Monday, August 31, 2009


A jackass on the Net is posting my articles under the blog heading: "Illuminati and Terrorism.."

Allow me to repeat: THERE IS NO "ILLUMINATI." This is a fascist scapegoat in fascist propaganda that has fascist origins and a fascist history, turns the signers of the American Constitution and French Revolutionaries into vile "Jewish, communist, Freemasonic" conspirators. It is political moonshine distilled by right-wing rectal warts: "Birchers." Anyone using my name and "Illuminati" in the same sentence will be turned in to the executive committee of Obama's death panel (as "real" as "Illuminati") for processing.

- Angry AC

Minnesota: RNC Protest Arrest Scorecard, One Year Later


RNC Scorecard, One Year Later
By Sheila Regan

Walking around St. Paul this summer, it’s hard to imagine that almost a year ago the city was filled with tear-gas smoke, miles of security fences, cops dressed in riot gear, and tens of thousands of protesters during the Republican National Convention. While most of the charges against protesters, journalists, and observers have been dropped, some of those arrested on RNC-related charges find their cases still in process.

We decided to do a roundup of the numbers of arrests, charges, and convictions for RNC-related cases on the local, state, and federal level. Here’s what we came up with.

St. Paul

The City of St. Paul handled 676 RNC-related adult misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors, far more than any other jurisdiction. Of these:

• 39 were “declined” because of the city’s September 19 decision to decline all cases against journalists. Besides the 39 journalists, 10 additional cases were declined or dismissed right away because of status: two because the defendants were already being prosecuted federally, one because of the defendant was not competent to face trial, two because of duplicate tags (they had been charged twice for the same crime), two because the defendants were also charged with felonies, and three because the defendants were minors, and the charges went to juvenile court.

• 70 of the 676 protesters charged by the St. Paul attorney with misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors pleaded guilty or paid a fine as part of a continuance for dismissal agreement (which means the charge gets dismissed after a year if the defendant remains “law abiding”).

Graphic by Joni Berg• 508 of the 676 cases were declined or dismissed by the prosecution.

• Three cases went to trial. One of the cases, with seven defendants, was dismissed by a judge after a jury trial. Two defendants were found not guilty by a jury after trial. One defendant was found guilty by a jury, but the judge ordered a mistrial, and then the prosecutor dismissed his case. Thus, none of the ten defendants who went to trial has been adjudicated guilty.

• 14 people have warrants currently out for their arrest, because they failed to show up for court dates.

• 14 cases have been charged and are at some stage before trial, and eleven cases have not been processed yet.

Ramsey County

Ramsey County dealt with 75 felony cases. Of these, 53 were declined without charges and 22 defendants were charged.

Paul Gustafson, Ramsey County’s spokesman, said six defendants have pleaded guilty, two have been found guilty by juries, three cases have been dismissed by prosecutors, and 11 are still pending. The 11 pending cases include the RNC 8 .

Besides the RNC 8, the pending cases involve Karen Marie Meissner, Christina Rose Vana, and Bradley Neil Crowder, who have all been charged with second degree assault by throwing a metal sign over a bridge. Crowder has already pleaded guilty to a federal charge in an unrelated case. Meissner and Vana are set to appear before the judge on August 31.

As for the three Ramsey county juvenile cases, Gustafson said he could not comment because juvenile crimes are not public information, but he did say that all but one of the cases has been resolved.


In Minneapolis, 102 people were arrested at the Rage Against the Machine concert. Of these, 94 people were charged with misdemeanors and one with a gross misdemeanor. Since then, 71 defendants entered into an agreement to suspend prosecution for one year and to pay court costs and do community service, before having their cases dismissed, Two defendants pleaded guilty to the charges, 13 cases were dismissed, two cases are open with pending court dates, and seven cases are on bench warrant status because the defendants did not appear for their court dates.

Federal cases

There were three federal cases related to the RNC. Bradley Crowder and David Guy McKay, the “Texas Two,” were arrested on charges that they constructed Molotov cocktails to throw at police during the convention. Bradley Crowder pleaded guilty to one count of unregistered possession of a firearm (which is how federal law classifies a Molotov cocktail) and was sentenced to 24 months in prison. David Guy McKay’s first trial was ruled a mistrial, and in the second trial he pleaded guilty to three counts, including one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, one count of illegal manufacture of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm with no serial number. The third federal case involved Matthew Bradley DePalma, from Michigan, who pleaded guilty to the count of possession of destructive devices and was sentenced to 42 months in prison.

Sheila Regan is a Minneapolis theater artist and freelance writer. Email


Sarah Palin's Own "Official" PAC - More comic relief from GOP Nazis

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Letter to the Editor: Society of Pius X Pushes Anti-Semitism

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette


In the story on St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church,“At odds with Rome: Local church that rejects changes of Vatican II marks 25th anniversary” (Aug. 8), The Journal Gazette provided an incomplete, if whitewashed, picture of the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X.

As the story points out, the society was founded in reaction to the reforms instituted by Vatican II in the 1960s. What the story failed to disclose, beyond the use of Latin and the lacy head coverings, is how anti-Semitism undergirds the rationale for the Society of St. Pius X.

True, buried within the story there is acknowledgment that one of its priests, Richard Williamson, has denied the Holocaust. Noticeably missing from the story, however, is that as recently as Aug. 4, Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the socity, has attacked the Vatican for showing “excessive sensibility” toward Jews after Williamson denied the existence of Nazi gas chambers or that millions of Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps.

Beyond simply being a traditionalist Catholic sect, St. Pius X seeks to resuscitate the worst legacies of Catholic-Jewish relations, including bringing back a prayer demanding the conversion of Jews.

When asked in an interview given two weeks ago about protests against this resurgence of Catholic anti-Semitism, Fellay insisted that Jews “leave us alone” and that Williamson’s Holocaust denial “is a completely marginal problem” that “has no relation whatsoever” to the Church. Reports of this interview with the Italian news agency Apcom are easily accessible from the Internet.


GOP Memo Misrepresents CIA IG Report on Effectiveness of Torture

By Spencer Ackerman
Wash. Independent

It’s not just former Vice President Dick Cheney who misrepresented what the CIA inspector general’s report says about the effectiveness of torture. Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard reports on a “GOP memo” he says is being circulated on the Hill that’s a laughable tissue of decontextualized bullet-pointed quotes from the report. For instance, its first example:

• “Agency senior managers believe that lives have been saved as a result of the capture and interrogation of terrorists who were planning attacks, in particular, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, Abu Zubaydah, Hambali, and Al-Nashiri.” page 88 para 217.

Read the sentence that precedes it: “This Review did not uncover any evidence that these plots were imminent.” There’s a difference between belief and reality — and if you read the section of the report on “Effectiveness” (it begins at page 85) in context, it’s clear that the former CIA inspector general, John Helgerson, took great pains to distinguish the two and provide explicit skepticism on those claims. The CIA’s detention program “has been effective,” he writes, insofar as it got the terrorists apprehended. “Measuring the effectiveness of EITs [enhanced interrogation techniques], however, is a more subjective process and not without some concern.” He then spends two pages providing a dispassionate account of information detainees “provided… on al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups” that “assisted” in the “identification of terrorists.” He does not vouch for the information.

But starting on page 89, at paragraph 220, Helgerson pours cold water — you’ll pardon the pun, right? — on the GOP memo’s claims:

Inasmuch as EITs have been used only since August 2002, and they have not all been used with every high value detainee, there is limited data on which to assess their individual effectiveness. This Review identified concerns about the use of the waterboard, specifically whether the risks of its use were justified by the results, whether it has been unnecessarily used in some instances, and whether the fact that it is being applied in a manner different from its use in SERE training brings into question the continued applicability of the DoJ opinion to its use. Although the waterboard is the most intrusive of the EITs, the fact that precautions have been taken to provide on-site medical oversight in the use of all EITs is evidence that their use poses risks.

[REDACTED] Determining the effectiveness of each EIT is important in facilitating Agency management’s decision as to which techniques should be used and for how long. Measuring the overall effectiveness of EITs is challenging for a number of reasons including: (1) the Agency cannot determine with any certainty the totality of the intelligence the detainee actually possesses; (2) each detainee has different fears of and tolerance foe EITs; (3) the application of the same EITs by different interrogators may have different results; and [REDACTED].

