books about history and global affairs.

For his writings, Politico Magazine named Kagan one of the “Politico 50” in 2016, the “thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016.” His most recent pieces include The Twilight of the Liberal World Order” in “Brookings Big Ideas for America” and “Backing into World War III in Foreign Policy. He served in the State Department from 1984 to 1988 as a member of the policy planning staff, as principal speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz, and as deputy for policy in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. He is married to longtime State Department official Victoria Nuland and holds a doctorate in American history from American University.

washington post logoWashington Post, Fallout begins for far-right trolls who trusted Epik to keep their identities secret, Drew Harwell, Hannah Allam, Jeremy B. Merrill and Craig Timberg, Sept. 26, 2021 (print ed.). The colossal hack of Epik, an Internet-services company popular with the far right, has been called the “mother of all data lodes” for extremism researchers. In the real world, Joshua Alayon worked as a real estate agent in Pompano Beach, Fla., where he used the handle “SouthFloridasFavoriteRealtor” to urge buyers on Facebook to move to “the most beautiful State.”

epik logoBut online, data revealed by the massive hack of Epik, an Internet-services company popular with the far right, signaled a darker side. Alayon’s name and personal details were found on invoices suggesting he had once paid for websites with names such as racisminc.com, whitesencyclopedia.com, christiansagainstisrael.com and theholocaustisfake.com.

The information was included in a giant trove of hundreds of thousands of transactions published this month by the hacking group Anonymous that exposed previously obscure details of far-right sites and launched a race among extremism researchers to identify the hidden promoters of online hate.

After Alayon’s name appeared in the breached data, his brokerage, Travers Miran Realty, dropped him as an agent, as first reported by the real estate news site Inman. The brokerage’s owner, Rick Rapp, told The Washington Post that he didn’t “want to be involved with anyone with thoughts or motives like that.”

Alayon told The Post that he does not own the ‘racisminc,’ Holocaust-denial or other Web addresses but declined to say if he had owned them in the past; the records were hacked earlier this year. But in a screenshot of his Epik account, which he sent to The Post, the information for four other domains he currently owns matches the private records that can be found in the Epik breach.

Asked why his name, email address and other personal information were listed in company invoices for the ‘racisminc’ and Holocaust-denial domains, Alayon said the data was “easily falsifiable,” that he was the possible victim of extortion and that The Post was “fake news.”

The breach of Epik’s internal records has cast a spotlight on a long-hidden corner of the Internet’s underworld, and researchers expect it could take months before they can process the full cache — the equivalent of tens of millions of pages. Many are digging for information on who owns and administers extremist domains about which little was previously known.

Epik, based outside Seattle, said in a data-breach notice filed with Maine’s attorney general this week that 110,000 people had been affected nationwide by having their financial account and credit card numbers, passwords and security codes exposed. An earlier data-breach letter from the company, filed to comply with Montana law, was signed by the “Epic Security Team,” misspelling the company’s name. An Epik spokesperson said it was a simple typo.

washington post logoWashington Post, Editorial: The nation faces financial calamity. Republicans will be to blame, Editorial Board, Sept. 26, 2021 (print ed.). The White House on Thursday instructed federal agencies to prepare for an imminent government shutdown, in case Congress fails to pass a stopgap funding bill by Sept. 30. Government shutdowns are expensive and disruptive, and they deservedly sully the nation’s image and sense of self-respect. But at this point a lapse in government services should be the least of Americans’ worries. The nation faces an epochal financial disaster if Congress fails to raise the debt limit, forcing the country to default on its obligations and inviting a global financial panic.

Mitchell_McConnellIf that happens, there will be no doubt about who is at fault: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, and his Republican caucus, who are playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States.

Democrats joined with Republicans to suspend the debt ceiling during the Trump administration. But Mr. McConnell suddenly declares that the majority is solely responsible for performing this unattractive task, even though he pioneered the routine use of the filibuster to force any and all Senate legislation to overcome a 60-vote threshold. With only 50 votes, and Republicans unwilling to lift a finger to avoid financial calamity, Democrats’ only option would be to use the arcane “reconciliation” procedure. Senate experts believe this would be possible, but it would require a couple of weeks of complex parliamentary maneuvering and some Republican cooperation in the Senate Budget Committee. Meanwhile, the treasury is on the verge of running out of money.

Other than sticking it to Democrats, what is the point? Using reconciliation, Democrats would have to raise the debt limit by a specific dollar amount, not just suspend it for a time, as Republicans did under President Donald Trump. This would enable Republicans to run attack ads blasting Democrats for expanding the debt by some large, specific number. Never mind that raising the debt limit does not approve any new spending; it merely permits the treasury to finance the spending Congress already has okayed.

Sept. 25

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: Arizona election fraudit by cyber-nimrods ends in humiliating fiasco, Webster G. Tarpley, right, Sept. 25, 2021. Arizona election fraudit by webster tarpley 2007cyber-nimrods ends in humiliating fiasco for MAGAts, confirming Biden win;

On orders from Trump, Texas launches own fraudit; Pennsylvania GOP wants to intimidate all voters; Trump sponsors puppet secretaries of state he hopes will help him steal elections; Rep. Thompson’s House January 6 committee subpoenas Bannon, Meadows, Scavino, and Kashyap Patel; Coup scenario revealed; White House refuses to implement executive privilege to shield Trump;

AG Garland must act now to enforce law in defense of general welfare; Immigration is greatest US strategic asset for dealing with China, and should be carefully developed;

CDC’s Walensky saves the day for administration by offering Pfizer covid boosters to nurses, teachers, and other exposed workers, in additon to over-65s and immunocompromised; Despite recent Trump defeats, defeatism now a fad among media elite.

Sept. 24

john_f_kennedy_smiling

Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Biden Will Continue the JFK Cover-Up, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, (foundation founder, author, book publisher and attorney), Sept. 24, 2021. On October 26, the deadline for the public Jacob Hornbergerdisclosure of the CIA’s still-secret records relating to the Kennedy assassination comes due. At that point, the issue will be: Will President Biden order the National Archives to release the CIA’s long-secret records or will he continue the U.S. national-security establishment’s almost 60-year-old cover up of its regime-change operation in Dallas on November 26, 1963?

Make no mistake about it: Biden, like his predecessor President Donald Trump, will continue the cover-up. That’s because the CIA will future of freedom foundation logo squaredemand it.

Mind you, this is just my prediction. I don’t know as a fact that the CIA has even asked Biden to continue shielding its long-secret records from the American people. When I asked the National Archives to identify any agencies that have expressed an interest in another extension of time for secrecy, they refused to provide an answer to my question.

But consider this: Whatever reason that the CIA had for requesting Trump to continue the secrecy, that reason would continue through today. If they were scared to have the American people see those records 60 years ago, and then again 30 years ago during the ARRB years, and then 5 years ago, I will guarantee you that they are just as scared today.

Let’s get one thing clear: Whatever definition one wants to put on that nebulous and meaningless two-word term “national security,” there is no possibility that the release of 60-year-old records is going to threaten “national security.” In other words, if the CIA’s records are disclosed, the United States won’t fall into the ocean. The Reds won’t succeed in taking over America’s public schools. The Russians won’t come and get us. Cuba won’t invade and conquer the United joe biden resized oStates. Vietnam won’t start the dominoes falling.

The only thing that would happen is that more pieces to the assassination puzzle will be filled in, most likely relating to Lee Harvey Oswald’s purported trip to Mexico City, a part of the assassination scheme that clearly went awry.

Both the CIA and the Pentagon know what happened after the ARRB strictly enforced the JFK Records Act in the 1990s. Having been released from vows of secrecy that the military had imposed on them, people started talking, big time.

No, they didn’t start talking about the assassination. When people engage in murder, they don’t often talk freely about it. When the CIA and the Mafia engage in murder, they are very good about keeping secrets. We still don’t know, for example, who killed Jimmy Hoffa and Johnny Roselli, who was the liaison in the CIA-CIA LogoMafia partnership to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Where people started talking was with respect to the autopsy that the U.S. military conducted on President Kennedy’s body on the very evening of the assassination. Released from vows of secrecy that the military had forced them to sign, several enlisted personnel disclosed a mountain of evidence establishing a fraudulent autopsy.

Why is that important? One big reason: There is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy. None. No one has ever come up with one. No one ever will. The fraudulent autopsy is inextricably bound up with the assassination itself.

For example, as I pointed out in my recent article “The Kennedy Autopsy Selected for Amazon’s Prime Reading Program,” several enlisted personnel came forward in the 1990s and established that the national-security establishment sneaked President Kennedy’s body into the Bethesda morgue at 6:35 p.m., almost 1 1/2 hours before the official entry time of 8 p.m. Their statements were corroborated by a memorandum from Gawler’s Funeral Home, which conducted Kennedy’s funeral. They were further corroborated by statements made by Col. Pierre Finck, one of the three pathologists.

Whatever they were doing in that hour-and-half had to be rotten to the core. Otherwise, why the secrecy, the skullduggery, the deception, and the lies? If it hadn’t been for the ARRB, we would most likely never have known they had done that.

Unfortunately, the JFK Records Act permitted these people to keep many of their assassination-related records secret for another 25 years, long after the law forced the ARRB to go out of existence. The CIA took advantage of that loophole. Then when the deadline arrived under the Trump administration, Trump unfortunately granted their request for additional time for secrecy.

Given that Trump surrendered to the CIA in its demand for further secrecy, one thing is certain: Biden will do so as well. That’s my prediction. While Trump continually deferred to the national-security establishment, in my opinion Biden is effectively owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by the national-security establishment. That means he, like Trump, will do as they say.

Oh, they’ll release some of the records in the hope of skating by without much notice from the mainstream press. But I predict that the most incriminating evidence will continue to be shielded from public view — on grounds of “national security” of course.

Sept. 23

steve bannon billionaire guo wenguiWayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: The billionaire wanted by China who funded insurrection propaganda and a near Sino-U.S. nuclear war, Wayne wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallMadsen, left, Sept. 23, 2021. Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire wanted by the government of China for bribery, kidnapping, money laundering, fraud and rape, sits comfortably in New York City in his penthouse in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel overlooking Central Park, sipping $1 million-a-kilogram rare tea, all the while under the umbrella of U.S. political asylum protection status.

Meanwhile, through his GTV Media Group conglomerate, Guo is simultaneously funding propaganda supporting the January 6th insurrection in Washington and wayne madesen report logothe overthrow of the government giving him political asylum. Specifically, Guo funds, through his Guo Media company, Steve Bannon's "War Room" podcast and "Real America's Voice" Internet television broadcast. The two are shown above in a file photo.

