Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #805 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1  Side 2

Intro­duc­tion: As our title indi­cates, this pro­gram brings a num­ber of paths of inquiry up to date, as well as high­light­ing some new points of inter­est.

Recent months have seen ISIS–The Islam­ic State of Syr­ia and Iraq–blitzkrieg across much of Iraq, even tak­ing a city in Lebanon. This has occa­sioned much crit­i­cism of Oba­ma, includ­ing from with­in the ranks of the Gen­er­al Staff, as well as the pre­dictable cries of out­rage from the GOP.

Dubya and Sau­di Prince Ban­dar (nick­named “Ban­dar Bush”)

George H.W. Bush and Ban­dar Bush

Receiv­ing less cov­er­age is the appar­ent role of Sau­di Ara­bia and the Sau­di chief of intel­li­gence Prince Ban­dar in the ISIS onslaught. Nick­named “Ban­dar Bush” for his long-stand­ing inti­ma­cy with the Bush clan, Ban­dar appears to have backed ISIS in an anti-Shi­ite cam­paign with geno­ci­dal over­tones. His back­ing of the Syr­i­an jihadist effort is well known.

” . . . Prince Ban­dar told him [MI6 chief Richard Dearlove]: “The time is not far off in the Mid­dle East, Richard, when it will be lit­er­ally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a bil­lion Sun­nis have sim­ply had enough of them.”

Ban­dar resigned his posi­tion as head of Sau­di intel­li­gence in April. Might that have been as a result of Sau­di sup­port for ISIS jihadists?

For years, we have dis­cussed The Turn­er Diaries, which dis­cuss­es a Nazi takeover of the U.S. by armed mili­tias. After con­duct­ing a cam­paign of assas­si­na­tion, sab­o­tage and ter­ror­ism with WMD’s they take over the U.S.

The Turn­er Diaries and Hunter, pub­lished by Green­wald’s client, the Nation­al Alliance

Next, we turn to the sub­ject of the recent stand-off at the Bundy ranch, in which armed mili­ti­a­men suc­cess­ful­ly defied agents of the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment. Far from oper­at­ing in a vac­u­um, they may well be a van­guard of larg­er, more sin­is­ter things to come, with sup­port from ele­ments of the GOP and that par­ty’s extreme right-wing echo cham­ber.

Turn­ing from clan­des­tine mil­i­tary activ­i­ties in the U.S. to Nazi mil­i­tary units in post-war Ger­many, we exam­ine a fas­ci­nat­ing arti­cle from declas­si­fied BND files. After World War II, for­mer Wehrma­cht and Waf­fen SS per­son­nel coa­lesced into a fight­ing force, sup­pos­ed­ly for the pur­pose of com­bat­ing a “Sovi­et inva­sion.”

Assem­bled in coop­er­a­tion with SS com­man­do offi­cer and ODESSA func­tionary Otto Sko­rzeny, the unit appears to have actu­al­ly been part of the “Oper­a­tions Stay Behind/Gladio” for­ma­tions assem­bled by NATO at the end of the war.

Otto Sko­rzeny

One of the most inter­est­ing fea­tures of the sto­ry lies in the advi­so­ry giv­en by a BND offi­cial queried about the units. He ” . . . sug­gested con­sult­ing “the SS”, adding, the SS “is a fac­tor and we should sound out opin­ions in detail there before mak­ing a deci­sion.” Appar­ently net­works of old and for­mer Nazis still exer­cised con­sid­er­able influ­ence dur­ing the 1950s. . . .” The use of present tense to dis­cuss the SS in a 1950’s mem­o­ran­dum is note­wor­thy.

Next, the pro­gram high­lights the “sui­cide” of for­mer Flori­da GOP offi­cial Kather­ine Har­ris, who helped swing the 2000 elec­tion for George W. Bush. Anders Ebbe­son was a wealthy Swede, who worked for Elec­trolux, the vac­u­um clean­er com­pa­ny formed by Nazi-linked mon­ey man Axel Wen­ner-Gren.

Like his wife, Ebbe­son was part of an Under­ground Reich Flori­da polit­i­cal milieu linked both to drug-traf­fick­ing and to the Flori­da con­nec­tions to the 9/11 attacks. After his work for Elec­trolux, he found­ed a com­pa­ny that made appli­ances for lux­u­ry yachts–an ide­al vehi­cle for the clan­des­tine smug­gling of con­tra­band, as well as espi­onage activ­i­ty.

Con­clud­ing with a sto­ry about the U.S. Army’s Euro­pean com­mand, we note that a Ger­man gen­er­al will be chief of staff for the U.S. Army Europe. Why?!

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Analy­sis of the prob­a­ble Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work links of Axel Wen­ner-Gren and the Swedish indus­tri­al and finan­cial elite of which he was part; review of the pro­found role of Wehrma­cht and Waf­fen SS gen­er­als in the post­war Bun­deswehr; revi­ww of the links between the milieu of William Pot­ter Gale and the para­mil­i­tary milieu oper­at­ing out of Guy Ban­is­ter’s office in New Orleans; review of Prince Ban­dar’s many polit­i­cal con­nec­tions, includ­ing those to the Bush fam­i­ly.

1. Recent months have seen ISIS–The Islam­ic State of Syr­ia and Iraq–blitzkrieg across much of Iraq, even tak­ing a city in Lebanon. This has occa­sioned much crit­i­cism of Oba­ma, includ­ing from with­in the ranks of the Gen­er­al Staff, as well as the pre­dictable cries of out­rage from the GOP.

Receiv­ing less cov­er­age is the role of Sau­di Ara­bia and the Sau­di chief of intel­li­gence Prince Ban­dar in the ISIS onslaught. Nick­named “Ban­dar Bush” for his long-stand­ing inti­ma­cy with the Bush clan, Ban­dar appears to have backed ISIS in an anti-Shi­ite cam­paign with geno­ci­dal over­tones.

” . . . Prince Ban­dar told him [MI6 chief Richard Dearlove]: “The time is not far off in the Mid­dle East, Richard, when it will be lit­er­ally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a bil­lion Sun­nis have sim­ply had enough of them.”

“Iraq cri­sis: How Sau­di Ara­bia Helped Isis Take over the North of the Coun­try” by Patrick Cock­burn; The Inde­pen­dent [UK]; 7/13/2014.

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade

How far is Sau­di Ara­bia com­plicit in the Isis takeover of much of north­ern Iraq, and is it stok­ing an esca­lat­ing Sun­ni-Shia con­flict across the Islam­ic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Ban­dar bin Sul­tan, once the pow­er­ful Sau­di ambas­sador in Wash­ing­ton and head of Sau­di intel­li­gence until a few months ago, had a reveal­ing and omi­nous con­ver­sa­tion with the head of the British Secret Intel­li­gence Ser­vice, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Ban­dar told him: “The time is not far off in the Mid­dle East, Richard, when it will be lit­er­ally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a bil­lion Sun­nis have sim­ply had enough of them.”

The fatal moment pre­dicted by Prince Ban­dar may now have come for many Shia, with Sau­di Ara­bia play­ing an impor­tant role in bring­ing it about by sup­port­ing the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syr­ia. Since the cap­ture of Mosul by the Islam­ic State of Iraq and the Lev­ant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and chil­dren have been killed in vil­lages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the near­by Shia Turko­man city of Tal Afar 4,000 hous­es have been tak­en over by Isis fight­ers as “spoils of war”. Sim­ply to be iden­ti­fied as Shia or a relat­ed sect, such as the Alaw­ites, in Sun­ni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syr­ia today, has become as dan­ger­ous as being a Jew was in Nazi-con­trolled parts of Europe in 1940.

There is no doubt about the accu­racy of the quote by Prince Ban­dar, sec­re­tary-gen­er­al of the Sau­di Nation­al Secu­rity Coun­cil from 2005 and head of Gen­eral Intel­li­gence between 2012 and 2014, the cru­cial two years when al-Qa’ida-type jihadis took over the Sun­ni-armed oppo­si­tion in Iraq and Syr­ia. Speak­ing at the Roy­al Unit­ed Ser­vices Insti­tute last week, Dearlove, who head­ed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, empha­sised the sig­nif­i­cance of Prince Bandar’s words, say­ing that they con­sti­tuted “a chill­ing com­ment that I remem­ber very well indeed”.

He does not doubt that sub­stan­tial and sus­tained fund­ing from pri­vate donors in Sau­di Ara­bia and Qatar, to which the author­i­ties may have turned a blind eye, has played a cen­tral role in the Isis surge into Sun­ni areas of Iraq. He said: “Such things sim­ply do not hap­pen spon­ta­neously.” This sounds real­is­tic since the trib­al and com­mu­nal lead­er­ship in Sun­ni major­ity provinces is much behold­en to Sau­di and Gulf pay­mas­ters, and would be unlike­ly to coop­er­ate with Isis with­out their con­sent.

Dearlove’s explo­sive rev­e­la­tion about the pre­dic­tion of a day of reck­on­ing for the Shia by Prince Ban­dar, and the for­mer head of MI6’s view that Sau­di Ara­bia is involved in the Isis-led Sun­ni rebel­lion, has attract­ed sur­pris­ingly lit­tle atten­tion. Cov­er­age of Dearlove’s speech focused instead on his main theme that the threat from Isis to the West is being exag­ger­ated because, unlike Bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida, it is absorbed in a new con­flict that “is essen­tially Mus­lim on Mus­lim”. Unfor­tu­nately, Chris­tians in areas cap­tured by Isis are find­ing this is not true, as their church­es are des­e­crated and they are forced to flee. A dif­fer­ence between al-Qa’ida and Isis is that the lat­ter is much bet­ter organ­ised; if it does attack West­ern tar­gets the results are like­ly to be dev­as­tat­ing.

The fore­cast by Prince Ban­dar, who was at the heart of Sau­di secu­rity pol­icy for more than three decades, that the 100 mil­lion Shia in the Mid­dle East face dis­as­ter at the hands of the Sun­ni major­ity, will con­vince many Shia that they are the vic­tims of a Sau­di-led cam­paign to crush them. “The Shia in gen­eral are get­ting very fright­ened after what hap­pened in north­ern Iraq,” said an Iraqi com­men­ta­tor, who did not want his name pub­lished. Shia see the threat as not only mil­i­tary but stem­ming from the expand­ed influ­ence over main­stream Sun­ni Islam of Wah­habism, the puri­tan­i­cal and intol­er­ant ver­sion of Islam espoused by Sau­di Ara­bia that con­demns Shia and oth­er Islam­ic sects as non-Mus­lim apos­tates and poly­the­ists.

Dearlove says that he has no inside knowl­edge obtained since he retired as head of MI6 10 years ago to become Mas­ter of Pem­broke Col­lege in Cam­bridge. But, draw­ing on past expe­ri­ence, he sees Sau­di strate­gic think­ing as being shaped by two deep-seat­ed beliefs or atti­tudes. First, they are con­vinced that there “can be no legit­i­mate or admis­si­ble chal­lenge to the Islam­ic puri­ty of their Wah­habi cre­den­tials as guardians of Islam’s holi­est shrines”. But, per­haps more sig­nif­i­cantly giv­en the deep­en­ing Sun­ni-Shia con­fronta­tion, the Sau­di belief that they pos­sess a monop­oly of Islam­ic truth leads them to be “deeply attract­ed towards any mil­i­tancy which can effec­tively chal­lenge Shia-dom”.

West­ern gov­ern­ments tra­di­tion­ally play down the con­nec­tion between Sau­di Ara­bia and its Wah­habist faith, on the one hand, and jihadism, whether of the vari­ety espoused by Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida or by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Isis. There is noth­ing con­spir­a­to­r­ial or secret about these links: 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijack­ers were Saud­is, as was Bin Laden and most of the pri­vate donors who fund­ed the oper­a­tion.

