Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Breaking Butterflies: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the Paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover

There is no doubt that later this summer, all forms of media print, TV, radio etc., will be awash with the memory, however hazy, of the 50th anniversary of the similarly media-driven Summer of Love.  Never mind that if you ask the residents of the epicenter of this event, the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, a great many of them will tell you that the real Summer of Love was 1965 and 1966, before Flower Children culture was appropriated and commercialized for consumption by mainstream America to become those dreaded dirty hippies.  The media got their kill for the establishment, and they won't pass up the opportunity to bask in the fifty year old glow of that victory when the chill of winter subsides.

But there is a different 50th anniversary I want to talk about.  Like the Summer of Love, this is filled with just as much drugs, sex and phenomenal rock music, but with enough paranoia, treachery and overkill in this drama to describe the event as a Winter of Discontent.  That would be the arrest and trial of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones for drug possession that began in February of 1967.  Part of what initiated this incident was the response of Mick Jagger to a News of the World story from February 5 that reported him consuming Benzedrine and sharing hash at Blaises, a London club.  Jagger was not even at the club when News of the World visited it (according to page 223 of Mick Jagger by Philip Norman, the Rolling Stone they most likely interviewed was Brian Jones), so he denounced the story as lies on a TV show broadcast that evening, then had a writ for libel served to the offending paper.  Mick and Keith decided to spend the following weekend with some friends at Keith's recently purchased cottage in the Sussex countryside to escape the London spotlight.  That might sound like a smart move, except for the fact that one of the "friends" they brought with them was a drug dealer with an attaché case full of LSD.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards  Photo courtesy of Flickr

The weekend began the evening of Friday, February 10, at Abbey Road studios where Mick Jagger, his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull and Keith Richards attended the Beatles recording the orchestral parts of the track "A Day in the Life," a Lennon/McCartney song that would be released later that year as the final track on their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  The taping lasted until early Saturday morning, after which Keith and his guests for the weekend drove in convoy fifty miles away to his West Sussex cottage called Redlands.  After arriving, some enjoyed tripping on "Sunshine," a California-made variety of acid known to provide a more relaxing and tranquil trip than usual.  On Sunday morning, they enjoyed genuine sunshine with a brisk country walk through the woods.  When they returned they found two surprise guests, George Harrison and his wife, Pattie.  They left soon after though, as George found the atmosphere too low-key for him.

How ironic that at that time, around 5pm, a call was made to the West Sussex Regional Police Headquarters that a "riotous party" was going on at Redlands, including drug use.  The eighteen raiding police officers were surprised to find a rather mellow gathering settling down to watch a film on television.  They then searched each individual guest methodically for drugs.  Mick Jagger had four white amphetamine tablets in his jacket pocket confiscated.  Another guest, Robert Fraser, had confiscated what he told the police were insulin tablets, but were later tested to be heroin.  They also confiscated marijuana from a guest named David Snyderman, known as Acid King David.  Before leaving, they formally cautioned Keith Richards that if any of the items they confiscated proved to be illegal, he would face prosecution for letting them be used in his home.

The Rolling Stones  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There are a couple of myths associated with this infamous drug bust, likely perpetrated by the equally infamous News of the World.  One is that the police busted an orgy in progress.  This is false, spread mostly by innuendo surrounding the fact that Marianne Faithfull, after showering from the long country walk that afternoon, had wrapped herself in a fur rug from a bed that she was wearing when the police arrived.  When approached by a policewoman to be searched, she let the rug fall and shouted theatrically, "Search me!"  This made Mick Jagger beside himself with laughter.  The other related rumor is that Mick was discovered licking a Mars bar inserted into Marianne's holiest of holies.  A salacious rumor at the time, but one without a shred of evidence, aside from Keith admitting he probably had Mars bars in his home for guests with the munchies.

When the confiscated items were confirmed as illegal, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards received court summonses alleging offenses against the Dangerous Drugs Act on March 20, 1967.  Along with their art dealer friend Robert Fraser, they plead not guilty at a preliminary hearing on May 10.  The trial lasted three days.  The first day, June 27, the sole witness for the defense, Dr. Raymond Dixon Firth, stated he gave Mick verbal permission to take the amphetamine tablets and in his view, it was a legitimate prescription.  The judge, Leslie Block, who told fellow Sussex landowners in a speech a few months later that, "We did our best, your countrymen, my fellow magistrates and I, to cut these Stones down to size," instructed the jury not to regard his words as a prescription.  While they found him guilty in six minutes, Block deferred the sentence until after the trials of Robert Fraser and Keith Richards.  Then Fraser changed his plea to guilty in the hope of reducing his sentence.  Keith's trial took place over the next two days.  Judge Block then amplified the circus environment of the trial by allowing lurid details of the behavior of Marianne Faithfull (not so convincingly camouflaged as "Miss X") to be presented, then in summing-up instructed the jury to disregard it and pretend they never heard it.  They retired for an hour, then pronounced Keith guilty.  The judge sentenced Fraser to six months, Mick to three months and Keith to one year in prison.

Marianne Faithfull  Photo courtesy of Rate Your Music

The reaction to this obvious attempt to make an example of the Stones as a scapegoat for generation gap disdain was outrage.  The severity of the sentences for crimes which an ordinary first time offender might be expected to pay only a modest fine upset many fellow Brits sense of fair play.  This sense not only occurred among the Rolling Stones contemporaries such as the Who, who released cover versions of two Jagger-Richard songs, "The Last Time" and "Under My Thumb," as a protest during the trial with all proceeds going to charity, but also among older establishment voices.  On June 30, an appeals process began where with a 7,000 pound per person bail, Mick and Keith were released provided they surrendered their passports and agree not to leave the country before their full appeal was heard.

The next day, July 1, William Rees-Mogg, the editor of The Times, wrote a scathing indictment of the trial titled, "Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel?"  The meaning of the phrase, originally coined by satirist Alexander Pope in 1735, is that subjecting a defenseless target to a brutal attack is as pointless as strapping a butterfly to a medieval torture rack.  The butterfly in this case was Jagger and Rees-Mogg made such an articulate case for why his treatment was an injustice that it helped accelerate the appeals process with Lord Chief Justice Parker intervening to hear Mick and Keith's appeal on July 31.  The result was that while Mick's conviction was upheld because the amphetamine found in his pocket, Stenamina, was illegal in England, his sentence was erased.  Keith did even better, having both his sentence and his conviction overturned.  The appeals court even censured Judge Block for allowing the titillating testimony about Marianne Faithfull to be presented in court when she wasn't even on trial.

