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Torture is Just the Way We Roll in the USA! USA! USA!

“Goddamn, motherfucker got blood all over my best clown suit.”

-Captain Spaulding

With all due respect to Maine Senator Angus King on the CIA torture report he is dead wrong: that is exactly who we are. “Did we torture people? Yes. Did it work? No” King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, said on CNN after the release of the heavily redacted, watered down sample that was the executive summary. Flying in the face of King’s pronouncement is the grim and sordid evidence provided by a Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed that 59 percent of Americans are down with torture of the same type that had Nazi war criminals hanged at Nuremberg. “This is not America. This is not who we are,” King said. “What was done diminished our stature and enflamed [Islamist extremists], terrorists around the world.” But it is not the Islamists that we should be worried about – it is the red, white and blue clad flag-suckers who are the cheerleaders of the fascist state of the new American century.

Somehow the neocons have managed to return to prominence within the hallowed halls of a besmirched U.S. government and a propaganda machine of which Joseph Goebbels himself would be in awe of. Fox News bimbo hostess Andrea Tantaros had a unique but predictable take on the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture programs, which included among other sick and degenerate acts – pureeing food and anally“feeding” it to a detainee and threatening rape of family members.

“The United States of America is awesome. We are awesome, but we’ve had this discussion” about torture, Tantaros said. She lamented, “the reason they want to have this discussion is not to show how awesome we are;” rather, “this administration wants to have this discussion to show us how we’re not awesome.” This is because “they apologized for this country, they don’t like this country, they want us to look bad. And all this does is have our enemies laughing at us, that we are having this debate again.”

But of course that is what Fox News would say for like their network prototypes Goebbels and Julius Streicher it is a powerful megaphone for the most evil and vile impulses of a particular authoritarian segment of the populace. While America will never go full blown Nazi – it is just too ostentatious and crude – the techniques of the masters have been refined for the information age. Fox routinely trots out vermin the likes of Dick Cheney, the Grand Poobah of the torture state (did he actually masturbate over those videos?) and other neocon filth to make the case for morons obsessed with the ludicrous “ticking time bomb” scenario. It is also Fox that served as the delivery system for one of the most sinister of the post 9/11 efforts to effectively brainwash the star-spangled sheep into the acceptance of torture. The television series “24” with Kiefer Sutherland starring as America’s favorite Nazi, Jack Bauer was a smash hit in a terrified, revenge crazed country determined to exact a terrible vengeance for the taking down of those precious towers.

Jack-Bauer

The New Hammerhead was a perfect cowboy. He was vicious & stupid & ignorant of everything except his own fears and appetites. He beat the mortal shit out of anything that made him uneasy, for any reason at all. The Hammerhead was a perfect warrior. He defended the flag. Any flag. He learned to understand words like “orders” and “patriotism”, but the secret of his success was an animal taste for blood. He thrived on motion. But he was brainless; he had to be aimed.

-Hunter S. Thompson

A Brief Interlude: In Jack’s Country

The pain was immense for the crumbled heap on the concrete floor, the sweaty blond man just didn’t stop…”ok you fucker…you goddamned filthy sand nigger, you fucking piece of shit…I am going to peel you before Allah”

“Not enough jagoff?? I’m gonna bring your son in here, fuck him in the ass, whack him into bloody pieces, make him into soup and make you eat him goddammit…now one more time…WHERE the fuck is it???”

“Where sand nigger? Where is the fucking bomb, the ticking fucking time bomb motherfucker….”

“Fuck you heathen” hissed jack as he grabbed a steel chair, twisting like a ballet dancer as he pirouetted seamlessly and smashed the chair into the man’s back….sending him crashing into the reinforced concrete wall, a Rorschach spot of dark arterial blood was upon the wall as the man bounced back to land at the feet of the avenging angel in black.

“For God”…screamed Jack as he brought the chair down again. The man was now only whimpering….

“For Country”…..Jack executed a powerhouse karate kick that snapped the man’s neck and separated the jaw, teeth skittered across the piss and blood slicked floor, the jaw sort of flip flopped in place, held on by a piece of flesh….

“And for John Wayne You filthy Muslim Cocksucker!” shrieked Jack with spittle flying from his lips, hyperventilating he brought the chair down again….again….again….the sick sound like wet smacking meat, like Rocky using the beef carcasses for workout bags….he brought it down fifteen more times then dropped it….fell to his knees in a pool of blood and viscera.”

“Then, panting and drooling he undid his belt, opened his pants and masturbated into the mess before him. God bless America, our safety is once again assured by our courageous guardians.”

The torture infomercial was a smash hit for years on Fox and conditioned Americans to accept torture and the ridiculous James Bond style doomsday scenarios that were constantly invoked by the Cheney gang. Later replaced by the Obama era refinement of Showtime’s “Homeland” along with Iranian sleeper agents embedded within the government. The enemies change along with the times and so does the official propaganda.

Outside of “24” and “Homeland” and their runs on the electronic crackpipe the meme that torture was acceptable found a place in big time Hollywood movies with the acclaimed “Zero Dark Thirty”. The movie, which garnered a fistful of Academy Award nominations was the story of “Maya”, an intrepid and relentless female anti-terrorist crusader and her role in tracking down the bad-assed bogeyman Osama bin Laden. As stories have emerged following the release of the torture report it has become clear that not only was the lie about torture working total bullshit but the story of “Maya” herself is too.

wetortured

“The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that.

We know that no one ever seeks power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

– O’Brien

The tale of “Maya” is a curious one indeed given that the actual person that the “Zero Dark Thirty” character was based on, Alfreda Frances Bikowsky aka the “Queen of Torture” is a mysterious figure whose identity has been protected throughout the phony war on terror. Thanks to Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept who outs her in a damning piece entitled “Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, The Senior Officer At The Center Of The CIA’S Torture Scandals” the identity of the “bitch on wheels” is now known. I excerpt the following from Greenwald’s piece:

NBC News yesterday called her a “key apologist” for the CIA’s torture program. A follow-up New Yorker article dubbed her “The Unidentified Queen of Torture” and in part “the model for the lead character in ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’” Yet in both articles she was anonymous.

The person described by both NBC and The New Yorker is senior CIA officer Alfreda Frances Bikowsky. Multiple news outlets have reported that as the result of a long string of significant errors and malfeasance, her competence and integrity are doubted — even by some within the agency.

The Intercept is naming Bikowsky over CIA objections because of her key role in misleading Congress about the agency’s use of torture, and her active participation in the torture program (including playing a direct part in the torture of at least one innocent detainee). Moreover, Bikowsky has already been publicly identified by news organizations as the CIA officer responsible for many of these acts.

The executive summary of the torture report released by the Senate last week provides abundant documentation that the CIA repeatedly and deliberately misled Congress about multiple aspects of its interrogation program. Yesterday, NBC News reported that one senior CIA officer in particular was responsible for many of those false claims, describing her as “a top al Qaeda expert who remains in a senior position at the CIA.”

NBC, while withholding her identity, noted that the same unnamed officer “also participated in ‘enhanced interrogations’ of self-professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, witnessed the waterboarding of terror suspect Abu Zubaydah and ordered the detention of a suspected terrorist who turned out to be unconnected to al Qaeda, according to the report.”

The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer, writing yesterday about the NBC article, added that the officer “is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.” This officer, Mayer noted, is the same one who “dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked.” Mayer also wrote that the officer is “the same woman” identified in the Senate report who oversaw “the months-long rendition and gruesome interrogation of another detainee whose detention was a case of mistaken identity.”

That Ms. Bikowsky was present during the torture sessions begs the question of what exactly were the objectives? Were the victims being tortured in such a manner to make them provide false information that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11? While Bikowsky’s conduct and presence are more than a bit mysterious there is one critical question where nobody is prepared to go? Was her “screw up” that blocked critical intelligence that could have stopped the attacks and prevented the day when everything changed the bumbling of an arrogant egomaniac or something far more sinister?

Dick Cheney spent a hell of a lot of time at CIA before and after 9/11 and it is a legitimate question to ask as to whether he knew Bikowsky. Sources have referred to her as a “bitch on wheels” who seems to have been in place at a crucial failure point at a key time to have prevented the attacks. The Homeland is now over thirteen years past the demarcation point of a free society and well into the post-democratic era and any questioning of the events of 9/11 are treated as blasphemy against a national religion. There was a time when it wasn’t tantamount to treason to ponder the role of Cheney, the neocons and certain foreign elements in executing that transformative event. Now, using the always reliable public mockery and scorning of heretics of the temple of fascism erected out of the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center with the overused but tired lable of “conspiracy theorist” and the updated version which is “truther” such questioners have been silenced. There has however never been a legitimate investigation of what happened on September 11, 2001 and the government officials who were on watch at the time – such as Cheney -are treated like elder statesmen instead of traitors and war criminals. We may never have the answers but given the ease in which the transition to a national surveillance/police state and the launching of the war on civilizations it sure smells like a coup d’etat to me. But that is a story for another time.

 

StatueHooded

“The reason why Dick Cheney is able to go on ‘Meet The Press’ instead of being where he should be — which is in the dock at The Hague or in a federal prison — is because President Obama and his administration made the decision not to prosecute any of the people who implemented this torture regime despite the fact that it was illegal and criminal,”

-Glenn Greenwald

Emperor Barack Obama continues to protect the torturers and Bush administration figures whose massive “failure” resulted in the worst “terrorist” attack in U.S. history as well as the murder of over 3,000 people. To this day – January 10, 2015 – Obama has done not one goddamned thing to roll back the crimes of his predecessors in the Bush- Cheney administration. Therefore he is complicit in their crimes yet there will be no justice in this country as long as the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 goes unchallenged. And don’t look for anything but more war, torture, surveillance and stripping of civil liberties once Obama has departed. He was a practicioner of the Fozzie Bear version of fascism but his successor won’t be. The neocons are already hedging their bets with major candidates of both parties and the future is grim once they have returned to power with an ax to grind.

The preservation of the self-proclaimed divine right of the state of Israel to carve out lebensraum was the organizing principle of the PNAC neocons and the Netanyahu regime. Bibi has waited it out and will soon be rid of the hated Obama and have a pliant idiot – perhaps Mitt Romney – who will dial up those long overdue airstrikes on Tehran. This week’s brutal assassination of a number of cartoonists and writers at the French “satirical” newspaper Charlie Hebdo even has liberals enlisting in the great war on civilizations and the Republicans have just assumed control of Congress. South Carolina’s strident (and likely sexually blackmailed) Senator Lindsey Graham has just issued a vow of allegiance to Netanyahu. According to Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Hayom, the Palmetto State princess dismissed the lame duck Obama by proclaiming that “Congress has Israel’s Back” and “I think the U.S.-Israel relationship’s anchor tenant is the Congress.” In that statement Graham let it slip that there is indeed a Deep State and with such obvious treason on the lips of an influential Senator it certainly would not be beyond that shadow government to pull off a bold operation like 9/11. Torture is nothing compared to the audacity of such a grand scale false flag event.

So the torturers will continue to live in comfort, never having to worry about the prison terms that they so richly are deserving of for their unspeakable acts of depravity.  Rectal feeding? What sort of a fucking twisted, perverted mind would come up with something like that? Was it too impractical to just subject the prisoners to something like maybe scaphism which is defined as:

Scaphism, also known as the boats, was an ancient Persian method of execution designed to inflict torturous death. The name comes from the Greek word skaphe, meaning “scooped (or hollowed) out”.

The naked person was firmly fastened within a back-to-back pair of narrow rowing boats (or a hollowed-out tree trunk), with the head, hands, and feet protruding. The condemned was forced to ingest milk and honey to the point of developing severe diarrhea, and more honey would be rubbed on his body so as to attract insects to the exposed appendages. They would then be left to float on a stagnant pond or be exposed to the sun. The defenseless individual’s feces accumulated within the container, attracting more insects, which would eat and breed within his or her exposed and increasingly gangrenous flesh. The feeding would be repeated each day in some cases to prolong the torture, so that dehydration or starvation did not provide them with the release of death. Death, when it eventually occurred, was probably due to a combination of dehydration, starvation and septic shock. Delirium would typically set in after a few days.

In other recorded versions, the insects did not eat the person; biting and stinging insects such as wasps, which were attracted by honey on the body, acted as the torture.

Death by scaphism was painful, humiliating, and protracted. Plutarch writes in his biography of Artaxerxes that Mithridates, sentenced to die in this manner for killing Cyrus the Younger, survived 17 days before dying.

Now that would be a wonderful punishment for a sick, twisted pig-fucker like Dick Cheney since he would probably actually enjoy the rectal feeding and sado-sexual aspects of official United States government sanctioned “Advanced Interrogation Techniques”.