In a recent Real America's Voice segment, Bannon claimed that on the night of January 5, 2021, he, Rudolph Giuliani, and senior members of the Trump administration plotted from the Willard Hotel in Washington the January 6th attempted coup d'état to "kill the Biden presidency in the crib." Moreover, Guo's media influence operations in calling for the overthrow of the government of China -- words heeded by then-President Donald Trump -- almost ended up in a nuclear war between the U.S. and China.

Why are two Green Card holders from China permitted to wage a war of insurrection and sedition against the United States from New York City? More importantly, why is Bannon permitted to reprise the wartime treasonous roles of Tokyo Rose, Axis Sally, Lord Haw-Haw, Seoul City Sue, and Sister Mary in sowing sedition, insurrection, and treason?

Sept. 21

Legal Schnauzer, Opinion: Signs of sloppiness at Christopher Wray's FBI go beyond the USA Gymnastics probe; they date at least to a botched background check on Brett Kavanaugh, Roger Shuler, Sept. 21, 2021. That's a story that seemingly will not go away. Perhaps it's driven in part by Wray's curious background, which includes alarming ties to Russian interests and right-wing bad actors who tend to have an outsized influence in Alabama's political and legal worlds.

From a Legal Schnauzer post in October 2018:

FBI director Christopher Wray has professional ties to Russia, and that likely explains a Brett Kavanaugh background check that widely is being described as a "sham," according to an Alabama political insider.

Donald Trump nominated Wray to lead the FBI in June 2017, having fired James Comey roughly one month earlier. In 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Wray to lead the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Before going into public service, Wray was a partner at King and Spalding, an Atlanta-based law firm with 10 offices around the country -- plus 10 international branches, including one in Moscow. . . .

How sketchy was the FBI supplemental background check on Kavanaugh? It probably would have to improve to merit being called "cursory". According to one report, FBI agents interviewed nine individuals -- but they apparently did not include chief accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, nor any of her corroborating witnesses. From a report at New York magazine:

Several people who reached out to investigators to offer information said they were also left hanging. NBC News says dozens of potential witnesses have come forward to FBI field offices, “but agents have not been permitted to talk to many of them.” The New Yorker spoke to several people who were also unable to get an audience with the FBI despite their ability to corroborate [Deborah] Ramirez’s story and information refuting claims Kavanaugh made during last week’s testimony.

The FBI/Kavanaugh story continues to percolate, as evidenced by a report last week from the UK Guardian:

The FBI director, Chris Wray, is facing new scrutiny of the bureau’s handling of its 2018 background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, including its claim that the FBI lacked the authority to conduct a further investigation into the then supreme court nominee.

At the heart of the new questions surrounding Wray . . . is a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding that the FBI has recently said constrained the agency’s ability to conduct any further investigations of allegations of misconduct.

It is not clear whether that claim is accurate, based on a close reading of the MOU, which was released in court records following a Freedom of Information Act request.

The FBI was called to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation process in 2018, after he was accused of assault by Christine Blasey Ford, a professor who knew Kavanaugh when they were both in high school. He also faced other accusations, including that he had exposed himself to a classmate at Yale called Deborah Ramirez. Kavanaugh denied both accusations.

The FBI closed its extended background check of Kavanaugh after four days and did not interview either Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh. The FBI also disclosed to the Senate this June – two years after questions were initially asked – that it had received 4,500 tips from the public during the background check and that it had shared all “relevant tips” with the White House counsel at that time. It is not clear whether those tips were ever investigated.

The FBI said in its letter to two senators – Sheldon Whitehouse and Christopher Coons – that the FBI did not have the authority under the 2010 MOU at the time to “unilaterally conduct further investigative activity absent instructions from the requesting entity”. In other words, the FBI has said it would have required explicit instructions from the Trump White House to conduct further investigation under the existing 2010 guidelines on how such investigations ought to be conducted.

But an examination by the Guardian of the 2010 MOU, which was signed by the then attorney general, Eric Holder, and then White House counsel, Robert Bauer, does not make explicitly clear that the FBI was restricted in terms of how it would conduct its investigation.
The MOU, which was released in court documents in 2019 as part of Freedom of Information Act litigation brought against the US government by Buzzfeed, also does not explicitly state that the White House had the power to set the process parameters on any investigation.

What about the ties of Wray's former law firm to Russian mobsters, domestic mobsters, and unsavory characters in the Alabama political/legal firmament? From our 2018 post:

King and Spalding's extensive ties to Russia should raise eyebrows about the cursory supplemental background check of Brett Kavanaugh by Christopher Wray's FBI, says Jill Simpson -- whistle blower, opposition researcher, and retired lawyer from Rainsville, Alabama. In a Facebook post yesterday, Simpson notes King and Spalding's ties to a number of dubious characters and activities related to Russia.

They include Sergei Millian, a one-time Russian translator who has headed the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce (Russia Am Cham, based in Atlanta) and reportedly was a primary source of information for the Trump-Steele dossier. In short, Millian likely has loads of blackmail-worthy dirt on Trump, and guess what law firm has represented Russia Am Cham? It's King and Spalding, of course, says Simpson.

The firm also has ties to Trump-affiliated mobster Felix Sater, and Simpson says the firm (via Russia Am Cham) was involved in a failed lottery deal -- involving oily Alabama lawyer Rob Riley and his associate, Robert Sigler -- that fleeced the late Milton McGregor, attorney Tommy Gallion, and other prominent Montgomery business types out of about $40 million. King and Spalding, says Simpson, has ties to Russian oligarch/mafia figure Oleg Derispaska, one-time Trump campaign chair and convicted felon Paul Manafort, and Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions.

That is a lot ugly, nasty stuff -- threatening America's democracy, and Christopher Wray, via his association with King and Spalding, is tied to all of it. Writes Simpson:

FBI director Christopher Wray should be forced to resign over [the Kavanaugh supplemental background check]. It was Wray's firm, King and Spalding, that used to host the Russia Am Cham conferences for Oleg Deripaska, Mr Millian, and Mr. Sater -- the Riley/Sessions Gang attended when they beat Milton McGregor and his buddies out of $40 million for a fake Russian lottery.

Wray's firm represents the Russian Oil and Gas Business firm that Vladimir Putin directs. Also, Christopher Wray was a Yale Law School graduate, just like Kavanaugh, and has been buddies with the Kavanaugh, Rove, and Sessions crowd for years.

The FBI's Kavanaugh background check is just a report done by a member of the Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump Russian Mafia. I tried to say last week it would be bullshit, due to Wray's ties to the Russian Mafia. His old firm is a big part of Putin's legal team. Until we as a country crush the New York/Alabama/GOP Russian Mafia, we are going to continue seeing this level of corruption.

Sept. 18

Proof via Substack, Investigation: January 6 Was a Violent Nationwide Insurrection—Not One Attack on One Building in Washington, Seth Abramson, left, Sept. 18, seth abramson graphic2021. Many Americans don't realize that Trump's plan for a January 6 attack on American democracy was national in scope—and continues to be. As his insurgency continues, capitals across America are at risk.

Introduction: One of the gravest misunderstandings about January 6 is that it was a localized event involving a single target: the United States Capitol. In fact, it was a decentralized plot that involved dozens of individual attacks around the country and which—moreover—the President of the United States at the time, Donald Trump, publicly acknowledged he knew was a diffuse network of attacks on American democracy. Indeed, Trump said all of the following in his speech the White House Ellipse on Insurrection Day:

seth abramson proof logo• That in addition to the crowd in front of him, he was well aware his speech was being heard by “hundreds of thousands of American patriots who are committed to the honesty of our elections and the integrity of our glorious republic”, a reference to Trumpist insurrectionists gathering “live” in other locations outside D.C. (as any reference to a TV audience would have accounted it in the millions rather than the hundreds of thousands);

• That the purpose of the upcoming march on the Capitol, among other things, was to convince Vice President Mike Pence to “send it [the results of the Electoral College votes in the fifty states] back to the states to re-certify [them]”, a plot Trump believed would lead to the de-certification of Joe Biden’s electors and which he knew would only be aided if massive protests occurred in the states Trump was claiming wanted to revisit their Electoral College votes;

• That “in addition to challenging the certification of the election, I’m calling on…state legislatures to quickly pass sweeping election reforms, and you better do it before we have no country left”;

• That he was “looking out all over this country and seeing fantastic crowds” (emphasis supplied), a confession that he was tracking January 6 events across America;

• That the supposed theft of the 2020 presidential election was very much a state-by-state issue, with the former president spending time in his speech at the Ellipse discussing not just the national outcome of the November vote but specific events in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Pennsylvania (as well as, in the same speech, falsely characterizing the 2020 election results in Ohio, Texas, Florida, and projecting his false claims of election theft forward into future elections in Wyoming and New York); and

• “If this happened to the Democrats, there’d be hell all over the country going on, there’d be hell all over the country” (emphasis supplied), a repetition of a calculated phrase pointing toward a nationwide protest against democracy, and another attempt to send a message to pro-Trump insurrectionists outside D.C. unsure about how violent they had the sitting president’s permission to get so far from what was (at the time) seen as the epicenter of the January 6 spectacle.

With all of the foregoing in mind, America needs a comprehensive summary of what happened on January 6 outside the nation’s capital.

washington post logoWashington Post, Court hearings, guilty pleas belie right-wing recasting of Jan. 6 defendants as persecuted patriots, Spencer S. Hsu, Tom Jackman, Ellie Silverman and Rachel Weiner, Sept. 18, 2021 (print ed.). There are about 73 pleas, with roughly 600 charged and dozens still jailed. Ahead of the Justice for J6 rally, a look at where the defendants stand.

washington post logoWashington Post, Justice for J6 rally sees a sparse crowd and tight security, Emily Davies, Marissa J. Lang, Teo Armus, Peter Jamison and Katie Mettler, Sept. 18, 2021. A small band of right-wing protesters decrying the treatment of the mob that overran the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was dwarfed by hundreds of police and news reporters. Police said they made four arrests and seized two weapons.

The most anticipated visit by right-wing activists to the nation’s capital since a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 ended with a whimper Saturday, as demonstrators supporting the rioters found themselves far outnumbered by police, journalists and counterprotesters.

Although the protesters returned to the scene of a historically grievous attack on American democracy, it was immediately obvious that much had changed. The Capitol grounds — where poorly prepared police fought a losing, hand-to-hand battle against President Donald Trump’s supporters just over eight months ago — were secured Saturday with metal fences and hundreds of officers. The halls of Congress were all but deserted. No president, or former president, delivered a bellicose speech urging that his election loss be overturned.

