Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Life's Memorable Moments

Now for something really different. First up is an on air blunder from an international sporting match.

Radio 5 Live: What's it like in Athens, Greece tonight, Roger?

Gold Medalist Roger Black: Actually, I'm not in Athens, but in the front room of a friend's house in Guildford, England. I've been dropped from the BBC broadcasting team in Athens.

Source: Radio 5 Live (UK) interview on the Athens Olympics

Comment: Producers and production assistants are supposed to check for this type of thing before the on air personality inserts his foot in his mouth, thereby preventing both his network and himself looking like idiots.

The world of electronic retail is rife with knowledgable IT types that the novice consumer trust for state of the art technical expertise.

Customer: Now what does this 512MB of RAM mean on this PC?

Sales Associate: Ummm . . . RAM is what slows down your PC, see it rams into your processing power, causing slowdowns. That's why it's called RAM.

Customer: (With eyebrows raised.) Are you sure?

Sales Associate: Authoritatively asserts, Who's the expert here?

Source: Conversation overheard at a national electronics chain store that just can't refrain from telling us potential customers that it's the greatest deal around, and its dedicated group of paid tech nerds can solve any issue or answer any questions.

Finally, a bit closer to the more ordinary and mundane that lumps into the Thanks, but no thanks category.

Public non-profit organizations don't have bushels of petty cash on hand so their staffs tend to be spot on with their written promotions and flyers that announce free venues that members of the public can attend. A patron can be assured that a top of his game staffer has scrutinized the wording before sending the posting off to the printer. Take the following example:

Rectal is open to the public.
FREE Admission!
You could have a front row seat.

Source: Flyer for a dance recital held in a midwestern city.

Comment: That had the potential for being that non-profit's greatest money maker. No wonder those dancers stand on their toes!

Monday, May 04, 2009

An Oklahoma City Tragedy Retrospective

One past event that evokes emotions on a par with the World Trade Center bombings is the unprovoked terror bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. That act raised the paranoia level of the far right and contributed in part to the attempts to erode privacy with the covert reading of email and the interception of cellphone communications. Suspicions flew through the minds of the members of the Patriot Movement and the militia movements. Those absolutists and totalitarions imagined a vast Federal government conspiracy, a trick to lockdown American civil liberties, even take them away, or in the worst case, a potential Washington sanctioned invasion of the United States from abroad. Not that the liberal side of the aisle was any less suspicious. Liberals believed that the Oklahoma City bombing represented an extreme act of terror by native born whack jobs of the far right--daffy militias and radical hate groups.

Yet, there is a mystery, terrible to comprehend, that rises from the fog of suspicion.

Summation of Generally Accepted Facts

At 09:02 a.m., 19 April 1995, a massive explosion ripped the north face off of the federal building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The devastation was horrendous: 1/3 of the building simply collapsed; the bomb/bombs left a crater 30' x 8' deep. In the days following the explosion, the casulty count rose to 169 dead, including 19 children who attended an on site day care center which was located on the second floor of the federal building. The following federal agencies maintained office space in the Murrah headquarters: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF); the FBI; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Defense Investigative Service; US Army and US Marines recruiting offices; and the Social Security Administration.

Quickly, federal authorities stated that the explosive device was ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, the kind of homemade fertilizer bomb used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing conducted by Taliban operatives. Originally, the FBI believed the bomb weighed into the neighborhood of 2000 pounds, with the charge packed into an automobile; however, in accounting for the destructive force of the bomb, investigators upgraded those original estimates to an approximate 4800 pound explosive device and that delivered by truck. The fertilizer-fuel oil bomb was made up of commercial available products and was packed into 20 blue, plastic barrels. The FBI and ATF said the means of detonation was a hand-lit safety fuse. Eyewitnesses reported the presence of a yellow Ryder rental truck approaching the front entrance of the federal building, and stopping in a No Parking Zone. Those eyewitnesses described two males in blue jogging attire leaving the truck and getting into a car. This implies there may have been a third person driving that getaway car. A woman driving on Northwest 5th Street near the Murrah Federal Building stated that she almost ran down a man, later ID'd by the investigators as a bombing suspect, who was walking away from the federal building. Still another witness reported seeing two men speeding away from the crime scene in a yellow Mercury.

After combing through the debris, police reported the find of a truck axle which contained a vehicle identification number (VIN) that they traced to a Ryder truck rented from a location at Junction City, Kansas. This break was the first. Then, the second break developed near the small town of Perry, Oklahoma about 60 miles north of the Murrah bombing site. A police officer, Charles Hanger, pulled over a 1977, yellow, Mercury Marquis that had been speeding at more than 80 miles per hour. Officer Hanger observed that the Marquis had no license plates. Hanger left his patrol cruiser and walked up to the driver's side of the suspicious car. Nearly at once, Hanger noticed the bulge of a pistol under the driver's jacket. The driver was the sole occupant of this car. This driver was 26 year-old Timothy James McVeigh who informed the officer quite simply that he was packing a handgun. Officer Hanger pulled his service weapon, held it to McVeigh's head, and ordered the driver to turn over his firearm. McVeigh turned over a Glock pistol, loaded with .45 caliber, hollow-point (cop killer bullets) and a seathed hunting/survival knife. Then, Hanger arrested McVeigh. McVeigh, for his part in the traffic stop, cooperated fully with Officer Hanger.

McVeigh was booked into the Noble County, Oklahoma jail. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, transporting a loaded firearm, and driving a vehicle without license plates. The former Army sergeant, honorably discharged, Gulf War veteran was now jailed for two days awaiting arraignment on the charges.