Keith Richards with Acid King David   Photo courtesy of conspiromedia.wordpress.com

Yet even with this near-full vindication, there was still the nagging question of who tipped off the police in the first place and why.  There were only two guests at Redlands who were under suspicion, Nicky Cramer and Acid King David.  After "Jagger's pet gangster" David Litvinoff and fellow London thug John Bindon declared Cramer innocent (after beating him to a pulp) that left the possible pool of informants at one with Acid King David, who fled England the day after the bust.  At the time, the party thought to have the greatest motive to see the Stones busted was the News of the World after Jagger had sued them for libel, which Keith had suggested in court that they used Acid King David as an agent provocateur.  But according to the real Acid King David, who dropped the last name Snyderman upon returning to the USA and was known as David Jove until he died in 2004, his real employer was much higher up the food chain.  As told in pages 264-265 of Mick Jagger by Philip Norman:

In fact, at Redlands just before the raid, he had come close to giving himself away when - his guard possibly lowered by drugs - he'd started talking enigmatically to Michael Cooper about spying and espionage, "the James Bond thing ... the whole CIA bit."  Three decades later in L.A., he confessed to Maggie Abbott that he'd been recruited by MI5 on behalf of America's Federal Bureau of Investigation, specifically an offshoot known as COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) set up by the FBI's director, J. Edgar Hoover, in the 1920s, to protect national security and maintain the existing social and political order.  For almost forty years, COINTELPRO operated against so-called subversive elements, from Communists and socialists and Soviet spies to the civil rights movement, black radicals, the campaign against the Vietnam War, and feminists, unhindered by any normal restraints of democracy or morality.  Its methods, for which it would finally be wound up by a horrified Senate investigation in 1971, included illegal surveillance, black propaganda, burglary, forgery, conspiracy, and harassment.

By 1967, COINTELPRO had switched its focus to the subversive effects of rock music on America's young, particularly the kind coming from Britain, most particularly the kind played by the Rolling Stones.  Getting two Stones busted for drug possession would ensure they were denied visas for any further U.S. tours in the foreseeable future.  Britain's security services had been more than happy to assist in the thwarting of these public menaces.  And once they were nailed - so Snyderman had been led to understand - the next ones on the hit list would be the Beatles.

On page 435, Norman quotes a former FBI operative saying, "J. Edgar Hoover hated Jagger probably more than any other pop-cultural figure of his generation."  There certainly are numerous incidents throughout history where Hoover's legendary paranoia drove him to great lengths to nail the perceived offender of his own warped sense of justice.  But what happened fifty years ago certainly qualifies as one of the most colorful and bizarre examples.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Countdown to Trumpstag: Entering the Endgame, Swelling the Shock Doctrine

"With the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which have become costly guerilla conflicts, and with the exposure of the Bush administration's deceptions about 9/11 and the threats posed by Saddam Hussein, we have seen the seeds for new conflicts being planted in West Africa, Venezuela, and Columbia, as well as in the Far East, Indonesia and Korea.  In each of these places, there are reserves of oil and gas or strategic transit routes that can help to meet supply needs for whoever controls them.

The Endgame for all this struggle is China, whose oil imports were recently predicted by the Japan Times to increase by 500% before the year 2030."

-Michael C. Ruppert from The Truth and Lies of 9-11 Introduction filmed in 2004

The interregnum of infamy is coming to a close.  With the presidential election of 2016 now officially stolen, there have been numerous pieces written about the numerous ways this transition clearly delineates the end of Obamanation and the start of Abomination.  Pieces about the repeal of Obamacare, the building of "The Wall" and mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.  Pieces about the ban on Muslim immigration to the US and registry for Muslims in the US.  Pieces about domestic policy that try to demonize Trump as something 'other' than a conservative Republican, as the ill-fated Clinton campaign tried to do, but which inevitably, from my perspective, illustrate him as just the inevitable hypocritical Tea Party poster child for government mismanagement at the highest level in the name of a political temper tantrum summed up in a two word mantra: "no compromise."

Donald J. Trump  Photo credit: Flickr

This is not going to be one of those pieces.  My focus will be on foreign policy.  Sure, there's plenty of columns out there on Trump's foreign policy, covering the upcoming 'tearing up' of the Iran nuclear deal, making nice with Russia and "bomb the shit out of ISIS."  But not many cover the situation from the American Judas perspective: documenting the Deep State and other conspiracies through consciousness of the Carbon Crisis.  I've already presented a hypothesis prior to the general election that the overworld might consider President Trump a useful tool to facilitate a transition of Operation Gladio B under NATO control to an Operation Gladio C that decentralizes NATO responsibility (as recently as January 15 he called them "obsolete")and privatizes wherever possible to obscure accountability.  Anyone familiar with history knows that wherever Operation Gladio goes, false flag attacks follow.  And there have certainly been no shortage of columns exploring the possibility of a 'Reichstag fire' event during Trump's time in office.  Where I hope to be different in my exploration of a 'Trumpstag' event requires revisiting an old subject the overworld pimping privatization would prefer we all forget about: Peak Oil.

Michael C. Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon  Photo credit: Wikipedia

I happen to concur with the late Michael Ruppert, whom I quoted earlier, that one of the motives for the Gladio B attacks on September 11, 2001 was Peak Oil.  Contrary to what pundits have proclaimed, Peak Oil is not "dead"; it never was a question of if, but when it would occur.  "Maestro" Dick Cheney certainly didn't have a crystal ball to foresee how technological improvements in hydraulic fracking could forestall its imminence when, as CEO of Halliburton in 1999, he demonstrated his knowledge of Peak Oil in a speech at the London Institute of Petroleum.  I don't claim to have a crystal ball either as to whether a peak in total liquid fuel global production (the real Peak Oil, not just light sweet crude) will happen before the end of the decade, or in the 20s or 30s.  But it is axiomatic that unless there is massive global deindustrialization (highly unlikely) or massive global depopulation (scarily likely), it will happen before the end of the century.  No other liquid fuel on the planet comes close to the energy density or energy return on energy invested as oil.  So control of these resources is paramount; not just in securing supplies where they are produced but securing access to transport them for consumption.  More on that later.

I think if we want to try to understand why a new 9/11 could occur, it also helps to look back and understand the economic motives behind the original 9/11.  Not September 11, 2001, but September 11, 1973.  That was the day that General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile in a violent coup.  He rolled out firing tanks into the streets and had fighter jets assault government buildings.  Allende was killed and his cabinet rounded and locked up.  About 13,500 civilians were arrested in the days that followed and imprisoned, many sent to the two main football stadiums in Chile where hundreds were tortured and murdered, including popular folk singer Victor Jara.  In all, more than 3,200 were disappeared or executed, 80,000 imprisoned and 200,000 fled Chile to avoid political persecution.  While much has been written about the assistance that Pinochet received from the CIA, ITT and Henry Kissinger, there is a deeper economic examination by Naomi Klein in her well-researched and compelling book The Shock Doctrine which shows collaboration between the military and a small group of neo-liberal privatization extremists called the Chicago Boys, who were disciples of laissez-faire economist Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago.  From page 86:

For a time, the coup planning proceeded on two distinct tracks: the military plotted the extermination of Allende and his supporters while the economists plotted the extermination of their ideas.  As momentum built for a violent solution, a dialogue was opened between the two camps, with Roberto Kelly, a businessman associated with the CIA-financed newspaper El Mercurio, acting as the go-between.  Through Kelly, the Chicago Boys sent a five-page summary of their economic program to the navy admiral in charge.  The navy gave the nod, and from then on the Chicago Boys worked frantically to have their program ready by the time of the coup.

