Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NC GOP Senate Candidate Exposed:  How Thom Tillis Helped Banks Shaft Poor Borrowers and Then Convinced Them To Vote for Him



And they think, of course, that they are "soon-to-be rich" Republicans, and thus, they vote for him at every opportunity. Thom Tillis's much-touted, self-made educational background has become much more well known since his Linked-In resume raised questions about his bona fides. Not to mention his campaigned-for public education cuts and increases to charter school funding.

Tillis defeated an incumbent Republican to join the legislature in 2006. He became Republican Whip as a sophomore and helped engineer the 16-seat gain in the 2010 elections that made the conservative party a majority and Tillis its presiding officer. Just one year later, Tillis was named national “Legislator of the Year” by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. In addition to his widely-noted pro-business reform, Tillis and his House colleagues have pushed a ban on gay marriage, pro-life protection laws, and required drug testing for welfare recipients.

Rick Glazier has served North Carolina superbly for years in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Thom Tillis has served himself and his backers (Duke Power/Progress Energy, American Financial Services Association, Americans for Prosperity, ALEC (American Legislation Exchange Council, a secretive group, which was created to get state legislatures to approve bills that had been drafted by its corporate donors, in which Tillis was a member for years, serving on its Board of Directors) and Karl Rove's Crossroads Groups).

North Carolina is expected to be the most expensive Senate race in history.

Nearly $80 million in political ads have already flooded the state, a figure that could rise as high as $100 million by Election Day.
. . . North Carolina has one Republican senator already, a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled state legislature. But Democrats are making inroads in North Carolina, as President Obama won the state in 2008 and Hagan defeated former Sen. Elizabeth Dole.
Though Obama’s approval rating is abysmal here, Tillis, the state House speaker, has struggled to energize the Republican base.

He ties Hagan to the president at every chance, but Tillis can’t separate from her in the polls.

Thus, North Carolina is a purple state forever? Thanks, racialistas!

According to Tillis, ALEC is a “great organization” and the sneaky way that it does business through backroom deals and politicians trading votes away to corporate lobbyists is “a great collaboration between legislators and businesses.”
ALEC’s influence on Tillis’ policies is clear — and so is the impact those policies are having on public education.
“We have had a record number of teachers — good teachers — leave the profession since his leadership began in 2010,” said (NC Educator Vivian) Connell. “That’s because under his leadership the North Carolina General Assembly has passed regressive education polices.”

It's almost funny (not the humorous type) that the white middle class,who are being ferociously propagandized by the Republicans (Reince Priebus has just made a nervous appearance in Raleigh),  are the ones being taken advantage of just as much if not more than the poor.

But the Republicans assure them they are not poor.

They are just Democrats (and they need to change parties to be rich).

Thom Tillis and Reince Priebus campaigned together at a rally in Raleigh Saturday.

Thom Tillis and Reince Priebus campaigned together at a rally in Raleigh Saturday. Photo: Josh Siegel/The Daily Signal

GOP Senate Candidate Exposed:  How Thom Tillis Helped Banks Shaft Poor Borrowers

A new report sheds light on how the North Carolina House speaker went to bat for his financial industry backers

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Luke Brinker

The New York Times has an in-depth look this morning at how several states are updating their lending laws to allow lenders to increase the fees and interest rates they charge borrowers with poor credit scores. Among the states to loosen lending laws was North Carolina, where Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis helped guide the overhaul to passage. Tillis is now the GOP’s nominee against Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.

According to the Times, lenders have lobbied for the changes by citing “the increased costs of doing business, including running branches and hiring employees.” It’s a rich argument to make at a time when bank profits are near record levels. Moreover, the Times points out, regulatory filings show that lending to borrowers with subpar credit scores can itself prove “a highly profitable business.”

The effort to loosen North Carolina’s lending law started in 2011, after Republicans took control of the state Legislature. Military commanders at Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune lobbied vigorously against the overhaul, the Times notes, warning that it could saddle soldiers with “out-of-control debt.” The commanders’ opposition to the bill proved too much for the industry to overcome that year.

But last year, lenders revived their push. With some commanders fatigued from their previous battles against loosening lending laws and others new to their posts, the state’s military commanders opted to remain neutral. The Times notes that the Center for Responsible Lending also abandoned its opposition “after the industry agreed to slightly lower the proposed rate increases at the last minute.”

Whereas the 2011 legislation would have permitted lenders to charge 30 percent interest on loans up to $1,000 and 18 percent on a remaining balance of $6,500, the 2013 legislation permits up to 30 percent interest on a loan’s first $4,000 and 24 percent for the next $4,000.

At the center of the fight was Tillis, who has been pivotal in pushing conservative policies like voter ID legislation, cuts to unemployment benefits, tax cuts for the wealthy, and abortion restrictions through the Legislature.
Tillis, the Times observes, “has received more money from the American Financial Services Association than any other Senate candidate.”

Tillis’ campaign manager told the Times that Tillis was simply taking account of “the risks [that] can drive up the rates” when he voted for the legislation, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law. Rick Glazier, a Democratic state representative, offered the Times a sharply different take on the new law.

It was one of the most brazen efforts by a special interest group to increase its own profits that I have ever seen,” Glazier told the paper.

Luke Brinker is Salon's deputy politics editor. Follow him on Twitter at @LukeBrinker.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Indispensable Nations Always End Up in Graveyards (ALEC’s New Assault on America:  Why the Far Right Isn’t Relying on Congress)



Indispensable?

Is this a new vocabulary word?

From Tom at the Dispatch:

You get (the) idea. We are ... go ahead, chant it: indispensable! And this is:  our century ... if you don’t mind my completing the phrase ... to screw up totally. As it happens, that word “indispensable” is often used without any indication of what exactly our indispensability consists of. Evidence from the last 13 years, however, suggests that we have been exceptionally, indispensably, undeniably, inscrutably important when it comes to destabilizing significant chunks of the planet and encouraging the growth of jihadist organizations.

Now, in the post-9/11 exceptionalist sweepstakes, President Obama and his crew (with the Republican wolves of war baying at his heels) have evidently decided to outdo themselves by launching yet another war, even lamer than the previous ones, based on an expanding bombing campaign that's going nowhere. Today, State Department whistleblower and TomDispatch regular Peter Van Buren offers a sweeping worst-case vision of American indispensability in the Middle East. And as an account of disasters to come - I don’t hesitate to say it! - it is both exceptional and indispensable reading as the latest iteration of the American Century goes down in flames.


Tom

I don't like the idea of being a witness to the end times of civilization (especially mine, and my family's), and yet that's what I've felt like since the Republican Clinton 90's.  A society in desperate need of some truth-telling only receives more lies about unlimited growth, extracting unlimited energy from the reserves built up by millions of years of existence (and running out of the easy stuff after a mere hundred since the Industrial Revolution), no pressing need for national health care in the face of all types of new threats to the national well being, and the need to abjure the Geneva Treaties in order to murder innocents in search of national majesty.

Woe be to civilizations that choose pretty, smooth-talking, paid-off storytellers for their national myths.

ALEC continues to wreak its exceptional, indispensable (to its funders) mayhem.

And if you think logically about the state of our world/politics, if you give a myopic, power-crazy group enough money (and we have), why wouldn't they use it to be sure we'll never take it back (and ensure the end of us)?

ALEC’s New Assault On America:  Why the Far Right Isn’t Relying on Congress

Heather Digby Parton

While the nation fixates on Congressional midterm results, here's what Big Money's front group has its eye on

You know it’s getting close to an election when every political junkie gets obsessed with polling, and men like Nate Silver and Sam Wang are spoken of in hushed tones usually reserved for sports stars and religious figures. As of today it’s not looking good for team D to hold the Senate and there are a lot of reasons why that’s a bad thing for America. Not the least of those is that the Republican party has lost its mind and they are likely going to elect some more fringe characters along the lines of Ted Cruz to the allegedly “greatest deliberative body in the world.”

I had been of the opinion that this wasn’t going to be such a travesty since it’s probably going to last only last two years, but the advent of this new ISIS war and the hysteria around immigration and Ebola means that the Congress has quite a bit of leverage over the administration and could demand some very ugly concessions just to keep the government working in a time of crisis. (Yes, they will do that, don’t kid yourself.) So it’s probably a mistake to be sanguine about this election not being important.

When the world is blowing up you really need the government to work properly.


As I said, the field is much more favorable to Democrats in 2016 so there’s something to hang on to if the worst happens. But this story from Mother Jones about the continuing rightward turn in the state legislatures is enough to give you nightmares.

Republicans already hold total power in 23 states and are about to take control of 2 more. And let’s just say they aren’t exactly Eisenhower Republicans. Across the country where they’ve won full control, they’ve tried to enact as extreme an agenda as they can get away with. And when you have all three branches, as many of them do, the agenda is very extreme indeed.


As we’ve seen in states like Wisconsin and Michigan, they’ve decimated public employee unions, Arizona led the way to legalized harassment of anyone who looks “foreign (partially struck down by the Supreme Court), and the constitutional right to abortion has been attacked at every turn, Texas women being the latest casualties.

Some of these initiatives, such as Oklahoma’s lone brave battle to prohibit the imminent enforcement of Sharia Law in our towns and villages is not taken seriously (although you never know.) But many, such as the NRA’s program to flood the nation’s streets with guns and ammunition along with the state-by-state GOP strategy to pass laws to suppress the vote of people who are likely to vote Democratic have been hugely successful.


As I mentioned in this piece, the GAO released a study last week showing that these vote-suppression laws have succeeded in cutting turnout by several points in some states which could determine the outcome of a close election. The courts have recently stayed a number of vote suppression laws in some states that were implemented so close to the election that they’ve left the officials unable to properly educate and inform the voters. But there’s not a lot of reason to believe that the Supreme Court will revisit its ruling on voter ID any time soon so we can expect this crusade to continue.

You cannot have this discussion without mentioning American Legislative Exchange Council, the Big Money right-wing front group that provides these legislators and Governor with “model legislation” they can just dust off and pass without having to do all the unpleasant work involved in writing it yourself.

Alecexposed.com explains it this way:


Through the secretive meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as equals on ‘model bills’ to change our rights that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line at public expense. ALEC is a pay-to-play operation where corporations buy a seat and a vote on ‘task forces’ to advance their legislative wish lists and can get a tax break for donations, effectively passing these lobbying costs on to taxpayers.

Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.)

Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations.

Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations — without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills.

ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law.
It is mostly funded by right-wing corporations and billionaires. (The good news is that the exposure of their hidden agenda has led many previously involved corporations to withdraw their participation. It seems they think it’s not good for business to be publicly associated with extremists. Who knew?)

All of this is adding up to a majority of states being run by right-wing politicians at the behest of big corporations

You may wonder what the difference is between them and any other political body in the U.S., and that’s fair enough. Money does play an outsized role in both parties and at every level and it’s a toxic influence on our democracy. But there is a distinction between everyone else and the red state governments that are openly doing the bidding of their corporate masters while fulfilling every crackpot need of their very socially conservative base.

