lunes, 24 de diciembre de 2012

Skolnick Chicago

by Sherman H. Skolnick 12/17/05

Henry Crown Family, Jenner & Block, General Electric. and their criminal combine
In the beginning, it was a woman. She said that she was the major owner of what became in 1919, Material Service Corporation. Henry Crown was just a very young man. He stopped by her house, she later said, for sandwiches and cookies..
Yes, Crown later had ways of getting very lucrative street paviing contracts from "the city fathers" in Chicago City Hall. Simple. The City Officials were "for sale". So, he "bought them".[She told about in in a very lengthy recorded discussion.]
He ran her business in an integrated method. From sand-dump to the streets. He knew how to exert "muscle". Many decades later we chatted with a sand-pile owner.
"I understand Crown's people were here during the night. I presume they parked a few bodies. I don't look. I don't ask." He ended the talk with a worldly chuckle.
Some Europeans let over from World War Two were visiting Du Page County, just west of Cook County and Chicago. They stopped to look at the old red brick clock tower, Du Page County Courthouse.
Puzzled, they remarked, "So you have the Gestapo here now, huh? This is the color and style of building they liked for their local headquarters at the time of Hitler."
To do their "civic duty", Material Service donated an abandoned toxic dump as the site of the new Du Page Courthouse. After a few years, courthouse workers began suffering an epidemic of strange debilitating ailments. The Liars and Whores of the Press took the easy way out, proclaiming the cause as supposedly the reputed "mafia contractors" having put in a cheapo ventllation system. Press fakers know it is personally unprofitable if not also unhealthy to point an accusing finger at the Crowns.
In the 1960s, the woman claiming she was the true majority owner of Material Service Corporation sued them in Cook County Cicuit Court, to force the firm to correct their records. The Judge seemed to be siding with her and her daughter who kept track of Henry Crown as his Secretary.
Mysterious forces worked to remove the Judge, or make him disappear, or make him blotted out [take your pick of demise].   By the 1970s, the Crown Family had a 89% stake in General Dynamics, the major war-monger, maker of submarines, tanks, and many other weapons. Lester Crown became a top official of General Dynamics. But back in the Windy City, Lester had a problem. The Chief Federal Hangman said Lester was facing federal criminal indictment for his part in a bribery/extortion conspiracy involving road paving contractors.  
[We knew a lot about it. One of our secret team put together the evidence forcing the Crowns to face the music.]
Lester had two choices (1) he could wait, get indicted and prosecuted and most likely end up with a long prison term or (2) he could work an unholy deal with the Chicago Chief Federal Prosecutor, in the past always concerned about a future career in private lawyering as a "bagman" and "fixer".
[The current U.S. District Attorney in Chicago was brought in from New York. Many are ready to believe Patrick J. Fitzgerald is different! than the Chicago-types that held that job before him, that typically, historically, and politically were sooner or later "for sale".]
The Chicago-based law firm octopus, that most always got their way with the different levels of government in the past, was Jenner & Block, reputed super "bagmen". In their opinion, one event in particular is, for them, very "positive"; as to the other, they would have to accept, it was extremely "negative".
Jenner & Block senior partner/manager, Albert Jenner, Jr., sat on the Warren Commission, and helped proclaim that a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, assassi nated President John F. Kennedy. Even though 85% of Americans do not accept the finding, Jenner considered the Warren Commission conclusion as "positive" as for Jenner.
In 1969, a Special Tribunal was empaneled to consider this writer's accusations that several of the judges on the Illinois Supreme Court received bribes. Albert Jenner, Jr., defended the Chief Justice who was found guilty of impropriety and removed. It was about the only case Chief Crook Jenner ever "lost". Cynically, perhaps, maybe the massive publicity caused the Special Tribunal's panel to be "honest".
The Henry Crown Family, by dirty tricks, seized control of the Rock Island Railroad, not to run the railroad for the public good but to liquidate it for its asset value. As with other bloody work for the Crowns, super-crooks Jenner & Block did not give a hoot about damage to the public. Thousands became unemployed and many private businesses went under. Aren't there laws against protecting train robbers? 

