Archives for March 2017

6: Maranda Goes Full T

Maranda Barnett is joined by Chris Spangle, Emily Sweet, and her boyfriend Joey Scheidler to share an incident in the club where her high T got the best of her. She also shares what it is like as a woman in comedy.

5: Farmer Tim Part 2

Maranda Barnett finishes telling Chris Spangle the final pieces of the Farmer Tim story.

201: Obamacare “Repeal”

Chris Spangle, Greg Lenz, Hanna Weber, and Brian Nichols discuss the repeal of Obamacare and the possible spying on Trump by the deep state.

This episode is brought to you by Eight One Two Farms and Liberty Valiance. Enjoy a free audiobook on us through Audible by using this link. Donate using PayPal or Patreon. Join our Facebook group. Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Health Care Reform

● President Donald Trump and House Freedom Caucus members failed to strike a deal on the GOP Obamacare replacement Thursday, endangering the prospects of passage and all but assuring any immediate vote on the measure would fail.

Hours later, House leaders canceled a planned Thursday night vote on the legislation. There was no immediate word when a vote might occur. The House Republican Conference is planning to meet at 7 p.m. about how to proceed.

Negotiations between Trump and the arch-conservatives opponents of the bill reached at least a temporary standstill after Freedom Caucus members were told recent concessions to the far-right represented a final offer. The group rejected that, wanting more.

Trump’s inability to clinch an agreement means that Speaker Paul Ryan does not likely have the votes needed to pass the measure. The Wisconsin Republican can afford to lose only 22 votes on the floor. The House Freedom Caucus, however, has three dozen members, who have vowed to block the bill unless they get what they want. Roughly a dozen centrist Republicans also have come out against the bill.

● A number of Freedom Caucus members had suggested Trump’s latest concession — repealing Obamacare’s mandate that insurance plans provide a minimum level of “essential” benefits — wasn’t enough. The group wants a complete repeal of all Affordable Care Act regulations — including popular provisions Trump promised he would maintain.

The conservatives’ target list encompasses a prohibition against discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions and a requirement that adults up to age 26 can remain on their parents’ health insurance.

● Now, Freedom Caucus members are threatening to trip up not John Boehner or Ryan, but a Republican commander-in-chief who remains highly popular in their districts.

Many House Republicans are furious with the Freedom Caucus, saying the group keeps moving the goal posts and that it really wants to sink the health care bill altogether.

● The Freedom Caucus risks overplaying its hand if it continues to hold out support for the bill. Trump has made clear he wants to get health care passed and move on. He made clear that Wednesday’s offer was final. If Trump loses his patience with caucus members, they could find themselves in his crosshairs.

● In summary, the legislation’s tax cuts will be very attractive to wealthy Americans and health insurers and providers, who would get a trillion dollars in tax breaks. It could cause consternation for Medicaid recipients and state Medicaid programs, which would see federal funding for Medicaid steadily diminish, potentially thinning out coverage. The legislation could be bad news for recipients of current tax credits who are older, sicker, and poorer, and who live in areas where care is expensive. They may be able to afford low actuarial value coverage with the tax credits the bills would provide them, but they are unlikely then to be able to afford the cost sharing that coverage will impose.

Higher-income younger people, on the other hand, would find coverage much more affordable than it is now under the legislation—the tax credits might fully cover their premiums and leave extra for their health savings accounts. Some insurers could find the state reinsurance money and continuous coverage requirement enough of an incentive to stay in the market, but others may not.

Finally, one cannot know without a CBO report how this all works out. But it is hard to see how the bills pay for themselves, and they could result in significant losses in coverage.

● What The Two Bills Do, And What They Don’t The two proposed bills do not repeal the ACA. They leave in place the ACA’s titles affecting Medicare, quality of care, program integrity, biosimilars, workforce reform, the Indian Health Service—indeed virtually all of the ACA except for its insurance affordability provisions, individual and employer mandates, taxes, and Medicaid reforms. More specifically, the legislation does not repeal the ACA’s insurance reforms, such as the ACA’s requirements that health plans

○ cover preexisting conditions;
○ guarantee availability and renewability of coverage;
○ cover adult children up to age 26; and
○ cap out-of-pocket expenditures,
○ and the ACA’s prohibitions against
○ health status underwriting;
○ lifetime and annual limits; and
○ discrimination on the basis of race, nationality, disability, age, or sex.

● Unlike the leaked version, the final bills do not eliminate the essential health benefits provisions (except with respect to Medicaid plans). They do repeal the ACA’s actuarial value requirements and replace the ACA’s three to one age ratio limit with a five-to-one ratio.

● Medicaid: Per-Capita Caps And Other Changes Much of the E&C bill is devoted to changes in the Medicaid program. Indeed, the bill is not so much an ACA repeal bill as it is an attempt to change dramatically the Medicaid program. Most importantly, it transitions federal Medicaid funding to a per-capita cap basis by 2020, transforming the nature of the Medicaid program. The legislation’s Medicaid provisions also
○ contract state authority to make presumptive eligibility determinations,
○ limit in a complicated way the ACA’s enhanced funding for the Medicaid expansion population, ○ eliminate the ACA’s disproportionate share hospital cuts by 2020 (earlier for non-expansion states),
○ provide $10 billion in safety net funding for non-expansion states over five years,
○ provide incentives for states to re-determine eligibility for Medicaid more often, and
○ address several Medicaid eligibility issues. The bill’s Medicaid provisions will be addressed in more detail here in the near future.

● First it repeals the ACA’s prevention and public health fund after 2018 and rescinds all remaining unobligated funds as of that date. It appropriates an additional $422 million for community health centers for 2017. It prohibits federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year beginning with the enactment of the law.

● The E&C bill repeals the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction provisions after 2019. These provisions currently reduce out-of-pocket limits and increase the actuarial value of coverage for individuals with incomes below 250 percent of the federal poverty level. The repeal of these provisions would result in dramatically higher deductibles and other cost-sharing for these low-income individuals.

● The bill summary pointedly notes the House’s position in House v. Price (formerly House v. Burwell) that current reimbursements to health insurers for cost-sharing reductions are not permitted because Congress has not appropriated funding

● The E&C bill creates a Patient and State Stability Fund available to the states from 2018 through 2026. States can use funds provided under this program for a number of purposes including:
○ providing financial assistance to high-risk individuals;
○ providing incentive to “appropriate entities” to provide reinsurance to stabilize individual market insurance premiums;
○ reducing the cost of insurance for individuals with high rates of utilization of health services;
○ promoting participation and health insurance options in the individual and small group markets;
○ promoting preventive, dental, vision care, and mental health and substance use disorder services;
○ paying providers directly for the provision of such services; and providing assistance to individuals to reduce out-of-pocket costs.