The dif­fer­ence between al-Qa’ida and Isis can be over­stated: when Bin Laden was killed by Unit­ed States forces in 2011, al-Bagh­da­di released a state­ment eulo­gis­ing him, and Isis pledged to launch 100 attacks in revenge for his death.

But there has always been a sec­ond theme to Sau­di pol­icy towards al-Qa’ida type jihadis, con­tra­dict­ing Prince Bandar’s approach and see­ing jihadis as a mor­tal threat to the King­dom. Dearlove illus­trates this atti­tude by relat­ing how, soon after 9/11, he vis­ited the Sau­di cap­i­tal Riyadh with Tony Blair.

He remem­bers the then head of Sau­di Gen­eral Intel­li­gence “lit­er­ally shout­ing at me across his office: ‘9/11 is a mere pin­prick on the West. In the medi­um term, it is noth­ing more than a series of per­sonal tragedies. What these ter­ror­ists want is to destroy the House of Saud and remake the Mid­dle East.’” In the event, Sau­di Ara­bia adopt­ed both poli­cies, encour­ag­ing the jihadis as a use­ful tool of Sau­di anti-Shia influ­ence abroad but sup­press­ing them at home as a threat to the sta­tus quo. It is this dual pol­icy that has fall­en apart over the last year.

Sau­di sym­pa­thy for anti-Shia “mil­i­tancy” is iden­ti­fied in leaked US offi­cial doc­u­ments. The then US Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton wrote in Decem­ber 2009 in a cable released by Wik­ileaks that “Sau­di Ara­bia remains a crit­i­cal finan­cial sup­port base for al-Qa’ida, the Tal­iban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Tai­ba in Pak­istan] and oth­er ter­ror­ist groups.” She said that, in so far as Sau­di Ara­bia did act against al-Qa’ida, it was as a domes­tic threat and not because of its activ­i­ties abroad. This pol­icy may now be chang­ing with the dis­missal of Prince Ban­dar as head of intel­li­gence this year. But the change is very recent, still ambiva­lent and may be too late: it was only last week that a Sau­di prince said he would no longer fund a satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion noto­ri­ous for its anti-Shia bias based in Egypt.

The prob­lem for the Saud­is is that their attempts since Ban­dar lost his job to cre­ate an anti-Mali­ki and anti-Assad Sun­ni con­stituency which is simul­ta­ne­ously against al-Qa’ida and its clones have failed.

By seek­ing to weak­en Mali­ki and Assad in the inter­est of a more mod­er­ate Sun­ni fac­tion, Sau­di Ara­bia and its allies are in prac­tice play­ing into the hands of Isis which is swift­ly gain­ing full con­trol of the Sun­ni oppo­si­tion in Syr­ia and Iraq. In Mosul, as hap­pened pre­vi­ously in its Syr­ian cap­i­tal Raqqa, poten­tial crit­ics and oppo­nents are dis­armed, forced to swear alle­giance to the new caliphate and killed if they resist.

...

2. Ban­dar resigned his posi­tion as head of Sau­di intel­li­gence in April. Might that have been as a result of Sau­di sup­port for ISIS jihadists?

“Ban­dar Resigns as Head of Sau­di Intel­li­gence” by Simon Hen­der­son; Wash­ing­ton Insti­tute; 4/15/2014.

The sud­den shake­up at the top of the kingdom’s intel­li­gence ser­vice will like­ly have impli­ca­tions for Sau­di pol­icy on Iran and Syr­ia.

Ear­lier today, Sau­di Ara­bia announced that con­tro­ver­sial prince Ban­dar bin Sul­tan had resigned as intel­li­gence chief. Accord­ing to the offi­cial Sau­di Press Agency sto­ry, the unex­pected roy­al decree stat­ed that Ban­dar had been “relieved...from his post at his request” and replaced by Gen. Youssef bin Ali al-Idrisi, his deputy at the Gen­eral Intel­li­gence Pres­i­dency (GIP), the Sau­di equiv­a­lent of the CIA. No men­tion was made of Bandar’s oth­er offi­cial posi­tion as sec­re­tary-gen­er­al of the Sau­di Nation­al Secu­rity Coun­cil.

The news comes less than three weeks after Ban­dar was report­ed to be return­ing from Moroc­co, where he had been con­va­lesc­ing for sev­eral weeks fol­low­ing shoul­der surgery. Sig­nif­i­cantly, the spin on his absence was that he had still been run­ning Sau­di intel­li­gence from his hos­pi­tal bed despite report­edly bequeath­ing at least the Syr­ia port­fo­lio to his cousin, Inte­rior Min­is­ter Prince Muham­mad bin Nayef, in Jan­u­ary. And last Octo­ber, Ban­dar ruf­fled Wash­ing­ton pol­i­cy­mak­ers by brief­ing for­eign jour­nal­ists on Sau­di exas­per­a­tion regard­ing the Oba­ma administration’s Mid­dle East poli­cies. . . . .

. . . . Bandar’s 2012 appoint­ment as intel­li­gence chief was seen as a reflec­tion of King Abdullah’s pol­icy on two key issues at the time: his hard­line stance against the Assad regime in Dam­as­cus, and his deter­mi­na­tion to thwart Iran’s emer­gence as a nuclear-armed region­al rival to Sau­di Ara­bia. Today’s lead­er­ship switch allows for the pos­si­bil­ity that these poli­cies may be chang­ing, as sug­gested by recent Sau­di restric­tions on sup­port­ing jihadists in Syr­ia. But whether Gen­eral Idrisi, a non­royal, has the polit­i­cal weight to imple­ment pol­icy is ques­tion­able. Recent intel­li­gence chiefs have all been princes; Ban­dar him­self took over from Muqrin bin Abdu­laziz, who was named deputy crown prince last month.

If Ban­dar retains his Nation­al Secu­rity Coun­cil role, he will con­tinue to wield influ­ence in Riyadh. But giv­en his antipa­thy toward Wash­ing­ton in recent months, the change may sug­gest an oppor­tu­nity to fur­ther close the rift between the Unit­ed States and the king­dom fol­low­ing last month’s meet­ing between Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and King Abdul­lah out­side Riyadh. That assess­ment depends on which offi­cials are pro­moted to fill the gaps that Bandar’s res­ig­na­tion will leave.

3. Turn­ing to the sub­ject of armed insur­rec­tion in the U.S. (albeit on a small­er scale than the ISIS cam­paign in Iraq and Syr­ia), we note the Cliv­en Bundy stand-off and the fact that the forces that pro­duced it are more pow­er­ful and well-con­nect­ed than our media will acknowl­edge.

The armed insur­rec­tion­ists that pre­cip­i­tat­ed the Bundy siege was led by a vet­er­an of the Iraq war and backed by both ele­ments of the GOP and its right-wing media echo cham­ber. Indeed, the ide­o­log­i­cal foun­da­tion of the Bundy siege was set by domes­tic fas­cist ele­ments such as the John Birch Soci­ety.

We would also note the Bundy siege, in which armed insur­rec­tion­ists suc­cess­ful­ly defied fed­er­al author­i­ty and the law, fits neat­ly into the sce­nario set forth in The Turn­er Diaries.

It is also impor­tant to know that the milieu of the Bundyites is that of the Snow­denistas.

This is not men­tioned by SPLC, nor do they dis­cuss the wider con­text of the his­to­ry of fascism–support for fas­cism by finan­cial and indus­tri­al elites, the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, the Cru­sade for Free­dom, the Nazi ele­ment of the GOP, nor this coun­try’s polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions.

“A Much Larg­er and More Dan­ger­ous Move­ment”: Right-Wing Mili­tias Thrive Post-Bundy — and the Media Won’t Talk about It” by Paul Rosen­berg; Salon; 7/22/2014.

Cliv­en Bundy wasn’t a one-off. New report shows far-right mili­tias are grow­ing, and more fear of home-grown ter­ror

Three months after the stand­off at the Cliv­en Bundy ranch, the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter has issued a report—”War in the West: The Bundy Ranch Stand­off and the Amer­i­can Rad­i­cal Right“—stat­ing what should have been obvi­ous at the time, but which most media cov­er­age utter­ly obscured: The stand­off was not some quirky, stand­alone event that spon­ta­neously just hap­pened out of the blue. Rather, it was a high­ly coor­di­nated event reflect­ing the threat of a larg­er mili­tia move­ment, which in turn has drawn togeth­er mul­ti­ple threads of far-right ide­ol­ogy over the course of the last 40 years.

On the pure­ly tac­ti­cal lev­el, the report notes that Bundy’s armed sup­port­ers had “over­whelm­ing tac­ti­cal supe­ri­or­ity” due to their pre-posi­tion­ing on the high ground above the confrontation—under the direc­tion of a Mon­tana mili­tia mem­ber and Iraq War veteran—which is a pri­mary rea­son why the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment wise­ly with­drew. On a some­what broad­er lev­el, the report warns of the events’ rip­ple effect. “Just in the months since the Bundy ‘vic­tory,’ tense stand­offs between the BLM and antigov­ern­ment activists have tak­en place across the West — in Ida­ho, New Mex­ico, Texas and Utah.”

That’s in addi­tion to the vio­lent Las Vegas ram­page of Bundy sup­port­ers Jer­ad and Aman­da Miller, which left three inno­cents dead along with the two shoot­ers. And it places these events in a larg­er con­text. First in the Oba­ma era—“Since 2009, there have been 17 shoot­ing inci­dents between antigov­ern­ment extrem­ists and law enforcement”—but also beyond. It stretch­es as far back as the Whiskey Rebel­lion in the 1790s, but gain­ing much more orga­ni­za­tional coher­ence with the con­flu­ence of the racist, anti-Semit­ic Posse Comi­ta­tus, start­ing in the 1970s, and two more main­stream move­ments, “the Sage­brush Rebel­lion of the 1970s and 1980s and the Wise Use move­ment of the late 1980s and ear­ly 1990s.”

“The Bundy ranch stand­off wasn’t a spon­ta­neous response to Cliv­en Bundy’s predica­ment but rather a well-orga­nized, mil­i­tary-type action that reflects the poten­tial for vio­lence from a much larg­er and more dan­ger­ous move­ment,” said Mark Potok, senior fel­low in the SPLC’s Intel­li­gence Project, and lead author of the report, in a state­ment accom­pa­ny­ing the report. “This inci­dent may have fad­ed from pub­lic view, but if our gov­ern­ment doesn’t pay atten­tion, we will be caught off guard as much as the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment was that day.”

“SPLC’s piece is focused on the need for law enforce­ment to be ready in light of the appar­ent mil­i­tary-style plan­ning of the Bundy protest. They are argu­ing that the Bundy ranch was a trap, and that it worked,” said vet­eran researcher Fred­er­ick Clark­son, author of ””Eter­nal Hos­til­ity: The Strug­gle Between Theoc­racy and Democ­racy,” co-founder of the group researchers blog Talk To Action, and a senior fel­low at Polit­i­cal Research Asso­ciates. “Indeed, giv­en the involve­ment of for­mer mil­i­tary and police offi­cers in the Oath Keep­ers, one of the groups involved in the stand off, that far right fig­ures would apply their knowl­edge to such sit­u­a­tions is to be expect­ed.”

“Mark Potok observes that the episode sug­gests that there is poten­tial for ‘vio­lence from a much larg­er and more dan­ger­ous move­ment.’ It’s a good point and one all sec­tors of soci­ety need to take seri­ously,” Clark­son said.

Speak­ing to Salon, Potok him­self made it clear it was the gov­ern­ment as a whole, rather than BLM specif­i­cally, that bore the brunt of the blame. “The BLM cer­tainly could have gone in in a bet­ter way. the optics were obvi­ously ter­ri­ble…. It was not the best approach,” Potok said. “On the oth­er hand, at the end of the day, they did the right thing. They didn’t try to tough it out…. As for the BLM itself, I actu­ally feel sor­ry for them. This is not a law enforce­ment agency. Most­ly, peo­ple who work for BLM go to col­lege and study land-use issues.”

