Friday, April 27, 2007

Worn out and tired.

Time for a weekend break and a chance to get new tires.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Did Operation Midnight Climax ever end?

One of the more curious side stories to the background of the VaTech shooter is the revelation that approximately a month before the shootings, Cho hired the services of a prostitute. On the surface this isn’t odd but when placed in the context of past CIA activities and certain assassins and killers this revelation becomes important.

One component of the MKULTRA program was Operation Midnight Climax. This operation consisted of CIA safehouses located in several major US cities where prostitutes were used to lure unknowing test subjects into LSD induced experiments. Blackmail was employed against the men who were the victims of these tests and the CIA developed many new mind control techniques in this project. What makes this even more enlightening is that Arthur Bremer and John Hinckley also sought the services of a prostitute within weeks of their respective crimes.

What we have is yet one more “coincidence” that links the most notorious killers and assassins in US history.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

News - Fascist America in 10 easy steps

From The Guardian newspaper website:

"From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that
any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues
Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all...

More can be found here.

A few points to make.

1) Conspiracy Theorists and fringe figures have been arguing that America has been turning into a fascist state for decades. It's nothing new to those of us who are CT enthusiasts. Have we been right in this theory, all along?

2) It is interesting that a mainstream media publication such as the Guardian would take so long to finally just come out and state what so many of us have been saying and thinking, for years. They've hinted around the fact without spelling it out but this is actually an interesting development from The Guardian.

3) If a major US publication published a story like this, the right wing spin machine would have a total meltdown complete with "terrorist sympathizer" and "treason" rants being thrown. Of course the Pot can call the Kettle black all it wants in cases like this because it's always two sides of the same coin.

I'm not saying that the left is a group of angels when it comes to screwing us but the right wing extremists are so much more entertaining when they get their panties bunched.

News - AIM editor demands the firing of NBC News president over VaTech videos.

The editor of the conservative Accuracy In Media (AIM) organization is demanding that General Electric fire the president of NBC News over the network's airing of the VaTech shooter videos. AIM Editor Cliff Kincaid has already asked AIM members to send postcards to GE President Jeffrey Immelt, asking that NBC News president Steve Capus be fired because, "The decision to air the gross material, made by NBC News president Steve Capus, could inspire more copycat killings. Capus has made NBC into the Al-Jazeera of mass murderers"

Some highlights of AIM's history gathered at their Wikipedia entry:

At CBS's meetings, Irvine frequently denounced Walter Cronkite as a Soviet dupe. At a 1986 meeting, Irvine requested that Cronkite be removed from the CBS board of directors for allegedly supporting unilateral disarmament.[3]

AIM also famously denounced journalist Helen Marmor, who in 1983 produced a documentary for NBC concerning the Russian Orthodox Church.[4] AIM contended that "it ignored the repressive religious policies of the Soviet state."

The group denounced New York Times reporter Raymond Bonner for his reporting in January 1982 of the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador. AIM devoted an entire edition of its AIM Report to Bonner, reporting that "Mr. Bonner had been worth a division to the communists in Central America."[5] The issue included some insinuations about Bonner's political sympathies, noting that he had once worked for Ralph Nader.

In 1998, head of AIM, Irvine Reed at the Conservative Political Action Conference, claimed there was a conspiracy within the Republican Party to "suppress investigations of Clinton administration scandals."[2] He noted, "Conspiracy is a word that has been given a very bad connotation -- it's become synonymous with 'kooky,'" he told a Post reporter.[2] "But really it has a very good connotation." In other words, he elaborated, some conspiracy theories are valid. But not Hillary Clinton's notion of a vast right-wing conspiracy. "She's kooky," he said."[2]

AIM has been critical of the United Nations and its coverage by the media. In February 2005, AIM revealed that United Nations correspondents, including a correspondent for The Nation named Ian Williams, had accepted money from the UN while covering it for their publications. AIM also revealed that the United Nations Correspondents Association may have violated immigration laws by employing the wife of Williams. Williams and The Nation denied wrongdoing. [1][2] The charges were also reported by FrontPage Magazine. The allegations concerning Williams receiving UN cash was picked up by Brit Hume and the Fox News Channel. [3]

In November 2005, AIM columnist Cliff Kincaid criticised Fox News for broadcasting a program "The Heat is On," which endorsed the view that global warming represents a serious problem (although the program was broadcast with a disclaimer). Kincaid stated that this "scandal" amounted to a "hostile takeover of Fox News" [4].