With admirable intellectual honesty, Helgerson analyzes the waterboarding cases of the three detainees on whom the technique was used. With the first, Abu Zubaydah, the number of intelligence reports provided before and after his waterboarding is redacted, and there is no attempt at adjudicating the claims of those reports. “It is not possible to say definitively that the waterboard is the reason for Abu Zubaydah’s increased production, or if another factor, such as the length of detention, was the catalyst,” he writes, but still says that “since the use of the waterboard” Abu Zubaydah has “appeared to be cooperative,” which will convince everyone who believes the post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc fallacy that waterboarding worked.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Helgerson writes, was initially compliant after waterboarding, but then his interrogators thought he was holding out on him, so he was tortured further but not waterboarded. “Because of the litany of techniques used by different interrogators over a relatively short period of time, it is difficult to identify why exactly al-Nashiri became more willing to provide information,” he writes, but — again with the post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc construction — Helgerson does write that after being tortured, al-Nashiri “provided information about his most operational planning.” So I’ll cede that one to be charitable.

Then there is Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, whom the CIA says is its “preeminent source” about al-Qaeda. Helgerson says that KSM wasn’t compliant before his waterboarding, providing “outdated, inaccurate or incomplete” information. But the rest of the paragraph detailing what Helgerson judges about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is redacted.

This is also context that the GOP memo, perhaps unsurprisingly, omits and ignores. Similarly, Helgerson follows the “effectiveness” section with an extensive discussion of the policy implications of embracing torture, beginning with the flat statement that “the EITs used by the Agency under the CTC [Counterterrorist Center] Program are inconsistent with the public policy positions that the United States has taken regarding human rights.” He continues to provide the dreaded Equivalence, citing examples of the State Department criticizing foreign countries for performing their own “enhanced interrogation techniques.” It’s laughable, but perhaps not surprising, that those who defend the torture program the loudest and misrepresent its contents the greatest consider themselves to be stalwart advocates of liberty.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Evidence of how Royal Dutch Shell Saved Hitler and the Nazi Party

by John Donovan
Aug 7th, 2009 by John Donovan.

This is an updated article about the role of Royal Dutch Shell as a collaborator and financial supporter of Hitler and the Nazi Party via its founder, Sir Henri Deterding.

Further research has revealed evidence that a huge injection of Royal Dutch Shell funds by Sir Henri, saved the Nazi Party from collapse and in so doing, indirectly caused millions of deaths in World War II.

I have provided extensive verification evidence from reputable independent sources of the Royal Dutch Shell connection with Hitler and the Nazi. This includes evidence of a four-day meeting between Sir Henri and Adolf Hitler at his Mountain top retreat, The Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden.

Declassified US intelligence records show Royal Dutch Shell was viewed as “a Nazi collaborator that used Hitler’s slave laborers”.

A ruthless thirst for access to new oil fields was a driving force by Sir Henri for his support for the most evil man in history. Sir Henri was himself described at one time as “The Most Powerful Man in the World”. The oil baron, able at the height of his powers, to bind the Board of Shell without their knowledge and consent, became an embarrassment to Shell because of his infatuation with Hitler and the Nazi.

These historical events provide a lesson in what can happen if a dominant person becomes too all powerful in any County, or for that matter, any multinational company.

It was perhaps a lesson not learned the first time round by Shell given the reserves securities fraud revealed in 2004 that resulted from another dominant Shell leader, the fraudster Sir Phillip Watts. He also ended up causing huge long-term damage to Shell’s reputation.

Like some Shell employees being culled in the Vosification process, Sir Phillip was escorted from Shell premises. However, in his case, he left with a severance package worth a reported $18.5 million despite bringing an end to the Anglo-Dutch twin company structure, which had lasted for 100 years. The unified company – Royal Dutch Shell Plc – rose from the ashes.

Detailed Historical Evidence of how Royal Dutch Shell saved Hitler and the Nazi Party

More than 60 years after the demise of Nazi Germany, people apparently remain fascinated by the evil deeds of Adolf Hitler and his equally evil henchmen.

The recent movie ‘Valkyrie‘ tells the story of the well-documented bomb plot against Hitler. Tom Cruise is in the lead role of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the patriotic aristocrat who unsuccessfully attempted to carry out the assassination. An article published in The Sunday Times on 4 January 2009 reviews a related book release: Valkyrie, by Philipp von Boeselager.

Another example of the resurgent interest is the video clips on YouTube said to glorify Nazi troops. A Daily Telegraph article reports that the controversial clips have received “million of hits”.

The same newspaper published an article on 3 January 2009 reporting the extraordinary news that “the Fuehrer has been given centre stage by the next European City of Culture.” The article said that the Austrian city of Linz has decided to showcase the works of the architect of the Third Reich.

What is less well known is the Royal Dutch Shell connection with Hitler and the Nazi. It is one of those episodes in Shell’s history, such as the recent multibillion-dollar reserves fraud, which the oil giant would prefer to forget.

The unfortunate association stemmed from the actions of a colossal figure in the history of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Sir Henri Deterding, the ruthless Dutchman described as “THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD”, the title of a book written about the oil baron by Glyn Roberts. Deterding was the man responsible for founding the Royal Dutch Shell Group and was at the helm of the oil giant for 30 years. He was known as the “Napoleon of Oil”.

A Time Magazine article about the lunch of the Glyn Roberts book said: “Roberts thinks his backing for Hitler and his admiration for Mussolini are based on his hatred of communism…”

The association between Deterding and the Nazi was such that Hitler and Goering both sent wreaths to his funeral when Deterding died just before the outbreak of the 2nd World War. The Nazis propaganda machine exploited his funeral and also intended to exploit the circumstances of his death to gain control over the entire Royal Dutch Shell Group.

A New York Times article reported that as earlier as 1929, the Nazi had begun to try and make friends in Britain and a firmer bond had been established with “Sir Henri Deterding, the oil magnate, and his associates.”

In 1933, Sir Henri was said to be “currying favor with Adolf Hitler in the hope of winning oil contracts for Royal Dutch Shell.”

He was openly described as being “pro-Nazi” and “a Nazi supporter.“

The New York Times published an article on 26 October 1934 under the headline:


The article with the sub-headline: “Hitler’s Terms for Control of Distribution Unsatisfactory to Royal Dutch and Shell” reported the content and outcome of a four day meeting between Hitler and his guest, Sir “Henry” Deterding, held at Berchtesgaden – Hitler’s mountain top retreat known as the Eagles Nest.

“LONDON, Oct. 25.-It is reported confidentially from Berlin that the object of Sir Henry Deterding’s recent visit to Chancellor Hitler at Berchtesgaden, where he stayed for four days, was to discuss the conditions for granting a monopoly to the Royal Dutch and Shell Companies of petrol distribution in Germany for a long period of years. Chancellor Hitler’s terms were unsatisfactory and the negotiations have broken down temporarily. Three conditions advanced by the Germans were”

First-The companies were to supply oil on credit for the first year.

Second-The companies were to build a network of distributing stations along strategic motor roads, these buildings to be protected against air attacks.

Third-The companies were to invest their money, frozen in Germany, locally.

On 13 February 1939, Time Magazine published an article about the death of Sir Henri. It said that he “backed Hitler in Germany” and had “added a German residence to his English, Dutch and Swiss homes.”

On 25 October 1942, The Los Angeles Times published a review of a book authored by reporter Marquis Child’s, titled: “I WRITE FROM WASHINGTON”. Child’s is described in the review as “trying to be eminently fair” in his appraisal of public figures. During his research, he had discovered “startling facts”, some relating to Shell and Sir Henri.

Child’s said in his book:

“…Sir Henri Deterding of Royal Dutch Shell was not himself innocent of working with Hitler. Sir Henri backed him with a huge sum when the Nazi party was about to fall; and it was the oil man’s objective to get Hitler to attack Russia so that Sir Henri might take over the Baku oil fields.”

Printed below are extracts from three books, which included extensive coverage of the Royal Dutch Shell connection with Hitler and the Nazi.


His influence on the company was erratic and as one Shell veteran recalls: ‘Deterding’s interventions were like thunderstorms; suddenly flattening a field of wheat, while leaving other fields un-scathed.’ The stately managers of Shell began to have the worrying impression that their Director-General was going mad, and still worse, going pro-Nazi. His anti-Communism, spurred on by his Russian second wife, had already made him sympathetic to the Nazis. But in 1936, just after he had celebrated his seventieth birthday and his fortieth year with Shell, he married a third time, to a German girl, Charlotte Knaack, who had been his secretary. He was now convinced that the Nazis were the only solution to the Communist menace.

He died six months before the outbreak of war: memorial services were held in all Shell offices in Germany and Hitler and Goering both sent wreaths to the funeral on his estate.


The outlook was grim and disheartening. Norway and Denmark were in German hands, France would surrender the following month, and Britain would stand alone, bearing the brunt of the war. No one was better suited than Churchill to lead his country through its “darkest hour.” No one better understood the critical role that oil would play, first in Britain’s very survival, and then in the prolonged conflict ahead.