Take California for instance, a state fully in Democratic hands which was predicted to crater economically due to its unwillingness to adopt full austerity during a recession


The Legislative Affairs Office finds between July 1 and the end of September, California collected $455 million more than revenue projections made by Governor Jerry Brown’s administration. The number would have been higher, but the state returned more than $340 million in sales taxes to local governments to correct for a prior year accounting discrepancy.
Business doesn’t seem to be leaving the state in droves and rich people are staying and paying their taxes

In fact, the economy is getting better all the time. Yes, there are problems as well but I would guess that 99 percent of Californians have no idea who is on the ballot against Governor Jerry Brown, so assured is his re-election. 

Meanwhile we have that other “experiment” in one Party rule, Kansas, which I wrote about last week. Under Governor Sam Brownback and a far right majority in the legislature the state has slashed taxes and enacted some of the most extreme laws in the nation and it should be instructive:   the state is in economic hell and Brownback may be one of the few Republicans to lose his seat next month.

If the polls are right, the pundits and political wags will spin this election as a big loss for Democrats — and if history is any guide, Democratic political operatives will seize the opportunity to lecture the people that this is a sign the Democrats must move right

But everyone should look a little bit more critically at what that means for real people these days. The GOP in Washington is bad enough, but the GOP in the states is little short of fanatical. One can only hope that a Brownback loss will turn on the light bulb that illuminates the real consequences of this rightward surge:   it’s tragic.

Heather Digby Parton

Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bought Journalists  (Confess!)  Is It True That the CIA Owns Everyone in Major Media As William Colby Stated?



"The Family Jewels" is the informal name used to refer to a set of reports that detail activities conducted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Considered illegal or inappropriate, these actions were conducted over the span of decades, from the 1950s to the mid-1970s.[1] William Colby, who was the CIA Director in the mid-1970s and helped in the compilation of the reports, dubbed them the "skeletons" in the CIA's closet.[1] Most of the documents were publicly released on June 25, 2007, after more than three decades of secrecy.[2]

Not much of a secret it seems.

Or surprising. (OK. Amazing, but not surprising.)

But who knew?

If you've been limited to the U.S. media for your news sources, you might not know now, nor have never known that the following information about the CIA was published decades ago, and just recently has been highlighted in world news again.

Woohoo.

The CIA struck and having struck strikes on . . .

USA USA usa!


William Colby, the CIA Director, and compiler of "The Family Jewels," as directed by Senator Frank Church's Committee in 1975, who "developed the strategy of training and arming local troops to assist with counterinsurgency during the Vietnam War - the same tactic in use today by U.S. and NATO forces" was one of the pioneers of the Phoenix Program, which

armed Vietnamese soldiers and helped them root out suspected Communist insurgents - much like American intelligence agents do today by training Afghan soldiers to find and fight al Qaeda militants. But the plan resulted in the deaths of more than 20,000 Vietnamese villagers at the hands of their countrymen, leading human rights activists to liken it to a U.S.-backed assassination program.
But Jonathan Colby compared civilian deaths in the Phoenix program to President Obama's use of CIA drones in the tribal regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which have unintentionally killed civilians, alongside their intended targets:  members of al Qaeda's leadership. "Do people think Obama and Gen. [David] Petraeus are 'tortured souls' over this?" he asked rhetorically. "Of course not."

William Colby's body was pulled from the Chesapeake Bay after a boating accident (not suspicious to those in charge at all if you can believe that). The thought occurs as to why anyone would want to harm an old man who had been an important figure in the CIA some 20 years before? The details of the death saga are disturbing, but at least it doesn't seem like the Mafia was involved. Not the Italian Mafia anyway.

The following paragraphs can be researched and explored at length by clicking on the link above. I found his second wife's employment by AID to also be a very interesting tidbit.

An opened wine bottle, with not much missing, was found on the table in the sunroom. Colby was the kind of guy who would have capped the bottle before leaving and put it in the fridge.

There was another suspicious point. On the kitchen table was his black leather wallet. It contained $296 (14 twenties and 16 ones), a comb, a file, and various membership and credit cards, a driver's license. There was also a silver key ring with five keys. When Colby was found, his pockets were empty, no identification at all.

Alice Stokes phoned Sally Shelton Colby in Houston. Policewoman Sharon Walsh asked to speak to her. Walsh reported: "Ms. Shelton was inquisitive yet calm. She stated she was 'numb.'"

Sally Shelton described two possible canoe routes Colby might have taken. He was known to go canoeing for a few minutes sometimes around twilight. But on both routes he hugged the shoreline and stayed in shallow water.

Local rescue workers and divers arrived, then Coast Guard representatives. They found nothing. This was Sunday night. Nothing would really start until the next morning.

. . . A massive search effort began on Monday morning and went on day and night for the next few days. Over a dozen navy divers, aided by two helicopters, and volunteers in boats scoured the area. They used drag-lines to troll the two routes Colby took when he went canoeing. All together, there were around a hundred searchers.

I talked to Lt Mark Sanders of the Maryland Natural Resources Police. He was chief of the search effort. Drowning accidents were common around Cobb Island. The searchers were practiced and knew what they were doing. Yet even working 24 hours a day, they couldn't find his body.

Something else they didn’t find:  Colby’s life jacket.

When Colby went canoeing, he took the life jacket from the shed and put it in the boat. He didn’t wear it, but the life jacket was always with him. When he returned, he put it back in the shed. The life jacket had distinctive markings that made it easy to identify.

The search team found more than a dozen life jackets when they scoured the area. But not Colby’s. People who preferred to believe Colby had drowned — even his son Paul — remarked to me on this puzzlement. It was missing from the shed.

Colby’s body was found nine days later, on a Monday morning, about 40 meters from where Kevin Akers found the canoe. Both places were easily accessible by car and foot from a branch of Rock Point Road, which reached a dead-end at that point. Colby’s body was found by an assistant to LT Mark Sanders, on the edge of the shore, looking like he’d just been tossed in.

Divers had searched that area numerous times.

I was trying to develop a timeline to explain Colby’s last day. This, I discovered, no one else had tried to do, not the police, not his family.

He had stopped by a well-known fish restaurant on Cobb Island, Captain John’s, to buy a dozen clams after he left the marina about 5:30 or 6 p.m. He called his wife 7 p.m. And sometime after 7:15 p.m. he had prepared his meal of clams and corn on the cob.

Carroll Wise estimated he would have finished up in the yard around 8 p.m. Maybe he finished a little earlier, maybe a little later, but I decided to call my wife Claude, who was considered a formidable cook, to give me her analysis.

Claude had met Colby in Saigon in 1970. She was a French medical journalist who had been captured and held for a week by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. I met her in connection with my investigation of the missing photographers Flynn and Stone.

Claude and I were having a drink one evening on the Continental Terrace when Colby saw us in passing and joined us. Colby had studied in France when he was young, and he and Claude hit it off immediately. She was very interested in my research on his case.

"Claude," I said. "The sun sets at 7:57 p.m. Colby enters his house about that time and presumably begins to prepare dinner. How long does it take him?"

"Oh, Colby is seventy-six," Claude said. "He's not going to be moving around very fast. He's going to steam the clams, boil the corn, open a bottle of wine. You say he laid down a place mat in the sunroom facing the water?"

"Yes."

"That means he is not in a hurry," Claude said. "Otherwise he would eat at the kitchen table. So we're talking about 20 to 30 minutes."

The timeline was looking like something close to 8:30 p.m. when Colby supposedly jumped up from his unfinished meal and left to go canoeing. At 8:30 it was completely dark.

This drowning incident didn’t ring true.*

From Paul Craig Roberts' blog we gain deeper insight into the mindset of William Colby and what the rest of the world has known about the U.S.'s overseas operations for almost half a century.

“The CIA Owns Everyone of Any Significance in the Major Media.”

Posted by Paul Craig Roberts

October 16, 2014

As a former member of the major media prior to its concentration in few hands by the Clinton regime, I have reported on many occasions that the Western media is a Ministry of Propaganda for Washington. In the article below one of the propagandists confesses.
PCR


Published on "Russia Insider News" (http://russia-insider.com [1])

“The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” — former CIA Director William Colby

Our Exclusive Interview with German Editor Turned CIA Whistleblower


Fascinating details emerge. Leading US-funded think-tanks and German secret service are accessories. Attempted suppression by legal threats. Blackout in German media.

Exclusively for "RI," Dutch journalist Eric van de Beek interviews the senior German editor who is causing a sensation with his allegations that the CIA pays German media professionals to spin stories to follow US government goals.  
We wrote about this two weeks ago, and the article shot up in views, becoming one of the most read articles on our site.
Udo Ulfkotte reveals in his bestseller Bought Journalists, how he was “taught to lie, to betray and not to tell the truth to the public.”
The former editor of "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung," which is one of Germany’s largest newspapers, was secretly on the payroll of the CIA and German secret service, spinning the news in a way that was positive for the United States and bad for its opponents.
In his latest interview, Ulfkotte alleges that some media are nothing more than propaganda outlets of political parties, secret services, international think tanks and high finance entities.
Repenting for collaborating with various agencies and organisations to manipulate the news, Ulkotte laments, “I’m ashamed I was part of it. Unfortunately I cannot reverse this.”
Some highlights from the interview:
I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service.” 
“Most journalists from respected and big media organisations are closely connected to the German Marshall Fund, the Atlantik-Brücke or other so-called transatlantic organisations … once you’re connected, you make friends with selected Americans. You think they are your friends and you start cooperating. They work on your ego, make you feel like you’re important. And one day one of them will ask you ‘Will you do me this favor’…”
“When I told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine" that I would publish the book, their lawyers sent me a letter threatening with all legal consequences if I would publish any names or secrets – but I don’t mind.”
“[The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"] hasn’t sued me. They know that I have evidence on everything.”
“No German mainstream journalist is allowed to report about [my] book.
Otherwise he or she will be sacked. So we have a bestseller now that no German journalist is allowed to write or talk about.”
Bought journalists,” who are they?
“We’re talking about puppets on a string, journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.”

And you were one of them, and now you are the first to blow the whistle.
I’m ashamed I was part of it. Unfortunately I cannot reverse this. Although my superiors at the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" approved of what I did, I’m still to blame. But yes, to my knowledge I am the first to accuse myself and to prove many others are to blame.”
How did you become a bought journalist?
“It started very soon after I started working at the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". I learned to regard luxury invitations as quite acceptable and to write positive articles in return. Later on I was invited by the German Marshall Fund of The United States to travel the United States. They paid for all my expenses and put me in contact with Americans they’d like me to meet.

In fact, most journalists from respected and big media organisations are closely connected to the German Marshall Fund, the Atlantik-Brücke or other so-called transatlantic organisations. Many of them are even members or ‘fellows.’

