Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nazi Fears Stopped Me Snorting Cocaine: Mirren

LONDON (AFP) — Oscar-winner Helen Mirren admitted she loved snorting cocaine and only stopped due to the capture of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, in an magazine interview out this month.

The respected British actress, 63, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen", told the October issue of GQ men's monthly that she took the drug until her late thirties.

She only quit after the notorious Barbie was caught in Bolivia in 1983, and believed to have been making money from the Class A drug.

The star, knighted in 2003, also talked about meeting Queen Elizabeth, and spoke further about her date rape experiences.

Mirren said she used to take "a bit of cocaine. I loved coke. I never did a lot, just a little bit at parties.

"But what ended it for me was when they caught Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, in the early eighties.

"He was hiding in South America and living off the proceeds of being a cocaine baron.

"And I read that in the paper, and all the cards fell into place and I saw how my little sniff of cocaine at a party had an absolute direct route to this fucking horrible man in South America.

"And from that day I never touched cocaine again. Until that moment I had never grasped the full horrifying structure of what brings coke to our parties in Britain." ...

Story continues

Tunnels Show Hitler's Megalomaniac Vision

By Madeline Chambers
Aug 25, 2008

BERLIN (Reuters) - Three vast tunnels were opened under central Berlin this month, giving a glimpse of Adolf Hitler's megalomaniac vision of a new architectural centre for the capital of Nazi Germany.

The 16-metre (50-foot) deep tunnels were constructed in 1938 as part of an underground transport network beneath a series of bombastic buildings designed by Nazi architect Albert Speer, including the biggest domed hall the world had ever seen.

The overground plans, never completed because of World War Two, included boulevards, squares and huge buildings, such as an arch dwarfing the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the 290-metre high Great Hall, with room for 180,000 people.

Hitler called the concept, a symbol of the power of the Third Reich, "Berlin -- the capital of the world" but in recent times it has come to be known as "Germania."

The tunnels, between 90 and 220 meters long lying beneath the Tiergarten park, would have accommodated roads and a railway line.

"The tunnels -- which are in surprisingly good condition -- were part of Speer's grand plans, what we now call 'Germania'," historian Dietmar Arnold, head of the Berlin Underground Association and bunker tour guide, told Reuters.

Last week, Arnold -- who runs an exhibition of Hitler's plans -- took journalists on a rare visit into the dank tunnels.

They are closed to the public most of the time because of safety concerns, but visits can be arranged.

"The acoustics are incredible," said Arnold, who likes singing a note and hearing it reverberate around him.

After the war, British forces in divided Berlin closed the tunnels. They were rediscovered in 1969 but have remained shut. In 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they were handed to the city of Berlin.

The Berlin Underground Association, set up in 1997, has seen a surge in interest in tours of Berlin's remaining bunkers.

Although most were destroyed, some of the maze of 1,000 World War Two bunkers are intact and serve as a reminder of the city's violent history.

Propaganda posters and escape instructions on the walls convey a sense of the past. In one bunker, suitcases, helmets, and uniforms from various sites are on show.

"Interest is constantly growing -- we have about 150,000 visitors a year to the bunkers," said Arnold. "That is partly why we want the bunkers to be protected -- they are an important part of the history of Berlin."

By the end of the war, Germany's most heavily bombed city could protect up to 800,000 people in its bunkers.

NPR Transcript: Breaking The Silence Of a Secret POW Camp (Parts One and Two)

by Pam Fessler

Streaming audio file of the NPR broadcast

NPR Morning Edition, August 18, 2008 · About two years ago, National Park Service employees stumbled upon a fascinating and largely untold piece of American history.

It involves a secret World War II interrogation camp at Fort Hunt, Va., not far from the Pentagon. During and right after the war, thousands of top German prisoners were questioned there about troop movements and scientific advances.

Soldiers at the site also prepared special "care packages" for American POWs that they sent overseas. They included maps, radios and other escape tools.

Many of the camp's records were destroyed right after the war, and those who worked there were sworn to secrecy. Many veterans never spoke about it, even to family and friends, although the operation has been gradually declassified over the past two decades.

The National Park Service, which now runs Fort Hunt Park, has been trying to piece together the story of the interrogation facility — code-named P.O. Box 1142 during the war.

Oral History Project

It all started when Brandon Bies, a park cultural resources specialist, was researching Fort Hunt for some historical signs for the park. He knew it had been the site of an intelligence operation during the war, but he'd been unable to learn much more.

A ranger giving a tour told a group of visitors that the Park Service's knowledge of the site's history was limited. Then one of the tourists raised her hand and said her next-door neighbor had been an interrogator at Fort Hunt.

That was the lead he needed. Bies learned the veteran's name, Fred Michel, and tracked him down at his home in Louisville, Ky.

"And the stories that Mr. Michel was sharing with us were unbelievable. Stories of secret submarines and nuclear devices and German rocket scientists that we absolutely had never heard of before," says Bies.

Michel also had documents, including some with the names of others who had worked at Fort Hunt, including his former colleague, George Mandel.

George Mandel

Bies did a quick Google search "and immediately found the Web page for Dr. H. George Mandel," Bies says. Mandel had become a pharmacology professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., right near Fort Hunt. The park service contacted him and then reunited him with Michel at the park in August 2006.

"They showed me around, and of course nothing was recognizable," recalls Mandel. "There's one house still available apparently from that time — and all the rest has been demolished."

Bies knew he was in a race against time if he wanted to preserve this history. Like Mandel and Michel, remaining veterans were likely to be in their 80s and 90s. So Bies and his colleagues began to interview and record as many Fort Hunt veterans as they could find.

They've contacted about 50 veterans who worked at P.O. Box 1142 and have interviewed more than 40 of them.

Underground At Fort Hunt?

On June 16, Bies interviewed Elvin Polesky in Frederick, Md., as part of the Fort Hunt oral history project.

Polesky is a tall, friendly 83-year-old. He wears a white T-shirt with the word "SECRET" written across it in bold black letters — a souvenir from the National Park Service. Bies hopes Polesky can fill an important gap in the story. The veteran was at Fort Hunt when the intelligence operation shut down in 1946.

Bies gently prods him for details as a videotape records the interview: "Do you remember about how many Americans were stationed at 1142 at that time?"

"Aw, gee, we didn't have all that many," says Polesky, as he tries to recall. It's a fine line for Bies, trying to jog a veteran's memory without influencing it.

Polesky then says something that grabs Bies' attention.

"We had 250 German war prisoners underneath. They were down underground at Fort Hunt," he says.

Most veterans remember the prisoners being kept above ground. Bies doesn't really know whether some might have been kept underground. There are so few records.

He unrolls a large military map in the hopes that it will help Polesky recall more details.

Polesky peers at the map and points.

"Up on this far end was the two taller buildings, one of them being the one we billeted in," he says, going on to describe in detail what the fort looked like when he was there.

But then Polesky pauses. "Where's the underground part?"

"Well, that's what we were hoping you would tell us," says Bies. It's a slow process, mining all these memories, but Bies say with each veteran, they learn a little more.

"We actually have from veterans a photograph of, on the day after the war ended, hundreds of documents being burned at 1142," he says. "And it illustrates how critical it is to speak to these gentlemen, because who knows what part of the story went up in smoke?"

He knows some of the history is gone forever. And the urgency only continues to grow. Four of the veterans he's interviewed so far have died.
Fort Hunt, Va.

Former GIs Spill Secrets Of WWII POW Camp
by Pam Fessler

Correction: The story described a German scientist who was aboard a U-boat that surrendered to the U.S. in 1945, and said, "On that same U-boat was Germany's top rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun." Von Braun was in Bavaria when he surrendered to the U.S. Army.

This is part two in a three-part series

All Things Considered, August 18, 2008 · Amid the shade trees, swings and picnic grounds at Fort Hunt Park just outside Washington, D.C., there are few traces of the site's top-secret military past. But for the GIs who were stationed there during World War II, the park is alive with memories of what it had been: an interrogation camp for nearly 4,000 mostly German prisoners of war.

The park, then code-named P.O. Box 1142, was where the military elicited crucial information from top enemy officers and scientists. It also was where the United States had a clandestine program to help American POWs escape.

Until recently, much of what occurred at P.O. Box 1142 was unknown. Many who participated went to their graves without revealing — even to their families — what they'd done. The buildings were razed after the war. And many documents about the camp were destroyed in an effort to conceal its existence.

The National Park Service, which now runs Fort Hunt Park, is trying desperately to capture some of this history before it disappears. It has conducted more than 40 oral interviews with vets who had been stationed there.

A Nickel And A Phone Number

One GI who worked at P.O. Box 1142 was John Gunther Dean, a young American soldier singled out while in basic training because he seemed well-suited for the intelligence operation. Dean, now 82, recalls how he was summoned to the Pentagon, where an Army officer asked him if he knew how to speak German.