The government also had to cope with a different kind of problem-the future of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. The current management of the Group was no less concerned and apprehensive. For there was a risk that the Group could pass under the Nazi sway. The heart of the problem was Henri Deterding, the grand master of the company. He had continued to dominate the Group through the 192os. “Sir Henri’s word is law,” observed a British official in 1927.

“He can bind the Board of the Shell without their knowledge and consent.” But by the 1930s, Deterding’s grip on the company was slipping, and he was becoming an embarrassment to the management and a source of anxiety to the British government. His behavior was increasingly erratic, disruptive, megalomaniacal.

In the mid-1930s, as he entered his seventies, Deterding had developed two infatuations. One was for his secretary, a young German woman. The other was for Adolf Hitler. The determined Dutchman-who had gravitated to Britain before World War I, had been courted by Admiral Fisher and Winston Churchill, and had become a firm and fervent ally during that war-was now, in his old age, entranced with the Nazis.

On his own, Deterding initiated discussions in 1935 with the German government about Shell’s providing a year’s supply of oil-in effect, a military reserve-to Germany on credit. Rumors of these talks so greatly alarmed the Shell management in London that one of the senior directors, Andrew Agnew, asked the government to have the British embassy in Berlin investigate so that Agnew “could take suitable actions with his colleagues on the Board here in good time.”

Finally, retiring from Shell at the end of 1936, Deterding acted on both of his new infatuations. He divorced his second wife, married his German secretary, and went to live on an estate in Germany.

Deterding died in Germany in early 1939, six months before the war began. Strange and deeply disturbing rumors immediately reached London. Not only had the Nazis made much of his funeral, but they were also trying to take advantage of the circumstances of his death to gain control of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. That, of course, would have been a disaster for Great Britain. The company had virtually been Britain’s quartermaster general for oil during World War 1. Should it now pass under Nazi domination, Britain’s entire system of petroleum supply would be undermined. But it was discovered that the key “preference” shares, which embodied control, could only be held by directors, and at his demise, Deterding’s shares had been swiftly distributed to the other directors. At best, the Germans could only get their hands on a tiny fraction of the common shares, which would do them no good at all, either before or after the outbreak of war.


The 1930s had proved a difficult and unpredictable decade for Shell Transport and Trading – the Depression, the successful move into chemicals, the increasing politicization of oil as governments of both extremes came to power. Yet even if none of that had occurred, it would still have been a climactic time, for on l7 November 1936 Sir Henri Deterding retired. He was then a few months over 70 years old. His forty years in the oil business included twenty-nine as an executive director of Shell Transport and Trading (in modern terminology, a Group Managing Director) and thirty-six as General Manager (that is, president) of Royal Dutch. He had been a decisive, governing influence in Shell Transport, and in almost complete charge of Royal Dutch, for more than half his life: he had become a dominant force throughout the world-wide industry, earning the respect of almost everyone who knew him, and often their affection too.

Naturally, therefore, his departure engendered a considerable sense of loss; and yet it was not entirely unwelcome, for as he had grown older he had become rather an embarrassment to his colleagues.

Given all his achievements, this is an unhappy story, and one which has caused lasting distress within Shell Transport and Royal Dutch; but it is as much a part of the history as the more glorious days, and enough time has passed for it to be seen in some perspective.

Briefly, Deterding had become increasingly right-wing, bordering, some said, on the megalomaniac. His memoirs, published in 1934, were a masterpiece of vanity and egocentricity, reading as the self-portrait of an autocrat. For example, there was his talk with Mussolini – ‘a man who, regard him as you may, has shown a driving force almost unparalleled in running a country’. Deterding decided that this conversation:

proved that there were several points on which we saw eye to eye. We both agreed that the coping-stone of Education is a sense of discipline and a respect for prestige, lacking which no youth can be considered to have been properly educated at all… To people unacquainted with the Italian character his manner in public may seem at times to be a trifle theatrical, but what chiefly interested me at our meeting was that he seemed so direct. One felt that, if faced with a difficulty, he would get out his sledge-hammer and strike straight at its root.

So too would the ageing Sir Henri. When he wrote that, he was 68. Many people, as they grow older and see the world changing around them, become more conservative, with a hankering for ‘the good old days’ and a growing belief that things are not what they were. With Sir Henri the process was becoming somewhat marked. In the same text, he wrote this memorable sentence:

If I were dictator of the world – and please, Mr. Printer, set this in larger type – I WOULD SHOOT ALL IDLERS AT SIGHT.

But in a world where millions of working men and women were idle through no fault or desire of their own, Deterding’s colleagues (particularly in The Hague) were very sensitive to the public display of such sentiments, and still more so to his open admiration of what he perceived as the firm government which had recently been elected in Germany.

Back in 19l4, just before the outbreak of the Great War, Britain’s Admiral Fisher had written to Winston Churchill: ‘I have just received a most patriotic letter from Deterding to say he means you shan’t want for oil or tankers in case of war – Good Old Deterding! How these Dutchmen do hate the Germans!’

The new Lady Deterding was German. In a striking lack of imagination on Sir Henri’s part, she was also his former secretary; and because the Nazi regime was visibly restoring order to her country’s chaotic economy, she was very much in favour of it. So was Sir Henri, who saw the disciplined economic aspects of Nazism as the world’s most powerful weapon against Communism. The Nazis, eager even after his death to exploit the publicly-avowed support of this world-famous individual, virtually hijacked his funeral: Field Marshal Goering, chief of the German air force, sent a wreath; so did Hitler himself; and, even Germanizing his name, the functionary who represented them said as he laid the wreaths: ‘In the name and on the instructions of the Fuhrer, I greet thee, Heinrich Deterding, the great friend of the Germans.’

To his former colleagues both in Shell Transport and Royal Dutch, these events were intensely painful and hard to come to terms with.

Recalling his irrational and damaging price war in 1927 against buyers of Soviet oil, and his high-handed ‘colonial’ treatment of the left-wing Mexican government in 1934, some wondered privately if he might have been going mad. Probably he had not; rather, traits that he had always possessed – simplicity of outlook, clarity of goals, strength of character and forcefulness of speech – had become accentuated by old age. By then, their expression was crude and humiliating. In his youth and middle age, though, the same traits had been priceless business assets. Using them, he had rescued Shell Transport from virtually certain extinction, and had built its fortunes, together with those of Royal Dutch, to an level which simply would not have been credible when he began; so both as a friend and an inspiring leader, his passing was genuinely mourned.


Deterding apparently felt very strongly on the subject of “idlers”. According to an article published on 18 February 1940, “Sir Henri Deterding had told Hitler that Mexico had the laziest population in the world, and rich prizes for Germany to grasp.”

On 19 November 2001, TheBoston Globe published an article entitled “Cloaked Business”.

The second paragraph said:

Newly declassified United States intelligence records reveal in unprecedented detail how US and Allied firms systematically used backwater countries to conduct backroom business with Axis enterprises. The files peel away a whole new layer of collaboration, describing scores of so-called “shadow agreements” in which corporations disguised their ties with the enemy through the cover of other companies in neutral countries, from Spain to Sweden to much of Latin America.

The article also contained the following reference to Shell:

The report said the two men also ran a steamship company that chartered tankers for Royal Dutch Shell, a Nazi collaborator that used Hitler’s slave laborers.

Ironically, the driven ruthless man most responsible for the great enterprise which is Royal Dutch Shell Plc today, was also responsible for one of the darkest periods in its long history.

The Shot that Ignited Europe

Peter Wilson, Europe correspondent
The Australian
August 29, 2009

THE 70th anniversary of the start of World War II will be officially marked on Tuesday when German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets the prime ministers of Russia and Poland in Gdansk to commemorate the day Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's tanks rolled across Poland's borders.

Wreaths will also be laid in the capital cities where diplomats tried to head off the September1 invasion, but little attention will be paid to the place where the most momentous conflict of the 20th century began, a small radio station on the edge of what was then the German town of Gleiwitz. It was there that a Polish-speaking farmer, Franciszek Honiok, was shot dead by Nazi troops a few hours before the invasion, becoming the first of more than 60 million people who would be killed during the next six years.

While the shot that started World War I by felling Archduke Ferdinand of Austria has been so well documented that it still echoes across the world, Honiok and the German bullet that killed him have been almost forgotten.

"Nobody has ever wanted to talk about what happened, it's always been secret," says Honiok's nephew Pawel at his home in the Polish village of Koszecin.

Pawel, 73, a retired mechanic, lives an hour's drive from Gleiwitz, which is now the Polish town of Gliwice.

"The Germans were in control of us until 1945, and then the Russians took over and they had no interest in digging up the truth about what had happened back at the start of the war," he says.

