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MinM

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Member since: Mon Oct 8, 2007, 11:23 AM
Number of posts: 2,386

Journal Archives

Arab Spring: Crowdsourcing v ARG

NPR's on the media had an interesting personal look at one of the Benghazi victims a little over a year ago. They describe Sean Smith's gaming activities as though they were just a respite from his IT duties.

My guess since reading and hearing his story is that it was more than an avocation for him. That it was actually something more like what is described in the op ..


On September 11th, 2012, gunmen attacked two American compounds in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans. Sean Smith, one of the four killed in the attack, was an IT manager in the real world, but online, he was Vile Rat, a hugely influential diplomat in the video game Eve Online. Alex talks to Sean's friend Alex "The Mittani" Gianturco about who Sean was both in Eve and in the real world.

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/tldr-11-rip-vile-rat/

Dodd and Dulles vs. Kennedy in Africa

Here's a 16-year old piece from a now defunct magazine ..
Dodd and Dulles vs. Kennedy in Africa

During Kennedy’s six years in the House, 1947-1952, he concentrated on domestic affairs, bread and butter issues that helped his middle class Massachusetts constituents. As Henry Gonzalez noted in his blurb for Donald Gibson’s Battling Wall Street, he met Kennedy at a housing conference in 1951 and got the impression that young Kennedy was genuinely interested in the role that government could play in helping most Americans. But when Kennedy, his father, and his advisers decided to run for the upper house in 1952, they knew that young Jack would have to educate himself in the field of foreign affairs and gain a higher cosmopolitan profile. After all, he was running against that effete, urbane, Boston Brahmin Henry Cabot Lodge. So Kennedy decided to take two seven-week-long trips. The first was to Europe. The second was a little unusual in that his itinerary consisted of places like the Middle East, India, and Indochina. (While in India, he made the acquaintance of Prime Minister Nehru who would end up being a lifelong friend and adviser.) ...

Enter Thomas Dodd

At this point, another figure emerged in opposition to Kennedy and his Congo policy. Clearly, Kennedy’s new Congo policy had been a break from Eisenhower’s. It ran contra to the covert policy that Dulles and Devlin had fashioned. To replace the Eisenhower-Nixon political line, the Belgian government, through the offices of public relations man Michael Struelens, created a new political counterweight to Kennedy. He was Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut. As Mahoney notes, Dodd began to schedule hearings in the senate on the "loss" of the Congo to communism, a preposterous notion considering who was really running the Congo in 1961. Dodd also wrote to Kennedy’s United Nations ambassador Adlai Stevenson that the State Department’s "blind ambition" to back the UN in Katanga could only end in tragedy. He then released the letter to the press before Stevenson ever got it.

One of the allies that Dodd had in his defense of the Katanga "freedom fighters", was the urbane, supposedly independent journalist William F. Buckley. As Kwitny wittily notes, Buckley saw the spirit of Edmund Burke in the face of Moise Tshombe. Dodd was a not infrequent guest on Buckley’s television show which was then syndicated by Metromedia. Buckley’s supposed "independence" was brought into question two decades ago by the exposure of his employment by the CIA. But newly declassified documents by the Assassination Records Review Board go even further in this regard. When House Select Committee investigator Dan Hardway was going through Howard Hunt’s Office of Security file, he discovered an interesting vein of documents concerning Buckley. First, Buckley was not a CIA "agent" per se. He was actually a CIA officer who was stationed for at least a part of his term in Mexico City. Second, and dependent on Buckley’s fictional "agent" status, it appears that both Hunt and Buckley tried to disguise Buckley’s real status to make it appear that Buckley worked for and under Hunt when it now appears that both men were actually upper level types. Third, when Buckley "left" the Agency to start the rightwing journal National Review, his professional relationship with propaganda expert Hunt continued. These documents reveal that some reviews and articles for that journal were actually written by Hunt, e. g. a review of the book The Invisible Government.