I am a fellow of the German Marshall Fund. The thing is, once you’re connected, you make friends with selected Americans. You think they are your friends and you start cooperating. They work on your ego, make you feel like you’re important. And one day one of them will ask you ‘Will you do me this favor’ and then another will ask you ‘Will you do me that favor’. Bye and bye you get completely brainwashed. I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the Bundesnachrichtendienst.”
You said your superiors approved of that?
“They did. From my private point of view, in retrospective, they even sent me to spy. For instance in 1988 they put me on a plane to Iraq, where I traveled to the border with Iran. In those days Saddam Hussein was still seen as a good guy, a close ally to the US. The Americans supported him in his war against Iran.

About 35 kilometers from the border, in an Iranian place called Zubaidad, I witnessed the Iraqis killing and injuring thousands of Iranians by throwing poison gas at them. I did exactly what my superiors had asked me to do. I made photos of the gas attacks. Back in Frankfurt it appeared my superiors didn’t show much interest in the atrocities I had witnessed.

They allowed me to write an article about it, but they severely limited the size of it as if it wasn’t of much importance. At the same time they asked me to hand over the photos that I had made to the German association of chemical companies in Frankfurt, Verband der Chemischen Industrie. This poison gas that had killed so many Iranians was made in Germany.”
What’s your opinion on press trips? Journalists usually excuse themselves by saying they are perfectly able to follow their own judgment and that they don’t commit themselves to anything or anybody. 
I’ve been on a thousand press trips and never reported bad about those who paid all the expenses. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. That’s where corruption starts. And that’s the reason why magazines like "Der Spiegel" don’t allow their journalists to accept invitations to press trips unless they pay for their own expenses.”
The consequences of becoming a whistleblower can be serious. Do you have any indications people tried to prevent the publication of your book?
“When I told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine" that I would publish the book, their lawyers sent me a letter threatening with all legal consequences if I would publish any names or secrets – but I don’t mind. You see, I don’t have children to take care of. And you must know I was severely injured during the gas attack I witnessed in Iran in 1988. I’m the sole German survivor from a German poison gas attack. I’m still suffering from this. I’ve had three heart attacks. I don’t expect to live for more than a few years.”
In your book you mention many names of bought journalists. How are they doing now? Are they being sacked? Are they trying to clear their names?
No German mainstream journalist is allowed to report about the book. Otherwise he or she will be sacked. So we have a bestseller now that no German journalist is allowed to write or talk about.

More shocking:  We have respected journalists who seem to have gone deep sea diving for a long time. It’s an interesting situation. I expected and hoped that they would sue me and bring me to court. But they have no idea what to do. The respected "Frankfurter Allgemeine" just announced they will fire 200 employees, because they’re losing subscribers very rapidly and in high numbers. But they don’t sue me. They know that I have evidence on everything.”

http://russia-insider.com/en/germany_politics_media_watch/2014/10/17/02-55-08pm/our_exclusive_interview_german_editor_turned_cia [2]
*
When Colby vanished in rough waters on a late-night, solo canoe trip in 1996, local sheriffs ruled out suicide before they even found his body. A lifetime of espionage meant Colby had enemies from Baltimore to Bali, and conspiracy theories about his death still circulate between Georgetown mansions and CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., today, despite an official ruling of accidental death.

Up to this point, conspiracy theories have focused mainly on the possibility of foul play -- not on suicide. But this may be changing.

Fifteen years after Colby drowned in Maryland's Wi(com)ico River, his son, filmmaker Carl Colby, has produced a documentary about him, "The Man Nobody Knew." The film portrays his father as a man who was wracked with guilt over his actions in the Vietnam War, and whose life fell apart after he left the CIA in 1975. By the time William Colby took his canoe out for one last trip, Carl says "he had had enough of this life."

A narrative that suggests the possibility of suicide is convenient for the film, but for the rest of the Washington-based Colby clan, Carl's public revision of their father's death is painful, and they strongly believe, inaccurate.

Carl Colby's film presents an alternative to the medical examiner's report. "[My father's] death was ruled an accident - a stroke or a heart attack - but I think he was done. He didn't have a lot left to live for. And he never wanted to grow old," Carl told Vanity Fair.

But interviews with family members and with Colby's biographer, Randall Woods, paint a very different picture of William Colby's emotional life than Carl's movie does. They portray him as a straightforward, unrepentant soldier who did what he felt was necessary without agonizing too much over the costs. Colby's family also provided "The Huffington Post" with the coroner's report, which has never been released before, available here.

The Coroner's Report

"I respect my brother's movie, but the implication that my father took his life is not correct, and we felt it was important for people to see the final report of how he died in writing," Jonathan Colby, William Colby's eldest son, said in an interview at his downtown D.C. office Thursday.

The official cause of death is listed as "drowning and hypothermia associated with arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease," meaning that either a stroke or a heart attack debilitated Colby, who was 76 years old, and caused him to fall out of the canoe into the freezing water, where he drowned.

Carl Colby, meanwhile, told "The Washington Post" that his father "had had enough long before [he drowned]." Asked whether he believes his father committed suicide, Carl was cryptic, though his movie carries strong implications. "I think he just got tired," he said.

But Colby had severe plaque buildup in his arteries, and not just any arteries: specifically the left, anterior descending artery - known for producing heart attacks so massive that it's nicknamed the widow-maker.

Another clue Jonathan pointed out was the fact that Colby's body was found without his shoes, likely the result of his kicking the water, and largely inconsistent with suicide, he said.

Methinks they protest too much.

And how do we turn this mess around and begin the process to recover our murdered democracy?
_ _ _ _

And what about Oliver's Stones?

He never gives up.


Friday, Oct 17, 2014

An RI Exclusive, Oliver Stone's Full Moscow Interview On Russia and Ukraine

The iconic film maker totally nails it, understands Russia and Ukraine better than the whole US media combined

Congo

Adam Shatz

The CIA paid the salaries of Mobutu’s allies, supplied him with planes piloted by Cuban exiles when a Lumumbist uprising erupted in eastern Congo in 1964, and helped him end the Katangan secession. Mobutu would rule for 32 years. In a 1968 cable, the US ambassador to Congo, Robert McBride, wrote that Mobutu ‘has apparently risen in soufflé-like grandiloquence’.

More




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Capitalism Is Only Working for Top 1% Because the Cost of Failure Is Socialized ($21 Trillion Lodged in Tax Havens in 2010) Occupy Democracy On the Move:  Activism Seizes London  (Elizabeth Warren Re: Obama - They Protected Wall Street Not Families)



As a former Occupy marshal in North Carolina, I applaud this effort and await its spread worldwide.

What are you doing to help save our planet?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

And what about those cut-and-run U.S.-built foreign armies?

Still cutting and running for cover (weapons and money in hand).
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

New Occupation of London’s Parliament Square as People Demand Real Democracy


occupyLondon101514

The focus of Occupy Democracy is simple: "If we want to change the current system and move away from these multiple crises toward solutions, it must involve people taking to the streets." It's time to have a real discussion about democracy.

October 15, 2014

Steve Rushton | Occupy.com

“We need a massive campaign for real democracy because a tiny few have more and more power and money,” George Barda, a supporter of Occupy London tells me. “Wealth is not trickling down but gushing up at increasing speed with no end in sight.”

Occupy London plans to take Parliament Square for 10 days, from October 17 through October 26, in a camp called Occupy Democracy. The occupation seeks to connect the dots between multiple crises and show how the U.K.’s current economic and political direction represents a failure of the democratic process and the increasing dominance of the 1%.
The occupation is demanding the reverse of current government policies by which the U.K.’s corporate-led parties have backed measures that include the privatization of the National Health Service, imposition of the bedroom tax, a rise in fracking, growing university tuition fees, benefit cuts for people with disabilities and support for the secretive TTIP trade treaty.
Most crucially, the Occupy Democracy camp provides a platform to discuss the many alternatives to the current system. Barda explains that in the current system, only a few are gaining at the expense of everyone else.
“The middle is increasingly dependent on unstable house prices and pensions, in corrupt and bubble-prone markets likely to implode without warning.
And the most vulnerable in society – the elderly, the disabled and children living in poverty – more than any other country in Western Europe are still the ones paying the most for the bankers’ crisis,” says Barda.
“This is a recipe for a brutal, broken, divided country that tragically wastes the incredible potential of millions of its citizens. This is not the country we would have if it were really up to us.”
Momentum Building in the Anti-Fracking Movement
The movement to protect Britain against fracking, discussed in the video above, points out that the U.K. government has no political mandate to push hydraulic fracturing. Before the last elections, Conservatives claimed they would form the “greenest government ever.”.
Instead, independent studies conclude that fracking greatly endangers human health, the climate and the environment – through chemical contamination of underground water sources, methane emissions and other impacts.
The government meanwhile justifies its dash for gas based on studies sponsored by the fracking industry, which paint the opposite picture.
Activist Tina Rothery says that when local residents discover fracking occurring in their region, often their first response is to try democratic means to stop it – only to find that their voices do not get heard.
So Rothery and other concerned mothers and grandmothers recently took their protest to a new level and occupied a proposed fracking site, launching nationwide direct actions against government fracking plans.
Rothery says the U.K. government has made it this far against public opposition to fracking because 1. Government and industry are intertwined, and 2. The mainstream media is owned by a small number of elites that benefit directly from the economic potential of fracking.
Lord Browne exemplifies the incestuous government-business relationship:  he chairs the country’s leading fracking company, Cuadrilla, while holding a non-elected government role charged with oversight of fracking regulators. Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch’s media empire includes the Sun newspaper, a leading cheerleader for the fracking industry, as Murdoch himself holds vast fracking investments.
Nonetheless, public opposition to fracking is increasing rapidly as more people become aware of its dangers.

A recent poll showed 71% of young people in the U.K. are against the unconventional drilling process. At the same time, more and more people are voicing support for viable green alternatives, heralding the shift toward a more democratic, ethical and egalitarian future.



Activism Seizes London

In response to the corporate-slanted media landscape, activists from the Radical Housing Network will join Occupy in Parliament Square to hand out the “Standard Evening” – a satirical reworking of the London newspaper Evening Standard, which is renowned for pushing a corporate, neoliberal agenda.
On Friday, 40,000 Standard Evenings will be printed to deliver news-that-could-be in London, prioritizing people over profits and offering real solutions to the city’s housing crisis. The newspaper giveaway is part of a week-long event by groups opposing MIPIM U.K., a property fair that focuses on selling off public land to private investors.

Occupy Democracy is also receiving support from the Green Party, the trade union PCS, the NGOs War on Want and World Development Movement, and the Tax Justice Network. Each day of the 10-day occupation will be themed around a different issue of crisis and alternatives – coinciding with the Occupation of the City of London’s third anniversary.

Those lined up to lead skill-shares and discussions include renowned economist Ha Joon Chang, the radical thinker John Hillary, and mothers from the housing activist group Focus E15.