Capitol Police said Saturday afternoon that between 400 and 450 people had been observed at some point inside the protest zone. But many of them were journalists and other bystanders.

washington post logoWashington Post, Oath Keepers founder draws scrutiny from federal officials and followers for role in Jan. 6 riot, but he remains free and uncharged, Hannah Allam and Spencer S. Hsu, Sept. 18, 2021 (print ed.). It depends on who’s talking.

To some, Stewart Rhodes is a paramilitary commander enlisting thousands of foot soldiers to overthrow the government.

stewart rhodesTo others, he’s a couch-surfing grifter — and the most shocking thing about the involvement of his Oath Keepers group in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol was that some members actually showed up.

To federal prosecutors, Rhodes, 56, is “Person One,” which is how he is referenced in court filings for roughly 22 Oath Keepers associates charged in connection with the Capitol attack, including 18 who are accused of conspiracy in the largest single indictment of the probe. Five have pleaded guilty.

In the prosecution’s timeline, Rhodes coordinated with participants, allegedly giving advice about what weapons to bring and speaking with one who was part of the “stack” formation implemented moments before the group charged into the Capitol — one of the most salient images of the day.

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: California shows US future once again! Webster G. Tarpley, right, Sept. 18, 2021. Newsom’s landslide win in California recall marks failure for webster tarpley 2007GOP‘s anti-social ”health freedom” demagogy: Silent Majority of Vaccinated emerges despite media focus on loudmouth rejection front; Time for Dems to take gloves off!

In Virginia gubernatorial debate, Wall Street’s GOP candidate Youngkin showcases his plan for avoiding Larry Elder‘s fate: LYING!
Gen. Milley provides much-needed model of patriotism;

Playing small ball, FDA advisory board backs covid boosters for over-65s;

Definitively refuting trickle-down economics, 2020 direct stimulus payments cut US poverty rate by unprecedented 2.7% despite pandemic and closures; now make Child Tax Credit permanent!

Sept. 17

Proof via Substack, Investigative Commentary: A Secretive Summit That Trump Attended in December of 2020 May Explain Both Trump's Role in the January 6 seth abramson graphicInsurrection and Why Both CJCS Milley and China Feared Trump Would Start a War, Seth Abramson (left, attorney, professor, Newsweek columnist, metajournalist, and New York Times bestselling author), Sept. 16-17, 2021.

Introduction: On December 27, 2020, fresh off receiving one of the most controversial presidential pardons in U.S. history—from then-president Donald Trump, the very man he had committed federal felonies to protect—Roger Stone traveled to Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach to “thank[ ]” his patron and criminal co-conspirator.

seth abramson proof logoOnly a few U.S. media outlets covered the astonishingly brazen meeting at the time, and surprisingly that didn’t change nine days later—when a “movement” co-led by Stone, Stop the Steal, coordinated with the 2020 Trump Campaign in a sequence of events resulting in armed insurrection and a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Back in December 2020, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported on the meeting in a way that should have, but didn’t, lead to it becoming a focus of sustained national attention: per the paper, Stone went to see Trump on December 27 not just to “deliver a personal thank you to the president” but also, critically, to “counsel the president on how he could ‘ensure that Donald Trump continues as our president.’” This was during the same period that, as Proof has reported, Stone recorded a video seeking donations for arms and armor for Proud Boys and Oath Keepers planning to travel to Washington on January 6—the precise conduct Proud Boy “sergeant-at-arms” and Stone associate Ethan Nordean would later be arrested for.

So there can be no doubt that when Stone met Trump just nine days before January 6 to discuss how that day could lead to an overturning of the November 2020 election, Stone’s focus was on the Stop the Steal–cosponsored March to Save America that he was personally involved in coordinating at a logistical as well as strategic level.

The Sun-Sentinel report noted that, after posting a picture of (and commentary upon) the strange golf club meeting on Parler, Stone subsequently thought better of it and deleted all reference to the event on the far-right social media platform. At the time, he claimed it was to honor a policy supposedly in place at Trump’s golf club to prevent guests from posting pictures of the club; journalists have not yet been able to verify that any such policy exists, and a Google Image search certainly suggests it doesn’t (especially when the photograph promotes Donald Trump in any way). In any case, Stone had by then deleted not only photos of the meeting but also any reference to it on social media—and thereafter would refuse to discuss it with journalists. It did not, therefore, seem like a reticence related to an eldritch country club photography policy.

himself has already lied about that day so many times that anything he tells the FBI now will directly contradict at least two or three of prior public statements.

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

washington post logoWashington Post, Oath Keepers founder draws scrutiny from federal officials and followers for role in Jan. 6 riot, but he remains free and uncharged, Hannah Allam and Spencer S. Hsu, Sept. 17, 2021. It depends on who’s talking.

To some, Stewart Rhodes is a paramilitary commander enlisting thousands of foot soldiers to overthrow the government.

To others, he’s a couch-surfing grifter — and the most shocking thing about the involvement of his Oath Keepers group in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol was that some members actually showed up.

To federal prosecutors, Rhodes, 56, is “Person One,” which is how he is referenced in court filings for roughly 22 Oath Keepers associates charged in connection with the Capitol attack, including 18 who are accused of conspiracy in the largest single indictment of the probe. Five have pleaded guilty.

In the prosecution’s timeline, Rhodes coordinated with participants, allegedly giving advice about what weapons to bring and speaking with one who was part of the “stack” formation implemented moments before the group charged into the Capitol — one of the most salient images of the day.

washington post logoWashington Post, Disclosures on Milley’s Trump pushback could further politicize the military, Missy Ryan, Sept. 17, 2021. Supporters say the country’s top officer sought to protect the Constitution, but some fear his actions could compound existing problems. New revelations showing how Gen. Mark A. Milley, the nation’s top military officer, quietly maneuvered to check President Donald Trump reveal the lengths that top officials went to prevent potentially rash action, but the disclosures also threaten to thrust the military deeper into the partisan fray, former officials said.

mark milley army chief of staffA series of dramatic inside-the-room accounts, including one in which the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, right, promised to alert China’s top officer if Trump was preparing to launch an attack, provides new insight into military leaders’ response to the previous administration’s fraught final period.

But Kori Schake, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said the revelations that Milley covertly acted to counter his commander in chief are “bad for the military as an institution.”

“It encourages people to do what Americans are already doing, which is viewing the military as they view the Supreme Court: apolitical when they agree with them, partisan when they don’t,” she said.

Biden comes to Milley’s defense after revelation that top general, fearing Trump, conferred with China to avoid war

The latest exposé comes in a book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, who write that Milley, alarmed by the possibility Trump might strike China as he tried to stay in power, reached out to Gen. Li Zuocheng in the months surrounding the 2020 election in order to dismiss any Chinese fears of a preemptive American attack, they said.

That followed other dramatic accounts involving Milley, including in a book by Washington Post journalists Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker, which said the general likened the circumstances around the election to those of Nazi-era Germany.

washington post logoWashington Post, Milley says calls to Chinese counterpart were ‘perfectly within the duties and responsibilities’ of his job, John Wagner, Sept. 17, 2021. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday that calls he made late in the Trump administration to his Chinese military counterpart were “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his job and that he would explain his actions in greater detail during an upcoming appearance before Congress.

Milley, who has come under fire after a new book revealed the conservations aimed at averting armed conflict, described the calls as “routine” and said they were done “to reassure both allies and adversaries in this case in order to ensure strategic stability.”

“I think it’s best that I reserve my comments on the record until I do that in front of the lawmakers who have the lawful responsibility to oversee the U.S. military,” Milley said, according to the Associated Press. “I’ll go into any level of detail Congress wants to go into in a couple of weeks.”

The AP reported that Milley, the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer, made his comments to reporters traveling with him to Europe. Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are scheduled to testify Sept. 28 before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

washington post logoWashington Post, Biden comes to Milley’s defense after revelation top general, fearing Trump, conferred with China to avert war, Karoun Demirjian and John Wagner, Sept. 17, 2021 (print ed.). Critics of Gen. Mark Milley contend he should be removed as Joint Chiefs chairman after a new book disclosed the extent of his alarm that Trump might order a strike on China in the waning days of his presidency.

mark milley army chief of staffPresident Biden on Wednesday threw his full support behind the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer, right, who has come under fire after a new book revealed he privately conferred with his Chinese counterpart Gen. Li Zuocheng, left, to avert armed conflict late in the Trump administration.

Gen. Li Zuocheng“I have great confidence in General Milley,” Biden told reporters at the White House, following calls from former president Donald Trump and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill for the removal of Gen. Mark A. Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Biden’s declaration, coinciding with efforts by the chief spokespersons for the White House and the Pentagon to stage a similar defense of the embattled general, effectively ends speculation that Milley’s assignment may be cut short. But the controversy surrounding his fitness for the job rages on — and thus far is falling mostly along party lines.

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump gave six months extra Secret Service protection to his kids, three officials. It cost taxpayers $1.7 million, David A. Fahrenthold and Carol D. Leonnig, Sept. 17, 2021. The former president required the Secret Service to devote agents and money to wealthy adults with no role in government, whom the agents trailed to ski vacations, weekend houses, a resort in Cabo San Lucas and business trips abroad.

In June, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin visited Israel to scout investments for his new company, then flew to Qatar for a conference. At the time, Mnuchin had been out of office for five months.

But, because of an order given by President Donald Trump, he was still entitled to protection by Secret Service agents. As agents followed Mnuchin across the Middle East, the U.S. government paid up to $3,000 each for their plane tickets, and $11,000 for rooms at Qatar’s luxe St. Regis Doha, according to government spending records.

In all, the records show U.S. taxpayers spent more than $52,000 to guard a multimillionaire on a business trip.

These payments were among $1.7 million in additional government spending triggered by Trump’s highly unusual order — which awarded six extra months of Secret Service protection for his four adult children and three top administration officials — according to a Washington Post analysis of new spending documents.

That $1.7 million in extra spending is still tiny in comparison to the Secret Service’s $2.4 billion budget.

But, as the records show, Trump’s order required the Secret Service to devote agents and money to an unexpected set of people: wealthy adults, with no role in government, whom the agents trailed to ski vacations, weekend houses, a resort in Cabo San Lucas, and business trips abroad.

“Who wouldn’t enjoy continuing their free limo service and easy access to restaurant tables?” said Jim Helminski, a former Secret Service executive, who said the decision appeared to show Trump giving a public service as a private benefit to his inner circle. “Even if there was a credible risk to family and associates of Trump, these people are now private citizens who can afford to hire some very talented private security firms for their personal protection.”

ny times logoNew York Times, Ohio House Republican, Calling Trump ‘a Cancer,’ Bows Out of 2022, Jonathan Martin, Sept. 17, 2021 (print ed.). Representative Anthony Gonzalez, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump, is the first of the group to retire rather than face a stiff primary challenge.