Their five-hundred-page bible - a detailed economic program that would guide the junta from its earliest days - came to be known in Chile as "The Brick."  According to a later U.S. Senate Committee, "CIA collaborators were involved in preparing an initial overall economic plan which has served as the basis for the Junta's most important economic decisions.64  Eight of the ten principal authors of "The Brick" had studied economics at the University of Chicago.65

While I used the word 'neo-liberal' above to describe this economic approach, I think it's important to point out, considering how often the words 'liberal' and 'conservative' are used as labels to describe political polar opposites, that neo-liberals and neo-conservatives are really the same team in terms of the expansion of the Military-Industrial Complex into what Klein terms the "disaster capitalism complex."  Whether it's the Friedmanite Chicago Boys sweeping across the governments of the Southern Cone in the 70s in which 100,000 to 150,000 were tortured and tens of thousands killed to protect the "free" market, or the IMF and World Bank offering aid with major strings attached to Poland and South Africa in the 90s, it all turns out the same in each country: a crisis is used (or manufactured) as a pretext for economic restructuring predicated on massive privatization and eradicating the public sector, resulting in a permanent underclass of anywhere from 25 to 60 percent of the population and the rich becoming super-rich.  Exacerbating this Dickensian disconnect in the 21st century are the multi-national corporations profiting off this arrangement: heavy construction, high-tech security, arms dealers, private health care companies treating wounded soldiers, the oil and gas sector, and defense contractors.  This paradigm is designed to avoid being voted out of existence.  Designating it neo-con or neo-lib obfuscates its real nature: corporatist.  As Klein writes on page 105:

Corporatism, or "corporativism," originally referred to Mussolini's model of a police state run as an alliance of the three major power sources in society - government, businesses and trade unions - all collaborating to guarantee order in the name of nationalism.  What Chile pioneered under Pinochet was an evolution of corporatism: a mutually supporting alliance between a police state and large corporations, joining forces to wage all-out war on the third power sector - the workers - thereby drastically increasing the alliance's share of the national wealth.

While I can certainly visualize Trumpstag being used as a pretext for just this sort of war on workers in the USA, I can also see the gaping hole in the analogy: Trump won't be starting a violent coup to seize power, he's already got it.  But there's another country that underwent the "Pinochet option" in a reverse manner.  I'm talking about what happened to Russia under Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s.  As the Russian president, he first gained international attention in August 1991 when, in response to a group from the Communist old guard in tanks threatening to bomb the Russian parliament building called the White House in a bid to stop democratization, Yeltsin stood on one of the tanks amid a crowd of pro-democracy protestors denouncing them.  When the tanks retreated, Yeltsin was a hero for democracy.  Four months later, Yeltsin formed an alliance with two other Soviet republics to dissolve the Soviet Union.  Yeltsin then tried to institute a 'Chicago School' economic program lifting price controls.  The average Russian consumed 40% less in 1992 than in 1991 and a third of the population fell below the poverty line.  When parliament brought forth a budget bill in 1993 to try to slow down the Shock Doctrine, the IMF leaked to the press that it would rescind a $1.5 billion loan.

Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine  Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The day after the IMF leak, Yeltsin initiated the first step of the "Pinochet option" by issuing decree 1400, which abolished the constitution and dissolved parliament.  Two days later, a special session of parliament voted 636-2 to impeach Yeltsin for this decree, which would be the equivalent of the U.S. president unilaterally dissolving Congress.  Though Russia's Constitutional Court ruled Yeltsin's behavior unconstitutional, President Clinton backed Yeltsin and Congress voted to give Yeltsin $2.5 billion in aid.  Pro-democracy protesters demonstrated for two weeks, once again surrounding the White House parliament building.  Only this time, instead of defending the building as he did two years earlier, Yeltsin did the opposite: on October 4, 1993, Yeltsin ordered a reluctant army to storm the Russian White House and set it on fire!  Approximately 500 people were killed and almost 1,000 wounded in the worst violence Moscow had seen since 1917.  As Klein summed it up on page 289 of The Shock Doctrine:

But Russia wasn't a repeat of Chile - it was Chile in reverse order: Pinochet staged a coup, dissolved the institutions of democracy and then imposed shock therapy; Yeltsin imposed shock therapy in a democracy, then could defend it only by dissolving democracy and staging a coup.  Both scenarios earned enthusiastic support from the West.

The postscript to this tyranny was a law-making binge that entrenched a corrupt casino capitalism in Russia during the 90s.  It made their market highly speculative and thus highly vulnerable: when the Asian financial crisis of 1998 hit, the Russian economy tanked.  Yeltsin's approval rating dropped to six percent and his alcoholism made him increasingly dysfunctional.  What turned this disastrous situation around?  Another shock, this time in the form of a false flag attack on Russian soil.  In September 1999, four apartment buildings were blown up in the middle of the night, killing almost three hundred people.  Newly appointed prime minister Vladimir Putin placed the blame on Chechen rebels trained by Osama bin Laden and launched air strikes on Chechnya later that month.  While Putin has never allowed a formal investigation into the apartment bombings, independent research into these attacks, as well as a flimsy excuse for a "training exercise" that implicated the FSB that Putin previously headed, prove the attacks were an inside job.  Sadly, the job worked as Russians rallied around the KGB veteran Putin to protect them from terror.  On December 31, 1999, several oligarchs engineered a quiet handover of the presidency from Yeltsin to Putin, no elections necessary.

Vladimir Putin  Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

On the subject of Putin, let's explore him a little more deeply in the context of recent events, the first event being the US presidential election of 2016.  I have already published pieces with multiple sources to back up my claims that the DNC stole the primaries for Clinton and the GOP stole the general election for Trump.  It was a slick trick that put Hillary in the same position that Robert Shaw's character Doyle Lonnegan in The Sting was in when Paul Newman beat him at poker with a deck switch: "What was I supposed to do - call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?"  Of course, it's too much to ask our Justice Department (there's a glaring misnomer) to investigate to what extent software corruption stole the general election for Trump or for Clinton in the primaries to verify that the management of our fake democracy is a perennial shell game. So instead we got a feel-good donation-driven request for a hand recount - but even that paltry bread crumb posed too much of a threat to the Deep State. Rather than having the headline across the media be that the recount was stopped, that story was buried with bipartisan approval so that we could, yet again, demonize Russia. That's not to say there is absolutely no truth in this bipartisan-approved, REM-friendly story - just that it is a convenient distraction so the sheeple will stop focusing on how elections are actually stolen in this country and look at how it might possibly have been stolen but which, upon closer, time-wasting examination, will at best prove an attempt to influence the election as opposed to direct theft. It's not that Putin didn't have the motive - he certainly preferred Trump to Clinton. It's not that he didn't have the means - Russian computer hackers do exist whether you believe they hacked the DNC (and RNC) or not. But how could Putin have had the opportunity to steal the general election when it was already being stolen by the GOP and the machinery they've had in place for over a decade now? Say what you will about Putin - he's not dumb enough to try to steal something if he saw it was already being stolen for him by someone else!

