False Mystery 2017 Digital Edition Release


Released on the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, this an expanded 2017 digital edition.

MAY 29, 2017 - rat haus reality press, ratical.org (PDF format) — Released today: a greatly expanded digital edition of the book John Kelin first created in 1999. This archival treasury contains the essays by Philadelphia lawyer Vincent J. Salandria from 1964 into 2016 presenting his evolving understanding of the assassination of President Kennedy. Beginning with authoring the first critical analysis of the contradictions between the Warren Report and the 26 volumes of Hearings and Exhibits, showing in extensive detail how the conclusions did not match the evidence the government published, Salandria went on to study the crux of the matter: the why of the assassination.

The complete book—in triplicate—is available via a number of easy-to-remember URLS, any of which will take you there:

John Judge, Leading Change: A Transformational, Quiet Servant Leader

John Judge Was Born 69 Years Ago Today

14 December 2016

John Judge was born 69 years ago today and died all too soon of complications from a stroke in April 2014. In June 2014, I posthumously accepted John’s invitation to join the board of the Museum of Hidden History, a 501(c)(3) non-profit he established in Washington D.C. in April 2012. The current project focus of the Museum is the Hidden History Center located in York, Pennsylvania, and on the web at <hiddenhistorycenter.org>.

The Museum honors John today with this announcement of an extended hypertext presentation of John Judge, Leading Change: A Transformational, Quiet Servant Leader. This is a case study written by former Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney in 2012 as part of her PhD leadership studies program. As Ms. McKinney describes some of the scope explored in this remarkable paper:

I decided that because of the brilliance and the dedication of this gentleman, that in my own PhD leadership studies I would write a paper on him and the type of leadership that he demonstrates. . . . John Judge is perhaps one of the most important unknown historians of our generation. . . . I chose to research the story of John Judge because he startled me into not one, not two, but many, disorienting dilemmas. I became so fascinated with John that I wanted to pierce deep down inside his world. . . . There is a piece of each one of us, including me, inside this very special man. Imagine if we could flip the switch and have a little of John inside each and every one of us. And while I might not agree with John on every issue, I say that if we had even just a few more John Judges in this country, not only our country, but also our world, would be a vastly different and much-improved place. . . . In this paper, I give the floor to John and the other participants [Cyril Wecht, M.D., J.D., Peter Dale Scott, Ph.D., Tamara Carter, Joe Green, Michael Nurko]. I give them the opportunity to be heard in full context.

John was a fount of inspiration and illumination like no one else I have ever met. His grasp of the historical context of events, amplified by profoundly expansive critical thinking faculties and an encyclopedic memory, and seasoned with a beguiling, ironic, and farcical sense of humor, caused me to ponder and evaluate deeper implications and understanding of how our political, economic, social, and religious systems of authority operate. He is quoted at length in this case study. A few excerpts follow in the hopes they may incite you to explore more of this uncommon work:

In Zen, the master teaches the students to focus on the activities and ideas conveyed and to take them seriously. Able to discern the matrix of assumptions that control the consciousness of students, they ask a question and pose a puzzle, a koan, that cannot be answered without breaking out of those assumptions. But since the master has asked it, neither can the question be ignored or dismissed. This is done because, when one breaks out of one paradigm, one matrix, they may just jump into another, or they may transcend them and reach satori or realized consciousness that goes beyond the tunnels of perception and assumption to hold several paradigms at once.

For me, from a perspective of political analysis and social change, the contradictions raised by the best evidence in these historical events are the koan that can be thrown in to disrupt the assumptions and distortions of the official deceptions and allow not only a counter-narrative of events and causes, but possibly open the minds of others to the point that they can pose their own puzzles against the realities they have been taught or accepted blindly.

Finally, these assassinations are profoundly anti-democratic acts. We cannot act responsibly if we cannot know our own history and its implications. The past is prologue.

I found these assassinations to be Rosetta stones whose close inspection and study revealed the whole and made history comprehensible instead of confusing and disempowering.

If we want to live in a democracy we must be informed. Uninformed citizens making decisions is farce, Madison said. Jefferson knew that information flow is more central to democracy than the mechanisms by which popular will is carried out. He said he would always choose a newspaper without a government rather than the opposite. If we want to understand our present or envision our future, we must be able to be clear about our past. The burial of our history since WWII by the National Security State makes this difficult if not impossible.

For all these reasons, I work for transparency, the accurate reconstruction of historical events and assassinations, and the engaged involvement in citizens to work for the claims of justice and of history itself in understanding the truth about these events. . . .

Current U.S. policy condones and is institutionalizing the capability and legality of political assassinations of declared political enemies, with or without trial or appeal to innocence, here or abroad, and done remotely by drones or more directly by covert operations based on intelligence rather than criminal evidence, and including American citizens. New laws are being proposed and enacted that will create a Battle Zone inside NORTHCOM, making the US a military operations zone, and empowering the military to override state National Guard units, local police and others to make arrests without warrant, and to imprison without trial or habeas corpus rights of appeal, for indefinite periods those suspected of harboring or aiding A1 Qaeda, and to conduct military tribunals rather than civilian trials in considering their conviction and execution. These laws would end the long established principle of Posse Comitatus, and the separation of military and police function in a democratic society, as well as overriding habeas corpus rights that date back to the Magna Carta. . . .

In the 20th century, assassinations have served to allow the rise of political factions or economic groups, to control governments abroad led by popular leaders, assisted the plans of those hoping to overthrow tyranny or install it, to destroy the leadership and cohesion of grass roots movements for social change, and to frighten and disorient societies moving toward real democracy. Hundreds, if not thousands of political assassinations of elected officials, political organizers, witnesses to crimes and activists have marked and changed the direction of our national and global history in the decades leading up to and since WWII. . . .

In 1968, the double assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy shattered hope and exposed the violent underpinnings of the corruption in American military and police organizations. I held a sign in front of the Kennedy Student Union at the University of Dayton the day after King was killed, “The King of Love Is Dead”. I actually felt strongly that Robert Kennedy would be shot that night in Los Angeles and tried unsuccessfully many times to reach the Ambassador Hotel to warn someone. Ironically, it was the hired security surrounding him that participated in his murder.

I began to collect a body of literature and government reports on these murders and others, like the assassination of Malcolm X and other activists and civil rights members. It led me back to the history of WWII and the role played by Nazi war criminals in establishing the post-war intelligence networks in Europe and the United States and the beginnings of the Cold War and the rise of the permanent war economy.

In 1972, the day after the Watergate break-in, I saw the five names of those arrested on site and they all were known to me because they had been part of the Bay of Pigs and the history of the assassination of President Kennedy.

One of them had testified to the Warren Commission. I asked my mother, still living in DC, to clip the Washington Post and Evening Star if she saw any articles about the arrest. A few weeks later, the Realist magazine carried the first issue of Mae Brussell’s Conspiracy Newsletter with an article titled ‘Why Was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped?’, breaking down the entire structure of the Watergate break-in, going all the way up to the White House, and another on the ties of Nazis to the rise of Richard Nixon. I contacted Mae immediately because I had been working on some of the same leads and history. . . .

Whatever intelligence I have I credit to my mother, who rose to a position as the highest paid woman employee at the Pentagon over the 30 years she worked there, and who had a security clearance five levels above Top Secret.

I began to question political pronouncements from an early age, and social norms as well. I remember a bitter fight at age 10 or so with my parents who wanted me to dress up for a party because people would not like me otherwise. I said that if people liked me for my clothes I did not want those people to like me. As I mentioned, I refused to get under my desk for an atomic air raid drill and was sent to the principal’s office. I was horrified that adults could have such a weapon or use it, and then even more frightened when they offered me no protection at all against it in the drill.

My parents were frightened by Senator Joe McCarthy and his anti-communist crusade, fearing that innuendo or rumor would get them fired. President Eisenhower’s lies about the U-2 and spying shocked me into realizing that not only our enemies did bad things or lied to cover them up.

Here’s to a most uncommon common man whose life and energies were devoted to urging this nation live up to its highest calling of genuine liberty and equal justice for all life on Earth and to caring for the Earth and all its kin. John lived his life, and gave everything he had, to honor and serve Life’s needs.


Shafts Of Light Cutting Into the Darkness: The Montreal Declaration & UN Resolution L.41

October 28, 2016

Fukushima Units 3 and 4, March 24, 2011
Fukushima Dai-ichi Melted Down Reactor Units 3 and 4, Mar 24, 2011 (click for hi-res)

Something richly Life-affirming occurred this past August. Expressed in the Montreal Declaration for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World, its two opening paragraphs provide the context:

As citizens of this planet inspired by the Second Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World, conducted in Montreal from August 8 to August 12, 2016, we are collectively calling for a mobilization of civil society around the world to bring about the elimination of all nuclear weapons, to put an end to the continued mass-production of all high-level nuclear wastes by phasing out all nuclear reactors, and to bring to a halt all uranium mining worldwide.

This call goes out to fellow citizens of all countries worldwide who see the need, whether as an individual or as a member of an organization, for a nuclear-fission-free world. We are committed to building a global network of citizens of the world who will work together, using the internet and social media to overcome isolation, to provide mutual support and to coordinate the launching of joint actions for a world free of nuclear fission technology, whether civilian or military.

The hyperlink-rich Declaration, along with ongoing News and Developments, is available on <ratical.org>. The list of endorsers continues to grow.

Beyond the Montreal Declaration, significant momentum is occurring in the movement to stigmatize and ban nuclear weapons—the only remaining Weapon of Mass Destruction as compared with biological weapons, chemical weapons, land mines, and cluster munitions—that is not yet banned by international law outlawing their use.

Hiroshima Panorama #4
360 degree view span        (click for hi-res)        Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

In an address to the nation on July 26, 1963, President Kennedy began by saying:

Good evening, my fellow citizens:

I speak to you tonight in a spirit of hope. Eighteen years ago the advent of nuclear weapons changed the course of the world as well as the war. Since that time, all mankind has been struggling to escape from the darkening prospect of mass destruction on earth. In an age when both sides have come to possess enough nuclear power to destroy the human race several times over, the world of communism and the world of free choice have been caught up in a vicious circle of conflicting ideology and interest. Each increase of tension has produced an increase of arms; each increase of arms has produced an increase of tension.

In these years, the United States and the Soviet Union have frequently communicated suspicion and warnings to each other, but very rarely hope. Our representatives have met at the summit and at the brink; they have met in Washington and in Moscow; in Geneva and at the United Nations. But too often these meetings have produced only darkness, discord, or disillusion.

Yesterday a shaft of light cut into the darkness. Negotiations were concluded in Moscow on a treaty to ban all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. For the first time, an agreement has been reached on bringing the forces of nuclear destruction under international control – a goal first sought in 1946 when Bernard Baruch presented a comprehensive control plan to the United Nations.

Previously, on June 10, 1963, in his address to the graduating class at American University, President Kennedy proposed nothing less than an end to the Cold War. The speech was, and still is, way ahead of its time. Two moments in the address are especially noteworthy. The first place when applause occurred that caused JFK to pause and repeat 5 words was, in the film, at 22:03: “Chairman Khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan, and I have agreed that high-level discussions will shortly begin in Moscow looking towards early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty. Our hope must be tempered – Our hopes must be tempered with the caution of history...” and again, at 22:37: “the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We will not – We will not be the first to resume.” President Kennedy risked everything in his limited time to end the cold war and move away from the brink of nuclear annihilation. That work for us today revolves around ending the “global war on terror” and eliminating nuclear weapons — as well as nuclear power and uranium mining—the necessary ingredient for both weapons and power.

Yesterday, on October 27, 2016, a new shaft of light cut into the darkness. The First Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted resolution L.41 to convene negotiations in 2017 on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The voting result was 123 nations in favour, 38 against, with 16 abstentions. 57 nations co-sponsored the resolution:

Angola, Austria, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia.

These developments provide inspiration and energetic motivation to join with other people, where you live and across the globe, to support, advocate, and educate on behalf of negotiations in 2017 to establish a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination. As described by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Resolution L.41:

acts on a recommendation made in August by a UN open-ended working group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva. More than 100 nations participated in the working group, with an overwhelming majority expressing their support for the prohibition of nuclear weapons as a first step towards elimination.

The resolution sets up a negotiating conference to be held over 20 days (from 27 to 31 March 2017 and from 15 June to 7 July 2017), at the UN in New York. All UN member states, along with international organizations and members of civil society, will be invited to participate. The negotiations could continue beyond these dates.

A treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons would close the “legal gap” in the existing regime governing nuclear weapons, as recognized by the Humanitarian Pledge. It is an anomaly that these are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited under international law in a comprehensive and universal manner.

As Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility explains in a letter he wrote today,

Of course, the nuclear-weapons states hope to boycott these negotiations, and the members of NATO—a military alliance that espouses nuclear weapons as “essential” for its security—will also want to shun the proceedings. But there is a catch. Under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) these states are all legally obligated to undertake negotiations of exactly this nature. They can boycott the negotiations, but in doing so they will be in clear violation of their existing treaty obligations....

Common sense tells us that the nuclear-armed countries are not going to submit easily to such legalistic considerations, but the upcoming negotiations will put them on the defensive in the court of public opinion. With examples such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa and the dissolution of the Soviet Empire in mind, no one should dismiss the power of mobilized public opinion—especially when it is in concert with legal and political pressures, all of them focused on the same goal: a legally-binding commitment to ban all nuclear weapons from the Earth.

The UN resolution passed yesterday, and the negotiations to begin next year, will not by themselves bring about the elimination of nuclear weapons, but the mobilization of people of good will world-wide may be enough to seal the deal. One thing is for sure. We will never know unless we try.


Don’t Hope For Obama Or Fear Of Trump–Snowden On US Elections And Surveillance

SNOWDEN LIVE, produced by startpage.com
RT, 10 Nov, 2016

Edward Snowden © Brendan McDermid / Reuters

The world’s most famous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has addressed the public on the US election result urging people to think beyond a single person or a single election and take their future into their own hands.

“We can not hope for an Obama and we can not fear a Donald Trump; rather we should build it ourselves,” Snowden said about creating positive social change.

Snowden, an NSA contractor fled the US in 2013 after he leaked classified documents from the National Security Agency (NSA), revealing details about its global surveillance programmes. He has been granted temporary residency in Russia.

E.S. begins at 2:55 in; MP3 recording (1:00:02, 57+MB)

The NSA whistleblower was speaking from Moscow, Thursday, in a livestream hosted by private search engine StartPage in Amsterdam.

Snowden declined to get into a discussion regarding Trump’s election victory specifically and the impact it may have on the NSA, insisting he tries not to “look at this as a question of single election or a single government”.

He reminded the audience that President Obama did not fulfill promises he made in relation to ending mass surveillance or closing Guantanamo Bay in order to highlight the broader point that “we should be cautious of putting too much hope or fear in one person”.

“President Obama campaigned on a platform of ending mass surveillance, ending torture and we all put a lot of hope in him because of this. We thought because the right person got into office everything would change.”

He went on to discuss the fabric of communications and how it is being used to disempower the very communities it was intended to empower.

“We have to think for ourselves what if we start weaving this fabric in a different way...what if every communication is protected by default.. instead we make this fabric work for the whole world.

“I think this election reminds us that that capability is within our reach today.”

Phil Zimmerman (on right), the inventor of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)

The whistleblower admitted he followed the election closely but insisted it was bigger than him, “while I obviously care what happens to me this is not about me, this is about us,” he said.

Snowden insisted that it is the people that must force the change, “We can not hope for an Obama and we can not fear a Donald Trump, rather we should build it ourselves.”

Returning to the subject of Trump later in the discussion Snowden said “It’s not that people think Trump is the greatest person in the US, its just they didn’t prefer the other option.”

He said it shouldn’t be a mere question of two candidates. “A vote will never be enough,” he said urging people to think more about what happens after the election.

When asked by an audience member what more can people do he suggested supporting organizations that fight to protect civil rights.

Snowden insisted the personal uncertainties created by the new US commander in chief and his apparent closer relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin didn’t worry him.

READ MORE: Moscow has no legal, moral reasons to extradite Snowden – Russia envoy to US

“They said Russia is not a country that extradites human rights offenders,” he said but admitted it was still a possibility however not one he loses sleep over.

“If I was worried about safety I would still be in Hawaii. I never expected to make it out of Hawaii. I’m comfortable with the choice I made.”

He continued that he was proud of his actions and no matter what happens “if there’s a drone strike that’s something that won’t change.”

“As long as we live in accordance with our values we won’t have to worry about what happens tomorrow because today for me it’s enough,” he continued.