Calling former President Donald J. Trump “a cancer for the country,” Representative Anthony Gonzalez, Republican of Ohio, said in an interview on Thursday that he would not run for re-election in 2022, ceding his seat after just two terms in Congress rather than compete against a Trump-backed primary opponent.

anthony gonzalezMr. Gonzalez, right, is the first, but perhaps not the last, of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to retire rather than face ferocious primaries next year in a party still in thrall to the former president.

The congressman, who has two young children, emphasized that he was leaving in large part because of family considerations and the difficulties that come with living between two cities. But he made clear that the strain had only grown worse since his impeachment vote, after which he was deluged with threats and feared for the safety of his wife and children.

Mr. Gonzalez said that quality-of-life issues had been paramount in his decision. He recounted an “eye-opening” moment this year: when he and his family were greeted at the Cleveland airport by two uniformed police officers, part of extra security precautions taken after the impeachment vote.

“That’s one of those moments where you say, ‘Is this really what I want for my family when they travel, to have my wife and kids escorted through the airport?’” he said.

Mr. Gonzalez, who turns 37 on Saturday, was the sort of Republican recruit the party once prized. A Cuban American who starred as an Ohio State wide receiver, he was selected in the first round of the N.F.L. draft and then earned an M.B.A. at Stanford after his football career was cut short by injuries. He claimed his Northeast Ohio seat in his first bid for political office.

Mr. Gonzalez, a conservative, largely supported the former president’s agenda. Yet he started breaking with Mr. Trump and House Republican leaders when they sought to block the certification of last year’s presidential vote, and he was horrified by Jan. 6 and its implications.

Still, he insisted he could have prevailed in what he acknowledged would have been a “brutally hard primary” against Max Miller, a former Trump White House aide who was endorsed by the former president in February.

Yet as Mr. Gonzalez sat on a couch in his House office, most of his colleagues still at home for the prolonged summer recess, he acknowledged that he could not bear the prospect of winning if it meant returning to a Trump-dominated House Republican caucus.

“Politically the environment is so toxic, especially in our own party right now,” he said. “You can fight your butt off and win this thing, but are you really going to be happy? And the answer is, probably not.”

For the Ohioan, Jan. 6 was “a line-in-the-sand moment” and Mr. Trump represents nothing less than a threat to American democracy.

“I don’t believe he can ever be president again,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “Most of my political energy will be spent working on that exact goal.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Durham grand jury indicts lawyer whose firm represented Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Devlin Barrett and Spencer S. Hsu, Sept. 17, 2021 (print ed.). A grand jury working with special counsel John Durham’s office handed up an indictment Thursday of lawyer Michael Sussmann, who prosecutors have accused of making false statements to the FBI during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Sussmann, the indictment charges, “lied about the capacity in which he was providing ... allegations to the FBI” of potenmichael sussmann perkins youngertial cyber links between a Russian bank and a company owned by former president Donald Trump.

An attorney at Perkins Coie, a prominent law firm tied to the Democratic party, Sussmann, right, had been bracing for possible indictment.

  • Read the indictment: U.S. v. Michael Sussmann

Charging him marks a strange twist in the special counsel’s probe championed by Trump and his Republican allies, and which to date has resulted in a single conviction of a low-level FBI lawyer.

john durham CustomDurham, right, was tasked with finding crimes that may have been committed at the FBI and elsewhere in the federal government, but in charging Sussmann, the special counsel is in essence arguing that the FBI was the victim of a crime.

In a statement issued Wednesday, ahead of the indictment, lawyers for Sussmann insisted their client committed no crime.

“Michael Sussmann is a highly respected national security and cyber security lawyer, who served the U.S. Department of Justice during Democratic and Republican administrations alike,” his lawyers Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth said in a joint statement. “Any prosecution here would be baseless, unprecedented, and an unwarranted deviation from the apolitical and principled way in which the Department of Justice is supposed to do its work. We are confident that if Mr. Sussmann is charged, he will prevail at trial and vindicate his good name.”

Durham grand jury examines if anyone presented false evidence to FBI

In recent months, Durham’s team has questioned witnesses about how the allegation of a possible digital tie between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank Justice Department log circularwas presented to the FBI. Durham also has examined the authenticity of data given to the FBI.

Durham is pursuing a prosecutorial theory that Sussmann was secretly representing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, which was a client of Sussmann’s firm, these people said.

It was not immediately clear how an individual lying to the FBI’s top lawyer would square with the Justice Department’s historical practice of charging false-statements cases. Typically, such cases are charged when a witness knowingly lies to a special agent conducting an investigation.

Sept. 16

Palmer Report, Opinion: Here come the January 6th superseding indictments, Bill Palmer, Sept. 16, 2021. “They’ve gotten away with it all!” It’s the rallying cry of defeatists everywhere who are so eager to feel outrage, they’ve baselessly convinced themselves that the January 6th attackers are off the hook. Meanwhile back in the real world, the indictments continue to come down – and now we’re getting into superseding indictments.

bill palmer report logo headerFor instance, prosecutors handed down superseding indictments today against Capitol attackers Ronald Sandlin and Nathaniel DeGrave, who had already been hit with lesser January 6th charges. It’s a reminder that as the evidence continues to add up, and people start cutting plea deals and ratting each other out, the indictments are continuing to get more serious.

The criminal indictments in relation to January 6th are still just getting started. That’s a fact made clear by the evidence. How high up will these indictments go, and will they reach the likes of Roger Stone and Donald Trump? We’ll see. But the narrative that they’ve “gotten away with it all” is simply fiction.

  During a vote earlier this year, first-year U.S. Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) emphasized her vote against increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour with a thumbs down gesture.

During a vote earlier this year, first-year U.S. Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) emphasized her vote against increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour with a thumbs down gesture.

The Nation, Commentary: Kyrsten Sinema’s Grapes of Wealth, Tom Gogola, Sept. 16, 2021. The Arizona senator’s wine-soaked politics offer a bold and colorful bouquet of disparate notes, with a hint of corruption.

A curious news story popped up in the Sonoma County Press-Democrat this summer, just as a bipartisan group of US senators was trimming the sails on Joe Biden’s infrastructure plans and sending their own $1.2 trillion package to the Senate floor: The Wine Country paper of record reported that one of those senators, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, had traveled to the city of Sonoma in August 2020, where she earned $1,117.40 as a paid intern at a winery.

According to the Press-Democrat, Senator Sinema worked at the California winery for three weeks last summer, and has also traveled to Sonoma for a fundraiser held on her behalf at a luxury inn that charges $950 a night for a room during peak season.

Why would a sitting senator—earning a taxpayer-funded salary of $174,000—take a paid internship at a winery?

Well, Sinema is apparently a serious wine buff, in her own way.

Around the same time as the Press-Democrat internship article appeared, back in Washington, D.C., all the headlines were about how Sinema played a key role in keeping the infrastructure negotiations on track by encouraging her fellow “moderates” to guzzle some more wine and get back to work when talks broke down. She supplied the wine, while plonky plutocrat Joe Manchin opened his houseboat on the Potomac to the lubricated legislators. It all sounded rather immoderate, if not completely decadent, if you ask me. And anyway, isn’t excessive alcohol consumption supposed to impair your judgment, not enhance it?

So again: Why this particular wine operation? One possible answer aligns with what Sinema’s former supporters in Arizona say about her: She has abandoned the progressives who brought her to the dance and prefers to do the Wah Watusi on behalf of the 1 percent these days.

Three Sticks is owned by William S. Price III, a cofounder of TPG Capital, one of the largest private equity firms in the world, with $108 billion in assets under management.

Sept. 14

les wexner mansion jeffrey epstein wmr graphic mariaWayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: Bannon's involvement with Epstein reflects on a past littered with ties to pedophiles, Wayne Madsen, Sept. 14, 2021. According to a new book by Donald Trump biographer Michael Wolff, former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon coached the late pedophile and child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein for a planned CBS "60 Minutes" interview in the months prior to Epstein's arrest by federal authorities in 2019.

According to Wolff's book, Too Famous: The Rich, the Powerful, the Wishful, the Notorious, the Damned," Bannon conducted 15 hours of practice interviews with Epstein at his Manhattan townhouse [known as the Wexner Mansion, named for Epstein's benefactor Leslie Wexner, the clothing retailing mogul and shown above in a WMR graphic].

We have previously reported that Epstein's New York residence was the scene of the 1994 rape of two girls, one 12 and the other 13, by Epstein and Trump. Bannon has, for quite some time, been under our radar for his past association with pedophiles. In 2005, Bannon was affiliated with a Hong Kong-based company alexander acosta o cropped Customcalled Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE) [whose silent partner included Marc Collins-Rector].

There is a common thread that extends far and wide within Trump's circle of friends and associates. U.S. Attorney in Miami Alex Acosta, right, whom Trump named as his Labor Secretary, the government's chief monitor for underage sex trafficking, was more interested in burying the criminal activities of pedophiles like Epstein, Trump, and Rector than in protecting children from predators with large bank accounts.

washington post logoWashington Post, Top general was so fearful Trump might spark war that he made secret calls to his Chinese counterpart, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Sept. 14, 2021. “Peril,” a new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, reveals that Gen. Mark A. Milley called his Chinese counterpart before the 2020 election and after Jan. 6 in a bid to avert armed conflict.

Twice in the final months of the Trump administration, the country’s top military officer was so fearful that the president’s actions might spark a war with China that he moved urgently to avert armed conflict.

mark milley army chief of staffIn a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (shown at right as Army chief of staff), assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.

One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol siege carried out by his supporters in a quest to cancel the vote.

The first call was prompted by Milley’s review of intelligence suggesting the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack. That belief, the authors write, was based on tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea, and deepened by Trump’s belligerent rhetoric toward China.

“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

Li took the chairman at his word, the authors write in the book, Peril, which is set to be released next week.

In the second call, placed to address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6, Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

Sept. 12

The Guardian, Louis Armstrong and the spy: how the CIA used him as a ‘trojan horse’ in Congo, Jason Burke, Sept. 12, 2021. Book reveals how the jazz musician unwittingly became party to secret cold war manoeuvres by the US in Africa.

It was a memorable evening: Louis Armstrong, his wife and a diplomat from the US embassy were out for dinner in a restaurant in what was still Léopoldville, capital of the newly independent Congo.

The trumpeter, singer and band leader, nicknamed Satchmo as a child, was in the middle of a tour of Africa that would stretch over months, organised and sponsored by the State Department in a bid to improve the image of the US in dozens of countries which had just won freedom from colonial regimes.

