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 attach├ęs.

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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Poetry of Gary Snyder and Radical Revolution

Editorial Prologue:  Yeah, yeah, I know regular readers of this blog might recall I wanted future posts to be more visually oriented.  But sometimes I'm inspired to just write.  When one of my closest friends left southern California for greener pastures about a year and a half ago, he left behind a collection of Gary Snyder poems titled No Nature.  I finally got around to reading it recently and loved it.  Two poems in particular I found especially inspiring as I felt they reflected my feelings on the conundrum of human existence within the confines of that paradigm we call civilization.  So I put fingers to the keyboard and cooked this blog entry up.  I'm not sure if this blog entry really lends itself to a visual component, but if you really want to see Robert Paulsen give a poetry reading, by all means hit me up in the comments section.  If I can get at least three comments in favor of a poetry reading, I'll film it and edit the post to put the video in!

The Poetry of Gary Snyder and Radical Revolution

Full Definition of radical
1 :  of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as
a (1) :  of or growing from the root of a plant <radical tubers> (2) :  growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground <radical leaves>
b :  of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root
c :  of or relating to a mathematical root
d :  designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue <radical surgery> <radical mastectomy>

TOMORROW'S SONG by Gary Snyder

The USA slowly lost its mandate
in the middle and later twentieth century
it never gave the mountains and rivers,
              trees and animals,
                       a vote.
all the people turned away from it
            myths die; even continents are impermanent

     Turtle Island returned.
     my friend broke open a dried coyote-scat
     removed a ground squirrel tooth
     pierced it, hung it
     from the gold ring
     in his ear.

We look to the future with pleasure
we need no fossil fuel
get power within
grow strong on less.

Grasp the tools and move in rhythm side by side
     flash gleams of wit and silent knowledge
                            eye to eye
sit still like cats or snakes or stones
     as whole and holding as
                            the blue black sky.
gentle and innocent as wolves
                            as tricky as a prince.

At work and in our place:

     in the service
     of the wilderness
     of life
     of death
     of the Mother's breasts!

War, politics, economics, energy.  These are all concepts intrinsic to human civilization.  War is the continuation of politics by other means, politics is the continuation of economics by other means, economics is the continuation of energy by other means.  While the concept of energy may not originate with human civilization, it is intrinsic and in contrast with the other three continuations of it, energy alone is separate from humanity as a part of nature.  Try as we might to show how sophisticated we are with our ever expanding technological advances, we can't escape the fact that we are a part of nature and disregarding the significance of this not only has repercussions on the natural world around us, but also on the very civilization so many in vanity try to place above the natural world.

If there is one concept intrinsic to human civilization that connects energy to its most direct continuation, economics, it is money.  As with technology in general, it is a concept that many of its most ardent advocates like to pretend is divorced from the natural world; that all the currency manipulation, derivatives and speculators rise above such terrestrial inconveniences as natural resources.  But our monetary system is predicated on infinite growth.  And you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet.  This is an important concept to grasp if you really care about a real revolution in human civilization that is truly radical, if you define radical as mentioned above, proceeding from a root

We must get to the root of what truly ails us.  Every symptom of the sickness ailing society, income inequality, student debt, global warming, famine, you name it - all borne out of the same root problem: human civilization uses a monetary system predicated on infinite growth on a finite planet.  A metastasizing malignant cancer on our seven billion strong and growing human body that is destined for destruction - all we have to do is maintain business as usual to watch this prognosis play out.  Unless you change the way money works, you change nothing.  It's easy to get confused and think the answer to this problem lies in how we distribute money.  Capitalism doesn't work so try socialism.  Socialism doesn't work so try communism.  Communism doesn't work so try capitalism.  A shell game solving some symptoms, exacerbating others.

So maybe the problem is money itself.  Maybe the problem is that the way money is currently constituted - fiat currency, fractional reserves, compound interest - is intrinsically a Ponzi scheme.  Money is debt when it is predicated on an infinite growth system.  That's regardless of whether your standard is pegged to gold, silver or the almighty buck.  So how do we make the root of our monetary system more aligned with the natural world?  Maybe the answer is to change the way money is currently constituted so that instead of being predicated on debt, it is predicated on energy.  Specify and detail exactly how energy is utilized in our society; both the energy found in natural resources and the human energy of our labor.  To insure the replacement of the Infinite Growth paradigm with sustainability, insist on renewable natural resource usage and re-localize economic allocations to sustain human energy and prioritize fair labor practices.

This new system will address all the symptoms that ail us.  Until, like every other continuation of energy in the past, human beings find a way to corrupt that system.

So maybe the root problem is the continuation itself.  When did human beings first abandon their direct connection with the natural world of energy in favor of developing that civilized continuation we call economics?  I believe this occurred with the advent of agriculture.  We've been on a collision course with our own extinction ever since.  Not because agriculture itself is inherently environmentally corrosive, but because of the human greed that made agriculture inherently totalitarian as described by Daniel Quinn: "it all belongs to us: everything; every bit of it and we can do with it what we want."

So maybe if we abandon our continuations, i.e. civilization, we'll get a truly radical revolution that addresses the real root problem: greed.

Not that that will solve all our problems.  We're only human.


The country surrounds the city
The back country surrounds the country

"From the masses to the masses" the most
Revolutionary consciousness is to be found
Among the most ruthlessly exploited classes:
Animals, trees, water, air, grasses

We must pass through the stage of the
"Dictatorship of the Unconscious" before we can
Hope for the withering-away of the states
And finally arrive at true Communionism.

If the capitalists and imperialists
          are the exploiters, the masses are the workers.
                    and the party
                    is the communist.

If civilization
          is the exploiter, the masses is nature.
                    and the party
                    is the poets.

If the abstract rational intellect
          is the exploiter, the masses is the unconscious.
                    and the party
                    is the yogins.

comes out of the seed-syllables of mantras.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Our Road Trip to the Columbia Icefield, Yellowstone and Beyond

We've taken a lot of road trips over the years, but this May my wife and I decided to take what we called the "mother of all road trips."  We've traveled over the past decade through the western part of the United States; usually our road trips lasted anywhere from a weekend to a whole week and the most miles we ever drove probably added up to 1,500 miles round trip.  This trip lasted two weeks, extended beyond U.S. borders into Canada, and added up to 2,596 miles round trip!