But there is another recent event concerning Putin that I think provides even deeper insight into the machinations of the Deep State and how geopolitical imperatives look to shape up in the future.  That event is the Syrian Civil War.  I think it should be clear by now what happened there in light of the recent ceasefire: Putin checkmated the West.  Despite all attempts to outmaneuver those supporting the Assad government, including assisting rebels aligned with ISIS, Putin's intervention put the Deep State in a bind where the only way to undermine him would be through direct armed conflict, nuclear power vs. nuclear power.  Is that avenue a legitimate consideration by the Deep State?  It's important to point out, especially because they are so powerful, that the CIA is not a monolith, the FBI is not a monolith, NATO is not a monolith and our military is not a monolith.  By extension, I think it's safe to say the Deep State is not a monolith either; there are factions competing for direction in all of these powerful groups.  Some of those factions are still hanging on to the confrontation with Russia; those factions by and large supported Clinton for president.  The other factions, many of which supported Trump, saw the writing on the wall that change was in the wind, that a more economically inviting challenger for global primacy was waiting in the wings.  The prospect of World War III to the overworld exists only as a method of last resort in their Shock Doctrine, when all other avenues for commanding control of resources have been exhausted and profits can no longer be maximized.


Fiery Cross Reef, Spratly Islands, South China Sea  Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

That more economically inviting challenger is China.  Is the Endgame that Michael Ruppert warned us about over a decade ago approaching?  There are a couple of highly indicative factors that we might be entering the initial phase.  One factor is the dispute over islands in the South China Sea.  Foreign Policy had a excellent examination of why this geographical area is so important.  These paragraphs are particularly informative:

The South China Sea joins the Southeast Asian states with the Western Pacific, functioning as the throat of global sea routes. Here is the center of maritime Eurasia, punctuated by the straits of Malacca, Sunda, Lombok, and Makassar. More than half the world’s annual merchant fleet tonnage passes through these choke points, and a third of all maritime traffic. The oil transported through the Strait of Malacca from the Indian Ocean, en route to East Asia through the South China Sea, is more than six times the amount that passes through the Suez Canal and 17 times the amount that transits the Panama Canal. Roughly two-thirds of South Korea’s energy supplies, nearly 60 percent of Japan’s and Taiwan’s energy supplies, and about 80 percent of China’s crude-oil imports come through the South China Sea. What’s more, the South China Sea has proven oil reserves of 7 billion barrels and an estimated 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, a potentially huge bounty. 

It is not only location and energy reserves that promise to give the South China Sea critical geostrategic importance, but also the coldblooded territorial disputes that have long surrounded these waters. Several disputes concern the Spratly Islands, a mini-archipelago in the South China Sea’s southeastern part. Vietnam, Taiwan, and China each claim all or most of the South China Sea, as well as all of the Spratly and Paracel island groups. In particular, Beijing asserts a historical line: It lays claim to the heart of the South China Sea in a grand loop (widely known as the "cow’s tongue") from China’s Hainan Island at the South China Sea’s northern end all the way south 1,200 miles to near Singapore and Malaysia. 

The result is that all nine states that touch the South China Sea are more or less arrayed against China and therefore dependent on the United States for diplomatic and military support. These conflicting claims are likely to become even more acute as Asia’s spiraling energy demands — energy consumption is expected to double by 2030, with China accounting for half that growth — make the South China Sea the ever more central guarantor of the region’s economic strength. Already, the South China Sea has increasingly become an armed camp, as the claimants build up and modernize their navies, even as the scramble for islands and reefs in recent decades is mostly over. China has so far confiscated 12 geographical features, Taiwan one, Vietnam 25, the Philippines eight, and Malaysia five.

While Trump made a number of statements during the presidential campaign indicating that under his administration there might be a trade war with China, his actions during the interregnum have only increased the tension of that prospect.  Most prominent, of course, was the controversial call from Trump to the president of Taiwan in December.  But the inflammation of tension comes not just from Trump himself, but from his cabinet picks.  During his confirmation hearing before Congress, Trump's pick for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (the former CEO of ExxonMobil whose selection is probably the best evidence Putin has dirt on Trump, considering Tillerson received the Order of Friendship, one of the highest awards Russia gives to foreign citizens, from Putin in 2013 for negotiating an offshore oil exploration partnership with Exxon and Rosneft that would be worth half a trillion dollars if not for Obama's sanctions on Russia) declared that China's activity in the South China Sea islands is "extremely worrisome" and that "we're going to have to send China a clear signal that first, the island-building stops, and second, your access to those islands also not going to be allowed."

Another factor that we might be entering the initial phase of the Endgame is terrorism.  The connection with China is through the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), a group also called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and is predominately comprised of ethnic Uyghurs from China's Xinjiang province.  Like most Islamic jihadist movements, they have roots in Operation Gladio Plan B.  I stumbled upon these roots four years ago in Synopsizing Sibel Edmonds: The Evolution of Operation Gladio Part One:

Edmonds also lists another big player in the Gladio B network, Yusuf Turani.  Turani was actually given US citizenship in 1997 and called the President of Turkestan in absentia.  Again, Turkestan is an area of West China known as the Xinjiang province.

It should be noted that Yusuf Turani's picture is prominently displayed in the "Sibel Edmonds' State Secrets Privilege Gallery" related to her case.  Given this connection, it should not be surprising that TIP joined the global jihadist movement of the Caliphate in 2013 and have been fighting in the northwest part of Syria.  One of their biggest allies in aid and training has been Turkey, or more specifically, the NATO-sponsored Grey Wolves of Turkey.  In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Grey Wolves set up training camps for youths from Turkic language groups in Central Asia, including Uyghur.  They provided material support and commando training for the East Turkestan Independence Movement (ETIM).

But while the ostensible purpose for such a terror group within the auspices of Gladio might be to encourage separatism to create a buffer region to isolate China from Central Asia, such a precarious arrangement might also be used, in the hands of a skilled propagandist, to place the blame for their actions on the government of China.  This might explain why the government of Turkey was quick to spread the story that the prime suspect in the New Year's Eve attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul is a Uyghur.  More indicative of the propagandistic sleight-of-hand needed to pull off this sort of switcheroo on par with the Saddam/al-Qaeda alignment that the neo-cons alleged in the buildup to war with Iraq is the recent statement by Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Trump's pick for National Security Adviser, that China is allied with "radical Islamists."  While I certainly am wary of the influence such bellicose rhetoric can have coming from the cabinet, I don't consider Flynn to be the skilled propagandist.  That designation would go to the co-writer of the book Flynn wrote in July titled “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”  That propagandist is Michael Ledeen.