Democrats Laying the Groundwork For 2016 Catastrophe

Democrats may have gone to bed crying softly into their pillows in the wee hours of early Wednesday morning last week but awoke determined to double down on exactly what it was that got their clocks cleaned in the first place. You would think that after receiving such an ass-whipping that there would be some sort of soul-searching and a recalibrating of the party strategy prior to 2016. But we are talking about the blue jackass party here so the only logical thing to do with the iceberg in sight is to order the engine room to crank it up to ramming speed. Thursday the Senate Democrats once again elected Harry Reid to be their leader.

The intrepid Reid’s fingerprints were all over the great beat down of 2014 and early indications are that they will also be on the amidships torpedo hit in two years if Queen Hillary the Inevitable gets rejected in her Quixotic grab for power. Republican strategists must be salivating at the prospect of Democrat self-immolation – that is if they can stop bickering among themselves and take advantage of this rare historical opportunity to deliver the killing blow to their nemesis.  The scheming Karl Rove once spoke of a “permanent Republican majority”, he could never deliver it though. That prophesy is within reach if all that the GOP does is simply stay out of the Democrats way as they continue to march off the cliff like blue-bellied lemmings.

According to a story from the website of The Washington Post entitled “Sen. Harry M. Reid sees dissent but holds onto Democratic leadership role”:

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid faced the first internal opposition to his grip on power Thursday as at least six Democrats rejected his bid for another leadership term during an emotional meeting following last week’s drubbing in the midterm elections.

Quelling a small but vocal rebellion, Reid (D-Nev.) won reelection to another term atop the caucus, now as minority leader after eight years in the majority. But his victory came only after a 31 / 2-hour meeting that became a forum for political grievances and a rollout of an expanded leadership team meant to balance the caucus’s ideological and regional diversity.

Four straight election victories had produced unwavering support and increasing power for Reid in the Democratic caucus, but the repudiation on Nov. 4 tested his clout.

On Thursday, he listened to his critics complain about the party’s campaign agenda, and some demanded that he steer away from confrontation with Republicans.

But Reid had no trouble securing the leadership spot because hell, if you are in a hole just keep right on digging until it becomes a grave. This should do wonders for the party base which in a rejection of both failed President Barack Obama and the thorough rot of the party leadership stayed home in the mid-terms. There is already more trouble brewing with the desperate Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana getting behind a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline in the Senate next week. The Democrats are also scrambling to ensure that there will be no real reform of the NSA Stasi’s domestic surveillance and data-mining programs. This will endear the party to environmentalists who will vote Green in 2016 as well as principled progressives who will likely vote likewise or just stay home. It is fascinating to watch this slow motion train wreck because the party is determined to stay the course leading to political extinction.

Reid’s smoothest early move has been to eliminate an anti-Hillary voice in giving liberal heroine Senator Elizabeth Warren a “special” leadership post as an “envoy” to the party base or in cruder terms, a Judas goat. A column from The Boston Herald, “Harry Reid plays Elizabeth Warren like a chump with new post” sees this as the Machiavellian political masterstroke that it is.

It’s an offer she couldn’t refuse — but should have.

Harry Reid and his loser Democratic colleagues dangled a meaningless leadership post in front of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and she took the bait.

Hillary Clinton must be getting a big, loud laugh out of this one. Warren is the biggest threat to her path to the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and now the Massachusetts senator is on the party’s leadership team. The same team that just got smoked by the voters.

How can Warren lead a liberal insurgency against Clinton when she’s no longer an insurgent? A few weeks ago she was getting headlines calling out the Senate for being sexist. Now the headline is, “Warren takes Senate leadership post.”

Taking Reid’s offer is a risky move for the freshman senator’s future. If Democrats lose big again in two years, she will get part of the blame. After all, she is the “strategic policy adviser for the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.”

It brings to mind Lyndon B. Johnson’s classic comment that he’d rather have him “inside of the tent pissing out than outside of the tent pissing in”. So it is all in on a proven bad game plan in order to feed the lust for power of the Clinton mafia who may have a crackerjack political organization but a bad product that may not be able to close the deal with voters. The much hyped war on women figures to be a big part of Hillary’s 2016 campaign but consider all the good it did last week when it went up like a big, stinky bag of flaming dogshit parked on the doorstep at DNC headquarters. But hey, this is just how the Democrats roll anymore.

After the Tuesday massacre Obama wasted no time in continuing to alienate progressives. He nearly immediately announced that more troops would be sent to Iraq and has spent the past week slithering around the Pacific selling the highly secretive TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) which is another job killing corporate giveaway. He has also renewed the vitriolic and lie-filled Putin bashing after a brief hiatus in a signal that the great neocon rebooting of the Cold War is on again. The reviled Russian leader is leaving early from the G20 summit in Australia after being set upon by the yappy little attack poodles of Uncle Scam, notably the fascists Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper, either of which cold stand in for Norsefire Party Chancellor Adam Sutler in the movie “V For Vendetta”.

The imminent TPP deal is especially vile in that it indicates a degree of collusion between Obama and newly crowned Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who are on the same page when it comes to screwing Americans over for their corporate benefactors. McConnell is taking fire from the right though so he has now launched the smokescreen of Obama’s “War on Coal” after dear leader wandered off the reservation with his recent climate deal with China. This is the truest barometer of just how batshit fucking crazy that America has become in that every goddamned thing has to be a “war”. There is the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on women, the war on obesity, the war on Christmas and far too many other “wars” to list here. What it all amounts to is a war on everything that was once decent in this country as well as a final pitchfork in the ass of anything that it was alleged to have once stood for. Why not just admit it that the war on stupidity was lost long ago. Our pathetically failed political system is a damning testament to that.

So now the perfect storm is coming for the Democratic party as it currently exists under the abominable master plan of running as less overtly fascist Republicans and cherry-picking special interest groups for votes. The turnout in the mid-terms was reportedly the lowest in 72 years and there is a reason for this that goes beyond the obvious voter suppression tactics and deluge of corporate money. As I recently wrote in my piece “The Democrats Got What They Deserved” the party has grave problems right now due to years of rottenness, fecklessness, deal-cutting and betrayal under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The term “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” has been used by the right-wingers with great effect when it came to demonizing the French for their less-than lockstep support of neocon wars of aggression. It could more appropriately be applied to the Congressional leadership of the Democrats, particularly with Mr. Reid who is already carving out a big wedge of limburger to nosh on in the new GOP controlled Senate.

The American nightmare continues but don’t expect to wake up anytime soon because now all that the Republicans have to do is keep it together and cobble together a message that appeals to a slightly wider demographic and they will control the political system for generations. They may not even have to do that considering that the Democrats are hellbent on hitching their wagon to that “drearily soulless, principle-free, power-hungry veteran of DC’s game of thrones” who is Hillary Clinton. It was her hubby who wedded the Democrats to corporate and Wall Street interests and only fitting that she will be the one who finishes the job of destroying the party that used to stand for FDR style economic fairness before it sold it’s wretched soul and sold the rest of us down the river in the process.

Democrats Got What They Deserved

Guess I got what I deserve

Guess I got what I deserve

Kept you waiting there, too long my love

All that time, without a word

Didn’t know you’d think, that I’d forget, or I’d regret

The special love I have for you

My baby Blue

-Badfinger “Baby Blue”

It was a very cold morning indeed on Wednesday November 5, 2014. It was a day of reckoning for a Democratic party that had just suffered an electoral bloodbath as savage as a Rob Zombie slasher flick. The thorough drubbing of the blue jackass party was not unexpected given mounting ominous signs as well as the increasingly unpopular President Barack Obama who is at best a complete fraud. While triumphant Republicans are touting the stomping as a repudiation of the hated Obama what goes unsaid is that the results are a rejection of a Democratic party strategy based on running only slightly to the left of their more overtly fascist counterparts. Democrats have come to stand for absolutely nothing outside of what it takes to save their own miserable skins and are a shell of what the party once was when it championed a vibrant middle class that was the envy of the civilized world. The chickens finally came home to roost on Tuesday but they may as well have been vultures descending to pick the remaining flesh from the rotting corpse of a major political party.

Not only did the GOP gain control of the Senate but picked up House seats and won a number of what were to be close Governor’s races. Florida’s reptilian Rick Scott beat back a challenge by former Republican Charlie Crist and union busting thug Scott Walker — who survived a recall attempt — won reelection in Wisconsin. This was a year in which a woman who is a proud hog-castrator actually won a Senate seat in Iowa which speaks volumes about the political system in America today. Professional obstructionist Mitch McConnell easily prevailed in Kentucky and now will become Senate Majority Leader replacing the insipid Harry Reid which is probably the best thing that can be said about the elections. Reid’s fingerprints are all over the disaster as are those of fellow Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi who really planted the seeds for the debacle back in 2006 with those five little words that “impeachment is off the table”. By establishing that the Democrats had zero interest in extracting the necessary accountability from the historically criminal Bush-Cheney regime and it’s despicable gaggle of war criminals, 9/11 profiteers, torturers, thieves and murderers, the chain of events leading to Tuesday’s bludgeoning was set into motion.

The Democrats are now at a crossroads in that they are becoming the political equivalent of the Ebola virus and are turning off more voters by the day, especially independents and progressives. Sure there was the usual voter suppression, laws designed to prevent non-white people from voting and of course the billions of dollars spent by pigs like the Koch brothers and their ilk to rig the game. Such things tend to happen in our star-spangled banana republic where greed, cheating and hypocrisy are the coin of the realm. While outrageous and decidedly undemocratic they however tend to serve as a crutch in the ongoing failure to address the real problem in that despite much lip-service the Democrats buried the dagger in the backs of the working class years ago. By failing to even attempt to appeal to certain segments of the population (“Reagan Democrats”) that were easily plucked by Republican demagogues like the low-hanging fruit they are the party betrayed core principles of economic fairness and helped to put the American dream on life support. The late, great Joe Bageant wrote much on this and his work should be required reading for any who seek to understand how we came to be in this dismal state.

Were the Democrats to actually become serious advocates of the poor and downtrodden and denounce the destructive forces of late stage predatory capitalism and imperialism, people would turn out to vote in such numbers that no amount of dirty money or voter suppression could overcome it. But then again if my aunt had a pair of balls she’d be my uncle. The Democrats – under the current leadership – will never eschew corporate money nor take a moral stand on anything outside of their phony identity group politics. It is always easy to preach the message of equal rights for all and then proceed to sh*t on every last one of those who were gullible enough to believe it after the votes have been counted. It sure as hell didn’t work out on Tuesday and it won’t work in 2016 either. Enough people are now able to see through it as the dishonest horseshit that it always was. Just ask Hispanics who were counting on serious immigration reform from Obama and his party.

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth on the so-called left but little to no real acknowledgement of exactly why voters have come to dislike and distrust the Democrats. I have a number of liberal and progressive friends who either stayed home out of disgust with the Dems to punish Obama or went to the polls and voted for libertarians, Greens and no party affiliate candidates. I really don’t expect Democratic party bosses to get it before next election in which the coronation of Queen Hillary the Inevitable has been preordained since 2008 and they will only insist on pushing a failed product that has fewer buyers now than ever.

Now the Democrats are turning on each other like starved weasels trapped inside a raw sewage pipe after getting walloped and trying to shed their own culpability. According to the Washington Post, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s staff is caterwauling about a lack of support from Obama while David Axelrod went on MSNBC and called for a house cleaning. The circular firing squad is already forming but there is no honest discussion over what it is about what is truly wrong with the Democratic party. It is a deep state of denial bordering on fugue and there is no easy fixing of this hot mess in time for the next round in 2016 which the talking heads are already masturbating over. Democrats may have gone to bed crying softly into their pillows in the wee hours of early Wednesday morning but awoke determined to double down on exactly what it was that got their clocks cleaned in the first place.

In what should be an ominous sign for Democrats, not even Bill Clinton could salvage their hopes when he was trotted out a few weeks ago to stump for candidates like the doomed Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky. Despite mass denial among party loyalists it may not be a good idea to bet the farm on Hillary being able to deliver as expected in two years. The Clintons used to be fresh back in 1992 when they were the sign of a new generation assuming it’s position atop the nation’s political establishment and were adored by millions then. That however was one hell of a long time ago. Today Bill and Hillary Clinton are symbols of a terminally corrupt, atrophied, insider packed political class who have zero chance at connecting with the younger generation. Obama pulled it off six years ago but like everything else that the prince of petulance has touched it all turned to sh*t leaving those millions of potentially long term energized voters up for grabs. So much for Advertising Age’s 2008 Marketer of the Year.

