The Last Circle, By Cheri Seymour (TrineDay LLC, Walterville, Oregon, 2010, 584 pages.)
Book Review by Dennis Moore October 1, 2010
(San Diego) Former investigative reporter Cheri Seymour, a San Diego County resident, has written a non-fiction thriller to end all thrillers.
The Last Circle is ripped from the headlines of one of our era’s most controversial murder scandals: the killing of investigative journalist Danny Casolaro, whose discoveries about a shadowy organization that he dubbed “The Octopus” reached into the Mafia, the Cali Drug Cartel, and even the U.S. Department of Justice.
Casolaro, a Washington D.C. journalist, began his probe with an investigation into the theft of a revolutionary new software program that was actually the forerunner of artificial intelligence. It was called PROMIS, or Prosecutor’s Management Information System, and it was contracted by the U.S. Department of Justice to upgrade the DOJ’s outdated case management system.
Casolaro worked closely with Bill Hamilton, owner and developer of the PROMIS software, to locate and identify the persons responsible for illegally modifying the software, installing a backdoor or Trojan Horse in the program, and selling it worldwide to foreign countries—thus allowing the U.S. government to secretly monitor intelligence operations in those countries. But Casolaro learned more than he bargained for.
The PROMIS software investigation led him into a labyrinth comprised of international spies, drug traffickers, money launderers, and unsolved murders dating as far back as 1981. He called this the “Octopus” because its tentacles reached into every facet of criminal enterprise, including the Mafia and the Cali Drug Cartel. In August 1991, Casolaro filled his briefcase with documents and headed out to Martinsburg, Virginia to “bring back the head of the Octopus,” according to his closest friends who said he was “ecstatic” about something he had recently uncovered. He never returned.
He was found dead at a Martinsburg hotel on August 10, 1991. The coroner ruled his death a suicide, but all his documents and briefcase were missing from the hotel room and never recovered. Three months after Casolaro’s death, Seymour jumped on the investigative trail he left behind, and 18 years later, his story and Seymour’s are revealed in this riveting book, The Last Circle.
One of the most provocative outcomes of this 18-year on-and-off investigation was the discovery that five days before his death, Casolaro had uncovered a connection between Mike Abbell, a former Director of International Affairs at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and the Cali Drug Cartel in Columbia. Seymour provided that information to a U.S. Customs Agent in 1993; he followed up on that lead, and in 1995 Mike Abbell was indicted for money laundering, drug conspiracy and racketeering for the Cali Cartel.
The indictment was published on the front page of the Washington Post, but the story behind the indictment is published in The Last Circle. That is what Seymour’s book is about, the story behind the story. Seymour recalled that on February 19th, 2000, the stalwart, soft-spoken Mountie of the RCMP, Sean McDade visited Seymour at her southern California home and explained that high-ranking Canadian officials may have unlawfully purchased the PROMIS software from officials in the Reagan-Bush administration.
RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, had reportedly traced some banking transactions that supported this claim. If his investigation was successful, he said, “it could cause the entire U.S. Republican Party to be dismantled and more than one presidential administration would be exposed for their knowledge of the [PROMIS] software transaction.” The scope of Seymour’s book includes behind-the-scenes dynamics of a globe-trotting undercover intelligence operative named Robert Booth Nichols.
Nichols’ labyrinthine career encompassed the covert operations of a maze of politicians, NSC, CIA, and DOJ officials, organized crime figures, intelligence agents, arms sales, drug-trafficking, high-tech money laundering, and the death of Danny Casolaro. Seymour states in her book that Nichols was aptly described in magazine articles as “Clark Gable without the ears,” tall with probing brown eyes, his demeanor simultaneously controlled and dramatic with an international flavor.
He’d been the weapons technical advisor for Steven Seagal’s movie, “Under Seige,” and it became apparent why Seagal gave him a cameo appearance as a military colonel in the movie. At times reading like something out of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Supremacy, Seymour’s book is an investigative thriller that points fingers and name names all the way up to its conclusion with the 2009 arrest of a self-described Mafia “hit-man” contracted to kill a Cabazon tribal leader in 1981 who had opposed both development on tribal lands of the first Indian Casino in California and the terrible weapons of Wackenhut.
Through law enforcement investigators from agencies as far-ranging as the FBI, U.S. Customs, police and sheriff’s departments, and even the RCMP national security division, Seymour learned that the official head of the Octopus resided in the U.S. Department of Justice, supported by an out-of-control presidential administration. Its tentacles were comprised of a cabal of “Old Boy” cronies, true believers, who held that the end justified the means in their obsession to quell the expansion of communism in neighboring countries and throughout the world in the 1980s.
They gave corruption a new meaning as they stampeded through the Constitution and acted like cowboys toward the intelligence community, blazing new trails into drug cartels and organized crime while simultaneously growing new tentacles that reached into every facet of criminal enterprise.
The theft of high-tech software (PROMIS) for use in money-laundering and espionage, illegal drug and arms trafficking in Latin America, and exploitation of sovereign Indian nations were just a few of these enterprises.
Mind you, the high-tech software (PROMIS) was the linchpin to all the sordid acts and criminal behavior revealed in Seymour’s The Last Circle, including the murder of Danny Casolaro. The Last Circle refers to Dante’s Inferno. Seymour states that there was a last circle represented in Dante’s Inferno, but in retrospect it seems fitting. In 1306 A.D., Dante poeticized nine circles, the ninth being the last level before the final descent into Hell. “The last circle housed those souls who had been traitors to their country, their friends, and their lords.”
Because Seymour had provided a group of law enforcement men and women with the very same information that Casolaro had been working on in the last five days of his life–information that resulted in the subsequent indictment of a former career DOJ official connected to Robert Boot Nichols and the Cali Cartel– Seymour was provided with documents and reports of the best kept secret in Washington, D.C.
These law enforcement people had direct knowledge of FBI wiretaps of Robert Booth Nichols and his associates which had captured (on tape) members of the Gambino and Buffalino crime families, in collusion with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney general, the highest law enforcement authority in the nation, arranging the shutdown and sealing of an FBI investigation of MCA Corporation in order to facilitate the largest corporate sale in U.S. history to the Japanese.
Seymour states in her book that she was told that there is no one in America who has the power to prosecute the Octopus criminals because the tentacles have become an integral, and accepted, culture within our society and indeed, within our economy. With that in mind, it became clear to Seymour that the only avenue left to expose the history of Octopus was through publishing this book, The Last Circle, because for decades major media, government committees, U.S. Representatives and Senators had ignored the legacy of war, corruption and greed left behind by the Octopus which she says still flourishes today.
This book even includes a reference to the famous “Zapruder” video tape of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, indicating the tentacles of the “Octopus,” and what those tentacles could have people believe. The author quotes Robert Booth Nichols in her book, stating; “Nothing is as it appears to be.”
The intrigue in this book further includes Seymour being targeted for assassination, due to her investigative reporting in affairs of Danny Casolaro and Robert Booth Nichols, among others. She was warned: “They’re going to kill you, if you don’t RUN!”
She did take a brief hiatus in San Diego with her mother after this threat was made. Obviously, she escaped this fate, for I actually sat next to her and talked with her a few weeks ago at a meeting of the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild. She impressed me as someone who would go to great lengths to get at the truth. This is an exciting true-life thriller from end to end.
Read more about The Last Circle at Seymour’s website: http://www.ark-roundtable.com/book.html
The Last Circle book can be purchased through Barnes & Noble bookstores, Amazon.com on the Internet, and directly from Trine Day Publishing, P.O. Box 577, Walterville, OR 97489 – Tel. 1-800-556-2012 – Website: http://trineday.com/
by EVAN WHITTON
Some Faces in the Crowd
Criminal organisations in their characteristics match legitimate organisations: there are big ones: there are small ones: people float in and out of them. It is remarkable, absolutely remarkable, how often you come across the same people in very diverse activities, all of which are criminal.
– Douglas Meagher, QC, counsel assisting Costigan Royal Commission.
Many names recur in Royal Commissions and other inquiries. Some appear to have interlocking relationships that cover a variety of relationships. Among these milieu personalities are:
Frederick (Paddles) Anderson, 70, is described in TFR3 (Volume 3: The Associates of Murray Riley, report by the Commonwealth-NSW Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking (October 1982)) as a ‘well-known criminal’.
Until his death in January 1985, Anderson was thought to be first among equals in the Sydney milieu. In Melbourne in 1940, he got into an argument with a Melbourne personality, John C. Abrahams. In the following altercation, Abrahams was killed. Anderson was charged with his murder, found not guilty, and returned to Sydney. In the following months, Anderson made frequent appearances in Sydney magistrates’ courts, where he described himself as a machinist living in Surry Hills. According to McCoy, in one three-day period, he was charged with being in a house ‘frequented by thieves'; with ‘having demanded money with menaces from a bookmaker’ and with ‘having assaulted the bagman'; and with consorting with known criminals at a house in William Street, East Sydney.
Commonwealth Police running sheets indicate that Anderson was among those present at the milieu summit of July 1972. This was a series of meetings held at the home of Karl Bonnette at William Street, Double Bay and ‘alleged to be called to discuss the current activities of organised crime.’ Others present were said to be Leonard Arthur McPherson, George David Freeman, Stanley John Smith, Milan (Iron Bar Miller) Petrecevic, Arthur William (Duke) Delaney, and Leo (The Liar) Callaghan.
Also in attendance was said to be Albert Ross Sloss, 61, of Dowling Street, Potts Point, (Labor) MLA for King since 1956; deputy chairman of the parliamentary Labor Party, and vice-chairman of the Wentworth Park Trust, since 1968; director of the Sydney Hospital 1958-64; member of the Lord Howe Island Board. Sloss denied that he was at the meeting.
Bonnette denied that any of them had been at his home.
Karl Frederick Bonnette, 49, is described in TFR3 as a ‘drug importer and trafficker’, and was named by the Premier, Mr Wran, as a leading member of the Sydney underworld. Bonnette was considered to be most likely to succeed Anderson as the one the milieu ultimately defers to.
He was born in Melbourne, has described himself as self-employed, as dealing in cars, boats, diamonds and gold, and as unemployed. Among other names he has used are Karl Solomon, K. Rogers and Frederick Brock. He changed his name by deed poll in 1977 to Graham John Allemann in order to gain entry to the US.
Among his associates were Barry James Pyne, 41, described in TFR3 as ‘drug-trafficker’ and named as a suspect in the 1975 murder of drug courier Maria Hission. Bonnette also knew John Marcus Muller, alias Miller and Milner, a heavy at The Palace (otherwise the 22 Club), a Kings Cross casino, and named as one of the last three men seen with Juanita Nielsen before she disappeared in July 1975. Muller was killed in the driveway of his home in June 1979 in a shooting police believed could have been connected with an attempt on the life of George Freeman six weeks previously.
Bonnette has been to the US, England, Germany, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Israel, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia. From 1976, he had business dealings with a number of people arrested in June 1978 in the seizure of $70 million worth of buddha sticks. In a four-year period, Bonnette, using various names, put $771 416 through a number of bank accounts, but was not too proud, in two months prior to June 1978, to collect $1917 in sickness benefits from the Department of Social Security.
Abraham Gilbert Saffron , 65, in 1943, with Hilton Kincaid, opened the Roosevelt Club at 32 Orwell Street, Kings Cross, largely for the benefit of US soldiers, until Justice Maxwell, who later described it as ‘the most notorious and disreputable nightclub in the city,’ closed it late that year. After a period in Newcastle, Saffron reopened the club after the war.
In the following years, using his family and friends as dummies, Saffron acquired, in breach of Licensing Court regulations, an interest in the licences of a number of hotels. A Royal Commission concluded that Saffron used the licences to supply the Roosevelt Club and sly grog shops. The Commission also found that Saffron had ‘engaged in systematic false swearing’. In October 1952 he was indicted for perjury but was acquitted when the court ruled that his testimony before the Royal Commission was not admissible as evidence about that same testimony. The Licensing Court barred Saffron, his relatives and any known associates, from holding liquor licences until 1966 when he successfully appealed against a judgment denying him a liquor licence at his Lodge 44 motel at Edgecliff.
In 1956, Saffron was also charged with having obscene photographs at his premises in Kings Cross. He was convicted and fined £10 but won a reversal on appeal.
Saffron was out of the newspapers until 1973 when he appeared before the Moffitt Royal Commission on Organised Crime in Clubs, where it emerged that Commonwealth Police, investigating jack Rooklyn’s activities in Jakarta, had reported that ‘now Saffron is purchasing or leasing premises to be used as brothels in conjunction with Rooklyn’s casinos.’
In March 1974, a customer at Saffron’s Lodge 44 motel, Ramon Sala, an international smuggler with Sydney convictions on currency and drug charges, had had his passport impounded and faced further proceedings. Morgan Ryan, then a solicitor of the Sydney firm Morgan Ryan and Brock, made representations on Sala’s behalf to Lionel Murphy, then Federal Attorney-General. Murphy directed that Sala’s passport be returned. Sala left the country, and so avoided passport proceedings. Six days later, Interpol said his passport was false.
In 1975 Saffron’s movements were monitored by the FBI, Scotland Yard, and crime intelligence agencies in the Philippines and Fiji; he was invariably searched when he left and re-entered Australia. It has been alleged Morgan Ryan made representations to Attorney-General Murphy and to Federal Police Commissioner Jack Davis about Saffron being subjected to airport searches. Authorities in Canberra ordered that Customs baggage searches of Saffron be abandoned.
This matter was investigated by a Public Services committee. Murphy, Justice Murphy of the High Court, said he had given no direction on the matter. The committee’s report, tabled in September 1984, said the downgrading of surveillance on Saffron was ‘reasonable and appropriate'; continual searching, it said, alerted a suspect and was likely to achieve nothing.
Early in 1978, the South Australian Attorney-General, Peter Duncan, named Saffron in State Parliament as ‘a principal character in organised crime in Australia.’ In July of that year, the NSW Transport Minister, Peter Cox, discovered from media reports that a building in Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross, housed a gambling club, a brothel and a sex shop. The building was on a prime piece of real estate owned by the Public Transport Commission. Investigation showed that the site was initially leased to Constance Developments, a company owned by Sir Paul Strasser and Robert Ryko. Without the approval of the Public Transport Commission, the Strasser-Ryko company had sub-let the property to two Saffron companies. In 1977, the head lease, with the approval of the PTC, was transferred to Togima Leasing, of which the directors and nominal shareholders were all businessmen associated with Saffron companies.
To put an end to illegal activities on Government property, the Government bought Togima out of the lease for $2.6 million. A spokesman said legal action had not been taken against Togima because this would only remedy matters in the short term and it was difficult to get evidence.
In the 1981 Police Tribunal inquiry into Deputy Commissioner Bill Allen. it emerged that Saffron, described by justice Perrignon, as ‘unsavoury and involved in illicit activities’, had met Allen seven times at Police Headquarters. This was given as a reason to sustain the tribunal finding that Allen had brought discredit on the police force.
The report of the Commonwealth-NSW Joint Task Force on Drug-Trafficking says: ‘There is little doubt that Saffron was involved in at least this one transaction with Nugan Hand. Though its precise nature cannot be defined, the transaction involved in some way Hong Kong and the sum of $50 000… That at least Saffron chose to lie about his association with Hand… only adds to the suspicion that there was something either illegal or improper about it.’
When his name was brought up in 1982 at the Costigan Royal Commission in relation to a tax avoidance scheme, Saffron issued a statement through his lawyers saying he had never had anything to do with Nugan Hand.
George David Freeman , 49, is described in TFR3 as a ‘well-known crime figure involved in illegal gambling activity.’
In a 1978 appearance before the Woodward Royal Commission, Stanley John Smith explained his income on the basis of winning on racehorses, cards and roulette. Smith’s barrister, Mr Cochrane, said that Smith was ‘putting himself up, not as a normal punter, but rather as someone who has taken notice of tips from a man who knows, Mr Freeman, and in a sense Mr Freeman is well regarded… he is well regarded in the racing community and he knows what horses are going to come home.’
Justice Woodward: ‘That would be on the basis it is not a matter of luck; it is a matter of organisation?’
Cochrane: ‘Perhaps, I would not put it that strongly, but perhaps…’
At the 1983 Street Royal Commission, evidence was given by a magistrates’ court clerk, Cam Abood, that Freeman gave the then NSW Chief Stipendiary Magistrate Murray Farquhar race tips and that he (the clerk) placed the bets for Farquhar and collected his winnings. He noted that Freeman’s tips won 98 per cent of the time.
One of the milieu’s greatest mistakes occurred in July 1977. On 27 July, Freeman went into the members’ enclosure at Randwick racecourse as the guest of Farquhar. The error has caused endless trouble.
Freeman made another mistake the following year. On 28 March 1979, Bruce McDonald, deputy leader of the NSW Opposition, asked a question which suggested that Freeman had ‘unusual and undue influence’ over the police squad that was supposed to control gambling, the 21 Division. That night, Freeman was given time on Channel 7’s Michael Willesee Show to deny any involvement in organised crime. The next day, seeking to confront McDonald, he went with a Willesee film crew to Parliament House. That evening in the Upper House, Barrie Unsworth, who had been approached by the television team, said he believed that Freeman and the Willesee team had committed a ‘gross breach of privilege.’
On 3 April, the Independent MLA, John Hatton, moved an urgency motion deploring the action of Freeman, ‘a man designated within the administration of the Minister for Police as an organised crime figure, in bringing a television crew on to the steps of Parliament House…’ Drawing on material in a confidential NSW Police Crime Intelligence Unit report of March 1977, Hatton summarised Freeman’s career thus:
‘It has been recorded that Freeman should be considered one of the leading criminal figures in this State, together with Stanley John Smith, with whom he has been closely associated, and who is said to have replaced the so-called Mr Big, Leonard Arthur McPherson. The links with international organised crime are well established… In April 1978, just a year ago, Freeman was deported from the United States of America after being arrested in Las Vegas in connection with a false passport offence.
‘His last recorded conviction in Australia was for a similar offence, when he used a false passport to enter the United States of America with Stan Smith in 1968, when they were guests of one Joseph Dan Testa, nominated as a member of the Chicago organised crime family… It was largely the investigations prompted by the appearance of Testa in Sydney in subsequent years, and the associations he made here, that led to the Moffitt Royal Commission in 1973-74. As a result of the Moffitt Royal Commission, Mr Freeman was made the number one target of the NSW Police Crime Intelligence Unit, which was established as a direct result of that inquiry.
‘We are talking about a key criminal. Inquiries show that Freeman was also the Australian contact man for one Danny Stein, nominated as an associate of notorious American organised crime figures, including Meyer Lansky, and described by law enforcement authorities as representing hidden interests in Las Vegas casinos, and an illegal betting network raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and shut down by the State of Nevada. No honourable member would need reminding that in July 1977, George Freeman was photographed in company with the Chief Stipendiary Magistrate, Murray Farquhar, at Randwick races, on which occasion Freeman was removed from the members’ enclosure.
‘Of even more relevance to the question of urgency, and to members of this House, particularly when it is remembered that Freeman was on the steps of Parliament House, is the fact that the NSW police have evidence that he was the principal figure in what might be called the Taiping conspiracy. After the Premier announced the Government’s intention to legalise casinos, underworld leaders and illegal casino owners met at the Taiping restaurant in Elizabeth Street, Sydney. It is urgent that it be recognised that, on a tape recording made of that meeting, Stan Smith is heard referring to Freeman as being “with” the casino operators. Smith called upon the assembled gathering to put up hard cash to bribe members of this Parliament to try to secure the control of casino licences for criminal interests…’
The Labor Party voted against Mr Hatton’s motion and it was defeated 60-34.
