Saturday, January 19, 2008

Economic Tsunami: A Perfect Storm Threatens US Economy

Highly leveraged US expansion, growth and empire are about to be swept away like a bamboo hut. As China leads the world in dumping dollars, the US appears to have exhausted the means by which it can continue to leverage or finance expansion and imperialism.

Bush could not have picked a worse time to ratchet up his anti-Iran rhetoric. China's disenchantment with US dollars is a reaction to Bush's bellicose rhetoric. Iran's strategic position was recognized by Alexander the Great, significantly the last "conqueror" to have successfully invaded from the west.

As this blog reported recently, Bush promised that the US would join an Israeli nuclear strike on Iran. It is impossible to tell if the US rhetoric is in response to Iranian threats to dump dollars or Iran's response to Bush's promise to join an Israeli nuclear strike on Iran. The GOP seems unconcerned as Bush's big mouth continues to make the rest of world jittery.

Bush believes that a nuclear war can be won! A nuclear war of any size will most certainly trigger a wave of cascading chaos that respects no borders. Already, Russia has warned that an attack on Iran will be considered an attack on Russia and a Chinese sub recently popped up undetected in the midst of the US Fifth Fleet. As this blog reported several months ago, China has the ability to put a nuclear sub off the US east coast undetected!

We were warned. In 2005, Treasury Secretary John Snow acknowledged economic growth was limited to a small percentage of Americans. Bush's base? Some things never change. Only a tiny elite experienced what they alone have dubbed the Reagan prosperity. A "prosperity" so limited is not prosperity; it is merely a redistribution of dwindling wealth. If poorer folk lost ground, to whom did wealth trickle? The GOP knows that what it says about economics is wrong. They will say whatever they think they can get you to believe.

A statutory debt limit of $8.184 trillion was reached in mid-February of 2005. The total collapse of the US economy was averted but only because no other country wished to be sucked into the US black hole. The dollar actually retained some value amid fears of a worldwide economic catastrophe.

China had been propping up the dollar so that US consumers could continue buying cheap Chinese crap, primarily via WalMart and other monstrous legacies of Globalization. At the time, US debt was some $8.162 trillion dollars and has only gotten bigger. US credit abroad is strained to breaking or broke. The US credit crisis trickles down to bond markets world wide. No country is too small to remain unaffected. Investors in New Zealand, for example, have this month complained that their interest payments have been suspended, the result of fall-out from the US credit crisis. It would appear that there is no where to run, no where to hide.

Moody's reports that "spending" threatens US ratings. Nevermind --Bush will simply balance the books upon the backs of those who can least afford it. Social Security recipients! The issue points up the endemic, perhaps genetic inability of GOP-types to think clearly. GOP profligacy will most certainly break Social Security but the GOP, as are their wont, will blame Social Security. The real culprit is, of course, the Pentagon, a fatted cow regularly milked by the sycophantic defense contractors who fight to suckle the Pentagon teat!

There is nothing wrong with Social Security, but the GOP can be depended upon to break it. Social Security is, in fact, government's only success. It turns a profit, called by critics a "liability". Of course it's a liability by definition because it is money owed to those who paid into it! Elementary accounting! Leave it to a gopper to turn a plus into a negative. Leave it to a gopper to demonize the government's only success story.

As evidence of an imminent collapse, FEMA can be counted on to activate a vast web of concentration camps complete with armed military personnel to keep the "vast unwashed" non-GOP throng in line. These concentration camps look quite a lot like Gitmo or the corporate prisons in Bush's Texas. They are intended to "manage" the population of US citizens in the event of a "terrorist" attack which the GOP can be counted on to manufacture and exploit. That such plans exist is a verifiable fact. Check out: Operation Northwoods , the Pentagon's seditious, treasonous plan to blow up a ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame a civilian uprising, large-scale dissent, or an insurrection against the government.

Meanwhile, The Patriot Act has made a terrorist of anyone who dares to disagree with Bush's imperious and illogical definitions of everything. The US Senate has conspired with the criminal Bush to ban habeas corpus, a move necessary to populate a gulag of Bushco concentration camps. The congress gave Bush sole authority to declare martial law and suspend habeas corpus. This heinous, venal and illegitimate administration will simply ignore the Posse Comitatus Act to enforce its decrees with military force.
In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States.

The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law."

-- Bush Moves Toward Martial Law, Frank Morales, Information Liberation

The US economy is broken and faces imminent and total collapse. The US is bankrupt --morally and financially. Given the eventual and horrible outcomes, it is hard not to conclude that Bush and his co-conspirators deliberately embarked upon a program of profligate spending and wars of naked aggression in order to bring about this result.
Since the New Deal, Republicans have been on the wrong side of every issue of concern to ordinary Americans; Social Security, the war in Vietnam, equal rights, civil liberties, church- state separation, consumer issues, public education, reproductive freedom, national health care, labor issues, gun policy, ampaign-finance reform, the environment and tax fairness. No political party could remain so consistently wrong by accident. The only rational conclusion is that, despite their cynical "family values" propaganda, the Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy to betray the interests of the American people in favor of plutocratic and corporate interests, and absolutist religious groups.

--GOP Evil Bastards

Well, perhaps I was not the first to call the GOP what it is. For years, I have warned that the GOP is not a political party; it is a criminal conspiracy, a crime syndicate, for which there is probable cause to imprison its entire leadership.

I am reminded of New Orleans. Normal people looked at New Orleans and saw a humanitarian disaster about which this government did not give a shit! Bush and the GOP, however, looked at the flood waters covering venerable old neighborhoods and saw a new Disneyland which would rise up above the waves! God Bless the Child that's got his own, but may God damn the gopper who exploits a tragedy for personal and party gain! How many, I wonder, have felt betrayed by the country they loved?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hoover's plan to abolish Habeas Corpus linked to his 'closet' lifestyle

The headlines trumpet J. Edgar Hoover's plan to suspend Habeas Corpus for some 12,000 American citizens. Largely unreported are his motives. His repressive attitudes and policies were, in fact, a shield, his protection against critics. J. Edgar Hoover was a closet, practicing homosexual even as he headed the FBI.

Hoover's FBI kept files on almost everyone of any consequence in government, including several Presidents of the United States. Apparently his plan worked. At a time when the gay lifestyle was very much the subject of whispers, everyone was terrified of Hoover because of how he might retaliate. For decades, Hoover did not merely pursue "commies", he pursued, arrested and prosecuted "gay people" for "being gay". The words "colossal hypocrisy" come to mind.

The recently publicized document, however, is a specific case that makes the point: the GOP is an institutional threat to American Democracy. As we might have suspected, Hoover had planned to do what George W. Bush may have succeeded in doing, that is, suspending habeas corpus and imprisoning in concentration camps without trial or Due Process of law some 12,000 people whose names had somehow gotten on his shit list.
Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.

Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The FBI would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.

The names were part of an index that Hoover had been compiling for years. “The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven per cent are citizens of the United States,” he wrote.

“In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus,” it said.

--Hoover Planned Mass Jailing in 1950

Another famous GOP list maker comes to mind --Richard Nixon, whose "enemies list" was at the very heart of the Watergate Scandal. Habeas corpus, the right to seek relief from illegal detention, is a fundamental principle of law traceable to the Magna Carta.
Before penning the Declaration of Independence--the first of the American Charters of Freedom--in 1776, the Founding Fathers searched for a historical precedent for asserting their rightful liberties from King George III and the English Parliament. They found it in a gathering that took place 561 years earlier on the plains of Runnymede, not far from where Windsor Castle stands today. There, on June 15, 1215, an assembly of barons confronted a despotic and cash-strapped King John and demanded that traditional rights be recognized, written down, confirmed with the royal seal, and sent to each of the counties to be read to all freemen. The result was Magna Carta--a momentous achievement for the English barons and, nearly six centuries later, an inspiration for angry American colonists.

