Kill the Messenger reveals uncomfortable truths

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 8.30.45 AM“If we had met five years ago, you wouldn’t have found a more staunch defender of the newspaper industry than me … And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I’d enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn’t been, as I’d assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job … The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn’t written anything important enough to suppress.” —Gary Webb

Gary Webb never wanted to be anything but an honest investigative journalist and after Watergate exploded in the national news, he dropped out of college three credits short of a degree to take a job as a cub reporter. He spent two decades working his way up the reporter ranks through a half dozen papers, and even participated in a Pulitzer, but then the story of the century dropped in his lap, courtesy of Coral Baca, who would much later be revealed as the wife of Carlos Lehder, founder of the Medellin Cartel.

Baca became aware of Gary after he’d written an expose on forfeiture abuse for a San Jose newspaper. Drug war forfeiture began in the early 1980s and quickly became a major source of law enforcement funding. Baca used Gary as a ploy to help get a drug smuggler friend of hers released from custody. She was working as a manager for the insurance giant AIG when she contacted Gary. Most people are unaware of the deep political connections between AIG and the CIA and their possible involvement in drug money laundering, but if you trace the history of AIG, you’ll find opium funded-anti-communist efforts at its origins. And 80 years later, that was the op Gary bumped into, only this time around it was cocaine funding an illegal Contra war on a Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua.

HBO just added the wonderful and explosive feature, Kill the Messenger, based on the biography by Nick Schou of the same name as well as Gary’s book Dark Alliance. Although produced on a relatively low budget, the film has some big names and provides a riveting account of Gary’s spiral of doom down a CIA-infested rabbit hole. The film leaves Gary’s suicide in 2004 as an open question, although I believe Gary took his own life in a moment of despair. However, the CIA had already destroyed his career and played numerous dirty tricks to break him down emotionally. The last straw seemed to be the theft of his prized cafe racer motorcycle combined with the sale of his home, as he could no longer afford the mortgage payments. He was about to downsize into his mother’s apartment and decided he’d endured enough abuse.

I  was editor of a national magazine when Gary lost his newspaper job and immediately offered him a monthly column. But Gary had a lot of pride and demanded $5 a word, which is more than I could afford. I ended up hiring Mike Ruppert (and eventually regretting that decision). Had Gary lived, he’d be a rock star journalist today since history has completely vindicated his work. And anyone famous can self-publish with ease these days. Seven corporations with ties to the military-industrial complex no longer have a monopoly stranglehold on publishing like they did two decades ago. At the highest level, these corporations work hand-in-glove to assist the CIA, not investigate it, and that’s the fallacy and myth created by Watergate. When you see investigative reporters getting giant book and film deals and being lionized by the national media, like what happened with Woodward and Bernstein, you are looking at CIA ops in progress, which is why I don’t trust Wikileaks or Snowdon. Gary, on the other hand, was the real deal, a truly honest reporter who just wanted to get to the truth, no matter the consequences. He was not lionized, he was crucified.

Funny when this movie came out in the theaters, it disappeared almost instantly before it could find an audience. Not exactly what happened with All the President’s Men, eh? But now you can watch Kill the Messenger on demand on HBO, at least for this month, so please check it out because it may help open some eyes. And if you want to keep following the rabbit hole even deeper, just subscribe to this blog, because it’s one of the few places that peers into the dark corners.

One thing I’ve learned after 30 years hanging around the marijuana industry: it’s stuffed with spooks and scam artists. When the CIA wanted to use drug profits to prop up a Contra army, they were able to double and triple dip profits along the way. First they fronted a mountain of cocaine to street dealers while arming those dealers with advanced automatic weapons, something that forced the police to militarize in order to combat the street gangs. The military-industrial complex was cashing in on weapons sales on both sides of that divide. Then, after a decade of insane profits, they began taking down the street dealers and having the government seize their assets. They only built them up so they could take it all away later. And only the spooks walk free to dance through the raindrops and nary a drop lands on them.

You’ll find similar games played in world of cannabis.

If you want to check out a recent documentary that covers Gary’s story, I suggest Freeway: Crack in the System by Marc Levin.

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Freeway Ricky’s Crack in the System

freeway_07-31-2012Marc Levin has a new film, and it’s a mindblower: the true story of Ricky Ross (Freeway: Crack in the System/Blowback Productions).