The NSA whistleblower said while he hopes to someday return to the US what he won’t do is stand up and serve as a deterrent to scare people.

The interview focused largely on privacy concerns and the ongoing issue of mass surveillance.

Snowden emphasized the effectiveness of targeted surveillance over mass surveillance pointing to the Boston Marathon as an example where terrorism was not stopped despite it happening during the height of mass surveillance and the US receiving a tip off from Foreign Intelligence agencies.

Mass surveillance fails “because when you collect everything you understand nothing - you get drowned in so much information you can’t find what’s relevant.”

He claimed the traditional method of following tip offs and the obtaining a warrant to carry out surveillance is the most effective. “Targeted surveillance does not destroy the rights of everyone else in society.”

“Based on the information provided to the [Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight] Board, including classified briefings and documentation, we have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation.”
Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under
Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations
of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, 23 Jan 2014

The conversation ended on a positive note with Snowden reminding people he gets great enjoyment out of what he does and felt optimistic about the future despite the present uncertain times.

“Despite the challenges and statements by president elect, this is a nation that will strive to get better...this is a dark moment in our history but it’s not the end.”

A campaign is underway to secure Snowden a presidential pardon before Obama leaves office in January 2017.

From startpage.com:
What does privacy mean to you?

Snowden Live was an exclusive post-election livestream Q&A with Edward Snowden on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The world’s most famous whistleblower addressed many topics, including the future of privacy under newly elected US President Donald Trump.

Snowden became world famous after he handed journalists classified documents detailing the global espionage activities of the United States National Security Agency (NSA). His exposure of covert government surveillance put privacy firmly on the map, but also put him at great risk. Snowden was forced to flee the US in 2013 to avoid arrest and currently resides in Russia, where he has been given asylum.

Following are just some of the highlights of the historic Q&A that was broadcast from the Pathé Tuschinski in Amsterdam where Snowden was patched in to our live theater audience via satellite transmission from Moscow. More will follow soon.

Press Coverage

Here are just a few of the dozens of stories written by the press about the Snowden event. We will be adding more. While we don’t have the rights to archive the full Snowden event yet, you will find excellent photos and video in some of these articles.

Stay tuned. More to come.

Randy Benson’s film The Searchers Sees Through the Eyes of JFK Researchers

by Joseph E. Green
September 30, 2016

The Searchers

Randolph Benson’s documentary film The Searchers debuts at the Texas Theater in Dallas this November. The film explores the unique subculture of JFK researchers from the standpoint of an outsider—Benson teaches at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University—who found himself, over time, becoming an insider.Benson’s work has appeared on the Bravo Network and Canal Plus—France, and his film Man and Dog received several awards, including a Gold Medal from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Awards. I talked to him about the process of making his new film.


So who are the searchers of the title?

Who are they? The searchers are average citizens—normal people, curious people—who realized there was more to the [JFK assassination] story and information not covered by the media. The media wasn’t doing their job so they took it upon themselves to ask the unasked questions. Most of the first generation critics [those who started right after the assassination] started and never let it go. In a nutshell, they were normal people who have become marginalized—a lot of which was intentional by the CIA. They created the term “conspiracy theorist.”[1] That term instantly became an intellectual scarlet letter.

And your film focuses on these first generation critics?

Not necessarily. The narrative thread is John Judge, who was generation 1.5. But I do cover the history of the subculture of the research community. The first generation was critical to tell the story and explain why anyone would commit any amount of their lives to this subject. There is that question—and it is a question for anyone doing anything—is why bother? They could have done anything. It was because they had questions that weren’t being answered. Because people from both generations helped reveal everything from the crimes of Vietnam and the crimes of Watergate, which led to the Church Commission, which revealed how our media was being controlled by intelligence agencies and had institutional protection.[2]

The broader world of how things work, rather than a limited conspiracy in this one case.

I don’t necessary feel that conspiracy is a holistic term. What we’re really talking about is an institutional analysis. The really good researchers felt the same way, John Judge especially. Institutions, as I have learned, do not exist without natural protections. The intelligence community and the media are the same.

How long have you been working on this film? How did it start?

I’m going to answer this...in a kind of long way, so bear with me. From the time I was a child it was just assumed in my house that the assassination was done by elements in this country. I felt bad because my father was a fighter in the Cold War stationed on the East-West German border. Anything happens within 15 minutes, he was in the air. Bay of Pigs, the attempts on [Charles] De Gaulle, any major movement of any Iron Curtain country, he was in the air. He found out Kennedy was assassinated at dinner in the officers club. He wasn’t scrambled. For my father - he was in World War II, Korea—when protocol at that level is not followed there is a meaning to it.

[My father] was the patriot of patriots. “Yeah, they killed that bastard,” was his attitude. So when Oliver Stone’s JFK came out it piqued my interest again. I thought it was a really good drama and it had information—I mean, I didn’t know there had been a trial.

Now the films I like to make—the stories that draw me in—are about people who have been marginalized. People who do things that have to be done but no one pays attention to. My personal question was who is uncovering this information? So in 2001, it reached a point that this is a film I want to make. Why are they doing what they’re doing and why isn’t the media doing it? It seems like it should be their job.

I looked online and the only online presence at that time was JFK Lancer. So that November, I flew down to Dallas, no camera, just to see what was up. I learned there were two communities—there were researchers who were scholars...and there were those who lived up to the conventional wisdom—the classic “conspiracy theorist.” The scholars were doing good important work and revealing documents not just about Kennedy, but a whole part of American history that I had no idea existed.

Someone at Lancer told me about COPA [the Coalition on Political Assassinations] and by the summer of 2002 I realized what I had to do. So I drove to Washington, D.C. to meet John Judge and film him at American University, where he honored JFK’s famous speech there. I shot the first frame of film on June 10, 2002. I thought at that time it would be a well-researched, short thirty-minute film. I would spend a couple years on it. But after spending a year looking at the footage and reading everything I could get my hands on pro and con, I just realized that I had no idea what I was taking about. If I were going to make a film like this, I would have to learn and meet as many researchers as I could. Spend the time. Documentary filmmaking is always about story, character, and access.

Early on I realized this would not be a two-year project. Now, fourteen years later I feel like the film is done. The story that I am telling is told as well as it can be told.

Who is the audience for this story?

I’m asked all the time who my audience is. I have a card above my edit station that reminds me every day, who is my audience? And the answer is me, before I started this project. I was intellectually curious, considered myself well-informed, but had no idea about how so much about my country—and the world—truly works and how our institutions work.

That person represents a huge part of our population that can affect change. I came from a middle-class family and never wanted for anything. Always knew I would go to college. But no one I went to college with would have believed everything I’ve learned. Hopefully people seeing the film will help them reconsider and start a dialogue.

For many years now you’ve been going to conferences and interacting with researchers. Have you found them to be nutballs?

Conspiracy theorists are not nutballs. Over the years, I met maybe three or four people who fit that description. The rest are doctors and lawyers and academics, the majority of whom are just normal successful people who were curious. The really respected researchers are as far from that stereotype as you can possibly be. Dr. Gary Aguilar is one of the most respected surgical ophthalmologists in the country. I have this great sequence in the film, all in one continuous shot, which starts with him seeing someone in his office and he asks if we can walk and talk into the elevator. We go down and walk out into San Francisco General Hospital and there is a young professional woman eagerly waiting on Dr. Aguilar. She shakes his hand and he walks into a conference room with a bunch of doctors who stand up and the applause is deafening. He proceeds to give a presentation on a new surgical technique for surgery that he had perfected. That one shot sums it all up for me.

You almost have to be that good to retain your respect if you’re going to write about this sort of thing. Dr. Cyril Wecht is another example, someone who is the absolute top of his field in forensic pathology—the building is named after him at Duquesne University, and Albert Brooks just played him in the new Will Smith movie. He is the professional expert on CNN when things happen, the OJ trial, JonBenet Ramsey, etc., and yet he’s had this double life as probably the most visible figure on the medical aspects of the JFK case. If he wasn’t the pinnacle in his field, he would be easier to discredit. Instead, from what I can see the media basically pretend that part of his biography doesn’t exist.

He has been able to pursue the science of the conspiracy to kill JFK and still remain the most respected doctor in his field in the world. If anyone needs an analysis with anything to do with forensic pathology, he’s the guy. Not just the media—other experts bring him in for a second set of eyes. He is involved in almost every single prominent case in the world. Every profession, every walk of life, there’s a certain amount of hyperbole—he’s the best of all time, the greatest, etc. I was skeptical when I first saw him referred to as America’s most respected pathologist. But I found out, it’s true.

Did you happen to interview Edward J. Epstein? Was he ever on the table?

I mention him in my film as a very important early researcher. Interviewees in the film do mention that he took a shift in his views on the assassination.

There are so many people I would have loved to have interviewed. After photography had ended, I had 60 hours of interviews. In the credits I mention as many of the respected researchers—Ray Marcus, Epstein—as I could. I was able to interview [Praise from a Future Generation author] John Kelin about some of the first generation—to give them proper treatment and tribute that they deserve. Every time I would interview people, I would get new names.

So did the CIA kill Kennedy?

Sometimes I find myself looking at old interviews I did with John Judge...he broke down the intelligence agencies in such an interesting way. People think, it’s the CIA and I guess there are other things, NSA and maybe military intelligence. But John in detail would describe all 13 major intelligence organizations working in the United States and the CIA is the smallest. The military intelligence of the Coast Guard is bigger and has more money than the CIA. The black budget is enormous. So when people say the CIA killed Kennedy, I find it interesting that it stops there. What people tend not to know is that’s just one of 13 intelligence agencies—that we know of—and sure if you want to say they killed him, that’s fine, but put it as one-thirteenth.

Its so limiting to say the CIA killed him.[3] The assassination is the ultimate onion where you have the real story on the inside. The HSCA [the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the last official investigation of the assassination] said that there was a conspiracy, but also that other people might have been involved, but we can’t guarantee they were working together.

Which is the most ridiculous conclusion possible.

As John said, it was Shoot Kennedy Day in the knoll.

The onion just keeps getting peeled back and the CIA-did-it is just another level of the onion peeling, which all goes back to the Joint Chiefs. I think John’s analysis is dead on. It’s so astute because in the end he understood human nature on a visceral level. What makes people human. I don’t think he would have been as good a researcher if he hadn’t been a peace activist. He was a conscientious objector in Vietnam who, in one of his defining acts, helped Vietnam veterans return home. He was in the middle of the winter soldier movement to get them the help they deserved and get them back into civilian life. All his research was approached in human terms. In the film, he appears passionate, divisive, brilliant, and antagonistic at times, but in the end he sums it up by saying by working together, we can change the world. That’s the final message of my movie and it’s Johns final message. Together we can change the world.

You’ve had quite a journey.

My personal path through research mirrored the direction of the average researcher. I’m sitting here in 2016, and since I started even thinking about making the film...I had a long-term relationship end. I had to put my dog down that I had for 10 years. I quit my first job and went to art school, met my future wife there, and made a little film that won a bunch of awards. Successes and failures. Buried my parents, got married, had two kids, lost two more dogs and here I am. Just my experience, the life experience making this film, mirrors the researchers. The first generation never expected to be doing this for 50 years, but they looked up and here they were. And they’re still working on the case. Because it matters.

And John Judge played a role in getting documents released into the public record after Oliver Stone’s film. Can you talk about this a little bit?

JFK was being made. John was one of a group of researchers who really pressed Stone to put a title slide at the end stating that all of the documents were to be released in 2035. A whole other generation. People read that and got furious and there was a groundswell of pressure to release the files. If you have nothing to hide, release the files. Partly because of that small group, Congress passed the JFK Records Act which convened the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) which declassified documents having to do with assassination as well as the JFK presidency. Which is important because it shows and unearths this hidden history. Started in 1992 and wrapped up in 1998. When they finished, they had declassified six million documents, so much material they had to build a second national archive in College Park, Maryland. The information revealed has rewritten the history of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and so much of the machinations behind how decisions are made at that level. The entire history of the Vietnam War was rewritten; the Cold War revealed. And I do present a number of documents in the film. It is the fruits of the researcher’s labor.

Because of these documents we now know JFK had committed to pull out of Vietnam.[4] We know that there were plans submitted to the President to create national tragedies to force us to get into a war with Cuba.[5] There were in these documents real plans to use nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not tactical nukes, but bombs dwarfing Hiroshima. We were so close to destroying the world—much closer than we thought. We know this because of the researchers. Why didn’t anyone ever cover the strange details of the Reagan assassination? Well, actually John did.

Also in 1998, think about all these documents being released. Why didn’t we know? I was intensely curious; I paid attention to the news. Why didn’t I know? That may have been a precipitating event to making me commit a big portion of my life to making this film. I was pissed off that I didn’t know.

How do I know now? Because of dedicated individuals who chose to do the job our Fourth Estate should have been doing.

In addition to the showings at the Lancer Conference and the Texas Theatre this November, The Searchers will also be available on DVD.

Yes, starting with a boxed set which includes the film, as well as almost 34 hours of never before seen interviews with Mark Lane, Dr. Gary Aguilar, Josiah Thompson, Dr. Cyril Wecht, Jim Marrs, Jim DiEugenio, Lisa Pease, Walt Brown, Rex Bradford, James Fetzer, Debra Conway, and Adele Edison. You will be able to buy it at the website as boxed set and then I will start making the festival rounds. Starting at European film festivals and markets. There will also be a stand alone DVD for those who just want the film itself.

Trailer for The Searchers


  1. See CIA Document #1035-960, “Countering Criticism of the Warren Report,” April 1, 1967. See Also: “The Term ‘Conspiracy Theory’ – an Invention of the CIA,” by Rev. Douglas Wilson, member of the Core Group, Project Unspeakable. []
  2. See “ The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know, by James F. Tracy, Global Research, December 15, 2015. See Also: “THE CIA AND THE MEDIA, How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up,” by Carl Bernstein, Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977. ]
  3. A comparison John Judge made between the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the CIA and how much more cloaked and obscure the former was and is compared to the latter is helpful. This cloaking dynamic is a tacit indicator of it’s significance. In a 2004 film, John observed that,

    “80% of the intelligence budget is controlled by the Pentagon, not by the CIA and the intelligence agencies on that side. And I’ve always said that the DIA was the real thing to look at because you can get 600 books on the CIA. I challenge you to get 2 or 3 on the DIA. There’s only 2 on the NSA and they’re both written by Bamford, the same fellow. [For] ONI I’ve found five, and believe me I look at books. And that’s the oldest and the largest intelligence agency, it started with British Naval Intelligence, ONI. And it’s very hard to find out anything about them, even at the level of the War Colleges and those things. And yet they control the base of the budget.

    “What Prouty and other histories tell us is that the CIA is essentially a think tank. It comes up with plots, it may penetrate or get information on, or manipulate, groups, but in the end, when they want to carry out a special operation, they have to find a liaison to the military intelligence because the military intelligence has the equipment and the tools in order to actually effect any large scale special operation, even an assassination.” ]

  4. On 11 October 1963 JFK issued National Security Action Memorandum 263 ordering withdrawal of 1,000 troops from Vietnam by end of 1963 and the bulk of American Personnel out by end of 1965. []
  5. Friendly Fire,” a 1 May 2001 ABCNEWS.com article, describes how the plans defined in OPERATION NORTHWOODS “were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s . . . Fidel Castro.” The article observed that “Ironically, the documents came to light . . . in part because of the 1992 Oliver Stone film JFK, which examined the possibility of a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy. As public interest in the assassination swelled after JFK’s release, Congress passed a law designed to increase the public’s access to government records related to the assassination.” []

53 Years Ago - Review of JFK and the Unspeakable using The Karma of Untruthfulness

by David Ratcliffe
22 November 2016

Today marks the 53rd circle Earth has spun around the Sun since the world experienced the extra-constitutional firing of our 35th President.

This is to share an incisive review of Jim Douglass' book, JFK and the Unspeakable, Why He Died and Why It Matters by John Schuchardt, published last April in The Present Age (based in Basel, Switzerland)

John presents a fascinating exploration of Jim's book with that of Rudolf Steiner's The Karma of Untruthfulness (Volume 1). The beginning provides more context of this remarkable review:

James W. Douglass’ JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he Died and Why it Matters[2] is the conclusive research into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas 22 November 1963, the most pivotal assassination in world history since Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo, 28 June 1914. In 1914-1918 unprecedented millions would die. In consequence of Kennedy’s assassination, the Cold War would continue, millions would be killed in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and the nuclear peril to life on earth would continue.