Three weeks later, at Freeman’s Yowie Bay home, a gunman with a light calibre weapon shot Freeman in the left side of the neck. The bullet passed through his mouth and exited just below the right temple without doing serious harm. Police told The Sun that the weapon indicated an ‘amateur’ gunman, but there was speculation that some other organised crime leader might have taken the view that Freeman’s approach to Parliament House had drawn too much attention to organised crime activities.
Leonard Arthur McPherson , 63. Giving evidence in 1983 at the Juanita Nielsen inquest, McPherson denied having told Federal police that a former NSW police officer, Fred Krahe, had killed Miss Nielsen. He claimed that Federal police had sent false information to Manila in 1977 warning that McPherson was entering the Philippines to assassinate President Marcos. Arrested at gunpoint, McPherson and two other Australians were held for three days in death row in the dreaded Fort Benefacio prison, facing the prospect of a firing squad, before being released.
McPherson’s name has continued to be linked with Manila. In 1980, the Woodward Royal Commission reported that a wanted criminal, Martin Olson, was running a bar in Manila for McPherson, and that he was ‘looking after McPherson’s prostitution business in Manila.’ Woodward also reported that during 1975 a person was ‘alleged to have gone to Manila, at least once a month’ to bring back ‘white powder’ for McPherson.
The Commission said there was reliable evidence that the courier was in the company of George David Freeman and Danny Stein. ‘NSW police received information … that the purpose of Stein’s visit to Australia at that time was to organise importation of drugs from the “Golden Triangle for transhipment to the United States,’ the Commission said. In 1973, during his Royal Commission, Justice Moffitt found it would be ‘wrong to conclude that McPherson is not on the scene of organised crime or connected with persons seeking to make money illicitly from the registered clubs.’
In a front page article in The Sunday Telegraph in 1979, McPherson denied any involvement in organised crime, or that he was in fact Mr Big. His denial included references to newspaper stories suggesting he was responsible for twelve murders. ‘If these accusations are meant to be against me they are false,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t even know of twelve people who have been murdered.’
Stanley John (The Man) Smith first came to police attention in 1954. In 1966, he and McPherson attracted overseas attention when they were barred from Hong Kong. A senior Hong Kong police officer advised the Sydney CIB that they had boasted of wanting to get in on ‘big time’ smuggling of gold and narcotics.
In 1968, Smith and Freeman used false passports to go to the US to spend six weeks as guests of Joe Testa. Both were convicted on passport charges on their return. In December that year, Smith was described by police in a consorting case as a ‘standover criminal and international shop thief.’ Smith was fined in 1970 in connection with the attempted sale of amphetamines following a robbery at May and Baker’s warehouse at Waterloo, Sydney. He unwittingly frightened politicians out of legalising casinos in New South Wales when a tape recording of his 1976 Taiping speech, in which he recommended bribing politicians to secure legal casino licences, was made public.
He denied before the Woodward Commission that he had anything to do with drugs. He said: ‘I am not involved in drug matters and these allegations are all the more hurtful to my family and myself when the fact is that my eldest son, who is twenty-one years of age, is currently serving a jail sentence for drug-related offences and has been a hopeless heroin addict for some years now. We have tried to face this problem and rehabilitate him, without success, and the allegations now being made are in the circumstances particularly hurtful.’
Justice Woodward found that Smith was involved in drug-trafficking. In 1979, he was convicted and jailed for fifteen months for possession of cannabis. The conviction, however, took place in Victoria, not New South Wales.
Note: Stanley John Smith should not be confused with any of the numerous other Smiths in the milieu: Arthur Stanley (Neddy) Smith, described in TFR3 as ‘drug importer and trafficker’, who was the informer for Sergeant Roger Caleb Rogerson, and the man who arranged the fatal meeting between Rogerson and Warren Lanfranchi in 1981; Neddy’s half-brother Edwin William Smith, jailed for possession of 1.6 kilograms of heroin; Edward James (jockey) Smith; or Raymond Smith, an early acquaintance of Murray Stewart Riley.
by Damien Murphy, SMH
THERE were so many bodies being found and stories about drugs and corruption in circulation that royal commissions galore started up as Australia turned into an early real-life draft of Underbelly.
The tone was set early in the year when Justice Philip Woodward’s New South Wales Royal Commission into Drug Trafficking, looking in part at the murder of Griffith businessman Donald Mackay, was attacked by colourful former Whitlam government minister Al Grassby, another Griffith local and community relations commissioner.
He tagged it ”ethnic slander”.
Frank Nugan, a merchant banker facing stock fraud charges, was found dead in his Mercedes-Benz outside Lithgow, NSW, in January 1980. His partner, Michael Hand, a former US soldier with links to the CIA, gave evidence that the bank was broke, and left the country.
Finally, journalist Bob Bottom’s pieces on painters and dockers in January’s Bulletin magazine – alleging fraud, standover tactics, violence and intimidation – raised cabinet concerns. The Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union, especially in Victoria, had a mean reputation – partly because it was one of the few organisations likely to employ men finishing sentences at Pentridge Prison.
The union’s nefarious activities fitted happily with the Fraser government’s campaign against industrial unrest. Of course, the union’s thuggish hierarchy did little to ease the public’s alarm.
Union secretary Jack ”Putty Nose” Nicholls said: ”We catch and kill our own.”
Within a year he too was dead. Nicholls’s body was discovered in his car outside Wangaratta after he had fled to Brisbane with the union’s membership roll. He purportedly left a suicide note:
”To my members and executive, I tried very hard but the rotten Fraser government did not want me to survive. Do not think I have taken the easy way out but the rotten system has cut me life short. I had big ideas for advancement but these were chopped short. Farewell Comrades. Jack Nicholls XX.”
Another colourful union member, Billy ”The Texan” Longley, toldThe Bulletin he could name 30 people who had been ”knocked off” by the P&Ds. ”They have either been killed for money or simply their mouths. This is not just in Melbourne, but in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth.”
A memo to cabinet warned that the union was fleecing the navy and ANL shipping. One shipping line staff member blew the gaff, telling The Bulletin, ”I cannot see any problem employing criminals when we know they are criminals”.
Cabinet decided that only a royal commission could settle the question of what was happening in the union.
Frank Costigan, QC, was picked to head a joint federal-Victorian royal commission.
He started hearings at Williamstown Court on October 1, 1980, just down the road from the naval dockyard.
Nugan Hand bank was linked with money laundering and drugs as investigations continued through the year.
Cabinet’s interest had been sparked by the findings of the Woodward inquiries in NSW and the discovery, near a Victorian surf beach, of the bodies of two Sydney operatives of the Mr Asia drug syndicate, Douglas and Isobel Wilson.
Attorney-general Peter Durack and administrative services minister John McLeay recommended a joint federal-state inquiry into the syndicate. ”Due to the great public concern an announcement of the government’s intention is urgently required,” they said.
Donald Stewart was appointed commissioner and eventually had his terms of reference extended to take in the Nugan Hand matter.
In the years to come, the various royal commissions exposed a world of corruption few Australians realised existed. The late Kerry Packer was enmeshed in the P&D inquiry. Another result was the introduction of legislation, the Crimes (Taxation Offences) Act 1980, which put an end to ”bottom of the harbour” schemes.
November 11: Coup? What coup? [Green Left Weekly]
Sunday, November 21, 2010
By John Jiggens
Protest in support of Gough Whitlam after the constitutional coup, Sydney. Photo: Qu1j0t3/Flickr
Remembrance Day, on November 11, was celebrated again this year in the Australian media with pictures of red poppies and flag-draped coffins and historic photos of Australian soldiers who gave “the ultimate sacrifice” from the human-made wasteland of Flanders to the stony deserts of Afghanistan.
Paying tribute to the ten soldiers killed this year in the long war in Afghanistan, Governor-General Quentin Bryce said that Australians were good at remembering: “We seem to know what we ought to hold onto and what is best let go.”
This art of selective forgetting is one the Australian media is particularly good at.
Remembrance Day passed with scarcely a mention that this year, November 11 marked the 35th anniversary of the constitutional coup — the dismissal of the elected government of Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam by another governor general, John Kerr.
The exception — a brief AAP report by Peter Veness — called Whitlam’s dismissal “the most divisive event in Australian politics”. It concluded that the details of the dismissal have long been “muddied”, but: “One thing is certain. The pain still remains.”
Like many, I well remember that day. My mother rang to tell me the news, and like her, I was astounded. How could the governor-general dismiss an elected government?
Didn’t we live in a democracy? Didn’t the Australian people elect their government?
I flexed off early from my public service job and attended a huge meeting in Brisbane’s King George Square. I heard impassioned speeches calling for a general strike and rumours (which turned out to be true) that Kerr was moving to call out the army.
I wondered what the army would do (I wonder). Would they act like Chilean military dictator General Pinochet, whose US-backed overthrow of the overthrow of the elected left-wing government of Salvador Allende was accompanied by the massacre of thousands?
Lest we forget.
Former Australian prime ministers Robert Menzies, Howard Holt, John Gorton, Bob Hawke and John Howard all compliantly sent Australian troops to fight US wars. But in the early 1970s, Whitlam’s government had the courage to bring Australian soldiers home from the US war in Vietnam.
For this audacious action, Labor would never be forgiven by then-US president Richard Nixon, the CIA, Rupert Murdoch, the CIA, and corrupt conservative premiers Bob Askin (NSW) and Joe Bjelke-Petersen (Queensland) — who all hated Whitlam as though he were Che Guevara.
Whitlam’s election in 1972 began a short-lived era in which the stated aims of the new Labor government were to promote equality and involve the people in decision-making processes.
Within two weeks of Whitlam’s election, conscription was abolished and draft resisters released from jail. Voting rights were extended to all Australians over 18, and university fees abolished.
Whitlam’s youth constituency also gained community radio stations, and the Whitlam government intended to decriminalise marijuana. Aborigines were granted land rights in the Northern Territory.
Whitlam was less subservient than his Liberal predecessors to Washington’s foreign policy directions. He took a more critical line in foreign policy, condemning Nixon’s 1972 bombing offensive against North Vietnam and warned he might draw Indonesia and Japan into protests against the bombing.
The People’s Republic of China was recognised and the Whitlam government spoke up in the United Nations for Palestinian rights. The French were condemned for testing nuclear weapons in the South Pacific, and refugees fleeing the CIA-backed coup in Chile were welcomed.
Nixon and the CIA found such independence intolerable. After Whitlam was re-elected in 1974, and Jim Cairns became his deputy, Nixon ordered the CIA to review US policy towards Australia. Although the CIA’s response to Nixon has never been released, it seems it began a covert operation to destabilise the Whitlam government began then.
The puppet masters who led the coup were Ted Shackley and Marshal Green. Nixon appointed Green as US Ambassador to Australia in 1973. Nick-named “the coup-master”, Green had been involved in several countries where the CIA had masterminded coups, such as Indonesia (1965) and Cambodia (1970).
Green’s goals were to maintain US bases in Australia and to protect US economic interests.
Green let it be known that if the Labor government honoured one of its key election pledges to reclaiming ownership of oil refineries and mining industries, the US would respond. Green carefully cultivated the Fairfax, Murdoch and Packer dynasties that controlled the Australian media.
Ted Shackley, known as the “Blond Ghost”, joined the CIA in 1951. Over the next two decades, he emerged as the agency’s “dirty tricks” specialist, directing the CIA’s campaign against Cuba and Fidel Castro’s government in 1962.
In 1966 he became Chief of Station in Laos and directed the US secret war there — earning his other nickname, “the Butcher of Laos”.
In 1971, he became head of the CIA’s Western Division (covering North and South America) where he plotted the overthrow of Allende. In 1974, Shackley became head of the Eastern Division of the CIA, covering Asia and Australia.
Shackley’s speciality was financing black operations through the drug trade and he learned the dark art of running drug armies during the secret war in Laos. One of his foot soldiers in Laos was Michael Hand, co-founder of the Nugan Hand bank.
Michael Hand helped forge documents used by the media to discredit the Whirtlam government, while his partner Frank Nugan was the conduit for CIA money to the Liberal Party. Millions of dollars flowed to the conservative parties via Nugan Hand.
Shackley played a key role in the security crisis of November 1975, which revolved around the US military base at Pine Gap. Whitlam had threatened that if the US tried to “bounce” his government, he would look at the presence of US bases in Australia.
The lease for Pine Gap was due for renewal in December 1975. On 10 November 1975, the day before Whitlam was sacked, Shackley sent an extraordinary cable from the CIA to ASIO’s director general, threatening to remove ASIO from the British-US intelligence agreement because he considered Whitlam a security threat.
The cable was published by the Financial Review in 1977 and has been widely reprinted. It shows Shackley’s involvement in the security crisis.
Shackley was furious that Whitlam had accused the CIA of funding the opposition conservative parties and had claimed CIA money was being used to influence domestic Australian politics. In particular, Whitlam was asking questions about the close relationship between Richard Stallings, who ran the so-called joint facility at Pine Gap, and National Party leader Doug Anthony.
“The CIA has grave concerns as to where this type of public discussion may lead”, Shackley’s cable said.
In his 1977 speech calling for a royal commission into the activities of the CIA in Australia, Whitlam called Shackley’s cable “a clear example of the attempted deception of the Australian Government by the American intelligence community … The message was offensive in tone, deceitful in intent and sinister in its implications.”
For the Australian media, the message of Remembrance Day 2010 was clear: sleeping dogs must be allowed to lie. There could be nothing nobler to aspire to than the service of our imperial overlords, and to remind the Australian people that these imperial overlords had subverted a democratically elected government was well off message.
[John Jiggens has been involved in civil liberties and anti-corruption campaigning for many years. He is the author of a number of books, including the recently released The Killer Cop & the Murder of Donald Mackay, about the drug trade, Nugen Hand Bank and the overthrow of the Whitlam government.]
This ongoing investigative series, the first four installments of which are posted here, brings to the forefront recent revelations on the expansion of the US government’s surveillance apparatus and the stolen technology that makes it all possible. On the heels of NSA whistleblower Russell Tice’s allegations of a government intelligence community that has crossed the line and trashed the constitution, Ed Encho covers a span of investigations throughout the years that reads like a Tom Clancy suspense thriller. Only it’s real.
“Over the last two weeks I have encountered just such an apocalyptic situation, where I and the Department of Justice have been asked to be part of something that is fundamentally wrong.” (Excerpt from Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s draft letter of resignation to President Bush, dated March 16, 2004, which Comey did not in the end send.)
“Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull” (George Orwell: 1984)
Main Core and PROMIS
Suppose that the United States Government, or more likely an unaccountable privatized intelligence colossus empowered by the reaction to the 9/11 attacks and fueled by the rampant cronyism of a system long ago gone rotten had a surveillance tool capable of peering into the most private aspects of American lives on a whim. Now suppose that the new growth industry of a previously unthinkable futuristic police state was already in place, fully operational and has been online and has actively been being utilized for domestic spying for years before those two airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center. The ‘terrorist’ attacks were used as the justification for every unconstitutional reigning in of civil liberties ever since that heinous September morning seven years ago when the reset button was hit on two and a quarter centuries of American history and we all stepped forth into the brave new world of perpetual war, fear, suspicion and vengeance into a parallel reality in a place that would come to be known as The Homeland. What if this surveillance industrial complex was in possession of a database that was so large and so powerful that not only could it instantly process and retrieve the most minute or intimate aspects of a citizen’s lives but was also able to utilize extremely sophisticated artificial intelligence capabilities to actually predict likely patterns of future behavior.
Such a huge database would be able to use cutting edge technology funded with taxpayer dollars and awarded to unaccountable private corporations largely through ‘business as usual’ no bid contracts to create the most invasive tool of oppression this country has ever seen. This database would rely on software that was capable of performing social network analysis based on block modeling technology to monitor all forms of electronic communications, all internet searches, all debit and credit card transactions, all travel arrangements, all library records, all bank activity and all telephone records. It would then be able to use the data to not only find links between persons who already know and interact with each other but to categorize each individual into a particular group that possess similar behavioral and purchasing habits. These groups could then be further divided into subgroups and further analyzed in order to determine under some loosely defined and largely unknown guidelines whether they could potentially represent a threat. While all of this may sound like some sort of futuristic dystopian nightmare straight out of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report and “Precrime” it is very real and it goes by the name of Main Core. For example, if you are selling a bicycle and run an advertisement in your local newspaper and you happen to receive a call from a Muhammad who is interested in your bicycle and Muhammad happens to have certain friends who have relationships with an organization that is determined by some unknown criteria to be a potential terrorist organization then the call that you received from Muhammad would then in all likelihood place you in the database and subject to an increased level of scrutiny at best and at worst in jeopardy of being picked up and held indefinitely without any sort of judicial review.
This technology is being used today absent any form of legitimate oversight, with a Constitution that has been eviscerated by the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil, a vast gulag network of top secret prisons and ‘detention facilities’ and the decidedly anti-American new phenomenon of state-sanctioned torture. Throw in an overworked, systematically dumbed-down populace that has been propagandized by the corrupt institution that is the corporate media machine with it’s clever use of fear and loathing and scientific development of advanced mind control techniques who despite the infinite wisdom of our forefathers would gladly sacrifice their liberty for any sort of temporary safety (no matter that it is fleeting) and there exists today in ‘The Homeland’ a perfect Petri-dish for an authoritarian fascist society.
It is though a very sophisticated form of fascism unlike more outwardly obvious regimes that we have known in the past. Author Bertram Gross published a book back in 1980 that was entitled Friendly Fascism, Jim Garrison once said that “fascism would come to America in the name of national security”, and author Kevin Phillips in his 1983 book Post-Conservative America warned of the potential of an “apple pie authoritarianism” and a coming society in which: “the Star Spangled Benner would wave with greater frequency and over many more parades; increased surveillance would crack down on urban outbreaks and extreme political dissidents”. This very accurately describes post 9/11 America where any semblance of reason has been abandoned for cheap flag-waving pimped off as patriotism, criticism of authority has made into potential treason by the highly paid shills for neoconservative doctrine, sloganeering and demagoguery have replaced discourse, critical thinking is becoming extinct and just as George Orwell so accurately predicted Big Brother is now watching over us, protecting us and ensuring that we understand that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.
But I digress…
Main Core has received attention in two 2008 articles, one a piece by investigative journalist Christopher Ketcham entitled The Last Roundup (which also looks at Continuity of Government programs but more on that in a little while) and Tim Shorrock entitled Exposing Bush’s Historic Abuse of Power. Both articles tie Main Core to the now legendary PROMIS software, an extremely advanced program designed to aid federal prosecutors in case management tracking. PROMIS could pull and put together a wide range of data from disparate sources into a single record. The PROMIS software was created by INSLAW Inc., a company owned by a former NSA intelligence officer named William Hamilton. PROMIS was to have been licensed to the U.S. government in the early 1980’s before the technology boom became widespread but was then stolen by the seamy officials in Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department. The software was modified for espionage purposes to include a ‘back door’ that could be used for spying on those that it was sold to and in a detail that should be especially relevant with the economic crisis that threatens to crash the global financial system, the software could also be used to track in real time (in order to manipulate?) stock market transactions, one can certainly speculate as to how such a tool could have contributed to an economic catastrophe as we are now facing if it were used for such a thing. It is important to keep in mind the period when PROMIS was stolen in the early 1980’s and the fact that the technology boom was still years in the future which should give one an idea to just how far advanced and therefore how important that it was to those who would use it in order to promote a sinister agenda.