Friday, in the week of the Wednesday bombing, would find McVeigh charged with the Murrah Building bombing, the worse terrorist act, to that time, occurring in the United States. Links existed that place McVeigh in Oklahoma City at the time of the bombing. One link was his physical appearance which matched eyewitness descriptions of John Doe #1: a tall, white male, military type crew cut, early to mid-twenties. Next, McVeigh's former work associate called the FBI, giving information that tied McVeigh to the Murrah Building bombing. Allegedly, McVeigh planted a business card in the police cruiser (when detained by Officer Hanger). This business card advertised Paulsen's Military Supply in Wisconsin. On the card was written, "More 5 Lb. sticks of TNT by May 1." News sources stated that the FBI crime technicians had searched the glovebox of McVeigh's rental car a letter to a friend vowing vengence for the 1993 BATF/FBI raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

Furthermore, McVeigh had been carrying a phone debit card backed by The Spotlight, a conspiracy newsletter of an anti-Semitic Liberty outfit. At that time, the US Attorney's case against McVeigh relies mightily on the phone call record which links McVeigh to fertilizer suppliers and plastic barrel vendors that were allegedly used in producing the bomb that brought down the Murrah Federal Building.

That leads to the FBI sketches of John Doe #2, an alleged co-conspirator in the bombing. Sketch #2, depicts a dark-haired, dark-skinned man of probable Middle Eastern origin, partially concealing his features with a ball cap. Witnesses placed this man with McVeigh at the bombing site. Other witnesses placed the pair at the Ryder Truck outlet in Kansas. Early reports state that the second suspect arrested for the bombing, Terry Nichols, might have been this man. A problem arose. Nichols did not look like the sketch; however, McVeigh did know Nichols. They were Army buddies. McVeigh's statements to agents, deputies, and police implicated Nichol's and Nichol's brother, James. McVeigh had listed James Nichols as his next of kin on his arrest form.

Spin enters the picture at this point. A very hasty cover story went out: John Doe #2, whoever he had been, no longer existed. John Doe 2 was incinerated in the explosion. Terry Nichols promptly implicated McVeigh in the bombing. His statement to agents was that McVeigh called him from Oklahoma City the Sunday before the bombing. McVeigh wanted a ride. Nichols drove him from his home in Herrington, Kansas. McVeigh allegedly told Nichols during this drive, "Something big is going to happen." Nichols asked if McVeigh would rob a bank. McVeigh merely replied, "Something big is going to happen." He said no more during the drive.

The BATF actively pursued leads tying Nichols to McVeigh and the acquisition and production of bomb-making materials. BATF found blasting caps, 60 foot Primadet detonator cords, ammonium nitrate, nitrogen fertilizer, and 55 blue plastic gallon drums. The US Attorney's case tightened on learning that the Nichols had appeared at meetings of the Michigan Militia. The Michigan Militia was an Doomsday/Armageddon-ready corps of right-wing whack job patriots who convinced themselves that the United Nations was plotting to invade the United States. McVeigh had been seen in the company of Michigan Militia Leader Mark Koernke working as his bodyguard.

The case seemed airtight against McVeigh and Nichols. But some enigmas exist. Some confounding elements and unexplained events could have derailed the case against McVeigh and Nichols. One such enigma concerns persons with foreknowledge of the bombing. The Portland Oregonian, 20 April 1995, reported that Judge Wayne Alley, who chambers were across the street from the Murrah Building was told by federal government security some days prior to the bombing to take "special precautions" for his security. Judge Alley was a former US Army general and Judge Alley had the McVeigh and Nichols' dockets before venue was changed to Denver Federal District Court.

One instance does not rise to cabal levels. Yet, Judge Alley was not the only person to receive an early warning advice statement. Jim Keith wrote OKBOMB!. Keith's book is loaded with anomalies, warned individuals especially. Take the eyebrow raising case of David Hall, General Manager of KPOC-TV (Oklahoma) who claimed to hold videotaped interviews with eight federal employees who worked in the Murrah Building. These eight workers were told to expect a bombing on 19 April. Moreover, Hall reports that two days prior to the bombing, a secretary to a state senator received the same warning. Keith wrote that Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key said that he "knew of two witnesses who heard ATF employees say that they had been warned not to come to work on the day of the blast." Key urged US Congress and Oklahoma State to investigate the issue. This was not done.

This anomaly seems to have gone beyond scuttlebutt. Other residents of Oklahoma City claimed BATF warned its employees to stay away from the Murrah Building on 19 April. ATF maintains officially that five agents of the 15-man squad were in the Murrah Building at the time of the blast, all five agents were injured, other reports, one from an ATF agent and one other in The New York Times said that no agents were on site at 9:02 a.m.

Anomaly two concerns the exact number of blasts. The fact is the seismographs of the University of Oklahoma recorded not one, but two explosions after 9:00 a.m., 19 April 1995, within 10 seconds of one another. Omniplex Science Center, Oklahoma City, recorded this same dual explosion disturbance and the second event was stronger than the first one. The second movement of the seismograph needle had been dismissed as an echo of the first event. Enter Dr. Charles Mankin, Director of the University of Oklahoma Geological Survey. Dr. Mankin held a press conference following the bombing and told the journalists attending it that the seismograph readings indicated two separate explosions. Mankin said, "The news media, itself, even reported two bomb blasts initially." Now, this could be a problem in perspective; however, the twin blast theory seems far more plausible when lined up with other details. Such as eyewitness statements, especially those of the rescue workers from within minutes of responding to the diaster. The rescue workers reported that the Bomb Squad uncovered another bomb, unexploded, in the rubble.

David Hall of KPOC-TV reports that Fire Chief John Hanson told him that "They had found two undetonated bombs in the building as well as one rocket launcher." Of course, these accounts of multiple bombs recovered from the bombing site do not mesh with the official version--that one 4800 pound fertilizer bomb caused the extensive damage to the Murrah Federal Building.