"And I said, 'Yeah, I speak German like a native,'" says Dean.

His family, which was Jewish, had fled Germany in the late 1930s. When everyone else at Fort Belvoir — a U.S. Army base in Virginia — was sent overseas, Dean was handed a nickel and a phone number and then mysteriously dropped off in the middle of Alexandria, Va.

"There was a drug store. I went in, called the number and they said, 'Dean, you stay outside and we'll pick you up in a staff car.' And they drove me up towards Mount Vernon and that's how I ended up at Fort Hunt. It must have been end of November, early December 1944," he says.

George Mandel, now an 84-year-old professor at George Washington University, also ended up at P.O. Box 1142 during the war. Mandel says when he was there, things looked quite different than they do today. There were prison barracks and buildings where American soldiers would interrogate Nazi and other enemy prisoners. About 4,000 high-ranking prisoners passed through the camp.

"My job was to interrogate scientifically trained and experienced Germans who had been sent to this country by the military," says Mandel. He German and had a chemistry degree. But he admits that at age 20, he was naïve in the face of some of the Third Reich's top scientists.

"One of them was a person who worked on enriching uranium, and I didn't know why anybody would want to enrich uranium. I mean, what does this have to do with anything?" he says. "And so my job was to find out what he was doing and how it was being carried out, and then I reported this to the Pentagon."

It was part of a U.S. effort to learn what the Germans were up to. The prisoners were asked about troop movements, scientific advances and anything else that could help the Allied cause.

Gluing A Broken Vase

For years, Mandel, Dean and others kept quiet about P.O. Box 1142 because they had been sworn to secrecy. The operation has since been declassified, but many records were lost, which is why the veterans' stories are so important to the park service.

For Chief Ranger Vincent Santucci, it's like trying to glue together a broken vase — with some important pieces missing.

"Many of the archives were destroyed directly after the war. And so if we didn't have the opportunity to speak with these men and capture their stories, much of it may have been lost forever," Santucci says.

Another soldier who passed through Fort Hunt was Cameron LaClair. He was a junior intelligence officer on his way to England to brief soldiers and airmen before the D-Day invasion on how to evade capture by the Germans. He later went to work for the CIA.

LaClair says interrogators at Fort Hunt were helped a great deal by information gleaned from bugs placed in the prisoners' rooms.

"There were a group of men sitting around a table in a room with great huge recorders, recording everything these people said to each other," LaClair recalls. "And so it sort of threw the prisoners off. 'How did you know this, how did you know that my daughter was 17 on March 28th?' So it really put them at a disadvantage."

Transcripts show that interrogations at Fort Hunt were usually straightforward, almost cordial affairs. Veterans say they often got their best information just by being friendly. Some prisoners were even wined and dined to soften them up.

Dean, who later became a top U.S. diplomat, says it was very effective.

"I was a pretty good athlete. … I would do sports with them in order to make them more cooperative. I would take some of the people out for dinner at a restaurant in town in civilian clothes," he recalls.

A Shopping Trip

One of those Dean befriended was German engineer Heinz Schlicke, who developed infrared fuses that could be used to trigger an atomic bomb. Schlicke was brought to P.O. Box 1142 after the U-boat on which he and other scientists were fleeing Germany for Japan was surrendered in 1945.

Schlicke's time at Fort Hunt was part of Operation Paperclip, a secret effort to bring hundreds of top German scientists — and their expertise — to the U.S. before the Russians got their hands on them. Dean says he and Schlicke played tennis and rode horses.

"It took quite some time before he was willing to cooperate. The war had ended in Europe and at that point, he said, he's willing to help us, but his wife was at that point in what was in the Russian zone," says Dean.

Dean was eventually sent to Europe to find Schlicke's wife and two small children and to reunite the family. Schlicke ended up working in the U.S. for the remainder of his life.

Germany's top rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, also wound up at Fort Hunt after surrendering to the U.S. Army. Von Braun had developed the deadly V-2 missile, which killed thousands in London and elsewhere before the end of the war.

"I was the morale officer of Wernher von Braun," says Arno Mayer, now an 83-year-old Princeton historian.

Mayer's orders at Fort Hunt were to keep the German scientists happy, so he supplied them with magazines and liquor. In one bizarre incident, he took von Braun and three other German POWs Christmas shopping at a Jewish-owned department store in Washington, D.C. Mayer says the men wanted to buy lingerie for their wives, who were still back in Germany.

"We told the sales person what size and so on. And the woman held up a pair of panties," he says. The Germans were appalled. They didn't want nylon underwear, Mayer says: They wanted woolen ones "that should be long, so as to cover their legs."

The special treatment must have worked. Von Braun went on to be a leading figure in the U.S. space program.

Fort Hunt Reunion

Last October, the National Park Service and the military honored some of the more than 50 veterans who've been tracked down so far. The men, all in their 80s and 90s — some spry, others with wheelchairs or walkers — were reunited for the first since P.O. Box 1142 shut down.

Symbolically, at 11:42 a.m., the flag was raised over Fort Hunt.

"For 63 years, nobody ever said thank you. And it was very nice to receive recognition that what we did was being recognized of being helpful to our country," says Dean.

It was a poignant affair for men who seldom got to share their stories. But it was also an opportunity for some veterans to note how much times had changed — and how their interrogations bore little resemblance to some harsher methods used today.

"And I think that point was made very emphatically," says Mandel. "Yes, we threatened them with being sent back to Russia, but there was no other personal harm of any kind. And people thought they could be most effective as interrogators by being nice to the people they interrogated."

But Mandel admits many of the German prisoners wanted to cooperate, especially at the end of the war.

For the most part, the veterans are happy that new details about P.O. Box 1142 have finally emerged. They say they'll leave it to others to decide what it means.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Revealed: Diplomat's Plan to give Europe to Nazis, World to Britain

LONDON (AFP) — A British amateur diplomat tried to stop World War II by offering Nazi Germany rule over Europe if the British Empire could rule the rest of the world, according to secret files declassified Sunday.

James Lonsdale-Bryans, a well-educated fascist sympathiser, flew to Rome in the early days of the war to try to negotiate the deal with Ulrich von Hassell, the German ambassador to Italy.

The Security Service files reveal that the Foreign Office was aware of what Lonsdale-Bryans was up to and their unease about his actions.

"It would appear that Bryans may be taking part in unofficial discussions for the benefit of troops under the auspices of education officer," the file read.

"Bryans' idea is that the world ought to be divided into two parts.

"That Germany should be given a free hand in Europe and that the British Empire should run the rest of the world.

"I am not sure that this is a very desirable point of view to publish at the present time."

Lonsdale-Bryans contacted the then-foreign secretary Lord Edward Halifax with his plans, triggering panic among officials.

"Bryans is a talkative and indiscreet fellow who is in possession of a story which he delights in telling and which if told publicly would be likely to cause embarrassment to the Foreign Office," the files read.

To the further annoyance of officials, he also tried to discuss his plans with top US officials, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, who during the war was Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe.

That led Britain to reassure the Americans that Lonsdale-Bryans was "unreliable though not disloyal".

The level of backing given to Lonsdale-Bryans by Halifax and the Foreign Office is unclear, but one hand-written note from the Security Services explained: "He went to Italy with the knowledge of the F.O. in order to develop his contacts. He greatly exceeded his instructions."

It was feared that Lonsdale-Bryans would take his story to the press.

A Foreign Office letter explained: "Although there seems to be a good deal to be said for locking him up to prevent him airing his views to all and sundry, I understand that if this is done it will inevitably involve his bringing up the question of his contacts with the Foreign Office and the facilities afforded him to go to Italy."

Friday, August 29, 2008

America Burning: Racists say Obama Must Die

In a television interview Grand Wizard Railton Loy predicted Barack Obama would not survive long as president

10 August 2008

AMERICAN law enforcement agencies fear Barack Obama will be the target of a violent attack by white supremacists at the Democratic convention in Denver this month.

Ever since the Senator for Illinois emerged as the likely Democratic presidential candidate, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups have been making racist threats.

In an interview on Fox News, Railton Loy, Grand Wizard of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan International, said of Obama's presidential campaign: "I'm not going to have to worry about him, because somebody else down south is going to take him out... If that man is elected president, he'll be shot sure as hell. The hate would be so deep down south."

Meanwhile, websites and blogs have been buzzing with racist posts.

"Obama will die, KKK forever," says a post by "Rodney" on a blog run by a person identified only as Strider333. "The KKK or someone WILL assassinate Obama! If we get a N***** President all you N*****'s (sic] will think you've won and that the WHITE people will have to bow to you F*** THAT."

John W Hickenlooper, the Democrat Mayor of Denver, confirmed that he was aware of threats against Obama from white supremacists and other racist groups.

He added that the Denver Police Department was working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service. He said: "We are looking at every possibility and making sure that we have prepared for every conceivable contingency. If someone is threatening violence we will go to great lengths to deal with that."