Comment: Perhaps the PROMIS template is behind “high-frequency trading”, of which Goldman Sachs has been gorging on.
Mr. Shorrock’s piece goes into the relationship between PROMIS and Main Core in some detail:
According to William Hamilton, a former NSA intelligence officer who left the agency in the 1970s, that description sounded a lot like Main Core, which he first heard about in detail in 1992. Hamilton, who is the president of Inslaw Inc., a computer services firm with many clients in government and the private sector, says there are strong indications that the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance operations use Main Core.
Hamilton’s company Inslaw is widely respected in the law enforcement community for creating a program called the Prosecutors’ Management Information System, or PROMIS. It keeps track of criminal investigations through a powerful search engine that can quickly access all stored data components of a case, from the name of the initial investigators to the telephone numbers of key suspects. PROMIS, also widely used in the insurance industry, can also sort through other databases fast, with results showing up almost instantly. “It operates just like Google,” Hamilton told me in an interview in his Washington office in May.
Since the late 1980s, Inslaw has been involved in a legal dispute over its claim that Justice Department officials in the Reagan administration appropriated the PROMIS software. Hamilton claims that Reagan officials gave PROMIS to the NSA and the CIA, which then adapted the software — and its outstanding ability to search other databases — to manage intelligence operations and track financial transactions. Over the years, Hamilton has employed prominent lawyers to pursue the case, including Elliot Richardson, the former attorney general and secretary of defense who died in 1999, and C. Boyden Gray, the former White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush. The dispute has never been settled. But based on the long-running case, Hamilton says he believes U.S. intelligence uses PROMIS as the primary software for searching the Main Core database.
Hamilton was first told about the connection between PROMIS and Main Core in the spring of 1992 by a U.S. intelligence official, and again in 1995 by a former NSA official. In July 2001, Hamilton says, he discussed his case with retired Adm. Dan Murphy, a former military advisor to Elliot Richardson who later served under President George H.W. Bush as deputy director of the CIA. Murphy, who died shortly after his meeting with Hamilton, did not specifically mention Main Core. But he informed Hamilton that the NSA’s use of PROMIS involved something “so seriously wrong that money alone cannot cure the problem,” Hamilton told me. He added, “I believe in retrospect that Murphy was alluding to Main Core.” Hamilton also provided copies of letters that Richardson and Gray sent to U.S. intelligence officials and the Justice Department on Inslaw’s behalf alleging that the NSA and the CIA had appropriated PROMIS for intelligence use.
Hamilton says James B. Comey’s congressional testimony in May 2007, in which he described a hospitalized John Ashcroft’s dramatic standoff with senior Bush officials Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card, was another illuminating moment. “It was then that we [at Inslaw] started hearing again about the Main Core derivative of PROMIS for spying on Americans,” he told me.
Through a former senior Justice Department official with more than 25 years of government experience, Salon has learned of a high-level former national security official who reportedly has firsthand knowledge of the U.S. government’s use of Main Core. The official worked as a senior intelligence analyst for a large domestic law enforcement agency inside the Bush White House. He would not agree to an interview. But according to the former Justice Department official, the former intelligence analyst told her that while stationed at the White House after the 9/11 attacks, one day he accidentally walked into a restricted room and came across a computer system that was logged on to what he recognized to be the Main Core database. When she mentioned the specific name of the top-secret system during their conversation, she recalled, “He turned white as a sheet.”
An article in Radar magazine in May, citing three unnamed former government officials, reported that “8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect” and, in the event of a national emergency, “could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and even detention.”
The INSLAW/PROMIS story reached deep into the darkest bowels of an increasingly secretive and malevolent National Security State that had manifested itself in the Reagan administration, the arms for hostages ‘October Surprise’ deal that sank Jimmy Carter’s bid for re-election leading to the Reagan-Bush hostile takeover of America, Iran-Contra, BCCI, media manipulation (see Robert Parry’s excellent special report for Consortium News entitled Iran Contra’s ‘lost chapter’), Oliver North’s swashbuckling adventures with C.O.G., drugs for guns and subversion of Congress all were components of Reagan’s government, a government that he hypocritically railed against for its intrusiveness and yet presided over while the shadow government that would rise again with the Supreme Court installation of George W. Bush as president with many of the key operatives of Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s dark shops of oppression being given key positions in this brazenly lawless administration that has brought America to the brink of fascism. Many of these hard-liners remain in place throughout the bureaucracy in order to do whatever is necessary to preserve the power of the shadow government.
Ketcham’s The Last Roundup is particularly of interest in that he examines the now infamous 2004 visit of Bush administration officials Alberto Gonzalez and Andrew Card to the hospital room of Attorney General John Ashcroft who had been stricken with pancreatitis after acting A.G. James Comey refused to sign off on the reauthorization of what was an illegal surveillance program related to Continuity of Government. The story is fascinating in that it not only illustrated the length to which the Bush-Cheney junta would go to in order to keep their dirty little programs in place but also for the high speed chase through the streets of Washington and the race up the hospital stairs that Comey engaged in to beat Gonzalez and Card to the sedated Ashcroft to take advantage of a sick man, when John Ashcroft actually comes out looking like a heroic figure it becomes very apparent of just how grossly un-American that this flagrantly criminal administration truly is. James Comey went on to give testimony to Congress over the hospital room showdown and more details are available from blogger Glenn Greenwald in his piece entitled What illegal “things” was the government doing in 2001-2004? and in Barton Gellman’s book Angler and excerpts were published in the Washington Post which part one and part two can be read for more information on the back story behind the surveillance reauthorization. Murray Waas also has done a story on whether former Attorney General Gonzalez created a set of falsified notes to provide a cover story for what occurred while trying to bully Comey and Ashcroft into signing off on the obviously illegal surveillance program.
Excerpts from Ketcham’s story are chilling:
According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.
Of course, federal law is somewhat vague as to what might constitute a “national emergency.” Executive orders issued over the past three decades define it as a “natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency,” while Department of Defense documents include eventualities like “riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order.” According to one news report, even “national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad” could be a trigger.
Let’s imagine a harrowing scenario: coordinated bombings in several American cities culminating in a major blast – say, a suitcase nuke – in New York City. Thousands of civilians are dead. Commerce is paralyzed. A state of emergency is declared by the president. Continuity of Governance plans that were developed during the Cold War and aggressively revised since 9/11 go into effect. Surviving government officials are shuttled to protected underground complexes carved into the hills of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Power shifts to a “parallel government” that consists of scores of secretly preselected officials. (As far back as the 1980s, Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and Dick Cheney, then a congressman from Wyoming, were slated to step into key positions during a declared emergency.) The executive branch is the sole and absolute seat of authority, with Congress and the judiciary relegated to advisory roles at best. The country becomes, within a matter of hours, a police state.
Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and its parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies. The agency could dispatch military commanders to run state and local governments, and it could order the arrest of citizens without a warrant, holding them without trial for as long as the acting government deems necessary. From the comfortable perspective of peaceful times, such behavior by the government may seem far-fetched. But it was not so very long ago that FDR ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans – everyone from infants to the elderly – be held in detention camps for the duration of World War II. This is widely regarded as a shameful moment in U.S. history, a lesson learned. But a long trail of federal documents indicates that the possibility of large-scale detention has never quite been abandoned by federal authorities. Around the time of the 1968 race riots, for instance, a paper drawn up at the U.S. Army War College detailed plans for rounding up millions of “militants” and “American negroes,” who were to be held at “assembly centers or relocation camps.” In the late 1980s, the Austin American-Statesman and other publications reported the existence of 10 detention camp sites on military facilities nationwide, where hundreds of thousands of people could be held in the event of domestic political upheaval. More such facilities were commissioned in 2006, when Kellogg Brown & Root – then a subsidiary of Halliburton – was handed a $385 million contract to establish “temporary detention and processing capabilities” for the Department of Homeland Security. The contract is short on details, stating only that the facilities would be used for “an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs.” Just what those “new programs” might be is not specified.
In the days after our hypothetical terror attack, events might play out like this: With the population gripped by fear and anger, authorities undertake unprecedented actions in the name of public safety. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security begin actively scrutinizing people who – for a tremendously broad set of reasons – have been flagged in Main Core as potential domestic threats. Some of these individuals might receive a letter or a phone call, others a request to register with local authorities. Still others might hear a knock on the door and find police or armed soldiers outside. In some instances, the authorities might just ask a few questions. Other suspects might be arrested and escorted to federal holding facilities, where they could be detained without counsel until the state of emergency is no longer in effect.
Despite the departure of the Bush regime, martial law is a very serious possibility with it having now been established that the executive branch can exercise dictatorial powers during a “catastrophic emergency” (as put forth in the Bush administration’s NSPD-51) which is defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy or government functions”. With events unfolding as they currently are it is especially troubling to note that the “economy” is one of the criteria that would trigger the declaration of martial law, the current economic crisis along with the lack of will to do what it takes to make corrections rather than bailing out and essentially giving amnesty to the Wall Street looters who are responsible for it only guarantees that the collapse when it does come will be much more devastating. An article in The Army Times that was published last fall reveals that as of October troop deployments will include ‘Homeland’ duty under the command of NORTHCOM. Assignments will allow for an increased public visibility (translation: getting Americans used to seeing troops on the streets) and will have a stated purpose as follows: “They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.” If action by the military (and the unaccountable mercenaries from privatized ‘security’ firms like Blackwater) is decided to be merited by the unitary executive and a state of martial law declared then what exactly is going to happen to those “8 million” names that Ketcham writes of as “potentially suspect” who are in the Main Core database?
That Main Core and PROMIS are linked raises some extremely provocative questions in regards to intent on the subversion of the Constitution and the overthrow of the legitimate government by a shadow government using the Continuity of Government infrastructure. Ketcham also references a massive 1993 piece for Wired Magazine entitled The INSLAW Octopus that none other than the infamous rogue operative Lt. Col. Oliver North was using PROMIS for illegal surveillance purposes:
Lt. Col. Oliver North also may have been using the program. According to several intelligence community sources, PROMIS was in use at a 6,100-square-foot command center built on the sixth floor of the Justice Department. According to both a contractor who helped design the center and information disclosed during the Iran-Contra hearings, Oliver North had a similar, but smaller, White House operations room that was connected by computer link to the DOJ’s command center.
Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States as part of a domestic emergency preparedness program, commissioned under Reagan’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to sources and published reports. Using PROMIS, sources point out, North could have drawn up lists of anyone ever arrested for a political protest, for example, or anyone who had ever refused to pay their taxes. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Sen. Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude. This operation was so sensitive that when Rep. Jack Brooks asked North about it during the Iran-Contra hearings, the hearing was immediately suspended pending an executive (secret) conference. When the hearings were reconvened, the issue of North’s FEMA dealings was dropped.
North’s involvement with Continuity of Government programs including REX 84 has long been known and while Col. North no longer is active in such programs (at least not to the knowledge of anyone) a larger part of the C.O.G./shadow government infrastructure continued to breed in darkness and secrecy and on that most glorious day for American fascism, 9/11/2001 went live under the guidance of one of its most ardent and longtime architects, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
The secrets of Main Core, PROMIS and other variations of the monstrous tools of an out of control shadow government are the veritable crown jewels of the police state and every effort has and will continue to be vigorously employed to stifle any investigations through the official channels. Is there really any doubt that these surveillance systems aren’t being used for raw political purposes and for blackmail? How much serious opposition did the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil meet in their systematic dismantling of the Constitution over the past eight years? How much of it will the Obama administration undo? In the ongoing exploitation of the ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 that have been used to justify each and every incursion on American civil liberties and thugs like Dick Cheney and David Addington acting as the muscle for the shadow government (as is evident in the stories linked to above) the footfalls of those little cat feet grow louder and louder.
Now if PROMIS was being used by Colonel North as a part of Rex 84 back in the 1980’s when the Continuity of Government plans were being tweaked, FEMA being set up for the eventual incorporation into the Department of Homeland Security and financial transactions as well as communications already being monitored what does that say about the current state in which we all find ourselves in? Every new police state measure has been implemented largely after being conceived in secrecy under the premise of ‘national security’ and NSPD-51 has allowed for the executive branch to issue a declaration of martial law under which the roundup of dissidents for detention (or worse) will be conducted. And this has all been non-reviewable by Congress, a supposedly (at least according to the Constitution) a co-equal branch of government. When a Congressman named Peter DeFazio was last year denied access to the NSPD-51/C.O.G. plans by the Bush administration it was yet another example of what has been a disturbing pattern. The Main Core list of potential ‘enemies of the state’, the assignment of troops to NORTHCOM, the ongoing frantic efforts of the neocons to launch a war with Iran, the threat of the Cheney cabal being further exposed, the deteriorating economy and the growing public anger at government along with a loss of faith in public institutions all add up to something very dark that is about to come to fruition after decades of planning.
None of this is about terrorism at all, it never has been. It is all about the implementation of a fascist style dictatorship in America. It is imperative that it be brought to light now that there is a window of opportunity and a new administration, the police state and the illegal surveillance system must be dismantled and our intelligence system be put under honest and principled oversight.
© Christian Meichtry
“In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can’t spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can’t look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won’t be there. We won’t build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line.”
– Earling Carothers ‘Jim’ Garrison
The Shadow Government
To say that the ‘terrorist’ attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were an incredible boon to the shadow government and its long running agenda would be quite the understatement. Never before in American history has this particular element been so visible and brazen than in the aftermath of 9/11 which has since become the ultimate trump card to be played against the forces of reason, judiciousness and the rule of law. The frenzied spree to dismantle the republic and reinterpret the Constitution to implement the fascist police state that would suppress the domestic populace while the business of expanding the empire abroad has gone on unabated for over seven years now. The ascendance of the shadow government into the open began on that morning and the events have been instrumental in allowing for every outrageous violation of civil liberties, international law and the very bedrock principle upon which civilized societies are built being habeas corpus. America is now known worldwide as a torture state, a pariah and a rogue nation to be hated and feared and is ruled by an imperial presidency, or as it is formally known, a Unitary Executive (translation: dictator). The current state of affairs are primarily due to the policies of the cabal of one Richard B. Cheney, the most powerful Vice President in history as well as a longtime shadow government figure who activated Continuity of Government on the morning of 9/11.
Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who have been collaborators in a war against the basic tenets of American Constitutional democracy since their days together in the Ford administrationand were active participants in Continuity of Government throughout the Reagan years and afterwards. With C.O.G. being highly secretive it is not widely known due to a lack of official media coverage of the programs so few questions have been asked, no oversight exists and it has been a useful place for a renegade cabal with an acute distaste for democratic principles. One of the most often referenced pieces on this was James Mann’s 2004 piece for the Atlantic Magazine entitled The Armageddon Plan. Another shadow government figure who would later become instrumental in the transformation of America into the fascistic Homeland is one David Addington, Cheney’s crackerjack legal mind and longtime hatchetman who has along with others such as John Yoo (a man who once said that the president had the legal authority to crush a child’s testicles were it deemed necessary) have toiled to change the law of the nation into something dark and foreign. In Addington’s world there is legitimacy to engage in illegal (at least until now) domestic spying, abduction and detention without trial, torture both physical and mental (a horrifying example is that of Jose Padilla (an American citizen who would be the precedent for future actions against other Americans) who was imprisoned and psychologically destroyed through the application of mind control techniques straight out of the infamous CIA program MKULTRA to the point where his mental capacities were that of “a piece of furniture”. Padilla was not only a precedent setter but also a warning of what the government could do to a person deemed to be a ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist sympathizer’, the definitions of which are intentionally vague for a very terrifying reason.
David Addington, more than once referred to as Cheney’s Cheney was a key player in the implementation of the shadow government infrastructure now that it has come out from under the cover of darkness in the post-9/11 era. Jane Meyer of the New Yorker speaks of their relationship in the following interview from which I excerpt a piece from here:
How did David Addington get to know Vice-President Cheney, and how long have they worked together?
They met on Capitol Hill in the mid-eighties, when Cheney was a Republican congressman from Wyoming and Addington was a young staff lawyer working for the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees. So they have worked together for about two decades. Their partnership was cemented when they worked together on the Minority Report on the Iran-Contra affair. Both Addington and Cheney took the idiosyncratic position that it was Congress, not President Reagan, that was in the wrong. This view reflected the opinion, held by both men, that the executive branch should run foreign policy, to a great extent unimpeded by Congress. It’s a recurring theme – pushing the limits of executive power and sidestepping Congress – in their partnership. One example is their position that the President, as Commander-in-Chief in times of war, had the inherent authority to ignore the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Congress passed in an effort to make sure that Presidents don’t violate citizens’ right to privacy by spying on them without warrants.
After meeting and working together in Congress, Cheney and Addington continued their partnership at the Pentagon, where, during the Presidency of George H. W. Bush, Cheney was Secretary of Defense and Addington was his special assistant and, later, general counsel. There, Addington was known as a powerhouse, a stickler who controlled access to Cheney and marked up others’ memos in red felt-tipped pen, returning the memos for rewrites that would make them sharper-and more protective of executive power.
At the Pentagon, the two exhibited a similar pessimism about world affairs, in particular about the possibility that Mikhail Gorbachev represented true change, and also an unusually deep interest in “continuity of government” planning-how the government survives in the event of a doomsday attack. Addington kept the constitutional provisions for Presidential succession in his pocket at all times, a colleague told me.
Addington is still largely a mystery man but his connections to Continuity of Government during the Reagan era are documented as well as his ties to Cheney. Another common denominator is the Iran-Contra affair; Addington was a big player in it as well as most of the current crop of neocons who returned to power under Bush II. Addington also is connected to spook master and former CIA head William ‘Bill’ Casey (a man whose history and past associations is a veritable almanac of American fascism dating from WWII through the Reagan years and who played a key role in the theft of the PROMIS software) through The Lawless Group (named for CIA operative Richard Lawless, a close associate of Casey). Sidney Blumenthal’s article for Salon entitled The Sad decline of Michael Mukasey provides some additional background on Mr. Addington:
Addington’s dominion over the law — controlling the writing of the president’s executive orders and the memos from OLC, the office of the White House counsel and the carefully placed network of general counsels throughout the federal government’s departments and agencies — is a well-established and central aspect of Cheney’s power. Addington has been indispensable to the vice president since he served as his counsel on the joint congressional committee investigating the Iran-Contra scandal, when Cheney was the ranking minority member. In that capacity, Addington wrote, under Cheney’s signature, the notorious minority report that was an early clarion call for the imperial presidency.
Addington and Cheney’s report decried Congress for its “hysteria” over the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved the selling of missiles to Iran to finance arms for the Nicaraguan Contras against explicit congressional legislation. The Constitution, they argued, “leaves little, if any doubt that the president was expected to have the primary role of conducting the foreign policy of the United States.” They added: “Congressional actions to limit the president in this area therefore should be reviewed with a considerable degree of skepticism. If they interfere with the core presidential foreign policy functions, they should be struck down.”
The Cheney minority report was the doctrinal basis for the Bush presidency: the unitary executive, the commander in chief ruling in wartime by fiat and, ultimately, torture being defined as whatever the president, not the Geneva Conventions, said it was. Addington’s authorship of the Cheney Iran-Contra report was largely overlooked until fairly recently, but his deeper connection to that scandal and its resonance have received little attention.