We started early Saturday morning May 7 driving up the I-5 to southern Oregon to spend some time with my relatives.  I was able to spend Mother's Day with my mother as well as my 98 year old grandmother, who had recently taken a bad fall but was still able to see us in the hospital.  Then we headed up to northern Oregon in Tigard, which we used as a base for exploring the wineries of the Willamette Valley.  We tasted a number of great wines and saw some spectacular views of the area.

Continuing north on the I-5, we stopped off in Seattle and took an elevator to the observation deck of the Space Needle.  It was my first time visiting the iconic structure featured prominently in the classic 1974 conspiracy thriller The Parallax View, which I wrote about in a previous blog post.  Then we enjoyed a wonderful seafood meal at Ivar's Acres of Clams.  Their deep fried salmon and their salmon chowder was hot, savory and absolutely delicious.

We kept going north, leaving the United States (making sure we had our passports and our courage; the border guard was tough as nails) and heading into Canada to spend the night in Vancouver.  After viewing the city and mountainous horizon from the Vancouver Lookout Tower, we drove up Transcontinental Highway 1 on our way to Kamloops.  While the city of Kamloops was situated in a beautiful valley and we had a wonderful dinner at their local diner Harold's Family Restaurant (absolutely the best french fries ever - I'm not kidding - extra super crunchy on the outside, not overly salted, soft hot potato inside - and the kicker - served with a side of thick hearty brown gravy.  Must try!) Kamloops was just a one night stopover on our way to what for me was the ultimate destination, Canmore.

Located right outside of Banff National Park, Canmore is surrounded by Alberta's Rocky Mountains.  The drive from Kamloops to Canmore was an exercise in escalating exhalations.  With each curve of the road, our jaws dropped further as each stunning snow-capped peak would be replaced by a different one, perhaps larger, or more jagged, but each an awe-inducing spectacle.  There were other spectacles of nature to view besides mountains: at one point I had to slow from 120 kilometers per hour to zero for a few minutes to allow a young grizzly bear to pass across the highway.  Arriving in Canmore Friday May 13, we ate at their local diner Craig's Way Station where I had a great Canadian burger for dinner, then bought sandwiches at Tim Horton's to go for lunch the next day.  We tried to go to bed at 10pm, but were amazed to look outside to see the sun hadn't set yet!

The next day, Saturday May 14, is what I consider to be the pinnacle of our trip, the Columbia Icefield.  We drove three hours through Banff National Park crossing over into Jasper National Park, a drive even more spectacular than the previous day - each side of the road crowned with towering peaks stuffed with ancient glaciers - including crystal clear lakes and all different kinds of wildlife such as rams that we had to slow to allow them to cross the road.  At the Columbia Icefield, we could see the mighty Athabasca Glacier and how global warming had reduced its size over the last century.  It was there that I decided to shoot a video segment for American Judas to demonstrate the difference.

We continued in a specially designed truck to drive us onto the Athabasca Glacier.  There we walked on the glacier, which produced an especially bright glare for which I fortunately remembered to wear sunscreen lotion.  There was a flowing stream of water and we both drank a cup of glacier water.  There is no other water on earth that compares to glacier water.  It is simply the cleanest, clearest, coldest water on earth!  We hadn't planned on doing this on what would have been the 73rd birthday of my father - it was one of those serendipitous synchronicities of fate - but remembering how he traveled to 55 countries in his lifetime, it seemed like the perfect moment to honor him.

From there, it was on to Yellowstone!  We stayed in Gardiner, Montana near the Roosevelt Arch at the northern entrance.  We made good on our game plan to reach Old Faithful Inn first thing in the morning, then backtrack on the same road in the afternoon to see what we missed.  That meant getting front row seats for the 9:30am eruption of Old Faithful geyser!  Then we explored the Upper Geyser Basin, encountering many geysers, pools and buffalo.  After that, we drove to Fountain Paint Pot and Mammoth Hot Springs before heading back to Gardiner for dinner at the Two Bit Saloon.

In many ways this was the most rigorously scheduled of any of our road trips - some of our daily drives lasted over 10 hours and chewed up over 700 miles from one destination to the next - so we researched as many nitty-gritty details as possible to know where the next gas stop (at the cheapest price) was, where the next meal (sometimes stuffed in a freezer bag) could be munched and what points of interest might be observable along the way.  But sometimes my wife and I would learn something new upon reaching our destination of something not on the itinerary that we just had to check out.

That was what happened on the last leg of the trip in Las Vegas.  While staying at the El Cortez downtown, we read about a brand new land art installation just outside of Vegas at Jean Dry Lake.  It's called Seven Magic Mountains and this creation by artist Ugo Rondinone consists of seven stacks of enormous multi-colored totems.  Seeing such a bright playful exhibit amidst such a stark dry atmosphere was the kind of experience my wife and I yearn for as travelers.

This was really a transformative trip for us.  Shooting and watching so much video, like the one from Columbia Icefield I posted above, made me realize the power of images and how I would like to create more video-oriented posts for American Judas both here and on my new Youtube channel.  But there were so many other great adventures my wife and I experienced outside the scope of what I usually explore here that we've decided to create our own separate blog!  I'm very excited about this joint venture and hope that you will check it out along with all the great pictures and videos we're posting!

Our new blog is:

Please subscribe to our Youtube channel and be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  We hope to update our blog and Youtube channel once a week, while I'll still try to stick to once a month entries here.  I'll still try to find new things to write about (shouldn't be too difficult with all the crazy things happening in the world today) but I also hope to revisit previous entries by updating them with Youtube videos that will add a new dimension.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Orlando Terror, Operation Gladio Plan C and the Resistible Rise of Donald Trump

Sorry to skip a month blogging - most of May was spent on an incredible, possibly life-changing vacation that I will be providing much more details on in my next blog post - but since the Presidential contest for November has been decided for the major parties, I feel compelled to take my focus off deep history for a moment and weigh in.  I've already written about and was correct in predicting that Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic Party nomination.  It really is incredible that in challenging her, Bernie Sanders was able to win as many votes, states and delegates and last as long as he did.  But it is past time that he and his most passionate supporters face reality: he never had a chance.

You can run on a platform that threatens the system and win in the House, you can even run on a platform that threatens the system and win in the Senate, but if you run for President on a platform that threatens the system, you will not be allowed to win even the nomination of a major party.  Sorry to be such a cynical bastard, but if media bias, DNC-enabled disenfranchisement and computer voting fraud doesn't convince you the fix was in from the beginning, nothing will.  As I wrote previously in a blog post explaining why the system wouldn't let Bernie win, the last time a candidate from a major party who ran for President on a platform that genuinely threatened the status quo came close to winning the nomination, it was Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.  Remember what happened to him?  I suppose it's possible there was an exception to the rule four years later when McGovern was nominated, but that only happened because of the Canuck Letter and other instances of "ratfucking" done at the instigation of President Nixon so that he could face an opponent easier to beat.  Two years later, Nixon found out what happens when you try to cheat the system.