by Sherman H. Skolnick 7/1/02

Every year, for almost half a century, they meet in a different country. Their first meeting was in Holland, in 1954. It was arranged by the Dutch Monarchy. It took place in the Bilderberg Hotel, which became the name of this secret society, one of several, forbidden to be discussed by the oil-soaked, spy-riddled monopoly press.
Mutually pledged to sealed lips are those invited to the annual meeting. Members of the aristocracies attend of various nations, consisting of the elites of high finance, politics, espionage, academia, media, and other titles.
I once interviewed, on tape, the wire desk editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Why does your paper censor stories about the secret society, the Bilderberg?" Most media honchos pretend never to have heard of this gang of plotters. But he responded candidly, a rarity, "Well, if we went and then told about it, we couldn't go anymore. What should we do? Go and talk about it, or not be able to go?"
The meetings of the Bilderberg Group are about the only place that competing financial forces sit with one another. The Rockefellers, for example, are always there. So are their apparent enemy, the French Rothschilds. Sitting as a sort of neutral intermediary always is a top official of the Wallenberg banking monopoly of Sweden and northern Europe.
[In 1978, when John D. Rockefeller 3rd was assassinated on the road to their upstate New York fortress, we were the ONLY journalists (unpaid, free lance journalists, at that), who dared inquire. He was the father of John D. Rockfeller 4th, who to be cute, calls himself "Jay", a supposed Democrat, U.S. Senator from West Virginia. The Rockefellers like to dominate states with sizeable geography and minerals, but a small population, such as also Arkansas. In a pinch, to dominate the state it would not cost that much to buy most every voter and most every media propaganda instrument in the state.Returning the "favor" of political murder was eighteen years later when the top member of the French Rothschild Family was murdered in Paris. The American monopoly press was ordered not to mention in detail, if at all, the death of Rothschild. Or, just run an innocent little item that the French International baron died of a "heart attack". Presslord/swindler Rupert Murdoch ordered his print and electronic media outlets to avoid, if at all, mentioning the death.
The hotel in different countries where they meet each year, are announced as "closed", for "remodeling", or a "wedding party". One year they picked a resort hotel on top of a Swiss mountain, difficult to reach except by air. The host nation agrees to supply a huge, almost secret security force prepared to brutalize intruders, follow any hardy reporters who may be encamped nearby, and by various brutality and trickery stop any public knowledge. Hotel employees are likewise pledged to secrecy, which if they violated it, would be severely dealt with. Such as never to be able to work again in that nation.
When the Bilderberg met in 1991, in Baden-Baden, Germany, a purported health resort, invited was a then obscure Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton. They anointed him as the next President of the United States. The election would be a mere set up. The pressfakers present agreed not to mention, if at all possible, what they all knew. That Clinton was a walking, talking scandal. Not every American voter can bring themselves to know or believe reality. Namely, every candidate for high office is selected because they are blackmailable. The Establishment has to reserve the right to pull on the chain, any time they felt like it, to shut down such a candidate if somehow elected to high office. This, anytime the "powers that be" deemed it necessary, to shut him or her up, to remove them, or, scare them into silence with weird violence directed against the candidate/president's circle.
Groomed since a teen-ager by the American CIA, Clinton in the1992 Presidential election shadow-boxed with his mentor, George Herbert Walker Bush, former head of the secret political police. Daddy Bush has been with the espionage cartel since 1959, when they helped set him up with six hundred worldwide affiliates for "his" petroleum drilling empire, Zapata Oil, later, Zapata Offshore, later Pennzoil, still later, Pennzoil/Texaco.
Earlier, as Arkansas Governor, Clinton participated in the hundreds of millions of dollars involved in the dope traffic through the southern states, run by the American CIA, in part through the espionage airport at Mena, Arkansas. Clinton's partners were Daddy Bush, Ollie North, and Congressman Henry Hyde (R., Ill.), who was also head of the CIA "black budget", funds for covert operations including domestic and overseas political assassinations. Return shipments of air-shipped weapons, went to unlawfully aid the Contras in Nicaragua.
Clinton, as known to his handlers and partners, was clearly subject to blackmail and being terrorized.
He was selected to be an Oxford College, Great Britain student by the Rhodes Trust. As not widely known, but nevertheless true, the Rhodes fortune is pledged to overthrow the American Republic, to return this continent to puppet colonies, and the American inhabitants to be subjects of the British Monarch in London. [Visit our website series, "The Overthrow of the American Republic".]
While in England, Clinton, a sexual predator, suffering from having his flag up too often, priapism, raped a British woman. He was forced to terminate his studies at Oxford and abruptly leave Great Britain, with the proviso that he would not be criminally prosecuted as long as he never returned. In the 1992 Presidential Election, Daddy Bush and Clinton agreed not to bring up each other's dirty laundry. Clinton would not mention the treasonous deal done by the Elder Bush in Paris, October, 1980, to arrange weapons shipments to Iran, in return, Iran would refuse to return the 52 U.S. hostages from the Teheran Embassy, until the Reagan/Bush ticket was safely inaugurated in January, 1981. If incumbent President Jimmy Carter could have avoided seeming to be a wimp and get the return of the hostages right before the election, it would, to Bush, be the dreaded "October Surprise". And Clinton agreed not to mention Daddy Bush's treason in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Over and above the blackmailable items known as to both Clinton and Bush, was Clinton's position with the aristocracy that gathers each year as the Bilderberg Group. The person using the name "Clinton" should rightfully be called William ROCKEFELLER Clinton. Our interviews with middle-level members of the Rockefeller Family, convinces us of the validity of our position. Namely, that "Clinton" is the illegitimate great grandson of old John D. Rockefeller, founder of the infamous petroleum monopoly, Standard Oil.[Other such details, see our website series on Wal-Mart, headquartered in Arkansas.]
Several terms prior to "Clinton", Winthrop Rockefeller was Arkansas Governor. He was known to have fathered, throughout the U.S., at least five illegitimate children. [The legitimate great grandson of John D., is "Jay" Rockefeller whose wife, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, is a top mogul of public tv and radio. We call it National Petroleum Radio.]
Throughout his career as Governor and President, "Clinton" was kept on a chain, by among other things, terror-tactics. A strange one-motor airplane with an already dead pilot, somehow eluded all the measures to protect the White House, and came within a few feet of crashing right through President Clinton's White House bedroom window. The White House rooftop battery of missiles was somehow turned off that night. The plane had to be guided, that is vectored, from accomplices on the ground, to steer around all the obstructions and buildings in its path. Remote controlled? Perhaps. During his Presidency, more than a hundred of his confidants, friends, circle of friends, and such were murdered. His Little Rock campaign chief, Jerry Parks, was murdered, mobster-style. Various of his U.S. Marine and other guards, who knew a lot about him, were one by one, snuffed out in strange, so-called "accidents". His pal, Vincent W. Foster, Jr., was murdered and explained away as a "suicide". Other websites have compiled a lengthy list of these happenings. In simple terms, those who meet at the Bilderberg Group, are aristocrats, the handlers of their retainers, stooges, spy chiefs, bank bosses, and such. Seemingly little understood is the basic premise of aristocracy. When one nation's aristocracy, Establishment, whatever you want to call them, has a falling out with that of another nation, that is grounds for war. If bad enough, it becomes a World War. One group plans to have more power, consolidate their territorial position, and silence the grumbling of unemployed ordinary people, through the drums of war, to the destruction and detriment of the opposing aristocracy. Used to foment bloody conflict are a massive media campaign of hate against the Establishment of the opposing Ruling Class, now designated as an Enemy, previously having been business partners. To get the ordinary populace into the right mode, they become bombarded around the clock with martial music, and appeals to flag, God, and such terms as Fatherland and Mother Russia.. In plain terms, the aristocracy goaded, pumped up, poorly informed workers to murder, for flag and country, the counterpart workers of the opposing aristocracv. In some instances, one aristocracy still does business with the other, in the midst of the War. [See, "Trading With the Enemy", by Charles Higham.]
Depressions, on the other hand, are a combination of an orchestrated event combined with the cycles of circumstance. The aristocracy plans to grab up the real estate, commercial and residential, the collapsed bank funds written off, the bloated pie in the sky stock ownership, and other assets of the powerless suckers, for a few pennies on the dollar. All the while, the ultra rich, through their press whores, falsely proclaim that the return of prosperity is just around the corner. [It may take fifteen years and another instigated war to do that.]
What is plotted and agreed upon, as shown by the circumstances of a secret society like the Bilderberg Group should NOT be described or labeled as merely a "conspiracy". And we are NOT "conspiracy theorists" [You do not succeed in putting bribe-taking judges in jail, as we have, for decades, by foolishness and "conspiracy theories".] These are the known ways of the Establishment, the Ultra Rich, the Aristocracy, by whatever label. Bred into them from birth is this mindset for power and enrichment little-understood by generally good-hearted, ordinary people who would not instigate a bloody war for profit.
So, sooner or later, the way the plutocrats conduct their horrors of bloodshed and financial smash-ups, leads to Revolution. Europe, to their credit, have had more or less genuine upheavals, Revolutions. America never has had such.
[A useful primer is Ferdinand Lundberg's great documented work, "The Rich and the Super Rich", first published in 1968, but timely even now. His earlier work has a lot of even more revealing details, published in 1937, still on hand in some large lirbraries, "America's Sixty Families".]
To understand the ways of the Bilderberg Group, you have to have a sharp eye for calendar events and circumstances. You have to carefully notice what happens usually in the month or so AFTER their annual secret meeting. Note these happenings within thirty days of the Bilderberg Group meeting, May 30 to June 2, 2002 (they actually adjourned a day earlier), at a hotel at Chantilly, Virginia.
===Suddenly the monopoly press, headed by those presslords who attended the meeting, such as Donald Graham, head of the Washington Post, Conrad Black, Canadian/U..S. press empire, and others, on behalf of the Ultra Rich started a series of scandal disclosures. Such as that the second largest long distance service in the U.S., WorldCom, parent of MCI, had concealed book-cooking of almost four billion dollars. And thus, WorldCom stock plummeted from about sixty dollars per share to eight pennies per share, and faces bankruptcy.. Such as, Xerox, the original copy machine empire, to apparently falsely show a profit instead of huge losses, cooked their books to the tune of six billion dollars. Such as Clear Channel Communications, owner of 1200 U.S. radio stations, had reportedly likewise cooked their books. "Clear Channel Says No Accounting Issues", Business-Reuters, Los Angeles, June 27, 2002. Another sudden revelation within the thirty days after the Bilderberg meeting in 2002, the advertising giant, OMNICOM, had reportedly likewise cooked their books by way of gobbling up other advertising and marketing agencies. "Omnicom gutted on debt review",, June 27, 2002.[OMNICOM are the parent of DDB Chicago, which represented the advertising and marketing, at the same time apparently, of supposedly competing soda pop companies, Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola. See the details, many in the court record, but little known, in our website series, "Coca-Cola, CIA, and the Courts.]
===The British-owned newspaper now gaining large circulation as well in the U.S. is Financial Times of London. On a Chicago dateline story, by their correspondent Jeremy Grant, they opened up the reputed scandal that mammoth General Motors had cooked their books. For a while, General Motors stock was suspended in trading on the Big Board. "GM denies accounting problems", Financial Times, June 27, 2002.
===A few weeks BEFORE the Bilderberg 2002 meeting, the New York Times suddenly attacked a previous sacred cow, General Electric, implying G.E. engages in book-cooking. New York Times bigshots often attend Bilderberg meetings. "Wait a Second What Devils Lurk in the Details?", by Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times, April 14, 2002.
===And then there was the story that bigshots of Apple Computer sold millions of dollars of their shares in the company just before really bad news was disclosed.
These scandalous details, pave the way for foreign aristocracies to get an armlock on American business. These details were apparently long-known to the accounting firms, but not revealed until Bilderberg Group gave the signal, "Wreck them now! Get them!" Little known, most of the big accounting firms have as their parent firm, a foreign enterprise. Such as Arthur Andersen is owned by a Swiss outfit. Deloitte & Touche is actually owned by a Japanese firm, Tohmatsu. As we have detailed, Great Britain, at least since the war of 1812 when they burned down our Capitol, has planned to grab this continent back. And for that purpose, they were involved in the political assassination of three U.S. Presidents. [Visit our extensive website series, "The Overthrow of the American Republic".]
Of course, the Liars and Whores of the press will not link up these happenings. Remember, if good witnesses or documents are hard to get, circumstances alone, on occasion, are even sufficient to send a criminal defendant to the electric chair.
Wars, Depressions, vast theft of properties and assets, and political murders are not merely purely accidental. They are not a conspiracy. Just the day to day, month to month, year to year, and decade to decade way of conducting matters of the Establishment and their meeting clubs, their secret societies, of which Bilderberg is just one.
More coming. Stay tuned.
The Gold Gamecocks, Part One
by Sherman H. Skolnick 6/17/02