We need to recognize the extent that our democracy has been captured by the City of London and take appropriate action to reverse that,” says John Christensen, director of the Tax Justice Network, speaking in this short film in the run-up to Occupy Democracy.
Christensen’s alternative vision to tackle tax injustice includes transparency in political funding, shutting the “revolving door” between politicians and business, heavily regulating corporate lobbying, and stopping City of London senior executives from landing un-elected roles in government.
The Tax Justice Network – a coalition of experts focusing on tax havens, corporate tax evasion and its costs to democracy – has revealed that $21 trillion was lodged in tax havens in 2010.
“Political parties get a large proportion of their funding from offshore sources and it goes without saying that these parties are heavily influenced by offshore companies and wealthy people,” adds Christensen.
“So the offshore system has deeply corrupted the nature of democracy in Britain, Europe and elsewhere.”
Rejecting the TTIP
U.K. opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is another example of how quickly popular movements against corporate influence are growing, as reflected in Occupy Democracy.
“TTIP and the other trade treaties are about rewriting the rules of the global economy to further benefit big business, which will be detrimental to ordinary people being able to exercise their voice,” says Nick Dearden, the director of World Development Movement who also (is) featured in this video showing support for the occupation of Parliament Square.
Dearden adds about TTIP:  “If it does become law it will give big business the power to sue our government for making legislation in the public interest – in the interest of the environment, for example food standards. TTIP will give big business a parallel process, so it does not even go for our courts system.”
A central tenet of Occupy Democracy is this:  If we want to change the current system and move away from these multiple crises toward solutions, it must involve people taking to the streets.
As Dearden says:  “Parliament and the surrounding area are called the ‘home of democracy’ [and are] supposed to be the mother of Parliaments. What we are doing is taking back this bit of common land for a short amount of time to create a real debate – a real discussion that people want to be having.”

South Carolina Prosecutors Say Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Apply to Victims of Domestic Violence
The 64 Countries that Require GMO Labeling:  US Buckles Under Biotech Pressure

Russ Baker quizzes Elizabeth Warren about her opinion concerning Wall Street having been saved (by the taxpayers) versus the suffering visited on the rest of the 99% since the bankster bailout and whether lobbyists could be employed effectively on the side of the 99%.

They need to get a lobbyist. Why haven’t they got on that yet?

Yeah. Why aren’t they out there spending? In the context when people talk about “get a lobbyist,” the big financial institutions spent more than a million dollars a day for more than a year during the financial reform debates. And my understanding is, their spending has ratcheted up again. My insight about that, about exactly that point, [is] in the book [A Fighting Chance], in the second chapter, which is when my eyes first get opened to the political system. Here I am, I’m studying what’s happening to the American family, and just year by year by year, I’m watching America’s middle class get hammered. They just keep sliding further down. The data get worse every year that I keep pulling this data. Bankruptcy is the last hope to right their lives for those who have been hit by serious medical problems, job losses, a divorce, a death in the family — that accounts for about 90 percent of the people who file for bankruptcy. Those four causes, or those three if you combine divorce and death. So, how could America, how could Congress adopt a bankruptcy bill that lets credit card companies squeeze those families harder?

What year was that?

When they finally adopted it was 2005. But the point was, it started back in — actually it started in 1995, the effort [to change the bankruptcy laws]. And that’s when I got involved with the Bankruptcy Commission. When, first, [commission chairman] Mike Synar came to me, and then Mike Synar died. It was just awful. And Brady Williamson [the replacement chairman] came to me. But what I saw during that process is, this was not an independent panel that could kind of sit and think through the [problem]: “Let’s take a look at what the numbers show about what’s happening to the families. Let’s take some testimony, get some people in here who have been through bankruptcy, and some creditors who have lost money in bankruptcy, and let’s figure out some places where we could make some sensible recommendations to Congress.” That wasn’t what it turned out to be at all.

It turned out that it was all about paid lobbyists . . .

And what they wanted.

And what they wanted. I tried as hard as I could, and there were almost no bankrupt families who were ever even heard from. And you stop and think about it — why would that be so? Well, first of all, to show up to something like that, you’ve got to know about it and you’ve got to take a day off from work. Who’s going to do that? These are families who are under enormous stress and deeply humiliated about what had happened to them. They had to make a public declaration that they were losers in the great American economic game.

I know exactly the kind of people you’re talking about. I wanted to ask you, not specifically about people declaring bankruptcy, but about the broader working people of this country. You’re from Oklahoma. I’m from Kansas. You’ve seen what’s happened in those places. There are lots and lots of working people in those places and a lot of other places…

Hardworking people. People who work hard. That’s what you want to remember. Not just people who kind of occasionally show up.

Yeah. The blue collar backbone of this country. And in places like I’m describing, it gets worse every year — well, I shouldn’t say worse, because it’s their choice, but a lot of them choose Republicans. I was looking at Oklahoma, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, I’m pretty sure you are, 16 percent of the vote went for Eugene Debs in 1912 and today it’s going in the other direction as fast as it can. How is this ever going to change?

I have at least two thoughts around that and we should explore both of them. One of them is that we need to do a better job of talking about issues. And I know that sounds boring and dull as dishwater, but it’s true. The differences between voting for two candidates should be really clear to every voter and it should be clear in terms of, who votes to raise the minimum wage and who doesn’t. Who votes to lower the interest rate on student loans and who doesn’t. Who votes to make sure women can’t get fired for asking how much a guy is making for doing the same job, and who doesn’t. There are these core differences that are about equality and opportunity. It can’t be that we don’t make a clear distinction. If we fail to make that distinction, then shame on us. That is my bottom line on this.

You know, during the Senate race that I was in — I mean, I was a first-time candidate, I’d never done this before — the thing that scared me the most was that the race wouldn’t be about the core differences between my opponent and me. I wanted people to understand where I stood on investments in the future, investments in education and research that help us build a future. Where I stood on the minimum wage and equal pay. And where he stood on the other side. The point was not to blur the differences and to run to some mythical middle where we agreed with each other. The point was to say that, here are really big differences between the two of us. Voters have a chance to make a choice.

In some ways that’s exactly the problem. When I talk to people, they often say Democrats aren’t the party of working people at all. And they talk about NAFTA and deregulating Wall Street, and they say, look at these guys, they won’t prosecute the financial industry. They say, Democrats talk a good game, but they’re always on the side of the elite at the end of the day. What do you say to these people?

In Wisconsin, Dark Money Got a Mining Company What It Wanted

Theodoric Meyer, News Investigation

. . . released court filings revealed how one company secretly gave money to a nonprofit that helped get favorable mining legislation passed. And yet again, dark money prevails.

Read the full story...



US Farmers Launch Billion Dollar Class Action Suit Against Syngenta Over Chinese GMO Corn Scandal


Another biotech-giant fail:  Syngenta may have destroyed the corn export business that U.S. farmers count on by releasing a genetically altered variety before its was approved. Will the U.S. still be the world leader in corn production?

Syngenta may have single-handedly destroyed the corn export business that US farmers count on, while depressing local domestic corn prices. Now, the biotech giant will have to face a $1 billion claim in Federal Court being launched by farmers in three different states.
China has recently rejected huge shipments of US-grown GMO corn largely because Syngenta released a genetically altered variety before its was approved for consumption or sale in Chinese markets.
Volnek Farms of Omaha claims that Syngenta, the Hopkins Minnesota-based biotech company that is responsible for covering up the true toxicity of Atrazine, has “completely destroyed US exports of corn to China.”

Cronin Inc. and Jim Ruba Jr. from Sioux City, Iowa claim that they do not even use GM corn, but they have been hurt by Syngenta’s actions because their GMO variety, Viptera, cross-bred with their non-GMO corn crops. They also claim that Syngenta’s statements were misleading relating to the approval status of MIR162 corn in China, and this has hurt farmers who did plant that variety. The long-term ramifications of this strain of GMO corn will continue to depress the corn markets both here and in foreign markets for years.

Are you in the streets yet?


Monday, October 13, 2014

Rich Third Way Leaders Explain Why US Must Obey Them And Cut Benefits/Social Security/Medicare Or Die By Demands of the 1% (They Swear Naysayers Will Drive US Over Populist Cliff) Relax, It's Just Money Talking To Itself, Folks



Struggle?

I thought we'd already lost it with that long-ago appearance of the wealthy's self-negotiated "Grand Bargain" acceptance by all of Obama's troops.

It's nice to know that although most of us have been miserable economically for over a decade that the thoughtful rich are still worried that we might ask for too much.

Not really.

Just kiddin'!

Third Way In Struggle for the Democratic Party’s Soul

Noah Bierman
October 06, 2014
Protesters gathered outside Third Way’s offices in Washington, D.C., in December 2013, asking the group to reveal its funding sources.
Protesters gathered outside Third Way’s offices in Washington, D.C., in December 2013, asking the group to reveal its funding sources. (YouTube)

WASHINGTON — On a summer afternoon amid the frenzy of the Democratic National Convention in Boston 10 years ago, a group of Washington business lobbyists, political operatives, and a smattering of senators gathered at one of the city’s downtown law firms to hear a plan.

Members of the group worried that, with the end of the Bill Clinton era, the Democratic Party’s centrist wing had lost its way. Over sodas, they pitched a new think tank named for Clinton’s political philosophy, Third Way.

Fast forward a decade: The philosophy, sketched out privately at the Boston office of Brown Rudnick, is now at the center of an intense struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party.

Third Way, backed by Wall Street titans, corporate money, and congressional allies, is publicly warning against divisive “soak-the-rich” politics voiced by populist Democrats. Its target: Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator whose rise to power two years ago helped galvanize Democratic grass roots against Wall Street and pushed the issue of income inequality to the forefront.

This is more than a grudge match. At stake for the Democratic Party is the support of middle-class, swing voters who decide elections.

Third Way ignited a clash in December when its leaders essentially declared war on Warren in a guest column in the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal, warning Democrats not to follow Warren and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio “over the populist cliff.”

Many on the left were shocked, and angered. Warren’s allies saw Third Way as a proxy — being used by her enemies on Wall Street to scare off the rest of the party.

“Wall Street is extremely good at pushing anybody that is critical of them as being populist, or know-nothings,” said Ted Kaufman, who temporarily served as an appointed US senator to replace Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., then succeeded Warren in leading a special congressional panel that oversaw the bank bailout.

For their part, Third Way representatives bristle at the idea they are doing the bidding of Wall Street power brokers.

With the income gap growing between most of the nation’s taxpayers and the wealthiest 1 percent, the battle is over how aggressively the party’s candidates — including, potentially, Hillary Clinton — will contrast themselves with Republicans on tax and economic issues in 2016.

The philosophy set out by Third Way will be part of that conversation.


The organization publicly discloses little about its funding.

But a Globe examination of public documents and the backgrounds of its leadership offers a window into how some wealthy Wall Street and business interests — who contribute generously to Democratic candidates — have sought to tip the Democratic Party’s intellectual debate against populism.


Third Way raises just over a third of its $9.3 million annual budget from undisclosed corporations.

The remainder, the bulk of its funding, is donated by individuals, almost all of whom are members of Third Way’s board of trustees.

The group is dominated by executives from the financial industry, people who are typically the targets of the populist rhetoric of Warren, and sometimes even President Obama.

Two-thirds of its 31 trustees have held senior leadership positions in investment funds or big banks or served in some other capacity on Wall Street.