● Replacing the individual mandate: The W&M committee bill repeals the ACA’s individual responsibility requirement, and the E&C bill enacts in its place a continuous coverage requirement. To avoid a 30 percent premium surcharge, individuals must prove that they did not have a gap in creditable coverage of at least 63 continuous days during the 12 months preceding coverage; individuals aging out of dependent coverage must prove that they enrolled during the first open enrollment period after which dependent coverage ceased. The penalty does not vary by health status but would be greater for older people since premiums may vary with age. The penalty lasts for the remainder of the plan year for special enrollments during 2018, and for the 12-month period beginning with the first day of the plan year for 2019 and succeeding years.

● Removing Penalties Connected With The Individual And Employer Responsibility Provisions: In the meantime, the penalty for the individual responsibility and employer responsibility provisions are eliminated retroactively for years beginning with 2016. This will further confuse the question of whether the mandate is being enforced for 2016 during the current tax filing season and further undermine the stability of the individual insurance market going forward. The mandates themselves are not being eliminated, presumably because of the Byrd Rule, which limits reconciliation provisions in the Senate to provisions that affect government revenues and outlays (although other provisions of the bills, such as the age rating and AV changes or continuous coverage requirements, might also seem to violate the Byrd rule). Significantly, the legislation does not eliminate the ACA’s employer and insurer reporting requirements, which have arguably been more of a burden to employers than the employer mandate itself.

● Repealing Actuarial Value Requirements: Finally, as mentioned earlier, the E&C bill ends the ACA’s actuarial value and metal level requirements after December 31, 2019 and allows states to permit age ratios of 5 to 1 for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2018. The repeal of the AV levels would allow plans to be sold with AVs of less than 60 percent, although the maximum out-of-pocket limit in the ACA is retained so insurers would not be able to sell plans less generous than the current catastrophic plans. They would also be able to sell plans with AVs of more than 90 percent, and anything in between. This could muddle what is already a difficult process for plan shoppers and further complicate the ACA’s risk adjustment program.

● Repealing Revenue Provisions: The W&M bill repeals a host of ACA tax provisions including:
○ The $500,000 limit on business expense deductibility for compensation to insurance executives;
○ The tanning tax;
○ The branded prescription drug tax;
○ The health insurance tax;
○ The Medicare tax imposed on unearned income on taxpayers earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers);
○ The “Cadillac” plan tax (which reappears in 2025, apparently to satisfy Senate prohibitions on reconciliation provisions that increase out-year deficits);
○ The prohibition against paying for over-the-counter medications with tax subsidized funds from health savings accounts (HSAs), Archer MSAs, or flexible spending or health reimbursement arrangements;
○ The ACA’s increase in the penalty for the use of HSA and Archer MSA funds for non-medical purposes (reducing the penalty from 20 to 10 percent for HSAs and 20 to 15 percent for MSAs);
○ The $2500 limit on contributions to flexible spending accounts;
○ The medical device excise tax;
○ The requirement that employers reduce their deduction for expenses allowable for retiree drug costs without reducing the deduction by the amount of retiree drug subsidy;
○ The increase in the level of medical expenses that must be incurred to claim a tax deduction, reducing the level back from 10 percent to 7.5 percent;
○ The repeal of the ACA’s Medicare .9 percent tax surcharge on taxpayers with incomes exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers).

● No Tax On Higher-Cost Employer Plans

Trump Investigation

● House Intel Chairman Nunes spoke to reporters when he left the briefing at The White House and had some more stunning things to say:
*NUNES: BRIEFED PRESIDENT ON CONCERNS OVER INCIDENTAL COLLECTION
*NUNES: `PRESIDENT NEEDS TO KNOW’ THESE INTEL REPORTS EXIST
*NUNES: SOME OF WHAT I’VE SEEN SEEMS TO BE `INAPPROPRIATE’
*NUNES: TRUMP, OTHERS IN TRANSITION PUT INTO INTELLIGENCE REPORT
*NUNES: QUESTION IS IF TRUMP SHOULD BE IN THESE `NORMAL’ REPORTS

● And the punchline: there are “multiple FISA warrants outstanding against Trump” Nunes also told reporters: here are “multiple FISA warrants out there” involving Trump.

● The FBI is not cooperating with the House of Representatives’ investigation into the NSA’s surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, the chairman of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee, Devin Nunes said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

● Nunes said that he had briefed the president about his concerns over the “incidental” collection of data, adding that the president “needs to know” that these intel reports exist, and adding ominously that “some of what I’ve seen seems to be inappropriate.” Nunes also said that Trump, others in the transition team were put into the intelligence report and asked if Trump should be in these “normal” reports.

● But what was perhaps most troubling in Nunes presser is that in the aftermath of Monday’s Congressional hearing with James Comey in which the FBI director said on the record there had been no surveillance of Trump, is the House Intel Commission chair’s statement that the FBI is not cooperating with the investigation. “We don’t actually know yet officially what happened to General Flynn,” Nunes said of how communications from Gen. Flynn’s calls were leaked to the press. “We just know that his name leaked out but we don’t know how it was picked up yet. That was one of the things that we asked for in the March 15th letter, was for the NSA, CIA, and FBI to get us all the unmasking that was done.” “And I’ll tell you, NSA is being cooperative,” Nunes continued, “but so far the FBI has not told us whether or not they’re going to respond to our March 15th letter, which is now a couple of weeks old.” Nunes also reported that as of now, he “cannot rule out” President Obama ordering the surveillance. Finally, and contrary to earlier media reports, Nunes clarified that the surveillance was not related to the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion with Russia. This surveillance, he emphasized to reporters, does not “have anything to do with Russia.”

● Attorney Larry Klayman representing NSA CIA Whitsleblower

Dennis Montgomery: “Former NSA and CIA contractor Dennis Montgomery, holds the keys to disproving the false claims of those representatives and senators on the House and Senate intelligence committees, reportedly as well as FBI Director James Comey, that there is no evidence that the president and his men were wiretapped.

Montgomery left the NSA and CIA with 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of information, much of which is classified, and sought to come forward legally as a whistleblower to appropriate government entities, including congressional intelligence committees, to expose that the spy agencies were engaged for years in systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen such as Donald Trump, and even yours truly. Working side by side with Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence (DIA), James Clapper, and Obama’s former Director of the CIA, John Brennan, Montgomery witnessed “up close and personal” this “Orwellian Big Brother” intrusion on privacy, likely for potential coercion, blackmail or other nefarious purposes.

But when Montgomery came forward as a whistleblower to congressional intelligence committees and various other congressmen and senators, including Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who, like Comey, once had a reputation for integrity, he was “blown off;” no one wanted to even hear what he had to say. The reason, I suspect, is that Montgomery’s allegations were either too hot to handle, or the congressional intelligence and judiciary committees already knew that this unconstitutional surveillance was being undertaken. Moreover, given the power of the NSA, CIA, and DNI, for congressional committee heads to take action to legitimately and seriously investigate and if necessary recommend prosecution of officials like Clapper and Brennan could, given the way Washington works, result in the spy agencies disclosing and leaking (as occurred recently with General Michael Flynn), the details of their mass surveillance, ruining the careers if not personal lives of any politician who would take them on.