It is because of this that while I believe that establishment-favorite Clinton is most likely to win, the portrayal of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump by the Radical Establishment Media (and himself) as being anti-establishment is a clever piece of misdirection.  I'm reminded of the logical extension of a Carl von Clausewitz quote by Michael Ruppert in the movie Collapse, "There was a guy name von Clausewitz who said that war is a continuation of politics by other means.  Politics is a continuation of economics by other means."  From that perspective, it should be clear that Trump, political neophyte though he may be, is far from being anti-establishment where economics are concerned.
Donald Trump 2016 GOP presumptive nominee   Photo credit:

If it isn't clear, let me spell out the absurdity of The Donald's unctuous outreach to Sanders' supporters: you know that richest 1%; those billionaire fat-cats Bernie's always railing against?  Trump is the milk-carton-poster-child personification of that social strata.  Basically born with a $200 million silver spoon in his mouth, he parlayed that into a real estate/reality TV huckster empire worth billions.  While a complicit media has done a magnificent job of image reinforcement for Trump by painting him as simpatico with the stereotypical blue-collar angry guy on a bar-stool, this is someone who has spent his entire adult life wining and dining the elite.  They may view Hillary as the better choice because of her longer track record of political compliance with overworld objectives, but that doesn't mean they see Trump as an untrustworthy loose cannon.  Remember, this is the man who literally wrote the book on The Art of the Deal.  He can be counted on to negotiate in their favor, even if his road to electoral victory is riding a wave of discontented revolt.

That possibility of victory should not be discarded as a pipe dream.  My recent road trip with my wife took us through Pacific Northwest blue states as well as Great Basin red states.  The only presidential candidates that I saw signs and bumper stickers for, often in the same state regardless of color, were Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  I realize that's not the most scientific basis for measuring the level of anger and political discontent with the status quo.  But the fact remains that Trump, with large dollops of free media enabling, rode this wave of anger to victory and Sanders, despite significant media obstruction, rode a parallel wave of discontent to a close second.  While it may not make logical sense from an ideological perspective for a Bernie supporter to switch to Trump, the reality of politics is that sometimes emotion trumps logic.  As comedian Bill Maher observed, we're one terror attack away from "President Trump."

Orlando club Pulse    Photo credit:

In that context, it's important to take a closer look at the recent terror attack in Orlando.  This horrific mass shooting on June 12, the worst in US history in terms of casualties with 49 killed and 53 wounded, already has the presumptive nominees pouncing on it to provide red meat for their respective bases.  Clinton is highlighting it to promote gun control against "lone wolves" while Trump uses it to rally around the 2nd amendment and highlight his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country; even expanding it to "suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or allies."

But what alarms me with this particular incident are the number of inconsistencies ignored by REM indicative of a Brabant-style Gladio operation similar to other recent attacks.  Just as the San Bernardino massacre last December originally had eyewitness reports of three shooters subsequently reduced to two, initial reports in Orlando of two shooters were reduced to one Omar Mateen, even though Mateen reportedly told police he had accomplices.  Just as with the Boston Bombing in 2013, we have the FBI questioning the perp/patsy on multiple occasions only to be cleared of suspicion before the subsequent terror event.  The FBI even admit that they introduced Mateen to "informants" - a procedure usually employed so they can be handlers in a sting operation - though somehow Mateen, like Tsarnaev in Boston before him (and the WTC bombers in 1993) just slipped through the cracks.  Then there's the curious case of James Wesley Howell from Indiana, arrested in Santa Monica, California in the early hours of the same morning as the Orlando attack for possessing weapons in his car.  He claimed that he was on his way to an LA Gay Pride event.  Cuz what better way to express your bisexual pride than firing three assault rifles with high capacity ammo and detonating a five gallon bucket of explosive chemicals?

Now I'm willing to admit I might be wrong in some of my suspicions.  Perhaps the Howell case is completely coincidental and there's no connection.  Maybe Mateen was really just a frustrated bipolar American lashing out in rage over his conflicted sexuality.  I find that a much more believable motive than radical Islam, especially considering in addition to pledging support to ISIS, Mateen had earlier attracted the attention of the FBI in 2013 by telling co-workers he was a member of Hezbollah, which anyone with a cursory knowledge of Sunni-Shiite relations understands is fighting against ISIS in Lebanon, indicating Mateen doesn't understand shit about who he supports; yelling 'ISIS' is a convenient deflection from his closeted reasons.  But I'm a lot more reluctant to let go of my suspicions of his handling by the FBI where they attempted to lure him into a terror plot, particularly since this was not his only connection with the intelligence community.

There are at least three connections that I'm aware of that Mateen had with the CIA.   (Thanks to the whole crew at RI for their contributions.)  First, there is his father, Seddique Mateen.  According to Daniel Hopsicker, the US-based Afghan satellite channel that Mateen has a show on, Payam Afghan, is said to be "widely known in Southwest Asia as a CIA-Pakistani-ISI construct."  Second, Omar Mateen was a member of the Timbuktu Seminary, an educational website run by former US Marine and undercover FBI agent Marcus Dwayne Robertson.  According to The Intercept, Robertson, who now goes by Abu Taubah, claims he worked as a covert operative for the CIA.  Third, there is Mateen's security guard employment with G4S.  This security corporation was formerly known as Wackenhut, a CIA proprietary company previously involved in Iraqgate, among other offenses.  The shares of G4S were bought up by Pakistan in 2012, a deal the Chairman of Wackenhut said would not be possible without the support of Bank al Falah.  According to wikipedia, "the roots of the bank go back to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)."

Sibel Edmonds author of The Lone Gladio  Photo credit:

It is this last intelligence connection that intrigues me the most because it ties into a personal hypothesis I have regarding the overworld vetting of Donald Trump's nomination.  My previous post on Iran/Contra explained how the overworld, exemplified by David Rockefeller, manipulates deep state events in coordination with the realms of intelligence, politics, finance and the underworld.  Much of the covert operation apparatus that had been the domain of CIA proper was partially outsourced through the private efforts of guys like Gen. John Singlaub, but also through BCCI, which intersected all those realms.  Privatization as a tool for Empire Maintenance is something that became even more intense in the 21st century with the invasion of Iraq as mercenary contractors like Blackwater were used in some cases to supplement and in some cases to outright supplant the military.  With more and more attention being brought by alternative media to the history of Operation Gladio in false flag terror attacks, and in the case of the Paris attacks last November the finger of blame being pointed at the organization in charge of Gladio B, NATO, on an international television outlet, is it likely that there are plans underway to obscure the role that Gladio plays today by trying to change it again?  The original change in the 90s from Gladio A to Gladio B changed how it operated, from Cold War objectives to War on Terror objectives.  Could they now have plans to change where it operates from in the latest evolution?