In other words, the CIA was using Buckley’s journal as a propaganda outlet. This does much to explain that journal’s, and Buckley’s, stand on many controversial issues, including the Congo crisis and the Kennedy assassination. It also helps to explain the Republican William F. Buckley allying himself with Democrat Tom Dodd in defending the Katanga "freedom-fighters." ...

http://www.ctka.net/pr199-africa.html

Although this article is worthwhile on it's own merits it has gained new relevance and context given a couple of stories that came out this weekend.

One about the former director of the CIA (Allen W Dulles) quashing a 'scoop' that the Miami Herald was ready to run that may have averted the Bay of Pigs ..
@MiamiHerald · CIA stopped Miami Herald scoop on Bay of Pigs invasion http://hrld.us/1DgoF3y

The other pertains to Senator Thomas Dodd's son (Sen Chris Dodd) stemming from Wikileaks' release of the hacked Sony docs as reflected in these DU threads:

FORMER DEM SENATOR CHRIS DODD ADVISED EXECS TO GIVE TO GOP: “FUNDRAISING DOES HAVE AN IMPACT”

REVEALED: Ex-Sen. Chris Dodd HELPED ‘Liberal Hollywood’ RAISE MONEY FOR THE GOP

nytimes: Do Assassins Really Change History?

SundayReview
Do Assassins Really Change History?

DAYS after John Wilkes Booth entered the presidential box at Ford’s Theater and shot Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, Benjamin Disraeli, the British prime minister, declared that “assassination has never changed the history of the world.” Was Disraeli right?

One view, the “great man” theory, claims that individual leaders play defining roles, so that assassinating one could lead to very different national or global outcomes. In contrast, historical determinism sees leaders as the proverbial ant riding the elephant’s back. Broader social, economic and political forces drive history, so that assassinations may not have meaningful effects.

Prominent examples of assassinations raise intriguing questions, but do not settle the matter. Would the Vietnam War have escalated if John F. Kennedy had not been killed? Would the Middle East peace process have proceeded more successfully if Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel had not been assassinated? ...

http://nyti.ms/1FtZWzk

Judge Joe Brown

heard the motion in the case mentioned in the op.


but was removed before making a ruling...
CORLEY: Well, in 1997, I was actually in Memphis at the hearing where you were presiding, Judge, and you heard an appeal, but at that point, you...

Judge BROWN: It wasn't an appeal. It was a motion - a petition for post-conviction relief. The only factual basis they had to tie Ray in with the case was his so-called rifle. The bullet they pulled out of Dr. King's body has a one and 11 inch rate of rifling twist, which is very odd for that time, 1968.

There were about 82 barrels custom-made that had that rate of rifling twist and it certainly wasn't the one that James Earl Ray was using. Now, I'm going to tell you what my investigation over the last ten years has revealed. Dr. King was shot with an M-21, which is a specially accurized(ph) edition of the M-14 semi-automatic weapon that the military used.

There was a two-man team that shot him from the firehouse tower. They had rehearsed this at some great length a few weeks prior to this. When Dr. King was shot, the FBI never conducted any ballistic tests. The people that took this shot were professionals.

CORLEY: Mr. Pepper, I would imagine that you agree with most of what Judge Brown has said. You have done extensive investigations yourself. But it's interesting, because not only did you represent James Earl Ray, you were also the attorney for the King family in a civil lawsuit in which James Earl Ray was exonerated. So tell us a little bit about that...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89372294

Marrell McCollough - agent provocateur

As both Time Magazine and ABC's Sam Donaldson have revealed since there was an agent provocateur in MLK's inner circle .. Marrell McCollough.

McCollough played a part in fomenting violence during the sanitation strike which forced Dr. King to return to Memphis...

By Jim Douglass

Coretta Scott King testified that her husband had to return to Memphis in early April 1968 because of a violent demonstration there for which he had been blamed. Moments after King upon arriving in Memphis joined the sanitation workers’ march there on March 28, 1968, the scene turned violent – subverted by government provocateurs, Lawson said. Thus King had to return to Memphis on April 3 and prepare for a truly nonviolent march, Mrs. King said, to prove SCLC could still carry out a nonviolent campaign in Washington...

