Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dulles Brothers Used Propaganda And Deadly Force To “Americanize” The World

It is a testament to the profound and secret power wielded by the Dulles brothers that only now, more or a less a half-century after their deaths, is the truth of how they controlled America and the world coming to light. In their time, no one connected with any major media outlet, any corporate entity, or any government agency dared to take them on. Not even J. Edgar Hoover had the juice to do it. That’s because Allen Dulles, head of the CIA from 1953-1961, and his brother John Foster Dulles, head of the State Department under Eisenhower during the same period, knew and did business with the wealthiest and most powerful forces in America. While in private business, the brothers were partners in or sat on the boards of Wall Street power firms whose client lists read like a who’s who of American corporate elites. They knew the duPonts. They represented United Fruit. They arranged business opportunities for the Rockefellers, the Bushes, the Harrimans, the Browns, the Hunts and Neil Mallon. What was good for business was good for the country, and the CIA’s toppling of unfriendly governments was good for business.

Americans, as a whole, have been kept in the dark about this cozy arrangement because the CIA, via Operation Mockingbird, has largely controlled the media’s message. Allen Dulles forbade any bad press about his rogue agency from leaking to the public. He recruited publishers, reporters, news directors, and network executives into the fold, and CIA-friendly propaganda was widely disseminated. But the length and breadth of the Dulleses’ power is not shocking to foreigners, especially those whose self-rule and duly elected leaders were overthrown by Allen and Foster. Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, southeast Asia, and Chile are just a few of the places where we are reviled. The foreign press knows more about our own country’s history than we do. Witness this article, written by Peter G. Prontzos, which appeared recently in the Vancouver Sun:

“While all governments try to manipulate public opinion, arguably none has had such dire global effects as the United States during the Cold War, when Washington portrayed the Soviets as an ‘evil empire’ trying to conquer the world. Central to that campaign were Allen Dulles and his brother, John Foster Dulles. As heads of the CIA and the State Department respectively, they had more impact on Washington’s foreign policies in the 1950s than anybody except president Dwight Eisenhower himself.

“Their bloody record is reconstructed in a fascinating history by Stephen Kinzer, a historian and award-winning journalist for the New York Times.

“Foster (as he was called) and Allen were sons of privilege, born in ‘a haven for New York millionaires on the shore of Lake Ontario.’ As young boys, they ‘dined with ambassadors, senators, cabinet secretaries, supreme court justices’ as well as presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. As adults, they were the ultimate insiders, both in Washington and on Wall Street.

“Not surprisingly, the Dulles brothers accepted the view, as common now as it was then, that the United States is an ‘exceptional’ nation because it is ‘inherently more moral’ than other countries. As a superpower, then, Washington had both the right and the duty to, ‘not only topple governments but guide the course of history.’

“The third element in their world view may be even more fundamental: ‘protecting the right of large American corporations to operate freely in the world,’ regardless of the wishes of the ‘unenlightened’ people in other nations.

“One early incident foreshadowed their cold-bloodedness. When Allen was working for the U.S. government in Switzerland during the First World War, he was told that a woman he was dating was passing information to Austria and must be ‘liquidated.’

“One night after taking her to dinner, Allen delivered her to two British agents. As Kinzer notes: ‘She was never heard from again.’

“The brothers reached the height of their power in 1953, when Eisenhower became president. One of their first crusades was to target the democratically elected government of Iran, headed by the nationalist prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. Iran’s sins included its decision to take control of the oil industry, at the time almost completely owned by the British.

“The final straw, however, was the Iranian parliament’s refusal to accept a deal with a U.S. business conglomerate which would cost that country more than half a trillion dollars (in today’s currencies). The company, OCI, was a client of Allen Dulles, who, working with the British, directed a successful coup that overthrew Iran’s democracy and replaced it with the dictatorship of the Shah who, coincidentally, was also a client of Allen.”

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Iranians Execute Billionaire; Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?

The Iranians may have an oil-soaked, corrupt regime led by a nuke-crazy megalomaniac, but at least the Iranian people won't stand for billionaires milking them dry. An Associated Press article posted on OpEd News reports of a stunning end to one billionaire's bank scam:

"TEHRAN, IRAN—A billionaire businessman at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam, the largest fraud case since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, was executed Saturday, state television reported.

"Authorities put Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, also known as Amir Mansour Aria, to death at Evin prison, just north of the capital, Tehran, the station reported. The report said the execution came after Iran’s Supreme Court upheld his death sentence.

