Child Molesters Run the U.S. Government & They Are Controlled by the CIA/British Monarchy & Empire
Lifting the Veil
An Investigative History of the United States Pathocracy
Researched and Written by Timothy M. Silver. Published in 2015.
“I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America. We must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”
~~ U.S. Senator Frank Church on the NSA, 19751
Note: All research validated by over 500 footnotes with links provided to reliable sources.
1 Quoted by Pentagon Papers whistleblower Dan Ellsberg from his article in the UK’s Guardian, “Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America,” June 10, 2013
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[Editor’s Note] This is the best summary revealing the deepest levels of deception in our world we’ve seen. It uses highly reliable sources with links to verify almost everything presented. If you don’t have time to read the entire piece, skim the highlighted sections and don’t miss chapter XIII which presents undeniable evidence of cults made up of psychopaths bent on controlling our world. You will learn how they are able to keep all of this out of the eye of the public. This is a must read for all who want to be educated and build a brighter future for ourselves and for future generations.
“The problem of the Pathocracy seems to be so vast and complex; it is certainly intimidating. Fortunately, the solutions are relatively simple. It begins with education and non-participation. Ignorance is the key that keeps the Pathocracy afloat. It’s truly this easy. An awake populace can choose to stop holding the pyramid above their shoulders by refusing to oil the gears of the machine. We need to collectively move our money out of big banks, support local enterprise over the multinationals, and be courageously vocal about the truth.”
Chapter I: The War on Terror is a Fraud
Chapter II: The One-Party State
Chapter III: Psychopathy, Power and Politics
Chapter IV: Operation Paperclip
Chapter V: MK-ULTRA
Chapter VI: Operation Gladio
Chapter VII: Operation Mockingbird
Chapter VIII: COINTELPRO
Chapter IX: The Phoenix Program
Chapter X: Iran/Contra
Chapter XI: Continuity of Government
Chapter XII: The Pedophocracy
Chapter XIII: Cults and Child Abuse
Chapter XIV: Trauma-Based Mind Control
Chapter XV: The Pathocracy
Chapter XVI: Solutions
Chapter XVII: The Awakening
* * * *
It has been a little over a year since I first read about the Central Intelligence Agency program known as MK-ULTRA, which was dedicated to exploring the vast possibilities of ‘biological behavioral engineering’, also known as mind control. I was stunned by the depth of the horror unleashed on the unwitting victims of this program, less than a decade removed from the post-WWII Nuremberg Trials which concluded that never again should scientists experiment on subjects without their willing consent.
I was impressed that the Agency (CIA) deftly avoided any significant reform, even after multiple congressional inquiries into their illegal, unconstitutional activities which the disclosure of MK-ULTRA prompted, and was disturbed by the glaring lack of information regarding the program in the general public. Most shocking, despite Agency insistence to the contrary, was the documented evidence that their mission of controlling the human mind bore significant fruit.
As an aspiring historian, I set off to work on turning over every stone related to covert intelligence activities and other suppressed history and began publishing my research on a blog titled ‘The Peoples History’. Since then, I have read dozens of books and thousands of mainstream media articles, interviews, scientific studies and primary documents in my quest for knowledge.
Before long I came to the understanding that I was not just learning about a series of unrelated clandestine agency abuses and financial crimes, but rather was researching various disclosures of an organized subversive network working behind the scenes. A bold statement like this requires bold evidence. I invite you to investigate yourself the over 500 citations of publicly available, mainstream sources I’ve provided and come to your own conclusions.
Whether you are approaching this work from a vantage point of exploring new ideas, learning more about topics that already interest you, or even if you are antagonistic to the idea that something is ‘not quite right’ with the United States today, I urge you to have an open mind and to be prepared to synthesize new information into your worldview.
‘Lifting the Veil’ is structured in a way that first discusses two startling problems with the current political system in the United States today. It then jumps to 1946 and works forward in time to shed light on how these problems came about. Woven in is information on psychopathy and its relationship to politics and power, my own conclusions drawn from the information, and ‘food for thought’ questions. The final portion of the book ties together the pieces of the puzzle and presents potential, non-partisan solutions we can take to affect change.
I ask one thing from you, the reader, before embarking on this journey. Once you finish, if you believe that this work is important, please resolve yourself to share it with at least two people, whether they are someone you know personally, online acquaintances or anonymous recipients. I have released this book free for a reason. It is the only way this information will spread to a point where it will reach a ‘critical mass’. Once it does, change will be inevitable. Lets endeavor to make this happen as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading,
Timothy M. Silver
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Chapter I: The War on Terror is a Fraud
“In the mid-’80s, if you remember… Saudi Arabia and the United States were supporting the Mujahideen to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviets. He [Osama bin Laden] came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheists. Isn’t it ironic?” – Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, on Larry King Live2
President Reagan meets with members of the Mujahideen in the Oval Office, 1985
In 2009, a series of events occurred that ought to have raised questions in the press. First, the United States began a troop surge in Afghanistan designed to deliver the final blow to the Taliban insurgency.3 Then the United States provided a $7.5 billion aid package to Pakistan.4
Around the same time, the Carnegie Foundation published a study which revealed a majority of Pakistan aid goes to the intelligence agency ISI and the military.5 The problem with these three events is that earlier in the year, U.S. officials revealed to the New York Times that the ISI was funding the Taliban, and was responsible for providing direct assistance and helping with some of their strategic strikes.6
The press did cover these stories, but independent of one another. Not one media institution connected the dots that the United States was actively funding the harm that its armed forces were simultaneously fighting. Following the official narrative of the war, it certainly doesn’t make any sense that the United States was indirectly prolonging the quagmire.
Perhaps such mistakes are the inevitability of a bloated war bureaucracy, or that U.S. officials simply didn’t realize the connection. Unfortunately, a collection of evidence points to a more sinister explanation: the United States and its allies have been deliberately proliferating radical Islam for decades, only to later spend trillions fighting the enemy they created, thus generating huge war profits for Wall Street moguls.
Just days after the July 7, 2005 London terror attack, and less than a month before his untimely death, the Right Honorable Robin Cook, former UK Foreign Secretary, wrote a scathing and emotional review of the War on Terror in The Guardian.
“Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the ’80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally “the base“, was originally the computer data-base of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Inexplicably, and with disastrous consequences, it never appears to have occurred to Washington that once Russia was out of the way, Bin Laden’s organization would turn its attention to the west.”7
While Cook’s remarks were downplayed and ridiculed by the mainstream media and the United Kingdom establishment at the time, available evidence shows his assertions to be largely correct.
2 CNN, “America’s New War: Responding to Terrorism,” October 1, 2001
3 Wall Street Journal, “Obama Bets Big on Troop Surge”, December 2, 2009. In 2009, Barack Obama ordered a surge of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan to fight the War on Terror.
4 Newsweek, “A Timeline of U.S. Aid to Pakistan”, October 20, 2009. The $7.5 Billion in aid to Pakistan tripled previous agreements, and locked in the economic alliance for another 5 years.
5 Carnegie Foundation,“Who Benefits from aid to Pakistan?”
6 New York Times, “Afghan Strikes By Taliban Get Pakistan Help, U.S. Aides Say,” March 25, 2009
7 The Guardian, “The Struggle Against Terrorism Cannot Be Won By Military Means,” July 8, 2005. A great article written by Robert Cook, whose life was tragically cut short within a year of its publication from a heart attack. Worth reading in its entirety. Watch also U.S. Senate testimony about the development of a poison dart pistol which can cause a heart attack and leave no trace indicating assassination.
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“They [the CIA] told me these people were fanatical, and the more fierce they were, the more fiercely they would fight the Soviets… I warned them that we were creating a monster.” – Scholar Selig Harrison8
The story begins in 1978 shortly after the Saur Revolution, which resulted in the communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan gaining control of the Afghanistan government. The CIA immediately initiated a program known as Operation Cyclone and began funding militant Islamic groups favored by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, to the tune of $7.5 billion.9 The money went to producing, training, and arming militant Islamic radicals who were directed towards fighting the secular communist government.
At the time, the Mujahideen was composed of many different, loosely organized groups encompassing a broad spectrum of ideologies, with widely varying perspectives on religion, society and state. Seven major Afghan factions began receiving aid, three of them Islamic moderates and four of them Islamic fundamentalists, as defined by the military. In addition to native Afghans, they were composed of many foreigners who traveled to fight the invasion, such as Osama bin Laden himself.10
To understand the scope of the funding, the BBC stated that the CIA provided enough arms to equip a 240,000 man army, and Saudi Arabia matched them dollar for dollar.11 The weapons given to these fighters were not just AK-47s and other simple arms. Many were high tech, such as Stinger Anti-Aircraft missiles,12 provided with the intention of demoralizing Soviet commanders and soldiers.13
The majority of the funding was funneled through Pakistan’s ISI, which acted as an arm of CIA interests and began setting up religious schools known as Madrassas in Pakistan cities and frontier areas, churning out tens of thousands of students who would join the Mujahideen.14 (Note: Madrassas are not inherently negative institutions, however the ones who received funding from the CIA were particularly radical).
All of this began a full six months before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, according to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Advisor. Brzezinksi recalled his involvement to a French news magazine in 1998:
“We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would… That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviets into the Afghan trap. The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border I wrote to President Carter, ‘We now have the opportunity of giving the Soviet Union its Vietnam War.'”15
8 Selig’s full comments available here.
9 Figure taken from Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, in a briefing to the Pakistan parliament.
10 The major factions who received aid are detailed in an article published in the Journal of Slavic Military Studies, written by Retired Army Col. Lester W. Grau.
11 BBC, “Pakistan’s Shadowy Secret Service,” October 9, 2006
12 Slate, “Stingers, Stingers, Who’s Got The Stingers?” October 3, 2001
13 Washington Post, “Osama bin Laden Created By The US,” 1992
14 BBC, “Pakistan’s Shadowy Secret Service,” October 9, 2006
15 Bilveer Singh, “The Talibanization of Southeast Asia,” Excerpt available here.
* * * *
Early Years of Osama Bin Laden
When Osama bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan from Saudi Arabia, he created a group called Maktab al-Khidamat, abbreviated as MAK, a precursor to Al-Qaeda. It is frequently claimed that the CIA directly funded this group, though top CIA officers say that this is not the case. It has been confirmed, at least, that the MAK did receive funding from the ISI,16 the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting their covert war against Russia.
CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan Milt Bearden has stated that he was well aware of Bin Laden in the Mujahideen, and welcomed his efforts in funding, though he never met with him personally.17 Bin Laden also brought in construction equipment from his father’s company Saudi Binladen Group, considered the largest construction firm in the world, to build training camps, in collaboration with the ISI and CIA.18
In 1986, Osama used his construction assets to build a CIA-financed tunnel complex to serve as a training facility. It was also a major arms and medical depot for the Mujahideen in the Peshawar mountains near Pakistan which was later used by Al-Qaeda.19
Fifteen years later, the Western Media would describe Al-Qaeda as hiding out in caves, but the truth is a little more complex: there were intricate tunnels connecting hundreds of different caves, a majority of them man-made, equipped with irrigation systems, accommodation for trucks and even tanks, hotels, mosques, arms depots, medical and radio centers, and kitchens.20 In short, it is more accurate to call them mountain fortresses.
Al-Qaeda was formed sometime between 1987-88, with the radical elements of MAK joining after their group split.
It is apparent that the CIA had no plan to deal with the tunnel complex after the conclusion of Operation Cyclone, though surely they must have been aware that the cadre of radicals they were instrumental in producing would not simply disappear or de-radicalize. Perhaps long term destabilization of the country was their plan all along.
16 Information taken from GlobalSecurity.org, a respected institution in the intelligence community.
17 David Helms and Norm Dixon, “Behind the US War in Afghanistan.”
18 New York Times, “The Most Wanted Face of Terrorism”, May 2, 2011.
19 The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “How a Holy War Against the Soviets Turned Against the US,” September 23, 2001. Written by respected investigative journalist and Middle-East insider Ahmed Rashid
20 Mir Bahmanyar, “Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds of the Mujahideen.”
* * * *
Evidence suggests that the Taliban is actively involved with Al-Qaeda. For example, one 1998 State Department cable claimed that: “Taliban Leader Mullah Omar lashed out at the U.S., asserting that the Taliban will continue providing a safe haven for Bin Laden.”21
There is plenty of evidence that Pakistan’s ISI actively funds the Taliban and other terrorist cells as well, while barring the U.S. military from operating in tribal areas. A 2010 BBC article stated that the ISI was giving “funding, training and sanctuary to the Afghan Taliban on a scale much larger than previously thought,” going as far as to say that support for the Taliban was “official ISI policy.” Since 9/11, the United States has given Pakistan over $15 billion, much of which goes to the ISI and military.22
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said himself in 2003 that the ISI was either turning a blind eye or cooperating with the Taliban. In addition, some members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “contend that the intelligence service may have provided money, weapons and broadcast equipment to Taliban fighters now in Pakistan to transmit anti-Karzai, anti-American messages into Afghanistan.”23 BBC has reported on a secret NATO document which notes: “Pakistan’s manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership continues unabated.”24
A report published by the London School of Economics gave nine in depth interviews with Taliban insurgent commanders. They suggest that the ISI has members on the Taliban leadership council, though they expressed fear of assassination if they went into to much depth on this topic.25
It’s not hard to establish that the United States has allied itself with one of the biggest funders of terrorism in the Middle East, a fact which blatantly clashes with the official narrative of Western involvement in the region. It makes much more sense when understood in the context that the goal of the United States in the Middle East is not the prevention of terrorism, but rather for political, military and economic hegemony.
21 Diplomatic cable available here.
22 BBC, “Pakistani agents ‘funding and training Afghan Taliban’,” June 13, 2010
23 New York Times, “Threats and Responses: Afghanistan,” February 13, 2002
24 BBC, “Pakistan Helping Afghan Taliban – NATO,” February 1, 2012
25 London School of Economics report available here.
* * * *
Osama Runs Wild
“I do not profess a broad expertise in international affairs, but between January 1996 and June 1999 I was in charge of running operations against Al-Qaeda from Washington. When it comes to this small slice of the large U.S. national security pie, I speak with firsthand experience (and for several score of CIA officers) when I state categorically that during this time senior White House officials repeatedly refused to act on sound intelligence that provided multiple chances to eliminate Osama bin Laden – either by capture or by U.S. military attack. I witnessed and documented, along with dozens of other CIA officers, instances where life-risking intelligence-gathering work of the agency’s men and women in the field was wasted.” – Michael Scheuer, 22 year veteran of the CIA26
A 2001 Washington Post article states that in 1996 the government of Sudan offered to keep tabs on Osama, or if that did not suffice, arrest him and hand him over to either the United States or Saudi custody.27
“The Sudanese security services, he said, would happily keep close watch on bin Laden for the United States. But if that would not suffice, the government was prepared to place him in custody and hand him over, though to whom was ambiguous. In one formulation, Erwa said Sudan would consider any legitimate proffer of criminal charges against the accused terrorist.” Their negotiations concluded as such: “We said he will go to Afghanistan, and they [U.S. officials] said, ‘Let him.'”
The Clinton administration claimed that they lacked criminal charges to pin on Bin Laden, though this explanation is a farce, as less than a year previous to that they had named him as a co-conspirator in the World Trade Center bombing, among other terrorist activities.28
Just a year later, the Clinton administration would commit the egregious war crime of the bombing of the Sudanese Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory, which provided 50% of the medicine for Sudan.29 The destruction of the factory was estimated to be responsible for the deaths of “several tens of thousands” of people according to the German ambassador to Sudan, on a much flimsier pretext.30 Interestingly, the pretext of the Al-Shifa bombing is that the factory had ties to Bin Laden, in the very country that had proposed to extradite him, by the very people who declined to accept his arrest.
A 2002 article in The Guardian reveals that the first INTERPOL arrest warrant for Bin Laden came from Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 1998.31 It also uncovered that the MI6 paid large sums of money to an Al-Qaeda cell in Libya in a failed attempt to assassinate Gaddafi. Perhaps this is why U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies apparently buried the fact that Libya had issued the warrant for Bin Laden’s arrest and downplayed the threat he posed. Five months after the arrest warrant was issued, Al-Qaeda killed over 200 people in bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.32
These actions are consistent with the trend of working with Al-Qaeda when they shared the same goals, and fighting them when war in the region was a strategic geopolitical move.
26 Los Angeles Times, “Why I Resigned From the CIA,” December 5, 2004
27 Washington Post, “U.S. Was Foiled Multiple Times in Efforts To Capture Bin Laden or Have Him Killed”, October 3, 2001
28 PBS Frontline, “Timeline: Al Qaeda’s Global Context.”
29 The Nation, “Reply to Hitchens,” October 1, 2001
30 Wikipedia article on the Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Company
31 The Guardian, “MI6 ‘Halted Bid to Arrest Bin Laden‘”, November 10, 2001
32 Al-Jazeera, “US embassy attacks anniversary marked,” August 7, 2013
* * * *
US Trained Terrorists
It has been widely reported, thanks to revelations by ABC reporter John Cooley, that some Islamic fundamentalists were trained in the United States in the 1980’s, by way of Camp Peary, the CIA spy base in Virginia, being flown in from places such as Jordan, Egypt and even Africa.33 It raises the question of how many such camps existed beyond the United States. Regardless, there have been some astonishing revelations of terrorists trained within the US borders.
One specifically alarming case is that of Egyptian Ali Muhammed. He was a part of the fundamentalist military unit that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. In 1984, he was hired by the CIA, though they claim that the relationship was short-lived.34 He would soon join the military and become a member of the Green Berets, and serve as a drill sergeant at Fort Bragg while providing clandestine training to jihadists such as Mahmud Abaouhalima, convicted perpetrator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.35
He would take a short leave from his military duties and travel to Afghanistan in 1988 to assist the Mujahideen, returning just months later.36 Such an act is completely unheard of, entirely unprecedented and raises all sorts of red flags. Who was allowing Muhammed to circumvent the law and what type of special privileges and protections was he receiving?
In the early 1990’s, he would return to Afghanistan and began training jihadists with the skills he had learned at Fort Bragg. According to former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan in an interview with PBS, Muhammed’s first training session included Osama bin Laden, as well as Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of Al-Qaeda.37
Former Directors of Counter-terrorism at the National Security Council have alleged that Muhammed took maps and training materials from Fort Bragg and used them to write the Al-Qaeda terrorist training manual.38
Muhammed’s superior at Fort Bragg, Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, has stated: “I think you or I would have a better chance of winning the Powerball lottery, than an Egyptian major in the unit that assassinated Sadat would have getting a visa, getting to California, getting into the Army and getting assigned to a Special Forces unit. That just doesn’t happen.”39
Elsewhere he stated: “It was unthinkable that an ordinary American GI would go unpunished after fighting in a foreign war,” and that he assumed that Muhammed was sponsored by the CIA.40
In the year 2000, Muhammed plead guilty to involvement in the 1998 embassy bombings that killed 224 people including 12 Americans.41 He admitted during the trial that he was a part of a broader plot to attack any Western target in the Middle East, as well as admitting that he helped transfer Osama bin Laden from Pakistan to Sudan.
33 The Guardian, “Blowback Chronicles”, September 15, 2001
34 New York Times, “The Plot Against America,” August 6, 2006
35 Wikipedia article on Mahmud Abouhalima
36 San Francisco Chronicle, “Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI / Ex-Silicon Valley resident plotted embassy attacks,” November 4, 2001
37 PBS Frontline Interview with Jack Cloonan, available here.
38 Daniel Benjamin and Steve Simon, “Age of Sacred Terror.”
39 Article written by five time Emmy Award recipient Peter Lance, hosted at BoilingFrogsPost.com, available here.
40 San Francisco Chronicle, “Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI / Ex-Silicon Valley resident plotted embassy attacks,” November 4, 2001
41 BBC, “Ex US Soldier Admits to Embassy Bombings,” October 20, 2000
* * * *
United States and Al-Qaeda Have The Same Agenda
In 2011, NATO, led by Barack Obama and the United States, initiated military action against Libya by enforcing a No Fly Zone. They carried out numerous air strikes, including one against Libyan state TV which killed 3 journalists.42 Downplayed in Western media was the fact that the ‘rebels’ consisted of various factions of radical Islamists, many who had been fighting Gaddafi for decades and had their roots in the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose goal is to implement an Islamic state.43
CNN has reported on widespread abuses against civilians from these groups after Gaddafi was ousted from power, including the use of landmines and other deadly equipment.44 Many of the rebels have admitted links to Al-Qaeda45, whom had declared support for the rebels in Libya.46
The Washington Post has reported that a former Al-Qaeda member has estimated there to be 1,000 ‘freelance jihadists’ that have traveled to Libya to support the rebels, many affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and also that Libya has one of the highest domestic Al-Qaeda populations in the Middle East, quoting a 2007 West Point study on the subject.47
In 1999, the United States decided to support the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), allies of Al-Qaeda. Bill Clinton framed the intervention in humanitarian terms despite the fact that staggering atrocities were being committed on both sides.48 French News Agency AFP reported that members of the KLA had been trained by Bin Laden,49 and the Washington Times reported that the KLA bankrolled their operations with funds from the heroin trade in Afghanistan and had accepted money from Bin Laden himself.50
The Mujahideen, many specifically members of Al-Qaeda, were also instrumental in Bosnia during the NATO intervention in 1993. Their presence is still a factor of instability today.51 It is of significance that all of these associations occurred after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, when Al-Qaeda first became widespread in the American lexicon.
Barack Obama armed rebels in Syria, beginning secretly with CIA arms airlifts in 2012,52 citing many of the same reasons for intervention that Clinton did in 1999, despite domestic and foreign ally opposition.53 54 Once again, many of the rebels have been associated with Al-Qaeda and labeled terrorist organizations by the US.55
42 The Guardian, “NATO Bombs Libya TV Transmitters,” July 30, 2011.
43 International Business Times, “Does the Transitional Council Really Represent Libyan Democracy and Opposition to Gaddafi?”, July 20, 2001.
44 CNN, “Rights group: Libyan rebels looted and beat civilians,” July 15, 2011
45 The Telegraph, “Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links,” March 25, 2011
46 The Telegraph, “Libya: The West and Al-Qaeda on the Same Side,” March 18, 2011
47 Washington Times, “’Freelance Jihadists’ Join Libyan Rebels,” March 29, 2011
48 Wikipedia article on the various war crimes committed during the Kosovo War
49 AFP, “Members of Kosovo Liberation Trained by Bin Laden,” May 4, 1999.
50 Washington Times, “KLA Finances War with Heroin Sales,” May 3, 1999
51 Radio Free Europe, “Bosnia-Herzegovina: New Book Investigates Presence Of Al-Qaeda,” June 1, 2007
52 New York Times, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” March 24, 2013
53 Fox News, “Lawmakers try to stall arming of Syrian opposition, as CIA presses ahead,” June 27, 2013
54 Fox News, “Merkel tells Parliament that risks of arming Syrian rebels ‘incalculable‘,” June 27, 2013
55 USA Today, “Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda”, June 14, 2013
* * * *
The Source of Radicalism
Earlier I mentioned CIA-funded madrassas being a source of Islamic radicalism in the 1980’s. They have been an important factor in the radicalization of Islam ever since. As of 2008, there are some 750 madrassas in Pakistan that teach jihad and radicalism, about 10% of all madrassas in the country (and I want to emphasize that this section is referring to specific radical iterations of Madrassas, not simply applying a blanket generalization to the religious style of education).56 U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks revealed that the funding for these radical schools now comes from Saudi Arabia, the United States’ biggest ally in the region.57
The radical madrassa network exploits impoverished areas by recruiting children for what essentially amounts to indoctrination camps. In exchange, families receive upwards of $6,500 per son for their ‘sacrifice to Islam’, and during schooling, contact with families is forbidden. After graduation, many are funneled into terrorist training camps in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the cables stated.
PBS Frontline did a story on a 16 year old who was recruited to a Pakistan Wahabi Islam madrassa from an impoverished area in East Africa.58 A few years later, he was instrumental in a terror plot, blowing up the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The PBS website hosts a letter he wrote to his brother, in which he says he spent two years on a military base learning warfare, including the usage of Israeli arms.59
Is the CIA still involved? The House of Saud has given at least $1.474 billion dollars to the Bush family,60 and the United States sold Saudi Arabia $60 billion worth of arms in 2010, the biggest arms sale in American history.61 Before he was president, George H.W. Bush was the Director of the CIA. On June 25th, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Saudi Arabia is ‘one of our closest partners’.62 At the very least we can establish complicity.
Regardless, the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia ought to raise a lot of important questions. On November 4, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry hailed Saudi Arabia as a very important ally to the United States.63 How can we reconcile this stance with the 2010 cable leaks revealing that former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that donors in the kingdom “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” and that “it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”?64
It is clear that the United States views their geopolitical relationship with Saudi Arabia to be much more important than combating terrorism, despite U.S. involvement in the Middle East being saturated with rhetoric about the War on Terror. The same statement can be applied to the relationship with Pakistan, which is instrumental in the operations of the Taliban.
56 Naval Postgraduate Thesis, by Paul Bell, titled “Pakistan’s Madrassas: Weapons of Mass Instruction?” Available here. (PDF Warning)
57 Full Wikileaks Cables available here.
58 PBS Frontline recap available here.
59 PBS, letter available here.
60 Salon, “Did the Saudi’s Buy a President?” March 12, 2004
61 Wikipedia article on Saudi-US Relations
62 John Kerry transcripts from the US Department of State website, available here.
63 The Guardian, “Kerry hails disgruntled Saudi Arabia as ‘the senior player’ in Middle East,” November 4, 2013
64 The Independent, “Saudi Arabia is ‘Biggest Funder’ of Terrorists,” December 6, 2010
* * * *
The assassination of high-profile Pakistan tribal leader Qari Zainuddin was widely reported in the Western media.65 Only days before his assassination he had renounced his support of the Taliban, claiming that their actions were un-Islamic. What the Western media neglected to report, but was widely reported in Pakistan and other countries, was that Zainuddin had previously claimed that Baitullah Mehsud, the man who ended up ordering his assassination, was an American agent.66
The claim that American agents operate in the Taliban sounds far-fetched but there have been some eye-opening reports that confirm the possibility. For example, a 2004 article in the UK publication Times Online reported that a high ranking Al-Qaeda member had been revealed to be a double agent working for MI5.
“Abu Qatada boasted to MI5 that he could prevent terrorist attacks and offered to expose dangerous extremists, while all along he was setting up a haven for his terror organisation in Britain.”67
Abu Qatada has been imprisoned multiple times in Britain but has not been charged with any crimes. During his career he has issued fatwahs justifying the killing of converts from Islam, advocated the killing of Jews, praised attacks on America, and was convicted on charges of terrorism in Jordan, all while working in association with MI5.68
A 2002 article published by French news organization AFP states that Palestine security forces had arrested a group of Palestinians who had confessed to collaborating with Israel and posing as operatives of Al-Qaeda.69
“He [Palestinian Authority Official] said the alleged collaborators sought to “discredit the Palestinian people, justify every Israeli crime and provide reasons to carry out a new (military) aggression in the Gaza Strip.”
The arrest came just two days after Ariel Sharon claimed that Al-Qaeda militants were operating in Gaza and Lebanon, likely in an attempt to justify future military action. BBC has also reported on this story.70
65 BBC, “Tribal Leader Killed in Afghanistan,” June 23, 2009
66 PakTribune, “Why Does Zainuddin Want To Kill Baitullah?”
67 Times of London, “Al Qaeda Cleric Exposed as an MI5 Double Agent,” March 25, 2004. Article is behind a pay wall, link is to a re-hosting at Whale.to.
68 BBC, “Abu Qattadah Timeline,” May 10, 2013
69 AFP, “Palestinians Arrest al-Qaeda ‘poseurs’,” December 8, 2002
70 BBC, “Israel ‘Faked’ Al Qaeda Presence,” December 8, 2002
* * * *
“The Official Story”
The official story is that Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda found new enemies in the U.S. after the Cold War when the United States began occupying military bases in Saudi Arabia. It sounds plausible, but does not stand up to deeper scrutiny.
In 1993, Scott Armstrong, at the time the top investigative reporter for the Washington Post, gave some tremendously revealing interviews with PBS Frontline. In an episode titled “The Arming of Saudi Arabia”, he stated that the United States and Saudi Arabia had jointly conspired to covertly build $200 billion worth of military installations between the years 1979 and 1992.71 Steve Coll, eminent Bin Laden biographer, states that the Binladen group received a multitude of these contracts, with the knowing intent to support and house US military personnel during wars that may threaten Saudi territory.72
This occurred during the same time that Osama bin Laden was actively using Binladen Group assets to build extensive infrastructure in Afghanistan. Surely he was aware of the construction of the military bases and who intended to occupy them, yet he did not have a problem with the prospect then.
71 PBS Frontline transcript of the episode available here.
72 Steven Coll’, “The Bin Ladens.”
* * * *
During the peak of World War II, military and defense spending reached a rate of over 40% of the United States Gross Domestic Product.73 Even after a massive demobilization, the military-industrial complex had grown to a behemoth, averaging over 7% of GDP throughout the Cold War. According to the Cato Institute, the United States spent a total of $6 trillion on military and intelligence in just four decades during the Cold War, a staggering sum.
After the Soviet Union was defeated, the Military Industrial Complex experienced a steady decline, accounting for just 3.7% of GDP in the year 2000. This changed on 9/11, when the MIC [Military-Industrial Complex] found that they could turn their old friends into new enemies to fight, and their percentage of GDP has more than doubled in the last decade.74
Congress has officially authorized more than $1.3 trillion to fight the war on terror, and a Brown University study says this is just the tip of the iceberg: Even if the War on Terror were to begin de-escalating now, it would end up costing a total of $3.9 trillion between domestic spending, veterans costs, and interest.75 The money comes from the taxpayers of the United States, whether directly or indirectly, and goes into the deep pockets of defense contractors and banks.
73 Math and Charts available here at USGovernmentSpending.com.
74 More Charts.
75 Brown.edu “Cost of War Project”, available here.
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In 2003, Donald Rumsfeld wrote a memo to the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he stated that “We need to stop populating Guantanamo Bay with low-level enemy combatants.”76 The memo was uncovered in 2011. Over 750 prisoners have gone through Guantanamo, most being released without charges.77 Of the roughly 160 prisoners in Guantanamo Bay today, half have been cleared for release but are still being detained.78 Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said in 2010 that there were less than 100 Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.79
76 Washington Post, “Rumsfeld complained of ‘low level’ GTMO prisoners, memo reveals,” March 3, 2011
77 Wikipedia article “List of Guantanamo Detainees.”
78 RussiaToday, “‘Political football’: Gitmo detainees ‘abandoned’ by US government,” May 16, 2013
79 ABC (Australia) “Fewer than 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: CIA chief,” June 28, 2010
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After trillions of dollars spent, hundreds of thousands of deaths, repeated domestic rights infringements, we are left with only a handful of proven Al-Qaeda members, with a majority of prisoners simply being held without charges.
Al-Qaeda, the organization purported to be a sprawling monster after the September 11th attacks, has been revealed to be a shell of an operation, financed by wealthy US allies. The result is endless war: Politicians, military and media shine the light just right to make the shadow of the mouse look huge and monstrous to justify endless profits. The media is not even connecting the most basic of dots to reveal the tremendous deception.
The evidence is a repeated policy of the destabilization of Central Asia and the development of Islamic radicals that spans decades. The result is a new global enemy without borders or diplomatic representation that can be fought indefinitely. Unless significant changes are made, we are looking at a future with an endless war on ‘terrorism’ where more terrorists are created daily by the very policies that are meant to be fighting them, and a foreign policy dictated by the whims of war profiteering.
