Monday, August 31, 2009

Lockerbie Convict Hospitalized Amid Questions Over Prognosis

Al-Megrahi filed an appeal arguing his innocence, a small matter that the United States finds irrelevant and even irritating, because if it comes out that CIA cut-outs were involved, America would never live down the embarrassment. The Agency went to great lengths to win a conviction - went so far as to concoct evidence and tamper with witnesses so Magrahi would appear guilty, blackmailed Libya into taking responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 with trade barriers - Ghaddafi recanted as soon as they were lifted. Rather than risk exposure in the appeal, quid pro quos just starting to be reported in the UK are spilling out in the press to howls of public indignation. Americans are too drugged to get upset about it, but there bave been some snorts of rage in the States, as well - but for all the wrong reasons. The outrage isn't that Magrahi was released. That's brain-dead propaganda consistent with the cover story; he should have never been sentenced. The ourrage is that Oliver North's Enterprise and the CIA got away with covering up their involvement in drugs and terrorism by blowing up Flight 103 and the military investigators on board. Someday, when the drugs wear off, Americans may get upset about that, too, but I seriously doubt it. - AC

By Robert Mackey
August 31, 2009

On Sunday in Libya, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was rushed to a hospital, past a British television crew hoping to interview him, two days after a report in a British newspaper suggested that he might live longer than expected.

As Jonathan Miller of Britain’s Channel 4 News explained in the video report embedded above, Mr. Megrahi, who reportedly received thousands of visitors at his family home in Tripoli in the days after his return, was said to be too sick to answer any questions on Sunday when the reporter was invited into his hospital room with a camera crew.

The Associated Press reported that a Libyan official announced on Monday that Mr. Megrahi was in the hospital and described him as “a dying man.”

Mr. Megrahi flew back to Libya on Aug. 20 after the Scottish government ordered his release on compassionate grounds. The Scottish authorities and Mr. Megrahi’s lawyers said he had terminal prostate cancer.

But last Friday, The Times of London reported that “the prognosis that Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi had a life expectancy of only three months or less was supported by an unnamed doctor who had no expertise in terminal prostate cancer.”

When Scotland’s justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, announced his decision to release Mr. Megrahi, he explained that “there are no fixed time limits” in the Scottish law granting him the power to free terminally ill prisoners, but he was following guidance that suggested that “life expectancy of less than three months may be considered an appropriate period.”

According to part of a report on Mr. Megrahi’s medical condition by Dr. Andrew Fraser, the Scottish Prison Service’s director of health, the estimate that Mr. Megrahi had less than three months to live at the start of August was not made by cancer specialists. (The report, written for Mr. MacAskill, has been posted on the Times of London Web site.) Dr. Fraser wrote that he had taken estimates made by specialists last autumn that Mr. Megrahi had 18 to 24 months to live and revised them downward after speaking with another doctor who had treated the former Libyan intelligence officer.

On Monday, Mr. MacAskill defended the medical advice he used to make his decision in this video interview with the BBC. The BBC also reported that an opposition member of Scotland’s Parliament who is also a prostate cancer specialist, Dr. Richard Simpson, said that Dr. Fraser’s report showed that “the justice secretary chose to disregard the advice of four specialists and release Megrahi on the opinion of one doctor, who we know was not a specialist.”

While no medical experts seem to doubt that Mr. Megrahi does have terminal cancer, the possibility that he might not be about to die has further enraged some opponents of his release in Britain.

Comments made by Mr. Megrahi’s father to an Arabic newspaper based in London, Asharq Al-Awsat, last week, suggesting that his son’s condition “is not that serious as some news media have been portraying,” only added to the furor. Ali al-Megrahi also told Asharq Al-Awsat that he was still hoping for his son’s recovery since “a relative was diagnosed with a similar disease and he was treated and recovered completely.”


A jackass on the Net is posting my articles under the heading: "Illuminati and Terrorism.."

Allow me to repeat: THERE IS NO "ILLUMINATI." This is a fascist scapegoat in fascist propaganda that has fascist origins and a fascist history, turns the signers of the American Constitution and French Revolutionaries into vile "Jewish, communist, Freemasonic" conspirators. It is political moonshine distilled by right-wing rectal warts: "Birchers." Anyone using my name and "Illuminati" in the same sentence will be turned in to the executive committee of Obama's death panel (as "real" as "Illuminati") for processing.

- Angry AC

"Racial Hygiene" in America: Eugenicist Founders & Directors of the Pioneer Fund

The Pioneer Fund was instrumental in the formation of the Third Reich's "racial hygiene" policies, and it is still very active, covertly, in the US. Many of the ballot measures around the country turning back affirmative action, welfare and racial "entitlements" were quietly financed by the Pioneer Fund. (This could only happen in a country in which an overwhelming majority of the population are "conservative," pathological liars living in a delusional universe of propaganda programming pumped into their air-compression heads by CIA- and Mafia-run cable companies.) So was The Bell Curve, the notorious, discredited "study" that maintained African-Americans are inherently less intelligent than white people (a best-seller at the Neo-Nazi National Vanguard book shop). For historical background, see: "Pioneer's big lie.(Pioneer Fund, Nazi eugenics) - (response to article by J. Philippe Rushton, Albany Law Review, vol. 66, p. 207, 2002 ).

- AC

Pioneer Fund
From Wikipedia

The Pioneer Fund is a U.S. non-profit foundation established in 1937 "to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences." Currently headed by psychology professor J. Philippe Rushton, the fund focuses on projects it perceives will not be easily funded due to controversial subject matter.

Two of the most notable studies funded by the Pioneer Fund are the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart and the Texas Adoption Project, which studied the similarities and differences of identical twins and other children adopted into non-biological families. The Pioneer Fund has been the main source of funding for the partly-genetic hypothesis of IQ variation among races. The fund's grantees and publications have generated controversy since the 1994 publication of The Bell Curve, which drew heavily from Pioneer-funded research. The fund has also been criticized for its perceived stance on eugenics.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights advocacy organization, has characterized the Pioneer Fund as a hate group. In support of this, the SPLC cites the Pioneer Fund's funding of organizations and individuals which the SPLC considers racist. It has also been criticized by some scientists and journalists, and in various peer-reviewed academic articles. Critics of the fund include the SPLC, IQ critic William H. Tucker, and historian Barry Mehler and his Institute for the Study of Academic Racism.

Researchers who have been criticized for accepting grants from the fund have argued that the public debates have been disconnected from the expert debates. Robert A. Gordon, for example, replied to media criticisms of grant-recipients: "Politically correct disinformation about science appears to spread like wildfire among literary intellectuals and other nonspecialists, who have few disciplinary constraints on what they say about science and about particular scientists and on what they allow themselves to believe." ...

Pioneer Fund Founders and Former Directors

Wickliffe Preston Draper (1891-1972), Pioneer’s main benefactor, served on its five-person Board of Directors from 1937 until 1972. Draper was born in 1891 to a distinguished New England family, distant kin to three American presidents. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1913.

When World War I broke out in 1914, Draper enlisted as a lieutenant in the British Army and saw action on the western front and then in Greece. Returning to the western front, he fought at Messines and Ypres, where he was seriously wounded, and was later awarded the British Star Medal and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, Draper transferred to the U.S. Army. In 1919, he was discharged with the rank of major. Promoted to Colonel in the Cavalry Reserve, a title by which many people addressed him, he continued to take officers’ courses until the outbreak of World War II.

When Draper’s father died in 1923, he inherited the family’s wealth earned from a textile machine manufacturing company. Dedicating his life to intellectual pursuits and philanthropy, as well as to adventuring, Draper studied archaeology and anthropology at the University of London, and genetics with private tutors. In 1927, he joined the French Mission led by Captain Augiéras to the southern Sahara and helped discover the remains of “Asselar Man,” some 400 kilometers north of Timbuktu. For this, the French Societé de Geographie awarded him their 1928 Gold Medal, and in Britain he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

When the United States entered World War II, Draper, now 51 years old, returned to active service. Assigned to military intelligence, he joined British headquarters in India. Later, he was made responsible for internal security for the Alcan (Alaska-Canadian) Highway.

By nature introverted, shy, and modest, Draper refused honorary doctorates or having university buildings named in his honor. The only distinctions he accepted were for his role in the discovery of Asselar Man and his military decorations. Draper insisted that his role as benefactor to many charitable causes (including military history, archaeology, conservation, and population problems) remain anonymous. He never married and when he died in 1972, he left a significant portion of his assets to the Pioneer Fund to continue its scientific philanthropy.