Michael Ledeen, author of Universal Fascism  Photo credit: rightweb.irc-online.org

Ledeen's lifetime career of propaganda has been explored in numerous posts on this blog.  The most comprehensive one is American Judas 2nd Edition: INVESTIGATE CHENEY & UNRAVEL THE CABAL.  Highlights: Ledeen is the conduit of the Niger yellowcake forgery the Bush administration used to buttress their case to go to war against Iraq in 2003.  He was involved in the early stages of the Iran/Contra scandal.  Finally, but most important in light of the subject of this post, he was allegedly tied to the Italian P2 Masonic Lodge, a violent right wing group that was involved in a number of terrorists attacks in Italy in the 1970s and the 1980s.  P2 was involved with Operation Gladio in those attacks known as the Strategy of Tension, a false-flag campaign where P2 organized terror attacks to blame on left-wing groups.  As Josh Marshall said in a recent column on the Ledeen-Flynn partnership, "Basically, if you see an idea and it looks sensible but find out Ledeen is involved, it's definitely not sensible and is in fact probably some harebrained plan half crazy, half evil that you want nothing to do with. When Ledeen's involved, there's always trouble...Seriously, if Flynn's in with Ledeen, he's trouble."

As I said before, I don't claim to have a crystal ball.  I don't know if Trumpstag will happen this year or next, or what exact form it will take.   The only certainty I have that the event is coming is that the motives of the principal actors who stand to profit the most are all too clear.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor - the Original LIHOP

No doubt that as you read this, there will be numerous other articles inundating mainstream and alternative media outlets commemorating the 75th anniversary of bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  I'm sure there will be lots written about it being a "sneak attack" that changed the course of World War II by bringing the United States into the Allied fold.  But there is a darker truth behind the circumstances that brought about the bombing of Pearl Harbor that belie the established historical reports that there was anything 'sneaky' as far as knowledge of it in the White House was concerned.  The truth is that when Japan planned and executed the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Let It Happen On Purpose.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt  Source: Wikipedia

If you are wondering why I capitalized the last five words in the preceding paragraph, you might not be very familiar with 9/11 conspiracy theories.  There are two acronyms used to describe how 9/11 might have involved the United States government.  LIHOP, or Let It Happen On Purpose, posits that the plot originated outside of the government, but that once intelligence learned of it prior to 9/11, they allowed the attacks to occur.  MIHOP, or Made It Happen On Purpose, states that the US government created the plot from the beginning.  My own take on this is something I expressed in a previous blog post The X Factor.  Here is the pertinent section:

I've always rolled my eyes at the "debate" between LIHOP and MIHOP as those acronyms were used to assign responsibility for the 9/11 debacle. To my mind, the two terms represent a logical fallacy, a distinction without a difference.  It's quite possible the assassination of Malcolm X was LIHOP for the FBI and Martin Luther King was MIHOP. So fucking what?! They're still responsible. Whether they latch on to another organization's plot already in progress and help facilitate it by removing impediments or hatch the plot on their own, the intent to have the plot succeed is the same.  I've written before about how the 9/11 Truth movement lost direction and momentum; perhaps if more people had understood the logical fallacy at play, the search for Truth might have lead to Justice.

With that in mind, it was over ten years ago, back when the LIHOP/MIHOP debate was in full throttle, that an online friend of mine informed me about the McCollum memo.  Also known as the Eight Action Memo, this memorandum was dated October 7, 1940 and was sent by Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, director of the Far East desk of Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) to Navy Captains Walter Stratton Anderson, the Director of ONI with direct access to FDR and Dudley Knox, a naval strategist and chief of the ONI library.  In this memo, McCollum advocated eight actions that called for virtually inciting a Japanese attack on American ground, air and naval forces in Hawaii:

A. Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore
B. Make an arrangement with the Netherlands for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies
C. Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang-Kai-Shek
D. Send a division of long range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore
E. Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient
F. Keep the main strength of the U.S. fleet now in the Pacific[,] in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands
G. Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil
H. Completely embargo all U.S. trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire
McCollum concluded by stating, "If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better."  Captain Knox then wrote a comment that while cautiously worded, agreed with the actions detailed in the memo.  "The paper trail of the McCollum memo ends with the Knox endorsement.  Although the proposal was addressed to Anderson, no specific record has been found by the author indicating whether he or Roosevelt actually ever saw it.  However, a series of secret presidential routing logs plus collateral intelligence information in Navy files offer conclusive evidence that they did see it.  Beginning the very next day, with FDR's involvement, McCollum's proposals were systematically put into effect."

Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum  Source: Wikipedia

The above quote is not by Knox, but by Robert B. Stinnett on page nine of his book, Day of Deceit.  Stinnett earned 10 battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation for his service in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1946.  This book is extremely well researched; dedicated to US Congressman John Moss (D., CA), the author of America's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  In addition to numerous documents retrieved through the FOIA for the FBI as well as the Navy, the State Department and other government institutions, Stinnett's book contains over 600 endnotes.  The conclusion he reached through this painstaking research is that President Roosevelt definitely had foreknowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor and took steps to make sure it happened.  Remarkably, Stinnett still retains a degree of sympathy for the man whose provocations led to the deaths of 2,403 Americans at Pearl Harbor as he details in the preface, page XIII:

As a veteran of the Pacific War, I felt a sense of outrage as I uncovered secrets that had been hidden from Americans for more than fifty years.  But I understood the agonizing dilemma faced by President Roosevelt.  He was forced to find circuitous means to persuade an isolationist America to join in a fight for freedom.  He knew this would cost lives.  How many, he could not have known.

The country was disillusioned by the failure of America's idealistic commitment to make "the world safe for democracy" in World War I.  Many Americans had chosen isolationism to shelter their young from the horrors of another war, and believed that Roosevelt would "not send their sons to fight in foreign wars."  Roosevelt believed that his countrymen would rally only to oppose an overt act of war on the United States.  The decision he made, in concert with his advisors, was to provoke Japan through a series of actions into an overt act: the Pearl Harbor attack.

While the McCollum memo, whose eight actions were all implemented by President Roosevelt prior to December 7, 1941, is presented by Stinnett in the first chapter as evidence, it is certainly not the only piece, or even the most damning piece of evidence proving foreknowledge and intent.  For me, the smoking gun is that Stinnett uncovered proof that the Japanese codes had been broken by the Americans and FDR was aware of this.  From Day of Deceit, page 21:

During the last days of September and first week of October 1940, a team of Army and Navy cryptographers solved the two principle Japanese government code systems: Purple, the major diplomatic code, and portions of the Kaigun Ango, a series of twenty-nine separate Japanese naval operational codes used for radio contact with warships, merchant vessels, naval bases, and personnel in overseas posts, such as naval attachés.

From pages 22-23:

Rear Admiral Royal Ingersoll, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, revealed America's ability to detect and predict Japan's naval war strategy and tactical operations to the US Navy's two Pacific commanders, Admirals James Richardson and Thomas Hart, in a letter dated October 4, 1940.  Ingersoll was specific: The Navy began tracking the movement and location of Japanese warships in October 1940.  "Every major movement of the Orange (America's code name for Japan) Fleet has been predicted, and a continuous flow of information concerning Orange diplomatic activities has been made available."  He said that Navy cryptographers had solved the Japanese naval merchant ship code.  "The system itself is 99 percent readable," reported Ingersoll.