--Magna Carta and Its American Legacy

The Bush administration's decision to hold suspects for years at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has made habeas corpus a contentious issue for the US Congress and the Supreme Court. But it shouldn't be! It should be sacrosanct. This issue was settled when King John signed the Magna Carta at the behest of the barons who held the upper hand. Why are we debating now an issue that was settled in the year 1215? Why is the GOP so threatened by habeas corpus? Why would the GOP return the US to a theocratic state akin to what might have existed in the Middle Ages? Why is the GOP backward, retarded, dysfunctional? Why are Republicans, like Huckabee, utterly ignorant of law or history? Why do Republicans fear the intellect? Why do they fear freedom?
Hoover's plan was declassified Friday as part of a collection of documents concerning intelligence issues from 1950 to 1955. The plan called for "the permanent detention" of 12,000 suspects at military bases as well as in federal prisons.

The FBI, he said, had found that the arrests it proposed in New York and California would cause the prisons there to overflow. So the bureau had arranged for "detention in Military facilities of the individuals apprehended" in those states.

The prisoners eventually would have had a right to a hearing under the Hoover plan. The hearing board would have comprised one judge and two citizens. But the hearings "will not be bound by the rules of evidence."

Hoover's July 1950 letter was addressed to Sidney Souers, who had served as the first director of central intelligence and was then a special national-security assistant to Truman. The plan also was sent to the executive secretary of the National Security Council, whose members were the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state and the military chiefs.

In September 1950, Congress passed and Truman signed a law authorizing the detention of "dangerous radicals" if the president declared a national emergency. But no known evidence suggests any president approved Hoover's proposal.

--J. Edgar Hoover sought mass arrests in 1950, document shows, Herald Tribune

What good is a hearing not bound by the "rules of evidence"? A hearing bound by the rules of evidence is the bloody point! Whenever the power of the state is exercised free of that common sense restraint, you can bet that there is, in fact, no evidence in support of the state's position. "States" throughout history have a lousy record! Why do we put up with it? Why are people so easily fooled?

A state that finds it necessary to lie to its people in order to maintain itself in power is an illegitimate state! Any state which denies to its people the protections of habeas corpus is, by its action, illegitimate and should be --in Jeffersons' words --abolished!! Any state which manufactures a fraudulent state of emergency upon phony terrorist alerts and other lies, is, by its actions, illegitimate and must be voted out or otherwise supplanted. That was precisely the position of Thomas Jefferson who wrote in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

--Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

Later, Che Guevarra would say the same thing even more succinctly:
People must see clearly the futility of maintaining the fight for social goals within the framework of civil debate. When the forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law; peace is considered already broken.

--Che Guevarra, Guerrilla Warfare, Chapter I: General Principles of Guerrilla Warfare

Bush has already broken the peace. The government of the United States is illegitimate and, is in fact, treasonously at war with the sovereign people of the United States!

Also check out:

Is the internet declaring war on the vampire elites?

J. Edgar Hoover's Dirty Hands

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bush Think: A Nuclear War Can be Fought and Won!

God, how I despise people who think war is a game.
--Last Chance Democracy Cafe
The origin of Bush think may be found in a scenario dreamed up at the Rand Corporation at the height of the Cold War. Rand had designed mathematical models that dared think the unthinkable: a nuclear war can be won! Typically, the scenario relied heavily on game theory. It proposed to use nukes like poker chips, so-called 'rational incentives', to manipulate the other side.

Rand theorists 'gamed' how many megatons might be dropped on a city, which cities would be nuked, how many deaths it would take to bring the Russians to the bargaining table.

A clue to Bush's thinking may be found in Bush's remarks to Matt Lauer of NBC Sept. 2, 2004. The topic was the War on Terrorism that Bush committed the US to fight.
I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world — let's put it that way.
That would appear not to have been the case or the outcome. Terrorism is always been worse under GOP administrations. There is no reason to believe that 'terrorism' is in any way 'less acceptable' especially to those to whom Bush had addressed his remarks at the outset of his foreign adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Perhaps as a result of his failures, Bush has resorted to dragging out a scenario that had been 'gamed' by the Rand corporation at the height of the cold war. According to Mother Jones,  the robber barons of big oil, Bush's base, began planning for the war some thirty years ago. They had been inspired by the Arab Oil Embargo. It was certainly an act of war: spoiled Americans had been grievously inconvenienced!
Three decades ago, in the throes of the energy crisis, Washington's hawks conceived of a strategy for US control of the Persian Gulf's oil. Now, with the same strategists firmly in control of the White House, the Bush administration is playing out their script for global dominance.
The Orwellian nightmare, the state of perpetual war, has come true but cannot be sustained. Worse than "mutually assured destruction", this universal exploitation of nightmare spells an end to those dreams that make life worth living. The grim vision offered by the GOP is --or had been --an avoidable choice. It was forced upon us by incompetent and cowardly administration. [See: Terrorism is Always Worse under GOP Regimes.]

Dragging out Rand's Nuclear War Version 1.0 is not a good idea. Times have changed. Iran is not the Soviet Union. And, contrary to GOP tactics of exploitation of various threats and 'boogie men', terrorism is a tactic --not an ideology like communism. Terrorism is not a 'state' that can be identified. Terrorism is inspired among many nations and many peoples at many and various times. An act of terrorism is a crime --not an act of war. Bush think is wrong and Rand's old scenario Version 1.0 is made obsolete by Reality Version 6.0.

Bush claims about Iranian nuclear capabilities are without independent and/or credible verification. The world has not forgotten the lies told about how Saddam Hussein was making chemical weapons in a beat up trailer, how Saddam tried to buy 'yellow cake' in Niger. Realistically --can anything said by Bush be believed?

Desperate to wage war on Saddam, Bushco told the world that Saddam was supporting terrorists. It was a lie. As the failed war dragged on, millions came to understand that Saddam's regime had not supported bona fide 'terrorists' in any way. According to the Pew Research Center, American skepticism about the war in Iraq increased steadily from its inception. It is increasingly seen as harming the "war on terrorism".
A plurality (47%) believes that the war in Iraq has hurt the war on terrorism, up from 41% in February of this year. Further, a plurality (45%) now says that the war in Iraq has increased the chances of terrorist attacks at home, up from 36% in October 2004, while fewer say that the war in Iraq has lessened the chances of terrorist attacks in the US (22% now and 32% in October). Another three-in-ten believe that the war in Iraq has no effect on the chances of a terrorist attack in the US
- Pew Research Center, "Iraq Hurting War on Terror"
Having lied about Iraq, Bush will certainly lie about Iran in order to justify an attack. There is a danger of massive over-response to provocation, a 'scenario' perhaps just recently was narrowly avoided in the Straits of Horumuz. The question now is: will the world survive the remainder of his tenure? As long as Bush continues to occupy the Oval Office, Americans must ask the question: is there any rational basis for fearing Iran when every credible and independent source has said that Iran is years away from developing nukes --nukes that the US had previously made available to other nations?

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, old 'cold warriors' had been overtaken by events and reality. Their very jobs depended upon scaring the beejeebers out of Americans.
What if there really was no need for much - or even most - of the Cold War? What if, in fact, the Cold War had been kept alive for two decades based on phony WMD threats?
What if, similarly, the War On Terror was largely a scam, and the administration was hyping it to seem larger-than-life? What if our "enemy" represented a real but relatively small threat posed by rogue and criminal groups well outside the mainstream of Islam? What if that hype was done largely to enhance the power, electability, and stature of George W. Bush and Tony Blair?
And what if the world was to discover the most shocking dimensions of these twin deceits - that the same men promulgated them in the 1970s and today?
Thom Hartmann, Hyping Terror For Fun and Profit and Power  
Hartman's source was a BBC piece called "The Power of Nightmares".
In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.
The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.
In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organized terrorist network is an illusion.
--BBC: The Power of Nightmares
In the US, more have begun to question the Bush modus operandi of exploiting our nightmares, our fears of "radical Islam", a prospect at least as terrifying as "radical Christianity" and the equally ideological, rabid "Christianist" movement which overtly seeks to make of the US a theocracy. Should either side "win", people themselves will be enslaved to nonsense, claptrap and ideology, nothing less than a new dark age. Shakespeare said it best: "A plague o' both your houses!"