Harry Hamilton Laughlin (1880-1943), the first president of the Pioneer Fund (1937–1941), was a life-long scientist. Laughlin served as long-time director of the Eugenics Record Office at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York, funded by the Carnegie Institute of Washington. Among his duties was the editing of the Eugenical News, which reported on scientific research and eugenic issues from around the world. Born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, in 1880, the son of a minister and academic, Laughlin grew up in Kirksville, Missouri. He first taught school for ten years before developing an interest in agriculture and plant and animal breeding. In 1910 Laughlin moved to Cold Spring Harbor. In 1917 he received a Doctorate of Science from Princeton for his work in genetics. During the 1920s and 1930s Laughlin served as an advisor to several Congressional Committees. He retired in 1941 and died in 1943.

Frederick Henry Osborn (1890-1981), the second president of the Pioneer Fund (1941–1958), was born into a wealthy New York business and banking family, and was the nephew of Henry Fairfield Osborn, president of the American Museum of Natural History. After undergraduate and graduate work in geology, human evolution, and eugenics—at Princeton and Cambridge—he abandoned business and banking to devote himself to genetic science. The books he wrote in 1934, 1940, and 1951 described the scientific evidence for the heritability of intelligence and mental disorder based on family, twin, and adoption studies. During World War I, Osborn served with the American Red Cross in France, and in World War II, he served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Selective Service as a Major General. Osborn continued his public service after war’s end by serving on the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission from 1947 to 1950 as Deputy U.S. Representative.

John Marshall Harlan (1899-1971), the highly respected U.S. Supreme Court Justice, was a director of the Pioneer Fund from 1937 to 1954. During World War II Harlan led the Operational Analysis Section of the U.S. Eighth Air Force, for which the U.S. awarded him the Legion of Merit, and France and Belgium each awarded him their Croix de Guerre. In 1955, President Eisenhower appointed Harlan to the U.S. Supreme Court. He voted with his fellow Justices in the second of the two historic Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decisions, which first outlawed school segregation between Blacks and Whites and then set forth the means of relief.

Malcolm Donald (1877–1949), another of the initial directors, was a graduate of Harvard Law School and editor of the Harvard Law Review. He worked in the War Department during the First World War and in the Pentagon during the Second World War, with a rank equivalent to Brigadier General. Donald served as a director of the Pioneer Fund from its inception in 1937 until his death in 1949.

Subsequent Board Members have included John M. Woolsey, Jr. (1954–1959), whose distinguished legal career included serving as a staff attorney at the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecuting Nazi war criminals, for which he received the Order of the White Lion from the Czechoslovakian Government. Another director was war hero Marion A. Parrott (1973–2000), who served during World War II with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He took part in the D-Day landings at Normandy and was wounded and captured in northern France. He escaped from a prison camp in occupied Poland during 1945 and made his way to Russia. From there he returned to his unit in France and took part in the final advance into Germany at war’s end, at which point he was discharged as a Major.

Another eminent member of the Board was Charles Codman Cabot who served from 1950 until 1973. His renowned Boston family gave rise to the quip, "the Lowells talk only to the Cabots, and the Cabots talk only to God." Cabot served as a Justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts during the 1940s. He also served as Chief of the Secretariat of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey during World War II. Still another director was Henry E. Garrett (1972–1973), Chair of the Psychology Department at Columbia University from 1941 to 1956, and president of the American Psychological Association in 1946. During World War II he was a member of the Adjutant General’s committee, responsible for the classification and selection of military personnel.

Complete Listings of the Past Directors of the Pioneer Fund and Years Served

Wickliffe P. Draper [1937-1972]

Harvard College (cum laude); volunteer British Army WWI, wounded, decorated; volunteer Lt Col US Army Intell, India, Alaska WWII; member of Mission Augieras, co-discoverer of Asselar Man.

Harry Hamilton Laughlin [1937-1941]

ScD, Princeton; director Cold Spring Harbor Eugenics Record Office (Carnegie Institution); numerous publications.

Frederick Henry Osborn [1937-1958]

Princeton (Phi Beta Kappa); Trinity (Cambridge); LLD, Washington & Lee; SD, Norwich; Litt D, NYU; several Pentagon committees; Maj Gen USA; UN Atomic Energy Commission; trustee Population Council; trustee Carnegie Corp; trustee Milbank Fund; co-author Dynamics of Population (1934); Preface to Eugenics (1940, 1951); editor Heredity and Environment; contributor articles on population.

John M. Harlan [1937-1954]

Princeton; Balliol (Oxford); Root Ballantine Harlan Bushby & Palmer; Judge 2d Cir Ct/App; Justice US Supreme Court.

Malcolm Donald [1937-1949]

Harvard college (cum laude, football 4 years, Phi Beta Kappa) and Law (cum laude); editor Harvard Law Review; Gaston Snow, Boston; Herrick, Smith, & Donald, Boston; War Department, Washington WWI; trustee Roxbury Latin School.

John H. Slate, Jr. [1941-1946]

Columbia college and Law; editor Columbia Law Review; co-founder Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom; contributor to Fortune, Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly, and others.

James P. Kranz, Jr. [1948]

U of the South; Harvard Law; Root, Clark.

Henry Rice Guild [1948-1974]

Harvard College and Law; Lt (JG) US Navy WWI; Herrick Smith, Boston; trustee Mass General Hospital; director Audubon Society; chmn Greater Boston Community Fund; chm, Mass Department of Public Welfare.

Charles Codman Cabot [1950-1973]

Harvard College and Law; Choate Hall, Boston; Ropes Gray, Boston; associate justice Mass Superior Court; chmn, Mass Crime Commission; chmn Mass Bay Transportation Authority; OSS in WWII; Chief of Secretariat, US Strategic Bombing Survey WWII; pres United Community Service of Boston; overseer Harvard College; pres Boston Bar Assn; chmn/trustees Wellesley College; pres/trustees Milton Academy.

John M. Woolsey, Jr. [1954-1959]

Yale College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Law; note editor Yale LJ; Lt US Navy WWII; staff attorney for US Nuremberg War Trials; Debevoise Plimpton; Herrick Smith, Boston; trustee Society for Preservation of N Eng Antiquities; vice pres Trustees of Reservations.

Harry F. Weyher, Jr. [1958-2002]

UNC (Phi Beta Kappa); Harvard Law (magna cum laude); note editor Harvard Law Review; sr ass't counsel New York State Crime Commission; adj assoc prof NYU Law School; Olwine, Connelly, Chase, O'Donnell, & Weyher; author legal articles, books.

John B. Trevor, Jr. [1959-2000]

Columbia College and Engineering Sch; WW II Project Engineer in charge of developing and evaluating Shipborne Anti-Aircraft Control Systems at Naval Research Lab; author of several classified books and manuals for armed forces; decorated by Navy, investment management.

John F. Walsh, Jr. [1971-1973]

Harvard College, Yale Law; Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan.

Henry E. Garrett [1972-1973]

U of Richmond; Columbia U; prof, chmn Dept of Psychology, Columbia U; pres American Psychological Association (1946); author Great Experiments in Psychology, Psychology and Life, other books, numerous articles.

Marion A. Parrott [1973-2002]

The Citadel; UNC Law; Major US Army (377th Parachute F A Bn, 101st Airborne Division, wounded, captured, escaped and rejoined unit); representative and chmn of Com on Constitutional Amendments, NC Gen Assembly.

Thomas F. Ellis [1973-1977]

UNC College, Virginia Law; Lt (JG) US Navy WWII; ass't US attorney; Co-founder Maupin, Taylor & Ellis, Raleigh; special counsel Governor's Advisory Com on Education; NC State Chairman 1976 Ronald Reagan presidential campaign, National Co-Chairman 1988 Jack Kemp presidential campaign; advisor 1996 Steve Forbes presidential campaign.

Eugenie Mary Ladenburg Davie (Mrs. Preston) [1974-1975]

Westover School; Republican Nat Finance Com; Executive Com and Finance chmn, NY Rep State Com; regent Nat Lib of Medicine; trustee LIU; trustee Adelphi College; chairwoman Robert A. Taft Institute of Gov’t.

Randolph L. Speight [1975-1999]

UNC College; partner, Shearson Hamill.

William Dawes Miller [1983-1993]

Carnegie Inst Tech; engineer and operations officer, Oak Ridge AEC (Manhattan Project); chief engineer Continental Copper & Steel ("Texas Towers" radar project), pres and CEO Consolidated Aluminum, sr vice pres The Anaconda Company.

Karl Schakel [1993-2002]

Purdue U; founder of weapons systems and aeronautical engineering company; founder of ranching-farming company operating in 12 countries on five continents.

Edwin D. Morgan [2000-2001]

Morgan served with the 1st Marine Division in Guadalcanal, New Guinea, New Britain and Peleliu; he founded Holographics, Inc., which developed useful laser technologies.