The prob­lem is much more one of inter-agency coor­di­na­tion, lead­er­ship and sim­ple recog­ni­tion of the wide­spread threat of right-wing violence—a fail­ure epit­o­mized by the Oba­ma administration’s knee-jerk dis­avowal of a Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity report on right-wing extrem­ism, leaked to right-wing media in April 2009. As Potok not­ed, this dis­avowal came despite two basic facts: first, that a sim­i­lar report on the vir­tu­ally nonex­is­tent rad­i­cal left had been issued six months ear­lier, and sec­ond, the fact the report itself was “a fair, sober and pre­scient analy­sis of what was going on.” In fact “vir­tu­ally every­thing that was writ­ten in that report came to pass in one way or anoth­er.”

But it’s not just the gov­ern­ment that’s been caught flat-foot­ed. The media’s sen­sa­tion­al­ist approach obscured as much or more than it revealed, “aid­ed” as it were by its slav­ish devo­tion to “bal­anced cov­er­age.” And the con­ser­v­a­tive estab­lish­ment that first embraced, then fled from Bundy has long had a sym­bi­otic part­ner­ship with the far­thest fringes whose bot­tom­less para­noia it regards as a nat­ural resource with­out end. Nei­ther the cor­po­rate media nor the estab­lish­ment right shows any signs of hav­ing learned any­thing last­ing from the Bundy ranch stand­off. Some future sequel, spin­off or copy­cat seems vir­tu­ally inevitable, above and beyond what we’ve already seen.

The Bundy ranch stand­off may have been unique in one respect, the report admits, “in terms of its utter brazen­ness”:

Rarely have even the most mil­i­tant of mem­bers of the antigov­ern­ment “Patri­ot” move­ment been pho­tographed aim­ing sniper rifles at the heads of law enforce­ment offi­cials. Almost nev­er has a group of heav­ily armed right-wing rad­i­cals, fac­ing large num­bers of equal­ly heav­ily armed law enforce­ment, forced the gov­ern­ment to back down.

But it belongs on a spec­trum of sim­i­lar con­fronta­tions over the decades, and was clear­ly less lethal than many of them, includ­ing, of course the Okla­homa City bomb­ing, which left 168 peo­ple dead, includ­ing 19 babies and chil­dren.

Part of what dis­tin­guished the Bundy ranch con­fronta­tion, the report sug­gests, was the role of Ryan Payne, a 30-year-old mili­tia man from Ana­conda, Mon­tana, who had deployed twice to Iraq, and who played a key role in recruit­ing hun­dreds of oth­er mili­tia mem­bers to sup­port Bundy, and in posi­tion­ing the snipers, lead­ing the BLM to with­draw. Payne is a mem­ber of small local mili­tia group, the West Moun­tain Rangers, but he also “sits atop a lit­tle-known mili­tia orga­ni­za­tion called Oper­a­tion Mutu­al Aid, a group that he hoped could coor­di­nate mili­tias across the coun­try to respond to fed­eral aggres­sions,” accord­ing to the report. SPLC inter­viewed Payne weeks after the con­fronta­tion.

After a Bundy fam­ily video of their ini­tial con­fronta­tions went viral, Payne jumped into action, first talk­ing with Bundy, then dri­ving through the night with anoth­er mem­ber of his mili­tia, Jim Lardy, “a few sleep­ing bags in tow, burn­ing up cell phones hop­ing to bring every mili­tia mem­ber they could. On April 9, he sent out an urgent call for the mili­tias to mobi­lize,” say­ing that 150 mem­bers had already respond­ed, “but that num­ber is grow­ing by the hour.” Once he arrived, he took on the role of a bat­tle­field planner—a role that payed off, big time, when the BLM decid­ed to retreat, rather than pre­cip­i­tate a bloody con­fronta­tion:

Recount­ing the day sev­eral weeks lat­er from the Bundy com­pound, Payne smiled. In the days before the stand­off, he and Cliv­en Bundy had toured the pub­lic lands Bundy was using, look­ing for ways to defend them if nec­es­sary. He knew the bat­tle­field, planned the response by Bundy sup­port­ers, and made sure snipers were in posi­tion. In his telling, his plan­ning could not have gone more per­fect­ly.

“Not only did they take up the very best posi­tion to over­watch every­thing, they also had the high ground, they were for­ti­fied with con­crete and pave­ment bar­ri­ers,” Payne said. “They had great lines of fire and then, when I sent in that oth­er team, for counter sniper posi­tions, [the BLM agents] were com­pletely locked down. They had no choice but to retreat.”

The rea­son, he boast­ed, was “over­whelm­ing tac­ti­cal supe­ri­or­i­ty.”

But a good case can be made that the real rea­son was strate­gic and polit­i­cal, not tac­ti­cal. Con­trary to all the right-wing para­noia, the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment has nev­er seri­ously focused on the mili­tia move­ment, its antecedents and allies in a sus­tained man­ner com­men­su­rate with the threats that it pos­es, although it has han­dled some spe­cific inci­dents in an exem­plary man­ner. (Iron­i­cally, in con­trast, Potok told Salon that local, on-the-ground law enforce­ment has been keen­ly aware of the right-wing mili­tia threat ever since the Okla­homa City bombing—though, telling­ly, not before it.) The fact that Bundy was decades in arrears in the mon­ey he owed for graz­ing his cat­tle on pub­lic lands was just one more piece of evi­dence of how the government’s lax atti­tude toward con­ser­v­a­tive law­break­ers breeds a sense of impuni­ty and enti­tle­ment, which is also strong­ly sup­ported by main­stream con­ser­v­a­tive voic­es, as well as media fig­ures who strad­dle the ever-shrink­ing divide between main­stream con­ser­vatism and the law­less, vio­lence-prone fringe.

The report not only pro­vides a broad overview of how vio­lence-prone right-wing anti-gov­ern­ment con­spir­acism and broad­er land use griev­ances have inter­acted since the 1970s, it also pro­vides direct evi­dence of how Bundy him­self has espoused such fringe views through­out his decades-long peri­od of refus­ing to pay the min­i­mal graz­ing fees he owes.

But as far-reach­ing as it is, it is still remark­ably focused, Clark­son points out. “The issue in the case of the Bundy graz­ing fees, is a long stand­ing issue of fed­eral lands in the West. But there are many such poten­tial ral­ly­ing points for the Patri­ot move­ment and its prospec­tive allies, informed by a volatile range of beliefs, many of them reli­gious.”

While the report does men­tion reli­gion in pass­ing, as Clark­son sug­gests, there’s a great deal more out there that lies beyond its scope. “In 2001, for exam­ple, there was an anal­o­gous sit­u­a­tion when the Indi­anapo­lis Bap­tist Tem­ple, which had refused to with­hold tax­es from their employ­ee pay­checks, faced the seizure of their assets. Mili­tia groups also turned out to defend the church,” Clark­son said. In a post-Hob­by Lob­by world, who’s to say what would hap­pen with sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion today? In that case, how­ever, “law enforce­ment sim­ply wait­ed until almost every­one had gone home and three months lat­er seized the church with­out vio­lence,” Clark­son not­ed. “Not every such stand­off need end in vio­lence. But ide­o­log­i­cal shifts in ele­ments of the Chris­t­ian Right in recent years, also point to a grow­ing poten­tial if not actu­al prepa­ra­tion for vio­lence.”

With this broad­er range of threats in mind, let’s refo­cus on what “The War in the West” does tell us. Most broad­ly, it takes up the mod­ern his­tory of the mili­tia move­ment and its kin with William Pot­ter Gale’s cre­ation of the Posse Comi­ta­tus:

[H]istoric resis­tance to fed­eral author­ity grew far sharp­er and more ide­o­log­i­cally refined with the emer­gence of the mod­ern rad­i­cal right in the 1970s and 1980s, in par­tic­u­lar the racist and anti-Semit­ic Posse Comi­ta­tus. The Posse, whose name is Latin for “pow­er of the coun­ty,” pushed an espe­cially rad­i­cal local­ism, orig­i­nat­ing the doc­trine of “coun­ty suprema­cy” even as it mar­ried ele­ments of the tax protest move­ment to Chris­t­ian Identity—a hereti­cal read­ing of the Bible that depicts Jews as bio­log­i­cally satan­ic and peo­ple of col­or as sub­hu­man.

In com­mon law, posse comi­ta­tus means “the author­ity of a law offi­cer to con­script any able-bod­ied males to assist him.” In Amer­i­can his­tory it refers to the the 1878 Posse Comi­ta­tus Act, a fed­eral law pro­hibit­ing the mil­i­tary from polic­ing non-fed­er­al prop­erty, which was intend­ed specif­i­cally to crip­ple enforce­ment of the Civ­il War Amend­ments, which grant­ed full cit­i­zen­ship and legal pro­tec­tions to for­mer slaves and their descen­dants. At its core, Gale’s Posse Comi­ta­tus seeks to ele­vate a mere statute to the lev­el of a core con­sti­tu­tional principle—and not just any law, but a law passed specif­i­cally for the pur­pose of effec­tively nul­li­fy­ing three sep­a­rate con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments, and reduc­ing African-Amer­i­cans back to the de fac­to lev­el of slaves.

...

Bundy’s con­nec­tion is not an acci­den­tal one. Although his father was a scofflaw before him, Bundy had the good for­tune of a grow­ing move­ment around him, whose lan­guage and pos­tures he read­ily adopt­ed as his own. Con­cern­ing the family’s his­tory of delin­quency, the report notes:

The Bundy fam­ily had been at odds with the BLM for almost half of the 20th cen­tury, dat­ing back to 1953, when Cliv­en Bundy’s father, David Bundy, applied for his first per­mit to graze 95 cat­tle on the BLM’s Gold Butte allot­ment, about 600,000 acres of low-lying desert.

Accord­ing to a detailed time­line pre­pared by High Coun­try News, David Bundy imme­di­ately went into arrears on pay­ments for his per­mit.

By the time Bundy took over his father’s claim, there was a pre-fab lan­guage of BS tai­lor-made for him to use:

In 1994, the BLM took Bundy to fed­eral court in order to force him to pay what then amount­ed to about $25,000 in graz­ing fees. Even then, Bundy dis­avowed the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. He attempt­ed to pay his fees to Clark Coun­ty, a gov­ern­ment body he rec­og­nized, but was turned away. On his own accord, as he told the Las Vegas Review-Jour­nal, he “fired the BLM.”

“[T]hey’ve nev­er proven to me they own that land, and I’m will­ing to do whatever’s nec­es­sary to defend my land,” Bundy told the Rocky Moun­tain News.

Over the next four years, “Bundy began fil­ing sov­er­eign cit­i­zen-like fil­ings with the court, acknowl­edg­ing only a ‘sov­er­eign state of Neva­da,’ not the fed­eral gov­ern­ment,” the report notes. One exam­ple suf­fices to reveal his state of mind:

In one let­ter to the author­i­ties, dat­ed Nov. 27, 1998, Bundy lec­tured state and fed­eral offi­cials about how they had no author­ity to restrict these lands. “Neva­da offi­cials are here­by giv­en con­struc­tive notice that an uncon­sti­tu­tional juris­dic­tion with­out lim­i­ta­tions is being imposed upon me and my family’s life, lib­erty and prop­erty. … I have been a ranch­er and stew­ard of the range in this area for many more years than there has been a BLM…. I here­by give notice to all above named per­sons and enti­ties that this order is com­ing from a for­eign court,” he wrote.

