Eugenics in the United States Today: Are We on the Same Path Nazi Germany Followed?

John P. Thomas, Health Impact News, 27 Jun 2015

Creating an Elite Class of Super Humans

This is the first part of a two part series exploring the relationship between the controversial eugenics movement of the past and modern genetics. [Part II is here.] Eugenics was dedicated to cleansing and purifying humanity from “inferior” members with the hope of solving various social problems related to poverty, disability, and illness. To accomplish this, it sought to create a superior race of people and to use forced sterilization and extermination to eliminate future generations of defective human beings. Darwin’s theory of evolution was used to justify the practice of eugenics. Later, when eugenics fell from favor, modern genetics began to grow up from the ashes of the former movement.

When Adolf Hitler applied Darwin’s theory of evolution and the principles of eugenics to the goals of the German state, the result was the murder of eleven million men, women and children. These lives were sacrificed in the name of eugenics. Eugenicists were seeking to improve the conditions of life for humanity by creating a “superior” race of people.

The eugenics movement had a very dark side, which led to social control, loss of reproductive freedom, and the loss of life. Should we be concerned that modern genetic science might have a dark side as well? Will the fruit of genetic research be misused by ill-intentioned people to gain control over others as happened with eugenics in the past? Has modern genetics completely severed itself from its roots? Or, might it become the tool that will be used to try to create a master class of genetically superior human beings in America?

What are the deceptions and dangers of the modern genetics movement? Does true health and true happiness lie in the human genome? Are we really bound to the set of genes that we received from our parents, or can we overcome what we were given? What are the factors that activate or deactivate certain genes, and how can we control the expression of our genetic make-up to promote our health and the health of our children? What are the motivations of certain groups who want us to believe that genes control every aspect of our lives – that we have no other options than to suffer while genetic scientists look for genetic cures for all that ails us? Are we really more than our genes or is our genetic code all there is?

These questions and many more will be examined in these articles. Let’s begin by learning about the development of eugenics.


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The haunted house of eugenics - An interview with Edwin Black

Lansing City Pulse, December 10, 2003

Few people knew that the United States helped to fund Nazi eugenics. In his new book, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race the award-winning author Edwin Black documents the collaboration of American corporate philanthropic organizations with Nazi Germany researchers to create a white, Nordic master race. Black has also documented the forceful sterilization of 60,000 Americans in genetic-control campaigns taking place as recently as 1900. The journalist, who is also author of the best-selling book “IBM and the Holocaust,” will speak at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, in the Gold Room of the MSU Union. Sponsored by the Center for Global Culture/Great Lakes World Affairs Council, the event will be followed by a discussion with the author at Barnes & Noble in East Lansing. Daniel Sturm interviewed Black.

Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele, who did inhumane experiments with twins in Auschwitz, is a well-known horror figure. Now you tell us in “War Against the Weak” that Mengele was financed by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Rockefeller spent a great deal of money financing Nazi scientists and eugenic institutions in Germany, among them Otmar Freiherr von Vershuer. Vershuer was particularly interested in twins. With twins you could unlock the mysteries of defective reproduction, they thought, and also with twins you could discover the secret to multiplication of the master race. Vershuer sent his assistant, whose name was Joseph Mengele, into Auschwitz to finish the program originally financed by Rockefeller. But of course, Mengele went there after the war began.

Did the Rockefeller Foundation know that they were funding Nazis?

They knew it from the very beginning, because Rockefeller was funding the Nazi eugenicists throughout the entire pre-war period. Rockefeller was receiving constant letters of protest because of its open involvement with Nazi medicine.

In the first 65 years of the 20th century more than 60,000 Americans were sterilized. What was the mindset behind this?

Clearly, it is the urge to create a master race. But this urge attached itself to so many other societal movements—the women’s movement, the labor movement, the educational movement, and medical movements. Eugenics and the life science behind it infected so many other social welfare movements that it was easy to say, “we were trying to make a better society, we were trying to use our educational dollars better, we were trying to wipe out tuberculosis.” While what they really wanted to do was make the “problem people” disappear.

This was the time when agronomists became capable of breeding better strains of corn, and doctors similarly bent on breeding a eugenically superior race. But weren’t doctors and supporters of eugenics aware of the inhumane effects of their acts?

It was originally mainly a non-medical movement. It was a movement of animal breeders, agronomists, anthropologists, and these types of people, who were trying to engineer a society. In the beginning there was very little medical backing for it, unless you want to include psychology and psychiatry. Obviously, there were great surgeons who later supported eugenics, including sterilization.

You write that many people who were sterilized never discovered the truth until decades later.

Black: That’s right. Of the 60,000 Americans who were forcibly sterilized, many underwent the procedure without knowing what was happening. Typically, they would ask a young hillbilly girl: Do you like the movies? And she’d say yes. Do you like the funnies? And she’d say yes. Would you mind if we did something to help out your health? And she’d say yes. She wouldn’t know what was happening. The incision would be very small, the operation would take just a couple of minutes, and she would be sterilized.

Why did it take so long to uncover the relationship between Rockefeller/Carnegie and Nazi Germany?

To a large degree, it takes the mindset of an investigative reporter who thinks like a criminal and acts like a cop. The historian will ask for permission, while people like me start when we’re told “no.” When lawyers and other entities tried to stop me from seeing the records, they even claimed doctor-patient confidentiality for Joseph Mengele! That’s when we get going. I have a large team of reporters, researchers, historians, and writers. People are welcome to volunteer at “researchers needed” on my Web site, at

In the 1930s and 40s, the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor was an outspoken proponent of eugenics. Can you tell us more about Michigan’s role in the eugenics movement?

Michigan was one of 27 states with eugenic sterilization laws. Doctors in Michigan forcibly sterilized more than 2,388 people by 1943, and 3,786 by 1964. In Indiana, where sterilization began, there were 1,231 cases.

For many the Nazi movement seems like a dark age that’s long gone. But you say there’s a new eugenics movement on the horizon, as great as its precursor. Companies fear that insuring people predisposed to “certain genetic effects” would increase their costs.

Yes. It’s no longer based upon racist dogma and national flags, it is more based upon the economic worth of an individual, globalization, and the profit margin an individual can offer the corporate world. It will come in the form of insurance exclusions and employment denials. This is why the anti-genetic discrimination act has just passed in the Senate and is waiting for approval in the House.

So that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

It’s a good start. But human engineering is so globalized and high-velocity a science that it is preceding far faster than any local jurisdiction can keep up with it.

Your give the example of a Quebec man who died in an automobile crash, but his life insurance payout was canceled when the company learned that he was born in a region with a high rate of a degenerative disease that causes a debilitating relaxation of the muscles. How far away are we from this scenario?