Anomaly three concerns the nature of the bomb itself. Several demolitions experts commented that a homemad fertilizer bomb--in ideal conditions, which this bomb was not, packed in a truck parked outside the federal building could not, and would not, have produced enough explosive force to blow off a whole section of the Murrah Federal Building. Brigader General Benton Partin, US Air Force Ret., has extensive knowledge of military ordnance. Gen. Partin wrote: "When I first saw the picture of the truck bomb's asymmetrical damage to the Murrah building . . . my immediate reaction was that the pattern of the damage would be technically impossible without supplementary demolition charges at some of the reinforced concrete column bases, located inside the building, which is a standard demolition technique." Partin also said that "gross asymmetry in the federal building damage pattern is ipso facto evidence that there was an inside bomb effort and [an outside] truck bomb effort."

Anomaly four concerns a New York Daily News account that search and rescue operations were halted, "some rescue workers were ordered to stop searching for survivors while federal authorities removed documents . . . . Groups of 40 to 50 agents spent much of the night carrying dozens of boxes from the seventh and ninth floors, where the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms have offices." This delay in rescue operations occurred despite the fact that victims were still buried alive in the rubble. Taken with Gen. Partin's statement it could be that agents were removing unexploded ordinance with document retrival as a convenient cover story. State Rep. Charles Key found a sheriff's department video that referred to an Arsenal Room inside the Murrah Building. Weapons were being stored in the building at the time of the bombing. Key pointed out that that damage was worse in the area of the arsenal room. Eyewitnesses stated that the bomb squad removed ordnance from the arsenal that included undetonated explosives and a TOW anti-tank missile.

Anomaly five concerns the suspects, McVeigh, Nichols, and the elusive John Doe #2. KPOC-TV's David Hall states that the FBI had a suspect matching John Doe #2 under surveillance one month after the bombing. Early on, the FBI referred to a video showing McVeigh and John Doe #2 leaving the blast scene in a brown Ford pickup truck. After the blast, the police issued an APB for this pickup truck and two occupants. KFOR-TV, a competing station, tracked this pickup to a parking place outside "a northwest Oklahoma City business." The reporter, Jayna Davis', account for 7 June 1995 showed an obscurred picture (digitally blanked out) of an employee of the business. Davis reported that "police agree with us [that this employee] strongly resembles the FBI sketches of John Doe #2." His face could not be shown because he had not been arrested or charged. Davis stated that witnesses identified the man as being in Timothy McVeigh's company days before bombing and within a few miles of the Murrah Building. After Davis filed this report with KFOR-TV, the next day, KFOR reporters described the man as an Iraqi citizen who had served in Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard during the Gulf War (McVeigh was a veteran of this war). That tie to a Middle Eastern accomplice muddies the US Attorney's case of a right wing whack job causing havoc.

Anomaly six concerns Timothy McVeigh's capture by Officer Hanger. KPOC-TV's David Hall says that on the Friday following the Wednesday bombing, he was listening to the police radio scanner in his office. Hall says, "I heard a patrol broadcast from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol that they had a car on Interstate 35 and that car, most likely, had been involved in the bombing." In response, Hall sent a video crew, which arrived at the scene to find a female witness claiming that she had seen a man arrested at 1:30 p.m. This witness said that Highway Patrol troopers removed this suspect and put him into a "military helicopter." Hall said several other witnesses to this arrest attested to the same event, helicopter and other details. The question arises to when McVeigh was arrested. Was it really Friday rather than Wednesday? And Highway Patrol troopers or Officer Hanger?

These anomalies remain intriquing; however, an inside-job theory lacks motive and legs. It could be that federal agents did a poor job of connecting the dots, much like the bungling surrounding the diaster of 11 September 2001.

The following makes for good background reading for the events and the case against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols:

Keith, Jim. OKBOMB!: Conspiracy and Cover-up. Lilburn, GA: IllumiNet P, 1996.


Obviously, this essay took time to develop and research. Much rumor and hearsay had to be cleared before the more credible information was disclosed. The information of this essay very clearly deals with events surrounding the Murrah Federal Building and the arrests of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. I am planning on a follow-up to detail the trial and its aftermath.

I welcome any comments and suggestions for lines of inquiry along those lines.

Friday, March 13, 2009

AIDS: A Biowarfare Scourge

House subcommittee meetings can be dull affairs and, therefore, not well attended. But, on occasion, the subcommittee on military appropriations can be eyebrow raising. For example, a Department of Defense Biological Research administrator arrived at a June 9, 1969 session to request funds to carry out an untoward research project. Dr. Donald MacArthur made this prediction: "Within five to ten years, it would probably be possible to make a new infective microorganism which would differ in certain important aspects from any known disease-causing organisms. Most of these is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease." The simplest explanation for Dr. MacArthur's statement is the creation of a virus that would destroy the immune system. MacArthur received the funds when he offered that any enemy would deploy the virus if that enemy developed it. By 1978 the first cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) emerged in Africa.

A coincidence is readily apparent: Is AIDS the zenith of biowarfare experiments?

Theodore Weiss, a US Congressman from New York, represents a large gay electorate. Weiss opined in 1983 that "attitudes toward homosexuals and homosexuality by some segments of society, the possible utilization of biological weapons must be seriously considered."

The groups the AIDS virus targets suggests an biowarfare slant. Keep in mind no one is actually immune from this virus, certain groups are more vulnerable: Africans, drug users, gays. Evidence for a biowarfare angle is sparse. The interesting thing is the same holds for the US government's theory for the spread of AIDS in the human population. Monkeys spread the virus. This premise is flimsy.

The generally accepted origin of AIDS is the virus tagged HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) was identified by Dr. Robert Gallo in 1984 and by a group of French scientists at about the same time. Essentially, Dr. Gallo observes the smimilarity between a simian virus (STLV-III) and HIV. Gallo observed that a monkey (so called green monkeys) carried this virus transmitted it to an African. Within a brief span of years, people were dying from having sex and blood transfusions. The monkey transmission system is a mere educated guess.