There’s so much BS in this let­ter, one hard­ly knows where to begin. So keep­ing it ultra-sim­ple is per­haps the best tac­tic: In fact, Bundy’s father pur­chased their ranch in 1948, two years after the BLM was formed in 1946, from a merg­er of the U.S. Graz­ing Ser­vice (estab­lished 1934) and the Gen­eral Land Office (estab­lished 1812). Thus it is sim­ply a bald-faced lie when Bundy claims “I have been a ranch­er and stew­ard of the range in this area for many more years than there has been a BLM.” The land itself has been con­tin­u­ously owned by the U.S. gov­ern­ment since its pur­chase from Mex­ico in 1848, as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidal­go.

Vir­tu­ally all of the far right’s con­spir­acist beliefs are equal­ly trans­par­ent lies, if you can trace them back far enough. But that assumes a truth-seek­ing func­tion on somebody’s part—an assump­tion that’s clear­ly unwar­ranted. In our age of sav­agely dec­i­mated news­rooms, fact-free “he said/she said” jour­nal­ism appears to be the only kind that most orga­ni­za­tions can manage—a style that nat­u­rally gives the advan­tage to those like Bundy who just make things up, care­fully tai­lored to bol­ster their argu­ments.

“The vast major­ity of reporters have lit­tle or no back­ground in cov­er­ing move­ments,” Potok told Salon.

This is not a crit­i­cism of indi­vid­ual reports, but a reflec­tion on “what has hap­pened over 20 years col­lapse of the news media and the rise of opin­ion jour­nal­ism.” With the col­lapse of news­pa­pers, there are “very few peo­ple who are real­ly knowl­edge­able about the far right,” he said. The South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter saw this trend com­ing 17 years ago, when Potok first joined the orga­ni­za­tion. “We real­ized this move­ment was being cov­ered more and more by peo­ple who didn’t know much about it. That’s in part why we’re orga­nized the way we are…. There’s a lack of that knowl­edge in the world, and we’re try­ing to fill in the gap…. The bot­tom line is the rad­i­cal right is very com­pli­cated, with mul­ti­ple facets and mul­ti­ple lay­ers,” which make it quite dif­fi­cult for reporters not famil­iar with it to make sense of things on the fly.

But the prob­lem isn’t sim­ply lack of information—it’s the pres­ence of dis­in­for­ma­tion as well, which was on full dis­play with the wide­spread embrace of Bundy as a folk hero, until he start­ed spew­ing unvar­nished racist hate speech.

“I think that the right wing of the Repub­li­can Par­ty and fig­ures on talk radio act­ed despi­ca­bly dur­ing the stand­off. And I think that has been true for large sec­tions of the Repub­li­can Par­ty for many years now,” Potok said. “Sean Han­nity and oth­ers lion­ized Cliv­en Bundy as some kind of great hero, stand­ing up for the Con­sti­tu­tion. He was no hero, he was a thief, a man who stole over $1 mil­lion from you and I, his fel­low Amer­i­cans. And yet these peo­ple who sup­pos­edly rep­re­sent law and order were out there cheer­ing him on, until he made his unfor­tu­nate remarks about ‘the negro’, and then they ran—out of pure polit­i­cal cow­ardice.”

But this was hard­ly an iso­lated exam­ple, Potok not­ed. “The right wing of the Repub­li­can par­ty has done a hell of a lot to help move com­pletely fringe con­spir­acy the­o­ries and pro­pa­ganda from far right of our soci­ety into the polit­i­cal main­stream.” He cit­ed as an exam­ple an entry from the report’s Time­line sec­tion, pri­mar­ily focused on land use and the mili­tia move­ment, but with some telling entries doc­u­ment­ing their wider influ­ence, and relat­ed con­spir­acist ten­den­cies. Here’s the exam­ple:

Jan­u­ary 2012: The Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee pass­es a res­o­lu­tion denounc­ing Agen­da 21 as a “destruc­tive and insid­i­ous scheme” to impose a “socialist/communist redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth” on Amer­ica, a com­pletely unfound­ed view of the vol­un­tary UN sus­tain­abil­ity plan. The res­o­lu­tion reflects how deeply Patri­ot con­spir­acy the­o­ries about envi­ron­men­tal­ism have pen­e­trated the polit­i­cal main­stream.

In the real world, Agen­da 21 is a non-bind­ing plan to guide sus­tain­able development—economic devel­op­ment along the lines pre-sup­posed by Lock­ean the­ory, in which the devel­op­ment of some land leaves as much oppor­tu­nity for future devel­op­ers and future gen­er­a­tions. But in the eyes of right-wing extrem­ists, there’s no dif­fer­ence at all between John Locke and Vladimir Lenin. Also in the real world, George H.W. Bush was an orig­i­nal sig­na­tory of Agen­da 21 at the Rio Earth Sum­mit in 1992, along with 186 oth­er heads of state.

“It is a com­pletely inno­cent, feel-good doc­u­ment that can­not force any­one to do any­thing,” Potok remarked. “And yet the RNC denounced it as a ‘destruc­tive and insid­i­ous scheme’ and goes on to say it’s an attempt to destroy all prop­erty rights in the U.S. These things are com­pletely and utter­ly false.”

But what’s even more aston­ish­ing is how this came about, Potok explained. “The John Birch Soci­ety, which infa­mously attacked Pres­i­dent Eisen­hower as a com­mu­nist agent has been run­ning around the coun­try for years telling this lie,” Potok said. “Ten years ago, nobody on the right or the left gave a damn what the John Birch Soci­ety said. But now we have the RNC sign­ing on to their con­spir­acy the­o­ry.”

Indeed, when William F. Buck­ley was strug­gling to make the con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment respectable, he offi­cially con­demned the John Birch Soci­ety, with a show of sup­port from oth­er con­ser­v­a­tive lead­ers as they ral­lied around the cause of Bar­ry Goldwater’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Of course Bircher-style con­spir­acism nev­er went away—conspiracist tracts such as “None Dare Call It Trea­son” and “A Choice, Not An Echo”—both wild­ly pop­u­lar dur­ing Goldwater’s cam­paign and beyond—sold far more copies than Buck­ley ever dreamed of. But at least there was a con­ser­v­a­tive estab­lish­ment that offi­cially dis­owned that sort of think­ing. Today, Buck­ley is dead—and so is that estab­lish­ment ethos.

Of course, it’s not just the con­ser­v­a­tive estab­lish­ment that’s now legit­imized the Birchers. The South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter is per­haps best known for its annu­al report “The Year in Hate and Extrem­ism” which reports on the num­ber of active hate groups and oth­er extrem­ists. The report is, as Potok sug­gested above, a form of jour­nal­is­tic endeav­or. But in report­ing on SPLC’s 2013 report, some con­fu­sion slipped in at USA Today, which treat­ed it almost as a mat­ter of opin­ion, “bal­anced” by none oth­er than the John Birch Soci­ety!

At least the BLM can see when it’s made a mis­take. But USA Today? I wouldn’t bet on it. “Bal­ance” is such an unques­tion­able virtue, you see. And that’s arguably the biggest rea­son why we can expect future Bundy ranch inci­dents, with even blood­ier out­comes ahead.

4. A recent piece in Der Spiegel dis­cuss­es what we are told was an “under­ground army” com­posed of Third Reich Wehrma­cht and SS vet­er­ans. This comes as no sur­prise and is–in all probability–part of the NATO oper­a­tion known as “Stay Behind.”

A con­tin­gency plan to wage guer­ril­la war­fare against either a com­mu­nist takeover in a West­ern Euro­pean coun­try and/or a “Sovi­et inva­sion,” the oper­a­tion enlist­ed fas­cist com­bat­ants in order to staff the ranks.

Many of these fas­cists found oth­er, use­ful roles, such as the Ital­ian fas­cists who exe­cut­ed the “Strat­e­gy of Ten­sion” dur­ing the “Years of Lead.”

The Gehlen “Org” was deeply involved in the exe­cu­tion of Stay Behind.

Otto Sko­rzeny

The under­ground force dis­cussed by Spiegel worked with the Gehlen Org/BND, and oper­at­ed with the approval of then Chan­cel­lor Kon­rad Ade­nauer, after he was informed of its exis­tence.

As indi­cat­ed in the title of this post, a note­wor­thy aspect of this dis­clo­sure con­cerns the fact that the BND–in assess­ing the course of action to pur­sue with regard to the Schnez under­ground army–noted that the SS should be con­sult­ed in con­junc­tion with the oper­a­tion.

The fact that the SS was dis­cussed as a note­wor­thy fac­tor in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic’s activ­i­ties and referred to in the present tense is more than a lit­tle sig­nif­i­cant.

Oth­er impor­tant aspects of the analy­sis include:

  • The fact that Schnez was close to Defense Min­is­ter Franz Joseph Strauss and served both Chan­cel­lor Willy Brandt and (lat­er chan­cel­lor) Hel­mut Schmidt.
  • Schnez’s under­ground army was approved by “ex” Nazi gen­er­als Hans Spei­del (lat­er a key NATO gen­er­al) and Adolf Heusinger (who became the equiv­a­lent of our Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
  • Schnez’s oper­a­tion was exe­cut­ed in con­junc­tion with ODESSA king­pin Otto Sko­rzeny.
  • The his­to­ri­an who uncov­ered and han­dled the BND doc­u­ment about the Schnez oper­a­tion was the grand­son of key Nazi gen­er­al Albert Kessel­ring.
  • Schnez’s net­work oper­at­ed in con­junc­tion with the offi­cial­ly “banned” League of Ger­man Youth and its “Tech­ni­cal Service”–both secret­ly fund­ed by the Unit­ed States.

 “Nazi Vet­er­ans Cre­at­ed Ille­gal Army” by Klaus Wiegrefe; Der Spiegel; 5/14/2014.

For near­ly six decades, the 321-page file lay unno­ticed in the archives of the BND, Ger­many’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency — but now its con­tents have revealed a new chap­ter of Ger­man post­war his­to­ry that is as spec­tac­u­lar as it is mys­te­ri­ous.

The pre­vi­ous­ly secret doc­u­ments reveal the exis­tence of a coali­tion of approx­i­mate­ly 2,000 for­mer offi­cers — vet­er­ans of the Nazi-era Wehrma­cht and the Waf­fen-SS — who decid­ed to put togeth­er an army in post­war Ger­many in 1949. They made their prepa­ra­tions with­out a man­date from the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, with­out the knowl­edge of the par­lia­ment and, the doc­u­ments show, by cir­cum­vent­ing Allied occu­pa­tion forces. . . .

. . . . The new dis­cov­ery was brought about by a coin­ci­dence. His­to­ri­an Agilolf Kessel­ring found the doc­u­ments — which belonged to the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion, the pre­de­ces­sor to the cur­rent for­eign intel­li­gence agency — while work­ing for an Inde­pen­dent His­tor­i­cal Com­mis­sion hired by the BND to inves­ti­gate its ear­ly his­to­ry. Sim­i­lar com­mis­sions have been hired by a num­ber of Ger­man author­i­ties in recent years, includ­ing the Finance and For­eign Min­istries to cre­ate an accu­rate record of once hushed-up lega­cies. . . .

. . . . Accord­ing to the papers, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Kon­rad Ade­nauer did­n’t find out about the exis­tence of the para­mil­i­tary group until 1951, at which point he evi­dent­ly did not decide to break it up. . . . .

. . . . Among its most impor­tant actors was Albert Schnez. Schnez was born in 1911 and served as a colonel in World War II before ascend­ing the ranks of the Bun­deswehr, which was found­ed in 1955. By the end of the 1950s he was part of the entourage of then Defense Min­is­ter Franz Josef Strauss (CDU) and lat­er served the Ger­man army chief under Chan­cel­lor Willy Brandt and Defense Min­is­ter Hel­mut Schmidt (both of the SPD). . . .