This possibility is certainly something I'm not alone in entertaining.  Sibel Edmonds hinted at something similar happening in her novel The Lone Gladio on page 352:

"Well, Greg, you did it.  You exposed and ended the operation.  Here's to that."  She raised her glass and took another sip.  "And I believe that's it for me.  I no longer owe you.  I fulfilled my obligation and kept my end of our deal."  Elsie lifted her glass high and drained it.  "Even Steven."

Greg narrowed his eyes.  "That was Operation B.  You are right: it ended.  But Operation C has already kicked in and is hard at we speak.  We might have cut two tiny heads off the beast, but the hydra's got hundreds more, you can bet your life on it."

My hypothesis is the overworld is currently exploring the possibility of transitioning Operation Gladio Plan B to Operation Gladio Plan C by decentralizing NATO responsibility and privatizing wherever possible to obscure accountability.  That Gladio continues is essential for Empire Maintenance; the question then is how to do so in the most effective manner.  Keeping in mind that in being the presumed nominee Trump passed his overworld vetting, declaring that NATO "may be obsolete" and that "maybe" it should be gotten rid of would constitute the most efficient path of achieving an overworld objective - with the added bonus of appearing to be anti-establishment! 

Why else do I think President Trump might be a useful instrument in the evolution of Gladio B under NATO to Gladio C privatized?  At the same time Trump was questioning the need for NATO last March, he unveiled his list of top foreign policy advisors.  One name in particular stood out in bold for me: Joe Schmitz.  While REM outlets usually described him as a former Defense Department inspector general, he stood out to me for a different position entirely: a former executive with the firm of mercenaries formerly named Blackwater.  If you haven't read Jeremy Scahill's book Blackwater, it's worth it for how he details the whole sordid history of the Schmitz family.  For Trump to lambaste the entire Bush family name over Iraq, which I loved, then choose as one of his main foreign policy advisors someone who helped protect that criminal administration proves two things.  It proves Trump likes to have it both ways and that he has a particular interest in the arena of privatization that could prove very useful to the Deep State if he won in November.

“Therefore learn how to see and not to gape.
To act instead of talking all day long.
The world was almost won by such an ape!
The nations put him where his kind belong.
But don't rejoice too soon at your escape -
The womb he crawled from is still going strong.”
Bertolt Brecht, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui 

There have already been so many articles and op-ed columns dedicated to comparing the rise of Trump to the rise of a fascist dictator, it's hard to resist the temptation, which is basically what the quote above from Brecht's play does.  I certainly don't believe that President Hillary Clinton would shy away from emasculating NATO if it best served the interests of Empire Maintenance.  Perhaps that is the choice we really face in November: transition to Gladio C at a glacial pace to preserve the appearance of business as usual with another President Clinton, or shake the status quo with the "faster, please" position of President Trump.  In that light, Orlando may be a trial balloon for the Deep State to get a pulse on what America can take - similar events before November could either quicken that pulse or make it catatonic.  "Faster, please", in case you didn't get the reference, is a signature meme of Machiavelli lover and author of Universal Fascism Michael Ledeen.  While Ledeen might make a scholarly claim that historically speaking Trump is not a fascist, I would invite him and everyone else to read Umberto Eco's 14 points of fascism to see if the candidate you despise measures up.  Personally, whatever you call it, I don't think American Judas would survive it should President Trump take this whim and make it law:

Donald Trump wants to 'close up' the Internet

Donald Trump has called for a shutdown of the Internet in certain areas to stop the spread of terror.

In a speech at the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Monday, Trump referenced the use by ISIS of social media as a recruitment tool. He recommended a discussion with Bill Gates to shut off parts of the Internet.

"We're losing a lot of people because of the Internet," Trump said. "We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way. Somebody will say, 'Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.' These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people."

Some totalitarian governments do it
The notion that the Internet could be shut off is not completely off base. North Korea does it. Some countries have been known to shut off Internet service to their citizens in times of crisis. Egypt restricted the Internet during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Other countries block certain Internet services and sites. China is the most famous example, forbidding most social networking sites as well as websites that deal with subjects the government doesn't want its citizens to know about.


Call it fascist, call it foolish, call it a 'loose cannon' like so many others in the 'establishment' do.  But if you care about freedom and if anything I've written in this entry makes any sense, whatever you call it, resist it.  It doesn't have your best interests at heart.  At all!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Origins of Iran/Contra: From the Bay of Pigs to Lee Harvey, Osvaldo

In downtown Los Angeles, there is a place called the Civic Center Mall.  It is known as containing the largest concentration of government employees in the United States outside of Washington, D.C.  On a personal level, it is an area I spent a great deal of time hanging out with the LA branch of the #Occupy Wall Street movement in the fall of 2011.  But it is also an area where a plot to assassinate President Jimmy Carter was foiled on May 5, 1979 that may have influenced future events that put in motion the sinister forces that conspired to perpetrate one of the grossest violations of the U.S. Constitution known as the Iran/Contra scandal.
Civic Center Mall  Photo credit:

The Iran/Contra scandal was revealed on November 25, 1986 by Edwin Meese as a criminal enterprise where funds from the sales of US arms to Iran were diverted to the Contras fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.  There is the known scandal covered by the mainstream media that led to the histrionic hearings where Lt. Col. Oliver North displayed his crisp uniform and his not-so-crisp memory, the Tower Commission issued their report which like most government commissions uncovered minimal criminality and zero systemic accountability, and all outstanding indictments for six of the known perpetrators (former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Robert C. McFarlane, Alan Fiers, Clair George and Duane Clarridge) were pardoned by lame-duck President George H. W. Bush as he was about to leave office.