This was a test case, but the insurance company told me they intend to implement it. This company even said that they would cancel death benefits in automobile collisions because of smoking. We are not far away from it at all. This approach is now being advocated and implemented on an ever-increasing rate. The insurance world says very clearly that they cannot survive unless they rewrite the rules. They originally were redlining, then they were green lining, and now they are gene lining.

This Civilization Is Finished - Conversations on the end of Empire—and what lies beyond

Rupert Read and Samuel Alexander (2019)

I have come to the conclusion in the last few years that this civilisation is going down. It will not last. It cannot, because it shows almost no sign of taking the extreme climate crisis—let alone the broader ecological crisis—for what it is: a long global emergency, an existential threat. This industrial-growthist civilisation will not achieve the Paris climate accord goals;[2] and that means that we will most likely see 3-4 degrees of global over-heat at a minimum, and that is not compatible with civilisation as we know it.

The stakes of course are very, very high, because the climate crisis puts the whole of what we know as civilisation at risk. By ‘this civilisation’ I mean the hegemonic civilisation of globalised capitalism—sometimes called ‘Empire’—which today governs the vast majority of human life on Earth. Only some indigenous civilisations/societies and some peasant cultures lie outside it (although every day the integration deepens and expands). Even those societies and cultures may well be dragged down by Empire, as it fails, if it fells the very global ecosystem that is mother to us all. What I am saying, then, is that this civilisation will be transformed.[3] As I see things, there are three broad possible futures that lie ahead:

(1) This civilisation could collapse utterly and terminally, as a result of climatic instability (leading for instance to catastrophic food shortages as a probable mechanism of collapse), or possibly sooner than that, through nuclear war, pandemic, or financial collapse leading to mass civil breakdown. Any of these are likely to be precipitated in part by ecological/climate instability, as Darfur and Syria were. Or

(2) This civilisation (we) will manage to seed a future successor-civilisation(s), as this one collapses. Or

(3) This civilisation will somehow manage to transform itself deliberately, radically and rapidly, in an unprecedented manner, in time to avert collapse.[4]

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Between the Devil and the Green New Deal

We cannot legislate and spend our way out of catastrophic global warming
Jasper Bernes, commune, 25 Apr 2019

From space, the Bayan Obo mine in China, where 70 percent of the world’s rare earth minerals are extracted and refined, almost looks like a painting. The paisleys of the radioactive tailings ponds, miles long, concentrate the hidden colors of the earth: mineral aquamarines and ochres of the sort a painter might employ to flatter the rulers of a dying empire.

To meet the demands of the Green New Deal, which proposes to convert the US economy to zero emissions, renewable power by 2030, there will be a lot more of these mines gouged into the crust of the earth. That’s because nearly every renewable energy source depends upon non-renewable and frequently hard-to-access minerals: solar panels use indium, turbines use neodymium, batteries use lithium, and all require kilotons of steel, tin, silver, and copper. The renewable-energy supply chain is a complicated hopscotch around the periodic table and around the world. To make a high-capacity solar panel, one might need copper (atomic number 29) from Chile, indium (49) from Australia, gallium (31) from China, and selenium (34) from Germany. Many of the most efficient, direct-drive wind turbines require a couple pounds of the rare-earth metal neodymium, and there’s 140 pounds of lithium in each Tesla.

It’s not for nothing that coal miners were, for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the very image of capitalist immiseration—it’s exhausting, dangerous, ugly work. Le Voreux, “the voracious one”—that’s what Émile Zola names the coal mine in Germinal, his novel of class struggle in a French company town. Capped with coal-burning smokestacks, the mine is both maze and minotaur all in one, “crouching like some evil beast at the bottom of its lair . . . puffing and panting in increasingly slow, deep bursts, as if it were struggling to digest its meal of human flesh.” Monsters are products of the earth in classical mythology, children of Gaia, born from the caves and hunted down by a cruel race of civilizing sky gods. But in capitalism, what’s monstrous is earth as animated by those civilizing energies. In exchange for these terrestrial treasures—used to power trains and ships and factories—a whole class of people is thrown into the pits. The warming earth teems with such monsters of our own making—monsters of drought and migration, famine and storm. Renewable energy is no refuge, really. The worst industrial accident in the history of the United States, the Hawk’s Nest Incident of 1930, was a renewable energy disaster. Drilling a three-mile-long inlet for a Union Carbide hydroelectric plant, five thousand workers were sickened when they hit a thick vein of silica, filling the tunnel with blinding white dust. Eight hundred eventually died of silicosis. Energy is never “clean,” as Muriel Rukeyser makes clear in the epic, documentary poem she wrote about Hawk’s Nest, “The Book of the Dead.” “Who runs through the electric wires?” she asks. “Who speaks down every road?” The infrastructure of the modern world is cast from molten grief.

Dotted with “death villages” where crops will not fruit, the region of Inner Mongolia where the Bayan Obo mine is located displays Chernobylesque cancer rates. But then again, the death villages are already here. More of them are coming if we don’t do something about climate change. What matter is a dozen death villages when half the earth may be rendered uninhabitable? What matter the gray skies over Inner Mongolia if the alternative is turning the sky an endless white with sulfuric aerosols, as last-ditch geoengineering scenarios imagine? Moralists, armchair philosophers, and lesser-evilists may try to convince you that these situations resolve into a sort of trolley-car problem: do nothing and the trolley speeds down the track toward mass death. Do something, and you switch the trolley onto a track where fewer people die, but where you are more actively responsible for their deaths. When the survival of millions or even billions hangs in the balance, as it surely does when it comes to climate change, a few dozen death villages might seem a particularly good deal, a green deal, a new deal. But climate change doesn’t resolve into a single trolley-car problem. Rather, it’s a planet-spanning tangle of switchyards, with mass death on every track.

It’s not clear we can even get enough of this stuff out of the ground, however, given the timeframe. Zero-emissions 2030 would mean mines producing now, not in five or ten years. The race to bring new supply online is likely to be ugly, in more ways than one, as slipshod producers scramble to cash in on the price bonanza, cutting every corner and setting up mines that are dangerous, unhealthy, and not particularly green. Mines require a massive outlay of investment up front, and they typically feature low return on investment, except during the sort of commodity boom we can expect a Green New Deal to produce. It can be a decade or more before the sources are developed, and another decade before they turn a profit.

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"We Charge Genocide" The 1951 Black Lives Matter Campaign

by Susan Glenn
Mapping American Social Movements Project
University of Washington

Almost seventy years ago, the Civil Rights Congress (affiliated with the Communist Party) engaged in a campaign to hold the United States accountable for genocide against African Americans. Detailed within are the 152 incidents that the Civil Rights Congress offered as evidence in support of this claim. These killings of unarmed Black men and women by police and by lynch mobs took place between 1945 and 1951. They are displayed on the interactive map and detailed one by one in a descriptive list below.

