03/5/20

Armed Guard of Concentration Camp from Tennessee Ordered Deported

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

WASHINGTON – A U.S. Immigration Judge in Memphis, Tennessee has issued a removal order against a German citizen and Tennessee resident, based on his service in Nazi Germany in 1945 as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system (Neuengamme).

After a two-day trial, U.S. Immigration Judge Rebecca L. Holt issued her opinion finding Friedrich Karl Berger removable under the Immigration and Nationality Act because his “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place” constituted assistance in Nazi-sponsored persecution. The court found that Berger served at a Neuengamme sub-camp near Meppen, Germany, and that the prisoners there included “Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch, Latvians, French, Italians, and political opponents” of the Nazis.

Judge Holt found that Meppen prisoners were held during the winter of 1945 in “atrocious” conditions and were exploited for outdoor forced labor, working “to the point of exhaustion and death.” The court further found, and Berger admitted, that he guarded prisoners to prevent them from escaping during their dawn-to-dusk workday, and on their way to and from the worksites. At the end of March 1945, with the advance of British and Canadian forces, the Nazis abandoned Meppen. The court found that Berger helped guard the prisoners during their forcible evacuation to the Neuengamme main camp – a nearly two-week trip under inhumane conditions which claimed the lives of some 70 prisoners.

***

Built in December 1938 by one hundred inmates transferred from Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Neuengamme concentration camp was established around an empty brickworks in Hamburg-Neuengamme. The bricks produced there were to be used for the “Fuehrer buildings”, part of the National Socialists’ redevelopment plans for the river Elbe in Hamburg.

 1943

Until June 4th, 1940, Neuengamme was a sub-camp of Sachsenhausen. At this date Neuengamme became an independent concentration camp, under the direct control of the overseer of concentration camps. The prisoners worked on the construction of the camp and the brickworks, regulating the flow of the Dove-Elbe river and the building of a branch canal, as well as on the mining of clay. The number of inmates increased dramatically in only a few months: in 1940, the population of the camp was 2,000 prisoners (with a proportion of 80% German inmates among them), Between 1940 and 1945, more than 95,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Neuengamme. On April 10th, 1945, the number of prisoners in the camp itself was 13,500. More than 2,000 men and 10,300 women were working in the different sub-camps depending on Neuengamme SS administration.

***

“Berger was part of the SS machinery of oppression that kept concentration camp prisoners in atrocious conditions of confinement,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. “This ruling shows the Department’s continued commitment to obtaining a measure of justice, however late, for the victims of wartime Nazi persecution.”

The investigation was initiated by DOJ’s Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section (HRSP) and was conducted in partnership with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center and HSI’s Nashville Special Agent in Charge office.

“The investigation of human rights violations and those who engage in these heinous acts, continues to be a focus for Homeland Security Investigations and this successful outcome is an example of those efforts” stated Jerry C. Templet Jr, Special Agent in Charge, HSI Nashville.

The removal case was jointly tried by attorneys in ICE New Orleans Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (Memphis), and attorneys from DOJ’s HRSP, with the assistance of the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center.

Established in 2009, ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center furthers ICE’s efforts to identify, locate and prosecute human rights abusers in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, female genital mutilation and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.

Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 450 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed 1034 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 160 such individuals from the United States.

Currently, HSI has more than 180 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,640 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, The HRVWCC has issued more than 76,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped over 315 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.

03/3/20

Bill Whittle: “The Cold War: What We Saw” – Episodes 3, 4 and 5

From: Bill Whittle

So now the board is set and the pieces are in place. In the East, the battle-hardened, seemingly endless divisions of the Red Army, backed by the ruthless and pitiless Joseph Stalin and his state-driven terror. In the West, the idealistic to the point of naïveté allies and their game-changing pika-dons, the nuclear flash-booms that had turned Stalin’s relentless ambition into a pillar of salt. As he tapped his unlit pipe and smoothed his iconic mustache, Stalin was sure that while the West had the Bomb, they did not possess the will to use it; the Americans would not trade Boston for Berlin. Stalin wouldn’t invade because he wouldn’t have to; he’d move the Iron Curtain to keep the Allies out of Berlin. It was a blockade that the West could never get through… but one that they just might be able to get over.

Although the entire Cold War passed without shots being fired between the two superpowers, the Cold War was anything but bloodless. The Korean conflict marked the beginning of proxy wars, regional conflicts backed by the full military might of both the United States and the Soviet Union. A brilliant amphibious landing turns the tide on the Korean Peninsula; meanwhile, America raises the stakes with a bomb so powerful it takes an atomic bomb to simply light the fuse.

Joseph Stalin, the architect and instigator of the 42-year Cold War, has died five years into the conflict. Across the Atlantic, a new Republican President, who had worked closely with Uncle Joe during World War II, is a mere two months in office. As the knives come out for the succession fight inside the Kremlin, will a brief window of opportunity be enough to completely reset the conflict?

03/3/20

Dr. Handel Mishandles

By: Tabitha Korol

The defensive wars won by Israel against four invading countries negate the accusation of occupation, but writers on Academia.edu are not required to support their indictments and inaccuracies.

Academia.edu, based in Los Angeles, despite its authoritative name, can publish anything regardless of accuracy. Amid the genuine material, there is to be found pseudo-scientific nonsense, opinion-based articles, and everything else in between. The papers generally project a scholarly impression, and this is the danger, for there is much that is fabricated and unsupported by reliable documentation.

I had often considered refuting some of those formidable essays, particularly those that were also propagandist in nature, each time overwhelmed by the sheer extent of the distortion. But one need not repudiate a writer’s entire concoction to verify that s(he) has engaged in broadcasting a personal opinion as proven fact.

An essay entitled Chronology of the Occupation Regime, 1967–2000, by Dr. Ariel Handel, is such a personally biased presentation. It opens with the heading, “June 5,” followed by, “War breaks out between Israel, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. When it ends, Israel controls the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula.” Within these two sentences, there are concepts sufficient to fuel the fires of Islamic frenzy and influence the average reader into assigning victimhood to the aggressor.

War breaks out. Does Handel suggest a case of spontaneous combustion, such as a fire in the dry season? Are we to believe that the peaceful men of the four countries were all suddenly impelled to rise to battle at a given shared border? Yet there is no commonly shared border with Israel. Syria lies to the north of Israel, Jordan to Israel’s east, and Egypt southwest, and all three Arab countries dwarf Israel considerably. How could it be that they broke into war instantaneously and for what purpose?

The operation of the Arab countries was coordinated, and far from “breaking out,” this was a carefully planned “breaking in” – an invasion of Israel’s sovereignty on multiple fronts, for the genocide of the Jews and a grab for their land.

The demographics gave the Arabs confidence. Israel’s landmass is about 1/625 (1/6th of 1 percent) of the Arab world, home to six to seven million Jews compared to the 85-90 million Muslims of Egypt, 10 million Muslims of Jordan, and 16.5 million Muslims of Syria. Why would Israel join in such activity if they were not so programmed or mesmerized? Unless, of course, the one was attacked by the other three, except there was also an unnamed fourth, Iraq, home to 39 million Muslims – Handel’s omission to imply more balance, perhaps.

If there was no common border, there were certainly common incentives and destination – Israel, the stick in the Muslim craw, the thorn in their side, the small sliver of land that caused 250,000 Muslims to erupt in fury and band together to form an army equipped with Soviet-supplied aircraft and tanks. Egypt ominously and illegally blocked Israel’s access to international waters, expelling UN peace-keeping forces. Then-defense minister Hafez al-Assad, who later became President of the Syrian Arab Republic, ordered his troops to “Strike the enemy’s settlements, turn them into dust and pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews. We are determined to saturate this earth with your (Israeli) blood, to throw you into the sea.” This unpleasant quote didn’t suit Handel’s views and, thus, escaped his attention.

Between 1948 and 1967, during Egypt and Jordan’s 19-year occupation of Gaza and the West Bank (Judea-Samaria), there was no call for a Palestinian state to include these areas. In fact, the PLO Covenant of 1964 stipulated, “The PLO does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank (Judea-Samaria) in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area.”

The Arabs adopted the name Palestinians after the 1967 war when Israel won its defensive war and gained land populated with a belligerent people over which it had no desire to govern. Under the Rules of War, this was not occupation, but historically and under any de facto International Law, land for the conqueror to control or relinquish as largesse. Yet each time Israeli governments attempted to negotiate a treaty according to the Land for Peace formula, the generous offer of 98% of what the Arabs demanded, including East Jerusalem, Israel was rebuffed.

Therefore, under International Law, Israel was forced to continue her presence in Gaza and the West Bank until the emergence of a suitable partner with whom they could negotiate an effective peace treaty. To date, there has been nothing but obstinacy and, indeed, additional attacks against the Jewish state. The Gazans continue their deadly violence against Israel, in defiance of the Rules of War, without uniforms, without regard for civilian citizens, and using their own children to ignite rocketry and incendiary balloons to detonate Israeli schools and school buses, and attack private citizens on the streets and in their homes.

Yet Handel, with counsel of professor of political science, Neve Gordon of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and Dr. Shir Hever, economic researcher and journalist, now rue the Arabs’ loss of land. The civilized world has Rules of War, effective since the nineteenth century. Had Handel been capable of clear thinking, he would have recognized that it was the Arab aggressors, not the defending Israelis, who were guilty of war crimes.

Aggressors are those who commit crimes against peace, and who wage aggressive wars with disregard to territory or political independence of another state. Those who violate the express terms of a peace settlement may be prosecuted as war criminals under the United Nations Charter. Crimes committed against civilians because of their race, religion, and national origin, including genocide, are considered war crimes. In fact, the only type of war recognized by the United Nations as lawful is one fought in self-defense.

Contrary to Handel’s position, Israel was forced to continue its presence in Gaza and the West Bank from 1967–1993 because no Palestinian had yet emerged as a peace partner to successfully negotiate and administer the Territories. When Egypt and Jordan renounced their claims to the Gaza Strip and West Bank Territories in 1979 and 1988, Israel was left with the task of administration, unable to extricate itself from that duty. Gaza is now an independent entity, ruled entirely by Hamas (a name that means “violence”).

The balance of Handel’s long diatribe was built on desert sand, accusations and arguments on behalf or in defense of a people that never existed, and who, to this day, have no tangible tie to the land they were unable to conquer by war. These Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Syrians, and other Muslims who came first to work within the nascent state, but bound together in common enmity, called themselves Palestinians to fabricate a tie.

