Narcos: great on style, weak on history

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 1.12.54 PMSomething tells me reality TV hacks should be worried because talent may re-enter the center of gravity in Hollywood. How else to explain the sudden appearance of a Sopranos-worthy made-for-TV series around the story of Pablo Escobar on Netflix?

From the opening sequence, when the narrator introduces Colombia as the center of gravity on magical realism, I knew two things were happening. One, these writers were a lot more inventive than the average action-adventure hack, and this series was going to play fast and loose with the facts. And I was not disappointed on either account. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had such a satisfying TV binge since Netflix released the Euro version of the Borgias. I watched all ten episodes of Narcos in two days.

Side note: Although you’ve been led to believe the term “magical realism” began with Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, it actually is as old as time and had surfaced in Europe during Germany’s Weimar Republic, one of my favorite periods, alongside expressionism and surrealism. A generation later, it was being used to describe the work of painters like Ivan Albright, who received a commission for the film version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, one of the great horror classics, and an immensely rich (though heavily censored) philosophical ramble through the corridors of hedonism and spirituality. Dorian is a remarkably beautiful young man, who somehow retains his youthful good looks while everyone around him ages. Only his portrait changes and with each sin Dorian foments in the aid of his career, the painting becomes progressively ugly. When the film was released in 1945, the painting must have had a profound effect on a generation. Although shot in black & white, the film flipped to color at the very end, when the painting was finally revealed. The painting makes a wonderful illustration for the soul of Pablo Escobar.

The_Picture_of_Dorian_Gray-_Ivan_AlbrightMagical realism has a history that predates Borges, who is Argentinian, although Marquez is the most famous Colombian. Too bad the series doesn’t delve into Pablo’s relationship with Marquez, who served as go-between with Casto, whose brother was put in charge of cocaine smuggling. Much of the cocaine moving into Miami comes through Cuba, where smuggling has been an art form for centuries.

There is a ton of magic in Colombia, however, and I prefer to think the origin is related to the country’s biodiversity. Only one other country has more plant and animal species and that’s Brazil, and they have 7 times the acreage. And when it comes to birds, Colombia beats out Brazil. And bird feathers have always played a huge role in ceremonial magic. But then, so have intoxicating substances.

Narcos is told from the point-of-view of the DEA agent who claims credit for bringing Pablo down, so this is the officially sanctioned, DEA-approved version of the story, so viewer beware, disinfo rabbit holes abound. Still, there’s a remarkable amount of magical realism conveyed, like when the DEA employs terror tactics and becomes the bad cop in the good-cop versus bad-cop games. Reminds me of our CIA agents on the ground in Vietnam, who laid the groundwork for the Phoenix Project, our nation’s largest assassination program that’s been officially admitted to in Congress.

So when CIA asset Barry Seal is shot down, they refer to him as “ex-CIA” and don’t discuss his destination (Mena, Arkansas) or the fact he was ID’d by Oliver North’s testimony in Congress, and a Colombian hit squad hired so it would look like the cartel killed him, when the real problem was Seal was threatening to tell the world he worked for George Bush and Oliver North if they hung him out to dry, which they did. Bush’s phone number was found on Seal’s dead body.

When the Cali cartel emerges to compete against Escobar, who is making $60 million a week tax free and spending thousands every week just on rubber bands to hold the cash together, the series isn’t going to delve into the long and murky relations between the Cali cartel and the CIA.

Just google “Michael Abbell.” He was the top dude at Justice overseeing extradition of drug kingpins before departing to become the lawyer for the Cali Cartel. He eventually earned a 5-year sentence for money laundering, but that offense must have gone away, because he maintains his Washington DC law practice as well as his expertise in fighting extraditions.

As long as a drug kingpin runs his money through the right bank and makes the right payoffs, he won’t be bothered. Problem is, Pablo got too big, and his pride got to him, and he had a burning desire to be President of Colombia, but after he engineered a seat in Congress, the oligarchy shamed him and made it clear he would never be allowed to join their sons and daughters in their private ceremonies. I don’t know if Pablo was a psychopath before that happened, but he certainly became one afterwards, evolving into one of the most vicious serial killers in history, and paid out millions in assassination fees over the years.

The Cali Cartel assisted the DEA and Colombian forces take-down of Pablo, and afterwards, upped Pablo’s 80% world market share to 90% for a time, and were just as ruthless and vicious as Pablo, but a lot more low-key in the media. Plus, they had the advantage of amazing intel, and always seemed to know what the Americans, police and military were up to. And they ran their money through the right banks.

