Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Schwarzenegger Appointed Scandal-Ridden Quackenbush Co-Conspirator to Oversee Key Banking Oversight Agency


Gov.'s banking choice questioned: Panel found that the new chief of oversight agency had a role in the Quackenbush scandal

By Evan Halper/July 31, 2007

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has put a key banking oversight agency under the stewardship of an administrator who, according to a bipartisan legislative investigation, helped arrange the misuse of millions of dollars of public funds and steered government contracts to friends.

Michael A. Kelley, appointed commissioner of the Department of Financial Services by the governor in December, was a central figure in the scandal that ultimately drove former Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush from office in 2000. Kelley, who was Quackenbush's top deputy, was found unanimously by a bipartisan legislative panel to have helped the former insurance commissioner divert public funds away from state coffers and into nonprofit foundations that were focused largely on promoting the commissioner's political career.

The money, a total of $12.5 million, came from legal settlements extracted from insurance companies that failed to carry out their responsibilities to consumers in the wake of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. But not a single dollar ever made it to those consumers.

The bipartisan Assembly Committee on Insurance, which unanimously concluded in 2000 that Kelley "played a prominent role" in the scandal, also accused him of awarding a $144,000 contract to a longtime personal friend who lacked experience for the job. "No one else was interviewed," the report said.

Although Kelley was never charged criminally, he was forced to resign soon after the departure of Quackenbush.

"He was deeply and directly involved in the scandalous enterprise that led to not only the commissioner's resignation, but his own," said former Assemblyman Fred Keeley, a Santa Cruz Democrat who served on the panel that investigated the scandal. "He failed to look out for the interest of consumers…. I think he has forfeited his right to serve in appointed positions where his responsibility is to do that."

Kelley defended his actions in a written statement Monday.

"Subsequent to the legislative report, the FBI, attorney general, district attorney and a grand jury conducted a through investigation and identified the individuals that had broken the law," he wrote. "I was not complicit in any criminal activities. Those who were responsible for criminal acts were found and punished by the judicial system."

Kelley's appointment, made while lawmakers were on holiday break, largely escaped notice in the Capitol until recently, when investigators for the state Senate began revisiting the facts surrounding the Quackenbush scandal in preparation for Kelley's upcoming confirmation hearing. Under state law, Kelley must be confirmed by the Senate if the administration intends to keep him in the post more than a year.

At the Department of Financial Institutions, Kelley oversees the enforcement of consumer protection laws that relate to about 700 banks, credit unions, savings associations, trust companies and other financial organizations formed by state charter. The institutions regulated by the department have assets of more than $290 billion.

A spokesman for the governor said Kelley was a good fit for the job.

"Michael Kelley has been a successful administrator and regulator for over 20 years and has been an effective watchdog for California consumers every step of the way," said Schwarzenegger press secretary Aaron McLear.

McLear said the administration had no plans to remove Kelley before the end of the year, meaning a confirmation hearing before the Senate Rules Committee is likely. Lawmakers say Kelley will be called on to defend his actions during the Quackenbush days.

"I'm sure the Rules Committee will explore this chapter of his history very, very carefully," said Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who was one of the lead questioners at the Quackenbush hearings in 2000. "The whole Quackenbush episode was one of the worst examples of misuse of funds I have ever seen."

Steinberg was among the bipartisan group of lawmakers that said Kelley colluded with Quackenbush in subverting the regulatory process, misspending state money, failing to provide redress for earthquake victims and engaging "in a cover-up in an effort to mislead the public and avoid responsibility."

The report said Kelley was largely in charge of steering the settlement money to the questionable nonprofits. One of the groups that received funds was labeled a "sham" by then-Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer. Kelley picked his longtime friend Linda Smith-Gaston to administer another of the organizations. The legislative report said Smith-Gaston, who paid herself $144,000 over 18 months, lacked skills and got the job through a process of "friends helping friends, with not even a pretense of searching for the best arrangement and best people."

Another of Kelley's longtime friends, Rhonda English, was selected by him to serve as president of a separate nonprofit established with settlement money.

When the president of one of the companies hired to do work for a foundation established by Quackenbush warned that money from the settlements was being used in an "unconscionable" manner, Kelley was assigned to investigate.

"Although now on notice there were problems worth investigating, [the Department of Insurance] took no action," the legislative report said.

As the Quackenbush scandal unfolded, Kelley engaged the help of the California Highway Patrol in seeking to root out whistle-blowers. Kelley argued that internal reports detailing Quackenbush's settlements with the insurance companies were confidential.

As Kelley's days in the insurance department neared an end, he became a beneficiary of a controversial contract obligating taxpayers to cover $1 million in legal fees for officials implicated in the scandal. Quackenbush approved the contract as one of his final acts in office, after the state Department of General Services rejected proposals for the state to cover the legal fees of Kelley and another deputy.

After the resignations of Quackenbush and then Kelley, the insurance department rescinded the contract.

Whatever Happend to Jeb Magruder?

Magruder still troubled post-Watergate
News Fuze, 07/31/2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Watergate figure Jeb Magruder, as he'll always be known—not as minister, consultant or civil servant, some of his other titles—is healing.

The 72-year-old is recovering from a stroke that apparently caused his car to hit a motorcycle and a truck on a Columbus expressway.

Magruder had been banged-up before in the more than three decades since his brief prison term for his role in the break-in that brought down Richard Nixon.

Still, friends say the past few years have been particularly tough.
"Things seem like they've been a spiral down for him," said Rev. Jim Long, a Columbus pastor who credits Magruder for helping him decide to enter the ministry several years ago.

Magruder was Nixon's deputy campaign director, an aide to Nixon's chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, and deputy communications director at the White House. He spent seven months in prison for his role in covering up the 1972 break-in at Washington's Watergate complex.

Last week's accident came two years after he was stopped in rural Ohio and charged with drunken driving. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless operation.

In 2003, police in suburban Grandview Heights arrested Magruder after finding him lying on a sidewalk and refusing to get up. Police said he appeared drunk. He pleaded no contest to a minor misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

About two weeks before that arrest, Magruder had claimed he heard Nixon order the Watergate break-in. Historians consider that unlikely.

Long said Watergate was a black mark that Magruder knew he could never escape, but "it also gave him visibility—maybe notoriety would be another way to put it—that allowed him to do some things."

Magruder has not commented on his recent accident, in which he was cited with failure to maintain an assured clear distance and failure to stop after an accident or collision. A message on his home phone says he is not receiving calls and messages left by The Associated Press at his office were not returned.

Magruder became a born-again Christian after Watergate. He received a master's in divinity, served at a Presbyterian church in California, then became executive minister at First Community Church in Upper Arlington, a well-off Columbus suburb.

He spent eight years at First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Ky., then went to work for Dallas-based RSI-Ketchum, a church fundraising consulting group. It was during that time he re-embraced his role in the country's most famous political scandal.

"There was a long time where he ran from that stuff, but it finally got to the point where he accepted it and the celebrity that went with it," said Jim Keith, the company's senior vice president.

In 2003, Magruder retired to Columbus, the city where 15 years earlier, Mayor Dana Rinehart had appointed him head of a city ethics commission and charged him to lead a yearlong honesty campaign. The city was reacting to free-for-all in which people scrambled to scoop up money that spilled from the back of an armored car.

An ethics commission "headed by none other than (are you ready America?) Jeb Stuart Magruder," quipped Time magazine.

Magruder took it stride, and pointed out, "it's a characteristic in American life that there is redemption."


Watergate figure cited in traffic crashes

COLUMBUS - Jeb Stuart Magruder, an aide to President Nixon who spent seven months in prison for his role in covering up the 1972 break-in at Washington's Watergate complex, has been cited in two traffic crashes and with leaving the scene of an accident, police said Thursday.

Magruder's car rear-ended a motorcycle and struck the rear of a box truck Monday on state Route 315, according to police reports. Magruder sped away after the first crash with the motorcycle, witnesses told police.

Police cited Magruder, 72, of Columbus, with two counts of failure to maintain an assured clear distance and one count of failure to stop after an accident or collision. The charges are misdemeanors.

One witness said the car was traveling above 90 mph leaving the scene of the accident with the motorcycle, according to police reports. Another witness reported seeing Magruder's Audi speeding and making erratic lane changes before the first accident.

Magruder was in serious condition at Riverside Methodist Hospital after the crashes Monday. The hospital has declined to release any details since.

Magruder could not be reached for comment. A recorded message on his home phone said he was "not receiving calls at this time."

The drivers of the other two vehicles weren't seriously hurt.

Magruder, a retired Presbyterian minister, said for the first time in 2003 that he remembered listening in on the phone as Nixon gave the go-ahead for the plan to bug the Democratic headquarters at Watergate. Some historians reacted with skepticism.

Magruder was charged with drunken driving by the State Highway Patrol in 2005 in Fayette County, about 40 miles southwest of Columbus. That charge was later reduced to reckless operation, according to court records in Washington Court House.

In 2003, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after police in the Columbus suburb of Grandview found him passed out on a sidewalk.


Following Ted Stevens' Northern Lights PAC

Guest Post: Following Stevens PAC Money
Wash. Post, July 31, 2007

Ethics has been the topic du jour on Capitol Hill today, with the House passing its lobbying reform measure by a landslide 411-8 vote. And the fallout continues after yesterday's FBI raid of Sen. Ted Steven's (R-Alaska) Anchorage home. Stevens and other Alaska politicians are being investigated in connection with a corruption probe. Washington Post reporter John Solomon offers us this item on Stevens's political action committee:

Lawmakers have long used political action committees to sow good will among fellow candidates. So how is Sen. Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican whose house was raided yesterday in a federal corruption probe, using his Northern Lights PAC?

Well, he doled out $95,000 to colleagues in the first half of the year, including $5,000 to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who is up for re-election and just happens to sit on the Senate Ethics Committee. That's the panel that could be called into review Stevens conduct at a later date in the controversy over his Alaska home renovations and relationship with an oil services company called VECO.

[Roberts declined to answer questions about the matter, as did the committee's top Democrat, Barbara Boxer of California, and top Republican, John Cornyn of Texas.]

Stevens also gave $5,000 to Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), another lawmaker whose ties to VECO have also attracted public scrutiny. Other recipients of the Northern Lights PAC's largesse include Republican Sens. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, John Sununu of New Hampshire, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Norm Coleman of Minnesota. And the National Republican Senatorial Committee got a cool $15,000 as well.

Stevens apparently didn't skimp on treating his donors well, either. His fund-raising expenses listed in his latest report to the Federal Election Commission included more than $200 to an Island Smoke Shop in Key Largo, Fla., $550 in tips to the waiters, front desk and bartenders at Madrona Manor in California, more than $250 to Poker Bargains in Beverly Hills and more than $2,500 to the Pure Luxury Bus company.

To view Stevens' latest PAC report, justclick here:

-- John Solomon


NYC's Brave New Public Spy Technology

NYC Spycam Goal: Spot Terrorists Before They Hit
By Noah Shachtman
July 12, 2007

Categories: Cops and Robbers, Homeland Security, You can run...

... Earlier this week, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a massive security plan for lower Manhattan. There’ll be 3000 or more cameras in the 1.7 square miles below Canal St., all sending live feeds back to police HQs.

... Footage in other places is used to find criminals after the act. But one of the biggest threats to lower Manhattan is a suicide bomber who’s not going to be so concerned if you can identify him the day afterwards.

So, the cool stuff being deployed in New York isn’t just the mass of cameras. It’s the software that’ll sort through images and automatically try to identify risky stuff: backpacks left unattended, guys wearing long coats on August days, cars circling the Freedom Tower. Facial recognition software is coming too. Ultimately, the cops hope that the computers will be able to identify a risk to a building and immediately dispatch officers there, equipped with electronic blueprints and info on a suspect’s every movement.

Will it work? It’ll probably be sluggish at first. Sorting video is very hard and facial recognition software, for example, has been a bust so far. There’s also huge potential for abuse. But police departments are heading this way, and New York’s rollout is definitely something to watch.

Penny Lernoux's Cry of the People: One of the Most Important Journalists of the 20th Century on the Internet

Penny Lernoux, CRY OF THE PEOPLE - The struggle for human rights in Latin America and the Catholic Church in conflict with US policy (Penguins, 1980):



Torture, Repression
Repression (continued)
Be a Patriot (in El Salvador) and Kill a Priest
The Doctrine of National Security -- Terror
U.S. Capitalism and The Multinationals
Villains Afoot
Clockwork Orange
The Church's Role, The Church Divided, The U.S. Connection

Monday, July 30, 2007

British Bali Bomb Blowback (and Blair)

" ... The Bali bomb incident radically changed the Indonesian government's policies and attitudes towards Islamic inspired terrorism. Having previously denied the existence of terrorists operating on its own soil, Jakarta quickly realized that allowing the JI's activities to continue without impunity would hurt the nation's economic and foreign interests ... " - Jakarta Post, July 10, 2007


Government admits it knew of terrorist threat to Bali

By Owen Bowcott and Michael White, John Aglionby in Bali and David Fickling in Sydney
The Guardian
October 18, 2002

Thousands of British tourists and residents living in Indonesia were urged by the foreign secretary last night to consider leaving the country unless their presence was absolutely essential.

The announcement followed a day of political recrimination over the nature of the intelligence warnings received before the explosions on Bali.

Downing Street officials who had earlier spoken of "no specific threat picked up in relation to Bali that weekend" modified it to the extent of confirming that a number of specific target areas had been identified, including six places in Indonesia, one of them Bali.

Following Australia's lead in advising its citizens to quit the predominantly Muslim state, Jack Straw warned there could be further terrorist attacks on western targets similar to the bombing of two nightclubs in Bali which killed at least 186 people last Saturday.

As many as 4,000 Britons are registered as residents with the embassy in Jakarta and thousands more are thought to be on holiday at any one time on the sprawling archipelago of islands which constitutes Indonesia.