The Republicans as always are prone to overreach and could very well self-destruct in a state of raw hubris. This is especially so with the new Senate providing even more power to insane warmongers like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two fanatics who seem to be sexually aroused over any possibility of freshly spilled blood. There will be no end to war with the Republican majority and come early next year it is inevitable that Bibi “the chickenshit” Netanyahu will be greeted by thunderous applause like a conquering hero in front of a joint session of Congress. There will be a scuttling of any talks with Iran, a renewed push for a catastrophic confrontation with nuclear armed Russia over neocon operations in Ukraine and those oh so precious “boots on the ground” will be marching in Iraq in vastly increasing numbers. But a GOP blowup isn’t likely in that the Democratic establishment is just as enamored with war, the destruction of civil liberties and corporate looting as their more ostentatious counterparts. Hell, the first thing that Obama did outside of kissing the asses of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner after the apocalypse was to announce that more troops were being sent to fight the bad ass bogeyman ISIS.

There is a word that can be used to describe any who are optimistic that the Democrats will be able to turn on a dime and quickly return to power in 2016 and that word is “fools”. It is astonishing that such a reversal of fortune has taken place in less than a decade but for the most part that bog of shit and quicksand that Dems are being sucked under by is entirely of their own creation. They stood by Obama as his hatchet man Eric Holder passed out get out of jail free cards to Wall Street criminals, over the drone strikes, the kill list served up with his breakfast, the extrajudicial murder of American citizens, ginned up wars based on lies, a bullshit health care “reform” effort that was nothing but a big, sloppy kiss to insurance parasites with plenty of tongue, NSA surveillance and data-mining and the moral outrage of backing neo-Nazi death squads in Ukraine. So fuck them, they earned every bit of that ass-whipping and now before the bodies from the massacre have even cooled are getting in line for seconds.

What is truly unbelievable about the Democrat’s 2014 implosion is that it has paved the way for the unthinkable in that the Bush crime family now has a clear path back to power. Were this a work of fiction the title of the final installment of the trilogy of terror would be “The Bush Supremacy”. Who would have believed that such a thing could ever happen back in 2008 but such are the unintended consequences when “impeachment is off the table”.

Democrats: The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still Evil

As the old saying goes, “the greatest trick that the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”. It is remarkable as to how applicable that this saying is when applied to President Barack Obama. Obama was widely hailed as the man who would lead the nation out of the dark wilderness of the Bush-Cheney years of war, torture, mass-surveillance, destruction of civil liberties and grand scale theft by the jackals of high finance. Now it is apparent that Obama is not only a fraud but is arguably far worse than Bush and Cheney because because he kills with a smile, in particularly when it is the extrajudicial murders of American citizens who just happen to be on the “kill list” that is brought to him alongside his morning orange juice.

Fozzie Bear fascism has been a hot seller in the USA! USA! USA! under Obama and far too many fail to realize that there has been not only a seamless continuity bridging the road to hell of Bush-Cheney but actually a codifying of their worst policies. President Barack Obama and his criminal administration have enabled the worst thieves on Wall Street, enhanced and expanded the NSA’s surveillance and data-mining operations, enabled and supported war criminals conducting ethnic cleansing and murder operations in Gaza and Ukraine and currently has the country on a path to World War III with Russia.

The corrupt state-corporate media never calls bullshit, instead covering up for the worst of Obama’s policies and acts while focusing on minutiae, spinning identity group issues so as to cover his previous indifference – for example to gays – and painting him as a victim of a deeply entrenched racist opposing party hellbent at undermining his agenda. Nothing could be farther than the truth – Obama is carriyng out his exact aganda and outside of the political circus of the dueling cults of the red elephant and the blue jackass there is rock-solid bipartisan support for what reallyi matters to these people: war, fascism and wealth extraction.

With the dismal failure of the media to provide honest coverage it is always great to see grass roots groups who are dedicated to freedom, justice and dignity getting their message out. As George W. Bush once flippantly remarked – “you need to catapult the propaganda” he was onto something.

Following up on an article that I recently wrote on a Florida activist group’s efforts to get out the word on the U.S. support of Israeli war crimes and genocide in my piece “Florida Group Bypasses Media to Get Word Out on Israeli War Crimes” I am proud to have been able to participate in an email interview with members of St. Pete for Peace. The group is currently engaged in an informational campaign to spread awareness that the Democrats are truly no better than their more overtly fascist counterparts when it comes to the business of America: WAR. The group is also running a contest “NOT The Lesser of Two Evils” which this writer strongly encourages that you take a look at.

DONN MARTEN: Why is St. Pete for Peace doing this contest?

CHRIS ERNESTO: The contest was designed to get people to think about the still rampant believe among many liberals and progressives that the Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party.

For almost 12 years St. Pete for Peace has been presenting facts to dispel this myth, but we felt we needed to take it up a notch and challenge people via this contest. The contest is also designed to give people an outlet for expressing their disgust with the one party system here in the US.

DONN MARTEN: You say that Democrats are just as egregious as Republicans. Why is this?

CHRIS ERNESTO: St. Pete for Peace is non-partisan, which means we can be objective, unlike most people who label themselves Democrats or Republicans. Because of this objectivity, it’s been very easy to conclude that Democrats are at least as egregious as Republicans.

Look no further than Barack Obama’s foreign policy. We believe war is the worst possible thing that can happen in society. In part because war inevitably includes death, suffering, poverty, sexual assaults, depression, homelessness, child abuse, environmental destruction, drug addiction, disease, misery, anger, and much more, all of which is bad.

Many people believe Obama less of a warmonger than George W. Bush, but Obama has dropped bombs on 6 countries compared to the 4 countries bombed under Bush.

And Obama has simply replaced US boots on the ground with drones, mercenaries and Special Ops. In fact Obama has deployed US Special Forces to 134 countries – compared to 60 under Bush.

He has significantly increased the US military footprint in Africa – at least 27 African nations now have a US military presence.

He has waged war on Libya without congressional approval, he tripled the troops in Afghanistan, he sharply escalated the drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, he’s continued the proxy war in Somalia, he tried to start a war in Syria, he supports Israel’s war on Gaza (as did every Democratic US Senator), and now he’s started another war in Iraq. And yes, it is a war in Iraq – anytime you drop bombs in a country it is a war.

Obama’s Bush-like rhetoric regarding Iraq is particularly disturbing. You would think Dick Cheney is writing the president’s speeches again when you hear Obama mocking Americans by saying the US is just sending military “advisers” to Iraq to stop ISIS because they are a threat to national security. He even has the nerve to package US airstrikes as a “humanitarian” effort. What’s next, having an orgy to encourage celibacy? Or having a keg party to promote sobriety?

It’s bad enough that Obama’s followers give him a pass on his hyper-violent foreign policy and the corresponding deceit, but for them to sit back and remain silent as Obama and the US are on the same side as ISIS in Syria and now are bombing them in Iraq is sickening. But the Democratic Party knows their constituency will just covers their eyes and ears. They know their voters prefer to be willfully ignorant.

And to top it off, the Obama administration is supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Can you imagine what Democrats would be saying if a Republican president supported neo-Nazis? But again, their guy does it and they either deny it or look the other way.

St. Pete for Peace knew Obama was not a person of peace after reading his words in 2002 in which he stated, “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war.” Can you imagine if he replaced the word “war” with “child abuse” or “sexual assaults”? Are child abuse and sexual assault worse than war? Of course not, since all wars include child abuse and sexual assault, as was stated earlier.

For years we’ve heard Democrats say they “can’t risk having a Republican in office” for fear of what that might mean for domestic issues. We believe it’s time for people in this country to look past their own noses for a minute and to consider what the party they voted for is doing to other people around the world.

And to those people who claim that John McCain or Mitt Romney would have bombed even more countries than Obama has bombed, well, Obama has already bombed two more countries than Bush bombed, so that claim is baseless.

DONN MARTEN: So, is it just Obama’s foreign policy that makes you believe he and the Democrats are at least as bad as Republicans?

CHRIS ERNESTO: Definitely not. The Obama Fact Sheet on the St. Pete for Peace website maps it all out. It includes news reports from the past six years detailing things Obama has done. Here are some of the lowlights.

Obama has a “secret kill list” that he discusses on “Terror Tuesdays”, and he has assassinated at least 4 US citizens without trial.

Obama fully defends the NSA spying program and mandated the Insider Threat Program, which orders federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues.

He has waged a war on whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.

He signed the Monsanto Protection Act into law, giving Monsanto complete legal protection as they poison our food and crush family businesses.

He has deported a record-2 million immigrants.

He did a TV commercial for “clean coal”, he touted nuclear power even after the Fukishima disaster, and said that offshore oil drilling is safe even after the Gulf oil spill.

He is pushing the TPP, which is essentially NAFTA on steroids.

He sold $30 billion worth of weapons to the Saudi Arabian dictatorship.

He defended body scans and pat downs at airports.

He signed the Patriot Act extension into law.

He planned $355 billion for a nuclear weapons program.

More than 7,000 people were arrested during the Occupy protests under his watch.

Many people say that the Republican Party is scary and dangerous. We agree, so why has Obama given Bush and Cheney absolute immunity for everything they’ve done?

Obama keeps pushing the perilous notion of “American Exceptionalism” and the false, jingoistic concept that the US military is a force for good and is “protecting our freedoms.” Following the disastrous Bush years, Obama could have easily taken the US down a different path but he has instead pushed the same ideals as Bush, just in a more intelligently spoken, charming way. Manifest Destiny and xenophobia are principles that could have been laid to rest, or at least diffused. Instead, Obama and Democrats have normalized them.

DONN MARTEN: OK but if a Supreme Court Justice retires while Obama is president, you’d have to admit this would be better than a Supreme Court Justice retiring when a Republican were president, right?

CHRIS ERNESTO: The Supreme Court has the final say in the law in the United States, a self-described “country of laws.” If the United States were a democracy, the people of the US would get to vote on who becomes a Supreme Court Justice. And the people of the US would be able to throw out of office a person who’s on the Supreme Court. But we don’t because we don’t have anything close to a democracy. Given the recent passage of Citizens United and McCutcheon, the only people who will be elected into Congress or the White House will be those who raise the most money, and the vast majority of that money will come from corporations, not everyday people. Similarly, corporate money, not a particular party will determine who becomes the next Supreme Court Justice, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office.

But even if it did matter, can you live with yourself knowing that you voted for a murderer just because you think she or he may possibly appoint someone to the bench who is more aligned with your domestic views? What message does it send to our children if we say it’s OK to vote for someone who murders just because you may get something out of it?

DONN MARTEN: What about gay marriage? Obama has done better than a Republican president would have done on this issue, correct?

CHRIS ERNESTO: During his first term, when Obama was opposed to gay marriage, St. Pete for Peace was supporting actions and groups who believe in full equality for everyone. Prior to his re-election, Obama obviously was told he needed the votes of the LGBTQ community, so he changed his position. Of course this is good news, and you see what can happen when the President does the right thing — being pro-gay marriage is now cool. Wouldn’t it be nice if he did the same thing for other issues, like how the FBI uses false sting operations to target Muslims in the US, or how police in this country have become so militarized that young black men and protesters are treated like 2nd class citizens?

DONN MARTEN: But Democrats are better than Republicans on gun rights and a woman’s right to choose, doesn’t that matter?

CHRIS ERNESTO: If a Republican President tried to overturn Roe v. Wade there would be millions of people on the street. People would stop going to work, the economy would slow down and there would be a near revolution. The same holds true for if a Democratic President tried to overturn the 2nd Amendment.

Both parties know this. So, when the Republicans need to energize their voting base, they start telling people “Obama wants to take away your guns.” Democrats do the same with the abortion issue.

On a state level, it is a different story, but when it comes to Congress and the White House, the issues of guns and abortion are simply a way to maintain the Republican vs. Democrat paradigm, and to trick people into plugging their nose and voting for “the lesser of two evils.” But it’s just a ruse.

DONN MARTEN: OK, regarding your contest, how will the winner of the contest be selected?

CHRIS ERNESTO: A committee from St. Pete for Peace will read through all of the submissions and determine which response best describes why Obama and the Democrats are “NOT the lesser of two evils.” All entries will be viewed anonymously and extra weight will be given to brief responses – we’re looking for talking points more so than essays. You can enter the contest at stpeteforpeace.org/contest.

DONN MARTEN: Finally, Chris, if you only had 10 seconds to challenge a Democrat today, what would you say?

CHRIS ERNESTO: Hop to it, Democrats, or you’re going to make many of us cheer for an all Republican Congress and hope that the next President of the United States is a Republican. At least that way, maybe Democrats will become “antiwar” again.

The only true “hope” and “change” will come to America when people begin to turn off their television sets and find out the real truth about who is really running this country. It is because of groups like St. Pete for Peace and other dedicated activists, independent participants who put country before party and alternative media journalists, bloggers and media savvy volunteers who are able to circumvent the corrupt state-corporate media to spread the word that all is not as it seems.

 

LINK: Tampa Bay Independent Radio Station WMNF 88.5 interview with Dina Formentini of St. Pete For Peace.