And what kind of influence are we having in the Middle East? The rhetoric of ‘bringing democracy to the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan’ would be laughable were it not such a grandiose and destructive lie. The impact of American intervention in these two countries has been disastrous.
“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.” – New York Times80
This New York Times article describes how the CIA routinely funneled millions of dollars without oversight in unmarked bags to the offices of President Hamid Karzai, while simultaneously denouncing the Iranian policy of doing the exact same thing. U.S. officials are quoted as saying that instead of buying the loyalty of the Afghan President, the payments instead proliferated into a vast web of corruption while Karzai became increasingly defiant of U.S. interests.
In Iraq, the country has devolved into near anarchy with monthly death tolls from terrorism sometimes reaching the thousands. In 2004, the New York Times reported that there was a massive assassination campaign targeting intellectuals and professionals, with between 500 and 1,000 urban professionals killed in just a nine-month span.81 From drive by shootings to stealth murders in the victims home, officials in Iraq agree that there is a massive campaign to silence the capable and educated.
“’They are going after our brains,’ said Lt. Col. Jabbar Abu Natiha, head of the organized crime unit of the Baghdad police. ‘It is a big operation. Maybe even a movement.’ These white-collar killings, American and Iraqi officials say, are separate from – and in some ways more insidious than – the settling of scores with former Baath Party officials, or the singling-out of police officers and others thought to be collaborating with the occupation. Hundreds of them have been attacked as well in an effort to sow insecurity and chaos. But by silencing urban professionals, said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, a spokesman for the occupation forces, the guerrillas are waging war on Iraq’s fledgling institutions and progress itself. The dead include doctors, lawyers and judges.”
In other words, Iraq is being left without the very people who could have been future leaders of democracy, and whom could have established a functioning society. And note that shortly after the George W. Bush invaded Iraq, a corporate friendly government was established.
Furthermore, it is not empty rhetoric to say that the Iraq invasion was based on lies. In 2012, the Iraqi defector responsible for the ‘evidence’ of chemical weapon production in Iraq which was presented to the United Nations by Colin Powell, who portrayed his evidence as “facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence”, confessed to BBC that his claims were entirely fabricated.82 Clearly there is an agenda that does not mesh with the rhetoric!
Will the War on Terror ever end? Who truly has the incentive to scale back the operation? Not clandestine agencies or the military, who are seeing their budgets increase year by year. Certainly not any of the major influences in politics, banks and corporations, who are seeing massive profits from government contracts and resource exploitation. And most certainly not the politicians in Washington, who virtually rely on the lobbying of these organizations to keep their jobs.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald put it succinctly:
“But what one can say for certain is that there is zero reason for US officials to want an end to the war on terror, and numerous and significant reasons why they would want it to continue. It’s always been the case that the power of political officials is at its greatest, its most unrestrained, in a state of war. Cicero, two thousand years ago, warned that “In times of war, the law falls silent”. John Jay, in Federalist No. 4, warned that as a result of that truth, “nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it … for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans.” If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It’s that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.” – Glenn Greenwald, writing for The Guardian83
Greenwald also notes the hopelessness of combating terrorism with further violence.
“Indeed, virtually every person accused of plotting to target the US with terrorist attacks in last several years has expressly cited increasing US violence, aggression and militarism in the Muslim world as the cause. There’s no question that this ‘war’ will continue indefinitely. There is no question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire.”
But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They’re preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. Only outside compulsion, from citizens, can make an end to all of this possible.”
80 New York Times, “With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan,” April 28, 2013. One particularly salient quote from the article is worth sharing: “No one mentions the agency’s money at cabinet meetings. It is handled by a small clique at the National Security Council, including its administrative chief, Mohammed Zia Salehi, Afghan officials said. Mr. Salehi, though, is better known for being arrested in 2010 in connection with a sprawling, American-led investigation that tied together Afghan cash smuggling, Taliban finances and the opium trade. Mr. Karzai had him released within hours, and the C.I.A. then helped persuade the Obama administration to back off its anticorruption push, American officials said.”
81 New York Times, “THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: KILLINGS; Assassinations Tear Into Iraq’s Educated Class,” February 7, 2004.
82 The Independent, “Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all,” April 1, 2012
83 The Guardian, “The ‘war on terror’ – by design – can never end,” January 4, 2013
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. How close of a relationship did the CIA maintain with Osama bin Laden after Operation Cyclone?
2. Why does the United States consider Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the two largest funders of terrorism, our biggest allies in the region?
3. How closely does the CIA work with the intelligence agencies of these countries?
4. How many agents does the United States have operating in Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and how many atrocities are they responsible for?
5. Why have Al-Qaeda and the United States fought on the same side of multiple wars?
6. Why have so few Al-Qaeda been apprehended after over a decade of fighting the War on Terror and millions of dollars spent?
7. Who has a monetary stake in the proliferation of terrorism, and how much influence do they hold in official U.S. Policy?
Note: Feeling overwhelmed with this material? Take an inspiration break in our Inspiration Center. And remember that no matter how damaging or destructive a person’s behavior is, every person in the world has a heart, and every heart has a place within that wants only to love and be loved.
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Chapter II: The One-Party State
Perhaps the most widely proliferated truism of American patriotism is that the the two-party system is a beacon of democracy. Surely, our system is better than that of Iran, where presidential candidates must be approved by a religious council, or perhaps that of Venezuela, where the majority of the media is state-owned and disseminates propaganda in each election.
Democrats and Republicans are widely different, it seems. At least that is what their hyper-partisan bickering would imply. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama must be unabashed liberals, otherwise why would the Republicans despise them so much? The divide between party faithfuls of different colors runs deep, with each side blaming the entirety of the country’s problems on the other, often resulting in a state of pure hatred and disgust among citizens. One only needs to turn on cable news to see this as a fact.
However, the reality is that Republican and Democrat presidents have closely followed a similar agenda for half a century. The idea that American governance alternates as a sort of give-and-take between liberalism and conservatism is little more than a fantasy. I do not discount that there may be serious and significant differences between Democrat and Republican individuals, many of them members of Congress, and certainly in state legislatures. Yet at the top of the pyramid, where the power to set agendas resides, there is only the Agenda, and the primary difference between the two parties is the speed at which ‘the Agenda’ is advanced.
It is fascinating how Bill Clinton began his presidential campaign with playing a Saxophone on live television, talking about his foray into marijuana, reminiscing about his protest of the Vietnam war, and ended up with perhaps the most conservative administration of any president in modern history. Later, Obama entered the stage as a candidate of change, only to accelerate and consolidate the hegemony of the political elite faster than any predecessor. But lets go beyond rhetoric and examine the records of the last five Presidents, and see exactly how similar their platforms were.
* * * *
“The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners. Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.” – New York Times84
At the end of Reagan’s administration, the incarceration rate was 247 per 100,000 citizens. The demand for prison space had been steadily increasing since the War on Drugs began. Under George H.W. Bush the incarceration rate had increased to 332 per 100,000. It is a common misconception that it is Republicans have the more punitive crime policies.
Under Clinton, the incarceration rate skyrocketed to 476 per 100,000.85 The Clinton administration gave 30 billion dollars to states to fund and expand their prisons,86 and championed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that added 100,000 new police officers.87 The bill was written by current Vice President Joe Biden. The act also expanded the death penalty to be applicable to 60 more offenses, including drug trafficking, and eliminated funding for inmate education.
Private prisons flourished under Bill Clinton. The ACLU in 2011 published a fascinating review of the private prison system and found that since 1990, the private prison population has increased by 1600%.88 The number of private prison systems actually peaked in the year 2000 with 153 facilities.89
The policy that began under Reagan and has been flourishing through both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, and Trump, can only be referred to as ‘mass incarceration’. As of 2013, the United States holds more prisoners than any other country in the world, including China, as well as a larger percentage of prisoners per population than any other country. For an even more sobering comparison, consider that the United States has more people imprisoned today, as a whole and per capita, than Stalin had under his archipelago of gulags.90
Louisiana is perhaps the best example of how corrupted the prison system can become when privatization runs amok. Louisiana has a largely private prison system, and currently has 1 in 86 adults incarcerated, twice the national average and three times that of Iran. Nearly two-thirds of these prisoners are serving time for non-violent offenses.91
Lobbying, along with an incentive of job creation, has resulted in some of the toughest penalties in the country, such as a potential 10 years in prison for writing a bad check. Over half of the prison population returns to the system in five years, without having received any rehabilitation, and being returned to communities devastated largely in part by the continued extraction of the population into prison for non-violent offenses.
84 New York Times, “U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations,” April 23, 2008
85 USA Today, “Study: Prisons Filled At Record Pace in Clinton Years,” February 18, 2001
87 Wikipedia article on the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act
88 (PDF Warning) ACLU.org report titled “Banking on Bondage”
89 Wikipedia article on the Private Prison System
90 New Yorker, “The Caging of America,” January 30, 2012
91 New York Times, “Plantations, Prisons and Profits,” March 25, 2012
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On the campaign trail, Bill Clinton made this promise: “I expect to review our arms sales policy and to take it up with the other major arms sellers of the world as a part of a long-term effort to reduce the proliferation of weapons.”92 And then, in some astounding turn of events (or predictable, for those who have been watching closely), United States arms sales doubled in Clinton’s first year in office alone.93
In 2006, the United Nations convened in order to create a “comprehensive, legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.” The United States was the only country to vote against the measure.94 In 2008, Obama signaled that he would change the course from the Bush administration and take steps to limit arms sales internationally. And similar to nearly 2 decades earlier, United States arms sales tripled in 2011.95 By 2012, Obama had ended negotiations on the U.N. treaty.96 Is it any surprise, considering Obama received more campaign donations from the Defense Industry than McCain?97
One particularly shocking revelation was a program known as ‘Fast and Furious’, where Barack Obama oversaw the initiation and operation of a gun running scheme where arms were sent over the Mexican border and directly into the hands of criminals.98
“Fast and Furious was an operation so cloak-and-dagger Mexican authorities weren’t even notified that thousands of semi-automatic firearms were being sold to people in Arizona thought to have links to Mexican drug cartels. According to ATF whistleblowers, in 2009 the U.S. government began instructing gun store owners to break the law by selling firearms to suspected criminals. ATF agents then, again according to testimony by ATF agents turned whistleblowers, were ordered not to intercept the smugglers but rather to let the guns “walk” across the U.S.-Mexican border and into the hands of Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.” – Forbes
Senior ATF Agent John Dodson, who broke the Fast and Furious story, was alarmed when he noted that the crime rates and violence in Mexico and at the border increased significantly after he began allowing, under order, massive amounts of guns to cross the border into the hands of criminals and cartels.
“Dodson said they never did take down a drug cartel. However, he said thousands of Fast and Furious weapons are still out there and will be claiming victims on both sides of the border for years to come.” – CBS99
On December 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed on duty, with a gun given to criminals by the ATF.100
92 Mother Jones, “Arms Around the World,” August 1999
93 Alternet.org “Hightower: Clinton’s Foreign Jobs Program,” April 25, 2000
94 Wikipedia article on the Arms Trade Treaty
95 Mother Jones, “CHARTS: US Overseas Arms Sales More Than Tripled in 2011,” August 29, 2012
96 Mother Jones, “Obama Administration Ducks for Cover on UN Arms Trade Treaty,” July 31, 2012
97 Time, “Obama Beats McCain in Defense Contributions,” October 31, 2008
98 Forbes, “’Fast And Furious’ Just Might Be President Obama’s Watergate,” September 28, 2011
99 CBS, “Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico,” March 3, 2011
100 Los Angeles Times, “ATF sought to downplay guns scandal, emails show,” July 21, 2011
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A 1999 BBC article titled “Echelon Spy Network Revealed” began with the paragraph: “Imagine a global spying network that can eavesdrop on every single phone call, fax or e-mail, anywhere on the planet. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s true.” The network, known as Echelon, traces its roots all the way back to the John F. Kennedy presidency, and had been expanding ever since.101 In 1992, the Director of the NSA described the goal of the program in simple terms: ‘Global Access’.102 The agenda for mass surveillance was institutionalized long before most Americans recognize.
Then there was George Bush’s illegal warrantless wiretapping. Began in 2001, the program allowed the NSA to monitor communications between United States citizens and those abroad without appropriate checks and balances.103 Interestingly, the groundwork for warrantless wiretapping had actually been laid out by Bill Clinton.104 During his presidency, he slowly expanded the reach of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the capability of the NSA to classify and withhold information about their activities. When the revelations about the program were made in 2006, they were controversial, but Congress repeatedly renewed the NSA’s license without much of an uproar from the public.
By the 2008 election, citizens were growing weary of the spying program and Barack Obama capitalized on this sentiment. He vowed to end warrantless wiretapping and during his primary campaign he went as far as to say he would filibuster the extension of the FISA legislation, responsible for allowing the expanded spying capabilities.105
“When I’m president, one of the first things I’m going to do is call in my attorney general and say to him or her, I want you to review every executive order that was issued by George Bush, whether it relates to warrantless wiretaps or detaining people or reading e- mails, or whatever it is. I want you to go through every single one of them and if they are unconstitutional, if they’re encroaching on civil liberties unnecessarily, we are going to overturn them. We’re going to change them.” – Barack Obama, 2007106
He first broke this promise after winning the primary campaign, in July 2008, when he was one of 68 Senators who voted to renew the NSA capabilities.107 Less than a year later, Barack Obama would vastly broaden the legal argument the Executive branch used to justify the spying, and exempted the Government from the possibility of being sued thanks to a liberal interpretation of a clause in the Patriot Act.108
“In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad ‘state secrets’ privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and – even if what they’re doing is blatantly illegal and they know it’s illegal – you are barred from suing them unless they ‘willfully disclose’ to the public what they have learned,” – Glenn Greenwald
On June 6th 2013, it was revealed that Barack Obama oversaw the largest infringement of the Fourth Amendment in the history of the United States with the construction of a veritable surveillance state, capable of tracking the movements and communications of every American citizen. We now know that the NSA and United Kingdom counterpart GHCQ:
• Collect the domestic meta-data of both parties in a phone-call.109
• Set up fake internet cafes to steal data.110
• Have intercepted the phone calls of at least 35 world leaders, including allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.111
• Can tap into the underwater fiber-optic cables that carry a majority of the world’s internet traffic.112
• Track communications within media institutions such as Al Jazeera.113
• Have ‘bugged’ the United Nations headquarters.114
• Have set up a financial database to track international banking and credit card transactions.115
• Collect and store over 200 million domestic and foreign text messages each day.116
• Collect and have real-time access to browsing history, email, and social media activity. To gain access, an analyst simply needs to fill out an on-screen form with a broad justification for the search that is not reviewed by any court or NSA personnel.117
“I, sitting at my desk, could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”. – Edward Snowden
• Create maps of the social networks of United States citizens.118
• Have access to smartphone app data.119
• Use spies in embassies to collect data, often by setting up ‘listening stations’ on the roofs of buildings.120
• Use fake LinkedIn profiles and other doctored web pages to secretly install surveillance software in unwitting companies and individuals.121
• Track reservations at upscale hotels.122
• Have intercepted the talking-points of world leaders before meetings with Barack Obama.123
• Can crack encryption codes on cellphones.124
• Have implanted software on over 100,000 computers worldwide allowing them to hack data without internet connection, using radio waves.125
• Have access to computers through fake wireless connections.126
• Monitor communications in online games such as World of Warcraft.127
• Intercept shipping deliveries and install back-door devices allowing access.128
• Have direct access to the data centers of Google, Yahoo and other major companies.129
• Covertly and overtly infiltrate United States and foreign IT industries to weaken or gain access to encryption, often by collaborating with software companies and internet service providers themselves. They are also, according to an internal document, “responsible for identifying, recruiting and running covert agents in the global telecommunications industry.”130
• Use “honey traps”, luring targets into compromising positions using sex.131
• Share raw intelligence data with Israel. Only official U.S. communications are affected, and there are no legal limits on the use of the data from Israel.132
• Spy on porn habits of activists to discredit them.133
Possibly the most shocking revelation was made on February 24, 2014. Internal documents show that the NSA is attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with “extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction.”134 The documents revealed a top-secret unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Unit, or JTRIG.
Two of the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in an effort to discredit a target, and to use social sciences such as psychology to manipulate online discourse and activism in order to generate a desirable outcome. The unit posts false information on the internet and falsely attributes it to someone else, pretend to be a ‘victim’ of a target they want to discredit, and posts negative information on various forums. In some instances, to discredit a target, JTRIG sends out ‘false flag’ emails to family and friends.
One slide describes the methods to discredit a company: Leak confidential information to the press, post negative information on forums, interfere with business deals and ruin business relationships.
The use of psychological techniques to fracture activist groups and to ‘game’ online discourse is very interesting. One document describes creating tension in a group by exploiting personal power, pre-existing cleavages and minor ideological differences. In online discourse, another document describes how to use ‘mirroring’ of language cues, expressions and emotions, and the adjustment of speech, patterns and language to manipulate opinion.
Consider the words of former NSA employee turned whistleblower Russ Tice:
“They went after – and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things – they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the … judicial.
But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. Heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court. I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials.
They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House – their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after … U.S. companies that that do international business. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs … like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups.
Don’t tell me that there’s no abuse, because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it. And in some cases, I literally was involved in the technology that was going after this stuff. And you know, when I said to [former MSNBC show host Keith] Olbermann, [that] my particular thing is high tech and you know, what’s going on is the other thing, which is the dragnet. The dragnet is what Mark Klein is talking about, the terrestrial dragnet. Well my specialty is outer space. I deal with satellites, and everything that goes in and out of space. I did my spying via space. So that’s how I found out about this… I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on.
Now here’s the big one. I haven’t given you any names. This was is summer of 2004. One of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated … with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator from Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives right now, would you? It’s a big white house in Washington, DC. That’s who they went after. And that’s the president of the United States now.” – Russ Tice, NSA Whistleblower135
On March 5, 2014, it was revealed that the CIA, with the knowledge of Barack Obama, spied on members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the group tasked with overseeing clandestine agency activities and preventing abuses.136 The implications are complete subversion of oversight on domestic spying. Collectively, the evidence of the burgeoning security state under Barack Obama reveals a global information grid with real time access that targets both domestic citizens and lawmakers in addition to foreign people and governments.
101 Duncan Campbell, Investigative Journalist, “Echelon: World under watch, an introduction,” June 29, 2000
102 National Security Archives hosted document, “Farewell from Vice Admiral William O. Studeman to NSA Employees, April 8, 1992.”
103 Washington Post, “Bush Administration’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program,” February 11, 2008
104 The history of Warrantless Wiretapping is laid out thoroughly at the Daily Kos Wikipedia. Each event on their timeline has a link to a primary document or an accurate source.
105 CNN, “Obama’s surveillance vote spurs blogging backlash,” July 11, 2008
106 CNN, “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” June 10, 2013
107 New York Times, “Obama’s wiretapping stand enrages many supporters,” June 2, 2008
108 RawStory, “Obama Administration Quietly expands the Bush Administration’s Legal Defense of Wiretapping,” April 7, 2009
109 The Guardian, “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily,” June 6, 2013
110 The Guardian, “GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits,” June 17, 2013
111 The Guardian, “NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts,” October 25, 2013
112 The Guardian, “GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications,” June 21, 2013
113 Der Spiegel, “Snowden Document: NSA Spied On Al Jazeera Communications,” August 31, 2013
114 Reuters, “U.S. spy agency bugged U.N. headquarters: Germany’s Spiegel,” August 25, 2013
115 Der Spiegel, “’Follow the Money’: NSA Spies on International Payments,” September 15, 2013
116 BBC, “Report: NSA ‘collected 200m texts per day‘,” January 17, 2014
117 The Guardian, “XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’,” July 31, 2013
118 New York Times,”N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens,” September 28, 2013
119 Der Spiegel, “iSpy: How the NSA Accesses Smartphone Data,” September 9, 2013
120 Der Spiegel, “Photo Gallery: Spies in the Embassy,” October 27, 2013
121 The Independent, “GCHQ used ‘Quantum Insert’ technique to set up fake LinkedIn pages and spy on mobile phone giants,” November 10, 2013
122 Der Spiegel, “‘Royal Concierge’: GCHQ Monitors Diplomats’ Hotel Bookings,” November 17, 2013
123 New York Times, “No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A.,” November 2, 2013
124 Washington Post, “By cracking cellphone code, NSA has capacity for decoding private conversations,” December 13, 2013
125 New York Times, “N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers,” January 15, 2014
126 ArsTechnica, “Your USB cable, the spy: Inside the NSA’s catalog of surveillance magic,” December 31, 2013
127 New York Times, “Spies Infiltrate a Fantasy Realm of Online Games,” December 9, 2013
128 Der Spiegel, “Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit,” December 29, 2013
129 Washington Post, “NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say,” October 30, 2013.
130 The Guardian, “Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security,” September 6, 2013
131 NBC, “Snowden Docs: British Spies Used Sex and ‘Dirty Tricks’,” February 7, 2014
132 The Guardian, “NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel,” September 11, 2013
133 Huffington Post, “Top-Secret Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit ‘Radicalizers’,” November 26, 2013
134 The Intercept, “How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations,” February 24, 2014
135 Russ Tice’s interview available here. Partial transcript available here.
136 The Guardian, “Obama knew CIA secretly monitored intelligence committee, senator claims,” March 5, 2014
* * * *
It is another common misconception that during Republican presidencies we have periods of war, and during Democratic presidencies we have periods of peace. Of ‘official’ wars, it is certainly the case that the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq war were begun by George H.W. and George W. Bush. Though it is important to quantify ‘official’ because there has not been a true declaration of war since World War II. After all, Bill Clinton dropped bombs on no less than four sovereign countries: Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, and Sudan.
And Clinton was able to get away with maintaining one of the darkest stains on America’s soiled history: the full-force economic sanctions against Iraq that began with the first Gulf war and ended after Saddam’s fall in 2003. The sanctions killed 567,000 children according to the British Medical Societies Lancet.137 (Later studies have argued the number 350,000 children to be more accurate). The total number of deaths including adults is thought to be much higher. United Nations ambassador Madeline Albright, when asked about these numbers, coldly stated “The price is worth it.” This statement truly illuminates the attitude of those who set the agenda: Cold indifference to life on the grand chessboard of geopolitics.
Obama’s first major act of war was a no-fly zone over Libya which resulted in the removal of Muammar Gaddafi. The media had a well orchestrated propaganda campaign that garnered significant public support.
His second major act of war was the arming of Syrian rebels, undoubtedly prolonging the horrific civil war. Some of the groups that form the opposition are terrorist organizations, which mirrors the policies of Carter and Reagan arming terrorist groups in Afghanistan under Operation Cyclone.138
But the true depths of Obama’s war mongering resides in his constant and silent drone war. A policy that started under W. Bush, Obama expanded the use of drones extensively. He allowed the usage of Signature Strikes, whereby drone operators bomb people they do not know, based on movements they find suspicious.139
Worst of all is the policy of double tapping, bombing the same scene twice after rescuers have come to try and help their fellow citizens.140 Obama’s drones even bombed funerals.141 While the death toll of the drone war may not be as high as the conventional wars of the Bush family, the moral depravity certainly gives them a run for their money. The argument that drones are an alternative method to direct personnel involvement leaves out these cold facts.
It is important to note the presence of ‘blowback’: the concept that bombing funerals and responders to attacks will create a whole new generation of terrorists. It is almost a forbidden word in the mainstream media. For example, Ron Paul was ridiculed by pundits across the political spectrum on cable television when he insisted that blowback was a reality. While they deny it in public, many groups secretly relish the idea that their intangible enemy will only grow stronger while their profits grow larger. Drones are helping usher in the era of endless war.
Another aspect of Barack Obama’s capacity to wage war could be seen in his secretive ‘kill list’, which was a collection of singled out individuals deemed to pose a threat to the United States and selected for targeted killing.142 The list is known to include American citizens such as Anwar Al Alwaki, raising serious questions regarding human rights and legality.143
137 The Nation, “A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions,” November 15, 2001
138 ABC News, “U.S. Declares Syria Rebel Group Terrorists, Sending Message to Opposition,” December 12, 2012
139 New York Times, “The ‘Signature Strikes’ Program,” May 29, 2013
140 The Guardian, “US drone strikes target rescuers in Pakistan – and the west stays silent,” August 20, 2012
141 Salon, “U.S. Again Bombs Mourners,” June 4, 2012
142 The Guardian, “Obama’s secret kill list – the disposition matrix,” July 14, 2013
143 New York Times, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” March 29, 2012
* * * *
Private Military and Intelligence Contractors
It has always been hard to tell exactly how many private contractors are employed by the Federal government, and how many of those are under the umbrella of the defense industry. It was under Reagan that the Pentagon’s privatization agenda began, and it has continued ever since. An NYU study on the size of government shows that the use of private contractors increased under the Clinton administration by about 25%.144 It is known that Clinton hired KBR, at the time owned by Halliburton, to build military bases and support troops in Kosovo.145
It was under the administration of George W. Bush, with the Iraq war, when the use of private contractors skyrocketed. By 2008, the number of private contractors in use in Iraq was 155,000, more than the number of troops, a degree of privatization unprecedented in modern warfare.146 The public became acquainted with the likes of Blackwater under the Bush administration, with events such as the unprovoked massacres in Baghdad and Fallujah.147
During his campaign, Obama promised to cut federal spending on private contractors.148 It soon became clear, however, that much of the stimulus money would go straight to their pockets. His Afghanistan surge was primarily accomplished through contractors, which made up half of the military forces in the country by 2009.149 The total number of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan quickly reached 250,000.150 Security contractors (e.g. private military forces) increased by over 400% under Obama and represent a quarter of all contractors employed by the Pentagon.151
The most shocking use of contractors has only recently been revealed. It turns out that they represent a significant amount of the NSA workforce. 483,000 people are employed by private contractors that work with the NSA and have ‘Top Secret’ access.152
The potential for illicit spying and extortion represented by these numbers is so high as to reach certainty.
144 “Fact Sheet on the New True Size of Government,” NYU, Published for the Brookings Institution (PDF Warning)
145 Wikipedia article on KBR
146 The Christian Science Monitor, “A lesson from Iraq war: How to outsource war to private contractors,” March 19, 2013
147 USA Today, “What Exactly Happened That Day in Fallujah?” June 11, 2007
148 National Journal, “Cut Federal Contract Spending By At Least 10 Percent,” June 10, 2009 (If link fails, check here)
149 Talking Points Memo, “DOD: Obama’s Afghan Surge Will Rely Heavily On Private Contractors,” December 15, 2009
150 CommonDreams, “Obama Has 250,000 ‘Contractors’ in Iraq and Afghan Wars, Increases Number of Mercenaries,” June 1, 2009, written by Jeremy Scahill
151 Salon, “Obama resides over a private contractor boom,” February 24, 2004
152 Salon, “500,000 contractors can access NSA data hordes,” June 11, 2013
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The CIA has an official policy of ‘rendition’, where they send suspected terrorists to be interrogated in foreign countries, bypassing United States torture laws. The process was used extensively during George W. Bush’s administration. But did you know that the process began under Clinton? This PBS Frontline report confirms that the rendition process began in 1995.153
In 2007, Obama wrote an article in the Foreign Affairs journal stating:
“To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people… This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law.”154
Yet the process of rendition has continued. The Washington Post reported that the Obama administration “embraced rendition” and consistently resisted lawmakers efforts to reform the policy.155
153 PBS Frontline, “Rendition Timeline.”
154 Foreign Affairs, “Renewing American Leadership,” June 2007
155 Washington Post, “Renditions continue under Obama, despite due-process concerns,” January 1, 2013
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Under President Bill Clinton, a provision was added to the Defense Appropriations Bill that allowed the Pentagon to transfer unused military assets to local police departments around the country.156 The program continued through President Bush and expanded throughout the Obama presidency.
“[Fiscal Year] 11 has been a historic year for the program. We reutilized more than $500M, that is million with an M, worth of property in FY 11. This passes the previous mark by several hundred million dollars.” – Disposition Services157
The equipment gifted to police departments range from assault rifles and bayonets to massive vehicles such as the MRAP, which stands for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected, of which 500 municipalities received for free from the Department of Defense in 2013.158
There is also the troubling trend of the growth of asset forfeiture, the process by which, having granted itself the power to do so, the government seizes any cash, cars, property and more it can reasonably connect to a crime. This ability incentivizes sending out specialized, militarized police such as SWAT teams to serve drug warrants, as the teams themselves are expensive to maintain. This program started long before the Obama presidency, but it has continued to swell, with the Justice Department Forfeiture fund reaching $1.8 billion in 2011, with nearly half of a billion being returned to the local police departments that led the raid.159
156 Huffington Post, “7 Ways The Obama Administration Has Accelerated Police Militarization,” July 10, 2013
157 Disposition Services, “October 2011 Newsletter.” (PDF Warning)
158 Reason, “Police in Columbia, South Carolina and 499 Other Cities Get “Free” Tanks,” November 18, 2013
159 Huffington Post, “7 Ways The Obama Administration Has Accelerated Police Militarization,” July 10, 2013
* * * *
A key process in globalization involves removing national sovereignty in favor of trade agreements that favor the rights of corporations. Bill Clinton championed the NAFTA agreement, which among other issues superseded articles in the Mexican constitution, water rights in Canada, and allows corporations to sue nations when they are in violation of the trade act.160
Regardless of your opinion on NAFTA and other trade agreements, Obama took the concept of corporate power over national sovereignty to a whole new mind-blowing level with the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a trade proposal that only became public knowledge when the documents were leaked (Check the footnote to read the whole document).161 Why the secrecy? The TPP agreement bestows radical new powers on corporations, including establishing an international tribunal that would override domestic law and would have the power to issue sanctions against governments for failing to abide by their ruling.
The TPP runs contrary to Obama’s statement during his 2008 presidential campaign:
“We will not negotiate bilateral trade agreements that stop the government from protecting the environment, food safety, or the health of its citizens; give greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. investors; require the privatization of our vital public services; or prevent developing country governments from adopting humanitarian licensing policies to improve access to life-saving medications.”162
Congressman Alan Grayson summed it up nicely: “It’s all about tying the hands of democratically elected governments, and shunting authority over to the non-elected for the benefit of multinational corporations. It’s an assault on democratic government.”163
The TPP has what is called an ‘investor-state dispute settlement mechanism’ which allow companies and investors to sue governments for losses of profits due to the government’s policies.164 The deliberations would be undertaken by an international group of corporate lawyers and threatens to overrule democracies and threaten our legal rights.
It is not an exaggeration to say that in many instances this agreement gives more power to corporations than governments.
160 Wikipedia article on NAFTA
161 TPP Document
162 (PDF Warning) 2008 DNCC Platform, available here.
163 Huffington Post, “Alan Grayson On Trans-Pacific Partnership: Obama Secrecy Hides ‘Assault On Democratic Government‘,” June 18, 2013.
164 Union Solidarity International, “TPP and TTIP: the corporate coup behind the acronyms,” November 18, 2013
* * * *
The One-Party State is the result of special interests, economic and military intelligence having gained a strong enough foothold in Washington to subvert the political process. The saying that power is in guns and money has never been truer. The corruption has been heavily and cleverly obfuscated behind a wall of relentless partisan rhetoric that magnify the small differences between presidential candidates.