Later on page 23:

But Ingersoll's 1940 letter sheds a light on the 5-Num system that was never intended by the pre-Pearl Harbor naval censors.  Recovery was effected before April.  By the end of January 1941, President Roosevelt was on the receiving list of the Kaigun Ango, according to the White House route logs prepared by Arthur McCollum.

The most common response that this information doesn't prove FDR knew when the attack on Pearl Harbor would occur is that in the weeks prior to the attack there was complete radio silence of the Japanese carrier force.  Stinnett contends that this is a myth propagated by Lieutenant Commander Edwin Layton and others with the intelligence clearance who did not forward appropriate information to those who should have received indication of a pending attack.  From page 208:

Layton's claims about the carrier commands' radio silence does not hold up to scrutiny.  There were 129 Japanese naval intercepts obtained by US naval monitor stations between November 15 and December 6 that directly contradict Layton's figures.

Some of these intercepts gave more than just an indication of what was to come.  According to page 226:

On December 5, Japanese Foreign Ministry officials transmitted two messages which disclosed that war between Japan and America would start December 7.  Stations US, CAST and FIVE obtained two intercepts.  They were in the Purple Code; interception of the messages went fine, but there's no evidence that Stations US and CAST forwarded the intercepts to Hawaii - even though both cryptographic centers knew the keys to Purple and decoded such messages in hours.

From pages 212-213:

Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue, commander of the Fourth Fleet in the Central Pacific, informed his forces by radio that a declaration of war was imminent.  His radio message was intercepted by Henry F. Garstka at Station H at 8:40 P.M. on Friday, December 5, and included in Kisner's bundle, which was given to Dyer at 1:00 P.M. the next day, but was never delivered to Admiral Kimmel.

These are just a couple among many examples where vital intelligence regarding the plans to attack Pearl Harbor were withheld from the two men in Hawaii in a position to protect the troops, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and Lieutenant General Walter Short, commanding general of the Hawaiian Department of the US Army.  Both men were among the 36 Americans cleared to read the Japanese diplomatic and military intercepts in 1941.  Yet their access was restricted for reasons no subsequent investigation has yet to completely satisfactorily explain.

There are other disturbing incidents that indicate foreknowledge and cover-up from other important figures besides FDR.  On pages 157-158, Stinnett provides stunning details regarding a strictly secret press briefing delivered by Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall on November 15, 1941:

During the briefing, Marshall alluded to one of America's most vital secrets when he revealed that the United States could read Japan's encrypted messages.  He told the correspondents that his war assessment was based on access to a leak from the Japanese: "We know what they know and they don't know we know it."  Marshall then predicted that a Japan-America war would break out during the "first ten days of December," according to the notes of one correspondent present.

More from page 158:

Two ethical questions are raised by Marshall's secret conference with reporters: (1) Instead of the press conference on November 15, 1941, why didn't he confer with Lieutenant General Walter Short on November 15, 1941, and disclose that he had learned from secret Japanese sources that war with the United States would break out within the first ten days of December?  Ethical questions abound.  Who deserved the very secret information, the reporters or Short?  General Short raised the ethics question during testimony before the 1945-46 Joint Congressional Investigation Committee: "After October 28, 1941, with the War Department receiving information almost daily which indicated that war was imminent, he [Marshall] communicated to me none of those personal messages containing the inside information."  (2) What was the responsibility of the reporters, their editors, and their publishers?  In the land of the First Amendment, Americans expect journalists to abide by strict ethics and report the news, not hide secrets.  Yet four of the nation's major media - the New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, Time, and Newsweek - and three major wire services - Associated Press, United Press, and International News Service - were let in on secrets denied to General Short and Admiral Kimmel in Hawaii.

Where media responsibility is concerned, I'm reminded of a more recent example of the Radical Establishment Media sitting on the story of warrantless wiretapping.  While the New York Times broke the story in 2005, they had been sitting on it since the spring of 2004 when high-ranking Bush administration officials persuaded the paper’s brass to spike the story.  Some things never change.  But there is another aspect of cover-up in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor that is eerily reminiscent of a similar story of cover-up in the aftermath of 9/11.  From page 255:

The key evidence of what really happened began to be concealed as early as December 11, 1941, only four days after the attack.  The first step in the clean-up came from Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, the Navy's Director of Communications.  He instituted a fifty-four year censorship policy that consigned the pre-Pearl Harbor Japanese military and diplomatic intercepts and the relevant directives to Navy vaults.  "Destroy all notes or anything in writing," Noyes told a group of his subordinates on December 11.

This type of destruction in the aftermath of a national tragedy instigating war would be repeated almost 60 years later when an unnamed FAA official destroyed a tape recording of interviews of at least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners recalling their version of events from a few hours earlier on 9/11.  The tape was destroyed by a supervisor before anyone made a transcript of it or even listened to it.  Though the supervisor crushed the cassette in his hand, shredded the tape and dropped the pieces into different trash cans around the building, this decision was simply chalked up to "poor judgment."

It's a quote that has become somewhat of a cliche, but bears repeating: those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  How many Pearl Harbors will America endure before it can no longer survive?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Addendum to Rutherfraud: the 2016 Stolen Election

"Remember Donald Trump's ceaseless, tireless, classless repetition of the claim that the election is, quote, "rigged."  But remember it in the context of what one of this year's great patriots, his Art of the Deal ghostwriter Tony Schwartz, observed about Trump and projection.  Remember that Schwartz tweeted, "most negative things he says about others are actually describing him."  Since Trump has endlessly bleated this charge that Hillary Clinton and everybody else are trying to rig the election, since his interests and those of the Russian hackers and Wikileaks are running on parallel tracks, if not the same track, go into the last stretch here assuming that Trump's charge of rigging is actually an admission of an attempt to rig the election on his behalf, not against him."

-Keith Olbermann October 26, 2016

When I first conceived of my most recent blog entry, Rutherfraud B. Hayes and the (S)election of 1876, I was not consciously attempting to engage in prophecy.  The portion of the video that was shot at the U.S. Hotel where Hayes stayed was done months ago in conjunction with an invitation to attend my sister's wedding and reception, which was held on the premises.  Perhaps on a subconscious level, I was digging into the past to correlate election fraud with the possibility of it occurring this year as Donald Trump and his associates proclaimed throughout the campaign.  Then again, maybe on a deeper unconscious level, I might have heard about the Schwartz tweet and forecast my concerns as Olbermann would later do in his video for GQ, Does Trump's Obsession With Vote Rigging Signal Something About His Own Plans?