For many years the Chicago Gold Conference met in the Windy City. In years past, I used to go to their annual meeting in my home town. Funny thing. I was the only reporter that showed up. And I am only an unpaid, freelance reporter that heads a court reform group investigating and researching banks and such. We coined the term Banker-Judge to label the way the corrupt Bench and Bar operates.
I learned a lot interviewing gold mining engineers from all over, top officials of the World Gold Council, sellers of shares in smaller mines, and an audience of gold bugs.
In the 20th Century, gold had a sorry history in the U.S. In the 1932 Presidential Election, candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt pledged that he was going to keep gold as the backing of the U.S. Currency. At the time, gold was pegged at twenty dollars per ounce. Workers, like my elders, enjoyed having gold coins in their pockets as payment for their labors.
Considered a patrician, Roosevelt seemed to oppose the very aristocracy of his origin. But not really. Right after being inaugurated in 1933, Roosevelt declared a Bank Holiday. Many smaller, community banks did not survive the closing down of the banking system. Ordinary folks seemed to like FDR. Yet, he rescued the big banks, the J.P. Morgans and such, at the expense of the small fry.
[At the time of the Great Depression, there was a large foreign-born element in the U.S. and they were satisfied to sleep under bridges when it rains. As long as they were the bridges in America. So there was no basis for a revolution.]
A proper study of the 1930s would inevitably show Roosevelt was one of the leading counter-revolutionaries in American if not world history. He saved the ass of the Ruling Class. The Chicago Tribune, long a backward, reactionary apologist for the rich and their mistreatment of minorities and workers, used to rail against Roosevelt as "That rotten cripple in the White House!"
The Tribune got their newsprint from Canada, by a 19th Century Charter signed by the King of England with the blessings of the Jesuits, in Canada.
Up to the time when the Tribune Company stock went public in the early 1980s, the media giant was openly anti-Black and anti-Jew. We call them the "Queen's Newspaper", since a large amount of their stock is owned by the British Royals. The Tribune remains viciously anti-Irish, forever panning Irish public figures in Chicago.
About twelve years before becoming President, Roosevelt, as an adult, was stricken with infantile paralysis, polio. The U.S. Secret Service, when he was President, saw to it that no photographer dared make a picture of him sitting with his braces in his wheelchair. Such photographers knew their cameras, if not their heads, would be broken by Roosevelt's guards. When I got polio as a child, my impoverished parents successfully appealed by letter directly to President Roosevelt, to open the doors of hospitals closed to us as poor people and Jews. For a while Roosevelt was my hero.
Now, years later, since 1991 I do a taped weekly public access Cable TV Show in Chicago. Our specialty? Fingering local media skunks as being a foul smoke-screen of the secret political police, the FBI and the American CIA. I get feedback of what the media s.o.b.'s among themselves hollar about me. "That paranoid Jew cripple on the tv!" is their favorite put-down of our long-time popular non-commercial show, "Broadsides".
[Although many of those who manage the network media outlets have Jewish surnames, they are merely the stooges, NOT the owners. In the U.S., on the television, there are few actual Jews reading the news or commenting on current events. And, few, if any, senior citizens. And almost no one who sits in a wheelchair or walks with crutches or a walking device. A good reference is the book, "The New Crowd The Changing of the Jewish Guard on Wall Street", by Judith Ramsey Ehrlich and Barry J. Rehfeld, Little Brown & Co., 1989. The book documents how the big Wall Street investment bankers with Jewish surnames have not been actual practicing Jews for more than three generations, having converted to other religions.]
Returning to the timeline, in 1934, less than a year after Roosevelt was installed as President, in violation of his pre-election pledge, he ordered that the possession of gold by Americans is illegal. He devalued the paper money to a little over 35 dollars per ounce of gold. Roosevelt's big money pals, however, were not effected. More than a month before he was inaugurated, they had shipped THEIR GOLD to Switzerland and elsewhere out of the U.S. The aristocracy had a bonanza through their offshore connections and their out-of-the-U.S. gold.
As a child I used to ask my elders, "You had a few gold coins. Why did you surrender them?" Their answer was, "We liked Roosevelt. He ordered it. Besides, the Secret Service would grab us if they found out we had gold after 1934." The Federal law outlawing gold for Americans stayed in effect until 1975. A gold promoter was silenced, in Indianapolis, when he was murdered by being thrown out of a high building window.
One crusader for the truth was Tom Valentine. He ran in Chicago a national magazine, the National Tattler, demanding that there be an audit of Fort Knox, supposedly the repository of U.S. gold. After much todo, one vault of Fort Knox was opened. Guess what? The only stuff found were some very impure, orangish colored metal substances. Apparently melted down coin metal from what was seized in 1934. No actual gold bars. So where was the gold horde?
A U.S. General, at a later date, stated off the record to some, that he headed a military convey of trucks that took the Fort Knox gold to the East Coast, where it was shipped to England in the 1960s, to stem a run on the Bank of England. The British had a lot of trouble caught repeatedly denying they were going to devalue the Pound Sterling. Amid their bank panic, some other countries apparently ended up with the U.S. Fort Knox gold.
As the bankers for the Vatican, the French Rothschilds have always influenced the gold markets. In the early 1980s, amid a liquidity crisis in the U.S., gold briefly reached over 800 dollars per ounce. By the late 1990s, the French Rothschilds together with other European bankers started a campaign to assist the greedy investment bankers of Wall Street, the bullion bankers. Such as Goldman Sachs & Co. (we call them Goldman Sucks), and J.P. Morgan, bullion banker for the British Monarchy. For a while the scheme worked. The private central banks, as a cabal, supposedly were selling portions of their gold treasury. The price of gold by 1999, was driven down to 252 dollars per ounce. The liars and whores of the press, the paper money crowd, kept circulating stories that the price of gold was going down to at least 200 dollars per ounce.
Actually, the private central banks, as a cartel, leased out their gold at rates as low as one per cent, enabling the investment fakers to falsely pump up the stock market to catch in suckers and amateurs. The Bank of England, as an example, drove down the price of gold falsely offering gold that did not belong to them. About 1990, with the downfall of the Soviet government in Moscow, thousands of tons of THEIR gold were stolen and conveyed OUT OF THE COUNTRY by the corrupt bureaucrats in Moscow. Having custody of the purloined gold were bankers in Holland who permitted the Bank of England to fake up gold auctions, offering this stolen gold. Was the gold ever turned over to those who supposedly bought it at auction?
At the time gold was driven down to 252 dollars per ounce, the American pressfakers propagandized with stories, like "Gold has no purpose", "Gold is a barbaric metal. There is no need for any modern country to have it.." Contrary viewpoints, of course, were not allowed.
Notice what happened in 1987. Somehow, I predicted, six months ahead of time, the exact October Monday date of the Stock Crash. I told acquaintances and friends who I believed where in the markets, with a blunt statement, "You better get your hind quarter ouf of Wall Street, sucker!" With a sneer, most of them simply insulted me, "Who the hell are you, Sherman? You are not a college graduate, have no MBA. Your main thing is you run after what you claim are crooked judges. You don't know nothing about business." (They disregarded our investigations of Banker-Judges. That is, those who often own and operate, for corrupt purposes, the bank across the street or across the alley from the courthouse. Such as shown by the biggest judicial bribery scandal in U.S. history, touched off by us, detailed in the book "Illinois Justice", by Kenneth Manaster, published in the fall of 2001. The scandal caused the downfall of Illinois' highest tribunal, the Illinois Supreme Court.)
The Saturday after Black Monday, the October, 1987 Crash, was a family get together. I guess I sometimes cannot hide my sarcastic streak.
"So, did you get your ass out of the market like I predicted?" They did not bother to hurl an insult. They simply picked up their plate of food and moved away from me. As they walked away, I added my cynical remark, "I guess you lost big, sucker, huh?"
In the weeks after the 1987 Crash, the business press fakers, like the Wall Street Journal, said nothing about the fact that the Federal Reserve, a private central bank masquerading as tied to the U.S. government, intervened in the six weeks after the debacle, to keep gold from topping 500 dollars per ounce. Then the price subsided. From having gone over the years to the Chicago Gold Conference, I learned that most of the savvy sorts there believed that there was a secret financial trip-wire. That is, that the Federal Reserve would create a false emergency to absolutely stop gold from topping 410 dollars per ounce.
In the fight between the gold bugs and the paper money crowd, those who like gold gloat, "Hey, sucker, we are in with the killer yellow metal. Who are YOU in with?" The bottom line is that gold is independent money, beholden to neither dictators or presidents or prime ministers. Simply put, if gold goes up, paper money goes to Hell. More about gold.
Stay tuned.