CIA LogoWhat Armstrong did not know was that his host that night in November 1960 was not the political attaché as described, but the head of the CIA in Congo. He was also totally unaware of how his fame had allowed the spy who was making small talk across the starters to gain crucial information that would facilitate some of the most controversial operations of the entire cold war.

“Armstrong was basically a Trojan horse for the CIA. It’s genuinely heartbreaking. He was brought in to serve an interest that was completely contrary to his own sense of what was right or wrong. He would have been horrified,” said Susan Williams, a research fellow at London University’s School of Advanced Study and author of White Malice, a new book which exposes the astonishing extent of the CIA’s activities across central and west Africa in the 1950s and early 60s.

Documents found by Williams in the archives of the UN during five years of research strongly suggest that the Armstrongs’ host, CIA station chief Larry Devlin, and other US intelligence officers posted to Congo used the cover of the musicians’s visit to get access to the strategically important and very wealthy province of Katanga, which had recently seceded. The US, though sympathetic to the agenda of the province’s leader, had not officially recognised the self-declared government there.

There was much of interest to the CIA in Katanga, ranging from senior officials with whom they could not otherwise meet to crucial mining infrastructure, with 1,500 tons of uranium and vast potential to procure more. Armstrong’s tour to Katanga was the perfect opportunity, so Devlin and others flew down from the capital with the musician and his famous band. “They needed a cover and this gave them one,” said Williams.

There was something else that Armstrong, who had pulled out of a similar tour to the Soviet Union three years earlier in protest at racism in the US, did not know. The CIA in the Congo, led by Devlin, was trying to kill the Congo’s first democratically elected prime minister, 35-year-old Patrice Lumumba, fearful that he would lead the country into the Soviet camp. Historians now believe the nationalist leader wanted his country to remain neutral in the cold war.

patrice lumumba raising arms 1960Just a mile or so from where Armstrong and Devlin had dined, the charismatic Lumumba was being held prisoner in his official residence by soldiers loyal to Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, the young military chief with a close working relationship with the CIA, who had effectively seized power some weeks earlier.

Within two months of Armstrong’s tour, Lumumba (shown at left in a 1960 file photo) was murdered in Katanga by officials of the breakaway province and police officers from Belgium. Mobutu would later consolidate his hold on Congo, and become a loyal US client.

Devlin later claimed that the CIA was responsible, telling a US Congressional investigation “that the coup of Mobutu … was arranged and supported, and indeed, managed, by the CIA”.

Sept. 11

World Crisis Radio, Commentary: Last days to fight back against fascism by voting to keep Newsom as governor of California! Webster G. Tarpley, right, Sept. 11, 2021 (58.58 min.). 20 years after webster tarpley 20079/11, focus has shifted to domestic terrorism under heading of #CERTUNREST2021 on eve of September 18 threat.

On January 4 conference call, security officials were warned of danger of “mass casualty event” on Capitol Hill; so why so little action to defend counting of electoral votes? DoJ seeks rollback for unconstitutional Texas abortion law.

In ambitious 6-point plan, Biden deploys OSHA to fight pandemic in workplace; Two dozen GOP governors and RNC hacks promise harassing lawsuits; Corporate media programs on 9/11 stress radical subjectivism, but obscure contradictions of official narrative!

Sept. 10

 

supreme court resized 2021

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Breyer’s airbrushed portrayal of the judicial process, Ruth Marcus, right, Sept. 10, 2021. Could the timing of Supreme Court Justice ruth marcus twitter CustomStephen G. Breyer’s new book be any worse? It’s hard to imagine.

Breyer’s latest — an earnest testament to the nonpartisanship and professionalism of his conservative colleagues — comes on the heels of the decision by five of them to let a blatantly unconstitutional Texas abortion law take effect.

Breyer dissented from that move, saying it undermined “the ability to ask the Judiciary to protect an individual from the invasion of a constitutional right — an invasion that threatens immediate and serious injury.”

He dissented a few weeks earlier, when a six-justice majority rejected the Biden administration’s bid to extend the eviction moratorium. And again, a few days before that, when the same six justices rejected the Biden administration’s effort to undo the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers.

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

Breyer’s book, loftily titled The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics, is an earnest plea to preserve the former and avoid the latter, a paean to the rule of law and a warning against precipitous steps — such as expanding the size of the court — that might undermine its legitimacy.

“Under the law, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander; and the same is true of the public’s willingness to accept judicial decisions with which it disagrees,” Breyer writes. “The rule of law is not a meal that can be ordered à la carte.”

Except that the goose and gander seem to be treated awfully differently these days. Conservative justices insist on strict adherence to statutory text, except when they don’t: See the court’s evisceration of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Conservative justices lunge to prevent the perceived infringement of some constitutional rights — stepping in to block pandemic restrictions that limit religious observance — while insisting that procedural hurdles make it impossible to halt the Texas abortion law. They praise the importance of precedent, then casually toss it aside.

And the conservative justices are increasingly ordering off-menu, using their “shadow docket” to make decisions without the fig leaf of full briefing and oral argument. When the conservative justices leap to employ their power to issue emergency orders at the behest of the Trump administration but then act differently when the Biden administration comes calling, that sauce has a bitter aftertaste.

When it comes to politics, Breyer sees plenty of blame to go around — just not among his colleagues. Journalists, for one, who routinely identify the political party of the president appointing the justices when reporting on the court, a change from decades past. “Going further, they systematically label judges as conservative or liberal,” Breyer laments.

Guilty as charged — and it’s because times, and the court, have changed. To take one salient example: Four of the seven justices in the majority in Roe v. Wade were named by a Republican president; one of the two dissenters was nominated by a Democrat. Today, except in unusual and increasingly infrequent circumstances, the justices’ votes can be reliably predicted by looking at party affiliation. The labels are accurate.

Sept. 9

 

steve bannon billionaire guo wengui

Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire wanted by the government of China for bribery, kidnapping, money laundering, fraud and rape, is shown above with Trump ally and former 2016 campaign CEO Steve Bannon. Guo funds through his GTV Media Group conglomerate Bannon's "War Room" podcast and "Real America's Voice" Internet television broadcast and other propaganda supporting the January 6th insurrection in Washington and the overthrow of the the U.S. government, which is giving him political asylum in New York City and elsewhere.

Wayne Madsen Report, Opinion: International fascist collusion to overthrow the U.S. government, Wayne Madsen, left, national security expert, former Navy wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallIntelligence Officer and NSA analyst, and author of 20 books, including the forthcoming, "The Rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich: The Era of Trumpism and the Far-Right."

Not since the planned 1934 fascist coup against the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt by various right-wing, fascist, and Nazi forces, backed by wealthy Wall Street interests, has the United States faced a coordinated plot by Americans and foreign interests to overthrow democracy in the United States.

wayne madesen report logoIn 1933 and 1934, the fascist coup planning, which was exposed by retired Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, were directly linked to Adolf Hitler's Germany, Benito Mussolini's Italy, and French Croix de Feu fascist political leaders. Groups supporting a coup against FDR included groups ranging from the pro-Mussolini American Legion to Nazi organizations like the Silver Legion of America, the German American Bund, Friends of New Germany, the Ku Klux Klan, the Sentinels of the Republic, and the Crusaders.

Today, substitute the government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Chinese expatriate billionaire Guo Wengui, and groups like the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, Boogaloo Bois, and Falun Gong, and you will see that history is merely repeating itself with different countries and groups involved in establishing a fascist dictatorship in America, Brazil, and other nations.

Steve Bannon's effort to create an international fascist movement, which is known as simply as "The Movement," has brought together Donald Trump loyalists with the Brazilian government of Bolsonaro and his family. Trump and Bolsonaro loyalists are actively attempting to corrupt and destroy the electoral underpinnings of democratic rule in the United States, Brazil, and third countries, for example, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and others.

Bolsonaro's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, a member of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies, the Latin American leader of Bannon's Movement, and Trump's personal choice but failed nominee as Brazil's ambassador in Washington, was very active with the attempted January 6 coup attempt in Washington.

Eduardo Bolsonaro participated in an insurrection eve "War Council" held at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. Other participants in the war council included Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, Rudolph Giuliani, MyPillow's Mike Lindell, disgraced ex-National Security Adviser under trump Lt. General Michael Flynn, and lawyer Sidney Powell. Eduardo Bolsonaro also held a meeting at the White House on January 4 with Ivanka Trump and separately with expatriate Brazilian fascist political adviser and astrologer Olavo de Carvalho. Carvalho, who has been dubbed the "Rush Limbaugh" of Brazil, lives south of Richmond, Virginia in Dinwiddie County. Carvalho, a close associate of Bannon, is a "flat earther," climate change and Covid-19 pandemic denier, and anti-vaccine (anti-vaxx) proponent.

The House Select Committee on the January 6 insurrection would do well to cooperate with Brazilian Senator Jacques Wagner (PT-Bahia) of the Workers' Party of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Wagner is conducting a Senate investigation of Eduardo Bolsonaro's role in the January 6 coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol. Wagner asked the then-Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ernest Araujo, someone who has erroneously called Nazism a "leftist" movement, to answer eight questions [right] dealing with the roles played by Bolsonaro's son and the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC into the January 5 war council at the Trump hotel and additional meetings between Eduardo Bolsonaro and "several other members of the Republican Party."

Those who diminish the importance of the January 6 coup attempt by calling it a "riot" or a "violent protest" fail to understand that it is the subject of formal legislative investigations by the U.S. House and the Brazilian Senate. That fact, alone, points to the January 6 event being a vast international conspiracy.

Bannon's operations, including his own involvement in the January 6 insurrection, have been financed by Guo Wengui and Lindell, as well as previously by the multi-billionaire hedge fund father-daughter team of Robert and Rebekah Mercer.

On August 10, 2021, Eduardo Bolsonaro was back in the United States attending Lindell's kooky "cyber symposium" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Bannon emceed the live-streamed symposium. Bolsonaro gave Lindell a "Make America Great Again" hat signed by Donald Trump. Bolsonaro said he had met Trump at his Bedminster, New Jersey on August 9 and Trump asked him to give the hat to Lindell. Bolsonaro gave a speech on how Brazil's election system was as "rigged" as that of the United States. Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly threatened that he might cancel the 2022 presidential election, which polls currently indicate that he would lose to the leftist Lula da Silva in a landslide.