. . . . State­ments by Schnez quot­ed in the doc­u­ments sug­gest that the project to build a clan­des­tine army was also sup­port­ed by Hans Spei­del — who would become the NATO Supreme Com­man­der of the Allied Army in Cen­tral Europe in 1957 — and Adolf Heusinger, the first inspec­tor gen­er­al of the Bun­deswehr.

Kessel­ring, the his­to­ri­an, has a spe­cial con­nec­tion to mil­i­tary his­to­ry: His grand­fa­ther Albert was a gen­er­al field mar­shal and south­ern supreme com­man­der in the Third Reich, with Schnez as his sub­or­di­nate “gen­er­al of trans­porta­tion” in Italy. Both men tried to pre­vent Ger­many’s par­tial sur­ren­der in Italy. . . .

. . . . Con­tem­po­raries described Schnez as an ener­getic orga­niz­er, but also self-con­fi­dent and aloof. He main­tained con­tacts with the League of Ger­man Youth and its spe­cial­ized orga­ni­za­tion, the Tech­nis­ch­er Dienst (Tech­ni­cal Ser­vice), which were prepar­ing them­selves for a par­ti­san war against the Sovi­ets. The two groups, secret­ly fund­ed by the Unit­ed States, includ­ed for­mer Nazi offi­cers as mem­bers, and were both banned by the West Ger­man fed­er­al gov­ern­ment in 1953 as extreme-right orga­ni­za­tions. Schnez, it seems, had no qualms what­so­ev­er asso­ci­at­ing him­self with for­mer Nazis.

Schnez also main­tained a self-described intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus that eval­u­at­ed can­di­dates for the “Insur­ance Com­pa­ny,” as he referred to the project, and deter­mined if they had sus­pi­cious qual­i­ties. . . .

. . . . US doc­u­ments viewed by SPIEGEL indi­cate that Schnez nego­ti­at­ed with for­mer SS Ober­sturm­ban­n­führer Otto Sko­rzeny. The SS offi­cer became a Nazi hero dur­ing World War II after he car­ried out a suc­cess­ful mis­sion to free deposed Ital­ian dic­ta­tor Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni, who had been arrest­ed by the Ital­ian king. The for­mer SS man had pur­sued plans sim­i­lar to those of Schnez. In Feb­ru­ary 1951, the two agreed to “coop­er­ate imme­di­ate­ly in the Swabia region.” It is still unknown today what pre­cise­ly became of that deal. . . .

. . . . A nota­tion in papers from the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion states that there had “long been rela­tions of a friend­ly nature” between Schnez and Rein­hard Gehlen. The doc­u­ments also indi­cate that the secret ser­vice first became aware of the clan­des­tine force dur­ing the spring of 1951. . . .

. . . . Still, Ade­nauer decid­ed not to take action against Schnez’s orga­ni­za­tion — which rais­es sev­er­al ques­tions: Was he shy­ing away from a con­flict with vet­er­ans of the Wehrma­cht and the Waf­fen-SS?

There were mis­giv­ings with­in the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly sur­round­ing Sko­rzeny. Accord­ing to anoth­er BND doc­u­ment seen by SPIEGEL, a divi­sion head raised the ques­tion of whether it was pos­si­ble for the orga­ni­za­tion to take an aggres­sive stance against Sko­rzeny. The Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion man sug­gest­ed con­sult­ing “the SS”, adding, the SS “is a fac­tor and we should sound out opin­ions in detail there before mak­ing a deci­sion.” Appar­ent­ly net­works of old and for­mer Nazis still exer­cised con­sid­er­able influ­ence dur­ing the 1950s. . . .

. . . . From that point on, Gehlen’s staff had fre­quent con­tact with Shnez. Gehlen and Schnez also reached an agree­ment to share intel­li­gence derived from spy­ing efforts. Schnez boast­ed of hav­ing a “par­tic­u­lar­ly well-orga­nized” intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus. . . .

Anders Ebbe­son and Kather­ine Har­ris

5a. We note the recent alleged sui­cide of for­mer Flori­da Sec­re­tary of State Kather­ine Har­ris’ hus­band, a Swede named Anders Ebbe­son. (Har­ris was the Jeb Bush func­tionary who was instru­men­tal in steal­ing the Flori­da vote for Dubya in the 2000 elec­tion.)

We are told that he had health prob­lems, the sup­posed rea­son he decid­ed to check out. He was also very wealthy and cer­tain­ly could afford excel­lent health care.

We note a num­ber of con­sid­er­a­tions in con­junc­tion with this case:

  • Kather­ine Har­ris was involved with the intel­li­gence and drug smug­gling net­work of air­lines linked to the milieu of Rudi Dekkers, Wal­ly Hilliard, Huff­man Avi­a­tion et al. This milieu links, in turn, to what we call the Under­ground Reich.
  • Har­ris has also net­worked with Under­ground Reich ele­ments linked to Argenti­na.
  • Ebbeson’s company–InterCon–specialized in mak­ing appli­ances for yachts and RV’s. That would dove­tail very well with drug smug­gling and oth­er con­tra­band traf­fick­ing activ­i­ties. (See text excerpt below.)
  • Wolf­gang Bohringer, anoth­er of Dekkers’ asso­ciates linked to drug traf­fick­ing, also was an accom­plished yachts­man.
  • Ebbe­son start­ed a com­pa­ny that was bought out by Elec­trolux, the Swedish man­u­fac­tur­ing giant. Ebbe­son con­tin­ued to work for Elec­trolux until he start­ed Inter­Con. (See text excerpt below.)
  • Elec­trolux was the cre­ation of Axel Wen­ner-Gren, a promi­nent Swedish indus­tri­al­ist who was a Third Reich ally. (See text excerpt below.)
  • Wen­ner-Gren was deeply involved with mask­ing Ger­man indus­tri­al assets after World War I and  through the World War II peri­od. (See text excerpt below.) Might he have done the same after World War II?
  • Swe­den is a promi­nent focal point for the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work. (See text excerpt below.)
  • Carl Lund­strom (financier of the PRQ serv­er that host­ed Wik­iLeaks) and Ing­var Kam­prad (of IKEA fame) are oth­er promi­nent Swedish indus­tri­al lumi­nar­ies with fas­cist pedi­grees.
  • We won­der if the Axel Wen­ner-Gren estate is part of the Bor­mann net­work. Wen­ner-Gren had sig­nif­i­cant cap­i­tal par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Swedish muni­tions man­u­fac­tur­er Bofors.
  • Might Ebbeson’s “sui­cide” actu­al­ly have been linked to one or more ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tions?
  • Might Ebbeson’s exit have been linked to Rudi Dekkers’ recent indict­ment for drug smug­gling activ­i­ties?
  • Might Ebbeson’s exit have been linked to the recent judi­cial deci­sion to per­mit a law­suit against Sau­di Ara­bia to pro­ceed?
  • Might Ebbeson’s exit have been linked to a recent inves­ti­ga­tion of finan­cial giant HSBC for laun­der­ing drug mon­ey?
  • We also read­i­ly admit that shar­ing a bed with Kather­ine Har­ris for any length of time might be enough to dri­ve some­one to sui­cide.

“Police: Kather­ine Har­ris’ Hus­band Com­mits Sui­cide” [WTSP.com]; USA Today; 11/19/2013.  

The hus­band of for­mer Con­gress­woman and Flori­da Sec­re­tary of State Kather­ine Har­ris has report­ed­ly killed him­self, WTSP.com reports.

Sara­so­ta Police say they were called out to the home of Har­ris and her hus­band, 68-year-old Anders Ebbe­son on Tues­day morn­ing. Upon arrival, inves­ti­ga­tors found Ebbe­son dead from an appar­ent sui­cide. . . .

5b. We note Ebbeson’s work for Elec­trolux, a firm found­ed by Swedish indus­tri­al­ist Axel Wen­ner-Gren. Wen­ner-Gren was on excel­lent terms with the Third Reich.

“Kather­ine Har­ris’ Most Stead­fast Sup­port­er” by Ani­ta Kumar; The Tam­pa Bay Times; 10/20/2006.

. . . .Ebbe­son and his first wife, also Swedish, moved to Sara­so­ta while he worked for his father’s com­pa­ny, Origov­erken, a man­u­fac­tur­er of every­thing from stoves to seat­belts, accord­ing to his broth­er, Bengt Ebbe­son.

Anders and Bengt Ebbe­son even­tu­al­ly took over the com­pa­ny, which accord­ing to news­pa­per reports at the time had 45 employ­ees. In 1986, the broth­ers sold it to Elec­trolux, a mas­sive glob­al com­pa­ny best known in the Unit­ed States for vac­u­um clean­ers.

Ebbe­son con­tin­ued to work for Elec­trolux in Sara­so­ta for a while until he opened his own com­pa­ny, Bengt Ebbe­son said.

Inter­Con Mar­ket­ing touts itself on its Web site as a dis­trib­u­tor of appli­ances includ­ing microwaves, refrig­er­a­tors, dish­wash­ers, TVs and light­ing for yachts, RVs, hotels, gov­ern­ment hous­ing and assist­ed liv­ing facil­i­ties.
Ebbe­son trav­els the world, fly­ing to Swe­den for work at least half a dozen times a year, Bengt Ebbe­son said. . . .

6. Wen­ner-Gren was not only an inti­mate of Nazi lumi­nar­ies such as Her­mann Goer­ing but was sus­pect­ed of intrigue on behalf of the Nazi U‑Boat cam­paign in the Atlantic.

“For­tune’s End: The Mys­te­ri­ous Mur­der of Sir Har­ry Oakes” by Rachael Bell; trutv.com

Wen­ner-Gren was also known to have devel­oped a close friend­ship with one of Nazi Ger­many’s key fig­ures, Her­mann Goer­ing. In fact, it was believed that his friend­ship with Goer­ing facil­i­tat­ed Swe­den’s good stand­ing with Ger­many, which allowed the coun­try to main­tain its neu­tral­i­ty dur­ing the war. Wen­ner-Gren would often brag about hav­ing friend­ships with oth­er unsa­vory polit­i­cal fig­ures, such as Mus­soli­ni and Mex­i­co’s pro-Fas­cist Gen­er­al Max­imi­no Cama­cho.

It was not long before Wen­ner-Gren showed up on the “radar screens” of the U.S. and British gov­ern­ments. Wil­son reports that the two coun­tries mon­i­tored Wen­ner-Gren’s move­ments close­ly, believ­ing him to be a spy. Wen­ner-Gren had estab­lished a bank in Mex­i­co, which allied intel­li­gence believed was being used for Nazi petro­le­um and arms deals. Intel­li­gence sources also believed Wen­ner-Gren was accu­mu­lat­ing large sums of mon­ey in order to con­trol the Mex­i­can econ­o­my. . . .

7. Axel Wennner-Gren served as some­thing of a Nazi cat’s paw as a major investor in Bofors, the Swedish arma­ments firm that assist­ed the Third Reich.

“3‑Way Nas­sau” by Peter Swan­son; Yacht­ing Mag­a­zine; 11/6/2010.

Allied intel­li­gence agen­cies mis­trust­ed Axel Wen­ner-Gren immense­ly. The Swede made his for­tune as founder of the Elec­trolux vac­u­um clean­er com­pa­ny, but he was also a major own­er of Bofors, the Swedish arma­ments man­u­fac­tur­er that had covert­ly assist­ed in Germany’s rear­ma­ment under the Nazi regime.

Wen­ner-Gren was heard to boast about his friend­ly con­nec­tions to Hitler’s inner cir­cle, and his crew was for­mer­ly of the Swedish Navy, con­sid­ered a pro-Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion with­in neu­tral Swe­den. South­ern Cross her­self had immense fuel capac­i­ty and bris­tled with anten­nas con­nect­ed to its state-of-the- art radio room. Wen­ner-Gren had pur­chased South­ern Cross from Amer­i­can tycoon Howard Hugh­es for $1 mil­lion. “The Avi­a­tor” was court­ing the women of Hol­ly­wood in the 1930s and had enter­tained them aboard the pala­tial ves­sel.