The Coming Drone Attack on America

By Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK
22 December 12

Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations. In time, they will likely be weaponised

eople often ask me, in terms of my argument about "ten steps" that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are. I am sorry to say that with the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization - which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year - it means that the police state is now officially here.
In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by […] the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds - meaning that you won't necessarily see them, tracking your meeting with your fellow-activists, with your accountant or your congressman, or filming your cruising the bars or your assignation with your lover, as its video-gathering whirs.
Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them.
An unclassified US air force document reported by CBS (pdf) news expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step - one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil, which is the bright line that separates a democracy from a military oligarchy. (The US constitution allows for the deployment of National Guard units by governors, who are answerable to the people; but this system is intended, as is posse comitatus, to prevent the military from taking action aimed at US citizens domestically.)
The air force document explains that the air force will be overseeing the deployment of its own military surveillance drones within the borders of the US; that it may keep video and other data it collects with these drones for 90 days without a warrant - and will then, retroactively, determine if the material can be retained - which does away for good with the fourth amendment in these cases. While the drones are not supposed to specifically "conduct non-consensual surveillance on on specifically identified US persons", according to the document, the wording allows for domestic military surveillance of non-"specifically identified" people (that is, a group of activists or protesters) and it comes with the important caveat, also seemingly wholly unconstitutional, that it may not target individuals "unless expressly approved by the secretary of Defense".
In other words, the Pentagon can now send a domestic drone to hover outside your apartment window, collecting footage of you and your family, if the secretary of Defense approves it. Or it may track you and your friends and pick up audio of your conversations, on your way, say, to protest or vote or talk to your representative, if you are not "specifically identified", a determination that is so vague as to be meaningless.
What happens to those images, that audio? "Distribution of domestic imagery" can go to various other government agencies without your consent, and that imagery can, in that case, be distributed to various government agencies; it may also include your most private moments and most personal activities. The authorized "collected information may incidentally include US persons or private property without consent". Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told CBS:
"In some records that were released by the air force recently … under their rules, they are allowed to fly drones in public areas and record information on domestic situations."
This document accompanies a major federal push for drone deployment this year in the United States, accompanied by federal policies to encourage law enforcement agencies to obtain and use them locally, as well as by federal support for their commercial deployment. That is to say: now HSBC, Chase, Halliburton etc can have their very own fleets of domestic surveillance drones. The FAA recently established a more efficient process for local police departments to get permits for their own squadrons of drones.
Given the Department of Homeland Security militarization of police departments, once the circle is completed with San Francisco or New York or Chicago local cops having their own drone fleet - and with Chase, HSBC and other banks having hired local police, as I reported here last week - the meshing of military, domestic law enforcement, and commercial interests is absolute. You don't need a messy, distressing declaration of martial law.
And drone fleets owned by private corporations means that a first amendment right of assembly is now over: if Occupy is massing outside of a bank, send the drone fleet to surveil, track and harass them. If citizens rally outside the local Capitol? Same thing. As one of my readers put it, the scary thing about this new arrangement is deniability: bad things done to citizens by drones can be denied by private interests - "Oh, that must have been an LAPD drone" - and LAPD can insist that it must have been a private industry drone. For where, of course, will be the accountability from citizens buzzed or worse by these things?
Domestic drone use is here, and the meshing has begun: local cops in Grand Forks, North Dakota called in a DHS Predator drone - the same make that has caused hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan - over a dispute involving a herd of cattle. The military rollout in process and planned, within the US, is massive: the Christian Science Monitor reports that a total of 110 military sites for drone activity are either built or will be built, in 39 states. That covers America.
We don't need a military takeover: with these capabilities on US soil and this air force white paper authorization for data collection, the military will be effectively in control of the private lives of American citizens. And these drones are not yet weaponized.
"I don't think it's crazy to worry about weaponized drones. There is a real consensus that has emerged against allowing weaponized drones domestically. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has recommended against it," warns Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the ACLU, noting that there is already political pressure in favor of weaponization:
"At the same time, it is inevitable that we will see [increased] pressure to allow weaponized drones. The way that it will unfold is probably this: somebody will want to put a relatively 'soft' nonlethal weapon on a drone for crowd control. And then things will ratchet up from there."
And the risk of that? The New America Foundation's report on drone use in Pakistan noted that the Guardian had confirmed 193 children's deaths from drone attacks in seven years. It noted that for the deaths of ten militants, 1,400 civilians with no involvement in terrorism also died. Not surprisingly, everyone in that region is traumatized: children scream when they hear drones. An NYU and Stanford Law School report notes that drones "terrorize citizens 24 hours a day".
If US drones may first be weaponized with crowd-control features, not lethal force features, but with no risk to military or to police departments or DHS, the playing field for freedom of assembly is changed forever. So is our private life, as the ACLU's Stanley explains:
"Our biggest concerns about the deployment of drones domestically is that they will be used to create pervasive surveillance networks. The danger would be that an ordinary individual once they step out of their house will be monitored by a drone everywhere they walk or drive. They may not be aware of it. They might monitored or tracked by some silent invisible drone everywhere they walk or drive."
"So what? Why should they worry?" I asked.
"Your comings and goings can be very revealing of who you are and what you are doing and reveal very intrusive things about you - what houses of worship you are going to, political meetings, particular doctors, your friends' and lovers' houses."
I mentioned the air force white paper. "Isn't the military not supposed to be spying on Americans?" I asked.
"Yes, the posse comitatus act passed in the 19th century forbids a military role in law enforcement among Americans."
What can we do if we want to oppose this? I wondered. According to Stanley, many states are passing legislation banning domestic drone use. Once again, in the fight to keep America a republic, grassroots activism is pitched in an unequal contest against a militarized federal government.


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sábado, 27 de octubre de 2012

Mission Impossible

Mikoyan's "Mission Impossible" in Cuba:
New Soviet Evidence on the Cuban Missile Crisis

The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis:
Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Missiles of November
By Sergo Mikoyan, Ed. Svetlana Savranskaya
Mikoyan Archive Reveals Cuba a Near-Nuclear Power
New Book Shows Crisis Unresolved Until November 22, 1962
Posted - October 10, 2012

Edited by Svetlana Savranskaya

For more information contact:
Svetlana Savranskaya - 202/994-7000 or

Anastas Mikoyan discovers Cuba, February 1960. Photo courtesy of Sergo Mikoyan.  

Purchase The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis: Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Missiles of November at Amazon.

Cuba Almost Became a Nuclear Power in 1962
By Svetlana Savranskaya, Foreign Policy, October 10, 2012

The 40th Anniversary Cuban Missile Crisis Conference in Havana

One Minute To Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War
By Michael Dobbs, June 4, 2008

Mikoyan and Castro, a difficult handshake. Photo courtesy of Sergo Mikoyan.  

Mikoyan and Castro negotiating. Photo courtesy of Sergo Mikoyan.  

Mikoyan and Castro. Photo courtesy of Sergo Mikoyan.  

Washington, DC, October 10, 2012 – In November 1962, Cuba was preparing to become the first nuclear power in Latin America—at the time when the Kennedy administration thought that the Cuban Missile Crisis was long resolved and the Soviet missiles were out. However, the Soviet and the Cuban leadership knew that the most dangerous weapons of the crisis—tactical Lunas and FKRs—were still in Cuba. They were battlefield weapons, which would have been used against the U.S. landing forces if the EXCOMM had decided on an invasion, not the quarantine. The Soviets intended for them to stay in Cuba secretly because they were not part of the Kennedy-Khrushchev understandings, while the Cubans wanted to keep them to defend against another U.S. invasion. But Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Anastas Mikoyan brought the final resolution to the Cuban Missile crisis on November 22, 1962 in his four-hour conversation with the top Cuban leadership: the tactical nuclear weapons would have to leave Cuba.

These revelations come from documents donated to the National Security Archive by our long-time partner, historian and personal secretary of his father, the late Sergo A. Mikoyan. The documents are being published for the first time in English in the book by Sergo Mikoyan, edited by Svetlana Savranskaya, The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis: Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Missiles of November (Stanford University Press/Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2012). The documents published here today are the first part of the publication of the donated "Mikoyan archive" by the National Security Archive. 

The new Soviet documents show that Khrushchev decided to place the missiles in Cuba because he was under the impression that a US invasion was just a question of time, and he was not willing to lose his new Cuban ally, which constituted a forward base of socialism in the Western hemisphere. He felt humiliated by the US missiles in Turkey virtually on the border of the USSR. He was also concerned by the enormous gap between the US and Soviet deliverable nuclear firepower. Fidel Castro objected to a deployment that would have made him look like a Soviet puppet, but was persuaded that missiles in Cuba would be in the interests of the entire socialist camp. The unprecedented secret deployment followed, but was not completed. The Kennedy speech on October 22 brought the crisis into the open. Khrushchev's conciliatory letter of October 28 let the world breathe the sigh of relief. Yet, the crisis was far from resolved. 

With 42,000 combat personnel, 80 nuclear armed front cruise missiles (FKRs), 12 nuclear warheads for dual-use Luna launchers, and 6 nuclear bombs for IL-28s still in Cuba and not covered in the exchange of letters between Kennedy and Khrushchev, the Soviet leader knew he had a problem. Castro, who was not consulted or even informed of the deal, was angered by the Soviet betrayal and refused to allow any inspections of the Soviet withdrawal. The Soviets had to take back the missiles, get the US to confirm its non-invasion pledge, and—most importantly—keep Cuba as an ally. Only in this way could the Soviets resolve their own Cuban crisis. There was only one person who could negotiate this resolution—Deputy Prime Minister Anastas Mikoyan. 