In the 1980s, Addington, then in his 20s, served as deputy counsel to CIA director William Casey, the moving force behind the Iran-Contra affair and the most powerful figure in the Reagan administration after the president. Along with other hotshots in the counsel’s office, Addington was part of what became known within the agency as the “Lawless Group,” named after Richard Lawless, a CIA operative who was a close assistant to Casey, according to a former senior CIA official. After Casey’s death, Rep. Dick Cheney co-opted the “Lawless Group,” putting its members in key positions when he was secretary of defense during the first Bush administration and vice president in the second. (Lawless, for example, after working as Jeb Bush’s business partner, served as deputy undersecretary of defense, retiring this past April.)
“A lot of the decisions on Iran-Contra were signed off by the counsel’s office,” a longtime senior CIA official told me. “It was not a renegade operation. It had lawyers, just like now. Everything they were doing was run by the general counsel’s office and Addington was deputy. You may draw your own conclusions, as the Russians say.” In fact, the role of the counsel’s office surfaced in the trial of Alan Fiers, the CIA agent in charge of the Central American Task Force, who pleaded guilty to misleading Congress. But that role was never investigated or ever really reported.
“These guys don’t like the mainstream CIA. In fact, they hate it,” the CIA official explained. “They don’t like information unless it fits what they want to hear. They hate the CIA because the CIA tells them what they don’t want to hear. They want assessments that prove ideological points. They are looking for simplistic answers to complicated issues. They inhabit a make-believe world of moving up into perceived areas of expertise. It’s the same guys; they all resurface when Republicans are back in power. It’s the same group. It’s a system. The similarities are amazing in all these wars we’ve been dragged into.”
That 9/11 enabled Cheney, Addington and the rest of the neocons to brutally enforce their long planned agenda and has served as the basis for all that has changed since that day there remains a truly legitimate question as to what their role or knowledge of those attacks may have been. It has been a matter of intense debate in the alternative media as to what level of involvement this cabal may have had in ensuring that the attacks took place (stay away from the Bush Did It canard which is only a straw man), they did after all write in a document for the Project For A New American Century (PNAC) entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses of the need for a “New Pearl Harbor” in order for the public to accept their radical doctrine and there never has been a legitimate investigation of 9/11 free of conflicts of interest and with full subpoena power so as to ask the serious questions in a public forum about the event that hit the reset button on over two and a quarter centuries of American history and the subsequent implementation of a fascist infrastructure.
In a fairly recent article that I wrote entitled 9/11: Cover for a Coup d’Etat?, I mused as to whether the ‘terrorist’ attacks merely provided cover for an Edward Luttwak-style coup d’etat to be piggybacked on top of the incidents using the Continuity of Government infrastructure. The massive USAPATRIOT Act was already awaiting a rollout and there is the still lingering question of who was really behind the Anthrax attacks that were directed at those who were in positions to stop its implementation. 9/11 would be consistent with historical black operations and false flag attacks and the festering disregard for American democracy by those who assumed control in the aftermath is widely known but I am not going to revisit that in this particular writing other than to ask the obvious question of Cui Bono? Whether 9/11 was indeed a coup by an alliance between the shadow government along with rogue elements of foreign intelligence services is of less importance than the consistent pattern of below-the-surface influence and interactions of non-elected government officials and foreign and domestic criminal elements. Author and researcher Professor Peter Dale Scott refers to a “Deep State” and I would refer readers of this article to one of his entitled 9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics in which Professor Scott provides an in-depth look into not only the deep state but asks serious questions about whether Continuity of Government was implemented in the aftermath of 9/11. I excerpt the following from this piece:
In my book The Road to 9/11, I have argued that there has existed, at least since World War Two if not earlier, an analogous American deep state, also combining intelligence officials with elements from the drug-trafficking underworld. I also pointed to recent decades of collaboration between the U.S. deep state and al-Qaeda, a terrorist underworld whose drug-trafficking activities have been played down in the 9/11 Commission Report and the mainstream U.S. media.
The book referenced by Professor Scott is The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America and it is an essential read for those seeking to understand America as it exists today.
Pictures of the Homeland
That the United States of America has nearly completed the tragic transition to a fascist form of government becomes more apparent with each passing day and each additional outrage and the cancer has so thoroughly metastasized there is little hope that a new regime in Washington is going to be able to bring it to a halt. Whether it be the hijacking of the financial system by the Wall Street banking cartel that is abetted by yet another capitulation by a quisling Congress, more evidence of the desecration of privacy rights by a surveillance industrial complex run amok, the alarming and ongoing militarizing of the nation’s police, the assignment of combat hardened troops to domestic duty (with a mandate to quell civil unrest despite the now for all intents and purposes rendered irrelevant Posse Comitatus Act) or the constantly morphing and open ended definition of what exactly constitutes being a ‘terrorist’ to name only a few of the more alarming changes to the republic, those who are able to recognize such things as to what they truly are should be increasingly aware that the dreaded and ubiquitous pejorative of conspiracy theorist is (as it always has been) one gigantic sick joke. The pushback against President Obama for announcing the planned closure of the Gitmo torture gulag by the neocon embeds in the media has been significant.
As the saying goes, if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water it will react by jumping out immediately, but if you put that same frog into a pot of lukewarm water and then very slowly increase the temperature of the burner on the stove upon which it sits, that frog will stay in the pot until it becomes soup. My fellow Americans, that frog is us and the parallel reality that is so essential for the transformation of a state from one of benevolent democracy to one of totalitarianism as set forth by Hannah Arendt, is in the final stages of being swapped out. The apple pie authoritarianism becomes more entrenched, political discourse has been reduced to nothing more than demagoguery, lies (either outright or more commonly, through omission) clever and highly sophisticated propaganda, race-baiting, fear-mongering and all delivered through a corrupted and complicit corporate media machine and the celebrity shills that it employs as barkers in the carnival of immorality and perversion that is the shell of American now known as the Homeland.
In the run-up to the 2008 election, millions of little plastic pieces of vile filth (that hew to the established storylines formerly established as an example in one Julius Streicher’s publication Der Sturmer) in the form of a DVD version of a deceitful and meticulously designed and professionally produced (in order to evoke a proper emotional response from certain credulous or otherwise mentally unstable fringe elements) propaganda film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West and sponsored by a well-funded, shadowy front group were mass distributed (28 million) in many of the nation’s newspapers and specifically in swing states in advance of the coming election. The obvious intent was to generate fear and hatred and to manufacture consent as well as swing the election to McCain. It worked to perfection as Muslim children were gassed in the nursery of a Dayton, Ohio mosque just after the Obsession DVD was distributed locally. Of course in the land of Orwellian newspeak it wasn’t ruled an act of domestic terrorism. For that matter, neither was Kristallnacht in a certain European closing society that eerily parallels what has been going on in the post 9/11 ‘Homeland’ although it is far more subtle for the original prototype was far too ostentatious to endure for very long.
The Republican presidential campaign of John McCain (once again reverting to true form in his opposition to the stimulus) and the shrill, strident kewpie doll Sarah Palin used political rallies to whip up fear and loathing among the worst fringe elements of society, inciting largely angry and easily duped supporters into shouting “terrorist”, “off with his head” and even “kill him” in reference to Obama who has been the victim of a long-running, highly coordinated, well financed campaign to paint him as a Manchurian Candidate, a secret Muslim, a terrorist collaborator and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This sort of sentiment continues to be encouraged by extremist fifth columnists and will only fester more as the economy deteriorates and scapegoats are manufactured. Multi-millionaire fascist demagogue Rush Limbaugh (a modern day Father Charles Coughlin) has become a defacto spokesman for the GOP and will continue to foment hatred amidst those most susceptible. The more paranoid elements are already being whipped into a frenzy over Obama’s second swearing in (the first was botched by Federalist Society stooge Chief Justice John Roberts) in that he didn’t place his hand on a bible, and of course the dirty little rumors that Obama was not born in the U.S. continue to be circulated.
Such vitriolic rallies became veritable lynch mobs and have merely gone underground now that the people have spoken. In a time of an unprecedented domestic economic crisis that already has Americans on the edge, they are extremely dangerous and will inevitably lead to violence – of course this may be the intent as it is consistent with more traditional versions of fascism. In his study The Authoritarians, Bob Altemeyer identified a certain demographic segment of any society that are hard-wired for serving authoritarians, susceptible to demagogy and subservient to perceived authority figures. This particular part of a population is essential to supporting totalitarian figures who rise to power during troubled times and offer simple answers to complex problems, they are essential components of any fascist regime and their near psychotic fervor can be channeled to the point where they are nothing more than automatons or tools to the dangerous leaders of mass movements. Such behavior was on full display at many Sarah Palin rallies and it wouldn’t take much to turn such gatherings into staging grounds for organized pogroms that could then be unleashed when the time is right.
It certainly brings to mind George Orwell’s 1984, but then these are truly the times which Orwell so brilliantly prophesied, Oceania has always been at war and always will be at war, for that is what we are and all that we shall ever be in the land of the shadow government. No fascist system can for long exist without a certain die-hard percentage of the population who can be mobilized as shock troops, don’t ask questions and are full of resentment and hatred, only seeking a strong leader on a white horse with simple answers to complex problems and who will point them in the direction of those who can be easily scapegoated. History always repeats but it never repeats exactly. Yesteryear’s Juden are today’s liberals.
“The preparations for Hate Week were in full swing, and the staffs of all the Ministries were working overtime. Processions, meetings, military parades, lectures, waxworks, displays, film shows, telescreen programmes all had to be organized; stands had to be erected, effigies built, slogans coined, songs written, rumours circulated, photographs faked…”
– George Orwell
The ramming through of the Wall Street bailout (TARP), the financial equivalent of the USA Patriot Act in that it placed unaccountable power in a Treasury Department that has become an occupied colony of Goldman Sachs despite a huge public outcry is another indication of just how much power has been transferred into the executive branch. The usual rubber-stamping by a corrupt and (very likely threatened and blackmailed) Congress was a foregone conclusion in the land of sham elections and an increasingly tyrannical government. The passage of this monstrosity was allegedly aided by a threat of martial law, this according to Representative Brad Sherman of California. Former President George W. Bush took to the television airwaves to once again sow fear over an economic Armageddon and also what could be perceived as an implied threat of martial law in the language “America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold.” One could speculate that the “distressing scenario” which Bush mentioned could activate conditions as set forth in NSPD-51 in order to deal with domestic unrest due to bank holidays, food shortages and any sort of uprising as a result of the financial collapse. Main Core would be utilized to produce the lists of those among the millions already deemed to be suspect and prone to ‘subversive’ behavior, the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team already in place stateside would be required to ‘maintain the necessary order’ (augmented by Blackwater and other private mercenaries of course) and the roundups and internments would begin. It was an eerie déjà vu moment in which America was transported back to 2002 and 2003 with the apocalyptic conjecture of smoking guns as mushroom clouds, phantom weapons of mass destruction, sleeper cells, biological weapon spewing gliders that could transverse the ocean and an evil dictator who was a “new Hitler”.
Some Historical Context
The United States has had a history of influential groups and individuals that have a serious fascist bent. Some of the most powerful bankers and industrialists of the Great Depression era did plot a coup d’etat (The Business Plot) in order to topple the hated Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were thwarted when the man who they attempted to recruit to lead it, former Marine Corps General Smedley D. Butler instead exposed them to Congress. So shocking was this that the media of that era closed ranks to protect the traitors and erase the ugly blight from our sanitized version of history. It was no secret that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (once featured in a fawning puff piece in Fortune Magazine) and even Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had ardent American admirers and influential supporters who were enthralled with their highly efficient, corporate friendly authoritarian states and their ability to propagandize the masses and crush labor unions.
A trusted servant of robber barons and financial oligarchs named Prescott Bush, a man whose lineage would include two future U.S. Presidents actually engaged in doing business with the Nazis until the Union Banking Corporation was shut down by FDR under the Trading With the Enemy Act. The OSS and later the CIA actively recruited Nazis and assimilated Hitler’s Eastern European intelligence arm, The Gehlen Organization ostensibly to fight communism. Many top Nazi scientists and intelligence operatives including many who were full blown war criminals were allowed entry into the U.S. under Operation Paperclip after the WW II had ended, they were then assimilated into what would become the military industrial complex as rocket scientists, psychiatrists and medical ‘experts’ (whose labs were the Nazi concentration camps where gruesome medical experiments were performed on human prisoners, I note that similar amnesty was given to Japanese war criminals who participated in the infamous Unit 731) whose wartime experience with mind control and torture techniques would be of use to the CIA. Some former Nazis were allowed to migrate to Central and South America where they established expatriate communities and joined forces with U.S. sponsored fascists to crush leftist democratic movements in the most brutal of manner all under the cover of defeating communism. Former Nazis played key roles in the carrying out of the wet work of the American empire in Latin America, notably Argentina and their influence would set the precedent for the unimaginable cruelty and repression that would later be used in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Pinochet’s Chile as well as much later in Iraq.
Klaus Barbie aka the Butcher of Lyons was one of the more notable names and is a perfect example of an asset being used to further American interests in the southern cone, Barbie was a key part of the ‘Cocaine Coup’. The corrupting influence that was asserted on intelligence, the military and deep state movers and shakers by such a close affiliation with Nazi war criminals and the inevitable damage done in terms of moral authority is as difficult to fathom as it is extremely disturbing but that is a story for another time. So as not to overly dwell on the Nazi connection (the amount of material on it is voluminous) I do want to comment that it shows the depths to which the National Security State will go in order to ensure its own perpetuation and ability to lay down with wolves so that the real power structure in this country is allowed to function with ruthless, Machiavellian precision in the darkness that exists just below the façade of legitimate public and private institutions in the United States.
The Cold War gave the intelligence apparatus and the military industrial complex the cover that was needed in order to build the infrastructure of an extra-Constitutional government. Almost from the very inception of the CIA the United States became involved in the assassinations and overthrow of legitimate democratically supported governments all undertaken for big business and to crush resistance to western capitalism. The obvious Nazi influence manifested itself in the extreme cruelty of the methods used to expand the empire and death squads were sanctioned, torture was widespread to the extent that it was even taught at the far-right School of the Americas and the agency participated in sadistic and immoral mind control experimentation programs such as the notorious MKULTRA. It is of the utmost importance to understand the root of evil that is the Central Intelligence Agency that was put together by the American capitalist elite in the aftermath of World War II to act as a Gestapo for Wall Street and business interests not confined to the spheres of legality. I would like to make reference to an article that summarizes this much better than I could ever hope to do in a well documented story How the CIA Created a Ruling, Corporate Overclass in America that is a must read for everyone who really is serious about going at the existing order.
The cover of darkness allows for the breeding of mutations and the CIA itself eventually was able to reconfigure into compartmentalized factions, some of the more militant joined forces with organized crime, extreme right-wing groups, and elements of the military and foreign intelligence services to carry out clandestine and black ops domestically. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy for all of the research, investigations and time elapsed has never truly been solved and it is highly likely that a Secret Team (to use the term of L. Fletcher Prouty) may have been involved in the assassination, a moment in our history after which everything changed. Kennedy dared to challenge the power structure when he spoke of:
“…a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.”
Many presume that this was directed at communism, the era was the height of the Cold War but the speech was in the aftermath of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, a botched overthrow of Fidel Castro for which the more extreme elements of the military, the fascist right, the CIA, organized crime and big business interests that were thrown out of Cuba after the revolution blamed Kennedy for undermining. Kennedy had made very dangerous and mortal enemies and further inflamed matters when he threatened to “splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” and ousted director Allen Dulles, a man who was a major factor in the post WW II alliance with the Nazis and Operation Paperclip as well as a member of Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, a representative of anti New Deal American fascists as well as an alleged broker of business deals with the Nazi regime. Ironically (or maybe not) Allen Dulles would later become a member of the Warren Commission that gave legitimacy to the Lee Harvey Oswald as lone nut conspiracy theory while ignoring the larger picture. I reference the Kennedy assassination not to go into it at any great length but that it, like the later assassinations of Robert Kennedy and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr were all coordinated actions of the shadow government to remove opponents of the rising American fascist state.
There have throughout the years been millions upon millions of pages written by those who have investigated (and provided cover to the official conspiracy story of) the Kennedy assassination and yet there is still no real answer to what exactly happened but the reason why is the real key. I would like to note that some attention should be paid to the out of print book by Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War which looks into warring factions and examines at length the JFK assassination, the implausibility of Oswald and the story of Jack Ruby – who never was able to tell his story – cryptically implored Chief Justice Warren that unless he was able to be taken out of Dallas and to Washington to personally speak to President Lyndon B. Johnson that:
“….Consequently, a whole new form of government is going to take over our country, and I know I won’t live to see you another time.”
Peter Dale Scott who has himself done an immense amount of research on the JFK assassination puts it like this in his aforementioned essay 9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics has this to say about America and the failure to come to terms with the murder of John F. Kennedy:
Recent history has seen a number of such events, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that are so inexplicable by the public notions of American politics that most Americans tend not even to think of them. Instead most accept the official surface explanations for them, even if they suspect these are not true. Or if others say they believe that “Oswald acted alone,” they may do so in the same comforting but irrational state of mind that believes God will reward the righteous and punish the wicked.
Kennedy’s death paved the way for the military industrial complex (that President Eisenhower ominously warned of in his farewell speech) to escalate the Vietnam War and declare war on the American public who dissented with the immorality of that damned war and took to the streets in protest. Their efforts would shake the very foundations of this nation’s corrupted institutions, terrify the ruling elite classes and create a climate where any means necessary to control domestic unrest would be utilized lest the existing order be toppled.
The Reagan Years
As I wrote in part one of this ongoing series, the recent article by Christopher Ketcham entitled The Last Roundup and Tim Shorrock’s Exposing Bush’s Historic Abuse of Power are both about the massive database Main Core and how it relates to Continuity of Government programs. It is encouraging to see that there is now more being written about this subject by more well known and influential figures than this humble blogger. Author James Bamford’s new book on the NSA entitled The Shadow Factory is drawing a good deal of attention already on just how much that Americans have been spied on by our own government, the rogue neocon occupying faction as well as Israeli elements working alone and in conjunction with domestic interests (but much more on that in part four of this series). Arch-conservative John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute (instrumental in funding Paula Jones’ lawsuit against President Clinton) wrote two articles on the shadow government which shows that the immense danger of this transcends the trivialities of partisan politics. The Whitehead pieces can be found at the Huffington Post and are entitled America’s Shadow Government: Part One and America’s Shadow Government: Part Two. I excerpt a small piece from Mr. Whitehead below:
What is the bottom line here? We are, for all intents and purposes, one terrorist attack away from having a full-fledged authoritarian state emerge from the shadows, at which time democratic government will be dissolved and the country will be ruled by an unelected bureaucracy. And because so much of this shadow government remains under wraps, there is much we don’t know about it. Yet that does not diminish the threat it poses to democratic government.
In his 1961 Farewell Address to the Nation, Dwight D. Eisenhower tried to warn us that a nefarious military-industrial complex had emerged in America. “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist,” he said. Eisenhower realized that after World War II, America had become a national security state that operated largely in secret and answered to practically no one.
It is heartening to see this most critical of subjects being examined at last for if the relentless drive towards an American fascist government is not at the very minimum slowed, then nothing else is really going to matter is it?
But I digress….