What is the date of America's descent into madness? It might have been Pearl Harbor. Certainly, the US helped meet the very real threat posed by Hitler's Third Reich, but, in retrospect, our leaders may have learned all the wrong lessons. Did they learn only that FDR grew in strength by promising to protect Americans from the spectres of world wide fascism and Nazism? Certainly, GOP regimes, having propped up Saddam, tried to make of him --Hitler! The GOP hated FDR but again learned from him all the wrong lessons. The GOP never forgave FDR for winning World War II but have been eager to exploit war and manufactured crises in times of peace. The GOP became the party of wars though there is nary a war that they GOP can claim to have won! Not one! Desparate for any success at all, the GOP has become the party of phony wars on drugs, porn, immigration and Murphy Brown.

Bush sought a chance to use nukes! Surely, a war on terrorism would give him the opportunity. But how? "Terrorism" is not a geographical location. It is, rather, a phantom menace that is whatever the right wing says it is. It is a phantom menace.

Game theory aside --there are NO winners. Game theorists should read Godel, to wit: NO formal system can generate every theorem from any given set of axioms and, likewise, no "game theory" of any sort can "game" every contingency. The use of nukes of any size or sort in the middle east will be catastrophic beyond our abilities to predict or plan for. It could very well usher in the end of mankind.
A related story:
If the U.S. were to face a new conventional threat, its military could not respond effectively without turning to air power, officials and analysts say.

"That is the ultimate upshot of the war in Iraq: a response elsewhere would consist largely of U.S. fighters and bombers -- even, perhaps, some degree of nuclear strike -- because so many ground troops are tied up in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

Even, perhaps, some degree of nuclear strike? They are insane.
--Iraq War Has Ground Forces Stretched Thin   
The "government" is not our "country". Bush is not the sovereign. We are the nation; we are the sovereign. Whatever "government" is in Washington, its only job is to protect and defend the country. The country is us! We can fire the government when it fails to do its job. New Orleans is merely the most graphic proof, the most dramatic illustration of how this government has failed the people of America and should be fired. Not just Bush --I envision a mass layoff! It is time the country changed its government. It is time to bring this government to its knees for having betrayed us --the nation.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

'Able Danger': The 911 Commission is a Fraud

Even the co-chairs of the 911 commission have disowned it. A white wash at the behest of the White House, the 911 report is propaganda by committee, the mere imprimatur of legitimacy to cover up official lies. It is lipstick on a pig. [See: 9/11 Commission closes its doors to the public; Cover-Up Complete]
"Scamming America: The Official 9/11 Cover-up" is named after a quote by former Sen. Max Cleland, who resigned from the commission last November with the words, "Bush is scamming America."

Cleland attacked his own commission after the other members cut a deal to accept highly limited access to CIA reports to the White House that may indicate advance knowledge of the attacks on the part of the Bush administration. "This is a scam," Cleland said. "It's disgusting. America is being cheated."

"As each day goes by," Cleland said, "we learn that this government knew a whole lot more about these terrorists before September 11 than it has ever admitted.... Let's chase this rabbit into the ground. They had a plan to go to war and when 9/11 happened that's what they did; they went to war."


download the PDF version of the biggest cover up in White House history.

A new 9/11 Truth-inspired film called "Able Danger" will have its world premiere at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) next week. Watch the trailer: Able Danger. It's the story of the biggest cover up in American, world history. The obvious question --never asked by the American media --if Bush's official conspiracy of 911 were, in any way or in any part true, then why has it been necessary to quash all investigations, destroy evidence, in fact, cover up one of the most heinous crimes in world history? Here's the Wiki entry:
Able Danger was a classified military intelligence program under the command of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM). It was created as a result of a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in early October 1999 by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hugh Shelton, to develop an Information Operations Campaign Plan against transnational terrorism, "specifically al-Qaeda."

In one instance, the program used data mining techniques to associate open source information with classified information in an attempt to make associations between individual members of terrorist groups. The objective of this particular project was to ascertain whether the data mining techniques and open source material were effective tools in determining terrorist activities, and if the resultant data could be used to create operational plans that could be executed in a timely fashion to interrupt, capture and/or destroy terrorists or their cells. [1] [2]

According to statements by Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and those of four others, Able Danger had identified the September 11, 2001, attacks leader Mohamed Atta, and three of the 9/11 plot's other 19 hijackers, as possible members of an al Qaeda cell linked to the '93 World Trade Center bombing. This theory was heavily promoted by Republican Representative Curt Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services and House Homeland Security committees. In December 2006, an investigation by the US Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that those assertions were unfounded. It rejected as untrue "one of the most disturbing claims about the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes."[3] The committee has published a letter to its members as a result of these hearings, dated December 22, 2006. However, witness testimony from these hearings is not publicly available.
Check out the Complete 911 Timeline. Specifically: October 2000: DIA Official Refuses to Look at Information about Al-Qaeda, Mohamed Atta
Able Danger member Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer meets with the DIA deputy director and offers him a computer disc with information about al-Qaeda (including Mohamed Atta), but the DIA official declines to accept the disc.
January-March 2001: Intelligence Unit Tracking Al-Qaeda is Closed Down; Change in Leadership Factors in Closure
The unit has identified Mohamed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaeda cell operating in the United States January-February 2000). According to James D. Smith, a Pentagon contractor involved with the unit, the inspector general shuts down the operation “because of a claim that we were collecting information on US citizens,” and it is illegal for the military to do this. [WTOP Radio 103.5 (Washington), 9/1/2005] Others familiar with the unit later say it is closed down because it might have led to the exposure of another data mining project that was investigating US citizens allegedly illegally transferring sensitive US technology to the Chinese government.
November 30, 2005: Congressman Calls Able Danger ‘Bigger Cover-up than Watergate’
Rep. Curt Weldon (R) says of Able Danger, “I am convinced this is a bigger cover-up than Watergate.… More than 3,000 people were slaughtered and [the 9/11 Commission] deliberately kept the story from being part of its report because it would have embarrassed some of its members.”
Additional resources

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How the CIA Created a Ruling, Corporate Overclass in America

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The media often focuses upon the role played by 'big banks', the financial establishment, but, in fact, the enrichment of just one percent of the total population results from what often seems, in retrospect, to be a coordinated effort. The result is a form of corporate serfdom if not slavery.
The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.

--Steve Kangas, The Origins of the Overclass
The Bush administration should be forever associated with a "ruling overclass" --oligarchs who were the sole beneficiaries of Ronald Reagan's infamous tax cut of 1982 and, later, several equally inequitable tax cuts during the Bush regime. It is not coincidental that the oligarchs benefited in various ways from Bush's military adventures in the Middle East. The most effective method of transferring wealth upward, robbing every class but the very, very rich, is cleverly called a 'tax cut'! But GOP tax cuts benefit increasingly fewer citizens --the very, very rich! The 'burden' is proportionately shifted to those who can least afford it! there is no free lunch.

The lie with which this is scam is sold is often called 'supply side economics' but, more accurately, labeled: "trickle down" theory. Pee 'trickles down'; wealth never does! There is no real economics behind all this. In fact, Reagan's own Budget Director David Stockman called the bogus theory a "trojan horse".

Since Ronald Reagan's infamous tax cut of 1982, "conservatives" myopically cite a mythical "Reagan Recovery" as proof of "Reaganomics", otherwise called supply-side economics. The right wing argument is simplistic and fallacious. It must be pointed out that following the tax cut, the nation plunged into recession, the worst since Herbert Hoover's Great Depression of 1929. Nevertheless, conservatives will persist in citing a three percent growth rate following two years of severe recession as proof that "wealth trickles down". This assertion fails to address key questions.

Who benefited from the recovery?

At some 3 percent how long did it take for the nation to regain lost ground?

Did Reagan's tax cuts bring about more growth than would have normally occurred? The record shows that between 1979 and 1989 the growth rate was 3% --the same as the growth rate between 1973 and 1979! There was, then, no improvement with "voodoo economics" than without it.

There was no "Reagan recovery"! Wealth did not trickle down; it flowed upward at alarming rates. The nation had been plunged unnecessarily into recession upon a pack of lies. The only beneficiaries were those who were rich already.However hard you may look, you will not find in the cold hard stats any confirmation of GOP/Reaganomics whatsoever. Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the BEA! You will find, rather, confirmation of a more pernicious trend: the rich began to get even richer. The poor began to lose ground at alarming rates.

It seems almost to have been deliberate. The late Steve Kangas believed it was deliberate just as I believe that the war against Iraq is a payoff to the robber barons that make up the Military/Industrial complex about which President Eisenhower warned. Later, JFK would warn of the dangers posed by the CIA, which he proposed to "smash into a thousand pieces".