The Foreign Office said that non-essential embassy staff and some dependents would be flown home shortly.

Mr Straw said: "As soon as we heard of the atrocity ... we recommended against all travel to Bali and all but essential travel to elsewhere in Indonesia. In the light of further information and consideration, [we are now advising] against all travel to Indonesia [and recommending] that all British citizens should consider leaving Indonesia if their presence is not essential.

"British citizens who remain should exercise extreme caution, especially in public places, including pubs, restaurants, bars, schools, places of worship, outdoor recreational venues and other locations frequented by foreigners."

Earlier, at a cabinet meeting, the prime minister told colleagues he was certain more attacks were being planned. "We can't predict when they will strike next, we can't predict where they will strike next," he said. "But we have to be honest about this that there will be further attacks."

Officials were adamant, however, that it would be impossible to "act on every bit of static around the system that you happen to pick up" and that all such information - and travel warnings - had been placed on Foreign Office and US state department websites.

Mr Blair later admitted that if the authorities acted on every "generic threat ... essentially the terrorists would close down the world".

But he also conceded that "non-specific, broad-based" information about Indonesia had referred to six places or regions, ranging Bali to the larger neighbouring islands of Sumatra and Jakarta.


Indonesians Say They Suspect C.I.A. in Bali Blast
NYT, November 7, 2002
Section A, Page 22

ABSTRACT - Many of educated elite in largely moderate Muslim country of Indonesia are blaming Central Intelligence Agency for Bali bombing that killed more that 180 people; reject United States suggestion that it was work of radical Islamic group with links to Al Qaeda; many Indonesians, especially moderate Muslim leaders, cannot accept idea that homegrown radical Islamic organization like Jemaah Islamiyah, headed by frail-loooking cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, could have had hand in terrorist act on its own soil; some Muslim leaders say it is not illogical to blame Washington for Bali violence, given history of US in Indonesia during cold war ...

JI’s links to Indonesia’s Military Intelligence


There are indications, that in addition to its alleged links to Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah also has links to Indonesia’s military intelligence, which in turn has links to the CIA and Australian intelligence.

The links between JI and Indonesia’s Intelligence Agency (BIN) are acknowledged by the International Crisis Group (ICG):

"This link [of JI to the BIN] needs to be explored more fully: it does not necessarily mean that military intelligence was working with JI, but it does raise a question about the extent to which it knew or could have found out more about JI than it has acknowledged." (International Crisis Group, http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?reportid=845 , 2003)

The ICG, however, fails to mention that Indonesia’s intelligence apparatus has for more than 30 years been controlled by the CIA.

In the wake of the October 2002 Bali bombing, a contradictory report emanating from Indonesia’s top brass, pointed to the involvement of both the head of Indonesian intelligence General A. M. Hendropriyono as well as the CIA:

"The agency and its director, Gen. A. M. Hendropriyono, are well regarded by the United States and other governments. But there are still senior intelligence officers here who believe that the C.I.A. was behind the bombing."

In response to these statements, the Bush Administration demanded that President Megawati Sukarnoputri, publicly refute the involvement of the U.S in the attacks. No official retraction was issued. Not only did President. Megawati remained silent on this matter, she also accused the US of being:

"a superpower that forced the rest of the world to go along with it… We see how ambition to conquer other nations has led to a situation where there is no more peace unless the whole world is complying with the will of the one with the power and strength."

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration, had used the Bali attacks to prop up its fear campaign:

"President Bush said Monday that he assumes al-Qaeda was responsible for the deadly bombing in Indonesia and that he is worried about fresh attacks on the United States."

The news [regarding the Bali attack] came as US intelligence officials warned that more attacks like the Indonesian bombing can be expected in the next few months, in Europe, the Far East or the US."


The links of JI to the Indonesian intelligence agency were never raised in the official Indonesian government investigation --which was guided behind the scenes by Australian intelligence and the CIA.

Moreover, shortly after the bombing, Australian Prime Minister John Howard "admitted that Australian authorities were warned about possible attacks in Bali but chose not to issue a warning." Also In the wake of the bombings, the Australian government chose to work with Indonesia’s Special Forces the Kopassus, in the so-called "war on terrorism".

Australia: "Useful Wave of Indignation"

Reminiscent of Operation Northwoods, the Bali attack served to trigger "a useful wave of indignation." They contributed to swaying Australian public opinion in favour of the US invasion of Iraq, while weakening the anti-war protest movement. In the wake of the Bali attack, the Australian government "officially" joined the US-led "war on terrorism." It has not only used the Bali bombings as a pretext to fully integrate the US-UK military axis, it has also adopted drastic police measures including "ethnic profiling" directed against its own citizens:

Prime Minister John Howard made the extraordinary declaration recently that he is prepared to make pre-emptive military strikes against terrorists in neighbouring Asian countries planning to attack Australia. Australian intelligence agencies also are very worried about the likelihood of an al-Qaeda attack using nuclear weapons. ...

VECO Scandal Circle Jerks: Notes on Brendan Sullivan, Ted Stevens, Tim Griffin, Fred Thompson, Jerry Prevo & Alaskan Crude

"NERVOUS? NOT UNCLE … We keep hearing Ted Stevens isn’t a target of federal investigators but Uncle Ted isn’t taking any chances. 'He has quietly hired Washington’s most powerful and expensive lawyer, Brendan Sullivan Jr., to deal with the feds,' reports the Washingtonian. Ted had no comment. ... " - Alaska Ear, The divine appendage, July 1, 2007


Ted Stevens Hires Ollie North's Lawyer
By Laura McGann
July 2, 2007

Taking his lead from Oliver North, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has hired Brendan V. Sullivan, Washington's most expensive and most powerful lawyer, The Washingtonian reports.

The move makes it look like Stevens isn't taking any chances in the ongoing federal probe into his dealings with Alaska oil services company Veco Corp.

Sullivan is used to going to bat for heavy weight defendants, including North, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, who pled guilty to a single misdeamenor at the end of a $9 million probe, and four FBI agents involved in the 1992 Ruby Ridge shootout.


The US Government's probe on Cisneros' personal life that cost taxpayers $9m was brought to us, in part, by former Rove protegee Tim Griffin
Posted by:
Date: July 2, 2007 6:38 PM

Oliver North should have gone to prision for treason and obstruction of justice. Now he sits on Fox News and is held in the highest esteem by the idiot souless fools that watch Fox News.

Posted by: Sick&Tired
Date: July 2, 2007 7:15 PM

Rev. Jerry Prevo

... Ollie North is a *very* good friend of right-wing power-politico Rev. Jerry Prevo and his Anchorage Baptist Temple -- picture Alaska's very own Pat Robertson/Christian Coalition.

Ollie has made several appearances at the Temple - and so has Ted. Jerry's ties to the Alaskan Republican party go back as far and as deep as Ted's.

They're all pals in the party....

Posted by: Kuparuk
Date: July 2, 2007 8:54 PM

Rove-Protege Tim Griffin Resigns As U.S. Attorney

The Arkansas Times reports that the controversial U.S. attorney in Arkansas, Tim Griffin, has resigned: The U.S. Justice Department has notified Arkansas’s congressional delegation that Interim Eastern District U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin is resigning effective Friday, June 1.

Griffin, a former protege of Karl Rove, was formerly research director of the Republican National Committee. In 2004, BBC News published a report showing that Griffin led a “caging” scheme to suppress the votes of African-American servicemembers in Florida.

Griffin became the poster boy for the politicization of the U.S. attorney process. Former Justice official Kyle Sampson noted that getting Griffin into office “was important to Harriet [Miers], Karl, et cetera.” The traditional 120-day term for “interim” U.S. attorneys had expired for Griffin on April 20, yet the Justice Department continued to allow him to serve.

ThinkProgress earlier spoke with Rep. John Boozman’s (R-AR) office, which said that the congressman submitted names of replacements for Griffin to the White House on March 30. So far, no word from the Justice Department on the name of the new U.S. attorney.

In the meantime, assistant U.S. attorney Jane Duke will take over. The Justice Department had previously passed her over to install Griffin, using sexual discrimination as an excuse because Duke had been on maternity leave at the time.

UPDATE: Today the Wall Street Journal reported that Griffin was in “discussions” about working for the possible presidential campaign of Fred Thompson. But the Arkansas Times reports that it’s still unclear whether he will join a campaign or go into the private sector.
Political scandals thick as trees in Alaska
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 29, 2007
By Joel Connelly

Threats and bluster are standard operating procedures for Alaska's seniority-laden Washington, D.C., delegation, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, was in full cry earlier this month.

"There is always another day when those who bite will be killed, too, and I am very good at that," Young said. No kiddin'. He once waved an 18-inch-long oosik, the penis bone of a walrus, at the first woman to direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Young, the political architect of Alaska's "bridges to nowhere," was mad at a bid by Republican New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett to cut one of his pet programs.

Not only did he go after Garrett, but Alaska's congressman went on to note that his opponent comes "from a state that doesn't have the greatest reputation in the world."

A few days later, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Young is under FBI investigation for his ties to VECO, the oil-field-services supplier whose president has pleaded guilty to paying off Alaska state legislators.

"Is two-thirds of the New Jersey congressional delegation currently being investigated by the FBI? Did New Jersey pols and lobbyists organize a Corrupt Bastards Club in the state capital? And get hats made?" the Alaska Ear column of the Anchorage Daily News asked.

Alaska has lately moved out in front of the Garden State when it comes to politicians for sale, for rent and ready to exchange favors.

The past year has seen a curtain pulled back on the crony capitalist insiders' network that has long run the 49th State, treating the "Great Land" as a grand treasure trove.

As usual, there's a key insider: In the 1970s, it was Jess Carr, the Teamsters Union leader whose local ran Alaska Pipeline construction with fists and featherbedding.

The go-to guy of recent times was VECO boss Bill Allen. VECO was the prime contractor in cleaning up Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez spill. VECO took in about $800 million of $2.5 billion spent by Exxon.

Allen got around, and got around the law.

By bugging VECO's suite at Juneau's Baranof Hotel, the FBI recorded vote-buying that resulted in Allen and deputy Rick Smith pleading guilty to extortion and bribery, plus corruption charges against one legislator and two former colleagues.

Between 2002 and 2006, VECO paid $243,000 in consulting fees to the firm of state Senate President Ben Stevens, son of Alaska's U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. What work the Stevens dauphin actually did is unclear. He has not -- yet -- been indicted.

Allen threw an annual fundraiser called "The Pig Roast" for Young each August. Young chaired the House Transportation Committee until Democrats won control of Congress.

Young received $157,000 from VECO employees and its political committee over the past decade. He amended campaign-finance filings this year to report $38,000 in payments to Allen for "fundraising costs."

And there is 83-year-old Ted Stevens, Alaska's senator for life. The FBI is investigating a 2000 project that more than doubled the size of his home in Girdwood, a ski town near Anchorage.

One contractor who worked on the house said he was told to send bills to VECO. He has said that someone in Allen's office examined the billing, then sent them to Stevens.

The Los Angeles Times did a 2004 study of "Uncle Ted's" personal finances. Stevens has become a millionaire by investing in partnerships with influential contractors. The same partners profited handsomely from spending items that Stevens put into the federal budget.

The Anchorage Daily News has regularly disclosed lucrative lobbying by former aides to Young and Stevens. An ex-Young staffer owns land near the terminus of a controversial proposed bridge. The family of former Gov. Frank Murkowski owns land on Gravina Island, destination of a planned bridge from Ketchikan.

Stevens, too, is given to threats. He vowed revenge on Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., after she blocked his backdoor bid to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.

In a final "predators' ball" of Alaska's elite, Stevens, Young and Allen headlined a fundraiser for Cantwell's GOP challenger Mike McGavick. McGavick ended up refunding $14,700 from VECO executives when news of the FBI inquiry became public.

A new north wind is blowing.

It blew away Murkowski in last year's Republican primary. The winner -- now governor -- was Sarah Palin, who blew the whistle on ethical misconduct while chairing the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich is being recruited by Democrats to run against Young. Young is also under scrutiny for favors done for Florida businessmen who were big campaign donors.

The state's junior Sen. Lisa Murkowski -- appointed by her father when he was governor -- dodged a bullet last week. Murkowski and her husband announced they were selling back a choice Kenai River lot to a friend and real estate developer.

The resale came after a D.C. watchdog group filed a complaint against Sen. Murkowski, charging she paid far below market value and that the land deal amounted to an illegal gift.

"While Verne and I intended to make this our family home, and we paid a fair price for this land, no property is worth compromising the trust of the Alaska people," she said.

It's enough to bring tears to your eyes -- if you happen to be a crocodile.


FBI Raids Alaska State Offices In Probe of Oil-Field Firm VECO

Wall Street Journal

The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided six Alaska state legislative offices, carrying away boxes of documents in what appears to be a probe into whether VECO Corp., an oil-field-services contractor with close political ties, engaged in influence peddling.

On Thursday and continuing on Friday, FBI agents launched a series of raids in Juneau and other cities, according to Alaskan legislative officials, pouring into offices that include those of State Senate President Ben Stevens, son of longtime U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska. The agents sought documents and other records showing ties between the legislators and VECO and its executives, including Bill Allen, the company's chairman, the officials said.

VECO and its employees are major political-campaign contributors in Alaska, giving mostly to Republicans. In 2000, Mr. Allen was co-chairman of President Bush's Alaska state campaign.

FBI officials declined to comment on the raids. A Justice Department official said "law enforcement actions" had taken place in Alaska this week, but declined to comment further.

John Harris, speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, said his understanding is that the raids were tied to an FBI probe into whether VECO used its financial influence to try to secure votes on legislation related to a proposed natural-gas pipeline from the Alaskan North Slope.