But there are also the more clandestine elements not as widely publicized that illustrate just severely our democratic processes have been subverted.  Just to mention a few, there was the "readiness exercise" called Rex-84 in which Oliver North worked with FEMA to draw up plans to, among other things, detain hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens, surveillance and detention of political dissidents, including US citizens, and identifying scenarios for suspending the US Constitution.  There was the CIA-Contra-crack scandal that I've written multiple blog entries on that Gary Webb lost his career and his life over.  There was the financial legerdemain perpetrated by these shadow networks through shady institutions like BCCI, another scandal I've written about previously.

Intersecting all of these elements were the "secret teams" of intelligence agents, military operatives and others working in the private world of covert operations detailed in the book The Iran Contra Connection by Jonathan Marshall, Jane Hunter and Peter Dale Scott.  These covert teams probably existed on an ad hoc basis throughout US history (General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket gives a good summary of how this happened prior to WWI.) but really became institutionalized in 1947 with the creation of the CIA and the NSC.  One of the first prime examples of this type of secret team was what Paul Helliwell did for Chaing Kai-Shek's Kuomintang Army (KMT) in Taiwan in the 1950s.  A career OSS/CIA officer, (who also helped Walt Disney set up an unconstitutional form of government on his Florida land purchase for what would ultimately become Disney World) Helliwell tried to prepare Chaing's KMT for a future mainland China invasion by setting up a clandestine arrangement for CIA fronted companies Civil Air Transport (CAT) and the Sea Supply Corporation to ship opium for the benefit of the KMT.  CIA involvement with the drug trade continued into the 1960s as focus shifted from a presumed offensive out of Taiwan to a defensive posture in Laos and Vietnam.  CAT was renamed Air America and was extremely important in maintaining covert, often illegal operations.  Helliwell was transferred to provide business cover for the CIA's Cuban operations in 1960.

Paul Helliwell
Paul Helliwell  Photo credit:

The foundation of the scandal on a personnel level, to some degree, traces back 55 years ago to April 1961.  This was the infamous Bay of Pigs debacle that the CIA coordinated where a group of Cuban counter-revolutionaries invaded Cuba with the goal of overthrowing Fidel Castro.  The invasion was a spectacular failure that became a sort of spawning ground for future scandals.  (President Nixon referred to it while trying to cover up Watergate as "the whole Bay of Pigs thing", which H.R. Haldeman believed was a code for the JFK assassination.)  According to page 32 of The Iran Contra Connection, Helliwell worked with Lucien Conein, Mitch WerBell and E. Howard Hunt to develop relationships with drug dealing Cuban veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion.  Lucien Conein was suspected to be involved in the JFK assassination, having worked with Ted Shackley and William Harvey (who was in charge of ZR/RIFLE, the top secret CIA operation to kill Castro, working directly with Mafia ambassador Johnny Roselli) at the JM/WAVE CIA station (where Helliwell was the CIA paymaster) in Miami in 1963.  Conein was the CIA's liaison with the Corsican gangsters of Saigon, according to page 64 of The Iran Contra Connection, and knew about but did not tell Washington of the large drug shipments the Corsicans were sending to Europe while giving the 1965 Saigon government a fixed percentage of the profits.  Mitch WerBell, an arms dealer who may have supplied silencers to the gunmen in Dallas that killed JFK, was indicted on drug smuggling charges in 1976.  While serving as a "personal security advisor" to Lyndon H. LaRouche in 1978, his former OSS colleague General John Singlaub reconnected with him at a right-wing meeting set up, according to page 66 of The Iran Contra Connection, for those who "didn't think the country was being run properly and were interested in doing something about it."  Singlaub later became head of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL) and one of the most pivotal members of the "secret team" that orchestrated key events in the Iran/Contra scandal, raising "tens of millions of dollars...for arms and ammunition" by his own admission.  According to page 21 of The Iran Contra Connection, Singlaub began to report to NSC staffer Oliver North and CIA director William Casey in 1984 on his fundraising activities for the Contras.

And then, there was E. Howard Hunt, CIA veteran of the successful 1954 Guatemala coup and the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs campaign.  I've detailed previously Hunt's involvement with the JFK assassination as revealed through Mark Lane's successful courtroom defense written about in Plausible Denial.  Hunt is also famous for his criminal involvement with the Watergate burglars, including Cuban exile Eugenio Martinez, an active member of Operation 40, a CIA counter-intelligence operation (which Hunt and fellow Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis were members of) originally designed to seize control of the Cuban government after the Bay of Pigs invasion.  Other members of Operation 40 include Rafael (Chi Chi) Quintero, Felix Rodriguez and Luis Posada.  What do these three have in common besides a connection with the CIA's Bay of Pigs campaign?  All three were active at the Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador that resupplied the Contras in Nicaragua and imported large quantities of cocaine into the US to support the Contras.  When Eugene Hasenfus, an Air America veteran, was captured by the Sandinistas after his plane was shot down on October 5, 1986, which blew the Iran/Contra scandal wide open, he told his captors that two Cuban-Americans based in El Salvador, "Max Gomez" and "Ramon Medina", coordinated the operation for the CIA and that they had the "blessing" of Vice President George H. W. Bush.  "Medina" was an alias for Luis Posada, who I've written multiple blog entries about, and "Gomez" was an alias for Felix Rodriguez, a longtime CIA operative who took part in the 1967 Bolivian operation that led to the capture of Che Guevara.  He interrogated Guevara before he ordered his execution.  He still possesses Guevara's Rolex watch that he took as a trophy.

Long before Hasenfus's plane was shot down, the US was involved with criminal activity on behalf of the Contras: Duane Clarridge, chief of the CIA Latin America division who was one of the six pardoned by Bush for Iran/Contra, (later one of the "principal forgers" of the Niger uranium documents used as justification for invading Iraq in 2003) was responsible for mining Nicaraguan harbors in 1984, an act for which the United States was convicted in the World Court at The Hague in 1986.   But how does Iran fit into this scandal?  The official story is that, to secure the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by Hezbollah, members of the Reagan administration sold missiles to Iran starting in 1985 to secure their release.  How were members of the Reagan administration able to reach out to their sworn enemy, Iran, who called them the "Great Satan"?  I synopsized some of how this happened in the 2nd edition of American Judas through the efforts of one Machiavellian meddler named Michael Ledeen:

As a consultant working with NSC head Robert McFarlane, he was involved in the transfer of arms to Iran during the Iran/Contra scandal. Ledeen acted as a go-between for Oliver North in the early stages of the Iran/Contra scandal, working with Israeli spy David Kimche to gain the release of US hostages in Beirut through an Iranian arms dealer, Manucher Ghorbanifar. Ghorbanifar then served as the medium between Oliver North and Iran in the Iran/Contra scandal.