Events of Sep­tem­ber 1939 went a long way to fuel Allied sus­pi­cions about the Swede. This was before Wenner-Gren’s arrival in the Bahamas and hap­pened while South­ern Cross was on a plea­sure cruise in the North Atlantic. In the first sink­ing of the sub­ma­rine war, Ger­man sub U‑30 tor­pe­doed the lin­er Athe­nia with 1,450 Cana­di­an and Amer­i­can pas­sen­gers on board. Along came South­ern Cross, which hap­pened to be near­by. She picked up 200 sur­vivors and deliv­ered them to Ire­land.

Move for­ward to 1942. Allied intel­li­gence sus­pect­ed that even if Wen­ner-Gren hadn’t come to the Bahamas on a secret mis­sion to refu­el Ger­man sub­marines, South­ern Cross may have very well been serv­ing as a scout ship, help­ing U‑boats find tar­gets such as Athe­nia.

Despite offi­cial para­noia, Wen­ner-Gren was able to take up res­i­dence in the Bahamas. He became friend­ly with the Duke of Wind­sor, who had come to Nas­sau to serve as wartime gov­er­nor of the Bahamas, then a British pos­ses­sion. The duke used to be Edward VIII, King of Eng­land. In a spec­tac­u­lar 1936 news event, he had abdi­cat­ed the throne of Eng­land to mar­ry the “woman I love,” an Amer­i­can divor­cée named Wal­lis Simp­son. The abdi­ca­tion two­some were fre­quent guests aboard South­ern Cross, and Wen­ner-Gren once loaned the use of his yacht to run Simp­son over to Flori­da to have a tooth pulled.

Before the war, the duke and his wife had met Hitler and expressed their admi­ra­tion for the Nazi regime. It is wide­ly sus­pect­ed that Wind­sor lat­er engaged in trea­so­nous wartime com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the Nazis, any evi­dence of which will remain under the seal of British gov­ern­ment secre­cy until 2046. He was believed to be Hitler’s first choice to be pup­pet ruler of Britain after the planned Ger­man inva­sion. Churchill, in effect, had exiled the duke to Nas­sau to get this trou­ble­some roy­al out of the way. . . .

8. As not­ed above, Wen­ner-Gren helped mask Ger­man assets dur­ing World War I and dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. He was one of a com­pa­ny of a wealthy inter­na­tion­al elite cir­cle that were sup­port­ive of fas­cism dur­ing World War II. The Wal­len­bergs were part of that cir­cle. Was Wen­ner-Gren part of the post-war Bor­mann net­work?

All Hon­or­able Men by James Stew­art Mar­tin; Lit­tle Brown [HC]; pp. 252–253. 

. . . .One of the mys­ter­ies of World War II has been the unex­plained inter­na­tion­al rela­tions of the Swedish indus­tri­al orga­ni­za­tion, A.B. Sven­s­ka Kul­lager- Fab­riken, known as SKF, Swe­den’s largest indus­tri­al con­cern and the world’s largest man­u­fac­tur­er of ball and roller bear­ings. The prin­ci­pal Swedish inter­est in SKF is held by the Wal­len­bergs through their Enskil­da Bank and its invest­ment sub­sidiary, A.B. Investor. The actu­al extent of Ger­man or oth­er for­eign con­trol, either direct­ly or through the Wal­len­bergs, has not been dis­closed.

For many years the active man­age­ment of SKF was in the hands of Sven Wingquist, the founder of the firm. In 1941, he gave up the day-to-day man­age­ment but remained as chair­man of the board. From time to time, begin­ning in 1933 and 1934, Sven Wingquist came into the world spot­light as one of a col­or­ful clique of inter­na­tion­al adven­tur­ers, who gained spe­cial noto­ri­ety by their buzzing around Edward VIII at the time of his abdi­ca­tion in 1936. They includ­ed Axel Wen­ner-Gren, the yachts­man; Charles Bedaux, inven­tor of a labor speed-up sys­tem; and Jacques Ler­nai­gre-Dubre­nil, French banker and veg­etable-oil man of West Africa.

Axel Wen­ner-Gren will he remem­bered as a yachts­man with a remark­able record of coin­ci­dences. He cruised the seas through­out much of the war in his yacht, the South­ern Cross, and turned up to res­cue sur­vivors of Ger­man sub­ma­rine attacks, begin­ning with the Ger­man sink­ing of the British ship Athe­nia in 1939 and con­tin­u­ing through the Caribbean sub­ma­rine cam­paign of 1942. At the time, some peo­ple spec­u­lat­ed about how one yacht could hap­pen along so often when a sub­ma­rine spot­ted a ves­sel; but the coin­ci­dences were nev­er explained. . . .

. . . . Sven Wingquist and Axel Wen­ner-Gren had tak­en an active part after World War I in the Ger­man plans to mask the own­er­ship of sub­sidiaries abroad. To get around the Ver­sailles Treaty, firms like Carl Zeiss, man­u­fac­tur­ers of mil­i­tary opti­cal equip­ment, set up branch­es such as the “Nedin­sco” firm at Ven­lo in the Nether­lands and car­ried on as before. The Krupp firm did the same in Spain, Swe­den, and oth­er coun­tries.

In 1934 the Swedish gov­ern­ment dis­cov­ered that Krupp con­trolled a block of shares in the Bofors steel and muni­tions works through a Swedish dum­my hold­ing com­pa­ny called “Boforsin­ter­essen­ten.” Sven Wingquist, who was chair­man of the board of the Bofors steel and muni­tions works, was one of the two Swedish cit­i­zens who had been vot­ing this stock for Krupp at stock­hold­ers’ meet­ings.

The Krupp con­cern con­trolled approx­i­mate­ly one third of Swedish Bofors in this man­ner and had main­tained enough addi­tion­al vot­ing strength through Axel Wen­ner-Gren to con­trol the affairs of Bofors. . . . .

9. In the con­text of Swedish indus­tri­al­ists’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Bor­man cap­i­tal net­work, we take note of the impor­tant role in that orga­ni­za­tion played by the Wal­len­berg indus­tri­al and finan­cial empire.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 133–134.

. . . . An inter­est­ing side­light to this strug­gle between the Allies and Ger­many for influ­ence on Swe­den is the pecu­liar role played by Mar­cus and Jacob Wal­len­berg, mem­bers of Swe­den’s most impor­tant bank­ing fam­i­ly. Mar­cus head­ed a gov­ern­ment com­mis­sion which nego­ti­at­ed with Britain and the Unit­ed States through­out the war. At the same time, his broth­er Jacob was the chief nego­tia­tor for the Swedish gov­ern­ment with Nazi Ger­many. Thus were both sides cov­ered for Swedish busi­ness, includ­ing the fam­i­ly’s very own sub­stan­tial eco­nom­ic inter­ests. Fol­low­ing World War II, this fam­i­ly empire was to achieve its most spec­tac­u­lar pros­per­i­ty, as Ger­man invest­ments under the Bor­mann pro­gram matured in their Swedish safe-havens.

In this way, impres­sive wealth accrued to the Wal­len­bergs, as well as to the oth­er Swedish and Ger­man invest­ment groups con­trol­ling large hold­ings in the many Swedish com­pa­nies under Ger­man dom­i­nance in 1944. . . . [This would cer­tain­ly have includ­ed the Wen­ner-Gren assets. Note that James Stew­art Mar­tin dis­cuss­es the Wal­len­berg con­nec­tion at great length in All Hon­or­able Men.–D.E.]

10. We learn that a Ger­man gen­er­al will be the new chief of staff for U.S. Army Europe. We won­der why?

This cer­tain­ly fits in the con­text of the Under­ground Reich that we have been devel­op­ing and pre­sent­ing for years. Pre­cise­ly why an Amer­i­can offi­cer would not have fit the bill remains a mat­ter of spec­u­la­tion.

This occurs against the back­ground of U.S. and Euro­pean inter­ven­tion in Ukraine, an “op” that has brought back to pow­er the suc­ces­sor ele­ments to the World War II Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tionist forces of the OUN/B.

As we not­ed in our series on Ukraine, the U.S. is basi­cal­ly engag­ing on behalf of the EU and Germany–the EU and EMU being the enact­ment of a Ger­man polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic plan for Euro­pean and, even­tu­al­ly, world dom­i­na­tion. (For more on this, see–among oth­er pro­grams–FTR #788.)

The Unit­ed States has no dog in that fight. We are basi­cal­ly play­ing enforcer for Ger­many and the EU, this at the same time that Ger­many expelled the CIA Sta­tion Chief in Berlin!

“Ger­man Offi­cer to Serve as U.S. Army Europe’s Chief of Staff” by Jim Tice; Army Times; 7/31/2014.

Gen. Markus Lauben­thal is the first Ger­man offi­cer to be assigned to U.S. Army Europe. He is the command’s new chief of staff. (U.S. Army Europe)

A Ger­man Army brigadier gen­eral who recent­ly served with NATO forces in Afghanistan is assum­ing duties as the chief of staff of U. S. Army Europe, the first time a non-Amer­i­can offi­cer has held that posi­tion.

Brig. Gen. Markus Lauben­thal, most recent­ly the com­man­der of Germany’s 12th Panz­er Brigade in Amberg, and chief of staff of Region­al Com­mand North, Inter­na­tional Secu­rity Assis­tance Force Afghanistan, will be sta­tioned at USAREUR head­quar­ters, Wies­baden, Ger­many. He could report to duty as ear­ly as Mon­day.

Lauben­thal also has served as mil­i­tary assis­tant to the deputy com­man­der of oper­a­tions and assis­tant chief of staff of oper­a­tions for NATO forces in Koso­vo.

As the major staff assis­tant to USAREUR com­man­der Lt. Gen. Don­ald Camp­bell, Lauben­thal will syn­chro­nize the command’s staff activ­i­ties much as Amer­i­can pre­de­ces­sors have in the past.

“This is a bold and major step for­ward in USAREUR’s com­mit­ment to oper­at­ing in a multi­na­tional envi­ron­ment with our Ger­man allies,” said Camp­bell.

“U. S. and Ger­man senior mil­i­tary lead­ers have been serv­ing togeth­er in NATO’s Inter­na­tional Secu­rity Assis­tance Force in Afghanistan for years. Sus­tain­ing the shared capa­bil­ity from this expe­ri­ence will ben­e­fit both the U. S. and Ger­man armies,” said Camp­bell who has head­ed the Army’s largest and old­est over­seas com­mand since 2012.

Discussion

5 comments for “FTR #805 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates”

  1. One of the trick things about solu­tions is that they often come with their own sets of prob­lems. That’s some­thing to keep in mind when masked, armed far right anti-gov­ern­ment vig­i­lante groups with a recent his­to­ry of try­ing to spark a civ­il war are now roam­ing the bor­ders search­ing for child refugees:

    Los Ange­les Times
    Masked, armed mili­tias patrolling Texas side of bor­der draw scruti­ny

    Pub­lished: 01 August 2014 01:59 PM

    Updat­ed: 01 August 2014 06:17 PM

    HOUSTON — Masked mili­tias have arrived in South Texas with semi-auto­mat­ic rifles and tac­ti­cal gear, caus­ing a stir not only in bor­der com­mu­ni­ties, but also among state offi­cials.

    News of the mili­tias has spread at a time when the bor­der has grown more mil­i­ta­rized in response to an influx of Cen­tral Amer­i­can immi­grants, many of them fam­i­lies and chil­dren who made the cross­ing unac­com­pa­nied — more than 57,000 since Octo­ber.