As part of the push to ship to market all the natural gas that is now stranded at Prudhoe Bay and other big oil fields, VECO and other companies in the industry have pushed for construction of a pipeline to the lower 48 states. The Alaska legislature is considering one bill to help do that, but lawmakers have been squabbling over how much the state should have to pay for construction and other issues.

Last month, Alaska legislators passed a controversial measure that changed the way oil and gas is taxed in the state. Critics of the industry-backed bill say the new system taxes oil and gas based more on industry profits, rather than mainly on production, risking the potential for companies to reclassify some profits as expenses and thus evade taxes. However, supporters of the measure say the state stands to collect more money under the new tax plan.

Three of the legislators whose offices were raided had voted in favor of the tax-change bill, which was championed by Gov. Frank Murkowski, a former U.S. senator who lost his bid for re-election in a Republican primary after a series of unpopular moves. Besides the younger Mr. Stevens, the other legislators whose offices were raided included those of state Sen. John Cowdery and state Reps. Vic Kohring, Pete Kott and Bruce Weyhrauch. All are Republicans. State Sen. Donald Olson is the only Democrat whose offices were caught up in the raids.

Mr. Kohring issued a statement confirming that his offices in the state capital of Juneau and his district in suburban Anchorage were raided, and that FBI agents interviewed him as part of an investigation into VECO. "I was told I am not a target of the investigation," Mr. Kohring said in the statement, adding the FBI asked him not to say more.

A spokesman for Mr. Olson said he will cooperate with the investigation. Calls left for the other four legislators weren't returned. Officials for VECO -- an Anchorage-based oil-field-services company that maintains and repairs crude oil pipelines, refineries and other oil-field facilities -- didn't return calls for comment.

The FBI investigation is the latest cloud over the Alaskan oil industry. Corrosion problems at the giant Prudhoe Bay field have prompted investigations by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation and state agencies into the practices of British oil giant BP PLC, which operates the facility. Corrosion led to a spill of about 200,000 gallons of crude from one pipeline at Prudhoe Bay last March, and BP officials ordered much of the field closed last month after discovering the corrosion problems were more widespread.

The VECO case unfolded as a surprise to workers in Alaska's capitol building, who stood by as agents in sweatshirts and T-shirts swept into the building shortly before noon Thursday, spending hours rifling through legislators' offices. Some legislative aides who saw the agents say that at first they thought they were workers, because they were inside offices, like that of Mr. Stevens, which were closed while the legislature is out of session.

By nightfall, the agents left the building carrying boxes of documents, including binders, appointment books and other materials, two legislative aides said. The agents acted under search warrants that listed "Items to be seized," said one aide who obtained a copy of a warrant. Among the items listed in the warrant, the aide said, was: "Anything having to do with any and all documents concerning, reflecting or relating to any or all of the following entities," including VECO, Mr. Allen, several other VECO officials, two Republican pollsters in Alaska and the Petroleum Club in Anchorage, which has been used to host a number of GOP fund-raisers. The warrant called for a search of all written or electronic documents, said the aide.


Revealed: MI5's Role in Torture Flight Hell

By David Rose
The Observer, July 29, 2007
MI5 Headquarters in London

British source tells of betrayal to CIA - "I was stripped and hauled to US base"

An Iraqi who was a key source of intelligence for MI5 has given the first ever full insider's account of being seized by the CIA and bundled on to an illegal 'torture flight' under the programme known as extraordinary rendition. In a remarkable interview for The Observer, British resident Bisher al-Rawi has told how he was betrayed by the security service despite having helped keep track of Abu Qatada, the Muslim cleric accused of being Osama bin Laden's 'ambassador in Europe'. He was abducted and stripped naked by US agents, clad in nappies, a tracksuit and shackles, blindfolded and forced to wear ear mufflers, then strapped to a stretcher on board a plane bound for a CIA 'black site' jail near Kabul in Afghanistan.

He was taken on to the jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba before being released last March and returned to Britain after four years' detention without charge.

'All the way through that flight I was on the verge of screaming,' al-Rawi said. 'At last we landed, I thought, thank God it's over. But it wasn't - it was just a refuelling stop in Cairo. There were hours still to go ... My back was so painful, the handcuffs were so tight. All the time they kept me on my back. Once, I managed to wriggle a tiny bit, just shifted my weight to one side. Then I felt someone hit my hand. Even this was forbidden.'

He was thrown into the CIA's 'Dark Prison,' deprived of all light 24 hours a day in temperatures so low that ice formed on his food and water. He was taken to Guantanamo in March 2003 and released after being cleared of any involvement in terrorism by a tribunal.

A report by Parliament's intelligence and security committee last week disclosed that, although the Americans warned MI5 it planned to render al-Rawi in advance, in breach of international law, the British did not intervene on the grounds he did not have a UK passport. The government claimed he was the responsibility of Iraq, which he fled as a teenager when his father was tortured by Saddam Hussein's regime.

The report confirmed that al-Rawi, 39, was only held after MI5 sent the CIA a telegram, stating he was an 'Islamic extremist' who had a timer for an improvised bomb in his luggage. In reality, before al-Rawi left London, police confirmed the device was a battery charger from Argos.

The committee accepted MI5's claim, given in secret testimony, that it had not wanted the Americans to arrest him, in November 2002, concluding the incident had damaged US-UK relations.

But al-Rawi alleged that the CIA told him they had been given the contents of his own MI5 file - information he had given his handlers freely when he was working as their source. He said an MI5 lawyer had given him 'cast iron' assurances that anything he told them would be treated in the strictest confidence and, if he ever got into trouble, MI5 would do everything in its power to help him.

When al-Rawi was in Guantanamo, he asked the American authorities to find his former MI5 handlers so they would corroborate his story but, because he did not know their surnames, MI5 said it could not assist.

The committee report cited MI5 testimony claiming that when al-Rawi was transported in December 2002, it could not have known how harsh his treatment might be. Yet eight months earlier, Amnesty International had published a lengthy report on US detention in Afghanistan, quoting several ex-prisoners who described conditions very similar to those experienced by al-Rawi.

He had conveyed messages between the preacher Abu Qatada and MI5 when Qatada was supposedly in hiding in 2002. At MI5's behest, he came close to arranging a meeting between the two sides.

Al-Rawi has now spoken out in an effort to help his friend Jamil el-Banna, who remains in Guantanamo. A Jordan-ian who also lived in London for years, where his wife and five children are British citizens, he too has been cleared by the Americans. However, he has been unable to leave Guantanamo because Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, says she is reviewing his right of residence on national security grounds.

Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East in London, where el-Banna lives, said his case revealed 'decrepitude at the heart of the government'. The government had 'no regard for the welfare of his children'.

His lawyers have filed a statement from al-Rawi as part of a judicial review case. In the action, they accuse MI5 of having a 'causative role' in both men's ordeals, stating it was 'complicit' in the illegal rendition and guilty of an 'abuse of power'.


Ritual Abuse: False Memory Proponents Dealt a Blow by New Study

" ... With practice, people can learn to suppress emotional memories ... "

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) has propogated the belief that memory repression is a big fat red herring. Never mind that repressed memory is the foundation of all psychotherapies, that it is reasonably common among stressed war veterans and other sufferers of PTSD ... false memory theory only applies to abused children, of course - and in a courtroom setting where big-big legal fees are collected for testifying that memories cannot possibly be repressed when they involve abuse, and must therefore be "false."

Sure-sure. So now a study comes along that demonstrates memories can be repressed by a simple act of concentration. The FMSF is wrestling with this one, but will invent some new fast-talk to pass off as legitimate psychiatry.

Meanwhile, sufferers of repressed memory of abuse, particularly the ritual variety, are persecuted by a legal system that has been heavily influenced by the child brutalization advocates of the FMSF.

- Alex Constantine

July 12, 2007

Practice Forgetting and Memories Fade

Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

This study suggests that, with practice, we can learn to forget emotion-laden images, in a process that appears to be under conscious control.

BOULDER, Colo., July 12 - With practice, people can learn to suppress emotional memories, researchers here found.

Their study may have clinical implications for those suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome or obsessive-compulsive disorder, Brendan Depue, a doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado, and colleagues reported in the July 13 issue of Science.

And it may also re-ignite the debate over so-called repressed memories, a topic that has been highly controversial in recent years.

The process of suppressing a memory has two stages and is under the control of the prefrontal regions of the brain, the researchers noted.

To test the degree to which people could suppress specific memories, the researchers first trained 16 participants to associate 40 neutral images of human faces with more emotion-laden pictures, such as a car crash or a wounded soldier.

After they memorized the pairs of images, the volunteers were placed in magnetic resonance imaging scanners.

Then they were shown 32 of the faces 12 times each in a pseudo-random order. For some pictures they were told to think about the associated disturbing image, for others, they were told not to think about it. The remaining eight pairs of faces and images were used as a baseline.

The use of the cue image only ensured that the subjects had to mentally manipulate their memory of the other image, Depue and colleagues said.
In the testing phase of the experiment, they were shown all 40 cue images and asked to give a short description of the associated image.

Analysis found that on average the volunteers were able to recall 62.5% of the pairs in the baseline group, compared with 71.1% of those they were asked to think about and 53.2% of those they were told not to think about.
Recall was significantly different for the "think" and not-think" groups (at P=0.0006), the researchers found. That was because, compared to the baseline, there was a trend toward better recall in the "think" group and significant reduction of recall (at P=0.02) in the "not-think" group.

The functional MRI scanning showed that two regions of the prefrontal cortex are involved one after the other in suppressing memories, the researchers said.

First, the right inferior frontal gyrus suppresses regions that support the sensory components of the memory, including the visual cortex and the thalamus.

Next, the right medial frontal gyrus suppresses regions, including the hippocampus and amygdala, that support emotional components of the memory.

The results are consistent with "the operation of an active process of suppression" of memory, the researchers said.

"By essentially shutting down specific portions of the brain, [volunteers] were able to stop the retrieval process of particular memories," Depue said.

"We think we now have a grasp of the neural mechanisms at work," Depue said, adding that he and his colleagues "hope the new findings and future research will lead to new therapeutic and pharmacological approaches to treating a variety of emotional disorders."

Not everyone sees the upside to the study.

Commenting on the results, memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., of the University California at Irvine, fears that the research will be misused as support for the idea that people can "banish horrific brutalization into the unconscious," a notion she has challenged for years.

"This will be used as a supposed piece of proof that [memory] repression has been discovered in the brain," she said. "This is not evidence for that but people will try to pretend that it is."

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D., executive director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in Philadelphia, noted that the images used in the experiment, while disturbing, were not personally traumatic to the volunteers, so "the results are not at all surprising to me."

But memories of real trauma can be "intrusive and worrisome" and difficult to avoid thinking about, she said.

Depue agreed that personal trauma may be a different kettle of fish. "A person could need thousands of repetitions of training to suppress such memories," he said. "We just don't know yet."

The study was supported by the University of Colorado at Boulder. The authors made no declaration with respect to potential conflicts.

Primary source: Science
Source reference: Depue BE et al. "Prefrontal Regions Orchestrate Suppression of Emotional Memories via a Two-Phase Process." Science 2007;317:215-19.


"Counterinsurgency" in the Philippines: Enforced Disappearances an Act of Terror

By Roland G.Simbulan
July 30, 2007
MANILA — Extrajudicial killings and enforced (or involuntary) disappearances have been rampant occurrences during the Marcos dictatorship and, during the Aquino, Ramos and Estrada administrations, there were also documented reports of their occurrences by human rights groups. These killings and disappearances of political activists and advocates have been known to be perpetrated with impunity by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police or PNP (formerly Philippine Constabulary) and paramilitary/vigilante groups armed and trained by the AFP/PNP. For even today, Kuratong Balelengs or the summary execution of criminal suspects (such as thieves, snatchers, drug pushers, etc.) are a common practice among stone-cold killers who also happen to be our law enforcers.

But no administration can match the frequency and methodical manner in which extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances have occurred during the six years of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. But because there was sustained impunity, with the perpetrators not only still unpunished, but even promoted or even commended, they occur again and again with their own dirty rules. This time, they are part of what is referred to as the “Salvador Option” (with reference to the death squads of El Salvador in the 70s & 80s ) hatched by CIA operatives and their local cabal in military and civilian agencies involved in counterinsurgency.

What goes on into the mind of these perpetrators, probably professional killers or assassins?

The prolonged counterinsurgency war brings out the very worst aspect of human behavior, where the basic level of primordial instincts to survive are experienced. The human savage that lives inside all men, a remnant of the animal instinct, simplifies existence to just killing to survive and dying. Defeat insurgent terror with state terror. Everything else becomes insignificant. The professional warriors try to ignore the objectives and politics of the conflict, as they are totally consumed by getting the job done in special warfare against erstwhile suspected political cadre. It does not matter if this conflict is rooted and fueled by mass poverty, social injustice and abuses.

The intensive military training gives them a continual bonding process and they tend to protect each other, as if their lives depended on it. They have an unreasonable animosity toward those who raise issues of violations of human rights of their targets, while no one raises a howl or public outcry when their own ranks are decimated or killed by rebel insurgents in ambushes or sparrow operations. Thus, they hold a deep professional dislike for what they consider to be communist propagandists who are operating legally in the political arena and whom they assess to be operating as intelligence assets of their armed protagonists. These are the objects and targets of their U.S.-inspired “war on terror” activities. What they do in their own minds, strikes terror and panic for the enemy. Those armed as well as those operating legally, unarmed and though protected by the constitution, must be rooted out and destroyed, for they are part of the political and intelligency infrastructure of the insurgency. The enemy’s political infrastructure is for them, the snake’s head, the more dangerous prey in the war of attrition. You cut off the snake’s head in order to kill the body.