R. Travis Osborne [2000-present]

Osborne earned his first degree from the University of Florida (1935) and later a M.Ed. (1938) and a Ph.D. (1950) from the University of Georgia. Commissioned in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he taught air navigation at the Navy Pre-flight School in Memphis, Tennessee. Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia, he organized and directed the Student Guidance Center, which later became the Counseling and Testing Service. He became Emeritus Professor (1980). He is the author of numerous articles and books including Twins: Black and White (1980), and with F. C. J. McGurk, The Testing of Negro Intelligence, Vol. 2 (1982).

The Current Board

The late Harry F. Weyher, Jr. (1921-2002) served as the third president of the Pioneer Fund for 44 years (1958-2002). He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After serving in World War II, Weyher entered Harvard Law School, where he was note editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude. In addition to his private practice, Weyher also taught law at New York University. Along with two books and a number of articles on law, he also wrote two major articles on the The Pioneer Fund ("Contributions to the history of psychology: CXII. Intelligence, behavior genetics, and the Pioneer Fund," Psychological Reports, 1998, 82, 1347-1374; "The Pioneer Fund, the behavioral sciences, and the media’s false stories," Intelligence, 1999, 26, 319-335), as well as contributing a lengthy preface to The Science of Human Diversity, by Richard Lynn, which gave an inside view of his over four decades at the helm.

J. Philippe Rushton, B.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., F.B.Ps.S., the fourth and current president of the Pioneer Fund, was born in 1943 in Bournemouth, England. He received all his degrees from the University of London, including a Ph.D. in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of 5 books and over 200 scholarly articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Rushton is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American, British, and Canadian Psychological Associations. He is also a member of the Behavioral Genetics Association and the Society for Neuroscience. Rushton has summarized his research for journals of opinion such as Liberty, the National Review, and the Washington Times’s Insight on the News, and discussed it on TV talk shows such as Donahue, Geraldo Live, and Connie Chung. His major published work is Race, Evolution, and Behavior, which was favorably reviewed in The New York Times Book Review of October 16, 1994, translated into Japanese, and is now in its 3rd unabridged edition, as well as in an abridged edition and an audio book.

Professor Rushton began his career by researching the basis of altruism. The question of why one individual aids another, thereby exposing himself to risk, has long posed a challenge to evolutionary theories of human development. Rushton’s early work focused on the social learning of generosity in 7- to 11-year-old children. After writing a book, Altruism, Socialization, and Society (1980), which examined the influence of the family, the educational system, and the mass media, he broadened his perspective to include sociobiological and behavioral genetic factors. He then analyzed the University of London Twin Register and found that individual differences in empathy and nurturance are about 50% heritable, as were individual differences in aggression and crime, some of which he found to be mediated by testosterone.

Studying behavioral genetics and sociobiology led Rushton to explore the dilemma of why, throughout the natural world, “birds of a feather flock together.” He found that genes incline people to marry, befriend, associate with, and help others like themselves. Typically, individuals learn to identify and prefer their own ethnic group, rather than others, for largely genetic reasons. Rushton’s Genetic Similarity Theory expanded the kin-selection theory of altruism (a fundamental theorem of sociobiology) to explain why the pull of that factor is so powerful across human relationships and how it provides an explanation for ethnocentrism and ethnic competition. Altruism follows lines of genetic similarity in order to replicate genes more effectively; xenophobia emerges as the dark side of human altruism.

It also led Rushton to examine race differences. In new studies and reviews of the world literature, he has documented that East Asians and their descendants consistently average a larger brain size, greater intelligence, more sexual restraint, a slower rate of maturation, and greater levels of law abidingness and social organization than do Europeans and their descendants. Europeans, in turn, average higher on these dimensions than do Africans and their descendants. To explain this pattern he proposed a gene-based evolutionary theory in his book, Race, Evolution, and Behavior (1995).

The Current Board of Directors

When Harry Weyher died on March 27, 2002, J. Philippe Rushton, Professor of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, a long-time Pioneer grant recipient, was appointed the new president. At the same time, Weyher’s widow, Mrs. Michelle Weyher, was appointed a Director, as was Richard Lynn, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Ulster, also a long-time grantee. They joined existing Board members R. Travis Osborne, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia, and Karl Schakel, an engineer and businessman-rancher from Colorado.

Qualifications of Scientists
(From the PF weibsite)

In considering grant proposals, the Fund has always sought excellence in the researchers. We review the scholastic background, extent of field research, published writings and citations of those writings, and reputation among peers of all applicants. Two of our grantees are among the most cited psychologists of all time (Hans J. Eysenck, Arthur R. Jensen). One won a Nobel Prize (William B. Shockley). Three are Guggenheim Fellows (Arthur R. Jensen, Ernest van den Haag, and J. Philippe Rushton). Pioneer grantees have been elected as the presidents of the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, the British Psychological Society, the Behavior Genetics Association, the Psychometric Society, the Society for Psychophysiological Research, the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, and the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences. Grantees currently serve on the editorial boards of major academic journals, including three on the board of Personality and Individual Differences, and three on the editorial board of the journal Intelligence. The Galton Society of the United Kingdom has selected three Pioneer Fund grantees to give the annual Galton Lectures (Hans J. Eysenck, Thomas J. Bouchard, and Arthur R. Jensen). The collected works of grantees total over 200 scholarly books and 2,000 scholarly articles.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Michael Jackson was Terrified of Dr. Tohme Tohme

Also see: "Michael Jackson, Dr. Tohme Tohme, Frank DiLeo, Colony Capital & Anschutz"

Michael Jackson: King of Pop was terrified of his manager
By Tiffany Warner
Examiner/August 27, 2009

Recent taped conversations of the late King of Pop, suggest Michael Jackson was afraid of his manager Dr. Tohme Tohme.

Jackson's former spiritual advisor June Gatlin reportedly taped conversations with the "Thriller" hitmaker, which he agreed upon, discussing his fear of Tohme Tohme.

"He was afraid of who this man is, afraid of whatever this man may be capable of doing... He had taken over Michael's complete life," Gatlin recently told press.

Taped in September 2008, the recordings are now in the possession of NBC News thanks to Gatlin. On the tapes, Jackson can be heard saying, "This guy, he just... has ways about him... There's a divide between me and my representatives and I don't talk to my lawyer, my accountant. I talk to him and he talks to them." He adds, "I don't like it. I wanna get somebody in there with him that I know and can trust. I don't know what's in my accounts."

Gatlin told NBC, "Michael said, 'He's mean, he's trying to keep me and separate me from everybody and everything that I love."

Although Michael did severe ties with Tohme Tohme in May (09), after learning he had threatened a California auction house over memorabilia items, Tohme Tohme spoke on behalf of the pop icon hours after he died on June 25, 2009.

In fact, Jackson even reportedly sent a letter to all of his business associates, in which he stated, "Dr. Tohme Tohme is no longer authorized to represent me." However, Dr. Tohme Tohme told NBC, "I'm still in charge of Michael Jackson's business until otherwise I am informed not to do so."

Lockerbie: US Offered 'Millions' to Keep Bomber in UK

" ... Details of the transatlantic diplomatic efforts that followed the revelation that Megrahi could be freed early came as the convicted bomber called for a public inquiry into the Lockerbie atrocity. In an interview with The Herald, a Glasgow newspaper, he said he was determined to clear his name – and that an inquiry would help families of the victims know the truth. ... "

Excerpt: By Brian Brady, Whitehall Editor
30 August 2009

Revealed: Britain and America's major disagreement over where Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi should end his days

Scottish ministers went ahead with the controversial decision to send the Lockerbie bomber back to Libya despite an American offer to bankroll his "house arrest" in the UK, it emerged yesterday. US officials had "very reluctantly" backed a proposal to move Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi from Greenock Prison into some kind of high-security accommodation elsewhere in Scotland, senior government sources on both sides of the Atlantic confirmed. ...

But the Scottish National Party government in Edinburgh eventually chose the option of compassionate release, claiming police chiefs had ruled that the security implications of house arrest would be "severe". However, Strathclyde Police denied last week that they had made any judgement on the proposal, and claimed they had only told the Scottish government how many officers would be needed. ...

Details of the transatlantic diplomatic efforts that followed the revelation that Megrahi could be freed early came as the convicted bomber called for a public inquiry into the Lockerbie atrocity.

In an interview with The Herald, a Glasgow newspaper, he said he was determined to clear his name – and that an inquiry would help families of the victims know the truth.

"It [an inquiry] would help them to know the truth. The truth never dies. If the UK guaranteed it, I would be very supportive." ...

Megrahi ultimately served eight years of a minimum 27-year sentence.... After Megrahi returned to a hero's welcome in Tripoli, President Barack Obama said he should at least be subjected to house arrest in Libya during his final days. ...

The far-reaching implications of the Megrahi affair were underlined last night, when the Sunday Times claimed letters from the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, to Mr MacAskill prove the British Government had decided it was "in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom" to make the bomber eligible for return to Libya.