All of this gets to a horrendous notion: the government can be callously ruthless on occasion. One particularly horrific example is the 1931 Puerto Rico cancer research study. Several Puerto Ricans were purposely infected with cancer by Chief Pathologist Cornelius Rhoades of the Rockefeller Institute. Thirteen of those subjects died. How did Corkey justify those unnecessary deaths:

"The Porto (Rhoades' intentional misspelling) Ricans are the dirtiest, laziest, degenerate and thievish race of men ever inhabiting this sphere." Rhoades continued, "I have done my best to further the process of extermination by killing off eight and transplanting cancer into several more . . . . All physicians take delight in the abuse and torture of the unfortunate subjects."

Rhoades' is brutish and bigoted, but never charged in court for abusing his position. He was termed only "mentally ill," but the US DoD saw him differently and gave Rhoades responsibility for two large chemical warfare projects during the 1940's. Eventually, he was given a Legion of Merit and a seat on the Atomic Energy Commission.

What of the biowarfare research? A particular virus that attracted the military's attention was the canis strain of brucella. The symptoms are known ones: headaches, fever, general malaise, muscle pain, pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy--the same symptoms seen in the AIDS-Related Complex, the percursor to AIDS itself.

Interestingly, the first report of the biowarfare nature of AIDS was printed in a New Delhi, India newspaper, The Patriot, for July 4, 1984. This article incorporated citations from an official US Army research publication about "natural and artificial influences on the human immune system."

What was really intriguing was that this Indian article stated that Fort Detrick researchers (home of the National Cancer Institute's Frederick Cancer Reserch Facilty, originally styled the US Army Biological Warfare Laboratory) safariied into Africa to search for "a powerful virus that could not be found in Europe or Asia." The gathered data was studied at Fort Detrick and "the result was the isolation of a virus that causes AIDS."

Eventually, two French-born East German scientists, Jakob and Lilli Segal authored a pamphlet AIDS: USA Home-Made Evil. The pamphlet's central premise was that AIDS was the product of biowarfare experiments. The Segals claimed that HIV is the product of genetically engineering a hybrid of the visan virus (a virus causing a sheep-borne brain disease) and a virus called HTLV-I (HIV was originally named HTLV-III), which causes white blood cell cancer. The Segals identified Fort Detrick as the inventing laboratory for this virus. One problem. Scant evidence exists that HIV was synthesized at Fort Detrick, or elsewhere, but the National Institutes of Health did ask Fort Detrick military scientists to assist in developing an AIDS cure.

The AIDS saga gets better. In 1987 Col. David Huxsoll, US Army (the US Army recurs throughout the AIDS story) gave away a bit of information in a tirade regarding the AIDS as a biowarfare weapon. The colonel said, "Studies at army laboratories have shown that the AIDS virus would be an extremely poor biological warfare agent." Col. Huxsoll retracted his statement, but the reporter who penned it, stands by the colonel's remark.

AIDS first broke out in the US in the gay male population at the same time that Reganism and the decrying of homosexuality arose. The biowarfare premise assumes that gay men were singled out for decimation and, even, scapegoating.

Consider in 1978 1000 plus, multiple partner gay men received experimental vaccinations against Hepatitis B, courtesy of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Within six years, 64% of those gay men had developed AIDS. There is more to consider. Another vaccination program, for smallpox, in Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) ran this program. The regions for the vaccinations became the most AIDS prone ones in Africa. The problem with these two vaccination programs is coincidence of the AIDS pandemic outbreak.

Dioxins and dengue virus have been mentioned as catalysts, as has a mutated form of syphilis.

In any explanations, AIDS/HIV is stealthy, prone to mutation, resiliant to vaccine. The underlying belief is that the human element cultivated it with a sinister motive.


Krupey, G.J. "AIDS: Act of God or the Pentagon?" Steamshovel Press, 4 (1992).

Rappaport, Jon. AIDS Inc.: Scandal of the Century. Foster City, CA: Human Energy Press, 1988.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Lonely Death of His Holiness John Paul I (Alberto Luciani)

The Pope, the spiritual figure who leads the world's 800 million Roman Catholics, is not an ascetic hermit. Yet, Pope John Paul I (Alberto Luciani) reigned and led those millions of Roman Catholics for a mere thirty-three days, died on fall night in 1978 alone in his papal apartment at the Vatican.

David Yallop presented a case for Pope John Paul I's poisoning. Yallop is an investigative reporter who wrote the book In God's Name which argues that in spite of a brief reign, the late Pope wanted reform. The priority for Luciani was the Vatican City Bank and its inter-connected Church financial institutions--the Church's temporal empire.

After Giovanni Montini's reign (Paul VI) the Vatican Bank had emerged as a multinational, highly financed and diversified institution, like the money changers in the Temple of Jesus' time, not a frequent lay over for the Holy Spirit. This emergence had begun 50 years before when the Vatican, deftly, negotiated with Benito Mussolini's fascist government and negotiated a similar concordant with Hitler's Nazi regime.

Luciani was seeking to dismantle this 50 years of Vatican financial history. Luciani addressed the Vatican diplomats--his first statements as Supreme Pontif and prior to his first Mass as Pope--"We have no temporal goods to offer, no economic interests to discuss."

This single statement stunned the diplomats. The banking and real estate owned by the Vatican Bank had combined assets of $3 billion. The Vatican Bank was an overwhelming force that had nearly demolished the Italian economy in the 1960's. The Italian government had approached the Holy See, seeking some tax revenue to be paid on the Bank's lucrative stock portfolio. The Holy See threatened to sell off all of its holdings onto the Italian stock exchange, a move that would have buried the Italian economy. Result: The Vatican remained tax exempt.

The most unsavory tie was the Vatican Bank's involvement with P2, the Masonic Lodge and probable criminal syndicate with members in the Italian government, the Mafia, and the Vatican itself. P2 was connected to a neo-fascist political cadre which resorted to terrorist activity including a train station bombing in Bologna.