Mikoyan arrived in Cuba in early November 1962. Already in the first conversations with the Cuban leaders, he felt their "acute dissatisfaction with our policy." The Cubans felt humiliated and betrayed by their ally. While they were prepared to fight a nuclear war and "die beautifully," in the name of the socialist camp, the Soviets were negotiating with the imperialists behind their backs. Mikoyan tried to explain to the Cubans why they were not apprised of the Soviet decision to withdraw the weapons. He cited the lack of time and the fear of an American invasion amplified by the letter from Castro of October 27. Mikoyan assured the Cubans: "you know that not only in these letters but today also, we hold to the position that you will keep all the weapons and all the military specialists with the exception of the "offensive" weapons and associated service personnel, which were promised to be withdrawn in Khrushchev's letter." While Mikoyan tried to get Castro to accept some form of inspection in Cuba, the Cuban leader shocked him by not only flatly refusing any inspections but saying emotionally that if the Soviets thought the Cuban position was unreasonable, then "we would think it more correct to consider the Soviet side free of its obligations and we will resist by ourselves. Come what may. We have the right to defend our dignity ourselves." Did the Cubans just say that they did not need such unreliable allies and that the Soviets could now simply go home? [Document 1, Telegram from Mikoyan to the CC CPSU. November 6, 1962] 

No sooner had Mikoyan succeeded (barely) in bringing the Cubans back from the brink—by showing respect and empathy and promising that not a single additional concession would be made—the Soviet leadership in Moscow decided that they had to agree to a new US demand—to withdraw the IL-28 nuclear capable bombers. Khrushchev sent a long and rambling cable to Mikoyan giving him arguments to use with the Cubans regarding the new concession. He started by asking for Mikoyan's opinion, "since by now you are almost like a Cuban." Khrushchev reaffirmed the Soviet position that the rest of the weapons would stay in Cuba and be transferred to the Cubans gradually: "after the removal of the missiles and Il-28s, there would be no weapons that the Cubans could not master on their own. […] [T]he weapons that were shipped to Cuba are already there and nobody is thinking of removing them. Later, when the situation is normalized, most likely it would be expedient to transfer those weapons to the Cubans." He asked Mikoyan to give the Cubans assurances of lasting Soviet friendship and support, and to try to persuade them that giving up the ILs would actually be in the Cuban interest because then the Soviet Union would be able to extract from the Americans a formal non-invasion pledge. The Cubans had good grounds to be skeptical about that promise. [Document 2, Telegram from Khrushchev to Mikoyan. November 11, 1962] 

Castro accepted the concession, but refused to see Mikoyan for two days and in the meantime ordered Cuban forces to shoot at low-flying U.S. reconnaissance planes, bringing on another crisis within the crisis. In trying to get Castro to accept the withdrawal of the bombers, Mikoyan once again gave assurances that no further concessions would be made and that the rest of the weapons would stay in Cuba. But in the course of daily conversations with the Cuban leadership, he began to appreciate the danger tactical nuclear weapons would pose if they were left on the island, especially in Cuban hands. If the Americans learned about their presence in Cuba, the situation could quickly spiral out of control. And in the future Cuba was not providing assurance that it would be a cooperative ally as far as foreign policy was concerned. 

The final straw came on November 20 when Castro sent instructions to Cuba's representative at the United Nations, Carlos Lechuga, to use references to the tactical nuclear weapons that Cuba had as leverage in negotiations, and also as a way to establish the fact that the weapons were in Cuban possession. Mikoyan became extremely worried about that message and suggested to the Soviet Party Presidium that when he next spoke with Castro about the military agreement between Moscow and Havana, he should inform the Cuban leader that all tactical nuclear weapons would be withdrawn from Cuba. In doing so, he was well aware of the sensitivity of the issue for the Cubans and of their likely reaction to the prospect of the Soviets removing this last means of resistance to US aggression. Mikoyan knew that he had to break this unpleasant news to his hosts, and he had to do it in a way that would ensure they remained Soviet allies. 

In the most crucial moment of his mission, Anastas Mikoyan and the Cuban leadership had a four-hour conversation on November 22, in which he informed them of the latest decision to withdraw all tactical nuclear weapons. That was the final blow to the Cuban revolutionaries, after they had, in their eyes, been made to suffer so much. Castro opened the conversation by saying that he was in a bad mood because Kennedy had stated in his speech that all nuclear weapons had been removed from Cuba. Castro's understanding was that the tacticals were still on the island. Mikoyan confirmed this and assured him that "the Soviet government has not given any promises regarding the removal of the tactical nuclear weapons. The Americans do not even have any information that they are in Cuba." The Soviet government itself, said Mikoyan, not as a result of US pressure, had decided to take them back. [Document 3, Memorandum of Mikoyan's Conversation with Castro, Dorticos, Guevara, Aragonez and Rodriguez. November 22, 1962] 

The IL-28 bombers came up again. Mikoyan tried to persuade Castro that "as far as Il-28s are concerned, you know yourself that they are outdated. Presently, it is best to use them as a target plane." To this, Castro retorted: "And why did you send them to us?" 

During their discussions, Castro was very emotional and at times rough with Mikoyan—criticizing the Soviet military for failing to camouflage the missiles, for not using their anti-aircraft launchers to shoot down US U-2 spy planes, essentially allowing them to photograph the missile sites. He went back to the initial offer of missiles and stated that the Cubans did not want the missiles, but that they accepted them as part of "fulfilling their duty to the socialist camp." They were ready to die in a nuclear war, he declared, and were hoping that the Soviet Union would be also willing "to do the same for us." But the Soviets had not treated the Cubans as a partner, Castro complained. They had caved in under US pressure, and had not even consulted the Cubans about the withdrawal. Castro expressed the humiliation the Cubans felt: "What do you think we are? A zero on the left, a dirty rag. We tried to help the Soviet Union to get out of a difficult situation." 

In desperation, Castro almost begged Mikoyan to leave the tactical warheads in Cuba, especially because the Americans were not aware of them and they were not part of the agreement between Kennedy and Khrushchev. Castro claimed that the situation now was even worse than it had been before the crisis—Cuba was defenseless, and the US non-invasion assurances did not mean much for the Cubans. He was concerned that the Soviets were withdrawing all their forces from Cuba. But Mikoyan was now convinced that leaving any nuclear weapons in Cuba would be reckless and dangerous, so he rejected Castro's pleas and cited a (nonexistent) Soviet law proscribing the transfer of nuclear weapons to third countries. Castro had a suggestion: "So you have a law that prohibits transfer of tactical nuclear weapons to other countries? It's a pity. And when are you going to repeal that law?" Mikoyan was non-committal: "We will see. It is our right [to do so]." 

This ended Cuba's hope of becoming a Latin American nuclear superpower. 

Ironically, if the Cubans had been a little more pliant, and a little less independent, if they had been more willing to be Soviet pawns, they would have kept the tactical nuclear weapons on the island. But they showed themselves to be much more than just a parking lot for the Soviet missiles. They were a major independent variable of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Mikoyan treated his Cuban hosts with great empathy and respect, while being highly critical of his own political and military leadership. He admired the genuine character of the Cuban revolution; he saw its appeal for Latin America. But he also saw the danger of the situation spinning out control probably better than other leaders in this tense triangle. As the new evidence in this book makes clear, Anastas Mikoyan should be credited with the final resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 


National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 400

Posted - October 27, 2012
Edited by Svetlana Savranskaya, Anna Melyakova and Amanda Conrad

Pentagon Estimated 18,500 U.S. Casualties in Cuba Invasion 1962, But If Nukes Launched, "Heavy Losses" Expected
Gen. Taylor Proposed Major Retaliation if Cubans "Foolhardy" Enough to Try to Repel U.S. Invasion with Nuclear Weapons
But Taylor Warned There Would Be "No Experience Factor Upon Which to Base an Estimate of Casualties"
Pentagon Accountants Estimated Missile Crisis Cost $165 Million Dollars, Over $1.4 Billion in Current Dollars
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 397
Posted - October 16, 2012