In a December 13, 2005 column, Kincaid called for a "Quit Gay Sex" campaign to rival "Quit Smoking Campaigns" launched by certain media outlets in the United States. He contended that homosexual sex is widespread and homosexual men "simply cannot stop having homosexual sex" and that it was spreading HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.[6]

The champions and enemies list revolving the VaTech massacre grows.

Has ATT or the NSA broken the BellSouth email system?

For several weeks now email being delivered to BellSouth Internet customers has had serious problems with delays. Since the ATT takeover of our old "Southern Belle", the typical ATT lack of quality has seeped into the BellSouth network with surprising speed. Emails coming into the BellSouth network either disappear into the ether or are delayed for hours or even days. DNS resolution sucks as websites sometimes won't resolve but going to the IP address works. Access speeds even on DSL is erratic. And if that weren't enough we now have the ATT Death Star logo looming over the city as something to look forward to.

So, is this just a sign of the ATT bungling idiots fouling things up? Or is this the teething stage of the NSA hooking up their latest Carnivore derivative downtown in the Telco Hotels of Marietta Street? As inept as ATT is, it's hard to not blame them but we all know what ATT has let the NSA do over the past few years. Which group of idiots is wrecking the party? The corporate idiots or government idiots?

From the Archives - A look back at Corpsewood

In December of 1982, Sheriff’s Deputies of Chattooga County Georgia were dispatched to a remote location on Taylor’s Ridge, also known as Corpsewood. The occupants of Corpsewood; Dr. Charles L. Scudder and Joseph Odom, had become mysterious and strange transplants into a community unaccustomed to outsiders moving into the area. Rumors swirled around the small, rural county that the men were Satanists. When the Deputies arrived they found the bodies of both men, dead from gunshot wounds.

While the story has become local legend within the county and the bordering counties, there is another aspect of the slayings that gained very little media attention and fits into a small corner of the history of MKULTRA. Dr. Scudder’s past and evidence found at the scene of the crime place the Dr. into the early days of the project.

Dr. Scudder was a professor of pharmacology at Loyola University prior to moving to Georgia in the mid 1970’s. His work at the University began at some point in the late 1940’s. Loyola helped to play a part in the MKULTRA program by working to recreate LSD-25 which the CIA had bought from Sandoz Laboratories. His later work centered around the study of mice in controlled environments.

Finding the research papers of Dr. Scudder has been difficult for me over the years, with only tantalizing glimpses of his work popping up from time to time. The greatest and most intriguing has been the detailed listings of the Stafford Beer collection at Liverpool John Moores University. Among the items in the collection is a series of papers, letters and research materials for a project named “Challenge to Paradigm”, which was planned to be published as a book. Scudder was among the 7 contributors to this book project, which was also comprised of 4 other University professors and musician Brian Eno.

The titles of the papers that Dr. Scudder was to contribute to the book are interesting to say the least, "The mind an evolving system of models","Mindless meaning; meaningless mind", "On the environmental mind” and "The brain: a neurohumorally regulated ultrahomeostat". It’s worth noting that with Scudder’s background and work with psycho-reactive drugs and neurophysiology, he would have been of serious interest to the CIA.

Among the items found in Corpsewood were several vials of a clear liquid. When the state crime lab analyzed these vials it was learned that the liquid was highly purified LSD-25 and it was believed that based on the chemical signature the vials were from one of the original batches of the drug which was imported by the CIA.

So, how did this researcher wind up in the hills of north Georgia, only to be murdered? In the mid-1970’s, Scudder had decided to move a remote location, one that was away from the hustle of everyday life. In a 1976 interview with Mother Earth News, Scudder detailed the process of becoming sick of modern life and his efforts to build his home and live off the land in the hills.

In the end, Scudder and Odom’s deaths were as violent and as senseless as any murder that could occur in Chicago, the city he escaped to live a quiet country lifestyle. The killers were two local men who planned to rob them at gunpoint. Scudder and Odom were known to host small parties with the local youths which involved wine and drugs. The killers used this as part of their plan to gain entry to their home however, once the drugs and alcohol took hold things got out of hand, which resulted in the deaths of both men.