We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief from a Crime of The United States against the Negro People (1951) is as relevant today as it was in its own time. The seventy-eight page petition was delivered to the United Nations in Paris in December 1951. The petition sought to demonstrate that the government of the United States was in violation of the U.N. Genocide Convention. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide had been adopted in 1948 in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

The Genocide Convention defined “genocide” as “acts committed to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, or religious group as such.” These “acts” included “killing members of the group,” “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group,” and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” In addition to the “attempt to commit genocide,” other punishable offenses defined by the Convention included “conspiracy to commit genocide,” “direct and public incitement to commit genocide,” and “complicity in genocide.” Another distinctive feature of the Genocide Convention was that it made the crime of genocide a punishable offense under international law whether it was committed “in time of peace or in time of war.”

We Charge Genocide, which was produced by William Patterson and the Civil Rights Congress, charged that under the legal rubric laid out by the United Nations, the United States, which failed to enforce its own Constitution, must be punished under international law for its genocidal acts against African Americans.

In his Introduction to the petition, Patterson emphasized the relationship between Hitler’s crimes against the Jews and America’s crimes against African Americans. “Out of the inhuman black ghettos of American cities, out of the cotton plantations of the South, comes this record of mass slayings on the basis of race, of lives deliberately warped and distorted by the willful creation of conditions making for premature death, poverty and disease. It is a record that calls aloud for condemnation, for an end to these terrible injustices that constitute a daily and ever-increasing violation of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

We Charge Genocide documented 152 recent killings, and 344 other crimes of violence against African Americans and other human rights abuses committed in the United States against its own citizens from 1945-1951. This represented only a small sample, as most crimes against black people went unrecorded. The evidence presented in the petition had been culled from the black press, including the Pittsburgh Courier, The Black Dispatch, the Amsterdam News, and from reports by the Tuskegee Institute, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Jewish Congress Commission on Social Action, the Urban League, the American Council on Race Relations, the American Civil Liberties Union, the labor press, and hearings by city, state and federal agencies. The petition also emphasized that countless African Americans died each year because they did not have the same quality health care, jobs, education, and housing as whites. Because of their substandard existence, the petition charged, the average life expectancy of African Americans was cut short by eight years.

Ninety-four individuals signed the petition. William Patterson flew to Paris in 1951 to personally deliver it to members of the United Nations Committee on Human Rights. The petition received favorable publicity overseas but was denounced in the United States and disavowed by other civil rights groups. When he returned to the U.S., Patterson had his passport revoked by the State Department and was banned from further travel abroad. Patterson was a Communist as were many other signatories to the petition and in the fierce Cold War climate of 1951 We Charge Genocide was considered a dangerous document.

Below are details on 152 incidents as recorded in the petition. The information has not been independently verified. The incidents are displayed on the interactive map and below that described in a chronological list.

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Considering Systemic Collapse and Our Profound Dependence on Electricity

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
— Rumi

It becomes ever more difficult to understand how this way of life that depends on unlimited energy can survive the staggering demands continuing to be made of Mother Earth and all our relatives. In roughly the past 100 years “first world” cultures have become utterly dependent on titanic and continuous supplies of power, first-and-foremost electric power. For decades, the sheer magnitude of increasing coal, wood (so-called biomass), gas, and uranium -fueled power generation plant operations threatens the health and very survival of all Mother Earth’s offspring, including humanity.

Given that at this point (December 2019), there is no indication of preparing to slow down, much less putting the brakes on the rapacious and insatiable 24/7 profit imperative of the global stock market, a reasoned assessment of the most likely future timeline is what Oren Lyons described almost 3 decades ago at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Back then he laid out the “very serious situation of control factor and of course lack of ethics on the part of business internationally.” He described speaking with many CEOs of the largest corporations who, although they have families and are concerned, “during the day, at their work, they’re destroying the world. And they don’t have options.”...

Here we are, 27-plus years later. What has changed? Will a genuine and necessary sea-change in the direction of how we collectively think reach the requisite critical mass to even begin to actually slow down production and expenditure of energy? The just-completed COP-25 meeting indicates our system of corporate control/governance has, once more, not ‘seen the light.’ The writing has been on the wall for a long time. The majority of signs still indicate “business as usual” will continue until life as we know it collapses once this system reaches and impacts the looming-ever-larger blank wall.

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Anatomy of an AI system: The Amazon Echo As An Anatomical Map Of Human Labor, Data and Planetary Resources

This unusually sophisticated critical analysis assesses a portion of the immensity required to produce and run our Electric Civilization era. The following exposition contains inline segments of the map—linked to full-size map segments—and endnote references within [square braces] in the paragraphs where the endnote numbers appear in the original text. A majority of references link to complete online sources. Additional hyperlink references have been added to facilitate further study of sources cited.

The Amazon Echo as an anatomical map of human labor, data, and planetary resources

Kate Crawford is a leading researcher and professor who has spent the last decade studying the social implications of data systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence. She is the co-director and co-founder of the AI Now Institute at New York University, the world’s first university institute dedicated to researching the social implications of artificial intelligence and related technologies.

Vladan Joler is SHARE Foundation co-founder and professor at the New Media department of the University of Novi Sad, Serbia. He is leading SHARE Lab, a research and data investigation lab for exploring different technical and social aspects of algorithmic transparency, digital labour exploitation, invisible infrastructures, black boxes, and many other contemporary phenomena on the intersection between technology and society.

With each interaction, Alexa is training to hear better, to interpret more precisely, to trigger actions that map to the user’s commands more accurately, and to build a more complete model of their preferences, habits and desires. What is required to make this possible? Put simply: each small moment of convenience – be it answering a question, turning on a light, or playing a song – requires a vast planetary network, fueled by the extraction of non-renewable materials, labor, and data. The scale of resources required is many magnitudes greater than the energy and labor it would take a human to operate a household appliance or flick a switch. A full accounting for these costs is almost impossible, but it is increasingly important that we grasp the scale and scope if we are to understand and govern the technical infrastructures that thread through our lives.

Our exploded view diagram combines and visualizes three central, extractive processes that are required to run a large-scale artificial intelligence system: material resources, human labor, and data. We consider these three elements across time – represented as a visual description of the birth, life and death of a single Amazon Echo unit. It’s necessary to move beyond a simple analysis of the relationship between an individual human, their data, and any single technology company in order to contend with the truly planetary scale of extraction.

If you read our map from left to right, the story begins and ends with the Earth, and the geological processes of deep time. But read from top to bottom, we see the story as it begins and ends with a human.