The leaked letters reportedly revealed that Mr Straw made the decision after discussions between Libya and BP over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards. ...

Nazi-Collaborating Farish Family Pledges $1-Million in Auschwitz Profits to Racing Museum

NOT JUST ANOTHER TAX DEDUCTION - Selective breeding is very important in the horse-racing industry, as it was to eugenicists of the Third Reich. Naturally, America's Nazi-financing elite - represented here by Lexington, Kentucky's Farish family - have a keen interest in genetics, and horse breeding is one very lucrative means of pursuing this interest:

See: "The Farish Family's Auschwitz Profits and Connections"

Racing Museum gets $1 million Challenge Pledge

A $1 million challenge pledge from the William Stamps Farish Fund has initiated a key endowment drive by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The contribution is contingent on the Museum raising its current endowment by an additional $6 million. The Farish pledge will assist the Museum in achieving its final goal of $10 million.

"The mission of the Museum is to interpret the history and convey the excitement of Thoroughbred racing, and to continue to do that we need a strong and permanent financial base," Museum President Stella Thayer said. "This generous pledge by the Farish Fund will give impetus to a very important fundraising drive."

The Farish Fund is a private foundation established and managed by one of the leading families in Thoroughbred racing. Former United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James, the Hon. William S. Farish, is a key member of the Fund, and his aunt, the late Martha Gerry, was the Museum’s Board Chairman.

"We hope the American Thoroughbred industry understands and appreciates that the Museum and Hall of Fame are here to serve and promote the entire industry, not just one region," Thayer said. "For example, the recent Hall of Fame induction class honored the Kentucky-bred filly Silverbulletday, the California-bred colt Tiznow, New York-based jockey Eddie Maple, California-based trainer Bob Baffert, along with trainer Janet Elliot and English Grand National winner Ben Nevis II from the steeplechase community associated with Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina.

"Similarly, the permanent collection and special exhibitions presented by the Museum touch the whole of American racing of past and present."

Auschwitz Camp Crematorium

The current endowment of approximately $3 million will serve as the base for the drive, which will reach out to owners, breeders, racetracks, fans, and the many other segments of the multi-faceted Thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.

"There are many important and vigorous organizations in this broad industry," Museum Director Joe Aulisi said, "but I believe the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is unique in its specific role on behalf of all those components. I hope the fact we have been around for more than a half-century is not taken for granted by the industry. It is also my hope that all organizations involved in Thoroughbred racing will support this fundraising endeavor to ensure we are always here on their behalf."

It's Republicans Who are Out to Pull the Plug on Grandma

Excerpt: Death, Republican Style
It's the GOP that's out to get Granny.
Jacob Weisberg
Aug 29, 2009

The republicans charge that Democratic health care reform would, in Sen. Charles Grassley's words, "pull the plug on Grandma." According to Sen. Jon Kyl, the bills before Congress would ration medical treatment by age. Rep. John Boehner says they promote euthanasia. Sarah Palin has raised the specter of "death panels." Such fears are understandable. It's not preposterous to imagine laws that would try to save money by encouraging the inconvenient elderly to make an early exit. After all, that's been the Republican policy for years.

It was Grassley himself who devised the "Throw Mama From the Train" provision of the GOP's 2001 tax cut. The estate-tax revision he championed will reduce the estate tax to zero next year. But when it expires at year's end, the tax will jump back up to its previous level of 55 percent. Grassley's exploding tax break has an entirely foreseeable, if unintended, consequence: it incentivizes ailing, elderly rich people to end their lives—paging Dr. Kevorkian—before midnight on Dec. 31, 2010. It also gives their children an incentive to sign DNR orders and switch off respirators in time for the deadline. This would be a great plot for a P. D. James novel if it weren't an actual piece of legislation.

This is not merely hypothetical. Serious economists take the possibility seriously. In a 2001 paper entitled "Dying to Save Taxes," economists from the University of Michigan and the University of British Columbia examined 13 changes in U.S. tax law since 1917 and concluded that benefactors die in greater numbers just before tax hikes and just after tax cuts. A 2006 study done in Australia, which abolished its inheritance tax in July 1979, reached the same conclusion. Statistics showed that more than half the people who would ordinarily have died in the last week of June 1979—and whose heirs would have been subject to the tax—managed to avoid it by surviving into July. Republicans in Congress have created a similar inducement for Grandma not to die before January 2010, but to make sure she is gone by January 2011.

Other GOP policies promote death for senior citizens with more modest incomes. Take George W. Bush's failed plan to privatize Social Security—a program that has driven life expectancy up and death rates down since it was instituted. It has an especially pronounced impact on suicide rates for the elderly, which have declined 56 percent since 1930. Had Bush prevailed, those who gambled on the stock market and lost would be less able to afford medicine, food, and heating for their homes. In aggregate, they'd likely die younger and commit suicide more often.

Republicans continue working to short-en and sadden the lives of the elderly in more oblique ways, too. One of President Obama's first official acts was to reverse Bush's executive order limiting government funding for stem-cell research, which remains the most promising avenue for new treatments of diseases that afflict the aged, including Parkinson's and Alz-hei-mer's. Clean-air legislation, which the Republicans defeated in 2002, has the potential to save 23,000 lives per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Many of those victims are elderly people, who suffer disproportionately from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses exacerbated by air pollution. Because emissions of carbon monoxide and such are merely a contributing factor, you can't name the individuals who have died because of this policy choice. But it's reasonable to deduce that there are tens of thousands of people who would still be elderly today if Republicans didn't value the rights and campaign contributions of polluters more highly than their lives. ...


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mind Control: Jaycee Lee Dugard and Phillip Garrido's Daughters 'like Brainwashed Zombies'

Children with "Soul Vision":" ... 'I was looking at the younger daughter who was sitting across from me and she was staring directly at me, it was almost like she was looking into my soul.' ... "

Satanism: "... One of the men, William Clark, described a strange display on the dashboard of Garrido's car. He said religious symbols — including a pentagram — were glued onto the dashboard, along with an array of nude baby dolls. Law enforcement officials did not return calls to confirm the display. ... "

The campus police officer whose unease triggered the arrest of Philip Garrido for the kidnap of Jaycee Lee Dugard has described how his daughters looked like "brainwashed zombies."

By Paul Thompson
29 Aug 2009

Officer Ally Jacobs sat in on a meeting with Mr Garrido and his daughters after he requested permission to distribute leaflets on the Berkeley campus of the University of California.

But her suspicions were aroused by the strange behaviour of the two girls - and led to the eventual release of their mother, Jaycee Lee Dugard, after nearly two decades of captivity.

She said Mr Garrido arrived with the girls, aged 11 and 15, who stared at their father "like God" during the meeting. "They had this weird look in their eyes, like brainwashed zombies," she said. ...

'Robot girls' clue to Dugard case
29 August 2009

Two US policewomen say the "robotic" behaviour of two girls accompanying Phillip Garrido led to his arrest over the abduction of Jaycee Lee Dugard.

The officers met Mr Garrido and the two girls as he sought to hold a religious meeting on a California campus.

The officers said they were alarmed at the girls' "weird" behaviour. ...

Officer Jacobs said something about the girls, aged 11 and 15, alarmed them.

"I think Lisa asked, 'do you guys go to school?' and they both, like robots, [said] 'we're home schooled'."

The officer said they noticed the girls were "extremely pale in comparison" to Mr Garrido, and had "penetratingly blue eyes and I just got a weird uneasy feeling".

"I was looking at the younger daughter who was sitting across from me and she was staring directly at me, it was almost like she was looking into my soul.

"The older daughter, her eyes were darting up at the ceiling she was looking at her dad and just in awe, it looked like she was in worship of him."

The officer added: "I kind of got the feeling that these kids were like robots. It was my intuition." ...

Officer Jacobs said that Mr Garrido grabbed his older daughter, saying: "I'm so proud of my girls. They don't know any curse words. We raised them right. They don't know anything bad about the world." ...


A world of nightmare: Jaycee Lee Dugard's story
Jamie Doward
The Observer
Sunday 30 August 2009

... Garrido was known locally as "creepy Phil", while Nancy, who had married him in 1981 while he was still in prison, was described as "standoffish". Her brother-in-law has been quick to suggest that Nancy was a "robot" who "would do anything" Garrido asked and there is some evidence she was in thrall to her 6ft 4in husband ...

The couple's behaviour became more of a concern about five years ago when Garrido developed a fascination with hearing voices, believing that he had some sort of telepathic hotline to angels. His conversations had become peppered with a wired mix of psychobabble and religion, allusions to mind control and choice biblical references. ... He claimed to have created a device that would "pronounce words through my own mental powers" ...