In Douglass’ title “the unspeakable,” students of anthroposophy will recognize the supersensible forces of evil. In a series of 13 lectures in December 1916[3] Rudolf Steiner provided the spiritual scientific knowledge that empowers an unbiased individual to achieve revelations of truth to which many remain blind.

James Douglass’ goal during 12 years of concentrated research and writing was not “to solve the assassination.” Rather, he saw movements of powerful spiritual forces, as he discovered the beginning transformation of John F. Kennedy and his confrontation with evil. Douglass knows that this story of transformation and the power of truth has the potential to overcome the illusions, secrecy, propaganda, and destructive poisons of endless GWOT (Global War on Terror).

... there is a force more powerful than war.... That is why it is so hopeful for us to confront the unspeakable and to tell the transforming story of a man of courage, President John F. Kennedy. It is a story ultimately not of death but of life—all our lives. In the end it is not so much a story of one man as it is a story of peacemaking when the chips are down. That story is our story, our story of hope.”[4]

. . .The Karma of Untruthfullness, Volume 1The research of James W. Douglass is, in my estimation, the greatest contribution to spiritual scientific research of 20th Century world history since The Karma of Untruthfulness. It is a revelatory look into current destructive forces seeming to control us by “external mechanisms”.[7] The genius of Douglass’ research is built both on the spiritual foundation of Thomas Merton and upon Douglass’ own life of faith as an activist and leading theologian of the nuclear age. Providing encyclopedic knowledge, documented with 100 pages of endnotes, Douglass never leaves the reader lost nor does he himself wander into speculation or theory. Rather, Douglass brings us to the security of truth. We follow how Kennedy’s turn towards peace and disarmament, after the near holocaust of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 16 to 28 1962, led to his assassination.

Near the end we are reminded of a vital key to address what concerns us, our lives, and the world we belong to.

James Douglass’ book makes powerfully evident the thinking of the National Security elite, which is not only dead thinking, abstract logic, disconnected from living realities, but a thinking that has “untruth” at its foundation. Thomas Merton pointed out that “Truth is not a sentimental luxury but as essential to life as air and water.” The Prologue to the Gospel of Saint John says that God is truth. Gandhi said, “Truth is God.” James W. Douglass’ monumental historical research has dispelled a force of untruth that has held U.S. Americans and the world hostage for more than 50 years; spiritually seen, it is, in fact, an exorcism. Truth is the moral force more powerful that untruth.

As we continue to live out our days, here on the journey, it is helpful to be reminded of such Life-supporting and Life-serving awareness, especially when it appears that the chips are down. May we all continually awaken to and be renewed by recognition of our participation in and partaking of life at this unique time of Koyaanisqatsi.


Jeannette Armstrong - Indigenous Economics: A Syilx Perspective

Indigenous Economics: A Syilx Perspective. Jeannette Armstrong, Ph.D.IFG Teach-In: Techno-Utopianism & The Fate of the Earth
Great Hall of the Cooper Union, New York City
October 26, 2014

From the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus: “Both educator and protector, Jeannette Armstrong is a professor of Indigenous Studies and a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Philosophy. She is a spokesperson for indigenous peoples’ rights, award-winning writer and activist, novelist and poet and has always sought to change deeply biased misconceptions related to Aboriginal people. Armstrong feels passionately that the best way to accomplish this is as a professor of Indigenous Studies, where she gets to research, develop, educate and inform the minds of the next generation. ‘I get excited when students are inspired and new insights occur’.”

Ms. Armstrong is at the same time, a traditional wisdom keeper for the Okanagan People, especially the Penticton Band where she lives and teaches the wisdom of Indigenous economics centering upon restoration and conservation. She is one of the last native speakers of her language and has created a center to re-teach her people in the Okanagan, the language that has been with them for generation after generation.Film recording and complete transcript with slides is freely available. Summary excerpts follow.

My name. There I am with my daughter. My daughter's name is Her Power Is Water, sumaxatkʷ. My name is The Sound And Sparkle Of A Small Brook Rushing Along, laxx̌laxx̌tkʷ. Behind and surrounding us, embracing us, is our Grandmother. Our Grandmother who gifts us with the beautiful berries and the precious cedar baskets that take a year to make.

I have been a resister and an activist, as that is also needed in order to defend. But today I share my indigenous work here from my home. This place is the multiversity of my people which gave me my true Ph.D. My other Ph.D. is from university in environmental ethics. The Ph.D. is a way to look at, and share something, of my Grandmother's wisdom through that lens.

When I think of my grandmother I know that the soil and the plants and the animals and the birds are my ancestors. They have fed on our bones, on our lives. They have fed each other and us and we have sustained the reciprocity that is a gift to every living thing on that land. That is indigenous economics.

My Grandmother is wise in her wisdom, in her knowledge in the ways that that place needs to be.

The point to me seems obvious, that the root of today’s problem is how humans chose to live insulated from nature's mediation of their behavior within a system of reciprocities in which everything that takes must also give.

I can also see that it has something to do with a belief, a belief in ever increasing the insulation from nature's economic requirements of us as humans in the way we are.

It has been at great cost. A cost we cannot afford. We are now in deep, deep, deep debt. It has been but a few thousand years, this idea of civilization.

This civilization grounded in the belief that the Grandmother is wild and needs taming and that Indigenous Peoples are wild and need taming.

First they tamed Grandmother to make things. Taking things, easy to take without giving back. Taming the land. Agriculture was a way first to increase human advantage to sustenance. However, it also increased populations that now needed more and more and so more land was taken from other living things.

Agriculture needed easier tools in order to produce more and more. Then it created a need of tools for war in order to keep the tamed lands and tools to take more land from more peoples. Then it was necessary to make more war tools so taking was easier.

It was necessary to make more tools and to teach people to run the new tools to feed their families. It was necessary to make them believe that they could be wealthy and thus happy. It creates junk-ease.

Tools were made to reach into every house with that in mind. To keep people believing in making more tools to make life easy, and to rush to use new tools and thus to believe they need such tools. And so it is necessary to tame more and more—necessary to make junk easier and easier and they might be happier.

There is a deep belief that economic prosperity is based on this. There is a deep belief on this form of social dependency. We confirm this every day in the way we do things. The influence of the social mechanism structured to normalize that which we accept every day as our reality.

This is my brother, Richard. He didn't go to university. He went to Grandmother's University. This is my brother training ecologists and environmentalists and biologists in our lands economics. In doing restoration and conservation, they need to know the land's requirements of us all. And that many of its beings on those lands have included us humans in their reciprocity and need humans to take their gifts. And that the grasses and the great herds have included us and other animals in their reciprocity. Learning that way so we stay a part of that reciprocity.

My brother here is providing some ideas. It is a framework of economic principles. That is my extended family's children. That is my nephew and myself working with children.

And so one of the things that I have come to understand is that in maintaining those economic principles, is that we have to pass them on. Indigenous economics is a lived experience. We are socialized into that lived experience. It's not something we can learn about from a book or something we can learn about from a far distance from what we need in our lives.

We are needed in that place by those things that live there in that place.

So one of the things that I see is that at the level of individual, personal knowledge, some of those things are lost.

This is one of the boys in our puberty training. He is learning how the deer gives to us. He must do a gratitude ceremony to release the deer's spirit to rejuvenate itself. That way he never allows himself to kill the deer's ability to fully regenerate its kind. So it will always be there to give us its gift of its life as food. He is recognizing through our human spirit the spirit of the lives that embrace us.

The idea of indigenous knowledge, is to understand it as economic interaction. It is to have deep knowledge about the limits and the requirements of all the different living things in the place you use. It is understanding that we as humans can partake in that place like every other living thing, but we have to know those limits. Indigenous economics is about knowledge, in how we view nature.

These are children in my extended family. They are learning to love the taste of Grandmother's gifts and the pleasure of harvesting it together, and to hear the songs of its celebration. Also to give thanks and to love to work slowly and hard picking reverently each berry.

One of the things about the work that we do is in terms of bringing back our language. It is about re-languaging what we mean about work. That it is not work. That it is a joyful experience to be a part of that, to taste that, to love that and to be embraced by it. To re-language that our giving back is not work. That our giving back is being who we should be as humans.

These are children of the En’owkin Centre, our Syilx (the name of our people) learning center. They are learning appropriate ways to take but not to kill the relatives of the land. Those relatives have a right in their long, long lifeform residing there.

Whether they are trees for baskets or deer for food, to kill means taking until they cannot regenerate and they disappear. The laws of this is that it is nature's requirements of us, to know those limits. To know its reciprocity as a human love for these relatives. This is a human responsibility in terms of our reciprocity.

We know that doing things in a way in which that reciprocity is not possible, causes the extinction of any one of those relatives and that is what killing is about.

These are the local people of both indigenous and non-indigenous heritage at En’owkin's riparian forest restoration place. We rescued it from becoming a golf course.

We turn to the community of the local cities and the local reservations. We turn them into a force to protect it, to increase its reciprocity. We bring people to love it. The school's children in all the surrounding towns come. Adults learning ecological restoration and those who just need to rest and heal come to learn about it. To learn about the ecological knowledge from our point of view, from the Syilx point of view, as a collaborative force and a collaborative voice in re-indiginizing the place.

These are En’owkin’s adults going into this park to greet our relatives. The park has been closed because of perceived dangers and was secured to exclude us from harvesting the spawning kokanee, a land-locked salmon. We have resisted that. The millions of teeming salmon in those deep creeks kept us alive for many years.

However, we can't eat them now. The Okanagan Lake is being poisoned with effluent and agricultural and orchard pesticides and so we stopped eating them. But we do not stop going there to greet them, to give them offerings and to sing to them and to make a feast of giving to those who come to join in. We love them and they loved us. For too many years they loved us, for us to forget them.

One of the things I like about restoration, locally, is that it brings people back to local place. Local people back to local place. The spirit of the place wakes up inside of those local people and they are changed by it. It restores them to become indigenous to that place.

This is part of the Meadowlark Festival. A festival in which all the district’s environment projects are showcased and celebrated here on our restoration place called the Locatee Lands. Drumming together, singing together, feasting together, learning together, replanting and restoring together—it is the spirituality of that local culture that we are restoring and rebuilding.

This is a local teach-in at that same place with ecologists, biologists, and traditional indigenous keepers. En’owkin institutes a traditional knowledge component into Okanagan land conservation and restoration outside of the walls of the university. It has transformed the way they do things and the way they learn things in that place with us.

We need much more of this kind of restoration which restores local people to local places. It is people who need restoring to be able to do the things that are necessary to bring nature back on a global scale. One of the things I like about this slide is that that man is a bird watcher.

The idea of reconciling with what is indigenous in local nature is people living within its reciprocity. It can be something as obvious today as changing our food tastes. Something as easy as that.

The taste for exported and agricultured foods should be decreased. And the taste for local harvest indigenous foods increased. Learning how to responsibly and ethically empower indigenous reciprocity is to use those foods in local places by local people, while respecting the requirements of indigenous foods and learning to love them.

Those are my two Ph.D. supervisors, one is in environmental ethics the other in literature. It is a way of sharing Syilx ethics through that academic lens.

And this is a ceremonial feast. A gathering, a releasing of baby Sockeye which has been collected by hand from the Okanagan River and hatched to restore them where they had almost gone extinct. The whole community, indigenous and non-indigenous come together. To raise them, to sing, to pray, and to feast their release and their gifts to us.

It is one of the most beautiful ceremonies that our people did. This was the first Salmon release ceremony about 17 years ago. Since then, it's just grown so huge that many, many people can't fit into that small area.

This is Penticton, my home. En’owkin Centre is just behind there and the Locatee Lands that I was showing you is just behind, in that cottonwood riparian forest. Riparian forests now have only four percent left in the entire Okanagan.

This is the first run of returned Sockeye into the Okanagan. The gifts of Sockeye allow us its gifts, along its rivers and on its way to the ocean. Restoration is our way of giving back as Syilx people, as Syilx people enjoying each other. Living in the right way with these salmon, with these rivers and with these forests and other beings that surround us and embrace us.

These two long term collaboration projects that I mention here are still going on and more and more small environmentalist groups and conservation groups are working in collaboration with the Okanagan Nation Alliance to do that.

These are some of the gifts of the Sockeye to us.

These are my relatives, my grand daughter and my nieces and they're preparing the salmon. The happiness that it brings is in the faces of my niece and my granddaughter. The taking care of the salmon in the right way is spirituality.

Belonging. The longing to be part of the way things are as a whole is a longing for the joy of breaking free from the destructive spirit of killing behaviors.

Belonging to nature's reciprocity, here in this beautiful land and its diverse places. The longing to be a part of nature must end, and belonging must happen. It must happen in a good way.

So I will leave you now, with the contemplation of re-indigenization in this last slide as I walk back to my seat. Contemplation on how it transforms people to the land's spirit.

I pray for many, many ways to do this. And this is the song that Turtle gave us, that gave me this medicine which I sing walking back to my seat.

The Turtle came up from the deep dark and grasped onto the land's edge. I pray for that for everyone here. I give my medicine to you.


Mind Control, Psychological Operations, Propaganda, and Disinformation

Propaganda is any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes or behavior of any group in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly.
Psychological objective is a statement of measurable response expected from the target audience as a result of PSYOP. The psychological objective must accurately define the specific behavioral response or attitude change desired which, in turn, must support the PSYOP goals.
Psychological operations include psychological warfare and encompass those political, military, economic, and ideological actions planned and conducted to create in neutral, friendly, and nonhostile foreign groups the emotions, attitudes, or behavior to support the achievement of national objectives.
Psychological warfare is the planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives.
Society is an enduring and cooperative social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships, traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests. Societies may be considered to be relatively independent human groupings that have their own territory, contain persons of all ages and both sexes, and maintain their unique respective lifestyle (culture). The American people, for instance, have formed lasting and cooperative social groupings which demonstrate organized patterns of behavior such as religious, educational, and political systems.
—Department of Defense, US Army Field Manual 33-1, p.H-3/p.241, 8/31/79

John Trudell: What It Means To Be A Human Being

Spoken Word presented at The Women’s Building, San Francisco
March 15, 2001
This is a moving, thought provoking spoken word and poetry address, given in honor of the U’wa and their resistance to oil drilling on their ancestral land in Columbia.John Trudell was a poet, musician, and an advocate for Native American rights. He did not set out to be a writer. His poetic gift developed out of the remarkable, sometimes horrifying circumstances of his life.

Trudell grew up on and around the Santee Sioux reservation near Omaha, Nebraska. In 1969 he participated in the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz. From 1973 to 1979, he served as national chairman of A.I.M., the American Indian Movement. The government response to A.I.M. was swift Trudell said, “They waged war against us. They hunted us down. They killed, jailed, destroyed us, by any means necessary.”

In 1979 that war took a terrible personal toll on John Trudell. On February 11, he led a march to the FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. Approximately 12 hours later, in the early morning hours, a fire “of suspicious origin” burned down Trudell’s home on the Shoshone Paiute reservation in Nevada, killing his wife Tina, their three children, and Tina’s mother. Devastated by the loss of his family, Trudell withdrew from the world; “writing words” became his way “to keep some sanity” and continue to survive.

An essential point to keep in mind is that this expression comes from the oral tradition. The written word is different. The spoken word transmits awareness and understanding in a more comprehensive and integrated form. While the transcript is available, the most thorough way of taking this in is to listen.

Audio recording and transcript is freely available. Summary excerpts follow:



In the reality
Of many realities
How we see what we see
Affects the quality
Of our reality

We are children of Earth and Sky
DNA descendant now ancestor
Human being physical spirit
Bone flesh blood as spirit
Metal mineral water as spirit

We are in time and space
But we’re from beyond time and space
The past is part of the present
The future is part of the present
Life and being are interwoven

We are the DNA of Earth, Moon, Planets, Stars
We are related to the universal
Creator created creation
Spirit and intelligence with clarity
Being and human as power

We are a part of the memories of evolution
These memories carry knowledge
These memories carry our identity
Beneath race, gender, class, age
Beneath citizen, business, state, religion
We are human beings
And these memories
Are trying to remind us
Human beings, human beings
It’s time to rise up
Remember who we are

... the being part of human is being mined through the logic of the human, alright, and the emotions of the human. The being of spirit, the spirit of being is what is being mined through the logics and emotions of the human, in order to run this system, see.

I mean this is the purpose of techno-logic civilization. They call it techno-logic for a very specific reason. This isn’t an accident, okay? You know, it truly isn’t. But the purpose of the civiliz[ation] – and so one of the civilizing processes is to erase memories. Alright?, to erase memories. Because we have ancestral memory. It’s encoded in the DNA – it’s a genetic memory.