The Road to Reagangrad: God Bless America and Nixon

Taking the high pitched roar of right-wing caterwauling over Rick Perlstein’s outstanding new book “The Invisible Bridge” as a ringing endorsement I ponied up the coin and purchased a copy. Mr. Perlstein has written two previous books on the rise of the modern American right, the Barry Goldwater centered “The Coming Storm” and the classic “Nixonland”. I have decided to review the book myself as I read it as well as adding my take on the material. I will be writing on at least one chapter per week and this is the first installment in what will be what I have called “The Road to Reagangrad” series.

The book, which has a full title of “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan” deals with a crucial period in our history as the USA!, USA!, USA! got it’s ass kicked in Vietnam leading to the cynical revisionism that still has the psychic wounds of that goddamned disaster ready to pop up at any time – like a bouncing betty whenever it is politically expedient to tug on the trip wire. The country was torn asunder during the period covered in “The Invisible Bridge” and the penultimate cynic Richard M. Nixon latched onto the return of prisoners of war which he exploited to the hilt. Reagan, who ran through Perlstein’s previous books like a snake slithering through the tall grass burst forth into national demigod status by exploiting the same cultural divisions from the 1960’s that Nixon did and “The Invisible Bridge” is a fascinating work in which The Gipper began to move into the limelight after Watergate sank Tricky Dick. Perlstein has done a truly great deed with his fine work on this part of our national history that began the moral and intellectual decline that has arguably created every serious problem that we face as a nation today in 2014.

PART ONE: GOD BLESS AMERICA and NIXON

NixonHomecoming

Richard Nixon has never been one of my favorite people anyway. For years I’ve regarded his existence as a monument to all the rancid genes and broken chromosomes that corrupt the possibilities of the American Dream; he was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad. The Nixon I remembered was absolutely humorless; I couldn’t imagine him laughing at anything except maybe a paraplegic who wanted to vote Democratic but couldn’t quite reach the lever on the voting machine.

-Hunter S. Thompson

The first chapter in “The Invisible Bridge” has Nixon still riding high in the aftermath of his historical 1972 presidential election wipe-out of the hapless Democrat George McGovern. The official title, “Small and Suspicious Circles” focuses on Nixon’s disgusting and divisive “Operation Homecoming” in which he sought to accumulate political capital for his agenda by spinning the ass-kicking inflicted upon America in Nam as honorable in his typical divisive fashion. I excerpt the following from Perlstein:

It began twenty days after the president’s speech, at the airport in Hanoi. What the Pentagon dubbed “Operation Homecoming” turned the network news into a nightly patriotic spectacle. Battered camouflage buses conveyed the first sixty men to the planes that would take them to Clark Air Base I the Philippines; a Navy captain named Galand Kramer unfurled a homemade sign out the window, scrawled on a scrap of cloth: GOD BLESS AMERICA & NIXON. The buses emptied; officers shouted out commands in loud American voices to free American men, who marched forth in smart formation, slowing to accommodate comrades on crutches. ON the planes, and on TV, they kissed nurses, smoked too many American cigarettes, circulated news magazines with their wives and children on the cover, and drank a pasty white nutrient shake whose taste they didn’t mind, a newsman explained, because it was the first cold drink some of them had had in eight years. On one of the three plances they passed a wriggling puppy from lap to lap. “He was a Communist dog,” explained the Navy commander who smuggled him to freedom in his flight bag, “but not anymore!”

AND

In days to come cameras lingered on cafeteria trays laden with strawberry pie, steak, corn on the cob, Cornish game hens, ice cream, and eggs. (“Beautiful!”) sighed a man in a hospital gown on TV to a fry cook whipping up eggs.”

AND

The next stop was Travis Air Force Base in California, where for twelve long years the flag-draped coffins had come home. Now it was the setting for Times Square 1945 images: wives leaping into husbands’ arms; teenagers unabashedly knocking daddies off their feet; seven-year-olds bringing up the rear, sheepish, shuffling – they had never met their fathers before. From there the men shipped out to service hospitals around the country, especially prepared for their return with color TVs and bright yellow bedspreads to mask the metallic hospital tone; once more words like “God-God-God” and “duty-duty-duty” and “honor-honor-honor” and “country-country-country” echoed across airport tarmacs.

The POW’s for the most part eagerly performed in Nixon’s great dog and pony show to spin the loss of the war into a glorious and righteous cause. This would later morph into the commonplace “they didn’t let us win” whining and the right-wingers now forty years running crusade to destroy the free press. The loss in Vietnam was largely blamed on civilians, hippies, liberals and the media rather than to just accept the fact that it was an illegal war, based on lies and only benefitted the blood barters in the defense industry and the shameless fraud politicians like Nixon, Reagan and their ilk who took a shit on the war dead outside of their precious pilots who shot down and taken prisoner after their war crimes of bombing innocent women and children. Americans for the most part lined up to swallow the bullshit biscuits back then and they still do so today with the endless wars of the star-spangled Homeland of Oceania USA.

In Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Slaughterhouse Five the author uses the books of a fictional science fiction writer named Kilgore Trout to insert social commentary into his overall story. One of ‘Trout’s’ tales addressed the strange contradictions of a society that will accept with open arms one who kills civilians with state sanction during wartime while ostracizing one for silly, superficial reasons:

This, too, was the title of a book by Trout, The Gutless Wonder. It was about a robot who had bad breath, who became popular after his halitosis was cured. But what made the story remarkable, since it was written in 1932, was that it predicted the widespread use of burning jellied gasoline on human beings. It was dropped on them from airplanes. Robots did the dropping. They had no conscience, and no circuits which would allow them to imagine what was happening to the people on the ground.

Trout’s leading robot looked like a human being, and could talk and dance and so on, and go out with girls. And nobody held it against him that he dropped jellied gasoline on people. But they found his halitosis unforgivable. And then he cleared that up, and he was welcomed to the human race.

“The Gutless Wonder” spoke to the hollowing out of America’s souls by the trivializing, politicizing and packaging war as a product. Nixon was a master at this and Operation Homecoming was a harbinger of all of the dishonesty of 2014 with the regime of Barack Obama who becomes more Nixionian by the day selling horseshit to justify recommitting U.S. military forces to Iraq and pushing ever closer for a ruinous war with Russia. Not even Nixon was that crazy and despite his bellicose rhetoric I don’t believe that Ronald Reagan believed in a winnable nuclear war with Russia as Obama and his deranged State Department apparently does. And neither Nixon nor Reagan actually backed actual neo-Nazi worshippers of Hitler (although Nixon aide G. Gordon Liddy copped to being one in his autobiography “Will”) as Obama has done in Ukraine. Notable is that Fox News’ Roger Ailes cut his teeth in the business of selling the big lie under Nixon.

But not all Americans bought the “Operation Homecoming” hogwash, at that time we actually had a functional national media. Perlstein cites columnist Pete Hammil who:

On Valentine’s Day in the liberal New York Post, pointed out that the vast majority of the prisoners were bomber pilots, and thus were “prisoners because they had committed unlawful acts” – killing civilians in an undeclared war. He compared waiting for the POWs to come home to his “waiting for a guy up at Sing Sing one time, who had done hard time for armed robbery”

Perlstein also writes of the growing backlash against Nixon’s phony Vietnam revisionist carnival of perversion to put a glorious sheen on Vietnam:

But in the New York Times, columnists like Tom Wicker rued “the warped sense of priorities on the home front” that allotted so much more attention to “these relatively few POW’s than the 50,000 dead boys who came home in body bags, some of them with smuggled heroin obscenely concealed in their mangled fleas,” and “for whom the only bracelet is a band of needle marks.” He noted that the administration had frozen funding for treatment of drug-addicted veterans and in its fiscal 1974 budget proposed to arbitrarily limit the allowable number of patients in veterans hospitals. Meanwhile the Times editorialized that in the “succession of hand salutes, stiffly prepared statements, medical bulletins, and canned handouts concerning the joys of steak and ice cream” of Operation Homecoming, the “hard-won” lessons of Vietnam are in danger of being lost.” Which, on the merits was sound editorial judgment. For that had been Richard Nixon’s intention for the POW issue from the start.

The typical grifters and profiteers were also cashing in by selling POW bracelets and other kitsch to the masses of asses. They were the forebears of the bottom-feeding parasites who were hawking the Bush era decks of playing cards with 52 members of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the George W. Bush action dolls and the media war glorification movies and television shows like the dangerous and insipid Fox torture infomercial “24” and later Showtime’s ludicrous “Homeland”.

I again excerpt from the book:

Matchbooks, lapel pins, billboards, T-shirts and bumper stickers (“POWs NEVER HAVE A NICE DAY!) proliferated; fighter jets made thunderous football stadium fly-bys; full-page ads blossomed in every newspaper, urging Hanoi to have a heart and release the prisoners for the sake of the children.

The business of America after all is war and that remains a constant. But more were beginning to smell a rat with Nixon’s big con per Perlstein:

On February 21 the newspaper of record, noting how the POW’s praise for Richard Nixon sounded suspiciously close to the administration’s own catchphrases, reported that the “military’s repatriation effort was carefully programmed and controlled” by a team of nearly eighty military public relations men. The Washington Post’s ombudsman, Robert C. Maynard, echoed the argument the next morning in an essay headlined “Return of the Prisoners: Script by the Military.” “Not surprisingly, “ he concluded, we received a number of paeans to ‘honorable peace’ and could only wonder how that phrase happened to be among the first to pop out o fthe mouths of men in captivity for such long periods of time.” He also said, “They return to a society more surely programmed in ‘them-against-us’ terms than the one they left.”

One of the returning POW’s honored by Nixon was a certain admiral’s son whose name conjures up every rotten thing that America has come to stand for as we have become a warmongering bully abroad, a police state at home and have transformed from a democracy into a plutocracy. John McCain had it both ways – garnering favorable treatment at the Hanoi Hilton by making propaganda videos for the commies and then returning to participate in Nixon’s own dishonest propaganda operation at home. Today McCain is one of the lingering toxic byproducts of U.S. involvement in Vietnam as well as the failure to reach that necessary national reconciling of our collective sins, choosing instead to fall under the siren song of the snakeoil salesman Ronald Reagan.

The first chapter of “The Invisible Bridge” closes with an orgy of adulation for the POW’s and their right-wing supporters at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The event, packed with celebrities such as actors Lorne Greene of the television horse opera Bonanza and one Marion Morrison (more recognizable by his stage name John Wayne) and hosted by Reagan himself who as the Governor of California would offer up a glimpse of the demarcation from reality that took place in the 1980’s once Reagan had ascended to the presidency. Perlstein writes:

Lorne Greene gestured for silence. The guests of honor marched forth in grand procession, two by two with their consorts, as the band struck up the anthem “Stout-Hearted Men”: “Start me with men who are stout- hearted men, and soon I’ll give you ten thousand more”.

The men held longest in Hanoi finally took the stage. “Let it loose!” Greene commanded. The crowd rose as one. Their ovation lasted eight minutes.

The evening’s host took to the podium. Governor Regan’s final peroration was addressed to the men: “You gave America back its soul. God bless a country that can produce men like you.”

Then Reagan hit the road to peddle the potent elixir of American exceptionalism that allowed him to change the trajectory of the country and which to this day threatens to end it once and for all.

Next: The Road to Reagangrad: Oatmeal Meat

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Permanent War for Permanent Profits

“Name me someone that’s not a parasite and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him”

– Bob Dylan (Visions of Johanna)

A 2001 piece at satirical website The Onion entitled “Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’” published shortly after his inauguration was astonishing in the uncanny ability to so accurately predict the future. Not only did Bush and Cheney use the September 11, 2001 attacks to justify the invasion of the bane of empires that is Afghanistan but also to launch a “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq, a country that had no connection to 9/11. For Junior Bush it was a chance to one up the old man who stopped short of toppling Saddam Hussein in 1991 much to the dismay of the neocons and Cheney and Rummy were pushing all the buttons. What the 2003 attack on Iraq did was to throw open the gates of hell itself, result in the deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, thousands of American service members and forever taint what remained of the U.S. national image with the descent into the barbaric pits of the torture state as evident at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib Prison.

Bush and Cheney ushered in the societal transformation, exploiting the 9/11 attacks which to this day have never been honestly investigated – in particular the level of U.S. Deep State complicity in covering up Saudi involvement – to hit the reset button on over two and a quarter centuries of history. The Bush regime will forever be responsible for the transformation of the United States of America into that dark and ominous entity known as “The Homeland” as well as the Orwellian concept of perpetual war abroad and totalitarianism at home.

The new era of the Surveillance State Gomorrah was birthed out of the ruins of the World Trade Center and thanks largely to Bush’s successor, Barack Obama it has become a permanent fixture of a rapidly closing society where privacy has been rendered obsolete and black clad militarized police forces enforce the diktats of the chief executive. The courageous actions of former government contractor turned NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have peeled away the star-spangled curtain from this virulent fascist machine and yet the hydra has only reconfigured itself since and now is pushing for the world war that will lock it into place forever.  Orwell’s O’Brien foretold the future of the United States when he sneeringly and coldly explained to Winston Smith that:

The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that.