Garrido's secret was finally uncovered due to the concerns of security staff at the University of California's Berkeley campus. ... They [the children] had pale complexions and their actions caused the officer, Ally Jacobs, to study them closely. ... "I wanted to basically ascertain if these girls were OK. Not from a cop standpoint, from a mother's standpoint," she said in an interview with ABC news. "It was like a wall, like talking to a robot almost. It was more like they were programmed. The older one almost had pride in her father, she was just looking at him like he was a superstar. They had this weird look in their eyes like brainwashed zombies. Their clothes were almost like Little House on the Prairie-type attire. ...


Voices are Real, Phil Garrido's CD, a salacious stab at pop stardom
"Voices," The "Hate Man," Nude Baby Dolls & a Pentagram

Accused abductor of Jaycee Dugard turned increasingly zealous, customers say
By John Simerman
Contra Costa Times

... To some, he announced plans to give up the printing business and preach full time. Last year, he launched a company, God's Desire. His blog, called "Voices Revealed," describes a fascination with mind control and the ability to hear the voices in people's heads. "The Creator has given me the ability to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wake-up call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world," he wrote.

On Monday, the same day he first sought an event permit at UC Berkeley, he delivered documents to the FBI in San Francisco. FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler described the documents as similar to the writings found on Garrido's blog. ...

"He seemed kind of hyper. He would rush around, passing out bottles of water and sometimes homemade sandwiches. He was always in a hurry," said one of the older, bearded campers, who identified himself only as "The Hate Man." ...

One of the men, William Clark, described a strange display on the dashboard of Garrido's car. He said religious symbols — including a pentagram — were glued onto the dashboard, along with an array of nude baby dolls. Law enforcement officials did not return calls to confirm the display. ...

Manson Comparisons

America's Fritzl? No, Philip Garrido is Charles Manson Mark Two
By David Jones
Mail Online
29th August 2009

... Ron Garrido compares Phillip's hold over his wife Nancy to Manson's psychological control of his notorious Family.

'I told my wife, it's no different to Manson and those girls,' said Ron, 65, a retired electrician. 'She was under his spell - a robot. It just seems so bizarre. Crazy, crazy, crazy.'

Quite so. But listening to Garrido's deluded attempts to justify Jaycee's abduction during a rambling radio interview from his prison cell yesterday, and examining his bizarre internet blog, it becomes clear that the likeness to Manson is more than physical.

Just like the twisted Californian cult leader, he is a dangerously self-absorbed narcissist. And, as with the demented Manson, he is at pains to convince us that he possesses supernatural gifts and uses risible, quasi-religious mumbo-jumbo to mask his depravity. ...

CENSORSHIP? - ANY SUGGESTION OF MIND CONTROL WAS CAREFULLY FILTERED OUT OF THE CNN REPORT. Compare the above reports with CNN's story on the Garrido arrest. This version is too meticulously sanitized to not be deliberate:

From: "Officers who cracked missing girl case: Something wasn't right"
Auguse 31, 2009

... "[Garrido] was clearly animated, he was very passionate, he was full of life about the things he wanted to talk about," Campbell said. "The girls sort of were recessed in the background. And they were young. It was one o'clock in the afternoon. They weren't in school. They were pretty much unresponsive emotionally, extremely pale ... there was just something about the girls that wasn't right."

She thought the encounter was strange enough to run a background check on Garrido, which revealed that he was on parole after a rape conviction and was a registered sex offender. Campbell asked Jacobs to sit in on the meeting the next day.

Jacobs said she began talking to the girls, trying to engage them in conversation. Checking for any abuse, she asked one girl about a bump on her eye, and the girl told her it was a birth defect, she said.

"They both said that they were home schooled," Jacobs said. "And when I asked about that, they said that the mom and the dad both home schooled them. And then they mentioned an older sister."

"The youngest girl was across from me," Jacobs said. "And she was very intently staring at me and smiling in a very eerie way. The older daughter was looking at Mr. Garrido, and not looking at us, not making eye contact with us. And her eyes were darting around at the ceiling, and [she] would give really quick, clipped one-word answers and would glance at us and back up at him."

She said, "My police intuition was kicking in, but I would say it's more of a mother's intuition. I was worried for these little girls. I knew something wasn't right. I could kind of see it in their eyes, although I really didn't know what it was. And just being the protective mom that I am, my reaction was to try and do what I could to help them."

Jacobs called Garrido's parole officer to tell him about the meeting. "And he stopped me dead in my tracks," she said. "And he said, 'He doesn't have daughters.' And that's when my heart kind of sunk down into my stomach. And I said, 'Well, he introduced them as his daughters. They had his blue eyes. They were calling him "Dad." They even mentioned an older sister at home. So I had no reason to believe that they were anything but his daughters.'" ...

Garrido Seems to Believe He can Control the Media

... A picture is emerging of a controlling man, obsessed with religion, who told the FBI he could control minds.

... He gave a rambling interview from prison to the KCRA television channel in California, claiming his was a "powerful, heart-warming story, one that you're going to be really impressed by". He said thousands would testify in his defence and there would be powerful witnesses. He had turned his life around, he said.

Criminal psychologist Dr David Holmes said the interview revealed someone who was "very, very coherent", using his claim of being divinely saved as a reason he should be immune from prosecution and not giving in to the interviewers questioning.

"A lot of people with personality disorders defend themselves in this way and don't allow other views to be in their social proximity, which is probably what he's done in his household. It's a form of brainwashing," he said Dr Holmes. ...
Garrido's Literary Interests

From: Phillip Garrido didn't leave horror on the shelf

... Garrido is [a] fan of the Psychosphere trilogy by British writer Brian Lumley. The books revolve around a world in which people use their mental powers to control others. Garrido calls himself "the man who spoke with his mind" and believes he has telepathic abilities. Also in the collection are a handful of children's favourites including The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. ...

FULL STORY:,21985,26008981-663,00.html

Doctors Question WHO's Severe Swine Flu Warning

Some Say While Severe Swine Flu Exists, Warnings May Be Overblown

ABC News - August 29, 2009

"Republicans are Becoming Irrational and Dangerous"

GOP politics: Obama Tags, right wing terrorists, great white hope
Michael Stone
August 28, 2009

GOP politics are being reduced to a terrifying absurdity. Republicans are praising right wing terrorists. Republicans are joking about Obama Tags and political assassination while longing for a great white hope. The sky is turning grey and Republicans are losing their collective mind.

Obama Tags

Rex Rammell, GOP candidate in the 2010 Idaho governor's race, recently made a joke about hunting and killing President Obama.

Rammell's 'joke' was made to a local Republican group about the state's wolf hunt, for which hunters must pay for "wolf tags." An audience member shouted out a question about "Obama tags."

"Obama tags? We'd buy some of those," Rammell responded.

Rammell said he won't apologize for the comments

Right wing terrorists

According to news reports, at a recent town hall meeting at Simpson University in Redding, Ca., 67-year-old Bert Stead rose and declared himself a “proud right-wing terrorist.” U.S. Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.) replied. "Amen, God bless you. There is a great American.”

Wally refuses to offer an apology.

Great white hope

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Kansas Republican, made a blatantly racist remark last week. Jenkins said the GOP was looking for a "great white hope" to challenge the Democrats and African American President Barack Obama.

Jenkins, to her credit, did offer an apology.

Republicans are becoming irrational and dangerous. Showing up armed at town hall meetings, claiming Obama is not an American, comparing Obama to Hitler, all speak to a disturbing disconnect from reality, a disconnection with decidedly violent tendencies.

So far Republicans have tried to make light of these episodes, to write them off as being harmless, minor slips of the tongue with no real consequence. They are wrong. Their denial is dangerous.

Words have power. Jokes about assassination, claims that Obama is not a true American, praise for self identified right wing terrorists, thoughtless racism, all contribute to an air ripe for an unspeakable violence.

Honduran Government Wages Campaign of Fear and Intimidation, Human Rights Group Alleges

Investigation Uncovers 'Deaths,' 'Sexual Violence' and 'Disappearances'

ABC News
August 26, 2009

In a scathing report, a leading human rights group accuses the current Honduran government of "widespread" abuses committed in the wake of President Jose Manuel Zelaya's ouster by a military coup in June.

In this file photo, soldiers arrest and beat a supporter of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya during a demonstration in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on July 2, 2009. Coup leaders in Honduras vowed that ousted President Manuel Zelaya will 'never return to power' despite mounting international pressure and an ultimatum by the Organization of American States. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The report, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), found instances of sexual violence, excessive use of military force, arbitrary detention and several confirmed deaths and so-called "disappearances." The IACHR also alleged that the government has threatened, detained and beaten members of the media, creating "an atmosphere of intimidation that inhibits the free exercise of freedom of expression."

"Given the ongoing abuses documented by the Commission and the lack of effective legal protection, it is urgent that the international community exert concerted and effective pressure to restore democratic government in Honduras," said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch, which commissioned the IACHR report.

