January 29, 2014 - The Constantine Report    
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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The US Assassination Program in Colombia

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

“… the U.S. is aligning with known terrorists and drug dealers in Colombia in the name of fighting terrorism and drugs. …”

Why Are We Only Learning of This Now?

The U.S. Assassination Program in Colombia

January 29, 2014

On December 21, 2013, The Washington Post published a story entitled, “Covert action Colombia,” about the intimate and critical role of the CIA and the NSA in helping to assassinate “at least two dozen” leaders of the Colombian FARC guerillas from “the early 2000s” to and through the present time. The author of the story, Dana Priest, claims that the story is based on “interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.”

While The Washington Post story reads like an advertisement for the CIA and NSA, there are some truths buried in the piece which are worthy of consideration. The most illuminating statement is that while the CIA and NSA, allegedly in the interest of fighting drug trafficking and terrorism, have assisted the Colombian government in hunting down and murdering Marxist FARC guerillas with U.S.-made smart bombs, “for the most part, they left the violent paramilitary groups alone.”

This is an important point, for as the piece itself acknowledges, the paramilitaries are indeed “violent,” and, with the help of the U.S.-backed Colombian military, have been engaged in a decades-long campaign of terror against the civilian population. And consequently, the U.S. officially designated the predecessor of the current paramilitaries – that is, the AUC — as a terrorist organization.  Meanwhile, it is well-accepted that both the Colombian paramilitaries and their military allies are major drug traffickers in their own right.

In short, the U.S. is aligning with known terrorists and drug dealers in Colombia in the name of fighting terrorism and drugs. While this may seem preposterous, there is indeed a logic to it.

First of all, the U.S. is all for terrorism in Colombia. Indeed, paramilitary terror in Colombia, and in Latin America in general, is the brain child of the U.S. and a part and parcel of the “National Security” doctrine initiated by President Kennedy in 1962. As Noam Chomsky has explained on numerous occasions, this doctrine, and the death squads that went with it, was initiated in response to both the Cuban Revolution of 1959 as well as the doctrine of Liberation Theology and its “preferential treatment for the poor” which arose in response to Vatican II.  [1]

The result of the implementation of the “National Security” doctrine was massive repression of popular, democratic forces, and the murder, disappearance, imprisonment and torture of those struggling for social justice, such as trade unionists, peasant organizers and priests advocating for the poor. As to the latter group, at least 80 Catholic priests have been murdered in Colombia since 1984.

As Chomsky again notes, “[i]t is not seriously in question, as John Coatsworth writes in the recently published Cambridge University History of the Cold War, that from 1960 to ‘the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those in the Soviet Union and its East European satellites.’ Among the executed were many religious martyrs, and there were mass slaughters as well, consistently supported or initiated by Washington.”

Thus, there is a seamlessness to the decades-long policy of the U.S. in siding with right-wing death squads which inflict terror against the Colombian population – terror which includes the mass displacement of millions of peasants, with Colombia now having the largest internally displaced population in the world at over 5 million; forced disappearances, with Colombia now far exceeding the former Latin American leader, Argentina under the military junta, with over 50,000 disappeared persons; and the “false positive” scandal in which over 3,000 innocent young men were lured to their deaths by the Colombian military which killed them and then falsely passed them off as guerillas in order to justify continued backing by the United States.

Similarly, the U.S. is not against drug trafficking per se, but rather, is only concerned with making sure that its friends – both military and corporate — benefit from the trade. First of all, as noted above, it is well-established that the U.S.-backed Colombian military and its paramilitary allies are some of the chief drug traffickers in Colombia. And again, the U.S. has left their trafficking alone because it is content for these forces to profit from the trade.

download (2)As The Guardian recently explained, the entire Western banking system is propped up by billions of dollars of Colombian drug monies. [1]  Therefore, it is not in the U.S. interests to too effectively combat drugs. And, sure enough, it has utterly failed to do so despite the over $9 billion it has spent on the ostensible “war on drugs” in Colombia and the greater Andean region. Rather, in what is well-known as the “balloon effect,” all that the U.S. has managed to do is force the drug trade out of parts of Colombia and south to places like Peru, and north to Mexico where over 60,000 innocents have now been killed in the ostensible “war on drugs.”