Their training in low intensity conflict warfare or special warfare reminds them that they must first engage in a surveillance of their target, track and record the subject’s daily routine until a pattern emerges that can be relied upon: where the subjects go, what they do when they arrive, how long they stay, whom they see and so on. Once these are established, they will firmly fix the target in their intelligence net, in place for what will come next — kidnapping, capture or termination — depending on the specific mission. This is why this type of work is always off limits to all but a few in the organization. In the United States, during the Vietnam War, as well as during the Clinton and Senior and Junior Bush administrations, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was authorized to form specialized hunter-killer teams to abduct and terminate quality targets –both military and civilian — of the United States’ perceived enemies, after patiently and meticulously keeping them in the antennae of the intelligence community as targets.

In my study of counterinsurgency and counter-terrorist tactics, the real operators may be a few trusted operatives, but surely, they have the guidance of their superiors and CIA handlers, usually with specialty in intelligence and operations work, or clandestine operations. But assassination of civilians is not formally taught in intelligence schools. But in special operations training, they are taught the highly specialized art of “abduction of human targets”, an issue no one still on active duty in the “special ops” game will discuss. Their basic military courses taught them to fight enemy warriors, armed combatants who are ready to die in the battlefield — not snuff out the lives of civilian mass leaders of social movements: lawyers, priests and pastors, teachers, student leaders, labor union presidents and unarmed peasant organizers.

Capture or termination is the goal of what they have collected in their target folders, but temination is an option that requires total commitment on the part of those carrying out the mission, hunting and eliminating the enemy like animals.

Snatch, or kidnap and terminate the terrorists’ political infrastructure is their mission. They carry out their missions with no remorse or regret for anyway, their “terrorist” enemy gains control over their areas of responsibility by any means possible, including terror and murder. But make their lives hell on earth. Keep the pressure on and let your enemies know their lives are in danger every day, every minute, everywhere they go or hide.

But the strategy has fatally flawed assumptions. Physically attacking or conducting death squad operations against those who have opted to work openly for reforms in a parliamentary struggle will only push more to join the ranks of those who continue to fight with guns and bullets. For is it not better to exchange ideas and words, than exchange bullets, grenade explosions and mortar shells?

If the death squad or “Salvador Solution” is practiced, in a counterinsurgency war with no definite battlefields, it should be at the state’s peril. But let us not give the state another legal weapon to victimize more advocates and communities like the so-called Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007. In reality, the HSA is an ACT OF TERROR. It is, quite frankly, a terror act: to legalize the on-going state terrorism against legal social movements, people’s organizations, advocates, critics of the government in the media, and NGOs.

This is a terrible time in our country, and we must cleanse the nation of the brutal and destructive actions by its own security forces and law enforcement agencies. For can they, invoking our protection and “human security”, play god in their dirty war and violate the very Constitution and Bill of Rights which they have sworn to uphold and protect?

It is said that war brings out the very worst in men and women. The Central Intelligence Agency’s dirty tricks, like its involvement in assassinations of foreign political leaders, and military coups –which it had for so long consistently denied under oath– was only fully exposed because a few good men of conscience from the agency like former CIA field operatives Philip Agee and Ralph Mc Gehee decided that they have had enough. My point is, can this conflict not also bring out the very best in human beings, who by their conscience would finally say, “NO MORE” and reveal to us the perpetrators and masterminds of these murders of political activists, advocates for the poor, and human rights defenders?

My specific recommendations to this National Consultative Summit on Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances are the following:

1. Strengthening of measures to protect witnesses as well as “whistleblowers” from government security units who may come out as state witnesses, thru legislation and improvements in Court Rules.

2. There should be more pro-active sanctions against military or police units who are not able to solve political murders or extrajudicial killings or enforced disappearances in their areas of responsibility / jurisdiction. Security forces which continue to demonize party-list organizations, people’s organizations, social movements and NGOs as “enemies of the state” should be disciplined.

3. Disbandment of the counterinsurgency plan Bantay Laya II, and the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) towards lasting peace based on substantive economic, political and social reforms, long-term poverty-alleviation programs and social justice measures.

4. Immediate passage of proposed legislation like the INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCE ACT and the HUMAN RIGHTS COMPENSATION ACT.

(The author is a professor of development studies and public management at the University of the Philippines. He submitted this paper at the National Consultative Summit on Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances, sponsored by the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Manila Hotel, July 16-17, 2007)

Conservatives Lynch Rep. Keith Ellison for Comparing Bush to Hitler

Village Voice
by Harkavy
July 30, 2007
Already under attack by religious conservatives and censors in the United States, Muslim congressman Keith Ellison apparently survived a trip this weekend to Iraq without his own faith's religious conservatives and censors issuing a death fatwa against him.

The Minneapolis progressive Democrat got into trouble with conservatives and religious extremists over here on July 8 when he threw in a Nazi reference as he ripped the Bush regime for using 9/11 as an excuse for war.

Where were they when it was revealed three years ago that fellow black man Secretary of State Colin Powell — in the same context, thinking the same thing — had branded dual-disloyalist Doug Feith's Pentagon pre-war agitprop operation a "Gestapo office"?

Ellison is the first U.S. congressman known to be a Muslim, but he's no terrorist in thrall to the conservative mullahs of his own religion. They're more likely to condemn him to death for his support of gay rights and other progressive issues than embrace him.

Religious conservatives and censors in the U.S. claimed that Ellison compared George W. Bush with Hitler — he didn't. All it shows is how much religious conservatives have in common with one another, no matter which religion they claim to speak for. All of them regularly condemn one another and kill in the name of their faiths.

The latest of several ridiculous freakouts by conservatives over Ellison stemmed from something else that conservative Muslim mullahs would stone him for: his speech to a bunch of humanistic atheists. Reporter Mike Kaszuba of the StarTribune wrote it like this:

On comparing Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany: "It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that.

After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

Ellison, a lawyer who landed a spot on the House Judiciary Committee even though he's only a freshman, also had this to say: [On impeaching Dick Cheney]: "[It is] beneath his dignity in order for him to answer any questions from the citizens of the United States. That is the very definition of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and dictatorship."

On calling the war in Iraq an "occupation": "It's not controversial to call it an occupation — it is an occupation."


On commuting the prison sentence of Cheney aide Lewis Libby: "If Libby gets pardoned, then he should not have the cover of the Fifth Amendment. He's going to have to come clean and tell the truth. Now, he could get Gonzales-itis [referring to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales], you know, with 71 lapses of memory within a two-hour period."

The ADL's Abe Foxman came unglued over the Reichstag reference, blasting Ellison for using a reference to Hitler and the Nazis.

Well, let's go to page 292 of Bob Woodward's 2004 book, Plan of Attack, in which he described meetings just before Powell's February 2003 U.N. speech:

Powell thought that Cheney had the fever. The vice president and [Paul] Wolfowitz kept looking for the connection between Saddam and 9/11. It was a separate little government that was out there — Wolfowitz, Libby, Feith and Feith's "Gestapo office," as Powell privately called it.

He saw in Cheney a sad transformation. The cool operator from the first Gulf War just would not let go. Cheney now had an unhealthy fixation. Nearly every conversation or reference came back to al Qaeda and trying to nail the connection with Iraq.

Powell had used a Nazi reference to Feith, a fanatical Jewish conservative who desperately wanted a war with Israel enemy Iraq. But Powell didn't catch hell for it. Earlier this year, Michigan senator Carl Levin (who's Jewish) blasted Feith for having spread disinformation in the run-up to the war:

Levin, who has long questioned Feith's prewar intelligence operation, was harshly critical. "Senior administration officials used the twisted intelligence produced by the Feith office in making the case for the Iraq war," Levin said.
In other words, the Cheney-Bush regime used 9/11 to justify the invasion of Iraq, just as Hitler had used the Reichstag fire 70 years earlier (February 27, 1933) as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, a key moment in the Nazification of Germany. If you doubt that the Reichstag fire could be compared with the 9/11 attacks, just imagine an arsonist's burning down Congress and the political power that a regime like Cheney's would seize as a result.

For now, extremists are just trying to burn down a congressman.


The Rumsfeld Lawsuit Dismissal: A License to Commit War Crimes?

Rumsfeld Skates
Public Forum Letter

A recent article reports the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of nine former prisoners who had been abused and tortured in American prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The dismissal was based on a district court judge's opinion that "Rumsfeld cannot be held responsible for actions taken in connection with his government job."

This is a most interesting position since the Nazis, whom we prosecuted at Nuremburg, were charged and sentenced for deeds committed in connection with their government jobs. A district court judge had no problem allowing Americans to sue the government of Sudan for the USS Cole incident and the government of Iran for financing the Khobar Tower bombing. Even if they both were guilty, their deeds would have been committed in connection with their government jobs.

The U.S. searched for and captured Saddam Hussein and issued a deck of cards for his officials for deeds committed in connection with their government jobs.

Yet, Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney, et. al., are guilty of some the most heinous criminal acts in recorded history and they are going to walk because they are Americans? What kind of justice is that?

Reginald E. Smith Jr.
West Valley City

Sunday, July 29, 2007

$100-Million in Damages for Men Framed by FBI in Mafia Case

" ... FBI knew the men were innocent but did not inform state prosecutors at the time. ... "

The Guardian
By Ewen MacAskill
July 26, 2007

A federal judge today ordered the US government to pay more than $100m (£50m) in compensation to a group of men jailed for decades after being framed by a mafia hitman with the complicity of the FBI.

The FBI knew the men were innocent but did not inform state prosecutors at the time.

The men, two of whom died in prison, were set up by a Mob hitman, Joseph "The Animal" Barboza. A former boxer from east Boston, Barboza worked for the Patriarcas, a New England underworld family. He turned FBI informant while in jail for murder and was shot dead by the mafia in San Francisco in 1976.

The government argued that the FBI, which knew the wrong men were being accused, had no obligation to share its information.

The district judge, Nancy Gertner, said: "It took 30 years to uncover this injustice, and the government's position is, in a word, absurd. No lost liberty is dispensable. We have fought wars over this principle. We are still fighting these wars."

Peter Limone, Joseph Salvati and the families of the two who died in prison, Henry Tameleo and Louis Greco. had sued the federal government for malicious prosecution.

Mr Salvati and Mr Limone were exonerated in 2001, after FBI memos surfaced, showing the men had been framed by Barboza. The memos were made public during a justice department investigation into the FBI's relationship with the mafia in the 1960s.

Mr Salvati, aged 75, said: "Do I want the money? Yes, I want my children, my grandchildren to have things I didn't have, but nothing can compensate for what they've done."

The lawyers for the men said that Boston FBI agents knew Barboza lied when he named them as the killer of Edward Deegan in 1965. They said that the FBI was protecting one of its informants, Vincent "Jimmy" Flemmi. The lawyers said the FBI treated the four as "acceptable collateral damage."

Victor Garo, one of the lawyers for the men, said: "It was more important for the FBI to protect their informants than to protect innocent people who had families."

The FBI failed to disclose that agents listening in on an illegal bug had overheard Barboza and Flemmi seeking Patriarca's permission to kill Deegan several days before he was killed in an alley.

Bridget Lipscomb, a government lawyer, in the closing arguments, said: "The FBI did not initiate this prosecution, and there is no duty of the FBI to submit to state or local governments any of its internal files."

She said the FBI had shared some information about Mr Deegan's death with local police.


CIA Mind Control Operative Whitley Streiber


Dream’s End - Whitley Strieber and the Paradigm of Doom Part 4: Whitley Goes to Mars, March 4th, 2007 at 11:29 pm (Whitley Strieber, Nazis from Outer Space, Uncategorized)

While researching this final post on Strieber, I ran across a much lesser known book by Whitley Strieber that stopped me cold. The book is called Billy, published in 1991, and the photograph on the cover should set your own alarm bells off as well. Listen to this summary written by one of the reader-reviewers who posted at Amazon (errors in original):

Whitley Strieber’s “Billy” is a very dark serial killer novel, centering around a child abduction. The boy in question is Billy Neary, a normal 11 year old suburban kid who is targeted by Barton Royal, a truelly creepy psycopath in a clown suit. At the end there is an incedent in the “black room”, a torture chamber that Royal has taken other children and killed them, that you must read to believe. If you ever need a reminder of how sick this world can be, just pick up this book. Barton Royal is indeed a sick individual, reminecent of Freddy Kruger, Norman Bates, John Wayne Gacy, and just any local urban legend. The cause of his insainity is clear, though never explained. It has a lot to do with his needing to be the “perfect father”. Billy is pretty well drawn out as well. He is smart, and scared, and it is written believably. Be warned, though; this book is not for the weak at heart (or stomach).

Here’s what Strieber had to say about where the character of “Billy” came from.

Billy came in the book because I love kids. It is natural that I’d want to write a character who I thought was pretty cool.

And here is a plot spoiler from Wikipedia about what happens to the cool kid he loves:

Billy’s father beat the police to find Billy, just before Barton tortures and kills him.

And you thought this little saga couldn’t get any more fucked up.

Whitley Strieber and the Paradigm of Doom Part 3

February 18th, 2007 at 1:20 am (Mind Control/MKULTRA, Whitley Strieber, Nazis from Outer Space, Uncategorized)

But why do I need these absurd stories? They are not lies; when I tell them, I myself believe them. I don’t lie. Perhaps I tell them to myself when I tell them to others, so that I can hide from myself whatever has made me a refugee in my own life. (Communion, p. 139)

Strieber wasn’t talking about the alien stories there. To him, those ARE the stories he’s trying to avoid remembering. Despite their terrifying nature and internal contradictions, these stories have some quality for Strieber that raises them above the many acknowledged “screen memories” he has uncovered. Whatever that powerful quality is, we don’t share it as outsiders, so though my analysis may seem completely wrong to Strieber, it is becoming quite clear that it is the easiest way to explain the facts as he, himself, has presented them.