The following essay by the late Steve Kangas should be required reading. He makes the bullet proof case that the enrichment of the "overclass" is the work of radical "conservatives" who knew at the time that "trickle down" hardly describes the effect of inequitable tax cuts. Kangas' is supported by Ronald Reagan's own Budget Director, David Stockman, who later called "Reaganomics" a "trojan horse" insisted upon by radicals, a "noisy faction of Republicans"!

Kangas' work is a classic. Kangas himself was found shot to death just outside the office of the infamous Richard Mellon Scaife --the man who bankrolled the dubious attempt to buy witnesses against Bill Clinton! It is more than a mere footnote to history, that not even Scaife's millions succeeded in "buying" a single witness against Clinton. But I digress. The story that Kangas might well have paid for with his life is nothing less than the role played by the CIA in the creation of a permanent ruling "overclass" in America.

Stockman was right. Supply-side, otherwise called "trickle down" theory, was indeed a trojan-horse, about which it was known that it would create and support a class of oppressive oligarchs. Following is Kangas' essay in its entirety.

The Origins of the Overclass

By Steve Kangas

The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.

The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface — and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine's creators had CIA backgrounds.

During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA's expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent — the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.

How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General "Wild Bill" Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation’s rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that "OSS" stood for "Oh, so social!"

Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from society’s elite.

By the 1950s, the CIA had riddled the nation’s businesses, media and universities with tens of thousands of part-time, on-call operatives. Their employment with the agency took a variety of forms, which included:
  • Leaving one's profession to work for the CIA in a formal, official capacity.

  • Staying in one's profession, using the job as cover for CIA activity. This undercover activity could be full-time, part-time, or on-call.
  • Staying in one's profession, occasionally passing along information useful to the CIA.
  • Passing through the revolving door that has always existed between the agency and the business world.
Historically, the CIA and society’s elite have been one and the same people. This means that their interests and goals are one and the same as well. Perhaps the most frequent description of the intelligence community is the "old boy network," where members socialize, talk shop, conduct business and tap each other for favors well outside the formal halls of government.

Many common traits made it inevitable that the CIA and Corporate America would become allies. Both share an intense dislike of democracy, and feel they should be liberated from democratic regulations and oversight. Both share a culture of secrecy, either hiding their actions from the American public or lying about them to present the best public image. And both are in a perfect position to help each other.

How? International businesses give CIA agents cover, secret funding, top-quality resources and important contacts in foreign lands. In return, the CIA gives corporations billion-dollar federal contracts (for spy planes, satellites and other hi-tech spycraft). Businessmen also enjoy the romantic thrill of participating in spy operations. The CIA also gives businesses a certain amount of protection and privacy from the media and government watchdogs, under the guise of "national security." Finally, the CIA helps American corporations remain dominant in foreign markets, by overthrowing governments hostile to unregulated capitalism and installing puppet regimes whose policies favor American corporations at the expense of their people.

The CIA’s alliance with the elite turned out to be an unholy one. Each enabled the other to rise above the law. Indeed, a review of the CIA’s history is one of such crime and atrocity that no one can reasonably defend it, even in the name of anticommunism. Before reviewing this alliance in detail, it is useful to know the CIA’s history of atrocity first.

TheCrimes of the CIA

During World War II, the OSS actively engaged in propaganda, sabotage and countless other dirty tricks. After the war, and even after the CIA was created in 1947, the American intelligence community reverted to harmless information gathering and analysis, thinking that the danger to national security had passed. That changed in 1948 with the emergence of the Cold War. In that year, the CIA recreated its covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination. Its first director was Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities included
    propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage, demolition and evacuation procedures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.
By 1953, the dirty tricks department of the CIA had grown to 7,200 personnel and commanded 74 percent of the CIA’s total budget. The following quotes describe the culture of lawlessness that pervaded the CIA:
    Stanley Lovell, a CIA recruiter for "Wild Bill" Donovan: "What I have to do is to stimulate the Peck's Bad Boy beneath the surface of every American scientist and say to him, 'Throw all your normal law-abiding concepts out the window. Here's a chance to raise merry hell. Come help me raise it.'" (1)George Hunter White, writing of his CIA escapades: "I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun... Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all-highest?" (2)
    A retired CIA agency caseworker with twenty years experience: "I never gave a thought to legality or morality. Frankly, I did what worked."
Blessed with secrecy and lack of congressional oversight, CIA operations became corrupt almost immediately. Using propaganda stations like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA felt justified in manipulating the public for its own good. The broadcasts were so patently false that for a time it was illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S. This was a classic case of a powerful organization deciding what was best for the people, and then abusing the powers it had helped itself to.

During the 40s and 50s, most of the public was unaware of what the CIA was doing. Those who knew thought they were fighting the good fight against communism, like James Bond. However, they could not keep their actions secret forever, and by the 60s and 70s, Americans began learning about the agency’s crimes and atrocities. (3) It turns out the CIA has:
  • Corrupted democratic elections in Greece, Italy and dozens of other nations;

  • Been involved to varying degrees in at least 35 assassination plots against foreign heads of state or prominent political leaders. Successful assassinations include democratically elected leaders like Salvador Allende (Chile) and Patrice Lumumba (Belgian Congo); also CIA-created dictators like Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic) and Ngo Dinh Diem (South Vietnam); and popular political leaders like Che Guevara. Unsuccessful attempts range from Fidel Castro to Charles De Gaulle.

  • Helped launch military coups that toppled democratic governments, replacing them with brutal dictatorships or juntas. The list of overthrown democratic leaders includes Mossadegh (Iran, 1953), Arbenz (Guatemala, 1954), Velasco and Arosemena (Ecuador, 1961, 1963), Bosch (Dominican Republic, 1963), Goulart (Brazil, 1964), Sukarno (Indonesia, 1965), Papandreou (Greece, 1965-67), Allende (Chile, 1973), and dozens of others.

  • Undermined the governments of Australia, Guyana, Cambodia, Jamaica and more;

  • Supported murderous dictators like General Pinochet (Chile), the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos (Phillipines), "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier (Haiti), General Noriega (Panama), Mobutu Sese Seko (Ziare), the "reign of the colonels" (Greece), and more;

  • Created, trained and supported death squads and secret police forces that tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians, leftists and political opponents, in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Iran, Turkey, Angola and others;

  • Helped run the "School of the Americas" at Fort Benning, Georgia, which trains Latin American military officers how to overthrow democratic governments. Subjects include the use of torture, interrogation and murder;

  • Used Michigan State "professors" to train Diem’s secret police in torture;

  • Conducted economic sabotage, including ruining crops, disrupting industry, sinking ships and creating food shortages;

  • Paved the way for the massacre of 200,000 in East Timor, 500,000 in Indonesia and one to two million in Cambodia;

  • Launched secret or illegal military actions or wars in Nicaragua, Angola, Cuba, Laos and Indochina;

  • Planted false stories in the local media;

  • Framed political opponents for crimes, atrocities, political statements and embarrassments that they did not commit;

  • Spied on thousands of American citizens, in defiance of Congressional law;

  • Smuggled Nazi war criminals and weapon scientists into the U.S., unpunished, for their use in the Cold War;

  • Created organizations like the World Anti-Communist League, which became filled with ex-Nazis, Nazi sympathizers, Italian terrorists, Japanese fascists, racist Afrikaaners, Latin American death squad leaders, CIA agents and other extreme right-wing militants;

  • Conducted Operation MK-ULTRA, a mind-control experiment that gave LSD and other drugs to Americans against their will or without their knowledge, causing some to commit suicide;

  • Penetrated and disrupted student antiwar organizations;

  • Kept friendly and extensive working relations with the Mafia;

  • Actively traded in drugs around the world since the 1950s to fund its operations. The Contra/crack scandal is only the tip of the iceberg –- other notorious examples include Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle and Noreiga’s Panama.

  • Had their fingerprints all over the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcom X. Even if the CIA is not responsible for these killings, the sheer amount of CIA involvement in these cases demands answers;

  • And then routinely lied to Congress about all of the above.
The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (4) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an "American Holocaust."