The deaths of four Hondurans, that the Commission claims resulted from the use of excessive force, are chronicled in a chilling timeline.

July 5: Isis Obed Murillo Mencías is shot in the head while participating in a protest outside Tegucigalpa's Airport.

July 25: The tortured body of Pedro Magdiel Muñoz is found in the state of El Paraíso. According to witnesses, Muñoz was arrested by the military after participating in a rally in front of military roadblocks.

July 30: Roger Vallejos Soriano, a teacher, was shot in the head during a protest in the city of Comayagüela.

August 2: Pedro Pablo Hernández was shot in the head at a military roadblock in the agriculturally lush Jamastran valley, according to testimony collected by the Commission.

The report also details two "disappearances", including a Honduran last seen on July 12 at a protest, and another person seized at home on July 26. They remain unaccounted for by the government, despite the Commission's four requests for information. The alleged disappearances resemble those made infamous during the dictatorships of the 1970 and 1980s in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.

Calls to the Honduran Embassy in Washington, DC for a response to the IACHR findings were not returned. The Honduran diplomatic corps in the U.S. has thrown its support behind ousted president Zelaya.

The Commission's findings have created tension between the IACHR and the Organization of American States (OAS), which has a delegation in Honduras. The OAS is attempting to persuade the current government to approve an agreement brokered by Costa Rica's government for resolution of this crisis.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Humanists Protest Against Noah's Ark Creationist Zoo

Hugh Kramer
LA Atheism Examiner
August 28, 2009

If you think private, multi-million dollar monuments to Creationist-themed education are the sole property of First-World nations with Third-World levels of religiosity (IE: the United States), well, think again. The Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is located in the lush countryside of Merrye Olde England, just 7 miles from the city of Bristol... and it has outraged the British Humanist Association who are urging British tourism boards to stop promoting it and asking the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums to take action against it. The BHA's news release states that "The zoo, which advances creationism, seeks to discredit a wide variety of established scientific facts that challenge their religious views, such as radio carbon dating, the fossil record and the speed of light."

According to New Humanist news editor Paul Sims, who visited Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, the differences between it and other tourist attractions don't strike the eye immediately. It's only when you start to read some of the signs on exhibits that you notice that, insinuated alongside normal, scientifically correct information, there are religious statements. One example Sims gives is from a poster explaining birdsong. "I learned," he says, "that while birds sing to 'sound warning' and 'mark their territory', they also do so in order to 'praise their Maker'. In fact, so wonderful is the ability of birds to sing that the necessary features clearly 'go far beyond what is biologically an advantage, and point to a musically minded Creator.'” The evidence of the Creationist perspective is more overt though in the Noah's Ark exhibit, where a scale model of the biblical Ark is displayed complete with tiny models of animals (and dinosaurs) marching into it. ...


Dealing With The Secret Government

" ... But a growing chorus of voices, some of whom served on the original committee and some of whom currently occupy oversight positions in Congress, have begun to refer to the Church Committee as a model for the kind of sustained inquiry needed today. ... "

Christopher Hayes: A Comprehensive Accounting Is Long Overdue
Nation/CBS News Repost
August 27, 2009

It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered.

Though these words echo his famous endorsement of working "the dark side" in order to triumph in the "war on terror," they were not, in fact, written by Dick Cheney. They come from the Doolittle Report, which was commissioned by President Eisenhower in 1954 to craft an intelligence strategy for winning the cold war. From a strategic perspective, the threat posed by global communism, headquartered in a massive, nuclear-armed superpower with almost 6 million men under arms, and Al Qaeda, a networked, globally distributed group of thousands of nonstate actors, could not be more different. But the national security state's understanding of each as an existential threat was, and continues to be, nearly identical. The enemy is ingenious, relentless and unencumbered by the procedural and moral niceties that hamstring the bureaucrats of a liberal democracy. Victory--indeed, survival--requires us to become more like them.

And so: the CIA contracted a Mafia boss to murder Fidel Castro, sent biotoxins to the Republic of Congo with orders to poison Patrice Lumumba and tested LSD on unsuspecting citizens (one of whom jumped out of a window to his death). It fomented coups and bloodshed against democratically elected governments, while the National Security Agency, in coordination with the major telegram companies, read every single telegram coming in or going out of the country for three decades. The FBI infiltrated peaceful antiwar groups, breaking up marriages of activists with forged evidence of infidelity, while surveilling civil rights leaders with an assortment of bugs and break-ins. It even attempted to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr. into committing suicide, shipping him tapes of him midcoitus with a mistress and a note that said, "There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation."

We know all this (and much more) thanks to the work of the Church Committee. Chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church in 1975-76, the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities labored for sixteen months to produce a 5,000-page report that is a canonical history of the secret government. Over the past three decades the Church Committee has faded into relative obscurity. (I was somewhat surprised to discover how few people my age had heard of it.) But in the wake of further disclosures of crimes and abuses committed by the Bush administration and the escalating war of words between the CIA and Congress over just how much Congress knew about (and approved) these activities, the specter of the committee has begun to haunt Capitol Hill.

Mostly, the Church Committee is invoked by conservatives as a cautionary tale, a case of liberal overreach that handicapped the nation's intelligence operations for decades. Dick Cheney bemoaned the fact that his time as President Ford's chief of staff was "the low point" of presidential authority, thanks to a feckless Congress "all too often swayed by the public opinion of the moment."

But a growing chorus of voices, some of whom served on the original committee and some of whom currently occupy oversight positions in Congress, have begun to refer to the Church Committee as a model for the kind of sustained inquiry needed today. Congressman Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat, has served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence since 2003. When I met him recently, his office had a table full of books and papers about intelligence oversight and the Church Committee's legacy. "The intelligence community has not undergone comprehensive examination since then," he said, "and it needs it."

In a recent interview with the Washington Independent, former Senator Gary Hart, who served on the Church Committee, said there are "sufficient parallels" between the abuses of the cold war and those revealed in the past few years to "warrant a kind of sweeping investigation." Senators Pat Leahy and Russ Feingold have expressed support for a commission of inquiry. Even former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who previously criticized the post-Church intelligence community's risk-averse ways, is on board. "In a democracy with Congressional oversight...when you've had this period where there appears to have been excesses, [where] there appears to have been illegality," he told me, "you need a comprehensive checkup."

The original Church Committee ushered in an era of reforms that we've come to take for granted: the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts and executive orders banning assassinations. But it's hard to survey the legal and moral wreckage of the "war on terror" and conclude that those reforms have stood the test of time. When the country faced another "implacable" enemy, the reforms of the Church Committee were subverted, circumvented, rolled back and outpaced.

To take just the most recent examples, press reports indicate that the CIA may have been training agents to conduct assassinations of Al Qaeda leaders during the first six months of the Obama administration, before either CIA director Leon Panetta or Congress was notified. What's more, according to reports in the New York Times and this magazine, the CIA outsourced parts of an assassination program to the private security firm Blackwater. As this article goes to press, Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed a special prosecutor, John Durham, to determine if a criminal investigation should go forward against CIA agents and contractors for torturing detainees. Durham's narrowly defined inquiry targets fewer than a dozen cases and falls far short of the "sweeping investigation" called for by Hart, Clarke and others.

Once again, it seems a comprehensive accounting is long overdue.

On December 22, 1974, the New York Times published an explosive front-page story by Seymour Hersh. Drawn from leaked portions of a 704-page internal CIA review of covert activities, known within the agency as "the family jewels," the article detailed the activities of a massive domestic spying program called Operation Chaos. "Huge CIA Operation Reported Against Antiwar Forces and Other Dissidents During the Nixon Years," read the headline.

The article created an uproar. In the wake of Watergate and the revelations of Nixon's recklessly lawless executive branch, the public was primed to think the worst. Church, a liberal, saw an opportunity to ferret out abuses, rein in an out-of-control intelligence apparatus and give himself a prime platform from which to run for president. He advocated for a special committee to investigate the activities of the various intelligence agencies. Senate Republicans objected, and the White House sought to cut off momentum by establishing its own commission of inquiry, chaired by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. But the press didn't let up. Hersh published more startling revelations, and CBS's Daniel Schorr began airing reports of the CIA's involvement in international assassinations. For a nation that had suffered the traumatic deaths of JFK, RFK and MLK in the past dozen years, this was the last straw. "Murder," playwright Lillian Hellman wrote in a New York Times op-ed. "We didn't think of ourselves that way once upon a time."

On January 27, 1975, the Senate voted to create the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities. (The committee also had a House counterpart, chaired by Otis Pike.) Each of its eleven members, six Democrats and five Republicans, appointed a staff liaison. The committee was given broad latitude, subpoena power and, crucially, a staff of 150. "We were in a huge auditorium in the new Senate office building," recalls Barbara Banoff, who joined the staff of the committee as a young attorney from New York. "They were just little cubicles with office dividers; if somebody was yelling at one place in the auditorium, everyone else could hear them."