As I previously stated, this particular administration of an ubiquitous, personable, uninquisitive, (and eventually doddering) longtime pitchman for the American brand of hard-right fascism was a veritable devil’s playground for those who more than dabbled in concocting dangerous plans in the darkness that could be put into use against all perceived enemies of America, both foreign and domestic, and during which a lot of cash could be made on the side. Reagan was backed by longtime spook, fixer and former CIA chief George Herbert Walker Bush who used the office of the Vice President as a fertile launching ground to lay the groundwork for what his son would so effectively preside over as the “unitary executive” with the necessary muscle provided by Dick Cheney and the neocons who found a friendly incubator for their decidedly radical anti-American ideas during the Reagan administration. Reagan’s White House was a front for cowboys Lt. Oliver Colonel North, Richard Secord, John Poindexter, William Casey and John Negroponte; neocon connivers Elliot Abrams, Michael Ledeen, Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and Continuity Of Government leaders Dick Cheney, Edwin Meese, Donald Rumsfeld and David Addington among others. Most of the veteran shadow government operators went on to become influential players in the Bush-Cheney administration where they have worked to ensure that their plans would reach fruition.
It was during the Reagan administration that Earl Brian, a crony of Ed Meese assisted in the theft and distribution of the enhanced version of INSLAW’s PROMIS software and it was put to good use by among others Colonel Oliver North who used it in conjunction with his REX 84 program to track and monitor potential dissidents or opponents who could be rounded up when and if the time was deemed necessary. Similarly such operations were already on the books in Operation Cable Splicer and Operation Garden Plot. PROMIS was also distributed and used by foreign intelligence services such as the Mossad according to the Gordon Thomas book Gideon’s Spies. Israel has always proved a useful cutout for shadow government black ops such as Iran Contra and the Bamford book looks at the role of Israel in the ongoing illegal spying of the Bush regime. Both Shorrock’s and Ketcham’s pieces link Main Core to PROMIS which provides the link through C.O.G. to the shadow government itself which was at it’s most visible during the Reagan years. North ran the REX 84 program out of FEMA to plan for the mass roundup and detention of American citizens, allegedly targeting about 400,000 ‘illegal aliens’ (brown skinned people always seem to make for good scapegoats and cover for secretive government operations), with Cable Splicer and Garden Plot as prototypes the current administration has launched a similar program called Operation Falcon, a potential test run to fill up those detention facilities that Haliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root were awarded a $385 million contract for? If so, you can rest assured that Main Core will be able to generate the pickup lists for such an operation. The camps were justified in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as being necessary for illegal immigrant roundups, temporary housing facilities for displaced victims of natural disasters and for other unspecified “new programs”. Maureen Farrell wrote the definitive piece on this for Buzzflash in 2006 entitled Detention Camp Jitters. I only wish that I was making this stuff up but it is far more advanced than we know.
I reference breaking news by Ellen Brown on the mysterious Wackenhut prison buses that were sighted in the Arizona desert; I will address this in more detail in the next installment.
Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin’ the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can’t understand
We don’t know how to mind our own business
‘Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who’s the winner
We can’t pay the cost
‘Cause there’s a monster on the loose
It’s got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching
– Monster (Steppenwolf)
America post-9/11 has been a period of triumph for the shadow government. The ascendance has now been nearly completed; the transformation for all intents and purposes is likely now irreversible. The surveillance grids have been locked into place, the Constitution altered forever, the opposition cowed and nullified, the media matrix impenetrable, the Congress rendered irrelevant, the public brainwashed and the military on alert to move against the citizenry domestically (when the order is given). As they say in the financial world, the gains have been locked in.
Despite the banishment of Bush-Cheney there will likely be no real restoration of what has been lost nor will there be any serious type of accountability; fascism and militarism are now as American as apple pie. Certainly there will be cosmetic changes, President Obama has already announced Guantanamo Bay will be closed, it’s just become too much of a symbol of all that has gone wrong. Torture has also been denounced by Obama and the CIA black prisons have been ordered to be shut down but with a deeply entrenched renegade shadow government it is likely that the ghost planes will continue their rendition routes to black sites abroad (albeit covertly) and that private surveillance and intelligence outfits will continue to receive government funding and mercenary armies like those of the infamous Blackwater will continue to grow stronger.
Tim Shorrock in his Salon piece “Exposing Bush’s Historic Abuse of Power” writes of rumors of a potential series of Congressional investigations:
The proposal for a Church Committee-style investigation emerged from talks between civil liberties advocates and aides to Democratic leaders in Congress, according to sources involved. (Pelosi’s and Conyers’ offices both declined to comment.) Looking forward to 2009, when both Congress and the White House may well be controlled by Democrats, the idea is to have Congress appoint an investigative body to discover the full extent of what the Bush White House did in the war on terror to undermine the Constitution and U.S. and international laws. The goal would be to implement government reforms aimed at preventing future abuses — and perhaps to bring accountability for wrongdoing by Bush officials.
“If we know this much about torture, rendition, secret prisons and warrantless wiretapping despite the administration’s attempts to stonewall, then imagine what we don’t know,” says a senior Democratic congressional aide who is familiar with the proposal and has been involved in several high-profile congressional investigations.
“You have to go back to the McCarthy era to find this level of abuse,” says Barry Steinhardt, the director of the Program on Technology and Liberty for the American Civil Liberties Union. “Because the Bush administration has been so opaque, we don’t know [the extent of] what laws have been violated.”
The parameters for an investigation were outlined in a seven-page memo, written after the former member of the Church Committee met for discussions with the ACLU, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Common Cause and other watchdog groups. Key issues to investigate, those involved say, would include the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance activities; the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of extraordinary rendition and torture against terrorist suspects; and the U.S. government’s extensive use of military assets – including satellites, Pentagon intelligence agencies and U2 surveillance planes – for a vast spying apparatus that could be used against the American people.
Specifically, the ACLU and other groups want to know how the NSA’s use of databases and data mining may have meshed with other domestic intelligence activities, such as the U.S. government’s extensive use of no-fly lists and the Treasury Department’s list of “specially designated global terrorists” to identify potential suspects. As of mid-July, says Steinhardt, the no-fly list includes more than 1 million records corresponding to more than 400,000 names. If those people really represent terrorist threats, he says, “our cities would be ablaze.” A deeper investigation into intelligence abuses should focus on how these lists feed on each other, Steinhardt says, as well as the government’s “inexorable trend towards treating everyone as a suspect.”
“It’s not just the ‘Terrorist Surveillance Program,'” agrees Gregory T. Nojeim from the Center for Democracy and Technology, referring to the Bush administration’s misleading name for the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. “We need a broad investigation on the way all the moving parts fit together. It seems like we’re always looking at little chunks and missing the big picture.”
A prime area of inquiry for a sweeping new investigation would be the Bush administration’s alleged use of a top-secret database to guide its domestic surveillance. Dating back to the 1980s and known to government insiders as “Main Core,” the database reportedly collects and stores – without warrants or court orders – the names and detailed data of Americans considered being threats to national security.
Getting a full picture on Bush’s intelligence programs, however, will almost certainly require any sweeping new investigation to have a scope that would inoculate it against charges of partisanship. During one recent discussion on Capitol Hill, according to a participant, a senior aide to Speaker Pelosi was asked for Pelosi’s views on a proposal to expand the investigation to past administrations, including those of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. “The question was, how far back in time would we have to go to make this credible?” the participant in the meeting recalled.
However given the inability of the Congress to do anything to provide a check on the monstrous abuses of the Bush-Cheney regime (and those shadow government activities that preceded it) it is highly unlikely that any legitimate, official review along the lines of the Church Committee will ever occur. If there is any sort of an investigation I would think that it would be a dog and pony show whitewash along the lines of the Warren Commission or the Kean-Hamilton 9/11 Commission, both of which served to do nothing other than provide the façade of an investigation while protecting those implicated from having their criminality exposed in the interests of national security and to continue to provide cover for the existing established order. In their true feckless manner the Democrats are already deferring to their more openly fascist cohorts in the first days of the new administration which does not bode well for the future.
Too much damage has already been done and too many stand to face not only criminal charges but also charges of outright treason if the sort of sweeping investigation that is required to get into the real systemic rot is undertaken.
Watch Lists, Black Lists, Enemies Lists… Hit Lists?
With the long overdue departure of the Bush administration from the White House it is the hope many that the myriad of transgressions against the Constitution and the people of America will begin to seep out into the public domain. It took a remarkably short time. The day after the helicopter hauled ole George away like so much rubbish a major story broke. In an astonishing shot across the bow directed at the shadow government the first significant whistleblower has already come out with a story (once again ignored by the corporate media) and delivered a devastating blow to the premise that the massive illegal domestic spying programs of the Bush administration were undertaken in order to protect America from terrorism in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001.
Former NSA analyst Russell Tice during two recent interviews on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann (pt 1, pt 2) confirmed that the Bush-Cheney-Rove phony war on terror was as people like myself have always strongly suspected in actuality a war on America itself. According to the patriotic Mr. Tice the targets of the domestic spying included news organizations and journalists and that the surveillance for specific targets was not limited to professional matters alone, they were spied on 24/7.
“The National Security Agency had access to all Americans’ communications,” he said. “Faxes, phone calls and their computer communications. … They monitored all communications.”
Tice said the NSA analyzed metadata to determine which communication would be collected. Offering a hypothetical example, he said if the agency determined that terrorists communicate in brief, two-minute phone calls, the NSA might program its systems to record all such calls, invading the privacy of anyone prone to telephonic succinctness.
Tice was involved in only a small part of the project, that involved trying to “harpoon fish from an airplane.”
He said he was told to monitor certain groups in order to eliminate them as suspects for more intense targeting. Those groups, he said, were U.S. journalists and news agencies. But rather than excluding the news organizations from monitoring, he discovered that the NSA was collecting the organizations’ communications 24 hours a day year round.
“It made no sense,” he said.
Tice did not identify the reporters or organizations allegedly targeted.
Olbermann asked if this means there’s a file somewhere containing every e-mail and phone conversation these reporters ever had with sources, editors and family members.
“If it was involved in this specific avenue of collection, it would be everything, yes.” Tice answered.
(Excerpted from Wired’s Kim Zetter’s blog)
The Tice interviews followed another former insider speaking out on the gross illegality of the Bush administration programs, a former DOJ employee named Thomas Tamm was featured in a Newsweek magazine cover story by Michael Isikoff entitled The Fed Who Blew the Whistle from which I excerpt the following:
In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spies – a unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. The unit had special rules that appeared to be hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance. When Tamm started asking questions, his supervisors told him to drop the subject. He says one volunteered that “the program” (as it was commonly called within the office) was “probably illegal.”
The name of the program was Stellar Wind and please pay particular attention to this next excerpted piece from Isikoff’s story:
The NSA, with the secret cooperation of U.S. telecommunications companies, had begun collecting vast amounts of information about the phone and e-mail records of American citizens. Separately, the NSA was also able to access, for the first time, massive volumes of personal financial records – such as credit-card transactions, wire transfers and bank withdrawals – that were being reported to the Treasury Department by financial institutions. These included millions of “suspicious-activity reports,” or SARS, according to two former Treasury officials who declined to be identified talking about sensitive programs. (It was one such report that tipped FBI agents to former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes.) These records were fed into NSA supercomputers for the purpose of “data mining” – looking for links or patterns that might (or might not) suggest terrorist activity.
This latest glimpse beneath the facade at the massive, secretive and highly illegal surveillance campaign against the American people is an outrage. Given the proclivity of those who run the system in this country to exert raw power to advance their own agendas it is no leap in logic that journalists alone were the only group targeted. There remains the question of whether blackmail, especially sexual blackmail is routinely used as a tool to keep government and media officials from not straying too far from the dirty business of imperialism and financial chicanery of the sort that has brought the economy to its knees. I personally found the media spectacle of the fortuitously timed prostitution bust of former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer who incidentally had just announced his intention to declare war on the banksters and their accomplices in the Bush White House in a February 14, 2008 Washington Post piece entitled Predatory Lenders Partner in Crime to be extremely suspicious. The rogue Bush regime and the NSA have been using their big lie of the war on terror as an excuse to scrutinize credit card use and Spitzer would have been an obvious target as is indicated by the above excerpt from the Newsweek story. It also makes skeptics such as myself wonder whether the witch hunt to impeach former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich may at least in part be attributed to his threat to suspend state business with Bank of America, ‘Blago’ was arrested the day afterwards.
In light of the Tice revelations as well as an already long and extremely sordid history of U.S. government surveillance into the activities of dissidents and reporters that predated the Bush regime, we also need to ask some very serious questions of a much more troubling and nefarious nature. For example, how does such spying tie into not only the manipulation of the news but the now standard lack of spine from the Democratic congress when it comes to prosecuting the Bush administration criminals? Notorious fixer Karl Rove has already announced his intent to defy yet another subpoena for his testimony that was to have been delivered on Monday in front of the House Judiciary Committee. As of this writing, John Conyers has once again caved and the date has now been pushed into February and likely will soon disappear down the same memory hole where similar attempts to enforce the law have been flushed.
Intense political pressure, threats of unemployment in a time of economic crisis and potentially embarrassing sexual acts subject to blackmail are all entirely made possible by the rampant unaccountability of the domestic spying programs, but are there measures that go far beyond just the spiking of stories, the discrediting or the ruining of careers alone? Think back to the vicious institutionalized slander directed former San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb for example for his Dark Alliance series. The savagery with which Webb was taken down by the establishment was stunning and it ultimately resulted in his suicide, a broken and haunted man who only dared to try to tell the truth.
There is a long trail of untimely demises of investigative journalists and other insiders whose knowledge represents a threat to very existence of the shadow government and those who it as a matter of routine does business with in order to avoid legitimate channels. Perhaps the most terrifying of all question is exactly what actions do end up being taken in order to prevent the exposure of widespread criminal activity, systemic grand scale fraud and extra-constitutional black operations that have been conducted for decades.
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen wrote of an NSA database that was at one time named FIRSTFRUITS that was maintained to engage in surveillance against journalists and that was renamed after its discovery. Some of the names in this database allegedly included Christiane Amanpour, Seymour Hersh, James Bamford, James Risen and Madsen himself. According to chatter in the blogosphere that were it not consistent with the historical trail of dead bodies could easily be dismissed as paranoia and disinformation. One story floating around the internet mentioned an unnamed NSA security officer allegedly mused about ‘just killing’ troublesome bloggers. This may be a product of paranoia (one would think paranoia would be a natural state in a land of fear and loathing such as that which the United States has become post 9/11) but there is great progress currently being made by internet researchers and such reputed threats should not simply be waved off as the rantings of tin foil hatters or the favorite of all pejoratives directed at those who dare to ask inconvenient questions, conspiracy theorists. The fact that the alternative media and many bloggers are slowly starting to put the pieces together one can only reasonably suspect that such behavior scares the living hell out of the establishment, and after all, there is a history of that sort of thing. While this is not a comprehensive list the Committee to Protect Journalists keeps a database to track the prematurely deceased in a most dangerous profession.
The bizarre absence of any reporting of this very serious violation of civil liberties has received absolutely no coverage in the corporatized, mainstream pocket media. This is unconscionable that there is apparently no interest in exposing these crimes, especially considering that those targeted could actually save their own hides (and perhaps instill some dignity) by outing this program. It’s a sad testament to the state of today’s ‘journalism’ that is shameful by comparison to that of days of yore when reporters were intrepid souls determined to speak the truth to power.
Writer Eric Alterman puts it spot on in his recent Center for American Progress piece entitled Think Again: Spying on Journalists? Why the Silence? when he notes the lack of intestinal fortitude in the mainstream media:
Clearly something deeply disturbing lurks beneath these revelations, and with Bush gone from office, it’s hard to understand just what is preventing journalists from seeking the truth about this program more energetically. The only thing they have to fear is fear itself.
This sad state of affairs brings to mind the following:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
– Pastor Martin Niemöller
And the silence by those tasked by the First Amendment’s now quaint and antiquated imbuing upon them a responsibility for a free press as an essential check on authoritarianism is deafening in its absence. Quislings, cowards and public relations flacks seem to be the one thing that our journalism schools never failed to produce over the past several decades; feckless and spineless careerists with neither a sense of honor nor of their place as defenders of precious liberty. There shall be no refuge for the weasels nor the rats in the end therefore their mass abrogation of their chosen profession along with their acute absence of courage is even more damnable for when the time comes they will perhaps live to lament that they did not speak out when they had the chance.
Night and Fog
“Death Solves All Problems, No Man, No Problem”
– Joseph Stalin
The National Security State has a history of silencing those who would speak out and especially reporters deemed to have become a nuisance. This is done either through intense pressure brought down on media corporations through organized harassment of sponsors, brutal coordinated smear campaigns much like the one that took down the aforementioned Gary Webb or when all else fails, the reporters often just happen to turn up mysteriously dead. The list of ‘suicides’ and accidents is a long one and in the view of the ruthless psychopaths who both run and profit from a high-tech snooping network seems to be that any means are to be undertaken to keep their games going even if it ultimately results in termination with extreme prejudice. I believe that I will have to put together a list myself but when I just started writing down names off the top of my head of strange deaths I came up with over thirty right off the bat.
The ugly truth is that none of these police state powers are being used to protect the United States from foreign enemies, terrorism or any other excuse that is being made in order to get Americans to submit their rights. It is all in the name of power, money and to protect the interests of the oligarchy and the power elite who run the establishment and it needs to be stopped because it is out of control.
Take the strange case of Danny Casolaro for example…
Perhaps the closest to get at the truth about PROMIS and how it was an integral piece of the shadow government was investigative journalist Danny Casolaro. Casolaro had been working on research for a book on a shadowy transnational power group that seemed to run through the postwar era and had connections to many of the major scandals including Iran-Contra, BCCI, the Nugan Hand Bank, international drug cartels, weapons dealers and intelligence operatives in not only the U.S. government but internationally as well. Casolaro dubbed this group, one that largely rose out of a ‘dirty old boy network’ of the OSS/CIA out of the ashes of World War II as The Octopus. Casolaro began to become aware of the more sinister aspects of what Professor Peter Dale Scott refers to as the deep state but is more commonly known as either the shadow government, the parallel government and even arguably the permanent government while investigating the theft of the PROMIS software from the Inslaw corporation.
On Saturday, August 10, 1991 a maid at a Martinsburg, West Virginia Sheraton Inn was horrified to find the nude body of Joseph Daniel Casolaro in the bathtub, the victim of an apparent ‘suicide’. It was by accounts a particularly grisly scene and a strangely violent ‘suicide’ with both of his wrists slashed deeply multiple times with a razor blade. There was a very short and impersonal note, blood splattered on the tile walls and a pair of bloody towels that were shoved under the sink away from the bathtub.
Strange circumstances followed in the aftermath of the discovery of Danny Casolaro’s corpse in a blood filled bathtub. His body was hastily taken away and embalmed (making any subsequent autopsy much more difficult) before family members were officially notified (a violation of state law by accounts) and room 517 had been professionally cleaned thereby removing critical evidence prior to any sort of thorough forensic investigation could be performed. Compounding doubts about the official ‘suicide’ story are contradictory statements made by friends and family that Casolaro was NOT suicidal at all but was actually quite exited over the prospect of publishing his book on the findings of his investigative work, even to the extent that he had scheduled a party to celebrate. He was in the final stages of nailing down the story of the century and had gone to West Virginia in search of the evidence that would prove his theory, make the connection to PROMIS and ‘bring back the head of the octopus’. The sudden ending (yet another hotel room ‘suicide’) was especially suspicious because when the body was discovered, his files were missing.
In addition to the shadowy players in the global arms and narcotics trades the Octopus also appeared to have had as tentacles rogue elements of U.S. intelligence Casolaro found connections to not only Iran-Contra but also BCCI, the Nugan Hand bank, the October Surprise, money launderers and organized crime as well as a continuous thread of involvement in dirty dealings both domestically and abroad. The roots of this milieu of malevolence stretched back to the post World War II era when a collection of spooks, corrupt bureaucrats and extremist right wing ideologues began to operate as a faction within the intelligence apparatus, a state upon themselves to profit financially while engaging in the darks forms of clandestine activities and black operations.