I was fortunate to be invited to a debut screening last night and it propelled me back to the 1980s, when crack appeared in LA and NYC, and Iran-Contra-Cocaine started to explode onto the front pages.

Ricky started as a ghetto teenage tennis prodigy, and was well on his way to becoming the next Arthur Ashe when it was uncovered he was illiterate. After losing that career path, Rick turned to street hustling to survive, and became LA’s biggest cocaine dealer in short order, making over a million a day at his height, and working directly under a CIA-asset Danilo Blandon, who was flying arms to Nicaragua and filling the planes up with cocaine on the return trip—coke supplied via a system setup by Carlos Lehder (who now walks free thanks to his testimony against Manuel Noriega).

Gary Webb stumbled into Rick’s story, only he didn’t stumble, he was directed by the voluptuous and highly-educated Coral Baca, who some say was/is Lehder’s girlfriend and was allegedly working at AIG, a company with notorious offshore connections. Baca dropped out of sight for years after Webb’s book was published, while the CIA went after the groundbreaking journalist with everything at their disposal, eventually destroying his career and causing his suicide. (Webb was not the only significant journalist attempting to investigate Iran-Contra-Cocaine, that dangerous mission included one Danny Casolaro, who was murdered while his precious octopus conspiracy files disappeared.)

At the height of the game, Ross was unexpectedly betrayed by Blandon and became the designated patsy, and was put away for life via a manipulated Federal three-strikes law, while Blandon and the CIA assets soon walked free. Rick lost everything, ending up in prison in Texas, where Levin first visited him a few years ago. At that time Rick told Levin he’d be getting out soon via appeal. And he did.

Obviously, Rick is a force of nature, and used his years in prison as an opportunity to teach himself to read. He became a voracious reader and now lectures on literacy in schools and prisons across the land, sharing his hard-earned wisdom.

Maybe you know a Florida-based rapper stole his identity and made millions pretending to be a cocaine kingpin, when in fact he was a correction’s officer on the other side of the divide. When Rick got out of jail, he sued for $10 million and half the royalties, but the judge got vicious and threw the case out while ruling Rick had to pay the rapper nearly a half million dollars in legal fees. I have to wonder if somebody got to that judge, because this should have been an open-and-shut victory for the real Ricky Ross.

When the film comes around next month, check it out. It makes a great follow-up to the recent Kill the Messenger, which focused on Gary Webb.

Who’s Who in House of Cards?

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There’s a revolution going on as streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime have already proven the insanity of paying money to anyone to program what films you can watch on any given day (instead of just watching whatever you want to watch whenever you want to watch it).

Streaming on demand has already re-written the rules on the music industry and very soon the same will be said for film. The latest development is Netflix investing over $110 million to produce an HBO-quality series about life inside the Beltway, a project based off a successful British production with the same title, House of Cards. Maybe you’ve already watched all 13 episodes of the first season since they were all released on the same day earlier this month.

First, the good news: this show blows away Showtimes’ Homeland, but doesn’t quite make Sopranos status. Kevin Spacey plays a Machiavellian-type politician weaving ambitious schemes to engineer himself into the Presidency. If you had to pick one person Spacey’s character seems designed around, it would have to be Dick Cheney because Cheney was put in charge of selecting G.W.’s running mate and ended up selecting himself, very similar to the op Spacey’s character unleashes in the first season. Peter Russo is a virtual dead ringer for Elliot Spitzer as far as looks go, although Spitzer is a very rich Jew and Russo is portrayed as a very poor Catholic, so the resemblance pretty much ends with their mutual fondness for hookers. The billionaire Ramon Tusk seems loosely based on Warren Buffet, although Buffet made his fortune in insurance and Coca-Cola, while Tusk is portrayed as a world-wide investor in atomic power who speaks fluent Chinese and is an avid bird watcher.

I particularly like the way the show reveals a massively-funded charity as being in bed with the very corporate interests the charity pretends to be working against. Nothing is as it appears to be in politics and wolves usually appear dressed as sheep.

Unfortunately, the muckraking press described in this show no longer exists. Yes, the part about politicians using and manipulating journalists by planting trial balloons goes on all the time. But there really aren’t any journalists working for any major media outlets doing real gumshoe investigative work on government corruption anymore. Those jobs no longer exist. Gary Webb was probably the last, and you saw what happened to him.