You look at how techno-logic civilization – and everywhere that it goes, the longer it’s there, the more isolated the human beings – but they’re not called human beings, they’re workers and citizens, etc., alright? Alright? But the more isolated they feel, they no longer – you know, maybe they remember their grandparents or their great grandparents.

But see, you’ve got all that ancestral knowledge that’s encoded in the DNA, but it’s been cut off. So it can’t activate because if we’re not conscious that it’s there then we can’t – it just makes [things] difficult. See this is the memory that it’s very important for them to erase. Alright, and it’s about who we are – it’s memory of identity and self-reality.

So anyway, we, because we are, we come from where we come from, every one of us is the descendant of a tribe. Every person in this room is a descendant of a tribe at some point in our ancestral evolution. Common, collective, genetic memory that’s in there, you know, that’s encoded, like I say, in the DNA.

And for every individual, encoded in our individual DNA, alright?, is the experience of our lineage from the very beginning. Whose whole perceptional reality was what I was just saying: all things have being, we’re made up of the Earth – all my relations, pray to spirits. See, and they didn’t pray to man or human form. The closest they came to it was they prayed to spirits that were called ancestors.

Alright? And because they were praying to those ancestors for help and guidance, they understood that we were borrowing today from the past and the future. We’re borrowing it from both places.

So they had this understanding of reality. So they knew that to keep the balance was the purpose. That was the purpose. The reason for being was to keep the balance.

So this was like, you know, what I will call a spiritual perception of reality. And so because of the spiritual perception of reality they understood that life was about responsibility. It wasn’t about the abstraction of freedom – it was about responsibility. That life was about responsibility.

So the spiritual perception of reality was based upon that: we were the Children of the Earth, the Earth was our Mother. The Sky, the Sun and the Sky – these were our fathers. Alright, but this was – and our reality worked for us....

So in our collective, genetic, ancestral memory, we had the experience of encountering the techno-logic perceptional reality. Because somewhere as this thing unfolded and refined itself, as it was spreading over the planet, a religious perceptional reality was used to replace a spiritual perceptional reality. Alright?

Because [with] a spiritual sense of reality you’re connected to everything man, you know, you’re connected. But in the religious perceptional reality, see, you committed a crime for being born, see you’re BLEEP forgettin’ here. [laughter] I didn’t make this up. And I’m not making it up now, alright? [applause]

And so anyway, in order to be – justify being here – to get to stay [laughter] – you had to submit to the male dominator chain of command, the authoritarian system. See, in this new religious reality[, it] said that, you know, well now there’s one god. The gods battled it out amongst themselves, see.

See I can’t envision, to me I’ve never been able to envision gods or goddesses. I can’t imagine the Creator in a human form. I mean no – you know, I can’t. And I think our road, our path to trouble started when we started to do it that way. Alright, you know, looking at the Earth as the Mother and these things, you know, call it a goddess, whatever, and this and that.

See, but I don’t go with god because I know that’s a limited perceptional reality. See, they forced it on us. But the trouble came see, when, when we decided that the Creator entity had a human form. See because then, that, that rationalized and justified mistreating the rest of the natural world.

Alright? I mean, sexism and racism came out of this perceptional change because once the Earth – you know under the new god thing, see, the Earth was no longer the Mother. The Earth was the property of this new god. And all god’s children – see god didn’t have a lot then, but they were very mean [laughter] so their numbers expanded through terror – see but god’s children was the – their job and objective was to subdue the Earth for this god.

So in order to achieve that objective they had to create sexism. See, sexism has got to do with how we live with the Earth. And racism, because now that the Earth was property, you know and all spiritual value was away, was away from the Earth, you know. Real spiritual value was now a religious perceptional thing, and, right, so it wasn’t all encompassing, it wasn’t just a part of the reality anymore.

So not a one of our people really went for this. Because it’s like, you know this is a major perceptional reality change. But anyway we committed a moral crime forgetting here, so now we had to submit to that world view.

To me, coherently to me, it’s clearly a blatant, a blatant, a very blatant perceptional altering how one perceives reality. I mean it’s brainwashing intensified at its maximum, right? Because our ancestors were forced to see life differently in order to remain just physically alive....

Alright – we know there was an inquisition. And this inquisition went on for 4 or 500 years in Europe. The purpose of the inquisition was to alter the perceptional reality of the descendants of the tribes of Europe. To make them believe and see reality the way the church wanted them to believe and see reality.

The church called it – they waged a war for possession – for possession, this is important – they waged a war for the possession of the souls of the godless heathens. And to be a godless heathen you just didn’t believe in god. It wasn’t a part of your reality. Or another way [of] becoming a godless heathen was to question the authority of the church to do this.

See now, again, I’m not making this up. You know, this did transpire. These things did happen. And they killed as many people as they could – I guarantee it – in order to get the other ones to submit. So they killed as efficiently as they could with the technology they had at their disposal at that time, alright? And because they created a rationalization as to why to do it, so it just became as efficient as they could do.

And at some point, the descendants of the tribes of Europe no longer knew what it meant to be a human being. They just didn’t know – they didn’t want to know. So the descendants of the tribes of Europe, in the end, had to love what they feared which was there to possess them. See, and I think it messed up love in a lot of ways, you know that they haven’t unsorted yet. You know, no offense, but .....

But anyway, all of this took place through our intelligence. Our intelligence. Now whoever it is we pray to, right?, whoever it is we pray to, however we pray, whatever, however we do that, alright?, I think that we have an obligation and a responsibility and it’s about respect. If we respect our Creator, then we should use our intelligence as intelligently as we can as often as we can. And that means with clarity and coherence. That means to activate and respect our intelligence and activate the thinking process so that it’s going the way we want it to be because that’s why it was given to us.

Our intelligence – as the human being part of all of this reality that’s going on, we were given intelligence, this is what was there to help us through the evolutionary reality – to ride the balance, so to speak, of the evolution with our intelligence. It’s our medicine, it’s our protection, it’s our self-defense.

Those fears and doubts and insecurity in one’s daily mind and reality – how much do they affect one’s daily mind and reality? How much do they affect the ones of the people around them that they’re connected to and that they care about? What’s the repercussions of the fears and the doubts and insecurity? Because I guarantee you, every day when we get up, we use our intelligence to create those effects.

So it isn’t that we’re not using our intelligence, or we can’t use our intelligence – we can’t stop using our intelligence. But it’s about as human beings, taking the responsibility to be as clear as one possibly can be about it and use our intelligence the way our Creator gave it to us to use.

Keep the balance, our intelligence. So this is – everything that ever happened – had, to change the perceptional reality, this – the battle ground had to take place. The real battle ground may have been the bleeding and the dying, but it has to do with the intelligence, to alter the perceptional reality....

But if we would look at ourselves clearly, the Dineh, the Navaho have a way of saying, I’m going to the fourth mind. Which means to look at everything. But you, you rise out of it. You look at it from outside, from the top, the bottom, all the way around, from the inside. You look at it from under it. You look at it, that that thing for it – every way that you can and you see it for what it is. And then you, you act....

The first act, the first act of being free and liberation, alright?, is the act of taking our intelligence back, taking our imagination back, our ability to think. That’s the first act of liberation. That is the very first act, alright?, of conscious liberation. The first steps towards respect for the Creator is understanding that we have that intelligence and doing the second act. It’s our intelligence. And for our next generation, you know, we have a responsibility to direct as much intelligence into that as we can.

Because this thing about life and death – you know, this techno-logic reality has been around for 3 or 4,000 years – I don’t know however long it’s been around, you know. But its whole reality is based upon death so therefore, at some point it must die. Our whole objective as human beings is to stay alive. Do you get it? I mean really alive. Not surviving and existing, I’m talking about alive. Connected to life and living. See, we have to outlast it because we can’t outfight it because its violence and its aggressive mindset, alright?, is beyond parallel.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s powerful. That just means that it’s violent and it’s aggressive and it’s without parallel and you better be damned careful of it. But that’s what that means, about power – our relationship to clarity and coherency and the use of our intelligence is our relationship to power and we can outthink it....

Your descendants and my descendants depend upon us, alright?, to keep the reality of the living alive. And we are going to influence the outcome, no matter what we do. So [what] I’m talking about is, well let’s take some responsibility, alright?, and let’s influence it in a more clear and coherent way. Outthink them. Trust ourselves and our ability to think. And each and every one of us was given just as much intelligence as we need. It’s not a contest.


Atomic Energy: Consequences of Creating Nuclear Weapons & Power

The nuclear power industry grew out of the nuclear bombs that decimated two Japanese cities in August 1945. These two industries are still inextricably entwined and will never be separated. The enrichment technology to make new uranium fuel is identical to that needed to make the uranium bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, while the plutonium stripped from spent nuclear fuel at reprocessing plants like Rokkasho is identical to the plutonium used in the plutonium bomb that destroyed Nagasaki.

Long-lived radionuclides, such as cesium-137, are something new to us as a species. They did not exist on Earth, in any appreciable quantities, during the entire evolution of complex life. Although they are invisible to our senses, they are millions of times more poisonous than most of the common poisons we are familiar with. They cause cancer, leukemia, genetic mutations, birth defects, malformations and abortions at concentrations almost below human recognition and comprehension. They are lethal at the atomic or molecular level.

They emit radiation, invisible forms of matter and energy that we might compare to fire, because radiation burns and destroys human tissue. But unlike the fire of fossil fuels, the nuclear fire that issues forth from radioactive elements cannot be extinguished. It is not a fire that can be scattered or suffocated, because it burns at the atomic level – it comes from the disintegration of single atoms.

      • Catastrophic Events
        • Three Mile Island (1979)
        • Chernobyl (1986)
        • Fukushima (2011)
          • Steven Starr: The Implications of The Massive Contamination of Japan With Radioactive Cesium, Helen Caldicott Foundation Fukushima Symposium, New York Academy of Medicine, March 2013
          • The Impact of the Nuclear Crisis on Global Health, Dr. Helen Caldicott, Australian Medical Student Journal, 2013
          • SimplyInfo.org Fukushima 5th Year Report, March 2016. With technical details rarely covered by the press, the report shows the new understanding of the disaster. The social and environmental impacts are also covered in this 40 page report complete with diagrams, illustrations and images covering the past year.
          • Into the Zone - Fukushima 5+ years on, Mark Willacy, Foreign Correspondent, May 24, 2016
            ABC Australia transcript excerpts:
            • Mark Willacy: Tonight we go on a journey into the heart of this ongoing crisis... and we reveal the frightening enormity of the clean-up... and how dangerous it still is.
            • Gregory Jaczko, former Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (May 2009 - July 2012): This really is unchartered territory. Nobody really knows where the fuel is...
            • Willacy: The man in charge of decontaminating and decommissioning the Fukushima plant [is] Naohiro Masuda. Has anything like this ever been attempted before?
            • Naohiro Masuda: There has never been an accident at a nuclear plant like the one at Fukushima where three reactors had meltdowns. We are currently working on a timetable to decommission the reactors over the next 30 to 40 years.
            • Naoto Kan, Former Prime Minister: I think it will take longer... This is a major accident, which has never happened anywhere in the world... 40 years is an optimistic view.
            • Willacy: We are heading to the buildings housing the melted reactors... Tepco is worried about possible nuclear terrorism, and won’t allow us to film certain security sites.
            • Masuda: This is a job we’ve never done and there is no textbook.
            • Willacy: [At Reactor 3 there was an] explosion right after the nuclear fuel melted... What happened inside [Reactor 2] no-one really knows... [Reactor 1] is where probably the worst meltdown occurred. They don’t know where the nuclear fuel is.
            • Masuda: We haven’t actually seen where the melted fuel fell, so it’s important to find it as soon as possible.
            • Willacy: For the first time, Foreign Correspondent can reveal just how vast the amount of melted nuclear fuel is, the three molten blobs that lie somewhere deep within each of these buildings.
            • Masuda: It’s estimated that 200 tonnes of debris lies within each unit... 600 tonnes of melted debris fuel and a mixture of concrete and other metals are likely to be here.
            • Willacy: The most daunting task, one the nuclear industry has never faced, is getting the melted fuel out. TEPCO admits the technology it needs hasn’t been invented.
            • Jaczko: It may be possible that we’re never able to remove the fuel. You may just wind up having to leave it there and somehow entomb it as it is. I mean that’s certainly a possibility. There is no playbook, they’re making this up as they go along.
            • Kan: If all the reactors had had a meltdown, there was a risk that half or all of Japan could have been destroyed... the accident took us to the brink of destruction.
            • Jaczko: You have to now accept that in all nuclear power plants...there’s a chance you can have this kind of a very catastrophic accident... that’s the reality of nuclear power.

  • Nuclear Whistle Blowers []
    • Dr. Alice Stewart
        • Low-Level Radiation - The Effects on Human and Non-Human Life, presentation at World Uranium Hearing, September 1992
        • The Survivor, Interview in New Scientist, August 2008
        • Summary of The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation:Dr. Alice Stewart is a British epidemiologist who revolutionized the concept of radiation risk. Born in 1906, she is an outstanding scientist with more than 400 peer-reviewed papers to her name and someone who has taken courageous and effective stands on public issues. Yet her controversial work lies at the center of a political storm and so has only relatively recently begun to receive significant attention. For more than forty years, Stewart has warned that low-dose radiation is more dangerous than has been acknowledged. While teaching at Oxford in the 1950s she began research that led to the discovery that fetal x-rays double the child’s risk of developing cancer. As a result, doctors no longer x-ray pregnant women. Two decades later--when she was in her seventies--she again astounded the scientific world with a study showing that the U.S. nuclear weapons industry is about twenty times more dangerous than safety regulations permit. The finding put her at the center of the international controversy over radiation risk.In recent years, she has become one of a handful of independent scientists whose work is a lodestone to the anti-nuclear movement. In 1990, the New York Times called her "perhaps the Energy Department’s most influential and feared scientific critic." The Woman Who Knew Too Much traces Dr. Stewart’s life and career from her early childhood in Sheffield to her medical education at Cambridge to her research positions at Oxford and the University of Birmingham. The book joins a growing number of biographies of pioneering women scientists such as Barbara McClintock, Rosalind Franklin and Lise Meitner and will find a wide range of appreciative readers, including those interested in the history of science and technology and of the history of women in science and medicine.

      • Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D., G.N.S.H.
      • Dr. Thomas F. Mancuso
        • From Nuclear radiation: There is no safe dose, by Romeo Quijano, ABS CBN, April 1, 2011:
          In 1970, Dr. Thomas Mancuso, a professor of occupational health at the University of Pittsburgh, was commissioned by the Atomic Energy Commission to study the “biological effects, if any, of low-level ionizing radiation among workers employed in atomic energy facilities". It was expected that Mancuso’s study would find that nuclear work was safe. However, Dr. Mancuso’s team found a definite relationship between low levels of radiation and the development of certain types of cancer in spite of the fact that all workers employed were specifically selected for their excellent health. They discovered three kinds of cancers among the workers: lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and cancers of blood-forming tissues, particularly Myeloma. The cancers were occurring at well below the radiation exposure levels of the official limit of five rads per year. This meant that the current standards for nuclear safety might be twenty times too high. However, there were powerful forces who suppressed the research. Mancuso’s funding was cut off and he was ordered not to publish his findings. He was denied further access to the workers’ data. In 1977 he was ordered to give up his files or have them seized. Practically everyone who sided with Mancuso were subjected to character assassination or lost their funding. The government would only allow studies of workers health records to be performed by labs under them. The data of workers health became the virtual monopoly of a small group of government sponsored scientists and were unavailable to the larger scientific community.
        • The Risk of Making Nuclear Weapons, by Robert Alvarez, August 2006
      • Karl Z. Morgan, PhD
        • from nonuclear.se - environmental views on energy:
          For 29 years Dr. Karl Z. Morgan was the head of Health Physics at the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons laboratory. He helped set radiation exposure limits for workers who produced the first atomic bombs. He determined from his many studies that "there is no safe level of radiation." This conclusion was not welcomed by those in the nuclear establishment who created the field of Health Physics to ensure that the health effects of atomic radiation would be documented and regulated by nuclear physicists rather than medical practitioners. In 1972 Dr. Morgan resigned so he could testify on behalf of those suffering from the adverse effects of atomic radiation.
        • Oral History of Health Physicist Karl Z. Morgan, Ph.D., conducted January 7, 1995, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering The Early Years, United States Department of Energy Office of Human Radiation Experiments, June 1995
        • The Major Cause of Cancer--Part 2, Rachel’s Environment & Health News #692
        • From ithacajournal: Dr. Sternglass, Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was also a leading anti-nuclear activist. Dr. Sternglass felt that his testimony at the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty hearings in 1963, contributing to halting atmospheric bomb testing in 1963, was his greatest achievement.