The side story that Scudder left behind, his death, is almost as interesting as the research career he had.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

News - Rep. Kucinich tosses the impeachment log onto the fire

This one is going to be one to watch. If the Kucinich resolution gets just a little momentum in the public consciousness we could be in for a bumpy ride. Anyone want to start a pool for how long it will take for the Iran bogeyman to start screaming again if this does get rolling?

No jail time for Willie Nelson

You can almost hear the deflated sigh of disapointment from the inmates of St. Martins Parish jail.

ST. MARTINVILLE, La. - Willie Nelson and his tour manager were spared jail time Tuesday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession.

Nelson and tour manager David Anderson, along with Nelson’s sister, Bobbie Nelson, and two drivers, were issued citations on Sept. 18 after state troopers said they found marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms on the country legend’s tour bus during a commercial-vehicle inspection on Interstate 10.

State District Judge Paul deMahy fined Nelson and Anderson $1,024 each and put both on probation for six months. As part of a plea agreement, the citation against Bobbie Nelson was dismissed.

Another random thoughts post

The news glut regarding the VaTech Massacre from the major media outlets has been waning in recent days, which is curious when you compare it to the coverage of Columbine, which was "four walled" for weeks after it occurred. It’s easy to blame the current world events for this, with wars being conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan and the constant political scandals. But the current events of spring 1999 were not much different than today.

At the time of the Columbine massacre there was growing anger and outrage from the political right over the US involvement in Kosovo peacekeeping activities, especially the bombing campaign. In one of those bomb runs the Chinese Embassy was attacked. And let’s not forget the Monica Lewinski story and the impeachment of President Clinton. The 2000 Presidential Elections were just around the corner as well. So the environment was somewhat of a mirror image of what we have today. Political scandal and US military operations being conducted overseas were the top stories of the day.

Claims are being tossed around that NBC took a lot of heat for showing “too much” of the documents and videos sent to them by the shooter. Yet the shooter sent approximately 26 minutes worth of video footage and NBC only aired about 1 minute, or 3% of that footage. Not all of the photographs were released and even on their websites where NBC blacked out vulgar language, very little was actually shown. The 1800 word manifesto hasn’t been published. So only a fraction of the information was released.

And yet NBC posted enormous TV ratings from this data dump and I can say that the hit rate for this blog, which is still less than 3 weeks old, skyrocketed. NBC may say that they have come under fire from the public but from the eyes I see through public interest in this event is enormous. Our short attention span will cause this event to eventually fade away, only to be studied by people who have specialized interest in the case, but this is normal.

There has still been no media discussion about the stunningly well skilled and methodical action shown by Cho during his attack. To the Big 5 of the mass media he was just a disturbed and mixed up college kid, to those looking at his capabilities as a shooter we are left with very few explanations for such a high level of skill. And now I have even read comments made by someone who supposedly saw him shooting at a local firing range that Cho was an awful shooter who wouldn’t even use a target at the range. The source says that Cho would just shoot downrange at safety berm. Statements like that contradict what we know and I can’t help but wonder about the true nature of such “witness statements”.

I’m still looking more in depth at the connections between the US Intelligence Community (IC) and the extreme right wing religious movement to Cho. The more I look in that direction the more I see that is troubling. Collecting the data is a tedious process, weaving the connections is confusing and I’m only able to maintain the connections by using Visio to create flowcharts.

Its times like this that boost the appreciation I have for the late Danny Cosolaro and Gary Webb. They unpeeled much larger onions than this and in the glare of attention that makes blogging the equivalent of hanging out in an alley on the outskirts of town.

News - War Profiteering Act of 2007

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet tomorrow to discuss several points of business. One of those items, S. 119, The War Profiteering Act of 2007, is of particular interest to me. The act is long overdue and strongly worded with heavy penalties for violators. This would amend Chapter 47 of title 18, United States Code, and should be of concern to the contractors who are exploiting the Iraq War. The mad money grab that defense, security and supply contractors have been making in Iraq may soon become a little harder snatch up if this gets by the President, without a signing statement.