You might think Doug Stamper is Scooter Libby, but Richard Armitage would be a much closer guess, although Mike Kelly doesn’t have the physical presence of Armitage, a star linebacker for the Naval Academy. Naval intelligence has had a strong presence in global affairs since the Kennedy assassination and their alumni keep turning up as members of the Octopus squad, a club Armitage and Cheney may both belong to. Scooter had to fall on his sword and lost his law practice to protect Armitage, who was the real source of the Valerie Plame leak.

I was interviewed in High Times this month, by the way, and Paul Krassner asked me what really caused the recent crackdown on dispensaries. I began by saying “They” (meaning the Octopus), but this got edited somehow to say “The Feds.” Actually, there’s a huge gulf between the thousands of honest public servants who perform their jobs within the government with dignity and the Octopus players at the very top of the power pyramid who engage in enormous profit-making in guns and drugs while hiding behind a cloak of National Security. House of Cards would be far better if they tracked into this complex world. The first time I heard the words “Dick Armitage” was 1989, and Bo Grits had just returned from the Golden Triangle where he interviewed opium warlord Kuhn Sa, who told Gritz that Armitage was his biggest customer. They had to hide Armitage away for a few years, but he came back with a vengeance to take over the strongman role at the State Department.

The show did jump the shark, however, by having the Cheney character murder the Spitzer character. That clearly was a job better left to Armitage.

Guide to the Disinfo Matrix

I was on facebook the other day when one of my unknown friends posted a link to a book titled Big Oil by Dean Henderson. It didn’t have a single review on Amazon so I thought it was something new. In the promo material, some person from South America said it deserved the Pulitzer Prize. It was super expensive at $25, but often the most reliable books on deep politics cost money, so I thought I was ordering a real book and bought it without really looking into the author at all.

Unfortunately, when the book arrived yesterday, I quickly discovered it was filled with misinformation and quoted people like David Icke and William Cooper as if they were serious journalists, which they are not. I opened it at random and came to a quote saying Allen Dulles was a member of Skull & Bones, a secret society at Yale, when, in fact, Dulles had gone to Princeton. Soon, I realized Dean Henderson is either a knowing agent of disinfo or a brainwashed stooge of the disinfo matrix (more on that later).

Paul Krassner, the dean of underground journalism, began printing conspiracy research in the 1960s in his national magazine, The Realist, forging a trail few in journalism would ever follow. Pretty soon, researchers were crawling out of the woodwork and sending Paul stories. Even today, when he no longer publishes conspiracy research, these characters are still peppering him with their nutty theories. I know because Paul forwards the wackiest stuff to me, as if to say, “see how crazy your compatriots are?” Many of these people are undoubtedly plants. Of course, the most famous of these characters was Mae Brussell, whose research seemed authentic at first, but pretty soon Paul realized Mae was leading him down a rabbit hole and connecting dots that didn’t really connect, leading him on a wild goose chase to nowhere. That’s when Paul stopped trusting conspiracy researchers [Paul adds: I felt it necessary not to have predisposed perception, to distinguish coincidence from conspiracy, and not let what might be perceived as evidence be tainted by ego or agenda]. After most people get burned after falling in a rabbit hole, it becomes really difficult to get past the noise to the real info that noise is designed to conceal. The game is to sheep-deep all deep political research as crackpot nonsense by flooding the field with crack-pot nonsense. Unfortunately, this game has worked very well for over 50 years now.

I’m too old and too wise to fall for this crapola, although I can’t say the same for a lot of people I meet, who seem to gobble up the latest pronouncements by Icke, Rense, Jones and the rest of the captains of disinfo. Henderson’s book wasn’t just sourced through these dubious characters, though. He also quoted a number of more reliable conspiracy researchers, some of whom have suspicious axes to grind. In this list, I’d include anyone from the Lyndon LaRouche organization, Alex Constantine, and Mike Ruppert. These are probably disinfo agents, but at least they’re journalists who deal with verifiable facts and not baseless rumor and innuendo. The rabbit holes they lead you into (like Ruppert’s “Peak Oil” scam), are more credible than the shapeshifting aliens in Icke’s manifestos, although ultimately, I don’t think these sources can be trusted any more than their obviously crackpot counterparts.

After I got Henderson’s book, I learned he’s a regular on the Icke/Rense/Jones disinfo circuit. He also seems to be an activist in the Green movement. The environmental movement is heavily seeded with agents because the oil companies have to keep in eye on environmentalists to make sure they don’t do anything damaging to their bottom line, which is why they’ve installed an oligarchy insider like Al Gore as their chief lightening rod. It’s a dialectical game, just like almost everything else that goes on inside deep politics.