"Even my own family (was) too afraid to talk about it when I was a child and it was more than 25 years before we started to hear anything at all about what happened to him (Franciszek)."

A war memorial event will be held tomorrow at the radio station, which became a museum in 2005, but the tour buses that occasionally pull up there are usually drawn by its 111m tower, one of the world's highest wooden structures, rather than its role in kicking off the slaughter of WorldWar II.

Hitler had decided well before the end of August 1939 to invade Poland. His previous advances into Austria and Czechoslovakia had not been resisted by the leading powers but the Allies were bracing for war if Hitler attacked Poland. Searching for excuses to justify an attack, the Nazis had escalated tension along the Polish border for several months and decided they needed to stage an eye-catching provocation that could be blamed on the Poles.

As part of the plan Honiok, 43, an unmarried Catholic farmer, was arrested by the Gestapo at his home in the village of Polomia on August 30. He appears to have been singled out because of his involvement in a 1921 uprising against German rule of Silesia, a border region spanning present-day Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic that has a strong regional identity. According to his nephew, Honiok's family had always identified with Silesia and Poland, and bridled at German rule.

Nazi officer Alfred Naujocks and the six SS troops under his command had already spent two weeks in Gleiwitz, a 100,000-strong mining and farming centre, preparing for the provocation. The town has changed nationality several times during the centuries but in 1939 it had been German for 198 years and sat 6km inside German territory.

Naujocks, a 26-year-old SS major or assault unit leader, and his men posed as civilian mining experts but spent their days examining the forest and fields around the radio station, which relayed broadcasts to several countries.

The German military had been building up its forces in the region for weeks and at 4am on August 31 the executive order to launch the invasion was confirmed in Berlin.

At 6pm that evening the Berlin office of Heinrich Himmler, the overseer of the Gestapo and police forces, called the police station in Gleiwitz and ordered it to reduce the security at the radio station. "The number of guards was reduced from six to two and the police commander was told that if there happened to be any trouble at the station he should not exactly rush to send officers," says Andrzej Jarczewski, director of the radio station museum. At 8pm Naujocks and his squad arrived in two cars at the radio station's three-storey cement-rendered office.

Dressed in plain clothes to masquerade as Polish partisans, they charged up a few steps and through the station's front door, meeting no resistance from the guards and quickly overpowering the three engineers on duty.

The SS team fired several shots to intimidate the radio workers but they were perplexed by what they found in the main control room, a large airy room with high ceilings and dark brown flooring.

The station was merely a relay station so instead of the broadcasting booth and microphone that they had expected they found only walls of technical controls: flickering dials, blinking switches, valves and tubes.

A Polish-speaking SS soldier, Karl Hornack, ordered an engineer named Nawroth to connect a microphone that was normally used only to break into a transmission for emergency broadcasts. The other engineers and the two guards had their hands tied and were led to a basement.

Hornack then pulled two typewritten sheets from his pocket and interrupted the scheduled musical program by yelling into the microphone. His pre-written statement declared that Polish fighters had attacked the town and urged all Poles to take up arms against Germany.

But Hornack got out only nine Polish words, which translate as "Attention! This is Gliwice. The broadcasting station is in Polish hands ..." before the quick-witted engineer Nawroth cut off the broadcast by surreptitiously pressing a red control button as he passed a console. That button, which stills sits in the console today, is marked "Ein" or "In", and broke the transmission by retracting part of the antenna.

According to Jarczewski, the frantic broadcast about invading Poles caused barely a ripple inGleiwitz. "Whenever we have asked old people about that night, they said that nobody took it seriously. Nobody believed that Poland was going to attack Germany. At that time there were about 40,000 German soldiers in the area getting ready to invade Poland, so you couldn't cross the street without bumping into a German soldier. When the local people heard the broadcast they just thought it was some sort of prank but it wasn't designed for local consumption. The real audience was France and Britain, so Hitler could say he had been provoked into invading Poland."

After 12 minutes inside the station Naujocks ordered his men to withdraw but first they had to complete their doctored evidence that Polish fighters were behind the attack. Naujocks told the Nuremberg war trials in 1945 and 1946 that Honiok had been knocked out with drugs and taken along on the raid. At the end of the raid Honiok was dragged unconscious into the radio station, where he was killed with a bullet in the forehead. His body was left just inside the main door. Then the SS men drove off before the police arrived.

Naujocks said the farmer had been referred to by his captors as a piece of konserve or canned meat, which could be prepared in advance and taken on the raid to suggest Polish involvement.

Within hours two other ostensible provocations were launched in other parts of Silesia by German troops reportedly dressed in Polish military uniforms. Eight hours after Honiok's death, six people were killed in one of those incidents in the town of Hochlingden.

But the Gleiwitz raid had come first and it was singled out by the German propaganda machine. An official German photographer was rushed to the scene to capture evidence of Honiok's body inside the radio station.

Radio Cologne reported that German police had fought off Polish attackers at Gleiwitz and the BBC said "the German News Agency reports that the attack came at about 8pm thisevening when the Poles forced their way into the studio and began broadcasting a statement in Polish".

The BBC report went on: "Within a quarter of an hour, say reports, the Poles were overpowered by German police, who opened fire on them. Several of the Poles were reported killed but the numbers are not yet known."

The next morning, September 1, Hitler unleashed his forces before telling the German parliament, the Reichstag, that the previous night's "frontier incidents" and Poland's military mobilisation had forced him to "pacify" the country.

"Since 5.45am we have been returning fire," Hitler told the cheering Reichstag.

On September 3, France and Britain responded by declaring war on Germany, with Australia immediately following suit. Two weeks later Hitler's new ally, the Soviet Union, launched an attack on Poland.

Naujocks was involved in the killing of civilians in several countries during the war but he deserted to the Americans in 1944 and was never charged with war crimes. He appeared as a witness at Nuremberg, where he gave the first public account of what had happened at Gleiwitz. Soon before his death in the late 1960s he told British journalist Comer Clarke during an interview in Hamburg that even though he had gone on to perform other "unpleasant" jobs for his Nazi superiors, "I realised that I and my Gleiwitz unit were all marked men. We all knew too much. Eventually I was sent to the eastern front in one of the Waffen SS divisions to fight the Russians. I felt sure that there were orders to see that I got myself shot in action, but I knew the division's commander, Sepp Dietrich. He saw to it that it didn't happen.

"Then I got injured and was returned to Germany for office work."

The family of Honiok, the war's forgotten first victim, has never found his body.

"His death was never registered at the local church or with municipal authorities," says Pawel, "so we do not even know where he is buried.",25197,25994927-26040,00.html

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Suppressed Fact: 100 Deaths by U.S. Torture

Also see, re "Hope" & "Change" from our "socialist" sock puppet shill: Obama administration preparing order for indefinite detentions

" ... approximately 100 detainees, including CIA-held detainees, have died during U.S. interrogations, and some are known to have been tortured to death. ... "

June 30, 2009

... The premise of so many media discussions of torture is that "torture" is something that was confined to a single tactic (waterboarding) and three "high-value" detainee accused of being high-level Al Qaeda operatives. The reality is completely different.

The interrogation and detention regime implemented by the U.S. resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees in U.S. custody -- at least. While some of those detass were the result of "rogue" interrogators and agents, many were caused by the methods authorized at the highest levels of the Bush White House, including extreme stress positions, hypothermia, sleep deprivation and others. That's why we've always considered those tactics to be "torture" when used by others -- because they inflict serious harm, and can even kill people.

Those arguing against investigations and prosecutions -- that we Look to the Future, not the Past -- are thus literally advocating that numerous people get away with murder.

The record could not be clearer regarding the fact that we caused numerous detainee deaths, many of which have gone completely uninvestigated, let alone unpunished. Instead, the media and political class have misleadingly caused the debate to consist of the myth that these tactics were limited and confined. As Gen. Barry McCaffrey recently put it:

"We should never, as a policy, maltreat people under our control, detainees. We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A."

Journalist and Human Rights Watch research John Sifton similarly documented that "approximately 100 detainees, including CIA-held detainees, have died during U.S. interrogations, and some are known to have been tortured to death." ...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Grandaddy of Toxic Talk Radio is Back

Bob Grant, a corporate clown who scapegoats minorities and liberals to distract attention from the atrocities of the ruling class

by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca
Aug. 27‚ 2009

As if American talk radio wasn’t toxic enough, what with all of the right-wing nut cases who daily barrage us with their hatred of blacks, queers, environmentalists and left-wingers. Now, the defenders of keeping women barefoot and pregnant and gays in the closet have a new kid on the block, the grandfather of hate and intolerance, Bob Grant, who was ousted from New York City’s WABC radio in 1996 for his daily racist comments. Grant is returning to his old stomping grounds on September 13 to fill the airwaves with more of that good old-time American bigotry for which the medium has become famous.