I’m going to conclude my look at Communion by picking out some of the stories told by Strieber that certainly do NOT support the alien hypothesis. In fact, some of these memories seem to have nothing whatsoever to do with aliens. It is the appearance of these details which convince me Strieber is not hoaxing us, or at the very least, that he’s just a lot cleverer than I am.

And I will also try to start examing some of the magicians’ secrets. Whoever these magicians may be who are using Strieber for their twisted games. I invite all of you to do the same by approaching it as I do when watching stage magic. When you watch one of those big illusions where someone disappears from a box, or levitates mysteriously, you apply the logic of Sherlock Holmes:

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” (From the Sign of Four)

Until we run out of steam, we are going to put aliens on our “impossible list.” Just for now. It may be that too many factors will remain unexplained and in that case, we may have to invite the aliens back to the table. Although from Strieber’s experience, it’s not like they need an invitation.

I’m going to start with one experience Strieber describes that sounds more like something out of “The Control of Candy Jones” than Communion. For those not in the know, Candy Jones was a pinup girl who in the seventies (and, we must acknowledge, through the hypnosis of her husband, Long John Nebel, a sort of “Art Bell” of his day) began to recall a number of missions she had carried out for the CIA via her “alter” personality named Arlene. While their HAD been articles about this sort of thing, such as this article by famous hypnosis expert George Eastabrooks (either the smokingest of guns or disinformation designed to worry the Soviets which was definitely one of the several agendas being pursued in the creation of the UFO myth), the full extent of MKULTRA would not become known until congressional hearings a few years later. (Led by Nelson Rockefeller…oh, now I feel better…)

As far as Strieber recalls, he’s had only one such “Candy Jones” style event. It was in 1968 and for no reason whatsoever he left London where he was studying film and headed to the continent. Along the way, he met a young woman with whom he traveled. His memory of the entire trip is still quite hazy but it lasted about six weeks. As he put it, “If I do not think about (these memories) they seem fine, but when I try to put them together they don’t make sense.” I guess if you wanted to define “screen memory” that would be as good a way as any.

The trip happened after a disturbing incident:

Then, in July (of 1968), there was another incident. I cannot recall what happened with any clarity. It was simply too confusing, too jumbled. I was at a friend’s flat in the King’s Road, Chelsea. For years I have described it as a “raid” from which I escaped by “crossing the roofs.” What I actually remember is a period of complete perceptual chaos, followed by the confusing sensation of looking down into the chimney pots of the buildings. Then there was blackness. (Communion, p. 134)

He used to tell the story of staying in Florence for six weeks but upon a return trip he realized he had little memory of the place. He recalls leaving the woman in Rome and heading to Strasbourg for no apparent reason, where he saw the cathedral and then rushed off to France and then Spain. He stayed for many days on the Ramblas in Barcelona, frightened and trying to stay among people during the day and with lights on and doors locked at night. He also recalls this:

I remember something about being on a noisy, smelly airplane with someone who called himself a coach, and something about taking a course at an ancient university (again, still not the “secret school” of the book by that name). I also recall seeing little adobe huts and expressing surprise to somebody that their houses were so simple. (Communion, p. 135)

In wondering what else was going on in the world at that time, I came across this incident: in July of 1968, the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palesting hijacked an Israeli passenger plane in Rome, Italy and diverted it to Algiers. Many of the Israelis on board were held hostage for five weeks as a bargaining chip for the release of some Palestinian prisoners. link

Whether this hijacking and Strieber’s missing time and apparent plane flight to Africa are related is purely speculation…but it’s the KIND of speculation we need to be making before assuming that aliens fly smelly airplanes in addition to their saucers and triangles.

There’s another story, the one he refers to in the quote at the top of this post, that again shows some rather elaborate screen memories at work.

A dozen times I have told a story of being menace by an old college acquaintance, whose terrifying appearances and phone calls had driven us from our Seventy-sixt Street walk-up to Cos Cob, then from there to the East Seventy-fifth Street high-rise, and finally to the Village. A part of this myth is the kindly detective who hypnotized me and enabled me to identify this individual by listening to his voice on a tape. Then we put a stop to his game by simply phoning him back after one of his vicious calls. But it didn’t happen; none of it happened. (Communion, p.139)

It’s not clear to me whether his wife also shared in this screen memory or not. Here’s another memory, this time from 1977 that, apparently, his wife has conscious recall of. Or maybe not.

One evening in April 1977, something so bizarre happened that I still cannot understand why we didn’t make more of it. With both of us sitting together in our living room, somebody suddenly started speaking through the stereo, which had just finished playing a record. We were astonished, naturally, when the voice held a brief conversation with us.

The voice was entirely clear, not like the sort of garbled message sometimes picked up from a passing taxi’s radio or a ham operator. Never before had it happened and it didn’t happen again. I do not remember the conversation, except the last words: “I know something else about you.” That was the end. (Communion p. 136)

Damn it, this stuff is starting to creep me out again. But I want to keep going a bit. First off, I hope you are starting to get the picture. If someone can be hypnotized and a suggestion planted that they will resume a trance state upon hearing certain words AND you have the house rigged to broadcast sound, then you can pretty much get away with whatever you want. And while I can’t prove that this is what was happening to Strieber, he provides so many details which suggest this could very well be the case, that it’s really strange to me that few others have reached the same conclusion. And many of these details are completely at odds with his “alien” hypothesis. Nowhere in Communion does he explore how these very earthly mind games relate to the alien abductions.

There many other little details like that. The mention of implants, for example, a common theme in abduction accounts, reminds us not only of Joseph DelGado and his implant experiments mentioned in the previous post, but also Jolyon West, who will figure more prominently in our look at Secret School.

A pet project of West’s in the late 1960s and early 1970s was the Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence. He proposed to establish a “securely fenced” center at a remote, abandoned Nike missile base in the Santa Monica Mountains, in keeping with earlier plans by the CIA to set up “mind-control” stations off the beaten path, where experimentation could be carried out free from such concerns as human rights. Ironically, West embarked on a PR campaign to promote himself as a champion of “human rights” — an effort that would be comical if not for the bottom line in terms of human suffering. West’s plans for such centers were the subject of hearings by the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary in 1974, chaired by Senator Sam Ervin, whose members were alarmed at reports that West planned to test radical forms of behavior modification — mind-bending drugs, electric shock, implantation of electrodes in the brain and forcible castration with the drug cyproterone acetate. Critics charged that his violence centers would target blacks and Mexican-Americans in its studies. link (By the way, the first link that I came to about this well established fact happend to be from a Scientology magazine. We will have a LOT more to say about Scientology in the future. So I kept the link just for irony. )

I’m going to end with fog. Fog seems to be a recurring sight with some abductees. Maybe it’s just to set the mood. Strieber recalls the night of his New York abduction being very foggy. Here’s another incident he recalls, and again note the very earthly components of this experience. It took place in 1984, but the description emerged from a 1986 hypnosis session:

I was driving back to the house from the grocery store when I suddenly saw a fogbank. It was a clear fall day, the air dry. I got curious about the fogbank and drove off the highway onto a dirt road to try and get a better look at it. The next thing I recall, I was in the fog in my car and two people in dark blue uniforms were leaning in the windows. Then I was back on the highway, returning home.

(Here now is the rest of the story straight from the hypnosis session transcript.)

I went right past the turnoff. I went right past the grocery store and I keep going. I don’t know…I want to take the car for a little run…

I keep thinking I see something above the car. I’m a little nervous. I turn off the radio. I roll down the window then roll it up again. I dont’ know why I missed the turnoff, and I’m going to turn around and go back. But I don’t….Looking out the window of the car. A white truck goes past. I — it’s like the white truck isn’t right. There’s a — I don’t know what is going on here. Now I want to go home. I feel terribly sick to my stomach. Awful feeling. I don’t want to tell you what’s happening to me….

I was driving my car, all of a sudden there was this white pickup coming toward me. Funny white pickup with a black windshield.

(Strieber then describes a bit more typical abduction scenario with “little people” around and the thin, “female” alien. As the alien starts touching his chest in a not unpleasant way, he sort of “comes to” back in the car. As usual, the experience with these “benign” beings has left him scared out of his mind. The hypnotherapist asks him about the two people in uniform he had recall of before any hypnotic regressions.)

I’m just sitting in my care alone.

(Hypnotist: Anyone tell you to go back?)

Yeah. He says to me, “Get out of here.” Then this lady on the other side says, “We don’t want you here.” I say, “Who are you?” She looks at me with a real mean look on her face. She’s a — real mean.

(When asked what they were wearing.) I mostly looked at the one over on this side (passenger side). I thought that was a woman. You know, I just can’t tell what’s going on here. I don’t know what the hell happened. Because the next thing I knonw, I’m on the road again. I’m going back home. (Communion, 145 - 152)

Then the woman morphs in his memory once again, back to the thin, female alien, which he AGAIN describes in horror as if he’s remembering seeing her for the first time. She touches him with some kind of device and lots of abstract shapes appear in his mind…a typical sort of hallucinatory experience. Strieber settles on the idea that this is the same being he has been seeing since he was twelve and becomes quite distressed. The hypnosis session is ended.

Again, Strieber decides, one assumes, that the pickup truck memory was the screen and the alien memories were the real ones. It seems far more probable to me that the exact reverse is true.

But I mention this experience not because of the truck, but because of the fog. There was another, quite famous incident that happened five years previous to Strieber’s fog-trance but this time in France. It is described by Jacques Vallee in his book, Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception.

Three young people, living on the margins of society, were preparing to sell a supply of jeans and sweaters they had (likely these folks were part of the “underground economy” so to speak). They packed up the car at about 4 a.m. and one of them, Franck Fontaine, pointed out a large glowing sphere in the sky. His two companions, Jean-Pierre Prevost and Salomon N’Diaye El Mama, went back into the apartment, N’Diaye to get a camera and Prevost to get the last of the clothes.

Prevost saw out the window that Fontaine had stopped the car which was annoying because it had to be pushed to be started. He went out and N’Diaye joined him in the parking lot. Prevost was a little freaked because he’d seen the car engulfed in a weird sphere of fog. They both went out to the car which was still surrounded by a sphere of fog. There were some other little spheres of some sort (it’s not really clear from Vallee’s description if this meant spheres of fog or light) moving around, which got absorbed into the fog which was then absorbed into a large cyliner which took off.

Fontaine was nowhere to be found.

The two reported the incident to the police, evidence for Vallee that it was not a hoax pulled off by the trio themselves as they were on the edges of society and avoiding police attention would have been far more typical. They didn’t even have a valid driver’s license among them.

There was a manhunt, but Fontaine avoided detection. Seven days later, he resurfaced at the apartment. He was really pissed. Why did everyone go back to bed…they had to get the shipment of clothes delivered.

He didn’t even know he’d been missing for a week.

I can’t get into all of the details here. However, a couple of other points are relevant before we get to Vallee’s theory on this case. For one, Prevost reported, while under hypnosis by some dubious UFO investigators, that he’d been contacted by a blonde humanoid alien named Haurrio. Haurrio told him that he needed to start a group of believers and spread the word: humans are destroying the world and soon it will come to an end. True believers who spread the word, however, will be spared and used to create a new civilization. This should be a familiar message to readers of this blog. Naturally, the world did not, in fact, end, despite the earnest expectations of a bunch of French true believers standing in a cabbage patch on the appointed day. Fittingly, Vallee titles the section in which he discusses this, “When Prophecy Fails” after the book mentioned in this post.

So, there is that paradigm again…aliens telling us the world is coming to an end. Another feature of interest is the admittedly vague memories Fontaine had of his missing time.

He felt prepared for what was coming, he said, as soon as he woke up from his deep sleep in the car. Next he was lying on a flat surface, on top of a machine located in some sort of laboratory. This surface was comfortable, and he was not physically restrained. Along the walls were tall cabinets with blinking lights and dials, above which were signs he could not read. He fell asleep again and does not know how long he was unconscious, but he is sure to have been alternately awake and asleep numerous times. (emphasis in the original) He was always in the same room, except that small, luminous spheres, the size of a tennis ball, often floated in the air above him. Voices spoke to him, pleasant voices, which seemd to come from these spheres. They discussed the future survival of humanity and gave him the date of the official contact between them and the earth. (Revelations, pp. 150 - 151)

Prevost’s managed to create a little UFO cult but it sort of fell apart after the world failed to end, though he did pull a small second wave of followers together. Vallee reports that soon after the release of the French version of his book Messengers of Deception, in the introduction to which he warned of the potential events such as the one above had for exploitation in psychological experiments, Jean-Pierre Prevost confessed that the whole thing was a hoax.

A lot of questions went unanswered, however. For one thing, Prevost claimed to have hidden Fontaine in his own apartment during his “missing time” and yet police had searched his apartment thoroughly. When this was pointed out to Prevost by an associate of Vallee, Francis Leuhan, Jean-Pierre asked Leuhan if he’d read Messengers of Deception. “You ought to read the introduction…there are some very interesting things in there…” (Revelations, p. 159)

Vallee also reports that another investigator claims to have spoken to one of the first police officers to arrive on the scene who confirmed that the car was, in fact, surrounded by a thick fog “we found impressive.” No such fog is mentioned in any official police reports, however. (Revelations, p. 159)

But finally, we have one of those “government insider” reports. Admittedly, we are right to treat such reports with caution. We have learned from the Bennewitz affair. But usually, those disinformation specialists who put out such reports CONFIRM the secret coverup of the “truth” about alien intervention in human affairs. In this case, the official said that the entire affair had been an experiment.

The official claims the operation was an “Exercise in General Synthesis,” though he doesn’t explain what that means. He says that one cabinet level official with high tech credentials planned the whole thing carefully and only fifteen or so people knew anything about it. Said this official:

The operation was structured around military, scientific, and political goals. It was purely national and had no impact beyond our borders.