Former Trump White House adviser Jason Miller, the CEO of the right-wing social media platform GETTR, participated in the September 3-4 Conservative Political Action Conference Brasil (CPAC Brasil) conference in Brasilia, the nation's capital. On September 7, Jair Bolsonaro urged tens of thousands of his supporters who gathered in Brasilia to storm the Brazilian Supreme Court and imprison the justices, including Alexandre de Moraes, who has been leading an investigation of President Bolsonaro and members of his family, including Eduardo, for corruption. Miller and his delegation met with Jair and Eduardo Bolsonaro in Brasilia.

The House January 6 committee should also invite Justice Moraes to share on a confidential basis any information he has gleaned on the Bolsonaros involvement with the attempted January 6 coup in Washington. Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly threatened a military coup in Brazil to cement his rule over the country.

The Fourth Reich movement of Donald Trump and his fellow fascists is the focus of the forthcoming editor's book titled, "The Rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich: The Era of Trumpism and the Far-Right."

TheAnalysis.news, 9/11 Lies and the National Security State – Thomas Drake, Paul Jay, Sept. 9, 2021. Twenty years later, Thomas Drake still says the NSA knew about the 9/11 plotters prior to the attack, and likely reported the intel through a back channel to VP Cheney. Nothing was done to prevent the attack, says Drake a Drake, shown at right in a Steven DePolo photoformer senior executive at the NSA. Why? To prepare public opinion in favor of invading Iraq. Drake joins Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news.

Twenty years later, Thomas Drake, right, still says the NSA knew about the 9/11 plotters prior to the attack, and likely reported the intel through a back channel to VP Cheney. Nothing was done to prevent the attack, says Drake a former senior executive at the NSA. Why? To prepare public opinion in favor of invading Iraq. Drake, shown at right in a Steven DePolo photo, joins Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news.

This is the sixth part of the Reality Asserts Itself with Thomas Drake series. Here is a link to the playlist:

TRANSCRIPT:

Paul Jay

Hi, welcome to theAnalysis.news. My name is Paul Jay. In a few seconds, I’ll be back with the man who knew too much, Thomas Drake. We’re going to talk about the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

In 2015, I interviewed Thomas Drake, a former Senior Executive of the National Security Agency and one of the more important whistleblowers in recent years. The interview was titled From 9/11 to Mass Surveillance, The Man Who Knew Too Much. The five-part interview is on the front page of theAnalysis.news, and I think it’s one of the most important interviews I’ve conducted. On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, I urge you to watch all five parts for an explosive look into the role of the NSA [National Security Agency] and the [George W.] Bush/ [Dick] Cheney White House in suppressing intelligence that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. It’s also an important discussion about the roots of the national security state, more or less from 1947, that led to the massive apparatus that exists today.

I also urge you to watch the interview I conducted with Sen. Bob Graham, who was the Co-Chair of the Joint Congressional Committee, investigating 9/11. Graham was convinced that Bush and Cheney not only knowingly allowed the attacks to take place, but in some ways, facilitated them. Graham came to believe the quote, “intelligence failures were by design, engineered mostly by Cheney.”

Thomas Drake went public about secret surveillance programs, and for that, was charged and almost went to jail. That story is also found in the interviews I mentioned above. Drake is a decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy Veteran who worked, in many capacities, within the National Security State. He started a new job as Senior Executive for the NSA on September 11, 2001. That’s right, his first morning of work was the day of the attack on the World Trade Center. He reported directly to the number three leader of the NSA, the signals intelligence director, Maureen Baginski, that put Drake in the position of having access to some of the most critical intel acquired by the NSA prior to 9/11. Although, he saw this data after the fact.

Here’s a short segment of my 2015 interview with Thomas Drake.

CLIP

DRAKE: I was never actually interviewed for the 9/11 Commission.

JAY: Why?

DRAKE: Because I think my testimony was so explosive. It was smoking gun evidence of NSA’s culpability.

JAY: Just to remind people, we talked about this in an earlier segment, that the NSA actually had eavesdropping hard evidence of the connection between these guys, two guys that end up on the American Airlines flight in San Diego and what was known as a Yemeni switchboard for al-Qaeda, and I’m sure much more than that.

DRAKE: Oh, actually, far more. That was just one part of it. There was actually an entire intelligence report that they had done prior–months and months. It was actually in early 2001 that NSA refused to allow it to go out for distribution to the rest of the community. And the analysts were beside themselves. I didn’t find out about it until shortly after 9/11 when it was brought to me.

JAY: What was in it?

DRAKE: The entire network that we knew at that time, based on signals intelligence.

JAY: The entire network that winds up doing 9/11.

DRAKE: The entire al-Qaeda and associated movement. Yes. Not every single hijacker, but most of them were known. Yes.

JAY: Well, I’ve got to return to something we talked about earlier. There’s a backchannel to Cheney. You can’t sit on this stuff.

DRAKE: Of course not.

JAY: Well, watch the earlier segment, ’cause we talked about this.

DRAKE: That was the other intelligence network. He couldn’t trust what was set up from 1947 on. This is one of the ironies of history. Cheney himself could not trust the early alert and warning system that had been put into place in 1947, in which we would never have another [incompr.] like Pearl Harbor.

JAY: Unless you want one.

DRAKE: Well, he knew it would take something like that. I’ll just–we’re going to put it right on the table again, ’cause we keep saying it. He knew it would take something like a 9/11 in the 21st century for Americans to just cede to the government whatever was necessary to deal with whatever happened.

Sept. 5

ritz carlton hotel pentagon city amazonThe Ritz Carlton–Pentagon City in Northern Virginia, the site of a significant, unreported international meeting on January 5 — Insurrection Eve.

Proof via Substack, Investigation: Evidence of Foreign Entanglement in January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol Emerges, Seth Abramson, left, Sept. 5, 2021. A top Trump ally met foreign nationals in seth abramson graphicVirginia hours before the Capitol attack. The potential links between this meeting and the transnational conspiracy theory that animated the attack are clear.

“If it [the January 6 attack] [had been] organized, they would have taken the Capitol and made demands that had already been established by the group. They would have [had] the firepower to assure nobody [among the rioters] would die. [They would have] kill[ed] all the cops inside [the Capitol]—or the congressmen they hate so much. When the right is 10% as organized as the left, we will have civil wars in every Western country.”

—Trump ally Eduardo Bolsonaro, in comments The Brazilian Report called “chilling”

seth abramson proof logoIntroduction: In a series of Facebook livestreams and interviews with far-right media outlets on January 5 and January 6, informal Trump adviser Michael Lindell underscored that he believed January 6 would be a turning point in American history—in fact, he said more than once, he believed it would be the most significant moment in the United States since the end of the American Civil War.

Lindell’s militant view of the joint session of Congress scheduled for January 6, 2021 provides some context for his decision to be one of the benefactors of the Stop the Steal “movement” following the November 2020 presidential election. So the matter of who Lindell was meeting with on January 5, and where and why—especially as it was on that day that Lindell published what amounted to a declaration of civil war—is now of very significant interest to federal investigators.

Read more at the Proof site to see the revelations....

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

 whowhatwhy logoWhoWhatWhy, Investigation: Sirhan May Go Free — But Truth on the Kennedy Assassinations Remains Locked Up, Russ Baker and Milicent Cranor, Sept. 5, 2021. The possible parole of Sirhan Sirhan — convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy and imprisoned for more than half a century — reminds us that disturbing questions still remain about what really happened in the pantry of Los Angeles’s Ambassador Hotel shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968.

The official story states that Sirhan was a militant Palestinian Christian, driven to murder the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee over his support of Israel. According to this view, anything suspicious about Sirhan’s identification as RFK’s sole killer can be explained away as inconsequential details; probing deeper into the killing is self-indulgent conspiracy theorizing, and releasing Sirhan now would be an affront to justice.

Many of us pride ourselves on being “pro-science” and are appalled by those who react reflexively to almost any “establishment” narrative with suspicion and counter-theories. COVID-19 and climate change come to mind.

Sept. 4

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: US enjoys blessings of first Labor Day holiday of Golden Peace after twenty years of futile warfare, Webster G. Tarpley, right, Sept. 4, 2021.
webster tarpley 2007President ends two decades of Afghan conflict based on false pretenses; Warmongers rail against the incipient Pax Bideniana;

  • Time for scofflaw Supreme Court justices to stand in the dock of public opinion, leading to court reform; majority are not conservatives, but reactionary extremists;
  • September 18 Hill demonstrations loom in support of insurrection defendants; but will violent groups metastasize into local acts of mayhem?
  • Germany, France, Israel and others dispensing booster shots;
  • Newsome garners 58% in California recall polls; but beware the precedent of the Prussian coup of July 1932, the direct prelude to dictatorship!

washington post logoWashington Post, Biden signs executive order requiring review, release of some classified 9/11 documents, Amy B Wang and Matt Zapotosky, Sept. 4, 2021 (print ed.). President Biden on Friday signed an executive order that would require the review, declassification and release of classified government documents related to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In doing so, Biden said he was fulfilling a promise he had made while campaigning for president, in which he had vowed, if elected, to direct the U.S. Attorney General to “personally examine the merits of all cases” where the government had invoked state secrets privilege and “to err on the side of disclosure in cases where, as here, the events in question occurred two decades or longer ago.”

“When I ran for president, I made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America,” Biden said in a statement Friday. “As we approach the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, I am honoring that commitment.”

Justice Department log circularThe executive order directs the Justice Department and other relevant agencies to oversee a declassification review of documents related to the FBI’s Sept. 11 investigations. The order also requires the U.S. Attorney General to release the declassified documents publicly over the next six months, Biden said.

Families of hundreds of 9/11 victims had told Biden last month that he would not be welcome at this year’s memorial events marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks unless he declassified government evidence beforehand that could link Saudi Arabia to the attack, according to a letter sent to the White House in August.

Shortly afterward, the Justice Department pledged to review evidence related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a move that an advocate for some of the families criticized as insufficient. In a court filing last month, the Justice Department already had said the FBI was reviewing the materials for possible public disclosure.

But Biden’s executive order imposes new conditions and timetables on that process, commanding the bureau to review some materials by Sept. 11 and others on staggered deadlines over the next 180 days.

Biden also seemed to direct the bureau to favor disclosure in questionable calls, writing that material should not stay secret if there was “significant doubt” about the need for it to remain classified, and that the attorney general and others should determine “whether the public interest in disclosure of the information outweighs the damage to the national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure.”

The FBI said in a statement reacting to the order: “The FBI will continue to work in coordination with the Department of Justice and other agencies to declassify and release documents related to the 9/11 investigation.” The Justice Department declined to comment to The Washington Post.

In the shadow of the towers: Five lives and a world transformed

Some 9/11 families immediately praised the executive order Friday. One group, 9/11 Families United, which represents more than 10,000 people affected by the attacks, said in a statement that Biden’s order “looks like a true turning point.”