We know that no one ever seeks power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

Barack Obama was the logical next step to Bush-Cheney who were in effect the change agents who administered to the new American Homeland birthed from the ashes of 9/11 and united under fascism. The rise of Obama would put a smiling new face upon the new American century, friendly and inclusive to the new generations. As I write this Americans who were toddlers when the towers came down have known no other world than that of the warfare-surveillance-police state. Hitler himself had always made it clear that the children were essential to future of the Reich and had it not imploded under the accumulated weight of his insanity it may have eventually refined itself to resemble a land not much different from The Homeland circa 2014.

Obama has always been a product, the real power is vested in the state itself and his selection of such seasoned servants as Robert Gates (Secretary of Defense), Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State), Rahm Emanuel (Chief of Staff) and Timothy Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury) along with Vice President Joseph Biden made it evident that there would be no real “change” despite the hype and campaign promises. The second term of the Obama administration saw the exit of all four – like rats off a sinking ship – and the arrival of more virulent warmongers the likes of John “Skull and Bones” Kerry (Secretary of State), Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland (former Cheney aide and Assistant Secretary of State) and the wife of PNAC founder Robert Kagan, Samantha Power (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) and wife of the sinister insider Cass Sunstein and Jack Lew (Secretary of the Treasury) and former Citigroup exec. The rhetoric of Obama has always belied the truth that he is himself a lackey of entrenched power and with the expansion of executive power to include the extrajudicial murder of U.S. citizens, the expanding NSA surveillance colossus and the imminent wars it is apparent that he always was a fraud.

The real boon for the powers that be (TBTB) behind Obama is that as the nation’s first black president it was a slam dunk that he would have as a foil and a cover for the continuation of ruinous national foreign and domestic policy a Republican Congress packed with racists and religious zealots. It is the ultimate form of good cop-bad cop and plays perfectly for the corrupt state-corporate media and the abject morons who are American voters that still believe that there is a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties. The business of America as the center of the global finance capital empire is war and that business continues to thrive. As former longtime Congressional aide Mike Lofgren put it so well in his essay for an appearance with PBS’s Bill Moyers “Anatomy of the Deep State”:

Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory. Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.

These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.

Lofgren sums up the concept of the Deep State very well and I would strongly recommend that you go and read his essay as well as the work of longtime Deep State researcher Peter Dale Scott but that is a story for another time. Suffice it to say that business of America is war and there will be no end to the wars until they are the end to us.

ISIS

 

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

-General Smedley D. Butler

Obama and his administration have over the past year been relentlessly pushing  for that next great war, whether it be based on lies about the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad gassing civilian children in a Damascus suburb, underwriting a coup d’etat in Ukraine backed by savage fascists and neo-Nazis or by dancing on the edge of the abyss by pushing for a full blown war with nuclear power Russia it goes on. While none of those have erupted into the massive wealth generating conflict so desired – the lunatic obsession with Russia still has potential – TPTB and the Obama regime may have found a temporary out with yet another U.S. military intervention in Iraq. The rise of the mysterious Islamist bogeyman of ISIS (Islamic Stat of Iran in Syria) is hard to figure as it could be legitimate blowback or yet another of those secret armies that is created through covert funding and support of the U.S. Deep State interests along with foreign assistance. It sure as hell is convenient though.

Warmongering Republicans and the neocon propaganda machine has been worked into a lather over the explosion of violence in Iraq, ostensibly the work if ISIS the great and terrible but largely to wash the blood from their own hands in pimping revisionist history as well as invoking the old German “stabbed in the back” charge against Obama. For months now the calls for a re-engagement of U.S. military forces in Iraq have ratcheted up the pressure on Mr. Transparency with the usual gaggle of deranged right-wing fiends and chickenhawks caterwauling the loudest to send Americans back into harm’s way. The neocons will always be the first ones to commit the sons and daughters of American mothers to be fed into the latest Middle East meat grinder to slake their never-ending thirst for the blood of others and of course, the money that funds their damnable political campaigns.

The propaganda has been deafening, never more so than today with the added accelerant of the ongoing indignity of continuing to be punked by the fully-demonized Russian leader Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. Another bite at the Iraq apple, particularly now that Obama has liberal cover in an election year under the bogus pretense of humanitarian intervention or R2P (Responsibility to Protect) to reengage.  He just dialed up the first airstrikes in order to “prevent genocide”, just ignore the hypocrisy that Obama has not taken similar action to prevent the Israeli genocide operation ongoing in Gaza but it is after all an election year and Jewish donors may close their wallets to the Democrats were the war criminal Netanyahu to be challenged.

Not that the limited airstrikes to “prevent genocide” in Iraq will ever satisfy the neocons, no amount of death, blood and violence ever will. A recent piece in the Inside Baseball publication of the beltway circle-jerk – Politico –  brings back all of the Bushreich neocon ghouls who are responsible for setting Iraq ablaze to begin with. I excerpt the following from the litany of bullshit that is entitled “Neocons to Obama: No Half Measures”:

“We’re not out of Iraq. The pledge [Obama] made [to leave Iraq] was premature — we’re back,” said Elliott Abrams, who served on former President George W. Bush’s National Security Council. “Let’s now do the job, and not do two airstrikes when we really need to do five.”

AND

“I think it’s late in the sense that, if the threat is ISIS, ISIS is a hell of a lot more powerful today than it was six or 12 months ago,” said Abrams, who was also deeply involved in the Reagan administration’s policies in Central America. “So it’s going to be a lot harder to protect the Kurds, the Christians, the Yazidis and Baghdad than it would have been.”

John Yoo, a former Bush administration lawyer known for his hardline approach to terrorism suspects, added that “President Obama is obsessed with a legacy as the president who got us out of Iraq (and Afghanistan, for that matter), even at the expense of the U.S. interest in stability in the Middle East.”

AND

Ari Fleischer, Bush’s former spokesman, noted that Obama has received bipartisan support for his actions in Iraq.

“What he did today shows, in a quote-unquote ‘war-weary nation,’ when presidents lead, the public follows,” he said.

ISIL has been publicly on the White House radar for several months, and in June the Obama administration decided to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq. In a tweet on Friday, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona — a hawk in his own right, though not part of the Bush crowd — pointed out that in a New Yorker interview earlier this year, Obama dismissed ISIL as “jayvee.”

AND

Frederick Kagan, an architect of the military “surge” in Iraq, said the U.S. should have been “attacking” ISIL “all along.” Now that military action is underway, Obama should use the opportunity to deal a major blow to the group, he said.

“We should do as much damage to the organization as we can, as quickly as possible,” he said. “That is a core interest to the United States of America.”

Max Boot, a former adviser to the GOP presidential campaigns of McCain and Mitt Romney, wrote in Commentary that Obama “deserves credit for acting now,” but he argued that the actions this week undermine previous White House claims about Iraqi stability.

Still, Obama’s move to authorize the strikes “indicates that no matter how much he doesn’t want to be involved in Iraq, he understands the cost of doing nothing is too great to stomach,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and political adviser to what was the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Several of the observers interviewed noted that ISIL is also a problem in Syria, where thousands have died in that country’s civil war, and where the U.S. has declined to engage militarily. The difference in approach comes across as “cognitive dissonance,” as Rubin put it.

Another problem, some argued, is that the airstrikes seem like a mere tactic, when what’s needed is a broader strategy.

“He doesn’t even get close to Whac-a-Mole,” Rubin gibed. “Instead, it’s more like finger-waving at the mole.”

This week’s slate of psychopaths set to appear on the Sunday morning war propaganda “news” shows include the two men who were instrumental in the nurturing of ISIS/ISIL, Senator Lindsey Graham and old blood and guts himself Senator John “nuke them all” McCain. It will be like NFL Gameday where the roundtable of shills for the warfare state critique and discuss the upcoming game – this one in particular being the commitment of Mr. Hope and Change to an extended military campaign in Iraq. Obama is the fourth U.S. President to bomb Iraq now in an Oval Office tradition that is becoming as institutionalized as the Easter Egg roll and the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald accurately now refers to it as a “redundant presidential ritual” in a new piece that he wrote at The Intercept. Obama has now officially joined the club.

 

iraq-flag-draped-coffins

 

 “In modern war… you will die like a dog for no good reason.”

 – Ernest Hemingway

Essential in rolling out the propaganda campaign to sell the star-spangled sheep for yet another war in Iraq are the testimonials and comments of former Iraq war veterans who find a media platform supportive of the warfare state. We saw examples of this during the week when the Iraqi city of Fallujah was overrun by “Islamist militants” therefore defiling the site of a great symbolic American military triumph. Veterans were trotted out to decry the loss of Fallujah and to bitch and moan that their sacrifices were for naught. What remained unsaid is that the Iraqi city was descended upon by American forces in spring of 2004 after the brutal ambush, murder and hanging of the mutilated bodies off four Blackwater mercenaries in the early days of Bush-Cheney’s “Shock and Awe” attack and invasion of Iraq.

The grotesque abuse of the bodies of the armed intruders, hung from a bridge where they were mocked and had shoes and other debris thrown at them by insurgents was an image that did not jibe with the choreographed war propaganda like saving Private Lynch and the staged pulling down of Saddam’s statue. Americans who were already whipped up into a lynch mob braying for retaliation against Muslims by the neocons after the September 11, 2001 attacks, were outraged and there was hell to pay. The military went into Fallujah heavily armed, often staging house to house raids in a Lidice style orgy of vengeance and were cheered in the land of black SUV’s adorned with those little magnetic yellow ribbon magnets. It was brutal American forces used white phosphorus munitions on the those trapped in besieged city. But that no more gibes with the official glorious narrative than that the atomic bombs dropped on primarily civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to save the millions of American lives that would be lost in an invasion of the Japanese homeland did. Both are total horseshit.

With the latest U.S. military action in Iraq The Guardian dredged up one of the “Iraq war veterans” of the whining, we were stabbed in the back variety. The piece, by a guy named Cody Buzzell is a call for the new round of Iraq bombing. I excerpt the following from “How I learned to stop worrying and love bombing the hell out of Isis”:

Even Iraq war veterans find out what’s happening in Iraq on Facebook. A couple months ago, when the terrorists formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) re-invaded Iraq, the group’s greatest-hits videos started flooding my feed again.

Recreational beheadings, cold-blooded mass executions, Sopranos-esque executions, 2Pac-style drive-by’s: the “Isis Gone Wild” YouTube videos are impossibly horrifying, yet somehow impossible not to watch. You can’t believe what you’re seeing because you saw it coming – because you saw it before – and so you click play anyway.

Many of the videos are posted by my disgruntled former platoon mates. They’re the same veterans who wondered, a couple months ago, whether it was all worth it 10 years earlier, what with it all going to hell again. We’re the same vets wondering today, what the hell took so long to do bomb the hell out of these guys?

So on Friday morning, I logged on to the usual nothingness of Facebook, and between the emoticons and selfies, the check-ins and the inspirational memes, there it was – and I actually couldn’t believe what happened next: US begins air strikes against Isis targets in Iraq.

About fucking time, I almost posted in a comment underneath.

Typically missing from the beating of the war drums is any sort of counter by an Iraq war veteran who opposes the new round of intervention and denounces the warmongering politicians and pundits as exactly the scum and vermin that they were in 2003 and continue to be in 2014 shouting for attacking Iraq. Providing exactly that sort of commentary in a scathing essay that literally must have burned the paint off of the walls between which it was written is a brilliant piece by the sort of veteran who understands patriotism in a way that our political class and it’s lackeys are incapable of doing.

The essay, entitled “Absolutely Nothing” was written by Jim Wright, a retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer and Iraq war veteran who has a website named Stone Kettle Station. Mr. Wright’s work, in particular this piece – which a copy authorized by the author is posted at following site – is of monumental importance in that he is one of those who was sent into battle by the scum who view our military people as in the words of Henry Kissinger – “dumb, stupid animals to be used” as pawns for foreign policy. Jim Wright hits the bastards with both-barrels:

Sure, let’s go back to Iraq.

Oh, yes, let us do that.

I’ll dig out my uniform and strap on my pistol and gird up my sword and ride into battle yet again.

Just so long as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and every single one of those powdered, Botoxed talking heads at Fox News are in the vanguard. That’s right, you cowards, you put on a uniform and you lead the charge this time around. The Koch brothers and Mitt Romney can pay for it, every goddamned penny, we’ll bleed them until they’re dry and then we’ll pull the gold fillings from their teeth to pay for it right along with the rest of their Wall Street cronies. You fuckers got rich off the last one, you can damned well pay for this one. And when you run out of money, we’ll take your blood, fair’s fair.

Strap John McCain into the cockpit of an A-4 Skyhawk and let him fly air cover.