http://www.ctka.net/pr500-king.html

Finally .. Marrell McCullough's mission seems to have wrapped up after he confirmed Dr. King's death..
Which now brings us to Merrell McCullough. McCullough was one of the informants masquerading as an Invader. Secretly, he was a police informant who was also connected to the FBI. It turns out that, before the murder, Merrell was introduced to Jowers as a policeman. (p. 184) Right before the assassination, McCullough had been in Jim's Grill meeting with four other men. (p. 188) One of whom was another member of the police force named Lt. Zachery. (p. 204)

One of the extraordinary disclosures made at the trial concerned Sam Donaldson, the reporter who originally broadcast Jowers revelations in 1993. As we will see later, there was a backup hit team in town from military intelligence. We also know from a famous photograph that McCullough immediately ran up to the balcony after King was hit.

In that picture, while others are pointing to where they think the shot came from, McCullough appears to be calmly checking King for vital signs while looking across the way...

http://www.ctka.net/reviews/13th_juror.html

RFK Announcing the Assasination of MLK in Indiana 47 years ago today


April 4, 1968: How RFK saved Indianapolis

...Mary Evans, a 16-year-old junior at North Central High School, was in the crowd. She was headstrong and political, and she insisted on seeing Kennedy. She and a friend attended the rally with the friend's nervous father.

Evans was white and from a tony Northside family, but she was progressive and inquisitive and was not uncomfortable in the mostly black crowd. At first.

But as she waited for Kennedy, who was more than an hour late, word suddenly spread that King had been shot. The word was that he had survived after a gunman had tried to kill him. The gunman was presumed to be white.

"The temperature changed," Evans recalls. "I felt people started looking at me. Someone would take a step away, like I was a symbol of racism.

"I felt really white. I was really scared."

She thought about bolting but was in unfamiliar territory and had no idea which way to run...

"It was like the feeling some people get in church," she says. "I was scared, and as soon as Kennedy spoke, I wasn't scared. I no longer felt white and isolated. I felt united in sadness with everyone else." ...


http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016119172

April 4, 1968: How RFK saved Indianapolis

IndyStar ‏@indystar: 47 years ago today, Robert F. Kennedy likely saved Indianapolis. http://indy.st/1BYiWi5

Kennedy, who was running for president, was scheduled to make a campaign speech here in the days before the Indiana Democratic primary. He was popular among the black community, and in an effort to get more blacks registered to vote, he wanted to speak in the heart of Indianapolis' inner-city.

Shortly before his speech, as Kennedy's plane landed in Indianapolis, the senator from New York learned that Martin Luther King Jr. had died from an assassin's bullet.

Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar, fearing a race riot, told Kennedy's staff that his police could not guarantee Kennedy's safety at 17th and Broadway. Racial violence indeed would later sweep the country, with riots in more than 100 cities, 39 people killed and more than 2,000 injured.

Lugar urged Kennedy to cancel his speech. But Kennedy insisted that he and his people go on and go alone, without police...

Mary Evans, a 16-year-old junior at North Central High School, was in the crowd. She was headstrong and political, and she insisted on seeing Kennedy. She and a friend attended the rally with the friend's nervous father.

Evans was white and from a tony Northside family, but she was progressive and inquisitive and was not uncomfortable in the mostly black crowd. At first.

But as she waited for Kennedy, who was more than an hour late, word suddenly spread that King had been shot. The word was that he had survived after a gunman had tried to kill him. The gunman was presumed to be white.

"The temperature changed," Evans recalls. "I felt people started looking at me. Someone would take a step away, like I was a symbol of racism.

"I felt really white. I was really scared."

She thought about bolting but was in unfamiliar territory and had no idea which way to run...

With practically no time to prepare — he had come straight from the airport — and speaking off the cuff, Kennedy told the news with such compassion and empathy that when he finished many in the crowd departed sad though not hateful and in at least one notable case with renewed resolve to make the world better.

"For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling," Kennedy said. "I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times."

William Crawford, a member of the Black Radical Action Project, had stood about 20 feet from Kennedy. "Look at all those other cities," Crawford says today. "I believe it would have gone that way (in Indianapolis) had not Bobby Kennedy given those remarks."

"The sincerity of Bobby Kennedy's words just resonated," Crawford says, "especially when he talked about his brother."