Of course, The Washington Post story on the CIA/NSA program to assassinate FARC leaders, and its accompanying charts which purport to show a decrease in overall drug trafficking, at least from Colombia, fails to point any of this out. As noted above, The Washington Post story reads like an advertisement for the CIA and NSA and their secret “black ops” programs which are funded by Congress, but which the U.S. public knows little to nothing about. And, the U.S. government would largely like to keep it that way. In this case, I suspect that the CIA and NSA cooperated with The Washington Post story in order to justify future “black ops” funding as well as to impact the ongoing peace talks which are now taking place in Havana, Cuba between the Colombian government and the FARC.

On this latter issue, it is my belief that at least sectors of the U.S. government want to scuttle the ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC – as the U.S. has done so often before.[3]  In this case, The Washington Post story seems designed to bolster the sectors in Colombia that already oppose the peace process – namely, former President Alvaro Uribe, his political allies and the right-wing paramilitaries which the U.S. has intentionally left alone – by painting the false impression that the civil war in Colombia is militarily winnable.

As we enter the 50th year of the conflict, it is now evident to any rational person that this not a winnable war for either side, and that a negotiated settlement is the only hope for peace in Colombia and for the civilians caught in the middle of the war. It is critical that those in the U.S. interested in peace join at this pivotal moment with those brave souls in Colombia who are risking their very lives – indeed, 29 members of the pro-peace Marcha Patriotica have been murdered in the past year and a half — to promote a political solution to the half century old conflict in that country.[4]

Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Notes

[1]  See, https://www.bostonreview.net/noam-chomsky-responsibility-of-intellectuals-redux

[2]  See, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/02/western-banks-colombian-cocaine-trade

[3]   See,  http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/04/economist-explains-why-colombia-produces-less-cocaine,

[4] See, Killing Peace: Colombia’s Conflict and the Failure of U.S. Intervention (2002), by Garry Leech.

[5]  To hear some of the brave Colombian voices of peace and their suggestions for how the U.S. can constructively support the peace process, go tohttp://www.wola.org/video/livestream_perspectives_on_colombia_s_peace_process_and_opportunities_for_us_engagement

The boxes landed in the office of Montana investigators in March 2011. Found in a meth house in Colorado, they were somewhat of a mystery, holding files on 23 conservative candidates in state races in Montana. They were filled with candidate surveys and mailers that said they were paid for by campaigns, and fliers and bank records from outside spending groups. One folder was labeled “Montana $ Bomb.”

The documents pointed to one outside group pulling the candidates’ strings: a social welfare nonprofit called Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP.

Altogether, the records added up to possible illegal “coordination” between the nonprofit and candidates for office in 2008 and 2010, said a Montana investigator and a former Federal Election Commission chairman who reviewed the material. Outside groups are allowed to spend money on political campaigns, but not to coordinate with candidates.

“My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that WTP was running a lot of these campaigns,” said investigator Julie Steab of the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, who initially received the boxes from Colorado.

The boxes were examined by Frontline and ProPublica as part of an investigation into the growing influence on elections of dark money groups, tax-exempt organizations that can accept unlimited contributions and do not have to identify their donors. The documents offer a rare glimpse into the world of dark money, showing how Western Tradition Partnership appealed to donors, interacted with candidates and helped shape their election efforts.

Though WTP’s spending has been at the state level, it’s best-known nationally for bringing a lawsuit that successfully challenged Montana’s ban on corporate spending in elections, extending the provisions of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision to all states.

The tax code allows nonprofits like WTP to engage in some political activity, but they are supposed to have social welfare as their primary purpose. As reported previously by ProPublica and Frontline, when WTP applied for recognition of its tax-exempt status, it told the IRS under penalty of perjury that it would not directly or indirectly attempt to influence elections — even though it already had.

The group is now locked in an ongoing dispute with Montana authorities, who ruled in October 2010 that the nonprofit should have registered as a political committee and should have to disclose its donors. WTP sued. A hearing is set for March.

In the meantime, the group has changed its name to American Tradition Partnership, reflecting its larger ambitions. This month, it sent Montana voters a mailer in the form of a newspaper called the Montana Statesman that claimed to be the state’s “largest & most trusted news source.”

The front page accused the Democratic gubernatorial candidate of being soft on sex offenders.

Donny Ferguson, American Tradition Partnership’s spokesman and executive director, did not specifically address the documents found in Colorado or allegations of coordination made against WTP.