The federal government is providing Denver – and St Paul, Minnesota, where the Republicans are staging their convention at the start of next month – with $50m (£26m) each to cover the security costs of staging the conventions.

The Denver Police Department will nearly double in size, bringing in an additional 1,500 police officers from communities throughout Colorado and beyond. National Guard specialists trained to deal with biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological weapons will also be available.

Keen to take advantage of an unprecedented level of media attention – 16,000 journalists are expected – protesters are preparing to flock to Denver in their tens of thousands.

They will include everyone from environmental to health groups and those championing the rights of unborn children to Hillary Clinton supporters, as well as more sinister groups.

Obama's decision to accept his party's nomination not at the convention's Pepsi Centre but at the 75,000-seat Invesco Field, home to the Denver Broncos, has created another headache for the Secret Service. They have had to work out plans to secure the open-air stadium, which is adjacent to a major highway. According to officials, it will almost certainly be closed during Obama's speech.

Mark Potok, an expert on the radical right at the Southern Poverty Law enter in Montgomery, Alabama, said: "People on these racist and white supremacist websites are being quite careful because they know that if they make a threat they will very likely get a visit from the Secret Service.

"The scary thing out there is the lone wolf phenomenon. There are enough crazy people in this movement that it is possible one of them will decide today is the day to kick off the Aryan revolution."

A survey by the centre, which tracks hate groups and handles legal cases against white supremacist organisations, found that the number of racist groups in America has soared in recent years, from 602 in 2000 to 844 in 2006.

It is not just the security forces who fear a racially motivated attack on the Democratic presidential candidate. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 59% of Americans (and 83% of African-Americans) are concerned "that someone might attempt to physically harm Barack Obama".

On Thursday, Raymond Hunter Geisel, 22, appeared in court in Miami after allegedly threatening to assassinate Obama. He was in a training class when he allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet before adding: "If (Obama] gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."

According to court documents, Geisel said in an interview with a Secret Service agent, that "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he simply would shoot him with a sniper rifle, but then he claimed that he was just joking".

A search of Geisel's car and hotel room in Miami uncovered a loaded 9mm handgun, knives, dozens of rounds of ammunition including armour-piercing types, body armour, military-style fatigues and a machete.

After the assassination of high-profile black leaders such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, violent attack is of clear concern to black politicians. Colin Powell, former secretary of state, has said his decision not to stand for the presidency in 1996 was largely due to his wife's fear that he might be shot.

Obama was placed under Secret Service protection in May 2007, the earliest ever for a candidate for the presidency.

Obama's Secret Service detail has recently been increased to a level which rivals that of President George Bush, far exceeding the level of protection afforded to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Whenever the Illinois senator holds an event or makes an appearance, a dozen Secret Service agents lead bomb-sniffing dogs through event venues.

The Obama campaign declined to comment on specific threats to the candidate.

Judges Refuse to Rehear W. Pa. Ex-Nazi Guard Case/Profile of his U.S. Employer, Sharon Steel


PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal appeals court has refused to rehear the deportation case of a retired western Pennsylvania steelworker who served as a Nazi concentration camp guard during World War II. The only recourse now for Anton Geiser, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled in June that Geiser, 83, of Sharon, should have his citizenship revoked and be deported because his work as a guard meets the type of persecutory conduct banned under the Refugee Relief Act, which was in effect when he entered the U.S.
His attorneys had wanted the three-judge appellate panel or the entire 3rd Circuit to rehear the case. The appeals court refused last week. Geiser's attorney, Adrian Roe, declined to comment Thursday.

Geiser, an ethnic German born in what is now Croatia, was drafted into the German army at 17 and served as an armed SS Death Head guard at Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin for much of 1943.

He later was transferred to an SS officer training camp at Arolsen, where he escorted prisoners to and from the Buchenwald camp, where tens of thousands of Jews and others were exterminated. He was at Arolsen until April 1945.

Geiser has denied harming any prisoners, though he said he had orders to shoot prisoners who tried to escape.

He was granted a United States visa in 1956 and became a citizen in 1962. He did not cite his Nazi ties on his U.S. visa application, but has said he was never asked about them. Geiser is not accused of lying about his Nazi ties. Files from the period have been lost and it is not clear what questions he was asked.

Roe argued to the 3rd Circuit this year that guards not deemed war criminals were sometimes allowed into the U.S. He said the Justice Department, in its efforts to expel former Nazis, was revisiting decisions made five decades ago.

Geiser told federal authorities he told his family of his wartime service only after the government filed its civil lawsuit in 2004. Geiser has lived in Sharon, about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, since June 1960. He and his wife have three sons. He retired from Sharon Steel in 1987.
Victor Posner & Sharon Steel, Geiser's employer

Wiki: Posner "is perhaps best known for his hostile takeover of Sharon Steel Corporation in 1969, one of the earliest such takeovers in the United States. ... His investment would be the forerunner of the leveraged buyout and junk bonds business of the 1980s. Meanwhile, the Fairmont coke plant [owned by Sharon Steel] was one of the worst polluters in the Monongahela Valley and Posner stopped investing in it. It closed in 1979.

Victor Posner (September 18, 1918 - February 11, 2002) was an American businessman, millionaire and philanthropist. He was known as one of the highest paid business executives of his generation. He was a pioneer of the leveraged buyout. ...

Said by Forbes magazine to "have the arrogance of a banana republic dictator" and by the New York Times to be the "dean of the corporate takeover", Posner was a maverick player in the world of corporate finance. Many of his dealings were alleged to be illegal and he was closely watched by the Securities and Exchange Commission from the mid-1980s on. ...

The late 1980s were the start of his downfall:

In 1987, Sharon Steel operated in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
DWG was the target of a takeover attempt by Granada Investments.
Evans Products, operated in Chapter 11 and did not emerge until vendors and lenders were assured that Posner would leave the company.

In 1988 he pleaded no contest to tax evasion and fraud for inflating the value of land he donated to Miami Christian College in 1975. He was ordered to pay more than $6 million in costs and fines and to devote 20 hours a week for five years to working with the homeless.

Also in 1988, the SEC sued Drexel Burnham Lambert and charged Victor Posner and Steven Posner with scheming to conceal the Posner's purchase of stock the electrical contractor, Fishbach Corporation.

Again, in 1988 a bankruptcy judge ordered him to return several original Norman Rockwell paintings to the Sharon Steel Corporation, which he had removed from the company's headquarters when he acquired the company.

In 1993 both he and Steven were barred from being an officer or director of a public company by the SEC.

In 1995, Steven sued his father over alleged mismanagement of his company, Security Management Corporation, claiming that the elder Posner was paying himself too much money and had wrongly removed Steven as a company director. They settled the suit by flipping a coin over the share of more than $200 million worth of property.

Were Jewish Partisans Depicted in New Hollywood Movie Murderers or Heroes?

" ... Nechama Tec, who wrote the historical account of the Bielski partisans on which the film is based, [said] that allegations connecting the partisans to the massacre were 'total lies.' ... "

By Marissa Brostoff, The Forward

A new movie about a band of Jewish partisans who fought the Nazis during the Holocaust has led some in Poland to suggest that the group may also have been murderers.

In anticipation of the December release of Defiance starring Daniel Craig, aka James Bond, a Polish newspaper ran an article headlined, "A Hollywood Movie About Heroes or Murderers?"

The article in Gazeta Wyborcza contrasts the film's portrayal of Tuvia Bielski as a Moses figure leading frightened women and children through the forest, with a recently released report from a Polish government investigative body. The government report suggests that Bielski and his followers may have participated in a massacre of civilians in the eastern Polish town of Naliboki.

The tarnishing of the Bielski partisans has infuriated a number of people close to the memory of the group. Some of those people have also been involved with the production of the movie, directed by Ed Zwick (Legends of the Fall, The Last Samurai). Nechama Tec, who wrote the historical account of the Bielski partisans on which the film is based, told the Forward that allegations connecting the partisans to the massacre were "total lies."

Those allegations "underline the anti-Semitic tendencies of the writers and the distortion of history," Tec said.

The controversy comes on the heels of a Lithuanian government investigation into allegations that Jewish partisans committed war crimes during World War II. That investigation has been met with dismay on the part of Jewish communal leaders inside and outside Lithuania, who note that only three Lithuanians have ever been prosecuted for wartime crimes against Jews. ...

Story continues

Men's Threat to Kill Obama is Downplayed

Associated Press

Federal authorities say the pair's rants while on a methamphetamine binge do not meet the legal standard for filing charges, despite their possession of rifles and sniper scopes.

By Nicholas Riccardi
Los Angeles Times
August 27, 2008

DENVER -- Federal authorities Tuesday downplayed what they said were threats made by a pair of men arrested here over the weekend possessing rifles, sniper scopes and an alleged desire to kill Barack Obama.

Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, and Tharin Robert Gartrell, 28, face federal weapons charges, as does an associate, Nathan Johnson, 32.

Plot unfolds to assassinate Obama on national TV, a 4th arrest, more details
U.S. Atty. Troy Eid said that during a methamphetamine binge, Adolf and Gartrell had expressed strongly racist views and spoken about killing the presumed Democratic presidential nominee.

Eid said the talk did not meet the legal standard to file charges for threatening a presidential candidate.

"The law recognizes a difference between a true threat -- that's one that can be carried out -- and the reported racist rants of drug abusers," Eid said at a news conference. ...

Full story,0,4279510.story

Devil's Den: Inside the Aryan Nations (Book Review)

Intelligence Report
Fall 2008

Into the Devil's Den: How an FBI Informant Got Inside the Aryan Nations and a Special Agent Got Him Out Alive
By Dave Hall and Tym Burkey, with Katherine Ramsland
New York: Ballantine Books, 2008
$25.00 (hardback)

The most intriguing character among the rogue's gallery of racist skinheads, bikers, dope fiends, gunrunners, Klansmen, informants and feds who inhabit this oral history true-life thriller isn't co-author Dave Hall, who infiltrated the Aryan Nations at the behest of the FBI. It's the devil himself, in the human form of Harold "Ray" Redfeairn, aka Pastor Ray, the schizophrenic, murderous cokehead who ran the Ohio branch of the Aryan Nations in the mid-to-late 1990s, when the once-powerful neo-Nazi organization was at the height of its power.

Redfeairn in early 1997 was a regular at Ike's, a biker bar in Dayton, Ohio, controlled by the Outlaws, a notorious motorcycle gang. It was the kind of place where, as Hall puts it, "Almost every day, some biker broad was running around naked or someone else was getting the hell beat out of 'em."

Sporting his trademark priest's collar, Redfeairn, a self-styled pastor of Christian Identity (the radical theology that claims Jews are biologically descended from Satan and was practiced at the Aryan Nations), was in his element at Ike's, delivering cocaine-fueled, hate-filled tirades against Jews and "muds." Unfortunately for Pastor Ray, Hall was equally at home in this beer and blood-soaked milieu.

A 6-foot-4-inch, 350-pound, hard-drinking, heavily tattooed former biker who counted several members of the Outlaws as good friends, Hall had agreed to become an FBI informant and attempt to gain Redfeairn's confidence in order to avoid prison after pleading guilty to distributing marijuana.

Alternating chronologically between the first-person accounts of Hall and his FBI handler, Special Agent Tym Burkey, Into the Devil's Den provides a richly detailed, step-by-step account of Hall's rapid rise through the ranks of the Aryan Nations, from his first meeting with Redfeairn at Ike's to his attending the Aryan Nations World Congress in 1998 at the AN compound outside Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where he was assigned front-gate guard duty.

Along the way, Hall repeatedly attends Christian Identity church services led by Redfeairn. They're held in a dilapidated building near Dayton where an Israeli flag is used as a doormat and portraits of Adolf Hitler are hung in places of honor side-by-side with paintings of Jesus Christ.

Other stops on his journey include a neo-Nazi wedding officiated by Pastor Ray, at which the newlyweds embrace in front of a giant flaming swastika, and, most importantly, the rural Kentucky headquarters of the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), where Hall uncovers a plot to assassinate Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) co-founder Morris Dees. The plotters were enraged that Dees and SPLC had just filed a lawsuit against Aryan Nations and its leader. Ultimately, thanks to Hall's and Burkey's work, the would-be assassin was arrested as he prepared to head south to carry out his plans in April 1999.

In his account of that assassination plot, Hall writes that he suspected that the leader of IKA, Imperial Wizard Ron Edwards, was involved. Edwards was never charged in the case. (As it happens, the SPLC filed a suit in 2007 against the IKA and Edwards, on behalf of a teenage youth who was beaten by IKA members at a county fair. The trial is scheduled for November.)

An interesting aspect of the book is its account of Hall's struggles to maintain his own identity and his risking addiction to pills and booze in trying to chemically soothe his chronically jangled nerves. He suffers from nightmares and endures several harrowing moments during his two and a half years under cover.

While the story arc of Into the Devil's Den follows a well-worn path—the undercover operative finds a way in, loses a part of himself, then emerges damaged but victorious — its setting is not the mafia, a terrorist cell or a narcotics ring, but a strange and terrifying subculture in which hatred and paranoia are valued character traits and a maniac like Redfeairn is treated with reverence by mindless followers.

Hall's knack for recollecting the finer points of his many white-knuckled interactions with the late Pastor Ray, who died of a heart attack in 2003, bring a nasty piece of work back to life. It feels at times as if Redfeairn could almost leap off the page and stick a .45 in the reader's face.

The devil, in this book, truly is in the details.

—David Holthouse

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lessons Not Learned at the Bay of Pigs

" ... The Bay of Pigs debacle provided ample warning of the dangers inherent in any interventionist foreign policy. ... "

By Howard Jones

Mr. Jones is the author of the just-published book, The Bay of Pigs (Oxford University Press).

On April 17, 1961, a small band of 1500 Cuban exiles invaded their former homeland at the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. Masterminded by the CIA, the operation hinged on covert action, a pre-emptive strike, and, its greatest novelty, an arrangement with the Mafia to assassinate Castro and set off a popular insurrection. The Kennedy administration had taken a new direction in foreign policy, one that rested on assassination and military force. Indeed, the assassination of Castro was just one part of an executive action program under development inside the CIA that aimed at regime change by simply eliminating troublesome state leaders.

The landing, as is well known, was a spectacular failure. Castro not only survived the invasion but outlasted ten presidents despite every effort to force him from office—including at least six attempts at assassination.

The question is, what lessons can be extracted from this fiasco of nearly half a century ago? The short answer is that “regime change” has remained a central part of American foreign policy, meaning that the White House failed to learn anything constructive at the Bay of Pigs.

We should start with the CIA. The agency had appeared invincible after its covert triumphs in Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s—which was why the Eisenhower administration authorized it to plan a covert program in Cuba that unexpectedly escalated from guerrilla tactics into an amphibious military operation. At this point, such a highly complex enterprise should have come under the purview of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but the CIA jealously guarded its mandate, telling the Joint Chiefs that this was “not a military operation” and “You will not become involved in this.”

The CIA did not use common sense in partnering with the underworld. Its operatives have often recruited help from unsavory characters—but in this case, they went beyond the pale. “Assassination was intended to reinforce the plan,” insisted Richard Bissell, chief architect of the operation. Castro’s death would make the invasion “either unnecessary or much easier.” Castro had stripped the Mafia of its casinos and other businesses, leaving a thirst for vengeance that provided the CIA with a cover story for plausible deniability—the notion, first stated publicly by agency director Allen Dulles, that one can escape culpability for an act by instituting a loose chain of command that leaves no trail of evidence.

Plausible deniability, however, was an illusion. The CIA assured the White House that it could deny complicity in one of the most open secrets in the annals of secret history. From the beginning came warning signs. The CIA established a training camp in Guatemala for Cuban dissidents run by U.S. Army Special Forces—all known by the Latin public, American newspapers, Castro’s spies, and the Soviet news agency Tass. The invasion would take place on April 17, reported the Soviet embassy in Mexico City to Moscow earlier that month.

Nevertheless, it was an illusion that Kennedy clung to, particularly because political considerations began to take priority over military strategy. Concern about public exposure led him to reject the original plan for a dawn landing at Trinidad, an anti-Castro town of 18,000 inhabitants that offered potential for a popular uprising, several landing docks, geographical isolation from the regime’s forces, and close proximity to the Escambray Mountains, home of a thousand anti-Castro guerrillas and a base for future operations. Kennedy, however, opposed a Normandy-like invasion that exposed U.S. involvement and called for an alternate site allowing a quiet, night-time landing dependent on surprise—which undermined the chances of a popular uprising.

Bissell all too quickly found another landing spot—Zapata, whose focal point for the invasion was much closer to Havana—the Bay of Pigs. But the Zapata peninsula, known as the “Great Swamp of the Caribbean,” was sparsely populated, which virtually eliminated an insurrection, and it had no landing docks and was rimmed by shark-infested waters too deep for anchoring in some areas and ribbed with razor-edged coral reefs capable of ripping the bottoms of boats as well as the legs of men. Its beaches wrapped around a million miles of hot tropical wilderness that was overrun with tangled mangrove trees and shrubs, nearly impenetrable thickets, alligators and crocodiles, ferocious pigs, poisonous snakes, voracious insects, and millions of sharp-shelled, toxic red land crabs that in the spring of every year (the time of the invasion) scurried out of the jungle, carpeting the passageways and the beaches in their haste to breed in the sea. Furthermore, the landing site lay eighty miles from the Escambrays, no longer affording a sanctuary because of distance and the deadly swamp lying between. If Bissell was aware of these problems, he did not alert the president to them.