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The George Bush connections to JFK’s assassination

bush_kennedy_assassination_dallas_cia_closeup-233x320-218x300I guess you know Dealey Plaza was flooded with spooks 50 years ago. One young spook at the scene may have been George H.W. Bush, who was working deep cover for the CIA through his fledgling oil company Zapata, building platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, some of which were designed as resupply depots for the anti-Castro network operating out of Miami. The Miami CIA office had become the biggest in the world outside Langley and they had been training an army of refugees to re-take Cuba from the commies. Check out the picture of someone who looks just like Bush in front of the School Book Depository. By the way, Bush says he “can’t remember” where he was when JFK was murdered, despite several FBI memos relating his interest in the case. Also, if that isn’t Bush standing on the steps of the Depository, whoever it might be has never come forward to clear Bush from any involvement.

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-30-23-amA very important and very secret CIA operation against Cuba involved the CIA’s most gung-ho boom-and-bang cowboy, William “Wild Bill” Harvey teaming up with mafia assassin Johnny Roselli to kill Castro, a mission JFK apparently decided to shut down after the Cuban missile crisis. But when JFK discovered the CIA’s anti-Castro operations weren’t shut down, he forcibly closed the training camps and told James Angleton to fire William Harvey. Instead, Harvey was quietly moved to Italy and then secretly brought back for the JFK hit. There were a lot of CIA people in Dallas that day, although most may not have know much about what was about to happen. In the CIA everything tends to get compartmentalized and very much on the “need to know” basis.

Bush_Sr,_JFK_-_J_Edgar_Hoover_memo_2The first piece of evidence to tie Bush to the assassination was a memo written by J. Edgar Hoover the day after the assassination that revealed “George Bush of the CIA” reported by phone on the activities of some “misguided Cubans.” One wonders what the purpose of this memo was? Was Hoover tying a Bush family member into the scene to cover his own ass? I guess you know CIA Cuban exiles provided the support team that assisted JFK’s CIA-mob assassination team? And it’s only because of the testimony of some mob figures and Cuban exiles that we know what happened that day as no one from inside the CIA has ever spoken out, or at least spoken out and lived. But then something even more interesting turned up more recently.

bushwarningThis memo was written the day of the assassination and claims private citizen George Bush called the FBI immediately after the assassination to point a finger at a student named James Parrott. Was this call really placed from Tyler, Texas, and how easy would it have been to place a call from a hotel in Dallas and route it through an office in Tyler for the sole purpose of giving Bush an alibi?

(Excerpted from Killing Kennedy: The Real Story. To read the rest of the essay, buy the book, link below or at the top of the sidebar.)

“I was raped by George W. Bush”

bushAfter barmaid Hattie Carroll was struck on the shoulder by a cane wielded by abusive and drunken William Zantzinger, she soon collapsed and died. It was only a three or four sentences in the papers at the time, but young Bob Dylan seized on that story to write one of his most political songs, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.

But where were the songwriters forty years later when Margie Schoedinger was murdered? Margie was a successful black woman who ran her own company and was working on a Ph.D. She lived in a suburb of Houston and was happily married.

One day in 2002 she and her husband were visited by three men who claimed to be FBI agents. What happened next is a bit confusing, since both she and her husband were drugged and apparently sexually assaulted by different people at different times, although details remain sketchy due to the drugs involved. However, Margie says she wasn’t drugged until after coming face-to-face with George W. Bush, who raped her and said he would have her killed if she told anyone?

Well, Margie didn’t listen to that advice and immediately filed charges with the Sugar Land County police, and, naturally, instantly became the subject of around-the-clock surveillance and harassment. Margie never went to the press and spoke to no one about this case outside of her own family, but by filing charges she had created a matter of public record, one that was universally ignored by the entire North American media at the time. What the police failed to tell anyone, however, was they had investigated her past and discovered that she had, in fact, known George Bush when they were both teens, which made the case particularly sticky and potentially explosive.

Very soon, however, Margie was dead of a gunshot to the head and the death ruled a suicide. Meanwhile, her relatives seem to have disappeared (perhaps in terror?) and virtually nothing on this story can be found online anywhere, except for what little tidbits appeared in the European press. There are no pictures of Margie to be found anywhere.

It sort of harkens back to MKULTRA and the concept of a privileged deviant elite that believes they have a completely different set of rules on morality, or lack there-of. Why was it Monica Lewinsky was splattered all over the tabloids but Margie disappeared like a snow devil in a winter fog?