From the Archives – The Business Plot

In 1933, retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler testified before Congress that he had been approached by a group of businessmen to be a central member in a coup d'état to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt and take control of the United States government. The committee that investigated the allegation agreed that a plot to do this did in fact exist but no one was charged with a crime and there were no further investigations into the matter. In what is an odd sidebar note to history it’s interesting to look at the central players who were accused of participating in the conspiracy and note their place in the field of conspiracy theory.

Alleged co-conspirator Gerald MacGuire was a bond salesman for Grayson Murphy and Robert Sterling Clark. Murphy was the director of JP Morgan’s Guaranty Trust bank and was awarded the “Order of the Crown of Italy” by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Murphy as also an associate of “Wild Bill” Donovan, director of the OSS (forerunner of the CIA). Clark is reported to have served under Butler during the Boxer Rebellion and was an international businessman with military contracts both in the US and Germany during WWII. MacGuire had spent 6 months in Europe prior to approaching Butler, studying the tactics of Mussolini and Hitler.

Alleged co-conspirator Bill Doyle was the State Commander of the American Legion of Massachusetts. He also had connections to JP Morgan.

Alleged co-conspirator Al Smith was a one-time Presidential Nominee of the Democratic Party and former Governor of New York. He was also the leader of the American Liberty league, an organization that was formed to counter President Roosevelt in 1934 and it’s most notable members and benefactors included members of the DuPont family as well as the leaders of US Steel, GM, Standard Oil, Chase Bank and Goodyear.

Alleged co-conspirator Irénée du Pont, an heir to the DuPont fortune and former President of DuPont 1919 to 1925. Was also on the board of Directors of GM.

That’s quite a Who’s Who of early 20th Century American business. Such drastic measures are un-necessary with the current status quo in Washington. Big business lobbyists are well known to actually write the bills that are ultimately passed, giving them sweeping power and profits. The current administration is not simply big business friendly, it is big business personified. The energy sector has had secret meetings with the Vice President. Career non-partisan civil servants have been chased from every government department at all levels to be replaced with the sycophants of big business. Government services have been privatized and given to enormous multi-national corporations.

In America, we have had a silent, bloodless coup.

Monday, April 23, 2007

News - Lobbyists brawl at Ga. State House of Representatives dinner

I saw this and had to laugh.

Apparently lobbyist Pete Stokes removed part of another lobbyist's ear with a beer bottle. I remember Georgia politics was a rough sport when I was younger, but the politicos seemed to have toned it down to simple reprisals, verbal attacks and vague slander. Seems like they've upped the ante again.

They still have a long way to go before they even rival the Three Governors of Georgia fiasco. Georgia politics haven't been as interesting since the Talmadge and Maddux days of yore. I especially miss the days when you could tell it was an election year by picking up the local newspaper and seeing the increase in stills being raided.

Synchronicity, The Sopranos and the VaTech massacre

Viewers of last night’s episode of The Sopranos were given an unsettling look at the phenomenon of synchronicity. Both of the plotlines in the episode had striking similarities to the events in Blacksburg this past week. While it could be argued that the producers re-edited the episode to heighten this coincidence, I don’t think that is the case. When films are recut in a way that drastically changes the original intent of the filmmaker the effect is always jarring and unfocused. Last night’s episode was tight, focused and ominous and falls in line with the production quality of the two previous episodes of this season.

In the first incidence of synchronicity, which takes place in the mental health facility where Uncle Junior has been placed, a young Asian male in his early 20’s befriends Uncle Junior. The young man has problems with controlling rage and the details of why he is in the facility are unspoken but inferred. However, based on the back-story that is told about this character it appears that his rage control issues exploded over some type of oppressive Father issue, problems that the character had with making friends and allusions to the characters perceived lack of success in life.

The second incidence of synchronicity involved a long and very tense scene on a boat where Paulie Walnuts came close to being killed by Tony Soprano. In this scene the first weapon that Tony considers using, or it is inferred that he is considering using, is a mysterious claw hammer that is secured to the bulkhead of the fishing boat that they are on. Of the photos that the VaTech killer sent to NBC one of the most odd photos shows the killer with a large carpenter’s claw hammer, raised above his head with a menacing glare on his face complete with an angry snarling expression.