Author Joel Bainerman in his 1992 book entitled The Crimes of a President wrote the following (some of this ostensibly quoting William Hamilton of Inslaw as well as a 1991 story from the St. Louis Dispatch) that has a very good description on Casolaro’s theory:
“Casolaro had discovered a common denominator to the theft of Inslaw’s software and other recent scandals” says Hamilton who worked very closely with Casolaro right up to his death in helping him to uncover the dirty dealing behind the theft of Inslaw’s software. A group of individuals trained in covert intelligence operations and aligned with the U.S. political leadership who were allegedly profiting from each of these scandals.
These veterans of U.S. covert intelligence operations had also allegedly been selling pirated copies of Inslaw’s software to foreign intelligence and law enforcement agencies and funneling the funds through BCCI. Casolaro believed that some of the profits from these illegal sales made their way into a slush fund used for political payoffs and covert intelligence operations not authorized by Congress.
Danny Casolaro is far from the only one to whom mysterious death had befallen after their investigative work got them too close to the real power structure or presented an obstacle to its need for the cloak of secrecy. Too many rising politicians, uncooperative politicians and judges, hostile witnesses, whistle blowers and reporters have met with no small number of strange and untimely deaths often attributed to accidents (small plane crashes in particular), ‘suicides'( a good deal of them in hotel rooms), sudden heart attacks or seizures (many in people with no history of such problems) and random acts of extreme violence that go unsolved by authorities.
In addition to Casolaro, other suspicious deaths of investigators of this particular nexus of evil include Financial Times reporter Anson Ng, reportedly a friend of Casolaro who was found dead from a gunshot wound in his Guatemala City apartment where he was reportedly working on a story related to BCCI and to try to interview a guy named Jimmy Hughes who according to the writer Rodney Stitch had information regarding shady dealings at the Cabazon Indian Reservation near Palm Springs, CA as well as Jonathan Moyle whose body was found hanging in a closet in a Santiago hotel room where he had been investigating the CIA and the arms trade.
Joel Bainerman also noted in his book that the Cabazon Indian Reservation where the PROMIS software was allegedly modified for espionage purposes by a very interesting character, a technical genius named Michael Riconosciuto to include the ‘back door’ feature (to allow for secret access) was in fact a “CIA cutout”. The government contracting firm Wackenhut, a Florida based corporation alleged to have been involved in sensitive ‘private security’ matters (Blackwater before Blackwater) was involved at the time in a joint-venture with the Cabazon tribe to use the sovereign land status of the reservation to work on a variety of endeavors including the development and testing of arms including a fuel air explosive, biochemical warfare agents and other armaments that could be provided to third world regimes, primarily to right wing governments in Latin America. The Cabazon Indian Reservation was allegedly transformed into a veritable spook nest as well as a staging ground for covert military industrial complex purposes. Wackenhut incidentally is back in the news (or at least the alternative media) with Ellen Brown’s recent story about the mysterious prison buses spotted in Arizona so they are still a player and a big one at that. I would venture to speculate that the truth about Wackenhut Corporation and its longtime involvement in the prison industrial complex that has become so very, very lucrative to this fascist society is something that deserves one hell of a good deal of scrutiny.
Interestingly enough there was a local news investigation in the Palm Springs area in 2008 that had focused on the 2005 multiple murder-suicide of Riverside County District Attorney Investigator David McGowan and five members of his family. As the series continued questions began to arise on whether McGowan had been digging a bit too deeply into a cold case file regarding a 1981 triple murder on the Cabazon Reservation that had ties to the covert activities that Danny Casolaro was investigating. Subsequent installments in the KESQ series by news reporter Nathan Baca began to ask questions about PROMIS as well as the other mysterious activities at the reservation and began to delve into the 1981 murders of tribal leader Fred Alvarez who resisted those behind the Cabazon-Wackenhut joint venture as well as two friends. An interview was conducted with the daughter of one of the victims who is to this day seeking justice for the murder of her father Ralph Boger. Rachel Begley (her website is called desertfae) very accurately described what has been going on at Cabazon as follows:
“I’m more shocked than anything. I had no idea these things were going on. Most of America doesn’t know these things are going on,” said Begley. “It’s still going on to this day. It’s a big web of corruption.”
The series ended abruptly in October after an installment that began to delve into whether other local Indian tribes may have been involved in dealings with Wackenhut and mentioned “an experimental electromagnetic weapon called a “railgun” as being one of the projects. That the KESQ story has not continued is disappointing but certainly not surprising given the history of what has happened to those digging too deeply into affairs involving the PROMIS software – I would hope that it will eventually be resumed. In my own opinion, I would suspect that fear may a motivating factor in the suspension of this series, especially after the detective who had been investigating the case stated that he: “doesn’t want to continue on the case based on the number of people who have met an untimely demise while doing so”. Who knows, I hope that that isn’t the case and that a new installment will be forthcoming in the near future, as a concerned American it is extremely important that it at some point continue because Mr. Baca is onto something BIG.
Now, since I feel that it is particularly relevant I am posting an email from said detective to an unnamed third party who he was seeking advice from and specifically for the comments of said detective that I have highlighted that should send a chill up the spine of all who read this:
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 1:44 PM
Subject: Alvarez Triple Homicide
My name is X and I’m with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. I’m a homicide detective assigned to the cold case division. The Alvarez triple homicide was assigned to me a couple of months ago.
For the past two months I have reviewed nearly a thousand documents of police reports, and spent many hours browsing the Internet for additional sources of information. As I am sure you can imagine, I feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland after falling down the rabbit hole. I no longer have a complete grasp on the real world.
You should know first off, that I am an experienced investigator with 18 years on the Sheriff’s Dept. and I consider myself pretty intuitive when it comes to filtering out the BS. After my first review of the police reports in this case, I wasn’t sure why it remained unsolved for over 26 years. All of the players were identified and the Modus Operandi seemed to be well established. I couldn’t understand why every few years the case was suddenly dropped and put back on the shelf.
That’s when Rachel Begley introduced me to the rabbit hole. After the countless hours I have now spent on her website and the numerous other conspiracy theorists websites, I’m having a very difficult time sifting through the BS.
I have also spent much time on your website and I have found your investigations impressive and your opinions refreshing. That is why I am writing to you now. I do not make it a habit of talking to journalists about open homicide investigations, however, it appears you are much more educated about this particular case than I am.
I know you are very busy and I understand the Alvarez triple homicide is a very small part of the Octopus, but I would be very interested in spending any time with you that you have available, in order to get some perspective on what I’ve read.
Just so you understand where I am in this case. I am currently preparing a review and summary for my Sergeant. My conclusion will be that I do not wish to continue investigating this case, based on the number of people who have met an untimely demise while doing so.
My actions in this matter go against everything I believe in, and this case is very difficult for me to walk away from, especially with the allegations that involve the deaths of Investigator Dave McGowan and his family. But I am conceding to a higher power (my wife) and trying to give her some peace of mind. I cannot look her in the eyes and tell her that I am willing to risk the life of my family by pursuing this.
I am interested in your opinion. Am I just another lamb to the slaughter? Is the Puppet Master pulling my strings via Rachel Begley? Is this just a simple case of murder by Jimmy Hughes at the direction of John P. Nichols, or is it really much more than that?
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you,
RSO – Central Homicide
(951) X desk
(951) X cell
It is with the hope of this humble blogger that this series as well as other damning information such as that put forth by Mr. Tice, Mr. Tamm and other patriotic Americans who have risked all (and at times paid with their careers and lives) all in order to get the truth out will encourage others to do the same. It is long past time to bring attention to the history of grossly immoral and criminal acts that have been perpetrated against the people of the United States by the very institutions that are supposed to be protecting us. It is imperative that others begin to work independently (and together whenever possible) to mount their own investigations into how the government has been weaponized by a pack of fascist thugs so that they may reap the benefits at the expense of those who are not connected to an elitist ruling class that is hell bent on maintaining the status quo.
Danny Casolaro did not have the most powerful tool against injustice and corruption available while he was alive, the internet was only in its nascent stages and had he the ability that we enjoy due to advances in technology he may very well still be alive and the criminal usurpers of our democracy and violators of our constitution could be where they belong – in prison. It is my hope that one with more influence, internal knowledge and resources than I have at my disposal begin to not only do very serious investigative work but to also petition the new administration of President Barack Obama for the following:
An immediate cessation of all illegal, unconstitutional surveillance and data-mining that has been ongoing against law abiding American citizens.
The creation of an independent investigative body along the lines of the Church Committee imbued with sweeping powers to investigate abuses of intelligence both within the government as well as with private contractors who have collaborated in crimes against the republic and its citizens.
A case by case federal investigation into ALL suspicious deaths of reporters and other individuals either directly or indirectly involved in the investigation of what has been done with the PROMIS software, NSA spying and Continuity of Government programs. Especially now that it has been revealed that the NSA has been actively spying on journalists and news organizations.
A restoration of the rule of law as a bulwark against tyranny as was intended by our founding fathers who having full knowledge of how unaccountable despots behave risked all to lay the foundation of a free society where the highest ideals of liberty can be enjoyed by all.
In iron tight regulatory system to ensure that such flagrant abuses of power never be allowed to occur again in the future. The cloak of secrecy needs to be removed and all government must be open to the scrutiny of those who it is supposed to serve.
The prosecution to the full extent of the law of those who are currently or who have in the past been involved in any criminal activity in relation to the aforementioned.
Truly, nothing else will suffice if we are to have any credibility as a nation based on laws.
Comment: You can watch a video of the “INSLAW affair” here.
In the first three installments of this series I examined the existence of the massive surveillance state database MAIN CORE and how similar tools of oppression are destroying American civil liberties. I also took a look at the criminality of many members of the Bush administration (especially Dick Cheney) and their crusade against The Constitution as well as Cheney’s involvement in Continuity of Government programs. I wrote of the targeting of journalists by the rogue cabal operating out of Cheney’s office (which is even more relevant with the news of CIA death squads) to crush dissent. In this installment I want to draw a bigger picture of how a network of Wall Street oligarchs, rogue intelligence operatives, organized crime figures and the mysterious alliances that have led to the hostile takeover of the United States. This is the story of what ‘suicided’ investigative journalist Danny Casolaro called “The Octopus” and it’s ascendance to the highest levels of power.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence – on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
– President John F. Kennedy
Secrecy is the slayer of liberty, it is the essence of which dictatorships are made, of which free societies are suffocated by and of which people are subjugated by. When that secrecy becomes institutionalized in the most powerful corridors of government then it is only a matter of time until that government becomes a weapon of the powerful to be used against the people. Today, in mid-2009 we here in the United States of America (or at least those of us who are awake) are bearing witness to the last vestiges of a once vibrant democracy slowly strangled to death by a deeply embedded culture of secrecy. There has been a hijacking of the intentions of the founders who envisioned a free people by a corrupt and immoral oligarchy and those who serve it. It is backed by the rise of a high-tech police state built on on our backs and enforced by Big Brother style surveillance, incessant propaganda and the vicious undercurrent of social manipulation in order to sow the seeds of hatred necessary for divisiveness and ignorance that are protection for the gangster state. Our last great leader, President John F. Kennedy once warned of the danger of secrecy in a 1961 speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association:
The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
Contrast those words with the acts of the government today, and of the government and of its agents (both official and clandestine) since Kennedy’s public brutal murder in Dealey Plaza which served as a crystal clear message to all that if he could be executed publicly in such a manner then nobody was safe. In the subsequent administrations following that of JFK’s, the power of the state was slowly, incrementally increased so as to not alarm a somnolent citizenry. The rise of the authoritarian fascists who now are at the very pinnacle of their meticulously planned police state did not occur either quickly or without warning, it has been a well thought out, intricately constructed plan that has succeeded largely due to the immersion of official business in a cloud of secrecy.
The early days were largely the work of a small cabal, a few rogue networks run by the real owners of America to implement a system that would serve their interests alone and to brutally put down challenges. They would count on the ability of the media and the lies to anesthetize the public at large, amuse them, distract them with emotional appeals, ball games, contests and triviality to provide distractions and to remove the necessary civic involvement for democracy to exist. Today, as we stumble about in a fog amidst the wreckage of the Bush years, the trap is almost closed, facilitated by that holiest of holies that is 9/11, jusfification for everything.
Our newly minted Emperor Barack Obama has continued the repressive policies of the post 9/11 fascist state. Our bondage is now sold to us by a charismatic pitchman with the gleaming smile instead of a sneer, the iron fist is covered by a velvet glove. Obama is the bookend to JFK, the flipside of the coin, most of the dirty work has already been done and he will close the deal now that the hostile takeover has been completed. He will now carry out the policies of war, oppression, debt slavery and be a guardian of the oligarchy. Change has indeed come to America, we are now a lawless, modern feudal state ruled by corporations, banks, arms manufacturers, extortionists, gangsters and corrupted politicians who are protected by paramiltary police forces and a media that no longer even pretends to tell the truth.
This is the story of the Octopus…
I am going to begin this installment where I left off with part three , the story of the strange dealings and murders at the Cabazon Indian Reservation in the California desert. Emmy award winning investigative reporter Nathan Baca of KESQ, a Palm Springs television station has just come out with his latest installment in the excellent series The Octopus Murders. The series developed out of a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department cold case squad investigation into the 1981 execution style murders of three people in a Rancho Mirage home and the swirling dark dealings that have been associated with those murders. Cabazon Indian tribe Vice Chairman Fred Alvarez had grown suspicious of shadowy government operatives and arms dealers using the reservation as a testing and development ground from which to profit through the supply of weapons to third world regimes, the type of countries in which the U.S. funded vicious thugs, death squads, assassinations, black ops and in which the American intelligence services such as the CIA played a hand in training the torturers and killers. The recent Honduran coup and the revelations that some of the leaders received training at Fort Benning’s notoriously vile School of the Americas puts this sort of destabilization (which was especially in vogue during the era of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush) back into the headlines albeit several layers below the ongoing Michael Jackson saturation coverage.
Fred Alvarez was going to blow the whistle on how Cabazon sovereign land was being used for nefarious purposes by national security state operatives and the contracting outfits (CIA fronts?) Wackenhut Corporation and Meridian Arms Company. When interests of this nature are threatened there is a long history of the ‘meddlers’ ending up dead (typically suicides, accidents or ‘heart attacks’) but the chances of Alvarez blowing up this particular operation which would prove to be huge and multi-faceted, a veritable nexus of clandestine activity during the Reagan years had to be halted with extreme prejudice. So on July 1, 1981 Alvarez along with two friends were professionally executed. The names of the other victims were Patty Castro and Ralph Boger, just collateral damage to the ice cold killers, professionals when it came to protecting the interests of those they were hired by. But sometimes things like this come back to haunt, Mr. Boger’s daughter, Rachel Begley has tirelessly investigated the murder of her father (her website is Desertfae and she also maintains The Octopus Wiki) and the cold case investigation had worked it’s way through the system to the California Department of Justice where it is now effectively stalled. These murders are the key to a dangerous Pandora’s box that if opened would implicate numerous top political figures, expose the way that the deep state really operates and offer a true glimpse behind the star spangled façade of false morality that America exists behind. It would also show that the PROMIS software, the legendary, highly advanced program that has been integral in the formation of the police state infrastructure was modified for espionage and profit on Cabazon Indian land. To say that this is the story of the century is not mere hyperbole, the trail of dead bodies over the years can attest to that and it is time that it be told.
Danny Casolaro and the Octopus
How much violence was there in Nazi Germany…before the old Germany, the center of theatre, opera, philosophy, poetry, psychology and medicine was destroyed? How many incidents took place that were not coincidental before it was called Fascism? What were the transitions? How many people? Was it when the first tailor disappeared? Or librarian? Or professor? Or when the first press was closed or the first song eliminated? Or when the first political science teacher was killed coming home on his bike? How many incidents happened that were perfectly normal until people woke up and said, ‘Hey, we’re in a police state!’
– Mae Brussell
According to the book The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith casolaro had identified a core group of individuals operating within the national security apparatus and their influence in post WW II political history:
Danny Casolaro believed the Octopus responsible for criminal conspiracies, which, linked, formed a virtual history of intelligence double dealing from 1950 to the present. These events, in Casolaro’s view, included the ousters of US President Richard Nixon, Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, the Shah of Iran, and the murders of Chilean President Allende, and of course, of President John F. Kennedy. Casolaro saw the Octopus’ tentacles entwined throughout the creation of the Golden Triangle and the Latin American drug trade, the Cuban Bay of Pigs debacle, the October Surprise, the BCCI banking scandal, and, almost as an afterthought, the theft of PROMIS software.
Casolaro found a “Secret Team”, a high cabal of players operating a clandestine, parallel government, identified previously by other writers [Col. L. Fletcher Prouty]. The cabal had operated beyond the control or scrutiny of elected government, financed by drug-running from Southeast Asia and the Americas.
Other researchers tended to see the Octopus as a fog of political crimes ascribed to the alphabet soup of intelligence agencies, institutions or even the modern terrorist state and its citizenry. Casolaro’s Octopus, however, was no grand, unified mega-conspiracy theory. Casolaro believed the crimes could best be identified by linking them to a small network of named individuals that made up his Octopus. He outlined their hierarchy and provided specific detail about their behind-the-scenes role in contemporary political history.
Casolaro named people both familiar and unfamiliar to other researchers. He deemed the “first level” operatives to be Richard Helms, George Pender, John Philip Nichols and Ray Cline. The second level included Robert Chasen, E. Howard Hunt, Edwin Wilson, Thomas Clines and Ted Shackley. Working backward from the PROMIS theft, Casolaro saw them in a new relationship, a nearly organic entity that impacted both past and then current events.
When it comes to the mysterious deaths related to this story, free lance investigative journalist Danny Casolaro, who was ‘suicided’ in a Martinsburg, West Virginia hotel room in August 1991 is the most notable for he was getting close to the truth. His body was found by a maid in the bathtub in a grisly blood-spattered bathroom, his wrists had been deeply slashed numerous times. In what is a discernable pattern, many of those who threaten the hidden power are found in hotel rooms, allegedly the victims of suicides even though as in Casolaro’s case the victim did not appear to friends, family and associates as being despondent or otherwise suicidal. In his case it was quite the opposite, Casolaro had been devoted to an investigation into a covert network of spooks, criminals and government officials that he had called ‘The Octopus.’ He had been working on a book and according to sources, had gone to West Virginia in pursuit of a final piece of evidence that would break the case. His files, which he carried everywhere, were missing when his body was discovered. Adding to the suspicious circumstances, the room where he was found was professionally cleaned preventing further investigation and the body was illegally embalmed before the family could claim his remains.
Casolaro had been putting together connections involving some of the most critical and dangerous elements of the deep state and he was threatening powerful interests. He had traced an ‘dirty old boy’ network of the OSS/CIA that had gotten together for profit in the aftermath of WW II. That critical period for the U.S. presented an unprecedented opportunity for some to profit from the military industrial complex (which has never been dismantled despite the ominous warnings from President Eisenhower in his farewell address) and the wave of anti-communist paranoia that would be used in order to justify the most extreme and immoral conduct by elements connected to the U.S. Government.