We should note that the CIA gets away with this because it is not accountable to democratic government. Former CIA officer Philip Agee put it best: "The CIA is the President's secret army." Prior to 1975, the agency answered only to the President (creating all the usual problems of authoritarianism). And because the CIA’s activities were secret, the President rarely had to worry about public criticism and pressure. After the 1975 Church hearings, Congress tried to create congressional oversight of the CIA, but this has failed miserably. One reason is that the congressional oversight committee is a sham, filled with Cold Warriors, conservatives, businessmen, and even ex-CIA personnel.

The Business Origins of CIA Crimes

Although many people think that the CIA’s primary mission during the Cold War was to "deter communism," Noam Chomksy correctly points out that its real mission was "deterring democracy." From corrupting elections to overthrowing democratic governments, from assassinating elected leaders to installing murderous dictators, the CIA has virtually always replaced democracy with dictatorship. It didn’t help that the CIA was run by businessmen, whose hostility towards democracy is legendary. The reason they overthrew so many democracies is because the people usually voted for policies that multi-national corporations didn't like: land reform, strong labor unions, nationalization of their industries, and greater regulation protecting workers, consumers and the environment.

So the CIA’s greatest "successes" were usually more pro-corporate than anti-communist. Citing a communist threat, the CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected Mohammed Mussadegh government in Iran in 1953. But there was no communist threat — the Soviets stood back and watched the coup from afar. What really happened was that Mussadegh threatened to nationalize British and American oil companies in Iran. Consequently, the CIA and MI6 toppled Mussadegh and replaced him with a puppet government, headed by the Shah of Iran and his murderous secret police, SAVAK. The reason why the Ayatollah Khomeini and his revolutionaries took 52 Americans hostage in Tehran in 1979 was because the CIA had helped SAVAK torture and murder their people.

Another "success" was the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Jacabo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954. Again, there was no communist threat. The real threat was to Guatemala’s United Fruit Company, a Rockefeller-owned firm whose stockholders included CIA Director Allen Dulles. Arbenz threatened to nationalize the company, albeit with generous compensation. In response, the CIA initiated a coup that overthrew Arbenz and installed the murderous dictator Castillo Armas. For four decades, CIA-backed dicatators would torture and murder hundreds of thousands of leftists, union members and others who would fight for a more equitable distribution of the country’s resources.

Another "success" story was Chile. In 1973, the country’s democratically elected leader, Salvadore Allende, nationalized foreign-owned interests, like Chile’s lucrative copper mines and telephone system. International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) offered the CIA $1 million to overthrow Allende — which the CIA allegedly refused — but paid $350,000 to his political opponents. The CIA responded with a coup that murdered Allende and replaced him with a brutal tyrant, General Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet tortured and murdered thousands of leftists, union members and political opponents as economists trained at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman installed a "free market" economy. Since then, income inequality has soared higher in Chile than anywhere else in Latin America.

Even when the communist threat was real, the CIA first and foremost took care of the elite. In testimony before Congress in the early 50s, it artificially inflated Soviet military capabilities. A notorious example was the "bomber gap" that later turned out to be grossly exaggerated. Another was "Team B," a group of hawkish CIA analysts who seriously distorted Soviet military data. These scare tactics worked. Congress awarded giant defense contracts to the U.S. military-industrial complex.

And not even the fall of the Soviet Union and the demise of American defense contracts have stopped the CIA from serving the elite. Journalist Robert Dreyfuss writes:
    Since the end of the Cold War, Washington has been abuzz with talk about using the CIA for economic espionage. Stripped of euphemism, economic espionage simply means that American spies would target foreign companies, such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda, and then covertly pass stolen trade secrets and technology to U.S. corporate executives. (5)
If this isn’t bad enough, a worse problem arises in that the CIA doesn’t hand over this technology to every American auto-related company, but only the Big Three: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.

In a 1975 interview, Ex-CIA agent Philip Agee summed up his personal observations of the agency:
    To the people who work for it, the CIA is known as The Company. The Big Business mentality pervades everything. Agents, for instance, are called assets. The man in charge of the United Kingdom desk is said to have the "U.K. account"… American multinational corporations have built up colossal interests all over the world, and you can bet your ass that wherever you find U. S. business interests, you also find the CIA… The multinational corporations want a peaceful status quo in countries where they have investments, because that gives them undisturbed access to cheap raw materials, cheap labor and stable markets for their finished goods. The status quo suits bankers, because their money remains secure and multiplies. And, of course, the status quo suits the small ruling groups the CIA supports abroad, because all they want is to keep themselves on top of the socioeconomic pyramid and the majority of their people on the bottom. But do you realize what being on the bottom means in most parts of the world? Ignorance, poverty, often early death by starvation or disease…
    Remember, the CIA is an instrument of the President; it only carries out policy. And, like everyone else, the President has to respond to forces in the society he's trying to lead, right? In America, the most powerful force is Big Business, and American Big Business has a vested interest in the Cold War. (6)
    Domestic Recruitment

    The CIA had no trouble recruiting elites who sought a more exciting life. Betweenn 1948 and 1959, more than 40,000 American individuals and companies acted as sources for the U.S. intelligence community. (7) Let’s look at each area of recruitment, and see how they enabled the CIA to conduct its crimes:

    Big Business

    The CIA co-opted big business right from the start, beginning with the most famous billionaire of the time: Howard Hughes. Hughes had inherited his father’s million-dollar tool and die company at age 19. Anxious to expand his fortune, he made a conscientious decision "to go where the money is" — namely, government. With a few well-placed bribes, Hughes secured defense contracts to build military planes. The result was the Hughes Aircraft company. By 1940, he had also acquired a controlling interest in Trans World Airlines. His government connections and international airline soon caught the attention of the CIA, and the two began a lifelong relationship. Hughes, whom the CIA dubbed "The Stockbroker," became the agency’s largest contractor. Not only did he let the CIA use his business firms as fronts, but he also funded countless CIA operations. Perhaps the most notorious was Operation Jennifer, an allegedly failed attempt to recover nuclear codes from a sunken Soviet submarine. Hughes’ right-hand security man, Robert Maheu, was a CIA agent who at one time represented the CIA in negotiations with the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro.
    The CIA’s contacts with big business quickly spread. The agency showed a preference for international companies, public relations firms, media companies, law offices, banks, financiers and stockbrokers. The CIA didn’t limit its activities to recruiting businessmen; sometimes the CIA bought or created entire companies outright. One benefit of co-opting big business was that the CIA was able to create a secret source of funds other than from government. With stock portfolios multiplying their profits, it’s impossible now to say how flush the CIA really is. If Congress ever cut off funds for a mission, the business fraternity could easily replace them, either by donations or even setting up profitable businesses in the target country. In fact, this is precisely what happened during the Iran/Contra scandal.

    By allying itself with the business community, the CIA received the funds and ability it needed to remove itself from democratic control.

    The Media

    The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)

    MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who's Who of journalism:
    • Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)

    • William Paley (President, CBS)

    • Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)

    • Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)

    • Jerry O'Leary (Washington Star)

    • Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)

    • Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)

    • James Copley (Copley News Services)

    • Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)

    • C.D. Jackson (Fortune)

    • Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)

    • ABC

    • NBC

    • Associated Press

    • United Press International

    • Reuters

    • Hearst Newspapers

    • Scripps-Howard

    • Newsweek magazine

    • Mutual Broadcasting System

    • Miami Herald

    • Old Saturday Evening Post

    • New York Herald-Tribune
    Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nation’s capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.

    After Philip’s suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced by her husband’s world of government and espionage, she expanded her newspaper’s relationship with the CIA. In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia, she stated:
      We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.
    This quote has since become a classic among CIA critics for its belittlement of democracy and its admission that there is a political agenda behind the Post’s headlines.