After Montgomery was turned away as a whistleblower, he came to me at Freedom Watch. With the aid of the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who I had come to respect and trust over the years of my public interest advocacy, we brought Montgomery forward to FBI Director James Comey, through his General Counsel James Baker. Under grants of immunity, which I obtained through Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Curtis, Montgomery produced the hard drives and later was interviewed under oath in a secure room at the FBI Field Office in the District of Columbia. There he laid out how persons like then-businessman Donald Trump were illegally spied upon by Clapper, Brennan, and the spy agencies of the Obama administration. He even claimed that these spy agencies had manipulated voting in Florida during the 2008 presidential election, which illegal tampering resulted in helping Obama to win the White House.

This interview, conducted and videoed by Special FBI Agents Walter Giardina and William Barnett, occurred almost two years ago, and nothing that I know of has happened since. It would appear that the FBI’s investigation was buried by Comey, perhaps because the FBI itself collaborates with the spy agencies to conduct illegal surveillance. In landmark court cases which I filed after the revelations of Edward Snowden, the Honorable Richard Leon, a colleague of Judge Lamberth, had ruled that this type of surveillance constituted a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. (See www.freedomwatchusa.org for more information.)

A few months ago, given FBI’s seeming inaction in conducting a bona fide timely investigation of the treasure trove of information Montgomery had produced and testified to, I went to Chairman Bob Goodlatte of the House Judiciary Committee, as I had done earlier with Senator Grassley, since Montgomery had revealed that judges had been spied upon, and asked his staff to inquire of Director Comey the status of the investigation. I have heard nothing back from Goodlatte or his staff and they have not responded to recent calls and emails.

So last Thursday, I traveled to Capital Hill to personally meet with Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.) of the House Intelligence Committee and, when his scheduler claimed that he was “unavailable,” forcefully pushed for a meeting with one of his committee lawyers, Allen R. Souza, and fully briefed him about Montgomery and the FBI’s apparent cover-up. I told this staff intel lawyer to inform Chairman Nunes of the facts behind this apparent cover-up before the committee holds its hearing on the alleged Trump wiretaps and questions Comey this Monday, March 20, in open session. My expressed purpose: to have Chairman Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee ask Comey, under oath, why he and his FBI have seemingly not moved forward with the Montgomery investigation.

During my meeting with House Intelligence Committee counsel Allen R. Sousa I politely warned him that if Chairman Nunes, who himself had that same day undercut President Trump by also claiming that there is no evidence of surveillance by the Obama administration, I would go public with what would appear to be the House Intelligence Committee’s complicity in keeping the truth from the American people and allowing the FBI to continue its apparent cover-up of the Montgomery “investigation.” And, that is where it stands today. The big question: will House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes do his job and hold FBI Director Comey’s feet to the fire about the Montgomery investigation?”

● The latest leaks from WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 is titled “Dark Matter” and claims that the CIA has been bugging “factory fresh” iPhones since at least 2008 through suppliers. The full documents are expected to be released after a 10 a.m. EDT “press briefing” that WikiLeaks promoted on its Twitter.

● Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 “Dark Matter”, which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain ‘persistence’ on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware. Among others, these documents reveal the “Sonic Screwdriver” project which, as explained by the CIA, is a “mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting” allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick “even when a firmware password is enabled”. The CIA’s “Sonic Screwdriver” infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. “DarkSeaSkies” is “an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer” and consists of “DarkMatter”, “SeaPea” and “NightSkies”, respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants. Documents on the “Triton” MacOSX malware, its infector “Dark Mallet” and its EFI-persistent version “DerStarke” are also included in this release. While the DerStarke1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0. Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA’s “NightSkies 1.2” a “beacon/loader/implant tool” for the Apple iPhone. Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008. While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization’s supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise. UK Terror Act

● Masood, aged 52 (Dec 25, 1964), was born in Kent and detectives believe he was most recently living in the West Midlands. Masood was also known by a number of aliases. Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack. However, as the Telegraph reports, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences. His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife. He has not been convicted for any terrorism offences. More details from the Police statement: Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack. However, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences. His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife. He has not been convicted for any terrorism offences .

● A video has emerged of Westminster Bridge on Wednesday, March 22 showing the moment a car was driven into pedestrians earlier in the day in the worst attack in London since 2005. Five people were killed and about 40 injured after a car plowed into pedestrians and a suspected Islamist-inspired attacker stabbed a policeman close to Britain’s parliament. The dead, in what police called a “marauding terrorist attack,” included the assailant and the policeman he stabbed. The other three victims were among those hit by the car as it sped across Westminster Bridge before crashing into railings just outside parliament. It was the deadliest attack in London since four British Islamists killed 52 commuters and themselves in suicide bombings on the city’s transport system in July 2005, in London’s worst peacetime attack.

● It has become a familiar pattern: days, if not hours, after a terrorist attack takes place somewhere in the world, the Islamic State promptly takes responsibility for said attack, and the London car attack was no different, because moments ago the Islamic State, through its Aaamaq news agency, claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 4, and said that the London attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State” and adds that the “attacker responded to call to attack countries of the anti-ISIS coalition.”

4: Farmer Tim

Maranda explains the complex relationships that happen in the skankiest of strip clubs.

Chris Spangle on the Indiana Libertarian Update

This week, we are joined by Chris Spangle and a meme of Greg Lenz of We Are Libertarians Fame. We chat about 5 years of podcasting and compare our board sizes. We’ve also got theivin’ cops and more meetings than any one Hoosier can attend.

200: Chris Bowers and the Original Cast Celebrate 5 Years and 200 Episodes of WAL

Chris Spangle, Chris Gault, Creighton Harrington, Gena Martinez, Greg Lenz, and Chris Bowers celebrate 5 years of We Are Libertarians and 200 episodes live at Morty’s Comedy Joint.

199: The Trouble With College Kids

Chris Spangle, Creighton Harrington, and Greg Lenz discuss the problem with snowflakes. Sorry about the horrible audio.

Charles Murray at Middlebury College

 

  • Charles Murray: an American libertarian conservative political scientist, sociologist, author, and columnist. Currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC.

 

  • He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in history from Harvard.

 

  • Murray’s articles have appeared in Commentary magazine, The New Criterion, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

 

 

  • He became well known for his book Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950–1980 (1984), which discussed the American welfare system.

 

 

  • Losing Ground’s conclusion: Social welfare programs are doomed to effect a net harm on society, and actually hurt the very people those programs are trying to help. In the end, he concludes that all social welfare programs cannot be successful and should ultimately be eliminated altogether.