Once you get past those two levels of disinfo, you get to real journalists with no visible axes to grind, a list that includes Antony Sutton, Gary Webb, Daniel Hopsicker, Dick Russell, Alfred McCoy, Danny Casolaro, and Peter Dale Scott. These are the authors you have to read and if I find their names and books in a bibliography, then I know I’m dealing with a serious researcher. The more serious a researcher is, however, the more ignored they will become over time. Deep political research is a great way to “break your rice bowl,” which is how they put it to Antony Sutton when he veered off the designated rails. You can put me in this category too, as I once had a flourishing journalism career, but after I began publishing deep political research in High Times, I soon realized I no longer had a journalism career. My book, The Octopus Conspiracy, got exactly one review when it came out—in a local publication in Woodstock, New York.

Shortly after 9/11, Retired General Mirza Aslam Beg, former chief of staff of the Pakistani Army, said 9/11 was an operation of the American intelligence agencies. Beg also claimed Wikileaks is a tool of psy-war, and not a real whistle-blowing operation, and that Osama bin Laden died in 2009, and that the Seal Team killed a lookalike stand-in. Of course, researchers like me know Beg is probably telling the truth.

Oh, and by the way, I left my review of Big Oil on Amazon. It wasn’t very favorable.

Black Money and the New World Order

The American Empire really gets going shortly after WWII, after Wall Street and the newly-formed CIA secretly gained control over $5 trillion (in today’s prices) of stolen loot, mostly gold bars that had been hidden by the Japanese in the Philippines after they’d lost control of the sea lanes. (A fraction of this amount was also secretly recovered from the Nazis.) The gold was transferred into hundreds of accounts around the world and used to finance war, revolution and propaganda missions around the world, including loads of false flag terror attacks, all part of the new Cold War strategy of tension. A tiny portion of this network emerged during the P-2 scandal in Italy. After Nixon awarded at least one of these funds to a foreign power (China or Japan, depending on who’s telling the story), the CIA began fomenting a Watergate meltdown, an entirely orchestrated affair to remove Nixon from power.

Someday history may show a new global empire was forged on 9/11 2001. Evidence has emerged that massive amounts of financial fraud occurred just prior to and during the attacks. Mark H. Gaffney has released an entertaining book Black 9/11: Money, Motive and Technology (Trine Day), that charts some of the more interesting developments over the last decade of citizen research.

I especially enjoyed his retelling of the Pentagon plane strike, which managed to kill an entire budget staff in charge of investigating the $1.3 trillion that had just been announced missing the day before. This office was located near the ground in a difficult location to hit by a plane. Yet the well-known location of the HQ of the Joints Chiefs was a direct line up the Potomac and a much easier target? The pilot decided to avoid the easy shot on the chiefs in order to execute a swerving turn at low altitude and high speed right into the accounting office where all the evidence was being stored of the Chief’s possible criminality in the missing trillions? Who can be expected to swallow a coincidence like that?

In fact, 9/11 was planned for years and maximized in multiple directions. Gaffney illuminates some of the history behind Marsh & McLennan and AIG, the two major players in suspicious trades, as well as Alvin “Buzzy” Krongard of the CIA, and Kroll Associates, a Wall Street spy firm owned by AIG. Richard A. Grove has testified that a new internet mainframe for moving electronic money was installed on the floors of Marsh & McLennan just weeks before the attacks, and at the time, Grove and a group of insiders concerned about money laundering had been invited to a meeting scheduled for 9/11. Grove was late, or he would had perished just like all the others who showed up on time. It’s going to take decades to sort out all the possible patsies that could have been lured to a death trap that day, a list that certainly includes the Pentagon accountants and some potential whistleblowers seeking redress from inside their corrupt corporations.

All did not go according to plan that day. Obviously, Flight 93 didn’t complete its mission. One wonders whether that plane was designed to hit Building 7, and, long after it missed it’s target window (and the British media had already declared Building 7 “down”), they reluctantly brought down the building without the jet cover story, which likely would have been designed to strike Guiliani’s command post near the top floors to wipe out the crime scene and anoint Guiliani a folk hero, as he was moved out of the building only minutes before the plane may have been scheduled to hit.