The entire Bush family has a dark history with many mysteries. Someday there will be a Godfather-like saga written about them, but that likely won’t come for decades, to protect the guilty, no doubt. For example, why did W save the life of admitted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, who’d received a death sentence until Bush commuted that to life in prison? He was Governor of Texas and had a reputation for killing more prisoners than anyone else at the time. Texas executed 152 during his tenure, apparently more than any other Governor of any state in modern history, and during a time when crime rates were falling everywhere? So what is it that made Henry Lee Lucas so special?

JeffhunkWhich brings me to this dude, Jeff Gannon, who was issued a White House press pass and gained a reputation for asking fawning powder puff questions, the sort Bush would have wanted to get asked. But an enterprising White House reporter started digging around the internet and found sexy pictures of Gannon on militarystuds.com, where his sexual services were advertised for $200 an hour.

After this disgrace, Gannon dropped out of sight for a while, but tried to continue as renegade journalist with explosive insider information and during the 2004 election, he claimed John Kerry was gay and would be the first openly gay president if elected, a story that seemed to serve the interest of his good friend George Bush.

You ask how I know they are friends? Well, here’s a moment Bush and Gannon had after one of those press conferences.

bushlookbushtouch

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Money-Secret-Societies-Killing/dp/1503283984/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416655735&sr=8-1&keywords=jfk+steven+hager

The James Bond Mythology

Ever wonder why a British assassin is the most revered cultural icon of our time? You have to wonder who came up with the idea of Queen Elizabeth opening the Olympics with Bond. At first, I could not believe that was the real Queen; it had to be a look-alike actress, but soon I realized, yes, the Queen wants to put some of the James Bond assassin juice into her own aura.

I don’t think James Bond could have gotten so big if not for JFK. Soon after he was elected, the young Kennedy revealed his love of Ian Fleming’s books to the press and pretty soon, those books were being serialized in almost every newspaper in America. Kennedy did some spy work himself. In fact, he was romantically involved with a possible Nazi spy while in England. JFK started the war in Naval Intelligence, the same outfit that made the secret deals with Lucky Luciano to watch the docks, and prepare Sicily for invasion, in exchange for some wink-wink arrangements with the French heroin trade, but he got moved out to the Pacific possibly in order to get sheep-dipped as a war hero, or so many believe. While JFK was saving a man’s life, however, George Bush was jumping out of his bomber first instead of last like a pilot’s supposed to, so he probably botched his war hero sheep-dipping by being responsible for a couple of unnecessary deaths, or so the legend goes.

Soon after taking office, Kennedy told the CIA that he wanted to meet “the American James Bond.” In other words, who’s the top assassin who handles the high priority wet work around here? No doubt Kennedy wanted to talk shop and spy craft. But when the CIA brought him their number one assassin, William Harvey, Kennedy was unimpressed. Harvey was a thug and had none of the social grace of a James Bond. But there was a man of intense charisma and social grace, who became Harvey’s go-to assassin. Harvey would soon approach this man about killing Castro—more on that later. Meanwhile, after taking LSD with one of his many mistresses (Mary Meyer, who was handing it out to lots of people in Washington at the time), JFK began opening up secret, backdoor lines of communication to Cuba and the Soviet Union. He successfully negotiated the first nuclear arms treaty and probably wanted to restore relations with Cuba and avoid a land war in Asia. Yes, acid turned Kennedy into a pacifist but that should be no surprise since it also propelled Steve Jobs into creating the personal computer. Unfortunately, Kennedy’s pacifism and peace incentives put him into conflict with the most powerful force in the world, the war party that employs war as a strategic means of extracting the greatest possible profits from the misery and suffering of innocent people. After JFK ordered all operations against Cuba ended, he discovered Harvey was still fomenting terror in Cuba and plotting a Castro assassination. JFK ordered Harvey sacked, but instead, James J. Angleton moves him to Italy. He is the CIA’s greatest assassin, after all, and he might be needed very soon, or so Angleton surmised.