If he gets himself shot down and taken prisoner again, well, you know what? Fuck him, leave him to the enemy because frankly his hate and bile and raging insanity have done more damage to this country than Bowe Bergdahl ever did.

The terrorists can keep him.

People like Jim Wright, veterans who actually had skin in the game – their skin need to be heard from and heard from loudly so as to denounce the chickenhawks of the political class and their chicken shit games in sending others off to die for the sake of their fucking political ambitions.They are armchair patriots, cowards and losers, has-beens and never-will bes, psychopaths and petty criminals, zealots and charlatans, loud-mouths and lap top bombardiers, bottom feeders and parasites and to a one of them they only want one thing – to cower behind their precious flag, using as it as a shield for their own repugnant indignities as they howl for the sons and daughters of American mothers to go and sacrifice their lives, their hopes and dreams for nothing more than ratings points ins some stupid and inconsequential fucking political poll.And most of all they are swine who serve a criminal war machine that is the American Empire of the New American Century.  Fuck them all. Jim Wright deserves a seat at the table on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, CNN’s State of the Union, ABC’s This Week and every one of those sick electronic vomitories where wars are sold like toothpaste, soft drinks or erectile dysfunction pills to a captive audience of flag-waving schmucks and suckers.

As a military veteran myself, I served in the US Navy during one of those extremely rare periods between wars there is nothing that I view that is as shameless and despicable than any of these political swine and vermin standing upon their nationalist soapboxes blathering like some crazed, piss-reeking miscreant outside of a German beer hall about opening that great big can of American whup ass and pouring it out on some hapless over-matched country.

Like Iraq – AGAIN!

(Note: “Absolutely Nothing” excerpted with author’s permission)

Donn Marten in Tampa, FL

The Last Circle: Welcome to the Spookloop

“Nothing is as it appears to be.”


-Robert Booth Nichols


Be patient, spread the word among friends, do your little bit. The system will self-destruct because it is funded on corruption and untruth.


-Anthony Sutton

It was evident that when the body of freelance writer Danny Casolaro was found in a bathtub of bloody water on August 10, 1991, his wrists deeply slashed multiple times that it was already a highly unusual ‘suicide’. That he was in the final stages of wrapping up his investigation of an association of mobsters, government officials and rogue intelligence figures grown out of a dirty CIA “Old Boy network that he had dubbed The Octopus and that his body was discovered in a Martinsburg, West Virginia hotel room where he had gone to pick up the final piece of evidence for his story made his death all the more suspicious. The fact that his briefcase and files (always present during his work) were missing, his body prematurely and illegally embalmed prior to the notification of his family and room 517 of the Martinsburg Sheraton professionally cleaned, making any sort of law enforcement forensic investigation prohibitive are not signs that would indicate a typical suicide. Casolaro, according to sources was not despondent but rather quite elated that his investigation was nearing completion when he had made the trip to “bring back the head of the octopus” where he was reportedly set to meet a key figure and to trade information that he had in his possession. There was a ‘suicide’ note found at the scene but it was short and cryptic, not what a professional writer would likely leave as his final words. There was however, another piece of paper that was found tucked inside of his discarded shoe that would be far more compelling . The mystery surrounding Casolaro is still to this day unsolved and largely forgotten but through the dedicated work of others who were able to pick up the trail and to continue his research into this most important of matters there have been enough pieces of a very elaborate puzzle put together, and the picture is extremely disturbing.

One of the researchers, who has worked tirelessly over the years, at times under great risk to get the real story is author Cheri Seymour, a California based writer who picked up the baton and carried it further and continued to interview Casolaro’s sources as well as to expand his scope. Her laboriously researched and now completed book entitled The Last Circle (published by Trine Day) was recently released and provides what is to date the most detailed and damning analysis of The Octopus. Seymour provides a fascinating account of events surrounding not only Casolaro’s investigation but also takes a look at the trickery and deceit of figures within the Reagan Department of Justice and the theft of the Inslaw Corporation’s highly sophisticated PROMIS software program. Described as a precursor to artificial intelligence and the highly technical computer systems of today the story of PROMIS would come to figure prominently in many of the most disturbing aspects of our current system of what is at least for the moment, a soft fascism where Big Brother style surveillance and control, financial chicanery of the highest order and the ominous contingency plans for government reactions to potential domestic unrest are ubiquitous yet they remain largely unnoticed by the average American citizen. Thanks to a cunning and relentless shadow government and a controlled media, most have no idea that they are inside of a rapidly closing trap. Seymour’s book, which is subtitled Danny Casolaro’s Investigation into The Octopus and the PROMIS Software Scandal is a must read for those who truly have a serious understanding that something in this country has gone terribly wrong.

The Last Circle of the title refers to the bottom level of Dante’s pits, the area that is populated by the real scum, those who were traitors to their country, friends and lords; at this point in late 2010 this pit must have a multi-year waiting list given the wanton and systemic criminality in our rotting Empire. For a subject as important as the Casolaro research, the PROMIS software story, The Octopus and the huge reverberations forward into our current and thoroughly corrupt high-tech militarized surveillance state there has been little written outside of dated magazine and newspaper articles and one book. While bits and pieces are scattered throughout many books based on larger subjects such as BCCI and Iran-Contra, Casolaro’s Octupus has only prominently been featured in one book to my knowledge that even attempted to do it justice, Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith’s The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro. While a draft internet version of The Last Circle which has been available on the internet for years and has provided invaluable material to serious researchers the completed version of The Last Circle is a must read, not only for the updated additional information but for the large appendix of well over 100 pages of images and documents including some of Danny Casolaro’s own handwritten notes. It is such a detailed and meticulously researched book that it is truly impossible to even begin to do it justice in any sort of short review. I will however try to offer up a high-level overview of the incredible story presented by Cheri Seymour.

The Last Circle begins with the story of how Seymour who was at the time working as a reporter for the Mariposa Gazette came to realize that local law enforcement figures were involved in drug trafficking. The dark, snaking trail that is described runs through our hidden history and corrupted institutions like the roiling river Styx. Cheri Seymour picks up the trail with a bizarre accident during the Queen of England’s 1983 visit to Yosemite National Park when a routine scouting of the Queen’s motorcade route resulted in a head on collision between a local Sheriff’s car and a car driven by members of the U.S. Secret Service. The accident resulted in the deaths of three Secret Service agents. The Mariposa County Sheriff’s officer, Sergeant Roderick Sinclair was found to have been under the influence of illegal drugs. Three years prior to the accident, Sinclair also had previously investigated the disappearance and presumed drowning of whistleblower deputy Ron Van Meter, a law officer who had been outraged at having discovered drug trafficking within the department. Cover-ups occurred as they typically do in such matters and Van Meter’s death was attributed to a boating accident (he had borrowed the boat to arrest fellow deputies at Lake McClure), the body was not recovered at the time of the incident. Ten years after the “accident”, his body was recovered, wrapped in a fish net and weighted down by several objects including a fire extinguisher.

Subsequent research revealed that Sinclair had connections and powerful ones at that. His father had been an aide to General Douglas MacArthur, the vaunted WW II leader of forces in the Pacific who became a hero to the more virulent elements of the far right after being dismissed by President Truman during the Korean War. Members of the general’s staff, most prominently Charles Willoughby in the postwar period became integral in the Cold War and the ‘ends justify the means’ ideology that would define the jihad against the Red Menace of Communism that served as blanket justification for immorality and lawlessness from which The Octopus would be birthed. With anti-Communism as a cover and with the postwar creation of the National Security State and the CIA it very quickly became possible for connected insiders to engage in great acts of criminality and atrocity in order to fund off the books operations and enrich themselves while expanding their dark reaches into the global narcotics and drug trade. The fight against Communism provided justification for alliances with former Nazi war criminals who were assisted in escaping justice by U.S. intelligence and then sent to the Eastern Bloc as well as Latin America to protect the ability of U.S. corporations and banking interests to ensure that countries would stay ‘business friendly’ which translates into torture, coups, black ops and most importantly riches. But I am getting ahead of myself.

With growing evidence of the collaboration of local officials and the out of control drug trade that included burgeoning methamphetamine labs and a strange connection through a subsidiary of mega-corporation MCA (the Curry Company was the largest concessions company in Yosemite National Park, hit hard by drug distribution activities at the time); concerned residents of Mariposa County mobilized and attempted to use the legal system to address the very serious problems of illegality that existed. Local groups were formed and lawsuits filed, a letter was written to then President Ronald Reagan by the wife of attorney Ben Wagner who was to represent citizen’s group D.I.G. (Decency in Government) in District Court. In one of the more eerie passages from this very disturbing book Ben Wagner received a response from a “Chuck” at the Reagan White House who scheduled a meeting with him, a secret meeting per White House request. Seymour writes that “However, the day after meeting with “Chuck”, Wagner unplugged his phone and walked out on his law practice and his home in Jackson California, taking nothing with him except his clothes and has wife, never to be seen again”. There are many similar stories of those who have gotten too close to the truth when investigating this intricate web of spooks, mobsters, corrupt government officials and their activities, some have simply disappeared, others have met with strange demises, suspicious accidents and ‘suicides’, the pattern is a consistent one.

Seymour’s investigation led her to a retired FBI agent named Ted Gunderson, a figure who seems to often appear in some of the most sordid and scandalous investigations in recent history who in turn led her to The Octopus. On the basis of earlier material that was provided by Gunderson on the drug trade to the disappeared Wagner for use in the case against drug trafficking cops Seymour called him and a meeting was set up at Gunderson’s home in Manhattan Beach. After the meeting, Gunderson gave the author a series of newspaper clippings and documents, many of which dealt with Danny Casolaro and his investigation of The Octopus. There was also material on Inslaw and PROMIS, Iran-Contra activities, financial scandals including the Savings and Loan crisis and defense contractor the Wackenhut Corporation. The next day Seymour received a collect call from a man named Michael Riconosciuto and he had a tale to tell. Calling from jail in Tacoma, Washington Riconosciuto provided her with the names of people who were in charge of methamphetamine operations in Mariposa and Fresno Counties. When asked who was behind the ring he revealed something much larger and more sinister than would have been imaginable:

“It’s the Company. Arms get shipped to the Contras, the Afghanistan rebels [Mujahaden], the Middle East. You know, to fight the Soviet influence. But the Contras and Mujahaden don’t have the money to pay for the arms, so they pay with drugs, cocaine or heroin. The Company handles the drug end of it in the U.S. …”

The bombshell unleashed by Riconosciuto cut right to the heart of The Octopus, and his entanglements with it were numerous. He divulged that was incarcerated as a result of corrupt Justice Department figures seeking to discredit him for his affidavit provided to Inslaw’s attorney Elliott Richardson for the purpose of providing the House Judiciary Committee that was investigating the theft and illegal modification of Inslaw’s PROMIS software with pertinent. In the affidavit, Riconosciuto admitted that it was he who had modified the software to include a “back door” which would allow for remote users to access information on the host computer. The software, once modified was then sold by Reagan administration cronies to foreign governments where it was used for reasons of espionage. Prior to the affidavit, Riconosciuto had been contacted by a Peter Videnieks of the Justice Department threatening him if he were to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee probe that there would be consequences. Eight days after the affidavit was filed Riconosciuto was arrested for allegedly running a meth lab. Videnieks would himself come under scrutiny in a U.S. Customs Department Internal Affairs probe for potential perjury and other activities. He had also been at DOJ as a contract administrator during the time of the PROMIS theft and modifications and had alleged but never completely proven ties to dirty figures in the Reagan administration.

Riconosciuto stated that he had altered the software largely on the Cabazon Indian Reservation in Indio, California where the Wackenhut Corporation and the tribe had a joint-venture to use the sovereign lands for weapons testing, for sales to Latin America and other overseas destinations. It was a perfect situation, the reservation provided cover for variety of endeavors including the development and testing of arms including a fuel air explosive, biochemical warfare agents and other armaments that could be provided to third world regimes, primarily to right-wing governments in Latin America. It was an oversight free zone and a haven for spooks, paramilitary figures including Contra leaders such as Eden Pastora during Reagan’s dirty wars south of the border during the 1980s. In his book The Crimes of a President , author Joel Bainerman described the reservation as a “CIA cutout” which would be consistent with the type of activities that were conducted there. Riconosciuto was a technical wizard, a child prodigy who at the tender age of 10 had wired his parents neighborhood with a private telephone system and who won numerous science fairs in his youth. A computer expert who at some point became attractive to intelligence figures and who later became a critical figure in the dark trades practiced by the shadowy operatives of the National Security State. Riconosciuto was also a major source for Danny Casolaro.