Consider the major initiatives of the Obama presidency. His Affordable Care Act was championed as a bastion of liberal reform, but in reality it is simply forcing Americans to purchase health plans from private corporations. His raising of the top tax bracket was proffered as proof of a liberal agenda, however the tax burden is still squarely on the middle class. In addition, the wealthiest Americans are virtually unaffected, as their wealth resides in assets and investments, not income. We are left with a platform that is nearly indistinguishable from his predecessors, from which Obama promised significant change.
When George Bush bombs a foreign country, liberals cry foul and protest in droves. When Obama does the same thing, the previous protestors often become supporters of the policy. The same phenomenon can be seen on the other side of the aisle. Conservatives are quick to criticize the expansion of programs under Democratic presidents, but stand silent while Reagan and the Bush family oversaw many of the largest expansions of the Federal government and budget in the history of the United States.
It should be clear after even a cursory inspection of the legacies of presidencies from the last 30 years that there is very little tangible differences between the two parties. The shockingly establishment-oriented agenda of all presidents ought to be waking up millions of people to this truth.
Can we work within the system to change the One Party State? How do we approach future elections knowing that there are no real alternatives to be found within the two parties? Even candidates with exceptionally favorable rhetoric cannot be trusted to translate their platform into actual policies.
It is possible to dismiss the previous two chapters as a result of ‘market forces’, that endless war and the One-Party state are the result of uncoordinated actors in a free market. Even if this was the case, the implications and subsequent need for reform would be tremendous. The result can accurately be described as the dirty ‘F’ word: Fascism. I understand that there will be a lot who disagree with this designation; I argue that the term has many different meanings and many prominent people have used it in different ways. If you feel that another term best describes the phenomenon, that is OK, ultimately it is not important what semantics we apply.
Fascism (or whichever term you prefer) is appropriate because the system has evolved into collusion between the military and economic entities to mutually ensure each others entrenchment. It has grown out of control, and perhaps no evidence is stronger than the fact that the media almost invariably refuses to indicate something might be wrong, as they have been enveloped by the system.
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. What is responsible for the massive disconnect between lack of differences between presidential candidates and the vitriolic rhetoric in the media and on Capitol Hill?
2. Why did Barack Obama reversed his position on so much of his campaign platform?
3. What forces are the driving factors in the constant overseas military and economic hegemony?
4. Who is driving the creation of agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and where does the order of secrecy come from?
5. Which covert institutions could be influencing the policy of elected officials?
* * * *
Chapter III: Psychopathy, Power and Politics
“There is no such thing, in the psychopathic universe, as the ‘merely weak’. Whoever is weak is also a sucker; that is, someone who demands to be exploited.” – Psychologist Robert Rieber165
What exactly does the word mean? Entertainment media bombards us with a particular version of the psychopath, one that is irrational, dangerous and violent. Someone who doesn’t fit in, who ‘just doesn’t seem right’. Is this an accurate description?
Dr. Robert D. Hare, an eminent psychologist on the subject of psychopathy, portrays the disorder in a drastically different light. In his book Without Conscience, he describes psychopaths as being conscienceless yet rational, not suffering from any insanity or debilitation; instead they are logical, manipulative, predisposed to crime, selfish and without guilt, shame, remorse or empathy.166 In other words, these men and women are not mentally ill in the sense that we traditionally imagine. Psychopathy is surely an illness, but it is not a neurosis that will manifest symptoms others can easily perceive. Often, the psychopath will be aware of his condition and completely conceal his aberrant traits.
In Without Conscience, Dr. Hare presents numerous case studies and statistics to illuminate the world of the psychopath; the evidence points towards a world full of people programmed for evil. Dr. Hare stresses multiple times that the psychopath is someone who has a strong desire for power and the need to manipulate others, not for personal gain but simply for the sake of manipulation. While some psychopaths are erratic, others have the ability to completely conceal their condition behind a carefully constructed social persona.
Dr. Hare’s list of psychopathic personality traits include:
• Displaying glibness and superficial charm
• Being in constant need of stimulation and prone to excessive boredom
• Acting in a conning or manipulative way
• Showing shallow emotional responses
• Acting out promiscuous sexual behavior
• Behaving irresponsibly
• Avoiding long term relationships
• Feeling a grandiose sense of self worth
• Lying repeatedly without remorse
• Lacking any remorse or guilt
• Lacking empathy for others
• Having poor behavioral controls
• Displaying behavioral problems early on in life
• Behaving impulsively
• Failing to accept responsibility for actions
• Displaying signs of criminal diversity
Dr. Hare’s predecessor Harvey Cleckly, perhaps the first psychologist to study the psychopathic phenomenon decades earlier, compiled a similar list:
• Superficial charm and average intelligence.
• Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.
• Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
• Untruthfulness and insincerity.
• Lack of remorse or shame.
• Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.
• Poor judgment and failure to learn from experience.
• Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.
• General poverty in major affective reactions.
• Specific loss of insight.
• Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.
• Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without.
• Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.
Most of the case studies Dr. Hare presents in his book are from the prison population and anecdotal accounts from those who have been abused. This is a natural, structural problem in the study of psychopathy: the study is limited for the most part to the ‘Unsuccessful Psychopath’, those who could not conceal their traits or whose social circumstances led to blue-collar crime.
Yet Dr. Hare also spends some significant time devoted to the ‘Subdeviant Criminal’, the psychopath who has control over his deviance and the ability to hide it from the populace. Instead of the petty criminal, these men and women occupy positions in business, government, industry, and law. Their condition goes entirely unnoticed by the populace; their employers, peers, even their family and those who love them are fooled.
How can such deception be possible? Consider that psychopathy is not an ‘acquired’ illness. Instead, it has strong genetic components and manifests itself in early childhood.167 168 169 170 From an early age, the psychopath recognizes that to fit into society in any manner they need to develop to ability to lie extensively. Over time, they become exceptionally good at it. Their entire public persona becomes one complex act, a web of lies to hide their deviant personality.
165 Professor Robert W. Rieber, a Fellow at Columbia University and eminent Psychologist and Historian. Quote available here, taken from his book The Individual, Communication and Society: Essays in Memory
166 When discussing books, I will try my best to find a publicly available PDF; For Without Conscience, I was unable to. You can view the details of the book on Amazon.com here.
167 Blonigen, Daniel M. et. al. (2005), “Psychopathic personality traits: heritability and genetic overlap with internalizing and externalizing psychopathology.” Psychol Med
168 Glenn, Andrea L. et. al. (2011), “Evolutionary theory and psychopathy.” Aggression and Violent Behavior (PDF Warning)
169 Caspi, A, et. al. (2002). “Role of Genotype in the Cycle of Violence in Maltreated Children.” Science
170 Tikkanen, Roope et. al. (2011). “Psychopathy, PCL-R, and MAOA genotype as predictors of violent reconvictions”. Psychiatry Research
* * * *
A series of studies published in Psychological Science highlights the pleasure that persons with psychopathic tendencies derive from abusing others. These studies reveal that certain people take great pleasure in sadistic behavior, suggesting that in these subjects there is an “intrinsic motivation to inflict suffering on innocent others, even at a personal cost.”171
In one experiment, researcher Erin Buckels, from the University of British Columbia, found that there is a certain subset of people who chose to intensify the discomfort of others through directed white noise once they found that there would be no consequences for their actions. They were also willing to expend extra time and energy to be able to amplify the discomfort they were causing their ‘opponent’.
“Some find it hard to reconcile sadism with the concept of ‘normal’ psychological functioning, but our findings show that sadistic tendencies among otherwise well-adjusted people must be acknowledged,” – Erin Buckels
“The researchers hope that these new findings will help to broaden people’s view of sadism as an aspect of personality that manifests in everyday life, helping to dispel the notion that sadism is limited to sexual deviants and criminals,” – Association for Psychological Science
Erin Buckels concludes that her research may offer valuable insights into domestic abuse, animal abuse, and military and police brutality, through the understanding that disposition to sadism and abuse is a personality trait that manifests itself in every day life. The true insights which can be derived from her work and those of other psychopathy researchers go much deeper than police brutality; they shed much needed light on the widespread relationship between evil and power.
171 Association for Psychological Science, “Everyday Sadists Take Pleasure In Others’ Pain,” September 12, 2013
* * * *
Understanding the nature of psychopathy alone does not reveal the full picture. Numerous researchers have differentiated between ‘primary psychopathy’, that which is genetic, and ‘secondary psychopathy’, that which is acquired through environment.172, 173, 174 Unlike the primary psychopath, who is born with their condition and lacks entirely the capacity for empathy and other higher human emotions, the secondary psychopath occasionally manifests these traits.
In other words, non-psychopathic individuals can exhibit psychopathic behaviors through the conditioning of their environment. Two well known studies in psychology underscore this.
The first is the Milgram Experiment. A volunteer would be placed at a booth with an apparatus that sends an electric shock to a person in another room. The volunteer believes the man in the other room is a fellow volunteer; in reality he is an actor that is not actually receiving electric shocks. The volunteer asks the actor a series of questions, a wrong answer means the use of an increasingly high voltage of shocking.
The volunteer would be prompted by a man in a lab coat to continue administering the shocks long after it had become unsafe. The verbal prodding would range between ‘Please continue’ and ‘You have no other choice, you must continue’. After the shock reached 300 volts, the actor would stop answering, but the man in the lab coat would continue insisting on shocks. Dr. Stanley Milgram repeatedly found that nearly 2/3rds of people would continue to the maximum voltage of 450, long after they had believed their peer to be incapacitated.
Regarding the experiment, Milgram wrote:
“Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.”
The second experiment is the Stanford Prison Experiment. Volunteers were asked to simulate a prison in Stanford’s psychology hall; half of the participants simulated prisoners and the other half guards. The guards were told to make the prisoners feel powerless though not resort to violence. Zimbardo, the lead experimenter, found that many of the guards stepped far beyond the boundaries of what had been predicted, leading to dangerous and psychologically damaging situations. A third of the guards had displayed ‘genuine sadistic tendencies’. Some prisoners were emotionally traumatized and had to leave the experiment early. Zimbardo argued that his experiment shows that people internalize authority and submission.
Though the nature of the Stanford Prison Experiment does not lend itself to empiricism, it does give some credence to the idea that ‘power corrupts’ and changes people. Furthermore, an experiment published in August 2012 by the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed definite psychological changes associated with power. It found that people who considered themselves in positions of power literally perceived the world around them differently.175
We would like to think that humanity has evolved since these experiments took place, and since the atrocities that were revealed after World War II. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In 2008, the Stanley Milgram study was reproduced, with only slight alterations to conform to modern ethical standards, and found the exact same results: A vast majority of participants were willing to inflict significant pain on another human if pressured to do so by perceived authority.176
We do not need to rely on psychological studies to see the power of perceived authority causing abuses: we have tangible evidence of the relationship emerging frequently from the War on Terror. Not long ago, it was revealed that the CIA made doctors and psychologists working at various Department of Defense institutions violate the ethical codes of their profession in order to become involved with the torture and degrading treatment of terror suspects.177
“Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill.” – The Guardian
The report, compiled by the Taskforce on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers, supported by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP), found that doctors working with the Department of Defense and CIA routinely participated in waterboarding, sleep deprivation and force-feeding, the latter being against the rules of World Medical Association and the American Medical Association, while gathering and sharing intelligence.
“The American public has a right to know that the covenant with its physicians to follow professional ethical expectations is firm regardless of where they serve. It’s clear that in the name of national security the military trumped that covenant, and physicians were transformed into agents of the military and performed acts that were contrary to medical ethics and practice. We have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again.” – Dr Gerald Thomson, professor of medicine emeritus at Columbia University and member of the taskforce.
While participation in waterboarding and force-feeding may not be shocking to the desensitized public’s sensibilities, it is still very revealing that physicians and psychologists who would otherwise balk at the suggestion that they would violate their professions ethical codes, do so without hesitation when it is done in the name of War. And after all, the United States did sentence Japanese war criminals to death for the act of waterboarding during the International Military Tribunal for the Far East following World War II.178
Armed with this context, it is easy to understand the ease with which psychopaths can manipulate institutions and societies. A majority of people do not even have the psychological capacity to refuse authority, at least under situations of pressure. Putting the average citizen in positions of minor authority such as a police officer can cause behavioral and physiological changes in that person, disposing them to abuse. Therefore a psychopath in a position of power essentially has a vast pool of tools at their disposal to act out their twisted desires of manipulation and control.
172 Newman, Joseph P. et. al. (2005), “Validating a Distinction Between Primary and Secondary Psychopathy With Measures of Gray’s BIS and BAS Constructs”. Journal of Abnormal Psychology
173 Skeem, Jennifer et. al. (2007), “Two Subtypes of Psychopathic Violent Offenders That Parallel Primary and Secondary Variants”. Journal of Abnormal Psychology (PDF Warning)
174 Dean, Andy C. et. al. (2013), “Secondary psychopathy, but not primary psychopathy, is associated with risky decision-making in noninstitutionalized young adults”. Elsevier
175 Yapp, Andy et. al. (2012). “The powerful size others down: The link between power and estimates of others’ size.” The Journal of Experimental Psychology. (PDF Warning)
176 BBC, “People ‘still willing to torture‘,” December 19, 2008
177 The Guardian, “CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds,” November 4, 2013
178 Huffington Post, “Yes, National Review, We Did Execute Japanese for Waterboarding,” April 24, 2009
* * * *
Psychopathy is not a rare phenomenon: Dr. Hare estimates that psychopaths consist of 1% of the population, other psychologists have estimates as high as 4%.179 That represents between 3 and 12 million Americans, millions of which are the ‘Subdeviant Criminals’ of Dr. Hare’s lexicon, residing in positions of power with a psychological need to control and manipulate others. They are drawn to certain occupations that allow them to wield power over others, such as police, military, intelligence, and finance. Over time, they begin to saturate important institutions, being more ruthless and willing to cause more destruction in their rise up the ladder of power than their competition.
In the exact same manner that you and I naturally exclude deviants from our social groups, psychopaths naturally exclude those of us who allow conscience and morality to influence our decisions and perceptions. The result is a web of mutual conditioning of ‘evil’, where goals and actions become increasingly removed from the institutions original intention. This process has been occurring for centuries in banks, clandestine agencies, military, police departments, and governments, in nearly every instance hiding behind rhetoric and ideology that masks their true nature.
The rise of this process over decades results in a phenomenon known as Pathocracy.
pathocracy (n). A system of government created by a small pathological minority that takes control over a society.180
Pathocracies have existed throughout history and many exist in the present. Unfortunately, there is a considerable amount of evidence that the United States has evolved into such a system of government, where clandestine and financial institutions saturated with psychopaths have gained enough influence to subvert the democratic process. Their rise to power coincided with the draping of a veil over their existence, through powerful propaganda and subtlety in action. This book is the history of the modern American psychopath in a position of power, and the goal is to lift the veil.
179 Harvard Psychologist Martha Stout makes the 4% claim in her book The Sociopath Next Door.
180 Definition taken from Andrew Lobaczewski, a Polish Psychologist who dedicated his life to studying the Pathocratic phenomenon of the Soviet Bloc. His book Political Ponerology is dense but immensely important. You can read parts of it here.
Note: Feeling overwhelmed with this material? Take an inspiration break in our Inspiration Center. And remember that no matter how damaging or destructive a person’s behavior is, every person in the world has a heart, and every heart has a place within that wants only to love and be loved.
* * * *
Chapter IV: Operation Paperclip
“What you were made to feel was that the country was in desperate peril and we had to do whatever it took to save it.” – Hugh Cunningham, CIA Official181
As the Western Theater of World War II came to a close, there was a mad rush between the Soviet Union and the United States to be the first army to enter and secure Germany. It was not for consideration of land; that would be meted out later during the Yalta and Potsdam conferences. Nor was it to capture the Nazi leadership and bring them to trial for their heinous crimes against humanity.
In fact, the goal was the opposite. The rush to secure Germany was much more about securing Germany’s infrastructure: their leadership and the best minds in intelligence, science and industry. NationalArchives.gov hosts a list of over 1,500 Nazis that were transferred into America, many of them rampant war criminals.182 It has been released to the public only in recent years thanks to the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. The project that oversaw this endeavor is known as Operation Paperclip and was undertaken by the Office Of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA.
President Harry Truman formally ordered the Operation in August 1945, but it had covertly begun months earlier, in May. Truman’s orders expressly forbid the transfer of any person known “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism”.183
This directive was not followed, for it would have prevented the acquisition of a lot of prominent Nazis such as Arthur Rudolph, who endorsed the usage of slave labor from concentration camps for the building of the V2 rocket184 and later became a prominent figure in NASA.185 More people would die building the V2 rocket – a number estimated at 60,000 – than were killed by it in combat.186
The dossiers of prominent Nazis brought into the United States such as Wernher von Braun cannot be found on the National Archives sheet; we can conclude that either identities were faked and whitewashed during the process, or the 1,500 names is an incomplete tally. Regardless, we can conclude that the order of Truman was not heeded, and many former Nazis became entrenched within the United States science, intelligence and industrial industries, undoubtedly contributing to a web of psychopathic conditioning.
There are many interesting profiles of war criminals who found employment in the United States after the war. Krunoslav Draganovic, for example, was a Franciscan priest who actively served the Nazi satellite regime in Croatia, where they were responsible for over 350,000 deaths. He also facilitated the escape of numerous Croatian war criminals through the assets of the clergy. After the war, he was hired as a U.S. spy.187
Kurt Blome was the director of the Nazi Biological Warfare program and former SS officer. He oversaw nerve gas experimentation on prisoners at Auschwitz, and established the bioweapons research center for Heinrich Himmler. One of his experiments involved inoculating prisoners with the plague and recording its progression.188 He was hired by the US Army Chemical Corps in 1951 to work on chemical warfare research.189
The most interesting case study is that of Reinhard Gehlen, a Major General in the German Wehrmacht, close confidant of Hitler, and head of the German Army Intelligence on the Eastern Front. The OSS found that Gehlen’s knowledge of the Soviets that he had gained during World War II was so important that not only did they let him keep his job, he was able to maintain a vast majority of his infrastructure. What became known as the Gehlen organization functioned as a semi-autonomous intelligence unit for the United States and West Berlin, and employed over 100 former Gestapo and SS officers.190
“The Gehlen Organization was the one group that did have networks inside Eastern Europe, and that is why we hired them… Hiring Gehlen was the biggest mistake the US ever made. Our allies said, ‘You are putting Nazis at the senior levels of your intelligence’, and they were right. The Gehlen organization was the primary source of intelligence that claimed that, ‘The Soviets were about to attack West Germany’ …that was the biggest bunch of baloney then and it is still a bunch of baloney today. Gehlen had to make his money by creating a threat that we were afraid of, so we would give him more money to tell us about it.
In my opinion, the Gehlen Organization provided nothing worthwhile for understanding or estimating Soviet military or political capabilities in Eastern Europe or anywhere else. The Gehlen organization had been penetrated by Soviet intelligence and many of the US Nazi assets were now double agents, taking CIA wages and turning around and selling information to the enemy.” – Victor Marchetti, CIA Veteran and former Chief of Soviet Strategic War Plans191
The lack of internal security in the Gehlen Organization was egregious. One former Army Counter-Intelligence Corps officer lamented:
“Recruiting methods then employed were so loose that former German Officers and noncoms were blindly being approached to work for American Intelligence in espionage activity directed against the USSR.”192
Not only did this mean that the Gehlen Organization became saturated with radical Nazis and other fascist elements, it also served as an easy entry of infiltration by the Soviet Union. The organization functioned semi-autonomously so strict controls over their operations was impossible.
The Soviet press did not hesitate to use the Gehlen Organization as an effective propaganda tool, pointing out that the West had maintained the very intelligence unit that was responsible for a long series of crimes against humanity along the Eastern Front of the War. Future Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms stated that:
“The reports in the Soviet-dominated press in Germany concerning the use of former German staff and intelligence is such that there is no question that the Russians know this operation is going on even though they got some of the details wrong… Certainly the fact that so much publicity has been given to this indicates serious flaws in the Operation.”193
One official CIA document titled “Forging an Intelligence Partnership: The CIA and the Origins of the BND, 1945-49”, noted that the Gehlen Organization would take CIA assets that they received and then sell them on the black market for more funds.194 The reference is vague but likely refers to selling arms and ammunition to various underground right wing elements.
Consider this: At the end of the War, the Office of Strategic Services was a small organization of 13,000 members195, and the Gehlen organization consisted of at least 4,000 members by the year 1949.196 Can we accurately say that United States intelligence absorbed the Nazi infrastructure without considering how much of an influence it had on the beginnings of these clandestine institutions?
181 John Marks, “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control” 1979. Despite the sensationalist title, John Marks’ book is a model of academic integrity and a treasure trove of information. The book is derived from information taken from 16,000 CIA files received through the Freedom of Information Act, and interviews with the few officials who would agree to talk. PDF available here.
182 Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Record Group 330), NationalArchives.gov
183 Wikipedia article on Project Paperclip
185 New York Times, “NASA Refuses to Comment on it’s Former Official”, October 18 1984. “Mr. Rudolph directed the building of the Saturn 5 rocket that carried the Apollo astronauts to the moon and managed other space and missile programs… He was awarded the Exceptional Service Medal in 1968 and the Distinguished Service Medal, the agency’s highest honor, the following year.”
187 From the Federation of American Scientists, information uncovered from the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/05/nara050802.html
188 Robert Kirkconnel, “American Heart of Darkness.” Excerpt available here.
189 Wikipedia article on Kurt Blome
190 This information comes from the National Security Archives, a fantastic resource run by George Washington University. They are a leader in hosting important documents and declassifying more through Freedom of Information Act requests. They will be linked to many times throughout this book. The specific information on Reinhard Gehlen can be found here.
191 Christopher Simpson, “Blowback.” Excerpt available here.
192 CIA History Staff, “Forging an Intelligence Partnership: The CIA and the Origins of the BND, 1945-49” (1999). (PDF Warning)
195 Wikipedia article on the Office of Strategic Services
196 CIA History Staff
* * * *
Although the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act has been a wealth of information regarding the early relationships between the CIA and former Nazi’s, there is still a lot that we do not know.
“The Central Intelligence Agency is refusing to provide hundreds of thousands of pages of documents sought by a government working group under a 1998 law that requires full disclosure of classified records related to Nazi war criminals, say Congressional officials from both parties.” – New York Times197
The New York Times article goes on to describe how the CIA has interpreted the Nazi War Crimes Act in an exceptionally narrow fashion, refusing to release many more documents.
“Historians who have studied the documents made public so far have said that at least five associates of the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, the architect of Hitler’s campaign to exterminate Jews, had worked for the CIA.”
Though we can only speculate, it is possible that some of these suppressed files contain collaboration with other elements who assisted in protecting Nazis during and after the fall of the Third Reich. For example, the Red Cross and the Vatican collaborated to smuggle thousands of war criminals to safety immediately after the fall of Nazi Germany.198 They used underground passages known as ‘ratlines’ to keep the men out of sight. The Red Cross issued legitimate travel documents to many Nazi members: it is estimated that over 8,000 SS members ended up in Britain and Canada alone. These revelations shed light on how prominent Nazis such as Adolf Eichmann and Dr. Josef Mengele were able to escape from Germany and hide from Allied authorities and hide out for decades.
197 New York Times, “C.I.A. Said to Rebuff Congress on Nazi Files,” January 30, 2005
198 The Guardian, “Red Cross and Vatican helped thousands of Nazis to escape,” May 25, 2011
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. What effect did the influx of Nazis have on the agenda of the CIA and other institutions that they inhabited?
2. Why was OSS leadership so interested in providing safety for high profile Nazi’s, despite the wishes of the President?
3. Is it possible that the friendly post-war relationship between the Gehlen Organization and the CIA indicates a form of relationship during and before the war as well?
4. What type of influence has the Gehlen Organization had on the development of Western Germany?
* * * *
Chapter V: MK-ULTRA
“In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, the agency gave mind-altering drugs to hundreds of unsuspecting Americans in an effort to explore the possibilities of controlling human consciousness. Many of the human guinea pigs were mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts and prostitutes – ”people who could not fight back,” as one agency officer put it. In one case, a mental patient in Kentucky was dosed with LSD continuously for 174 days.” – New York Times199
MK-ULTRA is the codename given to a CIA research operation into biological behavioral engineering, also known as mind control. Many people are familiar with the operation but incorrectly assume that it was limited to LSD research. While there were plenty of resources devoted to LSD research, it was only one area of a vast field of mind control operations. MK-ULTRA researcher Ike Feldman said himself that:
“The LSD… that was just the tip of the iceberg… Espionage. Assassinations. Dirty tricks. Drug experiments. Sexual encounters and the study of prostitutes for clandestine use. That is what I was doing when I worked for George White and the CIA.”200
MK-ULTRA had several precursors. There was Project Chatter in 1947, which tested drugs such as the infamous Scopolamine during interrogations.201 There was Project Bluebird in 1949, which began studies into hypnosis.202 The document describing the initiation of Project Bluebird outlines these special problems, among many others, that they were hoping to address:
• Can we in a matter of an hour, two hours, one day, etc., induce an hypnotic condition in an unwilling subject to such an extent that he will perform an act for our benefit?
• Can we create by post-hypnotic control an action contrary to an individual’s basic moral principles?
• Can we guarantee total amnesia under any and all conditions?
• Can we “alter” a person’s personality? How long will it hold?
• Can we devise a system for making unwilling subjects into willing agents and then transfer that control to untrained agency agents in the field by use of codes or identifying signs or credentials?203
Project Artichoke began in 1951, with a scope of … “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self-preservation?”204 All of the above projects were shuttled into MK-ULTRA in 1953, under the Technical Services Division, combining over 150 sub-projects205, undertaken at over 80 institutions206 such as universities, hospitals, prisons and pharmaceutical companies. Many of the projects were covertly ran through front organizations without the knowledge of the institution that hosted them.
The experiments and operations under MK-ULTRA have been shrouded in extreme secrecy. When it was enacted, then-CIA Director Allen Dulles exempted the program from normal financial controls, allowed the Technical Services Staff to begin experiments without contracts or written agreements with leadership, and ordered the financial office to pay any cost blindly on the signature of Sidney Gottlieb.207 CIA Document 17748 states that:
“There are just two individuals in TSD who have full substantial knowledge of the program and most of that knowledge is unrecorded. Both are highly skilled, highly motivated, professionally competent individuals. Part of their competence lies in their command of intelligence tradecraft. In protecting the sensitive nature of the American intelligence capability to manipulate human behavior, they apply “need to know” doctrine to their professional associates and their clerical assistants to a maximum degree…
TSD has pursued a policy of minimum documentation in keeping with the high sensitivity of some of the projects… The lack of consistent records precludes use of routine inspection procedures and raised a variety of questions regarding management and fiscal controls.”208
The two individuals the document refers to are likely Sidney Gottlieb, the director of MK-ULTRA, and Richard Helms, the Deputy Director of the CIA. In 1973, when Richard Helms became the Director of the CIA, he ordered all of the available MK-ULTRA files to be destroyed.209 Thanks to a clerical error, about 20,000 files survived the destruction order. However, not only were most of the files destroyed, but many experiments were so sensitive that they were never recorded in the first place, so we must understand that as brutal and astonishing as the recorded experimentation is, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Another file, MK-ULTRA document 87624, states:
“6% of the projects are of such an ultra-sensitive nature that they cannot and should not be handled by means of contracts which would associate CIA or the Government with the work in question. This 6% of the current research effort now lies entirely within two well-defined fields of endeavor… As present this results in ridiculous contracts, often with cut-outs, which do not spell out the scope or intent of the work.”210
The first ‘well-defined field of endeavor’ described by the document is developing the capability of biological and chemical weapons for the purpose of mind control. The second field of endeavor is entirely redacted from the document.
199 New York Times, “Sidney Gottlieb, 80, Dies; Took LSD to C.I.A.,” March 10, 1999
200 Interview excerpt provided by Historian Dick Russell, available here.
201 Wikipedia article on Project Chatter
202 Summary of book “Bluebird” by Colin A. Ross, MD.
203 Declassified CIA document 140401 on Project Bluebird. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
204 Declassifed CIA documents on Project Artichoke available here. See also excellent summary of all declassified CIA documents.
205 1977 Congressional Hearings available on New York Times website here.
206 New York Times, “80 Institutions Used in Mind Control Studies”, August 4, 1977
207 John Marks, “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control” 1979. Despite the sensationalist title, John Marks’ book is a model of academic integrity and a treasure trove of information. The book is derived from information taken from 16,000 CIA files received through the Freedom of Information Act, and interviews with the few officials who would agree to talk. PDF available here
208 Declassified CIA document 17748. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
209 “An Interview with Richard Helms” CIA.gov
210 Declassified CIA document 87624. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
* * * *
Dr. Ewen Cameron was a Scottish-born Psychiatrist who worked in the United States after World War II and subsequently accepted an invitation to contract for the CIA. He would commute to the McGill University system in Canada to conduct experiments on brainwashing, ‘psychic driving’ and other forms of psychological torture. Cameron had a theory that a person with a psychological illness such as schizophrenia would benefit from having their brain essentially wiped clean, presuming the patient would redevelop their cognitive functions without the disorder. The CIA felt that brainwashing had obvious intelligence applications.211
Dr. Cameron had a ‘depatterning’ program he used to erase the minds of his patients that began with 15 – 30 days of ‘sleep therapy’ (sometimes lasting as long as 65 days), where the patient would sleep all day and night, with the exception of three brief periods where a sleep-inducing drug cocktail and electroshock therapy would be administered.
Cameron’s electroshock therapy has been documented to be between 20 – 40 times more intense than the professional standard at the time. Instead of 110 volts at a fraction of a second, Cameron used 150 volts for an initial shock lasting one full second, and then between five and nine additional shocks during the convulsions of the patient, using a muscle relaxant to prevent permanent damage. The next step was to play taped messages to a patient 16 hours a day for multiple months in an attempt to program the desired behavior.212
Over half of his patients have suffered permanent amnesia of their lives before their ‘depatterning’. They were not told that they would be participating in experiments prior to their admittance. A large group of Cameron’s victims brought a lawsuit against the CIA in 1988 which was settled out of court, so the agency would not have to admit any official wrongdoing.
Why the interest in electroshock? CIA Document 190885 reveals that the CIA was interested in the “guaranteed amnesia” that electric shock often resulted in.213
211 John Marks, “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate,” PDF available here
213 Declassified CIA document 190885. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
* * * *
“The C.I.A. used a front organization called the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology to help pay for the work of Dr. Cameron, a psychiatrist who directed the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal. Dr. Cameron died in 1967.
The money was provided to Dr. Cameron as part of the C.I.A.’s effort in the 1950’s and 60’s to develop drugs or techniques that could control human behavior.
Patients of Dr. Cameron were subjected to a regimen that included heavy doses of LSD and barbiturates, the application of powerful electric shocks two or three times a day, and prolonged periods of drug-induced sleep. According to Government records, the patients and their relatives were not told they were taking part in experiments.
“Joseph Rauh, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, said many of Dr. Cameron’s patients ‘were very greatly damaged by the experiments.’” – New York Times214
The use of ‘fronts’, meaning a private enterprise secretly owned by the CIA to conceal affiliations with the agency, is standard practice and widespread through MK- ULTRA. The Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology was nominally associated with Stanford and considered to be relatively prestigious in the field. It would often award ‘cover grants’ to conceal that the bulk of its research had military intelligence applications.215
214 New York Times, “C.I.A. Near Settlement of Lawsuit by Subjects of Mind-Control Tests.” October 6, 1988
215 Document available here.
* * * *
The CIA had an official policy of ‘terminal experiments’, which essentially meant surreptitious administration of drugs to discover how subjects would react when they were not aware they were being experimented on. The justification was that it was the only way to truly discover the reactions of the mind under stress and exposed to various mind control chemicals. The policy was upheld even after it led to deaths.