    Ben Bradlee was the Post’s managing editor during most of the Cold War. He worked in the U.S. Paris embassy from 1951 to 1953, where he followed orders by the CIA station chief to place propaganda in the European press. (9) Most Americans incorrectly believe that Bradlee personifies the liberal slant of the Post, given his role in publishing the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate investigations. But neither of these two incidents are what they seem. The Post merely published the Pentagon Papers after The New York Times already had, because it wanted to appear competitive. As for Watergate, we’ll examine the CIA’s reasons for wanting to bring down Nixon in a moment. Someone once asked Bradlee: "Does it irk you when The Washington Post is made out to be a bastion of slanted liberal thinkers instead of champion journalists just because of Watergate?" Bradlee responded: "Damn right it does!" (10)

    It would be impossible to elaborate in this short space even the most important examples of the CIA/media alliance. Sig Mickelson was a CIA asset the entire time he was president of CBS News from 1954 to 1961. Later he went on to become president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, two major outlets of CIA propaganda.

    The CIA also secretly bought or created its own media companies. It owned 40 percent of the Rome Daily American at a time when communists were threatening to win the Italian elections. Worse, the CIA has bought many domestic media companies. A prime example is Capital Cities, created in 1954 by CIA businessman William Casey (who would later become Reagan’s CIA director). Another founder was Lowell Thomas, a close friend and business contact with CIA Director Allen Dulles. Another founder was CIA businessman Thomas Dewey. By 1985, Capital Cities had grown so powerful that it was able to buy an entire TV network: ABC.

    For those who believe in "separation of press and state," the very idea that the CIA has secret propaganda outlets throughout the media is appalling. The reason why America was so oblivious to CIA crimes in the 40s and 50s was because the media willingly complied with the agency. Even today, when the immorality of the CIA should be an open-and-shut case, "debate" about the issue rages in the media. Here is but one example:

    In 1996, The San Jose Mercury News published an investigative report suggesting that the CIA had sold crack in Los Angeles to fund the Contra war in Central America. A month later, three of the CIA’s most important media allies — The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times — immediately leveled their guns at the Mercury report and blasted away in an attempt to discredit it. Who wrote the Post article? Walter Pincus, longtime CIA journalist. The dangers here are obvious.


    By the early 50s, CIA Director Allen Dulles had staffed the CIA almost exclusively with Ivy League graduates, especially from Yale. (A disproportionate number of CIA figures, like George Bush, come from Yale’s "Skull and Crossbones" Society.) CIA recruiters also approached thousands of other professors to work in place at their universities on a part-time, contract basis. Not stopping at recruiting scholars, the agency would go on to create several departments at elite universities, including Harvard's Russian Research Center and the Center for International Studies at MIT.

    Although most academics were supportive of the CIA in the 50s, most were unaware of its abuses. In the 60s, academia would become outraged to learn that anti-communist organizations like the National Student Association were actually creations of the CIA. The most audacious CIA front was the Congress for Cultural Freedom, an organization that attracted liberal, freethinking artists and intellectuals who nonetheless deplored communism.

    By the late 60s and 70s, growing reports of CIA crimes and atrocities had deeply alienated academia. Scholars were further troubled to learn that the CIA had penetrated and disrupted student antiwar groups. Unlike business and the media, academia overwhelmingly denounced the CIA after the Vietnam era. This eventually forced the CIA to turn to new places to find their analysts and scholars. The most important source was the conservative think-tank movement, which it helped to create. More on this later.

    The Roman Catholic Church

    Although the CIA began as a mostly Protestant organization, Roman Catholics quickly came to dominate the new covert-action wing in 1948. All were staunchly conservative, fiercely anti-communist and socially elite. Just a few of the many Catholic operatives included future CIA directors William Colby, William Casey, and John McCone. Another well-known personality from this period was William F. Buckley, Jr., editor of the National Review and gadfly host of TV’s Firing Line. Buckley, it turns out, served as a CIA agent in Mexico City, and his experiences there served as fodder for his Blackford Oakes spy novels.

    There were several reasons for this influx of Catholic elites. First, Wisner (himself a Wall Street lawyer) had an extensive and glamorous circle of friends to recruit from. Second, Italy was in constant crisis in the 1940s, both during World War II and after. Throughout this troubled period, the American intelligence community’s greatest ally in Italy was the Roman Catholic Church.
    The Roman Catholic Church, of course, is one of the most anti-communist organizations in the world. The Marxist doctrine of atheism threatens Catholic theology, and its equality threatens the Church’s strict tradition of hierarchy and authoritarianism. When Hitler invaded Communist Russia, the Vatican openly approved. Jesuit Michael Serafian wrote: "It cannot be denied that [Pope] Pius XII's closest advisors for some time regarded Hitler's armoured divisions as the right hand of God." (11)

    But Hitler persecuted Catholics as well, and ultimately drove the Church to the Americans. In 1943, the Vatican reached a secret agreement with OSS Chief Donovan — himself a devout Catholic — to let the Holy See become the center of Allied spy operations in Italy. Donovan considered the Church to be one of his prize intelligence assets, given its global power, membership and contacts. He cultivated this alliance by sending America’s most prestigious Catholics to the Vatican to establish rapport and forge an alliance.

    After the war, half of Europe lay under Communist control, and the Italian communist party threatened to win the 1948 elections. The prospect of communism ruling over the heart of Catholicism terrified the Vatican. Once again, American intelligence gathered their most prestigious Catholics to strengthen ties with the Vatican. Because this was the first mission of the new covert action division, the American Catholic agents acquired positions of power early on, and would dominate covert operations for the rest of the Cold War.
    At a public level, the U.S. government sunk $350 million in social and military aid into Italy to sway the vote. On a secret level, Wisner spent $10 million in black budget funds to steal the elections. This included disseminating propaganda, beating up left-wing politicians, intimidating voters and disrupting leftist parties. The dirty tricks worked — the Communists lost, and the Catholic Americans’ success permanently secured their power within the CIA.

    The Knights of Malta (12)

    The Roman Catholic Church did not forget the American agents who had saved them from both Nazism and Communism. It rewarded them by making them Knights of Malta, or members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM). SMOM is one of the oldest and most elite religious orders in the Catholic Church. Until recently, it limited its membership to Italians and foreign heads of state. In 1927, however, an exception was made for the United States, given its emerging status as a world power. SMOM opened an American branch, awarding knighthood or damehood to several American Catholic business tycoons. This group was so conservative that one, John Raskob, the Chairman of General Motors, actually became involved in an aborted military plot to remove Franklin Roosevelt from the White House. SMOM has also been embarrassed by knighting or giving awards to countless people who later turned out to be Nazi war criminals. This is the sort of culture that thrives within the leadership of SMOM.

    Officially, the Knights of Malta are a global charity organization. But beginning in the 1940s, knighthood was granted to countless CIA agents, and the organization has become a front for intelligence operations. SMOM is ideal for this kind of activity, because it is recognized as the world’s only landless sovereignty, and members enjoy diplomatic immunity. This allows agents and supplies to pass through customs without interference from the host country. Such privileges enabled the Knights of Malta to become a major supplier of "humanitarian aid" to the Contras during their war in the 1980s.

    A partial list of the Knights and Dames of Malta reads like a Who’s Who of American Catholicism:
    • William Casey – CIA Director.

    • John McCone – CIA Director.

    • William Colby – CIA Director.

    • William Donovan – OSS Director. Donovan was given an especially prestigious form of knighthood that has only been given to a hundred other men in history.

    • Frank Shakespeare – Director of such propaganda organizations as the U.S. Information Agency, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Also executive vice-president of CBS-TV and vice-chairman of RKO General Inc. He is currently chairman of the board of trustees at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank.

    • William Simon – Treasury Secretary under President Nixon. In the private sector, he has become one of America’s 400 richest individuals by working in international finance. Today he is the President of the John M. Olin Foundation, a major funder of right-wing think tanks.

    • William F. Buckley, Jr. – CIA agent, conservative pundit and mass media personality.

    • James Buckley – William’s brother, head of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

    • Clare Boothe Luce - The grand dame of the Cold War was also a Dame of Malta. She was a popular playwright and the wife

    • of the publishing tycoon Henry Luce, who co-founded Time magazine.

    • Francis X Stankard - CEO of the international division of Chase Manhattan Bank, a Rockefeller institution. (Nelson Rockefeller was also a major CIA figure.)

    • John Farrell – President, U.S. Steel

    • Lee Iacocca – Chairman, General Motors

    • William S. Schreyer – Chairman, Merrill Lynch.

    • Richard R. Shinn – Chairman, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

    • Joseph Kennedy – Founder of the Kennedy empire.

    • Baron Hilton – Owner, Hilton Hotel chain.