Edited by William Burr

For more information contact:
William Burr - 202/994-7000 or

Washington, DC, October 24, 2012 – Extreme temperatures, equipment breakdowns, and the reckless deployment of nuclear torpedoes aboard Soviet submarines near the quarantine line during the Cuban Missile Crisis 50 years ago this week elevated the already-high danger factor in the Crisis, according to Soviet and American documents and testimonies included in a new Web posting by the National Security Archive (
The underwater Cuban Missile Crisis received new attention this week with two PBS Television shows, one of which re-enacts as "overheated" docudrama (in the words of The New York Times reviewer) the confrontation between U.S. Navy sub-chasing units and the Soviet submarine B-59, commanded by Valentin Savitsky, on the most dangerous day of the Crisis, October 27, 1962.
The newly published documents in the posting include the original Soviet Navy map of the Caribbean showing the locations of the four "Foxtrot" diesel submarines that had deployed from the Kola peninsula northwest of Murmansk on October 1, 1962, bound for Mariel port in Cuba to establish a submarine base there. Unknown to the U.S. Navy, each of the subs carried a nuclear-tipped torpedo, with oral instructions to the captains to use them if attacked by the Americans and hulled either above or below the waterline.
The documents include the never-before-published after-action report prepared by Soviet Northern Fleet Headquarters after the four commanders' return to Murmansk in November 1962, describing the atrocious conditions aboard the subs, which were not designed for operations in tropical waters.
The posting also includes the U.S. Navy message on October 24, 1962, detailing the "Submarine Surfacing and Identification Procedures" to be followed by U.S. forces enforcing the quarantine of Cuba, including dropping "four or five harmless explosive sound signals" after which "Submerged submarines, on hearing this signal, should surface on Easterly course." The State Department communicated this procedure to "other Governments" including the Soviet Foreign Ministry, but the Soviet submarine commanders, in a series of interviews in recent years, report they never received the message.
A fascinating sub-plot of the underwater missile crisis involves U.S. efforts to locate the Soviet submarines. Since 27 September 1962, the U.S. Navy had been tracking the subs using listening posts that detected electronically-compressed "burst radio transmissions" between Soviet Navy command posts and the submarines themselves. The messages could not be deciphered but the location from where they were transmitted could be identified. While U.S. Navy analysts had assumed that the subs were on their way to the Barents Sea for exercises they discovered that they were in the North Atlantic on their way to Cuba. [1] Another high-tech method for tracking subs was the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) that detected the noise made by submarine engines. [2] The Navy also used "mad contacts", referring to magnetic anomaly detection (MAD), and "Julie" and "Jezebel" sonobouys. [3]
The Archive's publication also makes available:

Anatoly Petrovich Andreyev, excerpts of diary entries, October 1962.
  • Photographic images of the evocative diary of submariner Anatoly Petrovich Andreyev, who wrote his account as a letter to his wife describing the equipment breakdowns, the elevated temperatures, the lack of ventilation or fresh water, skin rashes, 30-40% weight loss, and a crew stripped down to their skivvies to deal with the heat.
  • Video of Soviet signals intelligence officer Vadim Orlov from the historic 2002 40th anniversary conference on the Missile Crisis, in Havana, Cuba. Orlov served on the B-59 submarine and witnessed how close the sub's commander came to arming the nuclear torpedo aboard.
  • Video of Capt. John Peterson (USN retired) at the 2002 Havana conference, describing the hunt for Orlov's submarine, acknowledging that the "signaling depth charges" he and his crew dropped on the Soviets might have sounded very different to the Soviet sailors down below Peterson's destroyer.
Finally, today's posting includes the Navy cables, deck logs, Flag Plot charts, and photographs from the October 27 tracking and surfacing of B-59, excerpted from the Archive's previous publication which established the precise date and time of the confrontation with submarine B-59.

Washington, DC, October 27, 2012 – The Cuban Missile Crisis continued long after the "13 days" celebrated by U.S. media, with U.S. armed forces still on DEFCON 2 and Soviet tactical nuclear weapons still in Cuba, according to new documents posted today by the National Security Archive ( from the personal archive of the late Sergo Mikoyan. This is the second installment from the Mikoyan archive donated to the National Security Archive and featured in the new book, The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis.
These documents, which give one an insight into Soviet thinking and decision making at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis are supplemented with transcripts of extraordinary interviews with key Soviet political and military figures, all of whom have passed away. These interviews were generously provided to the National Security Archive by our long-time partner, Sherry Jones of Washington Media Associates. Sherry, a five-time Emmy Award winner, conducted these interviews in the summer of 1992 for the groundbreaking documentary "Cuban Missile Crisis: What the World Didn't Know," produced by Sherry Jones for Peter Jennings Reporting, ABC News (Washington Media Associates, 1992). [Jump to the interviews]
On October 28, after Khrushchev and Kennedy had just resolved the most acute and public part of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet leaders decided to send Anastas Mikoyan to Cuba to settle the crisis between the Soviet Union and their ally, Cuba. Fidel Castro, who was not consulted or even informed about the negotiations between the Soviets and the Americans, sent Khrushchev an angry letter "disagreeing" with the policies of the Soviet government. Khrushchev knew he had a real problem in Cuba-with 42,000 Soviet military personnel armed with tactical nuclear weapons-and an emotional revolutionary leader, who felt betrayed and abandoned by the Kremlin.
Khrushchev's three priorities in regard to Cuba at the moment were: to negotiate a smooth withdrawal of the missiles without provoking the Americans; to get Castro to accept inspections because those were the condition for the American non-invasion pledge; and to keep Cuba as a close ally and thus preserve the Soviet Union's legitimacy in the global communist movement.

Difficult negotiations.

Courtesy of Sergo Mikoyan.
There was only one person he could turn to with this tall order-his reliable trouble shooter, Anastas Mikoyan. As Fidel Castro put it at a state dinner on November 17, addressing Mikoyan, "Who if not you, and only you, can carry out this mission! If you cannot do this, then it proves that in general this is impossible."
According to Sergo Mikoyan, his father understood his tasks in Cuba to be the following:
First, he had to convince the Cuban leadership that Cuba's security had been assured and that there was no danger of invasion, even though the missiles were being removed.
Second, it was necessary to explain the Kremlin's decisions, which were already announced, and come to an agreement regarding which additional Soviet weapons and military forces could be withdrawn from Cuba with the Cuban leadership's consent, and which should stay on the island.
Third, it was necessary to explain why Khrushchev had agreed to an international ground inspection in Cuba without obtaining Cuba's agreement.
Fourth, it was important to convince the Cuban leaders that this time, in this situation, after such a crisis and such a dangerous moment in international relations, the U.S. President's pledge of non-aggression toward Cuba and his commitment not to allow others to attack Cuba should not be received as yet another empty promise that could be revoked at any moment and under any pretense.
Fifth, it was important to convince Castro to restrain his feelings for some time, even if for a short period, and thus not fire at U.S. surveillance planes.
Sixth, was to return Soviet-Cuban relations as close as possible to their pre-October state.
One may add that the seventh major task was to explain the decisions taken by the Kremlin to their own officers and soldiers, who had not been informed by their own government about the negotiations. Those people, who had worked day and night to assemble the missiles and were preparing to fight and die to defend the Cuban revolution against an imperialist aggression, were certainly surprised by the total turnaround by their government, which seemed to be making one concession after another under U.S. pressure.

A lighter moment during the talks.

Courtesy of Sergo Mikoyan.
The documents, published today for the first time, allow us to be a fly on the wall as Mikoyan goes about trying to fulfill his mission-first in New York and then in Havana. We see him as a tough negotiator with John McCloy and Adlai Stevenson, defending the Cuban position, knowing at the same time that Soviet concessions had already been made and that his bargaining position was extremely weak. In Cuba, Mikoyan, faced with Castro's flat rejection of ground inspections, is trying to find a compromise position with inspections by ambassadors from Latin American countries who are already in Cuba. We see how crucial he was in the dynamics of negotiating the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis-at the very nexus of a three-party negotiation, negotiating with the Cubans, privy to all communications between Moscow and its representatives at the U.N., and in daily contact with the Presidium and Nikita Khrushchev himself.
Mikoyan is also very sensitive to the issue of revolutionary legacy and concerned about the effect of the Soviet withdrawal on Chinese influence in Cuba. He is using every "opportune moment" to criticize the Chinese position and draw comparisons between the Soviet willingness to defend Cuba with the real blood and life of its own soldiers and the Chinese efforts to donate blood by their embassy people in Havana. He suggests that if China was serious about helping Cuba, it could have created a distraction-create a crisis around Taiwan, or take over some Portuguese or British bases, like Hong Kong.
In one of Mikoyan's most eloquent moments during the Cuban trip, he addresses the officers of the Pliev group of forces to explain the decisions of the Soviet government. This is one of the first Soviet efforts to spin the results of the Cuban Missile Crisis to make it look as if Khrushchev has envisioned it to turn out just exactly as it did, that the main goal-the defense of the Cuban revolution-has been achieved. Mikoyan assures them that their task has been carried out brilliantly and that the correlation of forces in the world is changing in the Soviets' favor. In this speech, however, there is some real criticism of the way the Soviet military carried out Operation Anadyr. Mikoyan takes a stab at the rocket forces decision makers (Marshall Biryuzov), describing how the Americans discovered the missiles: "they flew the U-2 and discovered that our missiles were sticking up just like they were at a military parade in Red Square. Only in Red Square they would be placed horizontally, and here they were deployed vertically. Apparently, our rocket forces decided to make an offensive gesture to the Americans."