The effect of the new character, his violent attack on Uncle Junior later in the episode, his inability to make friends, rage control issues and the inferred threat of violence with the ominous long shot of the hammer were quite jarring to me. It also brought up in my mind the issue of the photo of Cho with the hammer from the NBC package. As out of place as it was among that set of photos it has stuck in my mind as a disconnected fragment, which makes little sense in the bigger theme of guns and posturing in the photos. Other than the obvious symbolic relationship with the Norse God Thor and the title of an Arthur C. Clarke novel, I can’t make heads or tails of the symbolism of this image.

Before last night’s episode the last time I can remember a film or TV show foreshadowing events in the real world as eerily as this one was The China Syndrome in 1979. Did any of you see last night’s episode or have any thoughts on the issue. I’d really like to hear what you say as this was an unsettling experience.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

News - Cho ties to the US Intelligence Community

(UPDATE by the CT Blogger - 5/2/2007 - Cho connection to the Unification Church has been verified by another blogger. Follow the link for the update:

(update by The CT Blogger - 5/7/2007 - New update on the shooter's background in the Evangelical movement can be found here)

There is an indirect connection between the Virginia Tech shooter and the US Intelligence community via his sister. Cho Sun-kyung is employed by McNeil Technologies of Springfield Virginia, which provides contract services to various government agencies. Her current role with the company has placed her in the State Department in the Iraq Reconstruction Office, which “Coordinates the reconstruction program in Iraq and offers jobs to "highly skilled and motivated United States citizens" to work at the US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.”

A little more information on McNeil Technologies is in order. There is quite a bit of intrigue that can be seen by looking at the company’ ownership, key employees and it’s mission that can be gathered from looking at the current and archived versions of the company’s own website. What can be seen is a list of executives with military experience in sensitive positions that would have required high security clearances due to their work deep inside the Intelligence Community (IC) and with strategic nuclear weapons and weapons systems.

The current website states that the company was founded in 1985 as a services management company. The site also states that Veritas Capital acquired McNeil and it’s subsidiaries in 2004. According to versions of the website archived at the Wayback machine, the December 8, 1998 version of the website states that, “In 1991, McNeil Technologies, Inc. was certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Small Disadvantaged Business concern and was made eligible to participate in SBA's 8(a) program. The 8(a) certification allows Federal agencies to contract with McNeil through a streamlined procurement process.”

McNeil Technologies, founded by James McNeil,began as McTech; a business management consultancy, in 1985. In 1998 the company offered the services of information technology professionals, interpreters, energy experts, facilities management, logistics and accounting support. It appears that the 1998 version of McNeil was a miniaturized copy of KBR/Haliburton. It’s accreditation as a Small and Disadvantaged Business concern is of interest as this status allows them, and governmental agencies, to take advantage of various benefits for contract bids.

By 1999 the company was now offering “National Security Services” and the company promoted this service by saying, McNEIL staff have military and government experience in the areas of intelligence, physical security, nuclear technology and operations, and information access programs. All members of the McNEIL National Security team maintain Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and Department of Justice clearances with varying levels of access.” What this means is that between December 1998 and October 1999, McNeil made a concerted effort to enter the Department of Defense contractor arena. In this version of their website, all biographical data and list of company officers had been scrubbed from the site.

Some post 9/11 and pre-Iraq war highlights from their archived web pages:

October 2001 article at that describes McNeil’s language services contracts to the IC and the secretive nature of their work.

July 2002 – Announces a contract to provide Administrative Support Services to DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency)

Oct 2002 – Announces contracts with the State Department and its role in helping to process FOIA requests.

Nov 2002 – Announced contracts with the TSA to provide screening and security support.
A short listing of some of their higher visibility IC operatives can be found here:

Veritas Capital

Veritas Capital owns McNeil and from looking at the overall structure of this company it is impossible to not notice the similarities between them and the known CIA investment companies. And there is a red flag to be thrown after looking at its corporate leadership and the other companies owned by Veritas.

From within the depths of the US Intelligence Community and Military-Industrial complex, there is a direct path from the masters of the MKULTRA program to the worst shooting in US history.