Board members include its chairman, John Vogelstein, who once led the private equity firm Warburg Pincus; vice chairman David Heller, the former global head of equity trading for Goldman Sachs; and Derek Kirkland, a managing director at Morgan Stanley.


Both Vogelstein and Heller were major financial backers of Obama, and all three contributed heavily to Senate Democrats.

Third Way’s founders dispute that they are doing Wall Street’s bidding or are trying to leave the poor behind. They also insist their financial supporters on the board of trustees do not influence the organization’s political and policy positions.

“We’re not remotely aligned with what Wall Street wants,” said Jonathan Cowan, the group’s president and cofounder.

This is certainly no Tea Party-style civil war of the sort that is fracturing parts of the Republican Party. This struggle among Democrats often plays out behind the scenes — in the White House, the corridors of Congress, and the office suites of lobbying firms in downtown Washington.

But in a decade of existence, Third Way has been able to expand its influence, hosting Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic luminaries at its symposiums. Visitor logs show that Third Way leaders have enjoyed excellent access to the Obama White House, with at least 50 visits since 2009.

Third Way leaders are extremely sensitive to questions and criticism about their sources of funding

The real issue, Third Way says, is that harsh populist positions and rhetoric are damaging the Democratic Party.

“It goes back to what Bill Clinton said, which is ‘You can’t love the job and hate the job creators,’ ” said Matt Bennett, Third Way’s vice president for public affairs and one of its cofounders. 

“Vilification of industry isn’t helping Democrats.”

Washington home base

Third Way’s offices are just off K Street, the epicenter of Washington’s lobbying district. The space is modern and youthful, with frosted glass separating work pods and offices for the think tank’s 40 casually dressed employees. The walls can be written upon, which researchers do with colorful markers.

Much of their work squares with bread-and-butter liberal orthodoxy: gun control, gay rights, immigration, and health care reform.

“We are centrist Democrats, not centrists,” Cowan said.

Matt Bennett, Jonathan Cowan, and Jim Kessler, three of the five co-founders of Third Way.)

Matt Bennett, Jonathan Cowan, and Jim Kessler, three of the five co-founders of Third Way. (Chris Maddaloni/Getty Images)

Their overarching emphasis is on solidifying political support among the middle class.


Where they differ from many Democrats is how they plan to appeal to the vast middle:   reduce deficits and cut spending growth on such entitlements as Social Security and Medicare.

They insist on deficit reduction and entitlement cuts as conditions for key tax hikes on the wealthy.

That is a sharp contrast from many other Democrats, including Warren, who speak about taxing the wealthy as a matter of fairness and who would support raising their tax rates as stand-alone measures.

Third Way’s insistence on linking tax hikes to a grand bargain — which has been impossible to obtain in the Obama era — has a direct bearing on the wallets of the group’s wealthy funders.

Third Way denies that its wealthy donors give money only because the organization is against stand-alone tax hikes on the rich.

Rather, its leaders say it is a political blunder for Democrats to wage class warfare on the 1 percent.

It publicly issued a memo in July that said the group’s polling suggested a better message to appeal to America’s middle class: “economic growth and opportunity.”

And thus we now know (if we weren't sure before) where the need for the so-called necessary Grand Bargain arose:   The Rich!

As if it could have been any other way.

Sigh.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Where Do They Come From? (Why the 9/11 Investigation Was Never Allowed - FBI Finally Uncloaked) Dick Cheney Obstructed Investigation/Redacted Involvement of the Saudi Agents Employed in CA by Saudi Civil Aviation Authority (Tidbits About U.S. Leaders)



This is not, Tuchman says at the outset, "the book I intended to write when I began. Preconceptions dropped off one by one as I investigated. The period was not a Golden Age or Belle Epoque except to a thin crust of the privileged class. It was not a time exclusively of confidence, innocence, comfort, stability, security and peace. . . . Our misconception lies in assuming that doubt and fear, ferment, protest, violence and hate were not equally present. We have been misled by the people of the time themselves who, in looking back across the gulf of the War, see that earlier half of their lives misted over by a lovely sunset haze of peace and security. It did not seem so golden when they were in the midst of it."

. . . Living in a state of considerable wealth and privilege, she was given to rather conventional limousine-liberal political and ideological convictions and occasionally to oracular pronouncements thereof. Though clear-eyed about the Anarchists in these pages, she waxes more than a trifle misty about the socialists. Though the full import of the U.S. presence in Vietnam was far from clear as this book was written, the chapter about American imperialism unquestionably was colored by present events. When she quotes Charles Eliot Norton of Harvard - "I have been too much of an idealist about America, had set my hopes too high, had formed too fair an image of what she might become. Never had a nation such an opportunity; she was the hope of the world. Never again will any nation have her chance to raise the standard of civilization" - his thoughts clearly are her own.

. . . Whatever lessons about the present Tuchman may have wanted us to learn from it, there is vastly more to be learned about the past. In muscular, vivid prose, she portrays a world in transition, "the culmination of a century of the most accelerated rate of change in man's record." It was a pivotal moment in history, in a way made even more dramatically so because of our awareness now, that its participants had absolutely no idea where it was taking them.

The more we consider the history of the U.S. (and the world) after World War I (and the history investigated by Barbara Tuchman before World War I in The Proud Tower), most of us will struggle mightily to comprehend the unyielding grasping for gold (so to speak) that has occurred over time as more and more wealth was created but then designated by those in charge as appropriately owned only by the top 1% of the population.

I was reminded again and again while reading the following discussion that we have had more people of integrity (not that many, but quite a bit more) appointed to important investigative and leadership positions by Nixon and Reagan administrations than by the current Wall Street Regime. I'm thinking of the Billy Ruckleshauses, Frank Churches, Eliot Richardsons, James Bradys and Terrell Bells.

It boggles the imagination.

For today . . .

If you've been feeling confused or conflicted by the current international mayhem . . .

Welcome to the Big Bamboozle.

In so many ways.

Since the "news" about the Saudi connection to 9/11 has received so much play in the fringe media just recently (for some reason), I thought my readers might be interested in reviewing some of the known history so far.

The unknown knowns will have to await the final sighs of those involved probably.

Which may become widely known (although no one should bet on it) sooner than they had hoped.

Now you don't have to believe that the Saudis (who benefit so overwhelmingly - along with Israel - from the attacks causing chaos and ushering the U.S. Air Force bombing runs into now many different war theaters) are the perpetrators of much of the funded mayhem of late.

But it is quite a different argument if they're not involved.

And, of course, there was that telling kiss of death or alliance (remember Dubya and Bandar's hand-holding moments?) after the first meeting of the Bush Tribe after 9/11.

Hope you came equipped with a tall drink.

From the perspective of a Boeing 767 captain and former "special activities" contract pilot, Philip Marshall straps the reader into the cockpits of hijacked commercial airliners to tell the story of the most sophisticated terrorist attack in history. Based on a comprehensive ten-year study into the murders of his fellow pilots on 9/11, he explains how hijackers, novice pilots at the controls of massive guided missiles, were able to beat United States Air Force fighters to iconic targets with advanced maneuvering, daring speeds and a kamikaze finish. But, as Marshall explains, the tactical plan was so precise that it rules out car-bombers and shoe-bombers known as al Qaeda, KSM and Osama bin Laden. So then, who was it? That's what you are about learn.
Backed by official NTSB, FAA and black box recordings, Marshall finds the most capable and most documented group of conspirators buried deep within a Congressional Inquiry's report and retraces their work in gripping detail. Fasten your seatbelt - the sad truth is that all of the solid evidence points to a dark collaboration between members of the Bush Administration and a covert group of Saudi government officials.
This is a game changer that will finally set the record straight on the most horrific crime in US history. This book is a compilation of official reports that disputes the Bush Administration, the Bush Intelligence Community and the American media's account of the 9/11 attack. United States Senator Bob Graham's Congressional Joint Inquiry in 2002 revealed that Saudi Arabian Intelligence agents met the 9/11 hijackers in the Los Angeles in January of 2000, harbored them and led them to 18 months of flight training in Florida and Arizona.
Marshall follows reports from FBI field agents that warned George W. Bush's Administration that a "cadre of individuals of investigative interest were engaged in flight training" in the Arizona desert in the spring of 2001. Marshall identifies three top federal investigators who complained that Dick Cheney obstructed justice by refusing access to suspects who supposedly confessed to the greatest crime in U.S. history.
None of the federal investigators were ever allowed to verify the confession of Khalid Sheik Mohammed who had been water boarded over 180 times at Guantanamo detention facility. The book disputes the video and media confession of Osama bin Laden and points out that none of the accusations by the Bush Administration could be proved. Marshall asserts that the Saudi government was the true executioners of the 9/11 attack and framed their enemies while CIA special operations set up an elaborate decoy named Osama bin Laden to divert attention away from the Saudi operation.
He follows the hijackers to flight training airports and finds that Saudi agents led the hijackers to the Arizona desert where Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 airliners were parked at a secluded CIA operated airport. The operators of the CIA airport were traced to suspicious insider stock trades on two airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines, the only two airlines used in the 9/11 attack. Marshall breaks down the tactical flight plan that was used by the hijackers and chronicles the actions of Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush to learn that their account of the attack was severely flawed.
Three top investigators wrote that Dick Cheney had obstructed the investigation and redacted the involvement of the Saudi government agents who were employed in California by the Saudi Civil Aviation authority. The Congressional Inquiry reported that the Saudi agents had "seemingly unlimited funding from Saudi Arabia" and had traced the hijacker financial support to Prince Bandar through a Riggs Bank account.
Finally Marshall chronicles the media trial that allowed Bush and Cheney to derail American Justice by trying the 9/11 case with media propaganda and away from the American federal court system.

Earlier we find this discussion of the pilot/hijackers' knowledge:

Saudi Connection to the 9/11 Hijackers


The hijackers’ training records from several U.S. flight schools indicate that they were marginal pilots, at best, even in single-engine airplanes. In early 2000, three of the pilot/hijackers are heavily documented at a small flight school near Venice, Florida, while the fourth attended schools in Arizona and California. This would account for the basic flight training of the pilots but in no way can explain the expert level of airmanship required for the 911 hit.

Dozens of reports focused on the pilot/hijackers Mohamed Atta, Hani Hanjour, Ziad Jarrah and Marwan al-Shehhi. Flight instructors around the United States told similar stories of attempting to train them. All four had a very difficult time in their basic training on small, single-engine airplanes. The English-speaking instructors repeatedly cited the language barrier with the Arabic-speaking students as a major obstacle and said that they had encouraged the students to quit. Obviously, this language issue had found a solution by 911; the only logical solution is that Arabic-speaking flight instructors were used, more specifically, Arabic-speaking Boeing flight instructors.

By using small flight schools for basic flight training, the cell remained below the radar, while the pilots’ documented use of the schools could be counted on later to provide some sort of explanation (albeit a very weak one) as to how they learned to fly these complicated heavy jets, and might help keep investigators off the trail of the real training. But the leap from a small 4,000-pound single-engine propeller airplane to a 300,000-pound twin-engine jetliner needs a specific explanation. For instance, it took me 20 years, dozens of ground school courses and 15,000 hours between my first lesson and taking command of my first commercial airliner.