The strategists underestimated the enemy. The CIA and the Joint Chiefs assumed that Castro’s forces were lukewarmly loyal and too poorly trained to run the tanks, fight effectively, and pilot his small air force of B-26s, Sea Furies, and T-33 jet trainers. To assure success, the CIA planned two days of pre-invasion strikes by its own B-26s—D-2 and D-1 bombing and strafing that would disable Castro’s air and ground forces—followed by D-Day air cover. But Kennedy cut the number of planes in the initial D-2 strikes from sixteen to eight, and then canceled the D-1 operations. Finally, he called off the air cover for D-Day—all to hide the American hand and maintain plausible deniability.

Moreover, the Kennedy administration did not seriously consider the opposition’s arguments that even success, which was unlikely, would damage America’s international stature. The president dismissed the warnings of Ambassador to India and close confidant John Kenneth Galbraith, Senators J. William Fulbright and George Smathers, Undersecretary of State Chester Bowles, and former Secretary of State Dean Acheson. White House adviser and historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. wrote extensive memos forecasting a public relations catastrophe that would undermine the good will and credibility amassed by the young president in his first months in office. Regardless of the outcome at the Bay of Pigs, the United States would stand as the imperial colossus from the north.

Instead, the White House relied on luck and ingenuity to smooth over the cracks in the plan. Kennedy ignored his own instincts in succumbing to his unusual attraction to guerrilla warfare and the James Bond mystique. Still clinging to the fig leaf of plausible deniability and trusting in the CIA and Pentagon experts as well as in his Midas touch, the president approved the plan. So confident were the planners in a last-minute resort to direct U.S. military action if necessary that they drew up no exit strategy in the event of failure.

In a three-day battle, everything that could go wrong for the Cuban brigade did.

Kennedy’s decision to change the landing site from Trinidad to Zapata, and to call off the D-1 and D-Day air strikes doomed the operation from the start. The first move eliminated any chance of a popular uprising; the second left the invasion force with no air cover. Not only did the sharply curtailed D-2 strikes warn Castro of an invasion, but the D-1 and D-day cancellations surrendered the skies to his planes and permitted the more expeditious arrival at the battle scene of his Russian tanks and thousands of militia.

Crucial to the outcome was the absence of a mass uprising. The CIA had not established a network of connections with the local populace; Castro had broken the back of any potential insurrection by clapping thousands of suspects into prison; the invasion had occurred in a place remote and isolated from populated areas; the guerrillas in the mountains were poorly armed and prepared; and the poison plot had failed when the potential assassin feared discovery and sought asylum in the Mexican embassy in Havana.

The most incisive appraisal of the invasion came from Castro, who attributed the brigade’s failure to lack of air cover. The rebel planes dropped their airborne battalions too close to the beaches, allowing his tanks and artillery to enter the three causeways leading to the battle sites. The landing spot was superb in military terms, but only if the invaders had closed the causeways and with air protection held the beachhead long enough to build a military and naval base, announce a provisional government, and seek recognition and outside aid. They had a “good plan, poorly executed.”

Kennedy’s nightmarish experience at the Bay of Pigs certainly helped him stand up to the Soviets in the ensuing Cuban missile crisis; yet one doubts that such a crisis would have occurred without the Bay of Pigs. It is questionable whether Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev would have challenged him at Vienna to pull out of Berlin, but it is inconceivable that he would have risked placing missiles in Cuba had the young president thrown out an invasion plan pockmarked with flaws and aimed at a country posing no threat to U.S. security. Indeed, the Kennedys became so obsessed with Castro that during the missile crisis they spent valuable time planning his elimination out of vengeance for his welcoming the missiles.

But—and here is the critical point—both the president and his brother ignored the lessons left by the Bay of Pigs. Less than two weeks after the invasion and months before the missile crisis, the president gave contingent approval to an air- and marine-force assault on the Havana area followed by the landing of 60,000 American troops. While the Joint Chiefs worked out a detailed plan in the fall of 1961, Kennedy appointed CIA legend Edward Lansdale to head a top-secret program code-named Operation Mongoose which, with Robert Kennedy as its real leader, sought to eliminate Castro by any means necessary—including assassination. When Mongoose failed and White House attention turned to other trouble spots, the CIA tied the executive action plan to a revived collaboration with the Mafia. In the meantime, both before and after the missile crisis, the agency conspired with a potential assassin to eliminate Castro—Army Major Rolando Cubela, an associate of Castro who had become disenchanted with the political direction of the revolution. On the very day president Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Cubela (code-named Amlash) was meeting in Paris with a CIA operative, making plans for killing Castro either by sniper fire or in the course of a military coup.

President Kennedy soon afterward removed Bissell from his CIA post but praised his “enduring legacy.” Bissell had left a lasting mark on foreign policy—but not the type the president had in mind. In a statement that revealed an unintended double meaning if not a healthy dose of naiveté, Kennedy administration insider Richard Goodwin later noted that “Latin America was considered a kind of training ground for Southeast Asia.” Indeed, covert tactics aimed at regime change became the norm in Africa and the Middle East as well as in Latin America and Southeast Asia as Washington became enamored of what it could accomplish by clandestine and deniable means.

The Bay of Pigs debacle provided ample warning of the dangers inherent in any interventionist foreign policy. Yet the warning remains unheeded—as shown in Vietnam and Iraq.

Nazi Link in Plot to Assassinate Obama

" ... US authorities are playing down the ability of the arrested men to carry out an assassination. ... The evidence suggests a well-planned assassination attempt, with weapons assembled, a truck rented and hotel rooms booked in a town where most accommodation was full months before the convention. ... "

Tharin Gartrell was arrested Sunday in Aurora, Colo., on drug and weapons charges.

27 August 2008

THE three men arrested over a reported plot to kill the US Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, have ties to the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, police said last night.

Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, Nathan Johnson and Tharin Gartrell are all said to have links to the group.

Adolf – his real name according to police – and the others were arrested on weapons charges after an apparent move to assassinate Mr Obama during his party's convention in Denver this week.

All three belong to Aryan Nations, according to Victor Ross, the police chief in Glendale, a suburb of Denver where one of the suspects was arrested. The other two were held in Aurora, another suburb.

"We don't usually have that number of Aryan Nations people here,'' Mr Ross said. "It was suspicious to us. We turned everything over to the federal authorities."

It is said the group planned to shoot Mr Obama during his convention acceptance speech, to be delivered outdoors at a football stadium tomorrow night – the anniversary of Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" address. While federal agents are downplaying the plot as being of "no credible threat" to Mr Obama, the discovery of such a plan – and the way it was discovered – are certain to raise security concerns over the man who could be the next president of the United States.

Events started to move in the early hours of Sunday, the day before the Democratic National Convention was due to open, when a police patrol car stopped a pick-up truck driving erratically in Aurora.

In the back of the vehicle, officers found two high-powered rifles, one with telescopic sights, a spotting scope, a flak jacket, camouflage clothing, a bulletproof vest, boxes of ammunition, three fake identity cards, two wigs, two walkie-talkies and a quantity of the drug methamphetamine, a form of speed known as crystal meth.

The driver, Gartrell, 28, unemployed, was arrested.

Four hours later, police raided a nearby hotel where alleged accomplice Adolf, a wanted fugitive, was staying. He tried to escape by jumping from a sixth-floor window, breaking his ankle in the attempt.

He has a long history of convictions for drugs and violence, and when arrested, police found he had the key to handcuffs in one hand and a ring with a swastika emblem in the other.

Nathan Johnson

Shortly afterwards, police made two more arrests, of Johnson, 32, and his girlfriend, Natasha Gromek, both on drugs charges, at another hotel. In an extraordinary interview from his jail cell, Johnson told a reporter from CBS television that Adolf had planned to kill Mr Obama during his nomination acceptance address to 75,000 supporters at Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High football stadium tomorrow night.

"He (Adolf] said at one point, yes, it would be on probably the day of his acceptance speech," Johnson said. He had told FBI investigators "it would be from a high vantage point with the named rifle". But Johnson insisted he himself had no part in the plot.

He said Adolf had said of Mr Obama: "He don't belong in political office; blacks don't belong in political office. He should be shot." When asked if he felt there was a plot to kill Mr Obama, Johnson said: "Looking back at it, I don't want to say yes, but I don't want to say no."

Aryan Nations is the most influential of dozens of neo-Nazi groups spread across the US. Last year, one of its members, Jason Hamilton, went on a shooting spree that left three people and himself dead in Idaho, home to one of the group's three branches. Hamilton was a member of The Order, a self-styled commando group within Aryan Nations.

The group's website is blunt about its role in creating a whites-only state in North America. "We realise that it takes a cold-blooded, pragmatic and realist viewpoint to enact the changes which will be necessary to achieve our goals," it says.