Licio Gelli, P2 founder, was a business associate (hmm, Robert Wagner gave himself this label in his work with Bryan Kocis) of Klaus Barbie (a financial backer of Argentine dictator Juan Peron; CIA informan; and honored guest at Ronald Reagan's 1980 inauguration) which illustrates the veracity of the motto, "the doors to all bank vaults open to the right."

Bishop Paul Marcinkus, an American clergyman, ran the Vatican Bank. Bishop Marcinkus, for some unexplained reason, was walking through Vatican City at dawn on the morning Pope John Paul I was found dead. Marcinkus had never been known for 6 a.m. walks. He was known for having entered into numerous agreements and arangements on the Bank's behalf with P2 members Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi.

Sindona ended up in prison. Sindona had been an international speculator and Mafia thug who caused frauds that rocked banks in American and Italy with failures. Good Bishop Marcinkus would claim an ongoing business relationship (hmm something else Wagner claimed with Bryan Kocis) with Sindona. Alternatively, Marcinkus denied any meetings with Sindona.

Bishop Marcinkus said of Roberto Calvi, the other P2 speculator, "Calvi merits our trust. This I have no reason to doubt." Yallop wrote,

[Roberto Calvi's] comments are particularly illuminating, coming as they did just eight months after Calvi had been fined $13.7 million and sentenced to four months in prison, and only seven months after both the Vatican and Bishop Marcinkus discovered (the Vatican version of events) the Calvi had stolen ovr $1 billion and left the Vatican to pay the bill.

That Calvi was a corruption nightmare is an understatement. He was a pilfering Italian banker who took millions, the epitome of the white collar criminal. Immoral yes. His exemplar of behavior: Mario Puzo's novel, The Godfather.

Calvi's death and the scandals leading up to it formed the basis for The Godfather, Part III, a sequel to the film version of the Mafia saga. Calvi met Doom at the end of a noose tied to the underside of London's Blackfriar's Bridge. The coroner ruled the hanging a suicide, but more likely met Doom through his P2 associates (Wagner's favorite word). When the body was discovered, his pockets were loaded with bricks.

Marcinkus ordered the Vatican Bank to front for Roberto Calvi's complex and illegal stock deals. The Vatican Bank nominally owned many of the companies that were actually controlled by Calvi. The Vatican and Calvi raked in millions of dollars. Further, Calvi functioned as P2's financial manager. When Gelli phoned Calvi, he used the code name "Luciani."

The ethical papacy of Alberto Luciani placed this network in the maelstrom. Luciani was looking to divest the Vatican of its vast wealth--the Church, the bride of Christ, like Jesus, should be poor--and of Bishop Paul Marcinkus.

When Luciani died on 28 September 1978, of natural causes, it was a tremendous relief for Gelli, Calvi, Sindona, and Marcinkus, the Mafia and P2. The first three men had plotted before: Mafia rivals and police investigators. Marcinkus also had a motive for eliminating Pope John Paul I.

At the time of his death, Pope John Paul I, the world's most influential spiritual leader, went through his daily under virtually nonexistant security. Not only was Luciani both unguarded and unattended on the night of his death, some sources say that when his distress struck, he pushed a bedside alarm button. This alarm flash was ignored the Swiss Guardsman in charge of the Night Watch had retired for the evening. No one asked why the light in the papal apartments, visible from without, burned throughout the night, despite Pope John Paul's routine 9:30 p.m. bedtime.

Oddly, no post mortem was conducted on Pope John Paul I's remains. This raised eyebrows. The Vatican Secretary of State tried to placate the press, falsely stating that Church law prohibited papal autopsies (no such edict exists). Instead, the pope's death was ruled a heart attack--acute myocardial infraction--but no death certificate was issued for that, or any other, cause of death.

Yallop writes that without a post mortem, a fatal dose of digitalis would present the symptoms of a heart attack. Yallop selected digitalis because Gelli ordered all P2 lodge brothers to commit suicide with a dose of digitalis, provided providentially, by the lodge, if being forced to reveal P2 Lodge secrets.

Yallop was told that when Luciani's body was found, his hands held a set of notes detailing many of the changes he proposed in Vatican operations. The Vatican Secretary of State stated that Pope John Paul I held a copy of The Imitation of Christ. Reporters in attendance at that press conference broke out in disbelieving laughter.

When Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, was elected Luciani's successor he received a briefing on the reorganization plans of John Paul I. John Paul II did not implement any of them.


Yallop, David. In God's Name. NY: Bantam, 1984.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Goosestepping in Washington, DC or The American Putsch that Failed to Launch