One high profile fatality was that of Dr. Frank Olson, a scientist from the Army Chemical Corps’ Special Operations Division. During a joint Army-CIA gathering at Deep Creek Lodge in the woods of Northern Maryland, Sidney Gottlieb added LSD to the drinks of the few men in attendance, and did not inform them until the effects started to begin.
Dr. Frank Olson was one of these men, and unlike his peers, he was not able to handle the effects of the psychedelic. His colleagues described his reaction as ‘psychotic’. He survived the trip, but entered a deep depression and ended up jumping out a window of the window of a New York hotel a week later.
The death of Dr. Olsen prompted an internal review by the CIA of surreptitious testing, but the policy was resumed just a few months later. One CIA document, issued nearly a decade after Olsen’s death, affirmed the internal consensus of unwitting administration of drugs: “(Officers) argued for the continuation of unwitting testing, using as the principal point that controlled testing cannot be depended upon for accurate results. General Carter, Mr. Kirkpatrick, and I do not disagree with this point.”216
Another aspect of unwitting testing involves experimentation of children. Although most of MK-ULTRA experiments on minors has been covered up, a New York Times article from 1995 reveals a disturbing glimpse, stating that:
“About 9000 Americans, including children and newborns, were used in 154 radiation tests sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission, the Energy Department’s Cold War predecessor, Government officials said today… Some participated with little or no knowledge of risks they faced.”217
216 Document text available at Cryptome.org here.
217 New York Times, “Officials Cite More U.S. Tests With Radiation,” February 10, 1995. (PDF Warning)
* * * *
One program uncovered during the internal CIA review centered around George White, a CIA associate who formally worked for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The CIA considered White’s position ideal, as it gave him unrestricted access to a variety of drugs without suspicion. Under CIA auspices, George White set up ‘safehouses’ in New York and later San Francisco, fully equipped with covert video and audio surveillance equipment. The goal was to study the use of prostitutes for covert intelligence.218
“TSS officials wanted to find out everything they could about how to apply sex to spying, and the prostitute project became a general learning and then training ground for CIA carnal operations. After all, states one TSS official, “We did quite a study of prostitutes and their behavior…. At first nobody really knew how to use them. How do you train them? How do you work them? How do you take a woman who is willing to use her body to get money out of a guy to get things which are much more important, like state secrets. I don’t care how beautiful she is—educating the ordinary prostitute up to that level is not a simple task.” – John Marks
In addition to studying the use of prostitutes for clandestine use, the safehouses were used to administer drugs to the unwitting solicitors, after which the various effects would be recorded. At least a couple CIA veterans were willing to discuss the use of these safehouses for a more sinister operation: entrapment. John Marks’ research of the over 20,000 declassified documents into MK-ULTRA shortly after their release in the mid 70’s revealed the following shocking information:
“Gottlieb did not limit his interest to drugs. He and other TSS officials wanted to try out surveillance equipment. CIA technicians quickly installed see-through mirrors and microphones through which eavesdroppers could film, photograph, and record the action. ‘Things go wrong with listening devices and two-way mirrors, so you build these things to find out what works and what doesn’t,’ says a TSS source. ‘If you are going to entrap, you’ve got to give the guy pictures [flagrante delicto] and voice recordings. Once you learn how to do it so that the whole thing looks comfortable, cozy, and safe, then you can transport the technology overseas and use it.’ This TSS man notes that the Agency put to work in the bedrooms of Europe some of the techniques developed in the George White safehouse operation.”219
James Keehner, a former CIA psychologist, recalled his involvement in one entrapment case, in which he analyzed a nurse who had ‘offered her body’ for her country:
Keehner noted that he became disillusioned with entrapment cases, but that other officers ‘got their jollies’ from this type of work. Regarding his typical assignment, Keehner stated:
“I was sent to deal with the most negative aspects of the human condition. It was planned destructiveness. First, you’d check to see if you could destroy a man’s marriage. If you could, then that would be enough to put a lot of stress on the individual, to break him down. Then you might start a minor rumor campaign against him. Harass him constantly. Bump his car in traffic. A lot of it is ridiculous, but it may have a cumulative effect.“
Knowing that some officers got their ‘jollies’ from entrapment operations, and that safehouses were installed in the United States, the question “Were entrapment techniques ever used against United States officials or other domestic people of importance?” is logically raised.
“We wanted her to sleep with this Russian… Either the Russian would fall in love with her and defect, or we’d blackmail him. I had to see if she could sleep with him over a period of time and not get involved emotionally. Boy, was she tough!”220
218 1977 Joint Hearing Before the Select Committee on Intelligence (PDF Warning)
219 John Marks, “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate,” PDF available here
* * * *
Although MK-ULTRA was originally devoted to biological mind control, it quickly evolved into a program dedicated to understanding all aspects of the human psyche. George White’s experiments tested how people reacted to entrapment, and other experiments tested how different types of people responded to alcohol. It is with this context that the CIA contacted Psychologist John Gittinger to become an instrumental part of MK-ULTRA.
Gittinger had developed the Personality Assessment System, a test which would be administered to give fascinating insights into a person’s personality and had distinct variables that separated his work from other known personality tests at the time such as the famous Weschler exam. Like Ewen Cameron, Gittinger received funding through the Human Ecology Society to research what type of personality would be likely to defect from their country, both to target foreign agents and to weed out domestic ones.
At one point, Gittinger traveled to work with George White to use his test on prostitutes and homosexuals to refine his assessment test to figure out what type of sexual orientation someone likely had, and to figure out who had sexually deviant tendencies. One of Gittinger’s colleagues stated that he knew of cases where the Personality Assessment System was used to identify targets for entrapment, both heterosexual and homosexual.221
One particularly useful application of the Personality Assessment System was to identify people who would be easily hypnotized. It has likely been used extensively to hand-pick subjects and employees on sensitive projects within and beyond MK-ULTRA, assessing peoples personalities to discover who would retain secrecy and loyalty.
Interestingly, Gittinger was familiar enough with his test that he was able to observe someone’s behavior and then retroactively apply the attributes to determine their personality type. By observing how a man held his cigarette, handled his alcohol, or interacted with women, Gittinger could profile that person and determine their weaknesses and propensity for exploitation through entrapment or other means.
One logical application of the Personality Assessment System is the ability to assign certain people to a program that required secrecy, by determining how loyal an agent or asset would be to the Agency.
221 John Marks, “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate,” PDF available here
* * * *
In mainstream culture, hypnotism is viewed as a type of ‘science fiction’, confined to the realm of magic tricks and entertainment. The truth is that hypnotism is very real and used both in mainstream psychology and in military intelligence.
Hypnotism was used by the United States military before the creation of the CIA, during World War II. Psychologist Dr. George H. Estabrooks recalled his involvement in the clandestine program to Science Digest in 1971, in an article titled “Hypnotism Comes of Age”.
“One of the most fascinating but dangerous applications of hypnosis is its use in military intelligence. This is a field with which I am familiar through formulating guidelines for the techniques used by the United States in two world wars.
Communication in war is always a headache. Codes can be broken. A professional spy may or may not stay bought. Your own man may have unquestionable loyalty but his judgment is always open to question.
The “hypnotic courier,” on the other hand, provides a unique solution. I was involved in preparing many subjects for this work during World War II. One successful case involved an Army Service Corps Captain whom we’ll call George Smith. Captain Smith had undergone months of training. He was an excellent subject but did not realize it. I had removed from him, by post hypnotic suggestion, all recollection of ever having been hypnotized.
First I had the Service Corps call the captain to Washington and tell him they needed a report on the mechanical equipment of Division X headquartered in Tokyo. Smith was ordered to leave by jet next morning, pick up the report and return at once. These orders were given him in the waking state. Consciously, that was all he knew, and it was the story he gave his wife and friends.
Then I put him under deep hypnosis, and gave him—orally—a vital message to be delivered directly on his arrival in Japan to a certain colonel—let’s say his name was Brown—of military intelligence. Outside of myself, Colonel Brown was the only person who could hypnotize Captain Smith. This is “locking.” I performed it by saying to the hypnotized Captain: “Until further orders from me, only Colonel Brown and I can hypnotize you. We will use the signal phrase ‘the moon is clear.’ Whenever you hear this phrase from Brown or myself you will pass instantly into deep hypnosis.” When Captain Smith re-awakened, he had no conscious memory of what happened in trance. All that he was aware of was that he must head for Tokyo to pick up the division report.
On arrival there, Smith reported to Brown, who hypnotized him with the signal phrase. Under hypnosis, Smith delivered my message and received one to bring back. Awakened, he was given the division report and returned home by jet. There I hypnotized him once more with the signal phrase, and he spieled off Brown’s answer that had been dutifully tucked away in his unconscious mind. The system is virtually foolproof. As exemplified by the case, the information literally was “locked” in Smith’s unconscious for retrieval by the only two people who knew the combination. The subject had no conscious memory of what happened, so couldn’t spill the beans. No one else could hypnotize him even if they might know the signal phrase…”
“The potential for military intelligence has been nightmarish. During World War II, I worked this technique with a vulnerable Marine lieutenant I’ll call Jones. Under the watchful eye of Marine intelligence I split his personality into Jones A and Jones B. Jones A, once a “normal” working Marine, became entirely different. He talked communist doctrine and meant it. He was welcomed enthusiastically by communist cells, and was deliberately given a dishonorable discharge by the Corps (which was in on the plot) and became a card-carrying party member.
The joker was Jones B, the second personality, formerly apparent in the conscious Marine. Under hypnosis, this Jones had been carefully coached by suggestion. Jones B was the deeper personality, knew all the thoughts of Jones A, was a loyal American and was “imprinted” to say nothing during conscious phases.
All I had to do was hypnotize the whole man, get in touch with Jones B, the loyal American, and I had a pipeline straight into the Communist camp. It worked beautifully for months with this subject, but the technique backfired. While there was no way for an enemy to expose Jones’ dual personality, they suspected it and played the same trick on us later.” – Science Digest, April 1971222
It is pretty shocking to see that Estabrooks was willing to completely destroy the life of a marine by relegating his primary personality to an ‘alternate’ that would only appear when accessed through hypnosis. It is more shocking that such an application of hypnotism is even possible. He noted that the potential for military intelligence was nightmarish but felt content that his knowledge was being used for the United States instead of the Nazis or the Russians. Unfortunately, corrupt elements in the United States, namely the CIA, would capitalize on this knowledge for illicit means in the near future.
There are a variety of CIA documents released through the Freedom of Information Act that shed light on their hypnotism activities. One particularly disturbing example is MK-ULTRA document 190691. It describes an experiment where an unnamed CIA official hypnotized two subjects, both 19 year old women. In an awakened state, they expressed deep disgust in the idea of holding a gun, yet when hypnotized, one was willing to grab it and fire at her peer (the gun was unloaded and no one was hurt.) It states:223
“[Redacted] was then instructed (having previously expressed a fear of firearms in any fashion) that she would use every method at her disposal to awaken [redacted] (now in a deep hypnotic sleep) and failing in this, she would pick up a pistol nearby and fire it at [redacted]. She was instructed that her rage would be so great she would not hesitate to “kill” [redacted] for failing to awake. [Redacted] carried out these suggestions to the letter, including firing the (unloaded pneumatic) pistol at [redacted] and then proceeding to fall into a deep sleep. After proper suggestions were made, both were awakened and expressed complete amnesia for the entire sequence.”
MK-ULTRA Document 190691
Not only was the CIA officer able to coerce otherwise peaceful subjects into violence, he was able to remove any memories of the event after they ‘woke up’ from the hypnotism.
MK-ULTRA Document 190527
MK-ULTRA Document 190527 reveals that through hypnotic suggestion, one subject was coerced into setting up an incendiary bomb and leaving the device in a bathroom.224 The document states that even with unforeseen problems in location availability during the hypnotic state, the experiment was:
“…carried off without any difficulty or hesitation on the part of either of the girls… Throughout, their movements were easy and natural, and (bystanders) were, to all intents and purposes, completely unaware of what was taking place although they could clearly observe the movements of [redacted] and [redacted].”
Dr. Estabrooks once noted that only one in five people were susceptible to hypnotism in this manner. True to form, the CIA researched ways to improve to hypnotic susceptibility in their subjects, and found some success by combining techniques with administering drugs. A document titled Continuation of Studies on Hypnosis and Suggestibility states:
“Preliminary clinical research during 1955-56 has yielded promising leads in terms of knowledge of how hypnotizability can be influenced by pharmacological means. Several drugs have been identified that apparently are effective in speeding the induction of a hypnotic state…”225
The two cited CIA documents describe the unwitting hypnosis of two young women for the use of experimentation. What is the possibility that psychopaths would use this knowledge to exploit women sexually? Perhaps the most disturbing CIA document of all is numbered 140393 and details a CIA interview with a professional hypnotist who was asked to give an instructional course in hypnotism to CIA agents. It states:
“On July 2 1951 approximately 1:00 pm the instruction began with [redacted] relating to the student some of his sexual experiences. [Redacted] stated that he constantly used hypnotism as a means of inducing young girls to engage in sexual intercourse with him. [Redacted], a performer in [redacted] orchestra was forced to engage in sexual intercourse with [redacted] while under the influence of hypnotism. [Redacted] stated that he first put her into a hypnotic trance and then suggested to her that he was her husband and she desired sexual intercourse with him. [Redacted] further stated that many times while going home he would use hypnotic suggestion to have a girl turn around and talk to him and suggest sexual intercourse to him and that as a result of these suggestions he spent approximately five nights a week away from his home engaging in sexual intercourse.”226
It is nothing short of terrifying to read how interested the CIA was in methods of rape. The fact that this was beyond any application to intelligence is an afterthought. The document finishes by describing how the student of the hypnotism instructor was able to successfully use his newly-learned techniques on new subjects, indicating that hypnotism was able to spread throughout the ranks of the CIA relatively effortlessly.
When Operation Bluebird first began, marking the beginnings of research into hypnosis, one early document revealed a surprising goal:
“Can we “condition” by post-hypnotic suggestion agency employees (or persons of interest to this agency) to prevent them from giving information to any unauthorized source or for committing any act on behalf of a foreign or domestic enemy?”227
This raises the distinct and disturbing possibility that the act of hypnotizing agency members for the purpose of altering their behavior became a common practice at the CIA under MK-ULTRA, with the power of what suggestions to induce at the hands of only two psychopathic men.
222 Science Digest, “Hypnotism Comes of Age,” April 1971
223 Declassified CIA document 190691. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
224 Declassified CIA document 190527. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
225 Declassified CIA document 17441. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
226 Declassified CIA document 140393. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
227 Declassified CIA document 140401. See also excellent summary of declassified CIA documents.
* * * *
Upon MK-ULTRA becoming public knowledge in 1971, the CIA was quick to claim that the program was halted due to a lack of production. The available evidence clearly shows that this is a lie. From the documents that survived Director Helm’s destruction order, we can already see the potential for a ‘Manchurian candidate’: a mind controlled assassin.
So what happened to MK-ULTRA? 14 year CIA veteran Victor Marchetti has stated in numerous interviews that the claim MK-ULTRA was halted was merely a cover-story, and that the operation went completely black, in other words, research continued at the highest level of secrecy.228
Is it possible that academic research into hypnosis and other organic forms of mind control have been deliberately marginalized from mainstream entertainment, media and academics in order to keep its potential use within a military-industrial complex a secret? After all, MK-ULTRA researcher Dr. Ewen Cameron became the president of the World Psychiatric Association in 1961 and also served as presidents of the Canadian and American Psychiatric Associations.229
It is important to reiterate that not only does the available evidence of MK-ULTRA comprise a very small portion of the documents that were created, but many of the experiments were never recorded in the first place. The operation was presided over by only two individuals who had a complete knowledge of the operations. Not even the Director of the CIA had full access. When John F. Kennedy appointed John McCone as the new director in the wake of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Richard Helms declined to inform him about the more sensitive MK- ULTRA operations, such as George White’s safehouses.230
Ultimately, the goal of MK-ULTRA was not to find the ‘holy grail’ of mind control but to map out a complete knowledge of human nature and the human mind, and then find ways to exploit it. This was done on both individual and group levels. We have no idea how much was accomplished towards this goal, or how much more developed the mind control research has gotten in the 50 years that have passed since the available documents were last issued. After all, if this is what the CIA was able to accomplish in the 1950’s, what are they capable of today?
Comment: Mind Control has progressed to the point where the victims have NO FREE WILL. They are drugged with ADRENOCHROME and hypnotized after having been split by severe torture. Once they are split their ALTERS are programmed and Free Will is in the PAST.
228 Telegraph,”Histories Greatest Conspiracy Theories”
229 Research from Historian John Simpkin, available here.
230 Church Committee’s Assassination report, pp. 102-3
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. What kind of experiments were detailed in the documents that were destroyed after Director Helm’s orders?
2. What kind of experiments were never recorded and why did they require such a high level of secrecy?
3. Do any recent instances of terrorism or assassinations sound similar to the documented instances of hypnotically induced susceptibility to carry out acts of violence?
4. What kind of power does mind control represent in the hands of a psychopath?
5. How widespread was the entrapment program and is it possible that it ended up targeting U.S. Politicians? Military leaders? Businessmen?
6. What is responsible for the almost complete lack of knowledge of MK-ULTRA among the public?
7. What was the purpose of associating trauma through electro-shock and other means with mind control?
8. What new means of mind control have emerged with new technology?
* * * *
Chapter VI: Operation Gladio
“In Europe’s new order, they are the spies who never quite came in from the cold, foot soldiers in an underground guerrilla network with one stated mission: To fight an enemy that most Europeans believe no longer exists.
Theirs is a tale of secret arms caches and exotic code names, of military stratagems and political intrigues.
At best, their tale is no more than a curious footnote to the cold war. The question is if, at worst, it could be the key to unsolved terrorism dating back two decades…
The focus of the inquiry is a clandestine operation code-named Gladio, created decades ago to arm and train resistance fighters in case the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies invaded.
All this week, there have been disclosures of similar organizations in virtually all Western European countries, including those that do not belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” – New York Times231
How far would the United States go to prevent the spread of communism in Western Europe? Especially considering the constant false information provided by Reinhard Gehlen and his Organization indicating that a Soviet invasion was imminent? The answer is Operation Gladio: The CIA and NATO campaign to create, arm and fund radical right wing ‘stay behind’ organizations that would fight communism to the death.
When the Soviet invasion never happened, these organizations created networks with politicians and within the black market, and turned their goals towards preventing the rise of leftist political movements, often resorting to terrorism to create domestic tension, causing citizens to turn towards increasingly fascist governments to provide protection. Today, this process is known as the ‘Strategy of Tension’.
231 New York Times, “Evolution in Europe: Italy Discloses its Web of Cold War Guerillas.” November 6, 1990
* * * *
It was Judge Felice Casson who first dredged up the evidence for state sponsored terrorism, while browsing the archives of the Italian military secret service.232 In a BBC documentary on Operation Gladio, Casson described the operations as an effort…
“to create tension within the country to promote conservative, reactionary social and political tendencies. While this strategy was being implemented, it was necessary to protect those behind it because evidence implicating them was being discovered. Witnesses withheld information to cover right-wing extremists.”233
Casson points to a 1972 car bombing in Peteano that killed three paramilitary police and was blamed on leftists, after which 200 Communists were immediately arrested. He found that there were no police investigations of the scene, and the official report was a forgery.234 In fact, it was perpetrated by a right-wing terrorist named Vincenzo Vinciguerra,235 operating under Gladio orders, who later confessed to the crime.
Vinciguerra’s testimony reveals that it was easy to escape and remain hidden because everyone in the Italian security apparatus shared his anti-Communist convictions.236 His testimony further revealed “a secret organisation, a super-organisation with a network of communications, arms, and explosives, and men trained to use them.”237 Years later, in prison, he would claim “I say that every single outrage that followed from 1969 fitted into a single organised matrix.”238 Nearly 2,000 people would die from political murder or acts of terrorism over this period of time.
When ex-Prime Minister Andreotti finally testified in 1990, he revealed that arms and equipment were provided by the CIA and placed in 139 underground caches across the country. General Giandelio Maletti, a former head of Italian counterintelligence, in March 2001 confirmed the CIA involvement. He stated that after the Piazza Fontana bombing in 1969, pieces of a bomb were planted in a leftist editors villa in order to blame the communists. He stated:
“The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left, and, for this purpose, it may have made use of right-wing terrorism.”239
232 Judge Felice Casson’s Wikipedia article
233 Operation Gladio, a 1992 BBC production, watch it here.
234 Historian Daniel Ganser, eminent Gladio researcher, in his book NATO’s Secret Armies, page 3, available in PDF here. Ganser is the eminent authority on Operation Gladio and has done tremendous work in synthesizing the various evidence from nearly a dozen different languages into one source. This book is a must-read to gain a full understanding of Operation Gladio.
235 Vincenzo Vinciguerra’s Wikipedia article
236 Daniel Ganser, in a paper published in the Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, page 72, available in PDF here.
238 Ganser’s NATO’s Secret Armies, page 8.
239 Ganser’s Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, page 73.
* * * *
Another Gladio hotspot was Turkey. During the Cold War, Turkey shared a third of the total borders with the Soviet bloc and maintained the largest standing army in Europe, and the second in NATO after the United States. In 1952, a stay-behind army was organized under the codename ‘Counter-Guerrilla’.
“On November 3 (1996), a truck crashed into a Mercedes Benz in Susurluk, ninety miles south of Istanbul, and killed three Turkish passengers: a fugitive heroin smuggler and hitman, a former high-ranking police officer, and a former ‘Miss Cinema.’ The lone survivor was a right-wing member of parliament. In the car’s trunk, police found a forged passport, police identification papers, ammunition, silencers, and machine guns.
Abdullah Catli, the fugitive heroin smuggler, had escaped from a Swiss prison. The dead beauty queen, Gonca Uz, was his girlfriend. The police officer was Huseyin Kocadag, head of a Turkish police academy and a former Istanbul deputy police chief who reportedly organized hit squads in the southeast that kill Kurdish guerrillas and their supporters. The survivor, Sedat Bucak, a member of parliament from the conservative True Path Party, is reportedly in charge of 2,000 Kurdish mercenaries paid by the government to fight Kurdish guerrillas.
The car crash has created a sensation in Turkey and has led parliament to hold hearings on the ties linking the True Path Party, the police, and thugs like Abdullah Catli. Newspapers in Turkey are making connections between what they are calling the “state gang” and a secret paramilitary force that for decades has attacked the left…
The United States funded these stay-behind groups for decades. Even though there was no Soviet occupation, some of the groups did take up arms against left-wing dissidents in their own countries. Some descendants of these groups are still at it, especially in Turkey.
Abdullah Catli was one of those.
“The accident unveiled the dark liaisons within the state,” former prime minister Bulent Ecevit told parliament in December. Now leader of a small opposition social-democratic party, Ecevit knows a lot about those liaisons. He first told me about them – and the American connection – back in 1990, when I interviewed him in his Ankara office.” – The Progressive240
Bulent Ecevit, five time Turkish prime minister, who is cited in the above quote, declared that the Taksim Square massacre was a Gladio operation, where half a million citizens had rallied. It was organized by trade unions, and the shooting lasted for 20 minutes while a thousand policemen in attendance did not intervene. About 40 people were killed, and though none of the perpetrators were caught, 500 demonstrators were detained. The massacre occurred during a broader wave of political violence.241
The U.S. State Department in its 1995 Human Rights report noted that:
“Prominent credible human rights organizations, Kurdish leaders, and local Kurds asserted that the government acquiesces in, or even carries out, the murder of civilians… Human rights groups reported the widespread and credible belief that a Counter-Guerrilla group associated with the security forces had carried out at least some ‘mystery killings'”.242
American journalist Lucy Komisar, when asking U.S. officials about investigating the human rights reports, was told “That’s classified.” The Turkish military would likewise block all investigations in their country.243
There is evidence of Gladio operatives extensively operating torture campaigns for political purposes. For example, Talhat Turhan, former Turkey General, survived torture at the hands of special forces. He was told “…I was now ‘in the hands of a Counter Guerrilla unit operating under the high command of the Army outside the constitution and the laws.’ They told me that they ‘considered me as their prisoner of war and that I was sentenced to death.’”244
Much of the violence was directed at the Kurdish minority. In 1984 the Counter-Guerrillas were behind the brutal crackdown that would kill and torture thousands over the next five years. Among other operations, Counter-Guerrillas would dress up as PKK members (A Kurdish political party) and attacked villages, raping and executing people randomly.245
The political violence in Turkey, with Gladio operatives responsible to at least a moderate extent, paved the way for the series of military coups that have occurred in the country. A 1996 New York Times article notes that:
“evidence suggests that officially sanctioned criminality may have reached levels that few had imagined…
One of Turkey’s most prominent pro-Kurdish politicians, Guven Ozata, said the car crash and its aftermath had convinced him that state-sponsored death squads were behind many of the estimated 3,500 unsolved killings that have been committed in the southeastern part of the country in the last decade. Most of the victims had been suspected of sympathizing with separatist Kurdish causes.
”These gangs have a direct link with mystery killings,” Mr. Ozata said at a news conference. ”This is no longer a hypothesis or a guess. It is a reality acknowledged by government officials.”
Several politicians and others who are calling for investigations into the government’s relationship with criminal gangs believe that the gangs used their official ties as cover for involvement in Turkey’s lucrative heroin-smuggling trade. They suspect that senior officials were engaged in the trade or tolerated it as a way of repaying gangs that killed at their behest.” – New York Times246
The evidence of Gladio operations in Turkey reveal another important link: The collusion between paramilitary forces and drug traffickers. At the time (and to this day), Turkey served as a major hub in the smuggling of drugs into Western Europe, from the Southeast Asian ‘Golden Triangle’ and later the Middle East.
It is likely that drugs served as a significant source of funding for these decentralized operations and was the catalyst for a bond between the state and the criminal underworld that ensured massive corruption in the country that exists to this day. After all, we know that the Gehlen Organization was involved in the black market in the area to raise extra funds for their intelligence operations. It seems that this practice spread throughout the web of ‘stay-behind’ armies financed and armed by the CIA and NATO.
240 The Progressive, “Turkey´s Terrorists: A CIA Legacy Lives On,” April 1, 1997
241 Ganser´s Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, page 73
242 Ganser’s NATO’s Secret Army, page 20
244 Ganser´s Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, page 74
245 Ganser’s NATO’s Secret Army, page 240
246 New York Times, “Scandal Links Turkish Aides to Death, Drugs and Terror”, December 10, 1996
* * * *
One of the countries that suffered the most from the Cold War terrorism groups was Greece, the country with perhaps the most significant propensity for the rise of a natural leftist coalition. Former CIA agent and Gladio whistleblower Philip Agee claimed that:
“The Greek-American CIA officer recruited several groups of Greek citizens for what the CIA called ‘a nucleus for rallying a citizen army against the threat of a leftist coup’ … Each of the several groups was trained and equipped to act as an autonomous guerrilla unit, capable of mobilizing and carrying on guerrilla warfare with minimal or no outside direction.”247
These groups were equipped with automatic weapons and small mountain mortars stashed in underground caches throughout the country.248
The group was involved with the 1967 coup, where leftists were widely reported to have large leads in the polls. As NATO orders were to prevent any type of leftist ‘insurgency’, the group took over the Greece Defense Ministry, rolled into Athens, took control of communications centers, Parliament, the Royal Palace, and arrested over 10,000 people, many of whom were tortured.249
247 Len Scott, “Intelligence, Crisis and Security.” Excerpt available here.
248 Ganser´s Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, page 77
* * * *
Although the CIA and NATO have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the existence of Gladio, giving them deniability from ever having to disclose documents related to the operation, the existence of these fascist and violent underground networks has been acknowledged by the governments of nearly every NATO country. Furthermore, official documents in German, Dutch, French and Italian confirming the network, its organization and practices have been declassified.250
Operation Gladio is not just some ancient history. Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti confirmed that the last coordination meeting he was aware of was held in 1990.251 It has to be noted that this was a period of time where terrorism was evolving, moving towards the widespread radical Islamic terror that bombards our television screens daily, just three years before the first World Trade Center bombing and two years after the creation of Al-Qaeda. At the same time the geopolitical strategies of the United States were moving away from Europe and towards the Middle East. Unfortunately, the available information on Operation Gladio raises more questions than it answers.
250 Dozens of these documents are hosted here.
251 Ganser’s NATO’s Secret Army, page 1
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. Knowing that the last acknowledged Gladio meeting was in 1990, can we say with any certainty that the program ever ended?
2. How many people involved with Gladio are still operating in the CIA and other agencies?
3. Seeing that the ‘Strategy of Tension’ proved to be an effective tool, in what other instances has it been implemented?
4. Is there currently a ‘Gladio B‘ in operation in the Middle East, as former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds asserts?
5. Are the criminal alliances that formed during Gladio in places such as Turkey still in effect today?
6. How did the ‘stay-behind’ organizations affect domestic politics in ways other than terrorism?
7. Is the ongoing assassination campaign in Iraq, discussed in the chapter ‘The War on Terror is a Fraud’, a part of an evolved Gladio campaign?
Note: Feeling overwhelmed with this material? Take an inspiration break in our Inspiration Center. And remember that no matter how damaging or destructive a person’s behavior is, every person in the world has a heart, and every heart has a place within that wants only to love and be loved.
* * * *
Chapter VII: Operation Mockingbird
“About a third of the whole CIA budget went to media propaganda operations… We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars a year just for that… close to a billion dollars are being spent every year by the United States on secret propaganda.” – Testimony of William Schaap to Congress252
In 1948, the United States began the Marshall Plan, an initiative to help the devastated Europe recover from the War. The CIA decided to siphon funds to create the Office of Policy Coordination, which would become the covert action branch of the Agency.253 It was under this program that Operation Mockingbird, a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at promoting the views of the CIA within the media, began. From the onset, Operation Mockingbird was one of the most sensitive of the CIA’s operations, with recruitment of journalists and training of intelligence officers for propaganda purposes usually undertaken by Director Allen Dulles himself or his direct peers.254
It is a false belief that the CIA ‘infiltrated’ unwitting media institutions. The recruitment of journalists was frequently done with complicity from top management and ownership. Former CIA Director William Colby claimed during the Church Committee investigative hearings, “Lets go to the managements. They were witting.” Among the organizations that would lend their help to the propaganda efforts was the New York Times, Newsweek, Associated Press, and the Miami Herald. Providing cover to CIA agents was a part of the New York Times policy, set by their late publisher, Arthur Hays Salzberger.255
The investigative committee of Frank Church, officially titled “Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities”, uncovered a lot of evidence concerning Operation Mockingbird and came to the conclusion that:
“The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.”256
Carl Bernstein, the reporter famous for his excellent investigation into the Watergate scandal, wrote that:
“(Joseph) Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go betweens with spies in Communist countries.
Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”257
While a majority of Mockingbird operations were overseas, the goal was to have important, hard-hitting stories to be circulated in the American press. Relationships with major United States media institutions certainly helped with this goal. Bernstein lists The New York Times, CBS and Time inc. as the most productive relationships the agency cultivated. They also created front organizations overseas who publicly maintained an appearance of free press but privately were operated by the agency. An example of this is the Rome Daily American, which was 40% owned by the CIA for three decades.258
Another strategy was developing relationships with major media owners who were known to harbor right-wing views, such as William Paley of CBS, and then passing on information of journalists, actors and screenwriters who harbored left-wing views. Information was also passed on to friendly congressmen such as Joseph McCarthy. These men and women would then be blacklisted from the industry. Lee J. Cobb was one such actor who was blacklisted, and recalled his experience:
“When the facilities of the government of the United States are drawn on an individual it can be terrifying. The blacklist is just the opening gambit – being deprived of work. Your passport is confiscated. That’s minor. But not being able to move without being tailed is something else. After a certain point it grows to implied as well as articulated threats, and people succumb. My wife did, and she was institutionalized. In 1953 the HCUA (House UnAmerican Activities Committee) did a deal with me. I was pretty much worn down. I had no money. I couldn’t borrow. I had the expenses of taking care of the children. Why am I subjecting my loved ones to this? If it’s worth dying for, and I am just as idealistic as the next fellow. But I decided it wasn’t worth dying for, and if this gesture was the way of getting out of the penitentiary I’d do it. I had to be employable again.”259
The CIA went as far as to write scripts for Hollywood. One interesting example is the funding of the movie version of Animal Farm in 1954, a book written just less than a decade earlier by George Orwell which enjoyed large commercial success. The problem for the CIA was that Orwell was a socialist, and his book attacked both capitalism and communism. To avoid this conflict, the CIA changed the ending of the Hollywood version to portray capitalism in a more positive light.260
Domestic surveillance was also used on journalists who had published classified material. In one example, a physical surveillance post was set up at a Hilton Hotel in view of the office of Washington Post writer Michael Getler.261 The operation defied the CIA’s charter, which specifically prohibits domestic spying. The operation was directed towards numerous members of the Washington press corp, and was signed off by John F. Kennedy himself, in coordination with CIA director John McCone.262
One CIA document states: “Get books published or distributed abroad without revealing any U.S. Influence, by covertly subsidizing foreign publicans or booksellers… Get books published for operational reasons, regardless of commercial viability”. The Church Committee concluded that over 1000 books were published under this directive.263
Some investigative journalists have claimed that Operation Mockingbird did not end in 1976 as the CIA claims. For example, in 1998, researcher Steve Kangas claimed that conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, who ran ‘Forum World Features’, a foreign news organization, was a CIA asset and used the organization to disseminate propaganda for circulation in the United States.264 Kangas ended up dead with a bullet hole in his head, in the office of Richard Scaife. It was ruled a suicide, although there were discrepancies in the police report and the autopsy.265
The Church Committee’s conclusion accurately reflects the problems associated with Operation Mockingbird:
“In examining the CIA’s past and present use of the U.S. media, the Committee finds two reasons for concern. The first is the potential, inherent in covert media operations, for manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public. The second is the damage to the credibility and independence of a free press which may be caused by covert relationships with the U.S. journalists and media organizations.”266
While it is deplorable for citizens of countries to be subjected to a state-owned media, at least they can be aware of the biases and filter information accordingly. We have been taught a lie from birth that the U.S. press is free from government meddling. In a situation where the manipulation is completely covert, the American public has been left unaware of the propaganda they have been ingesting for decades.
252 Testimony available here. [Video removed, but click here to verify billions spent by CIA on propoganda]
253 Sallie Pasani “The CIA and the Marshall Plan,” excerpt available here.
254 Rolling Stone Magazine, “The CIA and the Media,” October 20, 1977
256 Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities. April 1976.
257 Rolling Stone Magazine, “The CIA and the Media,” October 20, 1977
258 Wikipedia article on the Rome Daily American
259 Wikipedia article on Lee J. Cobb
260 John Simkin, “Operation Mockingbird.”
261 New York Times, “Project Mockingbird: Spying on Reporters,” June 26, 2007
263 Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities. April 1976.
264 Steve Kangas, “A Timeline of CIA Atrocities.”
265 John Simkin, “Steve Kangas.”
266 Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities. April 1976.
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. Why were the owners and management of large media institutions so willing to participate in a program that violated their journalistic integrity?
2. Has the increasingly consolidated media industry made it easier for news to be manipulated to fit ‘the agenda’ discussed in the One Party State?
3. Have MK-ULTRA entrapment or mind control techniques ever been used to target the press?
* * * *
Chapter VIII: COINTELPRO
“Between 1965 and 1975, the FBI opened more than 500,000 intelligence files on more than one million Americans, according to a Congressional report…. Among the Bureau’s targets: Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam War Groups, and the underground press.” – Center for Investigative Reporting267
“Purpose of counterintelligence action is to disrupt the BPP [Black Panther Party] and it is immaterial whether facts exist to substantiate the charge.” – J. Edgar Hoover268
J. Edgar Hoover issued directives for COINTELPRO, a codename for Counter Intelligence Program, in 1956. The original intent was to monitor the Communist Party USA but quickly expanded its scope to infiltrate and marginalize a variety of groups such as the American Indian Movement, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Black Panthers, as well as targeting high profile individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
The FBI’s stated motivation was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.“269
They used harassment, wiretapping, psychological warfare, propaganda, and assassinations among other techniques to achieve their goals.
268 From a 1970 FBI document, available here.
269 Excerpt from the Church Committee, available here, page 3
* * * *
On December 4th, 1969, the Chicago Police Department and FBI raided an apartment housing members of the Black Panther Party. At 4:45 am, the heavily armed police stormed the apartment, killing Panther member Mark Clark immediately, who was serving a security duty. Clark fired his shotgun, the only shot fired by the Panthers that day, while the police and FBI would end up shooting 98 times.270 Forensics and firearms experts determined that Clark’s shot was fired from very near the floor, indicating that Clark had already sustained grave injuries.
The raid team would then assault the room of Fred Hampton, a rising leader in the Panther movement. Police would fire twice at Hampton, who was lying next to his pregnant girlfriend, hitting his shoulder. Court transcripts revealed the following conversation took place:271
“That’s Fred Hampton.”
“Is he dead?… Bring him out.” “He’s barely alive.
“He’ll make it.
Two more shots were fired, point blank at Hampton’s head.
“He’s good and dead now.”
<p “=””>Crime Scene from Fred Hampton’s Bedroom
Over a dozen more Panthers residing in the apartment would be wounded, beaten, and then charged with attempted murder of police officers. The next day, the media largely defended the FBI’s actions. The Chicago Tribune published photos showing holes purported to be from bullets fired by the Panthers, but forensics would later reveal these holes to have been made by nails.272
Documents released by the Freedom of Information Act include a sketch of Hampton’s apartment drawn by an FBI informant, used by police and FBI in the assassination. The informant received $300 from the FBI for providing the information.273
The FBI had tried other methods before resorting to assassination, including sending a bogus letter to a rival Chicago gang leader in hopes of provoking a violent retaliation which read:
“Brother Jeff: I’ve spent some time with some Panther friends on the west side lately and I know whats been going on. The brothers that run the Panthers blame you for blocking their thing and there’s supposed to be a hit out for you. I’m not a Panther, or a Ranger, just black. From what I see these Panthers are out for themselves, not black people. I think you ought to know what their (sic) up to, I know what I’d do if I was you. You might here from me again. Signed, A Black Brother You Don’t Know.”274
The use of bogus letters for sabotage and attempting to provoke violence was widely used by the FBI throughout COINTELPRO.
Why was Fred Hampton targeted? He was a rising leader in the Black Panther Party and was in the process of uniting various gangs, including the Puerto Rican ‘Young Lords’ and the Caucasian ‘Young Patriots’ into a political coalition. He had the potential to drastically change the political landscape of Chicago by channeling the youth unrest that had previously been directed against other gangs and instead direct it at the political establishment to fight against police corruption and to generate socially constructive energies.
This type of action was directly antagonistic to one of the primary directives of COINTELPRO put forth by J. Edgar Hoover himself, which read:275
“1. Prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups.”
The same document also contained another relevant directive:276
“Prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’”
Fred Hampton had the charisma to unite large groups of young men and the attitude of social welfare and community development that had the potential to gain the support of the broader progressive community. His assassination prevented his career from escalating to these heights.
270 Ward Churchill, “COINTELPRO Papers,” page 140. PDF available here. A truly astounding book that draws heavily on official documents provided by the FBI. A ‘must read’.
271 Wikipedia page on Fred Hampton.
272 Chicago Tribune, “The Black Panther Raid and the death of Fred Hampton,” December 4, 1969
273 “Cointelpro Papers” page 160
274 “Cointelpro Papers,” page 159
276 The Guardian, “Preventing the rise of a ‘messiah‘,” April 4, 2008
* * * *
Subverting the Black Panther Party
The FBI waged a wildly successful campaign against the Black Panther Party throughout the ’60s and ’70s. By the late ’60s, the Black Panther Party was the most prominent African American political force in the United States. They advocated a 10 point socialist program for black self-determination, provided free food and healthcare to communities, fought against hard drugs, and formed legal armed street patrols to deter violence from the KKK and other antagonistic organizations. They also advocated for community control of police, schools and other institutions. Today, these points are largely ignored in favor of the racist caricature promoted by the Bureau. The operations the FBI took to subvert the Panthers is truly astounding.
For example, there is the Black Panther coloring book, created by the FBI and distributed by Bureau informants to black children in an attempt to marginalize the Party within the black community.277 It is directly related to Hoover’s directive:
“4. Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability”
The goal was not to influence the children of these communities, but to marginalize the Panthers within the white community. The coloring book aimed to do just that, and would certainly be shocking to anyone who saw it. Once marginalized, the public would support increasingly repressive policies against the Panthers and their leadership, such as the Fred Hampton assassination.
To J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, it did not matter what the activities of the Black Panther Party consisted of. In 1969, an FBI special agent sent Hoover a memo detailing how his investigation of the Panthers had only turned up pacifist activities such as feeding breakfast to children.278 Hoover shot back a memo saying that the agent’s career ambitions were directly related to supplying Hoover with information supporting his view that the Panthers were “… a violence prone organization seeking to overthrow the government by revolutionary means.”279
To prevent the unification of the Black Panther Party and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, popularly known as SNCC, the FBI resorted to fostering splits between the leadership of the two organizations. The FBI targeted Stokely Carmichael by using a technique known as ‘bad jacket’: they forged documents indicating that Carmichael was a CIA informant.280 It worked.
The FBI also had the policy of arresting Panther members for any reason, even just on suspicion of crime without evidence, for the purpose of exhausting the Party’s funds to pay bonds. The Panther’s attorney said in 1970:
“In a period of two years — December, 1967 to December, 1969 — the Black Panther Party has expended in bail-bond premiums alone — just the premiums, that is, money that will never be returned — a sum in excess of $200,000! How many breakfasts or lunches for hungry children, how much medical attention sorely needed in the ghetto communities would that $200,000 have furnished? In the same two-year period, twenty-eight Panthers were killed.”281
In instances where dozens of Panthers were arrested, the bond requirements were too high to pay and members sat in jail for weeks, or even months, a common COUNTELPRO tactic used against other groups as well. By 1974, the Black Panther Party had essentially collapsed under the weight of ruthless harassment.
277 The Coloring Book is hosted in various places, it is available here at NotreDame.edu
278 Memo available here.
280 “COINTELPRO Papers,” page 147
281 Ibid, page 164
* * * *
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1957, the FBI targeted the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as a “likely target for communist infiltration”.282 The nature of the group was entirely non-violent and focused on organizing the southern black vote. It was founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and several other southern black ministers. By 1964, Dr. King had given his ‘I have a dream speech’ and had emerged as a preeminent civil rights leader and had also began to address social change that transcended racial issues.
At this point, the FBI had marked King as a clear threat to the ‘established order’. Agent William C. Sullivan committed to writing:
“We must mark [King] now, if we have not before, as the most dangerous Negro in the future of this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security… it maybe unrealistic to limit [our actions against King] to legalistic proofs that would stand up in court or before Congressional Committees.”283
When it was announced that King would win the Nobel Prize, the FBI compiled an audio tape consisting of various fragments of conversations from King’s tapped phones, bugged offices and hotel rooms. It was purported to demonstrate that King was a sexual deviant. It was sent to King with an anonymous note stating that it would be released to the press unless he committed suicide prior to receiving the award.284 When King failed to reply, FBI Associate Director Cartha DeLoach offered the contents of the tape to various news institutions, including Newsweek, but the reporters nearly universally declined to report on the story.
How the FBI tried to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr. into suicide with anonymous note,” January 20, 2014
On April 24, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated. Although public memory has largely forgotten, King was in the process of organizing the ‘Poor Peoples Campaign’, aimed at uniting poor people of all races to rally for social change. It is likely that if King had not died, the campaign would have been wildly successful. The campaign also represented everything that COINTELPRO had been dedicated to prevent. Although there is no complete proof that the FBI was involved with the assassination, the jury of a 1999 Memphis civil trial came to the conclusion that James Earl Ray did not kill King, and that the real culprit was ‘government agencies’.285
282 “COINTELPRO Papers,” Page 116
283 Ibid. Page 118
284 The Daily Mail, “’You are a colossal fraud. There’s only one thing left for you to do’: How the FBI tried to blackmail
285 New York Times, “Memphis Jury Sees Conspiracy in Martin Luther King’s Killing,” December 9, 1999
* * * *
American Indian Movement
“They [the Indians] are a conquered nation, and when you are conquered, the people you are conquered by dictate your future. This is a basic philosophy of mine. If I’m part of a conquered nation, I’ve got to yield to authority… [The FBI must function as] a colonial police force.” – Assistant Special Agent in Charge Norman Zigrossi286
AIM, the American Indian Movement, began in the ’60s as activism focused on preventing the further depredation of Indian lands and resources. As the movement rose to prominence, the FBI marked them as an ‘extremist organization’ to target.287 One document released under the Freedom of Information Act advocates that: “local police put [AIM] leaders under close scrutiny, and arrest them on every possible charge until they could no longer make bail.”288
During a presentation by members of the Congressional Black Caucus to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, it was alleged that virtually every known leader of AIM had been imprisoned in state or federal prisons, some repeatedly. Russell Means, for example, was charged with 37 counts but not one held up in court.289 It was later revealed that the FBI had infiltrated Mean’s defense team but was still unable to pin their charges against him.
In 1973, thousands of Native Americans from reservations across the West had gathered at Wounded Knee at the Pine Ridge reservation to simultaneously commemorate the 1890 massacre and protest the political corruption of tribal president Dick Wilson, who had received $62,000 from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and was using it to fund a private force that suppressed opposition and often resorted to murder.290
The force designated themselves “Guardians of the Oglala Nation”, abbreviated as GOONS. Attempts to impeach Wilson, who was responsible for years of political violence, had failed. The FBI considered the occupation an act of treason and began a siege of AIM members, in coordination with US Marshalls, agents from the BIA and the GOONS of Dick Wilson. Wilson bluntly declared in a speech that “AIM will die at Wounded Knee”.291
According to Historian Rex Weyler, who obtained documents subpoenaed from the Pentagon, the U.S. Marshall Service:
“…directed the employment of 17 APCs [armored personnel carriers], 130,000 rounds of M-16 ammunition, 41,000 rounds of M-40 high explosive, as well as helicopters, Phantom jets, and personnel. Military officers, supply sergeants, maintenance technicians, chemical officers, and medical teams remained on duty throughout the 71 day siege, all working in civilian clothes [to conceal their unconstitutional involvement in this ‘civil disorder’]”292
All of this was on site at Pine Ridge during the 71 day standoff, during which AIM demanded the removal of Wilson from office, the GOONs disbanded, and the military presence removed. By the end, hundreds of thousands of rounds were fired at AIM positions, two AIM members were killed, 14 seriously injured, and eight ‘disappeared’. In the 36 months that proceeded the end of the Pine Ridge standoff, more than 60 AIM members died violently on or near Pine Ridge.293
The Civil Rights Commission revealed that AIM was right to feel aggrieved during the occupation of Pine Ridge: The FBI had been complicit in rigging the 1974 Pine Ridge elections against AIM members.294
286 Ward Churchill, “Agents of Repression.” Excerpt available here.
287 Documents available here.
288 “The COINTEPRO Papers,” page 280
289 The Guardian, “Russell Means obituary,” November 1, 2012
290 A Presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, available here.
291 Ward Churchill, “Agents of Repression,” Excerpt available here.
292 Weyler, Rex “Blood on the Land,” page 54
293 “COINTELPRO Papers,” Page 270
* * * *
The Church Committee investigated COINTELPRO and concluded:
“Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power.
The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone “bugs”, surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous – and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations – have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity…
The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of permissible activities nor established procedures for supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to which its appropriations were being put.”
Simply put, the committee’s conclusions are correct but fall short. It is clear that for a period of nearly three decades, the FBI waged a literal domestic war on largely peaceful activists who sought to bring about social and political change. During the time of the Vietnam war, MK-ULTRA, the struggles of various civil rights movements, Watergate and other criminal acts in the executive branch, the United States needed effective leaders and organizations to affect change, yet the FBI successfully suppressed any serious movements that arose.
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. How responsible is COINTELPRO for the fall of the American left in the 1970’s?
2. How likely is it that other high profile assassinations similar to Fred Hampton, such as Martin Luther King Jr., were undertaken by the FBI under COINTELPRO orders?
3. What movements are currently being subverted by the FBI and other intelligence agencies today?
4. Did J. Edgar Hoover leave a corrupt infrastructure when he retired in 1972, after 37 years of being the FBI Director?
* * * *
Chapter IX: The Phoenix Program
Thanks to the New York Times and 60 Minutes, most people are now aware that former Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Kerrey once led a raid on the peasant village of Thanh Phong during his service in Vietnam, and murdered nearly two dozen villagers in cold blood. His team disemboweled women, children and infants and shot dead whole families.
What most people don’t know, is that Kerrey was operating on orders from a CIA program known as Operation Phoenix, the program that oversaw some of the most horrific war crimes ever unleashed on Earth.295
It was in 1964, under CIA station chief Peer DeSilva, that the Phoenix Program was initiated. DeSilva was a proponent of the belief of ‘counter-terrorism’, CIA doublespeak for the idea that terror was a legitimate tactic in unconventional warfare.296
Historian Douglas Valentine summarizes the concept of Operation Phoenix as follows:
“Central to Phoenix is the fact that it targeted civilians, not soldiers… Under Phoenix, due process was totally non-existent. South Vietnamese civilians whose names appeared on blacklists could be kidnapped, tortured, detained for two years without trial, or even murdered simply on the word of an anonymous informer.
“At its height, Phoenix managers imposed a quota of eighteen hundred neutralizations per month on the people running the program in the field, opening up the program to abuses by corrupt security officers, policemen, politicians, and racketeers, all of whom extorted innocent civilians as well as VCI [Viet Cong Infrastructure]. Legendary CIA officer Lucien Conein described Phoenix as, “A very good blackmail scheme for the central government: ‘If you don’t do what I want, you’re VC.’”
“Indeed, Phoenix was, among other things, an instrument of counter-terror – the psychological warfare tactic in which members of the VCI were brutally murdered along with their families or neighbors as a means of terrorizing the entire population into a state of submission. Such horrendous acts were, for propaganda purposes, often made to look as if they had been committed by the enemy.”297
This is the intellectual context under which Bob Kerrey massacred the hamlet of civilians, for which he was subsequently awarded the Bronze Star.
Peer DeSilva quickly expanded Phoenix to cover all 40 provinces in South Vietnam, each equipped with an Intelligence Coordinating Committee and its own prison. Torture techniques such as electric shock, beatings and rape were commonplace.298
The Central Intelligence Agency originally had trouble finding Americans who were willing to murder and mutilate, so the ‘counter-terror’ squads were composed of ex-convicts, VietCong defectors, and mercenaries.299 They then employed special forces, Navy SEALS and other highly trained Americans such as Bob Kerrey, who had essentially been indoctrinated by the military into killing machines, to oversee the program.
Former Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Herbert, who was involved in Operation Phoenix, described his experience in his autobiography Soldier: “They wanted me to take charge of execution teams that wiped out entire families and tried to make it look as though the VC themselves had done the killing.”300
Former CIA agent Ralph McGee, speaking to PBS‘s Bill Moyers for the fantastic documentary ‘The Secret Government‘, stated that:
“We were murdering these people, incinerating them… My efforts had resulted in the deaths of many people, and I just – for me it was a period when I guess I was – I considered myself nearly insane – I just couldn’t reconcile what I had been and what I was at the time becoming.”301
McGee was operating under Phoenix helping to set up the South Vietnam secret police, and has since become one of the most outspoken critics on the CIA. He recalls that the program cost billions of dollars, and CIA Director William Colby refused an investigative audit before a Congressional Committee.302
The Agency’s website describes how the entire South Vietnamese population was mapped out with Census Grievance teams in conjunction with national data.303 They determined which villages were more likely to be friendly to the VietCong through interviews, and color coded maps based on that information, specifically noting that “These maps would often contain the names of family members who were VCI members or sympathetic to the communists.”
“I think it’s common knowledge what goes on at the interrogation center… It was common knowledge that when someone was picked up their lives were about at an end because the Americans most likely felt that, if they were to turn someone like that back into the countryside it would just be like multiplying NLF followers.” – Jeff Stein, Author and Former Military Intelligence, Vietnam Veteran304
The 1971 Congressional Inquiry revealed that the blacklists created by these maps and census data was not thoroughly vetted, as opposed to claims by Agency officials. One member of the Phoenix Program described to Congress that:
“It was my experience that the majority of people classified as VC were “captured” as a result of sweeping tactical operations. In effect, a huge dragnet was cast out in our area of operation (AR) and whatever looked good in the catch, regardless of evidence, was classified as VCI.”305
Lieutenant Vincent Okamoto, Army Combat Officer and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, testified on his experiences with using blacklists as a means of ‘neutralizing’ Viet Cong:
“The problem was, how do you find the people on the blacklist? It’s not like you had their address and telephone number. The normal procedure would be to go into a village and just grab someone and say, ‘Where’s Nguyen so-and-so?’ Half the time the people were so afraid they would say anything. Then a Phoenix team would take the informant, put a sandbag over his head, poke out two holes so he could see, put commo wire around his neck like a long leash, and walk him through the village and say, ‘When we go by Nguyen’s house scratch your head.’ Then that night Phoenix would come back, knock on the door, and say, ‘April Fool, motherfucker.’ Whoever answered the door would get wasted. As far as they were concerned whoever answered was a Communist, including family members. Sometimes they’d come back to camp with ears to prove that they killed people.”
Psychological warfare against civilians was an integral part of Phoenix. Soldiers would leave pamphlets on dead bodies, or on doors indicating that recipients were marked for death.
“Attention Villagers: 1.Your village was bombed because you harbored Vietcong in your village. 2. Your village was bombed because you gave help to the Vietcong in your area. 3. Your village was bombed because you gave food to the Vietcong.” – USMC Leaflet306
Phoenix officer Bart Osbourne testified before Congress in 1971:
“I never knew in the course of all those operations any detainee to live through his interrogation. They all died. There was never any reasonable establishment of the fact that any one of those individuals was, in fact, cooperating with the VC, but they all died and the majority were either tortured to death or things like thrown out of helicopters. It became a sterile depersonalized murder program.”307
Throwing victims out of a helicopter, for example, served a psychological warfare purpose as well, terrorizing those on the ground.
The intelligence that the CIA received was often flawed. Anyone in the South Vietnam infrastructure could report intelligence, and it was often not verified, which led to abuses such as South Vietnam politicians feeding intelligence to kill their political rivals.308
“We had no way of determining the background of these sources, nor their motivation for providing American units with information.
No American in the team spoke or understood Vietnamese well enough to independently debrief any “contact.” None of us were sufficiently sensitive to nor knowledgeable of the law, the culture, the customs, the history, etc.
Our paid sources could easily have been either provocateurs or opportunists with a score to settle. Every information report (IR) we wrote based on our sources’ information was classified as (1) unverifiable and (2) usually reliable source. As to the first, it speaks for itself; the second, in most cases was pure rationale for the existence of the program.” – Michael J Uhr, First Lieutenant involved with Phoenix.309
Historian Marvin Gettleman described in his book Vietnam and America: A Documented History, how “Intelligence gathered during interrogation was often used to direct ‘search and destroy’ missions aimed at wiping out whole villages or groups of villages.”310
All told, documents show that Phoenix led to the ‘neutralizing’ of over 80,000 people, about a third of them killed, between the years of 1968 and 1972.311
One Pentagon contract-study of Phoenix’s operations found that only 3% of those ‘neutralized’ were full party members above the district level between 1970 and 1971, and that over half … “were not even party members.”312
A Saigon government document lists the number of assassinated at over 40,000, nearly double that of other documents, highlighting potential disparity between record keeping and reality.313 The program supposedly ended in 1972, though it has been revealed that at least certain aspects continued until the fall of Saigon in 1975. Understanding that official documents don’t cover the full scope of Phoenix, and the history of records destruction by the Agency, it is unlikely that the full extent of Phoenix will ever be known.
So what about the infamous My Lai massacre that resulted in the rape and mutilation of around 400 civilians? Historian Daniel Valentine argues it was most certainly a Phoenix operation. He cites a known ‘blacklist’ of names to be ‘neutralized’ in My Lai, multiple accounts of military personnel referring to the entire village as Viet Cong sympathizers, using the logic that only sympathizers could survive in the area, and a Vietnamese Colonel who said himself that My Lai was a Phoenix operation, among other evidence.314
Marvin Gettleman concurs:
“By late 1967, before the Tet offensive, 70% of the villages in Quang Ngai province had already been destroyed.
In response to Tet, this slaughter was intensified literally with a vengeance. In mid-March on 1968, Quang Ngai province was the scene of what was to become the most notorious example: the massacre of villagers in My Lai 4. There the killing of hundreds of villagers, almost all unarmed women and children, and old men, so successfully swelled the body count that General Westmoreland sent a personal message of ‘Congratulations to officers and men of Charlie Company for outstanding action’ that ‘dealt the enemy a heavy blow’.
When the carnage finally came to light, evidence poured in showing that this massacre was not an aberration but just an especially appalling instance of a systematic strategy.” – Gettleman, page 411315
Project Phoenix would first come to the public in 1971 with a congressional inquiry. William Colby, CIA chief and director of the Phoenix program, testified that the agency didn’t distinguish between VietCong members and civilians.316 Colby would later defend the program, citing it as ‘the toughest opposition the Viet Cong faced’.317
295 Counterpunch, “Fragging Bob,” May 17, 2001, written by Historian Douglas Valentine
296 Michael Otterman, “American Torture,” excerpt available here.
297 From Douglas Valentine’s website.
298 Alfred McCoy, “A Question of Torture,” excerpt available here.
299 Ibid, Valentine
300 Quoted in the book “Hero´s,” excerpt available here.
301 Documentary available here.
302 Ralph McGee, “CIA and Operation Phoenix in Vietnam,” February 19, 1996
304 Douglas Valentine, “The Phoenix Program,” excerpt available here.
305 Testimony to Congress by Michael J. Uhl, available here.
306 Leaflet excerpt available here.
307 Doug Valentine, “The Phoenix Program,” excerpt available here.
309 Testimony to Congress by Michael J. Uhl, available here.
310 Marvin Gettleman, “Vietnam and America,” excerpt available here.
311 Wikipedia article on the Phoenix Program
312 Alfred McCoy, “A Question of Torture,” excerpt available here.
313 “Fiscal Year 1975 Foreign Assistance Request,” excerpt available here.
314 Doug Valentine, “The Phoenix Program,” excerpt available here.
315 Gettleman, excerpt here.
316 Congressional Testimony, “U.S: Assistance Programs in Vietnam,” excerpt available here.
317 Interview with William Colby, 1981, available here.
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. In what other wars has terrorism been used as a tactic?
2. Is it possible that the multitude of abuses in Latin America in the decades that proceeded the Vietnam War were ‘Phoenix’ offshoots?
3. Why has there been such little discussion about the ‘Phoenix Program’ both in the mainstream media and in academia after its revelations came to light?
* * * *
Chapter X: Iran/Contra
“The common ingredients of the Iran and Contra policies were secrecy, deception, and disdain for the law… The United States simultaneously pursued two contradictory foreign policies — a public one and a secret one” – Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair318
“In spite of the wildly speculative and false stories of arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments, we did not—repeat, did not—trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we.” – Ronald Reagan, November 1986
“A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.” – Ronald Reagan, March 1987
Iran/Contra isn’t one singular historical conspiracy, but rather comprised of various illicit activities which revolved around a core group of subversive actors and a covert war in Nicaragua.
The ‘core of subversive actors’ consisted of members and associates of the National Security Council, created under the National Security Act of July 26, 1947. Since the act was passed, the NSC has steadily grown in power and scope under various presidencies. During Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration in the ’50s, the NSC became a ‘virtual adjunct of the president’, and started reporting directly to the executive branch. John F. Kennedy, skeptical of the CIA and other agencies after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, allowed the NSC to begin functioning operationally, evolving from its traditional role as a planning committee.319 Under Ronald Reagan, the NSC expanded with increased staff and scope of operations. Under Eisenhower, it had been tasked with creating a:
“…virtual Cold War machine against Communism,” and to “create and exploit troublesome problems for international Communism… reduce international Communist control over any areas of the world,” and “develop underground resistance and facilitate covert and guerilla operations.”320
This directive would be the rational and motivation for the group conducting subversive actions in Nicaragua under the Reagan administration.
318 Report hosted at Archive.org
319 Draper, Theodore. “A Very Thin Line: the Iran-Contra Affairs”, 1991, p. 4
320 Draper, p. 6
* * * *
United States intervention in Nicaragua is nothing new. The U.S. had landed troops numerous times in the country during the 19th century. As recently as 1912, during a period known as the ‘banana wars’, U.S. military forces directly quelled rebellions against the American-supported leadership. In 1936, the American-trained head of the Nicaraguan National Guard, Somoza Garcia, forcefully took power in the country by murdering and disposing the former leader Augusto César Sandino, marking the beginning of a lengthy U.S. Supported dictatorship.321
Trouble arose in the 1970’s, when a revolutionary communist party called ‘The Sandanistas’, named after the disposed Sandino, began mounting a series of attacks and sabotage against the right wing Somoza dynasty, including the high-profile kidnapping of Nicaraguan elite at a Christmas party in 1974. The Sandanistas enjoyed wide support from much of the disenfranchised Nicaraguan population, who had become tired of the heavy-handed Somoza rule. One striking example is the 1972 earthquake that struck the Nicaraguan capital Managua, where Anastasia Debayle, son of Somoza Garcia, exercised emergency powers that allowed him to confiscate most of the international aid that had been directed towards rebuilding the city, instead ending enriching Debayle’s personal coffers.322
In 1979, the Sandanista uprising culminated in their gaining full power in Nicaragua. They were helped by the policies of Jimmy Carter, who had withdrawn aid to the Somoza regime after a series of revelations of human rights abuses. Carter originally hoped to remain on good terms with the Sandanistas, who had constructed a defacto socialist government in Nicaragua, and responded by sending them $99 million in aid. After they solidified a pact with the Soviet Bloc in 1980, Carter changed his tune and authorized the CIA to begin subversive acts in the country including propaganda efforts but prohibiting direct conflict.323
In 1980, right wing elements in Nicaragua created the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, FDN, which would become the largest and most organized member of the group that would become known as the ‘Contras’. When Reagan was inaugurated in 1981, he stepped up support of the group and expanded the scope of covert action in the country, allowing the CIA to directly arm, fund and train the Contras.