The Pentagon during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Part I. New Documents

Graphic from Military History Quarterly of the U.S. invasion plan, 1962.

"President Kennedy visits Vandenberg AFB [Air Force Base], Calif. At his left is Gen. Thomas S. Power, Commander of the Strategic Air Command. At left is Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, and in right background is Lt. Gen. Howell M. Estes." As SAC commander-in-chief, Power implemented instructions from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to put his forces on "maximum readiness." Estes was deputy commander for aerospace systems, Air Force Systems Command (AFSC), in Los Angeles, California . Behind McNamara is Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown.

Source: National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Record Group 342-B, box 571

The Joint Chiefs of Staff During the Final Phases of the Missile Crisis: "Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in session at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., November 19, 1962. Left to right: General Earle G. Wheeler, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; General Curtis E. LeMay, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; General Maxwell D. Taylor, USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr. Chief of Naval Operations; and General David. W. Shoup, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps." Anderson would not be CNO much longer because of his resistance to Secretary of Defense McNamara's directives on the conduct of naval operations during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Source: National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Record Group 342-B, box 571

Soviet surface-to-air missile site near Havana, in the characteristic star-shaped deployment pattern. This photograph was taken during the 29 August 1962 U-2 flight. The discovery of the SAM sites escalated concern in Washington about the nature of the Soviet military build-up.

Source: National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Record Group 342-B, box 1402

San Julian Airfield, site of one of the deployments of IL-28 (Beagle) bombers, as they were still being unpacked from shipping crates. This photograph was taken during the 14 October 1962 U-2 flight (misdated on photo as 15 October).

Source: National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Record Group 342-B, box 571
Washington, DC, October 16, 2012 – Fifty years after President Kennedy considered invading Cuba to take out Soviet missiles during the Cuban Missile Crisis, newly declassified Pentagon documents published today by the National Security Archive ( describe the potentially catastrophic risks of the invasion including 18,500 American casualties in the first 10 days, even without any nuclear explosions.
U.S. intelligence had detected at least one nuclear-capable short-range nuclear weapon launcher (the Luna/Frog) with the Soviet troops in Cuba, so Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Maxwell Taylor told President Kennedy - in a crucial November 2, 1962 memorandum published here for the first time - that U.S. invasion plans were "adequate and feasible" as long as no battlefield nuclear weapons came into play. If the Cubans were "foolhardy" enough to use nuclear weapons against the invasion, U.S. forces would "respond at once in overwhelming nuclear force against military targets." Taylor cautioned, "If atomic weapons were used, there is no experience factor upon which to base an estimate of casualties. Certainly we might expect to lose very heavily at the outset if caught by surprise, but our retaliation would be rapid and devastating and thus would bring to a sudden close the period of heavy losses."
Taylor's memo came in a tense period when U.S. generals pressed for an invasion, based on their skepticism about the October 28, 1962 announcement by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that he would withdraw the ballistic missiles in Cuba. Decades later, Soviet evidence would reveal nearly 100 tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba that the U.S. never identified, including cruise missiles 15 miles from the U.S. base at Guantanamo.
Luckily, U.S. and Soviets capabilities were never put to the horrible test that Taylor described. Many of the "military targets" that Taylor had in mind were located in western Cuba, e.g., IL-28s were at San Julian, so apart from the death and destruction that nuclear detonations would have caused to local populations, prevailing winds (to the northeast) could have brought radioactive fall-out to Havana and further to the Florida coast.
The Taylor memorandum is one item in a compilation of documents focusing on the role of the Pentagon during the missile crisis and drawing upon material recently released by the National Archives, some of it only months ago. A related compilation, "The Pentagon Day-by-Day during the Missile Crisis," including chronologies, personal notes, office calendars and diaries, will be part II of National Security Archive's special collection of Defense Department material. Today's publication shows top level policymakers, including President Kennedy, asking Defense Department officials for information and the latter preparing proposals, plans, and reports to support policymakers in the National Security Council's Executive Committee (ExCom), as they deliberated over how to induce Moscow to withdraw nuclear missiles and bombers from Cuba. The compilation also includes Joint Staff and Air Force contingency plans as well as material prepared by other agencies which surfaced in Pentagon files.
Another item in today's publication provides cost estimates of the missile crisis prepared in response to request made by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Several months after he asked Pentagon Comptroller, Charles Hitch, for cost figures, Hitch provided a preliminary answer: the missile crisis cost at least 165 million dollars [FY 1963 dollars], with some spending that was still unaccounted. In current FY2013 dollars, adjusting for changes in price levels since 1962, the cost of the missile crisis for the Defense Department was in the range of $1.43 billion.
The Taylor memorandum, the Hitch report and other documents in today's publication are from formerly classified collections of the records of the U.S. Air Force, records of the Secretary of Defense, and the files of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Maxwell Taylor. Documents from these collections shed light on the role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Staff planners, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other government agencies in the preparation of contingency plans, strategic readiness measures, and intelligence assessments. Among the disclosures:
  • "Deceptive" activities taken by the U.S. military before the crisis to signal to Cuban and Soviet intelligence U.S. "intent either deceptive or real" to take military action. [See Document 40B]
  • Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis LeMay's proposal to General Taylor for actions by the Strategic Air Command, including airborne alert and "maximum readiness posture", which SAC translated into Defcon 2, the readiness level just before nuclear war [See Document 6].
  • Proposals to escalate the blockade against Cuba, in the event that negotiations with Moscow over the missile deployments did not work, with measures including expanding the contraband list, changing the location of ship intercepts to a few miles off Cuba, and changing blockade procedures (e.g., forbidding "submerged operations") [See Document 10].
  • JCS Chairman Taylor's memo to President Kennedy and Secretary of Defense McNamara on 27 October 1962, hours before a diplomatic settlement was reached, proposing air strikes and an invasion of Cuba [See Document 17].
  • "Operation Raincoat"-the code name for air strikes against Soviet missile sites if diplomacy failed [See Document 18].
  • "Operation Hot Plate"-- the U.S. Air Force contingency plan to attack the Soviet IL-28 bombers deployed in Cuba in the event that diplomacy failed [See Document 29].
  • An Air Force proposal to put Cuban military "installations" on the target list as an option for nuclear attack in the Single Integrated Operational Plan [See Document 36].
  • A Defense Intelligence Agency estimate suggesting that Soviet forces in Cuba had a "possible nuclear capability." [See Document 34]
  • A series of proposals by the Joint Chiefs and senior Pentagon officials to use the IL-28 crisis as leverage to induce a withdrawal of Soviet forces from Cuba.
Some of the items in this collection convey the hard-line thinking of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff and the corresponding military options that they preferred. A prime example is the Joint Chiefs proposal on 27 October 1962 for presidential approval of plans for air strike against the Soviet missile sites and an invasion of Cuba. Those plans were an option for the White House if diplomacy failed to induce the Soviet leadership to dismantle the missile bases, but the members of NSC Executive Committee [ExCom] were highly familiar with the JCS thinking to the point that they could joke about the latest iteration. Thus, according to the taped record of the 27 October ExCom meeting, after Taylor made a pitch for the JCS recommendation, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy teasingly said, "Well, I'm surprised!" President Kennedy was not interested in engaging with Taylor on the invasion plans, and probably found the brief for an invasion irrelevant when he was trying to think through a diplomatic settlement involving a non-invasion pledge and a trade of the Jupiter missiles. [1]
Central elements of U.S. government policymaking, diplomatic activities, and military operations during the Missile Crisis are in the public record, including the uniquely important tapes of White House ExCom meetings. For the U.S. side key documents on Missile Crisis diplomacy and high-level policymaking have been published, [2] but some important collections remain classified that may shed light on more of the story. A major State Department collection remains closed at the National Archives as do hundreds of documents in a Secretary of Defense collection, "Sensitive Records on Cuba." The U.S. Air Force's operational files on the missile crisis are also classified (except for a few documents, some of which are included here). Beginning in 2008, the National Security Archive filed declassification requests for Air Force histories of the crisis, but those requests have yet to be fulfilled.
The U.S. Navy's Operational Archive has made important material available [3], but important Navy records have possibly been destroyed (e.g., intelligence summaries) or remain classified, such as "Blue Flag" messages between flag officers during the crisis. In the past, the Defense Intelligence Agency has declassified some documents relating to the missile crisis, but the newly released items in this collection may be the tip of the iceberg. As for National Security Agency operations during the crisis, much remains to be learned, for example, of the intelligence "take" collected by the U.S.S. Oxford stationed off Cuba during and after the crisis. It may take quite a few more Cuban Missile Crisis anniversaries before a fuller record of the events is in the declassified public record.