The author blamed the Israel Defense Forces for the manner in which they took “control and responsibility for maintenance of public order and safety,” and proceeded to cite some of the more than 2500 humane proclamations needed to communicate how peace would be restored and maintained by the Arabs who were to live harmoniously with Israelis. Bear in mind that the Arabs were smoldering with resentment at their defeat and had not the slightest intention of living peaceably alongside Jews.

The first proclamation, June 1, was posted on Palestinian houses as the Israeli military forces advanced. It stated: “The Israel Defense Forces have today entered the area and taken control and responsibility for maintenance of public order and safety.” This proclamation and other orders that would be issued subsequently had already been drafted by the Judge Advocate General’s Office in the early 1960s as part of a legal framework for a future military government in the Occupied Territory.

As a counterweight to Handel’s sham analysis of Israel’s past and present, the following facts should be more than sufficient.

The Jewish State of Israel has often brought prosperity and order wherever it has been permitted and so, under Israel’s authority, the West Bank and Gaza became the 4th fastest-growing economy in the world, with an 80 percent increase in income. Israel increased millions of dollars in funding to improve refugee camps, allowed Arabs easier travel to Jerusalem, modernized Palestinian infrastructure, and created thousands of manufacturing plants. It established seven universities, expanded schools, taught modern agriculture, set up medical programs and opened 100+ health clinics. Israel instituted freedom of the press, of association and of religion with the first authentically Palestinian administration they had ever known. Adult illiteracy dropped by 14 percent, unemployment plunged, life expectancy soared, and their population nearly doubled between 1967 and 1993.

These are the facts, Dr. Handel. Were you unaware of them or did they not fit your narrative?

Palestinian life was undeniably improved under Israeli laws, but the Islamic leadership could not relinquish the very thing that brought them centuries of squalor: the rigidity of the Koranic dictates that they must never make peace with Jews and Christians. Once Hamas and Hezbollah retook their charge, it was business as usual: the violence against Israelis, the redirection of international aid into their own pockets, and the subsequent degradation of their people.

The changes of the name of Judea and Samaria to “West Bank” and of Israel to “Palestine” further underscore the ongoing Arab determination to sever the Jewish connection to their historic homeland. These documented and indisputable facts appear to be unknown to some commentators, despite their claims to be serious investigators.

There also exists in the west an inexplicable, mindless ideology, albeit, with good intentions, that supposes that Islam can come to terms with its own toxic 1400-year history and heritage and accept peace with both Israel and the rest of the world. Accordingly, Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, proposed an extensive, detailed offer for peace to the Palestinians with Israel. True to form, Muslims/Palestinians have denounced it once again.

Acknowledgment: Israel 101, produced by StandWithUs

03/1/20

History of the ATF: How the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Became Corrupt & Abusive

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

History of the ATF: How the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Became Corrupt & AbusiveIt’s unlikely that there is a single federal alphabet organization less popular among the readership of this website than the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. These are the people who gave us both the Siege at Ruby Ridge and the Siege of Waco. What’s more, they may well be engaged in an entirely unconstitutional exercise: monitoring and patrolling the gun ownership of law-abiding citizens.

There’s also a solid case to be made that the ATF is a rogue organization, the most corrupt of the federal alphabet agencies. This can be seen through a number of scandals beginning with Ruby Ridge, threading through the siege at Mount Carmel in Waco, and continuing to the notorious “Fast and Furious” scandal.

While firearms owners, weapons enthusiasts and Second Amendment advocates might have a special bone to pick with the ATF, we believe that all freedom-loving Americans should be concerned about the overreach, lawlessness, and lack of accountability in this organization. Roman poet Juvenal once posed an important (and famous) question about powerful justice officers: Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?” – Who is to guard the guardians?

All told, there are over 20,000 firearms laws and regulations on the books at the state and federal level. Many of these contradict each other or are written with a lot of room for interpretation. Gun owners and gun dealers are easy prey for a corrupt and lawless federal agency that wants to twist its arms outside the bounds of the law.

It’s also worth considering what overreach and lack of accountability other federal organizations are responsible for that we don’t know about, simply because they do not have the same spotlight on them as the ATF – a reminder that the scandals mentioned above are just the ones that we know about.

We recommend reading this article in concert with our other articles on the ATF: WacoRuby Ridge and Fast and Furious. Each of these contains familiar tropes with regard to the ATF: Entrapment, “lost” evidence, a total lack of accountability, aggressive policing tactics where discretion would probably have saved lives, and a vengeful manner of doing business.

The Pre-History of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

History of the ATF: How the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Became Corrupt & AbusiveThe ATF’s genesis lies all the way back in 1886, as a part of the Department of Treasury. Then it was known as the Revenue Laboratory within the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The pre-history of the ATF can then be traced through the Bureau of Prohibition, itself a branch of the Bureau of Internal Revenue formed in 1920. The Bureau of Prohibition was then spun off as an independent agency under the umbrella of the Treasury Department in 1927, before becoming a part of the Justice Department in 1930, and eventually merged into the FBI briefly in 1933.

In December 1933, Prohibition was repealed and the Prohibition Bureau became the Alcohol Tax Unit (ATU) of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. In 1942, they were also tasked with enforcing federal firearms laws, which were scant at the time, to say the least – remember that fully automatic machine guns were legal until 1986.

In the early 1950s, the Bureau of Internal Revenue became the Internal Revenue Service that we all know and love today. As part of this reorganization of federal alphabet agencies, the Alcohol Tax Unit was tasked with collecting tobacco taxes as well and became known as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division (ATTD).

It was with the 1968 Gun Control Act that the agency became the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division of the IRS, and also received some jurisdiction over bombings and arson. In 1972, it became a fully independent bureau of the Treasury Department – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (B.A.T.F). It was here that the Bureau became tasked more with the enforcement of the law around firearms than it did about collecting taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

A Long History of Abuse and Corruption in the ATF

The ATF had a bad reputation long before the events of Ruby Ridge and Waco. They were subject to Congressional hearings in the late 70s and early 80s because their methods for securing a case were considered overzealous. Evidence at the hearings was presented by American citizens who had been charged, experts who had closely studied the Bureau, and internal officials from the Bureau. The Senate sub-committee investigating declared:

“Based upon these hearings, it is apparent that ATF enforcement tactics made possible by current federal firearms laws are constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible.”

The ATF was considered especially harmful because they often targeted people who not only didn’t know they were doing anything wrong but had absolutely no malicious intent at all. Their efforts focused on gun collectors rather than stopping street crime. Indeed, the same investigation found that 75 percent of all ATF prosecutions were targeted at people who had no knowledge that they were breaking the law and had no intent to do anything criminal.

The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) was squarely aimed at reducing the abuses of the Bureau. Nothing less than a complete overhaul of the 1968 Gun Control Act, FOPA allowed for increased interstate sales of long arms, shipping ammunition through the U.S. mail, ended record keeping requirements on most forms of ammunition, and protected the transportation of otherwise illegal firearms across state lines (“safe passage”).

This is also the act that largely prohibited the ownership of fully automatic machine guns by civilians, so it certainly wasn’t perfect.

Ruby Ridge and Waco

History of the ATF: How the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Became Corrupt & AbusiveFollowing FOPA in 1986, the next big chapters in ATF history are the sieges at Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco in 1993. These events lead directly to the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

The Siege at Ruby Ridge

In 1992, Ruby Ridge, Idaho, was the site of an 11-day standoff between the ATF and Randy Weaver – who had been entrapped by the ATF into violating the law regarding the barrel length of a shotgun. They attempted to coerce him into becoming a snitch inside the Aryan Nations (which, as it turned out, was basically an organization entirely full of snitches). When he refused, the ATF moved forward with prosecution.

There was a series of bureaucratic SNAFUs that led to Weaver not knowing what his court date was, missing it, and then deciding not to show up at all out of the very legitimate fear that he would not get a fair shake. So the Marshal Service came in, guns blazing in tactical gear, and did what the feds are perhaps best known for: They shot Weaver’s dog. Unfortunately, it went further than that. They also shot his 14-year-old son Sammy in the back and his wife through a door while she held their infant child.

Patriots descended onto the scene and 11 days later, Weaver came out. He was tried and acquitted of all charges except for failure to appear.

The Siege at Waco

The next year, the ATF had a similar situation in Waco, Texas, where they were investigating a religious group known as the Branch Davidians. Here, the ATF (according to many accounts) was more interested in performing for television cameras than they were in enforcing the law. They used aggressive policing tactics against a group of people who had not been convicted of – or even formally charged with – any crime. The final result was a 51-day siege, at the end of which 82 Branch Davidians (including women and children) were gunned down or burned to death.

Each of these events was directly cited by Timothy McVeigh as radicalizing for him on his road to attacking the federal building at Oklahoma City, stating:

“I chose to bomb a federal building because such an action served more purposes than other options. Foremost the bombing was a retaliatory strike; a counter-attack for the cumulative raids (and subsequent violence and damage) that federal agents had participated in over the preceding years (including, but not limited to, Waco). From the formation of such units as the FBI’s Hostage Rescue and other assault teams amongst federal agencies during the 80s, culminating in the Waco incident, federal actions grew increasingly militaristic and violent, to the point where at Waco, our government – like the Chinese – was deploying tanks against its own citizens.”

Expanded Powers Post-9/11

Unsurprisingly, the ATF was rewarded for its indiscretions with broader police powers post-9/11, when any three-letter alphabet agency was basically given carte blanche to run roughshod over the civil rights of American citizens. This included an expanded jurisdiction over fuels used in amateur rocketry.

It’s worth briefly noting that the ATF (actually the BATFE, as their agents are quick to tell anyone who will listen) has a bit of a chip on its shoulder because there is a perception that the agency is made up of FBI rejects. The ATF tends to not cooperate with the FBI, something people hoped would end when the ATF was moved from Treasury to Justice. But the so-called “battle of the badges” continues. Each wants to investigate terrorist attacks involving explosives, and there are no clear federal guidelines about which gets which.

The Harassment of Gun Show Buyers and Sellers

Starting in May 2004 and ending (as far as we know) in August 2005, the ATF worked with local police in Richmond, VA, to harass and intimidate otherwise legal gun buyers. People at eight different gun shows were approached by officers and discouraged from buying guns. Gun salesmen were targeted, interrogated, and accused of doing business without a license. Buyers were detained without charge and had their homes visited by ATF agents – all for exercising a Constitutionally protected right. An ATF letter demanded the appearance of buyers to appear before the ATF and explain their purchases. Soon after, the ATF visited the homes of buyers from a Pittsburgh, PA gun show, demanding to see their papers for purchases and arresting those who refused to comply.

All of this was just the lead up to Operation Gunrunner, better known as the Fast and Furious Scandal, an official policy of allowing certain illegal weapons purchases to go through between 2006 and 2011. It led to the deaths of a Border Patrol Agent and some of the weapons in question were even used in a terrorist attack.

The Baiting of Hmong Refugees

One of the more disgusting ATF escapades post-9/11 was right out of their old entrapment handbook: They baited a bunch of Hmong refugees from the Communist regime in Laos into buying illegal weapons over a period of years. It’s worth noting that these men were hardly hardened revolutionary militants. In many cases, they were elderly and infirm men. Even the prosecution admits that their stated goal was not to overthrow the Communist government in Laos but to arm the native Hmong to protect themselves.

Charges were eventually dropped when a judge told the feds they had no case. But the whole ordeal lasted almost four years and cost tens of millions of dollars. The defendants saw deteriorating health throughout the case – imagine your father or grandfather having to deal with a dubious criminal prosecution in his advancing age.

The Entrapment of Mentally Disabled Teenagers

Have you heard about the ATF entrapping mentally disabled teenagers and coercing them into getting neck tattoos? You read that right, the ATF opened up a fake head shop that it used for (what else?) entrapment. In this case, a 19-year-old mentally disabled drug addict was manipulated by agents into getting the logo for a shill business tattooed on his neck. This was allegedly to keep him from finding out that he was unwittingly informing for the government, a defense so stupid that a federal judge repeatedly and pointedly asked the ATF to explain how suggesting that someone else get a neck tattoo was a method of preventing agents from blowing their cover.

The ATF was ordered by a judge to pay for the removal of the tattoo. But this was apparently not the only example of the ATF using what it euphemistically refers to as a “low IQ informant” – there was another case earlier that same year, with another shill business.

Part of the problem with the ATF is that the right-hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. For example, a Bureau audit in September 2008, found that the ATF had waylaid no less than 76 weapons and 418 laptop computers.

Just How Bad Is the ATF?

History of the ATF: How the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Became Corrupt & AbusiveIt’s no surprise to our readers that we’re not the biggest fans of federal alphabet agencies. So one might be tempted to ask exactly what the big deal is about the ATF. Why single them out for criticism?

The ATF is a unique corrupt federal alphabet agency. Indeed, the Trump Administration has gone so far as to cut the organization’s funding. This is part of a broader mood that the ATF is unique among federal alphabet agencies. While there’s rarely a thirst in Washington to scale back federal police powers, the ATF is so controversial even within the halls of official power, that the executive branch – of all places – has looked for ways to constrain it.

The complaints about the ATF are not by any means limited to civilians who they have wronged. As an example, the ATF received 400 employee complaints within one two-year period. This is an astounding number of complaints for an organization that only has 5,000 employees.

What’s more, internal agents who complain are often subjective to punitive measures within the agency, meaning that what resources aren’t being spent on entrapping citizens are being used to persecute what slim opposition to corruption exists within the organization – so how much of their time and money are they using to lock up bad guys?

Indeed, the ATF has been accused of making threats of rape and murder against ATF agents and their families when those agents make good faith reports of corruption and misconduct within the organization. Much of the corruption from the perspective of ATF agents acting in good faith and their families can be found at Clean Up ATF and their forums, a website that we highly encourage people to check out.

The astonishing thing is the sheer volume of complaints ranging from petty corruption to reprisals against agents seeking reform to sexual misconduct and beyond. We take no stance on whether or not each and every accusation against the ATF is accurate. Nor do we take the stance of “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” However, drilling down and looking at the individual complaints, and evaluating each on their own merit, will likely lead you to rather sinister conclusions about the ATF.

What Does the ATF Really Do With Your Form 4473?

Federal Form 4473, also known as the Firearms Transaction Record, is well known to everyone who has ever purchased a firearm. You think that after you fill that out, it goes to some kind of ultra-secure ATF repository – but absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the form just sits wherever you bought it until the company goes out of business, at which time it’s transferred to the ATF at long last.

What this means is that the Form 4473 is not only insecure but basically a form of kabuki similar to the security theater people undergo every time they go through an airport. Finding the document is just about impossible, even when they have a suspect or a weapon. It’s the ultimate needle in a haystack problem, with as many as 70 phone calls required for the average trace. A single big-box retailer might send in as many as 50,000 for one moderately busy location closing.

Of course, there is always another sinister aspect to such intrusions: Grooming us all for an increasingly obvious police state.

The Beltway Sniper case presents an illustrative example: There the ATF went out and collected every Form 4473 from all of Maryland and Virginia. This was a precedent for future fishing expeditions, where the ATF can go out, collect as many forms as they want with dubious legal standing, and now have de facto gun registrations for everyone that they collected forms about.

The ATF Slush Fund: Is the ATF a Rogue Agency?

History of the ATF: How the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Became Corrupt & AbusiveThe answer to this question very much depends on what one means. So what do we mean when we ask if the ATF is a rogue agency?

Simply put, we mean: Is the ATF even beholden to the federal government and our elected officials? Is there accountability? The answer is… kind of.

It’s worth noting again that the ATF has had its budget first frozen, which is an effective budgetary cut, then explicitly cut. What’s more, we discussed the Senate investigations of the early 1980s above. And each of the scandals we have covered elsewhere on the website (Ruby Ridge in 1993, Waco in 1994, and Operation Gunrunner in 2010) have had their own investigations. But we think there is one scandal not covered here that is particularly damning when considering whether or not the ATF is a rogue agency.

Over the course of several years, the ATF built up a slush fund that was used without Congressional or executive oversight through a rather unlikely revenue stream: Cigarettes.

Anyone who knows anything about organized crime knows that, silly as it may sound, illegally selling cigarettes is still big business. There’s still a lot of money to be made out of knocking over a truck carrying cigarettes, then selling them well below market value and without paying any of the relevant taxes. This, indeed, is one of the things the ATF is actually supposed to be looking into – if you remember, this was one of their first assignments.

The New York Times uncovered this operation in February 2017. And at first, it looked like a few bad apples in one office. However, what the Times found was that this was a nationwide operation based out of the Bristol, VA office. Anytime an agent wanted money for an operation, they didn’t go through the official channels of power. They simply called the Bristol office, which had tons of money thanks to their partnership with a cigarette wholesaler.

Unsurprisingly, the slush fund was not only spent on investigative expenses. Two informants were paid a whopping $6 million each – good work if you can get it. One agent, in particular, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on real estate, electronics and donations to his church and children’s sports teams. Other purchases included a $21,000 NASCAR suite and a trip to Las Vegas.

Mixing private and public funds is highly illegal. The ATF, at long last, acknowledges that there was no legal justification for the slush fund. But again, this was not a rogue field office or rogue agents: ATF headquarters was openly steering agents to the Bristol office whenever they needed money for something. There were no prosecutions, Congress was kept in the dark, and the Justice Department went out of their way to cover for those involved. This abuse of funds is nothing special – civil asset forfeiture funds are frequently misused. However, the difference is how the funds were acquired.

Tens of millions moved through the bank account in question before it was shut down in 2013. No one knows exactly how much money was involved, because no one was keeping track.

How the ATF Slush Fund Worked

This slush fund bears special examination because it is an example of the ATF as a rogue agency, not one that is “simply” corrupt in the same way as other federal alphabet agencies. Worthy of note is the manner in which headquarters facilitated the use of the slush fund, but also how it began and how it operated on a day-to-day basis.

Thomas Lesnak was a well-liked ATF agent. Affable, he was generally thought of as a “good cop.” He had the groundbreaking idea that the ATF would catch cigarette smugglers, not by setting up front companies, but by working with an actual, existing company.

The ATF agents allowed Big South Wholesale to conduct illegal cigarette sales so that the ATF could then catch smugglers and their customers who often paid in illegal weapons and stolen goods. This is very similar to Operation Gunrunner in that the ATF allowed legitimate businesses to commit crimes so that they could track criminals based on these purchases.

This was already illegal. That’s because undercover operations have a series of protocols designed to ensure transparency. Undercover operations are supposed to run entirely on government money so that there can be government oversight of how the money is being spent. In this case, the money was largely put into a personal account owned by the owner of Big South Wholesale. The spending out of this account, which Congress didn’t even know about, was controlled by Lesnak.

What the money was spent on could be an article all by itself. Credit cards, a fleet of luxury cars, vending machines with hidden cameras, and the personal American Express bills of ATF agents were just some of the perks of working for the ATF and being in the know about this fund. It was a long list as one might expect from an account that ran into the tens of millions.

It gets worse. One of the requirements of keeping this slush fund on the hush-hush meant that the ATF always needed guilty pleas. What this meant in practice was that the ATF was bribing suspects to plead guilty. One defendant testified that he was paid $100 cash monthly, plus the rent on his house while he was in jail, plus a first-class plane ticket to plead guilty to charges.

It wasn’t government whistleblowers who uncovered the scheme, either: U.S. Tobacco thought something was amiss and decided to look into it. They were then informed that the ATF was running their own private lemonade stand out of the warehouse. They raided it and sued the nominal owners for $24 million. The target of their biggest investigation, Paraguayan tobacco company Tabesa, had their own become President of Paraguay.

When notified, the ATF didn’t do anything. No one was prosecuted or even reprimanded. Lesnak retired soon afterward, presumably with a full pension.

It’s easy to get angry at the corruption of the ATF, and with good reason. But what might get lost in the legitimate indignation of a federal alphabet agency profiting off of cigarette smuggling is that the bad guys got away.

Cigarette smuggling admittedly sounds a little silly, but it is often done as part of money laundering operations for much more serious crimes. Not only did the ATF do something highly illegal, they also let other actual criminals get away. There’s a lot more going on here than a simple case of “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.”

Who Watches the Watchmen?

The ATF is a classic example of what happens when a federal alphabet agency is given increasing police powers with no meaningful oversight. In the case of the ATF, it’s resulted in a whole lot of crime.

There is also the small question of to what degree the activities of the ATF are Constitutionally protected. While this is an open question for a number of federal alphabet agencies (especially in the era of Congress largely delegating its legislative powers to bureaucracies), it is an especially sharp question with regard to firearms, which are Constitutionally protected in a way that, for example, recreational drugs are not.

The ATF goes out of its way to avoid Congressional oversight in a manner that is more similar to the CIA than it is the DEA or the FBI.

Weaponizing the ATF

History of the ATF: How the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Became Corrupt & AbusiveIt’s not news that gun grabbers have been ineffective at achieving their goals through the regular legislative process. There’s simply no appetite in American politics for a large-scale gun ban or even firearms registration. Every time they attempt it, the attempt falls flat and they’re back to, for example, trying to get payment systems to refuse services to gun owners and weapons retailers.

However, there is a more troubling avenue that gun grabbers are beginning to take. Following up on the recent love affair of leftist liberals with the CIA and the FBI (anyone old enough to remember the Bush Administration, remembers when the NPR set considered these to be tyrannical and Orwellian institutions), the Democratic Party is now looking to the ATF to do what it cannot do through the legislature: Take people’s guns away and send a chilling effect over the gun market.

The “Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act” stands in the great American legislative tradition of duplicitously Orwellian bill names. While it mostly just stands to make already illegal activity even more illegal, it has some rather chilling provisions that include closer ATF oversight of gun dealers, stiffer penalties for falsified forms (remember that the ATF is mostly going after people making honest mistakes), ATF discretion when it comes to granting gun licenses, and allowing the ATF to demand certain dealers conduct physical inventories.

It is worth raising the question of what might happen with the ATF under an aggressively anti-Second Amendment administration and Congress. Imagine, if you will, what the Obama Administration with the 111th Congress might look like in today’s far more polarized landscape. This was when the Democrats had a significant majority in both houses of Congress, as well as a friendly rubber stamp in the White House. What would such a government do with the ATF?

Nothing good.

Whither the ATF?

In 2014, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin, proposed disbanding the ATF entirely, giving its duties to more general law enforcement agencies. Those related to weapons, arson, explosives, and terrorism would be given to the FBI. Those related to alcohol and tobacco smuggling would be handed off to the DEA. Congress failed to act on his bill. He introduced the bill again the next year and was met with similar results. Sensenbrenner did not mince words:

“The ATF is a largely duplicative, scandal-ridden agency that lacks a clear mission… it is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges and a lack of leadership. For decades it has been branded by high-profile failures. There is also significant overlap with other agencies. … Without a doubt, we can fulfill the role of the ATF more efficiently.”

While nothing ever came of this, the Trump Administration began attempting to strip the alcohol and tobacco responsibilities from the agency. This is part of a more general attempt by Republican officials to, in the words of a Mother Jones article “kneecap the ATF.”

We should be so lucky. The ATF is a rogue organization with a dubious Constitutional mandate. This is not a position of the anarchist-libertarian extreme, but one that anyone with the evidence in front of them and a lick of common sense could come to.

02/27/20

The Waco Siege: What Happened When the Feds Laid Siege to the Branch Davidian Compound

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

history of the Waco Siege“The record of the Waco incident documents mistakes. What the record from Waco does not evidence, however, is any improper motive or intent on the part of law enforcement.”

Joseph Biden, U.S. Senator, Delaware (D) and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which issued the Waco Investigation Report

The siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, is an important event in American history because it directly led to one of the biggest terrorist attacks on American soil – the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. It’s not necessary to defend this act of terrorism to understand why the entire freedom movement of the time was so incensed by it. Indeed, it stood as a symbol of federal overreach and the corruption of the Clinton Administration.

It’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the siege of Waco, just as it is important to do so with the siege of Ruby Ridge or the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. With every event, it is important to stick to the facts and what can be extrapolated from them to make the strongest argument about what went wrong and why, and what could be done differently in the future.

Background: Who Are the Branch Davidians?

The Branch Davidians were a tiny offshoot of mainstream Seventh-Day Adventism. This stemmed from an earlier split between the main church and a group called Shepherd’s Rod, The Rod or the Davidians. It was effectively a reform movement within Adventism, albeit with some beliefs considered heretical by the mainstream church, none of which are important or relevant for this discussion.

The Branch Davidians were established some 20 years later, and a much more radical departure from Seventh-Day Adventism born from disappointment at the failure of earlier prophecies to materialize. There was some wrangling over the leadership of the group after the death of its founder, but Vernon Howell, better known to the world as David Koresh, ultimately won out over the wife and son of the founder.

Everyone liked Howell when he first showed up at the compound in 1981, including the head of the organization at the time, Lois Roden, with whom he had an affair, despite a more than 40-year age gap (he was in his late 20s, she was in her late 60s). He wanted to have a child with her, one that he believed would be the Chosen One of their religion.

Her son, George Roden, took over upon her death, which led to a power struggle between the two. Roden challenged Howell to raise the dead, going so far as to exhume a corpse for this purpose. Howell attempted to file charges against Roden over the grave robbing, but the police told him that more evidence was needed.

It was then that Howell and seven of his followers raided the compound armed with five .223 caliber semiautomatic rifles, two 22 caliber rifles, two 12-gauge shotguns, and almost 400 rounds of ammunition. They said they were trying to collect evidence of illegal activity on the compound, but forgot to bring a camera with them for that purpose. This was the definitive split where Howell won control of the Branch Davidian church at Mount Carmel. Those who did not follow him continued to use this name and argue that he was never rightfully in possession of it.

It was then that Vernon Howell became David Koresh, a name based on the historical King David and Cyrus the Great (“Koresh” is the Hebrew version of “Cyrus”).

By 1989, Koresh began marrying the members’ wives and daughters, some as young as 12, which was cited as a reason for the eventual raid. He claimed this came from an order from God. The men in the group other than Koresh were to remain celibate.

The Sinful Messiah

Koresh first began getting media attention from the Waco Tribune-Herald in February 1993. “The Sinful Messiah” was the name of a series of articles by Mark England and Darlene McCormick about Koresh and his followers. The articles mostly revolve around the child abuse claims and Koresh’s claim that he had over a dozen children, some of them with girls as young as 12.

Additionally, the group was suspected by local law enforcement of “stockpiling” illegal weapons. Local law enforcement alerted the ATF in May 1992, based on a call from a concerned UPS driver. By June 9th, the ATF had officially opened an investigation into the group.

This is perhaps the time to begin talking about some of the misconceptions or smears about the Branch Davidians. We are agnostic as to whether or not the group was a “cult,” as this can be defined differently by different people. However, the notion that Koresh kept his people in line with either mesmerism or fear does not square up with reports to Congress and elsewhere from survivors of the group. What’s more, rather than the dregs of Waco, many in the group were educated, most were religiously serious, and the group eschewed drugs and junk food.

Contrary to popular belief, Koresh did not claim to be the Second Coming of Christ, but rather to be a new messiah for a new age. The term “sinful messiah” was in fact one of Koresh’s own coinage, meaning that he was a messiah-like Christ but, unlike Christ, had a sinful nature.

The allegations of child abuse that prompted the final siege on Mount Carmel is even highly in dispute. Most of the allegations against Koresh come from either disgruntled former members or those involved in child custody battles. The church was investigated by state authorities but not prosecuted because no solid evidence was ever found. That Koresh married a 14-year-old girl is true, but this would have been totally legal with parental consent at the time – so what were state authorities supposed to do?

Assuming that the allegations of child sexual abuse were true – and we consider them to be extremely dubious – what was the ATF or the FBI doing there? And how does opening fire, throwing hand grenades, poison gassing and burning alive children serve to protect them? These are the important questions that stand as a stunning indictment of federal law enforcement, even if one accepts that child abuse was taking place within the compound.

As with Ruby Ridge, the allegations of the federal government and their toadies in the corporate media are distortions (“Koresh claims to be Christ”), dubious (“Koresh is abusing children”) and, more to the point, irrelevant (“The Branch Davidians were cooking meth”). The FBI and ATF were on the scene in Waco for one reason and one reason alone: To serve a search warrant to determine whether or not the Branch Davidians were making automatic weapons.

The Raid of Waco

The actual events of the raid can be difficult to tease out. Each side disagrees as to what the sequence of events was.

What we know is that, based on an affidavit filed by Davy Aguilera, the ATF obtained a search warrant. This was based on the testimony of a postal agent about what he considered to be suspicious deliveries to Mt. Carmel. However, none of the deliveries were in and of themselves illegal and included items such as 45 AR-15 upper receivers and five M-16 upper receivers.

The search warrant was mostly based on the number of weapons possessed by the Davidians. But in the United States of America, we have the right to own as many weapons as we can afford. What’s more, the notion that the Davidians were “stockpiling” weapons is a red herring: They were selling weapons (legally) in addition to buying them, so “inventory” might be the more accurate term for what they had at Mt. Carmel.

According to Dick J. Reavis, author of The Ashes of Waco:

“One of the prophecies that has been around Mt. Carmel since 1934 called for an ultimate confrontation between God’s people, or those at Mr. Carmel, and the forces of an armed apostate power called Babylon . . . Perhaps with that in mind, in 1991, the Davidians began studying armaments and buying and selling guns. He (Koresh) pretty quickly found out there is a lot of money to be made at gun shows and he and other people started going to gun shows. And they bought and sold. They bought items that weren’t guns, and they bought items that were guns. We now say, or the press now says, most people say, they stockpiled weapons. All gun dealers stockpile weapons. We call those stockpiles an inventory. There was an inventory of weapons at Mt. Carmel. A number of guys were involved in the gun shows, just as a number were involved in souping up and restoring cars, and just as a number were involved in playing in the band. There were circles or knots or subsets of people who had hobby interests that were only indirectly related to theology, and guns were one of those interests.”

The ATF’s raid, codenamed “Showtime,” was moved up one day in response to a local newspaper’s article on the Davidians. The local sheriff was not aware of the raid, but the Davidians knew it was coming. The ATF chose to raid the property rather than pick up Koresh while he was in town. An ATF agent who had infiltrated the group reported that they knew of the raid and that his cover was blown. When asked what they were doing when he left the property on the day of the raid, he said that the Davidians were praying.

There was another factor influencing the ATF’s decision to raid the Davidians when they did: Money. According to Henry Ruth, one of three independent reviewers of the Treasury Department’s report on Waco:

“With appropriations hearings a week away, a large successful raid for the ATF would’ve proposed major positive headlines for the agency. It would’ve helped counter the narrative of the ATF as a rogue agency. And it would’ve spread fear about radical fringe groups which would put pressure on Congress to increase its budget. Part of their motivation was to use the siege at Waco as a publicity stunt.”

There is much discussion and debate about who fired first, however, there is ample evidence that it was the ATF when they went to shoot the Davidians’ dogs in their kennels on the way to surrounding the compound. What’s more, the ATF showed up in a cattle trailer protected by a tarp, wearing no body armor. They were not dressed for an armed confrontation with apocalyptic religious extremists.

A ceasefire was negotiated by local authorities. The sheriff claims that the ATF only withdrew once they were out of ammunition. What this means is that if the Branch Davidians were the dangerous extremists they were portrayed as they could have easily shot down every ATF agent either then or when they went out to recover their dead. They did not; the Davidians honored the ceasefire.

“They could’ve killed every ATF agent out there the day of the raid, had they kept shooting. But when they said they would leave their property, they quit shooting. They were highly protective of their property.”

Jack Harwell, Sheriff, McLennan County

And so began the 51-day standoff in Waco, Texas.

The Waco Standoff

The standoff is frequently thought of as a benign and inert non-confrontation. However, this is untrue. While it’s true that no shots were fired, there was a virtual constant low-level assault on the compound in the form of noise (rabbits being slaughtered, jet planes, pop music, and other loud noises), threatening tank movements and poison gas, and flash-bang grenades. Federal agents would frequently give the middle finger to or “moon” the people inside Mt. Carmel.

The tanks were used to crush the outer perimeter, outbuildings, private vehicles belonging to the Branch Davidians, and were repeatedly rolled over the grave of Branch Davidian Peter Gent, despite protests from both Branch Davidians and federal negotiators.

While none of this is acceptable, two of these activities bear special examination: the gas and flash-bang grenades.

The “tear gas” used against the compound was military-grade, a type that can turn toxic very easily. The federal agents knew there were children and even infants in the house, children too small for any gas mask to cover. They shot the grenades in anyway, effectively considering the suffering of the children inside as acceptable collateral damage. Further, flash-bang grenades are deadly and certainly violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the ceasefire.

Koresh became concerned with the safety of the group due to increasingly aggressive tactics. All told, 11 people left the Davidian house, all of whom were arrested as material witnesses, with one indicted for conspiracy to commit murder. Children inside were increasingly unwilling to leave Koresh’s side, especially once they learned that the children who had previously left had been separated from their mothers and other women in the group who had been caring for them.

Communication predictably began to break down. The FBI considered using snipers to take out Koresh and other leaders of the movement and feared a mass suicide. However, Koresh denied such a thing was imminent and those leaving the compound had seen no plans in place for mass suicide.

How the Media Portrayed the Standoff

Koresh and the Davidians watched what the ATF and other federal agents were saying publicly about the initial raid during their 51-day standoff. The public narrative didn’t line up with what the Davidians had experienced, making negotiations even more difficult:

Jim Cavanaugh, ATF negotiator: Well, I think we need to set the record straight, and that is that there was no guns on those helicopters (used in the initial raid). There was National Guard officers on those helicopters . . .
Koresh: Now Jim, you’re a d*mn liar. Now let’s get real.
Cavanaugh: David, I . . .
Koresh: No! You listen to me! You’re sittin’ there and tellin’ me that there were no guns on that helicopter!?
Cavanaugh: I said they didn’t shoot. There’s no guns on . . .
Koresh: You are a d*mn liar!
Cavanaugh: Well, you’re wrong, David.
Koresh: You are a liar!
Cavanaugh: OK. Well, just calm down . . .
Koresh: No! Let me tell you something. That might be what you want the media to believe, but there’s other people that saw too! Now, tell me Jim again. You’re honestly going to say those helicopters didn’t fire on any of us?
Cavanaugh: What I’m sayin’ is . . . now I listened to you, now you listen to me, OK?
Koresh: I’m listening.
Cavanaugh: What I’m sayin’ is that those helicopters didn’t have mounted guns. OK? I’m not disputing the fact that there might have been fire from the helicopters. If you say there was fire from the helicopters and you were there that’s OK with me. What I’m tellin’ you is there was no mounted guns, ya know, outside mounted guns on those helicopters.
Koresh: I agree with you on that.
Cavanaugh: Alright. Now, that’s the only thing I’m sayin’. Now, the agents on the helicopters had guns.
Koresh: I agree with you on that!
Cavanaugh: You understand what I’m sayin’?
Koresh: I agree with you.
Cavanaugh: OK, OK. So see, we’re not even in dispute and Steven’s getting all worked up over it.
Koresh: Well, no. What the dispute was over, I believe Jim, is that you said they didn’t fire on us from the helicopters.
Cavanaugh: Well, what I mean is a mounted gun . . . like a, you know, like a mounted machine gun.
Koresh: Yeah. But like that’s beside the point. What they did have was machine guns.

This distrust by the Davidians of the ATF and their lead negotiator, Jim Cavanaugh, helped exacerbate the standoff.

The Final Siege of Mount Carmel

The newly-minted U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno was unhappy with the progress being made at Waco, and invoked (what else) the abuse of children in her pitch for a resolution to the conflict. For his part, President Clinton, who had dealt with a similar situation as Governor of Arkansas in 1985 – with The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of the Lord – initially urged waiting out the group. Reno, however, cited antsy agents and budgetary concerns. Ultimately, Clinton told her to do whatever she thought was best.

The FBI Hostage Rescue Team – derisively nicknamed the “Hostage Roasting Team” and which denied any evidence of child abuse – came armed with 50 caliber rifles and punched holes in the walls of the building with explosives so they could pump CS poison gas into a building with small children and infants inside. The plan was to announce to the group that there was no plan to take the house by force while slowly pumping greater amounts of CS gas inside to increase pressure on them to leave.

The fires began around noon on the final day of the standoff. The FBI maintains that they were started deliberately by the Davidians, with some survivors claiming that the FBI started the fires either intentionally or accidentally. Footage of the Davidians talking about gasoline seem to refer to them making Molotov cocktails to fight the FBI with.

Nine people left the building during the fire. The remaining people inside all died either from the fire, smoke inhalation, were buried alive by rubble or were shot. Some showed signs of death by cyanide poisoning, which would likely have been a result of the burning CS gas. All told, there were 76 deaths.

FBI claims in the 51 days during the standoff they never fired a single shot. Then 27 of the people in the compound died of bullet wounds. Then those were self-inflicted or inflicted by other members inside the compound. Federal investigators considered suicide as a possible form of gunshot death for the Davidians. It did not consider forced execution to be a likely cause of death.

An exchange between Sen. Chuck Schumer and Assistant Attorney General Edward Dennis in the Clinton Administration in the subsequent congressional investigation summed it up best:

Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Congressman, New York (D): We’ve heard that in the 51 days the FBI was involved, they did not fire a single shot . . . First, That would mean quite certainly that 27 of the people who died in the compound, I think the autopsy report showed 27, I may be off by one or two, who died of bullet wounds, those were self-inflicted or inflicted by other members within the compound . . .

Edward Dennis, Former Assistant Attorney General, Clinton Administration: I think that’s a key issue. The fact that Koresh was capable of setting the fire, of killing his own followers, that parents were capable of killing children, or adults were capable of killing children, really says more about the mentality of the individual that you were dealing with and the difficulty in trying to figure out the best way to talk he and his followers out of that compound.

After the Raid

Today the only building on the site is a small chapel erected years after the raid. The building itself was razed. The incoming head of the ATF, John Magaw, was critical of the raid and made the Treasury Department’s Blue Book report on the matter required reading for incoming agents.

Nine Branch Davidians received sentences of up to 40 years for counts including voluntary manslaughter and weapons charges. Several other Davidians, including foreign nationals, were imprisoned indefinitely as material witnesses. Derek Lovelock, a British national, was held in McLennan County Jail for seven months, with the bulk of this time in solitary confinement. Livingstone Fagan claims to have been repeatedly beaten by guards at Leavenworth and other places. It was here that Fagan claims he was sprayed with cold water by a high-pressure hose before the guards put an industrial fan outside of his cell. Guards strip-searched him every time he left his cell, so he began refusing exercise.

Over 100 civil suits were brought against the government by Branch Davidians and their surviving families. Most of these were dismissed before ever coming before a jury. Where cases were brought to court, the Davidians were ruled against. A jury in San Antonio, however, acquitted Branch Davidians in the killing of four ATF agents on grounds of self-defense.

Perhaps the most important piece of evidence that the ATF fired first was lost. Houston attorney Dick DeGuerin testified under oath that the right-hand entry door to the building had only incoming bullet holes in it. A Texas state trooper testified that he saw two men load what looked like that door into a Uhaul. The Branch Davidians argued at trial that the condition of the left-hand door (i.e., intact) means that the right-hand door was not destroyed in the fire, but “lost” on purpose. There seems to be no better explanation considering how buttoned down the crime scene was and the stakes involved in shielding the ATF and other federal agents from the investigation.

The door was not the only evidence that was “lost.” The ATF’s footage of the original raid was also mysteriously (and miraculously, depending on what side you’re on) somehow lost. All this, despite congressional demands to produce both:

“I will just make one comment to the witnesses relative to the video and the front door. We have consistently asked as a committee to get a copy of the videotape which they now say is blank. We have asked for the door, and the door is missing.”

William H. Zeliff, Jr., U.S. Congressman, New Hampshire (R)

What the Waco Siege Tells Us About the Federal Government

The Waco siege does not provide any new or stunning insight into the federal government or how it operates. It does, however, confirm something that we know all too well: That when the federal government makes mistakes, its tendency is not to address and remedy those mistakes but to double down, come back harder, and take every measure they can to conceal their wrongdoing.

However, there is another more sinister strand to this story: Did the FBI kill men, women, and children because of budgetary concerns?

There is some evidence to suggest that they did. Federal law prevents the military from enforcing federal law. What’s more, any training that law enforcement agencies receive from the military must be paid out of their own budgets – unless the training is for enforcing “drug laws.” Late Congressman Steven Schiff of New Mexico testified that, ”In order for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to have obtained the military assistance they did receive, not because of the Posse Comitatus Act, but because of existing military policy, they misrepresented to the military that this was an anti-drug raid when it was never an anti-drug raid.”

In David Hardy’s “This is Not an Assault,” he stresses, “Once the military trainers pointed out that the ATF would have to pay, the ATF suddenly claimed that the Davidians – who in fact eschewed hard liquor, tobacco, cow’s milk, and junk food – were a ‘dangerous extremist organization’ believed to be producing methamphetamine.”

There is no evidence that the Branch Davidians were in any way involved in drug production. There is, however, ample evidence to suggest that the federal government callously ignored the lives and safety of those inside to grandstand before cameras and justify bigger budgets.

02/13/20

Bill Whittle: “The Cold War: What We Saw” – Episodes 1 and 2

From: Bill Whittle

World War III — the Apocalypse that never was — started in the same place that World War II in Europe had ended: Berlin. “An Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent,” said Winston Churchill, and that curtain ran right through the heart of Berlin. On the Eastern side, the collectivist, state-centered world of Joseph Stalin communist ideology, armed to the teeth with conventional forces. On the other side — the Western side — a war-weary alliance of capitalist countries, led by the beacon of individual rights, the United States.

In Part 1 of The Cold War: What We Saw, we will peel back the layers of mystery cloaking the Terror state run by the Kremlin, and watch as America takes its first small steps onto the stage of world leadership.

After the defeat of Germany, Joseph Stalin looked at the pieces laid out on the board in front of him with satisfaction that bordered on glee. His Red Army, consisting of millions of battle-hardened troops, thousands of tanks and an equal number of artillery pieces had come to a halt — temporarily, thought Stalin — where they had encountered the British and American forces attacking from the West. Those forces, he knew, were no match for the sheer mass his Soviet Union had mustered, and he was certain that the Western Democracies did not have the stomach for another long and bloody war. Soon all of Europe would be his, and his communist ideology fulfilled.

But all of that changed when the Americans had conjured two brilliant flashes of light over Japan and brought a sudden end to the Second World War. Would American atomic wizardry be enough of a deterrent to prevent the Third?

02/11/20

The Italian Years of Lead: Could the Secret “Strategy of Tension” Foreshadow America’s Future?

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

The Italian Years of Lead: How the Strategy of Tension Could Foreshadow America's FutureWhile there are some in the United States who believe we are headed toward another Civil War, there is perhaps another, more recent parallel worth exploring – the so-called “Italian Years of Lead.”

The short version is that in the late 1960s through the early 1980s, Italy was a hotbed of assassination, shoot-outs, and bombings between various factions of the far-left, the far-right and the Italian government – with American, British and Soviet intelligence agencies often pulling the strings.

While the death toll was a lot lower than it could have been, it’s a fascinating and oft-overlooked area of history. When all was said and done, the Italian political landscape had been radically changed. Thousands of leftists were forced to flee the nation, but ultimately, shocked by the violence, Italian politics moderated.

Did we mention that a Masonic Lodge came very close to overthrowing the government? Strap yourself in. You’re about to take a bumpy ride down an obscure historic lane, where “truth being stranger than fiction” is most certainly true (and well documented).

Background of the Italian Years of Lead

The Italian Years of Lead: How the Strategy of Tension Could Foreshadow America's FutureBefore diving into the Italian Years of Lead, it’s important to understand the political climate of Italy after the Second World War. The Communist Party was always a strong force in post-war Italian politics. In the first election after the war’s end, in 1946, the Communist Party received 18.9 percent of the vote. Going into the second election at the end of the war, the Communist Party was poised for even greater success, buoyed by their alliance with the Socialist Party – an almost exact replay of what happened in Czechoslovakia. In both cases, the Communist Party had entered into an alliance with naive Socialists, whom they quickly outfoxed, dominating the electoral combination of nominal equals.

Meanwhile, in Czechoslovakia, a Communist coup d’etat was engineered by a section of the government dominated by Communist elected officials. The CIA stepped in, putting their thumb on the scale in an attempt to prevent the Communists from succeeding in Italy as well. This was one of the first battles in the burgeoning Cold War. All told, the CIA funneled somewhere between $10 and $20 million to defeat the Communists (between $106 and $212 million in 2019 dollars). In contrast, the Soviets spent between $8 and $10 million every month to ensure a Communist victory in the elections.

In an incredibly tense and vitriolic campaign, the Christian Democrats eventually bested the Communists, getting 48 percent of the vote to the Communist Party’s 31. The anti-Communist Socialist grouping netted the balance of the remainder, with small parties picking up the rest, as is common in Italy. The Christian Democrats formed a broad tent coalition, despite having an electoral mandate that did not require it, bringing in Liberals, Republicans and Social Democrats.

However, this did not end the involvement of the CIA in Italy, nor the strength of the Communist Party. The CIA spent an average of $5 million annually in Italy, both to prop up center-right governments and to weaken the influence of the trade unions, who traditionally supported the Communist Party. From 1948 until the first Italian election after the fall of Communism in 1992, the Communist Party polled between 22 and 33 percent in Italian elections, a fact that always filled the CIA with dread.

It is worth briefly mentioning that the successor to the National / Republican Fascist Party, the Italian Social Movement, never polled higher than 9 percent.

The CIA was also a key player in Italy through Gladio, the stay-behind organization it backed in Italy to fight a guerilla insurgency against a potential Communist takeover of the country. The extent of Gladio’s direct involvement in the Years of Lead is a hotly debated topic among historians.

The Hot Autumn of 1969 and 1970

Throughout the 1960s, Italy became increasingly industrialized and modernized, which led to discontent among both the left and the right. These forces were very briefly united in a series of protests in Italy in 1968. However, the similarities between the far-left and far-right were too tenuous, and the establishment parties were largely skeptical of the counter-cultural orientation of the young radicals.

These protests set the stage for what is known in Italy as the “Hot Autumn.” This was a series of wildcat strikes throughout Italy in its industrial sectors, largely in response to layoffs due to increased efficiencies in industrial production. It was the basis of a growing Communist Party, and one that was shifting even further to the left in response to networks of activists known as “autonomists.”

The Italian Years of Lead were in some part a reaction of the far-right to this ascendant Communist movement. However, as stated above, international intelligence agencies were deeply involved and the truth of how the whole thing started moving is incredibly complex.

The Years of Lead Claim Their First Victim: The Death of Antonio Annarumma

The Italian Years of Lead: How the Strategy of Tension Could Foreshadow America's FutureThe initial movement in the Years of Lead was simply a continuation of the Hot Autumn. A group of autonomist students and workers occupied a FIAT factory in Milan. During a related protest in November 1969, Milan police officer Antonio Annarumma was killed by an iron tube. The leftist protesters claimed that this was an accident, however, the courts found differently.

This was followed by the first, but certainly not the last, bombing in the Italian Years of Lead. On December 12, 1969, a bomb went off in the National Agrarian Bank’s headquarters in Piazza Fontana, some 200 meters from the Duomo. The bomb claimed the lives of 17 people, with another 88 wounded.

At first, the press and the police blamed the attack on anarchists. Police arrested prominent anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli, who died under suspicious circumstances when he fell from the fourth-story window of the police building while in custody. The three police officers in charge were later investigated but cleared of any wrongdoing. Police commissioner Luigi Calabresi was later assassinated by autonomist paramilitary group Lotta Continua as revenge for the death of Pinelli.

Another anarchist, Pietro Valpreda, was arrested and held without charge for three years after a cab driver identified him as his “suspicious passenger.” He was later exonerated.

Approximately three years after the bombing, the police finally switched their focus from investigating anarchist operatives to looking into the far-right, neo-fascist grouping Ordine Nuovo (New Order). On March 3, 1972, Italian police arrested Franco Freda, Giovanni Ventura and Ordine Nuovo founder Pino Rauti, who consistently described himself as a non-fascist and a leftist throughout his lengthy political career on the far-right in Italy. The first two were eventually convicted for two separate bombings in 1987, and sentenced to 16 years.

The Masonic P2 Lodge – which we will go into in greater detail later – played a key role in running interference for the accused through their member General Gianandelio Maletti, the head of the Servizio Informazioni Difesa, the Italian state security services.

Curiously, the initial reaction of the police was not far off from what Ordine Nuovo had intended. The bombings were meant not just to create a sense of overall terror, but to implicate the Communist movement in Italy.

The Left Strikes Back: The Formation of the Red Brigades

In reaction to Ordine Nuovo and inspired by Latin American guerilla movements, as well as similar movements on the continent, the Brigate Rosse was formed in 1970. As was the case with many far-left groups in Italy and Germany at the time, they saw the post-war government as a mere continuation of the previous fascist regime, now backed by NATO.

They grew out of a series of strikes against the Sit-Siemens corporation. The bulk of their initial leadership was young and had been expelled from the Italian Communist Party’s youth movement for their extremism. Their first action was a simple one: They set ablaze the car of Sit-Siemens corporate leader, Giuseppe Leoni. No one was hurt.

The Red Brigades and Ordine Nuovo each committed a number of actions throughout the Italian Years of Lead, and will pop up a number of times throughout this article. A failed fascist coup would soon increase the tensions in Italy.

The Failed Fascist Coup d’etat: Golpe Borghese

The failed fascist coup of 1970 probably had very little chance of success. Still, it became a watchword on the Italian left. Hundreds of members of the Neo-Nazi group National Vanguard plotted to overthrow the government with 187 allies from the Italian Forestry Service, of all places.

The plan was to seize the offices of RAI, the state Italian broadcaster. This is what the Forestry Service members were in charge of. Vanguard militants planned to assassinate the President of Italy, Giuseppe Saragat, as well as Italian police chief Angelo Vicari while seizing the Quirinale, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense. The Vanguard would then have a large cache of weapons at the ready. High-ranking military officials including Air Force General Giuseppe Casero were involved, as was the Sicilian mafia. The plotters believed they would be supported by NATO forces in the Mediterranean, however, support for the coup was marginal within the CIA and other intelligence services, which saw the status quo as the best policy in the region.

A couple of people entered the Ministry of the Interior, but the coup otherwise went nowhere, as it was called off at the last minute. All 46 plotters were eventually acquitted because the coup was such a massive failure.

The Years of Lead Ramp Up: After the Coup

The Italian Years of Lead: How the Strategy of Tension Could Foreshadow America's FutureWhile the coup was somewhat comical in its ineffectiveness, it was like throwing gas on the fire of the Years of Lead. Armored car driver Alessandro Floris was assassinated by the October 22 Group. The arrest of his assassin, Mario Rossi, led to the dismantling of the group by Italian police, who quickly stumbled onto the cache of weapons and propaganda the group was hoarding. This group was considered a precursor of the Red Brigades who, in April 1974, kidnapped a judge in an attempt to free October 22 Group prisoners.

Police officer Luigi Calabresi was the next victim, assassinated on May 17, 1972. Police first suspected Lotta Continua, then shifted their focus to neofascist militants. Three members of Lotta Continua were eventually convicted 16 years after his death.

Next was the May 31, 1972 bombing in Peteano, which claimed the lives of three carabinieri. This was initially blamed on Lotta Continua as well, however, it was later found out to be the work of neofascist terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra. Much like the earlier neofascist bombing, this was a false flag, with the intention of making the Italian state act in a more authoritarian manner. The Italian state security services helped Vinciguerra escape Italy to the safe harbor of Francisco Franco’s Spain. Further investigation found that Nuovo Ordo had worked closely with the Italian state security services to help execute the bombing.

On April 16, 1973, two members of Potere Operaio attacked the house of Italian Social Movement member Mario Mattei with a flammable device. He escaped unscathed, while his two sons, aged 8 and 22, burned to death. Their charred bodies were found embracing one another after the fire was over. It is worth noting that the Italian Social Movement, a small, but a mainstream party in Italy, played no part in the Italian Years of Lead, whose right-wing actors were cut from a far more radical bent than the Social Movement’s parliamentarians.

One month later, the police headquarters in Milan was bombed by anarchist Gianfranco Bertoli. The attack killed four and wounded 75. In May of 1974, the Piazza Della Loggia in Brescia was bombed by Ordine Nuovo. Eight people died and 102 were injured. One month later, two members of the Italian Social Movement were murdered in Padua, murder initially ascribed (like the burning of Mario Mattei’s home) to infighting within the Italian right. The Red Brigades later claimed the murders – their first. Previously, the organization had only participated in bank robberies, kidnappings, and bombings. A second fascist coup was planned for July 1974 but never executed. On August 4, 1974, Nuovo Ordine bombed the Italicus Express train, killing 12 and injuring 48. While Nuovo Ordine claimed responsibility, no perpetrators were ever brought to justice.

For those having trouble keeping track, the right-wing terrorist groups mostly bombed things in an attempt to get the government to crack down, while the left-wing terrorist groups specialized in kidnappings and targeted assassinations.

Some Red Brigade leaders were arrested in 1974, but the organization continued – as did the violence. Indeed, the violence began to be somewhat accepted as part of life in Italy at the time. The far-left sympathizers generally claimed that the violence attributed to the far-left was, in fact, false flag operations on the part of the far-right.

The murders, bombings, and kidnappings are too numerous to go into detail starting around 1975. This was the year that left-wing groups killed MSI militant Mikis Mantakas during a riot and MSI militant Sergio Ramelli was beaten to death by members of Avanguardia Operaia (a successor group to Lotta Continua) with wrenches. Left-wing student activist Alberto Brasili was stabbed to death by neo-fascists and carabinieri Giovanni D’Alfonso was murdered by the Red Brigades.

Things only intensified in 1976. Left-wing group Prima Linea assassinated MSI lawyer Enrico Pedenovi. Neo-fascist Pierluigi Concutelli assassinated Judge Vittorio Occorsio. In 1976, there were several more murders, almost all of them perpetrated by left-wing terrorist groups, including the murder of Carlo Casalegno, deputy director of the liberal newspaper La Stampa. In 1978, there were no fewer than 12 murders by left-wing groups, most of them by the Red Brigades, including a security chief for FIAT motors, three police officers, three judges, a university professor, and a notary.

Things had reached a fever pitch and it seemed that Italy would never return to a peaceful normal.

Italy Turns a Corner: Kidnapping of Aldo Moro

The Italian Years of Lead: How the Strategy of Tension Could Foreshadow America's FutureItaly finally turned a corner when the Red Brigades went a step too far: They kidnapped Italian former Prime Minister Aldo Moro, who at the time was the president of the mainstream center-right party in Italy, the Christian Democrats.

The former Prime Minister’s car was ambushed by members of the Red Brigades on March 16, 1978. The assailants fired 91 shots at his five bodyguards, all of whom were killed in the attack. Prima Linea militant Mario Ferrandi said that at the time, he knew that everything was going to change – the Red Brigades had finally bitten off more than they could chew.

The actual motive of the attack is not entirely clear, but it was probably to disrupt negotiations between Christian Democracy and the Communist Party of Italy. The latter was finally being brought into government, albeit in indirect roles, for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Moro wrote 86 letters during the 55 days he was held in captivity, including to figures such as Pope Paul VI, but also to his family. Some were sent and delivered, others were discovered later.

Conclusive evidence demonstrates that Moro was not tortured. He was, however, put on a “trial” by a “people’s court” of Red Brigades, with predictable results. The Red Brigades wanted to trade him for terrorists imprisoned and eventually requested only one.

Moro’s body was found on the day of his murder, May 9, 1978. The P2 Lodge has been implicated in Moro’s kidnapping.

The response of the Italian government – and indeed, the Italian public – to the kidnapping and murder of a former Prime Minister was sweeping and had consequences far beyond a simple winding down of the Italian Years of Lead.

First and foremost, the Historic Compromise brokered between the Christian Democracy and the Italian Communist Party was over. It had been unpopular with Italy’s European allies. But the kidnapping of a man considered the natural next president of the republic killed it stone dead. The intention was for Italy’s two major parties to rule in a grand coalition. The Historic Compromise officially ended in November 1980.

The president, Giovanni Leone, resigned less than a month after the kidnapping. The government’s response was largely seen as a failure. The Communist Party declined in influence, while the Christian Democracy remained steady until the early 90s when it began to be supplanted by the more popular Lega Nord, now known simply as the Lega.

It is worth noting that, much as the MSI was at odds with the far-right terrorist groups, so too were the far-left terrorist groups largely opposed by the Communist Party and outright despised by trade unionists.

Oddly, despite a massive government clampdown, 1979 was the bloodiest year of the Years of Lead, with 659 attacks, including 11 assassinations. Among the victims that year were four policemen, a Lieutenant Colonel of the carabinieri, a trade unionist, a bartender, and investigative journalist, a judge, and a university student. All of these were committed by leftist terrorist groups. Additionally, the Red Brigades shot five teachers and five students in the legs that year.

1980 topped 1979 in terms of assassinations with a total of 17. The victims that year included five policemen, a carabinieri general, a petrochemical manager, a cook, four judges, a security guard, and a journalist. Prima Linea even turned on one of its own that year, killing William Vaccher on suspicion of treason to the group. All but one of these were committed by left-wing groups.

The Biggest Attack: The Bologna Massacre

The Italian Years of Lead: How the Strategy of Tension Could Foreshadow America's FutureWhile the Italian left had been pushing big numbers with assassination, a new group on the far-right, the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari, formed by dissident members of the Italian Social Movement explicitly with the purpose of committing counter-attacks against the left, was planning something big – the Bologna Massacre. This bombing of the Bologna Centrale train station killed 85 and wounded more than 200. While the group denied involvement, several of its members were sentenced to prison for the bombing.

Christian Democratic Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga’s statement on the attack cuts to the heart of the difference between the left- and right-wing actions during the Years of Lead:

“Unlike leftist terrorism, which strikes at the heart of the state through its representatives, right-wing terrorism prefers acts such as massacres because acts of extreme violence promote panic and impulsive reactions.”

In short, the strategy of the left was more akin to a Third World guerilla insurrection, while the right hoped to provoke the state into clamping down on the left through false flags and other large-scale acts of terrorism.

Two members of the NAR were convicted, Francesca Mambro and Giuseppe Valerio “Giusva” Fioravanti, the latter a former Italian child actor. The pair later married and had a daughter. Both admit to having committed terrorist acts but maintain their innocence with regard to the Bologna Massacre.

The Years of Lead Wind Down

Left-wing violence in Italy related to the Years of Lead continued as far as 1988. However, after the Bologna Massacre, things had died down considerably. 1981 saw three kidnappings resulting in two murders. The third, the kidnapping of American General James L. Dozier, then deputy-chief of NATO’s Southern European forces, was freed by an anti-terrorist squad.

In 1982, the Red Brigades attacked a military convoy, killing a corporal and two police officers. The assailants were never apprehended. Later that year, two guards were killed by Red Brigades during a bank robbery.

1983 was completely quiet, and thus might be a good place to mark the end of the Years of Lead proper. However, in 1984, American diplomat and Director General of the international peacekeeping force, Multinational Force and Observers, Leamon Hunt, was killed by the Red Brigades. In 1985, the Red Brigades killed an economist and a policeman. In 1986, they assassinated the Mayor of Florence. Italian Air Force General Licio Giorgieri was assassinated by the Brigades in 1987. In 1988, the Red Brigades committed their final assassination, that of Senator Roberto Ruffilli.

On October 23rd of that year, the Red Brigades declared that their war against the state was over.

In 1985, French President Francois Mitterand declared that he would not extradite convicted terrorists back to Italy. Instead, he aimed to integrate them into French society. Brazil and Nicaragua have likewise provided safe haven for left-wing terrorists of the Italian Years of Lead, most notably Alessio Casimirri, one of Moro’s kidnappers who owns a restaurant in Nicaragua.

Epilogue: The P2 Affair and the Strategy of Tension

The Italian Years of Lead: How the Strategy of Tension Could Foreshadow America's FutureWhile the players were mostly firmly identifiable either as being on the left or on the right, one group played both sides: The shadowy Masonic Lodge in exile Propaganda Due, also known as the P2 Lodge.

While the very mention of Freemasonry generally has people reaching for their tinfoil hats, the P2 Lodge’s involvement in the Years of Lead – and other clandestine machinations within the Italian State – are very well documented, primarily through obstruction and obfuscation of the resulting investigations.

The P2 Lodge and the extent of its influence were discovered in March 1981, when police found a list of 962 alleged members, including future Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and pretender to the Italian throne Victor Emmanuel. The ensuing scandal forced the resignation of the Italian government at the time.