 

 

  • Murray’s Law:

 

 

  • The Law of Imperfect Selection: Any objective rule that defines eligibility for a social transfer program will irrationally exclude some persons.

 

  • The Law of Unintended Rewards: Any social transfer increases the net value of being in the condition that prompted the transfer.

 

  • The Law of Net Harm: The less likely it is that the unwanted behavior will change voluntarily, the more likely it is that a program to induce change will cause net harm.

 

  • He is best known for his controversial book The Bell Curve (1994), written with Richard Herrnstein, in which he argues that intelligence is a better predictor than parental socio-economic status or education level of many individual outcomes such as: income, job performance, pregnancy out of wedlock, and crime.

 

  • Much of the controversy stemmed from Chapters 13 and 14, where the authors write about the enduring differences in race and intelligence and discuss implications of that difference.

 

  • While the authors were reported throughout the popular press as arguing that these IQ differences are genetic, they write “The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved,” and “It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences.”

 

 

  • History of Controversial Positions:

 

 

 

  • In 2000, Murray authored a policy study for AEI on the same subject matter as The Bell Curve in which he wrote: “Try to imagine a GOP presidential candidate saying in front of the cameras, “One reason that we still have poverty in the United States is that a lot of poor people are born lazy.” You cannot imagine it because that kind of thing cannot be said.

    And yet this unimaginable statement merely implies that when we know the complete genetic story, it will turn out that the population below the poverty line in the United States has a configuration of the relevant genetic makeup that is significantly different from the configuration of the population above the poverty line. This is not unimaginable. It is almost certainly true.”

 

 

  • In a paper published in 2005 titled “Where Are the Female Einsteins?”, Murray stated, among other things, that “no woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions. In the sciences, the most abstract field is mathematics, where the number of great female mathematicians is approximately two (Emmy Noether definitely, Sonya Kovalevskaya maybe). In the other hard sciences, the contributions of great women have usually been empirical rather than theoretical, with leading cases in point being Henrietta Leavitt, Dorothy Hodgkin, Lise Meitner, Irene Joliot-Curie and Marie Curie herself.”

 

  • In 2014, a speech that Murray was scheduled to give at Azusa Pacific University was “postponed” due to Murray’s research on human group differences. Murray responded to the institution by pointing out that it was a disservice to the students and faculty to dismiss research because of its controversial nature rather than the evidence. Murray also urged the university to consider his works as they are and reach conclusions for themselves, rather than relying on sources that “specialize in libeling people.”

 

  • April 2007 issue of Commentary magazine: Murray wrote on the disproportionate representation of Jews in the ranks of outstanding achievers and says that one of the reasons is that they “have been found to have an unusually high mean intelligence as measured by IQ tests since the first Jewish samples were tested.” His article concludes with the assertion: “At this point, I take sanctuary in my remaining hypothesis, uniquely parsimonious and happily irrefutable. The Jews are God’s chosen people.”

 

  • July/August 2007 issue of The American: Murray says he has changed his mind about SAT tests and says they should be scrapped: “Perhaps the SAT had made an important independent contribution to predicting college performance in earlier years, but by the time research was conducted in the last half of the 1990s, the test had already been ruined by political correctness.”

 

 

  • In Our Hands: A Plan To Replace The Welfare State

 

 

  • This is the Plan, a radical new approach to social policy that defies any partisan label. Murray suggests eliminating all welfare transfer programs at the federal, state, and local levels and substituting an annual $10,000 cash grant to everyone age twenty-one or older. In Our Hands describes the financial feasibility of the Plan and its effects on retirement, health care, poverty, marriage and family, work, neighborhoods and civil society.

 

 

  • Allegations of racism:

 

 

  • Evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Graves described The Bell Curve as an example of racist science, containing all the types of errors in the application of scientific method that have characterized the history of scientific racism:

 

 

  • Claims that are not supported by the data given

 

 

 

  • Errors in calculation that invariably support the hypothesis

  • No mention of data that contradict the hypothesis
  • No mention of theories and data that conflict with core assumptions
  • Bold policy recommendations that are consistent with those advocated by racists.

 

 

 

  • Southern Poverty Law Center classifies Murray as a white nationalist who peddles “racist pseudoscience.”

 

 

Sequence of Events

 

  • Murray had been invited by Middlebury’s student group affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank at which Murray is a scholar.

 

  • AEI Club student organizers had planned to have Murray speak for 45 minutes then field questions. That did not happen.

 

  • Murray had been invited to campus by the student American Enterprise Institute Club for a lecture/discussion on his 2014 book “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.” The book looks at the increasing fragmentation of American society by class (focusing on non-Latino whites) and hypothesizes a moral decline in the American working class. Murray’s ideas were brought up by a number of Republican candidates in the 2016 Presidential race.

 

  • The president of Middlebury, Laurie L. Patton, was set to introduce him, and a political science professor, Allison Stanger, would lead a Q. and A.

 

  • Hundreds of students and alumni signed letters calling Murray’s appearance at the college unacceptable and unethical, and over 55 faculty members requested that President Patton not introduce “a discredited ideologue.”

 

  • Controversy leading up to Murray’s scheduled lecture at 4:30 p.m. Thursday included a student-led protest outside the McCullough Student Center, joined by community members from the Middlebury Chapter of Indivisible, and a letter signed by 450 alumni protesting Murray’s presence on campus. As interest grew, the event was moved from Dana Auditorium to the larger Wilson Hall, which seats over 400. For the same reasons, the administration also decided not to admit the general public, except for the press.

 

  • He was greeted late Thursday afternoon outside McCullough Student Center by hundreds of protesters, and inside Wilson Hall, students turned their backs to him and booed when he got up to speak. He was booed as he approached the podium, and his introductory remarks were peppered with boos, heckling and raucous cheers for comments shouted from the audience.

 

 

  • Around the room students waved signs saying: “Scientific racism = racism,” “Respect existence or expect resistance,” “Resist white supremacy,” “AEI must go,” and “Free speech ≠ hate speech.” Many other signs also used profanity.

 

 

 

  • President Patton introduced Murray and said: “The very premise of free speech on this campus is that the speaker has a right to be heard”. This last comment was greeted with loud applause.

 

 

 

  • However, as Murray was then introduced and strode toward the podium he was booed loudly. Murray uttered fewer than 10 words before all but a handful of the hundreds of students in the hall stood up, turned their backs to him, held up their signs and began chanting a series of prepared remarks, including:

    “This is not respectful discourse or a debate about free speech. These are not ideas that can be fairly debated. It is not ‘representative’ of the other side to give a platform to such dangerous ideologies … We see this talk as hate speech … And you will never have the comfort of our silence again. What is most important must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. Death is the final silencing tool and so many voices and lives have already been taken in the name of eugenics and of white supremacy.”