    Gov. Rick Per­ry acti­vat­ed 1,000 Nation­al Guard troops last month, draw­ing from the Texas State Guard as well as Texas Air and Army Nation­al Guard. That acti­va­tion came on top of a state Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safe­ty bor­der surge, bring­ing the state’s total month­ly cost to more than $17 mil­lion.

    Per­ry has so far said the troops do not have arrest pow­ers, although it appears they could if autho­rized by the state. Immi­grant advo­cates and some local offi­cials oppose grant­i­ng them arrest pow­ers.

    Addi­tion­al mili­tia mem­bers start­ed arriv­ing on the Texas bor­der in recent weeks to assist as part of a deploy­ment they called Oper­a­tion Secure Our Bor­der: Lare­do Sec­tor. The effort entails cre­at­ing a train­ing com­mand near San Anto­nio and rotat­ing groups south to patrol pri­vate ranch land on the bor­der with the per­mis­sion of ranch own­ers.

    The ear­ly groups includ­ed Oath­keep­ers, Three Percenter’s Club and Patri­ots. Then the Min­ute­men announced that they, too, were deploy­ing.

    An online con­tro­ver­sy flared after a mili­tia mem­ber appeared on YouTube advis­ing mem­bers to con­front and intim­i­date those caught cross­ing the bor­der ille­gal­ly. There also have been ten­sions between mili­tia groups, but no major clash­es have been report­ed.

    Response to the groups has been mixed.

    Sup­port­ers of the mili­tias are plan­ning a week­long con­voy from Mur­ri­eta, Calif. — site of recent anti-immi­grant protests — to the bor­der city of McAllen, Texas. The con­voy, sched­uled to start Sat­ur­day, will be “stop­ping to sup­port cit­i­zen bor­der patrols along the way.”

    Mike Mor­ris, who works with Three Percenter’s, told the Los Ange­les Times that sev­er­al mili­tia groups were invit­ed to South Texas by ranch­ers who face reg­u­lar break-ins and “incur­sions” by migrant groups.

    “It is a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion,” he said.

    Mor­ris said there were numer­ous mili­tias oper­at­ing with­out a cen­tral com­mand, some armed. While some groups “observe and report,” he said, oth­ers saw the need to be armed in remote areas because if a threat aris­es, “the Bor­der Patrol are stretched so thin — they may not respond.”

    “Some parts of the bor­der these days, Bor­der Patrol has pulled back and it’s not safe,” Mor­ris said.

    ...

    Out­raged, mem­bers of the Texas Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion wrote a let­ter to the state’s attor­ney gen­er­al demand­ing he denounce the mili­tias and define what they can legal­ly do.

    The dozen mem­bers of the del­e­ga­tion said they were “deeply dis­turbed” by the images of “armed and masked mili­tia groups pur­port­ed­ly patrolling our Texas bor­der in response to the arrival of unac­com­pa­nied chil­dren from Cen­tral Amer­i­ca to our state.”

    They called the mili­tias “law­less,” warned that they “per­pet­u­ate the stig­ma that the bor­der is a war zone” and request­ed that the attor­ney gen­er­al “clar­i­fy the juris­dic­tion these mili­tia groups have to patrol along­side local law enforce­ment and Bor­der Patrol agents.”

    Attor­ney Gen­er­al Greg Abbott, a Repub­li­can cam­paign­ing to replace Per­ry as gov­er­nor, dis­missed the let­ter through a spokes­woman.

    Abbott backed the Nation­al Guard deploy­ment and the state bor­der surge, and has demand­ed the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment foot the bill.

    Abbott spokes­woman Lau­ren Bean called the let­ter a “par­ti­san polit­i­cal stunt” and said that instead of com­plain­ing about the mili­tias, the Democ­rats “should work with their Repub­li­can col­leagues to secure fed­er­al fund­ing for the state’s bor­der secu­ri­ty efforts.”

    Yep, Texas Attor­ney Gen­er­al Greg Abbott refus­es to denounce the pres­ence of armed gangs roam­ing the board­er in ski masks and view crit­i­cism of the groups as just a par­ti­san stunt (because par­ti­sans oppose armed masked vig­i­lantes roam­ing remote areas of the nation). And, of course, he’s not the only state offi­cial to bold­ly sup­port far right armed masked mili­tias try­ing pro­voke an armed con­flict between the states and the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment:

    Think Progress
    Armed Right-Wing Mili­tias Amass­ing Along Texas Bor­der With State Lawmaker’s Bless­ing

    by Ian Mill­his­er Post­ed on August 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm Updat­ed: August 8, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    For much of the sum­mer, right-wing mili­ti­a­men have gath­ered near the Texas-Mex­i­co bor­der, many of them claim­ing that they are there as part of some­thing called “Oper­a­tion Secure Our Bor­der.” They include mem­bers of a move­ment that Pres­i­dent George W. Bush denounced as “vig­i­lantes,” and they also include mem­bers of even more rad­i­cal groups that pro­mote wild con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and that explic­it­ly threat­en vio­lence against the gov­ern­ment.

    And now, they have the bless­ing of a sit­ting Texas law­mak­er. After tour­ing the Rio Grande Val­ley near the bor­der, Repub­li­can state Rep. Doug Miller claimed that the mili­tias “have a right to be there” and that they “are not cur­rent­ly a prob­lem.” Accord­ing to Miller, he was told that the mili­tias “are on pri­vate prop­er­ty, help­ing ranch­ers and own­ers to keep ille­gals com­ing onto or through their prop­er­ty … and there haven’t been any prob­lems.”

    Miller is not the high­est-rank­ing Texas offi­cial who has dis­missed crit­i­cism of armed vig­i­lantes patrolling the Texas bor­der. Late last month, the 12 Demo­c­ra­t­ic mem­bers of Texas’ con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion penned a let­ter to Greg Abbott, the state’s attor­ney gen­er­al and the Repub­li­can can­di­date to be Texas’ next gov­er­nor. In it, the 12 law­mak­ers quote a mili­tia leader who said that “You see an ille­gal. You point your gun dead at him, right between the eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the bor­der or you will be shot.’” They also ask Abbott to “denounce the actions of these mili­tia groups and clar­i­fy the juris­dic­tion these mili­tia groups have to patrol along­side local law enforce­ment and Bor­der Patrol agents.”

    A spokesper­son for Abbott dis­missed the let­ter as a “par­ti­san polit­i­cal stunt.”

    ...

    The mili­ti­a­men also report­ed­ly include mem­bers of the “Three Percenter’s Club,” a group which claims that its “mis­sion is give our mem­bers the capa­bil­i­ties and resources nec­es­sary to exe­cute Mil­i­tary Strate­gies to defend against for­eign and domes­tic ene­mies.” The Three Per­center move­ment takes its name from the “3% of the colonist [sic]” who alleged­ly refused orders by the British Crown to sur­ren­der their firearms in the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion,” and it was found­ed by a con­ser­v­a­tive activist named Mike Van­der­boegh. On his per­son­al blog, Van­der­boegh explained that one of the Three Per­center movement’s core beliefs is a will­ing­ness to offer vio­lent resis­tance to the gov­ern­ment:

    We intend to main­tain our God-giv­en nat­ur­al rights to lib­er­ty and prop­er­ty, and that means most espe­cial­ly the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are com­mit­ted to the restora­tion of the Founders’ Repub­lic, and are will­ing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppres­sor, to kill in the defense of our­selves and the Con­sti­tu­tion that we all took an oath to uphold against ene­mies for­eign and domes­tic.

    We are the peo­ple that the col­lec­tivists who now con­trol the gov­ern­ment should leave alone if they wish to con­tin­ue unfet­tered oxy­gen con­sump­tion. We are the Three Per­cent. Attempt to fur­ther oppress us at your per­il.

    To put it blunt­ly, leave us the hell alone.

    Or, if you feel frog­gy, go ahead AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.

    Last April, a sim­i­lar col­lec­tion of mili­tia orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing mem­bers of the Oath Keep­ers, gath­ered near the home of Neva­da ranch­er Cliv­en Bundy to offer armed resis­tance to fed­er­al offi­cials seek­ing to enforce a court order pre­vent­ing Bundy from ille­gal­ly graz­ing his cat­tle on fed­er­al land. Bundy briefly became a hero among con­ser­v­a­tive media fig­ures such as Fox News’ Sean Han­ni­ty, and Sen. Dean Heller (R‑NV) labeled Bundy and his sup­port­ers “patri­ots.” Bundy’s moment as a Repub­li­can folk hero end­ed fair­ly abrupt­ly, how­ev­er, after he made racist remarks about “the Negro.”

    ...

    Well, at least Abbott and Heller are bold­ly con­sis­tent. Sort of.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 10, 2014, 7:47 pm
  2. Relat­ing to the surge in right-wing mili­tias and the grow­ing embrace of such groups by main­stream politi­cians, Dig­by has a piece in Salon that high­lights one of the more impor­tant poten­tial con­se­quences relat­ing to the GOP’s inevitable shift towards the lib­er­tar­i­an Paul-ite wing of the par­ty: The “I don’t want gov­ern­ment to do anything”-ideology of lib­er­tar­i­an­ism can be inter­pret­ed in a way that’s awful­ly close to the “I don’t want the gov­ern­ment to do any­thing, except that which is nec­es­sary to pre­serve our tra­di­tion­al val­ues. Specif­i­cal­ly, 18th cen­tu­ry val­ues. It’s God ordained.”-ideology of the theo­crat­ic “con­sti­tu­tion­al con­ser­v­a­tives”. And since the Tea Par­ty has basi­cal­ly forced the entire GOP to embrace a con­fused blend of lib­er­tar­i­an­ism and far right “tra­di­tion­al val­ues”, the “God ordained small gov­ern­ment” theo­crat­ic world­view of the “con­sti­tu­tion­al con­ser­v­a­tive” move­ment is get­ting increas­ing­ly main­streamed:

    Salon
    Tea Party’s hor­ri­fy­ing cousin: Here comes “con­sti­tu­tion­al con­ser­vatism”
    The sad club of dupes known as the Tea Par­ty is not the real prob­lem. This scary ide­o­log­i­cal under­cur­rent might be

    Heather Dig­by Par­ton
    Mon­day, Aug 11, 2014 10:43 AM CST

    The emerg­ing con­ven­tion­al wis­dom that the Tea Par­ty is being van­quished by the GOP estab­lish­ment, based sole­ly on the fact they are beat­ing pri­ma­ry chal­lengers, is exceed­ing­ly myopic. If you believe that, you have a very super­fi­cial view of what con­sti­tutes “win­ning.” These pri­maries are forc­ing the alleged­ly main­stream can­di­dates to move far to the right and the per­for­mance of the past few years proves that when this hap­pens the Par­ty stays far right as a result of this threat. Pri­maries can be very effec­tive tools if used prop­er­ly — and if they are backed up by mon­ey and influ­ence, which the far right cer­tain­ly is, they are for­mi­da­ble instru­ments of dis­ci­pline.

    Ed Kil­go­re did an excel­lent sur­vey of these so-called vic­to­ries for the voic­es of rea­son at Talk­ing Points Memo ear­li­er this week:

    Yesterday’s win­ner Pat Roberts, who already sport­ed life­time rat­ings of 86 per­cent from both the Amer­i­can Con­ser­v­a­tive Union and Amer­i­cans for Pros­per­i­ty, went far out of his way to pro­pi­ti­ate the ide­o­log­i­cal gods of move­ment con­ser­vatism as he fought for reelec­tion. He vot­ed against an appro­pri­a­tions mea­sure that includ­ed a project he had long sought for his alma mater, Kansas State Uni­ver­si­ty, and opposed a UN Treaty ban­ning dis­crim­i­na­tion against peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties over the objec­tions of his revered Kansas Sen­ate pre­de­ces­sors Bob Dole and Nan­cy Kasse­baum.