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International Organization for Self-Determination and Equality Resources

International Organization for Self-Determination and Equality


The International Organization for Self-Determination and Equality (IOSDE) assists in matters of self-determination and equality. IOSDE offers both confidential and public assistance to peoples, communities or persons experiencing violations of their rights to self-determination and/or equality and advocates for genuine processes of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) therein. IOSDE specializes in legal consultation and strategic advocacy utilizing international law, participatory decision-making, and networking for rights-based social change. We specialize in rights to culture, traditional territories, Indigenous Rights and the rights of Tribal Peoples, traditional healing, and gender, political and legal equality. IOSDE assists in decolonizing at all levels (from support for UN Decolonization, to self-determined strategizing and decision-making, to community and individual healing and equality) and offers supportive research, networking and writing. IOSDE supports both traditional governance mechanisms and new governing mechanisms as well as traditional tribal and Indigenous laws with respect to international Indigenous, peoples' and human rights. IOSDE also assists in the creating of hybrid models of law and governance through both participatory methods and culturally-sensitive consultation. IOSDE respects diversity as well as the needs resulting from cross-cultural communication. We're here to help. We believe an equal future starts with an equal now.

Mapping and quantifying political information warfare—Pt 1 : Propaganda, domination & attacks on online media

Mapping and quantifying political information warfare
Part 1 : Propaganda, domination & attacks on online media
26 October 2016 in Information Warfare
Produced by Share Lab, a research team based in Yugoslavia, and part of Share Foundation - a research and data investigation lab exploring different technical aspects of the intersections between technology and society. The Lab explores electronic frontier’s highways, hidden. invisible roads and deep waters of information flow in order to better understand the new, emerging forms of privacy-related risks, network neutrality and security threats.

“Throughout the history communication and information have been fundamental sources of power and counter-power, of domination and social change.This is because the fundamental battle being fought in society is the battle over the minds of the people. The way people think determines the fate of norms and values on which societies are constructed.”


As framed by the media theorist Manuel Castells, we should not overlook the oldest and most direct form of media politics: propaganda and control. This is: (a) the fabrication and diffusion of messages that distort facts and induce misinformation for the purpose of advancing government interests; and (b) the censorship of any message deemed to undermine these interests, if necessary by criminalizing unhindered communication and prosecuting the messenger.

Governments are now experimenting with more sophisticated ways of exerting [Internet] control that are harder to detect and document[“Whither Internet Control?” Evgeny Morozov]. It is the goal of this text to examine some of those methods based on our local experience, and we believe that they are used or can be used worldwide in similar forms.

From our ‘Superman case’ three years ago until now, we have witnessed a variety of violations in the online environment in Serbia. Specific cases of breaches of online rights and freedoms that our small team has been monitoring are made of arbitrary blocking or filtering of content, cyber attacks on independent online and citizen media, arrests and judicial proceedings against social media users and bloggers, manipulation with the public opinion through the use of different tech tools, surveillance of electronic communications, violation of rights of privacy and protection of personal data; pressure, threats and decreasing the security of online and citizen media journalists and individuals. We filed more than 300 different cases in almost three years, and created a monitoring database that is a foundation for this analysis.

Our main interest in this analysis is to try to explore some of the forms and methods of interventions that different political actors or power structures can use to control and conquer online sphere. Here we will mostly speak about hidden, indirect actions, interventions done by the unknown actors, individuals with hidden or fake identities, companies without visible ties to government officials, political troll armies and troll lords, or even “artificial” entities.

As usual in our investigations we will try to quantify and visualise some of those forms and try to detect and understand some patterns.


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Dylan Recognizes Another “Hit” When He Sees One:
Murder Most Foul, Then And Now

Dylan Recognizes Another “Hit” When He Sees One:
Murder Most Foul, Then And Now
by John Kirby


Bob Dylan has chosen this moment, of all moments, to release his masterful epic on the assassination of President Kennedy, “Murder Most Foul.” Why now?

Could it be that his artist’s heart feels a world under assault, once again, by the powers that be? For whatever the actual lethality of the virus, (a question whose answer now appears to be far less terrifying than originally advertised), there is no doubt that we are all suffering from the same sort of “shock and awe” we did when our collective hopes for a New Frontier were blown away in 1963.
Listen and Download - lyrics at this file's end

Now much of the world is locked down, physically and socially isolated, bankrupted and thrown out of work, with a whole “new normal” of medical and governmental authoritarianism on the way.[“Bill Gates will use microchip implants to fight coronavirus,” Biohackinfo News, 19 Mar 2020; “Did Bill Gates Just Reveal the Reason Behind the Lock-Downs?” Rosemary Frei, Off Guardian, 4 Apr 2020]

And Wall Street is about to receive the lion’s share of two trillion dollars.

You don’t have to have a religious streak for it all to feel something like the fulfillment of the prophesy spoken to Dylan’s narrator:

The day that they killed him, someone said to me, “Son,
The Age of the Antichrist has just only begun”

When Kennedy died, so died the efforts he had been making to end the Cold War, to withdraw from Vietnam, to create a rising economic tide that would “lift all boats.”

President Kennedy learns of Patrice Lumumba's assassination, 13 February 1961

And while much has been made of Lyndon Johnson’s carrying-on of Kennedy-era social and civil rights initiatives, the reality was as Martin Luther King described it: “The promises of the Great Society have been shot down on the battlefields of Vietnam, making the poor, white and Negro, bear the heaviest burden, both at the front and at home.”

As Mark Twain once allegedly said: “History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

Dylan describes the Kennedy assassination as

the greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done.

What trick is playing out all around us as you read this? And would we see it now, as so few really saw it then?

It happened so quickly, so quick by surprise
Right there in front of everyone’s eyes

It would seem Dylan, courageously, has sent us a message when we needed it most, with little in the way of encryption. It is up to us to break the simple code, take in its meaning, and act.

Act as we didn’t then.

This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting.
Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.”

And also with you, Bob.



John Kirby is the director of FOUR DIED TRYING, the in production feature documentary about the extraordinary lives and calamitous deaths of John Kennedy, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy. A writer, director, editor and lyricist, his work has been published, performed, and, projected in venues ranging from the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles to the Brooklyn Academy of Music; The New York Times Building to the BBC and HBO.