"Khosravi’s lawyer, Gholam Ali Riahi, was quoted by news website as saying that his client was put to death without any notice."

Oh how I have dreamed of such a fate for the Wall Street thieves we bailed out in 2008. Alas, here in America we have a much more advanced legal process. Our justice system is much more deliberate (meaning, if you have enough money you can bombard prosecutors in enough paperwork to delay trial for years). You are permitted competent and committed legal representation (if you have the monetary wherewithal, that is). You are granted certain inalienable rights (unless, of course, you are African-American or Latino). You have the right to appeal to a higher court if you are convicted in a lower court (but don't appeal to the Supreme Court, the most corrupt and vial high court in American history). So summary execution of a U.S. billionaire would never happen (no one with that much money in this country will ever be tried of anything, much less convicted).

I wonder how long Sheldon Adelson would last in Iran? One can dream, right?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kindle Edition of "The President's Mortician" on Sale for $4.99 on Amazon; Here's an Exerpt:

You can now read what one reviewer has called "...a compelling and convincingly upredictable narrative." Garrick Alder, a British journalist, wrote this about my historical novel The President's Mortician--" tantalised me so much that I want to pick up the phone and hammer the Internet until I have tracked down his primary sources. Researchers will find this book a thought-provoking and stimulating deserves to be read by anyone interested in this aspect of the assassination controversy."

The Kindle version of The President's Mortician is available for under five bucks. Here's an excerpt from the book:

"In the time that has passed since the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was murdered, the topic has been addressed by hundreds of books, countless documentaries, numerous investigations—both public and private, and even a courtroom battle. The evidence in the case has been hashed and re-hashed many times over, yet the years (nearly 20 now) and the analysis overkill have not dulled the world’s fascination with the subject. Nor has time diminished America’s conviction that a conspiracy was afoot to take Kennedy’s life on November 22, 1963. Since the early 1970s the numbers have remained consistent—three in every four citizens believe that either accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone, or he did not act at all…rather, he was likely just the “fall guy” or the patsy. Moreover, among people 27-39 years of age as of 1980, upwards of 85% were pro-conspiracy (1). In other words, all reasonable people with even a passing knowledge of the events and aftermath of JFK’s assassination suspect that an organized, far-reaching plot took the president’s life that day in Dallas.

"Who killed JFK? The easy answer is that rogue CIA operatives planned, orchestrated and covered up the murder. But this solution is too pat, too simplistic. For it does not take into account the other elements that played their parts in the drama—Texas oilmen, Mafia associates, future presidents and corrupt politicians, ambitious lawyers, Secret Service traitors, the military hierarchy, and wealthy defense contractors. Taken together, these elements form a Secret American Empire.

"Born of the anti-communist fervor which inflamed the nation in the 1940s and ‘50s; fed by the enormous wealth of oil and weapons makers; protected by ambitious, greedy public servants; and enforced by violent, pathological criminals, this Secret American Empire possesses what amounts to its own foreign policy, its own air force, its own militia, its own economy, and its own rules. It is not subject to the laws of the land. It is rich and powerful enough to operate outside the laws that restrict all the rest of us. As Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, one of its high ministers, once said, “I am the richest man in the world. I can do any damn thing I want to do” (2). This empire existed before JFK’s murder, but it had never before pulled off anything so outrageous and brazen as the crime it committed on November 22, 1963. In fact, some of the participants feared for their own apprehension and left the country before and after the execution. Their fears were unfounded, however, because the fix was in. The new president, Lyndon Johnson, was the Empire’s boy, and soon he cut off all legitimate investigations and appointed his own fraudulent commission made up of the Empire’s most ardent protectors. Once the perpetrators knew they were safe, America became their playground. They were free to romp through the public trust, trample the Constitution, start an unnecessary and catastrophic war, have free reign over domestic and foreign policy, and invoke immunity from crimes committed. The JFK assassination taught the Empire that it could get away with anything, and in the years subsequent to 1963 it has coalesced its power and consolidated its reign over democracy. Its candidates have been elected, by hook or crook; its power base has expanded; its wealth has grown unchecked. It has smugly, almost defiantly, moved on to evermore audacious, outlandish covert operations—the removal of Richard Nixon from office, the subversion of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the narcotic trafficking necessary to fund covert operations, and the overthrow of foreign governments. In short, the Secret American Empire, while waving the flag in our faces and clamoring to high heaven about the land of the free and the home of democracy, has done everything it can to undo the processes and the restraints that would impede it under a true democratic system. We are living in, and have been since 1963, a neo-fascist oligarchic state, where only wealth and power matter, where the ways and means of a free press are stifled, where the people are propagandized by disinformation and half-truths, where our elected officials represent their own greedy interests and the interests of the Secret Empire, rather than the interests of those who elected them.