We put (Fontaine) to sleep and he was kept under an altered state of high suggestibility.

Somewhat ominously (and perhaps disinformationally) the official added:

But if this operation had been completed, the next phase would have been far worse. (Revelations, pp. 162 - 163)

Vallee believes that the three young people who were involved in this incident were not intentionally behind the hoax, despite the confession of Prevost. He found, for example, that one witness to the affair had seen TWO people in the car after Prevost and N’Diaye returned to the apartment. That same witness, when asked later if he’d witnessed anything on the day Franck Fontaine returned, refused to answer…not wanting trouble with “those people.” It’s unclear whom he meant. In addition, Vallee reports (though his source is unclear) that after the abduction, Fontaine was seen keeping regular 11 p.m. meetings with a mysterious man in an expensive business suit who drove a BMW.

Whatever the truth of the government insider version of events, it certainly matches what Fontaine remembers from his missing week. It also matches what we know about MKULTRA experiments. Ewan Cameron would have been proud.

Vallee found that at the location of the car there was a convenient nearby underpass that could be used for a hasty getaway. He figures that the dense fog may have been manufactured in order to hide the movement of the team of commandos tasked with grabbing Fontaine. Perhaps, he suggests, there was even some drug introduced into the fog to knock out Fontaine or make his two friends a bit more suggestible themselves.

And that’s an intriguing suggestion, since fog seems to be involved in some of Strieber’s experiences. And you know, if someone did create a fog of debilitating or hallucinogenic gas to manufacture such an experience, they’d probably need gas masks themselves when going about their work. That’s a picture of a gas mask at the top of this post.

Kinda creepy looking, isn’t it?

Whitley Strieber and the Paradigm of Doom, Part 2

February 11th, 2007 at 11:57 pm (Mind Control/MKULTRA, Whitley Strieber, Nazis from Outer Space)
************Trigger Warning: The material in this section is rather graphic and should be approached with caution by abuse survivors. **********************
Ultimately, there are two reasons I decided Whitley Strieber was not intentionally fabricating the stories in his Communion series. First off, it seemed to me that if your intention is to promote a message that we should lovingly accept the aliens as spiritual guides he would have put at least a few incidents in the book that were not so profoundly terrifying and disturbing. It was one of the most bizarre elements of both Communion and Secret School for me that after each terrifying experience he would find some way to interpret the events as spiritually uplifting.

Secondly, many of the incidents in the book don’t seem like “alien abductions” at all. In fact, there are NO alien abductions in Secret School, which discusses childhood interaction with these beings, though via a special helmet (you’ll learn what I think that helmet really was sometime in the next few posts) he is given visions of other planets and of the past and future of earth. Also, the aliens he does interact with, guised, rather bizarrely, as nuns, don’t seem to be the same aliens in Communion in appearance or origin. They are linked, significantly, to the planet Mars. But we will examine Secret School in the next part.

In this part, I want to hunt through Communion and pull out incidents that do not seem to fit the alien paradigm, even as defined by Strieber himself (or maybe I should say “implied” by Strieber as much of the time he tries not to commit to the alien explanation). Tellingly, he never attempts to explain many of these incidents in terms of the “alien abduction” hypothesis. He simply notes them as other strange events from his past.

I’ve been rereading these incidents and I have to say it they are deeply disturbing. Here is one such recollection that features an alien but seems frighteningly human otherwise.

Whitley was 12 years old and returning from a visit with his family to relatives in Madison, Wisconsin. They took a train, and Strieber remembers getting violently ill. Consciously, he had remembered the train trip, and the vomiting and a “confused memory of my father crouched at the back of an upper berth in our drawing room, his eyes bulging, his lips twisted back from his teeth.”

The hypnosis revealed more, and whether these images were actual memories or not, there is no way to tell. He recalls having had a bladder forced down his throat, forcing him to ingest something. He says that this is not the only time he’s had this happen, and we’ll see the second one a bit later. He says the pattern seems to be that he is fed something, he vomits, and then he is fed something else along with drops to keep him from throwing up.

Under hypnosis he recalled this odd shift into another place in which many soldiers were sleeping on some sort of medical tables. The soldiers were all in fatigues, and “sprawled as if totally comatose.” Young Strieber will see the “female” being who seemed to be in charge during his New York abduction. (Her appearance was similar to the stereotype grays in some ways but her skin was brown and leathery. He said she reminded him of the goddess Ishtar.) Young Strieber asked the being why the soldiers were there, and the being responded that they had picked them up because “they were alone” and that they would look them over and return them. Then he asked, “What’s the point of that?” and the being responded and she “sounded like a stuck record. ‘The point of that is — The point of that is –’ Then she stopped as if surprised that she had been caught off guard, and said simply, ‘Well,’ her voice melodious with amusement. “

At some point he remembered, “I was in a little chair, sitting before a featureless gray surface.” This is what happened next:

Something terrifically difficult happened while I was sitting in that chair. After hypnosis I recalled seeing a landscape with a great hooked object floating in the air, which on closer inspection proved to be a triangle. Then there followed a glut of symbolic material, so intense that even as I write I can feel how it hurt my whole braind and body to take it all in. I don’t remember what this was__triangles, rushing pyramids, animals leaping through the air.” (Communion, p. 119)

To me, this sounds as if he’s been given some sort of hallucinogen. Some hallucinogens will induce vomiting, and visions of geometric shapes, followed by iconic images of animals and religious symbols are commonly reported.

As we’ll see from Strieber’s own words, he acknowledges memories of abuse at the hands of some Air Force officials. I think his viewpoint is that the abuse led to a sort of breakdown characteristic of shamanic experiences and that because of this he was able to be contacted by these beings.

Many of the details of his story match those of shamanic journeys. However, it should also be pointed out that MKULTRA scientists were VERY aware of shamanic experiences and sought out the plants which induced the altered states such shamans entered. In addition, the details of the things the ALIENS do to him and the details of typical abuse scenarios are so similar that I don’t know how you can separate them out from each other.

For example, in the hypnotically enhanced memory of the New York abduction, he recalled the insertion of the rectal device this way:

‘She’s sittin’ right in front of me the whole time, just lookin’ at me. They’re moving around back there.’ (I could sense them, but I was looking at her. She drew something up from below.) ‘ Jesus, is that your penis?’ I thought it was a woman. (Makes deep grunting sound.) That goes right in me. (Another grunt.) Punching it in me, punching it in me. I’m gonna throw up on them….” (Communion, p. 76)

Later, she asks him if he can “be harder” meaning more fully erect. And it is well known that such sexual encounters are a common feature of these abduction experiences.

His memory of his father on the train that was the most emotional.

(I then saw my father for the first time. He was standing up, apparently quite conscious.) “Daddy!” I’m scared now. They’ve — “Daddy! Don’t be so scared, Daddy! Dad, don’t be so scared! (…) Daddy, it’s all right!”

He says, “Whitty, it’s not all right! It’s not all right!” (Communion, p. 80)

Strieber is forthright about memories of abuse by humans which on at least one occasion occurred at Randolph Air Force base, one of the three such bases in close proximity to Strieber’s childhood home. You can read his account here.

Some of the abuse took place in other places and seemed to involve other students at his Catholic school, which puts us in even more uncomfortable (but sadly, somewhat more familiar) territory. He recounts a few such memories, but then adds:

My memories of what happened to me at Randolph are so horrific that I can scarcely credit them. I will not repeat the details here, because I cannot tell the degree to which they have been dramatized via the process described above. However, there are a few of those spontaneous, sudden glimpses that seem undistorted. (The process he calls “dramatization” is often called “confabulation”, filling in confusing real memories with subconscious “best” guesses as to what was going on and then treating those guesses as memories.)

Needless to say, while we have no right to know about these memories, we hope that Strieber is somehow actively attempting to deal with them and to sort out how they fit into the spectrum of experiences he’s undergone. Or maybe he’s better off just leaving them alone at this point.

Also on that web page he describes having been placed as a young boy in what is clearly a sensory deprivation chamber which induces panic and hallucinations:

Among my worst memories, one that has come back to me again and again and again over the course of my life, is of waking up and finding that I am in a coffin. A box. I wake up when I try to move, and my head bounces against the top of the thing. I cannot get out. I’m trapped. The silence is absolute. The air is heavy. Soon, my breathing is agonizing. I’m in torment. But it doesn’t end. It keeps on and on and on. I remain for what seems like hours at the edge of suffocation. I scream, I see demons staring at me, I see angels, I see my grandfather Strieber there, then I see a long horizon, the sun either rising or setting.

This is a significant detail, as here we have a memory of abuse at the hands of military officials of some kind which specifically induces hallucinations. Compare that to the situation at the hands of the aliens on the “train” in which what seem to be classical hallucinations are also induced via some drug, perhaps in combination with whatever the “gray box” is that he was sitting in front of.

What a horrific tale this is becoming, despite Strieber’s exhortations to see the process as one of guided spiritual awakening. We see evidence of likely sexual abuse at the hands of military and perhaps adults from his Catholic school and we see invasive procedures very much resembling sexual abuse at the hands of aliens. We see the aliens inducing hallucinations, and we also see evidence of hallucinations induced by his Randolph AFB abusers. Somehow, Strieber is able to see the treatment by the aliens as benign while acknowledging the treatment by human abusers as malicious. It’s a tricky balancing act and frankly I’m not very happy about making that balancing act more difficult for him. But this is happening to other people and the truth needs to be explored.

And while we will look more closely at Secret School in the next post, we see another parallel set of experiences. Secret School discusses a series of experiences Strieber underwent as a child, some of which occurred at a physical location in a nearby natural area called Olmos Basin. But he recalls in Communion ANOTHER sort of school that does not seem to be part of what the experiences he recounts in Secret School. He feels that these experiences were conducted by the aliens, but I think these may be memories of some of the early psychological conditioning Strieber (and I think a host of high I.Q children) underwent in the fifties.

(I have many recollections) of sitting in the middle of a round room and being asked by a surrounding audience of furious interlocutors questions so hard they shatter my soul (.) Trying to cope with these memories as a child, I wove anguished fantasies around the figures, who became my childhood friends in some round, gray basement, drawing out the secret structures of mind like surgeons with forceps extracting sparking neurons from my brain. I remember that they would say words, and each word they said would go through me like a hurricane, evoking every memory, thought, and feeling associated with it. This would go on for hours and hours until I begged them to stop, and I would be offered the relief of a brief rest at their feet, my soul confessing itself in the stern softness of their love. (Communion, p. 119)

The description above is reminiscent of very well known and reliable cult “brainwashing” techniques. Long sessions with confusing material presented too quickly to be assimilated. Even if you’ve just known someone who went through EST in the seventies, you’ll recognize this pattern.

And though it is unclear exactly who the “interlocutors” are, he asks if this is a “memory of the visitors at work?”

No, Whitley. It’s not.

I’m going to have to stop here. Despite the fact that I am relatively certain I have never undergone such treatment, I’m finding this material difficult to handle at the moment. One commitment I made to myself before starting this was to continue to check in with my own state of mind frequently and with help as needed, as I’m certain it can lead the unwary into paranoia and delusions of their own.

I will likely be unable to put up the next part until next weekend, as I get very little free time during the week. I’ll keep checking in on the comments frequently.

Nazis from Outer Space Part 6: Whitley Strieber and the Paradigm of Doom
February 10th, 2007 at 6:02 pm (Whitley Strieber, Nazis from Outer Space)

In 1954 nine-year-old Whitley Strieber entered an “Unknown Country” where missing time, ghostly apparitions and visitors claiming to be from outer space are the norm. Many of these childhood memories remained veiled behind a wall of amnesia until much later, though snippets of his bizarre early life experiences stayed within conscious memory.

Those memories, and particularly his later “abduction experiences” made famous in his book Communion, would solidify and popularize an emerging mythos: The aliens are here. They are gray. They need to manipulate our genetic material. They are scary as hell but we should love them. The world as we know it is about to end.

Originally, I started writing an article about how Strieber was one of the disinformation artists tasked with spreading the “meme” of the little gray men. But as I looked closer, it became very clear that something else was going on. For example, there were many Nazi scientists relocated via Project Paperclip to air force bases in San Antonio, a fact I learned from Strieber’s own website. And that Strieber claimed to have some memories of more earthly, MKULTRA style abuse at one of these airforce bases I also learned on his site.

But one thing Strieber has not written about is that during the years of his “secret school” experiences as a child, one of the central scientists in MKULTRA was stationed at Lackland Airforce Base just ten miles or so from the location of Strieber’s childhood home and the “Olmos Basin” area of San Antonio that figured prominently in his experiences. As we saw in the last post, this mind control guru was named was Louis Jolyon West, and he just so happened to have an abiding interest in all of the sorts of things Strieber had experienced there. Or, at least, in the ability to INDUCE such experiences.

The one aspect of Strieber’s writings that led me away from considering him to be a disinformation artist helping to spread the myth is that, despite the message he believes the aliens have for us, which combines the now familiar messages offered by other “space brothers” with Strieber’s own Catholic and Gurdjieffian (if that’s even a word) spiritual beliefs, the incidents themselves don’t support this message. In fact, the incidents he undergoes don’t even support the alien abduction hypothesis. Sure, there are grays, but there are all sorts of other beings, and plenty of humans involved as well. How about, for example, his vision of a blue crystal, several hundred feet tall, hovering over his upstate New York cabin. I am drawn to such details as this because, if his goal were simply to fabricate a story of alien abduction, so many of these details just seem bizarrely out of place. Why include them unless he believes them to be true? It’s possible that Strieber is just THAT sophisticated and can see “smart guys” like me coming from a mile away. Maybe the hints at MKULTRA abuse as a child he has offered on his website (we’ll get to that in a bit) are simply to add a protective layer of plausibility in case the original alien stories break down under scrutiny. It’s possible. I’m not nearly as clever as I think I am, but I’m at least clever enough to know that there are other people out there smarter and more sophisticated than I.