    • Patrick J. Frawley Jr. – Heir, Schick razor fortune. Frawley is a famous funder of right-wing Catholic causes, such as the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.

    • Ralph Abplanalp - Aerosol magnate.

    • Martin F. Shea - Executive vice president of Morgan Guaranty Trust.

    • Joseph Brennan - Chairman of the executive committee of the Emigrant Savings Bank of New York.

    • J. Peter Grace – President, W.R. Grace Company. He

    • was a key figure in Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists and spies to the U.S. Many were war criminals whose atrocities were excused in their service to the CIA.

    • Thomas Bolan – Of Saxe, Bacon and Bolan, the law firm of Senator McCarthy's deceased aide Roy Cohn.

    • Bowie Kuhn – Baseball Comissioner

    • Cardinal John O'Connor – Extreme right-wing leader among American Catholics, and fervent abortion opponent.

    • Cardinal Francis Spellman – The "American Pope" was at one time the most powerful Catholic in America, an arch-conservative and a rabid anti-communist.

    • Cardinal Bernard Law - One of the highest-ranking conservatives in the American church.

    • Alexander Haig – Secretary of State under President Reagan.

    • Admiral James D. Watkins – Hard-line chief of naval operations under President Reagan.

      Jeremy Denton – Senator (R–Al).

    • Pete Domenici – Senator (R-New Mexico).

    • Walter J. Hickel - Governor of Alaska and secretary of the interior.
    When this group gets together, obviously, the topics are spying, business and politics.

    The CIA has also used other religious and charity organizations as fronts. For example, John F. Kennedy -- another anticommunist Roman Catholic who greatly expanded covert operations -- created the U.S. Peace Corps to serve as cover for CIA operatives. The CIA has also made extensive use of missionaries, with the blessings of many right-wing, anticommunist Christian denominations.

    But the World Grows Wise…

    It was only a matter of time before other nations caught on to these fronts. They learned that when the CIA comes to their countries to commit their crimes and atrocities, they come disguised as American journalists, businessmen, missionaries and charity volunteers. Unfortunately, foreigners are now targeting these professions as hostile. In Lebanon, terrorists held U.S. journalist Terry Anderson hostage for nearly seven years, on the not unreasonable assumption that he was a spy. Whether or not this was true is beside the point. The CIA has put all Americans abroad at risk, whether they are CIA agents or not. In hearings before the Senate in 1996, many organizations urged Congress to stop using their professions as CIA cover. Don Argue of the National Association of Evangelicals testified: "Such use of missionary agents for covert activities by the CIA would be unethical and immoral." (13)

    From the Cold War to the Class War

    As noted above, academia was the first major institution to denounce the crimes of the CIA. Why? One reason is that scholars conduct their own extensive research into world affairs, so naturally they were the first to learn the truth. This is the main reason why protest against the Vietnam War and the CIA erupted first among students on the nation’s campuses. By the end of the Vietnam War, the CIA had suffered a "brain drain" as its academic allies became its most articulate, passionate and eloquent critics.

    The social revolutions of the 60s terrified the CIA. James Jesus Angleton, chief of counter-intelligence and a truly paranoid man, was convinced the Soviets had masterminded the entire antiwar movement. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover shared his conviction. The CIA had always spied on student groups throughout the 60s, but in 1968 President Johnson dramatically stepped up the effort with Operation CHAOS. This initially called for 50 CIA agents to go undercover as student radicals, penetrate their antiwar organizations and root out the Russian spies who were causing the rebellion. Tellingly, they never found a single spy. The agents also began a campaign of wire-tapping, mail-opening, burglary, deception, intimidation and disruption against thousands of protesting American civilians.
    By the time Operation CHAOS wound down in 1973, the CIA had spied on 7,000 Americans, 1,000 organizations and traded information on more than 300,000 persons with various law agencies. (14) When academia learned of this, its outrage grew.

    The loss of academia was only the first blow for the CIA. Other disasters quickly followed; in the early 70s, the CIA was trying desperately to stave off a growing number of scandals. The first was Watergate.

    The CIA’s fingerprints were all over Watergate. First, we should note the CIA had clear motives for helping oust Nixon. He was the ultimate "outsider," a poor California Quaker who grew up feeling bitter resentment towards the elite "Eastern establishment." Nixon, for all his arch-conservatism, was surprisingly liberal on economic issues, enfuriating businessmen with statements like "We are all Keynesians now." He created a whole host of new agencies to regulate business, like the FDA, EPA and OSHA. He signed the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, which forced businesses to clean up their toxic emissions. He imposed price controls to fight inflation, and took the nation fully off the gold standard. Nixon also strengthened affirmative action. Even his staffers were famously anti-elitist, like Kevin Philips, who would eventually write the bible on inequality during the 1980s, The Politics of Rich and Poor. Add to this Nixon’s withdrawal from Vietnam and Détente with China and the Soviet Union. Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, had not only tried to remove control of foreign policy from the CIA, but had also taken measures to bring the CIA itself under control. Not surprisingly, Nixon and his CIA Director, Richard Helms, couldn’t stand each other. (Nixon fired him for failing to cover up for Watergate.) Clearly, Nixon was fighting at cross-purposes with the CIA and the nation’s elite.

    As it turns out, the CIA had inside knowledge of Nixon’s dirty work. Nixon had created his own covert action team, "The Committee to Reelect the President," more amusingly known by its acronym, CREEP. The team consisted of two CIA agents — E. Howard Hunt and James McCord — as well as former FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy. They also employed four Cubans with long CIA histories. In fact, a CIA front called the Mullen Company funded their activities, which ranged from disrupting Democratic campaigns to laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions.

    The CIA not only had intimate knowledge of Nixon’s crimes, but it also acted as though it wanted the world to know them. When the FBI began investigating Watergate, Nixon tried using the CIA to cover up for him. At first the CIA half-heartedly complied, telling the FBI that the investigation would endanger CIA operations in Mexico. But a few weeks later it gave the FBI a green light again to proceed again with their investigation.

    Furthermore, Watergate was exposed by the CIA’s main newspaper in America, The Washington Post. One of the two journalists who investigated the scandal, Robert Woodward, had only recently become a journalist. Previously Woodward had worked as a Naval intelligence liaison to the White House, privy to some of the nation’s highest secrets. He would later write a sympathetic portrait of CIA Director Bill Casey in a book entitled Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA. It was Woodward who personally knew and interviewed "Deep Throat," the unnamed source who revealed inside information on Nixon’s activities. Many Watergate researchers consider one of Woodward’s old intelligence contacts to be a prime candidate for Deep Throat. (15)

    Despite all the facts of CIA involvement, Woodward and Bernstein made virtually no mention of the CIA in their Watergate reporting. Even during Senate hearings on Watergate, the CIA somehow managed to stay out of the spotlight. In 1974, the House would clear the CIA of any involvement in Watergate.
    The CIA was not as lucky in 1974, when the Senate held hearings on James Jesus Angleton’s illegal surveillance of American citizens. These disclosures resulted in his firing. But that was nothing compared to the 1975 Church Committee. This Senate investigation looked into virtually every type of CIA crime, from assassination to secret war to manipulating the domestic media. The "reforms" that resulted from these hearings were mostly cosmetic, but the details that emerged shattered the CIA’s reputation forever. Interestingly enough, the two Senators who held these hearings — Frank Church and Otis Pike — were both defeated for reelection, despite a 98 percent reelection rate for incumbents.
    The CIA wasn’t the only conservative institution that found itself embattled in the early 70s. This was a bad time for conservatives everywhere. America had lost the war in Vietnam. U.S. corporations had to cope with the rise of OPEC. The anti-poverty programs of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society were causing a major redistribution of wealth. And Nixon was making things worse with his own anti-poverty and regulatory programs. Betweenn 1960 and 1973, these efforts cut poverty in half, from 22 to 11 percent. Meanwhile, between 1965 and 1976, the richest 1 percent had gone from owning 37 percent of America’s wealth to only 22 percent. (16)

    At a 1973 Conference Board meeting of top American business leaders, executives declared: "We are fighting for our lives," "We are fighting a delaying action," and "If we don’t take action now, we will see our own demise. We will evolve into another social democracy." (17)

    The CIA to the rescue 

    In the mid-1970s, at this historic low point in American conservatism, the CIA began a major campaign to turn corporate fortunes around.