Michael Ledeen  Photo credit:

Ledeen (named as a "conduit" for the Niger uranium forgery that was used as justification for invading Iraq in 2003) indicates that his association with Ghorbanifar (who in addition to being an Iranian arms dealer, was also an agent of "the intelligence services of Israel" during the 1970s) began at this time.  Yet the history of US arms shipments to Iran after the rise of the Ayatollah actually began much earlier.  The earliest confirmed shipment took place in 1981, with Israelis acting as the middlemen much as they did in the 1985-86 Iran/Contra period.  This took place shortly after Reagan took office in the aftermath of a scandal that George Polk Award-winning investigative journalist Robert Parry describes as a "prequel" to Iran/Contra:

On July 18, 1981, an Israeli-chartered plane was shot down after straying over the Soviet Union, offering the first glimpse of these secret arms transactions. In a PBS interview nearly a decade later, Nicholas Veliotes, Reagan’s assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, said he looked into the incident by talking to top administration officials.

“It was clear to me after my conversations with people on high that indeed we had agreed that the Israelis could transship to Iran some American-origin military equipment,” Veliotes said.
In checking out the Israeli flight, Veliotes came to believe that the Reagan camp’s dealings with Iran dated back to before the 1980 election.

“It seems to have started in earnest in the period probably prior to the election of 1980, as the Israelis had identified who would become the new players in the national security area in the Reagan administration,” Veliotes said. “And I understand some contacts were made at that time.”

That "prequel" is known as the 1980 October Surprise.  It certainly wasn't the first October Surprise; the most infamous precedent would be during the 1968 electoral campaign when Richard Nixon ordered Anna Chennault, his liaison to the South Vietnam government, to persuade them to reject a cease-fire being brokered by President Johnson, an interference that violated the Logan Act.  While I've written about the 1980 scandal before, I think a synopsis would be helpful as to how it relates to key Iran/Contra characters.  On November 4, 1979, a group of Iranians stormed the US Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 American hostages.  The Reagan campaign, managed by William Casey, was worried that if President Carter was able to pull off an 'October Surprise' and negotiate the release of the hostages right before the election, it might give him the momentum to win re-election in 1980.  Casey enlisted his friend, former OSS officer John Shaheen, along with his Shaheen's business partner Cyrus Hashemi to initiate negotiations to delay the release of the hostages.

Casey had secret meetings with both men and, according to Peter Dale Scott's The Road to 9/11 page 324 endnote 87, "Hashemi had worked for the CIA beginning in 1975."  Hashemi then had a meeting in March 1980 with Donald Gregg, a CIA officer who at the time was a member of Carter's White House team, but who knew George H. W. Bush (who directed the CIA in 1976) and later worked in his office when he became Vice President.  This led to a meeting in July 1980 in Madrid where Casey, Hashemi and his brother Jamshid Hashemi met with Iranian mullah Mehdi Karrubi to ensure the Iranians would not release the hostages to Carter prior to the election.  This was followed up with a meeting in October 1980 in Paris where Casey finalized the deal with the Iranians.  This time, according to a 1993 Russian government report, he was joined by Robert Gates, an NSC staffer at the time, and George H. W. Bush.

These names already constitute the future initiates of Iran/Contra infamy.  Once Reagan won the election, he appointed his campaign manager William Casey to be the CIA director, where he was in his element coordinating with the "secret teams" involved in Iran/Contra.  Donald Gregg was part of Operation 40 with Felix Rodriguez and worked closely with him and Vice President Bush starting in 1983 to subvert the Boland Amendment and supply the Contras with arms, cash and supplies.  Robert Gates' involvement in Iran/Contra included staying informed of Contra support through Alan Fiers (who pled guilty for Iran/Contra, later pardoned by Bush) though he denied recalling details about as frequently as Oliver North.  According to page 108 of The Road to 9/11, John Shaheen and Cyrus Hashemi were involved in 1985 in an Israeli arms sale to Iran in Hamburg brokered by Michael Ledeen.

How does Ledeen figure into the October Surprise?  An early draft of the task force report investigating the October Surprise (a whitewash chaired by veteran scandal-sweeper Lee Hamilton) mentioned a September 16, 1980 meeting for the "Persian Gulf Project" that Ledeen attended as well as an "October Surprise Group" that had multiple meetings attended by Ledeen.  His partner Manucher Ghorbanifar also figures in by attending meetings in Washington and the Paris meeting in October 1980.  In fact, just prior to his death, Duane Clarridge revealed that Ghorbanifar set the date of the hostage release and that he had “big bets in Las Vegas—big, big—millions” tied to the timing of the deal.  This was corroborated by CIA specialist on Iran George Cave, who while denying Reagan officials plotted the October Surprise (Cave is reputed to have attended the Paris meeting and wrote a 2013 'fictional' novel October 1980 which Clarridge said, “The whole novel is really true.”) seconded that Ghorbanifar likely placed bets on the outcome.  According to Peter Dale Scott's The Road to 9/11 page 324 endnote 89, Ghorbanifar was also involved with the 1985 Hamburg deal along with Adnan Khashoggi, who may have attended the Paris meeting and was a financial intermediary in the delivery of American-made missiles from Israel to Iran, "and ex-CIA officer Miles Copeland."

Miles Copeland, Jr.jpg
Miles Copeland  Photo credit:

With Miles Copeland, we enter into an earlier chapter of the plot to delay the release of the hostages, a sort of "prequel to the prequel" of Iran/Contra.  Copeland (father of Stewart Copeland, drummer for The Police) worked closely with Archibald and Kermit Roosevelt in arranging Operation Ajax, which deposed the democratically-elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, and replaced him with Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1953.  This was a pivotal event, along with the subsequent savagery by the Iranian secret police SAVAK, that led to the overthrow of the Shah and rise of the Ayatollah in 1979.  On April 20, 1980, Copeland published a "speculative" piece in the Washington Star on how he would free the hostages.  This was just two days after President Carter made a top secret decision to proceed with Operation Eagle Claw, a rescue attempt almost identical to what Copeland wrote about.  As investigative journalist and co-author of The Iran Contra Connection Jonathan Marshall said, "There is legitimate room for at least questioning as to whether it was some kind of leak that came out in the form of fiction to protect him from charges that he had sabotaged it."