Either way, it happened.  The 2016 election was stolen.  It may not have occurred in the exact fashion in which the 1876 election was stolen, but it did happen.  There are three primary sources on which I base this judgment: Greg Palast, Jonathan Simon and J. Alex Halderman.  Palast has reported on this kind of chicanery before in 2000 and 2004.  On November 11, 2016, he wrote an article spelling out what he concludes about the most recent presidential election titled The Election was Stolen - Here's How...  Using a system called Crosscheck, Trump operatives under the direction of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach purged 1.1 million Americans of color from the voting rolls of GOP-controlled states including Michigan and North Carolina.  Palast details many additional methods, including felonious caging, that proves that "Jim Crow, not the voters, elected Mr. Trump."

Then, there are the exit polls.  As Palast writes, "Exit polls are the standard by which the US State Department measures the honesty of foreign elections."  Jonathan Simon did extensive research into the discrepancies between exit poll results in swing states and the final vote tallies.  These discrepancies, which Simon calls a "red shift," includes North Carolina, which was a 5.9% shift from Clinton, who won the exit poll by 2.1%, to Trump winning the state vote count by 3.8%, which Simon calls "way outside the margin of error for that poll and therefore very unlikely to occur by chance."  Also in this category is Pennsylvania, which gave Clinton a 4.4% lead in the exit poll margin, yet Trump wins by 1.2%, a 5.6% red shift.  Florida had a 2.6% red shift with Clinton ahead in exit polls by 1.3%, then losing by 1.3%.  This research was corroborated by Mark Crispin Miller, who detailed in 2004 how Kerry lost Ohio in the same fashion.

Finally, as CNN reported yesterday, there is the research from a team of computer scientists including J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society.  They found evidence that vote totals in three states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, could have been manipulated or hacked.  Specifically, they found a questionable trend in which Clinton received 7% fewer votes in counties which relied on electronic voting machines compared to counties which relied on paper ballots.  They presented their findings to top Clinton aides last Thursday and urged them to call for a recount.  At this time, it is not known whether the Clinton campaign will request an audit based on the findings.

So who is responsible for the theft?  Donald Trump?  The GOP?  Russia?  At this point, I don't presume to know and neither should anyone else.  We need to find out!  Rarely do I use this blog as a platform to call for political action, but this is an exceptional exception.  Today is the last day to contact the Department of Justice to demand an audit.  The number is (202) 514-2000.  Wait to hear the menu, then press option 4 to leave a voicemail.  Tell them to audit North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida due to reports of widespread voting machine tampering.  Tell them they need to ensure the will of the American people and our democratic processes must be honored.  That's what I did.  Time will tell if this will motivate government action, but time is of the essence.  Act now!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Rutherfraud B. Hayes and the (S)election of 1876

U.S. Hotel - 1880 Built by George Holt for his fiancee Madame Jeanne De Reboam. The first guest was President Rutherford B. Hayes.
Courtesy Dolores Steele

This is the United States Hotel in Jacksonville, Oregon.  It was built in 1880 and one of its first famous guests was President Rutherford B. Hayes.  President Hayes, however, was one of the most infamous presidents in American history.  He only served one term, but it was how he became President that made him truly infamous.

The election of 1876 pitted Democratic Party nominee Samuel J. Tilden, the distinguished Governor of New York famous for exposing William "Boss" Tweed as a corrupt leader of the Tweed Ring within Tammany Hall, which was an engine for graft and corruption in New York City during the Gilded Age, against Republican Party nominee Rutherford B. Hayes, the Governor of Ohio who was the choice when the convention had stalled after six ballots.  According to historian Henry Adams, Hayes was chosen as, "a third rate nonentity, whose only recommendation is that he is obnoxious to no one" and "necessary for party harmony."  When all the votes were counted, Tilden had clearly won the popular vote, 4,284,000 to Hayes' 4,037,000.

But as anyone who followed the hanging chad cliffhanger in 2000 knows, U.S. Presidential elections are never decided by popular vote, but through the electoral college.  Tilden was ahead of Hayes in that arena, 184 electoral votes to 165.  However, there were 20 electoral votes unresolved.  In three southern states, South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana, each party declared that its candidate had won the state.  There was also a dispute in Oregon because one of the state's electors, deputy postmaster John W. Watts, had his vote declared invalid by Oregon Governor La Fayette Grover.  Grover, a Democrat, declared that Watts, a Republican Hayes supporter, violated the rule prohibiting electors from holding a federally appointed office.

So what does the U.S. Constitution say should happen when there is not a clear winner in the electoral college?  This was clarified by the 12th Amendment ratified in 1804, which states that if no candidate has a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives, with each state delegation having one vote, chooses the President and the Senate, with each Senator having one vote, chooses the Vice President.  But instead of following this Constitutional procedure, Congress passed a law on January 29, 1877 forming a 15-member commission to settle the result.

This commission consisted of five members each from the House, Senate and Supreme Court which resulted in seven Republicans, seven Democrats, and one independent, Supreme Court Justice David Davis.  But at the same time, Davis was elected by the legislature of Illinois to the Senate.  While Democrats in the Illinois legislature thought they were securing Davis's support on the commission by voting for him, this backfired when Davis resigned from the Supreme Court (and the commission) to take his Senate seat.  The justices on the commission then chose Justice Joseph P. Bradley, a Republican, as his replacement.

There were double sets of returns for each of the four states in dispute.  While Hayes probably did win South Carolina (by a razor-thin 889 votes) and Florida, Tilden won in Louisiana with a majority of 9,000 of 207,000 votes cast.  Matthew Josephson in his 1938 book The Politicos  wrote:  "Supported by Republican ‘visiting statesmen’, not to mention regiments of Federal soldiers, the Louisiana Returning Board proceeded to accept the testimony of perjurers, thieves and prostitutes, and to throw out the ballots of whole parishes, until over 13,350 Democratic votes were canceled and a Hayes majority of over 4,000 votes were produced."

Yet in spite of this evidence of fraud, Justice Bradley joined his seven other Republican members in a series of 8-7 votes that awarded all 20 disputed electoral votes to Hayes, giving him a 185-184 electoral vote victory.  How could Tilden and the Democratic Party have accepted this outcome?  A secret meeting was convened between representatives of both parties at the Wormley Hotel in Washington D.C. on February 26, 1877.  According to journalist Matthew Josephson, "Democrats would abandon presidential claims and Republicans promised federal troops, which enforced the constitutional amendment giving (African-Americans) full rights of citizens, would be removed from the South."  This is the real legacy of the election, or rather, the selection of 1876: the so-called Compromise of 1877, which was the end of Reconstruction and the entrenchment of white supremacy-fueled segregation that denied African-American civil rights through Jim Crow laws for generations to come.

Being the only president ever elected by congressional commission, President Hayes was given the nickname "Rutherfraud" Hayes.  While his tour of the western states including Oregon in 1880 may have been part of an effort to reach out to citizens who felt disenfranchised, the taint of the disputed election ultimately led Hayes not to seek re-election that year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Conspiracy History is for the Birds

This is my second and more thorough attempt to create an American Judas post as a vlog.  I hope you all watch it and certainly appreciate any constructive feedback that could help me make future vlog post the best they possibly can be.  Of course, if you're unable to watch youtube videos or if you just prefer to read, the transcript is below.