The staff was impressive. Chief counsel Frederick "Fritz" A.O. Schwarz was a top-flight litigator at a white-shoe New York firm. Other positions were filled by career intelligence officers, attorneys and academics. "I thought the committee was outstanding," says Loch Johnson, who served as Church's special assistant on the committee and now edits the journal Intelligence and National Security. "I was kind of amazed by that.... Usually in committees you get a hodgepodge.... Look at the résumés of the people: a lot of great attorneys and social scientists with well-regarded credentials."

Immediately, Schwarz says, it became apparent that the magnitude of the task before them was overwhelming. "We had to pick a few subjects and look at the subjects in real depth because if we didn't do that...there were so many things that were coming in as tips that we could never get any of them well."

The committee broke its staff up into task forces, each focusing on a discrete area, such as the CIA, assassinations and the FBI's domestic spying. Sensing the particularly acute outrage over revelations of the CIA's assassination plots, the committee worked hard to produce an interim report on the matter, which it released on November 20, 1975. It contained many of the more lurid examples of CIA high jinks--including plans to kill Castro with poisoned cigars--that would come to define the agency's image for an entire generation of Americans.

As the staff dug deeper, they came to realize that something was very rotten indeed at the heart of the national security state. "I think we were all shocked at the extent of the abuses of power by these agencies," says Johnson. "We had, of course, read Sy Hersh's piece. Cointelpro--that was not a part of Sy Hersh's article, and that was simply shocking. Not only did it involve domestic surveillance but domestic covert action. There were a number of things that were really eye-opening."

The committee's investigations had a radicalizing effect on even the top staffers like Schwarz and minority counsel Curtis Smothers. "As they were reading our reports," says Banoff, "we'd hear from Fritz, who had just read some draft report on some particularly outrageous misdeed: 'Goddamn it!' And he'd pound the desk. And then from Curtis: 'Those bastards!' Pound the desk. It was like a counterpuntal hymn."

Contrary to right-wing caricature, the committee was not staffed with crusading liberals. Indeed, almost every former staff member I interviewed made a point of emphasizing that the staff was not particularly ideological and operated without fear or favor. "The best thing they did," says Banoff, was "they didn't have separate majority and minority staff. I never got asked what party I belonged to, at all. That wasn't what Fritz was looking for. The staffs were integrated; we all worked together. We really did. We didn't have any obstructionism from a senator or a senator's designee."

Bill Bader, a former CIA analyst and naval intelligence officer chosen to run the committee's CIA task force, doesn't quite agree. "John Tower and Barry Goldwater [Republican senators on the committee] didn't think there should be anything at all," says Bader. "That was their whole view of the whole thing, and they made Church and [fellow committee member Walter] Mondale's life kind of miserable." That said, at the staff level Bader says his relationships inside the CIA helped a great deal. "But most of the analytical world was very happy for me to have that role because they knew me, because they knew I was fair, serious and I didn't have an ax to grind."

Particularly crucial was the reluctant compliance of CIA director William Colby. Colby's predecessor, Richard Helms, was of the old school: blatantly contemptuous of oversight of any kind. According to Bader, Helms felt that "this investigation was traitorous, pure and simple; you don't do things like that." Colby, on the other hand, was committed to reforming the agency and, some say, privately feared that if he fought Congress, there was a possibility it would try to get rid of the agency altogether.

Colby's attitude proved crucial to the committee's success. Though endowed with subpoena power, it had no enforcement capability to compel the Ford administration to turn over relevant documents, and at first the administration stonewalled. But the Church Committee benefited greatly from playing good cop to the House Pike Committee's bad cop, which quickly became embroiled in an escalating series of showdowns over testimony and disclosure, which Henry Kissinger also tried to stonewall. The Church Committee emerged as a kind of middle path--the sober, responsible investigators the administration could work with. "One of the reasons that the Senate committee got along well [with the White House]," says staff member Richard Betts, now a professor of political science at Columbia University, "is because [White House officials] were really pissed off at the Pike Committee, which they considered partisan and more flaky."

Committee investigators ultimately read through thousands of previously unreleased files. Without this access, the Church Committee couldn't have exposed what it did. Which prompts the question: were Congress to undertake a similar inquiry today, would the White House cooperate?

So far, the White House's record on disclosure has been disappointing. With the notable and admirable exception of its decision to release the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel's (OLC) memos authorizing torture, the Obama administration has largely continued to fight against disclosure of everything from photos of detainee abuse to even the most basic facts about the US detention center at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. It has invoked the state secrets privilege in federal court to keep hidden details about the Bush administration's wiretapping program and what exactly happened to detainees at Guantánamo. (Full disclosure: my wife works in the White House counsel's office.)

In these and other cases, however, the White House is fighting outside groups like the ACLU, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which it can try to stonewall in the courts with relatively little press attention. In the case of Congressional subpoenas, it would be impossible to replicate that strategy without provoking a serious political outcry. Indeed, the partisan incentives in such a scenario may work in favor of disclosure. As unlikely as it may seem, Republicans on such a committee might find themselves zealously pursuing more disclosure. When the White House released the notorious OLC torture memos, Dick Cheney responded with an uncharacteristic push for more disclosure, arguing that releasing other documents would show the effectiveness of torture in foiling terror plots.

There was a somewhat similar dynamic in effect with the Church Committee, one that helped create momentum for greater levels of transparency. Since the committee began in the wake of Nixon's resignation and revelations about his deceptions, abuses and sociopathic pursuit of grudges, Church and many Democrats had every reason to believe they would be chiefly unmasking the full depths of Nixon's perfidy. Quickly, however, it became clear that Nixon was a difference in degree rather than a difference in kind. Kennedy and Johnson had, with J. Edgar Hoover, put in place many of the illegal policies and programs. Secret documents obtained by the committee even revealed that the sainted FDR had ordered IRS audits of his political enemies. Republicans on the committee, then, had as much incentive to dig up the truth as did their Democratic counterparts.

As historian Kathy Olmsted argues in her book Challenging the Secret Government, Church was never quite able to part with this conception of good Democrats/bad Republicans. Confronted with misdeeds under Kennedy and Johnson, he chose to view the CIA as a rogue agency, as opposed to one executing the president's wishes. This characterization became the fulcrum of debate within the committee. At one point Church referred to the CIA as a "rogue elephant," causing a media firestorm. But the final committee report shows that to the degree the agency and other parts of the secret government were operating with limited control from the White House, it was by design. Walter Mondale came around to the view that the problem wasn't the agencies themselves but the accretion of secret executive power: "the grant of powers to the CIA and to these other agencies," he said during a committee hearing, "is, above all, a grant of power to the president."

A contemporary Church Committee would do well to follow Mondale's approach and not Church's. It must comprehensively evaluate the secret government, its activities and its relationship to Congress stretching back through several decades of Democratic and Republican administrations. Such a broad scope would insulate the committee from charges that it was simply pursuing a partisan vendetta against a discredited Republican administration, but it is also necessary to understand the systemic problems and necessary reforms.

Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit and author of several books sharply critical of Bush's management of the "war on terror," says he would be "happy" to testify before such a committee to explain the rendition program he designed and supervised under Clinton. That program allowed the United States to capture wanted terrorists and send them back to other countries to face prosecution and, in some cases, likely torture and mistreatment. It was this program that would come to serve as the foundation for the Bush policy of "extraordinary rendition," which amounted to the extralegal disappearing of suspected terrorists around the world.

We don't know much about what other secret programs Clinton and other former presidents implemented, but it's possible that under sustained scrutiny the sharp division between the Bush administration and its predecessors will begin to blur.

The Church Committee's final report was released on April 26, 1976, in six books. Its recommendations laid the groundwork for a series of reforms that more or less constitute the current architecture of intelligence oversight. Before the Church Committee, there was no stand-alone intelligence committee overseeing the executive. Whatever communication there was between the two branches of government was decidedly one-way. "[CIA director] Allen Dulles would come up himself to the Hill," Bill Bader told me, "not to a committee room. And he would sit down with [lawmakers] out in the Congressional corridors and whisper things into their ears and say, Can't tell anyone about them. And then he would go back up to the CIA."

In 1976 the Senate created the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House followed suit with its own Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence a year later. Also in 1976 President Ford signed Executive Order 11905, which flatly stated, "No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." Two years later, Congress passed and President Carter signed FISA, which provided clear procedures for covert action, surveillance and oversight. The law created the special FISA court, which grants warrants for wiretapping and surveillance of anyone on American soil as well as Americans abroad. The Church Committee's revelations also had a profound effect on the bureaucratic culture of the CIA, NSA and FBI. At all three agencies, internal legal controls were put in place requiring layers of attorneys to sign off on any possibly questionable activities.