"Would it have been different if JFK had lived? Emphatically, yes! Kennedy, a conventional cold warrior when he took the oath of office, had transformed into a startling advocate of world peace by 1963. His landmark address at American University, in June 1963, laid out a revolutionary vision of America and its place in the world, one that made him a lot of deadly enemies. A world without endless war? An America free of what Eisenhower called “…the unwanted influence of the military-industrial complex”? A pullback on the power of the intelligence community? JFK became a marked man. He wanted to pull us completely out of Vietnam. He wanted to negotiate a settlement to the Cold War and live in peaceful co-existence with the communist world (3). The Secret Empire was not going to tolerate such a radical paradigm shift in domestic and foreign affairs. That was the entire point of the assassination."

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Why Am I A Liberal? Because The Bible Tells Me So

Those who support conservative causes often claim they have the high moral ground because of their religious beliefs. They live to taunt the left wing and throw the Holy Book in our faces, but I doubt any of them have ever really read what is in the Good Book because if they had they would know that Christ is a liberal. Read from Scripture and you'll be reading a blueprint for the progressives' social and political agenda. While conservatives preach against the welfare state and taxation of the wealthy, the Bible says just the opposite. I was reminded of this fact when reading Dr. Lance Moore's powerful book "Class Crucifixion: Money, Power, Religion and the Death of the Middle Class."

So why is it that people of faith, by and large, support Republicanism? Dr. Moore builds a strong case for the perversion of religion by the right to advance its hateful, selfish and greedy agenda. He writes, "If you count yourself a person of faith, I beg you to actually read the Bible!" The few times I attend religious services, Protestant ministers and Catholic priests seem to carefully avoid the passages which promote left-wing causes and social justice. For instance, Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor." Hardly the current Republican philosophy. Then there is this from Jesus, "Woe to you who are rich for you have already received your comfort," and "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor."

I'll be damned. Jesus was a Socialist. Forget everything hypocrites like Jerry Falwell have ever said or done. Dismiss Billy Graham. To hell with every right-wing Bible thumper who has ever shouted "fire and brimstone." They are snake-oil salesmen, in it for the glory, the wealth, the self-aggrandizement, or the power. They are sociopaths, devoid of consciences, willing to use the Bible as a weapon against the least among us and a propaganda tool to advance the tyrants among us. They are the false prophets Jesus warned us of. Those who cloak themselves in piety to prey upon the weak and service the strong.

It has always been this way, Dr. Moore reminds us. "The river of greed flows tandem with the history of murder. In Genesis, Cain killed Abel out of jealousy, or so we are taught, but look closer at the story: the jealousy began when God favored Abel because of Abel's generosity with material goods. Abel gave the 'first-fruit' offerings which Cain had greedily withheld. Cain's story does not end well, a fact that 'Godly capitalists' have forgotten."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

H.L. Hunt's Dallas of the Early 1960s: Hateful, Terrifying, and Waiting to Kill Kennedy

At the dawn of the decade of the 1960s, America was on the verge of becoming a more enlightened place. The government was legislating racial tolerance and integration; the super rich were being forced to pay their fair share of taxes. Congress, by an overwhelming vote, passed a bill granting poor schoolkids free milk in public schools (try getting that one passed in today's Tea Party congress). In an age of frightening nuclear threats, we elected a President determined to end the Cold War instead of trying to win it. As the charismatic President's popularity grew, he turned the country toward the left. He tried to make it a more peaceful, equitable place. But not all of America was under his spell. In fact, the pillars of one oil-drenched, commie-baiting city hated him. Dallas, the city where he died such a brutal death, was a viper's nest of right-wing power, hate, and terror. And the scariest snake, Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, just happened to be the richest man in the world.