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 395
Posted - October 12, 2012

Edited by Peter Kornbluh

For more information contact:
Peter Kornbluh - 202/374-7281 or

Washington, DC, October 12, 2012 – On the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, new documents from the Robert Kennedy papers declassified yesterday and posted today by the National Security Archive reveal previously unknown details of the Kennedy administration's secret effort to find an accord with Cuba that would remove the Soviet missiles in return for a modus vivendi between Washington and Havana.
The 2700 pages of RFK papers opened yesterday include the first proposed letter to "Mr. F.C.," evaluated by the Executive Committee of advisors to Kennedy on October 17th--just one day after the president learned of the existence of the Soviet missiles in Cuba. The draft letter, available to historians for the first time, initiated a chain of events that led to a complicated back-channel diplomacy between Washington and Havana at the height of what Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger called "the most dangerous moment in human history."
The Archive's Cuba analyst, Peter Kornbluh, who was the first person to review the RFK papers at the Kennedy Library, noted that the documents "reinforce the key historical lesson of the missile crisis: the need and role for creative diplomacy to avoid the threat of nuclear Armageddon." Kornbluh noted that the State Department's own official historians, referring to the initial letter to Castro, had admitted that "none of these drafts have been found." The fact that the Robert Kennedy papers have yielded new information previously undiscovered by the government's own researchers, Kornbluh said, "underscores the historical importance of this declassification on the 50th anniversary of the crisis."
The Archive also posted two diagrams Robert Kennedy drew on his notepad during the crisis deliberations, including his initial tally of the "hawks" and the "doves" as Kennedy's advisors took positions on diplomacy vs. the use of force against Cuba.
The draft letter warned Castro that by deploying the ballistic missiles the Soviets had "raised grave issues for Cuba. To serve their interests they have justified the Western Hemisphere countries in making an attack on Cuba which would lead to the immediate overthrow of your regime." Moreover, according to this proposed communication, Nikita Khrushchev was quietly hinting that he would betray Cuba by trading concessions on Berlin for "Soviet abandonment of Cuba." Warning that failure to remove the missiles would lead to U.S. "measures of vital significance for the future of Cuba," the message offered an oblique carrot of negotiations for better relations once the Soviets and their weapons of mass destruction were gone.
During the early deliberations of how to respond to the missiles in Cuba Kennedy's top advisors pressed him to reject this message to Cuba because it would undermine the option of a surprise U.S. air attack on the island. After Kennedy decided on an interim option of a naval quarantine of Cuba to buy time for diplomacy to convince the Soviets to withdraw the missiles, he ordered the State Department to come up with diplomatic alternatives to attacking Cuba.
In an October 25 memorandum, titled "Political Path," the State Department submitted a series of creative options for resolving the crisis peacefully, including allowing the United Nations to take control of both the Soviet missile bases in Cuba and the U.S. missile bases in Turkey. The document also provided an outline for an "approach to Castro" through Brazil, with a message to Castro underscoring his options: "the overthrow of his regime, if not its physical destruction," or "assurances, regardless of whether we intended to carry them out, that we would not ourselves undertake to overthrow the regime" if he expelled both the missiles and the Russians.
During an Excomm meeting on October 26, Kennedy actually approved a version of this message to be sent to Castro, albeit disguised as a Brazilian peace initiative sent by the government of populist president Joao Goulart, rather than one from Washington. The draft cable, published here for the first time, instructed the Brazilians to secretly carry the message to Castro that his regime and the "well-being of the Cuban people" were in "great jeopardy" if he didn't expel the Russians and their weapons. If he did, however, "many changes in the relations between Cuba and the OAS countries, including the U.S., could flow."
By the time the Brazilian emissary arrived in Havana on October 29th, however, the urgency and relevance of Kennedy's Brazilian back-channel message had been eclipsed by events. On October 28, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to withdraw the missiles--in return for a Kennedy's public pledge not to invade Cuba, and the President's secret promise to withdraw U.S. missiles from Turkey sometime in the near future.
For more than 40 years, the details of Kennedy's approach to Castro remained Top Secret. In 2004, based on declassified documents found in the archives of the Brazilian foreign ministry and the Excomm tapes, George Washington University historian James Hershberg published the first comprehensive account of the furtive diplomatic initiative in the Journal of Cold War Studies (Part 1, Part 2). An abbreviated account of the Castro approach, written by Peter Kornbluh, appears in the November 2012 issue of Cigar Aficionado. The story is also recounted in Kornbluh's forthcoming book (with William LeoGrande), Talking with Castro: The Untold History of Dialogue between the United States and Cuba.

sábado, 14 de abril de 2012

Misery Index

Low social status is bad for your health. Biologists are starting to understand why

ONCE upon a time the overstressed executive bellowing orders into a telephone, cancelling meetings, staying late at the office and dying of a heart attack was a stereotype of modernity. That was before the Whitehall studies, a series of investigations of British civil servants begun in the 1960s. These studies found that the truth is precisely the opposite. Those at the top of the pecking order actually have the least stressful and most healthy lives. Cardiac arrest—and, indeed, early death from any cause—is the prerogative of underlings.
Such results have since been confirmed many times, both in human societies and in other primate species with strong social hierarchies. But whereas the pattern is well-understood, the biological mechanisms underlying it are not. A study just published in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, however, sheds some light on the matter.
In it, a group of researchers led by Jenny Tung and Yoav Gilad at the University of Chicago looked at the effects of status on rhesus macaques. Experience has shown that these monkeys display the simian equivalent of the Whitehall studies’ findings. The high risk of disease among those at the bottom of the heap in both cases suggests that biochemical responses to low status affect a creature’s immune system. Those responses must, in turn, depend on changes in the way the creatures’ genes are expressed. To investigate this phenomenon means manipulating social hierarchies, but that would be hard (and probably unethical) if it were done to human beings. You can, however, do it to monkeys, and the researchers did.
Unhappy minds in unhealthy bodies
Dr Tung and Dr Gilad took 49 middle-ranking female macaques (females were chosen because a lot of previous work on animal hierarchies has been done on female macaques) and split them into groups of four or five. The researchers were able to control where in a group an individual ranked by the order in which it was introduced into its group (newly introduced monkeys almost always adopt a role subordinate to existing group members). The hierarchies thus established, the team conducted tests on cells in the monkeys’ blood, in an attempt to determine the effect of a macaque’s rank on her biochemistry and, in particular, on how rank influences the activity of various genes.
The answer is, a lot. Dr Tung and Dr Gilad looked at the expression in each animal of 6,097 genes (30% of the total number in a monkey genome—or, for that matter, in a human one). They were searching for correlations between social rank and gene activity, and in 987 genes they found one. Some genes were more active in high-ranking individuals; others were more active in low-ranking ones. The relationship was robust enough to work the other way round, too. Given a blood sample and no other information, it was possible to predict an individual’s status within her group with an accuracy of 80%.
The next question was what all these genes actually do. Sure enough the answer, for a substantial fraction of them, was that they regulate aspects of the immune system. In particular, low-status individuals showed high levels of activity in genes associated with the production of various immune-related cells and chemical signalling factors, as well as those to do with inflammation (a general immune response that involves tissue swelling and increased immune-cell activity in the affected area). Although the researchers did not explicitly examine the health of their simian charges, chronic, generalised inflammation is a risk factor, in people, for a long list of ailments ranging from heart trouble to Alzheimer’s disease.
Finally, the team investigated the mechanisms behind these differences in gene expression. In keeping with previous work, they found that high- and low-rank individuals showed different levels of responsiveness to a class of hormones called glucocorticoids, which regulate immune-system activity and response to stress. They also found changes in the mix of cells within the animals’ immune system itself. But what is new, and intriguing, is that they discovered, for the first time, evidence that a phenomenon called epigenetic change is at work.
Epigenetics—currently one of molecular biology’s hottest topics—is a process by which genes are activated or deactivated by the presence or absence of chemical structures called methyl and acetyl groups. Dr Tung and Dr Gilad found that methylation patterns were systematically different in high- and low-ranking animals. Crucially, these changes are generally passed on to the daughter cells produced when a cell divides, and are thus perpetuated throughout an animal’s life. To the extent that epigenetic marking is involved in creating social status, then, status may be being maintained by the animal’s cells as they replicate.
Destiny’s child?
Those who believe in progress will, however, be pleased to know that epigenetics is not necessarily destiny. Methyl groups may help maintain the status quo, but if that status quo is interrupted by outside events they can be wiped away and a new lot put in place.
Dr Tung and Dr Gilad discovered this because a few of their monkeys did change status within their groups. When that happened, changes in gene expression appropriate to the new status quickly followed. Those who do break free from their lowly station, then, may begin to reap the health benefits almost immediately.
As with any animal study, this one cannot simply be mapped straight onto humans. But it does provide pointers that researchers who work on people can use. In particular, the experiment ensured that social rank was the only factor being changed, providing strong evidence that the chain of causality runs from low social status, through a disrupted immune system to worse health, and not the other way around. The best medicine, then, is promotion. Prosper, and live long.