“American Tradition Partnership always obeys every letter of every applicable law,” he wrote in an emailed response to questions. “ATP does not, and never will, endorse candidates or urge voters to vote for or against candidates. … These false allegations are old hat.”

On its website, the group says its primary purpose is issue advocacy and combating radical environmentalists, whom it sometimes calls “gang green.” It describes itself as a grassroots group backed by a broad membership of small donors.

When asked about the documents found in Colorado, Jim Brown, a lawyer for the group, said he was unfamiliar with them.

After being shown some of the documents by Frontline, Brown, in a follow-up email, said his review indicated that they appeared to belong to a company called Direct Mail. Direct Mail and Communications is a print shop in Livingston, Mont., run by a one-time key player in WTP and his wife.

Brown urged Frontline to turn over the documents. “If the documents are purported to be what you say they are, then you may knowingly be in possession of stolen property,” Brown wrote.

The records are in the hands of the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, which considers them public and reviewable upon request.

* * *

In the anything-goes world of modern campaign finance, outside groups face one major restriction: They are not allowed to coordinate with candidates. That’s because contributions to candidates and parties are still capped to limit donors’ direct influence, while contributions to outside groups are unlimited.

The Federal Election Commission has a three-pronged test for proving coordination: Did an outside group pay for ads, phone calls or mailers? Did these materials tell people to vote for or against a candidate, or praise or criticize a candidate in the weeks before an election? Finally, did the candidate, or a representative, agree to the expenditure?

Many concerns have been raised about coordination in this election because of close ties between outside groups and campaigns. Super PACs supporting President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are run by their former staffers. Super PACs and campaigns have used the same consultants, who insist in interviews that they have firewalls.

Proving coordination is extremely difficult, however. Since 2007, the FEC has investigated 64 complaints of coordination, but found against candidates and groups only three times, fining them a total of $107,000, a review of FEC enforcement actions shows.

Montana, which has similar rules, also receives few complaints about such activity, Steab said.

The boxes from Colorado contained a mixture of documents from candidates and outside groups.

Folders labeled with the names of Montana candidates held drafts and final letters of support signed by candidates’ wives and drafts and final copies of mailers marked as being paid for by the campaigns. The folders often appeared to have had an accounting of what had been sent and paid for scrawled on the front.

Several folders included copies of the signatures of candidates and their wives. “Use this one,” someone wrote in red pen next to a cut-out rectangle on a page with five signatures from one candidate.

Steab, the Montana investigator, said she believed these cut-out signatures were then affixed to fliers from the candidates.

Besides material from the campaigns, the boxes also contained mailers on 2008 and 2010 races in Colorado and Montana from Western Tradition Partnership and six other groups. There were bank statements for several groups, including the Coalition for Energy and the Environment, the Alliance of Montana Taxpayers and the Conservative Victory Fund.

In all the documents, one name repeatedly popped up: Christian LeFer. Even though two Montana Republican politicians founded WTP, investigators determined that LeFer was the man behind the scenes.

LeFer, who is described as WTP’s director of strategic programming in memos in 2009, said in an email that the documents “appear to be stolen property” and that, as he’d had no access to them, he couldn’t respond to most of ProPublica’s questions, “which seem to be based on an erroneous and fanciful interpretation of what they mean.”

LeFer did not address whether WTP had coordinated with candidates. Although former employees and candidates said LeFer helped his wife run Direct Mail and Communications — the printing company that Brown, the lawyer, suggested was the owner of the boxes of documents found in Colorado — LeFer said he did not “run or direct the activities” there.

Direct Mail listed its principal office address in Montana filings as being the same Colorado address WTP initially used.

Two outside groups with documents in the boxes — the Montana Committee to Protect the Unborn and Montana Citizens for Right to Work — listed their addresses on bank statements as the same post-office box in Livingston used by LeFer and Direct Mail. LeFer was also the executive director of Montana Citizens for Right to Work, an anti-union group.

Former state Rep. Ed Butcher said LeFer and Western Tradition Partnership aided candidates with no experience.

“They’ll come in, if candidates want some help, they’ll come in and help them,” said Butcher, who described LeFer as “a Karl Rove type political strategist” who “stays in the background.”

Butcher’s file in the Colorado boxes was labeled “Butcher Primary ’08 mail samples.” It included an email from LeFer to Butcher with a survey about unions. There was a campaign donation form, and drafts of fliers and a letter from Butcher’s campaign.