The story of the PROMIS software, an abbreviation for Prosecutors Management Information System is complicated and full of the sort of intrigue that would normally be found in something like a Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy novel. Developed by Inslaw Corporation’s Bill Hamilton, it was designed as a legal case management tool where cases could be tracked and with over half a million lines of computer code was an innovative and unprecedented piece of high-technology for its time. The program was capable of integrating numerous databases and was to have been sold by Inslaw to the U.S. Department of Justice to replace the antiquated system in use at the time. However, Inslaw’s contract with the government was subverted by corrupt figures within the Reagan Justice Department who conspired with a Reagan and Edwin Meese crony named Earl Brian (long alleged to be associated with the October Surprise) who then used legal trickery to steal the PROMIS software and drive Inslaw into bankruptcy. The software, after being stolen was modified by Riconosciuto and then distributed by Brian and others to various foreign countries including Israel with the modification allowing intelligence figures to engage in espionage using the back-door feature. The flag waving, drug-running Reagan National Security Council aide Colonel Oliver North also saw much potential in using PROMIS for the surveillance of American citizens as a function of the infamous REX 84 program, a subsidiary of FEMA and the Continuity Of Government contingency plans that were solidified during the Reagan years. Recently, there were two critical articles that referenced the use of PROMIS and derivatives in regards to current day shadow government contingency plans for the tracking and rounding up of potential dissidents, these being Christopher Ketcham’s The Last Roundup and Tim Shorrock’s Exposing Bush’s Historic Abuse of Power, both referenced in my own series on the abuse of the software by the shadow government entitled Main Core, PROMIS and the Shadow Government.

The use by extreme reactionaries to assist in the implementation of a fascist police state infrastructure, the spying on foreign countries including allies (which has just been confirmed once again as a matter of policy with the recent Wikileaks data dump and the mandate to collect biometric and credit card data on United Nations officials) and the use of surveillance for control and political blackmail were not the only functions of PROMIS. More darkly, the program could work very well in the laundering of money from illegal narcotic trafficking, the manipulation of financial markets and to the benefit of corrupt government officials in providing intel to organized crime figures. Another Casolaro source, Robert Booth Nichols, a suave dashing sort of a no-holds barred super spook whose activities and work facilitated some of the most sinister elements of what prominent author Peter Dale Scott refers to as the “Deep State” figures prominently in the saga. Nichols, a man who had connections between both legitimate government, shadowy intelligence figures and organized crime figures is a key figure in The Last Circle. Smooth enough to be retained for sensitive foreign intelligence affairs by the U.S. government and ruthless enough to hang a man upside down in front of a running airplane propeller as a method of persuasion Nichols is like a character straight out of central casting, more on him in a little bit.

The Cabazon Indian Reservation, where PROMIS was modified, is a critical piece of the story; it is the nexus point where many of the elements of the shadow government and its underworld cohorts all intersect. In thoroughly examining Cabazon, it is possible to trace decades of criminality, black operations and the accompanying subversion of the democratic institutions of this nation both backwards into the post WW II era as well as forward to events of late 2010. The clouds of intrigue swirling around the reservation begin with the 1981 execution of Cabazon Indian Tribal Council vice-chairman Fred Alvarez along with friends Ralph Boger and Patricia Castro. Alvarez was appalled at the use of the reservation for sinister purposes and the corruption of then administrator John Phillip Nichols, a connected man whose juice had been instrumental in the Cabazon-Wackenhut joint venture; Alvarez was about to blow the whistle at the time of the triple murders. Shortly afterwards, there were weapons testing demonstrations held for Iran-Contra leaders at Lake Cahuilla and attended by the aforementioned Earl Brian who in an official document in the appendix of Seymour’s book, was identified as a CIA employee.

As Seymour continues to untangle the web of deceit there are more disturbing revelations regarding the Cabazon Reservation and those who used it as a base for operations. Through contact with Riconosciuto and access to a treasure trove of his files kept hidden away in a trailer in Death Valley, she was able to expand her research. In addition to the Alvarez murders, there was another strange death associated with the Cabazon Reservation. The body of Paul Morasca, a Riconosciuto associate, was found in his San Francisco condo hog-tied and slowly strangled with a telephone cord around his legs and neck. He was also pretty good, as was Riconsciuto at moving money around through the SWIFT-CHIPS financial clearing houses utilized by banking institutions. Morasca, who had been appointed to a management position with the Cabazon Reservation casino, was dead months later. He was a financial wizard when it came to moving money through the interbank clearinghouse systems; according to some he may even have been involved in the transfer of funds out of the notorious Australian CIA connected drug-money laundering Nugan Hand Bank as it collapsed; Morasca allegedly had access codes to several accounts used to launder funds at the time of his murder and may have been tortured to provide the information to his killer (s). Another strange death, a school teacher named Mary Quick, the aunt of a Morasca/Riconosciuto associate who may have mistakenly been involved with the access codes was shot in the face during what was ostensibly made to look like a robbery. The Cabazon Reservation’s casino, according to a San Francisco Chronicle article received seed money from the Gambino Crime Family.

Now here is a bit of food for thought, the note that was found inside of Danny Casolaro’s shoe in Room 517 of the Martinsburg Sheraton had the names of Fred Alvarez and Paul Morasca were among the information that was written on it. It was known that Casolaro had planned a trip to Indio and the Cabazon Reservation as a continuation of his research, a trip that he never was able to make thanks to those who had one hell of a lot to lose were they to be exposed. They would have revealed a very ominous connection between intelligence figures and off the books ops, mob figures and political figures burrowed deep inside the bureaucracy and working hand in hand with criminal elements. I excerpt from the press release for The Last Circle:

During the last week of his life, Danny had discovered a connection between a former director of international affairs for the Justice Department, the Cali Drug Cartel and Robert Booth Nichols, an international intelligence operative whom he had been interviewing extensively for months. Danny’s last phone bills indicated he’d spent hundreds of hours on the phone with Nichols, most of the calls averaged one to two hours. This in effect was one tentacle of Danny’s Octopus.

Danny had confronted Nichols about the former DOJ director and the Cali Cartel while staying in Martinsburg. It was the last conversation Danny ever had with Nichols and with Bob Bickel, a friend whom Danny Confided in. Bickel subsequently confirmed the conversation, but for reasons unknown, the Cali Cartel connection was never published in any of the official investigative reports on Danny’s death. These included the DOJ report of September 27, 1994.

Said Justice Department official was a man named Mike Abbell, a top ranking bureaucrat who after leaving the Justice Department where he once headed the Office of International Affairs, was indicted in a massive drug racketeering case against the Cali Cartel. Casolaro’s research had touched upon many corrupt and powerful interests and their long-running illicit schemes but his tracing the criminality directly into the United States Department of Justice may just have been the third rail. The Last Circle provides a substantial amount of information on just how dirty that elements of the nation’s top law enforcement institution may have been and provides plenty of information including wiretaps, interviews with the good guys who were trying to get to the bottom of it all and in perhaps the most chilling statement of all, that there are extremely high-ranking officials who may have been involved in obstruction of justice and who are still at the DOJ where their duties now have come to include providing legal cover for torturers and war criminals such as John Yoo and Jay Bybee and frantically working to prevent Wikileaks from publishing information on Bank of America by revising the 1917 Espionage Act. Given the ugly hidden activities of the banksters and a history of fraud and money laundering such a leak could expose the whole game and shine a light on the longtime institutional corruption in this country, especially the collusion between banks, drug traffickers and government figures and we certainly can’t have that can we?

Now to return to the previously mentioned Robert Booth Nichols, the intelligence man who was a major source of Danny Casolaro (Casolaro’s last days included numerous calls to Nichols) as well as a business partner of Michael Riconosciuto. Nichols was also a board member of FIDCO (First Intercontinental Development Corporation) which includes such interesting luminaries as former Howard Hughes aide and known CIA employee Robert Maheu as well as Texas oil billionaire and former NFL franchise owner of the Dallas Cowboys Clint W. Murchison Jr., a man whose father has been linked by some to the power cabal that would have a hell of a lot to gain were President John F. Kennedy to end up dead. Nichols was a big time player, according to accounts he had done independent contract work for the CIA, the NSA and had been tied to figures in both the Japanese Yakuza as well as the Gambino Crime Family. He dealt in military grade weaponry and had been under Federal investigation for international money laundering at one time. Nichols, it appears was a crucial go-between for darker elements of the U.S. state and organized crime. Former business partner and head of MCA Home Entertainment Eugene Giaquinto, a man with known mob ties was recorded on wiretap as saying that Nichols was his “government man” and that he could be counted on to provide official government documents pertaining to investigations. That figures within the government would have cozy relationships with the mob is really nothing surprising, and I must offer up my standard disclaimer regarding such collaborations. As in previous work that I have done on the subject of mob influence with U.S. government activities and figures I make no moral judgment regarding mob activity, it’s a business to these people and the costs associated are of no regard to me. What I DO have a serious problem with are corrupt or compromised government officials allowing themselves to be used by organized crime or to misuse their positions of trust as public servants to enrich themselves and their organized crime partners. For these rats truly belong within Dante’s last circle or in a Supermax prison at the very least.

There is a long history of the CIA/OSS in working with organized crime figures, the traceable beginning point would be World War II and the government’s deal with Charles “Lucky” Luciano and other bosses to assist the American war effort, notably Operation Underworld. War was war and such alliances were deemed necessary during a time of great national crisis and mobilization, that sort of alliance is much different than the criminality that grew out of the ongoing marriage of the CIA and other intelligence arms with organized crime figures. Such collaborations have a tendency over time to pollute and corrupt the ideals and objectives that they at one time purported to justify, for another example one need look no further than the CIA/OSS providing amnesty to Nazi war criminals, for example General Reinhard Gehlen who was brought in to the U.S. intelligence apparatus, ostensibly to wage the war against demonic Communism. This is a story for another time though, I just needed to make it clear that I have no personal bone to pick with organized crime, only with the officials who betray the country and the public trust by abusing their positions to enrich themselves by working with them.

Nichols seems to be one of those who benefited immensely by playing both sides and through parlaying his connections and interests into a very nice career. He was so important that as recently as 2004 was still a big time go to guy when he was involved in a scheme with chasing down a $250 billion treasury note (Serial Number SC 3040-20) that was allegedly backed by 2,500 metric tons of gold stored at the Atlanta Federal Reserve. Nichols, described in a lawsuit brought by Bayou LLC hedge fund’s Samuel Israel against Nichols for his role in an alleged scam involving the note was said by his attorney as:

“He was asked to find something, and he found it,” Nichols’s lawyer, Joseph Bainton, told Bloomberg, declining to elaborate. “There are very few people capable of performing this service, for which he was paid a lump sum of $10 million”

Nichols was vouched for by one John P. Ellis, a cousin of then President George W. Bush whose long family history of intelligence ties is hardly a secret and whose moral traditions would be consistent in those who would have no qualms about engaging in alliances with organized crime figures. After all, it was George W. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush whose Wall Street firm was closed down by FDR back in 1942 under the Trading With The Enemies Act for helping to launder money for the Nazis, not that Prescott Bush was unique, plenty of Wall Street bankers and American industrialists cashed in by helping to build the Third Reich. Other than to use those sort of alliances to illustrate the lack of morality, principals or loyalty to their own countries which are exactly the sort of traits that are present in The Octopus and it’s disregard for anything even remotely resembling honor, decency and traditional American values, I will leave that story to be told in the future. Nichols by the way is now deceased, he died in Geneva, Switzerland; a victim of a massive heart attack and interestingly enough there was evidence of a blow to the head. It would seem that he had outlived his usefulness and in my personal opinion, considering his history and the type that he ran with I personally am skeptical as to the official cause of death. In The Last Circle, Cheri Seymour describes a harrowing visit to interview a chain-smoking and wily Nichols, after which she, for reasons of personal safety, decided to take an extended vacation away from her home. The creepiest part of the visit being when he broke out his version of the Zapruder film from his personal video collection.

A hugely important part of Seymour’s book is the section where she meets with investigators Sean McDade of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and California Homicide Detective Sue Todd (who was investigating another potentially connected murder of a father and son) at her home. McDade was investigating the PROMIS software story on an official national security assignment for Canada and contacted Seymour for information given his research of the draft version of her book on the internet. An arrangement was made for McDade to visit Seymour in order to gain access to her research materials and he and Detective Todd met with her, and in the process of culling and copying documents he dropped a couple of bombshells. First being a reference to a December 1999 meeting at the Los Alamos facility in New Mexico attended by heads of the intelligence services of the United States, Britain, Israel and Canada over the potential for disruptive shared computer problems due to the Y2K period. McDade had a source that alluded to all four countries using the PROMIS software. He offered up a scenario that the “Israeli Mossad may have modified the original PROMIS modification, or back door, so that it became a ‘two-way’ back door allowing the Israelis access to U.S. weapons secrets at Los Alamos and other installations.” and according to Seymour, McDade “hinted through innuendo that the Israelis may now possess all the nuclear secrets of the United States.” There would seem to be some additional evidence that may support this sort of Israeli espionage in a London Times story on whistleblower Sibel Edmonds entitled For Sale: West’s Deadly Nuclear Secrets. McDade also stated that : “The details of my findings in Canada could cause a major scandal in both Canada and the U.S. If my investigation is successful, it could cause the entire U.S. Republican party to be dismantled, and more than one presidential administration will be exposed for their knowledge of this.”