Kennedy had not spoken publicly about President John F. Kennedy's assassination since Nov. 22, 1963, writes Ray E. Boomhower in his 2008 book "Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary."

Now he did, to maximum effect. The moment he started speaking the air cleared, the hostility evaporated.

Evans sensed it deep down.

"It was like the feeling some people get in church," she says. "I was scared, and as soon as Kennedy spoke, I wasn't scared. I no longer felt white and isolated. I felt united in sadness with everyone else." ...

Read more: http://indy.st/1BYiWi5

On the Media: Nazanin Boniadi

NPR's on the media had an excellent segment on this ..


LAWRENCE WRIGHT: The Church was always looking for an exemplary figure that would represent Scientology to the world, a shining celebrity that would give credibility and attention to the Church. He's their symbol. He’s the most important Scientologist, except L. Ron Hubbard, there ever has been. He's their main pitch man. It’s his close friend, David Miscavige, who runs the Church. It’s Tom Cruise, who benefits materially from the labor of these impoverished Sea Org workers who have built him an airplane hangar for his airplane collection and handcrafted a limousine for him and surround his household staff and cook his dinners.

BOB GARFIELD: And, if you're right, pimping him a girlfriend.

LAWRENCE WRIGHT: You know, he was breaking up with Penelope Cruz and he let it be known that uh, he wanted another girlfriend, and they auditioned a number of different Scientology women, and they came upon a very attractive Iranian-American. Her name was Nazanin Boniadi, and they told her that they had a mission for her. And they put her in the Celebrity Center, away from her family, and they took her shopping in Beverly Hills for a new wardrobe. They fixed her hair. They fixed her teeth. And then they took her to New York. There she found the object of her mission was Tom Cruise. She moved in with him, lived with him for a while and then went in with him in his hideaway in Telluride. David Miscavige and his wife came, and one night they were talking, and Miscavige speaks in a kind of rapid Philadelphia brogue and she couldn't quite understand him. And so she, a couple of times, asked him to repeat himself.

And the next day everybody was inflamed with her, the way she treated the leader of the Church.
And after that, Cruise decided to have nothing more to do with her, and she went off to Clearwater, Florida, the spiritual headquarters. She was made to clean out a garbage dumpster and clean a public toilet with a toothbrush...


http://www.onthemedia.org/story/265094-going-clear-scientology-hollywood-and-prison-belief/transcript/

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/scientology-and-film-critics/

5-hour Energy energizes the GOP

Until the Citizens United decision is rectified it may be worthwhile identifying where money buying Judges and Politicians is coming from ..

The founder of 5-hour Energy drinks has quietly made millions in political contributions

Manoj Bhargava isn't a household name, but a report from the Center for Public Integrity says the Michigan-based billionaire’s campaign contributions rival the Koch Brothers'.

Bhargava is the founder of 5-hour Energy drinks. Since 2009, he’s made about $5.3 million in state and national campaign contributions through his Michigan-based companies.

In 2014, Bhargava’s investment firm ETC Capital gave $2.5 million to the Republican Governors Association, a donation that placed him among the group's top five donors.

Ben Wieder is a data reporter at the Center. He said Bhargava has worked hard to keep his political activities under wraps...

http://michiganradio.org/post/energy-drink-founder-pours-money-politics


Which all helps to explain why Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is putting what little credibility he has on the line to Pardon a Drunk Driver...

Snyder pardons well-connected lawyer that works for maker of 5-hour Energy drinks

Rick Snyder pardons DUI for 5-hour Energy exec/donor

Coming Soon: Ed Snowden the Movie; and Robert Redford as Dan Rather

The '70s were the Golden Era for political thrillers (All the President's Men, Parallax View, The Conversation, Executive Action, Twilight's Last Gleaming, The China Syndrome...).

There are a couple of upcoming movies in that genre to watch for ..

First a movie about Ed Snowden .. Snowden starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley and Timothy Olyphant.

Also one about Dan Rather and the kerfuffle surrounding the 60 Minutes piece on Dubya (Truth). It just so happens to star the star of 3 Days of the Condor (and All the President's Men .. Robert Redford) as Dan Rather.

Should be interesting.
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