“Murder Most Foul”

[Verse 1]
It was a dark day in Dallas, November ’63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin’ and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, “Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?”
“Of course we do, we know who you are!”
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts, we’ve come to collect
We’re gonna kill you with hatred, without any respect
We’ll mock you and shock you and we’ll put it in your face
We’ve already got someone here to take your place
The day they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching, no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly, so quick, by surprise
Right there in front of everyone’s eyes
Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman howl
Rub-a-dub-dub, it’s a murder most foul

[Verse 2]
Hush, little children, you’ll understand
The Beatles are comin’, they’re gonna hold your hand
Slide down the banister, go get your coat
Ferry ‘cross the Mersey and go for the throat
There’s three bums comin’ all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I’m goin’ to Woodstock, it’s the Aquarian Age
Then I’ll go to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window, let the good times roll
There’s a party going on behind the Grassy Knoll
Stack up the bricks, pour the cement
Don’t say Dallas don’t love you, Mr. President
Put your foot in the tank and then step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Blackface singer, whiteface clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red light district, they’ve got cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street
When you’re down on Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe
Don’t ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the ballot, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make a left-hand turn
I’m going down to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope, and charity lie
Shoot him while he runs, boy, shoot him while you can
See if you can shoot the invisible man
Goodbye, Charlie! Goodbye, Uncle Sam!
Frankly, Miss Scarlett, I don’t give a damn
What is the truth, and where did it go?
Ask Oswald and Ruby, they oughta know
“Shut your mouth,” said a wise old owl
Business is business, and it’s a murder most foul

[Verse 3]
Tommy, can you hear me? I’m the Acid Queen
I’m riding in a long, black Lincoln limousine
Ridin’ in the backseat next to my wife
Headed straight on in to the afterlife
I’m leaning to the left, I got my head in her lap
Hold on, I’ve been led into some kind of a trap
Where we ask no quarter, and no quarter do we give
We’re right down the street, from the street where you live
They mutilated his body and they took out his brain
What more could they do? They piled on the pain
But his soul was not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they’ve been searchin’ for that
Freedom, oh freedom, freedom over me
I hate to tell you, mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin’, then tell me no lie
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake up, little Susie, let’s go for a drive
Cross the Trinity River, let’s keep hope alive
Turn the radio on, don’t touch the dials
Parkland hospital, only six more miles
You got me dizzy, Miss Lizzy, you filled me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I’m just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind
I’ve blood in my eye, got blood in my ear
I’m never gonna make it to the new frontier
Zapruder’s film I seen night before
Seen it thirty-three times, maybe more
It’s vile and deceitful, it’s cruel and it’s mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once and they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice
The day that they killed him, someone said to me, “Son
The age of the Antichrist has just only begun”
Air Force One comin’ in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at 2:38
Let me know when you decide to thrown in the towel
It is what it is, and it’s murder most foul

[Verse 4]
What’s new, pussycat? What’d I say?
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it’s beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it’s thirty-six hours past Judgment Day
Wolfman Jack, he’s speaking in tongues
He’s going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr. Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play me that “Only the Good Die Young”
Take me to the place Tom Dooley was hung
Play St. James Infirmary and the Court of King James
If you want to remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James, too, play “I’d Rather Go Blind”
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker, play “Scratch My Back.”
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim going down slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe

[Verse 5]
Play “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”
Play it for the First Lady, she ain’t feeling any good
Play Don Henley, play Glenn Frey
Take it to the limit and let it go by
Play it for Carl Wilson, too
Looking far, far away down Gower Avenue
Play tragedy, play “Twilight Time”
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and “Another One Bites the Dust”
Play “The Old Rugged Cross” and “In God We Trust”
Ride the pink horse down that long, lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play “Mystery Train” for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend, play it for the Pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson, play Stan Getz
Play “Blue Sky,” play Dickey Betts
Play Art Pepper, Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and “All That Jazz”
Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz
Play Buster Keaton, play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel, play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play the numbers, play the odds
Play “Cry Me A River” for the Lord of the gods
Play Number nine, play Number six
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks
Play Nat King Cole, play “Nature Boy”
Play “Down In The Boondocks” for Terry Malloy
Play “It Happened One Night” and “One Night of Sin”
There’s twelve million souls that are listening in
Play “Merchant of Venice”, play “Merchants of Death”
Play “Stella by Starlight” for Lady Macbeth
Don’t worry, Mr. President, help’s on the way
Your brothers are comin’, there’ll be hell to pay
Brothers? What brothers? What’s this about hell?
Tell them, “We’re waiting, keep coming,” we’ll get them as well
Love Field is where his plane touched down
But it never did get back up off the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the rising sun
Play “Misty” for me and “That Old Devil Moon”
Play “Anything Goes” and “Memphis in June”
Play “Lonely At the Top” and “Lonely Are the Brave”
Play it for Houdini spinning around his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play “Lucille”
Play “Deep In a Dream”, and play “Driving Wheel”
Play “Moonlight Sonata” in F-sharp
And “A Key to the Highway” for the king on the harp
Play “Marching Through Georgia” and “Dumbarton’s Drums”
Play darkness and death will come when it comes
Play “Love Me Or Leave Me” by the great Bud Powell
Play “The Blood-stained Banner”, play “Murder Most Foul”

Trump and the Asia-Pacific: The Persistence of American Unilateralism




Published February 20, 2020
Copyright 2020 by Focus on the Global South



There is a widespread perception, especially among East and Southeast Asian elites, that the US is in a process of disengagement from the Asia-Pacific under President Donald Trump.* This study contradicts that notion. It locates the main driver of the US presence in the region in the projection of power of the US state or its strategic extension. This force, the study contends, is far more powerful and lasting than the promotion or maintenance of diffuse economic or corporate interests.

Along with the perception of strategic disengagement is the idea that Washington is abandoning multilateral approaches to ensuring its interests and those of its allies. The study disputes the premise of this assertion and shows that unilateralism has been the dominant manner in which the US has asserted its military and political interests in the region, and that this unilateral approach continues today.

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has created the impression that the US is ceasing to pursue its economic interests and those of its allies via multilateral means. Again, the study shows that the traditional pattern through which the US has managed economic relations with its allies has been, as on the strategic front, via unilateral action. Economic unilateralism has successively targeted Japan, then the “Asian Tigers,” then China. Washington’s aim in these campaigns has not only been to address the US trade deficit with these countries but to dismantle the “Asian developmental model” marked by strong state intervention, though this objective has been most pronounced and most comprehensively pursued in relation to China.

It is also pointed out that even as Trump targets China, he is also hitting the other Asia-Pacific economies since these have become suppliers of raw materials and industrial components to China that the latter puts together and exports to third-country markets. Moreover, he has imposed trade sanctions on Vietnam and Thailand, forced Korea to renegotiate its trade agreement with the United States, and entered into an unbalanced trade agreement with Japan. Even as Trump takes on China, he is busy micromanaging the trade policies of the US’s Asia-Pacific allies.

Even before Trump, the Pentagon already identified China as the main strategic competitor of the US. The “near peer” competitor designation of Beijing is not, however, supported by military strength indicators, on which China is far behind the United States. China’s basic military posture, as even the Pentagon admits, is one of “strategic defense.” It has focused on creating defensive installations (A2/AD) to protect its eastern and southeastern seaboard from attack and nullify the US’s power projection capabilities from the first, second, and third island chains of the Western Pacific. In response, the Pentagon has devised the strategy of AirSea Battle designed to penetrate and destroy China’s (A2/AD) defenses.