Conspiracy History is for the Birds

Ah, nothing more relaxing than feeding birds in the park on a sunny day.  Pretty hard to imagine these creatures involved in corruption, murder or political conspiracy, right?  Well I’ve got a story, three stories in fact, that details how hunting for birds has been used as a subterfuge throughout American history in an attempt to obscure the darkest political conspiracies of our time.

November 1910: Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, Republican of Rhode Island, one of the most powerful men in Washington D.C., invited a small group of men out to the appropriately-named Jekyll Island for what was billed as a ‘duck hunt’.  Located off the coast of Georgia, Jekyll Island was a winter retreat for the wealthy consisting of 5,700 acres of land, including over 1,000 acres of tidal marshlands filled with an abundance of fowl.  More importantly, the owners of the island could assure the privacy of this group.  This was paramount to Aldrich who was extremely wary of attracting the attention of the press because, in addition to his senatorial responsibilities, he served as chair of the National Monetary Commission, a US banking policy review board formed in the wake of the Panic of 1907 to find ways to prevent similar financial panics from happening.  Aldrich had instructed his companions to arrive at the New Jersey railway station separately, avoid reporters, and pretend not to know each other if they met inside the station prior to boarding.  Once inside the train, these men addressed each other by first names only to further obscure their identities.  In addition to the Senator and his personal secretary Arthur Shelton, the Jekyll Island ‘duck hunt’ crew was comprised of an elite gathering of DC power players: Dr. A. Piatt Andrew, a former Harvard University assistant Professor of Economics and as of 1910, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Henry P. Davison, partner at J.P. Morgan and Co. (who along with J.P. Morgan was a co-owner of Jekyll Island), Frank A. Vanderlip, President of the Rockefeller-owned National City Bank and last, but for the designs of the real bagging at hand, probably most important, Paul M. Warburg, representing U.S. interests as a partner of Kuhn, Loeb and Co. and extensive international interests as a member of the Warburg banking family.  

How many ducks they actually bagged on that trip is inconsequential; it was subterfuge for the real purpose: the most powerful moneyed interests in the world secretly redesigning the way money works in America.  The plan hatched on this trip was the basis for what would eventually become the Federal Reserve.  Though Aldrich’s initial legislation upon return from this trip would be rejected by Congress, it did approve a similar proposal on December 22, 1913, which President Wilson signed into law the next day called the Federal Reserve Act.  This law, which forever altered the structure of the U.S. economy, would never have been conceived if these most powerful moneyed interests (Morgan, Rockefeller and Warburg conservatively represented one quarter of the world’s wealth at that time) had not secretly conspired to make it so.

November 1963: New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison called in David Ferrie to question him about his reported association with Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy.  In the aftermath of JFK’s assassination, Garrison had made preliminary inquiries regarding possible associates Oswald may have had during the summer of 1963 while he was in New Orleans.  Ferrie’s name cropped up as having been seen with Oswald, including a tip that he had taken a trip to Texas on the day of the assassination.  During questioning from Garrison, Ferrie said that he and some friends had driven to Houston that day to go ice skating.  Garrison said his rationale for going during one of the most violent recent thunderstorms was not adequate.  They then drove to Galveston on Saturday (where Jack Ruby placed a phone call Saturday night) and on Sunday, according to Ferrie, went on a ‘goose hunt’.  After relating details of this hunt for a “wise bunch of birds”, Garrison’s assistant DA confronted him that they understood there were no guns in the car.  Ferrie then twisted his story to fit this fact as confirmed by his road trip companions.  Garrison then had Ferrie arrested and held for further questioning by the FBI.  The FBI swiftly released him, finding no connection between him and the assassination.

By 1967, Ferrie had changed his story again regarding the ‘goose hunt’, now claiming that they did have guns in the car.  But regardless of whether there really was a ‘goose hunt’ or not, this story was the thread that helped unravel the official history as decreed in the Warren Commission Report of 1964, claiming that Oswald alone assassinated President Kennedy and Ruby alone assassinated Oswald, no larger conspiracy existing beyond that.  Garrison took that thread and, though Ferrie mysteriously died in April 1967 and was unable to testify, built a case that brought an indictment for the murder of JFK against one of Ferrie’s associates, Clay Shaw.  Though ultimately found not guilty, the public outcry against the absurd conclusions of the Warren Report led to a second investigation, the House Select Committee on Assassinations that in 1979, acknowledged that one of the possible indications of a conspiracy was Lee Harvey Oswald’s apparent association in New Orleans with David Ferrie.

January 2004: Vice President Dick Cheney, having been notified the previous month that the Supreme Court would render a decision in the case of Cheney v. United States District Court in July 2004, felt the urge to go out on a ‘duck hunt’ of his own.  He arranged a little getaway at oil baron Wallace Carline’s private reserve in Morgan City, Louisiana.  Accompanying the Vice President on Air Force Two was none other than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was scheduled to hear arguments in the case in March and April.  Though Scalia later complained to the media that "the duck hunting was lousy”, he never complained about the vice president paying for all his expenses for the trip.  Cheney even provided Justice Scalia with Secret Service protection and transportation.

But there were plenty of complaints from the conservative Judicial Watch and the progressive Sierra Club, who were the plaintiffs in this case against the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG).  Not coincidentally, the NEPDG was headed by Vice President Dick Cheney between late January and April 4, 2001.  There were many calls for Justice Scalia to recuse himself from this case, citing the friendly ‘duck hunt’ as an obvious sign of impartiality.  Scalia refused to withdraw and on July 2, 2004, in a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court voted in favor of the Vice President allowing Cheney to keep his records secret.  Though Scalia tried to assure that this was a case where Cheney was involved in his “official capacity, as opposed to…personal capacity”, the seven pages of NEPDG documents that Judicial Watch was able to obtain in July 2003 from a Freedom of Information Act request show a focus of the NEPDG records was on oil and gas in the Middle East.  Full disclosure could reveal a contradiction of the stated claims of the Bush administration that plans to invade Iraq did not occur prior to September 11, 2001.  The records may even contain, as investigative journalist Michael Ruppert believes, “the deepest, darkest secrets of 9/11”.  To this day, the records of those meetings, which included such non-government officials as Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, later to be convicted in a separate and more public scandal of conspiracy and corporate fraud, remain a secret to the public.  But as far as the appearance of any impropriety in the matter is concerned, Scalia had the sharpest retort: “Quack, quack”.

At first glance, the only thing that seems to connect these three conspiratorial anecdotes is a hunt for birds.  It’s a coy and obviously flimsy cover story each and every time.  But a cover story for what?  What does the creation of the Federal Reserve, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Supreme Court-approved suppression of the records of Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force have in common?  

The answer is that each incident revolves around a group of men identifying an impediment to the business they wish to conduct and initiating a plan to remove the impediment and maximize the profits of their business.  That’s how I define the word conspiracy: how business gets done.  Whether it is accomplished within the letter of the law or outside is of little practical significance to these Machiavellian men; what matters is that it gets done, whatever it takes.  These anecdotes are not the exception to the rule in American history, it is the rule.