    They did this in several ways. First, they helped create numerous foundations to finance their domestic operations. Even before 1973, the CIA had co-opted the most famous ones, like the Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations. But after 1973, they created more. One of their most notorious recruits was billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. During World War II, Scaife's father served in the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA. By his mid-twenties, both of Scaife's parents had died, and he inherited a fortune under four foundations: the Carthage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundations and the Allegheny Foundation. In the early 1970s, Scaife was encouraged by CIA agent Frank Barnett to begin investing his fortune to fight the "Soviet menace." (18) From 1973 to 1975, Scaife ran Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world. Shortly afterwards he began donating millions to fund the New Right.

    Scaife's CIA roots are typical of those who head the new conservative foundations. By 1994 the most active were:
    • Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

    • Carthage Foundation

    • Earhart Foundation

    • Charles G. Koch

    • David H. Koch

    • Claude R. Lambe

    • Philip M. McKenna

    • J.M. Foundation

    • John M. Olin Foundation

    • Henry Salvatori Foundation

    • Sarah Scaife Foundation

    • Smith Richardson Foundation
    Betweenn 1992 and 1994, these foundations gave $210 million to conservative causes. Here is the breakdown of their donations:
    • $88.9 million for conservative scholarships;

    • $79.2 million to enhance a national infrastructure of think tanks and advocacy groups;

    • $16.3 million for alternative media outlets and watchdog groups;

    • $10.5 million for conservative pro-market law firms;

    • $9.3 million for regional and state think tanks and advocacy groups;

    • $5.4 million to "organizations working to transform the nations social views and giving practices of the nation's religious and philanthropic leaders." (19)
    The political machine they built is broad and comprehensive, covering every aspect of the political fight. It includes right-wing departments and chairs in the nation’s top universities, think tanks, public relations firms, media companies, fake grassroots organizations that pressure Congress (irreverently known as "Astroturf" movements), "Roll-out-the-vote" machines, pollsters, fax networks, lobbyist organizations, economic seminars for the nation’s judges, and more. And because corporations are the richest sector of society, their greater financing overwhelms similar efforts by Democrats.

    Besides creating foundations, the CIA helped organize the business community. There have always been special interest groups representing business, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, and the CIA has long been involved with them. However, after 1973, a spate of powerful new groups would come into existence, like the Business Roundtable and the Trilateral Commission. These organizations quickly became powerhouses in promoting the business agenda.

    Their efforts clearly succeeded. With the 1975 SUN-PAC decision, corporations persuaded government to legalize corporate Political Action Committees (the lobbyist organizations that bribe our government). By 1992, corporations formed 67 percent of all PACs, and they donated 79 percent of all campaign contributions to political parties. (20) In two landmark elections — 1980 and 1994 — corporations gave heavily and one-sidedly to Republicans, turning one or both houses of Congress over to the GOP. Democratic incumbents were shocked by the threat of being rolled completely out of power, so they quietly shifted to the right on economic issues, even though they continued a public façade of liberalism. Corporations went ahead and donated to Democratic incumbents in all other elections, but only as long as they abandoned the interests of workers, consumers, minorities and the poor. As expected, the new pro-corporate Congress passed laws favoring the rich: between 1975 and 1992, the amount of national household wealth owned by the richest 1 percent soared from 22 to 42 percent. (21)

    The CIA also helped create the conservative think tank movement. Prior to the 70s, think tanks spanned the political spectrum, with moderate think tanks receiving three times as much funding as conservative ones. At these early think tanks, scholars typically brainstormed for creative solutions to policy problems. This would all change after the rise of conservative foundations in the early 70s. The Heritage Foundation opened its doors in 1973, the recipient of $250,000 in seed money from the Coors Foundation. A flood of conservative think tanks followed shortly thereafter, and by 1980 they overwhelmed the scene. The new think tanks turned out to be little more than propaganda mills, rigging studies to "prove" that their corporate sponsors needed tax breaks, deregulation and other favors from government.

    Of course, think-tank studies are useless without publicity, and here the CIA proved especially valuable. Using propaganda techniques it had perfected at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA and its allies turned American AM radio into a haven for conservative talk show hosts. Yes — Rush Limbaugh uses the same propaganda techniques that Muscovites once heard from Voice of America. The CIA has also developed countless other media outlets, like Capital Cities (which eventually bought ABC), major PR firms like Hill & Knowlton, and of course, all the Agency’s connections in the national news media. (22)

    The following is a typical example of how the "New Media" operates. As most political observers know, the Republicans suffer from a "gender gap," in which women prefer Democrats by huge majorities. This is, in fact, why Clinton has twice won the presidency. But, curiously enough, as the 90s progressed, conservative female pundits began popping up everywhere in the media. Hard-right pundits like Ann Coulter, Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, Laura Ingraham, Barbara Olson, Melinda Sidak, Anita Blair and Whitney Adams conditioned us to the idea of the conservative woman. This phenomenon was no accident. It turns out that Richard Mellon Scaife donated $450,000 over three years to the Independent Women's Forum, a booking agency that heavily seeds such female conservative pundits into the media. (23)


    The most obvious criticism of the New Overclass is that their political machine is undemocratic. Using subversive techniques once aimed at communists, and with all the money they ever need to succeed, the Overclass undemocratically controls our government, our media, and even a growing part of academia. These institutions in turn allow the Overclass to control the supposedly "free" market. It doesn't win all the time, of course — witness Bill Clinton's impeachment trial — but it does score an endless string of other victories elsewhere, all to the detriment of workers, consumers, women, minorities and the poor. We need to fight it with everything we've got.

    Related links:

    Myth: There’s no "vast right wing conspiracy" to get Clinton.
    Myth: Conservative think tanks are the answer to liberal academia.
    A Timeline of CIA Atrocities

    1. Mind Manipulators, Scheflin and Opton. p.241.
    2. Captain George White in a letter to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb.
    3. All history concerning CIA intervention in foreign countries is summarized from William Blum’s encyclopedic work, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995). Sources for domestic CIA operations come from Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen’s The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1997). Information about CIA drug running can be found at and
    4. Coleman McCarthy, "The Consequences of Covert Tactics" Washington Post, December 13, 1987.
    5. Robert Dreyfuss, "Company Spies," Mother Jones. Website:
    6. Philip Agee: The Playboy Interview. Website:
    7. Lara Shohet, "Intelligence, Academia and Industry," The Final Report of the Snyder Commission, Edward Cheng and Diane C. Snyder, eds., (Princeton Unversity: The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, January 1997). Website:
    8. Website:
    9. Deborah Davis, Katharine the Great and the Washington Post, 2nd ed. (Bethesda MD: National Press, 1987)
    10. "Forum for Ben Bradlee," Watergate 25. Website:
    11. Lewy, Guenter, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (London and New York, 1964), pp. 249-250.
    12. National Catholic Reporter, Jan 89, Mar 89, Apr 89, May 89, "Nazis, the Vatican and the CIA," Covert Action Information Bulletin, Winter 1986, Number 25 Website:
    13. Anthony Collings, "Journalists tell Senate they want no CIA ties," CNN, July 18, 1996. Website:
    14. Morton Halperin, et al, eds., The Lawless State (New York: Penguin, 1976), p. 153.
    15. Jim Hougan, Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA.
    16. Edward N. Wolff, "How the Pie is Sliced" The American Prospect no. 22 (Summer 1995), pp. 58-64. Website:
    17. Quoted in Leonard Silk and David Vogel, Ethics and Profits (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976), pp. 44-47.
    18. Karen Rothmyer, "The man behind the mask," Salon, April 7, 1998.
    19. Study conducted by National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, July 1997, as reported by the National Education Association. Website:
    20. Center for Responsive Politics, Washington D.C., 1993.
    21. Wolff.
    22. For CIA involvement in Capital Cities/ABC, see Dennis Mazzocco, Networks of Power (Boston: South End Press, 1994). For CIA involvement in the PR industry, see John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Toxic Sludge is Good for You! (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), pp. 49-51,153,157,160-63.
    23. Jonathon Broder and Murray Waas, [Untitled] Salon, April 20, 1998. Website: