Reportage Prompting Establishment of Church Committee

Seymour Hersh-IPS.jpgBy James F. Tracy

On December 22, 1974 the New York Times carried on its front page “Huge CIA Operation Reported in US Against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon Years,” by Seymour Hersh. The piece chronicled the rampant abuses and crimes committed by the Central Intelligence Agency against the American citizenry. “An extensive investigation by the New York Times,” Hersh wrote, “has established that intelligence files on at least 10,000 American citizens were maintained by a special unit of the C.I.A. that was reporting directly to [then Director] Richard Helms.”

Later deemed “the son of Watergate,” by the Times, and at least as significant as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s Washington Post reportage that aided in bringing down the Nixon administration, Hersh pressed the issue of CIA overreach with several followup articles reporting on outrage and calls for explanation from Capitol Hill.[1]

The series of stories resulted in concerted Congressional investigation of the federal intelligence community through establishment of the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, otherwise known as the “Church Committee,” overseen by Idaho Senator Frank Church. A central finding was that the CIA had violated its charter by interceding in the Constitutionally-protected private affairs of Americans–something now routinely done by an alphabet soup of agencies, all under the guise of “fighting terrorism.”

The hearings also extended to crimes committed by domestic government agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to the CIA’s plots to assassinate leaders abroad while disrupting the lawful activities of citizens at home, “the IRS had maintained for nearly four years a unit–the Special Services Staff–whose purpose was to investigate political activists,” political scientist Loch K. Johnson observes.

The SSS compiled a secret “watch list” of some eleven thousand individuals and groups classified as “extremist” or “radical.” Among the names of the list were columnist Joseph Alsop; singer and antiwar activist Joan Baez; writers Jimmy Breslin and Norman Mailer; rock star James Brown; performer Sammy Davis Jr.; former United States Senator James Goodell (Republican, New York) and Ernest Gruening (Democrat, Alaska); civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Coretta King; actress Shirley M[a]cLaine; the American Library Association; the American Civil Liberties Union; the NAACP; Rolling Stone and Playboy magazines; and hundreds of others.[2]

The revelations emerging from this important era of governmental reform served to temper the Agency’s behavior, albeit briefly, yet they could scarcely limit the continued growth of the national security state, particularly in the longer term. Nor can the episode be solely attributable to a period where elite journalists and news outlets were any less sycophantic to establishment power than they are today. As historian Kathryn Omlstead notes, media barons were concerned that reportage along the lines of Woodward, Bernstein, or Hersh, would “damage the legitimacy and credibility of their industry.” Further, “many elite reporters did not seem to want to believe that Hersh’s reporting was accurate,” instead “preferr[ing] to trust the ‘honorable men’ of the CIA rather than their colleagues.”[3]

The episode is nevertheless redolent of more recent actions by journalists such as Glenn Greenwald and intelligence whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, both of whom have found it necessary to leave their countries for fear of reprisals by their own government. Indeed, one may ask themselves whether the New York Times and its prestigious journalistic peers would deem such investigative reportage on similar government crimes and wrongdoing “fit to print,” especially in light of the paper’s complicity in uncritically “selling” 9/11, the Iraq War, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon bombings to the American people. Moreover, would any US congressional leaders today see fit to act so forcefully on such malfeasance?

Notes

[1] Kathryn Olmstead, “‘An American Conspiracy,’ The Post-Watergate Press and the CIA,” Journalism History 19 (Summer 1993): 51-58.

[2] Loch K. Johnson, A Season of Inquiry: The Senate Intelligence Investigation, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1985.

[3] Olmstead, “‘An American Conspiracy.'” See also Olmstead, Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

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70 thoughts on “Reportage Prompting Establishment of Church Committee”

  1. There are many perspectives possible here. One is that those congressional committees of the past were sometimes formed to accomplish both reining in the likes of Nixon et. al., and also to give the public the sense that the government they elected was concerned for its own legitimacy and trying to correct its errors. Now they don’t even try because they think we all believe we must surrender most of our liberties for their security, so reduced to gibbering idiots by 9/11 have we been. The anti-Moslem racism being unleashed (just try to fire someone for being a racist about them!) is pure gravy.

    The public believes attacks have already happened, while the insiders believe their job is to publicly brainstorm about what terrorists could do, and then to make very dramatic shows of preventing that – after the fake episodes or possibly real anthrax. The Congress believes it is their job to assist any way possible in maintaining a show of force in the Mideast while fulfilling Israel’s every item on its wish list (and never withholding aid no matter what it does to others).

    I guess you could get nostalgic for the Church committee era or any other than this one. Something really bad has happened to our country that is unlike anything that went before it. The whole world is watching. It’s like that adolescent you always thought would just grow up – now he needs rehab or he’ll die. Like Amy Winehouse, we don’t want to go to rehab.

      1. Yes, but we don’t have an investigative press either so the public is shielded from knowing anything.

        A friend was told by a cashier in a large store here that her customers are now angry and they never used to be. Maybe the Obamacare fiasco is waking people up.

    1. Well, in those days, they still had a pretext of democracy that they thought they were obligated to uphold. There were “limits”. The obvious message now is “we don’t care what you think”.

      That follows rather nicely from “it’s a different world now since 9-11”. Convenient, I’d offer.

      1. Carl,

        Thanks for posting this video. But…those of us who have been researching this “event” from the onset didn’t miss him… we are well aware of Mergim. He made the rounds all day on December 14, repeating various versions of the “tragedy.” He’s a poor man’s version of Gene Rosen… obviously a plant to promote the party line. Do some googling and you’ll find him doing several interviews all over Sandy Hook.

    1. Sorry Kathy, but I don’t think Obamacare will represent the tipping point you hope for. Yes, it’s been a model of incompetence. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about other government activities, many of which took in the pro-Bush people for years and probably for most of them still do (if a poll of my relatives is accurate – most are Republicans or really credulous Democrats who believe all the latest fake terror). I love people who are actually not by their nature diggers or analysts or critics. They are responsible straight arrows who would never become hard-drinking investigative reporters who meet people in parking garages or shady dives to get the deep-throated scoop. How much our system depends on their allowing it to tell its cover stories, because they are too busy and responsible to pick away at them, because they have delegated too much to their leaders (one or two of whom get found out). I live in a state in which John Kerry and Elizabeth Warren as senators immediately accepted the Marathon bombing as the truth and promoted “Boston Strong” along with such institutions as Fidelity Investments, the Museum of Fine Arts, Spaulding Rehab and Boston University, my alma mater. These are not New York gangsters or jumped up landlords, they represent a long-running Establishment going back centuries, and they are for the lies. I’ve begun to realize – once a pirate and slave-trader, always the same, even if you call yourself a Brahmin.

      But this argues that the system is rotten from top to bottom, from left wing to right wing. It is a vision which would bother me if I wasn’t always a bit of an outsider, born a critic with a cynical eye.

      I’ve started to apply new theories. One is that somehow these people think what is done to make a fiction appear to be a fact is somehow not just an assertion of power (which it is) but also done to some end which they regard as good. The only question is, what is that end? From the many voices on the internet, it can be very dark or almost benign, a confused attempt to do different things (turn us to Canadians and Brits with regard to our firearm ownership and firearm crime statistics, head fake Vladimir Putin about the Chechens, invade Iraq because of peak oil) – just lots of things people do when they think they are king, but pretend they even care what we think, depriving us of basic information needed to make judgments and in fact to be the ones who hire and fire them.

  2. Sorry, I didn’t bother reading the article because Seymour Hersh is a disinfo agent and Edward Snowdon didn’t tell the world anything we didn’t already know (James Bamford — author of the book “The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America). Snowdon’s no hero whistleblower; he’s an agent too!

    1. Your comment reached me like none other here.

      FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is asking the same about Snowden. Why weren’t Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, and other NSA whistleblowers covered by the press like Snowden?

      Didn’t Paypal’s Pierre Omidyar prevent contributions to Wikileaks and come squarely down on the side of an eavesdropping US government?

      Mr. Greenwald, I’m afraid, is getting way too much mainstream media attention. Controlled opposition at its best.

        1. So glad you posted this discussion, where Sibel Edmonds really lays out the case that Greenwald is essentially a total fake, and she’ll educate you on some of Greenwald’s shenanigans from the past — stuff you’ve likely never heard about. This is a must watch, in my view. Sibel really gets going right before the mid-point, and it just gets better. Stay with it, despite the length.

          It has been clear to many of us with eyes open that the Greenwald/Snowden story just didn’t add up. Scott Creighton at American Everyman has been doing a great job of dissecting these disinfo agents’ words and deeds. Meet the new disinfo agents, same as the old ones.

          http://willyloman.wordpress.com/?s=greenwald+snowden

      1. I guess the question is whether US press known to be corrupt can allow itself to report something deleterious to the powers that be, or whether, because the articles first appeared abroad, it is willing to report things as damage control. This doesn’t necessarily invalidate the original messengers. Perhaps by coming to the issue from abroad they were simply more clever than other whistleblowers and investigative reporters at forcing the MSM to respond and acknowledge their revelations. I say this always with a good dose of skepticism, but we have to look at how this became a major item, and how its means of arriving differs from that of other stories saying the same thing, but in most instances with less physical evidence to back up the claims.

        1. I don’t have any way of knowing, but I’m guessing that this is acting as a steam release valve, the Guardian being a safe supposed “outsider” media organ. That is, they are throwing the rubes a bone, because the rabble was growing unquiet.

          It’s quite possible it’s all a charade.

          Maybe, likely.

        2. I remember spending a week in Manchester, England. There was a small (Pakistani?) grocer near the museum that I frequented. He usually would not look at me or looked at me sourly as I spoke with my American accent. Then one day I bought a Guardian. He beamed and after that we were cordial. I have a feeling that in the north of England, release valves are very important in some quarters.

      1. Benjamin – Wow! “Your comment reached me like none other here.” That sounds like a good thing; Right? I think so – so Thank you

        Why do some Whistleblowers get more attention than others? What “thebird” said and…some whistleblowers are plants, others are not.

        In this case, Binny and Drake were not plants. Binny reported within the system and Drake was an information source for a journalist.

        As for Snowdon, I’m sure he is a plant for a number of reasons. Any Whistleblower that gets as much favorable coverage from main stream media (MSM) is highly suspect. In addition, he did not tell the public anything that had not already been released. That doesn’t mean everybody knew about it but the info was out there.

        Next, our hero Snowdon, defects to Russia and Putin, the nice Communist, gives him asylum. This is an agenda being played on the world’s stage. If they are going to turn us into communist, it’s a lot easier if we accept and like our new leader. Recall when Putin saved Syria from Obama’s bombing campaign? Now, Putin has saved America’s new beloved hero, Snowdon, from the evil Obama regimen in America. In reality, Obama and Putin are “thick as thieves.”

        Snowdon, who claims to have enough info to do serious damage to the US, gives all his security to Greenwald. If this was for real, Snowdon just surrendered his WMD; the only thing that was keeping him alive.

        Now, Greenwald has the NSA documents for which he plans on writing a Best Seller. According to Edmonds, Greenwald has a contract and a publisher for the book that will be based on the stolen documents.

        I guess the NSA documents were only damaging to the US when Snowdon possessed them, and somehow between the handoff to Greenwald, the security clearance went from super secret squirrel to New York Times top ten Best Seller Lists.

        I wonder what percentage of sales Sibel Edmond gets for promoting the book. Damn, these people are diabolical!

        With all that said, do not discount all the information enemy agents give us. The same can be said about MSM and even Alex Jones. They offer a lot of insight into the true nature of things and can teach us something about the underlying truth they’re meant to cover-up. Peace Out

        Site below discuses Snowdon in more detail –
        http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/category/spygate/
        worth a read especially if one considers that Drake was also CIA and an NSA contractor from Booz Hamiltion. Peace Out

        1. Stacey Ray,

          “I wonder what percentage of sales Sibel Edmond gets for promoting the book. Damn, these people are diabolical!”

          The only thing diabolical relating to Sibel Edmonds is what the PTB have done to her. The woman is for real.

    2. The best way, using freedom of speech, to take back what is left of America very quickly is to keep it simple 🙂

      1) Sandy Hoax Elementary School bumper stickers
      2) Sandy Hoax Elementary School T-shirts
      3) Billboards and advertising
      4) Keep spreading the word, complete with evidence, politeness, and persistence.
      5) Run and support candidates who will give us 1000 fold more than Snowden has given with names, places, times, etc.
      6) Again, repeat 1 thru 5!

      1. We need a fearless candidate who will tear off the veil of government secrecy, while exposing and eradicating those private and government elements who have participated in deceptive political operations. Where is that man or woman who operates in the light of day, and can reduce our intelligence community to the barest minimum? Can anyone stop secret courts, end warrant-less domestic surveillance, level the IRS playing field for all American citizens, and repeal the bloated and distorted FISA? (FISA’s “Lone Wolf Provision” fuels these active shooter false flags, because this is the section that gives the act the power for the NSA to do just about anything in terms of domestic surveillance)

        Is there a candidate who can clean out the DOJ?

        He or she must completely eliminate government media assets and restore a free press.

        The presidential Oath of Office is very short and sweet: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That’s it, in it’s entirety.

        We need a candidate who will mean it when he or she takes that oath.

        Know anyone?

        James?

        1. Ron Paul was that man. Look how he was treated. Not just in the ridiculously misnamed “debates,” but in his entire career in Congress. A true beacon of freedom CANNOT be allowed to shine its light.

          Think about his close alliance with a man I think is a dangerous wacko, Dennis Kucinich. Two voices in Congress, crying out in that wilderness. Paul made common cause with Kucinich because they both opposed the evil that the Congress was promoting, even though they do not share the same philosophy.

          Paul believes in a vanishingly small state. Kucinich believes in a vast, all-encompassing, welfare state. But both hate the police state we see emerging, so they made common cause.

          Both are no longer in Congress.

        2. I think it’s dangerously naive to view Paul as a beacon of anything. His behavior was far more consistent with a tool than with any kind of real political force. If he was well-intentioned he was incredibly unwise.

        3. It would really be helpful if you could offer some evidence that supports your opinion, Hilary. I know quite a lot about Paul. I only say things when I know what I am talking about. I trust you do the same. Persuade me.

          He was “unwise”? I doubt a more wise person has not strode the stage in this country since Jefferson.

        4. Patrick, Joe Conason at Salon wrote a very unflattering column re Ron Paul some years ago. Seems Ron was consorting with right-wing fringe groups known as white supremicists. Conservative philosophy married to radical-right extremism in not unheard of in politics. How much more consevative can you get than Von Mises’ libertarian views?

          Paul left the Congress voluntarily. Kucinich was Gerrymandered out of his district, if memory serves. (A typical partisan tactic.) But let us not forget, Dennis took a ride on AIR FORCE 1 and came off with his vote for Obamacare–obviously a schmoose he couldn’t refuse…Paul seems to have an agenda which is to support his son’s entry into the presidential free-for-all. I don’t find him a knight in shining armor. Alex Jones loves Ron Paul and his libertarian stance. Upon doing some research I have edited my opinion of the Pauls. But the fiction of a ‘difference’ to the duopoly of Dems/Repubs makes for some interesting chatter. All hype and no substance.

          Off topic but perhaps more pertinent than we want to believe…the Ludvig Von Mises Institute is located in Auburn AL, and was affiliated with Auburn University for a time. Auburn U. will be playing for the national collegiate football championship after two of the most incredible last-minute saves in football history. They beat Nick Saban’s mighty U. of Alabama’s CrimsonTide in a photo finish for posterity. Hmmmmmm

        5. I was not going to reply, Marilyn, but then I stumbled upon this:

          “As G. K. Chesterton noted, the purpose of Progressives is to go on making mistakes, and the purpose of Conservatives is to go on preventing the mistakes from being corrected”

          This is pretty much my philosophy, and certainly that of Mises and his followers today–Paul being one of the most prominent.

          Bruce S. Thornton recently wrote a very fine treatment of the dire situation we are in, titled The Progressive Reality Is Here (http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/?p=6856).

          I commend it to you. It is a short essay that demonstrates just how completely the state has come to dominate every aspect of life in a mere century. People who wish to put an end to this horrible idea, to go back to genuine freedom, are hated by so-called conservatives, who block them at every turn if they rise to prominence; they are also hated by the left, which uses vicious lies and smear campaigns to shut up speech they don’t like and to destroy the reputations and livelihoods of those who come into their crosshairs (Phil Robertson and Paula Dean could fill you in on the details; it doesn’t matter that Phil is not a leftie and that Paula is–when they decide you must be destroyed, for whatever reason, the left will always emulate Sherman’s March to the Sea).

          That describes Paul’s entire political career. The left lies. Conservatives block and shun. For instance, when Rand Paul made the obvious and correct observation that it is none of the federal government’s affair who a private service business chooses to serve or not serve–that to insert itself in such decision making is tyrannical, and no one should support such a thing–the left lied about who he is as a person. Just making things up, they said he wanted to return to segregation and even slavery. And the stinking MSM, because it is leftist to the core, acted as if that lie is now an established fact–just because lefties said it, it must therefore be so.

          Well, Rand certainly has seen it all before, because his dad went through that same wringer countless times.

          White supremacy? Give me a break. You could take any libertarian writing and twist it this way, if you believe that the welfare state is the highest manifestation of evolution and that those who think it is an undiluted evil only hold that view because they hate women and minorities.

        6. Patrick, you’re funny. You say “persuade me”, but it someone makes a good point you ignore it, and if someone says something negative about him, you ignore it.

        7. ” …a good point”?

          Old slanders are good points? Character assassination is a good point?

          When a lie is presented as a fact, the smart money does not pretend it’s a legitimate debate.

        8. I was not going to reply, Marilyn, but then I stumbled upon this:

          “As G. K. Chesterton noted, the purpose of Progressives is to go on making mistakes, and the purpose of Conservatives is to go on preventing the mistakes from being corrected”

          *****
          Thank you, Patrick, for taking time to reply to my recent post re Ron Paul. But I think you are missing an important message within my thoughts. Though I now thorougly distrust Paul’s motives, I am no keener on either the Dems or Repubs…During the 2008 campaign, my support was for Hillary. Since then, I have dropped my participation in major parties and vote independently. As I see no good prospect across the political spectrum, probably won’t vote in 2016 or perhaps post a throw-away for some obscure candidate no one has heard of.

          We need real leadership; it doesn’t exist from any corner of our political universe currently. Please go back and read (or reread) Joe Conason on the Paul myth. He is a crackerjack journalist, coming from the left, for sure, but that doesn’t preclude sense and sensibility. I jettisoned partisan affiliations some time ago; suggest we all do the same thing and let fresh air into the smoked-filled back room.

          Truth is a very precious commodity and the only one which can usurp
          the lie. As I like to say, “Truth hurts, but the lie kills.” The left and right are enjoined to encourage Globalization of planet Earth. That is the truth. Libertarians are not outside of that paradigm.

          Peace….

        9. “Please go back and read (or reread) Joe Conason on the Paul myth.”

          It is a rehash of lies and distortion. It is not journalism. Please reread my comments about how the left lies. Everything he dredged up and warmed over is a perfect example. None of it is reasonable. The fact that certain wacko racists are sometimes drawn to his has nothing to do with him. And intentional misinterpretations of the writings in his old newsletters, as his enemies created, do not constitute an accurate record. As I said, the left tells vicious lies, and the MSM treats these lies as fact–just because the left said so. If “Joe Conason…is a crackerjack journalist,” he sure lost all credibility in this article. You call Paul’s status a “myth.” Well, you can’t use this pathetic hack-job to prove it.

          I’m glad you abjure the false choices of left/right, Marilyn. The only available alternative is libertarianism, although if you select it, you will come in for the irrational hate Ron Paul cheerfully endures.

          Here’s a good primer, fortuitously published this very morn: http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/12/walter-e-block/left-and-right/

          (Oh, and Merry Christmas! Hope I’m not being too contentious at a moment when joy should prevail.)

        10. @Patrick, yes, a good point.

          You stated that Paul was no longer a congressman and tried to make it appear as though that is because of persecution.

          Marilyn posted: “Paul left the Congress voluntarily” , and you overlooked it.

          I thought that was a good point.

        11. @Marilyn Jay A., I couldn’t find a specific article concerning the Paul myth by Conason; do you have a link?

          I am fancying an article about more than one “Paul”, as there are several on the political scene now. And then there’s the Paul McCartney conspiracy theory. I can think of only one other at the moment, Paul Bunyan. Well, maybe you could include nader paul kucinich (no offense). 🙂

        12. Violeta, I did not overlook he fact he left voluntarily. I did not address it because everyone knows that he was essentially gerrymandered out of his district, as the Republicans had done to him so many times before. But he wasn’t running away from a tough challenge.

          As everyone knows, he always overcame the gerrymandering in the past, and each new batch of constituents always came to love him. The one common factor is that the R’s always hated him. Most Paul folk believe he could have pulled it out again, this time, against the odds. But he chose a new career instead. He was never allowed to accomplish anything in Congress, anyway; what’s the point, at this point, anyway, for a lonely voice in Congress? He’s now focussed on home schooling.

          This new career is going to be fun to watch.

    3. I would like to hear more about your take on Seymour Hersh. Are you sure his detractors aren’t simply political opponents? Say something contrary to the establishment and your opponents come out of the woodwork. Who is more touchy than a well-embedded establishment groupie?

      Agree on Greenwald and Snowden. Greenwald, last I heard, was thinking of teaming up with Pierre Omidyar (billionaire E-bay founder)
      to develop a media startup company. Omidyar was outbid by Jeff Bezos (billionaire Amazon founder) for The Washington Post. Sounds more like all these gentlemen are more interested in high profits and the accrued prosperity engendered by visibility and PR than spreading the truth
      via the media. Another corporate shell game–or shill game? Glenn has really found his niche in the wider world, I would say.

      Also, back to our budding police state and its ramifications:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chase-madar/over-policing-of-america_b_4412187.html

      Excellent piece on how easy it is to flow automatically into a deeper authoritarian regime almost imperceptibly. Especially if men like Bezos and Omidyar control the message.

    4. Snowden did something the other whistle-blowers did not. He didn’t just talk about the problem. In the face of certain career destruction, probable government retaliation, and possible assassination, he took the only course of action he could that would get the attention of the American people. He severed all his personal connections, left the country on a wing and a prayer, then released actual documents.

      Despite whatever mistakes they may have made at other times and other places, we owe a great debt to both Seymour Hersh and Edward Snowden – heroes both of them.

    5. Stacey, think it is just polite to read an article before commenting or at least pretend you did, it was not lengthy by any means. Will agree with the Snowden smokescreen, anytime the news cycles are obsessed with a ‘story’ and they still are, it is clearly a manufactured distraction to focus our attention away. Was briefly comforted in hearing all data on all of us was collected and stored. Well that makes me just a spec of sand in the mega computer that keeps burning up as the geeks employed to construct it, apparently did not do well in their mechanical/hardware/ heat transfer engineering studies. In reality, was this all designed to make us accepting of the massive spying with the false belief that with so much data, there is no way my free speech will ever be considered a threat?

      1. Kathy,

        You make a valid point. Commenting on an article before reading it violates proper protocol and it’s not fair to the author. You started out real good – and I mean that – but what happened after that Kathy? (chuckle) “at least pretend” I read it? Isn’t that like fibbing? While I agree that in some instances I would fib as not to hurt someone’s feelings…but… I think in the future the fair and polite thing to do is just read the article before commenting as you suggest. Good advice. Thank you

  3. Dr. Tracy, thanks so much for reminding us of this history. We need more intrepid journalists like Seymour Hersh, who, I would surmise, has been protected from harassment by his Pulitzer Prize: no one dares attack his credibility.

    And we need more intrepid journalists like YOU. The cockroaches are scurrying for cover because of the spotlight you are shining down on them. Keep it up!

    A correction, though. Bob Woodward was (and probably still is), himself, an intelligence asset, as was Ben Bradlee. Nixon would not have been brought down for the minor (possibly the non-) offenses of Watergate had the CIA not decided it was time to get rid of him, with the help of their agents in charge of the Washington Post. This was the thesis of Deborah Davis in her biography of Katharine Graham, and it has been taken up by journalist Russ Baker in his expose of the Bush crime family, “Family of Secrets.”

      1. The best theory I’ve read on this is that Nixon knew that they had information on the JFK assassination that lead back to the cabal he ran with. He used to call it “that Bay of Pigs thing” whenever he referred to it. He wasn’t talking about the Cuban invasion, he was referring to the murder.

        Haldeman and Poppy Bush had been involved. Haldeman had a tip that they had incriminating information. That is why they were willing to risk this. Nixon wanted this removed. Who knows, he may have had plans for “removing” those associated with the information once he located where they had secreted it.

        Nixon ran in some very dark circles.

  4. I have recently started thinking the same Dinophile – What happened to Nixon was a sort of “dry assassination”. They wanted to take him down while also letting it seem as if there was much more transparency and vulnerability in power than there really is.

    The mere fact the investigation was as successful as it was suggests it was bogus. If anyone had really wanted to cover up after Watergate we’d never have heard about it, or no more than the usual rumors or stories from disillusioned insiders no one believes. It would have been discussed by people like us, but never in the pages of the Washington Post.

    1. Hilary, I think the key here is that when “the boss” wants you gone, you’re gone. It isn’t about Democraps and Republithugs. Yes, there are “factions” (somewhat) that sort of in-fight over the spoils, but there are limits. If the Installed One starts to become uncontrollable or presents a problem, they take care of it.

      I’m positive that he didn’t resign merely because of the break in. The smart money is on the fact that they had information that incriminated him in the Kennedy assassination. They may never have used it but he thought that they might.

      This is a lot like the Mena drug running operation. Both Poppy Bush and Bill Clinton were up to their eyeballs in it. Every time some party tried to get an investigation going it was squelched. Poppy and Bill are best buddies.

      We now talk of “shadow governments”. It has always been this way. Certainly what’s on TEE VEE is not real. More is unsaid than reported and, whenever something breaks through it is spun in a way that preserves the public myth.

      Think of your own experience. If you’ve ever belonged to an organization, church group, etc., you will notice that there are certain people who ALWAYS push to be in charge. These are either psychopaths or people with psychopathies. They MUST be in control. Now those who manage to wheedle their way into national politics have to be the “pschopath’s psychopath. Just imagine what fun that must be.

      Those who place these cretins have a lot of “talent” to choose from. They are all there for a reason. They don’t get “tapped” for naught.

  5. RIght. And in answer to the question, “Who IS the CIA, and who is it really working for?” there is the article of Michael Ruppert from October 2001, linking past CIA chiefs to Wall Street bankers & lawyers since the CIA’s formation. (In contrast, CNN lists only their military credentials.) Here is the link to Ruppert’s article–scroll down to that section:

    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/10_09_01_krongard.html

    So the answer is: the CIA is working for the bankers.

    1. But of course. That is their history. It makes sense to look at the big law firms who do the corporations’ and banks’ business. Like Ruppert, I am from a family with people who worked for some of those firms in Washington. It was about winning wars and taking over the imperial position Britain seemed to be slipping from (temporarily). We provided them with a splint as it were.

      The imperial role continues, and a lot of Americans are not only none the wiser for the change in the system, they are proud of it. Today’s online CNN has a former cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles, shilling now for service in Afghanistan. Remind me why we are there? Oh yes, we’re convinced we have a white man’s burden we’ve taken up there. The comments of those writing about her are censored so that they come out positive and pro-war.

      1. The eight international banking families- Rothschild’s of London and Berlin; Lazard Brothers of Paris; Israel Moses Seaf of Italy; Kuhn, Loeb & Co. of Germany and New York; Warburg & Company of Hamburg, Germany; Lehman Brothers of New York; Goldman, Sachs of New York; Rockefeller Brothers of New York.

        1. To clarify my comment about the Vatican: it has been involved in numerous money-laundering scandals and financed wars, and owns several banks in the U.S. I believed their banks included, first and foremost, Bank of America, but there is information online saying BoA was acquired by the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia.

          The Vatican has a centuries-old history of cooperating with the Rothschilds.

        2. To clarify my comment about the Vatican: it has been involved in numerous money-laundering scandals and financed wars, and owns banks in the U.S. I believed their banks included, first and foremost, Bank of America, but there is information online saying BoA was acquired by the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia.

          The Vatican has a long history of cooperating with the Rothschilds..

        3. Thank you, John for this: “The eight international banking families- Rothschild’s of London and Berlin; Lazard Brothers of Paris; Israel Moses Seaf of Italy; Kuhn, Loeb & Co. of Germany and New York; Warburg & Company of Hamburg, Germany; Lehman Brothers of New York; Goldman, Sachs of New York; Rockefeller Brothers of New York.”

          Does it go any deeper than that? Eight international banking families. Do you know if they are interrelated?
          Isreal Moses Seaf of Italy…..that doesn’t sound like an Italian name!

          @dinophile, I have heard that about the Vatican, too. And other stuff, too, about the Vatican. The most interesting being that there is a black pope.

          I would think pharmaceutical companies owners are somehow tied in to the whole deal. Do you know which families own them?

        4. Yes, in a way, it’s always “the bankers”. Let us not forget that “money” (or what passes for money) is a scam itself. It is a tool. It depends on dependance. It doesn’t “cost” the “banksters” a thing. They make it from thin air.

          It only works because they create a condition where everyone is dependent on it. So, yeah, it “appears” that the bankers are in charge. Really, it is about CONTROL not wealth. They control by withholding wealth.

          Their other tool, government, is symbiotic. It creates the conditions that ensure that the eaters are dependent. It makes independence illegal. How could they control independent people?

          I too have been known to play the “who is responsible” game. It always comes back to the same bunch. But, just to be accurate, the real controllers are all but invisible. They don’t like publicity. The bankers, too, are tools.

        5. Honestly, who friggin knows. What is important to understand is that certain entities have been given the power to create money from thin air for a century or two. I don’t think it takes a genius to realize that they have bought up the world, either outright or through lending every penny that exists into existence. When people speculate whether or not this industry or that is part of the behemoth it just show their misunderstanding of this fact. If it is openly traded, it is owned.

        6. There is no “misunderstanding”. It is not that it is “publicly traded” that’s the problem. That was the communist “solution”. No private ownership.

          The problem is that a medium of exchange is allowed to be misused. The Government has certain legitimate functions. Because the government has become illegitimate they have abnegated their responsibilities under the Constitution. They are not authorized to borrow money from bankers. They are supposed to ISSUE money, free of debt.

          So long as we accept currency at a value it works. We did not agree to accept the debt that goes with it. This is why usury was prohibited for centuries. “Making money” from money is sinful and there is no money available to pay the interest if you wanted to.

          There is a difference between having a “market economy” and “capitalism”. There is a difference between “capitalism” and “predatory capitalism”. In all cases it is destructive if it is misused. None of this is difficult to understand. The job of the economist is to obfuscate simple principles to make this appear mysterious or difficult. It’s an easy scam to run and it’s an easy scam to fix. There has to be a will to do so.

        7. ““Making money” from money is sinful”This is on its face untrue.

          Interest is the time value of money. That’s all.

          If you have a gold coin, you can do three things with it. You can spend it; you can keep it; and you can loan it out to someone who needs money.

          If you keep it, you can always spend it whenever you want.

          If you lend it, you can’t use it. You have to be paid for that loss of use of your property. In a free market, the interest rate is what you think your inability to use your money is worth. If that’s evil, then communism is virtuous.

        8. Well Patrick, I don’t agree. Money should be currency, not another “opportunity” to manipulate something to increase someone’s wealth. If you make something worthwhile it has a value determined by what someone is willing to pay for it. If it becomes necessary to “borrow” money to pay for it that should either be simple interest or a fee.

          The “cost of money” is only a construct based on the way we allow money to be lent. Without a fluctuating interest rate there would be no inflation. We treat money like it is the product, not the means of exchange.

          When you allow the Fed to print money and charge interest there is never enough money in existence to pay the money back plus interest.

          “Communism” is but another method of control. Either approach ultimately results in the same result. Whether the state/bankster enterprise ends up owning it all because all anyone has left is debt, or they just take it all at the outset because people aren’t “allowed” to own anything, the result is the same. That is why people say “all wars are banker’s wars”. They finance both “sides”.

          I am anything but a communist. That doesn’t mean I’m a rabid slash and burn “Capitalist” either. There are other choices. A market economy where people exchange things for other things or currency is fine. It must be controlled to the degree that those with the resources to exploit are not allowed to do that. That’s a healthy economy. Whenever you see one class accumulate an inordinate percentage of the available wealth, that’s unhealthy. Printing more money only causes further debts to the debtors and additional wealth to the spoilers.

        9. lophatt, all you are doing here is sidestepping. The Fed and the current perverse money system is an interesting conversation, and I’m willing to have it, but it has nothing to do with the inherent moral status of charging interest on loans. When you say “Making money” from money is sinful” it is simply foolish–and you’re no fool.

          You did not address my example, which is simplicity itself. I even used gold as the example of money.

          The time value of money is a vital consideration in any economy. Only in communism would anyone argue that charging interest is sinful, because under communism you are not permitted to own property. Money is property; if it is mine, no one else has a right to it. If I am going to relinquish my access to it so that someone else can use it, I will expect to be paid. This is transparently obvious.

          The interest rate is variable because the future is unknown–especially in a world of fractional reserve banking. I can lend my savings to someone, let us say, for a week, and have a high degree of confidence that money will have about the same value when it is returned. The interest rate, i.e. the risk premium, is in this case low. On the other hand, if I lend my savings for 10 years, who knows what can happen? War could break out, and the country taken over, and the money system completely changed. I might never see that money again. Countless unknowns have to be discounted. That is, the risk of getting my value back is higher, the farther into the future we look, so I demand a higher premium if I’m going to lend my money to someone who wishes to use it when I’m not.

          To call the charging of interest immoral is the same as saying that other people have a right to my money without taking into account the risk of an unknown future. In fact, the immoral thing would be to deny me the right to charge a price for the risk I am taking.

          In a world without interest, then, there are only two options. One is communism, where you have no right to your money; the state can seize it at any time, and lend it to someone else, free of charge. The other is a world where my money is my own, but a tyrannical state denies me the right to calculate the time value of money; in such a world, no one would lend, and the economy would cease to function.

          Almost everyone who embarks on a large new venture has to borrow money. Imagine that you decide to start an airline. You’ll need planes, infrastructure, employees, etc. How many people can self finance such a venture? Very few. You need money. Do you really have the gall to expect someone to put their money at risk, for your perhaps harebrained idea, without being paid a risk premium? Don’t make me laugh.

        10. Patrick, to be honest, I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about economics. I’m perfectly familiar with the “cost of money” and deal with it almost daily at work. It is not true that interest is the antidote to “communism”.

          To keep this short, it would be nice if we never had to borrow. If we do, it would be from an institution that made a reasonable return by either charging a fee (as in Islamic countries) or simple interest.

          Speculation in the “value” of money does nothing but enrich those with the resources to speculate. I would rather tell someone that my son played piano in a cat house than that he was a banker.

          It is possible to make the system we have work. It will not work on its own without regulation. This is why they funded Darwin. If everyone believes we should live in a “jungle” where predators are allowed to kill and rob at will because there is a “natural law” that allows for that, you can go on with business as usual.

          If, on the other hand, you believe that we have a responsibility to those less fortunate than ourselves, and to call ourselves a society we must ensure that opportunity exists for everyone to realize their potential, then we have to control the psychopaths who do not.

          Within that range there is a lot of room for creativity. I subscribe to the school of thought that says nothing is mystical about money. Those who deal in it would like everyone to think it is some sort of force of nature or something. It isn’t. It only responds to the manipulations of those who are in a position to manipulate it.

          So, like so many other things in life, we are not confined to a Chinese menu of life. There are more options than “take one from Column “A” or one from Column “B” (no substitutions). I doubt that there is a subject with more hype than economics. They invent all manner of buzz words and catch phrases to obfuscate the simple fact that, if we allow it, we are all partners in a gold mine. They get the gold, we get the shaft.

        11. It’s fine with me if you don’t want to talk about it, and if you have nothing further to say, that’s fine with me, but I can’t help pointing out that, once again, you completely evaded my argument. I think I made a perfect, air tight case that to say that charging interest on loans is sinful is ridiculous. If you disagree with my argument, you have not shown why.

          This, to me, is very important, not least of which is the preposterous idea that Islam somehow has something to offer the world regarding monetary theory. All the evils that emanate from central banking, and I would argue, fractional reserve banking, aside, the central truth is that the charging of interest on loans is inherently virtuous, and indeed essential to civilization in a fallen world. As long as we can’t foresee the future, and as long as we take risks in building new enterprises, the borrowing of money must happen, and it must come with a cost: the farther out the loan, the higher the risk premium.

          This is not open to question. You can question it, obviously, if you are a fool. And I said you are not. Indeed, I know you to not be a fool. Why you defend a foolish position is beyond me.

          I take this stand vociferously, because at the roots of Western civilization lay Christianity, and at the root of Christianity is the freedom of the individual. And that essential freedom involves the right to property. Property is only a right if it can’t be confiscated. It can be lent out, but it will only be lent out if a risk premium can be assessed. It has always been thus, and it is a very, very good thing.

          The idea that it is not a good thing goes hand in hand with the insidious incursions that have undermined Western civilization.

          You don’t have to keep talking about this. Fine with me.

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