          In the early 1960s, Dr. Sternglass became aware of research showing that just a few pre-natal x-rays to the sensitive fetus resulted in a significant increase in the frequency of childhood leukemia. This marked the beginning of a lifelong effort to research and publicize the much higher-than-expected impact of low doses of radiation on public health.

          Dr. Sternglass, then a 23 year-old researcher at the Naval Ordinance Laboratory in Washington DC and recent Cornell University graduate, wrote to Albert Einstein about his work. Over 8 years of correspondence and meetings, Einstein encouraged him to pursue his ideas in particle physics and in “Secondary Electron Emission," the core of later lunar cameras.

        • Nuclear Witnesses, Insiders Speak Out: Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, Physicist, by Leslie Freeman, (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1981, 1982)
      • Dr. Helen Caldicott
        • From www.helencaldicott.com/about/:

          The single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises, Dr Helen Caldicott, has devoted the last forty-five years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction....

          In 1971, Dr Caldicott played a major role in Australia’s opposition to French atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific; in 1975 she worked with the Australian trade unions to educate their members about the medical dangers of the nuclear fuel cycle, with particular reference to uranium mining.

          While living in the United States from 1977 to 1986, she played a major role in re-invigorating as President, Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war. On trips abroad she helped start similar medical organizations in many other countries. The international umbrella group, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. She also founded the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) in the US in 1980....

          Dr Caldicott has received many prizes and awards for her work, including the Lannan Foundation’s 2003 Prize for Cultural Freedom and twenty-one honorary doctoral degrees. She was personally nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Linus Pauling – himself a Nobel Laureate. The Smithsonian has named Dr Caldicott as one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. She has written for numerous publications and has authored a number of books including: Nuclear Madness (1978 and 1994 WW Norton), Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War (1984 William Morrow, 1985 Bantam, 1986 Bantam), If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth (1992, W.W. Norton); A Desperate Passion: An Autobiography (1996, W.W. Norton; published as A Passionate Life in Australia by Random House); The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush’s Military Industrial Complex (2001, The New Press in the US, UK and UK; Scribe Publishing in Australia and New Zealand; Lemniscaat Publishers in The Netherlands; and Hugendubel Verlag in Germany); Nuclear Power is Not the Answer (2006, The New Press in the US, UK and UK; Melbourne University Press in Australia) War In Heaven (The New Press 2007); revised and updated If You Love This Planet (March 2009); and Loving This Planet (The New Press; 2013).

          She has been the subject of several films, including Eight Minutes to Midnight, nominated for an Academy Award in 1981, If You Love This Planet, which won the Academy Award for best documentary in 1982, and Helen’s War: Portrait of a Dissident, recipient of the Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Direction (Documentary) 2004, and the Sydney Film Festival Dendy Award for Best Documentary in 2004.

          Dr Caldicott currently divides her time between Australia and the US where she lectures widely. In year 2001, she founded the US-based Nuclear Policy Research Institute (NPRI), which became Beyond Nuclear. She is President of The Helen Caldicott Foundation, which initiates symposiums and other educational projects to inform the public and the media of the dangers of nuclear power and weapons. The mission of the Foundation is education to action, and the promotion of a nuclear-energy and weapons -free, renewable energy powered, world.

          The Foundation’s most recent symposium was held at the New York Academy of Medicine on Februry 28 - March 1, 2015. It was entitled Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction.

          From 2010 to 2013 Dr Caldicott hosted a weekly radio show If You Love This Planet which aired on many community and other public radio stations internationally. From 2007 to 2009 she was also a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board convened by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the then Prime Minister of Spain.

      • Dr. Gordon Edwards, PhD
        • From: PDF at Akio Matsumura’s Finding the Missing Link Project:

          Gordon Edwards graduated from the University of Toronto with a Gold Medal in Mathematics and Physics (1961). He earned Master’s degrees in Mathematics (1962) and English Literature at the University of Chicago (1964) under a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. After teaching Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario for several years, he obtained a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Queen’s University (1972).

          In 1970 he became the editor of Survival, an environmental newsletter with subscribers in 13 countries. In 1973 he coordinated a 7-volume study of the Role of Mathematics in Canadian Business, Government, and Science for the Science Council of Canada. In 1974 he joined the Faculty of Vanier College where he taught until his retirement in June 2010. In 1975 he co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR) and rose to prominence as one of Canada’s best known independent experts on nuclear technology, uranium, and weapons proliferation. He created the CCNR website: www.ccnr.org.

          Dr. Edwards became involved in uranium issues in 1977, spending three weeks cross-examining expert witnesses at the Bayda Inquiry into Uranium Mining in Saskatchewan. He became involved in reactor safety, radioactive wastes and plutonium recycling for the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning in 1977-78, where he cross-examined industry and government witnesses on a daily basis for three months. In 1978, the Commission reported that Edwards’ estimate for the probability of a meltdown in a CANDU reactor was “more realistic" than that given by the industry. That same year, Dr. Edwards produced a ground-breaking analysis showing that the cancer risk from radon gas is much higher than Canadian authorities had claimed. His results were later confirmed by the BC Medical Association, as well as by expert reviews ordered by the Atomic Energy Control Board and by the US National Academy of Sciences BEIR Committee.

          Dr. Edwards played a role in bringing about moratoria on uranium exploration in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia. He testified to the Territorial Assembly of the Northwest Territories in Yellowknife on three separate occasions in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s, and in 2007 and 2010, he participated in public meetings in Baker Lake and Iqaluit, and gave presentations on the health and environmental impacts of the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine.

          In the late 1990’s Dr. Edwards was invited, along with representatives from the industry-owned Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), to brief Inuit leaders on the issues surrounding the management of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. The Inuit Grand Council recommended that the government of Canada stop producing these wastes.

          Dr. Edwards has acted as a consultant to governmental and non-governmental bodies, including the Auditor General of Canada, the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning, the Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs, United Steelworkers of America, the Siting Task Force for Radioactive Wastes, and many others. He has worked with aboriginal organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the Mohawks of Kanesetake, Inuit Tapiriit Kanitami and the Chippewas of Nawash.

          Dr. Edwards was awarded the 2006 Nuclear-Free Future Award (Education Category). He has given many keynote addresses including at a 2007 International Conference on Nuclear Waste in Stockholm, at a 2008 International Conference on Uranium Mining in Salzburg, at the 2009 annual meeting of Physicians for Global Survival in Ottawa, and at the 2010 World Conference of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in Basel, Switzerland.

        • Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, holds a Ph.D. in engineering (specialization: nuclear fusion) from the University of California at Berkeley. He has produced many studies and articles on nuclear fuel cycle related issues, including weapons production, testing, and nuclear waste, over the past twenty years.

          A recognized authority on energy issues, Dr. Makhijani is the author and co-author of numerous reports and books on energy and environment related issues, including two published by MIT Press. He was the principal author of the first study of the energy efficiency potential of the US economy published in 1971. Most recently, Dr. Makhijani has authored of Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy (2007), the first analysis of a transition to a U.S. economy based completely on renewable energy, without any use of fossil fuels or nuclear power. He is the principal editor of Nuclear Wastelands and the principal author of Mending the Ozone Hole, both published by MIT Press.

          In 2007, he was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was named a Ploughshares Hero, by the Ploughshares Fund (2006); was awarded the Jane Bagley Lehman Award of the Tides Foundation in 2008 and the Josephine Butler Nuclear Free Future Award in 2001; and in 1989 he received The John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism of the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, with Robert Alvarez. He has many published articles in journals and magazines as varied as The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Environment, The Physics of Fluids, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and The Progressive, as well as in newspapers, including the Washington Post.

          Dr. Makhijani has testified before Congress, and has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, CBS 60 Minutes, NPR, CNN, and BBC, among others. He has served as a consultant on energy issues to utilities, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Edison Electric Institute, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and several agencies of the United Nations.

      • Dr. Vladimir M. Chernousenko
        • Author of Chernobyl, Insight from the Inside (Springer-Verlag, 1991), Dr. Chernousenko was Scientific Director of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, and was invited by the Academy to act as “Scientific Director of the Task Force for the Rectification of the Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident" (i.e. to help direct the cleanup of this catastrophe). In this capacity, he served for five years as one of three key participants in the attempts to “clean up" the disaster. As the publisher of the book explains,

          “The author’s chief motivation for writing this book is that he considers it vitally important that the world should be told the unvarnished truth about the scale and consequences of the disaster, the legacy of which will remain with us for many generations. He presents realistic estimates and new unpublished hard data from various reliable sources about the radiation pollution caused by the accident. The figures prove to be much higher than anyone dared assume up to now. We are confronted with horrendous numbers regarding the radiation pollution of the soil and aquifers in the Soviet Union."

          The author catalogues an incomplete set of 21 myths “about the way the Chernobyl disaster [was] handled -- from April 1986 up to August 1991." As he describes in Chapter 1, "Radiation emission was no less that 80% of the core (with a total of 192 tons), which amounted to 6.4 x 10^9 Ci. If we divide the figure by the population of the whole earth (4.6 x 10^9 people) then we get 1 Ci per person. (Naturally, the implications are not that everybody received such a dose, but such crude numbers certainly help to illustrate the scale of the accident.) The radiation levels of the emissions from the Chernobyl disaster exceed 16 to 27 times the maximum figure estimated as resulting from a hypothetical accident, in which the fuel rods melt down and the safety mechanisms are destroyed—this maximum figure was calculated as 3-5% of the core content."... At the end of the Preface Dr. Chernousenko distills the legacy of the catastrophe:

          “After five years of participation in the so-called rectification work I understand things ever more clearly. I know that it is not justifiable to speak about the "Rectification of the Consequences of the Accident". If one takes into account the scale and the degree to which an enormous number of peaceful people and a huge territory (in effect, our whole planet) have been affected, then one sees that the legacy of this catastrophe will continue to affect all of us for the rest of our lives. Our primary goal should be to provide relief to the people who suffer from the catastrophe’s direct consequences, and who are still living in the polluted territories. So far, only timid first steps in that direction have been taken; there are still very difficult times ahead of us. The noble, humanitarian participation of the international community is required for the good of all people."
      • Dr. Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko, and Alexey Nesterenko
        • From a summary by Dr Janette Sherman, about Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment; the book was

          published by the prestigious New York Academy of Science [and] is written by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko. The senior author, Dr. Alexey Yablokov was State Councilor for Environment and Health under Russian President Yeltsin and is a member of the Russian Academy of Science (class, Biology) and an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy Art and Science (Boston, class, Population Biology). Prof. Yablokov receives no financial support other than as Councilor with the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Vassily Nesterenko, head of the Ukrainian Nuclear establishment at the time of the accident, flew over the burning reactor and took the only measurements of the radioactive plume. In August 2009, he died as a result of radiation damage, but earlier, with help from Andrei Sakharov, he established BELRAD to help children of the area. Dr. Alexey Nesterenko is a biologist/ecologist based in Minsk, Belarus. Contributing Editor for the book is Dr. Sherman-Nevinger is a physician and toxicologist and adjunct professor in the Environmental Research Center at Western Michigan University....

          The authors abstracted data from more than 5,000 published articles and studies, mostly available only in Slavic languages and not available to those outside of the former Soviet Union or Eastern bloc countries. The findings are by those who witnessed first-hand the effects of Chernobyl. The conclusions of this book contrast sharply to findings by the World Health Organization (WHO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) who based their findings on some 300 western research papers, and who found little of concern about the fallout from Chernobyl....

          Based upon the data provided by multiple researchers and observers, the authors of this new book estimated that by 2004, some 985,000 deaths worldwide had been caused by the disaster, giving lie to estimates of 4,000 calculated by the IAEA and World Health Organization.

        • Steven Starr writing in the Preface of Radioactive Cesium and the Heart: Pathophisiologic Aspects, by Professor Yuri I. Bandazhevsky, M.D., “The Belrad Institute" 2013:

          Dr. Bandazhevsky’s groundbreaking research on the effects of radioactive cesium upon the children and people of Belarus is not well known in the United States. This is in large part because the government of Belarus chose to persecute him and suppress his work, which threatened to disrupt their plans to repopulate lands grossly contaminated with radioactive cesium. Bandazhevsky was forced to write this study while under house arrest, awaiting many years of subsequent imprisonment and torture. Government agents had already destroyed many of the archived samples, slides and materials that he and his colleagues and students had accumulated during the nine years he was Rector of the Gomel State Medical Institute of Belarus. However, Bandazhevsky had already published much of the statistical data he had obtained in 4 books: Clinical and experimental aspects of the effects of incorporated radionuclides in the body [Russian and English]. Gomel 1995; Pathophysiology of incorporated radioactivity. Gomel, 1997; Structural and functional effects of radionuclides incorporated into the body, Gomel, 1997. Pathology of incorporated radioactivity, Minsk, 1999, as well as numerous articles in the collection of scientific works of the Gomel State Medical Institute. He used much of this previously published information in conjunction with the slides that he had preserved at his residence, in order to write this study. For purposes of clarity, I have added a section, at the bottom of page 6, which provides more details on the methodology used by Dr. Bandazhevsky to obtain Whole Body Counts and the specific activity of 137Cs (cesium-137). This section on methodology is taken from “Chronic Cs-137 Incorporation in Children’s Organs," published in Swiss Med Wkly 2003; 133:488-490. Dr. Bandazhevsky was the author, but note that he was in prison at the time, and the 2003 study was compiled by his European colleagues using data that they had obtained from Dr. Bandazhevsky during their visits to the Gomel State Medical Institute during the period 1997- 1999. Dr. Bandazhevsky has recently confirmed to me that that the methodology described in the 2003 study did in fact describe the methodology used during his nine year research recorded in this study.

        • Timothy Mousseau is Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina.
          Since 1999, Professor Mousseau and his collaborators (esp. Dr. Anders Pape Møller, CNRS, University of Paris-Sud) have explored the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the radioactive contaminants affecting populations of birds, insects and people inhabiting the Chernobyl region of Ukraine, and more recently, in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Their research suggests that many species of plants and animals experience direct toxicity and increased mutational loads as a result of exposure to radionuclides stemming from the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. In many species (e.g. the barn swallow, Hirundo rustica), data suggests that this mutational load has had dramatic consequences for development, reproduction and survival, and the effects observed at individual and population levels are having large impacts on the biological communities of these regions. Dr. Mousseau’s current research is aimed at elucidating the causes of variation among different species in their apparent sensitivity to radionuclide exposure.

          See the University of South Carolina Chernobyl and Fukushima Research Initiative.

          The Chernobyl Research Initiative began formal research activities in Ukraine in 2000, Belarus in 2005, and Fukushima, Japan, in July, 2011. To date, the group has conducted more than 35 research expeditions to Chernobyl and 16 expeditions to Fukushima.

          USC’s Chernobyl Research Initiative was the first and currently is the only research group to utilize a multidisciplinary approach to address the health and environmental outcomes of radiation effects in free-living natural populations. This has permitted the investigation of both acute (short term) and chronic (long term and multi-generational) exposures.

          The Chernobyl Research Initiative is also currently the only research team studying plants and animals in both Chernobyl and Fukushima.

          Key funding sources have included the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust, the CNRS (France), the National Science Foundation, and the National Geographic Society. Subsequently, additional funding sources have included the Civilian Research Development Foundation (CRDF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Qiagen GmbH, the Fulbright Foundation, the University of South Carolina Office of Research and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Finland, and gifts from private citizens.

          To date, more than 90 scientific publications> have resulted from this initiative, most in the past 10 years. This research has been highlighted in many newspaper reports and television programs including the New York Times, The Economist, Harpers, the BBC, CNN, CBS’s 60 Minutes, and Miles O’Brian of PBS News Hour.

          The team has pioneered the use of ecological, genetic and dosimetric technologies in order to unravel the health and environmental consequences of chronic low-dose exposure resulting from the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. These have included massively replicated ecological censuses of natural populations of birds, mammals and insects to investigate population and demographic effects; DNA sequencing and genotoxicity testing to assess short and long term genetic damage to individuals living in the wild; and the use of miniature dosimeters attached to wild animals and field measurements of whole body burdens of radioisotopes in birds and mammals to obtain accurate estimates of realized external and internal radiation doses to animals living under natural conditions. Recently, the group has expanded to include epidemiological and genetic studies of human populations (especially children) living in Chernobyl-affected regions of Ukraine.