Hunt made a fortune in oil and with his billions he turned Dallas into his own playground. Very little of importance that happened in the city did not have his stamp on it. The leading newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, was run by Ted Dealey, a Hunt lackey. The Dallas Police Department, at Hunt's insistence, required its members to be white, male, and preferably members of the Ku Klux Klan or the John Birch Society. Hunt paid for his own right-wing hate radio show (forerunner of Rush Limbaugh, a man Hunt would have admired immensely). It was called "Facts Forum," and it virulently lashed out at taxation, the U.N., gun control, and immigration (sound familiar). Hunt later changed the name to "Life Line," when he incorporated conservative Christianity into the show. In private Hunt referred to African-Americans as "niggers," and he angrily cursed the Supreme Court's integration rulings. He abhorred the fact that blacks had the same voting rights he did, so he wrote his own novel called Alpaca, and forced Dallas libraries and bookstores to stock it on their shelves. Alpaca is Hunt's megalomaniacal fantasy world in which a small super-wealthy class rules everything. The rich have more votes than commoners, and are able to buy as many votes as they choose. There are no public schools or government-run services of any kind. There is no Social Security or Medicaid to protect the elderly, and tax breaks for oilmen are part of the Constitution. It is more than harmless right-wing lunacy; it is a quasi-fascist state run by threat of terror, where the common person is always subservient to the few rich oligarchs. (Think it can't happen here? Think again. This is exactly the kind of country Republicans want today.) Hunt even bought and paid for his own Congressman, Bruce Alger, the only member of the House who voted against that milk subsidy for kids.

Hunt despised President Kennedy, and once told a confidante that the only way to get him out of office was to "shoot him out." The day before the assassination, Jack Ruby and a convicted killer named Jim Brading were seen in the Hunt Oil headquarters in Dallas. What were they doing there? No one knows for sure. But later that same evening witnesses place Ruby at the Cabana Motel with a large bag full of cash. He handed it out to CIA operatives Frank Sturgis and E. Howard Hunt. On the day of the assassination, Brading was detained by Dallas Police in Dealey Plaza (site of the JFK murder). When asked what a convicted killer on parole from California was doing at the site of the murder of the century, Brading replied that he merely wanted to use the phone in an adjacent building. The building just happened to house a vacant office leased by the Hunt Oil Corporation.

Hunt was a racist, a bigamist, and a power-mad sociopath who once told LBJ's mistress, "I'm the richest man in the world; I can do any damn thing I want." And while his vision for America once seemed too crazy to contemplate, it is at our doorstep again. Don't believe me? Vote Republican and find out for yourself.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Characteristics Of Pychopaths Resemble...Well, You Know Who

Many on the left, like me, cannot understand the anti-social, anti-science, anti-everything positions taken up by the right wing in America today. For instance, it is obvious that stricter gun control laws are needed in this country. Deaths by handgun numbered over 10,000 last year...five times more than all the other nations of the world combined. Yet the fanatical right blocks any and all attempts at background checks and assault weapons bans. What is wrong with these people? Do they have some personality flaw which inhibits common sense and blocks any measure which would enhance the greater good? Turns out, YES they do have personality disorders. Rob Kall of OpEd News really nails it on the head with a new article that appears in today's edition. He outlines the five traits of a psychopath; see if you recognize anyone you know:

"1- The first thing they'd do is to attack rules and regulations that require people to be civil, honest, ethical, fair and respectful to all others. They would attack the rules and regulations by attempting to characterized them negatively. They would use their charm and ability to lie with a straight face to persuade people that rules and regulations were designed to take away their freedom, to allow government to make more money, to take money away from hard working people.

2- Next, they'd create a cult of individualism, extolling the rights of a person to live as an individual, with the freedoms to be an individual. Think Ayn Rand-- her characters and followers. This is a manifestation of narcissism, distorted to look like something special. It's not. Humans evolved as members of small communities and groups. That is the natural way that humans have lived for hundreds of thousands, even millions of years, if you include our predecessors.

3- They'll sell the 'I Did It On My Own' Story. Being loners and narcissists who want to get all the credit, who believe that they are the best in the world, Psychopaths would do all they could to sell the narrative that people make it on their own, that the idea that government or the commons, or social networks or social safety nets make a difference. They would mock people who suggest that it takes a village, or that millionaires made their millions with the help of the society around them.