 

 

 

  • The students then began chanting, in a call and response format: “Who is the enemy?” “White supremacy”; “Hey hey, ho ho, Charles Murray has got to go”; “Charles Murray go away, Racist, sexist, anti-gay”; “Your message is hatred, we will not tolerate it”; and “Charles Murray go away, Middlebury says no way.”

 

 

 

  • Protesters cycled repeatedly through these chants, roaring on for over 20 minutes. With hundreds shouting at the same time in unison, the sound was deafening. No other speaker could possibly be heard.

 

 

 

  • Finally an official returned to the podium and over catcalls of “shut it down,” more boos, and chants of “leave our school” announced a plan B for those who wished to hear the presentation. Stanger and Murray would move to another venue and the remainder of Murray’s remarks, along with Stanger’s questioning of him, would be live-streamed to a giant video screen in Wilson Hall and to personal electronic devices across campus.

 

 

 

  • Professor Stanger got up and was booed and shouted down as she tried to explain how her questioning of Murray would rigorously challenge his ideas. Finally as the boos and shouts grew louder, and as the tone of the protesters grew even uglier, she said: “I think I have the answer. You’re not going to let us speak. I think that’s a terrible shame.”

 

 

 

  • Most attendees then departed from the venue. Those few who remained to hear Stanger and Murray’s interchange, however, were again disappointed. As their discussion was streamed, protesters in the room again made it impossible to hear by tapping their feet, rattling chairs, and shouting obscenities such as, “F••• white supremacy” and “F••• eugenics.”

 

 

 

  • College officials led Murray to another location and a closed circuit broadcast showed him being interviews by Stanger, the Russell J. Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics.

 

 

 

  • As Stanger, Murray and a college administrator left McCullough following the event, they were “physically and violently confronted by a group of protestors,” according to college spokesman Bill Burger. Burger said the protestors were masked.

 

 

 

  • Burger said college public safety officers managed to get Stanger and Murray into the administrator’s car:

 

 

  • “The protesters then violently set upon the car, rocking it, pounding on it, jumping on and trying to prevent it from leaving campus,” he said. “At one point a large traffic sign was thrown in front of the car. Public Safety officers were able, finally, to clear the way to allow the vehicle to leave campus. “During this confrontation outside McCullough, one of the demonstrators pulled Prof. Stanger’s hair and twisted her neck,” Burger continued. “She was attended to at Porter Hospital later and (on Friday) is wearing a neck brace.”

 

  • Middlebury College President Patton’s Statement the day after: “As many of you are aware by now, a large group of student protesters disrupted Charles Murray’s talk yesterday afternoon in Wilson Hall in McCullough Student Center. I am deeply disappointed by the events that I witnessed and it was painful for many people in our community to experience. I know that many students, faculty, and staff who were in attendance or waiting outside to participate were upset by the events, and the lost opportunity for those in our community who wanted to listen to and engage with Mr. Murray.

    With some effort, we were able to move Mr. Murray to another location where he and Prof. Allison Stanger, who was scheduled to moderate the Q&A following his talk, were able — though with challenges — to go ahead with the talk and a probing conversation afterward.

    Following the event, protests continued outside of McCullough as well. Unfortunately, one group of demonstrators aggressively confronted Mr. Murray and Prof. Allison Stanger as they left McCullough Student Center. That confrontation turned into a violent incident with a lot of pushing and shoving, and an attack on the car in which they were leaving campus. We believe that many of these protestors were outside agitators, but there are indications that Middlebury College students were involved as well.

    We will be responding in the very near future to the clear violations of Middlebury College policy that occurred inside and outside Wilson Hall.

    Today our community begins the process of addressing the deep and troubling divisions that were on display last night. I am grateful to those who share this goal and have offered to help. We must find a path to establishing a climate of open discourse as a core Middlebury value, while also recognizing critical matters of race, inclusion, class, sexual and gender identity, and the other factors that too often divide us. That work will take time, and I will have more to say about that in the days ahead.

    Last night we failed to live up to our core values. But I remain hopeful. Last evening, several students, faculty, and staff representing a large spectrum of political perspectives remained in Wilson Hall to discuss the events and to talk about building bridges. Their ability to reach across differences in a rigorous but respectful way was a stark contrast to the events that preceded it. I firmly believe these are the Middlebury values that we have lived so long and that we must strive to embody in the future.

    I extend my sincerest apologies to everyone who came in good faith to participate in a serious discussion, and particularly to Mr. Murray and Prof. Stanger for the way they were treated during the event and, especially, afterward.”

 

  • Murray’s Response: I stood at the podium. I didn’t make any attempt to speak—no point in it—but I did make eye contact with students. I remember one in particular, from whom I couldn’t look away for a long time. She reminded me of my daughter Anna (Middlebury ’07)  partly physically, but also in her sweet earnestness. She looked at me reproachfully and a little defiantly, her mouth moving in whatever the current chant was. I’m probably projecting, but I imagined her to be a student who wasn’t particularly political but had learned that this guy Murray was truly evil. So she found herself in the unfamiliar position of activist, not really enjoying it, but doing her civic duty.

    The others…. Wow. Some were just having a snarky good time as college undergrads have been known to do, dancing in the aisle to the rhythm of the chants. But many looked like they had come straight out of casting for a film of brownshirt rallies. In some cases, I can only describe their eyes as crazed and their expressions as snarls. Melodramatic, I know. But that’s what they looked like.

    This went on for about twenty minutes. My mindset at that point was to wait them out if it took until midnight (which, I was later to realize, probably wouldn’t have been long enough). But finally Bill Burger came on stage and decided, correctly, that the people who had come to hear the lecture deserved a chance to do so. Professor Stanger and I were led out of the hall to the improvised studio.

    I started to give an abbreviated version of my standard Coming Apart lecture, speaking into the camera. Then there was the sound of shouting outside, followed by loud banging on the wall of the building. Professor Stanger and I were equipped with lavalier microphones, which are highly directional. The cameraman-cum-sound-technician indicated that we could continue to speak and the noise from outside would not drown us out. Then a fire alarm went off, which was harder to compete with. And so it went through the lecture and during my back and forth conversation with Professor Stanger—a conversation so interesting that minutes sometimes went by while I debated some point with her and completely forgot about the din. But the din never stopped.

    We finished around 6:45 and prepared to leave the building to attend a campus dinner with a dozen students and some faculty members. Allison, Bill, and I (by this point I saw both of them as dear friends and still do) were accompanied by two large and capable security guards. (As I write, I still don’t have their names. My gratitude to them is profound.) We walked out the door and into the middle of a mob. I have read that they numbered about twenty. It seemed like a lot more than that to me, maybe fifty or so, but I was not in a position to get a good count. I registered that several of them were wearing ski masks. That was disquieting.

 

I had expected that they would shout expletives at us but no more. So I was nonplussed when I realized that a big man with a sign was standing right in front of us and wasn’t going to let us pass. I instinctively thought, we’ll go around him. But that wasn’t possible. We’d just get blocked by the others who were joining him. So we walked straight into him, one of our security guys pushed him aside, and that’s the way it went from then on: Allison and Bill each holding one of my elbows, the three of us plowing ahead, the security guys clearing our way, and lots of pushing and shoving from all sides.

I didn’t see it happen, but someone grabbed Allison’s hair just as someone else shoved her from another direction, damaging muscles, tendons, and fascia in her neck. I was stumbling because of the shoving. If it hadn’t been for Allison and Bill keeping hold of me and the security guards pulling people off me, I would have been pushed to the ground. That much is sure. What would have happened after that I don’t know, but I do recall thinking that being on the ground was a really bad idea, and I should try really hard to avoid that. Unlike Allison, I wasn’t actually hurt at all.

The three of us got to the car, with the security guards keeping protesters away while we closed and locked the doors. Then we found that the evening wasn’t over. So many protesters surrounded the car, banging on the sides and the windows and rocking the car, climbing onto the hood, that Bill had to inch forward lest he run over them. At the time, I wouldn’t have objected. Bill must have a longer time horizon than I do. Extricating ourselves took a few blocks and several minutes.

 

When we had done so and were finally satisfied that no cars were tailing us, we drove to the dinner venue. Allison and I went in and started chatting with the gathered students and faculty members. Suddenly Bill reappeared and said abruptly, “We’re leaving. Now.” The protesters had discovered where the dinner was being held and were on their way. So it was the three of us in the car again.

Long story short, we ended up at a lovely restaurant several miles out of Middlebury, where our dinner companions eventually rejoined us. I had many interesting conversations with students and faculty over the course of the pleasant evening that followed. In the silver-lining category, the original venue was on campus and would have provided us with all the iced tea we could drink. The lovely restaurant had a full bar.

 

A college’s faculty is the obvious resource for keeping the bubble translucent and the intellectual thugs from taking over. A faculty that is overwhelmingly on the side of free intellectual exchange, stipulating only that it be conducted with logic, evidence, and civility, can easily lead each new freshman class to understand that’s how academia operates. If faculty members routinely condemn intellectual thuggery, the majority of students who also oppose it will feel entitled to say “sit down and shut up, we want to hear what he has to say” when protesters try to shut down intellectual exchange.

That leads me to two critical questions for which I have no empirical answers: What is the percentage of tenured faculty on American campuses who are still unambiguously on the side of free intellectual exchange? What is the percentage of them who are willing to express that position openly?

 

I am confident that the answer to the first question is still far greater than fifty percent. But what about the answer to the second question? My reading of events on campuses over the last few years is that a minority of faculty are cowing a majority in the same way that a minority of students are cowing the majority.

 

A Defense of The Protesters

 

Written by: John Patrick Leary, assistant professor of English at Wayne State University.

 

How can we hold simultaneously to a view of free speech as the circulation of disagreement while denouncing communication whose tone is disagreeable? Why are freedom of speech and academic freedom so absolute for Charles Murray yet so conditional for Middlebury students — who surely have the academic freedom not to not be told they are genetically deficient at their own college? Finally, why are higher education institutions so regularly churned through this dull meat grinder of journalistic free-speech sanctimony?


One simple answer may be the alma mater nostalgia of middle-aged journalists and academics who graduated from such institutions and, like many elders in every generation, scorn the passions of the next. The bigger issue, though, has to do with how we think about education — or more to the point, how we fantasize about it. As Corey Robin has written, in American politics, educational institutions are often treated as laboratories for social transformations we are reluctant to pursue in society at large. “In the United States,” he writes, “we often try to solve political and economic questions through our schools rather than in society.”


College campuses, especially elite ones like Middlebury, are an interesting example of this thesis: they are treated both as laboratories for transforming society, and as leafy sanctuaries from it. Colleges are asked to model a fantasy version of society in which profound social cleavages — racial, partisan, economic — exist only as abstract issues that we can have a “conversation” about, rather than material conflicts that may need to be confronted. And most educational leaders and administrators, Robin writes, are basically conflict averse — they want to “want to change words, not worlds.” Isn’t politics really just the contest of the best ideas, they seem to ask, rather than a conflict of resources and power?

 

If presidential politics tells us anything, the answer is clearly no. But on campuses, this persistent fantasy — of social change in which no one raises their voice — is what critics often misidentify as academic freedom.


But what if black or Latino Middlebury students don’t want to have a conversation about their human dignity? What if they prefer to assert it? If they did so, they’d be participating in a long tradition of campus free-speech defense that many critics overlook. They’d only be doing what Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, famously advised in 1964: putting their “bodies on the gears” of an apparatus they call unjust.


“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious — makes you so sick at heart — that you can’t take part,” Savio said. “And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”

 

198: The CIA Spies on Americans

Chris Spangle, Creighton Harrington, and Greg Lenz discuss the Wikileaks revelations of the illegal CIA spying program.

Wikileaks “Vault 7”

 

  • WikiLeaks has published what it claims is the largest ever release of confidential documents on the CIA. It includes more than 8,000 documents as part of ‘Vault 7’, a series of leaks on the agency, which have allegedly emerged from the CIA’s Center For Cyber Intelligence in Langley.

 

  • Julian Assange: “There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of “Year Zero” goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.”

 

  • Largest intelligence publication in history: 8,761 documents have been published as part of ‘Year Zero’, the first in a series of leaks the whistleblower organization has dubbed ‘Vault 7.’

 

 

  • The time period covered in the latest leak is between the years 2013 and 2016

 

 

  • ‘Year Zero’ revealed details of the CIA’s “global covert hacking program,” including “weaponized exploits” used against company products including “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”

 

 

  • WikiLeaks tweeted the leak, which it claims came from a network inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.

 

 

  • Wikileaks claims that the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.

 

  • The CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.

 

 

  • Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

 

 

 

  • CIA’s Decision to Keep Secret Zero Day exploits:

 

 

 

  • In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis — rather than hoard — serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or “zero days” to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.

 

 

  • Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturer’s places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability. If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.

 

 

  • CIA’s “Hackerbase” is housed in the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany where its employees target Computers, iPhones, Androids, smart TVs, and Automobiles:

 

 

  • In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( “Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe” or CCIE) are given diplomatic (“black”) passports and State Department cover.

 

 

  • The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany’s counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: “Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport”

 

 

  • CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).

 

  • The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.

 

  • “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.

 

  • As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations. (Michael Hastings)

 

  • Examples of CIA projects: The CIA’s Engineering Development Group (EDG) management system contains around 500 different projects (only some of which are documented by “Year Zero”) each with their own sub-projects, malware and hacker tools. The majority of these projects relate to tools that are used for penetration, infestation (“implanting”), control, and exfiltration.