“We have been fighting the FBI and intelligence community for too long,” said Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, was killed in the World Trade Center. “There is much more work to be done to secure justice for our murdered loved ones and to rectify the immense damage the 20-year shroud of secrecy has caused, but we now are optimistic that President Biden will be helping us achieve those goals.”

Brett Eagleson, who lost his father, Bruce Eagleson, in the 9/11 attacks, commended Biden for signing the executive order, calling it “a critical first step” to a full accounting.

“We will closely watch this process to ensure the Justice Department and FBI follow through, act in good faith, and help our families uncover the truth in our pursuit of justice against the Saudi government,” Brett Eagleson said in a statement. “The first test will be on 9/11, and the world will be watching.”

Several members of Congress, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), said they supported Biden’s decision to order the declassification review of 9/11 documents. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday the committee would closely oversee the review process “to ensure that all agencies adhere to the president’s guidance to apply the maximum degree of transparency allowed by law when conducting the review.”

Biden has not yet made public his plans for the 20th anniversary of the attacks. Last year, while campaigning for president, he attended Sept. 11 memorial events in Lower Manhattan and Shanksville, Pa.

“My heart continues to be with the 9/11 families who are suffering, and my Administration will continue to engage respectfully with members of this community,” Biden said Friday. “I welcome their voices and insight as we chart a way forward.”

Sept. 3

ny times logoNew York Times, Analysis: Texas Abortion Case Highlights Concern Over Supreme Court’s ‘Shadow Docket,’ Charlie Savage, right, Sept. 3, 2021 (print ed.). A charlie savageprocess intended to help the court deal with emergency petitions and routine matters has grown into a backdoor way of making major policy decisions.

Most of the time, the Supreme Court appears to the public like a cautiously deliberative body. Before issuing major rulings, the justices pore over extensive written briefs, grill lawyers in oral arguments and then take months to draft opinions explaining their reasoning, which they release at precisely calibrated moments.

Then there is the “shadow docket.”

With increasing frequency, the court is taking up weighty matters in a rushed way, considering emergency petitions that often yield late-night decisions issued with minimal or no written opinions. Such orders have reshaped the legal landscape in recent years on high-profile matters like changes to immigration enforcement, disputes over election rules, and public-health orders barring religious gatherings and evictions during the pandemic.

The latest and perhaps most powerful example came just before midnight on Wednesday, when the court ruled 5 to 4 to leave in place a novel Texas law that bars most abortions in the state — a momentous development in the decades-long judicial battle over abortion rights.

The court spent less than three days dealing with the case. There were no oral arguments before the justices. The majority opinion was unsigned and one paragraph long. In a dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the case illustrated “just how far the court’s ‘shadow-docket’ decisions may depart” from the usual judicial process and said use of the shadow docket “every day becomes more unreasoned, inconsistent and impossible to defend.”

There is nothing new about the court having an orders docket where it swiftly disposes of certain matters. But with the notable exception of emergency applications for last-minute stays of execution, this category of court activity has traditionally received little attention. That is because for the most part, the orders docket centers on routine case management requests by lawyers, like asking for permission to submit an unusually long brief.

The court also uses it to dispose of emergency appeals. Each justice handles requests from a different region, and can reject them or bring them to the full court. And increasingly, the court has been using its orders docket — which was deemed the “shadow docket” in 2015, in an influential law journal article by William Baude, a University of Chicago law professor — to swiftly decide whether to block government actions, turning it into a powerful tool for affecting public policy without fully hearing from the parties or explaining its actions in writing.

Criticism of the use of the shadow docket has been building for years but rose to a new level with the Texas abortion case. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, denounced the ruling, saying it allowed what he portrayed as a “flagrantly unconstitutional law” to take force and calling it “shameful” that the court’s majority did so without hearing arguments or issuing any signed opinion. He announced hearings.

“Because the court has now shown repressive state legislatures how to game the system, the House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to shine a light on the Supreme Court’s dangerous and cowardly use of the shadow docket,” he said in a statement. “Decisions like this one chip away at our democracy.”

Liberals are not the only ones who see problems in the increasing importance of the court’s exercise of power through emergency orders. When the court issued a shadow-docket order last year letting a Trump administration immigration rule take effect — overturning a lower-court judge’s nationwide injunction blocking the rule — Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, a conservative, supported that result but lamented the process that had led up to it.

“Rather than spending their time methodically developing arguments and evidence in cases limited to the parties at hand, both sides have been forced to rush from one preliminary injunction hearing to another, leaping from one emergency stay application to the next, each with potentially nationwide stakes, and all based on expedited briefing and little opportunity for the adversarial testing of evidence,” he wrote.

But while there is broad consensus that the Supreme Court’s use of the shadow docket for high-profile rulings is growing — a trend playing out within an increasingly polarized judiciary and nation — defining the precise nature of the problem is complicated and subject to dispute.

“I don’t think anyone thinks it is good to have a lot of last-minute requests for emergency relief that the court has to focus on and decide,” said Samuel Bray, a University of Notre Dame law professor who testified about the shadow docket this summer before President Biden’s commission studying possible Supreme Court changes. “But there are difficult questions about what has caused the high-profile use of the shadow docket — and what to do about it.”

Over the past decade or so, such rulings have clearly become more common. Typically, they involve emergency appeals of lower-court rulings over the question of whether to block some change — like a new law or government policy — so it cannot be enforced while the slow process of litigating plays out

One way of measuring the Supreme Court’s use of its shadow docket to issue major decisions is how often it has used that power to summarily disrupt the status quo — such as by granting or vacating an injunction when a lower court had ruled a different way.

stephen vladeck resizedAccording to data compiled by Stephen I. Vladeck, a University of Texas at Austin law professor who has written critically about the rise of the shadow docket, cases in which the Supreme Court disrupted the status quo numbered in the single digits each year from 2005 to 2013, but have been rising since, reaching 19 in its last term and 19 again so far this term.

“If they are going to issue rulings that profoundly change the law, I think they have an obligation to write and to explain why they are doing it,” said Mr. Vladeck, right, who also testified on the issue before the Supreme Court commission. “They have an obligation to the lower courts, to the other parties in the case and to other public officials who need guidance.”

But as the furor over the Texas abortion rights case shows, that measure is imperfect. In that case, rather than summarily disrupting the status quo established by a lower court, the Supreme Court majority decided not to overturn what an appeals court had done.

The most restrictive in the country. The Texas abortion law, known as Senate Bill 8, amounts to a nearly complete ban on abortion in the state. It prohibits most abortions after about six weeks of preganancy and makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape.

Citizens, not the state, will enforce the law. The law effectively deputizes ordinary citizens — including those from outside Texas — allowing them to sue clinics and others who violate the law. It awards them at least $10,000 per illegal abortion if they are successful.

Patients cannot be sued. The law allows doctors, staff and even a patient’s Uber driver to become potential defendants.

The Supreme Court’s decision.

The Supreme Court refused just before midnight on Wednesday to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions, less than a day after it took effect and became the most restrictive abortion measure in the nation. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s three liberal members in dissent.

In an interview, Mr. Baude — the professor who coined the term “shadow docket,” and who is a member of Mr. Biden’s Supreme Court commission — said another reason the debate was so complicated was that there were different types of worries over the court’s growing use of its emergency orders to swiftly resolve matters, and they only partly overlapped.

One worry, he said, is substantive: The court may reach the wrong result because it is rushing. Another is procedural: Regardless of the result, it is not fair to parties who do not get a chance to be fully heard before the decision. A third is about transparency: The court should fully explain itself and disclose how each justice voted.

But the uproar over the majority’s handling of the Texas anti-abortion law, he said, seems most centered on another worry: that the conservative majority on the court is not being evenhanded or consistent about when it chooses to intervene with an emergency order.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: In the Dead of Night, the Supreme Court Proved It Has Too Much Power, Jamelle Bouie, right, Sept. 3, 2021. The Supreme Court’s recent jamelle bouiereliance on the so-called shadow docket to make major rulings — on display, this week, in its decision to let Texas end legal abortion after six weeks, at least for now — throws the problem of judicial power in a representative democracy into sharp relief.

First, some background. The shadow docket refers to emergency orders and decisions made outside of the court’s regular docket of cases, usually without oral arguments. The term was coined six years ago by William Baude, a law professor at the University of Chicago, but the division between regular cases and this more specialized set has been around for decades. All it takes to get on the docket is to appeal to one justice, who then decides whether to forward the matter to the rest of the court.

Many of these orders are minor and procedural, but others deal with high-stakes issues of national concern. In recent years, and especially during the Trump administration, the court has relied on the shadow docket to make consequential decisions on a wide range of issues. Often, the court issues its decisions from the shadow docket without signed opinions or detailed explanations of the kind you would find in an argued case.

In the last five months, the Supreme Court has used the shadow docket to strike down Covid restrictions on group religious activities in private homes, force President Biden to reinstate the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers from Central America and block the extension of an emergency federal ban on evictions, putting countless Americans at risk of homelessness.

The vote on the Texas abortion law came Wednesday, in the dead of night, when a narrow majority of the court declined to stop Texas from implementing a new ban on abortions past the sixth week of pregnancy, which is often before many women even know they are pregnant.

The law is a flagrant violation of Roe v. Wade. But because Texas has deputized private citizens to enforce the ban rather than rely on executive authority — a deliberate choice meant to prevent federal courts from blocking the law — the high court has declined to act against the ban, citing the “complex and novel antecedent procedural questions” of the case. For Justice Sonia Sotomayor, this is nonsense. “The court,” she wrote in her dissent, “has rewarded the state’s effort to delay federal review of a plainly unconstitutional statute, enacted in disregard of the court’s precedents, through procedural entanglements of the state’s own creation.”

Abortion rights are a dead letter in Texas, at least temporarily. And Republican lawmakers in other parts of the country now have a clear road map for making the same thing happen in their own states. Republican legislative leaders in Florida, for example, have already said they are working on a similar law.

Another way to put this is that the court has essentially nullified the constitutional rights of millions of American women without so much as an argument. It has shaken the constitutional landscape — refusing to apply the law as it was decided in previous cases — while shielding itself from the scrutiny that might come under normal circumstances. The court has transformed the constitutional status quo under cover of night. This isn’t judicial review as much as it is a raw exercise of judicial power.

It is common enough knowledge that the Supreme Court’s power to shape American society is a function not so much of its formal power under the Constitution as it is of its popular legitimacy. And much of that legitimacy rests on the idea that the court is acting fairly, transparently and in good faith. It rests, as well, on the idea of the court as a partner in governance and a safeguard for the rights of the American people.