But I don’t think that this is the case here. As a narrative, whether to fool us into believing in alien abductions or simply to tell a good story, Strieber’s writing is just a mess. It is illogical with far too many loose ends (despite his attempts to make sense of the experiences via his own belief systems). Yet we know Strieber can write a coherent scary story as he did before Communion with Wolfen and The Hunger (the movie version starring, I might add, the “Man Who Fell to Earth” himself, David Bowie).

So let’s have a look at some of Strieber’s story.

One thing that struck me throughout Communion and the book about his childhood experiences called Secret School is that despite Strieber’s having come to “love” his abductors, these alien beings were scary as hell. They have, from his description, no redeeming values whatsoever. They invaded his body and his mind, showed him scary visions designed to test his fear response and implant the idea that the world is about to end (though, as always, HOW the end is coming is constantly changing…with several different versions of apocalypse offered in Communion alone), and generally treated him like a lab rat. And it is the fact that he has come to love them that was my first clue. Why write about aliens who are so incredibly scary when you’re trying to convince us they are benign? It sounded to me like the famed “Stockholm Syndrome”, the alleged psychological mechanism which got Patty Hearst to embrace her captors in the “Symbionese Liberation Army”. All experts on Hearst, including the experts who testified at her trial, accept that Hearst was a mind control victim. The only question was whether there was any government connection. And since these same experts were also MKULTRA scientists…well, that’s another story that will have to wait.

The first encounter Strieber relates in Communion is one that was recorded in his journal contemporaneous with the event and was not a memory recovered via hypnosis. And it’s an odd one. After hearing some noises in the house and yet inexplicably settling back into bed without investigating, he saw a figure in his bedroom. It was small enough to be a child but that’s the only way it resembles the classic grays.

It had a smooth, rounded hat on, with an odd, sharp rim that jutted out easily four inches on the side I could see. Below this was a vague area. I could not see the face, or perhaps I would not see it….I saw two dark holes for eyes and a black downturning line of a mouth that later became an O.

From shoulder to midriff was the visible third of a square plate etched with concentric circles. This plate stretched from just below the chin to the waist area. At the time I thought it looked like some sort of breastplate, or even an armored vest. Beneath it was a rectangular appliance of the same type, which covered the lower waist to just above the knees. (Communion, pp. 12 - 13)

From there begins a somewhat more classical abduction experience. After blacking out he found himself naked, frozen as if in “mid-leap” and being moved out of the room. He doesn’t suggest that he was floating. “It could easily be that I was being carried.”

He found himself in the woods. To his left:

…was a small individual whom I could see only out of the corner of my eye. This person was wearing a gray-tan body suit and sitting on the ground with knees drawn up and hands clasped around them. There were two dark eyeholes and a round mouth hole. I had the impression of a face mask. (Communion, p. 15)

The beings will take on a more fully alien appearance later in the story, but at this point, he saw someone in a “body suit” and wearing a “facemask.”

Our thesis here is that Strieber is the victim of a mind control experiment of some kind, likely one that began in his childhood. We’ll examine his childhood experiences in the next post.

But even here, Strieber gives us a variety of hints that this experience has mind control elements involved. For example, when the first being approached him in the bedroom, he stayed in bed and took no action. As he says, “…perhaps my mind was already under some sort of control.” (Communion, p. 13.) And later, while sitting in the woods,

“I felt that I was under the exact and detailed control of whomever had me. I could not move my head, or my hands, or any part of my body save for my eyes. Despite this, I was not tied.”

Strieber then felt himself being rapidly drawn into a ship or room of some kind hovering above the woods. While terror is a natural reaction to such an event, I thought his specific description of terror was important:

The fear was so powerful that it seemed to make my personality completely evaporate. This was not a theoretical or even a mental experience, but something profoundly physical.

“Whitley” ceased to exist. What was left was a body in a state of raw fear so great that it swept about me like a thick, suffocating curtain, turning paralysis into a condition that seemed close to death. I do not think that my ordinary humanity survived the transition to this little room. I died, and a wild animal appeared in my place. (Communion, p. 16)

He realizes that much of what happened in that room has been lost to amnesia.

This might be terror amnesia, or drugs, or hypnosis, or even a doses of all three. There is one drug, tetradotoxin, which could approximate such a state. In small doses it causes external anesthesia. Larger doses bring about the “out of body” sensation occasionally reported by victims of visitor abduction. Greater quantities can cause the appearance of death - even the brain ceases detectable function.

This rare drug is the core of the zombie poison of Haiti, and little is known about why it works. It is also the notorious “fugu” poison of Japan, found in the tissues of a blowfish, which is an esteemed if deadly aphrodisiac. (Communion, p. 17)

His suggestion of tetradotoxin is interesting but likely erroneous. The out of body experiences, “dissolution of the self” and (assuming these experiences did not literally happen) hallucinations, seem more characteristic of ketamine, which was of interest to MKULTRA researchers (and fed regularly, as we’ll see sometime later, to Ira Einhorn, a seminal figure in the development of “New Age” thought until the mummified remains of his girlfriend turned up in a trunk locked in his closet. ) LSD is also a possibility, and certainly a drug of interest for our Dr. West, stationed nearby Strieber when he was a child.

Scopolamine also comes to mind. Researched by MKULTRA scientists (specifically under project CHATTER which searched for “truth drugs” for interrogation) the drug creates hallucinations, paralysis and dissociation and also results in amnesia when combined with morphine.

I also think of this reference to a lesser known drug from Colin West’s book, Bluebird, which quotes from an untitled an undated document from the MKULTRA files:

For instance, Metrozal, which has been very useful in shock therapy, is no longer popular because, for one thing it produces feelings of overwhelming terror and doom prior to the convulsion.

But terror, anxiety, worry would be valuable for many purposes from our point of view. (from Bluebird, p. 39)

Yeah, there are people who really think like that, and though it’s hard to accept, is it any harder to accept than the idea of aliens farming humans for eggs and sperm?

Strieber can’t get a good visual lock on the beings, as they always seem blurred when he attempted to look directly at them. A “tiny, squat person” approached with a box, within which is a thin needle which the being “proposed to insert” into his brain.

The idea of alien implants did not originate with Strieber so if he’s fabricating this story, or delusional, he could be incorporating previous such accounts. Still, it is important to note that from the fifties, scientists such as Jose Delgado were implanting electronic devices in animals and in people, as we saw in the previous post. While Delgado publicly said that ethical considerations and limits to technology would limit the ability to control humans via such implants, the level of control he gained over animals in his experiments is chilling. He could “steer” cats in whatever direction he wanted, or instantly switch them from docile to hostile with the push of a button. And this was in the fifties.

Interestingly, one of Strieber’s most recent newsletters contained a link to an article about very earthly implants in humans. I don’t know about the reliability of the article, but it does show that Strieber, once again, has some level of awareness that such things are certainly being done by humans. Here is a quote from Delgado as mentioned in the article linked in Strieber’s newsletter:

“Autonomic and somatic functions, individual and social behaviors, emotional and mental reactions may be evoked, maintained, modified, or inhibited, both in animals and in man, by electrical stimulation of specific cerebral structures. Physical control of many brain functions is a demonstrated fact. … It is even possible to follow intentions, the development of thoughts, and visual experiences,” wrote Dr. José Delgado in the book Physical Control of the Mind in 1969. At that time Dr. Delgado was a Professor of Physiology at Yale University, where he developed techniques for electronically and chemically influencing the brain. He has published more than two hundred scientific works and is a well-known authority in neurology and behaviorism.

In the preface to the book, it is written that Dr. Delgado, “… shows how, by electrical stimulation of specific cerebral structures, movements can be induced by radio command, hostility may appear or disappear, social hierarchy can be modified, sexual behavior may be changed, and memory, emotions and the thinking process may be influenced by remote control.”

In footnote 5 of that article, the author quotes John Lilly as cited in Martin Cannon’s The Controllers.

“Dr. Antoine Remond, using our techniques in Paris, has demonstrated that this method of stimulation of the brain can be applied to the human without the help of the neurosurgeon; he is doing it in his office in Paris without neurosurgical supervision. This means that anybody with the proper apparatus can carry this out on a person covertly, with no external signs that electrodes have been used on that person. I feel that if this technique got into the hands of a secret agency, they would have total control over a human being and be able to change his beliefs extremely quickly, leaving little evidence of what they had done.” — John C. Lilly, M.D., 1953: The Scientist, John C. Lilly, M.D., Berkeley: Ronin Publishing, 1988, page 91. In The Controllers, Martin Cannon, Aptos, CA: Davis Books, 1990, pages 13-14. [6]

This quote is significant not just for what it says, but also because Strieber is the one who linked to it. How seriously he has considered the idea that most if not all of his experiences were due to MKULTRA style manipulation is not known. At the moment, your humble author does not have much “juice” and so inquiries about such matters tend to go unanswered. However, I have been in contact with a friend of Strieber’s who confirmed one element of Communion for me and has relayed word back to me from Strieber that until he knows more about who I am he doesn’t want to engage in direct dialogue. That’s unfortunate, but it is probably the best course of action for Strieber when people like me contact him out of the blue. I expect that comments will be forthcoming as I have a feeling this article is going to be more widely linked than the previous ones.

Strieber was then injected with the implant which resulted in a “bang and a flash”. He says he noted that there were four types of “beings” on the ship. There was the robot type that was in his bedroom, some small dark gray or blue beings with more human features and two sizes of grays, one of whom he experienced as a female and was drawn to rather inexplicably.

And then, the anal probe. It has become almost a cultural standing joke but given that sexual abuse is one surefire way to induce dissociation (especially in children and obviously this experience occurs well into Strieber’s adulthood), this description is chilling.

…two of the stocky ones (whom he had just “sensed” were part of what he called a “good army”), drew my legs apart. The next thing I knew I was being shown an enormous and extremely ugly object, gray and scaly, with a sort of network of wires on the end. It was at least a foot long, narrow and triangular in structure. The inserted this thing into my rectum. It seemed to swarm into me as if it had a life of its own. Apparently its purpose was to take samples, possibly of fecal matter, but at the time I had the impression that I was being raped, and for the first time I felt anger.

Only when the thing was withdrawn did I see that it was a mechanical device. The individual holding it pointed to the wire cage on the tip and seemed to warn me about something. But what? I never found out. (Communion, p. 21)

It is characteristic of such tales that aliens advanced enough to travel from distant stars to earth have medical technology that is so incredibly primitive and needlessly painful. Even a full colonoscopy is not as traumatic as this technique experienced by Strieber. I think the description of the experience as “rape” is an apt one, though once again, one is struck by his determination to see the aliens as “good.” It is doubtful that advanced aliens would need such crude techniques to acquire the specimens they seek.

Finally, Strieber awoke with only a memory of having watched a barn owl outside his window. He notes that he has learned that such “screen memories” of animals are common among abductees.

In the following days, his physical condition deteriorated. The next day he suffered from extreme fatigue and chills as if from a fever. This is of interest because at high doses, scopolamine can produce fever. Strieber’s psychological condition deteriorated as well, as he became irritable and short-tempered and paranoid, worrying about “toxins” in his food. (Of course, given the likelihood that he had been drugged, such a fear would be “rational paranoia”.) Here are some other side effects of scopolamine that seem relevant to his experience:

In rare cases, unusual reactions to ordinary doses of scopolamine have occurred including confusion, agitation, rambling speech, hallucinations, paranoid behaviors, and delusions.

In fact, at one point Strieber reports a conversation with a neighbor in which he complained to the neighbor about seeing snowmobile lights in the woods. He had seen no such thing and knew it even as he said the words. The conversation bothered him because “it seemed so nonvolitional, almost as if I had been talking against my will.” (Communion, p. 23).

Here he describes his mental state in the days after the event:

I had a feeling of being separated from myself, as if either I was unreal or the world around me was unreal (in psychology these feelings are known as depersonalization and derealization and are sorts of dissociative states which can also be induced by various drugs.) … In the ensuing days, I experienced more bouts of fatigue. I would be working and suddenly would get cold and start to shake. The I would feel so exhausted that I could not go on, and crawl into bed quivering and miserable, sure that I was coming down with the flu. I took my temperature during one of these experiences and found that it was 96.6 at the outset and 98.8 at the height of the “fever.” Afterward, it dropped to 97.0 (scopolamine also has fever reducing effects though evidently only if there is already an elevated temperature.)

Nights I would sleep, but wake up in the morning feeling as if I had been tossing and turning the whole time. I ceased to dream, and sometimes had difficulty closing my eyes. I felt watched, and kept hearing noises in the night….

My disposition got worse. I became mercurial, frantic with excitement about some idea one moment, in despair the next. I was suspicious of friends and family, often openly hostile. I came to hate telephone calls. I could not concentrate even on light television programs….I could no longer follow my own thining, let alone that of the authors who interested me. (Communion, p. 26)

It would be a fair criticism of my thesis to say that many of these symptoms could come about simply as the result of the trauma he experienced due to the “abduction.” That’s true to an extent, but Occam’s razor says we should consider earthly explanations first.

Strieber also mentions that in January of 1986 there was a UFO sighting in the area. It’s unclear exatly what area he meant, as his cabin is in upstate New York, and Middletown, in which the article about the sighting appeared, is much further south toward NYC. One of the habits Strieber has which inclines one to believe his story is a hoax is to mention a fact which confirms his story as if he were unaware of it before his abduction experience. In this case, beginning in 1982, there was a massive wave of UFO sightings in the Hudson valley area, of which the event Streiber read about in the January 3, 1986, issue of Middletown, New York, Record article would be but one example. There were so many sightings that a book was written about it, Night Seige. We’ll come back to the Hudson Valley sightings later as it seems very likely to me that this was one of the areas selected for “field testing” the reaction of people to UFO’s by staging fake UFO waves. These field tests have likely been going on since the fifties. This project was discovered in papers found by Jacques Vallee while looking in the files of J. Allen Hynek. Hynek confirmed the story and was (or pretended to be) angry that it was true. Hynek, however, was co-author of Night Seige not having read the book yet, I don’t know if he mentioned this government project. But whether this UFO wave was real or an elaborate hoax, it seems unlikely that Strieber could have been completely unaware of it.