But the US authorities are playing down the ability of the arrested men to carry out an assassination amid tight security. "We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention or the people of Colorado," Troy Eid, the state attorney, said.

Opinion is divided about whether groups such as Aryan Nations represent a genuine threat or can be dismissed as cranks, but the US has a long and unhappy history of cranks with guns. The 1963 assassination of John F Kennedy was the work of a disgruntled loner, Lee Harvey Oswald, and in 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a former soldier, aided by two accomplices, built a bomb and detonated it outside a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168.

Prosecutors yesterday said they had evidence to charge the three men only with drugs and firearms offences.

Security fears have been heightened by Mr Obama's decision to hold his acceptance speech not in the convention centre in Denver, but in the open-roofed football stadium, a much harder venue to police.

The evidence suggests a well-planned assassination attempt, with weapons assembled, a truck rented and hotel rooms booked in a town where most accommodation was full months before the convention.

But police sources doubt such an attempt could have been carried out. Metal detectors will search all those entering the stadium; the nearest rooftops are 750 yards from the ground and will be monitored by police snipers; helicopters will guard a no-fly zone over the stadium, and even a McVeigh-style truck bomb would be kept away by a large cordon around the area.

Nevertheless, the arrests have touched a raw nerve .

Thursday's nomination acceptance takes place on the anniversary of the "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King, and King's campaign for racial equality saw him assassinated 40 years ago.

And while Democrats of all races are euphoric about the Obama campaign, that is countered by some resentment.

As a result, security is tight, verging on paranoid, across the city. On Sunday, a full security alert was triggered and a hotel evacuated – those that had to leave included House speaker Nancy Pelosi – after a man checked-in with two hunting rifles he had brought to Denver for repair.

On the main highway leading to the airport, police patrols have begun stopping vans and minibuses, apparently after fears about home-made bombs.

Meanwhile, a large part of downtown Denver has been closed off, with high metal gates and concrete barriers to thwart bombing attempts. Inside this zone, police vehicles cruise the streets with armed officers in black jumpsuits clinging to the sides.

Since Sunday, Denver police have been hunting through derelict and public buildings for weapons, flags and petrol bombs that they fear rioters may have stockpiled, intending to use during demonstrations planned for later this week.

The media are also under pressure from the Democratic establishment, which wants reporting to concentrate on their scripted conference and not be diverted into covering an alleged assassination conspiracy.

A target of hatred from the outset

THE men and women of the Secret Service, dressed in dark suits, wearing sunglasses and carrying SIG Sauer P229 automatic handguns, arrived at Senator Barack Obama's side at exactly 1pm on 3 May, 2007. And they don't look likely to leave anytime soon.

Mr Obama was given official protection under Public Law 90-331, introduced after the assassination of Robert F Kennedy, which authorises the protection of major presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Usually the armed protection begins 120 days prior to the election, however, Mr Obama was given early and elevated security because, as Dick Durbin, a Democratic senator, explained: "Mr Obama's African-American heritage is a cause for very violent and hated reactions among some people."

While Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee-in-waiting, is understood to have just eight full-time Secret Service agents in his detail, Mr Obama is thought to have dozens more. All are trained in the use of a variety of close-combat weapons, such as the Remington Model 870 shotgun, the IMI Uzi and the HK MP5 (including the MP5KA4) submachine-guns among others. Each is issued with a radio to maintain communication with a central command post and other personnel. Basic strategies include: shield the protectee from any threat; evacuate the protectee to a safe location; conduct extensive research in order to plan for all contingencies.

Protection goes beyond surrounding the candidate with well-armed agents. The Secret Service website states that the agency does extensive advance work and threat assessments.

It has been reported that the Secret Service's codename for Mr Obama is "Renegade". The Senator has a relaxed, good-natured relationship with the men charged with taking a bullet for him.

While Mr Obama's team insist the candidate has "the best protection in the world", there have been allegations that the vast numbers flocking to hear the senator speak are forcing the Secret Service to cut corners. It was reported that, at a rally in Dallas, agents ordered local police to stop searching each supporter before entering the arena.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

CIA Implicated in Hariri Assassination, German Investigative Journalist Jailed to Silence Him

Note: I reported on Jürgen Cain Külbel and his investigation of CIA involvement in the Hariri murder in November, 2006. See: "Lexington Comair Crash, Part 22 Supplemental – CIA Arms Smuggling, THE MURDER OF RAFIK HARIRI & the LaBelle Disco Bombing Connection"

The Voltaire Network International is "a network of non-aligned press groups, founded in 2005 by Thierry Meyssan. It syndicates articles, edits the multilingual website, and information databases and Gulf" -

- AC
Repression against the Voltaire Network keeps on. Jürgen Cain Külbel has been jailed in Berlin. The weak legal pretexts used to condemn him cannot hide the political motive behind this decision: our collaborator had shown that the Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri had financial binds with the perpetrators, and that his main aide is a CIA agent involved in the ongoing wave of kidnappings in Europe.

Political crackdown - A Voltaire Network collaborator jailed in Berlin

Voltaire Network collaborator Jürgen Cain Külbel has been jailed in Berlin. He is charged for having breached an emergency proceedings court order when leaving an active link on his website, pointing to a article [1]

This peculiar intrigue is yet another CIA plot aimed at intimidating Jürgen Cain Külbel and the Voltaire Network collaborators. The mechanisms of this operation are as follows:

A former Eastern Germany police investigator, Jürgen Cain Külbel has led, as a journalist, an independent inquiry into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. He put out his conclusions in a book that was published in German and Arabic: The Hariri File [2]. There he tackles and elaborates elements already presented by the Voltaire Network [3]. Thierry Meyssan had shown that an association of exiled Lebanese members of the opposition, the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL), had foreknowledge of the crime and had immediately launched a communication campaign aimed at directing suspicions towards Syria. [4]. The USCFL, asked by the CIA to set up a puppet regime for Lebanon in the event of a U.S. military intervention in that country, is therefore an accomplice – at least passively – in the crime. Talaat Ramih had shown that former German Public Prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, once appointed as U.N. Commissioner of the investigation, had been employed by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) [5].

By noting that the USCFL is a WINEP offspring, Jürgen Cain Külbel has shown that the UN commissioner was a former employee of people involved in the very murder he was asked to investigate. Following his lead, he shed the light on the role of Detlev Mehlis’ main aide, police chief Gerhard Lehmann, in the wave of CIA kidnappings in Europe that have taken place since 2001. Mr. Lehmann was indeed formally identified by one of his victims, Khaled al-Masri [6]. Several elements indicate that Mr. Lehmann may also be involved in the “disappearing” in Paris of the Hariri investigation’s key witness, Zuhair As-Siddik, on March 13, 2008 [7].

As soon as his book was published in German language, Jürgen Cain Külbel was approached by a Germany-based Palestinian militant, Said Dudin, who suggested he could undertake the publication in Arabic and promote it. However, when Mr. Külbel came to Damas to speak in a conference at the Syrian National Library, invited by Syria Alghad (Political research institute, member of the Voltaire Network), Mr. Dudin did his best to discredit the author. The publisher called for the audience to attack Western embassies and issued multiple incendiary statements to distract media attention.

Jürgen Cain Külbel’s conference, on May 8, 2006, at the Syrian National Library (Damas).
Back in Germany, Jürgen Cain Külbel tried to know more about this botcher. He then found out that this so-called Palestinian cause advocator was the son of Mustafa Dudin, an Israeli secret agent receiving orders directly from general Ariel Sharon. Thus uncovered, Mustafa Dudin was then executed by the Resistance. Resuming his research, Jürgen Cain Külbel then unearthed, from the Stasi (Former East German political police) archives, documents certifying that Said Dudin himself was himself a long-time CIA agent infiltrated within the German radical left-wing movement. These documents were published on [8].

Filing an emergency court proceeding, Said Dudin obtained from the Berlin Court an order issued to Mr. Külbel that he would no longer mention, in any way whatsoever, the Damas incident, his father’s role within the Israeli services and his own within the CIA. Obeying the Raison d’Etat, the Court only retained testimony provided by Mr. Dudin and brushed aside that provided by Mr. Külbel, including that of prince Issa al-Ayubi, vice-president of the Voltaire Network and grand-nephew of the Arab Syrian Republic’s founder, who witnessed the Damas incident where he opposed Mr. Dudin. Besides, the Court neglected the Stasi documents according to a German amnesty law prohibiting any mention to them.

However, since Jürgen Cain Külbel had subsequently left on his personal website an active link to the Voltaire Network’s article containing the Stasi documents that were illegally made public, the Court sentenced him to 10 days imprisonment for the breaching of its order.

[1] The article referred to is “Investigativer Journalismus und die Bombenleger von Beirut”, an interview of Jürgen Cain Külbel with Silvia Cattori, Voltaire Network, July 30, 2007. No English translation available.