A “wife questionnaire” for Butcher’s wife Pam said she met her husband “on a blind date arranged by his buddy that neither of us wanted.” The questionnaire listed her children’s names and that she had been taking care of her disabled mother for five years.

A letter on pink paper from Pam Butcher was in a file marked “wife letters.” The letter, which contained much of the information in the questionnaire, was marked as being paid for by Butcher’s campaign.

Butcher said his wife might have run her letter past LeFer. “He may have asked, ‘Do you need any help?’ and she said, ‘Yeah, I need to get this family letter out,'” said Butcher, who won the Republican primary in 2008 by 20 votes.

A folder for another successful candidate, Mike Miller, included a fax cover sheet from Miller to LeFer, forwarding Miller’s filled-out Montana candidate surveys for two outside groups, the National Gun Owners Alliance and the National League of Taxpayers. It also held a candidate survey asking Miller if he had any research about his opponent, including “any recent scandals.”

Miller confirmed to Frontline that LeFer was an unpaid adviser on his campaign, but would not elaborate further.

Trevor Potter, a former federal election commissioner who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group that advocates for more restrictions on money in politics, reviewed the documents found in the boxes.

“This is the sort of information that is, in fact, campaign strategy, campaign plans that candidates cannot share with an outside group without making it coordinated,” Potter said.

“You need to know more, but certainly if I were back in my FEC days as a commissioner, I would say we had grounds to proceed with an investigation and put people under oath and show them these documents, and ask where they came from and where they were.”

* * *

After the 2008 election, Montana started investigating whether WTP should have disclosed its donors.

The inquiry progressed slowly until 2010, when a former WTP contractor handed over internal fundraising records, saying she was worried about what the group was doing.

The documents showed that the group raised money specifically by telling people and corporations that they could give unlimited amounts in secret.

“The only thing we plan on reporting is our success to contributors like you who can see the benefits of a program like this,” said one document, a 2010 election briefing to read to potential donors. “You can just sit back on election night and see what a difference you’ve made.”

target list of potential donors included an executive at a talc mine, the Montana representative of an international mining group and a Colorado executive for a global gold-mining company.

One note about a potential donor advised: “Married rich, hard to get a hold of. Have a beer with him.” Another said: “Owns big ranch, signed a hit piece I wrote on cty cmms’r last year (don’t mention), should give $$ $10,000 ask.”

Other notes suggested that solicitors “See Christian” or “Talk to Christian,” apparently references to LeFer.

The documents cited the group’s success in 2008, saying in a confidential grassroots membership development proposal that 28 Montana state legislators “rode into office in 100% support of WTP’s responsible development agenda.”

By 2010, the partnership was active in state races in Montana and Colorado.

That October, Montana authorities said Western Tradition Partnership had violated campaign-finance law and should be fined. They said the group’s purpose in 2008 was “not to discuss issues, but to directly influence candidate elections through surreptitious means.”

The Montana investigation also said the evidence was overwhelming that WTP had established the Coalition for Energy and the Environment, known as CEE, as a “sham organization” to act as a front for expenditures actually made by WTP.

But the investigation also found that “sufficient evidence has not been disclosed to establish coordination between WTP/CEE and any candidate. Concern and healthy skepticism is warranted, however.”

That was before the boxes from Colorado turned up.

A convicted felon named Mark Seibel said he stumbled on them inside a known meth house near Denver at some point in late 2010.

It’s not clear how they got there. Seibel said a friend found them in a stolen car. After reading through some of the documents, he reached out to people he thought might be interested in them — primarily Colorado candidates attacked by Western Tradition Partnership. A lawyer married to one of the candidates shipped the boxes off to Montana investigators.

By that time, however, the Montana probe into the group’s activities in the 2008 election was over. Steab also said that there was no way to determine for certain where the documents were from and who owned them. There was no whistleblower, and no information about how the records ended up in Colorado.

Despite this, Steab said, she found the documents very telling.

“It looks to me that there was a lot of coordination — but I don’t know that it’s coordination that everyone is aware of in all cases,” she said. She said she spoke to one candidate who told her he was upset about all the negative mailers against his opponent.

