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.)

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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.


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:

    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

    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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