    We’ve seen the same dynam­ic with “estab­lish­ment” win­ners Thom Tillis of North Car­oli­na, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and “mod­er­ate out­sider” David Per­due of Geor­gia — and above all Minor­i­ty Leader Mitch McConnell of Ken­tucky, whose vot­ing record tilt­ed hard right in antic­i­pa­tion of his pri­ma­ry fight with Matt Bevin. There’s been a vir­tu­al cav­al­cade in the pri­maries of entire fields tilt­ing against debt lim­it increas­es, com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform (or even lim­it­ed legal­iza­tion of undoc­u­ment­ed work­ers), any pos­i­tive gov­ern­ment role in eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy, and of course, any accom­mo­da­tions for legal­ized abor­tion or same-sex mar­riage.

    ...

    The fight with­in the GOP, to the extent there real­ly is one, is over strat­e­gy and tac­tics not goals. As much as it pleas­es some Vil­lage wags to think there still exists a mod­er­ate GOP that wants noth­ing more than to knock back scotch and sodas at the end of a long day of bipar­ti­san horse trad­ing just like Tip and Ron­nie sup­pos­ed­ly used to do, it doesn’t. And while it also pleas­es some lib­er­als to think that there exists a gen­uine pop­ulist impulse on the right wing that can make com­mon cause with Democ­rats, I’m afraid they too are whistling past the grave­yard.

    The right is orga­nized, both philo­soph­i­cal­ly and insti­tu­tion­al­ly as an ene­my of New Deal lib­er­al­ism. There may very well be dis­crete issues in which a few of the lib­er­tar­i­an types can make com­mon cause with Democ­rats on civ­il lib­er­ties, and it’s always pos­si­ble that the par­ty may find it’s use­ful from time to time to pre­tend to care about Big Banks as much as Big Gov­ern­ment. But his­to­ry sug­gests that con­ser­v­a­tives’ right­eous oppo­si­tion to any­thing lies more in who they are oppos­ing than in what. (And yes, lib­er­als fall prey to this too — all you have to do is look at the sup­port for sur­veil­lance pro­grams under Bush and Oba­ma. Still, there remains a far larg­er con­sis­tent civ­il lib­er­ties fac­tion with­in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty than the GOP.)

    Right now there is lit­tle rea­son for the Repub­li­cans to stop doing what they’re doing. They are get­ting much of their agen­da enact­ed sim­ply by doing noth­ing. (In fact doing noth­ing is their agen­da.) But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some new twists to their old sto­ry.

    Kil­go­re a that there might actu­al­ly be a new fac­tor that could change the equa­tion if the rest of the GOP wakes up to what it is:

    I do wor­ry that the still-emerg­ing ide­ol­o­gy of “con­sti­tu­tion­al con­ser­vatism” is some­thing new and dan­ger­ous, at least in its grow­ing respectabil­i­ty. It’s always been there in the back­ground, among the Birchers and in the Chris­t­ian Right, and as as emo­tion­al and intel­lec­tu­al force with­in Move­ment Con­ser­vatism. It basi­cal­ly holds that a gov­ern­ing mod­el of strict­ly lim­it­ed (domes­tic) gov­ern­ment that is at the same time devot­ed to the preser­va­tion of “tra­di­tion­al cul­ture” is the only legit­i­mate gov­ern­ing mod­el for this coun­try, now and for­ev­er, via the divine­ly inspired agency of the Founders. That means demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­tions, the will of the major­i­ty, the need to take col­lec­tive action to meet big nation­al chal­lenges, the rights of women and minori­ties, the empir­i­cal data on what works and what doesn’t—all of those con­sid­er­a­tions and more are so much satan­ic or “for­eign” delu­sions that can and must be swept aside in the pur­suit of a Right­eous and Excep­tion­al Amer­i­ca. I don’t think at this point “con­sti­tu­tion­al con­ser­vatism” has tak­en over the GOP, but its rhetoric and the confrontational—even chiliastic—strategy and tac­tics it sug­gests are becom­ing more com­mon every day, even among hack­ish pols who prob­a­bly don’t think deeply about any­thing and would sell out the “base” in a heart­beat if they could get away with it.

    This is the ide­o­log­i­cal under­cur­rent that feeds the Glenn Beck cult and the gun pro­lif­er­a­tion zealots. It’s what makes Cliv­en Bundy a hero, how­ev­er briefly. It too has been around for a long time, but until recent­ly it was con­fined to the fever swamps around fringy char­ac­ters like the Chris­t­ian Recon­struc­tion­ist Howard Philips and the Con­sti­tu­tion Par­ty. Any guess whose famous dad­dy has been con­sort­ing with those fine fel­lows going way back? That’s right, the great transpar­ti­san hope, Rand Paul. Kil­go­re is right to be con­cerned about this strain. As he says, the sad lit­tle club of dupes known as the Tea Par­ty isn’t real­ly the prob­lem. But this might be.

    The fever swamps are beck­on­ing...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 11, 2014, 6:31 pm
  3. Here’s quite the ‘who­dun­nit’ with an addi­tion­al ‘whogotit­dun­ntothem’ twist:

    The Dai­ly Beast
    Heist! An AK-Wield­ing Gang in Paris Grabs $335,000 from a Sau­di Prince
    The gun­men took more than cash; they grabbed “sen­si­tive doc­u­ments,” accord­ing to French police. And those could be very sen­si­tive indeed.

    World News
    08.18.14

    Christo­pher Dick­ey

    Like all great heists, the assault on a Sau­di prince’s con­voy of vans and limos Sun­day night just out­side Paris looks, in ret­ro­spect, like a crime that was wait­ing to hap­pen.

    The French author­i­ties say that between five and eight attack­ers bran­dish­ing Kalash­nikov assault rifles, a trade­mark of orga­nized crime in West­ern Europe, pulled up to the prince’s cars around 9 p.m. along a rel­a­tive­ly qui­et stretch of high­way en route to le Bour­get air­port, which han­dles pri­vate jets.

    The gun­men got into one of the cars, a Mer­cedes van, dropped off the three occu­pants a way down the road, and made off with rough­ly €250,000 ($334,000) in cash as well as “sen­si­tive doc­u­ments,” accord­ing to police offi­cials quot­ed in the French press.

    The name of the prince has not been released, and it is not clear that he was even with the con­voy. “Typ­i­cal­ly, the princes send their entourage with mon­ey, lug­gage, pass­ports to the air­port,” a vet­er­an Sau­di intel­li­gence offi­cer told The Dai­ly Beast pri­vate­ly. He declined to give the royal’s name or posi­tion, but not­ed that the title “prince” can sound more polit­i­cal­ly impos­ing than it is, and the French head­lines describ­ing the col­lec­tion of cars on their way to the air­port as a “diplo­mat­ic con­voy” may well be mis­lead­ing.

    ...

    A gang with inside information—and there is not much doubt this gang fit into that cat­e­go­ry — could eas­i­ly deter­mine the moment when a Sau­di roy­al wrap­ping up his Paris sojourn might be send­ing his entourage and his cash to his pri­vate jet.

    But the mat­ter of the so-called “sen­si­tive doc­u­ments” remains. Are they, as the Sau­di intel­li­gence vet­er­an sug­gests, just the pass­ports of the entourage? Or could they be some­thing more seri­ous and sin­is­ter? Var­i­ous Sau­di princes, after all, have been major sources of covert fund­ing for oper­a­tions as diverse as Iran-Con­tra in the 1980s and, more recent­ly, jihadist oper­a­tions in Syr­ia. (Ties to the infa­mous ISIS in Syr­ia and Iraq are less clear.) Some French politi­cians also have been known to accept the largesse of Arab bene­fac­tors. So it’s con­ceiv­able, if unlike­ly, that the sen­si­tive doc­u­ments are very sen­si­tive indeed.

    Short­ly after the hold-up the burned-out van and a BMW were found along with two €500 bills, some doc­u­ments in Ara­bic and var­i­ous med­ica­tions, accord­ing to a police source quot­ed in Le Monde.

    I asked Alain Bauer, one of France’s most influ­en­tial crim­i­nol­o­gists, if the heist appeared to him to be a com­mon orga­nized-crime oper­a­tion or some­thing with more com­pli­cat­ed impli­ca­tions.

    His cryp­tic answer: “Both.”

    Note that a lack of clar­i­ty over Sau­di involve­ment in the financ­ing of ISIS should prob­a­bly be expect­ed by now.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 18, 2014, 2:21 pm
  4. A lot of weapons. Not a sin­gle refugee:

    Gulf coun­tries’ fail­ure to take Syr­i­an refugees ‘shame­ful’: Amnesty

    By Mag­dale­na Mis

    Fri Dec 5, 2014 7:03am EST

    LONDON (Thom­son Reuters Foun­da­tion) — Wealthy Gulf states have failed to reset­tle a sin­gle refugee from the Syr­i­an con­flict — a “par­tic­u­lar­ly shame­ful” omis­sion by coun­tries that should be at the fore­front of those offer­ing shel­ter, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al said on Fri­day.

    Syr­i­a’s sup­port­ers in the U.N. Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, Chi­na and Rus­sia, have also failed to reset­tle any refugees since the cri­sis began more than three years ago, Amnesty said in a report ahead of a U.N. pledg­ing con­fer­ence for Syr­ia in Gene­va next week.

    More than 3 mil­lion Syr­i­ans are being host­ed in just five neigh­bor­ing coun­tries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jor­dan, Iraq and Egypt, plac­ing an enor­mous strain on resources. The rest of the world has offered to take just 63,170 refugees.

    “The short­fall in the num­ber of reset­tle­ment places for refugees offered by the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty is tru­ly shock­ing,” Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Amnesty’s head of refugee rights, said in a state­ment.

    “The com­plete absence of reset­tle­ment pledges from the Gulf is par­tic­u­lar­ly shame­ful. Lin­guis­tic and reli­gious ties should place the Gulf states at the fore­front of those offer­ing safe shel­ter to refugees flee­ing per­se­cu­tion and war crimes in Syr­ia.”

    Near­ly 380,000 peo­ple have been iden­ti­fied as in need of reset­tle­ment by the U.N. refugee agency. They include tor­ture sur­vivors, unac­com­pa­nied chil­dren and peo­ple requir­ing med­ical treat­ment.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 7, 2014, 6:50 pm
  5. Otto Sko­rzeny was one of the (at least) 14 famous Nazi and SS mem­bers that died peace­fu­ly in Spain, most of them by the South and East Coast as well the ‘Balear­es’ islands; they not only had the sup­port of Fran­co’s regime, they also had men­tions and recog­ni­tion of the AP par­ty which lat­er on became the actu­al PP par­ty, the gov­er­ment right now. The PP refused four times to make a ‘sym­bol­ic’ vote on the con­gress con­demn­ing the Fran­co’s regime. Var­i­ous of their mem­bers have been seen wav­ing or show­ing the regime’s flags, there’s a record too of a busi­ness man that were told by the trea­sur­er of the PP (actu­aly in jail, for ille­gal fund­ing of the par­ty among to have been found hav­ing up to 40.000.000€ “hid­den” in Switzer­land) that he could bring his own fran­quist flag to a meeting/dinner comem­o­rat­ing the death of the dic­ta­tor, 20th of Novem­ber; there’s a may­or in Gali­cia, on the Spain’s NW, that uses the Fran­co regime’s flag and his pho­to on his office instead use the cur­rent flag (called: con­sti­tu­tion­al) and the king’s pho­to, which is manda­to­ry by law; but noth­ing hap­pens, the top PP lead­ers call this acts and ref­fer to this peo­ple as ‘anec­do­tal’, ‘nos­tal­gics’ or ‘kinds things’.

    Posted by Charles Wipman | January 6, 2015, 7:18 pm

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