This already alarming competition for military edge in the Asia-Pacific has become even more so under Trump owing to three developments from the US side: the deployment to South Korea of an anti-missile defense system, THAAD, that the Chinese think is aimed not only at North Korea but at China as well; the withdrawal of the US from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and its announcement that it will deploy intermediate nuclear missiles in the Asia-Pacific; and the adoption by the Pentagon of the doctrine of “Overmatch,” which requires the US to maintain massive military superiority over any rival or coalition of rivals. This combination of factors translates into a destabilizing balance of power competition in the Asia-Pacific, in which a mere ship collision can escalate to a conventional conflict and from there to a nuclear war.

It is this intensification of US power projection capabilities by the Trump administration, not an illusory US disengagement, that constitutes the greatest danger to the Asia-Pacific today.

* The geographical scope of this paper is East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific. “Asia-Pacific” is often used as a term for this region; the paper adopts this usage. The paper does not cover the relationships of the United States with South Asia, Southwest Asia, and the Middle East. Occasionally, when the word “Asia” or “Asian” is used, it is used to refer to the region under study.

Why Does Chris Hedges Hedge His Bets?

The following excerpt explores the question of how a contributing member of the New York Times staff that received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting and a vaunted journalist, writer, activist, and clergyman, has failed throughout his long run “to say one word about the CIA’s assassination of domestic leaders, including President John Kennedy in 1963, the foundational event in the invisible government’s takeover of the United States?”

There are so many ways human beings invent to humiliate their basic sense of dignity—the sense of dignity which comes from the courage to acknowledge the truth. Instead we choose to live in falsehood to make ourselves instrumental in remaking conditions which bring us indignity, loss of self esteem and again bind us to the task of reconditioning the evil cycles of denial of truth and justice to ourselves.

Why Does Chris Hedges Hedge His Bets?
by Edward Curtin
Off Guardian, 22 Sep 2019

Truth may never have been popular, but if one studies the history of propaganda techniques as they have developed in tandem with technological changes, it becomes apparent that today’s incredibly sophisticated digital technology and the growth of screen culture that has resulted in what Guy Debord has called “the society of the spectacle” has made the manipulation of truth increasingly easier and far trickier.

News in today’s world appears as a pointillistic canvas of thousands of disconnected dots impossible to connect unless one has the desire, time, determination, and ability to connect the points through research, which most people do not have. “As a result,” writes Jacques Ellul in his classic study, Propaganda, “he finds himself in a kind of kaleidoscope in which thousands of unconnected images follow each other rapidly” and “his attention is continually diverted to new matters, new centers of interest, and is dissipated on a thousand things, which disappear from one day to the next.”

This technology is a boon to government propagandists that make sure to be on the cutting edge of new technology and the means to control the flow of its content, often finding that the medium is the message, one that is especially confounding since seemingly liberating – e.g. cell phones and their easy and instantaneous ability to access information and “breaking news.”

Then there are writers, artists, and communicators of all types, whether consciously or not, who contribute to the obfuscating of essential truths even while informing the public of important matters. These people come from across the political spectrum. To know their intentions is impossible, unless they spell them out in public to let their audiences evaluate them, which rarely happens, otherwise one is left to guess, which is a fool’s game. One can, however, point out what they say and what they don’t and wonder why.

A recent article, Our Invisible Government, by the well-known journalist, Chris Hedges, is a typical case in point. As is his habit, he sheds light on much that is avoided by the mainstream press. Very important matters. In this piece, he writes in his passionate style that

The most powerful and important organs in the invisible government are the nation’s bloated and unaccountable intelligence agencies. They are the vanguard of the invisible government. They oversee a vast “black world,” tasked with maintaining the invisible government’s lock on power.

This, of course, is true.

He then goes on to catalogue ways these intelligence agencies, led by the CIA, have overthrown foreign governments and assassinated their leaders, persecuted and besmirched the names of those – Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, et al. – who have opposed government policies, and used propaganda to conceal the real reasons for their evil deeds, such as the wars against Vietnam, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.

He condemns such actions.

He spends much of his article referencing Stephen Kinzer’s new book, Poisoner in Chief: Sydney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control and Gottlieb’s heinous exploits during his long CIA career.

Sidney Gottlieb

Known as “Dr. Death,” this Bronx born son of Jewish immigrants, ran the CIA’s mind control programs and its depraved medical experiments on unknowing victims, known as MK-ULTRA and Artichoke. He oversaw the development of various poisons and bizarre methods to kill foreign leaders such as Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba.

He worked closely with Nazi scientists who had been brought to the United States by Allen Dulles in an operation called Operation Paperclip. Gottlieb was responsible for so many deaths and so much human anguish and suffering that it is hard to believe, but believe it we must because it is true. His work on torture and mind control led to Abu Ghraib, CIA black sites, and assorted U.S. atrocities of recent history.

Hedges tells us all this and rightly condemns it as “the moral squalor” and “criminality” that it is. Only a sick or evil person could disagree with his account of Gottlieb via Kinzer’s book. I suspect many good people who have or will read his piece will agree with his denunciations of this evil CIA history. Additionally, he correctly adds:

It would be naive to relegate the behavior of Gottlieb and the CIA to the past, especially since the invisible government has once again shrouded the activities of intelligence agencies from congressional oversight or public scrutiny and installed a proponent of torture, Gina Haspel, as the head of the agency.

This also is very true. All these truths can make you forget what’s not true and what’s missing in his article.

But something is missing, and some wording is quite odd and factually false. It is easy to miss this as one’s indignation rises as one reads Hedges’ cataloguing of Gottlieb’s and the CIA’s obscenities.

He omits mentioning the Clinton administration’s dismantling wars against Yugoslavia, including 78 days of non-stop bombing of Serbia in 1999 that killed thousands of innocent people in the name of “humanitarian intervention,” wars he covered for the New York Times, the paper he has come to castigate and the paper that has a long history of doing the CIA’s bidding.

He claims that Gottlieb and the CIA’s scientists failed in their “vain quest” for mind control drugs or electronic implants that might, among other things, get victims to act against their wills, such as acting as a Manchurian candidate, and as a result, “abandoned” their efforts.

That they failed is not true, and that they abandoned their efforts is unknowable, unless you wish to take the CIA at its word, which is a hilarious thought.

How could Hedges possibly know they abandoned such work? A logical person would assume they would say that and continue their work more secretly.

On one hand, Hedges says, “It would be naive to relegate the behavior of Gottlieb and the CIA to the past,” but then he does just that. Which is it, Chris? By definition, the “invisible” government, the CIA, never reveals their operations, and lying is their modus operandi, especially with their brazen in-your-face biblical motto: “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”


[W]hy, when he writes about the past evil deeds of the intelligence operatives – Gottlieb and the CIA’s overseas coups and assassination of foreign leaders, etc. – does he fail to say one word about the CIA’s assassination of domestic leaders, including President John Kennedy in 1963, the foundational event in the invisible government’s takeover of the United States?