This year, American Tradition Partnership is as active as ever. It’s suing to try to overturn contribution limits in Montana, so far unsuccessfully. The group sent out mailers attacking candidates before the June primary in Montana, reporting none of them to the state as political expenditures. It later put out a press release saying that 12 of the 14 candidates it backed had won.

For the general election, the group appears to be targeting Montana’s attorney general, Steve Bullock, the Democratic candidate for governor. As attorney general, Bullock fought the partnership’s lawsuits against the state, including the one that ended up in the Supreme Court.

The first issue of the partnership’s Montana Statesman newspaper, dated Oct. 7, which a group press release said was sent to 180,000 voters, featured four photographs on the front page: Three of registered sex offenders, and one of Bullock, accusing him of allowing one in four sex offenders to go unregistered. “Bullock admits failure,” the headline announced. A full-page ad accused Bullock of taking illegal corporate contributions and of “criminal hypocrisy.”

The Statesman’s editor and publisher is none other than Ferguson, the partnership’s executive director, described as an “award-winning newspaper veteran” who has been “commended by other newspapers for his ‘honest, intelligent and issue-oriented’ approach.”

Ferguson didn’t respond to a question about his journalism credentials.

“Conservative group American Tradition Partnership now one of nation’s biggest media outlets,” said a press release on the group’s website, adding that the newspaper would publish “several” editions through Election Day and into 2013.


http://www.propublica.org/article/documents-found-in-meth-house-bare-inner-workings-of-dark-money-group

San Diegan Craig Gottlieb purchased a passport that he believes was used by Josef Mengele, a.k.a the “Angel of Death,” to flee to Argentina in 1949

A history hunter and military expert in San Diego recently uncovered what he believes to be a passport used by Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele, also known as the “Angel of Death,” to flee to Argentina in 1949.

“This is it, this is as good as it gets. An object like this has an ability to speak to you,” said Craig Gottlieb, the 42-year-old former Marine who bought the passport.

Gottlieb is a collector of military antiques and firearms. He lives in San Diego’s North County area and has also been a regular on TV’s “Pawn Stars.”

Gottlieb told NBC San Diego he purchased the passport in October from an Argentinean researcher who got it from a woman who worked as Mengele’s secretary up until his death in 1979.

Mengele was a German doctor whose horrific experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp on Jewish and Gypsy children, including many twins, garnered him the moniker of the “Angel of Death.”

In 1949, Mengele fled Germany and headed to Argentina.

Gottlieb said the passport he purchased proves Mengele made that journey using forged documents from Genoa, Italy under the name “Gregor Hellmuth,” one of the many aliases Mengele is believed to have used after leaving Germany.

“This guy lived under the nose of multiple governments for 30 or so years, never caught, never brought to justice, and something like this you could never get away with today,” Gottlieb said.

Even given the passport’s significance, some have questioned whether an artifact of its nature should be given any attention, let alone sold to collectors for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Gottlieb said he looks past that.

For him it’s much more about a larger effort to preserve history, especially in the face of those who deny the Holocaust ever happened.

“To me [it’s] something that’s connected to an individual, person, place or event in history that’s epic, that’s what you know, that’s what I’m all about,” Gottlieb said. “Look in this guy’s eyes and you see something deeply disturbing but it’s something we need to be consciously aware about as human beings.”

Craig Gottlieb of "Pawn Stars"In addition to the passport, Gottlieb (pictured right) purchased three police documents, which purport to show that the Argentinian government not only knew who Mengele was when he entered the country, but that he was also trying to get his real identity back. Historians say Gottlieb did this in an attempt to do business with his relatives back in Germany.

As is the case with any discovery of this magnitude, two questions have been raised: Is the passport real and how much will it sell for?

Gottlieb said he intends to have the passport examined by experts to ensure it’s not a well-designed fake. If it is indeed authentic, an expert has said it could go for as much as $250,000.

However, selling it for a profit isn’t necessarily what Gottlieb hopes to do, he said.

Instead, Gottlieb plans on donating the find to an institution like the Museum of Tolerance or the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In this way, Gottlieb said, it can continue to remind everyone of the horrors Mengele and other Nazis committed years ago.

“When you look at something like this you are forced to face an evil that we don’t really look at anymore,” he said.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Calif-Historian-Uncovers-Nazi-War-Criminals-Passport-Josef-Mengele-Craig-Gottieb-Nazi-History-241999591.html