Anyone who thinks this is good news must love Grant’s greatest hits, which include regular immigrant bashing and referring to African Americans as “savages” and “sub-human.” Grant once described former black New York Mayor David Dinkins as looking like “the men’s room attendant at the 21 Club.”

When a person with AIDS called Grant’s show and asked for a little sympathy, the vitriolic host told him that people with AIDS couldn’t die soon enough. One might say the same thing about old right-wing talk show hosts.

Grant didn’t just hate people of color, queers and leftists, he also freely expressed violent intentions towards them, once saying that New York police should open fire on the city’s annual Gay Pride Parade: “Ideally, it would have been nice to have a few phalanxes of policemen with machine guns and mow them down.”

As for the so-called tree-huggers: “I’d like to get every environmentalist, put 'em up against a wall, and shoot 'em.”

While denying that he was a racist (it’s difficult for me to even type that line without breaking into laughter), Grant decried the fact that whites could not openly express racist thoughts. “If they did,” he said, “the thugs, the savages, the refugees from Kalahari would tear the place apart. But I guess our group has evolved too far. I guess that’s the price we pay for being a little higher up on the evolutionary scale.”

Asked why WABC would bring back Grant’s KKK mentality to its airwaves, station program director Laurie Cantillo said, “Many listeners missed his colorful commentary.”

Obviously, the only color the station sees is green.

Which is good news for those of us who oppose the venom that Grant and his ilk spew out every day. While free speech is sacred and I’d never deny anyone, even someone as morally challenged as Grant, the right to say what he wanted, advertising dollars are not protected under our Constitution.

Perhaps some of the station’s advertisers need to know that there are many people who don’t appreciate Grant’s verbal diarrhea. Wouldn’t it be funny if those who spend their dollars to support his program suddenly decided to spend them elsewhere?

Might be the best way to get rid of the old garbage.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca is co-editor of Avanti Popolo: Italians Sailing Beyond Columbus, and editor of Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation, which has just been nominated for an American Library Association award. His website is

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Honduran Government Wages Campaign of Fear and Intimidation, Human Rights Group Alleges

Investigation Uncovers 'Deaths,' 'Sexual Violence' and 'Disappearances'

ABC News
August 26, 2009

In a scathing report, a leading human rights group accuses the current Honduran government of "widespread" abuses committed in the wake of President Jose Manuel Zelaya's ouster by a military coup in June.

In this file photo, soldiers arrest and beat a supporter of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya during a demonstration in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on July 2, 2009. Coup leaders in Honduras vowed that ousted President Manuel Zelaya will 'never return to power' despite mounting international pressure and an ultimatum by the Organization of American States. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The report, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), found instances of sexual violence, excessive use of military force, arbitrary detention and several confirmed deaths and so-called "disappearances." The IACHR also alleged that the government has threatened, detained and beaten members of the media, creating "an atmosphere of intimidation that inhibits the free exercise of freedom of expression."

"Given the ongoing abuses documented by the Commission and the lack of effective legal protection, it is urgent that the international community exert concerted and effective pressure to restore democratic government in Honduras," said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch, which commissioned the IACHR report.

The deaths of four Hondurans, that the Commission claims resulted from the use of excessive force, are chronicled in a chilling timeline.

July 5: Isis Obed Murillo Mencías is shot in the head while participating in a protest outside Tegucigalpa's Airport.

July 25: The tortured body of Pedro Magdiel Muñoz is found in the state of El Paraíso. According to witnesses, Muñoz was arrested by the military after participating in a rally in front of military roadblocks.

July 30: Roger Vallejos Soriano, a teacher, was shot in the head during a protest in the city of Comayagüela.

August 2: Pedro Pablo Hernández was shot in the head at a military roadblock in the agriculturally lush Jamastran valley, according to testimony collected by the Commission.

The report also details two "disappearances", including a Honduran last seen on July 12 at a protest, and another person seized at home on July 26. They remain unaccounted for by the government, despite the Commission's four requests for information. The alleged disappearances resemble those made infamous during the dictatorships of the 1970 and 1980s in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.

Calls to the Honduran Embassy in Washington, DC for a response to the IACHR findings were not returned. The Honduran diplomatic corps in the U.S. has thrown its support behind ousted president Zelaya.

The Commission's findings have created tension between the IACHR and the Organization of American States (OAS), which has a delegation in Honduras. The OAS is attempting to persuade the current government to approve an agreement brokered by Costa Rica's government for resolution of this crisis.

Jim Squires' "Headless Horsemen": Auschwitz Heir Will Farish & the Thoroughbred Elite

Background: "The Farish Family's Auschwitz Profits and Connections"

Squires' New Book Worth a Read
20 Aug 2009

After hearing rumblings at work and on the sale grounds about Jim Squires' new book, "Headless Horsemen," I decided to read it and find out what all the fuss was about. It's one man's view of the Thoroughbred industry, and it's not pretty. But I also can't say that a lot of it isn't true.

In regard to underhanded dealings at sales, Squires writes of controversial situations I have heard about -- some of them in different versions and nearly all of them difficult to verify to the point where you can name names in a magazine, newspaper, or online story. He also relates his own experiences with his own sale horses, but stops short of saying exactly which farms or bloodstock agents were involved.

Squires does two things very well. His emotional involvement with his own horses helps the reader understand why people are attracted to the sport even though it is full of maddening and absurd elements. And even though it's clear there are some people and situations Squires doesn't like, he also doesn't paint every issue as black and white. He rails against Will Farish and the rest of the Thoroughbred elite he calls the "Dinnies," but he also describes a visit to Belmont Park and a cordial conversation with a gracious Farish and writes about doing business with the Lane's End Farm owner.

My only real complaint about "Headless Horsemen" is that the fact-checking and editing could have been better. The Green Monkey isn't a "red" horse; he's a bay. His name is not the Green Monkey; it's The Green Monkey. Sheikh Mohammed didn't leave the Keeneland September yearling immediately after 9/11 as the book implies. He was stuck in Lexington for a while because no planes were allowed to fly, and he came back to the auction and bought more yearlings. Those just are examples. Other mistakes can be found easily by people who have a little knowledge about Thoroughbreds and the people who own them.

But, those problems aside, I think it would be a good idea for people getting into the Thoroughbred business to read "Headless Horsemen." I have talked to a number of newcomers who have been bewildered and surprised by what they found while, at the same time, remaining enchanted with the sport. The book explains the good and the bad - and all the contradictions - about breeding and racing better than I, or most other people, ever could.

50th anniversary: The Birth of the AFL

The rest is history
Houston Chronicle
Aug. 8, 2009

It wasn't considered a feasible plan to go against the NFL, but Bud Adams, left, and Lamar Hunt created their own league anyway

CANTON, Ohio — The first of what would be many history-making calls to Bud Adams was placed by Lamar Hunt's older brother, Bunker. It was February 1959.

“I'd known Bunker from Culver Military Academy,” Adams said recently. “He called from Dallas and told me his little brother, Lamar, wanted to come to Houston to talk to me about something. He said he didn't know what it was about. I told him to have him come to Houston so we could meet.”

In March, Hunt flew to Houston, and Adams picked him up at Hobby Airport. They had dinner at the Charcoal Inn, a restaurant Adams owned.

“We talked about everything but football,” Adams said. “I took him back to Hobby, and just before he got out of the car, Lamar said, ‘You tried to buy the (Chicago) Cardinals, right? So did I. I didn't have much luck. You didn't either, from what I understand. Before I go, let me ask you something: Would you be interested in starting a new league with me?'

“I said, ‘Hell, yeah,' and I didn't flinch. Lamar said he'd get back in touch with me.”

So the groundwork was laid for what would become known as the Foolish Club — the eight original franchise owners of the American Football League. Hunt and Adams were charter members.

Adams, 36, and Hunt, 27, were sons of wealthy oilmen — Kenneth Stanley “Boots” Adams and H.L. Hunt — and both had been pursuing a franchise in the National Football League, which had 12 teams but only two, the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, that were west of the Mississippi River.

Hunt, who died in 2006, and Adams announced the formation of the AFL in Adams' Houston office on Aug. 3, 1959. The Dallas Texans and Houston Oilers were the first two franchises.

“First, I went after Bud,” Hunt told the Chronicle in 2004. “I felt that it was very important to have a Dallas and Houston rivalry. They were probably the two ripest cities in America that didn't have teams.”

Almost two weeks after their news conference in Houston, Hunt and Adams announced franchises in New York, Los Angeles, Denver and Minneapolis. Later, franchises were added in Boston and Buffalo. When Minneapolis backed out to get an NFL team, it was replaced by Oakland. ...