But who was the real-life American James Bond? The one with the wit, charm and grace of a British lord mixed with the skills of a ninja warrior? That would be Johnny Roselli, a “man of honor” in the Sicilian tradition who worked for the Chicago family interests in Los Angeles under the supervision of Sam Giancana, and who also worked with William Harvey on matters of intense national security. Roselli knew JFK, and, in fact, was instrumental in helping introduce him to Sam Giancana’s mistress, who soon became a carrier pigeon between the two, sending messages back and forth while Kennedy plotted his peace missions. Meanwhile, the CIA was plotting how to capture the heroin franchise from French control in Indochina. (Soon, any poppy fields not under CIA protection would be bombed out of existence.) Strange that Harvey and Roselli would become the assassins of JFK. Roselli was sent to babysit Giancana’s mistress after the event. She was hysterical and Giancana was afraid she might talk to someone. Most of the other potential whistle-blowers were just whacked.

During this period, Roselli would drift in and out of my hometown, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. One of his favorite mistresses ran the local newspaper (where I worked on weekends)  and television station. And when she needed someone to whack her philandering husband, she went first to Harvey, who was living in Indiana. Harvey turned down the assignment, so Roselli took care of it. None of this would be revealed until decades later, after all the principle characters were dead.

Ian Fleming was the real British James Bond, by the way. He handled a lot of the most sensitive undercover agents, including Aleister Crowley. His books are Cold War cartoon fantasies, however, as Fleming did not want to spill the beans on any real secrets, although he might have been able to offer some insight into MI6 operations inside the USA. Funny how British spies are never uncovered or talked about in the media, especially the really famous ones from history, like Aaron Burr and Benjamin Franklin.

Was Osama Senile?

Completely forgotten in all the hoopla over the release of the heavily edited and redacted documents known as “The bin Laden Papers,” is the uncomfortable fact that immediately after 9/11, bin Laden went on Al Jazeera to announce he was innocent. In fact, zero actual evidence has been produced linking bin Laden to 9/11—other than some transparently manipulated audio and video clips of dubious origins. We have faked confessions, no doubt, but no forensic evidence for a crime that involved tremendous resources and intense planning? After all the Gitmo waterboarding that’s gone on, you’d think something concrete would have emerged. In fact, the FBI never even accused bin Laden of being a suspect in 9/11, as his wanted poster mentioned only two embassy bombing incidents. The patsy being put on trial (after over a decade of torture and isolation) will be judged and sentenced based solely on the testimony of another terror suspect put in a cell with him, a man whose testimony was extracted under torture and promise of an easier sentence? This is not a trial but a national disgrace.

We do know, however, bin Laden began his career as an Islamic jihadist at the request of the CIA and the organization he built was designed to repel Russian invaders in Afghanistan. It was only after the anti-Russian campaign ended that bin Laden came into conflict with Israel, England and the United States. Prior to our invasion of Afghanistan, he likely could have been easily captured. When troops encircled his Tora Bora command post (built by our CIA) they strangely left the back door escape route to Pakistan wide open. Clearly, this “escape” was nothing but a carefully orchestrated withdrawal.

But the most intriguing bit of information I’ve come across was a reference on a Middle-Eastern website to a suspected decline in bin Laden’s mental facilities after 2003. Did you even know two of his wives had PhD’s? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear their perspective on the raid and death of their beloved husband? Was an unarmed man suffering from dementia actually executed in front of his unarmed family? Clearly, this was no fire-fight. Do you ever wonder why the body was disposed of in the ocean, why the compound was quickly turned to dust, why the witnesses have disappeared from press and public scrutiny? And a year after the execution, we get treated to the release of “incriminating” papers, which actually reveal nothing of any substance about who bin Laden actually was and who he was working for. The strangest thing in these papers is a long diatribe on why jihadists should not attack oil company installations or refineries. I wonder who’s agenda that might be? After seizing every computer and scrap of paper in that compound, it is astonishing how little is revealed in the 17 fragments released, many of which have no attribution, author or context.

When we really want to get to the bottom of 9/11, it will be necessary to interrogate Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Armitage, Frank Carlucci and George Bush Senior, who was meeting with Osama’s brother Shafig in the Ritz-Carleton in Washington that day. Meanwhile, the only forensic evidence we have is a $100,000 money transfer from an ISI operative in Pakistan. Is it worth noting ISI chief Mahmoud Ahmad was meeting with Bob Graham and Porter Goss on the morning of 9/11?

But even Bob Graham (who sat and signed off on the whitewash commission) called for a new investigation last fall when it was revealed that all the Saudi links to 9/11 had been concealed rather than investigated. You can bet neither the ISI nor Saudi nor Mossad links will be touched upon in the upcoming trial.

And finally, is it worth mentioning another suspicious detail in this case: the deaths last August of the Seal Team that assassinated bin Laden?