Here’s what Strieber says about it:

The headline (in the ) called the appearance a hoax, but according to the story, local people who had witnessed the event doubted that. ONe man, however, claimed that he had seen the things fly over a brightly lit local lprison, and in the light he saw planes. A follow-up story on January 12 expanded on the hoax hypothesis.

My wife showed me the article and told me, “You said this would happen. You were talking about this last week.” I did not remember the conversation…” (Communion, p. 27).

He later goes on to discuss the Hudson Valley wave which he discovered upon “further research.” The book Night Seige was released at about the same time as Strieber’s book, so it’s not surprising that the book itself is not mentioned, though he did find a New York Times article which discussed Phillip Imbrogno, who would co-author the book with Hynek. While I am not assuming that Strieber is a hoaxer, this tendency to give a “gee whiz, look what I found out” about information that could be construed to have inspired the details of his stories and which was readily available before his own alleged incidents is a troubling one. In fact, just after the experience described above, Strieber sat down to read a UFO book featuring the details of a similar encounter, a book which had been given to him months previously and had been sitting in his cabin all along. So, while I think hoax is not the answer here, I mention in the spirit of objectivity, and it can’t be ruled out.

We conclude this section by noting that the next step for Strieber, after these memories began to emerge, was to contact Budd Hopkins, the famed UFO abductee researcher (and hypnotist) to help him sort out these memories. Hopkins reassured him that these memories were being experienced by others as well. Eventually, Strieber would seek out an objective third party, psychiatrist Donald Klein, to overcome the amnesiac barrier via hypnosis, though Hopkins would be present at these session. In addition, there are further sessions with Budd Hopkins alone. Given my opinion of Hopkins, this is troubling. However, recordings of the two sessions with Klein and evidently one session with Hopkins are available in audio on his site.

In 1986, Whitley Strieber conducted two hypnosis sessions with Dr. Donald Klein. These sessions have recently been provided for our subscribers to listen to. Now, we offer one of the “lost” session that Whitley did with Budd Hopkins in April of 1986, some time after his last session with Dr. Klein.

This hypnosis session reveals Whitley at his most vulnerable, when he was desperately struggling with what had happened to him, and, above all, trying to understand the messages that his contact experiences were bringing him.

Listen to Whitley in a deeply private moment, struggling with information that, to this day, he has never revealed.

He talks about a trip through Europe in the summer of 1968, and a meeting with a young woman that, as they traveled from Florence to Rome, became stranger and stranger.

Finally, when they are in the crypt beneath the Vatican, he begins to speak of something “so secret” that is happening there.

Listen to this powerful and provocative tape, but be warned, it is as frank as it is mysterious.

I thought I was a subscriber but I am unable to access the subscriber portion of the site. It may that I am merely subscribed to the newsletter. Currently, new subscriptions are not being taken as they update their system, but as soon as I can I will listen to these audio recordings to sort out how much of his recalled material came through his work with Klein (who diagnosed Strieber with temporal lobe epilepsy, a not particularly satisfying hypothesis, though we will see that states very similar to TLE can be induced electronically, which may provide some further clues) and how much throught Hopkins. Given that his sessions with Hopkins take him into the Vatican vault (?) I wonder whether we are moving more into traditional conspiracy lore and away from whatever “real” experiences Strieber has had.

That said, Strieber’s “journey” through Europe and a variety of other details of his story which point much more directly to Langley than a planet orbiting Sirius, will be the subject of part two of this investigation. In part three, we will examine Strieber’s alleged childhood experiences. Assuming that these incidents, which occurred much earlier but were not recalled fully until after Communion, are not simply fabrications, delusions or implanted memories during his hypnosis sessions, they may very well be key to understanding Whitley and his desire to make all of us believe that the end is near for Planet Earth.

MKULTRA: Not Just for Paranoids Anymore

February 4th, 2007 at 9:17 am (Mind Control/MKULTRA, Nazis from Outer Space)

In all of these cases, these subjects have clearly demonstrated that they can pass from a fully awake state to a deep H (hypnotic) controlled state via the telephone, via some very subtle signal that cannot be detected by other persons in the room and without the other individual being able to note the change. It has been shown clearly that physically individuals can be induced into H by telephone, by receiving written matter, or by the use of code, signals or word and that control of those hypnotized can be passed from one individual to another without great difficulty. It has also been shown by experimentation with these girls that they can act as unwilling couriers for information purposes and that they can be conditioned to a point where they can believe a change in identity on their part even on the polygraph. –Project ARTICHOKE Document from 1953

In order to appreciate the posts which follow, you’ll need a little background on MK-Ultra, the CIA’s longrunning program researching techniques of mind control. Most of the documents for MK-Ultra and related programs, like Artichoke, ended up in the shredder, though a few boxes survived.

But I suppose I need to warn everyone ahead of time: when you get into discussions of mind control, especially when researching via internet, you get a lot of unverifiable information such as claims by alleged victims of these programs or alleged “insider” information. The problem is that much of what such victims claim is well within the realm of possibility, even if we confine ourselves to the programs for which we have surviving government documents. There is almost nothing in the accounts of people claiming to have been used by MKULTRA style programs which are not verified at least as an area of interest of these mind control programs. Deliberately created multiple personalities, voices in the head, harassment by electro-magnetic devices, induced hallucinations, “missing time” and even brain implants. ALL of these are documented as having at least been attempted in these CIA programs. So a few comments before I continue, especially directed toward those who think they might be victims of such programs.

Nazis from Outer Space: An interlude
January 13th, 2007 at 7:06 pm (Nazis from Outer Space)

I was prompted by a comment from Daniel in the previous post to write a response that got quite lengthy, and I realized that my response also helps clarify where I’m headed with this material about the manipulation of the UFO/contact movement by intelligence agencies. Daniel discusses certain videos and ideas about the role of the Rockefellers, for example. I thought I’d post my reponse here, instead, as it may help clarify where I’m going, particularly given some of the sorts of theories out there which revolve around people like the Rockefellers. I am not shy about finding them to be a part of the picture, but I do want to try to make some distinctions that are relevant to all my posts and not just this current series.

I find that often reading “conspiracy theories” about the Rockefellers and other global elites gives me a “yes but…” reaction. I think that such information, when spun by those who want to maintain faith in our capitalistic system, go too far in pinning the blame for what ails us on “secret groups,” even when those groups being blamed are not…well…Jews.

SOME of what they Rockefeller style elites are up to comes out of shared assumptions about what is “good” for the world and there isn’t always a conspiratorial element to it. One topic I hope to get to is how foundations like that of the Rockefellers manipulate the left in this country. One way they accomplish this goal is to promote groups that may, in fact, seek valuable reform, but don’t cross the line into challenging some basic structural elements of our capitalist system. Elite foundations will sometimes even fund more radical groups, but with the explicit goal of “reigning in” the most unacceptable parts of the group’s agenda.

Ironically, this is exactly where our “neocons” came from. Most of them emerged from the “Congress for Cultural Freedom”. This was a (now-acknowledged) CIA front that put out all kinds of publications. There was a great deal of leeway in what they could publish, and it was often very “liberal”in orientation. CIA did use it to put out some of their own overt propaganda, but often the goal was just to develop an anti-Soviet, anti-socialist left. As long as they stayed within that perspective, they could say whatever they wanted.

Nazis from Outer Space: Part 5
January 11th, 2007 at 8:04 pm (Nazis from Outer Space, Uncategorized)

I continue to be amazed at two things as I pursue my research into this very strange underworld we are exploring.

1. It’s really easy to find information that confirms the very close link between “UFOlogy”, the contactee movement and the military/intelligence complex.

2. If you change one basic assumption, all of the facts begin to fit together in a much more coherent way.

The assumption, which is at the heart of “mainstream” UFOlogy, if there is such a thing, is that when intelligence agencies have played games regarding UFOs it was in an effort to cover up the truth of the matter. I’d like you to try approaching all of this information with me from a different assumption, which is that the intelligence agencies have gotten involved with UFOlogy and the contactee movement in a deliberate effort to propagate certain beliefs as well as to hone techniques for controlling people, organizations and even social movements. We’ll find this assumption to be very helpful as we look more in depth in future posts at Andrija Puharich, Uri Geller and the Nine. For now, though, let’s take a much easier case to unravel: NICAP.

Nazis from Outer Space: Part 4
January 7th, 2007 at 8:05 pm (Nazis from Outer Space, Uncategorized)

1952. As I continue my research (and surprisingly, much of this information is easily found and has been compiled by other researchers, though not always with the same interpretation), I find that1952 (and also ‘53 but I need a literary device here) figures very prominently. This was the year that Kenneth Arnold, who had been pivotal in launching the saucer craze, published his book on UFO’s with Ray Palmer.We’ve already seen some of the intelligence connections involved with his investigation of the Maury Island incident.

Here are a few other storylines of note that get their start around this time. We’ll see many of these players over and over again in our examination of the fascist and intelligence underpinnings of the UFO and “contactee” movements.

It was that year fascist George Adamski had his most famous UFO sighting and contact with the “Venusians”. Indeed, there was a whole network of these occult fascists, including the most famous, William Pelley, founder of the U.S. Nazi group the “Silver Shirts”, who moved their occultism into the space age via “contactees” and channelers.

It was the year that Andrija Puharich, known to have worked for the Army and almost certainly with the CIA, made his first contact with “the Nine”, a group of discarnate entities whos impact on the UFO movement as well as, surprisingly, on our society as a whole simply cannot be underestimated. It is through the Nine that, for reasons we’ll speculate on a bit later, the CIA and various elements of the military/industrial complex had the most success in pushing what amounts to a new religion in the U.S. and much of the West. There is a massive amount of material available on this topic and I’m trying to get a handle on it. One book I have already and recommend is The Stargate Conpsiracy, by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. Ultimately, they de-emphasize what I think is the most important purpose of all these intel games, but it’s an excellent place to start and you don’t have to buy into their more occult theories to find the book very helpful.

Nazis from Outer Space: Part 3
January 4th, 2007 at 7:09 pm (Nazis from Outer Space, Uncategorized)

What better way to resume our examination of UFO and related phenomena as exercises in social control than with the Invasion from Mars itself. In 1938, as is now very well known, Orson Wells and his “Mercury Radio Theatre” broadcast a live action retelling of the H.G. Wells novel, War of the Worlds.

I was surprised recently to see in an article by Daniel Hopsicker the assertion that the radio broadcast was not an innocent mistake, but was actually part of a study funded by the Rockefellers specifically to measure the reaction of the public to such an announcement.

Nothing I’ve seen so far proves that the Rockefellers funded the actual broadcast, but what is easily demonstrated is that the year before the broadcast, the Rockefeller foundation funded the Radio Research Project at Princeton University and that within a week after the broadcast, the Project had pollsters out talking to people who had been in the radio audience. Here is a Time Magazine article from 1940 that makes that quite clear.

Contrary to the Hopsicker article, the resulting report was not secret but was published in a book, whose cover you see to the left and is now available in a reprinted edition.

The study concluded that the people susceptible to the “panic” were those who had less critical reasoning ability linked, concludes the studies author Hadley Cantril (misspelled in the Hopsicker piece), to education levels and also to level of religiosity, with the more religious being more inclined to believe the story uncriticially. So even if the actual broadcast were not funded by Rockefeller, the fact that this study was funded by him should still be of great interest.

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Nazis from Outer Space: Part 2
January 4th, 2007 at 2:33 pm (Nazis from Outer Space, Uncategorized)
In the last post, we found some strange connections between one of the earliest alleged UFO encounters and the U.S. intelligence community, even finding some unexpected connections to the shadowy underworld that at least New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison believed was involved in the Kennedy Assassination. None of this is too incredibly hard to believe if you start to step back and see the political agenda operating behind the scenes.

But I’d like to confess that, while the streams we’ll keep exploring are clearly apparent, the underlying motivations are not always as clear. Specifically, we’ll see a few different things going on simultaneously. One, is a very, very clear involvement of elements of the U.S. intelligence community, as well as other aspects of the military/industrial complex, in the world of UFO’s and “contactees” (people who claim to be in contact either physically or via “channeling” with entities in space.) You’ll find that it is really no challenge at all to trace many of these connections. They seem to have several motives which often overlap. There is a lot of involvement, for example, by people directly connected to intelligence “mind control” programs like MK-ULTRA (if this is all new to you…yes, MK-ULTRA and the like are quite real, easily proven via government documents and the like but we’ll explore this later). There are also, I think, other programs designed at social manipulation at the small group level, i.e. cult-like movements.

Secondly, we’ll see the promotion of a certain ideology that is somewhat continuous with Nazi “religion”, though the Nazis themselves incorporated it from earlier occult figures. You’ll see that this ideology is not only popping up in the UFO arena, but is a fairly major component of much of current “New Age” thought. We’ve already looked at this ideology a bit in my post on Richard Heinberg and on the “fetishism of Apocalypse”. The basics of this ideology have to do with racial theory which suggests that certain races are more advanced (in our area of concern, this superiority has to do with descent from or genetic manipulation by the “space brothers.”), that a major catastrophe in the past led to their downfall (think Atlantis) and that we are headed for a “New Age” in which this race or some other race (or select group of elites) assume their role as spiritual overlords of the planet. Further, this New Age is likely to be ushered in by another Atlantis-like catastrophe.