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fascist Propaganda at Family Security Matters: Praise for Nazi Reinhard Gehlen

CIA Nazi Recruit and Knight of Malta, Reinhard Gehlen

I've noticed that CIA hangouts are less limited these days ... as we approach open fascist rule. Family Security Matters, the ultra-con opinion-formation teet, is even praising notorious CIA Nazi recruit Reinhard Gehlen (who has everything in common with the far-right propagandists at Family Security Matters) - and looking down its nose at demonic liberals who quibble over death squads, torture, a long history of political assassinations, violent coups waged against democratically-elected leaders and the installation of fascist military dictatorships in their place ... So what if Gehlen was responsible for an untold multitude of American deaths during WW II? Liberals are a threat to programmed Christian (Nazified) families everywhere and must be crushed beneath our respectable heels ...
July 22, 2009

When Political Games Trump Security Concerns
By Lance Thompson
Family Security Matters

“It is the nature of an intelligence service that it must receive encouragement and support from the government of the day; if the government lacks interest in or expert understanding for its intelligence service, not even the best service will succeed in overcoming external prejudices against it.” These are the words of [Nazi] Reinhard Gehlen, chief of the German federal intelligence service, the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst), in 1971, in his excellent memoir, The Service. (English edition: World Publishing, New York, 1972). Gehlen brought invaluable intelligence assets [Nazis] to the United States regarding Russia after World War II, and founded the BND which continues its important work to this day.

Gehlen’s wisdom is alarmingly relevant today, as the American foreign intelligence service, the CIA, is battered by politically motivated attacks by Democrats and the Obama administration. The CIA, whose mission is to inform our leaders about the capabilities and intentions of our adversaries and allies, has always been a favorite target of liberals. ...
PS: Back in 1967, American oil companies wanted land that belonged to Indians in Guatemala. The Indians refused to negotiate for the land, so the CIA sent planes in to napalm the tribal land-holders. No more Indians. The Guatemalan government, already beholden to the US government, sold the land to the oil companies cheap. (Source: Cry of the People, by Penny Lernoux.)

This is the sort of thing that riles nitpicking liberals. "Conservatives," of course, could give a fig about a tribe of brown-skinned Indians burned alive to fuel American cars.
The verbally flatulent "conservatives" at Family Security Matters have their priorities straight - evil liberals should be rounded up, put in camps ...

Now, remind me: Why is our precious Warfare State - with its massive military propaganda machine - foundering? ...

- AC

Dick Armey: Medicare is "Tyranny"


(ChattahBox)—Appearing on Meet The Press on Sunday with David Gregory, former House majority leader Dick Armey, (R-TX) compared Medicare to “tyranny,” saying seniors were “captured” by it against their will.

Armey now heads Freedomworks, an Astroturf lobbying group that is leading the right-wing charge against health care reform and organizing protesters and disruptors to attend Democratic town hall meetings.

Since Armey left office, he has shilled extensively for corporate interests, including big oil and coal companies and now health insurance companies. Armey was invited on Meet The Press to advance the views of the anti-health care reform lobby and revealed his extreme views, shared by many anti-health reform and tea party groups.

Rachel Maddow, making a debut appearance on the program as a progressive voice, pinned Armey down and exposed his extreme views about Medicare and Social Security like no one else can. If people like Dick Armey had their way, Medicare and Social Security would be abolished, leaving senior Americans with the “freedom” and the “liberty” to live in poverty without health care. ...

Continued -

Vatican: U.S., England Kept Lid on Holocaust Info

“ ... Allied governments have long acknowledged their historic failures during this tragic period while ... the efforts to whitewash Pius’ record continues.”
August 18, 2009

The United States and British governments suppressed information about the extent of the Holocaust, the Vatican’s official newspaper charged.

The newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, also slammed Allied governments in World War II for deliberately failing to act to stop the systematic killing of Europe’s Jews despite having detailed information about the Nazi plans to exterminate European Jewry, according to a lengthy article published Aug. 13.

The article quoted a 1948 essay published in the Italian Jewish journal Rassegna Mensile d’Israel that was based on the diary of Henry Morgenthau Jr., the U.S. treasury secretary during the war.

Morgenthau wrote, according to the article, that “the incapacity, indolence and bureaucratic delays of America impeded saving thousands of Hitler’s victims.” He also wrote that the British foreign minister “was more concerned about politics than of human charity.”

Morgenthau was quoted as writing that “we in Washington” knew that the Nazis “had planned to exterminate all the Jews of Europe” since August 1942, but added, “for about 18 months from receiving the first reports of this horrible Nazi plan, the State Department did practically nothing.” Instead, Morgenthau wrote, its officials “dodged their grim responsibility, procrastinated when concrete rescue schemes were placed before them, and even suppressed information about atrocities.”

The article appears to be part of a Vatican campaign trying to bolster the reputation of the wartime Pope Pius XII, countering criticism that he turned a blind eye to the Holocaust. Instead, the article said, the pope worked behind the scenes and hid Jews in a number of church-run institutions, “the only plausible and practical form of defense of the Jews and other persecuted people.”

The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants called the article a “distortion of history” and said it was part of a “shameless campaign” to justify sainthood for Pius.

“The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has engaged in intellectual dishonesty. Its reporting on the failures of the Allies during the Holocaust is neither new nor does it mitigate the disgraceful silence of Pope Pius XII in the face of Nazi barbarism during the Holocaust,” said the group’s president, Sam Bloch. “Allied governments have long acknowledged their historic failures during this tragic period while - as this article demonstrates - the efforts to whitewash Pius’ record continues.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ex-VOA Chief of Staff Indicted in Abramoff Scandal

By Scott McCabe
Washington Examiner
August 24, 2009

A former chief of staff of Voice of America has been indicted by a D.C. federal grand jury on public corruption charges over accusations he took thousands of dollars in sports and concert tickets from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Horace M. Cooper, 44, of Lorton, Va., will appear Sept. 9 to face charges of conspiracy, fraudulent concealment, false statements and obstruction of an official proceeding. He faces up to 20 years if convicted, according to federal prosecutors.

His lawyer, Solomon L. Wisenberg, said Cooper was innocent and planned to vigorously fight the charges.

In court filings, federal prosecutors said Cooper began to solicit and accept gifts from Abramoff's lobbying firm in 1998, when Cooper was legislative director to then Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Cooper accepted luxury box seats for Redskins and Orioles games, floor seats for Wizards contests, and tickets for Alan Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and N'Sync concerts at MCI Center.

The gifts continued to flow Cooper's way when he took a new job as the chief of staff for two federal agencies from 2001 to 2005, first at Voice of America and then the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration.

In exchange, court documents say, Cooper helped Abramoff secure VOA funds for Abramoff's new television production business, provided sensitive information about competitive bidders and assisted Abramoff's client in a Labor Department investigation into a Mariana Islands garment manufacturer, according to court filings.

Prosecutors said Cooper also took advantage of thousands of dollars in complimentary meals at Abramoff's downtown D.C. restaurant. While dining, Cooper would present his credit card but be charged only for a nominal item, such as a lemonade or soft drink, prosecutors said. Cooper would sign the bill to make it look as if he had paid for the entire meal.

Once, prosecutors alleged, when Cooper was charged $140 for a meal, Cooper e-mailed Abramoff stating: "I think there may have been a little glitch at the restaurant on Friday. I went there and gave my credit card and it was charged, It's no big deal, but I thought I'd let you know."

To date, 20 people have been convicted or are awaiting trial in connection with the Abramoff scandal. Abramoff was sentenced to four years in prison and is cooperating in the investigation.

Bob Williams: Democracy, Demagoguery and Health Care

"When did Republicans discover fear and its wondrous political uses? Fear and its concomitants, anxiety, anger and hatred, are the devices of the demagogue and supposedly opposed by the Hamiltonian republic. We can trace the beginning of this reversal to the 1950s: the rise of McCarthyism and the rise of the John Birch Society. ... "
By Bob Williams
August 17, 2009

Ever wonder why some people, mainly Republicans, like to refer to our country as a republic and others, mainly Democrats, like to refer to our country as a democracy?

It's not as simple as it sounds and has deep historical roots.

Alexander Hamilton had, as the ancient Greeks often had, great reservations about democracy. Democracy and demagoguery come from the same Greek root. A demagogue, in the pithy expression of H. L. Menken, is "one who will preach doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots." Demagoguery is the art of swaying the public by appealing to prejudice, emotion and fear.

Hamilton wrote, in the first of the Federalist Papers, "a dangerous ambition ... often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people ... and ... of those men who have overturned the liberty of republics, the greater number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants."