Can an act be more evil and in need of moral condemnation?

And how about the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968, or Malcolm X in 1965?

Why does Hedges elide these assassinations as if they are not worthy of attention, but Gottlieb’s sick work for the CIA is? Like the attacks of September 11, 2001, he has avoided these assassinations throughout the years.

I don’t know why. Only he can say. He is a very well-read man, who is constantly quoting from scholars about various important issues. His books are chock full of such quotations and references. But you will look in vain for references to the brilliant, scholarly work of such writers on these assassinations, the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the CIA’s criminal and morally repugnant activities as James Douglass, David Talbot, David Ray Griffin, William Pepper, Graeme MacQueen, Lisa Pease, and so many others.

Is it possible that he has never read their books when he has read so much else? If so, why?

As I said before, Chris Hedges, who has a passionate but mild-mannered style, is not alone in his disregard of these key matters.

Other celebrity names on the left have been especially guilty of the same approach: Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Alexander Cockburn, to name just a few (Zinn and Cockburn are dead). They have avoided these issues as if they were toxic. Nor would they logically explain why.

The few times they did respond to those who criticized them for this, it was usually through a dismissive wave of the hand or name calling, a tactic such as the CIA developed with the term conspiracy theory.”

Cockburn was particularly nasty in this regard, priding himself on dismissing others with words such as kooks, lunatics, and idiots, even when his logic was deplorable. He liked to use ineptitude’s synonym, “incompetence,” to explain away what he considered intelligence agency failures. “Why,” he wrote in one piece attacking September 11 critics while upholding the government’s version, “does the obvious have to be proved?”

“Brillig!” as Humpty Dumpty would say. Absolutely brillig!

The CIA’s mind control operations need to be exposed, as Hedges does to a degree in this latest article. But revealing while concealing is unworthy of one who condemns “creeps who revel in human degradation, dirty tricks, and murder.” It itself is a form of mind control.

Perhaps he will see fit to publicly explain why he has done this.

Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio?

The following highlights a current potent element of U.S. state propaganda in the closing months of the second decade of the new century. In addition to the sources cited in the opening below, a helpful summary of the history of CIA manipulation of US monetized media is the enhanced presentation of James Tracy’s exposition: “The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know”.

Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio?
by Edward Curtin
Off Guardian
8 Sep 2019

Back in the 1960s, the CIA official Cord Meyer said the agency needed to “court the compatible left.” He knew that drawing liberals and leftists into the CIA’s orbit was the key to efficient propaganda.

Right-wing and left-wing collaborators were needed to create a powerful propaganda apparatus that would be capable of hypnotizing audiences into believing the myth of American exceptionalism and its divine right to rule the world.

The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites.

Frances Stonor Saunders comprehensively covers this in her 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters, and Joel Whitney followed this up in 2016 with Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, with particular emphasis on the complicity between the CIA and the famous literary journal, The Paris Review.

By the mid-1970s, as a result of the Church Committee hearings, it seemed as if the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. had been caught in flagrante delicto and disgraced, confessed their sins, and resolved to go and sin no more.

Then in 1977, Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire – The CIA and the Media – naming names of journalists and media (The New York Times, CBS, etc.) that worked hand-in-glove with the CIA, propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world.

It seemed as if all would be hunky-dory now with the bad boys purged from the American “free” press. Seemed to the most naïve, that is, by which I mean the vast numbers of people who wanted to re-stick their heads in the sand and believe, as Ronald Reagan’s team of truthtellers would announce, that it was “Morning in America” again with the free press reigning and the neo-conservatives, many of whom had been “converted” from their leftist views, running things in Washington.

So again it is morning in America this September 6, 2019, and the headline from National Public Radio announces the glad tidings that NPR has named a new CEO. His name is John Lansing, and the headline says he is a “veteran media executive.” We are meant to be reassured.

It goes on to say that Mr. Lansing, 62, is currently the chief executive of the government agency, The US Agency for Global Media, that oversees Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others.

We are furthermore reassured by NPR that Lansing “made his mark in his current job with stirring defenses of journalism, free from government interference.”

The announcement goes on to say:

Lansing has earned an advanced degree in political agility. At the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Lansing championed a free press even as leaders of many nations move against it.

‘Governments around the world are increasingly cracking down on the free flow of information; silencing dialogue and dissent; and distorting reality,’ Lansing said in a speech he delivered in May to the Media for Democracy Forum. ‘The result, I believe, is a war on truth.’

He continued: ‘Citizens in countries from Russia to China, from Iran to North Korea, have been victimized for decades. But now we’re seeing authoritarian regimes expanding around the globe, with media repression in places like Turkey and Venezuela, Cambodia and Vietnam.’

So we are reassured that the new head of NPR, the chief of all U.S. propaganda, is a champion of a free press. Perhaps NPR will soon enlighten the American public by interviewing its new head honcho and asking him if he thinks Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, by exposing America’s war crimes, and Edward Snowden, by exposing the U.S. government’s vast electronic surveillance programs of its own citizens, deserve to be jailed and exiled for doing the job the American mainstream “free press” failed to do. What NPR failed to do.

Perhaps they will ask him if he objects to the way his own government “interfered” in the lives of these three courageous people who revealed truths that every citizen of a free country is entitled to. Perhaps they will ask him if the U.S. government’s persecution of these truthtellers is what he means by there being “a war on truth.”

Perhaps they will ask him if he thinks the Obama and Trump administrations have been “distorting reality” and waging a war on truth.

Perhaps not. Of course not.

Don’t laugh, for the joke will be on you if you listen to NPR and its sly appeal to “liberal” sensibilities. If you are wondering why we have had the Russia-gate hoax and who was responsible (see/hear Russia expert Prof. Stephen Cohen here) and are now involved in a new Cold War and a highly dangerous nuclear confrontation with Russia, read Lansing’s July 10, 2019 testimony before the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: “United States Efforts to Counter Russian Disinformation and Malign Influence.”

Here is an excerpt:

USAGM provides consistently accurate and compelling journalism that reflects the values of our society: freedom, openness, democracy, and hope. Our guiding principles—enshrined in law—are to provide a reliable, authoritative, and independent source of news that adheres to the strictest standards of journalism…

Russian Disinformation. And make no mistake, we are living through a global explosion of disinformation, state propaganda, and lies generated by multiple authoritarian regimes around the world. The weaponization of information we are seeing today is real. The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching malign influence campaigns across national boundaries and language barriers.

The Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation machine is being unleashed via new platforms and continues to grow in Russia and internationally. Russia seeks to destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts as it attempts to influence opinions about the United States and its allies. It is not an understatement to say that this new form of combat on the information battlefield may be the fight of the 21st century.