4- Oppose Democracy, Fair, Honest Voting and voting rights for all. Psychopaths may love hierarchy and the domination associated with it. They love the challenge of rising to the top and the game of getting there. Democracy is an inconvenience that can create an egalitarian environment of fair play and just rules. That's no fun. Psychopaths would love to see those kinds of inconveniences done away with. So they'll try to muck up the voting system, try to take away direct representation and direct elections. They'll rig the system -- think gerrymandering-- and yes, both major parties do it. It's bi-partisan. They'll change the rules so that they give extra advantage to those with extra power and money, especially to those who will cheat. And they'll do all they can to take away the right to vote, especially people who will oppose their selfish interests.

5- Damage the Environment: Psychopaths, being self-centered and narcissistic, and not caring about laws or rules or consequences or other people are going to be more likely to abuse and damage the environment. Who cares if the water is polluted downstream as long as the psychopath can buy bottled water for his or her mansion? Who cares if climate change will disrupt the lives of billions and cost trillions if there's a profit to be made?"

Stated flatly, Republican politicians are psychopaths. They have no consciences. They care only about their well-being. If that means accepting money from billionaire psychpaths in order to further their careers, so be it. If that means endangering our safety, our justice systems, our democratic processes, who cares. As long as the psychopath gets his, damn everyone else. It's a dog-eat-dog world, and he is in it for himself. And it would be humorous if it weren't so dangerous. Because these people rule the U.S. Congress and state houses all over the country. It's as though we have elected criminals to run our justice system. It's like allowing wolves to protect the hen house. Or pedophiles to baby sit the nation's children.

This begs the question: are psychopaths born or made? Do they have a malignant gene which makes them so evil? Or are they victims of an abusive environment? Did they grow up in totalitarian homes, devoid of love and lacking in ambitions other than money and power? Were they abused? Psychologists tell us that the physically, emotionally, and mentally abused child suffers a "break" from normal development. He grows up lacking compassion and concern for others; he trusts no one, and self-survival is his only value. He learned early on that it does not pay to be kind, to contribute to a better world, to care for others. After all, no one ever really cared for him.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Two Recommended Books Explore The Damage Capitalism Causes

As the rich get richer, the middle class fades, and the poor are ruthlessly demonized by the rich, America is becoming that most evil of capitalist states—a place where a few uber-rich feast at the table while the rest of us struggle for scraps. In such a state, the elite few who possess nearly everything can purchase most anything, including the government and the media. Consequently the state is run for the benefit of the wealthy few at the expense of the many. Sociopaths in positions of power in the corporate and political worlds partner to form a sinister alliance. Privatization of all functions of government and deregulation of business practices become the rallying cries. As Mussolini declared, “Fascism should rightly be called coporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

Republicans and their billionaire donors are trying mightily to make America this kind of state today. In this model, capitalism becomes more than free enterprise; it is the iron wall separating the ultra wealthy from the rest of us. It is the means by which stark income inequality can become permanent.

Two books I recommend reinforce this notion. Thomas Piketty’s “Capitalism In The Twenty-First Century” uses economic numbers to make an scientific case for the destructiveness of the current version of American capitalism. The means and opportunities by which the common person can access middle class status are being cut off, intentionally and rigorously, by the 1% who control 55-60% of all the wealth of the country. And this “socioeconomic gulf” is widening.

Likewise, Naomi Klein's book Disaster Capitalism warns of the evils of capitalism in the 21st century. She argues that deregulation has been extremely profitable for those at the top but something of a disaster for those at the bottom.

No surprise there, but Klein does imply that there is more than simple economics at work. Governments in league with corporations around the globe have employed something called the “shock system.” This system uses crises or calamities to pass laws that implement destructive capitalist policies. She cites examples from Asia, Latin America, and Russia, but the same could be said for our own 9/11 catastrophe that led to the unwarranted invasion of Iraq. The greed and corruption that followed was unprecedented. War profiteers and contractors got rich, and the commoner was left to ponder how his pockets got picked. Same with the Wall Street meltdown and bailout in 2008. It nearly destroyed our economy, but in the end the taxpayer funded billionaires who put another one over on us.

Klein is quoted in the latest edition of OpEd News as saying, “If we want to understand how this system has swept the globe from Latin America to Russia to this country, we need to understand the incredible ‘utility of crisis’ to this project, because the great leaps forward for this project have taken place in the midst of and during the immediate aftermath of some kind of a shock. The extreme cases that I discuss in the book are wars, terrorist attacks, natural disasters...the most common shocks that have created the context for pushing through these very unpopular policies in a way that economists often call economic shock therapy. The first shock is the economic crisis; the second shock is the economic shock therapy.”