It is well documented that the CIA assimilated former Nazi war criminals into the ranks ostensibly to be used in the fight against the red menace but many of the scientists ended up participating in the darkest forms of research involving mind control techniques and the evolution of the American space/defense sector where they worked on weaponry. Rescued Nazis were also sent to South America where they would assist in supporting right-wing regimes to against the rise of popular movements that could threaten western business interests. In addition to the merger with some of the most foul remnants of Hitler’s Reich such as the Gehlen Org, the bogeyman of an international communist conspiracy also gave rise to networks of money laundering, drug trafficking and arms dealings that would make the business of the warfare state into a very lucrative trade. Corrupt insiders were able to play both ends against the middle and had no qualms about cutting deals with some of the most unsavory and violent types.
But I am getting ahead of myself so I digress…
Danny Casolaro had been able to find a common denominator, a thread that ran through some of the most prevalent schemes and scandals of the time. Iran-Contra, Reagan’s secret wars in Latin America, BCCI, The October Surprise, the INSLAW case and PROMIS and was set to visit Indio, California and the Cabazon reservation. He was onto something and it was big enough to put the fear into some very serious people. Not only was he investigating ties between global arms dealers and government operatives tied to Iran-Contra (one of the greatest scandals of the 20th century in both audacity and magnitude one which is still not completely understood) but the very ascension of Reagan to the presidency (along with the true power that was George H.W. Bush) which was facilitated when a deal was cut to prolong the Iran hostage crisis until after Jimmy Carter was defeated. This is high treason of course, something that the Bushes and their ilk are intimately familiar with but the manipulation of the 1980 election could be viewed as a bloodless coup in that it brought the deep state and the shadow government into the White House itself. Now another person of interest involved in the Iran hostages deal includes a figure named Earl Brian, an intimate of Reagan who was in on the Paris sessions to delay hostage release for political benefit. For a payment he was allegedly allowed to profit from the sale of the stolen version of INSLAW’s PROMIS software.
Brian’s Hadron Inc, in which he was allied with longtime Reagan crony Edwin Meese would be instrumental in the misappropriation, modification and subsequent sale of PROMIS to foreign governments. The entire sordid business of what was done is a proverbial snakepit without a bottom and it taps into many elements of the vast criminality that had infected the system. There is a very good reason for the trail of dead bodies (including Casolaro), wrecked careers, ginned up charges leading to imprisonment and disinformation that has orbited the PROMIS scandal.
The foreign governments included Israel (a country with a long running symbiotic relationship with the National Security State) which now has a massive intelligence and telecommunications infrastructure in place in the United States and it’s all legitimate. I am not going to get into this right now but for the sake of reference please see the following pieces by Gordon Thomas on PROMIS and the Mossad, Christopher Ketcham (whose article The Last Roundup was instumental in breaking the news on the Main Core database) on the ongoing programs of Israeli espionage – Trojan Horse and Breaking the Taboo on Israel’s Spying Efforts in the United States) as well as the following from James Bamford (author of The Shadow Factory) – a Democracy Now interview and the Haaretz article on Bamford Is Israel’s booming high-tech industry a branch of the Mossad?. It is no secret that Israel plays a major part in the PROMIS saga and that will be covered in the next part of this series in more depth.
Again, PROMIS plays an integral part in the subversion of the system itself in order to allow the relatively few with juice who are connected to profit obscenely due to its at the time highly advanced technological capabilities to implement it as a tool of control in order to engage in monitoring and spying on potential threats. In part one of this series I mentioned that according to a Wired Magazine piece entitled The INSLAW Octopus that none other than rogue Colonel Oliver North was using the PROMIS software to support his extra constitutional programs like REX 84:
Lt. Col. Oliver North also may have been using the program. According to several intelligence community sources, PROMIS was in use at a 6,100-square-foot command center built on the sixth floor of the Justice Department. According to both a contractor who helped design the center and information disclosed during the Iran-Contra hearings, Oliver North had a similar, but smaller, White House operations room that was connected by computer link to the DOJ’s command center.
Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States as part of a domestic emergency preparedness program, commissioned under Reagan’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to sources and published reports. Using PROMIS, sources point out, North could have drawn up lists of anyone ever arrested for a political protest, for example, or anyone who had ever refused to pay their taxes. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Sen. Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude. This operation was so sensitive that when Rep. Jack Brooks asked North about it during the Iran-Contra hearings, the hearing was immediately suspended pending an executive (secret) conference. When the hearings were reconvened, the issue of North’s FEMA dealings was dropped.
Casolaro had been concentrating on the INSLAW case around the time of his demise. He had been receiving information from insiders within the intelligence community that would bring to light the use of PROMIS by the government. One source was a civilian employee of the NSA named Alan Standorf whose body was found in the back seat of his car in an airport parking lot, it was set up to look like he was the victim of a robbery. Sources say that he may have been providing Casolaro with proof that the NSA was using PROMIS but as with so many others who crossed paths with The Octopus he became collateral damage.
As to who ‘suicided’ Danny Casolaro and most importantly why, there may never be an answer. Casolaro had his fingers in too many pies and the nexus of evil that he was untangling was just too huge for the investigation to have ended any way but badly for him.
When researching the shadow government or Deep State it is amazing how so many of the same names keep popping up. One of those names belongs to Robert Booth Nichols, a longtime player who was recently back in the news. Mr. Nichols, who died under strange circumstances back in February was involved with the current financial crisis through Sam Israel, one of the thousands of Bernie Madoffs that have been using intricately structured financial instruments, shady hedge funds and offshore banking to destabilize America from within as though it were just another banana republic. The opaque, above the law, rigged games that have brought the country to the brink of ruination for the benefit of a corrupt oligarchy have working blueprints in CIA/shadow government fronts of the past such as BCCI and the Nugan Hand Bank and there is no reliable way of knowing just how much of the finance, insurance and real estate (F.I.R.E.) economy is derived from such shady organizations.
I would strongly suspect that the amount of money laundering, involvement with organized crime, narcotics and weapons dealing that is being currently conducted is stunning. Only the recent high profile cases like that of Alan Stanford who has been tied to such dirty activities as well as Madoff and Israel get the attention but they are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Without digressing too much I just want to point out that much of the post WW II intelligence apparatus including the cowboys who were at the heart of the original Octopus were directly tied to the Eastern establishment, Skull and Bones types from which the OSS/CIA was comprised of. This being said, it is only natural that such grand scale financial chicanery and speculation has come to dominate both the U.S. economy as well as the government itself which is so thoroughly intertwined with the pirates that the schemes of the Wall Street high rollers are preserved at the expense of the millions of lesser beings whose lives are being destroyed by the ongoing greed and the subsidizing of such by a system gone cancerous.
Now back to Robert Booth Nichols who prior to his death was involved in a complex financial scheme with Samuel Israel and Bayou Investments involving a fee of $10 million to be paid to Nichols for services rendered for assistance in the locating of a mysterious $250 billion U.S. treasury note that is secured by 2,500 metric tons of gold that sits in the Atlanta Federal Reserve. Israel, who after being convicted for large scale financial fraud faked his own suicide, allegedly jumping off of a bridge and leaving on the hood of his SUV traced in dust the words “Suicide is Painless” never was able to obtain the T-Note (which was sitting in a London Safe Deposit Company and has been seized) subsequently sued Nichols for – get this – cheating him. Now here is the kicker, according to papers filed by Nichols the transaction was conducted under the premise of “matters of national interest” and according to a Bloomberg story (Bayou’s Israel Was Cheated in Scam Investigator Says) was vouched for by a member of the Bush family, John P. Ellis whose previous claim to fame was calling the rigged 2000 election for George W. Bush while working for FOX News. When doing an objective review of the myriad scandals and dirty deeds in America over the past 50 or so years it is astounding just how many times that a member of the Bush crime family is involved but more on them later.
Now what is of greater interest pertaining to Nichols is that he was deeply involved in the Cabazon Reservation activities as well as tied in to Danny Casolaro’s doomed investigation of The Octopus. Nichols had contributed much to Casolaro and he had previously worked as a partner of political prisoner Michael Riconosciuto on projects on weapons development at the Cabazon Indian Reservation and the ongoing activities there through the company Meridian Arms.
Riconosciuto was the technical wizard who performed the alteration of the PROMIS software on the reservation to include the “back door” feature that would go on to figure so prominently in the espionage activities that it was later used for – political and financial. With the activities at the reservation including weapons development, training of paramilitaries and money laundering it was a veritable spook nest and the use of sovereign Indian lands for unauthorized purposes is something that needs to be seriously investigated. Author Joel Bainerman, in his book The Crimes of a President referred to the reservation as a “CIA cutout”, with the revelations in Baca’s KESQ series that three other local Indian tribes were also being investigated in the Alvarez murders and the weapons testing activities at the Cabazon reservation the question is to what extent has this sort of piggybacking of black ops on sovereign land existed throughout the country and for how long.
With Nichols being a connected guy he would be a hugely important source for Casolaro, or was he a disinformation agent? According to sources, Nichols and Casolaro spoke often and at length in the month before Casolaro’s demise. Nichols, it must be noted also allegedly had organized crime ties to the Gambino crime family as well as to the Japanese Yakuza. It has already been established that the CIA and Shadow Government had regularly worked with organized crime figures (see Operation Underworld) including those who had been burned by Castro’s takeover of Cuba. Again, the war against communism, Cuba in this case provided blanket justification for lawlessness, nefarious alliances and the deviation from accepted American ideals.With Nazi war criminals already on board with the CIA, ties with The Syndicate were consistent with the pattern. In this context, the question must be asked regarding Robert Booth Nichols and whether he was sanctioned as a contact with the organized crime elements on behalf of the establishment. It should be recognized that the mob played a part in forging the political careers of many an influential U.S. figures, Ronald Reagan and Richard M. Nixon to name a few. It would be naïve to not believe that many of our elected representatives are not just as much in the pockets of organized crime as they are with other interests that threaten the system as a whole. (I would recommend this piece as food for thought as it references a current influential politican who has been a party to much of the overt criminality of the past several years, primarily as an accomplice).
The presence of Robert Booth Nichols in the milieu surrounding Casolaro’s research as well as with Bayou Investments and the $250 billion treasury note is just another example of the interconnectivity between the underworld and the overworld. The financial aspects of this cannot be downplayed in the wake of the global meltdown that is largely due to the shadow banking system comprised of offshore banks largely exempt from U.S. laws, money laundering, pools of black money, narcotics/weapons dealing profits and speculative finance that have been a permanent fixture of the oligarchy’s financial matrix. Any legitimate investigation of power in the U.S. must include an analysis of intricate financial institutions, layered in Enron style subversion and patterned after CIA/Wall Street front companies expressly created for the purpose of funding off-the-books operations.
Tentacles of the Octopus
“We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false.”
– William J. Casey
It must be understood that there has always been a powerful segment of this country that has been enamored with fascism as the perfect sort of government that would support the long-term evolution of capitalism itself. Fortune Magazine once featured a fawning cover story extolling the virtues of Benito Mussolini’s corporatist/fascist state in pre-WW II Italy and even Hitler had ardent admirers in America. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that the precursors to today’s Wall Street ruling elite were perfectly willing to do business with the Nazi regime as long as it was in their short term financial interests to do so. Let me be emphatic that this is NOT an attack on capitalism itself but rather on those who are able to use the system to advance their interests and agendas and to destroy any and all impediments and obstacles. I would like to opine that the system is fatally flawed and like communism, contains the seeds of its own demise, what is going on right now is a testament to that.
In order for the bastardized form of capitalism that exists today (largely through the machinations of those that I am addressing in this section) to continue to evolve it must become much more authoritarian in nature, the early forms of fascism are too ostentatious for the more sophisticated era in which we now live so we need to look more to China as the current role model. For profit prisons, all encompassing surveillance, a militarized police state, compromised courts and above all the possibility of disappearance into a gulag system with no trial and the nearly codified indefinite detention along with torture must be a tool for which to exercise control over the dissenters and the rabble.
The conditions for the creation of the Octopus, or as Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty would refer to it, a Secret Team were set into motion with Harry S. Truman’s much maligned creation of the National Security State with the signing into law of the National Security Act of 1947. This set into up the post WW II world and allowed for the use of the intelligence services to be used to perpetuate their wartime stance into a permanent fixture of U.S. policy. The act also created the CIA although its original mandate would be expanded to include the anti-democratic functions that it has since become known for. In creating the CIA, the successor of the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS) there would be no end to the warfare state, only a redirection into clandestine and covert activities that would include destabilization of governments deemed ‘unfriendly’ to U.S. interests, propaganda, sabotage, training and support of paramilitary forces and above all snooping.
Being that the OSS largely grew out of the Eastern Establishment and the Skull and Bones types (from which it drew recruits) it would naturally serve the interests of Wall Street finance oligarchs, corporations, industrialists, oil barons and other moguls. It would also due to the very nature of secrecy under which it existed be a fertile ground for rogue elements, private CIA’s within the CIA so to speak.
I do want to state that the CIA is far from the only U.S. intelligence agency; there are many and too often they are lumped in with the CIA as it is the most prominent. There are at least sixteen separate intelligence agencies and those are only the ones that we know about and there is often collaboration with foreign intelligence to circumvent laws and ensure plausible deniability. The CIA though is unique in that it was created to serve as an enforcement arm for the Wall Street elite and the money power, its primary obligation is not to the United States itself but that element that exists in the shadows. I recommend reading: How the CIA Created a Ruling, Corporate Overclass in America for some very good examples.
Former Nazi CIA Asset Reinhard Gehlen
The Wall Street cultivated OSS was established in 1942 by the hated Franklin D. Roosevelt, a man whom the financial elite once tried to overthrow (see the Business Plot) to consolidate intelligence during the war. William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan, a powerful member of the Eastern Establishment and a Wall Street lawyer would head it up. Other OSS luminaries with elite pedigrees would include Allen Dulles (of firm Sullivan and Cromwell, another Wall Street business that didn’t shy away from doing business with the Nazis) who would go on to play an integral role in the CIA as it developed. Dulles would be a key force in Operation Paperclip, the assimilation of Third Reich refugee war criminals into the CIA and sciences where their Nazi experience could be drawn upon to serve what would one day become The Homeland. Dulles, who would later become head of the CIA was unceremoniously forced out after the botched Bay of Pigs invasion by John F. Kennedy who was sufficiently aware of the dirty deeds of America’s unofficial terrorist organization would threaten to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds”. The accompanying blowback took care of Kennedy and in what should go down as one of the greatest conflicts of interest in American history Allan Dulles would go on to become a member of the Warren Commission ‘investigating’ the assassination and coming up with the crazed lone gunman conclusion.
It also should be recognized that the fight against Fidel Castro for his takeover and subsequent nationalization of Cuba’s resources as well as property ‘owned’ by U.S. interests including that of organized crime figures who operated casinos out of Havana represented opportunity. With the common interests of both the mob and U.S. oligarchs threatened it would provide a good excuse for the for the CIA and mob to join forces against Castro. The precedent for alliances with organized crime had already been set during the war and the CIA would welcome with open arms such notorious mobsters as Johnny Roselli, Sam Giancana, Carlos Marcello, Santos Trafficante, Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and Meyer Lansky brokered by veteran operative Robert Maheu who would later go on to work for Howard Hughes in Las Vegas. The joint venture against Castro would allow the mob to get the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent with certain elements of the government and very likely would lead back to domestic black operations associated with the JFK assassination.
Now let me make it clear that I personally have an attitude of ambivalence towards mob and organized crime in general, it’s just another line of work as far as I am concerned. So with that out of the way what I do have a problem with are government bureaucrats, U.S. military and intelligence and elected officials crossing the line into where they become gangsters themselves by working with organized crime. This is a very important aspect in what has gone seriously wrong in America post WW II in that the lines were not only blurred but the shadow government and the mob (as well as international organized crime syndicates) actively joined forces, knowingly and willingly for an agenda that ran counter to long term American interests and the CIA was responsible for allowing this to happen.
But I digress….
The OSS was also a breeding ground for virulent right-wingers, military men and dyed in the wool fascists with axes to grind against the communist devils. One of these men was General Edward Lansdale, a serious reactionary who was involved in anti-Castro plotting and allegedly, according to some, notably L. Fletcher Prouty was in Dallas on the day of the Kennedy assassination (as were others including Richard M. Nixon and George H.W. Bush but more on that in the next section) where he was allegedly seen in the vicinity of the ‘three tramps’. Other prominent spooks from the OSS would include future CIA chiefs William Colby (also of the Phoenix Program) and William Casey whose tenure under Reagan would occur during the Iran-Contra period and intersect with the PROMIS software ordeal.
General Lansdale, as legend has it, was involved with gold taken from vanquished WW II enemies (see Yamashita’s Gold) and using it to provide funding for black operations. The illegal narcotics trade would also prove to be a useful source in providing operational money for secret wars and off the books operations. Lansdale’s work against the Castro regime would bring him into contact with Theodore Shackley aka The Blond Ghost out of the Miami JMWAVE headquarters [note that George Bush’s Zapata Corporation also allegedly had ties to this operation, likely a CIA front]. Ted Shackley would go on to turn up in an astounding number of scandals and shadow government operations over the years. Shackley was identified by Danny Casolaro as a part of the dirty old boy network that would become The Octopus so keep that in mind. When the work against Cuba was no longer a top priority with the Vietnam War ratcheting up, Shackley was sent to Southeast Asia where he was involved along with other anti-Castro operatives namely Felix Rodriguez, Thomas Clines and Edwin Wilson (among others) in CIA operations such as the Phoenix Program (note also that the aforementioned Earl Brian who was a benefactor of the illegal sales of PROMIS was associated with this fearsome assassination and torture venture as well), the Secret Team was now up and running in another war zone where their skills could be fully utilized. I also want to note that regarding the anti-Castro operation from which so many of these rogue operators sprang also produced the infamous E. Howard Hunt, a veteran spook who at least according to a deathbed ‘confession’ recording had inside knowledge of the Kennedy assassination (this from a Rolling Stone article The Last Confessions of E. Howard Hunt). Interestingly enough, Hunt would go on to be one of the Watergate burglars who Nixon feared was going to spill his guts about that “Bay of Pigs thing”. Hunt’s wife Dorothy would be killed in a suspicious plane crash which is described in Carl Oglesby’s book The Yankee and Cowboy War in chapter seven which is transcribed here. Hunt, like Shackley was suspected by Casolaro to be a member of The Octopus.
Ted Shackley aka The Blond Ghost
Once in Vietnam, the Shackley operation would draw in the next generation of shadow government figures including Richard Secord, Richard Armitage and Oliver North who would all turn up later during the ongoing operations of “The Enterprise” during Iran-Contra. North and Secord specifically would play key roles, augmented by key neocons within the bureaucracy such as Elliott Abrams, John Negroponte, Michael Ledeen, John Poindexter and most importantly Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush. The Vietnam group that had coalesced around Shackley would also be involved in the Nugan Hand Bank, a conduit for dirty money (drugs, guns) that would be redirected to fund the secret off the books spook wars under the ideological cover of the battle against communist influence. The Nugan Hand Bank operated until 1980 when Frank Nugan, an Australian lawyer with more shady connections than the proverbial switchboard and under investigation for stock fraud was found dead in his Mercedes-Benz, the victim of what appeared to be a self inflicted gunshot wound, his wallet contained the business card of William Colby in his wallet. The other half of Nugan Hand was former Green Beret Michael Jon Hand whose special operations experience allegedly included a good amount of work in the Golden Triangle with the heroin trade. Hand disappeared and was never seen again after Nugan’s death.