In July 1982, the ultimate aims of the Lodge were discovered, two documents entitled “Memorandum sulla situazione Italiana” and “Piano di rinascita democratica.” These documents identified the Italian Communist Party and the trade unions as the biggest threats, proposing a grand alliance between the Christian Democrats and the Communists as the way forward. It also outlined a means to control the media and political parties through extensive bribery.

A government report commissioned by the successors of the Communist Party, the Left Democrats, as well as Swiss historian Daniele Ganser, have claimed that the Years of Lead were in large part the result of a “strategy of tension” by NATO, the CIA, Gladio and their allies (including the P2 Lodge). This is where actors, generally in the government, create or allow a state of hostility for the purpose of making political capital out of it.

It is entirely possible that the Years of Lead occurred due to a purposeful lack of action on the part of the Italian government, which saw the chaos as an opportunity for greater power.

The American Years of Lead?

America is a long way from its own Years of Lead. What’s more, one of the principal ingredients – material support from powerful foreign governments – seems to be lacking. However, as the American political landscape becomes both increasingly radicalized and polarized, with extremist groups on the left and right growing in numbers, militancy and desperation, it’s not too hard to imagine that they might start shooting at one another in the very near future.

That won’t kick off a civil war, but it will make life in America considerably more tense and unpleasant.

02/7/20

Saying No to Black History Month

By: Lloyd Marcus

Here we are again, folks. February, another Black History Month. Progressives expect my fellow blacks and me to happily celebrate our month. I will not.

BHM is nothing more than a political weapon for Democrats/progressives to spread racial hate and further their lie that America is the greatest source of evil on the planet.

Most American blacks do not realize that many original civil rights black freedom fighters who stood beside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr sold their souls to the dark side after Dr. King died. They joined the white Democrat/progressive movement, metaphorically receiving 30 pieces of silver. The agenda of the dark side is anti-Christian and anti-American.

Black civil rights activists like Jesse Jackson abandoned Dr. King’s divinely inspired mission for blacks to be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Instead, the post-MLK black civil rights movement became all about skin-color, exploiting it in every way. Suddenly, Jesse Jackson and other racism-pimps became rich by claiming every problem plaguing blacks in America is the result of racism. Terrified corporations paid off Jackson and other race-hustlers to shut up and back off.

Remember when Jesse Jackson tried to extort Major League baseball? Jackson claimed MLB was racist because not enough blacks attended games. Scratching my head, I do not understand how MLB is at fault. I don’t know if Jackson got paid or not.

Democrats gave Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other black traitors seats of power at their table. Their job was to keep convincing blacks that they will always be victims of rabidly racist America. Therefore, blacks’ only hope is to keep voting for Democrats to push back against America’s mission to terminate them. Sadly, blacks are terminating themselves by insanely supporting Democrat/progressives’ support of Planned Parenthood. 

Folks, Democrat/progressives’ lie about America is extremely evil and destructive, generating racial-hate and violence. America is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for all who choose to pursue their dreams!

Cities controlled by Democrats for the past 40 years are a mess; record-breaking black on black homicides, failing schools, high black incarceration, and high fatherless black households. And yet, anyone black or white who suggests solutions to empower blacks to fix their problems is immediately attacked by Democrats/progressives. These compassionate Americans are branded either Uncle Toms or racists.

Democrats/progressives want blacks totally dependent and thus enslaved to the government. Black empowerment and liberation is not their goal. Their goal is to transform America into the progressives’ utopia. This is why Democrats/progressives seek to destroy patriotic self-reliant black role models who achieved outstanding success via hard work, education and making right choices; Justice Clarence Thomas and GOP presidential candidates Dr. Ben Carson and Herman Cain, to name a few.

Every Black History Month progressives beat us over the head with their insidious evil lie that America is still a hellhole of racism. They ignore the huge elephant in the room that white America bypassed the normal vetting process to gift the first black president two terms.

Progressives love multimillionaire black celebs and billionaire Oprah who absurdly claim blacks are enduring the same discrimination they suffered in the 1950s. These useful-idiot hatemongers have many blacks believing Democrats’ crazy lie that the 63 million who elected Trump are white supremacists.

A college professor black buddy teaches at two Maryland colleges, one predominantly white and the other predominantly black. He worked his way through college and grad school, enjoying a successful career in advertising before becoming a professor.

In almost a whisper, he said, “I have noticed that my white students don’t mind working for what they want. My black students view themselves as entitled and believe everything should be given to them.”

Tragically, my buddy’s black students are infected with poisoned mindsets caused by time spent at an indoctrination camp disguised as an institution of higher learning. Black students are taught they are victims of racist white America. Therefore, they are entitled. “MAGA” cap wearers and Republicans dare not set foot on their campus.

My younger brother Jerry is an extremely fearless and outspoken Christian and black conservative Republican. He routinely verbally spars with members of his all-black Baltimore Trump-hating church. He always leaves his opponents speechless because their arguments are rooted in emotion and Democrat/fake news media lies. Jerry’s arguments are rooted in love, truth, and facts.

Having a little fun, Jerry sent me this text:

“Good morning. I changed my mind. I’m voting for the democrats. My debts paid, free checks, don’t have to work, I can legally smoke weed, and no responsibility. Plus, knowing the dems, there’s probably more benefits to come. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Thank God that Jerry understands that the Democratic Party has become a hateful mob of scam artists. No, I will not be celebrating Democrats/progressives’ Black History/America Sucks Month.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth
http://LloydMarcus.com

01/27/20

75th Anniversary of the Holocaust Liberation

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

1.1 million were herded like sheep through the gates of death. Survivors are few today and their stories are fading from history. Take some time to remember and then share some facts as noted below. #NeverAgain

Most people are familiar with the names of the major concentration camps – AuschwitzBuchenwaldDachau, and Treblinka, for example – but few realize that these were not the only places where Jews and other prisoners were held by the Nazis. Each of the 23 main camps had subcamps, nearly 900 of them in total. These included camps with euphemistic names, such as “care facilities for foreign children,” where pregnant prisoners were sent for forced abortions.

Image result for holocaust photos

The Nazis established about 110 camps starting in 1933 to imprison political opponents and other undesirables. The number expanded as the Third Reich expanded and the Germans began occupying parts of Europe. When the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum first began to document all of the camps, the belief was that the list would total approximately 7,000. However, researchers found that the Nazis actually established about 42,500 camps and ghettoes between 1933 and 1945. This figure includes 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettoes, 980 concentration camps; 1,000 POW camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm; Germanizing prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers. Berlin alone had nearly 3,000 camps.

These camps were used for a range of purposes including: forced-labor camps, transit camps which served as temporary way stations, and extermination camps, built primarily or exclusively for mass murder. From its rise to power in 1933, the Nazi regime built a series of detention facilities to imprison and eliminate so-called “enemies of the state.” Most prisoners in the early concentration camps were German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah‘s Witnesseshomosexuals, and persons accused of “asocial” or socially deviant behavior. These facilities were called “concentration camps” because those imprisoned there were physically “concentrated” in one location.

Millions of people were imprisoned, abused and systematically murdered in the various types of Nazi camps. Under SS management, the Germans and their collaborators murdered more than three million Jews in the killing centers alone. Only a small fraction of those imprisoned in Nazi camps survived. As many as 15-20 million people may have died in the various camps and ghettoes(source)

Image result for holocaust photos

In the final days of the camp, the commanding SS officers “evacuated” 56,000 prisoners, most of them Jews. Leaving Auschwitz, however, did not mean the end of their ordeal. Instead, the SS ordered their charges into columns and marched them into the miserable winter. At first, the prisoners went on foot, monitored by officers who shot those who fell behind or tried to stay behind. Malnourished and inadequately clothed, the marchers were subject to random massacre. Eventually, they were shipped back toward Germany in open train cars. Up to 15,000 of the former camp inhabitants died on the death march.

“[The Nazis] wanted to continue to use those tens of thousands of prisoners for forced labor,” says Steven Luckert, senior program curator at the Levine Family Institute for Holocaust Education at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and former chief curator of the museum’s permanent collection. “Those prisoners got dispersed over all of the remaining camps.”

Back at Auschwitz, where by some estimates 9,000 prisoners remained, only a few SS guards maintained their watch. Most of the prisoners were too sick to move. “There was no food, no water, no medical care,” says Luckert. “The staff had all gone. [The prisoners] were just left behind to die.”

Among the last acts of the SS were to set fire to huge piles of camp documents, a last-ditch effort to hide the evidence. “They understood the enormity of the crimes they committed,” Luckert says.

Concentration and Extermination Camps and Major "Euthanasia" Centers

Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi regime set up about 20,000 camps to imprison, exploit, and annihilate its declared enemies. This map shows major camps, grouped according to function. The term “concentration camp” applies to those camps built from 1933 on for the purpose of imprisoning political and ideological opponents of the regime and “racial enemies” under the pretense of “protective” or “preventative” custody. In the first years of the Nazi dictatorship, most of those imprisoned in the camps were Communists and Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma and Sinti, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and individuals deemed “asocial.” After the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9, 1938, Jews in the German Reich were imprisoned en masse for the first time.

After the beginning of the Second World War, the camp system was quickly expanded and supplemented with POW camps and work camps in the occupied territories. Additionally, the camps began to function more and more as execution sites for members of particular groups, for example, Soviet POWs, members of the resistance, and partisans. To this end, gas chambers were built in the camps Auschwitz, Majdanek, Sachsenhausen, and Mauthausen starting in 1941. To implement the National Socialists’ plan for the “final solution of the Jewish question,” extermination camps were built in occupied Poland. The sole purpose of these camps was to carry out the mass murder of the European Jews in an efficient manner. The first of these camps, which were supposed to remain secret, was opened in December 1941 in Chelmno. In 1942, the camps Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka were built, and Auschwitz was equipped with a neighboring extermination camp, Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Jews from all over Europe were deported there via transit camps and were usually murdered within 24 hours after arrival.

The map also shows the places where the National Socialists carried out their secret “Euthanasia Program.” Starting in the fall of 1939, various institutions euthanized individuals who were deemed “unworthy to live” on account of either actual or alleged hereditary illnesses. After the revelation of the “Euthanasia Program” met with public protest, gas-administered euthanasia was halted in August 1941. It was replaced by lethal injections in “euthanasia clinics,” which continued until the end of the war. (source)