Then research the history of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, etc. You will be reassured that Lansing’s July testimony was his job interview to head National Propaganda Radio.

Then sit back, relax, and tune into NPR’s Morning Edition. It will be comforting to know that it is “Morning in America” once again.

'Time is Running Out,' American Petroleum Institute Chief Said in 1965 Speech on Climate Change

Written by Sharon Kelly on November 20, 2018, the source for this is DeSmog - Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science.

The warning is clear and dire—and the source unexpected. “This report unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for action,” the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API) told an oil industry conference, as he described research into climate change caused by fossil fuels.

“The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out.”

The speaker wasn’t Mike Sommers, who was named to helm API this past May. Nor was it Jack Gerard, who served as API’s president for roughly a decade starting in 2008.

The API president speaking those words was named Frank Ikard—and the year was 1965, over a half-century ago.

It was the same year that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Muhammad Ali felled Sonny Liston in the first round, and Malcom X was fatally shot in New York. The first American ground combat troops arrived in Vietnam and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the law establishing Medicaid and Medicare.

It would be another four years before American astronaut Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon—and another decade before the phrase “global warming” would appear for the first time in a peer-reviewed study.

And 1965, according to a letter by Stanford historian Benjamin Franta published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, was the year that President Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee published a report titled “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment,” whose findings Ikard described at that year’s annual API meeting.

“One of the most important predictions of the report is that carbon dioxide is being added to the Earth's atmosphere by the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas at such a rate that by the year 2000 the heat balance will be so modified as possibly to cause marked changes in climate beyond local or even national efforts,” Ikard presciently added, according to excerpts from his speech published in Nature.

Text of a speech by American Petroleum Institute leadership on climate change
Exerpt of API President Frank Ikard's 1965 speech on climate change and fossil fuels.

API Funded Early Research Linking CO2 and Fossil Fuels

That prediction was based in part on information that was known to the oil industry trade group for over a decade—including research that was directly funded by the API, according to Nature.

In 1954, a California Institute of Technology geochemist sent the API a research proposal in which they reported that fossil fuels had already caused carbon dioxide (CO2) levels to rise roughly five percent since 1854—a finding that Nature notes has since proved to be accurate.

API accepted the proposal and funded that Caltech research, giving the program the name Project 53. Project 53 collected thousands of CO2 measurements—but the results were never published.

Meanwhile, other researchers were reaching similar conclusions. Nuclear physicist Edward Teller became known in 1951 as the “father of the hydrogen bomb” for designing a thermonuclear bomb that was even more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Teller warned the oil and gas industry in 1959 about global warming and sea level rise in a talk titled “Energy Patterns of the Future.”

“Carbon dioxide has a strange property,” Teller said in excerpts published earlier this year by The Guardian. “It transmits visible light but it absorbs the infrared radiation which is emitted from the earth. Its presence in the atmosphere causes a greenhouse effect.”

A researcher at Humble Oil Co. (now known as ExxonMobil) checked results from a study of carbon isotopes in tree rings against the unpublished Caltech results, and found that the two separate methods essentially agreed.

Keeling Curve of monthly average carbon dioxide concentration measurements from Mauna Loa Observatory
This figure shows the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as directly measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii since 1958. This curve is known as the Keeling curve, and is an essential piece of evidence of the man-made increases in greenhouse gases that are believed to be the cause of global warming. Credit: Delorme, data from Dr. Pieter Tans, NOOA, and Dr. Ralph Keeling, Scripps, CC BY-SA 4.0

And in 1960, Charles Keeling first published the measurements that became the famous “Keeling curve”—establishing one of the bedrock findings connecting climate change to fossil fuels. The CO2 measurements taken by Keeling back in the late 1950s showed levels of roughly 315 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and rising.

Those CO2 levels have since climbed upwards to 410.13 (ppm) on the day that the Nature letter was published—CO2 levels that scientists knew both then and now would be dangerously high, as carbon levels in the Earth’s atmosphere have not been over 410 ppm in millions of years.

What the Oil Industry Knew, Then and Now

In his 1965 talk, the API’s Ikard described the role of oil and gasoline specifically in causing climate change. “The report further states, and I quote: ‘… the pollution from internal combustion engines is so serious, and is growing so fast,'” he told the API conference, “‘that an alternative nonpolluting means of powering automobiles, buses, and trucks is likely to become a national necessity.’”

Three decades later, the API urged a different approach to climate science. “It’s not known for sure whether (a) climate change actually is occurring, or (b) if it is, whether humans really have any influence on it,” the API wrote in a 1998 draft memo titled “Global Climate Science Communications Plan,” which was subsequently leaked.

As of publication time, an API spokesperson had not replied to questions sent by DeSmog.

It’s worth noting that since 1965, the science connecting climate change to fossil fuels has grown stronger and more robust. A scientific consensus around the hazards of climate change and the role that fossil fuels play in causing it has formed.

“Rigorous analysis of all data and lines of evidence shows that most of the observed global warming over the past 50 years or so cannot be explained by natural causes and instead requires a significant role for the influence of human activities,” the Royal Society explains.

Today, the API continues to call for further research on climate change—and expanding the use of fossil fuels in the meantime.

“It is clear that climate change is a serious issue that requires research for solutions and effective policies that allow us to meet our energy needs while protecting the environment: that's why oil and gas companies are working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” the API’s webpage on climate change states.

“Yet archival documents show that even before Keeling published his measurements,” Franta's letter published by Nature says, “oil industry leaders were aware that their products were causing CO2 pollution to accumulate in the planet’s atmosphere, in a potentially dangerous fashion.”

Main image: San Diego,CA, October 26, 2007 – A Northern California fire crew works into the night clearing the fire line and monitoring the back burn that was set to stop the Poomacha fire from advancing westward. Credit: Andrea Booher, FEMA, public domain

Oliver Stone on JFK and the Unspeakable, Russian Edition

There have been a number of translations of James Douglass’ nonpareil work, JFK and the Unspeakable - Why He Died and Why It Matters, first published by Orbis Books in 2008.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s endorsement is on the cover of the 2013 50th Anniversary Edition:

In JFK and the Unspeakable Jim Douglass has distilled all the best available research into a very well-documented and convincing portrait of President Kennedy’s transforming turn to peace, at the cost of his life. Personally, it has made a very big impact on me. After reading it in Dallas, I was moved for the first time to visit Dealey Plaza. I urge all American to read this book and come to their own conclusions about why he died and why—after fifty years—it still maters.

In addition to the Korean (2011), French (2013), and Japanense (2014) editions, a Russian edition was published in December 2018 by Alpina Publishers, Moscow. Oliver Stone wrote a new Foreword for this edition and the English original version is here.

The following two videos are presented by Alpina Publishers:

James Douglass speaking to the Russian people