The court’s abuse of the shadow docket is in that category: actions that threaten to place the rule of men over the rule of law. It’s not that the court is political — that is to be expected — but that its conservative majority is acting in arbitrary, secretive ways, with hardly any justification other than its own power to do so.

The shadow docket aside, the extent to which political outcomes in America rest on the opaque machinations of a cloistered, nine-member clique is the clearest possible sign that we’ve given too much power to this institution. We can have self-government or we can have rule by judge, but we cannot have both.

ny times logoNew York Times, Editorial: The Abortion Ruling Was Stunning but Not Surprising, Editorial Board, Sept. 3, 2021. Many Americans were caught off guard by the Supreme Court’s decision late Wednesday night to let stand a blatantly unconstitutional Texas law that bans nearly all abortions in the state.

They shouldn’t have been. Anti-choice activists, lawmakers and judges have been laying the groundwork for this moment since the court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973.

For nearly half a century, the anti-abortion movement had to settle for partial victories, constantly chipping away at women’s right to an abortion, but never achieving the ultimate goal of overturning Roe itself. Now, with a hard-right supermajority on the bench for this purpose, that goal is within reach — even as a solid and consistent majority of the American public continues to believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

For the majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to comprehensive reproductive health, the Supreme Court is now an adversary. Any long-term success will mean fighting the same way anti-abortion campaigners have for decades — in the political realm, by winning elections at the state and federal levels and changing laws as a result. Unlike the justices, elected leaders can be voted out if they don’t listen to their constituents. It’s a long and difficult road, but it’s the one all lasting reforms in a democracy must take.

brett kavanaugh flag

 washington post logoWashington Post, Sen. Collins asserted that Kavanaugh considered abortion rights settled law. His decision on Texas’s ban suggests otherwise, Felicia Sonmez, Sept. 3, 2021 (print ed.). Sen. Susan Collins emerged from her face-to-face meeting with then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, above, in August 2018 insisting that he had reassured her that Roe v. Wade was settled law.

susan collins official SmallTwo months later, Collins (R-Maine), right, who supports abortion rights, declared in a lengthy Senate floor speech that Kavanaugh had a “record of judicial independence” and dismissed the notion that he might overturn precedent. She later would vote to confirm him to the lifetime post.

Collins’s past assertions came into sharp relief Wednesday as Kavanaugh joined four of his fellow conservatives on the court in declining to block one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws, a Texas statute that bans the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy with no exception for rape or incest. The court’s action stands as the most serious threat to the landmark ruling establishing a woman’s right to abortion in nearly 50 years.

Collins’s support for Kavanaugh — and her insistence that he would uphold Roe — was crucial in installing then-President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court as the Senate confirmed him by one of the narrowest margins in history, a near party-line 50-to-48 vote.

His decision late Wednesday night revives questions of whether Collins was misled by the nominee or whether she was intent on supporting him no matter his views on abortion rights. Collins’s full-throated endorsement of Kavanaugh and her swing vote means she will always be associated with this Supreme Court justice, winning praise from conservatives and widespread criticism from liberals.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Collins called the Texas law “extreme and harmful.” She made no specific mention of Kavanaugh but noted that of the six Supreme Court justices she has voted to confirm, three voted with the majority on the Texas ban, while three voted with the minority.

“The Supreme Court recognized that there are ‘serious questions’ regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law, and it emphasized that its recent ruling does not address those questions,” Collins said. “I oppose the Court’s decision to allow the law to remain in effect for now while these underlying constitutional and procedural questions are litigated.”

Abortion providers say the Texas ban — which relies on private citizens to sue people who help women obtain abortions prohibited under the law — effectively eliminates the guarantee in Roe v. Wade and subsequent Supreme Court decisions that women have a right to end their pregnancies before viability, and that states may not impose undue burdens on that decision. It was specifically designed to turn away pre-enforcement challenges in federal courts.

Collins’s support for Kavanaugh became a major issue in her bid for reelection in 2020. Some abortion rights groups withdrew their support for Collins, and a major LGBTQ rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, endorsed her Democratic opponent, Maine’s then-House Speaker Sara Gideon, citing Collins’s vote to confirm Kavanaugh, as well as “her support of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump’s agenda.”

Nonetheless, the senator successfully won reelection, taking 51 percent to Gideon’s 42.4 percent. Collins, 68, is not up for reelection until 2026.

America's Untold Stories,

, Eric Hunley and Mark Groubert, Sept. 3, 2021 (101 mins). America's Untold Stories with Eric Hunley and Mark Groubert is featuring part two of Sirhan Sirhan and the assassination of Robert F Kennedy. Mark presented at the Sirhan Sirhan Parole Hearing on August 27, 2021.

This is exclusive coverage of the parole hearing and the trial that put him in prison.

supreme court resized 2021

Sept. 2

Proof via Substack, Investigation: On Insurrection Eve, Trump Adviser Michael Lindell Both Proposed Civil War in a 15-Page Manifesto and Met in Virginia with a seth abramson graphicCorrupt Foreign National, Seth Abramson, left, Sept. 2, 2021. In this second entry of the Proof series on lightly reported or non-reported pre-insurrection meetings involving insurrectionist kingpins, we discuss a secretive January 5 dinner in Virginia. 

Introduction: Proof long ago reported on Michael Lindell’s claims that he met with the corrupt son of corrupt Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on January 5. That reporting in turn led to two additional significant Proof reports on the possible value of the Bolsonaros to Trump’s coup attempt; the connection between other Trump war room participants (such as the Becks of Idaho) and the Bolsonaros; and other visits Eduardo Bolsonaro made during his consistently-thereafter-lied-about trip to D.C.—including not just one but two visits to see the Trump family at the White House, one before Insurrection Day and one shortly afterward.

seth abramson proof logoThe reports linked to above contain photographs of these key meetings. Ultimately, reports at Proof about Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Michael Lindell, Team Kraken, Daniel Beck, Doyle Beck, Eduardo and Jair Bolsonaro, and Donald Trump led to an ongoing Congressional inquiry in Brazil, as detailed (with links) in the history of this publication.

Brazilian media has now covered the possible involvement of the Brazilian government in Team Trump’s fraudulent “election fraud” accusations against Brazil’s foremost enemy—Venezuela—in a way that U.S. media has not.

And some members of Team Trump and its offshoot Team Kraken, such as Sidney Powell, have maintained their lies about Venezuela in a way that must be extremely pleasing to the increasingly unstable, perpetually embattled neo-fascist Bolsonaro government.

Proof can now report much more on what Lindell was doing on Insurrection Eve than it already has—though this is a developing story, and there is doubtless much more to learn. But the urgency of uncovering what Lindell has been up to has only grown since his insurrectionist August “conference” in South Dakota; his past claims that Trump will be reinstated as President of the United States (which would have seen Trump back in the White House on August 13, per Lindell); and the upcoming Justice for J6 rally in D.C. on September 18, during which insurrectionists like Lindell will return to the scene of past offenses via a rally law enforcement fears could spawn new violence.

Read more at the Proof site to see the revelations....

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

 

 

August

Aug. 22

World Crisis Radio, Opinion: Trump sabotaged Afghan withdrawal! Webster G. Tarpley, Aug. 21, 2021. Defying 2019 order by federal judge Chutkan, Trump-Miller webster tarpley 2007xenophobic operatives gutted State Department visa processing apparatus, stranding Afghan translators and auxiliaries in Kabul, former Pence official reveals; this is key factor in humanitarian emergency now, but Blob media continue to vilify Biden for delivering on promise to country sick of war;

With GOP more than ever the face of the pandemic, will California recall voters choose deadly covid chaos under a raving GOP ideologue on model of deSantis, Abbott, Noem, or Ducey?

Lame duck Bush Sr. trapped Clinton with Somalia intervention of November 1992, leading to Black Hawk Down defeat.

Aug. 19

Proof via Substack, Investigation: New Pre-Insurrection Strategy Meetings #1: Reps. Mo Brooks and Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Donald Trump, and 50 seth abramson graphicHouse Republicans, Seth Abramson, left, Aug. 19, 2021. In this new entry in a Proof series focused on lightly or non-reported pre-insurrection meetings involving insurrectionist kingpins, we discuss a secretive GOP-caucus call no one seems to be aware of.

Introduction: Most Americans don’t yet realize how much planning Congressional Republicans did prior to January 6 to ensure that that seth abramson proof logoterrible day would be as chaotic as possible.

The lightly and in some cases unreported meetings that top Washington Republicans held between January 2 and January 5—including White House meetings—explain why the Republican Party writ large can under no circumstances cooperate with the new House January 6 Committee. It is now a certainty that if that committee conducts a comprehensive review of top Republicans’ movements in the 120 hours preceding the January 6 attack on the Capitol, it will discover an institutionalized insurrectionist conspiracy the GOP must hide from voters if it is to take back the House in late 2022.

Proof previously began the process of reporting on largely or entirely unreported pre-insurrection strategy sessions with this article, among whose stunning revelations was a national conference call held by Donald Trump with state GOP officials on January 2. That call, which included nearly 300 such officials and was both highly irregular and conducted on a weekend, would have been more than enough covert insurrectionist business for a President of the United States to conduct a single day. But it turns out that it wasn’t the only major pre-insurrection meeting Donald Trump chaired that day.

This article is about a second such meeting.

Read more at the Proof site to see the revelations....

Seth Abramson, shown above and at right, is founder of Proof and is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism, seth abramson resized4 proof of collusionlegal advocacy, and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. A regular political and legal analyst on CNN and the BBC during the Trump presidency, he is a best-selling author who has published eight books and edited five anthologies.

Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Ph.D. program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include a Trump trilogy: Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020); Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019); and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018).

Aug. 17

American System Network, Commentary: Afghan collapse started under Trump in February 2020, Webster G. Tarpley, left, Aug. 16, 2021. Trump’s Doha pullout pledge webster tarpley 2007to Taliban triggered surrender deals by tribal and province chiefs, setting stage for disintegration of Afghan army.

williams burns 20057,000 US troops are enough for Afghan redout to hold airport enclave, airlift Americans and friends to Guam over coming weeks.

Biden should fire failed Doha negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, the Bush-Trump retread who disoriented US government, and hold NSC’s Jake Sullivan and CIA’s William Burns, right, accountable.

Breaking: Biden speech follows JFK after Bay of Pigs by saying I am President, the buck stops here; President should also study JFK’s ouster of CIA boss Allen Dulles and his clique for lying and incompetence.

Aug. 16

Responsible Statecraft, Analysis: America leaves Afghanistan, and the regional geopolitics take over, Graham E. Fuller, left, Aug. 16, 2021. There will