Is there more direct testimony that the Reagan campaign sabotaged Carter's hostage rescue, at that time totaling 52 hostages, which resulted in the abortion of the mission at the first staging area, Desert One, with eight US servicemen killed in a helicopter crash?  According to Mansur Rafizadeh, a CIA "secret team" directed by William Casey sabotaged the mission.  Rafizadeh worked for both the CIA and SAVAK.  According to him, corroborated by historian Donald Freed and Reagan administration policy advisor Barbara Honegger, Casey was knowledgeable about Operation Eagle Claw before the fact as he was in communication with Richard Secord, the chief mission planner.  Secord was heavily involved in Iran/Contra, both in providing planes and supplies to the Contras and assisted the shipment of missiles to Iran.  On the Turkish border in the mother ship, awaiting the cue from chief planner Secord, was none other than Oliver North.  Working closely with him as a logistical planner for ground operations was Albert Hakim.  Yet 24 hours before the operation, when he was supposed to be obtaining trucks and other necessary vehicles, Hakim left Tehran and fled to Baghdad.  Hakim later became Secord's business partner in the Stanford Technology Trading Group International and was indicted for conspiracy in Iran/Contra, among other counts, along with Secord, North and former National Security Adviser John Poindexter.  The Pentagon review board found astonishing incompetence and negligence in the failure of Operation Eagle Claw and freelance journalist Cynthia Dwyer, who had not yet been taken as the 53rd hostage, told Reverend Moore that the CIA deliberately botched the operation.

While the scenario above may sound too terrible to be true for some, there is an historical precedent in which the CIA purposely designed an operation to fail.  According to David Talbot in his book The Devil's Chessboard, page 400, that is exactly what Allen Dulles did with the Bay of Pigs.

But, as usual, there was method to Dulles's seeming carelessness.  It is now clear that the CIA's Bay of Pigs expedition was not simply doomed to fail, it was meant to fail.  And its failure was designed to trigger the real action - an all-out, U.S. military invasion of the island.  Dulles plunged ahead with his hopeless, paramilitary mission - an expedition that he had staffed with "C-minus" officers and expendable Cuban "puppets" - because he was serenely confident that, in the heat of battle, Kennedy would be forced to send the Marines crashing ashore.  Dulles was banking on the young, untested commander in chief to cave in to pressure from the Washington war machine, just as other presidents had bent to the spymaster's will.

Not only did Dulles keep the news from JFK that the operation was doomed to fail, as the minutes of a November 15, 1960 task force meeting released in 2005 prove, he also kept the plots to assassinate Castro from him too.  President Kennedy did his best to stand up against this intimidation from Dulles, ultimately firing him for the Bay of Pigs, and also from Dulles's compatriot Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  It was Lemnitzer, along with Navy chief Arleigh Burke, who tried to coerce JFK into using the military as the Bay of Pigs operation was in the process of failing.  Lemnitzer continued to raise the prospect of invading Cuba with JFK afterward, most notoriously with his proposal of Operation Northwoods, which advocated false flag terror attacks in Washington D.C. and Miami to justify an invasion of Cuba.  President Kennedy rejected this and three months later reassigned Lemnitzer to become Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe.  Lemnitzer then became Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in January 1963, in charge of the infamous Operation Gladio, among other duties.  He certainly had the means and motivation to assassinate JFK.

I have this feeling man, 'cause you know, it's just a handful of people who run everything, you know … that's true, it's provable. It's not … I'm not a fucking conspiracy nut, it's provable. A handful, a very small elite, run and own these corporations, which include the mainstream media. I have this feeling that whoever is elected president, like Clinton was, no matter what you promise on the campaign trail – blah, blah, blah – when you win, you go into this smoke-filled room with the twelve industrialist capitalist scum-fucks who got you in there. And you're in this smoky room, and this little film screen comes down … and a big guy with a cigar goes, "Roll the film." And it's a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle you've never seen before … that looks suspiciously like it's from the grassy knoll. And then the screen goes up and the lights come up, and they go to the new president, "Any questions?" "Er, just what my agenda is." "First we bomb Baghdad." "You got it …"

While this classic Bill Hicks routine on "The Elite" was played for comedy, I do believe that it hits on a larger truth; both in terms of the JFK assassination and how the world really works.  This is the milieu that Peter Dale Scott describes as "deep politics": all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, that are usually repressed in public discourse rather than acknowledged.  I think most people understand how this works in regard to the underworld; that there is an intersection between financial and political realms with organized crime.  But in his book The Road to 9/11, Scott spells out how this works in regard to the overworld: that realm of wealthy or privileged society that, although not formally authorized or institutionalized, is the scene of successful influence of government by private power.  A prime example of someone who has done this over the course of several decades without ever holding public office is David Rockefeller.  While there is no evidence that Rockefeller was involved in the JFK assassination, there have been a number of books, such as Thy Will Be Done The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil by Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett, Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency by Donald Gibson, and The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government by David Talbot, that detailed how among those who stood to benefit from the assassination of JFK, Rockefeller was one of the biggest.  I doubt there is any evidence that will surface; when you live in the overworld, your actions tend to stay in the shadows.

David Rockefeller Sr.  Photo credit:

Yet there was a period in 1979 when Rockefeller felt compelled to step out of the shadows to exert his overworld influence.  This was during the time that the Shah of Iran had been overthrown on February 11, 1979 but prior to the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.  Rockefeller wanted President Carter to permit the Shah to enter the United States.  Carter, cognizant of Iranian history and popular animosity there over the CIA engineered coup, had no desire to do so.  Rockefeller found multiple ways to apply pressure to get his way.  Three of Rockefeller's men, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, current National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and influential lawyer/banker John McCloy (previously a member of the Warren Commission, always a member of the overworld since representing IG Farben and sharing a box with Hitler and Goering at the 1936 Olympics) supported this special project code-named Project Alpha, which included Rockefeller dipping into private funds to pay his and McCloy's employees for working on this project.  The lobbying effort was so intense that at one point when his chief of staff Hamilton Jordan told him opposing Kissinger was politically dangerous, Carter responded, "The hell with Henry Kissinger, I am President of this country!"

What was Rockefeller's motive for breaking with his usual low-profile behavior?  As the current chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank (McCloy had previously been chairman), he was aware that they were one of the companies most indebted to the Shah.  Iran was "the crown jewel of Chase's international banking portfolio."  Financial analyst and journalist Mark Hulbert, in his book Interlock, argued that Rockefeller and his coterie precipitated the hostage taking to give Chase legal cover to seize enough Iranian assets to erase billions in questionable loans that now threatened the bank's liquidity.  The new Iranian government wanted Chase to return Iranian assets.  But in a crisis situation, seizure of Iranian assets would be legal under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, powers that had been conveniently transferred, according to Peter Dale Scott's The Road to 9/11 page 86, to FEMA under reorganization engineered by Zbigniew Brzezinski on July 20, 1979.  Ten days after the hostages were taken, President Carter froze all Iranian assets in US banks on the advice of his Treasury Secretary, William Miller.  Naturally, Miller had ties with Chase Manhattan Bank.