[2] Mordakte Hariri, Unterdrückte Spuren im Libanon by Jügen Cain Külbel, Zeitgeschichte Band 34 Publishings, 2006 (ISBN 3-89706-860-5).

[3] “The Assassination of Rafik Hariri: A Biased Investigation”, by Silvia Cattori, Voltaire Network, September 15, 2006.

[4] “The plans of the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon », by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, March 8, 2005.

[5] “The disgrace of the Mehlis Commission”, by Talaat Ramih, Voltaire Network, December 9, 2005.

[6] Allegations of secret detention and illegal prisoner renditions in Council of Europe member states, a report by Dick Marty to the European Council, June 12, 2006.

[7] “Kouchner has “lost” the key witness in Hariri investigation”, by Jürgen Cain Külbel, Voltaire Network, April 21, 2008. No English translation available.

[8] Ibid.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"The Father of Hate Radio": Charles Edward Coughlin (1891-1971) - Facing the Corporate Roots of Fascism

By Richard Sanders, Editor, Press for Conversion!

Father Coughlin, “the Father of Hate Radio,” was born in Hamilton, Ontario. This rabidly right-wing, Catholic priest started with a weekly broadcast on WJR, Detroit’s “Good Will” station. CBS broadcast it nationwide in 1930 and 1931. He started his own radio network that grew to 30 stations. John Spivak, estimated that Coughlin’s broadcasts reached 40 million, said: “Only the President…had a bigger audience… The President spoke only on special occasions, the priest every Sunday…. To me, he was the most dangerous divisive influence in the country” (A Man in His Time, 1967).

Coughlin originally supported FDR, but turned against him in 1934 and created a political party, the National Union of Social Justice. Former Louisiana Governor, Huey Long was supposed to be their candidate, but he was assassinated in 1935. Journalist George Seldes said Long was America’s “first notable Fascist leader,...a very smart demagogue, [who] once said, ‘Sure we’ll have Fascism here, but it will come as an anti-Fascism movement.’” In the late 1930s, Coughlin called for FDR’s impeachment because he was “leaning toward international socialism or sovietism.”

Coughlin’s radio sermons praised Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The Nazi press praised Coughlin as “America’s most powerful radio commentator.” He ranted against Jews, the “Christ-killers and Christ-rejecters.” When a Boston Globe reporter asked him for proof that communists were influencing FDR, Father Coughlin belted the journalist in the face.

Coughlin's weekly paper, Social Justice, reached one million. It was sold in 2,000 churches. In 1938, it reprinted the anti-Semitic forgery “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

In his book Maverick Marine, 1987, Hans Schmidt notes that General Smedley Butler accused Coughlin of plotting to invade Mexico! Schmidt writes:

While visiting the [FBI] in 1936, Butler told Hoover about a plot by Father Charles Coughlin to invade Mexico to protect the Catholic Church from harassment. Smedley said that Coughlin, the famous "radio priest" whose voice he recognized, had approached him by telephone and that the call was traced back to Coughlin afterward. It seems that Butler was being hoaxed. In any case, he was clearly wary of becoming involved in another publicized plot exposé. Butler mentioned the Coughlin plot again to an FBI agent in 1940 in connection with what he termed dozens of "screwball" organizations that had invited him to appear as a speaker.

Whether it really was Coughlin who phoned Butler about this bizarre plot to invade Mexico is unknown. However, we do know that Coughlin really was allied with the openly-Nazi German-American Bund. By 1939, Coughlin had inspired and was directing a nation-wide, fascist network, the Christian Front, which John Spivak described as “street-fighting toughs.” Roy Carlson, who infiltrated and exposed U.S. fascist groups said:

"Like Hitler’s Brownshirts, the Christian Front was ostensibly organized to combat the ‘rising tide of Communism.’ All Jews,... liberals, New Dealers and labor organizations were called Communist; and since the Communist Revolution in America was scheduled to take place ‘any day now,’ the Christian Front–always under Coughlin’s inspiration and guidance—shouted that a private army was the only means to ‘save America.’ Coughlin filled the pages of Social Justice with Hitler’s sewer-spawned lies. He made direct use of Goebbels’ speeches, quoting the Nazi almost word-for-word.... He denounced the ‘poppycock of Democracy’ and branded Democracy as a version of Communism” (Under Cover, 1943).

In Shrine of the Silver Dollar (1940), Spivak said Coughlin “cynically used the prestige of a priest and the heart-tug of Christian charity as a cloak for a fast deal.” Spivak showed that Coughlin was playing the stock market while denouncing this on air as “shooting craps with other people’s money.” Coughlin, secretly one of the America’s largest silver owners, urged his followers to lobby for silver as the money standard. Coughlin’s “monetary forms…are of great help to the Rockefeller interests, [Henry] Ford and [William Randolph] Hearst” (Spivak, New Masses, Feb.5, 1935).

Not long after Spivak’s exposé in 1940, Coughlin went off the air and his paper was denied use of the mails. That year, when an FBI raid found weapons in a Christian Front office, J. Edgar Hoover said the Front was planning to murder Jews, communists and “a dozen Congressmen.”

Although Coughlin was criticised by some high-ranking Catholics, he was never defrocked for hate-mongering, political campaigning or deceptive fundraising. Neither was he prosecuted. He continued to churn out virulent anti-communist pamphlets until his death in 1979.


John Carlson, Under Cover, 1943

John Spivak, A Man in His Time, 1967

New Religious Movements


Mickey Z., "The A Word"

Source: Press for Conversion! magazine, Issue # 53, "Facing the Corporate Roots of American Fascism," March 2004. Published by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade.

Order a Copy: Order a hard copy of this 54-page issue of Press for Conversion! on the fascist plot to overthrow President F.D.Roosevelt and the corporate leaders who planned and financed this failed coup.

Georgia Committed Genocide, Russians Say

Sydney Morning Herald
August 26, 2008

Russian investigators have proof that Georgian forces committed genocide in their attack on the rebel region of South Ossetia, a top Russian official says.

"It has been fully established that between August 7 and 12, Georgia's armed forces invaded the territory of the unrecognised republic with the aim of fully annihilating the Ossetian ethnic group living in South Ossetia," Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin told state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

"They spared no one. We found a woman who had been killed with a shot to the head. She was eight months' pregnant. Her unborn child died too," he added. Bastrykin was summarising the results of an ongoing investigation into the Georgian attack on the Moscow-backed rebel enclave, which prompted Russia to pour troops and armour into its southern neighbour.

Bastrykin did not say how many South Ossetian civilians were killed but a senior local prosecutor last week said 133 civilian deaths had been confirmed in South Ossetia and that toll was likely to grow.

Russian officials earlier backed up the genocide accusations by saying up to 2,000 of South Ossetia's population of 70,000 had been killed. Both Russia and Georgia have accused each other of ethnic cleansing and war crimes in the conflict, in which Russian forces routed Georgia's small US-trained army and dug in deep inside the Caucasus country.

A team of 211 investigators has compiled more than 100 volumes of evidence of Georgian atrocities and questioned 3,915 people, Bastrykin said, adding that "all their testimony confirms the fact of genocide".

Meanwhile, a vote by Russia's parliament to recognise two breakaway Georgian regions as independent nations has triggered an outbreak of diplomatic roulette with Washington to review its "entire relationship" with Moscow.

The White House warned Moscow it cannot unilaterally decide the fate of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, while Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow was ready to break with NATO. Tensions were underscored by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's announcement that Russia would withdraw from some WTO trade accords, as the US said Vice-President Dick Cheney would visit Georgia.

There was a flurry of other activity, as the European Union prepared for a special summit set for next Monday. France expressed concern at reports of looting and intimidation in South Ossetia, while a Russian warship left Sevastopol on Monday. With Russian troops still deep in Georgia, both houses of the Russian parliament passed motions urging Medvedev to recognise the independence of South Ossetia - where the conflict began this month - and Abkhazia. The pair are internationally recognised as part of Georgia, where Russian troops rolled in on August 8 to fight off a Georgian offensive to retake South Ossetia.

Addressing the Federation Council upper house, South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity said Russia had saved his region from "genocide". He asserted there was more political and legal legitimacy to recognising South Ossetia's independence than there had been for Kosovo, the Serbian province which broke free with EU and US backing earlier this year.

Abkhaz leader, Sergei Bagapsh, said: "Neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia will ever again live in one state with Georgia." The final decision rests with Medvedev but he has already signalled his support and he mentioned the South Ossetia case when he said a dispute with Moldova over the Transdniestr region could be settled.

Medvedev told Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin that the dispute over Transdniestr, which lies on Moldova's eastern edge and where there are Russian troops, should be viewed in the context of the Georgia conflict.

Events in South Ossetia showed "how dangerous such so-called frozen conflicts can be, given that the Georgian leadership, as they say, went crazy," Medvedev said, according to Interfax news agency. Transdniestr fought a brief independence war after the Soviet Union's collapse but is not internationally recognised.