          Key results include the discovery of tumors, cataracts and damaged sperm in birds from high radiation areas of Chernobyl, and impacts on biodiversity in Fukushima. Exciting new results include the discovery that some species of birds may have developed resistance to the effects of radiation and effects on neurological development in small mammals in both Chernobyl and Fukushima.

          These two disasters differ in the time since the events, and the amount and diversity of radionuclides that were released, although the predominant source of radiation is cesium-137 in both locations.

        Arnie Gundersen
        • Arnold Gundersen is an energy advisor with over 40 years of nuclear power engineering experience. A former nuclear industry senior vice president, he earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in nuclear engineering, holds a nuclear safety patent, and was a licensed reactor operator. During his nuclear industry career, Arnie managed and coordinated projects at 70-nuclear power plants around the country. He currently speaks on television, radio, and at public meetings on the need for a new paradigm in energy production. An independent nuclear engineering and safety expert, Arnie provides testimony on nuclear operations, reliability, safety, and radiation issues to the NRC, Congressional and State Legislatures, and Government Agencies and Officials throughout the US, Canada, and internationally.

          He is a member of the board of Fairewinds Energy Education, a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2008. The website provides an educational hub for fact-based, undistorted nuclear energy information. Fairewinds’ website features podcasts and videos, in which we collaborate with experts in wide ranging fields to discuss nuclear energy issues.

Israeli Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy

Presentation by Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: Israeli Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy
Address given at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
March 18, 2016

Against the background of an increasingly more urgent debate over the sources of conflict in the Middle East, the growth of ISIS, the refugee crisis, and the role of the US armed interventions in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; this question takes on great importance: Who is setting Middle East policy in the US? Who decides whether to go to war and who receives weapons and financial aid and who gets bombed?These and other topics were addressed at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on March 18, 2016 at the conference on “Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?”

Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson is the highest ranking US foreign policy whistle blower to date. Wilkerson’s last positions in government were as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff (2002-05), Associate Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff under the directorship of Ambassador Richard N. Haass, and member of that staff responsible for East Asia and the Pacific, political-military and legislative affairs (2001-02). Before serving at the State Department, Wilkerson served 31 years in the U.S. Army. During that time, he was a member of the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College (1987 to 1989), Special Assistant to General Powell when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-93), and Director and Deputy Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia (1993-97). Wilkerson retired from active service in 1997 as a colonel, and began work as an advisor to General Powell. He has also taught national security affairs in the Honors Program at the George Washington University. He is currently a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg and is writing a book about the first George W. Bush administration.

In 2007 Wilkerson appeared in the Dutch documentary film, “The Israel Lobby. Portrait of a Great Taboo: the Power of the Israel Lobby in the United States.” In one segment he described how the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was highly influential in the Bush Administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq begining at 37:40:

Dick Cheney and his minions have brought—and Richard Perle is one of his minions and Doug Feith is one of his minions—have brought the art of lying to a new scale, a new level. Was oil the number one influence on President Bush and Vice President Cheney? Or was WMD? Or was spreading democracy? Don’t believe it for a moment. They didn’t even think about spreading democracy when they started this war. They transmogrified the mission into starting—or democracy, simply to appease the American people and give them some reason to support the war.

You have to decide where were these factors? And, inevitably, the Jewish Lobby in America, AIPAC in particular—the focus lobby—has got to be there. You’re being naïve if you don’t put that factor up there as an influence on national security decision-making. Particularly with the Bush Administration, the AIPAC lobby is very influential through Vice President Cheney, very influential—and through people like Elliot Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz and a host of others within the government.


Complete video recording and annotated transcript is freely available. Summary excerpts follow.


Ever since 1948, Israel has been a foreign and security policy problem. That Israel was a problem—a rather large one as a matter of fact, in ’47 and ’48 even—was most recently pointed out to me by one of my truly brilliant students. In fact, in a decade of teaching at both the George Washington University Honors Program and William & Mary, and six years at two of the nation’s war colleges, I’ve rarely had better papers than the one he submitted. At the end of our semester on Fateful Decision-Making—now, Fateful Decision-Making is what I teach in this seminar—and as the ancient Greek said, it’s when old men send young men, and now women, to die for state purposes—and something we often forget—to kill others for state purposes.He shall go unnamed, this student paper writer, but not unheralded by me, at least. I will say, too, that he had the additional characteristic, if you will, of being a Jewish American, which recalls to mind for me immediately a most unnerving moment as I had just begun my new career in 2001 as an erstwhile diplomat. I’d just entered the inner sanctum of a man who would prove to be very powerful at State over the next four years. He had only recently discovered that I had chosen to work for Richard Haass, in his capacity as State’s director of policy planning, rather than staying directly under my old mentor, the new Secretary of State Colin Powell. “Why,” he asked, “did you elect to work for that self-loathing Jew?” Recovering from mild shock, I looked him straight in the eye and replied, “I’ll forget I heard that.” I turned and evacuated his inner sanctum while he harrumphed to my rear.

I recall this little anecdote because it reveals what many use as a riposting device against any Jewish American who, through critical thinking, questions from time to time the policies of the modern state of Israel and the U.S. relationship with that state. Its complement, of course, for gentiles like me is anti-Semite. I have no doubt were someone such as Alan Dershowitz, from whom I have heard, for example, to read my student’s paper, the response “self-loathing Jew” would not be far from his lips.

In 1948, I would submit, there was no explicit such challenge for Jewish Americans or for any other American for that matter. The ingrained and highly partisan nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship and the neoconservative adoption of it in particular—Jim [Lobe], my hat off to you, he’ll talk more about that—had not yet come about. What my student rehearsed in the opening to his paper were the profound objections of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, of the iconic hero of World War II—after all, Harry Truman in a moment of apoplexy had essentially said, ‘He won the war, he won the war’; he couldn’t think of anything more to say about this man George Marshall, who was now Secretary of State—and others [who had] objected to what Harry Truman was about to do with regard to the State of Israel.

My student summed these objections that the Joint Chiefs had penned as the vehement Arab opposition to a Jewish state, the threats such opposition presented to the key oil imports from neighboring Arab countries, and then my student quoted the Joint Chiefs verbatim: “The decision to partition Palestine, if the decision were supported by the United States, would prejudice United States strategic interests in the Near and Middle East to the point that United States influence in the area would be”—and here come the words —“curtailed to that which could be maintained by military force.”[8] Is that prescience, or is that prescience?

Harry Truman, on the other hand, as my student pointed out, summed up the case for, if you will, thusly. “I’m sorry, gentlemen,” the president said, “but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.”

Marshall, in a tale that’s not apocryphal, when Truman did decide that he was going to essentially recognize the state that had stood up, Israel, threatened not to vote for the president if he did. Coming from a man like Marshall, who as a military professional never voted in his life, this was almost stunning for Truman to hear. Of course, he went ahead, and so we began our relationship.

There were to be sure more counterarguments than the president’s re-election, as my student also pointed out in this excellent paper: the horrors of Holocaust, the plight of hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees, and the need to make up for the wrongs committed against the Jewish people, all spoke for recognition by Truman. My student continued, also in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the British had promised the Jewish people a homeland in Palestine.[9] And in the eyes of many Americans after World War II, it was up to the U.S. to give that home to them, and Harry S. Truman did just that.

Today, we can look back on a line of post-World War II presidents who tried to deal with the challenges and more that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had so presciently laid out. And to be honest, and as many of you in this audience probably are well aware, the Joint Chiefs were not breaking new ground. Ever since World War I and Louis Brandeis’ influence on Woodrow Wilson[10] and his foremost adviser, Edward House, the U.S. State Department’s position on the potential for a Jewish state in Palestine had been quite clear. It opposed the Zionist movement because it was a minority group interfering in United States foreign affairs. Again, talk about prescience and there we have it—prescience par excellence.

Even so, could State at that time have envisioned the power of AIPAC today, particularly after Bill Clinton decided in 1995, as I recall, to make presidential appearances there de rigueur? I love that French phrase. I looked it up in Merriam Webster to see what English definitions were given to it. The second one was this: “necessary if you want to be popular.” Oh, Bill, the things you did for popularity’s sake.

But despite these heavily adverse conditions, most U.S. presidents managed a rather precarious balance. Whether as in the beginning, it was Eisenhower in ’56, as we’ve heard before, telling the Israelis, British, and French to get their invading military forces out of the Suez Canal area. Or it was Ronald Reagan in mid- to late 1980s, selling AWACS aircraft to the Saudis. Or George H.W. Bush insisting on real and serious work on the Middle East peace process following the first Gulf war in 1991, in which the U.S. had gained quite a bit of new leverage applicable to that process of survival and potential success. And you all know probably, too, there are some critics who’ve written quite eloquently in my view that George H.W. Bush lost the election in ’92 because of his vehement opposition to Israeli settlements. And then came George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and a presidency captured by the neoconservatives of which I was a part.

In a flash, Israel became publicly a strategic ally. Its Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in every Arab eye dripping blood all over the Oval Office carpet, blood from Israel’s invasion and occupation of Lebanon in 1982 and ’83. I might add, an invasion we had to haul their asses out of, and ultimately at the cost of the greatest single-day casualty of Marines since Tarawa in World War II. This man, Ariel Sharon, became, in President Bush’s own words, “a man of peace.”

And all the fears of the 1948 Joint Chiefs of Staff loomed so largely in the rearview mirror of history that some of us in the U.S. government sucked in our collective breaths and found it hard to exhale thereafter. But, of course, we did, and ever since people just like us have been trying—clearly to little avail, with some brilliant exceptions, of which the Iran nuclear agreement is the most exceptional and recent—to restore that precarious balance maintained since World War II by all of the presidents.

And so, today, where are we in this relationship so fraught with danger—and, as has been pointed out, danger to both parties, to Israel and the United States? Today, how does U.S. policy toward Israel impact our overall foreign and security policy in adverse or positive ways?

To start, we have the unguarded words of General David Petraeus to illuminate our inquiries, before he was himself subjected to the ritual of head-bashing that accompany such remarks. In a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March of 2010, Petraeus said quite straightforwardly that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict foments anti-American sentiment in the region due to a perception of U.S. favoritism toward Israel, and it makes military operations that much more difficult. These remarks came amidst a U.S.-Israeli dispute over housing units, 1,600 of them, in Jerusalem—illegal under international law, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and destabilizing to the max. I can tell you that in the military councils, of which I’ve been part over three decades plus, this sentiment was often voiced, and at times in far more dramatic terms.

When my old mentor and boss, Colin Powell, and I used to talk about the issues here, we rarely if ever complimented Israel on its additions to U.S. security posture in the region. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. Although today I suspect he would deny such conversations, and frankly I wouldn’t blame him. It would prove my point.

But there is more. There is concrete evidence of Israel’s detracting from U.S. security and of being a strategic liability rather than an asset. Where is, after all, U.S. hard power in southwest Asia, in Africa, and the Persian Gulf today? First, it ain’t in Israel. Nor could it be unless the world was at war and all bets were off....

Under any other conceivable scenario, the U.S. will never land meaningful military forces on the unsinkable Middle East aircraft carrier of Israel. That’s a phrase used by some of my neoconservative colleagues. Every instance of the use of force by the U.S. in the region to date has proven that reality beyond the shadow of a doubt.

So where, exactly, is the hard power? It’s in Qatar, it’s in Bahrain, it’s in Saudi Arabia, it’s in Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Djibouti and a host of other lesser places. The largest U.S. Air Force complex on earth, for example, by some measures, is in Qatar. The most powerful fleet headquarters in the U.S. arsenal, The Fifth [Fleet], is in Bahrain. The land-based aircraft carrier, if there is one, is Kuwait, not Israel, as both Gulf wars have proven. As a matter of fact, my comment during the first Gulf war, when we landed over half a million U.S. soldiers and all the supplies that went with them, was, “My God, another Marine, another soldier, we’ll sink Kuwait.”

In fact, in all my years in the military and beyond, I’ve never heard a serious suggestion of using Israel to help defend U.S. interests in the region. Instead, what I have heard many times is advice and decision-making to stay totally away from such use....

Does the unbiased policy of the U.S. toward this enclave jeopardize U.S. national security interest? You bet it does—big time. All we should ask, all I’m asking, all I asked for four years in the State Department, is that the American people be told the unvarnished truth and then decide if they’re willing to do it. Do they want their foreign and security policy based on sound principles of power management, or do they want it based on passions, ideology and unbridled favoritism? Now, I’m not quite certain what their answer is going to be. But I’m dead certain we need to give them the essential facts and then ask the question.


Palestine Is Still The Issue

by Israeli Historian Ilan Pappé
Ilan Pappé: Why Palestine Is Still The Issue
Address given at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, California
May 2, 2016

Professor Ilan Pappé was the keynote speaker at the anniversary celebration of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization based in Berkeley. Since 1988 MECA has provided more that $21 million in food, medicine, medical supplies, and clothes, as well as books, toys, and school supplies to children and families in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Complete audio recording and annotated transcript is freely available. Summary excerpts follow.

We don’t need to be reminded that Palestine is still the issue. But I think you understand that the context of this talk is different. A lot of people would tell us, that given what’s going on in Syria, in Iraq, given the magnitude of the refugee issue in Europe, the economic problems in the United States, Palestine has been marginalized as an issue of global attention and you cannot galvanize anymore people to see Palestine as a central issue of humanity and inhumanity.It is important to remind ourselves why Palestine, in this respect, despite all the horrific things that are happening in Syria and Iraq, in Libya and Yemen, and despite the problems facing refugees in Europe and here as well, despite all of these distractions, if you want, it is important to remind ourself that Palestine is the issue because much of what we see in the Middle East and outside the Middle East, is connected to what happened in the past in Palestine and what happens today in Palestine.

Palestine is the issue for five major reasons and I would like to point out each one of them.

1Palestine is still the issue today because morally it is the last and only remaining struggle of indigenous native people against Settler Colonialism that is still very active. Palestine is not the only country where Settler Colonialism was visited upon. This very country we are in was one of the first projects of Settler Colonialism; Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. But in all these other countries where Settler Colonialism was definitely prevalent in the past, at least processes of change and transformation were taking place.

Palestine is the only active, remaining act of Settler Colonialism and therefore it is representing the struggle of indigenous people and native people all around the world.

Settler Colonialism as you may know, is the movement of desparate Europeans outside of Europe because they were persecuted there; because they felt that Europe was unsafe. And they went to other countries, to other continents. And when they arrived in those new places, they found an indigenous native population. Because they were persecuted, because they were looking for a one-way ticket out of Europe, they felt that they don’t only want to make the new country a home, but also to make it a homeland.

The obstacle in the way of making a new place a homeland were always the indigenous native people. In many cases, the result of this clash between the wish to create a new homeland and the fact that someone else already lived there for centuries, was genocide; elimination of the native people.

We have to remind ourself, and remain hopeful, that Palestine is still the issue because people were not genocided there. Because there in Palestine the logic of elimination that informed settler colonialism in this country was terrible enough, but was not genocide....

Morally, Palestine is the place where the logic of elimination is still at work daily against the Palestinian people and everyone who experienced it here in the past, or still thinks about it, can see in Palestine a place where this logic should be rejected and replaced by humanization.

Settler colonialism is also a human project that was motivated by de-humanization. People who were chased out of Europe and arrived in the place where someone else lived were usually poor people, persecuted people, victims of ethnic cleansing themself. And in order to justify their transformation into victimizers themself they had to de-humanize the native people; they had to de-humanize the indigenous people.

Zionism in Palestine is this lethal fusion of these two logics that still operates in 2016, where Palestinians are de-humanized and therefore are an object of elimination. Elimination is not always physical genocide. You can be eliminated by being enclaved and besieged in your own village without the right to move. You can be eliminated by being expelled within your own homeland to another place. You can be eliminated by being robbed of all your civil rights, either to vote or to be elected in a way that can have an impact on your own future.

In this respect, we are witnessing daily the experiment of settler colonialism in Palestine motivated by these two logics, of de-humanization and elimination and if we are against such inhumanity then Palestine should be the issue for us.

2Palestine is also the issue because it has been connected and associated in the most wrong way possible with anti-semitism. For so many years we were lead to believe that the colonization of Palestine was the antidote to anti-semitism. Europe, the United States, and the West in general, used to convince themselves and others that because there was a problem of anti-semitism, and its worst chapter was in Europe during the holocaust, the only way to solve the hatred towards Jews because they are Jews was to allow them to colonize Palestine and dispossess the Palestinians.