In 1983, he signed the National Security Decision Directive 77, entitled “Management of Public Diplomacy Relative to National Security,” institutionalizing public diplomacy. In effect, it was a special planning group within the NSC to coordinate public diplomacy campaigns, the most institutionalized ‘public propaganda ministry’ in United States history.324 The group used extensive media propaganda and control efforts, with one 14 page memorandum written by Oliver North detailing over 80 specific ‘publicity stunts’ designed to influence congressional and public opinion before upcoming Contra aid votes.325
When the covert war in Nicaragua became public knowledge in 1982, a group of congressmen led by Massachusetts representative Edward P. Boland tried to end all covert efforts in the country. This was with good reason, as news of the human rights abuses of the Contras became public knowledge. For example, a 1987 Chicago Tribune article noted that the Contras “engaged repeatedly in kidnappings, torture and murder of unarmed civilians.”326
The Guardian would delve deeper into the atrocities of the Contras, describing a particular attack where “Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off. They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit.”327
Americas Watch, a humans rights group, accused the Contras of328:
• targeting health care clinics and health care workers for assassination
• kidnapping civilians
• torturing civilians
• executing civilians, including children, who were captured in combat
• raping women
• indiscriminately attacking civilians and civilian houses
• seizing civilian property
• burning civilian houses in captured towns.
These were the principle means of waging war. Meanwhile, Reagan called the Contras the “moral equivalent of the founding fathers”.329
The terrorism of the Contras was not simply ‘collateral damage’ of supporting subversive groups. Rather, evidence shows that it was a deliberate campaign led by the CIA in the vein of Phoenix. In fact, the CIA wrote the training manual for the Contras titled “Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare” which, among other activities, advocated for assassinating judges and priests, blackmailing citizens, blowing up public buildings, and firing on dissenting citizens.330
Congressman Boland submitted legislation on December 21, 1982 which would become known as the Boland Amendment. It specifically barred “the use of funds ‘for the purpose of’ overthrowing the government of Nicaragua or provoking a war between Nicaragua and Honduras.”331 Open defiance was impossible, but the CIA, NSC and the Reagan Administration were dedicated to supporting the Contras at all costs, so they chose various methods of covert defiance by exploiting loopholes in the amendment.
As long as the funds going to the Contras were not tagged as being used for overthrowing the Sandanista government, then they could be delivered under the guise of international aid. The use of soliciting third party funding was also left out of the Boland Amendment. Ultimately, the Boland Amendment had no tangible impact on the covert war in Nicaragua.
During the period proceeding the Boland Amendment, the CIA directly assisted the Contra’s subversive efforts. One example is the use of air strikes against an airport near Managua. They also placed mines in Nicaraguan harbors in 1984, damaging several ships. The Wall Street Journal, which exposed these covert actions, also revealed the role of Oliver North, a Marine Colonel working on assignment with the NSC, in coordinating the actions, one of the first mentions of a name which would become notorious to the public just a few years later.332
Congress soon realized the ineffectiveness of the Boland Amendment and responded with new legislation that toughened the restrictions on funding the support, known as the Boland Amendment II. It read:
“During fiscal year 1985, no funds available to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities may be obligated or expended for the purpose or which would have the effect of supporting directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Nicaragua by any nation, group, organization, movement or individual.”333
This legislation left two loopholes: first, was the use of third party funds to fund the contras, and the second was that the text explicitly referred to the actions of the CIA, but failed to mention the NSC, using the logic that it was not an intelligence agency, under the Department of Defense, or even covered under the provision of “any … entity of the United States.” This was based on the idea that the NSC was: “the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisers and cabinet officials” and thus exempt.334
This transition of techniques led Oliver North to take on a primary role in Contra assistance.
321 Brown University, “The Iran/Contra Affair.”
324 NSDD77, hosted here at FAS.org
325 Foreign Policy, “Iran-Contra’s Untold Story.” 1988
326 Chicago Tribune, “Contras Humans Rights Record Attacked,” January 10, 1987
327 ISLA, excerpt available here. The book contains clippings of Latin American political, social and economic news from various English language newspapers. This particular quote is cited as coming from The Guardian.
328 Wikipedia article on the Contras
329 PBS, “The Iran-Contra Affair”
330 Document hosted here at FAS.org
331 Brown University
332 Brown University
333 The 1984 Boland Amendment (PDF Warning)
334 Brown University
* * * *
Israel and Iran
Barred from using direct Agency funds for the Contra operations, Oliver North and the NSC began to get creative. One result is the infamous ‘Diversion Memo’, written by North, detailing a plan to sell arms to Iran, overcharge the country and funnel excess funds to the Contras. This plan was blatantly illegal under Operation Staunch, a U.S. led arms embargo against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war which lasted from ’80 to ’90.
At the outset of the war, the US began arming Iraq, first with 200 million dollars in helicopters, and later escalating to several billion dollars worth of economic aid, the sale of dual-use technology, non-U.S. origin weaponry, military intelligence, Special Operations training, and direct involvement in warfare against Iran.335
The ‘Diversion Memo’ detailed a plan to work with a retired Air Force General and an Iranian businessman to sell arms to Iran, through the cover of Israel, in exchange for the release of American hostages held by Lebanese militants. Initially, the plan worked relatively well: Israel provided Iran with hundreds of TOW anti-tank missiles and multiple American hostages were released.336
The deal was completed just months after Ronald Reagan famously said: “The United States gives terrorists no rewards. We make no concessions, we make no deals.”337 Although North estimated that $12 million would be raised for the Contras in this manner, only $2 million ever made it to the group, likely because the private actors involved in the Operation were acting with a motivation of profit.
As is thematic with American covert operations, the funds were funneled through a ‘front organization’ called Stanford Technology Trading Group International, as well as using ‘proprietary’ airlines to transfer the missiles: aircraft owned by the CIA and used in normal operations until needed by the Agency for covert operations.338
The story unraveled in 1986 when two Lebanon reporters broke the story of the secret arms transfer. The revelations sparked the widely publicized hearings in the United States to find the ‘truth’ of the operations. In 1987 hearings, Oliver North was given immunization from self-incrimination before Congress. Regarding the destruction of documents, he humorously noted: “I would prefer to say that I shredded documents that day like I did on all other days, but perhaps with increased intensity; that’s correct.”339
The hearings’ Majority Report concluded that:
“North’s testimony demonstrates that he also lied to members of the Executive branch, including the Attorney General, and officials of the State Department, CIA and NSC.” And also that… “other officials lied repeatedly to Congress and to the American people about the Contra covert action and Iran arms sales, and that he altered and destroyed official documents.”
335 Wikipedia article on United States Support for Iraq During the Iran-Iraq War
336 Brown University, “The Iran/Contra Affair.”
337 Chicago Tribune, “President: Terrorists Must Pay,” July 1, 1985
338 Brown University
* * * *
The most shocking revelation of the Contra hearings, which the mainstream media nearly universally failed to report on, was the existence of an emergency preparedness plan known as Rex 84. The only public mention of the plan, known officially as ‘Readiness Exercise 1984’, was as follows:
Congressman Jack Brooks: Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?
Brendan Sullivan [North’s lawyer, agitatedly]: Mr. Chairman?
Senator Daniel Inouye: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that?
Brooks: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.
Inouye: May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I’m certain arrangements can be made for an executive session.
Luckily, the media was able to get more details on the program which was too sensitive to discuss in a public forum. The Miami Herald, in a July 5, 1987 exposé, published the following:
“Some of President Reagan’s top advisers have operated a virtual parallel government outside the traditional cabinet departments and agencies almost from the day Reagan took office, congressional investigators and administration officials have concluded.
Investigators believe that the advisers’ activities extended well beyond the secret arms sales to Iran and aid to the Contras now under investigation.
Lt. Col. Oliver North, for example, helped draw up a controversial plan to suspend the Constitution in the event of a national crisis, such as a nuclear war, violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad.” The Miami Herald340
Implementation of Rex 84 would have turned control over the United States to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which would act as an ’emergency czar’, and turn control of state and local governments to appointed Military commanders, and also included mention of ‘assembly centers and relocation camps’ to house dissidents. Attorney General William Smith correctly protested that the plan “exceeded its proper function as a coordinating agency for emergency preparedness.”341
It doesn’t take reading between the lines to see the immediate intent of Rex 84. The NSA, CIA and other U.S. institutions believed that an invasion of Nicaragua might have been necessary to prevent the spread of communism so close to their borders. Such an idea isn’t farfetched: Sandanista policies and their agreements with the Soviet Union indicate that they believed an American invasion was imminent.342 Being just a decade removed from the massively unpopular Vietnam War, an invasion would have prompted widespread dissent, and Rex 84 was the NSC’s plan to deal with a domestic anti-war movement.
The investigation described by the Miami Herald had interesting revelations of other activities. For example, it revealed that the ‘secret government’ stole President Carter’s briefing book used in campaign speeches and presidential debates with Reagan, indicating that the structure was in existence before Reagan’s inauguration. It noted meetings with Iranian officials to discuss the release the delay of the release of U.S. Embassy hostages until after the election. Lastly, it discussed how certain officials orchestrated leaks to paint Reagan in a positive light, such as the November 4, 1984 election day announcement that Soviet Jet Fighters were on their way to Nicaragua, orchestrated by Oliver North himself.343
340 Miami Herald, “Reagan Aides and the ‘Secret’ Government,” July 5, 1987. An absolutely fascinating article worth reading in its entirety.
342 Brown University, “The Iran/Contra Affair.”
343 Miami Herald
* * * *
Chief Counsel of the investigative Senate committee, Arthur Liman, wrote in a memo to panel leader Senator Daniel Inouye:
“This is the part of the story that reveals the whole secret ‘government-within-a-government’ operated from the [Executive Office Building] by a Lt. Col. with its own army, airforce, diplomatic agents, intelligence operatives appropriations capacity.”344
As the ‘Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair’ noted, the United States had an actual foreign policy that vastly differed from their public discourse, and was executed in secret without checks and balances. When Congress tried to stop the covert operations, the agencies involved simply found loopholes to subvert their legislation, going as far as to arm two sides fighting against each other in a war, and to use private actors to conduct illicit activities. Furthermore, Rex 84 shows just how serious the ‘secret government’ was in exerting hegemony in Latin America.
The term ‘secret government’ is not an exaggeration. Various investigations, public and private, noted that Ronald Reagan himself may not have been aware of many activities the group undertook. These facts were all revealed in the mainstream media in a short period proceeding the Iran arms sales revelations, yet the public was never able to fully inform itself of the depths of the scandal.
344 Miami Herald, “Reagan Aides and the ‘Secret’ Government,” July 5, 1987. An absolutely fascinating article worth reading in its entirety.
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. Why was the American public so complacent when the facts of a veritable shadow government were thoroughly revealed in the media?
2. Why was there no significant drive for reform of the CIA originating from within Congress?
3. How often does the CIA disregard domestic and international law when it interferes with their agenda?
4. Why did the CIA find hegemony in Nicaragua to be so important? What threat, if any, did the country pose to the United States?
5. Does a modern version of Rex 84 exist today?
6. How far will the United States go to suppress domestic dissent the next time they deem a foreign invasion necessary?
Note: Feeling overwhelmed with this material? Take an inspiration break in our Inspiration Center. And remember that no matter how damaging or destructive a person’s behavior is, every person in the world has a heart, and every heart has a place within that wants only to love and be loved.
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Chapter XI: Continuity of Government
The definition of ‘Continuity of Government’ is a set of contingency plans to ensure that essential government functions remain in place after a disaster such as nuclear war. In the United States, Continuity of Government plans have been on the books since at least the Eisenhower administration. The plans involved building intricate hidden command centers such as the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center built in 1959, nestled away in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
While the Government officially classifies Mt. Weather as a ‘bunker’, many sources claim that it is essentially a full blown city. According to GlobalSecurity.org, a respected institution in the intelligence community, Mount Weather contains a hospital, sewer treatment system, reservoirs, a power plant, an emergency television studio, and a thorough system of dormitories & office buildings.345
None of this is out of the ordinary, so to speak. It is reasonable for the government to have such plans in place. However, on September 11, 2001, the Continuity of Operations plan was officially activated and has been live ever since, meaning that Mt. Weather and similar installations are likely in operation today.
“A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States,” President George W. Bush proclaimed on September 14, 2001.
Dick Cheney officially enacted the “Continuation of Government” plans shortly after the World Trade Center attacks, although the Bush Administration would not confirm that this took place until March, 2002.346 A simultaneous ‘State of Emergency’ was declared and is also in effect today, extended each year by George Bush, Barack Obama, and then Donald Trump.347
“A ‘shadow government’ consisting of 75 or more senior officials has been living and working secretly outside Washington since Sept. 11 in case the nation’s capital is crippled by terrorist attack. “This is serious business,” President Bush said of plans to ensure the continuity of government.
Such an operation was conceived as a Cold War precaution against nuclear attack during the Eisenhower administration but never used until now. It went into effect in the first hours after the terror attacks and has evolved over time, said senior government officials who provided details of the plan.
Under the classified “Continuity of Operations Plan,” which was first reported by The Washington Post in its Friday editions, high-ranking officials representing their departments have begun rotating in and out of the assignment at one of two fortified locations along the East Coast.
The Post said the first rotations were made in late October or early November, a fact confirmed by a senior government official late Thursday.
Officials who are activated for the duty live and work underground 24 hours a day, away from their families, according to the Post. The shadow government has sent home most of the first wave of deployed personnel, replacing them most commonly at 90-day intervals.
The government-in-waiting is an extension of a policy that has kept Vice President Dick Cheney in secure, undisclosed locations away from Washington. Cheney has moved in and out of public view as threat levels have fluctuated.”348
Serious business indeed. There have been instances where Congressmen have been stonewalled when trying to learn more about the secret operations. One example is Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio, a key member of the Homeland Security Committee, pushed to review the classified portion of the Continuity plan in a secure setting in 2007 but his access was denied.349
What can we know about the Continuity of Operations plan currently in effect? Patrick Thronson, editor-in-chief of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, has put together the most comprehensive publicly available paper detailing the states of emergencies and powers granted to the executive branch.350 Available knowledge is naturally incomplete because many powers and documents are still classified. Some highlights include:
• Congress is required by statue to vote on the continuation of a state of National Emergency every six months. Since September 11th, 2001, it has only happened once.
• There are currently thirty simultaneous declared states of emergency.
• The Executive Branch can freeze the assets and prevent financial transactions of individuals. This extends to even basic life necessities. They can go as far as to prohibit donations of food to said person.
• The president can unilaterally order the inspection and seizure of commercial vessels.
• The president is authorized to suspend or alter rules for broadcast stations, or authorize control of said station.
• Provisions to suspend or control internet traffic.
“Thus, the only apparent legal obstacle standing between present conditions and this degree of government control over mass media and telecommunications is a presidential order. ” – Thronson
• The ability to seize property
• The delegation of ‘maintaining law and order’ to the department of defense.
• Extend military tours of duty beyond contractually agreed termination dates.
“A nation under thirty states of national emergency can hardly claim that emergency laws are the exception to—rather than the rule of—normal governance. ” – Thronson
Like every other case study of covert activities highlighted in this book, ‘Continuity of Operations’ has a friendly face but the actual workings of the secret government are strictly secret. Suffice it to say that the powers behind the Iran/Contra activities have become fully institutionalized.
The implications are that the workings of Congress, the Justice Department and other institutions have become merely a show to distract from the reality that a secret government which does not respond to civilian rule and has granted itself sweeping, unchecked powers and is certainly directly operating in the realm of foreign policy, covert activities and likely domestic espionage, among other potential activities.
345 Mount Weather profile at GlobalSecurity.org
346 CBS, “The Shadow Government,” February 11, 2009
347 MSNBC, “Obama quietly extends post-9/11 state of national emergency,” September 11, 2013
348 CBS, “The Shadow Government,” February 11, 2009
349 Oregon Live, “DeFazio demands access to classified information,” July 27, 2007
350 Patrick Thronson, “Towards Comprehensive Reform of America’s Emergency Law Regime,” March 23, 2013
* * * *
Food for Thought:
1. Is there any limit to the powers that the shadow government has granted itself?
2. Why has there been nearly zero coverage of the Continuity of Government in the media? Why have only one or two congressman openly questioned its existence?
3. Who is in control of the Continuity of Government operations? What is their agenda?
* * * *
Chapter XII: The Pedophocracy
Authors Note: The next three chapters may contain triggers for those who have suffered sexual abuse.
“Laura Lederer, a senior State Department adviser on trafficking, told me, ”We’re not finding victims in the United States because we’re not looking for them.” – New York Times351
“What you have to understand, John [DeCamp], is that sometimes there are forces and events too big, too powerful, with so much at stake for other people or institutions, that you cannot do anything about them, not matter how evil or wrong they are and no matter how dedicated or sincere you are or how much evidence you have. That is simply one of the hard facts of life you have to face. You have done your part. You have tried to expose the evil and wrongdoing. It has hurt you terribly. But it has not killed you up to this point. I am telling you, get out of this before it does. Sometimes things are just too big for us to deal with, and we have to step aside and let history take its course. For you, John, this is one of those times.” – Former CIA Director William Colby352
351 New York Times, “The Girls Next Door,” January 25, 2004
352 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup”. You may remember William Colby from the ‘Phoenix Program’ chapter, the CIA operation which he presided over. The book is fascinating and is a ‘must read’. (PDF Warning).
* * * *
From Washington, D. C…
“Homosexual Prostitution Inquiry Ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush”.353 This article was published in the Washington Times and was written by award-winning, Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist Paul Rodriguez. After years of research, Rodriguez had compiled the radical evidence necessary to publish such claims.
He had uncovered a homosexual prostitution ring tied to the White House. One central figure, Craig Spence, a Republican powerbroker, had the political clout to bring prostitutes on midnight tours of the White House. The report names multiple White House insiders, military personnel and members of major media institutions as clients, based on credit card records procured by Rodriguez.
“Among the client names contained in the vouchers – and identified by prostitutes and escort operators – are government officials, locally based US military officers, businessmen, lawyers, bankers, congressional aides and other professionals…
Although the confiscated material was turned over to District police on the scene, witnesses and law enforcement agents say the Secret Service kept one box containing names and other information about high-level government officials who were clients of the male escort business.
District police officials say that, to their knowledge, this is the first time the Secret Service has ever become involved in such a raid in this area.” – Washington Times
Craig Spence would throw extravagant parties for the Washington D.C. elite, with ‘call boys’ freely available for interested party-goers. Various associates, including multiple of Spence’s body guards, came forward and admitted that his house, where the parties were located, was thoroughly bugged with audio and video recording equipment, with the intent of extortion and blackmail of those who ended up in compromising positions.354
Spence was somewhat of a mystery man. What type of employment did he have? No one knew for sure, though Spence himself would often boast of his important connections. One of his associates told the Times:
“He described Mr. Spence as ‘strange’, saying he often boasted that he was working for the CIA, and on one occasion said he was going to disappear for a while ‘because he had an important CIA assignment’. According to the businessman, Mr. Spence told him that the ‘CIA might double-cross him’, however, and kill him instead and then ‘make it look like a suicide.’” – Washington Times355
Indeed, Spence would die just months after the interview, of an apparent suicide, but not before admitting that his parties were bugged by friendly intelligence assets which he refused to name.356 The investigation by Rodriguez and his associates would also screech to a halt after all of the evidence was either classified by the Secret Service or tied up in red tape. Someone in a high position of power clearly did not want the full extent of the revelations to become public.
Homosexual prostitution on its own isn’t shocking, and depending on your conceptions of morality, no different than the heterosexual prostitution that is likewise rampant in Washington D.C. with the only tangible difference being the repercussions of entrapment (especially for Republicans). However, one particular part of the investigation leads us down a shocking rabbit hole:
“In addition to credit-card fraud, the investigation is said to be focused on illegal interstate prostitution, abduction and use of minors for sexual perversion, extortion, larceny and related illicit drug trafficking and use by prostitutes and their clients.” – Washington Times357
In fact, the name Craig Spence would appear repeatedly in another major prostitution inquiry, this one centered around children, known today as the Franklin Scandal, one of the darkest stains in the history of the United States.
353 Full text can be read here.
354 Washington Times, “Power Broker Served Drugs, Sex at Parties Bugged for Blackmail,” June 30, 1989
356 Washington Times, “Spence Arrested in N.Y., Released.” August 9, 1989.
357 Washington Times, “Homosexual Prostitution Inquiry Ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush,” June 29, 1989
* * * *
…To Franklin, Nebraska
The story of the ‘Franklin Scandal’ begins with Lawrence E. King, one of the fastest rising Republican stars of the 1980’s. He was a public figure in Franklin, Nebraska who ran the Franklin Federal Credit Union, along with a series of restaurants and bars. These various businesses apparently furnished King’s lavish lifestyle of private jets, extravagant parties and an entourage of assistants and bodyguards.
Larry King, as he was known, was accused by seven children of child abuse and prostitution before he sang the National Anthem at the 1988 Republican National Convention. But despite various petitions to local police and the FBI, no official investigations were ever undertaken.358
One of the allegations began from the serious abuse of children at the hands of Jarret and Barbara Webb, the former a member of the Franklin Credit Union board; the latter a cousin of King, who adopted various foster children and would proceed to subject them to horrific physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The girls housed at the Webbs told of being taken to various parties in the Franklin area where Larry King and other important local figures sexually abused them. One of the girls, Eulice Washington, recalled being flown on King’s private jets to be abused across the country.
“Among the first accusers was Eulice Washington, who claimed King flew her to out-of-state pedophilic orgies. She had been adopted by relatives of King’s in the 1970s. Her new ‘mother’ was King’s cousin Barbara Webb, and her new ‘father’ was husband Jarrett Webb, who sat on the board of the Franklin Federal Credit Union. To Eulice Washington, King had been Uncle Larry. ‘Larry King set up the pedophile ring,’ says Eulice. ‘From my knowledge and from what I saw go down, he was the man who got it moving and rolling. Everything went through him. He loves boys. He loves them like he shouldn’t.’” – The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal359
Despite Eulice passing various lie detector tests, charges were never pressed against the Webbs.360 The Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) was the first organization to come across various cases of abuse, from Eulice Washington and others. They wrote numerous letters to Nebraska’s Attorney General Robert Spire urging an investigation, but their pleas were ignored.
The FCRB testified to the State Legislature’s Investigative Executive Review Board Subcommittee in 1988 that:
FCRB Chairman Dennis Carlson: The nature of these allegations are something that is going to shock the Committee. They deal with cult activities. They deal with sexual abuse. And there’s a correlation between these two different reports. We have, the Boys’ Town report … prepared by a worker from Boys’ Town named Julie Walters [which] contains the allegations of the children that were in the Webb foster home, Nelly primarily. Years later, well, two years later, we have Loretta Smith in Richard Young Hospital who’s making allegations against Larry King, and as far as we know there is no relationship between Nelly and Loretta Smith… Both reports talk about the Omaha Girls Club, both reports mention a specific individual who is the superintendent of schools.
State Senator Remmers: The question that came into mind, it’s been in my mind since you’ve been testifying, and I think you’ve answered part of it just now, is you’re talking about these abuses from children from Boys’ Town and Girls’ Club and so forth. Now is there a common thread that goes over here to the Credit Union deal that we are investigating? In other words to the Franklin Credit Union? Is there a common thread there that kind of leads to that?
FCRB Member Carol Stitt: Well, the common thread is Larry King.
Remmers: Yes, that’s what I mean. It all goes back to him? OK.
Stitt: Yes, he seems to be more the organizer, or the high-class pimp, I mean if that helps fit this together.361
Larry King would also be linked to embezzlement before he sang the National Anthem at the 1988 Republican National Convention, but again avoided an investigation. The facade unraveled in November 1988, when an IRS investigation revealed that King had stolen over $40 million from the coffers of the Franklin Federal Credit Union. The financial corruption alone shocked the city, but soon reports started circulating that in addition to various fraudulent accounting documents, investigators found a huge stash of child pornography as well.362
More rumors of sexual abuse began to arise, with multiple allegations that Larry King was using children from Boys Town, the nearby Catholic charitable institution for orphaned youth.363 His yellow sports car was notorious on the Boys Town campus, where he would drive around and pick up minors for his pedophilic activities. The Catholic management denied any connection to King, but financial records showed that Boys Town had a close-knit relationship to the Franklin Federal Credit Union.364 Federal and local authorities immediately moved to close the investigation and seal evidence, claiming that allegations of child abuse were unfounded.365
The authorities backtracked and stated that they had done everything in their power to investigate these claims. Attorney General Robert Spire said: “We did receive some sensitive information in July. My office acted promptly and professionally and nothing was sat on.” However, it would later be revealed that no authorities ever interviewed Eulice Washington and other children noted by the FCRB until three years later, after they made their report public.366
Despite this, Omaha Chief of Police Robert Wadman stated to the press that “Every step that should have been taken, was taken.”367 However, Wadman would later confess that he had never contacted Eulice Washington, one of the children abused at the hands of Webb, nor the Child Protective Services department that handled Washington’s claims.368 Wadman would later be identified as a child abuser at King’s parties by four different victims.369
358 FranklinCase.org, “Franklin Timeline”
359 Nick Bryant, “The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal”. Nick Bryant is a celebrated investigative journalist who spent nearly a decade researching the Franklin case, traveling over 40,000 miles and compiling the most complete accounting of events to date. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a freely available copy on the internet. You should buy this book if any, however, because 50% of the proceeds are being donated to organizations that are fighting child abuse.
361 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup,” page 80. PDF available here.
362 Omaha World-Herald, “Lawsuit: King Diverted Millions From Franklin,” November 15, 1988
363 New York Times, “A Lurid, Mysterious Scandal Begins Taking Shape in Omaha,” December 18, 1988
364 Discover Channel Documentary “Conspiracy of Silence”.
365 Omaha World-Herald, “‘No Substance,’ Say Police, FBI Evidence Called Lacking To Link Franklin, Abuse,” February 5, 1989
366 Nick Bryant, “The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal”.
369 Discovery Channel, “Conspiracy of Silence”
* * * *
Obstruction, Threats and Murder
In an early police investigation, low level police officers attempted to keep their inquiries a secret from Wadman, seemingly knowing that he would be adamant about shutting down their investigation. Nebraska Foster Care Review Board official Dennis Carlson related Omaha Police Officer Carmean’s testimony to the Legislature’s Executive Board hearing:
“[Officer Carmean] told me some things which I found to be somewhat startling. I asked if he was interested in information regarding Larry King and he said, yes we are, we’re conducting what he called a supersensitive investigation of Larry King and he said this investigation was so supersensitive that they were not even using the steno pool in the Omaha Police Department. They were handwriting their police reports, and he also told me that Chief Wadman had come to their unit and directly asked if they were investigating Larry King…. Investigator Carmean told me, we lied to the Chief and we said, no, we are not investigating Larry King. That conversation took place on July 20th of 1988.”370
Shortly afterward, Officer Carmean was transferred out of the Robbery and Sex unit and the investigation stalled. On July 5, 1989, in a lengthy “Inter-Office Communication” to Omaha Public Safety Director Pitmon Foxall (a cousin of Larry King), Wadman announced that Carmean needed a mental health evaluation.371
Many were not convinced of the Police Department’s conclusion that there was no substance to the abuse allegations, including a group of 12 State Senators who decided to create their own parallel commission to investigate the charges, lead by Senator Loran Schmit. Following the money trail, Schmit and his team quickly found that it could be traced directly to the sex parties and child abuse. It became clear to Schmit that he was uncovering some serious ‘dirty laundry’:
“I received a phone call on the floor of the legislature. The caller would not identify himself, but he said, Loren, you do not want to have an investigation of the Franklin Federal Credit Union. And I asked, who am I speaking to? And they said, that doesn’t matter, but you shouldn’t have that investigation. And I said, well, why not? And he said, it will reach to the highest levels of the republican party, and we’re both good republicans.” – Loran Schmit372
Schmit wasn’t the only one to receive threats. The lead investigator of the State Senator’s Committee, Gary Caradori, had also specified that he had received a series of threats, such as obvious tampering with his vehicle, as to send a message. In early July 1990, Caradori made a trip to Chicago to meet with a secret informant who had evidence which would ‘blow the lid’ off the case, and reportedly confided to a friend that he was one step ahead of those who wanted to squash the investigation, saying that if ‘they’ knew what information he had, he would be killed.373
On returning from Chicago, Caradori’s private plane crashed, killing him and his son. The National Transportation Safety Board investigation found that the wreckage was scattered over a radius between 3/4 to 1 mile, indicating without a doubt that the plane broke up in the air, instead of upon impact. Certain items were missing from the crash, most notably Caradori’s briefcase. Within 24 hours, all of the evidence was collected by the FBI and sealed.374
370 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup,” page 48. PDF available here.
371 Ibid, page 49
372 Discovery Channel, “Conspiracy of Silence”
373 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup.” PDF available here.
374 Discovery Channel, “Conspiracy of Silence”
* * * *
The Paul Bonacci Trial
What information was so important that the pedophile network would kill the lead investigator in what looked like a blatant assassination? It turns out he was meeting with Russell ‘Rusty’ Nelson, a photographer for Larry King, who attended King’s parties with the intention of photographing powerful men in compromising positions with minors, in order to blackmail them later.375
Like Craig Spence, King was known to throw lavish parties for the Republican elite, with underage prostitutes allegedly in attendance. Rusty Nelson was in hiding for an entire decade after the Franklin Scandal broke, but ended his silence under oath during a court hearing in 1999, in order to ‘set the record straight’. He revealed that he had a very close relationship with King and kept hundreds of thousands of photographs of King’s business dealings and parties in various locations. Most of the evidence had been confiscated, and more had been destroyed in Gary Caradori’s plane crash.
Rusty’s testimony to the District Court was very interesting. Among other events, he revealed that he personally saw Larry King place a direct call to then-president Ronald Reagan when other associates could not resolve a specific problem. He also claimed to have seen and taken pictures of the Chief of Police of Omaha Robert Wadman at various parties, engaged in various sexual acts with minors, and had once seen Wadman accept a large envelope full of bearer bonds from King. While most of Rusty’s evidence was confiscated, he was able to provide the court with photographs that corroborated his close relationship to King, such as photographs of King inside his private jet and limousine, and alongside male strippers.376
The District Court hearing was not about Rusty Nelson, but rather for compensation for one of the victims, Paul Bonacci, who had first made accusations of abuse against Larry King in 1986, two years before there was even a Franklin Scandal. The testimony given was so convincing that the judge awarded Bonacci with $1 million. The plan was to donate the proceeds to charitable organizations dealing with child abuse, but King has never paid. Paul Bonacci suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder, a diagnosis confirmed by three different state-appointed psychiatrists, from extreme abuse he had received beginning at the age of 3. At the age of 8, he became associated with Larry King and began attending his parties as a child prostitute.
The type of abuse Bonacci underwent at the hands of Larry King is shocking:
Bonacci: “They put guns up to my head. They put guns in my mouth… Larry King sent out boys, men, to jump me. He had them pretty well beat the tar out of me from the waist down so no one would see the marks. I had my fingers broken… I can remember them burning me with hot instruments… placing stuff inside me… almost what I would call a cattle prod.”
Judge Urbom: “Done by Larry King at his direction?”
Bonacci: “At his direction. If they wanted to get something passed in the legislature, he would put some people that were against it in a compromising position, by using us boys and girls.”377
One of the men in Washington that Paul Bonacci claimed abused him is Democratic Senator Barney Frank. Bonacci was also taken on the very same midnight tours of the White House hosted by Craig Spence that journalist Paul Rodriguez wrote about in the Washington Times, as a child. He claimed that immediately after the tours of the White House, he was taken to another place to be sexually abused.378
375 Court Transcripts, “Paul Bonacci vs. Lawrence E. King”
* * * *
The Grand Jury Coverup
Before his untimely death, Gary Caradori had compiled a leads list of 271 victims of sexual abuse in the Franklin area. His death precluded interviewing most, and others recanted their stories under pressure from Federal authorities, often accompanied by the threat of jail time for perjury. Along with Paul Bonacci, the investigation proceeded with three other primary witnesses, Troy Boner, Danny King (no relation to Larry), and Alisha Owens.