McDade returned to Canada along with a load of copied documents and the investigation continued. The probe continued and eventually progressed enough to become sufficiently disturbing to those affected. The FBI as well as the Israeli Mossad were monitoring him as he progressed through the process of conducting interviews with potential witnesses and building the case. He had obtained several tapes that according to Riconsciuto contained the boot up versions of the modified PROMIS software. He planned to fly Bill Hamilton of INSLAW to RCMP headquarters to assist in accessing the tapes when a Toronto Star article was published in late August 2000 that resulted in the shutdown of the 8 month investigation. Chapter 21 of The Last Circle details a long conversation between Detective Sue Todd and the author on what the findings had been and which she wanted published were anything to happen to her. A subsequent investigation of the closed down RCMP investigation was undertaken by journalist Kelly O’Meara of Insight Magazine and the four parts are available here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Despite the official stonewalling, obfuscation and danger involved, the author reveals that both Sue Todd and Kelly O’Meara developed a proposal in 2001 to continue to work to expose The Octopus, let us hope that we have not heard the last from them and their dedication to justice serves as an inspiration to all.

“Organized crime will put a man in the White House someday – and he won’t know it until they hand him the bill”

-Ralph Solerno, NYPD (from Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA and the Mob)

“Organized crime will put a man in the White House someday – and he won’t know it until they hand him the bill”


-Ralph Solerno, NYPD (from Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA and the Mob)

The Last Circle also devotes considerable space to the relationship between former President Ronald Reagan and the MCA Corporation, his agent. Drawing on Dan Moldea’s book Dark Victory, subtitled Ronald Reagan, MCA and the Mob. It isn’t well publicized that the hallowed national icon of those who dabble in the black arts of revisionist history, Ronald Reagan is a man with more than a few skeletons in his closet. Reagan was in the 1940-50s a struggling B-movie actor and Democrat who campaigned for Harry Truman in 1948 (this link is as priceless as it is stunning). Reagan, at some point realized that the real future laid in his willingness to sell out whatever ideals that he may have had and join the Republican party, ratting out his Hollywood peers as Communists to a McCarthyist nation braying for blood while president of the Screen Actors Guild and building up the necessary resume and connections for his ascension to America’s throne. Long before Saint Ronald Reagan was authorizing criminals like Edwin Meese and Oliver North and their ilk to destroy the national regulatory structure, wantonly subvert the Constitution, and engage in a global spree of weapons and drug trafficking to fund torturers and murders in Latin America he made his pact with the devil.

Reagan’s rise to power and later, canonization by the conservative movement was helped along enormously by his affiliation with MCA and the accumulated chits that he would receive which would serve him in his rise to the presidency. MCA, originally a talent agency that became the 800 pound gorilla of Hollywood as well as a partner of organized crime figures had benefited greatly when Reagan, as SAG president played an integral role in negotiating a deal that would allow the corporation to circumvent antitrust laws in order to enter into television production as well as talent. Reagan was subsequently targeted by a federal grand jury for his role in the “sweetheart deal” between MCA and the actor’s union. According to a Justice Department memorandum from the case described a Hollywood source as saying that “Ronald Reagan a complete slave of MCA who would do their bidding on anything.” Reagan changed his political affiliation to Republican, citing a newfound contempt of big government, became wealthy and increasingly strident in his ideology and rhetoric, so much so that General Electric Theatre, he was a host became uncomfortable with his on air reactionary rants. Reagan then ran for and was elected Governor of California where he continued to hone his act and pile up favors that would serve him for his enthronement at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Reagan, like all presidents came into power surrounded by cronies and lackeys, one of course was Edwin Meese who rose to Attorney General and according to information obtained from FBI wiretaps on Gambino crime family figures may have intervened in order to foil a federal investigation into MCA and alleged mob connections that could have torpedoed the sale of MCA to Japanese interests. On the wiretaps, Eugene Giaquinto who was a board member of the MCA Corporation who had a lifetime relationship to Gambino boss John Gotti had stated that “he would call Edwin Meese and have the FBI’s investigation of MCA stopped.” The Reagan era Justice Department was not only engaged in corrupt practices such as the theft of Inslaw’s PROMIS software but also was actively engaged in the obstruction of justice in order to protect Reagan’s longtime benefactor MCA. The investigation was of course shut down and the MCA deal went through, principled and honest public servants resigned out of disgust and the bad guys won again. The litany of crimes and unethical practices of the Reagan administration is long and his Octopus’s tentacles have slithered into too many scandals and institutions to list here but there are two very important and serendipitous connections. Giaquinto had bragged about his “government man” Robert Booth Nichols who provided him with critical information and Danny Casolaro was also investigating MCA connections to The Octopus at the time of his death.

“After a six-year hitch in the military, I became a professional hit man for the Mafia. I collected money, hurt a lot of people and saw a lot of blood. I know what it’s like to cut the throat of a man, see a man die, or throw a man in the trunk of a car and take him to his death. I did many horrible things. I allowed myself to do whatever was necessary.

-Jimmy Hughes: Admitted murderer

“After a six-year hitch in the military, I became a professional hit man for the Mafia. I collected money, hurt a lot of people and saw a lot of blood. I know what it’s like to cut the throat of a man, see a man die, or throw a man in the trunk of a car and take him to his death. I did many horrible things. I allowed myself to do whatever was necessary.


-Jimmy Hughes: Admitted killer

An Authorized, Government Backed Covert Action: The final chapter in The Last Circle deals with the quest for justice by Rachel Begley, whose father Ralph Boger was murdered along with Fred Alvarez, the man who was about to blow the whistle on the illicit activities at the Cabazon Indian Reservation in 1981. Begley relentlessly pursued the truth about the murders and her story was chronicled in the work of Emmy Award winning reporter Nathan Baca’s 35 part series on the Octopus Murders for Palm Springs KESQ-TV. Also known online as Desertfae, she at great personal danger considering the malevolent figures that she was dealing with successfully worked to expose the truth about her father’s murder and her tenacity led to the cold case being re-opened by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Her courageous efforts led to the arrest of admitted hitman Jimmy Hughes, now running a pseudo religious organization in Honduras.

Detective John Powers of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department was investigating the cold case of the Alvarez murders, having been led in that direction as a result of a more recent probe into the 2005 murder- suicide of David McGowan and his family. McGowan, a Riverside County District Attorney investigator who may have been digging too deeply. According to Baca (whose links have all apparently been disappeared down the memory hole at KESQ now that he is working for a Las Vegas station but fortunately desertfae has posted many of the videos on her You Tube site) in his work on the story that:

The murder case has been reopened and closed multiple times in the past 27 years. Sheriff’s investigators have asked friends and former partners of District Attorney Investigator David McGowan whether he was working the case in 2005. An investigation concluded that McGowan murdered his family of five before shooting himself on May 10th, 2005. Surviving family members tell News Channel 3 they believe the investigation was rushed and incomplete.

Detective Powers and Rachel Begley were working on seeking justice for the murders when they met with Cheri Seymour who assisted them in gleaning important information on the case. She strongly encouraged Powers to get copies of the Paul Morasca Homicide Investigation File of which no electronic copies existed and access was restricted. The file, Case No. 82-1052505 was being stored with the San Francisco Police Department records and contained long missing files on the Alvarez murders which he has now backed up lest it be conveniently misplaced. An arrest warrant for Hughes was issued and he was apprehended in September 2009 as he was boarding a plane in Miami.

Hughes, a former head of security at the Cabazon reservation has admitted to being a hired gun for both the mafia and the CIA. Hughes incidentally was the guy who Financial Times reporter Anson Ng was allegedly chasing down when he himself was murdered in Guatemala in July of 1991. His organization, very originally named Jimmy Hughes Ministries is a testament to the adage of religion being the last refuge of scoundrels and provides cover by serving as a front for black ops such as the 2009 Honduran coup d’etat against president Manuel Zelaya who had to be deposed for being an ally of Venezuala’s Hugo Chavez. Chavez is a man the U.S. power structure despises and has already moved against and failed and whose ability to stand up to the United States plutocracy cannot be allowed to spread regionally lest the rivers of blood that have been loosed by dictators, their thugs and their CIA facilitators, most trained at the torture institute The School of the Americas stop flowing so that lust for money and power can be slaked. In The Last Circle it is noted that Hughes, sponsored by the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI) provided support for the overthrow. Hughes never ceased being a thug for hire, he just changed venues.

Hughes has stated in a 1985 television interview that the Alvarez murders were “an authorized, government backed covert action” and was caught on video by Rachel Begley and Fred Alvarez’s son Mikel during his February 2008 appearance at an FGBMFI dinner event in Fresno stating that:

“I was trained in the military. I killed people all of the world, right or wrong, because the government ordered me to. Your dad and I were friends. He touched somebody…they gave an order and that’s what happened to him. It’s a lot bigger than the murder of this guy or the murder of that guy. It’s big …. You’re talking political people. “

Hughes also made veiled threats like the chilling “you’ve got to be crazy…you’re knocking on some very dangerous doors..just think about your children..they need a mother” to Begley. Once arrested and extradited to California to stand trial Hughes was due to finally face the judgement of the law but then in

another one of the travesties that plague the rotten to the core judicial system of this corrupt empire the case against Hughes were dismissed, and with a deft twisting of the knife, the charges were dropped on the very anniversary of the murders. Jimmy Hughes walked, perhaps he knew fully well where too many bodies were buried, that and he continues to serve the dark forces of The Octopus. As of this writing, Rachel Begley is not giving up, she has justifiably filed a formal complaint against Deputy Attorney General Mike Murphy, just another one of the charlatans masquerading as servants of the law in this terminally damaged republic.

 

Who Watches the Watchers?

Who Watches the Watchers?

The dismissal of the case against Jimmy Hughes is just another example of the vast corruption that has slowly eaten away at the once strong interpinnings of the American system of justice. Today, there is no consistent enforcement of the law, there exists a system that has been throughout the years rigged in order to allow those who have the financial means or the political connections to circumvent justice. In the post-9/11 era in which our once vibrant democracy has turned into something perversely un-American that has now very appropriately been named the HOMELAND, our true birthright, the civil liberties as set forth in the Bill of Rights have been eroded and are on the verge of extinction. All due to systemic corruption and the actions of The Octopus and those who serve it.

We have seen the gradual erosion of such long-standing legal principles such as Habeas Corpus disposed, under the guise of course of fighting ‘terrorism’. Posse Comitatus has been struck from the books with the establishment of NORTHCOM and the surveillance colossus that grew out of PROMIS is rendering obsolete the right to privacy. Our airports have turned into something out of post Stalin Russia with the TSA ‘pat-downs’ and naked body scanners and just this week word comes that Janet Napolitano, top apartchik of the Department of Homeland Security will be appearing on TV screens in the nation’s Wal-Marts with the “If You See Something, Say Something” inducement to report ‘suspicious’ behavior. The noose is tightening and as has been predicted by many of us, the entire facade of the War On Terror was only a ruse, every oppressive tactic, every torture chamber and secret prison was being prepared for the real enemy: patriotic Americans demanding the truth. The entire system has now been transformed in order to protect the interests of criminals, looters and the progeny of The Octopus. You will see no serious investigation of the heads of Wall Street banks, their profits largely derived through fraud, money laundering and other ill gotten gains from cash cows such as drug trafficking. Nor will you see any war criminals, war profiteers or the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who cover up for them, rig the laws and engage in acts of subterfuge for money be prosecuted. This is the country in which we now live.

As Cheri Seymour writes:

“Every government official I talked to, every journalist, told me that nothing can be done to dismantle The Octopus, there is no one in office in this great nation that has the power to prosecute the Octopus criminals because the tentacles have become an integral, and accepted culture within our society, and indeed within our economy.”

So the responsibility in stopping this all lies with us. I opened this essay with the quote from Anthony Sutton that appeared in The Last Circle : “Be patient, spread the word among friends, do your little bit. The system will self-destruct because it is funded on corruption and untruth”. This much is essential, for the only way to regain our freedom, dignity and liberty and to ensure that those who are guilty of a myriad of crimes is to be tenacious in researching – and reporting on their crimes. It is true that the only things that The Octopus, now fully assimilated into the system understands is power and money, the only thing that it fears is the truth.

Joseph Daniel Casolaro 1947-1991

The Octopus: Eight people who have changed the course of the world, a real life “Mission Impossible” team whose gifts exploited the secret empires of rogue spy networks, big oil and organized crime.

-From Danny Casolaro’s notes

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