Jefferson advocated democracy. Hamilton supported a republic (having no sovereign ruler) but not a democracy. His republic would be governed by an oligarchy of the elite, those men of education and position who would be sophisticated enough not to be swayed by demagogues.

When Republicans today say we have a republic and Democrats say we have a democracy, it is not just a matter of labels.

When did it all change? When did Republicans discover fear and its wondrous political uses? Fear and its concomitants, anxiety, anger and hatred, are the devices of the demagogue and supposedly opposed by the Hamiltonian republic.

We can trace the beginning of this reversal to the 1950s: the rise of McCarthyism and the rise of the John Birch Society, particularly in Southern California.

These were demagogic movements playing on fears and hatreds of communism and the United Nations.

They helped build a postwar far-right political base within the Republican Party.

Fear of the commies was overtaken in the early 1960s by fear of racial integration. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of that period became the basis for the Republicans' "Southern strategy." This new issue to be feared was remarkably effective while being hotly denied as an issue. The South, solidly Democratic since the Civil War, became almost solidly Republican.

With the breakup of the Soviet Union and the failure of "dominoes" to fall after the Vietnam War, communism lost much of its power to inspire fear. Al-Qaida provided a new fear, terrorism. This new fear was exploited to expand executive power in Washington, even to the idea that the president could overrule any law, far beyond the limits envisioned by any at the Constitutional Convention, including Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton would have been dismayed to find that the party that insists we were founded as a republic, not a democracy, now finds demagoguery as its main tool for continued existence.

This is not history; this is now and never more evident than in the ongoing debate over health reform.

Distortions of fact to inflame passions are everywhere.

One such inflammatory claim: Passing this bill "may start us down a treacherous path toward government<0x2011>encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law." This has been claimed by House minority leader John Boehner, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.

Other demagogic claims being passed around to stir hatreds: The House health plan will provide government funding for abortions, and the plan will lead to rationing of health care. The passions engendered by these false claims have been used to gather angry crowds to disrupt town hall discussions of health care reform. Demonstrations are a recognized way for minorities to get their views noticed. But a mob that disrupts and blocks a representative's attempts to discuss health reform issues with constituents is not a part of "the democratic process."

The Annenberg Public Policy Center maintains a nonpartisan Web site at It provides an unbiased discussion of these allegations on what is or is not in the House health plan.

This is not a site maintained by "a bunch of liberals." The late Walter Annenberg was appointed ambassador to Britain by his friend, Richard Nixon. He was a close friend of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. His wife, Leonore, served for a time as Reagan's chief of protocol. They founded the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Check it out.

Alexander Hamilton has been proven wrong partially, and right partially. He was wrong in thinking that a republic ensured against demagoguery. He was right in that demagoguery could be a threat to our country.

The seriousness of this threat is being decided now.

Bob Williams is a Millville rancher and a retired UCLA professor. His e-mail address is

Obama Indebted to the CIA

Did Barack Obama Pal Around With The CIA?
John Carney
Aug. 24, 2009

Here's Steve Sailer explaining how these things work.

My favorite conspiracy theory for the last few months has been that the young Barack Obama benefited from some CIA favors along the way, perhaps in transferring to Columbia U. or in his getting his copyeditor job at Business International, a firm with, apparently, ties to both CIA and SDS. Here's a website called Cannonfire that pulls together, in a disorganized fashion, various bits of evidence. There's nothing conclusive, but the young Obama probably had many more indirect links with CIA before the age of 25 than you did.

My version of this conspiracy theory is one that's neither terribly implausible nor hugely significant. But, when you are talking about the President of the United States, it's certainly interesting.

If you think of CIA less as the puppet-master of world history and more as merely one well-funded player in an international version of the municipal Favor Bank familiar from Bonfire of the Vanities and The Wire, then the idea that Obama got help from CIA-connected individuals along the way seems less shocking and more plausible. He's not the Manchurian Candidate, he's just a kid whose parents exploited Cold War tensions to get him a favor or two.

The key thing to recognize is that the President's parents were exactly the type of non-Communist leftists whom CIA constantly cultivated.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Excerpt: Boycotting Big Beer - Why We Should All Shun Union-Busting Beer Companies

... It’s really Coors Brewing Company that takes the cake for supporting conservative causes and busting unions.

Over the years the Coors family has contributed handsomely to plenty of conservative projects and organizations. Reading about their family’s philanthropy is like reading a history of the right wing in America.

Joseph Coors was an advisor to Ronald Reagan, provided the founding grant to the infamous Heritage Foundation as well as the right wing Free Congress Foundation, which asks the following question on its website: “Will America return to the culture that made it great, our traditional, Judeo-Christian, Western culture?” If not, the US will, revert to “no less than a third world country.”

Joseph Coors really put his money where his right wing heart was when he donated a $65,000 plane to the Contras in the covert US war against the Nicaraguan Sandinistas in the 1980s. It’s high time to raise a glass of non-Coors beer in solidarity with the Sandinistas. But here’s another reason to boycott America’s most successful brewing company; their union busting.

In 1977, in Colorado, home to the company’s brewery, Coors hired scabs to replace workers on strike at the plant. Jeff Coors, the president of the family company at the time, told the Los Angeles Times that he wouldn’t back down because agreeing to union demands was like “inviting the Russians in to take over America.”

But the family’s repression of workers’ rights didn’t stop there. Annika Carlson writing about the Coors’ legacy at Campus Progress, says, “Until 1986, prospective Coors employees were sometimes required to take lie detector tests, answering questions about their sexual orientation, communist leanings, and how often they changed their underwear.”

In 2004, when Peter Coors, the chairman of the Coors Brewing Company ran for Senate as a Republican from Colorado, local union leaders were quick to criticize the company’s poor labor relations. Steve Adams, the president of the Colorado AFL-CIO at the time, told USA Today, "Peter Coors is a Republican, and there are very few Republicans who support workers' rights. The Coors company track record is not friendly to workers' rights." To this day, many of Denver’s 23,000 Food and Commercial Workers union still boycott Coors beer due to the company’s crackdowns on labor rights in the 1970s.

You can show that drinking is a very political act by turning your back on the big breweries. Or, as Carlson says about Coors, “When cracking open a cold one, remember to toast the things that make the Coors family great: union-busting, lie-detecting, Heritage-funding, double-talking and, of course, its beer.”

Benjamin Dangl is currently based in Paraguay and is the author of "The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia" (AK Press). He edits, a website on activism and politics in Latin America, and, a progressive perspective on world events. Email: Bendangl(at)gmail(dot)com.

Former Dick Armey Aide Indicted in Abramoff Probe

Legal Times Blog
August 21, 2009

A long-time aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey was indicted today for taking thousands of dollars worth of gifts from jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

According to the indictment filed today at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Horace Cooper received more than $14,000 dollars worth of gifts, including high priced sports and concert tickets, in return for assisting Abramoff’s firm on various matters.

Cooper is now known as an author and conservative commentator who has spent time as a visiting law professor at George Mason University. He worked under Armey from 1994 until 2001, becoming a senior aide and counsel. In 2001, he became chief of staff at Voice of America, where, according to indictment, he helped on of Abramoff’s clients win a project worth $10-to-$15 million.

He later became chief of staff at the Employment Standards Administration of the Department of Labor. There, the indictment alleges that he looked into ways an attorney who was investigating another Abramoff client could be removed from the case.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pinochet's Lost Millions: The UK Connection

23 August 2009

British authorities and the financial sector are linked for the first time to the late Chilean dictator's £1bn fortune. Hugh O'Shaughnessy reports

Two-and-a-half years after the death of General Augusto Pinochet, a report by the Chilean police task force charged with investigating money-laundering has claimed that British authorities and the financial sector were complicit in hiding his massive ill-gotten fortune.

Though the Pinochet family protects the details of its wealth with the help of bankers and advisers from Britain and other countries, the pile of assets in cash, gold, government bonds and shares controlled by the family of the late dictator is now believed to amount to as much as £1bn.

The report by Brilac, the Chilean police task force, says that the freeze on the dictator's funds issued in 1998 by the Spanish investigating magistrate Baltasar Garzon, who was seeking the ex-dictator's extradition to Spain on charges of torture and murder, was in effect ignored by the financial sector in Britain, despite the fact that Britain was under an obligation to enforce it.

Professor David Sugarman, the director of the Centre for Law and Society at Lancaster University and author of a forthcoming book on Pinochet's arrest and imprisonment, said yesterday: "It looks like some of the banks holding Pinochet's funds did not comply with the letter and spirit of their duties of disclosure, due diligence and the legal requirement to report suspicious circumstances."