The Nugan Hand bank with its extremely high rates of return, tax-free accounts and promises of anonymity was a model that would eventually be replicated and in today’s convoluted morass of offshore banking and fraudulent high finance there are likely thousands of smaller operations, of note is the recent scandal involving high rolling Texan investment guru Alan Stanford and his suspected involvement in money laundering for Mexican drug cartels. The system has become thoroughly polluted, corrupted and rigged in order to benefit the Wall Street oligarchy that was so instrumental in originally setting up the CIA. With the blueprint for such grand scale financial chicanery that was originally a big part of black ops monetary alchemy available and the entire system eventually honeycombed with the sort of illicit, amoral types that were all too willing to grab onto the teats of the anti-communist cash cow. With the Vietnam experience an ugly and tragic blight on the American consciousness, Nixon run out of Washington in disgrace and the ruling corporate establishment hydra reconfiguring itself out of the ashes there would be a haven for The Octopus and its operatives within the shining palace of American renewal that would be erected as a temple for the soon to be annoited savior and heroic all-American warrior king Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush – the man who would claim be “out of the loop” during the Iran-Contra operations .
Family Of Secrets
..the Bush Family is so heavily connected and is so interwoven with this systemic fraud, they’re concerned about a cascade effect within the public. They don’t mind if one incident comes out that they can point to it as an isolated incident. What they’re concerned about is the public beginning to understand the level of corruption that exists within all agencies of government and the intricate connection the Bush family has had to this fraud over the decades.
– Al Martin (author of The Conspirators’ Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider)
The involvement of a member of the Bush family, cousin John P. Ellis with Samuel Israel of Bayou Investments and the $250 billion treasury note referenced earlier is a continuation of the amazing and ongoing presence of the Bush dynasty in post WW II America politics. The Bushes are generational scoundrels and have served the most powerful interests of the American oligarchy since the early days of the Twentieth Century. There have been a few excellent books written about the family and of note are Webster Griffin Tarpley’s early and rather lurid tome that is entitled George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, Kevin Phillips’ American Dynasty and an extremely interesting recent book that has been completely ignored by the corporatist media (other than a few hit pieces) Family Of Secrets by Russ Baker. The latter is particularly interesting in that it looks at the Bush family in the larger context of the ruling oligarchy and the system that serves it and has additional history on George H.W. Bush as a lifelong intelligence figure. I also not that Baker in interviews (see Family of Secrets site for links) has made the case that people like Bush family hatchetmen must be looked at in the larger context as being agents or operatives for the preservation of the larger oligarchical system albeit on a lower rung than the Bushes.
The Bush family runs like a poisonous serpent through recent American history. Their deep seated ties to the ruling oligarchy, the Ivy League Eastern Establishment and later the southern fried fascism of big oil, big religion and the sunbelt weapons colossus goes back for several generations. A good resource on the rise of the Bushes would be the aforementioned Kevin Phillips book which lays out the early history of these scoundrels. Further embellishment on the ill gotten gains, murky business dealings and political deviltry of the family can be found in the other two books. The early history of the Bushes is that of patriarchs Samuel P. Bush and the relation to gig oil, steel and munitions during the early period of the American Empire. Sam Bush was a big kahuna for a company called Buckeye Steel Castings, run by members of the Rockefeller family when they were tall in the saddle as some of the nation’s foremost Robber Barons. He would eventually rise to a position of prominence with the War Industries Board as director of the Small Arms, Ammunition and Ordnance Division prior to the U.S. entry into World War I. General Smedley D. Butler was absolutely correct when he famously proclaimed in his seminal tract that War Is A Racket (a statement bordering on heresy in the current militarist America) and it would prove to be a very lucrative one indeed for the Bush Family.
Another early member of the House of Bush was George Herbert Walker ‘Bert’ Bush, a high rolling banking establishment type whose ties to the upper crust of the financial oligarchy, such as the railroad and financial elite Harriman family (Brown Brothers Harriman) would allow for the early fortification of power for the later generations. ‘Bert’ was a man who was able to parlay his connections and expertise in doing business with Russia and Germany post WW I and he would do much to ensure that Prescott, his son in law would get a primo position on Wall Street, with the lucrative business of the foreign clients who would later go on to infamy after they were armed by the money mongers whose only loyalty was to mammon, not country. It was under the stewardship of Prescott that the Bush family would take a darker turn. As a famous alumnus of the Yale secretive society Skull and Bones Dubya’s grandpa gained notoriety for being one of the Bonesmen who raided the grave of Indian warrior Geronimo and took his skull as a trophy.
It was the Skull and Bones pedigree that punched Prescott Bush’s ticket into the upper echelon of the American fascist club and while I am not going to into these secret societies here, many of which are mischaracterized as being satanic or occult oriented rather than what they truly are which is a bunch of rich pricks determined to keep the game rigged. Skull and Bones is well known for the influential and interconnected members who engage in bizarre initiation rituals and swear allegiance to each other as they work together to ensure that the status quo remains intact. It should be mentioned that both candidates in the 2004 Presidential election, George W. Bush and John Kerry (who ran the Kerry Commission that later would investigate or as cynics would portend ‘cover up’ allegations of CIA involvement in drug trafficking associated with Iran-Contra) were from Skull and Bones. A look at the roster of alumni from this secret group alone shows the influence of a very small and selective oligarchy in America.
Prescott Bush followed the trajectory of his faulty moral compass (and the call of the fascist elements of his era) to work with Wall Steet interests in helping to build the Nazi war machine, reputedly as a money launderer for Hitler’s murderous regime through the Union Banking Corporation which served German magnate Fritz Thyssen the German industrialist known as “Hitler’s Angel” who was indispensable in providing the financial backing and carried clout that would create what was then the strongest military machine in the world as well as the most bellicose. While the Bush-Nazi links received no attention domestically in our neutered, corporatist media here is an article from The Guardian, How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power and here is a link to another piece by journalist John Buchanan that is entitled Bush Nazi Link Confirmed that was published in the New Hampshire Gazette. The Nazi skeleton is but one of a great number in the Bush family closets and potentially the most damning of all. The Union Banking Corporation would be shut down by FDR in 1942 under the Trading With the Enemy Act, just another reason for the American fascists to burn for revenge against Roosevelt and fuel the fire for their relentless crusade against New Deal policies that continues to this day.
Prescott Bush went on to be an extremely influential figure in U.S. politics in the post-war era, his son George H.W. Bush would cut his teeth in intelligence, dirty dealing and black ops as a matter of family heritage, the father would pass down the business to his spawn in the truly American fashion. Phillips pegs it dead on here in describing the Bush Crime Family as:
A great family (great as in power, not morality) that has bulit a base over the course of the Twentieth Century in the back corridors of the new military-industrial complex and in close association with the growing intelligence and national security establishment.
The father of the 41st President and the grandfather of the most overtly fascist and recently departed leader in U.S. history, George W. Bush burrowed deeply into the establishment. He became a Senator in 1952 and as legend has it helped to groom Richard M. Nixon for his rise as a tool of the establishment.
Nixon’s political career was formed by his run for a California Congressional seat where he was backed by big money power (post-WW II fascist elements)against incumbent Jerry Voorhis, a backer of the New Deal and a man who had run afoul of the oligarchy for his opposition to Standard Oil and a secret government drilling contract in the Elk Hills reserve that he had exposed before Congress. Voorhis was a marked man and was challenging Wall Street power at every opportunity, railing agains the “cancerous superstructure of monopolies and cartels”. It was Nixon who would perform the political hit on Voorhis, subjecting him to a withering onlsaught of red baiting propaganda, the sort that would become religion in the U.S. as the war against the unions and the middle class began in earnest. Nixon would later go on to play a big part in the poisonous culture wars that have so ill-served this country and which we can now see the wreckage of in our thoroughly corrupted, diseased political system and the new feudalism as exemplified by the massive redistribution of wealth to reinflate speculative capitalism and the big Wall Street banks.
Russ Baker does some very interesting analysis in his Family Of Secrets, especially in regard to George H.W. Bush (aka Poppy) who appears to have been a member of intelligence dating back to at least the 1950’s instead of when he was formally put in charge of the CIA in 1976. There is the very interesting story that Poppy is ‘unable’ to remember exactly where he was on the day of the JFK assassination (interestingly Nixon was in Dallas that day too) which in and of itself is odd, Baker makes the following statement in an interview:
I am very careful not to speculate. What I do is begin with the curious fact that G.H.W. Bush has said he could not remember where he was on November 22, 1963. That makes him just about the only adult alive at the time who has that memory defect.
Which in and of itself proves nothing but it is very unusual that Mr. Bush would not remember where he was, even more so when considering the existence of a memo from then FBI head J. Edgar Hoover on the Kennedy assassination dated 11/29/63 that specifically mentions a “Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency”. Bush and the CIA denied that they were the same person (another George Bush briefly worked for the CIA at the time, perhaps brought in as a cover) but there is the matter of Bush’s company the Zapata Corp. that has been linked to the CIA as a front, according to Baker the CIA helped Bush to establish this company. Note that during the Bay of Pigs, the code name for the invasion was Operation Zapata. During this particular period Bush would become familiar with some of the aforementioned anti-Cuban operatives such as Ted Shackley, E. Howard Hunt, Felix Rodriguez and an interesting figure by the name of Barry Seal. Seal, like many others would eventually turn up again in the milieu of drug dealers, gun runners and black operations that swirled around Iran-Contra when Bush was in the White House as Reagan’s V.P.
George H.W. Bush’s connections to many of the most shadowy figures and operations of the past half century as well as the criminal nature of his entire family make a strong argument that the ongoing destabilization of the United States by fascists has been aided greatly by the Bushes. I don’t have the time to go into every aspect (I’ll save it for the future) but the evolution of the Bush family from well connected servants of the early robber barons, to the arms trade, the Nazis and the smuggled out war criminals who would greatly aid and assimilate themselves into the intelligence services and the war against communism on through the JFK assassination, Vietnam, Iran Contra and ultimately the ruinous eight year reign of the Bush-Cheney regime have been instrumental in the fascist takeover of America.
An interesting footnote is the association of Bush’s son Neil to the brother of John W. Hinkley Jr., the disturbed young man who attempted to kill President Reagan. Neil Bush and Scott Hinkley had dinner plans the night after the botched assassination, interesting bit of happenstance or perhaps a postponement of a celebration? Assassination researcher John Judge made the following comment on this:
They knew each other socially quite well. The press said that they were to have dinner — Scott Hinkley and Neil Bush were to have dinner on March 31 1981. But they cancelled the dinner after the news of the shooting. The press said that that was ironic. It gives a new meaning to the word ‘irony’. Because if Robert Oswald, Lee Harvey’s older brother and Lynda Bird Johnson were going to have dinner the night of the JFK assassination, somebody would figure out it meant something.
One can never be too suspicious of such sort of things when they involve members of the Bush family. Hinckley the shooter had ties to World Vision, a right-wing organization that allegedly acted as a CIA front run by John W. Hinkley Sr. that worked in Central America. Rumors of mind control (manchurian candidates?) have surfaced in regard to World Vision but whatever activities surround it are like most of our history, concealed behind the veil of secrecy. Some credence can however be given to the CIA’s long history of mind control experiments (MKULTRA), the secret wars waged against leftist governments in the Southern Cone and the really creepy story that Mark David Chapman, the killer of the hated-by-the-establishment John Lennon also had ties to World Vision.
I would strongly encourage everybody who has taken the time to read this to do your own research on the connections between the Bush family and the downward trajectory of this once great country into the fascist gangster state that it has become today and despite the disgraced rule of George W. Bush he was after all able to successfully eviscerate the Constitution during his time in office as well as to put into place the most formidable high-tech police state in the history of mankind. The economy has been destroyed, the privatization projects of the fascists are now a reality and with more states in financial distress along the lines of California there will soon be national fire sales of roads, infrastructure and landmarks to the descendants of the early Robber Barons whose power has been consolidated by insiders such as the Bush family beyond their wildest of dreams. The only things that the United States of America is now capable of producing is death, destruction, financial scams, for profit prisons, paranoia and a massive Big Brother style surveillance and repression apparatus that is the envy of all dictators.
And the Bush family isn’t finished yet, Jeb is coming soon and that you can count on.
Conclusion: The Octopus Ascendant
While it initially began with clandestine operations and murky, beneath the surface alliances The Octopus has become the underlying but inextricable operating system for the American capitalist empire as it exists today. It is the very kernel of all that we known and now has gone legit or perhaps more appropriately the system has descended to the level of corruption once the domain of rogue forces within. It has been a long and slow process, layered over the decades as the last vestiges of a free system where liberty is paramount has been leeched out leaving in its place a land that is America in name only, except that shingle has been replaced with one that says Homeland, a fitting legacy for the fascists who used the aftermath of WW II to mount their takeover. Now The Octopus is comprised of much more and it’s gone corporate, ponder how the following tentacles have become interconnected and now dominate our ever declining way of life:
Energy and Resources (Soon to include privatized food and water…got money? I sure hope so if you plan on any sort of a continued existence)
Banking and Finance (The recent financial crisis has allowed the most powerful of institutions to essentially take over the government so that tax dollars will be directed to shore up their bogus markets and Ponzi schemes)
Transportation and Infrastructure (Our airports have already been transformed into Soviet bloc style checkpoints, it’s all a matter of conditioning and time until all freedom of movement has been restricted entirely, the tracking chips are already being successfully sold to fearful parents as prevention against child abduction.)
Drugs (Pharmaceuticals are giving narcotics a run for their money and there will be no serious efforts at meaningful reform)
Munitons, Military Spending (Oceania always has been and always will be at war)
Geopolitics (The coups, destabilizations, puppet dictatorships, torture and ethnic cleansings will go on, it’s all business as usual – for an intersting perspective see Tom Hayden’s piece from The Nation entitled Understanding the Long War)
Media (Would anything be possible without the wonderful complicity of the media. The CIA had it right with Operation Mockingbird, it would only be further refined over time with the rise of the right-wing, corporatist think tanks, the ginned up attack on the ‘liberal’ media and the rise of cable television, the corporatization and consolidation have built a propaganda machine that not even Goebbels cound have envisioned. The mass hypnosis that has narcotized an entire population through television has been an astounding boon for the fascists.)
Intelligence (The ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 have legitimized the ubiquitous surveillance of the American people helped along by the technology of PROMIS and Main Core, our new forms of social control are already being beta tested by American corporations in China. See Naomi Klein’s piece on China’s All-Seeing Eye from Rolling Stone Magazine).
And it’s all tied up in the big, shiny, star-spangled package of Empire.
The Obama administration has been a major disappointment in reining in any of the power of the fascist state established by his predecessors. I seriously am beginning to think that he doesn’t care, nor do any of the Democrats who triumphantly retook the White House and the Congress – they are the insiders now and they control the cash spigots, and most importantly they have favors to pay back. Americans were promised change; here are a few of the changes that we have received to this point: a continuation of domestic spying, a bailout of the fraudulent financial system of Wall Street speculation, the Federal Reserve creating trillions of dollars out of nothing, apologies for torture (whoops – enhanced interrogation techniques – my bad), the failure to prosecute war criminals, a continuation of anti-labor practices, more secrecy (the suppression of the additonal Abu Ghraib photos), plans to censor the internet, the diabolical conflation of dissenters and extremists (terrorists) by the anti-American Department of Homeland Security and coming soon, the bait and switch of a public health care option that would only allow the filthy scoundrels in the insurance industry and the Wall Street profiteers to further enrich themselves while beggaring the population. And of course there are the wars, dealing in the death and devastation it is far too lucrative of a business to ever abandon and the swords that should long ago have been beaten back into plowshares are being honed to razor sharpness and pointed at the necks of all Americans who chose awareness and enlightenment over denial and acquiescence.
Face it, the same people who once glorified Benito Mussolini on the cover of Fortune Magazine for his wondrous corporatist state have won and we are their subjects, their slaves, their chattel and if you don’t like it you can go and live in a for profit prison or simply disappear without any possiblity of a trial for the rest of your life. As American capitalism and its excesses gradually mutated from the original petri dish of the post World War II era world, the corruption, the greed and the pathological need for the necessary control for it to exist on a grand scale has metastasized to the point where it has consumed all, instead of The Octopus a more fitting metaphor for all that has taken place is the 1950’s science fiction movie The Blob.
What happens now is no longer a matter of simply exposing the elements that set into motion the chain of events that are now reaching critical mass but in waging total war against the entire system itself through acts of civil disobedience and refusal to comply, I would caution those who are instigating for a full blown revolution, the rulers have bigger guns and more money than God, you are but ants to them and you will be squashed if you use violence to rebel. That is the only way that there will be a chance for survival now that the state has been weaponized against the people, equipped with a monstrous high technological surveillance system that morphed out of the theft of the PROMIS software and the police state infrastructure that grew out of the Reagan era programs such as Garden Plot, Cable Splicer and REX 84. The plans for the camps are ready if not the camps themselves… it has become fashionable to demonize those who now speak of them albeit ironic that the loudest of them never uttered a peep when George W. Bush was in charge of generating the pick-up lists.
But for the most part America sleeps. The coronation of Barack Obama, a product, a brand name and a triumph of modern public relations and marketing has provided the soothing balm for the raw sores on backs courtesy of the Bush administration. For a television addicted nation of sheep content to live on the world’s largest lemming farm he is their perfect leader, a reality television show president, crooning sweet words while his actions belie the rhetoric. The vast majority of the fools will still be watching American Idol when the jackboots kick in their doors.
Ed Encho is a free lance writer, activist and consultant who resides in West Central Florida and is author of the upcoming “A Monolithic and Ruthless Conspiracy”.
The official heading an inquiry into the suspicious death of a British weapons inspector who cast doubts on the main argument for invading Iraq has secretly ordered all evidence locked up for 70 years.
Lord Hutton, who chaired the 2003 inquiry, which controversially concluded that Doctor David Kelly’s death has been a suicide, secured a 70-year seal on all major evidence, including medical records — none of which had ever been made public.
The unprecedented move was revealed last week, sparking fresh uproar and allegations of a government cover-up — considering that by 2073 anyone with the least interest, or stake, in the case will probably be long dead.
Kelly was mysteriously found dead in the woods near his Oxfordshire home in July 2003, just days after his name was leaked as the source of a pre-war BBC documentary that undermined the now-notorious 45-minute dossier as highly exaggerated.
The clandestine restrictions came to light when a group of 13 doctors challenging the Hutton verdict received a letter from the Oxfordshire County Council in answer to their calls to see the postmortem file.
“It fits in with the subversion of due process we have seen for six years. It is extraordinary…I am shocked but not surprised by this,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr. David Halpin, one of the group of 13 doctors, as saying on Saturday.
The revelations may prompt calls on the country’s ongoing inquiry into the Iraq war, to question former British premier Tony Blair, who is to give evidence later this week, on the issue.
Blair penned a clinching introduction to the dossier, claiming spies had proved “beyond doubt” that the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that he could launch within 45-minutes.
The high-profile death of David Kelly is regarded by many as suspicious, and the events surrounding it as ‘unfinished business’. Norman Baker MP has carried out extensive research, and shows how the verdict of suicide is not credible. The traditional inquest was replaced by the Hutton Report, which proved unsatisfactory in so many ways.
The book looks in detail at the motives for the unlawful death of Dr Kelly; the various possibilities of who could be involved – before sensationally coming down with the most likely scenario – to be revealed for the first time on publication.
The book also analyses and criticises the official process instigated after his death, putting the entire episode into its British political context, and looking at the actions of government, particularly in relation to the Iraq war.
About the author:
Norman Baker has been MP for Lewes in Sussex since 1997, and is recognised for his campaigning, forensic and research skills. He has won the Channel 4 Opposition Politician of the Year award, and the ‘Spectator’ Questioner of the Year award. He has proven writing skills, with many articles frequently appearing in the press.