Adding computer games and outdated simulators to their training was a helpful step, but until they actually felt the yoke and added the hours of experience it takes to understand the momentum of a heavy 767, they would be all over the sky and completely out of control. Not only were they under control, they flew above the average skills required to operate in an airline environment. This miraculous leap has only one explanation:  expert and repeated training in the actual Boeing 757 or 767. And by all indications, this took place in the final months of preparation, during the spring and summer of 2001.

There are two different worlds in aviation — the general single-engine airplane world with a service ceiling of 10,000 feet and a top speed of around 200 miles per hour, and the commercial swept-wing jetliner world at 40,000 feet and Mach numbers for speed calculations. Little within that first world prepares the pilot for the second, high-altitude world.

So began my search for Middle Eastern operators of Boeing airliners. Because the hijackers were mostly Saudi Arabian, the firm of Dallah Avco, a Saudi operator of multiple private Boeing airliners, soon stood out as a focal point. To my amazement, I immediately discovered that Congressional investigators had already linked Dallah Avco with the actual hijackers.

Omar Bayoumi, a Dallah employee and operative within the Saudi Ministry of Aviation, had provided housing and basic support for three hijackers:   Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and the pilot/hijacker of American 77, Hani Hanjour.

FBI evidence of the cell would confirm that the hijacking team of American 77 had formed and operated separately with direct financial support from top-level members of the Saudi government, bitter enemies of al Qaeda. The picture was beginning to clear.

From this point in the research, the guilt needle began pointing steadily toward Saudi Arabia, in part because 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. With every new piece of evidence, that needle does not fluctuate. As the focus narrowed on San Diego, the footprints of a large Saudi contingent began to appear.

Congressional investigators had found, within buried FBI files, evidence that United States Senators would later call “undeniable” that top Saudi officials had known that terrorists were entering the U.S. beginning in 2000 in preparation for some sort of attack.

These same officials are among those who work with American oil companies and regulate the flow of crude oil to the United States, the same Saudi officials that regulate the price that has gone from $30 per barrel to over $140 post 911.


One Saudi official in particular, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005, was quickly traced to direct funding of the hijackers, through cashier’s checks, not from him he would say, but from his wife.

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, Maine Senator Susan Collins and Florida Senator Bob Graham learned that Saudi officials had directed agents in the United States to assist the future hijackers. These senators would quietly back out of the investigation after the White House threatened them with “leaking classified information” and a criminal probe.

Senator Graham was told in no uncertain terms to back off and shut up in telephone calls from Vice President Cheney. This evidence alone on the Saudis provided more plausibility than two chapters of KSM’s ramblings. Here was opportunity to provide airplanes and instructors for hijackers who were solidly linked to Saudi operatives working for Prince Bandar.

Comment:
scott

Phillip, thanks for connecting the dots regarding the heirarchy of corruption in the Federal Government. My question is this, if the Saudis were the dope smoking whore mongers they were portrayed to be why would they sacrifice themselves crashing planes into buildings without any hope of getting the 72 hairy, smelly virgins?
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Philip Marshall, a veteran airline captain and former government "special activities" contract pilot has authored three books on Top Secret America, a group presently conducting business as the United States Intelligence Community.

Beginning with his roles in the 1980s as a Learjet captain within a DEA sting on Pablo Escobar and later in the covert arming of Nicaraguan Contras, Marshall has researched 30 years of covert government activities, a revolving door of Wall Street tricksters, media moguls and their well funded politicians into every branch of our government.

Our bestest source tells the tale:

FBI:  Knew About Saudi 9/11 Hijacker Ties — But Lied to Protect “National Security”

The FBI apparently has known for a decade about links between powerful Saudi interests and the alleged 9/11 hijackers, and has been forced to tacitly admit that it lied about it for all of these years.

In case the import is not clear, let us state emphatically:  this is a huge development.
***
In court filings seeking to stave off a media Freedom of Information request, the FBI has stated that releasing documents relating to this issue will harm “national security.”  As proof of the sensitivity of the matter, the FBI gave the judge a document dated April 4, 2002, in which the FBI states that its own inquiries “revealed many connections” between a well-connected Saudi family with a house in South Florida and “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.”
The Sarasota Affair
The Freedom of Information request that prompted these reluctant admissions was filed by the Broward Bulldog, a South Florida nonprofit investigative site which first covered the Saudi connection in 2011.
The Bulldog’s reporting explained how a family living in an exclusive gated community outside Sarasota, on Florida’s West Coast, had apparently vanished suddenly some 10 days before the 9/11 attacks. Investigators, including a swarm of FBI agents, found that the family’s departure was clearly so sudden that they left almost their entire household intact, down to cars, clothing, and food in the refrigerator. Most significant, though, investigators had established that several of the men publicly identified as among the 9/11 hijackers, including purported ringleader Mohammed Atta, had visited the house and/or been linked to it through a web of telephone communications.
The FBI told none of this to Congress, and it was not mentioned in the original 9/11 Commission report released in 2004.
WhoWhatWhy, in an original investigation, went deeper, and established that the owner of the house was  a prominent Saudi businessman who works directly for the Saudi prince most involved with aviation—including being the first Saudi who trained to fly planes in South Florida.  You can read our complete story here.
The significance of this cannot be stated strongly enough. Although many people think they “already know” about ties between the hijackers and Saudi royals, they confuse these important revelations with reports that prominent Saudis were permitted to leave the country shortly after 9/11, as popularized in Michael Moore’s film "Fahrenheit 9/11."
This new revelation is far more significant. The older story shows possible favoritism toward, or at least concern for, well-connected Saudis on the part of the US government in permitting them to leave. The Sarasota story, however, shows that the US government came upon what may have been a command or control center for the men we are told hijacked the planes.
And with the connections documented by "WhoWhatWhy," it is almost impossible not to conclude some kind of awareness, either before or after the act, on the part of Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and the powerful clique he represents within the royal clan. Again, for more on this, please read the entire story, which continues over three pages on our site.
The FBI Reversal
Kudos to the Bulldog for filing the FOIA request, which unearthed that gem of an FBI submission. It was included in filings by Miami Assistant U.S. Attorney Carole M. Fernandez, and was part of a sworn 33-page declaration from FBI Records Section Chief David M. Hardy. He stated that producing classified information related to the matter “would reveal current specific targets of the FBI’s national security investigations.” The purpose of the filings was to convince U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch not to allow the FOIA suit to succeed.
The April 4 document is significant for three reasons:   (1) it demonstrates that the authorities are aware of the Saudi link, (2) it demonstrates that the FBI previously lied when it declared that its inquiries in the matter found no links to the terrorists or the plot, (3) it has the FBI asserting that no more disclosures should be made in order to protect “national security.”
The FBI’s practice of finding evidence tied to Saudi Arabia, then denying it had such evidence, then reluctantly admitting that it did (but only as a way of blocking still more disclosure) is telling. The apparent willingness of the FBI to brazenly lie and then reverse itself — seemingly with no consequences — is now beginning to look like standard operating procedure.
As "WhoWhatWhy" has demonstrated in articles about the Boston Marathon bombing, the FBI has been guilty of an astonishing array of disinformation, story reversals, unaccountable violence, and general misbehavior just in that one affair alone. See this, this, this, and this.
In the Boston bombing case, the FBI claimed not to know anything about the alleged perpetrators, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, then was forced to admit it had had direct contact with them and their family. It also initially claimed via leaks to mainstream media reporters that one of its officers shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, a figure connected with the Tsarnaevs, because he attacked them with a knife. Since then, the story has changed repeatedly and is now obscured by a thick fog of misdirection. We’ve pointed out many other changing aspects of the FBI’s story.
Hence, when we look back at the granddaddy of all purported terrorist plots, 9/11, and see the FBI’s astonishing actions to block disclosure, we have to ask:    Just what is going on in this country?
What is the FBI, and does it actually serve democracy and the public interest? And where is the president, purportedly the most powerful person in the country, and the public’s representative? If the president is unable or unwilling to get to the bottom of these bizarre and deeply worrisome developments, what does that say about the health of the system itself?
The Biggest Revelations, Ignored
Fortunately for the FBI, almost the entirety of the media — from the corporate owned “mainstream” to purportedly outsider ”alternative” news outlets and websites — have steered clear of the entire subject.
The recent FBI court filings were revealed by a Bulldog article published in conjunction with one mainstream outlet — the "Miami Herald." Previous revelations that appeared in The Herald were generally ignored by the rest of the press, and we may reasonably expect the same disturbing indifference to the latest bombshell.
This development leaves us with three significant conclusions:
-The US government knows about, and is concerned about, apparent ties between its allies in the Saudi royal family and the men accused of having hijacked the planes on 9/11 and orchestrated the greatest attack in history on the American mainland.
-The FBI continues to lie and suppress information in other matters of public concern, supposedly all in the interest of our shared “national security.”
-The media continues to demonstrate how weak, compromised and intimidated it is. With the majority of Americans still dependent for their understanding of current events and their world on these same media, the ramifications can be considered alarming.

Whee doggies (if this only were a roily 60's TV show)!

In its own write-up of April 2002, the FBI connected the Dumpster incident with the Saudi family living in Prestancia, the daughter and son-in-law of Saudi businessman Esam Ghazzawi.

The document does not, however, mention Ghazzawi or his son-in-law, Abdulaziz Al-Hijji, by name. Ghazzawi, who maintained close ties to the Saudi royal family, owned the Prestancia home, records show. Al-Hijji attended the University of South Florida in Tampa while he and his wife and children lived in the home.

The FBI's report refers only to a "successful international businessman _____ and his family" who "resided in a $530,000 home in an affluent section of Sarasota Florida."

On July 4 of this year we learned quite a few more pre-9/11 extremely interesting "details:"

More Data from FBI on (Saudi) Family

By Michael Pollick

Friday, July 4, 2014

Less than two months after the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and New York City, the Manatee County Sheriff's office interviewed a man from Tunisia found dumping a terrorism manual and Venice flight school material into a trash bin behind a Bradenton storage unit.

Facts:


DUMPSTER INCIDENT
Terror manual and flight school materials were put in bin
The Dumpster incident was investigated on Halloween and turned over to the FBI, Manatee County Sheriff's spokesman David Bristow said Thursday.

The incident came to light this week as part of a lawsuit against the FBI over 9/11 disclosures, filed to compel the agency to reveal what it knows about a well-connected Saudi couple that abruptly left a house in Prestancia two weeks prior to the attacks.

It was one of four heavily redacted documents, three of which had not been seen before.

"I did talk to one of our guys here who was involved in that. He works in intelligence," Bristow said. "He doesn't remember any kind of outcome or anything. They gave the information, gave what they had, to the FBI."