Both Boner and Owens recounted tales, after passing multiple state-sponsored lie detector tests,379 of attending hundreds of parties hosted by Larry King where they were abused by King and other prominent men in Lincoln and Omaha. The three would repeatedly corroborate each other in interviews taken under oath by Gary Caradori, initially without knowledge of each others participation in the investigation.380 Most of the victims claimed that they were used to transport drugs across state lines, at the demand of Larry King and Alan Baer, a prominent Omaha millionaire.
Gary Caradori once followed a lead of Alisha Owens where she claimed that she was often abused at The French Café in Omaha. He talked to the former manager on the telephone, Sheila McGuire, who told Gary that:
“We had parties in my apartment above the French Cafe. Larry King would wine and dine potential investors downstairs at the Cafe. When the French Cafe closed about 1 AM, King and his man called Parking Lot Bob – who worked for him (and was our coke connection) – would bring people upstairs to my place. If Larry King investors wanted drugs, booze, children or hookers (male or female), we’d get them. While these guests of Kings took their pleasures with the kids or whoever, King would sit and watch while he drank, did coke and played with his young boys.
One time, when this guy Irv from NYC wanted Sandra who was about 12 or 13 years old and getting her 1st period, Larry intervened when Sandra refused. King pulled out a roll of $100.00 bills and gave Sandra 5 of them. King then pulled out a small gram of coke and gave that to Sandra. Sandra finally agreed and went off to bed with Irv. King took good care of the local and out of town high rollers. If you had the money to invest at Franklin, King would cater to your most deranged perversion.
And, let me tell you another thing. The boys in the board rooms around Omaha are shitting in their Brogans. If this case gets cracked open, the list of involved will read like Who’s Who. King and his crew have ruined a lot of children’s lives.”381
The New York Times confirmed that both the FBI and state investigators received numerous reports regarding sexual abuse from children and testimonies from people involved in the foster care system.382 What happened next is amazing. Instead of indictments of the accused perpetrators to develop cases against them, both Douglas County and Federal Grand Juries ordered all files to be sealed, declined to interview dozens of witnesses, and then brought charges of perjury against Alisha Owens.383
Both Grand Juries concluded that Troy Boner and Alisha Owens had indeed been abused, but claimed that the adults they testified against were innocent! Alisha Owens was later found guilty of perjury, and sentenced to between 9 and 15 years. She ended up spending two years in solitary confinement, more than any other woman in Nebraska history, and a clear message to other victims: Stay silent.384
“This is unprecedented, probably in the history of the United States. If the children are not telling the truth, particularly if they have been abused, they need help, medical attention. You don’t throw them in jail!” – Dr. Judianne Densen-Gerber, a lawyer, psychiatrist and nationally prominent specialist on child abuse, during her visit to Nebraska in December 1990.385
On the same day that Alisha Owens was convicted of perjury, the charges against Paul Bonacci, who told a very similar story, were dropped.386 Perhaps they did not want certain testimony to come to trial, such as Bonacci’s claim that Larry King would send limousines to Offutt Air Force Base and pick up CIA agents for his parties.387
The Grand Jury trial was a mockery of justice, where the state-appointed attorney Samuel Van Pelt vigorously attacked the charges and mocked the allegations of the defendants. It has to be noted that a Grand Jury is a special type of proceeding where the attorney chooses all of the witnesses and what evidence is presented; there is no presentation of the defense or cross examination. A former Chief Judge of New York State once quipped that a special prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.”388
There are shocking irregularities with the Grand Jury proceedings. First, it never called Larry King to testify. In fact, the evidence of child abuse and child pornography has never been presented against King in any court of law. One member of the Douglas County Grand Jury claimed that the Van Pelt helped write the final report, which is illegal.
The report contained some very peculiar statements, such as “children do have the right to expect that if they exhibit reasonable behavior, they will not be abused.” (Emphasis added). It also contained blatant lies, such as the claim that Paul Bonacci’s doctor said that Bonacci was not capable of the truth, even though not only was the doctor not called to testify, he said elsewhere that he believed Bonacci’s story.389
Owen’s attorney, Henry Rosenthal, found that the evidence shown to the Grand Jury was deliberately tampered with. The video testimony taken by Gary Caradori was edited to remove sections where Troy Boner and Alisha Owens corroborated each others claims.390 The lawyer representing Owens, Boner and (Danny) King originally claimed to have had over 100 clients who had suffered sexual abuse in relation to King and Boys Town, but then later claimed that their testimonies were all fabrications.391
There is also the curious trend of upward mobility for a group of men who were instrumental in rigging the Grand Juries:392
1. US Magistrate Richard Kopf, who deposited Lawrence King in a federal psychiatric hospital so he wouldn’t have to appear before the grand juries, and signed off on the FBI’s federal search warrant of Alisha Owen’s prison cell, is now a US District Court Judge.
2. Thomas Thalken, Assistant US Attorney for District of Nebraska, who prosecuted the federal grand jury in Nebraska is now a US Magistrate.
3. Gerald Moran, who was the Douglas County Deputy Attorney who prosecuted the Alisha Owen trial is now a Douglas County District Judge.
4. Robert Sigler, who was the Douglas County Deputy Attorney who prosecuted Alisha Owen throughout her multiple appeals, is now an Assistant US Attorney for the District of Nebraska.
379 Discovery Channel, “Conspiracy of Silence”
380 Caradori’s videotaped testimony is available here.
381 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup.” PDF available here.
382 New York Times, “A Lurid, Mysterious Scandal Begins Taking Shape in Omaha,” December 18,1988
383 Salem News, “America’s Greatest Child Sex Scandal: Boys Town in Lincoln, Nebraska,” December 29, 2012
384 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup.” PDF available here.
386 Nick Bryant, “The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal”. Nick Bryant is a celebrated investigative journalist who spent nearly a decade researching the Franklin case, traveling over 40,000 miles and compiling the most complete accounting of events to date.
387 Bridget Howe, “If The West Falls,” Excerpt Available Here.
388 The Economist, “The ham sandwich standard ,” February 28, 2014
389 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup.” PDF available here.
390 Discovery Channel, “Conspiracy of Silence”
391 Nick Bryant
392 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup.” PDF available here.
* * * *
After receiving threats that he himself would become the victim of perjury charges, Troy Boner recanted his testimony during this period. However, in 1993 he submitted an affidavit detailing his intimidation and stating unequivocally that his testimony as well as those of his peers were truthful.
“I lied because I truly believed and still do believe that it was a situation where I must either ‘lie or die’ and at the insistence primarily of the Federal Bureau of Investigation officials who were dealing with me at that time.” – Troy Boner’s Affidavit393
Boner repeated the allegations that the Chief of Police Robert Wadmann and the Omaha Herald editor Harold Andersen were primary players in his abuse and the abuse of his peers. He recounts the various tactics the FBI used in his intimidation, including alluding to harm that may come about to a family member if he persisted in telling his story. Shortly after these threats, Troy’s brother Shawn was found dead from a gunshot wound. The official story was a game of Russian Roulette.394 Troy cites this as a primary motivating factor in coming forward with the truth in his affidavit.
“Maybe the most important thing any honest investigator should do is to ask me, Troy Boner, or any of the other kids such as Alisha or Paul Bonacci, to take polygraph, lie detector tests SIDE BY SIDE ON THE SAME QUESTIONS WITH THE PEOPLE WE ARE ACCUSING OF THESE THINGS. Example, ask Alan Baer if he shot mainline drugs into me and if he is a major drug dealer and if he had sex with me. Ask Eugene Mahoney if he met me at a bookstore in Council Bluffs and used to regularly pay me to have sex with him as a boy. Ask [redacted] to take a polygraph test on whether he is a big time drug dealer.” – Troy Boner’s Affidavit (Emphasis retained)
The polygraph tests never happened. In 2004, Troy Boner entered an Omaha hospital visibly shaken and adamant that he was being targeted because of his testimony. The next day, he was found in a hospital room dead, drugged and beaten.395 The timing might be related to the reelection campaign of George W. Bush, who multiple victims claimed had attended Larry King’s parties. Troy would round out a ‘suspicious death’ list that reached 15 names, including:396
1. Troy Boner
2. Shawn Boner, Troy’s brother, found shot in the head shortly after Troy was to testify before court. The official explanation of his death was ruled to be a game of ‘Russian roulette’.
3. Bill Baker, associate of Larry King and alleged to be involved in the production of child pornography.
4. Gary Caradori and his eight year old son, Andrew, killed in a plane crash.
5. Newt Copple, a primary informant of Caradori, was 70 when he ‘died in his sleep’ but exhibited no health problems before his death.
6. Clare Howard, the secretary of Alan Baer, the wealthy Omaha businessman who was alleged to be a prime member of the child abuse ring. Also ‘died in her sleep.’
7. Mike Lewis, former caregiver of victim-witness Loretta Smith. Death attributed to ‘severe diabetic reaction’ at the age of 32.
8. Joe Malek, associate of King, died from a gunshot which was ruled a suicide.
9. Aaron Owen, the brother of victim-witness Alisha Owen, died in his jail cell hours before Alisha was supposed to testify, ruled a suicide.
10. Charlie Rodgers, alleged sexual partner of Larry King, died of a shotgun wound to the head, ruled a suicide.
11. Bill Skoleski, Omaha police officer said to be secretly keeping a file on Larry King, died of a heart attack.
12. Kathleen Sorenson, foster parent of children who had escaped the Webb family, and outspoken activist on raising awareness of the abuse of the children she cared for.
13. Curtis Tucker, an associate of Larry King, who allegedly jumped out the window of a Holiday Inn in Omaha.
14. Harmon Tucker, a school superintendent in Omaha.
394 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup.” PDF available here.
* * * *
Conspiracy of Silence
In 1993, a television station in Yorkshire, England traveled to Franklin to uncover the truth about the tale of child abuse in Franklin, working in tandem with the Discovery Channel. It was called “Conspiracy of Silence.” Yet shortly before it was set to air, it was pulled. No explanation has ever been given, though there are rumors that an anonymous person paid the Discovery Channel $500,000 to revoke the television rights to the film.
It would only be unofficially released two years later, when someone who helped produce the video and felt it was so important it needed to be public, leaked a rough draft from the copy room to attorney and former State Senator John DeCamp. It is now widely available for viewing online.
Overall, eight high profile Omaha figures would be accused of sexual assault, with testimonies corroborated between victims. They were:397
1. Larry King
2. Robert Wadman, Omaha Chief of Police
3. Harold Anderson, retired Editor of the Omaha World-Herald
4. Alan Baer, wealthy businessman
5. Deward Finch, Superintendent of schools.
6. Peter Citron, media personality
7. Judge Theodore Carson
8. PJ Morgan, Mayor of Omaha
Of these men, only one, Peter Citron, would be convicted of child abuse on an unrelated breakout of pedophilia claims which launched a separate investigation. Before the allegations leading to Citron’s arrest broke, he was threatening to sue John DeCamp for naming him as a child abuser in a memo sent to the Omaha press.
How could such a massive and orchestrated coverup take place? It involved the FBI withholding all sensitive files, including explicit videos and pictures of the relationships between King and his associates and young children. It involved a campaign of denial by the Omaha Police Department, whose chief was a primary member of the child abuse ring, and a disinformation campaign by Nebraska’s media, who also had important members implicated in the ring.
It involved zealous FBI agents who were self-expressed ‘good friends’ with Robert Wadman. And it involved a campaign of suspicious deaths designed to silence testimony. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it involved an American public unwilling to believe that powerful men could be implicated in child abuse, child prostitution and drug running.
397 Discovery Channel, “Conspiracy of Silence.”
* * * *
The Dutroux Affair
In the summer of 1995, a wave of disappearances of young girls in Belgium grabbed national headlines. The series of kidnappings would continue through the next year, with the Belgium BOB (FBI equivalent) unable to develop any leads.
Then in the summer of ’96, an anonymous tip about a suspicious white van led investigators to the doorsteps of Marc Dutroux, a known pedophile who had only recently been released from prison after serving three years of a 13 year sentence, despite warnings from various professionals and even his own mother that he was likely to be a repeat offender.398 The man who let Dutroux out of prison, Justice Minister Melchior Wathelet, would soon be promoted to serve as a judge at the European Court of Justice at the Hague.399
Various stories soon emerged in the press regarding how the BOB had repeatedly, and suspiciously, failed to implicate Dutroux during the previous years. For example, BOB officer Rene Michaux once searched Dutroux’s house, but failed to investigate yells that he heard in the house, claiming the voices were coming from children outside. Nor did he find the odd construction of Dutroux’s basement, shaped in an L with one wall much newer than the others, reason for inquiry.400
At the time, Dutroux, though unemployed and receiving welfare from the state, owned seven homes and lived quite lavishly from his involvement in selling children and child porn.401 Michaux ignored reports from an informant who claimed to have been made an offer by Dutroux to kidnap young girls in exchange for about €4000.402
He once had in his possession a video tape of Dutroux constructing his makeshift basement dungeon and raping a 14 year old girl, but the tape was returned to Dutroux’s wife, apparently unviewed.403 Michaux’s failures likely directly led to the death of two girls who were held captive by Dutroux at the time of the investigation and reportedly died of starvation.
The arrest of Dutroux did not come until a new lead investigator, Jean-Marc Connorette, was assigned to the case. For the first time, many victims of child abuse and trafficking in Belgium felt that they had someone they could trust, and began to come forward with their stories. The case quickly spiraled to the point where Dutroux was no longer the focus. During the investigation, these victims were each assigned a number, appended after an X.
For example, X1 was first sexually abused at the age of two, at the hands of her grandmother, who owned a hotel frequented by pedophiles. At the age of 4, she was introduced to a ‘pimp’ who would take her out to other locations for abuse and torture. She was diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder, now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Even after getting married and moving away at the age of 19, she was never able to fully leave the ‘network’: Occasionally, when her husband was out of town, her old pimp would show up and take her back to places she was abused as a child, and she would be raped.404 She named and described in great detail, to a specially assembled police team, the people and places involved in the pedophile ring. Senior judges, one of the country’s most powerful politicians – now dead – and a very influential banker were included.405
“The sessions not only involved sex, they included sadism, torture and murder; and again, she described in detail, the place, the victims and how they were killed.” – BBC406
X1 and other witnesses recounted being raped by dogs and snakes, and being forced to witness the murders of other children which were captured on video tape.407
X1 was quoted as saying:
“In Brussels there was a villa in which a room was set up with built-in cameras. Even in the 1970s these cameras were so discrete that only the people who maintained them and the child prostitutes knew where they were located… Why did I [have] to get those guys clearly in the picture, why was I supposed to get them to hit me and brutally rape me? Why was ‘regular’ sex often not enough?… Blackmail, the word that was never mentioned; I only started to really understand when I was thirteen, fourteen years old.”408
The other victims told similar stories, all independent of one another. Most had developed Multiple Personality Disorder, and had been turned over to the ‘network’ by family members. Many accurately and independently verified locations and members of the network who were their abusers.409 Perhaps most importantly, they all claimed that high profile members of society were involved.410
X1 also corroborated that one of Dutroux’s associates, Jean-Michel Nihoul, was instrumental in the abuse parties. Nihoul had significant connections among Belgian political and financial elite. He later confessed to organizing an orgy at a Belgian chateau attended by government officials, described by the press as a ‘Policeman’s Orgy’.411 It emerged that Dutroux and Nihoul were part of a long distance child trafficking ring that imported children from Slovakia, among other places. Nihoul would later be found not guilty, a decision made by the judges who overruled a ‘guilty’ verdict by the jury.
Just as the investigation was heating up and began to show promise, it was completely dismantled from higher powers. Jean-Marc Conorrette was dismissed from the case, which drew huge criticism from across the nation.412 It prompted the event known as the ‘White March’, in which 300,000 Belgians from the nation of just 10 million took to the streets to protest the dismissal.413 414 Conorette would later break down in tears in court while describing the death threats he received when he was still involved with the investigation.415
A second change that greatly affected the proceedings was the introduction of a strict hierarchy to the examinations of the witnesses, which was previously undertaken by BOB officers working independently, overseen by Gendarmerie Commandant Jean-Luc Duterme. Duterme would conduct abusive interrogations which emotionally devastated the witnesses who were suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder.
In addition, the prosecutor that replaced Conorette, Jacques Langlois, deliberately obfuscated the investigation. He sent police out on false tips and helped spread disinformation in the media. Jean-Marc Connorete once described how he felt about the leads that Langlois would end up investigating:
“I regularly and much earlier complained about those terrible circumstances in which I had to work in the Dutroux case… We continually received information about all kinds of bizarre leads. Those then received a lot of media attention, but to us meant nothing but time loss… Just think about the Abrasax case and the digs in Jumet. If I remember correctly, the first leads in those two cases were already put under my nose in the very beginning of the investigation. Afterwards precisely Abrasax and Jumet were used by the media as an argument to say that the whole investigation was manipulated and pointed towards false leads. I experienced the same thing in the Cools case, in which the police began to manipulate and was wholeheartedly supported by the media.” – Humo (Belgian publication)416
Fuel to the fire would be added when a highly regarded children’s activist, Marie France Botte, claimed that prosecutors were sitting on a politically sensitive list of high profile customers of Dutroux’s thousands of video tapes.417
Marc Verwilghen, the Flemish parliamentarian who became the most popular politician in the country after leading the inquiry into Dutroux, claimed that many in the Belgian establishment, including heads of government, refused to cooperate and sought to stifle and ridicule his report. He claimed that magistrates and police were officially told to not answer certain questions, in what he described as a ‘characteristic smothering operation’. He was further quoted as saying “For me, the Dutroux affair is a question of organized crime.”418 A parliamentary panel revealed the names of 30 government officials it said were complicit in the hiding of Dutroux’s misdeeds, none of whom have been punished.419
As the trial came to an end in 2004 and faded from the public spotlight, Dutroux adamantly claimed that he was not a lone pedophile, but instead was acting on behalf of a large pedophile ring.420
“Marc Dutroux insisted yesterday that he was not a ‘lone predator’ who kidnapped and raped young girls, but part of a wider paedophile ring. Dutroux portrayed himself as a victim, a ‘puppet in a show trial’ who had to be put away to ‘hide the truth’ and serve the interests of ‘organised corruption’. Only 10% of the case had been examined, he said, asking why independent-minded policemen had been removed from the investigating team. He urged police to follow up clues he said would prove he was working for a network which kidnapped girls to be sold into prostitution.”
Today, many Belgians have expressed sorrow that most of the details of the evidence will never be known. The files are sealed, with the presiding judge claiming he saw no reason to reopen them.
The Dutroux affair follows a shockingly similar pattern to the events in Franklin, Nebraska. The local police have no interest in uncovering the child abuse ring and even go to seemingly absurd lengths to keep it a secret. The courts are hostile towards the witnesses and the trials are deliberately obfuscated. Charges of perjury are brought against those who refuse to recant their stories. The Federal investigators withheld proof of the claims of the witnesses, including the names of high profile members of the child abuse ring and visual evidence of their crimes.
[Editor’s Note] An excellent, disturbing documentary titled “Imperium” uses engaging major media footage to show how the investigation into the Dutroux affair was corrupted by individuals and groups at the highest levels. This important film leaves no doubt as to the gravity of the problem and the need for us to come together for the sake of these abused children.
398 BBC, “Profile: Marc Dutroux,” June 17, 2004
399 Wikipedia article on Melchior Wathelet.
400 Fox News, “Court keeps convicted pedophile killer Marc Dutroux in prison in Belgium,” February 18, 2013
401 NBC, “Belgium Begins High-Profile Pedophile Trial”, March 1, 2004
402 TruTV’s Crime Library, “Marc Dutroux, A Pedophile and Child-Killer.”
403 The Guardian, “Police admit Dutroux video bungle,” June 17, 1999
404 Marie-Jeanne Van Heeswyck, Annemie Bulté and Douglas De Coninck ,The X Dossiers, 1999
405 BBC, “Regina Louf’s Testimony,” May 2, 2002
407 Regina Louf, “Zwĳgen is voor daders : de getuigenis van X1.” Unfortunately, I have been unable to find an English version of this book.
409 Annemie Bulte, “de X-Dossiers: Wat Belgie Niet Mocht Weten Over de Zaak-Dutroux.”
410 New York Times, “275,000 in Belgium Protest Handling of Child Sex Scandal,” October 21, 1996
411 The Telegraph, “Belgians Shocked By Tale of Policeman’s Orgy,” March 16, 1990
412 New York Times, “Belgian Hero Dismissed,” October 15, 1996
413 New York Times, “275,000 in Belgium Protest Handling of Child Sex Scandal,” October 21, 1996
414 Wikipedia article on the White March
415 The Telegraph, “Judge tells of murder plots to block Dutroux investigation,” March 5, 2004
416 Humo, “War in Neufchateau: examining magistrate Connerotte speaks about the Dutroux dossier for the first time,” December 3, 2002.
417 Los Angeles Times, “Kidnap Deaths Plunge Belgium Into Guilt,” September 2, 1996
418 The Guardian, “Cover-up claims revive sex scandal,” April 21, 1999
419 Los Angeles Times, “Grisly Crimes Undermine Belgian Unity,” January 3, 1998
420 The Guardian, “Dutroux insists he was part of paedophile ring,” June 11, 2004
* * * *
The British Aristocracy Pedophocracy
“Officers in London were inquiring into allegations made by a teenage rent boy that a Cabinet minister had been abusing him. The youth claimed to be one of a number of boys regularly having sex with rich and powerful men in the 1980s – some of whom would fly to the illegal orgies from Europe.
As well as the Cabinet minister – who is still alive – he pointed the finger at judges, European bigwigs and senior civil servants. He told his story to detectives, who are understood to have received other allegations against the minister. But a former detective who worked on the case revealed they were suddenly told to halt the probe.
The furious ex-policeman said: “It wasn’t that we ran out of leads, but it reached a point where a warning to stop came. It was a case of ‘get rid of everything, never say a word to anyone’. It was made very clear to me that to continue asking questions would jeopardise my career.” – The Sunday Daily Star421
The passing of Sir Jimmy Savile in October 2011, entertainer, socialite and personal friend of the royal family, opened the floodgates of a myriad of revelations, with hundreds of victims coming forward claiming they were abused at the hands of Savile in esteemed institutions such as BBC and various hospitals. It seemed that many people where aware of the transgressions, but no one acted. Years later, new revelations were still coming to light on a weekly basis. One interesting story was published in January of 2013 which read, “Jimmy Savile was part of satanic ring”.422
“Dr Sinason told the Sunday Express she first spoke to the victim in 1992. She had been a patient at Stoke Mandeville in 1975 when Savile was a regular visitor.
She recalled being led into a room that was filled with candles on the lowest level of the hospital, somewhere that was not regularly used by staff. Several adults were there, including Jimmy Savile who, like the others, was wearing a robe and a mask.
She recognised him because of his distinctive voice and the fact that his blond hair was protruding from the side of the mask. He was not the leader, but he was seen as important because of his fame.
She was molested, raped and beaten and heard words that sounded like ‘Ave Satanas’, a Latinised version of ‘Hail Satan’, being chanted. There was no mention of any other child being there, and she cannot remember how long the attack lasted, but she was left extremely frightened and shaken.”
Allegations of powerful pedophile rings in Britain were nothing new. Over 30 years ago in 1981, Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens warned parliament against a pedophile ring he had uncovered, claiming that the network involved “big, big names – people in positions of power, influence and responsibility” and threatened to expose them in Parliament.423
Dickens made waves regarding the pedophile ring and dossiers he received for four years in parliament before backing down in the face of harassment and death threats. It seems that no one took him seriously at the time, but new evidence shows that his claims had merit: In January 2013, Scotland Yard reopened their investigation.
“Last month Metropolitan Police began Operation Fernbridge into allegations that residents of a childrens home in Richmond, west London, were taken to the nearby Elm Guest House in Barnes, where they were abused. Pornography involving adults having sex with children was allegedly shot at the property and then circulated commercially.
Sir Peter was among the visitors to the property. Others, according to a list seized by Scotland Yard last month, were the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, the former Russian spy Sir Anthony Blunt, a Sinn Fein politician, a Labour MP, and several Conservative politicians.
After neighbours complained about the arrival of children, the police raided the guesthouse in 1982 but the operation was mysteriously cut short. A 2003 investigation also failed.” – The Independent424
The new inquiry was prompted by MP Tom Watson, who requested the original dossier collected by Dickens, but Scotland Yard has been unable to produce it.
The revelations of Jimmy Savile opened new opportunities for investigations of former cases. By December 12, 2012, the number of victims who had come forward claiming abuse at the hands of Jimmy Savile had reached 450, spanning dozens of childrens homes and hospitals.425 Two famous childrens homes who were each subject to their own vast child abuse scandals in the last decade, Haut de la Garenne on Jersey Island, and Bryn Estyn Boys Home in Wrexham, North Wales, have had a series of fresh allegations in the wake of the Savile revelations.
In Wrexham, North Wales, the tale is a familiar one. Boys from the Bryn Estyn home would be taken to parties throughout the city where they acted as child prostitutes for socialites and were severely sexually abused.
“Over the years, twenty seven police inquiries failed to disclose the scale of the alleged abuse. Thirteen reports by social services went unpublished. Several journalists reached out for the truth and ended up scorched by libel actions. When police finally launched a major inquiry, in 1991, they secured the conviction of only four care workers and concluded that there was no evidence of a paedophile ring. Clwyd County Council then commissioned its own independent inquiry but decreed that its report could not be published.” – The Guardian426
Celebrated investigative journalist Nick Davies, writing for The Guardian, nails the concept and motivation behind these various sex abuse scandals with the following statement:
“Power is the fabric of a paedophile ring, essential first to subjugate the children, whose passivity is essential for the adults’ indulgence; and second, where possible, to neutralise the authorities who might otherwise frustrate its activities.”
Writing about a new tribunal launched into the Wrexham case in 1997, Davies noted that over 300 men and women had come forward, naming 148 different abusers.
The official Wrexham inquiry concluded that widespread abuse of boys did indeed occur at Bryn Estyn and other nearby childrens homes, and that dozens of potential inquiries were completely suppressed by administrators.
“During the period under review there was a paedophile ring in the Wrexham and Chester areas in the sense that there were a number of male persons, many of them known to each other, who were engaged in paedophile activities and were targeting young males in their middle teens. The evidence does not establish that they were solely or mainly interested in persons in care but such youngsters were particularly vulnerable to their approaches.”427
After the Savile revelations, 76 new victims came forward in North Wales, and the investigation has been reopened. The victims claimed that the 1997 inquiry only examined a small fraction of the abuse allegations.428 The Independent revealed in 2012 further details of a coverup:
“A damning report that laid bare the North Wales child abuse scandal might have aired the issue of sex attacks on children in care nearly half a decade before an official judicial inquiry in 2000. Instead copies of the report were ordered to be destroyed because the council that commissioned it feared it might be sued, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. Only a handful remain, including one obtained by this newspaper.” – The Independent
They claim the following details:
• “The then newly appointed North Wales chief constable, who was uncontactable yesterday, refused to meet them or help with access to the police major-incident database. We were disappointed at the apparent impossibility of obtaining a breakdown of data. We are unable to identify the overall extent of the allegations received by the police in the many witness statements which they took.”
• Some 130 boxes of material handed over by the council to the police were not made available to the panel.
• The council did not allow the inquiry to place a notice in the local press seeking information. “This was considered to be unacceptable to the insurers,” says the report.
• “There were numerous claims and suggestions that senior public figures including the police and political figures might have been involved in the abuse of young people,” the report said. – The Independent429
After his death, Jimmy Savile would be repeatedly linked to the North Wales home. One victim claimed to have been repeatedly raped by the deputy head of the home, Peter Howarth, while Savile watched for entertainment.430
“Howarth pulled down my pyjama bottoms in front of Savile. I was helpless as Jimmy watched. He thought it funny entertainment. This happened to a number of boys.”
According to “Ben”, Savile would ask him: “What do you want me to do? Can I fix it for you.” The victim added: “He kept on looking at me and smiling and laughing. Then he started rubbing my leg. After that I went to bed but he had other children brought up to him.” – The Telegraph
The phrase “Can I fix it for you” is a sick play on Jimmy Savile’s popular TV show, ‘Jim’ll Fix It’, where Savile would put underprivileged or sick kids into contact with celebrities, or take them on trips, as a psuedo-charitable charade. This put Savile in contact with hundreds of vulnerable children. Peter Howarth was one of the few people convicted during the original North Wales child abuse inquiries.
“Another victim of Bryn Estyn was Steve Messham, who claims he was repeatedly abused as a child by a senior member of the conservative party, as well as others. Yesterday he told Channel 4 News that he passed photographs of children being abused, including himself, to the police but they failed to act. He also said the men who abused him as a teenager frequently threatened him, saying: ‘If you tell anyone, I’ll have you killed.’” – The Telegraph
The Haut de la Garrene childrens home in Jersey has similar evidence of a massive coverup. Jersey, not subject to European Union regulations, has long been a haven of tax dodgers and secrecy. In 2008, more than 200 victims came forward with tales of rape and torture.431 It soon became clear that many of the accused were Tory officials and aides, prompting a swift response by Prime Minister David Cameron to address the claims.432
After his death, it was revealed that Jimmy Savile was a regular visitor of the childrens home.433
In 2008, after being replaced as the lead of the investigation, Police Chief Lenny Harper blasted the road blocks he encountered during his tenure and accused an ‘Old Boys’ network of obstructing his investigation.
In his most outspoken criticism of the Jersey authorities, Mr Harper told the Telegraph: “I can quite clearly say that the investigation is being held up. There are people on the island who just don’t want us going down the route of this inquiry.”
Mr Harper, who handed over the reins of the investigation to his successor on Thursday and officially leaves the Jersey force at the end of the month, also revealed fresh details of why he is so convinced that someone deliberately concealed the bones and teeth of five children, perhaps after murdering them.
Mr Harper has repeatedly said that because some of the 100 bone fragments had been cut, and because the 65 milk teeth found at the home had roots on them, meaning they did not come out naturally, children were either murdered or their bodies were illegally concealed.” – The Telegraph434
Jimmy Savile pictured with 30 children from the Haut de la Garrene Home
Jimmy Savile was also linked to Haut de la Garenne. It was revealed in October 2012 that his name had come up numerous times in a police investigation four years earlier, but he was not investigated further.435 Lenny Harper, the lead investigator into the Garenne home, told the Telegraph in 2012:
“Savile chose his victims with great care; vulnerable and often troubled youngsters many in care homes. If they complained they were labeled troublemakers, or brutally put down. We know from court cases and statements made to my team [during the 2008 inquiry] that children in Jersey care homes were ‘loaned out’ to members of the yachting fraternity and other prominent citizens on the pretense of recreational trips but during which they were savagely abused and often raped.
“When these children complained they were beaten and locked in cellars [at Haut de la Garenne], which the Jersey authorities denied existed in 2008, but which can still be seen on YouTube footage. What chance did they have? This would have been the perfect hunting ground for Savile. The great and good of Jersey fawn over anyone with even loose connections to British royalty. Saville would have been a VIP to them and children would not have stood a dog’s chance of complaining about him. It would have been so easy for him.” – The Telegraph436
Regarding the statement about the ‘yachting fraternity’, Rupert Murdoch’s famous tabloid News of the World launched an investigation and found that children were “loaned out to rich pedophile yachtsmen”.437 They alleged that Jimmy Savile personally delivered the boys to the club.