 

 

  • Umbrage: The CIA’s Remote Devices Branch’s UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation. With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

 

 

  • Fine Dining: Fine Dining comes with a standardized questionnaire i.e menu that CIA case officers fill out. The questionnaire is used by the agency’s OSB (Operational Support Branch) to transform the requests of case officers into technical requirements for hacking attacks (typically “exfiltrating” information from computer systems) for specific operations.  Among the list of possible targets of the collection are ‘Asset’, ‘Liason Asset’, ‘System Administrator’, ‘Foreign Information Operations’, ‘Foreign Intelligence Agencies’ and ‘Foreign Government Entities’. Notably absent is any reference to extremists or transnational criminals.

 

  • Improvise: a toolset for configuration, post-processing, payload setup and execution vector selection for survey/exfiltration tools supporting all major operating systems like Windows (Bartender), MacOS (JukeBox) and Linux (DanceFloor).

 

  • HIVE: HIVE is a multi-platform CIA malware suite and its associated control software. The project provides customizable implants for Windows, Solaris, MikroTik (used in internet routers) and Linux platforms and a Listening Post/Command and Control infrastructure to communicate with these implants. The implants communicate via HTTPS with the webserver of a cover domain; each operation utilizing these implants has a separate cover domain and the infrastructure can handle any number of cover domains.

  • Leaker is a Snowden-type whistleblower: the source of the information told WikiLeaks in a statement that they wish to initiate a public debate about the “security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”  Policy questions that should be debated in public include “whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency,” WikiLeaks claims the source said.
  •  

    • Kim Dotcom chimed in on Twitter, “CIA turns Smart TVs, iPhones, gaming consoles and many other consumer gadgets into open microphones” and added ” CIA turned every Microsoft Windows PC in the world into spyware. Can activate backdoors on demand, including via Windows update”

     

    • Dotcom also added that “Obama accused Russia of cyberattacks while his CIA turned all internet enabled consumer electronics in Russia into listening devices. Wow!”

     

    • CIA’s hacking division, which formally falls under the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware. Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook.

     

     

     

    • Wikileaks had previously announced that it would hold an 8am Eastern press conference, as part of the unveiling. However, there appeared to have been some complications, with Wikileaks tweeting that “the press conference is under attack: Facebook+Periscope video used by WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange have been attacked. Activating contingency plans”

     

     

     

    • As a result, since Assange appears to have been unable to launch his previously scheduled press conference, he has gone ahead and issued the press release on Vault 7 Part 1 “Year Zero, which is titled: Inside the CIA’s global hacking force:

     

     

     

    • Redactions: Names, email addresses and external IP addresses have been redacted in the released pages (70,875 redactions in total) until further analysis is complete.

     

    Wikileaks CIA Organizational Chart

     

    JFK Connection

    • Jack Kennedy was not above using the Mafia for favors. The family patriarch Joe Kennedy had organized crime ties dating back to his bootlegging days and the Kennedys used these connections to deliver money and votes during the 1960 presidential campaign, principally in the West Virginia primary and in Chicago during the general election, which tipped the key Illinois electoral vote into the Democratic column.

     

    • JFK was also quite happy to move in Frank Sinatra’s hedonistic social circle and share women like Judith Campbell with Mafia dons (until Bobby, Jack’s vigilant keeper, warned his brother to drop both the singer and the call girl).

     

    • As president, Kennedy allowed the CIA to continue its unholy alliance with the Mafia to kill Castro, a covert operation hatched in the final days of the Eisenhower administration.

     

    • As attorney general, Bobby Kennedy waged a merciless war against these very same underworld kingpins. While FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover had long insisted there was no such thing as the Mafia, Kennedy knew better, and he took the number of organized crime convictions from a mere 35 in 1960 to 288 in 1963, a figure that doubled within a year as a result of the momentum built up in the last months of the Kennedy reign.

     

    • Bobby created a “Get Hoffa” unit in the Justice Department to hound the Teamster leader, who had turned the union’s pension fund into a piggy bank for the Mob. He even unceremoniously deported the powerful godfather of Louisiana, Carlos Marcello, who had cops, FBI agents and politicians in his pocket.

     

     

    • Morley revealed that Joannides, the CIA’s top Miami psychological warfare specialist in Miami, had financed and guided the anti-Castro Cuban group, the DRE, that Oswald tried to infiltrate in the summer of 1963.

     

    • CIA Director, John McCone, replaced Allen Dulles as director of central intelligence in November 1961, after John F. Kennedy had forced out Dulles following the CIA’s bungled operation to oust Fidel Castro by invading Cuba’s Bay of Pigs.

     

    • Politico Story on coordinated omission if information provided to the Warren Commission and LBJ’s instructions to cover their pre-assassination tracks which while not a plot, could be perceived that way.

     

    • CIA documents released in 2007 confirmed that in the summer of 1960, CIA recruited ex-FBI agent Robert Maheu to approach the West Coast representative of the Chicago mob, Johnny Roselli. When Maheu contacted Roselli, Maheu hid the fact that he was sent by CIA, instead portraying himself an advocate for international corporations.

     

    • He offered to pay $150,000 to have Castro killed, but Roselli declined any pay. Roselli introduced Maheu to two men he referred to as “Sam Gold” also “Joe.” “Sam Gold” was Sam Giancana; “Joe” was Santo Trafficante, Jr., the Tampa, Florida/Tampa /Miami Syndicate boss and one of the most powerful mobsters in pre-revolution Cuba.

     

    • When Giancana was called before a grand jury in 1966, he was ordered to stay silent, which put him in prison for over a year. Meanwhile, Giancana was deposed as day-to-day boss by Ricca and Accardo, and replaced by Joseph “Joey Doves” Aiuppa.

     

    • After his release from prison, Giancana relocated to Cuernavaca, Mexico in order to avoid further grand jury questioning. He was arrested by Mexican authorities on July 19, 1974 and deported to the United States. He arrived back in Chicago on July 21, 1974.

     

    • After Giancana’s return to the U.S., the police detailed officers to guard his house in Oak Park, Illinois. However, on the night of June 19, 1975, someone recalled the police detail. A gunman later entered Giancana’s basement kitchen and shot him in the back of the head as he was frying sausage and peppers.

     

    • Giancana was killed shortly before he was scheduled to appear before the Church Committee tasked with investigating CIA and Cosa Nostra collusion in plots to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.

     

    • Jimmy Hoffa, president of the Teamsters Union and mobsters Carlos Marcello, Sam Giancana, Johnny Roselli, Charles Nicoletti, and Santo Trafficante Jr.—all of whom say Hoffa worked with CIA on the Castro assassination plots—top the House Select Committee list of Assassinations Mafia suspects

     

     

     

     

     

    • French Gunman: Jean Souetre (he also used the names Michel Mertz and Michel Roux) was a member of the French Secret Army Organization (OAS). It is claimed that he had been involved in an assassination attempt on General Charles de Gaulle as a result of his willingness to grant independence to Algeria.