Bristow added the department does not have a file regarding the incident or the interview.
In its own write-up of April 2002, the FBI connected the Dumpster incident with the Saudi family living in Prestancia, the daughter and son-in-law of Saudi businessman Esam Ghazzawi.
The document does not, however, mention Ghazzawi or his son-in-law, Abdulaziz Al-Hijji, by name. Ghazzawi, who maintained close ties to the Saudi royal family, owned the Prestancia home, records show. Al-Hijji attended the University of South Florida in Tampa while he and his wife and children lived in the home.

The FBI's report refers only to a "successful international businessman _____ and his family" who "resided in a $530,000 home in an affluent section of Sarasota Florida."

The special agent who wrote the report mentions the Al-Hijjis "left behind valuable items, clothing, jewelry and food in a manner that indicated they left unexpectedly, without prior preparation and permanently."But the Dumpster incident sheds new light on what may have been a larger terror cell than previously believed in Southwest Florida.

"After the interview, closer examination revealed that the items discarded included a self-printed manual on terrorism and jihad, a map of the inside (of) an unnamed airport, a rudimentary last will and testament, a weight-to-fuel ratio calculation for a Cessna 172 Aircraft, flight training information from the Flight Training Center in Venice, Florida, and printed maps of Publix Shopping Centers in Tampa Bay."

Three entire paragraphs following that disclosure are blank because the agency contends they contain national security information. The subject interviewed also is not named.

The report goes on to disclose a narrative about "an individual who in "November 2001, _____ visited the United States for the first time. He traveled to Sarasota, opened a bank account and made initial queries into the purchase of property in south central Florida. _______ intends to establish a Muslim compound in Central Florida. _______ revealed that ______ is fearful of ________ and fears that ______ intends to begin offensive operations against the United States if he is able to purchase property and establish a Muslim compound in Central Florida."

It cannot be determined who the individuals are, or whether one of them is the same person who was in possession of the Bradenton storage unit.

The documents stem from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in September 2012 by the Broward Bulldog news organization and its editor, Dan Christensen, against the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice. That litigation has been joined by the Herald-Tribune and the Miami Herald media groups.

Judge William Zloch earlier this year ordered the FBI to supply additional documents in the case. He intends now to review roughly 80,000 pages of material - some of which were labeled "classified" - representing the Tampa FBI office's probe into the 9/11 investigation.

Within days of the 9/11 attacks, it was learned that three of the terrorists had attended flight school at Venice Municipal Airport. But nearly 13 years later, the agency has not revealed how the hijackers were financed.

Terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta and a companion, Marwan al-Shehhi, learned to fly airplanes at Huffman Aviation, a school at the airport. Accomplice Ziad Jarrah took flying lessons nearby, at Florida Flight Training. He was at the controls when United Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.

Agents linked together phone calls with the Prestancia residents dating back more than a year "and found they lined up with the known suspects," the Broward Bulldog reported on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

The FBI discredited the Bulldog's reporting, which led to the lawsuit.

"There are a thousand questions that are unanswered by this, and they are saying there are no other responsive documents," said Tom Julin, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

"That can't be right."

The Dumpster document was among those the FBI pledged to provide the judge early last month. But it took the agency three weeks to redact material.

Julin believes Judge Zloch could act decisively on the documents.

"He could direct the release of many of the other documents that have been withheld if he concludes that they are also responsive to the request and they are not exempt," Julin said.

And here's a few more documented bits of mild public interest (if you judge by how much organizing activity has taken place since they became fairly well known).

Presidential Puppetry:  Obama, Romney and Their Masters


Barack Obama

His official bio omits youthful national security connections ... Irregularities enable GOP opposition researchers to smear him with distortions because he cannot fight back ... His first serious love affair was with the daughter of the leader of Australia’s version of our National Security Council …”Community organizing” was a stepping-stone … Groomed as future leader …  Ratified many Bush policies, let Democrats take the heat for results ... Prevailed in 2012 even though he had become dispensable to many on Wall Street … Top GOP strategists knew his true past … Petraeus scandal was much worse than public knows, and a wake-up call for the White House ... Plays word games in denying the massive, Bush-era domestic spy program that intercepts and saves for potential retrieval almost all electronic communications of Americans .... Pleases puppet masters with plans to ramp up secret war against Syria at vast expense .... Hides real story of Benghazi .... Provides rhetoric but little else against Wall Street's austerity agenda for America.


Joe Biden

Elected to Senate as anti-war candidate in 1972 … Re-elected with large margins in corporate-friendly Delaware … Now nation’s most senior, VIP elected official … Unsuccessful in landmark Senate positions, opposing Clarence Thomas and Iraq War ... Still tarnished by 1988 plagiarism incident, which was just a slip-up and political smear ... Picked as VP to balance Obama’s tenuous image with whites, especially men ... In 2007, opposed Bush plan to bomb Iran as unconstitutional and threatened impeachment ... In 2013, counsels Obama as administration advocates bombing Syria.


Mitt Romney

Mormon religion was key to candidacy and policy switches … Church founder Joseph Smith had been assassinated in 1844 during U.S. Presidency race under platform of Mormon theocracy … Former “Bishop Romney” was groomed for top post … Romney track record of money-making heavily favored cronies, insiders … Fellow Bain leader’s father ran and looted Howard Hughes empire … Relied on Bush neo-con foreign policy and domestic surveillance teamSought austerity regime for “47 %,” and tax cuts for rich Bain cronies invested heavily in electronic voting machines…Karl Rove implicated in prospective 2012 electronic voting schemes…Election day planning suspected of replicating Ohio 2004 and Florida 2000 voting schemes...Planning to remain a force in politics helping Republicans to victory in 2014 elections.


Paul Ryan

Wisconsin congressman…Architect of massive austerity cuts for lower and middle classes, old and sick…Offered “trust me” budget-cut plans…Caught lying about his marathon and mountain climbing exploits Failed to disclose $1.6 million inheritance … Slept on House office cot to avoid DC rent…Leader in government-ordered restrictions on women’s reproductive health options … Anti-government rhetoric ... Has enjoyed taxpayer-paid job and benefits for almost his entire career Brother worked at Bain, won Massachusetts contract from RomneySteers funds to cronies ... Reappointed House Budget chair to impose austerity on public in 2013...Flip-flops on Syrian civil war policy, first seeking a muscular response and then putting onus on Obama to prove bombing would help America's security.


Format: Paperback
 
This is one of the most serious, detailed public interest books I have ever read, and I do read quite a bit.

I am in Afghanistan, with very little time to myself, and regret I have not been able to sit down with this book and give it the double read that it merits. As with any book that I consider a potential blockbuster, I started with the index, notes, and bibliography. All three are deep. This book is both a citizen's primer, and a reference work that will stand the test of time in helping future generations of students. It is a starting point for truth in the public interest.

I am one of those very few non-fiction reviewers that is also a former CIA clandestine case officer and a career intelligence officer. My reviews of over 300 books on intelligence are easily found (each review leading back to their Amazon home page) are easily found by searching for < Worth a Look:  Book Reviews on Intelligence (Most)> without the brackets.

Imagine my astonishment, then, when I get through the first part of the book and discover that Obama may be CIA's second wholly-owned president. Obama's parents appear clearly documented as non-official cover CIA officers (officers spy, agents are the people they recruit) responsible for spotting, assessing, and recruiting among the Islamic up-and-comers. This section alone makes this book priceless.

Now in fairness to Obama, it must be said that George Bush (Papa) is now known to have been a CIA non-official cover officer present in Dallas and probably also directly responsible for supervising the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I do not write such opinions lightly. See among many other references here at Amazon, Dark Legacy and JFK and the Unspeakable:  Why He Died and Why It Matters.

I would also observe that every President since JFK has been a puppet. The assassination of JFK by a mix of New York bankers, Texas energy and military wealth, and their "agents" in the FBI and CIA set the stage for every president thereafter to be a house pet, choosing between the gold certificates if they were good (Papa Bush and Clinton being a prime example), very little if they were neutral (Carter, Bush Junior), and death (none needed so far).


For a top level view of CIA, see my online post, < Search:  Seven CIAs [Steele on the Record] > from November 2012 when I was unemployed. Now that I work for the US Government again (and my wife continues to work for the CIA), I can no longer post on that topic, but my book reviews are legal and allowable as "spontaneous remarks." My new monographs and articles must go through pre-publication clearance and I am totally committed to that process. For two great books on CIA (good people trapped in a bad system) see, among others:

The Secret Team:  The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World (Second Edition)

Legacy of Ashes:  The History of the CIA


A very helpful book in understanding where CIA got its off-the-books money controlled by Treasury (i.e. Wall Street) is by my friends Sterling and Peggy Seagraves, Gold Warriors:  America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold. CIA imported the Nazi hydra (that in turn corrupted major slices of the US military), and funded the resurrection of fascists in Japan, Italy, and Germany, as well as collaborative corrupt dictators all over the planet. Please understand that I care deeply about the craft of intelligence and hope one day to see the CIA restored as a reliable provider of decision support to the President and all others. My article in CounterPunch is easily found online, "Intelligence for the President -- AND Everyone Else."

I have gone on at length above because my intent is to firmly support the author's credibility. He offers facts and extended opinions that loosely-educated and poorly-read individuals will be quick to label "off the wall." NOT SO. This book across 22 chapters, does what books -- and investigative journalists -- are supposed to do. It connects dots to dots, dots to the readers, and God willing, one day, readers to readers in a non-violent revolution to restore the Constitution and the Republic.

Each of the subsequent chapters shocks me and teaches me. I never have thought I knew it all, but I had thought I was well-informed and this book shakes that understanding. With all my reading, I am at perhaps 20% of what can be known legally and ethically. This book is shocking across every single chapter, and all the more valuable because it not only skewers Obama and Bush and their associates, but also does a fine job on Mitt Romeny and the Mormon criminal empire that some suspect is also a drug cartel on the side.

The final chapter, "Next Steps" is alone worth the price of the book, and I strongly recommend this book even if you plan only to read this one chapter. I have put this book into my 6 star category (roughly 10% of the 1900 or so books I have reviewed) precisely because this is a transformative book. I ran for President briefly in 2012, as an accepted Reform Party candidate, primarily to put good ideas in one place (BigBatUSA.org), and to confront all the other presidential candidates on the matter of electoral reform as fundamental. Hence I am thrilled to find that in this final chapter, the author closes in on that very point. Here is a marvelous quote from Sam Smith, founder of Progressive Review:

"If we wish to change events there is no better place to start than to change our own reaction to them, to declare that a politics lacking justice, equity, decency, and compassion is no longer acceptable. Economics, efficiency, perception, and brutish power calculations no longer suffice. The bottom line has bottomed out. The most radical act of individualism in which one can engage today is to come together with other individuals - as church, neighborhood, city and organization -- in order to uncover the biggest secret our leaders keep from us -- that we are not alone."

Bravo. ELECTORAL REFORM is the one thing that we can all come together on. I tried to explain this to Occupy in my now famous viral video (see also my video at Gnomedex), but Occupy was at the time a mob incapable of decisive action. We can still Occupy the HOME OFFICES of Senators and Representatives, and I continue to believe that we can force an Electoral Reform Act in time for 2016, one mandating that all eight parties (in addition to the two wings of tyranny, Democratic and Republican, the Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, Reform, and Socialist parties) be included on every state ballot for every federal office.