Gaffney’s book avoids a lot of the really obvious crackpot junk that has bogged down this investigation with so much muddy water so no one can see to the bottom of anything.  Conspiracy research is dominated by disinfo artists, and almost everything you read about this event has passed through their pipelines. Most “insider” information is cleverly built to eventually implode from disinfo buried inside a kernel of truth.  Gaffney’s biggest source throughout the book is Michael Ruppert, a former LAPD officer who became famous by attaching himself to the CIA/Contra/Cocaine controversy as an insider whisteblower.

After Gary Webb published Dark Alliance and was savaged in the media for being the messenger of bad news, I called Gary and offered him a column on CIA drug dealing in High Times. Gary demanded about five times more money than I was prepared to pay him. This was before Gary fell on hard times financially. Anyway, right afterwards, I offered the column to Mike Ruppert.

On 9/11, Ruppert was a well-known and frequent poster on a CIA-Drugs discussion group at yahoo.com, a group that included many reputable citizen researchers, including Daniel Hopsicker, the first person to discover Mohammed Atta’s links to sex clubs and cocaine parties (hardly the activities of a devoted jihadist). Right after the first building went down there was a lot of discussion on how the event looked like demolition and not a fire collapse. Ruppert immediately blasted all thoughts of explosives, using exclamation marks and all caps and calling people idiots for even suggesting anyone should go near that building and start collecting evidence of controlled demolition, which would have proved a much wider, deeper conspiracy. These bizarre posts by Ruppert were seconded by a virtual Ruppert sock puppet on the site, who died shortly thereafter. Soon Ruppert led us all off on a wild goose chase in Canada, promising a two-bit con artist named Vreeland had the evidence needed to bring down the government! Then he led everyone in a ever wilder goose chase called “Peak Oil,” which was actually just a scam to double oil prices in a time of actual glut. Eventually, I had to fire Ruppert as I had long ago lost confidence in the reliability of his information, and he seemed to be evolving into just another fear-based demagogue like Alex Jones and David Icke.

So while I enjoyed reading Gaffney’s book, there are parts where speculation gets in the way of solid research, and Ruppert is treated like a honorable source of info and not the disinfo artist he’s proved himself to be. But don’t let those reservations deter you from an entertaining afternoon of dot connecting. Just try to avoid the rabbit holes that abound through-out.

http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Money-Secret-Societies-Killing/dp/1503283984/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416658831&sr=8-1&keywords=jfk+steven+hager

Dirty Money: A brief history of banking

BestDirtydirtyJust how big is the underground drug market? Some believe the biggest profit streams on earth are war, oil, and drugs (in that order). Illegal drugs are the world’s largest cash economy, bigger than Walmart. The little-known secret of banking is that some banks depend on this money to survive, and, in fact, the system can dry up and blow away if major sources of liquidity are suddenly removed. But it wasn’t always this way. To understand the depth of corruption in today’s banking industry and the systemic use of black market funds, it’s useful to have some background in banking history, something few Americans seem to possess.

“It is well enough that the people of this nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”   —Henry Ford

Around 300 BC, the Roman Republic establishes the first global currency in the form of metal coins stamped with the image of notable Roman faces. Gold and silver are minted in Rome, while bronze and copper are minted around the empire. The system works remarkably well for nearly eight centuries. But after Rome gradually drains all silver out of its “silver” coin, inflation sets in and its western empire collapses, opening the door for a new global banking authority.

Founded in 1119, The Knights Templar is a religious order granted a Papal exemption from usury. This highly secretive order begins operations by generating “letters of credit” for pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. The letters evolve into a check-writing system and the Templars grow into a force of 20,000. They maintain their own army, navy, forts, merchant marine, and intelligence network, and build Europe’s greatest cathedrals (many of which contain magic mushroom iconography). For two centuries the Templars effectively become the world’s central bank as they hold large repositories of gold and are the bank of choice for European royalty looking to initiate wars of conquest. After falling deeply in debt to the Templars, the King of France outlaws the order and attempts to seize its assets on Friday, October 13th, 1307. The French grandmasters are tortured and executed, but much of the gold simply vanishes and no one knows why so many ships later embarking for the New World a century later bear giant Templar crosses on their sails.

(Excerpted from Dirty Money, Secret Societies and Killing JFK, see link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Money-Secret-Societies-Killing/dp/1503283984/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419361527&sr=8-1&keywords=jfk+hager