     

     

    • Jack Ruby connection to French Mercenary Jean Souetre aka Michael Moretz: After his arrest, Ruby asked Dallas attorney Tom Howard to represent him. Howard accepted and asked Ruby if he could think of anything that might damage his defense. Ruby responded that there would be a problem if a man by the name of “Davis” should come up. Ruby told his attorney that he “…had been involved with Davis, who was a gunrunner entangled in anti-Castro efforts.”

     

     

    • Ruby to Thomas Davis to Jean Souerte: Thomas Davis was a bank robber who became friends with Jack Ruby in Dallas.

     

     

     

    • According to the wife of Davis, he also worked for the Mafia. He was also involved in the the Central Intelligence Agency plot to assassinate Fidel Castro and as a gunrunner for the anti-Communist forces in Cuba.

     

     

     

    • In the 1950s and 1960s Davis worked for the CIA in Indochina, Indonesia and Algeria. In the summer of 1963 Davis helped recruit mercenaries for a planned coup in Haiti.

     

     

     

    • Davis was in North Africa when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November, 1963. The following month he was arrested and jailed in Tangier in connection with Kennedy’s death.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • Thomas Davis was killed when he was electrocuted while cutting a power line in September, 1973.

     

     

    • Documents never seen by the Warren Commission have revealed that some Mafiosi worked with the CIA on assassination attempts against Cuban leader Fidel Castro

     

    • CIA operative David Moralesh: was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Morales’ friend, Ruben Carbajal, claimed that in 1973 Morales opened up about his involvement with the Bay of Pigs Invasion operation, and stated that “Kennedy had been responsible for him having to watch all the men he recruited and trained get wiped out.” Carbajal claimed that Morales said, “Well, we took care of that SOB, didn’t we?”

     

    • Morales is alleged to have once told friends, “I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch, and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard”, presumably referring to the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas and to the later assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles, California on June 5, 1968

     

    • Oswald and the Frenchman: After returning from the Soviet Union, Lee Harvey Oswald became close friends with Dallas resident and petroleum geologist George de Mohrenschildt. De Mohrenschildt would later write an extensive memoir in which he discussed his friendship with Oswald.

     

    • De Mohrenschildt’s wife would later give the House Select Committee on Assassinations a photograph that showed Lee Harvey Oswald, standing in his Dallas backyard, holding two Marxist newspapers and a Carcano rifle, with a pistol on his hip.

     

    • Thirteen years after the assassination, in September 1976, the CIA requested that the FBI locate De Mohrenschildt, in response to a letter De Mohrenschildt had written directly to his friend, CIA Director George H.W. Bush, appealing to Bush to stop the agency from taking action against him.

     

    • On March 29, 1977, De Mohrenschildt stated during an interview with author Edward Jay Epstein that he had been ordered by CIA operative J. Walton Moore to meet Oswald. He also told Epstein that he would not have met Oswald had he not been ordered to do so. (In fact, de Mohrenschildt had met Oswald several times, from the summer of 1962 to April 1963.)

     

    • That same day, De Mohrenschildt was informed by his daughter that a representative of the House Select Committee on Assassinations had stopped by, leaving a card and intending to return that evening; he then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head shortly thereafter.

     

    • De Mohrenschildt’s wife later told sheriff’s office investigators that her husband had been hospitalized for depression and a fear of persecution in late 1976 and had tried to kill himself four times that year.

     

    • In his memoir, Bound by Honor, Bill Bonanno, son of New York Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno, disclosed that several Mafia families had long-standing ties with the anti-Castro Cubans through the Havana casinos operated by the Mafia before the Cuban Revolution. Many Cuban exiles and Mafia bosses disliked President Kennedy, blaming him for the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion

     

    • Bonanno reported that he realized the degree of the involvement of other Mafia families when he witnessed Jack Ruby killing Oswald on television—the Bonannos recognized Jack Ruby as an associate of Chicago mobster Sam Giancana.

     

    • Information released around 2006 by the FBI indicates that Carlos Marcello confessed in detail to having organized Kennedy’s assassination. The FBI then covered up this information, which it had in its possession.

     

    • This version of events is supported by Robert Blakey in his book, The Plot to Kill the President. Blakey, who was chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, concluded that Marcello was likely part of a Mafia conspiracy behind the assassination, and that the Mafia had the means, motive, and opportunity required to carry it out.

     

    • Ruby was known to have been acquainted with both the police and the Mafia. The HSCA said that Ruby had known Chicago mobster Sam Giancana (1908-1975) and Joseph Campisi (1918–1990) since 1947, and had been seen with them on many occasions. After an investigation of Joe Campisi.

     

    • In 1963, Sam and Joe Campisi were leading figures in the Dallas underworld. Jack knew the Campisis and had been seen with them on many occasions. The Campisis were lieutenants of Carlos Marcello, the Mafia boss who had reportedly talked of killing the President.

     

     

    • Mr. Ragano said that in 1963 he took an order from Hoffa to his client, Santo Trafficante, the Mafia boss of Florida, and Carlos Marcello, the Mafia boss of New Orleans, asking that President John F. Kennedy be killed.

     

    • Ragano revealed that in March, 1987, a seriously ill Trafficante, facing emergency heart bypass surgery that he would not survive, told him that he and Marcello were responsible for JFK’s murder. “That Bobby made life miserable for me and my friends,” Trafficante told his trusted lawyer. “Who would have thought that someday (John Kennedy) would be president and he would name his goddam brother attorney general? Goddam Bobby. I think Carlos fucked up in getting rid of Giovanni (John) — maybe it should have been Bobby.”

     

    • A day before Kennedy was assassinated, Ruby went to Joe Campisi’s restaurant. At the time of the Kennedy assassination, Ruby was close enough to the Campisis to ask them to come see him after he was arrested for shooting Lee Oswald. Joe Campisi and his wife visited with Jack Ruby in jail for ten minutes on November 30, 1963.

     

     

    • According to an oral history that Sheridan would eventually give to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Sheridan later informed Bobby that Hoffa had been at a restaurant when he learned JFK had been shot. The reaction of the pugnacious labor leader was unlike that of most other Americans. “He got up on the table,” Sheridan said, “and cheered.”

    • Meanwhile, another Mafia leader and Hoffa associate, Carlos Marcello, sat in that New Orleans courtroom, awaiting his verdict. The second deportation trial for Marcello, who ran the mob in New Orleans and Dallas, was the culmination of a relentless three-year campaign by Bobby’s team to get him out of the country.

     

    • Marcello ended up being acquitted in New Orleans the same day that the president was killed. While serving time later in life, he was caught on a federal wiretap confessing to an FBI informant that he’d had JFK killed, according to FBI files released under the JFK Records Act of 1992.

    197: Your Questions Answered

    Chris Spangle, Greg Lenz, Harry Price, Brett Bittner, and Shane Zoellner take your questions!

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