This irrational, this cruel logic, that is at the heart of the connection between Zionism and anti-semitism still fuels most of the support Israel gets in this country, and still is the main ammunition pro-Israeli groups and individuals use in this country to silence any criticism on the Jewish state and its criminal policies.... the second reason that Palestine is still the issue [is] because the Jewish problem of Europe, the Jewish problem of the West, is a universal problem. Because it is not only the problem of the Jews. The genocide of the Jews in the Second World War showed the cruelty of modernity, of European Enlightenment, of the aspirations of Europeans to be culturally, morally, and politically superior to any other civilization. We need the closure to that terrible chapter in the history of humanity. Allowing Jews to colonize Palestine and dispossess the Palestinians is not the answer to this problem....

3Palestine is still the issue because it is connected, also, to Islamophobia. It has a long history of connection to the fear of Muslims just because they are Muslims. The Balfour Declaration, in which Britain gave something that didn’t belong to it to a movement it didn’t belong to ... the two motives for the British Empire, to take part of the Middle East, part of the Arab world, part of the Muslim world, and to grant it to a new ideological movement and promise that the empire would do its utmost to create a homeland there, the two major motives were, surprisingly, anti-semitism and Islamophobia.

There was a fear of Islam, there was a fear of Muslims, very much at the heart of the British policy makers who were about to take the Middle East as a new possession in their empire that already was very big and they much preferred to have non-muslim enclaves and kingdoms if they could in their new domains, in their new possessions....

Palestinians were the first victims of Islamophobia in modern times. They are also the last victims of Islamophobia in our times. It is the fear of Islam, it is the hatred of Islam, it is the animosity to Muslims just because they are Muslims that helped Israel to stop almost a natural process in the United States at the very end of the last century in which Americans, because of the easy access to information, to knowledge, began to understand what was going on the ground in Palestine. It was the major tool by which Israel, after 2001, associated terrorism with Palestinians in a way that stifled any proper discussion about Israel, Zionism, and Palestine in this country. And we are witnessing it again and again, the attempt to associate violence that is carried out by desparate people in Europe and their supporters with justification for the state terror that Israel exercises against the Palestinians.

So if you have a discussion about Palestine, you have a genuine discussion about terror. Not a false discussion about terror. You have a genuine discussion about the causes of violence in the Middle East, in Brussels, in Paris, in the United States, and everywhere in the world. You have a much better conversation of how Palestine is connected to desperation, to violence, if you focus on that country and you don’t allow the conversation about terror and the Islamophobic discourse to stifle any genuine discussion about the systematic structure violation of human rights against the Palestinians that has started in the late 19th century and has not stopped for even one day.

4Palestine is still the issue because it is also an issue of social justice.... Social justice, more than anything else, is a struggle against double talk, against hypocrisy, against exceptionalism, against deception. And no other case of violation of human rights and civil rights can compare with the case of Palestine when it comes to exceptionalism, deception, and double talk. This is something we are all familiar with and we know.

It is not only the cruelty of the occupier, the inhumanity of the colonizer. It is the pretense of those who support these actions that what we see is not the crime but rather “the war of defense,” “a democratic action,” “a justified moral policy.” We are all familiar both with the double talk, with the language, with the fury, the pretentious fury, the righteous fury that goes along and accompanies the atrocities on the ground. It is this hypocrisy, more than anything else, that symbolizes for workers around the world the way that they are being treated by their employers, by the multi-national corporation, and therefore you can see how many people today understand that the fate of the native, who was a victim in a settler colonialist project, is the fate of the worker today and the neoliberal system that we are living in....

I think many people, especially in Europe, but I have seen it here in 2008 as well, understand the connection between Flint, Ferguson, Palestine, India, Pakistan, Africa—this is part ... You are not only struggling against the criminal policy, you are struggling against the narrative that claims that this is not a crime—that this is for the benefit of the people—that the whole discourse that pretends to improve people’s life but actually destroys them is exemplified in Palestine on a daily, if not an hourly, basis.

5Finally I would say, and this is very, very important, Palestine is the issue of human rights today. This is the reason, I think, for so many of us, this is such an important historical juncture. And when I say ”us”—I mean Palestinians, people who support the Palestinians, Israeli Jews, anyone who is involved as an NGO, as an activist, as someone who lives there or someone who was expelled from there—for us 2016 is a very critical moment.

The Palestinians will have to redefine their project of liberation and adapt it to 2016. It is very difficult given the fragmentation which is the greatest Zionist success. The Palestinians were fragmented to five different groups. Naturally each one of these groups developed its own agenda. But we need a united Palestinian front, we need united Palestinian Representative bodies. None of the bodies that exist today represent faithfully, the needs and aspirations of the Palestinian. They usually represent a slice of the Palestinian issue and that kind of slice always serves well the Israelis and those who want to harm the Palestinian people.

So I think this is the moment where you have to find the way of re-defining the struggle for liberation in Palestine as the most important human rights and civil rights issue in the world. It is possible. The energy you hear from young people all around the world is there, ready to put Palestine at the center, as the symbol for the struggles for human rights, civil rights, and social justice around the world. But you cannot do it without representation which is authentic and unified over the Palestinian people.

The second thing that we have to take into account, 2016 should be the time where we all would be invited to the funeral of the two-state solution. The body is already in the morgue. Every now and then there is an American negotiator who takes the body out of the morgue, puts some life into it, like Jesus, and makes us feel as if it’s still alive then tells us it’s just around the corner. But apparently that corner is not on Earth. It’s somewhere on Mars....

We need you on our side. We need every good person, inside and outside, a Palestinian and a non Palestinian, to join forces with us and find out how do we respect the human rights, the civil rights, of both the native population of Palestine and the settler community that now is in its third generation? How do we help them to build a political system that rectifies the evils of the past and promises good future life for everyone who is there and everyone who was expelled from there?

This is a very important topic and I will end by saying that this is a particularly important issue because I think it is connected to everything that goes on in the rest of the Middle East. We have to remember that before Zionism arrived in Palestine, although there was violence, and definitely there was violence, although there were wars in the Middle East, the two logics I was talking about of de-humanization, of physical elimination, of elimination, were quite strange to the Middle East.

I’m not idealizing the Middle East. I am just saying that it was European enlightenment that invented Settler Colonialism that gave license in the name of Enlightenment and progressiveness, the right to de-humanize other people, to the extent that you could hunt them as animals in Australia, and to kill them as if they were not human beings in the United States of America.

This is something that is still an open wound and Palestine is the bleeding part of that wound. I think that you have to understand what happens in the rest of the Middle East if you can see that elimination and de-humanization of the Palestinians is not only possible because Israel is strong, is not only possible because Israel has the military capacity to do it. It is possible because Israel has an exceptional treatment in the international community. Because it has a license to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians in 1948 and not one international body says anything. It has the license to expel 300,000 Palestinians from the West Bank in 1967 and nobody says a word including within the more conscientious sections of the western society.

So the whole Middle East is watching and says, the problem is not inhumanity, the problem is not eliminating human beings or de-humanizing them. That is not the problem. The problem is whether you are a member of the exceptional club who is allowed to do it. And Israel is the sole member of this club in the Middle East....

But you can never have a genuine conversation about human rights and civil rights as long as the exceptionalism of Israel continues. So if you want to talk to Syrians about human rights and civil rights, start in Palestine. Don’t start in Damascus. If you want to talk about human rights in the Yemen, in Libya, start in Palestine. People would then believe that you really care about human rights, about civil rights. And Palestine could be the place where it’s not only still the issue but it also can push the issue of human rights and civil rights. And then maybe we will understand why it used to be called the Holy Land. Because now it is anything—it is the Hollow Land and not the Holy Land. And we have to bring it back to its historical, ethical, and moral place in history by having this kind of conversation.

So I will end by saying, don’t let anyone tell you that the Palestine issue is less important than any other issue. Don’t give up on Palestine and the Palestinians. And be brave enough to put aside slogans, formulas, solutions which are irrelevant, that are negative, that are destructive, and join the new energy that we are feeling coming out from many parts of Palestine and Palestinian life that wishes to create normal life, democratic life, human life for anyone who lives between the river Jordan and the Mediterranean and anyone who was expelled from that homeland and wishes to come back.


Panama Papers - Intelligence Agencies and Iran-Contra Players

The following is one of many articles produced by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Süddeutsche Zeitung, the largest German national subscription daily newspaper. Approximately 400 journalists from more than 100 media organizations in over 80 countries have taken part in researching the documents. The ICIJ Offshore Leaks project is one of the largest collaborations in journalism history. At the end of this article are excerpts concerning The Panama Papers–The Secrets of Dirty Money.

by Will Fitzgibbon and Nicolas Richter

Original source for the following at: http://panamapapers.sueddeutsche.de/articles/570e6affa1bb8d3c3495baf4/

The files of Mossack Fonseca reveal all kinds of connections to the activities of the world’s intelligence agencies. For instance, there are links to the Iran-Contra affair, a scandal that involved secret arms shipments under President Ronald Reagan. Oliver North, a military advisor, was charged at the time. Adnan Khashoggi, an arms dealer, also appears in the documents in this context.On July 4, 1986, a four-engine Boeing 707 landed in Tehran, the Iranian capital. It had taken off in Rijeka, Yugoslavia, fully loaded with valuable goods from the United States. Seven years after the Islamic Revolution, the Iranian regime was suffering from the sanctions the US had imposed. The airplane was thus delivering military equipment that was in short supply, including defense missiles and replacement parts for fighter jets–all of which were subjected to the embargo.The delivery was a typical undercover operation: officially, Iran and the United States were archenemies. And yet the military supplies aboard the Boeing were American. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) orchestrated the delivery in exchange for the release of American hostages in Lebanon. Iran was to arrange the release, in addition to paying for the arms. The CIA would then use the funds to finance the uprising of the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

The Iran-Contra affair was only exposed later on. Oliver North, who worked for the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House, was one of several people who had to testify at a congressional hearing. Initially, the operation was meant to remain secret, which explains why the Reagan administration couldn’t make the military delivery with the US Air Force.

The Reagan administration needed what intelligence agencies often require to carry out their secret transactions: intermediaries, middlemen, companies, and airplanes that don’t look like they’re owned by the US government. In other words, the government needed what intelligence experts refer to as “plausible deniability”, which essentially means the ability to deny things in a credible manner after the fact.

The airplane that landed in Tehran in 1986 was registered in the United States and appeared to be owned by a man named Farhad Azima, who lived in the US state of Missouri. Azima, an Iranian-born American charter airline executive, made a career of renting and leasing airplanes. To this day, he claims he had no idea that the CIA used one his aircrafts to deliver military supplies to Tehran. “I’ve had nothing to do with Iran-Contra,” Azima told the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). “I was investigated by every known agency in the U.S. and they decided there was absolutely nothing there,” said Azima. “It was a wild goose chase. The law enforcement and regulators fell for it.”

The Panama Papers now provide new insights into the business dealings of Azima and half a dozen other personalities suspected of having links to intelligence agencies for decades. Many are thought to have helped the CIA, even though they have consistently denied it. While no direct CIA payments have been found in the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, the documents do show a number of behavioral patterns that are well known in secret agent circles: dubious company structures, business transactions with used airplanes, and partnerships between shady characters.

“You just can’t walk around and say you’re a secret agent”

The Mossack Fonseca files leaked to Süddeutsche Zeitung, which were analyzed in cooperation with the ICIJ, contain a number of names from the world of espionage: two suspects from the Iran-Contra affair, a suspected CIA helper for arms deliveries to Afghanistan, and high-ranking former officers of the secret services of Saudi Arabia, Colombia, and Rwanda.

The documents reveal that Mossack Fonseca’s clients included Saudi Arabia’s first intelligence chief, who was named by a U.S. Senate committee as the CIA’s “principal liaison for the entire Middle East from the mid-1960s through 1979.” Sheikh Kamal Adham controlled offshore companies later involved in [BCCI,] a U.S. banking scandal; Colombia’s former chief of air intelligence, ret. Maj. Gen. Ricardo Rubianogroot, held shares in an aviation and logistics company; and Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Ndahiro was a doctor turned spy chief to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

Adham died in 1999. Ndahiro did not respond to requests for comment. Rubianogroot confirmed to ICIJ partner and Colombian investigative journalism organization, Consejo de Redacción, that he was a small shareholder in West Tech Panama, which was created to buy an American avionics company. The company is in liquidation.

The Greek entrepreneur Sokratis Kokkalis, once known to the Stasi as “Agent Rocco”, is also mentioned. And of course, the German secret agent Werner Mauss also appears. Mauss operated or still operates a dozen shell companies via Mossack Fonseca.

It is striking just how comfortably these professionals use shell companies to carry out covert operations–in some instances, even long after their retirement. Indeed, it seems that old habits die hard. The documents show that Mossack Fonseca’s offshore structures not only served the interests of suspected tax evaders and other criminals, they also supported spies in a business that relies on absolute secrecy.

The phenomenon can easily be explained. “You can’t exactly walk around saying that you’re a spy,” says Loch K. Johnson, a professor at the University of Georgia, in explaining the cover that offshore firms offer.

Johnson, a former aide to a U.S. Senate committee’s intelligence inquiries, has spent decades studying CIA front companies. Just like everyone else, spies, hostage rescuers, or weapons smugglers need logistics, starting with things as simple as bank accounts and credit cards to pay for their hotel rooms. Sometimes they also need cash, a ship, or even an airplane. It is in these instances that a front company can conceal the true customers or interested parties.

In the James Bond novels, “Universal Exports” was often used as a company name

Ian Fleming knew this, too: in his James Bond novels, “Universal Exports” was often used as a company name to cover up the British secret agent’s activities. It is very telling that the company has such a nondescript name. Whenever Bond has to make a call to London, he identifies himself as a businessman who is contacting his boss at the export company. He then talks about trivial things, the true meaning of which only British intelligence understands.

Over the years, “Universal Exports“ has become the epitome of secret service front companies. In fact, the name is so well-known that Mossack Fonseca’s business partners still mention it today. When a trustee wrote to the Panamanian law firm in 2010 to request that a company be set up for a client, he joked about possible company names: “I’ll suggest a name like ‘World Insurance Services Limited’ or maybe ‘Universal Exports’ after the company used in the early James Bond stories but I don’t know if we’d get away with that!” Many of the company names that appear on Mossack Fonseca’s lists suggest that the parties concerned would at least like to have the feeling that they’re close to the world of espionage. Company names include “Goldfinger”, “Skyfall”, “Moonraker”, “Spectre”, and “Blofeld”–all of them well-known from Bond movies. Evidently, the clients of the offshore business either have a good sense of humor, or are just plain cynical.

The trail to the world of espionage not only leads to secret agent movies, but also to the real world of intelligence agencies. One example is Loftur Johannesson, a wealthy 85-year-old Icelander from Reykjavík. Several articles and books have shown links between Johannesson and the CIA. Among other things, he is thought to have supplied weapons to anti-Communist rebels in Afghanistan, an allegation that Johannesson has denied. “Mr. Johannesson has been an international businessman, mainly in aviation related activities, and he completely rejects your suggestions that he may have worked for any secret intelligence agencies,” a spokesman told ICIJ. From 2002 onward, his name appears in connection with at least four companies that Mossack Fonseca manages, and which are headquartered either in the British Virgin Islands or Panama.

It is not clear why people like Johannesson still need offshore companies after they have retired, or why they may keep a portion of their assets there. It is likely difficult to transfer revenues from secret business activities to a normal account without raising suspicion. The German secret agent Werner Mauss’s shell companies raise similar questions. Does he (or did he) need them to move ransom money, collect commissions, or simply to save taxes? According to information provided to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the state prosecutor’s office in Bochum, Germany, is currently investigating Mauss on suspicion of tax evasion. Mauss, however, has expressly denied the allegations.

Operating fleets of airplanes (or managing global trade activities with them) appears to be one of the business sectors to which intelligence agencies or their suspected helpers are often linked. For instance, Farhad Azima, the Iranian in exile, whose Boeing 707 allegedly flew weapons to Tehran, appears in the Mossack Fonseca files from 2000 onward. At the time, he had a shell company called ALG (Asia & Pacific) registered in the British Virgin Islands. It appeared to be a branch of his Aviation Leasing Group, a US company based in Missouri that operates more than 60 aircraft.