"We're reviewing our entire relationship with Russia, both for the medium term and the long term," said spokesman Tony Fratto.

He said was "no question that Russia has not lived up to the ceasefire agreement".

"The status of those two regions in Georgia are not a matter for any one country to decide. They're a matter for the international community, through the mechanisms at the United Nations," he added. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said Russia was making "an attempt to change Europe's borders by force," in an interview with the French newspaper Liberation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the vote was "worrying" and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini called on him to be "particularly prudent" in his decision.

Poland meanwhile hopes to convince the European Union to take a hard line on Russia at a special summit on September 1, its prime minister said.

Security troops in Georgia's separatist republic of South Ossetia detained a group of Georgian policemen, the separatist interior minister Mikhail Mindzayev told Interfax news agency.

Russia withdrew tanks, artillery and hundreds of troops from their most advanced positions in Georgia on Friday. But Russian troops still control access to the port city of Poti, south of Abkhazia, and have established other checkpoints around South Ossetia.

Russia says a six point peace plan brokered by France's President Nicolas Sarkozy gives it the right to leave "peacekeepers" in a buffer zone deep inside Georgia.

YouTube Removes Clip Showing Neo-Nazi Youth Urinating on Holocaust Memorial

By Haaretz Service

YouTube on Tuesday removed video clip posted by a group of Rhodes high school students showing a teenager urinating on a memorial to Holocaust victims on the Greek island.

The clip showed the memorial, a black pillar which commemorates the murders of 1,604 Jews killed by the Nazis in Rhodes during World War II. The video then showed a youth - his face obscured by an Israeli flag covered by the international "no" symbol of a red circle with a slash through it - urinating on the pillar.

"We are a secret group of students of the 'Venetoklio' High School of Rhodes, that does not digg [sic] at all the Jews who wish to turn the island [of Rhodes] into a second 'Land of Canaan.'" says an accompanying "manifesto."

"After all the propaganda fed even in Religion school books, over the 'chosen people' and other bullshit, we have decided to take the situation into our own hands and show to everyone with deeds of how much do we really agree with this view."

The clip also included rock music with lyrics threatening Rhodes Jews, praising Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and the Auschwitz death camp, and a refrain using the German term "Juden raus!" [Jews, get out!]

According to the Israeli nrg news Website, the memorial was built in 2002 near a synagogue in a section of Rhodes once known as "Little Jerusalem."

Although the Rhodes Jewish community once numbered some 6,000 people before the war, the Holocaust and ensuing emigration left only a tiny Jewish population, estimated to be as small as 40 resident Jews at present.

Ottawa Exhibition - Deadly Medicine: Creating The Master Race

The Canadian War Museum announced the opening of the special exhibition, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race. The exhibition, organized and circulated by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, examines how eugenics — the belief that humanity can be improved by encouraging some people to have children, while preventing others from doing so — was seized upon by the Nazis to further their vision of creating a master race.

“This exhibition provides visitors with an opportunity to explore the origins and rationale for Nazi Germany’s racial policies and to understand how such policies contributed to the Holocaust,” stated Mark O’Neill, the War Museum’s Director General.

The study of eugenics was embraced in Germany by a Nazi dictatorship determined to build a master race and to rid German society of people it deemed inferior or perceived as threats to the German nation. Nazis considered Jews the prime threat to “Aryan racial purity”. Through a powerful collection of artifacts, powerful images and moving personal testimonies, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race explores every aspect in the development of Nazi eugenics: the use of callipers and eye-colour charts to measure “human value”; the forced sterilization of the mentally ill and the disabled; the killings of infants, children, and adults under the guise of euthanasia or mercy killing; and medical experimentation on those deemed inferior.

The exhibition culminates with the targeting and murder of approximately six million Jews in the Holocaust. Many others also became victims of persecution and murder during the Nazis’ campaign to “cleanse” German society of individuals they viewed as threats to the nation’s “health”. Throughout, the exhibition highlights the central role played by public health workers, doctors, research scientists and other professionals in the implementation of Nazi eugenic policies.

Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, is a special exhibition organized and circulated by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. It is sponsored in part by The Samberg Family Foundation, the Dorot Foundation, the Viterbi Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, and the Rosenbluth Family — Al, Sylvia, Bill and Jerry. Additional support was provided by the Takiff Family Foundation and the David Berg Foundation.

Deadly Medicine, a special exhibition created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., allows visitors to explore in greater detail the nature of the Nazi regime and provides wider context for the Canadian experience of the Second World War.

In the early decades of the twentieth century, eugenics promised a better society, with supporters claiming it would reduce the incidence of physical and mental infirmity and help eliminate poverty and crime. Drawing on wide public support, some parts of the United States, two Canadian provinces, and a number of European countries introduced laws authorizing the forced sterilization of many thousands of people considered physically and mentally unfit.

The exhibition explores Nazism’s roots in biology and genetics, and examines the role played by German physicians, scientists, public health officials, academic experts, and others in the Nazi racial eugenics program that culminated in the Holocaust. Deadly Medicine chronicles how, during the Second World War, the Nazi leadership — in its zeal to find biological solutions for social problems — worked with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good to legitimize persecution, murder and, ultimately, genocide.

Deadly Medicine begins with an examination of the promotion and implementation of the ideas of eugenics, also known as “racial hygiene”, in Germany during the period of social, economic and political crisis following the First World War. The exhibition shows that these ideas, part of an international phenomenon, helped inform public health policies in many countries, including the United States and Canada. From 1933 to 1945, Germany’s Nazi party, with the support of much of the German scientific and medical community, absorbed eugenic ideas into its ideology based on a nationalism that combined territorial expansion with claims of biological superiority— an “Aryan master race”.

An increasingly radicalized Nazi racial hygiene program shifted from simply controlling reproduction and marriage to justifying and perpetrating the murder of those regarded as biological threats to the nation’s well-being. Driven by virulent anti-Semitism, the Nazi regime expanded this programme of mass killing from those deemed biologically unfit to those deemed “racially” unfit. As the Second World War raged, this culminated in an attempt to eliminate all of Europe’s Jews, six million of whom ultimately perished in the Holocaust. Many others also became victims of persecution and murder in the Nazis’ campaign to ”cleanse” German society of individuals viewed as threats to the “health” of the nation.

The exhibition was first shown at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, from April 2004 to May 2006, and has been exhibited at the following museums: the Science Museum of Minnesota, with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota (St. Paul, MN); The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage (Beachwood, OH); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Health Odyssey in the Tom Harkin Global Communications Center, with The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum (Atlanta, GA); The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, PA); and the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum (Dresden, Germany).

Deadly Medicine can be seen until November 11, 2008 at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. --

Eugenics: Study Finds Vast Majority (84%) of Down Syndrome Babies Aborted in Norway

Study also says "prenatal detection rate was poor," that is, screening many have led to abortion based in inaccurate data

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
August 13, 2008

TRONDHEIM, Norway, August 13, 2008 ( - A recently published Norwegian study of prenatal detection of trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) reveals that 84% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the country are aborted. The study also concludes with the observation that "based solely on maternal age and second-trimester ultrasound imaging, the prenatal detection rate of trisomy 21 cases was poor and remained unchanged throughout the 18-year study period."

The study was conducted by the Norwegian National Center for Fetal Medicine and published in the August 2008 issue of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The research was based on data obtained from 1987 to 2004, where all cases of Down syndrome were registered, detected either by genetic testing following amniocentesis, or postnatally after delivery.

The study's finding that the prenatal detection results were not accurate ("the prenatal detection rate was only 43%") means that, in practice, the possibility of false positive results could lead to the abortion of healthy children.

The Norwegian study confirms other research which has also found that prenatal screening is not as accurate as previously thought.

One report, published in the journal Nature in 2006, found that genetic continuance from parents to child is more complex than earlier research had indicated and suggests that prenatal screening may have incorrectly diagnosed genetic variations as defects, which may have led to selective abortion based on an inaccurate conclusion of genetic abnormality.

Another study, authored by Brian Skotko of the National Down's Syndrome Congress and published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2005, showed a predisposition to abortion among medical professionals after amniocentesis indicated a possibility of Down's Syndrome.

"It has become routine to offer pregnant women, especially those over 35 prenatal screening for Down's Syndrome. Such testing, however, does not give a certain diagnosis of Down's Syndrome, but only a percentage possibility. Nevertheless, the abortion rate with even an uncertain pre-natal Down's Syndrome diagnosis is extremely high, with some studies showing as many as 90% of children aborted." Mr. Skotko wrote.

Read related articles:

Prenatal Screening not so Accurate as Once Thought - "Normal" Children Killed as "Defective"?

Earlier Screening for Down's Syndrome May Fuel Eugenic Program Against Disabled

95% of Spanish Down's Syndrome Children Aborted After Prenatal Testing

Abortion is Primary Direction for Obstetricians After Down's Diagnosis Study Finds