But for all these needed reforms, it's impossible to look at the past eight years and conclude they were sufficient. If cold war presidents were surreptitious and/or cavalier about the lawlessness of their actions, the Bush administration perfected a kind of perverse legalism, using sympathetic lawyers to decree legal that which was manifestly illegal. It was an ingeniously devious approach. By relying on John Yoo, a loyal ideologue inside the OLC, Cheney et al. were able to perform an end run around the extensive legal checks and restraints created precisely as a response to the Church Committee's findings. Indeed, the reason the infamous OLC memos are so garishly specific is that CIA lawyers, still operating with a memory of the Church Committee, were insistent on obtaining explicit sign-off for every action and technique that they (quite rightly) believed to be of dubious legality.

Similarly, Congressional oversight proved no match for a determined executive. Many critics from across the ideological spectrum, from Clarke to Scheuer, note that this is at least partly because Congress often would rather not know what is going on behind the curtain. But the controversy over just what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about the CIA's use of torture, and when she knew it, underscores how dysfunctional the notification system has become. Created as part of the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980, the so-called Gang of Eight system allows a president, under emergency circumstances, to restrict briefings on covert activities to the leader of each party in both houses and the top member of each party of the House and Senate intelligence committees. What was intended as a limited briefing to be given only temporarily during crises has emerged, instead, as the standard.

Clarke explained its shortcomings to me this way: "Essentially what happens, you're a member of the Gang of Eight. You get a phone call: 'We have to come and brief you.' They ask you to go to the vault. They brief you. You can't take notes, you can't have your staff there and you can't tell anybody." In addition, each member is briefed separately and individually, so they can't even discuss the briefing and ask questions in a group setting. "That's oversight?" Clarke asks. "That's a pretense at oversight. That's a box check. The law required us to do that, and we did this."

That "box check" allowed the Bush administration to claim that Democrats in Congress signed off on many of the most obviously illegal programs, from warrantless wiretapping to torture. Democrats can counter that they were barred by law from acting on whatever they knew. In other words, both sides can claim they fulfilled their legal duties.

"One of the things that would be interesting for a modern version of the Church Committee," says Robert Borosage, who worked at the Center for National Security Studies to help publicize the original committee's findings, "was that they'd be forced to confront the fact that a lot of the reforms passed after the first one have failed. So the question becomes, What do we do now?"

While many of the legal and institutional reforms ushered in by the Church Committee have been degraded and evaded, I believe it would be a mistake to argue that the committee failed. Its most enduring legacy is the political and cultural understanding of the relationship between secrecy and abuse; it narrated a moral fable about absolute power corrupting absolutely.

Public debates over intelligence are qualitatively different from other policy discussions. In a debate over whether, say, the economic stimulus has been effective, there is a presumption that all participants are working from a common set of data--GDP growth, unemployment, government spending, etc.--but with different interpretations and emphases. Such is not the case when the issue is the effectiveness of intelligence programs or the scope of covert activities. Those debates are conducted on fundamentally unequal footing. Critics may charge that torture is counterproductive and produces bad intelligence, but defenders of the secret government can wave away such concerns by saying, more or less, You don't know what we know.

What the Church Committee did was to eliminate this inequality by wrenching an entire segment of the state into the light of day. It created a universally accepted set of facts, a canonical public record that turned the secret conversations of the powerful and initiated into the material for a broad debate. It brought the world of intelligence into the public sphere, the place where self-governance ought to take place.

Selling a contemporary inquiry modeled on the Church Committee won't be easy. Since the mid-1970s the right wing has crafted a deeply distorted but potent fable about its impact and legacy. The tale goes like this: the inquisition pursued by the Church Committee subjected intelligence agencies to scorn and burned the agents and analysts. "In the years that followed, it was extremely difficult to get FBI agents to volunteer for counterterrorism assignments," argued two ex-FBI officials in a March op-ed in the Washington Times. "The risk-avoidance culture and excessive restrictions on gathering intelligence that resulted from the Church hearings and other congressional attacks on the intelligence community were major factors in our failure to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.... [A] new Church Committee-like public inquiry might easily have a similar chilling effect on our ability to recruit good people for future counterterrorism activities."

It's not hard to find lots of people within the intelligence community who will give you more or less the same line. Richard Clarke has little patience for it. "What bothers me," he says, "is the CIA's tendency whenever they're criticized to say, If you do your job, if you do oversight seriously--which Congress almost never does--then we'll pout. Some of us, many, will not just pout; we'll retire early. Our morale will be hurt." And if morale is hurt and the agencies are gutted, they argue, the country will be exposed to attack. In other words: "If you, Congress, do oversight, then we'll all die. Can you imagine FEMA or the agricultural department saying we're all going to retire if you conduct oversight?" Clarke asks in disbelief.

The principle of oversight aside, the right-wing story about the committee ruining intelligence capabilities for a generation posits a golden age of über-competent intelligence-gathering that simply never existed. The activities described in the committee report, more often than not, have a kind of Keystone Kops flavor to them. "From its beginning," says Clarke, "when [the CIA] does covert action as opposed to clandestine regularly fucks up. I remember sitting with [Defense Secretary] Bob Gates when he was deputy national security adviser, and he said, I don't think CIA should do covert action; CIA ought to be an intelligence collection and analysis [agency]."

At the peak of its cold war powers, the American security apparatus was able to attain all kinds of information about the Russians (secret information that KGB files have subsequently shown the Russians knew we knew) but was unable to learn the most basic facts about "the enemy." We failed to anticipate the invasion of Afghanistan and routinely overestimated the strength of the Soviet economy. Indeed, the failure to understand and foresee the internal pressures on the Soviet Union may be the greatest failure of US cold war intelligence, one that had absolutely nothing to do with the Church Committee and its aftermath.

In his insightful 1998 book Secrecy, neocon patron saint Daniel Patrick Moynihan argues that by cordoning off discrete pieces of information, secrecy actually impedes intelligence-gathering rather than facilitates it. "Secrecy is for losers," Moynihan concludes. "For people who don't know how important information really is. The Soviet Union realized this too late.... It is time to dismantle government secrecy, this most pervasive of Cold War-era regulations."

It's hard to imagine that the White House would be enthusiastic about such an undertaking. Obama has insisted, routinely, unwaveringly, that he is "more interested in looking forward looking backwards." At one level this seems a shocking abrogation of the executive branch's chief constitutional responsibility, to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." But presumably the thinking goes something like this: the president has a limited amount of political capital, and he can spend it on major, once-in-a-generation reforms of the American social contract--universal healthcare and cap and trade--or he can spend it pursuing justice for the perpetrators of the previous administration's crimes. As morally worthy as the latter might be, it won't get anyone healthcare or stop the planet from melting; it won't provide a new foundation for progressive governance.

But as self-consciously pragmatic as this posture is, it's proving wildly impractical to implement. The reason is that the White House has limited control over when and what is revealed about crimes and misdeeds of the Bush years, and every time a new revelation hits the papers, such as the recent disclosures of Blackwater's involvement with the CIA assassination unit and interrogators' use of "mock executions," it dominates the news cycle. Since the White House itself has defined such revelations as a "distraction," every time they are in the news it is, by its own definition, distracted.

The benefit of a new Church Committee would be that it would corral these "distractions" into a coherent undertaking, initiated in Congress, within a fixed time period. It would also provide a framework for systematic investigation of the policies rather than selective prosecutions of those at the bottom of the hierarchy who carried them out.

"Because try as Obama [may] to avoid investigations and looking backwards, he's being dragged into it over and over again," says Clarke. "It would be better for him if Congress just said, You know, Barack, we're just gonna provide these wise men, give them subpoena authority. It's not on you, Barack. There was this excess and that excess and a pattern of excesses, and you know, it clears the air.... Now you have the impression that there's a bunch of stinking turds under the rug."

Perhaps the greatest argument for such an undertaking is the simplest: citizens have a right to know what crimes have been committed in their names. Many of the relevant and damning facts have already been conclusively established. We know we waterboarded Abu Zubaydah, a borderline mentally ill member of the Al Qaeda entourage, eighty-three times in one month. We know the NSA spied on an untold number of Americans without warrants. We know that the CIA sent captured detainees to the custody of regimes with abysmal human rights records, with the explicit understanding they would be tortured.

The Church Committee came at a time when the public was in the midst of a wrenching (and necessary) loss of innocence. But in our age, secret government crimes and plots are almost a cliché. Polling shows trust in government has returned roughly to its mid-'70s nadir. The danger now isn't naïveté but cynicism--that we just come to accept that the government will commit crimes in our name under the cover of secrecy and that such activities are more or less business as usual, about which nothing can be done. But something can be done. Something must be done. And Congress should do it.