During the Great Depression, a coalition of millionaire bankers and industrialists conjured a scheme to grab control of the federal government and place a Fascist dictatorship in its place. It was a macabre event in US history.
John L. Spivak wrote a history, A Man in His Time. Spivak commented on the attempted putsch thusly, What was behind the plot was shrouded in a silence which has not been broken to this day. Even a generation later, those who are still alive and know all the facts have kept their silence so well that the conspiracy is not even a footnote in American histories.
A congressional committee investigated and confirmed the allegations, yet those very findings were kept on dthe down low and archived. For what reason? One good reason was that the plotters were American financiers in the JP Morgan and EI DuPont banking and industrial empires, right-wing conservatives bitterly opposed to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and alliance with the labor unions.
A patriotic military leader, Major General Smedley Darlington Butler remained true and blew the whistle on the scheme. During the summer of 1933, the putsch cabal approached Gen. Butler, a retired commandant of the US Marine Corps and a popular hero of WWI who was known as the Fighting Quaker. The cabal offered Gen. Butler the job of shaping the American Legion into a 500,000-man radical militia, to be the advance in an American coup d' etat.
The ironic paradox for fascism turned out to be Gen. Butler himself. Butler was the conspiracy's Battle of the Little Big Horn. The conspirators chose Gen. Butler because of his charisma with rank and file soldiers. Yet, it was Gen. Butler's anti-elitist leanings and his reputation for honest dealing which made him popular. The conspirators selected a leader with scrupples and, therefore, most unlikely to agree to direct a fascist takeover of the US government. Shrewdly, Gen. Butler decided to play along, feigning interest in the plans in order to draw the plotters into the spotlight and expose the takeover scheme to Congress.
Gen. Butler testified before the House of Representatives' McCormack-Dickstein Committee, which was investigating Nazi and Communist activities in America. Butler was first approached by Gerald G. MacGuire, a bond salesman and former Commander of the Connecticut American Legion. News accounts described MacGuire thusly: MacGuire was a short stocky man tending toward three chins, with a bullet-shaped head which had a silver plate in it due to a wound received in battle.
Butler told the McCormack-Dickstein Committee that MacGuire described to him what was tantamount to a plot to seize the government, by force if necessary. MacGuire, Gen. Butler testified, stated that he had traveled to Europe to study the role played by veterans' groups in propping up Mussolini's fascist government in Italy; Hitler's Nazi Germany, and the French government. MacGuire heaped praise on France's Croix de Feu as an organization of super-soldiers with tremendous political influence. Then, MacGuire, the man with the silver plate in his skull stated that our idea here in America is to get up an organization of this kind because the political setup has got to be changed a bit.
Gen. Butler than fleshed out MacGuire's understanding of the proposed treason: Now, did it ever occur to you that the President is overworked? We might have an Assistant President; somebody to take the blame. MacGuire termed this new super Cabinet member to be the Secretary of General Affairs. And, MacGuire said, You know the people will swallow this. We have got newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President's health is failing. Everybody can tell that by looking at Roosevelt, and the dumb American people will fall for this in a second . . . .
Of course, MacGuire denied Gen. Butler's account under oath; however, corroborating testimony came from Paul Comly French, a Philadelphia Record reporter. Gen. Butler asked French to look into MacGuire's plot and put the spotlight on what the Hell it is all about.
MacGuire agreed to French's interview after checking with Gen. Butler. French testified before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee that MacGuire told him, We need a fascist government in this country . . . to save the nation from the communists who want to tear it down and wreck all that we have built in America. The only men who have the patriotism to do it are the soldiers, and Gen. Smedley Butler, the ideal leader. He could organize a million men overnight.
French's testimony continues: MacGuire said, We might go along with Roosevelt and then do with him what Benito Mussolini did with the King of Italy. If Roosevelt played ball, French summarized, Swell. If Roosevelt did not go along, the conspirators would push him out. French said that MacGuire dropped names to imply that the American Legion hierarchy was involved in the coup plot.
To impress Gen. Butler, MacGuire produced a bank book that itemized deposits that amounted to well over $100,000 available to pay expenses. Then, MacGuire flashed eighteen $1000 bills (at that time, $1000 bills were used to transfer and settle transactions between banks) and boasted of friends who could contribute more cash on short notice.
One of MacGuire's good friends was Robert Sterling Clark, a well known Wall Street banker and stockbroker. When Gen. Butler demanded that MacGuire produce his superiors, the rotund middleman gladly made introductions. Butler's testimony has Clark telling him of spending half of his $60 million fortune to save the other half. Clark sang an ominous tune about Franklin Delano Roosevelt: You know the President is weak. Roosevelt will come right along with us. He was born into our class, and he will come back. Roosevelt will run true to form. In the end he will come around. But we have to be prepared to sustain him when he does.
In stunning form, the McCormack-Dickstein Committee (this committee was similar to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee) never got around to compelling Clark's testimony. And the committee's members--who showed more enthusiasm for nailing Communists than they did rich American Fascists--failed to grill six other coup suspects named by Butler and French. The committee did suppress many of the names, even though French's newspaper articles caused controversy by naming the wealthier conspirators at the height of the Great Depression.
The following is a list of the leading co-conspirators named by MacGuire and Clark:
  • Grayson Murphy, a director of Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel, and panoply of JP Morgan banks. Murphy was the first contributor of the American Legion, which Murphy and other wealthy military officers formed after WWI to offset radicalism. Also, Murphy was MacGuire's boss at the New York brokerage firm.
  • William Doyle, a former state commander of the American Legion and the architect of the coup idea.
  • John W. Davis, a former Democratic candidate for President of the United States and a senior attorney for JP Morgan & Company, Inc.
  • Al Smith, a former Governor of New York state, a Roosevelt foe, former Roman Catholic candidate for President of the United States, co-director of the newly founded American Liberty League which was an organization described by MacGuire as the matrix on which the coup plot would be commenced.
Other businessmen emerged from the shadows, including Smith's co-director at the American Liberty League, John J. Raskob, who was a former Chair of the Democratic Party, a high-ranking EI DuPont deNemours & Co., Inc. officer, and a bitter enemy of Franklin Roosevelt, whom he classified as a dangerous radical. And, far deeper in the shadows, was Conservative industrialist Irenee DuPont, the founder of the American Liberty League. Grayson Murphy, MacGuire's boss, was the Treasurer of the American Liberty League. Then an unwelcome surprise was the presence of heavy-hitting political types from the Democratic Party, FDR's party.
The McCormack-Dickstein Committee's public report, was a gilded lily, going against its internal summary to the House. Briefly, the Committee acknowledged Gen. Butler's veracity and MacGuire's lying. The report concluded:
In the last few weeks of the Committee's life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country . . . . There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed into execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient . . . . MacGuire denied [Butler's] allegations under oath, but this Committee was able to verify all the pertinent statements made to Gen. Butler, with the exception of the direct statement suggesting the creation of the organization. This, however, was corroborated in the correspondence of MacGuire with his principle, Robert Sterling Clark, of New York City, while MacGuire was abroad studying the various forms of veteran's organizations of Fascist character.
In the end, the coup plot's failure owes much to Gen. Butler's ethics as it does to the hubris of the wealthy. Lacking an American Mussolini , but possessing bank vaults full of cash to buy one, America's wealthy elitist -Fascists sent a man with a first-rate, silver plate in his head to obtain Gen. Butler as its own Fehurer. Of course, this scheme went South when, out of stupidity, the elite Fascists decided to buy a dictator with scruples--Gen. Butler--a true, red, white, and blueAmerican with a sense of honor and duty.
Archer, Jules. The Plot to Seize the White House. NY: Hawthorn Books, 1973.
Seldes, George. Even the Gods Can't Change History. Seacaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1976.
Spivak, John L. A Man in His Time. NY: Horizon Press, 1967.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Secrets that Sicken