I have faith in America the Beautiful, and in the average citizen. I have lost faith in all of our institutions including churches, labor unions, the media, and universities. I pray that this book will in some manner inspire others to recognize that our government -- good people trapped in a bad system -- is rotten to the core and must be legally and peacefully abolished. We need a clean sheet fresh start with two words:  ENOUGH -- and INTEGRITY.

God Bless America -- and may God restore the goodness that was envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

Robert David STEELE Vivas
ELECTION 2008:  Lipstick on the Pig

See also:

All Rise:  Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity (BK Currents (Hardcover))

Doing Democracy:  The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements
The Average American:  The Extraordinary Search for the Nation's Most Ordinary Citizen
The Tao of Democracy:  Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World that Works for All

Vice:  Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency

Format:  Paperback

Presidential Puppetry is the dark political realism of power politics lurking in shadows away from mainstream media attention or public scrutiny. It is "real politik" under abusive forms of control fraud and succession planning coordinated and plotted by power consolidation and concentration that is taking over American Democracy. Andrew Kreig has produced a virtual encyclopedia of disclosures based upon his articulated exposure of this systemic institutionalized political capture, and shows it as deeply entrenched in our own "intelligence community" and capital structures. A culture of corruption and political deception has emerged on a global scale since the cold war and the new Trojan Horse is centered right inside the Gates of Washington DC.... Indeed, it has been brought into the White House itself. This is current events from deep levels of deception and power, and Mr. Kreig does a good job presenting the materials professionally and credibly.

Format:  Hardcover


I recently finished re-reading Barbara Tuchman's The Proud Tower:  A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914, concerning the Western world in the 25 years prior to World War I; it is a book I first read some 40 years ago, and it remains an excellent historical account of that period. I followed that re-read of Tuchman with Andrew Kreig's "Presidential Puppetry." One of the "takeaways" from that juxtaposition of reading choices was realizing that, thanks to Tuchman, I knew far more about the "Dreyfus Affair," an event that rocked France for most of the 1890's that I did about the background of the two major candidates in the last American presidential election. How can that be? It is the era of the 24/7 "news cycle," and I routinely read major main stream media publications like the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post" as well as significant internet-based news sources. Isn't that sufficient to have a basic understanding of the backgrounds of Obama and Romney? Apparently not. Kreig informs the reader that such knowledge "lacuna" is routine, even among reporters, and specifically relates an anecdote with Clare Nader, sister of Ralph.

Kreig was a reporter which provides him with an essential background on how the media works. Absolute censorship of an issue is rarer in America, though it does occur. Often a major event is reported "in passing," and "doesn't gain traction" while other distractive issues are reported ad nauseam. (And we don't even have to mention the "celebrity culture").Take, as Kreig does, the Presidential election of 2000, and the vote counting in the State of Florida.
Read more

Format:  Kindle Edition


Andy Kreig participated in two press conferences at the National Press Club the week preceding presidential election 2012. He was a moderator of the October 24, 2012, conference laying out the entire electronic vote-rigging empire of Karl Rove. And, he was one of two members of the national press who participated in a press conference the day preceding the election in which the filing litigation in Ohio against ES&S and the Ohio Secretary of State was reported from Columbus. Clearly, Andy Kreig functions at the cutting edge of the recurring problem the United States has with the integrity of its elections.

However, Andy Kreig does more than rehash recent news. In this important work Kreig provides readers with background for the hidden dynamics of the current electoral and political scene. As his title suggests "presidential puppetry" addresses the way that intelligence operatives, perhaps most prominently CIA, groom candidates for major political offices in the United States. According to Kreig this grooming includes helping to gain access to education on favorable terms and providing assistance with the exposure of the scandal of their political competitors.

Kreig does not discuss much about whether Pres. Obama functions with a gun to his head - the stick used to influence foreign leaders, according to John Perkins in "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." Rather, he focuses on the carrots and the assists that have been given to Barack Obama over the course of his rapid rise in the political hierarchy of American politics.

This could not be more timely in view of the pending appointment of James Comey for a term of ten years as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. How else, other than by the appointment of a Republican with a history of supporting Karl Rove's candidates for president rather than Mr. Obama, could the national security complex better protect against any investigation of political assassinations, systemic election rigging, mass incarceration as a Jim Crow strategy and the most massive theft of the wealth and welfare of the people of United States by a cabal of greedy billionaires?<br /><br /> I especially appreciate Mr. Kreig's recognition of the important role of public integrity champion Jill Simpson and cutting edge reporting and actions of the Columbus Free Press in delaying, if not denying the over funded and overbearing march of the national security complex toward tyranny in the United States of America."

Read more

Andrew Kreig uses his decades of investigative journalism talent to unmask the characters who have manipulated our democratic institutions. His formidable sources and sophisticated insights will enable elected officials, journalists, professors, and voters to evaluate the power interests at stake in the November 2012 elections. This is a frightening book that challenges all of us to act bravely. We must rouse ourselves to prevent a small number of wealthy, cynical men from usurping the power that rightfully belongs to the American citizen. He identifies these men, reveals their motives, shows us how they intended to accomplish their goals, and thus puts all of us on notice in this powerful exposé.
Lillian McEwen, author, D.C. Unmasked and Undressed

Andrew Kreig has produced a must-read. He was for many years a celebrated reporter for the Hartford Courant and author of Spiked. He went on to lead with distinction the Wireless Communications Association and the Justice Integrity Project. These efforts help provide the intimate knowledge of the Washington, national, and global affairs required for such ambitious reporting.
Robert Ames Alden, former president of the National Press Club, co-founder and former president of the National Press Foundation, and former Washington Post World News editor

This is one of the most serious, detailed public interest books I have ever read, and I do read quite a bit. This book is both a citizen's primer, and a reference work that will stand the test of time in helping future generations of students. It is a starting point for truth in the public interest. This book across 22 chapters, does what books - and investigative journalists - are supposed to do. It connects dots to dots, dots to the readers, and God willing, one day, readers to readers in a non-violent revolution to restore the Constitution and the Republic.
Robert David Steele, CEO, Earth Intelligence Network (501c3) Former spy, #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction Amazon Review

Presidential Puppetry reveals Washington's inside story. The big news organizations stopped fighting for the public Jack-Anderson-style, and it's high-time for the public to know it. Four decades ago, I described shocking abuses of the troops and taxpayers when I went on-the-record with Jack Anderson following my resignation from CIA service in Indochina during the Vietnam era. The situation is far worse now.
John Kelly, former news editor at NBC-TV and CBS-TV, and former CIA officer

A look behind the scenes in an uncompromising account of U.S. presidential politics. It’s a must-read for international readers.
Eelco H. Dykstra M.D., chairman, International Katrina Project Europe, based in The Hague

Andrew Kreig’s keen investigative skills, outstanding authoring and established track record make his aptly titled, Presidential Puppetry, a ready source of vital information!
Ron Fisher, Captain, U.S. Navy (retired) and Chair, WeThePeople.now.org

Everybody should know that Andy Kreig is the man to see in Washington, DC to report the most important stories.
Dana Jill Simpson, progressive political analyst

In Presidential Puppetry, Kreig sifts through the sugar-coated lies that make today's politicians palatable. He then exposes the hard, bitter truths. He offers rare, must-read insight into the background of those vying to lead the free world. Hang on. The truth is disturbing. But it has to be told.
Louis Manzo, author and former Jersey City mayoral candidate

One of the main reasons that the population of investigative reporters has not become extinct in Washington is because of the continued existence of Andrew Kreig.
Most of the rest of the media population has undergone a subtle but systematic information terror campaign orchestrated by avaricious oligarchs that has hunted them down and expelled them from the media territory.
All of us interested in the truth should be thankful that Andy's talents continue to ensure that darkness of media manipulation is not the only characteristic that envelopes the issues in Washington and the world.
John Edward Hurley, Washington commentator, civic leader, and historian

As I read key portions of Andrew Kreig's book I had the feeling that its insights could make good leaders better, and could give bad ones serious concern that their ongoing injustices have been exposed in a way that demands remedial public action.
Clifford Arnebeck, public interest attorney who has challenged the integrity of the 2004 Ohio presidential election

This is clearly the worst of times in many decades, perhaps since the Civil War. The problem that a writer has is that you can write this, explain it, argue it, prove it. But, in the end, the reader and friends have to do something about it.
Sam Smith, Progressive Review publisher, DC Statehood movement co-founder, and author of books that include Shadows of Hope, Captive Capital, and Why Bother?

Buy and read this book. You'll learn a lot more than you could have imagined, and you'll start seeing the world, politics, and the justice system in a very different, clearer, smarter way. This book exposes the puppet masters who pull the strings of leading officials in both major U.S. parties, including Obama and Romney. Its entertaining, cutting-edge reporting provides the kind of information that we in the independent press believe vital to informed decision-making.

As a publisher of Andrew Kreig's work, I confess to looking forward to publishing Andrew's postings, because he is an investigative journalist combined with constitutional scholarship extraordinaire. This book takes his investigations to the next level, connecting the dots to unveil a big picture that is startling yet not surprising at all.

The book goes into great depth, showing the connections behind the candidates. For example, I’ve written that Mitt Romney should be regarded as “Bishop Romney” because his experience in that LDS post is longer and more relevant to voters than his single term as governor. Kreig's book amplifies that theme into a full historical context found nowhere else regarding Bishop Romney and his ascendancy within the revamped, tea party-oriented GOP. The book applies similar treatment to President Obama and many more U.S leaders.


The author has been a respected OpEd News contributor for years. So I am not surprised this book’s revelations have enduring and even global significance. 
Rob Kall, publisher of OpEdNews.com, host of The Rob Kall Bottom-Up Radio Show, and blogger for Huffington Post





Washington, DC-based Andrew Kreig directs the Justice Integrity Project (www.justice-integrity.org) and two other organizations in business and civic affairs. He is an attorney, author, and strategist listed in Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in America since the mid-1990s. He has lectured on government and business issues on five continents, including as co-keynoter at the annual National Association of Broadcasters' Futures Summit and in recent years has been a research fellow affiliated with universities. Read more at AndrewKreig.com

From 1996 to 2008, he was President/CEO of the Wireless Communications Association in its worldwide advocacy to create a wireless broadband industry. Earlier, he was an attorney with a national law firm, and law clerk to a federal judge. In 1987, he authored Spiked:   How Chain Management Corrupted America’s Oldest Newspaper, a widely reviewed case study of changes affecting newspaper industry, his first employer after college. He holds degrees from Yale Law School and the University of Chicago School of Law, and a history degree from Cornell University, where he was a student newspaper editor, rowing team member, and Golden Gloves boxer.

Tune in every Thursday to Andrew Kreig’s newsmaker guests as he co-hosts Washington Update on the MTL Network with co-host and producer Scott Draughon. Check out Washington Update here