The sustained cover-up of the Pinochet fortune – largely amassed through drugs and arms dealing, and Pinochet's making over of newly privatised state concerns to family members – took place in British colonies which were ultimately controlled by Whitehall. They range from Gibraltar, the Caribbean tax havens of the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands (BVI), to former colonies such as the Bahamas and Hong Kong. With help from within the British finance industry, offshore bank accounts were set up at the same time as companies with names such as Abanda Finance, Althorp Investment Trust, Ashburton, Belview International, Sociedad de Inversiones Belview, Cornwall Overseas, Eastview Finance, GLP, and Tasker Investments. The corrupt and chaotic state of some offshore tax havens was illustrated this month by Whitehall's decision to dismiss the local authorities and resume direct rule in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

In Hong Kong, Pinochet was reported in 2006 to have lodged $160m in gold bars with an international bank, though the bank has denied this. British banks and other institutions also acted on Pinochet's behalf not just in colonial tax havens but also in independent Commonwealth states such as the Bahamas, and in the US.

The Brilac report shows that Riggs, the Washington bank that did much of Pinochet's business, ran a London branch near St James's Palace, which – asset freeze or no asset freeze – was used as a moneybox by the detained ex-dictator. Riggs was taken over by a bank in Pittsburgh in 2005 after its activities for the world's tyrants and tax-dodgers were denounced by the US Senate. The Brilac report says that when Pinochet closed his account at the branch (held under the name of Althorp Investments, one of his BVI companies) in May 2002 it contained $219,285.74.

While he was under arrest at Virginia Water, Surrey, between 1998 and 2000, the elderly detainee still managed to access his funds held at Riggs bank. Pinochet's grandson, Rodrigo Garcia Pinochet, told the magistrate in Santiago investigating money-laundering in 2004 how he bought a rucksack to carry the £50,000 in cash which his grandfather had sent him to collect from St James's and bring to the small house by the Wentworth golf course where the ex-dictator was confined.

The Chilean police report states that, for instance, the Miami branch of another international bank was concerned in the establishment in May 1991 of Belview International, a front company at Wickhams Cay in the BVI. Belview was the formal owner of, and trader in, much of Pinochet's property, which stretched from flats in the northern Chilean port of Iquique to others in the Santiago districts of Vitacura and Ñuñoa and to the smart seaside resort of Viña del Mar. Belview went on to be run by the Miami branch of another international bank, and was overseen by Pinochet's Chilean bagman, Oscar Aitken.

Then there was Abanda Finance, set up as a tax dodge wholly or partly owned by the Pinochet family and also domiciled in the BVI. In Gibraltar, Britain's only surviving colony in Europe, the Banco Atlantico was another of Pinochet's favourite banks, where he had an account to which he sent $2,658,604.84 on 19 October 1989, an amount which he said he had "forgotten" to include in a list of assets he had produced two days previously. He and his son, Marco Antonio, continued to keep the Banco Atlantico account well topped up. Banco Atlantico was set up in Cuba a century ago and its owners included the Continental Illinois Bank and Rumasa, run by the Opus Dei éminence grise Jose Maria Ruiz Mateos. It was nationalised by the Spaniards in 1983 and later sold to private business.

Simple ruses were used to hide the fact that the banks were dealing with the Pinochet family fortune. Accounts were opened which were designated by any combination of his Christian names or initials – Augusto Jose Ramon – and the surnames of his father, Pinochet, or his mother, Ugarte, and those of his wife, Lucia Hiriart Rodriguez. Some bankers preferred to call him Joe (from Jose), or APU (Augusto Pinochet Ugarte). The practice made the tracing of information about him as difficult as, say, looking for Griff Rhys Jones under "Jones" or Iain Duncan Smith under "Smith". Various accounts were labelled merely "L Hiriart and/or AP Ugarte".

A one-time representative of Deloitte & Touche, Richard Evans, is alleged by the Brilac report to have acted in connection with Ashburton Trust, which was created by Riggs and whose beneficiaries included Pinochet's five children, who each had a 20 per cent share. Mr Evans was also listed by Brilac as a director of Althorp Investment Trust, another repository for Pinochet family funds. It said he w as active in promoting businesses in Argentina and was being investigated for money-laundering.

Deloitte spokesman Ignacio Tena said: "Deloitte & Touche Corporate Services was contracted by Riggs Bank and Trust Company (Bahamas) to render administrative services for Riggs and some of its clients. Riggs did the due diligence, and gave all the information related to its clients, in accordance with the usual commercial practice and the Bahamas' law."

Judicial investigations in Santiago this month have revealed details of the connections between Pinochet's last financial fling while he had a position in the army – the purchase of 200 German-built Leopard tanks from a Dutch company, RDM Technology, and dummy companies set up in the Bahamas. On this deal, he received a "commission" of $1.6m through Cornwall Overseas.

The magistrate investigating the sources of Pinochet's wealth, Manuel Valderrama, ordered the arrest this month of two retired officers formerly in the army's supply branch, General Luis Iracabal, once a member of the Dina, Pinochet's secret police, and Brigadier Gustavo Latorre Vasquez, on suspicion of being involved in the corruption. Meanwhile, Mr Aitken is seeking a supposed debt of more than $1m for unpaid fees that he claims were owed to him when Pinochet died in December 2006.

New details have also emerged of how Pinochet used Cema-Chile, a body supposedly dedicated to supporting 34,000 women affiliated to more than 2,000 mother-care centres with funds from the national lottery, as a money-laundering operation and cash machine. According to an application to the Chilean appeal court from Alejandro Navarro, a left-wing contender in the forthcoming Chilean presidential elections, Cema-Chile – fed with Pinochet's illicit funds from the former dictator's dummy companies in the Commonwealth Caribbean and not legally obliged to submit accounts – regularly provided the family with cash for mountainous "expenses" with no questions asked.

The Brilac report recounts how the minutes of a Cema-Chile board meeting on 13 November 1998 recorded the remittance of $50,000 to Pinochet's wife to cover costs incurred when he was under arrest, adding that $10,000 of this sum went into the account of Julia Hormazabal, Cema-Chile's director.

Plunder – A family business: Much of General Pinochet's fortune was generated by his drugs and arms dealing and from privatisations encouraged by the International Monetary Fund and right-wing economists after he seized power in 1973.

Pinochet decreed these privatisations before any regulation was put in place over the new private monopolies. Consequently they were wildly profitable. In chemicals and iodine the state-owned Soquimich company, with annual profits of $67m, was made over to Julio Ponce, then Pinochet's son-in-law. The state insurance agency, ISE, was handed to Jorge Aravena, another son-in-law. Paper mills, telephone companies and energy concerns were also given out to family members and hangers-on.

The rise and fall of a dictator

1973 General Augusto Pinochet sweeps to power in Chile on 11 September after leading an armed coup that puts him at the helm of a military dictatorship that will last 17 years. The junta shells the presidential palace; President Salvador Allende is killed.

1970s Before appointing himself president in 1974, Pinochet orders the slaughter of more than 3,000 Allende supporters; tens of thousands more are tortured or exiled. He shuts parliament and bans all political and union activity. He enjoys support as economy recovers, but always faces opposition.

1986 Survives assassination bid.

1988 Pinochet's government holds referendum on his rule – he loses. 1990 Steps down as president, but stays as army commander in chief.

1998 Relinquishes his rank, months before he is arrested and detained in London.

2000 Is allowed to return to Chile where he avoids trial for human rights abuses on ill-health grounds.

2006 Pinochet dies, aged 91.

GOP: Pay No Attention to Our Crazy Supporters Who Want to Kill Obama

Excerpt By John Cook
Aug 13 2009

The Secret Service detained a man at a Maryland town hall yesterday carrying a sign reading, "'Death To Obama, Death To Michelle And Her Two Stupid Kids." Why don't Republicans at least say, "Don't threaten to kill the president"?

In all likelihood, the unnamed 51-year-old man carrying that sign wasn't an actual direct threat to the president's life. Neither was Gary Frago, the Atwater, California, city councilman who forwarded e-mails to his co-workers and friends joking about killing Obama (a fake letter, for instance, from John McCain to John Hinckley, Jr., explaining that he's about to be released and that Obama has been dating Jodi Foster). Neither was William Kostric, the asshole who brought a gun and a sign saying that it's time to "water the tree of liberty" to Obama's New Hampshire town hall earlier this week. None of these men presented an immediate, credible threat Obama. (Then again, people would probably have written off Hinckley as a harmless nut before he fired his shots.)

Kostric, we learned after seeing him interviewed on Hardball yesterday, was just a provocateur who sought to thumb his nose at authority and get on TV. But why did he want to get on TV? To spread his message and propagate his ideas. And what are his ideas? That it's time to shed the blood of our leaders. ...