There is no certainty regarding the first military brainiac who thought that disease might be turned into a killer weapon. Some Teutonic knight of the Middle Ages perhaps. This genius might have been the man-at-arms who got the bright idea when he noticed his foes dropping from plague and pestilence while besieging a castle, causing that genius knight to order his men-at-arms to catapult corpses over those imposing castle walls with decimating results. Of course, defending men-at-arms fell, but so do noncombatant men, women, and children. No matter. The fewer ones foes, the easier the plunder after breaching the castle walls.
Swift, silent, deadly. Shortsighted, but enemies would flee the besieged castle. Disperse, riddled with disease, throughout Europe. Consider which German surmised that anthrax might do quite nicely in cutting down Europe's WWI cattle supply. No matter because bio warfare got it big putsch from exactly an effort to quash it: the Geneva Convention of 1925. During June 17, 1925, most of the global powers at the convention affixed seals to a protocol banning the use of biological weapons.
Two abstentions draw scrutiny. The United States did not sign, despite not having an interest in creating germ weapons. Japan was the other no show. Japan was an entirely different story. An inspiring young doctor, Shiro Ishii, caused military and scientific-minded Japanese luminaries to become obsessed with the possibilities of infecting enemies with bacillus. Ten years later Japan took Manchuria, occupied the region, and Dr. Ishii commanded his very own bio war, imperial seal approved, sphere of influence.
Pingfan was home to this wide-ranging operation and known by the officious, bureaucratic tag Anti-Epidemic Water Supply Unit, Unit 731, or simply, the Ishii Corps. Unit 731 used suspect research methods and sloppy science and ethics. Unit 731 used human test subjects: Koreans, Chinese, and Russians at first. Then, after Japan went to war with the Western powers, American, British, and Australian POW's. These POW's found themselves marched, shipped, and hauled to a camp near the Manchurian city of Mukden. The prisoners were met by a masked welcoming committee of medical staff who greeted them by spraying some undetermined liquid in their faces, ramming glass probes in their buttholes, and injecting them with a mysterious serum. No surprise. Some of these POW's died. Their bodies were not disposed of according to orthodox disease control methods. The creepy Japanese medicos came back and bisected the corpses.
This was Unit 731's routine whose "research methods" are believed to have worked throughout most of eastern Asia. The Pingfan lab held germ factories that bred eight tons of toxins per month. Unit 731 contained an impressive flea farm useful in manufacturing Ishii's favorite disease, bubonic plague. Ishii had his unit bombard several Chinese cities with "flea bombs," setting off outbreaks of plague.
Unit 731 infected thousands of human beings with plague, tetanus, anthrax, botulism, meningitis, tuberculosis, and numerous noxious extractions. This medical science was macabre: Ishii's team of medical experts charted their subjects' illnesses from infection to death. POW's who complained of crippling diarrhea were "tested" by being compelled to run laps around the camp until they dropped from exhaustion. Some were made to stand naked in 40 degree below 0 weather until their limbs froze, in order to study the effects of disease in cold climates.
Details were not all that important until the US War Department and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur entered the mix. Ishii and his files contained a mother lode of data that the US could never develop on its own due to--as two American bio warfare researchers eloquently put it upon returning from interviews with Ishii and his underlings in Tokyo--"scruples attached to human experimentation."
General MacArthur took a cavalier approach to supporting American troops, sailors, and marines: MacArthur suggested a deal that would allow Ishii and the rest of Unit 731's mad scientists immunity from prosecution for war crimes if they would merely share their test results with American researchers, an arrangement that suited Ishii just fine. The US State Department objected loudly. The state department believed that news of this deal would "seriously embarrass" the US government.
Dr. Ishii went off into retirement, devoted to his daughter, to religious study--though rumors ran rampant that he made repeated visits to Korea helping the US mount a bio warfare campaign there. Dr. Murray Saunders, a military doctor blew the whistle on the secret deal, believed that Dr. Ishii gave lectures at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, were American scientists immersed themselves in a super secret germ weapons project after the war.
Many of Ishii's associates went on to lucrative careers with Japanese universities, corporations, and government. For example, the doctor who oversaw the cold-weather experiments struck deals with commercial fisheries as a "freezing specialist."
Japan has all but expunged this episode from the official record in that country's histories. The US has not been much better with openness, at least in so far as bio warfare is concerned. A book written by Peter Williams and David Wallace Unit 731: The Japanese Army's Secret of Secrets had a chapter omitted from the American edition. That chapter was included in the English, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand versions of their book.
What possible chapter content could lead to shudders within the corridors of the military-industrial complex of Foggy Bottom, to the point that censorship was employed to keep Mr. and Mrs. Middle America in blissful ignorance. That chapter was styled "Korean War" and it explored the still controversial evidence that the US military employed Dr. Ishii's techniques against Chinese and North Korean forces. Williams and Wallace base their narrative on the findings of the International Scientific Commission for the Facts Concerning Bacterial Warfare in China and Korea, hereafter ISC, the one source "generally accepted today as being of high quality," a scientific body with sterling members and credentials.
The ISC discovered that many Chinese and Korean areas had undergone unexplained outbreaks of plague and diseases that coincided with the appearance of non-native insect species or out of season ones in those areas. A Chinese plague expert who analyzed the Korean outbreaks reported to the ISC that his results "explain the reasons why Americans deliberately protected the Japanese bacteriological war criminals." The US used the Ishii flea bombs to spread the plague outbreaks, ISC evidence indicated.