Jimmy Savile is certainly a weird character. He once gave an interview to Esquire Magazine where he stated:
“I guess I am like Forrest Gump. I am like a sewing machine needle that goes in here and goes in there, but I am also the eminence grise: the grey, shadowy figure in the background. The thing about me is I get things done and I work under cover.”438
Perhaps he is referring to his close connections with the United Kingdom’s royalty. Savile was known to have acted as a ‘marriage counselor’ between Prince Charles and Princess Diana in the ’80s. His weird behavior was noted by the press, where he was reported to greet Prince Charles’ assistants by “taking their hands and rubbing his lips all the way up their arms.”439
Jimmy Savile had numerous private meetings with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, documents released in 2012 revealed. They detailed how Savile had petitioned Thatcher to change a law that would allow easier tax deductions for Savile’s involvement with the Stoke Mandeville hospital (where Savile was alleged to have abused girls during Satanic rituals).
BBC explained that the documents showed that Thatcher was favorable to Savile’s petition, and had several private meetings including lunch, though she was adamant that his name never be mentioned.440 Later it was revealed that Prince Charles himself signed on to be the ‘Patron of the Appeal’.441
As of January 2013, police confirmed that at least 22 sexual abuse offenses by Jimmy Savile had taken place at the Stoke Mandeville hospital.442 A 2009 police interview with Savile shows that all he had to do was threaten legal action against the police, and the claims of abuse against him were dropped. At one point he told the officers, in reference to the Stoke Mandeville hospital, “I own it.”443
The connections between Savile and the UK elite are certainly cause for suspicion. In 2007, Prince Charles sent Savile a Christmas Card which read: “Jimmy, with affectionate greetings from Charles. Give my love to your ladies in Scotland.”444
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the Savile tale is that everyone knew. One senior police officer told BBC that “We know Jimmy likes them young, he’s got friends in high places.”445 A retired Leeds policeman has claimed that “there wasn’t a copper in the city who didn’t know Savile was a pervert”.446 BBC television and radio legend Sir Terry Wogan claimed that Savile’s abuse was an ‘open secret’ and that it was common knowledge in the industry what he was up to.447
“David Nicolson, 67, said he reported the incident to his bosses at the corporation in 1988 but was rebuffed and simply told: “That’s Jimmy”. He told The Sun newspaper: “I was revolted by his behaviour. They just shrugged it off, saying, ‘Yeah, yeah — that’s the way it goes’.”
“Everyone knew what was going on. That includes senior BBC people – chiefs at the highest levels. “There were always girls in Jimmy’s dressing room. Everyone would have known about it – all the hair and make-up people, the wardrobe, show directors, producers.” – The Telegraph448
New revelations regarding Jimmy Savile and other pedophiles in esteemed institutions are being published every month. Hopefully the investigation trail will eventually expose just how deep the corruption goes.
[Editor’s Note] The powerfully revealing 60 Minutes Australia program “Spies, Lords, and Predators,” aired in July 2015, courageously revealed undeniable evidence that top politicians and the second in charge of the UK’s MI6 intelligence service were involved in this pedophile network. This landmark program is a must watch and share for all who want to join in transforming our world.
421 The Sunday Daily Star, “Tory Paedo Cover-up,” October 28, 2012
422 Express UK, “Jimmy Savile was part of satanic ring,” January 13, 2013
423 The Independent, “Tory MP warned of powerful paedophile ring 30 years ago,” February 22, 2013
425 BBC, “Jimmy Savile abuse: Number of alleged victims reaches 450,” December 12, 2012
426 The Guardian, “Secrecy imposed on the exposure of alleged child abuse,” October 1997
427 The Telegraph, “Waterhouse Inquiry: recommendations and conclusions,” November 6, 2012
428 The Record UK, “North Wales abuse: 76 new allegations arise in investigation into a historic paedophile ring at 18 care homes,” April 29, 2013
429 The Independent, “The Jillings report: How the truth about North Wales child abuse scandal was suppressed,” November 11, 2012
430 The Telegraph, “Jimmy Savile linked to North Wales child abuse scandal,” November 7, 2012
431 The Telegraph, “Jimmy Savile: ‘He was the tip of the iceberg’,” October 19, 2012
432 The Guardian, “Tory child sex abuse ring claim: Cameron races to control scandal,” November 5, 2012
433 BBC, “Jimmy Savile named in Jersey children’s home abuse inquiry,” October 2, 2012
434 The Telegraph, “Jersey abuse case: ‘Old boy network’ is obstructing police investigation,” August 8, 2008
435 The Daily Mail, “Savile pictured at the Jersey House of Horrors: Paedophile DJ is surrounded by children at care home where 192 ‘suffered abuse‘,” October 16, 2012
436 The Telegraph, “Jimmy Savile: ‘He was the tip of the iceberg’,” October 19, 2012
437 News of the World, “JERSEY:Children were loaned to rich paedophile yachtsmen.”
438 Daily Mail, “Jim the fixer: Is Jimmy Savile just a fantasist … or is the truth even stranger than fiction?”
439 The Guardian, “Jimmy Savile caused concern with behaviour on visits to Prince Charles,” October 29, 2012
440 BBC, “Jimmy Savile sought Margaret Thatcher Stoke Mandeville help,” December 28, 2012
441 The Daily Star, “CHARLES’ LINKS TO SAVILE,” May 12, 2013
442 BBC, “Jimmy Savile scandal: Stoke Mandeville inquiry continues,” January 11, 2013
443 The Guardian, “Jimmy Savile: transcript reveals ‘policy’ used to halt abuse claims,” October 16, 2013
444 The Telegraph, “Sir Jimmy Savile: Prince Charles’s love for Savile’s ‘ladies’,” October 4, 2012
445 BBC, “‘Everyone knew’ about Jimmy Savile, former officer says,” October 17, 2013
446 The Telegraph, “How far did police go to protect Jimmy Savile?,” October 18, 2013
447 The Mirror, “Sir Terry Wogan speaks of his hatred of Jimmy Savile and says his crimes were open secret at BBC,” October 5, 2013
448 The Telegraph, “Jimmy Savile: BBC did nothing when director caught him in the act,” October 12, 2012
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Food for Thought:
1. How can a pedophile network infiltrate or compromise the authorities who would otherwise be responsible for exposing them and bringing them to justice?
2. Why is pedophilia so rampant among the elite?
3. How could Jimmy Savile and Larry King maintain their abuse when so many of their associates were aware?
4. Why does the reported child abuse go well beyond sexual acts into sadism and torture?
5. How widespread are these networks?
6. Is there collusion or connections between large pedophile rings?
7. Just how high up does the corruption go in Washington, the UK and Belgium?
* * * *
Chapter XIII: Cults and Child Abuse
* * * *
On November 16, 1987, a New York Times article glibly revealed a shocking statistic: in a three year period from 1984 to 1987, over 30 different military bases were rocked by child abuse scandals, including West Point and Fort Dix.459 This statement came on the heels of a massive scandal that was taking place in San Francisco, at a military base named Presidio.
“A Federal grand jury in San Francisco spent 10 months investigating abuse allegations surrounding the Presidio center, and almost 100 children were examined for physical or psychological signs of sexual abuse. At least four children were discovered to have chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease.” – New York Times
The San Jose Mercury described the West Point scandal and its relation to ritual abuse in chilling detail:
“There had been sex abuse cases involving day care centers at several other Army bases. West Point was one of the most serious – until the Presidio. In July 1984, a 3-year-old girl was brought to the emergency room at West Point Hospital with a lacerated vagina. The child told the doctor who examined her that a teacher at the West Point day care center was the one who hurt her…
Children at West Point told stories that would become horrifyingly familiar. They said they had been ritually abused. They said they had had excrement smeared on their bodies and been forced to eat feces and drink urine. They said they were taken away from the day care center and photographed.” – San Jose Mercury News460
The Presidio that the San Jose Mercury News and New York Times mentioned is a military base located in San Francisco. It became the subject of one of the strangest and sickening child abuse scandals in American history. In 1987, some parents whose children attended the Presidio day care center began to notice signs of abuse in their children, who began acting strangely, using sexually provocative language and sexually inappropriate behavior.
Upon taking their children to the hospital, it was revealed that they also suffered an array of physical symptoms showing clear cases of sexual abuse. When authorities would not act, the parents directly contacted the parents of other kids at the center and the result was shocking: 60 children had clear physical signs of abuse and 4 had contracted Chlamydia. Some were only infants.
The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry wrote an extensive analysis of the victims of the Presidio. They stated:
“The severity of the trauma for children at the Presidio was immediately manifest in clear cut symptoms. Before the abuse was exposed, parents had already noticed the following changes in their children: vaginal discharge, genital soreness, rashes, fear of the dark, sleep disturbances, nightmares, sexually provocative language, and sexually inappropriate behavior. In addition, the children were exhibiting other radical changes in behavior, including temper outbursts, sudden mood shifts, and poor impulse control. All these behavioral symptoms are to be expected in preschool children who have been molested.”461
The U.S. Army was in no hurry to investigate the claims of child abuse. It took them 12 days to form a strategy group, and nearly a month passed before they notified other parents of the day care that child abuse allegations had been made. Although it is normal procedure to shut down a government daycare after such allegations, the Presidio Daycare Center remained open for nearly a year. By then, 59 other victims between the ages of three and seven were identified.462
Reports of a satanic cult being housed within the military base had apparently surfaced many years earlier. Military Police had investigated some buildings after reports of a man dressed all in black holding a little girl’s hand had been reported. An MP was recorded as saying:
“We kicked the door open and here’s this nice little bedroom. In a corner was a mannequin with a gun aimed at the door. On the left side there was a bunk against the wall. There was a pentagram on the floor, a huge one. There were dolls’ heads all over the ceiling, just off-the-wall stuff… We were sitting there, we’ve got a cult on the Presidio of San Francisco and nobody cares about it. We were told by the provost marshal to just forget about it.”463
On the Autumnal equinox of 1987, an occult day of importance, fire would strike a building adjacent to the day care, destroying many records relating to the center. A month later, fire would destroy the day care center itself. The ATF found that the causes of both fires had been arson, contrary to the Armies own investigation which claimed faulty wiring.464
Only one man would ever have charges brought against him: Gary Hambright, a civilian employee who oversaw the daycare center. However, the prosecution bungled the case, bringing to trial only the children who ‘would make the best witnesses’ and leaving out the most prolific examples of physical abuse, such as those with rectal lesions and missing hymens. The judge presiding over the case deemed the charges as ‘too vague’ and Hambright walked free.
No other persons were charged and the US government quietly closed the case against Presidio itself.465 The lawyer for the Presidio was Joseph Russoniello, who also defended the United States government during the Iran/Contra trials.466
At one point in the investigation, it was revealed that another man was being investigated by the police: Lieutenant Colonel Michael Aquino, military intelligence specialist. Army documents and child testimony showed that children from the day care center regularly took trips outside of the center, and many children were able to accurately identify what the inside of Aquino’s house looked like. Investigators searched Aquino’s house and retrieved thousands of videos and photographs, and found what appeared to be a soundproof room, but charges were never brought against him.467
Who exactly is Michael Aquino? It turns out he is an important piece of the puzzle. Aquino is openly a Satanist, who founded his own church called the Temple of Set. He coauthored the highly controversial document “Mindwar” in 1980, which would define the strategy and importance of Psychological Operations, aka PSYOPS, for the Department of Defense from that point forward. In ‘Mindwar’, Aquino argues that the reason for the failure in Vietnam was not tactical, but rather the United States simply lost the war of information, being unable to turn the Vietnamese to their cause and unable to convince the domestic public of the importance of the war.468
Aquino proposes a new look at PSYOPS, claiming that it ought to be at the very forefront of the war effort, the very first and the most important technique employed as soon as conflict is deemed inevitable. No longer would ‘tactical propaganda’ such as leaflets and loudspeakers on the battlefield suffice, instead a vast array of propaganda and coercion techniques are needed. This goes beyond what we traditionally think of propaganda, such as planted news stories or front organizations that we saw in Operation Mockingbird. He also advocates ‘Mindwar’ on American citizens.
“MindWar must target all participants if it is to be effective. It must not only weaken the enemy; it must strengthen the United States.”
Immediately afterwards is a disturbing justification on the use of PSYOPS on Americans:
“Under existing United States law, PSYOP units may not target American citizens. That prohibition is based upon the presumption that “propaganda” is necessarily a lie or at least a misleading half-truth, and that the government has no right to lie to the people. The Propaganda Ministry of Goebbels must not be a part of the American way of life. Quite right, and so it must be axiomatic of MindWar that it always speaks the truth. Its power lies in its ability to focus recipients’ attention on the truth of the future as well as that of the present. MindWar thus involves the stated promise of the truth that the United States has resolved to make real if it is not already so.”
So there is virtually no law barring the use of ‘Mindwar’ on Americans, because if it is not yet the truth, the Department of Defense will make it the ‘truth’.
Perhaps most terrifying is Aquino’s insistence that:
“There are some purely natural conditions under which minds may become more or less receptive to ideas, and MindWar should take full advantage of such phenomena as atmospheric electromagnetic activity, air ionization, and extremely low frequency waves.”
Consider the magnitude of this statement, imagine the Department of Defense manipulating domestic and foreign persons with Extremely Low Frequency waves to alter their political and moral dispositions to align with the interests of the United States. It sheds light on a statement Aquino makes in the beginning of the document:
“Psychotronic research is in its infancy, but the U.S. Army already possesses an operational weapons systems designed to do what [Lieutenant Colonel John] Alexander would like ESP to do – except that this weapons system uses existing communications media. It seeks to map the minds of neutral and enemy individuals and then to change them in accordance with U.S. national interests. It does this on a wide scale, embracing military units, regions, nations, and blocs.”
Psychotronics, as defined by Aquino himself, is ‘intelligence and operational use of ESP.’ In the simplest terms, the Department of Defense has the capability to map a persons brain waves, and then use techniques such as ELF (Extremely Low Frequency Waves) to alter that persons brainwaves to a pattern more conducive to United States interests. This is the technique that Aquino is advocating to be used on domestic citizens, in the most defining thesis in PSYOPs history. And remember this paper was published 34 years ago. Where is the technology today?
As an important side note, Franklin victim Paul Bonacci (see section below) once identified Michael Aquino as an associate of convicted felon Larry King.469 Rusty Nelson at one point identified Michael Aquino as the man to whom he had seen Larry King once turn over a suitcase full of cash and bonds.470 In addition, Michael Aquino has been implicated in various other daycare and military installation child abuse scandals. One important example is the abuse case at the Jubilation Day Care Center at Fort Bragg, where multiple children positively identified Aquino as an abuser out of a video lineup of men dressed exactly like him.471
Editor’s Note: Watch this revealing video of Col. Michael Aquino wearing a Satanic outfit defending Satanism on the Geraldo show in 1988. Why is this man allowed to influence military policy?
459 New York Times, “Army Will Close Child-Care Center,” November 16, 1987
460 San Jose Mercury News, “Army of the Night,” July 24, 1988
461 American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, “PRESCHOOL CHILD SEX ABUSE: The Aftermath of the Presidio Case,” April 1992
462 San Jose Mercury News, “Army of the Night,” July 24, 1988
465 San Jose Mercury News, “Abuse Case at Presidio Quietly Closed by US,” April 19, 1988
466 New York Times, “Moonlighting,” September 27, 1998
467 San Jose Mercury News, “Army of the Night,” July 24, 1988
468 Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, “Mindwar,” (10 pages, PDF Warning)
469 Court Transcripts, “Paul Bonacci vs. Lawrence E. King”
470 Executive Intelligence Review, “Stunning breakthrough reached in Nebraska satanic pedophile case,” March 19, 1999 (PDF Warning)
471 David McGowan, “The Pedophocracy.”
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Satanism in Franklin, Nebraska
Two primary witnesses in the Franklin proceedings, Paul Bonacci and Loretta Smith, neither of whom knew each other, both told stories of being sexually abused at the hands of satanic cults operating in Nebraska. The Douglas County grand jury acknowledged that the allegations in the Franklin case “necessitated our studying satanic and pedophile activity in eastern Nebraska, particularly in the Omaha metropolitan area.”472
Loretta Smith’s testimony would be sealed by the Douglas County Grand Jury, but references in the Grand Jury Final Report shed some light on what she discussed:
“In 1988 an Omaha girl, who was an inpatient at Richard Young Hospital, described a number of gruesome cult activities which she claimed to have witnessed between the approximate ages of 9 and 12…. According to the girl, she became involved in a cult where older male members sexually molested her and killed infants and children to establish their dominance over other cult members.”
Both Smith and Paul Bonacci claimed to have seen Larry King present at some rituals. Paul Bonacci wrote in his written history that King picked him up after school one day:
“…and took me to the Triangle which is in a wooded area in Sarpy County. I witnessed a sacrifice of a human baby boy. Everyone was chanting and it was a yearly ritual around the time of Christ’s birth to pervert the blood of Christ. They used daggers and cut the boy and filled a cup with his blood and mixed urine in it and forced all of us to drink from the cup and chant ‘Satan is Lord Lucifer our King. Realm of darkness come now empower us your slaves.’ Then they all began to chant some weird sounds and I got scared and was threatened I’d become the next sacrifice if I told anyone about it.”
One of the names on the ‘suspicious death list’ surrounding the Franklin Scandal is Kathleen Sorenson, who took in the children who fled from the Webb family among many other abused children. Sorenson gave a stunning report to a Christian television channel which aired in Nebraska in 1989, based on her experiences with over 30 abused foster children who spent months or years in her home.
It provides an eye-opening introduction to a shocking phenomenon known as ritual abuse. The claims without further documentation certainly seem to be fantastical, so I urge the reader to suspend their disbelief until after the empirical evidence of extreme abuse has been fully discussed:
“We got involved and learned about this subject because we were foster parents and worked with a number of children. And several years back, several of the children began, after a period of time and building up trust, to talk about some very bizarre events that had happened in their past, and they were frightening and very confusing. I really didn’t know what to think. We went to the police, and we went to social services, and there was really nothing anyone could do. These children we worked with are now adopted in safe homes and probably would never have talked had they not felt able to trust the people they were living with. There are certain things that are in common in the children’s stories when we talk about devil worship…
There are things that come up in every single story, such as candles. They all talk about sex. Sex is without a doubt a part of every area of this – all sorts of perverted sex. That is what you will first hear, about the sex, about the incest, and it is so hard to believe. But once we get that, we have learned that we can go on and ask and find out… and it will involve pornography; that is always part of it. Part of the reason is that they can use that to threaten the children. “We have pictures. We will show the police if you talk.” It makes the children feel that they are in great danger, and they are all very frightened of the law.
They talk about the garish makeup that the people in the group wear. They talk about singing that they didn’t understand. Obviously that is chanting, and that has come up in every one of these stories, and none of them call it chanting. There will be dancing. Most often that will involve sexual acts. There will always be a leader and they will be very frightened of the leader.
These children, from a very young age, and I am talking about children who came out of birth homes, the family they were born to, worshiped the devil. …
Important Note: The remainder of this testimony is highly graphic and disturbing. Only if you feel you are ready for it, click here.
Kathleen Sorenson died in October 1989, shortly after this report was aired. On a long rural road returning to her home, a car heading in the opposite direction crossed lanes and caused a head-on collision. Both the young woman driver who hit her and her husband had police records for cruelty to animals.473
472 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup,” p. 201
473 John DeCamp, “The Franklin Coverup,” p. 204 – 211
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The idea of active widespread satanic and other occult activity in the United States certainly seems ludicrous. But there is an historical precedent. Consider these two quotes from the works of Aleister Crowley, founder of the Church of Satan in the year 1900:
“Moreover, the beast 666 adviseth that all children shall be accustomed from infancy to witness every type of sexual act, and also the process of birth, lest falsehood fog, and mystery stupefy, their minds, whose error else might thwart and misdirect the growth of their subconscious system of soul-symbolism… There are cases when seduction or rape may be emancipation or initiation to another. Such acts can only be judged by their results.” – Crowley, The Law is for All474
“In any case it was the theory of ancient magicians, that any living being is the storehouse of energy varying in quantity according to the size and the health of the animal, and in quality according to its mental and moral character. At the death of this animal the energy is liberated suddenly. The animal should therefore be killed within the circle, or the triangle, as the case may be, so that its energy cannot escape. An animal should be selected whose nature accords with that of the ceremony… For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly choose the victim which contains the greatest and purest force. A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory and suitable victim.” – Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice475
474 Aleister Crowley, “The Law is for All,” Excerpt available here.
475 Aleister Crowley, “Magick in Theory and Practice,” Excerpt available here.
* * * *
In 1996, three members of the American Psychological Association conducted a survey of their organization, receiving feedback from 2,709 clinical psychologists. 30% acknowledged seeing at least one case of “ritualistic or religion-related abuse since January 1, 1980”.476 Two-thirds of these cases were described as ‘religion related’ and one-third were described as ‘ritual abuse’. Of those who acknowledged seeing these cases, 93% of the clinical psychologists said that they believed the abuse did indeed occur. The authors concluded that the psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers who responded to their survey “overwhelmingly believed both the allegations of abuse and the allegations of ritual or religious elements of the abuse”.
Another study surveyed 810 members of the British Psychological Society who had patients who suffered from sexual abuse, and found that 15% had patients who reported satanic ritual abuse. Of these, 80% believed that their patient did indeed suffer from the reported abuse.477
One study examined 270 cases of substantiated sexual abuse involving day cares in England found that 13% of the cases included allegations of ritual abuse.478
One survey of the membership of the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation concluded that 88% of 1185 respondents “reported belief in ritual abuse, involving mind control and programming”.479
“In 1992 alone, Childhelp USA logged 1,741 calls pertaining to ritual abuse, Monarch Resources of Los Angeles logged approximately 5,000, Real Active Survivors tallied nearly 3,600, Justus Unlimited of Colorado received almost 7,000, and Looking Up of Maine handled around 6,000. Even allowing for some of these calls to have been made by people who assist survivors but are not themselves survivors, and for some survivors to have called more that one helpline or made multiple calls to the same helpline, these numbers suggest that at a minimum there must be tens of thousands of survivors of ritual abuse in the United States.” – Catherine Gould, The Journal of Psychohistory480
In 2007, four researchers created an international online survey divided into three parts, available in English and German, called Extreme Abuse Surveys, in an effort to gather a large number of responses as preliminary data on the nature and prevalence of extreme abuse.481 The researchers were: Wanda Karricker, PhD, retired U.S. psychologist Bettina Overcamp, PhD, Thorsten Becker, the German social worker who won the “German Child Protection Award” in 1994 for his work with abused children, and Carol Rutz, a survivor of extreme abuse and mind control. The surveys show repeated allegations of abuse used for the purposes of mind control, which will be explored in the next chapter.
1,471 participants from 31 countries answered at least one question on the survey listed for ‘Adult Survivors’, and 451 people from 20 countries responded to at least one question listed for ‘Professionals’ who have worked with at least one adult survivor of extreme abuse. Of the adult survivors, 257 people from 15 countries responded that they had been victims of ‘Government Mind Control’ experimentation as a child, and 71 professionals from 6 countries responded that they had worked with at least 1 adult survivor of extreme abuse who reported to have been a victim of government mind control experimentation as a child. 166 survivors reported being experimented on by doctors who spoke German or with a heavy German accent.
Of the adult survivors, 236 reported to have been drugged against their will, 236 reported to have been sexually abused by multiple perpetrators, 228 reported being threatened with death if they ever discussed their experiences, 222 reported sensory deprivation experiments, 217 reported electroshock experiments, 197 witnessed murder by their perpetrators, 196 witnessed animal mutilations, 184 reported the use of feces in their abuse, 183 reported being used in child pornography, 178 reported starvation, 171 reported hypnosis, and 169 reported child prostitution.
Of the 257 EAS respondents who reported that secret mind control experiments were used on them as children, 69% (177) reported having been abused in a satanic cult. Of the 543 EAS respondents who reported that they had been abused in a satanic cult, 33% (179) reported having been used in secret mind control experiments as children.
159 survivors had heard Greek letters being used during their abuse, and 160 experienced sexual mind control programming used for blackmail or personal use. 228 survivors answered ‘yes’ to the question: “My perpetrator(s) deliberately created/programmed dissociative states of mind (such as alters, personalities, ego-states) in me.”
Research has consistently shown that false allegations of child sexual abuse by children are rare. One 1987 study examined 576 consecutive referrals of child sexual abuse to the Denver Department of Social Services, and categorized the reports as either reliable or fictitious. In only 8% of the total cases were children judged to have possibly advanced a fictitious allegation.482
In a more recent study, investigators reviewed case notes of all child sexual abuse reports to the Denver Department of Social Services over 12 months. Of the 551 cases reviewed, there were only 14 (2.5%) instances of erroneous concerns about abuse emanating from children. These consisted of three cases of allegations made in collusion with a parent, three cases where an innocent event was misinterpreted as sexual abuse and eight cases (1.5%) of false allegations of sexual abuse.483
Researchers into the phenomenon of Satanic Ritual Abuse have come to the conclusion that the phenomenon is widespread and transcends geographic boundaries.484
One such study, titled “Multiple Personality Disorder and Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Issue of Credibility” states:
“The comparability of both the child and adult accounts is said to transcend geographical and relationship boundaries, with descriptions emerging from both survivor groups revealing common themes, behaviors, symbols, and paraphernalia. Assuredly, the possibility of cross-contamination of accounts exists when, for example, a group of suspected or potential victims seems to be involved in a single day care case, or when adult contemporaries are aware of the details of others’ reports. However, one can not discount the similarity of accounts given spontaneously and independently by individuals who are unrelated personally, geographically, or through shared knowledge.”
The empirical evidence of ritual abuse for the purposes of mind control establishes that the phenomenon is widespread and international, and consistency between methods of abuse. Furthermore, the methods of abuse correlate both with known experimentation under MK-ULTRA and the testimonies of child abuse case studies such as Franklin and Presidio. It also reveals a solid consensus that psychiatrists who have been exposed to patients who have suffered from ritual abuse believe that the abuse did indeed occur. Its interesting to note that such a widespread consensus is relatively rare in the field of psychology, let alone for such a controversial topic.
476 Bottoms, Bette L.; Shaver, Phillip R.; Goodman, Gail S. “An analysis of ritualistic and religion-related child abuse allegations.” Law and Human Behavior, Vol 20(1), Feb 1996
477 Andrews, B., Morton, J., Bekerian, D.A., Brewin, C.R., Davies, G.M., & Mollon, P. “The recovery of memories in clinical practice: Experiences and beliefs of British Psychological Society practitioners.” The Psychologist, May, 1995
478 Finkelhor, D., Williams, L., & Burns, N. “Nursery crimes: Sexual abuse in day care.” Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. 1988
479 Perry, N.E. “Therapists’ experiences of the effects of working with dissociative patients.” Paper presented at the 9th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation, Chicago, IL. 1992
480 Catherine Gould “Denying Ritual Abuse in Children,” The Journal of Psychohistory Volume 22, 1995
482 Jones, D. P. H., and J. M. McGraw, “Reliable and Fictitious Accounts of Sexual Abuse to Children.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 27-45, 1987
483 Oates, R. K., D.P. Jones, D. Denson, A. Sirotnak, N. Gary, and R.D. Krugman, “Erroneous Concerns about Child Sexual Abuse.” Child Abuse & Neglect 24:149-57, 2000
484 Van Benschoten, Susan C., “Multiple Personality Disorder and Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Issue of Credibility” (PDF Warning)
Pathological power: The danger of governments led by narcissists and psychopaths
After spending his early life suffering under the Nazis and then Stalin, the Polish psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski devoted his career to studying the relationship between psychological disorders and politics. He wanted to understand why psychopaths and narcissists are so strongly attracted to power as well as the processes by which they take over governments and countries.
He eventually came up with the term “pathocracy” to describe governments made up of people with these disorders—and the concept is by no means confined to regimes of the past.
In the US, for example, despite a convention that psychologists shouldn’t unofficially diagnose public figures they haven’t examined (known as the “Goldwater Rule” after psychiatrists questioned the mental fitness of Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964), many have publicly stated that Donald Trump displays all the signs of narcissistic personality disorder.
Similar cases have been made by psychologists for other “strongman” politicians around the world, such as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.
It’s not really surprising that people with personality disorders are drawn to political power—narcissists crave attention and affirmation, and feel that they are superior to others and have the right to dominate them. They also lack empathy, which means that they are able to ruthlessly exploit and abuse people for the sake of power. Psychopaths feel a similar sense of superiority and lack of empathy, but without the same impulse for attention and adoration.
But pathocracy isn’t just about individuals. As Lobaczewski pointed out, pathological leaders tend to attract other people with psychological disorders. At the same time, empathetic and fair-minded people gradually fall away. They are either ostracised or step aside voluntarily, appalled by the growing pathology around them.
As a result, over time pathocracies become more entrenched and extreme. You can see this process in the Nazi takeover of the German government in the 1930s, when Germany moved from democracy to pathocracy in less than two years.
Democracy is an essential way of protecting people from pathological politicians, with principles and institutions that limit their power (the Bill of Rights in the US, which guarantees certain rights to citizens is a good example).
This is why pathocrats hate democracy. Once they attain power they do their best to dismantle and discredit democratic institutions, including the freedom and legitimacy of the press. This is the first thing that Hitler did when he became German chancellor, and it is what autocrats such as Trump, Vladimir Putin and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán have been attempting to do.
In the US, there has clearly been a movement towards pathocracy under Trump. As Lobaczewski’s theory predicts, the old guard of more moderate White House officials—the “adults in the room” – has fallen away. The president is now surrounded by individuals who share his authoritarian tendencies and lack of empathy and morality. Fortunately, to some extent, the democratic institutions of the US have managed to provide some push back.
Britain too has been fairly fortunate, compared to other countries. Certainly there have been some pathocratic tendencies in some of our recent prime ministers (and other prominent ministers), including a lack of empathy and a narcissistic sense of self importance. But the UK’s parliamentary and electoral systems—and perhaps a cultural disposition towards fairness and social responsibility—have protected the UK from some of the worst excesses of pathocracy.
Pathocratic politics today
This is why recent political events seem so alarming. It seems as if the UK is closer to pathocracy than ever before. The recent exodus of moderate Conservatives is characteristic of the purges which occur as a democracy transitions into pathocracy.
The distrust and disregard for democratic processes shown by the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, and his ministers and advisers—the prorogation of parliament, the insinuation that they may not follow laws they disagree with – is also characteristic of pathocracy.
As a psychologist, I would certainly not attempt to assess Johnson, having never met him. But in my view he is certainly surrounding himself with the most ruthless and unprincipled—and so most pathocratic—elements of his party. The former prime minister David Cameron even referred to Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings as a “career psychopath“.
At the same time, it is important to point out that not everyone who becomes part of a pathocratic government has a psychological disorder. Some people may simply be callous and non-empathic without a fully fledged psychological disorder.
Others may simply possess the kind of narcissism (based on a sense of superiority and entitlement) which arises from a certain style of upbringing. Some politicians may simply follow the party line through loyalty or in the belief that they will be able to rein in the pathocratic impulses of the people around them.
So far, thanks to the actions of parliament and the bravery of a small number of principled Conservative MPs, the potential pathocracy of Johnson’s government has been kept at bay.
But the danger of democracy transitioning into pathocracy is always real. It is always closer to us than we think, and once it has a foothold, will crush every obstacle in its way.
Provided by The Conversation