Why did President Carter cave in to their demands?  There are a number of factors, but the political pressure on him certainly increased in the summer of 1979.  There was pressure from McCloy on his closest advisors.  There was pressure from Kissinger, indicating he would withdraw his support for SALT II unless there was a "more forthcoming attitude on our part regarding the Shah."  Perhaps the deciding factor arrived courtesy of three Rockefeller men advising the Shah: Joseph V. Reed, Robert Armao and Benjamin H. Kean.  They lobbied to have the Shah admitted to the US on the grounds of his poor health to get better treatment at an American hospital.  Carter reluctantly accepted this rationale with the pregnant question, "What are you guys going to advise me to do if they overrun our embassy and take our people hostage?"

But there is one other factor that is rarely mentioned.  That would be the incident I referred to at the beginning of this post, an assassination attempt against President Carter on May 5, 1979, foiled by the Secret Service ten minutes before he was to give a speech at the Civic Center Mall in Los Angeles.  The suspect arrested was an Ohio-born unemployed drifter with a history of mental illness who told the police that he spent the night before at the Alan Hotel with a man he knew as "Julio" who, along with two other Latino men, asked him to fire a starter pistol with blanks as a diversion so they could shoot President Carter from their hotel room.  This story was written about in Time and Newsweek when it happened and wikipedia has a synopsis of the details.  The drifter with the starter pistol was named Raymond Lee Harvey.  "Julio" turned out to be Osvaldo Espinoza Ortiz.  As James DiEugenio wrote recently, "No one as smart as Carter could have missed the significance of that."

After the hostages were taken, Rockefeller tried to slip back into the shadows, but there is evidence he was involved in the October Surprise.  On September 11, 1980, according to a campaign visitor log, Rockefeller and several of his aides signed in to see William Casey at his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.  That this visit concerned the October Surprise was corroborated by sworn testimony from CIA officer Charles Cogan, who was present when Rockefeller's aide Joseph Reed in 1981 told Casey something to the effect of "we did something about Carter's October Surprise."  In a less formal setting, Cogan said Reed's words were "We fucked Carter's October Surprise."  Besides Rockefeller and Reed, also attending the 9/11/80 meeting with Casey was Archibald Roosevelt, the former CIA officer who had collaborated with Miles Copeland both on Operation Ajax and a hostage-rescue plan that President Carter rejected in favor of the sabotaged Operation Eagle Claw.    The effort to undo Carter's efforts to free the hostages was something many who had worked for the CIA, out of loyalty to their former director George Bush, had a personal interest in.  Copeland referred to these interested parties as "the CIA within the CIA" who "had an understanding with the Iranians" that the hostages would not be returned before Reagan's election.  A key figure in that arrangement was Ted Shackley coordinating the Republican monitoring of hostage negotiations for Richard Allen of the Reagan-Bush campaign.

Theodore (Ted) Shackley
Ted Shackley  Photo credit:

No examination of the origins of Iran/Contra is complete without discussing Ted Shackley.  Perhaps more than any other individual, Shackley ties so many disparate strands of this dark web of conspiracy together.  In early 1962, Shackley was deputy chief of JM/WAVE in Miami, delivering supplies to mobster Johnny Roselli as part of the plan to assassinate Fidel Castro.  Later that year he became head of the station and gained control of Operation 40.  In 1966, he was placed in charge of the CIA's secret war in Laos and his "Secret Team" became involved in the drug trade by helping anti-communist General Vang Pao monopolize the heroin trade in Laos.  Shackley and his associate Thomas Clines even set up a Saigon meeting in 1968 between Pao and Mafia kingpin Santo Trafficante to establish a heroin-smuggling operation from Southeast Asia to the United States.  When he became Chief of Station in Vietnam in 1969, Shackley headed the Phoenix Program, which in a two year period murdered 28,978 civilians.  He stepped up his drug operation with the help of Clines, Richard Armitage (yeah, the same gossip who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to Bob Woodward) and Richard Secord by disbursing excess money from the Vang Pao opium fund from 1973 to 1975 into a secret account at Nugan Hand Bank in Sydney Australia.  When Saigon fell in April 1975, Armitage set up a secret "financial conduit" inside Iran so the "Secret Team" could access the drug funds for black operations against enemies of the Shah.

When George H. W. Bush became director of the CIA in 1976, he appointed Shackley to Deputy Director of Operations.  But when Carter was elected and he appointed Admiral Stansfield Turner to head the CIA, Turner fired Shackley when he found out about Nugan Hand and the activities of his "Secret Team."  Shackley's response was to privatize his operations in providing intelligence to business; the "CIA within the CIA" Copeland referenced.  This included joining Stanford Technology owned by Albert Hakim in October 1980 where they profited off the Iran-Iraq War.  In addition to his previously mentioned coordination of the October Surprise, it should probably come as no surprise that Shackley was involved in Iran/Contra.  According to The Iran Contra Connection page 177, in November 1984, Manucher Ghorbanifar made contact with Shackley in West Germany with a proposal to "work with the 'moderates' in Iran" and "suggested ransoming the hostages for cash as a first step."  In May 1985, Shackley revived this Ghorbanifar gambit when he had a meeting with his friend Michael Ledeen to discuss the hostage situation.  According to Shackley, Ledeen told him members of the U.S. government wanted to know in that connection if the Ghorbanifar connection was "still open."

All of this is really just scratching the surface.  Shackley's exploits were so numerous and notorious, a Hollywood movie directed by Robert DeNiro titled The Good Shepherd was loosely based on his career.  Perhaps the most memorable line from his character, played by Matt Damon, is when a mobster played by Joe Pesci asks ultimately what does the CIA have?  Damon chillingly replies, "The United States of America.  The rest of you are just visiting."

While so many of these events may seem like ancient history, when the conspirators go unpunished their deeds tend to be repeated.  Sometimes, as in the most recent revelation of the Panama Papers, not only do diabolical deeds get repeated, but the same dark actors crop up, such as Adnan Khashoggi from Iran/Contra.  Unless our citizens are willing to dredge up this darkness and expose it to the light of justice, we will continue to be just visitors in this country, pretending to be free.