More conventional delivery systems had been employed as well by the American bio war engineers. One April night in 1952, an F-82 fighter was observed flying over a Chinese village near the Inner Mongolian border. At dawn the residents were confronted with an infestation of 700 plus voles. Of the surviving voles "many were sluggish of had fractured legs." A lab test on one vole determined that it was infected with plague. The ISC was originally stumped with how the voles had been air-dropped. Williams and Wallace answered, "Unit 731 had devised such methods."
The ISC learned of a weird clam bombing in North Korea. The ISC determined that this had been an attempt to contaminate the local water supply. American planes, loaded with cholera infected clams, dropped the shellfish on a hillside near a water purification plant. "Japanese research had shown that marine lamelli mollusks were a well-suited medium for the growth of cholera," Williams and Wallace report.
These were the rewards of Gen. MacArthur's secret deal. Several Mukden survivors, later suffered from unexplained illnesses and fevers, tried to gain the truth from their own governments without success. As late as 1987, American and British Mukden veterans were told "no evidence existed that Allied prisoners were victimized by Ishii's corps of scientific inquiry." The reality was that this evidence had existed for some 40 years and was known to MacArthur and his staff when he struck the deal with Ishii.
This secret pact and the on-going conspiracy to keep it within the British and American governments caused Dr. Shiro Ishii to become the father of modern biological weapons. The US bio warfare program was a laid-back affair until 1942, when Chang Kaishek wrote to Prime Minister Winston Churchill to inform him of Ishii's machinations. The British had a minor program running and the US joined it. In 1943 the US set up their own project at Ft. Detrick, Maryland.
The search for the "biological bomb," nearly a grail quest, was run under an air of paranoia and self-importance like the atomic research program. The Manhattan Project had drawn leading physicists, but the bio warfare program repulsed America's top biologists who recoiled at the purpose of the research.
Yet, the US government announced the bio warfare project in 1946. The public was outraged which prompted Army Chief of Staff , General of the Army, Dwight David (Ike) Eisenhower, to impose a 3-year gag order on the program--broken by Defense Secretary James Forrestal's 1949 debunking of public concerns as "unduly spectacular." Meanwhile, Ft. Detrick had become a mostly CIA operation. The fort's researchers kept digging away at "unspectacular" endeavors such as toxins that could disguise assassinations as natural deaths and other spooky spycraft that made sense on paper and in the lab and, well, failed field testing miserably. US researchers tested toxins on humans, volunteers of course. Prison inmates was a logical source of human test subjects as were Seventh Day Adventists. Both groups received shots of psittacosis, equine encephalitis, and tularemia.
A problem arises in deploying bio weapons: Namely, having germs blow back in your own troops' faces. The researchers needed to checkout the drift of germ clouds under actual weather conditions. The military response was to douse American cities with bacteria.
American military types would never do such a thing you say. Then, for your consideration, try reconciling this: A 1950 test on San Francisco. A navy minesweeper sprayed rare serratia bacteria all over the city which sent 11 people to the hospital. One person died as a result. Those researchers also unleashed toxins into the Pentagon air conditioning system and the New York City subway system. One time operations you say. Consider the following: The San Francisco victim's family filed a lawsuit against the government. Discovery uncovered 300 "open air" germ tests between 1950 and 1969. In 1972 the US government officially renounced the development and deployment of bio weapons.
One would think that would be the end of this macabre research. Cooler heads and commonsense prevail at last. A fair and logical, forward looking conclusion, but terribly off the mark. Consider: Clandestine bio war tests continue under the cover of college and university studies and private research institutes. Current experiments are concerned with genetic engineering and testing. In 1986 the Wistar Institute, a Philadelphia facility, infected Argentinian cattle with an genetically altered rabies virus, alarming cattle ranchers in that country. The University of Oregon ran a similar experiment in New Zealand.
Though banned in 1972, the military found bio war business not so easily forgotten. The US Defense Department cloned a Shiga toxin gene. This toxin causes dysentery. The military asserted that it merely sought a vaccine against this contagious and deadly disease. The epitaph to this research is AIDS. The thesis is that this epidemic rose from bio warfare gene experiments is the story making the rounds. There is nothing on the record to confirm this; however, there is nothing on the record to confirm that American and British POW's were the subjects of Dr. Ishii's human experiments either.
Harris, Robert, and Jeremy Paxman. A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret Story of Chemical and Biological Warfare. NY: Hill & Wang, 1982.
Piller, Charles, and Keith Yamamoto. Gene Wars: Military Control Over the New Genetic Technologies. NY: Beech Tree Books, 1988.
Williams, Peter, and David Wallace. Unit 731: The Japanese Army's Secret of Secrets. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1989.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sarah Palin: A 2012 White House Contender Lacking in Basic Skills

Normally, I am not a fan of Fox News, an media outlet I consider to be little more than the propaganda organ of the Republican party. But even Fox News has a moderating commentator or two that found Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska to be awesomely lacking in depth. Take Greta Van Susteren for example. In an interview with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, Sarah Palin said if there is an open door for her to run for the presidency in 2012, "Then I'll plow through that door."

Palin does not realize that even many Republicans consider her to be the national joke.

The word "palin," coined from the Alaska governor's last name, should be entered in the comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary with the following classifying parameters:

  • An applicant lacking even basic job knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Someone uniquely and supremely unself-aware or deficient in any relative sense of what he/she or does not know
  • A person who holds authority disproportionate to his/her ethics and qualifications
  • A singularly incapable person who has been appointed or elected to a position of great importance beyond his/her understanding

Examples of contextual usage:

  1. My new boss is such a palin! He took my deserved place because the chief executive officer is his personal friend.
  2. Bill sent me a real palin for the senior marketing analyst's job.

I invite your classifications and sentences defining palin.