It wasn’t until 13 years later that Mossack Fonseca realized it might be dealing with a man who did business with an intelligence agency. At the time, Mossfon employees came across a report that linked Azima to the CIA. The report described how a company called EATSCO (Egyptian American Transport and Services Corporation) was thought to have helped deliver weapons to Libya in the late 1970s. The company was owned by several former CIA agents. When they found out about this, Mossack Fonseca became nervous, and asked an Azima representative to confirm his identity. When the law firm did not receive an answer, it looks as though it didn’t pursue the matter any further. Perhaps Mossfon determined that it was best not to know the details in some instances. Mossack Fonseca responded to a request for comment by explaining that it does a thorough background check on each of its clients. However, the law firm declined to comment on specific cases, stating that it finds any abuse of its services unfortunate.

Azima is linked to another dubious person: as the Mossack Fonseca documents show, in November 2011 Azima was registered as the co-director of a company named Eurasia Aviation Holdings Limited. Once again, the company appears to deal in airplanes. Houshang Hosseinpour (who is also active in the aviation business) is named as another of the company’s co-directors. Later on, the US government accused Hosseinpour of violating US sanctions imposed on Iran. And in February 2012, Eurasia Aviation suddenly claimed that Hosseinpour had nothing to do with the company, and that his name had appeared as a result of an “administrative error”. Shortly after, the company purchased an airplane.

Azima told ICIJ that the company was only used to buy an aircraft and that Hosseinpour had never been involved in the company. The plane was not going to be used in the U.S., Azima said, so couldn’t be registered in the U.S. and the choice of the BVI was not for tax purposes. “I’ve filed every tax known to mankind,” Azima told ICIJ. Hosseinpour could not be reached for comment. In 2013, before the sanctions came into force, he told the Wall Street Journal that he had no connections to Iran and ”nothing to do with evading sanctions.”

In itself, none of this demonstrates any contact to the CIA. However, it does show how comfortably people in intelligence circles move about in the world of shell companies. Adnan Khashoggi is another example of this: the Saudi billionaire is said to have orchestrated arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the 1970s. According to a US Senate report [The BCCI Affair: Bank of Credit and Commerce International Senate Investigation Report December 1992; Section 11, BCCI, The CIA and Foreign Intelligence; HTML and PDF formats], he also played a “central role” [“Similarly, Khashoggi and Ghorbanifar performed a central role for the U.S. government in connection with the Iran/Contra affair in operations that involved the direct participation of CIA personnel.” page 308] in helping the CIA make secret arms sales to Iran.

Khashoggi also appears in Mossack Fonseca documents: from 1978 onward, he is listed as head of Isis Overseas S.A., a Panamanian company. The documents also link Khashoggi to four other companies, which he used mainly between the 1980s and the early 2000s. It is unclear what these companies were meant to hide.

Shell companies of intelligence agencies are not located only in tax havens

At any event, the files confirm suspicions that secret agents, weapons dealers, and hostage rescuers need a secret financial infrastructure in addition to the services of companies like Mossack Fonseca, from which they don’t expect too many questions.

There is no indication that Mossack Fonseca looked into Khashoggi’s past, even though the firm processed payments from the Adnan Khashoggi Group the same year he made global news when the U.S. charged him with helping Ferdinand Marcos, president of the Philippines at the time, loot millions. Khashoggi was later cleared. Mossack Fonseca’s files show the firm ceased business with Khashoggi around 2003.

It goes without saying that the shell companies of intelligence agencies are not located only in tax havens. Supposed private companies that in fact work for the CIA can also be established in the United States. One recent example is a network of six US companies, among them Aero Contractors Limited, Pegasus Technologies, or Tepper Aviation. While these companies are listed as providers of chartered flights, after 2001 they operated 26 airplanes that in reality belonged to the CIA.

At the time, the Agency used the airplanes for the global war on terror, for instance to move suspected Al-Qaida terrorists between secret prisons and other torture facilities. Just as was the case for arms shipments to Iran, prisoner transport was not something that the government could do openly. The New York Times, which exposed the true activities of Aero Contractors and others, cited a former CIA agent as saying: “When the C.I.A. is given a task, it’s usually because national policy makers don’t want ‘U.S. government’ written all over it“.

By all appearances, shell companies and tax havens have helped people in the underworld lead a double life. For instance, Farhad Azima, the Iranian-born airline executive, is thought to have been involved in several dubious arms deals. However, nothing has ever been proven, and Azima can still present himself as a high-society businessman in his other life. He is also a well-known donor to US politicians. Azima has donated money to both Republicans and Democrats. Former President Bill Clinton invited him to the White House on several occasions, and Azima has also supported Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

In September 1996, ten years after the Iran-Contra affair, Bill Clinton was seen at a hotel in Kansas City during his presidential campaign, where he led the chorus of people singing “Happy Birthday” to their host–none other than Farhad Azima. Azima had pledged to donate USD 250,000 to Clinton’s campaign.

Panama Papers–The Secrets of Dirty Money []

About the Panama Papers: The scale of this information leak is unprecedented: 2.6 terrabytes of data, 11.5 million documents, 214,000 letterbox companies.

The Panama Papers include approximately 11.5 million documents–more than the combined total of the Wikileaks Cablegate, Offshore Leaks, Lux Leaks, and Swiss Leaks. The data primarily comprises e-mails, pdf files, photo files, and excerpts of an internal Mossack Fonseca database. It covers a period spanning from the 1970s to the spring of 2016.

The leaked data is structured as follows: Mossack Fonseca created a folder for each shell firm. Each folder contains e-mails, contracts, transcripts, and scanned documents. In some instances, there are several thousand pages of documentation.

The company at the center of all these stories is Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian provider of offshore companies with dozens of offices all over the world. It sells its shell firms in cities such as Zurich, London, and Hong Kong–in some instances at bargain prices. Clients can buy an anonymous company for as little as USD 1,000. However, at this price it is just an empty shell. For an extra fee, Mossack Fonseca provides a sham director and, if desired, conceals the company’s true shareholder. The result is an offshore company whose true purpose and ownership structure is indecipherable from the outside. Mossack Fonseca has founded, sold, and managed thousands of companies. The documents provide a detailed view of how Mossack Fonseca routinely accepts to engage in business activities that potentially violate sanctions, in addition to aiding and abetting tax evasion and money laundering.

About Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) Headquartered in Munich, is one of Germany’s leading newspapers. SZ has a total readership of 4.4 million for its print and online media. Its investigative journalism team counts five people, three of which are members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The Süddeutsche Zeitung has won a number of prestigious awards for its research work. Its team has cooperated with other media organizations on a number of projects, including Offshore Leaks, Swiss Leaks, and Lux Leaks, which ICIJ coordinated. At the beginning of 2015, an anonymous source began sending the Süddeutsche Zeitung data from Mossack Fonseca, a provider of offshore companies. This marked the beginning of the Panama Papers project.

“‘There is no question that the United States serves as one of the biggest tax havens in the world for people outside the United States,’ said Daniel Reeves, now a consultant after retiring three years ago from the Internal Revenue Service, where he helped create its offshore compliance program.”
—“US scolds others about offshores, but looks other way at home,”
By Kevin G. Hall and Marisa Taylor, McClatchyDC, April 5, 2016

What needs to be revealed: One year ago “John Doe” sent a message. “John Doe’s” real name certainly is not John Doe. But this name, commonly used in the US by people who would like to uphold their anonymity, popped up. John asked a question that aroused our curiosity: “Interested in data? I would be happy to share.” And with that, one of the most unusual and exciting chapters in the history of Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) started.

SZ is now able to give insights into a demimonde, a shadow world which up to this point nobody from outside has ever been able to look into. This is a world in which people covertly shove back and forth assets worth millions. Here is where they park company shares, a world in which they buy yachts and airplanes.

In this shadowy world some of the action is completely legal. It can be reasonable for a German bank manager to keep secret the fact that he owns a mansion on the island of Mallorca. He might decide to hide the necessary papers in an offshore company. Fair enough as long as his assets are taxed in his home country. However, this is not the case for many of the business activities which are handled through offshore companies in overseas tax havens.

Often, those accounts are solely a cover-up for unlawful activities and shall protect criminals. SZ has evaluated data together with 400 journalists from all over the world during the past twelve months. Suddenly it becomes obvious how gigantic the problem of offshore businesses really is and how urgent it is for the world community to act upon it.

So far it has commonly been known that rich people and companies use offshore firms to avoid–as they see it–annoying taxation as much as possible. This is already shameless often and violates the societal contract, because these taxes are desperately needed for national budgets. The missing money can’t be used for community purposes: the construction of schools, rail tracks and public housing. But the offshore problem goes far beyond that. Apparently terror groups are using this system to finance themselves, as SZ’s stories will show. Criminal regimes in Syria and elsewhere are presumably capable to bypass sanctions imposed by the international community and able to continue a war with barrel bombs against its own people.

Members of China’s state and party leadership up to the entourage of the president himself apparently have set up an extraordinary amount of companies in or through Panama to hide millions of dollars abroad. Even before we published the results of our research, we received threats by those people who were confronted with our findings. The spokesperson of the Russian President Vladimir Putin prepared his people for an “information attack” of Western media. That was the Kremlin’s official answer to questions we had raised about those dubious transfers of huge amounts of money by the President’s entourage and about the fabulous wealth of close friends of Putin.

The law firm in Panama running many of these business deals, announced retaliatory measures against coming publications. The use of “information/documentation unlawfully obtained” would be a crime.

When Edward Snowden passed on his knowledge about the wiretapping of the NSA the US government also accused him of a crime: betrayal of secrets. Colleagues from The Guardian had to justify themselves because they published the material obtained by Snowden.

Many John Does are currently out there in the financial world. For media outlets the decisive question is not only if this information was obtained legitimately. There are two other crucial points: Is the source trustworthy? And is there a legitimate public interest?

Together with their partners Süddeutsche Zeitung checked and compared thousands of documents John Doe had delivered to us. We double cross examined with other publications and documents or files from lawsuits. Not in a single case there were any doubts. And the public interest here is obvious: The secrets of the Panama Papers need to be revealed.

This interest is not a voyeuristic one. It must not be kept secret if a state–as in the case of Snowden–is gathering information about its citizens, continuously breaching law or the legal shell of friends and allies. On the same token it must not be kept a secret when the community of states–as in the case of the offshore business–does nothing or not enough if a criminal regimes breaches sanctions. This has to be revealed.

American Nuremberg: Holding the U.S. Accountable For Its Actions


Back Row: C. Rice, J. Brennan, B. Obama, D. Petraeus
Front Row: R. Cheney, G. Bush, D. Rumsfeld, Fill-In #1, Fill-In #2

Challenging the legitimacy and further perpetuation of the “Global War on Terror” has never been more vital and necessary for the future of humanity than it is today. Rebecca Gordon’s latest book: American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial For Post 9/11 War Crimes (Hot Books: New York, 2016), provides critical perspectives on confronting war crimes committed by both U.S. presidents since September 11, 2001.A good introduction podcast is Jeff Blankfort’s radio program Takes on the World interview with Rebecca Gordon, American Nuremberg Trial Needed. Blankfort goes way back with Gordon as he describes at the beginning of the program. The recording of the program is all of 34 minutes. Start with this to get a sense of the significance of this book.From American Nuremberg’s Introduction:

“To this day, the people of the United States have never had a full accounting of all that has been done in our name as part of an apparently endless war on terror. After years of struggle, we finally have the heavily redacted 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,000-page report on the torture allowed by the CIA. But it contains only a partial accounting of the actions of a single US agency among the many security branches involved in the war on terror. Nor has there been any real public reckoning for those officials, including men (and a few women) at the highest levels of the government who are responsible for all these deeply troubling actions undertaken by Washington since 9/11. This impunity all but guarantees that the next time our country is seized by a spasm of fear, we can expect more crimes committed in the name of national, and our own, security....

“There is a pressing need to bring the United States into the legal community of nations, where it must be held accountable for its actions. Let us be clear: the scale of US crimes in the war on terror comes nowhere near the genocidal war-making of the Nazis. But ever since World War II, the American empire has put its heavy boots on every continent. Even in imperial decline—after disastrous wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and facing long-term challenges from China and Russia—it remains the world’s preeminent military and economic power. If the most powerful country in the world—a country that still, decades after the end of the Soviet Union, calls itself “the leader of the free world”—can violate international laws of war and human rights with complete impunity, then why should any other nation be constrained? For the sake of the victims of the war on terror, for the sake of our national soul, but even more for the future of humanity, we need a full accounting and real accountability for American war criminals. We need an American Nuremberg.”

Rebecca Gordon, writing in TomDispatch.com:

The conclusion of Exhibit One in Any Future American War Crimes Trial (April 24, 2016):

And so, the case against the man who was waterboarded 83 times and contributed supposedly crucial information to the CIA on al-Qaeda plotting was oh-so-quietly withdrawn without either fuss or media attention. Exhibit one was now exhibit none.

Seven years after the initial filing of Zubaydah’s habeas petition, the DC District Court has yet to rule on it. Given the court’s average 751-day turnaround time on such petitions, this is an extraordinary length of time. Here, justice delayed is truly justice denied.

Perhaps we should not be surprised, however. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee report, CIA headquarters assured those who were interrogating Zubaydah that he would “never be placed in a situation where he has any significant contact with others and/or has the opportunity to be released.” In fact, “all major players are in concurrence,” stated the agency, that he “should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life.” And so far, that’s exactly what’s happened.

The capture, torture, and propaganda use of Abu Zubaydah is the perfect example of the U.S. government’s unique combination of willful law-breaking, ass-covering memo-writing, and what some Salvadorans I once worked with called “strategic incompetence.” The fact that no one—not George Bush or Dick Cheney, not Jessen or Mitchell, nor multiple directors of the CIA—has been held accountable means that, unless we are very lucky, we will see more of the same in the future.

The conclusion of Crimes of the War on Terror – Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed? (June 7, 2016):

Seeing “the truth established” was the purpose behind South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Torturers and murderers on both sides of the anti-apartheid struggle were offered amnesty for their crimes—but only after they openly acknowledged those crimes. In this way, a public record of the horrors of apartheid was built, and imperfect as the process may have been, the nation was able to confront its history.

That is the kind of reckoning we need in this country. It started with the release of a summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program, which brought many brutal details into the light. But that’s just the beginning. We would need a full and public accounting not just of the CIA’s activities, but of the doings of other military and civilian agencies and outfits, including the Joint Special Operations Command. We also would need a full-scale airing of the White House’s drone assassination program, and perhaps most important of all, a full accounting of the illegal, devastating invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Justice would also require—to the extent possible—making whole those who had been harmed. In the case of the “war on terror,” this might begin by allowing torture victims to sue their torturers in federal court (as the U.N. Convention against Torture requires). With one exception, the Obama administration has until now blocked all such efforts on national security grounds. In the case of the Iraq War, justice would undoubtedly also require financial reparations to repair the infrastructure of what was once a modern, developed nation.

We’re unlikely to see justice in the “war on terror” until that cruel and self-defeating exercise is well and truly over and the country has officially acknowledged and accounted for its crimes. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 40 years.

Dr. Martin Luther King's 1967 Anti-War Speech & Today

adapted by E. Martin Schotz
with assistance from David Ratcliffe
20 June 2016

MLK-at-RC-4Apr1967-detMartin Luther King speaking at Riverside Church, NYC, 4 Apr 1967

Almost fifty years ago Martin Luther King gave a major speech against the Vietnam war and US militarism in general. In that speech he tied together our militaristic and repressive response to the movements of national liberation throughout the world that were threatening certain economic interests. He called for a revolution in our values from an orientation toward wealth and physical things toward a concern with others and particularly the poor. He warned that history did not stand still, that if we did not seize the opportunity, the tides that seemed to be rising against injustice might recede. Looking back we can see that his warning was all too true. The lessons of the movement against of the Vietnam War were not learned by us. We allowed ourselves to be mesmerized by the manufactured drama of Watergate. We allowed our revulsion over the Vietnam War to be labeled our “Vietnam Syndrome”, something to be cured by another more successful First War against Iraq.

Now fifty years later we are in darker times. The military industrial intelligence complex, the national security state, the corporations and their media are all more entrenched. We find ourselves living inside a monster to which we have a parasitic relationship, a monster which progressively threatens the environment upon which life on our planet depends.

January 18 was Martin Luther King Day. Is this really a day of celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Or is it a day designed to further consign him to history and truncate his message? In an effort to explore this, let’s go back to his speech at Riverside Church of 49 years ago on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated, and, re-working it, take from it what we can for today. Perhaps this can help us come closer to truly resurrecting Martin Luther King, Jr in ourselves. In the following 2016 re-work, Dr. King’s original words are set in italics and bold.

Read 2016 re-work